Sunday, February 10, 2013

Did Jews ever consider the apocrypha scripture?

The following is from Against Apion, by Flavius Josephus. It sheds light into how Jews in the time of Christ considered the books considered by Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and other groups to be canon, as well as how serious the Jews took the word of God and preserved them.
It is true, our history hath been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but hath not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not been an exact succession of prophets since that time; and how firmly we have given credit to these books of our own nation, is evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already passed, no one has been so bold as either to add anything to them, to take anything from them, or to make any change in them; but it becomes natural to all Jews, immediately and from their very birth, to esteem those books to contain divine doctrines, and to persist in them, and, if occasion be, willing to die for them. [1:8; source]