Apocrypha means ‘concealed’ or ‘hidden’ in Greek.
The apocrypha are 15 non-inspired books or non-canonical books. They were written during the intertestamental period (the time between the testaments), the time between Malachi to the preaching of John the Baptist.
The apocrypha were never considered part of Jewish canon. The 1st Century Council of Jamnia, a meeting of Jewish scholars, rejected them. So did most church fathers.
The Apocrypha books are full of heresy, and none of them claim divine authority or inspiration.
Below is a List of the Apocrypha books:
1. Letter of Jeremiah - 200 BC
2. Tobit - 200 BC
3. 1 Esdras - 150 BC
4. Judith - 150 BC
5. Prayer of Manasseh - 150 BC
6. Ecclesiasticus or Sirach - 132 BC
7. Additions to Esther - 130 BC
8. 1 Maccabees - 110 BC
9. 2 Maccabees - 100 BC
10. Prayer of Azariah - 100 BC
11. Susanna (Daniel 13) - 100 BC
12. Bel & the Dragon (Daniel 14) - 100 BC
13. Baruch - 100AD
14. 2 Esdras - 100 AD
15. Wisdom of Solomon or The Book of Wisdom - 30 BC
So, WHY were they included in early English Bible Versions?
Well, the simple answer is because just about everyone back then was either Catholic or came out of the Roman Catholic Church.
For that reason, the Apocrypha books were presented for its historical value and as an historical document. Only the Roman Catholic Church accepted it as scripture.
The other reason the Apocrypha books were included in early English Bible versions was for study purposes.
They were NOT included as 'inspired' books. For example: in 1525 – Tyndale’s Bible, placed by themselves as ‘UNINSPIRED’. In 1535 – Coverdale’s Bible included this foreword:
“Apocrypha. The books and treatise which among the Fathers of old are NOT reckoned to be of authority with the other books of the Bible, neither are they found in the Canon of the Hebrews”
The following translations put the Apocrypha between the Old & New Testaments:
1537 – Matthew’s Bible
1539 – Taverner’s Bible
1560 – Geneva Bible
1668 – Bishop’s Bible
1611 – Authorized Version
Unfortunately, many good Christians have been talked out of their faith in a preserved, perfect Bible in English. The inclusion of the apocrypha books in the 1611 KJV is one of the many reasons some teach the KJV is just one of many good translations.
Some ask with a condescending attitude:
Don't you know that the King James Translators included the Apocrypha? (as if we didn't know, and they are giving us a big truth reveal).
But, how come in that same conversation that don't tell you that ALL the translators completely rejected it as inspired scripture for the following reasons:
1. The Jewish church never acknowledged the Apocrypha as inspired holy scripture because not one of the Apocrypha books is in the Hebrew language. Apocrypha writers wrote in Aramaic & Greek. The Jewish people are very strict with their language and Hebrew alone was used by pens of Old Testament writers
2. The early-church fathers rejected any claim of inspiration.
3. During the 1st four centuries of the church, they were never allowed a place among SACRED scriptures.
4. The Apocrypha books not only contradict the true canon of scripture, they contradict themselves as well.
5. The Apocrypha book contains the false teaching of a place called purgatory, prayers for the dead, and sinless perfection.
6. The Apocrypha books allow for lying, suicide, assassination and magic in their writing. Another clear give away, these books are NOT inspired.
So, when someone asks:
Don't you know that the King James Translators included the Apocrypha?
You can simply tell them, the translators placed them between the Old and New Testament by following a precedent to show its historical value and omission from KJV began in 1629 and by 1827 they were permanently excluded.
For more information regarding the KJV and the Apocrypha, you're invited to listen to the sermon below.