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Can We Trust the Bible? The Apocryphal Books of the Old Testament

“The Banned Books of the Bible,” “The Lost Books of the Bible,” –these are just two of the many titles from books and TV programs which refer to books known as “Apocryphal” books. The meaning of “Apocrypha” includes doubtful, hidden, secret, and noncanonical.

Applying the “standards for measure” or “standards of judgment” previously discussed, the following writings were rejected by the ancient Jewish fathers from inclusion into the Old Testament canon:

*Baruch, II Baruch, The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch
*Bel and the Dragon
*Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach
I Enoch, II Enoch, Book of the Secrets of Enoch
**1 Esdras  ***2 Esdras
*Judith
*I Maccabees *II Maccabees **III Maccabees ****IV Maccabees
Pirke Aboth
**Prayer of Manasseh
**Psalm 151
*Susanna
*The Additions to the Book of Daniel (added after Daniel 3:23)
*The Additions to the Book of Esther
The Assumption of Moses
The Book of Adam and Eve
The Book of Jubilee
The Letter of Aristeas
*The Letter of Jeremiah (sometimes incorporated as the last chapter of Baruch)
The Martyrdom of Isaiah
The Psalms of Solomon
The Sibylline Oracles
The Story of Ahikar
The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs
*Tobit
*Wisdom of Solomon


NOTES: 
*These books appear in the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Slavonic Bibles.
**These books appear in the Greek and Slavonic Bibles, but not in the Roman Catholic canon.
***This book appears in the Slavonic Bible and in the Latin Vulgate Appendix.
****This book appears in the Appendix to the Greek Bible.

  • Our next article will discuss specific reasons for rejecting the Old Testament Apocrypha
           
  • Return to our Introduction Post to see a list of all articles in this series.