Why do most protestants reject the deuterocanonical books?

Why do most protestants reject the deuterocanonical (apocraphal) books? There’s strong evidence that they had been part of the early church’s tradition for 1000 years before Martin Luther and even continued to be included until 1825. I’m not really looking for a catholic vs protestant debate, im just curious of everyone’s opinions.


There are Luther specialists here who can give you more details, but basically Luther decided to follow the Jewish canon.


I guess that’s where I get confused, which Jewish canon? There has always been debate about the canon among Jewish Rabbis and it seemed as if Luther just followed Jerome who agreed with the masoretic text, even though that wasn’t formed until sometime after Jesus and his Apostles. It just seems like a strange reason to throw out texts of scripture that were accepted since the beginning.

Edit: added clarification to last sentence

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I would suspect that most of them accept the shorter canon because it’s what they were taught was correct, and the dueterocanon is foreign to them. And when they go to non-Catholic sources they trust, they are fed wrong information. That assumes they bother to look into it at all.


I guess I could agree with that because I was in that boat at one point.

Has there? Even today? Are there rabbis who want to add more books?

I’m not sure about today, but certainly in the 1st century and it continued on, until eary to mid 200s. Even today some Jews consider them canonical other don’t, it seemed like that werent thrown out until the 80s and even then i think the pharisees still considered them cannon

Since Christians are bound by the New Testament instead of the Old, I don’t see why it’s an issue.

Regardless I’m not arguing weather they are canonical or not but I don’t see a good case for out right rejection.

The eighties of the first century AD, correct? That was a long time ago! It’s my impression the Jewish canon has remained unchanged since then.

Things brings up the question, "what do you mean by “New Testament”, and where do you find we are “bound by it”?

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Because those books were not part of the Bible used at my church, the ones in our home, those given to me by my parents and grandparents. We were taught they were part of the Catholic Bible. Most of our belief systems are established by our families and it’s easier to go along and accept those beliefs. So the answer would be tradition.


There’s evidence to suggest it wasn’t even closed then. If you’re up for a bit of light reading there was an article published on it by Journal of Biblical Literature Vol. 110, No. 3. The article is called " On the Origins of the “Council of Javneh” Myth". It was written by people a lot smarter than me haha

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I can respect that, but have you never wanted to look into see why others accepted it?

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I agree with that question

Well actually a lot of the principles that Jesus and the apostles espoused that we have written in the New Testament are actually found in these 7 books.

Yes, I converted to Catholicism three years ago - and I would have bet the farm that this would never have happened. When the Holy Spirit leads - you follow! Looking back, I just want to say “what?”

I’m not catholic so I’m not sure if people get congratulated on conversions but if so congratulations on your conversion :slight_smile: haha
Did you look into the deuterocanonical books before or after you converted?


I remember reading them when I was around 19 and wasn’t impressed one way or the other. During and after my conversion, I have read them and see how they do tie in to other books in the Bible, history, and such. I now accept them because the Church has accepted them. I have done some reading on why Luther wanted them excluded - my understand is that he also wanted parts of James excluded. I thank you for the congratulations!


Building on this, much of the content of the Deuterocanon (such as today’s reading from Wisdom) opposed their personal theology - therefore, it was downgraded and sent to the rear of the bus. Theological apartheid, if you will.

Not to derail, but each of the Deuterocanonical books was in use by pious Jews prior to Christ, and was preserved at great cost in both time and labor, by the Hebrews. And each of those books was in use, somewhere in the early Church since day1. Not all communities had those books from the start, because:
a) some communities were Jewish and some, Gentile and
b) the faith was not primarily a ‘book faith’. It was a teaching and tradition faith.

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