From: Edgar M. Krentz (emkrentz@mcs)
Date: Sun Feb 11 1996 - 10:59:06 EST
Jim Stamper gave us a good contribution ;to the discussion of the
canonicity of the apocryphal books in protestantis; I want to make a couple
>My recollection is that there hasn't been a formal, systematic "rejection"
>in Protestant denominations.
I believe that there has been a formal rejection of the apocryphal
[deutero-canonical books] books of the OT by the Zurich Confession of 1545,
the Confessio Belgica of 1561, the second Helvetic Confession of 1562, the
Synod of Dordrecht of 1618-19 [Dort], and the 1647 Westminster Confession.
Luther translated them, but gathered them in a section between the OT and
NT [thus adopting a mediating position on their authority]. Although the
Council of Trent expressly affirmed the deutero-canonical books in the 4th
session, 8 April 1545, Lutherans have never formally adopted a canon--one
reason, inter alia, why Peter Stuhlmacher speaks of the larger canon of the
OT as the hermeneuticala context for NT interpretation.
>The Anglican Articles of Religion of 1553
>which were generally consistent with the Reformation theology of the
>"And the other Books (as Hierome [Jerome] saith) the Church doth read for
>example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them
>to establish any doctrine; such are these following":
>and it goes on to list what we call the Apocrypha, including WS.
>As I remember, in the missionary explosion of the 19th Century, the British
>and Foreign Bible Society started printing the AV [KJV] without the
>Aprocrypha to save money and printers in USA followed suit. An economic
>rather than a theological decision. As a consequence over time a lot of
>people acquired Bibles without the Apocrypha.
>In my travels, whenever I can, I try to look in churches at their old
>lectern Bibles. My impression has been that most of the real antiques
>include these books regardless of the denomination where they were located.
>Don't know if the Apocrypha was read on Sundays or not and admit this is
>very unscientific survey.
>Authorized Roman Catholic translations, of course, included the Apocrypha.
>As a child in **very** Protestant surroundings I was taught our Bible didn't
>include them because they were "Catholic." The Anglicans/Episcopalians have
>always included them, but not very much, in their lectionaries.
The best book I know on the whole matter is:
Siegfried Meurer, ed. *The Apocrypha in Ecumenical Perspective. The place
of the late writings of the Old Testament among the bibical writings and
their significance in the easter and western churches.* UBS Monograph
Series, No. 6. Reading, UK; New York: United Bible Societies, 11991. ISBN
It has articles by well informed scholars. For the discussion that has been
going on here one should read the article by Peter Stuhlmacher, "The
Significance of the Old Testament Aapocrypha and Pseudepigrapha for the
Understandinga of Jesus and aChristoogy.," pp. 1-15.
The wider question underlying this discussion is the hermeneutical one: How
does one appropriate extra-canonical materials for understanding the books
of the canonical scriptures? But that issue goes beyond this discussion
group's area of concern, I think.
Edgar Krentz, New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 EAST 55TH STREET
CHICAGO, IL 60615
Tel: 3112-256-0752; (H) 312-947-8105
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