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New OT Pseudepigrapha list and course

Announcing a new discussion list on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha:


sponsored by the Divinity School of the University of St. Andrews in
Scotland.  The list will be active during the spring semester of 1997
(approximately February through the end of May) and will be tied directly
to a course module offered at St. Andrews.  This course,  DI3216, "The Old
Testament Pseudepigrapha," will examine the OT Pseudepigrapha, a loose
collection of ancient, quasi-biblical writings that were excluded from the
canons of both normative Judaism and Christianity.  We shall explore the
reasons for the rejection of these documents by the major canons, the
problems of the mixed Jewish and Christian strata in the texts, their
intertextual connections with biblical literature, and their influence
after antiquity.  All texts will be read in English translation.

Some of the texts we will read and discuss include the Book of Jubilees,
the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Pseudo-Philo, the Odes of Solomon,
3 Enoch, plus other liturgical, sapiential, magical, and apocalyptic
documents.  There will be special "cyberlectures" on the Enoch literature,
by Professor James VanderKam of the University of Notre Dame, and on the
survival of the Pseudepigrapha after antiquity, by Professor John Reeves of
the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

This list will be a virtual classroom, so it will be subject to something
rather like classroom etiquette.  The realtime course is set up as a
seminar, with a mixture of lectures by the instructor and sessions devoted
to discussion of student seminar papers.  Summaries of the lectures and
abstracts of student papers will be posted on the list to stimulate further
discussion by the listmembers.  The focus will be scholarly analysis of the
texts we will be reading, of related texts of the same period (such as the
Dead Sea Scrolls or other documents from the Pseudepigrapha), and of the
historical background of the texts in Second Temple Judaism, early
Christianity, and the Greco-Roman world to late antiquity.  Discussion
should be courteous, well-informed (i.e., familiar with the assigned
materials for the realtime class and the scholarly literature in general),
and to the point.  Further guidelines on list etiquette and approaches will
be distributed to subscribers.  The content of the course will be oriented
toward specialists, but nonspecialists are welcome too.  I reserve the
right to decide in individual cases whether a potential subscriber should
be added to the list and whether a current subscriber should continue on
the list.  The sending of a subscription request (instructions below)
indicates acceptance of the conditions given in this paragraph.

To subscribe to OTPSEUD send an email message to


The message text should contain the single line

        subscribe otpseud

Futher details on the list and the course will be provided in the
introductory message to new subscribers.

Jim Davila
University of St. Andrews