The Bible as we have it today, which consists of 66 books, took a very long, thoughtful process to come together. The church was able to discern which of the books were indeed inspired by God, and which did not belong in the Bible, so how did they know which ones belonged and which ones didn’t?
Apparently, it was the early Church fathers who heavily influenced what books would be in the Bible and what books would be rejected. Trusted men of God like Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine, and others, all led the slow and careful acceptance of the books in the New Testament as we know it today.
The biblical apocrypha (from the Ancient Greek: ἀπόκρυφος, romanized: apókruphos, lit. ‘hidden’) denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books thought to have been written some time between 200 BC and 400 AD. Some Christian churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament Apocrypha consists of eleven or twelve books, depending upon how they are divided, that the Roman Catholic Church adds to the Old Testament. The Protestants reject these books as Holy Scripture for the following reasons.
1 The Apocrypha Has Different Doctrine And Practices Than Holy Scripture
There are doctrines and practices contained in the Apocrypha that are contrary to what the Scripture teaches.
2. The Non-biblical Doctrine Of Purgatory Is Taught In The Apocrypha
The doctrine of purgatory – a place of purging between heaven and hell – is taught in the Apocrypha
3 According To The Apocrypha God Hears The Prayers Of The Dead
We find the Book of Baruch teaching that God hears the prayers of those who have died.
4 The Apocrypha Teaches The Pre-existence Of Souls
The doctrine of the pre-existence of souls is found in the Apocrypha
5. The Apocrypha Is Never Cited In The New Testament As Scripture
Though the New Testament cites directly, or alludes to, almost every book of the Old Testament as Scripture, it never cites the Apocrypha as being God’s Word. The Apocrypha was not the Bible of Jesus or His apostle
6. the Apocrypha Has Always Been Rejected By The Jews As Scripture
7. The Books Of The Apocrypha Were Written During The Silent Years
The books of the Apocrypha were written during the four hundred silent years between the Book of Malachi and the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist. Jewish and New Testament sources both agree that no divinely inspired prophetic utterance occurred during this time.
These Apocrypha books made up the end of the Old Testament, and included the following books:
• 1 Esdras
• 2 Esdras
• The rest of Esther
• The Wisdom of Solomon
• Baruch with the epistle Jeremiah
• The Songs of the 3 Holy children
• The history of Susana
• bel and the dragon
• The prayer for Manasses
• 1 Maccabees
• 2 Maccabees