Enoch and the Canon; was: Re: Nachmanides - Scapegoat

Bearpecs at aol.com Bearpecs at aol.com
Tue Jun 12 18:29:10 EDT 2001

In a message dated 6/12/01 10:00:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
info at valediction.com writes:
> So, long story short, I wouldn't be surprised if the Ramban considered Enoch 

It is inconceivable that Ramban (Nachmanides) considered Enoch to be part of 
the canon in opposition to mainstream rabbinic practice.  Why should anyone 
think that because he quotes from a book there is an implication of 
canonicity?  He quotes Rashi also, and no one suggests that he considered 
Rashi to be part of the canon.
But of course, by "Holy Writ" you may not be referring to the canon as such 
but simply as writings inspired by G-d, in which case I can agree that it's 
possible he considered Enoch to have some degree of divine inspiration.  But 
it is equally possible that he considered Enoch to be secular but reliable.  
Just as The Book of the Wars of Y-HWH etc. were quoted in the Torah but were 
not considered holy.

This quotation is from _Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their True Meaning 
for Judaism and Christianity_ by Lawrence H. Schiffman (p. 162):
Although it is widely held that soon after the destruction of the Temple the 
Rabbis held a canonical convention at the rabbinical academy at Yavneh 
(Jamnia), on the coast south of what is today Tel Aviv, the textual evidence 
does not support that claim.  In fact, the final catalog of the biblical 
collection was fixed except for those few books of the Writings, the late 
date of which left them in question.  Thus, the Rabbis debated only about a 
few books, namely, Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes, and perhaps Esther.  
Because mishnaic Judaism had already inherited a tradition, predating the 
Yavnean period and ordaining which books were part of the biblical canon, the 
Rabbis at Yavneh had only to makes a few final rulings to complete the 
corpus.  And even for this rather limited agenda there is no evidence that 
any such meeting ever took place at Yavneh.
/end quotation

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