Balancing the Sword - A comprehensive study guide to life's manual
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Definition of word.


The word apocrypha is used as a common noun and as a proper noun. The word means “hidden” and is used to describe books that have dubious authorship or questionable authority or accuracy. In this regard, there are books which were written before and after the birth of Christ which are considered apocryphal.

Formally, as a proper noun, the Apocrypha may also have more than one definition but is generally considered books found in the Septuagint and the Catholic canon of the Old Testament but are not found in the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) of the Tanakh nor in the Protestant canon of the Old Testament. The following books were included in the 1611 King James Version as the Apocrypha:

  • 1 Esdras (a.k.a., 3 Esdras),
  • 2 Esdras (a.k.a., 4 Esdras),
  • Tobit,
  • Judith,
  • Addition to Esther,
  • The Wisdom of Solomon,
  • Ecclesiasticus (a.k.a., Sirach or Ben Sira),
  • Baruch with the Epistle of Jeremy (in Jeremiah),
  • Song of the Three Hebrew Children and the Prayer of Azariah (in Daniel),
  • Susanna and the Elders (in Daniel),
  • Bel and the Dragon (in Daniel),
  • Prayer of Manasses,
  • 1 Maccabees, and
  • 2 Maccabees.

Three of the apocryphal books in the 1611 KJV were not included in the Catholic deuterocanonical books received by the Council of Trent:

  • Prayer of Manasses,
  • 3 Esdras (1 Esdras in the KJV), and
  • 4 Esdras (2 Esdras in the KJV).

The Apocrypha of the Greek Orthodox Bible is slightly different than those of the Roman Catholic Church. The 1st century Hebrew-speaking Jews and the Protestants deem several of the apocryphal inclusions as interpolations:

  • the addition to Esther,
  • Baruch,
  • the Song of the Three Children,
  • Susanna, and
  • Bel and the Dragon.

Balancing the Sword covers all sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible. Click for the BTS table of contents for volume 1 and volume 2.

Author: Allen B. Wolfe

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Balancing the Sword is a structured study guide for every chapter of the Bible.