The Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch and in Matthew
Walck, Leslie W.
New York: T&T Clark, 2011 pp. xiv + 267. $130.00
Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts and Related Studies, 9
Description: This book examines all the relevant passages containing the Term "Son of Man" in both Matthew and the Parables of Enoch. Depictions of the Son of Man in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Parables of Enoch (Par. En.) raise questions about their relationship. The meaning and origin of the term "Son of Man" are discussed, as well as the possible influence of Par. En. on Matthew. Literary, Redaction, Sociological and Narrative criticisms are employed. Introductory questions of date, provenance and social setting are addressed for both Matthew and Par. En. Dates as early as the early second century bce and as late as the late third century ce have been proposed for Par. En., but a consensus seems to be growing for the late first century bce. Therefore Matthew could have known Par. En. Sociological methodologies reveal that the author and audience of Par. En. may have been members of an ousted ruling elite, opposed to the current administration, and yearning for a just reversal of fortunes. Sets of characteristics of the Son of Man in Par. En. and Matthew are developed, and the term is examined briefly in the other Gospels. Then the two sets of characteristics are carefully compared. Similarities in vocabulary as well as in the pattern of relationships prove to be intriguing, showing that Matthew and Par. En., in contrast to other writings, share a unique conception of the judgment scene focussed on the Son of Man as eschatological judge. This suggests quite strongly the shaping of Matthew's concept in the direction of Par. En.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Pseudepigrapha, Literature
Review by Donald Senior
Read the Review
Citation: Donald Senior, review of Leslie W. Walck, The Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch and in Matthew, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).
I usually don't mention RBL reviews, since everyone knows about them and they are easy to find. But this book, which gets a positive review here, caught my attention here because I have written on the same subject, much more briefly, and came to pretty much the same conclusion. I'm pleased to see that a much more detailed study of Matthew and the Similitudes confirms my earlier instincts.
My article that deals with the subject is "Of Methodology, Monotheism, and Metatron: Introductory Reflections on Divine Mediators and the Origins of the Worship of Jesus," in The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism. Papers from the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus
(ed. James R. Davila, Carey C. Newman, and Gladys S. Lewis; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999), pp. 3-18. An early draft of of the substance of this article can be found at my Divine Mediator Figures website as A Methodology for Studying Divine Mediator Figures
and Enoch as Divine Mediator
, but the comments on Matthew 25:31-46 are still embryonic. I have collected earlier posts on the Son of Man here