3 The various tendencies which can be observed in the later pseudepigraphical and apocalyptical writings are of considerable value in any consideration of the development of thought illustrated in the Old Testament itself.
The early myths, legends and traditions which can be traced differ profoundly from the canonical history, and the gap is wider than that between the latter and the subsequent apocalyptical and pseudepigraphical literature.
Moreover, the important body of apocalyptical and pseudepigraphical literature, with all its links between Christianity and Judaism, fell into disfavour on both sides.
Pseudepigraphical literature (especially those of R.
To reinterpret all these features as mere symbols, the lumber of ancient days, is to avoid the problem of their introduction into the Temple, and to assume an advance of popular thought which is not confirmed by the retention and fresh developments of the old ideas both in the pseudepigraphical literature and in the literature of Rabbinical Judaism.'
In the Old Testament many laws in the Mosaic legislation are certainly post-Mosaic and the value of not a few narratives lies, not in their historical or biographical information, but in their treatment of law, ritual, custom, belief, &c. Later developments are exemplified in the pseudepigraphical literature, notably in the Book of Jubilees, and when we reach the Mishnah and Talmud, we have only the first of a new series of stages which, it may be said, culminate in the 16th-century Shulhan `Aruk, the great compendium of the then existing written and oral law.
Upon this latter phase the pseudepigraphical and apocalyptical writings have shed much unexpected light in linking the Old Testament with both Christian and Rabbinical theology.