The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English
On the other hand, the Protestant Churches have universally declared their adhesion to the Hebrew Canon of the Old Testament. Yet amongst these a milder and a severer view prevailed. While in some Confessions, i. E. The Westminster, it is decreed that they are not to be any other wise approved or made use of than other human writings', a more favourable view is expressed regarding them in many other quarters e. G. In the preface prefixed to them in the Genevan Bible: As books proceeding from godly men (they) were received to be read for the advancement and furtherance of the knowledge of history and for the instruction of godly manners: which books declare that at all times God had an especial care of His Church, and left them not utterly destitute of teachers and means to confirm them in the hope of the promised Messiah'; and in the Sixth Article of the Church of England: the other books the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners.' In addition to the spiritual and moral service rendered by these books, the modern student recognizes that without them it is absolutely impossible to explain the course of religious develop ment between 200 B. C. And A. D. 100. In this respect the Apocrypha is to be regarded as embracing the Pseudepigrapha as well. If the Canonical and Apocryphal Books are compared in reference to the question of inspiration, no unbiased scholar could have any hesitation in declaring that the inspiration of such a book as Wisdom or the Testaments of the XII Patriarchs is incomparably higher than that of Esther.