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The Deuterocanonical Books of the Bible, known as the Apocrypha
Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Old Testament that are not part of the Hebrew Bible. The term is used in contrast to the protocanonical books, which are contained in the Hebrew Bible. This distinction had previously contributed to debate in the early Church about whether they should be read in the churches and thus be classified as canonical texts. The term is used as a matter of convenience by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and other Churches to refer to books of their Old Testament which are not part of the Masoretic Text.
The Deuterocanonical books are considered canonical by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, but are considered non-canonical by most Protestants. The word deuterocanonical comes from the Greek meaning 'belonging to the second canon'.
The original usage of the term distinguished these scriptures both from those considered non-canonical and from those considered protocanonical. However, some editions of the Bible include text from both deuterocanonical and non-canonical scriptures in a single section designated "Apocrypha". This arrangement can lead to conflation between the otherwise distinct terms "deuterocanonical" and "apocryphal".
Deuterocanonical is a term first coined in 1566 by the theologian Sixtus of Siena, who had converted to Catholicism from Judaism, to describe scriptural texts of the Old Testament considered canonical by the Catholic Church, but which are not present in the Hebrew Bible, and which had been omitted by some early canon lists, especially in the East.
Their acceptance among early Christians was widespread, though not universal, and the Bible of the early Church always included, with varying degrees of recognition, books now called deuterocanonical. Some say that their canonicity seems not to have been doubted in the Church until it was challenged by Jews after AD 100, sometimes postulating a hypothetical Council of Jamnia. Regional councils in the West published official canons that included these books as early as the fourth and fifth centuries
Fragments of three deuterocanonical books have been found among the Dead Sea scrolls found at Qumran. Sirach, whose Hebrew text was already known from the Cairo Geniza, has been found in two scrolls (2QSir or 2Q18, 11QPs_a or 11Q5) in Hebrew. Another Hebrew scroll of Sirach has been found in Masada (MasSir).:597 The Book of Tobit has been found in Qumran in four scrolls written in Aramaic and in one written in Hebrew.:636 The Letter of Jeremiah (or Baruch chapter 6) has been found in cave 7 (7Q5) in Greek.:628
It has been theorized by recent scholars that the Qumran library was not entirely produced at Qumran, but may have included part of the library of the Jerusalem Temple, that may have been hidden in the caves