Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ask Ellen- What is the apocrypha? -Cindy, NC

Great question, Cindy.  Thanks.  The Apocrypha is a name given by some to the seven books that have been removed from Protestant Bibles.  Catholics do not call these books the Apocrypha because they are part of our Bible.  The books are: Sirach, Tobit, Wisdom, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and Baruch, as well as longer versions of Daniel and Esther

To put it in the simplest terms I can, Luther and many after him rejected these books based on the fact that they were not part of the Hebrew Canon at the time of the Reformation.  Most Protestant Bibles do not contain these seven books or have them in section in the back known to them as The Apocrypha.

The Catholic Bible accepts the books for two reasons.  Firstly, the Jewish Canon was not fixed in Jesus’ time.  Therefore, we cannot be completely sure which books were included.  But more importantly, the first Christians, including Paul, used the Septuagint to preach to the Greek-speaking world.  This contained these seven books.  Jesus Himself actually quoted Scripture from the Septuagint.  When the Catholic Church developed its canon it used the Greek translation of the Septuagint that the Apostles and early Church Fathers used which included these books.

If you’d like to learn more about this, I recommend the following article:

Oh and one more thing that bugs Ask Ellen….If you throw out Maccabees, how do you explain Hanukkah?  It seriously perplexes me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ask Ellen: What is your favorite Christian song currently? Hope, ME

This is very difficult for me to answer.  I love music and try to surround myself with it.  I go through phases where I listen to one song over and over and then other times when I don’t listen to the song for months.

At this moment, I would say my favorite is “How Beautiful” by Twila Paris.

Cut and paste this link to hear the song:

The song came to my attention last year at a presentation at my daughter’s school.  A family friend who is a Sister Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary came to school to do a presentation on vocations and in particular her order.  She shared a video with this song in the background.  The video was of Sisters taking care of fellow nuns who were old and infirm.  The song showed how beautiful this was.  They were taking care of their own.  What made it more powerful for me is that these were the Sisters who educated me.  I couldn’t help but think that some of those nuns that required care were Sisters who taught me.  It comforted me to know that they were being cared for with such love and compassion.

That is what we are called to as the Body of Christ.  We must be willing to pay the price.  We need to have humble hearts that give.