Apocrypha

Apocrypha (Uh-pok´ruh-fuh)

A group of books or parts of books that were not part of the Jewish canon of the Hebrew scriptures, but that were found in the Greek translation of those scriptures (LXX). The books were included in most early Christian versions of the OT (since the LXX was the version of the Bible most used by the first Christians). Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians regard them as scripture and often prefer to call them deuterocanonical books (indicating that they are a “secondary canon” consisting of books added to the canon later than other OT writings). Most Protestants treat them with respect but do not grant them the status of scripture. The books include 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Additions to Daniel (Song of the Three Children [with the Prayer of Azariah], Susanna, Bel and the Dragon), Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Maccabees, and 2 Maccabees. Three additional works are accepted by Greek Orthodox churches: 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, and Psalm 151.

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