Skip to comments.The Pilgrims' Regress - The Geneva Bible And The "Apocrypha"
Posted on 03/25/2012 2:40:30 AM PDT by GonzoII
The Pilgrims' Regress
The Geneva Bible And The "Apocrypha"
By Gary Michuta
Every American schoolchild knows that the pilgrims landed on Plymouth rock, but do they know which Bible the pilgrims used? Most people, if asked the question, would say the Puritans used the good old King James Version. Wrong. The King James Bible was the "Authorized Version" of the Established Church of England and the Puritans were religious dissenters from that church. The Puritan's Bible of choice was the Geneva Bible, which was translated by Protestants who fled to Geneva from England during the reign of Queen Mary.
purpose of confirming doctrine. The Geneva Bible also sported (like the early editions of its authorized counterpart) cross references to the "Apocrypha" in the New Testament. The importance of these cross references should not be minimized; they demonstrate that the early editors believed that the "Apocrypha" played in integral role in the New Testament text and that the cross referenced texts aided the Protestant reader in understanding and interpreting the New Testament. As time moved on, these benefits were overshadowed by anti-Catholic prejudice and the desire to minimize the books that the Catholic Church reaffirmed as inspired Scripture. The cross references slowly started to disappear from margins of the King James Version and the Geneva Bible until all of them, and the "Apocrypha" itself had totally disappeared.
The following are examples of the more interesting "Apocrypha" cross references that were omitted (suppressed?) in later editions.
The 1560 edition of the Geneva Bible listed two cross-references for Matthew 27:43, namely Psalm 22:9 and Wisdom 2:18. Unlike Psalm 22:9, only Wisdom 2:18 links God's promise to rescue the Just One's claim to be the Son of God. However, the 1599 edition of the same Bible retains only Psalm 22:9 replacing Wisdom 2:18 with a cross reference to the Gospel of Mark.
The 1560 edition gives James 3:2 three consecutive cross references to the Book of Sirach (Sir. 14:1, 19:16, and 25:11). There is nothing earthshaking regarding these cross references. Still, its interesting that the editors of the 1560 edition saw multiple contacts with Sirach while the editors of the 1599 entirely omits all three.
The 1560 edition provides an important cross reference from Hebrews 1:3 to Wisdom 7:26. Hebrews speaks of Jesus as the "refulgence" (Geneva Bible "brightness") of God's glory. The Greek word "Apaugasma" is used only in Hebrews 1:3 and Wisdom 7:26 in the Greek Bible. Moreover, the context of Wisdom's description of Wisdom personified sheds much light (pun intended) on who Jesus is. Unfortunately, the readers of the later 1599 edition were left in the dark as to this connection.
The Geneva 1560 edition oddly omits a cross reference to 2 Maccabees 7:1-42 in Hebrews 11:35 even though the connection between these two texts is beyond doubt. Not only is Second Maccabees 7:1-42 the only place in the Greek Bible where people suffered torture and death explicitly for their hope in the resurrection (2 Macc. 7:9, 11, 14, 23, 29), but Hebrews 11:35-36 describes their suffering using the same words as Second Maccabees (tympanizo and empaigmos). The 1599 edition remedied this earlier defect, not by cross referencing 2 Maccabees 7:1-42, but by inserting the cryptic statement, "He [the writer of Hebrews] means that perfection which Antiochus wrought."
In my book, Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: The Untold Story of the Lost Books of the Protestant Bible (Grotto Press, 2007), I chronicle the demise of the "Apocrypha" in Protestant Bibles. And frankly it was one of the most difficult sections of my book to write since I could see how so many Protestants today have been unknowingly robbed of their Protestant heritage because later editors were embarrassed by the beliefs of the predecessors. It seemed clear to me then (as it does now) that these omissions were not the result of overcrowded margins. They were removed for another purpose. As the Protestant theologian William Daubney explains,
"Plainly, the references to the Apocrypha told an inconvenient tale of the use which the Church intended should be made of it; so... these references disappeared from the margins" (The Use of the Apocrypha In the Christian Church (London: Clay and Sons, 1900), 21).
Hence we see the Pilgrims' regress from the historic form of the Protestant Bible. Not only that, but even more importantly, we see an even further departure from the form of the historic and ancient Christian Bibles, which always included the Deuterocanon interdispersed within the Old Testament corpus.
Wisd. 2:18 For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.
Jas:3:2: For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
Sirach 14:1 Blessed is the man that hath not slipped with his mouth, and is not pricked with the multitude of sins.
Sirach 19:16 There is one that slippeth in his speech, but not from his heart; and who is he that hath not offended with his tongue?
Sirach 25: 11 11 Blessed is he that dwells with a wise woman, and that has not slipped with his tongue, and that has not served such as are unworthy of him.
Heb:1:3: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Wisd. 7:26 For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.
Heb:11:35: Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.
2 Maccabees 7: 1-42:
1 It came to pass also, that seven brethren, together with their mother, were apprehended, and compelled by the king to eat swines flesh against the law, for which end they were tormented with whips and scourges.
2 But one of them, who was the eldest, said thus: What wouldst thou ask, or learn of us? we are ready to die, rather than to transgress the laws of God, received from our fathers.
3 Then the king being angry, commanded fryingpans and brazen caldrons to be made hot: which forthwith being heated,
4 He commanded to cut out the tongue of him that had spoken first: and the skin of his head being drawn off, to chop off also the extremities of his hands and feet, the rest of his brethren and his mother looking on.
5 And when he was now maimed in all parts, he commanded him, being yet alive, to be brought to the fire, and to be fried in the fryingpan: and while he was suffering therein long torments, the rest, together with the mother, exhorted one another to die manfully,
6 Saying: The Lord God will look upon the truth, and will take pleasure in us, as Moses declared in the profession of the canticle; And in his servants he will take pleasure.
7 So when the first was dead after this manner, they brought the next to make him a mocking stock: and when they had pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him if he would eat, before he were punished throughout the whole body in every limb.
8 But he answered in his own language, and said: I will not do it. Wherefore he also, in the next place, received the torments of the first:
9 And when he was at the last gasp, he said thus: Thou indeed, O most wicked man, destroyest us out of this present life: but the King of the world will raise us up, who die for his laws, in the resurrection of eternal life.
10 After him the third was made a mocking-stock, and when he was required, he quickly put forth his tongue, and courageously stretched out his hands:
11 And said with confidence: These I have from heaven, but for the laws of God I now despise them, because I hope to receive them again from him.
12 So that the king, and they that were with him, wondered at the young mans courage, because he esteemed the torments as nothing.
13 And after he was thus dead, they tormented the fourth in the like manner.
14 And when he was now ready to die, he spoke thus: It is better, being put to death by men, to look for hope from God, to be raised up again by him; for, as to thee, thou shalt have no resurrection unto life.
15 And when they had brought the fifth, they tormented him. But he, looking upon the king,
16 Said: Whereas thou hast power among men though thou art corruptible, thou dost what thou wilt but think not that our nation is forsaken by God.
17 But stay patiently a while, and thou shalt see his great power, in what manner he will torment thee and thy seed.
18 After him they brought the sixth, and he being ready to die, spoke thus: Be not deceived without cause: for we suffer these things for ourselves, having sinned against our God, and things worthy of admiration are done to us:
19 But do not think that thou shalt escape unpunished, for that thou hast attempted to fight against God.
20 Now the mother was to be admired above measure, and worthy to be remembered by good men, who beheld her seven sons slain in the space of one day, and bore it with a good courage, for the hope that she had in God:
21 And she bravely exhorted every one of them in her own language, being filled with wisdom; and joining a mans heart to a womans thought,
22 She said to them: I know not how you were formed in my womb; for I neither gave you breath, nor soul, nor life, neither did I frame the limbs of every one of you.
23 But the Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, he will restore to you again, in his mercy, both breath and life, as now you despise yourselves for the sake of his laws.
24 Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and withal despising the voice of the upbraider, when the youngest was yet alive, did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with an oath, that he would make him a rich and a happy man, and, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers, would take him for a friend, and furnish him with things necessary.
25 But when the young man was not moved with these things, the king called the mother, and counselled her to deal with the young man to save his life.
26 And when he had exhorted her with many words she promised that she would counsel her son.
27 So bending herself towards him, mocking the cruel tyrant, she said in her own language: My son have pity upon me, that bore thee nine months in my womb, and gave thee suck three years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age.
28 I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them, and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also:
29 So thou shalt not fear this tormentor, but being made a worthy partner with thy brethren, receive death, that in that mercy I may receive thee again with thy brethren.
30 While she was yet speaking these words, the young man said: For whom do you stay? I will not obey the commandment of the king, but the commandment of the law which was given us by Moses.
31 But thou that hast been the author of all mischief against the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hand of God.
32 For we suffer thus for our sins.
33 And though the Lord, our God, is angry with us a little while, for our chastisement and correction, yet he will be reconciled again to his servants.
34 But thou, O wicked, and of all men most flagitious, be not lifted up without cause with vain hopes, whilst thou art raging against his servants.
35 For thou hast not yet escaped the judgment of the Almighty God, who beholdeth all things.
36 For my brethren having now undergone a short pain, are under the covenant of eternal life: but thou, by the judgment of God, shalt receive just punishment for thy pride.
37 But I, like my brethren, offer up my life and my body for the laws of our fathers: calling upon God to be speedily merciful to our nation, and that thou by torments and stripes mayst confess that he alone is God.
38 But in me, and in my brethren, the wrath of the Almighty, which hath justly been brought upon all our nation, shall cease.
39 Then the king being incensed with anger, raged against him more cruelly than all the rest, taking it grievously that he was mocked.
40 So this man also died undefiled, wholly trusting in the Lord.
41 And last of all, after the sons, the mother also was consumed.
42 But now there is enough said of the sacrifices and of the excessive cruelties.
It came to pass also, that seven brethren with their mother were taken, and compelled by the king against the law to taste swine's flesh, and were tormented with scourges and whips.
Ironic headline...I am rereading “Pilgrim’s Regress” by CS Lewis right now, and thought at first the article might be about that book.
I’m breathessly awaiting his criticism of Foxes Book of Martyrs or Pilgrims Progress.
So thou shalt not fear this tormentor, but being made a worthy partner with thy brethren, receive death, that in that mercy I may receive thee again with thy brethren.
Religion of death.
receive death, that in that mercy I may receive thee again with thy brethren.
You missed the resurrection part.
All die . . .
No psych intended...enjoy your read.
If I could only find some stones.../s
The Stone of Skones would seem fitting.
I have never been able to quite pinpoint who had (or thought they had) the authority to remove chunks of Scripture. I mean the actual names of the men who made this 16th century decision to de-canonize books of the Bible. Did they vote on it? When? What was the vote? And what was their rationale for discarding books accepted as Christian Scripture for over 1,000 years?
Looking for a shortish answer :o)
She professes confidence that he will be raised up again, together with his brothers. It’s a key element of the Faith. Without this, we would be “of all men the most to be pitied.”
The 1st edition of the King James Bible did have the Apocrypha in it. It wasn’t until the 1660s that it was removed in some editions, and not uniformly until the 1769 edition.
Actually, the catholic church didn't officially canonize the Apocrypha until the Council of Trent.
Jaroslav Peliken writes knowledgeably on this.
Including the books doesn't mean they were always cosidered to be inspired. And I find it interesting how you disregard the first centuries' take on them; usually catholics would count the early fathers' opinions as sacrosanct.
It's usually only the spur of dissent or the pressure of controversy that motivates the forensic "defining"
I don't know about "usually". But in this case it's the Biblical content itself as well as other external factors such as the Jews never having considered the apocrypha as inspired (for good reason).
It's good history...not inspired.
The Jewish leadership only rejected them based on the fact that they so strongly facilitated Christian beliefs such as eternal life, the resurrection of the dead, and the cosmopolitan (non-ethnic-Jewish) breadth of the Christian community.
Of course you're going to have to depend on some extra-Biblical authority to determine what the canon of inspired Scripture is, since the Bible itself did not come with a table of contents. The Christians had their councils (Hippo and Carthage) and the anti-Christians, led by Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, had theirs (Jamnia). The Christian councils kept the LXX and the deuterocanonicals; the rabbinical council at Jamnia, reacting against the spread of Christianity, threw them out.
Just as they threw the Christians out of their synagogues.
I decidedly agree with Rabbi ben Zakkai that the LXX with its whole 45-book canon strongly confirms the Christian perspective. That's why he was against it, and that's why I am for it.