Talk:Apocrypha

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Are these books going to be written about - they're creating Red Links as it stands. ToastToastand marmite 08:20, 7 March 2009 (EST)

I'm seconding that. If anyone wants to write summaries or commentary about one or more of these books, couldn't they do it on this page? I don't know of any of these books (unlike, say, Gospel of Thomas) that is so revolutionary to debunking Christians it needs highlighted on a page on its own... it would be a "stub" page, anyhow. --Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child. --V.Nabokov» 11:31, 13 March 2009 (EDT)

corrections to the Western canons[edit]

There seems to be a lot of confusion here about the Western canons, what they include, and what their chronological development was.

"The Vulgate", without further distinction, refers to any variety of Latin Catholic Bibles, with or without those three texts (1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, and the Prayer of Manasseh). In the original version of the Vulgate, put together by Jerome, those three books weren't present at all, and for that reason did not appear in the official Catholic canon set by the Council of Trent. In the later Clementine Vulgate, those three books were included in an appendix. Perhaps that's what the editor to this article was thinking of by saying that "The Vulgate" includes those three books in an appendix. But the distinction really ought to be made, as that's not true for the original Vulgate. That being the case, that "more recent Catholic translations exclude them entirely" is not really a more recent practice at all but the practice for most of history, with their inclusion in an appendix only being a practice occurring sporadically somewhere in the middle. (It might also be worth noting that Psalm 151 and the Epistle to the Laodiceans were included in the Stuttgart edition of the Vulgate. And the Prayer of Solomon was included in the Gutenburg Bible, which was the first ever printed edition of the Vulgate/Bible.)

It's definitely worth noting that, while the 11 "deuterocanonical" books were included by Jerome in his original version of the Vulgate, and were placed by him in their respective places throughout the Old Testament (rather than in any sort of appendix), it was he who first observed that these books weren't in Jewish Hebrew Bibles and so referred to them as "apocrypha" in his preface to denote his personal uncertainty as to their authority. Later, Martin Luther was the first one to pick up on the hint left by Jerome and actually move these 11 books to an intertestametal section labeled "Apocrypha" in his Luther Bible, which is canonical to Lutherans and some Reformed (Calvinist) churches.

It was well after that the King James Bible came about. It followed Luther's lead by placing the apocrypha in an appendix (though at the end, rather than between the Testaments), but it included not only the 11 books found in the Luther Bible but also those 3 found in the appendix of the Clementine Vulgate. This canon of the King James Bible came after the Jerome Vulgate, Clementine Vulgate, and Luther Bible, and was based on their prior conventions, and so should be listed after them in this article.

The typical 39 book Old Testament that most of us in English speaking countries would be familiar with today was a yet later practice initially based upon the King James canon but omitting the Apocrypha appendix entirely for economical reasons (since printing these texts of lesser authority was seen as wasting money that could be spent on printing more copies of the protocanon). Because those books have for centuries been absent in most English-language Protestant Bibles, most Protestant denominations have come to regard them as non-scrpitural altogether.

There are also issues with the Eastern canons here, but I'll address that later when I have the time. — Unsigned, by: 96.237.48.164 / talk 17:47, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

correction to the Eastern canons[edit]

Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox are two different things.

The Eastern Orthodox Bibles do indeed include the 11 Catholic deuterocanonicals, and also the Prayer of Manasseh (not listed in the article), 3 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Odes, and Psalm 151. However, only the Greek Orthodox (a subset of Eastern Orthodox) include 4 Maccabees in their Bibles, where they have it as an appendix after the New Testament. Similarly, 2 Esdras (not listed in the article) is included as an appendix in Slavonic Bibles (the other main subset of Eastern Orthodox). As for the minority of other Eastern Orthodox groups who neither follow the Greek or Slavonic traditions, I'm not really sure whether they include either of those two appendixed books; probably not.

The article lists "Psalm 152-155 (Syriac church only)" under Eastern Orthodox. This is absolutely wrong. Syriac churches are not Eastern Orthodox, but instead are either Oriental Orthodox or "Nestorian" (or "uniate" Catholic offshoots of these). No Eastern Orthodox Bible includes Psalms 152-155.

The 4 distinct flavors of Oriental Orthodox traditions (which the various later Oriental Orthodox churches descended from) are: Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Tewahedo Orthodox. It's sometimes hard to find out what books from the Eastern Orthodox canon are also canonical for the various Oriental Orthodox traditions, and what's not included by them, but we can and should mention those texts which are unique additions to each of the Oriental Orthodox canons.

Different versions of the Peshitta (the Syriac Bible, used by Syrian Orthodox and "Nestorians") vary quite a bit from one another in terms of contents. As for those books unique to at least some versions of the Peshitta, they are: Pslams 152-155, 2 Baruch, and the Diatessaron (the last of which being New Testament).

Coptic Bibles uniquely include 1 Clement and 2 Clement in their New Testament.

Armenian Bibles sometimes uniquely include the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Old Testament) and 3 Corinthians (New Testament).

The contents here listed under "Canonical only in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church" are quite accurate for the narrow Tehawdo canon. However, it is not accurate to say they are only canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as they are also canonical in the Eritrean Orthodox Church (both resulting from the split in the Tewahdo Church, which was Ethiopic but not solely Ethiopian; there's a difference). There are also a bunch of books in the broader canon, but I guess it's okay to not have them mentioned here, as perhaps they are considered less canonical than the narrow canon. — Unsigned, by: 96.237.48.164 / talk / contribs 18:11, 25 April 2015 (UTC)