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Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Abraham
Michael E. Stone
EJL 37
Publication Date
November 2012


This volume introduces a cycle of stories about Abraham as preserved in fifteen unpublished, late medieval manuscripts in Armenian, published here in English for the first time with commentaries, annotations, and critical apparatus. The texts present embroidered Abraham stories dealing with his youth, his life in Egypt, the binding of Isaac, the story of Melchizedek, and other tales. Embedding Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and other ancient traditions, these texts demonstrate mutual borrowing and influence over centuries.

“In a long, distinguished and ongoing fertile career Professor Michael E. Stone has made fundamental contributions to Armenia's literary and religious legacy. After his groundbreaking work on the Adam literature he engages with further primary sources on Biblical figures, critically presented in the original language and accompanied by fluent translations and lucid, erudite commentary. His latest book, Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Abraham mines another quarry of biblical and extrabiblical traditions, that will from now on form part of the Armenian literary tradition, the full shape of which we are still discovering, not least thanks to Professor Stone's scholarly endeavour. Offering fifteen previously unpublished texts Michael Stone presents fascinating elaborations of the embroidered Armenian traditions on Abraham, mostly preserved in manuscripts from the later medieval and early modern period-though one dates to 981-, and places these in their various religious and cultural contexts, including Jewish, Christian and Islamic strands. Professor Stone's innovative work studies the material through the clustered texts approach he previously applied with the Adam end Ezra material, and which deserves further elaboration. Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Abraham is exemplary in its integrated study of the culturally and religiously interconnected Abraham material, and will profit any scholar of the Abrahamic religions, their literary and wider cultural expressions.”
-Theo M. van Lint, Calouste Gulbenkian Professor of Armenian Studies, University of Oxford

Michael E. Stone is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion and Armenian Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author of numerous works on early Jewish and Christian pseudepigraphic literature. He is author or co-author of over fifty different books, including most recently An Editio Minor of the Armenian Version of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Peeters).

Download volume front matter, including table of contents and introduction.