- Daily Bible section entitled "Writings of the Apocrypha"
Today we are blessed to have all of GOD's word in a single book, which we, of course, call the Bible. It is important for us to keep in mind, however, that when the writings that make up the Bible were originally written, they weren't in the same format we have today. We've been studying the Old Testament thus far, which is made up of 39 separate individual writings or books. The Old Testament was written in the form of a historical record, praises and songs such as the book of Psalms, as well as in teaching format, such as the Law of Moses and the wisdom literature of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
But these 39 writings aren't the only writings which deal with the Jews. As I mentioned yesterday, GOD revealed no new information between about 425 and 5 B.C. However, there are other writings that deal with Jewish history during this timeframe. Fourteen of these extra writings are included in what is called the Apocrypha. The word "apocryphal" means a story or statement that is not always accepted as fact or truth. The Apocrypha writings are thought by some to date between 300 B.C. and 100 A.D., although some of them claim to be from other time periods.
Over the years there has been much debate as to whether these writings should be included in the Bible. There are several reasons that they are not generally accepted as divine scripture, including:
- The Apocrypha are never included in the Hebrew Old Testament.
- The Jews don't accept these writings as part of their approved Scriptures.
- Hebrew copies of most of the apocryphal writings are not available.
- Several of the writings include teachings on mysticism and demonology that are inconsistent with Scripture.
However, these writings are generally moral in nature and give further insight into the customs and history of the Jews during a time where GOD is silent. Therefore, they are important writings. The Daily Bible reading for today contains a good overview of The Apocrypha.