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

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-----Original Message-----
From: David C. Hindley
To: orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
Sent: 11/14/99 1:41 PM
Subject: RE: orion-list Verse & Prose in CD and 1 Enoch

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


I'm aware of these alternative arrangements and I believe I noted them in my
dissertation since, as I recall, they also affect a passage in the
Similitudes.  On the other hand, I don't believe that you'll find this
arrangement in the Aramaic manuscripts from Qumran.  As I recall, one of
those manuscripts uses spaces to set off the names (one of the things I had
in mind when I suggested that there was various kinds of information
available in the presentation of the text) but does not arrange them in

David Suter (to help keep the Davids straight)

Again, the following remark comes from Dave Hindley:

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
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.


As long as you're hitting the library, try to find a copy of Edward
Ullendorff, Ethiopia and the Bible, as a starting point.  It appears to have
been reprinted in 1988.  You might also look for Roger W. Cowley, Ethiopian
Biblical Interpretation : A Study in Exegetical Tradition and Hermeneutics
(University of Cambridge Oriental Publications, No 38).  Most of 1 Enoch
seems to be dependent upon the Greek version, which circulated in Christian
circles (including Egypt, next door to Ethiopia).  The Similitudes, on the
other hand, is a puzzle.  There is an argument that this section was
translated from a Semitic original, although as I recall it is inconclusive.
While Milik thinks it is dependent upon the gospels with its Son of Man
messianism, I make a case for it as a proto-Merkabah writing (done before 70
CE and perhaps an influence upon at least the gospel of Matthew).  The
puzzle of course is how it comes to be included in the Ethiopic translation
of 1 Enoch.  Ethiopian Christianity is supposed to exhibit various Jewish
characteristics, but before concluding that Jubilees and at least parts of 1
Enoch entered Ethiopia prior to the coming of Christianity, I'd like to see
more evidence.  The starting point for discussion is where we now find the
books preserved (take a look at Bob Kraft's essay, The Pseudepigrapha and
Christianity -- available on his website at the University of Pennsylvania
-- for a discussion of some of the methodological issues involved in sorting
these kinds of questions out).


David Suter
Saint Martin's College

For private reply, e-mail to "Suter, David" <dsuter@stmartin.edu>
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