Tag Archives: Bible

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Scrolls_004

The Dead Sea Scrolls, in the narrow sense of Qumran Caves Scrolls, are a collection of some 981 different texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 in eleven caves in the immediate vicinity of the ancient settlement at Khirbet Qumran in the West Bank.

The texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they include the oldest known surviving copies of Biblical and extra-biblical documents and preserve evidence of great diversity in late Second Temple Judaism. They are written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, mostly on parchment, but with some written on papyrus. These manuscripts generally date between 150 BCE and 70 CE.

The scrolls are traditionally identified with the ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, though some recent interpretations have challenged this association and argue that the scrolls were penned by priests, Zadokites, or other unknown Jewish groups.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are traditionally divided into three groups: "Biblical" manuscripts (copies of texts from the Hebrew Bible), which comprise roughly 40% of the identified scrolls; "Apocryphal" or "Pseudepigraphical" manuscripts (known documents from the Second Temple Period like Enoch, Jubilees, Tobit, Sirach, non-canonical psalms, etc., that were not ultimately canonized in the Hebrew Bible), which comprise roughly 30% of the identified scrolls; and "Sectarian" manuscripts (previously unknown documents that speak to the rules and beliefs of a particular group or groups within greater Judaism) like the Community Rule, War Scroll, Pesher.

Read the rest

Advertisements

The Admonitions of Ipuwer

Ipuwer Papyrus, officially Papyrus Leiden I 344 recto

Ipuwer Papyrus, officially Papyrus Leiden I 344 recto

In the early 19th Century a papyrus, dating from the end of the Middle Kingdom, was found in Egypt. It was taken to the Leiden Museum in Holland and interpreted by A.H. Gardiner in 1909. The complete papyrus can be found in the book Admonitions of an Egyptian from a heiratic papyrus in Leiden. The papyrus describes violent upheavals in Egypt, starvation, drought, escape of slaves (with the wealth of the Egyptians), and death throughout the land. The papyrus was written by an Egyptian named Ipuwer and appears to be an eyewitness account of the effects of the Exodus plagues from the perspective of an average Egyptian. Below are excerpts from the papyrus together with their parallels in the Book of Exodus.

Read the rest

The Books of Adam and Eve

From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament
R.H. Charles
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913

God Forgives Adam and Eve For Obeying Satan

God Forgives Adam and Eve For Obeying Satan

The Life of Adam and Eve, also known, in its Greek version, as the Apocalypse of Moses, is a Jewish pseudepigraphical group of writings. It recounts the lives of Adam and Eve from after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden to their deaths. It provides more detail about the Fall of Man, including Eve’s version of the story. Satan explains that he rebelled when God commanded him to bow down to Adam. After Adam dies, he and all his descendants are promised a resurrection.

Read the rest

Old Testament’s Table of Nations

Genesis 10 states that every race upon the earth originated with the three sons of Noah; Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Genesis 10 lists a total of 70 original founders of the nations of the world or racial groups. They are all divided into 3 primary classifications: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Although the subject of the classification of the nations and the origin of languages is highly controversial, ethnologists agree on one key point: that all of mankind can be divided into three basic groups.

Nations of Genesis 10

The Biblical Nations of Genesis X


Read the rest

The Book of Enoch

The Book of Enoch is “an ancient composition known from two sets of versions, an Ethiopic one that scholars identify as ‘1 Enoch’, and a Slavonic version that is identified as ‘2 Enoch’, and which is also known as The Book of the Secrets of Enoch. Both versions, of which copied manuscripts have been found mostly in Greek and Latin translations, are based on early sources that enlarged on the short biblical mention that Enoch, the seventh Patriarch after Adam, did not die because, at age 365, ‘he walked with God’ – taken heavenward to join the deity.”
— Zecharia Sitchin, When Time Began

Enoch_001

Fragment of 1 Enoch (Scrolls of the Dead Sea)

Genesis 5:18-24 [18] Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. [19] After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. [20] So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died. [21] Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. [22] After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. [23] So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. [24] And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Several authors offer their insight into the Book of Enoch and the nature of the Angels (the Anunnaki?) who descended to Earth and married the daughters of Men and begat a race of giants.

Read the rest

“2 Enoch” – The Book of the Secrets of Enoch

Enoch_002

An entirely different Enoch manuscript has survived in the Slavonic language. This text, dubbed “2 Enoch” and commonly called “the Slavonic Enoch,” was discovered in 1886 by a professor Sokolov in the archives of the Belgrade Public Library. It appears that just as the Ethiopic Enoch (“1 Enoch”) had escaped the sixth-century Church suppression of Enoch texts in the Mediterranean area, so a Slavonic Enoch had survived far away, long after the originals from which it was copied were destroyed or hidden away.

Specialists in the Enochian texts surmise that the missing original from which the Slavonic was copied was probably a Greek manuscript. This may have been, in turn, based on a Hebrew or Aramaic manuscript.

Read the rest

“1 Enoch” – The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament

Enoch_Charles

1912 edition of R.H. Charles’ translation of the Book of Enoch

The Book of Enoch, a title given to several works that attribute themselves to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah; that is, Enoch son of Jared (Genesis 5:18). (There are also three other characters named Enoch in the Bible: the son of Cain (Gen. 4:17), the son of Midian (Gen. 25:4), and the son of Reuben (Gen. 46:9; Ex. 6:14). The last two are transcribed “Hanoch” in the modern translations). Most commonly, the phrase Book of Enoch refers to 1 Enoch, which is wholly extant only in the Ethiopic language. There are also other books called Enoch, 2 Enoch (surviving only in Old Slavonic, c. 1st century; Eng. trans. by R. H. Charles (1896)) and 3 Enoch (surviving in Hebrew, c. 5th-6th century) The numbering of these texts has been applied by scholars to distinguish the texts from one another.

— R.H. Charles: The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Oxford: The Clarendon Press (1917)

Read the rest