Sunday, June 9, 2013

What You Mean, "Our" Bible, Kimosabe?

That's what I was compelled to ask after Greg Carey mentioned that

"[...]many people ask about the literature that did not make it into our Bible, and [David A] deSilva [in his bookThe Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Early Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha] shows how wisdom literature like Ben Sira, apocalypses like Enoch, legends like Tobit[...]"

I wasn't really compelled. I realized that Carey was referring to the 39 Old Testament books recognized as canonical by (most) Jews and (most) Protestants.

I think the Catholic Church may only recently have moved Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, Bel and the Dragon (as the final 2 chapters in the Vulgate version of Daniel) and I and II Maccabees from their Old Testament into their Deuterocanonical/Apocrypha section. All of those books are in the Old Testament in the versions of the complete Vulgate I've seen, and in the Deuterocanonical/Apocrypha section of a Catholic "Today's English Version," imprimi potest Bishop Keeler in 1993. All that's in the Apocrypha section of my copy of the Vulgate -- copyright 1994, Deutsche Bibelgesellschafy, no imprimi potest -- only an historical artifact after Vatican II? -- is the Prayer of Manasseh, III and IIII Ezra (begging the question: Dude, where's II Ezra?), the 151st Psalm and Paul's Letter to the Laodiceans. Back in the Old Testament it has 45 books, with Bel and the Dragon not counted as a book of its own but as the last 2 chapters of Daniel, compared to the Jewish and Protestant 39.

My copy of the Sptuagint is copyright 2006 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft has 53 books and answers the question: Dude, where's II Ezra? Turns out that what "we" in the Jewish non-Orthodox-Christian worlds call just plain old Ezra is II Ezra, if you include another book and call it I Ezra, as this copy of the Septuagint does. This volume has no Apocrypha section, but in the table of contents subtitles I Ezra, and no other book, as apocryphal.

So now you know.

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