The Apocrypha + Pseudepigrapha in the New Testament

One of the standard arguments against acceptance or use of the Apocrypha or other intertestamental literature is the view, often presented as a fact, that the NT writers didn’t quote the Apocrypha. It is easy to see how and why people could agree with this view. There are no NT passages that say, As it is written in the book of Judith (or Enoch, etc.)…” We will take a quick look at this issue, which is actually quite easily addressed.

For example, let us look at how John, writing in the book of Revelation, does not introduce OT phraseology the way Matthew does, or as Paul does. But all serious students of Revelation agree that the entire book is loaded with allusions (words or phrases from one work adapted to a new context) to a wide variety of OT phrases, and also the Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, such as Enoch. Everyone who’s closely studied John’s use of images, metaphors and figures of speech understands this.

Similarly, apart from Jude’s quotation of 1st Enoch, there are no Matthew-like quotes from the OT, Apoc, or other 2nd temple literature in the New Testament. But, if you go to the standard Greek editions of the New Testament such as those edited by the United Bible Societies (UBS4/5) or E. Nestle-K. Aland (NA27-28), you will find appendices that list hundreds of allusions to the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha that show up in the N.T.

Dr. Michael Heiser left us a 92 page listing of just these sorts of allusions, which should settle this point decisively. One can download the PDF file and search it for references to Enoch, Sirach, or any other similar work and see for yourself. This list is a free download from Heiser’s website, so spread it around…

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