What About the Apocrypha & Pseudepigrapha?

Thomistic Bent

ApocryphaSome critics have questioned the inspiration and authority of the Bible by attacking the process that was used to recognize the books that are inspired, a process called canonization. Since critics have attacked the Bible by attempting to use the books that are called Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, it might be beneficial to look at what these books are, how they are different from the books of the Bible, and why we have the books of the Bible as opposed to some other collection of books.

The Apocrypha refer to a series of books that Roman Catholics recognize as inspired, but protestants do not. During the Reformation period in the 1500s, one of the issues debated between Roman Catholics and Protestants were the apocryphal books, and Catholics responded with the statement made at the Council of Trent (1546-1563). Pseudepigrapha are books which claim to be written by a particular author, but were not, and are therefore ‘false writings’. The canon refers to Old and New Testament books accepted by all Christians, catholic and protestant.

One critic referred to apocrypha and pseudepigrapha as “frauds perpetrated by a deceitful lot.” This is an inaccurate representation. First, the apocrypha are rejected because of the lack of inspiration, not because of any fraud. The authorship may be known or unknown, but this does not constitute a misrepresentation. Second, the critics seem to imply that because the authorship is doubtful that the books are therefore factually inaccurate, which is not so…


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