Academic journal article Journal of Biblical Literature

The MBQR at Qumran, the Episkopos in the Athenian Empire, and the Meaning of Lbqr in Ezra 7:14: On the Relation of Ezra's Mission to the Persian Legal Project

Academic journal article Journal of Biblical Literature

The MBQR at Qumran, the Episkopos in the Athenian Empire, and the Meaning of Lbqr in Ezra 7:14: On the Relation of Ezra's Mission to the Persian Legal Project

Article excerpt

"The closer one looks, the more enigmatic Ezra's mission becomes."l So writes L. L. Grabbe, one of the many scholars who have tried to determine why-and indeed whether-Artaxerxes sent Ezra to Jerusalem. His solution? "We can only conclude that the mission of Ezra has yet to be explained."2

The problem, of course, is to identify the historical context of Ezra's mission, as set forth in his letter of appointment from Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:12-26). Although in the past, especially in the nineteenth century, many scholars rejected Artaxerxes' letter as a fabrication, most scholars today accept it as authentic.3 In a repeat artle, D. Jmn has challenged the cotemtouy consensus

Ezra's work is perfectly comprehensible within the background of administrator, priest, and scribe working within the framework of the temple assembly in Yehud. Attempting to reconcile his actions in the narrative with the letter's description of his duties is an unnecessary and unhelpful task, there being no compelling reason to regard the bulk of the letter as historically reliable, and certainly not the parts that seem to point to Ezra as a Persian official commissioned by the king to institute legal reforms in Yehud.4 IMAGE FORMULA167IMAGE FORMULA168IMAGE FORMULA169IMAGE FORMULA170IMAGE FORMULA171IMAGE FORMULA172IMAGE FORMULA173IMAGE FORMULA174IMAGE FORMULA175IMAGE FORMULA176IMAGE FORMULA177IMAGE FORMULA178IMAGE FORMULA179IMAGE FORMULA180IMAGE FORMULA181IMAGE FORMULA186IMAGE FORMULA188IMAGE FORMULA190IMAGE FORMULA192IMAGE FORMULA197IMAGE FORMULA199IMAGE FORMULA201IMAGE FORMULA203

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