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Featured What's with this thing called THE APOCRYPHA?

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Willie T, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    (Just some words for information)

    The rise of Protestantism forced reconsideration of what had, up to that point, been a relatively unproblematic question: "what specific texts does the phrase “the Bible” denote?" At a fairly early stage in its history, the Christian church had to make some important decisions as to what the term “scripture” actually designated. The first major phase in the history of the church, often referred to as the “patristic period” (c. 100–c. 450), witnessed the setting of the limits to the New Testament — a process usually known as “the fixing of the canon.” The word “canon” derives from the Greek word kanon, meaning a “rule” or “reference point.” The phrase “the canon of scripture” thus refers to a limited and defined group of writings that are accepted as authoritative within the church.

    What criteria were used in drawing-up this canon? The basic principle underlying this process appears to have been that of the recognition rather than the imposition of authority. In other words, the works in question were recognized by Christians as already possessing authority; they did not have an arbitrary authority imposed upon them. For the early church father Irenaeus, the church does not create the canon of scripture; it acknowledges, conserves, and receives canonical scripture on the basis of the authority already inherent to it. Some early Christians appear to have regarded apostolic authorship as of decisive importance; others were prepared to accept books that did not appear to have apostolic credentials. Although the precise details of how this selection was made remain unclear, it is certain that the canon was closed within the Western church by the beginning of the fifth century. The issue of the canon would not be raised again until the dawn of Protestantism.

    At the time of the Reformation, a major debate broke out over whether some works accepted by the medieval church as canonical really deserved this status. It must be emphasized that the debate centered on the Old Testament; the canon of the New Testament was never seriously questioned, despite Martin Luther’s misgivings about the canonicity of the letter of James and three other shorter letters.

    While all the New Testament works were accepted as canonical — Luther’s misgivings would gain little support — doubts were raised concerning the canonicity of a group of Old Testament works. A comparison of the contents of the Old Testament in the Hebrew Bible, on the one hand, and in the Greek and Latin versions (such as the Septuagint and the Vulgate), on the other, shows that the latter contain a number of works not found in the former. Following the lead of Jerome, the reformers argued that the only Old Testament writings that could be regarded as belonging to the canon of scripture were those originally included in the Hebrew Bible.

    Protestants thus drew a distinction between the Old Testament and what they termed the “Apocrypha.” The former consisted of texts found in the Hebrew Bible, while the latter consisted of text found in Greek and Latin versions of the Bible but not in the Hebrew Bible. While some reformers allowed that the apocryphal works made for edifying reading, there was general agreement that these works could not be used as the basis of doctrine. However, Catholic theologians of the Middle Ages, followed by the Council of Trent in 1546, defined the Old Testament as “those Old Testament works contained in the Greek and Latin bibles,” thus eliminating, from the outset, any distinction between “Old Testament” and “Apocrypha.”

    From the beginning, therefore, Catholics and Protestants have had quite different understandings of what the term “the Bible” means, and this difference persists, for the most part, to the present day. A comparison of current Protestant versions of the Bible — two important ones being the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and the New International Version (NIV ) — with their Catholic counterparts, such as the Jerusalem Bible, reveals these differences.

    One practical outcome of this sixteenth-century debate was the production and circulation of authorized lists of books that were to be regarded as “scriptural.” The fourth session of the Council of Trent (1546) produced a detailed list that included the works of the Apocrypha as authentically scriptural, while Protestant congregations in Switzerland, France, and elsewhere produced lists that either totally omitted any reference to these works or indicated that they were of no importance in matters of doctrine.
     
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  2. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Apocrypha means hidden, and that group of books should have remained hidden. They were of doubtful origin, not inspired.
     
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  3. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    Biblical authority is more about recognizing what is already there than purporting to create it "officially" though the so called church authorities...
     
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  4. 1stCenturyLady

    1stCenturyLady Well-Known Member

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    Just so you know, not all our NT books were universally accepted as canonical when the list of books was finalized . Books such as 2 and 3 John, Hebrews and even Revelation weren't accepted by all. I was surprised. But those lists led me to read some of the books that wound up on 6 lists, but not into the final list. That led me to ask - do we have all the word of God? I say, no. One is missing - The Epistle of Barnabas. It is an amazing book and fills up the holes in our Bible to make our Bible complete. It is interesting that it was found in an old monastery on Mt. Sinai, just before the monks were going to burn it for fuel. Just coincidence, or God?
     
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  5. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that adding an Apocryphal book after all these centuries to what is considered canonical would be a good idea. Canonical is more about recognizing its authority for what it is, rather than about giving it authority it didn't have before.
     
  6. 1stCenturyLady

    1stCenturyLady Well-Known Member

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    You are entitled to your opinion, of course. The Epistle of Barnabas adds back what was already there in the first century. The Didache was a record of what some of those teachings were, some of which we no longer have. The E of B is where the Didache got what is now missing. I have never liked the Catholic Church doing my thinking for me, so humbly disagree with your opinion.
     
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  7. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to an Epistle's inherent authority rather than to what ecclesiastical claims about it may say.
     
  8. 1stCenturyLady

    1stCenturyLady Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever read it? I believe it has inherent authority. That is what it means to be canonical.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  9. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Well-Known Member

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    The Old Testament apocryphal was not accepted by the Jews.

    Nor was any apocryphal accepted by the early Christians.

    The canon we have today is what was accepted and used in the Old Testament and New Testament by believers.

    Jesus quoted the Bible to use. He never quoted apocryphal.

    What the Catholics accept or do not accept is a relevant since they are a cult who reinvents Jesus, Mary, the apostles and a lot of others. Plus adds pagan practices to their version of Christianity, they still have Christ on the cross.

    Fact is most Apocrypha was written long after the claimed time periods and authors.

    Some of the books and writings quoted, especially in the OT, were by recognized experts and believers. But they were never called Scriptures.
     
  10. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    This is what we have been told, but only God knows if it is true. The Muratori Canon of the 2nd century includes just about every book that we have. As to the epistle of Barnabas, there must be a good reason why it was excluded.
     
  11. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Well-Known Member

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    Because they were not written by apostles.

    It was written late first or early second century.. Which is after the close of the New Testament.It is anti-Jewish. No one knows who wrote it.
     
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  12. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Correct. The Introductory Note to the Epistle of Barnabas in Bible Study Tools says "Nothing certain is known as to the author of the following Epistle. The writer's name is Barnabas, but scarcely any scholars now ascribe it to the illustrious friend and companion of St. Paul..."

    In other words, Barnabas is pseudepigraphical, just like Enoch.
     
  13. 1stCenturyLady

    1stCenturyLady Well-Known Member

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    If you have read it you will know it includes a prophecy that was not even close to being fulfilled at that early date when the epistles were gathered together to publish in one place. But when it was found on Mt. Siani, it was much closer, about 1400 years closer. And now, the fulfillment is imminent.
     
  14. "ByGrace"

    "ByGrace" Well-Known Member

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    Where would a person get that book? ..I'm interested. thanks...
     
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  15. "ByGrace"

    "ByGrace" Well-Known Member

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    And the interpretation of that is...?
    Thanks.
     
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  16. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Someone claiming to write in someone else's name, particularly as related to Bible characters.
     
  17. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    Butterfly and "ByGrace" like this.
  18. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    "ByGrace" and bbyrd009 like this.
  19. 1stCenturyLady

    1stCenturyLady Well-Known Member

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    Off Amazon.com or Ebay. Look for Lost Books of the Bible and the forgotten books of Eden.
     
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  20. 1stCenturyLady

    1stCenturyLady Well-Known Member

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