The apocrypha is a selection of books which were published in the original 1611 King James Bible. The Apocrypha refer to texts which are left out of officially sanctioned versions (‘canon’) of the Bible. The term means ‘things hidden away,’ which implies secret or esoteric literature. However, none of these texts were ever considered secret. These apocryphal books were positioned between the Old and New Testament (it also contained maps and geneologies). Jerome rejected the Deuterocanonical books when he was translating the Bible into Latin circa 450 CE, (see the Vulgate). This was because no Hebrew version of these texts could be found, even though they were present in the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint). However, they eventually were accepted by the Church, and most of them remained part of the Bible. Protestants rejected these books during the Reformation as lacking divine authority. They either excised them completely or placed them in a third section of the Bible. The Roman Catholic Council of Trent, on the other hand, declared in 1546 that the Deuterocanonical books were indeed divine. The apocrypha was a part of the KJV for 274 years until being removed in 1885 A.D. A portion of these books were called deuterocanonical books by some entities, such as the Catholic church. In some Protestant Bibles, they are placed between the New and Old Testament. In the Roman Catholic Bibles the books are interspersed with the rest of the text. In this case they are also called ‘Deuterocanonical’, which means ‘secondary canon.’ The books on this page are all Deuterocanonical.
Of these books, Tobias, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch, and Maccabees, remain in the Catholic Bible. First Esdras, Second Esdras, Epistle of Jeremiah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh, Prayer of Azariah, and Laodiceans are not today considered part of the Catholic apocrypha.
With one exception, all of these books are considered ‘Old Testament’. The apocryphal New Testament ‘Letter of Paul to the Laodiceans’, was once incorporated in many versions of the Bible. However Laodiceans is now considered just a pastiche of other Epistles, and is omitted from contemporary Bibles.
There are many other apocryphal books, which do not fall into the ‘Deuterocanonical’ category, such as the many additional New Testament Gospels, and the apocalyptic book of Enoch. I have added a few.
Many claim the apocrypha should never have been included in the first place, raising doubt about its validity and believing it was not God-inspired (for instance, a reference about magic seems inconsistent with the rest of the Bible: Tobit chapter 6, verses 5-8). Others believe it is valid and that it should never have been removed- that it was considered part of the Bible for nearly 2,000 years before it was recently removed a little more than 100 years ago. Some say it was removed because of not finding the books in the original Hebrew manuscripts. Others claim it wasn’t removed by the church, but by printers to cut costs in distributing Bibles in the United States. Both sides tend to cite the same verses that warn against adding or subtracting from the Bible: Revelation 22:18. The word ‘apocrypha’ literally means ‘hidden.’ Fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls dating back to before 70 A.D. contained parts of the apocrypha books in Hebrew, including Sirach and Tobit.
Keep this in mind when reading the following apocryphal books. Martin Luther said, “Apocrypha–that is, books which are not regarded as equal to the holy Scriptures, and yet are profitable and good to read.” (King James Version Defended page 98.)
Personally I have studied this subject, and I believe these books should have stayed in the Bible.
Viewing the 1769 King James Version. In this order. (Added 3 and 4 Maccabees, not in the 1769 King James Version)
2 Esdras Chapters 1:1-16:78
Judith Chapters 1:1-16:25
Additions to Esther Chapters 10:4-16:24
Wisdom of Solomon Chapters 1:1-19:22
Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach) Chapters 1:1-51:30
Baruch Chapters 1:1-5:9
Letter of Jeremiah (Baruch 6) Chapter 1:1-72
Susanna (Daniel 13 in the Catholic Bible) Chapter 1:1-64
Prayer of Manasseh Chapter 1:1
1 Maccabees Chapters 1:1-16:24
2 Maccabees Chapters 1:1-15:39
3 Maccabees Chapters 1:1-7:23
4 Maccabees Chapters 1:1-18:24
Father God we come to you right now thanking you and praising your holy name. We thank for every breakthrough that you have provided: we thank you for opening our eyes and for continuing to speak to our hearts. We thank you for the mercy and grace that you have given us. Lord Jesus we accept your healing power in our lives we thank you for opening closed doors. We thank you and praise your holy name because we know that every door that is going to be opened is because of you. We thank you for your vision.
We thank you for putting a spirit of obedience deep down with in our souls. We thank you for drawing us to yourself. Thank you for accepting us into your fold. Lord Jesus we love you and we belong to you. I will serve you all my days: I will lift up holy hands. I will seek the way of escape for all my troubles: I know that all my hope, help, power, wisdom and strength comes from you Lord Jesus. My healing and salvation is there for the asking. You said that you would not withhold and good gift from me. I thank you Lord for peace, understand, holiness, wisdom, love, kindness, meekness, forgiveness and obedience.
I belong to you Father God teach us how to hear your voice and obey what you are calling us to do. Continue to speak to me and use me Father God to reach, touch and speak your truth to the hurting and the lost. Provide and make away for everything that I am in need of to perform your will. Everything that you called me to do provided the means and the will to serve you with a pure heart. Keep me humbled. Lord I thank you for the spirit of praise that you have put deep down in my soul. I give you the glory and the praise for all that you have done for me: I praise you for restoring me to my resting place in you. I thank you for being the lover of my soul. I thank you for keeping me holy. I thank you for taking away my will and for breaking me and for replacing everything in me that was not like you with righteousness. Thank you Lord for keeping me sane and at peace. I owe you everything: Lord as you keep me I surrender all to you. I belong to you, I live to serve you and I will walk in your love and light. I choose to play for the winning team: you have already fought the battle and won. I choose righteous, holiness, salvation and purity in the mighty name of Jesus I claim my victory and I will walk in it daily. Amen!