Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Refuting Catholic Answers: "How to Defend the Deuterocanonicals"


Refuting Catholic Answers How to Defend the Deuterocanonicals (https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/how-to-defend-the-deuterocanonicals)

God’s written word was entrusted to the Jews, but he never provided them with an inspired table of contents.

Neither has Rome, thus the distinction CA attempts to make here is negated.

• They divided their sacred writings into three parts: the law, the prophets, and the writings (which were canonized in that order).

Which tripartite canon is what we see being referred to in the Lord's instruction to His disciples in Luke 24:

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24:44)

Which is understood as being the Palestinian canon held to by those who sat in the seat of Moses, and which the ancient 1st century Jewish historian Josephus numbered as 22 books, and which is understood as correspondent to the 39 book Protestant canon, which divides books the Jews referred to as single works.

Answering the charges of an anti-Semite named Apion at the end of the first century A.D., Josephus says:

“We do not possess myriads of inconsistent books, conflicting with each other. other. Our books, those which are justly accredited, are but two and twenty, and contain the record of all time....” — Josephus, Against Apion, 1,8 (38-41)

"...the pseudepigraphical work 4 Ezra (probably written about A.D. 1208)...admits that only twenty-four Scriptures have circulated publicly since Ezra's time." —
Robert C. Newman, "THE COUNCIL OF JAMNIA AND THE OLD TESTAMENT CANON," Westminster Theological Journal 38.4 (Spr. 1976) 319-348

Cyril of Jerusalem, whose list rejected the apocrypha (except for Baruch) exhorts his readers to
“read the Divine Scriptures, the twenty-two books of the Old Testament, these that have been translated by the Seventy-two Interpreters,” the latter referring to the Septuagint but not as including the apocrypha. (Cyril of Jerusalem on the Canon of Scripture)

And which means that the 39 book Protestant canon is more ancient than that of Rome's, as it corresponds to a ancient canon held by Palestinian Jews from before the third century, and which is affirmed in Catholic scholarship:

“the protocanonical books of the Old Testament correspond with those of the Bible of the Hebrews, and the Old Testament as received by Protestants.” “...the Hebrew Bible, which became the Old Testament of Protestantism.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia>Canon of the Old Testament; htttp://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03267a.htm) The Protestant canon of the Old Testament is the same as the Palestinian canon. (The Catholic Almanac, 1960, p. 217)

By the time of Christ, the law—and most likely the prophets—was set in number, but the writings were not yet closed.
Not yet universally closed, yes, but which was also the case for most of Rome's history, yet nor is the canon universally settled today in all that is called Christianity.

In Jesus’ time, the Samaritans and Sadducees accepted the law but rejected the prophets and writings. The Pharisees accepted all three. Other Jews used a Greek version (the Septuagint) that included the seven disputed books, known as the deuterocanonicals. Still other Jews used a version of the canon that is reflected in the Septaguint and included versions of the seven books in question in their original Hebrew or Aramaic.

Which is is simply ignorance and or erroneous or dubious (at best) statements deceptively presented as facts. For this claim presumes that the Septuagint contained all the apocryphal books at that time, but for which there is no historical evidence. The earliest existing Greek manuscripts which contain some of them date from the 4th Century and are understood to have been placed therein by Christians.

Philo of Alexandria (1st c A.D.) states that only the Torah (the first 5 books of the O.T.) was commissioned to be translated, leaving the rest of the O.T. following in later centuries, and in an order that is not altogether clear, nor do all LXX manuscripts have the same apocryphal books and names.

British scholar R. T. Beckwith states,

Philo of Alexandria's writings show it to have been the same as the Palestinian. He refers to the three familiar sections, and he ascribes inspiration to many books in all three, but never to any of the Apocrypha....The Apocrypha were known in the church from the start, but the further back one goes, the more rarely are they treated as inspired. (Roger T. Beckwith, "The Canon of the Old Testament" in Phillip Comfort, The Origin of the Bible [Wheaton: Tyndale House, 2003] pp. 57-64)

It is understood that
manuscripts of anything like the capacity of Codex Alexandrinus were not used in the first centuries of the Christian era, and since in the second century AD the Jews seem largely to have discarded the Septuagint…there can be no real doubt that the comprehensive codices of the Septuagint, which start appearing in the fourth century AD, are all of Christian origin.

Nor is there agreement between the codices which the Apocrypha include...Moreover, all three codices [Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus], according to Kenyon, were produced in Egypt, yet the contemporary Christian lists of the biblical books drawn up in Egypt by Athanasius and (very likely) pseudo-Athanasius are much more critical, excluding all apocryphal books from the canon, and putting them in a separate appendix.
(Roger Beckwith, [Anglican priest, Oxford BD and Lambeth DD], The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church [Eerdmans 1986], p. 382, 383; Triablogue: The legendary Alexandrian canon)

Edward Earle Ellis attests,
“No two Septuagint codices contain the same apocrypha, and no uniform Septuagint ‘Bible’ was ever the subject of discussion in the patristic church. In view of these facts the Septuagint codices appear to have been originally intended more as service books than as a defined and normative canon of Scripture,” (E. E. Ellis, The Old Testament in Early Christianity [Baker 1992], 34-35.

Furthermore, if quoting from some of the Septuagint means the whole is sanctioned, then since the Psalms of Solomon, which is not part of any scriptural canon, is found in copies of the Septuagint as is Psalm 151, and 3 and 4 Maccabees (Vaticanus [early 4th century] does not include any of the Maccabean books, while Sinaiticus [early 4th century] includes 1 and 4 Maccabees and Alexandrinus [early 5th century] includes 1, 2, 3, and 4 Maccabees and the Psalms of Solomon), then we would be bound to accept them as well.

Gleason Archer states,
Even in the case of the Septuagint, the apocryphal books maintain a rather uncertain existence. The Codex Vaticanus (B) lacks [besides 3 and 4] 1 and 2 Maccabees (canonical, according to Rome), but includes 1 Esdras (non-canonical, according to Rome). The Sinaiticus (Aleph) omits Baruch (canonical, according to Rome), but includes 4 Maccabees (non-canonical, according to Rome)... Thus it turns out that even the three earliest MSS or the LXX show considerable uncertainty as to which books constitute the list of the Apocrypha.. (Archer, Gleason L., Jr., "A Survey of Old Testament Introduction", Moody Press, Chicago, IL, Rev. 1974, p. 75; What are the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha?)

The German historian Martin Hengel writes,

Sinaiticus contains Barnabas and Hermas, Alexandrinus 1 and 2 Clement.” “Codex Alexandrinus...includes the LXX as we know it in Rahlfs’ edition, with all four books of Maccabees and the fourteen Odes appended to Psalms.” “...the Odes (sometimes varied in number), attested from the fifth century in all Greek Psalm manuscripts, contain three New Testament ‘psalms’: the Magnificat, the Benedictus, the Nunc Dimittis from Luke’s birth narrative, and the conclusion of the hymn that begins with the ‘Gloria in Excelsis.’ This underlines the fact that the LXX, although, itself consisting of a collection of Jewish documents, wishes to be a Christian book.” (Martin Hengel, The Septuagint as Christian Scripture [Baker 2004], pp. 57-59)

Also,

The Targums did not include these books, nor the earliest versions of the Peshitta, and the apocryphal books are seen to have been later additions, and later versions of the LXX varied in regard to which books of the apocrypha they contained. “Nor is there agreement between the codices which of the Apocrypha include. (Eerdmans 1986), 382. The two most complete targums (translations of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic which date from the first century to the Middel Ages) contain all the books of the Hebrew Bible except Ezra, Nehemiah and Daniel.

When the Christians claimed that they had written new scriptures, Jews from a rabbinical school in Javneh met around year 80 and, among other things, discussed the canon. They did not include the New Testament nor the seven Old Testament works and portions of Daniel and Esther. This still did not settle the Pharisee canon, since not all Jews agreed with or even knew about the decision at Javneh.

This also indicates ignorance. As WP documents, The theory that Jamnia finalised the canon, first proposed by Heinrich Graetz in 1871,[2] was popular for much of the 20th century. However, it was increasingly questioned from the 1960s onward, and the theory has been largely discredited.[3] (Council of Jamnia - Wikipedia) Sid Z. Leiman made an independent challenge for his University of Pennsylvania thesis published later as a book in 1976, in which he wrote that none of the sources used to support the theory actually mentioned books that had been withdrawn from a canon, and questioned the whole premise that the discussions were about canonicity at all, stating that they were actually dealing with other concerns entirely. Other scholars have since joined in and today the theory is largely discredited.[28]

Some scholars argue that the Jewish canon was fixed earlier by the Hasmonean dynasty.[5]
(Development of the Hebrew Bible canon - Wikipedia)


If anything is certain, it is that there was no common canon among the Jews at the time of Christ.

Which is simply deceptive, for while there was also variant views as there are today on many things, the manifest reality is that an authoritative body (canon) of wholly inspired writings had been established by the time of Christ, and without an infallible magisterium, which Rome presumes is essential for ascertaining that is of God.

Therefore the Lord and disciples repeatedly quoted from, referenced, and referred them and others to the Scriptures as authoritative, (Matthew 21:42; 26:54,56; Mark 14:49) including reading from one of the established books in the synagogue as Scripture, (Luke 4:21) and men such as Paul reasoned with Jews likewise "from the Scriptures," and men "searched the Scriptures" in order to ascertain his veracity, (Acts 17:2,11) and there were souls who were "mighty in the Scriptures," (Acts 18:34,28) and the Lord substantiated His mission to the disciples by the Scriptures (as a tripartite canon), and opened their minds to the understanding "of the Scriptures." (Luke 24:44,45)

Yet Catholics argu that there was no authoritative canon of sacred writings! And note that those who sat in the seat of Moses, whom the Lord enjoined conditional (only Scriptural) obedience to, (Mt. 23:2) never made the canonical status of the Scriptures the Lord and His prima NT church invoked as issue, this implicitly affirming there accepted status.

At the Council of Rome in 382, the Church decided upon a canon of 46 Old Testament books and 27 in the New Testament. This decision was ratified by the councils at Hippo (393), Carthage (397, 419), II Nicea (787), Florence (1442), and Trent (1546).

None of which were ecumenical councils that settled the canon so that disagreement was disallowed. Thus as even the Catholic Encyclopedia states,

In the Latin Church, all through the Middle Ages [5th century to the 15th century] we find
evidence of hesitation about the character of the deuterocanonicals. There is a current friendly to them, another one distinctly unfavourable to their authority and sacredness, while wavering between the two are a number of writers whose veneration for these books is tempered by some perplexity as to their exact standing, and among those we note St. Thomas Aquinas. Few are found to unequivocally acknowledge their canonicity. The prevailing attitude of Western medieval authors is substantially that of the Greek Fathers. The chief cause of this phenomenon in the West is to be sought in the influence, direct and indirect, of St. Jerome's depreciating Prologus (CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Canon of the Old Testament)

Further, if Catholics added the deuterocanonical books in 1546, then Martin Luther beat us to the punch: He included them in his first German translation, published the Council of Trent...
they had been included at least in an appendix of Protestant Bibles. It is historically demonstrable that Catholics did not add the books, Protestants took them out.


Which is more deception, for the issue is not whether the Deuteros can be read, but the canonical status of them. And as they are were not considered canonical, Luther translated them but placed them in a separate section, as did typical Protestant Bibles, as per an ancient tradition. Thus it is historically demonstrable that Catholics did not the books as Scripture, while Protestants followed the more ancient canon, out of which the NT shows Lord referenced writings as authoritative Scripture.

Luther had a tendency to grade the Bible according to his preferences. In his writings on the New Testament, he noted that the books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation were inferior to the rest, and they followed "the certain, main books of the New Testament."

Which was nothing novel or unCatholic, for in reality, scholarly disagreements over the canonicity (proper) of certain books continued down through the centuries, and right into Trent, until it provided the first "infallible," indisputable canon
after the death of Luther.

Thus Luther was no maverick but had substantial RC support for his non-binding canon, and which did not determine the canon for Protestantism.

In 1519, this same attitude fueled his debate against Johannes Eck on the topic of purgatory. Luther undermined Eck’s proof text of 2 Maccabees 12 by devaluing the deuterocanonical books as a whole.

And since the canon had not been settled then Eck had a problem which would not be rectified until after the death of Luther. Likewise, Luther's position on the canon could not be made a damnable issue, as it is with later Catholicism, until after Trent.

Though there are no quotes, the New Testament does make numerous allusions to the deuterocanonical books. For one strong example, examine Hebrews 11:35: "Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release that they might rise again to a better life."

Even contemporary news can be referenced in Scripture, (Luke 13:1-3) which does not mean it is the latter, but, in contrast to the basis for Catholic oral tradition being the word of God, affirmation of such by inspired Scripture surely means it is true. And in contrast to canonical writings, the deuteros (Apocrypha) were never referred to as scripture as in "Search the scriptures" (John 5:39) and to Sadducees Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God (Matthew 22:29) or "It is written."(Mt. 4:4)

"Early Christians read the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. It included the seven deuterocanonical books.

Which is a repetition of the deceptive statement which was dealt with earlier.

Since there was disagreement between some Church Fathers, it became obvious that no individual could provide an infallible list of inspired books.The bottom line: "We have no other assurance that the books of Moses, the four Gospels, and the other books are the true word of God," wrote Augustine, "but by the canon of the Catholic Church."

Which presumption would logically mean that first century souls had no other assurance that the books of Moses were the true word of God," yet the manifestly did! And rather than the historical magisterium infallibly indisputably defining what and who was of God, the church began with common souls assuredly ascertaining that both men (such as the prohets and John the baptizer: "for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed" (Mark 11:32) and writings were of God. (John 7:40-42)

So much for the presumption of Rome with her the novel and unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility.

• One must either trust a rabbinical school that rejected the New Testament 60 years after Christ established a Church, or one must trust the Church he established.

Which is simply a reiteration of ignorance dealt with before, as well as pure propagada, For the fact is that the church of Rome (nor the EOs, if less aberrant) cannot claim to be the one true and apostolic church, since distinctive Catholic are not manifest in the only wholly inspired substantive authoritative record of what the NT church believed (including how they understood the OT and gospels), which is Scripture, especially Acts thru Revelation.

Which deserves our trust? Martin Luther makes a pertinent observation in the sixteenth chapter of his Commentary on St. John "We are obliged to yield many things to the papists [Catholics]—that they possess the Word of God which we received from them, otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it."

Which helps the RC argument how? The Catholic logic is that if one is indebted to Catholicism for the Bible then it means acknowledging and submitting to Catholicism as being the infallible authority on what it consists of and means.

However, this logically means that first century souls should have submitted to those who sat in the seat of Moses over Israel, (Mt. 23:2) who were the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture, "because that unto them were committed the oracles of God," (Rm. 3:2) to whom pertaineth" the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" (Rm. 9:4) of Divine guidance, presence and perpetuation as they believed, (Gn. 12:2,3; 17:4,7,8; Ex. 19:5; Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Ps, 11:4,9; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34; Jer. 7:23)

And instead they followed an itinerant Preacher whom the magisterium rejected, and whom the Messiah reproved them Scripture as being supreme, (Mk. 7:2-16) and established His Truth claims upon scriptural substantiation in word and in power, as did the early church as it began upon this basis. (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.)

Note also that whenever you see a Catholic quote Luther as this one , one should avail the research of James Swan a site search (site:beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com
"We are obliged to yield many things" ..).

Thus once again the sophistry of (money-begging) Catholic Answers is once again exposed, but the grace of God.

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