New Testament draws heavily from the "Deuterocanonical" books
Let's examine how the New Testament draws heavily from the Deuterocanonical
books, but first one more thing...
Sirach 28:2-5 Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray. Does a man harbor anger against another, and yet seek for healing from the Lord? Does he have no mercy toward a man like himself, and yet pray for his own sins? If he himself, being flesh, maintains wrath, who will make expiation for his sins?
Does that sound familiar? It should.
Matt 6:14-15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Tobit 12:12-15 And so, when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed, I brought a reminder of your prayer before the Holy One; and when you buried the dead, I was likewise present with you. When you did not hesitate to rise and leave your dinner in order to go and lay out the dead, your good deed was not hidden from me, but I was with you. So now God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One."
We see here no doubt a reason why Luther had to remove this book from the canon because it clearly shows the practice of prayers for the dead. You agree? Well, let's look at the following.
Rev 8:2-5 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
Tobit 12:8-9 Prayer is good when accompanied by
fasting, almsgiving, and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better
than much with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to treasure up gold.
For almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin. Those who
perform deeds of charity and of righteousness will have fulness of life;
Here we see a passage that speaks of the expiation of sin through faithful works (almsgiving) - another clear reason why Luther had to throw it out. But let's look at how the NT deals with this.
Acts 10:3-4 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius." And he stared at him in terror, and said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.
Remember, this Cornelius was a Roman centurian who was God fearing in that he respected the God of the Jews, but did not yet know Christ...yet God still recognized his almsgiving:
Acts 10:31 "...Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
Now let's first look at Tobit 4:16 (Quoting from the Douy Reims first) -
See thou never do to another what thou wouldst hate to
have done to thee by another. In more modern transalations (I usually use
the RSV), this is found in verse 15 - And what you hate,
do not do to any one...
Does that sound familiar? It should my friend, Christ simply turns this passage to the positive.
Matt 7:12 So whatever you wish that men would do to
you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Now let's look at what is perhaps the most developed prophecy in the Old Testament, the second chapter of Wisdom. Does this sound familiar my friend?
Wisdom 2:1 For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,...(13-21) He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected." Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them,
Now let's look at another example, Wisdom 13:1-9 For all men who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists, nor did they recognize the craftsman while paying heed to his works; but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world. If through delight in the beauty of these things men assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them. And if men were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is he who formed them. For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator. Yet these men are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiring to find him. For as they live among his works they keep searching, and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful. Yet again, not even they are to be excused; for if they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?
This passage of Wisdom was clearly in Paul's mind when he penned the following words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit...
Romans 1:17-23 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "He who through faith is righteous shall live." For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.
Wisdom 9:13 For what man can learn the counsel of God?
Or who can discern what the Lord wills?
Is quoted almost word for word in
Romans 11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
Now here's a biggie. Let's look first at 2 Mac 7:1-14
It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were
being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and cords, to partake of
unlawful swine's flesh. One of them, acting as their spokesman, said, "What do
you intend to ask and learn from us? For we are ready to die rather than
transgress the laws of our fathers." The king fell into a rage, and gave orders
that pans and caldrons be heated. These were heated immediately, and he
commanded that the tongue of their spokesman be cut out and that they scalp him
and cut off his hands and feet, while the rest of the brothers and the mother
looked on. When he was utterly helpless, the king ordered them to take him to
the fire, still breathing, and to fry him in a pan. The smoke from the pan
spread widely, but the brothers and their mother encouraged one another to die
nobly, saying, "The Lord God is watching over us and in truth has compassion on
us, as Moses declared in his song which bore witness against the people to their
faces, when he said, `And he will have compassion on his servants.'" After the
first brother had died in this way, they brought forward the second for their
sport. They tore off the skin of his head with the hair, and asked him, "Will
you eat rather than have your body punished limb by limb?" He replied in the
language of his fathers, and said to them, "No." Therefore he in turn underwent
tortures as the first brother had done. And when he was at his last breath, he
said, "You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King
of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we
have died for his laws." After him, the third was the victim of their sport.
When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched
forth his hands, and said nobly, "I got these from Heaven, and because of his
laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again." As a result
the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man's spirit,
for he regarded his sufferings as nothing. When he too had died, they maltreated
and tortured the fourth in the same way. And when he was near death, he said, "One
cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God
gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no
resurrection to life!" And continuing in verse 20
The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she
saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage
because of her hope in the Lord.
Now let's look at the following verse from chapter 11 of Hebrews.
Heb 11:35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.
Now my friend, I ask you where in the present Jewish canon of scripture or in your Protestant version of the Old Testament do we find women receiving their dead by resurrection, their dead being tortured and and killed in the hope that they will be resurrected with the Lord? Nowhere. The ONLY place you will find this is in 2 Maccabees! Now look at the surrrounding verses in Hebrews 11. Is this reference to 2 Maccabees treated any differently than the references to the rest of the OT? Absolutely not!