Why Stay Away From the Book of Enoch?

by | Sep 9, 2023 | Theology | 0 comments

The Book of Enoch (also known as 1 Enoch) is a pseudepigraphical book based on Noah’s grandfather, Enoch. It is considered pseudepigraphical because bible scholars believe it was falsely attributed to Enoch. 1 Enoch is dated between the 3rd and 1st century BCE and it is comprised of several stories which makes scholars believe that it is actually an amalgamation of different books. The book covers different themes including dreams, apocalyptic prophecies, and dreams. It offers very detailed descriptions of angels, their role in the universe, and their interaction with men. It also emphasizes the coming judgment in which the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked punished. 

On the surface, the book of Enoch looks like an excellent book and it might be confusing why it is not part of the canon. But there are several reasons why you should stay away from it including its non-canonical nature, lack of confirmation, and the theological concerns that have been raised about  the book 

Let us look at these and more reasons why staying away from the book of Enoch is a good idea. 

The Book of Enoch is Non-Canonical 

The book of Enoch was discovered in 1956 during the excavation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This is often cited as one of the reasons why the book should be considered holy scripture. However, this view does not hold because the same excavation unearthed lots of other Hebrew texts that were clearly not scriptural. However, an even more important factor to consider is the fact that the book of Enoch was not canonized. 

Canonization is a process by which the holy writings were compiled into a library of books that we now refer to as the Bible. Before the canonization of the Bible, the scriptures were separated into different books (scrolls) and it was not clear which of the books were scripture. Jesus and the apostles played a vital role in the canonization process because they often cited the Old Testament scriptures in their presentation of the gospel.

For instance, Jesus mentioned “the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah” (Matthew 23:35).  This can be taken to mean that he endorsed the entire Hebrew Bible which documented how righteous men were put to death by the unrighteous. The Hebrew Bible starts from Genesis and ends in the book of Chronicles. The rest of the books were also heavily cited by Jesus and the New Testament Apostles which is why they were canonized. Interestingly, the book of Enoch is not featured anywhere. Even though the protestants and Catholics did not agree on which books should be canonized, they both agreed on the exclusion of the book of Enoch. This is enough evidence that this book is not canonical. 

The mention of these two righteous men put to death by godless people spans the Old Testament from the Hebrew Bible’s first book (Genesis) to its final book according to the Hebrew Bible listing (2 Chronicles).

Lack of Confirmation

One of the interesting things about the scriptures is that all the canonized texts confirm each other. This means that there is no contradiction in their message and the different authors refer to each other. In some cases, the same scripture is repeated in several books. For instance, it is easy to accept the books of the Torah as canon because they not only form the foundation of the Bible but are quoted by almost all of the other Bible authors. This confirmation serves to demonstrate the unity and fluidity of the scriptures. 

But it is not just quoting the other texts that make a book credible – even other non-canonized works quote from the scripture. In addition to quoting other texts (as well as being quoted), the message contained in the book should be consistent with the message contained in the other books. Because the book of Enoch lacks all of these characteristics, it cannot be considered part of scripture and should therefore be avoided by Christians. 

Theological Concerns

Another reason to keep away from the book of Enoch is the theological issues that have been identified by Bible scholars. Here are some of the main issues of concern:

  • Angelic Hierarchy – the book of Enoch goes into vivid descriptions of angelic hierarchies and even gives the names of the angels and thier roles. However, there is no confirmation of this from other books of the Bible. For instance, the angels Gabriel and Michael are mentioned by name in several books of the Old and New Testament. However, the other intricacies outlined in the book of Enoch on angelic hierarchy cannot be verified from other Biblical texts. Bible scholars have therefore raised doubt on the source and accuracy of the information. 
  • Apocalyptic and Eschatological Themes – apart from the angelic hierarchy, the book of Enoch is also big on eschatology. It describes the end times and how the unrighteous will be judged. However, the details the book gives on these events do not align with what the rest of the canonized books say on the same theme.
  • Interactions with Fallen Angels: The book of Enoch narrates how man interacted with fallen angels which the book refers to as watchers. Bible scholars have taken issue with the Book of Enoch’s narratives about the fallen angels and how they influenced humanity mostly because it is not consistent with the rest of the Bible. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, avoiding the Book of Enoch is prudent due to its non-canonical status, lack of confirmation, and theological concerns. The Book of Enoch lacks the confirmation found in canonical texts, with its content deviating from the cohesive narrative present in the Bible. Theological issues, such as unverifiable angelic hierarchies and inconsistent eschatological themes, further contribute to reservations. As believers seek a solid foundation in the canonical scriptures, steering clear of the Book of Enoch is a prudent choice, ensuring adherence to established texts with confirmed authenticity and theological alignment.

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About: Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.
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Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.

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