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

Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Thu Jun 14 10:38:09 EDT 2001

Joe Glean wrote: "I was also wondering... since I am probably among the
minority here who cannot read Hebrew, but still enjoy trying to follow
along with some of these discussions...  of the books we are discussing,
namely the Book of Enoch, the Talmud Bavli, and Nachmanides' Commentary
on the Torah, are there any good English translations of these which
anyone might recommend?  I mean, I know of these books' existence and
I've seen them for sale, but I'm afraid of picking up something with a
bad translation.  Actually, a version with Hebrew and English would be

The texts of 1 Enoch

Thanks to the recent work done in 1 Enoch, there are up-to-date volumes
of the text of the three major versions: Aramaic, Greek, and Ethiopic.
The Greek evidence was put together by M. Black in 1970, under the
title, Apocalypsis Henochi Graece (Pseudepigrapha Veteris Testamenti
Graece iii), at Leiden. The Aramaic fragments were collected by J. T.
Milik in 1976 and published at Oxford under the title, The Books of
Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4. Finally, though Ethiopic
editions had been published by R. Laurence in 1838, Dillmann in 1851,
Flemming in 1902, and R.H. Charles in 1906, M. A. Knibb collated the old
and new evidence of the Ethiopic manuscripts in volume one of The
Ethiopic Book of Enoch, published by Oxford in 1978.

The translations of 1 Enoch

Knibb continued beyond his work with the Ethiopic text of 1 Enoch and
wrote an introduction, translation and commentary in the second volume
of The Ethiopic Book of Enoch. In academic circles Knibb’s translation
may even supplant the usual standard for translations of the
Pseudepigrapha: James Charlesworth’s 1983 two-volume The Old Testament
Pseudepigrapha, published by Doubleday. For the translation of 1 Enoch,
Charlesworth commissioned E. Isaac, who had completed his translation
long before Knibb’s book came out.
The other well-known English translation of 1 Enoch is that of R.H.
Charles; originally published in 1893, its second, revised, edition was
published by Oxford in 1912.

Ken Penner, M.C.S. (Regent College), M.A. (McMaster)
Ph.D. Student, Religious Studies, Biblical Field (Early Judaism major)
McMaster University
Hamilton, Canada
pennerkm at mcmaster.ca

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