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15-03-'10 | Ancient World Seminar | Matthias Henze

When:Mo 15-03-2010
Where:room 130, Oude Boteringestraat 38
Mattias Henze

Matthias Henze (Rice University, Houston, Texas, thans fellow bij het NIAS, Wassenaar)

Why Should We Read the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha? The Case of the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch

The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, or Second Baruch, is a text that is often quoted but rarely read. It is a Jewish apocalypse, composed a generation or two after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. Trying to envision Judaism in new circumstances, the author of Second Baruch develops a program for the post-destruction Jewish community that is original and creative and that seeks to ensure the survival of Judaism. Even though Second Baruch has a lot to offer, it has largely gone unnoticed. Taking this intriguing early Jewish text as an example, this talk discusses what is to be learned from reading early Jewish texts that never became canonical, texts that are commonly called the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

Matthias Henze studied in Heidelberg and at Harvard where he received his Ph.D. in 1997. From 1997 onwards he is at RiceUniversity, Houston where he is Watt J. and Lilly G. Jackson Chair in Biblical Studies, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Founding Director of the Jewish Studies Program. During the academic year 2009/10 he is a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Wassenaar.