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Re: Ioudaios: Enoch, etc., a belated reply (fwd)


I picked up a story about the discovery of new texts from the first century
bce somewhere in the southern part of Syria.Does anyone know anything about
this-jim Veitch

>It's been fairly quiet on Orion, so I'm crossposting this mssg in case 
>anyone is interested in following an old Enoch thread on Ioudaios.
>Avital Pinnick
>list moderator
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Mon, 24 Jun 96 18:29:00 PDT
>From: Suter David <dsuter@HUM.HUJI.AC.IL>
>To: First Century Judaism Discussion Forum <ioudaios-l@Lehigh.EDU>
>Subject: Enoch, etc., a belated reply
>On June 14, Mark Dunn wrote the following:
>On June 14th I was trying to explore the proposition that it is not literally
>correct to talk about "Essene thought" per se surviving into the Middle Ages
>but more accurate to think of the Qumran documents (whatever their source) as
>expessing ideas or notions that are representative of points along a line.
> Earlier points might be zoroastrian theology, gnosticism and I Enoch.  In
>posing that view I said that "the book of Enoch (170 - 66 B.C.E. ?) recounts
>the fall of Satan and his cohorts, the consequent intrusion of evil and
>suffering in human life and the redemption of mankind by a Messiah."
>As I said, I don't claim this is an original thought.
>In partial response to some of the comments I have received, The New Lexicon
>Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language defines "Satan" as
>"the chief or the rebel angels and the anthropomorphic personifications of
>evil, the devil."  In Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scroll (1994) at 182,
>Schliffman writes: "Generally, I Enoch is understood to have five parts.  The
>first, the Book of the Watchers . . . relates the story of the fallen angels
>. . . (and) I Enoch 6-11 refers to Shemihazah as the leader of the fallen
>angels."  Is it correct to view the union of the fallen angels with human
>women as representing the intrusion of evil into human life?  Perhaps it is
>incorrect to call Shemihazah Satan, but it seems reasonable to say that "the
>chief of the rebel angels" and the leader of the fallen angels are reasonably
>comparable and that those fallen angels brought evil to personification to
>the form of the giants .  Aren't the specific attributes of these figures
>simply nuances in the development of a theme?   Another parallel might be
>4Q390 described in Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered (1992) by Eisenman & Wise (at
>54) .  They describe the angels of Mastemoth as "obviously the same fallen
>Angels or heavenly 'Watchers' prominent in Enoch and the Damascus Document."
> They would trace this idea forward into James 4:4  They also describe the
>book of Jubilees as based upon I Enoch.  Schliffman says (at 354) that
>"[w]ith the exception of the Parables (chs. 37-71) the entire book (on Enoch)
>can be considered representative of the pre-Maccabean period.  If this is so,
>then we can safely conclude that even more material related to later Jewish
>mystical tradition preexisted the Qumran sect and found it way into the
>sect's collection of texts."   Assume that one is not required to accept the
>idea of a defined "Qumran sect" as posited by Schliffman and others.  As an
>alternative to talking about "Essen Thought," isn't it more accurate to say
>that (1) the dualism in I Enoch (and in other 'theological'  expressions such
>as the zoroastrians)  "preexisted" the  Qumran/Essene era, (2) numerous DSS
>contain the same or very similar dualism, and (3) such dualsim was thereafter
>passed forward, for example, into Christian tradition.  Or is there something
>considered unique on these subjects in the Qumran documents that does qualify
>as "Essene thought?"  Eisemann and Wise say that "at least six, and perhaps
>as many as eleven, copies of the Book of Giants are among the Qumran texts.
> Maybe it was just a scary bed time story read to the new recruits.
>My response follows:
>Well, maybe it wasn't June 14, but I've wanted to reply to it and haven't
>been able to manage the word processor until now to retrieve Mark's message
>from storage, where I put it after forwarding it from Tacoma, into a compose
>I think that the problem with Mark's response is that he is oversimplifying
>some things, which is surprising since he seems to be well informed about a
>number of the details.  The first problem  is in using a dictionary
>definition (even one from an encyclopaedic dictionary)  to reach conclusions
>about historical developments.  I would not be too quick to connect up all
>the angelic bad guys, even through they they eventually do get connected.
>History and the historical development of ideas is not metaphysics.  The
>idea of fallen angels in Enoch flows into Jubilees, where they stand
>alongside the angels of Mastemoth and gradually get absorbed into a more
>dualistic understanding of evil, but I would hesitate to make the blanket
>kind of connections Mark seems to want to make.
>With regard to dualism, there are various dualisms present in the  materials
>of second temple Judaism and early Christianity.  John Gammie wrote  an
>article on varieties of dualism published in JBL some years ago that would
>help  sort these out.  I'm sorry but I'm not in a position to give a more
>precise reference at the moment, but I think that it is a mistake to think
>about *dualism* being transmitted unchanged into a later period.
>Also, while the beginnings of mysticism may well be found in some of these
>texts (I am of the opinion that there is a particularly close connection
>between the Similitudes of Enoch -- 1 En. 37-71 -- and the Hekhaloth
>literature as represented by 3 Enoch, for example), it is a mistake to assume
>that all of the apocalyptic texts (even other points in 1 Enoch) are part of
>the same  stream of tradition in as facile a way as Mark seems to want to do
>in what I've quoted above.
>David Suter
>Saint Martin's College
>Currently at Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Jim Veitch
Religious Studies Department
Victoria University
PO Box 600
New Zealand

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