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Pride and Sin in Sirach 10:13 (15): A Study in the Interdependence of Text and Tradition
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 April 2015
Ben Sira, a Jewish sage who lived and worked in Jerusalem in the early second century b.c.e., takes up the topic of pride in a discussion of politics in order to indict those who behave proudly as betraying the created nature of humans. Within his reflections on anthropology he links pride and sin in Sir 10:13 and then proceeds to assure his students that God will surely punish the proud through humiliation and calamity. Yet, from its rather unassuming role in Ben Sira's discussion of power, the link between pride and sin in Sir 10:13 became a locus of scribal activity and interpretation in subsequent centuries. As the text was transmitted and translated in Second Temple Judaism and late antiquity the versions of this verse in the Greek, Syriac, and Latin texts show vividly the interdependence between textual transmission and theological tradition. When placed within their historical context, the transformations of Sir 10:13 found in the forms of the verse evidence a dialogical interaction with current discussions regarding virtues and vices in moral theology in early Judaism and Christianity. A significant historical turning point occurred when Augustine made the Vulgate version of Sir 10:13a, “pride is the beginning of every sin,” a key prooftext in his discussions of sin. Thereafter this verse came to play a central role in Western Christian hamartiology, especially as it was connected to the placement of pride at the head of the capital vices or “Seven Deadly Sins.” This article will begin with a discussion of the role of pride in Ben Sira and then trace the textual transmission of Sir 10:13 and the theological influences that shaped its transmission and translation. Additionally, the story of how Sir 10:13a became a central text in Western discussions of the nature of sin will be shown to have significant theological implications for an understanding of the relationship between canonical text and the development of theological traditions.
- Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 2015
1 In the Vulgate it is v. 15 but I have conformed the numbering to that of the Hebrew/Greek throughout this article.
2 Wright, Benjamin, “Ben Sira on Kings and Kingship,” in Jewish Perspectives on Hellenistic Rulers (ed. Rajak, Tessaet al.; Hellenistic Culture and Society 50; Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007) 76–91Google Scholar, at 81.
3 All translations from all versions of Sirach are my own.
4 This line is very difficult. The word probably means “slight” (as in Job 4:12 and 26:14), though the Greek translates it here and in Sir 18:32 as “large,” i.e., a protracted illness. Also rare is the use of . In Mishnaic Hebrew the hiphil can mean “to make bright or shining,” but also “to upset.” This would seem to give the sense that a slight illness can frustrate a doctor. The Greek renders it as “he jokes about,” which gives the line the sense that a doctor takes such a situation lightly.
5 Johannes Marböck, “Macht und Mächtige im Buch Jesus Sirach. Ein Beitrag zur politischen Ethik in der Weisheitsliteratur des Alten Testaments,” in Mit Realismus und Leidenschaft. Ethik im Dienst einer humanen Welt. Für Valentin Zsifkovits zum 60. Geburtstag (ed. Otto Kimminich, Alfred Klose, and Leopold Neuhold; Graz: Schnider, 1993) 364–71; Wright, “Ben Sira on Kings,” 83.
6 Commentators generally agree that manuscript A's (befitting) should be emended to (apportioned) in light of the Greek and the Syriac. See, e.g., Skehan, Patrick W. and Di Lella, Alexander A., The Wisdom of Ben Sira: A New Translation with Notes [Skehan]; Introduction and Commentary [Di Lella] (AB 39; New York: Doubleday, 1987) 222Google Scholar.
7 Manuscript A's should be emended to in light of the Greek and Syriac versions (Skehan and Di Lella, Wisdom of Ben Sira, 222).
8 The discussion here of the Hebrew version as representing Ben Sira's text anticipates the text-critical conclusions found in the next section.
9 If indeed the original Hebrew had both and (see n. 46). Both the Greek and Syriac versions have the same word for pride in v. 13a as in v. 12a, and Smend speculates that the feminine pronominal suffix on in 13b may suggest that originally also appeared in 13a (Smend, Rudolf, Die Weisheit des Jesus Sirach [Berlin: Reimer, 1906] 94Google Scholar), but see n. 17 below.
10 Skehan and Di Lella, Wisdom of Ben Sira, 225.
11 Alternatively, it is possible that has the general sense of “(brazen) wickedness” here, as a synonymous parallel to in v. 13b. In this case, v. 12a would provide the key statement on the nature of pride. However, the use of in v. 18a along with “insolent wrath” () as a summary statement for 10:6–17 suggests the meaning of “arrogance,” and this is how most interpreters, ancient and modern, have interpreted it in both 13a and 18a. See n. 16.
12 So Peters, who comments, “Sinn: Übermut bringt Sünden hervor, wie aus einer Quelle fließen sie in Menge aus ihm hervor” (Peters, Norbert, Das Buch Jesus Sirach oder Ecclesiasticus [EHAT 25; Münster: Aschendorff, 1913] 90Google Scholar).
13 Liesen, Jan, Full of Praise: An Exegetical Study of Sir 39, 12–35 (JSJSup 64; Leiden: Brill, 2000) 159 n. 35Google Scholar.
14 Box, George H. and Oesterley, William O. E., “The Book of Sirach,” in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (ed. Charles, Robert H.; 2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1913) 1:268–517Google Scholar, at 350.
15 Reymond, Eric D., “Wordplay in the Hebrew to Ben Sira,” in The Texts and Versions of the Book of Ben Sira: Transmission and Interpretation (ed. Rey, Jean-Sébastien and Joosten, Jan; JSJSup 150; Leiden: Brill, 2011) 37–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar. An excellent example not discussed by Reymond can be found in the polyvalent meanings of ; see Che-Yong, M. Fang, “Sir 7,36 (Vulg 7,40) iuxta hebraicam veritatem,” VD 40 (1962) 18–26Google Scholar.
16 If so, the history of interpretation bears out Ben Sira's success in this regard. In further support of this possibility is that interpreters both ancient and modern have had difficulty in deciding whether refers to pride or to general wickedness in some places (e.g., 13:24 and 35:23). The word appears in parallel to the concept of “sin” in 12:4–5a, 14, and 35:23. See n. 11.
17 The feminine pronominal suffix on (its font) must refer to the reservoir, which is the only feminine noun in v. 13a (assuming a pointing of instead of , as in Isa 22:11; BDB, 876), i.e., the reservoir's font overflows with corruption. The scribe of manuscript A has pointed as though it has a masculine pronominal suffix, which could refer to any of the nouns in v. 13a: the reservoir (if pointed as ), sin, or pride.
18 Scharbert, Josef, “,” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (ed. Botterweck, G. Johannes and Ringgren, Helmer; trans. Willis, John T. and Green, David E.; 15 vols.; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1974–2006) 4:46–51Google Scholar.
19 Gowan, Donald E., When Man Becomes God: Humanism and Hybris in the Old Testament (PTMS 6; Eugene, Ore.: Pickwick, 1975)Google Scholar. There is debate in Hellenic studies regarding the meaning of , but Cairns has argued persuasively that, at its root, it is a dispositional sense of self-superiority that often results in acts that dishonor others. In some instances, though not the majority, the “others” are gods. See Cairns, Douglas L., “Hybris, Dishonour, and Thinking Big,” JHS 116 (1996) 1–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
20 Gowan, When Man Becomes God, 4–6.
21 Ben Sira says that “he shook his fist at Zion and blasphemed God in his arrogance.”
22 It should be remembered that this copy was not necessarily identical with the text as it left Ben Sira's hand.
23 Ziegler, Joseph, Sapientia Iesu filii Sirach (Septuaginta Vetus Testamentum Graecum 12.2; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1980Google Scholar).
24 No manuscript witnesses of a fully expanded Hebrew text are extant, but some of the expansions are preserved in the various medieval manuscripts A–F (9th–12th cents.) and some are reflected in the Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions as well.
25 See Gile, Jason, “The Additions to Ben Sira and the Book's Multiform Textual Witness,” in The Texts and Versions of the Book of Ben Sira: Transmission and Interpretation (ed. Rey, Jean-Sébastien and Joosten, Jan; JSJSup 150; Leiden: Brill, 2011) 237–56Google Scholar.
26 In Ziegler's critical edition, additions are printed in small print and alterations are recorded in the apparatus. See Beentjes, Pancratius C., “Some Major Topics in Ben Sira Research,” in idem, “Happy the One who Meditates on Wisdom” (Sir. 14,20): Collected Essays on the Book of Ben Sira (CBET 43; Leuven: Peeters, 2006) 3–16, at 4Google Scholar; Rüger, Hans Peter, Text und Textform im hebräischen Sirach. Untersuchungen zur Textgeschichte und Textkritik der hebräischen Sirachfragmente aus der Kairoer Geniza (BZAW 112; Berlin: De Gruyter, 1970) 112–15Google Scholar.
27 Beentjes, “Major Topics,” 4.
28 Jerome did not make a fresh Latin translation of Sirach but adopted an older Latin text. The Vulgate of Sirach 1–30 essentially represents Cyprian's Old Latin text and, thus, is one of the main witnesses to the Vetus Latina. Since the main witnesses to the Vetus Latina of 10:13a—the key line for the Latin theological tradition (see below)—are in essential agreement, the Vulgate and the Vetus Latina for 10:13a basically refer to the same reading. See Forte, Anthony J., “The Old Latin Version of Sirach: Editio Critica and Textual Problems,” in The Texts and Versions of the Book of Ben Sira: Transmission and Interpretation (ed. Rey, Jean-Sébastien and Joosten, Jan; JSJSup 150; Leiden: Brill, 2011) 199–214, at 202–5Google Scholar.
29 See the critical edition of Thiele, Walter, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) (Vetus Latina 11.2; Freiburg: Herder, 1987–2005) 366–69Google Scholar.
30 The date of the Syriac translation of Ben Sira, its relationship to the expanded Greek text, and its religious character (and background) are still debated. See van Peursen, Wido Th., Language and Interpretation in the Syriac Text of Ben Sira: A Comparative Linguistic and Literary Study (Monographs of the Peshiṭta Institute, Leiden, 16; Leiden: Brill, 2007) 3–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
31 Calduch-Benages, Nuria, Ferrer, Joan, and Liesen, Jan, La sabiduría del escriba / Wisdom of the Scribe. Edición diplomática de la versión siríaca del libro de Ben Sira según el Códice Ambrosiano, con traducción española e inglesa / Diplomatic Edition of the Syriac Version of the Book of Ben Sira according to Codex Ambrosianus, with Translations in Spanish and English (Biblioteca midrásica 26; Estella [Navarra]: Editorial Verbo Divino, 2003) 51–54Google Scholar.
32 Beentjes, Pancratius C., The Book of Ben Sira in Hebrew: A Text Edition of All Extant Hebrew Manuscripts and a Synopsis of All Parallel Hebrew Ben Sira Texts (VTSup 68; Leiden: Brill, 1997) 5Google Scholar.
34 Beentjes, Ben Sira in Hebrew, 35.
35 Ziegler, Sapientia Iesu filii Sirach, 170.
37 The main witnesses for this later form of the Greek text are manuscript 248, the Syro-Hexapla, Chrysostom, and the Vetus Latina (Ziegler, Sapientia Iesu filii Sirach, 170; Hart, John H. A., Ecclesiasticus: The Greek Text of Codex 248 [Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1909] 13Google Scholar).
38 A few manuscripts from the Lucianic group and the Latin also have a gloss after v. 13b. See Ziegler, Sapientia Iesu filii Sirach, 170.
39 Calduch-Benages, Ferrer, and Liesen, La sabiduría del escriba, 103.
40 Codex Ambrosianus is slightly corrupted here (Smend, Die Weisheit des Jesus Sirach, 94).
41 Thiele, Sirach, 366–69.
42 So Vulgate. Pseudo-Augustinus has quia initium peccati omnis superbia, and the Metz minuscule has initium enim peccati omnis superbia.
43 Lévi, Israel, L’Ecclésiastique; ou, La Sagesse de Jésus, fils de Sira (2 vols.; Paris: Leroux, 1898–1901) 2:66Google Scholar.
44 Though he does not discuss this verse, Van Peursen notes a tendency in the Syriac of Ben Sira to avoid a suggestion of polygamy (7:26; 26:6, 22; 37:11). In the last verse listed the Syriac introduces a warning to avoid a situation that could lead to adultery (Van Peursen, Language and Interpretation, 77–78).
46 See n. 9. The Syriac also renders both with the same word: This does not necessarily indicate that is unoriginal since both versions frequently homogenize vocabulary, especially when it involves synonyms in adjacent lines (as here) (Van Peursen, Language and Interpretation, 62–67; Wright, Benjamin G., No Small Difference: Sirach's Relationship to its Hebrew Parent Text [Septuagint and Cognate Studies 26; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989] 105–16Google Scholar).
47 Bertram, Georg, “,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (ed. and trans. Bromiley, Geoffrey W.; 10 vols.; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1964–1976) 8:525–29Google Scholar, at 526.
48 It was probably also present in Sir 1:14, which is not extant in the Hebrew, but is very similar to Prov 9:10.
49 Marböck, Johannes, Jesus Sirach 1:23 (Herders Theologischer Kommentar zum Alten Testament; Freiburg: Herder, 2010) 153Google Scholar.
50 See Thiele, Sirach, 369.
51 Sokoloff, Michael, A Syriac Lexicon: A Translation from the Latin; Correction, Expansion, and Update of C. Brockelmann's “Lexicon syriacum” (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2009) 704Google Scholar.
52 See Fitzgerald, John T., “Virtue/Vice Lists,” in Anchor Bible Dictionary (ed. Freedman, David Noel; 6 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1992) 6:857–59Google Scholar.
53 There is a debate within Second Temple Judaism as to whether sin originates in a person's disposition (internal), because of the influence of evil spirits (external), or some combination of the two. See Newsom, Carol A., “Models of the Moral Self: Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism,” JBL 131 (2012) 5–25Google Scholar; Brand, Miryam T., Evil Within and Without: The Source of Sin and Its Nature as Portrayed in Second Temple Literature (Journal of Ancient Judaism, Supplements 9; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013CrossRefGoogle Scholar), esp. 275–83.
54 Throughout the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs language about good and evil is not completely consistent. There is an external dimension of influence by spirits, but also an anthropological sense of an internal struggle. A similar dual perspective can be found in the “Treatise of the Two Spirits,” in which a vice list appears as belonging to the “spirit of deceit” (1QS iv 9–11). See the discussions in Hollander, Harm W. and de Jonge, Marinus, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Commentary (SVTP 8; Leiden: Brill, 1985) 47–50Google Scholar and Levison, John R., “The Two Spirits in Qumran Theology,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran Community (vol. 2 of The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls; ed. Charlesworth, James H.; Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 2006) 169–94Google Scholar.
55 While this is easily recognized in pentateuchal and prophetic texts, this is true even of the Wisdom literature in which “the beginning of wisdom is to fear the LORD” (Prov 1:7) (Dell, Katharine J., The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context [Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2006] 125–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar).
56 Harrington, Daniel J., “Pseudo-Philo,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. Charlesworth, James; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1983–1985) 2:297–377Google Scholar, at 358. In his note to this verse, Harrington observes that while there is some textual corruption in parts of the verse, “the point of the whole passage is to show that idolatry is the root of all sins.” There is general agreement that Pseudo-Philo's work was composed in the 1st cent. c.e., but there is debate as to whether it is from before or after the destruction of the temple in 70 c.e.
57 Shachter, Jacob and Freedman, Harry, Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud: Sanhedrin (London: Soncino, 1969)Google Scholar.
58 Jewett, Robert, Romans: A Commentary (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007) 160–62Google Scholar.
59 The references are collected in van der Horst, Pieter W., The Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides (SVTP 4; Leiden: Brill, 1978) 142–43Google Scholar.
60 Collins, John J., “The Sibylline Oracles,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. Charlesworth, James H.; 2 vols.; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983–1985) 1:317–472Google Scholar, at 367. Collins dates the main part of the third Sibylline Oracle to 163–45 b.c.e. Later Sibylline Oracles reflect similar statements (2.111; 8.17).
62 The word can be used neutrally for desiring something, including good things, as in, e.g., lxx Sir 6:37.
63 In commenting on Matt 5:28, Ulrich Luz asserts that “especially in Hellenistic Judaism, under the influence of the list of the four Stoic ‘passions’, desire often became the basis of all sin” (Matthew 1–7: A Commentary [trans. James E. Crouch; Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007] 245).
64 Rubinkiewicz, Ryszard, “The Apocalypse of Abraham,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. Charlesworth, James H.; 2 vols.; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983–1985) 1:681–705Google Scholar, at 701. In his note Rubinkiewicz remarks that for “desire” the Slavonic has želanie, “a neuter, but the following possessives are feminine, surely reflecting mechanical translation of pronouns referring to Gk. epithymia.”
65 Johnson, M. D., “Life of Adam and Eve,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. Charlesworth, James H.; 2 vols.; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983–1985) 2:249–296, at 279Google Scholar.
66 Jewett, Romans, 440. The idea that the law is summed up by the prohibition of coveting is found in 4 Macc 2:6.
67 Boccaccini, Gabriele, Middle Judaism: Jewish Thought, 300 B.C.E. to 200 C.E. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991) 111Google Scholar.
68 Hollander and de Jonge, Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, 116. They also note that sexual sins are particularly singled out in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (44).
69 van der Horst, Pieter W., Philo's Flaccus: The First Pogrom; Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series 2; Leiden: Brill, 2003) 70Google Scholar.
70 In general, Philo tends to follow the Stoics in identifying four main bad passions: desire, fear, grief, and pleasure. Carlos Lévy begins his discussion of Philo's view of the passions by noting, “Philo's treatment of the passions seems to be particularly rich in contradictions and has given rise to a great diversity of interpretations” (“Philo's Ethics,” in The Cambridge Companion to Philo [ed. Adam Kamesar; Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2009] 146–73, at 154).
71 For a stimulating treatment of the interconnections of vices and how they can lead to one another from a neo-Aristotelian approach, see Taylor, Gabriele, Deadly Vices (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) 92–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The mirror image of this, of course, is the idea of the “unity of the virtues,” which appears in various ways in Philo (Mos. 2.7) and many early Christian thinkers. See Langan, John P., “Augustine on the Unity and Interconnection of the Virtues,” HTR 72 (1979) 81–95Google Scholar.
72 It is possible, though difficult to prove, that the transposition of sin and pride was due, at least in part, to a shift in the understanding of pride. In the Hebrew Bible pride has a strong behavioral component (note Sir 10:9a!), though dispositional aspects are present as well. By late antiquity, however, many thinkers understood pride to be primarily dispositional. With this shift, the notion that sin (behavior) would produce pride (disposition) may have seemed less natural to some than the idea that a disposition produces corresponding behaviors.
73 Emphasis mine.
74 This sentence could be interpreted in a strong way as claiming that pride underlies every individual sin or in a weaker way as claiming that pride precipitates every kind of sin without claiming that it does, in fact, underlie every discrete sin. Both interpretations can be found in the Western Christian tradition.
75 Bloomfield, Morton W., The Seven Deadly Sins: An Introduction to the History of a Religious Concept, with Special Reference to Medieval English Literature (East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State College Press, 1952) 74–75Google Scholar.
76 DeYoung, Rebecca Konyndyk, Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos, 2009) 27Google Scholar.
77 Cassian, John, The Institutes (trans. Ramsey, Boniface; ACW 58; New York: Newman, 2000) 255Google Scholar.
79 See n. 28 above. Also see Forte, “Old Latin Version,” 202–3.
80 In Egypt most early Christians spoke Greek (or Coptic) while to the West Christians spoke Latin. Few Christians, including Augustine (who knew little Greek), were competent in both, and this presented an obstacle, though certainly not an insurmountable one, to the sharing of some traditions across North Africa. Here I am suggesting that a wider theological climate, rather than a specific textual influence, is responsible for the form of Sir 10:13a in the Vetus Latina.
81 For a brief summary of Augustine's position see Cavadini, John C., “Pride,” in Augustine Through the Ages: An Encyclopedia (ed. Fitzgerald, Allan D.; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1999) 679–84Google Scholar.
82 See MacQueen, David J., “Augustine on Superbia: The Historical Background and Sources of his Doctrine,” Mélanges de science religieuse 34 (1977) 193–211Google Scholar; Herdt, Jennifer A., Putting on Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008) 45–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
83 The connection of Satan's fall with Isa 14 and Ezek 28 is found already in Origen. See Evans, J. M., Paradise Lost and the Genesis Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968) 59–104Google Scholar.
84 John Chrysostom, another contemporary, hints in this direction as well (Hom. Gen. 16.11), as does Ephrem (HdP 12.3).
85 Cavadini calls Sir 10:13 Augustine's “favorite verse on this point” (“Pride,” 680).
86 See O’Connell, Robert J., “Augustine's Exegetical Use of Ecclesiasticus 10:9–14,” in Augustine: Biblical Exegete (ed. van Fleteren, Frederick and Schnaubelt, Joseph C.; Collectanea Augustiniana; New York: Peter Lang, 2001) 233–49Google Scholar.
88 Pomerius, Julianus, The Contemplative Life (trans. Suelzer, Mary Josephine; ACW 4; Westminster, Md.: Newman, 1947) 106Google Scholar.
89 See Baasten, Matthew, Pride According to Gregory the Great: A Study in the Moralia (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity 7; Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen, 1986) 76–82Google Scholar.
90 Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job (trans. unknown [vols. 1–3.1] and James Bliss [vol. 3.2]; 3 vols. in 4; Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church 18, 21, 23, 31; Oxford: Parker, 1844–1850) 3.2:489–90.
91 Cavadini, “Pride,” 680.
92 Elsewhere, Aquinas argues that while pride leads to every kind of sin, it is not necessarily the case that every individual sin is prompted by pride (Summa theologiae 2.2–3.162, a.2). This interpretation varies from Augustine's stronger form (see n. 74).
93 Bloomfield, Seven Deadly Sins, 74.
94 DeYoung, Glittering Vices, 28; Bloomfield, Seven Deadly Sins, 72–74. See Niebuhr, Reinhold, The Nature and Destiny of Man (2 vols. in 1; New York: Scribner's Sons, 1953) 1:178–203Google Scholar. Niebuhr locates unbelief as prior to pride and notes that this position is set forth by Martin Luther who even cites Sir 10:12–13b in his discussion (183).
95 See Jenson, Robert W., The Works of God (vol. 2 of Systematic Theology; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) 277–84Google Scholar.
96 For example, the multiple endings of the Gospel of Mark have attracted considerable discussion within Protestantism. Although Judaism eventually settled on the Masoretic Text as canonical, in Jewish communities during the Second Temple period different versions of books (e.g., Jeremiah) evidently coexisted alongside one another as in some sense authoritative.
97 Gilbert, Maurice, “Methodological and Hermeneutical Trends in Modern Exegesis on the Book of Ben Sira,” in The Wisdom of Ben Sira: Studies on Tradition, Redaction, and Theology (ed. Passaro, Angelo and Bellia, Giuseppe; Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies 1; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2008) 1–20, at 14Google Scholar.
98 As such, Scripture and tradition cannot be collapsed as though they are actually the same. The canonical function of a text plays a unique role within a community and yet its interdependence with the tradition is more complex and subtle than is sometimes appreciated. See Congar, Yves, The Meaning of Tradition (trans. Woodrow, A. N.; San Francisco: Ignatius, 2004) 83–128Google Scholar.
99 The research on virtues and vices in Second Temple Judaism and late antiquity was undertaken with the assistance of a generous grant from the Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute at the University of Scranton. An earlier form of this essay was delivered as part of the 2012 summer lecture series in theology at the University of Notre Dame.