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Cape Coral Church of Christ
   
Is the Apocrypha part of the Bible?

Why doesn't the church of Christ recognize the Apocrypha as part of the Bible?
 
The Apocrypha, a word meaning "hidden, obscure," is a collection of writings from the times between the writing of the Old and the New Testament. They were composed by Jews living in Alexandria, Egypt. Within this group are historical, poetical, and symbolic works that reflect the situation of Israel with its neighbors. Other writings claim to be additions to Psalms, Job, and Lamentations.
 
Guy N. Woods gives these reasons for not regarding the Apocrypha as books of the Bible. (1) Despite the fact that the Apocrypha was included in the Greek translation (the Septuagint) and though there are hundreds of quotations from the Old Testament in the New, no New Testament writer, nor the Lord himself, ever quoted from the Apocrypha. This is evidence that they did not regard it as having divine authority. (2) The Apocrypha is excluded from the list of books that the Jews regarded as inspired of God. A comparison of the books recognized as from God by the Jews of the first century and even until today, with our present thirty-nine books of the Old Testament will reveal that they are the same. (3) The integrity of the Apocrypha falls below the level of what is recognized as Scripture. There are statements which conflict with other Bible facts, situations which are impossible, and moral lapses which are inconsistent with righteousness. It was with good reason that the Jews, the apostles, and the Lord did not extend to the Apocrypha the status of inspired scripture.
S. T. E.



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