Friday, October 28, 2011

Why the Apocrypha Isn't in the Bible.

Apocrypha is a collection of uninspired, spurious books written by various individuals. The Catholic religion considers these books as scripture just like a Bible-believer believes that our 66 books are the word of God, i.e., Genesis to Revelation. We are going to examine some verses from the Apocrypha later in our discussion.
At the Council of Trent (1546) the Roman Catholic religion pronounced the following apocryphal books sacred.  So now you have the Bible, the Apocrypha and Catholic Tradition as co-equal sources of truth for the Catholic.

The  Apocrypha 
First and Second Maccabees
Additions to Esther and Daniel
Apocryphal Books rejected by the Catholic Religion:
First and Second Esdras
Prayer of Manasses
*A reader says: "Susanna is in the Roman Catholic canon. It is Daniel 13."
Why the Apocrypha Isn't in the Bible.
  1. Not one of the apocryphal books is written in the Hebrew language, which was alone used by the inspired historians and poets of the Old Testament. All Apocryphal books are in Greek, except one which is extant only in Latin.
  2. None of the apocryphal writers laid claim to inspiration.
  3. The apocryphal books were never acknowledged as sacred scriptures by the Jews, custodians of the Hebrew scriptures (the apocrypha was written prior to the New Testament). In fact, the Jewish people rejected and destroyed the apocrypha after the overthow of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
  4. The apocryphal books were not permitted among the sacred books during the first four centuries of the real Christian church (I'm certainly not talking about the Catholic religion which is not Christian).
  5. The Apocrypha contains fabulous statements which not only contradict the "canonical" scriptures but themselves. For example, in the two Books of Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in three different places.
  6. The Apocrypha includes doctrines in variance with the Bible, such as prayers for the dead and sinless perfection. The following verses are taken from the Apocrypha translation by Ronald Knox dated 1954

  1. :Basis for the doctrine of purgatory:
  1. 2 Maccabees 12:43-45, 2.000 pieces of silver were sent to Jerusalem for a sin-offering...Whereupon he made reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.
    Salvation by works:
    Ecclesiasticus 3:30, Water will quench a flaming fire, and alms maketh atonement for sin.Tobit 12:8-9, 17, It is better to give alms than to lay up gold; for alms doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin.
    Tobit 6:5-8, If the Devil, or an evil spirit troubles anyone, they can be driven away by making a smoke of the heart, liver, and gall of a fish...and the Devil will smell it, and flee away, and never come again anymore.
    Mary was born sinless (immaculate conception):
    Wisdom 8:19-20, And I was a witty child and had received a good soul. And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled.
  2. It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assasination and magical incantation.
  3. No apocryphal book is referred to in the New Testament whereas the Old Testament is referred to hundreds of times.
  4. Because of these and other reasons, the apocryphal books are only valuable as ancient documents illustrative of the manners, language, opinions and history of the East.
21 reasons why the Apocrypha is not inspired:
  1. The Roman Catholic Church did not officially canonize the Apocrypha until the Council of Trent (1546 AD). This was in part because the Apocrypha contained material which supported certain Catholic doctrines, such as purgatory, praying for the dead, and the treasury of merit.
  2. Not one of them is in the Hebrew language, which was alone used by the inspired historians and poets of the Old Testament.
  3. Not one of the writers lays any claim to inspiration.
  4. These books were never acknowledged as sacred Scriptures by the Jewish Church, and therefore were never sanctioned by our Lord.
  5. They were not allowed a place among the sacred books, during the first four centuries of the Christian Church.
  6. They contain fabulous statements, and statements which contradict not only the canonical Scriptures, but themselves; as when, in the two Books of Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in as many different places.
  7. The Apocrypha inculcates doctrines at variance with the Bible, such as prayers for the dead and sinless perfection.
  8. And the day following Judas came with his company, to take away the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen, in the sepulchers of their fathers. And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain. Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden. And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain. And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachmas of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. (2 Maccabees 12:39-46)
  9. The apocrypha contains offensive materials unbecoming of God’s authorship.
  10. Ecclesiasticus 25:19 Any iniquity is insignificant compared to a wife's iniquity.
    Ecclesiasticus 25:24 From a woman sin had its beginning. Because of her we all die.
    Ecclesiasticus 22:3 It is a disgrace to be the father of an undisciplined, and the birth of a daughter is a loss.
  11. It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assassination and magical incantation.
  12. The apocryphal books themselves make reference to what we call the Silent 400 years, where there was no prophets of God to write inspired materials.
  13. And they laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, till there should come a prophet, and give answer concerning them. (1 Maccabees 4:46)
    And there was a great tribulation in Israel, such as was not since the day, that there was no prophet seen in Israel. (1 Maccabees 9:27)
    And that the Jews, and their priests, had consented that he should be their prince, and high priest for ever, till there should arise a faithful prophet. (1 Maccabees 14:41)
  14. Josephus rejected the apocryphal books as inspired and this reflected Jewish thought at the time of Jesus
  15. "From Artexerxes to our own time the complete history has been written but has not been deemed worthy of equal credit with the earlier records because of the failure of the exact succession of the prophets." ... "We have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine..."(Flavius Josephus, Against Apion 1:8)
  16. The Manual of Discipline in the Dead Sea Scrolls rejected the apocrypha as inspired.
  17. The Council of Jamnia held the same view rejected the apocrypha as inspired.
  18. They debated the canonicity of a few books (e.g., Ecclesiastes), but they changed nothing and never proclaimed themselves to be authoritative determiners of the Old Testament canon. "The books which they decided to acknowledge as canonical were already generally accepted, although questions had been raised about them. Those which they refused to admit had never been included. They did not expel from the canon any book which had previously been admitted. 'The Council of Jamnia was the confirming of public opinion, not the forming of it.'" (F. F. Bruce, The Books and Parchments [Old Tappan, NJ.: Fleming H. Revell, 1963], p. 98])
  19. Although it was occasionally quoted in early church writings, it was nowhere accepted in a canon. Melito (AD 170) and Origen rejected the Apocrypha, (Eccl. Hist. VI. 25, Eusebius) as does the Muratorian Canon.
  20. Jerome vigorously resisted including the Apocrypha in his Latin Vulgate Version (400 AD), but was overruled. As a result, the standard Roman Catholic Bible throughout the medieval period contained it. Thus, it gradually came to be revered by the average clergyman. Still, many medieval Catholic scholars realized that it was not inspired.
  21. The terms "protocanonical" and "deuterocanonical" are used by Catholics to signify respectively those books of Scripture that were received by the entire Church from the beginning as inspired, and those whose inspiration came to be recognized later, after the matter had been disputed by certain Fathers and local churches.
  22. Pope Damasus (366-384) authorized Jerome to translate the Latin Vulgate. The Council of Carthage declared this translation as "the infallible and authentic Bible." Jerome was the first to describe the extra 7 Old Testament books as the "Apocrypha" (doubtful authenticity). Needless to say, Jerome’s Latin Vulgate did not include the Apocrypha.
  23. Cyril (born about A.D. 315) – "Read the divine Scriptures – namely, the 22 books of the Old Testament which the 72 interpreters translated" (the Septuagint)
  24. The apocrypha wasn’t included at first in the Septuagint, but was appended by the Alexandrian Jews, and was not listed in any of the catalogues of the inspired books till the 4th century
  25. Hilary (bishop of Poictiers, 350 A.D.) rejected the apocrypha (Prologue to the Psalms, Sec. 15)
  26. Epiphanius (the great opposer of heresy, 360 A.D.) rejected them all. Referring to Wisdom of Solomon & book of Jesus Sirach, he said "These indeed are useful books & profitable, but they are not placed in the number of the canonical."
Wasn't the Apocrypha in the King James?

The King James translators never considered the Apocrypha the word of God. As books of some historical value (e.g., details of the Maccabean revolt), the Apocrypha was sandwiched between the Old and New Testaments as an appendix of reference material. This followed the format that Luther had used. Luther prefaced the Apocrypha with a statement:
"Apocrypha--that is, books which are not regarded as equal to the holy Scriputres, and yet are profitable and good to read."

King James Version Defended page 98.
In 1599, TWELVE YEARS BEFORE the King James Bible was published, King James said this about the Apocrypha:
"As to the Apocriphe bookes, I OMIT THEM because I am no Papist (as I said before)..."

King James Charles Stewart
Basilicon Doron, page 13
In his A Premonition to All Most Mightie Monarches," King James said this--
"...Is it a small corrupting of the Scriptures to make all, or the most part of the Apocrypha of equall faith with the canonicall Scriptures...?"
Not only this, but the sixth article of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England (1571 edition--the church of England published the Authorized (King James) Version) states that the Old and New Testaments are the Bible and the apocrypha is not:
In the name of the Holy, we do vnderstande those canonical bookes of the olde and newe Testament, of whose authoritie was never any doubt in the Churche...
Now concerning the apocrypha it states,
And the other bookes, (as Hierome sayeth), the Churche doth reade for example of life and instruction of manners: but yet doth it not applie them to establish any doctrene.
Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977, Vol. III, pp. 489-491.
The Hampton Court Document came as a result of the famous Hampton Court Conference of 1604 when King James authorized the translation of the Bible that would one day bear his name. Concerning the apocrypha and the Church of England, it states--
The Apocrypha, that hath some repugnancy to the canonical scriptures, shall not be read...
The Apocrypha began to be omitted from the Authorized Version in 1629. Puritans and Presbyterians lobbied for the complete removal of the Apocrypha from the Bible and in 1825 the British and Foreign Bible Society agreed. From that time on, the Apocrypha has been eliminated from practically all English Bibles--Catholic Bibles and some pulpit Bibles excepted.
Not even all Catholic "Church Fathers" believed the Apocrypha was scripture.
Not that this really means anything. The truth is not validated by the false. Nevertheless, this may be of interest to some... Jerome (340-420) rejected the Apocrypha:
"As the Church reads the books of Judith and Tobit and Maccabees but does not receive them among the canonical Scriptures, so also it reads Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus for the edification of the people, not for the authoritative confirmation of doctrine."

Jerome's preface to the books of Solomon
According to Edward Hills in The King James Version Defended p. 98 other famous Catholics with this viewpoint include Augustine (354-430 who at first defended the Apocrypha as canonical), Pope Gregory the Great (540-604), Cardinal Ximenes, and Cardinal Cajetan.
There are other spurious books.
These include the Pseudepigrapha which contains Enoch, Michael the Archangel, and Jannes and Jambres. Many of these books falsely claim to have been written by various Old Testament patriarchs. They were composed between 200 B.C. and 100 A.D. There are lots of these spurious books like The Assumption of Moses, Apocalypse of Elijah, and Ascension of Isaiah.
Concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls, there may be some information in them that parallels the Masoretic Text, but there are fables in them too. I went to see the scrolls a few years ago with great expectation but found a bunch of fables. The best defense against error in any form (fake Bibles and religions) is a solid knowledge of your King James Bible. If you read it, forgeries become readily apparent.

Bibliography:Translators Revived, Alexander McClure, p. 142
Bible Believing Study, Edward F. Hills, p. 15
The King James Version Defended, Edward F. Hills, p. 96, 97, 98
God Wrote Only One Bible, Jasper James Ray, p. 90
An Understandable History of the Bible, Dr. Samuel Gipp, p. 245

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