Saturday, August 3, 2013

RE:Problems in the Apocrypha

Resuming my bashing of CARM and showing they don't know what they're talking about, this post will focus on the following article:

The  apocrypha (απόκρυφα means "hidden") is a set of books written between approximately 400 B.C. and the time of Christ.

[Wrong.  First, the correct term is Septuagint. Second, though some authorship years are disputed, none of them were written after the first century BC.]

that is rejected by the Protestants and officially accepted by the Roman Catholic Church in 1546 as being inspired. 

[Wrong. They were deemed inspired at the Council of Carthage in 397.]

 These books are Tobit  Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus), and Baruch.
[as well as an extra material in Daniel and Esther.]
But if the Apocrypha is a Scripture, then it should not have any errors.  But since it does have errors, as will be demonstrated below,
[Nope. These are not errors, no matter how much CARM wants them to be.]
this puts into question whether or not the Roman Catholic Church has properly used its self-proclaimed position as the teaching authority of the Christian Church. 
[More like this begs the question of where CARM got its reasoning skills from.]
 If it can error in such an important manner as what is Scripture, can it be trusted to properly teach the Christian Church?  The following references can be verified at
[Misleading statement. Though the verses presented are from the site, the little notes underneath are not. ]

Problems in the Apocrypha
When we look into the apocrypha itself, we find numerous problems.  For example, we see it advocating magic where the smoke of a fish heart on a fire drives away devils. 
Condones the use of magic
Tobit 6:5-7, "Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of this 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. 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."

Is it true that the smoke from a fish's heart, when burned, drives away evil spirits?  Of course not.  Such a superstitious teaching has no place in the word of God.

[If that’s what they were for but they’re not. This was actually a common medical practice at the time, no different than burning incense. I could very well ask CARM if they honestly think putting mud on a blind man’s eyes will restore his sight.]

Teaches that forgiveness of sins is by human effort.
Salvation by works:
    Tobit 4:11, "For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness."  
    Tobit 12:9, "For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting."
We know from Scripture that alms (money or food, given to the poor or needy as charity) does not purge our sins.  The blood of Christ is what cleanses us, not money or food given to poor people.  "but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin," (1 John 1:7).
[This is a bogus conclusion, not helped by CARM’s selective verse picking. First off, the John quote ignores Paul’s teaching that we must complete what is lacking in Christ’s sufferings (Col 1:24). Next, let’s look at the first verse in context:

[7] Give alms out of thy substance, and turn not away thy face from any poor person: for so it shall come to pass that the face of the Lord shall not be turned from thee. [8] According to thy ability be merciful. [9] If thou have much give abundantly: if thou have a little, take care even so to bestow willingly a little. [10] For thus thou storest up to thyself a good reward for the day of necessity.[11] For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness. [12] Alms shall be a great confidence before the most high God, to all them that give it.
Well, this sounds like Jesus’ advise to the rich young man, doesn’t it?  [Matt 19:16-23]In addition, compare Tobit 4:10 to Matt 6:20:
But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.
As for the second verse, why object to that when Dan 4:24 says the same thing?
Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to thee, and redeem thou thy sins with alms, and thy iniquities with works of mercy to the poor: perhaps he will forgive thy offences.]

Money as an offering for the sins of the dead:
2 Maccabbees 12:43, "And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection."

Can anyone truly accept that money isn't offering for the sins of dead people?  Such a superstitious and unbiblical concept has no place in Scripture.

[Unless the teaching has roots in Hebrew, like this verse does. Again, let’s put it in context:

And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain.Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden. [42] And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain. [43] And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, [44] (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) [45] And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.

So Judas wasn’t offering money for the sake of gathering money; he was sacrificing it on behalf of the soldiers who died fighting for God but at the same time violated one of God's commandments. CARM just misrepresented what the verse stated.]

Historical Errors
Wrong historical facts:
    Judith 1:5, "Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him."
    Baruch 6:2, "And when you are come into Babylon, you shall be there many years, and for a long time, even to seven generations: and after that I will bring you away from thence with peace."

The book of Judith incorrectly says that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the Assyrians when he was the king of the Babylonians.
[Actually, this is not talking about the more famous Nebuchannezzar, but rather a different ruler by the same name, the clue in verse being him reigning in Ninive. In addition, by the time this other Nebuchannezzar reigned, Assyria was part of Babylon so yes, he can be called king of the Assyrians.]

Baruch 6:2 says the Jews would serve in Babylon for seven generations where Jer. 25:11 says it was for 70 years.  "And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."
[Did CARM suddenly lose the ability to read a sentence? It says “up to seven generations; that doesn’t mean it will be seven generations.]

Obviously the apocrypha has serious problems. 
[Nope. Just CARM’s thinking.]
 From magic, to salvation by works, to money as an offering for the sins of the dead, and blatant incorrect historical facts, it is full of false and unbiblical teachings. 
[Is CARM talking about the books or itself?]
 It isn't inspired of God.  Likewise, neither is the Roman Catholic Church, which has stated the Apocrypha is inspired. 
[I ask again: is CARM talking about itself?]
This shows the Roman Catholic Church is not the means by which God is communicating his truth to his people, that the Magisterium has erred greatly, and that it is infested with man's false tradition, rather than God's absolute truth.
[It shows nothing of the sort. If anything, CARM is willing to settle for the most bogus research possible.]

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