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William H. Sanford wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Why is it that the Catholic Bible is the only Bible to contain the additional books of the "Apocrypha", located just before the New Testament, when not even the original manuscripts of the Bible contain such books?

    In addition, neither Jesus nor his disciples ever quoted from them.

God says:

As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9

William

  { Why is the Catholic Bible the only Bible that contains these additional books — the Apocrypha? }

Mike replied:

Hi, William —

Thanks for the question.

You said:
..., when not even the original manuscripts of the bible contain such books?

First, we don't have the original manuscripts now. They are gone. All we have are copies of copies of originals, thanks to Benedictine Monks who preserved the words of the Bible you hold in your hands today.

Below is a paraphrased version of what I heard from an audio cassette tape I listened to on the subject.


At the time, the canon, or measuring rod, was put together by the Catholic Church in 393 A.D. Pope Damasus told St. Jerome to translate all the books of the Bible into Latin, which was the current language at that time.

St. Jerome studied with Jewish rabbis who helped him do the translation from Hebrew to Latin. When Jerome came to these seven books, the rabbis said:

"We don't have Hebrew originals for these books; they are not inspired."

Jerome informed the Pope about this. The Pope looked at the Oral Tradition of the Church —
2 Thessalonians 2:15:

Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

and said, ...

No, I respect the rabbi's opinion, but we have a Tradition going back in all the Churches that these books have been read in all the churches and are inspired, so he translated them into Latin! What you call the Apocrypha, is correctly called the Deuterocanonical books of the Bible.

The distinction between the initial canon, and Deuterocanonical books, does not indicate a difference of authority, but only a difference of time at which the books were recognized by the whole Church as Divinely inspired.

Luther's original argument was that we should not include the seven extra books because, like the Jewish scholars said, we had NO Hebrew originals for these books, so they are not truly inspired. Luther's real problem were that Biblical verses in these books reaffirmed the Catholic teaching of praying for the dead, like 2 Maccabees 12:44-45. This is why all Protestant Bibles either:

  • don't have these books in their Bibles, or
  • have them at the end of their Old Testament.

These books are:

  • Tobias
  • Judith
  • Wisdom
  • Ecclesiasticus
  • Baruch
  • I, II Maccabees
  • also Esther, x, 4- xvi, 24, and
  • Daniel, iii, 24-90, xiii, 1-xiv, 42,


In 1947, this whole argument collapsed like a deck of cards when a young Bedouin boy, searching for a goat in a cave near Khirbat Qumran, on the Left Bank of the Dead Sea, stumbled upon one of the century's most significant archaeological finds. What did he find?

HEBREW ORIGINALS FOR DEUTRO-CANONICAL BOOKS!


So we would say historically and truthfully: You are missing books in your Bible.

You always get more for your money with a Catholic Bible : )

You said:
In addition, neither Jesus nor his disciples ever quoted from them.

The Septuagint is the first translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. It was translated into popular Greek before the Christian era. In reading the New Testament, you will find many references that Jesus did quote from the Septuagint, which did include the Deuterocanonical books.

I hope this answers your question.

Mike Humphrey

Eric replied:

Hi, William —

This is what the Catholic Encyclopedia says on this issue.

While revising the text of the Old Latin Version, St. Jerome became convinced of the need in the Western Church of a new translation directly from the Hebrew. His Latin scholarship, his acquaintance with Biblical places and customs obtained by residence in Palestine, and his remarkable knowledge of Hebrew and of Jewish exegetical traditions, especially fitted him for a work of this kind. He set himself to the task 390 A.D. and in 405 A.D. completed the protocanonical books of the Old Testament from the Hebrew, and the deuterocanonical Books of Tobias and Judith from the Aramaic. To these were added his revision of the Old Latin, or Gallican, Psalter, the New Testament, revised from the Old Latin with the aid of the original Greek, and the remaining deuterocanonical books, and portions of Esther, and Daniel, just as they existed in the Itala. Thus was formed that version of the Bible which has had no less influence in the Western Church than the Septuagint has had in the Eastern, which has enriched the thought and language of Europe and has been the source of nearly all modern translations of the Scriptures. It gradually supplanted the Old Latin Version. Adopted by several writers in the fifth century, it came into more general use in the sixth. At least the Spanish churches employed it in the seventh century, and in the ninth it was found in practically the whole Roman Church. Its title "Vulgate", indicating its common use, and belonging to the Old Latin until the seventh century, was firmly established in the thirteenth. In the sixteenth the Council of Trent declared it the authentic version of the Church.

Hope this helps,

Eric

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