What is the banned book of Enoch?
I was recently browsing youtube,and found a video about a banned book called Book of Enoch. What is it?
As far as I know, no important group has banned the book of Enoch. Just so you know, some call this book the 1st (1 Enoch) because other pseudepigraphal books (books with a falsely-claimed authorship) supposedly by Enoch were produced by Jews before the time of Jesus. We can safely assume that all books supposedly written by Enoch were in fact not written by him!
1 Enoch is one of the more interesting of the Jewish writings from between the testaments. You can easily get a copy of a translation by going on-line. Here is one link I found: http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/bookenoch.pdf and a link to a translation of the most famous little part of the bok: http://thehermercury.blogspot.com/2011/03/best-translation-of-book-of-enoch-in.html
The content of the Book of Enoch includes a lot about angels and their interaction with people. Most famously, it claims that the Nephilim (found in Genesis) are the result of sexual relationship between angels and human females, which is a possible interpretation of Genesis 6:4. This is the subject of the little excerpt of Enoch at the second link above.
One of many interesting facts about 1 Enoch is that it is included in the canon of the Old Testament of the Coptic Church in Ethiopia, as well as the Eritrean Orthodox Church. The oldest known manuscript is in the language Ge’ez, an ancient Ethiopian language, which is not surprising because we know the Ethiopic Christians had much interest in the book.
Another interesting fact about 1 Enoch is that it has been proposed to be the only apocryphal book quoted by a New Testament writer. The passage in question is Jude 14-15. It is debatable whether Jude quoted or referred to Enoch, but it is not doubted that he is at least referring to 1 Enoch. Does this imply that the section used by Jude is inspired? This is discussed below.
More about 1st Enoch. It was written all, or in part, between the Old and New Testaments. There is evidence of its influence on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Fragments of Aramaic versions of Enoch have been found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is fairly likely that parts of it were written by different authors at different times. Scholars speculate that the five portions of the book were written by five different authors. The most “important” section is ch’s 1-39. For example, Jude quotes or refers to Enoch 1:9. Some scholars believe it was originally written in Aramaic, others think it was written partly in Hebrew and partly in Aramaic.
Let us get to the most important questions about 1 Enoch? Is it inspired by God? Or more carefully, are parts of it, including the first 39 chapters inspired by God? It is hard for us to give a definitive answer, but it is worth making the observation that the Jews never included it in their canon. Neither did most in the early church. Exceptions include Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and Irenaeus, along with the Ethiopic church, which is difficult to explain, as we do not know the reason. Possibly it was the influence of Clement of Alexandria, as the church in Alexandria strongly influenced the Ethiopian church.
So, we can safely exclude Enoch from the biblical canon. But, there is no reason to “ban” the book. I cannot think of anyone who has a reason to “ban” ban the book. Even if someone were to ban it, such a ban would not be very effective, as anyone can read a translation on line. Perhaps what you meant to ask is whether anyone has claimed it is not inspired and not a part of the scripture. The answer to that is that almost all scholars and almost all well-informed Christians reject this book from the canon of scripture. As with much of the Apocrypha and other Jewish writings from between the Testaments, it is interesting writing and may shed some light on Jewish thinking and on the scripture.