Non-canonized Old Testament age books.

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  • Non-canonized Old Testament age books.

    There are books that are not included in our present day Bible that were read and referred to by the Old Testament (and even the New Testament) writers. Sometines the books are mentioned by names, and other times, just as a reference to that writer or book.
    One of the main ones is the Book of Enoch, but there is also Jasher, and the Book of Jubilees, and maybe even more. There are also books that are part of the Catholic version of the Bible that are not included in non-Catholic versions.
    I just bought a book that has Enoch, Jasher, and Jubilees, and have found it to be very interesting reading so far. Enoch adds on to the story of creation and the early part of Genesis.
    These books help to explain the information that we are given in the Bible, and although they are not part of our modern-day Bible, they are what would be called "scripturally-endorsed" by the writers of books that are included in the Bible, and have even been quoted in the Bible.
    As long as what they are saying is in agreement with the Bible, then I think that they can be considered at least as valuable information and insight as to what the Old Testement writers were trying to tell us.

    The Septuagint was the Greek translation of the original Hebrew text, and was made around 200-300 BC. It is believed to have been what the scribes and teachers of Jesus' day would have been using, and quotes from it are used in the new Testament writings. While most of it is pretty similar to the King James Version, there are apparently some differences there, too.
    I am just starting to read these texts, and looking forward to seeing what information is in them.

  • #2
    Thank you Happyflowerlady,

    I remember having an interest in Gnostic writings, remembering that back then I inquired on the book of Enoch. I think that Enoch was a well known and circulated book at the time of Jude, and for that reason was mentioned, most people understood and knew the allusion to the book that was being made. Also, having mentioned other books in the Catholic bible but not ours, namely the Apocrypha, which too was already completed and being circulated in the days of Jesus, but rather noteworthy is the fact that Jesus never mentioned the Apocrypha. Luke 11:51 actually refers to not only the OT Canon (completed and circulating), but also the chronological order of the Canon, which is correct for the Jewish Canon, but of course ours' differ.

    I like what you called "scripturally endorsed" rather than inspired. I'll have to remember that one! Another words the message from the quoted passage(s) of other writings had been honorably mentioned!

    God bless,
    William
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    • #3
      Happyflowerlady I commend you for wanting to read ancient texts. However there are some points you ought to know.

      First, the book of Enoch is not mentioned in the Bible. All we have is one reference to one prophecy by Enoch in Jude. This cannot be considered an endorsement of the whole book. The earliest section(s) of the Book of Enoch date to around 300 B.C., and the rest of the text to sometime after that. Consequently, it could not have been written by Enoch.

      Second, the book of Jashar is mentioned in Josh. 10:13 and 2 Sam. 1:18. However that book is lost. The so called book of Jashar we have today is an 18 century forgery. At present we have no ancient manuscripts of Jashar. Dump that one.

      Third, the book of Jubilees is never mentioned in the Bible. The oldest copies we have of that document date to ca. 100 B.C.

      I would suggest scholarly sources for these documents. Many of the translations of these books are so old that there is no copyright and anyone can publish them.
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      • #4
        Thank you for the information, Origen, and I will check that part out as well. What I have read about the Book of Enoch is that it was also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and I think that copy was what was dated back to the 300 BC timeframe that you are mentioning.

        I also read the article from Tertullian, where he does say that he believes that the book is authentic, although it was probably either saved by Noah, or perhaps had been re-written from Noah's understanding of what Enoch had told him.
        In any case, the Book of Enoch does seem to fit in with what was said in Genesis, and some churches accepted it as part of their Bible, and then it was later put back out when the church fathers decided that it could not be true.

        I was certainly not trying in any way to say that that it should (or should not) be part of the Bible, just that I am interested in reading this book, and was interested in knowing what other people might have thought after they read it.
        Since the Bible is actually a compilation of ancient writings that the fathers of the churches have determined to either be scriptural or not scriptural, and even different churches have chosen different books to be included in that designation; it seems to me that it might be a good idea to at least read some of these books that the writers of the Biblical time period were reading.
        If they quoted even parts of a book, or mentioned the writer, then they must have given it validity.

        The Discovery of 1 Enoch Among The Dead Sea Scrolls | Moses Mikheyev, Senior Editor
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by Happyflowerlady View Post
          In any case, the Book of Enoch does seem to fit in with what was said in Genesis, and some churches accepted it as part of their Bible, and then it was later put back out when the church fathers decided that it could not be true.
          Saying that some churches accepted it is an over statement. There is no doubt that some church fathers accepted it but that is about it. However there is no evidence that it was ever part of the canon, therefore, it was never removed. As I said, some church fathers accepted it.

          Originally posted by Happyflowerlady View Post
          I was certainly not trying in any way to say that that it should (or should not) be part of the Bible...
          I understand.

          Originally posted by Happyflowerlady View Post
          Since the Bible is actually a compilation of ancient writings that the fathers of the churches have determined to either be scriptural or not scriptural, and even different churches have chosen different books to be included in that designation; it seems to me that it might be a good idea to at least read some of these books that the writers of the Biblical time period were reading.
          Oh I agree. It is a good idea to read them. I have no problem with that. However I do not agree the canon is a compilation of "ancient writings that the fathers of the churches have determined to either be scriptural or not scriptural." While the opinions of the early church fathers are helpful and important that was not the means by which books were considered canonical.

          Originally posted by Happyflowerlady View Post
          If they quoted even parts of a book, or mentioned the writer, then they must have given it validity.
          I do not believe that logically follows. A person can accept an idea\view\belief of another without endorsing everything that person said. For example Paul quotes the Greek philosopher Menander in Acts 17:28 and the Greek philosopher Epimenides in Titus 1:12. Paul would not have endorse the whole of their philosophies.
          Comment>

          • #6
            I've read a number of those books and they are quite interesting. Esdras was purpotedly written by Ezra has got an end time prophecy. According to the book, Jesus came at the time when humans were supposed to be judged by God.God's patience with men and their sins had run out at that time but Jesus sacrifice bought us some extra time. So [if that prophecy is true] we aren't just living in the end times, there's very little time left before Jesus returns and we must all be ready for His return.
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by Happyflowerlady View Post
              There are books that are not included in our present day Bible that were read and referred to by the Old Testament (and even the New Testament) writers. Sometines the books are mentioned by names, and other times, just as a reference to that writer or book.
              One of the main ones is the Book of Enoch, but there is also Jasher, and the Book of Jubilees, and maybe even more. There are also books that are part of the Catholic version of the Bible that are not included in non-Catholic versions.
              I just bought a book that has Enoch, Jasher, and Jubilees, and have found it to be very interesting reading so far. Enoch adds on to the story of creation and the early part of Genesis.
              These books help to explain the information that we are given in the Bible, and although they are not part of our modern-day Bible, they are what would be called "scripturally-endorsed" by the writers of books that are included in the Bible, and have even been quoted in the Bible.
              As long as what they are saying is in agreement with the Bible, then I think that they can be considered at least as valuable information and insight as to what the Old Testement writers were trying to tell us.

              The Septuagint was the Greek translation of the original Hebrew text, and was made around 200-300 BC. It is believed to have been what the scribes and teachers of Jesus' day would have been using, and quotes from it are used in the new Testament writings. While most of it is pretty similar to the King James Version, there are apparently some differences there, too.
              I am just starting to read these texts, and looking forward to seeing what information is in them.
              I love reading the non-Bible books that are about the Bible or at least politics or history written during the same time frame of the Bible. Even some of the books written within a generation or two after Jesus are very educational. Someone on this forum uses the name Origin, who was very prolific at writing during the early days. A lot of his writing really explain what the apostles were thinking and what they were worried about.

              I will give this warning about non-canonical books though, almost all con-men will tell you 99% the truth, but the deception is in that 1%. The fake gospels all do that, they all have 99% of stuff that seems reasonable, but then there is just the one twist which is where the con is.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by Happyflowerlady View Post
                There are books that are not included in our present day Bible that were read and referred to by the Old Testament (and even the New Testament) writers. Sometines the books are mentioned by names, and other times, just as a reference to that writer or book.
                One of the main ones is the Book of Enoch, but there is also Jasher, and the Book of Jubilees, and maybe even more. There are also books that are part of the Catholic version of the Bible that are not included in non-Catholic versions.
                I just bought a book that has Enoch, Jasher, and Jubilees, and have found it to be very interesting reading so far. Enoch adds on to the story of creation and the early part of Genesis.
                These books help to explain the information that we are given in the Bible, and although they are not part of our modern-day Bible, they are what would be called "scripturally-endorsed" by the writers of books that are included in the Bible, and have even been quoted in the Bible.
                As long as what they are saying is in agreement with the Bible, then I think that they can be considered at least as valuable information and insight as to what the Old Testement writers were trying to tell us.

                The Septuagint was the Greek translation of the original Hebrew text, and was made around 200-300 BC. It is believed to have been what the scribes and teachers of Jesus' day would have been using, and quotes from it are used in the new Testament writings. While most of it is pretty similar to the King James Version, there are apparently some differences there, too.
                I am just starting to read these texts, and looking forward to seeing what information is in them.
                I would say if you are looking into these books look into them cautiously. I have found using them as supporting texts helps and if you feel they contradict the Bible in anyway go with what the Bible says. I will however say that these books have gleaned a lot of insight and filled in many missing gaps for me. If you are interested in talking to me about what I have come across I would love for you to shoot me a message!
                Comment>
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