The introduction provides the background for the discussion of “Apocrypha” and “deuterocanonical” as terms that have been used to describe the Jewish texts that were included in Christian Old Testaments over and above those in the Jewish Bible and the Protestant Old Testaments. The status of the extra texts was not agreed upon in the early church, and the various Christian canons differed as to which of these extra texts to include. Within rabbinic Judaism some awareness of these texts continued, and in the medieval period some texts made their way back into Jewish cultural life. In both Catholic and Protestant contexts, the debates over the extra texts continued into the modern period. Western readers who are somewhat familiar with the idea of “Apocrypha” are still generally unfamiliar with the texts canonized within the eastern canons—the Ethiopic, Syriac (Peshitta), Armenian, and Coptic Bibles. Nevertheless, these texts are interesting and often important, and are introduced in this volume along with the western Apocrypha.
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