This book considers the early history of Jewish-Christian relations focussing on traditions about the fallen angels. In the Book of the Watchers, an Echic apocalypse from the third century BCE, the 'sons of God' of Gen 6:1-4 are accused of corrupting humankind through their teachings of metalworking, cosmetology, magic, and divination. By tracing the transformations of this motif in Second Temple, Rabbinic, and early medieval Judaism and early, late antique, and Byzantine Christianity, this book sheds light on the history of interpretation of Genesis, the changing status of Echic literature, and the place of parabiblical texts and traditions in the interchange between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. In the process, it explores issues such as the role of text-selection in the delineation of community boundaries and the development of early Jewish and Christian ideas about the origins of evil on the earth.
Annette Yoshiko Reed is presently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University, where she teaches courses on the Hebrew Bible, early Judaism, and early Christianity. Her publications span the fields of Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies, and Patristics, and include articles in Journal of Biblical Literature, Jewish Studies Quarterly, Journal for the Study of Judaism, Vigiliae Christianae, and Journal of Early Christian Studies. She has co-edited two volumes, The Ways that Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (with Adam H. Becker, Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003) and Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (with Ra'anan S. Boustan; Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004). She is presently working on a book about 'Jewish-Christianity' and the diversity of late antique Judaism.