Apocrypha is the word most commonly used in reference to texts considered by Protestants to be non-
canonical and not legitimately part of the Bible; however, they are included in some protestant Bibles between the O.T and N.T. and labelled Apocrypha. These writings are however considered
canonical and included as part of the O.T. Scriptures in
Roman Catholic and
Eastern Orthodox Bibles.
Disagreement between Christian Churches is almost non-existent about the canon of the New Testament, but the inclusion of some books in the Old Testament canon is disputed.
Although the apocryphal books may be of roughly similar style and age as the accepted
canonical Scriptures, many of which were included in versions of the early Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint), these Jewish writings are not part of the Hebrew Bible (the
Masoretic text). Since these books were primarily written in the intermediate time between the Old and New Testaments, Protestant scholars sometimes call them "intertestamental" writings, and view them as no different
from other historical writings.
Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox consider these texts equally canonical as books of the Bible, with Catholics terming them
deuterocanonical (from Greek: second canon). This is primarily based on their inclusion in the Septuagint and the fact that many of the
early church fathers frequently quoted from them. The Vulgate was basically a Latin translation of the Septuagint.
The Church of England takes an intermediate position on the Apocrypha; its Sixth Article of Religion says of them "the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them
to establish any doctrine".
The Old Testament Apocrypha
Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox
- 1 Maccabees
- 2 Maccabees
- Ben Sira
- Letter of Jeremiah
Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox
- 1 Esdras
- 3 Maccabees
- Psalm 151
Russian and Oriental Orthodox