The Book of Enoch is unique among extra-biblical literature. It purports to have been written by the ancient patriarch, Enoch, seventh in line from Adam. Because of a passage dealing with fallen angels cohabiting with human women, however, many Christians today classify it with the Psuedepigrapha and never take the time to see for themselves just what this book contains. The very term pseudepigrapha means "falsely attributed". In an effort to discredit this book, many scholars have claimed it is a fraud written around 150-80 B.C.
Modern scholars stumble over the idea of a book, written before the flood, actually being preserved for nearly 6,000 years. The one argument such reasoning has never addressed, however, is the obvious belief of the apostles and early Christians that the book was genuine. Surely such a recent work would not be accepted by them as the authentic writings of an antediluvian briefly mentioned in the book of Genesis. The apostle Peter himself, may have made reference to Enoch 6-36 in I Peter 3:19, 20.
Those who are seeking to restore lost truths should ask themselves why the Book of Enoch has been rejected by most of Christendom today. The Bible, in Jude 11, quotes from the Book of Enoch. The apostolic Christians considered it to be scripture and much of the earliest literature from that era contain numerous references to the Book of Enoch. Justin Martyr, Origin, Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria all refer to the book of Enoch while Tertullian (A.D. 160-230) goes so far as to call the Book of Enoch "Holy Scripture." The Ethiopic Church even added it to their sacred canon.
So why is there no Book of Enoch in the King James Version of the Bible? The answer should raise red flags to everyone desiring to know truth. After Constantine outlawed the Biblical calendar at the Council of Nicæa in A.D. 321-324, many Jews and Apostolic Christians continued to worship by the Biblical calendar while ceasing from work on the Emperor's Sunday. The need was felt to enforce the civil legislation of the Council of Nicæa, so about A.D. 363-364, the Council of Laodicea was convened. There were two important outcomes of this council: First, the "Church Fathers" decided what was to be included in the sacred canon as part of scripture; secondly, they codified church doctrine, publishing their conclusions in 60 Canons.
The purpose of this two-fold attack, and it was an attack on the true Sabbath, was to destroy writings that support the true seventh-day Sabbath of the luni-solar calendar. The Church Fathers wanted to enforce Sunday sacredness and to do so they needed to enforce more than worship on Sunday; they needed to destroy Sabbath sanctity. Canon 29 reads: "Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."
"Judaizing" was their term for calculating the seventh-day Sabbath and the feasts by the Biblical calendar, rather than accepting the Julian Sunday and Easter as their substitute. To exalt Sunday, writings that admonish Christians on the proper way to keep and calculate the Sabbath needed to be abolished. The Book of Enoch was one of 41 books which were banned at the Council of Laodicea and being banned, passed out of circulation and was lost.
Around the time of the Protestant Reformation, there was a revived interest in the Book of Enoch. Rumors began spreading in the late 15th century that somewhere there still existed a copy of this long lost book. A number of books came out claiming to be the legendary book, but were later revealed to be forgeries.
It was not until James Bruce, a famous explorer returned to England after spending six years in Abyssinia, that three copies of the Ethiopic Book of Enoch were restored to the western world. Over the years, some portions of the book in Greek resurfaced and with the discovery of Cave 4 of the Dead Sea Scrolls, seven fragments of the book in Aramaic text were discovered.
The Book of Enoch should be carefully studied by the people of today. A warning given so long ago, carefully preserved across the millennia for the purpose of enlightening the last generation, deserves special attention. The Book of Enoch opens with the announcement that the revelations contained in it were not meant for Enoch's day, but for a remote generation - the final generation:
The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed . . . not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come. (Enoch 1:1-3.)
Many have considered that its theology is more Christian than Jewish. The description, and even the name, of the "Ancient of days" in Enoch 46:1-2 matches the description in Daniel 7. Other descriptions and themes in Enoch correspond to those in Isaiah, Ezekiel and Revelation. Many of the assurances to the righteous are echoed by the words of Christ Himself in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 & 6) while the woes uttered against sinners correspond with other statements He made that are recorded in the gospels. As a Seventh-day Adventist, my first reaction in reading it was an astonished, "This is more Adventist than Jewish!" Doctrines I had found in the writings of Ellen G. White were clearly and repeatedly presented in the Book of Enoch.
What is the all-important truth preserved in Enoch? I do not know. There is a large section on astronomy, but much of it uses terms that are unfamiliar today. What are the "portals" of the sun? Solar and lunar years are described as are the phases of the moon.
Some sincere lunar Sabbath keepers believe that the lunar and solar years perfectly aligned before the flood. However, Enoch 74 clearly establishes that even before the flood the solar year was longer than the lunar year. Intercalation (adding additional days) to reconcile the lunar year with the longer solar year is also discussed in Enoch.
Psalm 104:19, possibly more than any other scripture verse, establishes that the moon is to be used for calculating the Sabbath: "He appointed ('created') the moon for seasons." (Seasons: #4150 - mo'edim: the worshipping assemblies of God's people.) The controversy over a lunar Sabbath versus a Sabbath calculated by the pagan/papal Gregorian calendar is well summarized in Enoch 41:8:
For the sun changes oft for a blessing or a curse,
And the course of the path of the moon is light to the righteous
And darkness to the sinners in the name of the Lord,
Who made a separation between the light and the darkness,
And divided the spirits of men,
And strengthened the spirits of the righteous,
In the name of His righteousness.
At the very beginning of the Book of Enoch, once the opening explanations are given, the very first words that sum up the purpose of the book are these: "Observe ye everything that takes place in the heaven, how they do not change their orbits, and the luminaries which are in the heaven, how they all rise and set in order each in its season, and transgress not against their appointed order." (Enoch 2:1-2.)
The Creator has established the lights in the heavens to be the calendar for His people. Using them inappropriately, using only the sun to the exclusion of the moon and the stars, is transgressing against their appointed order and function.
Study the Book of Enoch. As with the biblical calendar itself, this is a new field of study. We are still learning, too. When you find connections and meaning in the Book of Enoch, please contact us and share what you find. It would be beneficial to bring many minds to this topic. Heaven is pouring out light. Our part is to seek this light with a heart willing to obey.