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Lords of the Scrolls

Literary Traditions in the Bible and Gospels

Donald K. Sharpes

Lords of the Scrolls analyzes ancient literary sources to show how biblical and gospel scribes borrowed and imitated themes from earlier literature to create heroic legends around Hebrew figures and Jesus. Comparisons between the Epic of Gilgamesh; Enuma Elish; Canaanite, Egyptian, and Greek legends; Homeric epics; the histories of Herodotus; and selected biblical and gospel passages reveal thematic and literary similarities. Tracing literary classics from the birth of writing to the first millennium of the modern era, this book demonstrates that Hebrew scribes used previous literature to establish a national identity, and that gospel scribes borrowed heavily from Homer to create epic legends around the person of Jesus.