What a beautiful volume, it is! CPH’s The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes is a most worthy companion to sit next to your copy of The Lutheran Study Bible.
When you first open it, you will notice right away the similarities in layout. If you’ve mastered navigating TLSB, you’ll feel right at home in The Apocrypha. The text employed is the English Standard Version, and once again it delivers a text that is clear and dignified without being overly colloquial or informal.
But WHY? you might be asking. Why bother?
Well, the Apocrypha is simply part of our heritage as Christians, and specifically as Lutheran Christians. It was invariably published in Lutheran Bibles in Germany, right between the two Testaments and with Luther’s incredibly helpful little note: ”Apocrypha, that is, books which are not held equal to the sacred Scriptures, and nevertheless are useful and good to read.” These are books that were in the Greek translation of the OT but not found in the Hebrew text.
Putting them between the Testaments (rather than inserting them among the books of the Old Testament) is actually a good reminder that they specifically illuminate for us the time period between the close of the OT and the beginning of the New. Just a solitary example: we read in John 10 that our Lord was in Jerusalem “for the feast of the dedication.” Well, you’d search in vain for this feast in the Old Testament writings and might wonder what this IS that Jesus is attending. The answer to your query is found in 2 Maccabees 10:1-8 – the institution of what we call today Hanukah!