I have many Catholic friends, and from time to time, one of them will attempt to persuade me that the books of the Apocrypha are just as much Scripture as the Old and New Testaments. After studying the Apocrypha itself, I've developed the response of pointing out that even according to the Catholic church's own criteria, the Apocrypha does not make the cut.
Pope Leo XIII said of the inspiration of the Bible that
"it is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred."
According to Pope Benedict XV, the Catholic church teaches that
"divine inspiration extends to every part of the Bible without the slightest exception, and that no error can occur in the inspired text."
And Pope Pius XII strongly criticized those who
"put forward again the opinion, already often condemned, which asserts that immunity from error extends only to those parts of the Bible that treat of God or of moral and religious matters."
From these and many other statements, it is clear that the Catholic church claims that all Scripture is inerrant, and I agree with this particular claim. The Bible was produced by God Himself, and it must therefore be without error. Unfortunately, for my Catholic friends, this claim of inerrancy eliminates the Apocrypha from being classified as Scripture.
For example, here are a few of the errors that I found in the book of Tobit. This is far from an exhaustive list, but I think that it is sufficient to demonstrate that this book falls far short of the inerrancy requirement.
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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