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Arguing with AsenethGentile Access to Israel's Living God in Jewish Antiquity$
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Jill Hicks-Keeton

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190878993

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190878993.001.0001

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Whether and How

Whether and How

Gentiles and Israel’s “Living God” in Jubilees, Joseph and Aseneth, and Paul’s Letters

Chapter:
(p.118) 5 Whether and How
Source:
Arguing with Aseneth
Author(s):

Jill Hicks-Keeton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190878993.003.0006

Chapter 5 sets Joseph and Aseneth’s intervention in ancient debates about gentile inclusion alongside that of Jubilees and that of the apostle Paul—both of whom also play with the epithet “living God” as they wrestle with questions of gentile access to Israel and Israel’s God. Like Joseph and Aseneth, Jubilees depicts Israel’s “living God” as the creator God, but whereas Joseph and Aseneth exploits the theme of universal creator to universalize (potential) inclusion, Jubilees employs creation imagery to underscore the exclusivity of the relationship between God and (gentile-free) Israel. By contrast, Paul employs the epithet as scriptural warrant for gentile inclusion. Joseph and Aseneth and Paul share a discursive project: to construct a “myth of origins” for gentile inclusion. A comparison of the two myths proves productive for articulating the radical definition of insider identity that Joseph and Aseneth espouses.

Keywords:   Joseph and Aseneth, Jubilees, apostle Paul, Romans, Abraham, Jewish identity, conversion, parting of the ways, Second Temple Judaism, ethnicity

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