The Apocrypha is a group of early Jewish writings found in some Protestant Bibles. These writings are found in the collection of Jewish scriptures in Greek, known as the Septuagint, but they are not in the Hebrew Bible
. The early Christians used the Septuagint as their Old Testament
Protestant Bibles usually don't include these writings, and when they do, they are in a separate section in between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Most Protestants don't consider these books inspired or they give them a secondary status.
Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles include these books in their Old Testaments. Roman Catholics call these writings Deuterocanonical ("second-listed," because their acceptance as scripture was more controversial).The Books of the Apocrypha
|1 Esdras||Letter of Jeremiah (Baruch ch 6)|
|2 Esdras||Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews (addition to Daniel)|
|Tobit||Susanna (addition of Daniel)|
|Judith||Daniel, Bel, and the Dragon |
(addition to Daniel)
|Esther (with editions)||Prayer of Manasseh|
|Wisdom of Solomon||1 Macabees|
|Ecclesiasticus (Sirach)||2 Maccabees|
Chat based on p. 455 Essays, The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha.
The Greek word apocrypha
means 'secret things' or 'hidden things.' However, these books were never secret or hidden. The term is generally used to mean 'set aside' or 'withdrawn,' as in the books withdrawn from the Roman Catholic Old Testament by Protestants who limited their Old Testament to the Jewish scriptures written in Hebrew (i.e. the Hebrew Bible).
The terms apocrypha
are also often used to mean 'spurious' and used to refer to writings that some might consider to be scriptures, but most would consider illegitimate. For example, the Apocryphal New Testament
(i.e. New Testament Apocrypha
) is a collection gospels, acts, and letters that some early Christians considered authentic, but others rejected as heretical or considered them non-scriptural, but not necessarily heretical.For Further Reading
Michael D. Coogan, Marc Z. Bretter, Carol A. Newsom, & Pheme Perkins,
Bruce M. Metzger,
Daniel H. Harrington,
Lee M. McDonald,