The fanciful teaching of Tobit in the Apocrypha

By Spencer D Gear

(image public domain)

I encountered a Roman Catholic and promoter of the deutero-canonical books (the Apocrypha). She wrote:  ‘Again, these are the Deutero-Canonical Books (NOT the Apocrypha as some like to call it)’.[1]

  • ‘The following is a list proving that there are connections between the Deuterocanonical books (which are the Word of God) and the New Testament. That is, these books which are Divinely Inspired by God the Holy Spirit.’.[2]
  • ‘As I have shown there is much more than “a couple” of quotes from the Deutero-Canonicals in the NT. This just lends all the more credibility of the Holy Catholic Church which maintains that the Apostles and the Early Church read them and used them as Sacred Writing (as the Holy Bible)’.[3]
  • ‘Men may have their quote/unquote “reasons” but the Church together with the Holy Spirit have spoken on the matter. These DeuteroCanonicals are indeed the Word of God. The doctrines of Purgatory and praying for the dead are part of the Teaching of Christ and as such they do not contradict the New Testament…. To call these books Apocryphal is to deny the Word of God. [4]

That’s a sampling from an avid Roman Catholic and promoter of the deutero-canonical books, known to Protestants as the Apocrypha.

I asked this person:[5]

Are you telling us that this makes sense and this is Scripture?

In Tobit 6:2-8, 16-17 (RSV), it states:

[2] Then the young man went down to wash himself. A fish leaped up from the river and would have swallowed the young man;
[3] and the angel said to him, “Catch the fish.” So the young man seized the fish and threw it up on the land.
[4] Then the angel said to him, “Cut open the fish and take the heart and liver and gall and put them away safely.”
[5] So the young man did as the angel told him; and they roasted and ate the fish.

And they both continued on their way until they came near to Ecbatana.

[6] Then the young man said to the angel, “Brother Azarias, of what use is the liver and heart and gall of the fish?”
[7] He replied, “As for the heart and liver, if a demon or evil spirit gives trouble to any one, you make a smoke from these before the man or woman, and that person will never be troubled again.
[8] And as for the gall, anoint with it a man who has white films in his eyes, and he will be cured.”

[16] When you enter the bridal chamber, you shall take live ashes of incense and lay upon them some of the heart and liver of the fish so as to make a smoke.
[17] Then the demon will smell it and flee away, and will never again return. And when you approach her, rise up, both of you, and cry out to the merciful God, and he will save you and have mercy on you. Do not be afraid, for she was destined for you from eternity. You will save her, and she will go with you, and I suppose that you will have children by her.” When Tobias heard these things, he fell in love with her and yearned deeply for her.

This is fanciful stuff, but this person wants to call it the Word of God.

HERE  (in this link) you will find some further reasons why the Apocrypha should be rejected from the canon of Scripture.


[1] Christian Forums, Christian Scriptures, ‘Cross-references between the deutero-canonicals (NOT apocryphal)’, AHJE #1, available at: (Accessed 27 July 2012).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., #7, emphasis in the original.

[4] Ibid, #22.

[5] OzSpen, ibid #25.


Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 20 May 2016.