Wednesday, December 07, 2011

WND and noncanonical texts

DON'T BUY THIS: The Researchers Library of Ancient Texts Vol One.

Although I applaud the effort of WorldNetDaily to acquaint their readership with the Old Testament Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament Apocrypha, this is not the book to use for that purpose. It is not a collection of new translations from the original texts (I would have known about such a project), so it must be old translations in the public domain. You can generally find such things for free online, for example, here. And the WND volume can't be put together all that critically, or it would not include the Book of Jashar, which is a medieval text.

You would be much better off to spend a little more money to get modern translations with good up-to-date introductions. For the Old Testament Apocrypha, look for any ecumenical study Bible or Catholic Bible in a modern translation.

For the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, the two Charlesworth volumes are the best collection in print, and they are now out in paperback.

For the New Testament Apocrypha, Elliott's The Apocryphal New Testament is available in a one-volume paperback.

Either or both would make fine Christmas, Hanukkah, or Winter Solstice presents.

Also, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Canonical Scriptures, Volume One, should be out by this time next year, so put it on your present list now for 2012.