The Book of Jubilees - What is it? Should the Book of Jubilees be in the Bible?
The Book of Jubilees (also called Lesser Genesis) is an ancient writing that claims to be revelation given to Moses regarding the division of the days, weeks, months, and Jubilees of the Law. These Jubilees are considered 49-year periods of time in which all of world history is divided.
The material included in the Book of Jubilees often overlaps with the Book of Genesis. Additional details are provided, however, such as names for Adam and Eve's daughters, the chronology of time prior to Moses receiving the Law, four classes of angels, an interesting interpretation regarding the Nephilim of Genesis 6, and that Hebrew was the original language of the world.
Today, the only complete ancient copies are in Ethiopian. However, numerous fragments or portions exist in Greek and Latin, with one discovery in Syriac. In addition, several Hebrew fragments were discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries in the twentieth centuries.
The date of the Book of Jubilees is not certain. Several early Christian writers mentioned it. In addition, the oldest Hebrew fragments date to approximately 100 BC. The Book of Jubilees further seems to quote 1 Enoch, a book dated to 200 BC or before. Most scholars date the original composition sometime in the second century BC.
Should the Book of Jubilees be added to the Bible? Several concerns have kept this book from being added in the past that continue to stand true today. First, there is no complete early copy of the writing in the original language. The Old Testament, in contrast, was completed centuries before the Book of Jubilees and has much greater manuscript support in its original Hebrew and Aramaic languages.
Second, the Book of Jubilees came after the Old Testament during a period in which no inspired writing was added to Scripture. This does not determine whether the text of this work is accurate or not, but affirms it was composed in a time period between the Old and New Testaments during which no writing was added to Scripture.
Theologically, if God wanted the Book of Jubilees to exist as part of the Bible, He would have made a way for the early church to affirm its inclusion. Instead, the earliest collections of the New Testament left this writing out of every single developed list of its accepted writings and did not consider the Book of Jubilees inspired for consideration in the New Testament.
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