Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2015

Project Advisor(s)

Stuart S. Miller; Daniel Caner; Hassanaly Ladha

University Scholar Major

Individualized Major

Disciplines

Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Biblical Studies | Near Eastern Languages and Societies | Other Classics

Abstract

This thesis studies the various forms of oral and literary prophecy in the Ancient the Ancient Near East and Second Temple Judaism. After an introductory background section on the dynamics of prophecy in Ancient Assyria and Mesopotamia, I problematize the nineteenth century concept of the “cessation of prophecy” after Malachi, the last prophet in the Tanakh.

Too often prophecy is seen as a punctiliar process with a determined beginning and end. I complicate this simplified view by discussing the following questions while analyzing several key primary sources from the Second Temple period: In what forms does prophecy continue even after the official closing of the canon? What does the literary evidence and pseudepigrapha reveal about the transforming notions of prophecy itself? Do the interpretive and apocalyptic texts accurately represent a transformed prophetic understanding or are they separate genres in their own right? What new and competing divine titles and figures emerge from the pseudepigrapha and Dead Sea Scrolls and why are these supposedly new roles significant? What other historical and literary texts and figures can be seen as prophetic? How did the gradual separation of Judaism and Christianity impact scribes and other intellectuals of the time?