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Lesson 4 ~ Masters of Religion ~ The Lost Scriptures of The Bible ~ Essay

By:  Rev. Trent Murman

 

Divide the worlds churches in three categories and establish the number of books removed by each of them.

 

There are Three Main divisions in Christianity:

                                  Catholic Western: Protestant Eastern: and Orthodox
 
The Catholic Church has many different divisions (e.g. Maronite Rite, Eastern Rite, Oriental), but they are all unified under the authority of the Church in Rome. None, as there was NO Bible before it was put together - The ones that didn't make it were called the Old Testament Apocrypha: These documents are the only Bible-like record of the Inter-testament Period. The Bible record ends with Malachi, there is a 400 year period, then the birth of Christ and the beginning of the New Testament record. Some of these books are historical in nature. Old Testament Apocrypha: "Profitable and good to read." Martin Luther "If not inspired, inspiring." "The Old Testament Apocrypha have been variously included and omitted from bibles over the course of the centuries.  The Catholic Church compiled the Bible. It was Martin Luther that removed certain texts from the Cannon.
 
The Protestant branch of Christianity includes a practically innumerable amount of denominations (thanks to the ever-fracturing sects in the United States). Some are distinctly more orthodox in practice--following long-standing Christian tradition-- resembling the Catholic Church, such as the Anglican/Episcopalian Church and Lutheran Church. Others have been founded since the Protestant Reformation that are "unorthodox" and have created their own traditions and put a larger emphasis on evangelizing: Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, and Methodist (although Methodists have varying ranges of orthodoxy depending on the congregation, making some appear more like Episcopalians).  Seven books were removed: Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Wisdom, Sirach, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and parts of Esther and Daniel.  Martin Luther, without any authority whatsoever, removed those seven books and placed them in an appendix during the reformation. They remained in the appendix of Protestant Bibles until about 1826, and then they were removed altogether.
 
The Eastern Orthodox Church prefers to group the Western Churches together, but they should be separate. Many of the practices and beliefs of the Orthodox Church are almost identical to those of the Catholic Church. Like the Catholic Church, there are many different divisions within the Orthodox Church, but there is still a unity that ties them together. Unlike the Catholic Church, however, the Eastern Orthodox Church has a number of Patriarchs that have their own domains (e.g. Greece, Russia, etc.). I Esra, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiastical by Sirach, Baruch, the Epistle of Jeremy, the First, Second and Third Books of Maccabees, and parts of Esther and Daniel.
 

Find reasoning for the removal of these missing books.

These books were not consider to be inspired scriptures before the Catholic Church added them in 1546, they were later removed because they are considered to be the uninspired writings of men and not God. These books did not meet the criteria for being included in scriptural canon. While we can perhaps view them as historical works, they are not actually parts of the Bible.

For example 1 & 2 Maccabees were written after Malachi the last recognized prophet.

The main reason for this is because most protestant Christians do not hold the Septuagint as the inspired Hebrew bible in the NT there are 4 criteria derived from the Bible
1. Apostolic Origin written by an apostle [one who was with Christ in person, Paul counts because he saw Christ on the road to Damascus]
2. Universal Acceptance in the early church [throughout the church not just in one area]
3. Liturgical Use Used by the early church in services
4. Consistent Message a message that does not contradict other established canonal books, and the teachings of Christ.

Go In Peace
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