Rome versus the Bible Series - #1

The Apocrypha, and Why It's Not Scripture


THE rule of faith and practice, belief and doctrine, for the body of true Christians is, and has always been, the Holy Bible. God inspired various of His servants, through the ages, to pen the very words which God desired to reveal to man. In fact, God's Word justifies the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, claiming for itself and only itself the means by which to fully and effectually provide guidance to mankind:

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (II Timothy 3:16-17)

Notice that Paul here wrote that the scripture is PERFECT, that it THROUGHLY furnishes to us the ability to do ALL good works. The profitability of the scripture is that it gives to us everything needed to know how to be saved, to teach rightly, and to live and serve in the Christian life. Nowhere does the Bible ever indicate that the traditions of men, apart from the scriptures, are needed or approved of for teaching authoritative doctrine to God's people. Rather, the Bible emphasises over and over the need to look to the scriptures themselves for this guidance:

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." (Romans 15:4)

"Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way."(Psalm 119:128)

The traditions of men, upon which Roman Catholicism relies so heavily, are pointedly rejected by the scriptures as having any authority or efficacy above the scriptures:

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your forefathers..." (I Peter 1:18)

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

"I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts." (Psalm 119:99-100)

And the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ attest to the impotence of human tradition which is not based upon the Word of God:

"...Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites; as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men...." (Mark 7:6-8)

In fact, there are only three places in the New Testament where tradition is considered as something to be followed: I Corinthians 11:2, II Thessalonians 3:6, and in II Thessalonians 2:15, below:

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."

From these three passages, it is apparent that the traditions being taught were none other than those found in the Word of God, either the preaching of the Old Testament Scripture, or from the New Testament scripture which was then being revealed through Paul and other apostles. This we know because there was none other sort of teaching EVER attributed to the apostles and other biblical teachers by the Word of God itself. In the sermons of the Lord Jesus Christ, Peter, Paul, and Stephen, we never see that taught which was not fully reliant upon the principles and written word of the Old Testament scriptures. Thus, there is no warrant, either scriptural or logical, to suppose that the traditions which Paul approved of and himself taught to the Thessalonians and Corinthians were based upon anything other than the scriptures themselves.

Further, the only sort of tradition approved of in the Old Testament scriptures is the tradition of teaching and applying the Word of God and passing it down the generational lines, as shown by one example below:

"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates." (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

Thus, we see that the necessity is for us to rely upon the holy scriptures alone for doctrine, faith, and practice in the Christian faith. Because of this, it then becomes important for Christians to distinguish what ARE the Holy Scriptures, and it is herein that much confusion still arises because of the falsehood propagated by apostate Christianity and by Roman Catholicism. The primary area of confusion lies in the acceptance by many groups of the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha as accepted by Roman Catholicism (sometimes erroneous referred to as the deuterocanon, meaning "second canon", by Catholics) consists of 12 books and portions of books which were produced during the intertestamental period in Palestine and in Egypt. These works are: The Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (sometimes called Sirach), Tobit, Judith, I and II Maccabees, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, the additions to Esther, the History of Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, and the Song of the Three Children. Baruch and the Letter (or Epistle) of Jeremiah are additions to the prophetic book of Jeremiah, and the last three (Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, and the Three Children) are additions to the prophetic book of Daniel.

These books are not, for a multitude of reasons which will be explored below, part of the Word of God. Instead, they are uninspired additions which were added by Roman Catholicism so as to bolster support for certain practices for which Catholicism was coming under fire for during the early part of the Reformation. The Roman Catholic religion (and others) therefore errs by its consideration of these books as canon, on par with the Old Testament. God's Word strongly warns against tampering with the inspired revelation of God:

"Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." (Proverbs 30:6)

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18)

The existence of these books, in and of itself, is not necessarily wrong. Though they are uninspired, they do contain much truth derived from the true Word of God, just as might a commentary or a devotional book. The apocryphal books may make for good reading, provided that they (like everything else) are examined and judged in the light of the true scriptures. But they do not belong in the canon of the scriptures, and it is clear from the testimony of history that the Jews never considered them scripture, and neither did the true church of God.

However, Rome has invested a good deal of theological capital in maintaining that these books are inspired scripture. Claiming them as such allows Rome to bolster its profession to be the "mother of the Bible", because it "fixed the canon". Further, there are several major pillars of Roman Catholic dogma which rest upon an apocryphal foundation, and which would be completely baseless if the apocryphal books were rendered unusable from a doctrinal standpoint. Thus, the purpose for this essay is to examine the claims which Roman Catholicism makes for the Apocrypha, and to see whether they stand up to the test of the facts. This official position of the Roman Catholic religion is stated succinctly in the Catechism, whereby the extended canon is explicitly stated as having been discerned as God's Word by the Apostolic tradition of the Church,

"It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books. This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.

The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi..."1

Throughout the course of this article, I will endeavour to answer several of the common arguments advanced by Roman Catholic apologists who defend the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the Bible. Among these claims are:

The coverage of these points does not constitute the full extent of this work, but they are rather "jumping off points" into more extensive discussion on various topics of concern to the question of the canonicity of the Apocrypha. Let us now proceed to the matter.

Was the Apocrypha Ever Considered To Be Part of the Jewish Scripture?

One of the major pillars of support for the Apocrypha upon which the Catholic religion rests is the claim that, because these books were found in the Septuagint, that this means that these books were considered part of the Jewish canon, and thus should be accepted by the Christian churches as Scripture.

The first question which ought to be asked and answered is, "Why should Christians look to the Jews for answers concerning the extent of the Old Testament canon?" The reason is found in the testimony of the inspired writing of Paul in Romans,

"What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there in circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." (Romans 3:1-2)

By the testimony of God's Word we see that the Jews had been given the responsibility and privilege of protecting, transmitting, and propagating the Scriptures, the inspired writings given as revelation by God to man. Hence, it is to the Jews, and to the general consensus which they had developed before the time of Christ, which we should first look.

It must be first and foremost noted that the apocryphal books were not included in the Hebrew canon, and never appeared in the Hebrew Bibles. Through a rather drawn out process, the extent of the Hebrew canon had stabilised during the intertestamental period. During this period of time, the general three-fold division of the Scriptures had solidified, and the 39 books of the Old Testament were reckoned among these three divisions:

It was by this division that the Hebrew Old Testaments were bound in the scrolls. The apocryphal books did not appear among these scriptures in any of the three divisions. The reason for this is simple: The Jews did not consider the apocryphal works to be inspired scripture, and the testimony of Jewish authorities on this matter confirms that the Jews considered the prophetic, inspiring spirit to have departed from Israel during the time of Artaxerxes, king of Persia (468-425 BC).

Josephus, speaking in a manner which indicates that his opinion was the general and prevailing one among his countrymen, said thus,

"For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life. 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..." 2

Here, we see Josephus relating several important pieces of information. First, we see that a closed canon was the prevailing view of Jews at and before his time, for he speaks of the books written after the time of Artaxerxes as being less esteemed by the Jewish forefathers. Thus, it was not just Jews in his day (in the latter part of the 1st century AD) reacting to some supposed Christian use of the Apocrypha (which didn't come until later, actually, and was far less prevalent than some would have us to believe) who rejected the apocryphal books. This body of literature was also rejected as canon and held in lower esteem by Jews in the intertestamental period long before the Christian era.

Second, we see that Josephus confirms the departure of the prophetic spirit from Israel after the time of Artaxerxes (thus, the canon ended with Nehemiah, Ezra, Malachi, and the Chronicles, all of which were written during the period of Artaxerxes Longimanus' reign, circa 450-425 BC). Third, we also see that Josephus particularly ascribes divine status to the books written before or during Artaxerxes' reign, which was pointedly denied to those written after.

Josephus states that there were twenty-two books, two less than that found in the traditional Hebrew Old Testament. This difference can be ascribed to his joining of Jeremiah with Lamentations and Ruth with Judges. This correlates with the twenty-two book Old Testament canon held to by most early Christian writers who mention the subject, as will be seen below.

Josephus was not the only Jewish writer to lend evidence to the idea that the Jewish canon was closed during the intertestamental period. The Jewish philosopher Philo Judaeus, of Alexandria (20 BC - 40 AD), was a prolific writer. In his writings, he repeatedly quotes from and uses all 39 of the canonical Old Testament books, pointedly ascribes divine inspiration to many of them, and clearly recognises the same three-fold division of the canon which was indicated both by Josephus and by the early church. Never once does he quote from or allude to an apocryphal work. Hence, he provides both negative and positive evidence regarding the rejection of the Apocrypha from the Jewish canon. He recognises positively what is regarded as canonical, both by his direct statement regarding some books, and his infered view as seen by his view of the three-fold canon. He also negatively recognises what is not canonical, by his disuse of a rather large body of Jewish literature which was readily available to him (his being in Alexandria, where most of these books has first been written and circulated) and could have been used if he had been inclined to do so. Though this is an argument from silence (not always the best kind to make, mind you), it would seem to be a pretty good one in this case, as the type of literature which the apocryphal books represent (historic, pietistic, and wisdom literature) is very similar to that found in many of the canonical books. In fact, many of the same specific concepts are shared between the two sets of books. Thus, if these books were viewed as inspired, Philo could, and probably would, have made ready use of them to support the arguments he made on a great number of issues.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the record of Jewish Essene religious writings from the intertestamental period and shortly after, are likewise very scant in their testimony to the Apocrypha. Whereas the scrolls have been found to represent every book in the Old Testament except Esther, Nehemiah, and Obadiah, the evidence for the Apocrypha is very sparing. In fact, the only portions of the Apocrypha to have been found among the over 800 scrolls recovered are three scrolls, containing portions of Ecclesiasticus (Chapter 6 in Hebrew, scroll 2Q18)3, Tobit (in Aramaic, scroll 4Q196), and the Letter of Jeremiah (vv. 43-44 in Greek, 7Q2)4. Whereas anywhere from eight to ten commentaries on canonical Old Testament books have been found (the number varies due to controversy over whether a couple are actually "commentaries" in the accepted sense), there has not been found one bit of evidence to date for any sort of commentary or expository work regarding any apocryphal book.

Further, scholars suspect that the scrolls containing the fragments of apocryphal works may not have even been copied by the Qumran scribes themselves, but were rather brought in from outside at a later date 5. It cannot even be determined whether these books were present at Qumran before or after the time of Christ, so there is no positive reason to claim (as many Catholic apologists will suggest) that the presence of apocryphal books in the Qumran caves necessarily indicates that these books were viewed as canonical by the Essenes. These books may very well have been completely ignored by the early scribes, as would seem to fall in line with the testimony of Josephus concerning the lower esteem in which those books were held as compared to the canon. Further, the mere presence of these fragments of Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, and the Letter of Jeremiah do not conclusively indicate that the Essenes included these books in their canon, as the Dead Sea Scrolls as a body contain fragments of numerous other apocryphons and pseudographical works, such as the Book of Giants, the Book of Jubilees, I Enoch, the Book of Noah, etc. which have never been under serious consideration for inclusion in the Jewish canon.

Another bit of evidence presented by the Qumran scrolls is found in the Essene Manual of Discipline, which functioned as a sort of "rulebook" for the behaviour of entrants into the sect, and regulated their behaviour. The testimony of this Manual of Discipline is against the use of the Apocrypha as scripture. The Manual of Discipline, along with another Essene work known as the Zadokite fragments, repeatedly quote from Deuteronomy, Numbers, Isaiah, Proverbs, and Leviticus, using the literary formula, "It is written". The Zadokite fragments also use the phrase "God said" in reference to portions of scripture from Malachi, Amos, Zechariah, Hosea, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Isaiah, and Micah. While these works also quote from various apocryphal works (both those of interest to this discussion, and those outside the Catholic canon), these formulas which indicate the ascription of inspiration are NEVER used.

Moving on, we see that this ancient testimony to the Jewish canon was affirmed by Jewish religious leaders in the Christian era. In AD 90, the so-called "Council" of Jamnia was assembled in the coastal town of Jamnia. Roman Catholic and liberal Protestant historians make much of this council, basically casting it as some sort of formal Jewish religious council which was convened for the express purpose of determining the Jewish canon. Further then, many Catholic apologists take up this line of reasoning and state that the Jewish council of rabbis determined a smaller canon than had been used before this time, as a reaction to the Christians who were proving so successful at propagating their faith with the larger (i.e. Catholic) canon which included the Apocrypha. They will say that the Jewish rabbis arbitrarily decided to throw out the apocryphal books since they were being used to such great success by Christians in converting Jews and others to their religion. Of course, this argument falls short for several reasons.

If the Jews were going to get rid of books which Christians were using to great effect in proving the claims of Jesus as the Messiah, then they would also have had to have gotten rid of such books as Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah, and the Psalms, for we readily see the testimony of the early church from both the Bible and from the apostolic and post-apostolic patristic writers as to their heavy reliance on books such as these to prove the claims made about Christ. In fact, the testimony of the patristic writers, which will be investigated in much greater detail below, shows very little reliance upon the apocryphal works until at least two centuries AFTER Christ, and over a century after Jamnia. The sub-apostolic authors, who wrote at and shortly after the time of Jamnia, were almost completely silent regarding the Apocrypha, and the few places where they quote or allude to these books show no reliance upon them for actual teaching of doctrine or practice.

Further, we should note (as will be discussed below), the apocryphal books do not contain the mark of propheticity upon them (they contain errors, contradictions internally, and contradictions with canonical books). The one passage in an apocryphal book routinely relied upon by supporters of the Apocrypha as providing an "important" Messianic prophecy (Wisdom 2:12-20) actually contradicts doctrine concerning the Lord Jesus taught in the Gospels.

What in fact happened at Jamnia was far from a "council" in the sense in which the word was used in the early church. It was not a body which came together for the purpose of issuing authoritative findings on matter of faith, doctrine, or practice. Rather, it was a convention of many learned rabbis who had fled Jerusalem after the destruction of that city in 70 AD. The exact purpose of the gathering is to this day speculated upon. The actually agenda which the rabbis carried out was a series of discussions on several books in the Jewish canon which, for various reasons, were considered doubtful in their canonicity by some (but which had not been previously REJECTED as canonical). As best as can be understood from latter rabbinical literature (the only source we have for the goings-on at Jamnia), the discussion centred on the following books:

What is important to keep in mind about Jamnia is that it was NOT a council which was convened to determine the limits of the canon of the Jewish scriptures. The participants already understood what the limits of the scriptural canon were, and their discussions took place under the assumption that the books being discussed were in the canon, and that the canon as it traditionally had been was being affirmed and defended. This explains why there was no mention of the apocryphal books made at this council. Quite contrary to Roman Catholic claims, the Council of Jamnia did not "remove" the apocryphal books from the Jewish canon. Rather, the Council merely discussed a few "questionable" books already in the canon (and accepted as such by all, with varying degrees of surity). The Apocrypha was never (as we've seen above) in the canon, and hence it did not even enter into consideration at this time.

What the Council of Jamnia implicitly did was affirm something which Judaism had known since the days of the Maccabees, that the canon had closed during the time of Artaxerxes' reign, and only those books accepted up to that time were rightfully in the canon. In fact, Jamnia's effect on the Old Testament canon was roughly equivalent to that which the 3rd Council of Carthage in 397 AD had on the New Testament canon: Affirmed what those who had already been using the scriptures in question for hundreds of years already knew.

The Apocrypha Was Not Used as Inspired Scripture by the New Testament Writers

Despite the claims of many Roman Catholic apologists, the Apocrypha provided no direct influence upon the production of the New Testament, though it can be granted that there were indirect influences resulting from the cultural milieu in which both sets of literature were produced. As will be explored below, it is unlikely that the Greek New Testament in use in Palestine at the time of the Lord Jesus Christ's ministry was the same as the present Greek Septuagint. It is even less likely that the Apocrypha would have been included in this Greek Old Testament, and almost certainly not as Scripture.

First let us explore the use to which the New Testament puts the Greek Old Testament. It has been claimed by some that the New Testament always refers to the Septuagint when quoting the Old Testament. Yet, this statement is somewhat overblown. Though the Septuagint forms the majority of quotations, it certainly is not represented in the New Testament in all cases. According to Moorman 6, the breakdown of the agreement of New Testament quotations with the versions of the Old Testament is as follows:

Out of 263 direct quotations of the Old Testament in the New,

The remaining 38 quotations presumably represent passages where both versions were in substantial agreement. Note also that this data deals with independent quotations, not counting multiple quotations of the same verse across different books.

From this, we see that at many points, the Hebrew Masoretic quotations are preferred over those of the primitive Septuagint. At other points, this primitive document seems to be preferred instead of the Masoretic. The most likely reason is given thus:

"It is agreed that the Septuagint was far from perfect, and no claim can be advanced for the divine inspiration of the translators. However, if we observe the manner in which the Apostles refer to the Old Testament Scriptures, we see a striking indication of the inspiration under which they themselves wrote. When they refer to the Septuagint, they do so under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Divine Author of the original revelation. His authority is therefore higher than that of the translator.

"This higher authority is shown in three ways. Firstly, where the LXX translators were correct, the Apostles quote verbally and literally from the Septuagint, and thus reminded their readers of the Scriptures with which they were already familiar in that particular form. Secondly, where the LXX is incorrect, the Apostles amend it, and make their quotations according to the Hebrew, translating it anew into Greek, and improving upon the defective rendering. Thirdly, when it was the purpose of the Holy Spirit to point out more clearly in what sense the quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures were to be understood, the Apostles were guided to restate the revealed truth more fully or explicitly. By the hands of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit thus delivers again His own inspired message, in order to make more clear to later generations what had been formerly declared through the prophets in earlier ages. By giving again the old truth in new words, the Holy Ghost infallibly imparted teaching which lay hidden in the old, but which could only be fully understood by a later generation if given in a different form." 7

The fact that the passages which do exhibit the Septuagintic sense vary with respect to their verbal constructions (some very close, others with words changed but the meaning kept, etc.) would seem to argue as well for a more primitive Greek Old Testament which contained differences from the present Septuagint but which was yet fairly close to that document, as will be argued below.

We should understand that the appeal by the New Testament writers to Old Testament quotations from a Greek Old Testament version doesn't necessarily mean that the Masoretic Hebrew itself is less useful or corrupted. When the Apostles draw upon the Greek Old Testament as a source of their quotation, this doesn't imply that the Hebrew Masoretic was incorrect at that point. The Greek and the Masoretic may be both substantially the same in meaning, but differ in wording or construction due to the vagarities of translation between languages. It is indeed possible that, by the inestimable working and foreknowledge of God, that the translators of the various Greek texts provided particular translation which would later be used by the Spirit in the New Testament to more fully elucidate various passages in the Old Testament while retaining the explicit sense of the passage, as per the principle of "The Old Testament as the New Concealed, and the New Testament as the Old Revealed". This principle as used through the Apostles certainly seems to be the case in those passages where neither the Masoretic nor the Greek Old Testament are closely followed.

It seems certain that, even with the presence and probable familiarity with a Palestinian Greek Old Testament at this time, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles were still familiar with and used the Old Testament in Hebrew. The Lord makes statements in the Gospels which seem to explicitly show His day to day reliance upon the Old Testament in Hebrew, and that when He thought of them and referred to them, it was to the Hebrew. In one of His most incisive statements concerning Biblical preservation, the Lord said,

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Matthew 5:17-18)

In this statement, the Lord explicitly refers to the Hebrew scriptures. The jot is the smallest of the Hebrew letters, and a tittle is any of the small strokes which serve to differentiate between Hebrew letters which are orthographically the same. Both are unique to the Hebrew when taken in relation to the Greek, and His statement explicitly directs the reader, and at the time His listeners, to the Hebrew Old Testament, not the Greek. Further, when the Lord read the scriptures and expounded upon them in the synagogues (as, for example, in Luke 4:17-22), He must necessarily have done so from the Hebrew scrolls, as that language only has been used in the synagogical readings of the Scriptures, even up to the present. This view is supported by Bruce, who says,

"When Jesus was about to read the second lesson in the Nazareth was most probably a Hebrew scroll that he received." 8

Thus, as the Lord Jesus used the Hebrew scriptures, it necessarily follows that He was using the Hebrew canon of 22 books as well, without the Apocrypha. As the claim to the presence of the Apocrypha in an "Alexandrian" canon is already dubious, even more so would be such a claim for the Hebrew canon amongst the Jews of Palestine, who had never been separated from their spiritual heritage after the return from the Babylonian exile. That the Lord makes reference to the explicit Hebrew canon is shown at several points in the Gospels. For instance,

"That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." (Matthew 23:35)

In this passage, the Lord records a concise history of the persecution of righteous men of God for speaking the Word of Truth through the entirety of the Hebrew scriptures, with Abel being the first recorded (Genesis 4:8) to the last recorded, Zechariah the priest (II Chronicles 24:20-21). This apparent order follows the traditional ordering of the Hebrew books, starting with Genesis and ending with II Chronicles, whereas the Septuagintic order most commonly used ends with the book of Daniel, specifically with Bel and the Dragon. Further, the Lord commonly spoke of, and thus delineated, the Old Testament scriptures (the only ones present at the time of His earthly ministry) using the term "the Law and the Prophets", which encompassed both the Pentateuch and all the other Jewish canonical books (see Matthew 7:12, 11:13, 22:40, etc.) Likewise, on occasion He would fully delineate the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, making individual reference to the Pentateuch, the earlier prophets, and the other writings (thus, the Tanak, see Luke 24:27-44). And at other times, such as Matthew 5:18, He used "the Law" as a term to encompass all of God's Word. However, the apocryphal books were never classed within any of these three categories, and hence fall outside the sphere of the Lord's reference.

Certain apologists for the Roman Catholic religion counter by claiming that the New Testament contains many pointed quotations and other references to the Apocryphal books, arguing that this means that the Apocrypha was part of the Scriptures used by the Lord and His Apostles. However, this claim is not substantiated by facts. Many of these so-called quotations of the Apocrypha turn out simply to be quotations from canonical books, though the wording in the apocryphal book may be similar.

Many claims of New Testament reference to the Apocrypha rely upon even less foundation. For example,

Most all of the other claims for reference which are made are similarly along these lines. Now, it can be granted that certain passages in the New Testament do in fact make reference to events which are recorded in apocryphal books. For instance, Hebrews 11:35 and 11:38 speak on events which were recorded in the books of Maccabees. However, it doesn't logically follow that this gives canonicity to these two books. Rather, the author of Hebrews simply makes a reference to events which were probably quite well known among Jews, as part of their national heritage. The inclusion of these events in the Maccabees is (given the nature of these books) logical, but undeterminative. The Bible's merely making a reference to an event does not impute inspiration and canonicity to a document which also happens to record that event. If it did, then we would be compelled to consider as canonical certain documents from Roman historians which record the taxation of the Roman world by Augustus Caesar (Luke 2:1), or Assyrian cuneiform records which record the conquest of Israel by Sargon II (II Kings 17:6).

Similarity between themes found in the apocryphal books and the true canon are also not an argument for the canonicity of the Apocrypha. As a religious people who enjoyed special contact with and revelation from God, it is not surprising that a knowledge of the holy, however diluted it may have eventually become because of apostasy, would be passed down through the generations of Israel (see Psalm 78:4-6). Thus, one would expect to see similar themes, obtained and understood from the true canon, presented in later works of literature which were produced. And in fact, one does see this in the apocryphal works. The books of the Apocrypha do contain much truth, but it is truth which is derived from the true canon of the Old Testament, and is in an adulterated form. Much of the supposed reliance of the New Testament upon the apocryphal books stems from this. Many of the claims to apocryphal references in the New Testament are rather vague and ill-defined, and could rightly be viewed as belonging to this category of "general truths". These truths, based upon the Truth of God's Word, would naturally also appear in literature which was consciously patterned after the earlier canonical literature. However, this doesn't lend inspiration to these books themselves.

Further, we must understand that the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and the early Church did not exist in a vacuum. They were a part of the fabric of the social life and context of Palestinian Hebrew life in the early-to-mid 1st century. This social context included a literary history which contained the apocryphal books, and which was based upon the combined, shared experiences of the Jewish people. While these books were not recognised as canon, they still existed and were part of this combined socio-religious experience which the 1st century Jews had in their cultural repositories. So, no, it should not be particularly surprising to us if the New Testament relates a challenge to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ which was made by certain of His detractors, the Saduccees, and whose primary element was drawn from the apocryphal book of Tobit (this being the resurrection of the woman with seven successive husbands through Levirate marriages - Matthew 22:23-32). It should not be surprising to us if the author of Hebrews catalogues the faithful exploits of martyrs from the Maccabean era (Hebrews 11:25, and possibly v. 28). It should not be surprising to us if certain passages even seem to echo phraseology found in the Apocrypha, and which probably represented common theological understanding among the Jews at this time (such as the Johannine reference to the Lord Jesus as "King of Kings" in Revelation 17:14, which follows the title used in II Maccabees 13:4, but which yet again, finds its original basis in the use of "Lord of Kings" in Daniel 2:47). There is no conflict between these usages and the principle of divine, verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, nor do these usages necessarily imply inspiration on the part of any apocryphal books.

Furthermore, we must remember that many of the New Testament writers were well-educated men. Certainly Paul could be said to fit into this category. Likewise, Luke the physician and Matthew the customs official would qualify in this regard without objection. As such, these men would have been in a position to have been made familiar with these other literary works. Even the fishermen Peter, John, and James, while being "unlearned men" (in the cultural context, meaning that they hadn't studied in the rabbinical schools - the same way the term is applied to the Lord Himself, John 7:15), they were a part of the Jewish civilisation with this shared Jewish heritage, and surely were aware of the apocryphal books and what they said.

There is yet another point which strikes against the notion of canonicity or inspiration for the apocryphal books based solely upon references to them made in the New Testament. The highly-educated Paul, in inspired New Testament scripture, quoted three times from the works of Greek poets. He quotes from men who themselves were not only uninspired, but also pagans to boot. These quotations are:

Now, I am quite certain that no Roman Catholic apologist would suggest that these quotations by Paul render these particular Greek poems as inspired canon. Yet, this is the sort of argument which is explicitly made concerning the apocryphal books. Further, we see that in Jude, other apocryphal books (ones not held by the Roman Catholic religion to be canon) are quoted (Jude 9 refers to The Assumption of Moses, and Jude 14 quotes from The Book of Enoch). These quotations in the New Testament are just as valid as any which can be produced by Catholic apologists from the "accepted" apocryphal books, yet the Roman religion does not attribute canonicity to these two works. Interestingly, we should note that the three times Paul quotes from these Greek poets, he was addressing or writing to Greeks, and the two quotes from the Hebrew pseudographical books appear in an epistle which arguably was written with Jewish believers in mind. These pagan poets and uninspired pseudographia were quoted because, at the particular point of the quote, they contained truth which was not in contradiction to the Truth of God, and which was used by the writers under inspiration to make certain points to knowledgable and receptive audiences. Thus, we ought to recognise that simple quotation by the New Testament does not necessarily impute the status of inspired scripture to the works which are quoted.

We see this further in that not all of the Old Testament books are quoted in the New Testament. The books of Esther, Song of Solomon, Obadiah, and Ecclesiastes are not quoted in the New Testament, though the argument can certainly be made that each is alluded to somewhat loosely at various points. However, they are not quoted, while every other book is. The reason for this is probably as simple as that there was no specific application to be made from them at any point in the writing of the New Testament. This lack of quotation, though, does not render these books uninspired or uncanonical, any more than the quotation of Epeminides makes him an inspired writer of Scripture. This is because the Old Testament (as well as the New) derive their status of both inspiration and canonicity from God, from His opinion of them, not from man's opinion that they should be quoted in further revelation. The 39 books of the Hebrew canon are inspired and canonical because they themselves are revelation from God, not because they are quoted in the New Testament. Or, as Unger states:

"Because the writings of the prophets, as soon as they were issued, had tremendous authority as inspired Scripture, no formal declaration of their canonicity was needed to give them sanction. The divine author who inspired these writings, we may reasonably believe, acted providentially on behalf of their acceptance by the faithful. However, their inspiration and consequent divine authority were inherent and not dependent on human reception or lapse of time to give them prestige or until there were no more living prophets, or any other factor. Canonical authority is not derived from the sanction of Jewish priests and leaders of the Christian church. That authority is in itself." 12.

Thus, we see that the Roman Catholic claims for the reliance of the New Testament on the apocryphal books are overblown, ahistorical, and fall into logical inexactitude.

The Patristic Writers Were Far From Unanimous in Their Use of the Apocrypha

One of the primary claims made by the Roman Catholic religion to bolster its claim of apocryphal authenticity is that the Apocrypha was used and revered by the early church from the very start. In this claim, Roman Catholic apologists introduce a good deal of confusion regarding both the extent and the importance of patristic usage of the Apocrypha. Primarily, the confusion lies in the assumption that the quotation or allusion to the Apocrypha by these authors necessarily implies the attribution of canonicity to these books by the writers. This ignores, as will be explored in detail below, the variance in the type of use to which the patristics put the Apocrypha. What will primarily be explored in this section is the unanimity of the patristic writers, or lack thereof, concerning their views of the Apocrypha as seen both implicitly and explicity from their works.

The logical place to begin this investigation is at the very start - the so-called Apostolic Fathers and those who came in the first two generations after them, in the 1st and 2nd centuries. From this group, there can be found among the generally known authors no evidence to indicate that they actually considered the Apocrypha to be inspired scripture, on par with the Hebrew canon. The majority of the prominent writers from this period were completely silent concerning the use of these books. This includes Ignatius of Antioch, Papias (as per what has come down to us via Eusebius), Mathetes ("The Disciple"), Justin Martyr, Athenagorus, Tatian the Assyrian, and Theophilus of Antioch. Melito, Bishop of Sardis around 160 AD, compiled a list of the OT canon which contained all of the Hebrew canon except for Esther, and from which the apocryphal books were excluded. 13

Even among the writers from this period who did use the Apocrypha, we see that their employment of these books was very scant, and not doctrinal, but rather exemplory or didactical. Among those who used the Apocrypha during this period, we see:

The argument can be made further that these scant citations represent the exception rather than the rule as far as patristic reliance on the Apocrypha, even concerning these very authors. Irenaeus, for instance, in the five books of his work Against Heresies, enscribed a greater volume of literature than had been produced by all the patristics who had proceeded him combined. Yet, within this series in which he makes over one thousand quotations and/or allusions to scripture, we find three apocryphal citations. This is in spite of the fact that several of the apocryphal books, including some which he completely failed to use (Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus), would have had a direct bearing on many of the topics which he addressed. Some Catholic apologists argue that Irenaeus made the statement that he viewed the Greek Old Testament to be an "inspired translation", and hence that he must necessarily have considered the Apocrypha to be part of that inspired body of scripture. While it is perhaps true that Irenaeus said this, it is far from sure (as will be seen below) that the Septuagint was this Greek Old Testament, nor that the Apocrypha was even included in the Septuagint of Irenaeus' day, and thus the claim to Irenaic support for the Apocrypha remains extremely doubtful at best.

Moving on to a later age, we now must note that it was not until the 3rd century that one begins to find patristic authors who rely upon the Apocrypha in such a manner as to suggest, either explicitly or implicitly, that they consider the Apocrypha as inspired canon. Yet, even in this age, we note that there were many writers who did not consider the Apocrypha as such, and several who completely disused these works in their writings. Further, correlation of the locations and dates of the patristic writers from this period shows that the use of the Apocrypha was practically localised to two areas, and found use among two factions in the early church.

The writings of many patristics from this period are barren of apocryphal references. In the writings of Minucius Felix, Caius of Rome, Dionysius of Rome, Gregory Thaumaturgis, Novatian, Arnobius, and Victorinus, one finds not a single quotation or allusion. The Palestinian writer Julius Africanus was a declared opponent of the inclusion of the Apocryha in the canon 22, and corresponded with Origen concerning the latter's use of the Apocryphal books in his sermons and writings. Further, a few other writers made slight use of the Apocrypha in their works, but in a manner wholly inconsistent with the attachment of canonicity to these books. The patristic authors falling into this category include Lactantius and Archelaus.

Interestingly, in this century, one finds very few writers who fit into the aforementioned category. This century was a century of polarisation, when heresies of all manners came to their full fruition, and the Body of Christ began to experience severe rifts over doctrine between various ecclesiastical authorities. One sees a fairly close correlation between these doctrinal lines and the use of the apocryphal books. In fact, one finds that the patristics who introduced and maintained the apocryphal books as co-equal canon with the Hebrew canon were, in the main, those who followed after certain notable heresies. These more heretical writers used the Apocrypha in abundance and defended it, while those who opposed them in the cause of orthodoxy generally tended to shy away from the use of these works, perhaps as a purposeful response.

The first major writer in the chronological history of the early church to make abundant use of the Apocrypha and to give definite indication that he considered these books as true Scripture was Clement of Alexandria (153-217 AD). Clement was instrumental in founding and maintain the Alexandrian catechumenical school from which so much error was to be propagated over the next two centuries. Clement himself held to some heretical points of doctrine, including a belief in baptismal regeneration and a rejection of the biblical Trinity in favour of a more modalistic view of the Godhead, and an undertone of Neo-Platonism tinges many of his works. Clement evinced throughout his works a high regard for the Apocrypha, even referring to it explicitly as "scripture" (something which no writer had done before him), such as when he refers to Ecclesiasticus as "Scripture" in Book I of his Paedagogus.

Clement's star pupil, Origen (182-251 AD), followed in the footsteps of his master in accepting and using the Apocrypha. There is some argument as to whether Origen considered these books as Scripture, much of it hinging on his giving a 24 book OT canon, for the greater part consistent with the standard Protestant canon 23. However, through his extensive doctrinal quotation of the apocryphal books, combined with his repeated reference to them as "scripture" or "Holy scripture" 24, it seems clear that he thought of them as inspired. Origen is of special interest because it is in the reports concerning his work at textual criticism of the Septuagint that we first find any evidence of the existence of the Apocrypha in the Septuagint version (see below). Origen also had some highly heterodox views, including a denial of a literal hell and the denial of the literality of the Genesis account of creation and the early history of man. He was also the first in the Church to popularise the allegorical approach to scriptural interpretation, as a consequence of which, he denied much of the historicity and literality of the Old Testament texts. Origen's theology also contained occasional strains of the Gnostic heresies which abounded in the centre of learning for the Empire, Alexandria. Additionally, Origen was influenced by Neo-Platonic thought, and was also a pupil of Ammonius Saccus, a pagan who had formed the Neo-Platonic philosophical school. It is interesting that those who stood in opposition to the heterodoxy of Origen, including Julius Africanus and his own student Gregory Thaumaturgis, also opposed the Apocrypha.

A few other patristics approved of the Apocrypha during this century, including Dionysius of Alexandria, Cyprian, Hippolytus, Methodius, the unknown author of the Pseudo-Clementine epistles (attributed to Clement of Rome, but which bear the marks 3rd century authorship), and the compilers of the Apostolic Constitutions (which were anything but). In North Africa, Cyprian helped to popularise the Apocrypha, and his influence remained clear down to Augustine over a century later, who in turn would use his influence over the Councils of Hippo and Carthage to force acceptance of the Apocrypha among the North African and Roman churches. The likely source of Cyprian's reverence for the Apocrypha is to be found in Tertullian, a Latin writer in North Africa who wrote about the time of Clement of Alexandria. Tertullian makes fairly sparing use of the Apocrypha, and his statements concerning its status as true Scripture are somewhat ambiguous. However, he is the first patristic author whose writings seem to give evidence that the apocryphal books actually appeared in his copies of the Old Testament, and it is likely from him that the trend of greater acceptance for these books in the North African churches first appeared.

With the case of Cyprian, we again see the lines being drawn between those who were orthodox and non-orthodox both on theological lines and on the attribution of canonicity to the Apocryphal books. Cyprian was engaged in a major controvery with a Roman bishop named Novatian, who was the head of a group of churches which were labelled Novatians. Even though Cyprian and his followers, as well as the Roman Catholic church in later centuries, labelled the Novatianists as heretics, this group was actually quite orthodox and dedicated to the purity of God's Church. The primary defining distinctive of the Novatianists was that they refused to accept back without rebaptism those who, during the various persecutions levied by the Roman government, had recanted or hidden their faith in Christ, and especially those who had turned over copies of the sacred Scriptures to the Romans to escape punishment for being Christians. The churches which followed Cyprian freely admitted the apostatised back, while the Novatianists required a profession of faith and rebaptism. The Novatianists were also known for their distinctive stand in demanding purity from their clergy and laity, which was in contravention to the often lax moral standards in many churches of the day. This earned them the name Cathari, which means roughly, "Puritans". Novatian, the reputed head of this group of churches, was among those who did not use the Apocrypha.

Thus, during this century, we see two primary focal points for the introduction of the Apocrypha into the early church: Alexandria and North Africa. Relatedly, perhaps, it was from these two areas that much of the later textual corruption and addition to the Bible which plagues the churches down to this day emanated. Alexandria was the source of the major corrupted eclectic texts (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus) upon which the modern versions of the New Testament are based. Northern Africa was the centre of the drive by Augustine to interject the Apocrypha into the canon of the Old Testament, based upon the influence of the revised Septuagint version of Origen's Hexapla into which the Apocrypha was added by Origen. We can be fairly certain that the eclectic texts such as Sinaiticus, which contain large portions of the Apocrypha, were based upon Origen's recension. This Origenic influence perhaps explains some of the Gnostic corruptions which are found in the Alexandrian texts and which find their way into new versions such as the NIV and the NASB.

"It is noticeable that while there are many quotations in the New Testament from each group of books in the Old, there is not a single direct quotation from the Apocrypha. A similar distinction is found in Josephus and Philo. It was probably only in Alexandria that the apocryphal books had equal currency with the canonical." 25

Into the 4th century, we see the trend of polarisation continuing, with patristic writers either explicitly accepting the Apocrypha as inspired scripture, or else rejecting it outright. Most of the Christian authors in this century rejected the Apocrypha, either through complete disuse or through explicit support of the 22 (or 24, depending on the method of counting) book Hebrew canon. Though some rejected the book of Esther, these concurrently did not add the apocryphal books to their canon. Among this group would be included Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Rufinus, Amphilocius, Epiphanius, Gregory of Nazanzius, and Jerome. Additionally, patristics such as Hilary of Poitiers and the Syraic churchman Ephraim Syrus used the Apocrypha to a sparing degree in their writings, but again, not for the purpose of forming or teaching doctrinal points.

The number of those who did use and approve of the Apocrypha as being part of the Word of God was much smaller, and shows the influence of the Clementine/Origene school of textual thought. Pamphilus (d. 309 AD), Bishop of Caesaria, was a student of Origen and had direct access to the Hexapla, even having a copy of it in the library which he had built in Caesaria. This inserted the Apocrypha-containing Greek Old Testament into Palestine, which is, notably, where the majority of the patristic writers resided who viewed the Apocrypha as canon during this century. These men included Basil, John Cassian, and Eusebius. It was through Eusebius (260-340 AD) that the Hexaplaic Greek Old Testament text (Apocrypha included) found its way into general currency among the churches, through the decree of Constantine which directed him to prepare 50 copies of the Bible for propagation (more below). Gregory of Nyssa (335-395 AD), a Cappadocian writer, also seems to evince his support of the Apocrypha, or at least Baruch 26.

In the west, one of the major proponents of the Apocrypha as canon was Damasus, the Bishop of Rome. It was in the Council of Rome (382 AD) that the Apocrypha first received "official" recognition, this through a decree given by Damasus. This period in western church history is marked by rather advanced stages in the usurpation of "papal power" by the bishops of Rome (based upon the rather peculiar interpretation of Matthew 16:18 which such usurpation requires). However, it still must be noted that the Council of Rome, over which Damasus presided, was only a local council which did not have ecumenical authority, which is obvious from the complete lack of regard to its findings shown by the churches in the rest of Europe and in the East. That the findings of this council did not actually have (and indeed, probably were not intended to have) universal authority from a "pope" can be inferred from the text of Damasus' decree itself:

"After the announcement of all of these prophetic and evangelic or as well as apostolic writings which we have listed as Scriptures, on which, by the grace of God, the Catholic Church is founded...." 27

Damasus clearly says that the church is founded upon the Scriptures, and not the other way around, even though he then proceeds to argue for the primacy of the Roman church because of it's supposed association with the Apostle Peter, using Matthew 16:18 as his foundation. Today, of course, we know that much of the mythology surrounding the presence and activity of the Apostle Peter in Rome has no foundation in fact. The Bible clearly presents Peter as living out his later days in Babylon (I Peter 5:13), likely ministering among the Jews still living there, as per his apostolic dispensation (Galatians 2:7). Further, we know from the discovery of the tomb of Simon bar Jona in Jerusalem in a Christian burial ground that the Roman Catholic claim to Peter's martyrdom and burial in Rome is not true. 28

One of Damasus' chief supporters in the drive to accept the Apocrypha was Augustine, the definitive theologian of the Western Catholic religion for centuries after his time. It was Augustine's presence and support for the Apocrypha at the Councils of Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage (397 AD) which guaranteed the acceptance of the expanded canon at these gatherings. Once again, though, these councils did not have ecumenical force, and their findings were little regarded outside of Rome and North Africa until after the Western Empire had fallen, and the Roman Catholic religion began to formally assert itself as the dual religious and temporal authority in Europe.

As was the case in the east, the acceptance of the Apocrypha follows an identifiable chain of transmission in the west, though one which is significantly looser, due to the lack of a centralised educational facility such as was found at Alexandria. The first real evidence for the existence of an Apocrypha-containing set of Christian scriptures seems to appear in the west with Tertullian (145-220 AD). With the works of Tertullian, we find that he makes a handful of appeals to the Apocryphal books, most of which do not display any definite view of these books as inspired. Yet, his references to these books exceed in number the combined total of all the major apostolic and sub-apostolic patristic writers of the 1st and 2nd centuries combined. Also, on at least one occasion, Tertullian seems to make a definite appeal to an apocryphal book as a basis of prophetic authority, when he seems to apply the words of Wisdom 2:12 as prophecy concerning the Messiah 29.

Academic debate has raged for a long while concerning whether the Old Testament had been translated into Latin (as the Old, or pre-Vulgate, Latin) by the time of Tertullian, and hence, as to whether Tertullian read and quoted primarily from a Latin copy which he possessed, or whether he translated from the Greek as he went. Probably the most incisive answer presented is that forwarded by Coxe,

"But Tertullian's rugged Latin betrays everywhere his familiarity with Greek idioms and forms of thought. He wrote, also, in Greek, and there is no reason to doubt that he knew the Greek Scriptures primarily, if he knew any Greek whatever. Possibly we owe to Tertullian the primordia of the Old African Latin Versions, some of which seem to have contained the disputed text 1 John 5:7; of which more when we come to the Praxeas. For the present in the absence of definite evidence we must infer that Tertullian usually translated from the LXX, and from the originals of the New Testament." 30

Regardless, it must be noted that Tertullian gives, for the first time among Christian writers, evidence of consideration of the Apocrypha as truly useful for the development of doctrine, though he is only slightly anterior to Clement of Alexandria. Whether Tertullian read from imported Greek Old Testaments or relied upon native translations of the same is unimportant. What is decisive is that only at his time, the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries, do we see the view seem to arise that the Apocrypha was more useful to the churches than just as exemplary and devotional literature. However, the question of whether or not Tertullian's Greek scriptures were actually the Septuagint as it was known prior to Origen will be explored below (see below).

As noted above, Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage in the mid-3rd century, was a proponent of the Apocrypha in the West, a position which likely arose from the same version of the scriptures as had appeared in Tertullian's time and would presumably have had the mandate of that Father of Latin Christianity. Cyprian was, in his time, extremely influential, not only with other local bishops in North Africa, but also with those across the sea in Rome. Cyprian had allied with several of the Roman bishops in succession against the Novatian sect concerning the readmittance of the lapsed back into the churches, including Cornelius (d. 253 AD), Lucius (253-254 AD), Stephen (254-257 AD), and Sixtus II (257-258 AD). The influence of Cyprian, coupled with the reverence given the Apocrypha by earlier Roman bishops (such as Hippolytus, above) seems to have instilled in the Roman church an elevated view of these books. It should be noted here that the North African churches were Latin in language almost from the beginning, unlike much of the rest of Christianity, and as a result, there was little knowledge of Greek, and even less of Hebrew, among the leadership in these churches. This ignorance, especially of Hebrew, was an important factor in the acceptance of the Apocrypha by these bishops and churches, as it kept them from being able to examine the evidence of the Hebrews and their canon first hand. It is noteworthy that the more orthodox Latin writers, such as Jerome, who became acquainted with Hebrew and who sought out the sources of the Christian canon in its home in Palestine were also the ones who rejected the Apocrypha completely, and campaigned more or less vigourously for that position.

One of these 4th century North African patristics who was fluent only in Latin was Augustine of Hippo. It is from Augustine that the elevation of the Apocrypha to a co-equal status with the Old Testament scriptures was effected in a definitive way. Inheriting the heritage of the Latin churches in the West from Tertullian and Cyprian, Augustine was an avowed proponent of the Apocrypha, as well as a close ally of the bishops of the church in Rome. It was through this alliance that the series of councils which supposedly "codified" the Christian canon were brought about, with Rome first (382 AD), followed by councils at Hippo (393 AD), and two pertinent ones at Carthage (397 and 417 AD). Hand in hand with the bishops of Rome from Damasus to Boniface, Augustine's influence with the churches in North Africa would have virtually guaranteed that they would accept the Apocrypha as part of the Old Testament canon. The pressure from the pro-Apocryphal forces in these Western churches was strong enough to even induce Jerome to prepare some hasty translations of certain of the apocryphal books (to which he was strongly opposed) for the Latin Vulgate revision which he had been commissioned to prepare.

However, it should be understood that even with these councils, a large share of the Latin church did not accept the Apocrypha as scripture, just as many of their brethren in the East rejected those books. After the time of these councils, many in the West continued to give no evidence that they viewed the apocryphal books as Scripture. Among these are Sulpitius Severus (363-420 AD) and Vincent of Lerons (d. 450 AD), both from Gaul. The Greek Eastern churches in these later years continued their general witness against the Apocrypha, with this being the position of men such as Anastasius of Antioch (c. 500 AD) and Leontius of Byzantium (c. 580 AD). The Syriac writer, Jacob Aphrahat (337-445 AD), made sparing use of the Apocrypha, and does not indicate through his manner of use that he considered these books as anything more than secondary literature. Even as late as the 8th century, we see Eastern writers who reject the Apocrypha, one of whom was John of Damascus (664-777 AD).

From this overview of the early church and its use of the Apocrypha, one thing should be abundantly clear. The patristic writers were hardly uniform in the belief that the Apocrypha was scripture. In fact, the majority of them witnessed against that position and against the Apocrypha. The writers who spanned these early centuries of Christian history were hardly "catholic" (universal) in their views on this matter. Even a cursory study of the patristic writers shows that these men were as theologically and doctrinally diverse as Christians are today. This diversity, as we've seen, extended to their understanding of what constituted the "edges" of the canonical scriptures. For the Roman Catholic religion to accept the opinions of some of these men, while ignoring the greater witness of those in the early churches who did not use or opposed the inclusion of the apocryphal books, is complete arbitrarity. The arguments from patristic use and reverence which are used by Roman Catholicism to justify their inclusion of the Apocrypha into the canon are based upon the convenient choice of which particular patristic writer and which particular council to appeal to for authority.

The acceptance of the apocryphal books fails the test of catholicity in geography, as well. Before the time that Europe fell under the dominion of Roman Catholicism and the Catholic Bible (Apocrypha included) became the sole approved version, the only places where the Apocrypha gained serious currency were in Egypt and North Africa, with patristics from Palestine later turning to it through the influence of Pamphilus and Eusebius. The general testimony from Greece, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Gaul, Syria, and even many in Italy was against the inclusion of these books.

Lastly, we should note that, in spite of Catholic arguments based upon the authority of tradition, the acceptance of the Apocrypha as canonical scripture was an anti-traditional position within the early churches. The trend through these early centuries was a departure from the Hebrew canon of 22 books to the extended canon which eventually came to dominate after the rise of Roman Catholicism proper. With increasing distance from apostolic times, we see a gradually increasing view that the apocryphal works were inspired scripture, aided by the introduction of these books into the Greek Old Testament texts during the late 2nd-early 3rd centuries. Thus, what is often couched as an argument from "church tradition" instead seems to defy true tradition in favour of an arbitrary choice of sources made for the purposes of buttressing dogmatic assertion.

The Majority of Early Christians Who Prepared Lists of the Old Testament Canon Specifically Excluded the Apocrypha

Because the claims of Roman Catholicism concerning the inclusion of the Apocrypha rely so heavily upon the foundation of "tradition", this shall be the next point of examination. When looking to the history of the explicit inclusion of the Apocrypha in the canon of the Old Testament, we find that it traces back to a series of councils which were held in various cities of the western part of the Roman Empire in the late 4th century and early 5th century.

A brief history of these councils is in order. The first body which issued a statement of affirmation for the Apocrypha was the Council of Rome, held in 382 AD. In a decree of Damasus, the bishop of Rome, the list of the Old Testament books was given, which included the original 39 books found in the Hebrew Scriptures, amended with the standard Apocrypha now accepted by the Roman Catholic religion. This view was reiterated eleven years later at the Council of Hippo, in North Africa, and then again at the third Carthaginian council in 397 AD, perhaps the most well-known of the three. This canon was reaffirmed under Boniface at a later Council of Carthage in 419 AD.

While all of this is well and good, the reliance upon these mere statements ignores some underlying realities. The first council, that of Rome, was called by the bishop Damasus, who was a supporter of the Apocrypha. The statements on the canon issued by this council (which was local in its scope) most likely reflect the opinion of Damasus himself, which was transferred by his authority as bishop to the council canons.

Likewise, the later councils in North Africa at Hippo and the two at Carthage, reflect the views of the influential theologian Augustine. Augustine, like Damasus, was a strong proponent of the inspiration and canonicity of the apocryphal books 31. The determinations of these councils show the weight of authority which he was able to exercise over their findings, in contravention to the previous prevailing view of the general body of the churches.

Further, what is implied in the reliance upon Rome, Hippo, and Carthage is that these Councils were general, or ecumenical, in nature, and thus that they were decided by representatives from all over the whole body of Christendom. However, this is not the case. Each of these councils were local or regional (in the case of Carthage in 397 AD), and their findings represented the views of a small number of presbyters from localised areas (primarily North Africa). That these councils had no perceived authority to enforce their decisions on the rest of the churches throughout the Empire is amply demonstrated in that most of the rest of the churches and ecclesiastical writers in the Empire went right along using the Hebrew canon, even after these councils.

What is also interesting, given the Roman Catholic predilection for "authority" is that, previous to the Council of Rome, The Council of Laodicea (c. 360 AD) had issued a list of canonical Old Testament books. This list coincides with the "Protestant" canon, except that Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah are included as genuine works of Jeremiah and appended to his book 32. None of the other Catholic apocryphal books are listed as being in the Old Testament. Since Catholics rely so heavily on the argument that the inclusion of the Apocrypha was made by the Church, and not off of any individual decisions or viewpoints, one wonders why they would ignore the decision of the earlier council (Laodicea) in favour of the later ones, and the general viewpoint of the earlier church over the viewpoint of a small group (led by Augustine) who dominated these later councils and led them to accept the Apocrypha.

In addition to the testimony of Laodicea, we see that the large majority of Christian writers who prepared lists of the Old Testament books, gave canon lists which were very similar to or coincident with the familiar 39 book canon which most Protestants and Independents accept today, and that these by-and-large excluded the apocryphal books. Included among those who rejected all or most of the apocryphal works we find:

Thus, the weight of historical evidence, from at or before the time of the Augustinian councils in the West, is in support of the traditional Hebrew canon, without apocryphal additions. The only exceptions to this rule among those who provided lists of the canon would be the rejection by some of Esther, and the enfolding of Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah into the prophetic Book of Jeremiah. Even then, we see that only a few excluded Esther, which was likely because of its disputed status as a result of its lack of explicit reference to God. Likewise, only a few include the additions to Jeremiah, not representing the greater testimony of the general body of believers. The inclusion of Baruch and the Letter with the Book of Jeremiah can be easily explained when we note the somewhat confusing manner in which scrolls of text were stored in the times of the early church (more below).

Thus we see, in contradiction to the claims of the Catholic religion, that the Old Testament canon was not determined or fixed at the Council of Carthage in 397 AD, or any of these other later councils. Rather, the canon was generally agreed upon with only a minor amount of dissent, before the time of these councils. Further, even though the focus of any discussion on the extent of the early church's opinion about the canon may be on the inclusion of the Apocypha or the exclusion of Esther, this ignores the other 21 (or 38, by our reckoning) books upon which there seems to have been little to no doubt at any time among the primitive churches. Christian writers, from Clement of Rome and other apostolic authors right on down through the formative period of early Christianity, made extensive use of these other books, never entertaining more than the barest doubt (if even that) about any of them. There was no need for any council to tell them what was Scripture and what was not. Justin Martyr didn't need the determination of Carthage. Neither did Irenaeus, Clement of Rome, Tertullian, Athenagorus, or any other of these earlier writers. The canon was simply not determined by any council, but was generally understood by the true church of God through the witness of the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26, I John 2:20,28). Any disagreements with the Hebrew canon, either through subtraction or addition, were the result of the inherently imperfect nature of man and his perceptions. As has been aptly stated,

"Canonicity is determined or fixed authoritatively by God; it is merely discovered by man" 42.

Sometimes, this process of discovery just did not go as smoothly with certain writers and bishops as it did with others, for what ever reason. While confusing to later students, the bumps in this road to discovery of the canon should not be allowed to provide legitimacy to any argument seeking to open up the entire Apocrypha to canonical consideration, merely because a few books now known to be in the canon were at certain times disputed.

The Mere Presence of the Apocrypha in the Septuagint Does Not Mean That the Apocrypha is Canonical

Now we must address a set of claims which find common currency among Roman Catholic apologists. The first is that because the apocryphal books appear in the Septuagint and in certain translations (such as the Latin Vulgate) based upon the Septuagint, that this necessarily means that the Apocrypha is canonical. This claim rests upon a fallacy of composition, a logical flaw which occurs when one makes the assertion that because a statement about part of a whole is true, that this necessarily means that the assertion can likewise be made about the whole. Hence, the claim is that because the 39 accepted canonical books appear in the Septuagint, that this necessarily extends canonicity to anything else which may be found in or attached to the Septuagint.

As will be shown below, it is highly unlikely that the Apocrypha was even found in the original Greek Old Testaments used by the early churches prior to the time of Tertullian and Clement Alexandrinus. However, the use of apocryphal references by some of the early patristic writers has led some to suppose that this means that the apocryphal books were in the Old Testament of the early churches. This leads to the second fallacious claim, which is that patristic quotation of the Apocrypha necessarily means that these men viewed these books as canonical and inspired, a position which is actually something of a non sequitur.

As was explored above, the mere allusion to or quotation of a work doesn't mean it is viewed by the quoting author as inspired scripture. And this ought to be a generally understood point with regard to the writings of the patristic authors. Many of the patristic writers, especially those involved in dialogue with the pagan philosophers and Gnostics of their day, quote extensively from obviously non-canonical sources. The writings of Hesiod, Plato, Ovid, and many others find free use among many early Christian writers. These works are often used to illustrate certain didactic points which the author is trying to make, or to provide valid historical or factual information, a use to which the apocryphal books are most often similarly put.

One of the most basic errors which is made by Roman Catholic apologists in their approach to the Apocrypha is to make the simplistic equation of "use of book = viewed as canon". What is often not investigated is the SPECIFIC use to which any certain patristic writer may put a quotation or allusion to a passage from an apocryphal book. Was the passage used for didactic purposes, i.e. used as an illustration to elucidate the teaching of a truth already established? Does the quotation take the form and tenor of a proverbial saying? 43 Is the quotation merely used to show a historical occurrence, as references to the two Maccabees often are? On the other hand, does the writer indeed make use of apocryphal books in a manner consistent with a view that these books (or at least some of them) are canonical, i.e. that they are useful for deriving doctrine concerning Christian belief and practice? It ought to be apparent that there is a great difference between a writer quoting from an apocryphal book and building a doctrine of faith upon that foundation, and a writer quoting from one of these books to give a pertinent illustration or to use a particularly appealing turn of phrase.

What is glossed over when Roman Catholics make their claims to widespread use of the apocryphal books among early Christians is that the utility which the larger share of these patristic writers found in the apocryphal books was not doctrinal, and hence, their use of these books provides little or no weight to an argument in favour of their view of canonicity for these books. Often, early Christian authors would quote from the Apocrypha, and yet explicitly deny to these books the status of canon. John of Damascus (664-777AD), a very late writer, quoted from apocryphal books on numerous occasions, even referring to certain of them as "Scripture" 44. Yet, he explicitly states that there are 22 books of the Old Testament, and then proceeds to give a detailed list of these books (which, given the pattern of bundling books together, works out to the same 39 as found in the "Protestant" canon). Immediately after this list, John directly addresses the books of the Wisdom of Solomon and the Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach (Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus), saying, "There are also the Panaretus, that is the Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Jesus, which was published in Hebrew by the father of Sirach, and afterwards translated into Greek by his grandson, Jesus, the Son of Sirach. These are virtuous and noble, but are not counted nor were they placed in the ark." 45. Other later writers, including Gregory of Nazanzius and John Chrysostom, also exhibited this phenomenon, using the apocryphal books to a greater degree than earlier writers, yet leaving witness that they considered these books to be non-canonical, either through exclusion from a canon list or specific statement to that effect, or both.

In this usage, we see a fashion among many of the patristic writers which seems rather strange to us today, and which has contributed to many false perceptions about the use of the Apocrypha which has been perpetuated by the Roman Catholic religion. This concerns the (by modern Protestant standards) elevated esteem given to the Apocrypha by the early church, which yet did not reach the level of considering these books to be useful for doctrine, nor that they were really part of the canon of the Holy Scriptures (in contradiction to Roman Catholic dogma). The position of the bulk of the early churches seems to be a middle ground between the modern Protestant and Catholic positions (which really are reaction and counter-reaction to each other). The apocryphal books, to a greater or lesser degree depending on time and place, seem to have been viewed as useful devotional and didactic literature, but rarely as canon. In this respect, they seem in the main to have occupied a place similar to which modern Evangelicals and Fundamentalists would accord literature such as Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress or to the writings of Spurgeon and Luther. This view would probably be best summed up by the statement of Calvin,

"I am not one of those, however, who would entirely disapprove the reading of those books...they err in placing the Apocrypha in the same rank with inspired Scripture." 46

Thus, there is little historical or traditional support for the view that the Apocrypha is inspired scripture, worthy of a place in the official canon of the body of Christ. Rather, the testimony of the patristic writers seems to argue against such a radical view, and towards a moderate view of their usefulness without canonicity, which would perhaps naturally exist before a great divide over their use were to push two opposing sides to opposite extremes (as occurred at the time of Trent). Perhaps the most prudent course for the Christian to take would be to apply to them the standard that the Bible calls for when reading anything (I John 4:1), that is, to test the spirits and spiritually discern the truth from the error, and to avoid the error.

There is No Clear Evidence That the Apocryphal Books Were Even Included in the Septuagint Until the 3rd Century

While much is made of the presence of the Apocrypha in the Septuagint, and that this presence in a translation viewed by many (though not all) in the early church as inspired necessarily means that the Apocrypha was also viewed as such, we find no clear evidence that these books were even considered to be part and parcel with the Septuagint as a united body of literature until well into the 3rd century.

First, we must consider the obvious. The Septuagint was translated, as best as can be reckoned by academic reconstruction, between 250 and 150 BC 47. The story of the 72 translators recounted by Philo and Josephus, and which was uncritically accepted by most in the early church, technically only refers to the translation of the Pentateuch. The rest of the Old Testament scriptures were translated, piecemeal and with varying degrees of accuracy, over the course of the next century or so. It would thus be patently impossible for several of the apocryphal books to have been included in this body of translation, as they did not exist until well after the translation had been completed. For instance, the generally accepted dates for the writing of many of these books places them well out of contention for having been considered as originally part of the Septuagint:

However, I believe that we can positively ascribe a large measure of veracity to the story of the actual events regarding the translation of the Septuagint, while discounting much of the fanciful interpolations of later Jewish and early Christian writers. Though the "Letter of Aristaeus" is widely recognised as a fraud and forgery, the testimony from Josephus tends to illustrate that at least the basic framework of the story of the gathering of the Hebrew scholars and the production of a Greek Pentateuch in Alexandria around 250 BC is sound. 48

Josephus' own testimony to the canon, given above, denies to the Septuagint the presence of the Apocrypha, at least in his day (before 100 AD). Josephus was a Greek-speaking Jew who presumably used this very translation about whose preparation he wrote. Further, we know that many Jewish intellectuals in that day, including Philo and Josephus, considered the Septuagint Greek translation to be inspired in and of itself. Yet, Josephus pointedly denies the apocryphal books a place in the canon of the scriptures which he gives, as does Philo through his complete and utter disuse of these books.

So the question then must be asked: From whence came the Apocrypha into the Christian scriptures? The evidence seems to point to a second century insertion of these books into the body of scripture, perhaps purposeful, but more likely inadvertant. Evidence from the early part of the second century seems to indicate that the Apocrypha was still not respected as being part of the scriptures. Around 130 AD, a Christian apostate-turned-Jew named Aquila prepared a new translation of the Greek Old Testament, ostensibly relying upon the Hebrew texts, but throughout changing portions to fall into line with Jewish theology which was then in strong reaction to the rapid spread of the Christian religion. Aquila's translation is primarily noted for two things: 1) It's slavish adherence to the Hebrew text even to the point of rendering many passages unintelligible in the Greek, and 2) It's marked departures from the Septuagint with regard to Messianic prophecies, departures which were designed to downplay and remove the applicability of these prophecies to Jesus Christ, thus undercutting Christian reliance upon these passages (which had been winning many converts from among the Jews). The Apocrypha was completely absent from Aquila's translation. This is important because the testimony of Aquila's Old Testament tells us that, among the Jews at least, the view of the Apocrypha as non-canonical had not changed. This is even despite the fact that several of the apocryphal books contain doctrines (such as merit from almsgiving and an extreme ridiculing of idolatry) which would actually be amenable to the Pharisaical Judaism which had thoroughly emerged among the Hebrews by this time.

Other new Greek translations of the Old Testament began to show up in the mid-to-late 2nd century, usually at the hands of Judaisers. One such translation, that of Symmachus (c. 200 AD) also did not contain the Apocrypha. Symmachus, according to the early Christian writer Epiphanius, was a Samaritan, while the somewhat stronger testimony of both Jerome and Eusebius considered him to have belonged to the Judaising sect known as the Ebionites. In any case, Symmachus was a native of Palestine, and as such, probably quite familiar with the Hebrew texts and would have known that the Apocrypha did not belong in the canon, which would explain his exclusion of these books.

The other major translation of this period was that of Theodotion (c. 180 AD), also an Ebionite, but one from Ephesus with only a marginal knowledge of Hebrew 49. Theodotion's work cannot really be properly called a translation, but rather a revision of the then-existing Greek Old Testament. Theodotion's Greek Old Testament was widely used by Christians after it was produced, and its reading of Daniel eventually replaced the older Septuagintic translation of that book 50. It is interesting to note that, unlike other Greek Old Testament translations to that time, Theodotion's revision contained certain of the apocryphal books, these being apocryphal additions to Job, and also the additions to Daniel 51.

Thus, it would seem that the first introduction of the Apocrypha into the Christian scriptures arose from Theodotion's revision of the Septuagint, and that it was from thence that we see the Apocrypha gain wider respect among Christians. This seems logical when we consider several points. First, we note that the primary (though not only) change which Theodotion made to the Greek Old Testament was to basically replace the previous Greek copy of the book of Daniel with his own translation, a translation which was enthusiastically accepted by the Christian churches and which contained the apocryphal additions to Daniel. The copies of Theodotion's Old Testaments which we have are incomplete, so it is conceivable that his work originally contained other apocryphal books as well. As was remarked earlier, Theodotion's revision was widely used by Christians after its appearance, which would militate toward the spread and acceptance of the apocryphal books which it contained.

How or why did the Apocrypha find inclusion in Theodotion's (and possibly Alexandrian) copies of the Greek Old Testament? The likely answer is by the combination of accident and ignorance. We moderns must remember that in the days of the early church, literary works were not in book form as we have them today. Most commonly, written works were penned on either papyri scrolls or vellum rolls (dried sheepskins). As such, one complete book of the Bible was usually kept on one roll, and these rolls were stored individually in boxes or shelves. As Green states,

"As late as the second century A.D. it was customary in Palestine to write each book of the Old Testament on a separate manuscript, instead of combining all or a number of them in the same volume. If a similar practice prevailed in Alexandria, it is easy to see how these related though uncanonical books might first have been laid alongside of the sacred books for safe-keeping; and ultimately, when the practice arose of including several books in the same volume, these extraneous books might have been copied along with the rest, and joined to those to which they seemed to be most nearly related." 52

Remember that Theodotion (unlike Aquila and Symmachus) did not well understand and did not make much use of the Hebrew in his revision of the Greek Old Testament, with the exception of Daniel. As a result, it would not be unlikely that he would be unaware of the lacking of the apocryphal books from the Hebrew canon. Based upon this ignorance, it can be deduced that he likely added the Additions to Daniel into his revision, and possibly other Apocryphal books of which the incomplete copies of his revision no longer bear record, though this last is merely educated deduction.

However, it is not deduction which is without any grounds. We can fairly well surmise that the Greek Old Testament which was used by Tertullian in North Africa was a copy of Theodotion's revision. It was remarked earlier that Theodotion's revision found much use by Christians, and the intervening two or three decades from the production of this revision to the time of Tertullian's blossoming as a writer would have allowed more than sufficient time for this version to have reached the shores of Carthago. Further, Tertullian's use of the book of Daniel indicates that his copy of Daniel agreed with the Daniel now known to be in the Septuagint - which was Theodotion's revision that had almost universally replaced the original Septuagintic copy of Daniel amongst Christendom. Prior to Tertullian, one finds quite commonly among the patristic writers of the 1st and 2nd century quotations from the book of Daniel which disagree with the Septuagint, and often also with the Hebrew texts 53. This is not surprising, as the copy of Daniel found originally in the Septuagint was of very poor quality (approaching the level of a loose paraphrase), and hence would disagree both with the Hebrew original and also with Theodotion's revision which was widely regarded as much more faithful to the Hebrew. Tertullian's marked change from this demonstrates that he was using a different Greek text of Daniel, which would logically be Theodotion's.

Aside from Daniel, we find other evidence that Tertullian's Greek Old Testament was likely that of Theodotion. In his treatise Against Marcion, Tertullian discusses the mark which the Lord will put upon His own, as found in Ezekiel 9:4. Tertullian refers to this mark as a "tau", which is in agreement with the versions of both Aquila and Theodotion (and is a transliteration of the Hebrew "tawv")54. However, this "tau" in Theodotion's revision represents a distinctive uniquity to his text, as the Septuagint uses the word "semeion" for "mark" in that verse. "Tau" in Theodotion's text is most likely another transliteration of the Hebrew for which his revision is famous, just as its appearance in Aquila's revision represents the rigid adherence to the Hebrew for which that text is known. Now, given the strong evidence to suggest that Tertullian was making use of a copy of Theodotion's revision of the older Greek Old Testament, and given the appearance with Tertullian of a more general and doctrinal use of the apocryphal books (including those besides the additions to Daniel, mostly Wisdom and I Esdras), it is possible to conclude that more apocryphal books than just the Danielite additions were probably contained in Theodotion's revision.

Further, we note that Theodotion's revision was one of the several used by Origen to revise his own copy of the Septuagint in or around 240 AD, and it is Origen to whom we can really attribute the finality of the apocryphal appearance in the Septuagint. In his famed Hexapla, perhaps the most extensive work of textual criticism in the ancient church, Origen attempted to revise the Septuagint (believing it to be corrupted) with several other versions available at his time. The name "Hexapla" means "six-fold", and refers to the six-columned polyglot arrangement which he used to revise his work. In these six columns, Origen arranged (respectively) the Hebrew text available to him, a transliteration of the Hebrew into the Greek alphabet, the Greek Old Testament of Aquila, the revision of Theodotion, the extant Septuagint, and the revision of Symmachus. Origen's process of criticism was to basically add into his Septuagint whatever appeared in any of the other texts, and to alter the Septuagint to conform to his Hebrew text. Notably, the fifth column of the completed Hexapla contained the apocryphal books.

In spite of this massive effort, we should understand that Origen's work at textual criticism were doomed from the start, when viewed with an eye toward maintaining the spiritual purity of the text. In the process of revising the Septuagint, Origen made use of versions which were themselves somewhat contaminated through the revision of heretics. Keep in mind that Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus each were either apostate Christians who had reverted to Judaism, or else were Judaisers of an Ebionitic bent. It was noted before that each had prepared his revision of the Greek Old Testament specifically to countermand the version which was being wielded so effectively by Christians in the 2nd century, and to reduce or remove the Messianicity of a great number of passages 55. By utilising these texts, Origen sacrificed the purity of his text in favour of its extent. This could only have had detrimental effects on the true authenticity of the text which Origen had hoped to "purify". Origen,

"...cited the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, on the former part of the Canon, he appealed to the authority of Valentinus and Heracleon on the latter. While he thus raised the credit of those revisals, which had been made by heretics, he detracted from the authority of that text which had been received by the orthodox. Some of the difficulties which he found himself unable to solve in the Evangelists, he undertook to remove…" 56.

Through his use of Theodotion's version, and likely abetted by both his own favourable view of the Apocrypha and that of his mentor Clement, Origen included the Apocrypha into his Hexapla. He most likely believed these books to be canonical, as they contain elements which would have fit right in with the Gnostic and Platonic overtones in the theologies of himself and Clement. From this source, they became firmly entrenched in the revised Septuagint which was propagated throughout the Christian world in the next century.

We must understand that the earliest actual evidence which we have for the presence of the apocryphal books in the Septuagint is found in the three oldest "Alexandrian" manuscripts, Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Alexandrinus, the earliest dating to the middle of the 4th century, a century or more after Origen's revisionary work. These three manuscripts each contain most or all of the Apocrypha:

It can be positively asserted that at least one of these, Sinaiticus, is a direct descendant of Origen's revision, due to the presence of a colophon at the end of the manuscript which was inserted by the copyist and which says as much. This colophon states:

"Taken and corrected according to the Hexapla of Origen. Antonius collated: I, Pamphilus, corrected." 57

Because of the similarity between these three texts, we can surmise that Alexandrinus and Vaticanus likewise were children of the Hexapla.

What the text of the Septuagint was before Origen is a question that has not been positively answered by scholarship. As Sir Frederic Kenyon wrote, "A considerable number of MSS. exist which give information as to Origen's Hexaplaric text and particular passages in the other columns, but these do not go far towards enabling us to recover the LXX text as it existed before Origen; and this remains the greatest problem which confronts the textual student of the Septuagint." 58. In other words, we cannot fully reconstruct the pre-Origenian Septuagint.

Now, it must be understood that I am not proposing that the Hexaplic Septuagint was a rewrite of the Greek Old Testament on a massive scale. In fact, the earlier patristic writers who wrote in Greek made use of a text which was generally similar to the Septuagint which we have today, though their quotations sometimes differ from this text, and perhaps point to an earlier Greek Old Testament text in their possession.

Hence, there seems to be evidence that these early patristic authors were using a Greek Old Testament which was substantially similar to the present Septuagint, yet which did differ on a number of occasions. Because these readings are all missing from the Hebrew, we can presume that their lacking in the Septuagint was a direct result of the revision of the Greek Old Testament by Origen using either the Hebrew or the Greek translations of the Judaisers.

That this primitive Septuagint was found among the early Christians of Palestine, and hence spread out elsewhere, was first suggested by Semler, who noted the use of the Septuagint by the early Greek-speaking churches 64. More recently, Barthélemy has noted that the Greek fragments of six minor prophets unearthed by Murabaât and dated to the end of the 1st century AD are very similar to the quotations from these books found in the works of Justin Martyr, indicating a continuity of this Greek Old Testament from the 1st to the 2nd centuries AD 65. Stendahl asserts 66 that the background for the New Testament quotation of the Old Testament Greek is found in the Palestinian Septuagint tradition, as over the Alexandrian, which is echoed by Cross 67. Hence, the Septuagint of the 1st and 2nd centuries would be similar to the later revision of Origen. Yet, there would be certain differences, coming from alterations which would have presumably originated in the Hebrew text used by Origen, and the revised Greek Old Testaments of the Judaisers.

As was seen earlier, the bulk of patristic writing up until around the time of Clement of Alexandria and Origen (Clement being contemporaneous with Tertullian), was either completely lacking in use of the Apocrypha, or else was very scant in its use and non-reliant upon these books for the formulation of doctrine. This argues for the absence of the Apocrypha in the Biblical texts which these writers were relying upon, or at least for the delineation of these books from the truly canonical in these early texts. However, given the lack of the apocryphal books in the Hebrew canon, which was inherited by the early church, the former option seems the most likely.

From the Hexapla, the Apocrypha then proceeded to be passed to the rest of the Christian world through the influence of Origen's paedagogical progeny. Pamphilus (d. 309 AD), an accolyte of Origen who studied at the Catechal school in Alexandria, was much responsible for the introduction of the Hexapla into Palestine, including a copy of that work as the "crown jewel" of the library which he built in Caesaria. The testimony of Jerome concerning Pamphilus' devotion to the works of Origen was that he "transcribed the greater part of the works of Origen with his own hand", and further that "these are still preserved in the library of Cæsarea." 68

The church historian Eusebius, himself a student of Pamphilus, was the final link in the chain of transmission of the Apocrypha-bearing texts from Origen to the Christian world at large. Eusebius, as the Caesarian librarian's student, would obviously have had access to Pamphilus' copy of the Hexapla. And it was Eusebius who was commissioned by the newly (and dubiously) converted Emperor Constantine in 315 AD to prepare 50 copies of the Greek scriptures, Old Testament and New, to aid in the spread of Christianity. As Metzger states, "Emperor Constantine ordered Eusebius to produce fifty copies of the Bible. Constantine stated these copies were to 'be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner.'" 69 These copies where then to be propagated throughout the Empire. The text from which Eusebius naturally transcribed his copies of the Old Testament was the fifth column of the Hexapla.

Given the syncretistic tendencies of Constantine, it is not surprising that he would prefer the texts which Eusebius produced over others which would have been available,

"Quite naturally he preferred the one edited by Eusebius and written by Origen, the outstanding intellectual figure that had combined Christianity with Gnosticism in his philosophy, even as Constantine himself was the political genius that was seeking to unite Christianity with pagan Rome....Eusebius in publishing the Bible ordered by Constantine, had incorporated the manuscripts of Origen....The Church of Rome built on the Eusebio-Origen type of Bible..." 70

The questionable contents of several of the apocryphal books, such as works-based soteriology, prayers for and by the dead, etc. would probably have had an appeal for this Emperor who sought to unite Christ with Belial, and would cause him to give preference to manuscripts containing these books over and above those containing only the true Word.

Certain scholars have even suggested that the "oldest and best" Alexandrian manuscripts were members of this body of fifty copies made by Eusebius.

Some have suggested that the famous manuscripts Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were two of these fifty copies. These two manuscripts provide the basis of many of the changes in modern translations today. This was the view of Constantin Tischendorf, F. John A. Hort, and Alexander Souter as they commented on the subject." 71

That this seems a very plausible theory is supported by the presence of the Apocrypha in these Alexandrian Old Testament manuscripts, their age (both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus have been dated to within a few decades of Eusebius' undertaking), and the presence of the colophon attributing Sinaiticus to Origen's original Hexapla. In fact, the texts of the Alexandrian Old Testaments are very close to the Septuagint as it exists today. As Wurthwein notes, "Although no authentic manuscript of the Hexaplaric Septuagint has survived, there are manuscripts which represent the text of Origen more or less closely." 72 In this statement, Wurthwein is referring to the Old Testament portions of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Thus, we can see that the the original revision of Origen, influenced by the rewrites of 2nd century heretics, and with the novel addition of the Apocrypha, became the text which would eventually underly the Latin Vulgate, and would become the leading source of Roman Catholic and liberal attacks on the integrity of the Old Testament readings.

Even then, it should be noted that after the promulgation of this text by Constantine, the majority of the patristic writers still seem not to have paid any credence to the Apocrypha contained therein, even if they eventually came to use this revised Septuagint with respect to the inspired canon proper. Most of them who wrote on the subject, as was seen above, pointedly rejected the expanded canon and limited their view of canonicity to the 22-book Hebrew canon, and continued to do so even after the Councils of Carthage and Rome, and the pronouncements of various "popes".

The Apocrypha Was Indeed Added to the Canon in 1546 by the Council of Trent as Specific Response to the Reformation

Now we turn to the later years of the history of the so-called Church, after the era of the primitive churches, and into the period when Roman Catholicism established its sway over Europe. Even in this period, supposedly one in which the orthodoxy of the Catholic religion was universally held (including the addition of the Apocrypha, as pronounced by the previously mentioned councils), we see that there were voices within the hierarchy of Roman Catholicism who rejected the Apocrypha, and whose testimony witnesses to this position as being somewhat prevalent.

To begin, we should look at the evidence provided by yet another council, this one at Trullo, in 692 AD. The pertinent information from the decrees of this council is below,

"But we set our seal likewise upon all the other holy canons set forth by our holy and blessed Fathers, that is, by the 318 holy God-bearing Fathers assembled at Nice, and those at Ancyra, further those at NeoCaesarea and likewise those at Gangra, and besides, those at Antioch in Syria: those too at Laodicea in Phrygia: and likewise the 150 who assembled in this heaven-protected royal city: and the 200 who assembled the first time in the metropolis of the Ephesians, and the 630 holy and blessed Fathers at Chalcedon. In like manner those of Sardica, and those of Carthage: those also who again assembled in this heaven-protected royal city under its bishop Nectarins and Theophilus Archbishop of Alexandria...." 73

Interestingly, this statement basically introduces a schizophrenic position with regards to the acceptance of the apocryphal books. On the one hand, this council "set its seal", i.e. it's approval, upon the canons (church rules) determined at Laodicea, the council in c. 360 AD mentioned above. Yet, it simultaneously gives its approval to the councils at Carthage. Thus, the Trullan council approves of Laodicea's decree on the canon, which was the Hebrew canon emended with Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah. Yet, this council also approves the findings of Carthage, in which the entire Apocrypha was inserted into the Old Testament canon. In short, this council of Trullo basically demonstrates the folly of relying upon councils to make determinations of the canon (or anything else), which the Lord Jesus implicitly told His disciples that they would be able to determine for themselves through the leading of the Holy Ghost.

We see the confusion continue into later years. Numerous Roman Catholic writers in the Dark Ages and the Renaissance, including some of its greatest and most revered teachers, rejected the apocryphal books as being part of the inspired Old Testament canon. These include:

Thus, some very influential theologians within medieval Roman Catholicism explicitly denied canonicity to the apocryphal books, even though they may have viewed these books as useful and instructive. This trend continues into the Renaissance period, with some of the most influential Roman theologians leading up to the Reformation making the same historical distinction. In his 1514 polyglot edition, the Complutensian Polyglot, Cardinal Ximines was careful to delineate between the true canon of Scripture and the apocryphal books. Likewise, the foremost opponent of the reformer Martin Luther, Cardinal Cajetan (1469-1534 AD), a Dominican philosopher and theologian who carried the banner of Catholic reaction against the Reformation in its early period, regarded them as inferior in status to the inspired Old Testament canon. 79

Now we turn to the official adoption of the Old Testament plus Apocrypha at the Council of Trent (1545-1563). Some Catholic apologists will argue that Trent only reaffirmed what the Church had believed for centuries. Given the statements from prominent Catholic theologians seen above, it seems rather hard to believe that the Apocrypha was accepted as official canon, binding upon all Roman Catholics. Some will also point to the Council of Florence, the eleventh session of which (1442 AD) confessed the inspiration and canonicity of the books of the Old and New Testaments, including the apocryphal books now accepted by the Roman Catholic religion. However, what must be understood about the council of Florence is that its statement concerning the extent of the canon was not declared to be an infallible decree. This document is completely silent with regard to any requirement placed upon Roman Catholics to accept this extended canon as necessarily binding. In this manner, it reflects both the novel position of theologians like Thomas Aquinas (who believed the Apocrypha to be canonical), while still leaving the door open for those who took the historical position of rejecting the authority of the Apocrypha.

Truly, the Council of Trent was the first place in which the Apocrypha was considered part of an "infallibly decreed" canon of Scripture. The Trent declaration, found in the fourth session of that council, reiterated the same list found in the Florence document, but then adds the following,

"If anyone does not accept as sacred and canonical the aforesaid books in their entirety and with all their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate Edition, and knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid traditions, let him be anathema." 80

Thus, for the first time, the specific declaration of anathema was made against those who did not accept the Apocrypha as scripture. It was at that point that the Apocrypha passed from being disputed ecclesial writings in the eyes of the Roman Catholic religion, and to the official status of scripture which must be accepted as such by all good Catholics. Or, as Schroeder notes:

"...the Tridentine list or decree was the first infallible and effectually promulgated declaration on the Canon of the Holy Scriptures." 81.

This position is even acknowledged by Roman Catholic reference sources,

"St. Jerome distinguished between canonical books and ecclesiastical books. The latter he judged were circulated by the Church as good spiritual reading but were not recognized as authoritative Scripture. The situation remained unclear in the ensuing centuries...For example, John of Damascus, Gregory the Great, Walafrid, Nicolas of Lyra and Tostado continued to doubt the canonicity of the deuterocanonical books. According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the biblical canon is the infallible decision of the Church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Church at the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent definitively settled the matter of the Old Testament Canon. That this had not been done previously is apparent from the uncertainty that persisted up to the time of Trent." 82

Thus, it is basically admitted here that before Trent, there was a rather large amount of uncertainty among doctors of the Roman religion as to whether the apocryphal books were part of the Old Testament canon. The "proximate criterion of the biblical canon is the infallible decision of the Church", meaning that without said declaration of canonicity, no argument can be made for these books from a Catholic perspective up until the point when Roman Catholicism arbitrarily added them to the "official" list of canon. As ought to be abundantly obvious from the summation of the history of the Apocrypha's acceptance (or lack of), there is really not very much evidence to support the historical consideration of these books as inspired and canonical. Throughout the era of the primitive churches, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance up until the Trent reaction, opinion was divided on this literature, even after Roman Catholicism had established its sway over Europe through the force of its marriage with secular powers. This truth is probably best summed up with the following statement:

"All of the arguments urged in favor of the canonicity of the apocryphal books merely prove that these books have been given varied degrees of esteem and recognition, usually falling short of full canonicity, until the Roman Catholic church officially pronounced them canonical at the Council of Trent." 83

Now, since it has been shown that the apocryphal books were a late addition to the canon which had not previously been mandated until Trent, the next logical question is: Why were these books added? To answer this question, we must understand the nature of the Council at Trent, why it was gathered, and what its purpose was.

First and foremost, Trent was a Catholic reaction to the Protestant Reformation, which was at that time exploding across Europe. The original impetus for Martin Luther's challenge and eventual break with the Catholic religion was the many abuses which went on inside Catholicism, the most offensive to Luther initially being the sale of indulgences. This sale, in which the laity were told that every time a coin fell into the coffer, a soul was released from purgatory, was cynically being used as a fundraiser to pay for the erection of the new St. Peter's Basilica in Rome 84. Luther began his attempts at reform by attacking this corruption. As time progressed, the Protestant challenge intensified and began to address a whole range of Roman Catholic dogmas and practices which had no Scriptural support from either the Hebrew canon nor the New Testament. The Council at Trent sought to rectify this matter, not by acquiescing to Biblical reform, but rather through attempting to "reform" the Bible to provide support for such dogmas as purgatory, prayers for the dead, and salvation through good works. Hence, the elevation of some apocryphal books from the status of marginally interesting ecclesial books to that of "infallibly decreed" canon was effected.

It should be noted that in the above, I said that some apocryphal books were elevated. It is interesting to observe that Trent only canonised some of the larger body of apocryphal books which had been known to the early church. It is suspicious that the certain books which were elevated were those which had contained passages in support of the disputed Catholic dogmas. Other apocryphal books, many enjoying as much of a potential claim to canonicity as those approved by Trent (such as I and II Esdras, the Prayer of Manasseh, and Psalm 151), were excluded, presumably because they did not offer the support which Rome needed. Another issue which may have factored into the exclusion of those certain books is that these were accepted as canon by the Orthodox religious bodies of the East, and Rome may have wanted to both differentiate itself from the Eastern Catholic wing, as well as to manifest its presumed authority apart from the decisions of the other major Catholic body. Giesler and Nix provide a succinct summation:

"For some fifteen hundred years the Apocrypha was not accepted as canonical by the people of God. Then, in 1546, just 29 years after Luther posted his 95 Theses, the Council of Trent elevated the Apocrypha, or rather the part of it that supported the council's position, to the level of inspired Scripture." 85

Thus we should recognise as politically motivated the decision of the Council of Trent to recognise the apocryphal books presently found in the Catholic versions of the Bible. The change was effected primarily for the purpose of attempting to cut the legs out from under the Reformation attacks on the various Biblically unsupported dogmas. By arrogating to itself the authority to change God's Word, the Roman religion sought unsuccessfully to stifle the power with which the Reformation was shaking Europe. The Reformers simply ignored the change, and refused to accept the new canon list as revised in 1546, thus following a long line of Christian bodies which had existed outside of Roman Catholicism since that religion's inception with Constantine. The Reformers followed the tradition of adherence to the Hebrew canon of the Old Testament which was held to by the main body of early patristic writers. This tradition was held by the dissenting bodies of the Middle Ages (such as the Waldensians, the Paulicians, the Bogomils, etc.) It was held by John Wycliff in his 14th century translation of the Latin Vulgate into English, when he carefully followed Jerome's lead in delineating the Apocrypha apart from the true canon. Finally, as seen above, this tradition found support from many prominent Roman Catholic voices as well.

The Apocrypha Fails Several Basic Requirements for Canonicity

The apocryphal books accepted by the Roman Catholic religion fail in several basic requirements which they would be normally expected to meet if they were really inspired scripture.

Among the books of the Bible, one solid foundation upon which each rests for its place in the canon was the propheticity or apostolicity of the book. In other words, was it written by a person with the gift or office of a prophet (Old Testament), or an apostle or one accredited by an apostle (for the New Testament)?

While all of the 39 books of the Old Testament which are accepted by both Catholics and Protestants were considered as having the mark of propheticity on them, and thus were accepted into the Jewish canon, we've seen from above that the same cannot be said for the apocryphal books which the Catholic religion added to the Bible.

In the two Maccabees, we see statements which indicate specifically that the author(s) of these works DENIED inspiration to their writings (whether intentionally or not). In I Maccabees, we see three statements, given below:

"And they thought it best to tear it down, lest it bring reproach upon them, for the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar, and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them." (I Maccabees 4:45-46)

"Thus there was great distress in Israel, such as had not been since the time that prophets ceased to appear among them." (I Maccabees 9:27)

"And the Jews and their priests decided that Simon should be their leader and high priest for ever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise." (I Maccabees 14:41)

In these three statements, I Maccabees backs up the generally held Jewish tradition (which was expounded, as seen earlier, by Josephus) that the prophets had ceased from the land of Israel long before the Maccabean period, in the time of Artaxerxes as Josephus says. Hence, I Maccabees denies to itself the important attribute of propheticity, in effect denying itself a strong claim to canonicity. By acknowledging that there were not prophets in the land, and hadn't been for some time, I Maccabees removes the foundation of propheticity from itself. This coupled with historical errors (seen below) resulted in its rejection by the Jews as canon.

Further, a telling statement is made in II Maccabees,

"...So I too will here end my story. If it is well told and to the point, that is what I myself desired; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that was the best I could do. For just as it is harmful to drink wine alone, or, again, to drink water alone, while wine mixed with water is sweet and delicious and enhances one's enjoyment, so also the style of the story delights the ears of those who read the work. And here will be the end."

Does the Word of God depend on "the best that I could do"? Of course not. God's Word is perfect, and "the best that man can do" is not enough to make one "perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16) Further, we NEVER see God's Word issuing a caveat about being "poorly done and mediocre". As God is perfect, His inspiration is also perfect, and His Word is perfect (Psalm 19:7). Whereas the inspired prophets would say, "Thus saith the LORD", the author of II Maccabees asks us to accept his work as "the best that _I_ could do." He himself acknowledges that he was not inspired by God, and that his writing was not scripture. On this count alone, we ought to see that the claim of canonicity for II Maccabees demands to be rejected.

Further then, we should understand that if the testimony along this line from the Maccabees is to be taken seriously, then the other apocryphal books likewise fall from consideration as canon. I Maccabees states that the prophets had ceased to appear in Israel. The next prophet who is seen mentioned (as preparation for the Lord Jesus) is John the Baptist, whose prophetic ministry began (depending on whom you listen to) in 27-30 AD. Taking the testimony of Josephus and other Jewish writers into account, we see that in between the time of Artaxerxes and the ministry of John, is roughly 400 years of prophetic dead air. This period covers the various times at which the other apocryphal books were written. Further, this lapse in the inspirational gift was predicted by God's Word, in Amos 8:11-12,

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro and seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it."

Quite obviously this is referring to the inspirational gift of further revelation, as there never was a time when the word of the Lord, when viewed as the writings already given from God, had disappeared from Israel. The 400 year period of silence was the judgment of God upon Israel for their apostasy from Him, and it was during this period that the apocryphal books were written, thus they cannot be considered canon, since they weren't delivered by inspiration from God.

There are also several very grave errors in history presented in the apocryphal books. Probably the most obvious of these errors is found in the book of Judith. Herein, the army waging war against Israel is said to be the army of Nebuchadnezzar. Several problems present themselves with this claim. To begin, the army which is attacking Israel in this book is Assyrian, while Nebuchadnezzar, or course, was a Babylonian king. Further, Nebuchadnezzar didn't live for another century after this time period, he was far from being a contemporary of King Manasseh of Judah. Instead of presenting accurate or reliable history, Judith relates an erroneous history which might have resulted either from the confusion of the author of the book regarding the events of several centuries before (Judith was written around 150 BC), or else from a purposeful transposition designed to appeal to Jewish nationalism.

The Catholic Bible attempts to get around this difficulty, however. The Douay-Rheims version says in its note on Judith 1:5 (referring to "Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians"):

"Nabuchodonosor: not the king of Babylon, who took and destroyed Jerusalem, but another of the same name, who reigned in Ninive, and is called by the profane historians Saosduchin. He succeeded Asarhaddon in the kingdom of the Assyrians, and was contemporary with Manasses king of Juda." 86

This attempt only deepens the pit, however. History records for us that Esarhaddon was succeeded in 668 BC by his son Ashurbanipal. Ashurbanipal did have a half-brother named Saosduchin, but this individual never reigned on the throne of Assyria. Further, Ashurbanipal was never known by the name Nebuchadnezzar, and the only other king to bear that name (besides Nebuchadnezzar II, who is the one depicted in the Bible), was Nebuchadnezzar I (1124-1103 BC), a ruler of the Fourth Dynasty of Babylon, several centuries before either the second Assyrian or the Neo-Babylonian empires which concern us here 87.

Other historical difficulties plague the Apocrypha. In the book of Tobit, the eponymous hero is reputed to have been a youth at the time of the secession of the ten northern tribes of Israel from Judah (Tobit 1:3-5). Yet, Tobit himself is then said to have been 158 years old when he died (Tobit 14:11). This book claims to have been written by Tobit at or around the time of the Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom, which took place over 200 years after the division of Israel. Hence, we see a discrepancy of at least four decades, if not more. Also, we find the book of Tobit claiming that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took Ninevah in battle. However, this is incorrect. The conqueror of Ninevah was Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, who took the city in 612 BC. 88

Historical inaccuracy is not the only problem which afflicts the apocryphal works. Even more destructive to the claims for their canonicity is the fact that the apocryphal books which Rome accepts have serious contradictions (both factual and doctrinal) between themselves and the true canon of Scripture. It is to be expected from scripture that, since the claim is divine authorship from God, that the scriptures will be internally consistent and free from self-contradiction. This is the case, despite multitudes of attempts by sceptics through the ages to prove otherwise, with the 66 books of the so-called Protestant canon. There is not one supposed difficulty in the consistency of the Bible which stands the test of close examination. If the Apocrypha is added in and considered to be scripture, however, then this glorious record is irreparably tarnished.

In the two books of Maccabees, we see two differing accounts of the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. In I Maccabees chapter 6, we see one version related of this king's death. According to this history, Antiochus Epiphanes attempted to seize the magnificently rich temple of a city in the Persian province of Elymais (Elam), but was repulsed with great shame. While retreating back towards Babylonia (the text records that he was "in Persia"), he received a messenger who informs him of the defeats which the Jews under Judas Maccabaeus had inflicted upon his subordinates in Judah. After hearing the news, Antiochus was struck with fear and "fell sick for grief" because his plans were all falling apart. He is said to have then repented of the evil which he did to the Jews in Judah, and died of grief and remorse upon his bed, calmly passing the crown to his son Antiochus V Eupator, with his trusted friend Philip as crown regent.

However, a differing record is seen in the parallel account given in II Maccabees. In chapter 9, we again see Antiochus attempting to loot the temple of Persepolis (the unnamed city in I Macc. 6), and being driven off in ignoble defeat. We then see that he is found at Ecbatana, a city high in the Zagros mountains of Persia (and, incidentally, not anywhere near the route from Elam back to Babylonia, a VERY long detour apparently). This is where he hears of the defeat of his armies in Judah, and he then flies off into a rage, vowing to revenge himself upon the Jews (v. 4). However, he is struck down by a terrible plague which consisted of a terrible pain in his bowels (v. 6), bruising over all his limbs (v. 7), and worms which actually swarmed out of his body and caused his flesh to begin falling off (v. 9). Further, he exuded such a stench that his entire army could hardly bear to be around him, much less carry his royal litter (v. 10). After enduring all of this, he then writes a letter of repentence to the Jews in Judah in which he tries to weasel his way out of the divine punishment, and ultimately dies in great pain upon his bed. His advisor, Philip, instead of bringing Antiochus V up to reign, is said to flee to Egypt seeking the protection of the Ptolemid king, out of fear of Antiochus' son Eupator.

We see that two differing accounts of the death of this tyrant are presented. One is in either Elam or southern Mesopotamia (south-southeast of Babylon), in which his death is relatively peaceful and the transition of power orderly. The other is in a city far to the northeast of Babylonia, where his death is violently disturbing and the transition of power to his son much less orderly. Hence, we see that there is a contradiction between these two books, and hence, an argument against the canonicity of at least one of them.

There are many doctrinal positions expounded upon in the apocryphal books which differ from what we see in the 66 books accepted by all of Christendom. For example, in Ecclesiasticus, it is taught that an entrance can be "bought" into heaven with money:

"Water extinguishes a blazing fire: so almsgiving atones for sin." (Ecclesiasticus 3:30)

Here, this book pointedly says that giving alms, i.e. a good work, can give atonement for sin, i.e. that it can cover over and remove sin from us in the eyes of God. This same sort teaching is also presented in Tobit 12:9, where almsgiving is said to "deliver from death" and to "purge away every sin". This runs afoul of the testimony of the Word of God in numerous places, not the least of which is I Peter 1:18-19,

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."


"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." (Romans 5:10-11)

And also,

"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God...For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:10,12,14)

That good works of any sort cannot save, or even help to save, the souls of sinful man is repeated so often in the Bible that it is axiomatic (e.g. Titus 3:5, Galatians 2:16, Acts 13:39, Romans 4:5, James 2:23). However, by using an apocryphal book which contradicts true scripture, Rome tries to get around the plain teaching of the Word of God.

Ecclesiasticus also shows its love for the law over grace in the treatment which it prescribes for servants and slaves:

"Fodder and a stick and burdens for an ass; bread and discipline and work for a servant. Set your slave to work, and you will find rest; leave his hands idle, and he will seek liberty. Yoke and thong will bow the neck, and for a wicked servant there are racks and tortures. Put him to work, that he may not be idle, for idleness teaches much evil. Set him to work, as is fitting for him, and if he does not obey, make his fetters heavy." (Ecclesiasticus 33:24-28)

A servant is to be bound with heavier and heavier burdens and punishments the more they seek liberty and freedom. Now, compare this to the words of Paul in his epistle to Philemon, whereby we see a wonderful parallel to the freedom which Christians are given from the yoke of keeping the law for salvation so that they can then truly serve the Lord in freedom of heart and conscience:

"I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: which in time past was unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: But without thy mind I would do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever. Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?" (Philemon 10-16)

In this passage, Paul is certainly exhorting Philemon to receive his runaway slave Onesimus at least in love and magnanimity as a brother, and even seems to be urging him to manumit Onesimus so that he could return to Paul and labour in the Gospel with him. This is a far different bit of advice than that which we see presented in Ecclesiasticus.

Ecclesiasticus also teaches that a wife's sin is worse than any other sin (Ecclesiasticus 25:19), which runs afoul of Scripture. Romans 3:23 tells us that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God, with no indication that any one person's sin, in God's eyes, is "more" sinful than anyone else's. Further, in James 2:10, we see it told that anyone who offends at one point in the law is guilty of breaking the whole law, again, irrespective of the person or particular sin. We are told in Acts 10:34 that God is no respecter of persons. He responds to the sin and to the repentance of each person without respect for who the person may be.

Ecclesiasticus 25:24 also tells us that "from a woman sin had its beginning, and because of her we all die". This, of course, is in contradiction to Romans 5:12 which tells us that by one MAN (Adam), sin entered the world, and death through his sin.

II Maccabees teaches that offerings and prayers for the dead can give salvation to those who have already exited this life:

"On the next day, as by that time it had become necessary, Judas and his men went to take up the bodies of the fallen and to bring them back to lie with their kinsmen in the sepulchres of their fathers. Then under the tunic of every one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was why these men had fallen. So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." (II Maccabees 12:39-45)

What we see here is classic Roman Catholic theology. Judas and his soldiers gather up the dead bodies of men who had died in battle. These men are found to be wearing amulets dedicated to the idols of the Philistine city of Jamnia (hence, they were idolators, a capital crime under the law of God) which demonstrated that they had no faith or trust in God and were instead lost sinners. Then, we see that Judas leads his men in prayers for these soldiers who were already dead, that their sins might be blotted out, and further proceeds to take up a monetary collection so as to make an offering for the sins of those already dead so that they might be considered "godly" through the "atonement made for the dead" which he had made with the two thousand drachmas of silver.

This, however, is contrary to the testimony found in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible clearly indicates that once you're dead, that's it. There is no changing places beyond the grave. Either you go to heaven or hell, that's it.

"And it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)

And the Lord Jesus taught,

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation: but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live....Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:24-25, 28-29)

Here, the Lord teaches what the basis of determination is for whether the dead have done good or evil (believing on Him), and then He teaches that those who have done this will be resurrected unto life, while those who have not done so will receive eternal damnation. There is no middle ground, no purgatory, no righteousness which is given to one who is dead through the prayers and alms of those still living. Further, the Lord taught in Luke 16:19-31 about the fate of Lazarus and the rich man, the one in Abraham's bosom and the other in the fiery pit of hell. The Lord specifically taught that there was no recourse for the rich man to alter his situation, no way for him to receive any relief from or in the eternal damnation which he was enduring.

Relatedly, in the book of Baruch, an apocryphal addition to Jeremiah dating to possibly as late as 70 AD, we see the invocation and intercession of the dead made for the living:

"O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, hear now the prayer of the dead of Israel and of the sons of those who sinned before thee, who did not heed the voice of the Lord their God, so that calamities have clung to us." (Baruch 3:4)

In this passage, we see that the living Israelites call upon God to hear the prayers of these dead men alongside the prayers of the living ("the sons of those who sinned before them"), which teaches the doctrine that the souls of the dead can make intercession with God. This provides a basis for the Roman Catholic belief in the intercession of various "saints" and Mary.

In the book of Wisdom, attributed to Solomon but dated by scholars from 75 BC to as late as 40 AD, we see the teaching of reincarnation. Wisdom 8:19-20 states,

"As a child I was by nature well endowed, and a good soul fell to my lot; or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body."

Notice, this passage in the Book of Wisdom says that a good soul fell to the author's lot, and that, being good, the author entered into an undefiled body. Both of these statements indicate that there was a time prior to his life during which his soul had existed. In this prior time, his soul had obtained its status as "good", and thus was placed into an undefiled body. This is a form of the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, i.e. reincarnation. It differs quite noticeably from the doctrine taught by the Bible concerning death and the soul.

First, we note that the Bible teaches that the soul of man comes directly from the Lord, is directly imparted to us by an act of God.

"And the LORD God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)


"For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made." (Isaiah 57:16)

I Corinthians 15:45 demonstrates that the same creation of the soul which was effected in Adam applies to us all, as we are all Adam's descendants, and are in the same spiritual situation as he was. Further, Zechariah 12:1 states that God "formeth the spirit of man within him". Quite clearly, the souls of each individual person are placed in them upon their conception, and are not pre-existent. Further, there is no biblical option for presuming that souls return to new bodies.

"And it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)

Thus, we see the principle taught that mankind only dies once, that there is no return to live again in another, earthy body. Further, the soul of man resides permanently in the place which its actions in this life deserved, i.e. with the Lord in heaven for those who who trusted on Christ in faith, or separated from the Lord in hell, for those who rejected the way of grace. Taking the example of the godly dead, the biblical teaching on the resurrection of the dead (see I Corinthians 15:35-58, Job 19:25-27, etc.) clearly states that these dead will receive again their bodies, in a new and glorified and incorruptible state. In the meantime before this happens, the souls of the righteous dead reside with the Lord in heaven. The seminal passage on the rapture of the body of Christ gives a clear indication of where the souls of the righteous dead reside before the Lord's return, in I Thessalonians 4:14-17

"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not revent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

Now, how could the Lord bring those who had died in faith with Him, except they already be in heaven prior to His return to the clouds? Clearly, the souls of the dead are at this time reunited with their now-glorified bodies (as per I John 3:2) and the full redemption of body, soul, and spirit is thus completed. There is no room in this biblical scenario for any sort of notion of soul transmigration, for a "good" soul to "fall to the lot" of any individual. As we've seen, the soul is imparted by God at birth, and goes to its eternal destiny upon death. Hence, the passage in Wisdom 8:19-20 is in contradiction to several major Christian doctrines.

The likely source for this transmigratory teaching would be Platonic philosophy:

[Socrates speaking] "Then may our position be put like this, Simmias? If those objects exist which are always on our lips, a beautiful and a good and all reality of that sort, and if it is to that that we refer the content of our sense-perceptions, thereby recovering what was ours aforetime, and compare our precepts thereto, it must follow that as surely as those objects exist so surely do our souls exist before we are born...." 89

In paragraphs 113-115 of this same work, Plato enlarges upon the transmigratory theme (through the words of Socrates), dividing souls into five classes based upon their relative merit or demerit. The worst, the incurable sinners, are forever consigned to Tartarus. The best, those who have been purified through a pursuit of philosophy and learning, are allowed entrance into the Elysian fields of paradise. The three intermediate stages are temporarily housed in Hades until such a time as they return to a new body, either animal or human, to live again and hopefully change their status. This doctrine of transmigration (also called metempsychosis) was first expounded by (and probably received intermediarily by Plato from) the 6th century BC philosopher Pythagorus, though Bulfinch in his Mythology attributes Pythagorus' knowledge of this doctrine to his studies among the "Brahmins of India", and states that the doctrine had originated with the Egyptians 90. Ovid records, concerning the teachings of Pythagorus:

"Our souls are deathless; always, when they leave our bodies, they find new dwelling-places. I myself, I well remember, in the Trojan War was Panthous' son, Euphorbus, and my breast once knew the heavy spear of Menelaus. Not long ago, in Argos, Abas' city, in Juno's temple, I saw the shield I carried on my left arm. All things are always changing, but nothing dies. The spirit comes and goes, is housed wherever it wills, shifts residence from beasts to men, from men to beasts, but always it keeps on living...." 91

The book of Wisdom, produced as it was in or around Alexandria in Egypt, a major centre of later Platonic philosophy, seems to have been influenced, at least in a derivative fashion, by this philosophic system.

Another portion of Wisdom also runs contrary to the testimony of the New Testament.

"But through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it." (Wisdom 2:24)

The Bible tells us, on the other hand, that it was through man's sin that death entered the world.

Certain Catholic apologists will point to Wisdom 2:12-20, claiming it as a Messianic prophecy concerning Jesus Christ, and will rely upon this to bolster the claim that this book, at least, deserves to be considered as canonical. The passage in question is below:

"Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraided us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressions of our education. He professeth to have the knowledge of GOD: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord. He was made to reprove our thoughts. He is grevious unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion. We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that GOD is his Father. Let us see if his words be true; and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him. For if the just man be the Son of GOD, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies. Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness and prove his patience. Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected." (Wisdom 2:12-20)

While this passage is touted as Messianic, we should note that there are actually several points in this passages which CONFLICT with the Word of God. To begin, we note that Jesus Christ never said that He would be "respected". In fact, the Lord stated quite the opposite about His ministry on earth:

[Speaking to his earthly brothers] "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evils." (John 7:7)

[Quoting Psalm 69:4] "But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause." (John 15:25)

[Speaking to the men of Nazareth who were offended at His teachings] "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." (Matthew 13:57)

Further, we should note that Jesus did not teach that God would deliver Him from His punishment at the hands of the Jewish leaders and their Roman dupes. Yet, this is what is implied in vv. 17-18 of the passage above, "Let us see if his words be true; and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him. For if the just man be the Son of GOD, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies." This statement implies that Jesus would have taught His own deliverance from the torture and punishment of the cross, since according to Wisdom (if this indeed were a Messianic prophecy concerning Christ), the words of the wise man under discussion themselves state that he would be delivered. Yet, this is not what the Gospels portray:

[The Lord speaking, predicting His own death] "For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on; and they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again." (Luke 18:32:33)

We see that the Gospel record indicates that the Lord taught that He would NOT be delivered from the cross and from the wicked acts of His tormentors, but would be put to death, and then be resurrected on the third day, which is, of course, what happened.

The Conclusion of the Matter

It is my hope that from all that has been said above, a clear understanding of the place which the Apocrypha rightfully holds can be seen. While it can perhaps be said that the apocryphal books (both those within and outside of the expanded Catholic list) are of interest for historical examination and comparative study, it must be understood with no uncertainty that they are not inspired, God-breathed scripture. These books are of no value for the purpose of building, defending, OR polemicising about doctrine. The reasons for rejecting the Apocrypha as canonical are legion. Historically, they have no basis for acceptance by God's chosen people. Traditionally, they have been accepted only by few within the Church, and these were more often than not heretics with other serious flaws in their theology. Most importantly, however, they are doctrinally incompatible with the true canon of Scripture, and are therefore exposed as being counterfeit scripture.

The addition of these books to the Bible, as the various Catholic bodies have done, is a grave defiance of the warning which God issues to us at the completion of His full revelation,

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book..." (Revelation 22:18)

By appending the Apocrypha to the Bible, and trying to claim the Apocrypha AS Scripture, the Roman religion has rendered itself liable to the plagues of the above verse. By trying to alter the Bible so as to buttress their own novel dogmas and extra-biblical beliefs, the Roman Catholic decision-makers have shown themselves to be the enemies of God and His Word. For the Roman Catholic who is reading this article and who claims to really love the Lord, the decision which you must make about your religion is obvious, as found in the true Scriptures:

"...Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." (Revelation 18:4-5)

Turn to the Lord God through the repentence of your sins, which does NOT mean merely "confessing" to a priest for "absolution" and then returning to the world to commit the same acts over again. Turn from your sins, reject them, hold them no longer in your minds as the object of your desires. Respond to the grace of God which is presented to you in this invitation, and trust in Christ alone. Admit you are a sinner under His condemnation, and cry out to Jesus, the Christ of God, to save you, forgive your sins, and give you new, eternal life which only He can give, and not your religion, your baptism, or your confirmation. The Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) You cannot save yourself with your "good works". You cannot gain heaven by working your way towards that goal. No number of masses, of confessions to a priest, of charity, of religious ritual, can save your soul and buy you eternal life. Only the precious blood of Christ can do that. Trust in Him and His sacrifice ALONE this very day, and you can KNOW that you have eternal life in Christ Jesus. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (I John 5:13). The choice is yours. Will you trust in Christ alone, and receive eternity in heaven in fellowship and communion with God? Will you reject the true way, choosing instead to believe in the words of Roman Catholicism, a religion which adds to God's Word to support its own unsupportable dogmas, and which has led countless souls to hell by teaching them that they have to earn their own way to heaven through some non-existent "treasury of merit"? The choice is yours.

"He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)

Deo Vindice
Tim Dunkin

End Notes

(1) - Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph #120, cf. Dei Verbum 8.3 and Denziger-Schoenmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum, 179; 1334-1336; 1501-1504
(2) - Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, 1.8
(3) - M. Baillet, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, Vol. III, pp. 75-77, pl. XV
(4) - M. Baillet, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, Vol. III, p. 143, pl. XXX
(5) - A. Negev, Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land, p.114
(6) - Forever Settled: A Survey of the Documents and History of the Bible, ed. J. Moorman, p. 16
(7) - Forever Settled: A Survey of the Documents and History of the Bible, ed. J. Moorman, p. 16
(8) - F.F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, p. 49
(9) - E.W. Goodrick, Is My Bible The Inspired Word of God?, p.77
(10) - J.F. Walvoord and R.B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p.403
(11) - E.W. Goodrick, Is My Bible The Inspired Word of God?, p.82-83
(12) - M.C. Unger, The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, ed. R.K. Harrison, p. 208
(13) - from Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., lib. iv, cap. xxvi, 14
(14) - Clement of Rome, Pr. Epis. Cor., cap. iii
(15) - Clement of Rome, Pr. Epis. Cor., cap. xxvii
(16) - Clement of Rome, Pr. Epis. Cor., cap. lv
(17) - Polycarp, Epis. Phil., cap. x
(18) - Shepherd of Hermas, Comm. Eighth
(19) - Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., lib. iv, cap. v, 2
(20) - Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., lib. iv, cap. xxvi, 3
(21) - Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., lib. v, cap. xxxv, 1
(22) - This can be seen at various points throughout the Epistle of Julius Africanus to Origen
(23) - Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., lib. vi, cap. xxv., 2ff
(24) - examples: Wisdom - De Prin., lib. i, cap. ii, 5; II Maccabees - De Prin., lib. i, cap. i, 5; Ecclesiasticus - De Prin., lib. ii, cap. viii, 3
(25) - F.G. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, p. 28
(26) - Whom he calls "the prophet" - Lib. iv, 4
(27) - From the Decree of Damasus
(28) - For an incisive discussion of this archaeological site in Jerusalem, see Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit, written by two Roman priests, P.B. Bagetti and J.T. Milik, both of whom were scholars of some renown concerning the Middle East in the middle part of the last century. The claim that this site, located on the grounds of a Franciscan monastery in Jerusalem, is the real tomb of Peter the Apostle is well-supported. The ossuary containing the bones bore the inscription in Aramaic "Simon bar Jona", and was found in a Christian burial ground dating from around 70 AD. The inscription has been dated by epigraphists as having been produced just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus.
(29) - Tertullian, Adv. Marc., lib. iii, cap. xxii
(30) - The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, ed. A.C. Coxe, Elucidation I regarding The Apology
(31) - Augustine, Ad Doct. Christ., lib. ii, cap. xiii
(32) - Synod of Laodicea, Canon LX
(33) - Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., lib. iv, cap. xxvi, 14
(34) - Hilary of Poitiers, Commentary on the Psalms, prol. 15
(35) - Athanasius, Festal Letter xxxix, 4
(36) - Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechal Lecture iv, 35
(37) - Gregory of Nazanzius, Carmina, lib. i, cap. xii, 5; lib. ii, cap. ii, 8
(38) - Amphilocius, Iambics for Selecius, found in the poems of Gregory of Nazanzius
(39) - Epiphanius, Pan. Haer., cap. viii, 6
(40) - Jerome, Preface to the Books of Samuel, in his Latin Vulgate
(41) - John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, lib. iv, cap. xvii
(42) - N.L.Geisler and W.E. Nix, A General Introduction To The Bible, p. 221
(43) - An example of this type of use would be found when the post-Nicene author Sulpitius Severus, who after exhorting his sister to purity concerning her speech, writes thus, "Cleanse thy tongue from falsehood, because "a mouth which tells lies destroys the soul", cleanse it from detraction, from swearing, and from perjury..." (Sulpitius Severus, Doubtful Letters, Letter ii: To His Sister Claudia Concerning Virginity, cap. x) Here, he partially quotes Wisdom 1:11, but this quotation is made in such a way as to imply that it is a familiar proverbial statement, probably drawn from a common usage due to general familiarity with this book.
(44) - John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, lib. iv, cap. iv - Baruch 3:38; ibid., lib. iv, cap. xv - Wisdom 3:1
(45) - John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, lib. iv, cap. xvii
(46) - J. Calvin, Antidote to the Council of Trent, pp. 67-68
(47) - Some scholars, though, prefer earlier dates around 280-180 BC - ex. H.S. Miller, General Biblical Introduction, p. 222
(48) - See Flavius Josephus, Antiquity of the Jews, 12.2.1-11
(49) - Sir L.C.L Brenton, The Septuagint LXX: Greek and English, Introduction
(50) - H.S. Miller, General Biblical Introduction, p.226
(51) - J.H. Raven, Old Testament Introduction, p. 69
(52) - W.H. Green, General Introduction to the New Testament, p. 128
(53) - Examples: Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., lib. ii, cap. vii, 4 - quotation of Daniel 7:10; Barnabas, Epis. Barn., cap. iv - quotation of Daniel 7:7-8,24; Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., lib. v, cap. xxv, 3-5 - numerous quotes from Daniel 7 and 9
(54) - Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, Tertullian, Adv. Marc., lib. iii, cap. xxii, text note #319
(55) - For instance, Aquila replaced the Greek "parathions", meaning properly "virgin", in the Septuagint with the word "neanis", which means "young woman", in his revision of Isaiah 7:14
(56) - F. Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, p.432
(57) - A. Souter, The Text and Canon of the New Testament, p.23
(58) - F. Kenyon, The Text of the Greek Bible, p.35
(59) - Clement of Rome, Epis. Cor., cap. xvii; ibid. cap. xlvi
(60) - Clement of Rome, Epis. Cor., cap. iv
(61) - Justin Martyr, Dial. Tryp. cap. lxxiii
(62) - Jeremiah - Adv. Haer., lib. iii, cap. xx; Isaiah - ibid., lib iv, cap. xxii
(63) - Barnabas, Epis. Barn., cap. vi; ibid., cap. vii
(64) - S. Semler, Report on the Free Investigation of the Canons, Vol. i, pp. 124-128
(65) - D. Barthélemy, Rediscovery of the Missing Link in the History of the Septuagint, Revue Biblique, Vol. 60, pp. 18-29
(66) - K. Stendahl, The School of St. Matthew, Acta Seminarii Neotestamentici Upsalensis, Vol. 20, pp. 177-180
(67) - F.M. Cross, "The Text Behind the Text of the Hebrew Bible", in Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. H. Shanks, p. 128, n. 2
(68) - Jerome, De Vir., lib. iii, cap. lxxv
(69) - B. M. Metzger, The Text Of The New Testament, p. 24
(70) - D.O. Fuller, Which Bible?, p.195,220,197
(71) - T. Holland, Crowned With Glory, p. 33, citing A. Souter, The Text And Canon Of The New Testament, pp.22-23
(72) - E. Wurthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, p.57
(73) - The Canons of the Council in Trullo, Canon II
(74) - E. Hills, The King James Version Defended, p. 98
(75) - Isidore, De Ecclesiasticis Officiis, lib. i, cap. xii
(76) - Rabanus, De Institutione Clericorum, cap. liv
(77) - Hugh of St. Victor, De Sacramentis Christianæ Fidei, lib. i, cap. vii
(78) - Hugh of St. Victor, Eruditionis Didascaliæ, lib. iv, cap. viii
(79) - E. Hills, The King James Version Defended, p. 98
(80) - The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, ed. H.J. Schroeder, Fourth Session, p. 15
(81) - The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, ed. H.J. Schroeder, Fourth Session, p. 17, Footnote #4
(82) - New Catholic Encyclopedia, 'The Canon'
(83) - N.L. Geisler and W.E. Nix, General Introduction to the Bible, p. 270
(84) - K.S. Latourette, Christianity Through the Ages, p. 170
(85) - N.L. Geisler and W.E. Nix, General Introduction to the Bible, p. 274
(86) - Book of Judith, Note on v. 1:5, St. Joseph New Catholic Edition
(87) - G. Roux, Ancient Iraq, p. 257
(88) - W. Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, p. 283
(89) - Plato, Phaedo, ppg. 76E, p.73, tr. R. Hackforth - see paragraphs previous for the development of this conclusion
(90) - T. Bulfinch, Bulfinch's Mythology of Greece and Rome with Eastern and Norse Legends, p. 276
(91) - Ovid, Metamorphoses, lib. xv, lines 155 ff., p.371, tr. R. Humphries

© 2002,2003 All Rights Reserved