Richard Bauckham: Jude/2 Peter

Image result for bauckham 2 peter jude

Bauckham’s argument is that 2 Peter has Jude as its reference point, and not vice-versa.  He says the author is almost certainly the brother of Jesus (Bauckham 14).

Enoch and the Giants

Even when Jude isn’t quoting 1 Enoch, he uses language from the text.  We should probably give a brief summary of Enoch’s argument: around 200 Watchers, seeing beautiful women, descended upon Mt Hermon and mated with them.  Their children were Giants and when those giants died, their disembodied spirits were demons

As Bauckham notes, Jude almost certainly believed this story (as did everyone, Jew and Christian, until the 3rd century).  And Enoch does have a cool passage: “Bind ‘As’el hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is Daddu’el, and cast him therein” (1 Enoch 10:4-6).

But how can we know that Jude actually believed this stuff?  It seems we can because he likens Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin as sexual in nature, and links it back to the angels.  The comparison doesn’t work if they were only human dudes.

“Which practiced sexual immorality in the same way as the angels and hankered after strange flesh.”  Bauckham comments, “The second clause explains the first. As the angels fell because of their lust for women, so the Sodomites desired sexual relations with angels” (Bauckham 54).

Bauckham tables the sources from which Jude likely drew in verses 4-15.  While these aren’t Scripture, they formed the intellectual backdrop for Jude’s writings (45).  Jude believes in giants, Watchers, and sexual sin.
Concerning the debate between Satan and Michael in the Testament of Moses, Bauckham takes Michael’s reluctance to rebuke Satan not as wanting to show respect to Satan, but that Michael knew that he himself was under another’s authority and didn’t have the authority to pass judgment on Satan.   This contrasts with the false teachers who think they are above angels (given the Jewish and early Christian belief that the Angels passed on Torah to Israel), which makes them immune to the Law.
“Pray in the Spirit”: includes but not restricted to speaking in tongues (113).
2 Peter

Bauckham bucks the trend of both sides when it comes to Petrine authorship.  He doesn’t believe that Simon bar Jonah wrote the epistle. Yet neither does he think it is the pious fraud known as pseudepigrapha.  He maintains that it is part of the genre of a “testament.”

He places the dating of it between 75-100 AD.  This means a) either Peter couldn’t have written it if he was martyred at Rome or b) Peter wasn’t martyred at Rome.  With most of the tradition he opts for (a).

His argument against Petrine authorship is a bit stronger than “the language is different.” He notes on 3:4 that the author refers to the passing away of the generation of the fathers.  Who are the “fathers?” It can’t be the Old Testament fathers, for those promises always referred to the first coming. It would make no sense for the author to say the promises haven’t been fulfilled with regard to the “coming.”  It can only be the disciples, which would make it an odd statement for Peter to make.

It’s an argument worth considering.  I’m not fully convinced, though.

1:4: deification. Likens deification (becoming divine) not as absorption into the Godhead, or the erroneous teaching of Thomism where we mentally gaze upon a created similitude of the divine essence, but rather that we take on characteristics of the divine realm: immortality, incorruptibility, etc. This makes sense if we are ultimately going to judge and replace the fallen beney ha-elohim.

2:11: The glories.  Can’t refer to human authorities, for it makes no sense of v. 11 (261).