History of the Book of Jasher
Sefer haYashar, known as the Book of the Upright One, was traditionally mistaken to refer to Jasher as a name and left untranslated, rendering the book to be regarded as the Book of Jasher. The Book of Jasher is referenced in the Holy Scripture in the Old Testament. The account is made in the Book of Joshua and the Second Book of Samuel. The book is named in Hebrew, and the name literally means the “upright one” or “a book of record.” However, the name Jasher does not refer to a prophet or a judge of Israel mentioned in the Old Testament. The name was repeatedly misunderstood by most people who do not understand the Hebrew language.
The Book of Jasher is referenced in the Bible as a reliable source. The Book of Joshua provides evidence that the Book of Jasher provides an account of unusual events that were regarded as miracles of high degree. The real Book of Jasher was regarded highly, as to be, quoted as the source of Joshua’s account of the Sun standing. In most Biblical passages, the book is quoted as a reference. Currently, there are more than three published versions of the book under study. However, these are entirely different books. Some of these books include the Hebrew treatise of ethics, which has never been claimed by anybody as a “lost” book. The other collection of the Book of Jasher was translated in 1751 by Flaccus Albinus, translated into Enlish, is the one regarded as the Pseudo-Jasher, to make a distinction from the third book. The third Book of Jasher is the legitimate document, published in Hebrew, and the topic of this thesis.
The original Hebrew source of the book traces its origin when Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus in AD 70. A hidden library was discovered by Sidrus. The library was complete with a scholar on a hideout there. The officer was merciful to the man and took him together with the books to his residence, the capital of Roman province, Hispalensis. The original manuscript of the book was donated to a Jewish institution at Cordova, after the invention of printing techniques. Afterwards, in 1962, the original Book of Jasher was printed in Venice. The original book was later translated in English by a Jewish scholar named Samuel, Liverpool England. Forgeries of the book occurred in the process of translation, when the fictitious book was translated in England in 1829. Many booklets were published to expose the claims of forgery of the Pseudo-Jasher. LDS Church received the news of the fraudulent claims; hence, the Church president declared that the Book of Jasher was not available. Due to the hostile climate that engulfed England because of the fraudulent claims, Samuel sold his published work to Mordecai (1840) to clear himself away from the forgery. The book was the first translation of the Book of Jasher in English.
It is very cchallenging because, the preface of the Book of Jasher have several testimonies of Hebrew scholars, claiming that the book has an excellent translation of the original Hebrew manuscript. However, they do not state the authenticity of the source of the translated version. Furthermore, the translator of the book argues that indeed the book is directly quoted from the Bible, by making claims on the title page. Some scholars argue that the book contains Jewish folklore or legends right from the creation of the Earth to the conquest of Cannan, while others support the opinion that the Book of Jasher never existed before AD 1625. Furthermore, there are several works by Jewish rabbis known as the “Sefer haYashar” but there is no claim that they are original versions of the book.
Some scholars claim that anybody who has read the book will agree that it contains the truth. These truths are Biblical stories, which appear to demonstrate some later interpolations concerning the contribution of men. In order to support or refute the thesis statement, it is necessary to make a distinction between the general Apocrypha, and an Apocryphal book. The latter can refer to any alleged sacred writing, not included in the scared canon of the Holy Scripture and has doubts of authenticity, as well as authorship. On the other hand, an Apocrypha is a specific collection of books that were initially included in the Old Testament during the 3rd century B.C.
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