Talk:Book of Jubilees

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Questioning the relevance[edit]

Can we get some quotes about the Nephilim as mentioned in Jubilees to give the following bit an air of relevance? Does Og even get mentioned in Jubilees? I have left this in the article, nevertheless:

The Nephilim which were in existence during the time of Noah were wiped out by the great flood. However, biblical accounts found in Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua indicate that the Nephilim, as well as other races of giants who were the progeny of the Nephilim, were reconstituted after the flood, since at least one of the Nephilim, Og, had survived the flood.

Why is this text in this article? --Wetman 20:13, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Surely the Nephelim appear in the Book of Numbers, meaning they survived the flood, or were respawened after it took place? 23:57, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

This is not Star Trek, where apparent mutual incoherences need to be explained away. These are two independent texts, separated by centuries, written from different cultural points-of-view. Like satyrs, nephilim have no existence outside these texts, and "respawning" and other pseudo-biographical imaginings are not with an encyclopedia's scope. --Wetman 01:56, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

A couple possible errors[edit]

I'm posting these here to give others a chance to comment before I correct because I am not an expert on this subject (but I'm almost certain the article is in error).

"As the Chronicler had rewritten the history of Israel and Judah from the 7th century BCE point-of-view of the Priests' Code"

Does *anyone* believe that Chronicles was written this early? Especially considering that it goes right up to the 6th century, and that Ezra and Nehemiah are likely by the same author and continue ever later???

"not unlike the way the Deuteronomist recast older materials to create Leviticus and Deuteronomy"

I've never heard of anyone who considered Leviticus to have been written by the Deuteronomist. Plus, I don't think these situations are really analogous.

River Tina[edit]

Just curious... does anyone know where the "river Tina" is? It is referred to in the book, but I can't figure out which river it is. The Behnam 21:09, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

According to the footnoted editions you can find in the library, (Charles & Charlesworth) it is the river Don or Tanais. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 21:49, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Now I can find my allotment. The Behnam 21:53, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


A Reliable Source describes this book as one of the Pseudepigrapha, and so should we. Please don't delete scholarly refrences from RSs. Leadwind (talk) 15:23, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

It's already mentioned neutrally who considers it "pseudepigrapha", ref that of you want, To declare it "is" pseudepigrapha is antoi-EOTC POV, and taking sides. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 15:26, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Citing a Reliable Source isn't taking sides. Leadwind (talk) 15:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Citing a POV source as if there were no disagreement is. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 15:30, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is NOT the Council of Nicea. It isn't our role to issue pronouncements as to what books "are" properly to be considered canonical, what books aren't, and what books are to be considered "false writings" or "pseudepigrapha". All we can do is faithfully and neutrally report what the various differing canons of the various bodies are, and how they differ, which can certainly be referenced, as long as the language remains neutral. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:01, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Any record of the suppression?[edit]

Is there any record of the suppression of this book or did it just gradually fade from use. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:47, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

New Section[edit]

This article ogn Jubilees in completely outdated. It repeats the scholarly position of Robert Henry Charles. Charles was an outstanding scholar but he wrote in 1912, one century ago, long before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. There is no scholar today that claims that Jubilees was a Pharisaic document. The articles needs urgently to be updated. I could not help giving some suggestions, when a student brought to my attention the content of this article. Wikipedia is now currently used by University undergraduate students and must provide a basic, neutral position, reflecting the current status of research. Gboccaccini (talk) 18:21, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Please take a look at some of the previous conversations here. The status of this book, and theories about its origins are officially disputed. The only complete copies were found in Ethiopia, where they are still regarded, to this day, as holy and canonical books. The opinion of the Ethiopian Church regarding their own holy book constitutes, per WP:NPOV, a "significant POV" -- exactly as does the opinion of Muslims regarding the Quran, or the opinion of Mormons regarding the Book of Mormon, etc. Therefore any assertion that it "is" a first century "pseudepigrapha" / "false writing" / "forgery", that drops the necessary NPOV caveat "in the opinion of modern western scholars" is POV- pushing, and endorsing one POV above another, which is not neutral. If you want to include a detailed explanation in the article of how Charles' views differ from those of later European scholars, scribes and "experts", please keep NPOV in mind. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 18:40, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I understand your point and I agree. I have profound respect for the position of the Ethiopian Church, that must be reported. My point is different. The article must also report correctly the scholarly view. Now, the idea that Jubilees is a Pharisaic document is not the position of the Ethiopian Church; it was the scholarly view of H.R. Charles but it is not the current position of contemporary American, European, Israeli, etc. etc. scholars, after the discovery of the Dead Seas Scrolls. This should be stated, otherwise it seems that this is still the contemporary scholarly view. I am sure that you agree on this. A "neutral" article must report things as they are, that is, the position of the Ethiopian Church as well as the scholarly position. Just a curiosity: Why did you mention only later "European" scholars? Some of the most distinguished specialists in Jubilees are American: James VanderKam (Notre Dame University), George W.E. Nickelsburg (Iowa University), John J. Collins (Yale University), etc. Gboccaccini (talk) 05:00, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Bad Citation[edit]

It's a little bit shocking to me that someone has cut-and-pasted Charles' words without quotation marks. And nobody caught that. It's very bad citation practice to do such a thing. I'll modify it shortly to show exactly what is being quoted with an accurate citation to the source. Wjhonson (talk) 05:37, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Charles references[edit]

I took half the first two paragraphs about Charles out of the Message section. They're completely unreferenced.... That whole "Message" section needs serious revision. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:57, 13 February 2009 (UTC) I think its clear enough that more contemporary research be cited. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:00, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

My Revisions (BanahBen-Isra'el)[edit]

Please show me where it is stated that discussion is required before making revisions Til. Albeit my additions did contain personal research. But the only changes I made were conforming the article to the NPOV. Calling those men 'rabbis' is not NPOV. Thats the POV of the Jews who denied Christ. The other POV would be to call them anti-christs. But I changed it to 'jews' which is the neutral of those two POVs. Perhaps putting 'so-called Rabbis' would be another way of conveying this. I suggest that term also to be used in regard to the 'early church fathers', i.e. for it to be changed to 'so-called early church fathers'. My additions were all sound and weren't pushing a paticular POV. But they included my own research. They do not have to be included, then for that reason, yet take heed regardless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BanahBen-Isra'el (talkcontribs) 04:00, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

problematic statement: "under the jurisdiction of Rome"[edit]

Among many odd claims made in this article is the following:

It is only through the canons of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, that were outside the jurisdiction of Rome that the book in its entirety has managed to survive at all[citation needed].

This was clearly added by someone with (a) an anti-Roman bias and (b) a shaky grasp of history. To speak of being "under the jurisdiction of Rome" is something of an anachronism before the 11th century or so, and of course never really applied to Eastern Christendom. Further, the Oriental Orthodox were geographically closer to the Eastern Orthodox (i.e. under the presidency of Constantinople), so it would be more plausible to blame the Byzantines than the Pope for any alleged suppression of Jubilees among non-Oriental Orthodox.

Perhaps the best thing would be to delete the sentence entirely, since it has no source to back it up. The "citation needed" note has been up for some months now. ZheXueJia (talk) 20:40, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

It's not an anachronism before the 11th c. at all; if you research how the Oriental Orthodox Church came to be, it's because the Pope of Rome insisted that the other members of the Pentarchy be excommunicated from him, at the Council of Chalcedon. But what I was thinking when I wrote that in the article, was actually the fact that Ethiopia was never under the political jurisdiction of the Roman Emperor, relative to what it says about him appointing the Bishops who banned the book. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:39, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm comfortable with my knowledge of the Council of Chalcedon. What can I say? You have compounded historical error upon error but refuse to cite any sources. Your view of the papacy is practically out of the Da Vinci Code. I suspect the source of your views is not reliable history but propaganda, so let me say that I sympathize with the plight of the Oriental Orthodox both in ancient history and in modern times (such as in Egypt and the Middle East). But if you are going to make claims on Wikipedia you need to back them up with reliable sources.
Particularly tendentious is your claim that the book was "banned," for which you provide no evidence.
I would be willing to accept an emendation of the sentence as follows: It is only because of its canonical status in the Oriental Orthodox Churches that the book in its entirety has managed to survive at all.
ZheXueJia (talk) 15:41, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Sure, that emendation works fine for me... despite everything else you just said. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:41, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
While my tone was perhaps a bit harsh, for which I ask your forgiveness, I don't see how that mitigates the importance of the message, viz. that you need to provide proper citations for claims that others consider dubious. ZheXueJia (talk) 18:16, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

I've edited the Origins section using VanderKam, as he's a lot more recent than Charles. Charles still gets mentioned, but only where VanderKam quotes him. I think this now gives a much better picture of contemporary understanding of the question.

I've also amended the lead slightly, adding the date of origin from VanderKam plus a little about canonicity. I'm not happy with the canonicity part - it apocryphal in many traditions, but not all. PiCo (talk) 06:01, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

You are pushing a disputed POV. Please stop. It is laughable that you correctly write that VanderKam's hypothesis rests on what he regards as "cryptic references", in other words he can read whatever he wants between the lines. The argument that it quotes from the Book of Dreams and this proves the age of the book is rubbish, because the Book of Dreams is part of the Book of Enoch, and no more lucid or compelling argument has ever been devised for the "scholarly" dating of that book either. This is pure, unmitigated assertion about the age of the Ethiopian Bible by non-Ethiopian scholars who think their assertions and opinions and POVs are made out of gold, and therefore everyone else must be told to accept them on blind faith, nothing more. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 10:22, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Til, we have to go by reliable sources, and VanderKam is a reliable source - one of the leading scholars specialising in Hellenistic-era Judaism. If you have reliable sources saying something different then by all means reference them, but you can't simply make assertions. PiCo (talk) 10:31, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Nope. You are pushing VanderKam's very sketchy hypothesis. The text doesn't say "Maccabean" or anything of the nature, the only way it gets in there is if you write it in yourself as VanderKam has. That is not "independent scholarship", get out of here. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 10:55, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
In addition to VanderKam, who is one of the leading modern experts on this subject, we have: The Oxford Bible Commentary, which on page 798 suggests the period 180-150 BC, and the Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, p. 474, which says 161-140 BC with 170-165 as possible but less likely. Two respected general reference works, in other words. That sounds like a mainstream opinion to me. PiCo (talk) 12:31, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
But it is attacking someone else's significant opinion so it cannot be neutral, and must be attributed. (Aside from the fact that it is a mere bald assertion arrived at by tampering with the text, and barely even qualifies as a "hypothesis"...) Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:34, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
So VanderKam and Frank Moore Cross, and the Oxford editors and the Mercer editors, are all wrong, and Til and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church are right?PiCo (talk) 22:58, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
No Pico, and neither is it the other way around. There are different significant and conficting povs, we don't endorse any of them, just report what they are in neutral language. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:06, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I've revised para 1 to put more emphasis on contemporary scholarly views (and incidentally to remove what looks like a confusion over dating), and added the beginning of a para about EEOC views, which I leave it to you to finish. PiCo (talk) 00:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

TE, PiCo isn't pushing a POV. He's citing reliable sources, which is what a good editor does. If you don't have RSs that disagree with mainstream scholarship, then you don't have a valid objection to PiCo's material. Leadwind (talk) 14:13, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

fact tag in lead[edit]

I removed the assertion that the pseudepigraph designation is by various Christian churches because my textbook (Harris) and Encyclopedia Britannica Online make no such assertion. Another editor restored the text. I put a fact tag on the text, and the editor removed the tag without providing a citation (!). I put it back.

The burden of proof falls on the editor who adds or restores information to an article. If this editor can't provide an RS for the challenged assertion, then the challenged material should be removed. It's a straightforward application of WP policy.

Comments? Leadwind (talk) 13:26, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

You have got to be kidding. The word "pseudepigrapha" is the historical term applied by Catholic and Protestant clerics as early as Jerome to works they consider "falsely ascribed", despite the fact that some of these are canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and ascribed to their purported authors. It is not a neutral term, and wikipedia does not endorse or declare which sacred texts are false and which are not, for that is not NPOV. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:47, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Til has a point here. There are a number of books which are or are not accepted by one or more churches which have been labeled by others. This seems to be one of them. I would think that maybe something along the lines "the work is considered canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (and whomever else), and regarded as one of the pseudepigrapha (or noncanonical) by the western churches (or Catholic Church, or whatever)", might be preferable language. John Carter (talk) 19:15, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

"thoroughly suppressed"[edit]

What evidence is there that it was "thoroughly suppressed" (as opposed to the rabbis merely having no particular interest in going to the effort of making new manuscript copies of it)? -- AnonMoos (talk) 04:38, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Missing references[edit]

Kugel is cited three times. No bibliographic nor external reference is provided matching this name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:24, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

Any objection to moving this page to "Book of Jubilees"? Joefromrandb (talk) 17:19, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Edits to Subsequent Use[edit]

I removed the sentence from the article which read, "In 325, after Bishops had been appointed by the Roman Emperor Constantine, they decided to accept only those Old Testament books that were still preserved in the Masoretic Hebrew canon, thus excluding Jubilees" because it's not accurate:

(1) The Roman Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox all include deuterocanonical ("Apocrypha") books within their biblical canons. These books are not found in the Masoretic Hebrew; some of them (e.g. 1 & 2 Maccabees) were not even composed in Hebrew! However, these books were a part of the version of the Septuagint which was widely used by early Greek-speaking Christians so this widespread use eventually crystallized into canonical acceptance. No Septuagint manuscripts are known to have contained Jubilees so it generally was regarded as non-canonical by Greek-speaking Christians (and Roman Catholics who followed the Vulgate's canon which was based on that of the Septuagint). Moreover, all these churches embrace the decrees of First Nicaea as binding, so had it accepted "only those Old Testament books that were still preserved in the Masoretic Hebrew canon" these churches would not have included the deuterocanonical books in the canon in order to comply with the directive of Nicaea.

(2) Although the claim that the First Nicene Council determined the biblical canon seems to be a widespread perception within the general population, it's not supported by evidence. For example, I came across this article via a Google search. No extant decree or other proceeding from Nicaea or any statement by a Christian who was actually there contains any reference to deciding which books belong in the Bible. The closest we can come is a statement by Jerome some sixty years later that "But the Nicene Council is considered to have counted this book [Judith] among the number of sacred Scriptures." (Judith is a deuterocanonical book not found in the Masoretic Hebrew.)

--Mike Agricola (talk) 23:41, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


1) In my sentence that you removed I was of course referring to the protocanon. I agree you are correct that those books in the Septuagint but no longer known in the Hebrew, were included in the deuterocanon. There might be some more accurate way to reword it in that regard. I say no longer known in the Hebrew in reference to the Qumran edition. 2) I'm not sure I agree that the canons were not decided at Nicea because I have seen too many reliable sources indicating they were. I have also seen that the copy of the Nicea I proceedings that the Ethiopians have, does indeed specify the same 66 books known as the protocanon, as being the protocanon. It's published with the Fetha Negest. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 00:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Never mind that part about the Fetha Negest, I just looked it up in my handy copy and see that I misremembered what it said (it actually lists 81 books and ascribes this to St Clement, not Nicea). But I have still seen quite a few sources claiming Nicea I in 325 is where they determined the canon... They say Athanasius was present and he insisted on it, among others. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 01:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. With regards to Nicaea, I have also encountered sources (generally of low quality) which make claims about Nicaea closing the biblical canon and "suppressing" other books such as Jubilees. However, I have not seen any academic publication written by an expert in early Christian history making that sort of claim. (See First_Council_of_Nicaea#The_biblical_canon). Again, the major factor underlying the development of the Old Testament canon for Catholics and Eastern/Oriental Orthodox was the corpus of books inherited via the Septuagint from the Alexandrian Jews. Books like Judith were included, but Jubilees wasn't. But be that as it may, bringing up the First Nicene Council in this article is probably too tangential especially as (to my knowledge) the council had nothing to say about Jubilees at all. A statement about it being regarded as non-canonical (with the exception of course of Beta Israel and the Ethiopian Orthodox) because it was never included in the Masoretic Hebrew Bible or the Septuagint would be appropriate - but it would need to be supported by a WP:RS connecting its non-canonical status with its non-inclusion in the Masoertic and Septuagint so that a statement making this association doesn't get flagged as WP:OR.
It seems to me that the paragraph in question doesn't need to be expanded with tangential details about Nicaea, but it does need fleshing out in other ways. For example, the beliefs of Beta Israel and the Ethiopian Orthodox about the books's age and its being dictated to Moses should be cited. Also, it would be nice to provide some examples, perhaps including quotes, of church fathers expressing their high regard for the book. (For others reading this discussion, here's a quote of this paragraph for reference:
The book of Jubilees was evidently held in high regard, and sometimes quoted at length, by some Early Church Fathers. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and Beta Israel Jews have continued to consider Jubilees an important book of the Bible, dictated to Moses, and older than Genesis. --Mike Agricola (talk) 16:28, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Note that the Masoretic Hebrew canon was determined some time after the Qumran Hebrew version, so it is believed to have been purged from Hebrew copies at some point in that intervening time. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 17:11, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
It is true that the final debates over boundaries of the Jewish rabbinical canon took place after the destruction of the Qumran community by the invading Roman legions circa 70 A.D. That can readily be supported through citations to the Babylonian Talmud. However, if the "so it is believed" connection to the purging of Jubilees from the Hebrew canon were made in the article itself, it could be tagged as WP:SYNTH unless a WP:RS can be found that directly supports this association. Correlation does not always equal causation. For example, while it is certainly true that copies of Jubilees were discovered at Qumran, the members of this community didn't tell us for what purpose they used the text. So far as we know, they didn't leave a list of texts they regarded as canonical, so we don't know if they deemed Jubilees canonical or merely a non-inspired (but still useful) example of religious literature. Moreover, some scholars speak of "Judaisms" (plural) in the late Second Temple period - various sects with relatively little interconnection to one another. Even if the Qumran community had canonized Jubilees, they may have done so after their schism from the broader Jewish community, so perhaps there never was a "purge" from the Masoretic Jewish Bible of books like Jubilees that they had never included there in the first place.
In essence, there are several possible ways to interpret at the discovery of Jubilees at Qumran, not all of which necessitate presuming that it was purged from Hebrew copies at some point. Anyways, perhaps this is a bit of a digression, but I bring this up as something of a cautionary note in drawing conclusions based upon relatively scant evidence. --Mike Agricola (talk) 23:14, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Jubilees and Enoch[edit]

In Origins: "While the oldest extant copies of Jubilees can be assigned on the basis of the handwriting to about 100 BC, there is much evidence to suggest Jubilees was written prior to this date. For example, the author of Jubilees seems to be aware of 1 Enoch's "Book of Dreams"; of which, the oldest extant copy (DSS-13 4Q208) has been carbon dated to ca. 200 BC."

This doesn't make any sense; referring to Enoch can only indicate that Jubilees was written after a certain time, not before. Am I missing something?

Benji man (talk) 11:05, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Also any opinion on when it was first composed is just a point of view or hypothesis, because no one can prove when it was composed, even of they are right about the date of the oldest extant copy at Qumran. The groups that consider this scripture have a relevant point of view to this topic. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 12:36, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Languages of surviving copies[edit]

So... did the Hebrew fragments found in Qumran account for only a portion of the (presumably those early-modern "complete" Ge'ez) text in the Ethiopian Orthodox canon? Does that canon include the text in those "four complete Ge'ez texts dating to the 15th and 16th centuries"? The lead should probably mention that we do have some apparently "complete" copies in at least one language, or not mention the relatively minor fact that no complete surviving copies in Hebrew, Greek or ... Latin (!?) survive; at present, it implies we don't have any complete copies of the text, which is bizarre because the very second line states that a certain church has it in their canon. Hijiri 88 (やや) 16:23, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

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Meaning of "Year-weeks"[edit]

It seems like these year-weeks are actually referring to the Sabbath years, which were once every seven years. This is a strange translation. Eric Schiefelbein (talk) 13:42, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

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