- Yes, it is
Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
I share with you some James Waddell's conclusions about Christ and Enoch in the Parables. It was a good read.
LP = Letters of Paul
BP = Book of Parables
LP = Letters of Paul
BP = Book of Parables
The most striking similarities of conceptual elements with regard to the messiah figures in BP and LP must be approached from a perspective that appreciates the way in which these conceptual elements are combined. Simply listing the conceptual elements or viewing the connections separately can be misleading and will lead to a wrong conclusion. In other words, it would be wrong to conclude that the similar conceptual elements in BP and in LP taken separately simply suggest that Paul’s messianic thought is nothing more than a parallel development. The conceptual elements “human being” and “heavenly being” are not in themselves unique with reference to mediatorial figures in the Second Temple period. It is the combination of these two conceptual elements with reference to the messiah figure that is unprecedented in the history of Jewish thought. Add to this combination the attribute of preexistence, an extensively developed association with wisdom, an unprecedented association with the divine name (with the possible exception of the Melchizedek figure in the Dead Sea Scrolls), an unprecedented presiding of the messiah figure over the eschatological judgment, and the unprecedented function of being worshiped by humans, and the combination of conceptual elements of messianic traditions in BP becomes even more extraordinary. It is only when these conceptual elements are taken together that we begin to understand the unprecedented level of develop- ment of messianic thought in BP. Such a level of development precludes any suggestion of coincidental development or parallel development of the same combination of messianic conceptual elements in LP.
This study has demonstrated that at least one facet of Paul’s thought, his christology, was heavily infuenced by Enochic Son of Man traditions.
If we take on their own terms the various elements of the nature and the functions of the messiah figure held in common by the Book of the Parables of Enoch (BP) and the Letters of Paul (LP), then there are four elements of messianic nature that are unprecedented in Jewish literature: the messiah :
- (1) a heavenly being,
- (2) preexistent,
- (3) like an angel,
- (4) associated with the divine name.
There are four functions that are unprecedented in Jewish literature: the messiah figure :
- (1) sits on the throne of judgment
- (2) presides at the judgment,
- (3) raises the dead
- (4) and is worshiped by humans.
The fact that a human messiah figure, which in itself was not unprecedented in the literature, is now also a preexistent heavenly being who from the throne of the divine figure presides over the eschatological judgment, causes the resurrection of the dead, and is worshiped by humans—this is a striking development of Second Temple period Jewish messianic thought.
Such an unprecedented level of development in BP precludes any suggestion of coincidental or parallel development of the same combination of messianic conceptual elements in LP. It must be acknowledged, however, that we cannot say with any certainty that Paul actually knew the text of BP.
There is no evidence of direct quotation, like the quote of BW in the Letter of Jude.
The evidence leads to the conclusion that Paul must have been familiar with the conceptual elements of the messianic traditions in BP. While Paul developed his concept of the messiah figure well beyond that of BP by adding the functions of crucifxion, resurrection, and forgive- ness of sins, again the similarity of the combination of conceptual ele- ments pertaining to both the nature and the functions of the messiah figure that are common to both BP and LP is too striking to dismiss as coincidental or as a parallel development.
It must also be acknowledged that there are terminological differences regarding the messiah figures in BP and LP. While both BP and LP refer to the messiah figure as “Messiah,” BP refers to the messiah figure as the Chosen One, the Son of Man, and the Righteous One. Paul did not use these epithets for the messiah figure. Paul referred to the messiah figure as Kyrios (“Lord”), Christos (“Messiah”), son of David, and son of God. Paul never referred to the messiah figure in LP as the Son of Man.
Even though there are clear terminological differences regarding the messiah figure in BP and LP, the similarity of combination of conceptual ele- ments is striking and the terminological difference in no way mitigates the conclusion that Paul used the extraordinary combination of con- ceptual elements of messianic traditions in BP to create his own vision of the messiah figure in LP.
Paul indeed was a Jew. Now we can say with a high degree of certainty from which stream of Jewish intellectual tradition Paul developed his concept of the Messiah. It was Enoch.
This was translated into English as The Creation of Christ (2 volumes) -- also on archive.org and vridar.info and of courses on https://vridar.org/tag/couchoud-the-creation-of-christ/Sinouhe wrote: ↑Sun Apr 03, 2022 9:02 amGiuseppe wrote: ↑Sun Apr 03, 2022 7:46 am René Salm had uploaded the English translation:
http://www.mythicistpapers.com/2016/09/ ... -uploaded/
I have the book Histoire de Jésus, that coincides quasi totally with Le Dieu fait homme
I just bought this one for 10€ on ebay
Thank you, Sinhoue. Now what's the next step?
We have Paul overlaps with Parables, Philo and Seneca. I'd be interested if any particular strand of such overlaps coincides with any of the proposed layers of interpolation in Paul.
And what to make of the three elements that Waddell sees as not being part of the Parables: crucifixion, resurrection and forgiveness?
Hello Neil,Thank you, Sinhoue. Now what's the next step?
I apologize in advance for my english.
My next step will be to read this book:
2 Enoch is less interesting than 1 Enoch but the chapters 64-71 which concern Melchizedek are, in my opinion, very important for my quest of the origins of Christianity.
This Melchizedek is indeed :
- A human being
- Having parents
- But he was born without sexual intercourse
- Announced by the angel Gabriel to his jealous father
- Hidden in heaven until his return on earth
- To become the escathological High Priest
I see this as a development of the ideas present in the Qumran text 11Q13 and also as potential influence for early Christianity (the celestial and eschatological high priest in the Letter to Hebrews, the infancy narratives).
Moreover, Hippolytus of Rome tells us that the sect of the MELCHISEDECIANS were in tension with christians :
- "And they allege that Christ happens to be according to the likeness (of this Melchisedec)"
Which verses do you suppose are interpolated in Paul ?We have Paul overlaps with Parables, Philo and Seneca. I'd be interested if any particular strand of such overlaps coincides with any of the proposed layers of interpolation in Paul.
Before reading Waddell's book, I had fun noting all the ideological parallels between Christ in the NT and the messiah of the parables, and there are many parallels both in Paul and in the Deutero-Pauline letters.
I could eventually tell you if the passages you assume to be interpolated are involved or not if you give me the references.
From my research on the parallels between the parables and the NT, it appears that Paul disciples who are at the origin of the deutero-pauline epistles also knew the book or tradition of the parables of Enoch.
It is a pity that Waddell's book did not deal with the parallels with the Deutero-Pauline epistles and that he did not propose a true textual comparison between verses in Paul and in the parables.
I am a little disappointed because his thesis would have been even more convincing (it already is) if he had highlighted these parallels.
For the moment, in my conclusion, Jesus is the synthesis of Jewish messianic fantasies found in both DSS and in the book of Parables.And what to make of the three elements that Waddell sees as not being part of the Parables: crucifixion, resurrection and forgiveness?
Suffering is not a characteristic of the Messiah in the parables but it is in the DSS (Hodayot, 4Q491, 4Q541).
It should also be noted that the messiah of the parables is not presented as suffering but is identified many times with the servant of Isaiah through allusions.
Of all the messianic texts found in the intertestamental writings, the most precise on messianic expectations are undoubtedly the DSS + the parables.
The characteristics of the Messiah and/or eschatological atoner that emerge most from these two schools of thought are :
- An incarnation of the servant of Isaiah (DSS + BP)
- Suffering (DSS)
- Atoner (DSS)
- Savior (DSS + BP)
- Celestial figure (DSS + BP)
- Judge (DSS + BP)
- Pre-existent (BP)
- Associated with wisdom (BP)
- Seated on a heavenly throne (DSS + BP)
- Execute judgment (DSS + BP).
So I am not surprised that the Jesus of the NT takes up all these ideas as a synthesis of the Jewish fantasies of his time.
Jesus' crucifixion would thus be an idea taken from the mesianic expectations of Qumran, which would have pushed suffering to the point of death.
Concerning his resurrection, it is perhaps the development of the idea that we find in the DSS with the death of the teacher of righteousness and certain texts that mention an eschatological priest with the same characteristics as the teacher of righteousness. I rather agree with Michael Wise, Peter Schafer or André Dupont Sommer when they conclude that the followers of the teacher were waiting for his return despite his death.
The resurrection can also be a component of the suffering servant, or at least as a development of this one which then leads Jesus into his second phase : the savior/executioner of the last judgment.
The forgiveness of sins is found in the DSS (11Q13 + 4Q541).
I would therefore see in Jesus a clever and late synthesis of these 2 traditions : Qumran + Enochian tradition.
I am quite happy to have found a study from a reputed scholar that link these two traditions by submitting the rather convincing hypothesis that the parables are the development of the messianic ideas in the DSS.
Great, it may interest readers who don't read French. For my part, being French, I would be more comfortable to read it in its original language. I received it, I will certainly read it after I finish the one on 2 Enoch.This was translated into English as The Creation of Christ (2 volumes) -- also on archive.org and vridar.info and of courses on https://vridar.org/tag/couchoud-the-creation-of-christ/
Sinohue, can you upload a day the French original book Jésus, Le dieu fait homme on archive.org? I would like a lot to read the original nuances of Couchoud in the original language!
I will upload in whiletime Couchoud's another book, Histoire de Jésus.
My curiosity of seeing these pages derives from the fact that in my version of Histoire de Jésus, published after Le dieu fait homme, the digression on the Mandeans is missing, and in its place there is the following epilogue of the related chapter, where again Enoch is mentioned:
The Last four pages before the chapter :
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