S3E10: The Patriarchs and the Apocalyptic Narrative


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In this episode we look at Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons and how Second Temple Jews read and interpreted them. Particularly, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs gives us insight into how Jews framed the election and future of Israel. Jews at the time were not myopic nationalists who were unconcerned and uninformed about the nations, but rather they extended the Tanakh’s framework of the redemption of the nations by means of the salvation of Israel.

Show notes

  • Placing the New Testament language in the conversation of the day - Matthias Henze (2:18)
  • Apocalypticizing Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau - 4 Ezra 6:7-10 (4:17)
  • Introduction to The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs - Genesis 49:1; Testament of Levi 1:1; Testament of Benjamin 10:2-9; Romans 2:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:51; Matthew 19:28 (6:52)
  • Israel’s election for the sake of the nations - Testament of Levi 14:4; 14:8 (16:19)
  • Resurrection and judgment at the end of the age - Testament of Levi 18:4-6; 18:10-14; Matthew 8:11; Testament of Zebulun 10:1-2; Testament of Judah 24:1-6; 25:1-4 (25:27)
  • The language and concepts of the New Testament are not new - Matthew 12:32 (32:31)

Resource: Mind the Gap by Matthias Henze: https://amzn.to/388tuZn