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Decanonization of Mormon scriptures
Standard-Examiner ^ | November 30, 2011 | Doug Gibson

Posted on 11/30/2011 9:01:01 PM PST by Belteshazzar

Remember the Lectures on Faith sections in the Mormon scripture, “Doctrine and Covenants?” No? But they were there for 86 years? I’m reading an 1918 “Doctrine and Covenants” and sure enough, there’s Lectures on Faith.” What about “Section 101″ in early D&C editions, the “Article on Marriage” that says men and women should only have one spouse? No, haven’t heard of that one either? It was eventually deleted by church leaders and replaced by Section 132, which details celestial marriage and having multiple wives. Decanonization of scripture is not talked about much in the LDS church, and it’s certainly far less frequent than examples of added scripture in Mormon canon, but it does happen.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: General Discusssion; History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: celestialmarriage; decanonization; doctrinescovenants; lds; mormon; mormonism; mormons; polygamy; polygyny; scripture

1 posted on 11/30/2011 9:01:03 PM PST by Belteshazzar
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To: Belteshazzar

The lord giveth and the lord taketh away.

2 posted on 11/30/2011 9:03:07 PM PST by guitarplayer1953 (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to GOD! Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Belteshazzar

Welcome to mormonISM.

3 posted on 11/30/2011 9:05:26 PM PST by svcw (God's Grace - thank you!)
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To: Belteshazzar

Hey, if Luther can throw entire books out of the Old Testament, I guess Mormons figure they can get away with throwing out a few things now and then.

4 posted on 11/30/2011 9:20:29 PM PST by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: Rashputin; lilyramone; crusadersoldier; Ellzeena; Anvilhead; stonehouse01; Goreknowshowtocheat; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

5 posted on 11/30/2011 9:28:26 PM PST by narses (what you bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and what you loose upon earth, shall be ..)
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To: Belteshazzar

During the Presidential race btwn Nixon and JFK in 1960, newspapers raged every day with arguments about whether a Catholic President could be trusted with the future of the US.

In 1960, commentators were honest. Now, here come you guys arguing about Mormonism with what objective in mind?

6 posted on 11/30/2011 9:32:17 PM PST by Rembrandt (.. AND the donkey you rode in on.)
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To: Rembrandt

In the Kennedy case, the nation was not aware that Kennedy was anytrhing but a devout Christian Catholic (remember Frick and Frack?), so there was a fear that a devout Catholic would be under advice from Rome. Of course Kennedy was not a devout Catholic so that was a baseless fear. With Milt Romney, perhaps the same is true, he certainly doesn’t live up to the supposed standards most LDS claim to adhere to does he! But then again, LDS inc is a corporation, so as a devout buisness man perhaps Milt will be taking advice from Salt Lake? With Milt one never knows. Basing things on the Mormonism apologist who work FR to spin the heresies at the heart of Mormonism, I don’t think I want to trust a Mormon in the White House, devout or otherwise.

7 posted on 11/30/2011 9:37:47 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they cannot be deceived, it's impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: Rembrandt

BTW, the ‘commentators’ in media were anything but honest in 1960. They knew of the sexual addiction Kennedy had yet they chose to not report any of it to the people and in fact covered it up for the sleazy liar, just liek they now serve the little bassturd now in the White House.

8 posted on 11/30/2011 9:39:49 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they cannot be deceived, it's impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: Rembrandt
I don't care what religion Romney claims to have, he's nothing but a liberal democrat who pretends to be a Republican when it helps him get elected. His RomneyCare socialist takeover of health care was the prototype for ObamaCare, and he spent most of his political life claiming that it didn't matter that millions of children were murdered every year if going along with the premedited murders for hire helped him get elected.

So, I don't care where the lying, con man, socialist, accessory to mass murderer, goes on Sunday to pretend he gives a whit what God thinks. He's scum, that's why no one should vote for him.

Feel better about my lack of bias against Mormons? have a nice day

9 posted on 11/30/2011 9:41:46 PM PST by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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Nixon was a Quaker man I thought those folks were pretty devout too until I heard about Tricky Dickey.

10 posted on 11/30/2011 9:43:20 PM PST by guitarplayer1953 (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to GOD! Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Rashputin

“Twasn’t Luther that “threw entire books out of the Old Testament...” He did question the canonicity of the Apocrypha (but didn’t remove those books that were actually ADDED by the Roman Church to back up extra-biblical teachings. The Apocryphal books saw opposition throughout history, including within the Catholic church (though church historians haven’t exactly always been honest about it). It wasn’t until the 1880’s that “Protestants” began printing Bibles without the Apocryphal books.

11 posted on 11/30/2011 10:22:26 PM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: guitarplayer1953

Romney is a temple mormon, which means he has to abide by the strictest of rules, only about 15% of mormons are worthy to go to their temple. He is more than devote, he is considered worthy.

12 posted on 11/30/2011 10:28:28 PM PST by svcw (God's Grace - thank you!)
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To: svcw

13 posted on 12/01/2011 1:55:40 AM PST by BlueMoose
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To: Belteshazzar

I kan haz huntsman’s daughters?

14 posted on 12/01/2011 2:28:23 AM PST by Blado (2008: Year Zero of the Zombie Apocalypse.)
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To: TheBattman

Perhaps you might find it beneficial to read, say, some history books before you pony up to that bar. Absolutely do you a world of good.

15 posted on 12/01/2011 2:39:48 AM PST by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: Belteshazzar

Did not the Lord warn against adding or subtracting from His word? Would this apply to the Mormons adding on?

16 posted on 12/01/2011 3:22:51 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: TheBattman

But did some newer Protestant Bibles at present time allow for those extra books?

17 posted on 12/01/2011 3:27:19 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: BlueMoose

Another establishment Republican praising Romney means what to this thread?

18 posted on 12/01/2011 6:52:04 AM PST by svcw (God's Grace - thank you!)
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To: Rashputin

Rather than a not-so-subtle deflection of the thread topic into a drive-by shot at Martin Luther, why don’t you answer a simple question? If the deuterocanonical books Luther said, in agreement with the OT church and much of the ancient NT church, were outside of the canon, if they were - can you operate with that for a moment on a purely theoretical level? - precisely which doctrines of the Holy Scriptures would be left unrepresented in the remaining canon?

As an example, let us that any one of the four gospels were left out of the canon - remember, this is theoretical, on one is advocating this!!! - which doctrine(s) of the Holy Scriptures would we lack support for in what remains?

19 posted on 12/01/2011 8:27:16 AM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: sayuncledave
Perhaps you might ask questions about a person's background (and/or possible education) before you make such assumptions or accusations that someone "might find it beneficial to read some history books"

. I guess my extensive studies of Christians/Church History, theology, Biblical History, and related studies and a Masters Degree to show for it don't count.

I learned a long time ago to not show up with a knife to a gunfight. But since you brought it up, which history books might one want me to read? The ones put out with the "official" Catholic rendition of history? Most certainly you are not referring to those "evil and apostate" history books assembled by excommunicated Protestants.

So which of my comments are you particularly trying to argue with? Please post back with exactly what is wrong with them. I will be more than happy to answer.

20 posted on 12/01/2011 8:44:06 AM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: BlueMoose

Romney not a “flip-flopper”?

Pro-Choice....err... no, Pro-life

Pro-Government healthcare/mandates...oops... run away from it (though he can’t since he and his advisors helped Obama with Obamacare...)

Path to citizenship for illegals....or... amnesty leads to more people coming here illegally...

He stated that he doesn’t “line up” with the NRA... yet claims to be a MEMBER of the NRA...

He supported the assault weapons ban.... yet claims he does not support any gun control legislation...

Has supported limits on carbon emissions to protect the environment (global warming), yet more recently has railed against Al Gore and the efforts to limit carbon emissions (claiming to cling to conservative growth principles).

Has publicly stated that he doesn’t know what’s causing climate change, but has also clearly stated that he believes humans have contributed to global warming...

Romney said “it’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one man” yet in regards to OBL “he is going to pay, and he will die”.

Romney stated that his healthcare plan in Mass. would reduce healthcare costs, yet he stated a couple of years ago that they didn’t even attempt to address the issue of cost when they established Romneycare...

So -Romney not a flip-flopper? Maybe his inability to be consistently anything BUT a flip-flopper is a product of his chosen religion?

21 posted on 12/01/2011 9:10:10 AM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: Belteshazzar
How can any non-Catholic Christian pretend to be shocked by another religion altering their canon? After all, they're not throwing them out and only then discovering that all you need is their scriptures the way Luther did. If he had had his way, Hebrews, James, Jude, Revelation, and one other book of the NT would be gone as well rather than just some books in the OT. OT books that the Jews hated for containing such clear prophecy of Christ that they were the best books to use to convert Jews to Christianity. Anyone who cares to can find what Luther himself wrote, what doctrines he threw out, which new ones he pulled out of thin air, and exactly why he wanted to throw out Scripture.

Is that Better? Luther was a dolt if not a heretic and I don't see how anyone can be shocked by another religion changing their canon if they're part of any sort of Protestant or Protestant derived religion, including "Independent my own Pope" ones. Sure, Mormons wrote them self a brand new book, but Luther changed the interpretation and canon of existing Scripture so much he may as well have just done the John Smith. Even Calvin wrote a book he claimed should be included in the canon as being equal to anything the Apostles wrote, so far from being a big brave guy, Luther was just a horny drunk who couldn't get his own head around Grace. There, no drive by.

Now, exactly what's the big deal about Mormons doing far less than Luther the dolt did? And I ask that having spent the majority of my life a devout Lutheran. Right up until I found and read as many of his own writings as I could find rather than accepting the BS about him. Anyone who reads all of what Luther and Calvin wrote will either be some flavor of Catholic by the time they're finished, or never believed in anything but their own intellect to begin with.


have a nice day

22 posted on 12/01/2011 9:12:52 AM PST by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: Rashputin

Well, Rash, you chose an apt moniker. I will devote the same amount of thought to your reply to my question as you did ...

23 posted on 12/01/2011 10:57:18 AM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Belteshazzar
Typical and expected evasion.

I repeat, how can any non-Catholic Christian pretend to be shocked by another religion altering their canon?

24 posted on 12/01/2011 12:14:32 PM PST by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: Rashputin

Well, Rash, I’m glad you could read my mind and heart before I even said anything. Impressive. I am somewhat heartened in that you seem to admit the possibility of there being such a thing as a “non-Catholic Christian.” And, finally, I find it telling that you see the parallel between the Mormons “altering THEIR canon” and the Roman Catholic church being offended that someone would be “altering THEIR canon.” This is such a blind spot for Catholics.

While the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants are most certainly the property of the Latter Day Saints, their proprietary canon - and they are welcome to it, for Christians want no part of it! - the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are not YOUR canon. Why? “For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life ... and truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may life in His name ... This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” (John 3:16; 20:31-32; 21:24-25)

I find Rome’s claim of proprietary rights to the Holy Scriptures wholly unpersuasive (and I will limit myself to that single adjective) and John’s testimony wholly persuasive. So, if you want to wax rash again, Rash, go ahead. I find your rashness wholly unpersuasive.

25 posted on 12/01/2011 12:50:00 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Belteshazzar
"Well, Rash, I’m glad you could read my mind and heart before I even said anything. Impressive"

Good, I'm glad to see you respect my gifts.

"I am somewhat heartened in that you seem to admit the possibility of there being such a thing as a “non-Catholic Christian."

I'm glad I can hearten you. Of course there are non-Catholic Christians and just as amazing to some, there are even Catholic Christians as well.

Thanks for the obligatory witness, now you're off the hook and can answer the question I originally asked. I could care less what you think of Rome the same as I could care less what you think about the thousands of different Protestant derived denominations you're not a part of, including the nondenomination denomination. Why are you so surprised that the Mormons would change their canon when you profess to be a Christian who agrees with Luther throwing entire books out of the Bible but at the same time seem happy that he was stopped from throwing out the portions of the New Testament he wanted to?

I do not understand how you can be upset at the Mormons for something you agree with when your forebears do it. Is that so difficult to understand? Are you honestly incapable of answering a direct question simply because you don't like admitting to the reality of what you profess? Come on, all the noise is just that. Why are you shocked by Mormons doing the same thing Luther did? This is no blind spot, bub, it's a simple question about a historical fact. A blind spot would be someone who tried to ignore what was done and you're the one ignoring history, not I.

You had some point in mind when you posted the article about them changing their canon, apparently that they don't talk about it and pretend it's no big deal, I didn't understand why that was upsetting to you and now that you're doing the exact same thing, pretending it didn't happen and is no big deal, I really don't understand your point. And don't bother with the rote BS you think anyone who disagrees with you must need to hear, I know it by heart as well as you do and probably better.

Now, what is so shocking about what you mention in your article, that's all I want to know? Or, was there no point to the article, some point about them doing it quietly or what? Geez, I'm sorry I ever asked you an honest question with a reason for the question embedded in it. I should have known better.

have a wonderful day

26 posted on 12/01/2011 1:12:19 PM PST by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: TheBattman

““Twasn’t Luther that “threw entire books out of the Old Testament...” He did question the canonicity of the Apocrypha (but didn’t remove those books that were actually ADDED by the Roman Church to back up extra-biblical teachings. The Apocryphal books saw opposition throughout history, including within the Catholic church (though church historians haven’t exactly always been honest about it). It wasn’t until the 1880’s that “Protestants” began printing Bibles without the Apocryphal books.”

Show me, when AND where the Roman Catholic Church “added” the books in question. I am referring to Church documents. Be Specific. I was trying to be nice. In spite of the snideness of the comment presented. Please, next time someone makes a gentle suggestion, try to leave the pomposity at home. It isn’t warranted.

27 posted on 12/01/2011 1:22:04 PM PST by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: Belteshazzar

Oh, good. I didn’t get that post either.

28 posted on 12/01/2011 1:33:22 PM PST by svcw (God's Grace - thank you!)
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To: Rashputin

Rashputin wrote:
“Why are you so surprised ... I do not understand how you can be upset at the Mormons ... Why are you shocked by Mormons ... why that was upsetting to you ... what is so shocking about what you mention in your article ...

Well, gee, Rash, it wasn’t my article. It was written by someone else and contained a bit of information I did not previously know. I found it interesting, as one who has paid some attention to mormonism for many years. I thought others would find it interesting as well. I posted it without comment.

So, you don’t see where an assumption or two has been made on your part as to motive on my part?

As I said, you are rash.

The thread was about something within mormonism, you changed the subject to Luther. Let me repeat that for the hard of hearing, YOU CHANGED IT TO LUTHER, which I pointed out, admittedly with a little sarcasm occasioned by the tone of your post.

You remain rash, and yours is the language that is intemperate.

29 posted on 12/01/2011 1:36:05 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: svcw

Yeah, well, what can I say? I don’t get it either.

I guess next time I post an article I’ll try to find something uninteresting. Maybe that will satisfy everyone.

30 posted on 12/01/2011 1:43:22 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Belteshazzar
And you remain unwilling to answer a direct and simple question whether you posted the article or not, you were the one who decided you had to intervene and pretend two groups doing the same thing are different. I'm not rash, I'm observant, on the other hand, some people just like to hop in with their assumptions that someone is being sarcastic when in fact, they are simply making a direct comparison. The comparison between changing some verses here and there and throwing out entire books of the Bible.

Thank you for the response, and thank you for admitting you have no reason whatsoever to be upset about Mormons doing the same thing as Luther.

31 posted on 12/01/2011 1:43:31 PM PST by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: Rashputin

Rashputin wrote:
“And you remain unwilling to answer a direct and simple question whether you posted the article or not.”

Do you read posts before you reply?

32 posted on 12/01/2011 1:46:56 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Belteshazzar
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2011 00:01:01 by Belteshazzar

I'm sorry I thought if you posted and article you had some point in doing so and wanted to discuss the content of the article. I won't make that mistake again.

33 posted on 12/01/2011 1:47:43 PM PST by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: Rashputin

Rashputin wrote:
“I won’t make that mistake again.”

Oh, I think think you will ... and soon.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail.

34 posted on 12/01/2011 1:52:47 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Rembrandt
In 1960, commentators were honest.

That is rich!!


And so were the politicians!!!

35 posted on 12/01/2011 1:54:40 PM PST by Osage Orange (HE HATE ME)
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To: TheBattman

when did the “roman catholic church” add these books?

when did the orthodox church “add” these books”

when did the first 66 book bible appear on the world scene?

36 posted on 12/01/2011 5:55:53 PM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: Rashputin

“...if Luther can throw entire books out of the Old Testament.”

Luther simply accepted the Jewish version of the Old Testament, their own books—as the Jews have recognized them since at least the 1st Century...and likely the very same canon Jesus and the Apostles also recognized.

The Apocrypha, even in Roman Catholic bibles—are not even arranged as within the Old Testament—and never have been. Even the Roman Catholic proper term “Deuterocanonical books” recognizes this fact.

Luther sided with some of the most notable ancient and medieval Roman Catholic scholars that came before him too... The idea that somehow Luther arbitrarily picked and chose to exclude certain books in an innovation—is nothing by an old Roman Catholic lie.

The Jews to this day do not recognize the Apocrypha (St. Jerome’s term for it)—that is Jewish books written after Malachi, before Christ, as inspired. Luther and all Protestants agree. Hardly arbitrary or an innovation.

You probably knew that though, already, however.

37 posted on 12/01/2011 9:10:04 PM PST by AnalogReigns (because REALITY is never digital...)
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To: sayuncledave

There is no room here for an exhaustive history of the Apocryphal (Deuterocanonical to Catholics) books, but I will give an overview here.

The books referred to as the “Apocrypha” (14 or 15 books, depending on if you go by an earlier version or later - the earlier editions included the “Letter of Jeremiah” as the last part of Baruch) were never part of the Hebrew canon, but first appeared in the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament). At some point after the Hebrew canon had closed, some point to the Selucid and Ptolemaic kingdoms that followed Alexander the Great as the origin - with a process of translating the Jewish scriptures in to Greek for the large Jewish population at Alexandria (around 250 BC). The Law of Moses was completed in fairly short order. While the Septuagint was first translated centuries before Christ, these books were not completely added to the Septuagint until the 4th Century. No manuscripts earlier than the 4th Century contain the Apocrypha. The Apostles quoted from the first-century Septuagint, but there are zero quotes form the Apocrypha in their writings.

From early in Christian history, there was debate regarding the “true” canon - even among the today’s mutually accepted books (Homologoumena).

Jerome (4th Century Catholic church father) stated in his preface to the books of Solomon that these books were not received as canonical Scriptures, but endorsed reading them for edification of the people, but not as authoritative confirmation of doctrine.

Other early Catholic leaders including Origin, Ambrose, Amphilochus, Gregory Nanzianzus, Julius Africanus, Jerome, Athanasius (Bishop of Alexandria), and Cyril of Jerusalem - all of which denied the inspiration and canonicity of these books.

In 170 A.D., Melito - bishop of Sardis wrote of the books of the Old Testament - and did not include the so-called Deuterocanonical books.

Athanasius wrote of the canon, including the 65 books of what we call the Protestant Bible (Esther was later accepted), and he also mentioned a few of the apocryphal books (Wisdom of Solomn, Wisdom of Sirach, Judith, and Tobit) but also stated that they were “not indeed included in the Canon” - they were “appointed by the Fathers to be read .... for instruction in the word of godliness” (Paschal Letter 39).

The Jews in Israel of the first century (not that they are the best model of Godliness...) rejected the Apocrypha.

At the Council of Ephesus (225 A.D.), the number of books in the Bible canon were accepted as 66. The Council of Rome (382 A.D.) and the Council of Hippo (393 A.D.) were the two assemblies that began to “recognized” the apocryphal books as canon, primarily under the influence of Augustine. Ironically, Augustine recognized that the ancient Jews rejected these books - but his primary argument for accepting them was the mention of “extreme and wonderful suffering of certain martyrs”. Also, the Septuagint of the 4th Century, as mentioned above, then included these books.

It was not until 1546 A.D. at the Council of Trent that the Catholic Church officially deemed the apocryphal books as scripture - interestingly less than half a century after Luther posted his protests (”Theses), many of which were practices in the church that were completely based on the spurious books of the Apocrypha. Oddly - even a handful of the apocryphal books that were rejected, were then added to existing unquestioned books - including “Susanna” which became chapter 13 of Daniel, “Bel and the Dragon” which became Daniel 14.

As far as the history of the Bible from the Reformation forward -

Luther prefaced the Apocrypha: “Apocrypha — that is, books which are not regarded as equal to the holy Scriptures, and yet are profitable and good to read.”

While the King James translators never considered the Apocrypha to be the word of God, it was included as an appendix between the Old and New Testament as reference material.

The Apocrypha began to be omitted from the Authorized Version in 1629. Puritans and Presbyterians lobbied for the complete removal of the Apocrypha from the Bible and in 1825 the British and Foreign Bible Society agreed. From that time on, the Apocrypha has been eliminated from practically all English Bibles outside of Catholic and some pulpit Bibles.

Differences in “Catholic” acceptance of Apocrypha-

Roman Catholicism recognizes 1 and 2 Maccabees, Baruch, Daniel additions, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Esther additions, Judith, Letter of Jeremiah in Baruch, Tobit, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus).

Slavonic Orthodox Catholics: Same as the Catholic Apocrypha plus 2 Esdras, 3 Esdras, and 3 Maccabees, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151.

Greek Orthodox: Same as Slavonic Orthodox Apocrypha plus 4 Maccabees in the appendix.

Coptic Christians: 1, 2, 3 Maccabees, Baruch, Daniel additions, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Esther additions, Judith, Letter of Jeremiah, Psalm 151, Tobit, Wisdom of Solomon. However, under Cyril V (1874-1927), The Coptic church later rejected these books as part of the Bible.

Even the evidence within these books in question brings a great deal of doubt to their authenticity as scripture. While this has already been a fairly long post, I will sum up these internal evidences in two main points - extensive historical errors and doctrines that directly conflict with the rest of universally accepted (among Christians) scriptures.

There is far more, but it is well past time for me to get to bed for some sleep. Long day planned at the office tomorrow.

38 posted on 12/01/2011 9:29:39 PM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism
when did the first 66 book bible appear on the world scene?

All were present and accepted by at least SOME Christians in the 1st Century (before the Apocryphal books even appeared in the Septuagint).

As far as your other two questions - se my above long post.

39 posted on 12/01/2011 9:33:10 PM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: AnalogReigns
"You probably knew that though, already, however."

Better still, I know when and why the Jews tossed the same books. When those books were the ones most successfully used by the Apostles and others to lead Jews to Christ.

But you knew that, right?

40 posted on 12/01/2011 9:46:42 PM PST by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: TheBattman

In the interests of time, accuracy, and factual presentation sans my opinions, I offer a few tidbits. All of them relate.

First, courtesy of fisheaters:
The Canon of Scripture

Protestants, Catholics, and most Orthodox agree now 1 that the New Testament should consist at least of the 27 Books (Matthew through Revelation/Apocalypse) that the Catholic Church determined were canonical, but the Protestant Old Testament is lacking 7 entire books 2 (Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus/Sirach, Baruch, I Maccabees, and II Maccabees), 3 chapters of Daniel and 6 chapters of Esther, leaving them with 66 incomplete books while Catholic Bibles have 73 books. How did this come to be?


The canon of the Old Testament that Catholics use is based on the text used by Alexandrian Jews, a version known as the “Septuagint” (also called “LXX” or “The Seventy”) and which came into being around 280 B.C. as a translation of then existing texts from Hebrew into Greek by 72 Jewish scribes (the Torah was translated first, around 300 B.C., and the rest of Tanach was translated afterward).

It was a standard Jewish version of the Old Testament, used by the writers of the New Testament, as is evidenced by the fact that Old Testament references found in the New Testament refer to the Septuagint over other versions of the Old Testament. Let me reiterate: the then 300+ year old Septuagint version of Scripture was good enough for Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, etc., which is evident in their referencing it over 300 times (out of 350 Old Testament references!) in their New Testament writings — and the Septuagint includes 7 books and parts of Esther and Daniel that were removed from Protestant Bibles some 1,500 years after the birth of Christ.

The Septuagint is the Old Testament referred to in the Didache or “Doctrine of the Apostles” (first century Christian writings) and by Origen, Irenaeus of Lyons, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Cyprian of Carthage, Justin Martyr, St. Augustine and the vast majority of early Christians who referenced Scripture in their writings. The Epistle of Pope Clement, written in the first century, refers to the Books Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom, analyzed the book of Judith, and quotes sections of the book of Esther that were removed from Protestant Bibles.

Bottom line: the Septuagint was the version of the Old Testament accepted by the very earliest Christians (and, yes, those 7 “extra” books were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls which date between 168 B.C. and A.D. 68, and which by the way, support both the Septuagint and the 6th - 10th c. A.D. Masoretic texts in various ways, but supporting the Septuagint on average. 3 ).

The deuterocanonical books were, though, debated in the early Church, and some Fathers accorded them higher status than others (hence the Catholic term for them: “deuterocanonical,” or what St. Cyril of Jerusalem called “secondary rank,” as opposed to the other books which are called “protocanonical”). But all the Fathers believed as did St. Athanasius, who, in one of his many Easter letters, names the 22 Books all Christians accept and then describes the deuterocanonicals as “appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of godliness.” Church Councils listed and affirmed the present Catholic canon, which was only formally closed at the Council of Trent in the 16th century.

So what happened?

In the 16th c., Luther, reacting to serious abuses and clerical corruption in the Latin Church, to his own heretical theological vision (see articles on sola scriptura and sola fide), and, frankly, to his own inner demons, removed those books from the canon that lent support to orthodox doctrine, relegating them to an appendix. Removed in this way were books that supported such things as prayers for the dead (Tobit 12:12; 2 Maccabees 12:39-45), Purgatory (Wisdom 3:1-7), intercession of dead saints (2 Maccabees 15:14), and intercession of angels as intermediaries (Tobit 12:12-15). Ultimately, the “Reformers” decided to ignore the canon determined by the Christian Councils of Hippo and Carthage (and reaffirmed and closed at the Council of Trent4), and resort solely to those texts determined to be canonical at the Council of Jamnia.

The Council of Jamnia?

Now we have to back up a bit: around A.D. 90-100, after the Temple fell, a rabbinical school was formed by Johanan ben Zakkai. The “Council of Jamnia” (also called “Jabneh” or “Javneh”) is the name given to the decisions made by this pharisaic school. I repeat: the gathering at Jamnia was a Jewish, not a Christian, “council” consisting of Pharisees some 40 years after the Resurrection of our Lord. At that time, Jews were being scattered, and the very existence of Jewry per the Pharisees’ vision of “Jewry” was being threatened. At this time, too, Christianity was growing and threatening that same Jewish identity, resulting in severe persecution of Christians by Jews. In reaction to these things and to the fact that “Nazarenes” (i.e., “Christians”, who at that time were overwhelmingly Hebrew) used the Septuagint to proselytize other Jews, Zakkai convened the Jamnian school with the goals of safeguarding Hillel’s Oral Law, deciding the Jewish canon (which had theretofore been, and possibly even afterward remained 5, an open canon!), and preventing the disappearance of Jewry into the Diaspora of the Christian and Roman worlds. So, circling their wagons, they threw out the Septuagint that they had endorsed for almost 400 years. Note that at the time of Christ, most Jews spoke Aramaic, Latin (the official language of the area), and/or Greek (the lingua franca at that time), not Hebrew, which was a sacred language used by priests for the Hebrew liturgy. In any case, a new Greek translation was created by Aquila — but one without the ancient Septuagint’s language that proved more difficult for the Jews to defend against when being evangelized by the Christians, the point being that any idea that a book “had” to have been written in Hebrew to be “Biblical” wasn’t the issue.

Moving the story along: in other words, the Protestant “Reformers” decided against the canon held dear by the Apostles in favor of a canon determined by Pharisees some 40 years after Jesus rose from the dead — the same Pharisees who denied the Truths of the entire New Testament, even accusing the “Nazarenes” of stealing Jesus’ body from the tomb and lying to the world! (Interestingly, it was Zakkai’s successor, Gamaliel, who forced the “Nazarenes” out of the synagogues. Gamaliel also made it obligatory for Jews to pray the “Prayer of Eighteen Petitions,” the 12th petition, which is still prayed today, known as the birkat, being “For apostates may there be no hope, and may the Nazarenes and heretics suddenly perish.”)

And do you know why the Book of Maccabees was thrown out by the Jewish Council? Because the Council was conducted under the auspices of the Flavian Roman Emperors and they decided that that particuar book, which tells of the Maccabean Revolt, might be inflammatory and incite rebellion by the Jews. So, all those Protestant Bibles are lacking the Book of Maccabees, which speaks clearly of praying for the dead, because a pagan emperor pressured the Pharisees, around 40 years after the Resurrection of Christ, to exclude it. And lest anyone is still tempted to think that it was the “Roman Church” that came up with these books and that they were not written by pre-Christ Jews (an assertion I’ve actually read at “Messianic” websites), Jews in other parts of the world who didn’t get news of the Council of Jamnia’s decisions still use those “extra” 7 books to this very day (research the canon used by Ethiopian Jewry).


Me, I will trust the version of the Old Testament that was loved by Peter and Paul.

But there is a bigger lesson in all this confusion over not only the canon but proper translation of the canon (see footnotes), especially considering that even within the Catholic Church there have been differing opinions by individual theologians about the proper place of the deuterocanonicals (not that an individual theologian’s opinions count for Magisterial teaching!). The lesson, though, is this: relying on the “Bible alone” is a bad idea; we are not to rely solely on Sacred Scripture to understand Christ’s message. While Scripture is “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it is not sufficient for reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. It is the Church that is the “pillar and ground of Truth” (1 Timothy 3:15)! Jesus did not come to write a book; He came to redeem us, and He founded a Sacramental Church through His apostles to show us the way. It is to them, to the Church Fathers, to the Sacred Deposit of Faith, to the living Church that is guided by the Holy Spirit, and to Scripture that we must prayerfully look.

Check here for a look at the Catholic canon.

1 Luther wanted to remove the Epistle of James, Esther, Hebrews, Jude and Revelation. Calvin and Zwingli also both had problems with the Book of Revelation, the former calling it “unintelligible” and forbidding the pastors in Geneva to interpret it, the latter calling it “unbiblical”. The Syrian (Nestorian) Church has only 22 books in the New Testament while the Ethiopian Church has 8 “extra.” The first edition of the King James Version of the Bible included the “Apocryphal” (ie, Deuterocanonical) Books.

2 The 7 books removed from Protestant Bibles are known by Catholics as the “Deuterocanonical Books” (as opposed to the “Protocanonical Books” that are not in dispute), and by Protestants as the “Apocrypha.”

3 By the way, “Masoretic texts” refers to translations of the Old Testament made by rabbis between the 6th and 10th centuries; the phrase doesn’t refer to ancient texts in the Hebrew language. I mention this because, apparently, some people think that the Masoretic texts are the “original texts” and that, simply because they are in Hebrew, they are superior.

In any case, the Latin Church in no way ignored the post-Temple rabbincal texts. Some Old Testament translations of the canon used by the Latin Church were also based in part on rabbinical translations, for example St. Jerome’s 5th c. Latin translation of the Bible called the Vulgate.

Some Protestants claim that the “Apocrypha” (i.e., the Deuterocanonical Books) are not quoted in the New Testament so, therefore, they are not canonical. First, this isn’t true; see Relevant Scripture below. Second, going by that standard of proof, we’d have to throw out Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Obadiah, Nahum, and Zephaniah because none of these Old Testament Books are quoted in the New Testament.

4 Many non-Catholic Christians like to accuse Catholics of “adding” Books to the Bible at the 16th c. Council of Trent. This is absolutely, 100% false. This Council, among other things, simply affirmed the ancient accepted books in the face of Protestant tinkering. How could Luther have relegated the deuterocanonical books to an appendix if they hadn’t already been accepted in the first place? The Gutenberg Bible was printed in 1454 — and it included the deuterocanonical Books. How could the Church have “added” them at the Council of Trent that began 91 years later? I defy any Protestant to find a Bible in existence before 1525 that looked like a modern Protestant Bible! Most Protestant Bibles included the deuterocanonical Books until about 1815, when the British and Foreign Bible Society discontinued the practice! And note that Jews in other parts of the world who weren’t around to hear the Council of Jamnia’s decision in A.D. 100 include to this day those “extra” 7 books in their canon. Do some research on the canon used by Ethiopian Jewry.

5 There is debate as to whether the Council of Jamnia actually “closed” the Jewish canon because debate continued among Jews for hundreds of years afterward as to which books should be included or excluded. Even into the 3rd century A.D., controversy surrounded Ezekiel, Proverbs, Ruth, Esther, and others.

Scripture mentioned in the above article

Tobit 12:15
I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One. [see Revelation 1:4 and 8:3-4 below]

2 Maccabees 7:29
[A mother speaking to her son:] Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God’s mercy I may get you back again with your brothers. [see Hebrews 11:35 below]

2 Maccabees 12:44
For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. [see 1 Corinthians 15:29 below]

2 Maccabees 15:14
And Onias spoke, saying, “This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city, Jeremiah [bodily dead], the prophet of God.”

1 Corinthians 15:29
Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? [see 2 Maccabees 12:44 above]

Hebrews 11:35
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. [see 2 Maccabees 7:29 above]

Revelation 1:4
...Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne. [see Tobit 12:15 above]

Revelation 8:3-4
And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. [see Tobit 12:15 above]

That is from fisheaters..

Then, from New Advent’s Catholic Encyclopedia:

Canon of the Old Testament


The word canon as applied to the Scriptures has long had a special and consecrated meaning. In its fullest comprehension it signifies the authoritative list or closed number of the writings composed under Divine inspiration, and destined for the well-being of the Church, using the latter word in the wide sense of the theocratic society which began with God’s revelation of Himself to the people of Israel, and which finds its ripe development and completion in the Catholic organism. The whole Biblical Canon therefore consists of the canons of the Old and New Testaments. The Greek kanon means primarily a reed, or measuring-rod: by a natural figure it was employed by ancient writers both profane and religious to denote a rule or standard. We find the substantive first applied to the Sacred Scriptures in the fourth century, by St. Athanasius; for its derivatives, the Council of Laodicea of the same period speaks of the kanonika biblia and Athanasius of the biblia kanonizomena. The latter phrase proves that the passive sense of canon — that of a regulated and defined collection — was already in use, and this has remained the prevailing connotation of the word in ecclesiastical literature.

The terms protocanonical and deuterocanonical, of frequent usage among Catholic theologians and exegetes, require a word of caution. They are not felicitous, and it would be wrong to infer from them that the Church successively possessed two distinct Biblical Canons. Only in a partial and restricted way may we speak of a first and second Canon. Protocanonical (protos, “first”) is a conventional word denoting those sacred writings which have been always received by Christendom without dispute. The protocanonical books of the Old Testament correspond with those of the Bible of the Hebrews, and the Old Testament as received by Protestants. The deuterocanonical (deuteros, “second”) are those whose Scriptural character was contested in some quarters, but which long ago gained a secure footing in the Bible of the Catholic Church, though those of the Old Testament are classed by Protestants as the “Apocrypha”. These consist of seven books: Tobias, Judith, Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, First and Second Machabees; also certain additions to Esther and Daniel.

It should be noted that protocanonical and deuterocanonical are modern terms, not having been used before the sixteenth century. As they are of cumbersome length, the latter (being frequently used in this article) will be often found in the abbreviated form deutero.

The scope of an article on the sacred Canon may now be seen to be properly limited regarding the process of

what may be ascertained regarding the process of the collection of the sacred writings into bodies or groups which from their very inception were the objects of a greater or less degree of veneration;
the circumstances and manner in which these collections were definitely canonized, or adjudged to have a uniquely Divine and authoritative quality;
the vicissitudes which certain compositions underwent in the opinions of individuals and localities before their Scriptural character was universally established.
It is thus seen that canonicity is a correlative of inspiration, being the extrinsic dignity belonging to writings which have been officially declared as of sacred origin and authority. It is antecedently very probable that according as a book was written early or late it entered into a sacred collection and attained a canonical standing. Hence the views of traditionalist and critic (not implying that the traditionalist may not also be critical) on the Canon parallel, and are largely influenced by, their respective hypotheses on the origin of its component members.
The canon among the Palestinian Jews (protocanonical books)

It has already been intimated that there is a smaller, or incomplete, and larger, or complete, Old Testament. Both of these were handed down by the Jews; the former by the Palestinian, the latter by the Alexandrian, Hellenist, Jews.

The Jewish Bible of today is composed of three divisions, whose titles combined form the current Hebrew name for the complete Scriptures of Judaism: Hat-Torah, Nebiim, wa-Kéthubim, i.e. The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. This triplication is ancient; it is supposed as long-established in the Mishnah, the Jewish code of unwritten sacred laws reduced to writing, c. A.D. 200. A grouping closely akin to it occurs in the New Testament in Christ’s own words, Luke 24:44: “All things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me”. Going back to the prologue of Ecclesiasticus, prefixed to it about 132 B.C., we find mentioned “the Law, and the Prophets, and others that have followed them”. The Torah, or Law, consists of the five Mosaic books, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. The Prophets were subdivided by the Jews into the Former Prophets [i.e. the prophetico-historical books: Josue, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel (I and II Kings), and 1 and 2 Kings (III and IV Kings)] and the Latter Prophets (Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and the twelve minor Prophets, counted by the Hebrews as one book). The Writings, more generally known by a title borrowed from the Greek Fathers, Hagiographa (holy writings), embrace all the remaining books of the Hebrew Bible. Named in the order in which they stand in the current Hebrew text, these are: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticle of Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Esdras, Nehemias, or II Esdras, Paralipomenon.

Traditional view of the canon of the Palestinian Jews


In opposition to scholars of more recent views, conservatives do not admit that the Prophets and the Hagiographa represent two successive stages in the formation of the Palestinian Canon. According to this older school, the principle which dictated the separation between the Prophets and the Hagiographa was not of a chronological kind, but one found in the very nature of the respective sacred compositions. That literature was grouped under the Ké-thubim, or Hagiographa, which neither was the direct product of the prophetical order, namely, that comprised in the Latter Prophets, nor contained the history of Israel as interpreted by the same prophetic teachers—narratives classed as the Former Prophets. The Book of Daniel was relegated to the Hagiographa as a work of the prophetic gift indeed, but not of the permanent prophetic office. These same conservative students of the Canon—now scarcely represented outside the Church—maintain, for the reception of the documents composing these groups into the sacred literature of the Israelites, dates which are in general much earlier than those admitted by critics. They place the practical, if not formal, completion of the Palestinian Canon in the era of Esdras (Ezra) and Nehemias, about the middle of the fifth century B.C., while true to their adhesion to a Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, they insist that the canonization of the five books followed soon after their composition.

Since the traditionalists infer the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch from other sources, they can rely for proof of an early collection of these books chiefly on Deuteronomy 31:9-13, 24-26, where there is question of a books of the law, delivered by Moses to the priests with the command to keep it in the ark and read it to the people on the feast of Tabernacles. But the effort to identify this book with the entire Pentateuch is not convincing to the opponents of Mosaic authorship.

The Remainder of the Palestinian-Jewish Canon
Without being positive on the subject, the advocates of the older views regard it as highly probable that several additions were made to the sacred repertory between the canonization of the Mosaic Torah above described and the Exile (598 B.C.). They cite especially Isaiah 34:16; 2 Chronicles 29:30; Proverbs 25:1; Daniel 9:2. For the period following the Babylonian Exile the conservative argument takes a more confident tone. This was an era of construction, a turning-point in the history of Israel. The completion of the Jewish Canon, by the addition of the Prophets and Hagiographa as bodies to the Law, is attributed by conservatives to Esdras, the priest-scribe and religious leader of the period, abetted by Nehemias, the civil governor; or at least to a school of scribes founded by the former. (Cf. Nehemiah 8-10; 2 Maccabees 2:13, in the Greek original.) Far more arresting in favour of an Esdrine formulation of the Hebrew Bible is a the much discussed passage from Josephus, “Contra Apionem”, I, viii, in which the Jewish historian, writing about A.D. 100, registers his conviction and that of his coreligionists—a conviction presumably based on tradition—that the Scriptures of the Palestinian Hebrews formed a closed and sacred collection from the days of the Persian king, Artaxerxes Longiamanus (465-425 B.C.), a contemporary of Esdras. Josephus is the earliest writer who numbers the books of the Jewish Bible. In its present arrangement this contains 40; Josephus arrived at 22 artificially, in order to match the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, by means of collocations and combinations borrowed in part from the Septuagint. The conservative exegetes find a confirmatory argument in a statement of the apocryphal Fourth Book of Esdras (xiv, 18-47), under whose legendary envelope they see an historical truth, and a further one in a reference in the Baba Bathra tract of the Babylonian Talmud to hagiographic activity on the part of “the men of the Great Synagogue”, and Esdras and Nehemias.

But the Catholic Scripturists who admit an Esdrine Canon are far from allowing that Esdras and his colleagues intended to so close up the sacred library as to bar any possible future accessions. The Spirit of God might and did breathe into later writings, and the presence of the deuterocanonical books in the Church’s Canon at once forestalls and answers those Protestant theologians of a preceding generation who claimed that Esdras was a Divine agent for an inviolable fixing and sealing of the Old Testament. To this extent at least, Catholic writers on the subject dissent from the drift of the Josephus testimony. And while there is what may be called a consensus of Catholic exegetes of the conservative type on an Esdrine or quasi-Esdrine formulation of the canon so far as the existing material permitted it, this agreement is not absolute; Kaulen and Danko, favouring a later completion, are the notable exceptions among the above-mentioned scholars.

Critical views of the formation of the Palestinian Canon

Its three constituent bodies, the Law, Prophets, and Hagiographa, represent a growth and correspond to three periods more or less extended. The reason for the isolation of the Hagiographa from the Prophets was therefore mainly chronological. The only division marked off clearly by intrinsic features is the legal element of the Old Testament, viz., the Pentateuch.

The Torah, or Law

Until the reign of King Josias, and the epoch-making discovery of “the book of the law” in the Temple (621 B.C.), say the critical exegetes, there was in Israel no written code of laws or other work, universally acknowledged as of supreme and Divine authority. This “book of the law” was practically identical with Deuteronomy, and its recognition or canonization consisted in the solemn pact entered into by Josias and the people of Juda, described in 2 Kings 23. That a written sacred Torah was previously unknown among the Israelites, is demonstrated by the negative evidence of the earlier prophets, by the absence of any such factor from the religious reform undertaken by Ezechias (Hezekiah), while it was the mainspring of that carried out by Josias, and lastly by the plain surprise and consternation of the latter ruler at the finding of such a work. This argument, in fact, is the pivot of the current system of Pentateuchal criticism, and will be developed more at length in the article on the Pentateuch, as also the thesis attacking the Mosaic authorship and promulgation of the latter as a whole. The actual publication of the entire Mosaic code, according to the dominant hypothesis, did not occur until the days of Esdras, and is narrated in chapters viii-x of the second book bearing that name. In this connection must be mentioned the argument from the Samaritan Pentateuch to establish that the Esdrine Canon took in nothing beyond the Hexateuch, i.e. the Pentateuch plus Josue. (See PENTATEUCH; SAMARITANS.)

The Nebiim, or Prophets

There is no direct light upon the time or manner in which the second stratum of the Hebrew Canon was finished. The creation of the above-mentioned Samaritan Canon (c. 432 B.C.) may furnish a terminus a quo; perhaps a better one is the date of the expiration of prophecy about the close of the fifth century before Christ. For the other terminus the lowest possible date is that of the prologue to Ecclesiasticus (c. 132 B.C.), which speaks of “the Law”, and the Prophets, and the others that have followed them”. But compare Ecclesiasticus itself, chapters 46-49, for an earlier one.

The Kéthubim, or Hagiographa Completes of the Jewish Canon

Critical opinion as to date ranged from c. 165 B.C. to the middle of the second century of our era (Wildeboer). The Catholic scholars Jahn, Movers, Nickes, Danko, Haneberg, Aicher, without sharing all the views of the advanced exegetes, regard the Hebrew Hagiographa as not definitely settled till after Christ. It is an incontestable fact that the sacredness of certain parts of the Palestinian Bible (Esther, Ecclesiastes, Canticle of Canticles) was disputed by some rabbis as late as the second century of the Christian Era (Mishna, Yadaim, III, 5; Babylonian Talmud, Megilla, fol. 7). However differing as to dates, the critics are assured that the distinction between the Hagiographa and the Prophetic Canon was one essentially chronological. It was because the Prophets already formed a sealed collection that Ruth, Lamentations, and Daniel, though naturally belonging to it, could not gain entrance, but had to take their place with the last-formed division, the Kéthubim.

The protocanonical books and the New Testament

The absence of any citations from Esther, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles may be reasonably explained by their unsuitability for New Testament purposes, and is further discounted by the non-citation of the two books of Esdras. Abdias, Nahum, and Sophonias, while not directly honoured, are included in the quotations from the other minor Prophets by virtue of the traditional unity of that collection. On the other hand, such frequent terms as “the Scripture”, the “Scriptures”, “the holy Scriptures”, applied in the New Testament to the other sacred writings, would lead us to believe that the latter already formed a definite fixed collection; but, on the other, the reference in St. Luke to “the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms”, while demonstrating the fixity of the Torah and the Prophets as sacred groups, does not warrant us in ascribing the same fixity to the third division, the Palestinian-Jewish Hagiographa. If, as seems certain, the exact content of the broader catalogue of the Old Testament Scriptures (that comprising the deutero books) cannot be established from the New Testament, a fortiori there is no reason to expect that it should reflect the precise extension of the narrower and Judaistic Canon. We are sure, of course, that all the Hagiographa were eventually, before the death of the last Apostle, divinely committed to the Church as Holy Scripture, but we known this as a truth of faith, and by theological deduction, not from documentary evidence in the New Testament. The latter fact has a bearing against the Protestant claim that Jesus approved and transmitted en bloc an already defined Bible of the Palestinian Synagogue.

Authors and standards of canonicity among the Jews

Though the Old Testament reveals no formal notion of inspiration, the later Jews at least must have possessed the idea (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). There is an instance of a Talmudic doctor distinguishing between a composition “given by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit” and one supposed to be the product of merely human wisdom. But as to our distinct concept of canonicity, it is a modern idea, and even the Talmud gives no evidence of it. To characterize a book which held no acknowledged place in the divine library, the rabbis spoke of it as “defiling the hands”, a curious technical expression due probably to the desire to prevent any profane touching of the sacred roll. But though the formal idea of canonicity was wanting among the Jews the fact existed. Regarding the sources of canonicity among the Hebrew ancients, we are left to surmise an analogy. There are both psychological and historical reasons against the supposition that the Old Testament canon grew spontaneously by a kind of instinctive public recognition of inspired books. True, it is quite reasonable to assume that the prophetic office in Israel carried its own credentials, which in a large measure extended to its written compositions. But there were many pseudo-prophets in the nation, and so some authority was necessary to draw the line between the true and the false prophetical writings. And an ultimate tribunal was also needed to set its seal upon the miscellaneous and in some cases mystifying literature embraced in the Hagiographa. Jewish tradition, as illustrated by the already cited Josephus, Baba Bathra, and pseudo-Esdras data, points to authority as the final arbiter of what was Scriptural and what not. The so-called Council of Jamnia (c. A.D. 90) has reasonably been taken as having terminated the disputes between rival rabbinic schools concerning the canonicity of Canticles. So while the intuitive sense and increasingly reverent consciousness of the faithful element of Israel could, and presumably did, give a general impulse and direction to authority, we must conclude that it was the word of official authority which actually fixed the limits of the Hebrew Canon, and here, broadly speaking, the advanced and conservative exegetes meet on common ground. However the case may have been for the Prophets, the preponderance of evidence favours a late period as that in which the Hagiographa were closed, a period when the general body of Scribes dominated Judaism, sitting “in the chair of Moses”, and alone having the authority and prestige for such action. The term general body of Scribes has been used advisedly; contemporary scholars gravely suspect, when they do not entirely reject, the “Great Synagogue” of rabbinic tradition, and the matter lay outside the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrim.

As a touchstone by which uncanonical and canonical works were discriminated, an important influence was that of the Pentateuchal Law. This was always the Canon par excellence of the Israelites. To the Jews of the Middle Ages the Torah was the inner sanctuary, or Holy of Holies, while the Prophets were the Holy Place, and the Kéthubim only the outer court of the Biblical temple, and this medieval conception finds ample basis in the pre-eminence allowed to the Law by the rabbis of the Talmudic age. Indeed, from Esdras downwards the Law, as the oldest portion of the Canon, and the formal expression of God’s commands, received the highest reverence. The Cabbalists of the second century after Christ, and later schools, regarded the other section of the Old Testament as merely the expansion and interpretation of the Pentateuch. We may be sure, then, that the chief test of canonicity, at least for the Hagiographa, was conformity with the Canon par excellence, the Pentateuch. It is evident, in addition, that no book was admitted which had not been composed in Hebrew, and did not possess the antiquity and prestige of a classic age, or name at least. These criteria are negative and exclusive rather than directive. The impulse of religious feeling or liturgical usage must have been the prevailing positive factors in the decision. But the negative tests were in part arbitrary, and an intuitive sense cannot give the assurance of Divine certification. Only later was the infallible voice to come, and then it was to declare that the Canon of the Synagogue, though unadulterated indeed, was incomplete.

The canon among the Alexandrian Jews (deuterocanonical books)

The most striking difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles is the presence in the former of a number of writings which are wanting in the latter and also in the Hebrew Bible, which became the Old Testament of Protestantism. These number seven books: Tobias (Tobit), Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, I and II Machabees, and three documents added to protocanonical books, viz., the supplement to Esther, from x, 4, to the end, the Canticle of the Three Youths (Song of the Three Children) in Daniel, iii, and the stories of Susanna and the Elders and Bel and the Dragon, forming the closing chapters of the Catholic version of that book. Of these works, Tobias and Judith were written originally in Aramaic, perhaps in Hebrew; Baruch and I Machabees in Hebrew, while Wisdom and II Machabees were certainly composed in Greek. The probabilities favour Hebrew as the original language of the addition to Esther, and Greek for the enlargements of Daniel.

The ancient Greek Old Testament known as the Septuagint was the vehicle which conveyed these additional Scriptures into the Catholic Church. The Septuagint version was the Bible of the Greek-speaking, or Hellenist, Jews, whose intellectual and literary centre was Alexandria (see SEPTUAGINT). The oldest extant copies date from the fourth and fifth centuries of our era, and were therefore made by Christian hands; nevertheless scholars generally admit that these faithfully represent the Old Testament as it was current among the Hellenist or Alexandrian Jews in the age immediately preceding Christ. These venerable manuscripts of the Septuagint vary somewhat in their content outside the Palestinian Canon, showing that in Alexandrian-Jewish circles the number of admissible extra books was not sharply determined either by tradition or by authority. However, aside from the absence of Machabees from the Codex Vaticanus (the very oldest copy of the Greek Old Testament), all the entire manuscripts contain all the deutero writings; where the manuscript Septuagints differ from one another, with the exception noted, it is in a certain excess above the deuterocanonical books. It is a significant fact that in all these Alexandrian Bibles the traditional Hebrew order is broken up by the interspersion of the additional literature among the other books, outside the law, thus asserting for the extra writings a substantial equality of rank and privilege.
It is pertinent to ask the motives which impelled the Hellenist Jews to thus, virtually at least, canonize this considerable section of literature, some of it very recent, and depart so radically from the Palestinian tradition. Some would have it that not the Alexandrian, but the Palestinian, Jews departed from the Biblical tradition. The Catholic writers Nickes, Movers, Danko, and more recently Kaulen and Mullen, have advocated the view that originally the Palestinian Canon must have included all the deuterocanonicals, and so stood down to the time of the Apostles (Kaulen, c. 100 B.C.), when, moved by the fact that the Septuagint had become the Old Testament of the Church, it was put under ban by the Jerusalem Scribes, who were actuated moreover (thus especially Kaulen) by hostility to the Hellenistic largeness of spirit and Greek composition of our deuterocanonical books. These exegetes place much reliance on St. Justin Martyr’s statement that the Jews had mutilated Holy Writ, a statement that rests on no positive evidence. They adduce the fact that certain deutero books were quoted with veneration, and even in a few cases as Scriptures, by Palestinian or Babylonian doctors; but the private utterances of a few rabbis cannot outweigh the consistent Hebrew tradition of the canon, attested by Josephus—although he himself was inclined to Hellenism—and even by the Alexandrian-Jewish author of IV Esdras. We are therefore forced to admit that the leaders of Alexandrian Judaism showed a notable independence of Jerusalem tradition and authority in permitting the sacred boundaries of the Canon, which certainly had been fixed for the Prophets, to be broken by the insertion of an enlarged Daniel and the Epistle of Baruch. On the assumption that the limits of the Palestinian Hagiographa remained undefined until a relatively late date, there was less bold innovation in the addition of the other books, but the wiping out of the lines of the triple division reveals that the Hellenists were ready to extend the Hebrew Canon, if not establish a new official one of their own.

On their human side these innovations are to be accounted for by the free spirit of the Hellenist Jews. Under the influence of Greek thought they had conceived a broader view of Divine inspiration than that of their Palestinian brethren, and refused to restrict the literary manifestations of the Holy Ghost to a certain terminus of time and the Hebrew form of language. The Book of Wisdom, emphatically Hellenist in character, presents to us Divine wisdom as flowing on from generation to generation and making holy souls and prophets (7:27, in the Greek). Philo, a typical Alexandrian-Jewish thinker, has even an exaggerated notion of the diffusion of inspiration (Quis rerum divinarum hæres, 52; ed. Lips., iii, 57; De migratione Abrahæ, 11,299; ed. Lips. ii, 334). But even Philo, while indicating acquaintance with the deutero literature, nowhere cites it in his voluminous writings. True, he does not employ several books of the Hebrew Canon; but there is a natural presumption that if he had regarded the additional works as being quite on the same plane as the others, he would not have failed to quote so stimulating and congenial a production as the Book of Wisdom. Moreover, as has been pointed out by several authorities, the independent spirit of the Hellenists could not have gone so far as to setup a different official Canon from that of Jerusalem, without having left historical traces of such a rupture. So, from the available data we may justly infer that, while the deuterocanonicals were admitted as sacred by the Alexandrian Jews, they possessed a lower degree of sanctity and authority than the longer accepted books, i.e., the Palestinian Hagiographa and the Prophets, themselves inferior to the Law.

The canon of the Old Testament in the Catholic Church

The most explicit definition of the Catholic Canon is that given by the Council of Trent, Session IV, 1546. For the Old Testament its catalogue reads as follows:

The five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), Josue, Judges, Ruth, the four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, the first and second of Esdras (which latter is called Nehemias), Tobias, Judith, Esther, Job, the Davidic Psalter (in number one hundred and fifty Psalms), Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias, with Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, the twelve minor Prophets (Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggeus, Zacharias, Malachias), two books of Machabees, the first and second.

The order of books copies that of the Council of Florence, 1442, and in its general plan is that of the Septuagint. The divergence of titles from those found in the Protestant versions is due to the fact that the official Latin Vulgate retained the forms of the Septuagint.

The Old Testament canon (including the deuteros) in the New Testament

The Tridentine decrees from which the above list is extracted was the first infallible and effectually promulgated pronouncement on the Canon, addressed to the Church Universal. Being dogmatic in its purport, it implies that the Apostles bequeathed the same Canon to the Church, as a part of the depositum fidei. But this was not done by way of any formal decision; we should search the pages of the New Testament in vain for any trace of such action. The larger Canon of the Old Testament passed through the Apostles’ hands to the church tacitly, by way of their usage and whole attitude toward its components; an attitude which, for most of the sacred writings of the Old Testament, reveals itself in the New, and for the rest, must have exhibited itself in oral utterances, or at least in tacit approval of the special reverence of the faithful. Reasoning backward from the status in which we find the deutero books in the earliest ages of post-Apostolic Christianity, we rightly affirm that such a status points of Apostolic sanction, which in turn must have rested on revelation either by Christ or the Holy Spirit. For the deuterocanonicals at least, we needs must have recourse to this legitimate prescriptive argument, owing to the complexity and inadequacy of the New Testament data.

All the books of the Hebrew Old Testament are cited in the New except those which have been aptly called the Antilegomena of the Old Testament, viz., Esther, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles; moreover Esdras and Nehemias are not employed. The admitted absence of any explicit citation of the deutero writings does not therefore prove that they were regarded as inferior to the above-mentioned works in the eyes of New Testament personages and authors. The deutero literature was in general unsuited to their purposes, and some consideration should be given to the fact that even at its Alexandrian home it was not quoted by Jewish writers, as we saw in the case of Philo. The negative argument drawn from the non-citation of the deuterocanonicals in the New Testament is especially minimized by the indirect use made of them by the same Testament. This takes the form of allusions and reminiscences, and shows unquestionably that the Apostles and Evangelists were acquainted with the Alexandrian increment, regarded its books as at least respectable sources, and wrote more or less under its influence. A comparison of Hebrews, xi and II Machabees, vi and vii reveals unmistakable references in the former to the heroism of the martyrs glorified in the latter. There are close affinities of thought, and in some cases also of language, between 1 Peter 1:6-7, and Wisdom 3:5-6; Hebrews 1:3, and Wisdom 7:26-27; 1 Corinthians 10:9-10, and Judith 8:24-25; 1 Corinthians 6:13, and Ecclesiasticus 36:20.

Yet the force of the direct and indirect employment of Old Testament writings by the New is slightly impaired by the disconcerting truth that at least one of the New Testament authors, St. Jude, quotes explicitly from the “Book of Henoch”, long universally recognized as apocryphal, see verse 14, while in verse 9 he borrows from another apocryphal narrative, the “Assumption of Moses”. The New Testament quotations from the Old are in general characterized by a freedom and elasticity regarding manner and source which further ten to diminish their weight as proofs of canonicity. But so far as concerns the great majority of the Palestinian Hagiographa—a fortiori, the Pentateuch and Prophets—whatever want of conclusiveness there may be in the New Testament, evidence of their canonical standing is abundantly supplemented from Jewish sources alone, in the series of witnesses beginning with the Mishnah and running back through Josephus and Philo to the translation of the above books for the Hellenist Greeks. But for the deuterocanonical literature, only the last testimony speaks as a Jewish confirmation. However, there are signs that the Greek version was not deemed by its readers as a closed Bible of definite sacredness in all its parts, but that its somewhat variable contents shaded off in the eyes of the Hellenists from the eminently sacred Law down to works of questionable divinity, such as III Machabees.
This factor should be considered in weighing a certain argument. A large number of Catholic authorities see a canonization of the deuteros in a supposed wholesale adoption and approval, by the Apostles, of the Greek, and therefore larger, Old Testament. The argument is not without a certain force; the New Testament undoubtedly shows a preference for the Septuagint; out of the 350 texts from the Old Testament, 300 favour the language of the Greek version rather than that of the Hebrew. But there are considerations which bid us hesitate to admit an Apostolic adoption of the Septuagint en bloc. As remarked above, there are cogent reasons for believing that it was not a fixed quantity at the time. The existing oldest representative manuscripts are not entirely identical in the books they contain. Moreover, it should be remembered that at the beginning of our era, and for some time later, complete sets of any such voluminous collection as the Septuagint in manuscript would be extremely rare; the version must have been current in separate books or groups of books, a condition favourable to a certain variability of compass. So neither a fluctuating Septuagint nor an inexplicit New Testament conveys to us the exact extension of the pre-Christian Bible transmitted by the Apostles to the Primitive Church. It is more tenable to conclude to a selective process under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and a process completed so late in Apostolic times that the New Testament fails to reflect its mature result regarding either the number or note of sanctity of the extra-Palestinian books admitted. To historically learn the Apostolic Canon of the Old Testament we must interrogate less sacred but later documents, expressing more explicitly the belief of the first ages of Christianity.

The canon of the Old Testament in the Church of the first three centuries

The sub-Apostolic writings of Clement, Polycarp, the author of the Epistle of Barnabas, of the pseudo-Clementine homilies, and the “Shepherd” of Hermas, contain implicit quotations from or allusions to all the deuterocanonicals except Baruch (which anciently was often united with Jeremias) and I Machabees and the additions to David. No unfavourable argument can be drawn from the loose, implicit character of these citations, since these Apostolic Fathers quote the protocanonical Scriptures in precisely the same manner.
Coming down to the next age, that of the apologists, we find Baruch cited by Athenagoras as a prophet. St. Justin Martyr is the first to note that the Church has a set of Old Testament Scriptures different from the Jews’, and also the earliest to intimate the principle proclaimed by later writers, namely, the self-sufficiency of the Church in establishing the Canon; its independence of the Synagogue in this respect. The full realization of this truth came slowly, at least in the Orient, where there are indications that in certain quarters the spell of Palestinian-Jewish tradition was not fully cast off for some time. St. Melito, Bishop of Sardis (c. 170), first drew up a list of the canonical books of the Old Testament. While maintaining the familiar arrangement of the Septuagint, he says that he verified his catalogue by inquiry among Jews; Jewry by that time had everywhere discarded the Alexandrian books, and Melito’s Canon consists exclusively of the protocanonicals minus Esther. It should be noticed, however, that the document to which this catalogue was prefixed is capable of being understood as having an anti-Jewish polemical purpose, in which case Melito’s restricted canon is explicable on another ground. St. Irenæus, always a witness of the first rank, on account of his broad acquaintance with ecclesiastical tradition, vouches that Baruch was deemed on the same footing as Jeremias, and that the narratives of Susanna and Bel and the Dragon were ascribed to Daniel. The Alexandrian tradition is represented by the weighty authority of Origen. Influenced, doubtless, by the Alexandrian-Jewish usage of acknowledging in practice the extra writings as sacred while theoretically holding to the narrower Canon of Palestine, his catalogue of the Old Testament Scriptures contains only the protocanonical books, though it follows the order of the Septuagint. Nevertheless Origen employs all the deuterocanonicals as Divine Scriptures, and in his letter of Julius Africanus defends the sacredness of Tobias, Judith, and the fragments of Daniel, at the same time implicitly asserting the autonomy of the Church in fixing the Canon (see references in Cornely). In his Hexaplar edition of the Old Testament all the deuteros find a place. The sixth-century Biblical manuscript known as the “Codex Claromontanus” contains a catalogue to which both Harnack and Zahn assign an Alexandrian origin, about contemporary with Origen. At any rate it dates from the period under examination and comprises all the deuterocanonical books, with IV Machabees besides. St. Hippolytus (d. 236) may fairly be considered as representing the primitive Roman tradition. He comments on the Susanna chapter, often quotes Wisdom as the work of Solomon, and employs as Sacred Scripture Baruch and the Machabees. For the West African Church the larger canon has two strong witnesses in Tertullian and St. Cyprian. All the deuteros except Tobias, Judith, and the addition to Esther, are biblically used in the works of these Fathers. (With regard to the employment of apocryphal writings in this age see under APOCRYPHA.)

The canon of the Old Testament during the fourth, and first half of the fifth, century

In this period the position of the deuterocanonical literature is no longer as secure as in the primitive age. The doubts which arose should be attributed largely to a reaction against the apocryphal or pseudo-Biblical writings with which the East especially had been flooded by heretical and other writers. Negatively, the situation became possible through the absence of any Apostolic or ecclesiastical definition of the Canon. The definite and inalterable determination of the sacred sources, like that of all Catholic doctrines, was in the Divine economy left to gradually work itself out under the stimulus of questions and opposition. Alexandria, with its elastic Scriptures, had from the beginning been a congenial field for apocryphal literature, and St. Athanasius, the vigilant pastor of that flock, to protect it against the pernicious influence, drew up a catalogue of books with the values to be attached to each. First, the strict canon and authoritative source of truth is the Jewish Old Testament, Esther excepted. Besides, there are certain books which the Fathers had appointed to be read to catechumens for edification and instruction; these are the Wisdom of Solomon, the Wisdom of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Esther, Judith, Tobias, the Didache, or Doctrine of the Apostles, the Shepherd of Hermas. All others are apocrypha and the inventions of heretics (Festal Epistle for 367). Following the precedent of Origen and the Alexandrian tradition, the saintly doctor recognized no other formal canon of the Old Testament than the Hebrew one; but also, faithful to the same tradition, he practically admitted the deutero books to a Scriptural dignity, as is evident from his general usage. At Jerusalem there was a renascence, perhaps a survival, of Jewish ideas, the tendency there being distinctly unfavourable to the deuteros. St. Cyril of that see, while vindicating for the Church the right to fix the Canon, places them among the apocrypha and forbids all books to be read privately which are not read in the churches. In Antioch and Syria the attitude was more favourable. St. Epiphanius shows hesitation about the rank of the deuteros; he esteemed them, but they had not the same place as the Hebrew books in his regard. The historian Eusebius attests the widespread doubts in his time; he classes them as antilegomena, or disputed writings, and, like Athanasius, places them in a class intermediate between the books received by all and the apocrypha. The 59th (or 60th) canon of the provincial Council of Laodicea (the authenticity of which however is contested) gives a catalogue of the Scriptures entirely in accord with the ideas of St. Cyril of Jerusalem. On the other hand, the Oriental versions and Greek manuscripts of the period are more liberal; the extant ones have all the deuterocanonicals and, in some cases, certain apocrypha.
The influence of Origen’s and Athanasius’s restricted canon naturally spread to the West. St. Hilary of Poitiers and Rufinus followed their footsteps, excluding the deuteros from canonical rank in theory, but admitting them in practice. The latter styles them “ecclesiastical” books, but in authority unequal to the other Scriptures. St. Jerome cast his weighty suffrage on the side unfavourable to the disputed books. In appreciating his attitude we must remember that Jerome lived long in Palestine, in an environment where everything outside the Jewish Canon was suspect, and that, moreover, he had an excessive veneration for the Hebrew text, the Hebraica veritas as he called it. In his famous “Prologus Galeatus”, or Preface to his translation of Samuel and Kings, he declares that everything not Hebrew should be classed with the apocrypha, and explicitly says that Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Tobias, and Judith are not on the Canon. These books, he adds, are read in the churches for the edification of the people, and not for the confirmation of revealed doctrine. An analysis of Jerome’s expressions on the deuterocanonicals, in various letters and prefaces, yields the following results: first, he strongly doubted their inspiration; secondly, the fact that he occasionally quotes them, and translated some of them as a concession to ecclesiastical tradition, is an involuntary testimony on his part to the high standing these writings enjoyed in the Church at large, and to the strength of the practical tradition which prescribed their readings in public worship. Obviously, the inferior rank to which the deuteros were relegated by authorities like Origen, Athanasius, and Jerome, was due to too rigid a conception of canonicity, one demanding that a book, to be entitled to this supreme dignity, must be received by all, must have the sanction of Jewish antiquity, and must moreover be adapted not only to edification, but also to the “confirmation of the doctrine of the Church”, to borrow Jerome’s phrase.

But while eminent scholars and theorists were thus depreciating the additional writings, the official attitude of the Latin Church, always favourable to them, kept the majestic tenor of its way. Two documents of capital importance in the history of the canon constitute the first formal utterance of papal authority on the subject. The first is the so-called “Decretal of Gelasius”, de recipiendis et non recipiendis libris, the essential part of which is now generally attributed to a synod convoked by Pope Damasus in the year 382. The other is the Canon of Innocent I, sent in 405 to a Gallican bishop in answer to an inquiry. Both contain all the deuterocanonicals, without any distinction, and are identical with the catalogue of Trent. The African Church, always a staunch supporter of the contested books, found itself in entire accord with Rome on this question. Its ancient version, the Vetus Latina (less correctly the Itala), had admitted all the Old Testament Scriptures. St. Augustine seems to theoretically recognize degrees of inspiration; in practice he employs protos and deuteros without any discrimination whatsoever. Moreover in his “De Doctrinâ Christianâ” he enumerates the components of the complete Old Testament. The Synod of Hippo (393) and the three of Carthage (393, 397, and 419), in which, doubtless, Augustine was the leading spirit, found it necessary to deal explicitly with the question of the Canon, and drew up identical lists from which no sacred books are excluded. These councils base their canon on tradition and liturgical usage. For the Spanish Church valuable testimony is found in the work of the heretic Priscillian, “Liber de Fide et Apocryphis”; it supposes a sharp line existing between canonical and uncanonical works, and that the Canon takes in all the deuteros.

The canon of the Old Testament from the middle of the fifth to the close of the seventh century

This period exhibits a curious exchange of opinions between the West and the East, while ecclesiastical usage remained unchanged, at least in the Latin Church. During this intermediate age the use of St. Jerome’s new version of the Old Testament (the Vulgate) became widespread in the Occident. With its text went Jerome’s prefaces disparaging the deuterocanonicals, and under the influence of his authority the West began to distrust these and to show the first symptoms of a current hostile to their canonicity. On the other hand, the Oriental Church imported a Western authority which had canonized the disputed books, viz., the decree of Carthage, and from this time there is an increasing tendency among the Greeks to place the deuteros on the same level with the others—a tendency, however, due more to forgetfulness of the old distinction than to deference to the Council of Carthage.

The canon of the Old Testament during the Middle Ages

The Greek Church

The result of this tendency among the Greeks was that about the beginning of the twelfth century they possessed a canon identical with that of the Latins, except that it took in the apocryphal III Machabees. That all the deuteros were liturgically recognized in the Greek Church at the era of the schism in the ninth century, is indicated by the “Syntagma Canonum” of Photius.

The Latin Church

In the Latin Church, all through the Middle Ages we find evidence of hesitation about the character of the deuterocanonicals. There is a current friendly to them, another one distinctly unfavourable to their authority and sacredness, while wavering between the two are a number of writers whose veneration for these books is tempered by some perplexity as to their exact standing, and among those we note St. Thomas Aquinas. Few are found to unequivocally acknowledge their canonicity. The prevailing attitude of Western medieval authors is substantially that of the Greek Fathers. The chief cause of this phenomenon in the West is to be sought in the influence, direct and indirect, of St. Jerome’s depreciating Prologus. The compilatory “Glossa Ordinaria” was widely read and highly esteemed as a treasury of sacred learning during the Middle Ages; it embodied the prefaces in which the Doctor of Bethlehem had written in terms derogatory to the deuteros, and thus perpetuated and diffused his unfriendly opinion. And yet these doubts must be regarded as more or less academic. The countless manuscript copies of the Vulgate produced by these ages, with a slight, probably accidental, exception, uniformly embrace the complete Old Testament Ecclesiastical usage and Roman tradition held firmly to the canonical equality of all parts of the Old Testament. There is no lack of evidence that during this long period the deuteros were read in the churches of Western Christendom. As to Roman authority, the catalogue of Innocent I appears in the collection of ecclesiastical canons sent by Pope Adrian I to Charlemagne, and adopted in 802 as the law of the Church in the Frankish Empire; Nicholas I, writing in 865 to the bishops of France, appeals to the same decree of Innocent as the ground on which all the sacred books are to be received.

The canon of the Old Testament and the general councils

The Council of Florence (1442)

In 1442, during the life, and with the approval, of this Council, Eugenius IV issued several Bulls, or decrees, with a view to restore the Oriental schismatic bodies to communion with Rome, and according to the common teaching of theologians these documents are infallible statements of doctrine. The “Decretum pro Jacobitis” contains a complete list of the books received by the Church as inspired, but omits, perhaps advisedly, the terms canon and canonical. The Council of Florence therefore taught the inspiration of all the Scriptures, but did not formally pass on their canonicity.

The Council of Trent’s definition of the canon (1546)

It was the exigencies of controversy that first led Luther to draw a sharp line between the books of the Hebrew Canon and the Alexandrian writings. In his disputation with Eck at Leipzig, in 1519, when his opponent urged the well-known text from II Machabees in proof of the doctrine of purgatory, Luther replied that the passage had no binding authority since the books was outside the Canon. In the first edition of Luther’s Bible, 1534, the deuteros were relegated, as apocrypha, to a separate place between the two Testaments. To meet this radical departure of the Protestants, and as well define clearly the inspired sources from which the Catholic Faith draws its defence, the Council of Trent among its first acts solemnly declared as “sacred and canonical” all the books of the Old and New Testaments “with all their parts as they have been used to be read in the churches, and as found in the ancient vulgate edition”. During the deliberations of the Council there never was any real question as to the reception of all the traditional Scripture. Neither—and this is remarkable—in the proceedings is there manifest any serious doubt of the canonicity of the disputed writings. In the mind of the Tridentine Fathers they had been virtually canonized, by the same decree of Florence, and the same Fathers felt especially bound by the action of the preceding ecumenical synod. The Council of Trent did not enter into an examination of the fluctuations in the history of the Canon. Neither did it trouble itself about questions of authorship or character of contents. True to the practical genius of the Latin Church, it based its decision on immemorial tradition as manifested in the decrees of previous councils and popes, and liturgical reading, relying on traditional teaching and usage to determine a question of tradition. The Tridentine catalogue has been given above.

The Vatican Council (1870)

The great constructive Synod of Trent had put the sacredness and canonicity of the whole traditional Bible forever beyond the permissibility of doubt on the part of Catholics. By implication it had defined that Bible’s plenary inspiration also. The Vatican Council took occasion of a recent error on inspiration to remove any lingering shadow of uncertainty on this head; it formally ratified the action of Trent and explicitly defined the Divine inspiration of all the books with their parts.

The canon of the Old Testament outside the Church

Among the Eastern Orthodox

The Greek Orthodox Church preserved its ancient Canon in practice as well as theory until recent times, when, under the dominant influence of its Russian offshoot, it is shifting its attitude towards the deuterocanonical Scriptures. The rejection of these books by the Russian theologians and authorities is a lapse which began early in the eighteenth century. The Monophysites, Nestorians, Jacobites, Armenians, and Copts, while concerning themselves little with the Canon, admit the complete catalogue and several apocrypha besides.

Among Protestants

The Protestant Churches have continued to exclude the deutero writings from their canons, classifying them as “Apocrypha”. Presbyterians and Calvinists in general, especially since the Westminster Synod of 1648, have been the most uncompromising enemies of any recognition, and owing to their influence the British and Foreign Bible Society decided in 1826 to refuse to distribute Bibles containing the Apocrypha. Since that time the publication of the deuterocanonicals as an appendix to Protestant Bibles has almost entirely ceased in English-speaking countries. The books still supply lessons for the liturgy of the Church of England, but the number has been lessened by the hostile agitation. There is an Apocrypha appendix to the British Revised Version, in a separate volume. The deuteros are still appended to the German Bibles printed under the auspices of the orthodox Lutherans.

That’s from newadvent.

Finally, from ScriptureCatholic, a list of Septuagint quotes in the New Testament:


Of the approximately 300 Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, approximately 2/3 of them came from the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) which included the deuterocanonical books that the Protestants later removed. This is additional evidence that Jesus and the apostles viewed the deuterocanonical books as part of canon of the Old Testament. Here are some examples:

Matt. 1:23 / Isaiah 7:14 - behold, a “virgin” shall conceive. Hebrew - behold, a “young woman” shall conceive.

Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; John 1:23 / Isaiah 40:3 - make “His paths straight.” Hebrew - make “level in the desert a highway.”

Matt. 9:13; 12:7 / Hosea 6:6 - I desire “mercy” and not sacrifice. Hebrew - I desire “goodness” and not sacrifice.

Matt. 12:21 / Isaiah 42:4 - in His name will the Gentiles hope (or trust). Hebrew - the isles shall wait for his law.

Matt. 13:15 / Isaiah 6:10 - heart grown dull; eyes have closed; to heal. Hebrew - heart is fat; ears are heavy; eyes are shut; be healed.

Matt. 15:9; Mark 7:7 / Isaiah 29:13 - teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. Hebrew - a commandment of men (not doctrines).

Matt. 21:16 / Psalm 8:2 - out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has “perfect praise.” Hebrew - thou has “established strength.”

Mark 7:6-8 – Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13 from the Septuagint – “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”

Luke 3:5-6 / Isaiah 40:4-5 - crooked be made straight, rough ways smooth, shall see salvation. Hebrew - omits these phrases.

Luke 4:18 / Isaiah 61:1 - and recovering of sight to the blind. Hebrew - the opening of prison to them that are bound.

Luke 4:18 / Isaiah 58:6 - to set at liberty those that are oppressed (or bruised). Hebrew - to let the oppressed go free.

John 6:31 / Psalm 78:24 - He gave them “bread” out of heaven to eat. Hebrew - gave them “food” or “grain” from heaven.

John 12:38 / Isaiah 53:1 - who has believed our “report?” Hebrew - who has believed our “message?”

John 12:40 / Isaiah 6:10 - lest they should see with eyes...turn for me to heal them. Hebrew - shut their eyes...and be healed.

Acts 2:19 / Joel 2:30 - blood and fire and “vapor” of smoke. Hebrew - blood and fire and “pillars” or “columns” of smoke.

Acts 2:25-26 / Psalm 16:8 - I saw...tongue rejoiced...dwell in hope.. Hebrew - I have set...glory rejoiced...dwell in safety.

Acts 4:26 / Psalm 2:1 - the rulers “were gathered together.” Hebrew - rulers “take counsel together.”

Acts 7:14 / Gen. 46:27; Deut. 10:22 - Stephen says “seventy-five” souls went down to Egypt. Hebrew - “seventy” people went.

Acts 7:27-28 / Exodus 2:14 - uses “ruler” and judge; killed the Egyptian “yesterday.” Hebrew - uses “prince” and there is no reference to “yesterday.”

Acts 7:43 / Amos 5:26-27 - the tent of “Moloch” and star of god of Rephan. Hebrew - “your king,” shrine, and star of your god.

Acts 8:33 / Isaiah 53:7-8 - in his humiliation justice was denied him. Hebrew - by oppression...he was taken away.

Acts 13:41 / Habakkuk 1:5 - you “scoffers” and wonder and “perish.” Hebrew - you “among the nations,” and “be astounded.”

Acts 15:17 / Amos 9:12 - the rest (or remnant) of “men.” Hebrew - the remnant of “Edom.”

Rom. 2:24 / Isaiah 52:5 - the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles. Hebrew - blasphemed (there is no mention of the Gentiles).

Rom. 3:4 / Psalm 51:4 - thou mayest “prevail” (or overcome) when thou art judged. Hebrew - thou might “be clear” when thou judges.

Rom. 3:12 / Psalm 14:1,3 - they “have gone wrong.” Hebrew - they are “corrupt” or “filthy.”

Rom. 3:13 / Psalm 5:9 - they use their tongues to deceive. Hebrew - they flatter with their tongues. There is no “deceit” language.

Rom. 3:13 / Psalm 140:3 - the venom of “asps” is under their lips. Hebrew - “Adder’s” poison is under their lips.

Rom. 3:14 / Psalm 10:7 - whose mouth is full of curses and “bitterness.” Hebrew - cursing and “deceit and oppression.”

Rom. 9:17 / Exodus 9:16 - my power “in you”; my name may be “proclaimed.” Hebrew - show “thee”; may name might be “declared.”

Rom. 9:25 / Hosea 2:23 - I will call my people; I will call my beloved. Hebrew - I will have mercy (love versus mercy).

Rom. 9:27 / Isaiah 10:22 - only a remnant of them “will be saved.” Hebrew - only a remnant of them “will return.”

Rom. 9:29 / Isaiah 1:9 - had not left us “children.” Hebrew - Jehova had left us a “very small remnant.”

Rom. 9:33; 10:11; 1 Peter 2:6 / Isaiah 28:16 - he who believes will not be “put to shame.” Hebrew - shall not be “in haste.”

Rom. 10:18 / Psalm 19:4 - their “voice” has gone out. Hebrew - their “line” is gone out.

Rom. 10:20 / Isaiah 65:1 - I have “shown myself” to those who did not ask for me. Hebrew - I am “inquired of” by them.

Rom. 10:21 / Isaiah 65:2 - a “disobedient and contrary” people. Hebrew - a “rebellious” people.

Rom. 11:9-10 / Psalm 69:22-23 - “pitfall” and “retribution” and “bend their backs.” Hebrew - “trap” and “make their loins shake.”

Rom. 11:26 / Isaiah 59:20 - will banish “ungodliness.” Hebrew - turn from “transgression.”

Rom. 11:27 / Isaiah 27:9 - when I take away their sins. Hebrew - this is all the fruit of taking away his sin.

Rom. 11:34; 1 Cor. 2:16 / Isaiah 40:13 -the “mind” of the Lord; His “counselor.” Hebrew - “spirit” of the Lord; “taught” Him.

Rom. 12:20 / Prov. 25:21 - feed him and give him to drink. Hebrew - give him “bread” to eat and “water” to drink.

Rom. 15:12 / Isaiah 11:10 - the root of Jesse...”to rule the Gentiles.” Hebrew - stands for an ensign. There is nothing about the Gentiles.

Rom. 15:21 / Isaiah 52:15 - been told “of him”; heard “of him.” Hebrew - does not mention “him” (the object of the prophecy).

1 Cor. 1:19 / Isaiah 29:14 - “I will destroy” the wisdom of the wise. Hebrew - wisdom of their wise men “shall perish.”

1 Cor. 5:13 / Deut. 17:7 - remove the “wicked person.” Hebrew - purge the “evil.” This is more generic evil in the MT.

1 Cor. 15:55 / Hosea 13:14 - O death, where is thy “sting?” Hebrew - O death, where are your “plagues?”

2 Cor. 4:13 / Psalm 116:10 - I believed and so I spoke (past tense). Hebrew - I believe, for I will speak (future tense).

2 Cor. 6:2 / Isaiah 49:8 - I have “listened” to you. Hebrew - I have “answered” you.

Gal. 3:10 / Deut. 27:26 - cursed be every one who does not “abide” by all things. Hebrew - does not “confirm” the words.

Gal. 3:13 / Deut. 21:23 - cursed is everyone who hangs on a “tree.” Hebrew - a hanged man is accursed. The word “tree” does not follow.

Gal. 4:27 / Isaiah 54:1 - “rejoice” and “break forth and shout.” Hebrew - “sing” and “break forth into singing.”

2 Tim. 2:19 / Num. 16:5 - The Lord “knows” those who are His. Hebrew - God will “show” who are His.

Heb. 1:6 / Deut. 32:43 - let all the angels of God worship Him. Hebrew - the Masoretic text omits this phrase from Deut. 32:43.

Heb. 1:12 / Psalm 102:25 - like a “mantle” ... “roll them”... “will be changed.” Hebrew - “raiment”... “change”...”pass away.”

Heb. 2:7 / Psalm 8:5 - thou has made Him a little “lower than angels.” Hebrew - made Him but a little “lower than God.”

Heb. 2:12 / Psalm 22:22 - I will “ sing” thy praise. Hebrew - I will praise thee. The LXX and most NTs (but not the RSV) have “sing.”

Heb. 2:13 / Isaiah 8:17 - I will “put my trust in Him.” Hebrew - I will “look for Him.”

Heb. 3:15 / Psalm 95:8 - do not harden your hearts as “in the rebellion.” Hebrew - harden not your hearts “as at Meribah.”

Heb. 3:15; 4:7 / Psalm 95:7 - when you hear His voice do not harden not your hearts. Hebrew - oh that you would hear His voice!

Heb. 8:9-10 / Jer. 31:32-33 - (nothing about husband); laws into their mind. Hebrew - I was a husband; law in their inward parts.

Heb. 9:28 / Isaiah 10:22 - “to save those” who are eagerly awaiting for Him. Hebrew - a remnant of them “shall return.”

Heb. 10:5 / Psalm 40:6 - “but a body hast thou prepared for me.” Hebrew - “mine ears hast thou opened.”

Heb. 10:38 / Hab. 2:3-4 - if he shrinks (or draws) back, my soul shall have no pleasure. Hebrew - his soul is puffed up, not upright.

Heb. 11:5 / Gen. 5:24 - Enoch was not “found.” Hebrew - Enoch was “not.”

Heb. 11:21 / Gen. 47:31 - Israel, bowing “over the head of his staff.” Hebrew - there is nothing about bowing over the head of his staff.

Heb. 12:6 / Prov. 3:12 - He chastises every son whom He receives. Hebrew - even as a father the son in whom he delights.

Heb. 13:6 / Psalm 118:6 - the Lord “is my helper.” Hebrew - Jehova “is on my side.” The LXX and the NT are identical.

James 4:6 / Prov. 3:34 - God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Hebrew - He scoffs at scoffers and gives grace to the lowly.

1 Peter 1:24 / Isaiah 40:6 - all its “glory” like the flower. Hebrew - all the “goodliness” as the flower.

1 Pet. 2:9 / Exodus 19:6 - you are a “royal priesthood.” Hebrew - you shall be to me a “kingdom of priests.”

1 Pet. 2:9 / Isaiah 43:21 - God’s own people...who called you out of darkness. Heb. - which I formed myself. These are different actions.

1 Pet. 2:22 / Isaiah 53:9 - he “committed no sin.” Hebrew - he “had done no violence.”

1 Pet. 4:18 / Prov. 11:31 - if a righteous man “is scarcely saved.” Hebrew - if the righteous “is recompensed.”

1 Pet. 5:5 / Prov. 3:34 - God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Hebrew - He scoffs at scoffers and gives grace to lowly.

Isaiah 11:2 - this verse describes the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the seventh gift, “piety,” is only found in the Septuagint.

Two final things: this isn’t comprehensive, but is meant to show that there is more to this than was exposed within your writing. Secondarily, this is not my scholarship, nor is it to my credit, only my eternal gratitude to the Holy Spirit for calling me to Him. I am an unworthy sinner who wishes merely to love and serve Him in this world, and to do so in the next. The Catholic Church did not add, as I believe one may see by these writings. I pray that they, and the day, find you well.

41 posted on 12/02/2011 2:44:20 AM PST by sayuncledave (et Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh))
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To: TheBattman

i have never heard there was a “council of ephesus” in 225ad that listed a 66 book Bible.

in trying to research on the internet, i am finding nothing on this.

i’d appreciate it if you could provide some link to how i can learn more about this, who was there, what else did they decide, etc.


42 posted on 12/02/2011 2:50:55 PM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: Biggirl

“Did not the Lord warn against adding or subtracting from His word? Would this apply to the Mormons adding on?”

The Catholics have extra books in their Bible. By the way, there is a similar statement in Deuteronomy about adding or subtracting. If that were heeded as you apparently think it should have been, we would not have the New Testament today.

King James
You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

43 posted on 12/05/2011 5:27:03 PM PST by Saundra Duffy ( For victory & freedom!!!)
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