Canon

Do Eastern Catholics use the canon of scripture as defined at Trent or do you folks use the “extra” books used by the Greek Orthodox? :slight_smile:

Varies by specific church.

John, the Slavonic and Greek versions of the Old Testament themselves are not in complete agreement on the “extra books”.

Other than the Prayer of Manasseh these do not have any liturgical use (i.e. are used for readings within the services). It should be noted that the Prayer of Manasseh is included as an appendix to some versions of the Vulgate.
FDRLB

Does anyone have a particular church by particular church break-down for the Canon of Scripture employed? Let’s say that the Melkite Church has a slightly larger canon than the Tridentine canon. (I don’t know if it does, but just for the sake of discussion). Would I, as a hypothetical Melkite, be bound to accept the Melkite canon as definitively inspired? Since Trent is an ecumenical council, would not its canon be the only *definitive *one?

Dear brother Tyler,

The Council of Trent never ruled on anything more than which Scriptures must be called “canonical” - i.e., those Scriptures used for the defense of the Faith or upon which doctrine would be based. It never stated that there are no other Scriptures outside of these, merely that the ones it proposed were to be the ones that are to be regarded as canonical. There are indeed other Scriptures which can be used merely for edification. So there has never been a conciliar law against the liturgical or spiritual use of Scriptures that were not strictly canonical.

This distinction between the two different kinds of Scripture is evident everywhere in the early Church.

Blessings,
Marduk

Do Ethiopian Catholics use all those extra books? Jubilees, etc? Anyone know?

FYI - so we know precisely what the Council of Trent stated (from Denzinger):

  1. …[the general Synod of Trent] clearly perceiving that this truth and instruction are contained in the written books and the unwritten traditions, which have been received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the apostles themselves, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit, have come down even to us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand, [the Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and holds in veneration with an equal affection of piety and reverence all the books of the Old and of the New Testament, since one God is the author of both, and also the traditions themselves, those that appertain both to faith and to morals, as having been dictated either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. And so that no doubt may arise in anyone’s mind as to which are the books that are accepted by this Synod, it has decreed that a list of the Sacred books be added to this decree.

  2. They are written here below: [traditional Canon of Scripture is listed here]. If anyone, however, should not accept the said books as sacred and canonical, entire with all their parts, as they were wont to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate edition, and if both knowingly and deliberately he should condemn the aforesaid traditions let him be anathema. Let all, therefore, understand in what order and in what manner the said Synod, after having laid the foundation of the confession of Faith, will proceed, and what testimonies and authorities it will mainly use in confirming dogmas, and in restoring morals in the Church.

It appears so, but I’ve never gotten an authoritative answer.

mardukm:

The Council of Trent never ruled on anything more than which Scriptures must be called “canonical” - i.e., those Scriptures used for the defense of the Faith or upon which doctrine would be based. It never stated that there are no other Scriptures outside of these, merely that the ones it proposed were to be the ones that are to be regarded as canonical. There are indeed other Scriptures which can be used merely for edification. So there has never been a conciliar law against the liturgical or spiritual use of Scriptures that were not strictly canonical.

This distinction between the two different kinds of Scripture is evident everywhere in the early Church.

Would you, as an Oriental Catholic, accept Trent’s canon as the most “trustworthy”? That is, would you accept the possibility that a particular church is wrong to totally trust certain books that are not included in Trent’s canon? Let’s say the Ethiopian canon included a book that expressed theology Rome was uncomfortable with. Would Ethiopian Catholics hold fast to that particular book regardless? (I realize that this is purely hypothetical).

Dear brother Tyler,

Hypothetically, I have no business critiquing another particular Church’s traditions. I can only speak for my own Coptic Tradition. Having translated from Coptic Orthodoxy, I fully embrace the Canon of the Council of Trent, The Canon of the Coptic Orthodox Church is identical to the Canon of the Latin Church. We (Copts) have observed and maintained this Tradition according to that other great African Church of Carthage. St. Augustine is one of our Saints. There are several Coptic Orthodox Churches (parishes) around the world under his patronage

Realistically, I don’t know of a single doctrine of the Oriental Orthodox Churches explicitly opposed to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. I have found nothing but complementary theologies among the Eastern, Western and Oriental Traditions - different doctrines and theological language, but all in all, the same FAITH.

Blessings,
Marduk

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