The Assumption of Moses – What is it?

The Assumption of Moses is an interesting account of prophecies Moses allegedly told to Joshua. It includes stories consistent with Jewish tradition, but is not part of the Jewish or Christian scriptural canon.

The book first appeared in the first century, but it exists in just one manuscript and is missing a large portion of text. Its translation into Latin occurred first as late as AD 500. The Assumption of Moses is also cited by some early church fathers, including Origen.

Jude mentions the story of the archangel Michael arguing with Satan about the body of Moses (Jude 1:9), which is a story also told in the Assumption of Moses. Of course, that doesn't make the book holy or part of holy scripture. For example, Paul quoted non-Christian poets in Acts 17:28 and a non-scriptural narrative in 2 Timothy 3:8. These were simply quoted to make a point. Jude may not even have been alluding to the Assumption of Moses; the account in both Jude and the Assumption of Moses match with Jewish tradition and are a recounting rather than the origin of the story.

The Assumption of Moses is an interesting historical document, but it is not regarded as part of the biblical canon.


Related Truth:

What is the canon of the Bible and how did we get it?

The Prayer of Manasseh – What is it?

The Shepherd of Hermas – What is it? Should the Shepherd of Hermas be in the Bible?

The Wisdom of Sirach / Book of Ecclesiasticus – What is it?

The Wisdom of Solomon – What is it?


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