The word Apocrypha is not found in the Bible but is used to describe several Old Testament books that aren’t included in all versions of the Bible, such as the Protestant and Hebrew Bibles.
However, these books are all found in the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and the Common English Bible (CEB). The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also contains these books of the Apocrypha.
In addition (except for 3 and 4 Maccabees) the Wycliffe Bible (WYC) and the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) include these books of the Apocrypha. However, they were removed from the KJV almost two centuries after it was first published.
Roman Catholic Cannon: The Roman Catholic Bible (see the New American Bible, as well as the New Jerusalem Bible, Douay-Rheims, and Good News Translation) includes the following books of the Apocrypha:
- First Maccabees
- Second Maccabees
- Sirach (aka Ecclesiasticus)
- expanded version of Esther
- expanded version of Daniel
Eastern Orthodox Cannon: Additionally, the Eastern Orthodox Bible includes all the above books, as well as the following:
- 3 Maccabees
- 4 Maccabees
- 1 Esdras
- Prayer of Manasseh
- Psalm 151
- Letter of Jeremiah (sometimes included in Baruch, chapter 6)
- (The Prayer of Azariah, usually included in Daniel, as part of chapter 3.)
- (Susanna, usually included in Daniel, chapter 13)
- (Bel and the Dragon, usually included in Daniel, chapter 14)
Ethiopic Cannon: There are also five additional books, which are part of the Ethiopian Bible, but which go beyond the Apocrypha. They are 2 Esdras, Enoch, Jubilees, 1 Clements, and Shepherd of Hermas.
Discover more about the Apoctypha.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.