When reading through the Bible, various references to documents outside of the Bible are found suggesting the writers of these books had access to additional knowledge besides what is contained in our Bible…books such as:
The Book of Jasher
(Joshua 10:13 KJV) And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
(2 Samuel 1:18 KJV) (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
The Book of the Wars
(Numbers 21:14 KJV) Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon,
The Book of the Acts/Words (or Life) of Solomon
(1 Kings 11:41 KJV) And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
(1 Kings 11:41 Brenton LXX) And the rest of the history of Solomon, and all that he did, and all his wisdom, behold are not these things written in the book of the life of Solomon?
We have Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes, but I don’t believe this is referring to them. We also have Proverbs, which could be what this is referencing, but it says “and all that he did”, but there are no references in Proverbs that I’m aware of concerning what Solomon did.
The Book of Enoch
(Jude 1:14-15 KJV) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Letters to Paul
The New Testament contains several letters written by Paul to various assemblies in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Phillipi, Collosi and Thessalonica. We do not have access to what Paul was told concerning these assemblies; rather we only have his one-sided correspondence.
Furthermore, there are countless mentions of things throughout the Bible that are not introduced in the Bible. They are referenced as if the reader should already know about them. This begs the question, where did these authors get their information? Perhaps if we as readers of the Bible had access to the same body of knowledge as they did, we would better understand what it is they are talking about.
Sadly, however, most of us just skip right past these mentions. I know I did this for years.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out
When I was a member of the Christian community, I found there were many discrepancies between mainstream teachings of the Christians and Jews, particularly as it pertained to dietary law and the Sabbath day.
The Christians I hung around with believed it was permissible by God to eat pork and shrimp (as well as other pig products and shellfish) and either believed the Lord’s Day (aka Sunday), which is commonly understood to be the 1st day of the week, replaced the 7th day Sabbath or that the keeping of the Sabbath Day was somehow fulfilled by Jesus (done away with). Whereas, the Jews did not consider the meat from pigs and shellfish as “food” fit for consumption and the Sabbath day began at sundown on Friday and ended at sundown on Saturday, which is commonly understood to be the 7th day.
What Does the Bible Say?
When I began to study these two particular subjects in the Bible, I found Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 clearly identify pig meat and shellfish as “abominable” and forbidden to be eaten by God, and Peter actually recognized this when he had his vision in Acts 10. Also, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 clearly identify the Sabbath day to be the 7th day and both Jesus and Paul appeared to have kept the same Sabbath day holy as the Jews of their time as seen throughout the New Testament.
I began to address these two issues with some of my Christian friends and my whole world was turned upside down. I was essentially told Jesus did away with those instructions, and I was putting myself “under the law” and/or being legalistic for considering abstaining from pork/shellfish and ceasing from work on the 7th day as opposed to the 1st day of the week.
Had I ignored my Biblical study or at the very least kept my mouth shut about it, and continued to eat ham at the Wednesday fellowship dinner and to overlook the fourth of the Ten Commandments, then maybe I would have not been shunned from fellowship. But of course, I couldn’t bring myself to do that. Thus began my Messyanic journey.
While I was astounded by the repercussions of simply addressing those two issues head on, I recognized early on that some folks are willing to dismiss (aka throw out) certain parts of the Bible in order to maintain their understanding of other parts. And through the course of my journey, I have found this willingness is universal.
While I at one time found myself doing the same thing out of ignorance, I decidedly began at that point to further investigate any discrepancies between what I believed to be true and what the Bible actually said. My credo became if there is something in one part of the book that does not line up with another, then chances are, I am misunderstanding something (presuming the Bible at large is true).
The Inerrant Word of God
Before I continue, let me address the notion that the Bible is the “inerrant Word of God”. It is my belief that the spoken words of the Maker of heaven and earth are Truth and without error. However, I have never heard the Maker audibly speak these words to me personally. I do believe there were men and women who did hear Him and these words were written down in their native languages, none of which was English. Some of which are contained in the Bible.
Over the course of history, these writings were preserved with handwritten copies and later translated into different languages. With the interjection of man, though, came the likelihood of error.
(Jeremiah 8:8 ESV) “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.
One of the earliest manuscripts of the Torah (aka the books of Moses) that we have today was preserved in the Greek Septuagint (LXX, a Greek translation of a Hebrew text). The Septuagint includes all 39 books of the Old Testament with a few extras. Most of our English Bibles however contain translations of a later Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT).
There were copies of various books from the Old Testament found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls which were written over 2000 years ago that validate much of the text we hold today with slight variances, relatively speaking. This is remarkable to say the least, but the fact remains there are variances.
With these variances and the margin of error due to translator bias (whether intentional or not), I believe our English Bibles may contain error, but the Truth being conveyed at large can still be found.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out (continued)
Shortly into my Messyanic journey, I found there were those who threw out the writings of Paul despite the warning from Peter that his writings can be difficult to understand.
(2 Peter 3:15-16 KJV) And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
And then I discovered one prominent Torah teacher, whom I met in Oklahoma, threw out the book of Hebrews. I found that odd, to say the least, but I never explored any of his reasoning. Instead I simply chose to focus most of my attention on learning what the OT (Tanakh & Septuagint) had to say for myself and only within the past two years or so did I begin to delve deeper into the study of the NT writings with newfound understanding of the OT.
Within this past year I have come across some who, in their quest to reconcile the New Testament to the Old, have decided to throw out the entire NT. This has grieved me greatly because while I know there is much I do not understand, I recognize something that others seem to fail to acknowledge…we are missing text.
Bridging the Gaps
It is my contention that the text that we are missing bridges many gaps between what the authors of the Bible intended to communicate and what the readers of the Bible aim to glean.
There is one book in particular that I believe holds a key to better understanding both the Old and New Testaments: the Book of Enoch.
For anyone seeking to bridge the gap between references made by Job concerning the sons of God coming before YHVH, Leviathan and Behemoth should read the Book of Enoch.
For anyone seeking to bridge the gap between references made by Moses in the Torah concerning the days of Noah and the flood, the calendar, Azazel on the Day of Atonement and more should read the Book of Enoch.
For anyone seeking to bridge the gap between references made by David in the Psalms concerning the righteous and the wicked should read the Book of Enoch.
For anyone seeking to bridge the gap between references made by Daniel concerning Watchers, the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man who comes before Him should read the Book of Enoch.
For anyone seeking to bridge the gap between reconciling the New Testament to the Old and the many references to demons or evil/unclean spirits, the Anointed (Christ) and the End of Days it is imperative that one considers what the Book of Enoch has to say as it is clear that the NT writers were very familiar with this document.
I am grateful for having discovered the Book of Enoch, and I pray more will consider what it has to say. Read it online here.