...because it isn't quoted in the New Testament?!


#1

First, I’ll give my thesis,
Second, I’ll make a point,
Third, I’ll end with a question,
The “question” isn’t about the “a point.”

One popular argument made by Protestants against the Deuterocanon (or Apocrypha, as
they’ll say) is that they are not quoted in the New Testament. As I thought upon this very
weak argument, I had an epiphany: The BOOK OF ENOCH (I Enoch), written in 300 BCE,
appears to be alluded to by Peter in his second letter:For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned,
but condemned them to the chains of Tartarus and
handed them over to be kept for judgment;

  • 2 Peter 2:4
    Again *I Enoch *is alluded to, this time by Jude:The angels too, who did not keep to their own domain
    but deserted their proper dwelling, he has kept in eter-
    nal chains, in gloom, for the judgment of the great day.
  • Jude 1:6
    Surprisingly then, Jude QUOTES I Enoch, WORD FOR WORD:Enoch, of the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied also about
    them when he said, “Behold, the Lord has come with his countless*
    holy ones to execute judgment on all and to convict everyone for all
    the godless deeds that they committed and for all the harsh words
    godless sinners have uttered against him.”
  • Jude 1:14-15
    [INDENT]*(Keep in mind that I’m using the
    NAB , and that more literal trans-
    lations are found in other bibles) .
    [/INDENT]Now the “not quoted in the New Testament” anti-Deuterocanon people have a big problem
    in my eyes at least, because I Enoch is used in the New Testament, but is left out, yet in
    the next breath, Wisdom, Judith, Tobit, etc. are rejected through the excuse that they are
    not quoted or even mentioned in the New Testament. How does this make sense?

[RIGHT]Let it be duly noted that I am not
supporting I Enoch as Scripture,
if you didn’t understand my intro.
[/RIGHT]


#2

This counter-argument isn’t as strong because their premise:

“They are not Scripture because they are not quoted in the New Testament”

isn’t diametrically opposed to:

“Anything quoted in the New Testament is Scripture.”

They could simply state that “Just because the New Testament quotes a work doesn’t necessarily make it Scripture.” The premise they are working on is that for something to be scripture, it has to be quoted in the New Testament. It’s not the same as saying that anything quoted in the New Testament is Scripture.

A better counterargument would be to point out the fact that there are indeed protocanonical books that are NOT quoted in the New Testament. Obadiah, Nahum, and Esther, for starters.


#3

Just a quick reply, to register my interest in this thread.

Maybe it’s not diametrically opposed, but I does undermine it, because* “They are not Scripture because they are not quoted in the New Testament”* has a hidden premise of “In its citations the NT establishes the Canon of the OT”. Which of course it (the NT) doesn’t say anywhere. Those who reject the DC might argue “No, our premise is just that if the NT doesn’t cite an OT book, then it’s not scripture”, but then one has to ask “Where does it say that???”. That is even less persuasive than the first hidden premise, and it sounds like the the person is making up the rules (ie. how NT citation establishes canonicity) to suit the conclusion (DCs are not canonical).

In the meantime, I highly recommend Mark Shea’s 5 Myths about 7 Books. I found his observation that Jesus references Maccabees at a critical moment (in place and time) by announcing himself to the Jews as “consecrated” at the Feast of Dedication is overwhelming evidence for the DC. Without Maccabees there is no context for The Feast of Dedication, it is just words, such as The First day of Objuwakanakabon, but with Maccabees it not only means something, but is central to Jesus’ mission to Israel.

As Shea says:

That is, He treats the Feast of Hanukkah from the so-called “apocryphal” books of 1 and 2 Maccabees exactly as He treats accounts of the manna (John 6:32-33; Exodus 16:4), the Bronze Serpent (John 3:14; Numbers 21:4-9), and Jacob’s Ladder (John 1:51; Genesis 28:12)— as inspired, prophetic, scriptural images of Himself.

We see this pattern throughout the New Testament. There is no distinction made by Christ or the Apostles between the deuterocanonical books and the rest of the Old Testament.

It’s worth reading the whole sections from Maccabees (ie. 1 Maccabees 4:36-59 and 2 Maccabees 10:1-8) to get the full context.


#4

I’ve understood that the Apocrophal books were not considered as part of the Cannon because they were not of the same quality as the rest of the 66 books. Hadn’t heard that it was because they weren’t referred to or quoted in the N. T. Some of the books not included were historically correct for the most part , but also included some folk-lore or contradicted other information.
But there are mentions made of other books that are NOT included in Scriptures. :slight_smile:


#5

The first several chapters in the Book of Genesis is not historically accurate either, but that’s
not the point, is it? Such may be the case of the DC books, if they are truly that historically
inaccurate enough to make a fuss over. What about then the Book of Wisdom, which in it’s
2nd chapter speaks most clearly about Jesus (though written AT LEAST 60 years prior to
Jesus’ birth? Just a coincidence?


#6

I thought of this reply before Judas Thaddeus posted above :slight_smile:

Thankyou for posting! I don’t want to criticise your remark about the Apocrypha/Deutercanonicals, but just rto answer it with this, from Wisdom…

Let us lay traps for the upright man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our sins against the Law, and accuses us of sins against our upbringing.

He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. We see him as a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down; for his kind of life is not like other people’s, and his ways are quite different.

In his opinion we are counterfeit; he avoids our ways as he would filth; he proclaims the final end of the upright as blessed and boasts of having God for his father.

Let us see if what he says is true, and test him to see what sort of end he will have. For if the upright man is God’s son, God will help him and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.

Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his patience to the test. Let us condemn him to a shameful death since God will rescue him – or so he claims.

This is the way they reason, but they are misled, since their malice makes them blind.

They do not know the hidden things of God, they do not hope for the reward of holiness, they do not believe in a reward for blameless souls. For God created human beings to be immortal, he made them as an image of his own nature;

Wisdom 2:12-23.


#7

I don’t have anything against 1 & 2 Maccabees but I don’t think this argument is very persuasive because it is essentially: Any book whatsoever that mentions the origin of the Feast of Dedication must be considered inspired.


#8

No, I have no personal opinion on what books are inspired - I accept the Church’s teaching on that.

I am answering the contention that the NT never quotes the DCs, by showing that Jesus refers to the Feast of Dedication in Maccabees.

Moreover, Jesus’ reference to the Feast of Dedication is as theologically significant in identifying himself as were his references to manna, to the bronze serpent, and to Jacob’s Ladder, and was understood as such by his contemporaries.


#9

I don’t think there are any Protestants who claim one cannot read those books, so I don’t understand the problem. It’s very simple to access them if one wants to read them and we are encouraged to do so.


#10

[quote="dronald, post:9, topic:342339"]
I don't think there are any Protestants who claim one cannot read those books, so I don't understand the problem. It's very simple to access them if one wants to read them and we are encouraged to do so.

[/quote]

Really? That's what I hear every so
often though. Perhaps I'm bumping
into the wackadoodle variety again.


#11

Not even the original Protestants went so far if you must know. They rejected the idea of these books as being authoritative in any way, but they still accepted that these books can be useful and well, fun reading.


#12

Judas, you’re not wrong. There are definitely Protestants who believe the deuterocanonical books are evil and should not be read at all because they teach satanic doctrines, like praying for the dead. These are probably the minority though. Moreover, they probably get most of their knowledge on the issue from comic book tracts and old Geocities-style web pages.

The problem is that Catholics believe the seven deuterocanonic books are the inspired word of God. If I replaced the the Deuterocanon with the New Testament in your statement above, you would surely object that I was denying a fundamental article of the Christian faith.


#13

Oh there are. There are fundamentalists who claim that the Deuterocanonicals teach magic (Tobit), lying (Tobit), suicide (2 Maccabees) and can’t even get history right (Judith). Of course those who make those claims are not taking into consideration the full context of the writings.


#14

And they fail to realize that the same accusations can be leveled against the books they consider canonical.


#15

[quote="QNDNNDQDCE, post:14, topic:342339"]
And they fail to realize that the same accusations can be leveled against the books they consider canonical.

[/quote]

It's called "grasping at straws." :D


#16

There is no valid, logical argument that can question the Catholic Canon of 46 books in the OT and 27 in the NT.

Christ’s Church has been founded and given His mandate to teach in His Name, by Him. She has done so by infallibly declaring which books are the inspired Word of God – no one else has any authority to do so.

What are non-Catholics missing by not having these books?

In the 16th century, Martin Luther adopted the Jewish list, putting the Deuterocanonical books in an appendix. He also put the letter of James, the letter to the Hebrews, the letters of John, and the book of Revelation from the New Testament in an appendix. He did this for doctrinal reasons (for example: 2 Maccabees 12:43-46 supports the doctrine of purgatory, Hebrews supports the existence of the priesthood, and James 2:24 supports the Catholic doctrine on merit). Later Lutherans followed Luther’s Old Testament list and rejected the Deuterocanonical books, but they did not follow his rejection of the New Testament books.

Finally, in 1546, the Council of Trent reaffirmed the traditional list of the Catholic Church.

Already, just a few decades after the death of Christ, we can clearly see all of the essential structures of the Catholic Church in place. This was not some amorphous Christian community, as if Jesus founded Protestantism, or any other ecclesial community. It was the Catholic Church in historical continuity with the Catholic Church of today.

The “Bible” was given to the world by the Catholic Church. The New Testament was written by Catholics; the Gospels before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
The books that actually are declared the inspired Word of God was decided by Pope Damasus at a Council of Rome in 382, confirmed at the Councils of Hippo, 393, Carthage III 397, Carthage IV in 419 and canonised at the Council of Trent (1545-1563) -- 46 books in the Old Testament, 27 books in the New Testament.

Rejecting Christ’s mandate to St Peter and his successors is the reason for the errors of others in leaving out 7 books.


#17

The Deuterocanonical books were each used, somewhere in the early Church, since day 1. Martin Luther, by his own “authority”, decided on 66 books over 1,500 years later. He was heavily dissuaded by Phillip Melanchthon from also removing an additional seven books from the New Testament - books that he personally disagreed with, as he did with the Deuterocanon.

Keep in mind that the Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, separated from the Catholic Church, but with common origins, have also used and have in their canon the seven books that Luther did not like. Here is an interesting article on the myth of the “added books”: catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0120.html
written by an evangelical, Mark P. Shea, who converted to the Catholic Church.


#18

[quote="dronald, post:9, topic:342339"]
I don't think there are any Protestants who claim one cannot read those books, so I don't understand the problem. It's very simple to access them if one wants to read them and we are encouraged to do so.

[/quote]

The problem is one rebellious man declaring to the world by his own authority that they are not the inspired word of God. Absolutely better trust him in that, huh? And, if you do trust him on his 66 book bible, you'd better become Lutheran, as he who is trustworthy in small things is also trustworthy in great! Conversely....

A quick sampling of just one of the books that Martin Luther did not personally like. 2 Maccabees. It describes the conquering and oppression of Judah and Israel and the outlawing of the Jewish religion in the second century before Christ. Problem: Christ had to be born under the law to fulfill the law. Couldn't happen if the Law was outlawed. It goes on to describe how the high priest Judas Maccabeus assembled an army and overthrew the Seleucid King who had imposed the death penalty for practicing the Jewish law. This is the restoration of the Law of Moses in time for Christ to be born under it. I think that's important, no? 2 Maccabees documents the purification and re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. So? That is the establishment of the festival of lights - Hannukah, a Jewish holiday to this very day.

So? The Pharisees rejected the only scriptures that describe the establishement of Hannukah because they were too Christian. Thus, the Jews to this day do not have a scriptural account of the establishment of one of their major holidays. Too Christian? Yes. 2 Maccabees speaks of the resurrection and of eternal life - over 100 years before Christ was born. Riddle me this, Batman: If God did not inspire that, just who did? If this was not God speaking, but merely a prophet prophesying, was he right? Either way....

2 Maccabees also tells of the holiness of sacrificing and of offering prayer for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins. Who was it that offered such prayers? The Jewish high priest! Sounds way too much like purgatory, so Luther demoted it to "apocrypha". Harumph!

Martin Luther, in his hatred of the Catholic Church, adopted the canon of the Pharisees. Since Jesus condemned the Pharisees seven fold (Matthew 23), why on earth adopt their decision on the Old Testament canon? Didn't Jesus found a Church and give it that authority?

I see huge problems once you let a single man tamper with scripture.


#19

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