Of the Apocryphal books of the Catholic Bible, the book of Tobias has some of the most obvious heresies, containing both pagan and unprofitable doctrines. Though Tobias was included in both the 1611 and 1769 versions of the King James Bible, this was because the dominant religious organization in England at the time was the Church of England(Anglicanism), which is still Roman Catholic in its doctrine. In this post, we will instead be quoting from the Douay-Rheims version because of it having been translated from the Latin Vulgate, the translation used by the Roman Catholic Church for much of its history.
(Apocrypha) Tobias 6:5-8 Douay-Rheims Version: "5 Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of this fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee: for these are necessary for useful medicines. 6 And when he had done so, he roasted the fish thereof, and they took it with them in the way: the rest they salted as much as might serve them, till they came to Rages the city of the Medes. 7 Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou has bid me keep of the fish? 8 And the angel, answering, said to him: if thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them."
This passage is obviously not biblical because it takes the power to drive out demons away from Christ and gives it to the organs of a fish. This is ultimately pagan in nature, coming from the same mentality that people who practice New-Age have today when they do their crystal healing. In the same way that crystals healing people is not biblical, the organs of a fish driving away demons is not biblical either.
In New Testament passages that involve exorcisms, it directly gives the glory to God when removing a demonic influence from a person, whether it be Jesus Christ casting out devils in Mark 5 or believers in Christ casting out devils by the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 8.
(True Christianity) Mark 5:7-13 King James Version: "7 [demons speaking from inside the man] And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea."
(True Christianity) Acts 8:5-25 King James Version: "5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. 9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. 25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans."
(Apocrypha) Tobias 12:8-12 Douay-Rheims Version: "8 Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold. 9 For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. 10 But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. 11 I discover then the truth unto you and I will not hide the secret from you. 12 When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord."
We see in Tobias 12 that the man claims that the giving of alms will help a person get their sins forgiven and obtain eternal life. This is damnable heresy because it adds works to the gospel. This is also a statement that fulfills New Testament prophecies on the behaviors of false prophets, which say that they will "make merchandise of you"(2 Peter 2:3). For those who are not Christian or religious, it should be easily seen that this is a scam done by people, using religion to swindle money out of people.
The Bible makes it perfectly clear that the only way to obtain forgiveness of sins is through faith in Jesus Christ.
(True Christianity) Colossians 1:14 King James Version: "14 [speaking of Jesus] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"
(True Christianity) Ephesians 1:7-8 King James Version: "7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;"
(True Christianity) 1 John 1:7 King James Version: "7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
(True Christianity) Matthew 1:21 King James Version: "21 And she [Mary] shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."
(True Christianity) John 14:6 King James Version: "6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
(True Christianity) 1 Timothy 2:5-6 King James Version: "5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
In addition to these verses, you can scroll up and reread Acts 8:17-24 to see Simon being rebuked for thinking that being filled with the Holy Ghost could be bought with money.
(Apocrypha) Tobias 5:15-19 Douay-Rheims Version: "15 And the angel said to him: I will conduct him thither, and bring him back to thee. 16 And Tobias said to him: I pray thee, tell me, of what family, or what tribe art thou? 17 And Raphael the angel answered: Dost thou seek the family of him thou hirest, or the hired servant himselft to go with thy son? 18 But lest I should make thee uneasy, I am Azarias the great Ananias. 19 And Tobias answered: Thou art of a great family. But I pray thee be not angry that I desired to know thy family."
While this isn't a doctrinally significant passage, there is no biblical text stating that angels having families like humans do. They are created spiritual beings, with no need to reproduce like physical beings do. Also, adding extra lore about angels takes the focus off of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which should be who we worship. Not angels, which is idolatry and the worship of a false god.
Unprofitable Doctrines Showing a Lack of Common Sense
(Apocrypha) Tobias 4:18 Douay-Rheims Version: "18 Lay out thy bread, and thy wine upon the burial of a just man, and do not eat and drink thereof with the wicked."
This verse is both unprofitable and lacks common sense because it would be wasting the food and the food that is put on a person's grave cannot go with them into the afterlife. This verse has some commonality with the mummification process practiced in ancient Egypt. In this National Geographic article, you can read about how pharaohs would prepare their tombs, making sure they were "stocked with everything they might need or want in the afterlife, including food, preserved for eternity."
In the Bible, there are many passages that portray anything having to do with Egypt in a negative way.
(True Christianity) Revelation 11:8 King James Version: "8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.[speaking of Jerusalem]"
(True Christianity) Jude 5 King James Version: "5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not."
This post is part of the series Books Not in the Bible and the Reasons Why