I am interested in reading the books of the apocrypha. Am I correct in the basic understanding that they are NOT divinely inspired, but interesting historical records? I’m confused about what (if any of them) are a good read. For instance, I’ve heard that the Gospel of Judas (while not typically associated with the other apocrypha books) is sacreligious. Are all of them? What about ones quoted in the Scriptures (the Book of Enoch)? What would you recommend?
I would not recommend reading any of them unless your theological maturity is such that you could not become confused or shaken in your beliefs by anything you read. You’re correct in saying they are not divinely inspired, and in some cases they are not historically accurate either. There’s a reason why these books were not included in the Bible. By the way, it was Enoch who was quoted by Jude, not the unknown author of a book by his name written two thousand years later.
The gospel of Judas is not an apocryphal book and in my opinion is a blatant attempt to discredit the Gospel. The only people who would want to read it are those who are looking for a way to justify their unbelief.