from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The biblical books included in the Vulgate and accepted in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox canon but considered noncanonical by Protestants because they are not part of the Hebrew Scriptures. See Table at Bible.
- n. Various early Christian writings proposed as additions to the New Testament but rejected by the major canons.
- n. Writings or statements of questionable authorship or authenticity.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. Something, as a writing, that is of doubtful authorship or authority; -- formerly used also adjectively.
- n.pl. Specif.: Certain writings which are received by some Christians as an authentic part of the Holy Scriptures, but are rejected by others.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A writing or statement of doubtful authorship or authenticity: formerly used, in the predicate, as a quasi-adjective.
- Specifically— Eccles.: A name given in the early church to various writings of uncertain origin and authority, regarded by some as inspired, but rejected by most authorities or believers.
- [capitalized] A collection of fourteen books subjoined to the canonical books of the Old Testament in the authorized version of the Bible, as originally issued, but now generally omitted.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. 14 books of the Old Testament included in the Vulgate (except for II Esdras) but omitted in Jewish and Protestant versions of the Bible; eastern Christian churches (except the Coptic Church) accept all these books as canonical; the Russian Orthodox Church accepts these texts as divinely inspired but does not grant them the same status
Testament Scriptures -- one which was at once erroneous and singular among the Fathers of the Church -- applied the title Apocrypha to the excess of the Catholic canon of the Old Testament over that of the
Apocrypha is a Greek word, signifying "secret" or "hidden," but in the sixteenth century it came to be applied to a list of books contained in the Septuagint, or Greek translation of the Old Testament, but not in the Palestinian, or Hebrew
Early Protestant Bibles and some more recent ones included the extra books and some others in a separate section under the title Apocrypha, sometimes with notes explaining their inferior status.
Aptly titled ( "Apocrypha" is Greek for "those having been hidden away"), this expansion will open up wormholes that will connect previously unexplored regions of the universe to the stars of New Eden.
However, the name Apocrypha soon came to have an unfavourable signification which it still retains, comporting both want of genuineness and canonicity.
The story of Tobit is found in what is called the Apocrypha, that is,
THE word Apocrypha signifies concealed, obscure, without authority.
Nor indeed do I remember that, either in the ancienter books of the Old Testament, or in the books we call Apocrypha, there are any signs of such literal observations appearing among the Jews, though their real or mystical signification, i.e. the constant remembrance and observation of the laws of God by
All the canonical books of the Old and New Testament (but none of those which are commonly called Apocrypha) shall be publickly read in the vulgar tongue, out of the best allowed translation, distinctly, that all may hear and understand.
The name of Longinus first appeared in a collection of early Christian texts known as the Apocrypha, where he was described as a centurion who had served his legion faithfully before poor eyesight ended his battlefield career.