Question:

I really love your site. I thought your understanding of Scripture was awesome and that you guys are doing a great job. However, your interpretation of Genesis 6 is completely off, and I pray that because of this the sheep are not lead astray. I say this because if your students, or anyone, understood what the book of Enoch actually means they would know what to expect from the evil one, and how this is a extremely spiritual / physical war we are in right now.

Angels don't have DNA?

Why did the church suppress the Book of Enoch? After all, there are various references to Enoch throughout the Old and New Testament ...

There are those who believed all the giant offspring and offspring of the fallen angels were destroyed during the flood. Not true. The Philistines were hybrids, giants i.e. Goliath. As were most of the races that Joshua and Israel had to conquer once Israel  were freed from Egypt. The giants never went out of existence, they just went "underground" to return later, now, during these last days. ...


Answer:

The original letter goes on at length quoting multiple sources, who in turn quote multiple apocrypha writings, not just the Book of Enoch, to "prove" that angels fathered a race of giants. I decided it wasn't worth quoting in whole.

The Book of Enoch is listed among the pseudoepigraphal (false authorship) works. There are a number of these works dating from time between the Old and New Testaments and extending into the first few centuries after the church was established. Using the name of a biblical character as the author of the work was a way to lend "credibility" to its contents. Very few people actually believe the book of Enoch was written by Enoch; after all, for the book to exist it would have to have survived the flood. One early Christian writer, Tertullian, who believed it to be inspired Scripture, acknowledged this problem around 198 A.D. "I am aware that the Scripture of Enoch, which has assigned this order of action to angels, is not received by some. For it is not admitted into the Jewish canon, either. I suppose they did not think that, having been written before the deluge, it could have safely survived that worldwide calamity, the destroyer of all things. If that is the reason for rejecting it, let them remember that Noah, who survived the deluge, was the great-grandson of Enoch himself ... There is still this consideration to warrant our assertion of the genuineness of this Scripture: [Noah] could equally have rewritten it, under the Spirit's inspiration, if it had been destroyed by the violence of the deluge."

Note that Tertullian admits that the Jews never accepted the Book of Enoch as authentic and that Christians of his time period also rejected it. You will find people stating that the Book of Enoch was well known by early Christian writers. Such is true. But they skip over the fact that most rejected the Book of Enoch as inspired writings. For example, Athanasius, Origen, and Jerome argued that the Book of Enoch, while interesting, was not from God. In fact, it appears that Tertullian and Augustine are about the only early writers who thought the work inspired and Augustine waffled on the point at times.

There are several books that go by the name "The Book of Enoch." The one most people refer to are copies found in Ethiopia in 1773. It is believed to be a translation of a Greek text that was in turn a translation of an Aramaic or Hebrew text. Among the Dead Sea scrolls were small fragments of this large book (parts of chapter 2 verses 12-14 and chapter 3 verses 13-16). There were also other documents which cited portions of the Book of Enoch which show the book existed before Christ. Most scholars date it to between 300 B.C. and 100 B.C. However, it must be emphasized that only small fragments of the Aramaic text exists. We don't know how the entire Book of Enoch read in Aramaic.

Larger portions of the Book of Enoch have survived in Greek, but again not nearly the whole. The only whole version are the Ethiopian translations. Scholars have compared the translation to both the Aramaic fragments and the Greek fragments and have decided that the Ethiopian translation is fairly, but not completely, accurate.

Most scholars note that the Book of Enoch, as it currently exists, is a disjointed work. It doesn't have a unifying flow that would characterize something written by one author. It is generally agreed that it is a composition of multiple authors, but exactly who wrote which portions is heavily debated.

The only reason for considering the Book of Enoch is a statement from the book of 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 14-15). First, please note that Jude does not state he is quoting from a writing of Enoch. He states that he is quoting a statement of Enoch. Since there are multiple Enochs mentioned in the Bible, he makes it clear that the statement comes from the Enoch who was the seventh descendent from Adam. If it wasn't a quote from a book, then how did Jude know what Enoch said? The simple answer is that if we accept that Jude is inspired, then these words were given to him directly from the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 2:12-13). It is the same means how Moses, ascribed to being the recorder of Genesis, was able to write the words of people who lived hundreds of years before him.

Enoch 1:9 states, "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." The wording is similar enough to Jude to get people excited that this must be Jude's source. However, as George H. Schodde notes in his book on the Book of Enoch (1882), Jude's citation is not a literal reproduction. This then leaves supporters of the Book of Enoch with a quandary: is their Ethiopian copy a bad copy or will they say that Jude was bad at quoting (i.e. not inspired) which would then remove support for their book? Another possibility is that Enoch's statement was a part of Jewish oral traditions. The Book of Enoch recorded it as it was currently known and Jude wrote what was actually said. If this possibility was true, then it would say that Jewish oral traditions were remarkably good to retain a statement this close to the correct version.

And then there is another possibility that hasn't been resolved. In all the fragments of the Book of Enoch, both Aramaic and Greek, none contain Enoch 1:9. The only version to have it is the Ethiopian translations. There is insufficient evidence to determine if someone after Jude modified the text used for the Ethiopian translation to make it more realistic in appearance or if it is original. In fact, there is a large debate about whether a person knowledgeable of Christianity added "enhancements" to an older copy of the Book of Enoch, producing the current version. The lack of textual evidence makes it difficult to settle the questions.

Another attempt to justify the Book of Enoch is to compile a list of similar catch phrases between it and the New Testament writers. Supposedly, the use of similar terms would indicate familiarity with the Book of Enoch. However, the phrases are short and are found throughout the Old Testament. For example, several authors try to draw a conclusion from the phrase "son of man," but this phrase is used heavily in Ezekiel and in the Psalms it is connected with the Messiah. All the phrase does is show that the author(s) of the Book of Enoch were familiar with the Bible.

If we assume the scholars are correct in dating the book between 300 B.C. and 100 B.C., then an important problem arises concerning the legitimacy of the text. God said that there would be a period of time when prophecy would cease. "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it" (Amos 8:11-12). Because so many claimed to be prophets and were not, God declared, "Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who make my people stray; who chant "Peace" while they chew with their teeth, but who prepare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths: therefore you shall have night without vision, and you shall have darkness without divination; the sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be dark for them. So the seers shall be ashamed, and the diviners abashed; indeed they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer from God" (Micah 3:5-7). Malachi was the last acknowledged prophet of the Old Testament. Until the coming of John and Jesus prophecy disappeared. The apocrypha book, I Maccabees, confirms this: "So there was great distress in Israel, such as had not been since the time that prophets ceased to appear among them" (I Maccabees 9:27). "The Jews and their priests have resolved that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise" (I Maccabees 14:41). If the Book of Enoch was written during this period of silence, then it could not be an inspired book.

If the Book of Enoch was truly written by Enoch, it would be the oldest piece of Scripture; long predating the writings of Moses. Yet, there is no mention of the book or hint of the book's existence prior to years of silence. A book of God becoming lost or hidden runs counter to what the Scriptures teach about God's word. "Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever" (Psalm 119:152). "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8). "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (Matthew 5:17-18). Yet the Book of Enoch was missing from action, not only before the years of silence, but also after a few centuries from the founding of the church. It lacks the characteristic of endurance promised to God's word.

If the Book of Enoch was written during the years of silence, then it contains a falsehood. It claims to be written by someone who died thousands of years prior. This contradicts another characteristic of God's word. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17). God doesn't need pretense. If this book claims to be written by Enoch and was not, then there is a major problem. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16). The word "inspiration" means that it comes by the breath of God. In other words, all Scriptures comes straight from God's mouth. The very words written are the ones selected by God. "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (I Corinthians 2:12-13). To have the writer give a false name would mean that a lie came from the mouth of God. However, the Scriptures states God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) -- not will not lie, He cannot lie.

The real test of inspiration, though, was given by Moses. "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods' -which you have not known-'and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). In other words Moses is stating that God does not contradict Himself. Thus, one manner of testing the validity of a prophet is to see if his writing is consistent with what is known to be from God.

Let us take a simple case: Using the dates recorded in Genesis 5, we learn that Enoch was born roughly 622 years after the creation of the world. He lived 365 years on the Earth before God took him (Genesis 5:23-24). And yet, the Book of Enoch contains a supposed account of the birth of Noah. It has Enoch telling Methuselah, "'And now, my son, go and announce to thy son Lamech, that this son who is born is really his, and that this is not a falsehood.' And when Methuselah had heard the words of his father Enoch -- for he had shown him everything that was secret -- he returned, after his having seen him, and called the name of that son Noah, for he will make glad the earth for all destruction" (Enoch 107:2-3). The problem is that Noah was born around the year 1056, about 69 years after Enoch departed this earth. The event could not have happened according to Genesis! (See the "Lineage of the Patriarchs" for a chart of births and deaths).

The Book of Enoch has angels marrying earthly women (chapter 6), but Jesus stated, "For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Mark 12:25). Angels do not marry -- another contradiction to the Bible.

The Book of Enoch states that sin came from the intermixing of angel seed and man's seed. Lamech is told to hide so that his pure seed may be preserved. God would then wipe the world with a flood, thus removing sin. (chapter 10). The Bible states that sin comes from breaking God's law. "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4). Sin entered the world because Adam and Eve broke the commandment of God. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). So instead of sin entering the world through one man, the Book of Enoch has sin being taught to men by 200 fallen angels (chapter 8). By the way, your own assertion that giants later mentioned in the Bible shows that the angelic misfits were not wipe out contradicts what the Book of Enoch claims. Noah's line was supposed to be pure and the Bible says only Noah and his family were saved. So where did these later day giants come from?

Chapter 22 of the Book of Enoch has the realm of the dead divided into four areas: 1) Righteous martyrs, such as Abel, 2) The righteous who were not martyrs, 3) sinners who died without suffering the consequence of their sin, and 4) sinners who had suffered as the result of their sin. Interestingly, of those in the last class it is said, "but their spirits shall not be slain in the day of judgment nor shall they be raised from thence" (Enoch 22:13). However, the Lord Jesus stated that realm of the dead is divided into two states (Luke 16:19-31). In addition, the New Testament is quite clear that all will face judgment. "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth --those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28-29). "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust" (Acts 24:15). Hence, we find two more contradictions with the Bible.

The Book of Enoch also contains internal contradictions. Enoch 6:7-8 gives a list of the leading fallen angels: "And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaqiel, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel." The list is later repeated in Enoch 69:2-3, "And behold the names of those angels [and these are their names: the first of them is Samjaza, the second Artaqifa, and the third Armen, the fourth Kokabel, the fifth Turael, the sixth Rumjal, the seventh Danjal, the eighth Neqael, the ninth Baraqel, the tenth Azazel, the eleventh Armaros, the twelfth Batarjal, the thirteenth Busasejal, the fourteenth Hananel, the fifteenth Turel, and the sixteenth Simapesiel, the seventeenth Jetrel, the eighteenth Tumael, the nineteenth Turel, the twentieth Rumael, the twenty-first Azazel." The first list has nineteen names, the second has twenty-one. In addition, many of the names are quite different. Such internal contradictions indicates that God as the single author of Scripture is not behind the Book of Enoch.

Therefore, because the Book of Enoch is a book written by man without the inspiration of God, it is has not been accepted as Scripture by Jews or Christians. The evidence stands heavily against it. To use it as a source to understand the Bible is ridiculous.