The question has been posed to me why other books are not included in the Bible, especially the book of Sirach and the other Apocryphal books?
I suppose the simple response is that it is only the blessed God who has the right to include books in His holy Word. These books that you are questioning are not inspired books. Interestingly, they have not been acknowledged as inspired by the Jewish Rabbis. There is also much contradiction in them. The Lord Jesus never quoted from it, nor did any NT writer. They might have some moral teaching or historical value, but they are not inspired.
I understand how confusion creeps in when one is told of certain books that are included in certain versions of (so called Christian circles) and not others.
By the help of the Lord, I would like to suggest the following:
- This particular book “Sirach” was written in Hebrew between 200 and 175 B.C by Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach and was translated into Greek sometime after 132 B.C by the author’s grandson.
- This book was introduced, and I quote, “applying skill;” by contrast, the word of God was breathed by God and was spoken forth and recorded under the power of the Holy Spirit (Pet 1:21)
- There are many contradictions between “Sirach” and the Bible. For example, “Better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does well; it is woman who brings shame and disgrace” (Sirach 42:14 ); “Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die” (Sir 25:24); compare these with Rom. 5:12. Lastly, “As waters extinguish a blazing fire, so almsgiving atones for sin” (Sirach 3:30), compare with Eph 2:8,9.
- Some suggest that Sirach’s writings are rich in moral living and thus compare it to the Proverbs. It is a dangerous approach to claim inspiration for a book because it has great moral value. All false religions preach and have writings about good morals.
- Lastly, I suggest that when Sirach was written, some made reference to his writings as a historian, and in some cases to his moral writings, but by no means as a book inspired by God. In Josh. 10:13 we read about the book of Jasher not as divinely inspired, but as a historic reference to show forth the marvelous works of God.
Much love in Christ