Bibles in a church in Oxfordshire by rakkar via Flickr

The term apocrypha has different meanings, according to the beliefs of those using it. These meanings can be summed up as:

  • Religious texts considered inauthentic by Protestant denominations but included in the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Bibles. These extra books are found in ancient Greek and Latin versions of the Old Testament but not in the Hebrew. Hebrew versions either never existed or didn’t survive. Nobody knows for sure, neither scholars nor religious persons.
  • Biblical books considered inauthentic by Catholics but included in the Greek orthodox canon.
Medieval Apocrypha Illustration by notiX va Flickr

Generally speaking, apocryphal books are considered to be of some merit but “not quite right.”

The fact that there’s overlap and difference among demoninations is interesting but hardly surprising, considering the historical development of books considered sacred in the West.

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