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What are the books of The Apocryha, and should we take notice of them?

In some Bibles there are extra books included that appear similar to parts of the scriptures .Are these God’s inspired words or human writings?

Answer
• “Apocrypha “ is a Latin word meaning “obscure or hidden away “.
• This name has been given to these extra books that are found in some old Bibles (especially Catholic Bibles) and yet are not in most Protestant Bibles.
• The title “Apocrypha” has become to be understood as “the books not included because they are spurious or suspect. ”
• The Books in question include – 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch , 1Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, The prayer of Manasseh, additions to Daniel (the song of the Three Children, Susanna and Bel and the Dragon) and additions to Esther .
• They are called “The Apocrypha” because they are not included in most Bibles- being regarded as NOT inspired by God.
• They were writings by Jews written (200-100BC)before the New Testament, but long after the last prophets of God wrote.
• They were included in compilations of some versions of the Septuagint Translations ,( as we might include maps , dictionaries , charts or notes) . Their only claim to authenticity today is the fact that they were found alongside Septuagint texts.
• They have never been regarded as God’s revealed scriptures by Jews.
• None were ever written in Hebrew originally as were all the books of the Old Testament.
• Nowhere in any of the books is a claim made that God inspired them.
• In fact the books of the Apocrypha refer to the fact that God had ceased to inspire prophets . (1Macc 4:46 , 1Macc 9:27, 1Macc 14:41)
• Their authenticity was rejected by Josephus and also by the Manual of Discipline in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
• They were first mistakenly given status as scripture by Greek speaking Christians.(around 400AD)
• They were finally declared to be part of scripture by the Catholic Church in 1545-1563AD .
• Some early Church writers quoted from them…but only as we might quote from Shakespeare or as Paul quoted Greek poetry.
• The claim that Solomon (Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus) and Baruch wrote the books attributed to them is widely accepted as false.
• These books contain factual errors…(in Judith Nebuchadnezzar is called the “King of Assyria, in Nineveh ”) .
• In the books of Maccabees Antiochus is said to die 3 different deaths in 3 different places .
• Books like Tobit and Judith are clearly fictional. One story is about Raphael fighting a demon with the organs of a fish.
• None of them even attempt any future predictions, as all other prophets do.
• Jesus and the apostles completely ignored them, and they are NEVER quoted into the New Testament. This is the most convincing reason to disregard them.
• Catholics protest that Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon are not quoted in the New Testament either, but are accepted as scripture . However all these books are recognised by all scholars as part of the Jewish collection of scripture.
• The main reason the Catholic Church has supported their inclusion that they contain unscriptural doctrines that the Church favours, such as purgatory, sinless perfection and the treasury of merit. .
• Wrong doctrines found in the Apocrypha also include praying for the dead (2Macc 12:45-46) . See what the bible says in Luke 16:25-26 and Heb 9:27.
• In Judith 9v10-13 God is attributed supporting lies.
• The books of the Apocrypha teach immoral practices such as lying, suicide, assassination and magic incantations.
• The book Ecclesiasticus contains Jewish societal views that demean women and were not what God has said. “It is a disgrace to be the father of an undisciplined, and the birth of a daughter is a loss” Ecc 22:3. and this in Ecc 25:24 “From a woman sin had its beginning. Because of her we all die .”. see also Ecc 25:19 .
• The book of Tobit (1:3-5, 14:11) says Tobit was alive at the time of Jeroboam’s revolt (931BC) and was still alive at the time of the Assyrian captivity (722BC) , yet he only lived 158 years.
So we conclude that the Apocrypha should be ignored, other than an interesting collection of Jewish stories. These books are NOT scripture. See ISA 8:20.

 

 

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