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RE: orion-list Verse & Prose in CD and 1 Enoch

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: David C. Hindley [mailto:dhindley@compuserve.com]
> Sent: Friday, November 12, 1999 8:18 AM
> To: orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
> Subject: RE: orion-list Verse & Prose in CD and 1 Enoch
> David Suter said:
> >>The examples from 1 Enoch are obviously verse -- one can 
> see that even
> without looking at the Aramaic given the use of parallel 
> couplets and the
> use of sense rhyme following the pattern of Semitic (or 
> Biblical) poetry.
> On the other hand, the original Aramaic manuscript that 
> covers the passage
> that you quote does not appear to me to set the text in 
> poetry following
> the modern style of one line of verse per line of text -- that would
> appear to be a more modern convention.  One has to hear the 
> poetry rather
> than see it(although I would be interested to see if Rochelle 
> Altman could
> find indications of poetic meter encoded into the mode of writing the
> letters in the Enoch manuscripts).  There are things to be 
> gleaned from
> the style of presentation of the texts in the Aramaic Enoch 
> manuscripts,
> but to read them properly one must avoid assuming an identity 
> with modern
> conventions of the presentation of texts.<<
> True, but I would expect a translation to reflect any versification
> contained in the text, just like we do with biblical texts.

What's meant by "versification" needs a lot of clarification here.  Modern
Biblical translations print what appear to be poetic passages as poetry, and
the Biblia Hebraica likewise sets poetic passages as poetry (although the
translations may not always correspond to BH on this matter).  However, I
wonder if Codex Leningradensis upon which BH is based (or the other
Masoretic manuscripts) "set" poetic passages as poetry.  My guess is that
modern editions of the original language and modern translations both depend
upon the judgment of the editor or translator to distinguish and edit poetic
passages as poetry.  The medieval manuscripts of CD do not have any lines
set as poetry, nor does it seem that the Aramaic fragments from Qumran of
the Enoch manuscripts follow that practice.

> Milik, I think, has his own agenda, but it is hard for me to 
> pin down. I
> do think he wants to keep as much space as possible between 
> the type of
> Judaism reflected in the Parables of Enoch and early 
> Christian thought.
> However, there is no reason to think that the Qumran community (or
> communities) made use of every book known in the period. I am 
> inclined to
> think that it may reflect texts carried into Ethiopia by 
> refugees from the
>  war of 66-74 or possibly the crushed Jewish uprisings in 
> Africa of the
> second decade of the 2nd century CE.

This is much too early for what I understand to be the generally accepted
time for the introduction of Christianity into Ethiopia or the translation
of Christian texts into Ethiopic.  We ran into this issue several weeks ago
either on Orion or IOUDAIOS-L with regard to Armenia, where there seems to
be a dramatic difference between native tradition and scholarly
reconstruction with regard to these matters.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College
For private reply, e-mail to "Suter, David" <dsuter@stmartin.edu>
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