If the deuterocanonical books don’t claim divine inspiration, how can they be included in the Bible?

Full Question

None of the books of the Apocrypha, what Catholics call the “deuterocanonical” books, claim to be divinely inspired– therefore they cannot be inspired and do not belong in the Bible.


No book of the Bible claims itself to be divinely inspired. Divine inspiration means that God himself authored the exact words of the text (using the human writer’s mind, personality, and background), and no book states anything like, “The words of this book were chosen by God” or “This book is divinely inspired.”

The term “inspired” (Greek, theopneustos) only occurs once in the Bible (2 Tm 3:16), where we are told that all Scripture is inspired. We first know that something is Scripture and then infer that it is inspired; we do not first know that it is inspired and then conclude it is Scripture.

The only non-technical references to inspiration occur when one book of the Bible reports that God or the Spirit spoke through the words of a different book (for example, see Heb 3:7-11, concerning Ps 95). In no case does a book of the Bible state this for itself. Even if it does claim to contain divine revelations or visions (as does the book of Revelation), it does not say of itself that every word of its text was inspired. That is something we must infer from 2 Timothy 3:16. Since no protocanonical book of the Bible meets your test, it can scarcely be expected of the deuterocanonical books.

Claiming to be inspired is a different thing from really being inspired. The Book of Mormon claims to be the Word of God, but isn’t; the Gospel of John doesn’t, but it is. To determine inspiration, one must use an external authority for verification, and the Church is the only institution that can be that external authority.


  1. nkemdi David Reply

    Catholics have the right word for it: Proto- First

  2. nkemdi David Reply

    Catholics have the right word for it: Proto- First-, and Deutero- Second-. The progenitors of this argument never asked the all important quetion: How did the book, yes, the Bible, came about? It’s like a situation where someone compiled a book and later edited it. He added some more to the New Edition and you are complaining! What right do you have to complain?

  3. judithsinnott@hotmail.com Reply

    2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

  4. Pingback: How is the Catholic claim to infallible interpretation of the Bible different from the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ claim? | PagadianDiocese.org

  5. lyton Reply

    I would lyk to know about microchip nd rev 13 according to the catholic church.

  6. John Smith Reply

    If this means anything or not let’s have at it. The first man who is known to have died & BEEN ELEVATED TO HEAVEN WAS THE thief WHO DIED WITH Jesus ON THE CROSS. HE NEVER READ THE DIFFERENT SCRIPTURES OF THE BIBLE, BUT BELIEVED & WAS FORGIVEN….

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