My post’s title is intentionally tongue-in-cheek – but not entirely so; sometimes what appears to be a preposterous proposition can turn out to be the truth. But academically speaking, it is contentious to believe that Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch was the real author of the Book of Enoch. But what is virtually universally accepted is that it was written at least 2000 years ago. Yet the implication of the quoted prophecy (which may not be visible on mobiles unless you click the picture) is that certain books were to be freely and universally distributed. The full text reads:
“After they have written down truthfully all my words in their languages, not erring from my words but writing them down truthfully, then I know another mystery. Books are to be given to the righteous and the wise to become a cause of joy and uprightness and much wisdom. 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 from them the TRUE paths of righteousness be recompensed” [En104:10-14 – my highlighting]
The idea of books being widely distributed was humanly speaking an alien concept prior to the mid-2nd millennium invention of the printing press. That was the primary means by which the Protestant Reformation gained traction in the 16th century. [As referred to in a recent post, I believe the author of Enoch alludes to that distant future event when he wrote in the same chapter (104): “they will alter and pervert the words of righteousness in many ways, and will speak wicked words, and lie, and practise great deceits and write books concerning their teachings”]. But now Enoch is referring to books being given (i.e. by implication freely distributed). And to whom? – a specific grouping, sect or nation? No, “to the righteous and the wise” who clearly would be scattered throughout the world. And how could these “righteous and wise” obtain this writing? Clearly, they must have the ability to access, examine and thereby discern that the writing in question was profitable for wisdom; then freely to acquire it for themselves. I cannot envisage such a scenario being feasible until the invention of the internet and portable document format files (PDFs), themselves an invention of the early 1990s, at least two thousand years after the prophecy.
Why Enoch must have written Enoch
Remember, the Book of Enoch is quoted in New Testament Jude and acknowledged by many early Fathers to be divinely inspired – even by those such as Augustine who did most to ensure it was rejected from the canon of Scripture. That is why I (along with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) am clear it was the work of the patriarch himself. For how could that which is inspired and included in the New Testament be a fabrication of deceit? How could that which is divinely inspired be the creation of someone in the 2nd or 3rd century before Christ claiming to be the original patriarch, passing off as divine prophecy much that was already history? And it has been shown to be prophecy indeed – discerning that the Book of Enoch would be lost to the Church and the world for centuries and then (in the caves of Qumran in the 1940s) rediscovered and translated into many languages, just as foretold.
As for the “other books” that were to be freely distributed, that cannot refer to the supplementary books of Enoch or indeed anything discovered at Qumran. They of themselves could never be a source of joy, wisdom and righteousness for the generation “who would be living at the time of tribulations when the wicked and godless are to be removed” (Enoch’s opening verse). Why? Because as with the canonical Old Testament, they do not contain or adequately reflect the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles set out in the New Testament.
So, either the books being referred to are entirely new revelation for the last days of the current age OR they are a clarification of earlier revelation that had been widely misinterpreted. It can only be the latter – for everything the world and the church are intended to know and practice in the current age has already been provided in the New Testament and cannot be supplemented. What is more, unlike the scarcely credible assertions of the Protestant Reformers, I am affirming that all that is necessary for gospel salvation is and always has been taught and provided for within the Catholic/Orthodox churches that can trace their sacerdotal lineage back to the apostles. The issue being addressed is whether the bible as a whole has been properly understood? Indeed, was it intended rightly to be interpreted until the very last days, especially concerning the sovereign Creator’s providential purposes and His rationale with respect to evil and suffering? Revelation chapter ten hints otherwise:
“(The angel) had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken, and DO NOT WRITE THEM” (Rev10:2-4).
Yet its opening verse had declared Revelation to be “the disclosure of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His servants (the Church) the things which must soon take place” (Rev1:1). For sure, that disclosure was often presented in symbolic terms, but nevertheless John wrote down everything he saw and heard as a testimony to the churches. Yet there was one unique exception: the contents of the little book referred to in chapter ten. We are (literally) only given a flavour of what that might contain: sweet as honey to the taste buds but creating bitterness in the abdomen (Greek: κοιλία) , in view (I believe) of what had previously been ingested. “For in the days of the voice of the seventh messenger, when he is about to sound off, then the mystery of God shall be completed, as He announced to His servants the prophets” (10:7).
Nevertheless, it is all somewhat cryptic and open to various interpretations – less so in the Book of Enoch for those who can receive it. For in addition to the aforementioned reference to books being given to the wise and righteous, we saw in the previous post concerning the Apocalypse of Weeks that immediately before the wicked were removed from the earth and the dead in Christ raised: “at the close (of the seventh week) shall be chosen the elect righteous (ones) of the eternal plant of righteousness to receive a sevenfold instruction concerning all of God’s creation”. As affirmed a few paragraphs ago, such could neither contradict nor substantively add to what has already been revealed in the biblical canon, merely clarify or remedy its interpretation. For example, explaining how the benefits of Christ’s Passion applied to those outside the Covenants of Promise, i.e., the bulk of humanity – regarded by many Christians as mere collateral damage within God’s redemptive plans for planet Earth. Such an amelioration would surely be sweet as honey in the mouth, replacing the much narrower perspectives that subsequently become ripe for expulsion.
Conviction assured; verification awaited
If you are accessing this post on Facebook, you will notice that the featured picture for my book page is that of this post, an Enoch scroll containing the reference to the mystery of the “other books” quoted in En104. That is because for some years now (but crucially for testimonial purposes, not at the outset of writing The Little Book of Providence) I believe I have a personal interest in this prophecy. That has become clearer and more certain in recent months, especially following the events and communications to which I referred in my 70th birthday testimonial post. But I need to convince others that such is the case, and this will be attempted in subsequent posts.
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