Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Robert A. Kraft
AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE PROPHETIC DISCOURSE OF THE FIRST CENTURY C.E.
This dissertation informs current discussions of the apparent transformation of the concepts of prophets and prophecy within Judaism of the Second Temple period by examining the application of the Law of the Prophet (Deut 18:15-22) within two first century C.E. texts, the Testament of Moses and the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum of Pseudo-Philo. Combining scholarly study of ancient Biblical interpretation and of legal and historical narrative, the study examines the successors of Moses as an umbrella concept in discursive competition between centers of human and textual authority.
The study was designed to be comparative, identifying key intermediaries, settings, and audiences for divine communication and presence in two characteristic literary forms of the Second Temple - pseudepigraphy and rewritten Bible. Since the two texts in focus reflect significantly different pseudepigraphy and textual genre, I treat them separately, using Philo of Alexandria and Josephus' Antiquities as well as parallel canonical texts to
establish a field of comparison. I have tried to take into account textual evidence for recontextualization of the Law of the Prophet provided by Dead Sea documents. 4QpaleoExodm is evidence for incorporation of the law of the prophet into the Sinai Revelation (Exodus 20:20ff) as in the Samaritan Pentateuch. 4Q375 Reworked Pentateuch and 11Q Temple Scroll give new legal contexts, while 4Q 175 Testimonia lists significant intertexts.
Characters who speak "words in the name of God" (Deut 18:18) are assumed to be prophets. The terms applied to them to define a nuanced vocabulary for prophetic figures and their roles in society. Similarly, the descriptive terms applied to their speeches comprise a nuanced vocabulary for prophecy. I go on to trace the the observed phenomena of prophecy ex eventu and eschatological expectation as intersection of history and prophecy in "words spoken in the name of God" as they come to pass (Deut 18:22).
Wayland, Virginia L., "Following Moses: An Investigation Into The Prophetic Discourse Of The First Century C. E" (2017). Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. 2632.