Catholic Bible Books

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Gina B, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Why does the Catholic Bible have extra books? What do they talk about, and why did the Catholics accept them, and the Baptists did not?
     
  2. Cutter

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    Lifted the following off of the internet:

    "These extra books appear in the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible and are called the “Apocrypha.” They were not generally accepted as part of the Bible’s “canon” (list of included books) until the Council of Trent (a Catholic council held between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563). At that time, the council pronounced the Vulgate translated by St. Jerome to be the “official” Catholic Bible. (Jerome’s Vulgate was a Latin version of the Bible that included these extra books.) Since the Council of Trent, all Catholic editions of the Bible have included the Apocrypha.

    However, we know from the writings of Josephus (A.D. 37-c.100) that no book was added to the Hebrew scriptures after the time of Artaxerxes who reigned after Xerxes. Therefore, we know the Old Testament was completed by 424 B.C. and has not changed since that time. The Apocrypha were written centuries later. For that reason and others, most Protestants did not accept adding the Apocrypha to the Bible canon during the Council of Trent. They did not necessarily believe that these extra books were “bad,” they just knew that they did not belong in the Bible. The Old Testament of most Bibles printed today follow the original Hebrew canon, matching the Jewish Tanakh (the scriptures used by the Jewish religion)."
     
  3. Thinkingstuff

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    Thats a good question. It has to do with translations of the OT and Church Councils back in the 4th Century.

    You have to understand how scriptures were passed around. During the intertestimental period Alexander the Great took over the known world and Hellenized it. Built Gymnasiums (Greek highschools), forced an international language of Greek to be used. He also built a city in Alexandria Egypt named after himself. During the babylonian captivity many Jews when released moved to Alexandria as well as Judea. Outside of Judea the largest community of Jews was at Alexandria. During this time the book of Daniel and Esther were writen as well as other books like Tobit, Judith etc.... The Qumran community seemed to use these works in their collection of scripture as well. Well the King of Egypt Ptolomey Philadelphius wanted to create a great library of the world wisdom and (as the legend goes) commissioned 72 Jewish rabbis from Judea to translate the hebrew religious text into greek. At first they just translated the Torah but ended up translating many other works as well. These scrolls became known collectively as the LXX or Septuigint. Most of the jewish communities out side of Judea spoke and read in Greek. Philo being a good example of this. Because of this the books of the LXX got around to most of the known world. When the apostles quoted the OT save Matthew they used LXX quotes rather than straight Hebrew.
    Over the years many recensions were made 3 from the Jews and two primary from the christians of the LXX. In the 4th Century Jerome wanting to translate from the text closer to the originals in their original languages into a single common form of Latin called the latin vulgate. By the end of the 2nd century the Jews only authorized the Tanakh (our old testament) as valid and Jerome agreed the bishop of Rome relying on regular use of other test said Jerome should include the books outside of tenach to include the greek version of Esther and Daniel. jerome called these apocryphal books or hidden. However the church councils of Hippo and Carthage included the books into the canon. So so they stayed in the Latin vulgate and the main bibles for the next 1,000 years. The reformers questioned whether these were indeed canon or should they side with the Jews and they placed them in the appendix to their bibles. Reacting to this the Catholic Church held the Council of Trent and reaffirmed the council of Carthage.

    Thats the short and dirty version of it.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    They like to work harder for their sanctification...

    Actually it gets into the whole Apocrypha business. Thinkingstuff has a good post.

    Don't forget though that Eatern Orthodox have the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (which varies depending on what sect you're examining.) :)
     
  5. Gina B

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    What's the other sect that isn't Eastern Orthodox called? Are there more than two?
    I've not even heard of "pseudepigrapha."
     
  6. Thinkingstuff

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    The pseudepigrapha has all the great Jewish Apocalyptic literature like 1 Enoch that Jude quotes from. There are several types of Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian, Copts, etc....
     
  7. Deacon

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  8. Iconoclast

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    These books do not claim to be scripture.Jesus did not use them.The Apostles did not write them.
    The other posts have spoken to this.
     
  9. Peggy

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    Well, actually Jesus and the Apostles did quote from them, and alluded to them, as Thinkingstuff pointed out. When OT Scripture is quoted, it is from the LXX that the quote is taken from, including the deuterocanonicals. They were even part of the original KJV 1611, though set in a different section.

    Also, which books in the Bible actually explicitly claim to be Scripture?

    The extra books in the Catholic Bible read just like any other book in the Bible. I have read parts of them, and without someone pointing it out, you would never know that they are any different. I actually like the books of Wisdom and Sirach. Wisdom gives what I would consider a prophecy the crucifixion of Jesus:

    Wis 2:12 Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education.
    Wis 2:13 He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord.
    Wis 2:14 He was made to reprove our thoughts.
    Wis 2:15 He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion.
    Wis 2:16 We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father.
    Wis 2:17 Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him.
    Wis 2:18 For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.
    Wis 2:19 Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.
    Wis 2:20 Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected.
    Wis 2:21 Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them.
    Wis 2:22 As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls.
     
  10. Gina B

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    I deeply appreciate the replies given so far.

    Does anyone here believe there is a benefit for Christians in reading these books? Should they be considered of Christian interest and perhaps have spiritual value?

    Or should they be avoided, as they may lead to false beliefs?
     
  11. Gold Dragon

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    To add to Thinkingstuff's post...

    1) Catholics refer to the Apocrypha as the Deuterocanon (2nd canon) so they also consider it to be scripture but recognize the historical controversy surrounding these books. They use the term apocrypha for other extra-biblical books. I'll use the term deuterocanon from now on to avoid confusion with other uses of the term apocrypha.

    2) Most of the Deuterocanonical books were thought to be written in the time period between the Old and New Testaments.

    3) All known evidence suggests the Deuterocanon was included in the Septuagint (LXX) which is believed to be the bible of greek speaking Jews around the time of Christ as well as the early Christians as the NT was being written and canonized. The 1st century Jewish council believed to have excluded the Deuterocanon from the Hebrew Bible is thought to be a reaction to the popularity of the Septuagint as the "Christian" bible at that time.

    4) Jerome in 400AD and Martin Luther in 1500AD are two major figures who have questioned the inspiration of the Deuterocanon, but both of their bibles eventually did include the books. Luther created a separate testament for them while Jerome included it in the OT. Additionally, all the official KJV revisions (1611, 1629, 1638, 1769) included the Deuterocanon in a testament called the Apocrypha but gradually, they started being omitted, because of demand or cost saving reasons until around the late 1800s when pretty much all protestant english bibles excluded the Apocrypha.

    5) Regarding the value of the Deuterocanon, I have not read them so I cannot comment personally. I hope to read them one day but you know what they say, "too many books, too little time". Martin Luther's bible did have the following long title for the testament containing the Apocrypha: "Apocrypha: These Books Are Not Held Equal to the Scriptures, but Are Useful and Good to Read"
     
    #11 Gold Dragon, May 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2010
  12. Zenas

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    These books contain very little that would be at variance with the other books of the Old Testament. The wisdom books, Sirach and Wisdom, are very similar to Proberbs and very good reading. In general, there is not much of theological significance, except in the 12th chapter of 2 Maccabees. This passage tells of a battle, after which the Jews found a number of small idols in the clothing of their dead warriors. Having these idols was a sin under Jewish law, so the commander of the army ordered sacrifices and prayers for the souls of these dead men. I believe this is the only place in the deuterocanonicals where a doctrine is taught that is at odds with Protestant beliefs.
     
  13. Thinkingstuff

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    My answer is yes to both questions. I know it sounds odd. However, having read the books there is a benefit to them. However, a preoccupation with certain books and not understanding them can lead to false teachings. For instance the books of Tobit and Judith are both fictional accounts and should be regarded as fictional books like "the shack". If you take Tobit too seriously you'll end up trying to excersise demons with fried fish liver. However, its a great tale about how God can turn situations to benefit those he loves. I think the Psuedopigraphia will give insite into what the early jews believed about certian things. And when you read statements in the NT like the pharisees accusing Jesus of healing by the power of Beelzebub you have a better idea of what they are saying. They are not necissarily saying Lucifer but a head demon like Azazel who leads a particular group of demons. The particular demon mentioned here Beelzebub is one of 7 princess of hell and the lord of the flies. He was also the god of Ekron and claims to cause destruction through tyrants. So it helps read the context of what the NT writers are talking about.
     
  14. Gina B

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    For all the fish I've gutted, I never noticed which part would be the liver. Makes me want to go fishing and look specifically for that.
    See? The other books are already making me more active. :laugh:
     
  15. Timsings

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    I've read parts of some of the books in the Apocrypha. I particularly like Wisdom and Sirach. I think there can be a spiritual benefit to reading them, but, as with other books, they need to be read with an understanding of the context in which and the purpose for which they were written. If you will notice I have included a quotation from Sirach in my signature. I didn't find it from reading Sirach. I found it in a book on woodworking and looked it up later.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  16. Gina B

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    Cool beans. I look forward to adding this reading to my library!
     
  17. Peggy

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    The Book of Tobit is actually a very charming story. Is it to be taken literally. No, but when you read it like it is a fairly tale or legend it is enjoyable.

    I have studied the history of the deuterocanon. The Jews of Palestine did not accept the Septuigint becuase it was written in Greek, not Hebrew. The Jews outside of Palestine - the disapora - did recognize the Septuigint as Scripture. The early Greek-speaking Christians did also recognize the LXX as Scripture, and it was the version that they used.

    So who had the authority to recognize the LXX as Scripture? The Jews of Palestine who rejected Jesus and determined their own canon in 70 AD? Or the Christian believers who accepted Him as they accepted and used the LXX?

    Jerome had a problem with the deuterocanon because he was somewhat of a "Hebrewphile" - he loved the Hebrew language and looked down on the Greek version of the OT. However, the church had accepted the deuterocanon at the Councils of Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage (419 AD) - the same councils that set the canon of the New Testament that we know today. Jerome was merely a translator - although a great translator - but he had no authority to determine what books belonged in the Bible any more than Martin Luther or any of us do. The deuterocanon was accepted as part of the OT until the Protestant Reformation, and any Bible published (or should I say copied) for 1500 years included these books without question.

    People point out that the prayers for the dead in Maccabees is "unscriptural", therefore the whole LXX is discounted. Yet it was and is a common practice for Jews to pray for the souls of the dead. So these these prayers were recorded as a matter of historical record.

    I think it is a shame that the deuterocanon was thrown out of the OT when there is so much wisdom (so to speak) in the books of "Wisdom" and "Sirach".
     
  18. RAdam

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    The Apocrypha has value, but only as a historical record. They are not scripture.
     

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