Chapter Three
What is wrong with Apocrypha

The Old Testament Apocrypha were all written between the period of Malachi and the coming of Jesus.  This period is usually called Inter-testamental period or the period between the old testament and the new testament.  The Jews believed and that the prophecy came to an end with Malachi.  There was 400 years of silence until the coming of mesiah.  Rabbi Jose ben Chaliptha, the master to Rabbi Judah Hakkodesh, who composed the Mishna and a second Jewish work on chronology  Sedar Olam Zeutah, i. e., Small Chronicle of the World,   (written 1123 C.E)..  states that  in the last year of Darius Hystaspes the prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi died. Thereupon the spirit of prophecy ceased from among the children of Israel. This continuance of the prophetic spirit was "the sealing up of vision and prophecy" spoken of by Daniel (Dan. 9: 24).   Josephus the Jewish historian  (90 AD) states  : "From Artaxerxes until our time everything has been recorded but has not been deemed worthy of like credit with what preceeded, because the exact succession of the prophets ceased. By what faith we have placed in our own writings is evident by our conduct; for though so long a time has now passed, no one has dared to add anything to them, or to take anything from them, or to alter them in any way" (Against Apion 1).William Barclay states, "It was a fixed Jewish belief that with Malachi, midway through the fifth century B.C., the voice of prophecy was silenced and never spoken again." (Barclay, The Making of the Bible, 25).


 1 Mac 9:27 declares that prophecy terminated with Malachi and so all literature after that till New Testament period cannot form part of Scripture.

They contain demonstrable errors; for example:
A.   The Apocrypha contains chronological and historical errors. e.g.  
Baruch 1:2 (comp. Jeremiah 43:6-7); Bel and the Dragon 22 (Xerxes did it); Bel and the Dragon 33; Revolt of Jeroboam took place in 931 BCE long before Tobit was born; The rebellion of the northern tribe against Jerusalem in 1 Kings 12:19-20 took place around 922 B.C. Yet the Book of Tobit itself says he lived only 158 years – Tob 1:3-5; 14:11
Judith mistakenly identifies Nebuchadnezzar as king of the Assyrians (1:1, 7).In fact he was the king of Babylon (2 Kings 24:1).

B.   It contains geographical inaccuracies:.  Tobit 1:4; 6:1; 9:2 (This was an 11 day journey.)

C.   False teachings contrary to the rest of the sciptures are found in it.  

1.   Prayers for the dead.   

2 Mac 12:44,45 12:44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.
12:45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

2.   Salvation through  good works (almsgiving, etc.).  Sirach 3:34, 14, 30; 30:11-12 2; Esdras 7:7; 8:33, 36; Tobit 12:9, 8a; 14:11  “Whoso honoureth his father maketh an atonement for his sins...Water will quench a flaming fire; and alms maketh an atonement for sin” (Sirach 3:3, 30).  “alms doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin.” Tobit 12:9

3.  It teaches reincarnation  “For I was a witty child, and had a good spirit. Yea rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled.”  Wisdom 8:19,20 

4.  Forbids helping sinners. "Give to the godly man, and help not a sinner. Do well unto him that is lowly, but give not to the ungodly; hold back thy bread, and give it not unto him...give unto the good, and help not the sinner.” Sirach 12:4-7

D.   Magic and witchcraft are recomended  in:  demon exorcism. Tobit 6-8;   healing. Tobit 11; as   charm  Sirach 8:19;    incense as charm against spirits   Tobit 6:2-7,
16-17 .

E..   The intercession of angels is justified    Tobit 12:15 (Raphael)

Bible Query from the Apocrypha gives the following lists of errors:

Tobit (Tobias)

-5 historical errors

9 pgs


-14 historical errors

14 pgs

Additions to Esther (8 places)

-2 historical errors

4 pgs

Wisdom of Solomon

-2 contradictory doctrine

19 pgs

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)

-8 contradictory doctrine

44 pgs


-4 historical errors

7 pgs

Letter of Jeremiah in Baruch

73 verses

Song of the 3 Holy Children (Prayer of Azariah)

(placed in Daniel)

2 pgs


(placed in Daniel)

2 pgs

Bel and the Dragon

(placed in Daniel) 1 error

2 pgs

1 and 2 Maccabees

-2 historical errors

41 pgs

Even though these books may be read as literature, they cannot have the credibility of Mosaic or Prophetic literature.