We’ve been doing short stories in this thread, and now I will introduce two more. These are from the “Apocrypha.” This is the term that Protestants use for a group of Jewish books not in the Hebrew Bible that are, however, accepted by both Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians as having a secondary canonical status. In these denominations, therefore, they are called “Deuterocanonical Books.”
There are some terrific narratives among these books. Here I describe two of the best known, Tobit and Judith, again from my textbook on the Bible.
Tobit is a work of historical fiction—by which I mean it is a fictional tale set within a real historical context. Originally the book was written in Aramaic, either in the late third century B.C.E. or the early second.
The narrative is set in the eighth century B.C.E. in the city of Nineveh, where the hero of the story, Tobit, has been exiled from his town in Galilee during the conquests of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser. In other words, the account is allegedly taking place after the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel. The story involves two subplots that eventually come to be woven together.
The first is about Tobit himself, who is very righteous and does great works of Jewish piety but runs into serious misfortune as he is blinded, in a rather unusual way, when bird droppings fall into his eyes. This makes
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