During the Renaissance in Europe and in the following centuries, an interest in various Oriental languages developed in Christian circles.
First Hebrew, then Arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Syriac and more took their place alongside Greek and Latin in the scholarly purview.
Other developments contributed to and stemmed from this process: the beginnings of archeology, the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs and Babylonian cuneiform, and antiquarian and scholarly study of the Holy Land.
In this context, interest developed in Jewish documents which could help illuminate the New Testament.
The Apocrypha are still regarded as part of the canon of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, and as such, their number is fixed.
The term Pseudepigrapha (Greek, "falsely attributed") was given to Jewish writings of the same period, which were attributed to authors who did not actually write them.
Many works were discovered, published, translated and studied, and they came to be called the Pseudepigrapha.
All the Apocrypha and most of the Pseudepigrapha are Jewish works (some contain Christianizing additions).Thus forms of the Books of Judith, Maccabees and Ben Sira, as well as parts of Wisdom of Solomon were familiar to Jewish scholars.But these works never achieved wide acceptance in Judaism and remained, to a greater or lesser extent, curiosities.They provide essential evidence of Jewish literature and thought during the period between the end of biblical writing (ca.400 BCE) and the beginning of substantial rabbinic literature in the latter part of the first century CE.