Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Resource Pages at Slavonic Pseudepigrapha Project

I see over at Antiquitopia there's a notice from the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha Project about two new resource pages. Not many people know about the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha, a collection of para-biblical (pseudepigraphal) texts that only exist in Slavonic. The 2 resource pages are for 2 Enoch also known as the Secrets of Enoch and the Apocalypse of Abraham. 2 Enoch is a fascinating text or collection of texts. It exists in a variety of versions or recensions. The oldest manuscripts in which it is found are from the 14th century. Nevertheless, it most likely dates from the 1st century as it does not know of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE. The Apocalypse of Abraham does know of the Temple's destruction and most likely comes from the 2nd century CE as we have references to it in early Christian literature. These texts seem to have been tramslated from Greek into Slavonic although it appears that there was a Semitic Vorlage, either Hebrew or Aramaic, behind the Greek.

I came across 2 Enoch doing my PhD as in one of its versions it contains a brief reference to Sodom in a homophobic context. I would also discover that 2 Enoch contains an account of the miraculous/asexual/'virgin' conception of Melchizedek. I've written an essay on that for an anthology on biblical mothers which I hope is forthcoming this year. This time last year the editor assured me that it should be coming out last year but I've heard nothing so far. Anyway, I've yet to read the Apocalypse of Abraham in full but it does have some intersting material, including a strange angel called Yahoel, who seems to be an echo of a time when YHWH was known as the Great Angel, chief of the Divine Council.

The resource page for 2 Enoch is here and that for Apocalypse of Abraham is here. An online translation of 2 Enoch without the Melchizedek story can be found here. An online translation of Apocalypse of Abraham can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. That Yahoel is an interesting angel, isn't he? Like Metatron, he's a divine choir leader. And like Metatron, again, he has Yahweh's name in him (Exod 23.20-21). These connections are so tantalizing.

    Anyway, it's good to see you've commenced biblioblogging, Michael. I'll see you around.