Why don’t we have the Apocrypha in our Bible?

Tail-piece to the second book of Maccabees, vi...

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Question: : Why does the Catholic translation of the Bible have more books in it than the Protestant?

Answer: The Catholic version includes a group of books called the Apocrypha (means “hidden”). When Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin for the western churches, he included these books. They were written between the books of Malachi and Matthew, in that period between the return of Israel from exile and the coming of Jesus. The Jews did not consider them Scripture and Jesus never quoted from them or acknowledged them as part of the Bible. They were respected in some cases as helpful historical accounts (Maccabees) and in others as containing some wisdom, but were not put on a par with Scripture.

Because Roman Catholicism has built some of its doctrines in part on passages from the Apocrypha, they have been more willing to include them in their translations of the Bible. If you were to read them you would find them of very unequal value, fantastic at times even in Biblical terms but at others very much in accord with what the Scriptures teach. They are not Scripture, so they are not authoritative for our lives.

Randall Johnson


2 thoughts on “Why don’t we have the Apocrypha in our Bible?

  1. I hope you will at least read this.

    Your answer was not entirely true. First, the Apocrypha in not just a Catholic thing. All the English translations before the 1611 KJV had the Apocrypha, not just the Catholic translations.

    The KJV accepted the Apocrypha as Scripture. How do we know that? The 1611 KJV, near the front of the Bible, contained a yearly Prayer schedule which included the Apocrypha scriptures. yes, the Apocrypha was to be used in their prayers. In fact, all of the KJVs date from the first 1611 to the mid-1800s contained the Apocrypha. That’s 250 years the KJV contained the Apocrypha. What was the Apocrypha removed at that point in time? NO ONE KNOWS. (I have 211 editions of the KJV, dating from 1611 to 1799 and they all have the Apocrypha.)

    At this period in time, more and more Bibles are putting the Apocrypha bacvk in the Scriptures. Why?

    There are a lot of myths about what is Scripture, what Scripture actually states, what Scripture teaches. We don’t want to be a part of passing on myth. An example of this is the Tetragrammaton, God’s personal name. It is used over 6,800+ times in the Hebrew Scriptures and yet very few Bibles use God’s personal name, either substituting the title “God” or “Lord.” Why? Is it because of the Jews? No, the name is still in their Bible. Even when the Jews made a translation into Greek for Greek speaking Jews, the Septuagint (LXX), they retained the Tetragrammaton in it untranslated. It is now agreed upon by most scholars that it was the Christians whoremoved God’s name from the Scriptures. Many now believe that God’s name was in the original NT writings where they quoted the OT.

    Yet, most modern translators do not use God’s personal name. Why? Because of a myth they believe to be true.

    We must take care not to pass on myths about the Apocryphal as well. There is much we have been told that is not true. I wish I had the time and space togive many examples of it.

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