Ancient Texts

books_of_enoch

We learn very little about the ancient characters who were so influential for the first 2,000 years of human history from the usual sources. The accounts of the lives of Adam, Eve, Seth, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Lamech and Noah are very brief in our Bible as it has come down to us. The mighty prophet who kept the records and led the righteous to Zion, Enoch, is mentioned only briefly in the Old Testament. Some scholars have been fascinated that although at least one Book of Enoch is referred to, and quoted in the New Testament of the Bible, no Book of Enoch survived to be included in any canons of scripture.

Indeed, we know that there was a great deal of discussion about the Book of Enoch at the time the Catholic fathers were negotiating what books should be canonized and which should not. It is candidly admitted by many of them that the Book of Enoch was readily recognized by the early Apostles of Jesus Christ as authoritative, and that ancient Jewish scholars likewise accepted the work as authentic.  So why was the book not included in the Bible, seeing that it was filled with valuable information about the first 2,000 years?

Indeed, all copies of books attributed to Enoch were lost to the modern world after the death of Christ and His apostles, and became the subject of great discussion and speculation among later scholars. All of those discussions, of course, were based on unknown works, because no one possessed a copy of the book.

It was not until the mid-Nineteenth Century that copies of the ancient Book of Enoch began to turn up in various forms. A brief discussion of those discovered texts is found below, but it is clear in the mind of most that these books and fragments are not the original Book of Enoch. However, it is possible to cross reference many of the Enochian sources to one another, Biblical sources, and historical sources to establish that there are, indeed, portions of the original record of Enoch that have survived in the greatly adulterated versions discovered in the East.

The reason for the adulteration of the original Book of Enoch is that according to scripture, Enoch is not known to have died, but to have been taken up by God, similar to the case of Elijah the Prophet and some others of record. Genesis says:

“21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”

This state of having “walked with God” because “God took him” is what has lent itself so well to many ancient scribes and societies attributing to Enoch mystical theories and formulas near and dear to their own hearts. As the actual writings of Enoch were lost to time, scholarly memory was stretched to the point of breaking and a plethora of personal beliefs and theories were attributed to his writing, and in many cases, his name was inserted into the text. Unfortunately, these are the only texts that have survived, so we are left with the unenviable task of sifting through the bizarre material added to the original to find the truth.

It is these consistent kernels of truth that constitute the foundation of J.L. Thompson’s series about the life and accomplishments of Enoch, and those of whom he wrote, and those who would rescue a remnant of humanity from the coming flood of destruction–to preserve the human race. There are many aspects of the Enochian records that would surprise the modern mind, but indeed, they are consistent with evidences that are pondered in eccentric public discourse today. Many of these are included in The Coming Flood novel series and given satisfactory resolutions based on answers contained within the ancient texts.

The Enoch chronicles predate everything else, and relate the original good vs. evil story, the original boy-hero story, the original love story, the original religion, the original culture, the original technological advancement, and the original tragedy . . . on a planetary basis. It acquaints the reader with some of the greatest humans who ever lived – Adam, Eve, Seth, Enoch, Edena, Mahalaleel, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Melchizedek, etc. These names and their lives and deeds were legendary for thousands of years. Yet, for most, they are now mere shadows of myths, sometimes mentioned only briefly in Sunday School tales with apologetic scorn.

The currently known versions of the Book of Enoch are:

book-of-enochEthiopic Book of Enoch – The most extensive version of the Book of Enoch exists in the Ge’ez language, translated and published by R. H. Charles in his critical edition of 1906.

Aramaic Book of Enoch – Eleven Aramaic-language fragments of the Book of Enoch were found in cave 4 of Qumran with the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948 and are in the care of the Israel Antiquities Authority. They were translated for and discussed by Józef Milik and Matthew Black in The Books of Enoch. Another translation has been released by Vermes and Garcia-Martinez.

Greek and Latin Book of Enoch – The 8th-century work Chronographia Universalis by the Byzantine historian George Syncellus preserved some passages of the Book of Enoch in Greek (6:1-9:4, 15:8-16:1). Other Greek fragments known are:

  • Codex Panopolitanus (Cairo Papyrus 10759), named also Codex Gizeh or Akhmim fragments, consists of fragments of two 6th-century papyri containing portions of chapters 1–32 recovered by a French archeological team at Akhmim in Egypt and published five years later, in 1892.
  • Vatican Library code Gr. 1809, f. 216v (11th century): including 89:42-49
  • Chester Beatty Papyri XII : including 97:6-107:3 (less chapter 105)
  • Oxyrhynchus Papyri 2069: including only a few letters, which made the identification uncertain, from 77:7-78:1, 78:1-3, 78:8, 85:10-86:2, 87:1-3

It has been claimed that several small additional fragments in Greek have been found at Qumran (7QEnoch: 7Q4, 7Q8, 7Q10-13), dating about 100 BC, ranging from 98:11? to 103:15[36] and written on papyrus with grid lines, but this identification is highly contested.

Of the Latin translation, only 1:9 and 106:1-18 are known. The first passage occurs in Pseudo-Cyprian and Pseudo-Vigilius; the second was discovered in 1893 by M. R. James in an 8th-century manuscript in the British Museum and published in the same year.

Joseph Smith Book of Enoch – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not consider the Book of Enoch to be part of its standard canon, though it is believed that the original Book of Enoch was an inspired book. Portions of the Book of Moses, found within the scriptural canon of the LDS Church in the Pearl of Great Price, has several similarities to the Book of Enoch, including names that have been found in some versions of the Book of Enoch, and is believed by the Church to contain a condensed and truncated record of Enoch. This translation produced by Joseph Smith predates the discovery of the others listed above by decades.

Other Ancient Records

Other books of antiquity have been discovered and presented as sources of information concerning the ancients–Adam, Eve, Enoch, Noah, Lamech, Melchizedek, etc. These include the Books of Adam and Eve, including the Combat of Adam; the Book of Noah, the Book of Lamech, the Book of Giants, etc.

All of these books contribute to the body of knowledge about the earliest humans, although they contain so much bizarre, sectarian information that they are unsuitable as reliable scriptural sources. However, sifting through the verses of these books for kernels of cross-referenced ‘fact,’ we find certain patterns that emerge, illuminating the mind to a world that was determined to be unsalvageable by God and the angels. This was a world in which Satan, with his demons and fallen Watchers, taught every manner of ungodly behavior to humanity, and meted out technologies and weaponry on a grand scale for the ultimate purpose of destroying the planet and the human family that it nurtured. Despicable behavior and destructive powers were taught so extensively that the entire population was deemed ‘lost,’ and God decided to allow their destruction through their own devices.

The “A Coming Flood” novel series chronicles the world’s descent into destructive disobedience, and how a single family was enlisted to gather those who could be salvaged together for explantation, and to carry the seeds of life through the tempest and to a new world, devoid of technologies and demonic ‘wisdom.’

Recommended reading:

The Books of Enoch: A Complete Volume Containing 1 Enoch (The Ethiopic Book of Enoch), 2 Enoch (The Slavonic Secrets of Enoch), 3 Enoch (The Hebrew Book of Enoch) by Joseph B. Lumpkin, Fifth Estate, Incorporated (August 7, 2011)

Enoch the Prophet (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley) by Hugh Nibley, Deseret Book Co (September 1986)

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