Bibles are being printed today with the Apocrypha or Hidden Books, and the question arises, especially among young Christians, why do not we have the Apocrypha in the Bibles we use?
Mr. Edward Armstrong of Miami, Florida, is fortunate enough to own a copy of the first Bible the publishers of which were courageous enough to leave out the Apocrypha. This Bible was printed before the King James Version (1611). Here are the reasons why the Hidden Books were left out of that particular version, and of many others since.
The preface begins: “An admonition to the Christian reader concerning the Apocrypha Books; wherein are showed the reasons and grounds wherefore they are here omitted, as not Canonical, and not to be accounted amongst the books of undoubted truth, as the Holy Scriptures are to be held.
“The marks of a Canonical writing in the Old Testament are these: First, that it is written of a Prophet: by reason whereof the Canonical Books of the Old Testament are named the Prophetical Writings (Rom. 16:26), and the Prophetical Word (2 Pet. 1:19), and consequently it is not written since the days of the Prophets.
“Second, that which is written in the Hebrew tongue for the Scriptures of the Old Testament are written for the Children of Israel, which only used the Hebrew tongue.
“Third, that by the Jewish Church (Acts 7:38) it hath been acknowledged and held to be a Canonical Book; for the Jews were trusted with the Words of God (Psa. 147:19. Rom. 3:2), and commanded to keep them faithfully (Deut. 31:30).
“Fourth, that nothing is found in it, but that which is holy and true, and nothing opposite or contrary unto the truth, or the main doctrine in the Canonical Books comprehended.
“Now that these marks are not found in the aforementioned Apocryphal Books that appeareth by them most clearly: for none of them was written by a Prophet, as being all of them written after the time of Malachi, and the authors of the same books confess themselves, that no Prophet hath been in their time, as appeareth (Mac. 4:46 and 9:27. 2 Mac. 2:21).
Neither are the books written in Hebrew but in Greek; yea, that Fourth Book of Esdras is not found but in Latin.
It appeareth likewise that the Lord Jesus and His holy Apostles have not held these Books to be Canonical, being they never cite anything out of them, as they do out of other Books, and of whose divinity they bear witness everywhere, and never of these Apocryphal.
Hereunto add that in most of these Books are found divers untrue, impertinent, fabulous and contradictory things, not agreeing with the truth, nor with the Canonical Books.”