Talk:Apocrypha/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

"Protestants use the term in a more general/more restricted sense" I changed it to 'more books', which might cover it. The idea that Protestants separate Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha is true only in departments of religion, I fear. --Michael Tinkler

No, not more books, but to a different set of books. -- Simon J Kissane

Council of Trent

The page says "In 1546 the Catholic Council of Trent adopted the canon of Augustine." The Catholic cannon was first proposed in 382 by Pope Damasus, followed by ratification by the Councils of Hippo (393 A.D.) and Carthage (397 A.D.). Pope St. Innocent approved the 73 book canon and closed the cannon of the Bible. Samuraidragon 20:38, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

New Talk

There is a lot of information found in this article, some of it quite esoteric. I added (yet another) section near the top of this article to give greater promenance to what I think most people will be looking for when they are directed here: the books found in the Apocrypha section of a modern printed Bible. -rwflammang

Old talk

Article says:

Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches regard the apocrypha as deuterocanonical, belonging to second-level biblical canon; they are deemed to be divinely inspired, but are of a lesser authority than the rest of the Bible.

I'd like to see some evidence that they view them as being of lesser authority. AFAIK, Catholics at least view them as equally authoritative, although they recognize they have been subject to more dispute/controversy over the years than most books have. Secondly, I detect in this article Protestant bias, especially in regard to its frequent use of Protestant terminology without its qualification as Protestant. -- SJK

Ok, this will be addressed. I don't think that there is a Protestant bias, as the person who wrote that paragraph was Jewish (me), and regards the apocrypha as interesting Jewish historical and religious literature, but not divinely inspired. I had read a bit on this topic, including a little material written by clergy in the Catholic Chruch, but it still it could be in error. I will check this issue out in the New Catholic Encyclopaedia. RK

RK: The terminology you are using, at least among Christians, is used mainly by Protestants, not Catholics. As for Jews, I don't know (but since they agree with Protestants on the OT/Tanakh canon, it would not suprise me if they also use Protestant terminology) -- SJK

Would something like Epistle to the Laodiceans go here? --Alan Millar

No. None of the contested works (or parts thereof) is in the New Testament. While I realize that the Wiki article needs to be neutral, as a Catholic I was taught that Protestants dropped books and parts of books that "really were" in the Bible. I'm not trying to start a fight, but rather to question the notion that Catholics find these books of lesser quality. In fact, some of the dropped passages support Catholic interpretations of Christianity better than Protestant versions, so it would make no sense for Catholics to downgrade them. (Notably Luther's dislike of the following quote: 'It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins' (2 Macc. 12:46). Catholics who call those works 'deuterocanonical' are not so much downgrading them from 'canonical' as upgrading them from 'apocryphal'. Church history is full of quotes from these works, which were included in the Septuagint and Vulgate. --DGJ According to the Catholic Encyclopedia ( the term Deutero is not at all derogatory, and these books are considered just as canonical as the rest. (I have just made some changes to the Deuterocanonical books page to clarify this as well.

Actually, both the Orthodox and the Catholic Church are party to this; in fact, "dropping" some material as non-canonical or even deuterocanonical started even before the Schizm between the two Churches (before there ever was a Holy and an Eastern Roman Empire [the latter commonly referred by the misnomer "Byzantine Empire"], when the Roman Empire moved its capital to the Asia Minor). The only problem here is that, while history clearly shows that various versions of the same material were plodded through to pick the one thought to be the most correct (I don't suggest they were not true - that's an entirely different topic, and one that lies a lot on speculation and has little to do with an encyclopedia, since it's mostly POV), but all 3 major churches insist that this is not as much the truth, despite the obvious facts. -- RaspK FOG, 23:09, 29 July 2007

Many of the apocryphal books listed are shown as nonexistent articles, but I think I may have found them. I don't know enough about this topic to actually change the links, but FWTW here they are: Acts of the Apostles, Book of Revelation.

Acts of the Apostles and Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) are not deuterocanonical, but rather canonical. I think that at least one of them was the subject of a political compromise when the Catholic bishops drew up the canon list at one of those councils -- I think (or at least have read) that there was some political bartering about which books to stick in as canon, and the east and west traded off a bit. But in any case, they both got in, and are not the subject of this article (Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical).

The term "Deuterocanonical" is used with extreme caution by Catholic theologians as it suggests that there are Protocanonical books and Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament, when there is absolutely no such thing outside of hypothetical consideration. It is important to note that these theologians also had absolutely no authority to canonize the bible. These terms are nothing more than personal opinions. Martin Luther was the first Christian outside of the RCC to claim that he had the authority to canonize the bible when he rejected books of the OT as a solution to his own personal problem of dealing with purgatorial subjects when it was shown to him in his own Vulgate. He concluded that a post-crucifixion Jewish canon semi-fixed at the Council of Jamnia in 90AD would fit the bill and went with it. I believe most Orthodox Jews today would point out that the Jewish Canon is not closed because the messiah has yet to come. The actual bible canon was fixed by the RCC in 397 at the III Council of Carthage. [Cpt|Kirk 17:58, 23 March 2006 (UTC)]

Sorry. Luther was not the first, he followed the example of St Jerome. Sorry, Luther was not outside the RCC, he was a Catholic monk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Unanswered questions

The article mentions that Martin Luther dropped some (or all, I forget) of the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books, but, didn't he also drop the canonical epistle of James, so perhaps quoting him introduces some complication (the canon of Martin Luther) that belongs elsewhere ?

Why is Book of Enoch among NT Apocrypha? Why aren't apocalypses among the apocrypha? for example Apocalypse of Peter?

>> Enoch is part of the OT.

Luther created the 'Apocrypha' by moving books from the Old Testament into this newly created section. He also divided up the New Testament by creating a section for 'The Capital Books' and then a lesser section of the NT called the 'Oecolampadius' for Rev., Jas., Jude, 1 Pet, and 2-3 John. The Book of Enoch was not found in the LXX (Septuagint) and so did not appear in the Christian OT. The Apocalypse of Peter is apocrypha, but not Protestant apocrypha but Catholic apocrypha which can be found in a larger group of Early Christian Writings (200+ books). [Cpt|Kirk 18:05, 23 March 2006 (UTC)]

>> Enoch is in the Christian OT in Ethiopia.

Literary apocrypha

Is there a less obscure example of literary apocrypha than "the Ossianic cycle invented by James Macpherson" which doesn't even have an article? Perhaps some classical Greek work or something? -- Beland 02:12, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This section absolutely made no sense, so I removed it. It doesn't even use a correct terminology. And it really has no business in a religion page. It should be disambiguated if someone wants a new section on non-religious pseudepigrapha. Wjhonson 07:41, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the page should mention "apocrypha" used as a literary device - it shouldn't be just a "religion page", but encyclopedia page. If you want example, Karel Capek has one. 08:24, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Non Judeo-Christian Apocrypha

The introduction to the article used to imply that "Apocrypha" was a general theological term, but the only content is about Judeo-Christian beliefs.

It would be interesting to include or link to non Judeo-Christian Apocrypha, if anyone knows of any. In the meantime, I've made the intro more specific.

-- Beland 04:28, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I have serious doubts that "Apocrypha" is a general term. I'm fairly widely read in religions and have never come across the term outside the Biblical environment. Wjhonson 07:43, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
apocrypha-Writings or statements of questionable authorship or authenticity. Honestly it seems like there should be a Jewish apocrypha and Christian Apocrypha for alot if this. an example of none religious apocrypha would be certain Platonic dialogues of questionable authorship. Syzergy 09:33, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Questionable edits

In refactoring the Old Testament section, I made the particularly questionable edits below, which others should review:

>> Not all books from the Septuagint are accepted by the Roman Catholic church as canonical. The Prayer of Manasseh, 3 Esdras, 4 Esdras, 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, and Psalm 151 are not considered to be canonical, and are not included in the canon, although some Protestants include these books in the Apocrypha. In the Vulgate, these books are found in an appendix. <<

I couldn't find these in the appendix to the Vulgate on the Vatican's site, but it was in Latin, so I had a hard time deciphering it. Other than that, this paragraph is mostly redundant, so I dropped it.

The Nova Vulgata at the Vatican site is one of the modern editions that omit the Apocrypha. The old Clementine Vulgate contained them. -rwflammang 13 April 2006

>> Among the Oriental Orthodox, all the deuterocanonical books are accepted <<

I disambiguated this from "the Apocrypha is accepted", but I am not sure that is what was meant. The article on "Oriental Orthodox" doesn't help.

-- Beland 04:27, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

More questions:

  • When the Jewish section says "apocrypha", does it refer only to the Apocrypha of the Old Testament, or does it include the entirety of the New Testament, too? Is there a better term with which to disambiguate, perhaps a Hebrew one?
  • Is it the apocrypha, and it is capitalized or not? Is there a semantic difference?
The word apocryphon is a common noun, plural apocrypha. "The apocrypha" refers to a given set of apocrypha, e.g., those apocrypha found in a given edition of the Bible. When those apocrypha are gathered into a dedicated section, the section title is usually capitalized: "the Apocrypha", following the style of "the Old Testament" and "the New Testament".
The word apocryphon is rarely used in the singular, because there is no such thing as a generic apocryphon, only particular apocrypha, which are typically referred to by name, e.g., the Proto-evangelion of James, or the Prayer of Manasseh. Rwflammang 20 April 2006

-- Beland 05:35, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Problems with Four Criteria for Canonicity

The "Four Criteria for Canonicity" section seems self-contradictory. If these criteria have not been applied consistently and objectively (which they clearly have not), then other factors must also have influenced historical decisions on canonical status. So why is there this neat and tidy list?

Is there some historical group which has claimed these principles as ideals? If so they should be identified and some edits made to preserve NPOV.

The article shouldn't just admonish authors of book-specific articles to do good book-specific histories. It should link to a good general history or collection of histories of canonicalization. The rest of the article tries to present some of that history, but it's terribly incomplete and rather choppy. I'm not sure such a history exists on the Wikipedia yet.

-- Beland 05:36, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Linking to "Biblican canon" for now. -- Beland 05:47, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The catholic church applied the criteria when selecting cannon, I believe using a devils advocate and all. They held trial over them, which is a most interesting concept... kinda reminds me of Sanhedrin ... only with more authority placed on final decisions. It's not as if either catholic or protestant hold the book of judas in high respect, or give it further review ever couple years. On another note, in the jewish tradition those books would not be considered Tanach, but rather Kabbala. Writing which is dangerous in the wrong hands, heretical and important enough to keep around and study. Modern rabinical juidism doesn't have a universal body holding sway over it (reform,conservative,ultra conservative,traditionalist,orthodox,ultra orthodox,hasids...which are like jehovah's witnesses for jews,ect). So it's easy to understand why the author of this article couldn't show the sensitivity required when dealing with the subject. Hence the possible offence which would even get this article questioned to the point of sharp debate. One must apply the same caution when dealing with another mans religion that he would with said mans wife. He must be gentle and without tongue.


Based on a suggestion in Wikipedia:Pages needing attention, I have started the skeleton of a WikiProject to try to cut down on the overlap between the various presentations of the canon. I think that a lot of people working here will want input on this. Feel free! Mpolo 13:23, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)


This is an inappropriate article for the BCE/CE change - do any of the regular editors object to restoring AD/BC? Trödel|talk 01:36, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

As a point of neutrality, the contemporary BCE/CE nomenclature is, I believe, appropriate. Wikipedia terminology should reflect contemporary usage rather than obsolete symantic forms. --RubberNeckHawaii 21:01, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

The so-called "obsolete" forms are still the most used, and therefore the most current. Even the very idea that this year is 2005 is influenced by Christianity, so the BCE/CE designation fails to be neutral, as well. It only succeeds in being more politically correct. —Preost talk contribs 04:35, 25 December 2005 (UTC)


What exactly is this trying to say?

The inability of Christians to use in controversy with Jews books that the latter did not accept as divinely inspired was one reason why some attributed lesser authority to these books.

Attempted rewrite:

Some Christians attributed less authority to books that Jews did not accept as divinely inspired.

Did I get the meaning right? Jpatokal 11:48, 19 July 2005 (UTC)


>>The modern equivalent term to the ancient "apocrypha" would be "top secret government documents". . . . (Their not being mentioned in the >>public catalogue would indicate their being accessible only to government agents having a "top secret" security-clearance.)

This seems both unsupported and out of place in the article. Suggest expanding with citations and moving to its own subsection of this article. (talk) 16:13, 13 August 2009 (UTC) InterestedReader

2 Maccabees 12:46

especially where 2 Maccabees speaks, by implication, of purgatory: "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." (12:46).

Is this a translation issue? The NAB says: "Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin." [1] -- Essjay · Talk 06:24, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

In either translation, the meaning is that the souls of the dead can be loosed/freed from sins by the actions of the living -- thus, by performing acts of contrition (such as buying indulgences), a dead person's soul can be moved to a better condition. In other words, not all torment is eternal hellfire, and so there must be a purgatory. --grant 12:27, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Proposed merge with deuterocanonical books

  • Do no merge...the two are distinct. However, coordination should occur so that content is not overly duplicated and assertions in each article are not contradictory. --Dpr 02:37, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
  • No merge vote Agree that they are distinct and that they overlap in some cases, but are important to keep seperate as Apocrypha encompasses much more than duetercanonical books. Also, there is a protestant/catholic connotation that is important to note between the terms.
  • Do not merge - Apocrypha has a far more comprehensive definition than "deterocanonical," including many books that the main religious denominations considered without accepting or never really considered at all. Yahnatan 18:42, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Books of the Apocrypha

There's an overlap of information between the two articles. Since the Apocrypha article is quite long, maybe the details of the traditional OT Apocryphal books could be moved to the Books of the Apocrypha? Saint Midge 06:50, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Books of the Apocrypha added nothing of substance to the topic, and there's no point in separating the material out from this article to another article with virtually the same title. I changed the other article to a redirect, and I'm removing the merge tag from this one. There was really nothing there to be merged here. —Preost talk contribs 14:22, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Latter Day Saint views

The section titled "Latter Day Saint views", describes LDS views on apocrypha as previously described.

Concerning the paragraph in this section beging with "Catholics and Protestants": Catholic and Protestant views of The Book of Mormon, don't quite belong in this secton of this article. Yet I tried to keep the most relevant ideas see bottom of entry. On a side note, the veracity of any scripture is rarely without one form of controversy or another.

Also, my fellow Mormons, are apocryphal texts only to be revealed before the second coming? Not after or durring? I generalized the sentence to allow for this.

Here's what I did

Latter Day Saints, and most Mormon sects in the wider sense, believe the Book of Mormon to be of apocryphal (hidden) origin. However in popular mormon culture the Book of Mormon is not considered part of The Apocrypha as such. It is also believed that more hidden texts will yet come to light.

Sorry if I didn't sign in before I made the article change. If this is deemed appropriate, just remove this very discussion entry sometime. --Brad 06:52, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

I made some changes - the connotation just didn't sit right that the BoM is apocryphal, but liked the ideas. So, I made changes. -Visorstuff 17:25, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Apocrypha Books of the Bible list

Could we get a list like Books of the Bible for the Apocrypha? Maybey at the (now redirected) Books of the Apocrypha. Sincerely, J. D. Redding

Bad writing style

From Apocrypha in Judaism through a large portion of the rest of the article, it reads more like, to be honest, a bad novel than Wikipedia. It relies overly much on elaborate prose and a storytelling angle - this is an encylopedia, and beginning at this point, the article, stylistically, becomes distinctly un-encylopedic. The writing quality would be decent for, example, a high school essay on the Apocrypha, but it is not sufficient for Wikipedia, due to disorganization. Beginning with Apocrypha in Christianity, the article begins bordering on breaking NPOV - while it's possible to read the whole thing and come away with a sense of NPOV, I had to brush aside my first interpretations of the section to do so - not something which should be present. Also, "We have remarked above..." breaks encylopedic style as well - the encylopedia is not a We. It's not even an I, or an It. Similar effect could be gotten by saying 'As shown above...' or equivalent, and similar errors show up in several places later in the article. There's also too much transition between subsections - if you're going to place a subsection header, treat the contents of it as independent of the other subsections. This article shouldn't run on chronological order - at least not in a storytelling sense. The only significant problem with this article is a large stylistic break. Go read other wiki articles (preferrably those which are held to be of high quality, such as the Featured Articles) and take note of the stylistic decisions they make. The elaborate prose and bad style need to be eliminated. In fact, the first parts of the article - up until Apocrypha in Judaism - is quality in style and substance. I'm not qualified to make the edits this article needs (or else I would do it myself) but I felt like this was a nastier bit of stylistic break than usual so I have no choice but to comment. Rarr 06:18, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the article needs a re-write as well. Its too messy at the moment for me to be all that willing to approach it though, I might have a go at it when I've got a really clear head and I'm in a really good mood and don't mind getting annoyed by the mess that its in, but that isn't today. Looking at it it looks like parts of the article come from some ancient and out of date encyclopedia (e.g. Encyclopedia Brittania 1911) - one that doesn't know about the discoveries at Nag Hammadi for example. Clinkophonist 21:07, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

This article is simply packed with nonsense. I'm starting to clean it up but it's going to take some time. Wjhonson 07:36, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
The 1911 edition of the Britannica is where the nonsense comes from. To be honest, it looks to me like about all we can do is erase the 1911 junk completely and call for expert attentions. If anybody has a better alternative I'm certainly open to it, but this article irritates me more every time I come back and look at it. Once we have a decent consensus feel free to give it the lobotomy it needs. In the meantime I'm tossing an expert attention tag onto it. Rarr 02:22, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Hi, just a note that I agree with the consensus. I'm copy-editing material and making some stylistic changes to update the language. I studied the apocrypha as an undergrad (religious studies), so I'm fairly comfortable with the subject material--Marysunshine 04:02, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I've reworded content up to the "Cultural impact" subhead, adding dates to the Bible versions, removing old-fashioned language, and restructuring a few paragraphs within sections to improve the flow.--Marysunshine 04:38, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

You'll be my hero if you can take on anything past there. Rarr 01:14, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I just did some work on "Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in Judaism." My edits were mostly to clarify what information was already there, and eliminate antiquities, etc. Some of that material needs to be cited, however, and it certainly could be added upon (especially the "psuedepigraphia" -- we bring it up tantalizingly in the section's title, then proceed to ignore it completely). rwflammang might be able to help with this, judging on his/her previous helpful edits. There are still some holes that need to be patched up by someone who knows the subject better than I do.--Marysunshine 21:44, 3 May 2006 (UTC)


The are a few passages of NT Greek left untranslated throughout the article. I'm not proficient enough at Greek to translate them, but it needs doing. I can provide a transliteration if needed, although I'm not sure if it would be appropriate. Any thoughts? Daniel () 20:07, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure if your offer still stands, but please do! That would help immensely. --Marysunshine 18:25, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I might do some of it; I am Greek and, as all Greeks are in Junior High and High School, have been taught Ancient Greek too. -- RaspK FOG 23:15, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Hooray! Go and do! --grant 18:36, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Have checked things up; tell if I missed anything. --RaspK FOG 18:17, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Canon confusion

Seems to me many of the controversial statements in this article could be better expounded upon in the article Biblical canon. Although the Apocrypha are obviously related to the issue of the canon, I'd like to see this article focus more on the history and content of the books themselves and less on the question of their canonicity, which belongs in the article Biblical canon. -rwflammang 13 April 2006

That seems sensible, it might make the article neater that way. Clinkophonist 20:16, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, but before we move any content we should convert it to the proper style. Moving the mass of century-old encylopedia ramblings straight into Biblical canon will just make both articles a mess. Rarr 20:59, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Split

I think the split Clinkophonist proposed is a good idea in general, but before we do something like that, we have to clean this thing up. Rarr 00:48, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Books of the...

Wouldn't it make more sense for Books of the Apocrypha to redirect to Books of the Bible instead of to here? If they're looking for the list of books, the table there will be much more helpful. /blahedo (t) 22:01, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I concur. Rwflammang 14:27, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Done. /blahedo (t) 02:24, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Apocrypha in modern editions

This section currently reads:

The first King James Bible published without the Apocrypha appeared in 1640. By 1826, the British and Foreign Bible Society decided to refuse to distribute Bibles containing the Apocrypha. Since then most modern editions of the Bible, even most modern re-printings of the King James, Vulgate, and Douay-Rheims versions, omit the Apocrypha section. This trend reflects the increasing importance of dogmatism relative to tradition in modern Christianity.
There are some exceptions to this trend, however. Some editions of the Revised Standard Version of the King James Bible include not only the Apocrypha listed above, but also the third and fourth books of the Maccabees, and Psalm 151. The Stuttgart edition of the Vulgate (the printed edition, not most of the on-line editions) contains the Clementine Apocrypha as well as the Epistle to the Laodiceans and Psalm 151.

I can't tell if this is Protestant-centric or just wrong; the Vulgate is in Latin and Douay-Rheims in English, but both are Catholic—thus they don't have a section labelled "Apocrypha", but do include all that material. It is at least misleading, and it makes me wonder about the accuracy of the second paragraph as well. /blahedo (t) 05:07, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

The 16th century editions of both the Douay Bible and the Clementine Vulgate did have an appendix labelled Apocrypha; it contained three books: The Prayer of Manasses, 3 Esdras, and 4 Esdras. See Books of the Latin Vulgate for details. These books are omitted from practically all Catholic bibles today; even reprints of the Douay and the Vulgate. Some Protestant bibles, those with Apocrypha sections, still contain them. This is a simple statement of fact, not of bias.

Before King James

From the Holy Bible containing The Authorized Editon of The New Testament, A.D. 1611 and The Revised Version of A.D. 1881, Arranged in Parallel Columns; with Complete Concordance, Embracing every passage of Scripture in the Largest Edition, Aprocrypha and Psalms. Printed by O. A. Browning & CO Toledo, OH Copyright 1872 to 1885 with the Library of Congress.

The Apocrypha Books Included in this edition are

I. Esdras hath chapters
II. Esdras
The Rest of Ester
Barugh, with the Epistle of Jeremiah
The Songs of the Three Children
The Story of Susanna
The Idol Bell
The Dragon
The Prayer of Manassas
I. Maccabees
II. Maccabees

Major split

Every time I went at trying to clean up the main article, I found myself at a loss as to where even to start. So I took a deep breath, figured out what the major fault lines were, and split the article. I created Jewish apocrypha and Biblical apocrypha, and New Testament apocrypha already existed but I'm inclined to switch it to Christian apocrypha though I haven't done that yet.

Both new articles contain considerable material from the original article, and not contiguous chunks, either; this should hopefully make it a lot easier to spot duplicate or contradictory information and merge or reconcile as appropriate. The split is far from a done deal—a lot of cleanup work is still required. Among other things, not all the info in the sections of this page is contained in the "main article" that they refer to, which should be fixed. And the references I did nothing with, so some of the refs on this page should be farmed out to the subpages.

I'll keep working on this, but I wanted to let any watchers know what was going on first. Happy editing! /blahedo (t) 02:22, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I think that this split shows a lot of promise. But I am not happy to see comments about the Biblical canon showing up in odd places in the article Biblical apocrypha. E.g., the comment about the Eastern Orthodox canon in Modern Editions seems off topic. It seems to me that the tendency to insert opinions about the Biblical canon is inevitably controversial, invites long off-topic threads as prots and caths continue to attempt to have the last word, and pulls attention away from the topic at hand, which is the Apocrypha. There is already an article for this: Biblical canon. Do we really need another article for the exact same topic? Rwflammang 13:29, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Not at all. I made very little editorial judgement during the split, and if something was in a paragraph generally about Biblical apocrypha, it got stuck in that article, whether that specific thing was about Biblical apocrypha or not. There's still a lot of work to be done, and stuff to be moved between the apocrypha articles and to related ones like Biblical canon and deuterocanonical books. /blahedo (t) 18:17, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
IMO, Biblical apocrypha should be, say, Old Testament apocrypha. New Testament apocrypha covers, obviously, the New Testament books, and all of the books in Biblcal apographa are Old Testament books. This split was done very nicely, by the way - I'd thought before that Apocrypha would be very difficult to split but you found a nice way to do it. The article's been much improved by its trimming and your editing in general - are you an expert on this subject or just very good at copyediting? There's definitely work to be done in terms of a couple of style edits but it's a lot better. Rarr 20:01, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Although I'm not deeply attached to this nomenclature, I do prefer the title "Biblical apocrypha" because it highlights the fact that of all the many and varied "apocrypha", these are the ones that are frequently printed in Bibles. The reason I don't like the extant "NT apocrypha" is that, while their subject matter is contemporary with that of the NT, nobody (that I know of) actually considers them to be part of the NT. I don't like the term "OT apocrypha" for a similar reason: the people that consider them to be apocrypha don't consider them part of the OT, and vice versa. (Oh, and I'm just an armchair expert on this—I knew a bit about it, and have learned quite a bit more from WP and elsewhere in the course of performing the split!) /blahedo (t) 21:41, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Parenthetical citations

I'm scratching my head over what to do with the parenthetical citations scattered throughout the text. These appear to be cut-n-pasted in from the text of the 1911 Britannica (or wherever), and cleave to that antique style rather than contemporary, wiki-friendly links & footnote citations.

I'm thinking of passages like these: Thus Origen distinguishes between writings which were read by the churches and apocryphal writings; γραφη μη φερομενη μεν εν τοις κοινοις και δεδημοσιευμενοις βιβλιοις εικος δ ὁτι εν αποκρυφοις φερομενη (Origen's Comm. in Matt., x. 18, on Matt. xiii. 57, ed. Lommatzsch iii. 49 sqq.). Cf. Epist. ad Africam, ix. (Lommatzsch xvii. 31): Euseb. H.E. ii. 23, 25; iii. 3, 6. See Zahn, Gesch. Kanons, i. 126 sqq. Thus the meaning of αποκρυφος is here practically equivalent to "excluded from the public use of the church", and prepares the way for an even less favourable use of the word.

Evidently, the old writer was citing a commentary made by Origen on the Book of Matthew as presented by an editor named Lommatzsch. I have no idea who Lommatzch was, or what book this is -- but I'm uncomfortable simply deleting this reference, since it's putting words in Origen's mouth and needs to be sourced. Should this simply be cited to the Brittanica? Should I (or someone more motivated) actually look up the Lommatzch or some other source for Origen's commentaries, add that to the references and link to that? --grant 16:01, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Since it's saved on the talk page, feel free to just cite the Britannica. If somebody discovers that the references weren't preserved from the wholesale Britannica-ization, we can research it. Rarr 19:45, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Done -- although now, there are a few chunks of Latin and Greek wandering around the page untranslated. I've cited the Britannica all over the place, and linked at least once to a page with a source text from one of the early Christian commentators on it. Greek and Latin translators! Come clean up this page! -- grant 17:35, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Apocrypha - apocalypse

Would it be wrong to include a link to the latter in the See also section? Theavatar3 19:02, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Why? Miuq (talk) 00:59, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

The case against the Apocrypha is overstated

I have been working parts of Michael Barber's blog entry into the Development of the Old Testament canon article. However, I am concerned that Barber's position is only one POV and is a minority viewpoint. I wanted to ask others for their opinion regarding this material and how best to present it in an NPOV way. Among other questions, I'm wondering if this material should be presented in the Development of the Old Testament canon article or in the Deuterocanonical books article.

--Richard 08:40, 2 August 2007 (UTC)


In the "New Testament apocryphal literature" the link for heterodoxy goes to the page on Christian heresy. This is peculiar considering that there is a page on heterodoxy. Is there some reason it is this way? Miuq (talk) 06:26, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I changed it so that it would link the the Heterodoxy page. Miuq (talk) 00:58, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Vagueness of definition - application to biblical apocrypha

What exactly is meant by "uncertain authenticity"? How is "authentic" defined, and who is defining it? It seems to me that the question of true authorship is all that the word "apocrypha" is conveying. In this respect, a work that is of "uncertain authenticity" is merely another of saying that the authorship of the work is uncertain. This creates a descriptive redundancy: "Apocrypha are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned." - the texts are "of uncertain authenticity" or the texts' "authorship is questioned"?
This definition leads to an interesting situation: According to believers, the orthodox/canonical works presented in the Bible are "authentic", but the unorthodox/non-canonical works which constitute the Biblical apocrypha are "not authentic". Yet in both cases the authorship is entirely unknown. In the case of canonical Biblical writings, the traditionally attributed authors have gained acceptance with the layperson, absent of any real evidence. In the case of the apocrypha, there are no traditionally attributed authors. Traditional attribution of authorship is not proof of authorship. Thus, there is never ending confusion as to the usage of the term "apocrypha". (talk) 22:41, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Further suggestion for article split - Apocryphal vs. Apocrypha

I would like to suggest that there be an article split between Apocryphal and the Apocrypha. While the Apocrypha is widely accepted as referring to the bible, I am sure that Apocryphal is being confused. Apocryphal should have its own article should be used secularly to point out dubious and doubtful accounts of history such as the stated George Washington and the Cherry Tree story but I am sure there are others like:

Already I can envision the article being a list of these events and people and closely tied with the folklore article. Would editors consider creating a new article?--Kencaesi (talk) 20:49, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

The Newton story is rather more than simply apocryphal. There's proof that he told it himself, though of course that's not the same as proof that it actually happened. Peter jackson (talk) 18:37, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Intro is confusing

The intro section states:

"The general term is usually applied to the books that the Christian Church considered useful but not divinely inspired. As such, it is misleading to refer to the Gospel according to the Hebrews or Gnostic writings as apocryphal, because they would not be classified in the same category by orthodox believers."

Same category as what?? What is the category?

"[ref]Specifically, ἀπόκρυφα is the neuter plural of ἀπόκρυφος, a participle derived from the verb ἀποκρύπτω [infinitive: ἀποκρύπτειν], "to hide something away."[/ref]"

Huh? How does that a more specific version of the idea about Gospel according to Hebrews?

"Non-canonical books are texts of uncertain authenticity, or writings where the work is seriously questioned. Given that different denominations have different beliefs about what constitutes canonical scripture, there are several versions of the apocrypha."

How does authenticity relate to apocrypha (texts that are useful but not divinely inspired)? How does How does canonicity relate to apocrypha?

-Pgan002 (talk) 20:57, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Well it does say in the 1st sentence that the term is used in various senses. It could be better organized to clarify exactly what they are. Peter jackson (talk) 11:54, 24 March 2010 (UTC)