Dating the hebrew bible
To modern Jewish scholars, these works are known as the Sefarim Hitsonim ("External Books"). Scholarly interest was renewed after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.Two major annotated translations into Modern Hebrew have been published, one edited by Abraham Kahana (most recently re-issued in 1959) and one by A. In the eleven caves near Qumran north-west of the Dead Sea, parts of more than 700 ancient Jewish manuscripts were discovered.Thus forms of the Books of Judith, Maccabees and Ben Sira, as well as parts of Wisdom of Solomon were familiar to Jewish scholars.But these works never achieved wide acceptance in Judaism and remained, to a greater or lesser extent, curiosities.These Jewish Greek writings were produced in the widespread Jewish Diaspora of the time, mainly in Egypt (Alexandria) and in North Africa.
Certain of the apocryphal works were known in Jewish tradition throughout the Middle Ages, not necessarily in their full texts, but in shortened and retold versions, or in translations back into Hebrew or Aramaic from Christian languages.
During the Renaissance in Europe and in the following centuries, an interest in various Oriental languages developed in Christian circles.
First Hebrew, then Arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Syriac and more took their place alongside Greek and Latin in the scholarly purview.
Other developments contributed to and stemmed from this process: the beginnings of archeology, the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs and Babylonian cuneiform, and antiquarian and scholarly study of the Holy Land.
In this context, interest developed in Jewish documents which could help illuminate the New Testament.