What Are The 75 Books Removed From The Bible

What Are The 75 Books Removed From The Bible?

When it comes to religious texts, the Bible is an ever-evolving one. Its current canonical status is enshrined by the Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations, but it didn’t always look that way. In their pursuit to understand the source of divine truth, scribes continually added to Christian scripture. Across the years, a diverse range of books claiming to be part of the Bible were considered for inclusion. Ultimately, only a fraction were approved as official canon – the only books recognized as true biblical authority.

The exclusion from the approved Bible of certain works, popularly known as the Apocrypha, is a common source of confusion for many. Broadly speaking, the Apocrypha refers to any books not included in the modern Bible. Unfortunately, the process of determining a book’s canonical status is more complicated than blacklisting a non-biblical text. In fact, much of the works which were initially included in the Bible were later taken out — a total of 75 books removed from the Bible.

Though much of the Apocrypha has been known or suspected since antiquity, it wasn’t until 1546 at the Council of Trent that the Catholic Church formally issued a list of banned books. In order to form a stronger alliance with Protestantism, the Catholic Church declared that only certain books — both Old Testament and New Testament — were to be considered part of its approved scriptures. This single event would go on to shape the Bible that we recognize today.

The works that did end up being considered canonical often had a few things in common. They usually shared a similar literary style, a limited range of characters or places, and most importantly, they adhered to similar theological doctrines. In effect, these religious works have all shared the same rudimentary message — an idea which has been propagated through Christianity since its advent.

Though these Apocryphal works were banned, they had an immense influence on the shaping of religious thought. Nonetheless, many of these books still provide an understanding of the central ideas of Christianity and of its internal development in the first few centuries. These texts provided the opportunity for biblical scholars to comprehend the theological contribution of the ancient church and can be used to probe the original development of Christian thought and Scripture.

These days, the texts of the Apocrypha remain accessible in some places, though it’s rare to find a Bible that lists them among the canonical books. As of now, a more accepted alternative for those who want to read the non-canonical scriptures is to obtain a copy of the Septuagint — the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible which includes the works of the Apocrypha.

What is the Significance of the 75 Books Removed From the Bible?

Though the works of the Apocrypha are no longer officially recognized as scripture, the significance of the works cannot be denied. The Apocrypha helped scholars better understand various events and themes of the Bible, and it continues to do so today. Because of the immense variety of books present in the Apocrypha, it is impossible to draw any single conclusion from all of the works.

That being said, it is possible to observe certain general patterns in two of the largest groups of works, the Jewish and Christian Apocrypha. From the Jewish Apocrypha, we can see a heavy emphasis on divine wisdom, historical context, and a celebration of an ideal way of life. This is particularly visible in the book of Esther and other books, such as Tobit, Judith, and Wisdoms, that dealt with the question of good and evil.

The Christian Apocrypha, meanwhile, shift their focus away from traditional Jewish scriptures, instead dealing with more esoteric topics and collective themes. Classic works such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Acts of Paul and Thecla, and The Epistle of Barnabas all explore religious philosophy, spiritual development, and the idea of divine revelation.

In the end, all of the apocryphal books carry a core message of faith and hope. However, the manner in which this message is conveyed is constantly shifting, as different authors strive to find the best ways to bring it to life.

Are The Books of the Apocrypha Accepted as Scripture by Groups Today?

Though it is true that the works of the Apocrypha were all removed from the Bible, there are certain groups today who continue to recognize them as authentic scripture. An example of this is Catholicism — which, unlike Protestantism, does not entirely reject the Apocrypha. In fact, all of the books previously discussed are accepted by Catholic churches.

This tolerance of the works is seen in other Eastern Orthodox Christian sects, such as the Coptic Church, where numerous works from the Apocrypha hold legitimate authority. Similarly, certain Ethical minorities, such as the Ethiopian Jews, also accept these works as part of their official scriptural canon.

It is here where we can see the main source of tension between the various Christian denominations — each one picking and choosing the different books they accept or reject. It is this fight over what books make up “true” Christian scripture which ultimately led to the 75 books being removed from the Bible.

How Have the Books of the Apocrypha Influenced Christianity?

It’s difficult to overstate the impact of the 75 books removed from the Bible. Even though they no longer feature in mainstream Christian scripture, the works of the Apocrypha have shaped Christian thought and understanding for centuries. Much of the Apocrypha is focused on understanding God’s Nature and its relationship to Humanity

The combination of divine wisdom and religious history makes Apocryphal works an invaluable window into ancient Christian understanding. As the Catholic Church and others continue to work towards a modern reassessment of the works of the Apocrypha, it is clear that those 75 books removed from the Bible are still vital to Christian understanding.

How Have The Books of the Apocrypha Fared Over Time?

Despite the acceptance of some of the books among certain Christian denominations, the Apocrypha for the most part has continued to be viewed with suspicion. Of all of the books, only a handful were accepted by the wider Christian world. This has arguably hampered its visibility and understanding, as few works from the Apocrypha were widely read even prior to the Council of Trent.

Today, there is far greater access to the works of the Apocrypha. Various resources such as translations and scholarly works now make it easier than ever for people to read and understand the works of the Apocrypha. Nonetheless, misunderstanding still persists as to what counts as authentic scripture and often, only a fraction of the books of the Apocrypha are considered or accepted.

What Is the Essence of the 75 Books Removed From The Bible?

At its core, the rejection of the Apocrypha and the resulting decision to remove 75 books from the Bible speaks to the power and influence of religion. As the core concept of Christianity evolves over the centuries, so too do the records of its faith. In the end, it is impossible to ignore the effect the Apocrypha has had — in spite of its oft untenable position in both Catholic and Protestant realms.

The 75 books removed from the Bible represent a wide range of works that go beyond the official scripture. These works are created out of sincere passion for Christianity and offer a unique insight into the world and words of the ancient church. If nothing else, the development of the Apocrypha teaches us to accept a more comprehensive view of the Christian faith and to recognize the mutual respect that is needed between different denominations.

What is the Legacy of the 75 Books Removed From the Bible?

Whether or not the works of the Apocrypha are considered true scripture, they remain nonetheless an invaluable contribution to Christian understanding. Despite the controversy surrounding these works, the true legacy of the 75 books removed from the Bible is one of insight and inspiration. These are books which have a unique power, the power to craft a new way of looking at the Christian faith.

The manner in which these books have interacted with wider Christian scripture has enabled a vibrant, creative form of theology. In a way, the Apocrypha has become a kind of “third testament” to the Bible, a testament that only resonates with those open to understanding it. By recognizing the complex history of the Apocrypha, we can better understand the power and importance of Christian scripture and its constant, transformative evolution.

What Are The Continued Challenges Faced with Regard to the Apocrypha?

The decision to remove 75 books from the Bible has not been without its dissenters. Prior to 1546, a number of theologians and philosophers had already written on the importance and value of the Apocrypha, as well as its possible inclusion in Christian canon.

These days, the works of the Apocrypha continue to be challenged by various Christian denominations and significant debates on the matter are still ongoing. There remains no consensus as to whether or not these books should be appended to the Bible and thus their exclusion from the official canon continues.

With respect to the Apocrypha, the challenge is two-fold. On the one hand, there is the matter of the authenticity of the works — whether or not they really represent the thoughts of a divine being. This is the source of much debate among Christians still. However, even if one was to accept the works’ authenticity, there is still the practical question of selecting which books should be included as canonical scripture.

Ultimately, it is this second question which has led to 75 books being removed from the Bible. Choosing which works are to be accepted as part of the “true” Christian faith is a complex and personal process. In the end, the only answer to this question is the one that each individual is comfortable with.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

Leave a Comment