They are not called apocrypha by the Orthodox Church. ‘Stories transmitted by contemporary media can also be understood in terms of canon and apocrypha.’ Origin Late Middle English from ecclesiastical Latin apocrypha (scripta) ‘hidden (writings)’, from Greek apokruphos, from apokruptein ‘hide away’. The word apocrypha comes from the Greek word ἀπόκρυφα, meaning "hidden." The Apocrypha as a whole is a motley group of texts, each related in their own way to the Bible. The word apocrypha, like many other words, has undergone a major change in meaning throughout the centuries. Apocrypha means those that were hidden.Generally, the term is applied to writings that were not part of the canon.There are several reasons why these texts were not included in the canon. All rights reserved. There are also apocryphal letters (e.g.,3 Corinthians, Letter to the Laodiceans [cf. III. Meaning of the Term “Apocrypha” When the term apokryphos occurs in the New Testament, it simply means “hidden things.” This original sense does not include the later meanings associated with it. Jer 36:4-8 ), extols the virtues of Wisdom, which is identified with the Law. Definition. of apokruphos secret, hidden from apokruptein to hide away apo-apo-kruptein kruph-to hide. These books that were removed are called the Apocrypha. The word comes from Ancient Greek ἀπόκρυφα (apokrypha). The Roman Catholic canon places the Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Esdras, and 2 Esdras in an appendix without implying canonicity. The Jews wrote numerous other works that are not included in any Christian canon. More interesting are the Additions to Esther. Others fill in gaps in the New Testament Gospels, usually with a heightened sense of the miraculous. The Russian Orthodox Church adds 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Psalm 151, and 3 Maccabees. Now the Catholic Church is not alone in accepting the Books which Protestants label as "Apocrypha." Judaism holds all the books of the New Testament - as well as the deuterocanonicals and anything else found in the Greek … Four books are associated, in name at least, with the Maccabees, those Jewish heroes who, led by Judas Maccabeus, waged the Maccabean Revolt in the second century b.c. The Greek Orthodox Church adds 1 Esdras, Psalm 151, the Prayer of Manasseh, and 3 Maccabees, with 4 Maccabees in an appendix. Rom. The Apocrypha (Greek, "hidden books") are Jewish books from that period not preserved in the Tanakh, but included in the Latin (Vulgate) and Greek (Septuagint) Old Testaments. Apocrypha Search: Books. Over time, however, the Apocrypha has fallen into disuse among Protestants. Ecclesiasticus contains the teachings, in a form resembling that of the Book of Proverbs, of a second century b.c. American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Third Maccabees tells not of the Maccabees, but of the plight of Egyptian Jews near the end of the third century b.c. The word "apocrypha" means "things put away" or "things hidden," originating from the Medieval Latin adjective apocryphus, "secret" or "non-canonical," which in turn originated from the Greek adjective ἀπόκρυφος (apokryphos), "obscure," from the verb ἀποκρύπτειν (apokryptein), "to hide away. These books are generally modeled after the literary forms found in the New Testament: there are apocryphal gospels, acts, letters, and revelations. Proud member Meaning of Apocrypha. of apokruphos, secret, hidden, from apokruptein, to hide away : apo-, apo- + kruptein, kruph-, to hide.] noun the Apocrypha (functioning as singular or plural) 1. the 14 books included as an appendix to the Old Testament in the Septuagint and the Vulgate but not included in the Hebrew canon. The Pseudepigrapha attest to the rich theological diversity within Judaism during the intertestamental period. The Name Apocrypha. It testifies to a developing demonology and angelology within Judaism, and emphasizes the importance of charitable deeds, containing some striking parallels to the ethical teaching in the New Testament, including a negative form of the Golden Rule (cf. The book contains numerous parallels to the ethical sections of the New Testament, especially the Book of James. They don’t say “The word of the Lord came to me…” •Many of the Apocryphal books teach heresy, contrary to the Word of God. That is because they were "first-written" in the Greek language. It is noteworthy for its expression of confidence that God will accept the sacrifice of a contrite heart and a humble spirit. The stories, themes, and language of these books (especially Judith, Tobit, Susanna, the Maccabees, Ecclesiasticus, and the Wisdom of Solomon) have been utilized by literary figures such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Longfellow, composers such as Charles Wesley, Handel, and Rubinstein, and artists such as Michaelangelo, Rembrandt, and van Dyck. Apart from his obvious support of the revolt and opposition to the hellenization of Judaism that preceded it, the author's primary religious perspective seems to be that God or, rather, heaven helps those who take initiative and trust in him. What does apocrypha mean? It includes significant discussions on the nature of sin and its connection with Adam (cf. The author praises and personifies (cf. Collectively, these fifteen extra books not found in the Hebrew or Protestant canon are also known as the Apocrypha. Apocrypha Definition The Septuagint is the first version of the Old Testament that contained the books of the Apocrypha. II. "Esoteric" in Greek Philosophy, etc. The text is believed to be the work of seventy Jewish scholars that assembled in Alexandria, Egypt around 285 to 247 B.C. The biblical apocrypha (from the Ancient Greek: ἀπόκρυφος, romanized: apókruphos, lit. The Additions to Daniel have a less unified purpose. The word “apocrypha” comes from the Greek word meaning "hidden" or "secret." These books (with the exception of 2 Esdras) were part of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible known as the Septuagint; however, none of the books of the Apocrypha were in the original Hebrew canon. In addition, the Apocalypse of Paul purports to give a detailed narration of Paul's rapture to the third heaven (cf. Many of them were attributed to major Old Testament figures; they are called the Pseudepigrapha. Today, Coptic, Greek and Russian Orthodox churches also accept these books as … Apocrypha "Apocrypha" comes from the Greek word apokrypha [ajpovkrufo"], which means "things that are hidden, secret. First Maccabees, the longest and most detailed account, is an especially important historical source for the revolt. Several of these writings are tied closely to Old Testament books. Fourth Maccabees, an imaginative elaboration on the martyrdoms in 2 Maccabees, is a distinctive melding of Greek and Jewish ideas. The Protestant Reformers, while affirming the unique authority of the Hebrew canon, allowed that the books of the Apocrypha were useful for reading. First, they are filled with supernatural deeds: miracles abound, especially the raising of the dead, and even a talking lion gets baptized. The Wisdom of Solomon, ostensibly related to Solomon, deliberates on the future reward of the righteous and punishment of the ungodly, sings the praises of Wisdom, and, through a retelling of the exodus story, celebrates God's exaltation of Israel through the very things by which her enemies were punished. The New Testament Apocrypha, though less influential, has contributed to the traditions about Jesus and the travels and fate of the apostles, not to mention the development of the Christian concept of hell, most notably through the Inferno of Dante. Over time, "apocrypha" took on a more negative connotation, due to the questionable origins and doubtful canonicity of these books. The Eastern Church It includes a powerful expression of contrition for sin and trust in the grace of God. Both in its overall orientation and in many of its details, 2 Esdras contains a number of striking parallels to the Book of Revelation, with which it is contemporary. Affirming the immortality of the righteous and the eternal punishment of the wicked, the author seeks to demonstrate that inspired reason, guided by the Law, is supreme ruler over the passions. The apocryphal Acts (Acts of Andrew, Acts of John, Acts of Paul, Acts of Peter, and Acts of Thomas) purport to trace the journeys of the apostles, with Thomas going all the way to India. Second Esdras centers around the theme of God's justice in the light of the devastating defeat of his people Israel by a godless nation. Two other Wisdom books are contained in the Apocrypha. Unlike the Old Testament Apocrypha, the New Testament Apocrypha have never been viewed as canonical by any of the major branches of Christianity, nor is there any reason to believe that the traditions they record have any historical validity. Prov 8:22-31 ) Wisdom, whom he identifies with the Law, and provides practical precepts for everyday living. Original Meanings (1) Classical (2) Hellenistic (3) In the New Testament (4) Patristic. noun (often used with a singular verb) (initial capital letter) a group of 14 books, not considered canonical, included in the Septuagint and the Vulgate as part of the Old Testament, but usually omitted from Protestant editions of the Bible. borrowed from Medieval Latin, neuter plural (for scripta apocrypha "uncanonical writings") of Late Latin apocryphus "secret, of doubtful authenticity, uncanonical," borrowed from Greek apókryphos "hidden, concealed, obscure," verbal adjective of apokrýptein "to hide (from), keep hidden (from)," from apo- apo- + krýptein "to conceal, hide" — more at crypt Most of the books were composed in Hebrew prior to the Christian era, but they apparently never were accepted by the Jews as part of the Hebrew canon. First Esdras, for example, is primarily a retelling of the material found in 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23, Ezra, and Nehemiah 7:6-8:12; Psalm 151 purports to be an additional psalm of David. Three features in these books stand out. The Gospel of Peter presents, after an otherwise straightforward account of the crucifixion, a vivid narration of the resurrection of Jesus: two angels come down from heaven, enter the tomb, and exit with Jesus, followed by a talking Cross. The word Apocrypha comes from the Greek word, meaning “hidden” or “concealed”. "The Apocrypha" refers to two collections of ancient Jewish and Christian writings that have certain affinities with the various books of the Old Testament and New Testament but were not canonized by Christians as a whole: the Old Testament Apocrypha, which are still viewed as canonical by some Christians, and the New Testament Apocrypha, which are not. Definition. Some Christian churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament. 2 Col 12:2 ). The Apocrypha are still regarded as part of the canon of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, and as … 2. A user from Maryland, U.S. says the name Apocrypha is of Greek origin and means "One who is exalted, hidden and secret". The Gospel of Nicodemus (also called the Acts of Pilate), provides a detailed account of Jesus' trial and descent into hell. The Books of the so called Apocrypha Early Christian Usage "Apocalyptic" Literature. Salem Media Group. In the formation of the Christian canon of Scripture, “apocrypha” came to mean works that were not divinely inspired and authoritative. Affirmations, among other things, of the preexistence and immortality of the soul indicate a considerable degree of Greek influence upon the author. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas narrates Jesus' childhood from age five to age twelve, with the child Jesus performing numerous miracles, sometimes to the point of absurdity (e.g., bringing clay sparrows to life). Properly plural (the single would be Apocryphon or apocryphum), but commonly treated as a collective singular. Second Esdras, purportedly composed by Ezra, was written in response to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in a.d. 70. The Old Testament Apocrypha, often referred to simply as "the Apocrypha, " is a collection of Jewish books that are included in the Old Testament canons of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians, but not of Protestants. Both books are of first importance for understanding the historical setting for Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of rededication of the temple, which originates from the Maccabean Revolt. late 14c., Apocrifa, in reference to the apocryphal books of the Bible, from Late Latin apocrypha (scripta), from neuter plural of apocryphus "secret, not approved for public reading," from Greek apokryphos "hidden; obscure, hard to understand," thus "(books) of unknown authorship" (especially those included in the Septuagint and Vulgate but not originally written in Hebrew and not counted as genuine by the Jews), from apo "off, away" (see apo-) + kryptein "to hide" (see crypt). Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Usage as to Apocrypha. The Roman Catholic Apocrypha consists of Tobit, Judith, the Additions to Esther, the Additions to Daniel (the Prayer of Azariah and the Three Young Men, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon), the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (also called Sirach), Baruch (also called 1 Baruch), the Letter of Jeremiah, 1 Maccabees, and 2 Maccabees. The latter present, in contrast to the relatively reserved statements in the New Testament, vivid descriptions of hell, where sinners are punished in accordance with their sins: blasphemers, for example, hang by their tongues over a blazing fire. What the Protestant churches call apocrypha, the Catholic Church calls the deuterocanonicals (or "second canon"), but it considers three books held as canon by the Eastern Orthodox churches as apocrypha. Apart from the issue of canonicity, the Old Testament Apocrypha has had a pronounced and pervasive influence on Western culture. Second, they promote a celibate lifestyle, even among husbands and wives. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. Bibliography. Although the literature is too vast and varied to summarize here, many Pseudepigrapha contain visionary journeys through heaven (or a series of heavens) and hell, an increased interest in angels and demons, speculations on the origins of sin and the nature of the final judgment, various expectations of a Messiah, predictions of the end of time, and ethical exhortations. Two books are associated with Jeremiah: the Letter of Jeremiah is an attack on idolatry, and Baruch, attributed to Jeremiah's secretary (cf. 5), the limitations of human understanding, the signs of the end, the final judgment, the intermediate state between death and the final judgment, the destruction of the Roman Empire, and the coming Messiah. late 14c., Apocrifa, in reference to the apocryphal books of the Bible, from Late Latin apocrypha (scripta), from neuter plural of apocryphus "secret, not approved for public reading," from Greek apokryphos "hidden; obscure, hard to understand," thus " (books) of unknown authorship" (especially those included in the Septuagint and Vulgate but not originally written in Hebrew and not counted as … Yet it must be confessed that the early Fathers, and the Church , during the first three centuries, were more indulgent towards Jewish pseudographs circulating under venerable Old Testament names. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha are two separate groups of works dating primarily from the period of the Second Temple. Terms and definitions . APOCRYPHA AND PSEUDEPIGRAPHA Definition. Inserted at strategic points, these clearly secondary additions, which include among other things prayers by Mordecai and Esther, serve to give a distinctively religious slant to the Book of Esther, otherwise noted for its failure to mention God or even prayer. Two of the most popular books in the Apocrypha tell the stories, undoubtedly legendary, of two otherwise unknown Jews. Another noteworthy (and secondary) prayer is the Prayer of Manasseh, apparently composed to give content to the prayer of repentance offered by Manasseh that is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 33:12-13. 1 The Septuagint was produced in Alexandria, Egypt, around 200 BC, but the individual books that constitute the Apocrypha were written roughly between 400 BC and AD 1. Apocrypha is a loanword borrowed from Latin, from Greek Apokrupha, neuter pl. The Septuagint (which means "seventy") is a Greek-based version of the Hebrew-based Old Testament. Christians tod… The Apocrypha are religious texts that are in some versions of the Catholic Bible.Other versions omit them. Apocrypha is a relative term. Apocrypha "Apocrypha" comes from the Greek word apokrypha [ajpovkrufo"], which means "things that are hidden, secret. "Apocrypha" comes from the Greek word apokrypha [ajpovkrufo"], which means "things that are hidden, secret." Apocrypha The Apocrypha (Greek, "hidden books") is a group of 13 Jewish texts written from about the 5th to 1st centuries BCE, between the times of the Old Testament and New Testament. Matt 7:12 ). The term has several meanings, which are important to distinguish. The Prayer of Azariah and the Three Young Men, placed after Daniel 3:23, is a prayer of trust in God offered up by Azariah (i.e., Abednego Dan 1:7 ) and his companions (Shadrach and Meshach) in the fiery furnace. APOCRYPHA •They are not, and have never been, in the Jewish canon (written in Greek not Hebrew) •None of the Apocrypha claim inspiration or divine authority. Tobit, purportedly from the time of the Assyrian exile, combines the themes of quest, romance, and overcoming the demonic in a story of God's healing of his faithful servant Tobit and deliverance of the unfortunate widow Sarah. They are included in the Orthodox Bible because they were included in the Septuagint which was in use at the time of Jesus, and the authors of the New Testament. ; its focus is on God's faithfulness to his people. Originally, the term was reserved for books with content considered too sacred and grand to make accessible to the general public. [Middle English apocripha, not authentic, from Late Latin Apocrypha, the Apocrypha, from Greek Apokrupha, neuter pl. Submit the origin and/or meaning of Apocrypha to us below 1 Maccabees is famously written in a Greek that appears to be translated in a way that preserves the classical biblical style of the Deuteronomic historian. The name "Apocrypha" is applied to a collection of books not included in the canon of the Bible although they are incorporated in the canon of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. They were eventually included in Christian copies of the Greek Old Testament and, later, the Latin Vulgate. The New Testament Apocrypha is an amorphous collection of writings that are for the most part either about, or pseudonymously attributed to, New Testament figures. For usage information, please read the Baker Book House Copyright Statement. Nonetheless, some of these books were widely used by Christians throughout the Middle Ages and have left their mark on the church. of Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Non-Biblical sense "writing of doubtful authorship or authenticity" is from 1735. Copyright © 2021, Bible Study Tools. The Apocrypha first appeared in a Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint (LXX). 1. Third, they glorify martyrdom, especially among the apostles: Andrew is crucified, Paul is beheaded, Peter is crucified upside down, and Thomas is executed with spears; only John is spared a martyr's death. It comes from Greek and is formed from the combination of apo (away) and krytein (hide or conceal). J. H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha; J. K. Elliott, ed., The Apocryphal New Testament; E. Hennecke and W. Schneemelcher, eds., New Testament Apocrypha; B. M. Metzger, An Introduction to the Apocrypha; G. W. E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature Between the Bible and the Mishnah; E. Schrer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ; H. F. D. Sparks, ed., The Apocryphal Old Testament; M. E. Stone, ed., Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period. Set in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, Judith is a vivid and dramatic narrative of a beautiful Jewish widow, who, through a combination of extraordinary courage and trust in God, delivers her people in a time of crisis. A large portion of the Apocrypha, however, was officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church (noted below with a *) as part of the biblical canon at the Council of Trent in A.D. 1546. Second Maccabees is more openly theological and affirms such ideas as the glories of martyrdom, the sufferings of the martyr as being expiatory for the sins of the nation, the resurrection of the body, prayer for the dead, and the intercession of the saints. Jewish teacher named Jesus ben Sira. Numerous apocryphal gospels were produced by early Christians. Menu ... Middle English apocripha not authentic from Late Latin Apocrypha the Apocrypha from Greek Apokrupha neuter pl. Search for more names by meaning . The term generally refers to religious writings found in the Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, but not in the Hebrew Bible. Susanna (chapter 13 of the Greek Daniel) is a delightful little story affirming God's vindication of those who hope in him, and Bel and the Dragon (chapter 14 of the Greek Daniel) exposes the folly of idolatry. 1. Jews in the time of Jesus, Paul, the Apostles, and the early church called them Scripture. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. Concerning these ancient books, the word apocrypha originally meant a text too sacred and secret to be in everyone's hands. The names for these writings can differ between Protestants and Catholics. 'hidden') denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books thought to have been written some time between 200 BC and 400 AD. 2. I. The Books called the Apocrypha consist of 14 books originally attached to the Greek Old Testament that were not in the Hebrew-written Bible. Many of them, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, and the Dialogue of the Savior, were composed by heretical groups like the Gnostics and purport to give "secret, " unorthodox teachings of Jesus. •Found in the Greek Septuagint (Ezekiel 8) At an early date they were translated into Greek and in this form came to be used by Christians as early as the end of the first century a.d. Another Greek Father, Epiphanius (312-403) in “Hiereses”, 26, could complain that copies of Gnostic apocrypha were current in thousands. against the Greek tyrant Antiochus IV, who attempted to ban the practice of Judaism. What does Apocrypha mean? They were included in the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures (Septuagint) and in the Christian Bible until the Reformation. Col 4:16 , and Pseudo-Titus ), which tend to reflect heretical notions, and apocryphal apocalypses (e.g., Apocalypse of Peter and Apocalypse of Paul). The Protevangelium of James, for example, tells the story of Mary's birth, childhood, and eventual marriage to Joseph (a widower with children), culminating in a detailed account of the birth of Jesus (in a cave) and a strong affirmation of Mary's virginity. Dictionary ! 14 books of the Old Testament included in the Vulgate (except for II Esdras) but omitted in Jewish and Protestant versions of the Bible, eastern Christian churches (except the Coptic Church) accept all these books as canonical, the Russian Orthodox Church accepts these texts as divinely inspired but does not grant them the same status. Apocrypha is a plural word (singular: apocryphan) that originally denoted hidden or secret writings, to be read only by initiates into a given Christian group. 1 Esdras 2 Esdras Tobit Judith Esther (Greek) Wisdom of Solomon Ecclesiasticus (Sira) Baruch Epistle of Jeremiah Prayer of Azariah Susanna Bel and the Dragon Prayer of Manasseh 1 Maccabees 2 Maccabees. Information and translations of Apocrypha in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. The Old Testament Apocrypha .