SBL 2009: The Bible Rewritten: Stephen’s Speech and Early Jewish Biblical Interpretation in the Second Temple Period

I should have posted this earlier but my SBL proposal was accepted in the Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity session for this year’s SBL in New Orleans.

Th following is the abstract:

“The Bible Rewritten: Stephen’s Speech and Early Jewish Biblical Interpretation in the Second Temple Period

Scholarship has long noted the similarities between Stephen’s speech in the book of Acts and the Samaritan Pentateuch (e.g. Hamilton, NICOT, 1990; Munck, AB, 1967; Fitzmyer, AB, 1998). Little attention, however, has been given to those portions that are missing from the Samaritan Pentateuch, and, consequently have no parallel in the Masoretic Tradition, or Septuagint. Stephen’s speech is, in fact, partly derived from alternate sources and more closely related to the corpus Early Jewish biblical interpretations. For example, referencing Jacob’s sons as “patriarchs” (Acts 7:8, 9) and angelic mediation at Sinai (Acts 7:38, 53) represent interpretations and expansions of biblical narratives preserved in the Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, and Dead Sea Scrolls. Stephen’s speech is not a simple composite of Israel’s history extracted from the Hebrew or Samaritan Pentateuch, but a complex of biblical exegesis, which reflect the dynamic interpretation of the Bible during the Second Temple Period. Therefore, the purpose of this study will be to examine Stephen’s speech in light of early Jewish biblical interpretations and its implication for understanding the use of Scripture during the formative days of nascent Christianity.”

I will be putting some of the notes from this paper as SBL gets closer.

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