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The Deuterocanonical books (Greek: "Second Canon") are seven books, included in the Septuagint, which Catholics and Orthodox include in the Old Testament, but which Protestants generally do not. Classically they were called Apocrypha by Protestants. But today the word Apocrypha denotes a class of literature that includes these deuterocanonical books plus several others of varying reputation for historical validity.
The term Deuterocanonical was first coined by Sixtus of Siena, a Roman Catholic theologian, in 1566. Catholics refer to these books are "deuterocanonical" because their canonicity was established after the protocanonical books. The Deuterocanonicals were affirmed as part of the Christian canon at Council of Rome in 382 AD, under Pope Damasus I and were reaffirmed at the Council of Carthage in 419 AD as well as the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 AD, Florence in 1442, Trent in 1546, and Vatican I in 1870.
The following books are regarded as deuterocanonical by the Catholic Church:
- Tobit (Tobias)
- Ecclesiasticus, also called Sirach or Ben Sira.
- Baruch, including the Letter of Jeremiah
- 1 Maccabees
- 2 Maccabees
As well as:
- The Rest of Esther (Vulgate Esther 10:4-16:24)
- The Rest of Daniel
- The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children (Vulgate Daniel 3:24-90)
- Story of Susanna (Vulgate Daniel 13)
- The Idol Bel and the Dragon (Vulgate Daniel 14)
- Prayer of Manasses
These are the books which are more commonly referred to as the Deuterocanon. The Georgian Orthodox Church considers the Book of 4 Maccabees as part of their canon, while it is only an appendix to the Bible of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The Eastern Orthodox Church accepts the same books as the Roman Catholic Church listed above as deuterocanonical. These are called Anagignoskomena (ἀναγιγνωσκόμενα) by the Greek Church. In addition the seven books, already mentioned, the Orthodox accept three or four others as part of their Deuterocanon:
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an Oriental Orthodox Church, has an Old Testament Canon, written in Amharic and Ge'ez, that contains 81 books. These books are divided into a Narrower Canon and a Broader Canon. The Broader Canon includes the Old Testament books of Septuagint (accepted by most Christians as inspired and canonical) and the universally recognized New Testament, including the Gospels, Acts, the Pauline epistles, the General epistles, and Revelation. The Narrower Canon and is further divided into the Ethiopian Deuterocanon (Amharic: ዲዩትሮካኖኒካል, Deeyutrokanoneekal) which includes:
Old Testament Deuterocanon
- 1 Esdras (also known as 3 Esdras or 3 Ezra)
- 2 Esdras (also known as 4 Esdras or 4 Ezra and Apocalypse of Ezra)
- 4 Baruch
- Pseudo-Josephus (known as the Book of Yosëf Wäldä Koryon, called Zëna Ayhud or Mäshäfä Serew)
- Prayer of Manasses
- Book of Jubilees (Kufale)
- Book of Enoch (1 Enoch; Henok)
- 1-3 Meqabyan (Mäqabeyan)
New Testament Deuterocanon
- The Book of the Covenant (Mäshafä Kidan)
- Books of Sinodos
- A Book of Clement (Qälëmentos)
- The Ethiopian Didascalia (Didesqelya)
It should be noted that the books of 1-3 Meqabyan are distinct from the 4 LXX books of Maccabees.
- Canon of the Old Testament at the Catholic Encyclopedia
- Deuterocanon Use in New Testament
- Defending the Deuterocanonicals