Pseudepigrapha

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    In my study of the book of Jude, the study guide that I was using to help me in this had a notation concerning verses 14-15.

    The study guide's author had a note on those verses to the effect that Jude 14-15 was, in reality, pretty much a word-for-word quotation from what the study guide's author said was a "pseudepigraphical" book entitled 1 Enoch.

    I had never heard of this claim before to the effect that, God the Holy Spirit moved upon the Apostle Jude to cite some ancient text when Jude penned his warning concerning the ever increasing number of, apparently, demon-influenced false prophets/teachers that would show up even as early as the first century A. D.

    Now, I'm not sure that my study guide's author made that claim to cast some doubt in the minds of his readers that, therefore, the canonicity of Jude should be questioned or not. OTOH, I do know that the Apostle Paul made reference and/or cited some pagan Greek poets in his Mars Hill defense in Acts 17, so maybe this reference to "Enoch" is something similar to that.

    Since I've had zero seminary training experience, I have no idea what pseudepigrapha/pseudepigraphical means.

    I've heard of the term apocrypha, but apparently 1 Enoch (which would seem to infer that, therefore, there must also be at least a book entitled 2 Enoch, and possibly more "Enoch's.")

    Could some of my BB friends out there enlighten me as to exactly what is meant by the term pseudepigrapha and/or a pseudepigraphical book?

    How is, say, 1 Enoch different in genre than, e.g., 1 Macabbees?

    Are there any currently available books you can recommend that you consider to be a reliable introduction to both of these extra-Biblical writings so that I might be a little better informed about these kinds of writings that are "out there floating around in the dark, murky shadows of the ancient past"?
     
  2. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Do you think Enoch wrote 1 Enoch??? Do you think Abraham wrote the Testament of Abraham. That is what pseudopigrapha refers to, an ancient work that was ascribed to be written by an author that was clearly dead. There is debate as to why someone would do this (add authority, rhetorical value, shock value). There is further debate that certain NT epistles are pseudopigraphical, especially 2 Peter or Ephesians and so on.
     
  3. MorseOp

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    Keep in mind that the quoting of a pseudepigrahpial book in a canonical book does not make the former inspired. Sometimes extra-biblical writings contain accurate historical content. That is probably the case with 1 Enoch quotation in Jude.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Jude is a very difficult book in the NT as it is highly congruent with apocalyptic literature of its era and contains some unique features. Of course it is wise that the early canonical lists placed it close to Revelation as both texts have unique features and are a literature style of the apocalyptic genre.

    It is true that Jude quotes a passage from 1 Enoch. This is not the only place in the NT where a pseudepigraphal book is mentioned (Revelation seems to be particularly interested in alluding to numerous works that are outside the NT or OT scope.) Though it is the most specific citation of a work in the NT. This shouldn't challenge our understanding of Jude or its place in the NT.

    Let us first be thankful that Jude quotes from 1 Enoch and not 2 Enoch. (If you're a textual person you'll understand the nature of the two texts is vastly different.) 1 Enoch is a text that we find in many places amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Now I also need to point out that the term "pseudepigraphal" is probably the wrong word to describe 1 Enoch. It is, instead, deuterocanonical. See that makes more sense doesn't it? ;)

    The term deuterocanonical simply means texts that have likely informed or been informed by the canon of the NT that aren't in the canon of the NT. In their time these texts would have been highly regarded works amongst the earliest Christians. Maybe even some of them would have used them in their early worship services.

    Anyways, back to the OP, I don't think Jude, for all it excentricities as a text, is rendered irrelevant for its inclusion of a citation from Jude. As you mentioned in the OP, Paul uses a secular hymn in Acts. I would add that we can look at later books of the NT, in terms of authorship, and we see a lot more allusions to deuterocanonical literature in Revelation (being written after AD 90) than other texts. We can rightfully contend that the author of Jude (i.e. Jude...whoever that was) while under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit adopted part of 1 Enoch that was authentic, correct, and worthy of inclusion. Why shouldn't we think that if, when we rightly understand inspiration, that if an author(s) see fit to add a text from a secular or sacred work outside the OT/NT writings that it disqualifies the work?

    At some point all the books of the Bible weren't books of the Bible.

    Each had to be considered and adopted. They have sources and citations. If they didn't, that should worry us. :)
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Whoa, that's weird. Does anyone else get links to eBay from the word "canon" in my post? Cuz I didn't insert those...
     
  6. MB

    MB
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    I've read over 1st and second books of Enoch. I can agree that these two books at one time were in fact part of the Bible. How ever the Catholic Church proclaim these books non canonical. I can tell you that there is no reason to consider them as part of the Bible.
    Most of what is written in them can be found in other books of the Bible. Revelations for instant. There is an account in them about these beings Known as the Nephilim. Quite a bit about just before Noah's flood. Giants like the one David fought and the sons of God mentioned in Genesis. There is a lot about what is believed to be angles joining with earth women and their offspring. They are difficult to read even though they have been translated because of the grammar involved.
    Truthfully they can be some what dangerous to the untrained Christian. There are many books both from Old testament times and New testament times that claim to be part of the Bible but be aware most were written to confuse Christians.
    MB
     
  7. ktn4eg

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    I'm NOT saying that I believe Enoch wrote 1 Enoch, nor am I saying I believe that Abraham wrote whatever that writing you referred to as "the Testament of Abraham" [another one that I never heard of until you brought it up!!].

    Unless you are speaking rhetorically about me (maybe you are.....hard for this person to tell!!), I'd be most grateful if you'd kindly put down your six-shooters, take out all 12 bullets, and chill out.

    I was merely asking what I THOUGHT was a simple, legitimate question from a simple-minded person---ME.

    Sorry if I accidently ruffled your feathers, my friend.......Hopefully you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

    OK??!!?? :tear::tear::tear:
     
  8. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Yikes... I didn't even mean to imply I was holding a gun. I think you misunderstood. I was asking those questions rhetorically. I find it helpful instead of just giving the answers, to ask questions wherein you figure out the answer for yourself. Socratic method and all. I meant no offense.
     
  9. ktn4eg

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    Thanks Bro.!!! :thumbsup:

    Guess that's just one of the innate problems with a "READ ONLY" medium such as BB........Hard to detect tone of voice/"body language," etc., when all you have is just printed words.

    Guess that's one of the reasons why God gives us the HS once we've received Christ as our Savior......to GUIDE us as we read the words He inspired the Biblical writers to put on (whatever it was that they chose to write).

    And, even then, we STILL sometimes get "it" wrong!!! :smilewinkgrin:

    I don't EVEN want to think about thinking about what mess we'd all be in if God had left us "comfortless"!!!!
     
  10. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Well said



    (oh the irony)
     
  11. ktn4eg

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    Thanks for your posting.

    I'm relatively new at this sort of thing, and quite obviously I've got a WHOLE LOT to learn!!

    I guess we all had to start somewhere.....would to God that (and I'm not by any means equating my self with them, BTW) there would be more of God's children emulating the "FBC" of Berea!!

    I don't recall who first coined the expression, "Learn to discern," but, d.v., that's what I hope that I'll always be doing when it comes to "the things of God."
     

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