Deuterocanonical books

Deuterocanonical books

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Deuterocanonical books'
Start a new discussion about 'Deuterocanonical books'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 that are not part of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

. The term is used in contrast to the protocanonical books
Protocanonical books
The protocanonical books are those books of the Old Testament which are also included in the Hebrew Bible and which have always been considered canonical by almost all Christians throughout history...

, which are contained in the Hebrew Bible. This distinction had previously contributed to debate in the early Church
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

 about whether they should be read in the churches and thus be classified as canonical
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 texts. The term is used as a matter of convenience by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

 and other Churches to refer to books of their Old Testament which are not part of the Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

.

The Deuterocanonical books are considered canonical
Canonical
Canonical is an adjective derived from canon. Canon comes from the greek word κανών kanon, "rule" or "measuring stick" , and is used in various meanings....

 by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, but are considered non-canonical by most Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

. The word deuterocanonical comes from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 meaning 'belonging to the second canon'.

The original usage of the term distinguished these scriptures both from those considered non-canonical
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

and from those considered protocanonical
Protocanonical books
The protocanonical books are those books of the Old Testament which are also included in the Hebrew Bible and which have always been considered canonical by almost all Christians throughout history...

. However, some editions of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 include text from both deuterocanonical and non-canonical scriptures in a single section designated "Apocrypha
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

". This arrangement can lead to conflation between the otherwise distinct terms "deuterocanonical" and "apocryphal".

History


Deuterocanonical is a term first coined in 1566 by the theologian Sixtus of Siena
Sixtus of Siena
Sixtus of Siena , a converted Jew, followed a Franciscan course of study and became a Roman Catholic theologian. Though he was convicted of heresy he was saved by a Dominican inquisitor, the future Pope Pius V, who repealed the condemnation when Sixtus recanted and pledged to transfer to the...

, who had converted to Catholicism from Judaism, to describe scriptural texts of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 considered canonical
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 by the Catholic Church, but which are not present in the Hebrew Bible, and which had been omitted by some early canon lists, especially in the East
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

.

Their acceptance among early Christians was widespread, though not universal, and the Bible of the early Church always included, with varying degrees of recognition, books now called deuterocanonical. Some say that their canonicity seems not to have been doubted in the Church until it was challenged by Jews after AD 100, sometimes postulating a hypothetical Council of Jamnia
Council of Jamnia
The Council of Jamnia or Council of Yavne is a hypothetical late 1st-century council at which it is postulated the canon of the Hebrew Bible was finalized....

. Regional councils in the West
Western Christianity
Western Christianity is a term used to include the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church and groups historically derivative thereof, including the churches of the Anglican and Protestant traditions, which share common attributes that can be traced back to their medieval heritage...

 published official canons that included these books as early as the fourth and fifth centuries.

Dead Sea scrolls


Fragments of three deuterocanonical books have been found among the Dead Sea scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

 found at Qumran
Qumran
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank. It is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalia...

. Sirach
Sirach
The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira , commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach or simply Sirach, and also known as Ecclesiasticus or Siracides , is a work from the early 2nd century B.C. written by the Jewish scribe Jesus ben Sirach of Jerusalem...

, whose Hebrew text was already known from the Cairo Geniza
Cairo Geniza
The Cairo Geniza is a collection of almost 280,000 Jewish manuscript fragments found in the Genizah or storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat, presently Old Cairo, Egypt. Some additional fragments were found in the Basatin cemetery east of Old Cairo, and the collection includes a number of...

, has been found in two scrolls (2QSir or 2Q18, 11QPs_a or 11Q5) in Hebrew. Another Hebrew scroll of Sirach has been found in Masada
Masada
Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau, or horst, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada is best known for the violence that occurred there in the first century CE...

 (MasSir). The Book of Tobit
Book of Tobit
The Book of Tobit is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the Council of Trent...

 has been found in Qumran in four scrolls written in Aramaic and in one written in Hebrew. The Letter of Jeremiah (or Baruch
Book of Baruch
The Book of Baruch, occasionally referred to as 1 Baruch, is called a deuterocanonical book of the Bible. Although not in the Hebrew Bible, it is found in the Septuagint and in the Vulgate Bible, and also in Theodotion's version. It is grouped with the prophetical books which also include Isaiah,...

 chapter 6) has been found in cave 7 (7Q5) in Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

.

It has been theorized by recent scholars that the Qumran library was not entirely produced at Qumran, but may have included part of the library of the Jerusalem Temple, that may have been hidden in the caves for safekeeping at the time it was destroyed by Romans in 70 AD.

Influence of the Septuagint


The large majority of Old Testament references in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 are taken from the Greek Septuagint  (LXX)—which includes the deuterocanonical books, as well as apocrypha
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

 —both of which are called collectively anagignoskomena (things that are read). Several appear to have been written originally in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, but the original text has long been lost. Archaeological finds, however, discovered some original texts among the Dead Sea scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

. The Septuagint was widely accepted and used by Greek-speaking Jews
Hellenistic Judaism
Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism...

 in the first century, even in the region of Roman Judea
Iudaea Province
Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

, and therefore naturally became the text most widely used by early Christians, who were predominantly Greek speaking.

In the New Testament, Hebrews 11:35 refers to an event that was
recorded in one of the deuterocanonical books (2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible, which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work....

 It is also a reference to 1
Kings17:22-23 7).
Other New Testament authors also quote period literature which was familiar to the audience but that was not included in the Old Testament or the deuterocanonical books. For instance, Paul cites Greek writers and philosophers, and the author of Hebrews references oral tradition which spoke of an Old Testament prophet who was sawn in half in Hebrews 11:37, two verses after the 2nd Maccabees reference.

The Jewish historian Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 speaks of the books as being 22 in number, a Jewish tradition reported also by the Christian bishop Athanasius. However, included in Athanasius's list of 22 Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 books are Baruch
Book of Baruch
The Book of Baruch, occasionally referred to as 1 Baruch, is called a deuterocanonical book of the Bible. Although not in the Hebrew Bible, it is found in the Septuagint and in the Vulgate Bible, and also in Theodotion's version. It is grouped with the prophetical books which also include Isaiah,...

 and the Letter of Jeremiah. At the same time, he mentioned that certain other books, including five deuterocanonical books but also the Didache
Didache
The Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles is a brief early Christian treatise, dated by most scholars to the late first or early 2nd century...

 and the Shepherd of Hermas, while not being part of the canon, "were appointed by the Fathers to be read". He excluded what he called "apocryphal writings" entirely.

In the Catholic Church


In the Catholic Church, "the first infallible and effectually promulgated pronouncement on the Canon" was that defined by the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

. Among the minority, in Trent, that showed opposition to these books' inclusion were Cardinals Seripando and Cajetan
Thomas Cajetan
Thomas Cajetan , also known as Gaetanus, commonly Tommaso de Vio , was an Italian cardinal. He is perhaps best known among Protestants for his opposition to the teachings of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation while he was the Pope's Legate in Wittenberg, and perhaps best known among...

, the latter an opponent of Luther at Augsburg. However, Trent confirmed the statements of earlier and less authoritative regional councils which included also the deuterocanonical books, such as the Synod of Hippo
Synod of Hippo
The Synod of Hippo refers to the synod of 393 which was hosted in Hippo Regius in northern Africa during the early Christian Church. Additional synods were held in 394, 397, 401 and 426....

 (393), and the Councils of Carthage
Councils of Carthage
Councils of Carthage, also referred to as Synods of Carthage were church synods held during the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries in the town of Carthage in Africa...

 of 397. Much later (15th century), the Council of Florence
Council of Florence
The Council of Florence was an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It began in 1431 in Basel, Switzerland, and became known as the Council of Ferrara after its transfer to Ferrara was decreed by Pope Eugene IV, to convene in 1438...

 taught the divine inspiration of these books, but "did not formally pass on their canonicity.
"

In the canonical debate between Catholics and Protestants controversy remains as to the significance of Trent's omission of the Septuagint version of 1 Esdras
1 Esdras
1 Esdras , Greek Ezra, is an ancient Greek version of the biblical Book of Ezra in use among ancient Jewry, the early church, and many modern Christians with varying degrees of canonicity and a high historical usefulness....

 which Carthage may have ratified. However, there is ambiguity over the naming of the books of Esdras. The Canon of Carthage lists two books of Esdras. This could mean 1 Esdras and Ezra-Nehemiah
Ezra-Nehemiah
Ezra-Nehemiah is the combined biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah - the two were originally one, but were divided by Christians in the 3rd century CE, and in Jewish circles in the 15th century...

 as in the Septuagint or Ezra
Book of Ezra
The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible. Originally combined with the Book of Nehemiah in a single book of Ezra-Nehemiah, the two became separated in the early centuries of the Christian era...

 and Nehemiah
Book of Nehemiah
The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible. Told largely in the form of a first-person memoir, it concerns the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah, a Jew who is a high official at the Persian court, and the dedication of the city and its people to God's laws...

 as in the Vulgate.

The Catholic deuterocanonical scriptural texts are:
  • Tobit
    Book of Tobit
    The Book of Tobit is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the Council of Trent...

  • Judith
  • Additions to Esther (Vulgate
    Vulgate
    The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

     Esther
    Esther
    Esther , born Hadassah, is the eponymous heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther.According to the Bible, she was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus...

     10:4-16:24)
  • Wisdom
    Book of Wisdom
    The Book of Wisdom, often referred to simply as Wisdom or the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. It is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books of the Septuagint Old Testament, which includes Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon ,...

  • Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus)
  • Baruch
    Book of Baruch
    The Book of Baruch, occasionally referred to as 1 Baruch, is called a deuterocanonical book of the Bible. Although not in the Hebrew Bible, it is found in the Septuagint and in the Vulgate Bible, and also in Theodotion's version. It is grouped with the prophetical books which also include Isaiah,...

    , including the Letter of Jeremiah (Additions to Jeremiah in the Septuagint)
  • Additions to Daniel
    Additions to Daniel
    The Additions to Daniel comprise three chapters not found in the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel. The text of these chapters is found in the Greek Septuagint and in the earlier Old Greek translation. They are accepted as canonical and translated as such in Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and...

    :
    • Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children
      The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children
      The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Holy Children is a lengthy passage that appears after Daniel 3:23 in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles, as well as in the ancient Greek Septuagint translation. It is listed as non-canonical in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the...

       (Vulgate
      Vulgate
      The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

       Daniel
      Daniel
      Daniel is the protagonist in the Book of Daniel of the Hebrew Bible. In the narrative, when Daniel was a young man, he was taken into Babylonian captivity where he was educated in Chaldean thought. However, he never converted to Neo-Babylonian ways...

       3:24-90)
    • Susanna
      Susanna (Book of Daniel)
      Susanna or Shoshana included in the Book of Daniel by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It is one of the additions to Daniel, considered apocryphal by Protestants. It is listed in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England among the books which are included...

       (Vulgate Daniel 13, Septuagint prologue)
    • Bel and the Dragon
      Bel and the Dragon
      The narrative of Bel and the Dragon incorporated as chapter 14 of the extended Book of Daniel exists only in Greek in the Septuagint. This chapter, along with chapter 13, is referred to as deuterocanonical, in that it is not universally accepted among Christians as belonging to the canonical works...

       (Vulgate Daniel 14, Septuagint epilogue)
  • 1 Maccabees
    1 Maccabees
    The First book of Maccabees is a book written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, about the latter part of the 2nd century BC. The original Hebrew is lost and the most important surviving version is the Greek translation contained in the Septuagint...

  • 2 Maccabees
    2 Maccabees
    2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible, which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work....


Influence of the Vulgate


Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 in the Vulgate's prologues describes a canon which excludes the deuterocanonical books, possibly excepting Baruch
Book of Baruch
The Book of Baruch, occasionally referred to as 1 Baruch, is called a deuterocanonical book of the Bible. Although not in the Hebrew Bible, it is found in the Septuagint and in the Vulgate Bible, and also in Theodotion's version. It is grouped with the prophetical books which also include Isaiah,...

. In his Prologues, Jerome mentions all of the deuterocanonical and apocryphal works by name as being apocryphal or "not in the canon" except for Prayer of Manasses and Baruch. He mentions Baruch by name in his Prologue to Jeremiah and notes that it is neither read nor held among the Hebrews, but does not explicitly call it apocryphal or "not in the canon". The inferior status to which the deuteros were relegated by authorities like Jerome is seen by some as being due to a rigid conception of canonicity, one demanding that a book, to be entitled to this supreme dignity, must be received by all, must have the sanction of Jewish antiquity, and must moreover be adapted not only to edification, but also to the "confirmation of the doctrine of the Church". Eventually however, Jerome's Vulgate
Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

 did include the deuterocanonical books as well as apocrypha
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

. Jerome referred to them as scriptural and quoted from them despite describing them as "not in the canon". In his prologue to Judith, without using the word canon, he mentioned that Judith was held to be scriptural by the First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325...

. In his reply to Rufinus, he affirmed that he was consistent with the choice of the church regarding which version of the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel to use, which the Jews of his day did not include:
What sin have I committed if I followed the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the Story of Susanna
Susanna (Book of Daniel)
Susanna or Shoshana included in the Book of Daniel by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It is one of the additions to Daniel, considered apocryphal by Protestants. It is listed in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England among the books which are included...

, the Song of the Three Children
The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children
The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Holy Children is a lengthy passage that appears after Daniel 3:23 in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles, as well as in the ancient Greek Septuagint translation. It is listed as non-canonical in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the...

, and the story of Bel and the Dragon
Bel and the Dragon
The narrative of Bel and the Dragon incorporated as chapter 14 of the extended Book of Daniel exists only in Greek in the Septuagint. This chapter, along with chapter 13, is referred to as deuterocanonical, in that it is not universally accepted among Christians as belonging to the canonical works...

, which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. For I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they [the Jews] are wont to make against us. (Against Rufinus, 11:33 [AD 402
402
Year 402 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Arcadius and Honorius...

]).


Thus Jerome acknowledged the principle by which the canon was settled —the judgment of the Church, rather than his own judgment or the judgment of Jews, though he wondered why one would sanction the version of a heretic
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 and judaizer.

The Vulgate is also important as the touchstone of the canon concerning which parts of books are canonical. When the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 listed the books included in the canon, it qualified the books as being "entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition". This decree was clarified somewhat by Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI , born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was Pope from 6 February 1922, and sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929 until his death on 10 February 1939...

 on June 2, 1927, who allowed that the Comma Johanneum
Comma Johanneum
The Comma Johanneum is a comma in the First Epistle of John according to the Latin Vulgate text as transmitted since the Early Middle Ages, based on Vetus Latina minority readings dating to the 7th century...

 was open to dispute, and it was further explicated by Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

's Divino Afflante Spiritu
Divino Afflante Spiritu
Divino Afflante Spiritu is an encyclical letter issued by Pope Pius XII on September 30, 1943. It inaugurated the modern period of Roman Catholic Bible studies by permitting the limited use of modern methods of biblical criticism. The Catholic bible scholar Raymond E...

.

Reception in Orthodox Christianity and other churches



Outside of the Roman Catholic Church, the term deuterocanonical is sometimes used, by way of analogy, to describe books that Eastern Orthodoxy, and Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

 included in the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 that are not part of the Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

, nor the Protestant Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

. Among Orthodox, the term is understood to mean that they were compiled separately from the primary canon, as explained in 2 Esdras, where Esdras is instructed to keep certain books separate and hidden.

Eastern Orthodoxy


The Eastern Orthodox Churches have traditionally included all the books of the Septuagint in their Old Testaments. The Greeks use the word Anagignoskomena (Ἀναγιγνωσκόμενα "readable, worthy to be read") to describe the books of the Greek Septuagint that are not present in the Hebrew Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

. When Orthodox theologians use the term "deuterocanonical," it is important to note that the meaning is not identical to the Roman Catholic usage. In Orthodox Christianity, deuterocanonical means that a book is part of the corpus of the Old Testament (i.e. is read during the services) but has secondary authority. In other words, deutero (second) applies to authority or witnessing power, whereas in Roman Catholicism, deutero applies to chronology (the fact that these books were confirmed later), not to authority.

The Eastern Orthodox books included in the Old Testament are the seven deuterocanonical books listed above, plus 3 Maccabees
3 Maccabees
The book of the 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the Anagignoskomena, while Protestants and Catholics consider it non-canonical, except the Moravian Brethren who included it in the Apocrypha of the Czech Kralicka Bible...

 and 1 Esdras
1 Esdras
1 Esdras , Greek Ezra, is an ancient Greek version of the biblical Book of Ezra in use among ancient Jewry, the early church, and many modern Christians with varying degrees of canonicity and a high historical usefulness....

 (also included in the Clementine Vulgate), while Baruch is divided from the Epistle of Jeremiah, making a total of 49 Old Testament books in contrast with the Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 39-book canon.

Like the Roman Catholic deuterocanonical books, these texts are integrated with the rest of the Old Testament, not printed in a separate section.

Other texts printed in Orthodox Bibles are considered of some value (like the additional Psalm 151
Psalm 151
Psalm 151 is the name given to a short psalm that is found in most copies of the Septuagint but not in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible. The title given to this psalm in the Septuagint indicates that it is supernumerary, and no number is affixed to it: "This Psalm is ascribed to David and...

, and the Prayer of Manasses) or are included as an appendix (like the Greek 4 Maccabees
4 Maccabees
The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over passion. It is not in the Bible for most churches, but is an appendix to the Greek Bible, and in the canon of the Georgian Bible...

, and the Slavonic 2 Esdras
2 Esdras
2 Esdras or Latin Esdras is the name of an apocalyptic book in many English versions of the Bible . Its authorship is ascribed to Ezra. It is reckoned among the Apocrypha by many Protestant churches. Although Second Esdras exists in its complete form only in Latin, it was originally written in...

).

Ethiopian Orthodoxy


In the Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

 Bible used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (an Oriental Orthodox Church), those books of the Old Testament that are still counted as canonical, but not by all other Churches, are often set in a separate section titled "Deeyutrokanoneekal" (ዲዩትሮካኖኒካል), which is the same word. The Ethiopian Orthodox Deuterocanon, in addition to the standard set listed above, along with the books of Esdras and Prayer of Minasse, also includes some books that are still held canonical by only the Ethiopian Church, including Enoch or Henok (I Enoch), Kufale (Jubilees
Jubilees
The Book of Jubilees , sometimes called Lesser Genesis , is an ancient Jewish religious work, considered one of the pseudepigrapha by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches...

) and 1, 2 and 3 Meqabyan
Meqabyan
I, II, and III Meqabyan are three books in the Ethiopian Orthodox Old Testament Biblical canon....

 (which are sometimes wrongly confused with the "Books of Maccabees").

Jewish position



Judaism and most Protestant versions of the Bible exclude these books. It is commonly said that Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 officially excluded the deuterocanonicals and the additional Greek texts listed here from their Scripture in the Council of Jamnia
Council of Jamnia
The Council of Jamnia or Council of Yavne is a hypothetical late 1st-century council at which it is postulated the canon of the Hebrew Bible was finalized....

 (c.70-90 AD), but this claim is also disputed.

Anglicanism


There is a great deal of overlap between the Apocrypha
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

 section of the original 1611 King James Bible and the Catholic deuterocanon, but the two are distinct. The Apocrypha section of the original 1611 King James Bible includes, in addition to the deuterocanonical books, the following three books, which were not included in the list of the canonical books by the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

:
  • 1 Esdras
    1 Esdras
    1 Esdras , Greek Ezra, is an ancient Greek version of the biblical Book of Ezra in use among ancient Jewry, the early church, and many modern Christians with varying degrees of canonicity and a high historical usefulness....

     (Vulgate
    Vulgate
    The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

     3 Esdras)
  • 2 Esdras
    2 Esdras
    2 Esdras or Latin Esdras is the name of an apocalyptic book in many English versions of the Bible . Its authorship is ascribed to Ezra. It is reckoned among the Apocrypha by many Protestant churches. Although Second Esdras exists in its complete form only in Latin, it was originally written in...

     (Vulgate 4 Esdras)
  • Prayer of Manasses


These books make up the Apocrypha section of the Clementine Vulgate: 3 Esdras (1 Esdras
1 Esdras
1 Esdras , Greek Ezra, is an ancient Greek version of the biblical Book of Ezra in use among ancient Jewry, the early church, and many modern Christians with varying degrees of canonicity and a high historical usefulness....

); 4 Esdras (2 Esdras
2 Esdras
2 Esdras or Latin Esdras is the name of an apocalyptic book in many English versions of the Bible . Its authorship is ascribed to Ezra. It is reckoned among the Apocrypha by many Protestant churches. Although Second Esdras exists in its complete form only in Latin, it was originally written in...

); and The Prayer of Manasseh, where they are specifically described as "outside of the series of the canon". The 1609 Douai Bible includes them in an appendix, but they have been dropped from recent Catholic translations into English. They are found, along with the deuterocanonical books, in the Apocrypha
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

 section of Protestant bibles.

Using the word apocrypha (Greek: hidden away) to describe texts, although not necessarily pejorative, implies to some people that the writings in question should not be included in the canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 of the Bible
Books of the Bible
The Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Judaism and the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches, although there is substantial overlap. A table comparing the canons of some of these traditions...

. This classification commingles them with certain non-canonical gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

s and New Testament Apocrypha
New Testament apocrypha
The New Testament apocrypha are a number of writings by early Christians that claim to be accounts of Jesus and his teachings, the nature of God, or the teachings of his apostles and of their lives. These writings often have links with books regarded as "canonical"...

. The Style Manual for the Society of Biblical Literature recommends the use of the term deuterocanonical literature instead of Apocrypha in academic writing.

The Thirty-Nine Articles
Thirty-Nine Articles
The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion are the historically defining statements of doctrines of the Anglican church with respect to the controversies of the English Reformation. First established in 1563, the articles served to define the doctrine of the nascent Church of England as it related to...

 of Religion of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 lists the deuterocanonical books as suitable to be read for "example of life and instruction of manners, but yet doth not apply them to establish any doctrine." The early lectionaries of the Anglican Church (as included in the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 of 1662) included the deuterocanonical books amongst the cycle of readings, and passages from them were used in the services (such as the Benedicite
Benedicite
The Benedicite is a canticle that is used in the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours, and is also used in Anglican and Lutheran worship. The text is either verses 35–65 or verses 35–66 of The Song of the Three Children...

)

Readings from the deuterocanonical books are now included in most, if not all, of the modern lectionaries in the Anglican Communion, based on the Revised Common Lectionary (in turn based on the post-conciliar Roman Catholic lectionary).

Presbyterianism


The Westminster Confession of Faith
Westminster Confession of Faith
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith, in the Calvinist theological tradition. Although drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly, largely of the Church of England, it became and remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and has been...

, a Calvinist document that serves as a systematic summary of doctrine for the Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

 and Presbyterian churches worldwide, recognizes only the sixty-six books of the Protestant canon as authentic Scripture. Chapter 1, Article 3 of the Confession reads: "The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the Canon of Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings."

Reformed churches


The Belgic Confession
Belgic Confession
The Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession, is a doctrinal standard document to which many of the Reformed churches subscribe. The Confession forms part of the Reformed Three Forms of Unity...

, used in Reformed churches
Reformed churches
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin...

, devotes a section (Article 6) to "The difference between the canonical and apocryphal books" and asserts that "All which the Church may read and take instruction from, so far as they agree with the canonical books; but they are far from having such power and efficacy as that we may from their testimony confirm any point of faith or of the Christian religion; much less to detract from the authority of the other sacred books."

New Testament apocrypha and deuterocanonicals



The term deuterocanonical is sometimes used to describe the canonical antilegomena
Antilegomena
Antilegomena, a direct transliteration from the Greek , refers to written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed.Eusebius in his Church History written c. 325 used the term for those Christian scriptures that were "disputed" or literally those works which were "spoken against" in Early...

, those books of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 which, like the deuterocanonicals of the Old Testament, were not universally accepted by the early Church, but which are now included in the 27 books of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 recognized by almost all Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. The deuterocanonicals of the New Testament are as follows:
  • The Epistle to the Hebrews
    Epistle to the Hebrews
    The Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the books in the New Testament. Its author is not known.The primary purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews is to exhort Christians to persevere in the face of persecution. The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and his...

  • The Second Epistle of Peter
    Second Epistle of Peter
    The Second Epistle of Peter, often referred to as Second Peter and written 2 Peter or in Roman numerals II Peter , is a book of the New Testament of the Bible, traditionally ascribed to Saint Peter, but in modern times NT scholars regard it as pseudepigraphical.It is the first New Testament book...

  • The Second Epistle of John
    Second Epistle of John
    The Second Epistle of John, often referred to as Second John and often written 2 John, is a book of the New Testament attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two epistles of John.- Composition :The language of this epistle is...

  • The Third Epistle of John
    Third Epistle of John
    The Third Epistle of John, often referred to as Third John and written 3 John, is a book of the New Testament attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two epistles of John...

  • The Epistle of James
    Epistle of James
    The Epistle of James, usually referred to simply as James, is a book in the New Testament. The author identifies himself as "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ", with "the earliest extant manuscripts of James usually dated to mid-to-late third century."There are four views...

  • The Epistle of Jude
    Epistle of Jude
    The Epistle of Jude, often shortened to Jude, is the penultimate book of the New Testament and is attributed to Jude, the brother of James the Just. - Composition :...

  • The Apocalypse of John
    Book of Revelation
    The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

     (also known as the Book of Revelation
    Book of Revelation
    The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

    )

See also


  • Apocrypha
    Apocrypha
    The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....

  • Biblical apocrypha
    Biblical apocrypha
    The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

  • Biblical canon
    Biblical canon
    A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

  • Books of the Bible
    Books of the Bible
    The Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Judaism and the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches, although there is substantial overlap. A table comparing the canons of some of these traditions...

  • Pseudepigrapha
  • Table of books of Judeo-Christian Scripture

External links