Around a year and a half ago, I was having a conversation with my mother. Whatever I was describing at the time was full of peculiar and fantastical detail, because as soon as I finished my sentence, she chose to address that rather than the actual substance of what I was explaining. The words she spoke launched me on a journey that has consumed me nearly every day since. She likened the way I was talking to things she had read in “The Book of Enoch.” Particularly descriptiveness regarding where the winds are kept in the cosmos, and other things like the charting of the stars and constellations. I was immediately engaged. There was a book that described where the effects of nature are kept and come from? What was this book and how did I miss it? She couldn’t answer very many of my questions because it had been a while since she read it, and she had never completed it at that. The next thing I knew, I was ordering it for myself.
Let me be very clear here. I am and have my whole life been extremely critical and scared of any text considered non canonical. That is, if it isn’t in the Bible, I’m immediately skeptical of it and highly unlikely to even entertain its content. Before I began giving much thought to the credibility of “The Book of Enoch,” I did what I always do with any new concept I encounter that intrigues me. I researched it to death. I looked for commentary both supporting and dismissing it, and read and watched until all of the arguments on both sides became redundant or circular. Still apprehensive, I prayed and prayed about it. Then I read and watched more commentary. Finally, I reasoned through all the logic I could apply and held it up against scripture. That last part was and is always the most important part of considering anything to me.
“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones…” – Jude 14
I chose to start off with what I consider to be the weightiest argument in favor of giving “The Book of Enoch” favorable consideration. Here we see that in the New Testament Jude attributes a quote to Enoch that can literally be found in “The Book of Enoch” almost verbatim. There is a copy of Enoch that predates the earthly birth of Jesus by about 300 years I believe. That most definitely does not mean it’s the original copy. It means that there is a copy that predates the book in the Bible that quotes it by a couple to few hundred years. In addition, biblical scholars have found multitudes of passages and quotes that they believe definitively show context found in Enoch, or in some cases direct quotes or references. There is also little to no question in the mind of most scholars, fundamental ones included, that Enoch was widely possessed and read by second temple Judaism, including the authors of the New Testament.
At this point you may be wondering what makes this book so intriguing, regardless of whether or not it is legitimate. There is no short answer to that question. “The Book of Enoch” begins by offering a comprehensive and staggering amount of detail on what was going on before the flood, as well as what specifically led to it. We know from Genesis 6, if we take it literally, that angels mated with human women and produced a race of giants called the nephilim. Enoch takes this story to greater detail than we could have probably ever hoped for or imagined. As someone who struggled to understand why the world could be so bad that it had to be flooded, I had no questions or concerns regarding God’s choice of action after reading the account. It was and is both an enthralling and terrifying tale. As the watchers (the label given to the fallen angels) descend on Mt. Hermon, they not only taint the human bloodline, but corrupt the world by introducing such things as weapon making and sorcery. What ensues is bloodshed and violence on a level that likely could only be accomplished by cannibalistic giants and ancient weaponry.
From there, Enoch is taken by angelic hosts to various places at various times and allowed to see both heavenly establishments, as well as the underworld prepared for the fallen angels who corrupted humanity in various ways. It is also in this portion that the subject that initially intrigued me is reviewed, such as where the winds and frost are kept. What really struck me, however, was how messianic the book got in a directly Jesus way. I had no prior knowledge that there was even messianic content in the book, so when it started sounding and feeling like Jesus to me, I was caught completely off guard. This leads into a lot of prophetic language that deals specifically and intentionally with the end times.
Two things I’d like to note in closing before this turns into a novel longer than the book itself. Enoch predicted that a collection of writings would be brought together, but that his book would not be included. Keep in mind that there is a copy of Enoch that predates the canonization of the Bible by roughly 500 to 600 years. That’s a pretty accurate and staggering prediction. Also, Enoch states that his book is not being written for his present generation, but one in the very distant future. The tribulation generation. The fact that this book disappeared for a couple hundred years after Jesus was crucified, and then resurfaced nearly two thousand years later with discoveries in the late 18th century and mid-20th century, makes that claim pretty intense and with major ramifications. It’s easy once you’ve seen how accurate the messianic prophecies are regarding Jesus to understand why it was removed and hidden, but here it is again.
I still won’t allow myself to say I’m one hundred percent sure that “The Book of Enoch” is legitimate, but I also know how I feel about it in my heart and soul. I’ve spent countless hours researching and considering this book and everything in it. I encourage you to at least take those first steps. Pray about it. Hold it in critical review. Whether the spirit tells you to pursue or dismiss it, listen.