Emperor Constantine and Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea 325 A.D. holding the Nicene Creed in its 385 A.D. form


 


 

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GailAllen.com

Deuterocanonical Apocrypha
a Brief Description

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Deuterocanonical Apocrypha

Deuterocanonical is a term first coined in 1566 by the theologian Sixtus of Siena, who had converted to Catholicism from Judaism, to describe scriptural texts of the Old Testament whose canonicity was explicitly defined for Catholics by the Council of Trent, but which had been omitted by some early canon lists, especially in the East. Their acceptance among early Christians was not universal, but regional councils in the West published official canons that included these books as early as the fourth and fifth centuries. The canon of Trent confirmed these early western canons.

The Catholic deuterocanonical scriptural texts as defined by the Council of Trent are:
  • Tobit
  • Judith
  • Additions to Esther (Vulgate Esther 10:4-16:24)
  • Wisdom
  • Sirach, also called Ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus
  • Baruch, including the Letter of Jeremiah (Additions to Jeremiah in the Septuagint)


  • Additions to Daniel:
    • Song of the Three Children (Vulgate Daniel 3:24-90)
    • Story of Susanna (Vulgate Daniel 13, Septuagint prologue)
    • The Idol Bel and the Dragon (Vulgate Daniel 14, Septuagint epilogue)
  • 1 Maccabees
  • 2 Maccabees
Differences from Apocrypha

There is a great deal of overlap between the Apocrypha section of the 1611 King James Bible and the Catholic deuterocanon, but the two are distinct. The Apocrypha section of the King James Bible includes, in addition to the deuterocanonical books, the following three books, which were not declared canonical by Trent:

  • 1 Esdras (Vulgate 3 Esdras)
  • 2 Esdras (Vulgate 4 Esdras)
  • Prayer of Manasses

These three books alone make up the Apocrypha section of the Clementine Vulgate, where they are specifically described as "outside of the series of the canon". The 1609 Douai Bible includes them in an appendix, but they have been dropped from recent Catholic translations into English. They are found, along with the deuterocanonical books, in the Apocrypha section of Protestant bibles.

Using the word apocrypha (Greek: hidden away) to describe texts, although not necessarily pejorative, implies to some people that the writings in question should not be included in the canon of the Bible. This classification commingles them with certain non-canonical gospels and New Testament Apocrypha. The Style Manual for the Society of Biblical Literature recommends the use of the term deuterocanonical literature instead of Apocrypha in academic writing.

See my current collection of deuterocanonical and Jewish Old Testament Apocrypha and read the works not included in the Bible.

 

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