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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Early Protestant Bibles with 80 books (39 Old Test. + 14 Apocrypha + 27 New Test)

This is from a Protestant website called "English Bible History". So they are going to use the word "Apocrypha instead of the word Deuterocanon". Some Orthodox don't use the word Deuterocanon for they see no distinction between the books since they all were received as Scripture. But I like using the word "Deutero" because it's easier to explain what books we are talking about. Also I would like to make known that before the time of the printing press you didn't have all the books of the Bible in one book. They were pretty much scattered in either different scrolls or different books. You may of had the 4 Gospels together in one book, but you didn't have all of them binded up together. That came much later, after the time of the printing press.

But back to the topic at hand....the people of this Reformed Protestant (because they seem to love the Geneva Bible, but if they are not Reformed then please correct me) website are based in Arizona, but their Bible Museum travels all across the country. I went to one of their events some many years ago. I saw alot of old Protestant Bibles with 80 books in them.

These quotes below are from their website:

"200 BC: Completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts which contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books."

382 AD: Jerome's Latin Vulgate Manuscripts Produced which contain All 80 Books (39 Old Test. + 14 Apocrypha + 27 New Test).

1384 AD: Wycliffe is the First Person to Produce a (Hand-Written) manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible; All 80 Books.

1535 AD: Myles Coverdale's Bible; The First Complete Bible printed in the English Language (80 Books: O.T. & N.T. & Apocrypha).

1537 AD: Tyndale-Matthews Bible; The Second Complete Bible printed in English. Done by John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers (80 Books).

1539 AD: The "Great Bible" Printed; The First English Language Bible Authorized for Public Use (80 Books).

1560 AD: The Geneva Bible Printed; The First English Language Bible to add Numbered Verses to Each Chapter (80 Books).

1568 AD: The Bishops Bible Printed; The Bible of which the King James was a Revision (80 Books).

1609 AD: The Douay Old Testament is added to the Rheims New Testament (of 1582) Making the First Complete English Catholic Bible; Translated from the Latin Vulgate (80 Books).

1611 AD: The King James Bible Printed; Originally with All 80 Books. The Apocrypha was Officially Removed in 1885 Leaving Only 66 Books.

1791 AD: Isaac Collins and Isaiah Thomas Respectively Produce the First Family Bible and First Illustrated Bible Printed in America. Both were King James Versions, with All 80 Books.

1846 AD: The Illuminated Bible; The Most Lavishly Illustrated Bible printed in America. A King James Version, with All 80 Books."

Also according to this website, Noah webster was one of the first Americans to print a bible without the Deuterocanonicals. They also said that the ERV (English Revised Version) which was the replacement of the KJV also was printed without the Deuterocanonicals. They claim this happned around the 1880's:


"While Noah Webster, just a few years after producing his famous Dictionary of the English Language, would produce his own modern translation of the English Bible in 1833; the public remained too loyal to the King James Version for Webster’s version to have much impact. It was not really until the 1880’s that England’s own planned replacement for their King James Bible, the English Revised Version(E.R.V.) would become the first English language Bible to gain popular acceptance as a post-King James Version modern-English Bible. The widespread popularity of this modern-English translation brought with it another curious characteristic: the absence of the 14 Apocryphal books.

Up until the 1880’s every Protestant Bible (not just Catholic Bibles) had 80 books, not 66! The inter-testamental books written hundreds of years before Christ called “The Apocrypha” were part of virtually every printing of the Tyndale-Matthews Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishops Bible, the Protestant Geneva Bible, and the King James Bible until their removal in the 1880’s! The original 1611 King James contained the Apocrypha, and King James threatened anyone who dared to print the Bible without the Apocrypha with heavy fines and a year in jail. Only for the last 120 years has the Protestant Church rejected these books, and removed them from their Bibles. This has left most modern-day Christians believing the popular myth that there is something “Roman Catholic” about the Apocrypha. There is, however, no truth in that myth, and no widely-accepted reason for the removal of the Apocrypha in the 1880’s has ever been officially issued by a mainline Protestant denomination

So up until the 1880's most American Bibles had the D.C.'s in them........80 books.

Related Topics:

Economics, Calvinism & the Demise of the Deuterocanon in Protestant Bibles

BIBLE Study Magazine



midmaxi said...

thanks for the information can you list the names of the 80 books?

Jnorm said...

It's really 10 more books. I think the website I took this from added the extra chapters as that's why they said 14.

1.) I Esdras
2.) II Esdras
3.) Tobit
4.) Judith
5.) Wisdom of Solomon
6.) Ecclesiasticus
7.) Baruch
8.) The Prayer of Manasseh
9.) I Maccabees
10.) II Maccabees


Vincent said...

I'm generally a fan of increasing people's awareness and reception of the deutero-canonical materials. However, this post (and related comments) paint a more homogenous picture than is probably warranted by the evidence. For example, the apocryphal 2 Esdras was never in any Greek Bibles, we only have that from Latin. In the Septuagint, there is a book called Esdras B, but it contains the "proto"-canonical Ezra and Nehemiah, so it is not the same as the Latin 2/4 Esdras. On the other hand, there most certainly were 'complete' Bibles before the printing press. Early (4th-5th century) codexes like Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus contained the Old and New Testaments (including deutero-canonical materials - but not 2 Esdras, as they are in Greek). Some of the early codices included other materials that we'd categorize as 'Apostolic Fathers' now. (e.g. Sinaiticus contains the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas as well, and Codex Alexandrinus contained 14 Odes (which include the Prayer of Manasseh, which is often found as an appendix to the Vulgate editions) 1 and 2 Clement and an appendix, now missing, that probably included Psalms of Solomon and perhaps some other works.) And while Jerome's Vulgate did include the deutero-canonical materials, his prologues certainly read like he included them 'under duress' from his spiritual supervisors - he would have maintained a distinction between the canon of the Jews and the extra books that made up the Christian old testament if left to his own devices.

Jnorm said...

Thanks Vincent,

What I meant by "before the printing press" was 76(80) all in one binding. Back in the day, they were mostly scattered in different bindings.

But thanks for the info!


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