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I received the following question:

Would you give me a firm opinion on the value if any of Biblical Apocrypha?  I know that none of the apocryphal books are said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit as the canon books of the Bible are, but could they be useful in other ways, such as historical reference or anything else?  I firmly believe that scripture is the only real source of God’s word, but if I could learn anything from these other books that would help me better understand scripture, then I may be open to reading some of them, but if not I would rather just continue to focus on scripture. 

Also, weren’t those who chose what books are confirmed scripture and which are not motivated by and working for the churches of the time?  It’s no secret that for centuries the churches have preferred to keep information more to themselves and not just make it widespread knowledge as it mostly is today but wasn’t as much in the past.  I guess I am just curious if they had a valid screening process to decide if these books should be considered scripture.  I read that the apocryphal book of Enoch was actually in most bibles in most countries before the first meetings in Rome which decided which of these were to be considered scriptural and which were not, I believe this first was done in the 1200s, but it’s hard to find much information on that also.  I suppose in a way I fear that we may be missing out on books that should be part of scripture, but perhaps I am just being paranoid in that sense.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and respond to it.

My initial thoughts when I was still fairly new in Bible study was that I didn’t want to read the apocryphal books right away. The reason was that I realized that I still did not have a good, solid grasp of what was in the Scriptures that I could depend on. I was still working on getting the whole thing in my head at that point, to be called to the surface when asked for. I was afraid if I got into reading apocryphal books that my brain might get mixed up, and something from one of them might come up when I thought it was actually Scripture. So I avoided reading apocryphal books until I had a better mastery of the real ones. Read the rest of this entry »

“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all the ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  Jude 14-15

This quotation has intrigued Bible scholars for centuries, probably ever since Jude penned them at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  That Jude could quote Enoch three thousand years after he had made this prophecy seems spectacular.  Yet some claim to have the solution.  These words are found in a book called “The Book of Enoch,” and many Bible scholars have adopted the idea that these verses in Jude are quoting from this book.  So, when I recently came upon a copy of “The Book of Enoch” loaned to me by a friend, I was most interested to read it and find out what it had to say. Read the rest of this entry »