Deuterocanonicals not included in the Bible?


#1

Hi everyone,

I was sent this link from a Protestant website about books that were apparently in the Septuagent but not in the Catholic Bible.

Could you tell me what you think of it?


#2

I’m not sure of all the facts. I know that the status of the apocrypha has been disputed well before the Council of Trent, including by folks such as St. Jerome.

Honestly, with ~2000 years of Christian reflection, probably the best reason NOT to accept the apocrypha is because of their lack of universal acceptance. It is my understand - from both Catholic and Protestant sources - that one of the major criteria for accepting books into Scripture was based on how widely they were accepted. It didn’t have to be completely universal (this, perhaps is impossible), but nearly universal, accepted at least by the major sees founded by the Apostles.

The details I don’t know. If someone else can fill us in on the history, (or correct me if I have erred) we would all greatly appreciate it!


#3

Forget the web link. It really isn’t of any help…it distorts history.
Initially, Jerome did not accept the Deuterocanonicals as equal to scripture, but later changed his mind. Jerome was commissioned by the Pope to do the Latin translation of the bible. Once the Councils of Hippo, Carthage, and Rome decided what books were scriptural, Jerome was fully on board with the Church’s decision to include them. Jerome never place his opinions above the teachings of the Church.

The three aforementioned councils took place in the 4th century. The Decree of Pope Damasus followed immediately after the Council of Rome and it concurred with the councils. In the fifteenth century the Council of Florence reaffirmed the canon again. Likewise, Trent affirmed the canon and made it quite clear that the list of books was thus unquestionably “infallibly” defined.
The important thing to remember is that the canon was established and accepted by the Church in the fourth century and that there were no other councils or decisions that contradicted that canon until Luther led the Reformation against the established canon.

No matter what smoke or dust might be thrown up against the Catholic canon of scripture, the aforementioned facts are all historically verifiable and they contradict any suggestions that the deuterocanonical books were added or snuck into the canon. These books were removed/not included in the new Protestant canon of scripture in the 16th century.

Another interesting factoid is that the original 1611 version of the King James version of the bible included the deuterocanonical books of scripture. They were placed in a separate section of the bible and were considered to be important but not equal in stature to the rest of the canon. There was penalty of a one year prison term for anyone that printed the original KJV without including the deuterocanonical books.

I hope this helps.


#4

Don’t tell that to fundamentalists. haha.

Seriously, who made the call you take them out of the original KJV 1611?


#5

I was a musician at a wedding in a Presbyterian church, and the Bible that they read from had the deuteros in between the testaments. I don’t know if it was KJV (probably not) or if they ever read from them. The only Presbyterian services I’ve been to were that wedding and a funeral of a friend.


#6

I don’t know if it’s that helpful what I think. The prayer of Manassah and 3 and 4 Esdras were in an appendix to most copies of the Vulgate. When Trent listed the books, they did not include those 3 which are included by most Orthodox churches and are in the Protestant Apocrypha (Luther’s translation included the Prayer of Manassah but not 3 and 4 Esdras, later Protestant translations included them all).

It’s a little complicated because in the Septuagint 1 Esdras is 1 Esdras of the Protestant Apocrypha and it was 3 Esdras in the Vulgate. 2 Esdras of the Septuagint is Ezra and Nehemiah of the Catholics and Protestants. And 3 Esdras of the Septuagint is 2 Esdras of the Apocrypha and 4 Esdras of the Vulgate. Clear as mud?

So the Roman Church did have those 3 books until Trent.

And then there are those it didn’t like 3 and 4 Maccabees. Now 4 Maccabees is itself usually when included in the Septuagint in an appendix so I’m not how sure I’d even want to conclude the Orthodox see it as authoritative. Of course the Orthodox don’t generally use the Deuterocanonicals for doctrine anyway. Much like the Catholic Church except now some insist on using one to try and support purgatory and prayers for and to the dead. But other than that, I’m not aware of any doctrine taken from the Deuterocanonicals even by Catholics.

One thing you find is that not all old copies of the Septuagint contain the same books. Some contain some additional books, many do not contain all that you hear mentioned as being contained in it. The Vulgate was a bit more standard due to it’s more definite origin. The Septuagint was done in stages and there wasn’t anyone that shows up historically to say “This is the standard for the Septuagint.” So things were a bit piecemeal. Even the idea that the Septuagint was complete and in the form of today at the time of Jesus seems questionable at best.

I’m not really familiar with the Old Latin tradition of these books, it’s quite likely that the Old Latin was done from before they really commonly became a part of the Septuagint or maybe better stated from copies of the Septugint from times before they were commonly included.

If you get past the rhetoric and terms a bit what I see is amazing agreement. An Old Testament Canon of undisputed books used for doctrine, and a broader, ecclessiatical canon useful for reading but generally not used for doctrine.

JJ


#7

has been disputed well before the Council of Trent, including by folks such as St. Jerome.There are no “apocryphal” books in the Catholic Bible. The 7 books in question are known as the “Deuterocanon” and were in the Greek text of the OT that the Jews used even in the time of Our Lord. The fact is that even F. F. Bruce, a well known non-Catholic scholar points out that one reason that the Council of Jamnia (which was really only a Jewish Sanhedrin that had no authority to decide canonicity, even for them) chose it’s Hebrew canon over the Septuagint is because the early church was using it to spread Christianity.

N-C scholars Gleason Archer and G.C. Chirichigno tell us that that out of the 393 Old Testmant quotes in the New Testament 340 of them cite the Septuagint, while only 33 cite the Hebrew and by that count that means that over 90% of the time they quoted the Septuagint. There is a partial list of those quoted by Our Lord at Scripture Catholic and a very extensive article by my good friend Wolseley on my blog. You’d be wise to check all that out before trying to discuss this topic.

Moreover, your reference to Jerome actually is self refuting because his problem was that he had no Hebrew texts of the DCs to refer to, yet if you check you’ll discover that among the Dead Sea Scrolls there was also found Hebrew copies of some of the DCs which means that did exist but that Jerome didn’t have them, so his concern was actually unfounded.

Honestly, with ~2000 years of Christian reflection, probably the best reason NOT to accept the apocrypha is because of their lack of universal acceptance. It is my understand - from both Catholic and Protestant sources - that one of the major criteria for accepting books into Scripture was based on how widely they were accepted. It didn’t have to be completely universal (this, perhaps is impossible), but nearly universal, accepted at least by the major sees founded by the Apostles.

Here again you err and that assertion is well refuted in the following article. ["]Did Some Church Fathers Reject the Deuterocanonicals as Scripture?]("http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html#St.%20Jerome,%20[347-419/420%20A.D)

The details I don’t know. If someone else can fill us in on the history, (or correct me if I have erred) we would all greatly appreciate it!

Glad to have been able to assist. I understand from your profile that you have been led astray from our most holy faith and I will include you in my prayers , that the Holy Spirit will lead you home again, even as He did me.

Further reading suggestions: 5 Myths about 7 Books.:slight_smile:

(BTW: To GL!
In brightest day in darkest night no evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might beware my power
Green Lantern’s light!:smiley:


#8

Seriously, who made the call you take them out of the original KJV 1611?

Divinely inspired American and Brittish Bible printers.
They did that the Reformers dared not to do. Not put the Book into a special question mark but took them out entirely.


#9

And yet the Church never provided an authoritative canon without the deuterocanonicals. Whatever discussions happened, the Church never said that what is the current Protestant canon was the correct canon. So if the Church has been 100% on this matter over nearly 1700 years, how much dispute can we actually claim?


#10

The so-called “apocrypha” were translated and included in the 1611 King James Bible.

etext.virginia.edu/kjv.browse.html

– Mark L. Chance.


#11

:smiley:
Darn straight :smiley: :smiley:


#12

Yeah, and I read that that was a cost cutting ploy anyway.


#13

:thumbsup:


#14

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.