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Apocryphal Books are?

Well, I just wonder why my Bible does not contain the Deutero-canonical books which are also known as Apocryphal Books (Die Apokryhen). These are books written between the Old and New Testament (Intertestamental period). These books are accepted by the Pharisees as they are valuable to Jewish history but are not considered divinely inspired. In this blog post, let us deal with them shortly.

A. What are the Apocryphal Books?

The Apocryphal books, also known as the Deuterocanonical books, are a collection of writings that are found in some versions of the Bible but are not included in the Protestant canon. These books include Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and First and Second Maccabees, as well as additional sections in the books of Esther and Daniel.

B. How were they gathered?

The Apocryphal books were written during the intertestamental period, between the Old and New Testaments. They were originally written in Greek and were widely read and accepted by Jewish communities at the time. However, their inclusion in the Hebrew Bible was a matter of debate.

During the Council of Jamnia in the late 1st century AD, Jewish scholars discussed and decided upon the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Apocryphal books were not included in the final list of authoritative texts, and this decision influenced the later formation of the Protestant Bible.

C. Why did Protestants not include them in their Bible?

Protestants, during the Reformation in the 16th century, sought to return to the original sources of Christianity and questioned the authority of certain books and practices. They argued that the Apocryphal books were not part of the Hebrew canon and were not accepted by Jesus and the apostles.

Furthermore, some of the teachings and doctrines found in the Apocryphal books differed from those in the rest of the Bible. Protestants believed that these books contained historical inaccuracies, theological errors, and teachings that were not in line with their understanding of Scripture.

D. Are these Books not valid sources? Why?

While the Apocryphal books contain valuable historical and cultural information, Protestants do not consider them to be on the same level of authority as the rest of the Bible. They believe that the books that were accepted by the early Jewish community and endorsed by Jesus and the apostles should be considered the inspired Word of God.

Additionally, the absence of the Apocryphal books from the Hebrew canon and their exclusion from the Protestant Bible is seen as a way to maintain the integrity and clarity of the Scriptures.

E. How must Protestants regard these books?

Protestants regard the Apocryphal books as valuable historical and literary texts that provide insights into the intertestamental period. They can be studied for their cultural and theological significance, but they are not considered authoritative for matters of faith and doctrine.

Protestants emphasize the importance of the books that are universally recognized as part of the biblical canon and encourage believers to focus on studying and applying the teachings found in those books.

By Roge Sison

An ordained clergy of The United Methodist Church.

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