A•poc•ry•pha

A•poc•ry•pha

normally refers to a group of books, not considered canonical by Jews or Protestants, that until 1827 were included (though clearly separated from the canon of the Old and New Testament) in every English Bible printed. The majority of these books were originally written in Greek and come from the time between the Testaments. Though the original meaning of the Greek word “apocrypha” was “hidden things,” the usage of the term shifted over the centuries to mean something more like, “of doubtful authenticity.” While these books are not inspired, some of them can be quite usefully historically and otherwise. Roman Catholics consider the majority of these books to be canonical and intersperse them throughout the Old Testament. The canon of the Greek Orthodox includes them all as well as some books not normally included in the “Apocrypha.” Confusingly, Catholic scholars use the term “Apocrypha” to refer to another group of books that most others refer to as the “Pseudepigrapha.”