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The Elect/Election Concepts and Their Relationship to Conversion/Penitence Experiences in Christian Pseudepigrapha

The majority of the booklets that make up 1 Enoch refer to the notion of the “elect” or “chosen” -- those selected by God who fare well in the pseudepigraphal texts’ eschatological scenes. George Nickelsburg notes that while the Enochic booklets consider the elect to be possessors of special wisdom, they also apparently allow for the notion of conversion. In particular, the community, recipient of revelations, is to proclaim its message of repentance in the end times and anticipates conversion of the “nations.” In this regard, Nickelsburg sees a sort of resemblance between Enochic texts and writings of the New Testament. This presentation considers the notion of election within the Enochic corpus. We also take up the extent to which Enochic texts, which overwhelmingly focus on final judgment, envisaged conversion and how that process was imagined, especially in light of other witnesses of early Judaism and Christianity.

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