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The word "Apocrypha", refers to the 14 "Apocryphal Books" which have been added to the Old Testament by the Roman Catholic Church, who believe them to be part of the Old Testament Canon. "If anyone receives not as sacred and canonical the said books (including Apocrypha) entire with all their parts...let him be anathema". (C. Trent 1546)
The books are as follows:
- & 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, The Rest of Esther, The Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, with the epistle of Jeremiah, The Song of the Three Holy Children, The History of Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasses, 1 & 2 Maccabees.
These books were written during the first two centuries BC. and kind of fill the gap between the Old Testament (which ended about 400 BC.) and the New Testament.
There are several reasons for rejecting these books, heres a few:
- They were never considered canonical by Christians or Jews until the Council in 1546, which was an obvious lash at Martin Luther.
- They were never accepted as canon by Jesus, or the N.T. writers.
- Virtually all of the early Church leaders rejected their canonicity.
- Jerome, the great Hebrew scholar and translator of the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate, strongly rejected the Apocrypha.
- The Apocrypha doesn't claim to be the Word of God.
- It doesn't speak with God's authority as the O.T. books.
- It contains historical errors (see Tobit 1:3-5 and 14:11).
- It contains theological heresies such as praying for the dead (2 Mac), and intercession to the saints.
- It doesn't contain any prophesy and adds nothing to the messianic hope.