1 – What is the Alien Gospel?
2 – Invasion by the Forces of Darkness
3 – Invasion by the Forces of Light? UFOs? Hybrids/Giants?
4 – Apocryphal Works: Old and New
5 – Reverse-Engineering/Embellishment of Artistic Works
6 – “As the Days of Noah. . . Seed of the Woman”
7 – Staying on Track
8 – Where to Draw the Line
APPENDIX 1: “Mingle themselves with seed of men” (Daniel 2:43)
APPENDIX 2: Why the Book of Enoch was not written by Enoch
APPENDIX 3: What’s wrong with the Book of Jasher?
APPENDIX 4: How Canon Scripture Differs from Apocryphal Literature
5 – Reverse-Engineering/Embellishments of Artistic Works
Getting back now to the Book of Enoch, we can understand it as having been “reverse-engineered”. To understand what this means, we can think of any modern biographical/historical movie or book. Such artistic works are meant to be reconstructions of certain people’s lives and/or historical events that the author/producer wants to portray… as vividly as he can. Take, for example, the movie Jesus 2000. It is all “reverse-engineered” but, of course, is based on the original accounts of the Gospels.
Now in the movie, there is a romantic episode where Martha’s sister Mary falls in love with Jesus, and Jesus has to make the difficult choice to forsake the idea of marrying her for the sake of His calling. There is no reference to this in the Gospels; it is entirely a made-up story. It could have happened, but there is no proof of it. It does make for a nice story, and it helps to portray Jesus in down-to-earth terms.
There is nothing terribly wrong with this portrayal… as long as no one tries to use it as an accurate, historical record. And thus the movie was “reverse-engineered” – with a few extra side-stories thrown in to give the production a bit more flair and attractiveness. But even though it is not a firsthand, eyewitness account of Jesus’ life, nevertheless, the movie has great value and has succeeded in drawing untold numbers of people to faith in Christ.
And the Book of Enoch could be compared to this. It has a basis in the original documents of the Book of Genesis and the rest of the Old Testament, but it is not itself an original account from Enoch, not by any means. Like the movie Jesus 2000, much of it is the product of the author’s imagination. And the same can be said for the Book of Jasher and the Book of Jubilees.
To embellish an account (as in Jesus 2000) or to allegorize one (as in The Lord of the Rings) can be a legitimate artistic endeavor. If done properly and well, such productions advance the cause of Christ and succeed in drawing people to Him. But when such works cross the line into proclaiming as truth what is false, or at best only a theory, yet claim a mantle of authority, then this is a problem.
In the days of the Early Church, both Peter and Paul used some rather strong language to reprimand those who were perverting the Gospel in this way.
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. (2Peter 2:1-2).
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. (1Timothy 6:3-4 ESV)
There are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers. . . upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. (Titus 1:10-11 ESV)
People in those days may have understood that the Book of Enoch was not an original account, having some elements of truth, yes, but mixed with a considerable amount of imagination. But with all the other hundreds of pseud-epigraphical/apocryphal “books” of that era, the literary scene was getting cluttered and confused. We know that our human nature loves to chatter and speculate and sometimes to appear highly knowledgeable, more than it really is. Human thought and literature seem to have a great capacity to fill up with false teachings and borderline doctrines.
And in those early days, once the first apostles had passed on, the situation probably got a little out of hand. Paul the apostle foresaw this, writing about it in the Book of Acts: “I know full well that after I leave you, false teachers, like vicious wolves, will appear among you, not sparing the flock. Some of you yourselves will distort the truth in order to draw a following.” (Acts 20:29-30 – TLB) This even happened during his lifetime; his epistles to Timothy and Titus about ten years later devote a good deal of attention to this problem.
At any rate, the men of God and scholars of the ancient world who came along in later years understood that much of what had been written were not original, factual, or inspired accounts and therefore did not include them in the Canon of Scripture; they drew the line between what was accurate and what wasn’t in certain church councils held in north Africa at Hippo Regius (A.D. 393) and at Carthage (A.D. 397 and 419). From these councils’ deliberations came our present 27-Book New Testament Canon of Scripture. The councils did allow some of the better apocryphal works to be included in a secondary category known as the “Apocrypha”, or “Deutero-canonical” works.
Generally though, it is a good rule of thumb to steer clear of using for source reference material anything that lies in the realm of “imagination” or “possibility”. When it comes to serious interpretation/understanding of God’s Word, this is where it is important to draw the line. To invoke the Book of Enoch in support of the “alien gospel” would be comparable nowadays, for example, to using the legends and stories about life at Camelot as source material for a historical treatise on the life of King Arthur.