Truth: Canonicity Part 7

This is Part 7 of 9 parts answering the basic and very important question, “What does Canonicity mean and why is it important?” Parts 8-9 will be posted on succeeding days.

The writings included in the “Pseudepigrapha” were rejected by all as spurious or false. While the Apocrypha was a collection of writings connected to the Old Testament, the Pseudepigrapha was a collection of writings associated with the New Testament. Strangely enough, the New Testament writers quoted from a number of the “extra-biblical” books. For example, Jude 1:14-15 has a possible quotation from the Book of Enoch 1:9 and the Assumption of Moses 1:9; and an allusion from the Penitence of Jannes and Jambres is found in 2 Tim. 3:8. But remember, New Testament writers quoted from the heathen poet Aratus in Acts 17:28, from Menander in 1 Corinthians 15:33 (he was an Athenian comic dramatist), and from Epimenides in Titus 1:12. The point is Truth is Truth no matter where it is found, whether uttered by a heathen poet, a pagan prophet, like Balaam in Numbers 24:17, or even Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22:28.

Included in the Pseudepigrapha are books like the legendary Book of Jubilee; The Letter of Aristeas; The Book of Adam and Eve; and the Martyrdom of Isaiah. There are apocalyptic (last times) books like 1 Enoch; the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs; The Sibylline Oracle; The Assumption of Moses; 2 Enoch; 2 Baruch; 3 Baruch. Again, these were rejected as Canon. However, they were considered as part of the human writings from that period of history.

Why were these not considered Canon? We’ll look at Part 8 tomorrow.

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