Here are Luther’s Prefaces to the Apocrypha that have been included in my Lutheran Study Bible (pages 12-13):
http://s7d1.scene7.com/s7ondemand/broch … height=800
You may look at the whole entire section if you would like. It gives great insights to what happened in time between the Old and New Testaments.
In the link, these quotes appear on page(s) 0-1:
There was great distress in Israel, such as had not been since the time that prophets ceased to appear among them….And the Jews and their priests decided that Simon should be their leader and high priest for ever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise.
~1 Macc 9:27; 14:41
When I went East and came to the place where these things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and send them to you as written below.[He excludes the Apocrypha.]
~Melito, Letter to Onesimus
For greater exactness I add this also, writing of necessity; that there are other books [The Apocrypha][i:1bclnl58]besides these not indeed included in the Canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of godliness.
~Athanasius, Festal Easter Letter (AD 367)
As, then the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it read these two volumes Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus] for the edification of the people, [but] not to give authority to doctrines of the Church.
Books of the Apocrypha are not held equal to Scriptures but are useful and good to read.
~Martin Luther, Prefaces to the Apocrypha
Purgatory is not a place of 2nd chances, but a stage of purification before a soul enters heaven
So is it more like “Oh no. I sinned so much that I failed to please God by being pure, so I need to purify myself” stage? Pardon my crass example, but it needed to be addressed.
As my Pastor has told me time and time again, “The Law is written on every man’s heart.” The kind of system of purging is not new to World Religions. The Caste System of India is based on the concept of Hindu teachings of Reincarnation. You work hard in the Caste you’re in so that when you die, you may pass to the next Caste. Once you have reached the highest Caste and when you die, you start the whole concept over and over again. (It also helps to know that Eastern countries tend to think of things in circles and not of lines like Westerners do.)
Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism and although some doctrines have changed, Buddhism still kept the concept of Reincarnation.
Islam has, in a way, a purification stage also. Since the Muslims don’t have a savior to forgive them of their sins, the only way to clear them of this sin is Jihad. The extremist Muslims use the concept of Jihad as a way to kill the “ones who don’t thank Allah for what they done for me,” or Infidels, and also to clear them of their sins. This is the only kind of Jihad known to most non-Muslim Westerners. Being of a Christian background, I know not of another way non-extremist Muslims purge for their sins.
I agree with Bible_student here. The point being because You [the Catholic Church] emphasis so much on Law and not Gospel and of books of non-canonical importance, it becomes inevitable that you create such “doctrine” like Purgatory and misinterpreting Scripture to create the Papacy.