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    origin of "Apocryphal"

    What is the origin of "Apocryphal"?

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    The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical".
    The word is originally Greek (?π?κρυφα) and means "those hidden away". Specifically, ?π?κρυφα is the neuter plural of ?π?κρυφος, an adjective related to the verb ?ποκρ?πτω [infinitive: ?ποκρ?πτειν] (apocriptein), "to hide something away."
    The general term is usually applied to the books in the Roman Catholic Bible or the Christian old testament, and the Eastern Orthodox Bible, but not the Protestant Bible on their claim that it is not God's word[citation needed].
    So, for Protestant denominations, it is misleading in this sense to refer to the Gospel according to the Hebrews or even the Gnostic writings as apocryphal, because they would not be classified in the same category: by Protestants they would be classified as a heretical subset of antilegomenae, to distinguish them from now-canonical ancient antilegomenae such as 2 Peter, 3 John and the Revelation of John, and non-canonical but non-heretical books which were quoted by the Early Fathers such as the pseudepigraphic Epistle of Barnabas, the Didache, or The Shepherd of Hermas. In Protestantism the gnostic writings are generally not accorded any status, not even a negative one: they are ignored, as they are incompatible with the accepted canon prima facie. Non-canonical books are texts of uncertain authenticity, or writings where the work is seriously questioned. Given that different denominations have different beliefs about what constitutes canonical scripture, there are several versions of the apocrypha.
    During 16th-century controversies about the biblical canon, the word acquired a negative connotation, and has become a synonym for "spurious" or "false". This usage usually involves fictitious or legendary accounts that are plausible enough to be commonly considered true. For example, Laozi's alleged authorship of the Tao Te Ching and the Parson Weems account of George Washington and the cherry tree are considered apocryphal.


    More here :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocrypha



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