Church Library of Judeo-Christian Literature
Table of Contents
- AUTHORITY OF NON-BIBLICAL BOOKS
- APOCRYPHA AND ‘LOST BOOKS’ OF THE BIBLE
- PSEUDOGRAPHICAL WORKS
There is a rich collection of literature dating back to Biblical times, from the ancient Jewish culture throughout the entire Church Age. This literature and collection of books is a treasure of history, wisdom, life experiences and pursuits by men and women of God that have followed God’s word and used the things that God had given to them to build up His kingdom on earth and to do His will.
Classification of Literature
All Judeo-Christian literature is classified in accordance to its origin and determination. There is such a large collection of writings that each document has to separately categorized in order to be properly understood.
- 1Rabbinic / Jewish Literature [Old Testament Writings]
- a) Canonical Writings: Divine Inspired
- b) Jewish Historic/ Apocryphal Writings: Factual Information
- c) Pseudo-graphical Works : Fictitious Information
- i) Pseudo Biographies
- Christian Literature [New Testament Writings]
- a) Canonical Writings : Divinely Inspired
- b) Church Historic / Literary Writings : Factual Information
- i) Deuterocanonical Scriptures
- ii) Early Church / Historic Writings
- iii) Mid-Late Church Literature
- c) Pseudo-graphical Works : Fictitious Information
- i) Gnostic Work
- ii) Forgeries
Church Library Levels of Authenticity
A specific categorization of’ levels of authenticity’ have been devised to help correlate a dynamic understanding of how genuine a document is relation to the original or intended author.
- 1) Literal Authorship – Original manuscript of a church official written by his own hand.
- 2) Dictation – A document that was dictated to a scribe or writer word for word from the author.
- 3) Delegated Authorship – A document that describes the basic content or intention of the original author.
- 4) Posthumous Authorship – After a Church official dies, a disciple finished a document that he had started, sending it posthumously in their name.
- 5) Apprentice Authorship – After a Church official dies, a delegate or apprentice chosen to speak for him while he was alive continues to do so by writing letters in his name after death.
- 6) Honorable Pseudepigraphy – After a Church official dies, an admirer seeking to honor them writes letters in their name in tribute and sincere belief they are representing the original tradition.
- 7) Forgery – A work that presents itself in the name of a Church official in order to make it appear that official was in support of the idea presented in the forgery.
AUTHORITY OF NON-BIBLICAL BOOKS
We understand that the Bible is the word of God, directly and divinely inspired from God and given to mankind. No other writing is to be regarded as such for the Bible has absolute authority because it has been given from the absolute source, namely God Himself.
The fact that the Bible is the absolute authority for all of humanity to follow in order to know the one true God does not mean that other books written by God’s people are of little or no value. In fact the most important literary works in the world, next to the Bible, are those written by God’s people.
It is through these works that we can understand a personal perspective on different cultures utilizing God’s word and perform His will on earth. It is through some of these works that specific cultures and people group are able to better understand God’s word based on the specific perspectives of the writers.
Warning & Caution
The Bible of course gives a very strict understanding to be able to discern a work, and to be able to determine if a work is truly derived from God or not. A work of faith that does not contradict Gods word, but rather give peace and understanding all the while glorifying God is a good work indeed.
Always remember that God’s word needs no additive, and the Holy Spirit supplies believers with all that they need. There is a reason why God led His people from canonizing certain books, because there is only one book that should be taken as spiritual truth – His word the Bible. Consider each piece of literature for the value that it is worth and always make sure you prize what God says above everything else, for this will keep proper order in your faith.
Many of the Christian writings contain valuable historic information to help understand the culture and societies of the past. Hagiographies that describe the lives and living conditions of saints over the centuries give insight into the lives of those whom practiced what the Bible teaches.
Christian literature serves to help believers utilize the experience of other believers to their advantage in reference to their own calling or personal ministry. Many Christian Literary works contain various topics on how to deal with different situations and insight into new problems that have risen in the Church over the centuries.
Encouragement & Devotionals
Christian literature is a highly positive portrayal to those whom are living their lives, facing the temptation, tribulation and persecution on being a believer. It shows believers that others have already passed through the narrow path and where successful by God’s grace. Encouraging other they can do it too.
APOCRYPHA AND ‘LOST BOOKS’ OF THE BIBLE
The word Apocrypha means ‘secret,’ ‘hidden,’ or to hide away. It is the collection of books that have been long debated as the non-canonical books of the Bible. These books where disregarded when the reformation happened because it was agreed that these books where not divinely inspired, however these books remain within the Catholic Bible, and some other Christian denominations.
The Apocrypha is well documented to be historically accurate and most of the books are found within the Septuagint, dating back to circa 200 b.c. These books, such as the Maccabees, are a great source of accurate historic accounts. The Apocrypha was never questioned as divinely inspired because of any contradiction within the texts, but where rather regarded to be more correctly organized as a group of Christian and Jewish writing then a part of divinely inspired scripture.
There are a number of works that are well known to be fictitious or fraudulent works, many of which were written by non-Christians in attempt to change the minds of Christians or discourage their faith. It may be important for some people to read these writing to understand first of all why there are regarded as fakes, and secondly to be aware of the schemes that have existed since ancient time of attempt to try and fool or discourage believed away from their faith by various means.
There are many pseudo graphical works, or works that claim to be from a specific author or Apostle however they display evidence contrary to their claim. These manuscripts fall into the category of being a pseudo, fictitious or non-genuine work.
Powell, Mark A. Introducing the New Testament. Baker Academic, 2009