Why Catholic Church rejects LXX(Septuagint) books?

Why Catholic Church rejects LXX(Septuagint) books as word of God?

Um, the Catholic Church accepts the majority of the books of the LXX as the Word of God, with the exception of only three or four.

You should probably ask the Protestants this question, not the Catholics.

Protestants reject 18 books that Catholic Church believes in some of them: The books of Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, and longer versions of Esther and Daniel, not more.

So orthodoxes believe in more than 10 books that we don’t believe!

Sorry, I’m not understanding. Protestants reject only 7 books, as well as the Greek extensions to Daniel and Esther. Catholics accept them and they are in the LXX. Where are you getting 18?

You need to be more specific and detailed. What’s the problem?

Like porthos11 I am also confused. What 18 books are you talking about?

Do you believe in these books?

The Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches recognize the following:
3 Maccabees
1 Esdras
Prayer of Manasseh
Psalm 151

Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches include:
2 Esdras i.e., Latin Esdras in the Russian and Georgian Bibles
There is also 4 Maccabees which is only accepted as canonical in the Georgian Church, but was included by St. Jerome in an appendix to the Vulgate, and is an appendix to the Greek Orthodox Bible, and it is therefore sometimes included in collections of the Apocrypha.

The Syriac Orthodox tradition includes:
Psalms 151–155
The Apocalypse of Baruch
The Letter of Baruch
The Ethiopian Biblical canon includes:
1–3 Meqabyan


And have look at this Q&A on orthodoxanswers:

Question Number 619:

Hi. You believe in 4(or 5) books which other Christians don’t believe in as the word of God: “3 Maccabees”, “1 Esdras”, “Prayer of Manasseh”, “Psalm151” (and 2 Esdras) How do you confirm that these books are parts of Bible and they are God’s word?


It is not a matter of “belief” but of what to do the writings passed on to the early Christians as part of the Septuagint (LXX). What we do know is that:

the Apostles used the LXX extensively

the NT seems to make reference to stories / characters / events only found in the LXX deuterocanonicals (such as Hebrew 11 / 2 Macc)

the earliest Christian leaders who knew the Apostles cite these books as Scripture.
Finally, the LXX manuscripts that we have contain these books, although not always the same ones!

In summary, the books you list are considered “deuterocanonical” except for 2 Esdras which is simply an Appendix to the Slavonic Bible. What does this mean? That they should be incorporated in our Bible but regarded as having secondary authority.

OT books are understood as witnesses to Jesus Christ, and this is also what the deuterocanonical books ultimately do. They certainly contain passages that can be seen as being God’s inspired word, for instance Wisdom 2.

Answered on 9/16/2010 by Fr Laurent


I am not aware of any LXX writing that is not included in the Catholic Biblical Canon. The titles of the books might differ, and some books might be combined in one text that are treated as separate books in another, but I am not aware of any part of the LXX that is deliberately rejected in the Catholic Canon.

In the Third-Fifth Century, when the New Testament Canon was being debated and defined, it seemed that Christians (all of whom were Catholics) simply accepted the LXX as the Old Testament Canon - there was no real debate.

Can you cite an example of a text in the LXX that is not present in the Catholic Canon?

(Of course, there is no strict definition of what constitutes the LXX - there are many variations. But, to my knowledge, the Catholic Church did not ever specifically exclude any LXX text from any particular variant.)

I must ask so: Why Catholic Church rejects some parts of LXX(Septuagint) books that Orthodox Church accepts them?

The Catholic Church does not reject any part of the LXX. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches might have a different idea of what exactly the LXX is. There is no “official” definition of the LXX, and there are many variants. The Catholic Church accepts the variant that was widely in use in the Western regions during the 3rd-5th Centuries. Various Orthodox Churches accept slightly different versions of the LXX which might have been in circulation in the East.

The protestants rejected large portions of the LXX (ie, they took books and tossed them out of their Bibles). No Catholic or Orthodox Church ever did anything like that. We all accept the LXX, but not necessarily the exact same version (because there has never been a consensus as to exactly what the LXX is - which remains true to this day).

May I believe in 3 Maccabees and be a catholic or reject it and be a orthdox? I want know why my church says 3 meccabees and other ones that I reffered abow, aren’t books of Bible.

I don’t emphasize protestants, But they claim that Jerome( 347 – 420) rejected them too! Is this true?

You may believe what is written in 3-Maccabees and be a faithful Catholic. If you reject what is written in 3-Maccabees (ie, you say that everything in it is a pack of lies) then you may not consider yourself a faithful Orthodox, or a faithful Catholic, for that matter.

I want know why my church says 3 meccabees and other ones that I reffered above, aren’t books of Bible.

Because (as I have explained) those books were not part of the LXX that was in use by the Western Church in the Third-Fifth Centuries.

That does not mean that the content of those books is considered false, or is rejected in any way. The Catholic Church has no problem with 3 Maccabees (other than, maybe, it should not be called 3 Maccabees, as it has no relation to 1-2 Maccabees, so the title is misleading).

Your question seems to have a sola-Scriptura basis. If the Catholic Church is based upon Scripture, then it is very important to define exactly what “Scripture” means. But the Church is NOT based upon Scripture. So the exact definition of the Canon of the Old Testament (or even the NT) is really an academic exercise, and is not really relevant.

I don’t emphasize protestants, But they claim that Jerome( 347 – 420) rejected them too! Is this true?

Jerome did not “reject” anything. Parts of the Latin Vulgate were translated by other people.

Would you please explain it?

If the Catholic Church is based upon Scripture, then it is very important to define exactly what “Scripture” means. But the Church is NOT based upon Scripture.

Oh, wow. That is a pretty big question. It could occupy dozens of threads (and it already has).

Here is my whirlwind summary:

The Church was “born” at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Peter and the Apostles, and they preached the Gospel in Jerusalem. This act and message would LATER be recorded in the four Canonical Gospels and the book of Acts (and referred to in various Epistles), but there was no written “Bible” in existence at Pentecost. The Church existed, but not one single word of the New Testament had been written down.

It is logically impossible that the Church can be based upon Scripture. Because Scripture must come from the Church. The Church cannot come from Scripture.

What is exactly is your Church?

Preceding poster: could you please explain your statement that the Church is not based on Scripture.

The Church existed by the time of the Book of Acts. For example, this book reports that Saul was ravaging the Church (Acts 8:3).
However, there was no New Testament at that time. No Gospels, no epistles of St. Paul or any other book of the New Testament. (Obviously, for example, there could have been no Book of Acts while the events in Acts were taking place, it could only have been written after the events in Acts had all taken place.) The books of the New Testament were all written after Church came into existence. It is generally accepted that they were written years, even decades later. So it cannot be that the Church is based on Scripture.

 Actually, the Church decided what the books of the New Testament should be. There were serious questions about what some of the books of the New Testament should be until the 4th century, including books Protestants and Catholics now accept as Scripture, such as the Book of Revelation, The Church in Councils decided then, hundreds of years after Christ, if that book and others should be in the Bible. So, actually, the Bible came from the Church in this way, not the Church from the Bible.

Is it possible that some chapter divisions are different in Catholic vs Orthodox versions of Scripture? :confused:

I think what he means is that the Catholic Church was not founded on Scripture, because the the NT was not formed yet and was not at the time considered Scripture. The Church was founded by Christ on Peter.

I don’t think he was saying that Scripture doesn’t indicate the founding of the Church or that the Church doesn’t use Scripture, only that the Catholic Church wasn’t founded by men’s interpretation of Scripture, but by Christ, and the Scripture came later.

Correct. The Church was born at Pentecost, before a single word of NT Scripture was written down. The Church came before the written Gospels and Epistles, and thus the Church could not be based upon these writings (rather, these writings are based upon what the Church did, so Scripture is based on the Church, not the other way around).

The protestant churches were invented long after the New Testament was written and its canon was recognized, so it is possible that they can claim to be based on the Bible without sounding silly. But it is impossible for the Catholic Church to make such a claim, because it was established before any NT Scriptures were written and centuries before the NT canon was recognized.

Correct. The Latin Church accepted the LXX just as they had received it, in its entirety, and the Orthodox did the same. Nobody ever “rejected” anything, but the Eastern and Western Churches had received a slightly different version of the LXX, as there was not (and still is not) any “official” definition of exactly what the LXX comprises - every edition of the LXX was different from every other edition.

As you say, this has never been a point of contention between East and West, and the West has no problem with anything in the Eastern canon.

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