The Law and the Prophets (a question about the deuterocanonicals)


I’ve stumbled upon this guy in one of the fb groups i joined and he quotes Luke 22:44 saying that jesus already defined the old testament canon. In Luke Jesus gave categories such as the laws and the prophets. Can someone please educate me on this? Thank you so much :slight_smile:


He goes on to say and quoted this:

Luke 11:50-51 NASBS
[50] so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, [51] from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’

Where it says prophets were from abel to zechariah


In Jewish use, the books that make up the Hebrew Bible are arranged in a different order than in our Bibles. They are grouped under three headings, the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. In Jesus’ day the books now known as the Writings had not yet been assembled into a set canon, which is why he speaks about “the Law and the Prophets” only.

Here is the full list:

The Law.―Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

The Prophets.―Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Twelve (the minor prophets from Hosea to Malachi, counted as a single book).

The Writings.―Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 & 2 Chronicles.


Where in those categories does the deuterocanon belong?


Nowhere. The deuterocanonicals are not part of the Hebrew Bible. That is why Luther left them out of his edition of the Old Testament. They are found in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not in the Hebrew version.


So are you saying that Jesus rejected th deuterocanons?


Not at all. The majority of OT quotes in the NT, including those by our Lord, come from the Septuagint. The Hebrew canon is the canon of the Pharisees - who were condemned seven-fold by the Lord as recorded in Matthew 23.

Indeed, our Lord also said The law and the prophets prophesied until John (the baptist). Luke 11:13
There is zero scriptural evidence for the man-made “intertestamental period” of 400 years between Malachi and the Incarnation.


As far as I am aware, he doesn’t say anything about them. He neither accepts them nor rejects them. But that’s not the point. The expression “the Law and the Prophets” is the name that was given at the time to the collection of scriptures that we now call “the Old Testament” or “the Hebrew Bible.”


I dont exactly know what this mean. Thank you for your patience :slight_smile:


His argument was since jesus only meant the law and the prophets, it follows that he rejected the deuterocanons. You’re saying that the use of the term is loose at Jesus’ time when he said that?


Yes, that’s more or less what I’m saying. Bear in mind what I said earlier about the books now known as “the Writings,” the third section of the present-day Hebrew Bible. In the NT you’ll find many quotations from the Psalms, for example, but they were not part of the canon at the time. It doesn’t mean the Psalms were rejected. There’s a difference between being “not included in the canon” and being “rejected.”

In the books of the NT, including the four Gospels, there are literalIy hundreds, I believe, of direct or indirect quotations from OT books. There are quite wide divergences between the Greek and Hebrew texts of the OT books, and – as Po18 has already pointed out on this thread – The majority of OT quotes in the NT, including those by our Lord, come from the Septuagint.

Are any of the Deuterocanonicals ever quoted in the NT? I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I don’t know for certain. To answer that question you’d have to go through, very carefully, one by one, all the hundreds of places where the OT books are quoted, directly or indirectly, in the NT.


Judith 16:21 For he will give fire, and worms into their flesh, that they may burn, and may feel for ever.

Ecclesiasticus 7:19 Humble thy spirit very much: for the vengeance on the flesh of the ungodly is fire and worms.

Mark 9:47 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.


Wisdom 4:5 For the branches not being perfect, shall be broken, and their fruits shall be unprofitable, and sour to eat, and fit for nothing.

John 15:6 If any one remaineth not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth.


The jews did not considered it part of the hebrew canon?


Hi nelka, i appreciate your response, but i find it hard to make an argument that quotation from the deuterocanon means it is scripture


The idea of a “canon” developed slowly over time. Think of the historical background. Before the invention of printing, the books of the Bible were copied out by hand on sheets of parchment or papyrus, which were then either glued together side by side to form a scroll or were folded in half and then stitched together to form a book with pages that could be turned over, but in either case each unit – either a scroll or a book – contained only maybe a single book of the Bible, if it was a long one, or as many as twelve short ones, like the twelve minor prophets. In a synagogue in Jesus’ day, or in a church in Paul’s day and later, they would have a stack of scrolls or books, but they wouldn’t always be exactly the same scrolls from one synagogue to another or exactly the same books from one church to another.

In circumstances like that, where a synagogue had, say, among others, a scroll of Deuteronomy, a scroll of Isaiah, and a scroll of the Psalms, what would it mean to say that two of those were “canonical” books and the third one wasn’t? Not very much, I suspect. The Psalms, as far as anyone knows, were never considered part of “the Law” and were never considered part of “the Prophets” either, so when Jesus uses the expression “the Law and the Prophets” you might say he is leaving out the Psalms. But does that mean he was teaching his followers that the Psalms had no place in synagogue worship or in Jewish religious life? No, of course he wasn’t. And perhaps you could say the same thing about Judith and the Wisdom of Solomon, which Nelka has shown on this thread have been quoted in Luke and John respectively.


Too broad of a statement. You need to narrow it down a bit, for it to be answerable.

Keep in mind that the Septuagint was a Jewish edition of Scriptures! It was simply translated into Greek for use by Jews outside of Jerusalem (since, in the diaspora, they knew Greek, not Hebrew). The deuterocanon, then, was Jewish Scripture, accepted by and in use by Jews. Just not all Jews…

So… the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem rejected the Septuagint, and stuck to the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Sadduccees only accepted these five, while Pharisees accepted not only the Torah, but also the historical books.


Since 1,500s Europe - when the Deuterocanonical books were rejected by a tiny minority of disobedient souls - there has been a pressing need to explain why God would be silent for 400 years - centuries in which monumental events in Jewish history were occurring, setting thre stage for the Incarnation. Thus, some smart Alec came up with the “Intertestamental period” to explain God’s mysterious silence during the time frame covered by much of the Deuterocanonical books.

Essentially, “God was silent. We don’t know why, but we must oppose whatever the Catholic Church teaches.”


Here is a link that helps explain the Old Testament Canon:

I hope that this helps provide some background on the subject.



The Canon of the Jews protestants use was made after Christ established the Church, so there’s no real need to think that it held authority.

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