apocrypha

Cultural Dictionary
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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