True, but he included them for purely devotional material. They did not hold the same authority that the rest of the books hold.
Luther had the “Apocrypha” or “Deuterocanon” in his Bible solely for devotional material. he considered them historically accurate, but not divinely inspired like the other, more credible books of the Bible.
“But he couldn’t do that, he didn’t have the authority…”
You’re right, he did not have the right to, by himself, take sections out of the Bible. But what he did have the authority to do, was have the opinion that certain parts of the Bible seemed to contradict far more credible parts. And he could definitely take these ideas to a council and to the Pope for review.
Oh, wait, no he couldn’t. If he even thought about leaving the protection of Germany he would have been run through with multiple arrows immediately. His ideas were also not given a fair trial by the church so why would this idea be any different.
“Still, he should have listened to the Council that obviously had more authority…”
If, even after the Council had affirmed the Deuterocanon as scripture and Luther still claimed that it wasn’t, I would be very interested to hear his reasoning for that belief. Luther was a scholar and a devout Christian and he really did want to submit to the authority of the Church, but because he saw fault in the logic and hypocrisy in the teachings of the church, he felt like it would be wiser to submit to the Bible, rather than the medieval church.
So, I believe that Luther saw some flaws in the justification of the deuterocanon by the Council of Trent, and if we are going to go purely off of the authority of the parties. I would probably side with Luther. He had an incredible amount of integrity and really was a godly man and if he was proven wrong, I think that he would have recanted.
In my opinion at least.
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This isn’t actually true. There are at least four synods and councils from a thousand years before the Reformation which explicitly list the Maccabean books as canonical. Additionally, a number of early Christian authors– including Origen and Augustine, amongst others– also explicitly noted the canonicity of the Maccabees. Finally, both Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus, two of the earliest and most complete manuscripts of the Bible, contain the Maccabees in their canons.
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These are fantastic points and I agree with a great deal of them. The main objection that I have to the inclusion of the Dueterocanon in Scripture is the idea that the word “canon” comes from Greek and translates to “standard” or “measurement.” The earliest account that we have of the discussion as to whether or not the Maccabees should be in the Bible is in Jewish tradition. The Jews did not include the deuterocanon in their scriptures and in Luke 11:51 Jesus makes no mention of the Maccabees.
I find very little fault in the teachings that are supported by the Maccabees (specifical prayers to saints) but I think it does a dishonor to the other books of the Bible which are very clearly divinely inspired to classify the deuterocanon as equal to them in authority. I would not be comfortable measuring other, very clearly, heretical books against the Maccabees if we were to include them as part of the “measuring tool” that is the Bible.
You make some great points and I will edit the article. I do not disagree with the theology that is supported by the Maccabees, I just disagree with the claim that they are as credible as other books. Thank you very much for your comment.