The Further Influence Of The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books
The influence of the Apocrypha has been widespread, inspiring homilies, meditations, and liturgical forms, and providing subjects for poets, dramatists, composers, and artists. Some common expressions and proverbs have come from the Apocrypha. The sayings, “A good name endures forever” and “You can't touch pitch without being defiled,” are derived from Sir 41.13 and 13.1 . The affirmation in 1 Esd 4.41 , “Great is Truth, and mighty above all things” (King James Version), or its Latin form, Magna est veritas et praevalet, has been used as a motto or maxim in a wide variety of contexts.
The importance of these books extends to the information they supply concerning the development of Jewish life and thought just prior to the beginning of the Common Era. The stirring political fortunes of the Jews in the time of the Maccabees; the rise of what has been called normative Judaism, and the emergence of the sects of the Pharisees and the Sadducees; the lush growth of popular belief in the activities of angels and demons, and the use of magic to drive away malevolent influences; the first reflections on “original sin” and its relation to the “evil inclination” present in every person; the blossoming of apocalyptic hopes relating to the messiah, the resurrection of the body, and the vindication of the righteous—all these and many other topics receive welcome light from the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books.
(a)The following books from Tobit through 2 Maccabees are recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Russian Orthodox Churches.