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Why is the Book of Sirach missing from Protestant Old Testaments?

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  • Why is the Book of Sirach missing from Protestant Old Testaments?

    The Book of Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus) is found in the Old Testament of the oldest bible manuscripts (Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus among others) and is part of the Old Testament canon by Catholic, Orthodox, and Coptic Christians. In contrast, it is either missing or labeled as "Apocrypha" in most modern Protestant bibles.



    An argument from early Protestant leaders was that the Sirach was only available in Greek and was not in the modern Hebrew scriptures and therefore not canonical. That conclusion is based on Jewish scriptures in use in northern Europe at the time of the Reformation. A proof text that is frequently cited is . . . the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. Romans 3:2

    My observation is that the Protestant rejection of Sirach may have been plausible based on the information available at the Reformation, but more recent information and a careful reading of the New Testament, Jewish sources, and modern archeology confirm the place of Sirach in the Old Testament. Here are specific arguments for the inclusion of Sirach:
    1) New Testament specifally praises the scriptures used by Greek-speaking Jews: A careful study of the New Testament shows that the Septuagint, which is in common use by Greek-speaking Jews in the first century, had the authority of scripture:



    . . .from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed . . .
    2 Tim 3:15-16


    . . .the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true . . . Acts 17:11
    The Bereans and Timothy spoke Greek, not Hebrew, and their scriptures had to be the Greek Septuagint. Likewise the authors of the New Testament were also Greek-speaking Jews, who frequently quoted the Septuagint. As noted earlier the earliest surviving Christian bibles from third century use the Greek Septuagint with Sirach as their Old Testament.

    2) Quotes of Sirach appear in the New Testament: As further evidence of the authority of Sirach, here are specific verses that make "you wise for salvation in Christ Jesus" as confirmed by their repetition in the New Testament:

    He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. Luke 1:52
    God overturns the thrones of the proud and enthrones the lowly in their place. Sirach 10:14

    . . .let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. . . James 1:19
    Be quick to hear, but deliberate in answering. Sirach 5:11

    . . .if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
    Forgive your neighbor the wrong done to you; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Sirach 28:2

    3) Jewish sources confirm that the authority of the Greek Septuagint: As further evidence of widespread use of the Septuagint as scriptures by Greek-speaking Jews, the Jewish Mishnah affirms that Greek was accepted as Jewish scriptures but later fell out of use:


    Permission was also given to write scrolls of the Law in Greek Characters but not those of any other foreign tongue. The ancient Greek script has gone out of use . . .
    https://www.sefaria.org/Mishneh_Torah%2C_Tefillin%2C_Mezuzah_and_the_Torah _Scroll.1.19?lang=bi
    4) Talmud quotes Sirach as scripture: As further evidence of continued Jewish use of Sirach centuries of the time of Christ, the Jewish Talmud quotes Sirach as scripture in several places.
    For example here is quote of Sirach in the Talmud that begins with this phrase:



    "for it is written in the Book of Ben Sira . . ."
    https://archive.org/details/translationoftre00streuoft/page/66 (quote is from Sirach 3:21-22)

    5) Archeology confirms Hebrew versions of Sirach: Modern research has uncovered Hebrew versions of Sirach called the Book of Ben Sira or Wisdom of Ben Sira. In the late 1800s, Hebrew texts amounting to about 2/3 of Sirach were found in an ancient Cairo Synagogue. They date from the 11th and 12th centuries. In addtion, Archeological work in the Holy Land has found fragments of a Hebrew Sirach scroll at Masada from the first century, and other fragments are found with Dead Sea Scrolls dating for the first century BC.
    For details see:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirach





    Many of these sources were unknown or unavailable to early Protestants at the time of the Reformation. Were they mistaken to remove Sirach from their Old Testaments?

    Is it time to restore Sirach to Protestant Old Testaments?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Theophilos View Post
    Is it time to restore Sirach to Protestant Old Testaments?
    Exactly WHAT would we gain by doing so???

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

      Exactly WHAT would we gain by doing so???
      Restoring the original bible used by the early Church and the authors of the New Testament is one benefit.

      All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim 3:16-17

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Theophilos View Post

        Restoring the original bible used by the early Church and the authors of the New Testament is one benefit.

        All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim 3:16-17
        SO nothing, then.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

          SO nothing, then.
          A fundamental flaw in sola scriptura is that it presupposes that Protestants have the right scriptures to begin with.

          There are seven books plus sections of other books that are missing from the Protestant Old Testament that are found in the Old Testaments of virtually every other Christian since the time of the apostles. Many Protestants justify their deletion because of supposed errors that deviate from Protestant interpretations. What if the interpretations are wrong and the books are right?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Theophilos View Post

            A fundamental flaw in sola scriptura is that it presupposes that Protestants have the right scriptures to begin with.

            There are seven books plus sections of other books that are missing from the Protestant Old Testament that are found in the Old Testaments of virtually every other Christian since the time of the apostles. Many Protestants justify their deletion because of supposed errors that deviate from Protestant interpretations. What if the interpretations are wrong and the books are right?
            Other than providing false "Proof texts" for Purgatory, what are we missing by not bothering with them??

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Theophilos View Post

              A fundamental flaw in sola scriptura is that it presupposes that Protestants have the right scriptures to begin with.

              There are seven books plus sections of other books that are missing from the Protestant Old Testament that are found in the Old Testaments of virtually every other Christian since the time of the apostles. Many Protestants justify their deletion because of supposed errors that deviate from Protestant interpretations. What if the interpretations are wrong and the books are right?
              Are you telling us the book of TOBIT was inspired by God and by the Holy Spirit ?

              Furthermore , have you read it? and do you reject the book of Tobit and its SILLYNESS on fish ?

              Fear God and keep his commandments,
              for this is the duty of ALL mankind. Ecc 12: 13

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

                Other than providing false "Proof texts" for Purgatory, what are we missing by not bothering with them??
                You are missing knowledge on stuff people believe.
                I love knowledge even if it's not true . Knowledge is good ! People who are knowledgeable can hold good conversations and cannot be decieved.
                Fear God and keep his commandments,
                for this is the duty of ALL mankind. Ecc 12: 13

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

                  Other than providing false "Proof texts" for Purgatory, what are we missing by not bothering with them??
                  Purgatory is a interpretation of one of the texts. It is not specifically mentioned in the text itself. Not that you would bother to read it yourself. You prefer to rely on second/third hand information.

                  There is great value in 1 and 2 Maccabees. They are just as historically important as any of the books of the "kings"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DANNO View Post

                    Are you telling us the book of TOBIT was inspired by God and by the Holy Spirit ?

                    Furthermore , have you read it? and do you reject the book of Tobit and its SILLYNESS on fish ?
                    Maybe you'd like to reference what you find "silly" about the writing. Your silliness isn't another man's silliness.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DANNO View Post
                      I love knowledge even if it's not true.
                      That's always been completely obvious.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by praise_yeshua View Post

                        Maybe you'd like to reference what you find "silly" about the writing. Your silliness isn't another man's silliness.
                        I thought you believed in the book of Tobit? Below is Chapter 6 : 1-9

                        CHAPTER 6

                        Young Tobias the Son Catches a Fish:

                        1 And Tobias went forward, and the dog followed him, and he lodged the first night by the river of Tigris. 2 And he went out to wash his feet, and behold a monstrous fish came up to devour him. 3 And Tobias being afraid of him, cried out with a loud voice, saying: Sir, he cometh upon me. 4 And the angel said to him: Take him by the gill, and draw him to thee. And when he had done so, he drew him out upon the land, and he began to pant before his feet. 5 Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of the fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee: for these are necessary for useful medicines. 6 And when he had done so, he roasted the flesh thereof, and they took it with them in the way: the rest they salted as much as might serve them, till they came to Rages the city of the Medes.

                        Healing Power of the Fish:
                        7 Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish? 8 And the angel, answering, said to him: If thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them. 9 And the gall is good for anointing the eyes, in which there is a white speck, and they shall be cured.
                        Fear God and keep his commandments,
                        for this is the duty of ALL mankind. Ecc 12: 13

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

                          That's always been completely obvious.
                          I'd rather know knowledge on ALL things and not be ignorant of anything.

                          The devil can only deceive the ignorant and not the wise and knowledgable .

                          Your father Paul ( 1 Cor 4: 15 ) loves ignorant people because they are gullible and easy to deceive and easy to trick ! 2Cor 12: 16 ,, 1Cor 3: 18
                          Fear God and keep his commandments,
                          for this is the duty of ALL mankind. Ecc 12: 13

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DANNO View Post

                            I thought you believed in the book of Tobit? Below is Chapter 6 : 1-9

                            CHAPTER 6

                            Young Tobias the Son Catches a Fish:

                            1 And Tobias went forward, and the dog followed him, and he lodged the first night by the river of Tigris. 2 And he went out to wash his feet, and behold a monstrous fish came up to devour him. 3 And Tobias being afraid of him, cried out with a loud voice, saying: Sir, he cometh upon me. 4 And the angel said to him: Take him by the gill, and draw him to thee. And when he had done so, he drew him out upon the land, and he began to pant before his feet. 5 Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of the fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee: for these are necessary for useful medicines. 6 And when he had done so, he roasted the flesh thereof, and they took it with them in the way: the rest they salted as much as might serve them, till they came to Rages the city of the Medes.

                            Healing Power of the Fish:
                            7 Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish? 8 And the angel, answering, said to him: If thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them. 9 And the gall is good for anointing the eyes, in which there is a white speck, and they shall be cured.
                            Okay. Sometimes there are things kind of hard to believe in the Scriptures.

                            I personally usually reference these verses when talking about difficult verses in the Scripture.

                            Deu 25:11 “When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts,
                            Deu 25:12 then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.

                            Personally, I believe she should be rewarded.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by praise_yeshua View Post

                              Okay. Sometimes there are things kind of hard to believe in the Scriptures.

                              I personally usually reference these verses when talking about difficult verses in the Scripture.

                              Deu 25:11 “When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts,
                              Deu 25:12 then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.

                              Personally, I believe she should be rewarded.
                              I agree with your judgment on the woman. But I was discussing the book of Tobit and chapter 6 on the fish and the angel . I was not discussing the book of Moses .

                              Fear God and keep his commandments,
                              for this is the duty of ALL mankind. Ecc 12: 13

                              Comment

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