Peer-reviewed explanation of Luther’s canon?


This sounds to me very much like “explicit” or “where in Scriptures.”

These formulas work well for pointing out fault when 1500 years of Church history is missing and a myriad of interpretations (often conflicting) are offered as “Sacred Scriptures.”

Maran atha!



What can I say but second your:

…and raise a:

Good grief!

Maran atha!



Except Lutherans don’t! That’s the point. Lutherans don’t side with the typical Protestants on this point. They don’t define a table of contents. They may include those seven books, or they may not. Doctrinal reasons, Jewish councils — none of these matter to the Lutheran, who is merely concerned with the historical views of the church and her shepherds.


They are in his bible. In the same binding. They are literally right there. He has the same books in his bible as Cajetan, and has the same view of those books as Cajetan. You’re quibbling over terms like “non-inspired appendix” that were not used by Luther and retreating back to technicalities of “well Cajetan never translated the whole bible!” Are you serious? Your argument is that flimsy?


…that’s where the interpretationalism comes into play… there are those who claim that his reasoning is that these book were rejected by some in the Church hence they should not be held in the same value as “Sacred Writings.”

Others, as myself, would point out that these 7 books were used by the Church in Church Liturgy and quoted by Jesus and the Apostles; hence, they are Sacred Scriptures.

Maran atha!



You are correct!

Sorry for the error–this has happened a few times; I think that part of the problem is that the link gets chewed up and it jumps to the next…

While it is difficult to view everything in a linear fashion and find it in such, we can ascertain, from Church history (Apostolic Teaching and Apostolic Succession) that there are things that did take place that, while seemingly outside of Scriptures, is part of that direct lineage:

The relationship between the apostolic use of the Old Testament, for example, the Septuagint and the now lost Hebrew texts (though to some degree and in some form carried on in Masoretic tradition) is complicated. The Septuagint seems to have been a major source for the Apostles, but it is not the only one. St. Jerome offered, for example, Matt 2:15 and 2:23, John 19:37, John 7:38, 1 Cor. 2:9.[47] as examples not found in the Septuagint, but in Hebrew texts. (Matt 2:23 is not present in current Masoretic tradition either, though according to St. Jerome it was in Hosea 11:1.) The New Testament writers, when citing the Jewish scriptures, or when quoting Jesus doing so, freely used the Greek translation, implying that Jesus, his Apostles and their followers considered it reliable. (

Of course, there would be those who would reject reason because of reason: if the Apostles had Jesus as their Guide, it tends to reason that their behavior (as in using the Septuagint) must have been conditioned by Christ’s practice.

Maran atha!



I respect what you are saying; but do you not see a duality: believe/don’t believe?

This sounds quite similar to the wisdom of not ‘forcing’ children to believe in God so that they can freely choose to believe once they are old enough/adults.

If Christians do not teach their children about God, the secular world would have had all of the formative years available to it and would have had capitalized on the absence of Christian instruction–gaining not only a member but possibly a defender.

Maran atha!



I don’t think this issue can be reduced to a simple duality. History is much more complex than a simple “I’m right and you’re wrong” dichotomy. If the fathers didn’t see this issue in a black/white manner, who do we think we are to say otherwise?

To be sure, I am not advocating any sort of indifferentism. ‘To each his own and whatever’ is not the governing principle of the church, and especially not with regard to the canon. Neither was it what Luther or Cajetan taught. The church, both local and in general, has been granted authority in these matters to govern those in its charge for specific times and specific places. It has authority and freedom to operate within a spectrum of acceptable belief. To determine what, exactly, that spectrum encapsulates requires research, patience, and the input of the church catholic – this is why I tend to side with the pre-Trent church on the canon; to do otherwise is to declare the first 1400 years of Christian scriptural opinions null and not worth retaining. How can we call ourselves catholic if we deny the catholicity of those who came before?


Friend, I also want to commend you for your respectful and kind demeanor. I don’t think you and I will agree on the actual matter of discussion, but your tone is greatly appreciated here.


Yes, it has long been known that when Jesus quotes from the OT, which he does many times (200 times, I think I’ve read?) his words reported in the Gospels are usually closer to the LXX than to the Masoretic Hebrew. However, this doesn’t tell us which OT books he is quoting from. It has long been my impression that all Jesus’ OT references are to books that form part of the Jewish canon and hence, also, of the Protestant canon, excluding the deuterocanonicals. Is that incorrect? If there are, in fact, passages where Jesus quotes from Judith or Baruch or Wisdom or any of the other deuterocanonicals, surely that would constitute an unanswerable argument in favor of retaining the Catholic 46-book OT canon, and rejecting the Protestant 39-book canon


Are they in the same section of inspired books, where the word ‘alone’ was added to one of them?. :wink:


You are correct; Jesus never quotes from the deuterocanon, as far as I know.

Although it must be noted that Jesus was with those who observed the Festival of the Dedication (John 10), which was the precursor to Hanukkah. It’s unknown, however, whether he actually celebrated it in a religious sense or a political sense, if at all. Not all Jews considered it worth celebrating, and that may be the point of John’s inclusion of that note in his Gospel, as the people in the passage wanted him to be a mighty earthly messiah to rid them of Roman oppression (a la Judas Maccabeus), and then wanted to stone him - not a flattering image for the Hanukkah crowd. Regardless, he had at least a passing knowledge of the events of Maccabees (what a silly thing to say about God!) – but it takes a whole lot of unfounded eisegesis to come to the conclusion that he actually considered those books to be Scripture.


Okay, thank you for that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it suggested anywhere that Jesus was familiar with the deuterocanonical books. I think I’d remember that if I had seen it.


Oh, please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying Jesus was familiar with the book of Maccabees in the slightest. I’m saying he would’ve had a knowledge of the events. All the Jews would have had knowledge of recent history. It’s like how we all know about the American Civil War even though we may not have read a biography of, say, Lincoln or Seward or Davis.


No problem. I understood you perfectly. All I’m saying is that I’ve never seen anyone attempting to argue that Jesus was familiar with the deuterocanonicals.


You’d be surprised at the silly things some folks will claim to try to “win” a discussion.


Yes, it is hard to find nowadays, even now with the internet.


Which Jewish canon? The one that was determined 60 years after Our Lord’s Ascension, or the one that the Ethiopian Jews used that includes the Deuterocanonicals?


Jesus did not quote from Esther, nor Nehemiah, among many others. Shall we exclude those from the canon of inspired Scripture?


“Its fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so a person’s speech discloses the cultivation of his mind.”
Sirach 27:6

Sound familiar?

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