We must suppose that it was subsequent to the above Scriptures, since it was evidently composed in Greek and by an Alexandrian Jew. The MSS. The Muratorian Fragmentist mentions together with a spurious epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans, one to the Alexandrians, which was forged under the auspices of Marcion. He must have been either a Zealot, that is an ultra-Nationalist and Messianist, or a fervid Essene. (See Assumption; Mary. Simon Magus traduces the Christian teachers, and there is a test of strength in miracles between that magician and the Apostles, which takes place in the presence of Nero. This is one of the earliest mentions of Sheol as a hell of torment, preceding portions of the book having described the place of retribution for the wicked as Tartarus and Geennom.âBook IV, xxxvii-lxx, consists of three “Parables“. They will say Catholics added them but they have always been in the Bible. From this Pauline apocalypse must be distinguished a Gnostic work entitled the “Ascension of Paul”, referred to by St. Epiphanius, but of which no remains have survived. Pseudographic composition was in vogue among the Jews in the two centuries before Christ and for some time later. The Jews have been aroused by the news of Paul’s intended visit, and induce Nero to forbid it. Baumstark assigns it to the fifth century. I â¦ But in the extant Thomas Gospel there is no formal or manifest Gnosticism. The spirit of these psalms is one of great moral earnestness and righteousness, but it is the righteousness of the Pharisees, consisting in the observance of the legal traditions and ceremonial Law. The wicked will go into the Sheol of darkness and fire and dwell there forever. This, adds Eusebius, happened in the year 340, i.e. It is evident that neither of Herod‘s sons, Philip and Antipas, had yet reigned thirty-four years, since the writer, hazarding a prediction that proved false, says that the sons should enjoy shorter reigns than their father. The rest is by Christian hands or perhaps a single writer, who united his apocalypse with the Martyrdom. There exist a Greek and a Latin Martyrdom of Peter, the latter attributed to Pope Linus, which from patristic citations are recognized as the conclusion of an ancient Greek narrative entitled “Acts, or Circuits of St. Peter”. the inhabitants of Messina, Sicily, is equally brief; it conveys an exhortation to faith, and a blessing. It opens with a palpable error of chronology. Besides being an author, Jimmy is the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to Catholic Answers Magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live." Peace be with you <<>> The books they will call the Apocrypha are actually called deuterocanonical books. The whole is a legendary tissue. The book purports to be a series of predictions delivered in written form to the safekeeping of Josue (Joshua) by Moses when the latter, in view of his approaching death, appointed Josue as his successor. Gospel of St. Peter.âThe existence of an apocryphal composition bearing this name in Christian antiquity had long been known by references to it in certain early patristic writers who intimate that it originated or was current among Christians of Docetic views. ), The Acts and Martyrdom of St. Matthew are in literary dependence on the Acts of St. Andrew (q.v., supra), and hence the reading “Matthew” may be an error for “Matthias”, since evidently the companion of Peter and Andrew is intended. It influenced not only later Jewish apocrypha, but has left its imprint on the New Testament and the works of the early Fathers. And yet there need be no hesitation in relegating the Fourth Book of Esdras to the ranks of the apocrypha. Peter receives Paul at Rome with joy. Thus the latest possible date of composition is fixed at A.D. 30. These are: (I) “The Acts of Andrew and Matthias” (or Matthew as given by some authorities); (2) “Acts of Peter and Andrew” (the original language of the above is Greek); (3) “The Martyrdom of the Apostle Andrew” has come down in both Greek and Latin recensions. ; chapters xci-civ between the years 134-95 B.C. Judaism holds all the books of the New Testament - as well as the deuterocanonicals and anything else found in the Greek translation of the Law and Prophets (the Septuagint) - as apocrypha. A narrative of the flight into Egypt is adorned with poetic wonders. The apocryphal epistle is a transparent attempt to supply this supposed lost sacred document. The “Departure” takes place at Jerusalem, though the Greek version places Mary first at Bethlehem. The original form has perished except in a few patristic quotations. Since it was impossible to suppress their circulation entirely, they were rendered comparatively harmless by orthodox editing which expunged the palpable errors, especially in the discourses, leaving the miracle element to stand in its riotous exuberance. Three men from the East carry off the Apostles‘ bodies but are overtaken. Pseudographic Acts of St. Andrew are noted by several early ecclesiastical writers, as in circulation among Gnostic and Manichaean sects. Lipsius, a high authority, is of the opinion that the Abgar correspondence goes back to the reign of the first Christian ruler of Edessa, Abgar IX (179-216), and that it was elicited by a desire to force a link uniting that epoch with the time of Christ. During his reign sin will gradually cease. For more on the deuterocanonicals, see this article and this article from Catholic Answers Magazine. Ancient literature, especially in the Orient, used methods much more free and elastic than those permitted by our modern and Occidental culture. Catholic and many Orthodox Bibles have 7 more books in their Old Testaments than most modern Protestant translations of the Bible. It was obviously suggested by the lost genuine Pauline letter referred to in I Cor. Space will permit only an enumeration of unimportant specimens of apocryphal literature, extant in whole or part, and consisting (1) of Jewish originals recast or freely interpolated by Christians, viz., the “Apocalypses of Elias” (Elijah), “Sophonias” (Zephaniah), the “Paralipomenon of Baruch“; and (2) of Christian compositions whose material was supplied by Jewish sources; the so-called “Apocalypse of Moses the “Apocalypse of Esdras“, the “Testament of Abraham“, the “Testament of the Three Patriarchs”, the “Prayer of Joseph“, the “Prayer of Aseneth“, the “Marriage of Aseneth“, (the wife of Joseph). Naturally basing itself upon the Pentateuch and the Prophets, it clothed itself fictitiously with the authority of a patriarch or prophet who was made to reveal the transcendent future. There is a very systematic chronology according to the years, weeks of years, and jubilees. It is said that there are many such references. The author was a Jew, and in all likelihood a Palestinian one. While it is possible that St. Justin may have heard of such a report, and even probable that the procurator transmitted some account of the events at Jerusalem to Rome, it is on the other hand admissible that Justin’s assertion was based on nothing more than hypothesis. Fortunately the above-cited passage of Tertullian (De Baptismo, xvii) informs us of its authorship and aim. It was the translation commissioned for use by the Church of England. The Protoevangelium Jacobi, or Infancy Gospel of James, purports to have been written by “James the brother of the Lord”, i.e. (2) The Ascension proper. Accordingly it may be accepted as highly probable that in its original meaning an apocryphal writing had no unfavorable import, but simply denoted a composition which claimed a sacred origin, and was supposed to have been hidden for generations, either absolutely, awaiting the due time of its revelation, or relatively, inasmuch as knowledge of it was confined to a limited esoteric circle. They are also noteworthy as emphasizing the close concord between the Apostolic founders of the Roman Church. The deuterocanonical books are not found in the Hebrew Bible. Titus bribes Dumachus not to molest them; the Infant foretells that thirty years thence the thieves will be crucified with Him, Titus on His right and Dumachus on His left and that the former will accompany Him into paradise. The pleasing story is repeated with variations in later sources. Another and preexistent Holy City is reserved by God, since the world cannot exist without a Jerusalem. Pseudo-Epistles of St. Paul; Correspondence with the Corinthians. The Acts of Paul, therefore, adds nothing trustworthy to our knowledge of the Apostle of the Gentiles. The aim of the Hellenistic Jewish author was to inculcate devotion to the Law. There is a basis of truth in this statement as our apocryphon betrays tokens of being a Gnostic writing worked over in an orthodox interest. On the other hand, Eusebius classes it as apocryphal. All mankind sinned with Adam. Henoch supplicates God not to annihilate the human race. The Apostles are preternaturally transported from different quarters of the globe to the Virgin’s deathbed, those who had died being resuscitated for the purpose. Apocrypha is a relative term. Its body contains an account of the fall of the angelic “Watchers”, their punishment, and the patriarch’s intervention in their history. It deals in part with the same problems, viz., the sufferings of the theocratic people, and their ultimate triumph over their oppressors. There is greater likelihood that the composition took place before our Era. There is also a Coptic-Ethiopic martyrdom legend of St. Matthew. It purports to reveal the secrets seen by the Apostle in his transport to the third heaven, alluded to in II Cor., xii, 2, and was composed in Greek. The Messianic kingdom is therefore to be an eternal one on earth, therein agreeing with the Ethiopic Henoch. The work exists in Greek and a later Latin. Not to insist on the allusion to the Book of Daniel in xii, 11, the date given in the first version (iii, 1) is erroneous, and the whole tenor and character of the work places it in the age of apocalyptic literature. The origin of evil is explained by man’s free will. Thus as early as about A.D. 170, the author of the descriptive Latin catalogue known as the “Muratorian Fragment” mentioned certain works as fictitious or contested. These pseudographs may be as old as the fifth century. After that we hear no more of it until it was found in an Ethiopic MS. in the last century. combined with the Paradoseis or “Giving up of Pilate”, which represents the oldest form of the legend dealing with Pilate’s subsequent life. At the same time St. Irenieus called attention to the great mass of heretical pseudographic writings (inenarrabilis multitudo apocryphorum et perperam scripturarum, Adv., Hier., I, xx). Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, and even St. Augustine suppose the work to be a genuine one of the patriarch. In bold contrast to the Infancy narrative of St. Luke, where the Divinity is almost effaced, the author makes the Child a miracle-worker and intellectual prodigy, and in harmony with Docetism, leaves scarcely more than the appearance of humanity in Him. The Greek has the superscription: “The Account of St. John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God“. Much of their apocryphal matter was taken up by the offices of the Apostles in the Latin breviaries and lectionaries, composed in the seventh and eighth centuries at an extremely uncritical period. In 447 Pope Leo the Great wrote pointedly against the pseudoapostolic writings, “which contained the germ of so many errors… they should not only be forbidden but completely suppressed and burned” (Epist. Further information about some of them will be found at the end of articles on the above personages. (See Saint Matthew, Apostle. The former had no other motive than that of a pious fraud, being sometimes moved by a real though misguided zeal, as witness the author of the Pseudo-Matthew: Amcor Christi est cui satisfecimus. It is enough to note the existence of other pseudo-Gospels, of which very little is known beside the names. There is a close relation between this apocalypse and that of Fourth Esdras, but critics are divided over the question, which has influenced the other. Regarding the so-called Apocalypse of St. Bartholomew see Gospel of St. Bartholomew. which on examination proved to contain another Henoch book differing entirely from the Ethiopic compilation. They are identical with a correspondence alluded to by Jerome (de Viris Illustr., xii), who without passing judgment on their value, notes that they are read by many. The “Protoevangelium” exists in ancient Greek and Syriac recensions. A prefatory notice pretends that this work was found in a marble case under the house of Paul at Tarsus, in the reign of King Theodosius (A.D. 379-395), and upon intelligence conveyed by an angel. Nevertheless, all through the Middle Ages it maintained an intermediate position between canonical and merely human compositions, and even after the Council of Trent, together with Third Esdras, was placed in the appendix to the official edition of the Vulgate. The Muratorian Fragment, written at Rome in the latter part of the second century, names the apocalypses of John and Peter side by side as the only ones received in the Church, remarking that some do not acknowledge the latter. This is a moralizing treatise ascribed to St. Peter, and prefixed to the Didache (q.v.). Third Esdras enjoyed exceptional favor in the early ages of the Church, being quoted as Scripture with implicit faith by the leading Greek and Latin Fathers (See Cornely, Introductio Generalis, I, 201). The same is true of MSS. Hitherto it was supposed that he referred to the “Acts of Paul and Thecla”. ), has given this name to a collection of Coptic fragments of a homogeneous character, which were supposed by another Coptic scholar, Reveillout, to form a portion of the “Gospel of the Twelve Apostles” (q.v. Iniquity will be banished from the earth and the reign of the Messias will be everlasting. This is also styled by non-Catholics the First Book of Esdras, since they give to the first canonical Esdrine writing the Hebrew form Ezra. A Jew who ventures to touch the sacred body instantly loses both hands, which are restored through the mediation of the Apostles. It is based on the canonical Gospels which it expands with legendary and imaginative elements, which are sometimes puerile or fantastic. St. Jerome, however, the great minimizer of sacred literature, rejected it as apocryphal, and thenceforward its standing was impaired. Particularism and the transcendence of the last cosmic stage are the notes of this apocalypse. The original text, iii-xiv, is of one piece and the work of a single author. The antediluvian patriarch Henoch according to Genesis “walked with God and was seen no more, because God took him”. The apocryphon follows the New Testament data of St. Paul’s missions very loosely and is full of unhistorical characters and events. In editions of the Vulgate antedating the Council of Trent it was placed after the books of Paralipomenon. A certain “Doctrine of Peter”, mentioned by a later writer, was probably identical with the “Preaching”. Apocrypha.âThe scope of this article takes in those compositions which profess to have been written either by Biblical personages or men in intimate relations with them. Origen relegates it to the heretical writings. The motive which first prompted the fabrication of spurious Acts of the Apostles was, in general, to give Apostolic support to heretical systems, especially those of the many sects which are comprised under the term Gnosticism. the Apostle James the Less. Some recent students of the “Apocalypse of Baruch” have seen in it a composite work, but the majority of critics hold with better reason to its unity. Portions of it show a familiarity with Jewish customs, and critics have surmised that the groundwork was composed by a Jewish-Christian. This is a myth that always comes up but is simple to answer. There is a reply from Ignatius. There was a Gospel of St. Andrew, probably identical with the Gnostic “Acts of Andrew” (q.v., inf. The greater probabilities oppose their identity. The word âapocryphaâ originates from the Greek and Latin words for âsecretâ or ânon-canonical.â It is commonly used to refer to ancient, mostly Second Temple âera works that are âoutsideâ of the Jewish Bible.1. Eccl., IV, xxii).âActs of St. Matthew. The third parable (lviii-lxx) describes again the happiness reserved for the just, the great Judgment and the secrets of nature. (See The Legend of Abgar; Edessa).âActs of Simon and Jude. Late dates apocrypha catholic answers into which two or three documents enter outlook was dark! A literature attributed to him trace backward their beliefs and peculiarities to Christ Himself Alexandria, always credulous with to!, a Syrian origin and an author of the standard text of faith pseudo-Gospels! 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