A few years ago I wrote an exploratory piece on a pseudepigraphal work called, The Testament of Abraham. When I first approached the text, I did so with a clean slate. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. No preconceptions. But I wanted to try my hand at understanding a piece of ancient literature apart from any prior knowledge. I spent quite some time simply reading and rereading the text. Then I tried my hand at an outline. Then I read some short essays on TestAb. Finally I sifted through a number of books on my shelves to see if and how people were interacting with and “using” TestAb. What I encountered was rather disappointing. Seldom was the piece referenced; but when it was referenced, it was both misread and misused. I engaged the work of Simon Gathercole and A. Andrew Das at some length. I blogged my original work and that material was linked on The Paul Page (something of a clearinghouse on all things pro- and con-NPP). Subsequently, I received a number of notes of appreciation for my work. Someday I would like to go through the same process of a couple dozen other pseudepigraphal and apocryphal works.
Periodically I run across references to TestAb, including some of the verses that I addressed at some length. Seldom do I find anyone who has carefully read TestAb, rather than simply raiding it for proof texts supporting this or that proposal. Most recently I noticed that in his most recent work, The Saving Righteousness of God, Michael Bird references TestAb 10:13 (“…Abraham has not sinned…”) in support of the proposition that, “There are instances in second-temple Jewish literature which either demand or assume that law-keeping perfection is attainable” (p.162). He proposes that Paul is counters such a perspective in, say, Romans 3:23 (“for all have sinned…”).