Methods in biblical scholarship (Moshe)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Wed Dec 29 15:18:02 EST 1999

At 10.52 29/12/99 -0500, Moshe Shulman wrote:
>At 06:31 AM 12/29/1999 +0100, you wrote:
>>At 00.16 29/12/99 -0500, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
>>>At 06:11 AM 12/29/99 +0100, Ian Hutchesson wrote:
>>>>At 00.02 29/12/99 -0500, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
>>>>>At 05:53 AM 12/29/99 +0100, Ian Hutchesson wrote:
>>>They don't necessarily imply "such substance," but, even so, the
>>>substance could derive from oral tradition.  After all, literacy
>>>levels were very low.  
>>This has little weight given that texts were usually read aloud anyway --
>>think of the Ezra account of the reading of the law.
>Are you now supporting the view that Ezra is a correct reflection of the
>religious system for the centuries before Qumran? What text do you assume
>they were reading? (BTW this argument is worthless. Oral
>exposition/readings of texts does not exclude the explanation and expansion
>on the ideas of the text. I think a reading of Ezra would support such a

The comment was about how cultic texts were generally used in the ancient
world. Have you seen any indications other than reading aloud for the
dissemination of cultic knowledge -- as against cultic performance. Ezra
was only one example of reading aloud.

>>>Because of this, the inference that these
>>>citations must derive from the extant Enoch literature is not
>>>justified.  There are too many other possibilities here.
>>If there weren't acknowlegements of the Enoch tradition in Jubilees and CD
>>you might have a stronger gripe.
>The question is NOT that there was a tradition of a person called Enoch.
>The question is as to which text predates the others, and this line of
>argument is falacious. 

The question is was there another Enoch text than the earliest of those in
the Enochic pentateuch? We have the watchers at around 200 BCE. But that
book had gone through a long literary development on its own. It shows no
reliance on other sources. The Genesis material clearly does due to its
current obscurity in the Enoch materials. While Genesis assumes a source
the Watchers doesn't.

>>The interesting question has been asked before: why has Genesis obfuscated
>>regarding the Enoch material?
>This can be asked the other way, why has there developed a whole Enoch
>liturature around an obscure character in Genesiss. 

That Enoch walked with God presupposes information not included in Genesis.
That those were the heroes of old presupposes information, the
non-statement of which obscures the source. Back to the long pre-history of
the Watchers and we find that this is not dependent on any written source
or single tradition otherwise it wouldn't have the textual seams that it
has. It developed on its own. Genesis didn't.

>(BTW it seems that you are using a similar falacious argument with 

Perhaps you see the similarity, but I think you bring the similarity to it.



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