3

The New Testament bibles include the book of [Jude] & [1 Corinthians].

Based on [1 Corinthians 3:16], the author of Jude (being a 'bond-servant of Jesus Christ' - Jude 1:1) is filled with the "Spirit of God".

If the author of Jude (filled with the Spirit of God) cites the non-canonical book of Enoch [Enoch 1:9] in [Jude 1:14], does this mean the "Spirit of God" has validated Enoch as His Word?

  • The "Pulpit Commentary" of Jude 1:14 validates Jude's citation of Enoch.

  • If the "Spirit of God" is speaking through Jude in Jude 1:14, then does God validate (through Jude) the book of Enoch?


10
  • @oldhermit - Interesting. So the "Pulpit Commentary" must be wrong. Thanks! Apr 21 at 15:59
  • 2
    I think this is an interesting question, but I do not know how to answer it without asserting a theological claim. I think the most I could say is that late 2nd temple Judaism was familiar with the book of Enoch and its teachings. Whether or not the words in the book of Enoch came from the prophet Enoch is a separate (and also interesting) question. Apr 21 at 17:44
  • 1
    Both Jude ... and Peter. It is accepted by some that Enoch 1 was ‘commonly accepted’ by Jews in the times of the apostles. (Emphasis on ‘accepted’). But I can’t see how you could argue that the ‘Spirit’ validated it as so. There was much debate over whether it should be canonised. Also note that this does not apply to the other/next 2 books of Enoch. These came much later, and for some fuel the arguments against Enoch 1 - although they are totally unrelated.
    – Dave
    Apr 21 at 18:19
  • 1
    The debate you are alluding towards is over what is ‘inspiration’. It’s clear Jude (himself) accepted the pre flood interpretation as outlined in Enoch. As did many - it was very nearly canonised - and the reasons it finally wasn’t are very interesting - especially when put against the idea many have of ‘inspiration’. When/if Jude was writing ‘under inspiration’ - was he completely ‘taken over’ by the Holy Spirit?
    – Dave
    Apr 21 at 18:34
  • 1
    @חִידָה this may not answer your question, but my two cents would be that 1 Enoch may well have been treated as scripture in the late 2nd temple era, but the text has since been corrupted to the point that it is not useful to do so today. Apr 22 at 3:36
6

Titus 1:

12 One of Crete's own prophets has said it: "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." 13a This saying is true.

Under inspiration, Paul wrote this and cited Epimenides' Cretica. There are many true sayings outside of the Bible. Truth is a necessary condition but not sufficient to claim inspired work of the Lord. The writer himself had to be inspired by God when the book was written. If Jude is citing the Book of Enoch, then it is a kind of validation. By itself, however, it is not sufficient to claim that the whole book is inspired.

2
  • Is that why Titus 1:13 states "This testimony is true."? Apr 21 at 16:25
  • I soften my position.
    – Tony Chan
    Apr 21 at 16:43
4

If the question is asking whether the Holy Spirit validated Enoch 1 because Jude wrote ‘under the inspiration of the Spirit’ - then this can’t be done exegetical. It can only be argued. It becomes an academic exercise.

Enoch 1 was accepted by the Jews living at the time Jude wrote this letter. Peter also references Enoch 1. These writers, the apostles knew about other writings. Enoch 1 was dated pre Christ. The Dead Sea scrolls also to some extent verify Enoch 1. Its non inclusion in the accepted canon was arguably based on decisions that were motivated by political and ‘convenient’ ‘reasoning’ , rather than ‘inspirational’.

We (believers today) shouldn’t necessarily be put off by the inclusion of ‘other non canonical’ snippets. As Tony Chan has already pointed out, Paul quotes from Greek literature [poetry] that was common of that time.

Jesus participated in Hanukkah, a feast with origins in a book not considered canonical by some Christians. And, even Paul adds his own (in-inspired?) thoughts ...

1 COR 7: 10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord):

Even the Old Testament contains several elements taken from other ‘non inspired’ sources. The fact is, the writers of the Bible were influenced by the ‘thinking’ at the time they wrote. And this ‘influence’ is, at times, reflected in what they wrote. But - The argument, or concern from some is their ‘view’ of writing ‘under inspiration’ is that those ‘influences’ would be excluded.

But, back to Enoch. The difficulties come from firstly ones understanding of ‘inspiration’. But the main issue is one of interpretation. Enoch 1 doesn’t actually contradict anything in the Genesis account. It doesn’t confront the Bible. But it certainly adds much. And the ‘view’ it presents confronts the traditional interpretation of Genesis. Hence the issue. Because the traditional ‘view’ provides some foundation for some doctrine. The view Enoch presents is challenging - far too challenging for some. But obviously not to Jude, nor Peter

4
  • 'Enoch 1 doesn’t actually contradict anything in the Genesis account': For the sake of argument, putting aside the rest of Enoch, fragments of Noah, how do you explain how Enoch can somehow know the place of 'Dan' so far before Dan existed as a tribe of Israel? Wouldn't this at best really just be characteristic of the odd 1st person perspective prophecy of the book of Enoch in general(e.g. Noah saying things he hadn't said yet in the context of an alleged prophecy of Enoch)? Could this paradigm really be said to be equivalent to that used by the author of Genesis 14:14, a post-Dan Israelite?
    – user21676
    Apr 24 at 13:02
  • My comment on Noah may be subjective, but another question would be: how could Enoch have written the third parable in his 500th year, the book Noah allegedly held in his hand, if he was taken(and was not) in the 365 year of his life(Gen 5:23)?
    – user21676
    Apr 24 at 15:18
  • Or getting beyond and out of Enoch 1, how exactly did Enoch in ch.106 imply that Jared his father had passed on in his generation at Noah's birth, if Jared didn't die until 366 years after Noah was born?
    – user21676
    Apr 24 at 15:32
  • @User21676 - First, I’m not interested in defending the latter books - (Enoch 2/3). These simply do not fit. Next, I agree that when you get into the parables, or Similitudes in Enoch 1, that interpretation, at best, becomes challenging. [Seemingly] Talking about the Messiah before his coming etc. This can’t really be discussed via comments - but - for reference there are scholarly explanations: “A Companion to the Book of Enoch by Dr Michael Heiser”.
    – Dave
    Apr 24 at 18:47
2

The book of 1 Enoch (there is also 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch) was well known in the few centuries around the time of Christ and was then lost. It was only re-discovered in 1773 by the Scottish explorer, James Bruce, in Ethiopia, having been preserved only in the sacred Ge’ez language. Fragments of the book were also discovered among the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran in Aramaic.

The earliest parts of the book were probably composed no later than about the 3rd or 4th century BC. This ancient work, by its own internal admission, is not the work of the antediluvian patriarch, Enoch alone. It also contains several visions of Noah and apparently others.

The Argument for Canonicity

Before considering this, it should be noted that very few people actually argue that the book of 1 Enoch should be included in the Bible with the notable exception of the Ethiopian Orthodox church. But among those who do, the main reason invariably centres on the almost verbatim parallel between Jude 14, 15 and 1 En 1:9. (They are NOT identical because we now only have them in different languages, Ge’ez and Greek; despite this, the similarity is impressive.) This amazing “quote” could be due to any of the following phenomena:

  1. Jude actually quoted from 1 Enoch. However, this does not make 1 Enoch a Biblical book any more than Cyrus or Epimenides – see appendix 1. (The Book of Revelation also quotes from 1 Enoch, see appendix.)
  2. Jude quotes from the real book of Enoch, now lost, that the (false) book of 1 Enoch attempts to imitate and change by also quoting.
  3. Jude quoted the antediluvian patriarch Enoch via an oral tradition as did the book of 1 Enoch. Thus, Jude says nothing about the book of 1 Enoch which, under this scenario, could have been written much later than the patriarch to include such oral traditions to lend it greater credibility. A similar phenomenon has occurred with the “modern” book of Jasher.

Which of these Jude had in mind cannot now be determined. Therefore, nothing can be deduced about the canonicity of 1 Enoch from the presumed quote in Jude. Only the Ethiopian Orthodox Church reckons 1 Enoch as canonical. Further, the fact that the Bible quotes a source does not canonize the source as the appendix below ably demonstrates.

Arguments Against Canonicity

  1. The Jews did not include 1 Enoch in their cannon (ie, the Old Testament). The Septuagint does not include it either, despite including some other dubious material (eg, Bel and the Dragon, etc). Thus the Jews did not regard 1 Enoch as inspired.
  2. The earliest church lists do not include 1 Enoch and the Latin Vulgate prepared by Jerome does not include 1 Enoch. None of the early church councils considered it inspired. (The only Christian Church to include it has been Ethiopian Orthodox Church.) Some early church fathers were impressed by 1 Enoch such as: Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertulian. But in the 4th century the book fell into disfavor and was discouraged by Augustine, Hilary and Jerome.
  3. 1 Enoch is now only available in complete form in the ancient Ethiopian liturgical language of Ge’ez. All complete manuscripts date from the 15th century or later. It is not known what the original language was, but it may have been Hebrew, Aramaic or a mixture of both. The book is clearly composite and contains a number of interpolations from various sources such as (apparently) the lost book of Noah – see 1 En 10, 1 En 54:7 – 55:2, 1 En 60 – 68. Further, book 5 (chs 91-108) is clearly scrambled from their original order. Thus, the current state of preservation of the text is lamentable. Now the decision as to whether a book should be included in the canon of scripture is not a human but a divine decision. And, if the Lord had wished to have 1 Enoch in the canon of scripture, He would have preserved it for all to use, but clearly the document has been poorly preserved!
  4. 1 Enoch contains a number of themes and statements that are difficult to reconcile with a supposedly inspired work, including:
  • a. 1 En 6ff. The book of Watchers describes (at some length) angels marrying and procreating with humans – a feat described by Jesus as impossible – see Matt 22:30, Mark 12:25.
  • b. The whole premise of the first book of 1 Enoch (chs 1 – 36) hinges on the original sin of angels being their defilement and procreation with women during the antediluvian period after Eden – a claim at odds with the Bible which states that Satan’s sin occurred before Eden (Isa 14:12-15, Eze 28:12-17, Gen 3, etc) without the involvement of mortal women.
  • c. 1 En 7:3 describes giants 3000 (or 300 depending on the manuscript) cubits (about 2000 or 200 m) tall!
  • d. 1 En 10:10-12 states that the earth would last another 70 generations of 500 years, or 35,000 years
  • e. 1 En 13:5 states that evil angels cannot speak or even be seen by God (contrast Job 1 & 2)
  • f. 1 En 14:5 says that evil angels cannot ascend to heaven (contrast Job 1 & 2)
  • g. 1 En 22:4 claims that the spirits of the dead beg heaven for mercy and await punishment (contrast this with Eccl 9:5, 6, 10, etc.)
  • h. 1 En 32:2, 77:8, 9 discusses the Red Sea (or Erythraean Sea, depending on the translation) which did not exist before the flood. The same is true of Mt. Sinai (1 En 1:4)
  • i. 1 En 44 says that the origin of lightning is stars!
  • j. 1 En 56:5 describes the country of the Parthians and the Medes which did not exist before 300 BC suggesting that 1 Enoch was written after this time. Therefore, the document could not have been composed by an antediluvian patriarch as it repeatedly asserts.
  • k. 1 En 60:1 talks about the 500th year of Noah; 1 En 65:4 records a conversation between Enoch and Noah; 1 En 106 describes the birth of Noah during the lifetime of Enoch. All this is at odds with the chronology of Gen 5:18-31 which claims that Enoch was taken from the earth 69 years before Noah’s birth.
  • l. The Book of Heavenly Luminaries (= Astronomical Book) contains a mixture of Greek mythology and Greek Celestial mechanics. This is another compelling evidence that the book was composed about 300 BC or soon after. Thus, the book, by claiming Enoch as its author shows itself a pseudepigraphon.
  • m. The solar year is stated to be 364 days (1 En 74:10).
  1. A frequent criticism of the book of Mormon states that it cannot be genuine because the original text (in “reformed Egyptian”) cannot be examined. The same is true of 1 Enoch – the original Hebrew or Aramaic has been almost entirely lost. If the book is divinely inspired, then why was it not preserved in its original form and language as the rest of the Bible has been?
  2. A related criticism asserts that because the book was lost for over 1000 years (only rediscovered in 1773), it has not enjoyed divine protection as per the rest of the Bible. Thus during its lost years, Christians had no access to the document.
  3. Book 4, the Dream Visions, (chs 83 – 90) contains what purports to be a prophecy of the world (in animal parables) from creation to the coming of Messiah. It is not a very good prophecy because it is only accurate up to the time of the Maccabean revolt. It becomes useless for the time thereafter, thus demonstrating that this section of the book was probably written about the 2nd century BC.
  4. The entire character of the book is quite mystical, Greek, and un-Jewish in nature. There is no mention of Old Testament ceremony of the lunar-solar calendar. That is, while 1 Enoch is not genuine Gnostic literature, it is definitely Platonic in character due to its cosmology, calendar, and anthropology.

Thus, the Book of 1 Enoch contains no verifiable predictive prophecy, is frequently at odds with the teachings of the Bible and every-day experience, and is unreliable generally. Therefore, it cannot be regarded as canonical.

APPENDIX - Bible quotes from Uninspired Sources

Source Reference
Direct Quotes
Book of Jashir, “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” Josh 10:13
Book of Jashar, Lament for Jonathan. 1 Sam 1:18-27
King Hiram’s Order (in a letter) to provide materials for Solomon’s temple 2 Chron 2:11-16
King Cyrus’ Edict to free Jews and return to Judah 2 Chron 36:23
King Cyrus’ Edict to free Jews and return to Judah Ezra 1:2-4
Rehum’s Letter to King Artaxerxes Ezra 4:9-16
King Artaxerxes’ Letter to Rehum Ezra 4:17-22
Tattenai’s Letter to King Darius Ezra 5:7-17
King Darius’ Letter and Decree concerning the building of the temple in Jerusalem on the basis of King Cyrus’ decree found at Ecbatana Ezra 6:3-12
King Artaxerxes’ Decree to establish Jewish autonomy in Judah Ezra 7:12-26
Sanballat’s letter to Nehemiah Neh 6:6-7
King Nebuchadnezzar’s Decree after the fiery furnace Dan 3:28-29
King Nebuchadnezzar’s Decree and confession after his insanity Dan 4
King Darius’ decree in writing concerning Daniel’s God Dan 6:25-27
Epimenides the Cretan, 6th Cent BC, “In him we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28
Aratus of Cilicia, Didactic poem, Phaenomena, (An Invocation to Zeus), line 5, 270 BC, “We are his offspring” Acts 17:28
Epimenides the Cretan, 6th Cent BC, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” Titus 1:12
Unnamed sources
Book of Acts and Gospel of Luke compiled from numerous sources (see Acts 1:1-4 & Luke 1:1-4)
Enoch’s prophecy about coming judgement (see Deut 33:2, 3) 1 En 1:9 Jude 14, 15
Noah’s flood and preaching to spirits in prison (???) 1 En 21:6 1 Peter 3:19, 20
“After this I saw …an innumerable and uncountable multitude who stood before the glory of the Lord of the Spirits.” 1 Enoch 40:1 Rev 7:9
“…as I looked, behold a star fell down from heaven…” Rev 9:1
Trumpet blasts heralding cosmic events in Apocalypse of Zephaniah chapters 9 – 12 Rev 8 & 9
11
  • I agree that Enoch 1 should not be part of the canon. And I accept the element of corruption for the next two [later] books of Enoch. They have no place - even for consideration. But Enoch 1 does allow us to ‘see’ the worldview of Jews of that time - one that was generally accepted. As you said, even the Torah reflects this. Nebuchadnezzar’s ‘judgement’ was by decree of the watchers! And it came about! Although I disagree with some of your interpretative arguments , nevertheless +1 for an excellent outline.
    – Dave
    Apr 21 at 23:15
  • 1/3 I regularly appreciate your scholarship, but on this occasion I must respectfully disagree with Argument 5 on 4 counts. 1. It's a theological argument, not a hermeneutic principle. 2. It commits the fallacy of presentism. A number of the critical texts rely on discoveries from the last few centuries. Prior to that time, some of these texts were not extant in the original language. If we claim the point of preserving original texts was for our benefit today (but not for those of many centuries past), we are both countering argument 6 and committing presentism with respect to the purpose Apr 22 at 0:37
  • (2/3) of the Bible. In argument 3 you note “He would have preserved it for all to use”, yet He did not do so with many verses of the Bible. 3. The all or nothing trade-off. If inspiration is all or nothing, since we can only recreate ~99.5% of the original NT and for the OT the % is even lower, that would mean the Bible is not inspired. If inspiration is not all or nothing, only some portions of the autographs (the ones that survived) were inspired. To claim that all original texts of the Bible must be extant today because the texts were inspired is to argue in a circle. Apr 22 at 0:38
  • (3/3) 4. The use of the Book of Mormon for comparison is self-refuting. If Joseph Smith was untruthful about the book’s origin, then we do have the Book of Mormon in its original language, English, so the example is irrelevant to 1 Enoch. If Joseph Smith was truthful, you have misrepresented the book’s claims (see end of paragraph 1 here ), which explicitly address Argument 5. Thank you for your consideration. To ensure the tone of my comments comes across okay, please know I have great respect for your work. Apr 22 at 0:46
  • I should clarify that rebuttal 3 is a reductive argument...I'm not making an argument against inspiration =) Apr 22 at 1:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.