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giand amazone
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PostSubject: -- Apocrypha --   Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:05 pm

Apocrypha


Apocrypha comes from the Greek word πόκρυφα, which means those having been hidden away. The general term is usually applied to the books that were considered by the Church as useful, but not divinely inspired. As such, to refer to the Gospel according to the Hebrews or Gnostic writings as apocryphal is misleading since they would not be classified in the same category by orthodox believers. Non canonical books are texts of uncertain authenticity, or writings where the work is seriously questioned. Given that different denominations have different ideas about what constitutes canonical scripture, there are several different versions of the apocrypha.

During sixteenth-century controversies over the biblical canon the word "apocrypha" acquired a negative connotation, and it has become a synonym for "spurious" or "false". This usage usually involves fictitious or legendary accounts that are plausible enough to be commonly considered as truth. For example, Laozi's alleged authorship of the Tao Te Ching, Napoleon Bonaparte's self-coronation rather than at the hands of Pope Pius VII, and the Parson Weems account of George Washington and the cherry tree, are all considered apocryphal.

The modern equivalent term to the ancient "apocrypha" would be "top secret government files". Thus, in ancient China "the divine chapters and esoteric charts are certainly to be held in the Metal Bound Box and stored in the Stone Room ... never been recorded in formal documents" : "The description indicates that these esoteric ... apocryphal writings were well-kept in the Southern Qi imperial library without publication in a common catalogue."(Their not being mentioned in the public catalogue would indicate their being accessible only to government agents having a "top secret" security-clearance.)



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