Quotations from Ben Sira in Rabbinic literature and their contribution to Ben Sira textual criticism

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Abstract

There are several textual witnesses for the book of Ben Sira: The Hebrew versions from Qumran and Masada, the six Hebrew manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza, quotations scattered in the talmudic and midrashic literature, and finally, the ancient translations into Greek and Syriac. These witnesses are not of equal status, neither with regard to their quality and reliability nor with respect to their date. The least important witnesses are the quotations from the book scattered throughout the talmuds and the midrashic corpus. Most scholars agree that these are fairly remote from the original text and should not be ranked on a par with the other witnesses. In this paper I discuss several such passages and compare the version in talmudic and midrashic literature with that found in the other textual witnesses for Ben Sira. Collecting the Ben Sira quotations in rabbinic literature and their individual analysis can surely contribute in a most significant way to the study of Ben Sira textual criticism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
JournalAncient Near Eastern Studies
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

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