Trouble with the deuterocannon


**Quote:**Fourth, they were rejected by the primitive Church (Eusebius: Hist., lib. Iv, c. 26).

**Quote:**Fifth, they were rejected from the canon of inspired Scripture by Jerome, Origen, Athanasius, Cyril, Hilary, Gregory Nazianzen, etc.

Sixth, the Council of Laodicea, held in the year 364, whose canons were received and confirmed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, delivers the catalogue of the canonical books as they are received in the Protestant Church.

First, they were never received, acknowledged or admitted into the canon of the Old Testament Scripture by the Jews, to whom, St Paul says, “the words of God were committed” (Romans 3:2); nor are they included in the catalogue of sacred books given to Josephus, the Jewish historian.

So how do I rebutt this…


On the issue of the Church Fathers that supposedly rejected the deutercanonicals, read here, “Did Some Church Fathers Reject the Deutercanonicals as Scripture?” Note that while Jerome denies the canonicity of the Deuterocanonicals, he also incessantly uses them as Scripture, calls them Scripture, and uses them to prove doctrine.

Also see this page by the same author, it intersects largely with the first link, but deals also with the issue of the Jews and the Old Testament. Note that the Jews cast out the Deuterocanonicals at the council of Jamnia, AD 90. Why would Christians be held by what the Jews decreed well after their Church had been established? Note that the vast majority of quotes in the NT are from the Septuagint, which contains the deuterocanonicals.

The Catholic Encyclopedia notes the Canons of the Council of Laodecia. I don’t know why, but a note tells us that Canon 60-- that one which lists the books of Scripture-- is of dubious origin. In any case, note that a different naming convention is used for several books-- note books 1-4 Kings, and Esdras 1 and 2, for instance. Someone else here could probably help you get down which are which.

Note that the Apocalypse of John is missing. Do they not think it is Scripture?


This should help.


Well, I can answer some of them. The beliefs of Church Fathers are only infallible when held unanimously. That was clearly not the case, so what they believed doesn’t matter. It was this very uncertainty that led to the council of Hippo in 393. I am unfamiliar with the two councils you mention, so I am of no help there. You may try to look them up using which is a good catholic resource. While the Israelites gave secondary importance to the dueterocanonical books, they were put into the Septuagint. The Septuagint was used by Jesus and the apostles. It is interesting that the Jews formally declared these books as non-inspired at the Council of Jerusalem (AD 90) in part to fight the birth of Christianity.

Basically the two big arguments are the Jews not recognizing them as inspired and (one you didn’t mention) them not being written in Hebrew. Ultimately I turn to the teaching authority of the Church to tell me what books are inspired. I hope this helps, but also that someone else will fill in the parts where I wasn’t able to answer.


Also cheack out # 4 post by Church Mil. A good one.


Valtiel]**Quote:**Fourth, they were rejected by the primitive Church (Eusebius: Hist., lib. Iv, c. 26).

The early Church did NOT reject the dueteros, that’s a fallacy, in fact the canon in its totality wasn’t cited first until 382 AD at the council of Rome.
The early Church for almost four hundred years grabbled with what was to be the canon. The deutero’s were in the septuagint/LXX which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew text. The early Church had essentially three groups which the Scriptures were cast.

  1. Accepted books e.g. all of the gospels
  2. Rejected or spurious books e.g. gospel of Thomas,gospel of Paul, and other gnostic books.
  3. Disputed books which included Hebrews, Revelation and others.

The point here is just because one early Church father rejected a book(s) doesn’t mean a hill of beans since they didn’t have the sole authority to decide the canon [only the magisterium in union with the pope did] and they were grappling with what was to be the totality of Scripture, so naturally differing areas favored certain books since they used them in their liturgies.

Jerome was a legate to pope Damasus and as far as him rejecting the duetero’s outright, well that’s false again. He didn’t favor them for sure, however at the behest of pope Damasus, Jerome translated the dueteros into Latin from the Greek as he did the Hebrew texts from the LXX, so what does that prove? It proves that Jerome was under the authority of the pope and didn’t have the sole authority to determine what was nor wasn’t Scripture and neither did any other early Church father by themselves.



Fifth, they were rejected from the canon of inspired Scripture by Jerome, Origen, Athanasius, Cyril, Hilary, Gregory Nazianzen, etc.

Again, so what?? One early Church father didn’t sola authority of the Catholic Church.**
Check out:

Look to Origen he is quoting Deuterocanonical books, like Baruch 6, the books were called by differing names then but are the exact same as we have them today, this is what he said…

‘It should be stated that the canonical books, as the Hebrews have handed them down, are twenty-two; corresponding with the number of their letters.’ Farther on he says: ‘The twenty-two books of the Hebrews are the following: That which is called by us Genesis, but by the Hebrews, from the beginning of the book, Bresith, which means, ‘In the beginning’; Exodus, Welesmoth, that is, ‘These are the names’; Leviticus, Wikra, ‘And he called’; Numbers, Ammesphekodeim; Deuteronomy, Eleaddebareim, ’ These are the words’; Jesus, the son of Nave, Josoue ben Noun; Judges and Ruth, among them in one book, Saphateim; the First and Second of Kings, among them one, Samouel, that is, ‘The called of God’; the Third and Fourth of Kings in one, Wammelch David, that is, ‘The kingdom of David’; of the Chronicles, the First and Second in one, Dabreiamein, that is, ‘Records of days’; Esdras, First and Second in one, Ezra, that is, ‘An assistant’; the book of Psalms, Spharthelleim; the Proverbs of Solomon, Me-loth; Ecclesiastes, Koelth; the Song of Songs (not, as some suppose, Songs of Songs), Sir Hassirim; Isaiah, Jessia; Jeremiah, with Lamentations and the epistle in one, Jeremia[Baruch 6]; Daniel, Daniel; Ezekiel, Jezekiel; Job, Job; Esther, Esther. And besides these there are the Maccabees, which are entitled Sarbeth Sabanaiel." Origen, Canon of the Hebrews, Fragment in Eusebius’ Church History,6:25[A.D. 244],in NPNF2,I:272

Origen didn’t use the dueteros in defense of the Catholic faith against those who didn’t accept them in the first place but remember, no ONE early Church father had the authority to decide what was to be the canon. When I have time I’ll show you a quote or two from a well known Protestant theologian who admits Jerome was under the submission of pope Damasus, thus again giving evidence that Jerome wasn’t in the position of deciding.

And lastly, ask this person if they are so concerned about idividual early Church fathers, using them eisegetically, then why don’t they accept what they taught about the other “Catholic” doctrines?
Like the Eucharist, penance/confession, priesthood, apostolic succession, baptism, holy orders, the Mass, papacy et al.

So how do I rebutt this…


I like what Paul says in Philippians 4:3-
3 And I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Clement is a famous Early Church Father who was one of the earliest, his most famous writing says this in part of it:
We know many among ourselves who have given themselves up to bonds, in order that they might ransom others. Many, too, have surrendered themselves to slavery, that with the price which they received for themselves, they might provide food for others. Many women also, being strengthened by the grace of God, have performed numerous manly exploits. The blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, asked of the elders permission to go forth into the camp of the strangers; and, exposing herself to danger, she went out for the love which she bare to her country and people then besieged; and the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman.
Cant get more explicit than that.


I also note that the Synod of Laodicea includes Baruch, according to the previously mentioned Catholic Encyclopedia link. Someonealready mentioned Revelation is missing. And something called “the Epistle” is mentioned, but I know not what that is.


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