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[TBC: Last week we presented part 1 of a discussion regarding evangelicals such as “Tom Horn, Joseph Lumpkin, and Chuck Missler, [needing] other books of antiquity and mythologies to integrate paranormal activity with the end-times scenario that they are seeking to create.” The writer continues his discussion of Rob Skiba’s rationale for regarding apocryphal books as “Scripture.”]

“BABYLON RISING” AND CANON IN CRISIS APOCRYPHA, PSEUDEPIGRAPHA, FRESH REVELATIONS, AND AN “OPEN” CANON [Excerpts]

During His life and ministry, Jesus often quoted from the Law (His favorite book being Deuteronomy), the prophets and the writings. He told the Emmaus disciples “that all things which are written about [Him] in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and

the Psalms [writings] must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).Not once in the Gospel record does Jesus quote from an apocryphal or pseudepigraphal writing. Though He could have, He did not. Skiba says Jesus valued those books, but ironically he never quoted from or alluded to them. [9]

 

How then do we know He valued them? We do not. In short, Jesus recognized the extent of the Jewish canon to be that of traditional Judaism.
Apocrypha means “hidden” or “concealed.” On the whole, the writings conceal more than they reveal. [11]
 
This fits into the cultural/spiritual milieu of that ancient era. Old Testament scholar R.K. Harrison (1920-1993) wrote that, “Hidden or esoteric teachings [like the Apocrypha or Pseudepigrapha] were not part of the Hebrew tradition, which based its spirituality on the first five books of the Hebrew canon. Insofar as mysterious doctrines came into Hebrew life, they did so from pagan sources and generally involved magical practices which were forbidden to Israel” [See Deuteronomy 18:9-15.]. [12]
 
So Dr. René Pache summarized the value of ancient apocryphal texts: “Except for certain interesting historical information (especially in I Maccabees) and a few beautiful moral thoughts (e.g., Wisdom of Solomon), these books contain absurd legends and platitudes, and historical, geographical and chronological errors, as well as manifestly heretical doctrines; they even recommend immoral acts (Judith 9:10, 13). [13] 
 
I Enoch  (Circa 200 B.C. to A.D. 100): Skiba tells readers of Babylon Rising
(BR) that the Jews seemed to consider the pseudepigraphal book of I Enoch  to be Scripture, and makes the grandiose claim that “Jesus, Peter, Paul and Jude all made references to it.” In fact,” he goes on to state, “there are more than a hundred statements in the New Testament alone that find precedence nowhere else but in that book.” (BRChapter 1, 3) Upon investigation, this statement proves to be patently false. [14]
 
Genesis records that after living three-hundred and sixty-five years during which he “walked with God,” that suddenly Enoch “was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:23). Any concordance study of the Bible will find references to this historical man. In addition to the mention of him in Genesis (Genesis 4:17-18; 5:18-24), the chronicler refers to him in his genealogy (1 Chronicles 1:3). Luke too mentions him in his genealogy (Luke 3:37). The author of Hebrews refers to him as a man of faith (Hebrews 11:5). In all these references it is important to note that the mentions of Enoch are to the historical person named Enoch and NOT to the books that bear his name. This brings us to Jude’s solitary New Testament quotation from the book of
I Enoch  (Jude 14-15). Does Jude’s mention of the book endow the whole of it to have been inspired of God? No, it does not, and here’s why.
Genesis tells us that one day, after Enoch walked with God for 365 years, “he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). What happened to Enoch? Where did he go after God “took him”? After he went missing, did he leave any report of what he might have encountered? To some persons (the pseudepigraphal books had multiple authors) many centuries later, the gaps in the Genesis narrative proved too tantalizing to be left blank, so they (the pseudepigraphal authors of the books of Enoch) over time composed and edited the books of Enoch to fill in the blank.
So as an extant Jewish writing, Jude knew of I Enoch. In verses 14-15 of his little letter, Jude or Judas (Matthew 13:55), the brother of James and Jesus, quoted from it.Because of the quotation, some evangelicals jump to the conclusion that the books of Enoch are divinely inspired and assign a spurious canonicity to them, and this to establish credibility for the fantastic apocalyptic scenarios they create. [15]
 
But it should be noted that Jude’s quotation of I Enoch no more endows the book to be divinely inspired than Paul’s Mars Hill citation of a pagan poet/philosopher or his quotation of one “unruly and vain” talker who racially stereotyped Cretans to be “always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” endowed those words to have been God-breathed (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12; 2 Timothy 3:16). [16]
 
They are quotations and that’s all.
Jude (Jude 14-15) does quote I Enoch 1:9.[17]  But in his citation of the pseudepigraphal book, it should be noted that Jude neither called Enoch  “scripture” nor prefaced his quotation of it with, “it is written.” Clearly, Jude did not view I Enoch
to be Scripture, to be an inspired and sacred text on a par with Scripture, but merely cited a known and surviving prophecy, authentic to Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, of future judgment. Such a judgment was canonically predicted by the prophets (“the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with him” (Zechariah 14:5), NASB. Compare Deuteronomy 33:2.), confirmed by Jesus (“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works,” Matthew 16:27; Compare also Matthew 25:31, Mark 8:38 and Luke 9:26.), and affirmed  by the Apostle Paul (“the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8: Compare 1 Thessalonians 3:13).

END NOTES

[9] Skiba writes: “For Jesus and the Disciples clearly thought some of the books not found in our current Bible worthy of study and quotation.” (BRChapter 1, 2) The question to be asked is, “Where?” Give chapter and verse. The evidence is that with the exception of Jude, who referenced the book of I Enoch, neither Jesus nor any of the biblical prophet-apostles quoted from a book not found in our current Bible. Frequently and abundantly, they quoted from the Old Testament canon, and in a few instances from the words of Jesus (1 Timothy 5:18), but not from a book outside the Bible. While they could have, they did not. The burden of proof is upon those who say they did.
[11]  I am aware that the “concealed” aspect of the meaning of apocrypha had to do with churches wanting the books not to be read in their public assembly. [12] R.K. Harrison, “Old Testament and New Testament Apocrypha, “The Origin of the Bible, Philip Wesley Comfort, Editor (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992): 83.
[13]  René Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture , Translated by Helen I. Needham (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1969): 172.
[14] From Enoch, there is one quotation in the New Testament and thirteen parallels, not hundreds. Admittedly, there exist in the New Testament “allusions” and “verbal parallels” to apocryphal writings outside the Jewish canon, but that is all they are. It is a delusion to transfer divine inspiration to an ancient text for reason of a biblical allusion to it. There are parallels with other ancient writings in the New Testament, but it ends at that. For a list of the allusions and parallels, see The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition, Barbara Aland, et al., Editors (Stuttgart, Germany: The United Bible Societies, 1993): 900-901.
[15]  Evidently, to demonstrate his “seed thesis” Skiba would not be against citing “the many characters of Greek mythology and the mythologies of other cultures that all speak of demigod heroes and giants.” (BR Chapter 1 , 1) Since when should mythology inform theology? In fact, Paul tells Timothy not “to pay attention to myths,” presumably including not only those of Jewish origin, but also of Greek and Roman (Emphasis added, 1 Timothy 1:4.).

[16] Paul’s quotation reads: “One of themselves [one of the “many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers . . . of the circumcision”], even a prophet of their own [evidently claiming to be inspired of God], said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow belliesThis witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Emphasis added, Titus 1:12-14). When Paul states, This witness is true, he’s not validating the contents of what was said, but only that a false prophet, likely a Jew, “really” uttered the false prophecy as witnesses confirmed to him.

[17] The exact citation from I Enoch reads: “Behold, he [God] will arrive with ten million of the holy ones in order to execute judgment on all. He will destroy the wicked ones and censure all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him.” See “The Book of Enoch,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 1, James H. Charlesworth, Editor (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1983): 13-14.

Part one HERE 

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