19 Reasons Why 1 Enoch is not in the Bible

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Welcome

Here it is! The Grand refutation of 1 Enoch! Well lets go easy.. I’m no scholar, but a student learning from those who’ve discussed the text and the reasons it is not seen as canonical, This takes us into the intertestamental period, Ethiopia and even the Quran is mentioned in here! (That was a bombshell surprise in itself! 

I hope I have provided a clear, simplified article the layman can understand. The goal is simply to state why we as Christians need not hold to the book of 1 Enoch on the level of the Old or New Testament canon as we know as Protestants. I’ll start with a brief introduction before going to 15 reasons was 1 Enoch is not in the Bible.

 

Structure of Enoch

George W.E. Nickelsburg who produced the Hermeneia translation of Enoch (Hermeneia is a new word to me too!) informs us that the collection of traditions and writings which are dated between 4th century BC And the turn of the century are mainly considered “In the name of Enoch, the son of Jared”. 

Enoch is a collection of sayings is put into a book is and is divided into 8 major sections, with each section having a different history in terms of composition and integration into the book we have as present. These books likely existed as booklets prior and were combined later. 

 

The names of these booklets are:

  1. The Book of the Heavenly Luminaries
  2. Book of the Watchers
  3. Enochs Two Dream Visions (Two pieces of testamentary narrative)
  4. The Epistle of Enoch
  5. An Account of Noahs Birth
  6. The Book of Parables
  7. The Book of Giants (Found at Qumran but not part of the Ethiopic book of Enoch)

If they don’t sound cool, they certainly play on mystery. 

So in the Intertestamental period we have these seven traditions slowly merging on each other which would lead to a whole book eventually. We see this starting to happen predicted by the 1st century AD in Ethiopia. 

 

For more on the textual witness and the inns and outs of manuscript data… by which there are quotes/manuscripts etc. See This lecture by Professor Peter Gentry, a textual expert in manuscripts and the known languages of the time. 

 

15th century Ethiopic text

The Only complete (Which doesn’t include book of Giants) copy we know of in full is from only Ethiopia. It is based on a Greek version as well as a copy of the Aramaic parent text and this was made between the 4th and 6th centuries AD. Michael Nib (I hope I got his surname correct) prepared a critical edition based on 33 manuscripts, the oldest of which dates to the 15th century AD.

Overview

Here’s an overview of Enoch. (Introduction to the Intertestamental Period, pp. 142-143):

The book was arranged by its last editor in five sections, as in the Psalms and other Jewish Books.

 

Section I (1-36)

This section is mainly concerned with Enoch pronouncing God’s judgement on the angels, or watchers who fell through their love for the daughters of men (Gen. 6:1-4), and Enoch’s intercession for them. A bizarre description of Hades is found in this portion of 1 Enoch. 

 

Section II (37-71) 

This has three “parables,” or apocalyptic revelations, together with the story of Enoch’s translation into heaven.

 

Section III (72-87) 

This section Is primarily concerned with furnishing a treatise on astronomy, the secrets of the movement of the stars as revealed to Enoch, who sees with his own eyes their very course, even the portals through which they enter and issue forth, for the purpose of transmitting the information to future generations (Very bizarre!).

 

Section IV 

This runs along lines laid down in the first two portions dealing with the problem of sin and suffering of Israel. Enoch relates to Methuselah his visions of the deluge, the fall of the angels, and their punishment in the underworld, the deliverance of Noah, the Exodus, the giving of the Law, the conquest of Canaan, the time of the judges, the establishment of the united kingdom, the building of the temple, the story of the two kingdoms, the fall of the Northern Kingdom, and the Exile. 

 

This is followed by four periods of angelic rule up to the time of the Maccabean Revolt, the last assault of the Gentiles, and the great Judgment. The last part of Section IV contains the prediction of the foundation of the new Jerusalem, the conversion of the Gentiles, the resurrection of the righteous, and the coming of the Messiah.

 

Section V

This is without any account of the origin of sin but appears to be mainly devoted to the problem of suffering of the righteous and the prosperity of the oppressing sinners. It denounces evil and utters woes on sinners and promises blessings to the righteous. Within part of Section V is an older work “The Apocalypse of Weeks” (93:1-10; 91:12-19). It concludes (105): “In those days the Lord bade to summon and testify to the children of the earth concerning their wisdom: show (it) unto them; for ye are their guides, and a recompense over the world. For I and My Son will be united with them forever in the paths of uprightness and in their lives; and ye shall have peace; rejoice, ye children of uprightness. Amen.”

 

Now if such a monumental work was at all valuable to the Jews, or Jesus, or the New Testament writers, surely someone would quote it’s great prophecies or words as scripture? 

Why not discuss 2-3 Enoch? In a nutshell..

If you care to know about 2 and 3 Enoch, they almost certainly post-date Jesus, although 2 Enoch is probably pre-70 AD since it assumes the temple is standing. This is said of 3 Enoch:

 

It is impossible to reach a very firm conclusion as to the date of 3 Enoch. The main problem is the literary character of the work: it is not the total product of a single author at a particular point in time, but the deposit of a ‘school tradition’ which incorporates elements from widely different periods. Certain rough chronological limits can, however, be established. 3 Enoch can hardly have been written later than the tenth century A.D…
James H. Charlesworth – 2010, The Pseudepigrapha 

The fact that the tenth century is being tossed around for this is telling enough. 

Summary of the reasons for rejection

Let’s start with some* of the reasons why 1 Enoch is a rejected work

  1. We have no manuscripts dating to the time Enoch lived. All manuscripts are from 2nd century BC and newer.
  2. The Quote in Jude is either not from 1 Enoch and so from a common tradition or if it was Enoch, it is loosely quoted. 
  3. Jude is refuting either 1 Enoch or those that follow Enochic tradition. Either way.. It’s not good for the Enochians!
  4. Quote doesn’t imply scripture anyway
  5. It is of the apocryphal-Intertestamental period.
  6. The Jews considered the Canon closed. Jews never saw 1 Enoch as canonical
  7. Jews rejected Apocrypha
  8. Jesus made clear no intertestamental books were part of either Canon. 
  9. 1 Enoch contradicts scripture
  10. Internal content is speculative and based on musings form Genesis 6
  11. 1 Enoch is never publicly affirmed at any church council (As well as the entire Apocrypha)
  12. Very few church fathers were deceived into thinking 1 Enoch was canonical
  13. Didn’t even make the Septuagint
  14. No doctrine was relied on by disputed books. 1 Enoch was disputed
  15. It’s just too weird
  16. Warnings by Paul
  17. The Holy Spirit didn’t lead them to add it to the Canon..at any point as a whole church!
  18. Considered fiction
  19. Son of man texts were later additions

*Some, because there are quite a lot more reasons.. some are technical, others not is weighty and more because I am not an Enochian specialist!

1. We have no manuscripts dating to the time Enoch lived. All manuscripts are from 2nd century BC and newer.

This is the first main problem with the Book of Enoch is that there are zero manuscripts of it from the time it was supposedly written, or indeed before the 2nd century BC. It is totally within the Intertestamental period and after. If you wonder why we say Enoch is older than the manuscripts below, thats because the manuscripts we do have are likely copies and not original hand manuscripts as well as historical alignments.  

 

In 1992 George W.E.Nickelsburg wrote

“The Book of the Heavenly Luminaries is part of the evidence of an early discussion of function and structure of celestial and terrestrial phenomena belongs to do with a debate belonging to the 2nd century BC in Judaism”.

This was to do with whether a lunar or solar calendar was divinely instituted. The book of Jubilees cites 1 Enoch to attack the lunar calendar. So it was likely around prior for this quotation.

 

The book of Watchers considered the second oldest dating to the 2nd half of of the 3rd century reflects a developing tradition from the 4th century BC. 

 

Enochs Two Dream Visions. Has dependence upon materials in the book of Daniel which indicates it must have been composed before Judas’ defeat of Nicanor in 161BC.

 

There is no evidence for section 7 & 8 being from a pre-Christian time (2-3 Enoch). Also the first part of section 4 or for the arrangement in the Ethiopic version.

2. The Quote in Jude is either not from 1 Enoch and so from a common tradition or if it was Enoch, it is loosely quoted.

So Peter Enns considers 1 Enoch to be quoted by Jude. Professor Peter Gentry challenges this notion..

 

Here’s 1 Enoch:

And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly: and to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

1 Enoch 1:9

 

And then Jude:

 

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

 

Jude 1:14-15:

 

This appears at first glance to be fairly convincing, yes? Here are some problems:

The word used in Jude, that ‘prophesied’ there, is prophéteuó.Its cognate, prophetes, was used in Titus 1:12 to refer to a heathen poet, and the word itself is only used as a citation once in Matthew 15:7 to cite Isaiah 29. Indeed, in that same section of Titus, Paul asserts that the pagan he is quoting is correct, even; yet this does not mean the poet’s words in total bear inclusion in the Bible.

 

It is also entirely possible that Jude is referring to a real prophecy by Enoch… that is not from this book of Enoch. Oral traditions are powerful, and considering the care with which the Jews recorded information, it is plausible it survived. Notice the curious differences between the two. The book of Enoch says that the righteous were destroyed whereas Jude says they were judged. I don’t know of any New Testament citation of scripture that misquotes its source material. Also, Jude is careful to say that Enoch prophesied; the book does not quote the book of Enoch. Is careful to say it is not quoting Enoch himself.

 

There is also some other information worth knowing. The Greek Qumran scrolls (scrolls found in a cave called Qumran (Dead sea scrolls) which were edited by Millik has missing parts and guess what? He USED Jude as the basis for this reconstruction…well what would that mean? The two would sound even more alike…Jude was used to plug the holes of 1 Enoch making them sound increasingly similar!

 

The Greek of Jude and the Greek of Enoch have about 72% in common after this reconstruction. The Ethiopic text however of 1 Enoch 9 is not very much like the text in Jude at all. The Greek reconstruction looks far more alike Jude than the Ethiopic text

 

So the text of Jude and the text of Enoch have 72% of all words in common. This could be considered an abbreviated citation, if it is, it is fairly freely abbreviated. 

 

Another firm possibility proposed by Professor Gentry is that both 1 Enoch and the reference in Jude go back to a common tradition in Judaism much like Paul’s reference to Janis and Jambres (the names of the magicians opposing Moses). 

 

Jacques von Wrighton writes “The author of Jubilees knew about the Enochic traditions, it is strongly influenced by this material, however in my opinion it is not possible to say that Jubilees is dependant on the text of 1 Enoch. The wording of two is too different”. Jude could be like Jubilees, drawing from a common tradition, not necessarily citing an actual text.

If he is citing, sure, that’s also no problem as we show in the next reason.

3. Jude is refuting either 1 Enoch or those that follow Enochic tradition. Either way.. It’s not good for the Enochians!

There are what are called Chiasms in Jude but the extra Biblical references are put outside of these arcs.

 

Chiastic structure, or chiastic pattern, is a literary technique in narrative motifs and other textual passages. An example of chiastic structure would be two ideas, A and B, together with variants A’ and B’, being presented as A,B,B’,A’. Chiastic structures that involve more components are sometimes called “ring structures”, “ring compositions”, or, in cases of very ambitious chiasmus, “onion-ring compositions”. These may be regarded as chiasmus scaled up from words and clauses to larger segments of text.
Source: Wikipedia

In a paper entitled “Reassessing Jude’s use of Enochic Traditions” Dr Peter Gentry expressed a crucial point about Enoch:

“If ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ represent three topics, one could arrange them as ABC::A’B’C’ or ABC::C’B’A’ just to mention a couple of six possibilities. The pattern ABC::C’B’A’ is called chiastic because, like the Greek letter chi, the repeated half forms a mirror image of the first half. Chiastic patterns fulfil several functions. One function is to clearly demarcate text as a unit that is not connected to what precedes or follows.

 

In the literary structure of Jude, the chiastic presentation of the examples from canonical history unite and separate them from those drawn from non-canonical Jewish traditions. This clearly separates Enoch from canonical literature and puts it in the same category as the Assumption of Moses, at least from the point of view of the author of Jude”.

legacy.tyndalehouse.com/Bulletin/68=2017/Fountain-26.pdf 

 

In Venice Italy, 2003, Paolo Saatchi, a Guru in the field of Enoch gave a paper entitled “History of the Earliest Enochic texts” he makes these observations concerning the book of Watchers:

 

  1. The origin of evil in the world lies in an angelic sin that contaminated the whole world. 
  2. Two, the impure truly exists in nature as an outcome of angelic sin. Impurity in the root is the root of evil in history, besides the devil continues his work in the world.

 The focus then of the central message of the book of Watchers is to demonstrate through Genalogical and Narrative speculations on angels based on Genesis 6 that chaos and evil in the world are due to angelic sin. 

 It seems then that the function of Jude’s reference to the Enochic traditions is to demonstrate and emphasise (note how Ungonly appears four times in the verse) that evil in our present world is due to human rebellion. So Jude is using their own text (1 Enoch) against Enochians! He’s taking the Enochic tradition and saying evil is here not because of angelic sin. It’s because of Ungodly human rebellion. And thus we cannot blame the evil of the world purely on angels, humans partook in that evil. 

Interesting Sidenote: The Assumption of Moses 
The reference to the dispute of Michael the Archangel with the devil over the body appears to function in precisely the same way (Chiastic structure again! I think they add to the beauty of scripture to be honest). Here we have another reference to speculative traditions from the second temple period “The Assumption of Moses” this time. Scholars are agreed that the comment of Jude is clear reference to the lost ending of this work (Asusmption of Moses). Jude refers to this work to show that the greatest angel of all did not have authority to rebuke the devil but committed the issue to God himself, hence all appeal to angelic authority is worthless. So Jude is using their text against them here also. 

Learn to Love Chiastic structures!

4. Quote doesn’t imply scripture anyway

The Apostle Paul quotes the pagan Epimenides in Titus 1:12 but that does not mean we should give any additional authority to Epimenides’ writings. He does it again in Athens when debating philosophers.  

 

There are plenty of texts quoted in the Old Testament times with such references to the Book of Jasher recorded in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18. Their inclusion means that the part references and quoted is Scripture, but the rest of the work is not. So the mere quotation of a work does not, in and of itself, make a whole work Scripture. You can argue also that written outside of that book it is not scripture (Because the context could defile it).

The same is true with Jude, verses 14-15. Jude quoting from the book of Enoch does not indicate the entire Book of Enoch is inspired, or even true. All it means is that particular verse is true.

5. It is of the Apocryphal-Intertestamental period.

At best, we can assume 1 Enoch was written pre-Jude, the Book of Enoch is intertestamental at best. It would have been written down between the conclusion of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament, and therefore could not be an inspired work.

 

Note that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch actually wrote this, or that it was passed down to be written inter-testamental as Oral Tradition. Absolutely none, especially considering the Jews stopped only orally transmitting things as important as prophetic words thousands of years prior. 

Likewise, 1 Enoch was never included in their canon. Some argue that certain Aramaic sections of the fragments we have ‘seem’ quite old, but something ‘seeming’ a certain way isn’t good enough. “Seem” is not a standard, we can’t be appealing to feelings here.

6. The Jews considered the Canon closed. Jews never saw 1 Enoch as canonical

The Old Testament consisted of The Law, The Prophets and The Writings. The Protestants hold the same Old Testament as this (which is the same as the Jews). Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have expanded Canons. No 1 Enoch here!

 

It is good to have knowledge of how things were canonized in the Old Testament and the speed at which it happened!

 

Unlike 1 Enoch, the Old Testament Canon happened fast after a writing happened. There’s over 1,000 year between the oldest and youngest Old Testament books, New Testament 70ish years

 

Moses books were accepted right away, no council needed! He was a proven spokesman for God!

 

We see also in Joshua also he was received right away (Joshua 24) sees his words as inspired.

 

This was not transmitted orally, they wrote it down immediately. 

 

1 Samuel 10:25 we see that what he wrote down was put away in the temple and saved right away

 

Daniel around 600’s AD (Sure people vary Daniel’s time) had a physical copy of Moses and the prophets and he specifically mentions Jeremiah by name who was only 70 years before him! That means Jeremiah’s words were already in the canon (Daniel 9:11)

 

Several of the prophets are supported by Kings and Chronicles and sometimes prophets mention each other crediting them as from God.

There were Principles in adopting books into the Canon also:

 

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 Prophetic test:

This is why many prophets would get a short term prophecy (confirming they were a prophet) before they would get a long term one.

 

Deuteronomy 13:1-3 consistency test:

If future prophecy contradicts old revelation then reject it. It needs to be consistent (the heretic could get lucky or Satan could even be at work!)

 

Note: Jesus said he didn't come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. He acknowledges the previous scriptures.

 

We don’t know about why every Old Testament book was accepted. Jews probably knew more about Job and his work than us and there are scholars out there with strong hypothesis. 

 

Between Malachi 400BC and Jesus 30AD 

Israel had this full canon and they also felt like the time of prophecy was over

 

The Cessation was predicted by the last of the prophets. Enoch wouldn’t of had a chance. It was acknowledged by those people at the time and it was affirmed by people who lived after that time. See Zechariah 13:2-6 predicts the cessation of prophecy.

 

In Syrac, 180BC it says in the prologue it has references to the law, the prophets and the writings. The author says his grandfather studied well these three sections (so way before 180BC)

 

Josephus 1st century Roman historian tells us that After Xerxes he says there were good writings but nothing of the same quality or level of the prophetic Old Testament writings (referring to after Malachi’s time)

 

1 Maccabees 9:27 — refers that its an accepted fact that the prophets are no longer happening to Israel. There are two other occasions where they claim not to know what to do because there was no prophecy.

 

So we see these intertestamental books claiming not to be scripture and also that There was nothing new to be added.

 

Debunking a myth
The Council of Jamnia: This council had nothing to do with the Old Testament canon. That is a modern myth. Look it up I fell for it too once.

 

7. Jews rejected Apocrypha 

This is relevant for the wider case.

We kind of touched on this already but the Jews did reject it and this is important. The book of Romans says the oracles of God were committed to the Jews. If I trust the New Testament as God’s word I should trust the Jews! When I get into the church fathers you’ll see where some fell for the trap of “extra Apocryphal books”

 

Josephus refers to books laid up in the temple as 22 in number (which means the apocrypha is not part of them). Since there are 24 books in the current Jewish canon instead of the 22 mentioned by Josephus, some scholars have suggested that he considered Ruth part of Judges, and Lamentations part of Jeremiah. (This is a side issue but good to know!)

 

By 70AD the Jews had a law that it was forbidden to bring even new copies of old books into the temple. Now if you can’t even bring in them what chance do you have bringing a new book altogether? 

 

The Old Testament has the fingerprint of the Messiah all over. The Apocrypha is more political and not messianic or if so, very slightly. 1 Enoch doesn’t win here…

 

Even those who accept the Apocrypha never accepted 1 Enoch or the Assumption of Moses.. You only really find it in Oriental Orthodoxy, outside of mainline forms of Christianity. 


Sorry.. Didn’t have timer to make a pretty version so I just stole this one of google images


8. Jesus made clear no intertestamental books were part of either Canon.

Jesus continuously says “It is written” “as God says” “the word of the Lord” etc. And sometimes says this to the Pharisees directly. He never quotes other books outside the Old Testament (The Son of Man references were added later, see later in the article). Note: The Pharisees don’t disagree with Jesus about the scripture he quotes also! Affirming our closed Jewish canon. 

 

Jesus and the apostles quote from the Old Testament about 300 times. Matthew 23:35 — Jesus refers to the martyrdom of the first martyr (Abel) to the last (Zechariah) And this is also when the Canon stops. Nothing in the next 400 years are mentioned. So in a sense he affirms that timeline. No Apocrypha, No 1 Enoch.

 

Disagree with Jesus? Ok we’re gonna have problems.

9. 1 Enoch contradicts scripture

And now on to some of the things it says which are not scriptural. References are from 1 Enoch:

 

  1. 10:15 on to about chapter 11 details that after the deluge then righteousness would be restored and evil would be eliminated. This contradicts the Old Testament, it contradicts the New Testament… really everything.
  2. Enoch 2:2-3 contradicts 2 Pet 3:3-7; it says that things have been going on in the same way since the beginning of creation, which is literally an argument 2 Peter warns about.
  3. In 10:2, it condemns itself by having Enoch talk about someone saying something to Noah; Enoch was taken up before Noah was born, and this is not given in a prophetic form, so…
  4. 10:8 places the blame for all the fallen angels on some angel named Azazel, which is not scriptural.
  5. Chapter 20 incorrectly assigns the roles of both Gabriel and Michael.
  6. 41 calls the Kingdom of God divided. Contradicts Jesus and the rest of Scripture.
  7. 47:4 says God requires the blood of the righteous, which is… hmm… wrong. It isn’t discussing the blood of the righteous one, mind, but all righteous, but an offering of a ‘number’ of them.
  8. In general, Enoch details, well, Enoch going down to Earth after being taken up by God, and that’s not supported by the rest of Scripture. It’s not precisely rejected, but no one else that God took made a habit of coming back.

I Found another list that I shamelessly copied. Couldn’t find a definitive list but many!

Taking a cursory look at the text up through Chapter 59, It shows a series of false doctrines.

 

  1. 1:1 Implies restoration during tribulation – not congruent with scriptures.
  2. 1:8 In conflict with the doctrine that peace was made at the cross. Also, in the last days tribulation will increase for the righteous – this “verse” seems to dispute that.
  3. 2:2-3 Appears to contradict 2 Pet 3:3-7
  4. 5:4 Is an admonition to some unknown party – this is very irregular relative to the scriptures (i.e. authentic ancient writings by God-fearing Jews)
  5. 6:3 Semjaza seems to be listed as the leader of the angels, which is not scriptural
  6. 6:3,8 None of these angels are mentioned in the Bible
  7. 8:1 Azazel isn’t even listed in 6:8 as one of the angels that fornicated with women
  8. 8:3 Araqiel and Shamsiel aren’t listed in 6:8 either
  9. 10:2 Enoch allegedly wrote about Noah, even though the Bible teaches that Enoch was taken up to heaven years before Noah was born.
  10. 10:4-6,12 Implies angels can be bound & hid in holes under rocks. This is contrary to scripture.
  11. 10:8 Ascribes all the sin of the fallen angels to one named Azazel – not scriptural.
  12. 10:15-11:2 Seems to imply that permanent restoration took place after the flood – clearly not true. It seems the true author of this book confused scriptures pertaining to the future restoration.
  13. 13:5-6,14:4-5,7 Implies fallen angels can’t talk to God – this contradicts Job. Also implies that angels were repentant, but weren’t received back by God – very strange doctrine.
  14. 14 Gives a very strange description of Heaven that conflicts with many scriptures
  15. 15:8-10 Very strange doctrine about “evil spirits” proceeding from unredeemable giants
  16. 17-18,21,23 Gives a very strange description of the earth & universe which is clearly not true. Also alludes to the ancient model of astronomy that held that there were 7 stars (the closest planets) which burned like the sun (they don’t.)
  17. 19:3 Discredits all other prophecy about the consumation of the ages.
  18. 20 Lists strange angels not in scripture, and incorrectly assigns the roles of Michael (the warrior) and Gabriel (the messenger)
  19. 21:7-10 Seems to contradict Biblical descriptions of the present & final judgement places for the fallen angels
  20. 22 Contradicts the Biblical descriptions of past, present & future dwelling places for the righteous who die
  21. 32:2-6 Seems to imply the Garden of Eden was still in existance after the Flood
  22. 33:1-2 Says Heaven rests on a foundation that is at the Eastern edge of the earth
  23. 33:3 He claims he counted the stars & individually mapped them, which is impossible scripturally (& scientifically)
  24. 34 Says the winds come out of a “portal” at the Northern edge of the earth
  25. 36:3 Says the stars come out of portals at the Eastern edge of the earth & move West
  26. 38:5-6 Contradicts Daniel & other prophecies about the Mellinial Reign
  27. 39:1-2 Very strange implications here about the “seed” of angels dwelling with men at the end… this contradicts the scriptures
  28. 40:7 Talks about the “Satans” – plural, different than the Bible, who gives that name to only one fallen angel. Also, implies Satan can’t stand in God’s presence, contrary to Job.
  29. 40:9 Once again mixes up the roles of the 2 Archangels & adds more names in. Michael’s role in scripture is related to conquoring nations & fighting spiritual wars, while Gabriel’s relates to bringing messages & visions to people.
  30. 41:1-2 Says the Kingdom of God is divided – it’s not & can’t be scripturally. Also describes sinners being repelled from a mansion, which is also not scriptural, unless you look at a parable Jesus told, which was not intended to be literal.
  31. 41:4-5 Says the sun, moon, winds, etc. are stored in chambers & released at appointed times.
  32. 41:6-7 Implies the sun & moon move opposite of each other
  33. 43:1-3,44 Very weird model of the nature of stars & lightning
  34. 47:4 Says God requires the blood of the saints… very strange
  35. 51:1 Says Sheol & Hell will give back to the earth, which isn’t scriptural – also Hell is a NT term, not OT
  36. 51:2 Disputes the Biblical doctrine that we are chosen. (We don’t have to wait until Christ’s return to be chosen.) This isn’t scriptural.

10. Internal content is speculative and based on musings form Genesis 6

The Old Testament is very Messianic, pointing to this one to come (Jesus). The Apocrypha does nothing like this. It deals mainly with Jewish nationalism and developments in the Jewish faith and particularly political ramifications to an ultimately successful rebellion. 

 

The focus of the central message of the book of Watchers is to demonstrate through Genealogical and Narrative speculations on angels based on Genesis 6 that chaos and evil in the world are due to angelic sin. As we know Jude refutes this and see later the section on Paul’s likely caution specifically about angelic genealogies that have been made up and treated as valuable.

11. 1 Enoch is never publicly affirmed at any church council (As well as the entire Apocrypha)

The Apocrypha is never publicly affirmed at a council of the entire church. You have little regional councils that affirm it at moments, but you never have Christendom signing off on this. The council of Trent, post-reformation is the first time this happens..

 

In April 1546 is the month they were “officially” added to a Catholic Canon at the council of Trent because they helped the Catholic Church teach the doctrines that the Protestants were fighting against. 

 

Hippo and Carthage were not universal Catholic councils and they had a different list.. these councils clash with Trent. Notably Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century rejected the Apocrypha and said it was not Canonical. Jerome did translate Apocryphal books but he was clear in saying they were not scripture

12. Very few church fathers were deceived into thinking 1 Enoch was canonical

There is an accusation that the Church Fathers supported Enoch.. let’s get into that because it’s important. The two big fish cited are Tertullian and Origen.

 

Tertullian

Tertullian of the 3rd century was a fan, calling it Scripture in Book 1, Chapter 3 of On the Apparel of Women (On the Apparel of Women. Book I). However, we must take care to remember that the Early Church Fathers are not the authority on what is Scripture and what is not, and they were fallible human beings. Tertullian fell, in his later life, to Montanism, a heretical branch of Christianity, and On the Apparel of Women was most likely written after this fall; so one should treat the words within with great suspicion.

 

Origen

So what about Origen? Origen cites it in the same breath as the Psalms (although he mis-translates the Psalm he’s quoting…) in De Principiis IV. However, the passages from Enoch he cites do not appear in the version we have. Origen mentions the Book of Enoch another time, in Contra Celsus, LIV. He doesn’t quote it there, however, nor does he call it Scripture. It would appear that he considered it a useful book, but there is no evidence that he thought it was Scripture. 

 

Proceed with caution

Be very careful when reading articles claiming what the Early Church Fathers did or did not say. I See far too often see people mutilate their quotes, cut out entire blocks of text, or outright lie about the content of their works or what they support. 

 

There are at least three different articles about Origen on Enoch that completely lied about the contents of De Principiis or Contra Celsus in an effort to support Enoch. If someone does not give you at the very least the book and chapter to go find it yourself, assume their quotation is a lie. 

 

For instance, people quoting De Principiis 3:3, saying that it supported the Book of Enoch as Scripture. Do you know what Origen was doing in that section? He was discussing heretics who said God created the Holy Spirit, and that it did not exist eternally as God. But because he said the word “Scripture” within the same paragraph as “book of Enoch,” he must therefore be discussing it as Scripture. This is just someone trying to assume you won’t fact check them. (I invite you to fact check me, I won’t be perfect, but luckily a lot of this is backed up by renowned scholars such as Professor Gentry).

 

This paragraph, if anything, supports the notion that Origen separated Enoch from Scripture. See here:

 

“And in the book of Enoch also we have similar descriptions. But up to the present time we have been able to find no statement in holy Scripture in which the Holy Spirit could be said to be made or created…”
http://www.documentacatholicaomn…  p 444, PDF page 26.

Is Origen supporting Enoch as Scripture? Absolutely not… He’s intentionally separating it. He puts Enoch closer to something written by Hermas than Scripture (which was recognized even as early as the Muratorian Fragment, which if you read my other answer is the oldest canon we have, as non-scriptural). 

 

Septuagint

So that’s them two out the way, now we need to get to the core of this issue: The Septuagint. Before Jerome, most Christians simply used the Septuagint (or Latin translations of it) because it was convenient, it was quoted (and therefore used) by the apostles, and some (such as Augustine) considered the translation itself inspired. Obviously, Enoch was not found in that collection. After Jerome, the Latin church shifted to using the Vulgate, which also didn’t include Enoch. So for the vast majority of Christian traditions Enoch simply fell out of use.

 

Enoch was not found in the 132 BC translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek (the Septuagint). Most likely, the text was not in it’s final form at that time. However, many church fathers quoted Enoch, so it must have been translated into Greek by the first and second century AD.  

 

Sidenote: Why did some church fathers believe the apocrypha was scripture? Because of the Septuagint

These people spoke greek and they translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek and these Apocryphal works entered into this Greek compendium of works. The Jews knew this wasn’t scripture as you can see from all the quotes earlier on. However, if you weren't familiar with Judaism and all you knew was Greek and didn’t know the Hebrew and you saw this then you might see it as scripture. This is them being ignorant “well its in the Septuagint so it must be scripture!” This is poor reasoning…

The Apologist Mike Winger informs that when you survey church history, the least educated about Hebrew and the original languages are the ones who endorsed the Apocrypha because they assumed the Jews did. But they were wrong. The ones that knew the languages and were more educated rejected these extra books

Interestingly, The 50+ people at the council of Trent who added these books, none of them were scholars of the Hebrew. But they knew these books were good in arguments against Protestants. 

 

Now With Enoch in Greek, and it coming from the Intertestamental period, you can see why a few took on a defence of 1 Enoch. But Like we show here, 1 Enoch is not lumped as highly with the other texts.

So there you go, challenging a bit of Apocrypha to deal with a bit of bit of 1 Enoch!

13. Didn’t even make the Septuagint

1 Enoch was never included from both the formal canon of the Tanakh and the typical canon of the Septuagint and therefore, also from the writings known today as the Deuterocanon.

 

Emanuel Tov and Craig Evans, Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective Archived 2016-06-15 at the Wayback Machine 


Philip R. Davies, Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures London: SPCK, 1998

14. No doctrine was relied on by disputed books. 1 Enoch was disputed

Of the books we include in the New Testament that were called “ἀντιλεγόμενα” (antilegomena), meaning “spoken against”, by the early church. To quote Eusebius:

 

“Among the disputed writings [των αντιλεγομένων], which are nevertheless recognized by many, are extant the so-called epistle of James and that of Jude, also the second epistle of Peter, and those that are called the second and third of John, whether they belong to the evangelist or to another person of the same name. Among the rejected writings must be reckoned also the Acts of Paul, and the so-called Shepherd, and the Apocalypse of Peter, and in addition to these the extant epistle of Barnabas, and the so-called Teachings of the Apostles… And among these some have placed also the Gospel according to the Hebrews, with which those of the Hebrews that have accepted Christ are especially delighted. And all these may be reckoned among the disputed books [των αντιλεγομένων].”

New Testament books here referenced in bold.

 

The importance of this distinction they kept was that no doctrine was to be founded on disputed books; doctrine had to begin with the fully accepted ones. The function of the disputed books, then, was to support and/or expand or expound upon doctrine from the fully accepted books — and they were also to be carefully interpreted according to the Gospel, something true of all the books but emphasized strongly in these cases. It’s a distinction we would have done well to maintain, given that a great amount of division and off-beat or even false teaching has arisen from teachings founded on one or more of those books.

15. It’s just too weird

Seriously just go read it for yourself. It’s very odd, and not in an Ezekiel kind of way: Ezekiel is odd because he’s describing with words things neither he nor we understand. It’s like a blind man trying to describe color. Enoch is odd for the same reason some of the gnostic works talking about Jesus are odd; it tries too hard to mimic that which it is not. This isn’t an appeal to emotions, this is a challenge that it is wholly uncanonical in it’s themes, context and intent. 

16. Warnings by Paul

Paul has Warnings about endless Genealogies and foolish myths in 1 Timothy 4:6; 4:7; 6:4, 2 Timothy 2:23, Titus 3:9. These Enochic traditions fit exactly what Paul was talking about because they contain an enormous genealogy of all the angels and speculations based on Genesis 6:-1-4

 

It should be noted Syriac Christianity did not heed the warnings of Paul so already in the writings of Aphrahat we see the angel Gabriel receiving the prayers of Christians and determining whether or not they will be determined in history. Angelology is much more developed here more than anywhere else. Attention to Angels is developed heavily in Syriac Christianity. Egyptian, Turkish, Syrian and Palestinian Christians were exposed to this in later centuries. Europe was spared due to linguistic differences and thus it did not filter in (which also helped to determine it was a later work otherwise surely Europe would have it)

 

Side note: The Quran likes 1 Enoch!
Patricia Crone (far from conservative) has demonstrated that the Quran has at least five distinct instances where it is directly dependant on the Enochic Book of Watchers. Although angelic genealogies are not in the Quran, much of Islam today follows an elaborate genealogy of angels and the teaching that angelic sin is responsible for evil and impurity in our world and avoids the Biblical doctrine of sin*. 
 
*Tracing the connection between earlier groups and later Islam are not possible on the basis of our current evidence. 

 

Although there is much in this Jewish tradition to be avoided, according to Paul, some of it is true such as Enochs condemnation of his contemporaries  and those names of the magicians who opposed Moses

17. The Holy Spirit didn’t lead them to add it to the Canon..at any point as a whole church!

Ok here’s a very Christian answer, but it is justified after all this: The Holy Spirit did not lead this book to be in the known Canon. We know Apocryphal and later 2nd century+ works do not meet the Canonical criteria and were not inspired by God. 

 

God didn’t error.

18. Considered generally fiction

Although it was held in high esteem it was never considered the canon of scripture, it was actually categorised as Pseudopigraphical (This word means fiction). I’m 18 facts in, gimme a break If I Haven’t written 1,000 words on this bit!

19. Son of man texts were later additions

Scholars recognise the Son of Man references to be later additions.. problematic for those who want to claim 1 Enoch is quoted by Jesus. And secondly Jesus is clearly quoting Daniel. 1 Enoch could easily be accused of pillaging from Daniel if it were pre-Jesus (Still has the problem of being Apocryphal). This fact is quite a deathblow to a lot of conspiracy theorists.

 

James Charlesworth tells us this about the additional passages:

“This pseudepigraph has evoked divergent opinions; but today there is a consensus that the book is a composite, portions of which are clearly pre-Christian as demonstrated by the discovery of Aramaic and Hebrew fragments from four of the five sections of the book among the Dead Sea Scrolls. One of these fragments, moreover, was copied in the second half of the second century B.C. The main question concerns the date of the second section, chapters 37-71, which contains the Son of Man sayings. J. T. Milik (esp. no. 755) has shown that this section, which is not represented among the early fragments, is probably a later addition to 1 Enoch; but his contention that it was composed around A.D. 270 (no. 755, p. 377) is very speculative. If, as most specialists concur, the early portions of 1 Enoch date from the first half of the second century B.C., chapters 37-71 could have been added in the first century B.C. or first century A.D. The original language of 1 Enoch appears to be Aramaic, except for the Noah traditions, which were probably composed in Hebrew.

James H. Charlesworth, The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research, p. 98)

In Summary

I gave up at this point.. but in summary here is the list again!


  1. We have no manuscripts dating to the time Enoch lived. All manuscripts are from 2nd century BC and newer.
  2. The Quote in Jude is either not from 1 Enoch and so from a common tradition or if it was Enoch, it is loosely quoted. 
  3. Jude is refuting either 1 Enoch or those that follow Enochic tradition. Either way.. It’s not good for the Enochians!
  4. Quote doesn’t imply scripture anyway
  5. It is of the apocryphal-Intertestamental period.
  6. The Jews considered the Canon closed. Jews never saw 1 Enoch as canonical
  7. Jews rejected Apocrypha
  8. Jesus made clear no intertestamental books were part of either Canon. 
  9. 1 Enoch contradicts scripture
  10. Internal content is speculative and based on musings form Genesis 6
  11. 1 Enoch is never publicly affirmed at any church council (As well as the entire Apocrypha)
  12. Very few church fathers were deceived into thinking 1 Enoch was canonical
  13. Didn’t even make the Septuagint
  14. No doctrine was relied on by disputed books. 1 Enoch was disputed
  15. It’s just too weird
  16. Warnings by Paul
  17. The Holy Spirit didn’t lead them to add it to the Canon..at any point as a whole church!
  18. Considered fiction
  19. Son of man texts were later additions

Some of the sources

See other sources throughout the post. sorry I’m no scholar so you won’t get the cleanest source list! Peter Gentry covers pretty much everything discussed in his lecture or other works.

  • Peter Gentry, Professor & Textual expert. See lecture: The Putative. Citation of Enoch in Jude
  • Mike Winger, Pastor & Apologist
  • Matt Whitman, Apologist
  • Dane Walters, Professional data scientist work on 1 Enoch 
  • Roy Wilson, Retired pastor & scientist
  • Dr Michael Brown & his work on this as a Messianic Jew
  • Michael Heiser also a scholar worth investigating regarding 1 Enoch
Categories: 1c15updates

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