Saturday, 12 February 2011


The Tyndale Bible


William Tyndale

William Tyndale

Who is William Tyndale?

William Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language. Tyndale also went on to first translate much of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew into English, but he was executed in 1536 for the "crime" of printing the scriptures in English before he could personally complete the printing of an entire Bible. His friends Myles Coverdale, and John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers, managed to evade arrest and publish entire Bibles in the English language for the first time, and within one year of Tyndale's death. These Bibles were primarily the work of William Tyndale.
Read More about the History of William Tyndale & Tyndale Bibles.
View William Tyndale materials available today.
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Ancient Rare Bibles & Books

This is just a quick overview page - Some items have been sold.
Serious buyers should view our currently available inventory,

Wycliffe Bible
3100 B.C. Pictograph Tablet
Yes, that is NOT a misprint... this ancient tablet made of rock-hard clay is approximately 5,100 years old! It is the oldest thing we have ever offered (or seen for sale, for that matter) in the history of our company. Accompanied by a custom-made clamshell display case, and Certificate of Authenticity, this tablet is not much bigger than a silver dollar. While the writting is not of a Biblical nature, it is nevertheless, the oldest example of written communication known to be for sale in the world at any price. Truly a rarity among rarities.

Offered at $65,000
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Wycliffe Bible
1380 - 1410 Wycliffe Manuscript
John Wycliffe (Wycliff) was the first person to produce hand-written copies of the Bible in the English language... before Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450's. Wycliffe New Testament manuscripts are the earliest copies of God's Word in the English language.  They are much more expensive than anything else on our website.  While the Wycliffe manuscript that was previously offered on our website is no longer available; we do often have the ability to connect serious buyers with the sellers of such material... or at least put qualified buyers on a waiting list.  With the understanding that Wycliffe New Testaments have an estimated sale price that is over two million dollars, if you wish to explore the possibility of obtaining one, just...
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Latin Vulgate Bible
1480 Latin Vulgate Illuminated Bible One of the oldest and most visually impressive pieces we have. Beautifully accented with a rainbow of ink colors on each page. A truly stunning book, printed a dozen years before Columbus set sail for America. Imagine owning this magnificent book as an item for display, or as an investment! This is the second "Quarto" size Bible to come off a printing press. It is also the first Bible printed with a Title Page.
Offered at $65,000
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Erasmus New Testament
1516 Erasmus Greek-Latin Parallel
New Testament: First Edition
An influential and very early work. We are not aware of any other copies for sale in the world. This edition was used by Tyndale to translate the New Testament into the English language for the first time. It was also used by Luther to translate the New Testament into the German language for the first time. Most scholars consider the 1516 Erasmus Parallel New Testament, in either the 1516 or the 1519 printing, to be one of the top ten most important books ever printed.

Offered at $69,500
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Coverdale Bible
1535 Coverdale Bible
This is the first edition, first printing of the very first complete Bible printed in English.
Offered at $445,000
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Matthew-Tyndale Bible
1537 Matthew-Tyndale Bible
This is the first English language Bible ever translated directly from the original Biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek, and printed in English. Fewer than 15 complete printings of this first edition are known to exist. Close-up photos of 1537 Matthew-Tyndale Bible Leaves are on display in the Ancient Rare Bible Leaves section.
Offered at $275,000
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1539 Great Bible

1539 Great Bible This large pulpit Bible, produced by the command of King Henry the Eighth, was the first English language Bible authorized for public use. They were called the “Great” Bible due to their great size, and were usually chained to the church pulpit. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, wrote the preface, so they are sometimes called “Cranmer” Bibles. Close up photos of Great Bible leaves are on display in our Ancient Rare Bible Leaves section.
1539 First Printing Offered at $195,000
1540-1541 Equally Large 2nd & 3rd Printings from $49,000 to $89,000
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Tyndale-Erasmus New Testament

1538 Tyndale - Erasmus English-Latin Parallel
New Testament
An extremely important milestone in the translation of the Bible into English. This is the only known copy for sale ANYWHERE at any price.
Offered at $74,900
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Coverdale New Testament
Myles Coverdale's 1538 English - Latin
Vulgate Parallel New Testament
In an unusual green leather, this extrodinarily rare parallel offers insight into the translation of the very first English language Bible produced just three years earlier by Myles Coverdale. Of course, this is the only known copy for sale in the world.

Offered at $64,500
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1549 Matthew-Tyndale Bible
Matthew-Tyndale Bible Detail
1549 Matthew -Tyndale Bible
The second-edition printing of the first Bible ever translated from the original Biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek, and printed in the English language. (The 1537 first edition is much more costly, and is featured in our Platinum Room). Individual leaves from a 1549 Matthews Bible start at under $200 (and 1537 Leaves under $400) in our Ancient Rare Bible Leaves section. We have several 1549 Matthew-Tyndale Bibles in stock.

Offered at $50,000 to $75,000
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Tyndale Illustrated New Testament
Tyndale’s Illustrated New Testaments of 1549 to 1566
William Tyndale was the first person to ever print the New Testament in the English language, and he was killed for doing so. These New Testaments were printed in the years following his execution. It is extremely unusual for printed Biblical material of the 1500’s to have wood cut illustrations, and these printings are filled with many large illustrations. They are the most artistically beautiful and elaborate antiquarian printed scripture that money can buy.

Offered at $69,000 to $95,000
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Tyndale New Testament
1553 Tyndale New Testament
Owned by Francis Fry
One-of-a-kind. Owned by the most famous Bible-collector of the 1800’s, and history’s leading scholar and most respected authority on William Tyndale: Francis Fry. What an unparalleled provenance!
Offered at $85,000
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1560 Geneva Bible

1560 Geneva Bible: First Edition The First Edition of the English Geneva Bible, also known as the “Breeches” Bible, and the “Bible of the Protestant Reformation”. The Geneva was the first Bible with numbered verses, and the Bible first taken to America. Quoted from hundreds of times by Shakespeare, this Bible of the Puritans & Pilgrims remained the Bible of choice for decades AFTER the King James was published. There are fewer than 50 complete 1560 First Edition Geneva Bibles known to exist. Geneva Bibles from the late 1500’s to early 1600’s starting at around $3,000 are discussed on our Family Heirloom page. See more close-up photos and read more about this Bible in our Ancient Rare Bible Leaves section.
Offered at $85,000
Also available, the 1561-1562 First Folio Edition of the Geneva Bible.
Offered at $85,000
Contact Us for ordering information
1568 Bishops Bible
1568 Bishop's Bible: First Edition The Bishops Bible is the second official Bible of the Church of England (the Anglican Church). It is the revision of their first Bible, the Great Bible of 1539, which is shown in our Platinum Room. Later, the Bishops was revised to become the King James Bible in 1611. It is sometimes called the “rough draft” of the King James version.
Individual leaves from a Bishops Bible are available in our Ancient Rare Bible Leaves section.
This large Pulpit Folio First Edition of the Bishops is Offered at $79,000
Other Bishops Bibles from the late 1500’s to 1607 are available starting at under $20,000.
Contact Us for ordering information
1569 Bear Bible
1569 "Bear Bible" The first Spanish language (Protestant) Bible. So named due to the Bear eating honey on the title page. A flawless original copy in absolutely perfect condition. Probably the finest example in the world of the most valuable of Spanish Bibles. In a beautiful crushed red morocco binding with gold.
Offered at $65,000
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1611 King James "He" Bible
1611 King James First Edition Pulpit Bible: “He” Variant
One of the most highly sought-after items in the world of antiquarian books: the very first of the King James Bibles printed. One sold at a Sotheby's auction in 2001 for over $400,000. Ours sell for much less than that, and are in excellent condition. For details about the difference between the “He” and “She” variants of the 1611, see the description of the “She” variant below.
An excellent investment opportunity; these Bibles have gone up in price over 25% every year for the past ten years. Imagine owning the first press run of the most printed book in history! Fewer than 200 original printings of the 1611 are known to exist (and out of that number, fewer than 50 are complete “He” variants). For better close-up images, be sure to check out our available stock of 1611 Leaves, starting under $300, in our Ancient Rare Bible Leaves section. Prices of our 1611’s vary depending on condition, page margin, and other factors. We have more than a dozen in stock, from which you may choose.
Offered at $125,000 to $400,000
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1611 King James "She" Bible
1611 King James First Edition Pulpit Bible: “She” Variant This example is in a stunning, elaborate 18th Century silver binding. We have over a dozen others from which to choose. Because a typo in Ruth 3:15 is corrected to read "she went into the city" instead of "he went into the city", it is often assumed that these 1611 "She Bibles" are actually the SECOND printing of the original 1611 King James Bible, likely done within several weeks of the 1611 "He Bibles". Many scholars now agree that the much more likely explanation is that the "He" and "She" King James Bible First Editions of 1611 were done at approximately the SAME TIME on two different presses.
There is no real evidence that one variant is any older than the other. The main reason “He” variants cost more, is simply because there are fewer of them (fewer than 50 known to exist). If you want an ORIGINAL 1611 King James First Edition, you can save a lot of money simply by choosing the "She" printing (of which fewer than 150 are known to exist).

Offered at $95,000 to $175,000
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1631 "Wicked" Bible
1631 "Wicked Bible" This King James Version Bible is an unspeakably rare collector’s item. The printers were fined 300 pounds sterling for their terrible typographical error in printing the Ten Commandments, omitting the all-important word “not” and rendering the verse as, “Thou shalt commit adultery”! The lot of 1,000 copies were ordered destroyed, but only a handful escaped destruction, making them the rarest of rare. This is the only one for sale in the world.

Offered at $89,500
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1663 Eliot Indian Bible
1663 Eliot Indian Bible The first Bible printed in America. Printed in the native Algonquin Indian language, and used by John Eliot to evangelize the American Indians. He actually had to develop a phonetic rendering of their native tongue and convert their spoken language into print for the first time! America's first Bible. Individual leaves from another (fragmented) Eliot Bible are available in our Ancient Rare Bible Leaves section.
Offered at $795,000
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1782 Aitken Bible
1782 Aitken Bible The first Bible printed in English in America. Only two copies are known to exist for sale world-wide. We have both. Read more about this "Bible of the Revolution" in our Ancient-Rare Bible Leaves Section.
Offered at $149,000
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Complete Hebrew Torah
900 Year-Old Biblical Scroll A Complete Hebrew Torah (original Old Testament Scriptures) on a giant sheepskin scroll over 160 feet long and 2 1/2 feet high! The oldest (and largest) item in our Bookvault: dates back to the early 1100's AD. One-of-a-kind, with a beautiful, hand-crafted soft cloth cover.

Offered at $145,900
Contact Us for ordering information

From my personal Library soon to be defunct!
Containing "His Majesties" Bible of 1727
My above "His Majesties" Bible of 1727 contains 81 books!

How many has God killed? Complete list and estimated total (Including Apocryphal killings)

Drunk With Blood Audiobook: Introduction
- See more at:

I kill ... I wound ... I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and mine sword shall devour flesh. -- Deuteronomy 32:39-42
The table shows two numbers: the number given by the Bible, if any, and an estimate, when no biblical number is available.

Total number killed by God in the Bible
- Using biblical numbers only: 2,821,364
 - With estimates: 25 million

(The table has been updated to include God's killings in the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books. I'll be adding the missing Apocryphal stories in the next few days.)

Killing Event Reference Bible's Number Estimate
1 The Flood of Noah Gen 7:23
2 Abraham's war to rescue Lot Gen 14:17-19
3 Sodom and Gomorrah Gen 19:24
4 Lot's wife Gen 19:26 1 1
5 While they were sore, Dinah's brethren slew all the males Gen 34:1-31, Judith 9:2-3 2 1,000
6 Er for being wicked in the sight of the Lord Gen 38:7 1 1
7 Onan for spilling his seed Gen 38:10 1 1
8 A seven year worldwide famine Gen 41:25-54
9 There will be blood: The first plague of Egypt Ex 7:15-27 , Wis 11:7-8
10 The seventh plague: hail Ex 9:25
11 Firstborn Egyptian children Ex 12:29-30
12 The Lord took off their chariot wheels Ex 14:8-26 600 5,000
13 Amalekites Ex 17:13
14 Who is on the Lord's side?: Forcing friends and family to kill each other Ex 32:27-28 3,000 3,000
15 Aaron's golden calf Ex 32:35
16 God burns Aaron's sons to death for offering "strange fire" Lev 10:1-3 2 2
17 A blasphemer is stoned to death Lev 24:10-23 1 1
18 When the people complained, God burned them to death Num 11:1
19 While the flesh was still between their teeth, the Lord smote them will a very great plague Num 11:33
20 Ten scouts are killed for their honest report Num 14:35-45 10 110
21 A man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day is stoned to death Num 15:32-35 1 1
22 Korah, his companions, and their families are buried alive Num 16:27 3 9
23 God burns 250 people to death for burning incense Num 16:35 250 250
24 God kills 14,700 for complaining about God's killings Num 16:49 14,700 14,700
25 The massacre of the Aradies Num 21:1-2
26 God sent serpents to bite people for complaining about the lack of food and water Num 21:6
27 Phineas's double murder: A killing to end God's killing Num 25:1-11 24,002 24,002
28 The Midianite massacre: Have ye saved all the women alive? Num 31:1-35 6 200,000
29 God slowly killed the Israelite army Dt 2:14-16
30 God the giant killer Dt 2:21-22
31 God hardens King Sihon's heart so all his people can be killed Dt 2:33-34 1 5,000
32 Og and all the men women, and children in 60 cities Dt 3:6 1 60,000
33 The Jericho massacre Jos 6:21
34 Achan and his family Jos 7:10-26 1 5
35 The Ai massacre Jos 8:1-25 12,000 12,000
36 God stops the sun so Joshua can get his killing done in the daylight Jos 10:10-11
37 Five kings killed and hung on trees Jos 10:26 5 10,000
38 Joshua utterly destroyed all that breathed as the Lord commanded Jos 10:28-42 7 7,000
39 The genocide of twenty cities: There was not any left to breathe Jos 11:8-12 2 20,000
40 The Anakim: some more giant killing Jos 11:20-21
41 The Lord delivered the Canaanites and Perizzites Jg 1:4 10,000 10,000
42 The Jerusalem massacre Jg 1:8
43 Five massacres, a wedding, and God-proof iron chariots Jg 1:9-25
44 The Lord delivered Chushanrishathaim Jg 3:7-10 1 1,000
45 Ehud delivers a message from God Jg 3:15-22 1 1
46 God delivers 10,000 lusty Moabites Jg 3:28-29 10,000 10,000
47 Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad Jg 3:31 600 600
48 Barak and God massacre the Canaanites Jg 4:15-16
49 Jael pounds a tent stake through a sleeping man's skull Jg 4:18-22 1 1
50 Gideon's story: The Lord set every man's sword against his fellow Jg 7:22 120,000 120,000
51 A city is massacred and 1000 burn to death because of God's evil spirit Jg 9:23-27 1,001 2,000
52 The Ammonite massacre Jg 11:32-33
53 Jephthah's daughter Jg 11:39 1 1
54 42,000 die for failing the "shibboleth" test Jg 12:4-7 42,000 42,000
55 Samson murdered 30 men for their clothes Jg 14:19 30 30
56 Samson killed 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass Jg 15:14-15 1,000 1,000
57 Samson killed 3000 in a suicide terrorist attack Jg 16:27-30 3,000 3,000
58 A holy civil war (it had something to do with rotting concubine body part messages) Jg 20:35-37 65,100 65,100
59 The end of Judges: two genocides and 200 stolen virgins Jg 21:10-14
60 God killed Eli's sons and 34,000 Israelite soldiers 1 Sam 2:25, 4:11 34,002 34,002
61 God smote them with hemorrhoids in their secret parts 1 Sam 5:1-12
62 50,070 killed for looking into the ark of the Lord 1 Sam 6:19 50,070 50,070
63 The Lord thundered a great thunder upon the Philistines 1 Sam 7:10-11
64 Another Ammonite massacre (and another God-inspired body part message) 1 Sam 11:6-13
65 Jonathan's first slaughter 1 Sam 14:12-14 20 20
66 God forces the Philistines to kill each other 1 Sam 14:20
67 The Amalekite genocide 1 Sam  15:2-3
68 Samuel hacks Agag to death before the Lord 1 Sam 15:32-33 1 1
69 In the valley of Elah: Goliath 1 Sam 17:51, 2 Sam 21:19 1 1
70 David buys a wife with 200 Philistine foreskins 1 Sam  18:27 200 200
71 The Lord said to David, Go and smite the Philistines 1 Sam 23:2-5
72 God killed Nabal (and David got his wife and other stuff) 1 Sam 25:38 1 1
73 David commits random acts of genocide for the Philistines 1 Sam 27:8-11
74 David spends the day killing Amalekites 1 Sam 30:17
75 God kills Saul, his sons, and his soldiers (because Saul didn't kill all the Amalekites) 1 Sam 31:2, 2 Chr 10:6 4 100
76 David kills the messenger 2 Sam 1:15 1 1
77 David killed, mutilated, and hung Rechab and Baanah 2 Sam 4:12 2 2
78 God helps David smite the Philistines from the front and the rear 2 Sam 5:19-25
79 God killed Uzzah for trying to keep the ark from falling 2 Sam 6:6-7, 1 Chr 13:9-10 1 1
80 David killed two-thirds of the Moabite POWs and enslaved the rest 2 Sam 8:2
81 And the Lord gave David victory wherever he went 2 Sam 8 - 10 65,850 66,850
82 David killed every male in Edom 2 Sam 8:13-14, 1 Kg 11:15-16, 1 Chr 18:12, Ps 60:1 15,000 25,000
83 Thus did David do to all the children of Ammon 2 Sam 11:1, 1 Chr 20:1
84 God slowly kills a baby 2 Sam 12:14-18 1 1
85 Seven sons of Saul are hung up before the Lord 2 Sam 21:1-9 7 3,000
86 David's mighty men and their amazing killings 2 Sam 23, 1 Chr 11 1,403 3,400
87 God killed 70,000 because of David had a census that God (or Satan) told him to do 2 Sam 24:15, 1 Chr 21:14 70,000 200,000
88 Solomon murdered Job and Shimei (per David's deathbed wish) 1 Kg 2:29-46 2 2
89 A tale of two prophets 1 Kg 13:11-24 1 1
90 Jeroboam's son: God kills another child 1 Kg 14:17 1 1
91 Jeroboam's family 1 Kg 15:29
92 Baasha's family and friends 1 Kg 16:11-12
93 Zimri burns to death 1 Kg 16:18-19 1 1
94 The drought of Elijah 1 Kg 17:1, Luke 4:25, James 5:17-18
95 Elijah kills 450 religious leaders in a prayer contest 1 Kg 18:22-40 450 450
96 The first God-assisted slaughter of the Syrians 1 Kg 20:20-21
97 God killed 100,000 Syrians for calling him a god of the hills 1 Kg 20:28-29 100,000 100,000
98 God killed 27,000 Syrians by making a wall fall on them 1 Kg 20:30 27,000 27,000
99 God sent a lion to kill a man for not smiting a prophet 1 Kg 20:35-36 1 1
100 God killed Ahab for not killing a captured king 1 Kg 20:42, 22:35 1 1
101 God burned 102 men to death for asking Elijah to come down from his hill 2 Kg 1:10-12 102 102
102 God killed Ahaziah for asking the wrong God 2 Kg 1:16-17, 2 Chr 22:7-9 1 1
103 God sent bears to kill 42 boys for making fun of a prophet's bald head 2 Kg 2:23-24 42 42
104 The Lord delivered the Moabites 2 Kg 3:18-25
105 A skeptic is trampled to death 2 Kg 7:2-20 1 1
106 God's seven year famine 2 Kg 8:1
107 Jehoram of Israel 2 Kg 9:24 1 1
108 Jezebel 2 Kg 9:33-37 1 1
109 Ahab's sons: 70 heads in two baskets 2 Kg 10:6-10 70 70
110 Ahab's hometown family, friends, and priests 2 Kg 10:11
111 Jehu killed Ahaziah's family 2 Kg 10:12-13, 2 Chr 22:7-9 42 42
112 Jehu and his partner kill the rest of Ahab's family 2 Kg 10:17
113 Jehu assembled the followers of Baal and then slaughtered them all 2 Kg 10:18-25
114 Mattan the priest of Baal and Queen Athaliah 2 Kg 11:17-20 2 2
115 God sent lions to eat those who didn't fear him enough 2 Kg 17:25-26
116 An angel killed 185,000 sleeping soldiers 2 Kg 19:34, 37:36 185,000 185,000
117 God caused King Sennacherib to be killed by his sons 2 Kg 19:37, Tobit 1:21 1 1
118 Josiah killed all the priests of the high places 2 Kg 23:20
119 Just another holy war 1 Chr 5:18-22
120 God killed a half million Israelite soldiers 2 Chr 13:17-18 500,000 500,000
121 Jeroboam 2 Chr 13:20 1 1
122 God killed a million Ethiopians 2 Chr 14:9-14 1,000,000 1,000,000
123 Friendly fire: God forced "a great multitude" to kill each other 2 Chr 20:22-25
124 God made Jehoram's bowels fall out 2 Chr 21:14-19 1 1
125 God killed Jehoram's sons 2 Chr 22:1
126 Ahaziah of Judah 2 Chr 22:7-8 1 1
127 Joash, the princes, and army of Judah 2 Chr 24:20-25 1 10,000
128 God destroyed Amaziah 2 Chr 25:15-27 1 1,000
129 God smote Ahaz with the king of Syria 2 Chr 28:1-5 1 10,000
130 God killed 120,000 valiant men for forsaking him 2 Chr 28:6 120,000 120,000
131 The fall of Jerusalem 2 Chr 36:16-17
132 The Purim killings: God hath done these things Esther 2 - 9, 10:4 75,813 75,813
133 God and Satan kill Job's children and slaves Job 1:18-19 10 60
134 Hananiah Jer 28:15-16 1 1
135 Ezekiel's wife Ezek 24:15-18 1 1
136 Oh! Susanna Dan 13:6-62 2 2
137 Judith is blessed above all women (for cutting off a sleeping man's head) Judith 13:6-10 1 1
138 The Judith massacre: hang ye up this head upon our walls Judith 15:1-6
139 Mathathias's double murder 1 Mac 2:24-25 2 2
140 Mathathias and his friends slay the wicked sinners 1 Mac 2:44
141 God killed Andronicus, the sacrilegious wretch 2 Mac 4:38 1 1
142 A Jewish mob killed Lysimachus, the sacrilegious fellow 2 Mac 4:42 1 1
143 God helped Judas Machabeus destroy the wicked 1 Mac 3:1-26, 2 Mac 8:5-6 800 4,900
144 Judas and his unarmed men kill 3000 of Gorgias's soldiers 1 Mac 3:44-4:24 3,000 3,000
145 The Hanukkah killings 1 Mac 4:34-5:7 5,000 17,000
146 The Machabees brothers slaughter the heathens 1 Mac 5:21-51 11,000 37,000
147 Nicanor's army: The Almighty being their helper, they slew above nine thousand men 1 Mac 7:32-47, 2 Mac 8:24, 15:27 147,002 147,002
148 Jonathan and Simon destroy the wicked out of Israel 1 Mac  9:46-49, 2 Mac  8:30-33, 10:61 1,000 1,200
149 Five heavenly horsemen cast darts and fireballs at the enemy 2 Mac 8:32-10:38 21,103 21,400
150 God killed Antiochus with an incurable bowel disease 2 Mac 9:5-28 1 1
151 Idumeans, traitors, and Jews in two towers 2 Mac 10:16-17 40,000 40,100
152 Nicanor's head: A manifest sign of the help of God 1 Mac 7:33-48, 2 Mac  15:1-35 35,000 35,000
153 Aliens at Cades 1 Mac 11:74 3,000 3,000
154 John burns to death 2000 in the tower of Azotus 1 Mac 16:10 2,000 2,000
155 God sent wasps to slowly destroy people Wisdom 12:8-9
156 Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:5-10 2 2
157 Herod Aggripa Acts 12:23 1 1
158 Jesus Rom 8:32, 1 Pet 1:1820 1 1

Totals 2,821,364 24,994,828
- See more at:

17 May 2013

How many has God killed? Complete list and estimated total (Including Apocryphal killings)

Drunk With Blood Audiobook: Introduction
- See more at:
The Bible - 81, 73 or 66 Books?
 My above "His Majesties" Bible of 1727 contains 81 books!

(Ecumenical Thread)
Catholic Bible ^
Posted on 25/12/2012, 17:50:07 by narses

So why does the Catholic Bible have 73 books, while the Protestant Bible has only 66 books? Some protestants believe that the Catholic Church added 7 books to the Bible at the Council of Trent in response to Luther’s Reformation, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

In about 367 AD, St. Athanasius came up with a list of 73 books for the Bible that he believed to be divinely inspired. This list was finally approved by Pope Damasus I in 382 AD, and was formally approved by the Church Council of Rome in that same year. Later Councils at Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage (397 AD) ratified this list of 73 books. In 405 AD, Pope Innocent I wrote a letter to the Bishop of Toulouse reaffirming this canon of 73 books. In 419 AD, the Council of Carthage reaffirmed this list, which Pope Boniface agreed to. The Council of Trent, in 1546, in response to the Reformation removing 7 books from the canon (canon is a Greek word meaning “standard”), reaffirmed the original St. Athanasius list of 73 books. 

So what happened? How come the King James Bible only has 66 books? Well, Martin Luther didn’t like 7 books of the Old Testament that disagreed with his personal view of theology, so he threw them out of his bible in the 16th Century. His reasoning was that the Jewish Council of Jamnia in 90 AD didn’t think they were canonical, so he didn’t either. The Jewish Council of Jamnia was a meeting of the remaining Jews from Palestine who survived the Roman persecution of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It seems that the Jews had never settled on an official canon of OT scripture before this. The Sadducees only believed in the first 5 books of the Bible written by Moses (the Pentateuch), while the Pharisees believed in 34 other books of the Old Testament as well. However, there were other Jews around from the Diaspora, or the dispersion of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, who believed that another 7 books were also divinely inspired. In fact, when Jesus addressed the Diaspora Jews (who spoke Greek) he quoted from the Septuagint version of the scriptures. The Septuagint was a Greek translation by 70 translators of the Hebrew Word. The Septuagint includes the disputed 7 books that Protestants do not recognize as scriptural. 

Initially, Luther wanted to kick out some New Testament Books as well, including James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation. He actually said that he wanted to “throw Jimmy into the fire”, and that the book of James was “an epistle of straw.” What is strange is that Luther eventually accepted all 27 books of the New Testament that the Catholic Pope Damasus I had approved of in 382 AD, but didn’t accept his Old Testament list, preferring instead to agree with the Jews of 90 AD. Luther really didn’t care much for Jews, and wrote an encyclical advocating the burning of their synagogues, which seems like a dichotomy. Why trust them to come up with an accurate canon of scripture when you hate and distrust them so much? And why trust the Catholic Church which he called “the whore of Babylon” to come up with an accurate New Testament list? Can you imagine the outrage by non-Catholics today if the Pope started throwing books out of the Bible? But strangely, Luther gets a pass on doing that exact same thing. 

For the record, Jesus took the Kingdom away from the Jews (Matthew 21:43), and gave it to Peter and His new Church (Matthew 16:18), so the Jewish Council of Jamnia had no Godly authority to decide anything in 90 AD. They used 4 criteria for deciding whether or not certain books were canonical – 

1. The books had to conform to the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible- ......Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy);
2. They could not have been written after the time of Ezra (around 400 BC);
3. They had to be written in Hebrew;
4. They had to be written in Palestine. 

So this method employed by first century Jews would automatically exclude all of the Gospels, and the Epistles of the New Testament, which were also written in the first century. But there were other books written before Christ, after Ezra, and some in Greek as well. These 7 books were accepted by the Diaspora Jews (the Alexandrian Canon) who were not in Palestine. These 7 books are Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Wisdom, Sirach, First Maccabees, and Second Maccabees, as well as additional verses of Daniel and Esther. These books are called the “deuterocanon”, or second canon, by Catholics, and the “apocrypha”, or hidden/obscure, by Protestants (Christians who protest against the Catholic Church).
There are several objections to these 7 books, besides not being approved at the Jewish Council Jamnia. Some say that since the New Testament never references these disputed books, then that proves that they are not canonical. But that isn’t right, because the non-disputed books of Ecclesiastes and Ezra aren’t mentioned in the New Testament at all, not even once. By this standard then, Ecclesiastes and Ezra aren’t canonical either. On the other hand, there are many references indeed from the deuterocanonicals in the New Testament. Anybody who reads the book of Wisdom 2: 12-20 would immediately recognize that this is a direct reference to the Jews who were plotting against Jesus in Matthew 27:41-43:
Wisdom 2:12-20: "Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected." Matthew 27: 41-43: So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, `I am the Son of God.’”
Another similar instance of this is Hebrews 11:35 being a direct reference to 2 Maccabees 7, where the mother and her 7 sons were slaughtered by the evil King for not forsaking the Jewish law. Romans 1:19-25 is also referenced in Wisdom 12-13. The clincher, of course, is that Jesus Himself observed the feast of Hannukah, or the Dedication of the Temple, in John 10. This can be found in the Old Testament book of First Maccabees, Chapter 4, which is in the Catholic Bible, but not in the Protestant Bible.
Additionally, there are some unscriptural books referenced in the New Testament, like Enoch and the Assumption of Moses (in the book of Jude), so if the standard is that books referenced in the New Testament are canonical, then Enoch and the Assumption of Moses would be in the Old Testament, but they are not.
Some people object to these 7 books because they claim some of the early church fathers like St. Jerome didn’t think they were divinely inspired. While it’s great that all of a sudden so many non-Catholics start quoting the early Church Fathers, it’s not right to quote them on this and then not on the Eucharist, the papacy, or the supremacy of Rome, all which prove that the Catholic Church was the only Church around in those days. St. Jerome initially had some concerns about these books, saying that the Palestinian Jews didn’t consider them canonical, but St. Jerome was not infallible, and later agreed that they were. All of the early Church Fathers accepted these disputed books as divinely inspired.
Still others object to some of the disputed 7 books because of historical or geographical errors in them. And there are some, but it has to be remembered that not all stories in the Bible are historical. For instance, was there really a rich man who died and went to hell, and then saw his poor servant in the bosom of Abraham? Was there really a young man who sold his inheritance and went off to a faraway country and squandered it, and returned home as the prodigal son? Was there really a vineyard where the workers who showed up late got paid the same as the workers who worked all day? Or is it rather not more important that these parables teach important theological lessons than it is for them to be 100% historically accurate? In other words, books of fiction that relate Biblical truths can be divinely inspired.
It’s important also to note that the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls included the book of Tobit and the book of Sirach, proving that the people back then thought them canonical, because they were found with the book of Isaiah and other Old Testament books.
And you can check all of this out for yourself. The first bible ever printed was the Gutenberg Bible, in the century BEFORE Luther started his Reformation. And the 7 books are indeed in that Bible. To see for yourself, click here.
And an interesting numerology coincidence occurs here as well. In the bible, the number 7 denotes perfection (God rested on the 7th day, 7 spirits that minister to God, 7 sacraments), and the number 3 represents the Holy Trinity. On the other hand, the number 6 represents imperfection (as in 666). Therefore, 73 books sure sounds a lot better than 66 books!
To check out a great list of all of the New Testament references to the deuterocanonicals by Catholic genius and all around good guy Jimmy Akin, click here.
Some of the more interesting items in these 7 books are as follows:
In 2 Maccabees 12:39-45, we learn how Judas Maccabees prayed for the dead and made atonement FOR THEM by sending money to the temple as a sin offering (purgatory).
In 2 Maccabees 6:12-14, we learn how God punishes nations.
In 2 Maccabees 2:4-7, we learn the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and when it will be found (Sorry Indiana Jones!).
In 2 Maccabees 15:12-17, we learn about how saints in heaven pray for us and help us out here on earth.
In Wisdom 7, we see a biblical type of the Blessed Virgin Mary known as "wisdom."
In Sirach 38:1-15, we learn about the role of the physician and how God uses him/her to cure us.
In Tobit, we learn about the Archangel Raphael (a name which means God Heals), the only place in the entire bible where he is mentioned. We also learn about the anti-marriage demon Asmodeus.
In Judith, we see a biblical type of Mary crushing the head of the serpent; Judith cuts off the head of the evil General Holofernes, and saves Israel.
 see also


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