Thursday, August 6, 2020

Book of Enoch

The book of Enoch can be rather confusing at first glance. In fact, prior to writing this post I didn’t know much about Enoch at all. When learning about and talking about the book a lot of questions arise. Some of these questions include why isn’t Enoch a book in the Bible? Did Enoch actually write the book? Should we Christians believe everything we read in it? Though this book is rather interesting, it is also extremely confusing. After doing some research, I hope I can bring you some clarity and answers to these questions. 
First let’s begin with a brief background on who Enoch was. We know that he was Adam’s great-great-great-great grandson and Noah’s great grandfather. We also know that Enoch’s son was Methuselah who turned out to be the longest living man. Enoch was said to live over 3 centuries and had numerous offspring throughout his life. Enoch went to Heaven without ever actually dying. The only other person in the Bible this has happened to is Elijah. Genesis 5:24 is the point in the Bible where this event takes place. 
The book of Enoch is a collection of several different writings originally written in Ge’ez, although some scholars do argue that it was written in Aramaic first. The YouTube video titled “The Truth About the Book of Enoch” posted by the channel Founded in Truth does a really good job at explaining what the book of Enoch is and what it says. David Wilber, author, speaker and religious teacher explains in the video that the writings found in the book of Enoch are known as pseudepigrapha. Pseudepigrapha is described as “ancient writings that falsely claim authorship by a Biblical character.” 
This means that the book of Enoch was not written by Enoch himself. Wilber knows that Enoch couldn’t have written it because “The book of Enoch makes use of later Biblical writings such as Isaiah and Daniel.” This means that the book of Enoch references events that happened after Enochs life making it impossible for Enoch to have written the book by himself. Wilber further supports this by explaining that Mount Sinai is mentioned by name in the book of Enoch which came way after Enochs time as well.  
The book of Enoch is unique because it gives us a glimpse into the ancient world. The first part of Enoch talks about the fallen angels and watchers in Heaven. The remainder of the book talks about Enoch actually going to Heaven and all he encountered while there. 
The book of Enoch can be described as apocryphal which essentially means it was not inspired by God as other books in the Bible were. Wilber supports this statement by saying “The Messiah did not consider the book of Enoch to be inspired scripture.” Wilber also explains that the teachings explained in Enoch are in direct conflict with those taught in the Bible. The book of Enoch quite literally taught of a false messiah. As mentioned before, throughout Enoch it is explained that Enoch was taken into Heaven and shown many visions about the messiah who is yet to come. The author of Enoch writes about how this future messiah will fulfill the prophecies 
found throughout the Bible. It isn’t until later in the writings that it is revealed that the future messiah talked about is Enoch. The book of Enoch essentially teaches that Enoch himself is the light of the world prophesied throughout scripture and not Jesus which is contrary to everything the Bible says. Therefore, Enoch is not included as a book in the Bible. 
The book of Enoch is referenced a few times throughout the book of Jude, but that does not mean that Enoch is considered scripture as bible authors have quoted non inspired sources several times throughout the Bible. Wilber supports this statement by talking about how Paul quoted Greek poems in Acts 17:28. “The Biblical authors quoted extra-Biblical material that was meaningful to their contemporary audience.” Quoting non-Biblical material was merely a teaching tactic or a way to get readers to better resonate with what is being taught. Non-Biblical material may also be quoted because they might align with Biblical values, but that still does not mean they are inspired. 
To sum it all up, Wilber explains that “The book of Enoch is tremendously valuable if you are interested in learning more about the different beliefs and ideas floating around the Judaism’s of the second temple era.” The book of Enoch is not considered scripture and was not inspired by God. Enoch is one of those books that you can sit and analyze for hours and still pick up on new things each time you go over it. Though Enoch wasn’t directly talked about in the Bible frequently, he did play a part in Christianity and his famous Biblical lineage will always be remembered. 
The book of Enoch has always been and will continue to be a controversial one. While the formal answer for why this book wasn’t included in the Bible is that Jesus and the apostles never called it scripture, others believe it was excluded for different reasons. Some argue that the church decided to exclude the book to cover up historical truth such as the Nephilim and giants spoken of throughout Enoch. We may never get all the answers to our questions about this unique book, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop trying.