Pastor David B. Curtis

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Is Enoch Scripture?

Jude 12-15a

Delivered 09/13/15

We come this morning in our study of the book of Jude to a controversial passage. In verses 12-13 Jude uses allusions from the book of Enoch:

These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. Jude 1:12-13 NASB

And then in verse 14 and 15 he mentions Enoch and quotes from the book of Enoch:

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 1:14-15 NASB

It is notable that Jude's quotation from Enoch was the chief reason for the Book of Jude's rejection from the Canon of the Bible for a number of years. However, by the 4th century A.D., Jude's letter had been fully accepted by the entire church.

Like most any subject today we have Christians on both sides. So today we have some Christians quoting the Book of Enoch as if it were Scripture, or at least a true interpretation of Scripture in order to prove their view. While others are dismissing it as obvious fabricated legend without merit, or worse, heresy.

Believers, Bereans, as honest pursuers of truth we should not discount any textual assessment because of a preconceived fear of where it may lead. We must follow the truth no matter where it leads us.

So who is this Enoch that Jude quotes? The ancient patriarch Enoch is one of the most mysterious characters in all of Bible history. We read about him in:

Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:19 NASB

The Enoch we are looking at is the son of Jared, before the Flood, whose son was Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible:

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Genesis 5:21-23 NASB

Notice that verse 22 says, "after he begot Methuselah, then Enoch walked with God" —this turn in his life was a result of faith, and since faith always requires a word from God to rest upon, it confirms the idea that Enoch was given a revelation of a coming judgement, which changed his life. The name "Methuselah" means: "his death shall bring."

The text says that Enoch only lived 365 years, compared to the much longer time spans of those around him, reaching as high as Adam's 930 years and Jared's 962 (Methuseah's record was 969). Whether these ages are literal or symbolic, Enoch was on earth for only a short time because, as the text says:

Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:24 NASB

"Walked with God"—is a very significant phrase, it is also used of Noah in chapter 6. This phrase only occurs three times in the Tanakh and none in the New Testament. When God walks with men, it is a really rare thing. The first occasion of this was in Genesis 3, "LORD God walking in the garden." Adam was in that Garden, Adam walked with God in that Garden/Temple. Walking with God depicts a direct divine encounter, a direct divine relationship. Enoch had a holy intimacy with the Creator that separated him from the world around him.

"And he was not, for God took him"the writer omits the typical ending, "and he died," suggesting that Enoch did not experience a normal death. The language of being "taken" by God appears again in the description of Elijah's departure from earth in God's fiery chariot (2 Kgs 2:1, 5, 9, 10). The New Testament also asserts that Enoch did not die:

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. Hebrews 11:5 NASB

Old Testament scholar, Gordon Wenham, points out, "The idea of 'was not' cannot merely be a poetic way of saying 'died,' because every other reference to the death of the men in that same genealogy is 'and he died' (eight times). In contrast, Enoch is the only one with this peculiar wording 'and he was not.' But this reflects the same wording used of Elijah's translation to heaven in a chariot of fire, thus avoiding death (2 Kgs 2: 1-10)." (Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 1-15, vol. 1, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 128.) Enoch walked in fellowship with God, his life pleased God, and God removed him from the earth without him dying. Where did Enoch go? Did God take him right to heaven? I don't think so because Yeshua said:

"No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. John 3:13 NASB

Prior to the completion of redemption at A.D. 70, nobody went to heaven. So where did he go? I don't know! If you know please fill me in.

Enoch is also mentioned in our text in Jude where he is quoted as a righteous man condemning the wicked of his generation. The biblical passages about Enoch paint a picture of a righteous man, in holy communion with God, during a time of great evil before The Flood, who prophesied judgment upon evildoers, and as a result of his God pleasing faith, was taken by God before he could die.

So it's easy to see why Enoch captivated the imagination of ancient Jews writing extra-biblical literature during the Second Temple Period. So let's talk about the book of Enoch. Much of this information that I am going to share with you comes from Brian Godawa's book, When Giants Were Upon The Earth, The Watcher, the Nephilim, and the Biblical Cosmic War of the Seed.

When we talk about the book of Enoch, we must understand that there are actually three "Books of Enoch." They are numbered, but also go by the names of the language they are written in. 1 Enoch is referred to as "Ethiopian Enoch," 2 Enoch is called "Slavonic Enoch," and 3 Enoch is called "Hebrew Enoch." They are all considered to be Pseudepigrapha. The Pseudepigrapha writings, are also called the "Intertestamental Literature," or "Second Temple Literature." They are the books written by Jews between Malachi and the time of Yeshua. The word "Pseudepigrapha" literally means: "falsely ascribed writings," and it refers to a work that falsely claims to be written by a specific author usually someone more ancient than the writing itself—when, in fact, it is authored by someone else entirely. So the author is falsely named.

J.H. Charlesworth argues, "Rather than being spurious, the documents considered as belonging to the Pseudepigrapha are works written in honor of, and inspired by, Old Testament heroes." (James Charlesworth, The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research, With a Supplement (Septuagint and Cognate Studies Series, No. 7) (United Kingdom, Scholars Press, 1981), p 25.)

Loren Stuckenbruck complains that the modern notion of "falseness" in Pseudepigraphal authorship is an anachronism that fails to capture the ancient acceptance of anonymous writers using "ideal" authorship as a means of uniting the ancient past with the present and future in sacred connection. "They presented themselves, in effect, as voices about the readers' remote past out of the remote past… This, in turn, would make it possible for the audience to participate imaginatively in that world in order to re-imagine and gain perspective on the present." (Loren T. Stuckenbruck, The Epistle of Enoch: Genre and Authorial Presentation, Dead Sea Discoveries 17 (2010) 395-96.)

Charlesworth explains, "The Pseudepigrapha includes a large body of manuscripts from various locations and authors that were composed around the period from 200 B.C. to about A.D. 200. They are either Jewish or Christian in origin, they are often attributed to ideal figures in Israel's past, and they usually claim to contain God's message, building upon ideas and narratives of the Old Testament." (J. H. Charlesworth, Introduction for the General Reader, in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1 (New York; London: Yale University Press, 1983), xxv.)

Some of the other well known Pseudepigrapha include Jubilees, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Psalms of Solomon, the Apocalypses of Ezra and Baruch, and many others.

Though 2 and 3 Enoch also contain material about the patriarch Enoch and his alleged visions and experiences, they do not carry the weight or influence that 1 Enoch has had on ancient Judaism and Christianity. 2 and 3 Enoch are both written much later and are plagued by diverse traditions of manuscript variations. 2 Enoch was most likely written sometime in the 2nd century after Christ. 3 Enoch shows evidence of later Jewish mysticism and claims authorship by a Rabbi Ishmael relating his visions of Enoch written anywhere from the 3rd to the 6th century A.D. (Francis I. Andersen, "Enoch, Second Book Of,"ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 516-517. Philip S. Alexander, "Enoch, Third Book Of,"AYBD, 524.)

The book that is traditionally intended when referring to "the Book of Enoch" is the Ethiopian 1 Enoch. Its oldest sections are considered to have been written as early as 300 B.C., but the only complete manuscript we have available is an Ethiopic translation from 400-500 A.D. (George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, ed. Klaus Baltzer, Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2001), 1, 9.)

What we need to understand here is that in the culture of the Bible, before there were books and handwritten copies, there were only oral texts. Yeshua's "Sermon on the Mount" was an oral text. There was nobody there writing down what Yeshua said, they memorized it and passed it on orally. What Yeshua said was not written down until at least 20 years later. The ancient world of Enoch and Yeshua was hearing dominant rather than text dominant like our culture. Traditions were passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation. Who knows how long Enoch was orally passed down before it was written down.

We know that the rabbis of first-century Palestine apparently wrote nothing. It wasn't until two hundred years after the time of Yeshua that the rabbis began to put their wisdom in written form. Shmuel Safrai in The Literature of the Sages writes, "Rabbinic literature records prohibitions against writing: teaching and preaching were supposed to remain oral literary activities."

Most of the people in that culture could not read or write, it was not necessary in an oral culture. In Yeshua's "Sermon on the Mount" in Matthew's account, five times Yeshua says:

"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; Matthew 5:27 NASB

For the most part they had never seen or read a text of Scripture, but they had heard it and knew it. Only when Yeshua addressed the Pharisees, Chief Priest, Scribes, and Sadducees did He say:

Some Pharisees came to Yeshua, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, Matthew 19:3-4 NASB

So my point here is that the Book of Enoch could go back quite a way orally, the date of composition or even the date of the latest manuscript is not indicative of the true age of the text. This oral tradition could go all the way back to Enoch himself.

Though early Church Fathers and the Ethiopian Church had been familiar with the text of Enoch, it had been considered lost to Western scholarship until its rediscovery and introduction in the 1800s.

1 Enoch belongs to the genre of literature called "apocalyptic." "Apocalypse" in Greek simply means: "revelation" or "disclosure." John Collins, an expert in apocalyptic literature defines it as a genre "with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial, insofar as it involves another, supernatural world ." (John J. Collins, The Jewish Apocalypses, ed. John Joseph Collins, Semeia 14 (1979): 22.)

Yarbro Collins adds a point of clarification to the definition that apocalyptic is "intended to interpret present , earthly circumstances in light of the supernatural world and of the future, and to influence both the understanding and the behavior of the audience by means of divine authority." (John J. Collins, "Apocalypses and Apocalypticism: Early Jewish Apocalypticism" ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 283.)

The books of Daniel and Revelation are considered apocalyptic in their genre as Daniel and John are ushered into heaven and receive revelation about coming earthly historical events cloaked in poetic language to communicate the spiritual and theological meaning behind those events.

Most scholars believe that the Book of Enoch is really five different books that were written in different time periods and redacted together by editors until it became its current version before A.D. 100. But there is no manuscript evidence for this theory, and the oldest version that we have of the books are fragments among the Dead Sea Scrolls that indicate all five in one corpus.

The five different "books" are subdivided like this:

1. The Book of the Watchers (Chapters 1- 36) 3rd century B.C.

2. The Book of Parables (37- 71) 1st century B.C.

3. The Book of Heavenly Luminaries (72-82) 3rd century B.C.

4. The Book of Dream Visions (83- 90) 2nd century B.C.

5. The Book of the Epistle of Enoch (91- 107) 2nd century B.C.

1. The Book of the Watchers (Chaps. 1-36). This book most likely predates the Hellenistic period, being completed by the middle of the 3rd century B.C. (Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch: a Commentary, 7.)

It is announced as an oracle of judgment by Enoch. It tells a detailed narrative of two hundred heavenly Watchers who rebel against God in heaven led by Semyaza and Azazel. They come to earth on Mount Hermon, mate with human women , and produce bloodthirsty hybrid giants as their progeny, leading to the Great Flood. It contains details about the Watchers and their names, along with the occultic secrets they reveal to mankind that violate the holy separation of heaven and earth.

It describes Enoch's heavenly commission as a prophet and accounts of his cosmic journeys into heaven to proclaim judgment upon these foes of God.

2. The Book of Parables (Chaps. 37-71). This appears to be the latest portion of Enochic texts, dating to about the end of the 1st century B.C. It is a recounting of Enoch's cosmic journey and vision of judgment upon the fallen angels and their wicked human counterparts, juxtaposed against the elevation of "the holy, the righteous, the elect." It also includes descriptions of astronomical phenomena such as the source of the wind and rain. The unique and important contribution of these chapters is the vision of God's throne room drawn from the book of Isaiah and Daniel 7 that depicts the "Ancient of Days," the heavenly host that surrounds the throne, and the "Son of Man" as vice regent, also referred to as the Elect One, the Righteous One, and the Messiah (Anointed One). Scholars point to this book as influential in the development of the Doctrine of the Son of Man leading to the New Testament Gospels. (George W. E. Nickelsburg, "Son of Man,"ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 139.)

3. The Book of Heavenly Luminaries (Chaps. 72-82). These are probably the earliest of Enochian texts with roots in the Persian period between 500 and 300 B.C. [Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch: a Commentary, 7.] It describes Uriel the angel showing Enoch the astronomical, cosmological and calendrical laws that verify the authority of the solar calendar.

4. The Book of Dream Visions (Chaps. 83-90). Enoch recounts two dreams he saw to his son Methuselah before his marriage. The first dream is a brief warning about the coming Flood. The second dream is a complex allegory using animals to represent the history of the world from Adam to the Hellenistic period they were in, with a projection into the future judgment. The date for this book is around 165 B.C., the time of the Maccabean revolt, which is roughly where the history allegory ends.

5. The Epistle of Enoch (Chaps. 92-105). Composed sometime in the 2nd century B.C., this document records Enoch's exhortation to his children to remain righteous in their wicked generation. He predicts woes of suffering, shame, misery , and judgment for the wicked who are rich, oppress the righteous, and worship idols. He predicts justice, comfort, eternal life, and glorification like the stars for those who remain pure.

There is also some, Additional "Books" (Chaps. 106 +). These last pieces are like appendices added onto the Book of Enoch as additional chapters. Two chapters detail the miraculous birth narrative of Noah. The infant Noah's face and hair are said to glow white. His father, Lamech, is frightened that he may be the offspring of a Watcher, but he is reassured by Enoch that this is not the case, but rather that Noah is pure and holy, called to be God's remnant. Then one chapter, 108, is an additional exhortation by Enoch to Methuselah of the judgment of good and evil in the latter days.

Lastly, is the Book of Giants. Until the 1950s, the Book of Giants was only known as a Manichean gnostic text from the late 3rd century A.D. But the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran in the 1950's uncovered fragments of an original Book of Giants in Aramaic from the 2nd century B.C. that was the basis for the Manichean expanded alterations. [James C. VanderKam and Peter W. Flint, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their Significance for Understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity, 1st ed. (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002), 196.]

So what did the ancient Jews before Christ and the Christians after Him think of this book? Though claims have been made for the canonicity of 1 Enoch by some early Church Fathers, it was not considered to be Scripture by any of the ancient traditions. The traditional thirty-nine books that we now call the Old Testament, was referred to in the New Testament and other Second Temple Literature as "the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms":

Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Luke 24:44 NASB

There is no manuscript or historical evidence that 1 Enoch was ever a part of this traditional threefold designation. The earliest manuscripts we have of canonical writings of the Tanakh are from 400-300 B.C. from the library of Qumran. [Gleason Archer Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 41.]

Bauckham points out, "The Enoch literature and other apocryphal works at Qumran were evidently valued as literary works by the Essene community but were not included in their canon of Scripture." [Richard J. Bauckham, 2 Peter, Jude, vol. 50, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 96.]

The Hebrew Masoretic Texts (MT), that were compiled between A.D. 500 and 900 by Jewish scribes, is considered by both Christians and Jews to be one of the most authoritative set of manuscripts reflecting the ancient Jewish canon. 1 Enoch was never a part of this set. The only manuscript collection that does include 1 Enoch as canonical is the Ethiopic Canon of the Coptic Church. But this designation was solidified sometime in the 13th century A.D.

Though the canon of the Tanakh never included 1 Enoch, its Watchers/ giants storyline was quoted as spiritually authoritative in other significant "Second Temple Jewish Literature" such as the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira, the Genesis Apocryphon, Wisdom of Solomon, Philo of Alexandria, Josephus, 2 and 3 Enoch, The Life of Adam and Eve, as well as some of the Targumim.[Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch: a Commentary, 71-82.]

The Book of Jubilees, a highly regarded Jewish text, written sometime in the 2nd century B.C., draws explicitly from 1 Enoch as Scripture under the claim that Enoch had received his vision from the angels of God (Jubilees 4:17-22).

1 Enoch translator E. Isaac writes, "1 Enoch played a significant role in the early Church; it was used by the authors of the Epistle of Barnabas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and a number of apologetic works. Many Church Fathers, including Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, and Clement of Alexandria, either knew 1 Enoch or were inspired by it. Among those who were familiar with 1 Enoch, Tertullian had an exceptionally high regard for it." [E. Isaac, A New Translation and Introduction,in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1 (New York; London: Yale University Press, 1983), 8. ]

The Epistle of Barnabas, young Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian all considered 1 Enoch to be Scripture. Tertullian wrote in "Concerning The Genuineness Of 'The Prophecy Of Enoch,' I am aware that the Scripture of Enoch, which has assigned this order (of action) to angels, is not received by some, because it is not admitted into the Jewish canon either…But since Enoch in the same Scripture has preached likewise concerning the Lord, nothing at all must be rejected by us which pertains to us; and we read that 'every Scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired.'…To these considerations is added the fact that Enoch possesses a testimony in the Apostle Jude." [Tertullian, "On the Apparel of Women,"in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, trans. S. Thelwall, vol. 4 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 15. ]

Church father, Justin Martyr, quotes 1 Enoch's angelic mating with women and their revelation of occultic arts to humans as an apologetic argument explaining the true origin of gods mating with women in pagan mythologies. [Justin Martyr, "The Second Apology of Justin,"in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, vol. 1 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 190.]

Isaac concludes that starting in the 4th century, Enoch fell into disfavor in the West with the negative reviews of influential theologians like Julius Africanus, Augustine, Hilary, and Jerome. He then explains that it was the medieval mind that relegated 1 Enoch to virtual oblivion outside of Ethiopia before it was resurrected in 1773 by the discovery of Scottish explorer, James Bruce, who returned to Europe with several manuscripts of the Ethiopic Enoch. [E. Isaac, "A New Translation and Introduction,"in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 8.]

Though the book of 1 Enoch is not considered Scripture, this does not invalidate its claims to accuracy or reliable spiritual information. Orthodox Christian believers maintain that only the Old and New Testaments are the "God-breathed"or inspired Word of God (2Tim. 3: 15-16). That is, they are the sole infallible authority of God's revelation to humankind. But in our desire to affirm the absolute canonical truth value of God's Word, we too often dismiss the contingent truth value of non-canonical works.

It may surprise those who hold a high view of Scripture that some of the New Testament writers used the book of Enoch as source material. It is important to understand that the admitted use of non-canonical sources by writers of Scripture was an all too common activity of God. There are well over fifty references in the Scriptures to just over twenty non-canonical source texts used by Biblical authors that are lost to history. These are non-biblical sources that the writers of Scripture actually mention as being sources of information for their writing of Scripture.

Christians simply cannot afford to dismiss influential non-canonical texts as irrelevant or unworthy of studious respect. Especially those who p"roclaim ,Sola Scriptura," since the Scriptures themselves grant such explicit respect to their sources. Unfortunately. all of these sources are lost to history, except one: 1 Enoch. As we said earlier, 1 Enoch is quoted directly in the Epistle of Jude.

Isaacs concludes, "There is little doubt that 1 Enoch was influential in molding New Testament doctrines concerning the nature of the Messiah, the Son of Man, the messianic kingdom, demonology, the future, resurrection, final judgment, the whole eschatological theater, and symbolism. No wonder, therefore, that the book was highly regarded by many of the earliest apostolic and Church Fathers." [ E. Isaac, "A New Translation and Introduction,"in Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1, 0.]

R.H. Charles, one of the earliest experts on the Pseudepigrapha and Enoch, listed about sixty examples where the language of the New Testament reflected possible Enochian influence. He concluded, "1 Enoch has had more influence on the New Testament than has any other apocryphal or pseudepigraphic work." [Robert Henry Charles, ed., Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2004), 178.]

Charles points out that the notions of Sheol, resurrection, demonology, and future life that are barely mentioned in the Old Testament, are expanded upon in 1 Enoch in a way that corresponds to the New Testament usage of the terms. [Charles, Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 2, 182-185.]

The strongest cases for New Testament literary dependence upon Enochic texts are the Epistles of Jude, and 1 and 2 Peter. Of all three of these passages, Jude is the most explicit in that the apostle literally quotes 1 Enoch 1:9 when he writes, Jude 14-15:

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 1:14-15 NASB

Here is the original text of 1 Enoch:

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. 1 Enoch 1: 9

Jude doesn't just quote a verse from the book of 1 Enoch. He also follows the content patterns of 1 Enoch along with allusions and echoes of its phrases and language throughout his Epistle.

Jude's greeting reflects the same exact greeting as 1 Enoch in appealing to the preservation of the elect, followed by God's mercy or kindness and the multiplication of blessings.

Jude also echoes 1 Enoch in its primary apocalyptic theme of the punishment of the ungodly. Both texts are addressing the evil of their day as an unveiling or fulfillment of past prophetic proclamation. They both appeal to ancient examples of judgment as the promise of judgment upon the present ungodly.

Carroll Osburn concludes that Jude must have used Enoch 80:2-8 as the "essential framework for Jude's metaphorical construction" because Jude warns of the impending punishment of the ungodly and then follows the precise order of Enoch's description of them as: first, waterless clouds (Jude 12; 1 En. 80: 2); second, unfruitful trees (Jude 12; 1 En. 80: 3); and fourth, wandering stars (Jude 13; 1 En. 80: 6). The third metaphor of turbulent waters being found in 1 Enoch 67: 5-7. [Carroll D. Osburn, "7 Enoch 80: 2-8 (67: 5-7) and Jude 12-13,"The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 47, 1985, 297.]

Another Enochian motif that finds a strong presence in Jude is the Book of the Watchers storyline of 1 Enoch 1-36. The "wandering stars" that Jude later condemns in v.13 is a common ancient Jewish idiom in both the Tanakh and the Pseudepigrapha for divine celestial beings. In the ancient world, the stars were called the "host of heaven"and were equated with deities.

1 Enoch is a fascinating ancient manuscript with a long historical pedigree of value and respect within Judaism and Christianity. It is the only known source text explicitly attributed in Scripture that we possess with some manuscript certainty. It provides a helpful look into Second Temple Judaism and the development of Intertestamental interpretations that have influenced the New Testament Doctrines of Messiah and His kingdom, the Son of Man, demons, resurrection, final judgment, and other eschatological imagery.

Walton writes, "Every aspect of the regular operations of the world as described in the Bible reflects the perspectives and ideas of the ancient world— ideas that Israel along with everyone else in the ancient world already believed."

So the better we understand the literature of the Second Temple period the better we will understand the thinking of the Jews of that day. The evidence shows that not only does the New Testament letter of Jude quote directly from 1 Enoch 1 (Book of the Watchers), but the entire letter and its alternate version in 2 Peter show signs of literary and theological dependency on the rest of the Book of the Watchers (Chaps. 1-36), as well as chapter 80 (Book of Luminaries), chapter 46 (Book of Parables), and chapter 100 (Epistle of Enoch). 2 Peter shows evidence of structural and thematic dependency on 1 Enoch 17-22 and 108 (Additional Books).

So to answer the question, Is Enoch Scripture? My answer is, "No." But the fact is, the entire New Testament shows such a multitude of allusions and linguistic echoes of the entire corpus of 1 Enoch, that we can safely say, the book and its basic interpretations, though not Scripture, are surely worthy of study and high regard by the Christian Church.

If you are interested in further study on the Book of 1 Enoch, here are a few good resources we have used in our studies:

Book of Enoch Complete Exhaustive Edition - R.H. Charles
The Books of Enoch (With Extensive Commentary) - Joseph Lumpkin
The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 Vols) - James Charlesworth
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