MAY 22

When it comes to the biblical canon, many other books were written besides those that comprise our Bible. However, they all failed to measure up as divinely inspired for one reason or another. Consequently, they were excluded from the Bible, being easily differentiated from the books that were divinely inspired.

Of all of the non-canonical books, the best known are found in the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha is a collection of books written during the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments. These books were excluded from the canon of Scripture because there was no succession of prophets during this period, a period which began with the conclusion of Malachi’s ministry and ended with the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness.

Although the Apocrypha certainly has some historical value, filling in the gap between the Old and New Testaments, it was written after the cessation of Old Testament prophecy and prior to the breaking of prophetic silence in the New Testament by the preaching of John the Baptist. It is also noteworthy to point out that in the New Testament, where our Lord and His apostle often cite the books of the Old Testament, they never once cite a single book in the Apocrypha.

The Roman Catholic Church officially canonized the Apocrypha in 1546 AD at the Council of Trent, which explains its inclusion in the Roman Catholic Bible. However, the reason it did so was because the Apocrypha contains material that supports some of the false doctrines of Roman Catholicism, such as purgatory, praying for the dead, and the treasury of merit. Of course, this actually serves as another excellent reason why the Apocrypha should be excluded from the canon of Scripture, namely, its contradictory teaching to the rest of Scripture.