Enio dos Santos is president of the South Occidental Rio Grande Mission.

To clarify why some books were not accepted as part of the sacred canon.

The Holy Scripture is called the Bible, a great work that means "books" because it compiles a group of inspired books, known as canonical books. "Biblical Canon," what is it? Canon is a Latin word meaning "model." The Latin word is derived from the Greek kanon from "cana." A measuring instrument used in biblical times in place of our "meter" today. Therefore, the biblical canon is the list of inspired books that make up the Bible, which give an authorized testimony of God's revelation, serving as a Christian pattern of procedure, and as criterion or rule though which a thought or doctrine is treasured or judged (Gal. 6:16; 2 Tim. 3:1 6). Dictionary of Fundamental Theology, pp. 122-123. Editora Vozes e Santuario, 1994 edition. 

The inspired books, as an expression of God's word, which comprise the original biblical canon, as a rule of faith and doctrine, are 39 in the Hebrew Scripture of the Old Testament, and 27 of the New Testament, totaling 66 canonical books which;"possessing infallible and eternal truths became a court of last resort.

Uninspired books

The Bible that contains seven additional books was taken from the " Greek Bible " or "Septuagint". Translated from the Hebrew Bible into Greek in 250 B.C. Seven books were included which were not part of the inspired books of the orginal Hebrew Bible. They are Tobias, Judith, I and II Maccabees, Wisdom of Salomon, Ecclesiasticus and Baruc. (Frei Mauro Strabeli, Biblia Questions People Ask, pp. 16, 17. Pauline edition.)

At the time, Greece dominated the world, and it was king Ptomely Philadelphus, of Egypt, who orderd translation of the Septuagint. Probably the seven books were added to it, at his request at that time or later on. 

Why should those seven books not be accepted as inspired or canonical?

1. As Frei Mauro Strabeli reminds us, "The Old Testament Scriptures, considered as original, the Hebrew Bible whose books were accer, as 'canonical' from the beginning and witjjfbut discussion." (Ibid p. 16.)

2. Prophets did not write those books, since it was a time of interruption in the prophetic succession. Thus, only the 39 books were considered divine or inspired, says the much-respected Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, born shortly after Christ's death. (Answers to Apion, Book I, p. 8.)

3. According to Joseph the Old Testament Canon with 39 books was dated between 465 and 425 B.C. In 90 A.D., the Jewish Council Jamnia analyzed the remaining seven books but rejected them. (Answers to Those Questions, p. 53. Editora Candeias.)

4. Besides those seven books not becoming part of the original canon, their inspiration was considered only by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent on April 8, 1546 and called "deuterocanonical" or canonical of the second period. ( Dictionary of Fundamental Theology, p. 124. Editora Vozes, 1884 edition.) The Catholic Church made them official in order to stop the movement of the Protestant Reformation.

5.The Jews, to whom God appointed depositaries of,the Scriptures and His oracles (Rom. 3:2), "accept as inspired only the 39 books of the Hebrew Canon. They reject the seven books considered deuterocanonical." (Bible of the Pontiff of Rome, p. 6.).

6. Jesus and the apostles used the 39 original Hebrew books; they quoted the Old Testament 1,378 times, but not once the seven books. Therefore, Josephus was right when he affirmed: "We only have 39 books for which we have enough reason to believe that they are divine." (Answer to Apion, book I, p. 8.)

7. The Christian church rejected them as inspired and canonical allowing them to be read only as books of historical importance. (Biblical Manual, p. 358.)

8. The Church Fathers such as Athanasius, Gregory, Hilarius, Rufinus and Jerome adapted the 39 Hebrew books. (Biblical Manual, p. 358.)

9. Jerome, who translated the Hebrew Bible into Latin between 382 and 404 A.D., the socalled Latin Vulgate became a defender of the 39 Hebrew books and translated only the uninspired book of Tobias for the "Vulgate" by order of the bishops. (Dictionary of Fundamental Theology, p. 124. Editora Vozes.) 

10. They teach doctrinal and historical errors according to what follows: 

Such errors and contradictions reveal that these seven books do not pass the incontrovertible test of "biblical inspiration" of sacred and canonical books, inserted in the "dogmatic constitution of the catholic faith," during Vatican Council I, which says: "The books of the Bible are declared sacred and canonical, not because they have been received by her (the Church) approval and authority: not only because it contains the revelation without mixture of errors, but because having been written under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, have as the author the true God and as such they were given to his church." (Bible translated by the Pontifical Bible Institute of Rome, p. 6.)

Before that declaration, it could not be said that those seven books were inspired and canonical because the Catholic Church so declared it, but she herself says that it is not the church that qualifies them as inspired and canonical. And if we can say that such books are inspired by the Holy Spirit, having as author the same God, we'll be admitting that God the Father and the Holy Spirit are authors of errors and contradictions.

The last test, those seven books are not inspired, their authors never claimed inspiration for themselves, and Maccabees affirms that there were no prophets in their time (I Mac. 4:46; 9:27; 14:41). He closed his book declaring his inability to clarify it and thus apologized: "My exposition is imperfect and mediocre, and that I could do no better" (II Mac. 2:24; 15:38, 39). "Jerome the translator of the Vulgate, called those seven books apocrypha which means hidden, secret, or not inspired." (General Introduction to the Bible, p. 88.)

The seven apocrypha books are only of historical and literary value. Therefore, we should accept as inspired only the 66 canonical books as rule of faith and doctrine (2 Peter 1:21).

Enio dos Santos is president of the South Occidental Rio Grande Mission.

Some errors taught by the seven                                                            Canonical
uninspired books that clash with                                                            books or
the 66 canonical books of the Bible                                                        Scripture

  • Narrative of the deceiving angel                                                  Isaiah 63:8; Hosea 4:2.
    about his origin. Tobias 5:1-9.       
  • Says that bread should be                                                           Prov. 25:21,22.
    denied to the wicked
  • A woman fasting all her life.                                                        Matthew 4:1,2.
    Judith 8:5,6
  • God gives Simeon a sword to kill                                                  Gen. 34:30; 49:5-7.
    the Schechemites. Judith 9:2.
  • A thrashing purifies from sin.                                                      1 Peter 1:18,19
    Tobias 12:9.
  • Burning a fish liver drives away                                                    Acts 16:18.
    demons. Tobias 6:6-8.
  • Nebuchadenezzar was king of                                                      Daniel 1:1.
    Assyria, at Nineveh. Judith 1:1.
  • Honor your father and your sins                                                   1 Peter 1:18, 19.
    will be forgiven. Eccles 3:3.
  • Teaches magic and superstition.                                                   James 5:14-16.
    Tobias 2:9,10;6:5-8;11:7-16.
  • Antiochus died in three different ways.                                         Isaiah 63:8; Matt. 5:37.
    I Mac. 6:16, II Mac. 1:16;9:28.
  • Recommends offerings for the departed.                                      Eccles. 9:5, 6.
    II Mac. 12:42-45.
  • Teaches about purgatory or immortality                                       1 John 1:7; Heb. 9:27.
    of soul. Sabedonia 3:14.
  • Suicide is justified and praised.                                                     Exodus 20: 18.
    Exodus 20:13.