Bible

The Apocrypha

Why do some Bibles have more books than others?

At the beginning of the 5th century AD (400s), an early Christian scholar, Jerome, was given the job of translating all the books of the Bible into one common language, Latin. Amongst these books was a collection that Jerome did not believe had the same authority as the other books. He believed that the books were ‘good spiritual reading’ and could be used to teach about moral issues but shouldn’t be seen in the same light as the other biblical books.

These books became known as the “Apocrypha” which comes from the Greek word meaning “hidden”. Jerome had started a big discussion that managed to divide people’s opinions. The Catholic Church disagreed with Jerome and even today accepts the Apocrypha as part of their Bible. On the other hand, Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant (i.e. not Catholic or Orthodox) churches removed these books from his German translation of the Bible, and put them in a separate section. He said,

“These are books which are not held equal to the Sacred Scriptures and yet are useful and good for reading”.

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