Biblical apocrypha

The biblical apocrypha (from the Ancient Greek: ἀπόκρυφος, translit. apókruphos, lit. 'hidden') denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books found in some editions of Christian Bibles in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments[1] or as an appendix after the New Testament.[2] Some Christian Churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament.

Although the term apocryphal had been in use since the 5th century, it was in Luther's Bible of 1534 that the Apocrypha was first published as a separate intertestamental section.[3] To this date, the Apocrypha is "included in the lectionaries of Anglican and Lutheran Churches."[4] Moreover, the Revised Common Lectionary, in use by most mainline Protestants including Methodists and Moravians, lists readings from the Apocrypha in the liturgical kalendar, although alternate Old Testament scripture lessons are provided.[5]

The preface to the Apocrypha in the Geneva Bible explained that while these books "were not received by a common consent to be read and expounded publicly in the Church," and did not serve "to prove any point of Christian religion save in so much as they had the consent of the other scriptures called canonical to confirm the same," nonetheless, "as books proceeding from godly men they were received to be read for the advancement and furtherance of the knowledge of history and for the instruction of godly manners."[6] Later, during the English Civil War, the Westminster Confession of 1647 excluded the Apocrypha from the canon and made no recommendation of the Apocrypha above "other human writings",[7] and this attitude towards the Apocrypha is represented by the decision of the British and Foreign Bible Society in the early 19th century not to print it (see below). Today, "English Bibles with the Apocrypha are becoming more popular again" and they are often printed as intertestamental books.[8]

The seven books which comprise the Protestant Apocrypha, first published as such in Luther’s Bible (1534) are considered canonical Old Testament books by the Catholic Church, affirmed by the Council of Rome (AD 382) and later reaffirmed by the Council of Trent; they are also considered canonical by the Eastern Orthodox Church and are referred to as anagignoskomena per the Synod of Jerusalem. The Anglican Communion accepts "the Apocrypha for instruction in life and manners, but not for the establishment of doctrine (Article VI in the Thirty-Nine Articles)",[9] and many "lectionary readings in The Book of Common Prayer are taken from the Apocrypha", with these lessons being "read in the same ways as those from the Old Testament".[10] The first Methodist liturgical book, The Sunday Service of the Methodists, employs verses from the Apocrypha, such as in the Eucharistic liturgy.[11] The Protestant Apocrypha contains three books (3 Esdras, 4 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh) that are accepted by many Eastern Orthodox Churches and Oriental Orthodox Churches as canonical, but are regarded as non-canonical by the Catholic Church and are therefore not included in modern Catholic Bibles.[12]

Vulgate prologues

Jerome completed his version of the Bible, the Latin Vulgate, in 405. In the Middle Ages the Vulgate became the de facto standard version of the Bible in the West. The Vulgate manuscripts included prologues[13] that Jerome clearly identified certain books of the older Old Latin Old Testament version as apocryphal or non-canonical - even though they might be read as scripture.

In the prologue to the books of Samuel and Kings, which is often called the Prologus Galeatus, he says:[14]

This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a “helmeted” introduction to all the books which we turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is not found in our list must be placed amongst the Apocryphal writings. Wisdom, therefore, which generally bears the name of Solomon, and the book of Jesus, the Son of Sirach, and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd are not in the canon. The first book of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style.

In the prologue to Ezra Jerome states that that the third book and fourth book of Ezra are apocryphal; while the two books of Ezra in the Vetus Latina version, translating Ezra A and Ezra B of the Septuagint, are 'variant examples' of the same Hebrew original.[15]

In his prologue to the books of Solomon, he says:[16]

Also included is the book of the model of virtue (παναρετος) Jesus son of Sirach, and another falsely ascribed work (ψευδεπιγραφος) which is titled Wisdom of Solomon. The former of these I have also found in Hebrew, titled not Ecclesiasticus as among the Latins, but Parables, to which were joined Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, as though it made of equal worth the likeness not only of the number of the books of Solomon, but also the kind of subjects. The second was never among the Hebrews, the very style of which reeks of Greek eloquence. And none of the ancient scribes affirm this one is of Philo Judaeus. Therefore, just as the Church also reads the books of Judith, Tobias, and the Maccabees, but does not receive them among the canonical Scriptures, so also one may read these two scrolls for the strengthening of the people, (but) not for confirming the authority of ecclesiastical dogmas.

He mentions the book of Baruch in his prologue to the Jeremias but does not include it as 'apocrypha'; stating that "it is neither read nor held among the Hebrews" and should be omitted altogether from scripture.[17]

In his prologue to the Judith he mentions that "among the Hebrews, the authority [of Judith] came into contention", but that it was "counted in the number of Sacred Scriptures" by the First Council of Nicaea.[18] In his reply to Rufinus, he affirmed that he was consistent with the choice of the church regarding which version of the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel to use, which the Jews of his day did not include:

What sin have I committed in following the judgment of the churches? But when I repeat what the Jews say against the Story of Susanna and the Hymn of the Three Children, and the fables of Bel and the Dragon, which are not contained in the Hebrew Bible, the man who makes this a charge against me proves himself to be a fool and a slanderer; for I explained not what I thought but what they commonly say against us. (Against Rufinus, II:33 (AD 402)).[19]

According to Michael Barber, although Jerome was once suspicious of the apocrypha, he later viewed them as Scripture as shown in his epistles. Barber cites Jerome's letter to Eustochium, in which Jerome quotes Sirach 13:2.;[20] elsewhere Jerome also refers to Baruch, the Story of Susannah and Wisdom as scripture.[21][22][23]

Apocrypha in editions of the Bible

Apocrypha are well attested in surviving manuscripts of the Christian Bible. (See, for example, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus, Vulgate, and Peshitta.) After the Lutheran and Catholic canons were defined by Luther (c. 1534) and Trent[24] (8 April 1546) respectively, early Protestant editions of the Bible (notably the Luther Bible in German and 1611 King James Version in English) did not omit these books, but placed them in a separate Apocrypha section apart from the Old and New Testaments to indicate their status.

Gutenberg Bible

This famous edition of the Vulgate was published in 1455. Like the manuscripts on which it was based, the Gutenberg Bible lacks a specific Apocrypha section.[25] Its Old Testament includes the books that Jerome considered apocryphal and those Clement VIII later moved to the appendix. The Prayer of Manasses is located after the Books of Chronicles, 3 and 4 Esdras follow 2 Esdras (Nehemiah), and Prayer of Solomon follows Ecclesiasticus.

Luther Bible

Martin Luther translated the Bible into German during the early part of the 16th century, first releasing a complete Bible in 1534. His Bible was the first major edition to have a separate section called Apocrypha. Books and portions of books not found in the Masoretic Text of Judaism were moved out of the body of the Old Testament to this section.[26] Luther placed these books between the Old and New Testaments. For this reason, these works are sometimes known as inter-testamental books. The books 1 and 2 Esdras were omitted entirely.[27] Luther was making a polemical point about the canonicity of these books. As an authority for this division, he cited St. Jerome, who in the early 5th century distinguished the Hebrew and Greek Old Testaments,[28] stating that books not found in the Hebrew were not received as canonical. Although his statement was controversial in his day,[29] Jerome was later titled a Doctor of the Church and his authority was also cited in the Anglican statement in 1571 of the Thirty-Nine Articles.[30]

Luther also expressed some doubts about the canonicity of four New Testament books, although he never called them apocrypha: the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistles of James and Jude, and the Revelation to John. He did not put them in a separate named section, but he did move them to the end of his New Testament.[31]

Clementine Vulgate

In 1592, Pope Clement VIII published his revised edition of the Vulgate, referred to as the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate. He moved three books not found in the canon of the Council of Trent from the Old Testament into an appendix "lest they utterly perish" (ne prorsus interirent).[32]

The protocanonical and deuterocanonical books he placed in their traditional positions in the Old Testament.

King James Version

The English-language King James Version (KJV) of 1611 followed the lead of the Luther Bible in using an inter-testamental section labelled "Books called Apocrypha", or just "Apocrypha" at the running page header.[33] The KJV followed the Geneva Bible of 1560 almost exactly (variations are marked below). The section contains the following:[34]

(Included in this list are those books of the Clementine Vulgate that were not in Luther's canon).

These are the books most frequently referred to by the casual appellation "the Apocrypha". These same books are also listed in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England.[35] Despite being placed in the Apocrypha, in the table of lessons at the front of some printings of the King James Bible, these books are included under the Old Testament.

The Bible and the Puritan revolution

The British Puritan revolution of the 1600s brought a change in the way many British publishers handled the apocryphal material associated with the Bible. The Puritans used the standard of Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) to determine which books would be included in the canon. The Westminster Confession of Faith, composed during the British Civil Wars (1642–1651), excluded the Apocrypha from the canon. The Confession provided the rationale for the exclusion: 'The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings' (1.3).[36] Thus, Bibles printed by English Protestants who separated from the Church of England began to exclude these books.

Other early Bible editions

All English translations of the Bible printed in the sixteenth century included a section or appendix for Apocryphal books. Matthew's Bible, published in 1537, contains all the Apocrypha of the later King James Version in an inter-testamental section. The 1538 Myles Coverdale Bible contained an Apocrypha that excluded Baruch and the Prayer of Manasseh. The 1560 Geneva Bible placed the Prayer of Manasseh after 2 Chronicles; the rest of the Apocrypha were placed in an inter-testamental section. The Douay-Rheims Bible (1582–1609) placed the Prayer of Manasseh and 3 and 4 Esdras into an Appendix of the second volume of the Old Testament.

In the Zürich Bible (1529–30) they are placed in an Appendix. They include 3 Maccabees, along with 1 Esdras & 2 Esdras. The 1st edition omitted the Prayer of Manasseh and the Rest of Esther, although these were included in the 2nd edition. The French Bible (1535) of Pierre Robert Olivétan placed them between the Testaments, with the subtitle, "The volume of the apocryphal books contained in the Vulgate translation, which we have not found in the Hebrew or Chaldee".

In 1569 the Spanish Reina Bible, following the example of the pre-Clementine Latin Vulgate, contained the deuterocanonical books in its Old Testament. Following the other Protestant translations of its day, Valera's 1602 revision of the Reina Bible moved these books into an inter-testamental section.

Modern editions

All King James Bibles published before 1666 included the Apocrypha,[37] though separately to denote them as not equal to Scripture proper, as noted by Jerome in the Vulgate, to which he gave the name, "The Apocrypha."[38] In 1826,[39] the National Bible Society of Scotland petitioned the British and Foreign Bible Society not to print the Apocrypha,[40] resulting in a decision that no BFBS funds were to pay for printing any Apocryphal books anywhere. They reasoned that not printing the Apocrypha within the Bible would prove to be less costly to produce.[41][42] Since that time most modern editions of the Bible and reprintings of the King James Bible omit the Apocrypha section. Modern non-Catholic reprintings of the Clementine Vulgate commonly omit the Apocrypha section. Many reprintings of older versions of the Bible now omit the apocrypha and many newer translations and revisions have never included them at all.

There are some exceptions to this trend, however. Some editions of the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible include not only the Apocrypha listed above, but also the third and fourth books of Maccabees, and Psalm 151.

The American Bible Society lifted restrictions on the publication of Bibles with the Apocrypha in 1964. The British and Foreign Bible Society followed in 1966.[43] The Stuttgart edition of the Vulgate (the printed edition, not most of the on-line editions), which is published by the UBS, contains the Clementine Apocrypha as well as the Epistle to the Laodiceans and Psalm 151.

Brenton's edition of the Septuagint includes all of the Apocrypha found in the King James Bible with the exception of 2 Esdras, which was not in the Septuagint and is no longer extant in Greek.[44] He places them in a separate section at the end of his Old Testament, following English tradition.

In Greek circles, however, these books are not traditionally called Apocrypha, but Anagignoskomena (ἀναγιγνωσκόμενα), and are integrated into the Old Testament. The Orthodox Study Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, includes the Anagignoskomena in its Old Testament, with the exception of 4 Maccabees. This was translated by the Saint Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, from the Rahlfs Edition of the Septuagint using Brenton's English translation and the RSV Expanded Apocrypha as boilerplate. As such, they are included in the Old Testament with no distinction between these books and the rest of the Old Testament. This follows the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church where the Septuagint is the received version of Old Testament scripture, considered itself inspired in agreement with some of the Fathers, such as St Augustine, rather than the Hebrew Masoretic text followed by all other modern translations.[45]

Anagignoskomena

The Septuagint, the ancient and best known Greek version of the Old Testament, contains books and additions that are not present in the Hebrew Bible. These texts are not traditionally segregated into a separate section, nor are they usually called apocrypha. Rather, they are referred to as the Anagignoskomena (ἀναγιγνωσκόμενα, "things that are read" or "profitable reading"). The anagignoskomena are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira (Sirach), Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah (in the Vulgate this is chapter 6 of Baruch), additions to Daniel (The Prayer of Azarias, Susanna and Bel and the Dragon), additions to Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, i.e. all of the Deuterocanonical books plus 3 Maccabees and 1 Esdras.[46]

Some editions add additional books, such as Psalm 151 or the Odes (including the Prayer of Manasses). 2 Esdras is added as an appendix in the Slavonic Bibles and 4 Maccabees as an appendix in Greek editions.[46]

Pseudepigrapha

Technically, a pseudepigraphon is a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it. In common usage, however, the term pseudepigrapha is often used by way of distinction to refer to apocryphal writings that do not appear in printed editions of the Bible, as opposed to the texts listed above. Examples[47] include:

Often included among the pseudepigrapha are 3 and 4 Maccabees because they are not traditionally found in western Bibles, although they are in the Septuagint. Similarly, the Book of Enoch, Book of Jubilees and 4 Baruch are often listed with the pseudepigrapha although they are commonly included in Ethiopian Bibles. The Psalms of Solomon are found in some editions of the Septuagint.

Classification

The Apocrypha of the King James Bible constitutes the books of the Vulgate that are present neither in the Hebrew Old Testament nor the Greek New Testament. Since these are derived from the Septuagint, from which the old Latin version was translated, it follows that the difference between the KJV and the Roman Catholic Old Testaments is traceable to the difference between the Palestinian and the Alexandrian canons of the Old Testament. This is only true with certain reservations, as the Latin Vulgate was revised by Jerome according to the Hebrew, and, where Hebrew originals were not found, according to the Septuagint. Furthermore, the Vulgate omits 3 and 4 Maccabees, which generally appear in the Septuagint, while the Septuagint and Luther's Bible omit 2 Esdras, which is found in the Apocrypha of the Vulgate and the King James Bible. Luther's Bible, moreover, also omits 1 Esdras. It should further be observed that the Clementine Vulgate places the Prayer of Manasses and 3 Esdras and 4 Esdras in an appendix after the New Testament as apocryphal.

It is hardly possible to form any classification not open to some objection. Scholars are still divided as to the original language, date, and place of composition of some of the books that come under this provisional attempt at order. (Thus some of the additions to Daniel and the Prayer of Manasseh are most probably derived from a Semitic original written in Palestine, yet in compliance with the prevailing opinion they are classed under Hellenistic Jewish literature. Again, the Slavonic Enoch goes back undoubtedly in parts to a Semitic original, though most of it may have been written by a Greek Jew in Egypt.)

A distinction can be made between the Palestinian and the Hellenistic literature of the Old Testament, though even this is open to serious objections. The former literature was written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and seldom in Greek; the latter in Greek.

Next, within these literatures there are three or four classes of subject material.

  • Historical,
  • Legendary (Haggadic),
  • Apocalyptic,
  • Didactic or Sapiential.

The Apocrypha proper then would be classified as follows:

Cultural impact

  • The introitus, "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them", of the traditional Requiem in the Catholic Church is loosely based on 4 Esdras 2:34–35.
  • The alternative introitus for Quasimodo Sunday in the Roman rite of the Catholic Church is loosely based on 4 Esdras 2:36–37.
  • The Story of Susanna is perhaps the earliest example of a courtroom drama, and perhaps the first example of an effective forensic cross-examination (there are no others in the Bible: except perhaps Solomon's judgement at 1 Kings 3:25).
  • Bel and the Dragon is perhaps the earliest example of a locked room mystery.
  • Shylock's reference in The Merchant of Venice to "A Daniel come to judgment; yea, a Daniel!" refers to the story of Susanna and the elders.
  • The theme of the elders surprising Susanna in her bath is a common one in art, such as in paintings by Tintoretto and Artemisia Gentileschi, and in Wallace Stevens' poem Peter Quince at the Clavier.
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, the title of James Agee's 1941 chronicle of Alabama sharecroppers, was taken from Ecclesiasticus 44:1: "Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us."
  • In his spiritual autobiography Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, John Bunyan recounts how God strengthened him against the temptation to despair of his salvation by inspiring him with the words, "Look at the generations of old and see: did any ever trust in God, and were confounded?"
At which I was greatly encouraged in my soul. ... So coming home, I presently went to my Bible, to see if I could find that saying, not doubting but to find it presently. ... Thus I continued above a year, and could not find the place; but at last, casting my eye upon the Apocrypha books, I found it in Ecclesiasticus, chap. ii. 10. This, at the first, did somewhat daunt me; because it was not in those texts that we call holy and canonical; yet, as this sentence was the sum and substance of many of the promises, it was my duty to take the comfort of it; and I bless God for that word, for it was of good to me. That word doth still ofttimes shine before my face.[48]

See also

References

  1. ^ As in the original King James or Authorized Version, and in modern Bibles such as the New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha, 4th Expanded Edition: New Revised Standard Version
  2. ^ See the English Standard Version with the Apocrypha, and the New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha, 3rd Revised and Expanded Edition: Revised Standard Version
  3. ^ Bruce, F.F. "The Canon of Scripture". IVP Academic, 2010, Location 1478–86 (Kindle Edition).
  4. ^ Readings from the Apocrypha. Forward Movement Publications. 1981. p. 5.
  5. ^ "The Revised Common Lectionary" (PDF). Consultation on Common Texts. 1992. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015. In all places where a reading from the deuterocanonical books (The Apocrypha) is listed, an alternate reading from the canonical Scriptures has also been provided.
  6. ^ Geneva Bible, 1560. Full preface available online: http://www.bible-researcher.com/canon2.html
  7. ^ "The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the Canon of the Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings." For more details see Development of the Old Testament canon#Church of England.
  8. ^ Ewert, David (11 May 2010). A General Introduction to the Bible: From Ancient Tablets to Modern Translations. Zondervan. p. 104. ISBN 9780310872436. English Bibles were patterned after those of the Continental Reformers by having the Apocrypha set off from the rest of the OT. Coverdale (1535) called them "Apocrypha". All English Bibles prior to 1629 contained the Apocrypha. Matthew's Bible (1537), the Great Bible (1539), the Geneva Bible (1560), the Bishop's Bible (1568), and the King James Bible (1611) contained the Apocrypha. Soon after the publication of the KJV, however, the English Bibles began to drop the Apocrypha and eventually they disappeared entirely. The first English Bible to be printed in America (1782–83) lacked the Apocrypha. In 1826 the British and Foreign Bible Society decided to no longer print them. Today the trend is in the opposite direction, and English Bibles with the Apocrypha are becoming more popular again.
  9. ^ Ewert, David (11 May 2010). A General Introduction to the Bible: From Ancient Tablets to Modern Translations. Zondervan. p. 104. ISBN 9780310872436.
  10. ^ Thomas, Owen C.; Wondra, Ellen K. (1 July 2002). Introduction to Theology, 3rd Edition. Church Publishing, Inc. p. 56. ISBN 9780819218971.
  11. ^ John Wesley (1825). The Sunday Service of the Methodists; With Other Occasional Services. J. Kershaw. p. 136.
  12. ^ Henze, Matthias; Boccaccini, Gabriele (20 November 2013). Fourth Ezra and Second Baruch: Reconstruction after the Fall. Brill. p. 383. ISBN 9789004258815. Why 3 and 4 Esdraas (called 1 and 2 Esdras in the NRSV Apocrypha) are pushed to the front of the list is not clear, but the motive may have been to distinguish the Anglican Apocrypha from the Roman Catholic canon affirmed at the fourth session of the Council of trent in 1546, which included all of the books in the Anglican Apocrypha list except 3 and 4 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh. These three texts were designated at Trent as Apocrypha and later included in an appendix to the Clementine Vulgate, first published in 1592 (and the standard Vulgate text until Vatican II).
  13. ^ "The Bible".
  14. ^ "Jerome's Preface to Samuel and Kings".
  15. ^ "St. Jerome, The Prologue on the Book of Ezra: English translation".
  16. ^ "Jerome, Prologue to the Books of Solomon (2006)".
  17. ^ Kevin P. Edgecomb, Jerome’s Prologue to Jeremiah
  18. ^ "Jerome's Prologue to Judith".
  19. ^ Jerome, "Apology Against Rufinus (Book II)", in Philip Schaff, Henry Wace, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, 3 (1892 ed.), Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co. (retrieved from New Advent)
  20. ^ Barber, Michael (2006-03-06). "Loose Canons: The Development of the Old Testament (Part 2)". Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  21. ^ Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58 (AD 395), in NPNF2, VI:119.: "Do not, my dearest brother, estimate my worth by the number of my years. Gray hairs are not wisdom; it is wisdom which is as good as gray hairs At least that is what Solomon says: "wisdom is the gray hair unto men.’ [Wisdom 4:9]" Moses too in choosing the seventy elders is told to take those whom he knows to be elders indeed, and to select them not for their years but for their discretion [Num. 11:16]? And, as a boy, Daniel judges old men and in the flower of youth condemns the incontinence of age [Daniel 13:55–59 aka Story of Susannah 55–59]"
  22. ^ Jerome, To Oceanus, Epistle 77:4 (AD 399), in NPNF2, VI:159.:"I would cite the words of the psalmist: 'the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,’ [Ps 51:17] and those of Ezekiel 'I prefer the repentance of a sinner rather than his death,’ [Ez 18:23] and those of Baruch, 'Arise, arise, O Jerusalem,’ [Baruch 5:5] and many other proclamations made by the trumpets of the Prophets."
  23. ^ Jerome, Letter 51, 6, 7, NPNF2, VI:87–8: "For in the book of Wisdom, which is inscribed with his name, Solomon says: "God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity." [Wisdom 2:23]...Instead of the three proofs from Holy Scripture which you said would satisfy you if I could produce them, behold I have given you seven"
  24. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Canon of the Old Testament" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. section titled "The Council of Florence 1442": "...contains a complete list of the books received by the Church as inspired, but omits, perhaps advisedly, the terms canon and canonical. The Council of Florence therefore taught the inspiration of all the Scriptures, but did not formally pass on their canonicity."
  25. ^ "Gutenberg Bible: View the British Library's Digital Versions Online".
  26. ^ "1945 Edition of the Luther Bible on-line".
  27. ^ Preface to the Revised Standard Version Common Bible
  28. ^ See the Theological Glossary of the Jerusalem Bible Reader's Edition: "One tradition within the Church excluded the Greek books, and this tradition was taken up by the 15th century {sic} Reformers, who relegated these books to the Apocrypha. 1 Maccabees 12:9." Note that the JB is explicitly approved by the CBCEW (the Bishop's Conference of England and Wales)
  29. ^ Catholic Encyclopaedia, "St. Jerome evidently applied the term to all quasi-scriptural books which in his estimation lay outside the canon of the Bible, and the Protestant Reformers, following Jerome's catalogue of Old Testament Scriptures—one which was at once erroneous and singular among the Fathers of the Church—applied the title Apocrypha to the excess of the Catholic canon of the Old Testament over that of the Jews. Naturally, Catholics refuse to admit such a denomination, and we employ "deuterocanonical" to designate this literature, which non-Catholics conventionally and improperly known as the Apocrypha".
  30. ^ "And the other books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine."
  31. ^ Six Points On Luther's "Epistle of Straw", 3 April 2007
  32. ^ Introductory material to the appendix of the Vulgata Clementina, text in Latin
  33. ^ "Apocrypha," King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Apocrypha-Books/
  34. ^ The Bible: Authorized King James Version with Apocrypha, Oxford World's Classics, 1998, ISBN 978-0-19-283525-3
  35. ^ Article VI at episcopalian.org Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ "WCF and MESV in Parallel Columns".
  37. ^ Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, Dictionary of the Bible edited by James Hastings, and published by Charles Scribner's Sons of New York in 1909
  38. ^ Grudem, Wayne (29 February 2012). Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible's Origin, Reliability, and Meaning. US: Crossway. p. 90. ISBN 978-1433529993. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  39. ^ Howsam, Leslie (2002). Cheap Bibles. Cambridge University Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-521-52212-0.
  40. ^ Flick, Dr. Stephen. "Canonization of the Bible". Christian heritage fellowship. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  41. ^ McGrath, Alister (10 December 2008). In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 298. ISBN 9780307486226.
  42. ^ Anderson, Charles R. (2003). Puzzles and Essays from "The Exchange": Tricky Reference Questions. Psychology Press. p. 123. ISBN 9780789017628. Paper and printing were expensive and early publishers were able to hold down costs by eliminating the Apocrypha once it was deemed secondary material.
  43. ^ A Brief History of the United Bible Societies
  44. ^ "2 Esdras".
  45. ^ "The Orthodox Study Bible" 2008, Thomas Nelson Inc. p. xi
  46. ^ a b Vassiliadis, Petros (2005). "Canon and authority of Scripture". In S. T. Kimbrough. Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural understanding and practice. Crestwood, N.Y: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-88141-301-4.
  47. ^ The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 2, James H. Charlesworth
  48. ^ Gilmore, George William (1916). Selections from the World's Devotional Classics. Funk & Wagnalls company. p. 63.
Texts

Commentaries

  • O. F. Fritzsche and Grimm, Kurzgef. exeget. Handbuch zu den Apok. des A.T. (Leipzig, 1851–1860)
  • Edwin Cone Bissell, Apocrypha of the Old Testament (Edinburgh, 1880)
  • Otto Zöckler, Die Apokryphen des Alten Testaments (Munchen, 1891)
  • Henry Wace, The Apocrypha ("Speaker's Commentary") (1888)

Introduction and General Literature:

  • Emil Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes, vol. iii. 135 sqq., and his article on "Apokryphen" in Herzog's Realencykl. i. 622–53
  • Porter, Frank C. (1898). "Apocrypha". In James Hastings. A Dictionary of the Bible. I. pp. 110–23.
  • Metzger, Bruce M. An Introduction to the Apocrypha. [Pbk. ed.]. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977, cop. 1957. ISBN 0-19-502340-4

External links

2 Maccabees

2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book which focuses on the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Seleucid empire general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the hard work.

Unlike 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees was written in Koine Greek, probably in Alexandria, Egypt, c. 124 BC. It presents a revised version of the historical events recounted in the first seven chapters of 1 Maccabees, adding material from the Pharisaic tradition, including prayer for the dead and a resurrection on Judgment Day.Jews and Protestants reject most of the doctrinal issues present in the work, while Catholics and Eastern Orthodox consider the work to be canonical and part of the Bible. Some Protestants include 2 Maccabees as part of the Biblical Apocrypha, useful for reading in the church. Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England defines it as useful but not the basis of doctrine and not necessary for salvation.

Additions to Daniel

The Additions to Daniel comprise three chapters not found in the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel. The text of these chapters is found in the Koine Greek Septuagint, the earliest Old Greek translation.

In the third century CE, these additions were accepted as Scripture by all extant Christian writers except Jerome. They are accepted as canonical and translated as such in Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Syriac Bibles. They are listed in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England. However, most Protestant Bibles exclude these passages as biblical apocrypha, retaining only the text available today in the Hebrew/Aramaic manuscripts. In Judaism, the additions are not considered canonical, although a version of the Susanna story found its way into rabbinical literature in the Sefer Yosippon.The three additions are as follows.

The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children: Daniel 3:24–90 inserted between verses 23 and 24 (v. 24 becomes v. 91) in the Protestant canon, incorporated within the Fiery Furnace episode. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into a furnace for declining to worship an idol, they are rescued by an angel and sing a song of worship. In some Greek Bibles, the Prayer and the Song appear in an appendix to the book of Psalms.

Susanna and the Elders: before Daniel 1:1, a prologue in early Greek manuscripts; chapter 13 in the Vulgate. This episode, along with Bel and the Dragon, is one of "the two earliest examples" of a detective story, according to Christopher Booker. In it, two men attempt to coerce a young woman into having sexual relations with them through blackmail, but are foiled under close questioning by Daniel.

Bel and the Dragon: after Daniel 12:13 in Greek, an epilogue; chapter 14 in the Vulgate. In this tale, Daniel's detective work reveals that a brass idol believed to miraculously consume sacrifices is in fact a front for a corrupt priesthood which is stealing the offerings.

Apocrypha

Apocrypha are works, usually written, of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin. Biblical apocrypha is a set of texts included in the Latin Vulgate and Septuagint but not in the Hebrew Bible. While Catholic tradition considers some of these texts to be deuterocanonical, Protestants consider them apocryphal. Thus, Protestant bibles do not include the books within the Old Testament but have often included them in a separate section, usually called the Apocrypha. Other non-canonical apocryphal texts are generally called pseudepigrapha, a term that means "false attribution".The word's origin is the Medieval Latin adjective apocryphus, "secret, or non-canonical", from the Greek adjective ἀπόκρυφος (apokryphos), "obscure", from the verb ἀποκρύπτειν (apokryptein), "to hide away".

Apocryphon

Apocryphon ("secret writing"), plural apocrypha, was a Greek term for a genre of Jewish and Early Christian writings that were meant to impart "secret teachings" or gnosis (knowledge) that could not be publicly taught. Such private instruction to the apostles figures in the canonical Gospels of the New Testament and furnishes the material of the "sayings" Gospel of Thomas and part of the material of the Gospel of Mary. It is purportedly a secret teaching supposedly committed to a trusted disciple by Christ after his resurrection. The secret teaching in Gnostic literature refers to several things.Examples include:

Genesis Apocryphon, from the Qumran caves

Secret Gospel of Mark (Apocryphon of Mark)

Apocryphon of James (Secret Book of James), in the Nag Hammadi library

Apocryphon of John (Secret Book of John), in the Nag Hammadi library

Apocryphon of Ezekiel (Secret Book of Ezekiel)

Apocryphon of the Ten Tribes

Azazeal

Azazeal (pronounced "ahz-azeel") is a fictional character in the British television series Hex, played by Michael Fassbender.

The character is seemingly based on the similarly spelled Azazel from The Book of Enoch. However, past the name, the similarities end. In biblical Apocrypha, the fallen angels referred to in Hex as the Nephilim were in fact called the Grigori, or "Watchers." In the Apocrypha, the Nephilim were offspring of the Grigori by mortal women. It is most likely the difference in spelling of Azazeal/Azazel and the change to Nephilim from Grigori were done for aesthetic reasons, though this has not been officially confirmed.

Azazeal seduced a series of women throughout the ages, dating from ancient Egypt to the present, but these women were usually killed by Ella Dee in order to stop the freedom of the Nephilim that his son's birth would signal.

In the second episode of Hex, Azazeal sacrifices Cassie Hughes' friend and roommate Thelma Bates, turning her into a ghost and releasing his power. Later in the series, he enters into a sexual relationship with Cassie and Cassie's teacher Jo, eventually turning her to his side. Through a series of demonic possessions, he conceives an heir, Malachi, with Cassie, and convinces the abortionist to put the child in his care at Christmas time.

In series two, after Cassie's death, Azazeal uses the mystical Stone of Belial to make Ella Dee relive her torture and execution, eventually causing her to lose her immortality and rapidly age to 500 or so years old, nearing death. He, an adult Malachi and Perie the "fairy" form a small alliance, before Azazeal is suddenly notified by higher powers that he is no longer to be Malachi's caregiver, replaced with Mephistopheles. He and Ella share a goodbye without trying to kill each other.

Books of the Bible

Different religious groups include different books in their biblical canons, in varying orders, and sometimes divide or combine books. The Jewish Tanakh (sometimes called the Hebrew Bible) contains 24 books divided into three parts: the five books of the Torah ("teaching"); the eight books of the Nevi'im ("prophets"); and the eleven books of Ketuvim ("writings"). It is composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, and its Masoretic Text is the main textual source for the Christian Greek Old Testament.Christian Bibles range from the 73 books of the Catholic Church canon, the 66 books of the canon of some denominations or the 80 books of the canon of other denominations of the Protestant Church, to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church canon. The first part of Christian Bibles is the Greek Old Testament, which contains, at minimum, the above 24 books of the Tanakh but divided into 39 books and ordered differently. The second part is the Greek New Testament, containing 27 books; the four Canonical gospels, Acts of the Apostles, 21 Epistles or letters and the Book of Revelation.

The Catholic Church and Eastern Christian churches hold that certain deuterocanonical books and passages are part of the Old Testament canon. The Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Christian churches may have minor differences in their lists of accepted books. The list given here for these churches is the most inclusive: if at least one Eastern church accepts the book it is included here. The King James Bible—which has been called "the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language" and which in the United States is the most used translation, being still considered a standard among Protestant churches and being used liturgically in the Orthodox Church in America—contains 80 books: 39 in its Old Testament, 14 in its Apocrypha, and 27 in its New Testament.

Carlisle Floyd

Carlisle Floyd (born June 11, 1926) is an American opera composer. The son of a Methodist minister, he has based many of his works on themes from the South. His best known opera, Susannah (1955), is based on a story from the Biblical Apocrypha, transferred to contemporary, rural Tennessee, and is set in a Southern dialect.

Hybrid (biology)

In biology, a hybrid is the offspring resulting from combining the qualities of two organisms of different breeds, varieties, species or genera through sexual reproduction. Hybrids are not always intermediates between their parents (such as in blending inheritance), but can show hybrid vigour, sometimes growing larger or taller than either parent. The concept of a hybrid is interpreted differently in animal and plant breeding, where there is interest in the individual parentage. In genetics, attention is focused on the numbers of chromosomes. In taxonomy, a key question is how closely related the parent species are.

Species are reproductively isolated by strong barriers to hybridisation, which include morphological differences, differing times of fertility, mating behaviors and cues, and physiological rejection of sperm cells or the developing embryo. Some act before fertilization and others after it. Similar barriers exist in plants, with differences in flowering times, pollen vectors, inhibition of pollen tube growth, somatoplastic sterility, cytoplasmic-genic male sterility and the structure of the chromosomes. A few animal species and many plant species, however, are the result of hybrid speciation, including important crop plants such as wheat, where the number of chromosomes has been doubled.

Human impact on the environment has resulted in an increase in the interbreeding between regional species, and the proliferation of introduced species worldwide has also resulted in an increase in hybridisation. This genetic mixing may threaten many species with extinction, while genetic erosion in crop plants may be damaging the gene pools of many species for future breeding. A form of often intentional human-mediated hybridisation is the crossing of wild and domesticated species. This is common in both traditional horticulture and modern agriculture; many commercially useful fruits, flowers, garden herbs, and trees have been produced by hybridisation. One such flower, Oenothera lamarckiana, was central to early genetics research into mutationism and polyploidy. It is also more occasionally done in the livestock and pet trades; some well-known wild × domestic hybrids are beefalo and wolfdogs. Human selective breeding of domesticated animals and plants has resulted is the development of distinct breeds (usually called cultivars in reference to plants); crossbreeds between them (without any wild stock) are sometimes also imprecisely referred to as "hybrids".

Hybrid humans existed in prehistory. For example, Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans are thought to have interbred as recently as 40,000 years ago.

Mythological hybrids appear in human culture in forms as diverse as the Minotaur, blends of animals, humans and mythical beasts such as centaurs and sphinxes, and the Nephilim of the Biblical apocrypha described as the wicked sons of fallen angels and attractive women.

La Giuditta

To be distinguished from Giuditta a German operetta by Franz Lehár.La Giuditta may refer to one of several Italian oratorios:

Each version of La Giuditta deals with the figure of Judith, from the Biblical Apocrypha, who liberated the besieged city of Bethulia by seducing and then beheading the enemy General Holofernes. Judith and Holofernes are the two main roles common to all versions. Incidental characters, such as, in the larger Scarlatti Giuditta, Achior, a captain so revolted by Holofernes' brutality that he defects to the Israelite army, do not occur in other versions.

List of biblical figures identified in extra-biblical sources

These are biblical figures unambiguously identified in contemporary sources according to scholarly consensus. Biblical figures that are identified in artifacts of questionable authenticity, for example the Jehoash Inscription and the bullae of Baruch ben Neriah, or who are mentioned in ancient but non-contemporary documents, such as David and Balaam, are excluded from this list.

Matthew Bible

The Matthew Bible, also known as Matthew's Version, was first published in 1537 by John Rogers, under the pseudonym "Thomas Matthew". It combined the New Testament of William Tyndale, and as much of the Old Testament as he had been able to translate before being captured and put to death. Myles Coverdale's translations chiefly from German and Latin sources completed the Old Testament and Biblical apocrypha, except for the Prayer of Manasses which was Rogers'. It is thus a vital link in the main sequence of English Bible translations.

Mistero Buffo

Mistero buffo ("Comical Mystery Play") is Dario Fo's solo pièce célèbre, performed across Europe, Canada and Latin America from 1969 to 1999. It is recognised as one of the most controversial and popular spectacles in postwar European theatre and its broadcast in Italy prompted the Vatican to denounce it as "the most blasphemous show in the history of television".Mistero buffo is a series of brief monologues with Biblical themes, drawn from the Biblical apocrypha and popular tales of the life of Christ. The performance texts are in a mixture of Italian, dialect and grammelot – a constructed or rather extemporised language that draws on, and mixes up, regional languages.

Fo's work originates in the surviving texts and descriptions of the giullari, itinerant players of medieval times, who would travel to towns and villages, bringing the latest news. The title of the piece is borrowed from Mystery-Bouffe by Vladimir Mayakovsky. An authorised English translation has been carried out by Ed Emery.

Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible

The non-canonical books referenced in the Bible includes pseudepigrapha, writings from Hellenistic and other non-Biblical cultures, and lost works of known or unknown status. By the "Bible" is meant those books recognised by most Christians and Jews as being part of Old Testament (or Tanakh) as well as those recognised by Christians alone as being part of the Biblical apocrypha or of the Deuterocanon.

It may also include books of the Anagignoskomena (Deuterocanonical books § Eastern Orthodoxy) that are accepted only by Eastern Orthodox Christians. For the purposes of this article, "referenced" can mean direct quotations, paraphrases, or allusions, which in some cases are known only because they have been identified as such by ancient writers, or the citation of a work or author.

Pseudepigrapha

Pseudepigrapha (also anglicized as "pseudepigraph" or "pseudepigraphs") are falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past. Pseudepigraphy covers the false ascription of names of authors to works, even to authentic works that make no such claim within their text. Thus a widely accepted but incorrect attribution of authorship may make a completely authentic text pseudepigraphical. Assessing the actual writer of a text locates questions of pseudepigraphical attribution within the discipline of literary criticism.

In biblical studies, the term pseudepigrapha typically refers to an assorted collection of Jewish religious works thought to be written c. 300 BC to 300 AD. They are distinguished by Protestants from the Deuterocanonical books (Catholic and Orthodox) or Apocrypha (Protestant), the books that appear in extant copies of the Septuagint from the fourth century on, and the Vulgate but not in the Hebrew Bible or in Protestant Bibles. The Catholic Church distinguishes only between the deuterocanonical and all the other books, that are called biblical apocrypha, a name that is also used for the pseudepigrapha in the Catholic usage. In addition, two books considered canonical in the Orthodox Tewahedo churches, viz. Book of Enoch and Book of Jubilees, are categorized as pseudepigrapha from the point of view of Chalcedonian Christianity.

Serpents in the Bible

Serpents (Hebrew: נחש‎ nāḥāš) are referred to in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. The symbol of a serpent or snake played important roles in religious and cultural life of ancient Egypt, Canaan, Mesopotamia and Greece. The serpent was a symbol of evil power and chaos from the underworld as well as a symbol of fertility, life and healing. נחש Nāḥāš, Hebrew for "snake", is also associated with divination, including the verb form meaning "to practice divination or fortune-telling". In the Hebrew Bible, Nāḥāš occurs in the Torah to identify the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Throughout the Hebrew Bible, it is also used in conjunction with saraph to describe vicious serpents in the wilderness. The tannin, a dragon monster, also occurs throughout the Hebrew Bible. In the Book of Exodus, the staffs of Moses and Aaron are turned into serpents, a nāḥāš for Moses, a tannin for Aaron. In the New Testament, the Book of Revelation makes use of ancient serpent and the Dragon several times to identify Satan or the devil. (Rev 12:9; 20:2) The serpent is most often identified with the hubristic Satan, and sometimes with Lilith.

The story of the Garden of Eden and the fall of man represents a tradition among the Abrahamic peoples, with a presentation more or less symbolical of certain moral and religious truths.

Son of man

"Son of man", "son of Adam", or "like a man" are phrases used in the Hebrew Bible, various apocalyptic works of the intertestamental period, and in the Greek New Testament. In the indefinite form ("son of Adam", "son of man", "like a man") used in the Hebrew Bible it is a form of address, or it contrasts human beings against God and the angels, or contrasts foreign nations (like Persia and Babylon), which are often represented as animals in apocalyptic writings (bear, goat, or ram), with Israel which is represented as human (a "son of man"), or it signifies an eschatological human figure (the Jewish King Messiah).

In the indefinite form it is used in the Greek Old Testament, Biblical apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. The Greek New Testament uses the earlier indefinite form while introducing a novel definite form, "the son of man", signifying the divine Christian Messiah godhead.

Ten Lost Tribes

The ten lost tribes were the ten of the Twelve Tribes of Israel that were said to have been deported from the Kingdom of Israel after its conquest by the Neo-Assyrian Empire circa 722 BCE. These are the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh, and Ephraim. Claims of descent from the "lost" tribes have been proposed in relation to many groups, and some religions espouse a messianic view that the tribes will return.

In the 7th and 8th centuries CE, the return of the lost tribes was associated with the concept of the coming of the messiah.The Jewish historian Josephus (37–100 CE) wrote that "the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude and not to be estimated in numbers".Historian Tudor Parfitt has declared that "the Lost Tribes are indeed nothing but a myth", and he writes that "this myth is a vital feature of colonial discourse throughout the long period of European overseas empires, from the beginning of the fifteenth century, until the later half of the twentieth".

Tobias and the Angel (opera)

Tobias and the Angel, described by its composer as a "church opera", is a community opera in one act by Jonathan Dove, with a libretto by David Lan. It premiered on 7 July 1999 in London at Christ Church Highbury. The story is based on the Book of Tobit from the Biblical apocrypha.

Trinitarian Bible Society

The Trinitarian Bible Society was founded in 1831 "to promote the Glory of God and the salvation of men by circulating, both at home and abroad, in dependence on the Divine blessing, the Holy Scriptures, which are given by inspiration of God and are able to make men wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."The Trinitarian Bible Society members separated from the British and Foreign Bible Society, itself founded in 1804, due to two controversies:

The Apocrypha Controversy, over inclusion of the Biblical Apocrypha in some Bibles published in Europe.

Inclusion of an adherent of Unitarianism as an officer in the Society, and refusal of the Society to open every meeting with prayer.The arguments came into the open during the Annual Meeting in May 1831 of the Society. The membership voted six to one to retain the ecumenical status quo. On December 7, 1831, over two thousand people gathered in Exeter Hall in London to form the Trinitarian Bible Society, explicitly endorsing the Trinitarian position, and rejecting the apocryphal books.

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