The term Apocrypha, a Greek word meaning ‘hidden things,’ was early used in three different senses.
First, it was applied to writings which were regarded as so important and precious that they must be hidden from the general public and reserved for the inner circle of believers.
Second, it came to be a applied to writings which were hidden because they were secondary, questionable, or heretical.
Third, Jerome was familiar with the Scriptures in their Hebrew and Greek forms. To him, apocryphal books were those outside the Hebrew canons. Modern usage is based on Jerome’s definition.
The books were accepted as Biblical by the early church and were quoted as Scripture by many early Christian writers since their Bible was the Greek. All but the Second Book of Esdras were in the Septuagint, but none of the books were ever in the Palestinian canon.
In the Greek and Latin manuscripts of the Old Covenant, these books are dispersed throughout that Covenant. The practice of collecting them into a separate unit dates back only to A.D. 1520.
This edition is taken from the New English Bible.
The First Book of Esdras
The Second Book of Esdras
The Rest of the Chapters of the Book of Esther
The Wisdom of Solomon
Ecclesiasticus (The Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach)
A Letter of Jeremiah
The Song of the Three
Daniel and Susanna
Daniel, Bel, and the Snake
The Prayer of Manasseh
The First Book of the Macabees
The Second Book of the Macabees