The Lost Books of the Bible

The Real Apocrypha

An Introduction
Part 3

A History of Exclusion

            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 Bible 1535)

   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 survived. 
             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.

 In the Original 1611 King James Version, the Protestant translators felt eleven
New Testament verses were quotes from "Apocrypha" books, and cross-referenced
them in the margin notes as such.

Part 4

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