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?
• “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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