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Re: orion 1 (H)enoch 108: Cont'd Discussion
> In other words, the compilers of Ethiopian I Henoch seem to have placed
> together all of their Henochian literature between two (codex) covers, from
> (orig. Aramaic) material that was originally written and copied out on
> perhaps a half a dozen or kore (discrete) scrolls.
Don't be too quick to connect Ethiopic Enoch directly to the Aramaic.
There has been discussion of the Similitudes as possibly from an
original Semitic (either Hebrew or Aramaic) original, but the rest has
generally been treated as a translation of the Greek. I recall examples
when I was doing my initial work on the Ethiopic of corruptions in the
Greek text reflected in the Ethiopic, although I'd have to go looking
for them now.
I also would not be too swift to assume that, because chapter 108 speaks
of Torah observance, it is not Christian in composition. I recall
discussions of Judaic features to Ethiopian Christianity, and I would
want to know more about their precise nature before making a decision
about what is Jewish and what Christian.
I do like the analysis of linking words, as well as the analysis in an
earlier post about the composite character of chapter 108; however, I
would be hesitant to assume that the fragments of 108 are lifted
directly from previous chapters. The reference to mountains in 108 is
suggestive of passages in the Similitudes, for example, but there also
appeared to me to be differences in the way that mountains were
described that suggested that we are dealing with allusions rather than
borrowed fragments. The suggestion about oral material is interesting.
In my dissertation, Tradition and Composition in the Parables of Enoch,
I argued for oral-formulaic language in the Similitudes, on the basis of
repeated formulaic language dealing with a list of things revealed to
the seer in his journey through the cosmos, although the kind of
patterning is different when compared to the analysis of linking in
108. I extended the analysis of the patterning in a JBL article on
Mashal in the Similitudes of Enoch, but did not continue there to
discuss the patterning as oral. Check my web page at
http://www.stmartin.edu/~dsuter/ for the exact publication information.
I would also recommend looking at chapter 108 in light of Slavonic Enoch
to see if any similarities with that body of literature emerge.
The analysis of the fragments of 108 suggests that it is working with a
version of Enoch that includes the Similitudes. If that is the case,
one must consider not only the probable time of composition of the
Similitudes (I put it mid first century CE), but the point at which it
is included in the larger collection. The Similitudes has strong
affinities to the Hekhaloth tradition (see Tradition and Composition in
the Parables of Enoch, mentioned above), which suggests that it belongs
to a distinct strand within the Enochic literature. While Matthew 25
may indicate that by the end of the first century, editions of Enoch
exist that include the Similitudes and the apocalypse of the animals,
the absence of 108 from the Greek manuscripts suggests that the chapter
emerges later rather than earlier
> world, but have [rather] given over THEIR BODIES to suffering---who from
> the time of their very creation have not longed after earthly food..."
Note that the Adam and Eve literature is interested in the food of the
human couple after they are expelled from Paradise. Adam and Eve miss
the angelic food they were used to in the Garden and are faced with the
prospect of eating the food of animals (grass), until Michael provides
them with seed to grow grain for human consumption.
Saint Martin's College
David W. Suter, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
Saint Martin's College, Lacey, WA 98503
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