The Apocrypha: The Bible Project’s Next Phase

The Apocrypha: The Bible Project’s Next Phase

I never gave much thought to the “completeness” of the Bible. Until I’d read it, I wasn’t even aware of what was in it, much less have a sense of what might have been taken out. I did know enough that King James revised the good book in order to make his (married) life easier, but it never occurred to me that there might have been a lot of material that had been intentionally omitted at some point in history.

Some of that content is contained in The Apocrypha, which contains books of the Bible that were not canonized. Here’s a succinct synopsis (located on the Amazon page for my version of the book) that explains the content better than I can:

The Apocrypha consists of the books that are found in the Greek version of the Jewish Bible–the Septuagint, the earliest complete version of the Bible we possess–but that were not included in the final, canonical version of the Hebrew Bible.

Among this work are the “stories of Susanna, Tobit, and Judith, and other works of great importance for the history of the Jews in the period between the rebuilding of the Temple and the time of Jesus, and thus for the background of the New Testament.”

I like the idea that I get to read more of the story-type books I enjoyed in the Old Testament.

I am looking forward to reading this book, and in so doing, trying to figure out why this material had been cut. In some way, I feel like I’m discovering something I was not supposed to touch. Perhaps I’m most intrigued by the last line in the book’s synopsis: “they are often as powerful as anything in the canonical Bible.”

If this is true, why have they been left out? I can get my hands on this book so anyone else can as well. But if they’re part of the story, shouldn’t they be respected as such by being included?

The Bible Project continues with my reading of The Apocrypha, translated by Edgar J. Goodspeed.


About virgowriter

Brad Windhauser has a Master's in English from Rutgers University (Camden campus) and an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte. He is an Associate Professor (Teaching/Instruction) in the English Department at Temple University. His short stories have appeared in The Baltimore Review, The Santa Fe Writer's Project Journal, Ray's Road Review, Philadelphia Review of Books, Northern Liberty Review, and Jonathan. His first novel, Regret (a gay-themed thriller set in Philadelphia) was published in 2007. You can read more about (and buy) it here: His second novel, The Intersection, is being published by Black Rose Writing September 2016. He is one of five regular contributors to On his solo blog, he is chronicling his experience as a gay writer reading the Bible for the first time: Follow his work at:
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