Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Term Paper




School of Unrestricted Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Grace Veach


For centuries, Protestants have debated with Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians over the canonicity of the Roman Catholic Apocrypha, a collection of seven books and two additions to books composed from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D. and considered to be canonical by all major non-Protestant Christian denominations. This thesis plunges into this discussion on the Roman Catholic Apocrypha’s canonicity, contending that the Roman Catholic Apocrypha is noncanonical. First, this thesis propounds two broad models for canonicity, the Community Canon Model and the Intrinsic Canon Model, and maintains that the Intrinsic Canon Model is a better model for canonicity than the Community Canon Model. It then explains that many books in the Roman Catholic Apocrypha do not fit the Intrinsic Canon Model’s criteria for canonicity. Next, an argument is made that the Jews had fixed the Hebrew canon during the lifetimes of Jesus and the apostles and that this Hebrew canon excluded the Roman Catholic Apocrypha. This thesis then establishes that Jesus and the apostles implicitly and explicitly accepted the Hebrew canon and thereby rejected the Roman Catholic Apocrypha’s canonicity. Finally, the popular notion that the Roman Catholic Apocrypha is canonical because most Christians in the early and medieval church accepted the Roman Catholic Apocrypha’s canonicity is refuted.