Wednesday, April 9, 2014

35. WHY PROTESTANT BIBLE HAS ONLY 66 BOOKS?


Why Protestant Bible Missing Seven Books?

Let's examine why the Protestant Bible do not include the Seven Books they call Appropical
The missing 7 books are The Deuterocanonical books: 
  1. Baruch, 
  2. Judith, 
  3. Wisdom, 
  4. Ecclesiasticus/Sirach, 
  5. 1 Maccabees 
  6. 2 Maccabees, and 
  7. Tobit. 
These have always been in the Bible. Why did the Jews of 90 A.D. take them out? Why did Protestants in 1530 A.D. follow their lead and also take them out? By what authority did either group censure the Word of God?

For example the book of wisdom says on beginning with Wisdom 2:12 Let us therefore lie in wait for the just, because he is not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law, and divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life. 13 He boasteth that he hath the knowledge of God, and calleth himself the son of God. 14 He is become a censurer of our thoughts. 15 He is grievous unto us, even to behold: for his life is not like other men' s, and his ways are very different. 16 We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just, and glorieth that he hath God for his father. 17 Let us see then if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be. 18 For if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies. 19 Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his meekness and try his patience. 20 Let us condemn him to a most shameful death: for there shall be respect had unto him by his words. 21 These things they thought, and were deceived: for their own malice blinded them. 22 And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honour of holy souls. 23 For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him. 24 But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world: 25 And they follow him that are of his side.

Where the Jews jealous of the Christians? Was it envy that caused them to remove and probably destroyed these biblical 7 Old Testament books?

Protestants, Catholics, and most Orthodox agree now that the New Testament should consist at least of the 27 Books (Matthew through Revelation/Apocalypse) that the Catholic Church determined were canonical, but the Protestant Old Testament is lacking 7 entire books, 3 chapters of Daniel and 6 chapters of Esther, leaving them with 66 incomplete books while Catholic Bibles have 73 books. How did this come to be?

Luther wanted to remove the Epistle of James, Esther, Hebrews, Jude and Revelation. 


Calvin and Zwingli also both had problems with the Book of Revelation, the former calling it "unintelligible" and forbidding the pastors in Geneva to interpret it, the latter calling it "unbiblical". 

The Syrian (Nestorian) Church has only 22 books in the New Testament while the Ethiopian Church has 8 "extra." The first edition of the King James Version of the Bible included the "Apocryphal" (ie, Deuterocanonical) Books.

The 7 books removed from Protestant Bibles are known by Catholics as the "Deuterocanonical Books" (as opposed to the "Protocanonical Books" that are not in dispute), and by Protestants as the "Apocrypha."

By the way, "Masoretic texts" refers to translations of the Old Testament made by rabbis between the 6th and 10th centuries; the phrase doesn't refer to ancient texts in the Hebrew language. I mention this because, apparently, some people think that the Masoretic texts are the "original texts" and that, simply because they are in Hebrew, they are superior.

In any case, the Latin Church in no way ignored the post-Temple rabbinical texts. Some Old Testament translations of the canon used by the Latin Church were also based in part on rabbinical translations, for example St. Jerome's 5th c. Latin translation of the Bible called the Vulgate.

Some Protestants claim that the "Apocrypha" (i.e., the Deuterocanonical Books) are not quoted in the New Testament so, therefore, they are not canonical. First, this isn't true; see Relevant Scripture below. Second, going by that standard of proof, we'd have to throw out Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Obadiah, Nahum, and Zephaniah because none of these Old Testament Books are quoted in the New Testament.

Many non-Catholic Christians like to accuse Catholics of "adding" Books to the Bible at the 16th c. Council of Trent. This is absolutely, 100% false. This Council, among other things, simply affirmed the ancient accepted books in the face of Protestant tinkering. How could Luther have relegated the deuterocanonical books to an appendix if they hadn't already been accepted in the first place? The Gutenberg Bible was printed in 1454 -- and it included the deuterocanonical Books. How could the Church have "added" them at the Council of Trent that began 91 years later? I defy any Protestant to find a Bible in existence before 1525 that looked like a modern Protestant Bible! Most Protestant Bibles included the deuterocanonical Books until about 1815, when the British and Foreign Bible Society discontinued the practice! And note that Jews in other parts of the world who weren't around to hear the Council of Jamnia's decision in A.D. 100 include to this day those "extra" 7 books in their canon. Do some research on the canon used by Ethiopian Jewry.

There is debate as to whether the Council of Jamnia actually "closed" the Jewish canon because debate continued among Jews for hundreds of years afterward as to which books should be included or excluded. Even into the 3rd century A.D., controversy surrounded Ezekiel, Proverbs, Ruth, Esther, and others.

The Council of Jamnia?

Now we have to back up a bit: around A.D. 90-100, after the Temple fell, a rabbinical school was formed by Johanan ben Zakkai. The "Council of Jamnia" (also called "Jabneh" or "Javneh") is the name given to the decisions made by this pharisaic school. I repeat: the gathering at Jamnia was a Jewish, not a Christian, "council" consisting of Pharisees some 40 years after the Resurrection of our Lord. At that time, Jews were being scattered, and the very existence of Jewry per the Pharisees' vision of "Jewry" was being threatened. At this time, too, Christianity was growing and threatening that same Jewish identity, resulting in severe persecution of Christians by Jews. In reaction to these things and to the fact that "Nazarenes" (i.e., "Christians", who at that time were overwhelmingly Hebrew) used the Septuagint to proselytize other Jews, Zakkai convened the Jamnian school with the goals of safeguarding Hillel's Oral Law, deciding the Jewish canon (which had theretofore been, and possibly even afterward remained 5, an open canon!), and preventing the disappearance of Jewry into the Diaspora of the Christian and Roman worlds. So, circling their wagons, they threw out the Septuagint that they had endorsed for almost 400 years. Note that at the time of Christ, most Jews spoke Aramaic, Latin (the official language of the area), and/or Greek (the lingua franca at that time), not Hebrew, which was a sacred language used by priests for the Hebrew liturgy. In any case, a new Greek translation was created by Aquila -- but one without the ancient Septuagint's language that proved more difficult for the Jews to defend against when being evangelized by the Christians, the point being that any idea that a book "had" to have been written in Hebrew to be "Biblical" wasn't the issue.

Moving the story along: in other words, the Protestant "Reformers" decided against the canon held dear by the Apostles in favor of a canon determined by Pharisees some 40 years after Jesus rose from the dead -- the same Pharisees who denied the Truths of the entire New Testament, even accusing the "Nazarenes" of stealing Jesus' body from the tomb and lying to the world! (Interestingly, it was Zakkai's successor, Gamaliel, who forced the "Nazarenes" out of the synagogues. Gamaliel also made it obligatory for Jews to pray the "Prayer of Eighteen Petitions," the 12th petition, which is still prayed today, known as the birkat, being "For apostates may there be no hope, and may the Nazarenes and heretics suddenly perish.")


And do you know why the Book of Maccabees was thrown out by the Jewish Council? Because the Council was conducted under the auspices of the Flavian Roman Emperors and they decided that that particuar book, which tells of the Maccabean Revolt, might be inflammatory and incite rebellion by the Jews. So, all those Protestant Bibles are lacking the Book of Maccabees, which speaks clearly of praying for the dead, because a pagan emperor pressured the Pharisees, around 40 years after the Resurrection of Christ, to exclude it. And lest anyone is still tempted to think that it was the "Roman Church" that came up with these books and that they were not written by pre-Christ Jews (an assertion I've actually read at "Messianic" websites), Jews in other parts of the world who didn't get news of the Council of Jamnia's decisions still use those "extra" 7 books to this very day (research the canon used by Ethiopian Jewry).


So why does the Catholic Bible have 73 books, while the Protestant Bible has only 66 books?  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. More on and click here The Bible - 73 or 66 Books?