Joseph, Prayer of

An Old Testament pseudepigraph, number 3 in the Stichometry of Nicephorus (Westcott, Canon of the New Testament(7), 571), with the length given as 1,100 lines, and number 5 in the List of Sixty Books (Westcott, 568). The work is lost, and the only quotations are in Origen (In Joan., ii.25, English in Ante-Nicene Fathers, IX, 341; In Gen., iii.9, 12). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are said to have been created before every work, but Jacob-Israel is the greatest, "the firstborn of every living creature," the "first minister in God's presence," greater than the angel with whom he wrestled. The purport may be anti-Christian, the patriarchs exalted in place of Christ; compare, perhaps, Enoch 71 (but not so in Charles' 1912 text), but Origen's favorable opinion of the book proves that the polemic could not have been very direct.

LITERATURE.

GJV, 4th edition, III, 359-60; Dillmann in PRE, 2nd edition, XII, 362; compare Beer in 3rd edition,XVI , 256; Fabricius, Codex pseudep. Vet. Test., I, 761-71.

Burton Scott Easton

 
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