2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Back in The Pew and God’s word, well, almost. The Pew is focused each week on sharing the word of God through the writings of the Prophets who told of his coming also the Apostles who followed and spent time with him. Those saints of past times who through divine guidance have provided us with a record of His ministry. 2 Timothy provides one path of giving us a rock solid definition of Scripture as it is intended to be.There are many great writings that don’t reach that level but they can widen our understanding of the depth and width of those things of value that encourage a life of worth. Knowledge is obtainable…but Wisdom comes only through God. To go beyond the word today it will be necessary to visit some books that are disputed as to where they need to be. First off let’s put forth their family name… often referred to as the Apocrypha, meaning “hidden.” Written primarily in the time between the Old and New Testaments the following is from gotquestions.org…

“The Wisdom of Solomon, also called the Book of Wisdom, is one of the books of the Apocrypha. Others in the group include 1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Manasseh, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. Most of the books of the Apocrypha are accepted by the Roman Catholic Church and are included in Catholic Bibles. The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books teach many things that are not true and are not historically accurate. The Roman Catholic Church officially added the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals to their Bible at the Council of Trent in the mid-1500s AD, primarily in response to the Protestant Reformation. None of the apocryphal books are included in the canon of Scripture.” Because of the historical and theological errors, the books, including The Wisdom of Solomon, must be viewed as fallible historical and religious documents, not as the inspired, authoritative Word of God. This week we open with The Book of Wisdom, written about fifty years before the coming of Christ. We do not know who the author is but historical speculation leads to the belief it was probably a member of the Jewish community at Alexandria, in Egypt. It was written in Greek but patterned in style on the Hebrew verse. 

This author has a profound knowledge of the earlier Old Testament writings and it is reflected in almost every line of this book. It was the purpose of the author to lift up those who where of like mind and were suffering and experiencing oppression at the hands of apostate fellow Jews. These Jews had abandoned their religious beliefs and principals. His message  made use of the most popular religious themes of his time, namely the splendor and worth of divine wisdom. We will move from The Book OF Wisdom to The Letter of Jeremiah, also called the Epistle of Jeremy, is also one of the books of the Apocrypha.

What is the Letter of Jeremiah? The earliest manuscripts of the Letter of Jeremiah are in Greek. It is thought among theological scholars to have originally been written in Hebrew or Aramaic,  The point to be considered is that it is not a letter, nor is it from Jeremiah because it is thought to have  been written nearly 300 years after Jeremiah’s call to prophecy. Most of the text concerns  warnings about the idolatry they will be exposed to in Babylon and the uselessness of such things. The exiles are encouraged to   avoid such idolatry. I remind you that like all apocryphal books, this one cannot be considered to be the inspired Word of God. Consider this…To be an informed and knowledgeable follower of our Lord we must know what we believe and why. More next week.

Life is Good