Book of Enoch in the NAB?


#1

Hi all. I am a convert from atheism to Catholicism, so please forgive me if this question seems silly to the more experienced cradle Catholics of the forum.

I normally prefer the Knox Bible for private study, but sometimes the Holy Spirit moves me to study from the NAB, and I never argue with Divine Guidance.

While reading the Book of Tobit in the St. Joseph’s edition NABRE I noticed the following footnote to 12:12:

Raphael is one of the Seven Angels of the Presence, specially designated intercessors who present prayers to God. Angelology was developing during this period. The names of two other of these seven, Michael and Gabriel, are given in the bible. See 1 Enoch for the names of the rest.

I checked in the New Catholic Answer Bible (NAB) that I was given in RCIA and it contained the same footnote.

  1. Is the Book of Enoch considered a valid biblical text by the Catholic Church?

  2. If it is, should four extra-biblical Archangels, Uriel, Jehudiel, Sealtiel, and Barachiel, be venerated with the same respect and admiration given to Michael, Gabriel, and Raphel?

I asked the Deacon who ran the RCIA program about this, and he stared at me, mumbled a half-hearted answer, and then walked off. :shrug:

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


#2

Catholics classify the Book of Enoch as an apocryphal work of Jewish origin. (source)


#3

Yeah, that’s what the Deacon told me, but if it’s apocryphal then why does the NAB tell us to use it for authoritative information?


#4

Apocryphal means that it is outside of Sacred Scripture, but does not mean we can use other Christian or Jewish writings for information (Josephus, Didache, letters from Ignatius of Antioch, etc.) These are not Scripture but very useful to supplement our understanding of Scripture.


#5

Angelology is not biblical. Therefore, the footnote is referring to an extra-biblical source for anyone interested in the matter.

The Book of Enoch appears to have been used as a source by the human author of Tobit. Today, Enoch might be considered a matter of private revelation; it may be divinely inspired, at least in part, but is not uniquely necessary for salvation. It is therefore not part of the biblical canon, but still provides complementary insight into the mind of God. Acceptance of its contents, however, is not obligatory.


#6

If the NAB had a commentary that discussed Peter, James, and John as Apostles, then said, “Hippolytus On The Twelve Apostles” also talked about seventy other Apostles.

It would merely be (and is) quoting a historical document. That’s all.

The NAB footnote isn’t trying to give “Scripture status” to the book of Enoch.

Likewise if a footnote talked about other Apostles (in addition to “The Twelve”) that apparently the Apostles themselves brought-in (presumably after Jesus Ascended to Heaven), we would (and do) think the same thing. We would think this footnote is merely referring to a historical document (and that this historical document may or may not be correct).

We would NOT think that this footnote is trying to make the case that St. Hippolytus of Rome is writing something “inspired” or on the level of Sacred Scripture.

Likewise concerning the Angelology of the book of Enoch.

Hope this helps.

God bless.

Cathoholic


runningdude.

When you said:

Angelology is not biblical.

Did you mean: The Angelology of the Book of Enoch is not biblical?

[FONT=&quot]I ask, because “[FONT=&quot]Angelology” IS Biblical.[/FONT]

[/FONT]


#7

Apocryphal means that it is outside of Sacred Scripture, but does not mean we can use other Christian or Jewish writings for information (Josephus, Didache, letters from Ignatius of Antioch, etc.) These are not Scripture but very useful to supplement our understanding of Scripture.

Ah, thank you. I was of the understanding that apocryphal essentially meant useless. My mistake.

Did you mean: The Angelology of the Book of Enoch is not biblical?

I ask, because “Angelology” IS Biblical.

This is a much better way of asking my second question. :thumbsup:

Should we be venerating these four Archangels, and if so, what about the other angels named in the kabbala and other ancient writings, i.e. Metatron or Zarachiel?


#8

You are unfairly twisting my words. Only a handful of angels are named in the Bible. Any other names come from elsewhere.


#9

The Deposit of Faith for Catholics comes from Tradition as well as Scripture, so just because its not in the bible is not necessarily a problem even though most of our traditions are scriptural.


#10

newadvent.org/cathen/13635b.htm

newadvent.org/cathen/01601a.htm


#11

Runningdude. You said (here):

You are unfairly twisting my words.

runningdude. How can I be “twisting” your words when I not only quoted you, but asked you to clarify:shrug:?


Joshua119. You asked:

Should we be venerating these four Archangels, and if so, what about the other angels named in the kabbala and other ancient writings, i.e. Metatron or Zarachiel?

No. I would refrain from veneration of any angels not in public revelation. The book of Enoch would not be considered public revelation.

I would stick to veneration of specific Archangels that are revealed in public revelation such as the Bible. Considering the Archangels, that means Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

Or just in-general veneration of the heavenly Archangels as a whole (but not specific archangels outside of public revelation*—*i.e. public revelation being the Bible, or if the Church specifically names other angels, etc.)

Also, I would stay away from Kabbalah. I would not use Kabbalah in any way for a spiritual source.


“Angelology” merely means “study of Angels”.

I have some suggestions for your angel study if you don’t mind:

I would suggest starting with relevant sections from the CCC and the Roman Catechism in your angelology studies (you probably already have done this Joshua119 but I will put some sources below in case other readers happen upon this thread who may be interested).

Angels (at the Catholic Encyclopedia here)

Angels Explained: What You Should Know About the Nine Choirs by Dr. Mark Miravalle (audio here).

Time to Meet the Angels: The Nine Choirs and Much More by Dr. Mark Miravalle (book here).

Mark Miravalle talks on Angels (free Vimeo video to view here)

Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God’s Holy Ones by Dr. Scott Hahn (here).

Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts by Mike Aquilina (here).


#12

And the Book of Enoch, though not canonical, actually may have been thought to have been canonical to some early Christian and Jewish circles at some point. IIRC, the NAB footnotes to the Letter to the Hebrews mention the Book of Enoch as a possible source from which the author got information. Also, unlike many other non-canonical compositions, the Book of Enoch can be found in its entirety, as, IIRC, the Ethiopian Orthodox still consider the book to be canonical.

But no, the Book of Enoch is not considered canonical by Catholics, and the NAB isn’t saying that it is canonical. It’s just mentioning it as a book that other authors may have used as a source. There are many non-canonical books that sacred authors used as sources (and even cite as sources). The books of Samuel & Kings both have citations to now-lost works. The 2nd book of Maccabees mentions a certain 5-volume work by a Jason of Alexandria - and the author of the book states that his composition is, primarily, an abridgement of the original 5-volume work. Yet it is the abridgement that is considered divinely inspired, not the 5-volume work.


#13

You did twist my words! You presented a possible interpretation of my words that would render my post semantically null. (“The Angelogy of Enoch* is not biblical*. Therefore, the footnote is referring to an extra-biblical source for anyone interested in the matter.”)

Maybe I could have phrased it as Angelogy developed in parallel to the bible. Only a handful of names of Angels became part of the public deposit of faith (recorded in scripture); the rest might be considered privately revealed to the author.

I was attempting to parse the footnote; the OP asked why the NAB would refer to a non biblical source for this topic, and it is because the topic is not exclusively biblical. As a historical note, it was pointing to a connection between Tobit and another ancient text.


#14

runningdude

You presented a possible interpretation of my words that would render my post semantically null.

Sorry for my misunderstanding of what you were trying to say.


#15

I think the CC avoids the topic of Enoch as often as it can due to some of the more bizarre things in it.

For instance, I once asked our most senior priest about the Nephilim, and why all thru Catholic school, I had NEVER once heard this mentioned or ever taught about them or ever hear them mentioned in mass. He did not explain why the catholic school did not teach this, but did tell me the ‘whys’…First, this priest holds a PHD in history/ theology, he is extremely smart man, has been at our church for about 7 yrs now.

he told me the Nephilim were the first attempt of Satan to corrupt the human ‘seed’ so Jesus could not be born into this world, and back in those days, satan went with a ‘brute force’ in your face’ method of trying to corrupt the human seed, with literal giants (the Nephilim), they were half demons and very intimidating, many bible verses talk about encounters with them as well, but when this plan of satans failed, and Jesus was born, Satan realized he should try a more secretive way to go about things, having literal giants, 20ft tall running around terrorizing people does not mesh too well as satan tries to convince everyone he does not even exist, so in modern times he tries more subtle ways to corrupt us.

This priest also said this is one of the reasons why only a few museums even admit the Nephilim ever existed or display any bones, artifacts, etc. (luckily there is one mound builder museum around here that does display many Nephilim artifacts) he said most museums will not even discuss them due to them being proof of God/ Satan and their actions in our world, and would refute Darwinism.

Besides the Nephilim, there are a few other things I think the CC chooses to avoid even talking about in Enoch…I guess they think most of it is just too bizarre and may push people away from the faith, or scare them too much.


#16

Actually, many of those here (maybe even the majority) are converts.


#17

I wouldn’t put any such stock in talk of nephilim, since it’s been brought up. People have all sorts of theories, some of which derive from believing that they are part angel and part man (which is impossible).

Nephilim can translate to “fallen ones”, coming from the “Sons of God” (interpreted to be the sons of Seth) and the “daughters of men,” (interpreted to be the descendants of Cain). Thus the holy line of Seth mingles with the fallen line of Cain. The men are, perhaps, “heroic” in nature by virtue of the fact that they have some of the higher virtues of Seth’s line, mingled with the violent brutishness of Cain’s. Thus they stand superior to the other Cainites.

I do not believe in an actual race of giants, and I see no reason that anyone should. There is no scientific evidence for their existence.


#18

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