What makes a Biblical work authentic scripture or be seen as apocryphal, deuterocanonical, or outright forgeries? We know that Paul defined authentic scripture [as] given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). Jerome, the compiler of the Latin Vulgate Bible, held than some of the so-called apocryphal books “[were] neither read nor held among the Hebrews”, and “came into contention”, but some were, in fact, “found by the [First] Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures”.
But the same works that the Protestant churches consider apocrypha are called accepted as deuterocanonical by Roman Catholics and as anagignoskomena by the Eastern Orthodox. If Christians cannot agree on which books are authentic scripture and which books are “apocryphal”, then how could Joseph Smith, Jr. have expected Christians to accept “Another Testament of Jesus Christ”?
And what of the New Testament? Has there always been agreement concerning which of the twenty-seven books should or should not be in the canon of the New Testament? Martin Luther himself, when translating the Holy Bible into German, doubted the epistles of the Hebrews, of James and Jude, and the book of Revelation; these books are known to Biblical scholars at “Luther’s Antilegomena”. Eusebius wrote in his Historia Ecclesiastica, concerning the antilegomena (“disputed writings”) in AD 325,
“Among the disputed writings [των αντιλεγομένων], which are nevertheless recognized by many, are extant the so-called epistle of James and that of Jude, also the second epistle of Peter, and those that are called the second and third of John, whether they belong to the evangelist or to another person of the same name. Among the rejected writings must be reckoned also the Acts of Paul, and the so-called Shepherd, and the Apocalypse of Peter, and in addition to these the extant epistle of Barnabas, and the so-called Teachings of the Apostles; and besides, as I said, the Apocalypse of John, if it seem proper, which some, as I said, reject, but which others class with the accepted books. And among these some have placed also the Gospel according to the Hebrews, with which those of the Hebrews that have accepted Christ are especially delighted. And all these may be reckoned among the disputed books [των αντιλεγομένων].”