Jude, Enoch and the Canon of Scripture

From Desiring God: Why We Believe the Bible Part 1. [http://www.desiringgod.org/seminars/why-we-believe-the-bible-part-1]

According to one count by Roger Nicole, the New Testament quotes various parts of the Old Testament as divinely authoritative over 295 times, but not once do they cite any statement from the books of the Apocrypha or any other writings as having divine authority. (“New Testament Use of the Old Testament” in Revelation and the Bible, ed. Carl Henry [London: Tyndale Press, 1959], pp. 137-141)
Jude 14-15 does quote 1 Enoch 60:8 and 1:9, and Paul quotes pagan authors in Acts 17:28 and Titus 1:12, but these citations are not said to be from Scripture or to be authoritative because of their sources.

Another quote from the Desiring God site:

The most controversial books that took the longest to confirm themselves for the whole church were Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, and Jude. But in the end the church discerned their harmony with the others and their antiquity and essential apostolicity.
The core list apart from the controversial books was known at the latest in the latter second century (Irenaeus, about 180 ad).
The first list known to us with all 27 books is in the Festal Letter of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria in ad 367. This list was affirmed by the Synod of Hippo in 393.

Other Sources reviewed suggested that the book of Enoch may have been written after the book of Jude, and was quoting/misquoting from Jude. Therefore, Jude may have been quoting from the original descendant of Adam under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (in the same manner that Moses could reliably report the account of early Genesis). Similar text is found in Deuteronomy 33:2-3.

The wikipedia entry on the book of Enoch is an interesting read.

DA Carson, et. al., in An Introduction To The New Testament p. 461, state that, “Those who had doubts [about its canonicity] apparently were influenced by the fact that the author made use of Apocryphal books: some in the early church were sure that no canonical writer would do this. But in time it was seen that this is no sufficient reason for doubts, and acceptance became universal.”

Finally, reread the book of Jude and ask if the quotation supports the main point of the book. Does it fit the overall authorial intent? If he is quoting from a “common book” known to his readers, does it support the flow of thought in this short letter? If so, he may be using “extrabiblical” data to support a very biblical premise — that God will “execute judgment” on these ungodly sinners. In that case he is no different than Paul in quoting pagan writers in Acts 17:28 to support his apologetics in the Areopagus.

I would welcome any other references and comments from the class. Please enter your comments below.

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