This week I thought I would post a brief description about the Apocrypha. Over the years, I've heard much about these books and never really understood, until recently, what they contained. There is quite a bit of information out there about the Apocrypha. I may share additional information over the next few weeks.
The books of the Apocrypha have incorrectly been referred to as "the Lost Books of the Bible". These books, in fact, are not lost. Both Christians and Jews have always known about them.
The name "Apocrypha" was given to certain ancient books which found a place in Latin Vulgate versions of the Old Testament that is used by Catholics today. Protestants and Jews do not accept them as Scripture. In the sixteenth century they were appended to all the great Bible translations. However, they should never in any sense be regarded as parts of the inspired Word of God.
Why shouldn't we consider them part of the inspired Word of God? For several reasons....
1. Not one of these books is written in the Hebrew language. Hebrew alone was used by the inspired historians and poets of the Old Testament.
2. None of the writers of the Apocrypha claimed to be inspired by God.
3. These books have never been acknowledged by Jews as sacred scriptures. The Jews actually rejected and destroyed the Aprocrypha after the overthrow of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
4. They were not permitted among the sacred books during the first four centuries of the Christian church.
5. It contains statements which only contradict the "canonical" scriptures.
6. It includes doctrines that are in variance with the Bible.
7. The Apocrypha teaches immoral practices including lying and magical incantation.
8. No apocryphal book is referred to in the New Testatment. However, the New Testament refers hundreds of times to the Old Testament.
9. Due to all the reasons noted above, the books of the Apocrypha are only valuable as ancient documents to illustrate the manners, language, opinions and history of the East.
The Old Testament Apocrypha consists of 14 books.
~ Books of the Maccabees
~ Books of Esdras
~ Book of Wisdom
~ Book of Baruch
~ Book of Esther
Others included are:
~ 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)
~ Prayer of Manasseh
~ Psalm 151
~ Wisdom of Solomon
The New Testament Apocrypha is very extensive and bears strong evidence of its non-apostolic origin. According to the source I found it is completely unworthy of any regard.