Against the Deutero-Canonical Books

I have now finished Whitaker’s book on Scripture. It is an amazing piece of work. I encourage all Roman Catholic readers to read this book carefully. At the very least, you should be convinced that not all Reformed authors either reject tradition or ignore it. Practically half the book is quotations from the early church fathers.

I will continue my way through the book, although I will probably skip some major sections, just so that the series doesn’t grow stale. Here is an argument I thought was rather powerful against the Deutero-Canonical books:

These books were not received by the church of the Israelites; therefore they are not canonical. The syllogism may be framed thus: The ancient church of the Hebrews received and approved all the books of the old Testament. That church did not receive these books; therefore they are not canonical. (paragraph break) The major proposition is certain, and may be easily demonstrated. For, first, if that church had rejected a part of the Lord’s Testament,-especially so large a part,- she would have been guilty of the highest crime and sacrilege, and would have been charged with it by Christ or his apostles…But neither Christ, nor his apostles, nor any others, ever accused the Jews of mutilating or tearing to pieces their canon of the sacred books (p. 52).

He anticipates the arguments of his Romanist adversaries by saying the following: “The allegation of Canus, that these books were neither received nor rejected, is merely ridiculous. For, surely, if the Jews did not receive these books, what else was this but rejecting them utterly?” (p. 53).