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Liturgy and the First Person in Narratives of the Second Temple Period


Among the genres that make regular use of the first person in the Second Temple period, the testament and the apocalypse have received widespread attention. I isolate and analyze a different first-person narrative genre, the liturgical autobiography. In the liturgical autobiography, the speaker narrates an experience that he has undergone as a way of offering and attempting to elicit in his audience praise of God. I highlight the commonalities between the two best attested instances of the genre, the book of Tobit and Daniel 4, from their shifts in person to their use of Deuteronomy 32. Finally, I reflect on connections between the liturgical autobiography and novel elements in post-classical third-person narrative, especially the book of Ruth.

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