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What Is the Apocrypha?


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The Apocrypha denotes a set of books not considered authoritative, or divinely inspired, in Judaism and Protestant Christian churches, and therefore, not accepted into the canon of Scripture. A large portion of the Apocrypha, however, was officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church* as part of the biblical canon at the Council of Trent in A.D. 1546. Today, Coptic, Greek and Russian Orthodox churches also accept these books as divinely inspired by God.

The word apocrypha means "hidden." These books were written primarily in the time period between the Old and New Testaments (B.C. 420-27).

Books of the Apocrypha

  • 1 and 2 Esdras
  • Tobit*
  • Judith*
  • Wisdom of Solomon*
  • Sirach* (also called Ecclesiasticus)
  • Baruch*
  • Letter of Jeremiah
  • Song of the Three Young Men
  • Susanna
  • Bel and the Dragon
  • Prayer of Manasseh
  • 1 and 2 Maccabees*
  • Additions to the book of Esther*
  • Additions to the book of Daniel*

Pronunciation: uh PAW kruh fuh

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