The Book of Enoch the Prophet is the oldest known, existing mystical document and is referred to in the Hebrew Zohar, The Epistle of St. Jude, and other ancient books. Legend dates the text to antediluvian times, saved from the flood by Noah himself, while serious scholarship places its origin in the second century b.c.e., as old as ancient Sumeria and Babylon. Providing insight into the foundation of Christianity and the pre-Christian Gnostics, the text is perhaps most remarkable for its significant deviation from the apocryphal story that appears in the Bible. The final Christian version of the apocalypse leaves the damned on a hellish earth, while welcoming the chosen to heaven. The Book of Enoch the Prophet draws a very different picture--upon the return of the Messiah, evil will be banished from the face of the earth, resulting in a heaven on earth.
A new introduction to this edition by esoteric scholar R.A. Gilbert places the book in context, including an overview of the modern history of The Book of Enoch. It's an Indiana Jones-like story: lost for thousands of years after being banned by the early Christians, the ancient manuscript was rediscovered in the late eighteenth century. This sparked research for other fragments, which were subsequently found and together revealed the complete ancient text, first translated into English and published in 1821.