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Is the book of Enoch sacred writing?

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The book of Enoch isn't sacred. That is to say, it isn't a part of inspired Scripture. Rather, it is part of a group of books known as “pseudepigrapha,” which means “false writings.”

According to Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, the Pseudepigrapha are “a collection of Jewish books containing various forms of literature, using names of famous people in Israel's history for the titles of the books. The real authors are unknown. Such names as Ezra, Baruch, Enoch, Solomon, Moses, and Adam are used to add authority to the writing” (1986, article “Pseudepigrapha”). In addition to using a pseudonym, the first chapter of the book of Enoch also makes use of a famous statement made by the real Enoch who lived millennia before the oldest known copies of the book of Enoch came into existence.

A similar (albeit not exact) quotation of Enoch exists in the New Testament book of Jude in verses 14-15. We have no doubt that the real Enoch of Genesis 5 spoke these words and that they had been passed on by tradition from his time. However, the commonality of Jude 14-15 with 1 Enoch 1:9 does not make the rest of the pseudepigraphical book of Enoch “God-inspired” any more than Paul's brief quotations of Aratus (Acts 17:28 Acts 17:28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
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) and Epimenides (Titus 1:12 Titus 1:12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
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) would sanctify the entirety of those authors' words.

When holding the book of Enoch up to the “Scripture cannot be broken” test (John 10:35 John 10:35If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
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b), we find that a major theme in 1 Enoch of sinful angels taking human wives (e.g., 1 Enoch 6:2, 7:1, 12:4, 106:14, etc.) is in direct contradiction to the words of the Word, Jesus Christ, who created “all things…visible and invisible” and knows how they function (Colossians 1:16 Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
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; compare Hebrews 4:13 Hebrews 4:13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
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). In Matthew 22:29-30 Matthew 22:29-30 29 Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
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, Jesus said, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God…they neither marry nor are given in marriage…like the angels…” (see also Mark 12:24-25 Mark 12:24-25 24 And Jesus answering said to them, Do you not therefore err, because you know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
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, Luke 20:34-36 Luke 20:34-36 34 And Jesus answering said to them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
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). This rebuttal of a major theme of 1 Enoch by the Creator Himself indicates that the Word that was and is God clearly did not consider those stories in the book of Enoch to be truthful, God-inspired “Scriptures.” It also moves those Enochic stories into the realm of “…empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8 Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
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, NRSV). The unhealthy fascination with and exaltation of angels throughout the book also stands in contrast to the message of Colossians 2:18-19 Colossians 2:18-19 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God.
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, Revelation 19:10 Revelation 19:10And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
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, etc. The stories of Enoch's ascent into heaven (1 Enoch 71:1,5) contradicts Jesus Christ's words in John 3:13 John 3:13And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
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, and the tales of an actively conscious afterlife of Enoch and others prior to the resurrection (e.g., 1 Enoch 70:3-4; 65:2-5; 22:7-13, etc.) are in conflict with Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
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,10, Job 14:14 Job 14:14If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
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, Hebrews 11:13 Hebrews 11:13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
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,39-40, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
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, etc.

A simple example of an Enochic fallacy that very few would sincerely assert as an indisputable, God-inspired fact is the descriptions of Noah as a newborn baby in which “his form and appearance are not like the form of human beings…and his eyes are like the rays of the sun…[which] made the whole house bright. And he stood up from the hands of the midwife and he opened his mouth and praised the Lord of eternity” (1 Enoch 106:10-11,18;107:3).

 In summary, when it comes to falsely-attributed writings like the pseudepigraphic book of Enoch, do not “be easily shaken…by any kind of spirit or message or letter allegedly from us” (2 Thessalonians 2:2 2 Thessalonians 2:2That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
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, NET; compare Galatians 1:8 Galatians 1:8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
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). Also, “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them” (Hebrews 13:9 Hebrews 13:9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
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).

For more information, please read our booklet Is the Bible True?

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