Many early Christian and late Second Temple texts describe deceit as impurity. In this article, I delineate the development of this discourse and argue that it derived its power from several characteristics: mixing deceit impurity with other types of moral impurity; an implicit link between the structures of defilement/purity and falsehood/truth; localization of impurity in specific body loci; demonization; and a connection with Greek discourses on sophists and magicians. Some of these features are present already in the earliest texts such as the Hebrew Bible, but others developed only in the Hellenistic period.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the University of Haifa.
© 2022 by the author.
- New Testament
- Second Temple Judaism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies