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Basic Information

The word Apocrypha comes from the Greek for "things hidden away" and is generally used to refer to certain biblical books that are not considered to be part of the sacred canon. In particular, it refers to the books which were included in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures created in the First Century BC, but not regarded by Jewish scholars as divinely-inspired. Martin Luther, in his German translation of the Bible, agreed with Jewish tradition, but conceded that they were useful for reading. The Roman Catholic Church, however, affirmed these deuterocanonical ("second canon") books as authoritive and in the Council of Trent officially incorporated them into the Bible. In Catholic Bibles, these books are inserted into the Old Testament, but in Protestant Bibles, when they are included at all, they are segregated to a seperate section.

The deuterocanonical books recognized by the Council of Trent are:

  • Tobit
  • Judith
  • Additions to Esther
  • Wisdom
  • Sirach
  • Baruch
  • Additions to Daniel
    • Song of the Three Children
    • Story of Susanna
    • Bel and the Dragon
  • 1 Maccabees
  • 2 Maccabees

The King James Version of the Bible includes in it's Apocrypha these books not recognized by Trent

  • 1 Esdras
  • 2 Esdras
  • Prayer of Manasses

In addition, there are myriad other books outside the Protestant and Catholic canons, some of which are considered authorative by different religious groups. For some of these, see Pseudepigrapha.

See Also


Game and Story Use

  • Since the deuterocanonical books are less-known than the other books of the Bible, you can crib from them with less risk of the players spotting it.
  • And as Luther said, these books are useful and worthy of study; although I don't think he was thinking of using them for the purpose of gaming.
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