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What Does the Bible Say About..The Apocrypha?

Were the books Maccabees and Tobit etc. (i.e. in the Catholic Bible) part of the original texts of the Bible and were they omitted by Martin Luther in the 16th century. Thank you for this website it is very helpful.


Please see What Does the Bible Say About..Missing Bible Books for my previous answer about these books.

Martin Lutherís later publishers were not the first to omit these books. Most of them were not accepted as part of the Bible for several hundred years after Christ. More importantly, since most of those books were known before Christ, the Jews never accepted most of them as being part of the Bible. If the Jews had accepted them the early church probably would have accepted them as well.

In the original King James Version, as in some earlier versions, those books were placed separately between the Old and New Testaments as an appendix of books not generally accepted as scripture but of some interest to readers of the Bible. They were not intended to be considered biblical scripture. Martin Luther followed that practice in his original German translation. (Interestingly, although Luther included these books the Roman Catholic cardinal who opposed him in the ecclesiastical court rejected these books as scripture.)

Some argue that they must be considered scriptural since some writers that are accepted (Paul, Jude) quote from these books. The problem with that argument is that they also quote from books that nobody considers as being inspired by God. Therefore, just because they quoted from the books does not mean they accepted them as inspired scripture.