Episode 52: Enoch, Apocalyptic, and Abrahamic Faith

The apocalyptic compilation known as 1 Enoch contains much more than the Book of Watchers which we discussed in the previous episode. This time around we look at some other contents of this fascinating text, including the Astronomical Book and two later apocalypses, known as the Animal Apocalypse and the Apocalypse of Weeks.

Various discussions spin off from this basic textual enquiry, on themes including messianism and eschatology, the construction of religious identity, the history of the Maccabean revolt and its aftermath, and more. We then have a brief look at the question of who the ‘Enochic Jews’ might have been, and finish the episode with a taster of things to come: the Enochic writings (and apocalyptic texts more generally) do not simply disappear from the Abrahamic landscape once the Christian canon is defined and Rabbinic Judaism gets its Talmuds. There is an Enochic afterlife, in which these texts and ideas both inform and subvert orthodoxies in all three Abrahamic faiths.

Works Discussed in this Episode:

  • Synkellos cites 1 Enoch in his great historiographical work: see Adler, W. and Tuffin, P. G., 2002. The Chronology of George Synkellos. Oxford University Press, Oxford, p. 17.
  • Charles, R., 1914. Religious Development Between the Old and the New Testaments. Williams and Norgate, London, pp. 8-9.
  • Collins, J. J. (1979). ‘Introduction: Towards the Morphology of a Genre’, Semeia 14 : 1-20, p. 9.
  • The Epistle of Jude 14-15 in the New Testament cites 1 En 1:9: ‘And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints / To execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinner have spoken against him.’

Recommended Reading:

  • Albani, M., 1994. Astronomie und Schöpfungsglaube. Untersuchungen zum Astronomischen Henochbuch. Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany.
  • Boccaccini, G., 1998. Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways Between Qumran and Enochic Judaism. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Boccaccini, G., 2002. The Origins of Enochic Judaism: Proceedings of the First Enoch Seminar (University of Michigan, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy, June 19–23, 2001). Zamorani, Turin, Italy.
  • Boccaccini, G. and Collins, J. J., ed. 2007. The Early Enoch Literature. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Boccaccini, G.; von Ehrenkrook, J.; Ellens, J. H.; Ruark, R. and Winger, J., 2007. Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Boccaccini, G.; Ellens, J. H. and Waddell, J. A., 2005. Enoch and Qumran Origins: New Light on a Forgotten Connection. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Fröhlich, I. (1990). ‘The Symbolical Language of the Animal Apocalypse of Enoch (1 Enoch 85–90)’, Revue de Qumran 14 : 629-636.
  • Jackson, D. R., 2004. Enochic Judaism: Three Defining Paradigm Exemplars. T&T Clark, London and New York.
  • Oegema, G. S., 1998. The Anointed and His People: Messianic Expectations from the Maccabees to Bar Kochba. Sheffield Academic, Sheffield, UK.
  • Reed, A. Y., 2005. Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge/New York, NY.
  • Tiller, P. A., 1993. A Commentary on the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch. Scholars Press, Atlanta, GA.
  • VanderKam, J. C. and Adler, W. (1996). ‘The Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage in Early Christianity’. In: VanderKam, J. C. (Ed.), 1 Enoch, Enochic Motifs, and Enoch in Early Christian Literature, Fortress.

Themes

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