What it is and Why
"Pastor, I heard that the King James 1611 Bible included the Apocrypha. If so, why do we not have it in our Bible today?"
(Matt.4:4) "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
a) Let's begin by asking, "Who knows what the APOCRYPHA is?" What is it?
b) How many here knew that the Apocrypha was found within the covers of a KJV 1611?
c) Why would we not accept the Apocrypha in our Bible today?
Alright now, I want you to know that this is one of those questions that will be thrown against you to undermine your faith in the King James Bible.
[A] 1st, the word "Apocrypha" is a Greek word that means "hidden things".
* It was first applied to some writings that were regarded as so important and precious that they must be HIDDEN from the general public.
* Later, it was applied to writings which were hidden, not because they were too good, but because they were NOT GOOD ENOUGH (or even questionable).
* Finally, the word meant "those books not considered to be official Hebrew Scriptures" by the Early Jewish Church Fathers.
[B] There is a list of about 15 books that make up this Apocrypha. They are:
* Tobit, * Judith, * Wisdom of Solomon,
* Ecclesiasticus, * Baruch, * 1 & 2 Maccabees,
* 1 & 2 Esdras, * a Letter of Jeremiah, * The Son of the Three,
* Bel & the Dragon, * The Prayer of Manasseh,
* and additions to the books of Esther & Daniel.
[C] In 1546, at the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church officially declared these Apocryphal books to be:
* Not only historically enlightening, but also Inspired Scripture ... and therefore declared that they were to be part of the Old Testament Canon (as any of the other 39 Old Testament books like Genesis, Psalms, etc).
* And they said, Anyone who opposes the inspiration of these books is cursed!
... so if you pick up a Roman Catholic Bible today, following the book of Malachi you will find many (if not all) of these Apocryphal books. IF you asked a Roman Catholic how many books made up the Old Testament, he would say 54.
[D] What about the King James 1611 translators?
When the King James translators put together our Authorized Version, they said,
"Listen, we DO believe that these Apocryphal books are HISTORICALLY ENLIGHTENING, but we DO NOT believe that they are INSPIRED CANON ... so we will include these writings IN BETWEEN the Old and New Testament for it's information value."
So, if you asked a KJV 1611 translator how many books made up the Old Testament, they would say 39.
Can you see the difference there?
* One (RC) has added it INTO the Old Testament saying it's historically helpful AND Inspired.
* The other (KJ translators) added it BETWEEN the Old & New Testaments saying that it was historically helpful (as maps, concordance, or Scofield notes) BUT NOT Inspired!
Now wait, IF the Apocrypha IS Scripture, then we need to live by it (Matt.4:4). IF the Apocrypha IS NOT Scripture, then we don't have to worry about it!
[E] Do we have any grounds to help us to decide which side is correct? Yes! Let me show you the reasons that the KJV 1611 translators DID NOT accept the Apocrypha as Inspired Canon.
a) THE APOCRYPHA WAS REJECTED BY EARLY JEWISH CHURCH FATHERS
1st, I said earlier that the Apocrypha was "those books not considered to be official Hebrew Scriptures" by the Early Jewish Church Fathers.
Why is that so important? Because of Romans 3:1-2. God gave the Jew the responsibility of being the earthly guardians of the Holy Scriptures ... and the early Jewish Christians never considered any of these 15 books to be Holy Scriptures.
Truth is, it wasn't until the 5th Century that anybody considered these more than good writings (like Shakespeare) in their day.
b) THE APOCRYPHA WAS NEVER QUOTED BY JESUS OR THE APOSTLES
On 63 specific occasions in the New Testament we read, "It is written", as in ...
"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word ..." (Matt.4:4)
"it is also written in the 2nd psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have.." (Acts 13:33)
Every time it says, "It is written", WHERE was it written? In O.T. books!
Matthew 4:4 was quoting Deut.8:3; and Acts 13:33 was quoting Psalm 2:7.
Okay, the entire New Testament reaches back into the Old Testament and ties prophecy together with fulfillment. It is all intertwined. ex. Someone says, "Well, I don't believe in the book of Jonah, but I do accept the rest of the Bible!" There's one great problem, Jesus (while on the earth 890 yrs later) said, "For as Jonas was 3 days & 3 nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be 3 days & 3 nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt.12:40). The New Testament demands that you also accept the book of Jonah.
Now, follow this ... NOT ONE TIME was even one passage from any of the Apocryphal books ever once quoted by Jesus or the other Apostles.
c) JESUS DID NOT INCLUDE THE APOCRYPHAL BOOKS IN HIS SUMMARY OF THE Old TESTAMENT
Look at Matthew 23:34-35.
* In what book of Old Testament was righteous Abel killed? Gen.4:8
* In what book of Old Test. was righteous Zacharias killed? 2 Chron.24:20-21
"Well, Preacher, what does that prove? Gen – 2 Chron. is only ½ of the Old Testament?"
In our English Bible that is so, but in the Hebrew Old Testament, the books are placed in a different order (as follows) ... Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and ending with 1 & 2 Chronicles.
Jesus was saying that the blood of all those slain in the Old Testament Scriptures would be laid on those Christ-rejecting Pharisees in Matt.23. Jesus' list included what we know as the 39 Old Testament books (without even one of the Apocrypha books).
d) NONE OF THE AUTHORS OF APOCRYPHAL BOOKS EVER CLAIMED TO BE INSPIRED
In fact, we read in 2 Maccabees 15:38-39, "At this point I will bring my work to an end. If it is found well written and aptly composed, that is what I myself hoped for; if cheap and mediocre, I could only do my best. For, just as it is disagreeable to drink wine alone or water alone, whereas the mixing of the two gives a pleasant and delightful taste, so too variety of style in a literary work charms the ear of the reader. let this then be my final word."
e) THE APOCRYPHAL BOOKS WERE NOT WRITTEN IN THE HEBREW LANGUAGE (WHICH THE O.T. WAS)
f) THE CONTENTS OF THESE BOOKS IS MANY TIMES CONFLICTING WITH OTHER SCRIPTURE
i) It Promotes Prayers for the Dead - In 2 Maccabees 12:39-45 we read,
"Next day they went, as had by now become necessary, to collect the bodies of the fallen (Jews) in order to bury them with their relatives in the ancestral graves. But on every one of the dead (Jews), they found, under the tunic, amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, objects which the law forbids to Jews. It was evident to all that here was the reason why these men had fallen. Therefore they praised the work of the Lord, the just judge, who reveals what is hidden; and, turning to prayer, they asked that this sin (of the dead Jews) might be entirely blotted out. He levied a contribution from each man (still alive), and sent the total of two thousand silver drachmas to Jerusalem for a sin-offering - a fit and proper act in which he took due account of the resurrection. For if he had not been expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been foolish and superfluous to pray for the dead. But since he had in view the wonderful reward reserved for those who die a godly death, his purpose was a holy and pious one. And this was why HE OFFERED AN ATONING SACRIFICE TO FREE THE DEAD FROM THEIR SIN."
- Do you wonder why the Roman Catholics would approve such a writing?
ii) It Promotes Salvation by Money - In Ecclesiasticus 3:30, we read,
"As water quenches a blazing fire, so almsgiving atones for sin."
- Do you wonder why the Roman Catholics would approve such a writing?
iii) It Promotes Cruelty to Slaves - In Ecclesiasticus 33:24-28 we read,
"Fodder, and stick, and burdens for the donkey;
bread, and discipline, and work for the servant!
Make your slave work, if you want rest for yourself;
if you leave him idle, he will be looking for his liberty.
The ox is tamed by yoke and harness,
the bad servant by racks and tortures.
Put him to work to keep him from being idle,
for idleness is a great teacher of mischief.
Set him to work, for that is what he is for,
and if he disobeys you, load him with fetters."
iv) It Justifies Suicide - In 2 Maccabees 14:45-46 we read, "He was still breathing, still on fire with courage; so, streaming with blood and severely wounded, he picked himself up and dashed through the crowd. Finally, standing on a sheer rock, and now completely drained of blood, he took his entrails (inner parts of body, intestines) in both hands and flung them at the crowd. And thus, invoking (requesting, even demanding) the Lord of life and breath to give these entrails back to him again, he died."
v) It Promotes Reincarnation - that is, you were another being before this life.
In the Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20 we read,
"As a child I was born to excellence, and a noble soul fell to my lot; or rather, I myself was noble, and I entered into an unblemished body"
vi) It's Record of Facts is Inaccurate - In Tobit 14:1, it tells us the man named Tobit died at 112 yrs old. But if you check the details of his birth (recorded in Tobit 1:4-5) to the Captivity ... he had to be over 200 years old.
vii) In addition to the above that I have documented, I'm told that in the Apocrypha:
* a man, Antiochos Ephiphanes dies 3 different times in 3 different places in the two books of Maccabees.
* I'm told it promotes lying, suicide, assassination, and magical incantations
* I'm told it teaches sinless perfection
[F] The last thing to know is that the Vaticanus & Sinaiticus manuscripts (which is the basis for many of the New Bible Versions on the market today) included 7 of these Apocryphal books as a PART of their inspired Old Testament canon. Those 7 being
(Tobit, Judith, Bell and the Dragon, Maccabees, and others).
If having the Apocrypha between the Testaments disqualifies the KJV as authoritative, then the corrupt Vaticanus & Sinaiticus manuscripts from Alexandria, Egypt must be totally worthless since their authors obviously didn't have the conviction of the King James translators and incorporated its books in the text of the Old Testament thus giving it authority with Scripture." (Sam Gipp, pg.100)
So the Question was, "Pastor, I heard that the King James 1611 Bible included the Apocrypha. If so, why do we not have it in our Bible today?"
a) The APOCRYPHA was REJECTED by the Early Jewish Church Fathers
b) The APOCRYPHA was NEVER ONCE QUOTED by Jesus or the 12 Apostles
c) Jesus did not include the Apocryphal Books in His Summary of the Old Testament
d) None of the Authors of Apocryphal books ever claimed to be Inspired
e) The Apocryphal books were not written in the Hebrew Language (as the O.T. was)
f) The Contents of the Apocrypha is many times Conflicting to other Scriptures