A Translation of the Bible/Apocrypha
Apocrypha (Greek Apokruphos, "hidden") are books regarded as part of the Old Testament by many Christians but not regarded as Biblical by Jews or Protestants. The term was invented by St. Jerome ("Hierome") to refer to books that were regarded as part of the Old Testament by Roman Catholics but which he discovered were not accepted by the Jews. The rule of the Church of England is given in the sixth of the 39 Articles:
- And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine; such are these following:
- The Third Book of Esdras,
- The Fourth Book of Esdras,
- The Book of Tobias,
- The Book of Judith,
- The rest of the Book of Esther,
- The Book of Wisdom,
- Jesus the Son of Sirach,
- Baruch the Prophet,
- The Song of the Three Children,
- The Story of Susannah,
- Of Bel and the Dragon,
- The Prayer of Manasses,
- The First Book of Maccabees,
- The Second Book of Maccabees.
They are included in many editions of the King James Bible between the Old and New Testaments, but not in most Protestant Bibles. Except for the first two, they are included in Roman Catholic bibles as integral parts of the Old Testament. The third and fourth books of Esdras are now normally called the first and second books; what were the first two books are the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
The Wikisource Bible wrongly includes other books (3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, Psalm 151) in the Apocrypha, although these books have never been recognised by the Church of England as part of the Apocrypha or included in the King James Version or any Roman Catholic Bibles. This error appears to have arisen because some printings of the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version have an "expanded" collection of "The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books". However, it is clear from The Oxford Companion to the Bible, edited by Bruce Metzger, the chairman of the NRSV translators, that these books are not part of the standard Apocrypha.