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Apocrypha

Meaning: Hidden, spurious.

In modern times, some have deceptively referred to these books as “the Lost Books of the Bible.” These books have not been lost. Christians and Jews have always known about them. The correct name is the Apocrypha. This name was given to certain ancient books which found a place in the LXX. and Latin Vulgate versions of the Old Testament used by Catholics today. They are not accepted as Scripture by Protestants or Jews. They were appended to all the great Bible translations made from those documents in the sixteenth century. However, they should not be regarded in any sense as parts of the inspired Word.

Why?

  1. They are not once quoted by the New Testament writers, who frequently quote from the LXX. Our Lord and his apostles confirmed by their authority the ordinary Jewish canon, which was the same as we have today.

  2. These books were written not in Hebrew but in Greek, and during the “period of silence,” from the time of Malachi, after which direct revelations from God ceased till the Christian era.

  3. The contents of the books themselves show that they are not part of Scripture.

The Old Testament Apocrypha consists of fourteen books. The main ones are the Books of the Maccabees, the Books of Esdras, the Book of Wisdom, the Book of Baruch, the Book of Esther, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith, etc. Others include: Bel and the Dragon (addition to Daniel), Daniel and Susanna (addition to Daniel), Additions to Esther, Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Azariah (addition to Daniel), The Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, Sirach, Tobit, and The Wisdom of Solomon. Ancient Jewish writers and rabbis did not accept them as Scripture.

The New Testament Apocrypha is very extensive and bears distinct evidences of its non-apostolic origin. It is utterly unworthy of regard.

The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha can be read on-line.

Author: Matthew G. Easton, with additions and editing by Paul S. Taylor.

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