HWGB4 - Glenpool Church of Christ

How We Got the Bible
Apocryphal Writings
General Outline
Introduction, Canon, & Inspiration
Oral Transmission & Early Forms
“Discovering” the Law (Josiah & Ezra)
Apocryphal Writings
Conclusions From Last Week
• Scribes are custodians of the Scriptures.
• Editors of the Scriptures acted according to
God’s will.
• Editors of the Scriptures did not have liberty
to alter the Scriptures upon human whim.
• Stories can be told in different ways to
emphasize different points. Alterations of a
story do not necessarily mean that either
way is “untrue.”
The Old Testament Canon
So why just these 39 books?
• Josephus: “It is true, our history hath been
written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but
hath not been esteemed of the like authority
with the former by our forefathers, because
there hath not been an exact succession of
prophets since that time;”
• What happened next?
After Persia
• After the Persian period, Alexander the Great
conquered Palestine (and much more).
• The Jews offered no military resistance, and the
Greeks allowed the Jews religious freedom.
• The increased use of the Greek language led to
the need for a translation of scripture into that
language. The Septuagint (LXX) was produced
about 250 BC.
• Antiochus III wrestled control of Palestine from
the Ptolemies in 198 BC.
Antiochus Epiphanies
• Thirty years later, his son Antiochus IV
Epiphanies was on the throne.
• Antiochus Epiphanies tried to conquer the
Ptolemies in Egypt but was forced out by
upstart Rome.
• He retreated through Palestine and vented his
anger upon the Jews. For two years, he
murdered, plundered, and enslaved.
• On December 16, 167 BC, Antiochus Epiphanies
even offered a pig on the altar of the temple.
The Maccabean Revolt
• Matthias, a Jewish priest, and his sons led a
revolt against the Antiochus in 166 BC.
• Matthias died the following year and leadership
passed to his son Judas, nicknamed Maccabeus
(“the hammer”).
• Judas Maccabeus took control of Jerusalem and
refurbished the temple.
• He rededicated the temple to the Lord on
December 14, 164 BC. Hanukkah (Feast of
Lights) is the annual celebration of this event.
The Rise of Rome
• During the Maccabean reign, three groups
came to prominence that would have great
influence on Palestine in Jesus' day.
• The Maccabees (priests) became the
Hasmonean Priests.
• The Hasidim became the Pharisees.
• The Hellenists became the Sadducees.
The Rise of Rome
• Under the Maccabees, Palestine made a treaty
with Rome (139 BC).
• Rome fully took control of Palestine under
Pompey (63 BC).
• Palestine was governed by Antipater, first of the
Herodian dynasty.
• After Antipater, Herod the Great reigned over
the Jews (37 BC - 4 AD).
• After Herod the Great’s death, Palestine was
divided to his three sons - Philip, Antipas, and
Apocryphal Books
• Books from this period were labeled by
Jerome (347-420 AD) as “Apocrypha” to
indicate that they were doubtful or spurious.
• apocrypha – hidden, secret
• Today, Catholics call these books
“deuterocanonical” to avoid the term.
• Not one of them is in the Hebrew language,
unlike other texts of the Old Testament.
Apocryphal Books
• These books were not accepted as canon by
the Jews at any time.
• These books were not quoted by Jesus, the
apostles, or other New Testament writers
(possible exception of an allusion to Sirach).
• These books were not officially accepted by
the Roman Catholic Church until the Council
of Trent on April 8, 1546.
What Do They Say
• I & II ESDRAS: History of Judah from Josiah
through Ezra. Concludes with prophetic 400
year rule of the Messiah.
• TOBIT: The blind Tobit, a captive in Nineveh,
sends his son Tobias to collect a debt in
Media. Tobias marries the seven times
widowed virgin and dispatches the demon
who had killed her husbands. He collects the
debt, returns, and the father's sight is
What Do They Say
JUDITH: Holophernes,
a general, acting for
besieged Bethulia.
Judith, a pious widow,
enters his camp, and
while he is drunk,
beheads him.
What Do They Say
• ADDITIONS TO ESTHER: Additional accounts
of Esther including dreams of Mordecai.
• THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON: Contrasts the
righteous and the ungodly. Heroes of
wisdom from Adam to Moses -- contrasted
with the wicked.
• ECCLESIASTICUS (Wisdom of Jesus the Son
of SIRACH): One of the best of the Old
Testament Apocrypha -- compares with
Proverbs and Ecclesiastics.
What Do They Say
• BARUCH, secretary to Jeremiah: Repentance of
Jews. Promise of return from Babylonian exile.
denunciation of the folly of idolatry.
Prayer of Azariah): Inserted into Daniel 3.
• SUSANNA: Susanna, wife of wealthy exile,
repulses advances of two Jewish elders. They
accuse her of adultery and she is condemned to
death. Daniel convicted the elders of false
What Do They Say
• BEL AND THE DRAGON: Daniel traps the
priests of Bel by ashes on temple floor -showing they ate the food, not Bel. Daniel
poisons the Dragon and is cast into the lion's
den. Habakkuk was flown from Judea by
angels to bring him his dinner.
psalm composed to go along with 2 Chr.
What Do They Say
• I & II MACCABEES: First and Second
Maccabees present reliable history. The
Maccabees won independence for the Jews
from 166-63 BC. The history tells the story of
Antiochus Epiphanes.
Odd Bits of Sirach
• Sirach 22:3 (NRSV) It is a disgrace to be the
father of an undisciplined son, and the birth of a
daughter is a loss.
• Sirach 11:14-19 (NRSV) … The Lord’s gift
remains with the devout, and his favour brings
lasting success. One becomes rich through
diliegence and self-denial, and the reward
allotted to him is this: when he says, “I have
found rest, and now I shall feast on my goods!”
he does not know how long it will be until he
leaves them to others and dies.
• Compare Luke 12:16-19
Concerning Judith
• The Catholic Church claims the Judith is both
inspired AND fictional.
New Jerome Biblical Commentary:
• “Judith is a dramatic fictional narrative …”
• “Because Judith is fiction replete with
historical and geographical inaccuracies, it is
difficult to date its composition.”
Apocryphal Books & Canon
First Maccabees makes it sound as though the
time of prophets had come and gone.
• 1 Maccabees 4:46 (NRSV) and stored the
stones in a convenient place on the temple
hill until a prophet should come to tell what
to do with them.
• 1 Maccabees 9:27 (NRSV) So there was great
distress in Israel, such as had not been since
the time that prophets ceased to appear
among them.
Apocryphal Books & Canon
Second Maccabees openly admits that at least
a part of the contents are an abridged version
of a five volume set of historical records.
• 2 Maccabees 2:23 (NRSV) all this, which has
been set forth by Jason of Cyrene in five
volumes, we shall attempt to condense into
a single book.
Also, read the prologue to Sirach and compare
it to the calls of the prophets.
Review & Conclusions
• The Apocryphal books date to the period
between the testaments.
• They were not accepted as Scripture by the
Jews or the Early Church.
• They were not formally added to any kind of
Bible until 1546 AD.
• If the Roman Catholic Church claims that
these books are canonical when in fact they
are not, then the Roman Catholic Church is

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