Thursday, February 27, 2020

Enoch in Alexandrinus?

The answer is no.

The question is: does Codex Alexandrinus contain the book of Enoch?

I just received the new Introduction to the Septuagint from Baylor UP, edited by Siegfried Kreuzer, a translation of the German published in 2016. Kreuzer starts with a long introduction (pp. 3–56) on "The Origins and Transmission of the Septuagint."

I was surprised by this statement:
...the Codex Alexandrinus also contains the book of Enoch. (p. 20)
For anyone who knows anything about the transmission of the Enoch materials, this statement is obviously wrong. There is no such thing as "the book of Enoch" in Greek, if we mean by that term what we usually mean by "the book of Enoch" = 1 Enoch. That composite work exists (or, let us say, is attested) only in Ethiopic. (Ancient Christians did sometimes refer to a "book of Enoch," but they weren't talking about the composite work 1 Enoch.) So, at least it's careless wording. But also I didn't remember that any of the individual Enoch booklets appeared in the fifth-century Codex Alexandrinus. So I turned to ch. 6 of this very handy book, which contains a list of the contents of Codex Alexandrinus, and confirmed that Enoch appears nowhere in the manuscript. 

Kreuzer's footnote attached to the above-quoted sentence reads, in part:
... in the edition by Swete, which adheres strictly to the Codex Vaticanus ... [he has placed at the end some material from Codex Alexandrinus]; as a result, the Wisdom of Solomon, Enoch, and the Odes can also be found there. (pp. 20–21n56)
 What to make of that?

Of course, Wisdom of Solomon does appear in Codex Vaticanus, so there would be no reason for Swete to take it from Alexandrinus. Kreuzer means the Psalms of Solomon, which does appear at the end of Swete's edition, in an appendix.

Now, in the first edition of Swete's edition (vol. 3, 1894), Enoch is nowhwere. After 1–4 Maccabees (taken from Alexandrinus because of their absence from Vaticanus), there is bonus material: Psalms of Solomon (p. 765, taken from a minuscule) and the Odes (taken from Alexandrinus).

In the second edition of Swete (vol. 3, 1899), the bonus material now includes Enoch in between the Psalms of Solomon and the Odes (which held true for subsequent editions). But Enoch is not taken from Alexandrinus, which contains no Enoch material. Swete explains on p. xvii where he got the text from: Codex Panopolitanus (= Akhmim Manuscript) and a few other sources.

I wonder if the confusion arose from an earlier statement by Swete (p. vi), introducing the bonus material at the end of the volume.
The Books of Maccabees are followed by three collections which, if they cannot in strictness be said to belong to the Greek Old Testament, have some peculiar claims to a place at the close of the Alexandrian Bible. 
By "Alexandrian Bible," Swete meant the Septuagint, not Codex Alexandrinus, but perhaps someone misunderstood?

I also wonder whether the same problems—the attribution of Enoch to Codex Alexandrinus and the confusion of Wisdom of Solomon with Psalms of Solomon—appear in the German edition. I do not have access to it to check.

I do appreciate this introduction by Kreuzer. I might have some more to say about it later.


Siegfried Kreuzer said...

Yes, there occurred a mistake. Besides the books of the Maccabees, the additional book in codex Alexandrinus is the Odes.For Psalms of Solomon and the Greek fragments of Enoch Swete used additional manuscripts. Thank you for your careful reading!
Siegfried Kreuzer

Ed Gallagher said...

Thank you for the clarification, Dr. Kreuzer! And thank you for the work on the book. I'm enjoying it.

Phillip Long said...

Hello Paul,

I apologize for contacting you via your blog comments, but I cannot find contact info on the blog. You can delete this and respond to

Brent Niedergall recommended your blog to me as a possible host for a Biblical Studies Carnival. It is possible you are already aware of the BiblioBlog carnivals. Since 2005 a biblio-blogger has been collecting links to articles of interest in biblical and theological studies, often archaeology and church history are included as well depending on the curator's own interests.

I volunteered in 2012 to be the "keeper of the carnival list," which means I try to draft people into volunteering to do a Carnival. I have noticed your blog has been doing well lately, I enjoyed the your Blogging the Psalms posts. I was hoping to interest you in volunteering to host an upcoming Carnival. The Carnival does provide great exposure to your blog and is a lot of fun to write.

Here is the Biblical Studies Carnival 164, Jim West's recent Carnival, and the most recent carnival hosted by Brent Niedergall. I am always looking for volunteers to host a month. You basically keep your eye out for very good, academic posts during your month and the craft a list (sometimes these are cheeky, sometimes they are more straight).

Anyway, if you were interested, I need volunteers starting with April 2020 (Due May 1), but you can pick any month after that depending on your schedule. April 2020 through the end of the year is open, so if you are willing, let me know and I will put you down for whatever month you would like. I have a couple of asks out right now, hopefully there will not be any conflicting preferences.

Thanks for considering this request!


Phil Long
Reading Acts

Eduardo Prado said...

Dear Professor Gallagher:

I am glad you published a new post today. I hope you are well and full of projects and energy for them. I am reading again your book on the Septuagint (“The Translation of the Seventy”). I am finding it really helpful for understanding thorny issues like the relationship between the LXX and the Christian canon, the controversy between Jerome and Augustine on the right Old Testament text for the Church and the contemporary debates on the same issue, and the use of the OT in the NT.

Today I found out that there is a brief book by Gilles Dorival who happens to deal with some of these same issues. Despite not being available yet (at least via Amazon), I am sure you are aware of this book, too. It would be nice if you could comment on that book in this blog or maybe in a book review for a journal.

It’s interesting that last year yours and Dorival’s books were not the only ones that treated these topics. Lanier’s and Ross’ short introduction to the LXX were also helpful for me. “The Oxford Handbook of the Septuagint” and “The T & T Clark Handbook of Septuagint Research” provide chapters that look interesting and helpful for these topics. I have read Laneir’s and Ross’ book but I have read only a few chapters from the other two massive tomes. I recently ordered the Introduction to the LXX which is the topic for this post, so I will have more material to consult in the near future. I won’t be able to buy Dorival’s new book soon, since it is too expensive now. I hope the price gets more accessible sometime this year.

Finally, I wanted to mention one last book which was also published last year. I am talking about Ignacio Carbajosa’s “Hebraica veritas versus Septuaginta auctoritatem ¿Existe un texto canónico del Antiguo Testamento?”. Again, this book in Spanish deals with many of the issues you and Dorival decided to include in your books. In case you were not aware of Carbajosa’s book and if you read Spanish, the Kindle format version is really accessible. The printed version is not easily available in my country (it is printed in Spain), but I visited Republica Dominicana in December and I bought a copy there. I would like to know what you think this book, too.

These are only suggestions. But I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a few questions once in a while after reading (and/or reading again) all the books I have just mentioned.


Eduardo Prado

Eduardo Prado said...

P.S. I forgot to mention the Title of Dorival's new book: "The Septuagint from Alexandria to Constantinople: Canon, New Testament, Church Fathers, Catenae"

Ed Gallagher said...

Eduardo, good to hear from you. I'm glad you're finding my LXX book helpful. As you note, it did come out at the same time as several other major volumes on the same topic. The one I've been most excited about is Dorival's volume. Our library just got a copy, so today I started reading it. I'm actually a little disappointed with the first chapter on the canon. I might be able to blog about that sometime.

The other volumes I haven't really looked at — except that I did contribute to the _T&T Clark Handbook_. The book by Lanier and Ross is sitting in my office but I haven't opened it yet.

Thanks for mentioning the book by Carbajosa. I do not read Spanish, but I might be able to figure out some of what it says. :) I see that he has made the entire book available on his page.

Ed Gallagher

Ed Gallagher said...

Oh, actually, not the whole thing on his page. Oh well, the Kindle version is inexpensive.

Eduardo Prado said...

Dear professor Gallagher:

First of all, thank you very much for publishing your three posts in this blog about Dorival´s recent book on the LXX. I still haven’t bought it.

I also wanted to let you know that there will be an event here in Mexico where students and scholars are invited to contribute with presentations about the topic of the Septuagint and its influence in Bible translation. If I have time, I would like to participate there with a review of your book “The Translation of the Seventy.” I am not a scholar, so that is why I wouldn’t think of a paper with research done by myself.

There are in Spanish, as far as I am aware, only a few books intended to introduce the topic of the LXX: 1. Natalio Fernández’s “Septuaginta, la biblia griega de judíos y cristianos”; 2. Timothy Michael Law’s “Cuando Dios habló en griego.” 3. Hugues Cousin’s “La Biblia griega. Los Setenta.” Natalio Fernádez has a more complete introduction to the LXX, which was translated into English by Brill, but it is not easy to find in bookstores. There is also a book that is dedicated in its entirety to the topic of the Septuagint, but is not an introductory study: Eberhard Bons, Daniela Scialabba y Dionisio Candido (editores) “La Septuaginta. ¿Por qué resulta actual la Biblia griega.” And there is also the short book by Ignacio Carbajosa which I mentioned in another comment in your blog.

I think your book on the LXX as well as Jobes’ and Silva’s “Invitation to the Septuagint” must be translated into Spanish. Fernandez’s short introduction and Law’s book were published by the time the publication of the first Spanish translation of the Septuagint was in progress, and this was done by the same publishing house that was publishing the Septuagint in Spanish. Are there any plans for a translation of your book?

One more thing, I wonder if you would be interested in participating in the event that I mentioned at the beginning of this message. I think language should not be a problem. The event will be online, so you do not have to travel anywhere. The presentations are short (up to 25 minutes long). In case that you were interested, maybe you can have a much longer time-span for you presentation, which they usually call here: “Conferencia magistral”. I do hope you have time and interest in this. You can find the information about this event here and I can translate it for you, if you ask me to:*F



Ed Gallagher said...


Thanks for the comment. I'd be happy for you to offer a review of my book at the conference you mentioned. If you are able to do it, I'd be interested in learning how it went. Thank you for telling me about this conference. I will not be able to participate because my summer is already full.

I'm very glad you think my book is worthy of a Spanish translation. There are not any plans to make a translation. I'm not sure how feasible such a project would be in terms of cost and demand.

Best wishes,
Ed Gallagher

Eduardo Prado said...

Dear Professor Gallagher:

Thank you for your reply. It is good to know that you are very busy. That probably means other institutions and projects will be benefited with your valuable work. If you know my culture, you probably know that we are not good at planning things in advance. I think they should have published their plans for this kind of conference with more anticipation. If I manage to get a decent review of your book in time, I will let you know. And if they save and publish a video of this, I’ll send you the link.

Regarding the possibility of having a translation done of your recent book on the LXX, I think there are a lot of people in Latin America and Spain that will be interested in it. I contacted myself a publishing house located in Salem, Oregon (Publicaciones Kerigma). They have been translating into Spanish authors like Peter Williams, Willian Lane Craig, Craig Keener, Michael Kruger, and Michael Graves, but they haven’t translated anything related to the LXX or textual criticism. I also suggested that they should translate Jobes’ and Silva´s book on the same topic, but again, they share my own culture and it does not surprise me at all that they haven’t replied and they probably will never do it, despite the fact that I know for sure that they received my email, since I had to ask them (via Facebook) whether they had received my email: They just said, “Yes”!

By the way, Professor Ignacio Carbajosa is publishing a series of videos on Youtube on the topic of the History of the Bible. Last week he started talking about the Septuagint and he will dedicate two more videos to this particular topic. His videos are short (about 15 minutes) but full of very valuable information. It is not easy to find good video materials on these topics in Spanish. You can find these videos on this Youtube channel:

Have a good end of the week,



Tom Atkinson said...

I just got finished watching your series on angels!! Excellent work!! I would love to talk to you about it sometime! Keep up the great work, brother!! God bless!

-Tom Atkinson

Ed Gallagher said...

Tom, good to hear from you. Email at and we can keep in touch. I'm glad you've liked the series on angels. It's not quite over; I'll record another one tomorrow.