I believe the text to be in good condition generally. It seems to be almost complete, with a beginning and an end, and it is self-consistent. Even more significant is the way that Enoch’s character and style of writing are still apparent. The only parts that I suspect were written by different authors I have separated out, as the Book of Methuselah, and the Book of Noah, (chapters 10 & 11).
The translation by Michael Knibb, into English, is very good, and I have had to do very little to the text in order to change it from a good translation into clear English. I have added quite a lot of punctuation and improved the presentation, but I have made only very minor changes to the text (such as substituting ‘before’ with ‘in front of’ where appropriate. In a few places I have substituted “sky” for Heaven where it makes the meaning clearer. Where Enoch says “the face of Heaven” he means the sky but I have left it unchanged. I only changed Heaven to sky where I was sure that was the intended meaning. Similarly, I have tried to use Earth with a capital where I think the meaning is the whole planet and earth, without a capital, where the meaning may just be the ground – which Enoch often differentiates himself by referring to “the dry ground” rather than “the earth”.
Fortunately, Enoch’s style was to use a simple vocabulary, and he assumed no pre-knowledge by the reader. Anything complicated, he explains at length, with quite a lot of repetition. This has helped to preserve the book through many translations. There are a few places, even so, where there are problems. I have marked these with dots (…..) where some words seem to have been lost. Fortunately, there are not many of these, and nothing important appears to be missing.
The Book of Enoch
I did find a few translocations in the text: • Methuselah’s book had been inserted near the back, • Noah’s book and ‘The Storehouses’ had been inserted into the Third
Parable. • Part of the Prophecy of the Ten weeks was in the wrong order. I have kept the Ethiopian ‘chapter and verse’ numbers, in all cases, so that my changes to the order of presentation can easily be seen. I have split the book into sections – where there seems to be a natural break, and given each one a title. I inserted Noah and Methuselah’s works into the middle – where there seems to be a major break in Enoch’s book. The first section of Enoch is mainly the story of what occurred whereas the second part is mainly written from the notes that Enoch took while he was with the Watchers. Additionally, the end of Noah’s short book conveniently serves as an introduction to Enoch’s Book of Parables.
Andy McCracken (August 2002)