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Bibil Identifier bibil:202674
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Why Does R. Akiba Acclaim Bar Kokhba as Messiah?
Author Novenson, Matthew V.
Journal Journal for the Study of Judaism (Volume: 40, Issue: 4-5)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Language English
Pages 551-572 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Peter Schäfer has argued that the name of R. Akiba is secondary to y. Ta'an. 4:8/27, in which R. Akiba is said to have acclaimed Bar Kokhba as messiah. Some interpreters have countered, however, that rabbinic haggadah would not attribute such an embarrassing position to R. Akiba if he had not held it. In response to both these arguments, I propose that the R. Akiba-Bar Kokhba tradition fits a pattern of talmudic stories about the Second Revolt in which the rabbis are anachronistically cast in a position of influence. This tradition is an example of a late antique literary topos attested in Jewish, Christian, and pagan sources in which a founder of a minority movement is remembered as having conversed with a contemporary world leader. In short, both Schäfer and his critics are right: R. Akiba was not originally part of the tradition preserved in y. Ta'an. 4:8/27, but there is a compelling tradition-historical rationale for inserting him there.
DOI DOI:10.1163/004722109X12499530635251
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Important Persons and Movements : Talmudic Period : Rabbinism : Tannaim : Second Generation : Akiba ben Joseph
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : History of Canaan-Israel : Periods : Roman Period (from 63 BCE) : Second Jewish War (132-135) : Bar Kokhba
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Literature : Talmud (Babli and Yerushalmi) : Mo'ed : Ta'anit
Last modification 2017-10-27