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A*poc"ry*pha, n. pl., but often used as sing. with pl. Apocryphas. Etym: [L. apocryphus apocryphal, Gr.
1. Something, as a writing, that is of doubtful authorship or authority; -- formerly used also adjectively. [Obs.] Locke.
2. Specif.: Certain writings which are received by some Christians as an authentic part of the Holy Scriptures, but are rejected by others.
Note: Fourteen such writings, or books, formed part of the Septuagint, but not of the Hebrew canon recognized by the Jews of Palestine. The Council of Trent included all but three of these in the canon of inspired books having equal authority. The German and English Reformers grouped them in their Bibles under the title Apocrypha, as not having dogmatic authority, but being profitable for instruction. The Apocrypha is now commonly omitted from the King James Bible and most other English versions of Scripture. Note: the word is normally capitalised in this usage.
---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Apocrypha - Hidden, spurious,
the name given to certain ancient books which found a place in the LXX. and Latin Vulgate versions of the Old Testament, and were appended to all the great translations made from them in the sixteenth century, but which have no claim to be regarded as in any sense parts of the inspired Word.
(1.) They are not once quoted by the New Testament writers, who frequently quote from the LXX. Our Lord and His apostles confirmed by their authority the ordinary Jewish canon, which was the same in all respects as we now have it.
(2.) These books were written not in Hebrew but in Greek, and during the "period of silence," from the time of Malachi, after which oracles and direct revelations from God ceased till the Christian era.
(3.) The contents of the books themselves show that they were no part of Scripture. The New Testament Apocrypha consists of a very extensive literature, which bears distinct evidences of its non-apostolic origin, and is utterly unworthy of regard.
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