Protestant FIL and the Book of Sirach

My FIL was talking to me about his mom, who will be 98 in about 15 days, and telling me about some trouble she was having remembering things and how he was frustrated about it. I asked him if somewhere in the Bible doesn’t it talk about being kind to our parents even when they are old and forgetful. His reply was “If it isn’t it should be.”.
So, this morning I decided to try and find the verse I was thinking about and lo and behold here it is

Sirach 3:12-13
My child, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if his mind fails, be patient with him; because you have all your faculties do not despise him.

I called him and quoted him this verse and he liked it and asked what book it is in. I reminded him of his wise words from the day before and told him it was Sirach. He said he didn’t know of that book, and I reminded him again of his “wise words” from the day before and said bye. Now I’ll have to wait til tomorrow to see if he has got it figured out.

I thought this was a pretty funny instance of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

In Protestant Bibles it is called Ecclesiasticus.

Ecclisiasticus isn’t in Protestant Bibles unless as part of an apocrypha appendix.

I guess if he has the “apocrypha”, as the Protestants call it, in his Bible. I don’t know if he does. :shrug: It is not in my husband’s Bible.

To clarify, I am not making fun of my FIL. I love him dearly and respect and admire him as a man of strong faith and great moral character. I just thought it was funny that he would say it should be in the Bible if it wasn’t, then find out it is in one of the seven refuted books. Maybe I just have a strange sense of humor.

The Fourth Commandment should be reason enough to respect our parents. That’s in every bible.



"But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. " 1 Timothy 5:4

“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” 1 Timothy 5:8

"“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. " Leviticus 19:32

True. Though I’m sure you would agree that Ecclisiasticus has some wonderful writings, worthy of reading by all Christians. I would dare say even liturgically.


This really wasn’t about my FIL honoring his mother and/or taking care of her. He does that. It was about our conversation about a particular Bible verse. It was really meant to be a lighthearted thread, and a little ray of hope for a Protestant and a Catholic to have just a little bit more of a unified outlook on things.

While there may not be agreement as to where this book belongs among the sacred books, I think we can agree that it is a wonderful book. Here’s hoping your FIL is blessed by it. I might recommend that if he wants a copy of this and the other Dueterocanonical / apocrypha books, I strongly suggest this


Thank you Jon

Oh, certainly! I hope my comment didn’t come across as a “dig” at the DC’s. :eek:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit