Saturday, August 20, 2011

Did the 1611 King James Bible delete the Deuterocanon?

Sometimes in the land of Christian internet forums, there is confusion as to whether or not the original 1611 King James version (KJV) of the Bible deleted the Deuterocanonical books (Wisdom, Sirach, Tobit, Judith, Baruch, and 1 & 2 Maccabees). So what is the answer?

Did the 1611 King James Bible delete the books of the Deuterocanon?

The answer is yes and no.

The answer is no because the Deuterocanonical books remained within the front and back cover of the 1611 KJV.

The answer is yes because the 1611 KJV removed the Deuterocanonical books from the contents of inspired Scripture to a section of uninspired "Apocrypha." A scan of the original table of contents of the 1611 KJV can be seen here at

This was a departure from centuries of councils affirming the inspired canonicity of the Deuterocanonical books (eg. regional councils at Rome (382), Hippo (393), Carthage (397), Nicea II (797), and ecumenical councils at Florence (1442) and Trent (1546)).

So in one sense, the 1611 KJV didn't remove the Deuterocanonical books because they still were included in its pages. Yet in another sense, the Deuterocanon was indeed removed from the contents of inspired Scripture.

On a note of interest, the compilers of the 1611 KJV still thought much more highly of the Deuterocanonical books than do many Christians today who mock their edificational value. In the 1611 KJV, there are some 102 verse cross-references (11 in the New Testament) to Deuterocanonical books. For example, here is a screenshot from the 1611 KJV that shows a cross-reference of Hebrews 11:3 to Wisdom 7:26:

More screenshots and cross-references are detailed at

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