The “Holy” Bible or the “Whole” Bible? A brief study in the Apocrypha Controversy

Source: Al Hakam org

By Asif M Basit

The Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, peace be upon him, states in his book Chashma-e-Masihi:

Fountain of Christianity by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), The Promised Messiah and Mahdi 

It should also be remembered that the clergy’s collection of scriptures is completely worthless and even embarrassing. They whimsically declare some books to be divine and others to be forged. They judge these four Gospels to be authentic and the rest – about 56 of them – forged. But this belief is based on mere conjecture and speculation, rather than on any concrete evidence. They have had to make these decisions by themselves, for there is a marked discrepancy between these and the other Gospels. Researchers, however, believe that it is not possible to determine which of them is actually forged and which is not. This is why, on the occasion of King Edward’s Coronation, the Church fathers of London presented him with the books that they presume to be forged along with the four Gospels, all bound in one volume. I possess a copy of this Bible.

“Now, if these books had really been forged and were unholy, would it not be sinful to bind the holy and the unholy in a single volume? The fact is that these people are unable to say with any degree of conviction whether any of these books are authentic or forged, and everyone goes by their own opinion. Out of mere prejudice, they declare those Gospels to be fabricated which are in accord with the Holy Quran. Hence they have declared the Gospel of Barnabas to have been forged because it contains a clear prophecy about the Prophet of the Latter Days [the Holy Prophetsa].1

Lists of books, including the Apocrypha in the Coronation Bible of Edward VII, Lambeth Palace Library, E185 1897 [**]

The Promised Messiah is here referring to the books that have been left out from inclusion in the Bible due to being branded as non-canonical, commonly known as the Apocrypha.

The books that contain prophecies about the advent of the Holy Prophetsa of Islam have also been classed in the Apocrypha. Why these books have remained doubtful and kept away from being included in the Bible is an interesting story.

The “story of the making of the Bible would be very incomplete”, says J Paterson Smith, “without some account of the Apocrypha, i.e. the books which stood nearest in esteem to the recognised Scriptures, but were denied a place in the Canon”. 2

Acknowledging that lines were drawn to distinguish between canonical and non-canonical books of the Bible at some stage in history, Smith suggests that “wherever the line had been drawn there must always be some borderland books just outside the boundary. Practically these are what is meant by Apocryphal Books”.

The word Apocrypha means “hidden” or “kept from public use”. Why? The answers given by historians of the Bible range between the content of these books being too high for the crowd, to being mysterious in their meanings, to being defiant in leading the general public in a direction desired by the clergy.

For Roman Catholics, the Apocryphal books are placed with the inspired works of Hebrew Scriptures, where the Greek Church holds them between the Roman position and that of their own orthodoxy, giving them a sub-canonical value; the Church of England takes them as non-canonical, but useful as an appendix that is helpful in understanding the canonical texts. Most Protestant churches reject them altogether.

READ MORE HERE:

And the book ‘Fountains of Christianity’ you can find HERE.

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