Fourth Ezra and Second Baruch

Reconstruction after the Fall


The two Jewish works that are the subject of this volume, 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch, were written around the turn of the first century CE in the aftermath of the Roman destruction of the Second Temple. Both texts are apocalypses, and both occupy an important place in early Jewish literature and thought: they were composed right after the Second Temple period, as Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity began to emerge. The twenty essays in this volume were first presented and discussed at the Sixth Enoch Seminar at the Villa Cagnola at Gazzada, near Milan, Italy, on June 26-30, 2011. Together they reflect the lively debate about 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch among the most distinguished specialists in the field. The Contributors are: Gabriele Boccaccini; Daniel Boyarin; John J. Collins; Devorah Dimant; Lutz Doering; Lorenzo DiTommaso; Steven Fraade; Lester L. Grabbe; Matthias Henze; Karina M. Hoogan; Liv Ingeborg Lied; Hindy Najman; George W.E. Nickelsburg; Eugen Pentiuc; Pierluigi Piovanelli; Benjamin Reynolds; Loren Stuckenbruck; Balázs Tamási; Alexander Toepel; Adela Yarbro Collins
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Biographical Note

Matthias Henze, Ph.D. (1997), is the Watt J. and Lilly G. Jackson Professor of Biblical Studies at Rice University. His publications on the literature of the Second Temple include The Madness of Nebuchadnezzar (1999) and Jewish Apocalypticism (2011). Gabriele Boccaccini, Ph.D. (1991) in Judaic Studies, University of Turin, Italy, Professor of Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins at the University of Michigan and Founding Director of the Enoch Seminar has published extensively on Second Temple Judaism including Middle Judaism (Fortress, 1991), Beyond the Essene Hypothesis (Eerdmans, 1998) and Roots of Rabbinic Judaism (Eerdmans, 2001).

Table of contents

Part One: Introduction 1. Matthias Henze, 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch: The Status Quaestionis Part Two: 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch and pre-70 C.E. Jewish Literature 2. Devorah Dimant, 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch in Light of Qumran Literature 3. Gabriele Boccaccini, The Evilness of Human Nature in 1 Enoch, Jubilees, Paul, and 4 Ezra: A Second Temple Jewish Debate Part Three: Pseudepigraphy in 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch 4. John J. Collins, Enoch and Ezra 5. Hindy Najman, Traditionary Processes and Textual Unity in 4 Ezra 6. Lorenzo DiTommaso, Who is the ‘I’ of 4 Ezra? Part Four: A Close Reading of 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch 7. Loren Stuckenbruck, Ezra's Vision of the Lady: Form and Function of a Turning Point 8. Lutz Doering, The Epistle of Baruch and its Role in 2 Baruch 9. Benjamin Reynolds, The Otherworldly Mediators in 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch: A Comparison with Angelic Mediators in Ascent Apocalypses and in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Zechariah 10. Balás Tamási, Baruch as a Prophet in 2 Baruch Part Five: The Social and Historical Context of 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch 11. Lester Grabbe, 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch in Social and Historical Perspective 12. Pierluigi Piovanelli, Why Ezra and not Enoch? Rewriting the Script of the First Exile with the Hope for a Prompt Restoration of Zion’s Fortunes Part Six: 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, and Early Christianity 13. Adela Yarbro Collins, The Uses of Apocalyptic Eschatology 14. George Nickelsburg, A New Testament Reader’s Guide to 2 Baruch: Or A 2 Baruch Reader’s Guide to the New Testament 15. Alexander Toepel, On a Possible Baptismal Background of 4 Ezra 13:3-6 16. Eugen Pentiuc, The Nature of the Resurrected Bodies in 2 Baruch and the New Testament Part Seven: 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, and post-70 C.E. Jewish Literature 17. Daniel Boyarin, Enoch, Ezra, and the Jewishness of “High Christology” 18. Steven Fraade, 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch with the (Dis-) Advantage of Rabbinic Hindsight Part Eight: The Nachleben of 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch 19. Karina Hogan, The Preservation of 4 Ezra in the Vulgate: Thanks to Ambrose, not Jerome 20. Liv Ingeborg Lied, Nachleben and Textual Identity: Variants and Variance in the Reception History of 2 Baruch


All interested in Second Temple Judaism and its literatures, the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Jewish apocalyptic literature, and the emergence of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.