Critique of THE PROTESTANT'S DILEMMA by Devin Rose

Chapter 8 - The Deuteroncanonical Books

Page 70: As we saw in the previous section, Martin Luther was not afraid to challenge the canon of Scripture. Though his alteration of the New Testament ultimately wasn’t adopted by all of the Protestant movements, his alteration of the Old Testament was, and by the end of the Reformation, Protestantism had removed seven books (the deuterocanonicals) from the Old Testament canon.
Note: The Roman Catholic Church did not confirm the deuteroncanonicals until after Martin Luther.
In the Catholic Church, "the first infallible and effectually promulgated pronouncement on the Canon" was that defined by the Council of Trent beginning in 1545. Among the minority, in Trent, that showed opposition to these books' inclusion were Cardinals Seripando and Cajetan, the latter an opponent of Luther at Augsburg. However, Trent confirmed the statements of earlier and less authoritative regional councils which also included the deuterocanonical books, such as the Synod of Hippo (393), and the Councils of Carthage of 397. Much later (15th century), the Council of Florence taught the divine inspiration of these books, but "did not formally pass on their canonicity. " Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: Why is the author dishonest?

Pages 70-71: The Protestants rejected these books for two main reasons. The first was a problematic passage in 2 Maccabees, and the second was their desire to go “back to the resources,” which in this case meant using the same books that the Jews ultimately decided upon. 2 Maccabees included a laudatory reference to prayers for the dead – a teaching that had been encouraged in the Catholic Church for the souls in purgatory. Recall Luther’s protest against the sale of indulgences to remove the temporal punishment due for already forgiven sins – punishment that must be paid before a soul would be fit to enter heaven. Luther and the Reformers rejected purgatory, so all that was connected with it also had to go: indulgences, prayers for the dead, and the communion of saints (which includes those both living and asleep in Christ).
Note: The Word of God rejects both purgatory and reincarnation.
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Hebrews 9:27-28.

Page 71: The Reformers pointed out that these seven books were not included in the Jewish Hebrew Bible. Some Protestant apologists seek to bolster this claim by mentioning the theory that, around the year 90, a council of Jews at a city called Jamnia explicitly rejected these books. Others like to point out that some Church Fathers rejected one or more of these books. They strengthen this argument with the testimony of Josephus and Philo – two Jews from the first century – who also did not accept them.
Note: The Roman Catholic Church has never been completely sold on the deuterocanonicals.
The Vulgate is also important as the touchstone of the canon concerning which parts of books are canonical. When the Council of Trent listed the books included in the canon, it qualified the books as being "entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition". This decree was clarified somewhat by Pope Pius XI on June 2, 1927, who allowed that the Comma Johanneum was open to dispute, and it was further explicated by Pope Pius XII's Divino Afflante Spiritu. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: Why is the author dishonest?

Page 72: Historical evidence also shows that there were multiple, conflicting Jewish canons at the time of Christ. How could the Jews close their canon when they were still awaiting the advent of the new Elijah (John the Baptist) and the new Moses (Jesus)? Thus the argument that Christians should base their Old Testament off of the Hebrew Bible rather than the Greek Septuagint is dubious.
Note: The book of Tobit is just fiction and should not be taken seriously.
The main narrative is dedicated to Tobit's son, Tobiah or Tobiyah (Greek: Τωβίας/Tobias), who was sent by his father to collect a sum of money that the latter had deposited some time previously in the far off land of Media. Raphael represented himself as Tobit's kinsman Azariah, and offered to aid and protect Tobias on his journey. Under the guidance of Raphael, Tobias made the journey to Media, accompanied by his dog, and over the objection of Tobit's wife Hannah, who was already discouraged by Tobit's nagging. Along the way, while washing his feet in the river Tigris, he was attacked by a fish which tried to swallow his foot. By order of the angel he captured it. The heart, liver and gall bladder were removed to make medicines, by order of Raphael. Upon arriving in Media, Raphael told Tobias of the beautiful Sarah, whom Tobias had the right to marry, because he was her cousin and closest relative. He instructed the young man to burn the fish's liver and heart to drive away the demon when he attacks on the wedding night. The two were married, and the fumes of the burning organs drove the demon away to Upper Egypt, while Raphael followed him and bound him. Meanwhile, Sarah's father had been digging a grave to secretly bury Tobias (who he assumed would be dead). Surprised to find his son-in-law alive and well, he ordered a double-length wedding feast and had the grave secretly filled. Since he could not leave because of the feast, Tobias sent Raphael to recover his father's money. After the feast, Tobias and Sarah returned to Nineveh. There, Raphael told the youth to use the fish's gall to cure his father's blindness. Raphael then revealed his true identity and returned to heaven and Tobit sang a hymn of praise. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Page 72: Still, some say, should we be reading books as canonical to the Hebrew Bible if they weren’t written in Hebrew? Well some of the seven deuterocanonical books were originally written in Hebrew and only later translated into Greek and other languages. Sirach and parts of Baruch are two such books, and an Aramaic version of Tobit was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Hebrew manuscripts of Sirach were found amounting to two-thirds of the entire work, including one pre-Christian manuscript.
Note: Sirach did not understand the love of God as it relates to all human beings.
By contrast, Sirach exhibits little compassion for either women or slaves, and advocates distrust and possessiveness over women, and the harsh treatment of slaves (which presupposes the validity of slavery as an institution), positions which are not only difficult for modern readers, but cannot be completely reconciled with the social milieu at the time of its composition. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Pages 72-73: Several other problems emerge from accepting as authoritative the (alleged) Jewish council’s decision at Jamnia at the end end of the first century. First, most scholar’s today doubt that any such council ever took place. But even if it did, would Jewish leaders possess the authority to make a decision binding upon the Christian Church? Those Jews who had accepted Christ had already become Christians. The remainder had no rightful authority to decide anything about divine truth, as that authority had passed to those filled with the Holy Spirit (like the apostles). The same goes for the opinions of Josephus and Philo.
Note: The book of Judith is just fiction and should not be taken seriously.
The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded by Jews and assigned by Protestants to the Apocrypha. The book contains numerous historical anachronisms, which is why many scholars now accept it as non-historical; it has been considered a parable or perhaps the first historical novel. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Page 73: Finally, it should be pointed out that Protestants seeking to defend their canon based on historical evidence, even if they are convinced they have found sufficient proof, run into the problem that nowhere in Scripture does it say that this is the way to know which books belong in the canon. Such a criterion for choosing the canon in fact contradicts sola scriptura, because it is an extra-biblical principle. A consistent Protestant argument for selecting the canon of Scripture, then, must itself come from Scripture (which would create a circular argument). Unfortunately (but certainly providentially), no such instructions from God exist. Authority is our only appeal.
Note: The author’s authority describes deceit within the book of wisdom.
The traditional attribution of The Book of Wisdom to Solomon has been soundly rejected in modern times. Says the Catholic Encyclopedia: "at the present day, it is freely admitted that Solomon is not the writer of the Book of Wisdom, which has been ascribed to him because its author, through a literary fiction, speaks as if he were the Son of David." Although the book of Wisdom is also called the Wisdom of Solomon, it was most likely composed centuries after the death of King Solomon. Scholars believe that the book represents the most literary post-classical Greek language found in the Septuagint, having been written during the Jewish Hellenistic period (the 2nd or 1st century BC). The author of the text appears well versed in the popular philosophical, religious, and ethical writings adopted by Hellenistic Alexandria. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Page 73: Regarding some Church Fathers who doubted the deuterocanonical books, it is true that several rejected one or more of them or put them on a level lower than the rest of Scripture. But many, including those with doubts, quoted them as Scripture with no distinction from the rest of the Bible. The broader fact is that the testimony of the Fathers was not unanimous on the Old Testament canon. Even Jerome, the great biblical scholar, early in his career favored the Hebrew canon but then changed his mind and submitted his opinion to the wisdom of the Church, accepting the deuteroncanonicals as Scripture.
Note: The Catholic Church was not spiritual when including fictional books into its canon.
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:13-14.

Page 74: If Protestantism is true, then for 1,500 years all of Christianity used an Old Testament that contained seven fully disposable, possibly deceptive books that God did not inspire. He did, however, allow the early Church to designate these books as Sacred Scripture and derive false teachings such as purgatory from their contents. Eventually, God’s chosen Reformer, Martin Luther, was able to straighten out this tragic error, even though his similar abridgement of the New Testament was a mistake.
Note: The Catholic Church should have followed Cardinals Seripando and Cajetan.
In the Catholic Church, "the first infallible and effectually promulgated pronouncement on the Canon" was that defined by the Council of Trent begining in 1545. Among the minority, in Trent, that showed opposition to these books' inclusion were Cardinals Seripando and Cajetan, the latter an opponent of Luther at Augsburg.
Note: The Catholic Church should have treated Martin Luther similar to Francis of Assisi.