off topic

Jeffrey B. Gibson jgibson000 at
Fri Jan 25 20:22:07 EST 2002

Rion Reece wrote:

> When James talks about Satan and Micheal disputing over Moses' body, where
> does he get that idea?  Are there any extant literary sources for this
> belief?
> Sorry for the off-topic and thanks in advance for the help.

I take it you mean Jude not James and that the text referred to is Jude
9, yes?

If so, then as Clement of Alexandria and Origen (among others) tell us, the idea
comes from The Assumption of Moses. Unfortunately, while much of the work has been
preserved and may be read in editions of the Pseudepigrapha, the particular narrative
about Michael and the Devil in ToM is missing in all extant manuscripts of the work.

You will find an excellent and extended discussion of the background and source of
Jude 9 on pp. 64-76 in the commentary on Jude and 2 Peter by Richard Bauckham which is
Vol 50 in the Word Biblical Commentary Series..


Jeffrey Gibson.

Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
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Chicago, Illinois 60626
e-mail jgibson000 at
          jgibson000 at

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