The book of Enoch is one of many books which make up what is called the “Apocrypha.” This word means, “written works of unknown authorship, or of doubtful origin.” For this reason the Jews refused to include them in the Old Testament Canon of Scripture and “most” Christian translations of the Bible also exclude them, though they are put in-between the Old and New Testaments in the Roman Catholic translation (the “Douay” version). There are some Christian sects that accept the books of Enoch (there are actually several books that were thought to have been written by Enoch) as “having some historical or theological interest,” but they believe they are uninspired and have no place in the Canon of Scripture.

We do well to ask, “Why did the translators of the Douay Version include them in their Bible?” In other words, “What made them think that they deserved to be accepted as Divinely-inspired and to be put right alongside the commonly-accepted books that make up the Canon of Scripture?” One of the reasons for their thinking is because it is believed that Jude (the inspired writer who wrote the book bearing his name) quotes from the Book of Enoch in Jude 14-15. Those verses read, “It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (NASB). These words are very similar (though not exactly the same) to the words found in Enoch 1:9, so the thinking is that the Book of Enoch MUST BE INSPIRED or Jude would never have validated Enoch’s book by quoting from it. Here’s how I would respond to that “logic”:

1) Just because Enoch “prophesied” of this coming judgment does NOT mean he was inspired to write a book. Perhaps some are thinking, “How could Jude quote Enoch’s words if there wasn’t a book with those words in it?” There is no problem here whatsoever, for let’s remember that Jude was “inspired of God” (see 2nd Timothy 3:16 and 2nd Peter 1:21) and thus he could very well have received this information directly from God. Or perhaps Enoch’s prophecy was passed down through oral tradition.

2) Even if Enoch did write a book bearing his name, that is no proof that it was inspired of God. The Apostle Paul quoted from uninspired books on occasion. One example is found in Titus 1:12, “One of them, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (NKJV). He is referring here to Epimenides, a poet who lived around 600 B. C. What he wrote was TRUE (for Paul goes on to say, “This testimony is true”…verse 13), but it was also UNSPIRED. Jude could have followed Paul’s example by quoting a TRUE STATEMENT from an uninspired writer.  (345.5)  (DO)