| Arguments For Canonicity
|| Arguments Against Canonicity
|1. The New Testament refers to it (i.e. Heb 11:35 with 2 Macc 7, 12)
||While there may be allusions to the Apocrypha, the New Testament does not make any explicit quotations
from it, and no apocryphal work is referred to as authoritative.
|2. The New Testament quotes the Septuagint (LXX), which contains the Apocrypha.
||The earliest version of the LXX that contains the Apocrypha dates to the fourth century A.D.; it cannot
be presumed that it was included in the LXX’s original form. Jesus and His disciples never quoted from them.
|3. Some early church Fathers publicly used the Apocrypha as Scripture.
||Many of these citations were additions, appendices, or alternative manuscripts of canonical works. Of those
references to the Apocrypha, there was no indication that they were regarded as Scripture.
|4. Some early church Fathers, like Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria, accepted all of
the Apocrypha as canon.
||No church council during the first four centuries agreed that the Apocryphal was canonical, and many were
vehemently opposed such as Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Origen, and Jerome.
|5. Catacomb scenes depict episodes from the Apocrypha demonstrating it was part of early Christian
||This is not proof of the Apocrypha’s authority as Scripture. Scenes from the catacombs do not prove the
canonicity of the writings they depict.
|6. The great Greek manuscripts (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Vaticanus) contain the Apocrypha as part
of the Old Testament.
||Only four Apocryphal books (Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus) are found in the great Greek
manuscripts. No Greek manuscript has the exact list of Apocryphal books accepted by the Council of Trent.
|7. The Syriac church accepted the authority of the Apocrypha in the fourth century.
||The second century A.D. Peshitta, the Syrian Bible, did not include the Apocrypha; it was only later in the
fourth century that the Syrian church accepted them as Scripture.
|8. Augustine and the councils at Hippo (393 A.D.) and Carthage (397) accepted them.
||Augustine is the only significant Church Father that recognized the Apocrypha despite their rejection by
His contemporary Jerome who had greater biblical authority and Rabbinic Jews. Augustine’s reason for accepting
the Apocrypha is their mention "of extreme and wonderful suffering of certain martyrs."
|9. The Eastern Orthodox church accepts the Apocrypha as Scripture.
||This was not universally accepted for the Eastern Orthodox church. While the synods of Constantinople (1638),
Jaffa (1642), and Jerusalem (1672) declared the Apocrypha canonical, as late as 1839, their Larger Catechism
explicitly omitted the Apocrypha, because they did not exist in the Hebrew Bible.
|10. The Roman Catholic church proclaimed the Apocrypha as authoritative Scripture at the Council of
||This determination came 1500 years after the Apocrypha was written. This is in contrast to the fact that the
Apocrypha was not accepted as authoritative by those whom it was written to – the Jews of the time.
|11. As late as the nineteenth century, the Apocrypha was in Protestant Bibles.
||Apocryphal books did appear in Protestant Bibles, but were generally separated, because they were deemed not
as authoritative. Roman Catholic scholars through the Reformation also made a distinction between the Apocrypha
and the Hebrew canon, and Luther placed the books in the back of his Bible.
|12. Some apocryphal books, written in Hebrew, have been found in the Old Testament in the Dead Sea
community of Qumran.
||Of Qumran’s discoveries, Old Testament Bibles, fragments of a library of extrabiblical works including some
apocryphal books, none of their commentaries on the Hebrew canon included any apocryphal book. Lacking the
special parchment and script accorded to God’s word indicated that the Apocrypha was not considered
authoritative nor canonical.