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Is it wrong to read the Apocrypha?

Submitted: 8/20/2006
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Question: One of my Sunday school children today picked up a Bible and asked me why the name of one book in the Bible different. I realized it was a Bible with the Apocrypha and I explained that we just read the HOLY BIBLE. Is it wrong for Apostolics to read the Apocrypha and more importantly, what is the Apocrypha? Many thanks.

Answer: The word 'apocrypha' means hidden. The Apocrypha is a collection of so-called 'hidden writings' which were probably written between the end of the Old Testament period and the beginning of the New. They are included in the Roman Catholic Bible and considered by Catholics to be inspired Scripture. They have never been accepted by Protestants and we, as Apostolics, do not accept them either. This is not to say that these writings have no value at all. They are interesting sources of history and reveal the thinking of many of the Jews around the time of Jesus Christ. There is nothing wrong with reading the books of the Apocrypha as long as we recognize that they are not equal to the Bible.