Header Graphic

The Apocrypha

Of all of the non-canonical books, the best known are found in the Apocrypha.1 The Apocrypha is a collection of books written during the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments, a period when there was no succession of prophets. Prophetic succession ceased with the ministry of Malachi and did not commence again until John the Baptist was heard crying out in the wilderness of Judea.
Although it contains some historical value, filling in the gap between the Old and New Testaments, the Apocrypha was excluded from the Biblical canon for good reason. To begin with, as we pointed out in the preceding paragraph, it was written after the cessation of Old Testament prophecy and prior to the breaking of prophetic silence in the New Testament by John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ. Second, it is never cited in the New Testament by anyone. Whereas our Lord and His apostles often cited the books of the Old Testament in the New Testament, they never once cited a single book in the Apocrypha. Finally, and most conclusive of the Apocrypha’s dearth of divine inspiration is its heretical teachings, which are at variance with the sound doctrine of the canon of Scripture.
The Apocrypha is better known than other non-canonical books due to its inclusion in the Roman Catholic Bible. The Roman Catholic Church officially canonized the Apocrypha in 1546 AD at the Council of Trent. Catholicism’s canonization of the Apocrypha is attributable to the fact that it contains “proof texts” for some of Catholicism’s heretical teachings; such as, purgatory, praying for the dead, and the treasury of merit. While these heretical teachings explain the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the Roman Catholic Bible, they also explain the exclusion of the Apocrypha from our Bible.
The word “Apocrypha” is Latin for “non-canonical.” It also means “secret,” which is understandable when one considers the unknown authors and doubtful origins of the Apocryphal books.