Thursday, July 24, 2008

Suter, David W. "Weighed in the Balance: The Similitudes of Enoch in Recent Discussion"

David Winston Suter, "Weighed in the Balance: The Similitudes of Enoch in Recent Discussion," Religious Studies Review Vol. 7, No. 3 (July 1981): 217-221.

In this article, as the title implies, takes up SOE (=Similitudes of Enoch) within scholarly dialogue up through 1981 (so admittedly the state of affairs nearly thirty years ago. Suter gave lucidity to the discussion, tracing various trajectories in the conversation from Milik through his own position. Chiefly, in the end he argued that SOE is firmly rooted in the mid to late 1st century CE roughly contemporaneous, but not antecedent to the Jesus movement(s). For Suter, the SOE is too late to be of any influence on the Son of Man tradition in NT gospels. He offered great insight in solidifying the untenable position offered by Milik that the SOE was late 3rd century Christian tradition (270 CE).

This is a helpful but dated article establishing the shape of the discussion toward the twilight of the 20th century pertaining to NT studies and Second Temple Judaism studies.

Several interesting quotes (either for their literary artistry or academic significance):
  1. "In recent scholarly estimation, the Similitudes (or Parables) of Enoch (1 Enoch 37-70) has suffered a fate akin to Bright One, son of Dawn in Isaiah 14, who was cast down to Sheol" (217).
Come on, that is a beautifully crafted sentence for biblical studies.

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