When Were 7 Books Removed From the Bible

When Were 7 Books Removed From the Bible?

The Bible is one of the most widely read and influential books in human history, with billions of copies printed and distributed worldwide. It is a sacred text for several religions, including Christianity, where it serves as a guide to faith and practice. However, not many people are aware that the Bible, as we know it today, has undergone various revisions over centuries. One significant change was the removal of seven books from the Old Testament. In this article, we will explore when these books were removed and shed light on the reasons behind this decision.

The seven books in question are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and First and Second Maccabees. These books, known as the Deuterocanonical books or the Apocrypha, were originally included in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The Septuagint was widely used by early Christians and was regarded as authoritative by numerous early Christian writers.

However, during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, significant changes occurred within the Christian church. Martin Luther, the German theologian and key figure of the Reformation, challenged the authority of the Catholic Church and questioned several traditional beliefs and practices. As part of this movement, Luther and other reformers sought to revisit the canon of the Bible and redefine its contents.

In 1546, during the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church declared the canon of the Bible, reaffirming the inclusion of the seven books mentioned above. On the other hand, Protestant theologians, influenced by Luther’s ideas, rejected these books, considering them non-canonical. Consequently, the Protestant versions of the Bible omitted the Deuterocanonical books. This decision had a lasting impact, as it led to the division of the Bible into two main versions: the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible.

The reasons behind the removal of these books vary. One argument put forth by Protestant reformers was the lack of Hebrew originals for these books. Since the Protestant movement emphasized returning to the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible, they questioned the validity of books that were not written in Hebrew. Additionally, some reformers argued that these books contained theological ideas that contradicted their understanding of the Bible’s teachings.

Another factor that contributed to the exclusion of the Deuterocanonical books was the historical context. During the Reformation, there was a strong desire to distance Protestantism from Catholicism. As the Catholic Church had long included these books in their Bible, rejecting them became a way for Protestants to assert their theological and doctrinal differences.

FAQs:

Q: Do Catholics and Protestants have different Bibles?
A: Yes, Catholics and Protestants have different Bibles. The Catholic Bible includes the seven books removed by Protestants, while the Protestant Bible does not.

Q: Are the removed books considered less important?
A: The removal of these books does not necessarily diminish their importance. They still hold historical and cultural value and provide insights into the religious beliefs and practices of the time.

Q: Are the Deuterocanonical books completely excluded from Protestant Bibles?
A: While the Protestant Bible does not include the Deuterocanonical books in the Old Testament, some editions may include them as an appendix or separate section, highlighting their historical and literary significance.

Q: Are these books considered inspired by God?
A: Different religious traditions hold varying beliefs regarding the inspiration and authority of these books. Catholics, for instance, consider them inspired, while Protestants do not.

In conclusion, the removal of the seven books from the Bible occurred during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. Martin Luther and other reformers challenged the authority of the Catholic Church and reevaluated the canon of the Bible, resulting in the exclusion of these books from the Protestant Bible. While the reasons for their removal were diverse, including issues of language and theological disagreements, these books still hold value for historical and cultural understanding.

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