Saturday, February 16, 2008

Apocalyptic Text Displayed in Indiana

One of the oldest known complete manuscript copies of the Book of Enoch - "perhaps the most important of all the apocryphal or pseudapocryphal Biblical writings for the history of religious thought" - is on loan to the Remnant Trust in Jeffersonville, Indiana, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The manuscript, written in Ge'ez (an ancient Ethiopian language), is believed to date from the 15th-16th centuries.

"Enoch is considered a prime example of apocalyptic literature - Jewish and Christian books that purport to reveal the hidden secrets of a future in which the evil are punished and the righteous rewarded." The text, considered scriptural by Ethiopian Christians, is believed by scholars to have been composed "in Greco-Roman times and attributed ... to Enoch to boost its credibility."

This copy "came on the market in the past couple of years from an American owner, and the trust has been able to establish a chain of ownership dating only to 1924." It was purchased by private collectors who agreed to loan the codex to the Remnant Trust for at least two years.

Anyone interested in viewing the Book of Enoch should make an appointment by calling (812) 280-2222.


Paul Romaine said...

Hi Jeremy,

Always enjoy your blog. I think the reporter or an editor changed pseudepigraphia to pseudapocryphal and 'canonical' to 'scriptural.' *sigh*

Enoch is quite important to understanding some of the imagery in Dante, not to mention other apocalyptic works.

Paul Romaine said...

Correction: I recall Dante scholars citing imagery in one of the books of Enoch (not the Ethiopic) to comparable imagery in Dante--a possibly lost source I suppose. (I vaguely remember Milton allegedly drawing on Enoch, but Wikipedia 's entry suggests that the first western knowledge of any of 1, 2 or 3 Enoch was later.

Kwyjibo said...

You are right about the reporter changing the words. We gave them the correct information and I think they were trying to make it more accessible.

Kris Bex
President The Remnant Trust