Tag Archives: Apocrypha

Expanded Esther

The Book of Expanded Esther in the BibleSome versions of the Bible include additional text for the book of Esther, which isn’t found in most Protestant versions of the Bible. This additional text rounds out the story and reveals deeper insight into the life of Esther and her guardian, Mordecai.

This complete text of Esther includes five additional sections inserted into Esther’s story:

Prologue: Added prior to Esther 1:1, this section tells of Mordecai’s prophetic dream and his successful efforts to save the king from an assassination attempt. This sparks Haman’s hatred of Mordecai and establishes the reason for the king’s future honoring of Mordecai.

Haman’s Letter: Inserted between Esther 3:14 and 3:15 is the text of Haman’s letter, under the seal of the king, that orders the annihilation of all Jews living across the land.

Prayers: Added after Esther 4:17 are two prayers. Mordecai’s prayer comes first, followed by a longer prayer from Esther. Esther’s prayer reveals her thoughts about her position as queen, which she loathes as an anathema to her devote Jewish faith. This section concludes with Esther approaching the king and God’s provision when she does.

Counter Decree: Inserted between Esther 8:12 and 13 is the decree issued my Mordecai, also under the king’s authority, to allow the Jews to defend themselves and seek revenge against their enemies.

Epilogue: Added after Esther 10:3 is a follow-up text, mostly a quote of Mordecai.

The expanded version of Esther is an Apocrypha text and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Bible (NABRE), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Common English Bible (CEB), Douay-Rheims (DRA), and Eastern Orthodox Bibles all include the expanded version of Esther. Interestingly, the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) contains these additional passages, but the text was removed almost two centuries later. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also includes the additions of Esther.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

What is the Apocrypha in the Bible?

 Bible FAQsQ: What is the Apocrypha?

A: The word Apocrypha isn’t in the Bible. The Apocrypha is a group of Old Testament books that are not in all versions of the Bible, such as the current Protestant and Hebrew Bibles. They are, however, part of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox versions of the Bible. Since much of Christianity deems these writings as holy and inspired, it’s important to consider them. These books are:

Interestingly, the Apocrypha books were part of the original King James translation of the Bible but were later removed. Furthermore, the Apocrypha was part of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, which was in use during Jesus’ time. What happened to them? Why were these books removed? The justification is they aren’t in the Hebrew Bible and there are no versions of them written in Hebrew. Hence their removal.

I think that was a bad call. These books contain some epic stories and can add flavor to our understanding of God. We should embrace them rather than reject them.

To read a version that includes the Apocrypha books, consider Common English Version (CEB).

Please email us if you have a question, FAQ, or idea for new content.

Bible Term: Apocrypha

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:

Eastern Orthodox Cannon: Additionally, the Eastern Orthodox Bible includes all the above books, as well as the following:

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.

Baruch

The Book of Baruch in the BibleBaruch is a disciple, follower, and trusted friend of Jeremiah. He is also the scribe who wrote down Jeremiah’s words as dictated to him (Jeremiah 36:4).

Baruch is the author of the book of Baruch (or at least the first part of it), which serves as a follow-up to the book of Jeremiah since it was written after the people are exiled.

After the introduction, Baruch contains a confession of the nation of Israel‘s guilt and prayer for deliverance (similar to a prayer by Daniel in Daniel 9). This is followed by a section of poetry.

In Baruch 6, the book concludes with a letter, which is comparable to, but different then Jeremiah’s letter recorded in Jeremiah 29. Also, Jeremiah 10:2-15 contains some similar language to Baruch 6. Some versions of the Bible pull out Baruch 6 and include it as a separate one-chapter book, called the Letter of Jeremiah or the Epistle of Jeremiah.

Baruch is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Bible (NABRE), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Common English Bible (CEB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) all include Baruch. Interestingly, the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) contains Baruch, but the text was removed almost two centuries later. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also includes the book of Baruch.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

Judith

The Book of Judith in the BibleThe book of Judith is included with the historical books of the Old Testament, but due to apparent historical inconsistencies, it might be more correct to understand it as a work of historical fiction. Nevertheless, Judith stands as an inspiring account of confident faith put into bold action.

The book of Judith is a tale of the beautiful and pious women Judith (which means Jewess) who daringly and single-handedly delivers the Jewish people from their enemies, using her beauty and charm, all the while remaining pure and chaste.

Judith is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Bible (NABRE), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Common English Bible (CEB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) all include Judith. Interestingly, the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) contains Judith, but the text was removed almost two centuries later. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also includes the book of Judith.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

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First Maccabees

The Book of First Maccabees in the BibleFirst Maccabees is labeled as an historical book, but it possesses both historical and literary value. It is a book of stoic faith.

First Maccabees gives details of the political scene and the military situation in the area of Israel circa the second century BCE. Though the initial focus is on the military leadership and bold exploits of Judas (Maccabeus), for whom the book is named, it also covers the feats of his four brothers: Eleazar, John, Jonathan, and Simon.

Also see 2 Maccabees, as well as 3 Maccabees and 4 Maccabees.

First Maccabees is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Bible (NABRE), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Common English Bible (CEB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) all include First Maccabees. Interestingly, the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) contains First Maccabees, but the text was removed almost two centuries later. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also includes the book of First Maccabees.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

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Second Maccabees

Second Maccabees, another historical book, is not a continuation of First Maccabees, but more appropriately a companion piece, as its timeline mostly overlaps First Maccabees and provides additional details.

The Book of Second Maccabees in the bibleMost importantly, Second Maccabees offers a different perspective of these events, showcasing signs, wonders, and miracles.

It also gives additional insight into what provoked the Maccabean rebellion and covers Judas Maccabeus and his recapture and rededication of the temple.

Also see 1 Maccabees, as well as 3 Maccabees and 4 Maccabees.

Second Maccabees is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Bible (NABRE), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Common English Bible (CEB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) all include Second Maccabees. Interestingly, the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) contains Second Maccabees, but the text was removed almost two centuries later. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also includes the book of Second Maccabees.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

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Tobit

The Book of the Tobit in the BibleThe book of Tobit, sometimes called Tobias, is named after its main character, Tobit (Tobias). Listed as an historical book, some say the book of Tobit is more appropriately understood as a cross between history and wisdom literature. Regardless, Tobit is an epic story.

The book is the account of Tobit, an Israelite originally from the Northern Kingdom of Israel, who was deported to Nineveh. In distress over his life, misfortune, and blindness, he asks God to let him die. In another city, Sarah also giving up on life, makes a similar request. God hears both their prayers, sending the angel Raphael in disguise to help them both, with the help of Tobit’s son Tobiah.

Tobiah makes a journey with Raphael on his father‘s behalf to retrieve some money. Along the way he is attacked by a fish, which he seizes at Raphael’s prompting. He later meets and marries Sarah.

From the fish he makes a potion that he uses to drive the demon Asmedeus from Sarah and to restore his father’s sight.

Raphael reveals his true identity as an angel, and Tobit sings a song of praise. The book ends with Tobit telling Tobiah to leave Nineveh before it is destroyed. Tobit dies at the ripe age of 112.

Tobit is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Bible (NABRE), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Common English Bible (CEB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) all include Tobit. Interestingly, the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) contains Tobit, but the text was removed almost two centuries later. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also includes the book of Tobit.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

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Sirach

The Book of the Sirach in the BibleThe book of Sirach, also called Ecclesiasticus (not to be confused with Ecclesiastes), is another piece of wisdom literature. It is a compilation of sayings similar in style and content to Proverbs. As such, it’s a valuable collection of practical advice and wise sayings. It’s concluding chapters (44 through 50) pay tribute to some of the notable figures in Jewish history, providing additional insight into each one.

The author is a sage named Jesus (not to be confused with Jesus the Christ). This Jesus is the son (or perhaps grandson) of Sirach (Sira), hence the name of the book. The alternate title, Ecclesiasticus, means Church Book.

The book of Sirach was probably familiar to the early Christian church, being read in church gatherings. The original version was assumedly lost, with this being a translation made by the author’s grandson; the book opens with his notes and comments.

Sirach is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Bible (NABRE), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Common English Bible (CEB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) all include Sirach. Interestingly, the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) contains Sirach, but the text was removed almost two centuries later. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also includes the book of Sirach.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

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Wisdom

The book of Wisdom, sometimes called “The Wisdom of Solomon” is patterned after the other wisdom literature in the Bible.

The Book of Wisdom in the BibleWisdom is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Bible (NABRE), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Common English Bible (CEB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) all include the book of Wisdom. Interestingly, the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) contains Wisdom, but the text was removed almost two centuries later. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also includes the book of Wisdom.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”