HISTORY OF THE BIBLE

Let us begin with the decree of the Council of Rome establishing the canon of the Scriptures.

COUNCIL OF ROME, 382 A.D., Pope Damasus I presiding.

"Likewise it has been said: Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun.

"The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Josue Nave [Joshua] one book, Judges one book, Ruth one book, Kings four books *, Paralipomenon two books *, Psalms one book, Solomon three books, Proverbs one book, Ecclesiastes one book, Canticle of Canticles one book [Song of Songs], likewise Wisdom one book, Ecclesiasticus one book [Sirach].

Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias one book. Jeremias one book, with Ginoth, that is, with his lamentations, Ezechiel one book, Daniel one book, Osee one book (Hosea), Micheas [Micah] one book, Joel one book, Abdias one book [Obadiah], Jonas one book [Jonah], Nahum one book, Habacue one book [Habakkuk], Sophonias one book [Zephaniah], Zacharias one book [Zechariah], Malachias one book [Malachi].

[Baruch isn’t mentioned because it was originally included in Jeremiah.]

Likewise the order of the histories. Job one book, Tobias one book [Tobit], Esdras two books, Esther one book, Judith one book, Machabees two books.

Likewise the order of the writings of the New and eternal Testament which the holy and Catholic Church supports. Of the Gospels, according to Matthew one book, according to Mark one book, according to Luke one book, according to John one book.

The Epistles of Paul in number fourteen. To the Romans one, to the Corinthians two, to the Ephesians one, to the Thessalonians two, to the Galatians one, to the Philippians one, to the Colossians one, to Timothy two, to Titus one, to Philemon one, to the Hebrews one.

Likewise the Apocalypse of John, one book. And the Acts of the Apostles one book.

Likewise the canonical epistles in number seven. Of Peter the Apostle, two epistles, of James the Apostle one epistle, of John the Apostle one epistle, of another John, the presbyter, two epistles, of Jude the Zealot, the Apostles one epistle.

The canon of the New Testament ends here. **

Thanks!

Let’s make this simple. The bottom-line facts:

In 597 B.C., the kingdom of Judah became a Babylonian province. The Babylonian Captivity (587 B.C.) resulted in certain selected Jews (i.e., those considered a threat to Babylonian supremacy) being deported to Greek-speaking lands. The Jews in exile (called the Diaspora, the scattering) eventually forgot how to read, write, and speak Hebrew. But their Scriptures were in Hebrew. To solve this problem a translation was made in Alexandria (Egypt) from Hebrew into Greek beginning c. B.C. 250, completed about 130 B.C. This translation was called the Greek Septuagint and was widely accepted by Jews, both in Hebrew and Greek speaking areas.

The Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) was used in the first century synagogues where Jesus and the Apostles were trained in Judaism and later taught The Way. The Church inherited 49 writings from Jesus and the Apostles. She later canonized these same 49 writings and named them the Old Testament at the Councils of Rome (A.D. 382), Hippo (393) and Carthage 397 and 419). Pope Innocent I restated the canon in 405. At the very same Councils, the New Covenant writings were selected and canonized and named the New Testament. Then the collection of Old Covenant sacred writings were put together with the collection of New Covenant writings and the entire collection was named “ta Biblia” – the Bible. The Catholic Church was then nearly 400 years old. The Church did not come out of the Bible; rather, the Bible came out of the Church!

Facts:

  1. The Scriptures of Jesus and the Apostles were the LXX. For example, Jesus reads from the Septuagint in a synagogue and calls it ‘Scripture’ in Luke 4:14-21.
  2. The Scriptures of all the sacred writers of the New Testament were the LXX. Of about 350 quotations from the OT in the NT, 300 are from the LXX. The NT writers used both the Hebrew and the Greek, were partial to the Greek, and obviously considered both to be the Word of God.
  3. The LXX was used by the Apostles to evangelize the entire Greek-speaking world.

As you can see from the Scriptures adopted at the Council of Rome, the so-called “apocrypha” were not added later, and were considered Scripture right along with Matthew, Mark, and Isaiah.

Catholics call Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and parts of Esther (10:4-16, 14) and Daniel (3:24-90, 13, 14) “deuterocanoncal.” That’s a technical word used by scholars meaning “second canon.” In reality, there was only one canon. The deuterocanon refers to those books and passages of the Old AND New Testaments about which there was controversy at one time in early Christian history. Some writings received general acceptance earlier, some later. The NT “deuterocanonical” writings are Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, Revelation, and Mark 16:9-20. Among Protestants, the deuterocanonical books of the OT are rejected, along with the last twelve verses of Mark’s Gospel.

Why? Martin Luther. Luther rejected the OT deuterocanon plus Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation from the canon of his German translation of the Bible. He left them between the covers, but separated them from the Scriptures he accepted into a section in the back of the book, with the pages unnumbered, and wrote prefaces explaining why he did not accept them as Scripture. He said people could read them, but “they were not Scripture.” His followers later restored the NT writings, but not the OT. Thus, Protestants have 27 of 27 of the NT Scriptures, but only 39 of the original 46 Scriptures of the OT. Their Bible has 66 books, 7 short of having a complete Bible. They’re also missing parts of Esther and Daniel.

More history to come.

Thanks for ‘listening.’ Jay

Katholikos - great synopsis - thanks for the info

Thank you for the concise history on the Bible. It is so sad that those who wish to stand on scripture alone don’t even have a complete Bible to do so.

God Bless

You summed the problem up in two words, or one name: Martin Luther!! How is it that what he has done goes unquestioned yet the Church is constantly questioned?? It’s crazy:whacky:

Anyway, what reasons did Luther give for taking those books, and parts of the others, out? Someone once told me, very reverantly, that he did so to bring the bible back to its original Hebrew form.

How do I respond to that?

Thanks:)

So those 7 deuterocanonical books (aprocyphal per portestants) were originally in the LXX, right? Catholics kept them, Luther threw them out…? Just trying to understand as I go along.

Just curious - what does “ta Biblia” mean - do we know?

Thanks

[quote=Katholikos]The Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) was used in the first century synagogues where Jesus and the Apostles were trained in Judaism and later taught The Way
[/quote]

That is factually untrue.

The LXX was the Alexandrian canon and was used by Greek speaking Jews throughout the Mediterranean. It would have been used in synagogues where St. Paul (and others) preached on their missionary journies but not where Jesus preached. It included the deutrocanonicals and is the basis of the Catholic and Orthodox canons.

The Palestinian canon was used (go figure) in Palestine. Tradition holds that it was fixed by Esdras. This canon is mentioned by Josephus (1 cen AD) and re-affirmed by the Jewish Council of Jamnia in AD 90. It did not include the deutro-canonicals (because they were written after Esdras).

Protestants use the Palestinian canon. Orthodox and Catholics use the Alexandrian canon. Both canons were in use during the first century and there was debate during the first three or four centuries over which books belonged in the Christian canon.

History itself can support either position. The question for Protestants is: do you accept the authority of the Catholic Church to define the canon (include the books in the LXX not in the Palestinian canon)?

-C

[quote=Katholikos]Let us begin with the decree of the Council of Rome establishing the canon of the Scriptures.

COUNCIL OF ROME, 382 A.D., Pope Damasus I presiding.

"Likewise it has been said: Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun.

"The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Josue Nave [Joshua] one book, Judges one book, Ruth one book, Kings four books *, Paralipomenon two books *, Psalms one book, Solomon three books, Proverbs one book, Ecclesiastes one book, Canticle of Canticles one book [Song of Songs], likewise Wisdom one book, Ecclesiasticus one book [Sirach].

Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias one book. Jeremias one book, with Ginoth, that is, with his lamentations, Ezechiel one book, Daniel one book, Osee one book (Hosea), Micheas [Micah] one book, Joel one book, Abdias one book [Obadiah], Jonas one book [Jonah], Nahum one book, Habacue one book [Habakkuk], Sophonias one book [Zephaniah], Zacharias one book [Zechariah], Malachias one book [Malachi].

[Baruch isn’t mentioned because it was originally included in Jeremiah.]

Likewise the order of the histories. Job one book, Tobias one book [Tobit], Esdras two books, Esther one book, Judith one book, Machabees two books.

. **
Good day

Great rewrite of history, seeing that there is 1 person who attended that council and went on to disagree with the cannon they had set.

Our analysis has shown that the vast weight of historical evidence falls on the side of excluding the Apocrypha from the category of canonical Scripture. It is interesting to note that the only two Fathers of the early Church who are considered to be true biblical scholars, Jerome and Origen (and who both spent time in the area of Palestine and were therefore familiar with the Hebrew canon), rejected the Apocrypha. And the near unanimous opinion of the Church followed this view. And coupled with this historical evidence is the fact that these writings have serious internal difficulties in that they are characterized by heresies, inconsistencies and historical inaccuracies which invalidate their being given the status of Scripture. New

Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. I (Washington D.C.: Catholic University, 1967), p. 390.

Peace to u,

Bill
[/quote]

[quote=Calvin]That is factually untrue.

The LXX was the Alexandrian canon and was used by Greek speaking Jews throughout the Mediterranean. It would have been used in synagogues where St. Paul (and others) preached on their missionary journies but not where Jesus preached.

I have to agree with this. the writers of the new testament quoted the LXX and that is why it looks like Jesus used it, but i don’t think it likely that Jesus actually “used” it… he could have, I suppose. Then as today, more Jews lived outside Isreal than lived in Isreal and more spoke other languages (e.g. Greek) then spoke Hebrew or Aramaic

It included the deutrocanonicals and is the basis of the Catholic and Orthodox canons.

I believe there were several versions or canons of the LXX

The Palestinian canon was used (go figure) in Palestine. Tradition holds that it was fixed by Esdras. This canon is mentioned by Josephus (1 cen AD) and re-affirmed by the Jewish Council of Jamnia in AD 90. It did not include the deutro-canonicals (because they were written after Esdras).

There was no fixed universal canon used by the Jews of the time. There was no “council” of Jamnia. A school perhaps, but no council.

Protestants use the Palestinian canon.

The question is why would they trust the people who opposed the Christ (i.e. the school at Jamnia) with defining the canon for them? The NT writers obviously used the LXX extensively.

Orthodox and Catholics use the Alexandrian canon. Both canons were in use during the first century and there was debate during the first three or four centuries over which books belonged in the Christian canon.

During the first centuries, a lot of different canons were used.

History itself can support either position. The question for Protestants is: do you accept the authority of the Catholic Church to define the canon (include the books in the LXX not in the Palestinian canon)?

-C
[/quote]

[quote=quasimodo]The question is why would they trust the people who opposed the Christ (i.e. the school at Jamnia) with defining the canon for them? The NT writers obviously used the LXX extensively.
[/quote]

That is a good question and why this Reformed Christian, at least, is inclined to accept the “full” canon or, at least, look at it the way Anglicans do.

An Orthodox priest I spoke to put it to me this way: “these were the same Jews who rejected Jesus, why should you trust their opinions on the canon?”

-C

P.S. I have seen some documentation on the size of the Council of Jamnia and it certainly wasn’t the size of one of the Ecumenical Councils. You are correct in pointing out it was small and local although it appears that their “findings” were widley accepted.

[quote=Little Mary]Anyway, what reasons did Luther give for taking those books, and parts of the others, out?
[/quote]

My Luther bible says in a footnote after the Mark gospel:

“According to the earliest textual witnesses the gospel of Mark ends after verse 8. The verses 9-20 were added in the 2nd century, supposedly to give the gospel of Mark an ending similar to the others.”

I hope I have translated that correctly.

What is the Catholic stance on the possiblitiy of a “Q” gospel.

[quote=Shibboleth]What is the Catholic stance on the possiblitiy of a “Q” gospel.
[/quote]

I don’t think there is a “Catholic” stance, if by that you mean, “What does the church teach about the Q source?” Q is a biblical scholar’s theory. Catholic biblical scholars are free (as far as I know ) to accept it or reject it. This is not the kind of thing the Church takes a stance on. I know it is discussed in some seminaries ( if not in most or all) but the NT instructor from the seminary with which I am most familiar makes it clear which theories are believed by most biblical scholars, what he believes about the theories, and that it is all speculation. Nothing de fide here.

[quote=AnAtheist]My Luther bible says in a footnote after the Mark gospel:

“According to the earliest textual witnesses the gospel of Mark ends after verse 8. The verses 9-20 were added in the 2nd century, supposedly to give the gospel of Mark an ending similar to the others.”

I hope I have translated that correctly.
[/quote]

I assume you mean Mark 16: 9-20. What this means is that there are 2 ancient manuscripts (4th century) which omit verses 16:9-20 but there are also highly respected manuscripts which contain them and other manuscripts which have a short ending after v 16:8. St. Jerome included the longer ending and Trent dogmatically accepted the longer ending (as did the previous councils which dealt with the canon, afaik).

Ruff timeline on when NT Scripture was written and by whom. This will help in keeping it in “CONTEXT”:

c. 48-55 Gal (St. Paul)

c. 51 1 Thes (St. Paul)

c. 51-100 2 Thes (St. Paul and/or by St. Paul’s followers?)

c. 55-63 Phil (St. Paul from a prison)

??-?? Col (St. Paul from a prison)

c. 56 1 Cor (St. Paul)

c. 57 2 Cor (St. Paul)

c. 61 Acts (St. Paul or Luke )

c. 61-63 Eph (St. Paul or secretary) written here or 80-100 (by secretary or student of St. Paul), St. Paul imprisoned in Rome

c. 61-63 Phlm (St. Paul)

c. 61-125 1 Tim, 2 Tim, Ti (St. Paul or a secretary or another? St. Paul died c. 63-67)

c. 64-112 1 Pet, 2 Pet (St. Kephas or another?)

c. 68-72 St. Mark (Unknown)

c. ??(pre-70)-96 Heb (Author unknown)

c. 70 A.D. Temple in Jerusalem destroyed

c. 70-?? St. Mt. (Author unknown)

c. 80-90 St. Luke (Luke a latter disciple)

c. 80-100 Eph (by secretary or student of St. Paul) written here or c. 61-63 (St. Paul or secretary), 1 Jn, 2 Jn, 3 Jn (Positive writer unknown)

c. 80-125 Jude (Unknown writer but possibly Jude)

c. 81-96 Rev (Possibly John the Apostle but unknown)

c. 85 St. Luke, St. Matthew

c. 81-96 Revelation

c. 90 A few Jews (not all) at Jenavah edit Torah. Non-Christians toss out 7 books and parts of 2 others from Septuagint (OT). Jesus used the Septuagint and never said anything bad about it. Non-Christians toss out ALL of NT since it is in Greek and uninspired! These non-Christians are combating the Christian movement and accept nothing in Greek since it lends support to Christians. Some Jews still use the same books as the Septuagint today just like RC’s. No Jews use the OT like the protestants have it today that I am aware of.

c. 90-100 St. James (St. James apostle or ‘James the Brother of Jesus’)

c. 95-100 St. John

[quote=Little Mary]So those 7 deuterocanonical books (aprocyphal per portestants) were originally in the LXX, right? Catholics kept them, Luther threw them out…? Just trying to understand as I go along.

Just curious - what does “ta Biblia” mean - do we know?

Thanks
[/quote]

“ta Biblia” means The Book

This will answer some of the objections raised on this thread. I also posted this on the Purgatory thread, where Calvin made the same objection to my statement that the Catholic Church inherited the Septuagint (called the LXX, a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek) from Jesus and the Apostles.

QUOTE: The Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Second Edition, Everett Ferguson, editor, Garland Publishing, 1998

Septuagint (LXX) - pp 1048-1049

"The Septuagint was the Bible of the earliest church. The parting of the church from the synagogue was a bitter one. The Septuagint had been regarded as the inspired Word of God; . . . the synagogue rejected the Septuagint [c. 90-100] . . . the Church spread the Septuagint, together with its own writings contained in the New Testament, throughout the world in its missionary activities. The Greek Bible was translated into Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian, Arabic and other languages. . . [so much for the false charges against the Church of keeping the Bible out of the people’s hands]. Until the Protestant Reformation, the canon of the Church was the larger canon of the Septuagint.

The Septuagint has traditionally been used to restore the text of the Hebrew Bible where the latter is corrupt . . . END QUOTE (emphasis added)

The authority behind the Septuagint is Jesus, the Apostles, the Sacred Writers of the NT (about 86% of the OT quotes in the NT are from the Septuagint), and the first Christians. The writers of the NT obviously regarded both the Hebrew and the Greek texts as Scripture, but clearly preferred the Greek.

The authority behind the Palestinian canon is the Palestinian rabbis who rejected Jesus and the Scriptures that the Church inherited from Him and the Apostles – and Martin Luther and all Protestants.

Jesus quotes the LXX - Luke 4:14-21. This passage ends with Jesus saying: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth reading from a scroll of the LXX Isaiah. This is proof positive that the LXX was used both in the synagogues of the Diaspora and in Palestine.

There are other examples.

JMJ Jay

[quote=Little Mary]You summed the problem up in two words, or one name: Martin Luther!! How is it that what he has done goes unquestioned yet the Church is constantly questioned?? It’s crazy:whacky:
Anyway, what reasons did Luther give for taking those books, and parts of the others, out? Someone once told me, very reverantly, that he did so to bring the bible back to its original Hebrew form.

How do I respond to that?

Thanks:)
[/quote]

Little Mary, I haven’t been on the forums as much as I would like due to an impending computer crisis.


The Jews in the Diaspora (explained earlier) needed their Scriptures to be in Greek, since they could no longer read, write, or speak Hebrew. A Greek translation was made in Alexandria (Egypt). All of the books rejected by Luther and the Protestants except the Wisdom of Solomon and 2 Maccabees were originally written in Hebrew and were included among the Hebrew Scriptures at the time they were translated. (Tobit may have been written in Aramaic, a Hebrew dialect.) The Hebrew text of these writings was subsequently lost, and they have been preserved only in the Greek translation. Two books originally written in Greek were included in the Septuagint (Wisdom and 2 Maccabbees, as noted above). The LXX was used both in Greek-speaking lands and in Palestine, and both were accepted as Scripture by Jews until 90-100 A.D. The New Testament quotes both the Hebrew and the Greek text, but 86% of the OT quotes in the NT are from the Greek Septuagint (Dictionary of the Bible, John McKenzie, S.J., Catholic; Understanding the New Testament, Howard Clark Kee, Protestant).

The Palestinian rabbis were upset about the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and about the many Jews who had become Christians. They held a council at Jamnia; there were no rabbis from Alexandria and environs present. At this council, the Palestinian rabbis denounced Jesus and the Septuagint, which had been used by the Apostles to evangelize the entire Greek speaking world and adopted by the Church as her Scriptures. The rabbis set a canon for Jews – their first canon ever – and one of their rules was that no language except Hebrew would be allowed. This assured that the Hebrew writings preserved in Greek and the two written in Greek would no longer be considered Scripture by Jews.

(Continued)

[quote=Katholikos]Jesus quotes the LXX - Luke 4:14-21. This passage ends with Jesus saying: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth reading from a scroll of the LXX Isaiah. This is proof positive that the LXX was used both in the synagogues of the Diaspora and in Palestine.

[/quote]

This is very interesting!
You would think that scholars devoted to Sola Scriptura would notice this.
Thank you, Katholikos, for enlightening us all.

Pax Christi. <><

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