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An apocalyptic element existing in the prophets, in Zacharias (i-vi), in Tobias (Tobias, xiii), can be traced back to the visions of Ezechiel which form the prototype of apocalyptic; all this had its influence upon the new literature.

Messianism of course plays an important part in apocalyptic eschatology and the idea of the Messias in certain books received a very high development.

The use of the singular, "Apocryphon", is both legitimate and convenient, when referring to a single work.Thus it has the connotation "uncanonical" with some of them. Jerome evidently applied the term to all quasi-scriptural books which in his estimation lay outside the canon of the Bible, and the Protestant Reformers, following Jerome's catalogue of Old Testament Scriptures — one which was at once erroneous and singular among the Fathers of the Church — applied the title Apocrypha to the excess of the Catholic canon of the Old Testament over that of the Jews.Naturally, Catholics refuse to admit such a denomination, and we employ "deuterocanonical" to designate this literature, which non-Catholics conventionally and improperly know as the "Apocrypha".Accordingly it may be accepted as highly probable that in its original meaning an apocryphal writing had no unfavorable import, but simply denoted a composition which claimed a sacred origin, and was supposed to have been hidden for generations, either absolutely, awaiting the due time of its revelation, or relatively, inasmuch as knowledge of it was confined to a limited esoteric circle.However, the name Apocrypha soon came to have an unfavourable signification which it still retains, comporting both want of genuineness and canonicity.

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