The apocrypha is a selection of books which were published in the original 1611 King James Bible. These apocryphal books were positioned between the Old and New Testament (it also contained maps and geneologies). The apocrypha was a part of the KJV for 274 years until being removed in 1885 A.D. A portion of these books were called deuterocanonical books by some entities, such as the Catholic church.
Many claim the apocrypha should never have been included in the first place, raising doubt about its validity and believing it was not God-inspired (for instance, a reference about magic seems inconsistent with the rest of the Bible: Tobit chapter 6, verses 5-. Others believe it is valid and that it should never have been removed- that it was considered part of the Bible for nearly 2,000 years before it was recently removed a little more than 100 years ago. Some say it was removed because of not finding the books in the original Hebrew manuscripts. Others claim it wasn't removed by the church, but by printers to cut costs in distributing Bibles in the United States. Both sides tend to cite the same verses that warn against adding or subtracting from the Bible: Revelation 22:18. The word 'apocrypha' means 'hidden.' Fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls dating back to before 70 A.D. contained parts of the apocrypha books in Hebrew, including Sirach and Tobit [source].
Keep this in mind when reading the following apocryphal books. Martin Luther said, "Apocrypha--that is, books which are not regarded as equal to the holy Scriptures, and yet are profitable and good to read." (King James Version Defended page 98.). The books are;
Letter of Jeremiah
Prayer of Azariah
Bel and the Drago
Prayer of Manasseh
Judith Additions to Esther
Wisdom of Solomon
Reasons why the Apocrypha was not included in the Bible
1. The Roman Catholic Church did not officially canonize the Apocrypha until the Council of Trent (1546 AD). This was in part because the Apocrypha contained material which supported certain Catholic doctrines, such as purgatory, praying for the dead, and the treasury of merit.
2. Not one of the writers lays any claim to inspiration.
3.They contain fabulous statements, and statements which contradict not only the canonical Scriptures, but themselves; as when, in the two Books of Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in as many different places
4.The Apocrypha inculcates doctrines at variance with the Bible, such as prayers for the dead and sinless perfection.
5.The apocrypha contains offensive materials unbecoming of God's authorship.
6. It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assassination and magical incantation.