In modern times, the Apocrypha has only been excluded from the Old Testament in some Protestant publications. The idea that these books are forbidden is viewed both as myth and fact by many Christian scholars, with the reasonable course left in the midst of divided opinion being to study and understand these books. Jesus himself is said to reference texts from the Apocrypha using the Old Testament language which was familiar to those he was teaching. It is also interesting to note that the Apostolic Fathers of the Early Church referenced the Apocrypha, and quoted from it as they did the Old Testament. It was hard not to do so, as the Jewish Old Testament included the Apocrypha.
The Book of Judith, tells the story of a beautiful widow who bravely saves her besieged city of Jerusalem from the Assyrian army. As is so common among all biblical and apocryphal stories, the underlying theme of this book is faith and obedience under seemingly impossible circumstances.. Aside from including an unusual literary device (Judith doesn’t even appear in the book until Chapter 8) this 4th book of the official Old Testament Apocrypha also dramatically shows the kind of woman God favors – not necessarily the one who is most talented or brave or even beautiful, but the one who prays first and foremost and is obedient in pursuit of His pleasure before her own comfort.