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3.The Attribution ofModern Concepts to Authors and Readers of Ancient Texts

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Chapter Summary

This chapter disputes the readings of the Book of the Watchers (BW), demonstrating that this text was not composed for the purpose of communicating subtle theological/philosophical doctrines; nor, in my opinion, does the BW represent the battle cry of a dissenting priestly group. Rather, the BW is a midrashic-type expansion on the cryptic biblical lemma Gen 6:1-4, whose incorporation into the greater BW and 1Enoch serve as evidence that this work is, fundamentally, a hortatory opus. The chapter presents the scholarly hypothesis that deviation from a supposed cosmic order was the Watchers' primary sin, a theory that fails to take into account the horizon of expectations of the BW's readers and that has no solid grounding in the text.

Keywords:ancient texts; Book of the Watchers (BW); midrashic; Qumran

10.1163/9789004218826_004
/content/books/b9789004218826_004
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