Fallen Angels and the Arts/Sciences?

Salvete, omnes!

I was reading another thread on the permissibility of medicine/the notion of “pharmakia” mentioned in Sacred Scripture and came across several posts seeming to suggest that fallen angels taught man such arts as medicine.

As a Protestant, I recall nowhere in Protestant Scripture wherein it says that fallen angels taught such things to man and had always assumed that man learned these things himself.

I had read this notion having been mentioned in at least one of the early Fathers, though, as I recall, he dismissed such writings in which this is spoken of as spurious.

Is there somehwere in Catholic Scripture/teaching that states that fallen angels had a hand in teaching man such arts as medicine and metallurgy? If so, does not this fact make the use of these arts evil?

What is the Catholic Church’s stance on the arts, and, in particular, those I have mentioned above? I presume She accepts the validity of medicine as well as metallurgy? If so, on what grounds, particularly if fallen angels gave us this knowledge? Has the Catholic Church ever spoken in any way infallibly on this subject?

If fallen angels did teach us these arts, how are to give thanks to God for these same arts? On the other thread I mentioned that discussed this, it was said that man would’ve discovered these arts anyway. Is this also found somewhere in Scripture or was this mere speculation on the part of a poster? If the latter, how can we truly know whether we would’ve discovered them without the angelic aid?


Hmm, perhaps the poster on the other thread was referring to the non-canonical Book of Enoch which was, I believe, what the ancient authors I cited were referring to as spurious.

I am still interested in the Church’s position on these arts? Any infallible teaching on them for assurances on their validity in God’s eyes? Such would even more firmly abrogate the teachings found in Enoch(?), though indeed it be spurious.

Any Scripture/traditional teaching (the latter whether official/infallible or not) which would lend either implicit or, more worthily, explicit support to God’s approval of these arts?

Misty,those myths regarding fallen angels and the arts originate from the book of Enoch, The writings are a gnostic fable I believe though one church (The Ethiopian) does include it in their canon.

The Catholic Church hardly condemns the art of medicine or any other art, as music poetry, art, and medicine are all mentioned in the bible in a positive way.

The Book of Enoch talks about making weapons and using cosmetics, leading to the sins of violence and fornication.

It would be a huge overstep to suspect that metallurgy is somehow evil, just because weapons are made from metal.

Still, as I understand it, The Catholic Church is perfectly fine with the use of metal in waging just war? Also, fine with cosmetics when properly used?

When you say “the Ethiopian church”, this is not a Catholic community, is it? Not sure what church you mean by this. In any case, do you know how they deal with the verses in question?

Again, my apologies for my ignorance. :frowning:

As far as Scriptures speaking of these arts positively, does toe Church (authoritatively, infallibly or otherwise) accept the arts as having been either been invented by man (and, thus, passively and goodly permitted by God) or as directly given by God? If this is so, then, we are perfectly fine with giving thanks for them.

Are you sure about that? Im pretty sure I read a list of about 9-10 things I believe were called the ‘forbidden knowledges’ supposedly taught to mankind by the fallen angels.

I cant recall everything, but I do remember ‘root-cutting’(pharma) was one, beautification of the eyes (makeup) was one, alchemy was another, one about knowledge of astronomy… I will try to look for the rest of this list, cant remember anymore of them.

scripture approves of the arts and sciences. The old testament has a complete description of the arts to be employed on building the Ark of the Covenant. They needed metalsmiths for working gold and making tools to work with wood.

Man didn’t need ‘fallen angels’ to teach him anything. We are born with an innate ability to make tools and to pass on that info to our children who have learned to make more complex tools.

Guys, even if we don’t accept the Book of Enoch as canon, could not at least some of the traditions therein have truth in them?

Therefore, we must find some Scriptural/traditional evidence/evidence from Church teaching (infallible or otherwise) that would directly contradict this account or that would still allow us to partake in these arts with thanksgiving so as to be sure of our present stance in this matter.

Indeed, perhaps this knowledge is “forbidden” not because God is “jealous” in a malicious sense, but because, by engaging in this knowledge, we become more like Him and, thus, more prideful and less dependent on Him.


Not a list from the Catholic Church.

None of that is Catholic teaching.


Knowledge does not necessarily lead to pride. Knowledge under the guidance of wisdom is of God. God gifted humans with the ability to express themselves through the arts and sciences. What we need to keep in mind that a truly wise individual knows the necessity of humility in everything, especially in the pursuit of knowledge.

Ignorance is not holiness.


Man acquires knowledge in the ordinary way.

No, we don’t.

It is not forbidden. The Church has no secret knowledge. The Gnostic heresy taught that there was secret knowledge. The Church’s teaching are out in the open for everyone to see. You cannot find such a prohibition because it simply does not exist.

Pleas stop reading internet nonsense. It clearly has you going down a path where you are starting to believe that you must have evidence that the Church does not forbid something in order to do it. This is simply not true and not the way to form your conscience. Put this out of your mind and do not revisit it.

This is not official Catholic doctrine. In fact, it smacks of superstition, which can lead people astray.

First off, I am not speaking of the kind of “secret knowledge” that you mean when you cite the Gnositcs. I am not speaking of secret spiritual knowledge. I am only speaking of now open material/worldly knowledge which may originally have been forbidden to us.

Secondly, just “not thinking” about something is never the solution. I have always been of the mind to confront all issues, even ones that may be troubling, head-on. If our Faith is strong, then it should be able to stand against any troubling issues of this sort.

Misty, I’m sorry, your theology is really, really off, for many reasons.

First, you’re starting with a premise – that the Bible or the Church condemns metallurgy, etc., which is factually not true. Several people have pointed this out, yet neither you nor anyone offers facts in support of the premise being true.

Second, after accepting as true your (false) premise, you then continue on to discuss whether these things can be from God, etc. Your conclusion doesn’t follow because your premise is false.

Third, the Church is simply silent on lots of things.

Now, you also say you are “only speaking of now open material/worldly knowledge which may originally have been forbidden to us.”

–By this logic, any and all knowledge, i.e., the sum of all discoveries, may have been “forbidden” to people because it hadn’t been discovered yet.

As 1KE posited, there is simply no basis in Catholic teaching to accept any of your premises or your conclusions. Continually looking for something that doesn’t exist does not equate with “confronting all issues, even ones that may be troubling, head-on;” it’s wasting your time looking for something that isn’t there. If you think it’s there, show us. And saying “I think I heard it somewhere” doesn’t count, because that can just mean “I heard it from an unreliable internet fruitcake.”

You are completely wrong in all you assert here.

I myself am asserting nothing, either about the Church or about the arts.

I am only asking questions and trying to understand, honestly and innocently.

I am only an inquiring mind who is reserving judgment on all accounts until I hear the assertions/opinions of others. I make no claims of my own here in these posts, at least not as of yet, though i may once I get the information I seek.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Please don’t come into reading something with the assumption that what I write is malicious to the core and merely to start some controversy or other. It is not and I would ask that, if you think it is, prove that it is.

I would respectfully ask that you refrain from judging me or anyone else until you have sufficient facts to back up your claims.

I don’t think Polar Guy said anything offensive to you. You are starting with a false premise that The Book of Enoch is part of the teachings of the Church. It isn’t. It is Gnostic. I always thought The Book of Enoch was evocative too, and even did a series of paintings on the 7 Heavens described there. But it is not in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Ah. Thanks for the info, but, once again, I made no premises. I was just making proposals to be responded to. Honestly, I am trying to find a way to prove that these things came about by man’s knowledge alone and to disprove the assertions in Enoch. It i think the lack of tone-of-voice in posts like this can often cause problems. When I ask questions, even though I may seem combative, I am actually, if you’ll forgive the metaphor, playing “devil’s advocate”, not to be contentious, but to make sure my (our) side of the argument is sound. It is my belief that one of, if not the, best way to confirm your side of an argument is to see how well it stands up to the other side. I take this approach in many of my posts and do hope it isn’t too misconstrued.

Further, I guess I didn’t realize that the Book was of Gnostic origin. I just thought it was a book of Hebrew tradition that, for whatever reason, didn’t make it into the canon.

You mention the 7 heavens, however, which, as I recall, the Apostle Paul at least makes some reference to when he speaks of being taken up into the 3rd heaven(?). Do we find mention of these kinds of “heavenly levels” anywhere else in the Scripture? Where was Paul getting this other than 9potentially) the Book of Enoch/ Or, when he had the vision, was he getting his information separately from any book, but, rather, from the vision itself? I ask this with my statement from earlier in mind that some traditions, even in non-canonical books, may be relevant to Christian thoguth/tradition.

I was just thinking of a passage in Genesis where the “gold” of a particular region is called “good”. Why else would the biblical author of this text call it good unless he meant that it was good in terms of how man was using it? Thsi kind of argument may take support away from any notion that God disapproves of metalwork for whatever reason. After all, is it not proper Catholic hermeneutic to understand, in all cases, authorial approval of something as divine approva of it?

Texts like this are the kind of text I’m looking for to disprove the notion of fallen angels giving us this kind of knowledge. In fact, I am still interested in finding other texts that do so to further strength the evidence.

Actually, I spoke too soon about Book of Enoch being gnostic. It’s more like a story, with more embellishments and details than the current Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Book of Enoch. But it isn’t canon.

**Genesis Chapter 6 **

  1. There were GIANTS IN THE EARTH in those days; and also after that, when the SONS OF GOD CAME UNTO THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN, AND THEY BARE [CHILDREN] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.

  2. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die.

** The Book of Enoch: Chapter 7 **

  1. It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful.

  2. And when the angels, THE SONS OF HEAVEN, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and LET US BEGET CHILDREN.

  3. THEN THEY TOOK WIVES, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees.


  5. Whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them;

  6. When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them;

  7. And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood.

** The Book of Enoch: Chapter 8 **

  1. And MEN, BEING DESTROYED, CRIED OUT; and their voice reached to heaven.

**KJV: Genesis Chapter 6 ** 17. And, BEHOLD, I, even I, DO BRING A FLOOD waters upon the earth, TO DESTROY ALL FLESH, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die.

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