The Apocrypha, whose name comes from a Greek work meaning 'hidden', are the set of 14 books of unknown authenticity that have been included in the canonized Old Testament at one point or another through the history of Christianity. The Jewish community has never accepted these books as inspired, and they are not present in the Protestant canon.

St. Augustine was the only significant figure to hold the apocrypha to be divinely inspired, but his voice on the matter was consistently undermined by that of St. Jerome, a considerably more talented linguist and prominent translator. Upon the death of Pope Damascus in 384AD, however, Jerome's influence was recuced drastically. Jerome was the chief secretary to the pope, and aimed to be his successor. When Siricius was elected, however, Jerome moved to Bethlehem, a rather remote section of the Roman Empire, to finish his work on translating the Hebrew Old Testament into Latin Slang. This opened Augustine's opportunity for influence on the councils, and in 393 and 397AD, the councils of Hippo and Carthage finally accepted the apocrypha into the canon. The Syrian Church didn't accept them until the next century.

Most define the apocrypha in terms of the books 'left out' of the Old testament by the Protestants, however, I believe it's important to note that these books had no place in the Jewish canon and were never added to the Christian canon until St. Augustine used the Roman Catholic Church to do so. His efforts in this effect were fought vehemently, but in 450 AD (after 70 years of debating the issue), Augustine finally won out.

Of the reasons to reject the apocrypha as Christian canon:
  1. No book claims to be the inspired word of God.
  2. Some books contain serious historical inaccuracies 1, while others promote concepts contradictory to what is dominant in scripture 2.
  3. Jesus, nor the apostles ever quote from the apocrypha in the New Testament. They allude to them twice 3, but never as authoritative scripture.
  4. There are no original Hebrew copies of any apocryphal book -- the Greek is all that's available

Of the reasons to accept the apocrypha as Christian canon:
  1. Papal Decree 4
  2. Rikmeister says I was always told that the rabbinate decided that some of the Jewish litany were holy (and they became the Tanach), and some were not, and they became what is now the apocrypha. They stopped being leanrt, and therefore stopped being copied, and Hebrew editions were lost. The Catholic church disagreed with the rabbinate's decision and re-adopted the apocrypha.

The books of the Apocrypha include:

Those currently accepted by the Roman Catholic Church: Those not accepted:
Comments:

flyingroc says I recall correctly, the Septuagint, a translation of the old testament to Greek that dates before the advent of christianity included some of the deuterocanonicals, thus at least may show some jews accepted some of the "apocrypha" as canon.


Footnotes:
1: e.g. Judith and Tobit
2: e.g. Selling of indulgances, found in Ecclesiasticus 3; deifying Angels in Tobit
3: in Jude 14 and 2 Timothy 3
4: I apoligize that I can't be more objective about this. I've searched for what reasons the Catholic church gives, and this is the only one I can find. If anyone knows a better one, please /msg me.
5: These two 'books' are actually chapters of the book of Daniel, but are likely additions made many years later.
6: It's debatable whether or not to include the pseudoepigrapha as apocrypha. Many of these were written during the New Testament period as Gospels, Letters, Revelations, or Acts, but all were left out of the canon for various reasons. Most have dubious authenticity.

Works Cited:
"The Apocrypha : An American Translation" by Edgar Goodspeed (isbn 0679724524)
http://watch.pair.com/apocrypha.html
http://www.str.org/free/studies/apocryph.htm
http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Sep1997/feature2.asp
The X-files

Apocrypha (Part 2 of 2)
Episode: 3X16
First aired:2/16/96
Written by: Frank Spotnitz and Chris Carter
Directed by: Kim Manners

The great conclusion to Piper Maru!

From the previous episode: Mulder and Scully have discovered a ship that may have been transporting a UFO. An alien substance has been transfered through various people and is now in Agent Alex Krycek. Skinner has been shot by men who don't want the case of Scully's sister, Melissa opened.

It's August 19, 1953, and a sick, burned crewman in Pearl Harbor Navy Hospital tells three young government men about his ordeal, how he and others were locked up with the captain of their submarine on a salvage mission and how the men were dying. The captain had the black substance in his eyes and after being knocked unconscious, a black oil oozed out of him, down a grate and into the lower depths. The sailor recalls that for the first time they saw what was killing them and that the thing is still down there. He says to one man "make sure the truth gets out. I can trust you to do that, can't I, Mr. Mulder?" 'Mr.Mulder' replies after lighting a cigarette (showing that it is actually a young CSM) "You can trust all of us"

Now in the present, Scully rushes to the hospital to see the wounded Skinner. Mulder and Krycek arrive in Washington. They rent a car but it is run off the road. Mulder is knocked unconscious but not before seeing Krycek yanked from the car and asked about the digital tape. In a blinding light, the two men who ran them off the road are fried. The Cigarette Smoking Man looks over the two men, who are in critical condition but alive, and tells the doctor to have the bodies destroyed.

Mulder awakens in the hospital with Scully at his side telling him that Skinner was shot and that the man who shot him also shot her sister.

The Syndicate meets to discuss disturbing reports about the salvage ship. One elder says that they have an information leak. CSM has been asked to account for this.

Skinner tells Scully that he recognized the man who shot him as being with Krycek when the third attacker took the UFO digital tape from him in the hospital stairwell. Mulder has collected a sample of the oil found on the diving suit and from Gautheir and his wife. He thinks that it is a medium employed by some kind of alien creature that uses it to body jump, that it has waited on the ocean bottom and has been brought up with Gauthier and is now in Krycek.

Mulder has the key that Krycek gave him. He gets the Lone Gunmen to look, but the envelope in the locker is empty. Elsewhere, Krycek gives CSM the tape and asks him "Where is it?" CSM understands this and says he has what he wants.

CSM meets with the Syndicate who are not pleased that he is having the UFO moved to another location. The Well-Manicured Man is also upset about Skinner being shot, saying it is serious exposure.

Mulder finds a phone number on the envelope, calling the syndicate office and speaking to the Well-Manicured Man, who asks him to meet him in Central Park. Scully learns that the shooter is a mercenary named Luis Cardinal who may have already fled the country. She still insists the FBI keep looking.

The WWM tells Mulder the object in the ocean was a UFO downed during WWII. Complications arose during salvage operation, and a cover story about a third A-bomb bound for Japan was concocted. Mulder says Krycek has the tape and realizes that WWM doesn't know where his is either.

Mulder is suddenly concerned about Skinner, and with WWM agreeing that anyone can be gotten to, he calls Scully to check on Skinner. Scully does so and finds him being transferred to another hospital. In the ambulance she encounters Luis Cardinal, whom she corners in the street. She yells that he shot her sister and points her gun at him. Frightened, Cardinal offers her Krycek in exchange for his life. Scully doesn't fire and the police arrest him. He tells her that Krycek is heading to an abandoned missile site in North Dakota where Mulder thinks they'll find the salvaged UFO.

At the site, Mulder and Scully descend into a silo, finding burned men. They run around underground looking for Krycek or other signs. Armed men arrive, capturing them just outside the silo door 1013. CSM is waiting outside. Mulder yells at him, saying that he lead Krycek here and that he can't bury the truth. Mulder and Scully are dragged away into a car. Inside the silo, CSM looks at the door 1013. Inside the silo, we see Krycek convulsively coughing up the black oil, which seeps into a strange-looking grid on what appears to be an alien craft.

Using a cane, Skinner returns to work. Mulder finds Scully at Melissa's grave saying that Cardinal was found dead in his cell. Meanwhile, we see Krycek futilely pounding the silo door, hopelessly entombed deep underground.


Important Quotes:
Skinner -- "Listen to me, anger is a luxury that you cannot afford right now. If you're angry you're gonna make a mistake, and these people will take advantage of that, you've seen how they operate."
Scully -- "I'll be ok"
Skinner -- "Scully.. if you can't keep your head.. it's all right to step away."
Scully -- "It's exactly what they want"

Mulder -- "This just wasn't ordinary diesel oil, I think it's huh.. I think it's a medium, a medium being used by some kind of alien creature that uses it to .. body jump."
Scully -- "So you're saying that this stuff has intelligence."
Mulder -- "I think that it came off of whatever they pulled from the bottom of the Pacific ocean, it's been waiting 50 years down there for another host, another body to bring it up to the surface."
Scully -- "Waiting to jump into the diver and then into the diver's wife."
Mulder -- "And then into Krycek."

Byers -- "You should call upon our service more often."
Langly -- "We show a talent for these G-man activities."
Mulder -- "You mean if I want somebody whacked on the neighbor with a lead pipe?"
Forhike -- "Only if you want the job done right."

Mulder -- "Hand me a pencil."
Langly -- "Your sci-crime guys at the Bureau have a laser there that can measure any change in a surface down to a few nanometers (Mulder is going over the impression with the pencil)"
Byers -- "Actually they can lift perfect impression using magnetic toner and a sheet of mylar an electrostatic device is applied to the specimen, and renders the information, by drawing the toner from the indentation to the mylar surface."
Frohike -- "Actually.."
Mulder -- "Actually, it's a phone number, New York City area code (212), 555 1012. Now don't drop that (giving the pencil to Frohike) that's a finely calibrated piece of investigative equipment. I gotta make a phone call."
Frohike -- "I'll be damned."

WMM -- "Who gave you this number?"
Mulder -- "You probably know. A man named Krycek."
WMM -- "Alex Krycek?"
Mulder -- "Yeah nice guy, killed my father, you wouldn't happen to know where he is, do you?"

Scully -- "Keep looking for him (Cardinal)."
Agent #1-- "We.. pretty much exhausted our avenues."
Scully -- "What's it gonna take?"
Agent #2 -- "At this point? Other than a sign from God?"
Scully -- "I've seen stranger things, believe me."
Man -- "I believe she has."


Back to The X-files: Season 3
Apocrypha: "things that are hidden" The additional or "hidden," books of the Old Testament which are not in the Hebrew canon and some versions of the complete Bible. Some apocryphal writings contain important information about angels, which continues to influence modern thought. The Greek version of the Old Testament, The Septuagint includes the Apocrypha, thus most of the early fathers of Christianity accepted the Apocrypha as Scripture. In 1546 the Apocrypha were officially declared as part of the Christian canon by the Council of Trent, however the books were given lesser status than the rest of the Scriptures. In the beginning many had trouble distinguishing the Apocrypha from the Old Testament, but many of the modern Bibles make the difference clear. The Apocrypha also wielded great influence upon the arts, including poetry, drama, music, literature, sculpture and painting. In angelology the most important work is found in the apocryphal: The Book of Tobit, which tells the story of the blind man Tobit and his son Tobias, and the archangel Raphael. It is considered to be historically based, the purpose to impart lessons on righteousness and morality and to teach occult lore concerning healing and exorcism.
Definition: Apocrypha is also the name given to any text of questionable authority, authorship, or attribution, be this intentional or not.



Explication: From the Greek word "Apokrupha", meaning "secret" or "hidden", from apo- -kruptein, kruph meaning "to hide"; also a conceptual link to the Greek kryptos meaning crypt or cave, connected to concepts of invisibility or hidden as in Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

The origin of our modern conception of "apocrypha" comes, as rightly suggested above, from a group of 14 books which were rejected for inclusion in The Holy Bible, though they were included in St. Jerome's translation into the Vulgate. Today its connotation is far wider and it generally is used in reference to a text written by a fake author, or about a fake subject. Perhaps the most famous of all modern apocryphal works are those written by Jorge Luis Borges, who is, of course, famous for his reviews of imaginary books. Italo Calvino, Milorad Pavic, Jacques Derrida and Umberto Eco are other contemporary authors who have worked, in one way or another, on the subject of apocrypha. Historically, apocrypha was also important to the works of such writers as the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19c. Japanese linguist Seiji Koga, the English playwright William Shakespeare, and the great Russian theorist and early structuralist Prokofy Borohav. Apocrypha was perhaps, first of all, perfected by early Jewish Kabbalists.

The line between apocrypha, history, and fiction is of course a thin and changing one. At least one of the themes that all these writers have attempted to foreground is the changing relationships between the true and the false: two entities that are, according to a traditional notion of philosophy (such as that expressed by Plato in his Meno), names for static metaphysical categories. For example, that Borges' works are apocryphal does not exclude their being fictional, obviously. Yet it does not also exclude their beinghistorical in some senses of the word and according to some historiographical conceptions of that discipline. That it is considered apocrypha at all is probably due only to his writing style which generally attempts to pass of his reviews as if they were of real books. Borges' works, and that of other apocryphists, presents an interesting challenge to traditional epistemological and metaphysical theories that construct and organize our poetics and resulting texts. In the least, they call into questions are old-fashioned answers to questions like: "What is real?", "Who is an author?", "What is history?", "What is a valid historical archive?". The web, hypertext as a technology, and even e2 are further breeding grounds for apocryphal texts, with the possibility of misattributed texts, nonexistent authors (in at least one sense of the term 'existent'), texts on false subjects that nonetheless pass themselves off as genuinely historical. One can imagine entire websites devoted to the explication of texts or lives or revolutions that never occured.

Hypertext and apocrypha certainly do call into question our notions of 'value' as they relate to writing and a poetics that may situate this writing. Why are historical texts put to certain tasks that fictional ones aren't? Why must fiction be well-written, but not history? And, why can not history be itself the subject of a fiction, in a sense far more interesting than those historical fictions one might have read in high school?


(Note between the parentheses: (these parentheses are becoming a tradition for me, read some of my other w/us for examples). I have embarked on a long project here on e2, which has only begun, that seeks to break apart those lines between apocrypha, history, fiction, and literature. Of course there is a distinction to be made, but I don't think it should be made in terms of metaphysical categories such as real or fake. Rather, the differences can be better spelled out in practical terms, in the terms of the archive. The real question in reading Borges is not, "Did that book exist?"; rather, it is "Did you read that book or did you read about it in another book?". Of course, most of the interesting questions are going to be about the text itself, as well as its subject. The metaphysical status of the subject is an inquiry of a different sort. If I have written anything here, it is only so that I may dig deep into that line that supposedly divides history from literature--it is a line that is situated in a three-dimensional space, not two-dimensional, and so it must have some depth into which I can direct my painful gaze.)

A*poc"ry*pha (#), n. pl., but often used as sing. with pl. Apocryphas (#). [L. apocryphus apocryphal, Gr. hidden, spurious, fr. to hide; from + to hide.]

1.

Something, as a writing, that is of doubtful authorship or authority; -- formerly used also adjectively.

[Obs.]

Locke.

2.

Specif.: Certain writings which are received by some Christians as an authentic part of the Holy Scriptures, but are rejected by others.

⇒ 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's Bible.

 

© Webster 1913.

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