Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Eight-Pointed Star, Melchizedek, and Divine Light

Cefalù Cathedral, Sicily, Italy, ca. 12th century - Melchizedek1

The "concept of Divine Light," according to Constantin Marinescu Marin, "...reveals the way the human being had been experiencing luminosity as an attribute that was shared "by all things considered divin[e] and holy.""2   According to Marin, in the ancient world there were two types of "stellar symbols," connected with divine light, including the "star with eight points expressing the concept of a supernatural radiance emanating from a deity as per se, disregarding the being of the deity.  This type of star is unfailing in Christian art and it is called along this work, the Star of Nativity."  The second symbol is the "eight-pointed star, formed by two squares overlapped diagonally, [and] is another type which expresses a dual meaning, the being of the deity and his energy."3  Both were eight-pointed stars, but fashioned differently.  The star that Marin refers to as the "star with eight points," or the Nativity Star, is depicted in the following 12th century late-Byzantine style mosaic in Palermo, Italy:

"Christ's Birth," mosaic in the Palentine Chapel in Palermo, Italy, ca. 1150 AD

Emanating from the star is the divine light shining upon the newborn Messiah.  John P. Lundy similarly noted that this star with eight points appears "over the head of the newly-born Son of God, in the early Christian monuments," which he refers to as "...the Prophetic Star of the Incarnation, which joined heaven and earth, God and man together."  Elsewhere, Lundy states that it similarly represented the Divine and human in union, and he theorized that in ancient Assyria and Babylonia the eight-pointed star probably had some symbolism representing initiation into the ancient mysteries.4 

The other star discussed by Marin is conspicuously seen in two mosaics in Ravenna, Italy:

Basilica of San Vitale

 "Sacrifice of Abel and Melchizedek," mosaic in San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, ca. 6th Century AD

Basilica of Sant' Apollinaire in Classe

"Sacrifice of Melchizedek, Abraham, and Abel,"
mosaic in St. Apollinaire in Classe, Ravenna, Italy, ca. 6th Century AD

Referring to the star on the altar in San Vitale, Marin asserts that it represents "Melchizedek's Sacrifice," and "receives, in the context of Holy Text, the power of a symbol expressing the Divine Essence of Melchizedek."5  In this connection Melchizedek is linked with the eight-pointed star and is given divine status - a concept that dates as far back as the first century B.C. in the 11Q13 (or 11QMelch fragment) from the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The connection between the eight-pointed star and divinity is traced by Marin to St. Gregory Palamas, the 14th century apologist for Hesychasm (an ascetic approach to spirituality by prayer and meditation in an effort to coerce revelation), who asserted a distinction between the concept of God the Being and His energy, or the "presence of Grace in the form of light that surrounded Christ in His Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor."6  The transfiguration was a popular theme among the Hesychasts, and this "presence of Grace in the form of light" is symbolized in John VI Cantacuzenus' depiction of the transfiguration, which illustrates Christ illuminated by an eight-pointed star mandorla:

"The Transfiguration," John VI Kantakouzenos7

This image was subsequently repeated in numerous patterns with minor variations.8  Marin implicitly observed that this symbol was a derivative of the eight-pointed star and asserted that an "existential-cultural analysis of Byzantine society turns the Hesychastic thought and the eight-pointed star mandorla into a symptomatic phenomenon.  It confirms once again that dramatic gifts, visionary manifestations and ascetism characterize periods of difficult historical and socio-economic conditions."9  To Hesychasts, the eight-pointed star mandorla was a symbol of experiencing divine light.  In other words, they were seeking theophany, which was characteristically illustrated through the Savior's transfiguration.  For the recipient of a theophany, rays of divine light shown upon them, as demonstrated in the lower portion of Cantacuzenus' depiction provided below, which illustrates Peter, James, and John praying during the transfiguration and vision of Moses and Elijah:

This depiction, while advanced by Hesychasm, an ideology at variance with the principles of the restored Gospel, does echo true principles associated with actual theophanies, including Joseph Smith's own description from the sacred grove.  "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me....When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description standing above me in the air." (JS-H 1:16-17)  Orson Pratt, perhaps, one of the most articulate Apostles in Latter-day Saint history, and the first to publish an account of the First Vision, recorded what he had learned from Joseph of his foundational theophany:
[Joseph] retired to a secret place, in a grove, but a short distance from his father's house, and knelt down, and began to call upon the Lord.  At first, he was severely tempted by the power of darkness, which endeavoured to overcome him; but he continued to seek for deliverance, until darkness gave way from his mind; and he was enabled to pray, in fervency of the spirit, and in faith.  And, while thus pouring out his soul, anxiously desiring an answer from God, he, at length, saw a very bright and glorious light in the heavens above; which, at first, seemed to be at a considerable distance.  He continued praying, while the light appeared to be gradually descending towards him; and, as it drew nearer, it increased in brightness, and magnitude, so that, by the time that it reached the tops of the trees, the whole wilderness, for some distance around, was illuminated in a most glorious and brilliant manner.  He expected to have seen the leaves and boughs of the trees consumed, as soon as the light came in contact with them; but, perceiving that it did not produce that effect, he was encouraged with the hopes of being able to endure its presence.  It continued descending, slowly, until it rested upon the earth, and he was enveloped in the midst of it.  When it first came upon him, it produced a peculiar sensation throughout his whole system; and, immediately, his mind was caught away, from the natural objects with which he was surrounded; and he was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in their features and likeness.10
Similarly, Joseph's account of Moroni's visit describes a vision of light accompanying the angelic ministration.  He observed that while in the act of calling upon God, "I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air...his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning.  The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person." (JS-H 1:30-32)  The idea of light accompanying divinity is supported by these restorational experiences.  However, while the Hesychast ascetic approach attempted to coerce revelation and theophanies, Joseph's visions and revelations taught him that if he sanctified himself so that his mind became "single to God," then the days would come that he should see the Lord, for the Lord would "unveil his face", and it would be "in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." (D&C 88:68)11  Theophany could be experienced, not by coercion, but by the will and grace of the Lord to those righteous individuals to whom He chose to reveal Himself. 

Joseph learned by revelation that as an individual grew in truth and holiness he would receive light by degrees.  "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." (D&C 50:24; Proverbs 4:18).  The source of this light, "the light which shineth," and gives us light, "is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings." (D&C 88:11).  In this sense light appears to be synonymous with revelation.  This idea is further supported in another revelation to Joseph, wherein the Lord stated that, "the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ." (D&C 84:45)  For those who received the light of truth, for "light cleaveth unto light" (D&C 88:40), and had an eye single to the glory of God, their whole bodies would be filled with light so that "there shall be no darkness in [them]; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things." (D&C 88:67).  Accordingly, as one grew in revelation they grew in light.  Joseph taught that all could receive this same hope, for "God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them."12

Joseph further connected the principles of light and revelation with theophany.  In 1834, the Prophet taught that "God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him."13  In connection with this, Joseph declared that the Melchizedek Priesthood is "the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation and every important matter is revealed from heaven."14  Accordingly, the Melchizedek Priesthood is the primary power for obtaining theophany.  "The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church--To have the privelege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant" (D&C 107:18-19).  As explained, the priesthood of Melchizedek has power and authority to provide further light and knowledge and to open the heavens for obtaining theophany.

This priesthood power; however, is not Melchizedek's power.  Before Melchizedek's day, "it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God."  The title was called the "Melchizedek Priesthood...out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid too frequent repetition of his name..." and was named after Melchizedek, because he was "such a great high priest" (D&C 107:2-4).  As Christ is our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), Melchizedek was a figure, or type of Christ, and since a priest after the order of Melchizedek was eternal (Psalm 110:4), and the priesthood authority he held was eternal, having no "beginning of days, nor end of life" (Hebrews 7:3), the connection between Melchizedek and priesthood authority and Melchizedek's character and role has been subject to much conjecture and debate over the past two millennia.  Determining when Melchizedek's identity and role actually became obfuscated remains a subject of further investigation.  As previously noted, around the 1st century B.C., Melchizedek was already being connected with deity.  Since conceptions of Melchizedek during the birth of Christianity had already been corrupted, we should not necessarily expect early Christian non-canonical perceptions of Melchizedek to correlate with Latter-day revelation.  For our purposes, however, it is sufficient to illustrate that the elements discussed above appears to at least have a concentration within a specific location and period that predates Hesychasm, as well as the Ravenna mosaics.  The following information provides limited assurance regarding Marin's assertions about the historical Melchizedek, i.e., the traditions surrounding this High Priest.

Melchizedek's connection with light pre-dates Hesychasm, and his elevated status with deity pre-dates the Ravenna mosaics, to a period and location contemporary with the emergence of the eight-pointed star.  Marin's identification of the eight-pointed star as a symbol of the "Divine Essence of Melchizedek" most likely finds its origin with the Egyptian Copts.  As I've noted elsewhere, the symbol of the eight-pointed star on the altar cloths in the Ravenna mosaics originated from Coptic textiles in Egypt.  Walter Lowrie stated that "...there can be no doubt from which art the design was derived, for it appears on the textiles four centuries earlier than it does in stone reliefs," and the "embroideries found in the Coptic graves of Egypt correspond perfectly with the designs of textile fabrics--curtains, altar cloths and dress--which are represented in the sixth century mosaics at Ravenna."15  Albert Kendrick published images of eight-pointed stars found on various textiles from Egyptian graves in Akhmim, Egypt, dating from the second to the fifth centuries, A.D,16 and R. Meyer-Riefstahl noted that Akhmim had been a particularly significant source for Coptic textiles.17

Some distance north of Akhmim, C. Wilfred Griggs and a team from Brigham Young University, with others, participated in an excavation in the Fayum area of Egypt in the 1980's.  They observed that the introduction of Christianity in the second half of the first century A.D. was evident by a change in positioning of Egyptian burials.  The burial placement began being reversed around this time so that the dead were positioned with the head to the west and feet to the east.  "The direction corresponds to early Christian beliefs that the resurrected Christ would return to the earth from the east and that the dead in Christ would rise from their graves to meet him."  Griggs also noted that "because the rituals associated with death and burial tend to be among the most conservative in ancient cultures, such a radical change in burial procedure suggests a major cultural change in at least this part of the Fayum in the second half of the first century A.D."18  Griggs also notes that pottery found in these particular graves possibly indicate that a "graveside sacrament" or "Eucharist service" may have been held at burial.  Most signficantly, however, as it relates to our discussion, is the fact that "the quality and amount of cloth change dramatically from the head-to-east (pre-Christian) to the head-to-west (Christian) burials."  The pre-Christian clothing has no decorations or designs in their linens, while the Christian linens is of much higher quality, and under microscopic analysis, it was determined that these textiles had not been worn prior to burial.  "Preparations usually extended to intricately wrapping the burials with a two-colored ribbon in geometric patterns over the external linen shroud," and many of the layers of linens contained "designs and symbols which likely have religious signfiicance."19

While remaining respectfully silent about the significance of some of the articles of clothing and symbols discovered, Griggs observed that adult males were buried next to adult females, both having "caps, robes, and other clothing items."  One robe had a purple collar and hem, which was "indicative of [a] royal status in the life to come."  Some layers included robes with possible paradisiacal themes, which may support the hypothesis that "each of the layers of clothing represents part of an extensive and complex ritual pattern associated with the passage from this life to the next."  Two robes contained a complex knot over the left shoulder, while eight robes contained this knot over the right shoulder, which may indicate "sacerdotal, or priestly, authority."  The linen closest to the body, on some of the mummies observed, contained "small rosettes" that were woven into the material over each breast and over the right knee (but not the left), and across the lower abdomen was a hemmed slit about six inches long.20 

In connection with the geometrical patterns noted by Griggs and the excavation team on some of the linens buried with the dead, I had previously observed that Albert Kendrick published images of eight-pointed stars found on textiles from Akhmim, Egypt, dating from the second to the fifth centuries, A.D.  Similarly, two Egyptian Coptic portraits from Antinoe (near Beni Hasan, Egypt) dating to the 2nd century, A.D., both have eight-pointed stars in the roundels on their tunics.21  In each of these instances, Christianity in Egypt was a growing influence throughout the Greco-Roman era, and similarities between these different Coptic sites can all be attributed to the adoption of Christianity.  In addition to similarities in textiles, however, important literature contemporary with this era has been discovered at Akhmim, Nag Hammadi, and other Coptic locations in Egypt, which have been fruitful sources of apocryphal Christian and Gnostic literature.  Some of this literature is particularly relevant to our study of Melchizedek. 

Among the many Christian and Gnostic texts discovered, such as the Gospel of John at Antinoe,22 portions of the Book of Exodus at Akhmim,23 and a fragment containing the Apocryphal Gospel of Peter, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Book of Enoch at Akhmim,24 were many other texts scattered throughout Egypt.  Approximately 55 miles southeast of Akhmim was Nag Hammadi.  Among the treasure trove of Coptic Gnostic texts discovered outside of Nag Hammadi, is Melchizedek XI, believed to have been written in the 2nd century A.D.  Of this text, J. Davila notes that Melchizedek is characterized as an "Exalted Patriarch, as Principal Angel and Future Ideal Figure (both Divine Warrior and Eschatological High Priest)..."25  P. Bellet suggested that Akhmim provided significant influence to Nag Hammadi: "Does Akhmim not in large part explain the character of the Nag Hammadi corpus, and of all the gnostic texts in Coptic even before those of Nag Hammadi?"26  If Bellet is correct, than there may be similarities in belief with respect to the deified Melchizedek from Nag Hammadi to Akhmim.  At any rate, Copts at these locations authored, secured, and preserved Christian and Gnostic literature that became pervasive within the Coptic church (the ancient Christian church of Egypt) in the early centuries of the rise of Christianity. 

Other apocryphal and Gnostic literature that originated in Egypt have particular relevance to Melchizedek.  The Pistis Sophia and the Second Book of Jeu were both written in the first couple centuries A.D., and these texts also identify Melchizedek as a heavenly being.27  Both of these texts also recognized a direct association between Melchizedek and divine light.  The Pistis Sophia calls Melchizedek the "Paralemptor [i.e., receiver] of the Light,"28 and the Second Book of Jeu calls Melchizedek the "ambassador' of the Lights."29  He is frequently identified, implicitly, as a high priest.  These three texts discuss Melchizedek in a role foreign to the restored gospel, but are helpful in ascertaining some historical perspectives of Melchizedek.  It appears that the conceptions of Melchizedek were as varied then as they are today.30  John Welch has summarized Melchizedek conception in Gnostic thought as follows:
For the Gnostics, Melchizedek became a subject for even wider speculation, although it is difficult to reconstruct their ideas with confidence.  In the spiritual cosmology of certain Gnostics, the "order (taxis) of Melchizedek" is the ordering arrangement of the cosmos.  He is the great repossessor, purifier, and preparer of the elements of the universe.  He himself is the power of the true mystical universe.  His powers make men mystics, revealing to them the all.  He is the archon of righteousness, of whom Christ is a shadow.  Under the name Zorokothora in the Pistis Sophia, he is the Great Receiver of Light who comes mysteriously from the pure light of the fifth tree, but he only appears periodically when his constellation or number comes up.  When he is gone, darkness prevails; as he returns, light is victorious.  "In the place of those of the right hand," he seals souls to be taken to the Treasury of Light.  Melchizedek worship probably reached its zenith in the Gnostic Melchizedekian sect of the third century A.D.  To them, Christ himself was subordinate to Melchizedek, for Christ had been said to be of his order.  They even went so far as to claim that because Melchizedek had no father, he was the father of all, including the father of Jesus.  He was also called the virtue or strength of God (virtutem dei), an angel with supernatural powers, the Holy Ghost, and sometimes he was given an independent place in the Godhead."31
It is interesting to note that Welch points out the cosmological role of Melchizedek within Gnosticism as well.  With respect to the Melchizedek mosaic in San Vitale, Bruce Harbert suggested that the Eucharist was "set in a historical as well as cosmological context."32  This context must be inferred from the presence of the eight-pointed star and the hand of God reaching through the heavens.  Given that stars provide both light and are set in the cosmos, and Melchizedek is known in Gnostic literature as the receptor of lights and has responsibilities over the cosmos, the connection between the star and Melchizedek may have some foundation in Coptic Gnosticism.  It may be no less coincidental that much of the apocryphal literature pertaining to Melchizedek originates in Egypt, and is from the same era and locale as the emergence of the eight-pointed star.  It should also be noted that 2 Enoch asserts that Melchizedek was born with the "seal of the priesthood" upon his chest.33  This pseudopigraphical text is believed to date to the 1st century A.D., and in addition to the primary medieval-Slavonic text, Coptic fragments of this text have recently been discovered in Egypt.34  While the seal mentioned in 2 Enoch is not specifically identified, it does tend to indicate that each of the elements discussed (the eight-pointed star, Melchizedek literature, and divine light) may have originated or at least received strong emphasis in Coptic Egypt.  Marin's identification of the eight-pointed star with divine light, as well as his connection between Melchizedek and a deified role, appears to coincide with archeological discoveries of textiles and literature in Greco-Roman Egypt.  However, without an explicit identification yet discovered in antiquity, it seems that any identification of the eight-pointed star as the "seal of Melchizedek" would most likely have derived from Coptic Egypt in the first couple centuries A.D. 
1 Web Gallery of Art, North wall of the choir, Cefalù Cathedral, Sicily, Italy, ca. 12th century, available online here.
2 Constantin Marinescu Marin, "The Byzantine Concept of Divine Light as Reflected in Romanian Post-Byzantine Art and Architecture," Jahrbuch der österreichischen Byzantinistik [Yearbook of Austrian Byzantine Studies] 32/6 (1982):315 
3 Ibid, 315
4 John P. Lundy, Monumental Christianity or the Art and Symbolism of the Primitive Church, 2nd ed. (New York: JW Bouton, 1882), 9, 239, 21, respectively
5 Marin, "The Byzantine Concept of Divine Light," 316
Ibid, 316-317
7 Andreas Andreopoulos, Metamorphosis: The Transfiguration in Byzantine Theology and Iconography (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2005), 229
8 Reverend Patrick Comerford, "The Transfiguration: Finding Meaning in Icons and Orthodox Spirituality," (revpatrickcomerford.blogspot.com, accessed April 7, 2010)
9 Marin, "The Byzantine Concept of Divine Light," 317
10 Orson Pratt, A[n] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, and of The Late Discovery of Ancient American Records (Edinburgh: Ballantyne and Hughes, 1840), 5 
11 Elder Boyd K. Packer taught that "you cannot force spiritual things.  Such words as compel, coerce, constrain, pressure, demand, do not describe our privileges with the Spirit.  You can no more force the Spirit to respond than you can force a bean to sprout, or an egg to hatch before it's time.  You can create a climate to foster growth, nourish, and protect; but you cannot force or compel; you must await the growth." See Packer, "The Candle of the Lord," Ensign (Jan 1983)
12 Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Ed. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1967), 149
13 Ibid, 51
14 Ibid, 166
15 Walter Lowrie, "The Relation Between Early Medieval Sculpture in Low Relief and Contemporary Textile Design," Atti Del II Congresso Internazionale Di Archeologia Cristiana (Rome: Libreria Spithöver 1902), 48, 45
16 Albert F. Kendrick, Catalogue of Textiles From Burying-Grounds in Egypt: Vol. 1 Graeco-Roman Period (London: Majesty's Stationary Office, 1920), 38-39
17 R. Meyer-Riefstahl, "Early Textiles in the Cooper Union Collection: Part Two," Art in America, 3/6 (Oct 1915): 305
18 C. Wilfred Griggs, "Evidences of a Christian Population in the Egyptian Fayum and Genetic and Textile Studies of the Akhmim Noble Mummies," BYU Studies 33/2 (1993):221-223
19 Ibid, 223-224
20 Ibid, 224-226
21 Kendrick, Catalogue of Textiles from Burying-Grounds in Egypt, 1:18 (also see Plate III, pg 145;  Plate XXII, pg 164; Plate IV, pg 146; and frontispiece for images of eight-pointed stars on Coptic textiles
22 W.E. Crum, "Two Coptic Papyri from Antinoe," Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeaology (London: Society of Biblical Archaeology, 1904), 26:174-178
23 "Melito of Sardis; Peri Pascha, Quoting Exodus" in Patristic Literature from the Schoyen Collection, MS 2337  written in the Akhmimic dialect of Coptic on papyrus, Upper Egypt, 4th century (available online)
24 The Ante-Nicene Fathers.  Translations of The Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325,  5th Ed., ed. Allan Menzies, D.D.,  (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903), 9:3
25 Jim Davila, "Melchizedek as Divine Mediator," summary of a lecture given Feb 10, 1998 (available online)
26 P. Bellet, O.S.B., "The Colophon of the Gospel of the Egyptians: Concessus and Macarius of Nag Hammadi," Nag Hammadi and Gnosis: Papers Read at the First International Congress of Coptology, Cairo, December 1976, ed. R. McL. Wilson (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1978), 65
27 Davila, "Melchizedek as Divine Mediator," (available online)
28 Pistis Sophia (Book 1, Chapter 26), ed. Carl Schmidt and trans. Violet Macdermot (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1978), 35
29 Fred L. Horton, Jr., The Melchizedek Tradition: A Critical Examination of the Sources to the Fifth Century A.D. and in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Society for New Testament Studies; Monograph Series 30 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 143
30 Birger A. Pearson, Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006), 26, 39-41; Pearson, Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt, Studies in Antiquity and Christianity (New York: T&T Clark International, 2004); Stephen G. Wilson, Related Strangers: Jews and Christians 70 - 170 C.E. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005), 195-196
31 John Welch, "The Melchizedek Material in Alma 13:13-19," By Study and Also by Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W. Nibley on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, 27 March 1990, Vol. 2, ed. John M. Lundquist and Stephen D. Ricks (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies [FARMS] and Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1990), 252-253
32 Bruce Harbert, "Christology at the National Gallery," Sacred Architecture 4/1 (Spring 2001) 5:17
33 W.R. Morfill and R.H. Charles, The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (Translated from the Slavonic) (Oxford: Oxford Clarendon Press, 1896), Appendix, pg 90.  I had previously cited this in my first posting, "The Seal of Melchizedek." 
34 In 2009 it was anounced that portions of 2 Enoch were recovered in Coptic - see here; also see New Perspectives on 2 Enoch: No Longer Slavonic OnlyStudia Judaeoslavica, 4, Eds. Andrei Orlov, Gabriele Boccaccini, and Jason Zurawaski (Leiden: Brill, 2012 (forthcoming)); this book publishes papers that were delivered in the fifth Enoch seminar, held in Naples 2009; see here.  For further discussion on 2 Enoch, see Paolo Sacchi, Jewish Apocalyptic and its History (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1990), 233-249

1 comment:

  1. Incredible insights... I'm putting together a few places where I've seen this...