- Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Old Testament that are not part of the Hebrew Bible. The term is used in contrast to the protocanonical books, which are contained in the Hebrew Bible. This distinction had previously contributed to debate in the early Church about whether they should be read in the churches and thus be classified as canonical texts.
The Deuterocanonical books are considered canonical by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, but are considered non-canonical by Protestants.
- The word deuterocanonical comes from the Greek meaning 'belonging to the second canon' and indicates doubt about the inclusion of these books in the canon by some of the early churches.
- The original usage of the term distinguished these scriptures both from those considered non-canonical and from those considered protocanonical. However, some editions of the Bible include text from both deuterocanonical and non-canonical scriptures in a single section designated "Apocrypha". This arrangement can lead to conflation between the otherwise distinct terms "deuterocanonical" and "apocryphal".
- To see which books the Catholic Church includes, go here (Wikipedia)