The following sermon was submitted by ULC minister Daniel Morgan. All ULC Ministers are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bible as we know it today did not exist as one writing originally. It is a collection of books that were carefully curated over time by the Church. But not all holy texts made the cut; some were banned and forgotten by most believers. One such lost story has a history of controversy within some Judeo-Christian communities.
The Books of Enoch are apocalyptic texts containing magnificent tales about the origin of demons, giants, magic, and the transformation of a holy man into the archangel among archangels.
Some consider the titular character to fulfill the role of the prophesied messiah long before the time of Jesus. Others see him as a man ascended to Heaven by God to learn the secrets of the end of time. To others still, he is the product of what more or less amounts to ancient fanfiction.
Beginning and the End
The story of Enoch takes place between those of the Garden of Eden and the Great Flood, both found in the Book of Genesis. He is mentioned in the traditional Bible as being the 7th of the 10 pre-flood patriarchs in Adam’s line.
Despite taking place so early in the timeline, the book actually begins with Enoch’s delightfully ominous description of the end times, detailing Earth being ripped apart and a final judgment of sinful men.
We are also immediately introduced to mysterious creatures called the Watchers. In the beginning, this group of 200 angels was charged with observing history, however they began lusting after human women and descended to Earth to take them as wives.
This is where the story picks up the pace and it almost reads like a prologue from Lord of the Rings. The wives of the Watchers birthed giants that devoured everything in their path. When resources ran dry, they just ate the people!
Growing up I always wondered where Goliath and other Biblical giants were supposed to have come from, given they are all portrayed in a villainous light. I suppose a perverted mix of angels and humans is as good an answer as any.
As these giants ransacked the lands, the Watchers taught the wives charms, spells, and the craft of herbology - likely continuing the sexist depictions of women as deceivers that were started by stories of Eve and Lilith.
Meanwhile, the Watchers gifted mortal men with knowledge of metallurgy, fashioning weapons and armor, and soon after, the men began warring with one another.
The Watchers saw how badly they had messed things up and went tattling on one another to God. They decided to pin all the blame on one of their own named Azazel, who is often depicted with goat-like features, giving us the term scapegoat (fun fact!).
Are There Lessons to be Learned?
The passage of time at this point in the story is rather confusing. In response to the warring men, destructive giants, and crafty women, God prepared to wipe the slate clean. If at first you don’t succeed, kill everyone. That is the phrase, right? Maybe I got that wrong.
Noah is given a divine warning about the imminent flooding of the planet and sets to work on an ark.
The plot jolts forward with Enoch suddenly appearing in Heaven with little to no lead-up. God immediately charges him with dealing out damnation to the Watchers who would spend the rest of eternity as demons. He also seemingly creates purgatory to collect the souls of all people until judgment day.
For many passages after this, God takes Enoch on quite the trip, giving him visions of the end of time. If you are familiar with the books of Daniel and Revelation, you will recognize a lot of the imagery here; it’s just odd to have it shown so early on as opposed to the end of the Bible as many of us are used to.
God and Enoch start calling people out - naming names and telling them they'll receive no mercy. God empowers Enoch, turning him into the leader of the archangels named (no joke) Metatron.
I won’t spoil anything else, there’s plenty of sea monsters and chariots flying through the sky to make for an interesting read, to say the least. If you are intrigued by prophecy, metaphor, and trippy visions, I can’t recommend these books enough.
What’s the Big Deal
The very colorful books of Enoch have caused quite a stir over the years. Early Christians considered the writings to be canon, and for the Ethopian Orthodox Christian Church, they still are. However the messianic elements of them conflicted with the metaphysical uniqueness of Jesus Christ, and that rubbed the powers that be the wrong way.
Apparently, the creation of giants by the Watchers was considered too blasphemous for innocent minds. It also doesn’t hurt that a good chunk of the books are just retellings of Biblical stories, albeit in a more exciting fashion.
What’s more, the books set out a solar calendar, which means believers would not celebrate holidays at the same time as the rest of the community, who used a lunar calendar. This contributed to a cultural split that further buried the texts in obscurity.
Enoch does show up in a few places in the Bible, though usually only briefly, and more as part of a boring genealogical list. I much prefer this story as detailed here. Whether or not you personally choose to add it to your head canon or not, it is still fascinating to read non-Biblical “Biblical” texts written around the same time from some of the same groups of people.
The full Books of Enoch texts can be found in the ULC online catalog.
Open your bible to the very first page. No, not Genesis. The page before that, where it says in plain English that this book was devised and written to please the King of Scotland. "The Bible" is a political tool designed to control the masses of the common people. All the truly spiritual writings were banned by the Council of Nicaea.
It is obvious that the Roman Church left out many revealing scriptures, because they did just that; revealed the truth about the church in Rome. Those scriptures have been kept under lock and key, and heavily guarded. What the Church in Rome does not realize is that copies of those writings were made before Rome could get their hands on them.
The only bible, those who support democracy, should own, study and believe, was written by Thomas Jefferson, and is therefore the Bible of choice for democracy loving patriotic Americans.
That the GOP’s favorite bible, was written by the autocratic dictator King James (an authoritarian fascist) — and the GOP is opposed to the Thomas Jefferson Patriot’s Bible says it all — the GOP favors authoritarianism.
Yeah but that's only because the GOP are fascists.
Good for the opinionated to explain to us heathens the political ways of our world as we have zero clue to understand it. Your absolute lack of education overwhelms us fools. As you approach your end I hope for you that you are right and that is how you be judged because that level of humor would truly be outstanding and better than any standup comedian could compile. As for us slackers we will have fun without you and without (sadly) this level of stupidity.
Politics has no place in the eyes of God!
Which mythical god are you referring to?
By technicality All Gods are mythical, Lionheart.
So true 👍
Would be interesting to hear a christian's opinion on why the Apocrypha was also removed from the bible. I suspect many would not know its content, nor the reasons it was deemed 'unsuitable' for public consumption at the time. Full of doom and gloom.
Apocrypha....(from Greek apokryptien,to hide away) apocrypha has come to mean any writings of DUBIOUS AUTHORITY....meaning that what what supposed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit was not accepted by the guys putting the bible togeather...ALSO meaning that what WAS included is a direct act of the same Holy Spirit directing humans with super natural enlightment....UNTIL THE LATTER DAYS..... It's absolutly no coincidence that the complete book of Isaiah AND the writings of Enoch were both discovered together in 1947...dating back to 300B.C. both are the oldest confirmed writings that match 99% of today's biblcal books. Which puts the hebrew nation...who completly reject the Prophet Isaiah's record...citing that it was corrupted by 'christians' in the early 400's. and the Enoch record as being disputable....Seeing as there were not any Office Max, or Kinko's available to copy corrupt data back in 300 b.c. it only goes to show that not only has the prophet Isiaih's record made it into our eara but so has Enoch's...BOTH PROPHETS fortell about the end times and so far Isaiah's record about future events has come true with 100% accuracy...the thing prophized that have not come true YET...YET...are still to come. This is a FACT that cannot be disputed...which is why I, personnaly, am 'getting my house in order'
I'm more interested in what the Bible allows us to read. Why is that? Why do we care what people thought 2000-3500 years ago? In languages that are now dead.
Greek...the modern greek, is mainly unchanged...and that is what the new Testament has been recorded in. Hebrew, what the 'old testament' was orginally written in is also still a live language today...these languages are not considered 'dead' as an entire nation still uses herbrew to converse. Challenge: find the modern day equivalent of the languages of ANY NATION...alive at that time that still represents today...Hittites, and all the other tribes mentioned in the Bible have ceased to exist...ONLY the Hebrew Nation language still exists today...WHY?...because GOD SAID SO.
Koine Greek (New Testament Greek) is a dead language. The Mishnaic Hebrew was extinct as a spoken language by the 5th century CE. Aramaic was spoken in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. Hebrew was a dead language. And the New Testament itself was written in Aramaic. We have fragments but no entire text.
You are quoting a translation of a translation of a translation.
Where does God say anything in the bible?
WELL PROBABLY if WE UNDERSTOOD the WORDs WE WOULD THEN UNDERSTAND HOW WE as ASSANINE HUMANs HAVE KILLED OURSELVES OVER and OVER and OVER AGAIN, WE WILL NEVER REALLY KNOW WHAT ANYONE THOUGHT UNLESS WE SPOKE DIRECTLY TO THOSE PERSONs !
Well, the Books of Enoch were "left out" of the Bible as we know it? Who might be shocked by that revelation? Why stop with one book? Let's compile a long list of writings that also were "left out". That would be a lot of fun, and might even create some sensational headlines for the tabloids: "Shocking Stories That Censors Left Out of the Bible". Of course. A tempting, attention-getting topic. Grist for those who love scandals. The Bible is what it is. The "Church" as you say, "the powers that be", determined its contents. A newspaper editor chooses every day what to include in that day's edition. A million essays offering which books were left out does not change the content of the Bible itself. If you would like to publish a new book with all that was left out, "The New Bible", how would you choose what to include and what to leave out? In any event, it would be a very large book, or maybe like a multi-volume encyclopedia.
The Great book of fiction was edited? Say it ain't so. Why is anyone surprised?
It's amazing how often a comment section is more enlightening than the article it's attached to.
Enoch was not taken out of the Bible. It was simply not put in.
The compilation of what became the bible started long before America was invented. Up until Henry Vlll the bible was the Catholic Bible, then the Protestants appeared and mutated. Christianity is not an Amercan invention.
LOL!! you really gonna cite the 3rd president of the U.S.? That dude actually 'rewrote' the bible without the miracles of Jesus and His Resurrection...he found them 'unbelievable'...using a razor to carefully cut out small blocks of text that he, in paticular, was not "comfortable with"....Using his clippings, Jefferson omitted silly things like Jesus' miracles, His ascesion into heaven, His resurrection, turning water into wine or walking on water...Good ole Jeff only concentrated on Jesus...a really swell guy, a man of good morals, loved his mom, tipped well when he went out to eat, and was a pretty cool all around teacher that could also build you a chair or table if you needed one....WTF EVER!!
Might I suggest a simple Google search concerning your erroneous conclusions? The N.T. was written in GREEK for it's Greek audience and Hebrew is still spoken today...BTW...the official language of Greece is...wait for it.....GREEK...The Dead sea scrolls found in 1945-1947, had an entire word for word scroll of the book of Isaiah dating from 300 B.C. proving that the priests in charge of transcribing took their jobs very seriously and very few errors were ever found.
UPSIDE DOWN OR RIGHT SIDE UP...OR EVEN DOING THE MOON WALK...CHANGES NOTHING....THOSE WHO WANT TO BE LOST ARE LOST...THOSE WHO HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES HAVE CHOSEN SO....ALL IS REAL...NOTHING IS REAL....MAYBE SOME ARE SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN...FORTUNATELY OR UNFORTUNATELY ..FROM A LINE IN A SONG...."A MAN HEARS WHAT HE WANTS TO HEAR AND DISREGARDS THE REST"...Rev john
keep politics to yourself not applicable here go to facebook
That was definitely an awesome read! Thank you!
Wonderful research. I may have just added that the Ethiopic Bible, was actually formed 800 years prior to the King James Version of the Holy Text. The Universal Bible Is a wonderful read. I was going to add something about the number of texts. If I am not mistaken the Ethiopic Bible has 88 books. Of course you'll definitely need to do an easy google search. They still haven't added the Nag Hammadhi Library and the Ethiopic texts under one umbrella. But as my dear Honorable Friend, Rev. Dr. Haynes would say-'More will be revealed'. Thank you for the information, I appreciate it.
Its time to end all this nonsense its bad enough in the U.K All P.C its absolute madness changing they to them That's not in the Queens English. I think the world had gone mad And I have mental health issues?