Books that Didn’t Make the Cut: The Pseudepigrapha

Marie Antoinette did not actually say, “Let them eat cake.” Nor did she say Qu’ils mangent de la brioche (that’s “let them eat cake” in French). It makes a great story though. Nor did Julius Caesar actually utter the famous Et tu, Brute? According to Plutarch he died in silence, while Suetonius has him asking […]

The Value of the Apocrypha: 1 Maccabees and Jesus

Historical context matters. I can think of many instances when learning the “rest of the story” is of immense help in understanding the current context. A social gathering gets suddenly awkward when Yuri enters the room; Boris, next to you, leans over to whisper, “He and Sasha used to date.”*  A particular church’s dynamics seem […]

Books that Didn’t Make the Cut: The Value of the Apocrypha

We don’t determine the value of something generally based on its lack of value for a particular purpose. If I need a hammer for a particular job for which my screwdriver is not helpful, it doesn’t therefore follow that my screwdriver is worthless and should be thrown away. If I want to play football, I […]

Books that Didn’t Make the Cut: The Apocrypha

At the end of each summer, every NFL team must winnow its roster to 53 players. The very best make the cut; many hopeful young men see their hopes dashed with news they didn’t make the cut (or, more graphically, they’ve “been cut”). This is true in all walks of life – whether you are […]