The book of Enoch is not widely known amongst Christians as it is not part of the Bible Canon. Enoch was a righteous man that walked with God so it would be fascinating to know more about him, but is the book of Enoch a part of any Bible collection?
The Bible canon has been shortened down to 66 books over the years but the Bible contained a section called the Apocrypha in 1611, which contained an extra 14 books. The book of Enoch is not found amongst these 80 books.
Other holy books gave a similar description of the things that happened in the time past such as The Patriarchy, the attributes of God. But the book of Enoch was not found in most of these books. Does that make the book of Enoch inexistent?
Enoch in the Bible
We have the story of the man, Enoch, in the Bible. He is a seventh of the patriarchy.
“Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.1 Chronicles 1:1-4 (NKV)
Even though the man was sent away from the Garden of Eden because of their disobedience, some men walked with God. they were righteous before the Lord. One of these men is Enoch. Enoch did not face death according to the Bible.
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”Genesis 5:24 (KJV)
According to the Bible, Enoch was taken away by God. this is something we can say it is similar to that of Elijah. Elijah did not face death also but was taken up in heaven. Jesus, we all know about His ascension into heaven. Though He died on the third day, rose and then was caught up in heaven.
“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”2 Kings 2:11 KJV
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”Acts 1:9 (KJV)
The book of Enoch is commonly called the First Enoch (1 Enoch). The fact that the book was named after Enoch does not necessarily mean Enoch wrote the book concisely. The book of Enoch is a Pseudepigraphical book. There are claims that it was written by different people probably from a different origin. The reason for this claim is that the book of Enoch is in three parts.
The first which is the I Enoch is also known as the Ethiopic Book of Enoch. it has five sections on its own:
- Book of watchers. This the beginning part of the book. From chapter 1 to chapter 36. It gives the introduction of Enoch and mentioned some other things such as punishments, rewards, and the final judgment at the end of the world.
- Book of the Similitudes. This from chapter 37 to chapter 71. In this section, the author talked about the things we can also see in the Bible. It talks of the flood of Noah, the paradise, the resurrection, and the son of God.
- Book of Astronomical Writings. This is from chapter 72 to chapter 82. Talking about the astronomical writings, it is about the stars, materials in the cosmos, and the journey that Enoch is to take.
- Book of the Dreams. Chapter 83 to chapter 90.
- Book of the Epistle of Enoch. the final chapters.
Translation of Enoch
The Ethiopic Book is a translation that was made from the Greek translation. Before the discovery of the Ethiopic book of Enoch, there had been knowledge of the First Book of Enoch because there was a Greek version of the Book which might have been translated from the original Hebrew or Aramaic. Although, it was in a small portion. This made the researchers, a Scottish traveler to be happy when he discovered the Ethiopic Book of Enoch.
2nd and 3rd Enoch
In the second part of the book, the Second Book of Enoch also known as the Slavonic Book of Enoch was discovered. This was discovered by R.H. Charles in 1892 when he was working on the translation of the First Book of Enoch. He realized that there was a hint on the existence of the Slavonic Enoch through the references that were made in the 1 Enoch he was working on.
“(Slavonic) Enoch contains an elaborated account of Enoch’s ascent into heaven in which he traveled through seven different levels of heaven until, in the seventh heaven, he was anointed by the archangel Michael and transformed to be like one of the glorious ones, i.e. an angel.
R.H. Charles initially dated 2 (Slavonic) Enoch to an early date before AD 70. Subsequent debate suggested a date even as late as the eleventh century AD. Most recently, the majority of scholars have returned to an earlier date may be in the second century AD, while some key scholars agree with Charles that this text can be dated as early as the first century AD.” (The Book of ENOCH, 2013)
The Third Book is called the Hebrew Book of Enoch (Sepher Hekhalot). This book is believed to be from Ishmael called Rabbi Ishmael.
Which Bible has the Book of Enoch?
The book of Enoch is not found in the most canon of the western Churches, it is not found in any of the denominations either. the Canonical and the Apocrypha Books of the Old and New Testament were classified differently based on the acceptance by the Jews and the Christians and based on citations by the writers of the Bible. In the category of Lost books cited by the writers of the Bible, we have the Book of Enoch. (Remsberg, 1907)
The Book of Enoch is one of the canons of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The fact that this book is not part of the Western Church canon doesn’t make it less unique. It has been quoted by most writers of the bible and it gave an accurate vision of heaven.
Because the Ethiopic Book of Enoch was discovered in Ethiopia, the people or the believers in Ethiopia believed that the book was originally written in Ge’ez – that means the original manuscripts are in Ge’ez language which means that the writer may be from Ethiopia. The various scholars from Europe disagree with this and it must have been translated to Ge’ez from the Aramaic language just like the book of Daniel.