Today's Bookshelf pick tackles a section that is not included in every Bible: the Apocrypha. These books appear between the Old and New Testaments, and many Christians are unfamiliar with their contents. As a way to dive deeper into this often-overlooked section, today we'll focus our attention on...
by David A. deSilva
The Apocrypha is a collection of Jewish texts written between about 250 B.C and A.D. 100, offering what has been often called a "bridge between the Testaments" (though a few texts overlap with the writing of the New Testament). These books are essential reading if, for not other reason, than to fill in gaps in our knowledge of the Jewish matrix into which Jesus was born and within which the movement in his name took shape.
There are really two stories to enter in order to orient ourselves to this collection. The first is the story of the Jewish people from Alexander the Great's conquest of Judah in 332 B.C. through Rome's suppression of the Jewish Revolt of A.D. 66-70. The books of the Apocrypha emerge as a response to the challenges Jews face as this story of foreign domination progresses. The second is the story of how these particular Jewish texts came to be differentiated from the vast amount of Jewish literature written during this period, and thus a collection that can be defined as "the Apocrypha."
This volume is part of the Immersion Bible Studies series. Shaped with the individual in mind, Immersion Bible Studies encourage simultaneous engagement both with the Word of God and with the God of the Word to become a new creation in Christ. Immersion Bible Studies stand firmly on Scripture and help readers explore the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of their personal faith. More importantly, they’ll be able to discover God’s revelation through readings and reflections.
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