Not to mention the Shepherd of Hermas, the Acts of St. Paul (at least in the Thecla portion) and the Apocalypse of St. Peter were highly revered at this and later periods. However, there is warrant for saying that while the tradition existed substantially in portions of the Church at an early period, and thus prepared the way for the acceptance of mythical amplifications, still its later form and details were considerably influenced by the Transitus and kindred writings. Passing to the patristic writers, the Book of Henoch enjoyed a high esteem among them, mainly owing to the quotation in Jude. For more on the deuterocanonicals, see this article and this article from Catholic Answers Magazine. The prototype was evidently expurgated by a Catholic hand, who, however, did not succeed in eradicating all traces of its original taint. The nativity is embellished in an unrestrained manner. ), II. The “Protoevangelium” exists in ancient Greek and Syriac recensions. Bardenhewer, Geschichte, I, 397, 399). First, the words themselves cause many readers to pause. 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. “The Book of the Secrets of Henoch” contains passages which satisfy allusions of Origen to which there is nothing corresponding in the Ethiopic Henoch. These narratives have a common groundwork, though varying considerably in minor circumstances. The Jewish apocalypses furnish the completing links in the progress of Jewish theology and fill what would otherwise be a gap, though a small one, between the advanced stage marked by the deuterocanonical books and its full maturity in the time of Our Lord; a maturity so relatively perfect that Jesus could suppose as existing in the popular consciousness, without teaching de novo, the doctrines of future retribution, the resurrection of the body, and the existence, nature, and office of angels. Jerome alone is positively unfavorable. The Greek has the superscription: “The Account of St. John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God“. The relation of the Transitus to the tradition of Mary’s Assumption has not yet been adequately examined. This is a moralizing treatise ascribed to St. Peter, and prefixed to the Didache (q.v.). The Apocrypha includes, but is not limited to, works such as Sirach (Ben Sira), Maccabees, Judith, the book of Enoch, Jubilees, the story of Susanna, and Baruch. It gives an account of an attempted desecration of the Temple at Jerusalem by the Egyptian king, Ptolemy IV (Philopator), after his victory over Antiochus the Great at Raphia, 217 B.C., and the miraculous frustration of his endeavor to wreak vengeance upon the Egyptian Jews through a massacre with elephants. All agree that it was employed by heretical sects—for the most part Gnostics. In 447 Pope Leo the Great wrote pointedly against the pseudoapostolic writings, “which contained the germ of so many errors… they should not only be forbidden but completely suppressed and burned” (Epist. NAME AND NOTION., Etymologically, the derivation of Apocrypha is very simple, being from the Greek apokruphos, hidden, and corresponding to the neuter plural of the adjective. (2) The Ascension proper. The influence of Daniel is easily traceable here, but the figure of the Messias is sketched much more fully, and the idea developed to a degree unparalleled in pre-Christian literature. The author was a Pharisee, but one who, while adopting a distinctly Jewish view, was probably acquainted with the Christian Scriptures and freely laid them under contribution. 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 rivals—a fact which is a very important element in the formation of the Christian canon. It is impossible to ascertain its date, but it was probably composed before the Mohammedan era. 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. The authenticity of the alleged letter of Christ has always been strongly suspected when not absolutely denied. The Jews have been aroused by the news of Paul’s intended visit, and induce Nero to forbid it. These have become familiar in pious legend. It can hardly be the pseudo-Laodicean letter said by the Muratorian Fragment to have been invented by the heresiarch Marcion. Solid evidence that the "Apocrypha" is actually canonized scripture - addressing Protestants and Evangelicals on the deuterocanonical books. From the scanty remains of this work we can form but a very imperfect idea of it. Critics agree that the oldest portions are those included in chapters i—xxxvi and (broadly speaking) lxxi—civ. Are the Apocrypha Quoted in the New Testament? True, there are passages in which the sacerdotal caste and the ruling tribes are unsparingly denounced, but these are evidently later insertions. (2) The Epistle to the Messanienses, i.e. Greater importance is attached to the law than in the related composition, and the points of contact with the New Testament are more striking. The latter is beheaded on the Ostian Way, and Peter is crucified at his request head downward. A narrative of the flight into Egypt is adorned with poetic wonders. But in the extant Thomas Gospel there is no formal or manifest Gnosticism. Scholars agree that the Book of Henoch was originally composed either in Hebrew or Aramaic, and that the Ethiopic version was derived from a Greek one. After the model of the Gnostic Acts, which were of Oriental derivation, they abound in prodigies, and like those again, they take as their starting point the traditional dispersion of the Twelve from Jerusalem. Clement of Alexandria repeatedly quotes from a Knpuyp.a Ilerpov, concerning whose credibility he obviously has no doubt. The work was erroneously ascribed to Josephus by Eusebius and others. But the inevitable consequence of the apocalyptic distrust of everything present was its assumption of the guise of the remote and classic past; in other words, its pseudonymous character. The MSS. of the Seleucid era; corresponding to A.D. 28-29. Since, several more copies in the same language have been brought to light. Its legendary environment and the fact that the Church at large did not hand down the pretended epistle from Our Lord as a sacred document is conclusive against it. It exhorts to faith and courage. At its close occurs the final judgment, which inaugurates a blessed immortality in heaven for the righteous. The so-called Apocrypha in Protestant bibles are those books not written in Hebrew in our extant manuscripts. The patriarch is taken up through the seven heavens to the very throne of the Eternal. He changes his form in passing through the inferior celestial circles. All mankind sinned with Adam. The eschatology is rather advanced. This recounts a contest between three young Hebrews of the bodyguard of King Darius, each striving to formulate the wisest saying. The Arabic is a translation of a lost Syriac original. The body of the work is undoubtedly Judaic, but there are many interpolations of an unmistakably Christian origin, presenting in their ensemble a fairly full Christology, but one suspected of Docetism. Another collection was formed in the Frankish Church in the sixth century, probably by a monk. The African writer observes that the pseudo-history was the work of a priest of Asia Minor, who on the discovery of the fraud, was deposed from an ecclesiastical charge, and confessed that he forged the book out of love for St. Paul. After that we hear no more of it until it was found in an Ethiopic MS. in the last century. The names were known to Pliny, and figure in the Talmudic traditions. The Johannine Acts of the Pseudo-Prochorus (compare the canonical Acts, vi, 5) are a Catholic working-over of Gnostic material.—Acts of St. Andrew. During his reign sin will gradually cease. However, not the Chaldeans, but angels, will bring about the destruction. Certainly it was composed some time before A.D. 218, since it is expressly quoted by Clement of Alexandria. Eccl., IV, xxii).—Acts of St. Matthew. This was in part because the Apocrypha contained material which supported certain Catholic doctrines, such as purgatory, praying for the dead, and the treasury of merit. Third Esdras is one of the three uncanonical books appended to the official edition of the Vulgate. Sometimes the Messianic realm is placed upon the transfigured earth, centering in a new Jerusalem; in other works it is lifted into the Heavens; in some books the Messias is wanting or is apparently merely human, while the Parables of Henoch with their preexistent Messias mark the highest point of development of the Messianic concept to be found in the whole range of Hebrew literature. The MS. breaks off abruptly at chapter xii, and the portion cited by Jude must have belonged to the lost conclusion. 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. It could scarcely have been composed later than the middle of the second century and it is not at all impossible that it retouched some primitive material not represented in the canonical Gospels. Thus as early as about A.D. 170, the author of the descriptive Latin catalogue known as the “Muratorian Fragment” mentioned certain works as fictitious or contested. The origin of evil is explained by man’s free will. This correspondence long had an independent circulation, but recently it has been proved that the document was incorporated into the Acts of Saint Paul (q.v. The surviving fragments prove that there were close literal resemblances. The word “apocrypha” originates from the Greek and Latin words for “secret” or “non-canonical.” It is commonly used to refer to ancient, mostly Second Temple –era works that are “outside” of the Jewish Bible.1. 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. Some of its data have replaced in popular belief parallel ones of the older pseudograph. Aramaic and Syriac fragments are preserved. (See the section on the Testamentum above.) Frequently they give but a tantalizing glimpse of some episode on which we would fain be more fully informed. But even when it is transcendent and mystic it is intensely, almost fanatically, national, and surrounded by fanciful and often extravagant accessories. The Elect One, or Son of Man, existed before the sun and stars were created, and is to execute justice upon all sinners who oppress the good. 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. Both are tainted with Nestorianism, and seem to have come from a single Bartholomew legend. It spoke in St. Peter’s name and represented him above all as a teacher of the Gentiles. Three men from the East carry off the Apostles‘ bodies but are overtaken. The fact that two canonical books are associated with his name, together with a genuine literary power, a profoundly religious spirit pervading Fourth Esdras, and some Messianic points of contact with the Gospels combined to win for it an acceptance among Christians unequalled by any other apocryphon. A comparison of the Ethiopic text with the Akhmin Greek fragment proves that the former is in general a trustworthy translation. But the Messias will intervene and execute Divine wrath upon the enemies of the nation, and a cataclysm of nature, which is depicted with truly apocalyptic sublimity, will forerun the beginning of the new era. They are ascribed to St. Mark the Evangelist, and are historically worthless. The complete text was thought to have perished when it was discovered in two Ethiopic MSS. Lipsius opines that the work as we have it is a Catholic retouching of a Gnostic compilation. The idols of Egypt are shattered when the Divine Child enters the land. He belonged neither to the Pharisees of the type of Christ’s epoch, nor to the Sadducees, since he excoriates both alike. In consequence there arose a literature attributed to him. Such known works as the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Didache, or Teaching, of the Twelve Apostles, and the Apostolic Canons and Constitutions, though formally apocryphal, really belong to patristic literature, and are considered independently. As early as the sixth century the Gelasian Decretum brands this correspondence as spurious. A Jew who ventures to touch the sacred body instantly loses both hands, which are restored through the mediation of the Apostles. Some Orthodox prefer the Eastern term anagignoskomena("things that ar… There is a basis of truth in this statement as our apocryphon betrays tokens of being a Gnostic writing worked over in an orthodox interest. 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