Jewish Texts affecting New Testament Authors

Eight forms of Jewish texts from 200 B.C. to 100 A.D. are worth studying for their influence on New Testament authors (Notes derrived from “Writing and Literature: Jewish” from Dictionary of NT Background)

  1. Biblical Expansions, Additions and Versions
    1. OT was translated into Greek and Aramaic (Septuagint is the best translation of OT into Greek collected over several time periods and created by 70-72 translators)
    2. Elaborations on OT help us see how people of the day interpreted it (for example tracing sins origin to Satan instead of Adam in I Enoch and the eternal state of the Torah which was observed even by the patriarchs according to Jubilees)
    3. Jude directly quotes I Enoch (Revelation also has similarities) and many Christians latched onto the book Ascension of Isaiah to further solidify Isaiah’s prominence to add credibility to his Messianic witness
  2. Historiography (historical accounts of that day such as Maccabees and Josephus)
  3. Apologetic, Wisdom, and Philosophical texts:  These texts present Judaism as either being justified before, exalted over, or harmonized with Greek virtues
  4. Apocalypses (tales of end times such as I Enoch and II Baruch) and Testaments (supposed final words of Biblical Characters such as Moses and Job)
  5. Edifying tales of romance (narratives that support values -i.e. Tobit, 3 Mac.)
  6. Qumran Literature
  7. Liturgical Texts (prayers, psalms, laments)
  8. Rabbinic Writings (opinions and rationales of Jewish leaders -Talmud is an example that comes at the very end of the period)