Is the book of Enoch the word of God?
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, regards parts or all of 1 Enoch to be inspired scripture.
Have you read Enoch? What about its content interests you?
@T55555 No, Enoch is not historically included as part of the Scriptures.
There are a few possibilities for why Jude included a quote from Enoch:
- Jude was citing something from Enoch that actually happened, but that does not mean Enoch itself is inspired because the Church never recognized Enoch as inspired
- Jude was using the book of Enoch as a sermon illustration for his intended audience, much like a modern day pastor might use a story from Narnia, the Lord of the Rings or another culturally relevant story that people can relate to…
- Jude was actually citing something other than Enoch
At times, Paul also quoted pagan poets in order to relate to his audience. Below are a few examples along with the original texts from which the quotes were taken.
Titus 1:12 - One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”
Epimenides (600 BC)
They fashioned a tomb for thee, O holy and high one — the Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies! ---- But thou art not dead; thou livest and abidest for ever, for in thee we live and move and have our being.
Acts 17:28 - For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Phaenomena, Aratus (315-240 BC) - Let us begin with Zeus. Never, o men, let us leave him unmentioned. All the ways are full of zeus, and all the market places of human beings. The sea is full of him; so are the harbors. In every way we have all to do with zeus, for we are truly his offspring .
The fact that Paul used the source material does not mean that the original work was inspired or accurate. Certainly we do not believe that all the ways are full of zeus…
However, being aware of these works does help us to better understand the cultural context of the Bible and so it can be helpful for us in that sense. The Biblical authors practiced being a ‘Greek to the Greeks’ and a ‘Jew to the Jews’ - part of that was using illustrations that would help them to relate to their audience.
This is a development of—not a departure from—the metaphorical world of Ezekiel 37. Exile continues, and in the early second century it took the form of brutal oppression by Syrian paganism. The hope then was that Israel’s God would restore his people, and that those who died in the struggle, loyal to him and his Torah, would be raised from the dead to share in the eventual restoration. Thus also, after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD had intensified the sense of exile almost unbearably, we find 4 Ezra 7 articulating a similar hope. The same is true, whenever we date them, of 1 Enoch and 2 Baruch. Underlying all of these stories, of course, is the unshakable Jewish belief in the justice of the one true God.
Is it possible that there is a bigger question here than whether the book of Enoch is God’s word?
Can we ask did anyone in the first century read and trust Enoch or any other of the Jewish writing? I think the answer is yes. Peter and Jude both knew the material and it influenced what they wrote.
This from a book by Michael Heiser that I believe goes a long way towards making the point.
This sort of thing is common in human experience. For example, anyone who has read John Calvin’s thoughts on predestination, or a dispensationalist’s take on prophecy, will find it next to impossible to eliminate that material from their thinking while reading, respectively, the book of Romans or Revelation. First Enoch and other works are part of the thinking of Peter and Jude because they were well known and taken seriously by contemporaries. The content of 1 Enoch shows up elsewhere in these epistles. It is obvious to those who study all these texts, especially in Greek, that Peter and Jude knew 1 Enoch very well. Scholars have devoted considerable attention to parallels between that book and the epistles of Peter and Jude. See George W. E. Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch: A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch 1–36, 81–108 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), 83–87, 560; Pieter G. R. de Villiers, ed., Studies in 1 Enoch and the New Testament (= Neotestamentica 17; Stellenbosch: University of Stellenbosch Press, 1983); and Richard J. Bauckham, 2 Peter, Jude (Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 50; Dallas: Word, 1998), 139–40. Heiser, M. S. (2015). The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (First Edition). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
If you have every read any Epictetus or Seneca, you will see the same thing. You will find yourself asking about Epictetus and Paul who read who?
This quote from Seneca will make you rethink the parable of the sower.
The gods are not disdainful or envious; they open the door to you; they lend a hand as you climb. Do you marvel that man goes to the gods? God comes to men; nay, he comes nearer,—he comes into men. No mind that has not God, is good. Divine seeds (semina divina) are scattered throughout our mortal bodies; if a good husbandman receives them, they spring up in the likeness of their source and of a parity with those from which they came. If, however, the husbandman be bad, like a barren or marshy soil, he kills the seeds, and causes tares to grow up instead of wheat. Wright, N. T. (2013). Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Vol. 4, pp. 221–222). Minneapolis: Fortress Press.