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What is the Book of Jubilees and should it be in the Bible?

Book of Jubilees

Question: "What is the Book of Jubilees and should it be in the Bible?"

Answer:
The Book of Jubilees, sometimes called the “Lesser Genesis,” was probably written in the 2nd century BC and records an account of the biblical history of the world from the creation to Moses. The book divides history into periods or “jubilees” of 49 years. Generally, the Book of Jubilees follows the account of creation as recorded in the Book of Genesis, but provides interesting details such as names of Adam’s daughters.

The only complete version of the Book of Jubilees is written in Ethiopian, though most scholars believe that it was originally written in Hebrew. There are some fragments existing today in Greek and Latin, but nowhere near a complete book in either language.

Perhaps the most obvious reason for the book was the author’s preoccupation with advocating a solar calendar based on days and months rather than on the Jewish, lunar-based calendar. In fact, some scholars have pointed out that it appears the book was written exactly for that purpose—to push the author’s idea that the solar-based calendar more accurately represents the 49 years and provided for a better understanding of prophecy. If that is true, then the Book of Jubilees may well have merely been an attempt to show how the solar calendar better fits in the biblical account of time and prophecy.

As for whether the Book of Jubilees should be in the Bible, we must first recognize the fact that God is the One at work in the Scriptures, and if He wanted the Book of Jubilees as a part of Scripture, no man (or Satan) could have prevented it. Hundreds and hundreds of years of Christian (and Jewish) scholars have labored to ensure that the Holy Scriptures remain true and untainted. Part of the problem with the Book of Jubilees is that so little remains of original writings that there is no way to determine if the book as it now exists is the same book that was originally written. This is one huge reason that the Book of Jubilees fails the standards of the canon of Scripture.

Recommended Resources: The Canon of Scripture by F.F. Bruce and Logos Bible Software.


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What is the Book of Jubilees and should it be in the Bible?