Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bible Books OT 46 or 39?

1000-50 BC:

The Old Testament books are written by  many authors.

 300 BC:

Rabbis translate the OT from Hebrew to Greek, a translation called the "Septuagint" (abbreviation: "LXX"). The LXX ultimately includes 46 books.

AD 30-100:

Early Christians use the Greek language Old Testament as their scriptures. 

AD 100:

Following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD Jewish rabbis meet at the Council of Jamniah and decide to include in their canon only 39 books, since only these can be found in Hebrew.

AD 400:

Jerome translates the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin (called the "Vulgate"). He knows that the Jews have only 39 books, and he wants to limit the OT to these; the 7 he would leave out are Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach [or "Ecclesiasticus"], and Baruch--he calls them "apocrypha," that is, "hidden books." But Pope Damasus wants all 46 traditionally-used books included in the OT, so the Vulgate has 46.

AD 1536:

Luther translates the Bible from Hebrew and Greek to German. He assumes that, since Jews wrote the Old Testament, theirs is the correct canon; he puts the extra 7 books in an appendix that he calls the "Apocrypha."

AD 1546:

The Catholic Council of Trent reaffirms the canonicity of all 46 books

AD 1611 

King James of England thinks Luther is correct and orders the Apocrypha left out of the new English translation presented to him for authorization.


  1. Hi Pastor Larry :) This has always been so confusing, and people argue over what is what and written by whom....interesting post here !

  2. Hi Sunny. This has confused a lot of people.
    Most of the world's Christians have the Apocrypha as an integral part of their bible.