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Joseph: A Death and Resurrection Figure in the Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism

PULSE, JEFFREY (2017) Joseph: A Death and Resurrection Figure in the Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The story of Joseph has enjoyed immense popularity in both parochial and secular contexts and yet it continues to perplex most modern biblical scholars. Why is this material found here in the patriarchal accounts? What purpose is there to the plethora of detail and information set forth?
In this thesis I am advocating a hermeneutic that reads the text of Scripture as a Unified Theological Narrative. Such a hermeneutic is not new, but has fallen into obscurity. A return to this method will reveal various biblical motifs as threads that are the woven fabric of the text and provide the key to understanding the text as one, unified narrative.
Using this approach, this thesis examines the Masoretic text of the Joseph Narratives with an eye toward the biblical motifs that define the intended meaning. The overriding emphasis, brought out by the Masoretic Text, portrays Joseph as a death and resurrection figure. I examine in greater detail this Death and Resurrection Motif and its many manifestations, as well as Joseph’s place in the motif. Reading the text as a Unified Theological Narrative reveals this biblical motif which unveils the greater reality associated with Joseph’s character and story.
The final part of my thesis deals with other biblical and extra-biblical texts and their treatment of the character of Joseph. Although the Septuagint focuses more subtly upon his salvific nature, while Targum Onqelos uses him as a moral and ethical model, they both maintain his death and resurrection character. I use Joseph’s death and resurrection character as a means to support his resurrected use in second temple times.
The Joseph Narratives have suffered a form of neglect by the majority of scholars over the course of centuries. This thesis is an attempt to “resurrect” the character of Joseph and present him as he was intended to be seen—as a death and resurrection figure.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Joseph; Genesis; Death and Resurrection; Biblical Motifs
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Dec 2017 15:13

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