The Book of Enoch is ex-canonical scripture that was nevertheless regarded as inspired and a genuine work of the Patriarch by a number of the early Church Fathers such as Clement, Irenaeus, Origen, Augustine and Tertullian. This is hardly surprising since it is directly quoted in the New Testament (Jude14,15). Tertullian specifically regarded Enoch as falling within the remit of 2Tim3:16 concerning “all scripture” being inspired and useful. It was excluded from the Old Testament cannon (apart from that formulated by the Coptic Orthodox Church) and for valid reasons; perhaps most significantly there was an unacceptable degree of variation in the manuscript copies available to the early Church councils that determined the composition of the Biblical Canon. Apart from being directly quoted in the Bible, this scripture clarifies some otherwise obscure verses which themselves are quite important and cannot be properly understood by comparing canonical scripture with scripture. None more so than Genesis 6; explaining in great detail the context of vv1-3, necessary for a rounded understanding of God’s nature and modus operandi, together with the respective culpability of the human and celestial agencies that contributed to the Fall and the Flood. The latter was another reason The Book of Enoch was more conclusively rejected by the later Fathers who believed it did not place sufficient emphasis on man’s culpability for those particular cosmic disasters, especially having endorsed Augustine’s austere take on the matter. This extra-biblical literature also clarifies less important but nevertheless intriguing issues such as “the blood that speaks better things than Abel” (Heb12:24), Enoch’s walk with God (in great detail) and the ethnicity of Adam, Eve and their offspring (hinted at in Genesis5:3). It also reveals, albeit cryptically, the ethnicity of Noah’s three sons, and for that reason alone, especially in view of Gen9:25, it was providential it was excluded, and until relatively recently not readily accessible.
With the aforementioned early fathers, I have no doubt the Book of Enoch is inspired and needs to be consulted in order to aid completion of the biblical jigsaw. In the context of “The Little Book of Providence” it also contains certain prophecies regarding God’s final providential mystery (cf. Rev10:4-7) that might not have remained a mystery had Enoch1 been received within the canon and historically focused upon within the churches. But there is another reason to believe the Book of Enoch was not intended for the Church throughout its history yet is relevant for today as profitable reading – that is the very opening verse:
“The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and the righteous who will be living in the day of tribulation when all the wicked and godless are to be removed” (Enoch1 ch1 v1)
And at the end of Enoch there is a prophecy concerning the book itself and other books:
“But when they write down truthfully all my words in their languages, and do not change or diminish anything from my words but write them all down truthfully – all that I first testified concerning them; then I know another mystery, that books will be given to the righteous and the wise to become a cause of joy and uprightness and much wisdom. and to them shall the books be given, and they shall believe in them and rejoice over them, and then shall all the righteous who have learnt therefrom all the paths of uprightness be recompensed” (Enoch104:1113).
More on that in my particular book** but in the context of these Genesis posts, Enoch provides a helpful reference source to enable us better to understand God’s rationale for the Flood by clarifying the context of the first two verses of chapter 6 concerning “the sons of God’s” union with human women, which made such a drastic remedy unavoidable.
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