From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Old Testament that are not part of the Jewish 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 word deuterocanonical comes from the Greek meaning 'belonging to the second canon'. The etymology of the word is misleading, but it does indicate the hesitation with which these books were accepted into the canon by some.
Strictly, the term does not mean non-canonical; accordingly, many who do not accept these books as part of the canon of Scripture designate them instead by the term "Apocrypha", and either omit them from the Bible or include them in a section designated Apocrypha. This difference in terminology sometimes causes confusion.
- Biblical apocrypha
- Biblical canon
- Books of the Bible
- Table of books of Judeo-Christian Scripture