Traditional Figures and Textual Authority in Ben Sira’s “Praise of the Ancestors”

Brodersen, Alma (24 November 2019). Traditional Figures and Textual Authority in Ben Sira’s “Praise of the Ancestors” (Unpublished). In: Society for Biblical Literature 2019 Annual Meeting. San Diego, USA. 23.-26. November 2019.

Traditional Figures and Textual Authority in Ben Sira’s “Praise of the Ancestors” Ben Sira’s “Praise of the Ancestors” (Sir 44-50) describes several traditional figures but in highly varying detail. For example, Moses is praised in 6 verses (Sir 44:23-45:5), Aaron in 17 verses (Sir 45:6-22), and Josiah in 4 verses (Sir 49:1-4). Nehemiah appears once in Sir 49:13, and Eleazar is only mentioned as the name Phinehas’ father in Sir 45:23 and as the name of Ben Sira’s father in Sir 50:27. Hannah and Ezra are not mentioned at all. Ben Sira’s praise also includes other figures such as Enoch (Sir 44:16; 49:14) and the High Priest Simon (Sir 50:1-21). Based on the Hebrew and Greek texts, this paper will give a survey of the use and interpretation of traditional figures in Ben Sira’s “Praise of the Ancestors”. Special emphasis will be placed on the relation between Ben Sira’s text and texts today included in or excluded from the Hebrew Bible. How does the description of these figures differ from texts in- and outside the Hebrew Bible? Which role do textual authority, oral tradition, and the political and cultural context play in Ben Sira’s interpretation of traditional and contemporary figures? Can textual authority explain why some leaders are described extensively while others do not appear at all?

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Old Testament Studies

UniBE Contributor:

Brodersen, Alma

Subjects:

200 Religion
200 Religion > 220 The Bible

Language:

English

Submitter:

Alma Brodersen

Date Deposited:

19 Feb 2020 14:25

Last Modified:

19 Feb 2020 14:25

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/140371

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