1689: 1.3. We Reject the Authority of the Apocrypha
1689 LBCF 1.3: We Reject the Apocrypha
3. The books commonly called the Apocrypha were not given by divine inspiration and so are not part of the canon or standard of the Scriptures. Therefore, they have no authority for the church of God and are not to be recognized or used in any way different from other human writings.6
6Luke 24:27, 44; Romans 3:2.
I would encourage you to read my last post on this particular subject before reading this one. Protestants reject the authority of the Apocrypha because the New Testament authors and Jesus Himself did not acknowledge their authority and because their origin is questionable and disagreeable with the rest of God's revelation. In the two passages cited by the framers we see reference to the accepted canon of the Old Testament Scripture:
27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He [Jesus] [a]expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:27 NKJV)
44 Then He [Jesus] said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” (Luke 24:44 NKJV)
2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the [a]oracles of God. (Romans 3:2 NKJV)
In these three passages alone, we see implied four criteria for the canonization of a book into the Old Testament Bible.
(1) Jesus and those Appointed by Jesus must have acknowledged their authority.
We see this when Jesus or an Apostle quotes extensive passages from the Old Testament, and we see this when the Old Testament books are summarized in the New Testament (i.e. Law of Moses- first five books of OT; Prophets- both major and minor and Psalms). It is clear that the 1st-century church had an established canon in regards to the Old Testament by the time of Christ's incarnation. Thier synagogue services consisted of readings from these accepted passages of Scripture.
(2) We see that the 'oracles' of the Old Testament were entrusted to Israel.
The Apocrypha is of unknown origin and authorship. Paul speaks of God's 'oracles' (His words, His revelation) as coming from the Jews. God chose to reveal Himself to His people- the Israelites- the nation of Israel. And through His revealing of Himself to Israel, gentiles were to be grafted in to form a spiritual Israel. God's Word were entrusted to the Israelites. This was a universally understood transmission of special revelation.
(3) The acknowledgment of the Old Testament by Jesus and the Apostles limits the time frame on when the Old Testament books could be written.
Because the canon of the Old Testament was universally accepted by the time of Christ's incarnation, this puts a time frame on when God spoke special revelation to His people. The dating of the Old Testament books preceded the intertestamental time (in which some of the Apocrypha was believed to have been written). It wasn't until the Council of Trent (1545-1563) that Catholics, in an effort to push back against certain tenets of the Reformation, decided to canonize the Apocrypha, despite the skepticism not just in the 16th century, but all throughout church history.
(4) All of the Old Testament is about Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. All of the historical stories we have in the Old Testament, all the God's covenants with His people, are pointing us to one grand, larger story- the story of how Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost by the power of the Holy Spirit and the glory of the Father. Any books that side-step this do not fit within the grand narrative of Scripture and thus should be rejected.