Howard asked:

I’ve heard about those seven books that are left out of the Protestant bible. I’ve also heard that Jesus quotes from those books in the New Testament.


Tim Staples replied:

"There’s no direct quotes from those books which is okay, because there’s no direct quotes from a number of books in the Old Testament like Esther or Ecclesiastes and a few other books that Protestants have in their bibles. But that doesn’t mean they’re not part of the canon. It’s a bogus argument to say because they’re not directly quoted they shouldn’t be in the New Testament because ... you’d have to eliminate a lot of books that Protestants accept.

What you do have are many examples where it is obvious ... even Protestant scholars will acknowledge that some texts in the New Testament are referring back to texts from these seven books that we hold, that Protestants do not. I’ll give you a few examples ...

One of my favorites is Matthew 7:12 of course the famous golden rule. ‘So whenever you wish that men would do to you do so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.' It just so happens that Tobit chapter 4 around verses 15 and 16, says, ‘do not what you would have others do unto you,’ so it’s a negative ... So Jesus appears to be referring back to Tobit. He simply flips it around and makes it a positive.

We also have cases like Luke chapter 20, the famous text ... verse 17 or 18 and reads all the way down to verse 38 where Jesus encounters the Sadducees and Pharisees. He kind of gets thrown into the middle of a debate between them. If you remember the story, they come to Jesus and it’s the Sadducees who approach him and they say we’re gonna get Jesus and we’re gonna get the Pharisees at the same time ... The Sadducees deny the natural immortality of the soul and the existence of spirit. They didn’t believe in angels ... they only accepted the first five books of the Old Testament ... they didn’t accept the writings of the prophets, but they knew Jesus did. So they come to him and they use ... a story from the Old Testament again from the book of Tobit and again scholars acknowledge ... that it’s obvious this is what they’re doing. They say let’s say you have a woman who has seven husbands and they all die ... Whose spouse will she be in heaven? Now they’re trying to show that the resurrection, which they did not believe in ... and so this is ridiculous, there can’t be a resurrection because if you have a woman that’s married to seven husbands, even if polygamy was permitted for a time in the Old Testament, polyandry was never permitted, and so how can she have seven husbands in heaven? That’s the point that they’re making ... So they say we gotcha ... Well how does Jesus respond? ... He says, ‘you greatly err because you don’t know either the scriptures or the power of God.’ So notice Jesus is acknowledging this book that they’re attacking is scripture ... He says, ‘in heaven they are neither married nor are they given in marriage but they are as the angels of God.’ In other words he says there is no marriage in heaven. Sorry for my Mormon friends here, but there is no marriage in heaven. It’s not a contradiction, he vindicates the book of Tobit there.

I would also mention to you that in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 35 ... the inspired author to the Hebrews sort of recounts what many call the great hall of faith here ... telling real briefly the great stories of the great men and women of faith of the Old Testament ... until he gets to verse 35 ... ‘women received their dead by resurrection ... [Elijah raised the dead] ... some were tortured refusing to accept release in order that they might rise again to a better resurrection.’ Now what are they referring to here? Some will try to refer to stories in first Kings and second Kings but it doesn’t work because nothing in the Old Testament has anyone explicitly accepting torture and refusing to accept release other than the seven sons of the great woman of faith in second Maccabees ...”


Copyrights:

Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: August 20, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Tim Staples

Question appeared in show: 27:36


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