Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Did Catholics Add Books to the Bible?

I often was told they did and the "Apocrypha" was added by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent to justify their false doctrines, particularly purgatory and praying for the dead (from the books of Maccabees).
Well, when the Bible was printed in 1451 by Gutenberg 50 years or more before the Reformation, and more than 100 years before the Council of Trent, it contained all the books in the Old and Testament that had been recognized since the fourth century when the Canon of Scripture was decided by the Council of Hippo in 391 AD.
Every Bible laboriously hand copied by monks for generations and generations had the same number of books in it, not adding or deleting anything. (I bet the monks wouldn't have minded 7 less books to have to copy!) Again, proving that Catholics couldn't hate the Bible for they spent so many years making sure it was accurately reproduced for generations to come.

So when did the Bible shrink? It was after the Reformation when Martin Luther went through it and removed the books that he felt by his "private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20) should not be in the original Canon. Wow! I hope he wasn't just having a bad day that day when he removed the books. Did he not know that even St. Paul quoted from the books of the "Apocrypha" in his New Testament letters? Martin Luther basically adopted the canon that was promulgated by the first century Jews of the Pharisee sect who didn't want to accept these OT books because they were written in Greek, and feared the "Hellinization" of their culture. So he accepted a canon from a very anti-christian sect of Jews but rejected the canon determined by the Catholic Church and widely accepted for the past 1200 years.
Thankfully, Luther was overruled by his friend Melanchthon when he insisted the good doctor had gone too far when he sought to remove the Epistle of James from the Canon. "I'd like to throw little Jimmy in the stove" he said. I suspect it was that verse "we are not saved by faith alone" that got stuck in his craw. James 2:24
For a detailed discussion on the canon of Scripture and why Catholics include "the Apocrypha"


Anonymous Daniel L. Black said...

The only problem that I have with "the Apocrypha" is that the Jewish people don't even consider it to be scripture. For being a faith that has been engrafted into the "Jewish family" (see the whole teaching on that in Romans). For me, I consider the Apocrypha to be books of wisdom, but do not consider it to be scripture. Just as today there are many books that are good, that have the wisdom of the Lord within them, but we don't consider it to be Bible. For me, the same approach should be taken be taken concerning the Apocrypha.
As for me, I am a non-Catholic Christian (non-denominational), but love my Catholic brothers and sisters in faith. To me the number one thing of importance is are you saved (know Christ as your Lord and Savior)? If you are, than that is what is of important, not what church you have membership in. It is fine and dandy to be a Catholic, but it is just as dandy and fine to be a Charasmatic, a Baptist, or even a Lutheran, as long as we honor and love eachother as brothers and sisters in Christ (which I know is something hard for people on both sides to grasp ahold of). Again, God is calling His people (Catholic, protestant, all of the others) to fulfill the the only unanswered prayer of Jesus found in the Gospel of John chapter 17. That they would be one as He was one with the Heavenly Father. When we have become one (unified not in denomination, but in love, faith, and purity, in the heart of Jesus) we will accomplish the will of God (truly placing what is in heaven being done on earth).

June 01, 2006 4:04 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for the comment!
The reason the Jews don't recognize it was because it was written in Greek and they were trying to do away with the "hellinization" of their culture and refused anything not written in Hebrew. Also they were getting increasingly disturbed by the use of the Greek Septuagint to convert their own followers in the early days of the church.
Paul quoted from the Greek Old Testament including the "apocrypha" in his writings in the New Testament.
The Jews actually didn't decide on what their official canon of Scripture was until after the original canon of Scripture was already decided in the fourth century by the early church. The "apocrypha" was part of the original canon of Scriptures of the early church.
Protestant author Paul Achtemeier tells us, "Eastern and Roman Catholic tradition generally considered the Old Testament ‘apocryphal’ books to be canonical. It was not until the Protestant Reformation that these books were clearly denied canonical status (in Protestant circles). The Roman church, however, continues to affirm their place in the canon of Scripture" (Harper’s Bible Dictionary, 1st ed. [Harper & Row, c1985], 69)

June 01, 2006 4:33 PM  

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