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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919


HOWES, Llewellyn. "Who will put my soul on the scale?": Psychostasia in Second Temple Judaism. Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.1, pp.100-122. ISSN 2312-3621.

"Psychostasia" is the notion that a divine or supernatural figure weighs and/or measures the souls of people when judging them. The present effort represents the second of three articles on psychostasia. The first article focused on the occurrences of psychostasia in the OT.2 In the current article, attention is paid to the occurrences of psychostasia in apocryphal and pseudepigraphical Jewish writings from the Second Temple period, including the Qumran Scrolls. The current purpose is firstly to determine whether or not the concept of psychostasia was a recognised and recognisable feature of Second Temple Palestinian Judaism. Allowing for a positive answer to the latter, the second purpose of this article is to ascertain how the idea of psychostasia was understood by Palestinian Jews of the Second Temple period.

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