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Craig Blomberg on whether 1 Enoch must be literally by Enoch

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  • Craig Blomberg on whether 1 Enoch must be literally by Enoch

    There was a discussion about Enoch in Genesis and whether the book attributed to him (1 Enoch) and referred to in Jude has to be literal history because of the referent there. I can't remember if it was on the old TWeb or not; a search for the word "Enoch" brings up a bunch of stuff about the Noah movie. I maintained that it should not be understood as by him because the scholarly consensus is there is no way it could have been that old.

    I came across this in Craig Blomberg's new Can We Still Believe the Bible? (And as we know, Blomberg is no liberal.)

    (Jude) could well have imagined that this text unwittingly reflected a divine truth, much as Caiaphas was said to have prophesied unknowingly in John 11:51. Nor need Jude have believed that the historical Enoch actually wrote these words. The phrase "seventh from Adam" actually comes from 1 Enoch itself (60.8) and thus helps to identify Jude's source; it need not be an affirmation of authorship. What Jude does believe is that the quoted verse of 1 Enoch reflects a true statement. In fact, its teaching fundamentally agrees with Zechariah 14:5.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    The obvious question to me is: why we should have to assume that Jude was quoting 1 Enoch?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Paprika View Post
      The obvious question to me is: why we should have to assume that Jude was quoting 1 Enoch?
      Because what he quotes is recognized as a direct quotation from it.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        Because what he quotes is recognized as a direct quotation from it.
        And why a quotation from 1 Enoch, and not some other third source?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Paprika View Post
          And why a quotation from 1 Enoch, and not some other third source?
          I'm honestly having a hard time understanding why this particular attribution (which he even mentions by name) is in doubt here.
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            I'm honestly having a hard time understanding why this particular attribution (which he even mentions by name) is in doubt here.
            It's just terribly naive to consider the attribution as a certainty. There are many other plausible alternatives - that is, historically plausible alternatives of which no direct evidence has survived. But is it the best explanation of the evidence we have? Yes.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
              It's just terribly naive to consider the attribution as a certainty. There are many other plausible alternatives - that is, historically plausible alternatives of which no direct evidence has survived. But is it the best explanation of the evidence we have? Yes.
              Barring evidence to the contrary, we're as certain of that attribution as we are of any other attribution in the NT which is not explicit (which would be nearly all of them).
              Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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              I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                It's just terribly naive to consider the attribution as a certainty. There are many other plausible alternatives - that is, historically plausible alternatives of which no direct evidence has survived. But is it the best explanation of the evidence we have? Yes.
                He cites a direct quote from the work, and attributes the quote to Enoch. He mentions that angels are held in bonds in darkness until the great judgement, as does the work he quoted.

                What other alternatives do we have?
                "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by seanD View Post
                  He cites a direct quote from the work. He mentions that angels are held in bonds in darkness until the great judgement, as does the work he quoted.

                  What other alternatives do we have?
                  A common third source? An oral tradition that Jude is quoting?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                    A common third source?
                    But I don't know why we would be "assuming" he was quoting the book of Enoch, when the greater assumption is that he was quoting a third source.
                    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanD View Post
                      The problem is that this is far more of an assumption, so I don't know why we would be "assuming" he was quoting the book of Enoch, when the greater assumption is that he quoting a third source.
                      You misunderstand me. I'm not saying that a common third source or oral tradition was the case. My point is that KG's methodology is rather naive, because he doesn't consider these possibilities at all and states that Jude quoted 1 Enoch as if that is definitely true. It isn't, of course. What I have allowed for above is that this may well be the best explanation of the evidence we have, but KG would have to modify his argument and the obvious corollary is that it would be weakened.

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                      • #12
                        What I don't get is why Christians are so adamantly against the idea that it's true. Bloomberg, for example, is practically bending over backwards to present an apologetic for why he quoted it other than the possibility that it actually happened. In other words, that it happened and that it reflects the weird incident in Genesis 6 doesn't even seem to be an option to many Christians. I just don't get that.
                        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by seanD View Post
                          I just don't get that.
                          Neither do I

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                            Neither do I
                            But arguing the possibility of a third source is even more to my point than what Blomberg is doing lol.
                            Last edited by seanD; 04-03-2014, 12:35 PM. Reason: name correction
                            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seanD View Post
                              But arguing the possibility of a third source is even worse than Bloomberg is doing lol.
                              It's called being critical and rigorous. It's nigh-impossible to rule out the possibility of a third source or that Jude is quoting from an oral tradition and not directly from 1 Enoch. Yet even with this, unlike Blomberg, I don't see any reason to deny that there was a historical person, Enoch, seventh from Adam who said what Jude quoted him as saying

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