Can I Trust the Bible

So, is Enoch God’s Inspired Word? What about Tobit? Should they be included in all copies of the Bible?

After reading, studying, and considering these books, I don’t find any compelling evidence that the Holy Spirit inspired the writings of Enoch and Tobit. Jesus and His Apostles never quoted from Tobit. Jude, the half brother of Jesus, quoted once from Enoch, but never gave the book the elevation of Scripture (e.g. as in “thus says the Lord,” “Scripture says”). Enoch is supposedly the word of the seventh from Adam in the lineage of Seth. Since everything was destroyed in the Flood, except for what Noah took with him on the Ark, there are questions about how an unnamed author was able to quote Enoch. If Noah had a copy of Enoch’s writings and it was passed from generation to generation, why is there no mention of it by those men who may have received it (e.g. Shem, Abram, Isaac, Jacob). If Enoch’s prophecies were passed along orally from generation to generation, the question remains why no one in the lineage ever mentioned Enoch’s prophecies until someone wrote them down in the 2nd century BC and called it “Enoch”.

What is written about Enoch in Old Testament Books other than Genesis (1 Chronicles 1) and in the New Testament other than Jude  (Hebrews 11), is consistent with the story of Enoch as Moses wrote it in Genesis 4 and 5. I would think that a document written by Enoch or an oral history of what he said would have been included somewhere in the Old Testament, especially by Moses who wrote about him first. God told Moses about Enoch and Noah, why not everything if there was more to tell?

Tobit is a historical romance. It covers some interesting aspects of Jewish life (e.g. temple worship, importance of prayer, paying tithes, giving alms to the poor, and marrying only within the Jewish faith), but does that make it the inspired Word of God? Why is it not referenced anywhere in the Hebrew Bible or New Testament? God certainly knew the effort Jews and Christians would make in trying to determine the authenticity of Tobit, so why didn’t He include something about it in the Old or New Testament writings that would call it Scripture?

Both books, Enoch and Tobit, introduce named angelic creatures who are not mentioned in the Hebrew Old Testament or Christian New Testament. Raphael’s involvement with Tobit, Tobias and Sarah opens many interpretations about angelic involvement in human life and history, if true. Raphael’s involvement during the time of Noah and what it says about the archangels Gabriel and Michael’s involvement during that time raise many questions about interpreting what happened to the human race during the years leading up to the Flood. Enoch introduces us to evil supernatural beings named Azâzêl and Semjâzâ and a supernatural group called the “Watchers.”  The writer of Enoch has the archangel Uriel speaking to Lamech, Noah’s father, telling him to warn his son to hide himself because of the approaching deluge God was going to send upon the earth. All of these events involving archangels during the years leading up to Noah building the Ark and God sending the Flood seem to be of the kind of importance that Moses would have included some mention of them in the Book of Genesis, if it were true.

Raphael has become known around the world as the archangel of healing. Where did that come from? The name translates from Hebrew as “God heals” and in the story of Tobit, Tobias and Sarah, Raphael heals with the assistance of a fish.

“And as they went on their journey, they came in the evening to the river Tigris, and they lodged there. And when the young man went down to wash himself, a fish leaped out of the river, and would have devoured him. Then the angel said unto him, Take the fish. And the young man laid hold of the fish, and drew it to land. To whom the angel said, Open the fish, and take the heart and the liver and the gall, and put them up safely. So the young man did as the angel commanded him; and when they had roasted the fish, they did eat it: then they both went on their way, till they drew near to Ecbatane. Then the young man said to the angel, Brother Azarias, to what use is the heart and the liver and the gal of the fish? And he said unto him, Touching the heart and the liver, if a devil or an evil spirit trouble any, we must make a smoke thereof before the man or the woman, and the party shall be no more vexed. As for the gall, it is good to anoint a man that hath whiteness in his eyes, and he shall be healed.” Tobit 6:1-8

As the story goes, Tobit remembered to do what the angel Raphael had told him to do on his wedding night.

“And when they had supped, they brought Tobias in unto her. And as he went, he remembered the words of Raphael, and took the ashes of the perfumes, and put the heart and the liver of the fish thereupon, and made a smoke therewith. The which smell when the evil spirit had smelled, he fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, and the angel bound him.” Tobit 8:1-3

The story continues with the healing of Tobit.

“Then Raphael said to Tobias, Thou knowest, brother, how thou didst leave thy father: Let us haste before thy wife, and prepare the house. And take in thine hand the gall of the fish. So they went their way, and the dog went after them. Now Anna sat looking about toward the way for her son. And when she espied him coming, she said to his father, Behold, thy son cometh, and the man that went with him. Then said Raphael, I know, Tobias, that thy father will open his eyes. Therefore anoint thou his eyes with the gall, and being pricked therewith, he shall rub, and the whiteness shall fall away, and he shall see thee. Then Anna ran forth, and fell upon the neck of her son, and said unto him, Seeing I have seen thee, my son, from henceforth I am content to die. And they wept both. Tobit also went forth toward the door, and stumbled: but his son ran unto him, And took hold of his father: and he strake of the gall on his fathers’ eyes, saying, Be of good hope, my father. And when his eyes began to smart, he rubbed them; And the whiteness pilled away from the corners of his eyes: and when he saw his son, he fell upon his neck. And he wept, and said, Blessed art thou, O God, and blessed is thy name for ever; and blessed are all thine holy angels: For thou hast scourged, and hast taken pity on me: for, behold, I see my son Tobias. And his son went in rejoicing, and told his father the great things that had happened to him in Media.” Tobit 11:2-15

This story about the angel Raphael helping Tobias defeat the demon and heal his father’s blindness has led to a movement that has elevated Raphael to a high position within many churches and religious groups that look to him as the patron of health, healers, travelers, and happy marriages. In the next part of our study we’ll look at how high and whether Raphael deserves it.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

Faith Defense

Building Confidence Through Evidence

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”