By: Pastor Manny
There are tons of differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. This includes our views on salvation, Church, etc. This time, I will focus on our differences with regards to the Scriptures, specifically the Old Testament. In comparison to them, we have a bigger Old Testament because of our seven more books (Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, 1st, and 2nd Maccabees). Other than that, we have a longer version of Daniel and Esther. Today, we will be dealing with one objection that Protestants commonly use against us.
“There are no clear, definite New Testament quotations from the Apocrypha by Jesus or the apostles .”
According to Matt Slick, a Protestant Apologist, in order for us to know which of the Old Testament books were inspired, these books have to be quoted by the New Testament. Before I prove my case, I will just say that this reasoning is inconsistent. By his reasoning, he would make some books in the Old Testament uninspired such as Judges, Ruth, Ezra, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Obadiah, Jonah, and Zephaniah. Those were the list of books that were never explicitly quoted in the New Testament .
I think that his point was, even if it’s fallacious, if a something was quoted as Scripture, then we could definitely trust that it was. In reality, this is what we can find for some of the books that Protestants do not have.
BARUCH and EPISTLE OF JEREMIAH:
These books were considered as canonical in the New Testament. For example, in Hebrews 8:9, it appears that the author was quoting from the Septuagint version of Jeremiah.
9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
for they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I paid no heed to them, says the Lord.
We even can find someone who believes that the author of Hebrews quoted from the Septuagint. This is what Matthew Poole, an English theologian, said on this matter.
“The apostle in this follows the Septuagint, who read the effect of their sin, their rejection…”
This is important because if the author of Hebrews considered the Septuagint version of Jeremiah to be a Scripture, then it proves that Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah are part of the Old Testament given that these are included in the Book of Jeremiah in the Greek Version as one book .
1ST MACCABEES AND 2ND MACCABEES:
In Hebrews, the 2nd Maccabees was referenced by its author.
35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.
To people who reject my claim, you have to look at what Charles Ellicott, a Christian theologian, says on this specific verse.
“Others were tortured.—See the account of the aged Eleazar (2 Maccabees 6:30) ”
Some Protestants usually claimed that some things in the New Testament have alluded to the Deuterocanonical, but these were merely referenced as a historical point, not a theological point. However, I don’t think that this is the case because we can see that the citations of history in Hebrews 11 were used to give emphasis on faith which proves our case that 2 Maccabees was cited for a theological purpose. This is seen in Hebrews 11:1-2.
11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old received divine approval.
Other than that, the only references that we have for Hanukkah or the Feast of Dedication were the 1st and 2nd Maccabees. This is seen in 1 Maccabees 4:59.
1 Maccabees 4:59
59 Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.
This is important since we know that in John 10:22, Jesus was celebrating the Feast of Dedication, and it’s impossible for Jesus to celebrate a man-made tradition assuming that Judas Maccabeus was a heretic for believing in prayers for the dead and intercession of saints that were explicitly mentioned in 1st and 2nd Maccabees.
In Romans 9, it appears that Paul was quoting from the book of Wisdom. This is what we can see in Romans 9:21 and Wisdom 15:7.
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use?
7 For when a potter kneads the soft earth
and laboriously molds each vessel for our service,
he fashions out of the same clay
both the vessels that serve clean uses
and those for contrary uses, making all in like manner;
but which shall be the use of each of these
the worker in clay decides.
The idea of the potter having the right over the clay is absent in the Protestant Old Testament, and it’s only seen in the book of Wisdom. This is clearly not simply a historical citation because Romans 9:21 does not cite a historical event. Rather, this was a cited as a source for theology since the chapter 9 of Romans was teaching about the sovereignty of God which would mean that Paul considered Wisdom as inspired.