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apocrypha

[uh-pok-ruh-fuh] /əˈpɒk rə fə/
noun, (often used with a singular verb)
1.
(initial capital letter) a group of 14 books, not considered canonical, included in the Septuagint and the Vulgate as part of the Old Testament, but usually omitted from Protestant editions of the Bible.
2.
various religious writings of uncertain origin regarded by some as inspired, but rejected by most authorities.
3.
writings, statements, etc., of doubtful authorship or authenticity.
Compare canon1 (defs 6, 7, 9).
Origin of apocrypha
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin < Greek, neuter plural of apókryphos hidden, unknown, spurious, equivalent to apokryph- (base of apokrýptein to hide away; see apo-, crypt) + -os adj. suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for apocrypha
Historical Examples
  • The apocrypha is not a barrier, but a bridge; it does not separate, but unite the two Covenants.

    The Expositor's Bible: Alfred Plummer
  • But these exact words, unfortunately, were only to be found in the apocrypha.

    Bunyan James Anthony Froude
  • As it is said in the apocrypha, "his talk is of bullocks:" I do not suppose he is very fond of my company.

    Life of Johnson James Boswell
  • The name never occurs in the apocrypha or the New Testament.

  • Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the apocrypha should be translated.

  • Have you been working up the apocrypha as I recommended you last time we met?'

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Anecdote and apocrypha have yet to evolve into hallowed tradition.

    The Fourth R George Oliver Smith
  • These are only to be found in the apocrypha, and in all of them the Elephant is described as an engine of war.

    Bible Animals; J. G. Wood
  • If you would be instructed and amused with antiquity, read the life of Moses in the article on "apocrypha."

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 8 (of 10) Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
  • Bois was a member of the company to which the apocrypha was assigned.

British Dictionary definitions for apocrypha

Apocrypha

/əˈpɒkrɪfə/
noun (functioning as singular or pl) the Apocrypha
1.
the 14 books included as an appendix to the Old Testament in the Septuagint and the Vulgate but not included in the Hebrew canon. They are not printed in Protestant versions of the Bible
2.
(RC Church) another name for the Pseudepigrapha
Word Origin
C14: via Late Latin apocrypha (scripta) hidden (writings), from Greek, from apokruptein to hide away
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apocrypha

Apocrypha

late 14c., neuter plural of Late Latin apocryphus "secret, not approved for public reading," from Greek apokryphos "hidden; obscure," thus "(books) of unknown authorship" (especially those included in the Septuagint and Vulgate but not originally written in Hebrew and not counted as genuine by the Jews), from apo- "away" (see apo-) + kryptein "to hide" (see crypt). Properly plural (the single would be Apocryphon or apocryphum), but commonly treated as a collective singular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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apocrypha in Culture
Apocrypha [(uh-pok-ruh-fuh)]

Religious writings that have been accepted as books of the Bible by some groups but not by others. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, includes seven books, such as Judith, I and II Maccabees, and Ecclesiasticus, in the Old Testament that Jews and Protestants do not consider part of the Bible. Some churches may read the Apocrypha for inspiration but not to establish religious doctrine.

Note: By extension, an “apocryphal” story is one that is probably false but nevertheless has some value.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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apocrypha in the Bible

hidden, spurious, the name given to certain ancient books which found a place in the LXX. and Latin Vulgate versions of the Old Testament, and were appended to all the great translations made from them in the sixteenth century, but which have no claim to be regarded as in any sense parts of the inspired Word. (1.) They are not once quoted by the New Testament writers, who frequently quote from the LXX. Our Lord and his apostles confirmed by their authority the ordinary Jewish canon, which was the same in all respects as we now have it. (2.) These books were written not in Hebrew but in Greek, and during the "period of silence," from the time of Malachi, after which oracles and direct revelations from God ceased till the Christian era. (3.) The contents of the books themselves show that they were no part of Scripture. The Old Testament Apocrypha consists of fourteen books, the chief of which are the Books of the Maccabees (q.v.), the Books of Esdras, the Book of Wisdom, the Book of Baruch, the Book of Esther, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith, etc. The New Testament Apocrypha consists of a very extensive literature, which bears distinct evidences of its non-apostolic origin, and is utterly unworthy of regard.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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