What is it about the ancient Book of Enoch that stirs the imaginations of men? Was the Book of Enoch viewed as authentic Scripture by the early church? Does it really give us the names of the fallen angels, inside information on their great sin, and the details of their plea for mercy and ultimate imprisonment by God?
Is Enoch’s description of heaven and hell biblical? Did Enoch really meet Jesus when he was taken to Heaven and what did he call Him? Did Enoch take a tour of planet Earth in a celestial vehicle piloted by angels? Aha! Now we know why so many people are curious about this historical book. It stretches our minds and seems to fill in the gaps in the biblical accounts.
But since Enoch was not included in the original canon should we give it any credibility?
Therein lies the question. Can we trust the book we have today? Irenaeus, Justin Martyr and Tertullian seemed to think so, and Jude referenced the words of Enoch in his brief New Testament book. Fortunately for us, J.R. Church made it his personal mission to examine this book and get to the bottom of the mystery. He was fascinated by Enoch’s writings and loved exploring some of the more controversial issues found in the Bible.
The story behind J. R. and Gary’s scholarly study started some time ago. Over the years we’ve had many people request a copy of the Book of Enoch, but we’ve never been able to offer them a version we felt could be trusted. One day I found an Ethiopian translation with commentary written by a Baptist pastor. I thought I had found the Mother Lode, but as J. R. read it, he took issue with some of the commentary and decided not to offer the book.
I was disappointed, but right then and there J. R. told me he would clear up the confusion once and for all. He’d write his own commentary on Enoch! The exhaustive study has now been chronicled on 5 hours of video, and entitled, The Ancient Book of Enoch: The First Book Ever Written. J. R. and Gary took the ancient text apart, verse-by-verse, and determined what parts of the book can be trusted and what parts have been corrupted over the years.
This was one of J. R.’s last studies and I know he enjoyed playing the role of biblical detective. When Enoch claimed he took a tour of the Earth in a celestial vehicle, J. R. couldn’t wait to examine the aerial evidence and tell you all about Enoch’s trip around the world. J. R. and Gary compared Enoch’s work with their knowledge of science, geology, geography, history, and the Bible, and produced a credible commentary that can be trusted.
I’ve read Genesis 5:24 a few times. “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” I’ve strolled past the phrase, “walked with God” many times, assuming it was referencing Enoch as a man who walked closely with God in his daily life. But after listening to J. R. and Gary, I had to rethink things. Genesis 5:22 says “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. Am I reading this right? Enoch walked with God for three hundred years? What exactly does that mean? Could this be a reference to Enoch’s trip around the world where he described the rain forests, the secrets of the sun, moon, weather and wind, volcanoes, the Mississippi River, lightning bolts and believe it or not even the delicacies found in the Garden of Eden! Spectacular stuff. Some people even believe Enoch built the Great Pyramid with Divine help!
Enoch claims to have been written to those who find themselves in the Tribulation. He speaks eloquently of how the Jewish people will be persecuted until the very end. He tells us about the Lamb’s Book of Life, the strange birth of Noah, the lack of rain during the Tribulation Period and the strange signs in the heavens that will occur in that day. Enoch’s writings were so accurate that many argue that this book was written long after the fact, not thousands of years earlier. The Bible contains more than 100 quotes from the Book of Enoch demonstrating that Enoch’s book was written first. Now try and figure that one out!
Even ancient Persia, (modern Iran) does not escape Enoch’s vision. He identifies Iran as the nation that will lead an assault against God’s Chosen People. In reading Ezekiel chapter 38, is that so hard to believe?
All of this prophetic information is interesting, but I suspect most people find their imaginations kindled by the extensive commentary included on the fallen angels and their collective descent on Mount Hermon. Enoch claims that 200 of God’s angels committed the ultimate sin of cohabitating with the women of Earth, creating the soul-less race of giants we read about in Genesis 6. It seems that their genetic pollution of the human race was another attempt by Satan to thwart the birth of the Messiah and God’s perfect Creation.
According to Enoch the angels didn’t limit their corruption to just mankind. They altered the DNA of birds, beasts and fish as well,
producing giant creatures with massive appetites for flesh and blood. The fossil record bears this out. God responded by protecting Noah and his family in the Ark, and sending a flood that destroyed all life on Earth.
You won’t find a commentary like this anywhere else. This represents an entire year of J. R.’s life and the finished product pleased him very much. The words of Enoch ring true. He said, and I’ll paraphrase, “They sure won’t get bored reading my book. It will be like a good meal! Strange but true! Filet mignon for the soul!
Gary Stearman and Bob Ulrich recently discussed this DVD on the TV program below.