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Casey Self wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Why do Protestants reject the Apocrypha?

I have heard that there are historical inaccuracies and this made them fallible. I also heard that until the Council of Trent they were never considered authoritative Scripture, even during the time of Jesus Christ.

  • Is this true, and if so,
  • Why does the Catholic Church choose to treat them as inspired Scripture?

I'm in no way am trying to throw accusations at the Church; I'm only curious.


  { Why do Protestants reject the Apocrypha? }

Mike replied:

Hi Casey,

This is a common question; it's even in our searchable knowledge base.
There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I searched for you and found these postings:


Eric replied:

Hi, Casey —

In addition to the issues addressed in those links, let me address an issue that may not have been brought up.

The Deuterocanonicals (what we call them) sometimes use a writing style that tends to go against the grain of Protestant biblical interpretation. For example, many Protestants insist that every part of Scripture is historical and to be understood literalistically.

Catholicism doesn't teach this; we understand it is possible to use literary genres to get across a message (something like an extended parable). One of the deuterocanonical books — which one escapes me — places the "wrong" world leader in the wrong country; Protestants of a more fundamentalist bent see this as a historical error, whereas Catholics understand it as a literary device. Some of these differences affect protocanonical books as well (those books we both accept) — for example, many Catholic exegetes don't believe Job actually existed but interpret the book as "didactic fiction" — but Job doesn't have the problems being interpreted as strict history that the deuterocanonicals do.

In general, if you take a fundamentalistic, literalistic approach to exegesis, you'll find things wrong with the deuterocanonicals.

If you understand things in a more nuanced fashion, you can appreciate them.


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