This post’s title is a nod to America’s “culture wars” (which seem to become more of an outrageous outrage this time of year), not to any sort of malice.
Protestantism’s inattention to the Bible’s input about Hanukkah is an indication of which position is in fact more “biblical”. As a reminder, the Catholic Canon (the Bible’s “Table of Contents”) is different than the Protestant Canon; and the Catholic Rule is that both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are equally intended by God as divine revelation while the Protestant Rule is that of “sola Scriptura” – that the Protestant “Bible alone” is intended to provide all that is necessary for salvation and holy living. (I’ve included links to most of my posts about “Rule of Faith” at the end if you’d like to learn more.)
So what does Hanukkah have to do with anything?
In John 10:35, Jesus taught the Scripture cannot be broken. Verse 35 wasn’t about the subject of Hanukkah; he was referring to established Scripture as he was in the Temple celebrating Hanukkah: It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon (John 10:22,23).
Here’s the Protestant problem:
The Jewish feast of Hanukkah is prescribed in the Scripture that cannot be broken, which is found in 1 Maccabees 4:36-59 and 2 Maccabees 1:18 (external link here). So, either Jesus treated 1 and 2 Maccabees as Scripture, or He accepted an extra-scriptural tradition. In other words, Jesus offended the future Protestant Rule of Faith in one or two ways: He accepted books as Scripture that Protestantism does not accept, or He appealed to something other than Scripture as a base for His celebration of Hanukkah. Protestantism condemns both scenarios. Hence the [somewhat sarcastic] “war on Hanukkah”!
The Catholic perspective:
The Catholic Church accepts 1 and 2 Maccabees as Scripture, just as Jesus apparently did within John 10:22,23,35. The Catholic Church’s agreement in this case is not an anomaly; nearly all New Testament references to the Old Testament quotes the LXX: the same books that comprise the Catholic – not Protestant – Canon.
So, which position, Catholic or Protestant, is more plausible in this case? The Catholic churches of Christ greet you!
• "Your website is a troll." "You son of Satan."
-Scott J. Shifferd, Dean Road Church of Christ
• "Pax [(he thinks "pax" means "Pat" and not "peace")] cannot do us no harm and that why he wont fly to Martinsville not unless we foot he bill [to debate me on my television show]. . . . Really now I just want you to man up and bring your false doctrine to the airwaves but You and me know that wont happen because all you can do is play book writer and site master. You take that book momey Buy a plane tickey then we post it all on youtube how about that?"
-Johnny Robertson, founder of Church of Christ WDTBS Television Show
• "You are not a model of ethicality."
-Neal Pollard, Bear Valley Church of Christ; instructor at Bear Valley Bible Institute
• "Patrick Vandapool you will pay for your crimes against God." "You and your Church are condemned, better accept the Gospel and leave your Church before you die in your sins. you are an alien sinner!" "Your brainwashed." "Your site is a propaganda site." Your not a true Christian." "Your a fool... . I never called you a fool."
-John Riddle; "well tranned priest of the Lord's Church"
• "Are you an unmarried man under 25? Your writing style and wisdom match such a profile."
-Steve Rudd, Hamilton Church of Christ; founder of CofC propaganda website bible.ca
• "You have to be the most immature person that I've ever "met" in WordPress, and that includes the atheists, by which in overwhelming numbers show more common courtesy and respect that you. Are you 10 years old? ...if that's what your readers enjoy then it says as much about them as it does you."
-Eugene Adkins, Keltonburg Church of Christ