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Why are there no books in the Old Testament from Malachi (about 400 B.C.) to the time of Jesus Christ?
TitleWhy are there no books in the Old Testament from Malachi (about 400 B.C.) to the time of Jesus Christ?
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1973
AuthorsMatthews, Robert J.
MagazineEnsign
Volume3
Issue Number10
Pagination77
Date PublishedOctober 1973
KeywordsApocrypha
URLhttps://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1973/10/i-have-a-question/why-are-there-no-books-in-the-old-testament-from-malachi-to-the-time-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng

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Why are there no books in the Old Testament from Malachi (about 400 B.C.) to the time of Jesus Christ?

Robert J. Matthews: The reason there are no books in the Bible during this period of time is because, so far as we know, there were no inspired prophets among the Jewish people in Palestine.

Many people may not realize that approximately 400 years of history occur between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. However, some translations of the Bible cover part of Judean history during those 400 years with some books of the Apocrypha. Maccabees 1 and 2 are specifically a history of this time. If one examines the Bible used by the Catholic Church, he will find these books usually placed after Malachi, although in some later editions they are placed earlier.

Maccabees 1 and 2 are books of history and not of doctrine, and are not written by prophets. They record the struggle for Jewish freedom from 167 to 63 B.C. The King James Version also contained these books (with others of the Apocrypha) between the Old and the New Testaments in its early printings beginning in A.D. 1611; but they began to be discontinued after about 1830 because most Protestants do not regard them as equal in status with the other books of the Old Testament. The King James Version used by Joseph Smith contained the Apocrypha. The reader may wish to consult Doctrine and Covenants 91, which deals with the value of the apocryphal books. [D&C 91]

Robert J. Matthews, assistant professor of ancient scripture, Brigham Young University