Taking 1 Enoch SeriouslyI noted the publication of Professor Esler's new book here. On the subject of the term "Jew" vs. Ioudaios, on which we disagree, see here and here.
In the light of these conclusions, the Enochic scribes emerge not as temple scribes (indeed, there are clear signs of tension and conflict in the text between them and the temple establishment), but as scribes who played their part in the wider social and political ambit of Judea. We can imagine them as active across the whole range of commercial and legal work that Judean scribes undertook for private clients, as well as perhaps drafting documents for the Seleucid and then Hasmonean and even Roman administrations of Judea.
See Also: God's Court and Courtiers in the Book of the Watchers: Re-Interpreting Heaven in 1 Enoch 1–36 (Cascade Books, 2017).
By Philip F. Esler
The University of Gloucestershire
This essay gives some rich cultural background to the Ethiopic version of the book of 1 Enoch (the only complete surviving version). It is well worth a read.
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