If you were a believer in the God of the Bible however, the Middle Ages were a time of great triumph and hope. For us, it’s not a matter of academics, but rather a matter of authority. It doesn’t matter. By that I mean only English Bibles with a complete Old Testament. Or do you base it on the apostolic authority of the apostles and bishops of the early Church? The Bible as we have it today, which consists of 66 books, took a very long, thoughtful process to come together. To understand, we have to go back in history — way back — to the first and second century AD, to the time of Jesus and the apostles. More answers to questions such as these can be found in the book “Are Catholics Christian? Why Does the Catholic Bible Have More Books? Dr. Scott Hahn’s RSV Ignatius Catholic Study Bible Old Testament and New Testament (Amazon affiliate link) have extensive footnotes. Also, read St. Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine and other Early Church Fathers who reference and/or defend the deuterocanonical works. Maybe people should get a Byzantine or Oriental Orthodox Bible instead to get “ALL of the Scriptures.” , The issue of the Eastern Orthodox canon is a complicated one, namely because there isn’t a singularly agreed upon canon among them. Contrary to popular belief, there was no “Council of Jamnia” as has been reported in years past. The apostles, likewise, acted upon Jesus’ teaching, and had no problem ministering to Greek-speaking Jewish synagogues during their missionary journeys. Simple. Why Does The Catholic Bible Have 7 More Books Than The Protestant Bible? Typo? Jesus spoke Aramaic, the New Testament was written in Greek, and we’ve already discussed the apostles’ use of the Septuagint. Judaism decided on its canon in the first century AD although, much like Christians, they had been using a Bible long before then. Catholics don’t have a special, secret Gospel of Mary. faithfirst December 29, 2008, 3:08am #1. In other words, the Jewish elders who translated these Scriptures from Hebrew and Aramaic into Greek didn’t just translate the words, but they translated their meaning as well, including common interpretations and understandings of how these passages were to be understood from an ancient Jewish perspective. No, these books are NOT gnostic gospels you may have heard about. He was the Messiah for all Jewish people, regardless of what language they spoke. If it is, we’ve all got some editing to do, because every Protestant has these books in his/her Bible. That’s it! The rabbis of the first century considered it to have equal authority as the Hebrew and Aramaic versions. Prior to Martin Luther (16th century), all Christians used the longer forty-six book Old Testament. The only period that Christians have any business calling the “dark ages” was the period of Roman antiquity, when Christians were persecuted for their faith by being fed to lions in the circuses and used as torches in Caesar’s gardens. They used both, they quoted from both freely, and they held to this common Jewish belief at the time, which was that both were divinely inspired. The authority to determine the canon of Scripture rests in the apostles and their successors (bishops), not in individual Saints. How about other objections to the Catholic canon, like those commonly used by some preachers to lead people to distrust the Catholic canon? Meanwhile the Pharisee Party, consisting of mostly rabbis, was by far the largest and most influential Jewish party in first century Palestine. It’s preached from behind the pulpits, on television, radio, the Internet and even written into various evangelistic tracts. Why Should an Evangelical Become Catholic? By what authority do you base your Old Testament canon? Get To Know The Young People Of The Bible, 6 Things You Didn’t Know About St. Augustine, Discernment: God Will Tell You When To Turn. Deuterocanonical, a term assigned by Catholics, means “the second canon,” which is not to say that Catholics added to the Protestant canon, but that these books aren’t included in the Hebrew Bible, which came first. Christians used the deuterocanonical books from their beginnings because they were part of the Septuagint, which was used by the apostles, Early Church Fathers, and even Jews before the time of Christ. Martin Luther had many ideas that radically changed the face of Christianity, including views that led to the formation of the Protestant bible canon, which essentially removed 7 books from the Catholic bible canon and a few portions of some other books, but added nothing. However, this ignores the historical fact that, in the first century AD, Jews were in disagreement about the size of the Jewish canon depending on what party they belonged to. Now, you’ll never hear a militant advocate for the shorter Old Testament canon tell you that. Well actually, when you know the history, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Some protestants believe that the Catholic Church added 7 books to the Bible at the Council of Trent in response to Luther’s Reformation, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Video. He is countered by the opinions recorded in the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Council of Rome, the Council of Hippo, the Third Council of Carthage, the African Code, the Apostolic Constitutions, and those recorded in the writings of Pope St. Clement I, St. Polycarp of Smyrna, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Hippolytus, St. Cyprian of Carthage, Pope St. Damasus I, St. Augustine, and Pope St. Innocent I. What about the New Testament? The Catholic Church didn’t add books. This list was not challenged until Martin Luther threw out 7 books. For example; the Talmud, the most authoritative book on Jewish traditions and interpretations specifically quotes the Septuagint (Deuterocanon) Book of Sirach as Scripture…. Next Why Doesn’t God Save Everyone? So in Alexandria, Egypt, a translation of the canon of Scripture was commissioned. Let’s just get that straight right away. People twist Scripture for their own agenda too often, but this is not just in canon-picking but also in the various translations and interpretations of Sacred Scripture. The designation of 'second canon', however, does not mean that these books were regarded as less canonical. So the Protestants compiled a version of the Bible that lacked the deuterocanonicals, while the Catholic Church explicitly affirmed their status as sacred scripture at the Council of Trent. — Bill in Quincy. Didn’t the Catholic Church Add to the Bible? For more on this topic, see Christian History Issue 43: How We Got Our Bible. Priests and catechists, throughout the United States and Canada, have already used portions of this book in their regular RCIA material, and some simply read portions of the book to their class. There is something else about this Septuagint (Deuterocanon) that was also unique. (As if God only speaks in Hebrew. Their Greek canon of Scripture — Septuagint (Deuterocanon) — contained the equivalent of forty-six books. That’s the cold, hard, historical truth. Finding a trustworthy canon and translation is so important. They are solely the opinions of the blogger, who is a faithful and orthodox Catholic. As to why the Catholics have more books, it is a matter of ecclesiastical history. That being settled, all we have left is Saint Athansius, who was an excellent scholar on determining authentic New Testament Scripture, but apparently missed the mark on the Old Testament. The Catholic Bible contains a total of 73 books, 46 in the Old Testament (Protestant Bibles have 39) and 27 in the New Testament (the same as Protestant Bibles). Catholics have 73 books of the Bible; Protestants have 66. That’s it! There’s a lot more in history, such as the decision at the Jewish Council of Jamnia to officially canonize the Hebrew Bible, but overall it can be said that the deuterocanonical books are considered sacred even in Jewish tradition, even though not a part of the Hebrew Bible. Of course, this really isn’t a big issue for some Christians. Now it is into this scene that Jesus and the apostles arrive. For Catholics and Protestants, the New Testament is the same, but Catholics have seven more books in the Old Testament: Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Ben Sira, and Baruch. 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