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Lives of the Prophets (Anonymous Recension Marchalianus) (Detailed) (Researcher: Alexander Samely):
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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

Full profile (Bibliography at the bottom):
1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

1.1.2 The text speaks of itself as dealing with an overall theme (subject matter) or purpose, or as consisting of coordinated parts making a whole: The first line of Q offers the superscription: "The names of the prophets, and where they are from, and where they died and how, and where they lie"; the end of the ms. (not given in Torrey's edition; see Schermann) reads "And other prophets became hidden (kryptoi), whose names are contained in their genealogies in the books of the names of Israel; for the whole race of Israel are enrolled by name" (24.1). If the text's shape is seen with the heading alone, it produces a bounding of the subject matter (whatever one might understand under the terms); if seen also together with the concluding sentence, the incompleteness (not all prophets) is acknowledged, and thus the boundedness of the text's subject matter is also thematized, but by a different conceptualization.

1.1.3 The text uses expressions for characterizing itself as a bounded entity: the word "other" in the concluding statement acknowledges the boundedness of what is contained in the text against a larger possible theme. See 1.1.2.

1.1.5 Important text witnesses attest to a heading which is not integrated with the body of the text or with any introductory frame, implying one or more of the kinds of information under 1.1.1–4: The text of the heading of Codex Marchalianus (Q) is given in 1.1.2. It is basically a list heading, but (unlike Megillat Ta'anit) appears neither integrated with the rest (by use of a deixis, "the following are....") nor a complete sentence. The mss. vary considerably in the wording of both this title and the concluding sentence (cp. Schwemer, p. 25–28).

1.2 The text presents its internal sequence of sentences (or larger parts) as mirroring the objective relationships of components in the projected world (an objective order), or projects its subject matter as self-limiting (5.3.). See further under 4, 5.2–5 or 6: The text is easily understood in terms of an umbrella topic which, while vague and generic, is capable of excluding others, and implemented with such exclusivity: the Jewish-biblical prophets and some of the facts and locations connected to their life and death (see 5.3, 5.5 and 5.8). Such a topic is expressed also, see 1.1.

1.6 The approximate word count or other indication of comparative size is: approximately 3,000 words in the Greek version used by the Online Crotoca; Pseudepigrapha website (= Torrey, which is slightly shortened in the Elijah and Elisha sections compared with Q).

1.7 The text’s Inventory profile should be seen in the light of the following further information on completeness, thematic progression, aesthetic effects, etc.: The current Profile describes the Greek Marchalianus manuscript (Vatican Gr. 2125, known as Q, or An1 in Schwemer). The sequence and identity of prophets in Marchalianus is: Isaiah (Hare's trans. ch. 1), Jeremiah (2), Ezekiel (3), Daniel (4), Hosea (5), Micah the Morashtite (6), Amos (7), Joel (8), Obadiah (9), Jonah (10), Nahum (11), Habakkuk (12), Zephaniah (13), Haggai (14), Zechariah (son of Iddo) (15), Malachi (16), Nathan (17), Ahija (18), Joed (19), Azariah (20), Zechariah (son of Jehoiada) (21), Elijah (22), Elisha (23). Ch. 24 is the concluding statement given above 1.1.2. Other versions have different sequences, see Schwemer, pp. 25–28 and passim.

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2.1 The information conveyed in the text defines the perspective of the governing voice in the following way:

2.1.2 The governing voice thematizes how it comes to know the text’s contents or its right to command obedience from the text’s addressee. Its perspective is presented as limited, referring either to evidence, or to personal experience (mere human knowledge): This is manifest only occasionally, but perhaps sufficiently to indicate that the epistemic stance is in principle limited. See further 5.9.2.

2.1.5 The information in the text is characterized as secret or as (made) known exclusively to the persona projected by the governing voice: There is a hint of this in LivesProphets 1:11 (secret construction "unknown to most", with ms. variants).

2.1.7 The governing voice (whether first or third person) is anonymous, that is, is not presented as tied to a specific personal identity (or to personhood in general).

2.4 The governing voice defines a horizon of knowledge as shared with the projected addressee by taking for granted the following linguistic usages or references (in selection):

2.4.1 Persons or unique objects referred to by proper name or by technical expression: for persons mentioned or presented in narrative usage; as characters; or topics, for example: the names of biblical prophets and their contemporaries or rulers are taken for granted, involving a large number of personal names. "Baltasar" is used, as in the Septuagint, for Belshazzar, 4:15. Mostly the nation is referred to as "the people" (laos), but occasionally as "Jews" (hoi Ioudaioi, 1:6, 4:2, both in contradistinction to other nations). The prophets are sometimes given epithets such as "holy" (2:10, "holy prophet"; also 16:2), with the use of the term "prophet" itself not being common (e.g. 1:11, 3:5); otherwise a pronoun or repetition of the name provide the cohesion within sections. Unusual is the "this Jeremiah" of 2:8 (houtos ho Ieremias). The Daniel section uses conspicuously "holy man" (ho hosios) and "saint" (4:6, 16, 21), as well as using the article with the name Daniel. Some non-biblical figures are mentioned in ch. 2 (Antigonus, Ptolemy, Alexander the Macedonian). Events that are called "mystery" (mysterion), "sign" (semeia) or "portent" (teras) are pervasively reported and referred to as such without explanation. The term "mystery" occurs more in the first four chapters, the term "portent" more in the latter chapters (although also at the end of ch. 4). An "oracle" (Hare's trans.; logos apophasis) is quoted in LivesProphets 23:3, and "dia (ton) delon" referred to in LivesProphets 22:2, 23:2; the word is found in Septuagint, e.g. Num. 27:21 and Ex. 28:30, where the Hebrew has a reference to Urim (and Thummim); also the word "ephoud", ibid. See also 2.4.5. for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: terms for God include "theos" and "kyrios", "most high" (4:3); "angels" (12:12), and there is a reference to "men of shining white appearance" in LivesProphets 21:2 (Elijah). Beliar is mentioned a few times (e.g. 17:2, but in particular in 4/Daniel). for locations, for example: names for locations are extremely frequent (and temporal indications almost entirely absent), and are in fact considered by some scholars to be the main purpose of the document, so as to record burial sites for veneration. Some of these are clearly the result of interpreting information available from the biblical text alone (rather than reflecting first-hand knowledge of locations of veneration, see Satran, Biblical Prophets, pp. 40–49; Jeremias, "Sarabatha und Sybatha"). In other cases, the place names are difficult to tally with contemporary geographical information. See also 2.4.5. for documents, texts, books, etc. (identified through being referred to or quoted), for example: "books of he names of Israel" are mentioned in LivesProphets 24:1; 16:3 has the line "as written in Spharphotim, in the Book of Judges" (en biblo kriton), a garbled reference presumably to Hebrew "sefer shoftim". This is the only explicit acknowledgment of the Biblical text as such in Q. LivesProphets 4:17 speaks of "prodigies which they did not write down" (but the Epiphanius text mentions the biblical book of Daniel and has a self-reference to the current text at this point).

2.4.3 The text as a whole routinely employs the following language(s), knowledge of which is taken for granted: Greek. Some of the etymologies do not work in Greek, so it is implicitly acknowledged either that the events referred to took place in a different language (implicitly, Hebrew) or that the text existed in another language first. Additional language(s) taken for granted in quoted speech or certain parts of the text are: Insofar as some of the Hebrew etymologies are meant to be understood by the implied addressee (and they may not be, as they are paraphrased), knowledge of Hebrew, as for example for "Siloam" as "sent" (LivesProphets 1:2); "malachi" as meaning (hermeneuetai) angel, 16:2. See also for Hebrew transliterated words.

2.4.4 Special linguistic usages occur pervasively or prominently: Other special linguistic usages: "kyrios" is presupposed a sword for God; and see 2.4.3 on etymologies. Some terms used without explanation are transliterations, sometimes garbled, from Hebrew, such as "Spharphotim" (16:3, see, Dabeir for devir (several times, e.g. 12:12, 23:2), Ailam (for ulam, 23:1) and "ephoud", 23:2.

2.4.5 The meaning of some linguistic usage or reference is addressed explicitly, marking it as not being part of the shared horizon of knowledge: there are some references to names which are general "antiquarian", in addition to the ones that belong to biblical-Hebrew names (see, but perhaps these are restricted to ch. 2 (Jeremiah), where the Egyptian and Greek names for crocodiles, and the etymology of "argolai" are addressed (the latter with reference to Argos of the Peloppenesus), 2:7.

2.5 The text contains deictic or other expressions referring to the governing voice’s time or place, or place it after/before some key event:

2.5.1 as part of the words of the governing voice: In particular in the first three chapters, there are assertions that some circumstance applies "to this day" (semeron), e.g. 1:7, 1:11, 2:4, 2:17, 2:19. See also 5.9.2. In the Daniel section (ch. 4), such an assertion is found not in Q but in ms. E1 (Paris Gk. 1115).

2.7 The epistemic stance, knowledge horizon, moral stance and identity of the governing voice, and of the projected addressee, do not become thematic in the text.

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4.5 For the comparatively substantial individual narrative units in LiveProphets holds: The narrative progression is schematic and not mediated through the interlinking of specific events, while the events are not described in detail: This goes for what happens WITHIN each of the more substantial prophet sections (e.g. Isaiah–Daniel, chs. 1–4 and Elijah and Elisha), and even more so for the shorter ones whose juxtaposition (see 5.7) makes up LivesProphets. The narrative treatment selects one strand, or several unconnected strands, of events in the prophet's life and does not link it up with any larger narrative picture, using either the biblical narrative or a new narrative "between" the prophets it deals with. In other words, each prophet's life itself is treated selectively, schematically or episodically, within the very small scale provided by the size of the units.

4.9 [There is prominent or sustained characterization of key figures in the narrative: there is occasional characterization, but given the lack of sustained narrative development, it cannot be called prominent or sustained.]

4.9.1 [There is editorial comment on the qualities of a character from a third-person narrator: occasionally in the adjectives "holy", "virtuous", "gentle" (16:1,2, "chaste", 4:2).]

4.9.3 [A figure is characterized by her or his moral or religious traits: occasional applications of terms such as "holy" or "chaste" to the prophets, e.g. 4:2.]

4.9.5 [A figure is characterized by physical prowess or beauty, or their opposites: a few prophets are characterized by their appearance: "gaunt by beautiful (horaios) in the favour of the Most High" , Daniel 4:3; and Malachi "beautiful"/euprepes, 16:2 in connection with the etymology "angel".]

4.10 A character’s relations to her/his community are foregrounded, including any two-fold social environment (e.g. a diaspora setting): Although the narrative fabric provided within the juxtaposed units is usually minimal, the manner of death of the prophet, if violent, is perhaps tacitly foregrounded by repetition as being at the hands of their own community or leaders: Israelites.

4.10.4 For some of the narrative units the following applies: A main character is portrayed as in conflict with his/her environment (or as being an “Other”), whether the environment is single or doubled: The recurring motif of the prophet being murdered by his own people or their rulers tacitly foregrounds the conflict with the community, even though the narrative development within the units is mostly minimal.

4.11 For some of the narrative units the following applies: Supernatural characters appear in the narrative, whether introduced casually, or accounted for elaborately.

4.12 The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by the occasional or regular occurrence of extended descriptions.

4.12.1 There is extended description of one or more static objects: the structure of tombs is twice explicitly described (1:11 f., 3:4)

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5.3 [The text’s discursive/descriptive treatment of its subject matter can be understood as assembling precisely those sub-topics of an overall theme which result when that overall theme is exhaustively defined or numerically fixed by application of a constant principle of differentiation: A formulation such as "Jewish-biblical prophets and some of the facts and locations connected to their life and death" appears to represent clearly the overall theme of the text, in that all components fall under this (as represented in Q). Entries minimally provide information on the birthplace (usually not the time, but see, e.g., 12:8) and burial place, and in several cases also the place and manner of death and tribal affiliation for the prophets treated. But while a theme like "biblical prophets" is in principle numerically exhaustible, its boundaries are not manifestly fixed like those of the months of the year. In fact, disagreement as to inclusion and exclusion is reflected in various recensions. Thus the Dorothean recension includes Jephtah, David and Samuel, codex Ambrosianus appears to leave out Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi by mistake (Torrey p. 15), and the briefer of the two recensions attributed to Epiphanius (Ep2) leaves out all narrative prophets apart from Elijah and Elisha (see Schwemer, p. 28; Torrey p. 13). The fact that the number and identity of items called “biblical prophets” is in principle limited, and that the text is manifestly only concerned with these (not with a topic whose boundaries are unpredictable except through the text’s management), makes it a candidate for the category 5.3 here. However, because of variant definitions, a manifestly exhaustive and exclusive treatment can precisely not be ascribed to it. The difficulty of putting a cap on the theme of the text may even be indirectly acknowledged in concluding statement that “other prophets became hidden” (24:1).]

5.5 The text’s sequence of sub-topics (discursive or narrative) mirrors a temporal or spatial order, but without narrative emplotment between the sub-topics. Or it mirrors the sequence of units of meaning in another text (from single words to whole books), while not reproducing the relationships between those parts, not using quotations from it as lemmatic progression (i.e., no 6.1), and not creating narrative emplotment.

5.5.1 This order includes all parts of the text (excepting any frames), as follows: An order of units of meaning in another text (from words to whole books) provides the sequence for the text’s themes (including any normative themes): The text has two or three sequences of narrative units whose overall and internal order may well have depended on the order of biblical books in Septuagint copies of the Bible (which however varied across Christian usages): the block of the four major writing prophets Isaiah-Daniel, the block of the Twelve (for the first three prophets of which one finds different orders, both in the LXX tradition and in LivesProphets mss.) and a block of narrative prophets from Nathan onwards. These three blocks can move their relative position in different recensions of LivesProphets (see Schwemer's table, p. 28), but Q may well preserve the original order. It is possible that each of the versions of the order is in itself dependent on an idea of the order of canonical books in the Septuagint, or such a dependency is expressed at least for parts of LivesProphets (in which case would apply instead). It appears safe to say that the sequence of units in LivesProphets is at least partly dependent on the perceived sequence of units (namely prophetic and historical books) in another text, the Septuagint, turning that sequence not into an emplotment, but as an order for juxtaposition (see 5.8). The two main sequences can then be understood as reflecting the distinction between those prophets who have left biblical books in their names, and those that have not but are mentioned in the biblical narrative; both groups have an internal order which could have reflected the order of their books/mentions in the respective parts of the Bible, and the sequence of these two blocks themselves could reflect a biblical canon order that puts the prophets before the historical books. It appears impossible to interpret the sequences as reflecting some purely chronological idea of when the prophets relative to each other, so the textual order appears to have priority over any temporal order.

5.5.2 This order defines only a continuous substantial part of the text, as follows: [An order of units of meaning in another text (from words to whole books) provides the sequence for a continuous substantial part of the text’s themes (including any normative themes): it is safe to say that the three or two groups of prophets which make up the text each have such an order internally, so that applies in any case. However, the overall sequence itself may reflect an order of canonical books, which allows the text to be interpreted as meeting the more demanding conditions of; see the entry there.]

5.8 The bulk of the text consists of small forms and patterns drawn from a limited set of formats for thematic articulation or for discussion (further section 8): Each unit consists of, begins with or is structured by the following schema of narrative information: “Name+place of birth+[tribe]+[manner of death]+[place of death]+place of burial”. This schema is not embodied in a fixed literary form; rather, its realization varies from one unit to the next (although the shorter ones resemble each other formally also). It can be expanded (in particular at the end) by a report on "portents" (for the future). For units which have more narrative substance, the following occur: event report, speech report and quoted speech, and a list of "signs" (Elijah and Elisha). The mutual distinction is guaranteed by the initial mention of the prophet's name. There is neither connecting narrative nor cross-reference or thematic linkage. Two kinds of units can be, very approximately, differentiated: (a) Larger units offering some substantive (if still rudimentary) narrative information: Isaiah-Jeremiah-Ezekiel-Daniel (chs. 1–4) (with important formal and substantive differences between them); Jonah (ch. 10), Habakkuk (ch. 12), Zecharaiah (ch. 15), Elijah (ch. 21), Elisha (ch. 22). (b) Shorter units containing just the schematic narrative information (Joel, ch. 8) or very little additional information: Hosea-Micah-Amos-Joel-Obadiah (ch. 5–9), Nahum (ch. 11), Zephaniah-Haggai (chs. 13-14), Malachi-Nathan-Ahijah-Joad-Azariah (chs. 16–20), Zechariah (ch. 23). The interspersed positioning of these two types (see 5.5) suggest that these units are not projected as independent part-texts (10.1), but as units on the same level, aggregated in a thematically exclusive and ordered manner. The short units could hardly have had constituted each a text on its own and it is the plurality of similar units that creates the text’s contour (see 5.3 and 5.5). Using the symbols: name of prophet=X, place of birth=A, place of burial=B, tribal affiliation=C, place of death=D, method or agent of death/age/peaceful death=E, each unit’s structure can be represented as follows: Isaiah XAEB[narrative]B; Jeremiah: XACEB[narrative]; Ezekiel: XACDEB[portent][narrative]; Daniel: XCA[narrative]DBE; Hosea: XACBE[portent]; Micah: X(A)CEDB; Amos: XAEDB; Joel: XCAEB; Obadiah: XAB; Jonah: XA[narrative]DB[portent]; Nahum: XACEB; Habakkuk: XCA[narrative]B[portent]; Zephaniah: XCAD; Haggai: XAB; Zecharaiah (b. Iddo): XA[portents/narrative]EB; Malachi: XA[narrative]EB; Nathan: XA[narrative]EB; Ahijah: XA[narrative]B; Joad: XAEB; Azariah: XAB; Elijah: XAC[narrative][list of signs he did][taken up in a chariot of fire]; Elisha: XA(C)[portent narrative]B[list of signs he did][miracle in burial place]; Zechariah (b. Jehoiada): XACEDB[portents].

5.9 The text’s governing voice projects the accuracy or validity of its statements as:

5.9.2 Admitting discussion or disagreement, or the need for argument and evidence in principle: in the first four chapters, there the phrase "to this day" appears, which may be taken as an appeal to evidence (see 2.5.1); LivesProphets 14:1 reads "Haggai...came from Babylon to Jerusalem, probably as a youth" (tacha neos), clearly signalling an epistemic stance and attitude that admits uncertainty and limits, and reconstructs facts from evidence. LivesProphets 4:17 may make a reference to unmentioned deeds not written down, which could imply that the text presents itself as depending on earlier written information (see These indications are, however, indirect and sparse.

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7.1 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between a non-biblical text and one or more biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive: The relationship is largely one of presupposing biblical narrative information; the extent of narrative development in LivesProphets itself is variable, but overall slight, and there is no narrative linkage between the 23 units which deal with one prophet each. There is much evidence for saying that close reading of biblical texts and connecting of information scattered across different biblical locations informs the details which occur narrative, genealogical or geographical statements.

7.1.1 Characters correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts: each of the characters in LivesProphets is biblical, some appearing within the biblical narratives only, but most appearing as main characters/voices of a biblical book named after them.

7.1.2 Chronology, physical setting or emplotment correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts: This holds true in a very general manner for each of the prophets treated in LivesProphets. However, the amount of narrative development is in all cases slight, and in some cases minimal. The narrative’s chronological and spatial framework, as well as certain events, are co-extensive with that of a biblical partner text, or with some extended part of it: Each prophet's section largely presupposes the narrative setting and details of his life, and with highly selective rephrasing or provision of narrative information, often concerning the manner of his death; explicit focus is normally the names of locations. The text tends to narrate the story through events described in less detail or through fewer events than a biblical partner text: the narrative development is always quite minimal, even when events are told which do not occur in the biblical account. Some of the narrative’s sub-plots or episodes, mostly corresponding to those of a biblical text, differ from each other in the amount of detail provided if compared to the biblical text: Comparatively speaking this is correct, in that, for those prophets whose text units can be separated out between "biblical information" and "non-biblical information", the latter usually coincides with such narrative development there is, while the former is often merely a listing of places of birth, death and burial. Among the sub-plots or episodes with more detail are some or all of the ones that have no biblical counterpart: See While the narrative covers the same chronological-spatial ground or plot as a biblical text, it lacks extended speeches found in that biblical text.

7.1.4 The text shares features of language with the Hebrew Bible, or exhibits tacit overlap with specific biblical wording, whether narrative or not. There are pervasive biblical linguistic features (vocabulary, morphology or syntax) or a pervasive use of unspecific biblical language, such as generic biblical phrases or single words: the term "kyrios" is used (alongside "theos", but usually not in the same prophet's section). The text contains prominently, but not necessarily frequently, the wording of specific biblical passages such as whole sentences or unique biblical phrases, used in a tacit manner. See also There are a number of clear occurrences of specific biblical wording integrated into the flow of the LivesProphets text for a particular prophet, and these tend to agree with Septuagintal usages where those differ from the Masoretic Text (MT). See and also The tacit overlap of wording takes place across language boundaries, with respect to the current language of the text (this point does not apply to 6.13 cases): this is true insofar as the Hebrew Biblical text may have been part of the cultural and literary horizon of the text maker, and some awareness of Hebrew being at least the language of the events and characters, if not the language of the original biblical text, is clear from occasional etymologies which do not work in Greek. The biblical wording to which the LivesProphets relates appears to be not the Hebrew but a Greek version, specifically the Septuagint. Thus, LivesProphets 4:15 uses Baltasar instead of Belshazzar like the Septuagint, and 4:13 has "Daniel made the seven years (ete), which he called seven season (kairous), become seven months", with "years" being the Septuagint term used at LXX Dan. 4:32, for the Aramaic "iddanin"/times at MT Dan. 4:29). LivesProphets 21:12 corresponds to LXX 1Kgs 17:6 rather than MT. The place name version "Souman" at 22:9 corresponds to the Septuagint's word. See 7.2 and also entries under 2.4.

7.1.8 The non-narrative text pervasively or prominently presupposes the narrative fabric of biblical events/reported speech, beyond the contents of any specific biblical wording it may quote: Insofar as the overall text is not a narrative, but the thematic (or thematic-chronological) juxtaposition of summative narratives (so also not a thematic discourse as such), this point applies. The details of biblical narratives are mostly presupposed rather than repeated or even summed up. The exceptions are Elijah and Elisha (chapters 22 and 23), which provide a list of major deeds (called "semeia", signs) performed by the prophets which summarize the biblical account. In each of these two prophet sections, the accounts introduced by the list heading are detachable from a short opening passage more closely aligned with the the other prophets' sections, and Torrey's edition actually omits them. The text everywhere presupposes the overall arc of biblical history, and does not supply it; as well as the very idea of a "prophet" as founded in paradigmatic biblical figures. The "title" using the term "prophet" in Codex Marchalianus, as well as LivesProphets 24:1 imply that an unspecified group or a selection of prophets are the unifying theme of the text (LivesProphets 24:1). However, there is no discursive structure which emerges from the sequencing of prophet sections, and no unified chronology explains the order (e.g., Nathan after the Twelve). Rather, the order appears to be: major writing prophets, the Twelve minor writing prophets, prophets mentioned in biblical narrative but without biblical books named after them (from Nathan to Zecharaiah son of Jehoiada). This would imply a thematic selection which also reflects the genre or literary differences of the biblical representations of these prophets (or even their belonging to two different sections of the Bible, the "Prophets" and the "Historical Books"). The text presupposing biblical narrative fabric has a thematic structure of discourse or description: The text everywhere presupposes the overall arc of biblical history, and does not supply it; as well as the very idea of a "prophet" as founded in paradigmatic biblical figures. While the "title" using the term "prophet" in Codex Marchalianus may not be an integral part of the text, the final sentence implies that prophets were the theme of the foregoing by speaking of "other prophets" becoming hidden (LivesProphets 24:1). LivesProphets 4:15 uses Baltasar instead of Belshazzar like the Septuagint, and 4:13 has "Daniel made the seven years (ete), which he called seven season (kairous), become seven months", with "years" being the Septuagint term used at LXX Dan. 4:32, for the Aramaic "iddanin"/times at MT Dan. 4:29).

7.2 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between the non-biblical text under discussion and other non-biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive: There appears to be a close relationship with the Septuagint version of the Bible. With respect to the sequence of prophets within LivesProphets, it should be noted that it agrees with placing Daniel after the three major prophets (with the Septuagint against MT), while placing major prophets first and the Twelve later (like Codex Sinaiticus and the Western tradition); within the Twelve the sequence is Hosea-Micah-Amos (with MT), not Hosea-Amos-Micah as in the Septuagint. The wording tacitly overlapping with Bible tends to be specifically that of the Septuagint, see, e.g., A number of the non-biblical events presented about the prophets also occur in other Jewish or Christian sources from antiquity, including rabbinic literature (see, e.g., the notes in Hare's translation). The overlap does not, however, point unambiguously to a particular dependency or intimate relationship with any one rabbinic or other work.

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8.1 Standard forms or contents formulated in set phrases, set sentence formats, or clauses in a standard syntactic connection.

8.1.3 Sentence with theme anticipated to the beginning and repeated in a pronoun or by ellipsis: many of the prophet units begin with a sentence that has such a structure, e.g. "Hosea: this man was from..."(5:1), which can be interpreted as a kind of heading (see 9.12). The expressive use of unmarked biblical wording whose function in the text’s discourse is enhanced or achieved by it being recognised as coming from a Scripture: There appear to be a few cases of Septuagint wording being adopted to refer to an event or person. See for examples.

8.1.11 List enumerating items by whole sentences/interpretation units: twice, in the enumeration of deeds (signs, semeia) of cs. 21 and 22.

8.1.16 Descriptive sentence of a static (ocular) structure or "scientific" descriptive sentence: see 4.12.1.

8.1.17 Report sentence of a singular event in the past which is not part of a narrative unit, nor of a mashal: some of the narrative development within prophet sections is so minimal that they can be interpreted as an aggregate of single event report sentences.

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9.1 An extended portion or substantial proportion of the thematic text (or thematic part of a non-thematic text) projects its selection and sequence of themes as mirroring an objective order in the projected world, by one of the following means:

9.1.4 By mirroring a temporal or spatial order: see

9.4 For an extended passage there is a juxtaposition of thematic units (sentences or groups of sentences) capable of being interpreted in the following manner:

9.4.3 Repetitions as markers of architecture: There is a repetition of words marking out as coordinated passages that deal with contrastive sub-topics of the same superordinate theme, usually unnamed: There is some structural repetition in the beginnings of most prophet sections, in the use of the schematic points of information which are often expressed by the same vocabulary (see 5.7,5.8) and some wording echoes in adjacent position, such as "edoke teras" in 5:2, shortly after the same phrase is used in 4:19. However, these echoes are never precise enough to establish a formal architecture, which is also prevented by the different length of the prophet sections.

9.11 An extended part of the thematic text (or a part-text in the sense of section 10) is structured by an extra-thematic principle of order, as follows:

9.11.3 The sequence of text sections of Scripture: it appears to be the case that the order of prophets is meant to order the order of biblical books, and/or chronology of the prophets. This is applicable to perhaps two series: Isaiah through Malachi (chs. 1-16) and then again Nathan through Zechariah b. Jehoiada (17–23).

9.12 Important manuscripts divide the text explicitly into parts by the use of single words or incomplete sentences which constitute sub-headings: Each new unit begins with the name of the prophet. In most cases this is integrated into the first sentence (and thus the "headings" in Hare have no equivalent in the Greek text). But in some, the names function as single-word headings, and the next word, beginning of the (main) sentence, is a "houtos": Ezekiel, LivesProphets 3:1; Daniel, 4:1; Hosea, 5:1, Malachi, 16:1.

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10.1 [The text consist of the juxtaposition of large constituent part-texts, each of which has its own thematic, lemmatic or narrative structure (e.g., for thematic part-texts, one of 1.1–3, 5.2–6, or 5.7.1–2 apply): This would be an alternative interpretation of the structure of the text to the one given under 5. However, the single prophet units that are juxtaposed are better understood as an aggregate of the type 5.7, than as aggregate of higher order 10.1; and concerning the different types of units distinguished under 5.7/8, these are not neatly distributed to two sections of the text, thus forming potential part-texts, but are intermingled. Therefore 10.1 appears to be the less satisfactory option for understanding the relationship of parts.]

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11.2 The text is dominated by the reporting of emplotted events, whether or not in an overarching narrative format (4): the text overall has no narrative, but consists of an aggregate of units which in themselves have narrative constitution, which is in itself schematic and weakly emplotted.

11.2.2 The reported events are not biblical, but are related to a biblical past/future: events are mostly about biblical characters without being known from the biblical account; and a number of "portents" are ascribed to prophets which are marked as being in the future (from the prophet's time, or even from the governing voice's time).

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12.1 Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: collection of legends, folklore, collection of extra-biblical traditions, compilation (all Torrey); "lives" (in the scholarly Latin title), "loosely constructed collection of vitae of the 'holy men' of the Hebrew Bible", form of hagiography, onomasticon, "compressed, anectodal biography", biblical handbook (all Satran), Onomastikon or "Bibel-Lexikon" (Schwemer).

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A. M. Schwemer, Studien zu den frühjüdischen Prophetenlegenden Vitae prophetarum, 2 vols. (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1995/6); Nestle, "Die dem Epiphanius zugeschriebenen Vitae Prophetarum in doppelter griechischer Rezension S. 1 — 64 (aus cod. Vat. 2125 Marchalianus, Paris 2951) mit den Varianten der syrischen Rezensionen, Anmerkungen und einem Anhang", in his Marginalien und Materialien (Tübingen: Heckehnhauer, 1893), second pagination pp. 1–64 (notes accessible from:, but Greek text garbled; accessed 12/12/10); Th. Schermann, Prophetarum vitae fabulosae indices apostolorumque domini (Leipzig: Teubner, 1907), pp. 68–98 (accessible online with full Greek text at:, accessed 12/12/10; also as pdf C. C. Torrey, The Lives of the Prophets. Greek Text and Translation (Philadelphia, Penn.: Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, 1946); this uses Q/the Marchalianus ms. as base text; it is adopted for the online edition: D. Miller (ed.), "The Lives of the Prophets." Edition 1.1. No pages. In The Online Critical Pseudepigrapha, ed. Ken M. Penner, David M. Miller, and Ian W. Scott. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007. Online: A facsimile of Codex Vindobensis Theol. Graec. 40 (folios 261 recto-266 verso), held at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Vienna, is available from the Online Critical Pseudepigrapha website given above.



D. R. A. Hare, "The Lives of the Prophets", in Charlesworth, vol. 2, pp. 379–399 (translates Q=Marchalianus); see also Schwemer and Torrey above, under "Texts".

Selected Studies:

A. M. Schwemer offers a very detailed commentary, see above; D. Satran, Biblical Prophets in Byzantine Palestine. Reassessing the Lives of the Prophets (Leiden: Brill, 1995); M. Knibb, "The Ethiopic Version of the Lives of the Prophets: Ezekiel and Daniel", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 43 (1980), pp. 197-204; M. E. Stone, "The Lives of the Prophets", Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem: Keter, 1974), vol. 13, cols. 1149-1510;  E. Schürer, G. Vermes, F. Millar, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (Edinburgh: T&T Clarke, 1973), vol. III.2, pp. 783-786; J. Jeremias, "Sarabatha und Sybatha. Zur Kritik der Vitae prophetarum", Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins, 56 (1933), pp. 253—255; J. Jeremias, Heiligengräber in Jesu Umwelt (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1958).


The current Profile describes the Greek Marchalianus ms. (Vatican Gr. 2125, known as Q, or An1 in Schwemer). 

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