In our How to Respond series, Pastor Nathanael Mayhew addresses whether the writings of the Apocrypha are part of God's Word or not. The 15 writings of what is called the Apocrypha are included in some Orthodox churches and some were added to the Roman Catholic Bible at the Council of Trent in 1545. But they are not part of most Christian Bibles. Some of these books (like Tobit, Judith and Bel and the Dragon) are quite strange to say the least. Others (Baruch, Maccabees and Esdras) do record insightful historical information. Yet these writings were all written after 400 B.C. and were popularized by the editors of the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Bible. They were never accepted by the Jews (these books were formally rejected by the Jews at the Council of Jamnia in 90AD). What is more, these books were not accepted by Jesus or the Apostles either. While Jesus and the Apostles quote and refer to many of the books of the Old Testament in the New Testament, they never once quote or refer to any Apocryphal book. While some may be interesting, they are not inspired by God. God's Word is complete and is recorded for us in the 66 books we have in our Christian Bibles.
August 10, 2016