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


My thanks are extended to J. E. Harding for directing me, off-list, to a
dissertation on the subject, and to David W. Suter for several thoughtful
replies, both on and off-list, to my public posts on this subject.

These kind responses have got me out to a local university library for the
first time in ages, and will certainly be of assistance to me.  However, I
did want to make a comment regarding David Suter's recent post.

David S. said:

>>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.<<

I agree that ancient mss evidence for these texts being formatted as verse
is likely sparse or non existent (and I really did not think that there
was such formatting, but rather that the passages may have possessed
poetic characteristics which I thought should be represented in
translation, if clearly present).

As far as unusual formatting of columns of text goes, I was reminded of M.
A. Lods' solution to reconstruction of the names of the fallen Watchers at
1 Enoch 6:7-8 in the Greek ms C: At some point in the transmission of the
text, a scribe encountered the list of the 21 leaders of the fallen
Watchers, written in order not horizontally (at least after the first two)
but in 4 vertical columns (a related by Milik, _Books of Enoch_, pg 154).

>>This [66-74 or possibly ... the second decade of the 2nd century CE] 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.<<

I suppose a distinction should be made between the introduction of
Christianity/Christian texts and the introduction of Jewish sects/Jewish
sectarian texts into Ethiopia. While 1 Enoch and Jubilees may be part of
the canon of Ethiopic Christianity, it certainly does not appear likely to
me that they (especially the latter) made their way to that country via
Christian hands.

On the other hand, I also seem to recall once reading a commentator who
postulated a late introduction of these Jewish sectarian books into
Ethiopia, but I wonder how much of that was pegged upon the date of the
establishment of Christianity as it presently exists in Ethiopia.

It seems to me that Ethiopic Christianity could have adopted Jewish
sectarian literature already present in the region. It would not
necessarily have to have been translated into Ethiopic before the time
that Ethiopic Christians adopted it, and even if it did, they may well
have commissioned their own translations which were preserved at the
expense of earlier ones.


Dave Hindley
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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