Friday, February 23, 2007

Another Schedule Change

I have unexpectedly had to be away from St. Mary's College today. Apologies to class and blog readers. I shall post Grant's lecture this weekend. The Similitudes lecture is now rescheduled for next week.

UPDATE (25 February): I didn't get a chance to post it on the weekend. Look for it on Monday.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Online Resources on 1-2 Enoch

You might want to have a look at the following in advance of tomorrow's session:

Regarding 2 Enoch, my review of Andrei A. Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition (Review of Biblical Literature, December 2006);

Regarding 1 Enoch and 2 Enoch, James VanderKam's 1997 guest essay for this course: "The Enoch Literature";

Regarding the Similitudes of Enoch and related materials, my lectures on Methodology and "Enoch as a Divine Mediator" for the 1998 Divine Mediator Figures course. These two lectures were later expanded and revised into my article ""Of Methodology, Monotheism, and Metatron," listed in the bibliography. I'm afraid the final article is not available online, but I will bring copies to class tomorrow.

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.

Sibylline Leaves

There's a new blog on an important corpus in the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Sibylline Leaves, run by Gordon Lyn Watley, is "On the Jewish & Christian Sibylline Oracles & related literature: Interfaces of Christianity, Hellenism, & Judaism in late antiquity." Looks good.

(Via Hypotyposes.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Library Session on 2 March

Just a note to flag that the class will be going to our Main Library Special Collections for our 2 March meeting to view some relevant volumes. I'll post some notes and photos then. There's no particular reading assignment in advance, but if you happen to be looking for a good novel to read in the next week and a half, I would recommend:
Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, The Rule of Four (paperback, 2005)
It will have some bearing on the class session, although any connection with the course content is indirect.

Translations of the Similitudes

There are several translations available of 1 Enoch (of which chapters 37-71 are the Similitudes of Enoch). By far the best and most up-to-date is:
George W. E. Nickelsburg and James C. Vanderkam, 1 Enoch: A New Translation (Minneapolis, Minn: Fortress, 2004) ( link here)
If you are interested enough in the Pseudepigrapha to be following this course, this book is a worthwhile investment and I encourage you to buy a copy. (Students in the course: there are copies on short loan for this module in the libraries.)

The translation by E. Isaacs in the Charlesworth OTP is conveniently available, but it is now quite out of date and thoroughly superseded by the new translation. An old (1917) translation by Charles is available online, as well as an even older one (1883) by Richard Laurence. Both are extremely out of date. If you are limited for some reason (e.g., being stationed at an Antarctic base) to online resources, use the Charles translation. But if you have access to Amazon, order the Nickelsburg/VanderKam translation (and maybe even buy a second copy to donate to your local library).

Monday, February 19, 2007

5 Ezra Lecture

I have posted last week's lecture on 5 Ezra here.

"Scottish Field" remembers James Bruce

The March edition of "Scottish Field," a lifestyle magazine that often carries historical articles concerning important Scottish figures, contains a biography of explorer James Bruce, who brought back from his travels several copies of the Ethiopic Book of Enoch (1 Enoch), effectively rediscovering the book for those outside of Ethiopia and opening the door for subsequent research into the Enochic texts.

Unfortunately the article is not available online and in any case it fails to mention Bruce's literary "discoveries," focusing instead on the more exciting (and gruesome) aspects of his travels in Abyssinia. Still, it is a good read and warmly recommended.

The association of Scotland with the Pseudepigrapha goes back to long before the "Old Testament Pseudepigrapha" course in St Andrews University!