Centuries ago when the New Testament books were being compiled, the book of Jude raised some controversy as to whether or not it should be included as canon because it quotes two apocryphal books. The two apocryphal books it quotes are the Assumption of Moses in Jude 9 and the Book of Enoch in Jude 14-16. Since Jude seemingly quoted books that were known to be “pseudepigraphical,” a fancy word for “false additional writings,” it was assumed that Jude could not be an inspired book.
But the historical and spiritual records proved to be overwhelmingly in Jude’s favor as inspired writing. Historically, itt was well-known fact that Jude was the brother of James who was a primary leader at the church in Jerusalem. Since this James was known to be the half-brother of the Lord Jesus himself, it was also known that Jude was also Jesus’ half-brother and was the Jude who was named in Matthew 13:55. Spiritually, Jude’s writings are in perfect agreement with the writings of apostles like Peter and Paul as well as the writings of Old Testament prophets like Moses, Isaiah, and Amos.
So since Jude was obviously inspired by the Holy Spirit, why would he quote from the apocryphal Assumption of Moses to give the account of the dispute between Michael the archangel and the devil over Moses’ body? Why would he deem it necessary to quote from the apocryphal Book of Enoch to tell us about the Lord’s return with his saints to carry out judgment on the earth? The most likely explanation for this is that Jude was not quoting at all from apocryphal books.
One thing that critics of the Bible tend to ignore or to be unaware of is the fact that false teachers and false prophets take snippets from God’s word, which preceded their writings, to place in their own writings to promote their false teachings. This should be no surprise to believers since these unbelievers are just doing what their spiritual father Satan has done for ages. Every major false religion in the world has taken parts of the Bible to place in their scriptures–from Islam to Mormonism to Hinduism to Buddhism.
We have two warnings in the Bible that this is part of the practice of unbelievers. Paul, in defense of the genuineness of his ministry, told the Corinthians “[t]herefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” [2 Corinthians 4:1-2]. So we can deduce from his statement that those who are not truly called by God do the opposite of what Paul did in that they promote hidden things of dishonesty, walk in craftiness, and handle the word of God in a deceitful manner.
Then in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Paul tells us how the word of God can be handled deceitfully–“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means…” So false doctrines can be promoted by someone claiming their actions are of the spirit, that they have a word from God, or that they have writings from God or his apostles and prophets. We see in this scripture that even in Paul’s days there were counterfeit letters being circulated as if they were from Paul and his associates.
This is how we ended up with the apocryphal books. If you read them, you will see how many of them quote from the psalms and the prophets, then they mix in false doctrines to throw people off. It is my belief that Jude truly spoke from genuine writings that existed during his time that talked about the argument over Moses’ body and Enoch’s prophecy about the return of the Lord with his saints. Those writings he quoted either no longer exist or they are buried somewhere and have yet to be discovered by an archaeologist. After those genuine writings were publicized, someone else came along and put them in their own bastardized version, which is how we got the Book of Enoch and the Assumption of Moses that exist today.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–