Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Should Christians Use The Apocrypha?

I have been asked this question before and I am sure many other pastors have as well. Should Christians use the Apocrypha? For those wondering what the Apocrypha, it is essentially non-canonical books that can be related to various Biblical texts. You will find in some versions of the Bible especially those used by Catholics.

The writings it contains are:

1 Esdras (Vulgate 3 Esdras)
2 Esdras (Vulgate 4 Esdras)
Judith ("Judeth" in Geneva)
Rest of Esther (Vulgate Esther 10:4 – 16:24)
Ecclesiasticus (also known as Sirach)
Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremy ("Jeremiah" in Geneva) (all part of Vulgate Baruch)
Song of the Three Children (Vulgate Daniel 3:24–90)
Story of Susanna (Vulgate Daniel 13)
The Idol Bel and the Dragon (Vulgate Daniel 14)
Prayer of Manasses (follows 2 Chronicles in Geneva)
1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees

While there are certain versions of the Bible that contain these writings, should Christians use them, or should Christians obey what is written? Chapter 1, paragraph 3 of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith states:

The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings.

The Apocrypha might be a good tool to use in church history, but far as being an authority to the believers, it should not be so. When Jesus was on the road to Emmaus, he taught the two disciples "beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). This books in the Apocrypha are not contained in the Old Testament when Jesus was on earth. All scripture is breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16), which does not include the Apocrypha.

No comments:

Post a Comment