Summary of the Book of Giants by Jim Davila – And Loren Stuckenbruck Turns Into a Woman

Jim Davila (PaleoJudaica) recently noted that he has made available his lecture notes which provide a very useful summary and discussion of The Book of Giants, in its Christian (Manichaean) and Jewish (Dead Sea Scroll) versions. The Book of Giants is a development of the Book of Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36), and includes further stories about the offspring of the Watchers and human women (the Giants).

For a more detailed analysis of the quite fragmentary Dead Sea Scroll version of The Book of Giants, the best discussion is still Loren T. Stuckenbruck’s The Book of Giants from Qumran: Texts, Translation, and Commentary (TSAJ 63; Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997).

Loren Stuckenbruck: A man
Loren Stuckenbruck: A man

Loren Stuckenbruck is a man, and almost universally regarded as such. But in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary on Daniel, he becomes a woman:

Stuckenbruck (1997) has highlighted the striking similarity between a passage in 4Q530, an Aramaic text generally thought to belong to the Enochic work The Book of Giants, and Dan. 7:9-10. She questions earlier judgments that the Qumran text is dependent on Daniel, and suggests that the two texts make independent use of an earlier theophanic tradition. (p. 175)

The “1997” reference doesn’t refer to his 1997 book on The Book of Giants, but to Loren T. Stuckenbruck, “The Throne-Theophany of the Book of Giants: Some New Light on the background of Daniel 7,” in The Scrolls and the Scriptures: Qumran Fifty Years Later, eds. Stanley E. Porter and Craig E. Evans, 211-220 (Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, Supplementary Series, 26; Roehampton Institute London Papers, 3; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997). In that article, Stuckenbruck identifies eight examples of identical vocabulary in the two throne visions in lines 16b-20a (frgs 7, 8) of 4QEnGiantsb (4Q530) and Dan. 7.9-10, seven of which are in identical grammatical form, with remarkably similar sequence of phraseology, including five phrases in 17a, b, c-d, 18b, c which correspond to Dan. 7.9b, c, 10c, d, f and in exactly the same sequence (p. 217; cf. Book of Giants, 118). Comparison of the two texts demonstrates that the version in 4QEnGiantsb is “both structurally and theologically less complex than its counterpart in Daniel” (p. 219).  For example, it is more likely that Daniel has added further details concerning the seated figure, his throne, and the “Son of Man” figure than to suppose that 4QEnGiantsb has removed them. Also, the inflation of worshipers at the divine throne from “a hundred hundreds” and “a thousand thousands” (4QEnGiantsb) to “a thousand thousands” and “ten thousand ten thousands” (Dan. 7) is more likely than a reduction. This indicates that Dan. 7 is probably the later text, and dependent at least on a common tradition to that in 4QEnGiantsb.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s