Saturday, February 18, 2006

Jude and Enoch

Being of a Pentecostal background, I don’t put a lot of weight in apocryphal and pseudepigraphal writings (popularly called the “lost books” of the Bible), but I picked up a cheap copy of I Enoch a while back because I had heard that Jude references it in his epistle. Well, I finally got around to looking at it, and Jude did more than reference it. He quoted it directly:

Jude verses 14-15 (the book has only one chapter):
[14]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.”
I Enoch 1:9

[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.
Modern scholars believe that I Enoch was written somewhere between one and two hundred years before the New Testament. Actually, many of early Christians thought it was written a lot earlier than that. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origin, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Augustine all believed Enoch was the author. Tertullian, reflecting a popular view, argued it should be included in scripture – indeed, the Coptics of Ethiopia agreed with that position and made it a part of their official canon. But The Council of Laodicea (364 AD) banned it, and about 40 other books. I may be wrong, but I believe it was banned because of doubts over its authorship. The book quickly disappeared and was lost to the West until British explorers travelled to Ethiopia and discovered it preserved by the Copts.

It is called the “First” Enoch to distinguish it from a couple of other texts that have been attributed to Enoch.

I just thought this was interesting, so I’m sharing.

1 comment:

Palladin said...

I made a hard copy off the Internet after Enoch was referenced in the comicbook Fallen Angel. Speed read over the entire thing, it was long, and found it interesting extra Biblical content. Like all non-canocal (is that spelled right?) you have to read and take it with a bit of distance.

Hey David. My move is going well, hope yours is.