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The Book of Enoch
Question from theophilus on 3/9/2005:

Dr. Geraghty,

The Book of Enoch plays a large role in late Judaism and early Christianity. It is explicitly quoted by the canonical Epistle of St. Jude in verses 14, 15. There are many other likely quotations in the other books of the New Testament and the Greek Old Testament.

Tertullian, Origen, Saint Clement of Alexandria, Saint Augustine and others quote Enoch as authoritative. Both the Ethiopian Catholic Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church include Enoch in the canon of Scripture and the Roman Church does not consider the issue to be of any hindrance to unity.

Some of the most important Christian truths are developed by this book. When Jesus calls himself the "Son of Man" the Jews knew exactly what He meant because they had read the Book of Enoch:

#1 The "Son of Man" existed before the sun and stars and is the instrument of Creation. #2 The "Son of Man" is the "Image and Likeness" of God that humans are created in. #3 The "Son of Man" judges ALL sinners and will render to everyone according to their deeds. #4 The reign of the "Son of Man" / "Messiah" will be everlasting. #5 There will be a resurrection of the just on the last day.

The Jews considered the "Son of Man" as some kind of "Super Angel" and Jesus explicitly says that this figure from the Book of Enoch is Himself. It helps set the literal and historic context of the New Testament

Theophilus

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 3/13/2005:

Dear Theophilus,

I checked the Catholic Encyclopedia, which confirms your information. Though parts of the Book of Enoch were used by the early Fathers of the Church, it was not made part of the Canon by the Western Church. For a long while the book disappeared from Western Consciousness but was rediscovered in the nineteenth century. I would conclude that this Book of Enoch has to read with caution unless one is a scholar who knows this faith. As far as I can tell (which is not saying much since I am no scholar in this field) Catholic exegetes have not paid much attention to it.

Dr. Geraghty

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