Is the Apocrypha part of the Bible?
Question: Is the Apocrypha part of the Bible?
Answer: The Apocrypha is a controversial topic to start with; embraced by some and rejected by many, Jewish and Christian theologians alike. However, is the Apocrypha part of the Bible and can we trust it as reliable source of information? Let us consider two books from the Apocrypha: Book of Yasher and Book of Jubilees.
The lengthening of the day, by the standing still of the sun and moon, in Jos 10:13, is mentioned in the Book of Yasher 88:63-64 and such an event is confirmed in Hab 3:11. In addition to this passage, the Book of Yasher (the Righteous) (Yasher 56:9) is also mentioned in 2Sa 1:18 which proves that David considered the Book of Yasher of such high authority.
In his own recounting of the event of the prolonged day of Joshua 10 the first century priest and later Roman historian Josephus identifies the Book of Yasher as one of “the books laid up in the Temple” (Antiquities of the Jews 5:1:17). From this we learn that Yasher was laid up in the Temple along with the Torah and other books (see also Antiquities Book 3:1:7), thus having given it enough credibility that Joshua would cite it.
Therefore, we have three witness which (as required by the Torah) validate the authority of the Book of Yasher:
“Is not this written in the Book of Yasher?” Joshua, Jos_10:13
“Behold it is written in the Book of Yasher.” II Samuel, 2Sa_1:18
“… is expressed in the books laid up in the temple.” Antiquities of the Jews 5:1:17
According to the Book of Jubilees all history from the Creation to the Exodus was narrated by an angel to Mosheh (Moses). But, the Tanak says nothing about how Torah was given to Mosheh, especially the Book of Genesis which Mosheh would not have had knowledge of how the world was created. Apostle Stephen, however, says, who received the Torah as it was ordained by messengers, but did not watch over it. (Act 7:53)
So, how could Steven have known that Torah was ordained (enacted) through a messenger unless he had knowledge of the Book of Jubilees 1:27: “And He said to the angel of the presence: Write for Mosheh from the beginning of creation till my sanctuary has been built” and in 1:14 : “They will forget . . . thy law.” This is exactly what Stephen says.
See also Jubilees 2:1: “And the angel of the presence spake to Mosheh according to the word of the Lord, saying : Write the complete history of the creation, how in six days the Lord God finished all His works and all that He created, and kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works.”
And Chapter 3:4: And YHVH said unto us (the messengers): ‘It is not good that the man should be alone: let us make a helpmeet for him.’
Consider also the scrolls found at the Dead Sea commonly known as Dead Sea Scrolls (the scrolls in italics are the non-canonical books, but were very well known in the first century Judea):
The Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets
Proverbs The Epistle of Jeremiah
Ben Sira (Sirach) Esther
The Song of Songs Ezra-Nehemiah