Revelation 22:18-19 (KJV)
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
The Apocrypha are documents that were not accepted into the canon of the New Testament by the orthodox church. The New Testament Apocrypha are those writings that were written by ancient Christians that were not accepted into the New Testament, while the Old Testament Apocrypha consist of Jewish documents that were not accepted into
the Old Testament. The Old Testament Apocrypha can be found on the Noncanonical Homepage.
What is the Apocrypha (or the 14 missing books of the Bible)?
The term "apocrypha" was coined by the fifth-century biblical scholar
St. Jerome and refers to the biblical books included as part of the
Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament), but not
included in the Hebrew Bible.
Several works ranging from the fourth century B.C.E. to New
Testament times are considered apocryphal--including Judith,
the Wisdom of Solomon, Tobit, Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), Baruch,
First and Second Maccabees, the two Books of Esdras, various
additions to the Book of Esther (10:4-10), the Book of
Daniel (3:24-90;13;14), and the Prayer of Manasseh.
The apocrypha have been variously included and omitted from Bibles
over the course of the centuries. Protestant churches generally exclude
the apocrypha (though the King James version of 1611 included them).
The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches include all of the apocrypha
(except for the books of Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh), but refer
to them as "deuterocanonical" books. In this context, the term
"apocrypha" generally refers to writings entirely outside of the
biblical canon and not considered inspired (such as the Gospel of Thomas).
These same books are referred to by Protestants as the "pseudoepigrapha."
The New Testament.
The same fourfold categorization of Homologoumena, Antilegomena, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha can be made for the New Testament books. Key to the acceptance of a New Testament book as canonical was the recognition that the book manifested apostolic authority; that is, that it was written or, confirmed by the ministry of the apostles.
Twenty of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament are generally accepted by all to belong to the New Testament canon. These include all the books from Matthew to Philemon, plus I Peter and I John. The set of books over which there was some question of canonicity (the Antilegomena) consist of Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation. In most cases, doubts were raised about these books because there was uncertainty about the authorship of the books.
Part of the problem in confirming authorship lay in the fact that--unlike the Old Testament books that were received by a localized community of Jewish believers--the New Testament community of believers was dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. Persecutions, as well as transportation and communication obstacles, impeded the circulation of writings across the far-flung communities of believers. Some books that were considered canonical in the eastern part of the Roman empire were not well known in the western part of the empire, and vice versa. Thus, it took time to sort through the evidences in favor of authenticity. The process culminated in the major councils of Hippo (393 A.D.), Carthage (397 A.D.), and again in Carthage (419 A.D.). All three councils agreed to the same set of books in setting the New Testament canon.
The most seriously considered books among the Aprocrypha are the Epistle of PseudoBarnabas, the Epistle to the Corinthians, the Second Epistle of Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache, the Acts of Paul and Thecla, the Gospel According to the Hebrews, the Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, and the Seven Epistles of Ignatius. However, in the end, none of these books enjoyed any more than a temporary or local recognition. Most importantly, no church council included them as inspired books of the New Testament because, upon investigation, their prophetic genuineness could not be established.
Old Testament Apocrypha
The Apocrypha (as found in the original 1611 KJV Bible)
The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books
The Apocrypha contains history that sheds additional light on the Old and New Testaments. This is the order of Apocryhpa books as found in the original 1611 first edition of the King James Version Bible.
Connect to the Internet and click on these links.
- 1 Esdras
- 2 Esdras
- Esther (Greek)
- Wisdom of Solomon
- Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
- Letter of Jeremiah [Jeremy] (sometimes Chapter Six of Baruch)
- Prayer of Azariah (The Song of the Three Holy Children)
- Bel and the Dragon
- Prayer of Manasses King of Judah
- 1 Maccabees
- 2 Maccabees
Song of Solomon
MCAC Audio Page