Q: #393. Why isn't the Book of Enoch in the Bible?
A: The Book of Enoch (BoE) was not included in the Canon of Scripture for a number of reasons. Let’s look at these one by one.
First, the BoE was almost certainly not written by Enoch himself. Nearly every scholar agrees that it was written MUCH later than when Enoch lived (pre-flood). Most estimates are that it was written at a time when many other apocryphal books were also written, this time being what is called the intertestamental period; the period between the book of Malachi and the events of the New Testament (app. 400 years). These being the case, the BoE is often called a pseudepigrapha. The term pseudepigrapha basically means that it is a work attributed to an author who is not really the author. (This was usually done to lend credibility to the written work.) In addition, these writings were considered Jewish works, written around the time period just mentioned. Why do these things apply to the BoE? Let’s look at that next.
The primary reason pointing to the impossibility of Enoch writing the book lies within the book itself. In several places, the BoE seems to put Enoch as being alive when Noah was born. In (Enoch 106:8 – 107:3), Enoch has a conversation with his son Methuselah regarding the birth of Noah. For example, in (Enoch 107:2-3) it says:
“And now, my son, go and make known to thy son Lamech that this (3) son, which has been born, is in truth his son, and that (this) is no lie.’ And when Methuselah had heard the words of his father Enoch-for he had shown to him everything in secret-he returned and showed (them) to him and called the name of that son Noah; for he will comfort the earth after all the destruction.”
**(106:18) says that Enoch told Methuselah to name the child Noah.
***Note: Some say that this conversation between Methuselah and Enoch is after Enoch was no longer on the Earth, however, if this is the case, then that is obviously another unbiblical issue (see: Q: #135.).
Based upon dating in the Bible, Enoch could not have been on Earth when Noah was born (Noah would have been his great-grandson). Enoch had his son Methuselah when he was 65 years (Gen 5:21). Enoch lived to be 365 years old when God took him to Heaven (Gen 5:21-22)(Heb 11:5). Methuselah was 187 years old when he had his son Lamech (Gen 5:25). Lamech was 182 years old when he had his son Noah (Gen 5:28-29). Putting these together, Enoch was 65 when Methuselah was born, 252 when Lamech was born, and would have been 434 when Noah was born. Enoch was on Earth for 365 years. He had been gone for 69 years when Noah was born!
The BoE also contradicts our Bible in many places. Let me share a few examples.
(Enoch 2:3) speaks of “rain,” when it had not “rained” before the flood (when Enoch lived), and no one even knew what “rain” was (see: Q: #44.).
(Enoch ch. 6-7) are a parallel to (Gen 6:1-4) in our Bible. However, it says many things that are not in our Bible. It says that “200” angels came to Earth to marry and impregnate human women, which resulted in giant offspring. It gives the names of many of these angels. These angels also “taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants” (7:1-2). The Bible never says that “angels” mated with human women in (Gen 6:1-4), but rather than that it was the “sons of God.” There are those who believe that the “sons of God” were angels, but I do not. I believe that the “sons of God” are referring to the Godly line of Seth intermarrying with the ungodly line of Cain. I explain this here.
(Enoch 40:7) speaks of “Satans” (plural), and how they were forbidden “to come before the Lord of Spirits to accuse them who dwell on the earth.” This contradicts the Book of Job (Job 1:6-12)(Job 2:1-7).
(Enoch 40:9) says an angel named Phanuel “is set over the repentance unto hope of those who inherit eternal life.” In other words, Phanuel is taking the place of Jesus Christ.
(Enoch 41:1-2) speaks of “actual” mansions in Heaven for the elect (and that sinners were driven from them). While this may be debatable, I do not believe there are “actual” mansions in Heaven (see: Q: #289.).
(Enoch 67:1-3) says that God appointed angels to build Noah’s Ark. Our Bible says that God told Noah to build the Ark (Gen 6:14-16).
(Enoch 69:6) says that an angel named “Gadreel… led astray Eve.” Our Bible says it was Satan (Gen 3)(2 Cor 11:3)(1 Tim 2:14).
(This verse also says that Gadreel showed mankind: “the blows of death” and “the weapons of death… the shield and the coat of mail, and the sword.” In a contradiction, (Enoch 8:1) it says Azazel did this.)
The BoE has also has some BIZARRE teachings. Here are just a few:
(Enoch 7:3) is perhaps the MOST bizarre. It speaks of “great giants, whose height was three thousand ells,” roaming the Earth. Webster’s Dictionary says an “ell” is “a former English unit of length (as for cloth) equal to 45 inches.” Doing some math, we come up with giants that were 11,250 feet tall!! Some believe that this was a copyist error, and instead the giants were “300 cubits” tall. Even if this were true, a cubit was approximately 18 inches, therefore we have 450′ tall giants! (Enoch 7:4-5) goes on to say that eventually, they began to eat men and each other.
(Enoch 32:2-6) seems to indicate that the Garden of Eden survived the flood.
(Enoch 33:3) indicates that Enoch counted every star.
(Enoch 69:8-9) says an angel named Penemue taught men wisdom, and how to write with ink and paper.
(Enoch 106:1-3, 11;12) says that the moment Noah was born, he “opened his mouth, and conversed with the Lord.”
Finally, let me address the issue that Jude seems to make mention of this book in (Jude 1:14-15), saying, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These verses very closely parallel what is said in (Enoch 1:9)
“And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy all the ungodly:
And to convict all flesh
Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Because Jude did this, it is believed by some that this lends credibility to the BoE, and as such, it should be included in our Canon. There are several issues that should be considered regarding this.
First, just because Jude mentions this book, it does not mean that he was endorsing it as Scripture. He was simply mentioning a verse within it that contained a truth. Every apocryphal book has some truth. However, they also contain SERIOUS errors, which is why we do not give them credence as inspired by God (I speak more about apocryphal books here and here.). This is the case with the BoE. Paul also quoted extra-Biblical writers such as the poets Epimenides (Acts 17:28)(Titus 1:12) and Menander (1 Cor 15:33), but this does NOT mean that he thought these writers were God-inspired.
Secondly, we do not even know for sure that Jude took these verses from the BoE. Obviously, since Jude said that Enoch said this (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit), Enoch MUST have said it. However, how did Jude KNOW Enoch said it? There are several possibilities aside from Jude copying it from the BoE. The first, and most likely, is that since God knows EVERYTHING, He simply told Jude, and Jude wrote it down. (For example, Moses obviously was not around during the events in the book of Genesis, but he accurately recorded what happened.) Or, perhaps this saying of Enoch had been passed down from generation to generation, and Jude recorded it. In addition, since some pseudepigrapha writings may have been written as late as 200 A.D., it is even possible that the author of the BoE copied from Jude (written app. 67 to 70 A.D.).
Based upon these things, it seems very clear that it was right not to include the BoE in the Canon of Scripture. The Jews did not include it in the Tanakh. Even early Catholicism did not feel it worthy to be included with the apocryphal books of their Bible.
P.S. Also, keep in mind that if Enoch had written the BoE, Noah would have to have taken it on the Ark.