6/6 – What about the extra books in the Catholic Bible?

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What about those extra books in the Catholic table of contents, such as 1 Maccabess, 2 Esdras, or the Book of Baruch? These writings are known as the Apocrypha, which the Catholic Church includes in their Bibles, but Protestants do not.

 

The books in the Apocrypha were written in between the Old and New Testament, and include historical events and other writings during that 400 years God was silent. Most scholars believe these books were written in Greek, not Hebrew (the Old Testament was written in Hebrew).

 

So why do Protestants reject these writings as scripture, and believe there are only 39 God-Breathed books in the Old Testament?

 

Here are at least six reasons:

 

1) Jesus confirmed, quoted, and used the 39 Hebrew books of the Old Testament as God-Breathed scripture during His earthly ministry (Luke 24:27, 44). He did not confirm, quote, or use the Apocrypha.

 

2) The Jewish Council in 70AD agreed what had been said for centuries, that the 39 books of the OT were God-Breathed Scripture. They did not include the Apocrypha as Scripture.

 

3) The books of the Apocrypha were rejected as scripture by the Jews, early church leaders, and early historians including Melito of Sardis, Origen, Athanasius, Jerome, and even Pope Gregory the Great (White, Scripture Alone, pg. 113).

 

4) The Reformers rejected these writings as scripture because of their contradictions, errors, and strange teachings, including Jews praying for the dead (which they used to endorse the idea of Purgatory, which was quite a stretch).

 

5) These books were not explicitly canonized by the Catholic Church until 1546; over 1,000 years after the 66 books were canonized as God-Breathed scripture.

 

6) The writings themselves testify they are written during a time when prophecy had ceased, because there were no prophets in Israel (1 Maccabees 4:46; 9:27; 14:41).

 

In conclusion, the Apocrypha is a collection of writings about Israel’s history during the days of God’s silence. These books were often bound together and carried with the 39 books of the Old Testament as companion writings about Israel’s history, but NOT viewed by Jews as inspired writings from God.

 

So, you can read the Apocrypha if you want to learn what was happening during those years when God was not speaking, but keep that in your mind as you do. God was not speaking in these writings, as He is in the other 66.

 

 

 

 

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