The story of Joseph and Aseneth.
An ancient Jewish romance.
NT Gateway: Joseph and Aseneth (English only; David Cook; also available in
OT Pseudepigrapha: Joseph and Aseneth (David Cook; English only).
Google Books: Fabula Josephi et Asenethae Apocrypha
(Gustav Oppenheim; Latin; full view).
University of Rochester (TEAMS): Storie of Asneth (Russell A. Peck; Middle English; with
Aseneth Home Page (Mark Goodacre).
Apocrypha in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
Aseneth in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Joseph and Aseneth at Wikipedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Jewish background texts
The story of Joseph and Aseneth is an ancient Jewish romance. Its original
language was probably Greek, but it is available in Syriac, Slavonic, Armenian,
Latin, and Middle English versions.
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the story of Joseph and Aseneth:
Chr. Burchard writes: "JosAsen appears to have originated in the Jewish
diaspora of Egypt, no later than c. AD 100 and perhaps as early as the
first century BC. A sectarian milieu has been suggested: Essenes, Therapeutae,
or some unknown form of Judaism shaped in the iamge of a hellenistic mystery
religion. But the book presents Judaism, not a special form distinct from others.
According to some scholars, it was written to promote Jewish mission among non-Jews,
or Jews, or both. However, Judaism as depicted in JosAsen is not mission-minded.
Besides the book never bothers to explain Jewish life. The sabbath, circumcision,
the interdiction against pork, the standards of levitical purity, indeed the
necessity of keeping the Law, which is fundamental to all forms of Judaism,
go unmentioned. So it is safer to assume that JosAsen was meant to be read by
Jews as a reminder of the supernatural vitality and lofty morality which were
theirs. We should remember, however, that the Egyptian diaspora undoubtedly
included many proselytes and attracted 'God-fearing' sympathizers such as we
know, e.g., from the Book of Acts." (Outside the Old Testament,
James Charlesworth writes: "That Joseph and Asenath is a fifth-century
Christian work, based upon a Jewish writing, is a dated conclusion (P. Batiffol,
Le Livre de la Prière d'Asénath [Studia Patristica 1-2]
Paris: Leroux, 1889-1890). That it is an early, perhaps late first-century A.D.,
Jewish composition is a contemporary perspective (cf. C. Burchard, Untersuchungen
zu Joseph und Aseneth [WUNT 8] Tübingen: Mohr, 1965; see esp. pp. 148-51;
Philonenko, no. 1003; A.-M. Denis, no. 24, pp. 40-48). Most scholars now contend
that the original language is Greek (Burchard, Untersuch., pp. 91-99;
Philonenko, no. 1003, pp. 27-32). The parallels with the Dead Sea Scrolls have
raised the possibility of influence from the Essenes, or more probably from
the Therapeutae; some scholars affirm a relationship (P. Riessler, no. 62, p.
1303; K. G. Kuhn in The Scrolls and the New Testament, ed. K. Stendhal.
New York: Harper, 1957; pp. 75f.; M. Delcor, 'Un roman d'amour d'origine thérapeute:
le livre de Joseph et Asénath,' BLE 63  3-27); others deny
it (Philonenko, no. 1003, p. 105; Burchard, Untersuch., pp. 107-12)."
(The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research, p. 137)