Non-canonical writings

Do we know which ones “almost” made it into the bible or had a strong argument for their inclusion?

Are the deutero’s considered by Protestants to be of similar usefulness as the non-canonicals?

[quote=mark a]Do we know which ones “almost” made it into the bible or had a strong argument for their inclusion?

Are the deutero’s considered by Protestants to be of similar usefulness as the non-canonicals?

For the Old Testament, the Septaugent (the Greek translation made in Alexandria) basically defined the Canon. The Septaugent was the most widely-used version in Jesus’ time (and His quotes all come from the Septaugent.)

For the New Testament, one early look at Christian regard is the Muratorian Fragment

This list, compiled around 170 AD or so, contains several books (and omits others) that were in use as liturgical readings at mass.

After the death of Christ on the cross, and in the centuries before 419 A.D., there were many, perhaps hundreds of writings, and some forgeries that had to be sorted out and decided upon as to if they were canonical (canon = rule or official list) or not. The early Catholic Church was scattered out in communities over a wide geographic area. Many people in these communities liked the Shepherd of Hermas and it was very popular. The Epistle of Barnabus was accepted as Scripture by Clement and Origen but not by Saint Jerome. While both of these books were read and accepted by many early church communities they are not found in today’s Bibles. Some communities did not accept the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) as Scripture, so it was not so popularly read and it was a disputed book. The Council of Laodicea about 360 A.D. did not include Revelation in the Canon of Scripture. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, also rejected it and forbade it’s reading in public or private as well. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexanderia, accepted it as Scripture as it is shown in his festal letter of 367 A.D. [1] Disputes over the canonicity of the Book of Revelation contributed to divisions in the Eastern Church communities, and some Greek churches of today do not accept it as sacred Scripture. [2] [3]

The Bible did not come complete with an index, telling us which books, and how many, are inspired writings and canonical or not. It was the bishops of the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that sorted out and decided the canon of Sacred Scripture. The bishops were kept from falling into error, as our Lord promised, on this important matter concerning the Holy Catholic Church. (Matt. 16:18-19; 20:20; 28:18-20) (Luke. 22:31-32; 10:16) (1 Tim. 3:15) (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6) They included Tobit, Baruch, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), 1 Maccabees, and 2 Maccabees. Roman Catholics call these books deuterocanonical. Protestants call them Apocrypha. There are some additional passages in Daniel and Esther not found in Protestant Bibles. Relatively recent archeological findings and analysis of the Dead Sea scrolls (Qumran) of 1947 revealed that several deuterocanonical books were originally composed in Hebrew (Sirach, Judith, 1 Maccabees,) or Aramaic (Tobit). These are significant and noteworthy because it proves that some of these books were in circulation in Palestine and were accepted by Jewish groups there. It was once thought that the deuterocanonical books in the Alexandrian canon had been composed in Greek and not Hebrew or Aramaic. [4] Apparently, not everyone is (was) aware of and appreciates the significance of the findings and analysis of the Hebrew versions of the deuterocanonical (Apocrypha) books of the Dead Sea Scrolls
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