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.

7 comments:

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...

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Phil Long
Reading Acts
http://readingacts.com

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 canĂ³nico 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.

Blessings,

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 academia.edu page.

Blessings,
Ed Gallagher

Ed Gallagher said...

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