Old Testament Miracle-Workers
in Early Judaism

By Erkki Koskenniemi
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. No. 206
December 2005
Mohr Siebeck
ISBN: 3161486048
374 pages, 6 ¼” x 9 ¼”
$125.00 Paper Original

Erkki Koskenniemi analyzes the most important early Jewish texts, which attribute miracles to people mentioned in the Old Testament. He investigates the miracles of Moses, Elijah and Elisha, but also, for example, the extra-biblical deeds of men like Abraham, David and Solomon.

The author looks at the development of the traditional elements of the miracle stories and the theological intentions of every writer who deals with these stories. The Jewish tradition of miracle-workers is rich and multifaceted.

There was no rule that the biblical stories should be retold as they were written. Miracles could thus be connected with different types of historiography or even, in one case with a tragedy, which was an imitation of Aeschylus' great work. The investigation of this rich tradition helps us to better understand the early Jewish belief as well as the early Christian world.

Contents include:
1. Introduction
2. Miracles and the Glorious Past: The Wisdom of Ben Sira
3. Miracles and the War between Powers: The Book of Jubilees
4. Dramatic Miracles: Ezekiel the Tragedian
5. Miracles in Popular Historiography: Artapanus
6. Miracles in Literal and Allegorical Interpretation: Philo
7. Many Miracles: The Lives of the Prophets
8. Militant Miracles: Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum
9. Toning Down the Miracles? Josephus
10. Conclusion

Judaism, Theology

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