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Henok, Heaven and Book of Enoch (Henok)

 
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Mehari
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Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 122

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Henok, Heaven and Book of Enoch (Henok) Reply with quote

Dear Father George,

Recently I read a book about Henok (Henoch) written by our orthodox brothers. Could you please tell us about the biblical Henok and about the Book of Enoch (Henok) and the Book of Jubilees (Kufale) too. Is there any relation between them?

Is it true that, the Book of Henok is found and introduced to the world recently? Is it true that the first book discovered was written in Geez? Who wrote the Book of Henok? Is it written by the biblical Henok (seventh from Adam) or ….? Tell us also about what Deuterocanonical and Apocryphal means.

At present we are preparing to celebrate the feast of “Our Lady of Assumption to Heaven.” happy We call it “Zemene Flseta” and we recite a nice hymen glorifying Our Lady for the coming two weeks. Similarly we known that Henok is taken to heaven and St. Paul also mentions about the third Heaven. Tell us about the type or stages of Heaven . If possible recommend me a book which I might read in relation to the above questions. Thanks in advance for your beautiful and effective ministry here in FFJ with your “to the point” Catholic answers. Even though I am late, Let me use this opportunity to say Happy Birth Day Abba!!!

Mehari
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Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
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fr. George
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Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 317

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order to answer all your questions I will need to tell the story of the Canon of the Bible (i.e. rule in making the list of books in the Bible). Since that will take too long, I would suggest that you consult any decent commentary on the Bible.

Only by the end of the first century A.D did Judaism make its list of the books of Bible from a great number of books that were in use. The Rabbis accepted only 39 books as part of the Hebrew Bible. The early Christians, however, were already using a Greek version of the Bible called the Septuagint (LXX) which had 46 books. “What was good for the Apostles and the first Christians, was good for us” argues the Catholics as well as the Eastern Orthodox Christians (who accept a few other books as well). ( Possibly, even Jesus read from a Hebrew version similar to the LXX!) The 46 books of the Old Testament would be accepted formally as the Catholic Canon of the Bible only in the 16th Century at the Council of Trent. The 7 books that were not part of the Hebrew Canon were called “ Deutero-canonical ” (second list) books. They reserved the word “Apocrypha” (spurious) for those ‘sacred books’ outside these 46 books.

During Reformation, the Protestants, perhaps in their eagerness to oppose any thing Catholic, accepted the 39 books of the Hebrew Canon and no other. They called the 7 Deutero-canonical books of the Catholics “Apocrypha”.

As the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees are outside the 46 books accepted by the Catholics, they are considered apocrypha (spurious). Some call them Pseudepigrapha. I would call both of them as a kind of Midrash and therefore not the inspired word of God. The Ethiopian Orthodox Christians consider both these books as part of the Bible.

Enoch was the 7th patriarch and the great grand-father of Noah. He is quoted in Jude 1:14-15. In spite of this, the Book of Enoch was rejected down through the centuries by the existing Church except in the Ethiopian church which believes that it was originally written in Ge’ez language. There is no conclusive proof for it. Most western scholars believe that it was written in Hebrew and/or Aramaic. The complete verson of this book exists only in Ge'ez manuscipts.

The Book of Jubilees, considered Apocryphal by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants but accepted by the Ethiopian church, is a kind of Midrash combining the book of Genesis and Exodus with the concerns of Second century B.C. Judaism. The Ethiopians consider it older than the Genesis and directly revealed to Moses.

Originally it was thought that the Book of Jubilees was written in Ge’ez. But between 1947 and 1956, 15 manuscripts of the book were found in Qumran written in Hebrew. So, it is more likely that this book was originally written in Hebrew rather than in Ge’ez.

As these books are outside of the Bible, my interest and knowledge of them is very limited and so I am unable to suggest to you any reliable bibliography. I see in our world a fascination for anything apocryphal (as we see the interest in the Gospel of Thomas, Mary Magedline etc.) and I try to resist going with the crowd! What I need for salvation is already in the existing Bible and I do not need to look outside of it! I can hardly cope with what is already there!
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Mehari
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Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 122

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks father George for entertaining most of my questions and for ur concise Catholic answers. Thanks again for the insight as well as the advice u provided.

BTW the main fact which interests me about Henok is, in our song glorifying “Our Lady of Assumption”, we used to quote Henok as “Henok Tsehafi” meaning “Henok the Writer”! Additionally, the fact that the Book of Henok is found in Geez, being reserved for centuries has amused me as Geez is our Latin in this part of Africa. That is why I tried to know something relevant (prefereably a Catholic answer) on this regard.

I found a commentary which says “Jesus’s generation including Himself and the Apostles (as well as His friends) used to read the Book of Henok”. Some used to get several parallels between the Book of Henok and the New Testament. Actually I haven’t read The book of Henok fully yet. I understand that there might be things beyond my understanding.

fr. George wrote:
What I need for salvation is already in the existing Bible and I do not need to look outside of it! I can hardly cope with what is already there!


TRUE everything necessary for our Salivation is included in the Bible. Additionally, we might even get something important in some other books and Church Father’s writings too. The Church as well as the Bible teaches us also the importance of oral tradition too. Our Beloved Pope Benedict on his beautiful book called “Jesus of Nazareth” has, I think mentioned some explanations used by Henok too.


Thanks Father George
Jesus, I Trust in You!
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Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
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