RECITATION THOUGHT PAPER 3: “JEWISH NOVELISTIC WRITINGS AND THE ADVENTURES OF TOBIT” As we continue to explore the sources of Early Judaism throughout the semester, you will discover that the manner in which early Jews wrote about their culture and lives varied greatly from author to author. Sources range from historical works that interpret the past to apocalypses that proclaim the impending end of the age to commentaries that interpret scripture. Earlier this week, we discussed the book of Esther and the genre of “historical fiction.” These writings are often “novelistic” narratives, which present a fictional account of a particular character(s) in a historical setting. They often convey instruction or moral teachings. This Thought Paper will continue to explore that genre by having you examine another “historical fiction,” the apocryphal book of Tobit. In studying Tobit, you will have the opportunity to grapple with some of the larger problems of textual studies, issues of genre, literary purpose, and historical setting. 1.
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