- any writings, anecdotes, etc., of doubtful authenticity or authorship
- fourteen books of the Septuagint that are rejected in Judaism and regarded by Protestants as not canonical: eleven of them are fully accepted in the Roman Catholic canon
- various writings falsely attributed to Biblical characters or kept out of the New Testament because not accepted as resulting from revelation
Origin of apocryphaMiddle English apocrifa ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin apocrypha (pl. of apocryphus) ; from Classical Greek apokryphos, hidden, obscure ; from apokryptein ; from apo-, away + kryptein, to hide: see crypt
noun(used with a sing. or pl. verb)
- The biblical books included in the Septuagint and accepted in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox canon but considered noncanonical by Protestants because they are not part of the Hebrew Scriptures. See Table at Bible.
- Various early Christian writings proposed as additions to the New Testament but rejected by the major canons.
- apocrypha Writings or statements of questionable authorship or authenticity.
Origin of ApocryphaMiddle English apocripha, not authentic, from Late Latin Apocrypha, the Apocrypha, from Greek Apokrupha, neuter pl. of apokruphos, secret, hidden, from apokruptein, to hide away : apo-, apo- + kruptein, kruph-, to hide.
- (plural only) Certain writings which are received by some Christians as an authentic part of the Holy Scriptures, but are rejected by others.
- Note: Fourteen such writings, or books, formed part of the Septuagint, but not of the Hebrew canon recognized by the Jews of Palestine. The Council of Trent included all but three of these in the canon of inspired books having equal authority. The German and English Reformers grouped them in their Bibles under the title Apocrypha, as not having dogmatic authority, but being profitable for instruction. The Apocrypha is now commonly omitted from the King James Bible and most other English versions of Scripture. Note: the word is normally capitalised in this usage.