Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
Originally writings that claimed a sacred origin and were supposed to have been hidden for generations; later, a well-define class of literature with scriptural or quasi-scriptural pretensions, but lacking genuineness and canonicity, composed during the two centuries before Christ and the early centuries of our era. Protestants apply the term improperly to denote also Old Testament books not contained in the Jewish canon but received by Catholics under the name of deuterocanonical. The following is a list of the Apocrypha:
Apocrypha of Jewish Origin: Jewish Apocalypses; Book of Henoch; Assumption of Moses: Fourth Book of Esdras; Apocalypse of Baruch; Apocalypse of Abraham. Legendary Apocrypha of Jewish Origin: Book of Jubilees, or Little Genesis; Third Book of Esdras; Third Book of Maccabees; History of Maxims of Ahikar the Assyrian. Apocryphal Psalms and Prayers: Psalms of Solomon; Prayer of Manasses. Jewish Philosophy: Fourth Book of Maccabees.
Apocrypha of Jewish Origin with Christian Accretions: Sibylline Oracles; Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs; Ascension of Isaias.
Apocrypha of Christian Origin: Apocryphal Gospels of Catholic Origin: Protoevangelium Jacobi, or Infancy Gospel of James, describing the birth, education, and marriage of the Blessed Virgin; Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew; Arabic Gospel of the Infancy; History of Joseph the Carpenter; Transitus Mariae, or Evangelium Joannis, describing the death and assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Judaistic and Heretical Gospels: Gospel according to the Egyptians; Gospel of Peter; Gospel of Philip; Gospel of Thomas; Gospel of Marcion; Gospel of Bartholomew; Gospel of Matthias; Gospel of Nicodemus; Gospel of the Twelve Apostles; Gospel of Andrew; Gospel of Barnabas; Gospel of Thaddeus; Gospel of Philip; Gospel of Eve; Gospel of Judas Iscariot. Pilate Literature and Other Apocrypha Concerning Christ: Report of Pilate to the Emperor; Narrative of Joseph of Arimathea; Pseudo-Correspondence of Jesus and Abgar, King of Edessa. Gnostic Acts of the Apostles: Acts of Peter; Acts of John; Acts of Andrew; Acts and Martyrdom of Matthew; Acts of Thomas; Acts of Bartholomew. Catholic Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles: Acts of Peter and Paul; Acts of Paul; Acts of Paul and Thecla; Acts of Philip; Acts of Matthew; Acts of Simon and Jude; Acts of Barnabas; Acts of James the Greater. Apocryphal Doctrinal Works: Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu; Preaching of Peter, or Kerygma Petri. Apocryphal Epistles: Pseudo-Epistles of Paul; Pseudo-Epistles to the Laodiceans; Pseudo-Correspondence of Paul and Seneca. Christian Apocryphal Apocalypses: Apocalypse of Peter; Apocalypse of Paul. (Etym. Latin apocryphus, uncanonical, apocryphal; from Greek apokryphos, hidden.)