On the Book of Enoch

One of the Godcast guys, SuperLutheran, read it as an audiobook for the most recent episode. tl;dr- it has the ring of bullshit.

Here’s why I say it’s bullshit:

  1. It’s inconsequential. Say whatever else you like about the Bible, it at least matters whether the content is true or not. In the case of books which aren’t truth claims, like Song of Solomon, it matters whether they have God’s stamp of approval or not, because if you take the Song of Solomon out of the Bible then we’d have to accept that the Puritans had the right idea about romance. The Book of Enoch is 90% esoteric trivia written in the style of Dante’s Inferno.
  2. It’s try-hard. The prophetic books of the Bible are written with a mix of disappointment and anger, this one is written with the tone of a schoolmarm or priest reminding you that “all secrets revealed herein are fair game on the exam.”
  3. There are obvious authenticity issues. For example, there are many references to Hellfire which does not appear elsewhere in the Old Testament. The people in those days seem to have had a different conception of the underworld that what Jesus referred to after the intertestamental period, and supposedly Enoch would be the oldest book in the Old Testament. There’s also a clean distinction between body and spirit that you don’t really see until Paul’s letters, which is probably Greek influence. (This may be why all of the warnings from God in the Old Testament are worldly afflictions like plagues, invasions, and enslavement. You don’t see any warnings about how decisions will go poorly for the Israelites in the next life.)
  4. It’s intuitive, comforting, and not edifying. This is the most telltale sign for someone with a lot of experience reading the Bible but can’t be communicated to people who don’t have that experience, because it’s a feeling of low-key alien-ness and mortality salience you get used to during reading sessions. This dread is comparable to the feeling of waking from a pleasant dream and realizing you have to get to work. In contrast, greater familiarity with the Book of Enoch would produce a feeling like talking about high IQs on the internet.

In short, it reads like the sort of thing conspiracy theorists latch onto because it’s useless trivia, like theoretical explosive devices in the twin towers or holograms of planes, which are comforting distractions from questions like cui bono. Anytime someone brings up Larry Silverstein, the conspiracy theorist filibusters about micro-nukes until his interlocutor gets bored, concludes “no one really knows anything about anything” and then goes on with his life with the smug satisfaction of a first-class spectator. Basically, if the Book of Enoch wasn’t written by the actual, historical Gnostics I think it was written by the sort of person who gets really into Tarot cards and astrology.

I don’t know what the Godcast’s take on it will be yet, I wanted to get these thoughts down before hearing their angle on it.

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11 Responses to On the Book of Enoch

  1. Mycroft Jones says:

    Good take. I also rejected Enoch based on “feel” first, before looking deeper into it. Jashar and Jubilees are even worse than Enoch for this. When I got to the astronomical parts of Enoch, it reminded me of my textbook on ancient astronomy; sounded like it was ripped straight off of some Egyptian hieroglyphic wall. And the 364 day year, my God, the contortions people have gone to trying to justify it as the “real” length of the year. The Bible has a 360 day year, up until 700 BC, then there is the modern 365.25 day year. There never was a 364 day year.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      > When I got to the astronomical parts of Enoch, it reminded me of my textbook on ancient astronomy; sounded like it was ripped straight off of some Egyptian hieroglyphic wall.

      It probably was, unironically. The Godcast guys had basically the same take as me, that this was influential Gnostic literature from about the same period as when the apostles and early church fathers were writing, and those Gnostics would have been as into Egyptian occultism as occultists are today.

    • yeedal says:

      As regards Jasher, here is 2 Samuel 1….

      14So David asked him, “Why were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” 15Then David summoned one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him!” So the young man struck him down, and he died. 16For David had said to the Amalekite, “Your blood be on your own head because your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I killed the LORD’s anointed.’ ”

      17Then David took up this lament for Saul and his son Jonathan, 18and he ordered that the sons of Judah be taught the Song of the Bow. It is written in the Book of Jashar.’

      Does 2 Samuel get thrown out too?

  2. bicebicebice says:

    two weeks ago I saw two demons in a relatives kitchen, then I started taking ashwaganda and now I have to shave my hands (the normal reaction would be to stop it but I upped the dose so much so ive now got hair growing under my forearms to the point its getting difficult to see my veins-because it thought it was funny). today I saved the life of a baby snake from being trampled, from having no opinion on snakes I then and there wanted to get like 50 of them (why go to a pet store when animals are literally FREE in the wild?!?)

    … so you see, book of enoch is sort of like devilworshippinger not Recognizing God. “-yeah man I hate the bible OH SHIT IS THAT ENOCH MY NIGGHA ” etc et

    “When I got to the astronomical parts of Enoch, it reminded me of my textbook on ancient astronomy; sounded like it was ripped straight off of some Egyptian hieroglyphic wall.” koanic was right, we are going to space to meet the sasquatchmen, as confirmed by the nazi-brittish royals.

  3. Flogarr says:

    Is this Christian nationalism?

  4. yeedal says:

    You may find this useful:

    https://www.nairaland.com/1080843/book-enoch-jesus-quoted-it

    ‘In case you are wondering where Jesus quote enoch?

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Mat 5:5) The elect shall possess light, joy and peace, and they shall inherit the earth. (Enoch 5:7 {6:9})

    the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the son (John 5:22). the principal part of the judgment was assigned to him, the Son of man. (Enoch 69:27 {68:39})

    shall inherit everlasting life (Mat. 19:29) those who will inherit eternal life (Enoch 40:9 {40:9})

    “Wo unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. (Luke 6:24) Woe to you who are rich, for in your riches have you trusted; but from your riches you shall be removed. (Enoch 94:8 {93:7}).

    Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Mat. 19:28) I will place each of them on a throne of glory (Enoch 108:12 {105:26})

    Woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born. (Mat. 26:24) Where will the habitation of sinners be . . . who have rejected the Lord of spirits. It would have been better for them, had they never been born. (Enoch 38:2 {38:2})

    between us and you there is a great gulf fixed. (Luke 16:26) by a chasm . . . [are] their souls are separated (Enoch 22: 9,11{22:10,12})

    In my Father’s house are many mansions (John 14:2) In that day shall the Elect One sit upon a throne of glory, and shall choose their conditions and countless habitations. (Enoch 45:3 {45:3})

    that ye may be called the children of light (John 12:36) the good from the generation of light (Enoch 108:11 {105: 25})

    the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14) all the thirsty drank, and were filled with wisdom, having their habitation with the righteous, the elect, and the holy. (Enoch 48:1 {48:1})

    The one direct quote in the New Testament is by Jude, a brother of Jesus Christ:

    Jude 1:14-15, quoting Enoch 1:9 {2:1} [1]

    “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
    “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.”

    While that is the only referenced quotation in the Bible, there are many indirect references which involve striking similarities.

    But beware, there are some that believe that the book is false, i leave it for you to decide.’

    Reject Enoch, you have to reject Jude, then you’re on the slippery slope.

    This guy cross-referenced Enoch to all of the other books of scriptures, a very interesting study:

    https://bookofenochreferences.wordpress.com/category/the-book-of-enoch-with-biblical-references-chapters-1-to-9/chapter-1/

  5. Neandercel says:

    Lately I’ve gotten into reading the original Douay-Rheims (not Bishop Challoner’s revision thereof). It’s an extremely literal translation of the Vulgate.

    The commentary is excellent.

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