Deutrocanonical Books-Apologetics


#1

This is from the split from Salvation Work thread.


#2

When Catholics and Protestants talk about “the Bible,” the two groups actually have two different books in mind.

In the sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformers removed a large section of the Old Testament that was not compatible with their theology. They charged that these writings were not inspired Scripture and branded them with the pejorative title “Apocrypha.”

Catholics refer to them as the “deuterocanonical” books (since they were disputed by a few early authors and their canonicity was established later than the rest), while the rest are known as the “protocanonical” books (since their canonicity was established first).

Following the Protestant attack on the integrity of the Bible, the Catholic Church infallibly reaffirmed the divine inspiration of the deuterocanonical books at the Council of Trent in 1546. In doing this, it reaffirmed what had been believed since the time of Christ.
DEFENDING THE DEUTEROCANONICALS**[FONT=Arial]
James Akin**

(Edited BY Moderator per Content Rules)


#3

The Apostles & the Deuteros

The Christian acceptance of the deuterocanonical books was logical because the deuterocanonicals were also included in the Septuagint, the Greek edition of the Old Testament which the apostles used to evangelize the world. Two thirds of the Old Testament quotations in the New are from the Septuagint. Yet the apostles nowhere told their converts to avoid seven books of it. Like the Jews all over the world who used the Septuagint, the early Christians accepted the books they found in it. They knew that the apostles would not mislead them and endanger their souls by putting false scriptures in their hands—especially without warning them against them.

But the apostles did not merely place the deuterocanonicals in the hands of their converts as part of the Septuagint. They regularly referred to the deuterocanonicals in their writings. For example, Hebrews 11 encourages us to emulate the heroes of the Old Testament and in the Old Testament “Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life” (Heb. 11:35).

There are a couple of examples of women receiving back their dead by resurrection in the Protestant Old Testament. You can find Elijah raising the son of the widow of Zarepheth in 1 Kings 17, and you can find his successor Elisha raising the son of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4, but one thing you can never find—anywhere in the Protestant Old Testament, from front to back, from Genesis to Malachi—is someone being tortured and refusing to accept release for the sake of a better resurrection. If you want to find that, you have to look in the Catholic Old Testament—in the deuterocanonical books Martin Luther cut out of his Bible.

The story is found in 2 Maccabees 7, where we read that during the Maccabean persecution, “It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and cords, to partake of unlawful swine’s flesh. . . . **ut the brothers and their mother encouraged one another to die nobly, saying, 'The Lord God is watching over us and in truth has compassion on us . . . ’ After the first brother had died . . . they brought forward the second for their sport. . . . he in turn underwent tortures as the first brother had done. And when he was at his last breath, he said, ‘You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life’” (2 Macc. 7:1, 5-9).

One by one the sons die, proclaiming that they will be vindicated in the resurrection.

“The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. She encouraged each of them . . . [saying], ‘I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws,’” telling the last one, “Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God’s mercy I may get you back again with your brothers” (2 Macc. 7:20-23, 29). This is but one example of the New Testaments’ references to the deuterocanonicals.

The early Christians were thus fully justified in recognizing these books as Scripture, for the apostles not only set them in their hands as part of the Bible they used to evangelize the world, but also referred to them in the New Testament itself, citing the things they record as examples to be emulated.**


#4

The Fathers Speak

The early acceptance of the deuterocanonicals was carried down through Church history. The Protestant patristics scholar J. N. D. Kelly writes: "It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive than the [Protestant Old Testament] . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called Apocrypha or deuterocanonical books. The reason for this is that the Old Testament which passed in the first instance into the hands of Christians was . . . the Greek translation known as the Septuagint. . . . most of the Scriptural quotations found in the New Testament are based upon it rather than the Hebrew… . . In the first two centuries . . . the Church seems to have accept all, or most of, these additional books as inspired and to have treated them without question as Scripture.

Quotations from Wisdom, for example, occur in 1 Clement and Barnabas. . . Polycarp cites Tobit, and the Didache [cites] Ecclesiasticus. Irenaeus refers to Wisdom, the History of Susannah, Bel and the Dragon *, and Baruch. The use made of the Apocrypha by Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian and Clement of Alexandria is too frequent for detailed references to be necessary" (Early Christian Doctrines, 53-54).

The recognition of the deuterocanonicals as part of the Bible that was given by individual Fathers was also given by the Fathers as a whole, when they met in Church councils. The results of councils are especially useful because they do not represent the views of only one person, but what was accepted by the Church leaders of whole regions.

The canon of Scripture, Old and New Testament, was finally settled at the Council of Rome in 382, under the authority of Pope Damasus I. It was soon reaffirmed on numerous occasions. The same canon was affirmed at the Council of Hippo in 393 and at the Council of Carthage in 397. In 405 Pope Innocent I reaffirmed the canon in a letter to Bishop Exuperius of Toulouse. Another council at Carthage, this one in the year 419, reaffirmed the canon of its predecessors and asked Pope Boniface to “confirm this canon, for these are the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in church.” All of these canons were identical to the modern Catholic Bible, and all of them included the deuterocanonicals.

This exact same canon was implicitly affirmed at the seventh ecumenical council, II Nicaea (787), which approved the results of the 419 Council of Carthage, and explicitly reaffirmed at the ecumenical councils of Florence (1442), Trent (1546), Vatican I (1870), and Vatican II (1965).*


#5

The Reformation Attack on the Bible

The deuterocanonicals teach Catholic doctrine, and for this reason they were taken out of the Old Testament by Martin Luther and placed in an appendix without page numbers. Luther also took out four New Testament books—Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation—and put them in an appendix without page numbers as well. These were later put back into the New Testament by other Protestants, but the seven books of the Old Testament were left out. Following Luther they had been left in an appendix to the Old Testament, and eventually the appendix itself was dropped (in 1827 by the British and Foreign Bible Society), which is why these books are not found at all in most contemporary Protestant Bibles, though they were appendicized in classic Protestant translations such as the King James Version.

The reason they were dropped is that they teach Catholic doctrines that the Protestant Reformers chose to reject. Earlier we cited an example where the book of Hebrews holds up to us an Old Testament example from 2 Maccabees 7, an incident not to be found anywhere in the Protestant Bible, but easily discoverable in the Catholic Bible. Why would Martin Luther cut out this book when it is so clearly held up as an example to us by the New Testament? Simple: A few chapters later it endorses the practice of praying for the dead so that they may be freed from the consequences of their sins (2 Macc. 12:41-45); in other words, the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. Since Luther chose to reject the historic Christian teaching of purgatory (which dates from before the time of Christ, as 2 Maccabees shows), he had to remove that book from the Bible and appendicize it. (Notice that he also removed Hebrews, the book which cites 2 Maccabees, to an appendix as well.)

To justify this rejection of books that had been in the Bible since before the days of the apostles (for the Septuagint was written before the apostles), the early Protestants cited as their chief reason the fact that the Jews of their day did not honor these books, going back to the council of Javneh in A.D. 90. But the Reformers were aware of only European Jews; they were unaware of African Jews, such as the Ethiopian Jews who accept the deuterocanonicals as part of their Bible. They glossed over the references to the deuterocanonicals in the New Testament, as well as its use of the Septuagint. They ignored the fact that there were multiple canons of the Jewish Scriptures circulating in first century, appealing to a post-Christian Jewish council which has no authority over Christians as evidence that “The Jews don’t except these books.” In short, they went to enormous lengths to rationalize their rejection of these books of the Bible.


#6

Rewriting Church History

In later years they even began to propagate the myth that the Catholic Church “added” these seven books to the Bible at the Council of Trent! Protestants also try to distort the patristic evidence in favor of the deuterocanonicals. Some flatly state that the early Church Fathers did not accept them, while others make the more moderate claim that certain important Fathers, such as Jerome, did not accept them.

It is true that Jerome, and a few other isolated writers, did not accept most of the deuterocanonicals as Scripture. However, Jerome was persuaded, against his original inclination, to include the deuterocanonicals in his Vulgate edition of the Scriptures—testimony to the fact that the books were commonly accepted and were expected to be included in any edition of the Scriptures.

Furthermore, it can be documented that in his later years Jerome did accept certain deuterocanonical parts of the Bible. In his reply to Rufinus, he stoutly defended the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel even though the Jews of his day did not.

He wrote, “What sin have I committed if I followed the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susanna, the Son of the Three Children, and the story of Bel and the Dragon, which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. For I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they [the Jews] are wont to make against us” (Against Rufinus 11:33 [A.D. 402]). Thus Jerome acknowledged the principle by which the canon was settled—the judgment of the Church, not of later Jews.

Other writers Protestants cite as objecting to the deuterocanonicals, such as Athanasius and Origin, also accepted some or all of them as canonical. For example, Athanasius, accepted the book of Baruch as part of his Old Testament (Festal Letter 39), and Origin accepted all of the deuterocanonicals, he simply recommended not using them in disputations with Jews.

However, despite the misgivings and hesitancies of a few individual writers such as Jerome, the Church remained firm in its historic affirmation of the deuterocanonicals as Scripture handed down from the apostles. Protestant patristics scholar J. N. D. Kelly remarks that in spite of Jerome’s doubt, “For the great majority, however, the deutero-canonical writings ranked as Scripture in the fullest sense. Augustine, for example, whose influence in the West was decisive, made no distinction between them and the rest of the Old Testament . . . The same inclusive attitude to the Apocrypha was authoritatively displayed at the synods of Hippo and Carthage in 393 and 397 respectively, and also in the famous letter which Pope Innocent I dispatched to Exuperius, bishop of Toulouse, in 405” (Early Christian Doctrines, 55-56).

It is thus a complete myth that, as Protestants often charge, the Catholic Church “added” the deuterocanonicals to the Bible at the Council of Trent. These books had been in the Bible from before the time canon was initially settled in the 380s. All the Council of Trent did was reaffirm, in the face of the new Protestant attack on Scripture, what had been the historic Bible of the Church—the standard edition of which was Jerome’s own Vulgate, including the seven deuterocanonicals!


#7

he New Testament Deuteros

It is ironic that Protestants reject the inclusion of the deuterocanonicals at councils such as Hippo (393) and Carthage (397), because these are the very same early Church councils that Protestants appeal to for the canon of the New Testament. Prior to the councils of the late 300s, there was a wide range of disagreement over exactly what books belonged in the New Testament.

Certain books, such as the gospels, acts, and most of the epistles of Paul had long been agreed upon. However a number of the books of the New Testament, most notably Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, and Revelation remained hotly disputed until the canon was settled. They are, in effect, “New Testament deuterocanonicals.”

While Protestants are willing to accept the testimony of Hippo and Carthage (the councils they most commonly cite) for the canonicity of the New Testament deuterocanonicals, they are unwilling to accept the testimony of Hippo and Carthage for the canonicity of the Old Testament deuterocanonicals. Ironic indeed!

THE FATHERS KNOW BEST: Old Testament Canon

During the Reformation, for largely doctrinal reasons Protestants removed seven books from the Old Testament (1 and 2 Maccabees, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, Tobit, and Judith) and parts of two others (Daniel and Esther), even though these books had been regarded as canonical since the beginning of Church history.

As Protestant Church historian J. N. D. Kelly writes, “It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive [than the Protestant Bible] . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called apocrypha or deuterocanonical books” (Early Christian Doctrines, 53).

Below we give patristic quotations from each of the deuterocanonical books. Notice how the Fathers quoted these books along with the protocanonicals.

Also included are the earliest official canon lists. For the sake of brevity these are not given in full. When the canon lists cited here are given in full, they include all the books and only the books found in the modern Catholic Bible.


#8

Note: Some books of the Bible have gone under more than one name. Sirach is also known as Ecclesiasticus, 1 and 2 Chronicles as 1 and 2 Paralipomenon, Ezra and Nehemiah as 1 and 2 Esdras, and 1 and 2 Samuel with 1 and 2 Kings as 1, 2, 3, and 4 Kings that is, 1 and 2 Samuel are named 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Kings are named 3 and 4 Kings. This confusing nomenclature is explained more fully in Catholic Bible commentaries.)

The Didache

“You shall not waver with regard to your decisions [Sir. 1:28]. Do not be someone who stretches out his hands to receive but withdraws them when it comes to giving [Sir. 4:31]” (Didache 4:5 [ca. A.D. 70]).

Pseudo-Barnabas

“Since, therefore, [Christ] was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, his suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against evil, ‘Woe to their soul, because they have counseled an evil counsel against themselves’ [Isa. 3:9], saying, ‘Let us bind the righteous man because he is displeasing to us’ [Wis. 2:12.]” (Epistle of Barnabas 6:7 [ca. A.D. 74]).

Clement

“By the word of his might [God] established all things, and by his word he can overthrow them. ‘Who shall say to him, “What have you done?” or who shall resist the power of his strength?’ [Wis. 12:12]” (Epistle to the Corinthians 27:5 [ca. A.D. 80]).

Polycarp

“Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood [1 Pet. 2:17]. . . . When you can do good, defer it not, because ‘alms delivers from death’ [Tob. 4:10, 12:9]. Be all of you subject to one another [1 Pet. 5:5], having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles [1 Pet. 2:12], and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed [Isa 52:5]!” (Epistle to the Philadelphians 10 [ca. A.D. 135]).

Irenaeus

“Those . . . who are believed to be presbyters by many, but serve their own lusts and do not place the fear of God supreme in their hearts, but conduct themselves with contempt toward others and are puffed up with the pride of holding the chief seat [Matt. 23:6] and work evil deeds in secret, saying ‘No man sees us,’ shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward appearance, nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart; and they shall hear those words to be found in Daniel the prophet: ‘O you seed of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you and lust perverted your heart’ [Dan. 13:56]. You that have grown old in wicked days, now your sins which you have committed before have come to light, for you have pronounced false judgments and have been accustomed to condemn the innocent and to let the guilty go free, although the Lord says, ‘You shall not slay the innocent and the righteous’ [Dan. 13:52, citing Ex. 23:7]” (Against Heresies 4:26:3 [ca. A.D. 190]; Dan. 13 is not in the Protestant Bible).

Irenaeus

“Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left on the earth, should both be under the rule of the saints and to minister to this [new] Jerusalem and that [his] kingdom shall be in it, saying, ‘Look around Jerusalem toward the east and behold the joy which comes to you from God himself. Behold, your sons whom you have sent forth shall come: They shall come in a band from the east to the west. . . . God shall go before with you in the light of his splendor, with the mercy and righteousness which proceed from him’ [Bar. 4:36- 5:9]” (ibid. 5:35:1 [ca. A.D. 190]; Baruch was often reckoned as part of Jeremiah, as it is here).


#9

Hippolytus

“What is narrated here [in the story of Susannah] happened at a later time, although it is placed at the front of the book [of Daniel], for it was a custom with the writers to narrate many things in an inverted order in their writings. . . . [W]e ought to give heed, beloved, fearing lest anyone be overtaken in any transgression and risk the loss of his soul, knowing as we do that God is the judge of all and the Word himself is the eye which nothing that is done in the world escapes. Therefore, always watchful in heart and pure in life, let us imitate Susannah” (Commentary on Daniel 6 [A.D. 204]; the story of Susannah [Dan. 13] is not in the Protestant Bible).

Cyprian

“So Daniel, too, when he was required to worship the idol Bel, which the people and the king then worshipped, in asserting the honor of his God, broke forth with full faith and freedom, saying, ‘I worship nothing but the Lord my God, who created the heaven and the earth’ [Dan. 14:5]” (Epistles 55:5 [A.D. 252]; Dan. 14 is not in the Protestant Bible).

Cyprian

"In Genesis [it says], ‘And God tested Abraham and said to him, "Take your only son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the high land and offer him there as a burnt offering . . . "’ [Gen 22:1-2] . . . Of this same thing in the Wisdom of Solomon [it says], ‘Although in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality . . .’ [Wis. 3:4].

Of this same thing in the Maccabees [it says], ‘Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness’" [1 Macc. 2:52; see Jas. 2:21-23] (Treatises 7:3:15 [A.D. 248]).

Council of Rome

“Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun. The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book; Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Joshua [Son of] Nave, one book; Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; Kings, four books [that is, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings]; Paralipomenon [Chronicles], two books; Psalms, one book; Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one book; Canticle of Canticles, one book; likewise Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus, one book . . . . Likewise the order of the historical [books]: Job, one book; Tobit, one book; Esdras, two books [Ezra and Nehemiah]; Esther, one book; Judith, one book; Maccabees, two books” (Decree of Pope Damasus [A.D. 382]).

Council of Hippo

“[It has been decided] that besides the canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture. But the canonical Scriptures are as follows: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the Son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, the Kings, four books, the Chronicles, two books, Job, the Psalter, the five books of Solomon, the twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Ezra, two books, Maccabees, two books . . .” (canon 36 [A.D. 393]).


#10

Augustine

“The whole canon of the Scriptures, however, in which we say that consideration is to be applied, is contained in these books: the five of Moses . . . and one book of Joshua [Son of] Nave, one of Judges; one little book which is called Ruth . . . then the four of Kingdoms, and the two of Paralipomenon . . . . [T]here are also others too, of a different order . . . such as Job and Tobit and Esther and Judith and the two books of Maccabees, and the two of Esdras . . . . Then there are the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David, and three of Solomon. . . . But as to those two books, one of which is entitled Wisdom and the other of which is entitled Ecclesiasticus and which are called ‘of Solomon’ because of a certain similarity to his books, it is held most certainly that they were written by Jesus Sirach. They must, however, be accounted among the prophetic books, because of the authority which is deservedly accredited to them” (On Christian Instruction 2:8:13 [ca. A.D. 395]).

Augustine

“God converted [King Assuerus] and turned the latter’s indignation into gentleness [Es. 15:11]” (On the Grace of Christ and Original Sin 1:24:25 [A.D. 418]; this passage is not in the Protestant Bible).

Augustine

“We read in the books of the Maccabees [2 Macc. 12:43] that sacrifice was offered for the dead. But even if it were found nowhere in the Old Testament writings, the authority of the Catholic Church which is clear on this point is of no small weight, where in the prayers of the priest poured forth to the Lord God at his altar the commendation of the dead has its place” (On the Care That Should be Taken for the Dead 1:3 [A.D. 421]).

Council of Carthage

“[It has been decided] that nothing except the canonical Scriptures should be read in the Church under the name of the divine Scriptures. But the canonical Scriptures are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, Paralipomenon, two books, Job, the Psalter of David, five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach], twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Maccabees . . .” (canon 47 [A.D. 397]).

Apostolic Constitutions

“Now women also prophesied. Of old, Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron [Ex. 15:20], and after her, Deborah [Judges. 4:4], and after these Huldah [2 Kgs. 22:14] and Judith [Judith 8], the former under Josiah and the latter under Darius” (Apostolic Constitutions 8:2 [ca. A.D. 400]).

Jerome

“What sin have I committed if I follow the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating [in my preface to the book of Daniel] the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susannah [Dan. 13], the Song of the Three Children [Dan. 3:24-90], and the story of Bel and the Dragon [Dan. 14], which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they are wont to make against us. If I did not reply to their views in my preface, in the interest of brevity, lest it seem that I was composing not a preface, but a book, I believe I added promptly the remark, for I said, ‘This is not the time to discuss such matters’” (Against Rufinius 11:33 [A.D. 401]).

Pope Innocent I

“A brief addition shows what books really are received in the canon. These are the things of which you desired to be informed verbally: of Moses, five books, that is, of Genesis, of Exodus, of Leviticus, of Numbers, of Deuteronomy, and Joshua, of Judges, one book, of Kings, four books, and also Ruth, of the Prophets, sixteen books, of Solomon, five books, the Psalms. Likewise of the histories, Job, one book, of Tobit, one book, Esther, one, Judith, one, of the Maccabees, two, of Esdras, two, Paralipomenon, two books . . .” (To Exuperius 7 [A.D. 405]).

African Code

“[It has been decided] that besides the canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture. But the canonical Scriptures are as follows: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the Son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, the Kings, four books, the Chronicles, two books, Job, the Psalter, the five books of Solomon, the twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Ezra, two books, Maccabees, two books . . . Let this be sent to our brother and fellow bishop, [Pope] Boniface, and to the other bishops of those parts, that they may confirm this canon, of these are the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in church” (canon 24 [A.D. 419]).


#11

Statements made from the Canon of Scriptures:

(Council of Rome [A.D. 382])“Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun. The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book; Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Joshua [Son of] Nave, one book; Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; Kings, four books [that is, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings]; Paralipomenon [Chronicles], two books; Psalms, one book; Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one book; Canticle of Canticles, one book; likewise Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus, one book . . . . Likewise the order of the historical [books]: Job, one book; Tobit, one book; Esdras, two books [Ezra and Nehemiah]; Esther, one book; Judith, one book; Maccabees, two books” (Decree of Pope Damasus).

(Council of Hippo [A.D. 393])"[It has been decided] that besides the canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture. But the Canonical Scriptures are as follows: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the Son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, the Kings, four books, the Chronicles, two books, Job, the Psalter, the five books of Solomon, the twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Ezra, two books, Maccabees, two books . . ." (canon 36).

(Council of Carthage III [A.D. 397])"[It has been decided] that nothing except the canonical Scriptures should be read in the Church under the name of the divine Scriptures. But the Canonical Scriptures are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, Paralipomenon, two books, Job, the Psalter of David, five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach], twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Maccabees . . ." (canon 47).


#12

Very informative posts, Manny. How would you refute kaycee’s claim that Gregory declared the deuteros to be non-canonical?


#13

Did he declared it in his official office in the Chair of Peter? He merely stated it in his opinion. If he was declare to be non-canonical it would null and void those Synods that official canonized the books of the Bible.


#14

Additionally, in asserting that I Maccabees was not canonical, **Gregory was not sharing his personal opinion as a private theologian, but stating the position of the Church of his day.

Gregory would never have purposefully taught a view contrary to what he knew had been authoritatively established by the Church.

Clearly, when the Church received the Apocryphal books as canonical it defined the term in the sense expressed by Cardinal Cajetan. The term(canonical) had both a broad and a narrow meaning. **
*
Broadly, it included all the books that were acceptable for reading in the Churches, which included the Apocrypha.

But, in its narrower meaning, only the books of the Hebrew Canon were sanctioned as truly canonical for the purposes of establishing doctrine*

The assertion that Gregory’s Morals on Job was not an official Church document is erroneous. In the later Middle Ages, his Morals was the standard commentary for the entire Western Church on Job. That this commentary was written while he was pope and was used as an official commentary for the entire Western Church is proof enough that this work was an official Church document.

Moreover, Gregory never retracted what he wrote about the Apocrypha. Thus, we have the official and authoritative perspective of a bishop of Rome in the late sixth and early seventh centuries regarding the canonical status of the Apocrypha.

[/FONT]The Old Testament Canon and the Apocrypha Part 3: From Jerome to the Reformation [FONT=AGaramond]William Webster

(Edited By Moderator per Content Rules)


#15

It is interesting to note that the author that kaycee quotes from never mentions the fact that Gregory I never once even made an attempt to remove such books like Maccabees I from the Bible. I agree with MannyFit then that Gregory is only stating is opinion about it, and not speaking ex cathedra, to the effect that he should convene a Council to review the canon. That no such action was taken only reinforces the notion that the Pope still assents to their inclusion in the canon, notwithstanding his opinion. It’s a nice try by the author, but it falls flat on that account.


#16

Primasius

Primasius was a sixth century African bishop who was present at the Fifth Ecumenical Council. In his commentary on the book of Revelation, he cited the number of authoritative canonical Old Testament books at twenty-four, equating the number of books with the number of elders pictured in chapters four and five who worship before the throne of God. This would come to be a common practice of theologians in the ages to follow

**The Venerable Bede **
Historian and Doctor of the Church, born 672 or 673; died 735.

Bede’s Commentaries on Ezra-Nehemiah, the Gospel of Mark, the Book of Acts and the Canonical Epistles were included in the Glossa ordinaria as the authoritative commentaries on those books for the Church as a whole. In his commentary on Revelation, he tallied the canonical Old Testament books at twenty-four.

Agobard of Lyons

Agobard was a bishop of Lyons in France during the ninth century. He followed the Hebrew canon, stating that the books which carry divine authority from the Old Testament were twenty-two in number, thereby excluding the books of the Apocrypha.

Ambrose of Autpert

Ambrose, a ninth century theologian, wrote a commentary on the book of Revelation in which he, like Haymo of Halberstadt and Primasius before him, cited the number of canonical Old Testament books at twenty-four.

Radulphus Flavicencius

Radulphus was a tenth century theologian. In his commentary on Leviticus, he stated that the books of Tobit, Judith and Maccabees were useful for reading in the Church, but were not considered to be authoritative since they were not considered canonical.

Hugh of St. Victor

Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141) was a leading theologian of the twelfth century who had great influence on theologians of subsequent ages. He was the prior of the school of St. Victor from 1133 to 1141. George Tavard refers to him as 'that greatest theological figure of the twelfth century

Hugh wrote that the entirety of the Scriptures is contained in the Old and New Testaments. Both Testaments are divided into three distinct classes of books, that of the Old Testament being the Law, the Prophets, the Hagiograph. He listed the Old Testament canonical books just as Jerome did and states that they are twenty-two in number. He concluded by saying that in the Old Testament there are some books which were not included in the canon and yet were read, specifically the Wisdom of Solomon, the book of Jesus the son of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees.

Richard of St. Victor

Richard, a native of Scotland, was a disciple of Hugh of St. Victor and eventually prior of the monastery. He died in A.D. 1155. He was a highly influential theologian. He shared the same opinion on the canon as that documented by Hugh. He listed the canonical Old Testament books according to the Hebrew rendering at twenty-four in number and stated that the Apocryphal books of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith and the Maccabees, though authorized for reading in the Church, were not received as canonical


#17

(Edited By Moderator As Per Content Rules)

Again, we go back to what I said–was there any attempt at all to remove those books prior to Luther? None. That these men spoke their piece is well and good; it is no different when the Pope speaks his opinion about a movie, or perhaps a priest for that matter. It is their opinion. However, as St. John of the Cross said, “Should I misunderstand or be mistaken on some point, whether I deduce it from Scripture or not, I will not be intending to deviate from the true meaning of Sacred Scripture or from the doctrine of our Holy Mother the Catholic Church. Should there be some mistake, I submit entirely to the Church…” So, it is well and good that these men have their opinions, but in the end they still bowed and submitted to the judgment of the Church. And what was the judgment again?


#18

According to Catholic Answers Tract, it is not an official document nor is it binding. The Pope Gregory the Great did not declare it to be dogmatic. Second he take a closer look what he actually said;

Source:

catholic.com/thisrock/1998/9806fea2.asp

[quote=STEVEN L. KELLMEYER]Gregory the Great, writing in his Morals on the book of Job around 600, said of 1 Maccabees, “We are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not canonical, yet brought out for the edification of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus, Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down the elephant but fell under the very beast that he killed” (1 Macc 6:46). This was not a formal universal teaching to the faithful; rather, it was private theological commentary on the book of Job. Such a teaching is not a statement invoking papal authority, nor is it subject to or preserved by the charism of papal infallibility.

Further, consider the ramifications if the authority of the Body of Christ since 382 is wrong. If Trent’s Sacrasancta decree incorrectly added Old Testament deuterocanonical books, how do we know it correctly defined the New Testament canon? After all, the arguments against the New Testament books are identical to those against the Old: Jewish scholars rejected New Testament writings, and Trent added them to Scripture to support flawed theology. Luther made an argument similar to this when he attacked Revelation, Hebrews, Jude, and 2 Peter, and he seriously considered “throwing Jimmy [the epistle of James] into the fire” because it contradicted his faith-alone theology. Standing in judgment of Scripture, Luther called James “an epistle full of straw,” while regarding all five of these books as quasi-canonical. Interestingly, Luther did not completely discard the deuterocanonical Old Testament books he attacked, he merely relegated them to an appendix between the Old and New Testaments. For three hundred years, many Protestant translations retained this appendix because the books were recognized as useful for moral instruction. Indeed, the Protestant kings of England imposed the death penalty on anyone who omitted the deuterocanonical appendix. The books were discarded completely only as late as 1827, by the British and Foreign Bible Society.
[/quote]


#19

John of Salisbury

John was one of the leading scholars of the twelfth century and late in life became Bishop of Chartres. In a letter addressed to Henry I, the Count of Champagne, he responded to a number of theological questions which had been submitted to him. In particular, Henry I wanted to know John’s opinion as to the number of Old and New Testament books. John answered that he followed Jerome. He then listed the specific books of the authoritative canon, totalling their number at twenty-two. After enumerating the New Testament books he said of the catalogue he had provided that it was the well-known and undoubted tradition of the Church, that this was the number of the books which were accepted into the canon of the Holy Scriptures, and that these books alone were considered to be truly inspired. He further explained that the books of the Apocrypha, though not canonical, nevertheless were received by the Church for the purpose of edification.

Peter Cellensis

Peter was successor to John of Salisbury as Bishop of Chartres. He was formerly the Abbott of La Celle at Troyes. He too wrote that the Old Testament canon consisted of twenty-four books

Rupert of Deutz

Rupert was an early twelfth century theologian. In his commentary on Genesis he taught that the book of Wisdom was not canonical.151 Furthermore, in his commentary on the Book of Revelation, in his remarks on the twenty-four elders, he applied that number to the books of the Old Testament canon, as did Primasius, Haymo of Halberstadt and Ambrose of Autpert before him.

(Edited By Moderator Per Content Rules)

christiantruth.com/Apocrypha3.html


#20

Nicholas of Lyra

Nicholas of Lyra (1270-1340) was one of the most highly regarded and influential theologians of the Middle Ages, surpassing even Thomas Aquinas in authority as a biblical commentator. His influence is evident in that his commentary was included in the Glossa ordinaria. Michael Woodward gives the following background on his importance:

**Today, Nicholas of Lyra (c.1270-1349) is known as the most influential biblical commentator of the later middle ages. Well into the 17th century, his work was widely read and appreciated by both Catholic and Protestant exegetes. **His running commentary on the entire Scriptures, Postillae perpetuae super totam Bibliam, was the first of its kind to be printed (Rome: Sweynheym and Pannartz, 1471-72). From this editio princeps up to the Biblia Maxima of Johannes de La Haye (Paris 1660), the Postilla litteralis was printed no less than 37 times, often accompanying the Glossa ordinaria in six folio volumes. Called ‘the clear and useful teacher (doctor planus et utilis),’ Nicholas was renowned for his knowledge of Hebrew…In 1322, Nicholas began work on his magnum opus, the Postilla litteralis…The Postilla genre consists of verse-by-verse glosses on the Bible, so-named because they come after those (post illa) glosses collected in the Glossa ordinaria…In his Postilla litteralis, Nicholas commented upon every canonical and deutero-canonical book, though the latter were treated more summarily…The Postilla litteralis became enormously popular. Besides the hundreds of manuscripts and printed editions of the entire work, many copies of extracts from the Postilla circulated as separate works and were translated into French, German and Italian…The Vita Benedicti XII prima, dated 1337, called Nicholas ‘the most learned master of theology, who commented upon (postillavit) the whole Bible most deeply and most subtly.’ The countless manuscripts of his works throughout Europe, about 100 of which are in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris alone, witness to Nicholas’ enduring popularity…Margaret Deanesly states that Nicholas’ ‘postill, or commentary, on the Bible became the universal textbook for scholars in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.’ But Hans Rost is right to add that its preeminent place in Scripture studies lasted well into the Reformation period. …Indeed, Nicholas’ authority in biblical interpretation held sway until the 18th century, as the numerous editions of his works in the 16th and 17th centuries testify.

Nicholas was a Hebrew scholar who endorsed the Hebrew canon according to the judgment of Jerome. In his preface to the book of Tobit, he wrote that the books of Wisdom, Sirach, Judith, Tobit, and Maccabees were not considered canonical but were received and read by the Church only for the purposes of edification and moral encouragement. In his introductory remarks to the book of Ezra, Nicholas stated that he would forgo making comments on the books of Tobit, Judith and Maccabees because, even though they were included in Bibles, they were not received as canonical by either the Jews or Christians. When he did comment on the text of one of the Apocryphal books, he would begin by asserting its non-canonical status. For example, with Tobit he wrote, ‘Here begins the book of Tobit which is not in the canon.’ Or, ‘Here begins the book of Judith which is not in the canon,’ and, 'Here begins the Book of Wisdom which is not in the canon
christiantruth.com/Apocrypha3.html


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