I posted a question on another site about the books of the Bible that Catholic’s claim were removed from the original Bible. This is his responce.
It has been a while since I studied the Canonicity of the Bible. The Canonicity is at the heart of your question. Though I will not go into a lenghty discussion on that subject, I will try and address your direct question concerning removal of books.
Dave, what is at question is what is referred to as the Apocrypha. These are mainly historical books that were written after Malachi (400 B.C.) and prior to the coming of Jesus. These books were not recognized by Jesus nor the Apostles of the New Testament, which is a study in and of its self. They were not offically accepted until the Council of Trent as canonical in 1546, though accepted by some before then. The “Prayer of Manasses” (Manasseh) was included before 1550, but is now left out. “The prayer breathes a Christian spirit, and it is not entirely certain that it is really of Jewish origin.” (Catholic Enyc., I, 605). The Council of Trent did not accept 1 and 2 Esdras along with the Prayer of Manasseh.
Why Christians reject the Apocrypha: As I noted, Jesus and His Apostles did not refer to the apocrypha one time. Thus they were not accepted, as authoritative by any of the New Testament writers. Jesus quoted from every other division of the Old Testament. Secondly, Judaism never accepted these books as part of their canon. Josephus and Philo specifically rejected the Apocrypha. Though they were included in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament), they were never accepted as canonical. Even in the New American Bible, the new Catholic Translation, the Story of Susanna and Bel and The Dragon are footnoted as: “They are excluded from the Jewish canon of Scripture…” Thirdly, there is unbiblical teaching in the apocrypha, such as praying for the dead (2 Mac. 12:46). Fourth, they contain demonstrable errors; such as the life span of Tobit, who lived 158 years (Tob. 1:3-5; 14:11), yet lived at the time of Jeroboam during the revolt (931 B.C.) and at the time of Assyrian captivity (722 B.C.). Not quite 158 years. Fifth, It took nearly 1500 years after there writting, before they were offically accepted as part of the Canon, by the Catholic Church. (Council of Trent - 1546). Sixth, Pope Gregory the Great rejected apocrypha (540 - 604). “… books as ’ books which though not canonical, are received for the edification of the church” Lib. Mor. 19,21, PL 76, 119: (A Catholic Commentary 18). So much for infallibility (faulty bible means fallibility for the Catholic bible). There is much that can be said, but I think this may help you in your studies.
Sincerely, Mike Divis
I would like to here from Catholics on this issue, and some of your responces to what Mike had to say on this issue.