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Jude And The Book Of Enoch


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:29 AM

In the following article (‘Not Giving Heed To Jewish Fables, Part 6’, Christadelphian Tidings magazine, April 2001), Brother Steven Cox examines the claims that Jude’s account of Michael rebuking satan is quoted by Jude from apocryphal Jewish sources, and proves it false.

1. Considering the Enoch myth

The introduction of Michael at this point is relevant because, according to the Enoch legend, it was none other than Michael who was the leader in bringing the accusation against the fallen angels to God:

"And then Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel looked down from heaven and saw much blood being shed upon the earth, and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth. And they said one to another: 'The earth made without inhabitant carries the voice of their cryings up to the gates of heaven. And now to you, the holy ones of heaven, the souls of men make their suit, saying, "Bring our cause before the Most High."' And they said to the Lord of the ages: 'Lord of lords, God of gods, King of kings, and God of the ages, the throne of Thy glory standeth unto all the generations of the ages, and Thy name holy and glorious and blessed unto all the ages!

Thou hast made all things, and power over all things hast Thou: and all things are naked and open in Thy sight, and Thou seest all things, and nothing can hide itself from Thee. Thou seest what Azazel hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were preserved in heaven, which men were striving to learn: And Shemihazah, to whom Thou hast given authority to bear rule over his associates. And they have gone to the daughters of men upon the earth, and have slept with the women, and have defiled themselves, and revealed to them all kinds of sins. And the women have borne giants, and the whole earth has thereby been filled with blood and unrighteousness" (I En. 9:1-10, translated by R.H. Charles, 1912).


So, according to I Enoch 9:1-10, it was Michael who accused Shemihazah and Azazel, but according to Jude, Michael "would not dare to bring a slanderous accusation," even against the devil himself. In other words, the story of Michael making an accusation against the angels in Enoch is false, and if the story of the accusation is false then so is the story of the angels’ sin.

The above explains why Jude chose to substitute "Michael" for Peter’s more general "angels," but it doesn’t explain the mention of the devil and the body of Moses. The devil, Satan, does not appear in Enoch, and cannot be identified with Shemihazah and Azazel, the leaders of the 200 rebel angels. Therefore there must be another reference to Michael and the devil elsewhere.

The remaining two possible sources are:

2 - The Assumption of Moses
3 - Zechariah 3’


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:30 AM

2. The Assumption of Moses

Many of today’s popular commentaries, such as M. Green (Tyndale 1968), N. Hillyer (Paternoster 1992), J.N.D. Kelly (Blacks 1969), and D. Lucas & C. Green (IVP 1995), all take it for granted that Jude is quoting from a Jewish source called The Assumption of Moses which describes how Michael had a dispute with the devil over the burial of Moses.’

Michael the undertaker of the righteous

The one strong piece of evidence in favour of this outside The Assumption of Moses itself is the fact that Michael is credited in Jewish myth as being the angel who buries the body and escorts the soul to paradise. This Michael does with Adam, Abel and Eve in Life of Adam (Vita Adae) and again with Abraham in Testament of Abraham.

Both these traditions are old enough to have been well-known in Jude’s day, but in any case it is only a logical extension from the superstition that the angels transported the dead to be with Abraham (as Luke 16) to the belief that, when someone as important as Adam, Abraham or Moses died, an angel as important as Michael would be needed to perform the burial and collect the soul. (Philo adds to Deuteronomy 34:6 that Moses was buried by celestial beings [Vita Mosis 2:3].

Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on the same passage records that the angels buried Moses four miles away from where he died. In a Falasha legend the three gravediggers are Michael, Gabriel and Zagzagel [Ginzberg, Vol. 6, p.952 cites Faitlovich, Mota Musa 9-20].)


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#3 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:30 AM

What would the devil want with a body?

Undermining this possible source, however, is the fact that the genuine Jewish sources above are all missing the key element of Jude 9 -- a dispute. In none of these Jewish sources does the devil ever make an attempt to steal the bodies of Adam, Abraham or Moses. In fact, only in Life of Adam is there even mention of the devil and once Adam is dead the devil’s interest in him is finished.

There are a few cases of angel disputes in Jewish myth. In the Dead Sea Scrolls two angels dispute over Moses’ father Amran (Q4 Amran). In a first-century legend it is Satan, not God as in Exodus 4:24, who tries to kill Moses but is prevented by an angel (Jubilees 48:5). In later Rabbinic legend, Michael brought a ram but Satan wanted Isaac to be sacrificed (Yal. Rub.43:3). But in each of these examples Amran, Moses and Isaac are alive, not dead, and Satan is trying to kill them, not gain their bodies. There are also half a dozen fragments of Moses legends in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but again none of them shows any link to Jude 9.

Early Christian evidence

Suspiciously, the dispute between Michael and the devil featured in The Assumption of Moses survives only in Christian quotations, and there is a small mountain of Christian evidence on the subject. Most of this consists of a long list of churchmen, including the anonymous "scholiast on Jude," Clement of Alexandria, Didymus the Blind, Origen, Gelasius and Severus of Antioch, all of whom note The Assumption of Moses or "an apocryphal book" in connection with Jude 9, but are unable to quote from it except by hearsay.’

‘There are also some Christian sources which have preserved legends fitting Jude 9, such as the Byzantine Palaea Historica, the Slavonic Life of Moses, Pseudo-Oecumenius and Catenae, but all of these contain the phrase "the Lord rebuke you," which is obviously drawn from Jude. Therefore they are suspect as being after Jude, not before it, and are likely false attempts to explain Jude. They also all lack the references to Deuteronomy 34 that would be found in a genuine Jewish midrash on the burial of Moses.


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#4 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:30 AM

The Testament of Moses

In order to give the Christian evidence some credibility, the commentaries assure us that Assumption of Moses is the "lost ending" of a surviving Jewish text – Testament of Moses. But anyone taking the trouble to read this text (Charlesworth Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Vol.1 p.919-934), will find the claim very unlikely indeed. Testament of Moses is a fairly sober fiction concerning Moses’ farewell to Joshua. It contains no reference to either the devil or angels, and tacking the Christian fragments on to the end of this book just makes their non-Jewish origins all the more obvious.

In conclusion, the Assumption of Moses can be consigned to the trash can. This is not being done because of squeamishness about myths, but because the evidence is contradictory, hearsay, and verbally dependent on Jude 9. It all "fits" too well to be convincing (a bit like the so-called Josephus Discourse on Hades mentioned in connection with Luke 16 in the second article of this series).

None of the Christian evidence has support, or even parallels, in any Jewish material. Comparing the evidence for Assumption of Moses with the very strong evidence for Enoch, one can’t help thinking that apologists for the devil have been a little too eager to jump on a flimsy bandwagon.

§ While one much-cited scholar, (Bauckham 1983), has argued that the Greek vocabulary in Palaea Historica suggests that it is independent of Jude 9 and must be drawn from a Jewish source, the differences are no more than one would expect from a Byzantine fiction based on Jude 9.

For example, "the Lord rebuke you" in Jude is epitimesai soi Kurios, while Palaea Historicae has epitima se Kurios, diabole. The difference is nothing more than a minor grammatical change driven by the sentence structure. And so on for other examples.  This is hardly proof that a genuine Jewish source underlies the Christian evidence.’


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics




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