THE BIBLE: SEPTUAGINT VERSION
This month of September (1952) will end in American Christendom on St. Jerome's feast day with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Gutenberg Bible, which was the first book printed from movable type. The printer was Johann Gutenberg, the Catholic inventor of the art of typography.
The Protestant celebration of this historic event, announced to be quite extensive, will no doubt be in disregard of the fact that the occasion is in honor of a Catholic Bible, composed of 46 Old Testament Books of the Septuagint Version, and 27 New Testament Books that the Council of Carthage declared, with papal approval, to be the canon of inspired Scripture (A.D. 397). Of course that event could not be in honor of a Protestant Bible, as the Gutenberg Bible was printed many years before the Mother Church of Protestantism was brought into existence by Martin Luther and the German princes. In celebrating this historic event, Protestants inadvertently pay honor to the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament, which is not in their emasculated Bible.
The Protestant Bible is minus seven books, and additional texts, of the Septuagint that formed part of Israel's Canon of Scripture during nearly three centuries of pre-Christian Jewish history. Protestants seem to have an inherited and acquired mental slant, that keeps them from realizing the irregularity of using a Bible that is devoid of Old Testament Books that were considered to be canonical throughout the Christian world prior to the advent of Protestantism.
Love of our Lord, considerable of which exists among adherents of the sects, should logically awaken in Protestants a love of the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament, which Peloubet's (Protestant) Bible Dictionary says "was manifestly the chief storehouse from which both Christ and the Apostles drew their proofs and precepts" (pp. 604-5).
The Septuagint Version in the Catholic Bible is of "enthusiastic" pre-Christian Jewish origin. Its rejection by the Rabbis took place during the years after Christianity had displaced Judaism as the religion of Almighty God. Its rejection was prompted by hostility towards Christianity.
This rejection took place during the second century of the Christian era, mainly through the action of Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph, the father of Rabbinic Judaism, the Judaism of the Christian era, designated as Orthodox Judaism since the first quarter of the 19th century. The hostility of this "famous" Rabbi toward Christianity centered against accepting Jesus as the predicted Messiah. He preferred a Messianic pretender, "becoming an enthusiastic follower of him" (Vallentine's Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 20); whom he hailed as "King Messiah," naming him Bar Kokba, which means "Son of the Star," the Star predicted to arise in the East. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Knowledge praises Rabbi Akiba for "having had the courage to accept Bar Kokba as military leader and the Messiah."
Bar Kokba led a revolt of four years duration against the Romans, which resulted in the slaughter of 580,000 Jews, and the razing of Jerusalem (foretold by Daniel). Thus Bar Kokba, assisted by Rabbi Akiba, became a famous, or rather an infamous, fulfillment of the prophesy of Jesus, that "false Messiahs and false prophets will arise" (St. Mark 13:22).
Rabbi Akiba, called "one of the most revered figures in Jewish history," in the New York Times two weeks ago by a Jewish reviewer of the latest Jewish book regarding him ("The Last Revolt"), threatened with eternal punishment any Jew who "read aloud in the synagogue" any part of the Septuagint text. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia says: "When the Canon of the Bible was established, in the 2nd century, Akiba played a large part in determining its final form ... He declared that he who reads aloud in the synagogues from the non-canonical book, as if it were canonical, would have no share in the world to come" (Vol. I., p. 148).
These references to Rabbi Akiba are presented to introduce the maker of the emasculated Jewish Canon of Old Testament Scripture that Protestants have adopted.
That the canon of Protestant Old Testament Scripture is of the days when the Jews no longer spoke with Divine authority on matters of faith and morals, is beyond a question of reasonable doubt. Vallentine's Jewish Encyclopedia says, in an article written by Dr. Joseph Reider, professor of Biblical Philology, Dropsie (Jewish) College, Philadelphia: "The definitive act of canonization of the complete Scriptures is known to have taken place at the Synod of Jabneh, soon after the destruction of the Temple, at the instigation of Rabbi Akiba" (p. 94).
The rejection of the Septuagint by the Jews, which the Jewish Encyclopedia says is "the oldest and most important of all versions made by the Jews" (Vol. 3, p. 186), was due to hostility towards the Catholic Christianity of the second and succeeding centuries; as the rejection of it by Protestantism stemmed from hostility towards the Catholic Church of the 16th century. Vallentine's Jewish Encyclopedia says: "The appearance of the Septuagint was greeted with great enthusiasm by the Jews everywhere, but with the rise of the Christian sect and its adoption of this version of the Bible, the Jews began to denounce it vehemently, accusing the Christians of falsifying the Greek text here and there" (p. 593): And the Jewish Encyclopedia says, that the "distrust was accentuated by the fact that it had been adopted as Sacred Scripture by a new faith" (vol. 3, p. 186).
The point we seek to drive home, with the foremost Jewish authorities to sustain our contention, is that the emasculated Version of the Old Testament in the Protestant Bible is of anti-Christian origin. It is of the Jewry that had ceased to have an Aaronic priesthood, Temple with its Holy of Holies, or a Sanhedrin; hence it originated in a Jewry that was devoid of any God-given authority to form a Canon of Scripture. That is the negative side of our contention. The positive fact is that the Catholic Church, charged with being an enemy of the Bible, stands today, as she has stood throughout Christian history, as the possessor and defender of Old Testament Scripture in its entirety, which she inherited from Israel when Christ instituted her as His Church. The celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Gutenberg Bible inferentially sustains this contention.