Dyer continues to litter the landscape with his ignorant claims:
“St. Jude quotes from two non-canonical books in his small epistle: the Assumption of Moses, concerning the debate between St. Michael and the devil over the body of Moses, and the mysterious first Book of Enoch in verses 14 and 15. Now, both of these are apocryphal (except for perhaps the book of Enoch), and neither of these are in anyone's canon, aside from Enoch being included in the Ethiopic canon. We do not presently know the contents of the Assumption of Moses. Neither of these incidents, however, are quoted in the OT, so it is a good example of the concept of Sacred Tradition. For those who believe in the authority and infallibility of Divine Revelation, is shows that there are ‘infallibly true’ religious propositions/truths that exist outside the so-called canon.”
i) Jude doesn’t “quote” the Assumption of Moses. Rather, v9 is a literary *allusion*.
ii) The allusion is not to the Assumption of Moses, but the Testament of Moses. Cf. R. Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church, chap. 5.
ii) How would this demonstrate the existence of infallibly true propositions outside the “so-called” canon?
Does the mere fact that a Bible writer may quote or allude to something prove that he regarded his source as infallibly true?
For example, both Oleson and Charles think that Jude 13 is a literary allusion to a passage in Hesiod. Cf. J. Charles, Literary Strategy in the Epistle of Jude (Scranton 1993), 162-63. Does this mean that Jude regarded Hesiod as infallibly true?
“A powerful example of Sacred Tradition as against Protestant ‘sola scriptura’ advocates.”
A straw man argument since the Protestant rule of faith never precluded a Bible writer from citing an extracanonical source.
“These ‘giants’ were the men of old, of renown, Genesis [6:1-4] says, and some have speculated whether the ancient myths that surround certain ‘supermen,’ for example, Hercules, the Titans, or the Gilgamesh epic may not, in fact, have some basis in this evil union. I think this is reasonable. It would explain quite a bit.”
i) It would explain quite a bit about Dyer’s low view of Scripture. Perhaps Dyer would also like to demythologize the creation, Fall, flood, call of Abraham, Exodus, Incarnation, Virgin Birth, Resurrection, Ascension, and parousia while he’s at it.
ii) Both John Walton and John Currid are experts in comparative ANE mythology. Yet both of them, in their respective commentaries, interpret the passage naturalistically. As Currid explains:
“The first thing that may be said with certainty is that, on the basis of the opening clause [Gen 6:4], the ‘Nephilim’ existed on the earth prior to the mixed marriages of vv1-2. The Nephilim were not the progeny of those unions,” 1:176.
He also makes noet of the fact that:
“All Scriptural references used to identify the sons of God with heavenly beings come from outside the Pentateuch. Thus the immediate literary context provides no support for that interpretation,” 174.
Walton underscores that point by observing:
“The fact that there are only three other occurrences of the phrase ‘the sons of God’ and that they all occur in the linguistically isolated book of Job give significant pause for concluding that this Old Testament lexical base is sufficient to dictate exclusive meanings,” 292.
Continuing with Dyer:
“However, Jude seems to say that the sin of these angels was precisely the fact that they went after women.”
Dyer is apparently alluding to Jude 6-7. If so, then Dyer is once again assuming the angelic interpretation of Gen 6:1-4, via Jude. But that’s another disputatious interpretation. As Charles points out:
“Although both 2 Pet 2:4 and Jude 6 allude to the punishment of rebellious angels, neither states explicitly that these angels were disobedient in the period of Noah. More importantly, the reference to these angels in 2 Pet 2:4 and Judge 6 is found in a sequence of paradigms…This link, in both cases, is not Genesis 6, nor is the link sexual sin,” ibid. 148-49.
Continuing with Dyer:
“The Book of Enoch also prophesies the Messiah, which is interesting, since the work is usually dated somewhere in the First Century, B.C.”
This disregards the fact that, like other Intertestamental literature, Enoch alludes to the OT, including prophetic portions of the OT. To take just two examples:
“1 Enoch is a collection of five writings ascribed to the biblical patriarch Enoch. Literary analysis shows that these five are independent compositions…The first piece, the so-called Book of the Watchers…in itself is a compilation of disparate literary pieces: 1-5 is an introductory discourse…6-11 relates the story of the Fallen Angels,” D. Dimant, “Use and Interpretation of Mikra in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha,” M. Mulder & H. Sysling, eds. Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading & Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity (Hendrickson 2004), 404.
“The section [1 En 6-11] stands out as a fragment of an ancient biblical Expansion of the type of ‘rewritten Bible.’…The story told in 6-11 is based on Gen 6:1-4 by quotations not given en block, but distributed among large aggadic and interpretive expansions…In 6-11 there are two typical examples of exegetical substitutions: the Angels and the Giants. Neither is mentioned in the original biblical story, ibid. 404-405.
“The author of 1 Enoch 1-5 has drawn heavily from the conceptions of Isaiah 65-66 with respect to his prophecies of an elect remnant arising from an apostate Israel. 1 En. 5:6 paraphrases Isa 65:15. The Enochic use of terms identifying ‘the righteous,’ the elect,’ and ‘sinners,’ and the transition of ‘plantation’ imagery from the nation as a whole to the elect remnants of each age, must be understood as the domestication to the Enochic author’s circle of the categories of Isaiah,” D. Jackson, Enochic Judaism (T&T Clark 2004), 3; cf. R. Bauckham, “Apocalypses,” D. A. Carson et al eds. Justification and Variegated Nomism: I. The Complexities of Second Temple Judaism (Tübingen 2001), 161.
Continuing with Dyer:
“Now, my point is not that its canonical, but that St. Jude certainly thought it was true, so we at least have to admit it has religious truth/tradition in it.”
i) What evidence do we have that Jude “certainly thought it was true”? What if his citation of Enoch was an exercise in audience adaptation? What if he was citing sectarian Jewish literature either because his audience or the false teachers were fond of sectarian Jewish literature?
ii) The question also turns on the correct rendering of the conjunction. As Charles explains:
“Grammatically, the kai of v14a could be interpreted in several ways…If Jude’s literary strategy called for exploiting a work highly esteemed not by himself, rather by his readers, then the following translation of v14a would make perfectly good sense: ‘For even (your own) Enoch, the seventh from Adam (i.e. of 1 Enoch), prophesied of these, saying…’,” ibid. 160-61.