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why was the apocrypha removed in 1885

I am making this on a website called why was the apocrypha removed in 1885.

Are you wondering why the apocrypha was removed in 1885? There’s a lot of confusion around this topic. I’ll show you what happened.

The  Apocrypha  is a group of books found in some Christian canons of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebrew Bible. The Catholic Church use to have these books in their version of the bible up till 1885. The word apocrypha means hidden. These books were banned when they no longer fit the Catholic church’s view on how to interpret writings. Since they are still readable and obtainable, why didn’t they stick around?

The Truth about the Apocrypha


Introduction. The books which comprise our Bible, sixty-six in number, from Genesis through Revelation, have been subjected to every internal and external test imaginable. Their authenticity and canonicity have been reliably established. However, there are other bookswhich some believe should be considered part of the Bible. These books are called the Apocrypha. The word “apocrypha” is of Greek origin, actually being simply a transliteration of the original Greek word. “Apocrypha” is used in Mark 4: 22 and is commonly translated “secret.” The evolution of the word “apocrypha” simply meaning secret or hidden to how it is commonly used today is of interest and provides a look at the climate that fostered the “apocrypha books.” It appears that in the beginning, “apocrypha” was a term used to designate religious books that were circulating among the inner circle of a group and were kept hidden from the public because people at large rejected the authority of these books. There was the thinking that these books contained information that was esoteric and only for special ones; hence, the evolved term “apocrypha” evoked the mysterious and clandestine.

The apocryphal books. In the main, when the Apocrypha is mentioned the fourteen or fifteen books of the Old Testament are meant. However, there are other writings that are known as the New Testament apocrypha. Apocrypha also can have reference to a book whose origin was doubtful or unknown. The “Old Testament apocrypha” are believed to have been written during the period of 200 B.C. to 100 A.D. Some of perhaps the better known are “The Wisdom of Solomon,” “The Additions to the Book of Esther,” and “The First and Second Maccabees.” The Catholic Bible often has twelve of these apocryphal books interspersed among and attached to the undisputed thirty-nine books of the Hebrew scripture.

Involved in a study of the apocrypha is the matter of canonicity. The term “canon” is from the Greek word kanon. Kanon, based on its derivation means a rod or measuring device and came to mean a norm or rule. Canon came to be used to denote the recognized books of sacred writings and was thus used in the fourth century. The act, fact, and science of canonicity or canonizing is a fascinating study (the terms apocrypha and canonicity are basically antithetical and opposite in meaning, climate, and concept).

The history of the Hebrews does not provide us with real insight as to their process of canonicity or how they determined the authenticity of a book considered as scripture. It is evident, however, that they did have “an act” that so recognized and declared a book as sacred (2 Kgs. 22: 8). One reason we do not have much insight as to the science of canonicity during the time of the writing and acceptance of the thirty-nine Hebrew books that comprise what man calls the “Old Testament” is because there really was no need. I say this because of the strict practices of the Jews relative to the writings of those men such as Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc. whose inspiration was established. The writings were carefully protected and greatly valued (cp. Deut. 31: 9, 24-26, I Kgs. 8: 9). Copies of the original writings were made in the most controlled atmosphere possible and imaginable (cp. Prov. 25: 1). There were no translations, as such, until about 270 B.C.; hence, corruption from translation was non-existent.

Analysis and “canonicity” determination relative to the twenty-seven books of the New Testament involved both internal and external considerations. The authorship, style of writing, general content, and the extant view of the book by contemporaries were all considerations used in pronouncing a New Testament book as part of the sacred canon. A New Testament book could also be used to verify the canonicity of a Hebrew book, once the authenticity of the New Testament was clearly established. For instance, about thirty-one of the Hebrew books are quoted and acknowledged by New Testament writers (the fact that eight out of the 39 are not quoted does not mean they are non-canonical).



Just as was the case with the thirty-nine Hebrew books found in our Bibles, the New Testament books were known by their contemporaries as bearing the vestiges of inspiration (2 Pet. 1: 21; 2 Tim. 3: 16, 17). In about the year A.D. 90, the Jewish Council of Jamnia ruled though a process of debate, examination, and canonicity that the Hebrew canon should consist of the thirty-nine books commonly found in such translations as the King James (Answers to Tough Questions, by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, pg. 37). In 327 A.D., Athanasius of Alexandria published a list of twenty-seven New Testament books that were recognized in his day as authentic (How we got the Bible, by Neil Lightfoot, pg. 85). These are the same twenty-seven books as are found in our standard New Testaments today. These sixty-six books commonly comprising our Bibles all had the requisite recognition by those who were in a position to really know as to the acceptance of the claims of these books. For instance, Paul wrote:

  • “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write you are the commandments of the Lord” (I Cor. 14: 37). (The apocrypha, by contrast, make more of a claim of simply being history books rather than being inspired of God, cp. II Maccabees 2: 23, 15: 38.)

Arguments in favor of the apocrypha. First, it might come as a surprise but the Catholic Church that is so instrumental in presenting the apocrypha books as part of the sacred canon did not so recognize these apocrypha books until about fifteen hundred years after the First Century. It was in the Council of Trent, 1545-1563 A.D., that the Roman Catholic Church declared the apocrypha as canonical, as far as the Catholic Church was concerned.

There have been many arguments advanced in favor of the apocrypha. The first and foremost of which is based on the first translation made of the Hebrew scriptures, the Septuagint, translated into Greek in about 270 B.C. More of the extant apocrypha books began to be added to the Septuagint as time progressed, that is, to some of the copies of the Septuagint. Since Jesus and New Testament writers often quoted from the Septuagint when quoting Hebrew scriptures (some say that 300 out of the 350 quotations of Hebrew scriptures by Jesus are from the Septuagint), we are told that such a fact proves that the apocrypha books are to be accepted as part of the Bible today. We have noticed that just about all the Hebrew books are referenced by New Testament writers; however, while Jesus and the New Testament writers often quoted from the books of the “Old Testament,” even from the Septuagint that had some versions containing apocrypha books, they never once quoted from the apocrypha books.

In attempting to validate the apocrypha, it is stated that the “Church fathers” referenced the apocrypha books. It is true that Iranaeus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria recognized the apocrypha, as did the Syriac Church in the fourth century. Augustine, who presided over the Councils at Hippo and Carthage reportedly also held these books as inspired. Later, though, Augustine is said to have rejected these books as outside the canon and inferior to the Hebrew scriptures. Also, just as many leading men in the time period rejected the apocrypha and claimed that they were spurious, such leaders as Origen and Jerome. The mentioned Syriac Church waited until the fourth century A.D. to officially accept the apocrypha. It is significant that the Peshitta, the Syriac Bible of the second century A.D., did not contain them. The Jewish community, in the main, rejected the apocrypha as seen by the fact that the Council of Jamnia (ca. A.D. 90) recognized the sacred Hebrew canon as we have it today, without the apocrypha. Again, it was not until the Council of Trent that the Catholic Church, the big promoter of the apocrypha today, declared the apocrypha as scripture (1545-1563 A.D.).

why was the apocrypha removed in 1885

In 1885 AD, the Christian Bible was reduced from 80 books to the current 66 books.
It was decided that 14 texts were ‘Apocrypha’, or doubtful and were removed from the Old Testament (King James KJV Bible).
BOOKS, CHAPTER & VERSE
14 BOOKS
1 of 14
1 Esdras | 50-150 BC
2 of 14
1 Maccabees | 150 BC
3 of 14
2 Esdras (4 Ezra) | 90-96 AD
4 of 14
2 Maccabees | 124 BC
5 of 14
Additions to Esther | 114 BC
6 of 14
Baruch | 307-317 BC
7 of 14
Bel and the Dragon | 146 BC
8 of 14
Ecclesiastes | 935 BC
9 of 14
Judith | 168-100 BC
10 of 14
Letter of Jeremiah | 307-317 BC
11 of 14
Prayer of Azariah | 100-200 BC
12 of 14
Prayer of Manasseh | 100-200 BC
13 of 14
Susanna | 150 BC
14 of 14
Tobit | 225-175 BC
15 of 14
Wisdom of Solomon | 200-100 BC

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These books are known as the apocrypha books of the Bible, they were removed from the Bible by the Protestant Church in the 1800’s. These books are as true today, as they were in the 1800’s, before being omitted from the Bible.These are great books to teach in your Sunday school classes. They’re also great collector items to have. Here’s just one verse of what’s inside these powerful books, quote: For while they supposed to lie hid in their secret sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly astonished, and troubled with strange apparitions. unquote: Do you now see why these books were omitted from the Bible in the 1800’s? What is an apparition? It’s a ghost or ghost like image of a person.

The Apocrypha for Protestants

The Apocrypha first appeared in a Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint (LXX).1 The Septuagint was produced in Alexandria, Egypt, around 200 BC, but the individual books that constitute the Apocrypha were written roughly between 400 BC and AD 1. This period of time is frequently referred to as “the four hundred silent years” or “Second Temple Judaism” or “the time between the testaments.” It essentially makes up that blank page in your Bible between Malachi and Matthew.

The word apocrypha literally means “hidden away.” In an esteemed sense, these writings were “‘hidden’ or withdrawn from common use because they were regarded as containing mysterious or esoteric lore, too profound to be communicated to any except the initiated.”2 But in a pejorative sense, these writings are hidden for good reason. They are deemed theologically suspicious and even heretical by many. Jewish and Protestant circles flat out reject these writings as authoritative for the faith and practice of the church. But Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians accept most of these texts as canonical.3 They prefer to call them deuterocanonical rather than apocryphal, since they reserve the term apocryphal for pseudepigraphal books (i.e., writings that bear a false attribution of authorship). When the Apocrypha is mentioned in this article, we are referring to all of the books listed below:

  • Additions to the Book of Esther
  • Baruch
  • Bel and the Dragon
  • Ecclesiasticus (or Ben Sira)
  • 1 Esdras
  • 2 Esdras
  • Judith
  • Letter of Jeremiah
  • 1 Maccabees
  • 2 Maccabees
  • 3 Maccabees
  • 4 Maccabees
  • The Prayer of Azariah
  • Prayer of Manasseh
  • Psalm 151
  • Susanna
  • Tobit
  • Wisdom of Solomon

As the titles suggest, many of these books take the Old Testament as their starting point.4 Since Esther never explicitly mentions the God of Israel, Additions to Esther includes phrases or verses that describe God’s sovereign action and oversight of the story. Baruch was Jeremiah’s beloved secretary (Jeremiah 36:26). With only 150 psalms in the Hebrew Scriptures, Psalm 151 is added. Manasseh was a wicked king over the southern kingdom (2 Kings 21:1–9) who repented after being imprisoned in Babylon (2 Chronicles 33:10–13). His prayer of repentance, according to 2 Chronicles 33:18–19, can be found in the lost Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. The Prayer of Manasseh claims to be that ancient prayer. And The Prayer of Azariah (Daniel’s friend, also known as Abednego; Daniel 1:6), Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon expound on the Daniel narrative in significant ways.

All of these books fall under different categories of genre: historiography (1 Esdras, 1–3 Maccabees), wisdom (Ben Sira, Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch), historical romance (Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther and Daniel), and liturgical pieces (Psalm 151, Prayer of Manasseh, Prayer of Azariah, Song of the Three Young Men in the Addition to Daniel).

The Apocrypha Printed in Bibles

Despite doubts, the Council of Rome (382) affirmed the apocryphal books as canonical. And in response to the Reformation and Martin Luther’s views on the Apocrypha, the Council of Trent (1546) further affirmed nearly all of Latin Vulgate as canonical, including most of the apocryphal books.

Martin Luther’s 1534 Bible was the first to separate the Apocrypha as an intertestamental section with a note explaining they are not divinely inspired. The Geneva Bible followed this example in 1599. The 1611 King James Bible also printed the Apocrypha, but it was removed in 1885.

Why was the Apocrypha removed?

Apocryphal books endorsed doctrine incompatible with the message of the Bible.

1. Giving money to atone for sins.

  • Sirach 3:30 “As water extinguishes a blazing fire, so almsgiving atones for sin.”
  • Tobit 4:10 “For almsgiving delivers from death and keeps you from going into the Darkness.”

2. Praying for the dead (and giving money to atone for their sins).

  • 2 Maccabees 12:43-45 “He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore, he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin.”

3. Praying to saints in heaven and asking them for prayer.

  • 2 Maccabees 15:12-16 “What he [Maccabeus] saw was this: Onias [deceased at the time], who had been high priest, a noble and good man, of modest bearing and gentle manner, one who spoke fittingly and had been trained from childhood in all that belongs to excellence, was praying with outstretched hands for the whole body of the Jews. Then in the same fashion another appeared, distinguished by his gray hair and dignity, and of marvelous majesty and authority. And Onias spoke, saying, “This is a man who loves the family of Israel and prays much for the people and the holy city—Jeremiah [deceased at the time], the prophet of God.” Jeremiah stretched out his right hand and gave to Judas a golden sword, and as he gave it he addressed him thus: “Take this holy sword, a gift from God, with which you will strike down your adversaries.”

These are a few of the key issues that Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other reformers challenged during the Protestant Reformation.

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