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THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

JUDE QUOTES ENOCH

JUDE QUOTES ENOCH

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about them: “Behold, the Lord is coming with myriads of His holy ones to execute judgment on everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of every ungodly act of wickedness and every harsh word spoken against Him by ungodly sinners.” These men are discontented grumblers, following after their own lusts; their mouths spew arrogance; they flatter others for their own advantage. Jude 14-15 

OVERVIEW OF JUDE

The Epistle of Jude was written by Jude the brother of Jesus sometime between 65-80AD.  It is only one chapter long. In verse three, Jude makes it clear he is writing to fellow believers who share the same faith as he does. However, he is warning them false teachers in their midst who promote a kind of grace that allows for the continuation of unrepentant and unrestrained immorality and sin. These false teachers had slipped into the church and began to spread their perverted teachings. They denied the Lordship of Christ.  The mention of Sodom and Gomorrah along with “the error of Balaam” suggests these false teachers were promoting sexual immorality, perhaps even homosexual behaviour.

These false teachers slandered all those who spoke against them, even people in authority and celestial beings. They grumbled against the church leadership and they tried to find fault with others who disagreed with them, while boasting about themselves and flattering those they were trying to deceive in order that they might grow a following of their own. In verse 12 Jude seems to imply that they have gained the influence of a shepherd and that their presence in the church was a blight on the church that needed to be exposed and removed.

Jude concludes by declaring that all glory, power, majesty and authority belongs to the only true God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE REFERENCE TO ENOCH

To begin with it’s important to note that Jude not only references the words of Enoch, he also discusses a story about Michael the Arc Angel disputing with the devil over the body of Moses. This story is not found in the Old Testament, rather it is from an apocryphal book called “The Assumption of Moses”. So, just because something is not in the bible, doesn’t mean it is not true. There are other sources of truth other than the Bible.

Jude says Enoch prophesied, which may or may not mean that Enoch was a prophet who spoke by inspiration of God. The bible does not contain every word spoken by God’s prophets under inspiration. For example, Acts 21:9 tells us that a man named Phillip had 4 daughters who prophesied, but we have no record of their prophecies.

However, it is possible to prophecy and not be a prophet of God. For example, in John 11:50 The Jewish High Priest Caiaphas prophesied that Jesus would die for the sins of the people. Caiaphas was an enemy of Christ who wanted to kill Jesus. He was not a prophet. Would we say that Caiaphas spoke by inspiration of God? Perhaps, but we would not take anything else Caiaphas said as inspired, nor would we call it scripture.

Does this mean that Jude endorses the entire book of 1 Enoch? Assuming Enoch was indeed a prophet of God then Jude’s quotation is indeed a genuine prophecy given by inspiration of God. However, Jude does endorse the entire book as being from Enoch. It is not even certain that Jude is quoting from 1 Enoch. It may also be possible that Jude is quoting from some oral source. Either way Jude does not endorse 1 Enoch as a whole, he only affirms the words he cites in his Epistle.

Having said all that, if it is true that biblical authors can speak and write under the inspiration of God, then it is equally true that they can quote ancient texts under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order to pass on truth accurately to us.

So, was Enoch a prophet? Possibly. Was the prophecy of Enoch given by inspiration of God? Most likely. Is the entire Book of 1 Enoch inspired? The Bible doesn’t affirm that, and neither should we. To affirm the inspiration of 1 Enoch is to go beyond what Jude tells us in the Bible.