Fifth Enoch Graduate Seminar (2014 Montreal), conference
The Fifth Enoch Graduate Seminar (20-23 May 2014), is an international Conference for advance doctoral students and recent Ph.D.'s organized by the Enoch Seminar, as part of the ongoing series of meetings of the Enoch Graduate Seminar (since 2006)
- 1 Overview
- 2 Schedule
- 3 Participants
- 4 Papers
- 4.1 Bruk A. Asale (University of KwaZulu Natal): “Rediscovering the Effect of a Lost and Found Book: 1 Enoch’s Influence and Legacy in the Ethiopian Christian Thought.”
- 4.2 Bronson Brown-De Vost (Brandeis University): “4QEnc (4Q204) Column I: A New Reconstruction.”
- 4.3 Serge Cazelais (Université Laval): « Angéologie et visions dans l’Évangile de Judas, arrière plan scripturaire et rôle polémique. »
- 4.4 Francis Daoust (Université de Montréal): “ בליעל in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Belial or Scoundrel? A Structural Analysis.”
- 4.5 Jason Ford (Rice University): “The Only Prophet Left: Prophecy in 4 Ezra.”
- 4.6 Deb Forger (University of Michigan): “The Jewish High Priest: Mediator of the Divine.”
- 4.7 Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez (Brite Divinity School/Texas Christian University): “Bulls and Cows in the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch.”
- 4.8 Filipe de Oliveira Guimarães (Methodist University of São Paulo): “In Heaven, on Earth and under the Earth: Beliefs about Places after Death in Early Christianity.”
- 4.9 Andrew W. Higginbotham (Hebrew Union College): “Redemption from the Ashes: Repositioning the Temple in Early Christian and Rabbinic Thought.”
- 4.10 Bernie Hodkin (Jewish Theological Seminary): “Imperial Ideology, Repressed Rabbis, and Resistance to Rome in Ancient Jewish Literature.”
- 4.11 G. Anthony Keddie (University of Texas at Austin): “Sovereignty and the State of Exception in 3 Maccabees and Late-Ptolemaic Asylia Decrees.”
- 4.12 Brett Maiden (Emory University): “Mending the Fractures of Genesis: Strategies of Harmonization in the Book of Jubilees.”
- 4.13 Gavin McDowell (École Pratique des Hautes Études): “Et in Aqedah ego: Satan at the Sacrifices of Isaac and Jesus.”
- 4.14 Matthew P. Monger (MF Norwegian School of Theology): “The Transmission of Jubilees: Reevaluating the Textual Basis.”
- 4.15 Antoine Paris (Université de Montréal/Paris IV-Sorbonne) : « Le premier discours ‘en paraboles’ de Marc et l’Apocryphe de Jacques. »
- 4.16 Raul Vitor Rodrigues Peixoto (University of Brasilia): “Confined by Mountains of Metal: The Translation Problem in 1 Enoch 67.4.”
- 4.17 Ross P. Ponder, (University of Texas at Austin): “Hellish Rhetoric: The Pedagogical Function of the Underworld in 4Q184.”
- 4.18 Patrick Pouchelle (Université de Strasbourg) : « Flatteurs, médisants et autres hypocrites: Étude sur l’apparition de nouveaux types de pécheurs dans les écrits du judaïsme hellénistique. »
- 4.19 Kyle Roark, (Florida State University): “Iron Age Heroes and Enochic Giants.”
- 4.20 Joshua Scott (Duke Divinity School): “Enoch’s Enthronement as Social Control.”
- 4.21 Malka Z. Simkovich (Brandeis University): “Interpretations of Abraham’s Circumcision in Early Christianity and Genesis Rabbah”
- 4.22 Apolline Thromas (Université de Lausanne) : « L’évolution de la figure de Nimrod aux premiers siècles de notre ère. »
- 4.23 Jackie Wyse-Rhodes (Emory University): “The Natural World as Heavenly Mystery in Jewish Apocalyptic Literature."
- 5 Proceedings
- 6 External Links
Date: May 20-23, 2014
Place: Concordia University and McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Secretary: Isaac W. Oliver (Bradley University)
The Fifth Enoch Graduate Seminar, chaired by Lorenzo DiTommaso and Gerbern S. Oegema, will be hosted by Concordia University and McGill University in Montreal, Canada, from May 20 to 23, 2014. The two universities are located in the downtown core of the city, about eight blocks from each other under the famous Mount Royal. Ph.D. students and post-doctoral researchers working in all fields of Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins are invited to participate and present papers. Papers proposals in English or French (500-1000 words) from all fields of Second Temple Judaism (Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, Christian Origins, Jewish-Hellenistic literature, etc.) should be submitted to the Seminar secretary, Dr. Isaac W. Oliver, by December 15, 2013. Completed papers of 6000-10000 words should be submitted by the end of March 2014, to be distributed in advance among the invited Seminar participants. A number of new features will make the Fifth Enoch Graduate Seminar a unique experience. First, the meeting is bilingual, and we expect to have one session of papers composed in French (translators will be on site for the discussions if needed). Second, several invited speakers including Gabriele Boccaccini, James H. Charlesworth, André Gagné, Pierluigi Piovanelli, and Loren Stuckenbruck will deliver plenary lectures on topics of special interest. Third, revised versions of the best papers will be collected and published in the T&T Clark series "Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts." Finally, a portion of the travel and lodging expenses for Seminar participants will be covered. For further information and application, please contact Dr. Oliver (firstname.lastname@example.org).
La cinquième session du Enoch Graduate Seminar, présidée par Lorenzo DiTommaso et Gerbern S. Oegema, aura lieu aux universités Concordia et McGill de Montréal du 20 au 23 mai 2014. Les deux universités se trouvent au centre-ville, proche l’une de l’autre au pied du célèbre Mont Royal. Les doctorants et chercheurs postdoctoraux qui travaillent sur les champs du judaïsme du Second Temple et des origines chrétiennes (littérature apocryphe et pseudépigraphe, manuscrits de la Mer Morte, littérature du christianisme ancien, littérature judéo-hellénistique, etc.) sont invités à participer en présentant un travail de recherche. Les résumés des contributions (500-1000 mots) doivent être soumis au secrétaire Isaac W. Oliver le 15 décembre 2013 au plus tard. Les travaux complets seront distribués aux participants avant la conférence, à la fin du mois de mars 2014. Cette cinquième session du Enoch Graduate Seminar comportera différents aspects inédits. Tout d’abord, le colloque sera bilingue et inclura une session de présentations de travaux en français (des traducteurs seront disponibles sur place si nécessaire). Deuxièmement, plusieurs chercheurs invités, entre autres, Gabriele Boccaccini, James H. Charlesworth, André Gagné, Pierluigi Piovanelli et Loren Stuckenbruck donneront des conférences sur divers thèmes pertinents. Troisièmement, les meilleurs projets de la conférence seront rassemblés et publiés dans la série "Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts" de T&T Clark. Finalement, une part des dépenses liées au voyage et au logement des participants sera prise en charge par la conférence. Pour plus d’information, contactez Isaac W. Oliver (email@example.com).
TUESDAY 20 MAY 2014
(McGill University – William and Henry Birks Building, 3520 rue University)
08:00 -- Students can meet with Stéphanie Machabée (Enoch Seminar Assistant) at New Residence Hall (3625 avenue du Parc) and walk over to the Birks Building (McGill University)
08:00-09:30 -- Registration + Breakfast (Lobby + Senior Common Room)
09:30-10:00 -- Welcome + Introductions (Room 111): DiTommaso and Oegema
10:00-11:00 -- SESSION 1 (Room 111 – Oegema moderating)
- 10:00-10:30 Francis Daoust (Université de Montréal): “בליעל in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Belial or Scoundrel? A Structural Analysis.”
- 10:30-11:00 Patrick Pouchelle (Université de Strasbourg): « Flatteurs, médisants et autres hypocrites: Étude sur l’apparition de nouveaux types de pécheurs dans les écrits du judaïsme hellénistique. »
11:00-11:30 -- Coffee Break (Senior Common Room)
11:30-13:00 -- SESSION 2 (Room Room 111 – Oegema moderating)
- 11:30-12:00 Kyle Roark (Florida State University): “Iron Age Heroes and Enochic Giants.”
- 12:00-12:30 Pierre Cardinal (Université Laval): « L’Apocalypse des animaux aux sources de la 1ère révolte juive. »
- 12:30-13:00 Bronson Brown-De Vost (Brandeis University): “4QEnc (4Q204) Column I: A New Reconstruction.”
13:00-14:00 -- Lunch (Senior Common Room)
14:00-15:00 SESSION 3 (Room 111 – DiTommaso moderating)
- 14:00-14:30 Brett Maiden (Emory University): “Mending the Fractures of Genesis: Strategies of Harmonization in the Book of
- 14:30-15:00 Matthew P. Monger (MF Norwegian School of Theology): “The Transmission of Jubilees: Reevaluating the Textual Basis.”
15:00-15:30 -- Coffee Break (Senior Common Room)
15:30-16:30 -- SESSION 4 (Room 111 – DiTommaso moderating)
- 15:30-16:00 Gavin McDowell (École Pratique des Hautes Études): “Et in Aqedah ego: Satan at the Sacrifices of Isaac and Jesus.”
- 16:00-16:30 Bernie Hodkin (Jewish Theological Seminary): “Imperial Ideology, Repressed Rabbis, and Resistance to Rome in Ancient
18:00-19:00 -- Dinner/Reception (Senior Common Room)
19:00-20:00 LECTURE I / KEYNOTE (Chapel)
- James H. Charlesworth (Princeton Theological Seminary): “The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha - Thirty Years Later”
WEDNESDAY 21 MAY 2014
(Concordia University – John Molson Building, 1450 rue Guy)
08:00 -- Students can meet with Stéphanie Machabée (Enoch Seminar Assistant) at New Residence Hall (3625 avenue du Parc) and walk over to the John Molson Building (Concordia University)
08:30-09:30 -- Breakfast + Late Registration (Floating Room JM 2.130)
09:30-11:00 -- SESSION 5 (Room JM 14.250 – Oegema moderating)
- 09:30-10:00 Malka Z. Simkovich (Brandeis University): “Interpretations of Abraham’s Circumcision in Early Christianity and Genesis
- 10:00-10:30 Apolline Thromas (Université de Lausanne): « L’évolution de la figure de Nimrod aux premiers siècles de notre ère. »
- 10:30-11:00 Andrew W. Higginbotham (Hebrew Union College): “Redemption from the Ashes: Repositioning the Temple in Early Christian and
11:00-11:30 -- Coffee Break (Room 14.250)
11:30-12:30 -- LECTURE II (Room 14.250)
- Pierluigi Piovanelli (University of Ottawa/Université d’Ottawa): “Jewish or Christian? Early or Late? The Challenge of Dealing with Christian Apocryphal Literature Today.”
12:30-14:00 -- Lunch (Floating Room 2.130) + Détente
14:00-15:00 -- SESSION 6 (Room 14.250 – DiTommaso moderating)
- 14:00-14:30 Ross P. Ponder (University of Texas at Austin): “Hellish Rhetoric: The Pedagogical Function of the Underworld in 4Q184.”
- 14:30-15:00 Filipe de Oliveira Guimarães (Methodist University of São Paulo): “In Heaven, on Earth and under the Earth: Beliefs about Places after Death in Early Christianity.”
15:00-15:30 -- Coffee Break (Room 14.250)
15:30-16:30 -- SESSION 7 (Room 14.250 – DiTommaso moderating)
- 15:30-16:00 Deb Forger (University of Michigan): “The Jewish High Priest: Mediator of the Divine.”
- 16:00-16:30 Nathalie LaCoste (University of Toronto): “The Quest for Origins: Jewish Perspectives on the Source of the Nile in the
Exodus Narratives of Egypt.”
16:30-17:30 -- LECTURE III (Room 14.250)
- Loren T. Stuckenbruck (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): “Tributaries to the New Text-Critical Edition of 1 Enoch.”
18:00-20:30 -- Restaurant Dinner, Pino (1471 Crescent Street)
THURSDAY 22 MAY 2014
(McGill University – William and Henry Birks Building, 3520 rue University)
08:00-09:00 -- Breakfast (Senior Common Room)
09:00-10:30 -- SESSION 8 (Room 111 – Oegema moderating)
- 09:00-09:30 G. Anthony Keddie (University of Texas at Austin): “Sovereignty and the State of Exception in 3 Maccabees and Late-Ptolemaic Asylia Decrees.”
- 09:30-10:00 James Nati (Yale University): “Compositional Technique in the Temple Scroll: Creative Interpretation and
Integrative Interpretation in the Passover Legislation.”
- 10:00-10:30 Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez (Brite Divinity School/Texas Christian University): “Bulls and Cows in the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch.”
10:30-11:30 -- Coffee Break (Senior Common Room)
11:30-12:30 -- LECTURE IV (Chapel)
- Albert I. Baumgarten (Bar Ilan University) and James H. Charlesworth (Princeton Theological Seminary): “Academic Life after the Ph.D.”
12:30-13:30 -- Lunch (Senior Common Room)
13:30-14:30 -- SESSION 9 (Room 111 – DiTommaso moderating)
- 13:30-14:00 Joshua Scott (Duke Divinity School): “Enoch’s Enthronement as Social Control.”
- 14:00-14:30 Raul Vitor Rodrigues Peixoto (University of Brasilia): “Confined by Mountains of Metal: The Translation Problem in 1 Enoch 67.4.”
14:30-15:00 -- Coffee Break (Senior Common Room)
15:00-16:00 -- SESSION 10 (Room 111 – DiTommaso moderating)
- 15:00-15:30 Jackie Wyse-Rhodes (Emory University): “The Natural World as Heavenly Mystery in Jewish Apocalyptic Literature."
- 15:30-16:00 Jason Ford (Rice University): “The Only Prophet Left: Prophecy in 4 Ezra.”
16:00-17:00 -- LECTURE V (Chapel)
- Gabriele Boccaccini (University of Michigan and Founder of the Enoch Seminar): “Five Centuries of Enochic Studies, from Florence 1486 to Montreal 2014.”
18:00-22:00 -- Cocktails and Seminar Dinner: McGill Faculty Club (3450 rue McTavish)
FRIDAY 23 MAY 2014
(McGill University – William and Henry Birks Building, 3520 rue University)
08:00-09:00 -- Breakfast (Senior Common Room)
09:00-10:00 LECTURE VI (Chapel)
- André Gagné (Concordia University/ Université Concordia): “What is Gnosticism? Reassessing the Nomenclature.”
10:00-10:30 -- Coffee Break (Senior Common Room)
10:30-12:00 -- SESSION 11 (Room 111 – Oegema moderating)
- 10:30-11:00 Antoine Paris, (Université de Montréal/Paris IV-Sorbonne): « Le premier discours ‘en paraboles’ de Marc et l’Apocryphe de Jacques. »
- 11:00-11:30 Bruk A. Asale (University of KwaZulu Natal): “Rediscovering the Effect of a Lost and Found Book: 1 Enoch’s Influence and Legacy in the Ethiopian Christian Thought.”
- 11:30-12:00 Serge Cazelais (Université Laval): « Angéologie et visions dans l’Évangile de Judas, arrière plan scripturaire et
rôle polémique. »
12:00-12:30 -- Closing Remarks (Oegema + DiTommaso)
12:30-13:30 -- Optional Lunch (Senior Common Room)
- Bruk A. Asale, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
- Bronson Brown-De Vost, Brandeis University, USA
- Pierre Cardinal , Université Laval, Canada
- Serge Cazelais, Université Laval, Canada
- Francis Daoust, Université de Montréal, Canada
- Jason Ford, Rice University, USA
- Deborah Forger, University of Michigan, USA
- Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez, Brite Divinity School/Texas Christian University, USA
- Filipe de Oliveira Guimarães, Methodist University of São Paulo, Brazil
- Andrew W. Higginbotham, Hebrew Union College, USA
- Bernie Hodkin, Jewish Theological Seminary, USA
- G. Anthony Keddie, University of Texas at Austin, USA
- Nathalie LaCoste, University of Toronto, Canada
- Brett Maiden, Emory Universit, USA
- Gavin McDowell , Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne
- Matthew P. Monger, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Norway
- James Nati, Yale University, USA
- Antoine Paris , Université de Montréal/Paris IV-Sorbonne, Canada/France
- Raul Vitor Rodrigues Peixoto, University of Brasilia, Brazil
- Ross P. Ponder, University of Texas at Austin, USA
- Patrick Pouchelle, Université de Strasbourg, France
- Kyle Roark, Florida State University, USA
- Joshua Scott, Duke Divinity School, USA
- Malka Z. Simkovich, Brandeis University, USA
- Apolline Thromas, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
- Jackie Wyse-Rhodes, Emory University, USA
Bruk A. Asale (University of KwaZulu Natal): “Rediscovering the Effect of a Lost and Found Book: 1 Enoch’s Influence and Legacy in the Ethiopian Christian Thought.”
1 Enoch has disappeared centuries ago both from the Jewish and Christian world, where it originally emerged, developed, widely spread, and once gained authoritative status. Unlike the original milieu from where it arose and faded away, it gained canonical authority and survives in its entirety in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewhahedo Church (EOTC) to date. Besides the Aramaic and the Greek fragments with some portions, it is this text which survived in Ethiopia in Ge’ez which became the text of 1 Enoch. As it survived only in Ethiopia in its entirety and gained prominence in the life and traditions of the EOTC, one would expect a certain influence and legacy of this book on the church which retains it as part of its authoritative scripture. Even if the book has widely attracted scholarly attention in the last hundred years, more specifically since the landmark discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, its legacy and influence on the community credited for its survival by retaining it for such a long period of time with its original authority and usage has largely been ignored from the discussion.
On the other hand, very few scholars uplifted the influence of the book in a very bold and loud voice, as a book that shaped not only the religious aspect of the EOTC, but also a book which shaped almost all aspects of the Ethiopian worldview, which is widely tied up with the religious one. Such a prominent and bold voice comes from scholars like Ephraim Isaac, who claims “it is hardly possible to understand any aspect of the religious tradition and thought of Ethiopia, the country in which it survived, without an understanding of it [i.e. 1 Enoch].” He further argues, “What distinguishes Ethiopian Christian theology from that of either the Western or Eastern Christendom may well be the Ethiopian emphases on Enochic thought.”
Therefore, the central question of this paper is which are the various legacies and influences of 1 Enoch in Ethiopia, in a country where it survived in its entirety. Even if the influence of 1 Encoh in Ethiopia is diverse, which will be briefly introduced, the focus of the paper is limited to the evidence of ancient manuscripts on 1 Enoch’s prominence in the transmission history of Scriptures in Ethiopia. Related to that prominence is its usage by other literary works. Thus, a discussion on evidence from ancient Ge’ez manuscripts of 1 Enoch and its later usage by other major literary works in Ethiopia constitutes the first part of the paper. In its second part, the paper will critique on Ephraim Isaac’s bold proposition on the influence of 1 Enoch on the Ethiopian Christian worldview. This would help us to highlight the main areas of 1 Enoch’s influence in Ethiopia and recommend for further study.
Bronson Brown-De Vost (Brandeis University): “4QEnc (4Q204) Column I: A New Reconstruction.”
The Enoch traditions recovered at Qumran have received a masterful treatment in J.T. Milik, The Books of Enoch, 1976. Nevertheless, M. Langlois has demonstrated in his published dissertation on 4QEna (4Q201), Le Premier manuscrit du Livre d'Hénoch, 2008, that the Qumran evidence merits closer scrutiny and that Milik’s readings can be improved upon in some places. A careful analysis of the physical layout of column I of manuscript 4QEnc (4Q204), along with a comparison of the other witnesses to the Book of Enoch, allows for a number of improvements to Milik’s reconstruction of that text. Pierre Cardinal (Université Laval): « L’Apocalypse des animaux aux sources de la 1ère révolte juive. »
The Animal Apocalypse is a review of history that starts from the primeval times and extends to the end of the world. The section that proceeds the eschatological times is considered as being a report of the Maccabean Revolt (1 En 90:6-19). This identification is not without problems and has generated many theories in order to explain the discrepancies between the allegory and the historical events. Those specific verses stand at the end of a four period time scheme represented by seventy shepherds. The chronology that leads to the period of the Maccabean Revolt is achieved by applying to each shepherd a seven year reign. That involves unexpected time durations for what should correspond to the Babylonian, Persian and Greek dominations over the region. Everything unfolds correctly, however, if a twelve year reign is assumed for each shepherd. This new chronology leads up to the troubled times that proceed Jerusalem’s fall. That means this section of the Animal Apocalypse would have not yet existed before the Common Era, and, as a matter a fact, no Aramaic fragment related to this part of the text has been found.
Serge Cazelais (Université Laval): « Angéologie et visions dans l’Évangile de Judas, arrière plan scripturaire et rôle polémique. »
The Gospel of Judas shows many echoes of and allusions to Jewish and Christian Scriptures. These scriptural features are neither randomly inserted nor intended for embellishment in the Gospel of Judas. They play a major role in the hermeneutics of the work. Recognizing them helps to master the hermeneutical key of this Coptic Gospel and to lift its veil. In this sense, the Gospel of Judas is a true esoteric work that shows many characteristics of a Christian midrash.
This paper seeks to explore in-depth some of the features of the Jewish and Christian mysticism, including angelology and visions that are present in the Gospel of Judas. More specifically, it is the many links that the Gospel of Judas has with the book of Ezekiel that will be explored and featured. Included among these are: the large luminous cloud; the vision of a great limitless aeon that angels could not measure; the coming into existence of four angels; the spacious and immeasurable house.
Francis Daoust (Université de Montréal): “ בליעל in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Belial or Scoundrel? A Structural Analysis.”
The word בליעל is used 27 times in the Hebrew Bible. Compounds such as בני בליעל (e.g. Dt 13:14; Jg 19:22; 1S 2:12) are usually translated by “worthless men” (NAS), “corrupt men” (NKJ), “wicked men” (NIB), “scoundrels” (NRSV), etc. When the word is isolated, such as is the case in Nah 2:1, it is rendered by “the worthless” (ESV), “the wicked” (KJV, NIB, NRSV), “the wicked one” (NAS) and so on. But in the Dead Sea Scrolls, where it is considered a key word in determining if a scroll is of a sectarian nature or not, and where it is used an impressive 118 times, the word בליעל is almost always translated by the proper name Belial.
This paper takes note of this important shift in translation and aims at understanding why the Hebrew word בליעל is usually translated by an adjective or a common noun in Hebrew Bible translations, but almost always rendered by a proper name in Dead Sea Scrolls translations. To do so, it uses a structural approach in order to uncover the underlying shape, design and pattern of Dead Sea scrolls concerned with בליעל and better define the nature, role and semantic field in which appear this major Dead Sea Scrolls figure.
This paper will focus on three texts that are witness to different semantic stages of the use of the word בליעל : the Halakhic Letter (4Q394-399), where בליעל designates the ethical abstract concept of evil and worthlessness, Florilegium (4Q174) where בליעל is a bothersome enemy of the eschatological age, and the introduction of the War Scroll (1QM) where בליעל is a powerful figure leading the battle against the sons of light.
Jason Ford (Rice University): “The Only Prophet Left: Prophecy in 4 Ezra.”
The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of prophecy in 4 Ezra.
Ezra, the hero of this text, is claimed to be the only prophet left among the Israelites and therefore the text offers a special revelation from God through the prophet (12.42; 14.22). There are several influences on Ezra from the biblical tradition but none more important than Moses. Ezra speaks to the author’s present audience, and their post-temple situation, like Moses spoke to the Israelites following the Egyptian exodus. Ezra takes the definitive role, the only prophet left, and sets up the text of 4 Ezra as the authoritative word to the Jewish audience par excellence. I argue that this harkening back to Mosaic authority bears witness to a dynamic shift in prophetic understanding following the destruction of the second temple. In particular, I analyze 4 Ezra’s indebtedness to Ezekiel and argue that 4 Ezra does not point back to Mosaic law and the cultic system, as does Ezekiel, but instead gives prophetic authority to the prominent role of hermeneutics as the new source of relationship with God (14.47). This paper provides analysis of 4 Ezra’s use of prophetic materials as well as demonstrates how 4 Ezra bears witness to a shift in Jewish understanding of prophecy following the destruction of the second temple.
Deb Forger (University of Michigan): “The Jewish High Priest: Mediator of the Divine.”
Scholars have long emphasized a crucial difference between Jews and other religious ethnicities scattered across the ancient Mediterranean world. While the monotheistic stance of Jews compelled them to worship the one God of Israel alone, the polytheistic outlook of others allowed them to worship the Roman emperor as though he were divine. In this paper, I investigate a constellation of texts from the Second Temple Period that present the Jewish high priest as ‘quasi-divine.’ Tracing evidence from the 4th century BCE pagan writer Hecataus of Abdera all the way to Philo of Alexandria, I argue that as the high priest’s jurisdiction expanded beyond traditional cultic roles to include civic governance, many Jews—like their pagan counterparts with respect to the emperor—began to view and worship the Jewish high priest in an elevated manner, at times even depicting or venerating him as though he were God.
Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez (Brite Divinity School/Texas Christian University): “Bulls and Cows in the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch.”
This project offers a nuanced interpretation of the figures of bulls and cows in the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch. My research relies on anthropological, archeological, and intertextual material and constructs religio-cultural images of bulls and cows in antiquity. Consequently, I argue that the patriarchs of the AA are presented as men of outstanding strength, wealth, virility, fertility, and immense power which is controlled and directed by their Master YHWH. On the contrary, the women in AA appear to be weak, vulnerable, physically attractive, and possibly rebellious. Therefore, my gender reading of this narrative concludes that the AA elevates hegemonic masculinity to the very top of human existence as it predicts complete elimination of the feminine gender at the eschaton when all the animals become bulls. Such vision, even for a text constructed in the patriarchal society, is quite extreme.
Filipe de Oliveira Guimarães (Methodist University of São Paulo): “In Heaven, on Earth and under the Earth: Beliefs about Places after Death in Early Christianity.”
This research examines, through an exegetical study, the belief in the afterlife in early Christianity. Christians believed that God had prepared places for God’s creatures, whether human or other. In order to acquire a more precise sense of these locations, this paper not only explores the meanings of key terms such as "Hell" and "Heaven" in their Greek forms, but also approaches the book of I Enoch to shed further light in this area. This research, which is exploratory and bibliographic, concludes that the early Christians believed that there were five places besides the earthly dimension: three that coexist with the present reality and are temporary, and two eschatological destinations.
Andrew W. Higginbotham (Hebrew Union College): “Redemption from the Ashes: Repositioning the Temple in Early Christian and Rabbinic Thought.”
The Second Temple constituted the center of Jewish life in the Hasmonean and Roman periods, but the various aspects of Jewish culture were not equally connected to the Temple site in terms of power. With the Temple as an unavoidable anchor during the years of occupation, the proto-rabbinic Pharisees and the early Christians needed to distinguish themselves from the religious aristocracy while still paying token honor to the cultic site. This paper focuses on one aspect of cultic thought, namely the Yom Kippur and Red Heifer rites, which both communities re-deployed for their followers. Selections from the Epistle to the Hebrews, Sifra, and Sifre Bamidbar are used as the source texts for this study. Both the tannaim and the author of Hebrews shift the rites away from a Jerusalem-centered activity to the realm of spiritual fulfillment. This paper would argue that such a conceptual shift is a response to both the exclusion of the two communities and to the destruction of the cultic center itself.
Bernie Hodkin (Jewish Theological Seminary): “Imperial Ideology, Repressed Rabbis, and Resistance to Rome in Ancient Jewish Literature.”
In recent years, scholars such as Seth Schwartz and Hayim Lapin have attempted to situate Palestinian rabbinic literature in its Roman provincial context. This study examines Mishnah Sotah 9:15, an apocalyptic vision of the End of Times, in both its literary and socio-political contexts. Much like its predecessors responding to the destruction of the Second Temple, such as 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch, this passage embodies an “Eschatology of Despair,” in which the primary message is to wait passively for God to bring about the Messiah. However, this narrative also constitutes a reaction to Roman domination and imperial ideology. Through examining these aspects of this rabbinic portrayal of the Eschaton, we can better understand how the rabbis understood themselves and their own place in their Roman provincial context. It also serves as a case study of the effectiveness of certain models of acculturation that have been proposed for studying provincial populations under Roman rule, such as Romanization and Creolization, as well as for theories of resistance literature.
G. Anthony Keddie (University of Texas at Austin): “Sovereignty and the State of Exception in 3 Maccabees and Late-Ptolemaic Asylia Decrees.”
While scholars who interpret 3 Maccabees according to events in the reigns of Augustus or Caligula generally attempt to understand the narrative’s antagonisms in particular historical contexts, the growing majority of scholars who affirm a late Ptolemaic date tend to situate the text in its Hellenistic cultural context, but neglect its historical, social, and political aspects. In this paper, I attempt to rectify this oversight by interpreting 3 Maccabees as a product of the late Ptolemaic (100-30 BCE) Egyptian Fayum (Arsinoite nome). To do so, I illuminate the narrative’s antagonistic historical subtext through a comparison of the constructions of royal sovereignty in the text and in Ptolemaic asylia (inviolability) decrees and petitions from the precincts of temples and proseuchai, which proliferated in the Fayum in this period. My comparison demonstrates that the text’s distinct portrayal of royal sovereignty over sacred places operates on the same logic as the late Ptolemaic asylia inscriptions. To aid in my analysis of the views of sovereignty in these texts, I draw on the critical theory of Giorgio Agamben, and in particular, his conceptualization of sovereignty as the power to proclaim the state of exception—that is, the biopolitical power to suspend laws and increase power structures in a potential time of crisis. I argue that 3 Maccabees expresses, in literary form, Judaean anxieties about the inception of a state of exception, and that these anxieties would have been provoked by expressions of sovereignty such as the regular granting of asylia and related symptoms of the Ptolemaic redistribution of power in the early- to mid-first century BCE. Nathalie LaCoste (University of Toronto): “The Quest for Origins: Jewish Perspectives on the Source of the Nile in the Exodus Narratives of Egypt.” Different theories on the cause of the Nile flood circulated in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. The Egyptians believed that the flood came from underground springs and issued forth from the primordial Nun. The Greeks, on the other hand, developed theories involving the Etesian winds, melting snow, and the sun. While the Egyptians were more concerned with who brought the flood rather than how it came to them, the Greeks (and later the Romans) were obsessed with locating the precise origins of the flood.
While scholars have studied extensively the Egyptian and Greek perspectives of the source of the flood, the views of the Jewish inhabitants of Egypt have received little attention. This paper intends to open up the discussion through an investigation into the various Jewish references to the origins of the Nile flood in three Jewish texts composed in Egypt: Artapanus’ On the Jews, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Philo of Alexandria’s Life of Moses. I will demonstrate how these writings each engaged with contemporary discussions about the Nile flood as a significant part of life in Egypt. I argue that these Jewish writers combined contemporary Egyptian and Greek perspectives on the Nile with their own traditional understandings and beliefs, ultimately creating a distinct perspective of their own concerning the origins of the Nile’s inundation.
Brett Maiden (Emory University): “Mending the Fractures of Genesis: Strategies of Harmonization in the Book of Jubilees.”
This study explores the hermeneutical strategies and compositional techniques used in book of Jubilees to harmonize narrative discrepancies in Genesis. Although scholars have recognized that the rewriting in Jubilees is motivated by a multifaceted tendenz, one area that has received little critical attention is the book’s systematic attempt to harmonize contradictions in its base text. The starting point for analysis is the conventional observation that the canonical form of the Pentateuch displays a host of textual difficulties owing to its composite nature. These “fractures” render the narrative confusing at best and unreadable at worst. This study illuminates the strategies by which Jubilees addressed these fractures. To provide an exegetical context for the harmonizing activity in Jubilees, the first section of the paper surveys the phenomenon of textual harmonization in the Samaritan Pentateuch and the so-called pre-Samaritan works among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The subsequent section comprises two detailed case studies from Jubilees concerning the rewritten creation and flood accounts, both of which evince sophisticated hermeneutical strategies aimed at minimizing or eliminating narrative discrepancies. Based on observations from these passages, the paper argues that such textual harmonization serves a distinctly theological goal, namely to render the text of Genesis more internally coherent and consistent. The paper concludes by considering potential implications of these findings for contemporary pentateuchal research.
Gavin McDowell (École Pratique des Hautes Études): “Et in Aqedah ego: Satan at the Sacrifices of Isaac and Jesus.”
The Aqedah—the sacrifice of Isaac—plays an important role in both Judaism and Christianity, and the Crucifixion of Jesus, its typological counterpart, has provided a meeting point between Jews and Christians since the Second Temple period. The comparison of the interpretation of the two events often elicits surprising parallels. While past studies noted parallel developments regarding the efficacy of the beloved son’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, one aspect of these stories that remains unexamined is the role of Satan. The present study examines the developing role of the devil in the two narratives, from Second Temple texts such as the book of Jubilees and the canonical Gospels to later works such as the Gospel of Nicodemus and the Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer. A close reading of the different texts does indeed reveal a parallel development: while earlier texts portray Satan as instigating the deaths of the biblical heroes, later texts have Satan trying to prevent the sacrifices. The parallel development could provide another example of mutual influence, demonstrating the ongoing exchange between Jews and Christians long after the formative years of the Second Temple period.
Matthew P. Monger (MF Norwegian School of Theology): “The Transmission of Jubilees: Reevaluating the Textual Basis.”
This paper discusses the state of some of the so-called textual witnesses to Jubilees. The discussion here is based on a New Philological approach that takes seriously the materiality of the individual manuscript and views the text not as a means to recover an original text, as in traditional philology, but as an artifact reflecting a specific time and situation. Within this framework, this paper discusses the nature of what have traditionally been called the Hebrew, Greek and Syriac witnesses to Jubilees. The main discussion is exemplified by a fresh analyses of 4Q216 (4QJubileesa) and a Syriac manuscript, British Library Add 12.154. Based on a material analysis of these texts, it is argued that a more nuanced view of the transmission of Jubilees is necessary. James Nati (Yale University): “Compositional Technique in the Temple Scroll: Creative Interpretation and Integrative Interpretation in the Passover Legislation.”
Using Vered Noam's models of “creative” and “integrative” interpretation, this essay looks to analyze the Passover legislation of the Temple Scroll in order to understand its compositional technique. Throughout the word-by-word analysis of 11QT 17:6-9, attention is given to the language and content of the biblical accounts of Passover, as well as to details found in the Passover legislations of two other non-biblical books/collections containing legal material: Jubilees and the Mishnah. This essay attempts to understand which model of interpretation best fits the evidence of the Temple Scroll by comparing its legal formulations with the Bible on the one hand and with Jubilees and the Mishnah on the other, using the latter two texts as a kind of control group that attests to various legal traditions circulating around the time of the Temple Scroll's composition. It is shown that the often-assumed notion that the Temple Scroll always derives its legal formulations from (a) biblical base text(s) is inaccurate, and the implications of this finding are explored.
Antoine Paris (Université de Montréal/Paris IV-Sorbonne) : « Le premier discours ‘en paraboles’ de Marc et l’Apocryphe de Jacques. »
Against the idea that the Apocryphon of James is a composite text without any literary unity, we suppose that it is strongly organized according to a chiasm-structure whose center is the section devoted to the parables (6, 21-8, 27). That’s the reason why it seems relevant to study these parabolic stories without isolating them from their context. A strong and meaningful connection between this central section and the other parts of the Apocryphon is as far as we are concerned the spatiality, more precisely the opposition between inside and outside. This pattern is also present in another work dealing with Jesus’parables, the Gospel according to Mark, more precisely in its third chapter, which makes such an approach more relevant.
Indeed the expression that the author(s) of this gospel mostly use(s), “en parabolais” (literally “inside parables”) has itself a spatial meaning and so has the word “parabolè” (literally “throwing near”). Thus we can connect this expression with other words used in Mark 3, involving the same spatial pattern. In this way, the “in parables” language appears as an authoritative way to speak and as the counterpart of the exorcizing activity of Jesus (ek-ballein) It provides the base for a new family, seen as opposite to Jesus’ official family (oi par’autou) and is seen as a place, as a house where this family goes in. In the Apocryphon of James even if the motives of inside and outside, and of house and family are present, the problem appears more as an opposition between closeness and remoteness and, beyond, between presence and absence. The section about parables, introduced by the evocation of John’s beheading, addresses the challenge of transmission, beyond the end of prophecy and Jesus’ imminent departure. The word’s proclamation is above all presented as the begetting of sons, who will then live proclaiming the word themselves.
Contrary to what is the case in the Great Church, such a conception leads to a depreciation of eye- and ear-witnessing and to a promotion of writing against speaking. Thus we can understand both the epistolary fiction of the Apocryphon and the short narrative, preceding the revelatory dialogue, showing the disciples “putting in books” what Jesus said to each of them but perhaps also, in a masterful mise en abyme, James writing its own Apocryphon. The writing as it is shown here doesn’t give any message: it consumes and dies so that the readers will live.
Raul Vitor Rodrigues Peixoto (University of Brasilia): “Confined by Mountains of Metal: The Translation Problem in 1 Enoch 67.4.”
This paper aims for a more accurate translation of some passages in 1 Enoch, namely, 65:7-9 and 67:4-7. These verses may be much older than previously thought and of mixed origin, revealing some connection between Jewish and Iranian apocalyptical topoi including the metallic mountains that will melt as an instrument of divine judgment and the sequence of metals that point to the degeneration of eras and the inevitable end.
Ross P. Ponder, (University of Texas at Austin): “Hellish Rhetoric: The Pedagogical Function of the Underworld in 4Q184.”
4Q184 (4QWiles of the Wicked Woman) is a fragmented, sapiential text composed in Hebrew describing the underworld and a female figure who resides there. Much scholarship on 4Q184 has focused on establishing generic relationships between the text and Hellenistic and Jewish wisdom traditions. Scholars usually appeal to either the two-ways wisdom traditions of Hellenistic philosophy—i.e., the Prodicus story preserved in Xenophon’s Memorabilia 2. I. 21–34—or the figure of Lady Folly in Prov 1-9. Nevertheless, these appeals have done little to enhance our understanding of the female figure in 4Q184, as the diversity of scholarly interpretations indicates. She could signify: a historical group who were enemies of the covenanters (Rome, a rival Jewish sect, or even Simon Maccabee); sectarian misogyny; a demon, like Lilith; Hebrew wisdom that functions pedagogically to inculcate piety in men; or evil more generally. In contrast to these approaches and their focus on generic parallels, this paper adopts a fresh approach to 4Q184. Rather than appeal only to Hellenistic and Jewish wisdom traditions, this paper demonstrates that 4Q184 operates analogously to certain Greco-Roman rhetorical devices. The ancient rhetorical techniques of ekphrasis and enargeia preserved in the progymnasmata—ekphrasis as an emotional style of writing bringing a scene to life before the eyes of a listener, whereas enargeia is associated with such an image’s vividness—cast new light on what the female figure of 4Q184 signifies. Specifically, this paper argues that the representation of the so-called Wicked Woman refers to a Jewish understanding of the underworld that negatively associates the deviant female figure with behavior that a male audience ought to avoid. The wicked woman of 4Q184, then, functions pedagogically to move an audience emotionally away from deviant practices and to follow the path of righteousness.
Patrick Pouchelle (Université de Strasbourg) : « Flatteurs, médisants et autres hypocrites: Étude sur l’apparition de nouveaux types de pécheurs dans les écrits du judaïsme hellénistique. »
Certains mots désignant les pécheurs dans la Septante (LXX) dénotent une évolution par rapport au Texte Massorétique (TM) ou tout au moins une certaine complexité dans le champ sémantique au vu de leur utilisation dans la LXX. Ainsi, comme en grec classique, βέβηλος désigne d’abord ce qui est profane dans sa simple opposition au sacré. Il traduit régulièrement les mots de la racine חלל et ne semble désigner un pécheur que plus tardivement, probablement en Ez 21,30, mais surtout à partir de 3 Macc 2,2.14 ; 7,15. D’autre part, le mot ὑποκριτής désigne un acteur en grec classique. C’est probablement parce qu’un acteur prétend être quelqu’un qu’il n’est pas, que ce terme en vient à désigner un « hypocrite ». C’est en ce sens qu’il est utilisé par Jésus, par exemple en Mt 6,2. Cependant, ce terme ne se trouve dans la LXX qu’en Job 34,30 et 36,13. Cependant ces passages appartiennent au matériel, probablement tardif, qu’Origène a rajouté au vieux-grec de Job. Le mot ὑποκριτής y correspond à la racine חנף qui signifie comme חלל simplement « profane » en opposition à « sacré ».
Il apparait ainsi que ces termes grecs sont le témoin, dans un contexte judéo-hellénistique, de nuances qui ne trouvent pas forcément leurs racines dans les mots du TM. Ces différences peuvent provenir soit de la culture hellénistique, soit d’une évolution de la langue hébraïque. L’objet de cette contribution est d’étudier ces termes grecs mais aussi leurs équivalents hébreux dans les textes de la période du Second Temple. Cette étude permettra de mettre à jour l’émergence de nouveaux types de pécheurs à l’époque hellénistique et nous tenterons de déterminer à quoi est due cette évolution.
Kyle Roark, (Florida State University): “Iron Age Heroes and Enochic Giants.”
This paper responds to a forthcoming article by Henryck Drawnel, which argues for a Mesopotamian background to the watchers myth by exploring the connections between the demons of the Mesopotamian bilingual series Utukkū Lemnūtu and the giants of the Book of Watchers. While not denying the parallels between both texts, I argue that a Mesopotamian background is ultimately not able to account for several features within the description of the giants in the Book of Watchers, especially God’s command to Gabriel to send the giants “against one another in a war of destruction”. These differences invite a fresh reading of the giants material through comparisons with other ancient mythologies. This paper, then, will seek to give a fuller picture of the author of the Book of Watchers as an interpreter of Genesis who is reading the gaps in the biblical narrative in light of similar myths from the Hellenistic world, especially the destruction of the race of the half-god mortals in the Trojan war of Greek myth.
Joshua Scott (Duke Divinity School): “Enoch’s Enthronement as Social Control.”
The pairing of Enoch and the “Human One” in 1 Enoch 71 creates an interpretive quandary. Recent interpreters have approached the irregularity in terms of 1 Enoch’s textual integrity. Erik Sjöberg suggests that chs. 70-71 concludes Enoch’s last heavenly journey and describes his ascension; ch. 71 then represents an authentic continuation of the narrative that elaborates Enoch’s enthronement (70:1). James Vanderkam posits that ch. 71 summarizes and concludes the biblical career of Enoch, and thus an intentional closure of the book. George W. Nickelsburg and James VanderKam consider ch. 71 an addition that recasts the themes from the book of Watchers. Loren Stuckenbruck proposes that the enthronement of Enoch may be the result of an inner-Enochian dynamic, a logical addition that resonates with the scribe who pronounces judgment against the Watchers (12:3-4; esp. 15:1 and 16:3-4) and appears as an enthroned judge in 90:2.
Few, however, have considered how the motif of election is used within 1 Enoch in relation to Enoch’s enthronement. Using social theory to explore the purpose of 1 En. 71, it is revealed the Human One serves as the Lord of Spirits’ eschatological judge who demarcates the elect community from the non-elect by the One’s wisdom. The pairing of Enoch, as the holy scribe, with the Human One reinforces the authority of the Enochian scribes to legitimize and define the righteous community. In agreement that 1 En. 71 is original or added shortly after the Parables were completed, this paper proposes that the Human One tradition was used as a means of social delineation and control within the Enochian community. The constitutive elements of the narrative lift up Enoch’s authority over and against other authorities of revelation and interpretation. Observing the internal social dynamics through F. Ivan Nye’s Social Deviance theory and literary analysis, this paper considers the salient features of the elect and non-elect community and the role and function of the Elect figure in relation to those communities, and the consequence of pairing Enoch with the Human One in 1 En. 70-71.
Malka Z. Simkovich (Brandeis University): “Interpretations of Abraham’s Circumcision in Early Christianity and Genesis Rabbah”
In the first generations following Jesus’ death, when Christians were grappling with how to define themselves in relation to Jews, the subject of circumcision was at the fore of dialogue and debate. 1st and 2nd century Christians who advocated a full departure from the law were not necessarily committed to rejecting the Hebrew Scriptures as their holy writ; some Christians such as the 2nd century Justin Martyr and 4th century John Chrysostom aimed to preserve a familial and spiritual connection to the patriarchs as pious forefathers of the Christian people while rejecting and separating themselves from Jewish practice of Mosaic law. In doing so, the problem arose that the patriarch Abraham seemed to be inextricably wedded to the law, since his faith culminated in the act of the circumcision of himself and his sons in Genesis 17. Beginning with Paul, Christians were faced with presenting Abraham as the father of the Christians while rejecting the view that he circumcised in obedience to what would become Mosaic law. Christian writers such as Justin, Tertullian, Aphrahat and Chrysostom took Paul’s lead in separating the event of Abraham’s circumcision from the ongoing practice of Israelite circumcision is order to claim Abraham as a proto-Christian forefather and dismiss Israelite circumcision as either an unfortunate misunderstanding of Mosaic law or as an intentional divine ordinance in order to designate a people who are no longer specially elected by God, but specially accused by God. A few centuries after Christians put these arguments to paper, the editors of Genesis Rabbah recorded a series of rabbinic arguments linking the typological significance of Abraham’s circumcision to Israelite circumcision in such a way that one could not accept the typological importance of one without the other. The fact that circumcision was at the foreground of so much exegetical and theological debate suggests the possibility that some Christians, perhaps even Gentile-Christians, were circumcising their sons until as late as the end of the 4th century.
Apolline Thromas (Université de Lausanne) : « L’évolution de la figure de Nimrod aux premiers siècles de notre ère. »
This paper aims to survey the various ways the character of Nimrod was depicted during the first millennium in both Christian and Jewish literature. It appears that the rabbinic literature is best the prism through which to observe the evolution of the Haggada about Nimrod.
The purpose of this work is also to evaluate the contacts between Christian and Jewish traditions, especially in a Sassanid context, in producing a complex hermeneutic about a biblical figure. It is possible to find, in short, a major part of the further motives which will be develop later, in the writings of Jewish authors at the turn the Common Era, namely Philo, Josephus and the Pseudo-Philo. The majority of these traditions were endorsed within the rabbinic literature (and also, in the Christian one), notably in the targumic interpretation of the biblical verse Gen 10:8-12 underlining Nimrod's rebel against god personality.
Concerning the Christian sources, mostly from the east, it is possible to observe a more “positive” depiction of the character of Nimrod, likewise in the TPJ on Gn 10:11. For example, Nimrod being opposed to the project of the tower of Babel, flees to the East in order to build other cities. He received from god the gift of being a great conqueror and, above all in Christian sources, the ability to read the stars, as the Three Wise Men.
To summarise, it is clear that the construction of the character of Nimrod is far more complex than is typically assumed. Beginning from an earlier, negative Haggada from Palestine, this conception gradually spread across Babylonia, enhancing its tradition in the face of new historical circumstances. The socio-cultural context of the Sassanid Empire, and the new challenges it raised, saw both the Christian church from the east and the Babylonian compiler of the Talmud seek to adapt and successfully integrate within the Sassanid Empire.
Jackie Wyse-Rhodes (Emory University): “The Natural World as Heavenly Mystery in Jewish Apocalyptic Literature."
In The Book of the Watchers, the mysterious character of the natural world is implied by its inclusion among the subjects of the Watchers’ illicit instruction – a curriculum not intended for the earthly realm. For example, in 1 Enoch 8, the Watchers teach their human charges the signs of the lightning flashes, stars, shooting stars, earth, sun, and moon. Nature’s mysteries are more explicitly invoked during the first leg of Enoch’s heavenly tour (1 En 17-19), when he visits the source of sunsets and waters, as well as the “treasuries” of the winds. Indeed, Enoch is permitted access to things inaccessible to a biblical figure like Job. In Job 38:22, God asks Job: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail…?” (NRSV). Job’s implied answer is “no”; remarkably, Enoch can say yes to the same question. In light of the significance of nature as mystery, in this essay I will consider the interplay between observation and speculation in apocalyptic literature. Enoch’s visions are records of his observations of the heavenly realm. Enoch, as a character and a literary device, serves to substantiate the astronomical, meteorological, and theological speculation contained in the book as a whole. Through Enoch, that which is not intended for normal human observation is made readily available to all readers. Indeed, the figure of Enoch is commanded to share all he has learned with those who dwell upon the earth._ Knowledge previously inaccessible is made available and authenticated by Enoch the eyewitness, and, therefore, the knowledge he has gained is made licit for human consideration.
Furthermore, nature as a category of mystery raises questions about the natural world’s contribution to an apocalyptic anthropology. Can humankind grasp the mysteries of God? Should they try? What is the place of rigorous scientific observation and speculation in the apocalyptic imagination? By posing such questions, this essay is interested in exploring the diverse worldviews implicit in the apocalyptic struggle to discern between licit and illicit knowledge and the significance of the natural world as the subject of such knowledge.