St Jerome and the DC's Part 2


#1

continued from Part 1

**So what did Jerome really think about the additional books of Susanna, the Three Children, and Bel and the Dragon? Jerome clearly stated in his preface to Daniel that these books were not found in the Hebrew. So what did he do with thim? Again, his preface to Daniel tells all: **

I say this to show you how hard it is to master the book of Daniel, which in Hebrew contains neither the history of Susanna, nor the hymn of the three youths, nor the fables of Bel and the Dragon; because, however, they are to be found everywhere, we have formed them into an appendix, prefixing to them an obelus, and thus making an end of them, so as not to seem to the uninformed to have cut off a large portion of the volume.

**Jerome formed these three additional books into an “appendix”. That means, in the Vulgate version these three books were separated from the book of Daniel and classed as “not essential” to the main work. In addition to this, he marked them with an “obelus,” indicating that these books were “suspected reading,” which explains why they were made into an “appendix”.

Furthermore, Jerome was dumbstruck as to why the churches even read from the Theodotion version, for in his reply to Rufinius he said:**

Still, I wonder that a man should read the version of Theodotion the heretic and judaizer, and should scorn that of a Christian, simple and sinful though he may be.

**Conisequently, there is absolutely no historical basis to claim that Jerome rejected the deuterocanonicals on account of his own personal opinion, and then later changed his mind about it to conform with the rest of the church. The truth is, on the basis of church authority Jerome rejected them altogether as canonical, and only included them in his version because they were so commonly read in the churches. Furthermore, whatever apocryphal books were included in Jerome’s Latin Vulgate were clearly separated from the inspired Scriptures and marked as suspected reading.

I really do wonder how it is that if these deuterocanonical books were truly accepted as canonical in the Roman church, why do Catholics have to lie about Jerome and pull his words out of context in order to prove their case? Why do they feel they have to revise history to substantiate their claim? I say, the reason is because history doesn’t support their claim. In fact, the rejection of the deuterocanonicals as being canonical in the church of Rome can even be found two centuries later with Gregory I. But of course, Catholicism has never really concerned itself with the facts.

I just thought I should post this so that others here who may not be as knowledgeable on this subject might see that there is a far different perspective–one more in tune with historical facts–than what the Cahtolic church presents **

The source of this persons refutation was:
theworkofgod.org/Bible/Sermons/SJerome.htm

I’ve debated this person before, and he’s very good at using the ECF’s when it defends his argument. I know there’s something in this that I’m missing, but I can’t see it.

(edit) I might also add that this - Apology against Rufinus" is also found in the New Advent - newadvent.org/fathers/2710.htm

Any help on this?

Mark


#2

matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html

The working hypothesis of this site is that while he denied them as being canonical, he asserted that they were Scripture. In other words, Scripture and Canon can be the same, but aren’t necessarily so. Please read it and tell me if it helps. In other writings Jerome quotes them and uses them as Scripture. It quotes many other examples from Jerome. On the balance, either Jerome was very confused, or he used them as Scripture.


#3

[quote=RobNY]matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html

The working hypothesis of this site is that while he denied them as being canonical, he asserted that they were Scripture. In other words, Scripture and Canon can be the same, but aren’t necessarily so. Please read it and tell me if it helps. In other writings Jerome quotes them and uses them as Scripture. It quotes many other examples from Jerome. On the balance, either Jerome was very confused, or he used them as Scripture.
[/quote]

Thanks. I’ll read this article.

Mark


#4

[quote=RobNY]matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html

The working hypothesis of this site is that while he denied them as being canonical, he asserted that they were Scripture. In other words, Scripture and Canon can be the same, but aren’t necessarily so. Please read it and tell me if it helps. In other writings Jerome quotes them and uses them as Scripture. It quotes many other examples from Jerome. On the balance, either Jerome was very confused, or he used them as Scripture.
[/quote]

RobNY, how then does one reconcile this statement by Jerome:

"As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church.

Bold is my emphasis.

Mar


#5

[quote=bamark]RobNY, how then does one reconcile this statement by Jerome:

"As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church.

Bold is my emphasis.

Mar
[/quote]

I never understood that either, Jerome says they are read during Mass, but somehow are not canonical?

Also another thing is that I found was that Jerome mentions that the Clement that Paul named by name in Philippians 4:3 was the same Clement that wrote the famous Letter to the Corinthians where Clement explicitly cites from the book of Judith.
Here is what Jerome said of Clement:
Chapter 15. Clement
Clement, of whom the apostle Paul writing to the Philippians says "With Clement and others of my fellow-workers whose names are written in the book of life, [Phil4:3] "the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Anacletus, although most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle. He wrote, on the part of the church of Rome, an especially valuable Letter to the church of the Corinthians, which in some places is publicly read, and which seems to me to agree in style with the epistle to the Hebrews which passes under the name of Paul but it differs from this same epistle, not only in many of its ideas, but also in respect of the order of words, and its likeness in either respect is not very great. …
Now look at what Clement said to the Corinthians:
Ch15-… …Many women also, being strengthened by the grace of God, have performed numerous manly exploits. The blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, asked of the elders permission to go forth into the camp of the strangers; and, exposing herself to danger, she went out for the love which she bare to her country and people then besieged; and the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman. Esther also, being perfect in faith, exposed herself to no less danger, in order to deliver the twelve tribes of Israel from impending destruction.
Does this sound like a Church Father who rejects the DC books? Clement was a Pope, affirmed by Jerome above. They were using the Septuagint during this time which included those books.


#6

[quote=bamark]RobNY, how then does one reconcile this statement by Jerome:

"As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church.

Bold is my emphasis.

Mar
[/quote]

I’d rather try to reconcile Jerome with himself before reconciling it with anything the Church says.

Jerome also says:

Does not the SCRIPTURE say: 'Burden not thyself above thy power’ [SIRACH 13:2] Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 108 (A.D. 404), in NPNF2, VI:207”

“Do not, my dearest brother, estimate my worth by the number of my years. Gray hairs are not wisdom; it is wisdom which is as good as gray hairs At least that is what Solomon says: "wisdom is the gray hair unto men.’ [Wisdom 4:9]” Moses too in choosing the seventy elders is told to take those whom he knows to be elders indeed, and to select them not for their years but for their discretion (Num. 11:16)? And, as a boy, Daniel judges old men and in the flower of youth condemns the incontinence of age (Daniel 13:55-59, or Story of Susannah 55-59, only found in the Catholic Bibles) Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58 (A.D. 395), in NPNF2, VI:119"

“still our merriment** must not forget the limit set by Scripture,** and we must not stray too far from the boundary of our wrestling-ground. Your presents, indeed, **remind me of the sacred volume, **for in it Ezekiel decks Jerusalem with bracelets, (Eze. 16:11) Baruch receives letters from Jeremiah,(Jer. 36, Bar. 6) and the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove at the baptism of Christ.(Mt. 3:16) Jerome, *To Eustochium, *Epistle 31:2 (A.D. 384), in NPNF2, VI:45”

“Yet the Holy Spirit in the thirty-ninth(9) psalm, while lamenting that all men walk in a vain show, and that they are subject to sins, speaks thus: “For all that every man walketh in the image.”(Psalm 39:6) Also after David’s time, in the reign of Solomon his son,** we read a somewhat similar reference to the divine likeness. ***For in the book of Wisdom, WHICH IS INSCRIBED WITH HIS NAME, SOLOMON SAYS: “GOD CREATED MAN TO BE IMMORTAL, AND MADE HIM TO BE AN IMAGE OF HIS OWN ETERNITY.”*(Wisdom 2:23) … 7. Instead of THE THREE PROOFS FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE which you said would satisfy you if I could produce them, BEHOLD I HAVE GIVEN YOU SEVEN"— Jerome, Letter 51, NPNF2, VI:87-8”

Did you read the link? Jerome once says that they’re not supposed to be used for doctrine and that they’re not canon, and then numerous times he seems to disregard his own advice there and use them not merely as Scripture, but to support doctrine. If actions speak louder than words, then Jerome accepted these books.


#7

[quote=RobNY]I’d rather try to reconcile Jerome with himself before reconciling it with anything the Church says.
[/quote]

Well, I would, but this person is fixated on this one statement.
If the Church actually says this, then it (the Church) was also questioning the inclusion of the DC’s. If this is actually true, that would make anthing Jerome says, secondary to the Church.

Now, I have to question which church Jerome was talking about.
I don’t think all the churchs, (Rome, Alexandria, Corinth,etc) were always in agreement.

Did you read the link? Jerome once says that they’re not supposed to be used for doctrine and that they’re not canon, and then numerous times he seems to disregard his own advice there and use them not merely as Scripture, but to support doctrine. If actions speak louder than words, then Jerome accepted these books.

Which will automatically go right back to the statement he made about the church not accepting the DC’s.
It becomes an issue of he said, the church said.

I still have to respond to why the church made that statement.


#8

[quote=bamark]Well, I would, but this person is fixated on this one statement.
[/quote]

Well, tell him to branch out. Jerome is cool, but he ain’t all there is. The most important part of the Fathers is when they are unanimous on a subject. The funny thing is, Jerome and all the Fathers use these texts as Scripture. That would seem to be enough.

If the Church actually says this, then it (the Church) was also questioning the inclusion of the DC’s. If this is actually true, that would make anthing Jerome says, secondary to the Church.

I’m not sure about that. Look at the council of Trent section on that site. It shows quotes from Deuterocanoncials from Church councils leading up to Trent, as early as Nicea II. Those might be helpful too.

Which will automatically go right back to the statement he made about the church not accepting the DC’s.
It becomes an issue of he said, the church said.

I still have to respond to why the church made that statement.

Wait, which Church statement are we talking about again?

The Church is protectly infallibly, Jerome, while brilliant, is not.


#9

[quote=RobNY]Well, tell him to branch out. Jerome is cool, but he ain’t all there is. The most important part of the Fathers is when they are unanimous on a subject. The funny thing is, Jerome and all the Fathers use these texts as Scripture. That would seem to be enough.
[/quote]

He’s a Landmark Baptist, and an ex-Catholic. Double whammy.

I’m not sure about that. Look at the council of Trent section on that site. It shows quotes from Deuterocanoncials from Church councils leading up to Trent, as early as Nicea II. Those might be helpful too.

Oh I don’t dispute what was stated as canon as early as the Council of Hippo, but that’s not the issue.

Wait, which Church statement are we talking about again?

Sorry. I had to break this into two posts. Here is what the Church stated:

“As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church.”

The Church is protectly infallibly, Jerome, while brilliant, is not.

I agree, however that makes the statement above even harder to figure out in the correct context.

Mark


#10

[quote=bamark]He’s a Landmark Baptist, and an ex-Catholic. Double whammy.
[/quote]

Oof.

Oh I don’t dispute what was stated as canon as early as the Council of Hippo, but that’s not the issue.

The point was more that subsequent councils quoted Deutercanonicals to prove points.

Sorry. I had to break this into two posts. Here is what the Church stated:

“As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church.”

I agree, however that makes the statement above even harder to figure out in the correct context.

The Church said this? Where? Isn’t this Jerome’s words?


#11

This is a sincere question:

Aren’t we all supposed to submit to the Christ’s Church?

Jerome wasn’t the sole scripture expert in those days.


#12

[quote=bamark]He’s a Landmark Baptist, and an ex-Catholic. Double whammy.

Oh I don’t dispute what was stated as canon as early as the Council of Hippo, but that’s not the issue.

Sorry. I had to break this into two posts. Here is what the Church stated:

“As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church.”

I agree, however that makes the statement above even harder to figure out in the correct context.

Mark
[/quote]

As I have stated in other threads about the subject of St. Jerome and the DC’s. Based on the link that RobNY posted, St. Jerome did not think that the DC’s were not inspired scripture. He used them many times to support doctrine. When he was speaking of the canon, his objection to these books were that the European Jews did not accept them as scripture, and so they would be apologetically useless for the Christian faith. When the Church decided the canon, he accepted the descision of the Church. Using a verse like Wisdom 2:12-20 would not be useful in a debate with an orthodox Jew.

Just like using 2 Maccabees 12:42-46 would be useless as scriptural defense for Purgatory with a Fundamentalist.


#13

Here Rob:

biblestudy.churches.net/CCEL/FATHERS2/NPNF206/NPNF2020.HTM#P7993_2595461

**"After speaking of the books of the Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus, which were sent at the same time, the Preface continues:

As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it read these two volumes for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church. If any one is better pleased with the edition of the Seventy, there it is, long since corrected by me. For it is not our aim in producing the new to destroy the old. And yet if our friend reads carefully, he will find that our version is the more intelligible, for it has not turned sour by being poured three times over into different vessels, but has been drawn straight from the press, and stored in a clean jar, and has thus preserved its own flavour."**

I have looked this up in several different sources, and it reads the same. This is the whole basis for his argument that the DC’s were never accepted by the church. Now, you and I both know better, so there has to be a valid reason for this statement. I just can’t figure out what that reason is.

Mark


#14

[quote=bamark]Here Rob:
I have looked this up in several different sources, and it reads the same. This is the whole basis for his argument that the DC’s were never accepted by the church. Now, you and I both know better, so there has to be a valid reason for this statement. I just can’t figure out what that reason is.

Mark
[/quote]

Who says canon and Scripture are exactly the same thing? That’s for them to prove. It doesn’t say “it doesn’t admit them among Scriptures,” it says “it doesn’t admit them among canonical Scriptures,” i.e., they are Scripture but not canonical. We use “canon” and “Scripture” interchangably now but there is no indication that it was always so. And to say both would surely be redundant if they meant the same thing.

Try this explanation from the same link:

We must remember what Sacred Scripture was originally for. Originally, it was not supposed to be one book (“the Bible”) that we could carry around and use for our personal interpretation or personal prayer life. Indeed, this was not even possible until the invention of printing many centuries later (which made the Protestant reformation possible). Rather, the canon of Scripture’s original and primary purpose was in the service of the various Liturgies of the Church. In this, we must remember that …up until the 4th or 5th Century …each city-church possessed its own Liturgy (its own form of the Mass), complete with its own liturgical calendar. And so, while the city-church of Rome might celebrate the feast day of a particular saint or martyr on March 1st, the city-church of Corinth might celebrate something else on that day (the feast of another saint), while the city-church of Antioch might celebrate still another feast. And so, the readings for this same Liturgical date were different in each city-church. And, indeed, since there were just so many days in the year, each city-church used readings from different Scriptural books throughout the year …and, in many cases, some books were simply not used (e.g. the Epistle of James or 2nd Maccabees, in many places); and for the simple reason that they did not fit in with the yearly Liturgical schedule of a particular city-church. And so, … When some fathers speak of a particular book as “non-canonical,” they do not necessarily mean that it is not inspired or authoritative. Rather, in many cases, they merely mean that it is not used in the Liturgy of their particular city-church …thus it is a “hidden book” (“apocrypha”), which could be read privately for edification but not in the Liturgy itself (the public worship of the Church --“Lex orendi, lex credendi”). For example … To this day in the Greek Orthodox Church, the Book of Revelation is not read in the Liturgy. You will never hear it at their Mass (or as they term it ‘Liturgy’). Yet, **the Greek Orthodox would never say that Revelation is not Sacred Scripture or that it is uninspired. Yet, they will sometimes speak of it as “non-canonical” because it has no place in the “canon” of their Liturgy **(e.g. a canonized saint is so-called because they have been granted feast days within our Liturgical calendars). So, throughout Church history, the word “canonical” has been used in several ways. It does not always mean what Martin Luther and the Protestants mean when they speak of a book being canonical or non-canonical. Rather, “non-canonical” can mean that:

  1. a book is heretical (e.g. the Gospel of Thomas), or
  2. That it is a good book with historical and spiritual merit, but uninspired (e.g. the Shepherd of Hermas), or
    3) That it is an inspired book, but not used in the Liturgy of a particular city-church or even in the Liturgy of many city-churches (e.g. Revelation or 2 Maccabees).

#15

[quote=bamark] As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures**,**
[/quote]

Here is what I dont understand at all, why read them and even include them in the appendix or whatever if they are not Scripture? Thats what really gets me. Jerome says they were read in Church, yet their contents are not authoritative?


#16

I wonder which church Jerome was talking about.
Rome, Corinth, Alexandria…

All the churches were not in full communication back then. Is it possible Jerome was discussing a specific church?

If so which one.


#17

[quote=bamark]I wonder which church Jerome was talking about.
Rome, Corinth, Alexandria…

All the churches were not in full communication back then. Is it possible Jerome was discussing a specific church?

If so which one.
[/quote]

If Im not mistaking I think he said that in the preface for his notes to some of the books going into the Latin Vulgate.


closed #18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.