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The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia
The most general definition of Apocrypha is, Writings having some pretension to the character of sacred scripture, or received as such by certain sects, but excluded from the canon (see see CANON).
The history of the earlier usage of the word is obscure. It is probable that the adjective á¼ÏÏÎºÏÏ ÏÎ¿Ï "hidden away, kept secret," as applied to books, was first used of writings which were kept from the public by their possessors because they contained a mysterious or esoteric wisdom too profound or too sacred to be communicated to any but the initiated. Thus a Leyden magical papyrus bears the title, ÎÏÏÏÎ®ÏÏ á¼±ÎµÏá¼ Î²Î¯Î²Î»Î¿Ï á¼ÏÏÎºÏÏ ÏÎ¿Ï á¼ÏÎ¹ÎºÎ±Î»Î¿Ï Î¼Î®Î½ á½Î³Î´ÏÎ· á¼¢ á¼Î³Î¯Î±, "The Secret Sacred Book of Moses, Entitled the Eighth or the Holy Book" (Dietrich, "Abraxas," 169). Pherecydes of Syros is said to have learned his wisdom from Ïá¼ ÏÎ¿Î¹Î½Î¯ÎºÏÎ½ á¼ÏÏÎºÏÏ ÏÎ± Î²Î¹Î²Î»Î¯Î±, "The Secret Books of the Phenicians" (Suidas, s. ÏÎµÏÎºÏÎ´Î·Ï). In the early centuries of our era many religious and philosophical sects had such scriptures; thus the followers of the Gnostic Prodicus boasted the possession of secret books (á¼ÏÎ¿ÎºÏÏÏÎ¿Ï Ï) of Zoroaster (Clemens Alexandrinus, "Stromata," 1:15 [357 Potter]). IV Esdras is avowedly such a work: Ezra is bidden to write all the things which he has seen in a book and lay it up in a hidden place, and to teach the contents to the wise among his people, whose intelligence he knows to be sufficient to receive and preserve these secrets (12:36 et seq.). (see Daniel 12:4,9; Enoch, 1:2, 108:1; Assumptio Mosis, 10:1 et seq.) In another passage such writings are expressly distinguished from the twenty-four canonical books; the latter are to be published that they may be read by the worthy and unworthy alike; the former (seventy in number) are to be preserved and transmitted to the wise, because they contain a profounder teaching (14:44-47). In this sense Gregory of Nyssa quotes words of John in the Apocalypse as á¼Î½ á¼ÏÎ¿ÎºÏÏÏÎ¿Î¹Ï ("Oratio in Suam Ordinationem," 3:549, ed. Migne; compare Epiphanius, "Adversus HÃ¦reses," 51:3). The book contains revelations not to be comprehended by the masses, nor rashly published among them.
Inasmuch, however, as this kind of literature flourished most among heretical sects, and as many of the writings themselves were falsely attributed to the famous men of ancient times, the word "Apocrypha" acquired in ecclesiastical use an unfavorable connotation; the private scriptures treasured by the sects were repudiated by the Church as heretical and often spurious. Lists were made of the books which the Church received as sacred scripture and of those which it rejected; the former were "canonical" (CANON); to the latter the name "Apocrypha" was given. The canon of the Church included the books which are contained in the Greek Bible but not in the Hebrew (see the list below, Â§ III.); hence the term "Apocrypha" was not applied to these books, but to such writings as Enoch, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, etc. (see below, Â§ III.). Jerome alone applies the word to all books which are not found in the Jewish canon (see "Prologus Galeatus"). At the Reformation, Protestants adopted the Jewish canon, and designated by the name "Apocrypha" the books of the Latin and Greek Bibles which they thus rejected; while the Catholic Church in the Council of Trent formally declared these books canonical, and continued to use the word "Apocrypha" for the class of writings to which it had generally been appropriated in the ancient Church; for the latter, Protestants introduced the name "Pseudepigrapha."
Â§ II. Apocryphal Books among the Jews.
Judaism also had sects which possessed esoteric or recondite scriptures, such as the Essenes (Josephus, "B. J." 2:8, Â§ 7), and the TherapeutÃ¦ (Philo, "De Vita Contemplativa," ed. Mangey, 2:475). Their occurrence among these particular sects is explicitly attested, but doubtless there were others. Indeed, many of the books which the Church branded as apocryphal were of Jewish (sometimes heretical Jewish) origin. The Jewish authorities, therefore, were constrained to form a canon, that is, a list of sacred scriptures; and in some cases to specify particular writings claiming this character which were rejected and forbidden. The formerâso the distinction is expressed in a ceremonial rule (Yad. 3:5; Tosef., Yad. 2:13)âmake the hands which touch them uncleanâ; the latter do not (see CANON). Another term used in the discussion of certain books is , properly "to lay up, store away for safe-keeping," also "withdraw from use." Thus, Shab. 30b, "The sages intended to withdraw Ecclesiastes"; "they also intended to withdraw Proverbs"; ib. 13b, "Hananiah b. Hezekiah prevented Ezekiel from being withdrawn"; Sanh. 100b (Codex Carlsruhe), "although our masters withdrewthis book" (Sirach), etc. It has frequently been asserted that the idea and the name of the Greek "Apocrypha" were derived from this Hebrew terminology. (See Zahn, "Gesch. des Neutestamentlichen Kanons," 1:1,123 et seq.; SchÃ¼rer, in "Protestantische RealencyclopÃ¤die," 3d ed., 1:623, and many others; compare Hamburger,"RealencyklopÃ¤die," 2:68, n. 4.) "Apocrypha" (á¼ÏÏÎºÏÏ ÏÎ± Î²Î¹Î²Î»Î¯Î±) is, it is said, a literal translation of , "concealed, hidden books." Closer examination shows, however, that the alleged identity of phraseology is a mistake. Talmudic literature knows nothing of a class of âneither this phrase nor an equivalent occurs ânot even in "Ab. R. N." 1:1, though the error appears to have originated in the words used there. Nor is the usage identical: does not mean "conceal" (á¼ÏÎ¿ÎºÏÏÏÏÎµÎ¹Î½ translates not , but and its synonyms), but "store away"; it is used only of things intrinsically precious or sacred. As applied to books, it is used only of books which are, after all, included in the Jewish canon, never of the kind of literature to which the Church Fathers give the name "Apocrypha"; these are rather (Yer. Sanh. 10:1,28a), or . The only exception is a reference to Sirach. The Book of (magical) Cures which Hezekiah put away (Pes. 4:9) was doubtless attributed to Solomon. This being the state of the facts, it is doubtful whether there is any connection between the use of and that of á¼ÏÏÎºÏÏ ÏÎ¿Ï.
Â§ III. Lists of Apocrypha; Classification.
The following is a brief descriptive catalogue of writings which have been at some time or in some quarters regarded as sacred scripture, but are not included in the Jewish (and Protestant) canon. For more particular information about these works, and for the literature, the reader is referred to the special articles on the books severally.
First, then, there are the books which are commonly found in the Greek and Latin Bibles, but are not included in the Hebrew canon, and are hence rejected by Protestants; to these, as has already been said, Protestants give the name "Apocrypha" specifically. These are (following the order and with the titles of the English translation): I Esdras; II Esdras; Tobit; Judith; The Rest of the Chapters of the Book of Esther; Wisdom of Solomon; Wisdom of Jesus, the Son of Sirach, or Ecclesiasticus; Baruch, with the Epistle of Jeremiah; Song of the Three Holy Children; History of Susanna; Destruction of Bel and the Dragon; Prayer of Manasses; I Maccabees; II Maccabees. These, with the exception of I, II (III, IV) Esdras and the Prayer of Manasses, are canonical in the Roman Church.
Secondly, books which were pronounced apocryphal by the ancient Church. Of these we possess several catalogues, the most important of which are the Stichometry of Nicephorus; the Athanasian Synopsis; and an anonymous list extant in several manuscripts, first edited by Montfaucon (see SchÃ¼rer, "Gesch." 3d ed., 3:262 et seq.); further a passage in the "Apostolical Constitutions" (6:16), and the socalled Decree of Pope Gelasius ("Corpus Juris Canonici," Distinctio 15). References in the Fathers add some titles, and various Oriental versions give us a knowledge of other writings of the same kind. A considerable part of this literature has been preserved, and fresh discoveries almost every year prove how extensive and how popular it once was.
A satisfactory classification of these writings is hardly possible; probably the most convenient scheme is to group them under the chief types of Biblical literature to which they are severally relatedâviz.:
- Historical, including history proper, story books, and haggadic narrative.
- Prophetic, including apocalypses.
- Lyric; psalms.
- Didactic; proverbs and other forms of "wisdom."
The assignment of a book to one or another of these divisions must often be understood as only a potiori; a writing which is chiefly narrative may contain prophecy or apocalypse; one which is primarily prophetic may exhibit in parts affinity to the didactic literature.
Â§ IV. Historical Apocrypha.
- First Maccabees. A history of the rising of the Jews under the leadership of Mattathias and his sons against Antiochus Epiphanes, and of the progress of the struggle down to the death of Simon, covering thus the period from 175-135 B.C. The book was written in Hebrew, but is extant only in Greek and in translations made from the Greek.
- Second Maccabees. Professedly an abridgment of a larger work in five books by Jason of Cyrene. It begins with the antecedents of the conflict with Syria, and closes with the recovery of Jerusalem by Judas after his victory over Nicanor. The work was written in Greek, and is much inferior in historical value to I Macc. Prefixed to the book are two letters addressed to the Jews in Egypt on the observance of the Feast of Dedication ().
- First Esdras. In the Latin Bible, Third Esdras. A fragment of the oldest Greek version (used by Josephus) of Chronicles (including Ezra and Nehemiah), containing 1 Chronicles 35-Nehemiah 8:13, in a different, and in part more original, order than the Hebrew text and with one considerable addition, the story of the pages of King Darius (3:1-5:6). The book is printed in an appendix to the official editions of the Vulgate (after the New Testament), but is not recognized by the Roman Church as canonical.
- Additions to Daniel.a. The story of Susanna and the elders, prefixed to the book, illustrating Daniel's discernment in judgment.b. The destruction of Bel and the Dragon, appended after ch. , showing how Daniel proved to Cyrus that the Babylonian gods were no gods.c. The Song of the three Jewish Youths in the fiery furnace, inserted in Daniel 3 between verses 23 and 24.These additions are found in both Greek translations of Daniel (Septuagint and Theodotion); for the original language and for the Hebrew and Aramaic versions of the stories, see Daniel.
- Additions to Esther. In the Greek Bible, enlargement on motives suggested by the original story: a. The dream of Mordecai and his discovery of the conspiracy, prefixed to the book; the interpretation follows 10:3; b. Edict for the destruction of the Jews, after 3:13; c., d. Prayers of Mordecai and Esther,after 4:17; e. Esther's reception by the king, taking the place of 5:1 in the Hebrew;f. Edict permitting the Jews to defend themselves, after 8:12. In the Vulgate these additions are detached from their connection and brought together in an appendix to the book, with a note remarking that they are not found in the Hebrew.
- Prayer of Manasses. Purports to be the words of the prayer spoken of in 2 Chronicles 33:18 et seq.; probably designed to stand in that place. In many manuscripts of the Greek Bible it is found among the pieces appended to the Psalms; in the Vulgate it is printed after the New Testament with III and IV Esd., and like them is not canonical.
- Judith. Story of the deliverance of the city of Bethulia by a beautiful widow, who by a ruse deceives and kills Holophernes, the commander of the besieging army. The book was written in Hebrew, but is preserved only in Greek or translations from the Greek; an Aramaic Targum was known to Jerome.
- Tobit. The scene of this tale, with its attractive pictures of Jewish piety and its interesting glimpses of popular superstitions, is laid in the East (Nineveh, Ecbatana); the hero is an Israelite of the tribe of Naphtali, who was carried away in the deportation by Shalmaneser ("Enemessar"). The story is related in some way to that of Aá¸¦iá¸³ar.
- Third Maccabees. (See Maccabees, Books of.) A story of the persecution of the Egyptian Jews by Ptolemy Philopator after the defeat of Antiochus at Raphia in 217 B.C.; their steadfastness in their religion, and the miraculous deliverance God wrought for them. The book, which may be regarded as an Alexandrian counterpart of Esther, is found in manuscripts of the Septuagint, but is not canonical in any branch of the Christian Church.
Â§ V. Historical Pseudepigrapha.
The books named above are all found in the Greek and Latin Bibles and in the Apocrypha of the Protestant versions. We proceed now to other writings of the same general class, commonly called "Pseudepigrapha."
- 10.The Book of Jubilees, called also Leptogenesis ("The Little Genesis"), probably , in distinction, not from the canonical Genesis, but from a larger Midrash, a . It contains a haggadic treatment of the history of the Patriarchs as well as of the history of Israel in Egypt, ending with the institution of the Passover, based on Gen. and Exodus 1- It is a free reproduction of the Biblical narrative, with extensive additions of an edifying character, exhortations, predictions, and the like. It gets the name "Book of Jubilees" from the elaborate chronology, in which every event is minutely reckoned out in months, days, and years of the Jubilee period. The whole is in the form of a revelation made through an angel to Moses on Mt. Sinai, from which some writers were led to call the book the "Apocalypse of Moses." (See Apocalypse, Â§ V. 10.) It was written in Hebrew, probably in the first century B.C., but is now extant only in Ethiopic and in fragments of an old Latin translation, both made from an intermediate Greek version.Brief mention may be made here of several similar works containing Haggadah of early Hebrew history.a. "Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum," attributed to Philo. This was first published, with some other works of Philo, at Basel in 1527 (see Cohn, in "Jew. Quart. Rev." 1898, 10:277 et seq.; SchÃ¼rer, "Gesch." 3d ed., 3:541 et seq., additional literature). Extends from Adam to the death of Saul, with omissions and additionsâgenealogical, legendary, and rhetoricalâspeeches, prophecies, prayers, etc. The patriarchal age is despatched very briefly; the Exodus, on the contrary, and the stories of the Judges, are much expanded. The author deals more freely with the Biblical narrative than Jubilees, and departs from it much more widely. The work is preserved in a Latin translation made from Greek; but it is highly probable that the original language was Hebrew, and that it was written at a time not very remote from the common era. Considerable portions of it are incorporatedâunder the name of Philoâin the Hebrew book, of which Gaster has published a translation under the title "Chronicles of Jerahmeel" (see Gaster, c., Introduction, pp. et seq., and below, d).b. Later works which may be compared with this of Philo are the , and the , on which see the respective articles.c. To a different type of legendary history belongs the Hebrew Yosippon (q. ).d. The "Chronicles of Jerahmeel," translated by Gaster from a unique manuscript in the Bodleian (1899), are professedly compiled from various sources; they contain large portions excerpted from the Greek Bible, Philo (see above), and "Yosippon," as well as writings like the Pirá¸³e de R. Eliezer, etc.e. Any complete study of this material must include also the cognate Hellenistic writings, such as the fragments of Eupolemus and Artapanus (see Freudenthal, "Hellenistische Studien") and the legends of the same kind in Josephus.
Â§ VI. Books of the Antediluvians.
The Book of Jubilees makes repeated mention of books containing the wisdom of the antediluvians (e.g., Enoch, 4:17 et seq.; Noah, 10:12 et seq.) which were in the possession of Abraham and his descendants; also of books in which was preserved the family law of the Patriarchs (compare 41:28) or their prophecies (32:24 et seq., 45:16). These are all in the literal sense "apocryphal," that is, esoteric, scriptures. A considerable number of writings of this sort have been preserved or are known to us from ancient lists and references; others contain entertaining or edifying embellishments of the Biblical narratives about these heroes. Those which are primarily prophetic or apocalyptic are enumerated elsewhere (, ); the following are chiefly haggadic:
- 11.Life of Adam and Eve. This is essentially a Jewish work, preservedâin varying recensionsâin Greek, Latin, Slavonic, and Armenian. It resembles the Testament literature (see below) in being chiefly occupied with the end of Adam's life and the burial of Adam and Eve. According to an introductory note in the manuscripts, the story was revealed to Moses, whence the inappropriate title "Apocalypse of Moses." On the apocryphal Adam books see ADAM, BOOK OF.Other apocryphal books bearing the name of Adam are: The Book of Adam and Eve, or the Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, extant in Arabic and Ethiopic; and The Testament of Adam, in Syriac and Arabic. Both these are Christian offshoots of the Adam romance. Apocalypses of Adam are mentioned by Epiphanius; the Gelasian Decree names a book on the Daughters of Adam, and one called the Penitence of Adam.Seven Books of Seth are said by Epiphanius ("Adversus HÃ¦reses," 39:5; compare 26:8; also Hippolytus, "Refutatio," 5:22; see also Josephus, "Ant." 1:2, Â§ 3) to have been among the scriptures of the Gnostic sect of Sethians.On the apocryphal books of Enoch see Apocalypse, Â§ V., and Enoch, Books of.The Samaritan author, a fragment of whose writing has been preserved by Eusebius ("PrÃ¦p. Ev." 9:17) under the name of Eupolemus, speaks of revelations by angels to Methuselah, which had been preserved to his time. A Book of Lamech is named in one of our lists of Apocrypha.Books of Noah are mentioned in Jubilees (10:12, 21:10). Fragments of an Apocalypse of Noah are incorporated in different places in Enoch (which see). A book bearing the name of Noria, the wife of Noah, was current among certain Gnostics (Epiphanius, "Adv. HÃ¦reses," 26:1). Shem transmits the books of his father, Noah (Jubilees, 10:14); other writings are ascribed to him by late authors. Ham was the author of a prophecy cited by Isidore, the son of Basilides (Clemens Alexandrinus, "Stromata," 6:6); according to others he was the inventor of magic (identified with Zoroaster; Clementine, "Recognitiones," 4:27).
Â§ VII. Testaments.
A special class of apocryphal literature is made up of the so-called "Testaments" of prominent figures in Bible history. Suggested, doubtless, by such passages as the Blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49), the Blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33), the parting speeches of Moses (Deuteronomy 4, et seq.) and Joshua (Joshua 23, ), etc., the Testaments narrate the close of the hero's life, sometimes with a retrospect of his history, last counsels and admonitions to his children, and disclosures of the future. These elements are present in varying proportions, but the general type is well marked.
- Testament of Abraham. Edited in Greek (two recensions) by M. R. James, "Texts and Studies," 2:2; in Rumanian by Gaster, in "Proc. of Society of Biblical Archeology," 1887, 9:195 et seq.; see also Kohler, in "Jew. Quart. Rev." 1895, 7:581 et seq. (See Abraham, Testament of, called also Apocalypse of Abraham). Narrative of the end of Abraham's life; his refusal to follow Michael, who is sent to him; his long negotiations with the Angel of Death. At his request, Michael shows him, while still in the body, this world and all its doings, and conducts him to the gate of heaven. The book is thus mainly Haggadah, with a little apocalypse in the middle.The Slavonic Apocalypse of Abraham (ed. by Bonwetsch, "Studien zur Geschichte der Theologie und Kirche," 1897), translated from the Greek, gives the story of Abraham's conversion; the second part enlarges on the vision of Abraham in Genesis 15
- Testaments of Isaac and Jacob. Preserved in Arabic and Ethiopic. They are upon the same pattern as the Testament of Abraham; each includes an apocalypse in which the punishment of the wicked and the abode of the blessed are exhibited. The moral exhortation which properly belongs to the type is lacking in the Testament of Abraham, but is found in the other two.
- Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. The parting admonitions of the twelve sons of Jacob to their children. Each warns against certain particular sins and commends the contrary virtues, illustrating and enforcing the moral by the example or experience of the speaker. Thus, Gad warns against hatred, Issachar shows the beauty of simple-mindedness, Joseph teaches the lesson of chastity. In some (e.g., in the Testament of Joseph) the legendary narrative of the patriarch's life fills a larger space, in others (e.g., Benjamin) direct ethical teaching predominates.The eschatological element is also present in varying proportionsâpredictions of the falling away in the last days and the evils that will prevail; the judgment of God on the speaker's posterity for their sins (e.g., Levi, et seq.; Judah, 18:22 et seq.; Zebulun, ); and the succeeding Messianic age (Levi,; Judah, et seq.; Simeon,; Zebulun, et seq.). A true apocalypse is found in the Test. of Levi, et seq. (see Apocalypse). This eschatological element is professedly derived from a book written by Enoch (e.g., Levi, , ,; Judah,; Simeon, , etc.). The work is substantially Jewish; the Christian interpolations, though numerous, are not very extensive, and in general are easily recognizable.A Hebrew Testament of Naphtali has been published by Gaster ("Proceedings of Society of Biblical Archeology," December, 1893; February, 1894; see also "Chron. of Jerahmeel," pp. 87 et seq.), and is regarded by the editor and by Resch ("Studien und Kritiken," 1899, pp. 206 et seq.) as the original of which the Greek Testament is a Christian recension.
- Testament of Job. When the end of his life is at hand, Job narrates to his children the history of his trials, beginning with the cause of Satan's animosity toward him. After parting admonitions (45), he divides his possessions among his sons, and gives to his three daughters girdles of wonderful properties(46 et seq.). The book is a Haggadah of the story of Job, exaggerating his wealth and power, his good works, and his calamities, through all of which he maintains unshaken his confidence in God. There are no long arguments, as in the poem; the friends do not appear as defenders of God's justiceâthe problem of theodicy is not mootedâthey try Job with questions (see 36 et seq.). Elihu is inspired by Satan, and is not forgiven with the others. See Kohler, in "Semitic Studies in Memory of Alexander Kohut," pp. 264-338 and 611, 612, and James, in "Apocrypha Anecdota," 2:104 et seq.).
- Testament of Moses. The patristic lists of Apocrypha contain, in close proximity, the Testament of Moses and the Assumption of Moses. It is probable that the two were internally connected, and that the former has been preserved in our Assumption of Moses, the extant part of which is really a Testamentâa prophetic-apocalyptic discourse of Moses to Joshua. See below, Â§ 10:2.
- Testament of Solomon. Last words of Solomon, closing with a confession of the sins of his old age under the influence of the Jebusite, Shulamite. It is in the main a magical book in narrative form, telling how Solomon got the magic seal; by it learned the names and powers of the demons and the names of the angels by whom they are constrained, and put them to his service in building the Temple; besides other wonderful things which he accomplished through his power over the demons. (See Fleck, "Wissenschaftliche Reise," 2:3,111 et seq.) A translation into English by Conybeare was given in "Jewish Quart. Rev." 1899, 11:1-45.The Gelasian Decree names also a "ContradictioSalomonis," which may have described his contest in wisdom with Hiram, a frequent theme of later writers.A Testament of Hezekiah is cited by Cedrenus; but the passage quoted is found in the Ascension of Isaiah.
Â§ VIII. Relating to Joseph, Isaiah, and Baruch.
Other Apocrypha are the following:
- Story of Aseneth. A romantic tale, narrating how Aseneth, the beautiful daughter of Potiphar, priest of On, became the wife of Joseph; how the king's son, who had desired her for himself, tried to destroy Joseph, and how he was foiled. The romance exists in various languages and recensions. The Greek text was published by Batiffol, Paris, 1889.A Prayer of Joseph is named in the anonymous list of Apocrypha, and is quoted by Origen and Procopius. In these fragments Jacob is the speaker.
- Ascension of Isaiah, or Vision of Isaiah. Origen speaks of a Jewish apocryphal work describing the death of Isaiah. Such a martyrium is preserved in the Ethiopic Ascension of Isaiah, the first part of which tells how Manasseh, at the instigation of a Samaritan, had Isaiah sawn asunder. The second part, the Ascension of Isaiah to heaven in the 20th year of Hezekiah, and what he saw and heard there, is Christian, though perhaps based on a Jewish vision. Extensive Christian interpolations occur in the first part also. A fragment of the Greek text is reproduced in Grenfell and Hunt, "The Amherst Papyri," London, 1900.
- The Rest of the Words of Baruch, or Paralipomena of Jeremiah. (Ceriani, "Monumenta," 5:1,9 et seq.; J. Rendel Harris, "Rest of the Words of Baruch," 1889; Dillmann, "Chrestomathia Ãthiopica," pp. 1 et seq.; Greek and Ethiopic.) Narrates what befell Baruch and Abimelech (Ebed-melech) at the fall of Jerusalem. Sixty-six years after, they sent a letter by an eagle to Jeremiah in Babylon. He leads a company of Jews back from Babylonia; only those who are willing to put away their Babylonian wives are allowed to cross the Jordan; the others eventually become the founders of Samaria. Jeremiah is spirited away. After three days, returning to the body, he prophesies the coming of Christ and is stoned to death by his countrymen.
Â§ IX. Lost Books.
Other haggadic works named in the Gelasian Decree are: the Book of Og, the Giant, "whom the heretics pretend to have fought with a dragon after the flood"; perhaps the same as the Manichean ÎÎ¹Î³Î¬ÏÎµÎ¹Î¿Ï Î²Î¯Î²Î»Î¿Ï. (Photius, "Cod." 85), or Ïá¿¶Î½ ÎÎ¹Î³Î¬Î½ÏÏÎ½; The Penitence of Jannes and Jambres. (See Iselin, in "Zeitschrift fÃ¼r Wissensch. Theologie," 1894, pp. 321 et seq.) Both of these may well have been ultimately of Jewish origin.
Â§ X. Prophetical Apocrypha.
- Baruch. Purporting to be written by Baruch, son of Neriah, the disciple of Jeremiah, after the deportation to Babylon. The book is not original, drawing its motives chiefly from Jeremiah and Isaiah et seq.; affinity to the Wisdom literature is also marked in some passages, especially in ch. The Epistle of Jeremiah to the captives in Babylon, which is appended to Baruch, and counts as the sixth chapter of that book, is a keen satire on idolatry.
- Assumption of Moses. See above, Testament of Moses (Â§ VII. 16). What now remains of this work, in an old Latin version, is prophetic in character, consisting of predictions delivered by Moses to Joshua when he had installed him as his successor. Moses foretells in brief outline the history of the people to the end of the kingdom of Judah; then, more fully, the succeeding times down to the successors of Herod the Great, and the Messianic age which ensues. It is probable that the lost sequel contained the Assumption of Moses, in which occurred the conflict-referred to in Jude 9âbetween Michael and Satan for the possession of Moses' body.
- Eldad and Medad. Under this name an apocryphal book is mentioned in our lists, and quoted twice in the "Shepherd of Hermas" (2:34). It contained the prophecy of the two elders named in Numbers 11:26.
Â§ XI. Apocalypses.
Most of the prophetical Apocrypha are apocalyptic in form. To this class belong: Enoch, The Secrets of Enoch, IV Esd., the Apocalypses of Baruch (Greek and Syriac), Apocalypse of Zephaniah, Apocalypse of Elijah, and others (see APOCALYPSE, and the special articles). Apocalyptic elements have been noted above in the Assumption of Moses, the Ascension of Isaiah, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and others.
Â§ XII. Lyrical Apocrypha.
- Psalm , in the Greek Bible; attributed to David, "when he had fought in single combat with Goliath."
- Psalms of Solomon. Eighteen in number; included in some manuscripts of the Greek Bible, but noted in the catalogues as disputed or apocryphal. Though ascribed to Solomon in the titles, there is no internal evidence that the author, or authors, designed them to be so attributed. They were written in Hebrewâthough preserved only in Greekâin Palestine about the middle of the first century B.C., and give most important testimony to the inner character of the religious belief of the time and to the vitality of the Messianic hope, as well as to the strength of party or sectarian animosity. The five Odes of Solomon in "Pistis Sophia" are of Christian (Gnostic) origin.
- Five apocryphal psalms in Syriac, edited by Wright ("Proceedings of Society of Biblical Archeology," 1887, 9:257-266). The first is Psalms 151 (supra, Â§ 1); it is followed by (2) a prayer of Hezekiah; (3) a prayer when the people obtain leave from Cyrus to return; and (4, 5) a prayer of David during his conflict with the lion and the wolf, and thanksgiving after his victory.
Â§ XIII. Didactic Apocrypha.
- The Wisdom of Jesus, the Son of Sirach (in the Latin Bible entitled Ecclesiasticus). Proverbs and aphorisms for men's guidance in various stations and circumstances; a counterpart to the Proverbs of Solomon. The author was a native of Jerusalem, and wrote in Hebrew; his work was translated into Greek by his grandson soon after 132 B.C. The Syriac translation was also made from the Hebrew, and recently considerable parts of the Hebrew text itself have been recovered. The book is included in the Christian BibleâGreek, Latin, Syriac, etc.âbut was excluded from the Jewish Canon (Tosef., Yad. 2:13 et seq.). Many quotations in Jewish literature prove, however, its continued popularity.
- Wisdom of Solomon, Î£Î¿ÏÎ¯Î± Î£Î¿Î»Î¿Î¼á¿¶Î½Î¿Ï. Written in Greek, probably in Alexandria; a representative ofHellenistic "Wisdom." Solomon, addressing the rulers of the earth, exhorts them to seek wisdom, and warns them of the wickedness and folly of idolatry. Noteworthy is the warm defense of the immortality of the soul, in which the influence of Greek philosophical ideas is manifest, as, indeed, it is throughout the book.
- Fourth Maccabees. The title is a misnomer; and the attribution of the work to Flavius Josephus is equally erroneous. The true title is Î ÎµÏá½¶ Î±á½ÏÎ¿ÎºÏÎ¬ÏÎ¿ÏÎ¿Ï Î»Î¿Î³Î¹ÏÎ¼Î¿á¿¦, "On the Autonomy of Reason." It is an anonymous discourse on the supremacy of religious intelligence over the feelings. This supremacy is proved, among other things, by examples of constancy in persecution, especially by the fortitude of Eleazar and the seven brothers (II Macc. 6:18, 7:41). The work was written in Greek; it is found in some manuscripts of the Septuagint, but is not canonical.
Â§ XIV. Apocrypha in the Talmud.
There are no Jewish catalogues of Apocrypha corresponding to the Christian lists cited above; but we know that the canonicity of certain writings was disputed in the first and second centuries, and that others were expressly and authoritatively declared not to be sacred scripture, while some are more vehemently interdictedâto read them is to incur perdition. The controversies about Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon will be discussed in the article CANON, where also the proposed "withdrawal" of Proverbs, Ezekiel, and some other books will be considered. Here it is sufficient to say that the school of Shammai favored excluding Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon from the list of inspired scriptures, but the final decision included them in the canon.
Sirach, on the other hand, was excluded, apparently as a recent work by a known author; and a general rule was added that no books more modern than Sirach were sacred scripture.
The same decision excluded the Gospels and other heretical (Christian) scriptures (Tosef., Yad. 2:13). These books, therefore, stand in the relation of Apocrypha to the Jewish canon.
In Mishnah Sanh. 10:1, R. Akiba adds to the catalogue of those Israelites who have no part in the world to come, "the man who reads in the extraneous books" (), that is, books outside the canon of holy scripture, just as á¼Î¾Ï, extra, are used by Christian writers (Zahn, "Gesch. des Neutestamentlichen Kanons," 1:1,126 et seq.). Among these are included the "books of the heretics" (), e., as in Tosef., Yad. quoted above, the Christians (Bab. Sanh. 100b). Sirach is also named in both Talmuds, but the text in the Jerusalem Talmud (Sanh. 28a) is obviously corrupt.
Further, the writings of Ben La'anah () fall under the same condemnation (Yer. Sanh. c.); the Midrash on Ecclesiastes 12:12 (Eccl. R.) couples the writings of Ben Tigla () with those of Sirach, as bringing mischief into the house of him who owns them. What these books were is much disputed (see the respective articles). Another title which has given rise to much discussion is or (sifre ha-meram or ha-merom), early and often emended by conjecture to (Homeros; so Hai Gaon, and others). See Homer in Talmud. The books of "Be Abidan," about which there is a question in Shab. 116a, are also obscure.
- Texts: The Apocrypha (in the Protestant sense) are found in editions of the Greek Bible;
- see especially Swete, The Old Testament in Greek, 2d ed.;
- separately, Fritzsche, Libri Apocryphi Veteris Testamenti GrÅci, 1871. Of the Pseudepigrapha no comprehensive corpus exists;
- some of the books are included in the editions of Swete and Fritzsche, above;
- and in Hilgenfeld, Messias JudÅorum, 1869. See also Fabricius, Codex Pseudepigraphus Veteris Testamenti, 2 vols., 2d ed., Hamburg, 1722, 1723, which is not replaced by any more recent work. For editions (and translations) of most of these writings the literature of the respective articles must be consulted. Translations: The Authorized Version may best be used in the edition of C. J. Ball, Variorum Apocrypha, which contains a useful apparatus of various readings and renderings;
- the Revised Version, Apocrypha, 1895;
- Churton, Uncanonical and Apocryphal Scriptures, 1884;
- a revised translation is given also in Bissell's Commentary (see below). Of the highest value is the German translation, with introductions and notes, in Kautzsch, Die Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments, 2 vols., 1899. Commentaries: Fritzsche and Grimm, Kurzgefasstes Exegetisches Handbuch zu den Apokryphen des Alten Bundes, 6 vols., 1851-60;
- Wace (and others), Apocrypha, 2 vols., 1888 (Speaker's Bible);
- Bissell, The Apocrypha of the Old Testament, 1890 (Lange series).
- The most important recent work on this whole literature is SchÃ¼rer's Geschichte des JÃ¼dischen Volkes, 3d ed., vol. (Eng. tr. of 2d ed.: Jew. People in the Time of Jesus Christ), where also very full references to the literature will be found.
These files are public domain.
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Apocrypha'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/a/apocrypha.html. 1901.
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