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Introducing the Apocrypha: Message, Context, and Significance

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In this accessible book, David deSilva introduces the Old Testament Apocryphal books and summarizes their context, message, and significance. Now in paperback.

"DeSilva does a fine job of placing the Apocrypha within the historical context of the Jewish world in which early Christianity was forged."--Publishers Weekly
Paperback, 428 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Baker Academic
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Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: An introduction to the books of the Apocrypha, covering matters of content, authorship, date, setting, textual transmission, and theological themes and influence in both second temple and post-second temple Judaism and early Christianity.

For many from Protestant denominations, the collection of books that fall under the title "Apocrypha" are considered ones that "didn't make the cut" and perhaps suspect. However, most of these books are part of the Bibles of two-thirds of all Christians in
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It took me awhile to finish this book, largely because it is a reference and resource book. If you have familiarity with the Apocrypha (here, and often distinguished as the Old Testament from the New Testament Apocrypha), you will enjoy reading Desilva, whether you read the book, as I did, from left to right, or as most, I imagine, on topic.
Spencer R
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
You can read my fuller review at Spoiled Milks (9/13/19).

If you’re a Protestant, and if the Apocrypha isn’t canon, why should you care about it at all?

DeSilva argues that the apocryphal books teach you about the faith of Jews who lived between 300 BC to 100 AD. Early church fathers such as Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Jerome, and Augustine read them and knew them. Even Jesus, Peter, Paul, James, and John (in Revelation) allude and paraphrase these writings.

DeSilva helps
Justin Holmes
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far the best intro to the Apocryphal books of the OT.
Theron Mathis
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am involved in adult education at an Orthodox parish. A couple years, after the The Orthodox Study Bible: Ancient Christianity Speaks to Today's World was published, members of the class asked me to teach on those extra OT books. I was raised Protestant, so while I knew the Bible well, I knew nothing of these books. My response, like a parent delaying a request they don't want to fulfill, was "We'll see".

Eventually I decided to take up the challenge, but outside of reading the books themselve
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A helpful, albeit dry, survey of the Apocrypha. Desilva describes each text's content, theology, contributions to Jewish and Christian thought, as well as more technical aspects such as textual transmission. This is a good book for anyone interesting in learning more about the history of the Apocrypha as well as the influence it had on both Palestinian and diaspora Jewish culture in the 1st century. The book ends abrubtly and would have benefited from a conclusion.
David Smiley
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a Protestant, it saddens me that my colleagues do not always take seriously the theological and historical weight for Second Temple Judaism that is found in the Apocrypha. I would refer any of them to deSilva's work for a better understanding of this corpus.
Monica Willyard Moen
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshare
As a Protestant, I was curious about why my Catholic friends have extra books in their Bibles. This book does a fantastic job of answering that question.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Very well organized and easy to understand.
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-study
After years of looking, finally I found a comprehensive study of the Apocrypha, this is gonna be a feast of information & insight
Caleb Bass
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Feb 20, 2019
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Feb 01, 2014
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a hefty volume and detailed, but is also written in an accessible style. I found the introduction interesting. David deSilva has a sensitive respect for many of the views of the Apocrypha, while still being clear as to where he stands. Each section is organised clearly, working methodically through the contents, authorship, setting, genre and theological contributions. I found the information about New Testament allusions particularly interesting. This book inspired me to pick up te ...more
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May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roman Catholics and Protestants have slightly different Bibles. The difference lies in the additional books that the former have. Depending on how you classify or call them, they are considered "apocryphal" (hidden) texts by some, deuterocanonical (second canon) or "pseudepigrapha" (authors using pseudonyms) by others. They lie between normal texts and sacred texts. They are too good to be excluded but don't fit under the canonization criteria. Arguments can be made for both. Why then do we need ...more
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David A. deSilva (PhD, Emory University) is Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. His numerous books include Introducing the Apocrypha and An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods, and Ministry Formation.