For Question 1 (on its theological category)
Reasons why it might have been Jewish (especially Chapters 1-2) with Christian additions (ie. in Chapter 3):
1. Supposed lack of Christian elements in the first half. Charlesworth writes: "Even earlier is the first half, because of the conspicuous absence of Christian elements and the general early Jewish tone (cf. the ending with 4Q Morgen- und Abendgebete)." But
a Christian document on a pre-Christian topic might not necessarily have openly Christian references. Plus, the first two chapters could have Christian references (the Trisagion and the Holy Spirit).
2. "Significantly, the Greek portions preserve only this first section [the potentially non-Christian section]...", according to Charlesworth. But
(A) the text is considered originally written in Syriac, so maybe the lack of the second half in the Greek version doesn't prove that the second half was a later addition. Plus, (B) Charlesworth writes: "the Greek version corresponds most closely with Syriac recension 3, the least reliable of the Syriac recensions. There can be little doubt that the original language of the Testament of Adam is Syriac".
3. According to the Online Pseudepigrapha "the two parts are strikingly different in form, genre, and subject matter." (ie. Description of the hours when beings praise God vs. the Prophecy of world history) But even if they are two different documents unified into one, they could still be written by the same Christian group.
4. Annie Jaubert writes in her essay, "The Horarium of Adam and the Chronology of the Passion" about the passage on the Twelfth Hour of the Night:
Syriac [rescension] 1 probably gives us the best text of what then happens, at the twelfth and last hour of the night: 'the awaiting of incense and the silence which is imposed upon all the ranks of fire and of wind until all the priests burn incense to his divinity. And at that time all the powers of the heavenly places are dismissed.'
What is distinctive about the Horarium is that it refers to the silence of all the ranks of angels in the heavens... until the priests on earth burn incense. In its position at the twelfth hour of the night, this can only refer to the daily morning service in the Jerusalem Temple, in which the burning of incense on the altar of incense took place soon after daybreak between the slaughter of the sacrificial lamb and its offering as the daily morning burnt-offering. This passage in the Horarium is indubitably Jewish rather than Christian, since there is no evidence of liturgical use of incense by Christians until the late fourth century, while, even when it was used, it did not have the key significance which the Horarium's singling out the offering of incense for mention requires. In the daily Temple ritual the incense offering did have this significance, as accompanying, symbolizing and assisting the prayers of the people. If this passage in the Horarium is indubitably Jewish rather than Christian, it also most probably dates from before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. The reference to the incense offering as current practice cannot be explained by the attribution of the Horarium to Adam... since it is, of course, anachronistic as spoken by Adam.
Jaubert is taking the text's description and endorsement of priests using incense as proof that the text must be a Jewish one written at the time when the priests were performing this task, ie before the 70 AD destruction. But this is not necessarily the case. First, the text could refer to priests in general performing this task, rather than specifically the Israelite priests. Second, the priests in the text could be pre-Israelite priests, since they might be living in Adam's especially long lifespan. Plus, Jaubert points out later that the text describes priests anointing the sick and that priests in other Near East religions performed this task, but that those in Judaism did not. Third, an early Old Testament pseudepigraphral Christian text may also realistically describe or even prescribe Jewish priestly functions. A good example of this is the Testament of the Three Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), which prescribes sacrifices, which were performed in Judaism. Fourth, the text could be referring to Christian priests, who existed in the early pre-Constantinian period. Since Jaubert considers the text's reference to priests to be anachronistic, the fact that Christian priests would be an anachronism would not obviate this interpretation of the nature of the priests. Jaubert says that there is no evidence of Christians using incense before the late fourth century, but Robert Arakaki presents such evidence in his essay, "Defending Incense", wriitng:
The Liturgy of St. James is the oldest Christian liturgy dating back to the first century church in Jerusalem. It is still in use in the Orthodox churches, being celebrated once a year on the feast day of St. James the Lord’s brother. This Liturgy contained 10 references to incense. ... The Liturgy of the Blessed Apostles (composed by St. Adaeus and St. Maris, aka Addai and Mari) contains 5 references to incense. This liturgy dates back to the third century Edessa and is in use among the Syrian Christians. What is notable is that incense is mentioned in the liturgical rubrics for the priest, e.g., instructions for the priest to cense the congregation or the Eucharistic elements.
Canon 3 [of the Apostolic Canons] supports the use of incense in the early liturgies: '...Neither is it allowed to bring anything else to the altar at the time of the holy oblation, excepting oil for the lamps, and incense.'
https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodox ... g-incense/
Jaubert differentiates the use of incense in the Testament from Christian use of incense by theorizing that the purpose of the incense in the Testament was to accompany the prayers of believers as the prayers came to God. But in fact, this same role of incense appears in Christian worship. First, Robert Arakaki in "Defending Incense" notes that Eusebius sees "incense" in Malachi as referring to the "incense of prayer", and Arakaki comments: "That incense is a symbol of our prayers to God is something an Orthodox Christian would readily agree with." Second, Jaubert notes herself in her essay that the use of incense as an accompaniment for prayer shows up in the Christian Book of Revelation, where an angel uses incense in connection with the saints' prayers. Jaubert doesn't see the Book of Revelation's treatment of incense as applicable because in Revelation an angel, rather than a priest, offers the incense. But this distinction between angel and priest doesn't disprove that Revelation was not associating Christian ritual use of incense with prayers, because some scholars today consider the Book of Revelation to be including references to early Christian liturgy. Beatrice Caseau in Incense and Fragrances: From House to Church described early Christians using incense in their homes and at the graves of their dead, and she also noted the story of Constantine offering incense in Rome's basilicas when he subsidized churches in the early-mid 4th century. She comments that this story implies that the Christians had already been using incense before this time:
Reasons why it may have been originally composed as a Christian text:
It is very unlikely that Constantine would have offered a type of object deliberately offensive to the Christians. Even if he was a recent convert, he was not unaware of what constituted acceptable church plates. He had advisors on that issue, possibly Silvester himself. When he decided to provide funds and materials for the building of a church in Jerusalem, he ordered the local officials to grant to the bishop whatever heneeded. The bishop was clearly in charge.
1. Chapter 1 says that the angels sang "Holy, Holy, Holy" at the fourth hour. This is a significant Christian hymn, the "Trisagion", but it also exists in Judaism, since it's in Isaiah. An example of how it is a significant Christian hymn is the use of the Trisagion in Chapter 4 of the Testament of Adam, the section known as the "Hierarchy of the Angels":
These other orders, thrones and seraphim and cherubim, stand before the majesty of ourLord Jesus the Messiah and serve the throne of his magnificence, glorifying him hourly withtheir "holy, holy, holy."
2. Chapter 2 says mentions the Lord's Spirit or "Holy Spirit" (per the Ethiopic version):
"And at the tenth hour the Holy Spirit overshadoweth the waters, and the devils flee away and remove themselves from the waters. And if the Holy Spirit did not overshadow the waters at this hour every day, no one could drink of the waters, [for if he did] his flesh (i.e. body) would be destroyed by the evil devils."
The Holy Spirit is a major theme in Christianity, but it can also be found in Judaism, so it's not necessarily Christian either.
3. If you take the whole text at face value, all three parts belong to the same document. Plus, the Online Pseudepigrapha states:
Despite the various instances where we find traces of separate versions of the Horarium or the Prophecy (see "Versions" above), there is no clear evidence of an earlier independent version of either part. The redactional and compositional history of TAdam is difficult to untangle with any certainty, and the earliest manuscripts present a unified document.
4. McClintock and Strong's Encyclopedia sees the two halves coming together to form a whole and having similar basic features:
The Hours and the Prophecy have every appearance of forming part of the same work. In each Adam speaks to Seth, and refers to his past sin; and there is considerable similarity of tone. They are probably, however, mere extracts; the several passages are disconnected, and the dramatic framework is perceptible only at the end.
5. The section on the Seventh and Tenth Hours of the Day says:
...if at this [Seventh] hour the priest taketh some water and mixeth holy oil with it, and he anointeth therewith the sick and those who cannot sleep at night because of [their] pain, those who are sick will be healed...
And if the priest taketh water at this [Tenth] hour and mixeth with it holy oil, and anointeth the sick and those who are possessed of foul spirits with the mixture, they shall be healed of their sickness.
Annie Jaubert writes in her essay, "The Horarium of Adam and the Chronology of the Passion":
there is one feature of the Horarium which may be considered problematic in a Second Temple Jewish context. ...at the seventh hour of the night, all the natural powers on earth, including the waters, rest without movement: 'And in that hour the waters are taken up and the priest of God mixes them with consecrated oil and anoints those who are afflicted and they rest.' At the tenth hour of the day... '...the waters are taken up and the priest of God mixes them with consecrated oil and anoints those who are afflicted and they are restored and they are healed.'
The difficulty these accounts pose is that there seems to be no evidence in Jewish literature associating priests with healing. In other ancient cultures priests were often healers, but not, it seems, in Judaism according to extant sources. The only association between priests, disease and healing in the Bible is in the case of the purification of someone with skin disease (leprosy), according to Leviticus 14. Here the priest does use oil as part of the purification ritual... but he has no part in the physical healing. The disease must be healed before the person comes to the priest to have the healing verified and purification from ritual impurity secured. However, despite the lack of corroborative evidence, it is not difficult to suppose that, at the level of popular practice in the localities of Palestine where most priests lived most of the time, when not officiating in the temple, priests may have functioned as healers because they were able to consecrate the oil that was used to anoint the sick.
One reason why the priests in Judaism may not have been involved in healing rituals for the afflicted may be because Judaism emphasized keeping priests ritually pure according to cleanliness rules that separated them from the sick.
Reasons why it may be Gnostic:
1. The Encratites may have been Gnostic, and Charlesworth writes: "The rewriting of tradition in the second half in which Cain slays his brother because of jealousy over Lud, their sister may reflect early Syrian asceticism, perhaps that of the Encratites." I say that the Encratites may have been Gnostic, because the Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on Encratites says:
The name was given to an early Christian sect, or rather to a tendency common to several sects, chiefly Gnostic, whose asceticism was based on heretical views regarding the origin of matter. ...the first mention of a Christian sect of this name occurs in Irenæus (I, xxviii). He connects their origin with Saturninus and Marcion. Rejecting marriage, they implicitly accuse the Creator, Who made both male and female. Refraining from all ’émpsucha (animal food and intoxicants), they are ungrateful to Him Who created all things.
http://catholicencyclopedia.newadvent.c ... 05412c.htm
2. Charlesworth notes that in the Testament of Adam, "Archons control the weather". It's true that there are references to angels as "archons" in the Bible, but it's pretty rare, whereas it's a major feature of gnosticism.
3. The part about the devils praising God could reflect the document's gnosticism, since it sounds strange in terms of normal Christian thinking: " And at the first hour of the night the devils render thanks and praise to God Most High, and there is in them no evil and no harm for anyone until they have finished their service of homage."
4. Adam's son Seth being the one who wrote down the text, according to the ending of the text, could suggest an association with Sethian Gnostics, who venerated Adam's son Seth. The ending includes:
[Adam said, "]Furthermore, thou must know, O my son, Seth, behold a Flood shall come and shall wash the whole earth because of the children of Kâyal (Cain), the murderer, who slew his brother through jealousy, because of his sister Lûd..." And Seth wrote down this Commandment, and sealed it with his seal, and with the seal of his father Adam...
But the Online Pseudepigrapha claims that this is also a feature of Jewish thought, noting:
This motif of special knowledge revealed to Adam and Seth was an integral part of Jewish tradition, visible in Josephus (Ant. 1.70) and in the wider Adam literature. The motif is also found in medieval chronicles of world history (including Cedrenus) as well as Islamic tradition, and it was a fundamental tenet for what has been termed Sethian Gnosticism.
This refers to Antiquities I Chp. 2, which says that Seth's children
were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order. And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam's prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars, 3 the one of brick, the other of stone: they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them.
5. According to A Dictionary of Christian Biography
, edited by William Smith and Henry Wace:
Epiphanius (Haer. 89 B) notices 'revelations (apocalypses) of Adam' along with 'many' apocryphal writings in Seth's name among the books held sacred by his "Gnostici," an Ophitic sect.
But this is not specific; It is not clear whether the Testament of Adam is one of those revelations of Adam or Sethian apocrypha.
Reasons against it being Gnostic
1. Robinson argued against it being Gnostic, arguing that it didn't have Gnostic features.
2. It doesn't present a theology distinguishing God from either a Demiurge-Creator God or from the Supreme Father God. But perhaps not all Gnostics followed this theory separating the Creator from the Supreme God.
SOURCES: Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
Online Critical Pseudepigrapha
Dictionary of Christian Biography
McClintock and Strong's Encyclopedia
Annie Jaubert, "The Horarium of Adam and the Chronology of the Passion"
Robert Arakaki, "Defending Incense"
Beatrice Caseau, From house to church : the introduction of incense
These are the most common articles that you will find directly on the topic online.