After the Fall of Jerusalem (70 CE) the future of Judaism was maintained by rabbis of the Pharisaic tradition. They accepted as authoritative the twenty-four books of the Hebrew scriptures but rejected a number of Jewish works which were used in Alexandria and which are known to us in MSS of the LXX and called the Apocrypha (Greek for ‘things hidden away’). Being composed after the time of Ezra, when prophecy was held to have ceased, these Greek works, even if originally composed in Hebrew (e.g. 1 Macc.), were unacceptable. By and large, the Christians accepted the longer list—though when Jerome translated the OT into Latin for his Vulgate, he treated the apocryphal additions as edifying but not part of the canon. Eventually, however, the writings which Jerome had rejected were included from the Old Latin version which Jerome had worked so hard to supersede.
The books of the Apocrypha are called deuterocanonical (= at second-level) by Roman Catholics, to distinguish them from protocanonical (= first-level) books, but they are regarded as authoritative and included at appropriate places within the body of the OT. (But 3 and 4 Esdras were rejected as authoritative by the Council of Trent (1545–64) and relegated to an appendix.) At the Reformation Protestants reverted to the shorter canon of the Hebrew OT because they detected in 2 Macc. hints of the doctrine of purgatory, which they repudiated; they also claimed to find in Tobit the unacceptable Catholic doctrine of justification by works. Luther's Bible of 1534 relegated these books to an appendix. The Church of England included the Apocrypha ‘for example of life and instruction of manners’ but not for the establishment of doctrine. The exact extent of the Apocrypha is not universally agreed, and some of the books are known by different titles. A list is given in the Introduction to this Dictionary.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Apocrypha — (from the Greek word Polytonic|ἀπόκρυφα, meaning those having been hidden away [Specifically, Polytonic|ἀπόκρυφα is the neuter plural of ἀπόκρυφος, a participle derived from the verb ἀποκρύπτω [infinitive: ἀποκρύπτειν] , to hide something away .] …   Wikipedia

  • Apocrypha — • A long article with a comments on each Apocryphal book. Classified according to origin Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Apocrypha     Apocrypha      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Apocrypha — A*poc ry*pha, n. pl., but often used as sing. with pl. {Apocryphas}. [L. apocryphus apocryphal, Gr. ? hidden, spurious, fr. ? to hide; ? from + ? to hide.] 1. Something, as a writing, that is of doubtful authorship or authority; formerly used… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Apocrypha — ► PLURAL NOUN (treated as sing. or pl. ) ▪ those books of the Old Testament not accepted as part of Hebrew scripture and excluded from the Protestant Bible at the Reformation. ORIGIN from Latin apocrypha scripta hidden writings …   English terms dictionary

  • apocrypha — [ə päk′rə fə] pl.n. [ME apocrifa < LL(Ec) apocrypha (pl. of apocryphus) < Gr apokryphos, hidden, obscure < apokryptein < apo , away + kryptein, to hide: see CRYPT] 1. any writings, anecdotes, etc., of doubtful authenticity or… …   English World dictionary

  • APOCRYPHA — sic libri dicti, qui publice primo non legebantur in Ecclesia. Ludovicus Vives, in l. 1.5. de Civ. Dei c. 23. Vel, quia apud Iudaeos, a facra illa crypta, in qua libri Canonici asser vabantur, abfuerunt: Augustin. l. 11. contra Faustum, c. 2.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Apocrypha — Apocrypha, the a collection of Jewish writings which form part of the ↑Old Testament in some bibles. They do not appear in the ↑Hebrew bible, or many modern bibles …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Apocrypha — late 14c., neuter plural of L.L. apocryphus secret, not approved for public reading, from Gk. apokryphos hidden; obscure, thus (books) of unknown authorship (especially those included in the Septuagint and Vulgate but not originally written in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Apocrypha —    The term Apocrypha generally refers to those ancient Hebrew books that were originally included in the Latin Vulgate Bible compiled and edited by St. Jerome (c. 347 419/420), even though they were not considered canonical by most Jews at the… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • apocrypha — /euh pok reuh feuh/, n. (often used with a sing. v.) 1. (cap.) a group of 14 books, not considered canonical, included in the Septuagint and the Vulgate as part of the Old Testament, but usually omitted from Protestant editions of the Bible. See… …   Universalium

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