Recent Scholarship on Joseph and Aseneth (1988-2013)

Standhartinger, Angela
June 2014
Currents in Biblical Research;Jun2014, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p353
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
This article provides a survey of the last 25 years of research on Joseph and Aseneth, a Jewish Greek novel probably written between the first century bce and the second century ce. This romance expands on Gen. 41.45 to narrate how Joseph and Aseneth met and later married under the auspices of Pharaoh, after Aseneth had turned away from her Egyptian gods to the God of Israel and was visited by an angel with whom she shares a honeycomb. Later in the story she is introduced to Jacob and Levi, repels the attack of a rival lover, the son of Pharaoh, who then dies, so that Joseph inherits his throne and rules in Egypt for 48 years. The principle topics covered in this review are recent textual editions of this writing preserved in 91 manuscripts in seven languages, the no-less disputed purpose and provenance of the romance, its date and place of origin, and its genre. Gender issues and other major themes of research and an extended pre-modern history of interpretation will also be discussed.


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