The Encyclopedia of Lost and Rejected Scriptures: The Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha Paperback – Feb 9 2010
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They present the facts in detailed introductions of every book in this massive compilation of forgotten scripture. Plus, they include quotes from other verses found in the canonically approved Bible, showing that indeed these lost books inspired what is found in the Bible. For example, The first Book of Enoch is sometimes quoted word-for-word throughout the Hebrew Bible and the writings of Yeshua's Talmidim (Jesus' Disciples). Of curse, you wouldn't know that unless you had access to Enoch 1. From my personal view, Yochanan's (John's) Book of Revelation is actually part two of Enoch 1. Enoch confirms what was seen by Yochanan, two witnesses to the same events (though sometimes described differently).
If you are new to discovering the forgotten scriptures, here are a few things you should know:
The KJV and NIV Bibles and others like it, are simply incomplete. They are the smallest, most condensed and altered versions you can find. Though the Catholic Bible is not my favorite version (nothing against Catholics), it includes some of the books that are found in this compilation. The next would the Greek Orthodox Bible which contains even more than the Catholic Bible. Ultimately, the Coptic Ethiopian Bible is the largest in the world with a total of 81 books. Don't worry, much of this compilation here on Amazon has the Ethiopic texts that have been concealed and hidden from the Holy Roman Empire - that's why they survived. People fear what they don't understand and book burning was the norm. Instead of reexamining their theology, dogma and interpretations it was more convenient to ban and outlaw books that questioned the status quo. Additionally, there is also the Septuagint. Complied by the Greek Diaspora (Jews living in Greece), it was the first translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek with the Apocrypha. The Psalms of Solomon and the Odes of Solomon are not in this Encyclopedia but can be found in the Septuagint. Some compilations of the Apocrypha are bigger than others - example: The Story of Ahikar and all four Maccabees are not included in this Encyclopedia. (my other copy of the Apocrypha only has the first two Maccabees)
If you buy this and wonder "where do I start?", I personally suggest you read the Book of Wisdom (Wisdom of Solomon) first. Before you read it, pray. Pray that G-D will guide you and that He opens your eyes, ears, hearts, minds and souls to see what G-D wants you to see and not dwell on the man-made dogma and traditions of interpreting. Pray that G-D's interpretation and intent of the book is revealed to you. This will only happen if you are willing, if you have a sincere heart you will come to know the Gift of the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, The Holy Spirit of Instruction and Truth. If you wonder where this incredible title comes from, unfortunately this massive compilation doesn't included every single missing book. It's a great collection, but the search isn't over - far from it. If you can, get a hold of a copy of The Apocryphal New Testament (sacred-texts.com) and read the Mary Hath Chapters and Protevangelion to find where the title comes from.
I also suggest getting a copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls, you'll find the War Scroll is found both at Qumran and in the Coptic Ethiopian Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls back up a lot in the book and vice-versa. If you consider yourself Christian, please find a copy of the Jewish New Testament or the Complete Jewish Bible to expand your understand of Israelite culture and understanding Torah. You cannot understand Yeshua without knowing Torah.
Just a warning: If you read Enoch 3, you might be taken off guard. It is a very strange book and should be taken with a grain of salt. If you know anything about Talmud, Kabbalistic and Mystic Gnosticism, that is the relm of this particular text. Personally, I don't take any of those seriously. Talmud is rabbinical commentary and should not be taken 100% serious. Another secret book is the Testament of Solomon which echos the Talmud's claim of how King Solomon was able to control evil spirits with a magic ring to help build the Temple. The Hebrew Bible tells a different story of how the Temple came to be, but believers in Jewish Mysticism consider this fact. I personally don't by it for a minute, how could a Holy Temple be built by Holy Angels and evil spirits? A house divided against itself cannot stand, right? However, a counter point would be this - the Temple was built by both good and evil, which is why G-D allowed it to be destroyed as Yeshua predicted it would. Bare in mind that if you choose to get a copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls there are two things to look out for: The Watchers and the Shoddy Wall Builders. The Watchers are the fallen angels who laid with daughters of man and had offspring, the Nephilim. Note: The fallen angels and demons are not the same, demons are the souls of the Nephilim who past away in Noah's flood. In my mind the phrase "Shoddy Wall Builders" brings Freemasonry to mind. They do in fact claim to be the builders of Solomon's Temple, but "Shoddy" implies bad or fake. I'll stop there are let you think on your own about all of that. It's a lot to take in, go slow.
This turned out longer than expected, but before I post there's one final thing:
I mentioned there were other books to be found, if you would like to preview some of them before buying a hard copy there is a website called sacred-texts.com this is a free source to everything you could possibly imagine.
Here's a quick review of books you might think about purchasing: The Encyclopedia of Lost and Rejected Scriptures: The Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha, The Septuagint, The Aprocryphal New Testiment, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, The Coptic Ethiopian Bible (if you can find it), The Greek Orthodox and Catholic Bibles (for cross referencing), The Jewish New Testament, The Complete Jewish Bible
Hopefully this review proves helpful to someone, happy hunting - always search for truth. Shalom
It also has the Apocryphal Books which can only add to one's understanding of how God worked with His people. The Book of the Maccabees not only explain the origins of Channukah, but also tell of the careful hiding of the Ark of the Covenant. (Sorry, Indy.)
I truly recommend this text for anyone who really wants to seriously learn a bit more about the Bible and of the times it was written, both old and new testaments. You will definitely get your money's worth from this book.