Skip to content

“The Chosen One” of 1 Enoch: On Facts and Inferences

June 3, 2015

Of the various “chief agent” figures in various second-temple Jewish texts, the mysterious figure designated variously “the chosen one,” “the messiah,” and, by various Ethiopic expressions typically translated “the/that son of man,” is particularly noteworthy, and frequently invoked.  A recent commenter on my previous posting about the two phrases referring to Jesus in the NT as “at/on God’s right hand” is an example of this.  So, I thought a posting on the subject appropriate, using it as an example also of the two categories of facts and interpretation of them.

Let’s note some relevant facts first.[1]  The figure in question appears only in “The Parables/Similitudes of Enoch,” a part of the writing known as 1 Enoch, which is extant in this complete form only in Ethiopic (Ge`ez).  We have portions of parts of 1 Enoch in Aramaic (fragments from Qumran, with bits of chaps 1-36, 72-82, 85-90, and 91-107, and parts of the Book of Giants (the relationship of this text to the rest of the corpus of writings that now make up 1 Enoch uncertain). In one recent calculation, the Qumran Aramaic fragments amount to about 196 of the 1,062 verses of the Ethiopic text (and the 196 verses aren’t actually fully extant in the Aramaic fragments). We also have 4th-6th century CE fragments of a Greek translation, these preserving about 28% of Ethiopic 1 Enoch.

But in a recent list, the earliest manuscripts of 1 Enoch containing the “Parables/Similitudes” (in which the mysterious figure in question appears) are from the 15th/16th century CE (and these only six of the 49 manuscripts listed). Moreover, all of these Ethiopic manuscripts (the majority of which are from the 18th-20th centuries) reflect recensions of the text made in the Ethiopic Church, which treats 1 Enoch as (Christian) scripture. We scholars commonly now posit a composition of the Parables/Similitudes sometime in the first century CE, and probably in Aramaic. But it bears noting seriously that we don’t have that. What we have are Ethiopic manuscripts of the 15th century CE and later, which reflect an Ethiopic translation, likely from a Greek translation of a posited Aramaic composition. In short, we have a text that has a long and complex transmission-history, with recensions and oodles of accidental and deliberate changes.

But we scholars work with what we’ve got, and make as much of it as we can. Facts are what we have to work with; and scholarship consists in finding facts/data and then trying to interpret them and make reasonable inferences.[2] But it’s important to distinguish interpretations and the facts/data to which they relate. If all we had were manuscripts of, let’s say for example, the Gospel of Matthew from the 15th century CE and later, we’d be suitably modest about what we claimed (hopefully).

So, let’s also note what we don’t know. We don’t know that the Parables were composed in the first century CE, although, all things considered, that’s a perfectly reasonable claim (indeed, perhaps the most plausible date of composition for the material). We don’t know that the Parables were composed in Aramaic, but again that’s a perfectly reasonable assumption. We also don’t know that the Ethiopic text of the Parables accurately preserves the putative Aramaic original faithfully, free of any significant accidental or deliberate changes, but we work on the hope that it does.

Now let’s turn to the figure in question. This “Chosen One” is clearly a messianic figure, a human figure (as indicated in the several Ethiopic expressions commonly, and perhaps somewhat misleadingly all translated “the son of man,” as if there were some fixed title behind these several Ethiopic expressions). He is presented in a remarkable light. He’s named and designated for his eschatological role before/at creation of the world, to be revealed in the eschatological time. When revealed he will act as the chief agent of God in gathering the elect to him, judging the (pagan) nations and their rulers, and establishing God’s rule upon the earth. In this role he is to receive obeisance from these rulers and praise and acclamation from the elect. In his chief-agent role, he sits on “a/his glorious throne,” acting as God’s vizier.

There are obvious similarities to be drawn with the exalted role of resurrected Jesus in NT texts (e.g., Philippians 2:6-11; 1 Corinthians 15; Hebrews 1; Revelation 5, etc.). Indeed, in the Ethiopic Church, the figure is seen as Christ. But, assuming that the Parables don’t derive from Christian circles, there are also some interesting differences.

The figure in question is a literary one, not an actual and historical one. The Parables present themselves as visions, projections of eschatological events that (at the time of composition) are yet to be. They assert that in the eschatological time God will triumph over the pagan nations and that this figure will be the earthly agent of God’s triumph. The NT texts make their astonishing claims, however, for a then-recent figure of history, Jesus of Nazareth, whom they present as already exalted by God to heavenly glory, reigning in/from heaven and sharing God’s throne, “at God’s right hand.” Moreover, these astonishing claims likely erupted before the likely date of the composition of the Parables, although the notion of such an exalted chief-agent figure may well have been “in the air” of Jewish expectations/hopes for some time previous to that.

Still more important historically, the NT reflects the adaptation of Jewish devotional practices, initially in early circles of Jewish Jesus-followers, involving the incorporation of the exalted Jesus along with God as recipients of devotion. I’ve itemized the devotional actions in question in a number of publications over the last 25 years, so I won’t elaborate here.[3] I’ll simply make the point that, so far as history-of-religion questions are concerned, this eruption of a “dyadic” devotional pattern has no real precedent or analogy in any known second-temple Jewish circles or texts. That includes the Parables of Enoch. There is no indication that the projected (and still hidden) figure of this material was ever the object of cultic devotional practices. Nor is it really clear that the Parables project such a cultic devotion to be given to this figure when he appears as eschatological agent of God.

These too are facts/data. What scholars do with them is another matter, and a perfectly legitimate one. We can speculate and debate, and we can cherish our interpretations and hypotheses. But they are that.

What we have in the Parables is remarkable. But it’s not really of the same momentous nature historically as what we have rather clearly reflected and taken for granted as already conventional devotional claims and practices about Jesus in the NT, as I’ve noted in previous postings here and here .  Of course, the historical significance of Jesus-devotion says nothing automatically about its religious validity.  That’s a theological issue.  My work has focused on the historical issues, and that’s the main point of this posting.

[1] I draw here on the review of data in George W. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1 (Hermeneia Commentaries; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001), 9-26.

[2] In lectures I’ve sometimes referred to this using what I’m told originated as a US military term applied to war-games: SWAG = scientific wild-assed guesswork. But, I emphasize, it’s scientific guesswork, which means that it’s open to critique, refutation, and has to take best account of the facts.

[3] E.g., Larry W. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (2nd ed. T&T Clark, 1998), esp.93-124; At the Origins of Christian Worship (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), esp. 63-97; Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), esp. 134-53.

From → Uncategorized

32 Comments
  1. Fred Weston permalink

    From the broad view, most cultures throughout history have had rituals, protocols, of devotion and respect. Not only for past gods, but also living lords, kings. Much bowing and scraping, and many gifts and sacrifices, was made, even to living lords. Who for that matter, were sometimes regarded as gods, or sons or agents of gods.

    Given that, it should not be so surprising to see early devotions, even to a living Jesus.

    And given that many lords claimed to be sons of gods, a dynastic or dual devotion would not be so unusual.

    This would be divisive to be sure in Jewish monotheism. But it would be easily accepted by gentles, Romans, and the hellenized Jews in the dispersed areas. Who comprised many early converts.

    • Fred: You’re missing the historical point completely. The cultic devotion pattern I have pointed to commenced among circles of devout Jewish Jesus-followers, for whom it would have been a major “mutation”. It is utterly remarkable that this happened in these circles. (You might try reading the work of scholars on the subject, which would help you get into the game.)

      • Fred Weston permalink

        Is it absolutely certain these were indeed absolutely devout Jews, still not hellenized to any degree, even after 350 years of Greeks and Romans living in — and often ruling – this region? Especially after 100 years of Roman occupation of Jerusalem itself, and Pontius Pilate etc.in charge of the city.

        Surely some jews had compromised.

      • The Jewish followers of Jesus of the earliest period that we know of were, to all evidence, devout Jews, not apostates. There were apostates, and others who negotiated their existence in various ways, especially in Diaspora cites, no doubt. But there is no indication of the Jesus-followers being particularly “soft” on their religion. Of course, all the east had been “hellenized” in terms of language, etc. But, as reflected in the Maccabean revolt, they drew the line on worship.

      • Fred Weston permalink

        I am trying to think of what in their experience or culture would have made devout Jews suddenly accept that Jahweh had a near-equal son. As your word “mutation” might suggest to some, it would seem quite surprising, or even incongruous. Unless some other cultural experience had prepared them to accept this radical change.

      • Fred: That was the question I started with over 30 years ago, and have published on since then. But on the specific statement you make, it’s more complex than that. We do have unexpected developments in the history of religion, as in other areas of cultural history. In retrospect, we can surmise some conditions that may have contributed to them, but we can’t predict them. I’ve proposed factors involved in the early Jesus-devotion “mutation.” You can read my work. Just a thought.

      • Fred Weston permalink

        For me, the thing that explains it all, would be especially, ironically, non-Jewish, Greek and Roman influence; the new Lords or emperors who demanded worship.

        Ironically, I suggest, Christianity was created by Jews, semi-consciously borrowing Roman concepts. Which allowed that a human being – like Jesus – could be a god, or son of a god.

      • Fred: Your proposal has what will seem an intrinsic cogency. The problem is that the evidence doesn’t support it . . . at all. I’ve worked on the question for some 30 years, hopefully not because I’m slow and stupid, but because what may seem initially an obvious solution just doesn’t stack up against the data. You’re simply failing to grasp how much the concern to protect the uniqueness of the biblical deity especially in cultic worship was THE red line issue for self-identifying Jews of the Roman era. You can have “gods” (as, e.g., the “elim” in Qumran texts) and sons of God/gods, galore, especially in a “polytheistic” worldview where multiple and multiplying deities is welcome. But that just doesn’t work for Roman era Judaism, especially in matters of worship. So, a more serious investigative approach is needed, which is what I’ve worked at over a number of years.

      • Fred Weston permalink

        Wouldn’t The god having a “son” be an attempt to accommodate a new side to an old god? It would hint at a very strong continuity between old and new, while allowing however, some updating.

      • Fred: We’re getting nowhere, because you don’t know anything about what we’re discussing. I repeat: Read relevant scholarly works. “Son of God” is an authentic biblical/Old Testament term, referring variously to the king, the nation of Israel, angels, the virtuous man. You don’t need Hellenism for it. Further, it isn’t the key term in the earliest Christian discourse. Instead, it’s Messiah and Lord. I repeat: This isn’t the venue in which to teach all you need to know. You’ll have to invest some effort on your own. We’re done on this. OK?

  2. Tim Reichmuth permalink

    Dr. H.,
    I for one, am also amazed that the distinction you have maintained throughout your writings and this site fail to be recognized. As a Pastor/teacher the distinctive you have highlighted, Jesus being part of the cultic worship, has enabled me to more clearly express the uniqueness of Jesus in second temple Judaism.

    Tim

    • Well, more correctly, it reflects the uniqueness or novelty of earliest circles of Jesus-followers.

  3. Deane permalink

    Thank you for your opinion on this matter.

    I agree that the textual evidence for the Similitudes is, as you say, not as good as we might like. And this is hardly surprising, given that 1 Enoch was only canonical in a small and isolated part of Christendom after the second century CE, whereas a text such as the Gospel of Matthew (to use your own example) was preserved as a canonical text throughout the Christian world. Nevertheless, fragments of the Similitudes are available much earlier than this, from at least the second century CE, as McDonald documents in the recent volume edited by Bock and Charlesworth (he lists the Apocalypse of Peter, Odes of Solomon, Athenogoras, Origen, Lactantius, and the Book of Adam and Eve). Moreover, as the Similitudes are canonical as part of 1 Enoch, we can reasonably assume that they were not subject to alterations anywhere near the extent of certain non-canonical Christian works.

    While a separation of “facts” and “inferences” is to some extent possible and desirable, in practice they do tend to intertwine. For instance, you write that the early Christian claims about the exaltation of Jesus “likely erupted before the likely date of the composition of the Parables”. I didn’t understand what makes this “likely”, given the uncertainties in dating the work which you also emphasised. And recent scholarship (e.g. in the Enoch Seminar volume and the Nickelsberg/VanderKam Hermeneia commentary) tends to date the Similitudes before, or at latest contemporary with, Jesus. So I checked my copy of One God, One Lord, and saw that your references to a later first-century dating were to a discussion in a 1979 issue of NTS, including a reference to Charlesworth, who I recall now dates the Similitudes to shortly after 40 BCE. Further, some of the reasoning for the late-first-century dating is suspect in light of scholarship since then: sure, the Similitudes are not present at Qumran, but the bulk of the community’s literary activity was in the first half of the first century BCE, and there is a break in occupation in the late first century BCE.

    So, sticking with the facts, we do not know whether the Similitudes predated Jesus – and, more inferentially, the ideas it contains likely were, as you put it, “in the air” while Jesus was alive. If there is a “shocking” development here, it is as at least as likely with the Similitudes as with the early Christian movement. It is the Similitudes that gives us an eschatological Messiah, who was hidden from the beginning of time and who will reappear in the end-times after his natural lifetime, who is responsible for eschatological judgment and eradicating evil, who sits on God’s own throne, who receives worship/devotion from earth, and who is eternal. Some may classify this as “divine agent” and others as a second divinity, but whatever the nomenclature, it is likely the Similitudes which makes this remarkable development within Jewish monotheism. No wonder there is no Jewish outcry at Jesus devotion in the earliest NT sources (pace, with respect, your own inferences to the contrary).

    So what’s new with Jesus? Mainly only that it’s Jesus and not Enoch. Yes, he is an historical person, as Enoch was believed to be. And yes, he lived much more recently than Enoch was supposed to have lived. These things are new developments, but are they significant? This looks more like religious evolution to me, not “mutation”.

    • Deane, I’ve published your comment even though it is much longer than appropriate as a comment, precisely because it displays where you are in error. First, treating a text as scripture or “canonical” by no means automatically means that it will be transmitted without changes. Indeed, it can mean the opposite.
      Second, there are no “fragments of the Similitudes” any earlier than the late medieval Ethiopic manuscripts. People find what may be allusions or indications of possible influence (both being inferences, not facts) in earlier texts, but no “fragments” (which would have to be pieces of early manuscripts).
      Thirdly, the date of the composition of the Similitudes is unknown. Scholars attempt a dating based on various guesses and inferences (which is what we do with practically all ancient literary texts), and in some circles recently the dating has been moved from late 1st cent CE to early 1st cent CE or even late lst cent BCE. I don’t dispute any of this, but I simply note that it’s a current scholarly construct. My use of “likely” was based on a slightly more cautious dating of the Similitudes, but, hey, no problem if it’s earlier.
      Finally, you’re still failing to grasp the point that I’ve made repeatedly: The Similitudes project a FUTURE figure who will execute messianic salvation/judgment, and is grandly portrayed. But THERE IS NO CULTIC WORSHIP give to this figure. Obeisance of conquered kings, yes. Acclamation of him (future) by the elect, yes. But no one is baptized in his name. He isn’t invoked to constitute the worship circle. There is no ritual confession of him in the circles that read/used 1 Enoch. There is no common meal in his name and over which he is thought to preside.
      By contrast these and other phenomena typify the circles of the Jesus-movement from earliest evidence. In terms of ancient Jewish concerns about WORSHIP above all, this is a remarkable and novel development. I’m sorry if you can’t see the historical situation well enough to grasp that. It is a remarkable “mutation” in DEVOTIONAL PRACTICE. Scholars often fail to take PRACTICE seriously, focusing simply on ideas, etc. But in the ancient world, worship practice was the key indicator of what we mean by “religion”, and the key Jewish concern was protecting the uniqueness of YHWH in WORSHIP practices. So, what erupts in early Christian circles was a big deal. And the Similitudes (with other texts surveyed in my One God, One Lord book) are important in giving us (in my argument) a conceptual category drawn upon by early Christians. But in their devotional practice we see a noteworthy “mutation”. (And in evolutionary theory, a “mutation” is a sudden and noteworthy development exhibiting obvious links to parent tradition but also distinctive new developments, appearing somewhat suddenly in the evolutionary scheme.)

      • Deane permalink

        I’ll be more brief. I quite understand your argument for the distinctiveness of Christianity in terms of the devotion shown to a figure other than Almighty God. I quite grasp your argument, which you have made clear in many works; but I only see good evidence for such levels of Christ-devotion towards the end of the first century, not in earliest Christianity. It follows that I do not see this late-first-century Christian devotion as relevant to a comparison between the exaltation of Enoch in Similitudes and the exaltation of Jesus in Paul or even Mark. For example, I do not see clear evidence of hymns being sung to Jesus before Revelation (possibly the pseudo-Pauline Ephesians). I do not see any Jews in dispute with Christians before the date of the Gospel of John about Christian devotion to Christ, or the reverence due to him, or his power able to be invoked by Christians. In particular, I do not see any such dispute anywhere in the otherwise contentious Paul – a notable silence (yes, I know you disagree). I do see signs of internal debate even among Christians when the Gospel of John introduces a higher view of and devotion to Jesus (eg 6:60ff). I know and understand that you make arguments that the level of devotion to Jesus which is found in John is present much earlier. But I do not find those arguments convincing. Do not misunderstand me as failing to grasp your arguments. I simply cannot see good support for your own conclusions, in respect of earliest Christianity. On Christianity at about 100 CE, I am substantially in agreement with you – this is a significant divergence from other Judaisms. But this is, I judge, well after the Similitudes. Christ-devotion evolved towards something that was distinct from other Judaisms – eventually. We disagree about the inferences from the facts. It is not that I fail to grasp your own inferences.

        As for the other points, I was using the term “fragment” in the broader sense, eg in Jacoby’s Fragmente, where it refers to citations, quotations, paraphrases, summaries, etc, as I would have thought my list of citations from ancient authors would have made clear. The substantial point here is that there is textual evidence of the Similitudes before the 15thC – as early as the 2ndC. In pointing out that 1 Enoch was canonical, I was distinguishing it from non-canonical texts which are believed to have been greatly altered by Christians, such as T12 or Ascension of Isaiah, not denying that any textual changes were made in translation and transmission of 1 Enoch. An earlier dating for the Similitudes, which you are prepared to entertain, fits not only with Jewish texts such as Wis Sol, but what was “in the air” in early Christianity (and eventually in a text, in Mark). But this is a large topic, and I only wish to make it clear that disagreement with your own conclusions does not constitute a failure to grasp your position, but simply a different inference from the facts.

      • OK, Deane. You’ve stated your different stance, refusing to grant the force of the evidence and arguments that I’ve made, and which have persuaded a number of other scholars. But your stance is a “hold out” one, that does not engage my arguments. You simply reject them. that’s your privilege, but until you publish a proper case you can’t expect me or other critical scholars to take it seriously. I think the discussion of this matter is closed now. Let’s move on.

      • David C permalink

        When you are talking about worshipping of the figure. What about texts like 1En 46:4-5, 48:4 or 62:9?

      • David: These texts make my point exactly. 1 Enoch 46:4-5–the figure overturns the pagan kings/kingdoms “because they do not exalt or praise him.” This isn’t cultic worship; it’s obeisance to a conqueror. 1 Enoch 48:4-5–“all who dwell on the earth will fall down and worship before him, and they will glorify and bless and sing humns to the name of the Lord of Spirits” (NB: what looks like cultic worship is directed to the “Lord of the Spirits,” the messianic figure the representative before whom the worship takes place). 1 Enoch 62:9–again “kings and mighty men”, i.e., pagan rulers, who “supplicate and petition for mercy” from the messianic figure: again, not cultic worship but fawning and obeisance to a conqueror.
        Contrast this with the many references to cultic worship (e.g., by the elect) as directed to “the Lord of the Spirits” (e.g., 48:5, 10; 61:11-13).

  4. David C permalink

    I would completely agree about your skepticism with 1. Enoch, but I think it’s not as much different with the gospel tradition about Jesus. All traditions were originally in Aramaic, all of them were oral, then they were translated to Greek, written with theological “biases” and still we hope in recoverable historical data. It also needs some hope🙂

    • The difference with 1 Enoch (esp. the Similitudes/Parables) is that our earliest copies are from the 15th century (although Loren Stuckenbruck has found many additional copies of Ethiopic 1 Enoch, I’m not aware that any are much earlier). As a textual critic I know that transmission can involve changes. I’m not a sceptic about 1 Enoch, just noting that our inferences and assumptions are that.

  5. Paul J permalink

    If the Parables of Enoch arise out of a first century Aramaic setting, might they not have been a response to Christian claims?

    • Anything is possible, but this is less likely than other proposals.

    • David C permalink

      I think that there are some suggestions about ch. 71 as a possible response to christian identification of Jesus as Son of man. But this suggestion assume that 1En really talks about at least “some” son of man.

      • 1 Enoch does refer to a figure with various Ethiopic phrases translated as “that/the son of man (who has righteousness, etc.)”. It’s also contended by some (and disputed by other) that chap 71 is a later addition, in which Enoch is identified as the figure.

  6. I appreciate your continued focus on the distinctive features of the devotional pattern of the NT toward Jesus. But in that devotional pattern, it seems the dyadic feature has some grounding in extant Jewish ideas of some plurality in God’s nature (whether from wisdom ideology, or from Daniel 7).
    In that case, isn’t the particular value of the Enoch Similitudes that it is another Jewish testimony (non historical to be sure, but visionary) of this plurality, this perception of a dyadic nature? That is, if Enoch is expressing an interpretation of Daniel 7, and it is more or less from the same 2nd temple, 1 century CE Jewish milieu, would that not be an important part of the larger Jewish thought pattern that might serve as a way of understanding the eruption of Jesus devotion?
    Or, to put it another way, perhaps the Jesus devotion arose so quickly because there was already the fertile ground existing in certain strands of Jewish thought, as evidenced by the Enoch parables?

    • Mark: We don’t have in the items/figures you mention a real “plurality in God’s nature” (whatever God’s “nature” might be). These figures I have discussed (in my book, One God, One Lord), as “chief agent” figures. I’ve proposed that there was a conceptual category of “chief agent” in 2nd temple Jewish tradition, which afforded earliest Jewish believers a category to accommodate Jesus alongside God. But their appropriation of this category also involved a radical and novel/distinctive “mutation” of it, in which this chief agent receives cultic devotion (not attested for any of the other/prior figures).

      • Well, granted that to speak of “plurality of God’s nature” is a bit of an interpretive move. But in the texts I offered, doesn’t the “agent” take on aspects that could easily be seen as participation in God’s “nature” (Ok, granted again the problematic of that term).
        For instance Wisdom’s participation in creation in Prov. 8, or Wisdom’s
        “pure emanation of the glory of the almighty.” And Daniel 7’s image of that “one like a son of man” who is given dominion and glory and kingship, an everlasting dominion. This seems to participate in some key elements of God? (creation, glory, dominion). And this power/dominion language in Daniel seems to suggest that people will serve/bow before him. At least this sets the scene for possible worship, doesn’t it? (I’m thinking here of Phil. 2) .
        Granted, we should carefully guard our use of language — I really appreciate your continued call to be careful about terminology — and agent certainly is more cautious. But don’t the various texts, and there combination (and I note Enoch seems to draw on both wisdom ideas and certainly evokes Daniel) suggest that a fertile ground for what happens in the early Jewish/Christian church with respect to Jesus is being prepared?

      • Mark: Have you read my book, One God, One Lord? From your comments it seems not, and that you’re trying to tell me something that I’ve discussed at some length in that book: That early Jewish Christians likely drew upon “chief agent” traditions initially in accommodating Jesus alongside God. And, yes, in my view, if “divine identity” Bauckham’s expression) = key actions/attributes such as creation and sovereignty, then Lady Wisdom acting as agent of creation is part of the divine identity. But, NB: “Wisdom” in Proverbs, Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon, is a literary conceit, a figurative motif, a personified attribute of God, not a being distinguishable from God. The same for Philo’s Logos.
        As for Dan 7 and the manlike figure, he and the “saints of the most high” are both given this dominion and glory.
        The major “mutation” (I say yet again for the umpteenth time over ca. 25 years) was the incorporation of Jesus into the devotional practices of early circles of believers.

      • I have read your book and I use for my NT Theology classes.
        But with your dismissive remark, it appears that dialogue is not in order.

      • Oh, dear! What “dismissive remark”?? I simply noted reasons for scholarly caution. I do hope I didn’t offend unintentionally.

  7. Fred Weston permalink

    Aren’t there some signs that devotionalism and sacramentalisms were later interpolations? Or, if early, perhaps derived from pagan Easter rites of spring, etc.?

    • I don’t know what you mean specifically. The practices that I cite (and do try reading scholarship such as mine, as it’ll help you avoid some errors) have nothing to do with any supposed “pagan Easter rites of spring, etc.” (and, again, I have no idea what you mean, and don’t recall any scholar pointing to such as relevant).

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: