The 11 to 16 books of the Apocrypha were written in the 400 years between the close of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New. While the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches treat some of these books as Scripture, Protestant Christians never have. Why is this?
1. The Jews never considered them as part of the Hebrew Scriptures. They believed that there was, throughout that period, no voice of the prophets in Israel. They looked forward to a day when “a faithful prophet” would appear (1 Maccabees 9:27). For the Jews, God’s revelation of the Scriptures through the prophets ended around 430 BC with the book of Malachi.
2. Jesus and the Apostles never considered the Apocrypha as part of the Scriptures. Although there are hundreds of quotations and allusions to the Old Testament in the New Testament, never did Jesus or the apostles quote from the Apocrypha. Incidentally, the authors of the Bible do refer to other books, but this does not make them Scripture. For example, Jude 14–15 refers to the book of Enoch, which is not part of the Roman Catholic Apocrypha.
3. Unlike the Old Testament prophets, none of the books of the Apocrypha ever claimed divine authority.
4. Some parts of the Apocrypha contain historical blunders.
5. The community who copied the Dead Sea scrolls never gave the same authority to books of the Apocrypha as to the Old Testament books.