The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 156 of 190
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The volume of the Book.
#29.  The Apocrypha.
Passages parallel with Rom. 1:
pp. 40 - 43
In an earlier article (Volume XXI, page 75) we gave a passing glance at the
Apocryphal Books of the O.T., and expressed the hope that at some future time we might
be able to show the value of these writings, and the way that their phraseology has
influenced some of the writings of the N.T. When we remember that the bulk of the
Apocrypha was written in Greek and that, next to the Scripture itself, it had a tremendous
influence on life, thought and doctrine, we must also realize that its use of words, its
peculiarities of expression, and its sententious statements would inevitably colour all
theological discussion. Unless the N.T. writers were going to invent a new language, it
would be almost impossible for them to use the Koine, the common Greek of the day,
without incorporating countless reminisces from the Apocrypha. It will surely be a piece
of added knowledge that should prove useful, if we can trace any of these references to
their source, for at any moment, through some simple comparison, new light may break
In the days preceding the last century, the Apocrypha was usually bound up with the
Scriptures, and the English reader was familiar with its contents. To-day Bel and
The Dragon, Judith, Tobit and other books are practically unknown except by name.
How many of our readers would recognize the source of Shakespeare's words in the
mouth of Shylock:--
"A Daniel come to judgment. Yea, a Daniel."
"O wise young judge, how I do honour thee?"
When was Daniel, as a young man, a judge? We may read the incident in the book
called "The History of Susanna", which was "set apart from the beginning of Daniel,
because it was not in the Hebrew".
However, we are not concerned in these articles with mere literary side of the subject,
but with the possible help a comparative study of the Apocrypha may be to the
interpretation of the N.T., and particularly the epistles of Paul.
As a result of comparing passage with passage it soon becomes evident that of all the
books of the Apocrypha, the one that influenced the phraseology of the apostle Paul most
was that entitled: "The Wisdom of Solomon." This is a book of nineteen chapters,
containing 436 verses; in bulk, therefore, it is approximately the same as that of the
Epistle to the Romans, which in the Authorized Version contains 433 verses.