Book of Jasher (Pseudo-Jasher)

Book of Jasher (Pseudo-Jasher)

Book of Jasher (Pseudo-Jasher). It is sometimes called Pseudo-Jasher to distinguish it from the Sefer haYashar (midrash) which incorporates genuine Jewish legend.

Published in November, 1751, the title page of the book says: "translated into English by Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus, of Britain, Abbot of Canterbury, who went on a pilgrimage into the Holy Land and Persia, where he discovered this volume in the city of Gazna." The book claims to be written by Jasher, son of Caleb, one of Moses' lieutenants, who later judged Israel at Shiloh. Jasher covers Biblical history from the creation down to Jasher's own day and was represented as being the Lost Book of Jasher mentioned in the Bible.

In Alcuinus' purported translation of the book the Law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai not by God but by Moses' father-in-law Jethro.

Alcuinus was indeed a famous historical 7th century English abbot, but the language in this book is pseudo-Elizabethan English. The supposed translation was declared an obvious hoax by the "Monthly Review" in December of the same year and the printer Jacob Ilive was sentenced in 1756 to three years in jail for this fraud and for his radical anti-religious pamphlets.

In 1829 a slightly revised and enlarged edition was published in Bristol provoking attacks against it.

A photographic reproduction of this 1829 edition was published in 1924 by the Rosicrucian Order in San José, California who declared it was an inspired work.

This book is sometimes confused with the very different Sefer haYashar (midrash).

See also

*Sefer haYashar for other books with similar titles.


* "The Book of Jasher: One of the Sacred Books of the Bible Long Lost or Undiscovered", Flaccus A. Alcuinus (translator) (Kessinger Publishing Company, 1993) ISBN 1-56459-340-1
* "The Book of Jasher: with Testimonies and Notes" by Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus of Britain (CPA Books, 1998). ISBN 0-944379-20-6

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