WHY IS ‘THE BOOK OF ENOCH’
NOT IN OUR BIBLE
A historical council in A.D. 90, in Jamnia, fixed the canon of the Old Testament for the Jews. This followed the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The fall of Jerusalem had caused many Jews to repudiate much apocalyptic literature and return to the Law as the only source of guidance.
Quotations of "Enoch" in the "Testaments of the Patriarchs", and in the "Book of Jubilees" show that the "Book of Enoch" was considered as "inspired" in 200 B.C. Although Jude and Barnabus quote it in the first century as inspired, the Jews rejected it as part of their canon of scripture.
The early church oft quoted and referred to the "Book of Enoch."
Jude vv. 14-15
Barnabus 4:3, 16:15
Anatolus of Laodicea
all referred to the "Book of Enoch" as inspired.
Nearly all the writers of the New Testament show that they are familiar with"Enoch" and were favorably influenced with it.
Yet around the 4th century, after having been accepted for a few hundreds of years, the Catholic church removed"Enoch" and added some "apocryphal" books to the canon of Scripture for their church.
It was due to the efforts of Jerome and Augustine that the "Book of Enoch" was rejected. They objected to it because of the story of angels being promiscuous with earthly women, and thus producing a race of giants. To encourage the elimination of "Enoch", Jerome caused a vote to be taken to decide between the "Book of Enoch" and the "Book of Revelation." (This is like choosing between "Matthew" and "Luke.")
Thus, the "Book of Enoch" was omitted entirely. It gradually passed out of circulation, and later when the Protestant "reform" came, the book had been lost except in a few isolated areas.
In 1534, Martin Luther's translations of the Bible into German rejected the"apocryphal"books partially. (He collected them at the end of the Old Testament so people could study them.) But the "Book of Enoch" was not available to him to insert again.
In 1768, James Bruce located copies of the "Book of Enoch" in Ethiopia, and brought them home to England. Fifty years later, Richard Laurence made the first modern translation. Later R.H. Charles made another translation using some Greek excerpts, and more Ethiopian texts.
Then recently, Michael A. Knibb using many texts and partial texts tried to put together an adequate translation. All of these translations are rough, obscure, and confusing.
Using all of these works, with an internal study of the "Book of Enoch," I have made a paraphrase and commentary on the book. The "Book of Enoch" has much to say to the Christian world. A revival of interest in the book prepared many for the first coming of the Lord Jesus; and likely a revival of interest in this book will aid the revival in these last days before the second coming of our Lord. With the recent release of seventeen partial copies of the "Book of Enoch" from those studying the Dead Sea Scrolls, fresh interest in the "Book of Enoch" is stirring the religious community.