The NT and Apocryphal Works
Another argument put forward for the canonical status of the Apocryphal books is their citation by the New Testament writers. This, however, is not sufficient to establish the canonical status of these books. If this line of reasoning is followed by Eastern Orthodox apologists, they open themselves up to the same critique leveled against the Protestant of not having all the inspired books in their canon.
It may be true that many apocryphal works are cited, especially by Paul, but this says nothing about their inspirational status. Simply using or quoting from a source does not necessarily lead to inspiration. After all, even pagan sources are sometimes used in the New Testament. Clearly, these pagan sources are not to be viewed as canonical and neither should the Apocryphal writings on the grounds of being used or quoted from.
The non-canonical work that comes the closest to being cited as Scripture, and termed by scholar Dr. Lee McDonald as "a troubling exception", is the book of Enoch. In Jude 1:14-15, Enoch is named as one who “prophesied.” The problem this poses will have to be saved for another time, but for now, it is important to note that this “problem” belongs to both Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians alike. If it is going to be argued that the Protestant is lacking in their canon because of the use of apocryphal texts, those arguing along these lines better be ready to explain why the best candidate for inspiration doesn’t show up in their own canon.
1. One example of Paul’s use of hymns originally directed to Zeus can be found in Acts 17.
2. Enoch is present in the Ethiopian canon.
3. Interestingly, the place where Eastern Orthodoxy traditionally places it’s infallible authority (The Seven Ecumenical Councils) does not have a sufficient canon list. The closest is Athanasias’ list which is far from what is needed.
1. Translated by Richard Laurence: "The Book of Enoch the Prophet"
2. "The Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority" Lee Martin McDonald