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Light unto my path. I show my to a candle of understanding in the mind heart which shall not be put out. Light unto my path. An exploration of the books of the Old Testament from these books through the ages has come our concept of man born in the image of God and made to have dominion over all things. The Bible is the record of man's understanding of the role of the divine in human
life. We know examined that record when it was written. How it was preserved. And why it ranks first. In our literature. Light unto my path produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. These programs are planned and prepared by Dr. Menachem Mansoor chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Professor Mansoor. In our last program we examine the book of Ecclesiasticus we noted that it is part of a vast Hebrew literature consisting of
14 books called the Apocrypha. Now many people are not familiar with the word apocrypha for these 14 books are not included in the Hebrew Bible nor in most Protestant Bibles. Why we will go into this history in detail in just a moment. But let me say that they were not accepted into the Hebrew Canon either because they were not regarded as divinely inspired or because their authorship was doubtful. They were however carefully preserved and stored away. And this is why we have the Greek word Apocrypha which means hidden or stored away describing these books. The last events explicitly recorded in the Old Testament took place during the time of Noah about four hundred thirty three B.C. the New Testament story does not begin until the Christian era. So there is a gap of nearly 400 years in the biblical story. What
happened during those 400 years. Anyone interested in studying the Bible must know this. For those who are four hundred important history of filled years. Shortly after the close of the Old Testament history for example Alexander the Great conquered the east and three hundred thirty three B C here established a Greek civilization everywhere and brought into new lands a heritage of Greek art philosophy and culture which is still ours today. The fact that the New Testament is written in Greek rather and he rather than Hebrew or Aramaic bears witness to Alexander's conquest of cultures as well as armies after the Greeks the Romans came the years during which Palestine was ruled by Greece and Rome largely determined the character of life in the New Testament. These years were filled with change
change in political administration and language and manners as well as in the inherited ways of thought and religious ideas. When we turn the pages from the Old testament to the new we move from one world into another and the changes which took place during the four hundred year gap of time between the old and the New Testaments must be accounted for. If we wish to understand the world in which Christianity arose we must know something of the years which preceded it. But where can we turn for knowledge. There are two principal sources. One is the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus whose two works Jewish wars and Antiquities of the Jews were usually read by the clergy and learned laypeople of a former generation. There in they could read not only the story of the entered just a mental period but also the history of the Herods the period of the Roman procurators and the war with Rome.
But for us these broadcasts were turned to the second source. The Apocrypha would supply the missing link but only a link not a truly complete well formed chain across our four hundred years gap. Now perhaps you are asking why these 14 books of the apocrypha are so important and valuable why are they not included in the Hebrew Bible or in most Protestant Bibles. For this answer we must go back into history. They all Testament books whereby Hebrew tradition accepted as divinely inspired after the destruction of Jerusalem. The Jews believed that the Hebrew Bible was final and that the divine revelation had come to an end but in their heritage were scrolls of these apocryphal books and though were not accepted as canonical writings they were nevertheless preserved and stored the way they existed at the time of the Greater than Mystic age when the Jews were scattered
throughout the Mediterranean world and when in Alexandria Egypt there was a large population of Jews speaking the Greek tongue. Under Greek influence in Greek times these Jews found their mother language Hebrew slipping from them and with their ability to use their traditional books of worship a Greek copy of the Scriptures was needed and to meet that need 72 men were summoned from the twelve tribes of Israel to translate the precious Hebrew scrolls. The story of how these men gather together on the island of Pharos about two hundred fifty B.C. is a highly legendary by their finished work called The Septuagint Bible is a magnificent rarity. One of the priceless gifts of the Hellenistic era to our present day civilization with the dawn of Christianity this Greek Bible was used by the early church and carried far and
wide by its fathers. Pagan Rome became Christian Rome and in three hundred eighty two A.D. pope. Commission sent Jerome to prepare what we know as the famous Vulgate or common Latin version of the Bible. Jerome was a Hebrew scholar and he went to the original Hebrew text of the Bible to do his revision. He found that the Hebrew Bible did not include certain books which the Greek an early Latin versions had used. These books were the Apocrypha which the rabbis had had in a way they had been translated into the Greek. Along with all the traditional scrolls and as such were regarded by the Church at Rome as holy scripture sent Jerome left them and the Latin Bible where he found them eight centuries later. Martin Luther translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into German. He placed the apocryphal books between the old and the New
Testaments and not until the Puritans Geneva Bible at the end of the sixteenth century. Do we find the Protestant version omitting the Apocrypha. Most printings of the King James version today omit these books but recently several excellent additions have been separately published in England and the United States. New interest in their pocket has been stimulated by recent archaeological findings toward the end of the last century. Several chapters of Ecclesiasticus written in the original Hebrew were discovered in a Cairo synagogue where they had been hidden away for centuries. And even more recently dead sea scrolls have been found which contain fragments from apocryphal books. Of course that would take many many broadcasts to explore thoroughly the 14 books of the Apocrypha. All we can do here is sample from some of the
more interesting passages. We'll begin with the first book of estrus with its stories of the reign of Darius king of Persia. Here is the famous debate of the Guardsman filling the night hours of the watch with a contest of wits. No King Darius made a great banquet for all his subjects from India to Ethiopia. And the ate and drank and when they were satisfied they went home. But Darius the king went to his bedroom and fell asleep and then awoke. Then the three young men of his body guard who kept guard over the Person of the king said to one another. Let us each say what one thing is strongest and Darius the king will give rich presents and great honors to the one whose words seem the wisest. Then they each wrote his own answer and put his seal on it. The first wrote wine is strongest. The second wrote. The
king is strongest. The third wrote. Women are strongest. But truth prevails over everything. So when the king awoke they took the writing and gave it to him and he read it and he said some of the young men and let them show their reasons and they were summoned and came in and he said to them explain to us about what you have written. So the first one who had told of the strength of wine began and said Gentleman how supremely strong wine is it leads the minds of all who drink it astray when they drink they forget to be friendly to friends and brothers and very soon they draw their swords. And when they recover from their wine they cannot remember what they have done. The gentleman is not wine supremely strong since it forces them to act so. And when he had said this he stopped.
And then the second who had told of the kings might began to speak. Gentlemen are not men strongest because they control land and sea and all that is in them. But the king is supremely strong and his lord and master of them and every command he gives them they obey. He is only one man. But if he orders them to release their release if you orders them to strike down they strike if you orders them to build they build. If you orders them to plant they plant gentleman how can the king not be strongest when he is obeyed. And he stopped and then the third who had spoken of women and of truth his name was bubble began to speak. Gentleman is not the king great and are not men many and is not wine strong. Who is it then that rules over them and masters them is it not women. Women have borne the king and all the people who are lords of sea and land from
them they are sprung and they brought them up to plant the vineyards from which the wind comes. Men cannot exist without women. Do you not toil and labor and bring it all and give it to your wives. A man takes his sword and goes out on expeditions to rob and steal and to sail the sea in the rivers he faces the lion and walks in the darkness and he brings it back to the woman he loves. Now do you believe me. Is not the king great in his power. Gentleman. How can women not be mighty when they act like that. Then the king and the nobles looked at one another and Zerubbabel began to speak about the truth. Gentleman truth is great and mightier than all other things. The whole earth calls upon truth wine is not upright. Women are not upright. All the sons of men are not upright and all their doings all such
things are not upright. There is no truth in them and through their own righteousness they will perish but truth and doings and be strong for ever and lives and reigns for ever and ever. To her the long power and the royal dignity and authority and majesty and all the ages. Bless it be the God of truth. And when he starts speaking all the people shouted and said Truth is great and supremely strong magnet is very nice at prevalent is the way sent Jerome translated it in the vulgar version. Great is truth and mighty above all things. It is a famous text in the tradition of the ancient Hebrews. But coming to flower in the Hebrew thinking of the Greek age a mile
stone then on the road from there all Testament thought to the New Testament and one who said you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Two more apocryphal books are in sharp contrast the two books of Maccabees historical records of the 2nd century B.C. The name means the hammar title which was given to the sons of a valiant old priest who defended his people against the Greek gods in the name of religious freedom. McCabe ends led a bloody revolt and recaptured Jerusalem from the Syrians. The First Book of Maccabees records these events written by a known but distinguished historian. The second book deals with the same events but sings them with religious fervor and spiritual ecstasy. Unlike the first book this one tells of miracles
and angels they inspired that of martyrs and the belief in resurrection. This doctrine seems to have first become current with the Pharisees about this time. A necessary element of faith in a time when devoured Jews suffered frightful torments and death as the price of their religious integrity. These stories of martyrs and the doctrine of resurrection landmarks of tremendous consequence not only in Jewish history but in the years which followed both in the New Testament and the first three Christian centuries. Here too in the Maccabees we find the only mention of prayer for the dead anywhere in the Bible. Although it became common in Judaism and later on and ultimately in Christianity one additional observation. These two books of Maccabees describe one of the cornerstones for American thought today. The freedom of worship.
Each man is to worship his God in his own way. It also contains the account of the first victory of a religious persecution. We come now to the Book of Job that for many scholars the crown of the Apocrypha Tobit is fiction an exotic day of love travel danger immense faith in God and a happy ending. Here is something of the Pharisaic Orthodox Judaism. The stream of thought in which Jesus grew up and in the midst of which he ministered here we find the climate of his times the essence of the days in which Mary and Joseph and the disciples lived. This is true even though the book was probably written and that in the late third century B.C. Tobit is filled with our concept of personal religion of God's direct concern for his children of the value of prayer and fasting and
giving. Here are the words of Tobit a devout blind old man who is sending his son on a journey. Do not lend myself to any sinful design nor leave the commandments of the Lord our God unfulfilled used by wealth in giving of alms. Never turns I back on any man who is in need and the Lord in thy own need will have eyes for the show to others what kindness I means allow giving much if much is the line if thou hast little cheerfully sharing that little never use another as our word love thyself to be used. Share thy bread with the hungry and poor in thy garments let the naked to go clad. Praise God all the while and ask Him to guide I-pads the right do the good we can and blessings shall be ours in abundance.
This son Tobias sets out with his father's blessing his mother steers and truly his journey is wondrous for his guide to the land of Persia is the engine old refuge in disguise by the river Tigris. They make their first stop and Tobias catches a fish which his companion tell Sam has magic powers. Soon he say's they will be at the home of Sarah a daughter of a devout family whose fortunes are plagued by a deadly demon by means of the magic fish Tobias will benefit the demon and wind Sara to wife. I hear stories of this made Tobias answered how she has been the TRO the seven times and to every bridegroom it brought death and how it was a fiend that made away with them. If the like before me too it would go hard with those parents of mine. I am all the children they have heed me well answered Raphael the fiend has power over such as go
about marrying with thought of God to shut out of their hearts and minds. Not such be that I made when thou hast won via bride thy prayer when the a blessing. So the travelers come to the home of Sarah the young people fall in love and the marriage feast is held by the girl's father still fears the demon. And on the marriage night sets out to dig a grave for his certain the new bride groom will die as did the seven others before him. But the bias has the magic fish to drive away the demon. And he and his bride spend their wedding night in prayer. Side by side they kept vigil and prayed together. Lord God of our fathers said Praise be to thee from heaven and earth from seas and fountains and river. When Adam was made of Earth's clay it was by thy hand. When Eve was sent to cheer him it was of the gift Lord may the name be ever bless it.
And thus Sarah prayed have mercy on us Lord have mercy on us. The prayers of the lovers are answered the night safely passes and there is great rejoicing in the house. The father orders feasting and celebrations for 14 days. Tobias agrees to stay but his father had sent him on this journey to collect a debt in a city nearby. And now the angel in disguise goes to perform this task. The days pass and to buy says all parents wait in vain for a ward of their son. Great lament his father made and his wife Anna with him and fast fell the tears of both that the appointed day was over and their son not yet returned. The mother's grief. There was no consoling all in vain did Tobit try to comfort her with peace woman. There is not amiss with our son. It was a trusty companion we sent with him. Comfort would you have none.
No day passed but she would rise and roam the streets hoping she might get some room or some distant glimpse of his return. Then a glad day comes their son and his guide appear. The boy's dog are running on ahead of him and barking the good news of their arrival. This is by the way the first time we read of a pet dog. Up sprang the father blind though he was and made for the door running and stumbling as he ran embraced and kissed him and his wife too must embrace the boy and kiss him. And they paid God worship and gave him thanks and sat down together. Then it was the top bias took out the fisher's gall and rubbed it on his father's eyes of white film like the white of an egg began to separate itself from the eyes. He took hold of this and pulled it away. And immediately his father's sight was restored. I thank the Lord God of Israel the old man cried
from the my Deliverance came. On the heels of this miracle the caravan arrives with Sarah the new bride and her servants and dowry also the debt owed to top it has been collected. The family is wealthy for a week they all keep high festival and rejoicing. Then comes the time when Tobias companion must leave and father and son wish to offer him wages. But he with a finger on his lips that them give their thanks to the God of heaven. He it is that has shown mercy prayer fasting and alms said he here is better treasure to lay up than any store of gold alms giving is the winning of mercy and of life eternal. Come let me tell you the whole truth of the matter. I am the angel Raphael and my place is among those seven who stand in the presence of the Lord. It was God's will.
And now the time has come when I must go back to Him who sent me. Give thanks to God and tell the story of his great deeds. The Book of Tobit ends with a psalm of Thanksgiving here or in a tale of simple goodness and heartfelt piety is the climate of the New Testament. The poor in spirit. Merciful hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Here in the book Top it is the golden rule stated in a negative form due to no man. That which thou hate assts it is an evidence of how close Jesus teaching was to the Judaism of his day. Here too are the angels and demons and paralleled in the Old Testament but familiar to us in the new. How may we summarize the apocryphal books and what they have given us of the religious thinking of
mankind. First the doctrine of God changing of that doctrine to emphasize his remoteness from the world. The author of the first McCabe's omits the name of God altogether feeling God's name too holy to be introduced into a mere book of human history and the New Testament we find this tendency in the occasional substitution of heaven or kingdom of heaven for the use of God's name. Along with this transcendence of God angels appear in as intermediaries between God and man. In their pocket there is a well-developed system of angels unheard of in the Old Testament and the help of angels is regarded as an acceptable resource for the religious man. Demons name by name also out there in this era leading up to the Gospel story of demons who declare their name is legion of special
interest for our series is the emphasis on the doctrine of the resurrection of the Dead which seems first to have become current with the Pharisees about this time. While there are anticipations of the idea and all the parts of the Bible it did not become a fixed doctrine in any form of Judaism until the frightful sufferings of devout Jews in the Maccabean age made such a belief seem necessary in order that men might hold fast to believe in God's sovereignty and justice in the world apparently given over to the forces of evil. These stories are also interesting in that they mark the first appearance of the idea of martyrdom in religious literature and idea which was to be of tremendous consequence not only in Jewish history but also in Christian thought both in the New Testament and in the first three Christian centuries. They provide the pattern for the martyrs stories of the early Christian church.
To this changing climate of thought about resurrection must also be added to belief in the coming of the Messiah. The word is Hebrew for an anointed one and in the apocryphal period they hope arose that a messiah would come to establish God's kingdom on Earth. Moreover the Jew in apocryphal times believed that his god was father to all peoples of all nations of that world and that God's blessings were available to all who lead a life of devotion. This concept of personal prayer and personal approach has become one of the cornerstones of our religious foundations. Light unto my path. Radio programs exploring the Old Testament.
The series is planned prepared and narrated by Dr Menachem Mansoor chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin script writing by Jay Helen Stanley. Music by Don Vega production by Carlos meant. Light unto my path is produced by Radio Station W H A of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end of a radio network.
Light unto my path
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on the Apocrypha, the Biblical books that had been "hidden away."
Series Description
This series explores the books of the Old Testament, how they were written, how they were preserved, and why they continue to have influence.
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Composer: Voegeli, Don
Host: Grauer, Ben
Narrator: Manning, Dean
Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Production Manager: Schmidt, Karl
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 60-50-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:25
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Chicago: “Light unto my path; Apocrypha,” 1960-11-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “Light unto my path; Apocrypha.” 1960-11-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: Light unto my path; Apocrypha. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from