Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Measure of God and the Divine Face

I promised in class that I would post links to articles by Andrei Orlov that deal with the idea of the "divine measure" and the " divine face." Both articles are quite technical, but they will give a flavour of the kind of work that Prof Orlov does on 2 Enoch. I am a little unconvinced by much of his argumentation in the latter article, by the way; if you wish to discuss this, let me know in class.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Similitudes Lecture

I have posted this week's lecture on the Similitudes of Enoch here.

Also, congratulations to Grant on the publication of his book (previous post).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Revealed Wisdom and Inaugurated Eschatology" Now Available

My book, Revealed Wisdom and Inaugurated Eschatology in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (JSJSupp 115. Leiden: Brill 2007) has now been released by Brill, although it is still listed as unavailable on Amazon. The book is based on my doctoral thesis, which I developed under the supervision of Professor Richard Bauckham here in St. Andrews. Dr Davila was one of my examiners, along with Dr Alistair Wilson, who at the time taught in the University of the Highlands and Islands. One chapter of the book deals with 2 Enoch and I will make this available to the class soon.

Details of the book can be found on the Brill website:

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

When Good Angels Go Bad

Poor Enoch. We saw in Friday's lecture that he was transformed into a glorious angelic being (2 Enoch 22) and carried away mankind's sins (65:4); in Jewish traditions he became Metatron, the Lesser Yahweh, no less.

In the modern novel, however, he seems to have become the villain of choice. Philip Pullman's excellent (and award winning) His Dark Materials trilogy presents him as a cosmic tyrant, symbolic of the intellectual oppression the author sees embodied in the Christian Church. The trilogy is available on Amazon:

More recently, Scottish author Hal Duncan has begun a series of books in which Metatron again plays a rather tyrannical role, coercing other angels into his service. I have only recently begun to read the book and my thoughts on it may change, but so far I have found it enjoyable and stimulating. It is best avoided by those who may be easily offended (Metatron's language is rather more colorful than the Jewish texts might suggest!), but those who can weather it will find a surprisingly erudite novel that weaves together Jewish and Sumerian mythology, modern fantasy and science fiction. The page is worth a visit as it contains a description of the book by the author himself.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Second Lecture on 2 Enoch

Dr. Macaskill's second lecture on 2 Enoch, "Enoch and Salvation," has now been posted on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha website. Sorry for the delay.

Please note also that Friday's Library trip has been canceled and will be rescheduled to happen near the end of the semester. The Similitudes lecture is still on for Friday.

The Glory of Adam

In Friday's lecture on 2 Enoch I referred to Andrei Orlov's argument that Enoch functions as a saviour figure by having restored in him the original glory of Adam. The argument is found in Andrei's book The Enoch-Metatron Tradition (TSAJ 107. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck), but a condensed version of the argument can be found at the following address:

I also referred to the work of Alexander Golitzin, who has traced the theme of Adamic Glory from Jewish texts through to Syriac Christian writings. Golitzin presented a paper on the subject at a conference here in St Andrews in 2001. The online version of his paper can be found at the following address:

The final edition of his article can be found in the conference volume edited by Dr Davila and entitled The Dead Sea Scrolls as Background to Postbiblical Judaism and Early Christianity : Papers from an International Conference at St. Andrews in 2001 (STDJ 46. Leiden: Brill, 2002).

Apologies, by the way, for the failure to blog yesterday: the ongoing saga of my computer's problems continues ... Let's hope that when the Singularity arrives, Apple will be in charge of the software.