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Re: orion 1 (H)enoch 108: Cont'd Discussion

Mr. Goodall,

I'm not an expert on Enochian literature, so I cannot comment
on your main hypothesis; however, there are some other points that
you mention...

   >l. The whole chapter of 108 (only found in the Ethiopic texts, and
   >absent from the Greek, Latin and Qumran MSS) displays evidence of
   >"insertions" (or "patches") and "marginalia" which were pasted
   >together from various ancient written-text sources (most likely
   >Essenoid, and almost certainly pre-Christian with its reference to
   >observance of the Torah), using a king [kind?] of link word-approach,

"Link-word" is its use: "catchword" is the correct term. Catchwords are
first used in Enheduanna's catalog of religious music (Akkad - 2350 BCE)
to maintain correct order. They were used as an ordering device, both
oral and written, until well into the early 20th century CE.

   >Thislink-word technique was especially useful for "preaching
   >purposes" during the early years of Christianity when the message
   >was passed on during a primarily "oral stage" before the Gospels
   >were set in writing (e.g. AD 40-60); perhaps the linkage in I
   >Henoch also points to oral sources (the linkage seems to resemble
   >"memory joggers"),

Catchwords as memorial links, "memory joggers" (or in the jargon
of linguistics scholars, "discourse strategies"), are _recorded_ as a
mnemonic device used - particularly in the preparation of sermons and
in the writing of biblical commentaries - as late as the 18th century CE.

   >although it would stretch credibility a little
   >to imagine that a person or group of persons could possibly
   >"memorise" the whole of I Henoch and pass it down without the help
   >of a written text.

Why not? It could be another explanation for the obvious "patchwork"
you describe. Aquinas, for example, certainly didn't write from note cards,
he wrote from memory - through the use of "memory joggers." Although no
longer a standard part of the educational curriculum, catchwords are still
one of the most common mnemonic devices in use today by people who bother
to train their memory.

Medieval practices were built upon late antique practices that in
turn were merely following earlier precedents. These uses are
ancient and have been around for _at least_ 5,000 years. So,
although some people will undoubtedly cry "anachronistic,"
for a thorough discussion of catchwords and other mnemonic aids,
(particularly with reference to preaching and biblical comentaries)
see Mary Carruthers, _The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in
Medieval Culture_. Cambridge: CUP, 1990. (4th rprt. 1994).

   >2. Qumran's fragment 4Q204 (Column II) dated around 180 B.C.
   >(paleography + carbon dating) is in a Hebraic Aramaic dialect
   >fairly common to the Dead Sea Scrolls (Essenic in outlook), ends a
   >"scroll column section" with 107:2 with the words:
   >"Now go to Lamech, my Son, and [say unto him] that this boy is
   >indeed (and without deception) his son."
   >where there is a deliberate blank space of nearly an inch following
   >the last word. This scribal lacuna is a stylised method of
   >separating one text or text section (or column of Hebrew/Aramaic)
   >from another in the Qumran literature.

Spacing to show the end of a section, book, paragraph, etc. also dates
back to Sumer and Akkad and is not exclusive to Qumran texts - merely
the continuation of an ancient practice among many of the groups whose
writing systems are descendants of the North-Semitic one. Nor is it
a "scribal lacuna," Scribes wrote as trained; they didn't design the
writing system.

You did ask for comments...


BTW, it might be useful if we knew who or what an Essene was before we
refer to an "Essenic outlook."

Dr. Rochelle I. Altman, co-coordinator IOUDAIOS-L  risa@hol.gr

For private reply, e-mail to risa@mail.hol.gr
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