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.This is a complex work, written in the third (or perhaps even the late fourth) century BCE, after the return from the Babylonian Exile and the establishment of the Second Jewish Commonwealth (6th-5th centuries BCE) and before the Maccabean revolt in 172 BCE.The oldest copies of the Book of Enoch, dating from the third century BCE, were discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (see below).However, there are many other Jewish writings from the Second Temple Period which were excluded from the Tanakh; these are known as the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha.The Apocrypha (Greek, "hidden books") are Jewish books from that period not preserved in the Tanakh, but included in the Latin (Vulgate) and Greek (Septuagint) Old Testaments.
But these works never achieved wide acceptance in Judaism and remained, to a greater or lesser extent, curiosities.
Most of these works were written in the Land of Israel, in Aramaic or Hebrew.
However, some of them, such as The Wisdom of Solomon, were written in Greek.
Early Christianity showed great interest in Jewish traditions and stories about biblical figures and events, and as a result scholars now have access to a substantial library of Jewish writing, created during a crucial period of Jewish history, but preserved only within the Christian tradition.
Certain of the apocryphal works were known in Jewish tradition throughout the Middle Ages, not necessarily in their full texts, but in shortened and retold versions, or in translations back into Hebrew or Aramaic from Christian languages.
These Jewish Greek writings were produced in the widespread Jewish Diaspora of the time, mainly in Egypt (Alexandria) and in North Africa.