The Urantia Papers tell us that the ancient Book of Enoch was highly important to Jesus.
This Book has been preserved through historic channels and we know the work today as "1 Enoch," or "Ethiopic Enoch."
I asked: Is the Book that has been preserved through historic channels the same as that which Jesus knew? Have pieces been lost, or has the text been adulterated or spoiled by the process of the centuries? Can we know what text Jesus studied?
Remarks in the passage from The Urantia Papers help us address these questions.
"While turning all these problems over in his mind, he found in the synagogue library at Nazareth, among the apocalyptic books which he had been studying, this manuscript called "The Book of Enoch"; and though he was certain that it had not been written by Enoch of old, it proved very intriguing to him, and he read and reread it many times. There was one passage which particularly impressed him, a passage in which this term "Son of Man" appeared. The writer of this so-called Book of Enoch went on to tell about this Son of Man, describing the work he would do on earth and explaining that this Son of Man, before coming down on this earth to bring salvation to mankind, had walked through the courts of heavenly glory with his Father, the Father of all; and that he had turned his back upon all this grandeur and glory to come down on earth to proclaim salvation to needy mortals. As Jesus would read these passages, (well understanding that much of the Eastern mysticism which had become admixed with these teachings was erroneous), he responded in his heart and recognized in his mind that of all the Messianic predictions of the Hebrew scriptures and of all the theories about the Jewish deliverer, none was so near the truth as this story tucked away in this only partially accredited Book of Enoch; and he then and there decided to adopt as his inaugural title "the Son of Man." And this he did when he subsequently began his public work. Jesus had an unerring ability for the recognition of truth, and truth he never hesitated to embrace, no matter from what source it appeared to emanate."
We know that the historic manuscripts contain material which is extraneous to the original writing. But extraneous material was also contained in the text Jesus studied, as shown by the remark that "much of the Eastern mysticism which had become admixed with these teachings was erroneous".
Before answering these questions I shall provide a brief review of the knowledge we possess on the historic text.
R. H. Charles, a Fellow of the Merton College in Oxford, and Fellow of the British Academy, performed an analytical study and translation of all available Enoch texts known in the early part of this century.
See "The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament," in English, Volume II, "The Pseudepigrapha," Oxford University Press, 1913, with photo reprints into the latter part of this century.
Charles did a thorough review of the use of the Book in ancient times, when it was "in favor" and when not, how it influenced the Apostles and early Christian writers, the surviving manuscripts, their known origins, and how they compare with one another.
Most of the surviving manuscripts were in the ancient Ethiopic language, hence "Ethiopic Enoch." Several Greek manuscripts were found, but they had been only partially preserved. At the time of his study the Ethiopic manuscripts numbered twenty-nine, with fifteen in England, eight in France, four in Germany, one in Italy, and one in the United States.
Differences were found among the manuscripts, some more complete than others. There were also minor differences in text but those sections were limited. See Chapters 22, 27 and 32.
The division of the text into chapters apparently was made in the sixteenth century, common to the current urge to divide the Bible into chapter and verse about that time. A German scholar, Dillmann, devised the division into the present 108 chapters, arbitrarily, without manuscript authority.
It should be noted that the Book of Enoch, along with other pseudepigraphal and apocryphal books, was include as an appendix to the Bible well into the modern era, including the King James version. Only during the nineteenth century were these books gradually removed from the canon.
Charles discussed the extraneous material found in the Book of Enoch. He ascribed it to "Noah Fragments." This Book of Noah is known from the ancient Book of Jubilees, and other sources. Charles identified these fragments as Chapters 6-11, 54-55.2, 60, 65-69.25, 106-107.
Thus we have a handle on the corruptions which crept into the original work, and which Jesus recognized – if the manuscript consulted by Jesus was the same as we know today.
We had no confirmation of the ancient text until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They opened new vistas in our knowledge and integrity of the ancient writings, including the Old Testament books and the Book of Enoch. The manuscripts found the Dead Sea Caves represented the texts available to Jesus, since they date from the time Jesus was here.
But still, no manuscripts of the Book of Enoch were found until the discoveries of Cave 4. This cave contained by far the largest amount of material hidden by the scribes of Qumran at the approach of the Roman armies in 68 AD. Unfortunately, much of that massive collection had deteriorated and been destroyed over the centuries. Only fragments of the many scrolls remained. This contrasted with Cave 1 where fewer scrolls were found, but which were in a good state of preservation.
Again, it was not until 1992 that Florentino Garcia Martinez published the surviving Book of Enoch fragments, in Spanish. That book was not translated into English until 1994 by Wilfred G.E. Watson. See "The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated," E. J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Thus our ability to determine the text of the Book of Enoch used by Jesus was not available to the non-scholarly English-speaking world until most recently.
Fragments of eight different Enoch manuscripts were found in Cave 4. The differences among the manuscripts were determined by the different writing styles of the Qumran scribes, or by differences in scroll material. None of the surviving fragments duplicate each other exactly from scroll to scroll. The total amount of surviving materials does not include the entire original writing. However, the surviving fragments cover the range from the first chapter to chapter 107, and show that the historical manuscripts faithfully reproduce the ancient document. The Dead Sea fragments also show that the "Noah" materials were part of the text studied by Jesus.
Unfortunately, the text so important to Jesus, Chapters 48 and 49, and their description of the Son of Man, are not among the surviving Dead Sea fragments.
Thus we have confirmation that the surviving historical manuscripts did, indeed, reproduce the text as known by Jesus, and synthesized by Charles for the modern edition. The text we study today was the text studied by Jesus.
Charles listed the many portions of text which show strong parallels with the Book of Jubilees and the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, both of which were part of the "only partially accredited" apocalyptic materials Jesus studied. Charles also showed the heavy influence of the Book on the Apostles and early Christian writers.
In Jude 6, "the angels which left their own habitation" compares with 1 Enoch 12:4, "the Watchers . . . who have left the high heaven." Jude 14 directly quotes Enoch, 1:9. The "tree of life" is found in Rev 2:7 and Enoch 25:4-6. Examples of the many other parallels are:
1 John 1:7, "walk in the light" with Enoch 92:4, "walk in eternal light."
1 John 2:8, "the darkness is past," with Enoch 58:5, "the darkness is past."
Rev 3:5, "clothed in white raiment" with Enoch 40:31, "clothed in white."
Rev 4:6, "round about the throne were four living creatures," with Enoch "and on the four sides of the Lord of Spirits I saw four presences." See also The Urantia Papers, page 513.
Rom 8:38, "angels . . .principalities . . . and powers," with Enoch 61:10, "angels of power . . . angels of principalities."
Rom 10:13, "every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved," with Enoch 48:7, "in his name they are saved."
Eph 1:9, "according to his good pleasure (KJV)," with Enoch 49:4, "according to his good pleasure."
Many other parallels could be cited. Obviously the Book of Enoch had a heavy influence on the views and attitudes of the Apostles of Jesus.
Similar influence on the early Church fathers is known from their writings, including Justin Martyr, Tatian, Irenaeus, and Tertullian. After the second century AD the Book of Enoch passed out of favor in Christian thinking.
The Book of Enoch contains many fascinating revelations, beyond the "Son of Man" text used by Jesus.
(Remember, these revelations lie within a corrupted text. But those of you who have your hearts centered on truth may be able to discern what is valid and what is not, as Jesus did.)
For example, there is a brief note on the future genetic rehabilitation of this planet, emphasized so prominently in The Urantia Papers.
39:1 – "And it shall come to pass in those days that elect and holy children will descend from the high heaven, and their seed will become one with the children of men."
From this terse remark we should be able to deduce that action has been taken by Michael to supplant the loss of the children of Adam and Eve. (The direct children of Adam and Eve were deprived of procreative powers, p. 632. Hence this other program must be proceeding from genetic stock different than that of the original Adam and Eve. The abductions taking place in our skies today, and the production of children from that activity, very likely are part of this substitute program.)
Still another revelation about this substitute program is provided in John's Apocalypse, Rev 7:2-8 and 14:1-3. A relatively large body of people with proper genetic and spiritual potentials will be taken from the earth immediately after the nuclear holocaust. They will be used to build that new genetic base. The activities of these people on that other world are found in Enoch 39:4-8, where they intercede for the survivors of earth. The return to earth of this new genetic base is also found in Enoch 5:7-9. Compare with the knowledge of this new program that was part of the Salem gospel that came down from Melchizedek, The Urantia Papers pages 1024 and 1033, and memory of which is found in Deut 30:4 --
"If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will fetch you."
Other revelations contained within the Book of Enoch include a description of the Tree of Life which will be returned to this planet, The Urantia Papers, page 745, Enoch 24 and 25, "Enoch's" tour of the seven prison worlds, The Urantia Papers, p. 510, Enoch 18:13-14, and other fascinating revelation.
One especially important revelation is a description of "Enoch's" visit with Michael, 14:8-25. This passage begins with a remark of transport into the heavens:
"Behold, in the vision clouds invited me and a mist summoned me, and the course of the stars and the lightnings sped and hastened me, and the winds in the vision caused me to fly and lifted me upward, and bore me into heaven." (Elsewhere "Enoch" also describes this travel into the heavens: "And in those days a whirlwind carried me off from the earth and set me down at the end of the heavens, 39:3.)
As part of that account he also describes the Sea of Glass, The Urantia Papers pgs 486, 511, and so on.
I am aware of four accounts which report visits with Michael. They include "Enoch," the ancient prophet Isaiah, 6:1-8, Hatcinondon, a Seneca Indian chief, and Betty Andreasson. Betty Andreasson also described the Sea of Glass. Refer to other papers on this web site.
This should give you some indication of the revelatory importance of this very ancient Enoch document.