Catholic position on Book of Enoch

What is the Church’s position on the book of Enoch. I uunderstand that many of the Church Father’s (apostolic fathers) regarded it as canonical. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church does as well. Also, information links would be appreciated.

no one?

It has not been called canonical, according to the Catholic Church, but may contain truth, like any piece of literature. There were a number of books considered canonical in the early centuries that were not recognized as Scripture in the councils. The best treatment I know on the canon, including Enoch, is Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger by Gary Michuta.

The Church has no defined position on it. It is not part of the western Canon of Scripture,but as you said, is found within the Ethiopian canon. The Council of Trent’s decree on Scripture leaves the question open as to whether the books found in Eastern canons are to be considered Scripture. As far as I can tell, the book would be considered Scripture. I have read it and I found nothing unorthodox within it. The Epistle of St. Jude makes a direct quote from the Book of Enoch. It would be best to view much of it as allegorical though.


Also to my knowledge, no document on union between the Catholic Church and eastern churches say anything about having to renounce books of Scripture not found within the Western Canon , such as Esdras 2 or Psalm 151.

As mentioned above, the Church does not have an official position on it other than it is not a part of our canon. This is one writing that I have not put much time into as I have in the NT apocrypha, so I really don’t have an opinion of it myself. But I am not afraid to admit that I put a lot of stock in some of the NT apocryphal writings, not that I consider them inspired, but I am very open minded to those accounts and think that there are many of them that are authentic eye-witness accounts.

As you mentioned, there are some very reputable Church Fathers who placed the book of Enoch in high regard, and I am never afraid to put myself in their company!

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The Book of Enoch would be OT apocrypha though, wouldn’t it?:confused: I mean it was found among the dead sea scrolls…

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One test for canonicity includes usage by the universal Church from the first days. This, unfortunately, is not the case with the book of Enoch. Thus, it is interesting and informative for reading, but must be read in the context of its non-canonicity.

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Can you show me where the Church has defined this as grounds for canonical status? It is not in the Council of Trent’s decree on Scripture.

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It goes back way before Trent. Trent was called, among other things, to answer heresy. I can search it out but, consider that the only authority on earth to canonize scripture has scrutinized the book and found it non-inspired for some reason. If you trust the Church authority which canonized the bible, you may trust it in everything. You are called to trust it. If I might ask, why is this so important to you?

Edit time ran out, so here is additional info:

First, it was not written by an Apostle or one taught by an Apostle, due to the time of its writing. The Church has declared that the Book of Enoch is valuable reading to help in understanding eschatological scripture, but is not “inspired”. Scripture must be inspired by God, and the canon of scripture was declared closed. If not, any and all writings would then have to be considered.

Here are two links:

Christ’s peace.

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The Council of Carthredge in 397 set the Canon that we presently use. This wasn’t an ecumenical council but an intermediate council

Yes. I hope I did not confuse you on that because I did not mean that it was NT apocrypha. It probably is considered OT Pseudepigrapha, meaning that it has been falsely attributed to someone but the author is not who it claims to be or has been credited to.

The Council of Carthage was a local council of the west, not something universally binding on the entire Church. The Byzantine Canon has always included books not found within the latin OT because these books are within the Septuigant(such as psalm 151, Esdras 2, etc). Of course that isn’t the Ethiopian Canon, but it is on a similar principle. Trent, an Ecumenical Council, says nothing against Catholics holding books of the Eastern canons as being inspired Scripture. No union document between an eastern church comming into union, and the Catholic Church make any mention (to my knowledge) of acceptance or non-acceptance of the canon of that respective church. The New Advent article posted makes no reference against its inclusion as Sacred Scripture and the citation of St. Augustine and St. Clement of Alexandria as approving of it actually seems to be more proof that it is an inspired text. If there is evidence for its not being inspired, then please show me the relevant canon, or magisterial document.

This Wikipedia article says that the Ethiopian Catholic Church uses the same canon as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This website lists two different canons for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, one of them being…

1. The Broader Canon

The main source for this is the traditional Amharic commentary on the Geez text of the Fetha Nägäst.[4] It gives 46 as the total for the books of the Old Testament, made up as follows: - Octateuch (8), Judith (1), Samuel and Kings (4), Chronicles (2), 1 Esdras and the Ezra Apocalypse (2), Esther (1), Tobit (1), Maccabees (2), Job (1), Psalms (1), books of Solomon (5),[5] Prophets (16), Ecclesiasticus (1), Pseudo-Josephus (1); Jubilees and Enoch are to be included in the number (by counting Samuel and Kings as only 2 books). It gives 35 as the total for the books of the New Testament, namely the Gospels (4), Acts (1), the Catholic epistles (7), the Pauline epistles (14), Revelation (1), Sinodos (4 sections), the Book of the Covenant (2 sections), Clement (1), Didascalia (1).

This seems to be the canon used by the Ethiopian Catholic Church as described by Bishop Ghebreghiorghis at the recent Synod of Bishops:

“All the books of the Bible which are considered canonical by other Christian churches are such also for the Eritrean-Ethiopian Church which, moreover, possesses the greatest number of inspired books: 81 books, 46 in the Old and 35 in the New Testament. In the Eritrean-Ethiopian tradition, the concept of canons is flexible and tends to include, rather than exclude” (Eighth General Assembly).

I’d post the hyperlink to his comments, but after a brief search, I can’t find them on the Vatican’s website anymore. May God bless you!

Glad to have found this discussion as I am currently reading the Book of Enoch, just as personal enrichment.