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Re: orion-list Re: Pseudo-Philo and Ruth

Steve Oren wrote:
> A cry for help
> In the course of doing research on the Book of Ruth, I have become aware that Pseudo-Philo apparently does not know of this book or does not consider it authoritative.  While he (re)tells the Biblical history with considerable expansion, through the periods of the Judges and Kings, he does not include any part of Ruth in his story.
> My question is: why not?  After all, Josephus knows of RUth (although his story is quite different from ours).  The author of Matthew seems to know of Ruth for she is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus.  There are Qumran fragments of Ruth at least one of which, I gather, is dated to 1st century BCE.
> So, why does Pseudo-Philo (somewhere between 135 BCE and 70CE] not know of Ruth?  Bibliographic and other suggestions would be welcome.


While this answer is not necessarily all that you are looking for, it
does appear that your question presupposed the Christian version of the
canon, which places Ruth between Judges and 1 Samuel.  From the
perspective of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), however, this placement takes
an item from the Kethubim (Ruth) and places it in the midst of the
Nebi'im (which include Joshua through 2 Kings).  While its hard to
specify exactly what is happening in the development of the Hebrew Bible
during the period that you specify, it is not exactly unexpected that
Ruth would not show up in a work that followed the narrative of Joshua
through 2 Kings.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College

David W. Suter, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
Saint Martin's College, Lacey, WA 98503
For private reply, e-mail to "David W. Suter" <dsuter@stmartin.edu>
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