Apocrypha in Catholicism

September 14, 2015 · updated February 15, 2022

The early Christians, most of whom spoke Greek, used the Septuagint, which included the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha continued in common use among Christians until the Reformation, when the Hebrew canon was chosen as the Protestant Old Testament. This means Protestants do not accept the Apocrypha.

Catholic and Orthodox Churches continue to use the Septuagint. The Catholic Church officially declared the Apocrypha canonical at both the Council of Trent (1546) and the First Vatican Council (1869-70).

The main theological significance of the Apocrypha is the Books of the Maccabees' support for prayer for the dead, a practice which Protestants reject.