Jesus Against the Scribal Elite

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Oldest Known Text of Ethiopic Enoch - Le Donne

There has been a story I've been following with interest on Facebook.  My friend and mentor Loren Stuckenbruck (and crew) has been coming and going from Ethiopia. His wife Lois (who blogs here) has been posting on FB daily about their trip. Loren, you may know, is working on what promises to be the best commentary to date on The Book of Enoch.  Why do I think so?  Well, first of all, he's Loren Stuckenbruck. Second, and further to the first point, he does things like this:



They are at a monastery, photographing the oldest known text of Ethiopic Enoch.  Of course, the Ethiopic Church has held Enoch as sacred scripture since they set up camp a couple thousand years ago.  So these monks do not take kindly to outsiders handling their God-given relics.

Somehow, Loren and friends have wiggled their way into their good graces. Loren is the man in the electric-blue shirt with a mop of hair that would make Justin Bieber slap his stylist. The monkish looking fellow in the background has appointed himself the gatekeeper of these texts. According to Loren and Lois, getting access to these documents has been very tricky. Getting permission to photograph them has been altogether Herculean.

Talk about rolling up your sleeves on a project!

-anthony

8 comments:

  1. If history is any indicator, then bribery usually works.

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  2. This sounds like it would be good for offering a new translation on the book altogether. The one most people have exposure to is over a hundred years old and, at least as I've heard, contains significant translation errors in places (regarding especially the accounts of the angels and giants). Do you know if this is true?

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    1. I'll pass your question to Loren. Maybe we'll get him to interview for us.

      I do know this: standard translations of Enoch did not have the benefit of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Incorporating the Scrolls and this text from the Ethiopic will make Stuckenbruck's translation a material advance.

      -anthony

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  3. Hopefully he can put Milik's thesis about the Book of Giants to rest for good. Andrei Orlov is presently working on the 2 Enoch commentary for Hermeneia. I guess it is a good time to work on the development of the Enochic tradition.

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  4. I love Africa. That photo is simply amazing. Says it all.

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    1. I know; it's perfect. The range of clothing styles, the confluence of technologies, the endless dirt... oh the memories!

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  5. Mark and Anthony:

    http://www.amazon.com/Enoch-The-Hermeneia-Translation-Series/dp/0800699106/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365668706&sr=8-1&keywords=1+enoch+hermeneia

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jim, obviously this translation is a marked improvement.

      -anthony

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