Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pseudepigrapha

Pseudepigrapha are falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed authorship is represented by a separate author; or a work, "whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past." The word "pseudepigrapha" (from the Greek: ψευδής, pseude, "false" and ἐπιγραφή, epigraphē, "name" or "inscription" or "ascription"; thus when taken together it means "false superscription or title"; see the related epigraphy) is the plural of "pseudepigraphon" (sometimes Latinized as "pseudepigraphum"); the Anglicized forms "pseudepigraph" and "pseudepigraphs" are also used.

Pseudepigraphy covers the false ascription of names of authors to works, even to authentic works that make no such claim within their text. Thus a widely accepted but an incorrect attribution of authorship may make a completely authentic text pseudepigraphical. Assessing the actual writer of a text locates questions of pseudepigraphical attribution within the discipline of literary criticism.
In Biblical studies, the pseudepigrapha are Jewish religious works written c 200 BC to 200 AD, not all of which are literally pseudepigraphical.

They are distinguished by Protestants from the Deuterocanonical (Catholic and Orthodox) or Apocrypha (Protestant), the books that appear in the Septuagint and Vulgate but not in the Hebrew Bible or in Protestant Bibles. Catholics distinguish only between the deuterocanonical and all the other books, that are called biblical Apocrypha, a name that is also used for the pseudepigrapha in the Catholic usage.

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