Did St. Jerome denied the canonicity of Apocrypha?


#1

Did Jerome deny the canonicity of the Apocrypha.


#2

[quote=Pythagoras]Did Jerome deny the canonicity of the Apocrypha.
[/quote]

Yes and No. (Anti-Catholics try to use St. Jerome as a crutch). St. Jerome did not think the “apocrypha” should be included in the canon because the European Jews did not accept them as scripture. He did not believe that they weren’t inspired though. When the church declared them as part of the canon, he backed off and accepted it:

'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. 3:29–68, RSV-CE], 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]).’

catholic.com/library/Old_Testament_Canon.asp


#3

Search “Jerome” and you’ll find threads

An early thread with all the nuances

Phil P


#4

As mentioned before, non-catholics often use this argument against the 7 books. What is interesting to note is that St. Jerome ended up giving in to the authority of Rome. Hmmmmmmmm.

I love to turn people’s arguments against them.

NotWorthy


#5

Peace be with you!

Yes…every Catholic has denied the canonicity of the Apocrypha. However, the seven books Jerome at first (and remember that he did include them in his Vulgate and later defended them against attacks) were the Deuterocanonicals.

In Christ,
Rand


#6

Can anyone post a link where I can download the entire writing of “Against Rufinius” by St Jerome. I searched on the internet and just keep getting different parts but not the entire tamale.

I have already download a whole bunch from ccel in PDF format but they don’t have this available for download as far as I know.

God Bless
Scylla


#7

[quote=scylla]Can anyone post a link where I can download the entire writing of “Against Rufinius” by St Jerome. I searched on the internet and just keep getting different parts but not the entire tamale.

I have already download a whole bunch from ccel in PDF format but they don’t have this available for download as far as I know.

God Bless
Scylla
[/quote]

I think this is it:

newadvent.org/fathers/2710.htm


#8

Here’s a good site about how St. Jerome and other Church Fathers did not reject the dueterocanonicals:

matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html#St.%20Jerome,%20[347-419/420%20A.D]


#9

[quote=Psalm45:9]Here’s a good site about how St. Jerome and other Church Fathers did not reject the dueterocanonicals:

matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html#St.%20Jerome,%20[347-419/420%20A.D]
[/quote]

That is an awesome page.

My two cents on the matter:

The fathers, as I understand them, would not equate the canonical books with the whole of inspired Scripture. The same church fathers that Protestants attempt to rally against the deuterocanonical books quoted those writings as scripture (as the link above willd demonstrate). Many fathers described “the canon” as the 22 books the Hebrews accepted. They would not, however, exclude other writings that in the Christian tradition were believed to be inspired or authoratative as scripture (like Wisdom, Sirach, etc.). Hence, most of the church fathers described a much larger sampling of ancient writings as scriptural, including many outside the canon.

When Jerome claims that the deuterocanonicals are not used by Christians to confirm doctrines, he is probably thinking of polemical arguments against the Jews. Their refusal to accept these books made them worthless in confirming Christins doctrine. However, in discussions with Christians, he supported his doctrinal arguments with references to the deuterocanonicals as scripture. (again, see the above link)

Now, we assume the canon was established to distinguish the inspired books from those that were not inspired. This certainly seems to be the case with regards to the New Testament corpus. However, any sampling of the ante-Nicene fathers proves that most (if not all) Christians agreed that the Jewish canon (which they largely adopted) was not the end-all of pre-Christian Scripture. Hence, we find the councils in the fith century decribing a much larger canon than the original Hebrew canon. All writings considered inspired in the West were added to the original canon, and labeled as “deuteocanonical.” (Of equal inspired authority, though of a different class because of their rejection by the Jews in the original canon). The decisions of these councils were confirmed by the ecumenical Council of Trent.


#10

And now one last note (my second cent):

Where does that leave Protestants?

Their assumption that the Hebrew canon represents the end-all of inspired Old Testament Scripture lacks any definitive precedent in the Church fathers (in fact, I believe it has decidedly none). They may choose not to include these Scrptures in their canon of Scripture (though they would rebel against the Western councils), and I have no problem with that. But the doctrine of “sola scriptura” relies upon the premise that we possess all the inspired writings, and accept no more.

Problem is, the Christian tradition has ALWAYS admitted more writings as scriptural than the Hebrew canon includes. Likewise, the extent of the OT canon was enlarged by the same Church that established the limits of the NT canon. Not only must they must rely upon Church tradition & authority to provide them with the limits of at least some inspired Scripture in the first place, but they display a marked inconsistency with regards to accepting the decees of the councils which amounts to private (though collective) judgment.

Now, from another angle, I don’t believe that the Protestant rejection of the deuterocanonicals has a major doctrinal consequence. Most would be inclined to accept the interecession of the saints, but woud reject the practice of praying to the saints (somethign we can’t demonstrate from 2 Macc. anyways). Likewise, though 2 Macc. describes a sacrifice for the dead, the consistent and universal Judeo-Christian tradition of presenting sacrifices for the departed (even at the time of the Second Temple) was sufficient evidence for me in my journey towards the Catholic faith. Those who reject the immortality of the soul would lose Wisdom 3’s clarity, but they have Revelation 6.


#11

:thumbsup: You’ve got it 100%! St. Jerome’s reason for not considering the deuterocanonicals as part of the canon was not because of inspiration (because clearly he believed they were) but that they would be useless apologetically for objections made by European Jews. (As I always like to emphasize, the Ethiopian Jews still use the LXX canon today.)


#12

In your use of polemics above,
what is the meaning of polemics?


#13

[quote=Pythagoras]In your use of polemics above,
what is the meaning of polemics?
[/quote]

The Dueterocanonicals do support Christian doctrine: The Book of The Wisdom of Solomon makes a prophecy of the passion of Christ, 2 Maccabees has the mother and the seven sons being martyred in their faith of the resurrection hearlded by the coming of the messiah. (St. Stephen) Sirach is very similar to the teachings of Jesus’ parables. The story of Susannah shows a prophet exposing the hypocrisy of Jewish Elders. (Kind of like Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery.)

It is no wonder why Post-temple Judaism found disfavor with these writings.


#14

what is polemics?


#15

[quote=Pythagoras]what is polemics?
[/quote]

'polemics

n : the branch of Christian theology devoted to the refutation of errors.’

dictionary.reference.com/search?q=polemics

What Adventistnomore was saying is that Jerome thought the Dueterocanonicals would be useless in defending the belief that Jesus is the Messiah (in Jewish objections) because the European/Palestinian Jews do not accept them as scripture.


#16

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