I must apologize straightaway. I am not a theologian, I’m not an expert in Doctrines, I am certainly not claiming to “teach” anyone scripture or interpretation on this blog. I’m Saved, Regenerate, Born Again, and sold out to my Lord Jesus Christ. I know who I was, I know I was destined for hell in my sin and for some reason Christ sought me, He called me (more than once because I didn’t accept the first time I heard the gospel) and I finally humbly and full hearted accepted Him as my Savior and my Lord. I don’t fit in any mold of denominations. I’m not anything; I’m not a Baptist, I’m not Evangelical, I’m not a member of any Church. I know what I’m opposed to and I’m still a willing vessel to learn and know my God, the Father, and His son, My Savior Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit. Now apologies set aside for knowing little about “learned theology” I have some observations and some questions for you-the body of Christ.
What I know about this topic is that the Apocrypha is a set of uncannonized books that are not included in the Bible that I have at home. I always had some understanding that the “Apocrypha” was for Catholics. I’m not a Catholic. I figured that because it’s not in the Bible and “uncannonized” that it is not God’s Word and thus I’ve never read it. Recently, perhaps in the last five years, it appears that more and more “Christians” are reading the Apocrypha and are claiming to have a more well rounded astute understanding of Theology because of it. That or they are as lost as I was when I tried to read it and then they just say they’re better than me because they read more and understood less!
Here’s an explanation by another blogger since I lack any intelligent response here:
The Apocrypha is a collection of uninspired, spurious books written by various individuals. The Catholic religion considers these books as scripture just like a Bible-believer believes that our 66 books are the word of God, i.e., Genesis to Revelation. We are going to examine some verses from the Apocrypha later in our discussion.
At the Council of Trent (1546) the Roman Catholic institution pronounced the following apocryphal books sacred. They asserted that the apocryphal books together with unwritten tradition are of God and are to be received and venerated as the Word of God. So now you have the Bible, the Apocrypha and Catholic Tradition as co-equal sources of truth for the Catholic. In reality, the Bible is the last source of truth for Catholics. Roman Catholic doctrine comes primarily from tradition stuck together with a few Bible names. In my reading of Catholic materials, I find notes like this: “You have to keep the Bible in perspective.” Catholics have been deceived into not believing that the Bible is God’s complete revelation for man [but they can come out of these deceptions in an instant if they will only believe the Bible as it is written].
The Roman Catholic Apocrypha Tobit
First and Second Maccabees
Additions to Esther and Daniel
Apocryphal Books rejected by the Catholic Religion:
First and Second Esdras
Prayer of Manasses
*A reader says: “Susanna is in the Roman Catholic canon. It is Daniel 13.”
Why the Apocrypha Isn’t in the Bible.
- Not one of the apocryphal books is written in the Hebrew language which was used in the Old Testament. All Apocryphal books are in Greek, except one which is extant only in Latin.
- None of the apocryphal writers laid claim to inspiration.
- The apocryphal books were never acknowledged as sacred scriptures by the Jews, custodians of the Hebrew scriptures (the apocrypha was written prior to the New Testament). In fact, the Jewish people rejected and destroyed the apocrypha after the overthow of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
- The apocryphal books were not permitted among the sacred books during the first four centuries of the real Christian church (I’m certainly not talking about the Catholic religion which is not Christian).
- The Apocrypha contains fabulous statements which not only contradict the “canonical” scriptures but themselves. For example, in the two Books of Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in three different places.
- The Apocrypha includes doctrines in variance with the Bible, such as prayers for the dead and sinless perfection. The following verses are taken from the Apocrypha translation by Ronald Knox dated 1954:Basis for the doctrine of purgatory:
2 Maccabees 12:43-45, 2.000 pieces of silver were sent to Jerusalem for a sin-offering…Whereupon he made reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.
Salvation by works:
Ecclesiasticus 3:30, Water will quench a flaming fire, and alms maketh atonement for sin.Tobit 12:8-9, 17, It is better to give alms than to lay up gold; for alms doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin.
Tobit 6:5-8, If the Devil, or an evil spirit troubles anyone, they can be driven away by making a smoke of the heart, liver, and gall of a fish…and the Devil will smell it, and flee away, and never come again anymore.
Mary was born sinless (immaculate conception):
Wisdom 8:19-20, And I was a witty child and had received a good soul. And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled.
- It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assassination and magical incantation.
- No apocryphal book is referred to in the New Testament whereas the Old Testament is referred to hundreds of times.
- Because of these and other reasons, the apocryphal books are only valuable as ancient documents illustrative of the manners, language, opinions and history of the East. (End of Source: Click here for the rest of the topic/link is not an endorsement)
If you’re wondering, “What does the Apocrypha have to do with anything,” let me clue you in. Some people use buzz words like, “Church Fathers” and “Early Christianity,” and what they mean is now they are reading the Apocrypha and other Catholic reading material to sound like they are more versed and have a greater knowledge of the Word of God because of it. You may have heard of the “Emergent” movement but it really means nothing unless you understand that what they are really doing is trying to discover God through other means and other readings beside the Bible. These people still have a heart for God and want to be Christians who know Christ, but they get caught up in the “Zen” of the matter. They want to be trendy, they want to have that gnostic knowledge that is not dished out on a happy Sunday morning sermon. So they go the way of the “Christian Rebel” and read books that have been “banned” for a lack of a better word by the Protestant church. These people seem more confused than anything and less knowledgeable in my own opinion. These “experts” you listen to, they have read these extra-biblical books, they may not tell you, but you hear them quoting it often you just don’t pay attention. It’s not just the Apocrypha either, the newest and latest coolness factor is reading Jewish extra biblical writings.
The Book of Enoch
The Book of Enoch (also 1 Enoch) is an ancient Jewish religious work, traditionally ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not part of the biblical canon as used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel. It is regarded as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Eritrean Orthodox Church, but no other Christian group.
The older sections (mainly in the Book of the Watchers) are estimated to date from about 300 BC, and the latest part (Book of Parables) probably was composed at the end of the 1st century BC.
It is wholly extant only in the Ge’ez language, with Aramaic fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and a few Greek and Latin fragments. For this and other reasons, the traditional Ethiopian view is that the original language of the work was Ge’ez, whereas non-Ethiopian scholars tend to assert that it was first written in either Aramaic or Hebrew; E. Isaac suggests that the Book of Enoch, like the Book of Daniel, was composed partially in Aramaic and partially in Hebrew.:6
A short section of 1 Enoch (1 En 1:9) is quoted in the New Testament (Letter of Jude 1:14–15), and is there attributed to “Enoch the Seventh from Adam” (1 En 60:8). It is argued that all the writers of the New Testament were familiar with it and were influenced by it in thought and diction.
The first part of the Book of Enoch describes the fall of the Watchers, the angels who fathered the Nephilim. The remainder of the book describes Enoch’s visits to heaven in the form of travels, visions and dreams, and his revelations.
The book consists of five quite distinct major sections (see each section for details):
- The Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1 – 36)
- The Book of Parables of Enoch (1 Enoch 37 – 71) (Also called the Similitudes of Enoch)
- The Astronomical Book (1 Enoch 72 – 82) (Also called the Book of the Heavenly Luminaries or Book of Luminaries)
- The Book of Dream Visions (1 Enoch 83 – 90) (Also called the Book of Dreams)
- The Epistle of Enoch (1 Enoch 91 – 108)
Most scholars share the view that these five sections were originally independent works (with different dates of composition), themselves a product of much editorial arrangement, and were only later redacted into what we now call 1 Enoch.
Józef Milik has suggested that the Book of Giants found among the Dead Sea Scrolls should be part of the collection, appearing after the Book of Watchers in place of the Book of Parables, but for various reasons, Milik’s theory has not been widely accepted.
Although evidently widely known at the time of the Development of the Hebrew Bible canon, 1 Enoch was excluded from both the formal canon of the Tanakh and the typical canon of the Septuagint and therefore, also the writings known today as the Deuterocanon. One possible reason for Jewish rejection of the book might be the textual nature of several early sections of the book that make use of material from the Torah; for example, 1 En 1 is a midrash of Deuteronomy 33. The content, particularly detailed descriptions of fallen angels, would also be a reason for rejection from the Hebrew canon at this period – as illustrated by the comments of Trypho the Jew when debating with Justin Martyr on this subject. Trypho: “The utterances of God are holy, but your expositions are mere contrivances, as is plain from what has been explained by you; nay, even blasphemies, for you assert that angels sinned and revolted from God.” (Dialogue 79) (END OF QUOTE: SOURCE WIKIPEDIA)
The book of Enoch is very popular right now. I guess it has been historically important when false teachers desire to deceive the body of Christ, so it’s not just popular now. This book is quoted often by “Teachers” and “Experts” in “discerning Jesus’ intelligence briefing to his disciples of what to expect during the last days.” My contention is the experts who use this book as their source often play around in coded messages and don’t flat out tell their “followers” that they are using the Book of Enoch and the Apocrypha and Jewish mysticism to feed the undiscerning their theories. Why, if it takes such a genius to read these extra biblical books, are the teachers and experts not more forth coming with where they are getting their interpretations and knowledge? I had never heard of Gemetria or Kabalah until one particular “Christian Bible Teacher” mentioned it as a “warning.” When I heard it referenced and quoted repeatedly in the context as a source and not as a warning I began to think, this is how the “expert” got his knowledge, maybe I should get into this stuff so I can “discern” and understand the Last Days better! I thought it was a brilliant idea (at the time). It only lead to more confusion.
Perhaps I am meant to be elementary. Maybe all I can aspire to is a 6th grade understanding of the Scriptures and the Doctrines that saved my life. Maybe all that time I was raised believing that UFO’s were not real was a lie and there are truly Aliens (disguised Demons); and others who have degrees and military intelligence sources are better than me. I am a nobody, no one important, just a dumb ole sheep who can’t understand the truths in the Apocrypha and Deuterocanon. I’m a doomed soul who will never know a truth greater than God sending His only begotten Son into the World, perfect, unblemished, God incarnate, to die a brutal death for my sins, to atone for me who had yet to be born, and as a result of my belief in Him and what He has done I have been forgiven of my sins and saved from hell. I mean that sounds like small potatoes compared to knowing ‘M theory,’ portals, hyper-dimensions, and how numbers mean stuff in the bible (numerology/Gemetria). I could be one of those Überman (woman) if I could only get through more than a chapter of Nietzsche. I could jump through cognitive loop holes in the polar polymeric monoliths if only I could project my soul out of my body but lo I can’t (nor do I have a desire to) and I’m not as good of a Christian as those that can. I’m definitely not as smart as them that can do such things.
I think I’ll wear my ignorance button with pride than if all I will ever be able to understand is: God is and forever will be, that’s good enough for me.
I am fully capable of researching and reading. I do not need nor am I asking for an explanation of Apocrypha/The Book of Enoch, or any other extra biblical teachings. I am resourceful and can do my own digging. My question to you dear brethren is, “Why do Christians believe they are better than other Christians because they indulge their fantasies in extra biblical teachings?” I was a Philosophy minor at one time, a Psychology major at another time. I’m not willfully ignorant of these extra biblical teachings, I am cognizant of them. Some false teachings I am better at discerning than others; however, the purpose is always the same in every case: Get the Christian away from Christ, away from the true Word of God and keep them busy and misguided. The results of deception are: a useless and not so powerful Christian. I’m not better than a theologian or a seminary grad, nor are they better than myself. We will not be judged by how many bible classes we took. There’s enough reason to be aware of these teachings if only to discern when you’re being taught false doctrine and given false prophecies based on writings and interpretations of teachings that are not Biblical- Divinely inspired. Time is short, just based on life expectancy, not to mention the situations going on around us. This case of Christian snobbery reminds me of a pair of brothers who wanted to be seated at the right and left hand of Jesus… (Matthew 20:20-28)
20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”