Extra biblical books accepted as truth?

Are the any non-canonical books (not writing of church fathers) accepted by the Church as truth? For example something like the book of Enoch.

If you’re asking whether the Church treats non-canonical books as inspired truth, then the answer is “no”.

If you’re asking whether the Church believes that there are books out there that tell truth, then the answer is “yes”. But, the Church doesn’t do book reviews of all the books that have ever been written and make doctrinal proclamations of their veracity. :wink:


The Didache is certainly considered the truth, but not canonical.


The Protoevangelium of St James is an interesting one . . . it is a second century writing containing the source of much of what we know/believe about Mary.

It didn’t make the cut for the canon–but that’s more about whether a writing was used in liturgy; not making the cut was not a determination that a book was not inspired.

You can start an entire thread about whether that book is believed to be divinely inspired, in which everyone will call everyone else a heretic and flag one another, so I don’t advise it :scream::flushed::roll_eyes::rage:




The Book of Enoch was certainly quoted in the Epistle of Jude so at least partially true. The Shepherd of Hermas was included in various bible codices before the canon.


Sorry to laugh but it’s so true! Cries of ‘HERESY!’ from certain CAF members always make me think the Inquisition is alive and well here on the forums. If I am ever condemned to be burnt at the stake, I’m sure it will be a CAF member who will throw the first torch into the logs.


Remind them of the words of St Paul: ‘As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.’ - Titus 3:10-11


It did not make the cut because it is not Apostolic. It was written around mid second century.

“Used in the Church’s liturgies” was not the only criterion. More like:

  • accepted universally throughout the Church
  • in line with doctrine as taught by the Church
  • generally accepted apostolic provenance
  • (and sure,) used in liturgy

But, don’t forget that Christian liturgy was hardly standardized at that time, so “use in liturgy” – when liturgy itself wasn’t homogenous – was not the most reliable metric. The other three were. :wink:

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Pontius, is that you?




Liturgy has never been uniform. Even in the west there was no “standard” liturgy in the west until Trent . .

All of these were factors, but when you go through the books themselves, and which were accepted, use in liturgy largely predicts the rest–as the other three are why they were used in liturgy . . .


Not at all; they knew not what they did . . .


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I do use the word heresy sometimes but I don’t do it in an accusatory matter. Not really on threads like that.

You’ve got it backward. The texts were used in liturgy because they were accepted by the universal Church, had widely accepted provenance, and were in line with Church teachings.

To suggest, on the other hand, that they were presumed to have provenance, consonance with teaching and universal acceptance simply because they had been being used in various liturgies is just ludicrous. :man_shrugging:

I might suggest that you read Pius XII’s Mediator dei, in which he explains that this maxim doesn’t mean that liturgy itself determines belief, but rather, gives witness to already-existing belief.

afaik, noone, not myself or any other in the last two millennia , has made such a ridiculous suggestion.

Read what I said. There are various reasons. And when you look at what happens, the cut pretty much exactly coincides with those that were used in liturgy—which is hardly surprising, as the same bishops (albeit of varying generations) made both choices.


They may be inspired, but that would need to be determined on a case-by-case basis for each person, since they are not declared to be part of the canon. Many of these books used Christian ideas, and many were quoted by church fathers and mothers, and even in the liturgy, for example “Rest eternal grant them, Lord”. Some books of the Bible were not used in liturgy at all, like Philemon, and I think Obadiah and maybe even Job and others.

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