The book was discredited after the Council of Laodicea in 364, and the text was considered lost except for passages quoted by ancient writers such as Clement and George Syncellus, until 1773 when James Bruce brought two copies of a version he had obtained in Ethiopia, where it formed part of the official canon of the Ethiopic Church. Since Bruce's discovery, an Old Slavonic translation has been identified, as well as two separate fragments of a Latin translation. Fragments of papyri containing parts of a Greek translation were recovered by a French archeological team at Akhmim and published five years later in 1892. Fragments from the Book of Enoch have also been identified in the Dead Sea scrolls.
The Book of Enoch describes the petition of the Fallen Angels (or Nephilim) to Enoch to intercede on their behalf with God, Enoch's visit to Heaven in the form of a vision, and his revelations. It is considered an example of an apocalyptic work, and uses terminology (e.g., "The Son of Man") which was adopted into Christian works.