Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Book of Enoch - Is It The Word Of God?

As Christians the basis of our faith is summed up in the term 'Sola Scriptura' - "by scripture alone" meaning that we base our faith solely on the Word of God as it appears in the Holy Bible. Is the bible the entire content of God's knowledge? Hardly, at best the Bible can be called "The Beginners Guide To God". 

The concept of Sola Scriptura is nothing to be taken lightly, over the centuries thousands upon thousands of believers have been brutally tortured and murdered for the Bible. Keep in mind that the Inquisition was much much more than anti-semitism, the inquisition was meant to maintain control of holy scripture and keep it out of the hands of the layman. Scripture is God speaking to us, through the pens of scribes long past, long forgotten, all divinely inspired. That's why I take the sanctity of scripture so seriously, and why when deliberate attempts to putrify the Word of God like The Message, The Voice, and The Queen James come out, I get upset. 

When it comes to non-canonical books the waters get a bit muddy - were they divinely inspired? Should they be part of canon? if not, can they still be used by a good Christian to learn God's will? Gnostic gospels I have no problem with... I just ignore them. Any so-called Gospel that starts out with "These are the secret sayings..." (Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Judas) may not be blasphemy or heretical, but at best they're Midrash, AKA biblical fan fiction. But the Book of Enoch poses a problem, what is it? Is it the Word of God? It's referred to in the New Testament, so why isn't it in the Old Testament? What's the deal with Enoch?

Jude 1:14-15 says this:
14 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, 15 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.”
In 1956 during the excavation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a book called 1 Enoch (AKA The Book Of Enoch) was found. Keep in mind that the excavation uncovered lots of texts, most of which were not scriptural. Anyhow, 1 Enoch 1:9 says this:
And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of 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.
Anyone with eyes can see the similarity between the two quotes. Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, also  known as Tertullian, wrote that Enoch was inspired because it contains prophesies about Jesus and that it is not part of the Old Testament because it was rejected by the Jews because it contains prophesies about Jesus. I love circular arguments, but is the fact that a saint quoted a book enough to justify its inclusion in the Bible?

Setting up the canon of the bible was a long difficult task, thousands of hours of prayers were said begging the Lord for guidance on this task however this was for the New Testament, the Old Testament was easy. The Jews already had a canonical scripture, we just used that, and if the Jews ignored Enoch, who were we to question God's chosen people?

The Book of Enoch is traditionally ascribed to Enoch who was the great-grandfather of Noah, however the Book of Enoch is much newer than that, The first book in the Book of Enoch, known as the Book of the Watchers, was written around 300 BC, long after Enoch, Noah, Moses, and Israel for that matter. (By 300 BC the tribes of Benjamin and Judah had been released from Babylonian captivity and had returned to Judah and rebuilt Jerusalem.) Meanwhile the Book of Parables was written around the same time John wrote The Revelation of Jesus Christ (90 AD). The remaining books;  the Book of Luminaries, the Book of Dreams, the Epistle of Enoch) were all written around 170 BC.

The Book of Enoch  is one of the Pseudepigrapha books. The Pseudepigraphia books are falsely attributed works, or texts whose claimed authorship is actually someone else. The word pseudepigrapha comes from the Greek "pseude" meaning "false" and "epigraphe" meaning "name" or "ascription", taken together it means "false superscription or title" Having been written in a time spanning nearly 400 years it's obvious that the book of Enoch was not written by Enoch, but was ascribed to him. Why? Probably for publicity. The Book of Enoch, mostly the first part, the Book of Watchers, appears to be Midrash, a time honored Jewish tradition of taking a singular occurrence in the bible and expanding on that. I like to call it biblical fan fiction. Does that mean it's not inspired? No, but that doesn't mean that it is inspired either.

Then again, talking about "inspired" when speaking biblically we almost always mean "by the Holy Spirit" when we speak about being inspired, we tend to ignore another kind of inspired: demonically inspired. Do I believe that the Book of Enoch is demonically inspired? Yes, that is my opinion, and just an opinion so take it for what it's worth. But I only say that because I read it with the Bible in the other hand.

Satan loves to twist scripture, in his very first encounter with Eve he twisted God's word and he's been doing so ever since. The Book of Enoch looks and sounds very biblical, and much if it just may be, but here and there are twists that corrupt the whole thing. For one thing the bible has been pretty accurate when it comes to describing natural phenomenon, even describing things that wouldn't be discovered for centuries to come, such as under water mountains and valleys, the rain cycle, the shape of the earth. But look at chapter 34 of the book of Enoch:
1. And from thence I went towards the north to the ends of the earth, and there I saw a great and glorious device at the ends of the whole earth. 2. And here I saw three portals of heaven open in the heaven: through each of them proceed north winds: when they blow there is cold, hail, frost, snow, dew, and rain.
Giant doors? Really? Then there's this weird bit:
10:2. '〈Go to Noah〉 and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it.

How can this be possible if Enoch was taken to heaven 6 generations before Noah was born? God uses prophets as messengers but after they're gone He either appoints a new prophet or sends an angel, or sends Jesus (the Angel of the Lord) or does it Himself. Then there's this part:
10:8 And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azâzêl: to him ascribe all sin.
Wrong angel, Sin wasn't introduced to the world by Azâzêl but by his master, Satan. I could be wrong maybe it was Azâzêl in the Garden of Eden, but I don't believe that to be true. There's enough in the Book of Enoch that contradicts the Word of God that there is no question in my mind that 1 Enoch was written by someone who was just trying to expand on Genesis 6:2 and Genesis 6:4 and got carried away, inspired by a fallen angel.

(Really? Giant Doors on the north pole to let out the wind and people think this should have been in the Bible? Seriously???)

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