Pseudo-Philo: Rewriting the Bible

By Frederick J. Murphy | Go to book overview

12
The Real Author in Historical Context

It is always difficult to move from story world to real world. Historical criticism often tries to use texts as windows onto the real worlds--social, political, religious, and so on--that produced them. Such an enterprise is valid, but it must be done cautiously. Placing a work like the Biblical Antiquities into its historical context is difficult. It certainly was not written at the time of the events it narrates or any time close to them. Neither is it an account of those events using trustworthy historical evidence independent of the author's main source, the Bible. Indeed, the Biblical Antiquities contributes nothing to knowledge about the preexilic period. Rather, as a rewriting of the sacred text of the Bible, it reveals more about the author's ideological point of view than about the events described. But this is itself historically important. If the consensus that the Biblical Antiquities was written in the first century C.E. is correct, then it provides access to the thought of at least one individual who lived at that time. If the work is the product of a group or represents the distillation of a community's storytelling over time, so much the better. Then it attests to views held by more than one person in the period in question. Of course, it is always debatable whether the interpretation of the previous chapters does indeed reflect an accurate understanding of the author's thought. This leads to theoretical questions about author, text, and reader that are very much under discussion at present and to which I have no theoretical contribution to make. Nonetheless, ancient texts to some degree reflect the thoughts, intentions, attitudes, and emotions of those who produced them, and the attempt to uncover those thoughts and intentions, no matter how problematic, is a worthwhile endeavor.

In previous chapters, I have bracketed specifically historical concerns in favor of a more literary approach. Observations about historical connections were kept to a minimum and relegated to the notes. The primary concern was to see the text as narrative and to see how it works, particularly in terms of plot, character, narrator's point of view, and ideological point of view. Strictly speaking, references to the "author" or to "Pseudo-Philo" (when that term meant the author as opposed to the text) meant the implied author, the author inscribed in the text. One might question whether the views of the implied author are the same as those of the real author. But the ideological point of

-262-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Pseudo-Philo: Rewriting the Bible
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 324

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.