By What Authority Did Luther Remove Books From OT?

The following article is reblogged with permission from Protestant Errors
The Protestant reformers have violated Holy Scripture:

The Protestant reformers have said the Catholic Church was the true Church in Her early days. It is important to note that it is the Catholic Church who, through Her early Councils, originally confirmed which books of the Bible were considered inspired, and which books were to be included in the Canon of the Bible itself. This was essential to assure copies of Scripture had in those days agreed with the originals, and also to weed out books which contained heretical doctrine in them.

The Catholic Church confirmed the books (the Canon) of the Bible in the Councils of Hippo (393) and 3rd Council of Carthage (397) when, according to the Protestant reformers, She was still the true Church (click here for the actual Council text and scroll down to Canon 24; to see the list of books in the Canon at that time, which is the same Canon used by the Catholic Church today).

The Catholic Church also confirmed the same Canon at the Council of Florence (1441) and Council of Trent centuries later and have used the same Canon ever since the Council of Hippo in 393 A.D.

How then did the Protestant reformers remove so many books (i.e. Baruch, Tobias, Judith, Machabees, Wisdom etc) from the Old Testament if it was the true Church that ruled they were Canonical?

If the Protestant reformers truly thought the Catholic Church was the true Church at one time then later fell into error, why do the reformers not follow the decisions the Church made when She was still supposedly true?

Who told the Protestant reformers that the books they removed from the Bible were not legitimate and by what authority did they remove them?

Some Protestant reformers claim some books were rejected because they were not in Hebrew or Chaldaic, though some other books that were kept by the Protestant reformers were not in these languages either, so this excuse cannot be used. And where is it found in Scripture that they should be written in a certain language?

To say that some books were not accepted because they were not accepted by the Jews does not apply to the point at hand either. The Catholic Church holds the books of Machabees and others mentioned above as Canonical, and if she was the true Church when She determined this, then this is what must be believed. Because the Jews did not accept the deutero-canonical books does not effect the fact that the early Christian Church accepted them.

Where in Scripture does it say the Christian Church does not have the authority to canonize the Sacred Books but must submit to the Pharisees regarding the Old Testament books?

Why do the Protestant reformers call parts of Scripture false when the whole of antiquity has held them as articles of faith?

We see many writers from the first three centuries including St. Clement of Rome, St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, Tertullian, Cyprian and many others all allude to the deutero-canonical books we mention above. Who gave the reformers the authority to declare these books false? For example, the book of Judith was made authoritative by the Council of Nicaea, when the Church was never greater or more solemn. Why blatantly defy the decisions of this council?

Of those reformers who claim their decisions to strike books from the Canon are from the Holy Ghost, we ask that you please show proof. Why would the Holy Ghost suddenly give inspirations as to what everyone must believe to unknown men like Luther and Calvin, after they abandoned the Councils and the entire Church?

Shall we simply believe the reformers at their word? How then do we believe or not believe the next person who also claims the same inspiration? If the Protestant reformers were inspired, then God would clearly show the world a sign , but a sign the reformers have not shown so they are not to be believed.

If God had revealed something a thousand times over to a private person we should not be obliged to believe it unless God gave us such an undeniable sign that we could no longer call it into question. How else are we to separate the false prophet from the true prophet? If we were obliged to believe everyone claiming internal revelations, we would soon be swamped with deceivers and would be completely lost.

Where did the Protestant reformers come up with the exact list of books in the Canon they choose to follow?

Who told them which books should be included or removed? It was not the Jews that told them as the Gospels would not be there. It was not from the Council of Laodicea for the Apocalypse would be in it. It was not from the Council of Carthage or Florence for Ecclesiasticus and Machabees would be included. So where did the reformers decide on their specific list of books to include? No such Canon was used before the Protestant reformation as the many Protestant denominations use now.

What is the likelihood that the Holy Spirit hid for the first 1400+ years of the Church, then revealed a new Canon to two unknown men, namely Luther and Calvin?

The Protestant reformers have taken away many books from the original Scriptures such as Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom and both books of Machabees. In the ancient Church there was originally some doubt about some books being inspired and no doubt about many others, yet the Protestant reformers have accepted some of the doubtful (Hebrews, Revelation) and cast out some that were never doubtful.

For the rest of this article click Protestant Errors

2 Responses

  1. Under pressure from Hellenistic Jews who converted to Christianity from remnants of the old Hellenistic Empire, Byzantine Empire, and Constantine Empire they convinced Saint Jerome to retain the Deuterocanon against his recommendation to remove them. Saint Augustine also interveined with Saint Jerome to retain the Deuterocanon to keep the peace with the Hellenistic (Greek and Syriac) Christians of these old empires.

    Dr. Martin Luther of Wittenberg Monastery was a very popular Roman-Catholic theology professor holding a Doctorate of Ministry (Doctor of Bible) in the Sentences by Peter Lombard; who’s entrusted by the Holy See of Rome with the ordination of Catholic priests until Luther’s excommunication in 1521; alongside the Roman-Catholic Dean of Theology over Wittenberg Monastery, Andreas Rudolph Bodenstein von Karlstadt. Dr. Martin Luther held to the Order of Saint Augustine and as a Doctor of Catholic Theology was well trained in the ancient Church Fathers.

    Dr. Martin Luther agreed with Saint Jerome, who translated Latin Vetus into the Latin Vulgate Bible, that the Deuterocanon wasn’t inspired by God, and lacked any direct quotes from Christ Jesus himself. Dr. Martin Luther retained the Deuterocanon in the German Bible (Luther Bible) apart from the Old Testament by creating an Appendix (Greek: Apocryphal) for it instead, between the Old and New Testaments.

    Contrary to urban legends Dr. Martin Luther (Luther Bible), John Calvin (Geneva Bible), and King James (Anglican Bible) have all retained the Apocrypha of Dr. Martin Luther which contains the questionable Deuterocanon, but apart from the Canon. These books were verbally removed as Canon but were physically retained in printed copies.

    Oxford University in cooperation with the British and Foreign Bible Society made the decision in 1885 to replace the Old English vernacular Anglican Version (AV) of 1611 (King James Bible) with an updated English vernacular King James Version (KJV). The combination of Apocryphal disputes and non-economical distributions of large Bibles resulted in the (KJV) being produced with only 66 books, unlike its predecessor the (AV) of 1611.

    Lutherans in the United States were largely unaffected due to their retention of their native German language and continued use of the Luther Bible. By the 1900’s the German language was dying out throughout the Americas and the (KJV) became the benchmark of English speaking Christians in the Americas. Lutherans have retained Dr. Martin Luther’s Apocrypha in the English Standard Version of 2001 (ESV) which can be viewed here: and here: Lutheran congregations continue to sign hymns that originate from Apocryphal books.

    Many Anglican (Episcopalian) clergy defected to other denominations: the Wesley brothers founded the Methodist after joining the Arminian Remonstrance alongside John Smyth who founded the Baptist. The close relations between Anglican (Episcopalian) congregations and their Methodist or Baptist counterparts resulted in Methodist and Baptist adopting the Church of England’s (KJV) to raise subsequent generations under the 66 book standard.

  2. […] none of our own refused to follow the whole Bible like when the Reformers removed books from the Bible that they didn’t agree with or when Luther called the Book of James “an Epistle of straw.” As you can see Solo […]

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