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Is the Apocrypha inspired revelation?

tomgroeneman's picture

According to the first completed Canon of Scripture at the Council of Carthage in AD 419, the apocryphal books were adopted as biblical. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.iv.xxv.html Why do not the protestant Churches consider them scriptural? Most contemporary Bibles exclude the apocryphal books but even the original King James Version included them. Are they any less inspired than the other books of the Bible?

tomgroeneman's picture

example of problems with Apocrypha

Apart from the arguments for and against canonicity, and the debatable theological inconsistencies in the Apocrypha, there are some technical problems related to its historicity.
Judith 4:1-3
"Now the children of Israel, that dwelt in Judea, heard all that Holofernes the chief captain of
Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians had done to the nations, and after what manner he had
spoiled all their temples, and brought them to nought. 2Therefore they were exceedingly afraid of him, and were troubled for Jerusalem, and for the temple of the Lord their God:
3For they were newly returned from the captivity, and all the people of Judea were lately gathered
together: and the vessels, and the altar, and the house, were sanctified after the profanation."
Even if you allow for Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians when he was the king of the Babylonians, you still have the question of the captivity taking place before he invaded Judea which clearly contradicts the rest of the Bible. God could have allowed an obvious error in His inspired word to test our faith but that is not likely in my opinion. If the Roman Catholic Church is the institution that arbitrates what is canonical and inspired as it claims to be, then it has seriously erred in judgment by virtue of the historical content of the Apocrypha alone. This calls into question the teaching that the Church's magisterium is above Scripture. So just with this sole example we can see how regarding the Apocrypha as inspired revelation has implications beyond the ecclesiastical issues. If we as Christians cannot be confident about what is God's word and what is not, then our faith is undermined by the same tactic that Satan used in the garden when he asked Eve: "Hath God said?". The Bible is among other things a historical document and its veracity should not be compromised by errors like we find in the Apocrypha. In recent years, with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient literature, there has been a movement afoot to acknowledge some of these writings as authoritative. Will the RCC decide then that the gospel of Thomas or Judas is also inspired? There is a slippery slope we will all find ourselves on if we think of the Canon of Scripture as anything but closed. The dangers associated with adding to or taking away from God's word cannot be overestimated. These were my concerns when I posted the topic and I welcome any further discussion. I remain undecided and I am not sure I can be persuaded either way; however, I am leaning on the side of caution and see some merit in excluding the Apocrypha from the Bible.

Tom Groeneman




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