The removal of books from the Bible has long been a mystery, with conspiracy theories abounding. Some argue that the texts were only known by a select group of people. If that were the case, then the texts were omitted because they would not apply to the mass population. Others believe the texts were omitted because they would be a threat to society. Regardless of the reason, the removal of books is an issue that deserves serious thought.
The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical work that was rejected by the rabbinic authorities until the Protestant Reformation. It was retained by Orthodox Christians and Catholics, but excluded by Protestants as an apocryphal book. However, the Book of Judith was revered by the nation of Israel, and it eventually regained popularity among Jews during the medieval period. It continues to be widely read today.
Some scholars believe that Judith’s exclusion may be related to the fact that the composition of the Bible was late. While Judith’s origins are uncertain, some scholars believe that she may have come from ancient Greece. Early rabbis supported the Hasmonean dynasty, and it is possible that her breezy and seductive character led to her exclusion. It is also possible that the rabbis did not write her name into the Bible to avoid causing offence.
The Book of Tobit is a book that was originally included in the Jewish canon and removed from the Bible in the mid-1500s. The reasons for the removal are disputed, but many theologians and historians believe the book was removed for two main reasons: a change in language preferences and local politics. Tobit was removed from the Bible after English printing presses became widely available. The Church’s position was that the book should remain in Latin text, which would make it more accessible to a wider audience.
Tobit has an interesting association with Semitic, as the Dead Sea Scrolls contain several Aramaic manuscripts, including a fragmentary version of Tobit. Despite the lack of a complete text in Aramaic, analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls has led to widespread agreement that the book was originally written in Aramaic. In addition to this, its association with the Qumran community has prompted a reassessment of its theological outlook.
Although the Book of Baruch is included in the Hebrew Bible, it is excluded from the canon in Protestant Christianity. As such, it is considered part of the apocrypha, or books not found in the Bible. Baruch is a Jewish aristocrat who was a chamberlain for King Zedekiah of Judah. He also acted as a scribe for the prophet Jeremiah. As a result, he wrote the first and second editions of the prophet’s book.
Some scholars argue that Baruch may have been written between the seventh and ninth centuries b.c., while others believe it was written later. The Septuagint, for example, places Baruch between Jeremiah and Lamentations. The Vulgate places the book after Jeremiah. Some scholars believe that Baruch was written by a later period, after the Jewish people had been liberated.
The Greek term anagignoskomena, or “those which are not to be read,” refers to a number of works that were not included in the Bible. The Apocrypha are works by non-Biblical authors, including those from cultures not included in the Bible. By “referenced,” these texts are either direct quotations or paraphrases of other writings.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, which bases its Old Testament on the Septuagint, includes additional books in the Bible. While these books are deuterocanonical, they are not considered scriptures and are included as a part of the Old Testament. These are called anagignoskomena, or “books to be read”.