Apocrypha

APOCRYPHA: OVERVIEW

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Scripture Reference: the books of the Apocrypha. These are books contained in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, but not in the Hebrew version. Some are parallel versions or additions to existing books; others tell of events between the days of Nehemiah and the birth of Christ. Assign a book or two to each student to scan, present his or her summary and a comparison with the already-studied history and Scripture: does it fit in and where? These are included in the Orthodox Study Bible.

 

  1. History: These are very different books, with very different settings:
  • I Esdras: Parallel version of the events in Chronicles/Ezra/Nehemiah.
  • II Esdras: Also known as the Apocalpse of Ezra, a collection of visions interpreted by the angel Uriel about Jerusalem, Rome, and the Messiah.
  • Tobit: Short story of a pious Jew in the days of the northern captivity.
  • Judith: The story of a courageous young Jewish widow’s beheading Nebuchadnezzar’s general, leading to the retreat of the army.
  • Additions to Daniel: Includes the Prayer of Azariah, the Song of the Three
  • Holy Children, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon.
  • Additions to Esther: Just as it says, a longer version with more detail.
  • Prayer of Manasses: Used in some of the Odes, mentioned in 2 Chr.33:11-19.
  • Epistle of Jeremiah: A letter from Jeremiah to the exiles in Babylon.
  • Baruch: A friend and scribe of Jeremiah addresses the exiles and laments.
  • Ecclesiasticus: The wisdom of the scribe Joshua ben-Sira, who lived in Jerusalem around 180 BC, advice for life and the ideal of a scribe.
  • Wisdom of Solomon: An exhortation to seek wisdom, likely written in the Alexandrian period and written originally in Greek.
  • Wisdom of Sirach: Also a book of wise sayings.
  • Maccabees: The story of Hanukkah and the pogroms under Ptolemy of Egypt.

 

  1. Discussion: Again, most of this material will be new and should be learned today. Maybe try a game of Concentration, but to win, the teens must not only match the books but say at least one thing about each.

 

  1. Close with prayer: Have each student select a book to read carefully this week in his prayer time. May the book speak to him from the Lord.



MACCABEES/HANUKKAH

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

            For this week, the best idea would be to get a Jewish speaker. The 10-12 class and middle school class could join you. Have a celebration as it is typically done and discuss the customs and their significance.  You could also discuss the celebration of Purim, Passover, and the other Jewish feasts while you have the speaker.