‘Son of Man’– The Dialogue— Part Nine

‘Son of Man’– The Dialogue— Part Nine January 12, 2024

Q. As is widely known, the so-called Parables of Enoch are only extant in Ethiopic as a translation, presumably from Aramaic (as the fragments at Qumran attest in regard to other Enochian literature), and if, as you suggest, the Parables likely date to the late first or early second century of the Christian era, why in the world has there been so much speculation about that tradition being extant before the time of Jesus, and of influencing both Jesus and the Gospel writers in their presentation of the man from Nazareth? This seems to me to be enormously speculative, and without clear warrants. How would you explain it. I’ve participated in the SBL Enoch seminar at times and found it to be, all too often, an exercise of odd speculation without proper critical moorings.


A. We have the Parables only in the Ethiopic translation which was made from Greek and the Greek from Aramaic. We know nothing about who wrote it or read it originally. The date of the original has been much debated, and the recent trend has been to date it in the late first century BCE. My arguments against that and for a late first century CE date are largely new. I think the enormous attention to the Parables in this context may well be because Jesus’s usage of “son of man” seems to require explanation.

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