My new book, The Book of Enoch for Beginners is now available on Amazon on September 27. It is only $12.99 in paperback and delivery is free for Amazon Prime members (and as of today, it is 10% off). The Kindle version is only $6.99 and is available to borrow in Kindle Unlimited for free. As of today, it is the #1 New Release in “Additional Biblical Texts” category on Amazon. I admit that is a fairly narrow category, but there are some really good books on that list.
The book had its origins in my PhD program in 2005, but also right here on Reading Acts. In 2016 edited material I produced for a PhD seminar class on the Old Testament pseudepigrapha into a series of blog posts in summer 2016. Those posts have always been popular; Enoch appears in my “top ten” posts every month. People hear things about First Enoch and look to google for answers.
What is The Book of Enoch for Beginners: A Guide to Expand Your Understanding of the Biblical World? When you travel, sometimes you buy a tour guidebook to give you the highlights of the place you are visiting. This book is like a tour guide for First Enoch. It is only 152 pages, so the book is not a detailed, academic commentary on Enoch. I try to explain some of the details in each section of the book and offer some suggestions on how First Enoch can shed like on both Judaism and Christianity in the first century. If you need an academic commentary on 1 Enoch, you should invest in Nickelsburg and VanderKam’s two-volume Hermenia commentary. They are expensive, but by far the best work on Enoch.
Why write a book on First Enoch? A few people have asked me why I spent time studying a non-canonical book like First Enoch. This book is not in the Bible, not even in the Apocrypha. Unless you are an Ethiopic Christian, you might have never heard of this book before! There are two main reasons I wrote the book, First, it is a fascinating glimpse into the world of developing Judaism in the centuries just before Jesus. Most people think of First Enoch as an apocalypse, and although that is not wrong, it is not apocalyptic in the modern sense. There are some wild “end of the world as we know it” scenes in the book, but they are not at all like a science fiction movie nor are there predictions about how American gas prices somehow lead to the rise of the antichrist. The book talks far more about how people live as faithful Jews in an evil world and gives some insight into what was important to Jews living in the time between the Testaments.
Second, there is a great deal of misinformation out there about what is in First Enoch. Recent conspiracy theories capitalize on the general population’s ignorance of First Enoch and make claims about the book that are just not true (including flat earth theories). People think First Enoch was suppressed by later Roman Catholics because it has the “real truth.” Movies like Noah or supernatural television shows dredge First Enoch for information about angels and demons. My book tries to explain what First Enoch actually says in order to put to rest some of these strange ideas.
Jim West reviewed the book as did Brent Niedergall. Click through and read what they have to say. I appreciate the early reviews on Amazon and comments I have received saying the book is easy to read and well designed.
If you get the book, please consider leaving (hopefully) five-stars on Amazon and if you have the time, a short review (25 words is Amazon’s minimum). Stars and reviews sell books these days.