Deuterocanon - Matters to Address

I’ve recently started a project designed for the purpose of addressing certain problems which confused
Christians have concerning the Deuterocanon of the Holy Bible, and wouldn’t mind if I could be given a
number of reasons why it’s not accepted by the Protestants (Catholics aware of such reasons can an-
swer too). I’m not looking to argue in this thread, simply to collect supposed‒problems to analyze and
refute, perhaps I and other can come back at a later time and reveal some answers.

So Judith, Tobit, Maccabees . . . what’s the deal? :confused:

The burning the fish liver in Tobit seems too much like sorcery to some people. There are historical difficulties with the two Maccabees in terms of contradictions between the two. Judith and Tobit are not historically accurate either .

Some detail be nice. :wink:

Hi Judas Thaddeus. Not to give you one of the “go read a book” answers… but… in all seriousness if you want solid verifiable answers, the book “Why are Catholic Bibles bigger” is worth read. Also I might suggest a message to forum member Patrick457 for assistance. He seems to have a boatload of codex information at his disposal.

Here is a link to a Tobit question I once asked that might be helpful for information:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=793799&highlight=sousley+tobit

Interesting to see this kind of dialog.

The Book of Tobit is actually one of my favorite books of the Bible, because of the lessons it teaches!

The lynch pin Protestants try to use to “prove” that the deuterocanon is non-canonical is as follows:

  1. St Paul says that the Jews were given the “oracles of God” in Romans 3:2.
  2. Said “oracles” must mean the Scriptures.
  3. Since Jews 100-200 years after Jesus decided the deuterocanon is non-canonical, this is somehow true.
  1. Though the apostles were Jews, later Christians had watered down to include the gentiles.
  2. Christianity still must be beholden to Judaism.

Just kidding.:D;)

Good luck on your research… Perhaps you could clear up the beginning of Judith for me:

1 It was the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh. In those days Arphaxad ruled over the Medes in Ecbatana. 2 He built walls around Ecbatana with hewn stones three cubits thick and six cubits long; he made the walls seventy cubits high and fifty cubits wide. 3 At its gates he raised towers one hundred cubits high and sixty cubits wide at the foundations. 4 He made its gates seventy cubits high and forty cubits wide to allow his armies to march out in force and his infantry to form their ranks.

Is every word stated as the pretext to the entire book here truth or is some of it incorrect?

Perhaps you could clear up the beginning of Luke for me:

Chapter 2: 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

Is every word stated as the pretext to the entire book here truth or is some of it incorrect?

PS. I could have done the same thing with the book of Daniel. Point is, you have a double standard.

Yes James, every word. I suppose we could start a thread about it but I’m not above believing that every word inspired by the Holy Spirit is entirely true.

I prescribe a visit to these pages:
matt1618.freeyellow.com/chapter2.html#There%20are%20Historical%20Errors%20in%20the%20Apocrypha
catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0120.html

That first link reconciles the deuterocanonicals with history AND shows how the Book of Daniel also has “errors”:

The book of Daniel says the Medes were a world power in the eras between the neo-Babylonians and the Persians (cf. Dan 2:31-45, 7:1-7), but no historical evidence confirms it. Belshazzar was never titled a king, despite Daniel’s assertions otherwise, and he was the son of Nabonidus (556-539 B.C), not of Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 B.C.) (cf 5:1-30, 7:1-7, 17, 8:1-27). Only Daniel records a Darius the Mede. Darius I was really king of Persia (522-486 B.C).

Nor am I. Except you’re defending a Bible that’s missing books against arguments which you then turn around and try to use against the equally canonical deuterocanonicals.

PS. Time for little James to go to bed. Feel free to respond, I’ll get back to you in the morning. :thumbsup:

With all due respect my friend, I’m of the position that there are no historical inaccuracies held within Scripture and Judas Thaddeus is looking to defend a position on the Deuterocanonical books. I have asked him to reconcile the beginning of Judith and I’m not interested in replies of, “well the Bible has lots of inaccuracies.” However, I would be more than interested in discussing supposed historical inaccuracies within Scripture perhaps in the Sacred Scripture section of the forum. I trust many Catholics and Protestants alike will be able to explain such discrepancies.

For this thread however, I’m interested in JT’s position on whether or not the beginning of Judith 1 has any errors at all, or if some of it’s true, or what parts are true.

Hi Dronald. This link may interest you:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=235342&highlight=judith+assyrian+babylon

Thanks, I rather like that explanation.

Sorcery? Read Leviticus! Judith and Tobit were never written as historical books, but rather as essentially parables. Job is not believed to be historical, yet all accept that book. As to 2 Maccabees, it speaks of the restoration of the banned practice of Judaism to Judah in time for Christ to be born under the law in order to fulfill the law; it speaks of the resurrection and of eternal life - over 100 years before Christ appeared. If God did not inspire that, then just who did?

The bottom line is that all bible Christians, as well as all pseudo-Christian sects like Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are bound, for some odd reason, to the canon of the Pharisees (as introduced to Christianity by the reformers 1,500 years after Christ). If we look in Matthew 23, we see Jesus condemning the Pharisees seven-fold. This was not a recommendation to do as they do.

So, even though most bible Christians are not Lutheran, they obey Luther as to the books that he personally liked. Odd - especially if you reject the concept of a Pope. Do bible Christians forget that the Orthodox have also held the seven books as inspired since the earliest days? Yes, they do.

Evangelical convert Mark P. Shea has written a short article addressing the Deuterocanon books, entitled 5 Myths about 7 Books.

Judas Thaddeus.

Just as JamesTheJust noted, “The Oracles of God” objection comes up frequently and is assumed by Protestants this refers to the rabbinic Jews of today or at least of Jamnia (more on that shortly) as custodians of Scripture (but only as it concerns the Old Testament Canon).

I would also recommend Gary Michuta’s excellent book (Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger).

Here is what Protestants base their objection on . . . .

The rabbinic Jews had a group following or a “school” at “Yavne” or “Jamnia” (an ancient settlement which is basically almost where Tel Aviv is today) back in about 80 A.D.

The rabbis had an acrimonious relationship with their fellow Jews who became fulfilled Jews or Christians (as we can see in Acts and St. Paul’s Letters).

The rabbis had no more Temple so no more Temple Sacrifice was possible.

The rabbis at Jamnia were forced to re-make Judaism into a non-Sacrificial religion (that’s the invention or seed of what “rabbinic Judaism” and all its variations are today).

The rabbis at Jamnia asserted an Old Testament Canon that is consistent with a contemporary Protestant Old Testament Canon.

ROMANS 3:2 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God.

Protestants wrongly assert Romans 3:2 shows authority at Jamnia.

The ancient Jews (and the post Christian era rabbinic Jews) were NOT sola Scriptura followers.

Nor are we as Christians (FULFILLED Jews) sola Scriptura followers (for the last 500 years Protestants are an exception to this. Eastern Orthodoxy, correctly sees sola Scriptura as an alien Gospel).

Thus ORAL teachings were ALSO implied as “Oracles of God”.

[LIST]
*]Do Protestants accept modern ORAL rabbinic Jewish reaffirmations too? Do the rabbis at the local synagogue or from Jerusalem or from New York City or from wherever have authority in the Christian life now too? No. Even Protestants will admit that.
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]The ancient Jews were told by Jesus they would LOSE the “kingdom of God”. Does this mean they get to “keep the Oracles” anyway?
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]Which “Jews” have authority? Ancient Temple Jews coming into FULFILLED Temple Judaism (Christianity) or the invented new-fangled rabbinic Jews who have no authority to settle disputes even amongst themselves (although we will see they ASSUMED authority they didn’t have at Jamnia—even over God!).
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]Why look to the rabbis for Christian authority concerning the Old Testament Canon but reject what they say about the New Testament Canon?
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]St. Paul after the time of the Gospels, tells rabbinic Jews that they themselves have “thrust” the “word of God” away from themselves. So was St. Paul wrong? Or are “Oracles of God” not part of the “Word of God”?
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]And at the Council of Jerusalem the Apostles say: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us . . .”. Notice they didn’t say in their letter: “It seemed good to us, and now we will check it out with the rabbinic Jews to see if they give us the OK on how we see circumcision because after all, they still have custodianship over the Oracles of God” (see Acts 15:28 first, then all of Acts chapter 15).
[/LIST]

First ask your Protestant family member or friend if Matthew 2:23 is an “Oracle of God”. (If you do any coyote hunting this verse will probably be easy for you to remember-223)

MATTHEW 2:23 23 And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

There is only three possible choices concerning what was SPOKEN by the prophets (notice too, it is not merely one prophet):

Keep in mind, “He shall be called a Nazarene” is NOWHERE in the Old Testament. So the Protestant is forced to conclude . . . .

  1. Matthew 2:23 was NOT an Oracle of God (in which case St. Matthew seems to think it is).
  2. Matthew 2:23 only became an “Oracle of God”, after St. Matthew wrote it down (which leads to many other issues).
  3. Matthew 2:23 was always an “Oracle of God” as soon as God’s inspired Prophets gave testimony as such (which is the correct answer but that would refute sola Scriptura and bind the Protestant to try to explain WHICH oral traditions are binding and which are mere “traditions of men” when they have been asserting sola Scriptura for the last 500 years).

Once this “Oral Tradition” is affirmed in any sense, then ask Protestants WHY not accept the rest of rabbinic Jewish Oral Tradition? (they are correct in rejecting rabbinic Jewish oral tradition but incorrect in denying the concept).

(Christians ARE fulfilled Temple Jews and DO affirm Oral Tradition and are its custodians. Protestants DENY the CONCEPT of Oral Tradition in this sense)

The issue is, WHICH JEWS were entrusted with “the Oracles of God” and WHEN did the proverbial baton get passed off?

Protestants will be quick to assert the Pharisees had authority (which is true as they sat on Moses’ “Cathedra” [think “ex-cathedra statements” from Moses] or “seat”—another “Oral Tradition” matter of factly reaffirmed in the New Testament).

That is partially true when Protestants affirm the Pharisees had authority. But what else did Jesus state?

That this authority would be REMOVED from the Pharisees.

Let’s look further.

Which Jews are now entrusted with such “Oracles”?

The Jews who became Christians such as Peter, Paul, etc. . . . OR . . . the Jews who rejected Christ and thrust the word of God away from themselves (think Pharisees)?

Thankfully Jesus told us . . . .

Continued on the next post . . . .

Which Jews are now entrusted with such “Oracles”?

The Jews who became Christians such as Peter, Paul, etc. . . . OR . . . the Jews who rejected Christ and thrust the word of God away from themselves (think Pharisees)?

Thankfully Jesus told us . . . .

Consider what Jesus said . . .

MATTHEW 21:42-45 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it. 44 And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one, it will crush him.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.

WHY think the Pharisees were still the authentic custodians of “Oracles” by the time Jamnia rolled around (in almost 100 A.D.)? Should we ask the Pharisees to give us the New Testament Canon too? No.

Objection!: Maybe the Pharisees still were custodians of this authority at the time of the school of Jamnia (Javneh).

Be careful with that. The Pharisees added curses there against their own Jewish Christian brethren called the “min” and still say these “prayers” (curses) today.

It is part of the Amidah prayers - “prayer” number 12 or the “Birkat HaMinim” (you can read the “prayer” here and draw your own conclusions). This is still “prayed” today among many rabbinic Jewish adherents.

Imagine if we Catholics had in our daily office “prayers” for our Protestant family members to be counted among the condemned (basically if we stood around praying that they went to Hell or that they were in a situation of “let there be no hope”)?

Or imagine if we sat around “praying” for our rabbinic Jewish friends and/or family members to be in a situation of “let there be no hope”!? Is that OK?

Is THIS act from the rabbis at Javneh (Jamnia) authoritative too?

Why not? Aren’t THEY passing on the “Oracles of God”?

The Pharisees also had a “trial” where they had a trial against Rabbi Eliezer (and God!). Rabbi Eliezer may have been set-up with this “oven disputation” trial because he was possibly “warming up” too much to the Jewish Christians. It is a long story and I won’t get into it here.

Naturally the Pharisees won. God (and Rabbi Eliezer) lost the trial!

You can see the story from a rabbinic Jewish perspective on a four-part video here.

If you want to read more about it from a Jewish perspective you can read Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Schäfer (although getting many favorable editorial Jewish reviews, I got to warn you it is a heart-breaking book to read. I had to fight back tears to see the shenanigans asserted against Jesus, Mary, and the followers of Jesus—us as Christians).

God’s alleged response to losing this trial at Jamnia? “My children have bested me” (is one translation).

This is the kind of overt pride from the people at a religious meeting who were allegedly in charge of “the Oracles of God” (telling God He is wrong?).

But the question remains: Did the Pharisees still have charge of the Oracles of God at the time of Jamnia?

Fortunately St. Luke (author of the book of Acts) intimates the answer when he tells us that St. Paul said . . . .

ACTS 13:46 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

And WHY reduce “Oracles of God” down to Scripture ALONE when the Bible doesn’t? Esp. when oral testimony was considered as “oracles of God” too (something Protestants refuse even though rabbinic Jews do properly assert in some sense).

The people knew “Oracles of God” went beyond the printed page. This was the case with John the Baptist. His testimony didn’t have to be written down first to become part of the “Oracles of God”.

Why accept the Pharisees at Jamnia? Especially since the rabbinic Jews themselves couldn’t settle their own Canon (Sadducees accepted only the Torah, Pharisees accepted the Prophets as well, some modern-day Jews even have a different Canon than the Pharisees at Jamnia had)—not to mention the curses they proclaim on Jewish Christians at Jamnia.

Who was given authentic authority from Christ (see John 20:21, etc. etc.)?

The Catholic Church is FULFILLED Temple Judaism, not mere rabbinic Judaism. If you can see that, there is no issue seeing the Jews as custodians of “the Oracles of God”, but it will be the FULFILLED Jews (Christians).

Language was often considered a problem. At least some of the Deutero-canon was originally written in Greek. Many people assumed that God’s revelation to Israel would be in Hebrew.

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