Joseph & Aseneth:
by Dr Mark Goodacre,
Joseph and Asenath, the confession and prayer of Asenath, daughter of Pentephres the priest by E. W. Brooks (editor and translator) (London: SPCK,1918)
English translation of Joseph and Aseneth available to download or to view online in a variety of formats (e-book, PDF, flipbook, etc.) on archive.org.
The Storie of Asneth by Russell A. Peck (ed.)
This is a middle English version of the story, which survives in a single manuscript, reproduced in a hypertext version. Originally published in Heroic Women from the Old Testament in Middle English Verse (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 1991), it is reproduced on-line
with an introduction by Russell Peck. A great resource, with a comprehensive introduction and useful annotations.
2. Related Texts
Genesis 41; Genesis 46
The only three references to Aseneth in the Hebrew Bible are found here, in Genesis 41.45, 41.50 and 46.20. This link is to the New International Version in the Bible Gateway. For other on-line Bibles, see The New Testament Gateway: Bible Translations and Editions.
Josephus: Antiquities 2.6.1 [2.91]
This is the brief passage (based on Gen. 41) in which Josephus mentions Aseneth. This link will take you to
Whiston's translation at the Perseus site. Click on "Version" at the top of the page to view the passage in Greek. If you have trouble viewing this from the main link above, try the German Mirror or the UK Mirror.
Old Testament Pseudepigrapha On-Line
Aseneth is usually classed as an Old Testament Pseudepigraphon. This index by Dr James Davila provides links to on-line versions of several other Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. I have followed Dr Davila in avoiding reference to the American Noncanonical Homepage because the texts there are not yet in the public domain in the United Kingdom. For more information on the Pseudepigrapha, see below.
Jami: Joseph and Zuleika
Joseph and Zuleika (c. 1470) by the Persian poet Jami (1414-92) is a romance, in verse, focusing on a certain Zuleika's love for Joseph (Yusuf). She dreams of Joseph before she has met him, yet marries Potiphar. As in the Biblical narrative, Joseph comes into her service but he flees when she discloses her passion to him. Later, she repents of her idolatry, her youth and beauty is restored and she is betrothed to Joseph. There may be some influence on this story from Aseneth or from the traditions contained in it. The web version, from The Internet Medieval Source Book, is an abridgement of the poem in Charles F. Horne (ed.), The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East (New York: Parke, Austin,
& Lipscomb, 1917), Vol. VIII: Medieval Persia, pp. 381-401.
3. Discussions of Aseneth
Heather A. Reid, "The Storie of Asneth and its Literary Relations: The Bride of Christ Tradition in Late Medieval England", PhD dissertation, University of Victoria, 2011
Review of Randall C. Chesnutt, From Death to Life
Gideon Bohak's review of From Death to Life: Conversion in Joseph and Aseneth (JSPSup, 16; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), in Ioudaios Review 5.008 (May 1995), ftp://ftp.lehigh.edu/pub/listserv/ioudaios-review/5.1995/chesnutt.bohak.008.
Review of E. M. Humphrey, The Ladies and the Cities
Stephen L. Cook's review of The Ladies and the Cities: Transformation and Apocalyptic Identity in Joseph and Aseneth, 4 Ezra, the Apocalypse and the Shepherd of Hermas (JSPSup, 17; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), SBL Review of Biblical Literature, January 1998, http://www.bookreviews.org/Reviews/1850755353.html.
Review of Ross Kraemer, When Aseneth Met Joseph
Hagith Sivan's review of When Aseneth Met Joseph: A Late Antique Tale of the Biblical Patriarch and his Egyptian Wife
Reconsidered (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1998), Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1998-12-02, at http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1998/1998-12-02.html
Review of Ross Kraemer, When Aseneth Met Joseph (New)
Gideon Bohak's review of When Aseneth Met Joseph (as previous note), Review of Biblical Literature 2000, on-line at http://www.bookreviews.org/Reviews/0195114752.html
Review of Ross Kraemer, When Aseneth Met Joseph (New)
Randall Chesnutt's review of When Aseneth Met Joseph (as previous note), Review of Biblical Literature 2000, on-line at http://www.bookreviews.org/Reviews/0195114752.html
Scripture and Canon in Jewish Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Some notes provided by Robert Kraft that formed the basis of the article by the same name in Magne Saebo (ed.), Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of its Interpretation, vol. 1: From the Beginnings to the Middle Ages (Until 1300), Part 1: Antiquity (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996), pp. 199-216.
The Catholic Encylopaedia entry on Aseneth (the biblical character).
4. Art relating to Joseph & Aseneth
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino (1649; Oil on canvas; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.).
Joseph Accused by Potiphar's Wife
Rembrandt Workshop (1655, oil on canvas; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., U.S.A)
Joseph Recounting His Dreams
by Rembrandt van Rijn (early 1640s; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.)
by Rembrandt (1656, oil on canvas, Staatliche
Kunstsammlungen, Gemäldegalerie). This picture (based on Gen. 48) actually features Aseneth standing by Joseph's side. Part of it is reproduced on the index page of this homepage, courtesy of Carol Gerten's Fine Art: A Virtual Art Museum.
5. E-Lists and Other Resources
The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Web Page
Dr James Davila's web page designed to accompany a course at the University of St Andrews, Scotland that ran in Spring 1999. Aseneth was one of the texts considered in this course.
Arbeitshilfen f�r das Studium der Pseudepigraphen
By Thomas Knittel (University of Leipzig): an excellent German guide to the Pseudepigrapha featuring introductory material, bibliography and links. Particularly useful is the list of NT parallels to Pseudepigraphical texts.
By Steven Cox: a useful site, the purpose of which is "to make freely available the Greek versions of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and also to provide supplementary materials." Greek is in the Symbol font so that everyone can view it. There are difficulties at this site at the moment (Checked July 2000), but you can still access the text of 1 Enoch.
Ioudaios-L is a list that deals with Judaism in the Graeco-Roman period. Aseneth is occasionally discussed. Some older archived material on Aseneth can be found, but searching for it is not straightforward. You might want to begin with messages from June 1993 (first part), June 1993 (second part) and March 1994. You will need to unzip these files and then to use the "Find" or "Find in Page" button.
New Testament Gateway: Judaica
By Mark Goodacre: a page from The New Testament Gateway, isolating several important web sites dealing with Judaism in the second temple period and beyond.
The Petronian Society Ancient Novel Web Page
By Jean Alvares of Montclair State University, U.S.A. An excellent page on the ancient novel; includes mention of Aseneth.
Diotima's Religion Biography
Diotima, at the University of Kentucky, U.S.A., is the web page focusing on women and gender in the ancient world. There is a good deal of useful information here, and this page is their Religion Biography.
Return to The Aseneth Home Page
Please send me your suggestions for this page.
This file was created on 12 February 1999 and updated on 16 October 2013.
To cite this page: Mark Goodacre, The Aseneth Home Page (1999-2013)
© 1999-2013 Mark