The Forbidden Treasures of the Apocrypha
By the first century of the Common Era, the first two sections of today’s Tanakh (Torah and Prophets) were fixed. There was debate in the Jewish community, however, about which other books were “holy” and deserved to be included in the canon. Those that were eventually accepted are found today in the third section of the Tanakh, the “Writings”. The books that were excluded were hidden away and declared “forbidden” to Jews. These banned works are today called the Apocrypha. We will discuss such questions as: Which books are included in the Apocrypha. Who wrote them and for what audience? If they were hidden away, how did they survive to today? Why were they Forbidden in the first place? And lastly, are they worth reading today?