Why Studying the Apocrypha Matters

Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Bel and the Dragon—these and all the other books of the Apocrypha aren’t in the Protestant Old Testament, but they are important pieces of literature that help inform our biblical studies.

Many Christians may be nervous about studying the Apocrypha—after all, if it’s not the Bible, why does it matter? Yet these books open up a world of insights into Jewish religion and culture, especially during the intertestamental period.

Dr. David deSilva, distinguished professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary, is convinced that Protestants should be studying the Apocrypha. Watch what he has to say about it in this clip for his new Mobile Ed course:

David deSilva BI291 Course Promo

Logos Mobile Education: Between the Testaments

The two-course Between the Testaments Bundle contains over 18 hours of teaching from top-notch scholars Dr. deSilva and Dr. Joel Willitts. They’ll take you first into the world of the Apocrypha with Dr. deSilva’s BI291 The Apocrypha: Witness between the Testaments, then into the realm of Second Temple literature with Willitts’ NT202 A Survey of Jewish History and Literature from the Second Temple Period. These two in-depth courses will provide clarity and insights into the Jewish culture in which Jesus walked and Paul and the Apostles wrote. If you’re a serious student of the Bible, this bundle is for you!

More than distance education

mobileed_logo_smallLogos Mobile Education is bigger than the traditional classroom, and it goes way beyond any distance education. Every Mobile Ed course you get integrates into your library and becomes a valuable piece of reference material to be used time and time again in your Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, or searches. Study on your own time and at a deeper level with Mobile Ed’s Logos-integrated courses.

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Comments

  1. The Holy Spirit is all that is essential for understanding the Scripture not the Apocrypha although we may gain perspective on certain matters even this is non- essential to living the Christian Life. Jesus said "You shall know the truth and the Truth shall set you free.

    Because He is the Way, The Truth and the Life. The Apocrypha and it's content is of no consequence in matters pertaining Christian growth, maturity and especially usefulness. Saying a book is helpful is one thing and I agree that this may be the case for the Apocrypha but Essential to understanding Scripture, absolutely not that emphasis is God alone in the lives of those Born of Him.

  2. If they're good enough for the apostolic Christians from the very beginning (Catholic and eventually what came to be known as Orthodox), they're good enough for everybody. "Deuterocanonical" is a more appropriate term. "Intertestamental" emphasizes the disjuncture; "Second Temple Period" or referring to the period by the dominant reigning empire is more orienting to the historical background that motivates these texts and emphasizes the continuity and unity of Scripture.

  3. Please don’t write things like “the Apocrypha aren’t in the Protestant Old Testament”. There is no common “Protestant Old Testament”. They were in the original KJV, and they have been in all official Swedish Bibles except for the 1917 one.

  4. I think it may be helpful to distinguish between literature that is essential to scholars and that which is essential to the Christian life. Jesus and the apostles do not form any arguments from these books and so I think it is overselling to say they are “essential” to understanding the New Testament. On the other hand, those who are engaged in a more advanced study of the canonical literature would benefit greatly from understanding their relationship to these books for the reasons Dr. deSilva gives. The majority of Christians would be better off actually taking the time to read and study the Bible.