Cannonization of Maccabees came after the reformation?


#1

Listening to Hank Hannegraff yesterday, Hank mentioned how Purgatory (which, of course he does not beleive in) has it’s defense mostly in Maccabees(which he claiims is a weak defense at that). He went on to state it did not become part of the Bible until after the reformation. Thus the premise is that the Catholic Church changed the Bible to accomodate it’s false teachings of Purgatory (among other things).

How valid is Hanks point?


#2

Not valid at all.

The canon was first established about the year 397 at the Council of Carthage, it was reaffirmed when it was challenged about 1200 years later by Martin Luther.


#3

There is ample evidence that the Bible implicitly teaches a Purgatory.

Begin with Matthew 12:32, which says, “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.” Does this not imply that some sins can be forgiven in the age to come? Now think this through…There is no sin to forgive in heaven, right? Sin is not forgiven in hell because it’s too late and permanent. So…Implicit “purgatory”

1st Corinthians 3:15 which says, “If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.” Again this cannot refer to heaven or hell for the same reasons as above. This is essentially the definition of Purgatory.

1st Peter 3:18-20 which says, “Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, 19 In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison: 20 Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.”

and 1st Peter 4:6 which says, “For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to the dead: that they might be judged indeed according to men, in the flesh; but may live according to God, in the Spirit” Note that it was a prison for disobedient spirits and yet they were saved when Jesus preached to them.

2nd Maccabees 12:44-46 which says, "44 (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) 45 And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. 46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. "
The same reasons apply here as to the first passages I gave you…

Note also that St. Paul says that the early church believed this in 1st Corinthians 15:29 which says, "Otherwise what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not again at all? why are they then baptized for them? " He does not condemn this practice though it seems to have fallen out of practice…

The Jews also believe this and still do today (as if the passage from 2nd Maccabees doesn’t clearly show this). I offer info from my good friend Andy who is an Orthodox Jew who lives in Israel:

"Hi all!

Our prayer, the Mourner’s Kaddish, is for the benefit of the soul of the deceased & is believed to ease the spiritual status of the deceased’s soul as it goes through whatever trials & tribulations it may be subject to. Yes, we do believe in something akin to the Roman Catholic notion of Purgatory & thus saying the Mourner’s Kaddish would be similar to the Roman Catholic idea of praying for the souls in Purgatory.

Look at ou.org/yerushalayim/kadish.htm#Meaning .

The text there is the (5 clause) Mourner’s Kaddish in Hebrew, transliterated English & English (you can also listen to it in RealAudio).

As I understand it, a soul that has sinned in this world has to pay for its actions/inactions in the next world. We do not automatically & necessarily divide souls into the entirely righteous who will therefore enjoy enternal bliss and the entirely evil who will therefore suffer eternal damnation. The degrees in between are infinite & we believe that God rewards/punishes each soul according to its good/not good actions. As I said, the recitation of the Kaddish prayer is believed to benefit the soul of the deceased as it goes through whatever trials and tribulations it has to endure in the next world.

In addition to the aforementioned Kaddish prayer (which is usually said by a son for a departed parent for 11 months after the day of burial, but which can also be said for 30 days for a spouse, child or sibling, particularly if none of these have children to say the Kaddish; the Kaddish is also recited on the anniversary of the burial), there are the Yizkor (literally: “He will remember”) and E-l Maleh Rahamim (literally: “God Full of Mercy”) prayers (see ou.org/yerushalayim/yizkor/) which are recited 4 times a year on Yom Kippur, the last day of Passover, Shavuot and Shemini Atzeret (see jewfaq.org/toc.htm for links to all of these holydays).
Cont’d


#4

I submit the following excerpt (from jewfaq.org/death.htm)::slight_smile:

After the avelut [mourning] period is complete, the family of the deceased is not permitted to continue formal mourning; however, there are a few continuing acknowledgments of the decedent. Every year, on the anniversary of the death, family members observe the deceased’s Yahrzeit (Yiddish, lit. “anniversary”). On the Yahrzeit, sons recite Kaddish and take an aliyah (bless the Torah reading) in synagogue if possible, and all mourners light a candle in honor of the decedent that burns for 24 hours. In addition, during services on Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret, the last day of Passover, and Shavu’ot, after the haftarah reading in synagogue, close relatives recite the mourner’s prayer, Yizkor (“May He remember…”) in synagogue. Yahrzeit candles are also lit on those days.

(…).

Kaddish
Kaddish is commonly known as a mourner’s prayer, but in fact, variations on the Kaddish prayer are routinely recited at many other times, and the prayer itself has nothing to do with death or mourning. The prayer begins “May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified in the world that He created as He willed. May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days …” and continues in much that vein. The real mourner’s prayer is E-l Maleh Rachamim, which is recited at grave sites and during funerals.

Why, then, is Kaddish recited by mourners?

After a great loss like the death of a parent, you might expect a person to lose faith in G-d, or to cry out against G-d’s injustice. Instead, Judaism requires a mourner to stand up every day, publicly (i.e., in front of a minyan, a quorum of 10 adult men), and reaffirm faith in G-d despite this loss. To do so inures to the merit of the deceased in the eyes of G-d, because the deceased must have been a very good parent to raise a child who could express such faith in the face of personal loss.

Then why is Kaddish recited for only 11 months, when the mourning period is 12 months? According to Jewish tradition, the soul must spend some time purifying itself before it can enter the World to Come. The maximum time required for purification is 12 months, for the most evil person. To recite Kaddish for 12 months would imply that the parent was the type who needed 12 months of purification! To avoid this implication, the Sages decreed that a son should recite Kaddish for only eleven months.

In addition to the Kaddish. it is believed that the recitation of the Yizkor and E-l Maleh Rahamim prayers are beneficial to the soul of the departed. On the anniversary of the burial, it is common to study some chapter of the Talmud or the Tanakh (what we call what Christians call the “Old Testament”), read a selection of Psalms, give to charity, etc. in honor/memory of the departed. This is also believed to be beneficial."

I had already discovered this in talking to a devout Orthodox Jewish buddy of mine and Andy was kind enough to help out with all this info as well.

I hope this answers your questions on all this and provides you with the sure knowlege that in spite of allegations to the contrary, the concept of Purgatory is indeed quite scriptural.
Pax tecum my friend,


#5

[quote=Church Militant]I submit the following excerpt (from jewfaq.org/death.htm):

In addition to the Kaddish. it is believed that the recitation of the Yizkor and E-l Maleh Rahamim prayers are beneficial to the soul of the departed. On the anniversary of the burial, it is common to study some chapter of the Talmud or the Tanakh (what we call what Christians call the “Old Testament”), read a selection of Psalms, give to charity, etc. in honor/memory of the departed. This is also believed to be beneficial."

I had already discovered this in talking to a devout Orthodox Jewish buddy of mine and Andy was kind enough to help out with all this info as well.

I hope this answers your questions on all this and provides you with the sure knowlege that in spite of allegations to the contrary, the concept of Purgatory is indeed quite scriptural.
Pax tecum my friend,
[/quote]

Yes, Thank you so much!


#6

Not much more to add to previous posts. In the past I had come across a few items when looking into the old testament canon.

newadvent.org/cathen/03267a.htm

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_Maccabees

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_Maccabees

Hope it helps. :slight_smile:


#7

[quote=Mijoy2]Listening to Hank Hannegraff yesterday, Hank mentioned how Purgatory (which, of course he does not beleive in) has it’s defense mostly in Maccabees(which he claiims is a weak defense at that). He went on to state it did not become part of the Bible until after the reformation. Thus the premise is that the Catholic Church changed the Bible to accomodate it’s false teachings of Purgatory (among other things).

How valid is Hanks point?
[/quote]

Hank does self-serving research. He used to say that the word “Purgatory” was invented by Tetzle, the 16th century fellow whose sale of indulgences so offended Luther.

After one of Hank’s programs, I sent him several pre-Tetzle references to the word “Purgatory.” One was rather painfully obvious…the Purgatorio, by Dante, which preceded Tetzle by about two centuries.

This, supposedly, is the portion of the text of the 382 A.D. Decree of Pope Damasus deasling with the Canonization of Maccabees…

***It is likewise decreed: Now, indeed, we must treat of the divine Scriptures: what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she must shun.
The list of the Old Testament begins: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book: Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Jesus Nave, one book; of Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; of Kings, four books; Paralipomenon, two books; One Hundred and Fifty Psalms, one book; of Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one book; Canticle of Canticles, one book; likewise, Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus *****(Sirach), one book; Likewise, the list of the Prophets: Isaiah, one book; Jeremias, one book; along with Cinoth, that is, his Lamentations; Ezechiel, one book; Daniel, one book; Osee, one book; Amos, one book; Micheas, one book; Joel, one book; Abdias, one book; Jonas, one book; Nahum, one book; Habacuc, one book; Sophonias, one book; Aggeus, one book; Zacharias, one book; Malachias, one book. Likewise, the list of histories: Job, one book; Tobias, one book; Esdras, two books; Esther, one book; Judith, one book; of Maccabees, two books.
Likewise, the list of the Scriptures of the New and Eternal Testament, which the holy and Catholic Church receives: of the Gospels, one book according to Matthew, one book according to Mark, one book according to Luke, one book according to John. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, fourteen in number: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Ephesians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Galatians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus one to Philemon, one to the Hebrews. Likewise, one book of the Apocalypse of John. And the Acts of the Apostles, one book. Likewise, the canonical Epistles, seven in number: of the Apostle Peter, two Epistles; of the Apostle James, one Epistle; of the Apostle John, one Epistle; of the other John, a Presbyter, two Epistles; of the Apostle Jude the Zealot, one Epistle. Thus concludes the canon of the New Testament.


closed #8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.