It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why Does Catholic Bible Have More Books?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: A wonderful book has recently been published detailing this topic in more detail. It's called Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: The Untold Story of the Lost Books of the Protestant Bible.

The long and short of it is this. The reason why Catholic Bibles have more books than Protestant Bibles is because in the 16th century, the Protestants took some books out of the Bible, and they significantly edited a few books as well. In addition to that, some key books from the New Testament were initially removed (Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation) by the German reformer Martin Luther. However, his followers put them back in after his death.

The Protestant Reformation is a lesson in historical revisionism. Key reformers didn't like certain books in the Bible, so they just removed them. They didn't like certain historical Christian traditions either, so they just got rid of them. Granted, they used all kinds of academic reasoning to justify their actions, and many Protestants still do today in defense of those actions, but after all is said and done, it is a historical FACT that Protestants were the group chiefly responsible for altering the number of books in the Christian Bible. Academic reasoning cannot justify this, because after all is said and done, the only people who have the AUTHORITY to alter the Bible are those responsible for publishing the original compilation (version) of it. The original compilation of the Bible, consisting of 46 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books, was first published as a single volume in 367 AD by St. Athanasius in northern Africa. This compilation was confirmed and canonized as the universal Christian Bible by 400 AD. Prior to that, there was no universal Christian Bible, and the holy scriptures used throughout the Christian world varied based on geographical location. It was the Catholic Church that standardized (canonized) it, and made St. Athanasius' list of books the standard Bible for the whole Christian world. This was done based on St. Athanasius list of 27 New Testament books (Matthew through Revelation) and the universal acceptance of the Greek Septuagint as the Old Testament throughout the Christian world. (The Greek Septuagint was the standard Old Testament most commonly used by the apostles of Jesus during their 1st century ministry.) For over 1,000 years (AD 400 though 1530) this remained the same. Then in the 16th century, the Protestant reformers changed all that, based on their academic assumptions (many of which were later proved wrong). As a result they truncated the Old Testament down to 39 books, and deleted entire chapters from the Old Testament books of Daniel and Esther. Simultaneously, Martin Luther (the father of the Reformation) also deleted four books from the New Testament (Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation), but as I said above, his followers placed those books back in after his death. Now to this very day, most Protestant Bibles are still missing 7 key Old Testament books, and entire chapters of Daniel and Esther. In summary, Protestant Bibles are INCOMPLETE.

I should point out here that in an effort to unite Catholics and Protestants in England, and restore some of English Christian tradition, King James I authorized the translation of all 46 Old Testament books. Thus the famous 1611 Authorized King James Version contained the entire Bible, including the 7 books deleted by the Protestant reformers as well as the lost chapters of Daniel and Esther. These portions of the Bible were inserted into a separate section of the King James Version called the "Apocrypha" which means "disputed books" recognizing the conflict between the Catholic Church and the Protestant reformers. The Apocrypha remained a part of the King James Version until the 1880s, when it was removed by the publisher in England to "save paper." Some King James Version publishers in the United States continued to publish the Apocrypha until as late as the 1930s, but eventually dropped it for similar reasons. It is interesting to note that in recent years, some publishers of the King James Version have gone back to their original practice, and are publishing the Apocrypha in their Bibles once again. To find one, you have to shop around. One such example is the Holy Bible: King James Version 1611 Edition, which is a literal reprint of the actual 1611 version published 400 years ago. It's a beautiful example of historic English literature.


blackshama said...

Protestants just can't accept authority from the Church that made the Bible possible.

mia said...

These extra books appear in the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible and are called the “Apocrypha.” They were not generally accepted as part of the Bible’s “canon” (list of included books) until the Council of Trent (a Catholic council held between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563). At that time, the council pronounced the Vulgate translated by St. Jerome to be the “official” Catholic Bible. (Jerome’s Vulgate was a Latin version of the Bible that included these extra books.) Since the Council of Trent, all Catholic editions of the Bible have included the Apocrypha.

However, we know from the writings of Josephus (A.D. 37-c.100) that no book was added to the Hebrew scriptures after the time of Artaxerxes who reigned after Xerxes.[1] Therefore, we know the Old Testament was completed by 424 B.C.[2] and has not changed since that time. The Apocrypha were written centuries later. For that reason and others, most Protestants did not accept adding the Apocrypha to the Bible canon during the Council of Trent. They did not necessarily believe that these extra books were “bad,” they just knew that they did not belong in the Bible. The Old Testament of most Bibles printed today follow the original Hebrew canon, matching the Jewish Tanakh (the scriptures used by the Jewish religion).

The Catholic Knight said...

There is of course one major flaw in your argument Mia. The apostles didn't believe it. They quoted the 46-book Greek Old Testament (Septuagint of LXX) more often than the 39-book Hebrew Tanakh. This Apostolic Tradition of course led the Church Fathers to accept the Septuagint as the official Old Testament when they canonised the New Testament in 360 AD to 400 AD. If the Septuagint is somehow less authoritative than the Tanakh than somebody should have told the apostles, who used it more frequently, and placed it on equal footing.

Prior to the 16th century, no Christian community in the world disputed the so-called "disputed" (i.e. "Apocrypha") books. That didn't happen until Martin Luther came along, who also happened to remove four books from the New Testament as well (Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation). Of course his followers later put those New Testament books back in the German Bible, but Luther's Old Testament argument against the 46-book Septuagint, in favour of the 39-book Tanakh, became very popular in Protestant communities from then on. This is what led to the official canonisation of the entire Bible (46-book Old Testament and 27-book New Testament) at the Council of Trent. It was a reaction to the unthinkable position that Protestants would actually reject books in the Old Testament that had been universally accepted since the apostolic era.

By the way, the 39-book Tanakh, which most Protestants use as their Old Testament, did not exist in its present form until well after 70 AD. This was after the formation of the rabbinical school at Jamnia, which reinvented Judaism after the fall of the Temple. During this reinvention process, many of the practices we associate with Judaism today were set into wide use. Among them is the practice of requiring every Jewish boy to learn Hebrew. That was not a requirement prior to 70 AD. As well as the standardisation of a 39-book Tanakh, which was used almost exclusively by the Pharisees prior to 70 AD. Prior to 70 AD, other Jews used either the Aramaic Targum or the Greek Septuagint (which contained 46 books). Now as you know, the apostles were already preaching the gospel for some four decades prior to the establishment of this rabbinical school at Jamnia, and in fact the apostles rejected this rabbinical school, and the rabbinical school rejected the apostles and the gospel of course. This is when the real wedge between Christianity and Judaism became evident.

Again, virtually no Christians (with the exception of just a few communities in the region) accepted the canon mandated at Jamnia. After the fourth century, no Christians accepted it anywhere. It wasn't until the Protestants, 1,200 years later, that some Christians rejected the Apostolic Tradition and reverted to the Jewish canon mandated at Jamnia.

When faced with a choice between Apostolic Tradition and intellectual mandates from a non-authoritative Jewish council that rejected Christ, I'll pick Apostolic Tradition every time.

Ryan Bong said...

You mentioned that the Protestants edited some books as well? Could you list some of them down? I am very curious as a Christian.