The Words That Make Up the Bible
Frequently Asked Questions
The Apocrypha is a collection of writings found in the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, but not included in the Hebrew canon of Scripture. They are not accepted by Protestants as inspired writings. The Roman Catholic church accepts 12 of these books as "deuterocanonical," that is, inspired, but not on the same level as the other books of the Old and New Testament.
They were written between 200 B.C. and A.D. 200. There is some interesting historical material in some of these books, but they do not have the same level of authenticity as do the inspired writings of the apostles and prophets. Protestants generally refer to these books as the "Apocrypha," which means "hidden books." *
*The statements below provide more insight into writings that are often referred to as extra-biblical.
"The Apocrypha (Greek, "hidden books") are Jewish books from that period not preserved in the Tanakh, but included in the Latin (Vulgate) and Greek (Septuagint) Old Testaments. The Apocrypha are still regarded as part of the canon of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, and as such, their number is fixed."
"The term Pseudepigrapha (Greek, "falsely attributed") was given to Jewish writings of the same period, which were attributed to authors who did not actually write them. This was widespread in Greco-Roman antiquity - in Jewish, Christian, and pagan circles alike. Books were attributed to pagan authors, and names drawn from the repertoire of biblical personalities, such as Adam, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Ezekiel, Baruch, and Jeremiah. The Pseudepigrapha resemble the Apocrypha in general character, yet were not included in the Bible, Apocrypha, or rabbinic literature."
Source: Jewish Virtual Enterprise, Jewish Virtual Library.com
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