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The Deuterocanonicals: More Books in Catholic Bibles?

The Catholic Church (and most Orthodox Churches) have at least seven books in their Old Testament which Protestant Bibles do not: Sirach, Tobit, Wisdom, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and Baruch. Catholics refer to them as the deuterocanonical ("second canon") books because they were originally disputed and their canonicity established later than other books. Protestants say that they are not inspired and so call them "Apocrypha."

The Catholic Church first established the complete list of books at the Council of Rome in 382, which included the deuterocanonical books. It has reaffirmed that same list many times throughout history, especially during times when some disputed the canon. While Protestants may claim that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches each added these books much later in history, or even as late as the Protestant Reformation, this is not the case.

Ironically, to justify the set of books in Protestant Bibles, Protestants must agree with the Council of Rome's New Testament canon, but reject the same council's Old Testament canon. In addition, they must accept the Jewish Council of Jamnia's views on the Old Testament canon, and ignore the fact that this same council is the one where the Gospels were rejected as Jewish scripture.

  • Four Hundred Silent Years? - Was there really a 400-year gap between writing the Old and New Testaments? By Jimmy Akin (catholic.com)
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