Enoch and the Origin of Evil
Anyone who has studied hermeneutics (the science of biblical interpretation) understands the impact interpretation has on how we view the Gospel in relation to our own lives and the world around us. One of the most important principles the theologian must keep in mind with regard to interpretation is that any passage(s) should be understood as the author intended the passage(s) to be understood by his original audience. This means we must make it our primary task to discover what the accepted knowledge of the people of that time and place was with regard to the particular subject at hand. For example, with the New Testament we have to first read and understand the writings as the original 1st century audience did. This is part of the contextual examination of Scripture. From there we begin the process of discerning how to apply those same truths truths to our current time and place. This is what is often called the "Hermeneutical Bridge". This is not surprisingly the approach we find consistently in the writings of the Church Fathers.
I say this to inform my reader of my own approach as I delve into biblical angelology, demonology, and spiritual warfare. It is important to say at the outset that none of the information that follows is unique to me, nor are the ideas contained herein mine. They are a part of the historical deposit of the Christian Faith, and are known to most Biblical scholars today, though rarely spoken of outside academic circles. We can point to Dr. Mike Heiser, Biblical scholar and expert in Semitic Languages, as the one who broke this mold, so to speak, with the publishing of his books "Reversing Hermon" and "Unseen Realm". The bulk of my own research is inspired by his work.
One of the errors that I have been guilty of in the past is of sanitizing both Scripture and the Church Fathers; explaining away problematic statements. Statements which are only problematic if one imposes 21st century Rationalism and, to some extent, anti-Supernaturalism, on the texts in question. In challenging myself to explore these issues deeply, and from a scholarly/academic approach, I have found such whitewashing of Sacred Scripture and the Patristic witness of the early church to be an egregious error, which I hope can be corrected by stalwarts such as Dr. Heiser.
- The Fall,
- Satan, and the sin of the Watchers, hinted at in Genesis 6.
- the events of the Tower of Babel
Eventually, due to the great sins of the Watchers and Nephilim, God sends the flood to cleanse the earth and the Nephilim became "unclean spirits"-demons. We find this Enochian history being accepted as fact by many Church Fathers.
Dr. Michael Heiser and researcher Derek Gilbert have noted a very clear connection of the Enochian history to Mesopotamian paganism- specifically the story of the Apkallu. The Apkallu are ancient pagan heroes who were said to be in the service of an entity known as EA. All of these beings were said to exist before the Flood. Like the Enochian history, these entities were said to have taught various skills to humans, and obviously mated with human women, since after the Flood, as the Mesopotamian record tells us, the only surviving Apkallu are said to be of human descent, and no longer divine. One of the four surviving mixed Apkallu is none other than Gilgamesh. It is worth noting that the Essenes mention Gilgamesh in connection to the Nephilim as well, in the Book of the Giants, found at Qumran. I encourage readers to obtain copies of Dr. Heiser's works, as well as Derek Gilbert's book "Last Clash of the Titans", for a thorough, academic exposition of the topic.