Written by: Got Questions 
Article source: www.gotquestions.org

Question: “What are the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical books?”

Answer: Roman Catholic Bibles have several more books in the Old Testament than Protestant Bibles. These books are referred to as the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books. The word apocrypha means “hidden,” while the word deuterocanonical means “second canon.” The Apocrypha / Deuterocanonicals were written primarily in the time between the Old and New Testaments, as well as additions to the books of Esther and Daniel. The books are named: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees.

The nation of Israel treated the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical books with respect, but never accepted them as true books of the Hebrew Bible. The early Christian Church debated the status of the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonicals, but few early Christians believed they belonged in the canon of Scripture. The New Testament quotes from the Old Testament hundreds of times, but nowhere quotes or alludes to any of the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical books. 

The Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical books teach many things that cannot be proved to be true nor historically accurate. While many Catholics accepted the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonicals previously, the Roman Catholic Church officially added the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonicals to their Bible at the Council of Trent in the mid 1500’s A.D., primarily in response to the Protestant Reformation. The Apocrypha / Deuterocanonicals support some of the things that the Roman Catholic Church believes and practices, which are not in agreement with the Bible. Examples are praying for the dead, petitioning “saints” in Heaven for their prayers, worshipping angels, and “alms giving” atoning for sins. Some of what the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonicals say is true and correct. However, due to the historical and theological errors, Protestants view the books as fallible historical and religious documents, not as the inspired, authoritative Word of God.


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