Reasons Why Apocrypha Is Rejected

The third part of our look at the Scriptures.

By MARY E. WALSH, Bible Instructor, Columbia Union Conference

I. Inspired and Uninspired Writings

1. Reason why sixty-six books of Bible har­monize is that same divine mind inspired each writer. If, for example, John had written something that did not agree with works of Moses, we would be obliged to reject Gos­pel and epistles of John, and the Revelation.

2. First five books of Bible are criterion for all other works claiming inspiration. If doc­trines of Apocrypha do not in every instance agree with what Moses wrote, they should find no place in the canon of the Inspired Word.

3. Apocryphal books teach doctrines contrary to what Moses and other prophets have writ­ten. For this reason they were not placed among other books of Old Testament when canonicity took place in days of Ezra.

4. Neither Christ nor apostles quoted from books of Apocrypha. Saint Jerome rejected them from his Latin Bible because they were not written in Hebrew language.

5. Catholic Church at Council of Trent placed Apocrypha on an equality with other in­spired books of Bible. All who do not accept Apocrypha as of equal authority with Scrip­tures are anathematized (cursed) by the Catholic Church.

II. Apocrypha Not Inspired

Why does the Catholic Church continue to hold on to these uninspired writings ? Because their fictitious teachings endorse false doctrines of church, such as prayers for dead, false cures, virtue in a burning heart of a fish to drive devils away, alms deeds delivering from death and sin, salvation by works. Following are reasons why Apocrypha is rejected.


Tobias 6 :5-8. "Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of this fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee. For these are necessary for useful medicines. . . . Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish? And the angel, answer­ing, said to him: If thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them."

Such teaching nowhere taught in the rest of Holy Scriptures. Heart of a fish does not possess such magical, supernatural power as to drive away "all kind of devils." In­credible to believe God would have any of His angels give Tobias or any other man advice to practice such bewitching art.

Satan cannot be expelled by any conjur­or's trick. Anyone who pretends to use some alleged art in performing things supernatural is not in accord with sixty-six books of inspired writings.

Mark 16:17. Christ said it was in His name that Satan would be cast out.

Acts 16 :18. Paul commanded devil in name of Jesus Christ to come out of a woman. She was delivered from evil power. All this does not harmonize with writings of Tobias.


Tobias 12 :8, 9. "Prayer is good with fasting and alms : more than to lay up treas­ures of gold: for alms delivereth from death: and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting."

If charitable offerings could purge our sins, we would have no need for blood of Christ.

1 Peter 1:18, 19. We are redeemed, not with corruptible things as silver and gold or alms, but with precious blood of Christ. Doctrine of Catholic Church—"Works of Satisfaction."

Ecclesiasticus 3 :33. "Alms resisteth sins." Not keeping power of Christ here advo­cated, but works. ( Jude 24.)


Ecclesiasticus 3 :4. "He that loveth God shall obtain pardon for his sins by prayer."

Sins are not pardoned by prayer. If that were true, we would not have need of Jesus. All heathen people pray, but sins are not pardoned by prayer alone.

Prov. 28 :13 ; I John :9. Confession and forsaking of sin through Jesus Christ is what the true Word teaches.

John 2:1, 2. Christ our advocate can pardon sin.


2 Maccabees 12:43-46. "And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resur­rection, (for if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead.) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godli­ness had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."

Catholic Church claims that these texts give her authority for doctrine of purga­tory. Prayers and masses for dead are ac­cepted and believed by every devout Catho­lic. Money that flows into coffers of church each year for masses for departed souls is beyond imagination. Source of great reve­nue.


Acts 2:34. According to Word of God dead do not go to their place of reward. David, a man after God's own heart, has not yet ascended to heaven.

Isa. 38:18. Those who go into grave "cannot hope for thy truth." When a per­son dies his destiny is sealed for time and eternity. All prayers and suffrage of living will not benefit him.

Luke 16:26. "There is a great gulf fixed." No passing or graduation from place of suffering to bliss of heaven.

Isa. 8:20. Because book of Maccabees teaches contrary to other parts of the Bible, it is rejected. "To the law and to the testi­mony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."


Wisdom 3 :1-4. "But the souls of the just are in the hand of God : and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die : and their departure was taken for misery. And their going away from us, for utter destruction : but they are in peace. And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality."

Catholic Church bases its belief for doc­trine of purgatory on these texts. "Though in the sight of men they suffer torments, their hope is full of immortality."

The "torments" which the "just" are in, the church says, refer to fires of purgatory, where their sins are burned out.

"Their hope is full of immortality," the church declares to mean that after suffer­ing sufficient time in the fires, they then pass into heaven.

John 1:7. Such teaching does away with complete atonement of Christ. If sin can be burned out, then we have no need for our Saviour.

A statement taken from Catholic works:

"Could we see these dear souls in purgatory we could not forget them. They cry out in thirst while we sit and drink. They are weary with restlessness while we do be sleeping. They are sore with grievous pain while we are playing. They are eaten up with burning fire while we are feasting. They cry out for help from those who once held them dear. They plead that you have the pity, the prayers, the sacrifices that you promised.

"By prayer we temper the agonies of the souls in purgatory. We hasten their liberation by sac­rifice. What are we as individuals doing for our dead? It is one of the mysteries of life that we forget so easily those who have gone before us, when to remember them where remembrance is most efficacious is at the disposal of us all. In the words of the Council of Trent, 'there is a purgatory and the souls there detained are assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, especially by the most acceptable sacrifice of the altar.' Let us remember our dead at mass. Let us have masses said for them."—Jesuit Seminary News, vol. 3, no. 9 (Nov. 15, 1928), p. 70.


Tobias 5 :15-19. "The angel said to him [Tobias]: I will conduct him [son of To­bias] thither, and bring him back to thee. And Tobias said to him [the angel]: I pray thee, Tell me, of what family, or what tribe art thou? And Raphael the angel an­swered: . . . I am Azarias, the son of the great Ananias. And Tobias answered: Thou art of a great family."

Should an angel of God lie about his identity, he would be guilty of violating the ninth commandment.

Luke I :19. Contrasting this statement with what is recorded in the book of To­bias, we can readily understand why 'Christ never quoted from the apocryphal books.


Judith 8 :5, 6. "And she made herself a a private chamber in the upper part of her house, in which she abode shut up with her maids. And she wore haircloth upon her loins, and fasted all the days of her life, ex­cept the sabbaths, and new moons, and the feasts of the house of Israel."

This is like some other Roman Catholic legends regarding their canonized saints. A woman would hardly be fasting all her life with exception of once a week, and a few other times during year. Christ fasted forty days, but not all His life.


Judith 9:2. "O Lord God of my father Simeon, who gayest him a sword to exe­cute vengeance against strangers."

God had nothing to do with giving a "sword into the hand of Simeon to execute vengeance" upon the people of Shechem.

Gen. 34:30. Note what Jacob his father said as recorded in Genesis. "Ye have trou­bled me to make me to stink among the in­habitants of the land."

Gen. 49:5-7. Jacob, in his dying blessing, pronounced a curse upon both Simeon and Levi for their cruel deed. He said their "anger" was "fierce," their "wrath" cruel. Because of this they were to be divided and scattered in Israel.

Rom. 12:19. Vengeance belongs to God. He is the one that will repay.

Rom. 12:17. Do not recompense evil for evil. Simeon was doing just the opposite. Judith must be placed with uninspired works. It should have no place in canon.


Wisdom 8:19, 20. "And I was a witty child and had received a good soul. And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled." Catholics use this text to sup­port their doctrine that Mary was born sin­less.

Luke I :30-35. There was only one whom the Holy Word states was immaculately conceived, and that one was our Saviour.

Ps. 51 :5; Rom. 3:23. Here again is a doctrine that other books of Bible do not support.


Ecclesiasticus 12 :6. "Give not to the un­godly: hold back thy bread, and give it not to him."

Can anyone feature that the Lord would inspire any man to write such counsel? Here is what is written:

Prov. 25:21, 22. "If thine enemy be hun­gry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink : for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee."

Rom. 12:20. Apostle Paul, who suffered much at hands of his enemies, quoted these texts from Proverbs in book of Romans.

John 6:5. No doubt many of Christ's enemies were fed while here on earth.

Matt. 6:44-48. In His sermon on the mount, the Christian's rule to follow, He definitely told us to love, bless, and pray for our enemies.

III. Test Applied to Apocrypha Fails

Many more references in the Apocrypha to prove their origin is not of God. Enough cov­ered in this study to vindicate expulsion of these books from canon of our Bible.

Isa. 8:20. "To the law and to the testimony : if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

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By MARY E. WALSH, Bible Instructor, Columbia Union Conference

December 1949

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