The historical use of the Apocrypha and Protestant dissent


“As part of the Septuagint ‘canon,’ the Apocrypha became and still are part of the Christian Bible in both the Eastern Orthodox and the Western Roman Catholic churches. They continued to hold this position, though without definitive and formal church legislation according it to them, until the Reformation churches assigned them (at best) second-class status, on the grounds that they were books which ‘the church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners, but yet both is not apply them to establish any doctrine.’ For most of Christendom during most of Christian history, however, they were and still are simply part of the Bible. Although all the books of the Apocrypha are Jewish in origin, they have in fact played a far more important role in Christian history than in Jewish history.” — Jaroslav Pelikan, the late Yale historian of Christianity, in his book Whose Bible Is It? A Short History of the Scriptures

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