The Book of Enoch

by VM44 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • VM44

    The Book of Enoch has been mentioned here before.

    I have some questions I would like to post here, and would very much like to read what people here have to say in answer to them.

    1) What is the Book of Enoch?

    2) Where did it come from?

    3) Did the Book of Enoch influence the writings of the New Testement?

    4) Do any of the New Testement books quote The Book of Enoch?

    5) Why was The Book of Enoch not canonized? That is, why was it not considered inspired?

    6) Did the Watchtower ever write anything about The Book of Enoch?


  • Narkissos

    Edited to add, on # 6, Watchtower 9/15/2001 p. 30:


    the Bible Quote From the Book of Enoch?

    The Book of Enoch is an apocryphal and pseudepigraphic text. It is falsely ascribed to Enoch. Produced probably sometime during the second and first centuries B.C.E., it is a collection of extravagant and unhistorical Jewish myths, evidently the product of exegetical elaborations on the brief Genesis reference to Enoch. This alone is sufficient for lovers of God?s inspired Word to dismiss it.

    In the Bible, only the book of Jude contains Enoch?s prophetic words: "Look! Jehovah came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they did in an ungodly way, and concerning all the shocking things that ungodly sinners spoke against him." (Jude 14, 15) Many scholars contend that Enoch?s prophecy against his ungodly contemporaries is quoted directly from the Book of Enoch. Is it possible that Jude used an unreliable apocryphal book as his source?

    How Jude knew of Enoch?s prophecy is not revealed in the Scriptures. He may simply have quoted a common source, a reliable tradition handed down from remote antiquity. Paul evidently did something similar when he named Jannes and Jambres as the otherwise anonymous magicians of Pharaoh?s court who opposed Moses. If the writer of the Book of Enoch had access to an ancient source of this kind, why should we deny it to Jude??Exodus 7:11, 22; 2 Timothy 3:8.

    How Jude received the information about Enoch?s message to the ungodly is a minor matter. Its reliability is attested to by the fact that Jude wrote under divine inspiration. (2 Timothy 3:16) God?s holy spirit guarded him from stating anything that was not true.


    The disciple Stephen also provided information found nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures. It concerned Moses? Egyptian education, his being 40 years old when he fled Egypt, the 40-year duration of his stay in Midian, and the angelic role in transmitting the Mosaic Law.?Acts 7:22, 23, 30, 38.

  • rick_here
  • Leolaia

    1) It is a compilation of apocalyptic and didactic material, ascribed to the antediluvian patriarch Enoch, describing his journeys of heaven and hell (as a sort of a precursor of Dante), as well as visions of the future Judgement Day. It was written between 250 BC (starting with the Astronomical Book) and AD 50 (The Book of Similitudes).

    2) The book(s) was written in Judea before the destruction of Jerusalem. The oldest known copies, antedating Christianity, were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was also translated in Greek and used by Hellenistic Jews and Christians, and finally it was translated into Ethiopic where it still forms part of the canon of the Old Testament in the Abyssinian Church.

    3) Yes. Especially Jude, but also there is also extensive influence in Revelation, which draws on Enochian motifs (such as binding Satan in an "abyss," the notion of an "abyss" is not found in the OT but comes from 1 Enoch). The synoptic gospels also probably draw their "Son of Man" apocalyptic motifs from the "Book of Similitudes" in 1 Enoch, with some very striking parallels in wording.

    4) 1 Enoch 1:9 is explicitly quoted in Jude 14-15. This letter contains about five or six other parallels in wording with 1 Enoch and verbal allusions abound throughout the NT.

    5) The author of Jude considered it inspired, referring to the oracles as "prophecy". It was also widely used by early church fathers (cf. 1 Clement, Barnabas, Tertullian, etc.), but it did not gain canonicity as part of the OT for two reasons: (1) It was not already included in the Greek Septuagint which included apocryphal books, and (2) The closed Hebrew canon did not even include the apocryphal books. Whether one was following the narrow canon of Jerome or the wider canon of Augustine, 1 Enoch would have lay outside the bounds of canon. However, it continued to be used and regarded by some as inspired and as Scripture (and by others as a forgery), and was still read, but was not regarded as authoritative (canonical). The canonicity of Jude was doubted by many for some centuries because of its use of 1 Enoch.

    6) Yes, they referred to it as "uninspired" and for a while claimed (I think) that perhaps the author(s) of 1 Enoch used Jude, which is completely untenable because the passage of 1 Enoch 1:9 is extant in one of the Aramaic copies of 1 Enoch dating to about 50 BC. They also say perhaps Jude used a genuinely ancient tradition that also coincidentally got used in 1 Enoch, but this is a case of special pleading and untenable considering Jude's many other allusions to 1 Enoch.

    I am working on a thread on Jude's use of the pseudepigrapha where I hope to go into more of the specifics.

  • rick_here

    From the back cover of:

    Beyond the Essene Hypothesis,
    by Gabriele Boccaccini

    We find commentary by James Charlesworth, distinguished professor at Princeton Theological Seminary:

    "Josephus erroneously divided pre-70 C.E. Judaism into four 'sects': Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots. I am convinced that there were at least a dozen groups within Judaism. One was what Boccaccini calls 'Enochic Judaism,' which was clearly ancient and exceedingly important. Boccaccini suggests that the Qumran group developed out of this Enochic group. His synthesis of early Jewish phenomena is challenging and impressive."

    I'll leave it right-there (pending whatever replies)...and how & where this discussion is heading.

  • rick_here

    Dear JWDF Members/ thread-posters,

    Please excuse "me" while I Learn How To Post (here, in this/our forum).


  • heathen

    yah eh rick there was also the judean peoples front and the peoples front of judea , of which one was a splitter group , I can't remember which and reminds me to rent the life of brian again . LOL

    PS --- LIke the new avatar , who is that ? leolaia

    edited to add that some believe qumran was where the john the baptist followers hid out , they apparently didn't catch on to that jesus was the messiah and were planning a revolt against the pharisees .

  • euripides

    Aland's 4th Revised ed. of the NT contains an index of allusions and verbal parallels as one of its appendices. Here is their list for the book of Enoch:
    Enoch 1:2 = 1 Pet 1:12
    1:9 = Jd 14-15
    9:4 = Rev 15:3; 17:14; 19:16
    14:22 = Rev 5:11
    25:5 = Rev 15:3
    27:3 = Rev 15:3
    46:3 = Col. 2:3
    51:2 = Luke 21:28
    60:8 = Jd 14
    63:10 = Luke 16:9
    69:27 = Jn 5:22
    70:1-4 = Heb 11:5
    In the same appendix many other apocryphal/pseudepigraphical works are cited with their corresponding parallel. If there is anything to be learned from this, it is that these texts were available to the Jewish communities in the first and second century and that they were not regarded with the same purist contempt that latter day Christendom (and WT) has attributed to them. Of course, even Jerome didn't like them, and Luther thought even some canonicals (like the epistle of James) had problems! So the process of canonicity is a selection process, but really communities ratify authority, not designated leaders. Because of that process, the WT is what controls Witnesses, not the text of the scriptures themselves. That is a prime example of community ratification of a noncanonical source!

  • Leolaia

    I just received my copy of the new translation yesterday. Looks like a solid piece of work, and I enjoyed the fresh renderings in the Parables of Enoch...I just wish there was a published critical text easily available with the Aramaic, Greek, and Ethiopic. How about a three-column presentation of the text and translation, superficially resembling the synoptic parallels in Robert Funk's New Gospel Parallels? That would be a joy to have to look at! :)) Aramaic on the left, then Greek, then Ethiopic, then English, with critical notes at the bottom for textual variants. That way, it would be easy to put the various Qumran fragments in context and it would be easy to compare the Greek with the Ethiopic and so forth.

  • rick_here


    While I've been "lurking" JWDF ( and bookmarking various threads ) -- I haven't been posting for some time now.

    I've ( finally ) just ordered:

    "1 Enoch: 1 Enoch"
    by George W.E. Nickelsburg

    "Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports About Christianity and Gnosticism"
    by Alan F. Segal

    "One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism"
    by Larry Hurtado

    "Did God Have A Wife?: Archaeology And Folk Religion In Ancient Israel"
    by William G. Dever

    ( and am about half-way through ):
    "The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God"
    by Margaret Barker

    In any event, if I can get the "formatting right again" ( here @ JWDF ); I'm looking forward to posting & discussing things-related....

    Till next time, then!



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