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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Are Some Books Missing from the Old Testament?

Don Stewart :: The Old Testament Apocrypha

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The Old Testament Apocrypha

Are Some Books Missing from the Old Testament? – Introduction

All branches of Christendom acknowledge that false writings exist. These are books that have had divine authority claimed for them, but in actuality are merely human works. Because God has revealed Himself to humanity in a limited number of books, it is important to know which books have God’s authority behind them and which do not.

There are a number of ancient books that did not find their way into the Old Testament which are considered divinely authoritative by some people. They are known by a variety of names; including the Apocrypha, the Old Testament Apocrypha, or the deuterocanonical books.

For example, the Roman Catholic Church adds a number of books to the Old Testament that are not accepted by either Jews or Protestants. These writings are also considered authoritative by the Greek Orthodox, the Russian Orthodox, and the Ethiopic churches. Why do these Christian communities accept these writings as Scripture while others do not?

In this book, we will list these apocryphal books, briefly explain their content and then focus on the reasons that have been given for their inclusion in the Old Testament canon. We will also consider reasons given for their exclusion. In addition, we will look at the historical process that led some to place these books into the Old Testament Scripture.

We will discover that none of these books have any claim whatsoever to be called Holy Scripture. It is only the Old Testament writings that the Protestant Church and the Jews hold to be sacred that have any real claim to divine authority.

There are also other writings in which almost everyone agrees are not divine. They are known as the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha or false writings. Many of these works were forgeries. They are also important to study because they shed light on the background and beliefs of people at that time between the testaments. This work will look at these various writings.

Is It Possible That Someone Other than the Stated Author Wrote One or More of the Biblical Books? (Pseudonymous Writing) ← Prior Section
What Is the Old Testament Apocrypha? Next Section →
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