Apocrypha

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by dan e., Jan 3, 2007.

  1. dan e.

    dan e.
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Apocrypha was included in the canon by the RCC at the Council of Trent. What is the reason that they decided to include it? Or, is there a simple answer to it?
     
  2. webdog

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    The simple answer? The RCC does whatever they want regardless if it's from God :)
     
  3. dan e.

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    Yeah, yeah, I get all that. I'm just curious if history tells us a reason given for the decision of the inclusion of the apocrypha in the canon.
     
  4. JustPassingThru

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    Beats me. This internet fella (Timothy Dunkin) seems to think it is a reactionary response to the Reformation ...
    "The change [accepting the Apocrypha] was effected primarily for the purpose of attempting to cut the legs out from under the Reformation attacks on the various Biblically unsupported dogmas" (from http://www.studytoanswer.net/rcc/rvb_apocrypha.html#trent).
    I can't vouch for this, of course, but it is an interesting place to start reading.
     
  5. BWSmith

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    Essentially, it's because the Protestants agreed to exclude it as part of the movement to determine the true authoritative canon of scripture (probably under the influence of the opinion of Jerome), even though the Catholics had been using it for centuries.

    Whether or not the inclusion/exclusion of the apocrypha "matters" depends on your understanding of (a) whether the Protestants were correct to search for the "true canon" within their own interpretation of the Spirit, apart from the traditions in Catholicism, and (b) whether or not you think they "got it right"...

    My own opinion is that the apocrypha does reflect the attempts of pre-Christian Jews to find the "ending" of the OT story within the context of their own historical situations, and as such can be fruitful as a supplement to OT study. (They also serve to "complete" the historical gap between the Old and New Testaments in some sense.)

    However, all theology in the apocrypha is superceded (and made redundant at best) by the New Testament, which provides the real return from exile and the real "end of the story". So it's not fruitful to read about Judas Maccabeus, for example, in a vacuum without understanding how he served as a "signpost" for the eventual true Messiah.
     
  6. Marcia

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    The Jews did not accept the Apocrypha as inspired.

    This is a good link on it:
    http://www.carm.org/catholic/apocrypha.htm

    I am not sure it answers why the Catholics accept the Apocrypha as scripture.

    However, the link below seems to give the reasons why the RC accepts it (and a quick glance revealed to me several errors in thinking here):
    http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ110.HTM
     
  7. bound

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    Just so you know this isn't a Roman Catholic versus Protestant issue. Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches also accept the Septuagint as authoritatively Christian Scripture. Protestants, in the 16th Century, turned to Jewish authorities to determine inspired Scripture which occurred 'after' their rejection of Jesus as the Christ. Early Christianity saw the Jews as 'broken off' from the root of Jesse and no longer the 'spiritual' Israel and so didn't look to them and their later councils as authoritative.

    How had the Holy Spirit?
     
  8. StraightAndNarrow

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    Interestingly, the Apocrypha was included in the Authorized King James Bible in 1611. It was removed in later versions.
     
  9. rsr

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    The Council of Trent's canonization of the Apocrypha seems to be a reaction to Luther and the other Reformers (and Catholic humanists, such as Erasmus and Cardinal Cajetan - who pointedly rejected the Apocrpyha) who began demoting or excluding those books.

    B.W. is right to point out that Jerome accepted only Esther among the "disputed books" as legitimate (Athanasius, BTW, accepted Baruch, but excluded the rest, including Esther.) Catejan accepted Jerome's explanations of his preferred canon as authoritative.

    But the trend was set with the Third Council of Carthage (a regional council, BTW, but influenced by Augustine, who thought all, or almost all, of the Deuterocanonicals were scripture.)

    The acceptance by the Council of Trent of the Deuterocanonicals should be clear from the fact that the council seems not to have even discussed the matter in depth and ended up (perhaps by typo) excluding three books that the Latin Vulgate contained, even though the council decreed that the list included in the Vulgate was authoritative.
     
  10. rsr

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    Yes. The Greek church has a different Apocrypha than the Latin Rite church, and several of the other Orthodox churches have different canons entirely.

    The Protestant Apocrypha (the one printed in the Luther Bible and the original King James Version, and commonly used by other protestants) differs from the Roman version, owing to the Council of Trent's unaccountable omission of Manasseh and I and I Esdras, even though they had been included in the Latin Vulgate. (The original Roman Douai Old Testament included the tree books, but they were dropped in the Challoner revision of 1752.)
     
  11. SummaScriptura

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    Honestly, I completely disregard the Catholic church's stance on the canon for a number of reasons:

    1. They too, like the Protestants delete books from the Bible
    2. Jerome introduced a number of Biblical innovations which were flat-out wrong:
    • Jerome was the first to create an "apocryphal appendix" by placing the major passages unique to Greek Esther at The Book of Esther's conclusion, thus confusing the book for ALL Western Christendom to this day
    • Jerome created a "Frankenstein" version of Esther, never before seen by combining parts of Hebrew and Greek Esther together
    • Jerome moved Paul's letters from near the back of the N.T. to after Acts, in order to priveledge the status of Rome
    • Jerome created ugly, botched paraphrases of some of the deuterocanon, thus degrading them
    • Jerome applied the derogatory term "apocrypha" to the books of the deuterocanon
    3. The communions of Orthodoxy better preserve the traditional respect for the books of the Bible than either the Catholics or the Protestants
    4. Both sides of the Catholic/Protestant argument over the canon are utter nonsense to me
     

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