The Apocryphal Books: Bible Worthy?

I have noticed that many Catholic believers will go to great detail as to why they think that the Holy Bible is “incomplete”, because the “Hidden Books” or as more commonly known as the Apocryphal books are not included. There are many reasons why they were not included.

To begin with, The Catholic Church itself did not always accept them. They were not even officially accepted until 1546 at The Council of Trent, 1500 years plus after they were written! In fact many today say that it was basically a reaction to the Protestant Reform. Fathers of the early Catholic Church such as Origen, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem and Jerome rejected them as scripture! So who are we to take seriously here? The books of the Apocrypha were placed in separate sections as they were not considered inspired word and not of equal authority.

Jesus beyond any shadow of a doubt rejected them as scripture. 50Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. (Luke 11: 50-51) Abel being the first martyr of the Book of Genesis and Zechariah the last in the book of Chronicles. Jesus referred to these books because he was going over the whole Canon of the Hebrew Scriptures. These scriptures were the same 39 books as accepted today by Protestants.

Questions to ponder: Why is there no mention of the Books of the Apocrypha in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Why does Tobit 4: 11 say we can have forgiveness of sins by “Alms giving”?” 11 “for alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness”, a false teaching. Why is the false teaching of offering of money for the sins of the dead in 2 Maccabees 12: 43-45 43”And making a gathering, he 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, 44 For if he had not hoped that the that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead, 45And because he considered that the who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.” Why didn’t Jesus or the Apostles ever quote from the Apocrypha? Finally the Books are not prophetic, no predictive prophecy, and not said to be authoritative by any book written after them.

In conclusion, I am only responding to the at times, militant protests by Catholic Apologists. Are the books not to be taken seriously? I believe they should be taken seriously as books of historical value. That being said, I believe that we have included all the books that belong in the Bible. God Bless,
Brian Mason

“Faith” What Is It?

The word “Faith” is thrown around so much these days, but have you stopped to think what it is? Seems like a pretty straight forward question with a straight forward answer that must be looked at from Biblical view. Dr John Lennox states, “”Faith is not a leap in the dark; it’s the exact opposite. It’s a commitment based on evidence… It is irrational to reduce all faith to blind faith and then subject it to ridicule. That provides a very anti-intellectual and convenient way of avoiding intelligent discussion.” Very well put. I agree with Dr Lennox on needing evidence and in the Christian faith we have all the evidence necessary to show that God has a master plan.

In the Book of Romans, 8: 24 It is written “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” So even though we have the evidence, the Bible says that what we can see is no hope at all!

So I ask “Is faith Blind?” Is Faith something that one can learn? Ephesians 2:8 clearly says that Faith is a gift from God “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” So ask this question: “Since the unbelievers discount Faith as a reason for belief in God, is it something that God has not given them?” I mean we as Christians have Faith and the unbeliever seems to discount it as a “magic pill” and invalid as a defense to our faith. Or is it possible that the unbeliever has faith but not enough of it? Romans 12:3 is written: For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

Read 1 Corinthians 2: 14, “14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. Notice that the Lord states “…does not accept the things of the Spirit of God”, “…cannot understand them” So I think it is clear that Faith cannot be learned as it is a Gift from God, and that the natural man does not accept Faith. So I must come to the conclusion that Faith is there for all, but some choose to not accept it!

Brian Mason

What’s up with Wicca? What’s up with our Kids?

According to the “American Religious Identification Survey” done last year, Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the United States. Interestingly the biggest part of that growth is in the High School and Collegiate students’ bracket. As a footnote to fairness, surveys can be skewed and some identified with Wicca but were not practicing the rituals as was apparently disclosed in this study. However, surveys are still a good indicator of the actual social movements.

This to me is a frightening swing with the second fastest religion in North America is Islam. Why is this happening to our youth? Is it because young people can become confused and lose direction between adolescence and adulthood? Is it Hollywood with the glorification of Witchcraft in a film? With the body of Christ becoming more and more divided we as Christians must stop fighting over non-salvation issues and come together in unity. We must not only be on guard with our children but must fight the evils that are dressed up as “Glamorous”.

Brian Mason