We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What About the Apocrypha?


I have often been told (including very recently in the comment section of an article I wrote) that the Protestants “removed” the Apocrypha from the Bible; the claim being that the Apocrypha was part of Christian canon from the beginning.  However, when one reads a wee bit of history they will find the early church did not consider this material to be canon.  Even the Catholics didn’t canonize the Apocrypha until the Council of Trent in 1546, mainly in opposition to the Protestant movement, so as to provide support for some of their man-made doctrines.

John Bois, who was one of the New Testament translators of the KJV, was also part of the group which translated the Apocrypha.  He wrote the following:

The reasons assigned for not admitting the Apocryphal books into the canon, or list of inspired Scriptures are briefly the following:

1.  Not one of them is in the Hebrew language, which was alone used by the inspired historians and poets of the Old Testament.

2.  Not one of the writers lays any claim to inspiration.

3.  These books were never acknowledged as sacred Scriptures by the Jewish Church, and therefore were never sanctioned by our Lord.

4.  They were not allowed a place among the sacred books during the first four centuries of the Christian Church.

5. They contain fabulous statements [in the sense of being fables] and statements which contradict not ply the canonical Scripture but themselves; as when in the two books of Maccabees Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in as many different places.

6. It inculcates doctrines at variance with the Bible such as prayers for the dead and sinless perfection.

7.  It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assassination and magical incantations.

For these and other reasons, the Apocryphal books which are all in Greek, except one which is extant only in Latin, are valuable only as ancient documents, illustrative of the manners, language, opinions and history of he East.

So don’t let the Roman Catholics intimidate you into thinking we don’t have important Scripture in our Bibles; what we have is all the the original Church considered Canon.

7 comments:

Neil said...

Excellent summary, thanks!

DebbieLynne said...

I learned a few things that will be extremely useful in my studies. Thank you for helping people understand why we must stand against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Debbie,

Take a look at my series on Roman Catholicism in June 2010. You should find the articles quite interesting!

Jesse said...

Hi Glenn,

Well, I was thinking of the first part when it said that none were written in the Hebrew language. That is false because some books of the apocrypha were originally written in Hebrew. We know that now. The Roman Catholic New American Bible has this note on its preface to the book of First Maccabees:

"1 Maccabees was written about 100 B.C., in Hebrew..."

The New American Bible has this note in its preface to the Book of Sirach:

"Written in Hebrew between 200 and 175 B.C., the text was translated into Greek sometime after 132 B.C..."

The New American Bible has this note in its preface to Tobit:

"In 1955, fragments of the book in Aramaic and Hebrew were recovered from Cave IV at Qumran. These texts are in substantial agreement with the Greek recension that has served as the basis for the present translation."

So that point is actually quite weak.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Jesse,

Perhaps when the KJV translators took the task there were no extant Hebrew manuscripts known to exist. So that doesn't make John Bois wrong. So at the time of his writing it wasn't necessarily a weak argument.

JM1999 said...

The KJV translation of the Wisdom of Solomon has a footnote contrasting the Greek and Hebrew reading of a particular verse - so even back then, the claim that they didn't exist in Hebrew was a blatant lie.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

John Bois, who was one of the New Testament translators of the KJV, was also part of the group which translated the Apocrypha. He wrote the following. ... 1. Not one of them is in the Hebrew language, which was alone used by the inspired historians and poets of the Old Testament.

So are you then calling John Bois a liar?