Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Theology

First Advisor

Deirdre Dempsey

Second Advisor

Andrei A. Orlov

Third Advisor

John J. Schmitt, Susan K. Wood

Abstract

The writer of the Gospel according to Matthew was familiar with themes and traditions about the antediluvian patriarch Enoch, including the story of the fall of the watchers, and shows that Jesus brings about the eschatological repair of the consequences of the watchers' fall. In Matthew's Gospel, the foreshadowing of repair and then the repair itself are seen in the evangelist's genealogy and infancy narrative, the focus of this dissertation.

According to the Enochic watchers' template, evil came into the world when the watchers transgressed their heavenly boundary to engage in illicit sexual contact with women and teach them illicit arts. The consequences of the watchers' transgression are violence, unrighteousness, evil, idolatry, and disease. Some of these consequences come from human use of the skills taught by the watchers, skills for seduction, war-making, sorcery, and astrology.

The women of the Hebrew Bible named by Matthew in his genealogy of Jesus foreshadow the reversal of the watchers' transgression. All four of them are connected with the Enochic watchers' template. They use the illicit arts, but the use of these skills leads to righteousness rather than evil. The women are also connected with other aspects of the Enochic watchers' template, including sexual interaction which connects the earthly and heavenly realms, interaction with angels, unusual aspects of their offspring, and connections with giants.

In Matthew's infancy narrative, he shows that the birth of Jesus repairs the effects of the watchers' template by using the very elements of that template. Joseph's suspicion of Mary's pregnancy; the child as the product of a woman and the Holy Spirit, who may have been regarded as angelomorphic; dreams that direct human agents in divine plans; and the magi who are connected with, and make use of illicit arts to find the child all reflect elements of the Enochic watchers' template. The repair begun by Jesus' birth is completed by the adult Jesus and shows in the chapters following Matthew's genealogy and infancy narrative.

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