Q:  Why is the Apocrypha rejected from the canon of Scripture?

A:  The Apocrypha is rejected from the canon of Scripture for numerous reasons.

I.  Besides the fact that Jesus and the apostles never once quoted from it; and aside from its obvious lack of inspiration and anointing (it "just doesn't sound like" scripture; "My sheep hear My voice," John 10; etc.) – there are many solid reasons for rejecting its contents from being included with the canonical scriptures.

         A.   The Apocrypha contains chronological errors and statements contrary to history.

                           Baruch 1:2 (comp. Jeremiah 43:6-7)

                           Bel and the Dragon 22 (Xerxes did it); Bel and the Dragon 33

                           Tobit 1:4 (He could not have been "still a young man," or even born yet.

                           The rebellion of the northern tribe against Jerusalem in 1 Kings 12:19-20

                           took place around 922 B.C.)

         B.   It contains geographical errors.

                           Tobit 1:4; 6:1; 9:2 (This was an 11 day journey.)

         C.   Many false teachings are represented, and evil practices that the inspired Word of God

                condemns are condoned.

                1.   Prayers for the dead.

                           2 Maccabees 12:44, 45, etc.

                2.   Salvation by good works (almsgiving, etc.).

                           Sirach 3:34, 14, 30; 30:11-12 2; Esdras 7:7; 8:33, 36; Tobit 12:9, 8a; 14:11

                3.   The use of magic.

                        a.    In demon exorcism.

                                    Tobit 6-8

                         b.   In healing.

                                    Tobit 11

                         c.   "Good luck" (fortune).

                                    Sirach 8:19

                  4.   The intercession of angels.

                                    Tobit 12:15 (Raphael)

                  5.   Suicide.

                                    2 Maccabees 14:4146

                  6.   Mourning for the dead.

                                    Sirach 38:16-23 (especially verses 20-21)

                  7.   Sinless lives of Old Testament personalities.

                                    Prayer of Manasseh 8

         D.   Some of the miracles and events described are simply fabulous and silly.

                         Tobit 6:2-7, 16-17, etc. (placing incense smoke on the organs of a man eating

                         fish to ward off evil spirits; the demon was in love with the woman and had

                         killed her last seven husbands on their wedding night)

         E.   Only three divisions of the Old Testament are described in Luke 24:44. Matthew 23:35

               and Luke 11:51 also witness the arrangement and compass of the Old Testament –

               not allowing for any books outside the time from Genesis to 2 Chronicles.

II.   Knowledge of the Bible must be accompanied by wisdom and discernment, as well as

          a pure heart, for the scriptures can be misused.

         A.   Many who lack spiritual understanding twist and distort the meaning of the scriptures

               "unto their own destruction."

                           2 Peter 3:16

         B.   Satan quoted the scriptures to Jesus when tempting Him in the wilderness.

                           Matthew 4:6

         C.   In the last days, scripture says, many will "heap to themselves teachers, having itching

                ears" (2 Timothy 4:34). These are "ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge

                of the Truth" (2 Timothy 3:7; Ecclesiastes 12:12). It is because they seek to partake

                 intellectually of what can only be appreciated in the spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Copyright © 1977, 1983, 1997 by Diane S. Dew in "Fundamentals of the Faith--Studies in Basic Bible Doctrine"


To BIBLE Q&A Index of Topics

To Diane Dew's Testimony & Other Bible Studies & Articles