RESCH, ALFRED. Agrapha. Aussercanonische Schriftfragmente. Gesammelt und untersucht und in zweiter völlig neu bearbeiteter durch alttestamentliche Agrapha vermehrter Auflage hrsg. von Alfred Resch. Mit fünf Registern. (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 30.3-4, Neue Folge 15.3-4) Leipzig, 1906 [first ed 1889]. [Pp. XVI + 426.]

Section 6 Old Testament Agrapha and Apocrypha #21 (pp. 295-335)

Logia #1 - #62

Part 3 Results

Section # 33 Agrapha and Apocrypha of the Old Testament (pp. 380-384)

The collection of OT apocrypha and agrapha provided in section #21, which has been increased even during the publication process through several valuable contributions by Prof. Harnack and Prof. Nestle, in no way claims to be a complete list of texts or an exhaustive treatment by means of the appended investigations. The collected texts are of very different value and of very different origin. And the collective presentation itself is the first attempt of this sort.

A portion of these texts has lost its independent character under closer investigation since these apparently extracanonical citations reveal themselves to be translational variations of OT canonical texts. See

Other texts are traditional or intentional modifications of the wording: See

In this connection there are also OT LXX-texts with later additions: See

Specific erroneous renderings of the Hebrew original are to be noted [see already above]:

Of a quite different sort and actual agrapha, extracanonical fragments, are the texts designated as Logia 3b, 4a, 4b, 5, 7, 10, 14, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 33, 37, 43, 46, 49, 52, 57. They are decidedly OT in character and without NT parallels, but cannot be identified in the canonical writings of the OT. This group of actual OT agrapha comprise, with respect to their origin and their content, the most difficult area of the investigation.

The most significant group comprised of fragments of such writings as parade under pretended OT names but actually are influenced by Christianity, belong therefore not to Jewish but to Christian literature. Here the following writings and logia come under consideration:

Apocalypse of Adam . . Logia 1
Prayer of Joseph . . . . . . .2, 3a
Eldad and Modat . . . . . . 9
Apocalypse of Moses . ..11
Assumption of Moses . . 12, 13, 23
Pseudo-Ezra . . . . . . . . . 16, 17
The Wise Solomon . . . . .29
Pseudo-Ezekiel . . . . . . . 18, 47, 48, 50, 54, 55, 56
Jeremiah Book . . . . . . .. 39, 40, 42, 44, 45
Pseudo-Hosea . . . . . . . .58
Zephaniah Apocalypse . .59, 60
Pseudo-Zachariah . . . . . 62
Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . .5, 6, (40, 41)

Of special significance is the observation that the "Prayer of Joseph" derived from one of the sects of the "Archontics" -- as Epihphanius identified them -- and the specific teaching of these sects manifested itself through revealed scripture. See above p. 295ff, on Logion 2.

But what turned out to be most interesting in comparison with the various patristic citations is the investigation of the two prophet books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah that are reworked in the NT.

To the NT Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, concerning the life circumstances of which 1 Clement 27.1 also has interwoven an extracanonical note, belong the logia 18, 47, (48), 50, (54), (55), 56. The Ezekiel book is explicitly identified as the source of extracanonical citations by Clement of Alexandria at Logion 50, by Tertullian at Logion 18, by Epiphanius at Logion 56, by the Vita St. Antonii at Logion 47. Through that evidence and through comparisons with other citations as well as with parallels from the OT book of Ezekiel the additional identifications are derived, partly with absolute certainty, partly with a high degree of probability.\1/

Of still greater significance for primitive Christian literature was the early Christian Jeremiah book, which extended its influence even into the NT canon (see Matt 27.9, 27.52f; probably also Eph 5.14 and Matt 2.23). The witnesses for the prior existence of this early Christian Jeremiah book are, in chronological order: the first evangelist (Agraphon 2), Justin (Logion 45a), Irenaeus (Logion 45c), Gregory of Nyssa (Logion 39a-b, 44b), Jerome (Agraphon 2, Apokryphon 26), George Syncellus (Agraphon 8), and the Sahidic Jeremiah in the Library at Rome (Logion 42).\2/ I have already discussed the influence of this early Christian Jeremiah book on the first evangelist in PT 2, 336f, unfortunately without having received notice. It was this Jeremiah book along with the first gospel chiefly used by the Nazareans, which despite their special relationship to the mainstream church and to the first gospel proclaimed the virgin birth of Christ. The most noteworthy theological idea of the Jeremiah book was the teaching about Jesus' preaching of the gospel in hades (see Logion 45 "he descended to those asleep to preach the gospel to them") and the idea of a resurrection of the cross (see Logion 44, "when the wood . . . rises up"),\3/ ideas which also are found in the pseudo-Petrine gospel fragment (see GPet 41, "preaching to those who sleep," 42 "and a response was heard from the cross, 'Yes'," 39 "they sas them coming out from the tomb . . . and the cross followed them").

If we now want to clarify the character and origin of the early Christian reworking of OT prophetic (and also historical) books, one of the characteristic types of authorship of Jewish literature serves as a bridge to understanding, namely, haggadic midrashic literature. Haggadic midrash follows partly on straightforward use of OT text, but partly uses text as a springboard for different sorts of expositions, where it exercises greater freedom. It also produced socalled "repetition [Deuterosen]," expanded representations of OT writings from which probably derive the agrapha of authentic OT character in the second group noted above. It is an easy step now also for Christian hands, especially through people of Jewish origin, to produce similar haggadic reworkings of OT writings in accord with Christian teaching. This development can be seen especailly clearly with reference to the prophet Ezekiel. Josephus already knows of a noncanonical Ezekiel (Ant 10.5.1) that can have been nothing more than a haggadic reworking of the canonical Ezekiel, and which then itself must have become the basis for the development of the Christian Ezekiel book. Similarly one also has to think that the early Christian Jeremiah book already originated in the primitive Christian period. The characteristic of expanded repitition of the OT text also explains the appearance of continued textual variation and later additions or omissions in the constantly changing text of these pseudepigrapha. In the rediscovered Egyptian text of the Apocalypse of Elijah, for example, the texts of 1 Cor 2.9 and Eph 5.14 are no longer present,\4/ although they were once there according to clear patristic observations. And the literary history of the book of Enoch provides numerous examples of the same sort. We find ourselves here in an area in which exact research results can be achieved only to a very limited degree. The most that can be concluded is that there is a great deficiency in caution if one claims without further question the OT pseudepigrapha cited by the patristic authors as witnesses for Jewish literature of the time, and even before the time of Jesus. They belong, for the most part, to a later time.


\1/Here a later, fourth edition of the Protestantische Realencyclopaedie in the relevant article on the Ezekiel apocryphon should no longer be so tentative in the statement "Clement of Rome and Clement of Alexandria seem to know [!] an Ezekiel apocryphon (Fabricius\2 I, 1118ff)." See PRE\3 16, 253.5-6.

\2/Consequently the discussion of the early Christian Jeremiah book in the Prot. Realencylopaedie (16, 252.42-54), which only refers to Jerome, Euthalius and Syncellus as witnesses, neglecting Justin as well as Irenaeus and Gregory of Nyssa, must be judged to be unsatisfactory.

\3/The "wood" as a "sign" is found in a significant manner also in the Lives of the Prophets transmitted by Epiphanius. There it says, in the Life of Jeremiah, "this prophet ... said to those nearby: 'The Lord went from Zion into heaven, and again, he will come in power and this will be the sign for you of his presence; when all the gentiles worship wood.'" See in Nestle, Marginalien und Materialien die dem Epiphanius zugeschriebenen Vitae Prophetarum 2, 18. The "wood" is always an indication of Christian influence. See Logion 22, 44, along with 4 Ezra 5.5 de ligno sanguis stillabit (blood flows/drips from the wood), and further Wisd 14.5 (men believe souls on wood[?]), 7 ("For wood is blessed, through which righteousness occurs"). That the Wisdom of Solomon is incorrectly included among the OT Apocrypha, and rather is more appropriate for NT pseudepigrapha, also is indicated by the numerous echoes from Pauline literature as well as 1 Peter, James, Revelation, and the Gospels themseves. Compare Wisd 14.5 to 1 Pet 3.20, Wisd 16.6 to John 3.14 (sign of salvation) and Justin Dial 94 (by which sign --namely, of the serpent in the wilderness -- they were saved; and also salvation to those who believe through this sign). Both expressions, "sign" and "wood," are symbolic code-words for "cross." On "sign" see further PT 3, 412, where reference is made to Ezek 9.4 and the identification of "cross" and "sign" is actually made explicit.

\4/See Steindorff (Die Apokalypse des Elias, p.15), which expressly points out that the passage from Eph 5.14 that according to Epiphanius should stem from Elijah and likewise the passage in 1 Cor 2.9 that according to Origen stood in the Secrets of Elijah the Prophet, neither the one nor the other is found in the rediscovered MS. The vagrancies of the texts through which these pseudepigrapha are known can also be recognized in the pseudepigraphical Ascension of Isaiah, which is preserved in three recensions, an Ethiopic, a Latin, and a Greek. In the Ethiopian and Greek recension, the Pauline agraphon of 1 Cor 2.9 is not present. On the contrary, the Latin version (ed. Dillmann p.82) includes the following sentence: sufficit tibi Ysaia; vidisti enim quod nemo ailus vidit carnis filius, quod non oculus vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit, quanta praeparavit deus omnibus diligentibus se. (This is referred to in Zahn, Gesch. d. ntl. Kanons 2, 805, as also mentioned above at p. 26). Surely this is not the original used by 1 Cor 2.9 but only a secondary use of the Pauline agraphon.

[trans. RAK 03/2003]

Additional classical German treatments to explore:

Harnack, Adolf. Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur bis Eusebius (2nd ed): Teil I: Die Ueberlieferung und der Bestand, 2. Halbband (Leipzig: Hinrichs [original 1893; 2nd ed ...; reprint 1958]; "Die von den Christen angeeignete und z. Th. bearbeitete juedische Litteratur" (pp. 845-865); see also XII (pp.881ff) on Latin, Syriac, Slavonic, and Coptic translations.

Teil II: Die Chronologie, Band 1: Die Chronologie der Literatur bis Irenaeus nebst einleitenden Untersuchungen; #21 "Christliches in der von den Christen angeeigneten und z. Th. bearbeiteten juedischen Litteratur" (pp. 560-589).


Also, From Jim Davila's Paleojudaica Blog (01se2005) -- with his permission:

MORE LOST BOOKS: As I promised a while ago, I am listing below some additional ancient lost Old Testament pseudepigrapha that I have run across in various places. Some are books that are completely lost apart from their title and perhaps a brief comment on their contents; others are books that are no longer extant, but fragments, quotations, or summaries of them do survive.

A number are listed in the Coptic Nag Hammadi treatise On the Origin of the World (NHC ii, 5 and XIII, 2; fourth century CE or earlier). Some small indication of contents is usually given. It is possible that these are just names made up for effect, but they may well have been real books.

Hippolytus, in The Refutation of All Heresies (second-third centuries CE), mentions the following:


These were located through the Accordance Software list of Greek Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

And more:

Noted by M. R. James in The Lost Apocrypha of the Old Testament, pp. 77-78, 90, and 92, respectively.

UPDATE (2 September): Ken Penner e-mails some additional information:
You might mention in your blog entry that Denis includes several of the texts you mentioned, in his Introduction, in his Fragmenta, and in his Concordance, e.g., the fragment from 1 Clement 23:3-4 and 2 Clement 11:2-4, the Zechariah fragment, the Fable of the Precious Stone, the fragment from Clement of Alexandria, and the fragment on the Antichrist.

P. Oxy. 2069 is now known to be from 1Enoch.

The Antichrist fragment is also in de Antichristo 54.

The Clement of Alexandria reference in Protrepticus is 10, 98, 1, not 8.

Georgius Cedrenus also has the Fable of the Precious Stone (after the story of Tobit, before king Hezekiah); see I. Bekker, Georgius Cedrenus Ioannis Scylitzae (2 vols.; Corpus scriptorum historiae Byzantinae; Bonn: Weber), 1:193-194.
posted by Jim Davila | 9:03 AM


Wednesday, July 20, 2005   WISH LIST OF LOST BOOKS: Michael Pahl writes:
I've often thought what a boon it would be to New Testament scholarship if we could have a copy of Papias' "Expositions of the Logia of the Lord." Given Papias' desire for living tradition over against written record, it could provide tremendously valuable insights into the nature of the oral Jesus tradition at the beginning of the second century and perhaps shed more light on that oral tradition back into the first century. I was just reminded of this today, and this led me to think about this more broadly: Out of all the lost documents related to early Christianity--those mentioned by early Christians but no longer extant, those for which we have fragments or quotations but not whole manuscripts--which would I most wish to be discovered?
After giving his list he adds:
Anyone else have a similar wishlist? If we hurry, we may get it off in time for Christmas... :-)
This is a subject near and dear to my heart, since the More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project on which my colleague Richard Bauckham and I are working, aims to include a list of all Old Testament pseudepigrapha mentioned in surviving literature from antiquity to the present, whether or not the works survive themselves. So here is my preliminary list of now lost or highly fragmentary ancient pseudepigrapha of which I would like to have complete manuscripts in their original languages.

The Stichometry of Nicephorus mentions:

The List of the Sixty Books mentions some of these and also (some overlap?):

The Gelasian Decree mentions in addition (again, possibly some overlap with above?):

We have bits of some of these, but none (or at least very few) of them complete. Add to them the Aramaic Book of Giants (see also here) and the Nazarene Apocryphon of Jeremiah in Hebrew, mentioned by Jerome.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head (with the help of M. R. James's The Lost Apocrypha of the Old Testament). If I've missed some lost Old Testament pseudepigrapha known only by title or small fragment, drop me a note and let me know.

Incidentally, some very good news about our More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project is going to be announced soon. Watch this space.

Also, blogging may be light for a while. The page proofs for my book, The Provenance of the Pseudepigrapha: Jewish, Christian, or Other? have arrived, thanks to a remarkably quick production on Brill's part. I was just getting started on them this afternoon when I got a call from the Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha asking if they could e-mail me the proofs for my 27,000-word article, "(How) Can We Tell If a Greek Apocryphon or Pseudepigraphon Has Been Translated from Hebrew or Aramaic?" and would I be able to manage a turnaround by Monday. (The narrow window is due to a technical glitch that is no one's fault and it can't be helped.) This is good news, since it means that the article should be out next month and the book in the fall. But it also does mean that I'm going to be pretty busy reading proofs and supervising the book indexing for some time. Bear with me.

UPDATE: Michael Turton and Stephen Carlson post their wish lists. And Jim West posts his.

UPDATE (21 July): Ken Ristau posts his wish list.

UPDATE (22 July): Manuscript Boy posts his medieval wish list. But one of his wished-for books is in the future.

UPDATE (24 July): Justin Dombrowski posts his wish list of five. I also especially covet his first two.

UPDATE (25 July): Christopher Heard weighs in at Higgaion. I've thought of some more, which I'll try to post presently.

LATER: Lost treatises of the first-century Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria: three books missing from Questions and Answers on Exodus, one book from Drunkenness, and three books from Dreams. We also lack That Every Fool is a Slave (the companion piece to Good Person), two books On Covenants, a treatise On Rewards, the lives of Isaac and Jacob, perhaps a companion piece to Contempl. Life, and the promised sequel to Eternity (assuming it was written). There are also references to a treatise On Piety, although it has also been suggested that this is another name for Virtues. (The treatise names are from the SBL Handbook.) A number of Philo's treatises also survive only in Armenian translation, and I would like the Greek originals of those too, please.

I should perhaps also note the "external books" forbidden by R. Akiva in the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 10.1), although these are to be read at your own risk! Then there's also the passage in Mishnah Pesahim 4.9 (some manuscripts) which refers to a "book of healings" suppressed by King Hezekiah. Not that there was such a book in Hezekiah's time, but it's possible that a pseudepigraphon with that description was circulating in the Tannaitic period.

UPDATE: Ellen Birnbaum, Philo scholar, e-mails to say she approves of my list of lost Philonica. She adds:
Years ago, Hanan Eshel mentioned to me as a great desideratum the history of the Jewish war against Rome by Justus of Tiberias. (Though this is [probably] non-biblical, I thought I'd mention it anyway.)

In Against Apion, Josephus cites several sources that would illuminate our knowledge about attitudes of non-Jews towards Jews, and there are also the fragmentary Acts of the Alexandrian Martyrs (CPJ 2: nos. 154-59). Though your criteria for inclusion may be Bible-related works, some of these (esp. counter-accounts of the Exodus) may fall into that category in a perverse sort of way!
UPDATE (26 July): Reader Eric Rowe e-mails:
FWIW, at the top of my wish list would be Origen's Hexapla, partly for the (albeit possibly few) new readings, but mainly for its sheer importance.
Indeed. Also, on the H-Judaic list, Michael Stone is looking for the Book of Noah in rabbinic and later literature:
First, any references in Rabbinic or later texts to a book, testament or other document attributed to Noah. I am, of course, familiar with Sefer Noah in Jellineck, Bet HaMidrash.
If he finds any references, I hope he will share them with the list.

Also, Joe Cathey points to excerpts from a classical article on the Book of Giants by W. B. Henning which is now online. It discusses the story of Ogias the giant.

UPDATE: Brandon Wason has some suggestions over at Novum Testamentum.

UPDATE (5 August): Speaking of ancient lost books, many of these books might as well be lost for all people know about them, but thanks to new funding for the MOTP project, you should be able to read them soon. posted by Jim Davila | 3:03 PM


A (VERY) NEW PHILO APOCRYPHON is noted by Torrey Seland.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Be Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

I was just trying out the Google Blog Search,mentioned today by Mark Goodacre, and up came this slogan that I have seen from time to time, always attributed to PhiloBe Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. The problem is, however, that I have never read this in any of Philo's works. I may have overlooked it, that's possible,- of course. But searches in both the Greek text and in Whiston's old translation have given no 'hits'.

Does any one out there know the background of this saying? How come it is attributed to Philo?

posted by TorreyS at 9/15/2005 09:27:00 AM postCount('112676964374679864'); Comment (0) | postCountTB('112676964374679864'); Trackback (0)  

UPDATE: Stephen Goranson e-mails:
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
This quotation (or a variant) is often attributed either to Philo or Plato, though I've never seen a specific citation.

For what it's worth, here's the closest thing I found by searching JSTOR. In The Biblical World (retitled the next year as The Journal of Religion) v. 54 n. 6 (1920) page 606 Ozora S. Davis, in an article on preaching quoted II Peter 1:57 and then commented on each phrase, including: "_brotherly kindness_--Everyone is fighting a hard battle." posted by Jim Davila | 12:48 PM


Monday, September 05, 2005 (Davila, as above)



The third plenary session (Saturday morning) was also given by Darrell Hannah, who is currently on a research fellowship at Oxford, where he is preparing a critical edition of the Coptic and Ethiopic versions of the Epistula Apostolorum. Darrell argued that this work probably knew all four canonical Gospels and it was composed by 140-150 CE. I found his presentation particularly exciting because in it he alerted me to two quotations of "the prophet" in the Epistula Apostolorum which may be of lost Old Testament pseudepigrapha.