Luther and the deutrocanocal


I read a lot in Catholic apologetics that Luther removed those DC books from the Bible because of “mostly doctrinal reasons.” Yet, the only one I know of is 2 Macc and Purgetory. Are there any other doctrinal concepts that Luther didn’t like in the other DC books?


I don’t know why Luther rejected the other Deuterocanonicals.
I do know that he also rejected The Epistle of James,
Hebrews. Jude, 2nd Peter and - several times - the Book of Revelation (although he would re-canonize Revelation from time to time in order to borrow the “Whore of Babylon” image from it to throw at the Catholic Church).


He wanted to reject James because of its teachings on works, annointing of the sick, and even the nature of mortal and venial sin. He wanted to reject Hebrews because of the fact that it more or less shows how deeply connected the Christian faith is supposed to be to the original Jewish faith, and the fact that several ideas (pennance and sacrifice for instance) are meant to be carried into Christianity. He wanted to reject Revelation because of its teachings on works. He wanted to reject 2nd Peter because it is chock full of Catholic ideas.

The primary reason he threw out the rest of the deuterocanon is that the grounds he needed to use to reject 2nd Maccabees (such as its having been originally penned in Greek) also excluded the other deuterocannonical books. T

here is one other reason that I am not 100% sure he thought of, but it makes sense today. The Catholic understanding of interpreting the Bible holds that it is free from error in all matters of faith and morals. If there is a historical error here or there, it doesn’t matter much, because the Catholic Church understands where the Scriptures came from and what their purpose was and how they were written. Luther’s sola scriptura required that the BIble be free of all error altogether. The biggest reason for this is that the inerrancy was a big way to prove the Bible as being inspired. When there is a Church with authority to determine which books are inspired, it is easy to tell what is what, as the Catholic Church does. When you must prove the Bible’s inspiration only from itself, things like total inerrancy are about the only thing to even attempt.

closed #4

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