APOCRYPHA

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APOCRYPHA - The word apocrypha comes from a Greek meaning "hidden." Apocrypha may have different meanings depending on how it is applied to the Old or New Testaments and whether it is being used by Catholics, Protestants or Orthodox Christians. Because of this confusion, the term is not used much by Orthodox writers. For the most part, the term apocrypha refers to any collection of scriptural texts that falls outside the canon. Since most English language bibles are from non-Orthodox sources, they sometimes are subtitled with Apocrypha the Deuterocanonical Books that in the Orthodox Church are considered to be genuine parts of the Bible.

Old Testament Apocrypha - The Deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament that are accepted by the Orthodox Christian Church but are not accepted by Protestants as part of its official canonical contents, but of close association with the Bible. They are included in the Orthodox Bible because they were included in the Septuagint which was in use at the time of Jesus, and the authors of the New Testament. They are not called apocrypha by the Orthodox Church.

New Testament Apocrypha - Books of the apostolic times that were not included in the canon of scripture, but may have reputed apostolic or prophetic authorship, are called Apocryphal. These writings of the early Christian church give accounts of the teachings of Jesus, aspects of the life of Jesus, accounts of the nature of God, or the teachings of his apostles and of their lives. These writings often have links with those books which are regarded as canonical. According to Orthodox teaching they may be read for personal edification but are not authoritative for doctrine. Other books called Pseudoepigrapha writings, are false writings that carried the names of the apostles and introduced false teachings and fanciful stories.

Orthodox Church of the Mother of God. Mays Landing, NJ 08330

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