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Mark wrote:

Hi, guys—

I'm confused by Luke Chapter 14, verse 26. It says:

26 "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27)

but in other Bibles it would say to not love them more than God.

  • How is it that two totally different words are used in the passage, which seem to imply different meanings?
  • Also, why do we Catholics retain certain books of the Bible, that are dropped by other Christian faiths?


  { Should I hate my father, mother, brothers and sisters and why are Catholic Bibles bigger? }

John replied:


The literal translation is, in fact, hate, but we must also understand that Jesus was a Jew speaking to Jews. He taught in much the same way other Jewish Rabbi's taught and spoke.
This culture was prone to hyperbole. For example, Jesus said if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can speak to this mountain and tell it to be thrown into the sea and it will be done for you.

The point is that some translations are more literal, while other attempt to convey the dynamic meaning of the text rather than a word—for—word translation. Jesus would never command anyone to hate anyone else, let alone break one of the commandments and hate ones own parents. He is making a point to a generation of Jews and Pagans who would run into persecution by their own families for becoming Christians. Therefore one must love Him more than ones own:

  • family
  • tradition
  • culture, and
  • nation.

Now to your question regarding certain Old Testament Books which the Protestants dropped from the Bible. Simply put, Martin Luther, did not like what some of those books taught, so he needed a pretext to eliminate them. That said, he dropped an entire group called the Deuterocanonical books. (the Apocrypha, by Protestant nomenclature) He chose the pretext that the Jews in 90 A.D. rejected them. This position is not solid.

  1. For one thing, by 90 A.D. the Jews no longer had the authority to discern the Bible.
  2. Secondly, the Jews also rejected the New Testament books at the same council of Jamnia in 90 A.D.
  3. Thirdly, the Jews rejected these books for political reasons and not theological ones.

To this day, Jews still pray for the dead and believe the dead can pray for them. These are the two doctrines Luther was trying to eliminate. These books were accepted by the Church at the end of the fourth century at the same councils that formally defined the New Testament books.

If the Catholic Church was wrong about the Old Testament, then what guarantee do we have that the New Testament is trust worthy?

So the Protestants are left with some philosophical problems to deal with to defend there position. Most of them aren't really aware of these facts. Many seem to think that the Church added these books at the Council of Trent in the 1500's. This is not the case. It is true, that this Council dogmatically declared which books belonged and which ones did not, but it was simply reiterating the same list given over a thousand years before.

In fact, if you were to read Augustine's writings, he runs down the same exact list in the year 385 A.D.

The only reason Trent reiterated the list was because the Protestants were challenging them on this issue.

I hope this answers your questions.

Under His Mercy,

John DiMascio
[Related posting]

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