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.