Why should I stay away from the Book of Enoch?
Short summary – The Book of Enoch is not included in the Biblical canon due to its controversial and non-traditional views. It presents a detailed account of fallen angels, which contradicts the simplistic depiction in Genesis. It attributes too much power to Satan and fallen angels, which may lead to an overemphasis on demonic influence. The Book also predicts future events, a characteristic not typical of Old Testament books. It is believed to have been written long after Enoch’s time, raising questions about its authenticity.
The Book of Enoch is something that sparks a lot of curiosity for many Christians and people who are looking into Christianity. However, many people will warn against using or reading the Book of Enoch.
This begs the question: should Christians read the Book of Enoch, or should we stay away from it entirely?
Let’s unpack this as we understand what the Book of Enoch truly is and what role it plays in the grand context of truth.
What is the Book of Enoch?
The book of Enoch is what is called a pseudepigraphical work.
This means that it is a historical text that is attributed to a certain author, but whose claimed authorship is unfounded.
In this case, this Book of Enoch is attributed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah and the son of Jared.
He is listed in a genealogy in Genesis 5:18.
There is some mystery clouding the person of Enoch in the Bible, possibly contributing to the mystery surrounding the Book of Enoch itself.
In Genesis 5:24, we see Moses write about Enoch, “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”
In a section of the Bible that speaks about how one person was born, had certain children, and then died, it is odd that this passage speaks of Enoch in a way that makes it seem as though Enoch simply stopped existing.
God seems to have taken Enoch in a special way that wasn’t just natural death.
In fact, Enoch is only one of two people in the Bible who “die” in this way, the other being Elijah.
This contributes to some mystery and curiosity surrounding Enoch and the book that he supposedly wrote. However, historians put the book of Enoch’s composition date sometime between 300 and 200 B.C., and as the Encyclopedia Britannica notes, the book is a collection of many pieces, some much older than others.
In all reality, there is no factual evidence that Enoch authored this book, but it can be useful all the same.
What is in the Book of Enoch?
The Book of Enoch is largely an apocalyptic text that details events surrounding the flood more thoroughly than the Bible does.
It talks about demons, angels, giants, and why the flood had to take place in the way that it did.
It discusses extensively how certain angels fell to earth in rebellion and created children with the daughters of man, just like what Genesis 6:1-2 tells us. However, it gives a much more detailed account than Genesis 6 does.
The Book of Enoch specifically names many of the angels, both good angels, and fallen angels, and also describes how God apparently used Enoch as a messenger to these fallen angels, telling them of the wrath reserved for them for what they did.
The book also discusses Noah and the events surrounding the building of the ark and the flood.
READ MORE: What does the Bible say about wasting food?
How does the Book of Enoch relate to the Bible?
The Book of Enoch is not part of the Bible and is not considered Scripture in terms of inspiration and authority.
It is worth saying that it does agree with the Bible on many points.
It does show consistency when compared to the Bible’s account of the events surrounding the flood.
Though, this should not be a sign to us to consider it as if it were the Bible.
It still does not have the historical backing or the consistency that the Bible does in all of its books.
One thing to take note of is that the Bible actually seems to quote from the Book of Enoch in one instance.
In Jude, verses 14-15, Jude mentions the book and quotes from Enoch’s book, seemingly confirming that what the writer of the book had said in that quote was correct.
However, just because it got a few things right does not mean we should take everything in it as Scriptural truth.
Regardless, it is interesting to see how even the Bible acknowledges its existence and quotes from it in the New Testament.
READ MORE: How soon after death do you go to Heaven?
Should you stay away from the Book of Enoch?
As previously mentioned, the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible because it is not considered to be Scripture.
Therefore, you should also not consider it to be Scripture.
When the canon of the Bible was officially accepted, it went through rigorous criticism to ensure that what was put together as the official Scriptural canon was indeed the authoritative Word of God.
The Book of Enoch did not make this cut and therefore was not and should not be considered part of the canon of God’s Word.
Regardless, that does not mean that the Book of Enoch is completely useless and that you should throw it away in its entirety.
Like many other fringe books, such as the other Apocryphal books, there are things to be gained and learned from the Book of Enoch.
One must simply be careful when reading it since it does not have the same authority as Scripture.
Here are two things you should have in mind when you approach the Book of Enoch:
- take everything within the book with a grain of salt. Meaning, don’t assume everything in the book is true, and don’t make life changes based on whatever is inside of it. With the Word of God, we know that it is true and trustworthy; the same does not go for the book of Enoch. Read it for what it is – an ancient, historical text that does not carry authority or weight over your life.
- be sure that you know what the Bible actually says about the things discussed in the Book of Enoch. The better you know the Bible, the easier you’ll be able to point out things that are false within the book of Enoch.
With that being said, you don’t have to completely stay away from the book.
Simply be careful when reading it, and don’t take it as authoritative Scripture.
READ THIS NEXT:
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Bulgarea Anca is a devout Christian and the founder of Bible Wings, a comprehensive resource for Christians seeking to deepen their faith and understanding of the Bible. Raised within the Christian faith, Bulgarea Anca’s spirituality was nourished by her grandparents, who were cantors in their local church. Her Christian upbringing was further solidified by her education at a Christian school. Today, she uses her in-depth knowledge of the scripture to provide insightful and meaningful content through Bible Wings.