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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.