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Signs of VirginityTesting Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity$
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Michael Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190845896

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190845896.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 July 2021

Doubts and Faith

Doubts and Faith

Possible Alternatives in Three First-Century Jewish Authors

(p.79) 4 Doubts and Faith
Signs of Virginity

Michael Rosenberg

Oxford University Press

Three very different first-century Jewish authors hint at a possible deviation from the regime of anatomical testing of virginity as established by Deuteronomy 22. Both Josephus and Philo, in their paraphrases of the bloody-sheets pericope, strikingly leave out any mention of any physical remainder of the sexual act, thus deviating from the explicit model of Deuteronomy. In the end, however, Josephus, seems unlikely to be a true variant, likely avoiding rather than replacing the Deuteronomic standard. Philo, however, may well express a concern for spiritual, rather than (or in addition to) physical virginity. The contrast with Deuteronomy is even more pronounced in the Gospel of Matthew, where faith-based testing comes to replace physical testing.

Keywords:   Philo, Josephus, Matthew, Virgin Mary, Joseph

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