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An Old Testament KnoWhy for Gospel Doctrine Lesson 5:“If Thou Doest Well, Thou Shalt Be Accepted” (Moses 5-7) (JBOTL05C). See the link to video supplements to this lesson at the end of this article under “Further Reading.”
Question: Some say that Joseph Smith drew on ancient stories about Enoch not found in the Bible as he translated the chapters on Enoch in Moses 6-7. How similar are the stories of Enoch in ancient accounts to modern scripture? And could Joseph Smith have been aware of them?
Summary: Although an English translation of the Ethiopian book of 1 Enoch appeared in 1821, the ancient manuscripts that are most relevant to the LDS story of Enoch were not available during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. The Qumran Book of Giants, discovered in 1948, contains striking resemblances to Moses 6-7, ranging from general themes in the story line to specific occurrences of rare expressions in corresponding contexts. It would be thought remarkable if any nineteenth-century document were to exhibit a similar density of close resemblances with this small collection of ancient fragments, but to find such similarities in appropriate contexts relating in each case to the story of Enoch is astonishing.
The full article may be found at the Interpreter Foundation website: KnoWhy OTL05C — Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn On Ancient Manuscripts When He Translated the Story of Enoch?
As a first video supplement to this lesson with additional details and artwork not included in this article, see Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn on Ancient Manuscripts When He Translated the Story of Enoch?” available at The Interpreter Foundation (http://cdn.interpreterfoundation.org/ifvideo/180122-Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn on Ancient.m4v) and FairMormon (https://youtu.be/7zJwuZ_yPyY).
As a second video supplement to this lesson, see Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, “The LDS story of Enoch As a Temple Text (http://www.templestudies.org/2013-enoch-and-the-temple-conference/conference-videos/). Several other excellent video presentations on Enoch and the temple, including one by David J. Larsen discussing ancient parallels with the taking up of Enoch’s city to heaven, are available at this same link.
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