Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Translations of 2 Enoch

The Wesley Center Online unfortunately does not carry a translation of 2 Enoch, but you can find one at the following address:

The same translation turns up on a number of sites. It is taken (I think) from the 1896 translation by W.R. Morfill, which was published in collaboration with R.H. Charles under the title The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896).

While this is helpful as a taster of the text, for serious work I would want to point students in the direction of the far superior translation by Francis I. Andersen in J.H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 1: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments (New York: Doubleday, 1983, 1985) 91-221. There are several reasons for this.
  1. Andersen worked with a much fuller selection of manuscripts.
  2. The online Morfill translation, which is based primarily on manuscripts of the longer recension of 2 Enoch, does not allow students to compare the longer and shorter readings.
  3. The Morfill translation omits chapters 69-73. These chapters are highly problematic and are not found in all of our manuscripts, but the balance of scholarly opinion currently supports the view that they are original to 2 Enoch. Students ought at least to know that these chapters exist and be familiar with their content.