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Old Testament Apocrypha vs Pseudepigrapha

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  • Eddie Mishoe
    I wonder if someone would mind providing me with easy to understand and distinguishable definitions for these two words. They seem to overlap somehow and I am
    Message 1 of 2 , May 26 9:44 PM
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      I wonder if someone would mind providing me with easy
      to understand and distinguishable definitions for
      these two words. They seem to overlap somehow and I am
      trying to get an understanding of when it is
      appropriate to use one term and the other.

      OT Apocrypha, all 15 or 18 of the books, seems to have
      a less pejorative meaning. They are almost like well
      written historical, religiously significant books
      used/written by Jews in the centuries before Christ.
      While Pseudepigrapha seems to denote some kind of
      deception in which the author is trying to give
      his/her book some sense of authority by giving it the
      name of some ancient biblical figure (but is
      obviously, upon evaluation, fraudulent). Anyway, good
      definitions that would help me understand their
      similarities and differences would be greatly appreciated.

      Eddie Mishoe
      Pastor
    • Steve Puluka
      ... The short answer is that Old Testament Apocrypha refers to those books and portions of books that are accepted by scripture by Orthodox and Catholic
      Message 2 of 2 , May 27 3:19 AM
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        On May 27, 2008, at 12:44 AM, Eddie Mishoe wrote:

        > I wonder if someone would mind providing me with easy
        > to understand and distinguishable definitions for
        > these two words. They seem to overlap somehow and I am
        > trying to get an understanding of when it is
        > appropriate to use one term and the other.

        The short answer is that Old Testament Apocrypha refers to those
        books and portions of books that are accepted by scripture by
        Orthodox and Catholic communities but not those who follow the Hebrew
        based canon. These books and book portions are included in most
        Septuagint scripture lists. There are some minor variations even
        within this categorization. For example, most Orthodox accept 3
        Macabbees but the Catholics do not.

        Pseudepigrapha are those Old Testament like books that have not been
        accepted as scripture by anyone.
        A notable exception here is that the Ethiopian Orthodox church does
        accept 1 Enoch into their canon. The most complete English
        translation of these available is the two volume collection by
        Charlesworth.

        Charlesworth, James H. The Old Testament pseudepigrapha. 2 vols.
        Garden City: Doubleday, 1983.
        This parallel collection of Old Testament literature is specifically
        of Jewish origin. The collection is of literature that widely
        circulated at the time of Christ. The books of Enoch and the Odes of
        Solomon were particularly popular with early Christians. The
        Ethiopian Church includes 1 Enoch in their Old Testament canon.

        Steve Puluka
        MA, Theology Duquesne University
        Cantor Holy Ghost Church
        Carpatho-Rusyn tradition
        Mckees Rocks, PA
        http://puluka.com
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