Comparative Theology

Contemplating Roman Catholicism?

"Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." Acts 17:11  

Are you considering converting to Roman Catholicism?

If you are, here are some things you will need to believe about the Bible.

Note: The links in the left-hand column below to the Apocryphal or Deuterocanonical (Second Canon) books found in the Catholic Bible link directly to their appearance in the Vatican Website edition of the Roman Catholic New American Bible. Where an entire book is listed, I have linked to an introductory page prepared by the Church. In the case of Additions, I have linked directly to the Catechism page on which the particular Addition begins.

What Extra Books are Found in the Roman Catholic Bible?

What extra books are found in the Roman Catholic Bible? Comments on the Deuterocanonical Books
If you are considering becoming a Roman Catholic, you will have to accept the following books as being part of the Inspired Word of God. These books, in the view of Roman Catholicism, are just as much Scripture as are the books of Genesis, Isaiah, the Gospel of John, the Book of Acts, or the Book of Romans. You will need to study these books, meditate on these books, listen to sermons on these books, do your own personal Bible study in these books, pray from these books, and obey the principles found in these books. These books include:
 What statements can be made as to the authenticity or inauthenticity of the Deuterocanoncal books found in the Roman Catholic Bible? First, although each of these books appears in the Greek Septuagint (LXX), none of them have ever appeared in the Hebrew Bible (Masoretic Text).
Second, Jesus did not include any of the Deuterocanonical books in His canon of Scripture, for He referenced the same order of books as as they appear in the Hebrew Bible, not the order found in the LXX (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51). A fixed Hebrew canon existed long before Jesus' day. Third, most of these books were written initially in Greek, and cannot have been part of the Hebrew canon of Scripture. Fourth, though the NT alludes frequently to Deuterocanonical books, never once does the NT call them Scripture.
Tobit is not found in the Hebrew Bible.  According to the Introduction Tobit was written by an unknown author, probably in the 2nd Century B.C.  The "inspired author" used the literary form of religious novel. The Introduction assigns the same status to the book of Judith, and incidentally, to the book of Jonah. Tobith was found in Qumran in four scrolls written in Aramaic and in one scroll written in Hebrew.
Judith is not found in the Hebrew Bible. There is no extant copy of the Hebrew original. The earliest copy we have was written in Greek and appeared in the LXX.. It was written by an unknown author in the late 2nd Century or early 1st Century B.C. Jerome did not initially consider it canonical, although he later included it in the Vulgate.
Additions to Esther. It should be noted with regard to the book of Esther as a whole, that the RC Church does not view Esther as a historical document. "The solution to the difficulties of the book is to be found in its literary presentation rather than in a forced attempt to square detailed data of the narrative with facts."
The additions to Esther are not found in the Hebrew Bible. According to the RC Church, Esther was likely written toward the close of the 4th Century B.C. The additions to Esther all appear in Greek, not Hebrew, which precludes their authenticity.
Chapter A (Dream of Mordecai)
Chapter B (Letter of Ahasuerus)
Chapter C (Prayers of Mordecai and Esther)
Chapter D (Esther before the King)
Chapter E (Letter of Ahasuerus)
Chapter F (Mordecai interprets his dream)
1 Maccabees is not found in the Hebrew Bible. According to the Preface of the New American Bible, "The lost original Hebrew text of 1 Maccabees is replaced by its oldest extant form in Greek." According to the Introduction, "the Greek translation [is] full of Hebrew idioms." 1 Maccabees was written about 100 B.C. 
 2 Maccabees does not appear in the Hebrew Bible.
 The Book of Wisdom does not appear in the Hebrew Bible.
 Sirach does not appear in the Hebrew Bible.
 Baruch does not appear in the Hebrew Bible.
Additions to Daniel: With regard to the Book of Daniel itself, the RC Church takes the liberal view of denying that Daniel wrote the book. Instead it proclaims that the book was actually composed by an anonymous author under the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes between 167 and 164 B.C. That view completely invalidates the predictive element of most of the book of Daniel, making it prophecy written after the fact. This is a disservice to God and to His ability to predict the future in writing. It illustrates an antisupernatural bias found elsewhere in footnotes in other Bible books, particularly in the early chapters of Genesis and also in its discussion of the plagues of Exodus.
The Additions to Daniel were written in Greek and do not appear in the Hebrew Bible. They cannot, therefore, have been an authentic part of the Hebrew Book of Daniel.
Susanna. (Daniel 13)
Bel and the Dragon (Daniel 14)

(Scripture quotation taken from the NASB.)

Published February 25, 2013

Updated March 24, 2014

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