A question of numbers of books in the bible


#1

i tried to post this before but got nowhere. hopefully i'm in the right spot. a little background might be helpful. my mother is asking this question to see if it might help her in talking to my sister who has left the church and attached herself to a nondenominational church. my mom is trying to get my sister thinking. so here is her question:
the bible, in its completeness has 73 books. the bible used by protestants has 66 books after martin luther removed the 7 books. as 6 is a number of incompleteness and 7,3, and (10?) are holy numbers is there significance in the number of books in both or either versions of the bible? or is this mere coincidence?
could someone please help with this? my mom is having a lot of trouble bringing my sister back to faith. my sister has decided she does not like Catholicism and she is having a lot of problems now.


#2

[quote="donna369, post:1, topic:331786"]
i tried to post this before but got nowhere. hopefully i'm in the right spot. a little background might be helpful. my mother is asking this question to see if it might help her in talking to my sister who has left the church and attached herself to a nondenominational church. my mom is trying to get my sister thinking. so here is her question:
the bible, in its completeness has 73 books. the bible used by protestants has 66 books after martin luther removed the 7 books. as 6 is a number of incompleteness and 7,3, and (10?) are holy numbers is there significance in the number of books in both or either versions of the bible? or is this mere coincidence?
could someone please help with this? my mom is having a lot of trouble bringing my sister back to faith. my sister has decided she does not like Catholicism and she is having a lot of problems now.

[/quote]

Any numbering ie: "7 is holy + 3 = 10 which is holy" is superstition. As a Protestant, my bible has 66 books, however I personally am not against accepting 73 books.

To be fair Catholic's (and Protestant's) don't actually have the amount of books in their Bible that you have named, therefore any superstitions do not work. For example, 1kings and 2kings are actually one book. They have been separated because Kings is extremely long. The same goes for Chronicles.

Also, the letters written by Paul were not actually meant to be "books" in a bible, but rather, letters to Churches. They were gathered and put into our Bibles, and we call them books now.


#3

To be fair, it wasn’t Martin Luther who removed them. However, he did move them to the end of the OT as an appendix. He didn’t view the 7 as inspired. He also contemplated whether James and Revelation were inspired and ended up leaving them alone. The 7 books were still attached as an appendix in the first version of the KJV. It was a protestant printer, I believe, who eventually removed them (to save paper? idk).

But no, there is no significance to the numbers, it is mere coincidence and not planned.


#4

Don't know anything about the numbers but I always use this to get people thinking if nothing else. The 2 main resposes for people switching the faith that I get is
1. I just don't get anything out of the Catholic Church.
My response is Then You don't get Jesus' pure heart out of the Eucharist.

  1. This is where people get to really thinking since the main source of our Faith is the Eucharist... They say they just don't believe in our teachings it just isn't in the Bible.
    My response is, Is your name in the Bible. They will say no. To that I say then you don't exsist either! Then I add: When Jesus said unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you. But he who eats my flesh and drink my blood shall never die. He said it twice. The crowd then left because they could not handle his teaching. Then I tell the person so you have left also.... You must have been with the crowd that left him. Will you remain with the 12 or will you leave with the crowd.... Silence....

Try that! God Bless!


#5

Point of fact: the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have, since day 1, used and accepted the books which are generally no longer in protestant bibles. Since each of those books was written in the pre-Christian era, and were preserved for centuries, there must have been a reason for that preservation, correct? The alternate title of Sirach, for example, is Ecclesiasticus, or "church book." If it was not read in the assembly (and tradition says it was), why would it have been given that name?

Point 2: Luther did not remove the books. He simply did not like them, declared by his own authority that they were not inspired by God, and segregated them from the others in the bible that bears his name.

The Deuterocanonical books were in most all King James Version bibles until about 1879, when the British Bible Society, if I remember correctly, removed them entirely. As a practical matter, let us take the subject matter of the just the books of the Maccabees: They speak of the banning of the practice of Judaism, or the worship of the God of Israel, in the centuries leading up to the birth of Christ. They speak of the Maccabean revolt, which restored the Mosaic law to Israel in time for Christ to be born under that law in order to fulfill that law. They speak of the re-dedication of the temple in Jerusalem - documenting the Jewish Holy Day of Hanukkah (the Jews do not have this in their canon!). Maccabees mention the resurrection and eternal life - less than two centuries before Christ preached the exact same message.

If God did not inspire all of that to be written before the fact (as prophecy), then just who did?

Here is an informational article about the Deuterocanonical books: 5 Myths about 7 Books.


#6

[quote="bzkoss236, post:3, topic:331786"]
To be fair, it wasn't Martin Luther who removed them. However, he did move them to the end of the OT as an appendix. He didn't view the 7 as inspired. He also contemplated whether James and Revelation were inspired and ended up leaving them alone. The 7 books were still attached as an appendix in the first version of the KJV.

It was a protestant printer, I believe, who eventually removed them (to save paper? idk).

But no, there is no significance to the numbers, it is mere coincidence and not planned.

[/quote]

Correct.

forum.chnetwork.org/index.php/topic,11538.0.html

Quote
Since the Catholic Bible was the First Bible written how can they say that the King James Bible is the true bible? When they leave the Seven books out of it?

The deletion of the Deuterocanonical books in the King James Version (which originally included them) was not the work of any denominational authorities. Instead, it came about because the printers contracted to print copies of the Authorized Version were restricted in the amount they could charge for a Bible. The printers noted that Protestants generally, and the majority of Church of England adherents in particular, following the lead of Martin Luther and the Lutherans in Germany, did not seem to consider the Deuterocanonicals (which non-Catholics preferred to call Apocrypha, or “doubtful”) divinely inspired. They then proceeded to cut those pages out of the copies they printed, thereby reducing the amount of material and labor required and increasing their profit. Few complaints were registered, and the custom of leaving the “Apocryphal books” out of the King James Version was de facto established.

handsonapologetics.com/King_James_Bible.htm

Now You Read Them, Now You Don’t…
Those who viewed the "Apocrypha" as somehow being the last vestige of "popery" pressed for the Apocrypha appendix and its cross-references to be removed altogether from the Bible. In 1615, George Abbott, the Archbishop of Canterbury, went so far as to employ the power of law to censure any publisher who did not produce the Bible in its entirety (i.e. including the "Apocrypha") as prescribed by the Thirty-nine Articles. However, anti-Catholic hatred and the obvious financial advantages of printing smaller Protestant Bibles began to win out against the traditionalists who wanted the Bible in the form that was given in all previous Protestant translations up until that point (in the form of Luther's Bible - with the Apocrypha between the Old and New Testaments). The "Apocrypha" remained in the King James Bible through the 1626, 1629, 1630, and the 1633 editions. By 1632, public opinion began to decidedly turn against the "bigger" Protestant Bibles. Of the 227 printings of the Bible between 1632 and 1826, about 40% of Protestant Bibles contained the "Apocrypha." The Apocrypha Controversy of the early 1800's enabled English Bible Societies to flood the bible-buying market with Apocrypha-less Protestant Bibles and in 1885 the "Apocrypha" was officially removed with the advent of the Revised Standard Version, which replaced the King James Version.
It is hard to pin point the exact date where the King James Bible no longer contained the "Apocrypha." It is clear that later editions of the KJV removed the "Apocrypha" appendix, but they continued to include cross-references to the "Apocrypha" until they too (like the Geneva Bible) were removed as well. Why were they removed? Was it do to over-crowded margins? The Anglican scholar William H. Daubney points out the obvious:
“These objectionable omissions [of the cross-references] were made after the custom arose of publishing Bibles without the Apocrypha. These apparently profess to be what they are not, entire copies of the Authorized Version … Plainly, the references to the Apocrypha told an inconvenient tale of the use which the Church intended should be made of it; so, either from dissenting influence without, or from prejudice within the Church, these references disappeared from the margin.” [The Use of the Apocrypha In the Christian Church (London: C. J. Clay and Sons, 1900), 17]
What was the inconvenient tale these cross-references told? They showed that the so-called Apocrypha actually plays a much greater role that most modern Protestants are willing to admit. Moreover, the cross-references showed that the church believed that knowledge of the so-called "Apocrypha" and their use in the New Testament benefited Christians who wished to understand the Bible. Sadly today, many Protestants use the King James Bible have been handed on to them in an unaltered and uncompromised form. The reality is that its contents had undergone several substantial changes beginning with Martin Luther's gathering together the Deuterocanon and placing it in an "Apocrypha" appendix and later when that appendix (and its cross-references) were removed altogether from Protestant Bibles.


#7

The Bible has literally hundreds of references to specific numbers from birth order to length of days,to measurements. It has meaning in that it is symbolic,nothing superstitious about that, as God created numbers and our understanding of them in regards to His creation.

Certain numbers repeat very frequently in the bible and even the church fathers recognized them.

As far as the number of books of the bible it used to bother me thinking the bible had 66 books as 6 is generally considered the number of man.Also the beast references of 666 being symbolic was too much of a coincidence. Until I came back home to the Church(I left when i was young) I did not realize that the bible in its completeness had 73 books.

I don't know that there is anything significant in that,but numbers are fascinating.


#8

[quote="donna369, post:1, topic:331786"]
i tried to post this before but got nowhere. hopefully i'm in the right spot. a little background might be helpful. my mother is asking this question to see if it might help her in talking to my sister who has left the church and attached herself to a nondenominational church. my mom is trying to get my sister thinking. so here is her question:
the bible, in its completeness has 73 books. the bible used by protestants has 66 books after martin luther removed the 7 books. as 6 is a number of incompleteness and 7,3, and (10?) are holy numbers is there significance in the number of books in both or either versions of the bible? or is this mere coincidence?
could someone please help with this? my mom is having a lot of trouble bringing my sister back to faith. my sister has decided she does not like Catholicism and she is having a lot of problems now.

[/quote]

It’s just mere coincidence. The number of books were not meant to be symbolic. The main reason why Protestants removed the 7 books from the OT is because they were following the canon affirmed by the Jews starting with the council of Jamnia.

There are flaws in this sort of reasoning.

[LIST]
*]The council of Jamnia is not binding on Christians because Christ had already fulfilled the old covenant and called us to a new one. Jews are still clinging to the old covenant.
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]The Jews only accepted the books that were still preserved in Hebrew. The Dead Sea Scrolls have parts of the 7 books in Hebrew which dates prior to the council of Jamnia.
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]Around 75% of the NT quotes the Septuagint text and this text also has the 7 books contained within.
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]The most early Church Fathers (1st and 2nd century) quoted from the Septuagint. There was never or a warning or a hint to be cautious with the 7 books in the early church.
[/LIST]

I hope this helps.

God bless.


#9

[quote="bzkoss236, post:3, topic:331786"]
To be fair, it wasn't Martin Luther who removed them. However, he did move them to the end of the OT as an appendix. He didn't view the 7 as inspired. He also contemplated whether James and Revelation were inspired and ended up leaving them alone.

[/quote]

What you say is commonly stated by many. The truth is that Martin treated the books he disputed books of the New Testament the same way as he treated the books he disputed of the Old Testament. He put them at the end of each of the Old and New Testaments in their own sections. The disputed old and new testament books remained in German bibles though even among US Lutherans until they switched to English around the time of the world wars and then because US English protestant Bibles had lost them by then they vanished from their Bibles as well.

Martin Chemnitz, a leading Lutheran theologian of the 1500's, in his Enichiridion, a book used to give twice annual exams to Lutheran Pastors commented on the canonical books as follows.

46 How are the Biblical books divided ?

In two ways : I. Into the books of the Old and New Testament. II. Into the canonical and apocryphal books of each testament.

47 Which are the canonical books of the Old Testament ( the current protestant OT canon is listed )

48 Which are the apocryphal books of the Old Testament ? ( the rest of the books in the catholic canon are listed )

49 Which are the canonical books of the New Testament ? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thess, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, I Peter, I John

50 Which are regarded as apocryphal books in the New Testament ? II Peter, II & III John, Hebrews, James, Jude, Revelation of John.

The above is lost on most modern Lutherans. In the old ways all of the above books were "biblical" but not all were "canonical", very different from todays approaches.

In the main they vanished from protestant copies of KJV in the mid 1800's as part of the Bible Societies efforts. These books were not only included in the KJVs but they included marginal notes that showed how they related to the writings of the New Testament authors. Some time ago I took the time to go through a facsimile copy of one of the original KJV's and copy out all the xrefs from the duetorocanonical books and the new testament. I did comment on what I thought the reason for the citations were here : beyond-m42.net/deutero/xref/KJV1611/

Ultimately it was the study of these books that led me to the Catholic faith. The number of parallels between Wisdom of Solomon chapter 2 and the gospels is large. ( beyond-m42.net/deutero/xref/wisdom-two/ )

The strongest example though of a new testament author using these books is Paul in Romans 1:18-31, where he paraphrases Wisdom 13:1-10,14:22-31 ( beyond-m42.net/deutero/article/2/ )

Sorry for posting multiple links to a website I did but it saves an awful lot of typing and to me is something I studied a lot and so I put it in that Duetero Project section a few years ago.


#10

Not to mention that Luther adopted the canon of the Pharisees. Jesus condemned them seven-fold (complete and utter condemnation) as recorded in Matthew 23. Imagine that!


#11

An interesting thing about the number of books is that the NT contains 27. That is 3 x 3 x 3. Sometimes I wonder whether there should have been 77 books. 27 in the new, and 50 in the old. 50 is the number of jubilee, a completeness. Of course I'm not going to install 4 extra OT books in the Bible, that is not really something I would ever contemplate doing, and I am okay with things the way they are. But I just sometimes wonder.

My Catholic RSV Bible with 73 books has been my Bible of choice since I was 20, even as a protestant non-denominational.


#12

[quote="Augustine3, post:8, topic:331786"]
It’s just mere coincidence. The number of books were not meant to be symbolic. The main reason why Protestants removed the 7 books from the OT is because they were following the canon affirmed by the Jews starting with the council of Jamnia.

There are flaws in this sort of reasoning.

[LIST]
]The council of Jamnia is not binding on Christians because Christ had already fulfilled the old covenant and called us to a new one. Jews are still clinging to the old covenant.
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*
]The Jews only accepted the books that were still preserved in Hebrew. The Dead Sea Scrolls have parts of the 7 books in Hebrew which dates prior to the council of Jamnia.*
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]Around 75% of the NT quotes the Septuagint text and this text also has the 7 books contained within.
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]The most early Church Fathers (1st and 2nd century) quoted from the Septuagint. There was never or a warning or a hint to be cautious with the 7 books in the early church.
[/LIST]

I hope this helps.

God bless.

[/quote]

As I understand it there were more Greek speaking Jews than those in Jerusalem. So more Jews believed the Deutercanonicals to be inspired than not.


#13

[quote="po18guy, post:10, topic:331786"]
Not to mention that Luther adopted the canon of the Pharisees. Jesus condemned them seven-fold (complete and utter condemnation) as recorded in Matthew 23. Imagine that!

[/quote]

Good point! :thumbsup:


#14

[quote="Porknpie, post:12, topic:331786"]
As I understand it there were more Greek speaking Jews than those in Jerusalem. So more Jews believed the Deutercanonicals to be inspired than not.

[/quote]

Very true. Not to mention the council of Jamina did not have the authority to bind their canon on other Jews. The Ethiopian Jews for example included the deuterocanonical books in their canon.

The arguments Christians presented to the Jews using the Septuagint was so compelling, it resulted in a great number of Jews converting to Christianity. The somewhat obstinate Jews typically responded by saying “yeah it might be there in Greek, but what about the original Hebrew?”. As time went on the Septuagint became associated with the Christians more and more which is one of the main reasons why the Masoretes complied their own canon using Hebrew sources only, no Greek because it was associated with the Christians. Funny thing is it was the Jews themselves that produced and complied the Septuagint then in later centuries associated it with the Christians.


#15

SEPTUAGINT QUOTES
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

God bless Y'all


#16

“You are now aware that you are breathing”

i hate being made aware of that! :rotfl:


#17

=donna369;10940749]i tried to post this before but got nowhere. hopefully i'm in the right spot. a little background might be helpful. my mother is asking this question to see if it might help her in talking to my sister who has left the church and attached herself to a nondenominational church. my mom is trying to get my sister thinking. so here is her question:
the bible, in its completeness has 73 books. the bible used by protestants has 66 books after martin luther removed the 7 books. as 6 is a number of incompleteness and 7,3, and (10?) are holy numbers is there significance in the number of books in both or either versions of the bible? or is this mere coincidence?
could someone please help with this? my mom is having a lot of trouble bringing my sister back to faith. my sister has decided she does not like Catholicism and she is having a lot of problems now.

IMO forget the number of books as an ISSUE

Ask instead:

How many God's do we believe in? ONE!

How many positions can that One God hold [being "Good and Perfect" on the same LONG defined issues? One God can ONLY hold One set of Faith beliefs [Eph. 4]

God Has ALWAYS had ONLY One chosen people:
Yahweh: the Jewish nation
Christ His One Church and One Faith [Mt.16:15-19; Mt. 28:16-20]

Only the CC hold and is given the KEY to Heaven's access [Mt.16:18-19]

Only the CC dates back to the Apostles directly and HOLD the fullness of Christ Truth

When was her church founded?
By Whom was it founded?

And WHERE in the Bible does it state that Christ permits [or approves] of faiths created by MORTAL men to COMPETE with the One Faith founded personally By Jesus Himself?

Then PRAY MUCH!


#18

Here is an informational article about the Deuterocanonical books: 5 Myths about 7 Books.

In the above link, he mentions that "But few realize that in Mark 7:6-8 the Lord was quoting the version of Isaiah that is found only in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament."

Are there different versions of the book of Isaiah?

To which verse of Isaiah does Mark 7:6-8 refer to?


#19

Got the answer after some online search.

scripturecatholic.com/septuagint.html

It is from Isaiah 29:13

usccb.org/bible/isaiah/29

biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2029&version=NIV#fen-NIV-18207b

In the footnotes section, it is mentioned as taken from Septuagint.

I wonder how one can accept and add some portion of Septuagint while rejecting other portions which they don't feel like accepting.


#20

Essentially, there are varying copies of all manuscripts. Since all are hand-copied from other copies, minor differences abound. This is where the Spirit’s guidance of the True Church is of paramount importance.


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