An interesting discovery...

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J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
BTW, so as not to be thought of as starting a KJV war, that the site I put up is run by Sam Gipp (a rabid KJV only advocate) is incidental to the point made.
 

presbyterian ninja

Puritan Board Freshman
Yeah, I picked up a reprint of the 1611 last year for cheap money and also made that discovery. Another thing I learned is that there are different versions of the apocrapha. The KJV includes 1 and 2 Esdras and The Prayer of Manasseh which are not included in the Roman Catholic canon.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
The Westminster standards seem to contemplate that those books might have some limited use so long as we recognize that they are not part of the canon of Scripture:

"The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the Canon of 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."
 

John Bunyan

Puritan Board Freshman
Yeah, I picked up a reprint of the 1611 last year for cheap money and also made that discovery. Another thing I learned is that there are different versions of the apocrapha. The KJV includes 1 and 2 Esdras and The Prayer of Manasseh which are not included in the Roman Catholic canon.
there are different way of organizing the apocrypha, but there are more, indeed. catholics have 7 other books, eastern christians 11 (or 14, or 19, I don't really remember) and oriental churches vary even more
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The translators' preface to the KJV should always be published with it, for further understanding:

Translators' Preface to 1611 KJV

but it is never published with it.
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
The Westminster standards seem to contemplate that those books might have some limited use so long as we recognize that they are not part of the canon of Scripture:

"The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the Canon of 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."

I agree the Confession does show that there is some use to reading the Apocrypha, but the language they use makes it seem unlikely that they would approve of them being included side by side other Inspired books. The fact that they were included in some cases is probably why the Confessions have the list of every book that makes up the Bible in WCF 1.2. I never really understood why they included the whole list, but if there were Apocryphal books in some of the published Bibles it would make senese.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
The translators' preface to the KJV should always be published with it, for further understanding:

Translators' Preface to 1611 KJV

but it is never published with it.

Thanks for the link. I have seen the dedication to King James in some Bibles before, but never the notes to the reader. Very informative.
 

Jackie Kaulitz

Puritan Board Freshman
I learned that the King James Version of the Scriptures initially contained the apocrypha. I did not know this. Didn't the first King James Bible contain the Apocrypha?

Granted, that in and of itself does not invalidate the King James as a whole, but it was interesting to see. The things you learn by reading...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that the bible that Jesus had, the Septuagint, also had the apocrypha (minus 2 Esdras). If Jesus read it, I'm all for reading it. I've read some of these books and they have some good and interesting stuff in them. Of course, they aren't considered at the level of the rest of the bible but still, I think they are worth reading if you have time. Sometimes they help clarify or shed greater understanding on what's in the Bible itself.

I like some of these:
Tobit 6.14: [Your wife] was set apart for you before the world was made.
Tobit 13: seems to speak of a future New Jerusalem and perhaps the Gentiles being saved
Tobit 14: Fortells the temple of God being burned to the ground (Babylon) but God will bring Israel back and they will rebuild it (Ezra/Nehemiah)

They have a lot of history from the same time as 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles (during the time of all the OT prophets) with Assyria and Babylon.

Also, I found the Maccabees books very interesting because the rest of the Bible is pretty blank about this period after Malachai and before Jesus in the NT.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
I learned that the King James Version of the Scriptures initially contained the apocrypha. I did not know this. Didn't the first King James Bible contain the Apocrypha?

Granted, that in and of itself does not invalidate the King James as a whole, but it was interesting to see. The things you learn by reading...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that the bible that Jesus had, the Septuagint, also had the apocrypha (minus 2 Esdras). If Jesus read it, I'm all for reading it. I've read some of these books and they have some good and interesting stuff in them. Of course, they aren't considered at the level of the rest of the bible but still, I think they are worth reading if you have time. Sometimes they help clarify or shed greater understanding on what's in the Bible itself.

I like some of these:
Tobit 6.14: [Your wife] was set apart for you before the world was made.
Tobit 13: seems to speak of a future New Jerusalem and perhaps the Gentiles being saved
Tobit 14: Fortells the temple of God being burned to the ground (Babylon) but God will bring Israel back and they will rebuild it (Ezra/Nehemiah)

They have a lot of history from the same time as 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles (during the time of all the OT prophets) with Assyria and Babylon.

Also, I found the Maccabees books very interesting because the rest of the Bible is pretty blank about this period after Malachai and before Jesus in the NT.

Jackie, read the first three links I give in this post.

Christ never quoted the Apocrypha. Therefore, it would be safe to assume He didn't think of them as authoritative.
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
The general consensus on the Apocryphal books goes as follows:
-Catholics (in general) accept them as canon
-Lutherans and Anglicans accept them as historically important and good for moral teachings, but reject them for doctrinal teaching or canon.
-Evangelicals generally reject them altogether
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
An article on the use of the apocrypha by the Belgian Reformer Guy de Bres is slated for publication in the Fall issue of Westminster Theological Journal. To give you a taste, you might be interested to know that the first editions of the Belgic Confession had two proof-texts from the apocrypha. All editions today still contain a quote from the apocrypha.
 

Jackie Kaulitz

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Andrew, with your same spirit of making sure no one is lead astray, I attempted to be clear when I wrote "they aren't considered at the level of the rest of the Bible" so that others would know these are not considered "Authorative scripture". Thanks for clarifying in case it wasn't clear.

I agree, Christ never did quote from them but I think it would be safe to assume that he did read them and that it is not harmful to read them (one might even argue beneficial). One might read them as "history books" similar to how one might read "Josephus". They are not authorative but they are educational and help fill in some of the gaps and give us a greater understanding on the scriptures, culture and history. But yes, I agree that one should be careful when accepting other writings as truth. :)



I learned that the King James Version of the Scriptures initially contained the apocrypha. I did not know this. Didn't the first King James Bible contain the Apocrypha?

Granted, that in and of itself does not invalidate the King James as a whole, but it was interesting to see. The things you learn by reading...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that the bible that Jesus had, the Septuagint, also had the apocrypha (minus 2 Esdras). If Jesus read it, I'm all for reading it. I've read some of these books and they have some good and interesting stuff in them. Of course, they aren't considered at the level of the rest of the bible but still, I think they are worth reading if you have time. Sometimes they help clarify or shed greater understanding on what's in the Bible itself.

I like some of these:
Tobit 6.14: [Your wife] was set apart for you before the world was made.
Tobit 13: seems to speak of a future New Jerusalem and perhaps the Gentiles being saved
Tobit 14: Fortells the temple of God being burned to the ground (Babylon) but God will bring Israel back and they will rebuild it (Ezra/Nehemiah)

They have a lot of history from the same time as 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles (during the time of all the OT prophets) with Assyria and Babylon.

Also, I found the Maccabees books very interesting because the rest of the Bible is pretty blank about this period after Malachai and before Jesus in the NT.

Jackie, read the first three links I give in this post.

Christ never quoted the Apocrypha. Therefore, it would be safe to assume He didn't think of them as authoritative.
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
An article on the use of the apocrypha by the Belgian Reformer Guy de Bres is slated for publication in the Fall issue of Westminster Theological Journal. To give you a taste, you might be interested to know that the first editions of the Belgic Confession had two proof-texts from the apocrypha. All editions today still contain a quote from the apocrypha.

Now that IS interesting!
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
One might read them as "history books" similar to how one might read "Josephus".

Besides the Maccabees, could you tell me what books have actually historical fact in them? Josephus wrote actual historical facts.



They are not authorative but they are educational and help fill in some of the gaps and give us a greater understanding on the scriptures, culture and history. But yes, I agree that one should be careful when accepting other writings as truth. :)

I didn't bold culture because there is truth to that. The history portion still needs to be answered from the first quote. Understanding the scriptures? How so? Are you implying to enact what we call the "analogy of faith" using the apocrypha? I hope you don't see what I'm doing here as starting a fight, but rather that I'm just trying to understand your point. I find the Apocrypha of little value (other then just basic literary value... I suppose).
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I learned that the King James Version of the Scriptures initially contained the apocrypha. I did not know this. Didn't the first King James Bible contain the Apocrypha?

Granted, that in and of itself does not invalidate the King James as a whole, but it was interesting to see. The things you learn by reading...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that the bible that Jesus had, the Septuagint, also had the apocrypha (minus 2 Esdras). If Jesus read it, I'm all for reading it. I've read some of these books and they have some good and interesting stuff in them. Of course, they aren't considered at the level of the rest of the bible but still, I think they are worth reading if you have time. Sometimes they help clarify or shed greater understanding on what's in the Bible itself.

I like some of these:
Tobit 6.14: [Your wife] was set apart for you before the world was made.
Tobit 13: seems to speak of a future New Jerusalem and perhaps the Gentiles being saved
Tobit 14: Fortells the temple of God being burned to the ground (Babylon) but God will bring Israel back and they will rebuild it (Ezra/Nehemiah)

They have a lot of history from the same time as 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles (during the time of all the OT prophets) with Assyria and Babylon.

Also, I found the Maccabees books very interesting because the rest of the Bible is pretty blank about this period after Malachai and before Jesus in the NT.

Jackie, the Hebrew OT never included the apocryphal books, and that is the only edition of the Scriptures we can be sure that Jesus himself knew. And the question about the state of the LXX text in the first century is a little involved. So we can't say definitively what Jesus would have read.
I would consider that the apocrypha have value as a witness to inter-testamental theology, and of course they have a literary and historical interest as well. The theology is not all bad: the prayer of Manasseh, the prayer of the three Hebrew children, numerous remarks in Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus certainly have value. Of course they have no more authority than the writings of Josephus or Philo: like those writings, the apocrypha contain a mixture of accurate fact and surprising insight with inaccuracies and absurdities: the insight is often building off of something taught in the OT, but it can be illuminating and encouraging to see what was apprehended on the basis of the OT revelation. As for the other side, there are places in Romans where it sounds like Paul is rejecting some of the ideas found in Wisdom, and of course Tobit has some rather foolish and superstitious stuff in it. I've suspected for some time that they would be more widely known if no one had ever claimed that they were inspired: it's not a claim they make for themselves, and they certainly don't meet the tests of inspiration. I suspect it would be easier to see them for what they are if such ridiculously exaggerated claims had not been made for them.
 

Jackie Kaulitz

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear Andrew, I appreciate your openness and seeking to understand. It has been a number of years since I have read the apocrypha/deuterocanonical books but I will try to give examples:

Judith also has a ton of historical facts. And 1 Esdras is another great example of a historical book. Examples of historical facts in 1 Esdras:
About king Josiah (~640BC) returning the people to worshipping God, the re-instituting the passover in his 18th year - which hadn't been done since the days of the prophet Samuel.
He had the ark of the covenant and put it in Solomon's temple.
Pharaoh of Egypt made war with Josiah
Josiah did not heed the words of the prophet Jeremiah and went to battle. He was killed.
Jeremiah lamented for Josiah.
This book parallels many of the kings in 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles and in all the prophets in the Bible.
It covers the time of the Babylonian exile with Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus' reign in Persia.
King Darius of Persia is mentioned.
Prophets Haggai and Zechariah

If we were to study Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, etc, we must ask, which parts of the prophets are fulfilled or not fulfilled? If we can lay out a timeline using all the historical books in the Bible (and the apocrypha as needed), then we can demonstrate that many of the prophecies that people today consider future events, were actually fulfilled back in those days. Holding to a Preterist end times view, some of the facts in these books may fill in some facts that were left out of the Bible. But we can see that Haggai, Zechariah, Jeremiah all were mentioned in 1 Esdras, so perhaps some of their prophecies were fulfilled and 1 Esdras can shed some light on these historical events.

Many enjoy the Proverbs in the Bible. So why not the Wisdom of Solomon book in the apocrypha? Wisdom 1:5 "For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit, and will leave foolish thoughts behind..." Wisdom 2:24 "Through the devil's envy death entered the world." Wisdom 3:9 "God watches over his elect."

Sirach 48 speaks about Elijah and Elisha. These are very interesting.

I hope that you will give it a read and see for yourself. Remember, everything that "looks unbelievable" is not to be thrown out immediately. Example: In the Bible Elisha's dead bones are said to have touched another man's dead bones and the man came back to life. Should we disbelieve this because it sounds like "magic" or "unbelievable?" I encourage you to go into it with an open mind because I find these books very edifying.



One might read them as "history books" similar to how one might read "Josephus".

Besides the Maccabees, could you tell me what books have actually historical fact in them? Josephus wrote actual historical facts.



They are not authorative but they are educational and help fill in some of the gaps and give us a greater understanding on the scriptures, culture and history. But yes, I agree that one should be careful when accepting other writings as truth. :)

I didn't bold culture because there is truth to that. The history portion still needs to be answered from the first quote. Understanding the scriptures? How so? Are you implying to enact what we call the "analogy of faith" using the apocrypha? I hope you don't see what I'm doing here as starting a fight, but rather that I'm just trying to understand your point. I find the Apocrypha of little value (other then just basic literary value... I suppose).
 

Jackie Kaulitz

Puritan Board Freshman
Reuben, from all the "how the Bible was built" books I read, I gathered that it has been proven that Jesus and the Apostles used a Greek translation text (rather than/more than Hebrew) and from what I read, the Septuagint was the only Greek text around at the time. And it included the Apocrypha. I have read this many times over, so if I am wrong, please show me which Greek Bible did Jesus use? I read that the quotation from Isaiah that speaks of the virgin who will give birth is a Greek translation from the Septuagint and does not come from the original Hebrew.

Wiki: Septuagint: "Furthermore, the New Testament writers, when citing the Jewish scriptures or when quoting Jesus doing so, freely used the Greek translation, implying that Jesus, his Apostles and their followers considered it reliable".

My point in the discussion is that the apocrypha, while removed from our current day Bibles, is still valuable and relevant and many would benefit from reading it. I agree with you that the authority issue has given it a bad rap.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hi Jackie, welcome to PB!

I'll post links to a couple of in-depth discussions here at PB to give you an idea of how involved the LXX issue really is. One thing, in one of the Maccabees books I got an idea of how much the faithful Jews suffered during the reign of terror initiated by Antiochus Epiphanies (I think the account was credible). But you will see in the threads below the various issues.

http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/lxx-discussion-54112/

http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/do-nt-authors-quote-lxx-55489/
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Reuben, from all the "how the Bible was built" books I read, I gathered that it has been proven that Jesus and the Apostles used a Greek translation text (rather than/more than Hebrew) and from what I read, the Septuagint was the only Greek text around at the time. And it included the Apocrypha. I have read this many times over, so if I am wrong, please show me which Greek Bible did Jesus use? I read that the quotation from Isaiah that speaks of the virgin who will give birth is a Greek translation from the Septuagint and does not come from the original Hebrew.

Wiki: Septuagint: "Furthermore, the New Testament writers, when citing the Jewish scriptures or when quoting Jesus doing so, freely used the Greek translation, implying that Jesus, his Apostles and their followers considered it reliable".

My point in the discussion is that the apocrypha, while removed from our current day Bibles, is still valuable and relevant and many would benefit from reading it. I agree with you that the authority issue has given it a bad rap.

Jackie, those assertions are often made; but what is the witness of the text itself? Jesus read from the scrolls contained in the synagogue: those scrolls were in Hebrew. Alfred Edersheim's works give much valuable information in this regard, and not least for the fact that aside from an encyclopedic knowledge of the extant literature of his time, Edersheim is also a believer. Many of the books written, depending upon a presupposition of unbelief, start from a standpoint of assuming the impossibility or implausibility of the Bible's own witness, and the conclusions are driven by those presuppositions (see for an example of this, James Denney arguing that Romans 9:5 does not attribute deity to Christ, because it is impossible that it should do so, not because the text itself does not favor that reading). That doesn't prove that Jesus was unfamiliar with a Greek translation, certainly, but the Gospels themselves don't tell us that he was.
On the issue of the Septuagint, consider Paul's quotations from the OT in Romans 3:10-18. Each phrase can be traced out to different parts of the Hebrew OT; or the whole could come from the LXX text of Psalm 14:3. But here's where a wrinkle can be introduced. Apparently it was mostly Christians who copied the LXX text; did they amplify Psalm 14:3 to match a catena of quotations with which they were familiar because it had already appeared in Romans? This thread discusses the matter a little bit.
As for the proper rendition of Isaiah 7:14, though many people have asserted that 'alma means "young woman" rather than "virgin", that is by no means well established. For a more detailed treatment you can consult Michael Barrett's Beginning at Moses or J. Alec Motyer's The Prophecy of Isaiah. The judgment of Dr. Motyer is this: "Thus, wherever the context allows a judgment, 'alma is not a general term meaning 'young woman' but a specific one meaning 'virgin'." The rendition of Matthew and the LXX lend weight to that contention, because that is how those involved in the translation also understood it.
Discernment is very necessary in reading the Apocrypha: it is no less necessary in reading the scholarly treatments about the world and history of the Bible.
 

presbyterian ninja

Puritan Board Freshman
I just read an article by Barry Setterfield about the Alexandrian Septuagint, and it confused me...a lot. He was saying that some LXX variants actually correspond to some Dead Sea scroll fragments from before Christ. He was trying to make the case that the New Testament authors were quoting the Old Testament faithfully and the Masoretes were expunging or modifying Christocentric passages of the Old Testament. I'm incredibly ignorant on these issues, so I'm going to just shut my mouth, throw out the link, and see if anyone wants to interact with it.

Alexandrian LXX
 

JennyG

Puritan Board Graduate
The translators' preface to the KJV should always be published with it, for further understanding:

but it is never published with it.

yes, it is - all that is in my Bible, which is the very mainstream Cambridge Concord edition.
 

JennyG

Puritan Board Graduate
It makes a difference whereabouts the apocryphal books are printed. It's one thing to have them included in a clump between the two Testaments, but quite another to scatter them inextricably among the canonical books, as RC Bibles do, so that it's difficult for the unwary to separate them. If you ask a Catholic how many books there are in the Bible, if he even has any idea at all, he thinks 66 is the wrong answer.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
The translators' preface to the KJV should always be published with it, for further understanding:

Translators' Preface to 1611 KJV

but it is never published with it.

Well, almost never. Some of the Trinitarian Bible Society editions such as the Windsor have it. They publish it separately as well. But usually one is doing good to get the "Epistle Dedicatory."
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I recently acquired the 4 vol Self-Interpreting Bible, originally published by John Brown of Haddington in the 18th Century and later revised by several additional editors over the course of many decades. I got the 1916 edition and was quite surprised to find the Apocrypha included following the Prophets. (Brown's Metrical Psalms are also included.) However, there are no notes accompanying the Apocryphal books as opposed to the many notes in the OT and NT.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
For what it's worth - My Cambridge Clarion KJV also has notes from the Translators.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Ben (presbyterian ninja),

These are some of the bizarre assertions in the article: “The new Greek translation was done by Akiba's pupil Aquila and was completed in 128 AD. We know that this was a Greek version of what is now called the Masoretic text. This means that the Masoretic text must have been Akiba's rabbinic version of the Hebrew Old Testament . . .

“Rabbi Akiba and others at the Council of Jamnia denied that Jesus of Nazareth was the long-awaited Messiah. The Christians, however, had been using the Scriptures [in Greek translation form –SMR] to prove that Jesus was the Savior, the Messiah. Thus, it was either the Council of Jamnia itself or a group related to or supported by them who literally re-wrote the ancient Scriptures . . . They quietly changed a number of the prophecies used by the Christians so they would not appear to be fulfilled by Jesus, or at least not match what was being quoted in the Christian writings . . .

“In other words, the Masoretic text that is in common use today originated at the Council of Jamnia around 100 AD, and Aquila's Greek translation from Akiba's Masoretic was finalized about 128 AD.

“By 100 A.D., when Akiba and the Council of Jamnia were altering the Old Testament Scriptures, the New Testament Gospels and letters had already been written. However we know from the letters written back and forth by the early church fathers that the quotes being used by them and referred to by them were from the ancient Septuagint and not from the Masoretic. It would take over 200 more years for the Masoretic text to be accepted by the church, as a result of a request Constantine made.”

First off, you should realize that the spin this article weaves has its main thrust from the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, as – regarding the former – it is an attack on the Protestant / Reformation Scriptures of the OT very important to the RC’s position on Tradition (church authority) and Scripture, and – regarding the latter – their view that the Septuagint is far superior to the Hebrew OT. Both of these organizations support the Council of Jamnia hypothesis for these reasons. You may see an opposing take on the "Jamnia hypothesis" here: The Old Testament Canon: The council of Jamnia, 90 AD.

Some better info on the Masoretic Text from Dr. Thomas Holland’s book, Crowned With Glory: The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version: the Proto-Masoretic Text (an online version of this chapter here). [By the way, I highly recommend Dr. Holland’s book in hard copy (it has footnotes and appendices not in the online version) for an understanding of the textual issues.]

The Greek translation of the OT by Aquila was made to replace the Greek OT translation used by Greek-speaking Christians, as the Christians used it well to prove that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ. From what I understand, Aquila altered some of the translation (and – I do not doubt – the meaning of the original Hebrew) to make the Messianic prophecies not applicable to Jesus, although there is so little of his Greek OT extant – a few scraps – that we cannot know for sure what it said. The Masoretic, notwithstanding Mr. Setterfield’s allegations to the contrary, was the same as the traditional text of the Jews (as you may see from the link above to the Proto-Masoretic article by Holland), and of Jesus, and of the traditional Masoretic text of today. And it was and is eminently suitable for showing that Jesus is the Messiah.

Second, this supposed “Alexandrian LXX” is not an actual MS or edition of the LXX, but another hypothetical construct – seeing as we do not have any such proto-LXX, i.e., we do not know what the Greek translation of the OT looked like in the times before and during the 1st advent of the Lord Jesus. What we have are the much later editions mostly contained in Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. There is much significant info on these things in these two threads:

http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/lxx-discussion-54112/

http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/do-nt-authors-quote-lxx-55489/

Third, it’s smart to be very careful what stuff we allow into our minds, because whatever we do – whether it be poison or balm – we will live with the effects of it. The only antidote to poison (in the realm of ideas or doctrine) is truth, and sometimes that is not always easy to come by – to sort out from the other stuff. I read poisonous writings because I’m knowledgeable enough to deal with most of it (I ask the Lord for help and safety), or I go to ready resources where it’s available. But sometimes, when I do not have a ready “antidote”, it can be very painful to my mind till I get one. And I do it for the brethren’s sake – for the church – for one of the strong and steady attacks of the devil against us pertains to the Scripture, which – by the Holy Spirit – is our sole vital connection to our God and His revelation.

I hope this answers your confusion. If not, feel free to ask more.
 
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