Apocrypha and Canon – Catholics Wrong Again
Catholicism adds and takes away from the word of God. They are heading to hellfire unless they repent of their wickedness and leave that cult.
Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Why the KJV Translators Did Not Accept the Apocrypha as Scripture
Another favorite lie of the critics is that the original KJV of 1611 included the Apocrypha, which no true Christian today accepts as Scripture. The Apocrypha is a collection of several pagan writings which the Catholic church accepts as inspired Scripture. In fact, the Council of Trent (1546) pronounced a CURSE upon anyone who denied that these books were inspired. The King James translators did NOT consider the books to be inspired Scripture, nor did they include them in the canon as such. They merely placed the Apocryphal books BETWEEN the Old and New testament as a historical document, not as Scripture. Their reasons for not accepting the Apocrypha as Scripture are listed on page 185-186 of the book Translators Revived, by Alexander McClure. The seven reasons are basically as follows:
1. Not one of them is in the Hebrew language like the rest of the Old Testament books.
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, and statements which contradict not only the canonical Scriptures, but themselves. For example, in the Books of Maccabees alone, Antiochus Epiphanes dies three times in three 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 incantation.
The canon is an officially accepted list of books. The canon was determined by God and discovered by man. The Catholic Church claims it was given the authority to establish the canon at the Council of Hippo in A.D. 393. However the church did not create the canon, it simply recognized the letters that were already accepted as Scripture by the first century church. Long before church councils were ever convened, church elders were constantly evaluating and deciding which of the many writings of their day carried apostolic authority. We have proof that letters were circulated and accepted before the canon was formally established. Paul wrote: “After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans” (Col. 4:16).The Roman Catholic Bible contains not only the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, but also the apocryphal books, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch and Maccabees. These books were never part of the early church canon because they contain historical and geographical errors, proving they were not divinely inspired. The apocryphal books also teach doctrines which are at variance with the inspired Scriptures. For example, 2 Maccabees 12:43-45 teaches the efficacy of prayers and offerings for the dead. Ecclesiaticus 3:30 teaches that almsgiving makes atonement for sin and justifies cruelty to slaves (33:26, 28).
Christ and His apostles quoted frequently from Old Testament books but never from these apocryphal books. Furthermore, they were never included in the Jewish canon, which is of utmost significance because God entrusted His Word to the Jews Paul wrote: “(The Jews) were entrusted with the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:1-2). The entire Old Testament was affirmed in the Jewish community by means of the Holy Spirit long before any Council sat in judgment.To collect various letters and books of Scripture into one volume was the task given to Christians already converted to Christ by the Word of God. These early Christians did not give us the Word of God. The Word of God gave us these early Christians. They were under conviction and illumination of the Holy Spirit from the writings of the Apostles and oral teachings of Jesus long before any Council pieced together the Bible. Hence, the Word of God established the Church. Early Christians were convinced and persuaded that it was the Word of God because the Holy Spirit convicted them.
The actual gathering together of the Scriptures into one volume took place in God’s providence, under the supervision, persuasion, and conviction of the Holy Spirit. Christians labored together to separate the actual Word from false writings. The early Christians pooled their cognitive convictions and brought together a Canon of the text to end speculations and dismiss false writings.
Jerome completed his version of the Bible, the Latin Vulgate, in 405. In the Middle Ages the Vulgate became the de facto standard version of the Bible in the West. The manuscripts clearly identified certain books of the Vulgate Old Testament as apocryphal or non-canonical. Jerome described those books not translated from the Hebrew as apocrypha; he specifically mentions that Wisdom, the book of Jesus son of Sirach, Judith, Tobias, and the Shepherd “are not in the canon”. In the prologue to Esdras he mentions 3 and4 Esdras as being apocrypha. In his prologue he said of the Books of the Maccabees, that the Church “has not received them among the canonical scriptures”.
We know the Bible was complete and “once for all delivered to the Saints in the first century (Jude 3). The Old Testament Canon was closed about 425 B.C., 425 years before Christ. The last book was written by Malachi. There was no question which books were inspired by God. The writers were well known as a spokesmen for God and claimed to be speaking and writing the inspired Word of God. Secondly, were no errors of history, geography, or theology in the writings.
The New Testament had similar tests to determine a book’s canonicity. First, was the book authored by an Apostle or someone closely associated with an Apostle? They knew who the Apostles were and they knew who their close associates were. The key question about the book’s inspiration was tied to Apostolic authorship or one closely associated. For example, the Gospel of Mark was written by Mark, and Mark was not an Apostle but a close associate of Peter. The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were written by Luke who was not an Apostle but a very close associate of Paul. The Apostles were known to the people, their associates were known to the people, and when Apostles wrote and claimed inspiration the people were secure in the veracity of their writings.
Another test applied by the Early Church was the test of content. Did the writings square with what the Apostles taught? In those early years of the Church, heretics such as the Gnostics tried to slip in phony books, but none of them ever made it. If it didn’t square with Apostolic doctrine – it didn’t pass. And the doctrinal aberrations were very easy to spot. A third test was this; is the book regularly read and used in the churches? In other words, did the people of God readily accept it? Read it during worship and make its teachings a part of their daily living? A final test was determined that would sort of pull it all together and that was the book recognized and used by succeeding generations after the Early Church?
There was also a formidable group of spurious books that came in the New Testament period. They all failed to make the canon because they couldn’t pass the test of authenticity. Christ has put His stamp of authority on the Scripture. The early Church clearly discovered the canon of God’s Word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. To add anything to Scripture or to reject the inspiration of Scripture, is to not only to ignore the warnings of Scripture and the teaching of Christ and the Apostles, but to bring yourself into the very dangerous place where you are susceptible to the curse of God. Paul cites Luke’s Gospel as Scripture (1 Tim. 5:18). Peter referred to Paul’s writings as Scripture (2 Pet. 3:15-16). Paul commanded the Thessalonians to have his letter read to all the brethren (1 Thes. 5:27). John promised a blessing to all those who read the Revelation (Rev. 1:3). To the Colossians Paul wrote “have this letter read in the church of the Laodiceans (Col. 4:16). As long as the apostles were alive everything could be verified. They were eye witnesses to all that Christ said and did.
The councils of Hippo 393 and Carthage 397 simply approved the list of 27 NT books which had already been recognized by the early church. They neither added to the number or took away form it