The Nephilim, the Book of Enoch, Honesty, and Fear

One more of the questions that was asked of John Lennox today (June 18; I’m scheduling these posts 2 days apart) was who the Nephilim were.

Nephilim is the Hebrew word translated "giants" in Genesis 6:4. These Nephilim were the children of the sons of God and the daughters of men.

Weird passage. How do we interpret it?

John Lennox mentioned that the Nephilim are addressed in the New Testament, and then he quoted Jude 6:

And the angels, who did not guard their origins, but left their dwelling place, he has reserved in eternal chains under darkness for the judgment day.

I completely agree that Jude 6 is a reference to the Nephilim of Genesis 6.

I get wildly frustrated when I hear someone like John Lennox say that and then stop.


Sorry for shouting, but let’s let all our brothers and sisters in on a secret that’s hidden away in the cellar.

There’s a Book of Enoch, and Jude quotes it!

Yes, that’s right. When Jude says Enoch prophesied about the judgment on ungodly men doing ungodly deeds in an ungodly way, he’s quoting the Book of Enoch. Depending on the version you read, the verse he’s quoting is either the last verse of chapter one (1:9) or the first verse of chapter two (2:1).

You know what else? The Book of Enoch is in the Bible of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

You know what else? It’s obvious that the Book of Enoch was read by many in the early church.

You know what’s even more important? The Book of Enoch is quoted as containing Enoch’s words in a letter that you consider inspired by God and infallible!

I, on the other hand, being a student of church history, know that I can question whether the Epistle of Jude is really inspired and ought to be in our New Testament. Most of the early churches did, and to this day the Nestorian congregations, now known as the Assyrian Orthodox Church of the East, who were excommunicated back in the 5th century over issues that Christians only pretend to understand, do not have Jude in their Bibles. In fact, they don’t have Revelation, either. Nor second or third John.

Shh. Don’t tell anyone. We have some things that we like to keep secret.

Okay, draw closer here so I can whisper.

— hushed tones —
If anyone asks you about the Nephilim, you’ll sound really knowledgeable if you quote Jude 6 … and maybe 1 Peter 3:19, too. But don’t tell anyone that Jude quoted the Book of Enoch because we really don’t want anyone to think about the implications of that.

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

You know what’s really cool? The Book of Enoch has a neat story about why there are demons.

We think they’re fallen angels today. But, those angels that fell in Genesis 6 are kept in eternal chains awaiting judgment.

Oh, oh. I have to make this wait for the next post. I just realized that you might believe the modern myth that Satan caused one-third of the angels to rebel in the beginning.

That’s not true. Do you even know where that myth comes from?

I’ll explain all that next post. I don’t want to make this one too long.


About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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14 Responses to The Nephilim, the Book of Enoch, Honesty, and Fear

  1. Jim Riege says:

    Are you saying that the books of Jude, Revelation, 2 John, and 3 John should not be in the bible, and the book of Enoch should be?

    • paulfpavao says:

      Hi Jim. I completely missed responding to this after responding to your other post. I had to go back and look at this 2011 post. I must have been in some mood that day. Of course, I was diagnosed with leukemia the next day so maybe it was a lack of blood.

      Anyway, I was trying to say that most Christians live in a nice purified version of Christianity, and that we withhold a lot of things from them. I don’t think it’s my right to determine what a church accepts as canon, but I do think it’s the right of the local church. Churches had varying (SLIGHTLY varying) canons at least through AD 412 when Augustine released On Christian Doctrine. In it, he says that a good student of the Word will prioritize on books accepted by all churches, then on ones accepted by the majority of churches, then on the ones accepted by larger, apostolically founded churches, and finally on those accepted by a minority of smaller churches.

      I do NOT want the Book of Enoch canonized. That’s not my decision, but fortunately there aren’t any churches who have canonized it except the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

      My goal in this post is to let Christians have a real view of Scripture. The 66 books the Protestants use were never officially decided upon by anyone. Our canon was formed by habit, not decree. The Latin Vulgate was used for around a thousand years in the west, so the entire west wound up with a canon of 66 books plus 7 questionable ones. The Protestants left them questionable for a while, but the RCC approved them at the Council of Trent mid-16th century. The eastern churches never had such an issue since they continued to use a Greek or Syrian Bible. They always included the 7 “deuterocanonicals” or “the Apocrypha,” as Protestant incorrectly call them. The eastern churches not only included those, but they have several others they use, too, such as 3 Maccabees and 2 Esdras.

      I’m not saying which canon is correct. I’m just saying that Christians ought to be more informed about the various canons and what has influenced our own. The Book of Enoch should not be Scripture, in my opinion, but it should be read because it was read by early Christians and influenced, obviously, even the letter of Jude that you read. It provides the background for Jesus story of the rich man and Lazarus, and it explains a couple passages in Peter.

      I wish we would quit withholding truth from Christians. Keeping the sheep in the dark is not good for them. They are sheep, not mushrooms.

  2. I don’t believe in coincidence either

  3. Shammah says:

    Jeremiah, that comment about the translator of the Book of Enoch is fascinating!

  4. Bob Duggan says:

    Great post! Keep it coming and keep up the suspense. The suspense reminds me of those shows on the history and discovery channel.

    • Shammah says:

      Bob Duggan? Is this THE Bob Duggan? From MA? It is really GREAT to hear from you. You probably don’t remember or didn’t have any way to know how much I liked you. But I did! Please keep in touch!

  5. BTW: The translator of the version I have is Geo. H. Schodde and wrote the preface in Columbus Ohio, my birth place, on November 21st, my birthday in 1881

  6. I’ve read the Book of Enoch and it’s like a nature hike through a George Lucas/Steven Spielburg production. If you think the creatures in Daniel and Revelation are unbelievable. I know the answer to where demons come from but I won’t jump the gun. I personally like suspense.

  7. Adam Walker says:

    Good point. I look forward to the next post.

  8. Adam Walker says:

    Good post brother. Correct me if I’m incorrect, but don’t the New Testament writers quote several non-New Testament sources, including secular poetry and philosophy? I think it’s cool that Jude quotes the Book of Enoch, which likely means the Book of Enoch is worth a read…

    • Shammah says:

      The apostles quote non-canonical sources occasionally. However, Paul quoting a Greek prophet to Greeks in Acts 17 is a bit different than Jude quoting the Book of Enoch in a seemingly authoritative way. That combined with the fact that 1 Peter, Jude, and the early Christians all seem to accept Enoch’s version of Genesis 6 indicates we ought to at least pay some attention. Or at least let people know it’s so!

  9. John Cullimore says:

    No kidding… this is fun stuff. POST IT NOW!!!!

  10. Ed Kahrman says:

    You can’t really make us wait one day, can you? That is not fair.

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