Regarding the so-called Apocalypse of St. Bartholomew see Gospel of St. Bartholomew. Its body contains an account of the fall of the angelic “Watchers”, their punishment, and the patriarch’s intervention in their history. The personage serving as the screen of the real author of this book is Esdras (Ezra), the priest-scribe and leader among the Israelites who returned from Babylonia to Jerusalem. The nativity is embellished in an unrestrained manner. For this purpose all the departed just will rise from a mysterious abode, though apparently not in the body (ciii, 3, 4). From the scanty remains of this work we can form but a very imperfect idea of it. These works as a rule appeared in the East, and in many cases show Gnostic tendencies. It differs in some particulars always in the direction of the more marvellous. He wrote in Hebrew or Aramaic. Some of the details throw interesting light on various obscure allusions in Holy Writ, such as the superimposed heavens, the presence of evil powers “in heavenly places”, Ezechiel‘s strange creatures full of eyes. For a long time a Latin fragment, chapters lxxviii-lxxxvii, of this pseudograph had been known. It opens with a palpable error of chronology. The date of composition is not ascertainable except within very wide limits. Clement of Alexandria repeatedly quotes from a Knpuyp.a Ilerpov, concerning whose credibility he obviously has no doubt. The few citations of patristic writers were unable to convey an idea of its contents, but fortunately a considerable fragment of this ancient document was discovered at Akhmin, Egypt, together with the pseudo-Petrine Gospel in the language of the original, viz., Greek. It comes from Greek and is formed from the combination of apo (away) and kryptein (hide or conceal). The ostensible purpose of these deliverances is to confirm the Mosaic laws and the admonitions in Deuteronomy. It is enough to note the existence of other pseudo-Gospels, of which very little is known beside the names. (See The Legend of Abgar.). (See Canon of the Old Testament.) APOCRYPHA OF JEWISH ORIGIN WITH CHRISTIAN ACCRETIONS, (2) Pilate Literature and Other Apocrypha Concerning Christ. Notwithstanding this widespread reverence for it in early times, it is a remarkable fact that the book never got a foothold in the canon or liturgy of the Church. The same is true of MSS. The writer was evidently influenced by the “Acta Pilati”. The original and proper sense of the term apocryphal as applied to the pretended sacred books was early obscured. the inhabitants of Messina, Sicily, is equally brief; it conveys an exhortation to faith, and a blessing. The Arabic is a translation of a lost Syriac original. A wider view of world-politics and a comprehensive cosmological speculation are among the distinctive traits of Jewish apocalyptic. There was a Gospel of St. Andrew, probably identical with the Gnostic “Acts of Andrew” (q.v., inf. Regarding the historical value of these apocryphal narratives, it requires the most careful criticism to extricate from the mass of fable and legend any grains of historical truth. But there is much that is fantastic and offensive in the pictures of the exploits of the Boy Jesus. There are tokens that the Christian element is a product of Gnosticism, and that our work is the same with that much in favor among several heretical sects under the name of the “Anabaticon”, or “Ascension of Isaias“. It is in Greek and written on a parchment codex at a date somewhere between the sixth and ninth century. Dan., xii, 4, 9, where the prophet is bidden to shut up and seal an inspired book until an appointed time). “Apocrypha” means “hidden things,” and that’s a misnomer, because these books aren’t and never have been hidden. There is a spurious “Apocalypse of John”, of comparatively late origin. Gospel of St. Thomas.—There are two Greek and two Latin redactions of it, differing much from one another. Recently R. James in the “Journal of Theological Studies”, 1901, II, 572-577, claims to have found a fragment of this lost apocryphon in Latin and Old English versions. Eccl., VI, xiv, 1), places it almost on an equality with the antilegomena or better class of disputed writings; Jerome rejects it flatly. i-xxxvi, lxxi-civ. Many Fathers admitted the inspiration of Fourth Esdras. Hippolytus states that the Basilidean Gnostics appealed to a “secret discourse” communicated to them by the Apostle Matthias who had received instruction privately from the Lord. The work has affinities with Fourth Esdras and the “Apocalypse of Baruch“. There are reasons of weight to regard the work as having been composed, together with the Acts of St. Peter, and probably those of St. Andrew, by a single person, in the latter half of the second century, under the name of a disciple of St. John, called Leucius. Origen remarks that St. Paul does not quote “from public writings but from a sacred book which is called Jannes and Mambres”. It lacks the universal outlook of some of the prophets, especially the Deutero-Isaias, and is far from having a uniform and consistent physiognomy. Gospel of St. Peter.—The 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. Since the narrative of a Gaulish pilgrim who visited Edessa about 390 contains no allusion to such a picture, we may reasonably conclude that the Teaching of Addai is of later origin. 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. Scholars agree that the Book of Henoch was originally composed either in Hebrew or Aramaic, and that the Ethiopic version was derived from a Greek one. The apocryphon follows the New Testament data of St. Paul’s missions very loosely and is full of unhistorical characters and events. A Gospel of Matthias is mentioned by Origen and Eusebius among the heretical literature along with the Peter and Thomas Gospels. The Pseudo-Clementine homilies contain as a preface two letters, the first of which purports to be from Peter to James the Less, beseeching him to keep his (Peter’s) preaching secret. which remain. This indicates the date of the apocalypse’s fabrication. C. Schmidt thinks he has found traces of what is perhaps a second Gospel of Peter in some ancient papyri (Schmidt, Sitzungsberichte der koniglichen preuss. We are warranted in saying that while this extracanonical material probably has as its starting point primitive tradition, it has been disfigured in the interests of a Judaizing Church. At the Council of Rome in 382, the Church decided upon a … We will merely note the existence of a spurious Letter of St. John, the Apostle, to a dropsical man, healing his disease, in the Acts of St. John by the pseudo-Prochorus; one of St. James, the Bishop of Jerusalem, to Quadratus, in Armenian (Vetter, Litterarische Rundschau, 1896). Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, and even St. Augustine suppose the work to be a genuine one of the patriarch. The MS. breaks off abruptly at chapter xii, and the portion cited by Jude must have belonged to the lost conclusion. A work which was so well accredited in the days of Clement of Alexandria (c. 140-215), and which was known to the Gnostic Heracleon (c. 160-170), must have come from almost Apostolic antiquity. The only original part of the work is chapters iii-v, 6. Certainly it was composed some time before A.D. 218, since it is expressly quoted by Clement of Alexandria. According to this, Abgar V, Toparch or King of Edessa, suffering from an incurable disease, and having heard the fame of Christ’s miracles sends a courier to Jerusalem, bearing a letter to Jesus, in which he declared Him to be a god, or the son of a god, and invites Him to Edessa, justifying the request partly by his desire to be cured, partly by his wish to offer to Jesus an asylum against the malignant Jews. Solid evidence that the "Apocrypha" is actually canonized scripture - addressing Protestants and Evangelicals on the deuterocanonical books. In consequence, a sad and anxious spirit pervades the work, and the writer, using the guise of Esdras lamenting over the ruin of the first city and temple, insistently seeks to penetrate the reasons of God‘s apparent abandonment of His people and the nonfulfilment of His promises. They will say Catholics added them but they have always been in the Bible. ; the Book of Celestial Physics, lxxii-lxxviii, lxxxii, lxxix, date undetermined. This portion is remarkable for the entire absence of a Messias.—Book II, lxxxiii-xc, contains two visions. The New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha, third edition, New Revised Standard Version, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 4, for a list of the Apocrypha. The attribution of a great name of the distant past to a book by its real author, who thus effaced his own personality, was, in some cases at least, a mere literary fiction which deceived no one except the ignorant. The Apostolic Acts of the Pseudo-Abdias contain a Latin “Passio Sancti Matthaei”, which preserves an Abyssinian legend of St. Matthew, later than the Coptic Martyrdom noticed in connection with the Gnostic Acts of that saint. Lipsius assigns the kernel of the Martyrdom to the second century; Bardenhewer refers the whole to the first half of the third. of the Psalms. The angelology is highly developed, but the writer disbelieved in the resurrection of the body. The Preaching of Peter or Kerygma Petri. True, there are passages in which the sacerdotal caste and the ruling tribes are unsparingly denounced, but these are evidently later insertions. The Apocrypha & Luther via Catholic Answers Here is my recent brief discussion on Luther and the apocrypha from the Catholic Answers forum: I know why Martin Luther removed the book of Macabees because of its support for praying for the dead, but Im trying to find something that explains the reasons he took out the other 6 books in the OT. 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. Critics assign the latter to the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century. Probably with this second class are to be included the “Testaments of Job” and “Zacharias“, the “Adam Books”, the “Book of Creation“, the “Story of Aphikia” (the wife of Jesus Sirach). of the Old Latin and other versions. The extant Greek fragments supply us with all but five (10-14) of the fifteen Acts composing the work. (2) The Epistle to the Messanienses, i.e. Answer: With respect to sacred Scripture, the Apocrypha are those religious books written in the Old and New Testaments eras that claimed a sacred origin but were ultimately judged by the Catholic Church as not inspired by the Holy Spirit.