Revelation 22:18: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
In my most popular post “Do Not Be Deceived Part 1,” I showed the efforts by the evil one to omit from the Bible. Now it’s time to discuss the attempts at adding to the Bible which has thankfully become ineffective in the modern era. However, the ancient Catholic Church used these additions to become very rich and powerful. The Books of Apocrypha are 14 additional books that supposedly belong to the Old Testament. They have only been accepted by the Catholic Church and these books still remain in Catholic Bibles today. They were never considered divinely inspired by other authors of the Bible and scholars of the time. I want to cite reasons to believe they were rejected then point out why the content is antithetical to the 66 book majority text King James Version and a source of ungodly practices by the early Catholic Church.
Every Book of the Old Testament has direct quotes in the New Testament by Jesus and the apostles with the exception of five books. Now there are other ways to prove those were divinely inspired but that’s not the main focus of this post. The Books of Apocrypha are never mentioned or quoted. That should raise a large red flag immediately. The next red flag is the motivation of these books. They lack the central theme of being prophetic that is consistent throughout the Old Testament telling a coherent story about the origins of life and the coming of the Messiah. Also the type of language and phrases found all throughout scripture are lacking as well such as “thus saith the Lord” or “as it is written.”
Even though the rejection by Jesus and major Christian and Jewish figures is abundantly clear, these books became part of the Catholic faith. This corruption partially led to the Protestant Reformation. I’ll cite three key examples from the Apocrypha to elaborate on the corruption. First, indulgences were pieces of parchment sold by the Catholic Church that were said to forgive you of your sins. You pay the church and you’re forgiven essentially. This is never mentioned as a means of atonement. Repentance and trust in Jesus as your Savior is the only way to receive forgiveness and eternal life. The leaders became extremely wealthy and thus very influential in politics as well. The book of Tobit in the Apocrypha has a direct quote which says: “It is better to give alms than to lay up gold: alms doth deliver from death, and it shall purge away all sin” (Tobit 12:9). Church goers really had no way of knowing this was false because access to the Bible was very limited, therefore if the priests said it, it was deemed true. I consider this the largest exploitation and corruption the church has ever experienced. Next is the use of magic to cast out demons. Tobit 6:8-9 says:
8 He replied, “As for the fish’s heart and liver, you must burn them to make a smoke in the presence of a man or woman afflicted by a demon or evil spirit, and every affliction will flee away and never remain with that person any longer. 9 And as for the gall, anoint a person’s eyes where white films have appeared on them; blow upon them, upon the white films, and the eyes will be healed.”
This is ridiculous. No fish will save you from an evil spirit. I don’t believe the Catholic Church necessarily endorsed the use of fish but the rituals associated with exorcism are essentially magic in large part. The Bible has countless examples where demons were cast out of individuals strictly through commanding them to leave in the name of Jesus. Since it’s that simple, why is it that exorcists use holy water, rosary beads, and prayer candles among other things? These objects have no power over demons compared to the name of Jesus.
Finally, there are verses in the Apocrypha that state our souls existed before we were born.
“Now I was a goodly child, and a good soul fell to my lot; Nay rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled” (Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20).
This verse is essentially saying we have always been eternal deities. However, we have a beginning when we were created. Also, to say that we are perfect until we are born is inconsistent with verses in the Bible. Psalms 139:13-16 says:
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Just because the Lord knows us before we are born doesn’t mean we exist before birth. King David clarifies that in Psalms. These examples prove that the Apocrypha cannot be trusted. I do not hold the modern day Catholic Church in contempt for the corrupt practices of their ancient predecessors, but I would recommend that they get rid of the Apocrypha. With that in mind, my advice for Catholics is you have the right foundation for faith in only believing Jesus is the Savior, but be wary of additional practices that aren’t rooted in inerrant Biblical doctrine.