I've been reading some apocryphal books, like gnostic books, and was enjoying them as they seem so unusual and otherworldly to me. I'm not a devoted Christian but, if I'd been a devoted Christian would be reading those apocryphal books a sin? If yes, how should I go about them?

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  • "Is X a sin" is off-topic, I'm afraid. The question can be rephrased as "What makes X a sin?" perhaps adding "according to Y tradition". Stacylaray's answer would probably still be relevant to that question, too. – Andrew Leach Mar 1 '14 at 22:16
  • Gee, a Christianity forum and sin is off-topic. Okay... – Alexander Kulyakhtin Mar 2 '14 at 8:45
  • It's not a matter of sin being off-topic. It's a matter of the way the question is phrased which makes it off-topic. Do read the meta question and the answers there: this site deals in Doctrine, not Truth. – Andrew Leach Mar 2 '14 at 9:56
  • But there is a similar question about being fat without medical care sin or noi sin and that one didn't get closed – Alexander Kulyakhtin Mar 2 '14 at 11:30
  • That's why I linked to the most recent Meta question on the subject of topicality. – Andrew Leach Mar 2 '14 at 18:29

The definition of sin is to miss the mark. So then the question is would reading those apocryphal books be missing the mark? I think that depends on your intent. If one reads those books and places their faith in them, then, yes, that is missing the mark. If one reads those books in order to learn why some people believe in them so that one can have meaningful dialog with those people in order to show them Christ, then, no, I don't think that is missing the mark. Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Paul spoke to the men of Athens and used one of their own alter's inscription to witness to them. That isn't a sin.

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  • Eh! Where does it say that definition of sin could you please point out? – Alexander Kulyakhtin Mar 1 '14 at 22:07
  • חטא châṭâ' khaw-taw' A primitive root; properly to miss; – stacylaray Mar 1 '14 at 22:16
  • Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. – stacylaray Mar 1 '14 at 22:19
  • Strong's Concordance Hebrew definition of sin. Gen 39:9 There is noneH369 greaterH1419 in thisH2088 houseH1004 thanH4480 I; neitherH3808 hath he kept backH2820 any thingH3972 fromH4480 me butH3588 H518 thee, becauseH834 thouH859 art his wife:H802 howH349 then can I doH6213 thisH2063 greatH1419 wickedness,H7451 and sinH2398 against God?H430 – stacylaray Mar 1 '14 at 22:23
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