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Fearing the Apocrypha

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz

A favorite objection to the King James Bible is its inclusion of the Apocrypha in its printings well into the 19th century. By the Apocrypha we mean 14 books which Protestants and Baptists often find historically interesting but by no means do they find them to be part of the canon of scripture. The Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox churches accept them as part of the bible itself.

Yes, the King James Bible did include the Apocrypha in its printing and the translators took great care to translate those 14 books. Knowing the fables and partially accurate histories of the Apocrypha were considered essential to a well rounded education in 1611 and well into the next two centuries. Because of the general shallowness of a bible college education today, ministers who seek to encourage the use of modern bibles often use the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the 1611 as an excuse to discourage people from using the King James Bible.

What does the word "apocrypha" mean? The very term "Apocrypha" is a slap in the face to the Roman Catholic Bible. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines the word Apocrypha as: Of unknown authorship; not authentic, spurious; uncanonical. To be apocryphal is defined as: Of doubtful authenticity; spurious, fictitious, false; fabulous, mythical. By labeling those 14 books as "The Apocrypha", the King James Translators defied the Council of Trent and the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

At the Council of Trent (1546) the Roman Church labeled those books as "Deuterocanonical". In the OED Deuterocanonical means: Of, pertaining to, or constituting a second or secondary canon: opposed to protocanonical.

Applied historically to those books of the Scripture Canon as defined by the Council of Trent which are regarded by Roman Catholic divines as constituting a second Canon, accepted later than the first, but now of equal authority.

Bible publishers have a long history of including various helps between the covers of their bibles. We find timelines, dictionaries, concordances and for the first two centuries of the printing of the King James Bible we could often find the Apocrypha. It was labeled as "Apocrypha". Its very label instructed the reader that the books therein were "of unknown authorship; not authentic, spurious; uncanonical".

Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge, Proverbs 19:27. As the bible colleges and seminaries churn out an unceasing train of poorly educated twits and foist them on an unsuspecting public as preachers, it becomes more and more important for bible believers to find sources of history and bible which go deeper than the silliness which passes for education today.

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Trying to follow the logic: Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge, Proverbs 19:27. Got it. Agreed. And given the questionable nature of even the NKJV let alone other other translations one should read the faithful KJV that includes material that is, Of doubtful authenticity; spurious, fictitious, false; fabulous, mythical. Got it. So, one either reads a KJV that doesn't include what the original translation team included or just ignores the Apocrypha bits if included in your edition. I mean only a "twit" would "foist" on oneself that might cause one to fail to "Abstain from all appearance of evil." I love the KJV. I read the KJV. It's my primary. Bu…


Jul 14, 2023

In Ecclesiasticus' prologue is the admission that these are the words of men & also that they are from Egypt, so thats where i get my cue. But . . . the translators did include them (for reasons not to go into for this note) and for a believer to have at least a limited knowledge to is only proper. Doctrine? No. Knowledge & understanding? Why not. The articles of religion after Edward VI (1552) would give their mindset. I am rather surprised at the inconsistencies in the apocrypha compared to scripture, as they are numerous.


Aug 16, 2022

"... the silliness which passes for education today."

The provenance of the silliness is ... "the silly versions":

NKJV, ESV, NIV, to name a few.

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