work of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin
Apocrypha (Gr. ἀπόκρυφος, ‘the hidden [things]’) are the biblical books received by the early Church as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebrew Bible, being excluded by the non-Hellenistic Jews from their canon. Their position in Christian usage has been ambiguous.There are several levels of dubiety within the general concept of apocryphal works in Judeo-Christian biblical writings. Apocrypha per se are outside the Hebrew Bible canon, not considered divinely inspired but regarded as worthy of study by the faithful. Pseudepigrapha are spurious works ostensibly written by a biblical figure. Deuterocanonical works are those that are accepted in one canon but not in all.Biblical apocrypha are a set of texts included in the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, but not in the Hebrew Bible. While the Catholic tradition considers seven of these books to be deuterocanonical, Protestants consider fourteen intertestamental books as Apocrypha, that is, non-canonical books that are useful for instruction. Luther's Bible placed them in a separate section called the Apocrypha, setting the pattern for subsequent versions of 80 book Protestant Bibles that include the Old Testament, Apocrypha and New Testament.Other non-canonical apocryphal texts are generally called pseudepigrapha, a term that means "false attribution".
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