The Canon of Scripture, Part 5: The Other Books of Enoch

It’s been a while since I’ve last published a Canon of Scripture article.  For those who haven’t read them, here are the 4 previous ones:

The Apocrypha

Enoch and Jubilees


The Other Books of Baruch

OK, so now that we’re up to date, let’s look at 3 more books not included in out Protestant Bibles:

  • Book of Giants
  • Secrets of Enoch (or 2 Enoch or Slavonic Enoch)
  • 3 Enoch (or Hebrew Book of Enoch)

Remember: the numbers were applied by MODERN scholars to distinguish the texts, and they should all be examined completely independently.  Let us do so.

Book of Giants

This text was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) – 10 manuscripts were found – and claims to be written by Enoch himself.  Like the Book of Enoch, this text expands upon the fallen angels and Nephilim giants prior to the Flood.  The fragments that survive particularly focus on the giants themselves (although some fragments remain to indicate that there was also some focus on the fallen angels), and notably claim that the famous Gilgamesh was none other than a pre-Flood giant.

Could this be a long-lost section of Enoch?  That’s what many believe.  Some point out that whereas Enoch focuses on the fallen angels, Giants focuses on the Nephilim.  However, it is to be remembered that only fragments of Giants have come down to us, and that some fragments seem to indicate that some parts of the original text focused on the fallen angels in a similar manner to Enoch.

So, is it part of Enoch?  I’m honestly not sure.  The text DOES, however, appear to definitely be VERY historically accurate.  The text claims that in addition to mating with human women, the 200 fallen angels mated with many species of animals, thus producing innumerable hybrids.  This would explain the origins and legends of Bigfoot, fauns, centaurs, and other obviously hybrid creatures – they’re real (too much evidence for them), and are Nephilim.

So, is this document Scripture?  I’m confessed that I’m rather reluctant to decide one way or the other (could someone please set me straight?), although whoever wrote it knew what they were writing about.

Secrets of Enoch

Otherwise known as 2 Enoch (to distinguish it from the Biblical Book of Enoch, which modern scholars dub 1 Enoch) or Slavonic Enoch (after the language it’s primarily preserved in – although it’s believed to have been written in Hebrew or Greek), the Secrets of Enoch also claims Enoch as an author.  It is styled after 1 Enoch, describing a series of visions, and punishments for the fallen angels.

2 Enoch is possibly quoted in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and some of the early church fathers – although that is disputed (the quotes don’t quite match, apparently).  One of the main problems with Secrets of Enoch is the calendar.  I detailed the true Biblical calendar – the one prescribed in the books of Enoch and Jubilees (and which does not contradict the traditional Biblical books) – in Yom Teruah – The Feast of Trumpets.  The Biblical calendar is a solar one.  Today’s solar calendar is 365 1/4 days long.  However, Enoch and Jubilees make it abundantly clear that the solar year was originally 364 days long – with the extra day and a quarter coming sometime after Moses.  However, 2 Enoch‘s author clearly forgot that, as he claims that the solar year is 365 1/4 days:

Those people again led me away to the west, and showed me six immense open gates corresponding to the eastern gates, opposite to where the sun sets, for 365 1/4 days.  Again it goes down to the western gates, taking away its light, its great brightness, under the earth. …

Those people showed me the other course, that of the moon.  They showed me twelve great gates, crowned from west to east, by which the moon goes in and out at the routine times.  The moon goes in at the first gate to the western places of the sun, by the first gates with 31 days exactly, by the second gates with 31 days exactly, by the third with thirty days exactly, by the fourth with 30 days exactly, by the fifth with 31 days exactly, by the sixth with 31 days exactly, by the seventh with 30 days exactly, by the eighth with 31 days perfectly, by the ninth with 31 days exactly, by the tenth with 30 days perfectly, by the eleventh with 31 days exactly, by the twelfth with 28 days exactly.

It goes through the western gates in the order and number of the eastern, and accomplishes the 365 1/4 days of the solar year, while the lunar year has 354, and there are twelve days of the solar circle lacking, which are the lunar days necessary to bring the solar calendar into harmony with the lunar calendar of the whole year.  (Secrets of Enoch 14, 16, Nyland’s translation)

The length of the solar year in 2 Enoch may be the current one – but it simply wasn’t the one during Enoch’s life (or even Moses’), so it is highly unlikely that Enoch wrote this.  I view this as strong evidence that it was written later pseudepigraphically.  Also, the lengths of the months don’t match those in Enoch 72.

Those who accept Enoch but don’t accept the solar calendar (who accept the lunar calendar of tradition) have no problem with this.  They view 1 Enoch‘s calendar as having been completely corrupted (although there is no evidence for this), and simply view 2 Enoch‘s calendar is the same.  Again, no evidence.

Secrets of Enoch‘s descriptions of the 10 heavens (I’m pretty sure there’s only THREE (3) in Scripture) is also a bit weird.  Aside from the number of heavens, it tries to portray hell as being in the 2nd & 3rd heavens (similar to 3 Baruch) – not quite theologically accurate (especially as 1 Enoch specifically describes both hell and paradise as being in the centre of the earth – not in heavens).

It sounds a little fishy to me.

3 Enoch

Otherwise known as the Hebrew Book of Enoch due to the language it is preserved in.  This book is almost completely unrelated to the Book of Enoch and Secrets of Enoch.  This book doesn’t even claim to be written by Enoch – or claim to be Scripture.  It claims to have been written by Rabbi Ishmael (90-135 AD) in the 2nd century AD – a little too late to have been inspired.  However, R. Ishmael likely never even wrote it.  It’s believed to be pseudepigraphical, and possibly written in the 5th century [1].

The text purports to contain a Kabbalistic vision (note to those unaware: the Kabbalah is Jewish mysticism, and is basically the Jewish equivalent of Gnosticism) in which Ishmael ascends into the heavens – and is shown that Enoch has been transformed into the angel Metatron, who is one of the most powerful angels, and is the “angel of the Lord” mentioned in the Tanakh (“Old Testament”).

I think it is fairly obvious by now that 3 Enoch is utter rubbish – especially when it claims that Yah and Yehovah are Metatron’s names (3 Enoch 48).

In conclusion

I’m uncertain about the Book of Giants (but refuse to rule it out), but 2 and 3 Enoch are definitely not Scripture.

A translation of the Book of Giants:

R.H. Charles’ translation of the Secrets of Enoch:

Hugo Odeberg’s translation of 3 Enoch:

17 thoughts on “The Canon of Scripture, Part 5: The Other Books of Enoch

    1. I didn’t hear about it until I read Steve Quayle’s excellent book “True Legends: Tales of Giants and the Plumed Serpents”. He reproduced both the Book of Enoch and the Book of Giants at the end. I then started looking it up.

      Liked by 2 people

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