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Why were the 'book of Enoch' and others excluded from the Bible?

Started by Hobie, Sat Apr 20, 2024 - 10:27:01

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Hobie

The process of forming the biblical canon was gradual and involved much study and discernment by the Early Church, and before them the Jewish biblical scholars. But there were many books that were left out and excluded from the Bible because they were seen as not inspired, or a reliable picture of Jesus. Others were contrary and clearly against established truth or tried to supersede the biblical canon or insert unbiblical pagan beliefs.

The canon of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. They are the standard which God unveils when it comes to doctrines, and Christian core beliefs.

By the time of Jesus, the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were widely recognized as the Bible. Because of that, Jesus could cite from various books of the Old Testament by simply referring to them as the 'Scriptures'

As for the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, these were formally recognized as the canon of Scripture in the Early Church and we see that the apostle Peter himself referred to the letters of Paul as 'Scripture'.  The earliest church leaders regularly quote passages from the various New Testament documents giving them authority as divine revelation in a way that distinguishes them from any other writings.

The New Testament books also fit the context of what was in the Old Testament, especially since many of the quotes from the New Testament authors were quotes taken directly from the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit guided the early church and was the primary factor influencing what was inspired and authoritative Scripture and some clear standards:

For the New Testament we find they used if they were from Apostolic origin or from the Apostles. Originally, the disciples teaching was spread orally, but once this teaching was written down, churches obtained copies of these documents as soon as they could and used them as the very Word of God for their beliefs and practice. The churches rejected out of hand any document that did not conform to the teachings of the apostles or established canon of the Old Testament. The New Testament was established, and no book was regarded as Scripture unless it had been widely used by the churches from the beginning.

So, when it comes to considering whether a book like the 'book of Enoch' or the 'gospel of Judas' should be canon, it fails and we see much pagan and Gnosticism brought in and contradicts core Christian doctrines, to say nothing of the doctrines of devils it allows for.

Here is more on this exact issue...https://www.gotquestions.org/book-of-Enoch.html
'What is the book of Enoch and should it be in the Bible?

The Book of Enoch is any of several pseudepigraphal works that attribute themselves to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah; that is, Enoch son of Jared (Genesis 5:18). A piece of ancient literature is a pseudepigraphon if it makes false claims as to authorship. A pseudepigraphon will purport to have a (usually) well-known author, but its claims are unfounded.

Enoch is also one of the three people in the Bible taken up to heaven bodily, the only others being Elijah and Jesus (and only Jesus having experienced a resurrection). We read about Enoch's translation in Genesis 5:24: "And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him" (see also Hebrews 11:5). Most commonly, when people refer to the Book of Enoch, they mean 1 Enoch, which is wholly extant only in the Ethiopic language. The Book of Enoch is accepted as canonical by the Coptic Church in Ethiopia and the Eritrean Orthodox Church. In addition to 1 Enoch, there are 2 Enoch ("The Book of the Secrets of Enoch") and 3 Enoch ("The Hebrew Book of Enoch"). Fragments of the Book of Enoch in Aramaic and Hebrew were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Much of the Book of Enoch is apocalyptic—it uses vivid imagery to predict doom and the final judgment of evil. There's a heavy emphasis on angelology and demonology, and a large portion of the book is devoted to filling in the backstory of Genesis 6:1–4. The Book of Enoch thus explains the origin of the Nephilim and the identity of the "sons of God," mentioned in Genesis 6:2 and 4. The result is a strange and sensationalistic piece of non-canonical literature....'


Hobie

As for the Apocrypha, here is a good explanation...
'Why Were the Books of the Old Testament Apocrypha Rejected as Holy Scripture by the Protestants?

1. The Apocrypha Has Different Doctrine And Practices Than Holy Scripture

There are doctrines and practices contained in the Apocrypha that are contrary to what the Scripture teaches. They include the following.

They Teach A Person Is Saved By Works
In the Apocrypha proof texts can be found to support the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification by human works and not faith alone. The Apocrypha contains the following verses.

For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life (Tobit 12:9).

In another place in Tobit it says.

So now, my children see what almsgiving accomplishes, and what injustice does it brings death! (Tobit 14:11).

In the Book of First Maccabees it says.

Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (First Maccabees 2:52).

The Bible, on the other hand, says that a person is saved by grace through faith. It is not based upon our good works.

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).

The Non-biblical Doctrine Of Purgatory Is Taught In The Apocrypha

The doctrine of purgatory - a place of purging between heaven and hell - is taught in the Apocrypha. It says.

So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; and they turned to supplication, praying that the sin that had been committed might be wholly blotted out. The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened as the result of the sin of those who had fallen. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin (Second Maccabees 12:41-45).

The Bible teaches that, upon death, one either goes to be with the Lord or is sent away from Him - there is no middle place. The writer to the Hebrews stated.

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

According To The Apocrypha God Hears The Prayers Of The Dead
We find the Book of Baruch teaching that God hears the prayers of those who have died.

O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, hear now the prayer of the dead of Israel, the children of those who sinned before you, who did not heed the voice of the Lord their God, so that calamities have clung to us (Baruch 3:4).

The dead do not pray for the living. Only the living upon the earth pray for the other living ones on the earth.

The Apocrypha Teaches The Pre-existence Of Souls
The doctrine of the pre-existence of souls is found in the Apocrypha.

As a child I was naturally gifted, and a good soul fell to my lot; or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body (Wisdom 8:19,20).

Scripture does not teach that souls have any existence before they are united into a body.

It Teaches Creation Out Of Pre-Existent Matter
The doctrine of creation out of pre-existent matter is taught in the Apocrypha.

For your all-powerful hand, which created the world out of formless matter, did not lack the means to send upon them a multitude of bears, or bold lions (Wisdom 11:17).

The Bible says that God's creation was out of nothing.

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:3).

The Apocrypha Say The Body Weighs Down The Soul
The idea of the body as a weight upon the soul is found in the Apocrypha.

For a perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind (Wisdom 9:15).

The idea that the body weighs down the soul is not biblical - the body is not evil.

All of these doctrines are contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture.

2. The Apocrypha Is Never Cited In The New Testament As Scripture

Though the New Testament cites directly, or alludes to, almost every book of the Old Testament as Scripture, it never cites the Apocrypha as being God's Word. The Apocrypha was not the Bible of Jesus or His apostles. While Jesus and Hs apostles often quoted from the Septuagint, they never quoted from the Apocrypha.

Allusions Are Not The Same As Scripture
While there may be some allusions to the apocryphal books by New Testament writers there is no direct quote from them. An allusion is not the same as a direct quote.

No Statement Introduced By "It Is Written"
In addition, no New Testament writer ever refers to any of these books as authoritative. Quotes from the accepted books are usually introduced by the phrase, "It is written," or the passage is quoted to prove a point. But never do the New Testament writers quote the Apocrypha in this way.

Furthermore no book of the Apocrypha is mentioned by name in the New Testament.

There Are Others Books Directly Quoted Apart From Apocrypha
Add to this, there are certain books that both Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church reject as Scripture that are actually cited in the New Testament. Jude cites the apocryphal book of Enoch.

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14,15).

Paul cites the name of the magicians of Pharaoh who opposed Moses. These names are not mentioned in the Old Testament.

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth - men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected (2 Timothy 3:8).

If the writers of the New Testament considered the Apocrypha to be Scripture, we would certainly expect them to refer to it in some way. However we find no direct quotations. This is in contrast to over 250 quotations from the authoritative Old Testament Scriptures.

The fact that the present canon was repeatedly quoted as being divinely authoritative as well as the absence of any direct quote is another indication of the extent of the canon - it did not include the Apocrypha.

3. The Apocrypha Has Always Been Rejected By The Jews As Scripture

The Jews have never considered these works to be divinely inspired. On the contrary, they denied their authority. At the time of Christ we have the testimony of the Jewish writer Flavius Josephus that they were only twenty-two books divinely inspired by God. These books are the same as our thirty-nine in the Old Testament. The books of the Apocrypha were not among these. The same testimony is found in Second Esdras - the Ezra legend. This work was written in A.D. 100. Therefore these books were never part of the Hebrew canon of Scripture.

4. The Books Of The Apocrypha Were Written During The Silent Years

The books of the Apocrypha were written during the four hundred silent years between the Book of Malachi and the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist. Jewish and New Testament sources both agree that no divinely inspired prophetic utterance occurred during this time.

5. The Septuagint Translation Proves Nothing

The fact that the Apocrypha is found in the Septuagint translation does not prove anything. It merely testifies that the Alexandrian Jews translated other religious material into Greek apart from the Old Testament Scripture. A Greek translation is not the same thing as a book being part of the Hebrew canon.

6. There Is No Evidence The Apocrypha Was In Septuagint At The Time Of Christ

There is no evidence that the books of the Apocrypha were in the Septuagint as early as the time of Christ. The earliest manuscripts that contain them date back to the fourth century A.D. This does not demonstrate that the books of the Apocrypha were part of the Septuagint in pre-Christian times. Even if they were in the Septuagint at this early date, it is noteworthy that neither Christ nor the apostles ever quoted from them as they did with most of the Old Testament books. In addition, books were merely translated in Alexandria, Egypt - they were not canonized there.

There is no clear answer as to what they first century Septuagint contained. The fourth or fifth century Greek manuscripts, in which the Apocrypha appears, have no consistency with the number of books or their order.

7. There Is No Evidence Of A Greater Alexandrian Canon

It has been argued that the canon of the Alexandrian Jews was larger than the present Hebrew Old Testament. However, there is no evidence that the Jews in Alexandria, Egypt had a wider canon than the Jews living in Israel. Philo of Alexandria, who lived in the first century A.D., wrote on a number of subjects. He acknowledged the Jews believed in the divine authority of the Hebrew canon. However, he gave no indication that there was a wider canon used by the Jews living in Egypt. From Philo we find that the canon in Alexandria, Egypt was the same as in Palestine. He knows the threefold division of the Old Testament as ascribes divine inspiration to many of the books. In addition, he says nothing about the Apocrypha. Consequently there is no evidence anywhere that the Alexandrian Jews accepted the Apocrypha as Holy Scripture.

It must be remembered that it was not the Jews in Egypt but rather some of the Greek-speaking Christians who gave some measure of authoritative status to certain of these books translated with the Septuagint plus. To the Jews, these books were never considered divinely inspired Scripture.

8. They Are Not On The Early Canonical Lists

In the early years of the church it drew up various lists of the books it considered to be Old Testament Scripture. The books of the Apocrypha do not appear on any list until late in the fourth century. This demonstrates the acceptance of these writings was not immediate.

The Apocrypha Is Missing From The Earliest List
The earliest existing list of the Old Testament canon comes from a man named Melito, a bishop of Sardis. In approximately A.D. 170 he wrote the following.

When I came to the east and reached the place where these things were preached and done, and learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, I set down the facts and sent them to you. These are their names: the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, four books of the Kingdom, two books of Chronicles, the Psalms of David, the Proverbs of Solomon and his wisdom, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, Job, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, The Twelve in a single book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Ezra.

This list of Melito is highly instructive. He includes all the books of the present canon except Esther. The reference to the four books of the kingdom would be 1,2 Samuel and 1,2 Kings. Ezra was the common way to refer to Ezra-Nehemiah. Wisdom was merely a fuller description of the Book of Proverbs - not the Apocryphal book by that name. Among ancient writers Proverbs was often called Wisdom.

While including all of the books of the present Old Testament canon (except Esther) Melito nowhere mentions any of the books of the Apocrypha.

9. They Were Rejected By Most Church Leaders

While a few of the early leaders of the church accepted some of the books of Apocrypha as Scripture, most of the great church leaders did not-Athanasius, Origen, and Jerome, to name a few. Many great church leaders spoke out against the Apocrypha. Those who do cite the Apocrypha as Scripture were few in number.

It is also worth noting that none of the church fathers that quoted the Apocrypha as Scripture knew any Hebrew.

The Clear Testimony Of Athanasius Toward The Apocrypha
In A.D. 367, the great defender of orthodox belief, Athanasius bishop of Alexandria, wrote a letter. In this letter he affirmed all the books of the present Old Testament canon (except Esther) as well as all the books of the present New Testament canon. He also mentioned some of the books of the Apocrypha. Of those he said.

[They are] not included in the canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish instruction in the world of godliness.

This is another ancient and powerful testimony that the books of the Apocrypha were not considered to be Holy Scripture.

10. There Are Other Books Apart From The Apocrypha That Are Cited As Scripture By Some Church Fathers
The Church Fathers do not restrict themselves to the books that now make up the Apocrypha. Authors such as Justin, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria occasionally use books outside the present Apocrypha - especially the Book of Enoch and First Esdras (Third Esdras).

Clement of Alexandria accepted Second Esdras (Fourth Esdras). Origen believed that the books of First and Second Maccabees, as well as the Letter to Jeremiah, were part of Holy Scripture. Irenaeus cited the Book of Wisdom as being divinely inspired. Therefore appeal to the church fathers cannot settle the matter, seeing that they give conflicting evidence.

11. The Early Greek Manuscripts Are Not Decisive

The fact that some of the books from the Apocrypha are found in early Greek manuscripts of the Bible is not decisive. These manuscripts also contain other written works that are neither part of the Scripture nor part of the Apocrypha - everyone rejects them as having any divine authority. For example, 3 and 4 Maccabees and the Psalms of Solomon are found in these early Greek manuscripts along with the Greek Old Testament and the Apocrypha. If someone points to the inclusion of the Apocrypha among these early manuscripts as proof of their divine authority, then what do they do with these other works? Should they also be added to the Old Testament?

The Books Have A Different Order And Content
In the three most important Greek manuscripts the order and the contents of the books are different.

In Vaticanus we find: Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Judith, Tobit, Baruch, and the Letter to Jeremiah.

In Sinaiaticus the list includes: Tobit, Judith, First Maccabees, Fourth Maccabees, Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus.

In Alexandrinus the order is: Tobit, Judith, First Maccabees, Second Maccabees, Third Maccabees, Fourth Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and the Psalms of Solomon.

Therefore the early Greek manuscripts give no consistent testimony.

12. The Apocrypha Is Not A Well-Defined Unit

One of the main problems with accepting the Apocrypha as Scripture is that it is not a well-defined unit. Three of the books in the Septuagint plus were excluded as Holy Scripture - First and Second Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh. If the books in the Septuagint plus should be made part of the Old Testament then why are these three books omitted?

The Latin Vulgate contains First and Second Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh in the Apocrypha. First and Second Esdras are found in most Latin manuscripts of Scripture. In addition, they are placed with the Apocrypha when the full King James Version is printed.

However the Roman Catholic Church does not call these three books Scripture. Sometimes these three books are printed as an appendix to Roman Catholic Bibles after the New Testament. Sometimes they are omitted entirely.

In addition, not every church Father, which accepted the Apocrypha as canonical, had exactly the same list of books in mind. This adds to the problem as to the exact content of the Apocrypha.

13. The Councils At Hippo And Carthage Are Not Definitive

The fact that the councils of Hippo and Carthage accepted the canonical status of the Apocrypha is not decisive. First, they were not larger more representative councils. In addition, these councils had no qualified Hebrew scholar in attendance. Basically the Apocrypha was canonized at these councils because of the influence of one person - Saint Augustine.

14. The Ambiguous Testimony Of Saint Augustine
It is often argued that the great scholar, St. Augustine, accepted the books of the Apocrypha as authoritative. However, Augustine seemed to have changed his mind about the authority of the Apocrypha. At one point he implied that the Apocrypha did not have the same status as Holy Scripture (City of God 18.36). At best his testimony is ambiguous. Moreover Augustine's testimony, while important, is certainly not the last word on the matter.

Augustine mistakenly accepted the miraculous account of the origin of the Septuagint. While this was a popular thing to do at his time, no one today takes the story seriously.

15. The Clear Rejection By A Real Authority - Jerome
There was one great Hebrew scholar among the Christian Church living in the era of Saint Augustine - Jerome the translator of the Latin Vulgate. Jerome rejected the Apocrypha as Holy Scripture in the strongest of terms. He refused to place it in his translation of the Old Testament. It was only after the death of Jerome that the Apocrypha was placed in the Vulgate - the official translation of the Roman Catholic Church. His expert testimony was rejected.

16. Early Christian Art Is Not A Test Of Divine Truth

The fact that stories from the Apocrypha were depicted in early Christian art only shows that they were considered valuable in some sense by believers. However the divine authority of any work is not determined by whether it is included or missing in art collections by Christians.

17. They Were Rejected By Many Catholic Scholars Through The Protestant Reformation

Many Roman Catholic scholars, through the Protestant Reformation, rejected the Apocrypha as Scripture. Even the Roman Catholic Church made a distinction between the Apocrypha and the other books of the Bible prior to the Protestant Reformation. An example of this is Cardinal Cajetan. He is the man who opposed Martin Luther at Augsburg. In 1518, he published A Commentary on all the Authentic Historical Books of the Old Testament. His commentary, however, did not include the Apocrypha.

Cardinal Ximenes made a distinction between the Apocrypha and the Old Testament in his work called the Complutensian Polyglot (1514-1517).

Thus there was no unanimity of opinion among Roman Catholic scholars that these books should be considered Scripture. Consequently, before the Protestant Reformation these books were not considered canonical by all of the church authorities.

18. They Were Not Officially Accepted By The Roman Catholic Church Until The 16th Century

While councils at Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) listed the Apocrypha as canonical, this was not the stated view of the entire church. As we have seen there were Roman Catholic works at the time of the Protestant Reformation that did not include the Apocrypha with the Old Testament.

It is only since the Council of Trent that the Apocrypha has had an authoritative status. The first official council of the Roman Catholic Church to ratify these books was at the Council of Trent in 1546-1563. There is no official record of the acceptance of the writings as authoritative Scripture before this time.

Why Were Certain Books Of The Septuagint Plus Rejected?
In addition, the decision at Trent has many problems. Rather than accepting the entire fourteen or fifteen books of the Septuagint plus as Holy Scripture they rejected First and Second Esdras (which they call Third and Fourth Esdras) and the Prayer of Manasseh. It is interesting to note that Second Esdras, or Fourth Esdras in Roman Catholic reckoning, contains a strong objection against prayers for the dead - one of the important doctrines practiced by the Roman Catholic Church at that time.

Second Esdras also limits the Old Testament canon to twenty-four books. This of course, would exclude the Apocrypha.

It must also be noted that at the Council of Trent there seems to have been no Hebrew scholars and only a few good Greek scholars.

19. There Are Other Books, Apart From Scripture, Found Among The Dead Sea Scrolls

Most scholars believe that the people who lived at the place near the Dead Sea, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, were the Essenes. Although they were rivals of mainstream Judaism they accepted the same books as Holy Scripture. While it is true that the books of the Apocrypha were found among the scrolls left by this group, they not the only non-canonical books that were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The materials found at Qumran were part of a library - they were not merely books of Scripture. While commentaries of the biblical books have been found at Qumran no commentary has thus far been found on the Apocryphal books. Consequently there is no evidence whatsoever that the Dead Sea Community held the books of the Apocrypha to be divinely inspired.

Even if evidence were someday found that showed the Essenes believed the Apocrypha to be divine, this would prove nothing. This group was a sect that was not in the mainstream of Jewish thinking.

20. The Protestants Have Always Rejected The Divine Authority Of The Apocrypha

While some Protestants may find some use of the Apocrypha, such as printing it between the testaments and using it in some measure in public worship, it has never been accepted as Holy Scripture. The use by Protestants of the Apocrypha has never been to establish doctrine or settle doctrinal issues. The use of the Apocrypha is limited. The Church of England in their Bible readings say the Apocrypha is to be used for example of life, but not to establish any doctrine.

The Westminster Confession goes even further. It states.

The books commonly called the Apocrypha . . . [are not] to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings (Westminster Confession 1:3).

This is the Protestant position.

21. There Are Demonstrable Historical Errors In The Apocrypha

The Apocrypha also contains demonstrable historical errors. We can cite a number of examples.

The Age Of Tobit When He Died Is A Contradiction

For example, Tobit was supposedly alive when Jeroboam staged his revolt in 931 B.C.

I, Tobit, walked in the ways of truth and righteousness all the days of my life. I performed many acts of charity for my kindred and my people who had gone with me in exile to Nineveh in the land of the Assyrians. When I was in my own country, in the land of Israel, while I was still a young man, the whole tribe of my ancestor Naphtali deserted the house of David and Jerusalem. This city had been chosen from among all the tribes of Israel, where all the tribes of Israel should offer sacrifice and where the temple, the dwelling of God, had been consecrated and established for all generations forever. All my kindred and our ancestral house of Naphtali sacrificed to the calf that King Jeroboam of Israel had erected in Dan and on all the mountains of Galilee (Tobit 1:3-5).

Yet the text says that Tobit was still alive when the Assyrians captured the northern kingdom of Israel in 721 B.C. This means that he lived over two hundred years!

However, the Book of Tobit says he lived only 112 years.

So ended Tobit's words of praise. Tobit died in peace when he was one hundred twelve years old, and was buried with great honor in Nineveh (Tobit 14:1,2).

This is an obvious contradiction. Those who believe in an inerrant Scripture cannot accept the Apocrypha as God's Word.

Errors In The Book Of Judith

Another example can be found in the opening verse of the Book of Judith.

It was the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh. In those days Arphaxad ruled over the Medes in Ecbatana (Judith 1:1).

There are two historical errors in this verse. Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler of the Babylonians, not the Assyrians, and he ruled from Babylon, not Nineveh.

It Is Not Possible To Defend The Historical Accuracy Of The Apocrypha

While it is possible for Bible scholars, using the most up-to-date archaeological knowledge, to defend the historical accuracy of the books of the Bible, it is not possible to argue for the historical accuracy of the books of the Apocrypha. Many of them have demonstrable errors that cannot be reconciled.

22. There Is Sub-Biblical Content In The Books Of The Apocrypha

The content of the books of the Apocrypha is below that of canonical Scripture. Several of the books including Judith, Tobit, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon read like legends. When one reads these books alongside canonical Scripture the differences become obvious.

23. There Is No Objective Evidence Of Divine Authority In The Apocrypha

The books of the Apocrypha do not contain anything like predictive prophecy, or the firsthand testimony of miracles, that would give evidence of their divine authority. If God divinely inspired these books, then we should expect to see some internal evidence confirming it. But there is none.

24. None Of The Books Of The Apocrypha Claim Divine Authority

From the documents themselves we find no claim of authority. This is in contrast to the books of the Old Testament that claim to record the words that God spoke and the deeds that He performed among the people. Therefore it is not logical to attribute God's authority to the books of the Apocrypha when they themselves make no claim to divine authority.

25. There Was No Hebrew Original For All Of The Books Of the Apocrypha

While the books of the present Old Testament canon were written in Hebrew, with small parts in Aramaic, some of the books of the Apocrypha have no Hebrew original behind them. They were composed in Greek. These include Susanna, the Letter of Jeremiah, and the additions to Esther.

While the Hebrew language is not a determining factor as to what books should be part of the Old Testament canon all of the undisputed books of the Old Testament were composed in Hebrew - none of them were composed in Greek. Greek did not become the international language till about 330 B.C. This was about seventy years after the close of the Old Testament. The fact that a number of the books of the Apocrypha were originally written in Greek shows their late date and their lack of claim to be part of the Old Testament.

26. There Is Nothing New Added To God's Truth

The teaching of the Apocrypha adds nothing new to the faith that God has revealed to humanity. There is nothing in these books that adds to our knowledge of God's character or His plan. At best, they simply repeat what is already revealed in the Old Testament. Consequently they do not contain any further revelation.

27. Jesus' Testimony Is Definitive

It is clear that in the first century the Old Testament was complete. Jesus put His stamp of approval on the books of the Hebrew Old Testament but said nothing concerning the Apocrypha. However, He did say that the Scriptures were the authoritative Word of God and they could not be broken. Any adding to that which God has revealed is denounced in the strongest of terms. Jesus asked the religious leaders a penetrating question.

Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3).

Jesus' And The Extent Of The Old Testament

A statement by Jesus seemingly gives His belief in the extent of the Old Testament.

Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation (Matthew 23:34-36).

He mentions Abel and Zechariah as the first and last messengers of God that were murdered. Abel's murder is mentioned in Genesis while Zechariah's was in 2 Chronicles - the last Old Testament book in the Hebrew canonical order. The fact that these two are specifically mentioned is particularly significant. There are other murders of God's messengers recorded in the Apocrypha. Jesus does not mention them. This strongly suggests He did not consider the books of the Apocrypha as part of Old Testament Scripture as with the books from Genesis to 2 Chronicles.

There Was More Testimony From Jesus

Jesus gave further testimony of the extent of the Old Testament canon in the day of His resurrection. He said.

How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! . . . And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:25,27).

Note Jesus' emphasis on "all that the prophets had spoken." Later He explained the extent of "all that the prophets had said."

He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms" (Luke 24:44).

This is a reference to the threefold division of the Hebrew Scripture. They constitute "all that the prophets said." There is no reference to the Apocrypha. It would not have been part of the threefold division of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament Apocrypha Is Not Scripture
As the evidence is examined it becomes clear that the books of the Apocrypha should not be accepted with the same divine authority as the books found in the Hebrew Old Testament. There is no evidence whatsoever that they belong in Holy Scripture. To the contrary, all the evidence speaks to their exclusion. Because they are not Scripture it is wrong to have them bound in a single volume with Holy Scripture. Doing so will only mislead believers.

The Apocrypha Does Have Value
The fact that the Apocrypha is not considered to be Holy Scripture does not mean that it is entirely worthless. The books do have some value. For example, the Book of First Maccabees has some valuable historical references about the period between the testaments. However any value these books do have are as historical works - not divinely inspired Scripture.

It Is An Important Matter
The issue as to which books belong in Holy Scripture is more than a historical issue. The books of the Bible are divinely revealed books - all other books are not. The Scripture gives God's truth in an error-free manner - no other book can claim this. The Scripture is the final authority to solve all doctrinal and behavioral issues. Therefore it is of primary importance that we know the extent of Scripture.

Summary

The books of the Apocrypha should not be considered as Holy Scripture because they do not give any evidence as being authoritative. Protestants deny the canonical status of these books on the basis of both internal and external evidence. This evidence includes the following.

First, the Apocrypha contains doctrines and practices that contradict what has been previously revealed in Scripture. Add to this the Apocrypha is never cited in the New Testament as Holy Scripture. This is in contrast to the canonical books - almost all of them are cited.

The Jews rejected the Apocrypha as being part of God's Word. For one reason, these books were written after God had ceased giving divine revelation. In these years God was not giving any authoritative word to His people.

The fact that the Apocrypha is found in the manuscripts of the Septuagint proves nothing - we do not know the content of the Septuagint in pre-Christian times. Furthermore there is no evidence of a wider Alexandrian canon of Scripture. The Jews, wherever they lived, used the same Hebrew canon that did not include the Apocrypha.

The Apocrypha was not on any early list of Christian books that were considered Scripture. While a few church fathers quoted them as authoritative, most did not. In addition, none of those fathers who cited the Apocrypha as authoritative Scripture knew any Hebrew.

There is also the problem with the exact content of the Apocrypha. The books contained in the Apocrypha are not well defined - not everyone can agree on which books are authoritative.

Augustine, while a great thinker, did not read Hebrew and knew very little Greek. Furthermore he accepted the fanciful account of the origin of the Septuagint. Jerome, a real Hebrew scholar rejected the books outright.

Many Roman Catholic scholars, to the time of the Protestant Reformation, rejected the Apocrypha as Scripture.

While some Protestants make some use of the Apocrypha it has always been rejected as Scripture.

Another major problem for the Apocrypha is demonstrable historical errors in it. This is not consistent with God's Word being error-free. Furthermore there is no evidence in these books of divine authority - fulfilled prophecy is lacking. Add to this there is no claim within the books of God's authority.

Finally we have the testimony of Jesus. He said the Scriptures were true and could not be broken. However the Apocrypha was not Scripture to Him. Since neither the Jews, Jesus, or His apostles considered these writings as part of the Old Testament neither should we.

We conclude that the present thirty-nine books of the Old Testament are the complete Scripture that God has given us. There are no other divinely authoritative books of Scripture that belong to the Old Testament.

Wycliffes_Shillelagh

Mostly hogwash.

The Book of Enoch was never rejected as canon.  The book was legitimately lost to most of the church from the
1st century - so it was never considered by most of the councils.

The one church that DID have it - the Coptic Church - DID canonize it.

Rella

Quote from: Hobie on Sat Apr 20, 2024 - 10:27:01The process of forming the biblical canon was gradual and involved much study and discernment by the Early Church, and before them the Jewish biblical scholars. But there were many books that were left out and excluded from the Bible because they were seen as not inspired, or a reliable picture of Jesus. Others were contrary and clearly against established truth or tried to supersede the biblical canon or insert unbiblical pagan beliefs.

The canon of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. They are the standard which God unveils when it comes to doctrines, and Christian core beliefs.

By the time of Jesus, the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were widely recognized as the Bible. Because of that, Jesus could cite from various books of the Old Testament by simply referring to them as the 'Scriptures'

As for the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, these were formally recognized as the canon of Scripture in the Early Church and we see that the apostle Peter himself referred to the letters of Paul as 'Scripture'.  The earliest church leaders regularly quote passages from the various New Testament documents giving them authority as divine revelation in a way that distinguishes them from any other writings.

The New Testament books also fit the context of what was in the Old Testament, especially since many of the quotes from the New Testament authors were quotes taken directly from the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit guided the early church and was the primary factor influencing what was inspired and authoritative Scripture and some clear standards:

For the New Testament we find they used if they were from Apostolic origin or from the Apostles. Originally, the disciples teaching was spread orally, but once this teaching was written down, churches obtained copies of these documents as soon as they could and used them as the very Word of God for their beliefs and practice. The churches rejected out of hand any document that did not conform to the teachings of the apostles or established canon of the Old Testament. The New Testament was established, and no book was regarded as Scripture unless it had been widely used by the churches from the beginning.

So, when it comes to considering whether a book like the 'book of Enoch' or the 'gospel of Judas' should be canon, it fails and we see much pagan and Gnosticism brought in and contradicts core Christian doctrines, to say nothing of the doctrines of devils it allows for.

Here is more on this exact issue...https://www.gotquestions.org/book-of-Enoch.html
'What is the book of Enoch and should it be in the Bible?

The Book of Enoch is any of several pseudepigraphal works that attribute themselves to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah; that is, Enoch son of Jared (Genesis 5:18). A piece of ancient literature is a pseudepigraphon if it makes false claims as to authorship. A pseudepigraphon will purport to have a (usually) well-known author, but its claims are unfounded.

Enoch is also one of the three people in the Bible taken up to heaven bodily, the only others being Elijah and Jesus (and only Jesus having experienced a resurrection). We read about Enoch's translation in Genesis 5:24: "And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him" (see also Hebrews 11:5). Most commonly, when people refer to the Book of Enoch, they mean 1 Enoch, which is wholly extant only in the Ethiopic language. The Book of Enoch is accepted as canonical by the Coptic Church in Ethiopia and the Eritrean Orthodox Church. In addition to 1 Enoch, there are 2 Enoch ("The Book of the Secrets of Enoch") and 3 Enoch ("The Hebrew Book of Enoch"). Fragments of the Book of Enoch in Aramaic and Hebrew were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Much of the Book of Enoch is apocalyptic—it uses vivid imagery to predict doom and the final judgment of evil. There's a heavy emphasis on angelology and demonology, and a large portion of the book is devoted to filling in the backstory of Genesis 6:1–4. The Book of Enoch thus explains the origin of the Nephilim and the identity of the "sons of God," mentioned in Genesis 6:2 and 4. The result is a strange and sensationalistic piece of non-canonical literature....'



Wowzers.... Seems like Enoch might well have been one of Ellen Whites favorites.... from...

https://nonsda.org/egw/egw60.shtml

The Mystery of Enoch

Quite a read.... not to be missed.

Includes.... a Mormon tie-in... as well as the following

"Enoch was an Adventist."1
In fact, at one point early in her career she claimed to have held a conversation with Enoch on a mysterious planet with seven moons:

"Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. There I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated. On his right arm he bore a glorious palm, and on each leaf was written 'Victory.' Around his head was a dazzling white wreath, and leaves on the wreath, and in the middle of each leaf was written 'Purity,' and around the wreath were stones of various colors, that shone brighter than the stars, and cast a reflection upon the letters and magnified them. On the back part of his head was a bow that confined the wreath, and upon the bow was written 'Holiness.' Above the wreath was a lovely crown that shone brighter than the sun. I asked him if this was the place he was taken to from the earth. He said, 'It is not; the city is my home, and I have come to visit this place.' He moved about the place as if perfectly at home."2

She had a vision: In her vision Mrs. White said Enoch told her "the city is my home." What city is Enoch talking about? A clue is found in one of her Testimonies:

"But Enoch's heart was upon eternal treasures. He had looked upon the celestial city. He had seen the King in His glory in the midst of Zion."3
Here we are informed that Enoch looked upon a celestial city named Zion.

And another reasonable close contemporary of hers had written..

Not surprisingly, Enoch was also an all-important figure to Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. In fact, Smith was sometimes referred to under the pseudo-name of "Enoch." Like Mrs. White, Smith elaborates greatly upon the life of Enoch. In his writings entitled Pearl of Great Price, Smith describes how Enoch founded a city named Zion:

Too much to copy... a must read for yourself.

And should difinitely be considered as canon... ( Enoch) ... if Prophetess White and Prophet Smith say the same things....  ::tippinghat::

Wycliffes_Shillelagh

Quote from: Rella on Sun Apr 21, 2024 - 07:25:07And should difinitely be considered as canon... ( Enoch) ... if Prophetess White and Prophet Smith say the same things....  ::tippinghat::
Those aren't really the endorsements I'd like, to be honest.

Here's an article on Enoch from a scholarly source:

https://www.academia.edu/8811960/The_Book_of_Enoch_Scripture_Heresy_or_What?email_work_card=abstract-read-more

Rella

Quote from: Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Sun Apr 21, 2024 - 12:22:21Those aren't really the endorsements I'd like, to be honest.

Here's an article on Enoch from a scholarly source:

https://www.academia.edu/8811960/The_Book_of_Enoch_Scripture_Heresy_or_What?email_work_card=abstract-read-more

Jarrod,

I meant that as tongue in cheek.

Especially following up on the plagiarism charge.....

But I still see validity in Enoch.

Wycliffes_Shillelagh

Quote from: Rella on Sun Apr 21, 2024 - 13:06:28Jarrod,

I meant that as tongue in cheek.

Especially following up on the plagiarism charge.....

But I still see validity in Enoch.
That makes more sense.  I was afraid a few eggs might have fallen out of your basket.

Hobie

Quote from: Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Sat Apr 20, 2024 - 17:57:20Mostly hogwash.

The Book of Enoch was never rejected as canon.  The book was legitimately lost to most of the church from the
1st century - so it was never considered by most of the councils.

The one church that DID have it - the Coptic Church - DID canonize it.
Yes much like the book of Judas and Barnabas, etc... Some are forgeries and others clearly not inspired or another writer..

Wycliffes_Shillelagh

Quote from: Hobie on Thu Apr 25, 2024 - 06:00:50Yes much like the book of Judas and Barnabas, etc... Some are forgeries and others clearly not inspired or another writer..
Lying again.

Neither the gospel of Judas nor the epistle of Barnabas were canonized by the Coptic church.  Actually, the epistle of Barnabas was DENOUNCED by that church.

Hobie

Quote from: Rella on Sun Apr 21, 2024 - 13:06:28Jarrod,

I meant that as tongue in cheek.

Especially following up on the plagiarism charge.....

But I still see validity in Enoch.
That was clear..

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