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The Despoliation of Egypt: In Pre-Rabbinic, Rabbinic and Patristic Traditions

The Despoliation of Egypt: In Pre-Rabbinic, Rabbinic and Patristic Traditions (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae; Texts and Studies of Early Christian Life and Language) by Joel Stevens Allen
English | ISBN: 9004167455 | 2008 | PDF | 305 pages | 1,7 MB

This work examines the role played by the biblical motif of the despoliation of Egypt in the understanding Gentiles had of Jews, and how Jews defended themselves, their heroes and their God in the face of anti-Jewish slander. It also examines the manner in which Christians learned from their rabbinic counterparts how to defend Moses and his God against the gnostic challenge.

Beginning with Philo and based on haggadic additions, the embarrassment of the episode was 'healed' through allegory and became a critically important biblical justification for the Christian appropriation of the 'Egyptian treasures' of their Greco-Roman cultural heritage. This work describes how Christians borrowed exegetical traditions from rabbis not only to defend their sacred texts against gnostic attacks but to justify their interest in and appropriation of non-Christian philosophy in their theological understandings.

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