Why does WLC not accept the Book of Enoch's calendar?

Question: Why does WLC not accept the Book of Enoch's calendar?

Answer: While the Book of Enoch is very insightful and intriguing, WLC believes there to be several insurmountable problems with adopting the calendar it endorses.

Problem #1: The section about the heavenly luminaries contained within the Book of Enoch was potentially written by a different author1 and at a later date than some of the other sections.  While the Book of Enoch that we have today appears as one book, this was not the case at Qumran (the location of the Dead Sea Scrolls).  The version we have today was translated from the Ethiopic (Ge'ez) version, which was itself likely a translation from the Aramaic or Hebrew.2

The Ethiopic version of 1 Enoch includes the following:

Only the following, however, were discovered together at Qumran in the Dead Sea Scrolls:

This would suggest that the Book of Enoch at Qumran did not contain the Book of the Heavenly Luminaries and the Book of Parables.

Judging from the Qumran fragments, their 'Book of Enoch' was made up of the Book of Watchers, the Dream Visions of Enoch, the Apocalypse of Enoch, the Birth of Noah, and possibly the Book of Giants.


The Book of the Heavenly Luminaries, at least at Qumran, was separate from the rest of the book and was probably not added to the book of Enoch until after the first century C.E. . . .


No trace of the Parables of Enoch has been discovered at Qumran and it is widely considered today to be a composition of the later first century C.E.3

[Note: In 1956, a Dead Sea Scroll was allegedly found that contains the whole Book of Enoch written in Aramaic.  This scroll is said to be in the possession of private investors.  Its contents have not been disclosed to the public.]

None of the Qumran manuscripts of Astronomical Enoch preserve any of the other six divisions of 1 Enoch, so it appears that Astronomical Enoch did indeed circulate separately from the other Enochic literature.4

Not only was the Book of Luminaries separate from the other books at Qumran, but it was apparently an earlier, longer version5 than what is contained in the Ethiopic canon and subsequent translations.  That means that the translation being promoted today is not exactly the same as what was found at Qumran.

Among the Qumran scrolls were found:


• seven fragmentary manuscripts of parts of the Book of Enoch that together yield about 20 percent of the original Aramaic text,
• another four manuscripts that form an earlier, longer version of the Book of the heavenly Luminaries, and
• another nine scrolls, extremely fragmentary, that constitute a hitherto little-known story of Enoch that scholars call the Book of Giants.6

Unlike the books contained in the canon of Scripture, we do not have multiple harmonious copies of Astronomical Enoch that can today be studied in their entirety and in their original language.  This means that adherents must rely solely upon man's translation7 for their understanding.  That being the case, it would be foolish and irresponsible to base one's reckoning of Heaven's feast days upon the Book of Enoch alone.8

1 Enoch 76-78 and 82 contain material of a different character from the synchronistic calendar.  These materials too concern heavenly movements and gates and the relations between the things of heaven and their observable earthly effects.  The Qumran materials that correspond to these chapters are somewhat longer and frequently slightly different in their conceptions.  They make clear that the Greek-Ethiopic tradition was interpretive and did not always clearly understand the Aramaic; or else, as is also possible, the Aramaic tradition itself was somewhat variegated and what we find in the scrolls is only one form of what was circulated among the Jews.9

Problem #2: The calendar presented in the Book of Enoch is a solar calendar and is not in harmony with the motions of the heavenly bodies that we observe today.

The Book of Enoch advocates using a 364-day year:

And the sun and the stars bring in all the years exactly, so that they do not advance or delay their position by a single day unto eternity; but complete the years with perfect justice in 364 days. (Enoch 74:12)

If we were to adopt a strict 364-day year, the annual feasts would drift out of their appointed seasons.  Passover, for example, would be observed earlier and earlier until it was ultimately observed in the winter, then in the fall, then in the summer, etc.  While many sincere seekers of truth have tried to bring the 364-day year into harmony with the motions of the heavenly bodies that we observe today, WLC is not aware of any method that can effectively do this without violating Scripture. 

To adhere to a solar calendar with no regard for the moon also creates other issues.  If we disregard the moon entirely and base our months strictly on the sun, then we end up with New Moon Days floating all over the place much like the modern counterfeit Gregorian calendar.  Ezekiel, though, makes clear that New Moon Days are not work days or Sabbath days.  New Moon Days constitute a class of days, all their own.

Thus saith the Master Yahuwah; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. (Ezekiel 46:1)

The fact that Astronomical Enoch promotes a solar calendar as opposed to a luni-solar calendar is clear evidence that it is not Heaven's calendar.  The Biblical weight of evidence indicates without question that the Creator's calendar utilizes both the sun and the moon: Creator's Calendar (Content Directory) 

At the base level, the calendar being presented in Enoch is no different than the modern counterfeit Gregorian solar calendar being used today to deceive the masses.  Both dismiss the role of the moon and both are established upon the erroneous belief that the modern week has been cycling without interruption since Creation.  (The "continuous weekly cycle" is a lie!)  The only apparent difference is that the Gregorian calendar has 365 days while the calendar presented in Enoch has 364 days.  Both fail the test of Scripture from the outset because both disregard Scripture's designated role for the moon.

Problem #3: Adhering to a solar only calendar necessitates using the man-made International Date Line.  If the moon is not used in juxtaposition with the sun to begin the month, then no objective date line is established by the heavens.  Consequently, adherents must either use the man-made International Date Line or arbitrarily create a date-line themselves.10  Both possibilities should be equally unacceptable to those seeking to uphold Scripture alone, while breaking free of men's devices and traditions.

1 "It is even possible that Astronomical Enoch is itself a composite work, since of the four Dead Seas Scroll manuscripts assigned to it, one of them (4Q208) contains nothing but the 'synchronistic calendar' . . . while 4Q210-211 contain only material from the second part of Astronomical Enoch (the part that roughly corresponds to 1 Enoch 76-78; 82).  4Q209 alone bridges the gap." The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, Michael O. Wise, Martin G., Jr. Abegg, Edward M. Cook, 2005, p. 296.

2 Scholars are divided on this point.  Some believe that Ge'ez was the original language, while other assert that the original was Hebrew and/or Aaramic.

3 The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, Michael O. Wise, Martin G., Jr. Abegg, Edward M. Cook, 2005, p. 279.

4 The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, Michael O. Wise, Martin G., Jr. Abegg, Edward M. Cook, 2005, pp. 295-296.

5 Scholars refer to the longer Qumran version as Astronomical Enoch.

6 The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, Michael O. Wise, Martin G., Jr. Abegg, Edward M. Cook, 2005, p. 279.

7 Richard Laurence published the first English translation in 1821.  R.H. Charles later published several versions: 1893, 1906, & 1912.

8 While many advocate using the Book of Jubilees alongside the Book of Enoch to support the solar calendar, Jubilees presents the same issues, in that it does not appear to be in harmony with the motions of the heavenly bodies that we observe today and its adoption would necessitate adherence to the man-made International Date Line.  (See Problem #2 and #3.)

9 The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, Michael O. Wise, Martin G., Jr. Abegg, Edward M. Cook, 2005, p. 296.

10 One potential exception to this: If day one of the year commenced in your location at dawn after the equinox, then a date line would be established for the year.  You could then count 30-day months going forward.  Several problems remain even for this scenario, though: (1) After 12 months, you still have four days left over to complete the 364-day year and an additional day or so left before the next equinox. (2) This causes the New Moons to float around.  See "Problem #2." (3) This contradicts Scripture and negates the lunar Sabbath by rendering the moon's phases as inconsequential and inconsistent in how they relate to the month.