I would not quibble with the historical importance of the Apocrypha, Dead
Sea Scrolls, Pseudepigrapha, etc. My comment was more directed at the
"position of Lutheran Orthodoxy" with respect of using texts that fall
outside the traditionally accepted 66 books to set doctrine. And, yes, I
agree that these documents help lift the veil that history has draped over
the "400 silent years" and help to put some of the OT and NT records in a
historical and cultural context.
From: PHSEELY@aol.com [mailto:PHSEELY@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday August 04, 2001 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: apocrypha (was Re: Wheel of God)
<< Thanks for this lucid explanation. As a Calvinist who has been
> in a Lutheran congregation, this is all news to me. Having said this,
> comment, "[t]he position of Lutheran Orthodoxy was that texts from the
> Apocrypha could be used in support of doctrinal positions based on
> unquestioned books but that something couldn't be held as doctrine which
> could be supported only from the Apocrypha" suggests a certain redundancy
> the Apocrypha.
Apart from supporting doctrinal positions per se, the Apocrypha are also of
significance for appreciating some texts in the OT as in Daniel and even
in the NT since the writers sometimes allude to materials in the apocrypha.
One of the most significant in my mind is the list of the heroes of faith in
Hebrews 11 which at the end is referring to the heroes of the Maccabean era,
and apparently also making reference to the Ascension of Isaiah, a
pseudepigraphical book. The early church was reading these books, and if
Christians do not read them they miss the flavor of some things in the NT. 1
and 2 Maccabees are particularly important; and Eccesiasticus is cited as
Scripture in more than one early father.
The "400 silent years" are not silent if you read the Apocrypha,
Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
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