Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Completing Enoch and the Mosaic Torah (For Now)

I finished Enoch and the Mosaic Torah: The Evidence of Jubilees.  I may refer to this book in the future, when I am on the lookout for a topic for a blog post.  In this post, I'll use as my starting-point some things that Gabriele Boccaccini says on pages xiv-xv:

"Was the omission of any reference to the Mosaic Torah in the early Enoch tradition purely accidental, or unwanted consequence of the mystical literary genre or interests of the text?  Or does it reflect the reality of an ancient form of Judaism that developed apart from, or even against, the Mosaic Torah?  Does the book of Jubilees witness to the emergence of a new synthesis of Enochic and Mosaic traditions, or does it testify to the mystical interests of the very same elites that cherished the Mosaic Torah?  Had the book of Jubilees anything to do with the emergence of the Essene movement and of the Qumran community?  If so, then to which extent?...What was Enochic Judaism: a militant opposition party, a competing form of Judaism, or a mystical school whose frame of interest was simply something other than the Mosaic Torah?  Were the authors of this literature 'dissident priests' or something else?"

I probably should have read this before I tackled the essays in the book, then the questions Boccaccini asked would have been in the back of my mind as I read the book.  But, at least presently, I don't plan to reread the book with these questions in mind, for I have to move on to other things.  I will say, though, that I encountered in my latest reading some points that may be relevant to the questions that Boccaccini asks: that the Book of Enoch has nothing about sacrifice (though there is a reference to the Temple); that Jubilees' belief in a heavenly sanctuary reaffirms rather than combats the earthly Temple; and that Jubilees reflects a time when Israel was unified (or believed to be so) rather than in a state of schism (a notion that others dispute).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog