The Deuterocanonicals

The Apocrypha...

This is what the fundamentalists call the 7 books in Catholic Bibles that protestant Bibles do not have. Catholics call them 'Deuterocanonicals'. They are, Baruch, Judith, Sirach, Tobit, Wisdom, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. They also include parts of Daniel and Esther. There are many other books, called Apocrypha, by Catholics that are not considered inspired. I believe Protestants merely put those 7 books in the same pot and called them all Apocrypha.

The Problem...

Non Catholics insist that the 'Council of Trent' added those seven books to bring the total number of books to 73. They point to the fact that the 'Council of Jamnia' removed those books from the Bible in 90-95 A.D., so they were never in the 'Bible' from that date on.

The Solution...

Absolutely right, for the second part of the problem. The 'Council of Jamnia' did indeed remove those 7 books. The fact of the matter is that Jamnia was not a Christian council, but a Jewish one, called specifically to counter Christianity. In keeping with their practice of presenting only half truths, the non-Catholic detractors fail to mention that fact. The Apostles and Christians in general, used the Greek 'Septuagint', also called LXX, as their Bible in the first century. This upset the Jews, so they decided to call a council to deal with the matter. Keep in mind that the Jewish temple was completely destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., and the Jewish priests were killed. Now they were fearful that Christianity would overtake them. The Septuagint is the Old Testament translation into Greek from Hebrew, which the Jews completed at Alexandria in the second century B.C., and it had all 46 books including the Deuterocanonicals. The Jews decided to revise the canon of the Old Testament and they wanted to remove references that would be useful to Christians.

They set up 4 criteria that all books had to meet in order to be included.

1. The books had to conform to the Pentateuch (the first 5 books).

2. The books had to be written in Hebrew.

3. The books had to be written in Palestine.

4. The books had to be written before 400 B.C..

The seven books did not meet all 4 criteria set up by the Jews...

Christians continued to use the Septuagint. In 397 the Old Testament canon containing all 46 books was formalized along with the 27 inspired books of the New Testament at the Council of Carthage. St. Jerome completed a Latin translation of the entire Bible in 405, called the 'Vulgate' which can still be found today. It always had all 73 books. All Christian Bibles for the next 1100 years had all 73 books. Martin Luther, at about 1521 decided to remove the 7 Deuterocanonicals from the Old Testament and put them in an appendix, because they had teachings of the Catholic Church which he rejected, such as Purgatory. He used as an excuse, that they were already removed at Jamnia, and never should have been considered as inspired. Yes, but don't forget that the Jews did it at Jamnia, not the Christians. On Luther's own initiative, he removed 7 books that had been in use from before the first day of Christianity. Let me ask you, if they were "added" at the Council of Trent in 1545, how could Luther have removed them some 20 years earlier if they weren't there?

The Council of Trent was called in 1545 in response to the protestant reformation. One of the things they accomplished at Trent was a "reaffirmation that the 7 disputed books were indeed inspired and would continue to be included in the canon of the Old Testament". They did not add them. They merely reconfirmed that they should be there. All Christian Bibles for the first 1500 years of Christianity had 46 books in the Old Testament, and all Catholic Bibles today continue to have them. I have noticed that even some King James Bibles now have them. Why is this?

History of the canons of the Old Testament can be confirmed by checking the records of the Councils of Hippo, Carthage, and Trent. They are readily available, as is St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate and the Septuagint.

Christianity was in effect for between 35-65 years before the Jewish Council of Jamnia was called. As such, the Jewish Council had absolutely no authority whatsoever over Christianity. Suppose that next month of this year, the Jews decided to call a council in order to remove Isaiah and Jeremiah from the Old Testament and then voted to do it. Would Protestants also remove these books from the King James bible? It would seem they have already set a precedent. Why do Protestants accept the ruling of the Jewish Council of Jamnia, and at the same time reject the ruling of the Christian Council of Carthage regarding the Old Testament canon? Further still, why do they accept the canon of the New Testament which was decided at the same Christian Council?

Protestants have repeatedly said there is no evidence that Deuterocanonical books are inspired as none of them are referenced in the New Testament. This is absolutely not true as there are several references to the "Deuters", and at least two from apocrypha which I have found...

Bible references (NT) to Apocryphal books:

1. Jude 1:9, Yet when Michael the archangel was fiercely disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, he did not venture to bring against him an accusation of blasphemy, but said, "May the Lord rebuke thee."
This is only in the Apocryphal book, 'The Assumption of Moses'.

2. Jude 1:14, Now of these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold the Lord has come with thousands of His holy ones..." This prophecy is from the Apocryphal Book of 'Enoch', 1:9.

3. 2Tim 3:8, "Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these men also resist the truth, for they are corrupt in mind, reprobate as regards the faith." Although this is a reference to Ex 7:11, the 'magicians' of Pharaoh, they are not named in Exodus. They are found in the Apocryphal book 'Gospel of Nicodemus' 5:1. They are also found in the 'Narrative of Aeneas' Account of the Suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ', 5:4.

Bible references (NT) to Deuterocanonical books of the O.T.: These references show legitimacy to these books that Protestants rejected.

1. Heb 11:35, "...Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might find a better resurrection." The only place in the O.T. that you will find reference to that is 2Macc 7:1-29. How do you, who do not have 2Maccabees, explain that? Note! The first half of Heb 11:35 is found in 1King 17:23 and 2King 4:36.

2. Heb 11:38, "...wandering in the deserts, mountains..." This is found in 1Macc 2:28-30 and 2Macc 5:27.

3. Jn 10:22, "Now there took place at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication..." This found in 1Macc 4:52-59.

4. Jn 14:23, "...If anyone love Me, he will keep My word..." This is in Sir 2:18.

5. Rom 9:21, " is not the potter master of his clay..." Found in Wis 15:7

6. 1Pet 1:6-7, " which is tried by fire..." See Wis 3:5-6

7. Heb 1:3, "...brightness of His glory..." Similar to Wis 7:26-27

8. 1Cor 10:9-10, "...perished by serpents and destroyed by the destroyer." Almost perfectly matched in Judith 8:24-25.

9. 1Cor 6:13, " for the belly and belly for food..." Similar to Sir 36:20

10. Rom 1:18-32, GOD is known by the things He has created...Similar to Wis 13:1-9

11. Mt 7:12, Lk 6:31, "...all that you wish men to do to you, even so do you also to them..." Similar to Tob 4:16

12. Lk 14:13, "...when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame..." Similar to Tob 4:17.

13. Rev 21:18, "And the material of its wall was jasper; but the city itself was pure gold, like pure glass." Similar to Tob 13:21.

14. Mt 13:43, "Then the just will shine forth..." Found in Wis 3:7.

15. Mt 18:15, "But if thy brother sin against thee..." Similar to Sir 19:13

16. Mt 25:36, "...sick and you visited me..." Similar to Sir 7:39.

17. Mt 27:42, "...if He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross..." Similar to Wis 2:18-20.

18. Mk 14:61-62, "...are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One: And Jesus said to him, I AM." Found in Wis 2:13.

19. Lk 2:37, " a widow...She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." Found in Judith 8:4-6.

20. Lk 24:4, "...two men stood by them in dazzling raiment." Found in 2Macc 3:26.

21. Jn 16:15, "All things that the Father has are mine." Found in Wis 2:13.

22. Rom 10:6, "...Who will go up into heaven..." Found in Bar 3:29.

23. Rom 11:33, "...How inscrutable are His judgments and how unsearchable are His ways." Found in Judith 8:14.

24. 1Cor 10:20, "...they sacrifice to demons, not to God..." Found in Bar 4:7.

25. 1Jn 3:17, "If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of GOD remain in him?" Found in Tob 4:7.

These are just a few that I have found, and with very little effort. Most of them were found just by reading the cross references in Bibles. There are many more.

Clearly from what I have shown, the seven disputed books should have not been removed by Protestants from the Bible.

Updated October 6, 2002
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