As a result of our previous article on the heresy of the Enoch calendar, we have received many responses.Â These responses all tried different approaches.Â They either tried to justify the solar calendar or the validity of the book of Enoch. We decided to answer all these responses in one document, as most of these responses overlap in content. We have grouped the comments by some key topics. Rather than responding to each comment raised, we will discuss each of the main topics.
Objection to the canonicity of Enoch
Under this topic we have received two lines of approach.Â The first is that Yâ€™Shua frequently quoted the book of Enoch.Â The second states that it was the Jewish Rabbis that decided that the Book of Enoch should be kept out of the canon of Scripture.
Yâ€™Shua and His followers did not quote the Book of Enoch
Many people have sent me lists of verses that shows similarity between the words used by Yâ€™Shua, Jude and John.Â Most people base their findings on a video that tries to defend the Enoch approach.Â The only one of these that is really a verse for verse comparison, is the verse in Jude that we discussed in the first article.Â As I have stated earlier, this in itself does not make the book canonical.Â Please refer to the previous article for the explanation.
The other references provided, all contain either phrases or ideas that are similar. We have not found any reference or quote that conclusively proof the point. Many points refer to things in Enoch, that also appear in the rest of the canonical Scripture. For the sake of brevity we will not list all the points raised, but here are some examples:
|Subject or Phrase||Reference in Apostolic Scripture||Reference in Enoch||Reference in Tanakh|
|Tree of life||Rev 2:7||Enoch 25.4-6||Genesis 2:9 + 4 times in the book of Proverbs|
|Clothed in white raiment||Rev 3:5||Enoch 40.31||Eccl 9:8|
|About the throne were four living creatures||Rev 4:6||Enoch 40.1-2||Ezekiel 1:5â€“12|
|in his name they are saved||Rom 10:13||Enoch 48.7||Joel 2:32|
|All judgment assigned to the Son||Mat 19:29||Enoch 40.9||Daniel 12:2|
It is more likely that the authors in the Apostolic Scriptures were referring to the text in the Tanakh.
The follow-up argument on this topic always leads to the discussion about when the author wrote the Book of Enoch.Â Let us look at an example of one of the arguments we received.Â Y’Shua taught the following words:
5 â€œBlessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
The supporters of Enoch claim that Yâ€™Shua used this verse based on the following verse for Enoch:
But for the elect there shall be light and joy and peace,
And they shall inherit the earth.1
This verse is also included in Psalm 37.
9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for YHVH, they will inherit the land.
The Enoch defenders now justify this claim by stating that the Book of Enoch was written before the book of Psalms. Of course, they provide no proof for this claim. This is also contra to what the experts on the subject are telling us.Â Here is a comment by an academic on the date of this part of the Book of Enoch:
Later, we will also see that the content of the book proves this late dating of the book of Enoch.
Some of the phrases they use in their claim that the Book of Enoch should be treated as canonical, also stretches the correlations a bit.Â In some cases, these claimed correlation are based on a shared phrase that is not even used in the same context.Â Let me give you some examples of these.
Compare the following:
24 â€œBut woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.
Woe to you, ye rich, for ye have trusted in your riches,
And from your riches shall ye depart,
Because ye have not remembered the Most High in the days of your riches. 1
Is it a valid claim that Yâ€™Shua is referencing the book of Enoch?Â “Woe to” is a common expression in the Tanakh. It occurs 52 times in the Tanakh. In the book of Isaiah alone, it occurs 19 times. In the Gospel of Matthew the term is also used 10 times. This proofs that this method of teaching had continued from the prophets to Y’Shua. Many verses in the Tanakh address the topic of rich people.
11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding sees through him.
12 The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.
23 Thus says YHVH, â€œLet not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
At the same time, in Luke 6, we find Yâ€™Shua giving 4 â€œWoe toâ€ statements.Â In chapter 94 of Enoch we find 3 different â€œWoe toâ€ statements, but only one shared topic between the two.Â Even this one has a different outcome â€“ received comfort in full vs. riches departing them.Â No matter how you look at this, it is stretching it to say there is any reference to Enoch here.Â The only conclusion we are able to make from this is that the â€œWoe toâ€ technique was a common technique of teaching.
Let us look at one more example.
28 And Yâ€™Shua said to them, â€œTruly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
12 And I will bring forth in shining light those who have loved My holy name, and I will seat each on the throne of his honour. 13 And they shall be resplendent for times without number; for righteousness is the judgement of God; for to the faithful He will give faithfulness in the habitation of upright paths. 1Â
The concept of â€œthe righteous sitting on thronesâ€ is the common concept here.Â But what happens to the righteous on the thrones are not related.Â In the Gospel of Matthew, Yâ€™Shua states that they (His disciples) will sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.Â In the Book of Enoch there is no mention of people judging people. All it states is that YHVHâ€™s judgment is righteous. We find other verses in the Tanakh that also reference thrones. These two verses have as much in common with Matthew 19:28 as the verse in Enoch does.
5 For there thrones were set for judgment, The thrones of the house of David.
15 â€œFor, behold, I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north,â€ declares YHVH; â€œand they will come and they will set each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls round about and against all the cities of Judah.
These examples provide you with some of the arguments that the Enoch supporters put forward.Â From my research you can also see that these claims are not conclusive in any way.Â Most of them are pure speculation. Others are obviously plain wrong because they ignore the context of the phrase or verse.
The date of the writing of Enoch
The defenders of the Book of Enoch also claims that this book pre-dates a lot of the books in the Tanakh.Â I have already given an academic opinion on the dating of the book.Â Why do the academics make this claim of the late composition of the Book of Enoch?Â The answer lies in the content of the book.Â The Book of Enoch makes reference to things that happen at a later point in history.Â Thus, it makes reference to incidents after the date that the pro-Enoch people claim is the time in which Enoch was written.
One of the arguments that the Enoch supporters put forward, helped us to see this point. The Enoch supporter gave this verse as another example of the Yâ€™Shua referencing the Book of Enoch.
36 â€œWhile you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.â€ These things Yâ€™Shua spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them.
And now I will summon the spirits of the good who belong to the generation of light, and I will transform those who were born in darkness, who in the flesh were not recompensed with such honour as their faithfulness deserved. 1
Once again, the use of the phrases â€œgeneration of lightâ€ should now be the reference for â€œsons of Light.â€ In the previous part of the article you have seen enough examples to be able to question this claimed connection.Â What is more interesting is what this verse from Enoch can tell us about the book of Enoch.Â It has an interesting philosophical concept in this verse (metaphysical).Â It is the concept of light versus dark. This is dualism.Â It is one of the concepts that entered the Western mindset through the Greek philosophers like Plato.Â This idea of dualism, in the sense of good versus evil, is not in the Tanakh.Â The only potential reference here is in Isaiah.
7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am YHVH who does all these.
It is clear that this verse is not talking about two opposing forces, but states that YHVH is in charge of all things. In the Jewish literature we also see that they see this as a second temple era concept. In the Jewish Virtual Library we find the following entry:
it is evident that dualistic tendencies asserted themselves in the Second Temple period and in the first centuries of the common era. These were of a neo-platonic, later also of a gnostic, character. In a general way it can be said that apart from the “heretical” dualistic doctrines of some gnostic sectarians (see *Minim), Judaism could accommodate a “mitigated dualism,” i.e., doctrines and attitudes which express metaphysical or moral contrasts in a dualistic manner, but without attributing to them an ultimate character or calling in question the sovereignty of the one omnipotent and good Creator God. 3
Here is another slightly more academic view of the dualism concept of light versus dark:
Dualism – A system of thought which views the world in terms of two irreducible and conflicting elements. Postexilic Judaism, influenced by contact with Persian Zoroastrianism and its belief in the opposing forces of good and evil governed by the gods Ormazd and Ahriman, shows evidence of a developing concept of a superhuman source of evil (e.g., Satan; cf. Job 1â€“2; Belial cf. Nah. 1:15, RSV mg.; 2 Cor. 6:15) and the eschatological understanding of the present evil age and a future age to be governed by God (cf. 2 Esdr. 6:7â€“9); the distinction is particularly emphasized in the sectarian writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls (e.g., Manual of Discipline, War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness). 3
We see this concept of dualism clearly in the documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, specifically the War Scroll.Â The community at Qumran even referred to themselves as the â€œSons of Light.â€ We also see this concept in a lot of the Apostolic Scriptures. This then shows us that the Book of Enoch must be a post-exilic composition. Contrast this with the Psalms of David.Â We know that these Psalms were already used in the First Temple.
It is not the Rabbis and Masorites that kept Enoch out of the canon
First,the reference that the supporters of Enoch give about Rabbi Akiva prohibiting the reading of the Book of Enoch, is not referring to the same book.Â There are three books of Enoch.Â The one that we have been speaking about is also referred to as 1 Enoch.Â The book that Rabbi Akiva referred to is 2 Enoch (also known as Slavonic Enoch or The Secrets of Enoch). It is a completely different book. The book of 2 Enoch, has been preserved only in Slavonic ( a language originally from Thessalonica, dated around the 800s.) Researchers have now also found Some Coptic fragments of this document. The document describes Enoch being taken through the seven heavens by two angles. Then the angel Gabriel takes Enoch to the seventh heaven where he sees YHVH face to face. Enoch then records for his sons the rules by which they should live before he is finally taken away. The last part of the book tells of the virgin birth of Melchizedek.Â Melchizedek is then later taken by an angel to the Garden of Eden.
The third book of Enoch, also known as the Revelation of Metatron or the Book of Palaces, is claimed to be written by Rabbi Ishmael.Â He became High Priest after visions of ascension of heaven.Â The Rabbis classify both these books as Merkabah/Mekalot texts. These are books of early Jewish mysticism.The book of Ezekiel is also classified by the Rabbis as one of the these books. It is these books that Rabbi Akiva was referring to when he said that people should not study these books.Â He was actually not banning these books. Rabbi Akiva was stating that these were complex and advanced topics that only experienced students should study.
The second point is that the canon of Scripture for the Christian writings was decided independent of the the Jewish canon. For more details on this, please refer to our earlier article on the Books of the Bible.
To claim that it was some conspiracy by the Masorites to keep the Zadokites out would also be ignorant of the facts.Â Ask yourself the question â€“ why did the Samaritan text, the Septuagint and the Targums all exclude these texts and concepts?Â The Masorites were not involved in shaping these text.Â We know that these groups of texts do differ from one another, but not on this point.Â This fact makes the theory for me unlikely.
It was not the doings of men that kept Enoch and Jubilees out of the canon.
The False Priesthood in Jerusalem
The next discussion point that we received some comments on, was about the validity of the priesthood inÂ Jerusalem. These arguments took on two lines of discussions. The first claim is that the priests in the Temple at the time of Yâ€™Shua were not the true sons of Aaron.Â The second argument is that there exists two lines of priesthood.Â The first is the Aaronic line (Levitical) and the second is the Melchizedek priesthood via Adam, Seth, Enoch and Noah. Let us look at these two topics before we come to the singular conclusion.
We know that the Levitical priesthood is an everlasting priesthood that is based on a covenant that YHVH had made.
5 â€˜Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.â€™ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.â€
4â€œThen you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi,â€ says the Elohim of hosts.
We also know that there is a second covenant in the line of Levi.Â It is the covenant that was made with Phineas.
10 Then YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, 11 â€œPhinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. 12 â€œTherefore say, â€˜Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his Elohim and made atonement for the sons of Israel.â€™ â€
Phineasâ€™ line was protected throughout the Babylonian exile. The High Priest that returned, was from his line. Joshua was the son of Jehozodak, who was from the line of Phinehas.
1 Chronicles 6:3â€“15
3 The children of Amram were Aaron, Moses and Miriam. And the sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 4 Eleazar became the father of Phinehas, and Phinehas became the father of Abishua, 5 and Abishua became the father of Bukki, and Bukki became the father of Uzzi, 6 and Uzzi became the father of Zerahiah, and Zerahiah became the father of Meraioth, 7 Meraioth became the father of Amariah, and Amariah became the father of Ahitub, 8 and Ahitub became the father of Zadok, and Zadok became the father of Ahimaaz, 9 and Ahimaaz became the father of Azariah, and Azariah became the father of Johanan, 10 and Johanan became the father of Azariah (it was he who served as the priest in the house which Solomon built in Jerusalem), 11 and Azariah became the father of Amariah, and Amariah became the father of Ahitub, 12 and Ahitub became the father of Zadok, and Zadok became the father of Shallum, 13 and Shallum became the father of Hilkiah, and Hilkiah became the father of Azariah, 14 and Azariah became the father of Seraiah, and Seraiah became the father of Jehozadak; 15 and Jehozadak went along when YHVH carried Judah and Jerusalem away into exile by Nebuchadnezzar.
10 â€œTake an offering from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah; and you go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have arrived from Babylon. 11 â€œTake silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
The book of Malachi was written in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.Â Thus, we know that after the return from Babylon (post-exilic period), the people were still of the opinion that YHVH had continued His covenant with Levi. We also know that the High Priest in the restored temple was from the line of Aaron and Phineas.
During the Maccabean / Hasmonean period, we had numerous people serving as High Priest.Â These High Priests were all decedents of Mattathias. We know from the book of 1 Maccabees that Mattathias was of priestly descend.
1 In those days rose up Mattathias, the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem; and he dwelt at Modin. 2 And he had five sons: John, who was surnamed Gaddis; 3 Simon, who was called Thassis; 4 Judas, who was called Maccabaeus; 5 Eleazar, who was called Auaran; and Jonathan, who was called AphphusÂ 5
After the Romans removed the last of the Herodians from power, they placed Judea under direct rule from Rome.Â Then Roman legate Quirinius, appointed Annas ben Seth as the High Priest. He was High Priest for ten years and was then deposed by the Roman procurator Gratus.Â After his removal, he kept control of the priesthood via his sons and son-in-law. His son-in-law Joseph ben Caiaphas, better known as Caiaphas, was the High Priest during the ministry of Yâ€™Shua.Â Yâ€™Shua was also brought before Annas and Caiaphas before they took Him to the Romans.
12 So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Yâ€™Shua and bound Him, 13 and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.
49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, â€œYou know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.â€ 51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Yâ€™Shua was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of Elohim who are scattered abroad.
5 On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.
When Cyrenius had now disposed of Archelausâ€™s money, and when the taxings were come to a conclusion, which were made in the thirty-seventh year of Caesarâ€™s victory over Antony at Actium, he deprived Joazar of the high priesthood, which dignity had been conferred on him by the multitude, and he appointed Ananus, the son of Seth, to be high priest; (27) while Herod and Philip had each of them received their own tetrarchy, and settled the affairs thereof. 6
Thus, all we know from the scriptures are that:
- Caiaphas was the High Priest
- He was the son-in-law of Annas, who was High Priest earlier
- They were of high-priestly descent
Any claim that Caiaphas was or was not from the sons of Zadok or Levi, is pure speculation.Â We simply do not know.
Thus, we should look at what Yâ€™Shua did.Â Did He see the priests in the temple as the valid priesthood?
Once Yâ€™Shua had healed the the leper, He told him to go and show himself to the priest. Yâ€™Shua also specifically mention the law as written by Moses.
2 And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, â€œMaster, if You are willing, You can make me clean.â€ 3 Yâ€™Shua stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, â€œI am willing; be cleansed.â€ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Yâ€™Shua said to him, â€œSee that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.â€
41 Moved with compassion, Yâ€™Shua stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, â€œI am willing; be cleansed.â€ 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. 43 And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, 44 and He said to him, â€œSee that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.â€
13 And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, â€œI am willing; be cleansed.â€ And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He ordered him to tell no one, â€œBut go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.â€
Thus, Yâ€™Shua saw the priests in Jerusalem as the priest that could judge according to the laws described by Moses. Never in any of the Gospels or the book of Acts, do we see Yâ€™Shua, His Disciples or His followers question the authority of the priests. We see that James, the brother of Yâ€™Shua sent people to the Temple at the end of their vows. We also know that this meant that a priest had to make an offering.
18 And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. 19 After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which YHVH had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it they began glorifying YHVH; and they said to him, â€œYou see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law; 21 and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. 22 â€œWhat, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 â€œTherefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.
13 â€˜Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 14 â€˜He shall present his offering to YHVH: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering, 15 and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering. 16 â€˜Then the priest shall present them before YHVH and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering.
We can thus conclude that Yâ€™Shua also taught His followers to respect the divinity of the Temple. He also taught them to accept the authority of the priests in Jerusalem. If we are the followers of Yâ€™Shua, we should follow this teaching and not follow another that contradicts what Yâ€™Shua did.
Having reviewed these defense claims, we are still convinced that we should not be following the teachings of the books of Enoch and Jubilees. We are not putting a ban on the reading or possession of these books, but want to make it clear that they contradict what Yâ€™Shua did and taught.Â If we are the disciples of Yâ€™Shua, that implies two things:
- Learn from Yâ€™Shua
- Do as He did
Yâ€™Shua did not see the Essenes as the true priesthood. He also did not have any issue with going to the Temple in Jerusalem.Â He did not teach His disciples not to respect the Temple in Jerusalem.Â This is obvious if we consider that He told them to stay in Jerusalem. Even though the disciples were originally from the Galilee, they decided to stay in Jerusalem.
For us the evidence in Scripture is clear! As disciples of Yâ€™Shua we will do what He did!
- Charles, R. H. (Ed.). (2004). Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (Vol. 2, p. 190). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
- Nickelsburg, G. W. E. (1992). Enoch, First Book of. In (D. N. Freedman, Ed.)The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday.
- Myers, A. C. (1987). In The Eerdmans Bible dictionary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
- Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary : a companion volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed., Mt 6:7). Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications.
- Charles, R. H. (Ed.). (2004). Apocrypha of the Old Testament (Vol. 1, p. 71). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
- Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson.
Trackback from your site.