Apocrypha

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by boogie, Feb 9, 2002.

  1. boogie

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    So how did they determine these books could not be included in the cannon of Scriptures and who gave them the authority to do such things and why should we accept this?

    Is it wrong to read these materials? I'm not a heritic :eek: Just curious.
     
  2. DocCas

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    Simple. The Jews never included any of them in the OT Hebrew canon. The only place they occured was in the Greek translation of the OT. If they are not in the Hebrew OT canon, they are not canonical, period. [​IMG]
     
  3. Brother Adam

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    Well...if it's wrong to read these materials... then I'm in a lot of trouble! :eek: Actually, if you browse my library you would have a hard time figuring out what denomination I belong to. I have a Catholic Catachism, the apocrypha, the "Lost Books of the Bible" (books that didn't even make it into the Catholic Bible), and so forth. There is nothing wrong with reading these books so long as you understand them for what they are. They can help you understand where other people are coming from who trust those books as inspired, help you on your way to becoming a historian, and you will feel smart when referencing them :D

    The canon of the New and Old Testaments has great deal of history behind it and would take far more than one post to go through it all (though I'm sure someone will try [​IMG] ). The books were rejected for various reasons. No one magically knew what would go into the canon, but with these books, it was usually over all decided that they were not inspired. If you look at Psalm 151 for instance (if you are familiar with David's Psalms) you'll get the distinct impression that David did not write it. It's quite out of character for his writing.

    Here is a good brief run down on the canons:
    http://www.bible.org/docs/theology/biblio/bib.htm

    UNP
    Adam
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Non-canonical simply means that the Jews (OT) and early Christians (NT) did not feel them to be accurate, inspired, and on a par with "scripture". It does NOT mean that they are evil or bad.

    Now, some of the apocryphal books teach error or wrong doctrine. For that reason, I would never use them. They contain history and stories from the era of 400 BCE to the time of Christ, a "silent" era after Malachi where there is nothing in the Bible.

    So, you may opt to read them, but beware of bad teaching. For example, II Macabees 12 says "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they might be loosed from their sins." Ever wonder where the Catholics got that crazy idea? They include the apocrypha as part of their Bible and believe it is inspired.

    Phooey.
     
  5. preacher

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    What time frame were these books written in?
    Was it the span of time between the testaments?
     
  6. Aaron

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    Man does not decide which books are and are not Scripture, only the Holy Spirit does that.

    No matter what criteria for canonicity one describes, there is an exception for every canon in the Bible, and the inclusion of some were hotly disputed.
     
  7. ventin

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    God already knows which books are inspired and which are not. He merely uses Godly men to decipher them [​IMG]
     
  8. superdave

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    Many of the Apocryphal books were written between 250BC and 100 AD, I think all but about 1 were written BC in the intertestamental period. They are not quoted or referred to by the NT, nor did the Jews include them in the OT canon. They are a variety of literature types from Historical/Legend to Religious Romance. They contain doctrinal errors, and at times, historical and factual errors, pointing to a lack of Inspiration. They do contain some historical information, for instance the 2 books of Maccabees do contain much info about the Revolt against the Syrians before the Roman occupation of Palestine. Nothing wrong with reading them, there is some interesting info in them, but definitely something wrong with placing them on the level of the Biblical Canon. Many believe that the Catholic Church accepted them as a reaction to the Protestant Reformation, not because of any scholarly attempt to validate their authenticity or accuracy.
     
  9. TomVols

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    These books were rejected at Jamnia, I believe, because they were not recognized to have the divinely authoritative quality of inspiration and their unharmonius teaching.

    One theory as to why these books appeared in early KJV was because the church of England recognized them for a type of devotional value as opposed to doctrinal value. Anyone else have info on that?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Is it wrong to read these materials? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Reading them is one thing. Believing their teaching is another. Dr. Bob shows that he's apparently read them :cool:

    [ February 12, 2002: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    I teach a course on "How We Got the Bible", so certainly have read the apocryphal and pseudopigryphal additions, too. Their textual inferiority is obvious in even a casual reading when compared with ANY edition of a Bible.

    The AV1611 followed the tradition of all Bibles printed in that era, including them for historical/literature reasons inbetween the Old and New Testament.

    I was a little perturbed that they included readings from the apocrypha in their AV1611 Bible reading schedule, but NOWHERE is there any claim to inspiration or authority given to those books.
     
  11. Bro. Curtis

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    While trying to be nice & say only positive things, & I have nothing against Carson Weber as a person, but if he can post here, can I post in the administrators forum ?
     
  12. Clint Kritzer

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    Carson -

    Mr. Curtis is quite correct. This is a Baptist Only area. I saved your post on to a word file and will e-mail it to you. If you have a discrepency with anything cited in this area, you are free to use the Private messenger service provided by this site to address your questions.

    Clint Kritzer
    Moderator
     
  13. Ps104_33

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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It was not until the year A.D. 393 that a church council first listed the 27 New Testament books now universally recognized. There was thus a period of about 350 years during which the New Testament Canon was in process of being formed.


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    The councils of Carthage and Hippo did not establish the canon for the Church as a whole. As a matter of fact the New Catholic Encyclopedia states that the canon was not officially and authoritatively established for the Western Church until Trent in the 16th century and Pope Gregory the Great? rejected the apochropha as canonical:

    "St. Jerome distinguished between canonical books and ecclesiastical books. The latter he judged were circulated by the Church as good spiritual reading but were not recognized as authoritative Scripture. The situation remained unclear in the ensuing centuries...For example, John of Damascus, Gregory the Great, Walafrid, Nicolas of Lyra and Tostado continued to doubt the canonicity of the deuterocanonical books. According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the biblical canon is the infallible decision of the Church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Chruch at the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent definitively settled the matter of the Old Testament Canon. That this had not been done previously is apparent from the uncertainty that persisted up to the time of Trent" (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Canon).

    Origen, Melito of Sardis, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers, Epiphanius, Basil the Great? Jerome, Rufinus, and many others rejected the Judgement of these councils. They held to the view that there were 22 to 24 books in the OT depending on how they were grouped together and this corresponds to the Jewish canon which rejected the apochrypha.

    This is kind of lengthy but here is Jerome whose judgement was generally followed by the Church up to the Reformation and who also rejected the apochrypha:

    "These instances have been just touched upon by me (the limits of a letter forbid a more discursive treatment of them) to convince you that in the holy scriptures you can make no progress unless you have a guide to shew you the way...Genesis ... Exodus ... Leviticus ... Numbers ... Deuteronomy ... Job ... Jesus the son of Nave ... Judges ... Ruth ... Samuel ... The third and fourth books of Kings ... The twelve prophets whose writings are compressed within the narrow limits of a single volume: Hosea ... Joel ... Amos ... Obadiah ... Jonah ... Micah ... Nahum ... Habakkuk ... Zephaniah ... Haggai ... Zechariah ... Malachi ... Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel ... Jeremiah also goes four times through the alphabet in different metres (Lamentations)... David...sings of Christ to his lyre; and on a psaltry with ten strings (Psalms) ... Solomon, a lover of peace and of the Lord, corrects morals, teaches nature (Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), unites Christ and the church, and sings a sweet marriage song to celebrate that holy bridal (Song of Songs) ... Esther ... Ezra and Nehemiah.
    You see how, carried away by my love of the scriptures, I have exceeded the limits of a letter...The New Testament I will briefly deal with. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John ... The apostle Paul writes to seven churches (for the eighth epistle - that to the Hebrews - is not generally counted in with the others) ... The Acts of the Apostles ... The apostles James, Peter, John and Jude have published seven epistles ... The apocalypse of John ...I beg of you, my dear brother, to live among these books, to meditate upon them, to know nothing else, to seek nothing else" (Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953, Volume VI, St. Jerome, Letter LIII.6-10).

    "As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Eccesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church...I say this to show you how hard it is to master the book of Daniel, which in Hebrew contains neither the history of Susanna, nor the hymn of the three youths, nor the fables of Bel and the Dragon..."(Ibid., Volume VI, Jerome, Prefaces to Jerome's Works, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs; Daniel, pp. 492-493).

    "Let her treasures be not silks or gems but manuscripts of the holy scriptures...Let her begin by learning the psalter, and then let her gather rules of life out of the proverbs of Solomon...Let her follow the example set in Job of virtue and patience. Then let her pass on to the gospels...the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles...let her commit to memory the prophets, the heptateuch, the books of Kings and of Chronicles, the rolls also of Ezra and Esther. When she has done all these she may safely read the Song of Songs...Let her avoid all apocryphal writings, and if she is led to read such not by the truth of the doctrines which they contain but out of respect for the miracles contained in them; let her understand that they are not really written by those to whom they are ascribed, that many faulty elements have been introduced into them, and that it requires infinite discretion to look for gold in the midst of dirt" (Ibid., Letter CVII.12).

    "What the Savior declares was written down was certainly written down. Where is it written down? The Septuagint does not have it, and the Church does not recognize the Apocrypha. Therefore we must go back to the book of the Hebrews, which is the source of the statements quoted by the Lord, as well as the examples cited by the disciples...But he who brings charges against me for relating the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susanna, the Song of the Three Children, and the story of Bel and the Dragon, which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant...The apostolic men use the Hebrew Scripture. It is clear that the apostles themselves and the evangelists did likewise. The Lord and Savior, whenever He refers to ancient Scripture, quotes examples from the Hebrew volumes...We do not say this because we wish to rebuke the Septuagint translators, but because the authority of the apostles and of Christ is greater..."(The Fathers of the Church (Washington: Catholic University, 1965), Volume 53, Saint Jerome, Against Rufinus, Book II.27, 33, pp. 151, 158-160).

    To suggest that we should follow the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church because she determined the "table of contents" of Scripture is the equivalent of saying that Jesus and the apostles should have followed the teachings of the Pharisees because as Jews they determined which books were truly the Word of God.
     

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