About the Book of
In the year 1773, after a period of almost total obscurity lasting
1500 years, the Scottish explorer, James Bruce, discovered in what
is now Ethiopia,
The Book of Enoch.
"Amongst the articles I consigned to
the library at Paris was a very beautiful and magnificent copy
of the prophecies of Enoch, in large Quarto; another is amongst
the books of scripture that I brought home, standing immediately
before the book of Job, which is itís proper place in the
Abyssinian Cannon: and a third copy I presented to the Bodleian
Library at Oxford, by the hands of Dr. Douglass, the Bishop of
It rested there, forgotten, until 1821
when Laurence issued his first translation of which there were many
additions, culminating in the revised edition of 1883, compiled from
notes in his estate.
As a former professor of Hebrew at Oxford, Laurenceís familiarity
with Kabbalah and the Zohar (as shown in the introductions of
earlier editions) gave him unique qualifications that were
especially useful in translating a work of this type.
At present there are three versions of Enoch (not to be confused
with the tabloid clones "Keys of Enoch" or "Secrets of Enoch" which
are presently circulating amongst New Age groups). The first being
the Ethiopian found by James Bruce in Abyssinia in 1773, and
culminating in the present translation of this volume. The second is
Book of the Secrets of Enoch, or Slavonian Enoch. It was
discovered in the Belgrade public library by Prof. Sokolov in 1886,
and trans- lated by Morfill and Charles in 1896. The third is (of
necessity) called Enoch III, or the Hebrew Enoch, translated by Hugo
Odeberg in 1922. Each has some variations that will help
understanding, and one can hardly escape the conclusion that this
book may be far older than anyone suspects.
Further correlations can be found in: "Hypostasis of the Archons"
translated by Roger Bullard, 1970, from one of the Nag Hammadi
gnostic codexes. In it are striking parallels with Enoch. The
creation of giants or failures is again met with in the Mandaean
Codex Nazaraeus, or Ginza rabba, which can be found in "Gnosis: Itís
Character and Testimony" by Roger Haardt, translated by J.F. Hendry,
1971. And of course, Blavatskyís "The Secret Doctrine" has been in
print continuously since 1888.
Although the Book of Enoch was apparently at one time recognized as
a valid piece of Hebrew (i.e. Judeo-Christian) belief systems and
although it was directly quoted from in the new testament epistle of
Jude, the Council of Nicene voted to exclude it from "canonized"
scripture in 325 AD.
Lyman Abbott notes:
"Reverting to the second century of
Christianity, we find Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria citing the
Book of Enoch without questioning itís sacred character. Thus, Irenaeus, assigning to the Book of Enoch an authenticity analogous
to that of Mosaic literature, affirms that Enoch, although a man,
filled the office of Godís messenger to the angels. Tertullian, who
flourished at the close of the first and at the beginning of the
second century, whilst admitting that the íScripture of Enochí is
not received by some because it is not included in the Hebrew Canon,
speaks of the author as íthe most ancient prophet, Enoch,í and of
the book as the divinely inspired autograph of that immortal
After reading Enoch, I was left with the impression that it was
either an extremely precise historical document (one vision of many
cows succinctly traces the development of Israel and Judah through
a few centuries) with fascinating astronomical data added to the mix
which had to have been written after the fact, or, if written when
it was said to have been, it was without a doubt the most profoundly
accurate prophetic work extant. In either case, Enoch should not be
Some may find Thomasí work to be too flavored with fundamentalism
for their particular taste but I personally found it to be some
exceptionally well-researched stuff. I make no apologies for it and
challenge you, the reader, to lay aside any predispositions and
consider the work on itís own merits.