• Enochic Biography and the Manuscript History of 1 Enoch: The Codex Panopolitanus Book of the Watchers

    Elena Dugan (see profile)
    Church history--Primitive and early church, Apocryphal books (Old Testament), Ethiopic book of Enoch
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    This article suggests that the Codex Panopolitanus Book of the Watchers attests a new arrangement of the work, one organized around a Genesis-style biography of Enoch. I argue that the two scribes of the Book of the Watchers in Codex Panopolitanus are pursuing radically different literary goals and produce different narrative progressions. The first, Scribe 1, begins with an Enochic tour of the cosmos (corresponding to 1 En. 19–21), smoothly transitions to Enoch’s earthly life (1 En. 1–11), then addresses his final period of angelic companionship and ascent to heaven (1 En 12–14). This narrative progression has been universally overlooked because the initial tour of the cosmos has been classed as a mistake in transmission (duplicate material), being so deviant from the expected version of the text. Here, in contrast, Scribe 1’s text is read as a thoughtful composition, corresponding to the progression of Enoch’s life and culminating in an ascent to heaven. The observed practices of textual arrangement in service of biography are further contextualized alongside an analogous transformation of the Ascension of Isaiah into the Greek Legend of Isaiah. I identify the Codex Panopolitanus Book of the Watchers as a complex site of both reception and transmission, emphasizing the crucial role of reception history in the text criticism of ancient Jewish and Christian works
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    12 months ago
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