Martin Luther is one of the most famous figures in history. He was a German monk who started the Protestant Reformation, and he is also known for his role in translating the Bible into German. One thing that many people don’t know about Martin Luther, however, is that he removed seven books from the Bible. But why did he do this? 

The main reason Martin Luther removed seven books from the Bible was that he wanted them to conform to his theology. His theology was based on the idea of Sola Scriptura, which is the belief that Scripture is the only authoritative source of religious teachings. This meant that Luther believed that anything in the Bible was true, and anything outside of it was false.

Luther also had a poor view of human reason, which led him to believe that people could not understand the Bible unless it was interpreted. So, to make the Bible conform to his theology, Luther removed the following seven books:

  • Baruch
  • Solomon
  • Tobit
  • Judith
  • 1 and 2 Maccabees
  • Wisdom
  • Sirach

These books are now known as apocryphal and are not included in most Protestant Bibles today. Luther also considered Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation to be disputed books, which is why they were placed at the end of the New Testament Bible. While Martin Luther’s actions may seem strange to us today, it’s important to remember that he was a man of his time. He lived in a very different world than we do and had very different beliefs about the Bible.

Why Were the Deuteronomic Books Removed From the Bible?

The Deuteronomic books were removed from the Bible because they didn’t conform to Luther’s theology. These books include Tobit, Judith, and The Letter of Jeremiah. Luther believed that God didn’t inspire these books and that they contained false teachings. He also thought they were too similar to the Old Testament, which led him to believe they were not divinely ordained.

What About the Book of Solomon?

The Book of Solomon was also removed from the Bible by Martin Luther because he felt that it was not appropriate for Christians to read about the sexual exploits of Solomon. Additionally, Luther thought that the book contained too much magic and superstition.

What About the Maccabees Books?

The Books of the Maccabees tell the story of a Jewish revolt against the Syrian king Antiochus IV in the second century BC. These books are not part of the Hebrew Bible but were included in some early Greek translations of the Old Testament. Martin Luther removed them from his German Bible translation because he felt they did not belong in the canon. In contrast, some Protestant scholars believe these books should be included in the Bible, but most agree with Luther’s decision to exclude them.

What About the Book of Sirach?

The Book of Sirach is a Wisdom book, like Proverbs or Ecclesiastes, written in Hebrew by the author Jesus Ben Sira in the early second century BC. It was popular among Jews in Palestine and later found its way into some Greek-speaking synagogues, though it was never adopted into the Hebrew canon of Scripture.

Christians were divided over whether or not to include the Book of Sirach in the Bible. Some felt it should be part of the Old Testament because it helped teach morality and practical living. Others argued that its inclusion would imply that it was on par with Scripture when it was just a wise man’s opinion.

In the end, Martin Luther removed the Book of Sirach from his German translation of the Bible because he felt it did not belong there. It is considered part of the Apocrypha by Protestants and is only included in Catholic and Orthodox Bibles.

Why Were the Wisdom Books Removed From the Bible?

Martin Luther removed the Wisdom Books from the Bible because he felt they did not align with his beliefs. He thought the books were too mystical and did not provide enough guidance for Christians. Additionally, Luther believed that God did not inspire the Wisdom Books, making their doctrines contrary to God’s moral teachings.

Why Was the Book of Judith Removed From the Bible?

Judith is a story of a brave woman who saves her people from an enemy general. The book of Judith was removed from the Bible by Martin Luther because he believed it was not historically accurate. Luther felt that the book was more like a work of fiction than history. However, his decision to remove it from the Bible was not universally accepted at that time and continues to be a source of debate among scholars today. Nonetheless, though the book of Judith is not included in most modern Bibles, it is still considered part of the biblical canon by the Catholic and Orthodox churches. 

Why Are They Called the Apocrypha?

The books that Martin Luther removed from the Bible are now known as the Apocrypha. The word “apocrypha” comes from the Greek word apokryptein, meaning “hidden” or “secret.” These books were not included in the Hebrew Bible, and most Protestants do not consider them to be inspired by God. However, they are still part of the biblical canon for Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

The Apocrypha includes a variety of different types of books, ranging from historical works to apocalyptic visions. While they may not be considered Scripture by most Protestants, they are still useful for understanding the history and beliefs of early Judaism and Christianity.

Who Decided Which Books Would Be in the Bible?

Faith communities decided which books would be included in the Bible based on what was inspired by God. Deciding which books would be in the Bible took centuries, and it was not an easy task. Ultimately, the Bible we have today is a product of this long and challenging decision. Later, the church council took up the matter and affirmed the list of books that had been previously decided upon. This means that they contributed to the way the Bible is structured today.

So, Why Are There Different Bibles Today?

The main reason why there are different Bibles today is because of the different ways that Christians interpret the Bible. For example, Protestants interpret the Bible differently than Catholics do. Another reason is that the Bible was not written all at once. Over 1500 years, a wide variety of authors contributed to its production. This indicates that it is to be expected that there would be differences in how it is perceived. 

In addition, various Bible translations were originally written in other languages, which further increases the textual differences. Nonetheless, while there may be some differences between the Bibles that exist today, they all contain the same essential message: God loves us and wants us to live in righteousness. 

Bottom Line

Martin Luther removed the seven books from the Bible because he didn’t believe God inspired them. He also felt they didn’t align with the rest of Scripture. While it may have been controversial at the time, Luther’s actions helped to solidify the Protestant Reformation. He ensured that only the most essential books of the Bible would be included in future editions. As a result, the Protestant Bible is slightly different from the Catholic Bible, but both contain the essential message of God’s love for us.


Sarah Goodwin

A passionate Christian and Bible enthusiast, I find joy in delving deep into Scripture and sharing its timeless wisdom with my readers. Through words, I aspire to illuminate the profound lessons the Bible offers, hoping to inspire faith and purpose in every heart. Join me on a journey of biblical exploration and spiritual growth.Enter your text here...

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