Thursday, June 28, 2012

Defending the Deuterocanon, Book by Book (Part II)

On Tuesday, we explored why we Catholics have Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, and a longer version of Esther in our Bibles. Today, we'll discuss why we have the other Deuterocanonical books: Sirach, Baruch, 1st and 2nd Maccabees, and the longer version of Daniel.

V. Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)

The Book was Probably Referenced by Jesus Christ: Sirach 27:6 says that “The fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so the expression of a thought discloses the cultivation of a man's mind.”  Christ seems to be quoting (or at least alluding) to this passage in Matthew 7:16-20:
Tomb of Swedish King Gustav I (d. 1560).  The inscription is from Sirach 7:40:
In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Other parts of the New Testament follow this pattern - for instance, James 1:19 seems to quote Sirach 5:11.


The Book was Declared Scripture by the Third Ecumenical Council: The First Council of Ephesus, the Third Ecumenical Council, declared:
Forasmuch as the divinely inspired Scripture says, “Do all things with advice”...
The Council is quoting Sirach 32:19.  As the Protestant historian Philip Schaff notes, this is significant, since it shows that “The deutero-canonical book of Ecclesiasticus is here by an Ecumenical Council styled ‘divinely-inspired Scripture.’” Why does this matter?  Because a number of Protestant bodies claim to accept the early Ecumenical Councils, even while denying what those Councils declared on this, and many other issues.  For example, the Lutheran World Federation, in a joint statement with the Eastern Orthodox, called the first Seven Ecumenical Councils “normative for the faith and life of our churches today” and “authoritative for our churches.

The Book was Accepted by the Early Church: The Didache is a first century Christian document summarizing the faith, and the practices of the Church, for new Christians.  It goes back to virtually the beginning of the faith: in fact, it may well be older than parts of the New Testament.  In it, it says, “Do not be one who holds his hand out to take, but shuts it when it comes to giving.” That's almost a direct quotation of Sirach 4:31, “Let not your hand be extended to receive, but withdrawn when it is time to repay.

But whatever ambiguity may exist as to whether the Didache is quoting Sirach, there's no question about the use of Sirach as Scripture in a number of other early Church writings.  For example, in St. Clement's Paedagogus, written c. 189-200 A.D., we hear:
For the Father takes great care of man, and gives to him alone His own art. The Scripture therefore says, “Water, and fire, and iron, and milk, and fine flour of wheat, and honey, the blood of the grape, and oil, and clothing,—all these things are for the good of the godly.”
That Scriptural quotation is from Sirach 39:26-27.

The Babylonian Talmud

The Book was Accepted by the Early Jews: Michael Barber has described, one of the most fascinating discoveries in regards to this Book is that despite being rejected by modern Jews, Sirach is quoted as Scripture by the Jewish Talmud.  As you may know, the Jewish canon of Scripture is divided in three parts: the Law (Torah), the Prophets (Nevi'im) and the Writings (Ketubim or Hagiographa).  According to Folio 92b of Tractate Baba Kamma, the Book of Sirach belongs in this third category of Scripture, along with Books like Psalms, Proverbs, and Ezra.  Here's the relevant passage:
This matter was written in the Pentateuch, repeated in the Prophets, mentioned a third time in the Hagiographa, and also learnt in a Mishnah and taught in a Baraitha: It is stated in the Pentateuch as written, So Esau went unto Ishmael [Genesis 28:9]; repeated in the prophets, as written, And there gathered themselves to Jephthah idle men and they went out with him [Judges 11:3]mentioned a third time in the Hagiographa, as written: Every fowl dwells near its kind and man near his equal...  [Sirach 13:5]
Without a doubt, this is the Talmud quoting Sirach 13:5 (or Ecclesiasticusas Scripture.  Rabbi Dr. Ezekiel Isidore Epstein, responsible for the English translation of the Talmud, concedes as much in a footnote.

VI. Baruch

Statue of Baruch, Servite Church (Vienna)
The Book Seems to Have Been Treated as Canonical in the New Testament: In at least one instance in the New Testament (Heb. 8:9-10), the inspired author cites to the Greek version of Jeremiah.  That's important because Baruch, including the Epistle of Jeremiah (Baruch 6), was included as part of the Book of Jeremiah in the Greek version.


The Book was Accepted by the Early Church: St. Irenaeus (whose feast day is today) wrote Against Heresies in 180 A.D.  In it, he includes a lengthy passage from Baruch 4-5, ascribing it to “Jeremiah the prophet.”  Likewise, in his Scorpiace, which probably dates to about 204 A.D, Tertullian, quotes Baruch 6:3, as the words of Jeremiah, saying:
For they remembered also the words of Jeremias writing to those over whom that captivity was impending: “And now ye shall see borne upon (men’s) shoulders the gods of the Babylonians, of gold and silver and wood, causing fear to the Gentiles. Beware, therefore, that ye also do not be altogether like the foreigners, and be seized with fear while ye behold crowds worshipping those gods before and behind, but say in your mind, Our duty is to worship Thee, O Lord
By the way, due to his Festal Letter of 367 A.D., Protestants sometimes point to St. Athanasius as the “Father of the canon” – that is, as the source of their canon of Scripture.  But Athanasius' canon (in addition to excluding Esther completely) also explicitly included as one Book, “Jeremiah with Baruch, Lamentations, and the epistle.”  St. Cyril of Jerusalem does the same.  That is, this was not some oversight, or corrupted Scripture, but a conscious decision to treat Jeremiah, Baruch, and Lamentations as canonical.

VII. Longer Version of Daniel

Statue of Daniel (19th c.)
The Book Appears to have been Accepted by Jesus Christ:  Jesus' reference to Daniel 9:27 in Matthew 24:15 appears to have been to the (longer) Greek version of Daniel.  There are two reasons to believe this.  First, because the wording is different between the Greek and Hebrew versions, and second, because Jesus refers to him as “Daniel the prophet.” Why does that matter?  Because the Greek version of the Old Testament numbered Daniel among the Prophets (Nevi'im), while the Hebrew version numbered the Book among the Writings (Ketubim).

The Book was Accepted by the Early Church: In addition to numerous references to the Greek version of the Book of Daniel, which, as I mentioned, includes these longer sections, there are a few references to passages that exist only in the Greek version.

For example, St. Irenaeus instructs his readers to “obey the presbyters who are in the Church,—those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles” and deriding as schismatics or heretics those “who depart from the primitive succession.”  He then warns that bad presbyters “shall hear those words, to be found in Daniel the prophet: ‘O thou seed of Canaan, and not of Judah, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust perverted thy heart,’” and:
Thou that art waxen old in wicked days, now thy sins which thou hast committed aforetime are come to light; for thou hast pronounced false judgments, and hast been accustomed to condemn the innocent, and to let the guilty go free, albeit the Lord saith, The innocent and the righteous shalt thou not slay.
The first of the Scriptures cited there is Daniel 13:56, while the second is from Daniel 13:52-53.  That whole chapter is found only in the longer version of Daniel.

VIII. 1st and 2nd Maccabees

Wojciech Stattler, Maccabees (1842)
The Book was Probably Referenced in the New Testament: As I've mentioned before, James Swan (a Calvinist blogger with Beggars All Reformation & Apologetics) admits that Hebrews 11:35-37 appears to be a reference to 2 Maccabees 7 (h/t Nick):
It seems highly probable the writer to the Hebrews alluded to the Apocrypha in chapter 11. The parallels Catholic apologists suggest particularly in verse 35 and 2 Maccabees seem likely. “Others were tortured,” “not accepting their release” and “so that they might obtain a better resurrection” appear to be the closest points of contact with 2 Maccabees. As noted above, other vague points of contact could be inferred, but not with the same level of certitude of these three statements. Within the arena of rhetoric and polemics, the above study demonstrates that Protestant exegetes do not disagree with the possibility of Apocryphal allusions in Hebrews 11. Thus, Protestants are not hiding the fact that 2 Maccabees may be what the writer to the Hebrews has in mind.
These Books Give us Hanukkah, Which Jesus Christ Celebrated: In John 10:35, Jesus extols Scripture, telling us that “the Scripture cannot be broken.” He says this while in the Temple, celebrating Hanukkah, which we know from John 10:22-23.  Here's the problem.  The Jewish feast of Hanukkah is prescribed only in 1 and 2 Maccabees (1 Maccabees 4:36-59; 2 Maccabees 1:18), this leaves only two possibilities.  Either Christ was treating the Books of Maccabees as Scripture, and/or He was fine with extra-Scriptural Tradition.  Protestantism traditionally denies both of these things.

The Books were Accepted by the Early Church:  Origen writes, in his early third-century work De Principiis (On the Principles):
But that we may believe on the authority of holy Scripture that such is the case, hear how in the book of Maccabees, where the mother of seven martyrs exhorts her son to endure torture, this truth is confirmed; for she says, “I ask of thee, my son, to look at the heaven and the earth, and at all things which are in them, and beholding these, to know that God made all these things when they did not exist.” [2 Maccabees 7:28]
Likewise, in the twelfth of Cyprian's Treatises, he creates a sort of Scriptural index, in order to catalog, by topic, “certain precepts of the Lord, and divine teachings, which may be easy and useful to the readers.” The final product consists of a series of short chapters proving specific doctrines.  Several times, the Scriptures he cites are from Deuterocanonical Books.

For example, 1 Maccabees 2:62-63 is quoted in Chapter 4, as it 2 Macc. 9:12. In Chapter 15, he quotes 1 Macc. 2:52.  Five of the six Scriptural citations in Chapter 17 are from 2 Maccabees (the sixth is Romans 8:18). And in Chapter 53, Cyprian quotes 1 Macc. 2:60.  Each of these citations is as if the source is Scripture -- each is treated exactly the same way as, say, the Book of Proverbs, or one of the Gospels.

Nor are these two Books of Maccabees the only Deuterocanonical Books that Cyprian goes to for support. He quotes the Book of Wisdom in Chapter 6Ch. 15Ch. 20Ch. 56Ch. 58Ch. 59, and Ch. 66.  He quotes Tobit in Chapter 1Ch. 6, and Ch. 62. He quotes Sirach (as Ecclesiasticus) in Chapter 1Ch. 35Ch. 51Ch. 61Ch. 86Ch. 95Ch. 96Ch. 97Ch. 109, and Ch. 110.  Baruch is quoted, too, but just once, in Chapter 29.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are solid reasons for including each of the Books making up the Catholic Deuterocanon, which is exactly what the Church did.  As I've asked before, on what principled basis can Protestants justify cutting each of them out of the Sacred Scriptures handed down to us by the Church?

28 comments:

  1. Strictly speaking the books you refer to aren't 'deuterocanonical'. That is a protestant description. The Roman Catholic Vhurch has always accepted them as part of, not secondary to, The Canon. Incidentally if you browse over the index of an Orthodox Bible you'll find even more OT books.

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    1. Kim,

      With all due respect, I believe that a number of claims you're making are mistaken. “Deuterocanonical” is a Catholic, not a Protestant, description of these Books. Protestants typically use the term “Apocrypha.” In fact, that's the term used in the quote by the Calvinist James Swan in this very post.

      So no, it's not a Protestant description, and yes, they are Deuterocanonical. But no, Deuterocanonical doesn't mean that they're “secondary to” the canon. The term means “second canon” in the sense that Deuteronomy is the “second Law.” It's not of secondary import; it's second chronologically. This term simply captures the reality that while certain Books (like Exodus and Matthew) were immediately recognized as inspired Scripture by the whole of the Church, there were other Books (like Esther, Tobit, and 2 Peter) that the Church debated the canonicity of. They were universally agreed upon at a later date: hence, “second canon” chronologically.

      Catholic Encyclopedia has a good discussion about why we use these terms, and why we should be cautious in using them to avoid the very confusion that appears to have happened here.

      Frankly, my preferred terms would be Homologoumena and Antilegomena, since they're the most accurate (it captures the distinction that certain of the Books, the Antilegomena, were “spoken against”). But those terms seem needlessly pretentious and obtuse, since nobody uses them in everyday speech... while serious Catholics and Protestants tend to know what is meant by Deuterocanon.

      What you would have me call these Books, instead? How should I have presented the case for the Deuterocanon, in your opinion, if I am not to call it the Deuterocanon?

      I.X.,

      Joe

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    2. "What you would have me call these Books, instead? How should I have presented the case for the Deuterocanon, in your opinion, if I am not to call it the Deuterocanon?"

      You need only have referred to the book's by name to make the points you make about their importance. Any Catholic would have recognised them..... well MOST Catholics would have recognised them.

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  2. KimHatton brings up a good point. You've done a great job against the shorter Protestant canon. What kind of arguments do we have against the longer Orthodox canon?

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    1. My main point was simply that in both the DR and NJB and every other Catholic Bible the books are just listed within the index of OT books. Only in Protestant Bibles are they treated as DC or 'Apocryphal'.

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  3. As for the Eastern Orthodox,Catholic theologian Michael Barber notes that the extra books in the Orthodox Version were added in 1642 during an Eastern Orthodox Synod or Council.

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    1. Added in 1642 - that is great info. Thanks, Leo!

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    2. Kim, if he is wrong, then when did they become part of the Orthodox Bible? Can you tell us why this date is wrong? If it is correct, I find it very significant. Nonetheless, they were not included in the Councils of Rome, Carthage or Hippo. So regardless of when they were added, those extra books are not part of the Canon. Besides the Orthodox do not have the authority to add books to the canon and the canon is already settled.

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  4. According to several Eastern Orthodox sources, it was the Council of Jassy of 1642 which affirmed the Orthodox Canon. This must be the council that Michael Barber is referring to.

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  5. The Orthodox canon was affirmed at the Quinisext Synod in Trullo.

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    1. It is unclear what the Eastern Orthodox canon is, and in fact it can be said they don't have an official canon. The Eastern Orthodox Council of Jerusalem in 1672 was signed by all the Patriarchs and affirmed the Catholic 73 book Canon. Despite that fact, the Russian Orthodox in the Catechism of Patriarch Philaret says the Deutero-Canon is not Scripture. The Greek Orthodox, at least some canon lists I've seen, include 3-4 Maccabees as well as Psalm 151.

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    2. Canon 2 of the Synod in Trullo affirms the canons of the Holy Apostles; of Laodicea and Carthage; and of Saints Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, and Amphilochius of Iconium.

      These canons give a variety of "lists" of the Biblical books. The most conservative omitting several of the books, and the fullest inluding all but 4 Maccabees.

      As the terminology describing the Biblical books differs from canon to canon, the Church has in history expressed herself differently, responding to different questions in different ways.

      So St. Philaret (and many others) can speak of the "deuterocanon" in subordinating terms, since some of the books were never called "Divinely Inspired" by the Church, but were limited to "Ecclesiastical Reading" and the like. And again, Synods have been able to affirm the full "canon" since all the books have, throughout history, been accepted in one form or another. The real question is what is meant by "canonical".

      There's nothing "unclear" about this. Nor is this a sufficient reason for claiming that the Orthodox Church doesn't have a coherent Bible. The examples which you cite do not contradict one another.

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  6. First of all, great series. This is a good bookmark resource.

    I'd like to add a few points:

    (1) Baruch 3:38 famously says that God "was seen upon earth, and conversed with men." The Church has long seen this as prophecy of the Incarnation. Indeed, that's what the picture of Baruch you posted says in Latin on the stone tablet!

    (2) One argument that I came up with for 1 Maccabees is from 1 Mc 2:52 which says: "Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was credited to him as righteousness?" This is identical in Greek to the "credited as righteousness" of Genesis 15:6. What is key here is that Maccabees is speaking of Abraham's "temptation" to sacrifice Isaac, that is what is "credited as righteousness" - in other words, Abraham's good work here justified him. Doesn't that sound familiar? Yes, because that is the exact claim Saint James makes in James 2:21-24! James was referencing Maccabees!

    So in the final count, when it comes to being referenced in the NT in some obvious form or another, there is strong evidence for the canonicity of Tobit, 1 Maccabees, Wisdom, 2 Maccabees, and Baruch. That's 5 of the 7 Deutero-Canonical books!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Posts like these make your blog one of my favorite places on the internet! :) I am not familiar with the deuterocanon and I am grateful for this resource. I'm sure I'll reference it when conversing with my Protestant friends, too. Thanks! - Christina

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  8. Sirach is a great book. Its clear to me the only reason why Luther rejected it is because it clearly defends the doctrine of freewill. In fact, prior to his debate with Erasmus on that subject he accepted the book. Even in that debate, Luther tried to use a particular passage from Sirach to teach his moronic doctrine that "all things happen by necessity as Wycliffe said." But it was an epic fail because so many passages in Sirach make freewill clear.

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  9. Can you provide a citation for the Sirach quote at the Third Ecumenical Council?

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    1. Nevermind, I see it linked there.

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  10. Hi , a protestant sent me the following email -
    Here are 'some' errors & contradictions between the Apocrypha & the TaNaKh and the NT. You can compare each book of the Apocrypha (the term used by the early church fathers to describe these books) such as Baruch 6:2 to Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10, and Baruch 1:1-2 to Jeremiah 43:5-7, which demonstrates that these books contradict the TaNaKh & the NT


    I have tried to correct her that the term used is the deutrocanonical text, but I think she is hard of hearing...

    Sje also sent me a whole list of contraditions of each of the seven boks of the deuttrocanonical, i will forward them below

    SIRACH (ECCLESIATICUS):

    "Children, hear the judgment of your father, and so do that you may be saved [Douay-Rheims]. Whoso honoureth his father, maketh an atonement for his sins [KJV]." (Sirach 3:2-3)

    "Water will quench a flaming fire, and alms maketh an attonement for sins [KJV]." (Sirach 3:30) [Douay-Rheim's (Sirach 3:33)

    "Give to the merciful & uphold not the sinner: God will repay vengeance to the ungodly & to sinners, & keep them against the day of vengeance. Give to the good, & receive not a sinner. Do good to the humble, & give not to the ungodly; hold back their bread & give it not to him, lest thereby he overmaster thee. For then shalt receive twice as much evil for all the good thou shalt have done to him: for the Highest also hateth sinners, & will repay vengeance to the ungodly [Douay-Rheims]" (Sirach 12:4-7)
    TaNaKh & NEW TESTAMENT:

    "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." (Leviticus 17:11)

    "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.... Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back." (Luke 6:27,30)

    "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." (Romans 12:20; Proverbs 25:21)

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  11. TOBIT:

    "For alms deliver from all sin, & from death, & will not suffer the soul to go into darkness [Douay-Rheims]" (Tobit 4:11)

    "For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting [Douay-Rheims]." (Tobit 12:9)

    "And the words of Tobit were ended.... And after he had lived a hundred & two years, he was buried honorably in Ninive [Douay-Rheims]" (Tobit 14:1-2)
    [NOTE: Tobit claims to have been alive when Jeroboam revolted (931 B.C.) and when Assyria conquered Israel (722 B.C.). These two events were separated by over 200 years & yet the total lifespan of Tobit was 102 years! (Tobit 1:3-5; 14:1-2)].

    "Then the angel said to him [Tobit]: Take out the entrails of the fish, & lay up his heart, & his gall, & his liver for thee: for these are necessary for useful medicines....Then Tobias asked the angel, & said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou has bid me keep of the fish? And the angel, answering, said to him: If thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kinds of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them. And the gall is good for anointing the eyes, in which there is a white speck, & they shall be cured [Douay-Rheims]." (Tobit 6:5-9)

    "But after a long time, Salmanasar the king being dead, when Sennacherib his son, who reigned in his place, had a hatred for the children of Israel [Douay-Rheims]." (Tobit 1:18)
    [Salmanasar's son was Sargon II, not Sennacherib (see 2 Kings 18:4,13; c.f. -- Isaiah 20:1]

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5623&t=NASB (Sargon)
    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5576&t=NASB (Sennacherib)

    "And Tobias said to him: I pray to thee, tell me, of what family, or what tribe art though? And Raphael the angel answered...I am Azarias the son of the great Ananias [Douay-Rheims]" (Tobit 5:16-18).

    TaNaKh & NEW TESTAMENT:

    "...the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7)

    "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14)

    "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name." (Matthew 6:9)

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  12. WISDOM:

    "For she [Wisdom] is the brightness of eternal light, & the unspotted mirror of God's majesty, & the image of his goodness [Douay-Rheims]" (Wisdom 7:26)

    "And I was a witty child & had conceived a good soul. And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled [Douay-Rheims]" (Wisdom 8:20)

    "For by wisdom they are healed [Douay-Rheims]" (Wisdom 9:19)


    TaNaKh & NEW TESTAMENT:
    "And He [Christ] is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," (Hebrews 1:3)

    "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." (Psalm 51:5)

    "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners." (Romans 5:18-19)

    "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. [KJV]" (1 Peter 2:24)

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  13. JUDITH:

    "Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonoser king of the ASSYRIANS, who reigned in Ninive the great city fought against Arphaxad & overcame him [Douay-Rheims]" (Judith 1:5,10)

    TaNaKh & NEW TESTAMENT:

    "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of BABYLON came to Jerusalem and besieged it." (Daniel 1:1)

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  14. 1 & 2 MACCABEES:

    "And there was a great tribulation in Israel, such as was not since the day, that there was no prophet seen in Israel [Douay-Rheims]." (1 Maccabees 9:27)

    "And making a gathering, he sent 12,000 drachms of SILVER to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead....It is therefore a holy & wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. [Douay-Rheims]." (2 Maccabees 12:43-46)

    [Antiochus Epiphanes dies at least twice]:
    "So King Antiochus died there in the year one hundred & forty-nine. And Lysias understood that the king was dead, & he set up Antiochus his son to reign, who he brought up young: and he called his name Eupator [Douay-Rheims]" (1 Maccabees 6:16-17)

    "And this was the end of Antiochus that was called Illustrious [Epiphanes -- KJV]. But now we will relate the acts of Eupator the son of that wicked Antiochus [Douay-Rheims]" (2 Maccabees 10:9-10)

    TaNaKh & NEW TESTAMENT:

    "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17; see also Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:49-51; 24:27,44-45)

    "Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, 'Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.' But Peter said to him, 'May your SILVER perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God." (Acts 8:18-21)

    "And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.... whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:17,19)

    "And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to DIE ONCE and after this comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27)



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  15. I know this is really long, but that is the way I received in in my in box

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  16. Marilyn,

    I’m not going to take the time to answer each of these, for a few reasons:

    1) Your friend just copy-pasted a bunch of proof-texts. Literally, this was taken, word-for-word, off of the Internet. If she isn’t going to bother taking this seriously, you’re wasting your time.

    2) Your friends facts are fundamentally wrong. She says that “the early church fathers” say that these Books are Apocrypha. That’s true of one Church Father, Jerome. But as the above shows, these Books had been treated as Scripture by early Christians for centuries prior to Jerome (see, e.g., the citation in the Didache, quoted above). And we find a citation to the Deuterocanon as Scripture in the Jewish Talmud.

    Even Jerome claims that Judith was held to be Scripture at the First Council of Nicaea. In his prologue to the Book of Judith, Jerome also tells us that the work was found in the Jewish Hagiographa (the Greek word for the Ketuvim):

    “Among the Hebrews the Book of Judith is found among the Hagiographa, the authority of which toward confirming those which have come into contention is judged less appropriate. Yet having been written in Chaldean words, it is counted among the histories. But because this book is found by the Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures, I have acquiesced to your request, indeed a demand, and works having been set aside from which I was forcibly curtailed, I have given to this (book) one short night’s work translating more sense from sense than word from word.”

    And in his prologue to the Book of Tobit, Jerome says that the Book is held as canonical by the Christians, but not by the Jews: “For the studies of the Hebrews rebuke us and find fault with us, to translate this for the ears of Latins contrary to their canon. But it is better to be judging the opinion of the Pharisees to displease and to be subject to the commands of bishops.”

    3) The whole point of this experiment seems to be that we can know that the 66 Protestant Books of the Bible are Scripture, and we can use those to test the 7 in dispute. On what basis does she know this? The exact same authority that set the 66 Books set all 73.

    4) This “experiment,” of proof-texting passages from one Book of Scripture against another could just as easily be used to “disprove” the Protestant Old Testament.

    For example, the argument against the First and Second Book of Maccabees is that Antiochus’ death is recorded separately in 1 Maccabees 6:16-17 and 2 Maccabees 10:9-10. From this, the author claims (absurdly) that this means that “Antiochus Epiphanes dies at least twice,” which violates Hebrews 9:27: “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to DIE ONCE and after this comes judgment.”

    Using that identical argument, we could “disprove” 1 and 2 Samuel, since Saul’s death is mentioned twice (1 Samuel 31:1-6; 2 Samuel 1:6-10). Likewise, we could “disprove” Matthew and Acts, because the death of Judas is mentioned twice (Matthew 27:3-10; Acts 1:16-19). And of course, the four distinct Resurrection accounts could be used to “disprove” the Resurrection.

    5) You could try and prove to her that none of these contradictions are truly contradictions, but where will that get you? She’s got you in a double-bind: if the Deuterocanon teaches anything beyond what the Protestant canon has, this means it’s wrong. If it doesn’t teach anything beyond what the Protestant canon has, this means it’s redundant.

    In reality, all she really manages to prove is that the Deuterocanon disagrees with the Protestant interpretation of Scripture. That’s true, but a reason to reject Protestantism, not the (much older and better established) Deuterocanon.

    I.X.,

    Joe

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  17. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, and for giving a detailed response.
    This is a current conversation going on YouTube under the presentation “Catholic bibles/protestant bibles” in the comment section.

    Your blog is really great, I get a lot of material from it, and it even bolsters my understanding of the Catholic faith.

    I appreciate the response you gave to this point and the references I get from your blog on other topics. I read your material, watched the video ( 66 books) and your response to it…Because these specific scripture questions keep coming up, and leave a lot of Catholics in a bind, would you be able to tackle them whenever you have time ?

    Should I feel confident is saying there are no errors in the bible, or does the bible actually have some discrepancies, not just in the deuterocanonical texts, but also in the rest of the bible (based on your previous response)? I always thought that any errors, any discrepancies were due to not using proper exegesis and hermeneutics.

    I know my you tube friend (never met her ) just copied and pasted these versus to prove the rightness of the protestant cannon and how wrong catholics are- and I can respond by using your material on the deuterocanonical texts , but on reviewing her previous comments on you tube, she has kept asking these very questions without getting a proper response from the Catholics. It would be great to put some matters to rest, with concrete evidence? Anyone?

    E.g. I am stuck with explaining the discrepancies in Baruch and Jeremiah and would also love to have an answer to this
    Baruch 6 - says 7 generations, Jeremiah 25 - 29 says 70 yrs in exile…My bible commentary (New American – St Joseph) explains that it is not Baruch that wrote, therefore it must be somebody that exaggerated because of their despondent state- being in exile that length of time, or were probably writing while in exile and was desponded ( according to Wikipedia)
    The same applies for all the other discrepancies in each of the books (thanks for tackling Maccabees)

    On you tube, we ( the catholic side) keep being accused of circular reasoning without concrete responses, as a way to avoid tackling the tough questions....

    Thanks so much and thanks for taking the time to respond in the previous response, I have something to use. I hope you do not mind my asking for even more. I appreciate all that you do on this blog, really useful for people like me...

    Thanks

    Marilyn.

    PS: could I use an email so that I do not hoard your blog with long letters?

    Thanks

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