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 They merely placed the Apocryphal books BETWEEN the Old and New testament as a historical document, not as Scripture.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.
Problems in the Apocrypha
When we look into the apocrypha itself, we find many problems. For example, we see it advocating magic where the smoke of a fish heart on a fire drives away devils!
The Book of Susanna
This is another addition to Daniel (Proverbs 30:5-6). This is about a woman named Susanna who was wrongly accused of sexual immorality and sentenced to death, and Daniel (supposedly) saves her from being put to death.
This is suppose to be a thirteenth chapter to Daniel, but it doesn’t fit. It’s written in the wrong language (Greek). If it was authentic it should be either Hebrew or Aramaic. Also, the historical parts of Daniel are written in chronological order (chapters 1-6). This is suppose to be a historical account, but it has Daniel as a “young lad”, so it should actually be near the beginning of the book rather than at the end.
The apocrypha condones the use of magic, yes magic!
Tobit 6:5-7, “Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of this fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee: for these are necessary for useful medicines. 6 And when he had done so, he roasted the flesh thereof, and they took it with them in the way: the rest they salted as much as might serve them, till they came to Rages the city of the Medes. 7 Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish? 8 And the angel, answering, said to him: If thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them.”
Is it true that the smoke from a fish’s heart, when burned, drives away evil spirits? No way! Such a superstitious teaching has no place in the Holy Bible.
Teaches that forgiveness of sins is by giving alms ($$$$).
- Tobit 4:11, “For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness.”
- Tobit 12:9, “For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting.”
We know from Scripture that alms (money or food given to the poor or needy as charity) does not purge our sins. The blood of Christ after true repentance is what cleanses us – not money or food given to poor people. 1Jn 1:7 “But IF we walk(holy) in the light, as HE is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).
Money as an offering for the sins of the dead:
>2 Maccabbees 12:43, “And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection.”
Can anyone truly accept that money isn’t offering for the sins of dead people? Such a superstitious and unbiblical concept has no place in Sacred Scripture.
Wrong historical facts:
- Judith 1:5, “Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him.”
- Baruch 6:2, “And when you are come into Babylon, you shall be there many years, and for a long time, even to seven generations: and after that I will bring you away from thence with peace.”
The book of Judith incorrectly says that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the Assyrians when he was the king of the Babylonians.
Baruch 6:2 says the Jews would serve in Babylon for seven generations where Jer. 25:11 says it was for 70 years. “And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
The Apocrypha: Is it scripture?
These uninspired books consist of 1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, the Rest of Esther, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, (also titled Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, The Letter of Jeremiah, Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, The Additions to Daniel, The Prayer of Manasseh, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.
The Protestant Church rejects the Apocrypha as being inspired, as the Jews do; however in 1546 the Roman Catholic Church officially declared some of the apocryphal books to belong to the canon of scripture. These are Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus), and Baruch. The apocryphal books are written in Greek–not Hebrew (except for Ecclesiasticus, 1 Maccabees, a part of Judith, and Tobit) and contain some historical information.
Is the Apocrypha Scripture? Protestants deny its inspiration, but the Roman Catholic Church affirms it. Let’s dissect these books to see what’s true.
Not quoted in the New Testament
First of all, neither Jesus nor the apostles ever quoted from the Apocrypha. There are over 260 quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament and not one of them is from these books. Irregardless, a Roman Catholic might respond by saying that there are several Old Testament books that are not quoted in the New Testament, i.e., Joshua, Judges, Esther, etc. Does this mean that they aren’t inspired either? But, these books had already been accepted into the canon by the Jews–where the Apocrypha had not. The Jews recognized the Old Testament canon, and they did not include the Apocrypha in it. This is significant because of what Paul says:
“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God,” (Rom. 3:1-2).
Paul tells us that the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. This means that they are the ones who understood what inspired Scriptures were, and they never accepted the Apocrypha.
Jesus’ references the Old Testament: from Abel to Zechariah
Jesus referenced the Jewish Old Testament canon from the beginning to the end and did not include the Apocrypha in his reference, ever. “From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.” (Luke 11:51).
The traditional Jewish canon was divided into three sections (Law, Prophets, Writings), and an unusual feature of the last section was the listing of Chronicles out of historical order–placing it after Ezra-Nehemiah and making it the last book of the canon. In light of this, the words of Jesus in Luke 11:50-51 reflect the settled character of the Jewish canon (with its peculiar order) already in his day. Christ uses the expression “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah,” which appears troublesome since Zechariah was not chronologically the last martyr mentioned in the Bible (cf. Jer. 26:20-23). However, Zechariah is the last martyr of which we read in the Old Testament according to Jewish canonical order (cf. II Chron. 24:20-22), which was apparently recognized by Jesus and his hearers.
So, the same Old Testament canon, according to the Jewish tradition, is arranged differently than how we have it in the Holy Bible today. This was the arrangement to which Jesus was referring when he referenced Abel and Zechariah, the first and last people to have their blood shed, as listed in the Old Testament Jewish canon. Clearly, Jesus knew of the Apocrypha and was not including it in his reference.
Jesus references the Old Testament: The Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms
The Catholic cult sometimes respond by saying that the Old Testament is referred to in three parts: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. It is these writings that are sometimes said to include the Apocrypha. But this designation is never found in the Bible. On the contrary, Jesus referenced the Old Testament and designated its three parts as the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms; not as the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings.
“Now He said to them, “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44).
We clearly see that the designation offered by the Roman Catholic cult is not the same designation found in the Bible, and their argument is invalid as their argument is incorrect. Nevertheless, even if it did say “writings,” it would not include the Apocrypha for the above-mentioned reasons.
Early Church Fathers
Did the early Church fathers recognize the Apocrypha as being Scripture? Roman Catholics strongly appeal to Church history, but we don’t find a unanimous consensus on the Apocrypha. Jerome (340-420), who translated the Latin Vulgate which is used by the RC church, rejected the Apocrypha since he believed that the Jews recognized and established the proper canon of the Old Testament. Remember, the Christian Church built upon that recognition. Also, Josephus the famous Jewish historian of the First Century never mentioned the Apocrypha as being part of the canon either. In addition, Early church fathers like Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Origen, and the “great” Roman Catholic translator Jerome spoke out against the Apocrypha. So, we should not conclude that the Church fathers unanimously affirmed the Apocrypha. They absolutely did not.
Run from such heresy!
Obviously the apocrypha has serious problems. From magic to money as an offering for the sins of the dead and blatant incorrect historical facts, it’s full of false and unbiblical teachings. It isn’t inspired of God. Likewise, neither is the Roman Catholic Church, which has stated the Apocrypha is inspired.