History of the Bible? (Apocryphal Books) 1


Why wasn’t Gods perfect word good enough for the Chatholic Church?


The "Bible" ("books") is the most sacred book, the "Word of God", for the Christians... the whole Bible has been translated into 275 languages, and substantial parts into 1,720. 
Bibles in different languages, commentaries, dictionary, concordance, encyclopedia

It contains two main parts: The Old and the New Testament; both are the "Testaments" left by God for you and me, and we should read them with as much care and love as we would read the Testament of our father, or the one of the rich uncle who left a fortune for us... God, our Father, left us an immense fortune in his Testaments. 

The Original Documents of the Bible:

1- The “New Testament”:
- All books written in Greek, with the quotations from the Old Testament taken from the Septuagint.
- We have 4,500 manuscripts in Greek, 67 papyrus, 2,578 parchment, 1,600 lectionaries mainly in the Codex of the Vatican, London, Paris, Cambridge, and Washington.

2- The "Old Testament": 
It was written mostly in Hebrew and Aramaic, some in Greek... and we don't have any of the "original documents"; what we have today mainly are the "Greek Bible", the "Hebrew Bible", and the "Dead See Scrolls":

       A- The "Greek Bible", the "Septuagint":
        From the 3rd century before Christ, it is the oldest document we have. It is the Greek translation made in Alexandria by a Group or 72 rabbis (6 from each one of the 12 tribes), and hence the name of "Septuagint" given to the translation. It has 46 books like the actual Catholic Bibles, and it was the common version of the Bible among the Jews during Christ and well after Christ ; the one used and quoted by the Evangelists and Apostles when they wrote the New Testament. 
- It was translated to Syriac, Coptic, and Latin in the 4th century (the "Vulgate" of St. Jerome).

       B- "Hebrew Bible", Masoretic Text":
        Written in the 6th to 10th centuries after Christ, by a Group of scholars from Babylon and Palestine, introducing vowels and accent signs to the Hebrew. They, of course, used the Septuagint to produce it. It has 39 books, like the Protestant Bibles. 

        C- The "Dead See Scrolls":
        They are very important, because they are in Hebrew, dating from the 3rd century "before Christ", when the oldest Hebrew Bible we had, the Masoretic, is from 700 "after Christ"... it pushed back the curtain 1,000 years! on the earliest Hebrew document we had. 
       Every book of the Bible is represented. 7 scrolls are in Israel, but most of them are in Jordan, with a remarkable similarity to the ones we have in Greek and Hebrew. A most important discovery on the OT.!.


Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Bibles:

    A total of 73 books in the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles, and 66 in the Protestant Bibles. 

1- The Old Testament: It is he same as the Jewish Tanakh. 
            - The Catholic Bibles have 46 books, as the Bible of the Jewish of Alexandria, who wrote the Septuagint, the version quoted by the Apostles in the Gospels and Epistles. 
            - The Protestant Bibles have 39 books, as the Bible of the Jews from Palestine. 
               They do not have: 
                     - 4 Historic Books: Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees. (and Additions to Esther)
                     - 2 Wisdom Books: Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus of Ben Sirach. 
                     - 1 Prophetic Book: Baruch. (and parts of Daniel: The Prayer of Azariah, the Song of the Three Young Men, Bel and the Dragon, and Susana).

2- The New Testament: With 27 Books in all the Bibles.
The “Four Gospels”, are the heart of the Bible:
The Old Testament prefigures and characterizes the Christ of the Gospels and His Church; and the books after the Gospels show the development and expansion of the Church of Christ, and clarify important points of the Gospels… every page of the Old Testament talks about Christ and his Church… so, if when you read any book of the Bible you don’t see there Christ or his Church, you have missed the main message of that book, read it again after praying! (Lk.24:27,44, Jn.1:45, 5:39).

Bibles in several languages, commentaries, dictionary, concordance, encyclopedia, apocrypha and Deutero-canonical
Audio Bible



The Books of the Old Testament: 46 books:

1- Historic: 21 Books:
From Genesis to Maccabees. Narrate the formation and development of the “People of God” with his glories and tribulations.

2- Wisdom or Poetic: 7 Books: On the golden period of the nation:
Job; Psalms of David; the 4 of Solomon: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom; and Ecclesiasticus of Ben Sirach.

3- Prophetic: 18 Books: On the darkest days of the nation.
- The 4 great prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel… plus the Lamentations of Jeremiah, and Baruch.
- The 12 minor prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

The Books of the New Testament: 27:
1- The 4 Gospels: The heart of the Bible, just commented.

2- Acts of the Apostles:
Also called the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit”, narrate the life and acts of the primitive Church, and its expansion to the whole world known at that time, from Jerusalem to Rome… in 32 years!.

3- Epistles of St. Paul: 14:

  • The 4 theological: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians.
  • The 3 Christological, written in prison: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians.
  • The 2 Scatological, on the end of times: 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
  • The 3 Pastoral, organization of Church: 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus.
  • 1 Social: Philemon, Amos of the N.T.
  • The 1 on Apostasy: Hebrews.

4- Universal or Catholic Epistles: 7:

  • St. James: The Proverbs of the N.T.
  • 1 and 2 St. Peter: 1- The enemies from outside the Church. 2- The enemies from inside the Church, and the “fire” that will consume the world.
  • The 3 of St. John: Each one dealing with the “way”, the “truth”, and the “life”… the way of “love”, and the “Antichrist”.
  • St. Judas: The pure faith, the Spirit.

5- Revelation or Apocalypse:
The total and eternal triumph of Christ in his Church, for his Church, to his Church… and the total and eternal failure of Satan and his friends.

How do we know what Books belong to the Bible?: CANON of the Bible:


Because the Church tells us so!, says St. Augustine, “if the Church won’t tell me these Books are the Bible, I won’t believe it”.

The "Canon" of the Bible is the list of the books of the Bible. People need to know without error (i.e., infallibly) what the books of the Bible are, the Canon of the Bible..
 But God did not explicitly reveal what books are the inspired books of the Bible, title by title, to anyone... Jesus did not write the Bible, and he did not give us a list of the books of the Bible... In fact, all the books of the New Testament were not even written when Jesus died... 

But Jesus founded "his Church" (Matt.16:18-19), and he gave her the greatest power on earth: "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matt.16:19, 18:18)... and he gave to his Church an order: Go and preach the Good News of Redemption, the Gospel, to the whole world... and one of the ways she is doing it, is by giving us the Bible... The Church of Christ is the one who gives us the Bible, the number of books of the Bible, the Canon... without the Church, there is no Bible. 

The Bible is the book of the Church; she is not the Church of the Bible. There was no canon of scripture in the early Church; there was no Bible. It was the Church--her leadership, faithful people--guided by the authority of the Spirit of Truth which discovered the books inspired by God in their writing... the one who gave us the list of the books of the Bible in the fourth century

The Church, gave us the list of the Books that form the Bible:
The Council of Laodicea, in 360, produced a list of books of the Old Testament similar to today's canon. This was one of the Church's earliest decisions on a Canon. 
Pope Damasus I in the Council of Rome, in 382, gave us the complete list of the books of the Bible, including the New Testament... and the same Bible was confirmed by Pope Paul III at the Ecumenical Council of Trent (1545). 

There are another 35 good books, dealing with themes of the Old and New Testament, and attributed to Enoch, Moses, Salomon, St. Paul, St. Thomas, St. James, St. Peter, Virgin Mary... and they are not in the Bible, because the Church says so!. Deutero-canonical and Apocrypha Books   

- The Catholic and Orthodox Bibles have the 46 books of the Old Testament listed by the Councils of the Church, which are the same list as the Bible of the Jewish of Alexandria, who wrote the Septuagint, of the 3rd century before Christ, the version quoted by the Apostles when they wrote the Gospels and Epistles. 
- The Protestant Bibles have 39 books in the Old Testament, as the Hebrew Bible of the Jews from Palestine, of the 7th century after Christ.
- The 27 books of the New Testament are accepted by Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants.


Not sure I understand where your question is coming from. I don’t see how that the Bible “isn’t good enough” for Catholics when our Church by the guidance of Tradition and the Holy Spirit put the Canon together. That would seem to imply that we found it pretty important.

Your dates and such are good but I will make one correction the “Word of God” is Jesus Christ not the Bible. While it is true that the words of the Bible are indeed from God only Our Lord Jesus Christ can lay claim too the title Word of God. By calling the Bible the Word of God you are implying that the Bible is God. I’m sure you don’t believe that or intended to suggest that which is why I’m making the correction.

Anyway, could you clarify for me some as too what you mean by your original question?


Many Protestants do not realize that the New Testament they cherish was given to them by a Pope, the Spaniard holy and wise Pope St. Damasus, at the times of St. Jerome and St, Augustine, in the Council of Rome, they are the same Books used in all Protestant Bibles.

First, the Jewish canon does not include the Apocrypha. This is significant as it was to the Jews that the OT was entrusted (Rom 3:1,2).

Second, some of the Apocrypha books were written in Greek, not Hebrew. So they are distinguished from the Hebrew Scriptures. This would relate back to point one.

Third, Jesus seems to exclude the Apocrypha in his statement in Luke 11:51 - “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation” (NKJV).

The death of Abel is recorded in Genesis, the first book in the Hebrew canon. The death of Zechariah is included in 2Chronicles, the last book in the Hebrew canon (the order of books is different from the order they are in today). So this seems to confirm the Jewish canon as being the correct one.

The order of books as they appear today is taken from the Septuagint (second century BC Greek translation of the OT), which included the Apocrypha. But Jesus is following the Hebrew canon in His statement.

Fourth, no direct quotations from any Apocryphal books appear in the NT. Now there are allusions to Apocryphal events and statements, such 1Maccabees being alluded to in Hebrews 11:37. But none of these allusions rise to the apostles using the Apocrypha as an authoritative source. In other words, there are no Apocrypha quotes in the NT introduced in a way which shows the apostles considered the books to be authoritative, i.e. by using: “It has been written,” “spoken by the prophet,” “the Holy Spirit spoke,” etc.

So with the lack of authoritative quotes from the Apocrypha in the NT, it appears the NT writers, and Jesus Himself, did not accept the Apocrypha as Scripture.

Now, not every book of the Hebrew canon is quoted in the NT (such as the Song of Solomon, or Canticles as it is named in Catholic Bibles). But every section of the OT as Jews divided it is quoted from (i.e. the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings).

The absent of any quotes from any of the Apocryphal books is rather striking. This is especially so given that many of the OT quotes in the NT were actually taken from the Septuagint and not from the Hebrew text (It is for this reason that if you compare OT quotes in the NT with their OT counterparts they don’t match up exactly). In any case, what this means is, the Bible text the NT authors had before them had the Apocrypha in it; but they seem to have completely ignored the Apocrypha when they were looking to support a statement with an authoritative source.


So the evidence of the NT strongly suggest the writers of the NT did not accept the Apocryphal books as canon.

Moreover, the Catholic church itself did not officially canonize the Apocrypha until the council of Trent in the 1500’s. Before that, there was always debate as to their inspiration. Some of the Church Fathers, for instance, quoted from the Apocrypha as Scripture but others didn’t.

But Augustine (c. 400 AD) did accept the Apocrypha. So it was mainly from his influence that the Apocrypha eventually became accepted. But however it is looked at, the official acceptance of the Apocrypha occurred well after the NT was written and the final canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures by the Jews.

To sum up, Jews, apparently the NT writers and Jesus, some Church Fathers, and Protestants do not accept the Apocrypha. While, some Church Fathers and the Catholic church accept it. All of this is strong evidence against the inclusion of the Apocrypha.

Which Bible do you read from?

I find the NKJV to be the original accepted Canon.

I read from the “Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible”

I think we all need to dig a little deeper into scripture and our Church’s history to find out what is actually being taught. Your soul depends on it.

Prov. 9: 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beinning of wisdon” And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Are you one of Gods chosen? That is the “Fear of the Lord”

Rom 9: 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to ELECTION might stand, not of WORKS but of Him who calls).

Rom 8: 29 For whom He forekenw, He also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethern.
30 Moreover whom He PREDESTINED, these He also CALLED; whom He CALLED, these He also JUSTIFIED; and whom He JUSTIFIED, these He also GLORIFIED.

Rom 9: 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!
15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL have mercy on whomever I WILL have mercy, and I WILL have compassion on whomever I WILL have compassion

I pray for your Mercy and that God will open your heart to the truth and that he will reveal Himself to you.


In the begining the Catholic Church did have it correct.


They DID the key word DID have it right until the influence of St. Augustine and the addition of the apocyrpha!!!..Jesus is God in the flesh and the Bible IS God’s Holy word given to his people!


What does Jesus say about Tradition?

"Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites."

--Jesus Christ
    Matthew 15:3, 6, 7


[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Are you willing and brave enough to meticulously work through the following web page and then respond to it as a whole and to its individual components, here in this forum?


You might enjoy looking through the rest of the site as well: scripturecatholic.com/ :smiley:

I guarantee that if you do so honestly and prayerfully and completely, then you will be well on your way to becoming Catholic. Don’t feel bad about not embracing this challenge, most “Bible only” types that post here can’t manage it.

Thanks for posting though, I look forward to some hopefully fruitful discussions. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may you receive every grace you need to daily draw closer and closer to her Son Jesus and to His Cross.

In Christ.



[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

And what does St. Paul say about tradition?

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. (2 Thes 2:15 [RSV])

So … what’s the deal? Was St. Paul contradicting Jesus, or what? :slight_smile:

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.



He is pertaining oral tradition AKA Preaching of the Word!!! Not Having statues and waving magic wands in the crowds and kissing the False apocyrphal bible.
Gods Word does NOT contradict itself!!!


[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

“Preaching the Word” = preaching the New Testament? or what, according to you?

What we know as the NT was not completed at the time St. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians … so what did he mean and what do you mean? Before I write more I’ll wait for your clarification.

In Christ.



What’s Inside
The complete Latin Vulgate as written by St. Jeromes
The Douay-Rheims English translation in parallel w/ original commentary
The entire King James Version in parallel for an alternative semantic translation
Search capabilities

one thing you can never find—anywhere in the Protestant Old Testament, from front to back, from Genesis to Malachi—is someone being tortured and refusing to accept release for the sake of a better resurrection. If you want to find that, you have to look in the Catholic Old Testament—in the deuterocanonical books Martin Luther cut out of his Bible.(hebrews 11)
The story is found in 2 Maccabees 7, where we read that during the Maccabean persecution

The group of Jews which met at Javneh became the dominant group for later Jewish history, and today most Jews accept the canon of Javneh. However, some Jews, such as those from Ethiopia, follow a different canon which is identical to the Catholic Old Testament and includes the seven deuterocanonical books (cf. Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 6, p. 1147).

Needless to say, the Church disregarded the results of Javneh. First, a Jewish council after the time of Christ is not binding on the followers of Christ. Second, Javneh rejected precisely those documents which are foundational for the Christian Church—the Gospels and the other documents of the New Testament. Third, by rejecting the deuterocanonicals, Javneh rejected books which had been used by Jesus and the apostles and which were in the edition of the Bible that the apostles used in everyday life—the Septuagint

The Apocrypha
Many people ask why the Bible used by the Roman Catholic church has more books in it than the typical Protestant Bible. These “apocryphal” or “deuterocanonical” books are Baruch, Ecclesiasticus (also known as Sirach), Judith, I and II Maccabees, Tobit, Wisdom of Solomon, and additional chapters of Daniel and Esther. The most religiously important of the books are Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon, while the most historically important is 1st Maccabees.
These books appear in the Bible as used by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Armenian and Ethiopian Oriental Orthodox churches. There are also a few other books (I & II Esdras, The Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, and Prayer of Manasseh) which are frequently lumped in with the apocrypha.

The early church was founded by Hellenistic Jews; naturally, they used the Septuagint. There are passages in the gospels and epistles where Jesus and Paul quote from the Septuagint: 300 of 350 quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament are from the Septuagint. So while the Jews may have settled on the Palestinian canon by the early first century, the Christian church did not.

In the second century Bc, Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, had translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. Tradition had it that this translation was the work of 70 (or 72) scholars, and accordingly the result was known as the Septuagint (often written as LXX). The LXX contains six or more books (there is some leeway here) not found in the standard Hebrew text, known as the Masoretic Text (or Mt),
The New Testament writers, except for Matthew, when they are quoting the Old Testament, usually quote from the LXX. The differences in readings between the Mt and the LXX were formerly explained by assuming that the LXX translators were sometimes not very good translators. However, very ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible, recently found at Qumran and elsewhere, often agree with the LXX against the Mt. Accordingly, it is now generally supposed that the LXX is a fairly accurate translation of Hebrew manuscripts available at the time, and that sometimes the manuscripts that the LXX translators worked from differed from the manuscripts that became the basis for the standardised Hebrew text that we know today
The Translation of the Old Testament, Including the Apocrypha


[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

You know, it would be really wonderful to have a zealous Presbyterian Christian participating at CAF (I, for one, welcome you), but you are heading straight for a supsension or banning of your account. I suggest you read the CAF rules of conduct and tone down your rhetoric.

One more thing:

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? (Galatians 3:1 [RSV])

It sounds like the previously faithful Galatians, who had seen some sort of portrayal of the crucified Christ (statue? painting?) – which must have had some important effect on their conversion to Christ, or else why mention it – had returned to a pitiful and false belief that they could put God in their debt (that is, to deserve being justified in His sight from a prior state of sinfulness) by obeying a written code of morals and/or rituals. Which false belief is historically and presently also rejected by the Catholic Church.

But my point and question is, if it was okay and apparently spiritually profitable for the Galatians to see a statue or picture of the crucified Christ, then why are statues or paintings or icons of Christ and/or His saints forbidden or harmful for present day Christians?

May Our Lord bless you and keep you.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.



KJV: Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

ASV: So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.

WBS: Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

RSV:So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

So if we take four bibles and compare them and see which one is worded correctly or incorrectly 3 of the 4 of the say the same thing so if we add the word Epistle to the RSV we now have 4 perfect bibles. Now what does it say to you? If you would dive further into the context of what he is saying he is not saying it is ok to practice made up traditions but to practice the reading and hearing of the word.


Did you or the pope or anyone in you church seen Christ on the cross, then what does he look like? Can you make for yourself a graven image of him?


In the case of my discussion of the canon, that is a problem that cannot be resolved by the Bible at all, because the Bible never lists its Table of Contents. The canon is logically prior to the Bible, because it determines the extent and specificity of what books are in what we call “the Bible” in the first place. So the “Word of God” doesn’t do much good there, does it? Christian Tradition has to decide. And for a Christian worldview that does not allow for an infallible Tradition, that is a HUGE problem indeed, and at the level of the very fundamentals of Protestantism: you can’t have sola Scriptura if you don’t have a non-circular, non-traditional rationale to determine what the Bible is that is to have sole infallible authority. I’ve always said that sola Scriptura and the canon issue are the two "Achilles’ Heels of Protestantism.

Our authority doesn’t come from a human personality but from the Word of God.
That’s impossible to do (in a practical sense). The book doesn’t interpret itself (though Protestants claim that it does). Furthermore, this “Bible vs. authoritative human beings in the Church” mentality is not the view of the Bible itself, which refers to Church authority and a binding tradition. So (ironically) to claim to be following simply the “Bible Alone” is to land right back into a Catholic notion of ecclesiology and authority. It’s inescapableHow do you know when they are right and wrong? By what criterion do you decide? The Bible? How do you know who is right about the Bible when different Protestants disagree? By the “inner witness” of the Spirit? Now we are back to pure subjectivism again . .

A Biblical Defense of Catholicism
More Biblical Evidence for Catholicism
The Catholic Verses: 95 Bible Passages That Confound Protestants


With All Love and Heartache I say to you, Using scripture to refute scripture is fallible and that is exactly what you are doing! So I guess you are saved by your good works then? For your traditions?

Matt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

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.