Bible History

It seems Martin Luther didn't believe Jesus when He said He would send His Holy Spirit to guide the Church. That is why 2 Thessalonians 2:14 reads "Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle."

Besides placing the 7 books and part of Daniel and part of Esther from the Old Testament in the back of his Bible unnumbered Luther also placed Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation apart at the end of his New Testament in 1522 (Source). These four New Testament books were eventually placed back in the proper order 80 years later but the Old Testament books were completely removed around 1825. The 7 Old Testament books and part of Daniel and part of Esther are called the Apocrypha by Protestants. Luther didn't include them because they were not in the Jewish canon.

From the Jewish Virtual Library we read this about the Apocrypha not being in the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) that was compiled just before 100 AD, "These books were included in the Jewish canon by the Talmudic sages at Yavneh around the end of the first century CE". We also see that since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran in 1947 "They have been a major focus of scholarly and general interest for the last half-century. Among the Dead Sea Scrolls were a number of manuscripts of the Apocrypha ..." "mostly in Hebrew, with a lesser number in Aramaic and even fewer in Greek."

"Coins at Qumran show people lived there from about 135 B.C. to the Roman destruction in 68 A.D." and "God promised to preserve His word in Isaiah 59:21; 40:8; Psalm 119:89, and 1 Peter 1:23-25." are both quotes from this Overview of the Dead Sea Scrolls. So it looks like the manuscripts found at Qumran predate the Jewish canon by the Talmudic sages.

The Septuagint or simply "LXX" which includes the Apocrypha were translated from Hebrew to Greek in stages between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC in Alexandria. "The early Christian Church used the Greek texts since Greek was a lingua franca of the Roman Empire at the time, and the language of the Church. In addition the Church Fathers tended to accept Philo's account of the LXX's miraculous and inspired origin. Furthermore, the New Testament writers, when citing the Jewish scriptures or when quoting Jesus doing so, freely used the Greek translation, implying that the Apostles and their followers considered it reliable."

So the Septuagint (LXX) also predates the Jewish canon by the Talmudic sages. Martin Luther compiled his Old Testament with the same books as the Jewish canon. It looks like Luther would have been wise to follow traditions like the Bible says.

I guess that is why this online version of the King James Bible includes the Apocrypha or better known to Catholics as the Deuterocanonical books.

The Septuagint was translated into the Latin Vulgate in the 5th-century by Jerome. The English College at Rheims and Douay, France translated the Latin Vulgate into English between 1582 and 1609, which is called the Douay-Rheims Bible. For all of the above reasons I do not think an "improved" English version of the Bible can be found, whether published by Protestants or Catholics. So that is why I will be sticking with the Douay-Rheims Bible.

But all this bickering between Protestants and Catholics about different versions of the Bible and interpretations is not what Christians are supposed to do. As the Bible says we are to be one body in Christ. How do we put the pieces back together?

One thing I know for sure if we are at all concerned about our salvation is that we are to receive the Holy Eucharist as Jesus Christ mentioned in John 6:54-55 (verses 53-54 in the KJB).

John 6:54-55 "Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day."

The Holy Eucharist has been offered daily for nearly 2,000 years.

God bless

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Comments 8 comments

Philipo profile image

Philipo 7 years ago from Nigeria

Remain blessed.

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Make Money 7 years ago from Ontario Author

Thank you Philipo. And you as well.

Kenny MG profile image

Kenny MG 6 years ago from A Child of the Universe

Food for thought Mike, pleased to become a fan

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

You make some fine points here brother. A very well presented article. Thanks. I enjoyed reading it.

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Make Money 6 years ago from Ontario Author

Thanks Kenny. I became your fan. I don't receive or send e-mail through HubPages but I go to the HubPages Religion forum quite often. Maybe you'd like to become my fan as well?

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Make Money 6 years ago from Ontario Author

Thank you very much James. That is exactly the type of comment that I was hoping to receive. I became your fan as well.

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Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Hi Mike - looking in from the outside, so to speak, a degree of reunification, or even ecumenical dialogue might be possible in time among major churches, but I doubt if you'll ever manage to reign in all the latter-day born again types. Interesting info about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Thanks.

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Make Money 6 years ago from Ontario Author

Thanks Paraglider. Your input is always appreciated. Yeah you know just last week I seen on the news that the Catholic Church is making accommodations, whether individually or en mass for the many Anglicans that have shown interest in becoming Catholic. I seen this on the Canadian news. The Church of England is called the Anglican Church in Canada so I'm not sure if it is referring also to the Church of England and the Episcopalians which they call themselves in the US.

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