Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 177 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OLD TESTAMENT APOCRYPHAL BOOKS We shall now proceed to enumerate the apocryphal books: first the Apocrypha Proper, and next the rest of the Old and New Testament apocryphal literature. I. The Apocrypha Proper, or the apocrypha of the Old Testament as used by English-speaking Protestants, consists of the following books: r Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Epistle of Jeremy, Additions to Daniel (Song of the Three Holy Children, History of Susannah, and Bel and the Dragon), Prayer of Manasses, r Maccabees, 2 Maccabees. Thus the Apocrypha Proper constitutes the surplusage of the Vulgate or Bible of the Roman Church over the Hebrew Old Testament. Since , this surplusage is in turn derived from the Septuagint, from which the old Latin version was translated, it thus follows that the difference between the Protestant and the Roman Catholic Old Testament is, roughly speaking, traceable to theā€¢ difference between the Palestinian and the Alexandrian canons of the Old Testament. But this is only true with certain reservations; for the Latin Vulgate was revised by Jerome according to the Hebrew, and, where Hebrew originals were wanting, according to the Septuagint. Furthermore, the Vulgate rejects 3 and 4 Maccabees and Psalm cli., which generally appear in the Septuagint, while the Septuagint and Luther's Bible reject 4 Ezra, LITERATURE I77 which is found in the Vulgate and the Apocrypha. Proper. Luther's Bible, moreover, rejects also 3 Ezra. It should further be observed that the Vulgate adds the Prayer of Manasses and 3 and 4 Ezra after the New Testament as apocryphal. It is hardly possible to form any classification which is not open to some objection. In any case the classification must be to some extent provisional, since scholars are still divided as to the original language, date and place of composition of some of the books which must come under our classification.' We may, however, discriminate (i.) the Palestinian and (ii.) the Hellenistic literature of the Old Testament, though even this distinction is open to serious objections. The former literature was generally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and seldom in Greek; the latter naturally in Greek. Next; within these literatures we shall distinguish three or four classes according to the nature of the subject' with which they deal. Thus the books of which we have to treat will be classed as: (a) Historical, (b) Legendary (Haggadic), (c) Apocalyptic, (d) Didactic or Sapiential. The Apocrypha Proper then would be classified as follows: i. Palestinian Jewish Literature: (a) Historical. (c) Apocalyptic. I (i.e. 3) Ezra. 2 (i.e. 4) Ezra (see also I Maccabees. under separate article on APOCALYPTIC LIT-

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