Thought lost for millennia after being banned by dogmatic, early Christian authorities, The Book of Enoch remains one of the oldest extant mystical documents. It is referred to in the Hebrew Zobar, the Epistle of St. Jude, and is considered by some a very early draft of -- or at least a critical influence on -- the New Testament. This is perhaps the most important text not included in standard biblical Apocrypha, and includes the lost "Book of Noah," early references to a messiah as "Christ," and an accounting of the angels and subsequent creation of demons. The most significant part of this book is Enoch's vision of the Apocalypse. Credited as being only one of two prophets granted this sight, his version incorporates one very critical difference: instead of the righteous ascending into heaven and Earth turning into a place of punishment and damnation as in The Revelation of St. John, according to Enoch the wicked shall be cast out and the good will realize a literal heaven on Earth.
Various Enoch manuscripts and fragments have existed for years and have had wide influence on works ranging from John Dee's explorations in Enochian magic, to variant rituals attributed to the Freemasons, the Golden Dawn, and other secret, mystical societies. This current work -- a translation of the I Ethiopic manuscript discovered by James Bruce in the late-1700s -- has seen many different translations, but none as authoritative or complete as this edition by theologian, R.H. Charles. Enoch, the prophet, is most often thought to be the pseudepigraphic author of the work -- that is, the works of multiple authors were compiled under his authoritative name and attributed to him. He was one of few, along with St. Paul and Elijah, reputed to have ascended to heaven in mortal form, without dying.