3 BARUCH (1st - 3rd century) Question

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3 BARUCH (1st - 3rd century) Question

Post by rakovsky » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:28 pm

Also known as the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, it is ascribed to Baruch ben Neriah, the 6th c. BC scribe of Jeremiah.

This link has the Greek and Slavonic texts' versions:
http://www.ma.huji.ac.il/~kazhdan/Shnei ... %20OTP.pdf

(Question) Is 3 Baruch a Jewish work with later Christian interpolations, or is it an originally Christian work? If it is Jewish with Christian interpolations, then in what century were the interpolations added?
According to Wikipedia, it was probably written after the 70 AD Roman conquest of Jerusalem, and "the Old Church Slavonic versions do not contain the Christian overtones of the Greek text, which suggests that the Greek text represents a rewriting in the Christian age."(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_Baruch)
David Alun Arnold's essay proposes:
Kraft's hypothesis [is] that we need to assume that it is a Christian work unless proven otherwise.
Only two Greek manuscripts are available to us - both dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, but there are some extant Slavonic manuscripts which fall into two categories: those of Russian origin; and those of Southern origin. A comparison of these manuscripts with those in Greek leads to a conclusion that the text of 3 Baruch was originally Jewish, but has since fallen into Christian hands to be interpolated. This is derived from the fact that Christian interpolations are DIFFERENT in the Greek and Slavonic, and the fact that the prologue is of distinctly Jewish origin: why would Christian transmitters keep Jewish material in the prologue, but remove it from other places?
https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/divinity/r ... ts/3baruch
To answer Arnold's question, I could propose that the Christian editors cared more about the body of the text than the prologue, and so they were more likely to remove non-Christian references in the body.
The prologue includes: "Verily I Baruch was weeping in my mind and sorrowing on account of the people, and that 2 Nebuchadnezzar the king was permitted by God to destroy His city, saying: Lord, why didst Thou set on fire Thy vineyard, and lay it waste?"
However, I don't know what makes Jewish content somehow a sign of a non-Christian origin, since the Old Testament themes are important in New Testament writings. A Christian writer could realistically draft a Pseudepigraphic Old Testament style writing like this and yet include terms identifying the author as Baruch and include a Jewish narration, (eg. "the people", "God's city", etc.).
On the other hand, if all the Christian passages in the Greek and Slavonic versions are different, I could imagine that the original did not have such Christian passages. But are all the Christian passages different between the two versions?

In Studia in Veteris Testamenti pseudepigrapha, Daniel C. Harlow mentions Harry Gaylord's criticism about the claims it was originally nonChristian Jewish literature. He says that the seeming Christian "interpolations" help to explain the supposed "original" Jewish parts, and so the document really did likely contain Christian passages.
Harlow points out that the phrase blood of God in 3 Baruch also shows up in Ignatius' letter to Ephesians. He also sees the term "spiritual fathers" as a Christian term. He says that a blessing in 3 Baruch lines up with one in Matthew 25. Harlow lists other possible Christian expressions.
He sees 3 Baruch as having only "minor" Christian "glosses and interpolations".

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

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