Apocrypha and Deutrocanon

Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Old Testament that are not part of the Hebrew Bible. The term is used in contrast to the protocanonical books, which are contained in the Hebrew Bible. This distinction had previously contributed to debate in the early Church about whether they should be read in the churches and thus be classified as canonical texts. The term is used as a matter of convenience by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and other Churches to refer to books of their Old Testament which are not part of the Masoretic Text.
The Deuterocanonical books are considered canonical by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, but are considered non-canonical by most Protestants. The word deuterocanonical comes from the Greek meaning ‘belonging to the second canon’.
The original usage of the term distinguished these scriptures both from those considered non-canonical and from those considered protocanonical. However, some editions of the Bible include text from both deuterocanonical and non-canonical scriptures in a single section designated “Apocrypha”. This arrangement can lead to conflation between the otherwise distinct terms “deuterocanonical” and “apocryphal”.

The Biblical apocrypha (from the Greek word ἀπόκρυφος, apókruphos, meaning “hidden”) denotes the collection of ancient books found, in some editions of the Bible, in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments or as an appendix after the New Testament. Although the term apocrypha had been in use since the 5th century, it was in Luther’s Bible of 1534 that the Apocrypha was first published as a separate intertestamental section. Luther was making a polemical point about the canonicity of these books. As an authority for this division, he cited St. Jerome, who in the early 5th century distinguished the Hebrew and Greek Old Testaments, stating that books not found in the Hebrew were not received as canonical. Although his statement was controversial in his day, Jerome was later titled a Doctor of the Church and his authority was also cited in the Anglican statement in 1571 of the Thirty-Nine Articles.

There was agreement among the Reformers that the Apocrypha contained “books proceeding from godly men” and therefore recommended reading. The Geneva Bible said this in 1560:

   These bokes that follow in order unto the Newe testament, are called Apocrypha, that is, bokes, which were not received by a comune consent to be red and expounded publickely in the Church, neither yet served to prove any point of Christian religion, save inasmuche as they had the consent of the other Scriptures called Canonical to confirme the same, or rather whereon they were grounded : but as bokes proceding from godlie men, were received to be red for the advancement and furtherance of the knowledge of the historie, and for the instruction of godlie maners : which bokes declare that at all times God had an especial care of his Church and left them not utterly destitute of teachers and meanes to confirme them in the hope of the promised Messiah, and also witnesse that those calamities that God sent to his Church, were according to his providence, who had bothe so threatened by his Prophetes, and so broght it to passe for the destruction of their enemies, and for the tryal of his children.

Later, during the English Civil War, the Westminster Confession of 1647 excluded the Apocrypha from the canon and made no recommendation of the Apocrypha above “other human writings”, and, as the Catholic Encyclopedia says, “…the name Apocrypha soon came to have an unfavourable signification which it still retains, comporting both want of genuineness and canonicity.” This hostile attitude towards the Apocrypha (considered Catholic by some British Protestants) is represented by the refusal of the British and Foreign Bible Society in the early 19th century to print it.
Catholic and Orthodox Christians regard as fully canonical most of these books called Apocrypha, and their canonicity was explicitly affirmed at the Council of Trent in 1546 and Synod of Jerusalem (1672) respectively. They are called deuterocanonical by Catholics and anagignoskomena by the Orthodox.

(wikipedia)

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