The Rest of the Chapters of Esther

The Rest of the Chapters of Esther is a significant portion of Scripture in the Septuagint, being six entire chapters of collected texts of the Book of Esther (10:4—16:24), a collection of parts of the book which St. Jerome moved out of sequence, put together as 6 distinct chapters, and placed at the end of the book of Esther in his Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. Readers of the book have found his edited form of the book confusing. The complete Book of Esther as read in the 1st century Christian Church in the Septuagint is accepted as inspired and canonical by the Orthodox Church in the Greek Orthodox Bible, and is found in the books of the Old Testament of the Vulgate. It is included in its entirety in the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible. Since the Council of Trent the complete Book of Esther with all of its parts is dogmatically accepted as inspired and canonical by the Catholic Church in the Catholic Bible—books of the Bible accepted as divinely inspired by the majority of Christian believers in the United States and throughout the world.

In response to the rise of the Christian sect and the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, Jewish rabbis at the Council of Jamnia (some say there was no such council) in A.D. 90 discussed rejecting the Septuagint in favor of selected Hebrew language scriptural texts, omitting certain books such as Baruch, Judith, Maccabees (1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees), Sirach, Wisdom and Tobit, and parts of the more complete versions of Daniel and Esther preserved in Greek translation (most of these originally written in Hebrew and/or Aramaic which were relatively recent Jewish contributions of the 3rd through the 1st centuries before Christ) which had become part of Jewish culture.

These 6 chapters of collected texts in the Book of Esther were first removed entirely from the Old Testament and placed in the Apocrypha by Martin Luther in the 16th century. This effectively removed from the canon of the Protestant Bible all of the prayers in the Book of Esther and every mention of God. The separated portions of the Book of Esther are regarded as apocryphal additions to the Old Testament by less than one-third of Christian believers.

Canonical status

The complete Book of Esther as read in the 1st century Christian Church in the Septuagint is accepted as inspired and canonical by the Orthodox Church in the Greek Orthodox Bible. It was included in the canon of inspired scripture identified by Pope Damasus I and the synod of Rome (382) and affirmed by the Council of Hippo (393), and by the Third Council of Carthage (397). It is included in the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible, and is found in a revised form edited by Jerome in the books of the Old Testament of the Vulgate. This form of the book was reaffirmed as part of the traditional canon of the Bible by the Ecumenical Council of Florence (1446). Martin Luther removed from his German Bible the six entire chapters of the Book of Esther (10:4—16:24), which Jerome had placed at the end of the book in the Vulgate, and placed them in the Apocrypha. Since the Council of Trent the complete Book of Esther with all of its parts is dogmatically accepted as inspired and canonical by the Catholic Church in the Catholic Bible.

Separated title

In the King James Version of the Bible, in the Apocrypha, the separated parts of Esther are collectively titled:”The rest of the Chapters of the book of Esther, which are found neither in the Hebrew, nor in the Chaldee “.

Significantly, this portion of the Apocrypha has usually been called “Additions to Esther” and has never had a distinct name or title of its own as being a separate “book”.

Jerome’s notation

It is useful to compare what Jerome himself wrote about the deuterocanonical portions of the Bible which he had annotated as “found neither in the Hebrew, nor in the Chaldee [Aramaic]”.

“…so you may be able to understand me also to have augmented nothing by adding, but rather with faithful witness to have translated, just as it is found in the Hebrew, the Hebrew history into the Latin language.” 

In his reply to Rufinus, Jerome affirmed that he was in fact being consistent with the choice of the church regarding which version of the deuterocanonical portions [of the Bible] to use, which the Jews of his day did not include in their canon of the Bible:

What sin have I committed if I followed the judgment of the churches?… For I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they [the Jews] are wont to make against us. (Against Rufinus, 11:33 [A.D. 402] boldface emphasis added).

Significantly, St. Jerome of Bethlehem did not remove Esther 10:4—16:24 from the Old Testament, but Dr. Martin Luther of Wittenberg did.

Original placement in the Bible

The Orthodox Greek Bible has always retained the original sequence of the text in the Greek form of Esther according the Septuagint.

Recent editors and publishers of Ecumenical and Catholic editions of the Bible have restored the separated portions of the Book of Esther to their original positions in the text, which they had before Jerome’s textual edit, either retaining the chapter numbers 10—16 (which can be confusing for the beginning Bible reader) or designating them as chapters A—F (which can be equally confusing).A:1-17 (before chapter 1);B:1-7 (returned to chapter 3, between verses 13 and 14);C:1—D:16 (between chapters 4 and 5);E:1-24 (returned to chapter 8, between verses 12 and 13);F:1-10 (after chapter 10:3, as the rest of chapter 10, with 11:1 as the last verse).

Text comparison (online access)

The particular texts in the Septuagint and Vulgate are linked here for ready comparison with the separated texts in the Apocrypha. When the Elpenor/Ellopos English and Greek parallel Septuagint text site has been accessed, scroll down the displayed page to see the beginning of the text.

ESTHER / ΕΣΘΗΡ chapter 1 English and Greek

ESTHER chapter 1 (11) Vulgate and Douay-Rheims English

Additions to Esther chapter 11 and Additions to Esther chapter 12

ESTHER chapter A 1 New American Bible, Revised Edition

ESTHER / ΕΣΘΗΡ chapter 3 English and Greek

ESTHER chapter 3 (13) Vulgate and Douay-Rheims English

Additions to Esther chapter 13

ESTHER chapter 3 B New American Bible, Revised Edition

ESTHER / ΕΣΘΗΡ chapter 4 English and Greek and ESTHER / ΕΣΘΗΡ chapter 5 English and Greek

ESTHER chapter 4 (14) Vulgate and Douay-Rheims English and ESTHER chapter 5 (15) Vulgate and Douay-Rheims English

Additions to Esther chapter 14 and Additions to Esther chapter 15

ESTHER chapter 4 C D New American Bible, Revised Edition

ESTHER / ΕΣΘΗΡ chapter 8 English and Greek

ESTHER chapter 8 (16) Vulgate and Douay-Rheims English

Additions to Esther chapter 16

ESTHER chapter 8 E New American Bible, Revised Edition

ESTHER / ΕΣΘΗΡ chapter 9 English and Greek

ESTHER chapter 9 Vulgate and Douay-Rheims Englishand ESTHER chapter 10 Vulgate and Douay-Rheims English

Additions to Esther chapter 10. Chapter 11 of the Rest of Esther begins with the last and final verse found at the actual end of the book:chapter 11:1 “In the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemeus and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who said he was a priest and Levite, and Ptolemeus his son, brought this epistle of Phurim, which they said was the same, and that Lysimachus the son of Ptolemeus, that was in Jerusalem, had interpreted it.”

ESTHER chapter 10 F (includes 11:1) New American Bible, Revised Edition

Chapter summaries

The following chapter summaries are from the Douay-Rheims Bible.1 King Assuerus maketh a great feast. Queen Vasthi being sent for refuseth to come: for which disobedience she is deposed. 2 Esther is advanced to be queen. Mardochai detecteth a plot against the king. 3 Aman, advanced by the king, is offended at Mardochai, and therefore procureth the king’s decree to destroy the whole nation of the Jews. 4 Mardochai desireth Esther to petition the king for the Jews. They join in fasting and prayer. 5 Esther is graciously received: she inviteth the king and Aman to dinner. Aman prepareth a gibbet for Mardochai. 6 The king hearing of the good service done him by Mardochai, commandeth Aman to honour him next to the king, which he performeth. 7 Esther’s petition for herself and her people: Aman is hanged upon the gibbet he had prepared for Mardochai. 8 Mardochai is advanced: Aman’s letters are reversed. 9 The Jews kill their enemies that would have killed them. The days of Phurim are appointed to be kept holy. 10 Assuerus’s greatness. Mardochai’s dignity. 11 The dream of Mardochai, which in the ancient Greek and Latin Bibles was in the beginning of the book, but was detached by St. Jerome and put in this place. 12 Mardochai detects the conspiracy of the two eunuchs. 13 A copy of the letter sent by Aman to destroy the Jews. Mardochai’s prayer for the people. 14 The prayer of Esther for herself and her people.15 Esther comes into the king’s presence: she is terrified, but God turns his heart.16 A copy of the king’s letter in favour of the Jews.

Original language

The text at the end of the Greek version of the Book of Esther (11:1) strongly indicates that the whole of the book in Greek as it appears in the Septuagint was a translation [interpreted] by “Lysimachus the son of Ptolemeus” of the whole of a larger Hebrew text original, a text in content more extensive and inclusive than the version adopted by the Jews for their Palestinian Hebrew canon.

Dispute on Canonicity

The Christian Holy Bible, received in its entirety as inspired and canonical by Orthodox and Catholic Christians, contains texts which are rejected by Protestant Christians as spurious and apocryphal additions of men.

Dr. John Oakes represents the view of many Christians who reject the rabbinical additions to Esther as not inspired or reliable “for at least three reasons”.1. The Jews, the arbiters of the Old Testament canon do not include them.2. The additions were most likely not even originally in Hebrew or Aramaic.3. The actual content does not have the marks of inspired writing.

A fourth reason given for rejecting deuterocanonical texts is:4. Jesus and the New Testament writers never quoted them.

First objection: The Jews do not include the rabbinical additions to Esther

This presents a problem. The Alexandrian Jews before A.D. the 1st century recognized the Septuagint as the Bible of Israel, accepting the whole of the “Apocrypha” as canonical. Evidence of this ancient B.C. Jewish opinion regarding the “Apocrypha” as canonical scripture is found in the fact that some Jews even today, such as those from Ethiopia, follow the same canon which is identical to the Catholic Old Testament and includes the seven deuterocanonical books the Reformers rejected, while they exclude all New Testament writings.

In response to the rise of the Christian sect and the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, Jewish rabbis at the Council of Jamnia (some say there was no such council) in A.D. 90 discussed rejecting the Septuagint which Christians were using with great effect in favor of selected Hebrew language scriptural texts. Needless to say, the Church disregarded the results of Jamnia/Javneh/Jabneh. The opinion of a Jewish council rendered after the time of Christ is not binding on the followers of Christ. If the Jews have been so entrusted with the word of God that they were therefore given the divine authority to also determine the canon of sacred scripture, then the whole New Testament is excluded from the canon of the Holy Bible because it does not meet established rabbinical criteria for what is sacred inspired scripture.

See Logical fallacy of Proof by authority: argumentum ad verecundiam (“appeal to unqualified authority”)According to the ordinary reading of the New Testament and the consensus of the majority of Christians from the 1st century to this day, the authority of the kingdom of God had been wholly taken away from the Jews in the 1st century and given to the leaders of the Gentiles and Jews in Christ long before the Council of Jamnia. Stephen the first martyr for Christ testified to the Sanhedrin this fact by the Holy Spirit:

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” Acts 7:51-53 KJV

The Apostle Paul himself testified that the Jews are no longer the arbiters of Holy Scripture, but instead that Christian leaders are to be accounted as “the stewards of the mysteries of God”. See the testimony of the following scriptures of the Bible: Matthew 15:13-14, Matthew 16:18-19, Matthew 18:17-18, Matthew 21:43, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 1:32-33, Luke 10:16, Luke 22:29-30, Acts 7:51-53, Romans 16:17-19, 1 Corinthians 4:1, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, 2 Corinthians 3:14-16, 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16, 1 Timothy 3:14-15, 1 Timothy 6:20-21, Hebrews 13:17, 1 John 4:2-6, 2 John 9-ll, Jude 3, Historically, Jewish scholars since A.D. the 2nd–5th centuries (the Talmudists and the Masoretes) have considered the canon closed since the time of Malachi, and have not included the books and texts listed in the Protestant Apocrypha, which were written subsequent to his time. At the same time they simultaneously excluded as condemned and false the writings of the “heretics” (the minim, including Christians, called nozrim, no§rim, “Nazarenes”), and cursed Christians in a synagogue service “benediction” against them and others. Palestinian texts of the Eighteen Benedictions from the Cairo Genizah present a text of the benediction which identifies the minim:

For the apostates may there be no hope unless they return to Your Torah. As for the no§rim and the minim, may they perish immediately. Speedily may they be erased from the Book of Life, and may they not be registered among the righteous. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who subdues the wicked.” ( See Psalm 69:28 [Psalm 68:29] )

While other specimens of the Palestinian liturgy show slight variation, the no§rim (usually translated “Christians”) and minim are included in the best texts of this benediction. The fact remains that the no§rim were included with apostates and heretics and the wicked in the Genizah documents. The Jews as arbiters of the Old Testament canon have excluded everything Christian.

Second objection: The rabbinical additions might not have been written in Hebrew

Jesus ben Sira c. 150 B.C. observed that “the Hebrew words have not the same force in them when translated into another tongue. And not only these, but the law also itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language.” See Sirach 1:1

The rabbinical school of Johanan ben Zakkai at Jamnia (not a Council) in A.D. 90 discussed rejecting the Septuagint which Christians were using with great effect in favor of selected Hebrew language scriptural texts, omitting certain books such as Baruch, Judith, Maccabees (1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees), Sirach, and Tobit (some of these originally written in Hebrew and/or Aramaic) which were relatively recent Jewish contributions of the 3rd through the 1st centuries before Christ and had become part of Jewish culture. The Jewish rabbis at Jamnia considered 4 adopted criteria (found nowhere in the scriptures) to determine which of the Writings—such as Ecclesiastes, Esther, and Song of Songs—should be retained for the Hebrew canon for Judaism:the book should conform to the Torah;it was written before the time of Ezra (circa 450 BC);it was written in Hebrew; and it was composed in Judah or Israel.

Although some books of the Old Testament were discussed in Judea at the Pharisaic Council of Jamnia in A.D. 90, the whole of the canon itself was not a topic of consideration and this group in fact had no decision-making power. However, some Jews, such as those from Ethiopia (Beta Israel), follow a different canon which is identical to the Catholic Old Testament and includes the seven deuterocanonical books.

Third objection: The rabbinical additions do not have the “marks” of inspired writing

This is based on the principle of “private judgment”, which is highly subjective, and can be in error. With regard to what texts belong in the Bible it is a certainty that the expertise and judgment of the ancients among the Jews before the time of Christ should not be lightly dismissed.

“We attach great importance to the reading [text] of the Septuagint, because it was translated 280 years before Christ, by men who had every facility for ascertaining the real meaning of the Hebrew text, and their work was honoured by the cordial approbation of the Sanhedrim of Alexandria, at a time when Hebrew learning was at its highest state of perfection in that city.”—John Grigg Hewlett, D.D. Bible difficulties explained (1860), p. 162 –book in the public domain

The Alexandrian Jews, recognizing the Septuagint as the Bible, accepted the whole of the Apocrypha as canonical and as having all the marks of inspired writing, as did the Ethiopian Jews. Jesus and the New Testament writers also quoted from the Septuagint Bible as from authoritative scripture having the marks of inspired writing.

Marcion, around A.D. 140 declared that the entire Old Testament was “obviously” not of God. He dismissed the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, he edited the Gospel of Luke to purify it, and he threw out four of Paul’s 14 Epistles as writings contrary to the Gospel. He was condemned as a heretic for his views about the nature of God and salvation.

The Deuterocanonicals were disputed from the 1st century to the 16th century, and include 7 books of the New Testament which many Christians and some individual scholars of those centuries confidently asserted were not authentic, but were clearly perceived by them as spurious writings.

The deuterocanonical (disputed) Old Testament scriptural texts are:

  • Tobit
  • Judith
  • Greek rabbinical Additions to Esther (Vulgate Esther 10:4-16:24)
  • Wisdom (or Wisdom of Solomon)
  • Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira (or Sirach or Ecclesiasticus)
  • Baruch, including the Letter of Jeremiah (Additions to Jeremiah in the Septuagint)
  • Greek rabbinical Additions to Daniel:
  • Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children (Vulgate Daniel 3:24-90)
  • Susanna (Vulgate Daniel 13, Septuagint prologue to Daniel)
  • Bel and the Dragon (Vulgate Daniel 14, Septuagint epilogue of Daniel)
  • 1 Maccabees
  • 2 Maccabees

The deuterocanonical (disputed) New Testament scriptural texts are:

  • The Epistle to the Hebrews
  • The Epistle of James
  • The Second Epistle of Peter
  • The Second Epistle of John
  • The Third Epistle of John
  • The Epistle of Jude
  • The Apocalypse of John (also known as the Book of Revelation)

The meaning of the term “deuterocanonical” is therefore not identical with “apocryphal”.

In 1539 Martin Luther declared that four of the New Testament deuterocanonicals are clearly hostile to the Gospel because they do not have “the marks of inspired scripture” and do not clearly “preach Christ”: Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation—he held that they were not on the same level as the pure scriptures. He found several books of the Bible to be clearly lacking the “marks of inspired writing”. “The history of Jonah is so monstrous that it is absolutely incredible.” “The book of Esther I toss into the Elbe. I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist, for it Judaizes too much and has in it a great deal of heathenish foolishness.””Of very little worth is the Book of Baruch, whoever the worthy Baruch might be.” “…the epistle of St. James is an epistle full of straw, because it contains nothing evangelical.” “If nonsense is spoken anywhere, this is the very place. I pass over the fact that many have maintained, with much probability, that this epistle was not written by the apostle James, and is not worthy of the spirit of the apostle.” “John records but few of the works of Christ, but a great deal of his preaching, whereas the other three evangelists record many of His works, but few of His words. It follows that the gospel of John is unique in loveliness, and of a truth the principal gospel, far, far superior to the other three, and St. Paul and St. Peter are far in advance of the three gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.”

Luther complained about the Book of Revelation:”to my mind it bears upon it no marks of an apostolic or prophetic character… Everyone may form his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it.”

Luther admitted adding the word ‘alone’ to Rom. 3:28 of his own volition: “If your Papist annoys you with the word (‘alone’), tell him straightway, Dr. Martin Luther will have it so: Papist and ass are one and the same thing. Whoever will not have my translation, let him give it the go-by: the devil’s thanks to him who censures it without my will and knowledge. Luther will have it so, and he is a doctor above all the doctors in Popedom.” 

Luther complained that people who did not know the original languages were quoting and interpreting the plain meaning of scripture wrongly. He said:”to expound Scripture, to interpret it rightly and to fight against those people who quote wrongly … cannot be done without knowledge of the languages.” (See Proof text, Sola scriptura and Hermeneutics.)

In 1546 at the Council of Trent the bishops of the Catholic Church dogmatically “added” the Deuterocanonicals, the 7 disputed New Testament books along with the 7 disputed books and parts of 2 other books of the Old Testament “with all their parts”, to the canon of the Bible. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church had definitively found all 73 books of the Catholic Bible to be “certainly” inspired scripture, given by God himself, and preserved and retained by the Church as sacred scripture since the 1st century. Writers who point out that the Apocrypha were added to the Bible by the Catholic Church do not include the fact that the disputed New Testament books of Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude and Revelation were also added to the Bible by the Catholic Church at the same time.The Friends (Quakers) do not define any writing as canonical but what each person, “led by the spirit and light of Christ”, has determined to be scripture or recognizes as inspired.

“Now the Lord’s power was so mighty upon me, and so strong in me, that I could not hold, but was made to cry out and say, “Oh! no; it is not the scriptures;” and told them it was the Holy Spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth the scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments were to be tried; for it led into all Truth, and so gave the knowledge of all Truth.” —from the Journal of George Fox.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have taken a form of “private judgment” as an infallible guide. They quote Moroni 10:4 

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

Some individuals, who have used this suggested test as a form of certain discernment, have experienced a kind of negative affirmation in the form of an intuitive insight or feeling that indicates, “Yes, these things are not so”, and so they reject the books added by Mormons. But others have interpreted the affirmative feeling experienced in response to the prayer as meaning instead, “Yes, these things are so”.

Every person who approaches Bible study, usually to learn about the historical events it relates, is heavily influenced by the hermeneutical theory, or interpretive understandings, he or she brings to the text, consciously or unconsciously. According to Dr. J. Philip Hyatt, very little of the Bible relates history for its own sake, or for the purposes that a modern historian would adopt. It is, therefore, history of a special order, designed not simply to inform the reader, but to awaken in the reader a response to what the Lord of history has done. Historical-critical researchers who use the literary methods of Higher Criticism seek to find out all they can with regard to the portion of the Bible they are studying; the author, the date, the circumstances, and purpose of its writing. The Higher Criticism means nothing more than the study of the literary structure of the various books of the Bible, and more especially of the Old Testament. Historical criticism assumes the time-conditions; the historical character of the Scriptures. This does not necessarily mean that the individual historical critic conceives of God revealing Himself objectively within history, but that he conceives the production of Scripture to have taken place within historical causes. What one scholar holds to be very probable another considers to be very unlikely. The regular majority of intelligent higher critical scholars who take the Bible seriously have found the Bible to be historically reliable and truthful and unique as a very credible witness to what the Lord of history has actually done in history, and as documents in character superior to all the ethical rationalism of the writings of secular humanists. This includes those deuterocanonicals called “apocrypha”.

The more conservative theologians who employ the historical-critical method believe that the Scriptures are ‘more than the writings of mortal men’…” —(Siegbert W. Becker, “The Historical-Critical Method of Bible Interpretation”, page 4. bold-face emphasis added.)

They have found that the Scriptures are unique among world literature, and that the Bible is of a wholly different order from the pagan mythologies of the nations.

The highly educated scholars who have elected to participate in the Jesus Seminar are fully persuaded from reading all of the varied translations and early extant manuscripts of the Gospels, and from discussions with other Biblical scholars, that it is “obviously evident” to them, and a “virtual certainty”, that almost none of the words and teachings attributed to Jesus are authentic, but are instead fabrications by unknown individuals in the Christian Church who were promoting their own slanted theological points of view. In striking contrast to these, other highly educated scholars are firmly convinced by their own studies and reading of the Bible, and by discussions with other Biblical scholars, that the entire canon of the Orthodox Bible including the Anagignoskomena is authentic and inspired. (See Greek Old Testament canon (A.D. 1st century).)

Those who have adopted the views of Liberal Christianity tend to see religious knowledge emerging from research and the use of reason as superior to Biblical revelation. Thus the liberal idea of religion as a personal relationship with God is one which is not necessarily bound to a Biblical doctrinal basis. This stands in contrast to the doctrine of salvation resulting from faith in the Biblically substantiated gospel of grace, and in conformity with orthodox theological beliefs. They see the controversy over canonicity of any part of the Bible as pointless and somewhat irrelevant. Reading the texts of scripture does not indicate to them personally that one part is superior to another, or that any of it is inspired by God, although many of them acknowledge that some of it tends to be “inspiring” as a classic of world literature.See the text of the 1989 lecture given by Dr. N.T.Wright “How Can The Bible Be Authoritative?” See the video talk I Don’t Recognize Your “Authority” – YouTube —”I have only your word for this. I have no obligation to believe you. What authority do you have to tell me these books are the word of God? I just don’t recognize your authority.” (See Heresy)See also Cafeteria Christianity. First you actually remove, or simply dismiss, as invalid and unreliable, the texts of the Bible supporting the position you dispute, and then you say, “It’s not in the Bible.” Sola Scriptura. Proof text. Then you insist, “That’s not in my Bible!”

It is evident from the facts cited above that those portions of the Book of Esther called “The rest of the Chapters of the book of Esther, which are found neither in the Hebrew, nor in the Chaldee ” cannot be evaluated solely on the basis of Jewish rejection, apparent lack of evidence of an original Hebrew text, and subjective assessment of content according to what seems to the reader to be marks of inspired writing.

Fourth objection: Jesus and the New Testament writers never quoted the rabbinical additions to Esther

Jesus and the New Testament writers also never quoted from Ezra, Nehemiah, “Hebrew” Esther, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs (Song of Solomon). This does not mean they are not inspired.

There are a number of places where there appears to be a similarity of thought, and sometimes of the actual words used, between New Testament passages and verses in the Apocrypha.

The majority of quotations of the Old Testament are not from the Masoretic Hebrew version in the Tanakh, but are according to the Septuagint version of the Bible (LXX) which contains the books and texts which have been rejected as Apocrypha and are in the Greek Bible of the early Church. The entire New Testament was written in Greek, addressed to the people, and to individual Christians (such as Philemon, Timothy, Titus, and Gaius in 3 John), and there appears to be no evidence that the assemblies of worshiping Christians in the ancient early Church read the Old Testament in Hebrew but substantial evidence instead that they read them in the language of the people, from the Septuagint. The Vetus Latina (Old Latin) and Vulgate versions of the Old Testament of the Bible read in Christian worship services contained all of the books of the Septuagint.

The consensus of the majority of Christian believers regarding the Book of Esther

Liberalist scholars who reject the authority of the Bible and abuse the legitimate tools of Historical-critical method insist that each book and text of the Bible should be divorced from the whole, taken out of context, and analyzed separately and independently to determine its particular reliability and authenticity, for comparison to other parts of the Bible also taken as individual and separate writings. The books are often represented as having no common theme or apparent unity of purpose. These are set in opposition to each other for comparison, emphasizing what appears as contradictions and discrepancies, which appears to invalidate their message and their authority as parts of the revealed word of God. This tactic dismisses the unity of the mind of the primary Author of the Bible, the Holy Spirit himself, and makes a lie of the promise of Jesus that the Spirit of the Father would lead us into all truth forever.

Many highly educated and imminently qualified radical liberalist scholars appear to have set themselves up as judges of the Bible, determining for themselves and for others which parts are to be considered good or bad, reliable or unreliable, genuine or spurious, inspired or uninspired. See Romans 16:17-19 and James 4:11-12. However, these do not represent the majority view. See Logical fallacy of Circular reasoning.

In contrast to these are those other equally highly educated and imminently qualified conservative Biblical scholars who accept the authority of the Bible and use rightly and objectively the legitimate tools of Historical-critical method, who analyze the scriptures individually and also within the context of the whole, and have found instead a unity which seems to them to affirm the authenticity and canonicity of each text traditionally included in the Bible.

When read within the whole context of the Bible, and as the received and preserved sacred heritage of the whole Christian Church, the portions rejected as Apocrypha read instead to most Christians as inspired Holy Scripture and as legitimate parts of the whole Bible. The majority of Christian believers in the United States and throughout the world who have carefully heard and read and compared these texts believe that the complete Book of Esther “with all its parts” is obviously canonical and inspired by God, and that those portions of the Book of Esther which have been rejected as Apocrypha are actually canonical scriptures of the Holy Bible inspired by God. Less than one-third of Christian believers in the United States and throughout the world believe they are apocryphal. This is the logical fallacy of Proof by numbers, but only if a corellary assumption is made that the majority of Christians are not being guided by the Holy Spirit, which is also a logical fallacy called “No true Scotsman”: for example, “No true Christian would believe these books are inspired after reading them.”

Liberal Christians normally disregard the claim of special inspiration of the whole Book of Daniel itself in either form, 12 chapters or 14 chapters, yet believe, for the most part, that it still “has something to say” to them.

“Judge for yourself”

The appeal to readers to “read for themselves” to see if the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel “seem to them” to be inspired is an example of the logical fallacy of “Appeal to personal interest“, which appeals to the individual reader’s sense of personal integrity and self-reliance, and erroneously implies that the personal judgment of the reader can be relied upon as infallibly correct. It dismisses all possibility of an informed and authentic external authority established and preserved by God that can truly be trusted as more reliable than personal judgment. It sets the reader apart from and above the whole of the Christian community, and it makes the individual reader the final arbiter and judge of the books of the Bible (and those who disagree with that judgment are “obviously wrong”). This is a seductive appeal to individual pride and vanity. Proverbs 3:5 Isaiah 5:21 Sirach 3:24 Jude 19

Eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text, saying that it means what it does not mean (reader-response Biblical interpretation). Eisegesis is severely condemned according to many literalist readings of the text of the Book of Deuteronomy and the Book of Revelation”Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” KJV —Deuteronomy 4:2″For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophesy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophesy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” KJV —Revelation 22:18-19

Apostolic authority

Churches in Apostolic succession see in their doctrine and practice a sure and biblical means of receiving and perpetuating the Faith from one generation to another. Apostolic Succession requires a “tactile,” person to person, conferring of authority from the Apostles onward. The practice originated in the late first century (Acts 13:2-3; 2 Timothy 1:6-7). It requires the most heightened responsibility in the giving and receiving. It is believed that the grace of the Holy Spirit is transmitted by the laying on of hands at the time of ordination, but also that not all Christians have the gift of discernment or of leadership “are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers?“. Romans 13:1 Hebrews 13:17 2 Timothy 1:14 2 Peter 1:19, also Jude 3 and 17-19. See also 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and 28-30

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