Title

Satire of Genesis

Presenter Information

Jennifer Arledge

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 140

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Satire: the political ribbing of the educated mind. From Juvenal to Horace and Pope to Swift, great satirists have spared no expense in criticizing those in political power and the world around them. Likewise, those of the Jewish Hellenistic Period recorded their lives and thoughts in literature which has become known as extra-biblical to the Hebrew Bible. While some of these stories are very familiar, Joseph’s exile into Egypt for example, others strike scholars as so foreign, it is debated whether they’re valuable as religious texts. The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is one such text. While the sons of Jacob were never seen as moral pariahs, The Testaments illustrate men of such ill repute that one must wonder what the author’s purpose could have been. Analyzing such a text through a literary eye gives readers, scholars, and the faithful a new understanding of Jewish thought during this troubling time. If one were to understand The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs as a political satire, then the representations of the sons of Jacob do not seem as outlandish as before, and perhaps this text �" and more like it �" can then be used as a historical lens to better understand this time of Jewish factions and budding Christian ideals.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Heidi Szpek

Additional Mentoring Department

Philosophy and Religious Studies

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May 17th, 9:10 AM May 17th, 9:30 AM

Satire of Genesis

SURC 140

Satire: the political ribbing of the educated mind. From Juvenal to Horace and Pope to Swift, great satirists have spared no expense in criticizing those in political power and the world around them. Likewise, those of the Jewish Hellenistic Period recorded their lives and thoughts in literature which has become known as extra-biblical to the Hebrew Bible. While some of these stories are very familiar, Joseph’s exile into Egypt for example, others strike scholars as so foreign, it is debated whether they’re valuable as religious texts. The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is one such text. While the sons of Jacob were never seen as moral pariahs, The Testaments illustrate men of such ill repute that one must wonder what the author’s purpose could have been. Analyzing such a text through a literary eye gives readers, scholars, and the faithful a new understanding of Jewish thought during this troubling time. If one were to understand The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs as a political satire, then the representations of the sons of Jacob do not seem as outlandish as before, and perhaps this text �" and more like it �" can then be used as a historical lens to better understand this time of Jewish factions and budding Christian ideals.