Biblical Pseudepigrapha in Slavonic Traditions

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Alexander Kulik, Sergey Minov
  • London, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , December
     224 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Illya Bey forthcoming.


Early Slavonic writings have preserved a unique corpus of compositions that develop biblical themes. These extracanonical, parabiblical narratives are known as pseudepigrapha, and they preserve many ancient traditions neglected by the canonical scriptures. They feature tales of paradise and hell, angels and Satan, the antediluvian fathers and biblical patriarchs, kings, and prophets. These writings address diverse questions ranging from artistically presented questions of theology and morals to esoteric subjects such as cosmology, demonology, messianic expectations, and eschatology.

Although these Slavonic texts themselves date from a relatively late period, they are translations or reworkings of far earlier texts and traditions, many of them arguably going back to late biblical or early postbiblical times. The material in these works can contribute significantly to a better understanding of the roots of postbiblical mysticism, rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity, ancient and medieval dualistic movements, as well as the beginnings of the Slavonic literary tradition.

The volume provides a collection of the minor biblical pseudepigrapha preserved solely in Slavonic; at the same time, it is also the first collection of Slavonic pseudepigrapha translated into a western European language. It includes the original texts, their translations, and commentaries focusing on the history of motifs and based on the study of parallel material in ancient and medieval Jewish and Christian literature. 

The aim of the volume is to to bridge the gap between the textual study of this corpus and its contextualization in early Jewish, early Christian, rabbinic, Byzantine, and other traditions, as well as to introduce these texts into the interdisciplinary discussion of the intercultural transmission of ideas and motifs.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Alexander Kulik is Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of German, Russian and East European Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He held visiting positions at Harvard, Moscow State University, University College London, Stanford, Freie Universitaet Berlin. Kulik authored two books: Retroverting Slavonic Pseudepigrapha3 Baruch: Greek-Slavonic Apocalypse of Baruch, and edited the collected volume History of the Jews in Russia: From Antiquity to Early Modern Period with Zalman Shazar Center and Gesharim. Kulik has founded and headed the Brill book series Studia Judaeoslavica.

Sergey Minov has completed his doctoral studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in the history of ancient Judaism and Christianity, apocryphal literature and biblical exegesis.

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