FROM THE INTRODUCTION
These Books form part of the sacred literature of the Alexandrian Jews and with the exception of the Second Book of Esdras are found interspersed with the Hebrew Scriptures in the ancient copies of the Septuagint or Greek Version of the Old Testament. They are the product of the era subsequent to the Captivity; having their origin partly in Babylonia partly in Palestine and Egypt and perhaps other countries. Most of them belong to the last centuries B.C. when prophecy oracles and direct revelation had ceased. Some of them form an historical link between the Old and the New Testament others have a linguistic value in [connection] with the Hellenistic phraseology of the latter.
The narratives of the Apocrypha are partly historical records and partly allegorical. The religious poetry is to a large extent a paraphrase upon the Poetical and Prophetical Books of the Hebrew Canon. In the paraphrases upon the latter there is often a new approach to New Testament teaching especially upon God's care for the heathen world.
As to their Canonical Authority Josephus seems to reject it as a whole but appears from his use of I Esdras rather than our Canonical Ezra to have accepted the authenticity of at least that work. The early Christians differed in opinion in respecting them but received them as part of the sacred work of Israel.
Several of the books of the Apocrypha were more generally accepted than the disputed books of the New Testament Canon. Melito (cir. 170) referring to the Hebrew Canon separated them from the authoratative and Divine records; while Origen (cir.230) following the LXX included in Daniel (and so among the Canonical Books) the history of Susanna; and speaks ambiguously about the Books of the Maccabees. Jerome a century later called them 'Apocryphal' (hidden secret and so of uncertain origin and authority) affirming (when speaking of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus) that the Church doth read them for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine'. In the Western Church they gradually rose in esteem until the Council of Trent affirmed the canonicity of the greater part; but they are treated by more critical Roman divines as 'deuterero-canonical' thus making some distinction between them and the books of the Hebrew Canon.
The Apocrypha is a must for the library of anyone and everyone seriously seeking to learn as much as possible about God's Word.
apocrypha of old testament,alexandrian jews,septuagint,prophecy,hellenistic apocrypha of old testament,Apocrypha,sacred literature of the alexandrian Jews,septuagint,prophecy,hellenistic phraseology,esdras,tobit,judith,rest of esther,wisdom of solomon.ecclesiasticus,baruch,epistle of jeremiah,song of three holy children,history of susanna,bel and the dragon,prayer of manasses,maccabees I,maccabees II,allegorical,hellenistic phraseology,hebrew scriptures,historical records,Poetical and Prophetical Books of the Hebrew Canon,New Testament, old testament,esther,susanna,manasses,maccabees,solomon,ecclesiasticus,death,heaven,grave,lost books,destiny publishers