Description: Jewish authors in antiquity reinterpreted biblical texts, creating a revolving stage of characters and settings. The Torah was the model for diverse interpretations of the authors' worldviews. René Bloch discusses four examples of this creative rewriting: the Jewish-Hellenistic love story of Joseph and Aseneth, the biography of Moses written by Philo of Alexandria, the Book of Biblical Antiquities by Pseudo-Philo and, from a later period, the Josippon from 10th century Italy. All of these four texts deal with biblical figures, reinterpreting and continuing their narratives. And all four works reflect a complex relationship to the non-Jewish environment, representing an authentic and confident Judaism on the one hand and all of them trying hard to connect to mainstream society on the other.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Pseudepigrapha, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Greco-Roman Literature, Literature
Review by Michael S. Moore
Citation: Michael S. Moore, review of René Bloch, Jüdische Drehbühnen: Biblische Variationen im antiken Judentum, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).
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