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    The term apocrypha mainly refers to 14 biblical books of Jewish literature written during the intertestamental period, included as part of the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament), and the vulgate (the Latin version of the Bible), but not included in the Hebrew Bible.


    The term "apocrypha" generally refers to writings entirely outside of the biblical canon and not considered inspired. However, The Roman Catholic Church accepts 11 of the apocryphal books as canonical (omitting I & II Esdras and the Prayer of Manassah). Eastern Orthodox Church accepts all of the 14 books and Protestants follow Jewish tradition in regarding all these books as non-canonical though some Protestants think these books are good and useful reading for maintaining a Christian life.

    Another use of apocrypha refers to various early Christian writings proposed as additions to the New Testament but rejected by the major canons.

    In Judeo-Christian theology, the term apocrypha refers to any collection of scriptural texts that falls outside the canon. Given that different denominations have different ideas about what constitutes canonical scripture, there are several different versions of the apocrypha.

    Apocrypha (from Greek word meaning "those having been hidden away") are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned.

    The term apocryphal, according to Merriam-Webster, means "of doubtful authenticity; spurious".

    During sixteenth-century controversies over the biblical canon, the word "apocrypha" acquired a negative connotation, and it has become a synonym for "spurious" or "false".

    A list of the books most frequently termed "apocryphal" follows:

    • The First Book of Esdras

    • The Second Book of Esdras

    • The Book of Tobit

    • The Book of Judith

    • The rest of the chapters of the Book of Esther

    • The Book of the Wisdom of Solomon

    • The Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach, or Ecclesiasticus

    • The Book of Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremy

    • The Song of the Three Children

    • The Story of Susanna

    • The Idol Bel and the Dragon

    • The Prayer of Manasses

    • The First Book of the Maccabees

    • The Second Book of the Maccabees


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    Last updated: June 2013
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