Saturday, November 25, 2006

Angels with ropes in the Lost Book of Enoch

LEFT: Bruce James, who re-discovered three copies of the The Lost Book of Enoch from Ethiopia in some time between 1768 and 1773. The Lost Book of Enoch was a section of the Bible, removed from the set, about 90AD. It contains references to angels with ropes. Many sections of the Bible refer to the Book of Enoch. The Jewish Sanhedrin at Yavneh c. 90 AD the book from its Scriptures. The book was discredited after the (Christian) Council of Laodicea in 364. The Greek text was later lost. The early Christian father Tertullian wrote c. 200 AD that the Book of Enoch was rejected by the Jews, because it contained prophecies about Christ. The Lost (and found) Book of Enoch consists of three versions - called 1Enoch, 2Enoch and 3 Enoch. Fragments of the Book of Enoch in Aramic were later found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Bruce was a Mason - and surprise - where did he live, but in the founding town of the Masons - in Scotland. More on that elsewhere, on this site, later.

Enoch the great-grandfather of Noah:The Biblical genealogies place Enoch as the great-grandfather of Noah. It's time is believed to be 200 B.C.E. to 50 C.E, and some one hundred years earlier. (The section of the Book called "Book of the Watchers" may date from the third century BCE). The Book of Enoch chapter 68:1 "And after that my great-grandfather Enoch gave me all the secrets in the book and in the parables which had been given to him, and he put them together for me in the words of the book of the parable".

Noah, of a black family, born albino? The Book of Enoch (1) also says Noah was from a black family, and born "white" or albino. "The Book of Enoch (translated from Ethiopic by Richard Laurence, London, 1883) names ropes and angels, and gives very clear descriptions of astronomical processes, in the form of the teachings of an older man to his son; in which he recalls lessons passed on to him by his grandfather. These include instructions received from "angels", and "dreams" and reinterpretation of "dreams". The "dreams" read in some cases like the parables of Jesus. Other chapters give explicit instructions of methods on how to register the path of the sun and the moon throughout the year, with the use of "gates".

The Lost Book of Enoch a secret text: "The Enochian writings, in addition to many other writings that were excluded (or lost) from the Bible (i.e., the Book of Tobit, Esdras, etc.) were widely recognized by many of the early church fathers as "apocryphal" writings. The term "apocrypha" is derived from the Greek word meaning "hidden" or "secret". Originally, the import of the term may have been complimentary in that the term was applied to sacred books whose contents were too exalted to be made available to the general public". David Chariot "" posted in alt.religion.christian.pentecosta 07/22/2000 wrote:" In Dan. 12:9-10 we hear of words that are shut up until the end of time and, words that the wise shall understand and the wicked shall not. In addition, 4 Ezra 14:44ff. mentions 94 books, of which 24 (the OT) were to be published and 70 were to be delivered only to the wise among the people (= apocrypha)".

Lost Book of Enoch already a copy of a copy?: Some hold that the earliest Ethiopic text was apparently made from a Greek manuscript of the Book of Enoch, which itself was a copy of an earlier text. (this is vehemently disputed by Ethiopian scholars and clergy, who insist that, since the only complete text of Enoch to surface so far is in Ethiopic, whereas the Aramaic and Greek copies exist only in separate and incomplete fragments, in their view proving their claim that this was the original language written by Enoch himself.) Those follow the "copy theory" say the original was apparently written in Semitic language, now thought to be Aramaic.

Dead Sea Scrolls reveal Aramic version: The R.H. Charles edition was published in 1912. In the following years several portions of the Greek text surfaced. Then, with the discovery of cave 4 of the Dead Sea Scrolls, seven fragmentary copies of the Aramaic text were discovered. The Astronomical Book, ( of the Book of Enoch) like the Book of Watchers, may date from the third century BCE; the oldest copy of it seems to have been made not long after 200 BCE. Sizable portions of the text were preserved on four copies, written in Aramaic, from Qumran cave 4. The Aramaic original appears to have been much different and much longer than the Ethiopic text, adding far more astronomical details," wrote James C. Vanderkam,

Originally written in either Hebrew or Aramaic? The book was originally written in either Hebrew or Aramaic, perhaps both, but it survives in complete form only in Ethiopic (Ge'ez), and in fragmentary form in Aramaic, Greek (1:1-32:6; 6:1-10:14; 15:8-16:1; 89:42-49; 97:6-104), and Latin (106:1-18)." "The materials in I Enoch range in date from 200 B.C.E. to 50 C.E. I Enoch contributes much to intertestamental views of angels, heaven, judgment, resurrection, and the Messiah. This book has left its stamp upon many of the NT writers, especially the author of Revelation." Craig A. Evans, Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation, (1992) p. 23).

Existed before Jesus - but how long before? Discoveries of copies of the book among the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran prove that the book was in existence before the time of Jesus Christ. The Seven ancient scrolls, written in Aramaic, Herbrew, and Greek, were discovered by Bedouin shepherds in 1947, 13 miles east of Jerusalem turned out to be from the period between 200 B.C. and A.D. 68. John Noble Wilford writing in the The New York Times August 16, 2006, reported the two Israeli archaeologists who have excavated Dead Sea site the site on and off for more than 10 years now assert that Qumran had nothing to do with the Essenes or a monastery or the scrolls. It had been a pottery factory. By the time the Romans destroyed Qumran in A.D. 68 in the Jewish revolt, the archaeologists concluded, the settlement had been a center of the pottery industry for at least a century. Before that, the site apparently was an outpost in a chain of fortresses along the Israelites' eastern frontier. The date of the original writing upon which the second century B.C. Qumran copies were based is shrouded in obscurity. It is, in a word, old.

Very, very, very old: Can the book really contain the authentic words of the ancient biblical patriarch Enoch? He would have lived (based on the chronologies in the Book of Genesis) several thousand years earlier than the first known appearance of the book attributed to him. The Book of Jude tells us in vs. 14 that "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied..." Jude also, in vs. 15, makes a direct reference to the Book of Enoch (2:1), where he writes, "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly..." The time difference between Enoch and Jude is approximately 3400 years.

Authentic material: The twentieth-century discovery of several Aramaic Enochian texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls prompted Catholic scholar J.T. Milik to compile a complete history of the Enochian writings, including translations of the Aramaic manuscripts. Milik's 400-page book, published in 1976 by Oxford J. T. Milik, ed. and trans., The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976.

The first English translation: "The Book of Enoch remained in darkness until 1821, when the long years of dedicated work by a professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford were finally rewarded with the publication of the first ever English translation of the Book of Enoch. The Reverend Richard Laurence, Archbishop of Cashel, had labored for many hundreds of hours over the faded manuscript in the hands of the Bodleian Library, carefully substituting English words and expressions for the original Geez, while comparing the results with known extracts, such as the few brief chapters preserved in Greek by Syncellus during the ninth century." Andrew Collins, From the Ashes of Angels - The Forbidden Legacy of a Fallen Race (1996) p. 21

What's in the Book: "As it now stands, I Enoch appears to consist of the following five major divisions:
(1) The Book of the Watchers (chaps. 1-36);
(2) The Book of the Similitudes (chaps. 37-7l)-,
(3) The Book of Astronomical Writings (chaps. 72-82);
(4) The Book of Dream Visions (chaps. 83-90); and
(5) The Book of the Epistle of Enoch (chaps. 91-107)."
Craig A. Evans, Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation, (1992) p. 23

"Chaps. 1-36 The Book of the Watchers may date from the third century BCE. Parts of its text have been identified on several copies from Qumran cave 4; the earliest fragmentary manuscript (4QEnocha) dates, according to the editor J.T. Milk, to between 200 and 150 BCE. All Qumran copies are in the Aramaic language." James C. Vanderkam Chaps. 72-82

Chapter 60 of the lost Old Testament Bible Book of Enoch

One example, of angel guides and "ropes":

"1. In those days I beheld long ropes given to those angels; who took to their wings, and fled, advancing towards the north.

2. And I inquired of the angel, saying, Wherefore have they taken those long ropes, and gone forth? He said, They are gone forth to measure.

3. The angel, who proceeded with me, said, These are the measures of the righteous; and cords shall the righteous bring, that they may trust in the name of the Lord of spirits for ever and ever.

4. The elect shall begin to dwell with the elect.

5. And these are the measures which shall be given to faith, and which shall strengthen the words of righteousness.

6. These measures shall reveal all the secrets in the depth of the earth".

More ropes in Chapter 69;

1. After this the name of the Son of man, living with the Lord of spirits, was exalted by the inhabitants of the earth.

2. It was exalted in the chariots of the Spirit; and the name went forth in the midst of them.

3. From that time I was not drawn into the midst of them; but he seated me between two spirits, between the north and the west, where the angels received their ropes, to measure out a place for the elect and the righteous.

4. There I beheld the fathers of the first men, and the saints, who dwell in that place for ever.

2Enoch: "2 Enoch, or the Slavonic Apocalypse of Enoch, was written late first century C.E. in Egypt by a Jew. It survives only in late Old Slavonic manuscripts. It may have been composed originally in Aramaic or Hebrew, later being translated into Greek, and later still being translated into Old Slavonic. It is an amplification of Gen 5:21-32 (from Enoch to the Flood)", wrote Craig A. Evans, in his Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation, (1992) p. 23.

The rediscovery of the Lost Book of Enoch (1): Called "Ethiopian Enoch" or "1 Enoch"; it was re-discovered for Europe by James Bruce. After six years, and a great adventure he returned to Europe, but his story was so fantastic he was not believed. The amusing - Adventures of Baron Munchausenwas written purposely to make fun of Bruce. Ten years after his return he wrote, from his notes, a five volume work of his six years in Africa. Travels to discover the source of the Nile, in the years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772 and 1773, in 5 volumes. The references to the Books of Enoch are in the second volume, chapter 7.

How the book got lost: All the writers of the New Testament were familiar with the Book of Enoch, and for the early church fathers it had the weight of a canonical book. But by the fourth century it became unpopular, and was soon lost to Western Christianity. It would have remained lost forever, but in 1768, James Bruce of Kinnaird, a famous classical scholar and Freemason, began a five year expedition to Ethiopia and brought back not one, but three manuscripts of The Book of Enoch. One is preserved in the Bodleian Library, another was presented to the royal library of France (the nucleus of the Bibliothèque nationale), the third was kept by Bruce.

Suppressed by the early Church: The Book of Enoch, translated from the original Ethiopian Coptic script, was suppressed by the early church and thought destroyed. The first translation of the Bodleian/Ethiopic MS was published in 1821 by Professor Richard Laurence, afterwards archbishop of Cashel. in 1821 and was published in a number of successive editions, culminating in the 1883 version. The Book of Enoch in 1883 translation by Richard Laurence was republished by Adventures Unlimited Press.


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