In my ongoing quest to discover the truth, I have not limited myself solely to Catholic sources. I figure that since I was raised as a Protestant, I should at least give it a fair chance before making a decision to accept Catholicism. So, I have been seeking out Protestant apologetics information. However, most Protestant apologists are focused primarily on defending Christianity, not Protestantism in particular. While this is certainly admirable, it doesn’t help me in this particular search of mine. I have read Christian apologetics (Josh McDowell’s simple, straightforward book, More than a Carpenter–which I highly recommend–comes to mind), and I have no doubt Christianity is true. What I have been trying to determine lately is whether or not Catholicism is true. Well, obviously Catholics are going to say it is, so I believed, that for the sake of legitimate study, I should seek out the opinions of the “other side.”
Well, as you probably suspected, my investigation of Protestants who focus on the perceived “wrongness” of Catholicism has failed to reveal any decent arguments. As I read their arguments, I detected numerous logical fallacies, a warped view of what Catholics really believe, and, in many cases, a good deal of outright hostility.
I was browsing the forum at Baptist.org, a site someone had mentioned as being anti-Catholic, when I discovered a thread about the “Apocrypha.” In it, I noticed one solitary Catholic debating several Baptists (including one amusing “King James only” type, whose signature showed a man running from the flames of other Bible versions to the safety of the King James Bible) about the canon of Scripture. Well, the overall argument of the Baptists seemed to be, “There are 66 books in the Bible, and if you disagree with this, you are a stupid-head.” The idea was that God inspired the writers of these 66 books, who wrote down their books and gave us the Bible. How the canon was actually decided on never really came up. When the Catholic asked one of the members how he knew which books were canonical, the member’s response was, and I quote, “I am not going to answer! I could be really mean right here but, I ‘ll chill.” (improper comma use and extra space his… ). I have seen this before in debates over the years (I used to debate religion, politics and morality a lot on the internet during college), and I have learned that a self righteous refusal to answer is basically the same as saying, “You win, but I don’t want to admit it.”
Now, all of that being said, one of the Baptists actually did bring up an interesting point. He said that the Deuterocanonicals were not including in the Hebrew Scriptures, but only in the Greek Septuagint. This was disturbing to me, as I thought it odd that the Christians would declare Old Testament works to be canonical when the Jews themselves rejected them (though they still saw them as having historical value). However, when I was browsing this site: geocities.com/confiteor_deo/convert.html, I found out that the Hebrew Canon (aka the “Palestinian Canon”) was actually compiled after the Greek (aka the Alexandrian) Canon. So, the Jews who compiled the Palestinian Canon (around AD 100) actually removed books that the Greek-speaking Jews accepted. Going back to the Baptist.org forums, the Catholic was asking the Baptists why they preferred the Canon accepted by Jews who didn’t believe in Jesus, rather than the Canon accepted by Christians.
Well, as you might expect, no real good answer came of this, and soon after the “I am not going to answer!” post came up. Anyway, despite the hostility and poor logic of (most of) the Baptists posting in that thread, I still came away with some questions. And……here they are:
Did the Early Church Fathers accept the Deuterocanonicals as being inspired? (I did notice today that Pope Clement mentioned Judith in his epistle to the Corinthians)
Does anyone know Luther’s reasons for removing them?
Does anyone know why the Jews compiling the Palestinian Canon removed the Deuterocanonicals?
Were the Greek-speaking Jews the only ones who accepted the Deuterocanonicals to begin with?
Anyway, those are a few questions I have. Don’t worry, I’m not being lazy and just expecting others to do the research for me. I am definitely continuing my study. I just figure some of you might know some information about this subject. As always, I thank you for your patience and your answers. God bless!