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Deuterocanon


Introduction

Regardless of "denominational" lines, the Christian Holy Bible, holds a unique place within Christianity. This document was created with the intention of exposing some false arguments set forth regarding the Catholic Canon of Holy Scripture. This issue is of immense importance. For example, to know if something is supported by scripture, we first have to know what scripture is. If we are to use the "Bible Alone" we first need to know what the Bible is.

The primary purpose of this document is a comprehensive response to the false claim (among others) that Catholics added books to the Bible (specifically the Old Testament) at the Council of Trent 
during the fourth session, on April 8, 1546. Protestant Apologists have exerted a great deal of effort in trying to demonstrate that the Protestant canon of Scripture is correct, and that the Catholic Canon of scripture is incorrect. This page presents much historical, ecclesial and other evidences which demonstrate the Catholic Canon of Scripture as both correct and established on the authority of the Church Christ established, through whom the Scriptures came. This is the only acceptable criterion on which we can know the Canon of Scripture.

What is the Deuterocanon?


The Deuterocanon, incorrectly called "Apocrypha" in protestant circles are seven books of the OT and longer versions of Daniel and Esther. These books have gone from included (since c. 300 BC), moved to "Apocrypha" (by Martin Luther c. 1522 AD), and ultimately discarded by protestants (c. 18th Century AD).

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)

Tobit (Tobias)
Wisdom
Judith
1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
Baruch
Daniel (Longer Version)
Esther (Longer Version)

See also: Old Testament Apocrypha [ W ]

Quick Facts

  • The Catholic Bible Contains 73 Books (46 OT, 27 NT). This has been the case in an official capacity, since no later than the fourth century.
  • The conquests of Alexander the Great several hundred years prior to the commission of the LXX, made Hellenistic Greek the language of the day (lingua franca).
  • There was a critical need for a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament for dispersed Greek speaking Jews.
  • The LXX, or (Greek) Septuagint, was completed around circa 300 BC. It included the deuterocanonical books that Martin Luther removed 1650 years later.
  • You can read the Septuagint, including the deuterocanonical books online by click here.

  • Most Protestant Bibles Contains 66 books (39 OT, 27 NT). This has been the case only since the sixteenth century.
  • This means that the 66 book Bible is redacted.
  • However the deuterocanonical books were included (even in Protestant Bibles) under "apocrypha" at least until the nineteenth century.
  • The original King James 1611 included the Deuterocanonical books.
  • The Gutenberg Bible [ W ] (view online here), published 100 years before Trent, included the Deuterocanonical books.
  • Almost Every Bible "published" before Trent contained the Deuterocanonical books.
  • The NT Canon as Catholics have it today, is first given in 367 AD by Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria in his 39th Festal Letter (also known as his "Easter Letter").
  • Athanasius' 39th Festal (or Easter) letter can be read here.


Between the Council of Rome and the Council of Trent, the Canon of Scripture exactly as Catholics have it today, is confirmed repeatedly. In contrast, there are no councils which confirm the protestant canon of scripture. None! Protestants have only the scattered and fallible opinions of men to confirm their consensus, which they use to negate the actions of the Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 10:16, 1 Timothy 3:15, Matthew 16:19).


  • Council of Hippo 393 AD –Total 73 Books. Local council (North Africa) in union with and under authority of Bishop of Rome (same as Trent)
  • Third Council of Carthage 397 AD – Total 73 Books. Local council (North Africa) in union with and under authority of Bishop of Rome (same as Trent)
  • Pope Innocent I, Bishop of Rome 401-417 (408) AD  –Total 73 Books. Canon given at request of Exuperius, Bishop of Toulouse (same as Trent)
  • Council of Carthage 419 AD – Total 73 Books. Local council in union with and under authority of Bishop of Rome (same as Trent)
  • Council of Florence 1441 AD – Total 73 Books.
The decrees from the above mentioned sources are listed below. They are all independently verifiable.

Common arguments and refutations

False Argument: How can the Deuterocanonical books be Inspired Scripture when Jesus nor the Apostles ever quote or reference them?

Point The First:
  • Jesus nor the Apostles ever quoted from: Obadiah, Zephaniah, Judges, 1 Chronicles, Nahum, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, or the Song of Solomon.
  • Yet protestants using this argument accept them as Canonical.
  • Jesus and the Apostles reference books both Catholics and Protestants do not consider to be scripture, including some Pagan works quoted by Paul (more on that below).
  • See also: Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible
Point the Second:
Jesus and the Apostles both quote the deuterocanonical books, and reference them many times.

View a short list of NT verses referencing the deuterocanonical books here.

False Argument: The Deuterocanonical books do not claim to be Inspired Scripture, how can they be canonical?

  • The Book of Esther doesn't have a single reference to God, and is canonical.
  • Also note that Esther was not found at Qumran, while deuterocanonical books were.


False Argument: The Deuterocanonical books were never in the Bible.

  • There is undeniable historical evidence demonstrating this claim is false. See Codices below. 
  • The LXX (Septuagint) (3rd Century BC) included them.
  • The Vulgate (5th Century AD) included them. 
  • The Gutenberg Bible included them.
  • The original King James Bible of 1611 included them.
  • The deuterocanon can also be found in various ancient papyri editions of the Bible as well as different recensions of the LXX.


False Argument: The Catholic Church added the Deuterocanonical books to the Bible at the Council of Trent during the fourth session, on April 8, 1546.

  • If this is true how did Martin Luther move them to "Apocrypha" (between the OT and NT) 20 years earlier?
  • The deuterocanonical books have been in the Latin Vulgate (the official Bible of the Catholic Church) for over 1500 years.
  • If this is true why are they in Orthodox Bibles (Eastern and Oriental), when these Churches do not accept Trent?


False Argument: The School of Javneh, Council of Jamnia, or Jewish Authorities rejected the books. That means they're not scripture.

  • The existence of Jamnia or Javneh is entirely unsubstantiated and hypothetical.
  • The ultimate Jewish rejection of the deuterocanonical books was also a rejection of the entire New Testament.
  • The Jews that rejected the New Testament also rejected Jesus Christ, and the entire New Testament.
  • If you cannot recognize God when he is right in front of you, how can you recognize his inspired word?
"There is now widespread agreement that the notion of a "Council of Javneh" at which the third division of the Hebrew canon of scriptures was closed is a distortion of the evidence found in Rabinnic sources."
D. E. Aune, "On the Origins of the "Council of Javneh" Myth" JBL 110.3 (1991) 491-493 "

Alleged Doctrinal or Historical Difficulties

False Argument: "[Tobit] condones the use of magic." (Matt Slick, Carm).

I have included Haydock's commentary below each verse here.

Tobit 6:5
Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of this fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee: for these are necessary for useful medicines. 

For thee.  Greek, "carefully." (Haydock) --- The rest is omitted also in the Hebrew of Fagius. (Calmet)

Tobit 6:6  
And when he had done so, he roasted the flesh thereof, and they took it with them in the way: the rest they salted as much as might serve them, till they came to Rages the city of the Medes. 

Flesh.  St. Paul uses the like expression, (1 Corinthians xv.) as well as Pliny, [Natural History?] ix. 15. (Worthington) --- Took.  Greek and Fagius, (Calmet) "eat, and both went on till they came near to Ecbatana." (Haydock) --- From Ninive to Rages would be 10 or 12 days' journey. (Calmet)

Tobit 6:7
Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish? 

Tell.  Greek, "What is the heart, the liver, and the gall of the fish for?" (Haydock)

"Far from presenting an exercise in magic, Tobit presents the ancient Christological symbol of the fish (who is, in Tobit 6:3, literally a catcher of men) salted and roasted on coals (as Christ was scourged and roasted in the sun on the cross) in order to destroy the power of a murderous demon and drive him away from a virginal bride. The fish is used to heal a blind man (cf. John 9) by making things like scales fall from his eyes (cf. Acts 10:18)."
(Source: Steven L. Kellmeyer, "Counting the Canon", Catholic Answers)

Alleged Historical errors


False Argument: "The book of Judith incorrectly says that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the Assyrians when he was the king of the Babylonians." (Matt Slick, Carm).

Judith 1:5
Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him, 

Fr. George Leo Haydock clears this up in his commentary below.

Judith 1:5  Nabuchodonosor.  Not the king of Babylon, who took and destroyed Jerusalem, but another of the same name, who reigned in Nivine; and is called by profane historians Saosduchin.  He succeeded Asarhaddon in the kingdom of the Assyrians, and was contemporary with Manasses, king of Juda.  (Challoner) --- He might be the same with Asarhaddon, who resided at Ninive in the 20th year of his reign.  After the defeat at Bethulia, the Medes recovered part of their power, under Cyaxares I., who was succeeded by Astyages and Cyaxares II., with whom Cyrus was associated in the empire.  (Xenophon) --- Asarhaddon spent the latter years of his life at Babylon, of which he had made himself master.  (Houbigant) --- The Jews frequently give names to foreign princes different from those by which they are known in profane history.  See Tobias ultra.  (Haydock) --- Him.  Greek afterwards (ver. 15) insinuates, that he prevented any from mounting the throne of Media, till this work was written, "he transfixed him with his darts, and destroyed him till this day."  (Houbigant)


False Argument: Baruch 6:2 says the Jews would serve in Babylon for seven generations where Jer. 25:11 says it was for 70 years.  "And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." (Matt Slick, Carm)

Baruch 6:2
And when you are come into Babylon, you shall be there many years, and for a long time, even to seven generations: and after that I will bring you away from thence with peace. 

This is also answered unmistakably by Haydock.

Bar 6:2  Seven generations; that is, seventy years.  (Challoner) --- A generation sometimes consisted of seven, ten, fifteen, thirty, thirty-five, fifty, or a hundred years.  (Cornelius a Lapide; Menage.) --- Eighteen years of the seventy had already elapsed.  (Calmet) --- Seven is often put for many, (Haydock) or a general number, (Worthington) because so many days form a week.  (Haydock) --- Grotius substitutes Greek: dekadon for Greek: geneon, "seven decads," very properly.  (Houbigant)

The Decrees

Within these decrees, I have marked the deuterocanonical books with * to make them easier to spot within the texts. These decrees are presented in Chronological order.

The Council of Rome [ W ] (382 AD) and the The Damasine list:

Pope St. Damasus I [ W ] [ CE ], in his decree (known as the "Damasine List"), declared the Canon exactly as is given and reaffirmed at the Council of Trent 1163 years later. Quoted Below.

The Damasine list is as follows, Deuterocanonical books highlighted

"It is likewise decreed: Now, indeed, we must treat of the divine Scriptures: what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she must shun.
The list of the Old Testament begins: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book: Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Jesus Nave, one book; of Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; of Kings, four books; Paralipomenon, two books; One Hundred and Fifty Psalms, one book; of Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one book; Canticle of Canticles, one book; likewise, Wisdom*, one book; Ecclesiasticus (Sirach)*, one book; Likewise, the list of the Prophets: Isaiah, one book; Jeremias, one book; along with Cinoth, that is, his Lamentations [Baruch]*; Ezechiel, one book; Daniel, one book; Osee, one book; Amos, one book; Micheas, one book; Joel, one book; Abdias, one book; Jonas, one book; Nahum, one book; Habacuc, one book; Sophonias, one book; Aggeus, one book; Zacharias, one book; Malachias, one book. Likewise, the list of histories: Job, one book; Tobias [Tobit]*, one book; Esdras, two books*; Esther, one book; Judith*, one book; of Maccabees, two books*.

Likewise, the list of the Scriptures of the New and Eternal Testament, which the holy and Catholic Church receives: of the Gospels, one book according to Matthew, one book according to Mark, one book according to Luke, one book according to John. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, fourteen in number: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Ephesians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Galatians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus one to Philemon, one to the Hebrews. Likewise, one book of the Apocalypse of John. And the Acts of the Apostles, one book. Likewise, the canonical Epistles, seven in number: of the Apostle Peter, two Epistles; of the Apostle James, one Epistle; of the Apostle John, one Epistle; of the other John, a Presbyter, two Epistles; of the Apostle Jude the Zealot, one Epistle. Thus concludes the canon of the New Testament.
Likewise it is decreed: After the announcement of all of these prophetic and evangelic or as well as apostolic writings which we have listed above as Scriptures, on which, by the grace of God, the Catholic Church is founded, we have considered that it ought to be announced that although all the Catholic Churches spread abroad through the world comprise but one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other Churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


Council of Hippo (393 AD):

Note: Although Hippo is largely lost, we have this, Hippo's Canon XXXVI (36), preserved by Carthage IV, Canon 24 (419 AD). Read more hippo and Carthage here and here.

"[It has been decided] that besides the canonical scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture. But the canonical scriptures are
as follows: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the Son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, the Kings, four books, the Chronicles, two books, Job, the Psalter, the five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes (Sirach)*, Song of Songs, Wisdom*, and a portion of the Psalms], the twelve books of the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah [Includes Baruch]*, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit*, Judith*, Esther, Ezra, two books [1,2 Esdras] *, Maccabees, two books* . . ."

Third Council of Carthage (397 AD):

Note: Canon 47

Latin:

Item placuit ut praeter Scripturas canonicas nihil in ecclesia legatur sub nomine divinarum Scripturarum. Sunt autem Canonicae Scripturae hae: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium, Jesus Naue, Judicum, Ruth, Regnorum libri quator, Paralipomenon libri duo, Job, Psalterium Davidicum, Salomonis libri quinque, libri duodecim prophetarum, Jesaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, Daniel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, Esdrae libri duo, Machabaeorum libri duo. Novi autem Testamenti, evangeliorum libri quator, Actuum Apostolorum liber unus, Epistolae Pauli Apostoli xiii., ejusdem ad Hebraeos una, Petri apostoli duae, Johannes tres, Jacobi i., Judae i., Apocalipsis Johannis liber unus. Hoc etiam fratri et consacerdoti nostro Bonifatio, vel aliis earum partium Episcopis, pro confirmando isto canone innotescat, quia a patribus ista accepimus in ecclesia legenda. Liceat autem legi passiones martyrum cum anniversarii eorum dies celebrantur.

English:

It was also determined that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in the Church under the title of divine Scriptures. The Canonical Scriptures are these: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two books of Paraleipomena [1,2 Chronicles], Job, the Psalter, five books of Solomon [Includes Wisdom and Sirach]*, the books of the twelve prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah [Includes Baruch]*, Ezechiel, Daniel, Tobit*, Judith*, Esther, two books of Esdras*, two books of the Maccabees*. Of the New Testament: four books of the Gospels, one book of the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles of the Apostle Paul, one epistle of the same [writer] to the Hebrews, two Epistles of the Apostle Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude, one book of the Apocalypse of John. Let this be made known also to our brother and fellow-priest Boniface, or to other bishops of those parts, for the purpose of confirming that Canon. because we have received from our fathers that those books must be read in the Church. Let it also be allowed that the Passions of Martyrs be read when their festivals are kept.


Pope Innocent I, Letters 7, (408 AD)

Latin text taken from Epistolae Et Decreta, Epistola VI, Cap VII. Download that here (PDF Format).

Latin:

CAP. VI.
12. De his etiam requisivit dilectio tua, qui interveniente repudio, alii se matrimonio copularunt. Quos in utraque parte adulteros esse manifestum est. Qui vero vel uxore vivente, quamvis dissociatum videatur esse conjugium, ad aliam copulam festinarunt, neque possunt adulteri non videri, intantum, ut etiam hae personae, quibus tales conjunctae sunt, etiam ipsae adulterium commisisse videantur, secundum illud quod legimus in Evangelio: Qui dimiserit uxorem suam, et duxerit aliam, [d] moechatur; similiter et qui dimissam duxerit, moechatur [0501A] (Matth. XIX, 9). Et ideo omnes a communione fidelium abstinendos. De parentibus autem, aut de propinquis eorum nihil tale statui potest, nisi incentores illiciti consortii fuisse detegantur.

English:

"A brief addition shows what books really are received in the canon. These are the things of which you desired to be informed verbally: of Moses, five books, that is, of Genesis, of Exodus, of Leviticus, of Numbers, of Deuteronomy, and Joshua, of Judges, one book, of Kings, four books, and also Ruth, of the prophets, sixteen books [Includes Baruch]*, of Solomon, five books [Includes Wisdom and Sirach]*, the Psalms. Likewise of the histories, Job, one book, of Tobit*, one book, Esther, one, Judith*, one, of the Maccabees, two*, of Esdras, two*, Paralipomenon , two books [1,2 Chronicles] . . ."


Fourth Council of Carthage (419 AD):

Note: Canon XXIV (24). The list has been formatted for this page. A copy of this text can be read here or here.

Latin:

Ut praeter Scripturas canonicas nihil in Ecclesia legatur.
XXIV. Item ut praeter Scripturas canonicas nihil in Ecclesia legatur sub nomine divinarum Scripturarum. Sunt autem canonicae Scripturae, id est Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium, Jesu Nave, Judicum, Ruth, Regum libri 4, Paralipomenon libri 2, Job, Psalterium, Salomonis libri 5, libri 12 Prophetarum, [0191B] Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, Daniel, Thobias, Judith, Esther, Esdrae libri 2, Machabaeorum libri 2; Novi Testamenti: Evangeliorum libri 4, Actuum apostolorum liber unus, Epistolae Pauli 14, Petri apostoli 2, Joannis apostoli 3, Jacobi apostoli una, Judae apostoli una, Apocalypsis Joannis liber unus. Hoc etiam fratri et consacerdoti nostro Bonifacio, vel aliis earum partium episcopis pro confirmando isto canone innotescat, quia a Patribus ista accepimus in Ecclesia legenda.

English:


Canon XXIV. (Greek xxvii.)
That nothing be read in church besides the Canonical Scripture.
Item, that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture.
But the Canonical Scriptures are as follows:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the Son of Nun, The Judges, Ruth, The Kings, iv. books, The Chronicles, ij. books, Job. The Psalter, The Five books of Solomon [Includes Wisdom and Sirach]*, The Twelve Books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah [Includes Baruch]*, Ezechiel, Daniel, Tobit*, Judith*, Esther, Ezra, ij. books*, Macchabees, ij. books*.

The New Testament.

The Gospels, iv. books, The Acts of the Apostles, j. book, The Epistles of Paul, xiv, The Epistles of Peter, the Apostle, ij, The Epistles of John the Apostle, iij, The Epistles of James the Apostle, j, The Epistle of Jude the Apostle, j, The Revelation of John, j. book.

Let this be sent to our brother and fellow bishop, Boniface, and to the other bishops of those parts, that they may confirm this canon, for these are the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in church.


The Council of Florence (or Basel as it is sometimes called) Session 11, February 4, 1442:

Read this document online here, or download Documents of Council of Florence (PDF Format) by clicking here. Note: this PDF is in Latin.
A Microsoft word format of the Latin text is available by clicking here.

Notes:
The Council of Florence was held over 100 years before the Council of Trent, and about 80 years before the start of the reformation.

Latin:

Quinque Moysi id est Genesi Exodo Levitico Numeris Deuteronomio Iosue Iudicum Ruth quatuor Regum duobus Paralipomenon Esdra Neemia Tobia Iudith Hester Iob Psalmis David Parabolis Ecclesiaste Canticis Canticorum Sapientia Ecclesiastico Isaya Ieremia Baruch Ezechiele Daniele duodecim Prophetis Minoribus id est Osee Iohele Amos Abdia Iona Michea Naum Abachuc Sophonia Ageo Zacharia Malachia duobus Machabeorum quatuor Evangeliis Mathei Marci Luce Iohannis quatuordecim Epistolis Pauli ad Romanos duabus ad Corinthios ad Galatas ad Ephesios ad Philipenses duabus ad Thesalonicenses ad Colocenses duabus ad Thimotheum ad Titum ad Philemonem ad Hebreos Petri duabus tribus Iohannis una Iacobi una Iude actibus apostolorum et apocalipsi Iohannis.

English:

"Most firmly it believes, professes and preaches that the one true God, Father, Son and holy Spirit, is the creator of all things that are, visible and invisible, who, when he willed it, made from his own goodness all creatures, both spiritual and corporeal, good indeed because they are made by the supreme good, but mutable because they are made from nothing, and it asserts that there is no nature of evil because every nature, in so far as it is a nature, is good. It professes that one and the same God is the author of the old and the new Testament -- that is, the law and the prophets, and the gospel -- since the saints of both testaments spoke under the inspiration of the same Spirit. It accepts and venerates their books, whose titles are as follows.

Five books of Moses, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, Esdras, Nehemiah, Tobit*, Judith*, Esther, Job, Psalms of David, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom*, Ecclesiasticus [Sirach]*, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch*, Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, namely Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; two books of the Maccabees*; the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; fourteen letters of Paul, to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, two to the Thessalonians, to the Colossians, two to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two letters of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude; Acts of the Apostles; Apocalypse of John."


The Codices


In my research into the subject I have discovered these important facts regarding prominent Bible Codices. 


1. The Codex Sinaiticus [c. 330-360 AD] (S) or (א), which is a relatively complete manuscript of the LXX (Greek Septuagint), included the deuterocanonical books, with only Baruch's inclusion unsubstantiated due to it not being where it traditionally appeared. Though with missing parts of the texts (lacunae), it is possible that it was included after Lamentations, in sections now missing. [ W ] [ CE ]

2. The Codex Vaticanus [c. 325–350 AD] (B) is a virtually complete copy of the LXX (Greek Septuagint) and includes the deuterocanonical books minus only 1-4 Maccabees. [ W ] [ CE ]

3. The Codex Alexandrinus [c. 400-440] (A) contains a majority of the Greek Spetuagint (LXX) and includes all of the deuterocanonical books that the Catholic Church considers canonical. Again, no distinction is made in this manuscript that these books are of less value or different in any way to the rest of the Sacred Scriptures. [ W ] [ CE ]

4. The deuterocanon can also be found in various ancient papyri editions of the Bible as well as different recensions of the LXX.


Quick Notes on Esdras

The Numbering of books of Esdras depends on who's listing them. This issue can be quite confusing.

1 Esdras in the Vulgate is Ezra
2 Esdras in the Vulgate is Nehemiah
3 Esdras in the Vulgate is 1 Esdras from the LXX (Septuagint)
4 Esdras in the Vulgate has no LXX counterpart.

Non Canononical References and Quotations

Several texts are mentioned in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and New Testament, yet do not appear in the canon of scripture. Scholars consider some of these to be lost works, while others are viewed as pseudepigraphal. Some of the texts referenced and quoted in the New Testament are indeed classical pagan Greek works. This demonstrates the following:

  • Something being quoted or referenced in the Bible does not make it Canonical
  • Something not being referenced or quoted by other books of the Bible does not make it non-Canonical
  • E.g. Obadiah, Zephaniah, Judges, 1 Chronicles, Nahum, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, or the Song of Solomon).
  • The Apostle Paul was well read in non-Christian literature.
  • At least four times, Paul, an Apostle of Christ included quotes from pagan writers in the New Testament
  • Paul seemed to have no theological problem with quoting pagans, and the Holy Spirit must have concurred.
  • We conclude then, that reading non Canonical works, will not only not destroy your faith, but could enhance it, as Paul demonstrates.

Classical (Pagan) Greek works Quoted and referenced in the New Testament
Old Testament Non Canonical Quotations


Jerome & The Deuterocanon



Note, this section is in need of editing -- apologies for the (at times) incoherence I will spend time on this shortly.

Perhaps the most common argument that protestants use to defend the designation of the Deuterocanon as "Apocrypha" is a series of misinterpreted teachings on Jerome and his dealings with the scriptures. Protestants often fail to mention that the Latin Vulgate (c. 5th Century AD), which included the Deuterocanonical as inspired scripture, was due largely to Jerome. They also fail to mention that Jerome himself used the deuterocanon as inspired scripture until the end of his life. This is easily verifiable by reading his works. 

Below I have included a video response by Steven. K Ray, a great Catholic Apologist, who is responding to the false teachings and poor scholarship of A&O Ministries, who is one of the responsible parties for perpetuating fallacious information regarding the deuterocanon and Jerome. It is highly suggested you watch this video, as it shows very plainly what went on with Jerome. 

It should also be noted that Jerome wasn't a theological authority. Jerome was not a theologian like Augustine was, and the councils went with Augustine and rendered their decision. Can we accept the arguments of members of denominations that didn't even exist at the time of Augustine that they are truly the Church? Without Schism as Paul Instructs? Without clear descension as Paul also speaks against; advising to hold to what has tought until he; an authority ofthe Church, could put in inspired ink what the guidlines of not just faith, but Church authority he was already demonstrating? 

This authority most certainly according to scripture for all of the apostles, is very clear in Scripture, especially the book of Matthew. (see 16:18/16:19). The new testament is very clear that this authority, given by Christ himself at the foundation of his Church, to Peter and the Other Apostles, includes the authority of sending those as they had been sent, with the same authority, as they declare their successors. This is an undeniable divine authority with an unbroken chain since it's declaration by Christ himself in the aforementioned verses.

St. Jerome was commissioned by Pope Damasus to translate all 73 books into Latin. Pope Damasus considered the 7 DC books to be inspired by God.

It is interesting to note that the Palestinian Jews rejected the deuterocanonical books for their version of Holy Scriptures and neither did they accept any of the New Testament. Unfortunately, the Protestants base their Bible on this version which comes from a people who did not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. In 1946, after the finding of the dead-sea scrolls, it was discovered that these 7 DC books (the deuterocanon) were used by the Jews in Alexandria, even in their services. This verifies that Pope Damasus was correct.


Protestants who cite Jerome for their rejection of the deuterocanon, fail to cite Jerome on his views regarding:
  • The Perpetual Virginity of Mary (read his letter here).
  • Acceptance of the Papacy
  • Fasting
  • The intercession of the Saints in Heaven
  • Several other topics Jerome is very "Catholic" about.

Steven K. Ray & The Deuterocanon


In addition to Jerome's use of the deuterocanonical books as scripture until his death, he is also famously known for his quote:

"Ignorance of scriptures is ignorance of Christ".

More Quotes from Jerome

"...he who brings charges against me for relating [in my preface to the book of Daniel] the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susannah [Dan. 13], the Song of the Three Children [Dan. 3:29-68, RSV-CE], and the story of Bel and the Dragon [Dan. 14], which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they are wont to make against us. If I did not reply to their views in my preface, in the interest of brevity, lest it seem that I was composing not a preface, but a book, I believe I added promptly the remark, for I said, 'This is not the time to discuss such matters'" (St. Jerome Against Rufinius 11:33 [A.D. 401]; emphasis added).

"Does not the Scripture say: 'Burden not thyself above thy power' [Sirach 13:2]..." (Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 108, in NPNF2, VI:207)

"Do not, my dearest brother, estimate my worth by the number of my years. Gray hairs are not wisdom; it is wisdom which is as good as gray hairs At least that is what Solomon says: 'wisdom is the gray hair unto men.’ [Wisdom 4:9]" Moses too in choosing the seventy elders is told to take those whom he knows to be elders indeed, and to select them not for their years but for their discretion (Numbers 11:16) ? And, as a boy, Daniel judges old men and in the flower of youth condemns the incontinence of age (Daniel 13:55-59, or Story of Susannah 55-59, only found in Catholic Bibles) Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58, in NPNF2, VI:119)

"I would cite the words of the psalmist: 'the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,’ [Ps 51:17] and those of Ezekiel 'I prefer the repentance of a sinner rather than his death,’ [Ez 18:23] and those of Baruch, 'Arise, arise, O Jerusalem,’ [Baruch 5:5] and many other proclamations made by the trumpets of the prophets." (Jerome, To Oceanus, Epistle 77:4, in NPNF2, VI:159)



Credits and Special Thanks

I would like to thank Pete Holter and Will Austin for their assistance locating materials referenced in this document.

External Links

Five Myths about seven books
Defending the Deuterocanonicals
Refuting an Attack on the Deuterocanonicals
Counting the Canon
Order "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger" by Gary G. Michuta by clicking here.
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Paul Swonger,
Jun 13, 2009, 2:20 PM
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Paul Swonger,
May 29, 2009, 8:39 PM
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Paul Swonger,
Jun 13, 2009, 9:56 AM
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