Removal of the Apocryphal Books from the Canon

They included many books we refer to as apocryphal in the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, and earlier translations of English Bibles, including the 1611 King James Version. Mainstream Hebrew and early Christian religions considered many of these writings as divine scripture.

In 95 AD, after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, the Pharisees called a religious council in Yavneh (Jamnia) to establish a list of inspired Scriptures which excluded all books written in Greek: as they perceived Yahuah (God) would only have spoken to the Hebrew people in the native Hebrew language.

Many findings among the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that 1st century Hebrew communities accepted the books that we now refer to as apocryphal and deuterocanonical as authentic Scripture as they frequently quoted from books such as Tobit, Wisdom, and Sirach.

The present-day Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Bible, whose roots extend back to the 4th century, has preserved much of the ancient Hebrew acceptance of the Septuagint. Many of the ancient Hebrew and Greek religious works are now only extant in Ge’ez through the Ethiopian Church, which has 81 books in its Bible.    

Apocryphal Books Comparison

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This table compares the books called apocryphal today from the Septuagint, Latin Vulgate, the Ethiopian Bible, the Masoretic Texts, and the 1611 and 1769 King James Bible’s.   

These books were well known to the ancient Hebrews and Early Christians, as evidenced by the writings of Epiphanius, Justin Martyr, Origen, Diodorus of Tarsus, Isidore of Alexandria, Isidore of Seville, Eutychius of Alexandria, John Malalas, George Syncellus, and George Kedrenos, showing many of the texts were used by the communities that compiled the Dead Sea Scrolls. No complete Greek or Latin versions are known to have survived for many of the books, but the Ge’ez versions have proven accurate translations when compared to versions found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

For instance, between 1947 and 1956, they found 15 copies of the Book of Jubilees amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls. This number is only exceeded by today’s main canon books Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and Psalms.

Present-day King James Bible Verses That Mention Now Extant Books

Joshua 10:13

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So, the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

1 Chronicles 29:29

Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,

2 Chronicles 12:15

Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.

2 Chronicles 20:34

Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.

Luke 3:4

As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Luke 4:17

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

 Some Apocryphal Books Available on our website

 

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