Can we sail upon the Dead Sea Scrolls?

I’m looking for some help. I read an article (but can’t remember where) suggesting that the Dead Sea Scrolls may make references to the deuterocanonical books. The importance of this would be that there is an outside source that can point to the fact that these seven books were around during the time of Jesus and not a made up Catholic addition to the Bible. Can anyone affirm or deny this about the Dead Sea Scrolls? And / or where I can find some accurate information on the matter?

The Dead Sea Scrolls are valuable support for the inclusion of the Deuterocanonicals for, yes, they do mention and include them.

But what’s even more important is that there are fragments of the deutero’s found in Hebrew in the DSS. This was one of the reasons scholars such as St. Jerome didn’t feel they were Scriptural. The Reformists used St. Jerome’s arguments to support their exclusion of the deutero’s.

Ben Sirach in Hebrew for example, it was the first book of the DSS to be found.

Only the Wisdom of Solomon and 2 Maccabees have never been found in Hebrew as far as I know, though some think Tobit and Judith were originally Aramaic (as was half of Daniel and parts of Ezra)

Ruh:

Why is this important to prove? Is there a Catholic doctrine that is better supported by these books than by the books of the New Testament?

I’m just curious.

Purgatory, prayers for the dead and intercession of Saints while they are all in the New Testament are more clearly in these books. But also taking the books out of the Bible for no good reason is heresy in itself

Thanks, JMB, for pointing out some teachings which have their fore-echoes in OT books dropped by Martin Luther.

One point. Heresy, loosely put, is the deliberate embrace of a position contrary to received Truth. And, for example, a Catholic is a heretic when he publicly, wilfully states that Christ is not God–and when he stubbornly refuses to take that back after being reproved on it.

JMB, may we rather say that “taking the books out of the Bible for no good reason is wrong, is prohibited by the Bible,” or words to that effect?

And, can there ever be a “good” reason to take out any books that are in the Bible?

NotWorthy, by the words I put in red above, do you mean: “The rabbinic school in the First Century AD got rid of any OT books for which they could find no counterparts in Hebrew.” Is that the reason:

As I understand it, the rabbis met in council to react against the Gentile-ization of their scriptures and culture. They were rejecting all Greek influence, considering it alien. So any OT text heretofore included (in the Septuagint), but for which no backup Hebrew existed, the Rabbis tossed.

Tossed were the books of Maccabbees etc–don’t know right now if the books cited so far on this thread make up a complete list.

Luther adopted the smaller anti-Christian!, anti-Greek canon of the first century Rabbis. So to this day Protestants are missing those books, while Catholics simply ignored Luther’s reduction and kept to the larger collection.

And some of the missing books are now finding their Hebrew counterparts after all, thanks to the DS Scrolls.

This would seem from a Catholic point of view to force Protestants to re-evaluate the grounds upon which the excluded books are excluded.

Well, since Jerome didn’t live until the 4th century, I’d say no. :slight_smile:

As I understand it, the rabbis met in council to react against the Gentile-ization of their scriptures and culture. They were rejecting all Greek influence, considering it alien. So any OT text heretofore included (in the Septuagint), but for which no backup Hebrew existed, the Rabbis tossed.

I’m not sure how true this is, for it was the Jews themselves that demanded the Greek translations, since only a minority of Jews could speak Latin. I’m not arguing with you, however, that’s just my observation. I’ve heard so many conflicting claims of the council of Jamnia, that I’m not sure what they did or did not decide.

Furthermore, the greatest consensus of the aim of the council of Jamnia is that it sought to combat the rise of Christianity, rather than the rise of “Gentilization”.

Tossed were the books of Maccabbees etc–don’t know right now if the books cited so far on this thread make up a complete list.

Luther adopted the smaller anti-Christian!, anti-Greek canon of the first century Rabbis. So to this day Protestants are missing those books, while Catholics simply ignored Luther’s reduction and kept to the larger collection.

And some of the missing books are now finding their Hebrew counterparts after all, thanks to the DS Scrolls.

This would seem from a Catholic point of view to force Protestants to re-evaluate the grounds upon which the excluded books are excluded.

I’m going to try this again, NotWorthy: I think I was unclear before, judging by your response.

You said:

[quote=NotWorthy]The Dead Sea Scrolls are valuable support for the inclusion of the Deuterocanonicals for, yes, they do mention and include them.

But what’s even more important is that there are fragments of the deuteros found in Hebrew in the DSS. This was one of the reasons scholars such as St. Jerome didn’t feel they were Scriptural. The Reformists used St. Jerome’s arguments to support their exclusion of the deutero’s.
[/quote]

I think this means:
But what’s even more important is that there are fragments of the deutero’s found in Hebrew in the DSS. Not having any of the deuteros in any Hebrew is why the rabbinics tossed the deuteros. ** That there was no Hebrew behind the Greek for the deuteros is also **one of the reasons scholars such as St. Jerome didn’t feel they were Scriptural.

Is that what you mean?

Burns/Chacon on the Canon of the Bible is my source for understanding why the rabbis tossed certain books in the 1st Century and kept others. It was to excise alien influence from their holy books. Alien as in anything non-Hebrew. We know that the result was to get rid of any text for which behind the Greek there was no known Hebrew text.

Yes, all the scriptures were put by the Jews into Greek, known as the Septuagint OT, because that was the popular language of the Hebrews B.C. In the 1st Century, the rabbis sought to rid Israel of Greekness as alien to Jewishness–and along with that they got rid of much that was connected to Christianity, which fit with their goal of purifying their Hebrew deposit.

We should remember that St. Jerome favored one side of this debate; but he submitted his opinion as such to the Church, and She did not agree with him. So his translation did include the very books he had initially argued against.

I’ll go with that. I just have trouble locking into the intent of the Council of Jamnia other than they were anti-christian (for obvious reasons) because there have been so many variations of their intent and result.

Technically when Luther removed the books it wasn’t heresy just wrong as it was merely canon law and not dogma (the nearly 1200 year continuous practtice becoming infallible dogma at the Council of Trent) and thus to remove them became heresy, though technically the Protestants given it as is are not heretical in that particular instance, though a Catholic denying them as Scripture would be a heretic.

As for their being a good reason to remove Scripture, certainly not now and in practice since the 4th century no, before that there wasn’t a fixed canon so maybe. Though to temporarily suspend reading of a book in liturgy for a grave reason may be theoretically right, at the start of the third century the reading of the Gospel of St John in liturgy at the Church of Rome was suspended to combat the Montanist heresy which made extensive use of it

JMB, are you saying that it was not *received truth *that the inspired books were those in the bible pre-Luther? By received truth, I believe I mean, what the Ordinary and/or Extraordinary Magesterium of the Church held and proposed for belief to all Christians.

We might remember that all the statements of the canon, beginning at the end of the 3rd Century when Pope Damasus wrote a decree listing the present OT and NT canon of 73 books–to remember that the list has never varied, not through the Councils of Hippo & Carthage through 405 AD when Pope St. Innocent approved the 73-book list and closed the canon of the Bible. There were affirmations from major councils of the exact same list thereafter, but no big deal was made of it because it was not in dispute–til Luther.

Maybe you are right that his rejection of the Christian canon was not heresy, but I do doubt that.

For he had to deliberately reject a truth he had received, and he publicly maintained and spread his novel idea despite every remonstrance.

True, Protestants today are not generally in a state of formal heresy. They are by and large involved in material heresy–the matter is heretical, but they themselves have not turned away from truth they have received–they have inherited their state of hereticalness from their ancestors…and so their responsibility for embracing heresy is remote.

Thank you, JBM.

:thumbsup:

It was certainly heterodox to take the books out, but cannot be technically heretical til infallibly defined. Of course it is true that it was wrong to do and those books were in the Bible and when Luther refused to accept the Church’s correction that the books were definitely in (after Trent) then it went from heterodoxy to heresy. Technically til they were infallibly defined denying the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was not heresy but merely heterodox as the orthodox view was clearly to believe in them and they even had their own feast day each, so this is similar

The canon of the Bible was officially determined in the fourth century by Catholic councils and Catholic popes.

Does official=infallible?

I believe the embrace of the 73-book canon by the end of the fourth Century, and restated upon occasion by pope and council since then, are/were acts of both Ordinary and Extraordinary Magesterium.

I can’t say at this writing when it would have become infallibly declared before the explicit **re-embrace **of the 73-book canon at Trent after Luther. There was an ecumenical council held in France in the Middle Ages which included this 73-book list in its official acts.

Burns/Chacon on the Canon of the Bible is my source for understanding why the rabbis tossed certain books in the 1st Century and kept others. It was to excise alien influence from their holy books. Alien as in anything non-Hebrew. We know that the result was to get rid of any text for which behind the Greek there was no known Hebrew text.

And of course part of that alien influence was that some books, like nearly all Christian books were written in Hebrew.

But since the DSS have found exemplars of those books in Hebrew, something linguists that studied the Greek suspected for years, is clear that the Pharisees were acting in a sectarian way against Christians and other Jewish sects. They did not expelled books at Yabnè, the just included some books they wanted in the canon and excluded the other ones just by ignoring them.

BTW Luther did not took those books from the Bible, he just challenged the inspiration and put them in a separate place.
Penny pinching US and British evangelical Bible printers took them from the Bible.

inthecloud, I’m confused.

The alien influence I understand to be anything alien to Jewishness. Therefore,
any Greek books
behind which no Hebrew was considered to stand
were dropped/excluded/shunned from the “purified” collection.

This happened to drop/exclude/shun books already embraced as inspired scripture by Christianity.

[quote=inthecloud]since the DSS have found exemplars of those books in Hebrew, something linguists that studied the Greek suspected for years,
[/quote]

true

[quote=inthecloud]it is clear that the Pharisees were acting in a sectarian way against Christians and other Jewish sects.
[/quote]

not clear to me. That they acted, is clear. Why they acted? not so clear.

Could be on the positive side, they wanted to “purify” their sacred books of all non-Hebrew texts, and they made the mistake of excluding some on those grounds, which grounds are now revealed by the DSS to be invalid.

Could be, on the negative side, that as you say, they were reacting against, rather than acting for. That they were anti-Christian as well as anti-Greek and anti-Roman.

I think only the anti-Gentile idea explains the exclusion from Jewish books of some OT texts which, though embraced by Christianity, are not peculiarly Christian–but for which there simply didn’t seem to be Hebrew sources.

They did not expelled books at Yabnè, the just included some books they wanted in the canon and excluded the other ones just by ignoring them.

The Septuagint was a major translation B.C., from Hebrew into the then-popular Greek, of the sacred Jewish texts. It was broadly used as a collection. There was always a school of rabbinic thought that disregarded some of these books for the very reasons which later dominated the rabbinic council of Jamnia in the 1st Century.

But the Septuagint was the whole OT collection which we have in our bibles today, and it was accepted as the right collection at the time the Septuagint translation was made, and by enough Jews thereafter, to be the dominant list until–well, up to today, in my bible here by my desk. (It was also the larger collection used by Christ, for some of His OT references are from places found only in the larger, Catholic OT list.)

But the anti-Gentile screen gained popularity for Jews after Christianity rose, and any Gentile-ish book was then officially shunned in, I think, a backlash effect.

[quote=inthecloud]BTW Luther did not took those books from the Bible, he just challenged the inspiration and put them in a separate place.
[/quote]

yes, like secondary books “of interest.”

Penny pinching US and British evangelical Bible printers took them from the Bible.

hah!

JMBNH,

Luther could not have “refused to accept the Church’s correction that the books were definitely in (after Trent)” since he died in 1546, shortly after the council began in 1545 and well after it concluded in 1563. As near as I can tell, the Decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures of the council was issued after Luther’s death, if only by a couple of months.

Yeah you’re right actually, sorry should have checked dates first, wasn’t sure when Luther died

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