I was raised in a Baptist family, accepted Christ at an early age, grew up with what I consider a hell, fire, and brimstone pastor, and never heard of the Apocrapha until I was at least a late teen, or perhaps it was even later than that and I was a young adult. I can’t put an exact date on it but it was farther back in my years than closer to present at least! I do remember, however, that once I did learn about the existence of the Apocrapha that every time I asked what it was, the answer was almost whispered to me, as if it was a taboo subject. I’m a curious sort and so I kept poking around during those formative years and asking, but still getting the same type of response. I finally quit asking questions. I have since seen many Bibles that included the Apocrapha, and I’ve seen it in separate editions all by itself at the bookstore and library, but I’ve never read it. Perhaps in the recesses of my mind where the hell, fire, and brimstone is deeply rooted there is a fear that I may burn in hell if I attempt it. Of course, I also always have the verse of scripture in my mind about silly women being taken advantage of by outside influences and not being able to discern what is right, and I do not want to be that woman. In any case, it has always been a back of the mind topic that has lurked quietly but occasionally will pop back up into thoughts and discussions.
I recently came across in my studies the fact that Miles Coverdale was the first to separate the Apocrypha into its own section between the Old and New Testaments, and the later Protestant Bibles continued this tradition, if they included the Apocrypha at all in their translations. This has once again set my curious mind to work. Questions range from whether Coverdale did this because he was a Catholic priest but had Protestant leanings, or were there “secret” councils that met and discussed which books were truly inspired, or was it just his own wants and likes that ordered his translation of the Bible since he wasn’t doing it under any specific authorization or permission.
I’ve learned most of our commenters, if not all, are much more biblically intelligent than I so it seemed wise to come to you for answers. Have you read the Apocrypha? Does your Bible that you use on a daily basis include it, or do you have a separate volume of it, or none at all at your disposal? What are your thoughts regarding how the books became separated and are considered uninspired? Are they at least worthy historical reading? I’m sure some readers may have other questions as well. If you have favorite resources on the Apocrypha, please include them in your responses.