The Book of Enoch – June 2019
Good Evening. Where can I find accurate commentary on the Book of Enoch? Even better, can Mr Prasch record a short synopsis of the book and it’s meaning as the historical context of Noah and the events leading to the flood.
The only commentaries on the inter-testamental apocryphal literature of which I am familiar are lexical commentaries focused on Greek grammar, vocabulary, and syntax .
As with the Septuagint, (LXX) , apocryphal literature is of value in understanding the New Testament in terms of literature and history. Unlike the LXX however, it is not canon and thus not a basis of doctrine.
Such books assist in understanding New Testament books from a literary and historical perspective which in turn as exegetical supppament, indirectly contributes to our grasp of doctrine.
Jesus for instance observed Chanukah in John chapter 10 ( translated ‘Feast of Dedication’). He knew and accepted that the prophetic predictions of Daniel have their fulfillment recorded in The Apocryphal books of I & II Maccabees, not in scripture. In the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 additionally, Jesus made it clear that the partially fulfilled predictions of Daniel with the ‘Abomination of Desolations’ recorded in the Apocrypha was a type of the future apocalyptic prophetic predictions of the antichrist in The Book of Revelation and in 2 Thessalonians.
Thus, it is biblically important history necessary to comprehend future prophecy.
Enoch is cited in the Epistle of Jude. One of the features most important about Enoch is that it is the Literary primer for the Book of Revelation showing how the literary genre of Hebrew apocalyptic literature from Daniel, Zechariah, Isaiah, Ezekiel etc, is translated into Greek apocalyptic and vocabulary
where Sheol becomes hades, Leviathan becomes Apollyon etc. From a literary viewpoint, Enoch helps us make sense of certain Gospel portions , sections of Peter’s epistles, of Jude, and again The Book of Revelation in light of the Old Testament.
From a historical aspect, Enoch bears similarities to the Book of Jasher , to the ‘Antiquities’ of Josephus, and to certain early Mishnaic writings from early Mishna . In the Book of Acts for instance at Stephen’s apology in Acts 7 he begins with the saga of the Patriarch Abraham not in Haran where Genrsus commences it, but in Ur of the Chaldees. In Timothy Pail informs us that the names of Pharaoh’s magicians in Exodus were Janus and Jambres. In other words, The New Testament tells us that there were historical facts of some theological importance that , as with the story of the Maccabees, were recorded outside of the canon of scripture but which are necessary to correctly understand scripture. Another short Treatise like this is The Didache.
What is important to remember is that such books are of literary and historical value in contributing to properly interpreting The Word of God, but on their own are not a basis of doctrinal theology.
The only apocryphal commentaries I would have had use for are lexical academic commentaries of little use to readers not knowing Hebrew, Aramaic. and Greek. If you are competent in biblical languages however, please get back to us and I will suggest a few lexical commentaries. Not to sound arrogant, however the likelihood is that if you know biblical languages, you went to seminary and do not need to ask me what you already know. Therefore I assume you do not read biblical languages which the most serious commentaries on apocryphal books essentially require.
Jacob Prasch / Moriel