The large role which literary allusion plays in The Brothers Karamazov has often been noted by critics. Ralph Matlaw calls the novel “one of the most ‘literary’ books ever written.” Victor Terras more recently has observed that “more than any other novel of Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov is a work ‘written in the margins of other books.’” If scholars took the time to investigate in detail every literary reference in this novel, no doubt the size of current Dostoevskii bibliographies could be doubled within the year, though without contributing substantially to our knowledge of the work. Why then should a lone reference to the biblical story of Joseph merit intensive consideration? The answer concerns both the context and the content of the reference, which is found in the subchapter entitled “Of the Holy Scriptures in the life of Father Zosima.” The bible stories mentioned in this section might be considered as a body in order to illustrate what role the Scriptures have played in the elder's life, and what role they may play in the regeneration of all men. Within this subchapter no fewer than a dozen biblical stories and books are singled out, yet only two are discussed at any length: the Book of Job and the story of Joseph. In the latter case not only is the story paraphrased and quoted (or, better, misquoted) but it is also given a particular and untraditional interpretation by Zosima.