The books known as Apocrypha are intertestamental texts, meaning they stand in between the Testaments. Protestant opinion, contemporary and historical, has deemed these works ‘profitable for reading,’ but not authoritative (cf. the Anglican 39 Articles), and ceased to be printed in many Bibles after 1666.
They do shed light upon the New Covenant of Christ because they show what kind of thoughts circulated before the time of Jesus.
- Additions to Daniel (Bel, Susanna, Song & Prayer)
- Additions to Esther (Greek)
- Additions to Jeremiah (Letter)
- 1 Esdras
- 2 Esdras
- Ecclesiasticus (Sirach)
- 1 Maccabees
- 2 Maccabees
Many other ‘apocrypha’ exist, including up to five extra Psalms, various versions of Esdras and Maccabees, as well as the broader Ethiopic or Coptic canons, but such are all anomalies compared to the above books.
Other interesting sources around the time of the New Testament, by Jewish authors, are:
- The Qumram Books (Dead Sea Scrolls)
- The Works of Philo
- The Works of Josephus