How Many Books Were Taken Out Of The Bible

At one time, the Bible was even bigger. In its original form, it was made up of 112 books divided into three separate document sets – the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, and the New Testament. Many centuries of human history went by before the books of the Apocrypha were taken out of the Bible. So what exactly happened and why?

Most scholars agree that the books of the Apocrypha were taken out of Bible around 400 AD. This was due to a series of decisions made by Roman authorities and Church scholars who were trying to standardize the Bible and make it more palatable to their own beliefs and values. At that time, they were looking to curate a text that was more ‘useful’ and ‘strategic’ for spreading their own doctrine. This was a long and complex process that involved both theology and politics. Ultimately, the Apocrypha was excluded from the canon for not being ‘orthodox’ – its contents said to be too far outside the accepted parameters of Judeo-Christian faith.

The Apocrypha contains a wealth of ancient stories, songs, and proverbs that have been lost to time. It offers a unique insight into the lives and cultures of the people living in the ancient Near East. Consequently, there has been a large effort in recent years to bring the Apocrypha back into public discourse. The Catholic Church has taken steps to reintroduce the books to their religion but it remains off-limits to other denominations.

Even though the Apocrypha has been removed from the Bible, its legacy and teachings remain with us to this day. It is estimated that there were 14 books in all, though some sources put this number higher. Contrary to popular belief, the books were not completely removed from circulation. Rather, they were sorted into a separate document set, thus preserving their contents for future generations to enjoy.

Today, the books of the Apocrypha can be read in many different versions and translations of the Bible. It is also available in an edition that is free from the trappings of dogma and cultural bias.


The question of why the Apocrypha was removed from the Bible and what it meant for the people living during that time is a complex one. On the one hand, it was an attempt to streamline the Bible in order to make it more appealing to a broader audience. On the other hand, it was a move that effectively sidelined a huge section of the population who had their own beliefs and theological ideas.

From an interpretive standpoint, the books of the Apocrypha still offer valuable lessons. They contain stories and teachings that are as relevant today as they were centuries ago. It is not a matter of the books being ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’, rather they represent a different set of values and cultural outlooks. They broaden our understanding of the Bible and its many contexts, giving us a more complete picture of the complexities of faith.

Expert Opinion

“The Apocrypha is an incredibly rich source of information,” declares Professor Robert Brown, a Biblical scholar at Indiana University. “It offers insight into the beliefs, customs and practices of the people living in the ancient Near East. We would not have the same level of knowledge about the scripture and its many meanings without these books.” Professor Brown suggests that the Apocrypha should not be disregarded or dismissed because it does not fit with certain definitions of ‘theology’. He believes that it is a valuable source of insight into the culture and teachings of the period.

“At the time of the removal, it was the religious authorities who had the power to make the final decision,” says Dr. Jennifer Rogers, a Biblical scholar at the University of Oxford. “The Apocrypha was deemed by them to be too far removed from their own beliefs and way of life. It was not seen as an acceptable form of scripture, hence its removal from the Bible.” Dr. Rogers is of the opinion that we should not disregard the books simply because they have been deemed ‘inconvenient’ by various authorities. She believes that they still have much to offer us in terms of understanding.

Comparison of Faiths

The Apocrypha is still read and studied by many different faiths today. The Catholic Church has taken steps to reintroduce the books to its own doctrine, while Orthodox Christians, Unitarians, and others have also put the books under their consideration. These religions use the books as a source of inspiration and insight into the teachings of the period. They try to find ways in which to apply such teachings to the broader issues of faith and morality.

In contrast, Protestant denominations have been less inclined to embrace the Apocrypha. These churches view the books as somewhat unorthodox and choose to instead to focus their interpretation of scripture on the Bible alone. It is important to note, however, that this does not reflect any kind of moral judgement, but rather a difference in approach and theology.

At the end of the day, it is up to each individual faith to decide how to interpret the Apocrypha and whether it can be a part of its discourse or not. To be clear, the books have not been taken out of the Bible for ‘proven’ doctrinal reasons, but rather due to the beliefs and cultural practices of those who decided to exclude them.


The Apocrypha enjoys a considerable amount of veneration in certain circles. Scholars, historians, and theologians often cite its contents as an invaluable source of information and insight into the teachings and culture of the period. There is an appreciation for the books both aesthetically and intellectually. This reverence is evident in the way the books are studied, written about, and discussed.

At the same time, the books of the Apocrypha are often held at arm’s length by certain faiths. While there is a great deal of respect for the content and its implications, there is also an unwillingness to fully incorporate the books into their doctrines. It is important that we approach this tension in a respectful and informed manner. When we do, we are given a glimpse into the complexity of faith and its many forms.


The books of the Apocrypha were taken out of the Bible for a variety of reasons, some of them practical and some of them ideological. The removal of these books has had a profound effect not just on the history of Christianity but also on the way we think about faith and scripture in general. While they may no longer be part of the canon, they are still of great cultural, historical, and spiritual importance.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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