Apocrypha Class

The Apocrypha

Taught by Dr. Lionel Alford


Martin Luther thought the Apocrypha were so important he included them in his German translation of the Bible.  In the title to this section, Martin Luther wrote: "APOCRYPHA, Das sind Bücher, so der heiligen Schrift nicht gleich gehalten, und doch nützlich und gut zu lesen sind" ("APOCRYPHA, that is, Books which are not to be esteemed like the Holy Scriptures, and yet which are useful and good to read.")  The Apocrypha are generally those books, many written in the inter-Testament period (400 to 5 BC), that are included in the Septuagint, but not accepted by the Jewish Rabbis.  On the other hand, the Rabbis don’t accept the New Testament documents either.  This study will look at historical data from the Lutheran Apocrypha, the Old Testament, New Testament, as well as other historical sources to see how it affected Hebrew and Christian thought.  We will look at Greek language, culture, history, literature, and geography in terms of this historical narrative.  We will learn the basis for our historical understanding of them as well as how other works in antiquity support the historical accuracy of our knowledge.  This will provide a basis for a study of the Gospels that will follow in the fall quarter.