Gurtner provides the first publication of the Syriac of both the apocalypse and epistle with a fresh English translation on the opposite page. "2 Baruch" is a Jewish pseudepigraphon from the late first or early second century CE. It is comprised of an apocalypse ("2 Baruch" 1-77) and an epistle ("2 Baruch" 78-87). This ancient work addresses the important matter of theodicy in light of the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 CE. It depicts vivid and puzzling pictures of apocalyptic images in explaining the nature of the tragedy and exhorting its ancient community of readers. Also present in parallel form are the few places where Greek and Latin texts of the book. There is an introduction that orients readers to interpretative and textual issues of the book. Indexes and Concordances of the Syriac, Greek, and Latin will allow users to analyze the language of the text more carefully than ever before. This series focuses on early Jewish and Christian texts and their formative contexts; it also includes sourcebooks that help clarify the ancient world. Five aspects distinguish this series.First, the series reflects the need to situate, and to seek to understand, these ancient texts within their originating social and historical contexts. Second, the series assumes that it is now often difficult to distinguish between Jewish and Christian documents, since all early 'Christians' were Jews. Jesus and his earliest followers were devout Jews who shared many ideas with the well-known Jewish groups, especially the Pharisees, the Essenes, and the various apocalyptic groups. Third, the series recognizes that there were (and still are) many ways of understanding authoritative literature or scripture.
Second Baruch - A Critical Edition of the Syriac Text by Daniel M. Gurtner was published by Continuum in December 2009. The ISBN for Second Baruch - A Critical Edition of the Syriac Text is 9780567609403.