The book of Enoch has intrigued religious scholars, researchers, and other readers for more than 2000 years. It’s popularly known as 1 Enoch, as other historical writings are named after the patriarch. However, other people refer to it as Ethiopic Enoch. That’s because the only full version existing is in the Ethiopian language.
Whatever you choose to name it, the book of Enoch is the most known rejected record in Christian and Jewish history. Believers of these faiths are advised to stay away from it. Why?
Well, this article discusses various reasons why you should stay away from the book or Enoch.
Why Stay Away From The Book Of Enoch
Here’s why you should consider staying away from the book of Enoch:
Historians and scholars agree that the Book of Enoch is a compilation of notes from various authors. The oldest section of this book dates back to 300 B.C. while the youngest section dates back to 100 A.D. Thus, the book of Enoch was composed between 3000 to 4000 years after Enoch walked the earth.
The book’s authors wanted readers to believe that Enoch (mentioned in Genesis 5) was the one who wrote the content. This way, they would attract many readers and persuade them to adopt their view on specific social matters regarding priestly marriage. However, that’s far from the truth.
Most bible scholars believe the old testament’s last books are Nehemiah and Malachi, written within decades of the events they describe, with their authors directly connected to their stories. However, the book of Enoch was written more than a century after Nehemiah and Malachi, with the events they describe happening thousands of years earlier.
Not Inspired By God
Although the book of Enoch is popular, it talks about the dead sea scrolls, caves at Qumran, and Nephilim; it’s not inspired by God.
Note that the Christian church doesn’t determine which books are inspired by God and which are not. That’s the responsibility of elected leaders who discovered books inspired by God and compiled them to form the Bible.
According to these leaders, the book of Enoch didn’t feature the qualities of inspiration. That’s why no historic branch of the Christian church has it in their Bible. The only exception is the Ethiopic church and other early churches, which included it because Jude referred to it, but later changed their minds and removed it.
Its Purpose Doesn’t Align With The Bible
The book of Enoch has several authors. As such, it has a multifaceted purpose. The purpose of the Bible is to teach about God or apply biblical truth to the lives of its readers. However, the book of Enoch hardly talks about these things.
The book’s first section contains 36 chapters called The Book Of Watchers. This section talks about specific principles of priestly marriage, a controversial issue among the Jews starting from 300 years before Christ.
During that time, some Jews priests thought they should marry other clergymen’s virgin daughters. By doing so, they thought they could keep the office pure. Other priests thought it was okay to marry outside the small population.
The book of watchers supported the idea of priests marrying daughters of other priests. However, the watchers were condemned for engaging in sexual relationships and inappropriate marriages.
The Jews reject it
The books in the Bible are called canonical, meaning God inspires them. A canon is a book showing the marks of Godly inspiration, and hence, termed as authoritative.
The book of Enoch existed even before the time of Christ, and the Jews knew about it. However, they rejected it, citing it doesn’t meet the qualities of other inspired scripture.
For this reason, the book wasn’t included in the Hebrew or the old testament canon. Moreover, Enoch’s book was also not included in the Septuagint. This is the Greek translation of the old testament containing non-canonical books like Deuterocanon and Apocrypha.
It Rejected By Christians
Like the Jews, Christians rejected the book of Enoch as canonical. Major Christian branches, including the Roman Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox, and the largest Protestantism like the Baptist, Pentecostal, Reformed, Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian traditions, rejected it as inspired by God.
The fact that the historical Christian branches knew about the book means they read it and rejected it. It’s only one new testament writer Jude who referred to it. However, that alone doesn’t make it inspired.
Jude 14-15 say, “It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds or ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Jude’s reference to the book made some early church fathers like Tertullian and Irenaeus accept the book as canonical. However, they later rejected it when they learned more about it.
The only confessing Christian churches that have accepted the book of Enoch as canonical are the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
It’s Influenced By The New Testament
Some leaders claim that the teachings in Enoch’s book align with that in the new testament. As such, it should be taken as inspired by God.
Some of the doctrines in the new testament claimed to have been inspired by the book of Enoch include the Messiah, the Son of Man, the messianic kingdom, demonology, eschatology, and resurrection.
However, that’s far from the truth. Many scholars believe that these doctrines found in the new testament were later inserted into the book of Enoch. This shows that the new testament influenced the book of Enoch, not vice versa.
Why should you stay away from the book of Enoch? There are various reasons why Christians are advised to steer clear of the book of Enoch. One, it’s unreliable, not inspired by God, doesn’t align with the Bible’s teachings, and has been rejected by the Jews and Christians.