1. Knowledge Base
  2. Theology Questions
  3. Apocrypha, Popular Jewish Writings, and Bible Translations

What is Enoch Literature?

What is the Enoch Literature?

“A group of pseudepigraphal, apocalyptic writings in a variety of languages, written over the course of several centuries. Of the books of Enoch, 1 Enoch (often referred to just as Enoch) is especially influential in shaping the genre and theology of apocalyptic literature. None of these books are in the Hebrew Bible, and all are non-canonical for all Christian traditions but 1 Enoch, which is only canonical for the Ethiopian Orthodox church” (The Lexham Bible Dictionary).

Pseudepigrapha (“falsely ascribed”) refers to books in which the real author claims they were written by ancient figures from the past, like Moses, Enoch, Abraham, etc.

Note especially that Enoch was NEVER in the Bible. It was not removed. This book was never considered canonical by either the Jews or the vast majority of Christians. That it was taken out of the Bible is a popular fabrication utterly devoid of historical truth. 1 Enoch is considered canonical only by a tiny sliver of the church, the Ethiopian Orthodox.

Is Enoch important?
Yes, as are many other Jewish writings from around the time of the 1st century. Because 1 Enoch is in the genre called apocalyptic, it shares commonalities with OT books like Daniel and the NT book of Revelation. By studying popular Jewish literature, like Enoch, the Apocrypha, and other writings roughly contemporary with the NT, we gain a better understanding of how Jews were reading and interpreting the Bible during that time. This often sheds light on NT passages.

Written by Chad Bird