Creation in the Deuterocanonicals

By Dr. Kevin J. Mark

Holy Scripture boldly and clearly proclaims the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation from Genesis to the Apocalypse of St. John the Apostle (Book of Revelation).  This is no surprise since the Catholic Church authoritatively determined which books are wholly inspired and thus canonical.  Strangely, however, some modern Catholics erroneously believe that the concept of special creation and a rejection of theistic evolution is somehow a Protestant contrivance.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Catholic Church has definitively proclaimed and taught the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation from the beginning and this historical teaching has only begun to be attacked by some Catholics since the advent of modernism.

While Protestants removed from their Bibles the Deuterocanonical books[1] of the Old Testament following the precedent set by Martin Luther, the Catholic Church, on the contrary, “receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books of both of the Old and of the New Testament,” including the deuterocanonicals, “seeing that one God is the author of both.”[2]  Pertinently, Catholics have many more reasons to hold to the traditional Christian view of creation than Protestants because, in addition to the unanimous teaching of the Church Fathers and the definitive rulings of ecumenical councils such as Lateran IV, Catholics “receive and venerate” the deuterocanonicals which strongly bolster the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation.  The following is a list of excerpts from the deuterocanonicals as well as Protestant-deleted text from Esther and Daniel pertaining to creation divided by subject.  These passages speak for themselves, seeing that “God is the author” of them all:

God created ex nihilo, out of nothing

I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them: and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also.

2 Maccabees 7:28 DR[3]

In the beginning God created heaven, and earth, speaking all things into existence

God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word.  Wisdom 9:1 DR

He that liveth for ever created all things together. God only shall be justified, and he remaineth an invincible king for ever.  Who is able to declare his works?  For who shall search out his glorious acts?  And who shall shew forth the power of his majesty? or who shall be able to declare his mercy?  Nothing may be taken away, nor added, neither is it possible to find out the glorious works of God.  Ecclesiasticus 18:1-5 DR

Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies.  Judith 13:24 DR

But Mardochai besought the Lord, remembering all his works,  And said: O Lord, Lord, almighty king, for all things are in thy power, and there is none that can resist thy will, if thou determine to save Israel.  Thou hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven.  Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can resist thy majesty.  Esther 13:8-11 DR

The Lord God Almighty is the Creator of all things

For the creature serving thee the Creator, is made fierce against the unjust for their punishment; and abateth its strength for the benefit of them that trust in thee.  Wisdom 16:24 DR

There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion. Ecclesiasticus 1:8 DR

Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle.  Ecclesiasticus 24:12 DR

There are many things hidden from us that are greater than these: for we have seen but a few of his works.  But the Lord hath made all things, and to the godly he hath given wisdom.  Sirach 43:36-37 DR

And the prayer of Nehemias was after this manner: O Lord God, Creator of all things, dreadful and strong, just and merciful, who alone art the good king. 2 Maccabees 1:24 DR

So committing all to God, the creator of the world, and having exhorted his people to fight manfully, and to stand up even to death for the laws, the temple, the city, their country, and citizens: he placed his army about Modin.  2 Maccabees 13:14 DR

God said, “Be light made”, and light was made

I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures: I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth.  Sirach 24:5-6 DR

He that sendeth forth light, and it goeth: and hath called it, and it obeyeth him with trembling.  Baruch 3:33 DR

All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. …  O ye light and darkness, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Daniel 3:57,72 DR

God said, “Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters and let it divide the waters from the waters”

O God of the heavens, creator of the waters, and Lord of the whole creation, hear me a poor wretch, making supplication to thee, and presuming of thy mercy.  Judith 9:17 DR

The firmament on high is his beauty, the beauty of heaven with its glorious shew. Ecclesiasticus 43:1 DR

Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven: and worthy of praise, and glorious for ever.  All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. …  O ye heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  O all ye waters that are above the heavens, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Daniel 3:56-57,59-60 DR

And the clouds when God commandeth them to go over the whole world, do that which is commanded them.  Baruch 6:61 DR

God said, “Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place and let the dry land appear”

Even as he turned the waters into a dry land, and the earth was made dry: and his ways were made plain for their journey: so to sinners they are stumblingblocks in his wrath.  Ecclesiasticus 39:29 DR

All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. … O ye seas and rivers, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Daniel 3:57,78 DR

He said, “Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth”

I, wisdom, have poured out rivers.  I, like a brook out of a river of a mighty water; I, like a channel of a river. and like an aqueduct, came out of paradise.  I said: I will water my garden of plants, and I will water abundantly the fruits of my meadow.  Ecclesiasticus 24:40-42 DR

All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. … O all ye things that spring up in the earth, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Daniel 3:57,76 DR

God said, “Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and year”

The sun giving light hath looked upon all things, and full of the glory of the Lord is his work.  Hath not the Lord made the saints to declare all his wonderful works, which the Lord Almighty hath firmly settled to be established for his glory?  Ecclesiasticus 42:16-17 DR

The sun when he appeareth shewing forth at his rising, an admirable instrument, the work of the most High.  At noon he burneth the earth, and who can abide his burning heat? As one keeping a furnace in the works of heat:  The sun three times as much, burneth the mountains, breathing out fiery vapours, and shining with his beams, he blindeth the eyes.  Great is the Lord that made him, and at his words he hath hastened his course.  And the moon in all in her season, is for a declaration of times and a sign of the world.  From the moon is the sign of the festival day, a light that decreaseth in her perfection.  The month is called after her name, increasing wonderfully in her perfection.  Being an instrument of the armies on high, shining gloriously in the Armament of heaven.  The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven; the Lord enlighteneth the world on high.  By the words of the holy one they shall stand in judgment, and shall never fail in their watches.  Ecclesiasticus 43:2-16 DR

Why doth one day excel another, and one light another, and one year another year, when all come of the sun?  By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished, the sun being made, and keeping his commandment.  And he ordered the seasons, and holidays of them, and in them they celebrated festivals at an hour.  Some of them God made high and great days, and some of them he put in the number of ordinary days…. Ecclesiasticus 33:7-10 DR

And the stars have given light in their watches, and rejoiced: They were called, and they said: Here we are: and with cheerfulness they have shined forth to him that made them.  This is our God, and there shall no other be accounted of in comparison of him.  Baruch 3:34-36 DR

The sun, and the moon, and the stars being bright, and sent forth for profitable uses, are obedient.  Baruch 6:59 DR

All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. … O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  O ye stars of heaven, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Daniel 3:57,62-63 DR

God said “Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven”

All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. … O ye whales, and all that move in the waters, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  O all ye fowls of the air, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Daniel 3:57, 79-80 DR

God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, according to their kinds”

But he that knoweth all things, knoweth her [Wisdom], and hath found her out with his understanding: he that prepared the earth for evermore, and filled it with cattle and fourfooted beasts.  Baruch 3:32 DR

All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. …  O all ye beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Daniel 3:57, 81 DR

God spoke the original creatures into existence and they were immediately created:

Let all thy creatures serve thee: because thou hast spoken, and they were made: thou didst send forth thy spirit, and they were created, and there is no one that can resist thy voice.  Judith 16:17 DR

God created all creatures according to their kinds

For every creature according to its kind was fashioned again as from the beginning, obeying thy commandments, that thy children might be kept without hurt.  Wisdom 19:6 DR

God made the first man, Adam, the one from whom all mankind is descended, from the dust/slime of the earth, then gave him Eve as a wife and helper

And Tobias said: Lord God of our father, may the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains, and the rivers, and all thy creatures that are in them, bless thee.  Thou madest Adam of the slime of the earth, and gavest him Eve for a helper.  Tobias 8:7-8 DR

And Tobias began to pray, “Blessed art thou, O God of our fathers, and blessed be thy holy and glorious name for ever.  Let the heavens and all thy creatures bless thee.  Thou madest Adam and gavest him Eve his wife  as a helper and support.   From them the race of mankind has sprung.  Thou didst say, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone;   let us make a helper for him like himself.’  Tobit 8:5-6 RSVCE[4]

…And all men are from the ground, and out of the earth, from whence Adam was created.  Ecclesiasticus 33:10 DR

I myself also am a mortal man, like all others, and of the race of him, that was first made of the earth, and in the womb of my mother I was fashioned to be flesh.  Wisdom 7:1 DR

She [Wisdom] preserved him, that was first formed by God the father of the world, when he was created alone.  Wisdom 10:1 DR

God created man of the earth, and made him after his own image.  And he turned him into it again, and clothed him with strength according to himself.  He gave him the number of his days and time, and gave him power over all things that are upon the earth.  He put the fear of him upon all flesh, and he had dominion over beasts and fowls.  He created of him a helpmate like to himself: he gave them counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, and ears, and a heart to devise: and he filled them with the knowledge of understanding.  He created in them the science of the spirit, he filled their heart with wisdom, and shewed them both good and evil.  He set his eye upon their hearts to shew them the greatness of his works:  That they might praise the name which he hath sanctified: and glory in his wondrous acts, that they might declare the glorious things of his works.  Moreover he gave them instructions, and the law of life for an inheritance.  He made an everlasting covenant with them, and he shewed them his justice and judgments.  And their eye saw the majesty of his glory. and their ears heard his glorious voice, and he said to them: Beware of all iniquity.  Ecclesiasticus 17:1-11 DR

But the Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, he will restore to you again in his mercy, both breath and life, as now you despise yourselves for the sake of his laws

2 Maccabees 7:23 DR

All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. … O ye sons of men, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Daniel 3:57,82 DR

And He said, “Let us make man to our image and likeness”

For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him.  Wisdom 2:23 DR

God created man of the earth, and made him after his own image.

Wisdom 17:1  DR

God is man’s maker

Forasmuch as he knew not his maker and him that inspired into him the soul that worketh, and that breathed into him a living spirit.  Wisdom 15:11 DR

With all your might love your Maker, and do not forsake his ministers.  Sirach 7:30 RSVCE

The beginning of man’s pride is to depart from the Lord; his heart has forsaken his Maker.  Sirach 10:12  RSVCE

He that sinneth in the sight of his Maker, shall fall into the hands of the physician.  Sirach 38:15  DR

There are winds that have been created for vengeance, and in their anger they scourge heavily; in the time of consummation they will pour out their strength and calm the anger of their Maker.  Sirach 39:28  RSVCE

In all that he did he gave thanks to the Holy One, the Most High, with ascriptions of glory; he sang praise with all his heart, and he loved his Maker.  Sirach 47:8  RSVCE

“Let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth”

And by thy wisdom hast appointed man, that he should have dominion over the creature that was made by thee, That he should order the world according to equity and justice, and execute justice with an upright heart.  Wisdom 9:2-3 DR

And she [Wisdom] brought him out of his sin, and gave him power to govern all things.  Wisdom 10:2 DR

 He gave him the number of his days and time, and gave him power over all things that are upon the earth.  He put the fear of him upon all flesh, and he had dominion over beasts and fowls.  Ecclesiasticus 17:3-4 DR

And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good

O how desirable are all his works, and what we can know is but as a spark!  All these things live, and remain for ever, and for every use all things obey him.  All things are double, one against another, and he hath made nothing defective.  He hath established the good things of every one. And who shall be filled with beholding his glory?  Sirach 42:23-26 DR

And he blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made

So Judas having gathered together his army, came into the city Odollam: and when the seventh day came, they purified themselves according to the custom, and kept the sabbath in the place.  2 Maccabees 12:38 DR

And when the Jews that were constrained to follow him, said: Do not act so fiercely and barbarously, but give honour to the day that is sanctified: and reverence him that beholdeth all things:  That unhappy man asked, if there were a mighty One in heaven, that had commanded the sabbath day to be kept.  And when they answered: There is the living Lord himself in heaven, the mighty One, that commanded the seventh day to be kept.  2 Maccabees 15:2-4 DR

God’s perfect creation did not include death

For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.  For he created all things that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.  Wisdom 1:13-14 DR

For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him.  But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world.  Wisdom 2:23-24 DR

Our first parents fell from God’s grace by disobedience and it is through their sin that evil, suffering, wickedness and death entered the world, though this was not so from the beginning

From the woman came the beginning of sin, and by her we all die.  Ecclesiasticus 25:33 DR

And he will repay vengeance to the Gentiles, till he have taken away the multitude of the proud, and broken the sceptres of the unjust,  Till he have rendered to men according to their deeds: and according to the works of Adam, and according to his presumption.  Sirach 35:23-25 DR

Good things were created for the good from the beginning, so for the wicked, good and evil things. … Fire, hail, famine, and death, all these were created for vengeance.  The teeth of beasts, and scorpions, and serpents, and the sword taking vengeance upon the ungodly unto destruction. … All the works of the Lord are good, and he will furnish every work in due time.  Ecclesiasticus 39:30, 35-36,39  DR

Great labour is created for all men, and a heavy yoke is upon the children of Adam, from the day of their coming out of their mother’s womb, until the day of their burial into the mother of all. … Moreover, death, and bloodshed, strife, and sword, oppressions, famine, and affliction, and scourges:  All these things are created for the wicked, and for their sakes came the flood.  Ecclesiasticus 40:1,9-10 DR

From dust you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return

How can he who is dust and ashes be proud? for even in life his bowels decay.  Sirach 10:9  RSVCE

He marshals the host of the height of heaven; but all men are dust and ashes.  Sirach 17:32  RSVCE

He beholdeth the power of the height of heaven: and all men are earth and ashes.  Ecclesiasticus 17:31 DR

Whatever is from the dust returns to dust; so the ungodly go from curse to destruction.  Sirach 41:10  RSVCE

All things that are of the earth, shall return to the earth again, and all waters shall return to the sea.  Ecclesiasticus 40:11 DR

All things that are of the earth, shall return into the earth: so the ungodly shall from malediction to destruction.  Ecclesiasticus 41:13 DR

Today he will be exalted, but tomorrow he will not be found, because he has returned to the dust, and his plans will perish.  1 Maccabees 2:63 RSVCE

Confirmed historicity of Cain, Henoch (Enoch), Seth, and Sem (Shem)

But when the unjust went away from her in his anger, he perished by the fury wherewith he murdered his brother.  Wisdom 10:3 DR

Henoch pleased God, and was translated into paradise, that he may give repentance to the nations.  Ecclesiasticus 44:16 DR

No man was born upon earth like Henoch: for he also was taken up from the earth. … Seth and Sem obtained glory among men: and above every soul Adam in the beginning.  Ecclesiasticus 49:16,19 DR

Behold I will bring the waters of a great flood upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, under heaven

Noe was found perfect, just, and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation.  Therefore was there a remnant left to the earth, when the flood came.  The covenants of the world were made with him, that all flesh should no more be destroyed with the flood.  Ecclesiasticus 44:17-19 DR

And as a flood hath watered the earth; so shall his wrath inherit the nations, that have not sought after him.  Ecclesiasticus 39:28 DR

For whose cause, when water destroyed the earth, wisdom healed it again, directing the course of the just by contemptible wood.  Wisdom 10:4 DR

Giants were upon the earth in those days, who perished in the flood

And from the beginning also when the proud giants perished, the hope of the world fleeing to a vessel, which was governed by thy hand, left to the world seed of generation.  Wisdom 14:6 DR

The ancient giants did not obtain pardon for their sins, who were destroyed trusting to their own strength.  Ecclesiasticus 16:8 DR

There were the giants, those renowned men that were from the beginning, of great stature, expert in war.  The Lord chose not them, neither did they find the way of knowledge: therefore did they perish.  And because they had not wisdom, they perished through their folly.  Baruch 3:26-28 DR

And when I shall cover the sky with clouds, my bow shall appear in the clouds

Look upon the rainbow, and bless him that made it: it is very beautiful in its brightness.  It encompasseth the heaven about with the circle of its glory, the hands of the most High have displayed it.  Ecclesiasticus 43:12-13 DR

Here be dragons

And there is no anger above the anger of a woman. It will be more agreeable to abide with a lion and a dragon, than to dwell with a wicked woman.  Ecclesiasticus 25:23 DR

And there was a great dragon in that place, and the Babylonians worshipped him.  And the king said to Daniel: Behold thou canst not say now, that this is not a living god: adore him therefore.  And Daniel said: I adore the Lord my God: for he is the living God: but that is no living god.  But give me leave, O king, and I will kill this dragon without sword or club. And the king said: I give thee leave.  Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and boiled them together: and he made lumps, and put them into the dragon’s mouth, and the dragon burst asunder. And he said: Behold him whom you worshipped.  And when the Babylonians had heard this, they took great indignation: and being gathered together against the king, they said: The king is become a Jew. He hath destroyed Bel, he hath killed the dragon, and he hath put the priests to death.  Daniel 14:22-27 DR

Pantheism refuted

What shall we be able to do to glorify him? for the Almighty himself is above all his works.  Ecclesiasticus 43:30 DR

Miracle of Joshua’s long day confirmed

Was not the sun stopped in his anger, and one day made as two?  Ecclesiasticus 46:5 DR

Miracle of Hezekiah’s sundial confirmed

In his days the sun went backward, and he lengthened the king’s life.  Ecclesiasticus 48:26 DR

Final Admonitions

Seek not the things that are too high for thee, and search not into things above thy ability: but the things that God hath commanded thee, think on them always, and in many of his works be not curious.  For it is not necessary for thee to see with thy eyes those things that are hid.  In unnecessary matters be not over curious, and in many of his works thou shalt not be inquisitive.  For many things are shewn to thee above the understanding of men.  And the suspicion of them hath deceived many, and hath detained their minds in vanity.  Ecclesiasticus 3:22-26 DR

Anyone who does not know God is simply foolish. Such people look at the good things around them and still fail to see the living God. They have studied the things he made, but they have not recognized the one who made them. Instead, they suppose that the gods who rule the world are fire or wind or storm or the circling stars or rushing water or the heavenly bodies.  People were so delighted with the beauty of these things that they thought they must be gods, but they should have realized that these things have a master and that he is much greater than all of them, for he is the creator of beauty, and he created them.  Since people are amazed at the power of these things, and how they behave, they ought to learn from them that their maker is far more powerful.  When we realize how vast and beautiful the creation is, we are learning about the Creator at the same time.

But maybe we are too harsh with these people. After all, they may have really wanted to find God, but couldn’t. Surrounded by God’s works, they keep on looking at them, until they are finally convinced that because the things they see are so beautiful, they must be gods.  But still, these people really have no excuse.  If they had enough intelligence to speculate about the nature of the universe, why did they never find the Lord of all things?

Wisdom 13:1-9 GNT

 

References and notes

[1] The deuterocanonical books that have been removed from Protestant Bibles include Tobias (Tobit), Judith, Wisdom (Wisdom of Solomon), Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, 1 Maccabees, and 2 Maccabees.  In addition, some text in Esther and Daniel has been removed.

[2] Council of Trent, session IV, Concerning the Canonical Scriptures, First decree.

[3] DR = Douay-Rheims Bible, originally translated from the Latin Vulgate.  Most of these verses have equivalents in modern translations from the Greek manuscripts though the verse numbers generally differ slightly.

[4] Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition included here because this translation from the Greek contains text not in the translation from the Latin.

Featured image by Ecelan [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons