I am Ethiopian where 1 Enoch is considered canonical. Why do you feel that 1 Enoch is not authentic?

Question:

I have seen your view about the book of Enoch.first I have to tell you where I am from , I am actually from Ethiopia. the only christian country that accepted the book of Enoch as canon.please I want much evidences that can disprove its authenticity. do you have?

Answer:

I did not say that it is not authentic. 1 Enoch is “authentic” in the sense that it was written in the second century BC. Scholars do not believe that it is a later forgery, but a truly ancient document. The question is not whether it is authentic, but whether it is inspired.

What we can say for sure is that the book 1 Enoch is a pseudepigraph. In other words, it was not written by the supposed author–Enoch. We know this because Enoch lived before Noah and no one believes that the book was actually written by Enoch. This reason–that the book has a falsely claimed authorship–may be sufficient reason to reject any claim to inspiration of the book. No pseudepigraphs entered into the Bible (unless you consider 1 Enoch part of the Bible).

Again, the book is authentic, but the question is whether it is inspired. My strongest reason for rejecting 1 Enoch as part of the biblical canon is that the Jews never accepted it as part of their canon. God used the Jewish teachers and scribes to determine the Jewish canon and they did not accept 1 Enoch. There is no evidence that the Jews as a whole accepted the book as part of the Jewish Bible. The book was not even written originally in Hebrew. The Jews met at Jamnia in AD 90 and 1 Enoch was not even mentioned for possible inclusion in the Hebrew Bible. If we accept the premise that the Jews chose the Old Testament, then 1 Enoch should be rejected.

Why, then, did the church in Alexandria, and therefore eventually the Coptic church, including the Ethiopian and the Egyptian churches, accept this book? This is not clear, but we know from the evidence that the early church began to use the OT apocrypha and other books, such as 1 Enoch, as early as the second century. Why Alexandria in particular used 1 Enoch more than the churches in Antioch, Constantinople and Rome is not clear, but we can speculate that they had more interest in eschatology (the study of end times) and apocalyptic literature in general. We know that Origen was open to fairly speculative theology and that Alexandria was the center of allegorical interpretation. I believe that in the end we cannot say for sure why the Coptic church chose this book, but what we can say with good confidence is that it should not be part of the Old Testament canon.

I have read the book and find it to be interesting, but, to be honest, I find it hard to see it as being of sufficiently high quality to be part of the Bible. I suggest you read the book and compare the quality of the book to, for example, Daniel or Ezekiel, which have apocalyptic material. You should decide for yourself if it appears to have the character of an inspired book. I have and my view is that the book is interesting but does not have the qualities of an inspired book. For example, there are no messianic prophecies in the book which were later fulfilled, which one would hope for if it were in fact the last Old Testament book and if it had reliable prophecies.

I leave it in your hands to decide your conviction about whether 1 Enoch should be included in the Old Testament canon. I do not believe this is a salvation issue.

John Oakes


Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is empty
Visit the shop

driven by RightTurn