Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday November 15, 2011
1. Various religious writings of uncertain origin regarded by some as inspired, but rejected by most authorities.
2. 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.
3. Writings, statements, etc., of doubtful authorship or authenticity.
The apocrypha, some of which the peasants would hear in church, were popular because of their often grotesque humor, and although there was frequently a didactic element, it was not usually overbearing.
-- Jack V. Haney, Russian Wondertales
The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries gave birth to numerous chronicles, hagiographies, legends, and apocrypha, in which the proportion of fictional and nonfictional elements varied.
-- Carl Edmund Rollyson, Critical Survey of Long Fiction
Apocrypha comes from the Greek apokryphos meaning “hidden, unknown or spurious.”