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Our view on the "apocrypha"


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#1 Guest_Augustine Martin

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:14 PM

I seem to hear a lot of contradictory things about our view on the "apocrypha". Some say those extra books are doctrinally true but not inspired in the same sense as the rest of the Bible. Others say that they have always been viewed the same as the rest of the Bible. It's further complicated that we don't have a word to describe them. What's our view on them?

#2 Olga

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:56 PM

Most, if not all, of these books, are quoted from in the liturgical cycles of the Orthodox Church. Lex orandi, lex credendi. Good enough for me. :-)

#3 Eric Peterson

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:38 AM

I don't know that Orthodox really make a big deal over what is "inspired," and what is not. Scripture is inspired, liturgical texts are inspired, tradition is inspired, the saints are inspired, councils are sinspired, et cetera.

#4 Jesse Dominick

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:47 PM

my understanding is that they are just as Scriptural as the rest of the Bible.

#5 Dan L.

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:46 PM

I have heard deuterocanonial as the term used to describe them. I don't know if that is an "official" Orthodox name for them though.

#6 Kosta

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:00 PM

Apocryphal books are those tainted by heresy (though they may contain elements of truth). The church does not recognize them as their own and their reading are either not neccesary or simply discouraged.

Deuterocanonical books are divinely inspired scripture, the church encourages these books to be read privately since most of them are not officially read during the course of the liturgical cycle. They are listed in the various canons of the Church along with the rest of the canonical scriptures. Old Testament books will be found in the Septuagint, St Athanasius also recognizes one or two NT 'deuterocanonical books' as well.

#7 Dan L.

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:21 PM

That is a very good distinction, Kosta. I came from a protestant background which called the deuterocanonical books, "The Apocrypha", so my answer was tainted with that mindset.

#8 Eric Peterson

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:16 AM

Well, to be fair, "deuterocanonical" and "apocryphal" are both Western terms. In Orthodoxy, we have the Greek Septuagint for our Old Testament, which has a greater number of books than the Roman Catholic and Protestant Old Testaments. So, for us, it's just Scripture. Now there is some argument, mostly for historical purposes. But the official texts published by the local churches have all the books. It's just that, in English, there is no offiial Orthodox Bible, blessed and endorsed by any archdiocese. (For those wondering, the Orthodox Study Bible does not have this endorsement, nor do other Bibles marketed as Orthodox and produced by Orthodox in English--as opposed to, say the official text of the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Russian Orthodox Church.)

#9 Ben Johnson

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:39 AM

The Orthodox usually do not use the word "Deuterocanonical," but the word "Anagignoskomena." Here is a thread on the subject: http://www.monachos....-the-scriptures

#10 Kosta

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:40 AM

The word apocrypha is indeed used by the fathers, to describe the pseudo writings of the heretics. The word deuterocanonical is not used by the fathers but both ST Cyril of Jerusalem and Athanasius make references to a secondary tier of books. Deutero means second and Athanasios uses it in conjunction with the phrase Anagi-gnoskomena (necessary reading). In the Byzantine tradition the book of Revelation would fall under this secondary tier since it's a sanctioned book but never read in liturgy. St. Athanasius mentions the didache and the SHepherd of Hermas as Nt deutero books. The apostolic constitutions also lists the 2 epistles of Clement.

If my memory serves me right, every list of the Fathers has the book of Baruch as a canonical scripture and not a secondary book as modern day versions suggest. This book is indeed read during the liturgical cycle of the church.




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