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The Origin of Evil Spirits: The Reception of Genesis 6.1-4 in Early Jewish Literature
Archie Wright examines the trajectory of the origin of evil spirits in early Jewish literature. His work traces the development of the concept of evil spirits from the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 6) through post biblical Jewish literature. The research is concerned with the reception history of Genesis 6:1-4 in early Enochic and Philonic Judaism during the Second Temple Period. ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published December 31st 2005 by Mohr Siebeck
(first published September 10th 2005)
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The book of Genesis, as I note elsewhere (Sects and Violence in the Ancient World), has strange beginnings. Just six chapters in there’s an episode about the sons of God marrying the daughters of humans. Apparently their kids are giants. Conveyed in just four verses of Holy Writ, this story is left hanging in the air, only very briefly referenced elsewhere. Wright undertakes, in this revised doctoral dissertation, to trace the influence of these verses through its most elaborate expansion, the b ...more
This is a thesis that was updated for publication and so like most doctoral theses it is a dry read due to the necessity of trying to be as detailed as possible in explaining each topic. This work spends most of its time trying to discern how the enigmatic passage about the sons of God bearing children with human women is interpreted in documents like 1 Enoch, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Philo of Alexandria's work (as a contrasting perspective). There is some good information but it will probably b ...more