Q: Why is the book of Enoch not included in the Bible canon of 66 books? I’m watching a documentary on the History Channel about this book and am learning some very interesting things, such as angels having sex with women on Earth. If the book of Enoch is so deep in portraying things in the spiritual realm, why was it excluded from the Bible? I’m 19 years old and recently joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. — Sidney, from South Africa
A: Thank you for your question, Sidney, and I’m so glad that the Lord has led you to join this wonderful movement of more than 19 million members around the world who believe the Bible and are looking forward to Jesus’ soon return! I’m also glad that you are eager to learn more but would caution you that the place to find truth is in God’s Word — the Bible. While the History Channel has many interesting programs, it is not necessarily the place to find God’s truth.
Regarding your specific question on the book of Enoch, Dr. Gerhard Pfandl, from the Biblical Research Institute, lists the following reasons for why this pseudepigraphal book isn’t included in the biblical canon:
1. The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, was written about 450 B.C. Enoch was written in the first century B.C. Jews believed that inspiration ceased with Malachi. They did not consider the book of Enoch inspired.
2. Christians, both Roman Catholics and Protestants, agree that the Old and New Testaments — all 66 books — are inspired by God. Additionally, the apostles recognized these books as inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21 2 Timothy 3:16). All others, including the book of Enoch, were rejected as not having been inspired by the Holy Spirit.
3. The book of Enoch is not in harmony with the rest of Scripture. Here are some examples:
a. The story of angels having sex with women contradicts Jesus’ saying in Matthew 22:30: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (Mat 22:30 NKJV). This means angels are not sexual beings.
b. Eighteen of these angels are listed by name in Enoch 6:3, 8; their leader is Semyaz. Not one of these names appears in the Bible. The giants they produce were 450 feet tall (Enoch 7:2). “These [giants] consumed the produce of all the people until the people detested feeding them. So the giants turned against [the people] in order to eat them” (7:3, 4). This is rather fanciful and against Scripture.
c. In Enoch 10:4, 5, “The Lord said to Raphael [a good angel] ‘Bind Azaz’el [an evil angel] hand and foot [and] throw him into the darkness!’ And he made a hole in the desert which was in Duda’el and cast him there; he threw on top of him rugged and sharp rocks.” According to Enoch, you can bind angels by throwing them into a hole in the desert.
d. In chapter 13, Enoch intercedes for Azaz’el.
e. In Enoch 15:9 evil spirits came out of the bodies of the giants.
“Many more fanciful and weird stories are contained in the book,” says Dr. Pfandl. “Jews and Christians, therefore, never considered the book as inspired by the Holy Spirit.”