The book of Enoch (technically 1 Enoch) is pseudepigrapha (meaning “false writings), part of a collection of writings that were not written by the person claimed as the author. Furthermore, the Enochian writings were written long after Enoch during the time of God’s 400 years of silence (more on that later).

This book is part of a larger group of pseudepigraphal writings called the Enochian writings or the Enochian tradition. It is complex and a bit confusing, but specialists in these texts have emerged from scholarly study. The book called 1 Enoch was never accepted as God’s word by the Jews and has many strikes against it despite the arguments that it was or should be in the biblical canon. It certainly has value from historical and scholarly viewpoints, but the reasons for rejecting it as inspired are overwhelming.

Corruption Came from Azazel?

The book of 1 Enoch contains teachings that the earth was corrupted by Azazel, who is not even a character in the Bible. According to Scripture, earth and man were corrupted by the sin of Adam and Eve (Romans 5:15-17; 1 Cor. 15:21-11). The book of Enoch states:

“And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.” (1 Enoch 10:8)

versus God’s word:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mankind, because all sinned. Romans 5:12

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. First Corinthians 15:21

The word Azazel in Leviticus 16:22 is translated as scapegoat. It means removes from. It is not a proper name in the Bible but in the book of Enoch, it is. This comes from Jewish legends in which Azazel is the name for a demon or evil spirit:

Azazel, in Jewish legends, a demon or evil spirit to whom, in the ancient rite of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), a scapegoat was sent bearing the sins of the Jewish people. Two male goats were chosen for the ritual, one designated by lots “for the Lord,” the other “for Azazel” (Leviticus 16:8). – From Encyclopedia Britannica

Although some speculate this word in Leviticus might refer to an evil spirit or to Satan, the predominant view is that it does not. One Bible commentator addresses this:

The word [Azazel] occurs only here, so that we have no help from other passages. It seems to come from a root meaning ‘to drive away,’ and those who take it to be a proper name, generally suppose it to refer to some malignant spirit, or to Satan, and interpret it as meaning ‘a fiend whom one drives away,’ or, sometimes, ‘who drives away.’ The vindication of such an interpretation is supposed to lie in the necessity of finding a complete antithesis in the phrase to the ‘for Jehovah’ of the previous clause in Leviticus 16:8. But it is surely sacrificing a good deal to rhetorical propriety to drag in an idea so foreign to the Pentateuch, and so opposed to the plain fact, that both goats were one sin offering {Leviticus 16:5}, in order to get a pedantically correct antithesis. In the absence of any guidance from usage, certainty as to the meaning of the word is unattainable. But there seems no reason, other than that of the said antithesis, against taking it to mean removal or dismissal, rather than ‘a remover.’ The Septuagint translates it in both ways: as a person in Leviticus 16:8, and as ‘sending away’ in Leviticus 16:10. If the latter meaning be adopted, then the word just defines the same purpose as is given more at length in Leviticus 16:22, namely, the carrying away of the sins of the congregation. The logical imperfection of the opposition in Leviticus 16:8 would then be simply enough solved by the fact that while both goats were ‘for the Lord,’ one was destined to be actually offered in sacrifice, and the other to be ‘for dismissal.’ The incomplete contrast testifies to the substantial unity of the two, and needs no introduction, into the most sacred rite of the old covenant, of a ceremony which looks more like demon-worship than a parable of the great expiation for a world’s sins. – From McLaren’s commentary on Bible Hub commentary page for Lev. 16:22

In other words, why would a sacrifice be made to an evil spirit or to Satan? There is no support for this idea in Scripture. Both goats were part of one sacrifice for the Lord. The meaning of Azazel is, at the very least, disputed, and cannot be used as the basis of any doctrine.

Nowhere in Scripture is a proper name given to Satan. Satan is a descriptive term meaning the adversary, and this word is even used of the Angel of the Lord (the pre-incarnate Christ) in Numbers 22:22 when the Angel of the Lord stands in the way of Balaam’s donkey as an adversary.

The theme of fallen angels being responsible for evil in the world is a theme in Enoch alien to the Bible.

Jude’s Counter to Enochian Writings

Many defend the book of Enoch by saying that Jude quoted from it. Here are some points to consider:

1. The quote in Jude does not cite any book but rather appeals to the words of Enoch.
2. Jude’s citation and Enoch’s words in the book of Enoch could be from a common source
3. Jude is loosely quoting from the book of Enoch, but to counter it, not to endorse it (more on this further down).
4. Jude could have been given those words directly by divine revelation.

Academic and biblical information is found in the lecture of scholar Dr. Peter Gentry speaking in 2019 on “The Putative Citation of Enoch in Jude” at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (see video of lecture). He discusses the non-canonicity of Enoch, the 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments, and the putative quotation of Enoch in the book of Jude.

Dr. Gentry quotes an expert in this area, Dr. Paoli Sacchi, who made these points about what Enochian texts teach:

1) The origin of evil is from an angelic sin that contaminated the whole world
2) The impure in nature is an outcome of angelic sin

Dr. Gentry states that the central message of the book of Watchers is

to demonstrate through genealogical and narrative speculations on angels based on Genesis 6 that chaos and evil are in the world due to angelic sin. It seems then that the function of Jude’s reference to the Enochian traditions is to demonstrate and emphasize that evil in our present world is due to human rebellion. Jude is using their own text (Enochian writings) against them. — Dr. Gentry in video starting around 33:40

The relevant passage from Jude is:

It was also about these people that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord has come with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 1:14-15

Dr. Gentry maintains that in the above passage, Jude is actually countering the teachings of Enochian writings. Evil in the world is from men and cannot be blamed on angels. Dr. Gentry points out that the word ungodly appears four times in this passage as an emphasis to condemn the actions of humans.

This is a logical and reasonable view. The Enochian writings have been shown to be contrary to Scripture. So Jude, if he is quoting from them, is not doing so to endorse them, but rather as a polemic against them.

Dr. Gentry refers to Paul’s warnings in First and Second Timothy as well as in Titus against following endless genealogies and myths (the words Jewish myths are in Titus 1:14). These warnings, Dr. Gentry states, apply perfectly to the Enochian texts (Gnostic teachings also arose from Jewish myths). The Enochian writings contain an enormous genealogy of all of the angels, which are speculations based on Genesis 6:1-4 (italics indicate Dr. Gentry’s words).

Jude In Context

This excerpt is from the article, “19 Reasons 1 Enoch is Not in the Bible:”

Peter Enns considers 1 Enoch to be quoted by Jude. Professor Peter Gentry challenges this notion.
Here’s 1 Enoch:
“And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly: and to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 1 Enoch 1:9

And then Jude:

“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.'” Jude 1:14-15
This appears at first glance to be fairly convincing, yes? Here are some problems:
The word used in Jude, that ‘prophesied’ there, is propheteuo. Its cognate, prophetes, was used in Titus 1:12 to refer to a heathen poet, and the word itself is only used as a citation once in Matthew 15:7 to cite Isaiah 29. Indeed, in that same section of Titus, Paul asserts that the pagan he is quoting is correct, even; yet this does not mean the poet’s words in total bear inclusion in the Bible.
It is also entirely possible that Jude is referring to a real prophecy by Enoch… that is not from this book of Enoch. Oral traditions are powerful, and considering the care with which the Jews recorded information, it is plausible it survived. Notice the curious differences between the two. The book of Enoch says that the righteous were destroyed whereas Jude says they were judged. I don’t know of any New Testament citation of scripture that misquotes its source material.>
From “19 Reasons Why the 1 Enoch is not in the Bible”

Someone in the audience asks Dr. Gentry how he would sum up the situation of Jude allegedly quoting the book of 1 Enoch. Dr. Gentry responds with four points:

1. It is not clear that Jude is citing a book; he could be drawing on a common Jewish tradition.
2. These traditions were speculations based on Genesis 6.
3. The literary structure shows that this citation is clearly distinct from biblical examples, and there is no evidence that Enoch is part of the canon in Jude’s mind.
4. Jude is using the Enochian text to disprove their own teaching.

The 400 Years of Silence

The book of Enoch was written in the 2nd century BCE, during the 400 years of God’s silence between the Old and New Testaments. No prophet lived or spoke for God during that time, so the fact that 1 Enoch was written in that period reveals it to be uninspired. Moreover, the Jews never accepted the Enochian writings as Scripture. All the Enochian literature was written in this 400-year period. Dr. Gentry discusses this starting at 29:30 in the video.

After the prophet Malachi, God was silent until his prophet in the wilderness, John the Baptist, startingly declared, prepare the way of the Lord (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23). This very dramatic and telling way God chose to deliver his first words through a prophet after such a long silence was to announce none other than the long-awaited Messiah.


Read Part 2  Here