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Title: Expanded Text of Ecclesiasticus: Its Teaching on the Future Life as a Clue to its Origin
Author: Kearns, Conleth
Publisher: De Gruyter; Publication Date: 2011
Hardcover; ISBN: 9783110252583
Volumes: 1; Pages: x, 334
List Price in Hardcover: $196.00 Our price: $196.00
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Nowadays many scholars are intensively studying the Book of Ben Sira in its different versions. One of the most intriguing aspects relates to the great quantity of passages on the afterlife in the various stages of the text of the Book of Ben Sira. Although Conleth Kearns already in 1951 wrote an important doctoral thesis on this subject, this study has never been published and circulates only in photocopied form. Since Ben Sira scholars more and more are convinced that this investigation is of great importance, even after sixty years a proper publication is welcomed.
In his study Kearns distinguishes, on the one hand, the witnesses to the second Greek and to the Latin version and, on the other hand, those to the Hebrew text, and those to the Syriac version as well. He concludes that there is unity of doctrine between the changes and additions of all the textual witnesses. Therefore he can refer to 'the expanded text'.
The teachings on afterlife as found in the various stages of the text of Ben Sira are compared with the teachings found in Jewish literature from about 200 B.C. until 100 A.D., both canonical especially Daniel and the Wisdom of Solomon , and apocryphal or pseudepigraphical, such as 1-2 Enoch, 4 Ezra, Jubilees, Psalms of Solomon, and Testaments of the XII Patriarchs.