Over the years, many chapters and verses have been added to the bible, and some books have been removed. Among the books that have been excluded from the bible are the books of Enoch, Jasper, and the Wisdom of Solomon. But the debate on which books should be included in the bible continues.
The Greek Apocrypha, also known as the Anagignoskomena, are books not found in the Hebrew Bible. While Protestants and Catholics refer to them as apocrypha, Eastern Orthodox churches refer to them as anagignoskomena, or books read during worship. They include the Wisdom of Solomon, Tobit, the Epistle of Jeremy, and the Additions to Daniel.
The books removed from the Bible are not actually considered “Apocrypha” in any sense, but they are worthy of study and preaching. They were removed because they did not meet the criteria for canonization, which include apostolic authority and first-century writing. Additionally, there were too many similarities between these books and the Bible.
Wisdom of Solomon
The Wisdom of Solomon is one of the most widely studied works of Biblical literature. Its author, King Solomon, prayed for Wisdom and extolled its benefits. The wisdom is presented in a variety of forms and uses many characters and stories from the OT. The wisdom is not explicitly named in the Bible, but its influence is obvious.
The wisdom of Solomon consists of 19 chapters and is arranged in two major parts: the first is an exegetical description of wisdom and the second is a historical survey of wisdom. The book teaches that wisdom is distinct from ungodly living and is present at creation. The book is also a guide for kings to seek wisdom.
The name “Maccabees” is derived from the Hebrew word for “hammer.” The Maccabean forces gained notoriety in the Middle Ages for their guerrilla tactics. They were removed from the Bible by the Protestant church during the early nineteenth century. The apocrypha is not part of the canon of Scripture and has no divine inspiration. Moreover, it is not fit to be used in the church of God.
The Maccabeans were a group of Jewish rebels during the first century BC. The revolt was against the Seleucids and their king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who tried to destroy Jewish culture. Though some Christian denominations recognize 1 and 2 Maccabees as part of the Bible, others do not. Here are some reasons why these books were removed.
Infancy Gospel of Thomas
In the early third century, the Catholic Church formulated the biblical canon, identifying books that would be included. Because of the volume of texts available, the Bible’s compilers had to be very selective in their decision-making process. As a result, a number of stories from Jesus’ life were excluded from the Bible. Despite this, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas has filled a useful gap within the canonical gospels.
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is a text that relates the story of Jesus’ life when He was still a child. Although it does not mention the birth of Jesus, it depicts the child Jesus as cruel and insolent. In addition, the gospel does not show Jesus honoring His parents or gaining favor with His neighbors.
Prayer of Manasseh
The Prayer of Manasseh is an imagined prayer from the time of the ancient king of Judah. The text consists of fifteen verses and is likely to have been written hundreds of years after the king’s death. Interestingly, a separate work with the same title has been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Its authors are unclear, but it is thought that the text was composed by a Jew. Historically, Manasseh was an idolatrous king of Israel who was captured by Assyrians but freed by God after he had prayed to God.
The Prayer of Manasseh is a work of ancient history that was included in the Bible at various points in history. It was first included in the Vulgate and was later removed from the Bible by the Council of Trent in 1546. Despite being removed from the canon, it is included in some authorized English translations.