During the first week in May, The General Theological Seminary was pleased to welcome a Norwegian scholar who came to view one of the treasures of the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library—the only surviving Greek manuscript of 2 Baruch, also known as the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch.
A guest of Dr. Robert Owens, Professor of Old Testament, Dr. Liv Engeborg Lied is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo, the largest theological school in Norway. She is an expert on the ancient Jewish document called 2 Baruch and was excited to see Pap. Oxyrhynchus 403, a fourth-century CE papyrus that is housed in the Keller Library’s Rare Books and Manuscripts collection.
“We are delighted to make available such rare holdings to theological scholars from around the world,” said Prof. Owens.
Scholars believe 2 Baruch was written in the late first or early second century of the Common Era, after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE. It tells the story, from Baruch’s perspective, of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE. The full text of 2 Baruch is known from a Syriac manuscript from the sixth or seventh century CE. The earlier Greek fragment housed at General Seminary was discovered at the Oxyrhynchus archaeological site in Egypt.