Preaching from the apocrypha

Kinghippo76

New Member
I am a member of the United Methodist Church in a small North Western town in the United States. I am one of the last conservative/traditionalist holdouts in my congregation. Over the years I've had many disagreements with the liberal path that the church is on, however I am resolved to stay with the church until the impending split of the Methodist church happens and I see where my local congregation lands (though I am fairly certain it will go the liberal route).
About six months ago we got a new pastor and after seeing that he had graduated from a very liberal seminary I was pretty certain about what his stance on many topics would be. He has thus far voiced his support homosexual marriage and a variety of other "progressive" issues.
So, to get to the point, this evening I decided to look at the pastors preaching schedule to see what Scripture next weeks sermon would be about. I was surprised (although maybe I shouldn't have been at this point) to see that he plans on preaching from the apocryphal Book of Wisdom/Wisdom of Solomon. He had mentioned in a conversation several months ago that he had preached from the apocrypha in the past and was encouraged because he got positive feedback from the other congregations he had served. I told him at the time that I was very uncomfortable with anything other than Scripture being preached from the pulpit. Tonight I emailed him (I haven't heard back yet) to reiterate my stance that while the apocrypha may have some value in the context of historical research, it has no place being preached from the pulpit.
I'm just looking for some feedback/discussion on this issue.
 

BornAgainRN

Active member
I am a member of the United Methodist Church in a small North Western town in the United States. I am one of the last conservative/traditionalist holdouts in my congregation. Over the years I've had many disagreements with the liberal path that the church is on, however I am resolved to stay with the church until the impending split of the Methodist church happens and I see where my local congregation lands (though I am fairly certain it will go the liberal route).
About six months ago we got a new pastor and after seeing that he had graduated from a very liberal seminary I was pretty certain about what his stance on many topics would be. He has thus far voiced his support homosexual marriage and a variety of other "progressive" issues.
So, to get to the point, this evening I decided to look at the pastors preaching schedule to see what Scripture next weeks sermon would be about. I was surprised (although maybe I shouldn't have been at this point) to see that he plans on preaching from the apocryphal Book of Wisdom/Wisdom of Solomon. He had mentioned in a conversation several months ago that he had preached from the apocrypha in the past and was encouraged because he got positive feedback from the other congregations he had served. I told him at the time that I was very uncomfortable with anything other than Scripture being preached from the pulpit. Tonight I emailed him (I haven't heard back yet) to reiterate my stance that while the apocrypha may have some value in the context of historical research, it has no place being preached from the pulpit.
I'm just looking for some feedback/discussion on this issue.
You may also educate, or remind him, that Methodism is historically a Protestant denomination that has always rejected the Apocrypha as Scripture. So, he is citing from a Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox text, not a Protestant/Christian text, which John & Charles Wesley also rejected. So, even if he does not have a problem with the fact that the Jews, the apostles, the infant church, & even Jesus Himself rejected the apocryphal books as Scripture (including Wisdom), the very founders of the Methodist Church right down to the 21st Century rejected them.
 

ziapueblo

Active member
You may also educate, or remind him, that Methodism is historically a Protestant denomination that has always rejected the Apocrypha as Scripture. So, he is citing from a Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox text, not a Protestant/Christian text, which John & Charles Wesley also rejected. So, even if he does not have a problem with the fact that the Jews, the apostles, the infant church, & even Jesus Himself rejected the apocryphal books as Scripture (including Wisdom), the very founders of the Methodist Church right down to the 21st Century rejected them.
Curious, where does Jesus or the Apostles reject these books?
 

squirrelyguy

Active member
I am a member of the United Methodist Church in a small North Western town in the United States. I am one of the last conservative/traditionalist holdouts in my congregation. Over the years I've had many disagreements with the liberal path that the church is on, however I am resolved to stay with the church until the impending split of the Methodist church happens and I see where my local congregation lands (though I am fairly certain it will go the liberal route).
About six months ago we got a new pastor and after seeing that he had graduated from a very liberal seminary I was pretty certain about what his stance on many topics would be. He has thus far voiced his support homosexual marriage and a variety of other "progressive" issues.
So, to get to the point, this evening I decided to look at the pastors preaching schedule to see what Scripture next weeks sermon would be about. I was surprised (although maybe I shouldn't have been at this point) to see that he plans on preaching from the apocryphal Book of Wisdom/Wisdom of Solomon. He had mentioned in a conversation several months ago that he had preached from the apocrypha in the past and was encouraged because he got positive feedback from the other congregations he had served. I told him at the time that I was very uncomfortable with anything other than Scripture being preached from the pulpit. Tonight I emailed him (I haven't heard back yet) to reiterate my stance that while the apocrypha may have some value in the context of historical research, it has no place being preached from the pulpit.
I'm just looking for some feedback/discussion on this issue.
In my opinion, the pro-LGBT preaching is a far greater problem than his use of the apocrypha in a sermon. I don't know that I would ever preach from an apocryphal book...however, I do have a higher regard for some of the apocryphal books than most Protestants do, especially the Wisdom of Solomon. That book influenced me greatly when I first read it, and I would highly recommend that every Christian read it at some point (the KJV translation is available online). I'm convinced that it is was either written by Solomon, or contains words of Solomon that were written down and arranged by those who heard him speak. There were some early Christian authorities that considered it Scripture, even though it didn't ultimately make it into the canon. The irony is that it's arguably more orthodox in its theology than Ecclesiastes, which did make it into our canon.
 

Arch Stanton

Well-known member
I was surprised (although maybe I shouldn't have been at this point) to see that he plans on preaching from the apocryphal Book of Wisdom/Wisdom of Solomon. He had mentioned in a conversation several months ago that he had preached from the apocrypha in the past and was encouraged because he got positive feedback from the other congregations he had served. I told him at the time that I was very uncomfortable with anything other than Scripture being preached from the pulpit.
Maybe your Pastor learned the truth about the Deuterocanonical books. ;)
 

BornAgainRN

Active member
Curious, where does Jesus or the Apostles reject these books?
In Romans 3:2, the apostle Paul states God entrusted the Jews with the oracles of God (meaning the OT Scriptures). The Jews did not accept the Apocrypha (ie: Deuterocanonical books). In Luke 16:29, when Jesus was telling the Parable of the Rich Man, who ended up in Hades, He stated "they (referring to the Pharisees) had (meaning had possession of) Moses & the Prophets (meaning the OT Scriptures)." The Pharisaic canon was identical to the Protestant OT canon. In Matthew 23:35 & Luke 11:50-51, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being like their forefathers who murdered ALL the prophets from Abel to Zechariah the son of Berechiah. Abel was the first prophet in the first book of their canon (Genesis), while Zechariah was the last prophet in their canon (2 Chronicles). When you look at a Jewish canon with these bookends, it includes the same books as Protestants, but excludes the Deuterocanon/Apocrypha books. The reason why Jesus said "the son of Berechiah" instead of "the son of Jehoiada" is because Jesus is purposely using a known rabbinic name conflation, where a rabbi would purposely conflate the names of two people with similar attributes. In this case, the two prophets named Zechariah - one using the patronym (son of Berechiah) & the other's manner of death (between the Temple & altar). Jesus uses name conflation in Mark 2:26 where He purposely conflates the High Priest, Abiathar, when it was actually Ahimelech.
 

ziapueblo

Active member
In Romans 3:2, the apostle Paul states God entrusted the Jews with the oracles of God (meaning the OT Scriptures). The Jews did not accept the Apocrypha (ie: Deuterocanonical books).
As an Orthodox Christian, I call these books Scripture. These are the text that were predominantly used by the early Christians used. Upwards of 90% of OT quotes in the NT come from the Septuagint.
 

BornAgainRN

Active member
As an Orthodox Christian, I call these books Scripture. These are the text that were predominantly used by the early Christians used. Upwards of 90% of OT quotes in the NT come from the Septuagint.
And all 90% on the OT quotes from the Septuagint that cites these books as Scripture come from the books within the boundaries of the Hebrew Bible, which did not include these "deuterocanonical" books. Zero NT quotes come from them. And early Christians "used" all kinds of books, including as Scripture, that are not found in Orthodox Bibles, such as 1 Enoch & the Shepherd of Hermas, just to name a couple.
 

Theophilos

Active member
I am a member of the United Methodist Church in a small North Western town in the United States. I am one of the last conservative/traditionalist holdouts in my congregation. Over the years I've had many disagreements with the liberal path that the church is on, however I am resolved to stay with the church until the impending split of the Methodist church happens and I see where my local congregation lands (though I am fairly certain it will go the liberal route).
About six months ago we got a new pastor and after seeing that he had graduated from a very liberal seminary I was pretty certain about what his stance on many topics would be. He has thus far voiced his support homosexual marriage and a variety of other "progressive" issues.
So, to get to the point, this evening I decided to look at the pastors preaching schedule to see what Scripture next weeks sermon would be about. I was surprised (although maybe I shouldn't have been at this point) to see that he plans on preaching from the apocryphal Book of Wisdom/Wisdom of Solomon. He had mentioned in a conversation several months ago that he had preached from the apocrypha in the past and was encouraged because he got positive feedback from the other congregations he had served. I told him at the time that I was very uncomfortable with anything other than Scripture being preached from the pulpit. Tonight I emailed him (I haven't heard back yet) to reiterate my stance that while the apocrypha may have some value in the context of historical research, it has no place being preached from the pulpit.
I'm just looking for some feedback/discussion on this issue.
The Wisdom of Solomon was in the scriptures used by Greek-speaking Jews at the time of the apostles. It was in the scriptures that Greek-speaking Timothy studied as a child (2 Tim 3:15-16). It was in the scriptures that the Bereans used to confirm Paul's preaching (Acts 17:11).

It is included in the Old Testament of the earliest surviving Christian bibles such as the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, and was included in all Christian bibles until after the time of the Reformation. It is still found in the Old Testament of Orthodox and Catholic bibles.

The Book of Wisdom was included in the original King James Version of the Bible. Here is a passage from that version that prophesizes about the trials of Christ:

Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education.
He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord.
He was made to reprove our thoughts.
He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion.
We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father.
Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him.
For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.
Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.
Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected. Wisdom 2:12-20
 

Theophilos

Active member
In Romans 3:2, the apostle Paul states God entrusted the Jews with the oracles of God (meaning the OT Scriptures). The Jews did not accept the Apocrypha (ie: Deuterocanonical books).
Yes, Jews wrote the bible including the New Testament, but modern Jews reject the New Testament. Greek-speaking Jews, such as Timothy's family and the Bereans, had a larger canon that included the Deuterocanon.
In Luke 16:29, when Jesus was telling the Parable of the Rich Man, who ended up in Hades, He stated "they (referring to the Pharisees) had (meaning had possession of) Moses & the Prophets (meaning the OT Scriptures)." The Pharisaic canon was identical to the Protestant OT canon.
Here is the passage from Luke:

Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:29-31

In addition to the Law and the Prophets, the Hebrew bible includes the "Writings" (Ketuvim), which contains Psalms and ten other books (Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles).

If you interpret this passage as the basis for excluding books not found in the Law and the Prophets, then you would need to delete the entire New Testament and a large portion of the Hebrew Old Testament.

In Matthew 23:35 & Luke 11:50-51, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being like their forefathers who murdered ALL the prophets from Abel to Zechariah the son of Berechiah. Abel was the first prophet in the first book of their canon (Genesis), while Zechariah was the last prophet in their canon (2 Chronicles). When you look at a Jewish canon with these bookends, it includes the same books as Protestants, but excludes the Deuterocanon/Apocrypha books.
The reason why Jesus said "the son of Berechiah" instead of "the son of Jehoiada" is because Jesus is purposely using a known rabbinic name conflation, where a rabbi would purposely conflate the names of two people with similar attributes. In this case, the two prophets named Zechariah - one using the patronym (son of Berechiah) & the other's manner of death (between the Temple & altar). Jesus uses name conflation in Mark 2:26 where He purposely conflates the High Priest, Abiathar, when it was actually Ahimelech.
Yes, for the sake of argument, Jesus referred to scriptures accepted by the people he was addressing. For example, the Sadducees only accepted the first five books that contain the law. That explains why he used a somewhat quote from Exodus to justify belief in the resurrection when he addressed them:

. . . I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
Matthew 22:32 / Exodus 3:6

The scriptures of Greek-speaking Jews had a larger canon. They are the ones that Greek-speaking Timothy studied as a child. They are also the only ones that Paul explicitly praises:

. . . from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 3:15 NKJV
 

BornAgainRN

Active member
Yes, Jews wrote the bible including the New Testament, but modern Jews reject the New Testament. Greek-speaking Jews, such as Timothy's family and the Bereans, had a larger canon that included the Deuterocanon.
Unlike the OT Jews, the apostles, the NT writers, and the first century Jewish Christians who were believers, "modern Jews" who reject the the NT because they are unbelievers. And it was the OT & NT Jewish believers who wrote the Bible, not unbelieving Jews. Timothy's family & the Bereans did not have a "larger canon" that included the Deuteros. See below.

In addition to the Law and the Prophets, the Hebrew bible includes the "Writings" (Ketuvim), which contains Psalms and ten other books (Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles).
The term "the Law & the Prophets" or "Moses & the Prophets" is a metonym which refers to the OT canon: "the Law" (or "Moses") to refer to the first half of the OT, and "the Prophets" to refer to the second half, which includes the books in "the Writings." It is only when Jews use the terms "the Law & the Prophets & the Writings" that "the Prophets" refer to the second division of the OT & "the Writings" to the third division of OT.

If you interpret this passage as the basis for excluding books not found in the Law and the Prophets, then you would need to delete the entire New Testament and a large portion of the Hebrew Old Testament.
No, because (again) the term "the Law (or Moses) & the Prophets" refers to the first & second halves of the OLD Testament canon, which includes books from "the Writings," but not the NEW Testament canon. In the NT, when the term "the Law & the Prophets" is used, it includes books from the third division such as Job & Daniel.

Jesus referred to scriptures accepted by the people he was addressing.
No, because He referred to the killing & shedding of blood of ALL of the Prophets, not just "some" or "most" of them.

the Sadducees only accepted the first five books that contain the law. That explains why he used a somewhat quote from Exodus to justify belief in the resurrection when he addressed them
This assumption is from the early third century AD, and based on Origen's assumption from second century literature which conflated Sadducees with Samaritans. Since the Samaritans only embraced the Pentateuch, Origen assumed (falsely) that the Sadducees only embraced it too. However, both in the NT & rabbinic literature, we have evidence that the Sadducees embraced much more than just the Pentateuch. Jesus quoted Exodus from the Torah, because they asked Him a question from the Torah which involved Levirite marriage.

The scriptures of Greek-speaking Jews had a larger canon.
This too is historically false. Greek-speaking Jews utilized the Septuagint, but it did not include the Deuteros BACK THEN. It would not be "added" to the Septuagint until sometime after the first century AD. John Martignoni from EWTN (the Global Catholic Network) concedes, since he affirmed the Septuagint was completed around 134 BC, which was before most (if not all) of the Deuteros where translated into Greek.

It is included in the Old Testament of the earliest surviving Christian bibles such as the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus
These ancient Bibles were not compiled until the 4th Century, which is rather later & should not be assumed it was included in the Septuagint in Jesus' day. Plus, they did not include the exact same books, and even included other, not found in Catholic OTs today.

It is still found in the Old Testament of Orthodox and Catholic bibles.
Orthodox Bibles include books that are not in Catholic Bibless.

The Book of Wisdom was included in the original King James Version of the Bible
Because it was illegal back then to produce Bibles without the Deuteros in them, not because the translators of the KJV believed they carried any similar authority like the Hebrew Bible.
Here is a passage from that version that prophesizes about the trials of Christ:
Most of these passages are found in other books of the Hebrew Bible, such as 1 Samuel, & the 2nd & 22nd Psalms. What is not prophesied is also not included in the NT either.
 

ziapueblo

Active member
within the boundaries of the Hebrew Bible
Not all the books within the Masoretic text are quoted in the NT and many of the "deuterocanonical" books are eluded to in the NT. Where does the Scriptures say that an OT book must be quoted in the NT to be canonical?

And early Christians "used" all kinds of books, including as Scripture, that are not found in Orthodox Bibles, such as 1 Enoch & the Shepherd of Hermas, just to name a couple.
I know. The earliest manuscripts testify to this.
 

BornAgainRN

Active member
Not all the books within the Masoretic text are quoted in the NT and many of the "deuterocanonical" books are eluded to in the NT. Where does the Scriptures say that an OT book must be quoted in the NT to be canonical?


I know. The earliest manuscripts testify to this.
No, but most of them were originally attached to books that were quoted in the NT specifically as "Scripture" (such as Lamentations being originally attached to Jeremiah as a single book). This is how we know these books are Scripture, since they are just merely "alluded" in the NT, but specifically cited as Scripture. None of the Deuterocanonical books are cited as Scripture in the NT, nor are other apocryphal & pseudepigraphal writings. IOW, Jesus & the NT writers treated the Deuteros no different than they treated other uninspired writings.

The point about the early church citing non-Deutero books too was to show that the NT merely alluding to or quoting them does not necessarily equate them as being inspired Scripture.
 

RiJoRi

Well-known member
The point about the early church citing non-Deutero books too was to show that the NT merely alluding to or quoting them does not necessarily equate them as being inspired Scripture.
After all, the Apostle Paul quoted a Greek poet in Acts 17, yet does anyone say those works were theopneustos?

--Rich
 

ziapueblo

Active member
None of the Deuterocanonical books are cited as Scripture in the NT
Again, not all the all the Masoretic texts are quoted in the NT, and many of the "Deuterocanonical" books are quoted or alluded to in the NT. The Septuagint is quoted 90% of the time or more by the NT authors. These books included the "Deuterocanonical" books. I'll stick with the OT the ancient Christians used.
 

BornAgainRN

Active member
Again, not all the all the Masoretic texts are quoted in the NT, and many of the "Deuterocanonical" books are quoted or alluded to in the NT. The Septuagint is quoted 90% of the time or more by the NT authors. These books included the "Deuterocanonical" books. I'll stick with the OT the ancient Christians used.
I'm afraid you just argued in a circle. Again, the Masoretic texts not quoted in the NT as Scripture were either originally attached to one that was (like Jeremiah), or it was part of the canon of the Jews (like Esther). Again, while the Deuterocanonical books are alluded to in the NT: 1) they are not quoted as Scripture; and 2) not all of them are alluded to in the NT. And, again, there are other books the NT directly quotes that are neither from the Masoretic Text nor from the Deuteros. The "OT CANON the ancient Christians used" was the books from the Masoretic Text, not the Deuteros, since: 1) it was not in the canon of the Jews that were laid up in Temple; and 2) they were not in the OT of "ancient Christians" until after the first century.
 
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