ISBN: 0679724524
ISBN 13: 9780679724520
By: Edgar J. Goodspeed Moses Hadas

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Christianity Currently Reading History Philosophy Reference Religion Religious Spirituality Theology To Read

About this book

The Apocrypha consists of the books that are found in the Greek version of the Jewish Bible--the Septuagint, the earliest complete version of the Bible we possess--but that were not included in the final, canonical version of the Hebrew Bible. For this reason, they were called “Apocrypha,” the hidden or secret books, and while they formed part of the original King James version of 1611, they are no longer included in modern Bibles. Yet they include such important works as The First Book of Maccabees, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, and the stories of Susanna, Tobit, and Judith, and other works of great importance for the history of the Jews in the period between the rebuilding of the Temple and the time of Jesus, and thus for the background of the New Testament. These works have also had a remarkable impact on writers and artists. Beyond this, they are often as powerful as anything in the canonical Bible.The translation into contemporary English is by Edgar J. Goodspeed.

Reader's Thoughts

J. Alfred

Undoubtedly interesting, with varied sources of interest, just like the canonical Protestant Bible. There are some books that read sort of like clumsier versions of Job or Esther-- one might call it the pious-folk-tale genre (I like Tobit best of these). Then there are Ecclesiasticus and the Book of Wisdom which the editor assures us are important documents in the history of religious thought (I think there's real truth to the idea that Wisdom as seen in Proverbs kind of gets bigger and stronger in the inter-testine period and comes out looking very much like John's logos). Lastly, there are the Maccabees books, which must strike the reader as being fraught with what Gibbon would call Philosophical History-- petty kings and their squabbles all over the place.I always had this dark idea that the Apocrypha was a breeding ground for all sorts of heresy and misdevotion, which is, upon maturer reflection, simply stupid. They are mostly charming and mentally useful stories, and while it's granted that these books don't seem to fit so well with the Protestant Bible, I don't see any reason to hate and fear them. They've got to be a lot less pernicious than a lot of the Patristic writings!

Brendan Howard

Just read Tobit. More to come someday!


I got this as a gift from my brother my freshman year in high school. I was surprised to find a lot of genealogical sections in it. I really enjoyed some of the stories in here. Favorites of mine included two subsections of Daniel - "Bel and the Dragon" and "Susannah and the Elders," and the book of Judith, which is rather reminiscent of the story of Jael and Sisera (an OT favorite of mine)

Virgowriter (Brad Windhauser)

See what I have to say about The Apocrypha at www.bibleprojectblog.com


Awful Bible stories. The puritans for once got something right.


Interesting collection of proto and/or pseudo-Biblical readings. Valuable lessons. Completion (perhaps) of many Biblical stories. Macabees, and the book of Tobit (my fav) are included.

Vrinda Pendred

I enjoyed the Book of Wisdom. I didn't feel a lot of the other books added much to the standard Bible, though.

Guy David

I read about all of this that I could stand for the present. I do not think that I am in the right frame of mind to admire any of the beauty that may be hidden here.

Douglas Wilson

Excellent. Also read in November of 1980.


So far, not bad, reminds me I've got to put the Koran on the to read shelf, but I know myself and it's going to be quite some time. There isn't much info here other than the translation. From the intro, the guy seems to be a relatively unbiased "believer". Coming from a pretty much non-believer, I'd take that as a "compliment", the unbiased part I mean.Before you read this, read the Bible. I'm saying that as a person who is not pushing the religious side. I took a class that was called Bible as Lit... Just remember, it is a fundamental piece in lit... By the way, I would also suggest reading Greek mythology and Nietzsche... if you don't laugh, that's okay.

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