Tuesday, December 12, 2017

250 Israeli Rabbis to Trump: ‘You are Fulfilling Biblical Prophecies’

 Invoking Biblical blessings, leading Israeli rabbis thanked Trump for acting to fulfill  prophecies about Israel’s redemption.



Some 250 Israeli rabbis, including Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, sent a letter to President Donald Trump thanking him and praising him for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The letter, initiated by the Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and delivered by Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, told the American president, “You have the rare privilege to be the first president to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel,” Ynet news reported.

“We are confident that you will be remembered in the history of the Jewish people forever as one who stood at the fore and was not afraid. May God’s promise to Joshua be fulfilled upon you: ‘Did I not command you, be strong and have courage, do not fear and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’”

Ynet reported that the letter was signed by rabbis of a wide range of communities, including rabbinical judges and yeshiva heads. Among the prominent signatories are: Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, national religious leader Rabbi Haim Drukman, the Rabbi of Safed Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of the Samaria region.

“We merit living in a generation in which prophecies are being fulfilled, one after the other,” the letter continued, emphasizing that Trump is playing his role in that process.

“The presidents of America merited standing by Israel in actualizing the prophecy of the return to Zion and the building of the State of Israel. “

“With this recognition, we see the fulfillment of another step in the completion of the prophecy of Isaiah that the nations of the world will recognize the centrality of Jerusalem,” said Rabbi Eliyahu. “‘For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your vindication’ (Isaiah 62:1). We hope that other enlightened and believing nations will follow in the footsteps of the United States.”

By: United with Israel Staff

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Does Paul’s teachings conform with the teachings of Jesus?

Christianity reached the non-Jewish world through the person of Paul. Paul traveled the length and breadth of the Mediterranean, teaching the gentile world about Jesus. Paul founded many churches throughout the Roman Empire. The churches which Paul established were predominantly gentile.  The Christian scriptures end their narrative at this point. They leave the reader at the historical point where there are two churches; the Jewish church of James, and the gentile church of Paul.


History tells us that the Jewish church of James did not survive as a separate entity. By the time Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire, there were almost no Jewish Christians left. The few Jewish Christians which still existed, were persecuted as heretics by the gentile church. All of Christianity as it exists today, was transmitted through the body of the gentile church. The books of Christian scripture were products of the gentile church. They may have included in these books, material which came from the Jewish Christians. But the gentile church was the editor of this material. It was the gentile church who determined the contents of the Christian scriptures, and who transmitted these texts to the future generations.


In order to be convinced that the gentile church is truly transmitting the original message of Jesus, one must determine that Paul’s teachings conformed with the teachings of Jesus. The gentile church only learned of Jesus through the teachings of Paul. If Paul’s teachings were not synonymous with the teachings of Jesus, then the gentile church does not possess the original message of Jesus. 

To determine Paul’s connection to Jesus, we will turn to the books of Christian scripture. It is clear that the editors of these books were strongly motivated to present Paul as one who is faithfully transmitting the original message of Jesus. Yet even these biased writers, were not able to do so.


The Christian scriptures describe the basis of Paul’s mission in the following manner. Paul never saw Jesus in real life. Neither did Paul learn of Jesus’s teachings through the disciples of Jesus. Paul emphatically states (in the 1st and 2nd chapters of Galatians) that no living person was involved in transmitting Jesus’s message to him. Paul only learned of the teachings of Jesus through a series of visions. In these visions, Jesus appeared to him and imparted his teachings. Paul’s entire message was the product of these visions.


The only way we can verify the truth of Paul’s claim, is by determining the reaction of Jesus’s disciples to Paul’s message. These men who lived with Jesus and heard him teach, could compare the teachings that they heard, to the prophecy of Paul. How did the Jewish following of James react to Paul’s claim to prophecy?

Paul makes the claim (Galatians 2:9) that the leaders of the Jerusalem Church acknowledged the fact that he was appointed (by the dead Jesus) as a messenger to the gentiles. But Paul was lying. James and the Jerusalem Church never acknowledged the validity of Paul’s visions. It is the Christian scriptures themselves who contradict Paul’s claim.


The 15th chapter of the book of Acts, describes how the leadership of the Jerusalem Church disregarded Paul’s claim to prophecy. Paul had come to Jerusalem. He had been preaching to the gentiles that they are not required to practice the law of Moses. Some members of the Jerusalem Church disagreed with Paul. They felt that in order for a gentile to join their following, he should be required to observe the law of Moses. This question was brought before the leadership of the Jerusalem Church. The elders of the church discussed the question, and James handed down his decision. His judgment was that the gentiles were not obligated to observe the entirety of the law of Moses as a prerequisite to joining the Christian community. But he stipulated that the gentiles were obligated to observe certain dietary laws, and to avoid immorality.


If Paul was telling us the truth when he claimed that the leadership of the Jerusalem Church acknowledged him as a true prophet, then this story makes no sense. Here we have Paul, who was personally appointed by the dead Jesus as his emissary to the gentile world. Whatever Paul taught was personally revealed to him in these prophetic visions. One of the central teachings of Paul was that the gentile world is not bound by the law of Moses. Yet when the leaders of the Jerusalem Church are in doubt as to what Jesus would have said concerning the gentiles, they discuss the question, and look to James for guidance. If there was any truth to Paul’s claim, that these leaders acknowledged the truth of his prophecy, then they should have simply asked him “what did Jesus tell you?” The fact that they considered the question, and the method that they used to resolve the question, clearly tells us that these men did not believe that Jesus had ever spoken to Paul. The author of the book of Acts, his bias notwithstanding, could not hide this simple fact.


The difference between the gentile church founded by Paul, and the Jerusalem Church founded by Jesus, was not limited to the question of the authenticity of Paul’s prophecy. These two institutions espoused two totally different philosophies. The central teaching of Pauline Christianity is, that faith in the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus, is the only valid method through which atonement for sin can be achieved. The entire philosophy of Paul, revolves around this one teaching. 

Evangelical Christianity is founded upon this basic teaching of Paul. If you were to ask an Evangelical Christian to sum up his belief system in one sentence, he would respond with this point. That faith in Jesus is the only redemption from sin. In fact the entire concept of the messiah-ship of Jesus is basically limited to this one point. Jesus is the messiah of Evangelical Christians, only because they believe that his death provided atonement for sin.

But the Jerusalem Church which was established by Jesus, and which was guided by his disciples, did not believe in this teaching of Paul. They did not believe that faith in Jesus could effectively atone for their sins. This is demonstrated by the testimony of the Christian scriptures. The 21st chapter in the book of Acts reports that the normal activities of the members of the Jerusalem Church included the offering of animals for the explicit purpose of the expiation of sin. The book of Acts describes how four members of the Jerusalem Church had taken a Nazirite vow. This means that they had voluntarily brought themselves into a situation where they would be required (by the law of Moses) to bring an animal as a sin offering. It is clear that these people saw in the temple offerings a valid method for the expiation of sin. If they believed as Paul did, that Jesus died for their sins once and for all, then there would be no point in bringing a sin offering in the temple. The fact that the Jerusalem Church still participated in the temple offerings after Jesus had died, tells us that they did not see in Jesus’s death an all atoning sacrifice. These people were not Evangelical Christians.


The Christian scripture provides both the theological and the historical justification to the accusation that Christianity has failed in the transmission of its own message. The Christian scriptures tell us that the disciples of Jesus never believed the fundamental teaching of Evangelical Christianity.

These people who lived with Jesus and heard him preach did not believe, that with the death of Jesus, the world is redeemed of its sins. The Christian scriptures also tell us, at which historical point the break in the transmission occurred. These books tell us that Paul, the father of modern Christianity, had no connection to Jesus. Christianity is an edifice erected upon the testimony of one man. All of Christianity stands upon Paul’s word that Jesus appeared to him. The only people that were qualified to verify Paul’s claim, contradicted him to his face. This emerges from the pages of the very books which Christianity regards as true witnesses to its claims. 
By Yisroel C. Blumenthal

Did The Original Followers of Jesus Vanish Just As Rabb Gamliel Predicted



The Eastern Orthodox Church venerates Gamaliel as a saint, and he is commemorated on August 2

Gamaliel
Teacher
Gamaliel the Elder or Rabban Gamaliel I, was a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early 1st century AD. He was the son of Simeon ben Hillel, and grandson of the great Jewish teacher Hillel the Elder. Gamaliel is thought to have died in 52 AC. Wikipedia


SOURCE: You are my witnesses - SimpleToRemember.com https://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/youaremywitnesses.pdf

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Why Did The Vatican Remove 14 Books From The Bible in 1684?


Why Did The Vatican Remove 14 Books From The Bible in 1684?




The Vatican church, or the Roman Catholic church, has a long history of corruption and deception. Aside from literally committing acts of outright genocide several centuries ago against the Cathars, to sexually abusing children in more modern times, it is certainly one of the most corrupt organizations in history.

NOTE: THE AUTHOR FAILS TO MENTION JEWISH PERSECUTION (The very people who are the guardians and protectors of the oracles of G-d): Here are Lesser Known Highlights of Jewish International Relations In The Common Era (an Abbreviated sampling) Timeline of Judaism | History of AntiSemitism

 



In the year 1611 the Bible was translated from Latin into English. Back then the Bible contained a total of 80 books and the last 14 books, which today have been excluded, made up the end of the Old Testament and were as follows:
·         1 Esdras
·         2 Esdras
·         Tobit
·         Judith
·         The rest of Esther
·         The Wisdom of Solomon
·         Ecclesiasticus
·         Baruch with the epistle Jeremiah
·         The Songs of the 3 Holy children
·         The history of Susana
·         bel and the dragon
·         The prayer for Manasses
·         1 Maccabees
·         2 Maccabees
In 1684 all of these books were removed from all versions except for a 1611 edition, which was the very first edition translated into English.
In this first edition you will also actually find that Jesus’ name is spelled IESUS and pronounced Yahashua. So why then does everyone continue to call him Jesus, when the letter J did not even being used at the time?
One of these books that is particularly interesting, is the “Wisdom of Solomon”. For those who don’t know Solomon is one of the most legendary characters from the Bible. He was the son of David and is alleged to be the wisest man that has ever lived. He is painted largely as a benevolent figure. But what you read in this book will make you question everything you were told to believe about him.
Observe the following excerpt;
Wisdom of Solomon 2:1-24
1 For the ungodly said reasoning with them selves, but not aright, our life is short and tedious and in death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave.
2 For we are born at all adventure: and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been: for the breath of our nostrils is as smoke, and the little spark in the moving of our heart
3 Which being extinguished, our body shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish as the soft air,
4 And our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, that is driven away, with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the heat thereof.
5 For our time is very shadow that passeth away; and after our end there is no returning: for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again.
6 Come on there for let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth.
7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments: and let no flower of the Spring pass by us.
8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered:
9 Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness: let us leave tokens of our joyfulness in every place: for this is our portion and our lot is this.
10 Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged.
11 Let our strength be  the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.
12 Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because HE is not of our turn, and HE is clean contrary to our doings. He upbraideth  us with our offending of the law, and ojecteth to our infamy the transgression of our education.
13 HE professeth to have the knowledge of the MOST HIGH, and calleth HIS self the child of the LORD.
14 HE was made to reprove our thoughts
15 HE is grievous unto us even to behold, for HIS life is not like other men’s, HIS ways are of another fashion.
16 We are esteemed of HIM as counterfeits: HE abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: HE pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh HIS boast that GOD is HIS father.
17 Let us see if HIS words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of HIM.
18 For if the just man be the Son of THE MOST HIGH, HE will help HIM and deliver HIM from the hands of HIS enemies.
19 Let us examine HIM with despitefulness and torture, that we may know HIS meekness and prove HIS patience.
20 Let us condemn HIM with a shameful death: for by HIS own mouth HE shall be respected…..
This raises a number of important questions
·         Who is Solomon speaking of killing with a “shameful death”?
·         Why did the Vatican vote to have these 14 books removed from the Bible?
·         Why did Solomon sound so crazy and evil in this book?
It seems that Solomon was speaking of Jesus. But Jesus was born roughly 900 years after his death. Could he have prophesied Jesus’ coming? Let’s consider why this could be who Solomon was talking about;
·         They killed the SON with a shameful death
·         The SON’s actions or fashions were different from everyone else’s
·         HE claims to be and IS the child of The MOST HIGH
·         He was a righteous poor man who would look at Solomon and others like him as “counterfeits”.
·         HE professeth to have knowledge of The MOST HIGH
Then listen to what Solomon has to say:
·          HE was made to reprove (criticize) our thoughts
·         We are esteemed of HIM as counterfeits: HE abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: HE pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh HIS boast that GOD is HIS father
·         For if the just man be the Son of THE MOST HIGH, HE will help HIM and deliver HIM from the hands of HIS enemies.
And one last thing I would like to point out is when Solomon says;
·          Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged.
This really disrupts everything we thought we knew. Solomon really and truly sounds evil. He is also alleged to be the wisest man in history.
Interestingly, Solomon is a man who was engulfed in the occult, he worshiped multiple gods and was weak for women. And the famous Temple of Solomon is considered to be the spiritual birth place of Freemasonry, a movement that is (at the highest levels) associated with pulling the strings of major global events and argued to be the true controlling power of our world.
Whatever is really going on here, we should certainly research it further.
Below you can watch a documentary on the occult knowledge and mastery of King Solomon;
NOTE: This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.
END OF Choiceandtruth POST -- choiceandtruth

Jewish Holy Scriptures: The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

by Michael E. Stone

The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) consists of a collection of writings dating from approximately the 13th - 3rd centuries BCE. These books were included in the Jewish canon by the Talmudic sages at Yavneh around the end of the first century CE, after the destruction of the Second Temple. However, there are many other Jewish writings from the Second Temple Period which were excluded from the Tanakh; these are known as the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha.

The Apocrypha (Greek, "hidden books") are Jewish books from that period not preserved in the Tanakh, but included in the Latin (Vulgate) and Greek (Septuagint) Old Testaments. The Apocrypha are still regarded as part of the canon of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, and as such, their number is fixed.

The term Pseudepigrapha (Greek, "falsely attributed") was given to Jewish writings of the same period, which were attributed to authors who did not actually write them. This was widespread in Greco-Roman antiquity - in Jewish, Christian, and pagan circles alike. Books were attributed to pagan authors, and names drawn from the repertoire of biblical personalities, such as AdamNoah, Enoch, AbrahamMosesElijahEzekiel, Baruch, and Jeremiah. The Pseudepigrapha resemble the Apocrypha in general character, yet were not included in the Bible, Apocrypha, or rabbinic literature.

All the Apocrypha and most of the Pseudepigrapha are Jewish works (some contain Christianizing additions). They provide essential evidence of Jewish literature and thought during the period between the end of biblical writing (ca. 400 BCE) and the beginning of substantial rabbinic literature in the latter part of the first century CE. They have aroused much scholarly interest, since they provide information about Judaism at the turn of the era between the Bible and the Mishna (Biblical Law and Oral Law), and help explain how Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity came into being.

When They Were Written

The oldest known Jewish work not included in the Bible is the Book of Enoch. This is a complex work, written in the third (or perhaps even the late fourth) century BCE, after the return from the Babylonian Exile and the establishment of the Second Jewish Commonwealth (6th-5th centuries BCE) and before the Maccabean revolt in 172 BCE. The oldest copies of the Book of Enoch, dating from the third century BCE, were discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (see below).

The latest of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha are the Apocalypses of Ezra and Baruch, written in the decades following the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. These works, contemporary with those of the early Rabbinic school of Yavneh, reflect the theological and ethical struggles and dilemmas aroused by the Roman conquest of Judea and the destruction of the Temple.

Most of these works were written in the Land of Israel, in Aramaic or Hebrew. However, some of them, such as The Wisdom of Solomon, were written in Greek. These Jewish Greek writings were produced in the widespread Jewish Diaspora of the time, mainly in Egypt (Alexandria) and in North Africa. Although most of the Hebrew and Aramaic texts have been lost over the centuries, many of them, translated into Greek or Oriental Christian languages (such as Ethiopic, Syriac or Armenian) have been found. Early Christianity showed great interest in Jewish traditions and stories about biblical figures and events, and as a result scholars now have access to a substantial library of Jewish writing, created during a crucial period of Jewish history, but preserved only within the Christian tradition.

The Development of Biblical scholarship

Certain of the apocryphal works were known in Jewish tradition throughout the Middle Ages, not necessarily in their full texts, but in shortened and retold versions, or in translations back into Hebrew or Aramaic from Christian languages. Thus forms of the Books of Judith, Maccabees and Ben Sira, as well as parts of Wisdom of Solomon were familiar to Jewish scholars. But these works never achieved wide acceptance in Judaism and remained, to a greater or lesser extent, curiosities.

During the Renaissance in Europe and in the following centuries, an interest in various Oriental languages developed in Christian circles. First Hebrew, then Arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Syriac and more took their place alongside Greek and Latin in the scholarly purview. At the same time, Christian scholars began to be interested in rabbinic sources (preserved in Hebrew) and Jewish biblical exegesis. This combined interest in language and rabbinics was an important component in the complex development that, by the end of the eighteenth century, provided the basis for "modern" critical biblical scholarship.

Other developments contributed to and stemmed from this process: the beginnings of archeology, the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs and Babylonian cuneiform, and antiquarian and scholarly study of the Holy Land. In this context, interest developed in Jewish documents which could help illuminate the New Testament. Many works were discovered, published, translated and studied, and they came to be called the Pseudepigrapha. An English translation of works known by the early twentieth century was prepared under the guidance of the renowned English scholar R. H. Charles and entitled The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, published in 1913. To modern Jewish scholars, these works are known as the Sefarim Hitsonim ("External Books"). Two major annotated translations into Modern Hebrew have been published, one edited by Abraham Kahana (most recently re-issued in 1959) and one by A.S. Hartom (1969).

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Scholarly interest was renewed after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. In the eleven caves near Qumran north-west of the Dead Sea, parts of more than 700 ancient Jewish manuscripts were discovered. These had been written in the same period as the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, mostly in Hebrew, with a lesser number in Aramaic and even fewer in Greek. The Dead Sea Scrolls, as they came to be known, are assumed to have been the library of a sectarian community at Qumran. The scrolls survived the Roman ravaging of Judea in the years 68-70 CE, because they were hidden in caves. They have been a major focus of scholarly and general interest for the last half-century.

Among the Dead Sea Scrolls were a number of manuscripts of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, including ten manuscripts of the Book of Enoch in the original Aramaic (until then copies were extant only in an Ethiopic translation of a Greek translation of a Semitic original), which were vital to answering many questions about its origins. Dating of the manuscripts by their script shows that certain parts of Enoch are at least as old as the third century BCE. Fragments of Ben Sira in Hebrew, Tobit in Aramaic, the Epistle of Jeremiah in Greek, and others were also found at Qumran.
In addition to these discoveries, the scrolls included other, similar writings that were previously unknown. In a Psalms Scroll from Qumran, a number of additional compositions were discovered, thereby increasing the corpus of texts already known. 

They also assisted in understanding a literary genre - the later Psalms - which happen to be poorly represented in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. These prayerful poems provide a deep insight into the religious feelings and sentiments of their authors. The knowledge that a lively literary production of Psalms existed at that time means that any study of ancient Jewish literature must now take these apocryphal Psalms very seriously into account.
  
A third important aspect of the Dead Sea Scrolls is that they were discovered in a known archeological and sociological context, firmly fixing them in the Second Temple period. Before 1947, only medieval, Christian manuscripts of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha were known, and they could be dated only on the basis of details contained in them. This is not always a dependable procedure. The Dead Sea Scrolls, stemming from a clearly established archeological context, are vital in dating the writings accurately.

What do these texts teach us about ancient Judaism?

In addition to the discoveries at Qumran, a substantial number of ancient Pseudepigrapha have been found elsewhere. Some of them were preserved in Greek and Latin; others in translations from Greek and Latin into various Oriental Christian languages - Syriac, Ethiopic, Arabic, Church Slavonic, Armenian and Georgian, among others. The most prominent of these are the Book of Enoch (Ethiopic and Greek); the Book of Jubilees, also preserved in Ethiopic; Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs in Greek; The Apocalypse of Baruch in Syriac; the Book of the Secrets of Enoch in Old Church Slavonic; and the Books of Adam and Eve in Latin, Greek, Slavonic, Armenian and Georgian.

Among this literature are works of varied character. Some are histories: the main source for knowledge of the Maccabean wars are the apocryphal First and Second Books of Maccabees. Other works, called apocalypses, present visions of heavenly and earthly secrets, of God and his angels. The concern with heavenly realities is a very prominent development in the Second Temple Period. In these works central religious questions dominate, above all the issue of the justice of God. Such visions are attributed to Enoch, Ezra, Baruch and Abraham.

A substantial number of works transmit proverbial teaching about religious and practical issues. These numerous wisdom or sapiental books are a continuation of the tradition of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in the Bible. The Wisdom of Ben Sira is a record of the teachings of Ben Sira, the head of an academy in Jerusalem in the early decades of the second century BCE. In addition, the Jews of the Second Temple period composed many psalms and prayers, expressing their love for God, their yearning to be close to Him, and their anguish over the fate of individuals and of Israel.

The manuscripts demonstrate that Jewish thought of this period was orientated between poles: Israel and mankind; the earthly and heavenly world; the righteous and the wicked. The people at that time lived in a consciousness of these dualities and in tension created by them. A certainty of God’s just and merciful providence was challenged by the turbulent and violent events of their times. These books are different from the rabbinic literature; they deal only peripherally with traditions of a legal (halakhic) character, which dominated the next, rabbinic stage of Jewish creativity.

What is their importance?

When these books were first studied, scholars realized that they could help to provide a context for the understanding of the origins of Christianity. No longer was rabbinic Judaism to form the primary basis for comparison with the earliest Christian literature, but rather the Jewish literature of the Second Temple Period, and particularly the Pseudepigrapha, could contribute much insight, making the Jewish origin of Christianity more comprehensible.

The contribution of the study of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha to the understanding of the New Testament should not be underrated. The approach to Jesus that is typified by Schweitzer’s Quest of the Historical Jesus (1964) - using the context of "Jewish apocalyptic" to help understand his activity - would not have been possible without the discovery of the Pseudepigrapha. As a result of these studies, we now have insight into types of Judaism and religious ideas within the Jewish tradition that would otherwise have remained lost.

Here we move closer to answering a central question: why study this literature at all? The general answer is that the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha should be studied because they embody an expression of the human spirit, and the historian is enjoined to study the human past. But, for scholars of the so-called "Judeo-Christian culture", a particular interest is inherent in the investigation of that segment of the past in which Judaism took on the form it still has and in which Christianity emerged. Yet this very agenda, when formulated thus, bears within it potentialities for the perversion of truth and the misconception of reality. The historical enterprise is an interpretative one; there is a great danger inherent in the study of the origins of one’s own tradition. Modern and medieval "orthodoxies" tend to interpret the time before they existed in terms of themselves. It has only been in the last generation of scholarship of Judaism in the Second Temple Period, that the implications of this way of seeing the world have begun to penetrate the fabric of historical thinking and writing.

This is an extremely important development, for it permits the Jewish literature of the Second Temple Period, and the people who produced and cherished these works, to step outside the giant shadows cast by the twin colossi of the Talmud and the New Testament

It then becomes possible to start to delineate what appear to have been central aspects of Judaism in the Second Temple Period. New features of Jewish life and thought become evident and the task of their detailed description and integration into an overall picture can be broached. Only such an endeavor will, in the final analysis, make it possible for us to advance our understanding of the development of rabbinic Judaism and of Christianity. This is a weighty labor but a very important one, and it is the Pseudepigrapha that provide us with evidence of vital aspects of Judaism that would otherwise have remained unknown.

This aspect of the study of the pseudepigraphical literature is in its very infancy. By pursuing it, we are able to trace the influence of ancient Jewish traditions and documents down the centuries. There have been one or two researches that have shown the way (Satran 1980; Stone 2001); other associated investigations have looked at the way Jewish apocryphal traditions were taken up and developed by medieval Judaism and Christianity (Bousset 1896; Stone 1982, Stone 1996). These two avenues of investigation seem likely to produce real results in the direct study of the texts, in the evaluation of their character and function, as well as in the differentiation of Jewish and Christian materials, not always an easy task. From this particular perspective, the study of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha teaches us to understand significant aspects of medieval culture, of Jewish history and of Christian origins.

List of Apocrypha

Tobit
Judith
The Additions to the Book of Esther
Wisdom of Solomon
Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Joshua ben Sira
Baruch
The Letter of Jeremiah
The Additions to the Book of Daniel
The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews
Susanna
Bel and the Dragon
1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
In addition, the following books are in the Greek and Slavonic Bibles but not in the Roman Catholic Canon, though some of them occur in Latin:
1 Esdras
2 Esdras
3 Maccabees
4 Maccabees
Prayer of Manasseh
Psalm 151, following Psalm 150 in the Greek Bible

Select List of Pseudepigrapha with some Notes

Apocalypse of Abraham: A Jewish writing presenting a vision seen by Abraham as well as legends about him. Surviving only in Old Church Slavonic, it was probably written in the second century C.E.

Books of Adam and Eve: A number of closely related versions of a writing dealing with the story of the protoplasts. All of these might derive from a Jewish source document, the language and date of which are unknown.

Apocalypse of Adam: An apparently Sethian gnostic revelation received by Adam and transmitted to Seth. Perhaps first or second century C.E. in date, it occurs in Nag Hammadi Codex 5.

Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch: An apocalypse written in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, it is closely related to the Fourth Book of Ezra. Its chief subjects are the theological issues raised by the destruction.

Biblical Antiquities: Sometimes also called Pseudo-Philo, this is a biblical history from the creation to the monarchy and seems to have been written before the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.

Book of Enoch: A compendium of five Jewish apocalypses all of which were composed before the destruction of the Second Temple. These come from diverse periods and social sects, the oldest being the first and third parts. the whole book is found only in Ethiopic, but parts of it have been discovered in Greek and in the original Aramaic from Qumran.

Book of the Secrets of Enoch: (2 Enoch or Slavonic Enoch). A Jewish apocalypse from the time before the destruction of the Temple, relating Enoch's ascent to the heavens and the revelations received by him there, as well as the history of the antediluvian generations.

Fourth Book of Ezra (2 Esdras): An apocalypse written after the destruction of the Second Temple, probably between 95 and 100 C.E. It deals with the theological problems that arose from the destruction of the Temple.

Books of Giants: A writing associated with the Enoch cycle, relating the deeds of the giants who were born of the union of the "sons of God and human women" (Genesis 6:1-4). It is known from fragments found at Qumran and was written before 100 B.C.E.

Book of Jubilees: A retelling and expansion of the biblical history from the Creation to Moses. It was originally written in Hebrew early in the second century B.C.E.

Lives of the Prophets: A collection of biographical notes relating details of the lives and deeds of various prophets. It was circulated widely among Christians and probably reflects Jewish sources. Written in the early centuries C.E.

Fourth Book of Maccabees: A book written in Greek by a Hellenized Jew to show the rule of reason over the passions. The martyrs of the Maccabean revolt serve as his chief examples.

Testament of Moses (Assumption of Moses): This writing relates Moses' last charge to Joshua. Its present form dates from early in the first century C.E. It contains much important eschatological teaching.

Sibylline Oracles: Collection of oracles fabricated by Jewish and Christian propagandists in the early centuries C.E. They were attributed to the Sibyl, a pagan prophetess.

Testament of Solomon: A Greek work, Christian in its present form, containing extensive legendary and magical traditions associated with Solomon.

Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A work listing the last wills and testaments of the twelve sons of Jacob. It survives in Greek in a Christian form but clearly contains many older, Jewish sectarian sources. It is important for the study of Jewish ethical and eschatological teaching.




Jewish Virtual Library   http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-apocrypha-and-pseudepigrapha 

 Simple to Remember      https://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/HistoryJewishPersecution/  

* Michael E. Stone is a Professor of Armenian Studies and of Religious Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an Adjunct Professor of Reilgious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of over 40 books and numerous articles in the fields of Armenian Studies and Ancient Judaism.



Christian Challenges Rabbi Tovia Singer: All Scholars Know Matthew Used More Reliable Septuagint!

Christian argues that Rabbi Tovia Singer mischaracterizes Matthew’s fulfillment citations, and argues that the first gospel relied on the earlier more dependable Septuagint (LXX) rather than the Hebrew texts. He further argues that Isaiah 7:14 was surely speaking of a virgin birth because a natural conception would be unremarkable, and could not be a “sign.” Citing sources, Rabbi Singer responds to these serious charges.