1 Enoch presents interpreters with a complex knot of interrelated puzzles concerning the history of early Judaism, the trajectories of wisdom and apocalyptic traditions, and the role of astronomical observation in cosmological speculation—all tied up with the bewildering history of the book’s composition and transmission, in different languages and manuscript traditions, over centuries. Two of the world’s preeminent scholars offer masterful judgments on all of these questions out of the erudition gained over long and distinguished careers. The result is a remarkably lucid and accessible commentary that will be the definitive resource on 1 Enoch for decades.
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“Drawing on Third Isaiah’s promise that God will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isa 65:17*; 66:22*), this passage is the first of two in the Parables that explicitly express the author’s belief that the locus of eschatological blessing will be a transformed earth (see also chap. 51 and §18.104.22.168 above, p. 40).” (Page 151)
“God’s agent par excellence is the figure known variously as ‘the Righteous One,’ ‘the Chosen One,’ ‘the Son of Man,’ and the Lord’s ‘Anointed One.’” (Page 44)
“the passage posits a double resurrection—of the righteous and the wicked and, quite possibly a universal resurrection.” (Page 183)
“the embodiment of three parallel figures of high status celebrated in Israel’s religious tradition” (Page 44)
. . . The commentary could only have been produced by a mature scholar who has worked on the materials, taking into account a multiplicity of issues—text, source, and literary-critical—for a long time. This is undoubtedly a landmark study in early Enochic tradition and, indeed, it could be said, in the study of Judaism of the Second Temple period. Nickelsburg has succeeded in commenting with linguistic and historical acumen on one of the most complex collections of documents preserved to us from Jewish antiquity. The breadth of his linguistic skills and his wide knowledge of Jewish, Greek, and Christian tradition lend an exemplary balance to his discussions of passage after passage on almost every page. This is a work the value of which will continue to be discovered in the years ahead. Based on this achievement, scholars and students can only look forward to the appearance of the second volume.
—Loren Stuckenbruck, Richard Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary
A welcome addition to the Hermeneia commentary series . . . extremely valuable for its careful historical, textual, and literary analysis; its very accurate and readable translation; its attention to both the details and the overall shape of the text; and its constant awareness of the importance of social context. It contains countless new, small contributions to scholarship on Enoch, and it brings together the many important contributions that Nickelsburg and others have made over the past thirty years.
—Patrick Tiller, assistant professor of New Testament, Harvard Divinity School
We are dealing here with the life achievement of one of the very few real specialists on 1 Enoch. . . . It is clearly written, systematically structured, up to date, easy to use, and a monument of critical, literary, and historical scholarship, a compliment to the Hermeneia series. It avoids the fashionable use of methodologies but, instead, treats us with an abundance of textual analyses, helpful observations, and a richness of tradition–and religion–historical parallel material that makes the study of Second Temple Judaism so rewarding. It deserves its place on the bookshelves of all academic institutions in the study of religions in antiquity, as it goes far beyond the field of biblical studies. A great work.
—Gerbern Oegema, professor of biblical studies, McGill University
George W.E. Nickelsburg is emeritus professor of religion at the University of Iowa, where he taught for more than three decades. He is the author of 70 articles and several hundred dictionary and encyclopedia entries. Among his many works are Early Judaism and Its Modern Interpreters, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah, and Early Judaism: Texts and Documents on Faith and Piety, Revised Edition.
James C. VanderKam is John A. O’Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame. He has edited 12 volumes in the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series and is a member of the editorial committee for the remaining unpublished Dead Sea scrolls. He is one of the two editors in chief of the Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls and author of the prize-winning The Dead Sea Scrolls Today, From Revelation to Canon: Studies in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature, An Introduction to Early Judaism, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and From Joshua to Caiaphas: High Priests after the Exile. Professor VanderKam is the editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature.