Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts

Edited by Daniel L. Smith and Loren T. Stuckenbruck

[Prüfung und Versuchung in frühchristlichen Texten und jüdischen Texten aus der Zeit des Zweiten Tempels.]

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Published in English.
Second Temple Jewish and early Christian writings assume that 'testing' and 'temptation' form an inescapable part of human experience, from Eden to Massah to the eschaton. The contributions in this volume explore the roles, vocabulary, and functions of testing in these traditions.
From the Wisdom of Ben Sira to the writings of Paul, many Second Temple Jewish and early Christian texts recognize the inescapable role of testing and temptation in human experience. Though God is often presented as one who tests, testing is also attributed to Satan, Mastema, the people of God, and individual humans. How did ancient interpreters react to texts that depict the God of Israel as testing, tested, or intervening on behalf of those undergoing a test? What assumptions do authors have about the role of testing in human experience? How does the vocabulary used for testing and temptation influence the meaning of the text? The essays in the present volume constitute an opening foray into addressing these questions, and this volume aims to catalyze further research into additional dimensions of testing and overlooked motifs in the relevant literature.
Survey of contents
Daniel L. Smith/Loren T. Stuckenbruck: Introduction – Michael Francis: Philo of Alexandria on Testing and Temptation – Madison N. Pierce: Testing and Being Tested in the Epistle to the Hebrews – Loren T. Stuckenbruck: Eschatological Temptation the Enochic Way: A Note on 1 Enoch 94:5 – Todd R. Hanneken: Ten-Times-Tested Abraham in the Book of Jubilees – Susanne Luther: Preparing for Temptation in a Culture of Mutual Ethical Responsibility – Tzvi Novick: Life as Test: Reflections on m. 'Abot 2:4 and Related Texts – Andrew Bowden: »And the Mixed among Them Desired a Desire«: The Reception of Desire in Numbers 11 LXX in Greek Texts, Ending with the Apostle Paul – Jan Willem van Henten: The Triangle of Testing in the Wilderness – Daniel L. Smith: Testing the Child of God at the Beginning and until the End: ΠΕΙΡΑΣΜΟΣ and Theological Anthropology in Ancient Jewish and Christian Texts – Susan R. Garrett: (Not) Knowing Where I'm Going: Ignorance and Agony for Jesus and Job – Benjamin G. Wright III: Unbridled Libido: Ben Sira and the Billy Graham Rule

Loren T. Stuckenbruck Born 1960; BA Milligan College; MDiv and PhD Princeton Theological Seminary; since 2012 Chair of New Testament Studies (with Emphasis on Ancient Judaism) at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.

Daniel L. Smith Born 1982; BA Gordon College; MA and PhD University of Notre Dame; since 2012 Associate Professor of New Testament at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


The following reviews are known:

In: Review of Biblical Literature — (07/2021) (Malka Z. Simkovich)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 66 (2022), pp. 164–165
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 146 (2021), pp. 407–408 (Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr)
In: Revue de l'histoire et de Philosophie Réligieuses — 101 (2021), pp. 528–530 (Christian Grappe)
In: Recherches de Science Religieuse (RSR) — 109 (2020), pp. 146–148 (André Paul)
In: The Bible Today — March/April 2021, p. 138 (Donald Senior)
In: Journal of Theological Studies — 73 (2022) (Jan Dochhorn)