Erich Gruen

in The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199237777
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology


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This article focuses on the Jewish ‘novella’, defined as prose fiction narrating the experiences of individuals or groups, composed for entertainment but also communicating values, ideas, or guidance. The classification encompasses works as diverse as the religious fables of the book of Daniel, the morality tale of Susanna, the historical fantasy of 3 Maccabees, and the romantic/adventure story of Joseph and Aseneth. The varieties, messages, audience, and entertainment value of these novellas are discussed.

Keywords: Jewish novella; prose fiction; religious fables; Susanna; 3 Maccabees; Joseph and Aseneth

Article.  5307 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Christianity

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