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Apocrypha

(concealed, hidden).

  • Old Testament Apocrypha ._The collection of books to which this term is popularly applied includes the following (the order given is that in which they stand in the English version); I. 1 Esdras; II. 2 Esdras; III. Tobit; IV. Judith; V. The rest of the chapters of the book of Esther, which are found neither in the Hebrew nor in the Chaldee; VI. The Wisdom of Solomon; VII. The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach, or Ecclesiasticus; VII. Baruch; IX. The Song of the Three Holy Children, X. The History of Susanna; XI. The History of the destruction of Bel and the Dragon; XII. The Prayer of Manasses king of Judah; XIII. 1 Maccabee; XIV. 2 Maccabees. The primary meaning of apocrypha, “hidden, secret,” seems, toward the close of the second century to have been associated with the signification “spurious,” and ultimately to have settled down into the latter. The separate books of this collection are treated of in distinct articles. Their relation to the canonical books of the Old Testament is discussed under Canon Of Scripture, The.
  • New Testament Apocrypha— (A collection of legendary and spurious Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and Epistles. They are go entirely inferior to the genuine books, so full of nonsensical and unworthy stories of Christ and the apostles, that they have never been regarded as divine, or bound up in our Bibles. It is said that Mohammed obtained his ideas of Christ entirely from these spurious gospels.—ED.)
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