Slavonic Apocrypha Ivrejected Scriptures

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Roman Catholics may tell you, 'You Protestants are missing part of the Bible. We have the rest of it.' [Note: These people's leaders (popes, priests, etc.) have led them astray to this wrong belief.] This comment about missing books can throw people off, but it no longer has to. These popish additions to the Bible are commonly called the Apocrypha or sometimes the Deuterocanonical books. This is a short treatise on WHY these books are not in the Bible.

The Apocrypha refers to books that were included in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures created by Alexandrian Jews in the third century B.C.) but excluded later by the rabbis who authorized the Jewish canon (about 100 A.D.). SLAVONIC APOCRYPHA II SLAVONIC APOCRYPHA III SLAVONIC APOCRYPHA IV SLAVONIC APOCRYPHA V Neo-Apocrypha. And regretted my riches, and said: My son, do not waste my treasures, it is truly in the Scripture that it is not earned by their own labor, they do not regret it. I went and told all about Sinagrip, my king, and the king answered me: As. The New Testament apocrypha were not accepted as 'canonical' 4th Cen, The Latin Vulgate - In AD382, Pope Damascus I commissioned Jerome to produce a Latin Bible complete with Apocrypha to replace the poorly translated Old Latin versions. He worked in Bethlehem. The similarity between the ancient apocrypha and much later Dualist ideas could be a coincidence, but it is far more likely that those Slavonic writings themselves helped Eastern European thinkers.

What is the Apocrypha anyway?

Test Applied to Apocrypha Fails. Many more references in the Apocrypha to prove their origin is not of God. Enough cov­ered in this study to vindicate expulsion of these books from canon of our Bible. 'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to.

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 the 66 books in the Authorized Version of 1611 of the Bible 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, it seems obvious that 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
Judith
Wisdom
Ecclesiasticus
Baruch
First and Second Maccabees
Additions to Esther and Daniel

Apocryphal Books rejected by the Catholic Religion:

First and Second Esdras
Prayer of Manasses
Susanna*

*A reader says: 'Susanna is in the Roman Catholic canon. It is Daniel 13.'

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Why the Apocrypha Isn't in the Bible.

  1. Not one of the apocryphal books is written in the Hebrew language (the Old Testament was written in Hebrew). All Apocryphal books are in Greek, except one which is extant only in Latin.
  2. None of the apocryphal writers laid claim to inspiration.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. The Roman Catholic 'Church' is not Christian).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

    Magic:

    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.
  7. It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assasination and magical incantation.
  8. No apocryphal book is referred to in the New Testament whereas the Old Testament is referred to hundreds of times.
  9. 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.

Wasn't the Apocrypha in the King James?

The King James translators never considered the Apocrypha the word of God. As books of some historical value (e.g., details of the Maccabean revolt), the Apocrypha was sandwiched between the Old and New Testaments as an appendix of reference material. This followed the format that Luther had used. Luther prefaced the Apocrypha with a statement:

'Apocrypha--that is, books which are not regarded as equal to the holy Scriputres, and yet are profitable and good to read.'
King James Version Defended page 98.

In 1599, TWELVE YEARS BEFORE the King James Bible was published, King James himself said this about the Apocrypha:

'As to the Apocriphe bookes, I OMIT THEM because I am no Papist (as I saidbefore)...'
King James Charles Stewart
Basilicon Doron, page 13

In his, 'A Premonition to All Most Mightie Monarches,'--found in his Workes (a collection of the king's writings)--King James said this--

'...Is it a small corrupting of the Scriptures to make all, or the most part of the Apocrypha of equall faith with the canonicall Scriptures...?'

Not only this, but the sixth article of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church ofEngland (1571 edition. The Church of England published the Authorized King James Version) states that

(1) the Old and New Testaments are the Bible--

In the name of the Holy, we do vnderstande those canonical bookes of the olde and newe Testament, of whose authoritie was never any doubt in the Churche...

(2) the apocrypha is not the Bible--

And the other bookes, (as Hierome sayeth), the Churche doth reade for example of life and instruction of manners: but yet doth it not applie them to establish any doctrene.

Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977, Vol. III, pp.489-491.

The Hampton Court Document came as a result of the famous Hampton Court Conference of 1604 when King James specially commanded the translation of the Bible that would one day bear his name. Concerning the apocrypha and the Church of England, it states--

The Apocrypha, that hath some repugnancy to the canonical scriptures, shall not be read...

Select Statutes and Other Constitutional Documents Illustrative of the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I,
edited by G.W. Prothero, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, 1894, p. 416

The Apocrypha began to be omitted from the Authorized Version in 1629. Puritans and Presbyterians lobbied for the complete removal of the Apocrypha from the Bible and in 1825 the British and Foreign Bible Society agreed. From that time on, the Apocrypha has been eliminated from practically all English Bibles--Catholic Bibles and some pulpit Bibles excepted.

Not even all Catholic 'Church Fathers' believed the Apocrypha was scripture.

Not that this really means anything. The truth is not validated by the false. Nevertheless, this may be of interest to some... Jerome (340-420) rejected the Apocrypha:

Church Slavonic Bible Online

'As the Church reads the books of Judith and Tobit and Maccabees but does not receive them among the canonical Scriptures, so also it reads Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus for the edification of the people, not for the authoritative confirmation of doctrine.'
Jerome
Jerome's preface to the books of Solomon

According to Edward Hills in The King James Version Defended p. 98 other famous Catholics with this viewpoint include Augustine (354-430 who at first defended the Apocrypha as canonical), Pope Gregory the Great (540-604), Cardinal Ximenes, and Cardinal Cajetan.

There are other spurious books.

These include the Pseudepigrapha which contains Enoch, Michael the Archangel, and Jannes and Jambres. Many spurious books falsely claim to have been written by various Old Testament patriarchs. They were composed between 200 B.C. and 100 A.D. There are lots of these spurious books like The Assumption of Moses, Apocalypse of Elijah, and Ascension of Isaiah.

Concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls, there may be some information in them that parallels the Masoretic Text, but there are fables in them, too. I went to see the scrolls a few years ago with great expectation but found a bunch of fables. The best defense against error in any form (unauthorized Bibles and religions) is a solid knowledge of the AUTHORIZED (King James) Version of 1611 of the Bible. If you read it, forgeries become readily apparent.

Those that are unsaved may wish to read our article entitled, How to Get to Heaven.

by Tony Burke

  • This post originally appeared on the author’s blog.

As I work through the contributions to the second volume of New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, I am struck by how many of them are related to a genre of literature that has not been discussed much in connection with apocryphal texts. This genre is erotapokriseis (question-and-answer) texts. For an introduction to this literature, see Péter Tóth, “New Wine in Old Wineskin: Byzantine Reuses of the Apocryphal Revelation Dialogue,” in Dialogues and Debates from Late Antiquity to Late Byzantium(ed. Averil Cameron and Niels Gaul; New York: Routledge, 2017), 77–93 (available on academia.edu) and Yannis Papadoyannakis, “Instruction by Question and Answer: The Case of Late Antique and Byzantine Erotapokriseis,” in Greek Literature in Late Antiquity: Dynamism, Didacticism, Classicism (ed. Scott Fitzgerald Johnson; London/New York: Routledge, 2006), 91–105 (also online HERE).

The genre can be defined widely enough to include any dialogue literature, going as far back as Pseudo-Aristotle’s Problemata (compiled over a period stretching from 300 BCE to 600 CE) and, in their early form, are structured as an exchange between a master and his disciples. This should be familiar to readers of such apocryphal texts as the Dialogue of the Savior and the Letter of Peter to Philip, in which a (typically) post-Easter Jesus responds to a series of questions from his disciples. Kurt Rudolph called these texts “apocryphal revelation dialogues,” Helmut Koester, more provocatively, “dialogue-gospels.” The prevalence of the form among the so-called “gnostic” texts of the Nag Hammadi Library led to a belief that it was particularly favored among gnostic Christians. But the form is also used in the more orthodox Epistle of the Apostles and the Questions of Bartholomew, and to some extent in tour of hell apocalypses, such as the Apocalypse of Paul or the Apocalypse of the Virgin, in which various locations of punishment are explained in response to questions from the visionary of the text.

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Non-revelation erotapokriseis include works by Origen and Eusebius. On their models evolved in late antiquity a flexible form of numbered questions and answers that allowed for adaptation and supplementation. One of the first of these is the Quaestiones et responsiones ad orthodoxos attributed to Justin. It features 161 questions and answers (in the long recension) dealing with themes such as eschatology, cosmology, demonology, magic etc. It has an apologetic dimension, asserting orthodox teachings against the views of well-known critics of Christianity (Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian) and of heretics. It is these Byzantine question-and-answer texts that have some kind of relationship to contemporary apocrypha.

The erotapokriseis texts included in MNTA 2 include one text closely aligned with the early “gnostic” dialogues. It has appeared in previous editions and collections, including the German collection edited by Schneemelcher (by Henri-Charles Puech, see pp. 388–90 in the English translation) and its revision by Markschies and Schröter (by Hans-Martin Schenke, see pp. 1217–19). In both collections the text is called “Fragments of a Dialogue between John and Jesus,” but Philip Tite, who has provided an extensive introduction and new translation of the text for MNTA, prefers to keep the identity of the revealer anonymous, simply calling the text the Dialogue of the Revealer and John. The fragmentary manuscript, in Coptic, is a single page broken up into smaller pieces. It likely derives from the Monastery of Apa Apollo at Deir el-Bala’izah, which seems to have been abandoned by 750 CE. The remaining portions of the text comprise a series of questions about Genesis—the fall of humanity, Cain and Abel, the Flood, and Melchizedek—answered by the Revealer with hints of Sethian theology (the mention of five seals, the terms “silence” and “rational power”).

Tite’s work on the Dialogue of the Revealer and John is followed in MNTA 2 by a series of Byzantine Johannine apocalyptica. Most of these have appeared previously, most prominently in John M. Court’s collection The Book of Revelation and the Johannine Apocalyptic Tradition (JSNTS 190; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000). Court republished earlier editions and provided English translations and notes. The first of these Johannine apocalyptica, 1 Apocryphal Apocalypse of John, is the most widely known as it is included in Constantin Tischendorf’s Apocalypses Apocryphae, from which it was translated into English in Alexander Walker’s Apocryphal Gospels, Acts, and Revelations. In the text, John sits with the resurrected Jesus on Mount Tabor and asks a series of questions about the fate of the soul, the form of the body in the afterlife, and about the anti-Christ. My favorite section is the answer to John’s question on the form taken by the righteous after resurrection:

For even as the bees are, and are no different one from another, but are all one appearance and one stature, in the same way, even those in the resurrection will all be human. They will be neither fair of skin, nor red of skin, nor black of skin; neither will they be (like the) Ethiopian with different facial features; 5but all will rise in one appearance and one stature. (11:2–4)

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Many new manuscripts of the text have been found since Tischendorf’s day—he used seven in Greek, but Rick Brannan’s introduction for MNTA 2 lists an additional 27, and likely there are more. The text is known also in Arabic, Garšuni, Armenian, and Slavonic. It was certainly popular. With a new critical edition still a desideratum, Brannan provides only a new translation of Tischendorf’s text. He has also published a Greek reader of the text (more on this HERE). Besides the question-and-answer structure of the text, 1 Apocr. Apoc. John also intersects with the erotapokriseis genre in a number of parallels of content with the Quaestiones ad Antiochum ducem, attributed to Athanasius of Alexandria but likely composed in the seventh century. Both texts share material in their answers to whether the dead will be able to recognize each other in the afterlife (Quaest. ad Ant. 22; cf. 1 Apocr. Apoc. John 12) and about the number of the angels (Quaest. ad Ant. 6; cf. 1 Apocr. Apoc. John 26). The parallels are noted in work on the text in the nineteenth century in Russian by Vassily Mochulsky but have only been brought into Western scholarship recently by Péter Tóth (“New Wine in Old Wineskin,” 82–84) and Laurence Vianès (“Les citations bibliques dans la Première Apocalyse Apocryphe de saint Jean et dans les Quaestiones ad Antiochum Ducem,” in Soyez des changuers avisés. Controverses exégétiques dans la littérature apocryphe chrétienne, ed. Gabriella Aragione and Rémi Gounelle [Cahiers de Biblia Patristica 12; Strasbourg: Université de Strasbourg, 2012], 145–612, also available on academia.edu).

The second Byzantine Johannine apocalypse is known, appropriately enough, as 2 Apocryphal Apocalypse of John, though it is attributed in the manuscripts to John Chrysostom, not John the Theologian. It is possible that the attribution to Chrysostom is a secondary development in the tradition, though the content of the text—questions about the Byzantine liturgy—is certainly appropriate to Chrysostom, who was instrumental in its development. This text was first published by Russian scholar N. Th. Krasnoseltsev in 1898 but readers in the West became aware of it from an edition by François Nau in 1914. Janet Spittler and two of her students, Rebecca Draughon and Jeannie Sellick, have prepared for MNTA 2 a synoptic translation of both editions, which vary from one another significantly. At least four other manuscripts are known, one from the new finds at St. Catherine’s Monastery, but these have yet to be evaluated or published. The fragmentary St. Catherine’s manuscript should be important since it dates from around the eighth or ninth century. As with 1 Apocr. Apoc. John, there are several Byzantine erotapokriseisworks, indicated by Krasnoseltsev, that share content with 2 Apocr. Apoc. John. As Tóth notes (p. 83), the Various Questions and Answers on Priests contains the questions, “What is the church? What is the sanctuary? What is the altar?” and the answers sometimes agree verbatim with 2 Apocr. Apoc. John 3:1–3. Parallels to the apocalypse can also be found in commentaries on the liturgy, such as Germanos of Constantinople’s Ecclesiastical History and Mystical Contemplation.

MNTA 2 features also, for the first time, a translation of a new text: 3 Apocryphal Apocalypse of John. This text has been prepared by Chance Bonar and I from two error-ridden Greek manuscripts; it is available also in 24 Slavonic manuscripts. 3 Apocr. Apoc. Johnhas some clear connections with 1 Apocr. Apoc. John: the dialogue occurs on the Mount of Olives after the resurrection and overlaps in content with the question on the form of post-resurrection bodies. But in this text, John asks questions of Abraham, not Jesus. The patriarch is an appropriate choice for interlocutor given the tradition in ancient Jewish and Christian tradition of the “bosom of Abraham,” which holds that after death the righteous are separated from the unrighteous and cross over to an area of Hades/Sheol where Abraham dwells. So Abraham is fully qualified to answer questions about the nature of souls and the afterlife, such as will the Jews find mercy in the afterlife? What will happen to the impious on judgment day? Will the righteous be separated from family and friends? And do deceased children go to heaven? Some questions also deal with the conduct of priests and other church officials, with a particular interest in their conduct and who will speak for whom on judgment day. It is not known yet whether this particular apocalypse has any connection to other erotapokriseis texts. Perhaps scholars who work closely in that area will see some parallels when the text is published.

The last of the texts in this cluster of Johannine apocalyptica is the Questions of James to John, prepared by Kathleen Gibbons. The text was first published from one Greek manuscript by Athanasius Vassiliev in 1893 in his collection Anecdota graeco-byzantina; an English translation was provided by Court. An additional seven manuscripts are known, and Kate drew upon four of these for her translation. As of yet no versions have been found in other languages. The questions posed by James focus again on the fate of the soul after death, but this time attention is paid to what happens to sinners (in typical tour-of-hell fashion they are placed in a fiery river where they are consumed by a sleepless worm) and on the possibility of repentance. A number of examples are presented of notorious sinners who received forgiveness, both biblical (Peter, Manasseh, David, and the Good Thief) and nonbiblical (Mary of Egypt, Andrew of Crete, and Cyprian of Antioch). Tóth does not mention any connections between Quest. James and other erotapokriseistexts, and very few other scholars have worked on this text. The repentant late antique saints given as examples of repentance certainly indicate use of another source—that John would have knowledge of these figures is peculiar and not explained in the text—but so far no one has pursued parallels.

Two other apocryphal erotapokriseis texts are mentioned in Tóth’s study: the Revelation on the Lord’s Prayer (BHG 821x–y), which entails a post-Easter discussion between Peter and Jesus about the interpretation of the prayer (e.g., “what is ‘they kingdom come’?”), and the Dialogue of Mary and Christ on the Departure of the Soul, which is attributed to John. The first of these texts was published by Krasnoseltzev from two manuscripts, and a third is known. It also appears appended to Quest. James in one of the manuscripts used by Kate for her translation. The Dialogue of Mary was found by Tóth in two manuscripts but has yet to be published. I wish we had known about these two texts earlier in the process of compiling MNTA 2! Ah well, there’s always vol. 3 (if indeed there is a vol. 3).

One more text to appear in MNTA 2 relates to erotapokriseis literature, but this one is not a Johannine apocalypse. It is the unpublished Martyrdom of Zechariah, translated by Sarah Veale and I from two Greek manuscripts. It is extant also in 18 Slavonic manuscripts. The text compiles traditions about Zechariah’s death and episodes from the life of John the Baptist. Some of this material appears also in an exchange between Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil the Great known as Quaestiones ac responsiones. One question addresses how long the Holy Family spent in Egypt, with the answer given as 12 months. Another addresses where Jesus lived while there, with the answer given as “the house of Alphaeus,” and a partial exchange refers to the murder of Zechariah by Herod. All of this information appears in the early chapters of Mart. Zach. Another erotapokriseistext extant in Slavonic under the title “Narrative from the unknown, true books of Genesis” includes a question about the baptisms of Zechariah and John; the response, corresponding to the narrative in Mart. Zech. 5–6, is given as:

Slavonic Apocrypha Ivrejected Scriptures Online

Ivrejected

The Lord baptized the two after he came out of Egypt with the four angels. After Zechariah had been killed in the temple, he baptized the two there, after he raised Zechariah from the dead. But he brought John out of the mountain, and again sent him into the mountain. Zechariah, however, fell asleep again and was buried under the altar. The Lord himself went to Egypt. But all this happened in one night.

Two other Slavonic manuscripts have the same question and answer but in these manuscripts the question is posed by Gregory of Nazianzus, suggesting that it has some association with the Greek Quaestiones ac responsiones.

Opinions vary as to the direction of dependency of the erotapokriseis texts and their related apocrypha. Vianès reserves judgment about which of the two texts he examines, 1 Apocr. Apoc. John and Quaest. ad Ant., is primary, or whether they depend on a third, unknown source, whereas Tóth concludes that 1 Apocr. Apoc. John is a transformation of Quaest. ad Ant. As for Mart. Zech., it appears to me far more likely that the questions addressed to Gregory are based on Mart. Zech. than the reverse. Regardless of the answers on dependency, the relationship of apocrypha and erotapokriseis texts begs for further exploration. In cases were the apocryphal texts are primary, the examples show that Byzantine writers were willing to draw upon apocrypha as sources for questions about the afterlife, the liturgy, and the lives of saints; where erotapokriseis texts are primary, we see the transformation or adaptation of one type of literature into apocrypha, presumably because doing so would give it a wider hearing or appeal. As Tóth writes, “The close dependence of the Apocalypse to the Quaestiones seems to indicate a certain permeability between the two literary forms. The dry and impersonal series of questions and answers could easily be turned into a more lively dialogue form resulting in a, so-to-say, ‘apocryphised’ version of the erotapokriseis” (p. 84).