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The Apocrypha
Also known as the Deutero-Canonical Writings
word 'apocrypha' means hidden away. In its Christian usage it refers to those writings of Jewish origin, sometimes used in the synagogue, but that were never accepted into the Jewish canon of holy Scripture.
These writings, all of which are included in the Jewish Septuagint (Greek) and Vulgate (Latin) versions of the Old Testament, were not recognised as holy Scripture by Israel although some were originally written in Hebrew.
According to the New Testament record, Jesus never quoted from any portion of the Apocrypha, nor did the first apostles ever allude to any part of it, as far as we can ascertain. They were used illustratively among some the early Christian churches but, following the Jewish example, rejected their canonicity and authority. This attitude continued in the Christian churches through most of the Middle Ages.
division of opinion today regarding the inspiration and authority of the Apocrypha is principally the schism between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. In general the non-Catholic churches have continued the earlier concept of holding the Apocrypha as useful human writings without any place in the sacred canon of Scripture. The Roman Catholic church, at the Council of Trent in 1546, decreed certain apocryphal writings to be canonical (authoritative).
The books of the Apocrypha include:
1 Esdras; 2 Esdras; Tobit; Judith; Wisdom of Solomon; Ecclesiasticus or Sirach;
Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah; the Prayer of Manasseh; 1 Maccabees; and 2 Maccabees;
Greek additions to Esther; several additional sections of Daniel, including the Prayer of Azariah;
the Song of the Three Young Men; Susanna; and, Bel and the Dragon.
The Orthodox Church also includes 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, and Psalm 151.
misleading influence toward crediting these writings with Bible authority began in the North African church from about the fourth century AD.
The thirty nine Articles of the Church of England (1562) and the Westminster Confession (1643) both rejected the canonicity (authority) of these apocryphal writings. The Apocrypha had previously been introduced into the English version of the Coverdale Bible in 1535, and so was included in the King James version in 1611 between the Old and New Testaments. It began to be omitted from about 1629 and is today excluded from all Bibles issued by the British and Foreign Bible Society.
Some have suggested that these extra books were part of a so-called Alexandrian canon for it was in that city that the Septuagint translation was produced. But, the famous Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria (1st century), although quoting extensively from the Old Testament canon "never once quotes from any apocryphal books" (Archer 1974:73). In addition, the Jewish Aquila version of the Old Testament (early 2nd century), which supplanted the Septuagint in the synagogues of the diaspora, did not contain the Apocrypha. Jewish historian and scholar Josephus (1st century) totally rules out the apocryphal books both by his count of the canonical and his statement that from the time of Malachi no further canonical writings were composed, although records were kept –
"because the exact succession of the prophets ceased" and
"no one has dared to add anything to them, or take anything from them, or alter anything in them"
(Archer 1974:75).
church leaders who make mention of the canon, such as Bishop Melito of Sardis (170 AD), Tertullian, Origen, and Hilary of Poitiers confirm by their count of books the exclusion of the apocryphal writings from any place in the sacred canon as well as of other religious writings that have claimed authoritative inspiration.
Roman Catholic church view of the Apocrypha was confirmed by their Vatican Council of 1870.
The Ethiopian church admits additional apocryphal writings not admitted by Rome.
see List of early fraudulent writings
otherwise called apocryphal or pseudo-ephigraphical

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