When and why was the deuterocanon removed from the Protestant Bible


#1

I’m in the midst of a debate with a friend who insisted that the Church added the deuterocanon to the Bible in the Council of Trent. When I showed him this was false, thanks to the writings of the early church fathers and the council of Carthage, he then asked me exactly when and why Protestants removed these books. I have a vague understanding of it but I would like a detailed source to back me up, preferably from the internet for accessibility reasons. Help please?


#2

The English Bible Society removed the Deutero-canonicals in the 19th C. It was not in fact Martin Luther as has been widely repeated on here, but he did place them in an appendix at the back. However their removal was by the EBS in the 19th C and many churches, even conservative Lutheran Churches, still teach from them although not as part of Mass.

God Bless


#3

The why? Money. Cheaper to print a Bible without these extra books that Protestants determined where not inspired.


#4

You can still find online versions of the KJV contested books.


#5

I would imagine for the same reason he found it fit to tamper with other areas of scripture. To quote his defense of adding the word “alone” into Romans 3:28:

You also tell me that the Papists are causing a great fuss because St. Paul’s text does not contain the word sola (alone), and that my changing of the words of God is not to be tolerated.

I]f your Papist wishes to make a great fuss about the word “alone” (sola), say this to him: “Dr. Martin Luther will have it so and he says that a papist and an *** are the same thing.” Sic volo, sic iubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas. (I will it, I command it; my will is reason enough) For we are not going to become students and followers of the papists. Rather we will become their judge and master. We, too, are going to be proud and brag with these blockheads; and just as St. Paul brags against his madly raving saints, I will brag over these asses of mine! They are doctors? Me too. They are scholars? I am as well. They are philosophers? And I. They are dialecticians? I am too. They are lecturers? So am I. They write books? So do I.

I will go even further with my bragging: I can exegete the psalms and the prophets, and they cannot. I can translate, and they cannot. I can read Holy Scriptures, and they cannot. I can pray, they cannot. Coming down to their level, I can do their dialectics and philosophy better than all of them put together.

Not a very scholarly reply, is it?


#6

Hi POJIUJH,
As I lack familiarity with some of these arguments, I was hoping you would share a title, author and page reference (or webpage) that I might be able to use. Thanks so much for your kindness. May God bless you and all who seek Him. Amen.


#7

Thank you very much! And you too. I was quoting Martin Luther from his “An Open Letter on Translating”. You can find this online, although I wouldn’t recommend reading much of his writings at all, I was only pointing out that his main motive (if not the only motive) was his own pride and wanting Christianity the way he wanted it, just because he wanted it and for no other reason -save insanity.

But perhaps these links on the subject might come in handy, I tried to find a video for you (as I thought Jimmy Akin made one a while ago) but I can’t quite find it.

ewtn.com/library/answers/deuteros.htm
catholic.com/quickquestions/didnt-the-catholic-church-add-to-the-bible

Pax.


#8

Well, that is certainly not fair to Luther. You are taking his words out of context, presenting that as though that were intended alone as the defense of his translation. “Sic volo, sic iubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas,” is his answer to the “Papists,” mocking what he perceives to be their own conduct towards him.

Let this be the answer to your first question. Please do not give these donkeys any other answer to their useless braying about that word sola than simply this: “Luther will have it so, and he says that he is a doctor above all the doctors of the pope.”

But he gives a serious answer later, arguing that it is necessary for the German idiom of his day to insert the word “allein,” since that is their custom for when one of two things is affirmed and the other denied.

For you and our people, however, I shall show why I used the [German equivalent of the] word sola — even though in Romans 3 it was not [the equivalent of] sola I used but solum or tantum. That is how closely those donkeys have looked at my text! Nevertheless I have used sola fides elsewhere; I want to use both solum and sola. I have always tried to translate in a pure and clear German. It has often happened that for three or four weeks we have searched and inquired about a single word, and sometimes we have not found it even then. In translating the book of Job, Master Philip, Aurogallus and I have taken such pains that we have sometimes scarcely translated three lines in four days. Now that it has been translated into German and completed, all can read and criticize it. The reader can now run his eyes over three or four pages without stumbling once, never knowing what rocks and clods had once lain where he now travels as over a smoothly-planed board. We had to sweat and toil there before we got those boulders and clods out of the way, so that one could go along so nicely. The plowing goes well in a field that has been cleared. But nobody wants the task of digging out the rocks and stumps. There is no such thing as earning the world’s thanks. Even God himself cannot earn thanks, not with the sun, nor with heaven and earth, nor even the death of his Son. The world simply is and remains as it is, in the devil’s name, because it will not be anything else.

I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text — the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text – if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [klar und gewaltiglich], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation. But it is the nature of our language that in speaking about two things, one which is affirmed, the other denied, we use the word allein [only] along with the word nicht [not] or kein [no]. For example, we say “the farmer brings allein grain and kein money”; or “No, I really have nicht money, but allein grain”; I have allein eaten and nicht yet drunk"; “Did you write it allein and nicht read it over?” There are countless cases like this in daily usage.

In all these phrases, this is a German usage, even though it is not the Latin or Greek usage. It is the nature of the German language to add allein in order that nicht or kein may be clearer and more complete. To be sure, I can also say, “The farmer brings grain and kein money,” but the words “kein money” do not sound as full and clear as if I were to say, “the farmer brings allein grain and kein money.” Here the word allein helps the word kein so much that it becomes a completely clear German expression. We do not have to ask the literal Latin how we are to speak German, as these donkeys do. Rather we must ask the mother in the home, the children on the street, the common man in the marketplace. We must be guided by their language, by the way they speak, and do our translating accordingly. Then they will understand it and recognize that we are speaking German to them.
bible-researcher.com/luther01.html

Now, whether this is correct is another question. For one thing Luther quotes the sentence in question (Romans 3:28): “Arbitramur hominem iustificari ex fide absque operibus.” Although it resembles the sort of construction he is discussing, it is not so obvious that his translation really reflects the sense of the passage. In interpretation, it is necessary to determine what is meant by “faith,” by “works,” and by “justification.” For one thing, St. Paul does not simply say, “absque operibus,” (or alternatively sine operibus) but rather, “operibus legis” (in Greek: εργων νομου), that is, works of the law, which has a different implication. Secondly, Scripture testifies abundantly that good works are essential to justification, so if faith is intended to exclude works entirely from justification, then that is wrong.


#9

Both posts have given me much to think about. Many thanks.:)
I appreciate the links as well and will be passing their information on to others. May God bless you both. Amen.


#10

Yes, he may very well expand later, but that is his first answer and it is a little more telling of himself. He had already removed the Deutercanononicals to suit his own doctrine, for him not to tamper with Romans 3:28 to suit his “sola fide” would be completely out of character. Afterall, he was more than willing to throw out the Epistle of James to suit this very same doctrine calling it “the epistle of straw”, it isn’t unfair to mention a highly likely intention here. I can’t write German, but if (and a big if) Luther’s German translation here was in fact a coincidence, it is completely unlike him and his nature. He certainly didn’t kick up in arms about it being added to English translations, leading me or anyone else to believe that his linguistic reason is all too likely an excuse.


#11

Therana

When and why was the deuterocanon removed from the Protestant Bible


I'm in the midst of a debate with a friend who insisted that the Church added the deuterocanon to the Bible in the Council of Trent. When I showed him this was false, thanks to the writings of the early church fathers and the council of Carthage, he then asked me exactly when and why Protestants removed these books. I have a vague understanding of it but I would like a detailed source to back me up, preferably from the internet for accessibility reasons. Help please?

[quote="bogeydogg, post:2, topic:310504"]
The English Bible Society removed the Deutero-canonicals in the 19th C. It was not in fact Martin Luther as has been widely repeated on here, but he did place them in an appendix at the back. However their removal was by the EBS in the 19th C and many churches, even conservative Lutheran Churches, still teach from them although not as part of Mass.

God Bless

[/quote]

To save money on paper and printing costs.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_apocrypha

All King James Bibles published before 1666 included the Apocrypha.[20] In 1826,[21] the British and Foreign Bible Society decided that no BFBS funds were to pay for printing any Apocryphal books anywhere. Since then most modern editions of the Bible and reprintings of the King James Bible omit the Apocrypha section. In the 18th century, the Apocrypha section was omitted from the Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims version.................................................The American Bible Society lifted restrictions on the publication of Bibles with the Apocrypha in 1964. The British and Foreign Bible Society followed in 1966.


#12

He didn’t remove the deuterocanonical books from the Bible. He only called into question their inspiration and authority. Luther did not just throw books out on his own whim. If you look at the history of the Biblical canon, you will see that there was no unanimous consensus in the early days of Christianity. So it should be no surprise that Luther, whose purpose was to recover the pure Christianity of the early Church that is often spoken of in myth, might regard ancient writings casting doubt on the inspiration of certain books as reason to regard those books with skepticism.

You do a disservice to Martin Luther and to yourself and your audience when you refuse to try to understand him. Luther did not “remove the deuterocanon in order to suit his doctrine.” What doctrine from the deuterocanon would be so repulsive to Martin Luther? Prayers for the dead? Lutheranism could exist with our without prayers for the dead and purgatory.

It’s a big leap to go from “the British and Foreign Bible Society decided that no BFBS funds were to pay for printing any Apocryphal books anywhere” to the conclusion that the reason they denied funding toward the printing of Bibles with Old Testament deuterocanon was that it is cheaper. By the same reasoning, we would say that the reason that Catholic employers protest having to fund abortions through their employees health care plans is only that it is cheaper for them to not pay for abortions.


#13

Huh??? Bad comparison…and you would serve yourself better by understanding that abortion has been continously and consistently opposed by the CC.


#14

[quote="QNDNNDQDCE, post:12, topic:310504"]
He didn't remove the deuterocanonical books from the Bible. He only called into question their inspiration and authority. Luther did not just throw books out on his own whim. If you look at the history of the Biblical canon, you will see that there was no unanimous consensus in the early days of Christianity. So it should be no surprise that Luther, whose purpose was to recover the pure Christianity of the early Church that is often spoken of in myth, might regard ancient writings casting doubt on the inspiration of certain books as reason to regard those books with skepticism.

You do a disservice to Martin Luther and to yourself and your audience when you refuse to try to understand him. Luther did not "remove the deuterocanon in order to suit his doctrine." What doctrine from the deuterocanon would be so repulsive to Martin Luther? Prayers for the dead? Lutheranism could exist with our without prayers for the dead and purgatory.

It's a big leap to go from "the British and Foreign Bible Society decided that no BFBS funds were to pay for printing any Apocryphal books anywhere" to the conclusion that the reason they denied funding toward the printing of Bibles with Old Testament deuterocanon was that it is cheaper. By the same reasoning, we would say that the reason that Catholic employers protest having to fund abortions through their employees health care plans is only that it is cheaper for them to not pay for abortions.

[/quote]

On whose authority did he question the Canon? If those who argued over Canon in the early Church came to an agreement and were obedient to the decision, what right did he have to suddenly question an entire council or synod? Do you not see the pride in that? And if this mythical Christianity you propose did exist, why did Christ break His promise to be with us always, allowing the heretical Catholic and Orthodox Churches to reign for 1500 years? I guess the power to bind and loose skipped a few centuries, huh?


#15

[quote="bogeydogg, post:2, topic:310504"]
The English Bible Society removed the Deutero-canonicals in the 19th C. It was not in fact Martin Luther as has been widely repeated on here, but he did place them in an appendix at the back. However their removal was by the EBS in the 19th C and many churches, even conservative Lutheran Churches, still teach from them although not as part of Mass.

God Bless

[/quote]

I understand the above to be correct, only I'd add that Luther's act of placing them in an appendix was done based on a view that they were not inspired(if I'm not mistaken). Which I consider to equate to "removed them"


#16

It’s a suitable analogy to illustrate the fallacy of your reasoning. From the fact that a party has ceased to do something which costs money, it does not necessarily follow that the reason they ceased to that thing is only that they wanted to save money.

The biblical canon was debated later still at the Council of Trent. Evidently there were Catholics there who thought they had a right to question earlier councils.


#17

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#18

I am not sure exactly when the Deuterocanon was removed from the Bible but I do know that Martin Luther did it. He was one of the Protestant “reformers”.


#19

And yet, since the Canon was determined in the 400’s, all of the books were used until, at the council of Trent… the earlier decisions were reaffirmed. Again. If those early Christians got the canon wrong, and propagated a false Scripture for over 1,000 years, why, exactly, do you trust that they were guided by the Holy Spirit when determining ANY of the Canon? I sure wouldn’t.

You realize that the majority of the quotes in the New Testament (when quoting Old) are from the Septuagint, yes? And that the deuterocanon was in these versions? And that Jews never actually had a codified canon (until Christianity came along, then they had a problem)? And that it is asinine to base a decision of canon off of the canon of Jews who were actively fighting Christianity? And the list goes on…

Maybe basing the canon off of the claims of Jewish rabbis who were against Christianity wasn’t the best idea…:

“Since Late Antiquity, once attributed to a Council of Jamnia, mainstream rabbinic Judaism rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts. Several reasons have been given for this. First, some mistranslations were claimed. Second, the Hebrew source texts used for the Septuagint differed from the Masoretic tradition of Hebrew texts, which was chosen as canonical by the Jewish rabbis. Third, the rabbis wanted to distinguish their tradition from the newly emerging tradition of Christianity. Finally, the rabbis claimed for the Hebrew language a divine authority, in contrast to Aramaic or Greek - even though these languages were the lingua franca of Jews during this period (and Aramaic would eventually be given the same holy language status as Hebrew).”

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint#Disputes_over_canonicity

It is also interesting to note that the book of Maccabees goes over the war that was the reason for the Hanukkah celebration, which is quite important to the Jews. Yet it (2 Maccabees) was written in Greek, and thus, somehow, not inspired enough for the rabbis :rolleyes:


#20

OP, so far you have gotten great answers…Luther relegated them to an appendix and then publishing companies simply began to omit them on their own acord. Something to note, however, is that “apocrypha”, as Protestants like to call the dueterocanon, did not carry teh negative conntation that it carries today. It meant that there was doubt among some as to whether or not they were indeed God-Inspired, but they were still seen as good teaching tools…hence the reason Luther did not want them fully removed from the Bible…simply given a seat in the back row, so to speak.

Also an interesting note…Luther believe the Letter of James and the book of Revelation to also be questionable.

For a very much in-depth explanation…check out this link to Catholic Encyclopedia and scroll down to “Canon of the Old Testament” and “Canon of the New Testament”.
newadvent.org/cathen/c.htm


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