(Part Two)

Welcome to the LESSON seventeen in our CATECHESIS CORNER. We appreciate your reading of this corner. We welcome your questions regarding the Catholic faith use the website ‘contact us form’, keep it on. We will keep responding to your questions privately or will make it the theme of future lessons. Help more people to understand the Catholic Faith by inviting them to read this “Catechesis Corner”.

LET US PRAY: Holy Spirit of the Living God, as we read this catechesis corner, 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 Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

In this edition we are looking at the classic arguments against the seven books protestant reformers removed. Their primary claim is that the Deutero-canonical Books contain doctrines and practices, such as the doctrine of purgatory and praying for the dead, that is irreconcilable with authentic Scripture. This objection, of course, begs the question. If the deuteron-canon is inspired Scripture, then those doctrines and practices are not opposed to Scripture but part of Scripture. Another objection is that the Deutero-canonical books contain nothing prophetic. This has been proven to be false by comparing Wis. 1:16-2:1 and 2:12-24 to Matthew’s passion account, especially Mt. 27:40-43.

Some of our separated brethren argue that contemporary Jews do not still accept the Deutero-canonical Books. Why do Jews reject these Books? Jews reject these books based on bias against Christianity. Why should the Church accept the authority of a post-christ Jewish council instead of the Apostles authority? The Church accepted these Books because Jesus and the Apostles accepted and quoted from them. Some Protestants point to Jerome’s rejection of Deutero-canonical Books. Though Jerome was suspicious of some Books of the Old Testament initially, he fully accepted the decision of the Church on the matter, as shown in a letter written in 402 A. D. Jerome wrote: “What sin have I committed if I follow the decision of the churches?” Jerome made it clear that the Jews rejected Daniel’s more extended version but that Christians accepted it. Our separated brethren, still denied the more extended version of Daniel, according to Alexandrian canon, when St. Jerome accepted it. You may hear some Protestants claim that the Church did not authoritatively define the canon of Scripture until the Council of Trent. Some accuse the Council of Trent of adding the Deutero-canonical Books to the original Christian canon. History tells us that the claim is false. Right from 382, various Regional councils of the early Church had enumerated the books of the bible time and again before the Protestant Reformation. These various councils always upheld the complete books of the Bible as currently held by the Catholic Church. The various early councils of Christianity include the Council of Rome in 382, the Council of Hippo in 393, the Third (3rd) and Fourth (4th) Councils of Carthage in 397 and 418 respectively. All of these councils affirmed the Catholic canon as we know it today.

This same Alexandrian canon received the total support of Church Fathers, such as St. Augustine. Pope St. Innocent in 405 taught the Alexandrian (Catholic) canon in his letter to the Bishop of Toulouse. In that year that St. Jerome completed the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible with the complete books of the Bible, as requested by the Popes. In 1442 at the council of Florence the Church affirmed the complete books of the Bible again. In 1546, the Council of Trent responded to the Protestant Reformation by affirming the complete books as upheld by Florence’s council (in the Decree on Sacred Books and on Traditions to be Received). The council of Trent decreed that these books were to be treated “with equal devotion and reverence.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church also affirms the same Books, as established by the Apostolic Tradition which included the Deutero-canonical Books.

Thanks to Catholic United for the Faith (CUF) for making this article available to us. Thank you dear DSD Users for reading through, see you in our next edition, and endeavour to carry out the study guide below little by little daily before the next lesson/edition. Help to deepen faith’s understanding by giving a copy of DSD to someone and invite him/her to read the catechesis corner.

FURTHER BIBLE READING: The Catholic Church and the Bible by Fr. Peter Stravinskas

CATECHESIS STUDY GUIDE: CCC No. 120 -130

TAKE HOME QUESTION: Why does the Catholic Church accept the Deutero-canonical books/ Alexandrian canon?