apocrypha catholic answers
It describes St. Joseph‘s death, related by Our Lord to His disciples. The deuterocanonical books are not found in the Hebrew Bible. This section begins with Paul’s departure from the island of Mileto, and is evidently based on the canonical narrative in Acts. The historical allusions come down to the reign of an insolent monarch who is plainly Herod the Great, and a powerful ruler who shall come from the West and subjugate the peopleâa reference to the punitive expedition of Quintilius Varus, 4 B.C. Certainly the homilies of St. John Damascene, “In Dormitionem Marie”, reveal evidence of this influence, e.g. The MS. breaks off abruptly at chapter xii, and the portion cited by Jude must have belonged to the lost conclusion. For example, we see it advocating magic where the smoke of a fish heart on a fire drives away devils. The preaching of the Apostles converts multitudes and even the Empress. Lipsius assigns the Latin to about the third century. In editions of the Vulgate antedating the Council of Trent it was placed after the books of Paralipomenon. The eschatology is rather advanced. Iniquity will be banished from the earth and the reign of the Messias will be everlasting. There are reasons of weight to regard the work as having been composed, together with the Acts of St. Peter, and probably those of St. Andrew, by a single person, in the latter half of the second century, under the name of a disciple of St. John, called Leucius. Its Messias is mortal, and his reign merely one of happiness upon earth. The third parable (lviii-lxx) describes again the happiness reserved for the just, the great Judgment and the secrets of nature. Thaddeus, or Addai, one of the seventy disciples, is sent, after the Resurrection, in compliance with Christ’s promise, to Abgar, heals the ruler and Christianizes Edessa with the most prompt and brilliant success. The Thaddeus legend has many ramifications and has undergone a number of variations. The Book of the Jubilees is the narrative of Genesis amplified and embellished by a Jew of the Pharisee period. ror Acta Pilati or “Gospel of Nicodemus“, see the separate article. The KJV was never a Catholic Bible. The Apocrypha (also called the Deuterocanonical books) are included in Roman Catholic Bibles and are used by some other traditions within Christianity. In consequence there arose a literature attributed to him. infra), reproduces the correspondence with additions. It deals with the adventures of Thecla, a young woman of Iconium, who upon being converted by St. Paul’s preaching, left her bridegroom and lived a life of virginity and missionary activity, becoming a companion of St. Paul, and preaching the Gospel. Tertullian (Apologia, xxi) after giving a sketch of the miracles and Passion of Christ, subjoins: “All these things Pilate … announced to Tiberius Caesar.” A comparison between this pericope and the Pseudo-Pilate report reveals a literary dependence between them, though the critics differ as to the priority of these documents. Interestingly, Catholics refer to these extra books as the Deuterocanonical books while Protestants refer to them as part of the Apocrypha. v, 9; vii, 1. (See Apostolic Churches; Saint Andrew, Apostle. A work which was so well accredited in the days of Clement of Alexandria (c. 140-215), and which was known to the Gnostic Heracleon (c. 160-170), must have come from almost Apostolic antiquity. In this defense of the Machabean dynasty, and by a writer with Pharisaic tendencies, probably a priest, the Testaments are unique in Jewish literature. As for the lowest date, the book is employed by the Jewish portion of the “Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs”. The book then returns to the doings of Moses and Josue. This means Protestants do not accept the Apocrypha. The names are not found in the Old Testament. Baumstark assigns it to the fifth century. The fragments which remain betray no signs of heterodox origin. Aramaic and Syriac fragments are preserved. However, the kernel of the narrative is drawn from older sources. Regarding the historical value of these apocryphal narratives, it requires the most careful criticism to extricate from the mass of fable and legend any grains of historical truth. St. Peter is buried at “The place called the Vatican“, and Paul on the Ostian Way. Its composite character appears clearly from the palpable differences in eschatology, in the views of the origin of sin and of the character and importance of the Messias found in portions otherwise marked off from each other by diversities of subject. It has been printed in the Tischendorf collection (Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti).âApocalypses of St. Peter. Although in the Middle Ages these condemnations were forgotten and many of the pseudographic writings enjoyed a high degree of favor among both clerics and the laity, still we find superior minds, such as Alcuin, St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, pointing out their want of authority. The missive concludes with a warning against the mendacity of the Jews. There exists a puerile correspondence consisting of a pretended Letter of Herod to Pilate and Letter of Pilate to Herod. Much of their apocryphal matter was taken up by the offices of the Apostles in the Latin breviaries and lectionaries, composed in the seventh and eighth centuries at an extremely uncritical period. The outlook was most dark and the national life seemed utterly extinguished. It has been deemed better to classify the Biblical apocrypha according to their origin, instead of following the misleading division of the apocrypha of the Old and New Testaments. Recently a large Greek fragment comprising chapters iâxxxii was unearthed at Akhmin in Egypt. The “Gospel of the Nativity of Mary” is a recast of the Pseudo-Matthew, but reaches only to the birth of Jesus. It describes the triumph of St. Peter over Simon Magus at Rome, and the Apostle’s subsequent crucifixion. The signs point strongly to the third century as the era. The few citations of patristic writers were unable to convey an idea of its contents, but fortunately a considerable fragment of this ancient document was discovered at Akhmin, Egypt, together with the pseudo-Petrine Gospel in the language of the original, viz., Greek. Another Greek Father, Epiphanius (312-403) in “Hiereses”, 26, could complain that copies of Gnostic apocrypha were current in thousands. The approximate dates assigned to it range between A.D. 50 and 117. Further information about some of them will be found at the end of articles on the above personages. Answers. Gospel of Gamaliel.âDr. The Apostles are preternaturally transported from different quarters of the globe to the Virgin’s deathbed, those who had died being resuscitated for the purpose. There is a Syriac “Preaching of Simon Peter in the City of Rome.”âTwo Ways or Judicium Petri. In retribution that city is swallowed up by the sea. (See Saint Philip, Apostle. Dan., xii, 4, 9, where the prophet is bidden to shut up and seal an inspired book until an appointed time). Some Orthodox prefer the Eastern term anagignoskomena("things that arâ¦ During his reign sin will gradually cease. In fact Eusebius classes it among the antilegomena, or works having locally quasicanonical authority.âActs of Paul and Thecla. But even when it is transcendent and mystic it is intensely, almost fanatically, national, and surrounded by fanciful and often extravagant accessories. This is a collection of eighteen psalms composed in Hebrew, and, as is commonly agreed, by a Pharisee of Palestine, about the time of Pompey’s capture of Jerusalem, 63 B.C. These are on one side c. 300 B.C., the latest time assigned to Paralipomenon-Esdras-Nehernias, and on the other, c. A.D. 100, the era of Josephus, who employed Third Esdras. For more on the deuterocanonicals, see this article and this article from Catholic Answers Magazine. A beautiful penitential prayer put in the mouth of Manasses, King of Juda, who carried idolatrous abominations so far. The Latin text is the original one, and cannot be earlier than the fifth century. Broadly speaking, the apocrypha of Jewish origin are coextensive with what are styled of the Old Testament, and those of Christian origin with the apocrypha of the New Testament. Since, several more copies in the same language have been brought to light. A still later fabrication is found in the Latin Epistola Pilati ad Tiberium. The Syrian Church was the first to give it a friendly reception, presumably on the strength of its mention in the Apostolic Constitutions. After an allusion by an author of the beginning of the ninth century, they disappear from view. Since the narrative of a Gaulish pilgrim who visited Edessa about 390 contains no allusion to such a picture, we may reasonably conclude that the Teaching of Addai is of later origin. St. Jerome testifies that the original was in Hebrew. Undoubtedly it was the large use heretical circles, especially the Gnostic sects, made of this insinuating literature which first called forth the animadversions of the official guardians of doctrinal purity. But in the fourth century the Henoch writings lost credit and ceased to be quoted. The whole is a legendary tissue. This indicates the date of the apocalypse’s fabrication. An apocalyptic element existing in the prophets, in Zacharias (iâvi), in Tobias (Tobias, xiii), can be traced back to the visions of Ezechiel which form the prototype of apocalyptic; all this had its influence upon the new literature. The relation is appended to some Latin texts of the Acta Pilati, under the title “Historia Josephi”. What the Protestant churches call apocrypha, the Catholic Church calls the deuterocanonicals (or "second canon"), but it considers three books held as canon by the Eastern Orthodox churches as apocrypha. ), who will allow at most a probability that certain brief sections appertain to a Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, written originally in Greek and current among Gnostic Ebionites as early as the second century. It deals in part with the same problems, viz., the sufferings of the theocratic people, and their ultimate triumph over their oppressors. The apocryphon is attributed by critics to the first quarter of the second century, and is therefore one of the earliest specimens of noncanonical literature. ; chapters xci-civ between the years 134-95 B.C. The body of the work is undoubtedly Judaic, but there are many interpolations of an unmistakablâ¦ the second homily, xii, xiii, xiv. The term Christian here is used in a comprehensive sense and embraces works produced both by Catholics and heretics; the latter are chiefly members of the various branches or schools of Gnosticism, which flourished in the second and third centuries. At a very early period orthodox writers and, presumably, ecclesiastical authorities found it necessary to distinguish between the genuine inspired books and a multitude of spurious rivalsâa fact which is a very important element in the formation of the Christian canon. Catholic and many Orthodox Bibles have 7 more books in their Old Testaments than most modern Protestant translations of the Bible. Aside from a few other brief references in patristic literature, nothing more was known of this apocryphon until the Latin MS. containing a long portion of it was discovered by Ceriani in the Ambrosian Library, at Milan, and published by him in 1861. The pleasing story is repeated with variations in later sources. It exists in two of the oldest codices of the Septuagint, viz., Vaticanus and Alexandrinus, where it precedes the canonical Esdras. Accordingly it may be accepted as highly probable that in its original meaning an apocryphal writing had no unfavorable import, but simply denoted a composition which claimed a sacred origin, and was supposed to have been hidden for generations, either absolutely, awaiting the due time of its revelation, or relatively, inasmuch as knowledge of it was confined to a limited esoteric circle. The Jews have been aroused by the news of Paul’s intended visit, and induce Nero to forbid it. Yet, withal, no apocryphal work found official recognition in the Western Church. A. Baumstark in the Revue Biblique (April, 1906, 253 sqq. For this purpose all the departed just will rise from a mysterious abode, though apparently not in the body (ciii, 3, 4). The first describes the secrets of heaven, giving prominence to the angelic hosts and their princes. Twenty-four fragments have been preserved by ecclesiastical writers. This is an extensive pseudograph, consisting of (1) narrations in which each of the twelve sons of Jacob relates his life, embellished by Midrashic expansions of the Biblical data; (2) exhortations by each patriarch to the practice of virtues, or the shunning of vices illustrated in his life; (3) apocalyptic portions concerning the future of the twelve tribes, and the Messianic times. (See Canon of Sacred Scripture. Regarding the so-called Apocalypse of St. Bartholomew see Gospel of St. Bartholomew. The greater probabilities oppose their identity. But we possess three individual Acts under different names, which prove to be orthodox recensions of an original comprehensive Gnostic whole. The minor Pilate apocrypha, the Anaphora Pilati, or “Relation of Pilate”, is frequently found appended to the texts of the Acta. When we would attempt to seize the literary sense attaching to the word, the task is not so easy. They are identical with a correspondence alluded to by Jerome (de Viris Illustr., xii), who without passing judgment on their value, notes that they are read by many. The prayer breathes a Christian spirit, and it is not entirely certain that it is really of Jewish origin. Portions which extol the tribes of Levi and Juda are interpreted as an apology for the Hasmonean pontiff-kings. Pseudo-Correspondence of St. Paul and Seneca. The New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha, third edition, New Revised Standard Version, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 4, for a list of the Apocrypha. They are of value in indicating the veneration paid to Mary at a very early age. Book V, lxxii-lxxviii, lxxxix, lxxix (transposed) may be called the Book of Celestial Physics, or Astronomy. This purports to be the description by Isaias of a vision in which he was rapt up through the seven heavens to the presence of the Trinity, and beheld the descent of the Son, “the Beloved”, on His mission of redemption. Certainly it was composed some time before A.D. 218, since it is expressly quoted by Clement of Alexandria. (See Agrapha.). A Jew who ventures to touch the sacred body instantly loses both hands, which are restored through the mediation of the Apostles. Between this and the body of the work there is a very loose connection, as the main portion represents Christ as enacting, even to small details, laws for the governance and ritual of the Church. During the persecutions under Maximin in the fourth century spurious anti-Christian Acts of Pilate were composed in Syria, as we learn from Eusebius. This is the latest of the pseudo-Acts, having been composed by a monk of Treves, in the twelfth century, as a prelude to an account of the translation of the sacred relic, and the body of St. Matthias to that city, and their subsequent rediscoveries. the inhabitants of Messina, Sicily, is equally brief; it conveys an exhortation to faith, and a blessing. (See Saint Bartholomew, Apostle). The extant Greek fragments supply us with all but five (10-14) of the fifteen Acts composing the work. Free will and the resurrection are taught. The two letters are accompanied by an introduction which probably is an excerpt from the same source. The Greek text recounts the marvels by which the Apostle overthrew idolatry and converted a king and his subjects in “India“. Some of the details throw interesting light on various obscure allusions in Holy Writ, such as the superimposed heavens, the presence of evil powers “in heavenly places”, Ezechiel‘s strange creatures full of eyes. The canonical Epistle of St. Jude, in verses 14, 15, explicitly quotes from the Book of Henoch; the citation is found in the Ethiopic version in verses 9 and 4 of the first chapter. The author would learn the future of his nation. 28). Its body contains an account of the fall of the angelic “Watchers”, their punishment, and the patriarch’s intervention in their history. The book purports to be a series of predictions delivered in written form to the safekeeping of Josue (Joshua) by Moses when the latter, in view of his approaching death, appointed Josue as his successor. It mingles many bizarre details concerning the celestial realm, the angels, and stars, with advanced ideas on man’s destiny, moral excellence, and the punishment of sin. The literature grew by accretions from heretical sources and eventually took in all the Apostles, including St. Paul. Its composition must be assigned to the first quarter or the middle of the second century of the Christian era. The apocryphal epistle is a transparent attempt to supply this supposed lost sacred document. An originally Arabic “History of Joseph the Carpenter” is published in Tischendorf’s collection of apocrypha. Likewise the eschatology labors with two conflicting elements: the redemption of all Israel and the small number of the elect. Since the book shows acquaintance with the Greek additions to Daniel, it cannot be earlier than the first century B.C., and could scarcely have found such favor among Christians if composed later than the first century after Christ. Work, and suffered persecution thereupon accorded him is taken up by the Church the!, each striving to formulate the wisest saying Manichaeans in the Old Testament read in English in ’. 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