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Thread: Jude's Epistle and the so-called "Book of Enoch"

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    Jude's Epistle and the so-called "Book of Enoch"

    Why is it often claimed that the so-called "Book of Enoch" was written earlier than was Jude's epistle?

    Why is it often claimed that Jude, in verse 14 of his God-breathed epistle, was quoting from the so-called "Book of Enoch"?

    Indeed, in Jude 14 KJV, it is written:

    And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints...
    I, for one, don't see, in this (nor in anything else), any necessary implication that Jude had to be quoting from a written document, nor that what Enoch had prophesied had to have been written down (whether by Enoch, himself, or by anyone else) prior to Jude's writing it.

    I've wondered about this off and on over the years, but have never yet really looked too extensively into the question. I thought that it might be interesting to pose the question to anybody who might think they have something somewhat definitive and satisfactory to say to it. Anybody, that is, who might be capable of giving me a succinct account of exactly why the common view of the book's origin as pre-Jude's epistle is supposed to be the only rational view. For, as far as I can tell, the common view is simply taken for granted.

    I've never read the so-called "Book of Enoch" in its entirety, but my own personal feeling toward it, from what I have read in it, is that it is little more than a worthless dung heap written by some miscreant, damnable forger, who knows when? I'm inclined to think that, if the whole of it was not written after Jude's epistle, at least some of it was written only after Jude wrote his epistle, and that the direction of quoting was the other way around from what is commonly assumed; not Jude quoting from the "Book of Enoch", but the forger or redactor of the "Book of Enoch" quoting from Jude's epistle. What, if anything, debars this view from being correct?

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    The book of Enoch is not Scripture for a reason- it contradicts Scripture and has some stuff that is not very likely to be true (4500 ft giants anyone?). However it could predate Jude since Paul quoted some Greek poets without that meaning it is supposed to be Scripture.

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    Did Jude Quote from the Book of Enoch?

    By Wayne Jackson

    “Could you comment on the prophecy of Enoch, as mentioned in the book of Jude (vs. 14)? Was Jude quoting from the apocryphal ‘Book of Enoch’? If so, does this reflect upon the concept of Bible inspiration?”

    The book of Jude is a powerful little treatise that warns the children of God of the dangers of apostasy from the faith (contrary to the claims of some, that a Christian can never so fall from grace as to be lost eternally). Concerning the divine judgment that is to come upon those who abandon the truth, Jude cites a precedent from antiquity.


    “And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him’” (Jude 14-15).

    At the beginning, let the following point be emphasized. In logic there is a concept known as “the law of rationality.” Simply stated it is this: One should draw only such conclusions as are warranted by the evidence. To go further, is to abuse the evidence.

    Now note carefully the actual facts that are set forth in this passage. There was a man of the early earth whose name was Enoch. He was the seventh generation from Adam, the first man (1 Cor. 15:45). Enoch uttered a prophecy of judgment against ungodly people who had spoken against God.

    Observe further, by way of contrast, what is not contained in this text. Nothing is said about a “book of Enoch.” There is no phrase such as, “it is written in the book of Enoch.” Nothing at all is indicated about any literary production.

    Having established this, let us now note some data about the extra-biblical work that is called the Book of Enoch.

    The Book of Enoch is a composite work of several authors that dates from the last two centuries before Christ. It consists of five divisions which are further segmented into 108 chapters. Its original language was either Hebrew or Aramaic — perhaps both; eventually it was translated into Greek. Some eleven fragments of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea scrolls collection. The Book of Enoch contains a passage very similar to the one cited in the book of Jude.

    Some of the early church writers (e.g., Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian) viewed the Book of Enoch as being virtually inspired, inasmuch as they assumed that the document was quoted by Jude, and that such would suggest its divine character.

    On the other hand, later, when the Book of Enoch fell into considerable disfavor (being classified as pseudepigrapha [literally, false writing], others, also assuming that Jude had quoted from that narrative, questioned the inspiration of his little book (see Jerome’s reference in De. Vir. ill. 4).

    What is the Christian to make of this matter today? Here are some facts that may help to clarify the issue.

    There is nothing in the sacred text that identifies the actual origin of Jude’s quotation. Enoch’s original message was from God. It is entirely possible that the prophet Enoch may have been quoted directly by Jude, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit—since the prophecy is not contained in the Old Testament.

    This is not without precedent in Scripture. Paul once quoted the Lord Jesus, though the quotation he employed is nowhere recorded in the Gospel narratives; cf. Acts 20:35.)

    No one can prove, therefore, that Jude’s text was taken from the “Book of Enoch.”

    Further, it is likely that the quotation in the Book of Enoch reflects the echo of an ancient tradition that has its roots in the events of the Patriarchal period and that the inspiration of Jude, and the tradition of the Book of Enoch, merely merge at this juncture.

    Even if Jude had quoted from the Book of Enoch that would not establish the inspiration of the latter work. Paul quoted from several Greek writers, e.g., Aratus (Acts 17:28), Menander (1 Cor. 15:33), and Epimenides (Tit. 1:12), yet no one contends that the apostle’s use of these quotes endowed the original classical works with the aura of divine inspiration.

    Furthermore, the ad hominem use of a quotation from an uninspired source does not negate the inspiration of the one who uses it — if there is evidence otherwise that establishes the sacred character of the message he is presenting. The argument just cited relative to Paul’s citations from the classics equally establishes this truth.

    A Controversy Without Consequence

    In conclusion, therefore, we must note that the controversy over Jude’s quotation actually is of no vital consequence.

    First, we simply do not know the immediate source of Jude’s quotation. Second, it does not matter about the immediate source of the quote.

    Enoch’s original affirmation, and Jude’s subsequent employment of the quote, represent all of the authority that is needed to acknowledge the genuineness of the ancient, holy warning.
    No Bueno.

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    I might add that I've heard several prophecies relating to the 'children of Enoch' which he spoke of being important in these last days and I've read the book several times and agree with those prophecies.
    No Bueno.

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    Quote Originally Posted by binyamin7 View Post
    The book of Enoch is not Scripture for a reason- it contradicts Scripture and has some stuff that is not very likely to be true (4500 ft giants anyone?). However it could predate Jude since Paul quoted some Greek poets without that meaning it is supposed to be Scripture.
    But, then again, Jude's epistle could predate the book of "Enoch". To me, it looks like most everybody just assumes that the book of "Enoch" MUST predate Jude's epistle. What I'm curious about is whether anybody has ever put forward anything they consider to be a reason that the book of "Enoch" MUST predate Jude's epistle, and, if anybody has done so, what is it that they are considering to be a reason for it?

    Because, frankly, there seems to be no shortage of fruitcakes out there who appear to relish the idea that Jude was later than "Enoch". Is it, then, merely because they like the idea that they assert it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimiel View Post
    The Book of Enoch...dates from the last two centuries before Christ.
    THAT is exactly the ASSERTION that I am calling into question. Who, if anybody, has ever claimed to have a reason for stating that "The Book of Enoch" dates from BEFORE Jude's epistle? What do they claim as a reason for stating that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7djengo7 View Post
    But, then again, Jude's epistle could predate the book of "Enoch". To me, it looks like most everybody just assumes that the book of "Enoch" MUST predate Jude's epistle. What I'm curious about is whether anybody has ever put forward anything they consider to be a reason that the book of "Enoch" MUST predate Jude's epistle, and, if anybody has done so, what is it that they are considering to be a reason for it?

    Because, frankly, there seems to be no shortage of fruitcakes out there who appear to relish the idea that Jude was later than "Enoch". Is it, then, merely because they like the idea that they assert it?
    Enoch lived a long, long time before Jude. Why would anyone think that a book written by him would be written after Jude?
    Quote Originally Posted by Squeaky View Post
    That explains why your an idiot.
    Quote Originally Posted by God's Truth View Post
    Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
    Quote Originally Posted by God's Truth View Post
    You preach against me for preaching obedience to Christ for salvation.
    Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
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    1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
    (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Right Divider View Post
    Enoch lived a long, long time before Jude. Why would anyone think that a book written by him would be written after Jude?
    I don't know why anyone, in the first place, would assume that Enoch wrote a book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7djengo7 View Post
    But, then again, Jude's epistle could predate the book of "Enoch". To me, it looks like most everybody just assumes that the book of "Enoch" MUST predate Jude's epistle. What I'm curious about is whether anybody has ever put forward anything they consider to be a reason that the book of "Enoch" MUST predate Jude's epistle, and, if anybody has done so, what is it that they are considering to be a reason for it?

    Because, frankly, there seems to be no shortage of fruitcakes out there who appear to relish the idea that Jude was later than "Enoch". Is it, then, merely because they like the idea that they assert it?
    I agree that is a real possibility, and I have read that theory prior to this discussion. Whatever the case it looks to be an interesting read that is correctly not considered a part of the Cannon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7djengo7 View Post
    I don't know why anyone, in the first place, would assume that Enoch wrote a book.
    Regardless, you understand the timeline issue.... right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Squeaky View Post
    That explains why your an idiot.
    Quote Originally Posted by God's Truth View Post
    Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
    Quote Originally Posted by God's Truth View Post
    You preach against me for preaching obedience to Christ for salvation.
    Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
    (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
    (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Right Divider View Post
    Regardless, you understand the timeline issue.... right?
    What I understand is that, at some point AFTER Jude had written his epistle, any miscreant forger could come along and yank out of it what Jude (as he had been moved by the Holy Ghost) had written about Enoch, and then paste it into a pseudepigraphal document.

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    Quote Originally Posted by binyamin7 View Post
    I agree that is a real possibility, and I have read that theory prior to this discussion. Whatever the case it looks to be an interesting read that is correctly not considered a part of the Cannon.
    Oh, yeah....I don't deny that it looks to be an interesting read, from what little I've read of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7djengo7 View Post
    What I understand is that, at some point AFTER Jude had written his epistle, any miscreant forger could come along and yank out of it what Jude (as he had been moved by the Holy Ghost) had written about Enoch, and then paste it into a pseudepigraphal document.
    I'm not arguing about that.

    I'm simply pointing out that if Enoch had written a book, it would be much more ancient than Jude.
    Quote Originally Posted by Squeaky View Post
    That explains why your an idiot.
    Quote Originally Posted by God's Truth View Post
    Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
    Quote Originally Posted by God's Truth View Post
    You preach against me for preaching obedience to Christ for salvation.
    Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
    (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
    (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Right Divider View Post
    I'm not arguing about that.

    I'm simply pointing out that if Enoch had written a book, it would be much more ancient than Jude.
    Yes, that's true.

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