In Judith 1:1 Nebuchadnezzar is said to be the king of the Assyrians; we know this to be an historical error because he was the was the king of the Babylonians, does this mean that Judith should not be considered scripture? Judith 1:1 reads as follows:

In the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnez′zar, who ruled over the Assyrians in the great city of Nin′eveh, in the days of Arphax′ad, who ruled over the Medes in Ecbat′ana

  • Are you looking for a variety of denominations' views on the matter? (I wrote an answer responding in that matter). Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 2:15
  • May i please have a link to this article? I would greatly appreciate it.
    – user60738
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 17:14
  • Yes, see the sources in my answer below. Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


The text

In the twelfth year of the reign of Nabuchodonosor, who reigned in Nineve, the great city; in the days of Arphaxad, which reigned over the Medes in Ecbatane (Judith 1:1, KJV)


The problem

Nineveh (sometimes spelled Nineve) was destroyed in 612 BC, and the Assyrian Empire (of which Nineveh had been the capital) was broken apart in 605 BC (source). Nebuchadnezzar the Great reigned from 605 BC to 562 BC, so it is highly unlikely that he would have been "reigning in Nineveh" in his 12th year.



For those who accept the doctrine of scriptural inerrancy, there are two options:

  • Reconcile the apparent error in Judith
  • Reject Judith as scripture

For those who do not accept the doctrine of scriptural inerrancy, the above options are available, as well as others:

  • Accept that Judith is doctrinally true but presented in a fictional historical setting
  • Accept that Judith is doctrinally inspired but makes some minor historical errors


A survey of viewpoints


Two Catholic viewpoints on the matter are presented here; the following are a few of the key arguments:

(a) According to what we may term "conservative" criticism, these apparent difficulties can every one be harmonized with the view that the book is perfectly historical and deals with facts which actually took place. Thus, the geographical errors may be ascribed to the translators of the original text or to copyists living long after the book was composed, and consequently ignorant of the details referred to.

(b) Some few Catholic writers...deem the errors of translators and of scribes to be no sufficient explanation in this matter. These few Catholics, together with the non-Catholics that do not care to throw the book over entirely into the realm of fiction, assure us that the Book of Judith has a solid historical foundation. Judith is no mythical personage, she and her heroic deed lived in the memory of the people; but the difficulties...show that the story as we now have it was committed to writing at a period long subsequent to the facts.


Protestants do not accept the Book of Judith as inspired scripture on other grounds, so the question is moot from a Protestant standpoint.

Latter-day Saint

The Latter-day Saint viewpoint is outlined in Doctrine & Covenants 91:

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha—There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly;

2 There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men.


5 And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom;

6 And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited.

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