Book of Enoch

The Witches’ Almanac 2008

For further reading:
Good new translations of the Book of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Book of the Secrets of Enoch, and the Hebrew Apocalypse of Enoch can be found in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth (2 volumes, 1983-85), and in The Apocryphal Old Testament, edited by H. D. F. Sparks (1984). See also George W. E. Nickelsburg and James C. Vanderkam, 1 Enoch: A New Translation (2004), which is probably the best translation of the Book of Enoch.

Recently a Scottish academic, Margaret Barker, has published several superb works on the ancient writings attributed to Enoch. More than other mainstream academics, she appreciates the importance of Enochian traditions and secret temple practices for any true understanding of the earliest Christianity. (Also she appears to have read sympathetically some of the better books on ceremonial magic written by modern practitioners, though she mentions them only in passing, usually in obscure footnotes, perhaps so as not to frighten off her less daring readers.) She maintains a web-site (www.margaretbarker. com) with a list of her books and free downloads of some of her most important papers. Of her books I recommend The Lost Prophet: The Book of Enoch and Its Influence of Christianity (1988, reprinted 2005), and Temple Theology: An Introduction (2004). Of her free papers, “The Secret Tradition” is particularly valuable. In it she shows that Jesus taught certain esoteric doctrines and mystical practices to only a very few of his most trusted disciples. The official church did not succeed in preserving this secret tradition, or perhaps deliberately rejected it, so that it was eventually lost beyond any hope of recovery. Readers of the Witches’ Almanac will understand how hard this conclusion will be for mainstream Christianity.