Those Other Books
For years I wondered why Protestant Christians left so many books out of the Old Testament. It wasn’t until the 1500’s that churches decided on “official” canons of Scripture. Before that, the Bible was the Book of the Church, not churches that were of the Bible. In other words, the Church compiled, wrote, read, and interpreted the Bible.
Most Western Christians these days use various Bible translations wherein the Old Testament is based on the Masoretic Hebrew Text. That text came about hundreds of years after Christ and was unused by the early Church. The much older Septuagint, however, was the most commonly used and is most often quoted by Christ and the Apostles. Why not use the Septuagint instead?
One aspect of the Greek Old Testament that I find most intriguing is the presence of the so-called Apocrypha, or Deuterocanon. Most modern “with Apocrypha” translations (such as the NRSV) include the following books or portions of books:
1 & 2 Esdras, The Rest of Esther, Judith, Tobit, 1, 2, 3 & 4 Maccabees, Psalm 151, Prayer of Manasseh, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Susanna, Song of the Three Young Men, and Bel and the Dragon.
Personally, I consider all of these books to be testaments of godly knowledge and faith in spite of their canonicity.
[More to come . . .]