i have a problem with the term apocryphal simply because it means erroneous or fictitous, as well as calling into the question of authenticity.
I have no problem with questioning the origins of texts, but sometimes that authenticity question comes down to 'was it inspired by God" and some people consider this the level of 'authenticity.' i find it difficult to discern something as being 'inauthentic' in relation to God's inspiration.
Similarly, when removed from the protestant canon, it was not a christian movement but a jewish one that didn't call into question the 'authenticity' of these texts, but rather their place in jewish tradition. were they as important as other texts? and why were these texts included by christians but not by jews? (hebrew is pretty much the answer to that question).
i understand which books are called 'apocraphal' from the protestant/catholic stand point. the catholic canon predates the protestant canon by hundreds of years. the protestant canon uses the jewish canon for the OT, which was canonized after the catholic canon to remove texts written in greek (even though they are diasporic texts). Similarly, in this process of jewish canonization, they didn't call these texts 'wrong' or 'unimportant' or question the authoral authenticity any more than they considered the 'talmud' wrong or unimportant--in fact many ex-canonical texts are important to the jewish tradition. So, i would be hard pressed to call any texts that the jewish peoples find valuable, yet are not in the canon, to be 'apocryphal.' in the texts related to this canonization, the deuterocanonical texts were removed because they were not in hebrew, and not consider as important as the other texts included.
similarly, prior to the catholic canon (as determined in the 400s and continued to today), there were other canons such as the ethiopian canon and the maronite canon which contained many more books. there were also regional letters, histories, gospels, revelations, poetic works, and others that many of the regional christian churches wanted included in the catholic canon during the canonization process of the 400s. The catholic church, via the councils, opted to choose only a few of these texts which seemed to be those that 'everyone' could basicly agree on (as always, there were lots of debates).
because many regional churches felt slighted or upset that their books weren't chosen, the church's official position on many of these books is that they are acceptable for use in regional churches, as teachings of church history and of experiences of Christ's presence in that church. These teachings could be openly shared between regional churches and adopted as part of that church's traditional literature, though not necessarily added to the canon.
In this way, it's difficult for me to call a text 'apocryphal' unless it is explicitly considered 'apocryphal' by the church. very few books have been considered thus, though i do not know specifically bout the text that Joe mentions. I'm sure i could find a reference to it if it is considered 'apocryphal' but otherwise, it would be considered an appropriate text for consideration regarding the revelations of christ to his bride the church.
The maronite and ethiopean canons are still used in some regions today. I do not have a copy of the maronite, but i do have a copy of the ethiopean. it has over 100 books. it's quite fascinating.
in light of this, i prefer the term "ex canonical" to refer to texts excluded from any canon unless expressly considered or labeled 'apocryphal' by the church; and in direct reference to the books, i prefer the term "deuterocanonicals" because there is a large segment of the christian population that do not consider these texts "apocryphal."
The term was used and coined to malign catholicism and differentiate protestantism--so it has large social/political underpinnings. while in common use today, it's an inappropriate term when discussing an entirely subjective process of canonization, and when many texts, while not included in the canon, were still considered valuable, important, useful for development of faith and knowledge, etc.
it's just a bug in my ear. no big deal.
BTW, i read the Nazirite vow in numbers. While it doesn't expressly state that the individual *can't* eat meat, it does state that the individual cannot be around the dead or touch a dead body. It doens't say if this only refers to dead human bodies (though it does make a direct reference to dead human bodies twice) or all dead bodies.
Interestingly enough, it says that if a nazirite's father, mother, or other family member dies, the nazirite cannot go to the funeral as this will contaminate the nazirite. he will have to shave his head, start the vow over, and give very specific sin, fellowship, wave, and other offerings (lots of killed animals). But, he doesn't actually do the sacrifices, those are done for him by the priests, and then he begins to grow his hair again. If a person drops dead in the nazirite's presence, the same rules apply as if he went to a funeral.
there is a direct statement (using the new american version--catholic) that says that the nazirite should not touch anything dead and that at the end of the vow, it will be noted or determined over when the nazirie cuts and burns his hair in sacrifice and the priest then places the nazirite's hands on the breast and thigh meat of the sacrifice and in the blood of the sacrifice offered at the temple at the end of the vow.
I'm inclinded to think, then, that a nazirite wasn't allowed to touch any dead body--even an animal's body--prior to the completion of his vow. Since it wasn't uncommon for kosher keeping jews to go vegetarian when kosher meats weren't available, it seems like it would be an appropriate 'set apart ness" of the nazirite vow to avoid all meats, as they come from the dead bodies of animals.
This is, of course, just my own thoughts on it, i have no textual evidence for or against it other than the strong statements against being around dead human bodies and the strong demonstration (uncommon in most jewish sacrifices) of having the hands touch the dead body parts of the sacrifice as well as the blood of the sacrifice offered at the end of the vow. Perhaps this allowed the Nazirite to return to touching dead bodies--those of animals and of humans.
Also, in matthew, i believe, there is a hint that jesus may have been a nazirite. In it, there is a story where i rich young man says to jesus, 'i will follow you, but i have to bury my father first' to which jesus says "let the dead bury the dead' which is a commonly understood phrase related to the nazirite vow.
it could be, then, that jesus was a nazirite, not a nazarene--which is also fascinating. He could also have been a nazirite from the nazarene region.