WHY CATHOLICS USE COMPLETE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE (Part One)
Welcome to the LESSON sixteen in our CATECHESIS CORNER. We appreciate the feedback, keep it up. Let us pray: Spirit of the Living God, enlighten our minds to know the Truth, strengthen our hearts to accept the Truth and cause us to live for the Truth. Through this Catechesis Corner, restore those who have fallen from the Truth, convince the doubting hearts, clarify the confused mind and lead us all to the fullness of Truth through Christ our Lord. Amen
Sometimes when some passages and Books of the Bible are given as the day’s scripture reading or quoted during DSD daily reflections, some Users usually do not find such books or passages in their Bible. Examples of such passages and books are: Daniel 3:31-97, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, First and Second Maccabees, as well as additions to Esther and Daniel.
Some Users sent some questions to the catechesis corner regarding the above subject. We have summarized the questions to the following two: What’s the difference between a Catholic Bible and a Protestant one? Why are there differences between the Catholic and Protestant Books of the Bible?
Catholic Bibles retained all the books that have been traditionally accepted by all Christians since Jesus’ time. Protestant Bibles contain all those Books, except those rejected by the Protestant Reformers in the 1500s. Among the main reasons Protestants rejected these Biblical Books was because they did not support Protestant doctrines.
The Catholic Old Testament follows the Septuagint, the Old Testament which was translated into Greek around 250 B.C. The Protestant Reformers follows the Palestinian canon of the Scripture (39 Books), officially recognized by the Jews around 100 A.D.
Catholics United for the Faith in their research on this subject, wrote: The Apostles commissioned by Jesus, however, used the Septuagint (the Old Testament in Greek which contained the Alexandrian Canon) most of the time and must have accepted the Alexandrian canon. For example, 86 percent of Old Testament quotes in the Greek New Testament came directly from the Septuagint, not to mention numerous linguistic references. Acts 7 provides an interesting piece of evidence that justifies the Apostolic use of the Septuagint. In Acts 7:14 St. Stephen says that Jacob came to Joseph with 75 people. The Masoretic Hebrew version of Genesis 46:27 says “70,” while the Septuagint says “75,” the number Stephen used. Following the Apostles’ example, Stephen clearly used the Septuagint. (We also know from other ancient Christian documents, like the Didache, and Pope St. Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians, that the Apostles’ successors not only used the Septuagint, but quoted from all of the Books in the Alexandrian Canon as the authoritative word of God.)
Why don’t the Jews accept the Alexandrian Canon now? They follow after their predecessors, who around 100 A.D. decided that the Septuagint which followed the Alexandrian Canon had at least two problems: First, it was written in Greek, which after the destruction of Jerusalem by Gentiles seemed “un-Jewish” or even “anti-Jewish.” Second, Christians, following the lead of their apostolic leaders, widely used the Septuagint, especially in apologetics to the Jews; thus, non-Christian Jews wanted to deny the value of some of its books, such as the Book of Wisdom, which contains a profound prophecy of Christ’s death. We shall continue in the next quarter edition.
Next edition we shall look at the classic Protestant arguments against the seven Deuterocanonical books?
Thanks for reading through, see you in our next edition, endeavour to carry out the study guide below little by little daily before the next lesson or edition. Help to deepen the understanding of the faith by giving a copy of DSD to someone and invite him or her to read the Catechesis corner.
FURTHER BIBLE READING: Exodus. 25:18–20, 1 Chronicles 28:18–19, Ezekiel 41:17–18, Numbers 21:8–9, Joshua 5:14, Exodus 27:20
CATECHESIS STUDY GUIDE: CCC No. 120-130
BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church; Henry Graham; Catholic Answers
TAKE HOME QUESTION: What is the difference between a Catholic Bible and a Protestant one?