Description of the holy bible – Part 8
Other Names for the Word of God
Ways. God’s ways (Heb derek) represent those principles and means of operation by which God relates to His people and advances His redemption on earth. His ways are contrary to humanistic wisdom and values (see Isaiah 55:8-9).
Precepts. God’s precepts (Heb piqqudim) involve detailed instruction from the Lord.
Statutes. God’s decrees (Heb huqqim) consist of regulations for His people individually and collectively.
God’s commandments (Heb miswot) refer to rules and regulations that express God’s authority and His will for His people and which He expects us to obey.
God’s Word (Heb dabar) represents both His revelation in general and His commandments and promises.
The word “apocrypha” is not found in the Bible. There is a large group of Works writings that did not attain canonical status. Differences between canonical and noncanonical apocalyptic literature are numerous: (1) noncanonical apocalypses appeared as imitations of the biblical books; (2) these works were pseudonymous – written under a false name. The people associated with these works had long been deceased, but they were used to lend authority to the books; (3) noncanonical apocalyptic writings claimed to predict future events, but were actually prophecies written after the given event occurred; (4) noncanonical apocalypses were written after the OT prophetic message had ceased (approximately 400 B.C); and (5) noncanonical apocalyptic works were never considered to be inspired in the same way as the biblical books, due to various doctrinal and ethical matters.
What are Apocryphal Books?
In some large family Bibles, there is a section of 14 books called the Apocrypha, a group of spurious books that were rejected from our present canon of Scripture, because they did not pass the tests required of inspired books:(1) They were not written or approved by a prophet. (2) They were not recognised by the Jews as inspired and a part of Scripture. (3) They were not recognised or quoted by Christ and the apostles, a fact that is more striking, when we realise that Paul even quoted twice from heathen poets. (4) The last O.T. prophet predicted that the next messenger coming to Israel from God would be the forerunner of Christ (Mal 3:1).
Most of the Apocryphal books were written during the period between Malachi and Christ. (5) Divine authority is not claimed by their authors, and by some it is virtually disowned (2 Macc 2:23; 15:38). (6) The books contain statements at variance with the Bible history. (7) They are self-contradictory and in some cases, opposed to doctrines of Scripture. (8) Josephus, who lived at the time of the apostles, did not regard the Apocryphal books as Scripture. He stated that the O.T. books (the ones in our present version) were the only inspired writings (Josephus, Against Apian, Book 1, section 8). (9) The apocryphal books were not a part of the ancient versions of Scripture.
They were first added after A.D. 300. The Laodicean Council in A. D 363 rejected them as being uninspired, thus proving that by that time some were claiming inspiration for them. (They first appeared in the Vatican Version of the 4th century. At the Council of Trent in A.D. 1546 Catholics accepted 6 of these books as inspired and added them to their modern versions of Scripture.
They are: Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees). (10) Philo and others did not regard the Apocryphal books as inspired. (11) There is a lack of prophetic element in them; and there is an apparent imitation of the inspired O.T. books. (12) They also show free use of the imagination, which has given rise to silly stories and the lack of spiritual force and power.
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