A History of
There is also a history of attempts to have the Apocryphal
books removed from the Bible.
"The books and treatises which among the Fathers of old are
not reckoned to be of like authority with the other books of
the Bible, neither are they found in the Canon of Hebrew." (Coverdale
The Synod of the Reformed Church held at Dordrecht in 1618
condemned the Apocrypha.
"The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine
inspiration, are no part of the Canon of Scripture; and
therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be
any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human
writings." (Westminster Confession, 1647)
The thirty nine Articles of the Church of England in 1562
rejected the canonicityof these apocryphal writings, which the
Roman church had proclaimed.
In 1880 the American Bible Society voted remove the
"Apocrypha" Books from the King James Version..
The "Apocrypha" was officially removed from the English
printings of the KJV by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1885
leaving only 66 books.
What is perplexing is the lack of knowledge or even the
mention of these books. Surely, 120 years is long time, but
not by church standards. One would be hard pressed to find
any signifcant doctrine or practice alteration of this
magnitude. The “accepted” Bible, the “Authorized King James
Version” used by the Protestant churches contains almost
775,000 words and the missing Apocryphal books contain over
155,000. Combined they had a total of over 930,000 words.
Considering the entire New Testament contains just over
181,000 words, the exclusion of such a massive amount of
scripture rates very high on the magnitude scale.
It could be speculated that the world is fortunate that the
“authorities” chose to eliminate only the Apocryphal books.
But, where is the line to be drawn? The Protestant Church
accepts all the other books King James included in his
translation. The Protestant Church included the Apocryphal
books in the Bible for almost 300 years. Were they just extra
pages, never read, never used in sermons, never considered
inspired? Of course not! They were scripture, the inspired
word of God given to the authors, just as the 66 books that
The question then must be, when did the inspiration wear off?
A rather ridiculous concept, but what are we left with? We
find Pope Innocent I, in 405 AD proclaiming that “these are
the books which are to be read in church.” This was less than
a century after the Emperor Constantine founded the Catholic
Church. Therefore, the books were considered part of the Bible
from the beginning of modern Bible-based “Christianity”.
A decree from the Council of Trent in 1546 declared
that any who “knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid
traditions, let him be accursed." Those traditons included
the Apocryphal books. The ‘Preface’ to the Geneva Bible,
published in 1560, stated that the Apocryphal books should be
considered “as books proceeding from godly men they were
received to be read for the advancement and furtherance of the
knowledge of history and for the instruction of godly
manners”. The Geneva Bible was in wide circulation in the
Protestant Church of that day. Archbishop Gorge Abbott, one
of the King James Bible translators, "forbade anyone to issue
a Bible without the Apocrypha on pain of one year's
imprisonment" in 1615.
the Original 1611 King James Version, the Protestant
translators felt eleven
New Testament verses were quotes from "Apocrypha" books, and
them in the margin notes as such.