The Book of Baruch has been deleted from Protestant Bibles, but remains in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles to this day.
When I was a Protestant, I found that neither I, nor any of my fellow congregants at church, nor any pastor I was aware of, could explain why seven whole books (including Baruch) had been deleted from the Old Testament of our Protestant Bibles. My Protestant friends and I agreed that those books had no place in our Bible, but none of us had actually read them, and none of us (including pastors) could cite a single specific reason why those books were unworthy.
These books are accused by Protestant pastors of not referencing, nor being referenced by, facts found in other books of the Bible. In other words, these books are accused of being incongruent with the rest of the Bible. But that is not what I found when I sat down to read these books. Instead, I found beautiful and repeated cross-referencing between these books and the rest of the Bible. I found stunning congruence.
I also found great disappointment and disillusionment with Protestantism for the lies it tells about these books– lies that Protestants believe because no one verifies them. I ask my dear Protestant brethren: Have you ever actually read these books? Can you name the specific reasons why you choose a Bible devoid of them? The accusation of incongruence is a lie that crumbles at the slightest scrutiny. The problem is that nobody scrutinizes it. So let’s scrutinize Baruch right now.
Never Again To Be Uprooted
While reading Baruch, verses echoing the rest of the Bible jumped out at me left and right. One especially stunning verse was Baruch 2:35– stunning because of its beautiful congruence with Amos 9:15.
I [God] will bring them back to the land…I will never again remove my people Israel from the land I gave them. ~ Baruch 2:35
I [God] will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them… ~ Amos 9:15
These verses prophetically announce a time when the Hebrew people will return to Israel and never again be removed from it. This prophecy could not possibly be speaking about any time before 70 AD, because in 70 AD the Arab provincial soldiers of the Roman Army burned and destroyed the Jewish Temple and Jerusalem in direct disobedience to orders their Italian commander gave them to stop. In the ensuing demonic orgy of violence, 1.1 million Jews were murdered and the survivors were scattered in a worldwide diaspora that would last until 1948 when Israel was reborn as a nation. The time when Israel would return and never again be removed can only be now or the future. It cannot be prior to 1948.
There is beautiful congruence between Baruch and Amos.
Eating One’s Own Children
There is a shocking prophecy in the Book of Deuteronomy about Hebrews being under such merciless siege by an enemy army, that people would eat their own children out of despair and lack of food. Cities were walled fortresses back then. A “siege” was when an opposing army surrounded a city, cut off food supplies, and waited for the city to starve.
Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. ~ Deuteronomy 28:53
This prophecy in Deuteronomy was written around 1400 BC. Its fulfillment during the Babylonian Empire’s siege of Jerusalem 800 years later (just after 600 BC) was documented by Baruch as he wrote from Babylon as one of the captives taken forcefully from Jerusalem to Babylon. This captivity is known as the Babylonian Exile.
And the LORD fulfilled the warning he had uttered against us [in Deuteronomy 28:53, shown above]… that one after another of us should eat the flesh of his son or of his daughter. ~ Baruch 2:1-3
Baruch shows hauntingly accurate fulfillment of (and congruence with) Deuteronomy.
Giant Agreement Between Baruch And Genesis
Often overlooked in teachings about Noah and the Flood is a verse just prior to God pronouncing judgement on the world.
There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. ~ Genesis 6:4
Now look at Baruch.
O Israel, how vast is the house of God, how broad the scope of his dominion: Vast and endless, high and immeasurable! In it were born the giants, renowned at the first, stalwarts, skilled in war. ~ Baruch 3:24-26
There is giant (pun very much intended) congruence between Baruch and Genesis.
I could go on listing the matches between Baruch and the rest of the Bible, but you get the point.
No Authority To Delete Books From The Bible
No human being has the authority to delete books from the Bible. Baruch and the other six books deleted from Protestant Bibles were in the Septuagint, which were the Scriptures in use during the time of Christ, yet neither Jesus nor the Apostles spoke one word against these seven books. Furthermore, these seven books have been in the Christian Bible since the Christian Bible was first canonized at the Catholic Council of Carthage in 397 AD. This canon was reaffirmed at multiple church councils throughout history, including the Council of Trent, which convened after the Protestant Reformation– meaning that the Reformation did not actually reform anything. That is, the Catholic Church rejected (rather than reformed to) the demands of the Protestant Reformers.
And as much as popes are decried in Protestantism, no pope has ever removed even one book from the Sacred Scriptures, much less seven books. No “Reformer” has the authority to dissolve the canon of Sacred Scripture. One man’s Reformer is another man’s heretic. I say all that having spent nine years in Protestantism among the most Christ-centered and loving people imaginable. Protestants are Christians, and some of the best around at that. But the One True Church, the church founded by Jesus Christ, and traceable in an unbroken line from Him to today’s priests through 2,000 years of Christian history, is the Catholic Church. I pray that all my Protestant brethren come home to her as I did.
Back Of The Bus, Then Off The Bus Completely
In the 1500s, Luther removed these seven books from their order in the Old Testament, and relegated them to the back of the Old Testament. Luther moved these books to the back of the bus, so to speak. By the late 1800s, having already been devalued by Luther, these books were gone completely from Protestant Bibles.
These books refute the new theology (Protestantism) that Martin Luther invented in the 1500s, and they refute Luther’s antisemitism, hence their demise. For example, while purgatory is a doctrine (official teaching) in Catholicism, it is rejected in Protestantism. Martin Luther soured on the idea of purgatory as his life progressed. This souring was no doubt fueled by the fact that popes of Martin Luther’s day were selling people the hope of freeing dead relatives from purgatory in exchange for money– an abuse that was part of the reason for Luther’s rebellion from the Catholic Church. But Luther went too far.
Protestants believe the souls of the dead go directly to one of two eternal states– reward or punishment. Therefore, Protestants do not pray for the dead. There is no sense in praying for the dead because souls in heaven need no prayers, and souls in hell cannot be helped by prayers. But in one of the books deleted from Protestant Bibles, 2 Maccabees, we see a passage that would stun modern-day Protestants.
It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. ~ 2 Maccabees 12:46
The Protestant disdain for purgatory that started with Martin Luther, fueled by papal abuses, was a major factor in the eventual deletion of these seven books from the Protestant Bible. As I was reading Baruch, I saw a certain verse that made me wonder if it was the verse that condemned the Book of Baruch in Luther’s mind. Here it is.
LORD Almighty, God of Israel, hear the prayer of the dead of Israel, children who sinned against you; they did not listen to the voice of the LORD, their God, and their evils cling to us. ~ Baruch 3:4
To the Protestant mind, it makes no sense to ask God to hear the prayers of these dead people because these people are obviously not with God (“sinned against you,” “did not listen to your voice”), and to be dead and not with God is to be in a state of eternal and irreversible punishment. But to the Catholic mind, there is the possibility that these souls are not in a state of irreversible punishment, but that they are in the refining fires of purgatory, being made pure before their introduction to God.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ… the fire will test the quality of each man’s work… If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames [of purgatory]. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
The soul in hell has no hope of escaping the flames, but the soul in purgatory does. For the Protestant, one’s eternal condition is determined completely by what happens in this life. That is, if a person chooses Jesus as Lord and Savior, they are saved. If they do not choose Jesus as Lord and Savior they are lost. No change in eternal condition is possible once a person draws their final breath in this life. But Jesus indicated otherwise.
…whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this world, neither in the world to come. ~ Jesus Christ, Matthew 12:32
Christ indicates the possibility of forgiveness in the world to come. This is in complete contradiction to Protestant doctrine. And it shows that even though seven whole books were removed from the Protestant Bible to hide the evidence against Luther’s new religion, evidence still remains. As any fan of CSI knows, the crime scene can never be cleaned up completely.
The Bible is always proven true.