There are 19 thoughts on “Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn on Ancient Manuscripts When He Translated the Story of Enoch?: Recent Updates on a Persistent Question”.

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  5. Laurence’s 1 Enoch seems difficult to find in 19th century libraries. I just searched for books with the Enoch in the title or Laurence as an author in the libraries I discussed in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Map: Part 2 of 2,” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 19 (2016): 247-326;, and did not find anything suggesting that 1 Enoch was accessible to Joseph via these institutions. That includes:

    1. The Manchester Library (

    2. The Rochester City Library in 1839 which included the scholarly works of the Rochester Athenaeum. See There was a book with “Enoch Crosby” in the title. No books by anyone surnamed Laurence.

    3. The listing for the Allegheny Library had nothing of interest, but that listing was only made in 1821.

    4. The 1830 listing of Harvard Library (

    5. Library of Congress books available before 1840:

    If anyone is aware of another source where the book could of been found in time to be used for the Book of Moses, please let me know.

    • Thanks for this useful summary of your research, Jeff. I have heard rumors that some researches are currently working on your question of any other sources. So hopefully additional information will be forthcoming. In the meantime, I’d be interested to know if readers have anything to add to your list right now.

      • One more thing: The most important conclusion of the article, in my mind, is hot simply the unlikelihood that Joseph Smith could have or would have drawn Moses 6-7 from 1 Enoch (apart from interesting resemblances mostly confined to the 1 Enoch Book of Parables), but that other Jewish sources that could not have been known by the Prophet (especially the Qumran Book of Giants) seem to be such a better source of ancient affinities that more effort should be placed by researchers on these instead. For much new material affirming the relevance of the Book of Giants in particular, see the series of thirty Book of Moses Insights posted on Book of Mormon Central and Interpreter that are dedicated solely to Moses 6-7.

  6. I am constantly amazed at the depth of information available in the Enochic text of Moses as found in the Pearl of Great Price. While our detractors would have us ascribe it as plagiarized, it appears from this astute evidence (and prior evidence such as was supplied by Hugh Nibley) that this stance lacks credence. I personally, have always found the antique parts of the Pearl of Great Price, including both Moses and Abraham, to be of incredible importance in the Latter-day Saint lexicon. I’ve always been amazed that we lay members have not taken more advantage of this pearl than what currently appears to be the case. Regardless, it is consistent, systematic research such as this article which helps to bring it out of the darkness and perhaps into more light than we have hitherto given it. Keep up the great research!

      • Sadly I’ve only been able to listen to a couple of interviews and not read the book yet, but the thing that struck me was how he touches, if obliquely, on the Jesus as King and the redemption of creation themes that Tom Wright also touches. I like how Dr Heiser finishes the linked interview with a great description of practical consecration.

        • Michael Heiser is a knowledgeable Bible scholar. I also enjoy many things that N. T. Wright says, though of course he is far from us in some aspects of his theology. Heiser knows quite a bit about Latter-day Saint teachings and I don’t think it’s impossible that he may have been sensitized in part to the”forgotten mission” of Jesus Christ through that exposure. Certainly, the forgotten mission he describes in his own way is not forgotten to us (see, e.g., 1 Peter 3:18-21, 4:6). While I believe that the Watchers story in 1 Enoch is not nearly as reliable as a guide to understanding Genesis 6:1-4 as is Moses 6-8, he does have some useful and accessible discussions of allusions to 1 Enoch/Genesis 6:1-4 in his book, if you take them with a grain or two of salt. Thanks again for the comment.

  7. I have followed this from a distance. I am amazed at the detail in this essay. I recall once having a conversation with the famous Jewish author Jacob Neusner, whose books could fill a modest library, along with Truman Madsen, Kent Brown, Hugh Nibley and several others. Neusner ask Nibley what he was currently working on, and he was immediately told that it was on the Enoch literature. Neusner indicated that he thought that those different texts were often weird, which is, of course, true. Well, why then take them seriously? Nibley said that Joseph Smith had provided us with a book of Enoch. And Neusner, looking directly at me demanded to know what was in this new Enoch text, and Truman Madsen, sitting next to me on my right mentioned a few of its contents, and Nibley filled in the gaps. Then Neusner said that he would now have to invent–his word–a strange Rabbi from the east, with knowledge not previously known, who ended up supplying Joseph Smith with the contents of this new Enoch text.
    Then Neusner said to Nibley that this was truly an important project and should make the scholarly world take note. NIbley replied that the scholarly world, if it took note, would only make every effort to find ways out of this bit of information, since it came to us through Joseph Smith. And Neusner then said that this was obviously true, since scholars have very often, and especially now, done everything not to take divine things seriously.

  8. Another great example of how Joseph Smith’s works are fully at home in ancient scriptural traditions and are inexplicable without divine revelation. As Hugh Nibley said in the title of his series of radio lectures about how Joseph recovered the true ancient Christian church, “Time Vindicates the Prophets”.

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