Friday, October 15, 2004

MORE 1 ENOCH FROM THE QUMRAN LIBRARY! Gabriele Boccaccini e-mails:
A New Fragment of Enoch found at Qumran

In March 2004 Esther and Hanan Eshel received for publication a photograph of a fragmentary papyrus preserving five lines identifiable as the end of Enoch 8 and the beginning of Enoch 9 (8:4-9:3). The new fragment can be dated approximately to the Hasmonean or the early Herodian era (50-25 BCE) and was undoubtedly found at Qumran. As we cannot identify the cave, we suggest this fragment be labeled XQpapEnoch. Because the only Enochic book written on papyrus is the Book of Giants from Cave 6, 6QpapGiant (=6Q8), which is written in a different semi-cursive later hand, it appears that this fragment is the first to be published from an additional copy of Enoch. The verses in question describe how the angels heard the cries of the people killed as a result of Asa'el's teaching humans to make weaponry. The publication of this new fragment of Enoch is important not only as a witness to an additional manuscript of Enoch found at Qumran, but also because of its contribution to the reconstruction of two Cave 4 manuscripts (4QEna and 4QEnb). Despite their poor preservation, it is possible to read and reconstruct in the three witnesses to the Aramaic a similar, if not identical, text. This version differs from the Greek translation found at Gizeh, which has scribal errors and various omissions. Even though Syncellus' versions also contain corruptions, it appears that the Greek cited by Syncellus is the closest to the Aramaic source. The article which includes the new fragment was submitted for publication in DSD [the journal Dead Sea Discoveries] in the beginning of May 2004. On Oct 11, 2004, the fragment was discussed at the University of Michigan by a panel composed by Profs. Gabriele Boccaccini, James C. VanderKam, Esti Eshel and Hanan Eshel, and will be presented again at Camaldoli during the Third Meeting of the Enoch Seminar (6-10 June 2005).

Quoted with the permission of Boccaccini and the Eshels. There have been rumors for many years of the existences of another Qumran Aramaic manuscript of 1 Enoch. I wonder if this is it and if there's any more of it out there somewhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment