How come the book of Enoch is quoted in Jude 14, but is not part of the Bible? -- Vincent Grandia

The book of Enoch (or 1 Enoch) is quoted verbatim in Jude. What does this mean? Here are the possibilities:

1. Jude believed the portion of Enoch he was quoting was correct, but not necessarily the rest of the work.
2. Jude believed the entire book of Enoch was inspired, but he was wrong.
3. Jude thought the entire book of Enoch was inspired, and the inclusion of Jude in the New Testament suggests he was right.

Before deciding which possibility is likeliest, we must proceed logically.

The New Testament is full of quotations from a number of ancient works, some written by believers, some by nonbelievers. For example, Paul's speech on Mars Hill (the Areopagus) has at least five allusions to or citations of pagan writers. Would anyone consider Paul to believe these writers to be inspired? Unlikely. But the case of Jude is a little different, since Enoch is not an unbeliever, but the Old Testament man of faith described briefly in Genesis 5 and also in Hebrews 11. Nevertheless, citation from an ancient work no more proves its inspiration than a preacher's quotation of a modern poem or song suggests he takes the whole work as infallible!

The book of Enoch has survived in the ancient Ethiopic language (40 manuscripts), and fragmentarily in Aramaic, Greek, and Latin, so we don't have to guess what the writer of 1 Enoch believed. His doctrine shines through in the writing. There is much to commend the book of Enoch, and it reflects a thought-world not unfamiliar to the New Testament writers. Yet as I study it I am not persuaded of its inspiration. For these reasons, I reject possibility (3). Enoch's being cited is no compelling reason for the entire work being included in the Bible. Possibility (1) seems probable, although the theological implications of the second view are not particularly serious for a Bible believer. You must weigh the evidence and make your own decision.

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