Development of the Old Testament canon
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The Old Testament is the first section of the two-part Christian Biblical canon, which includes the books of the Hebrew Bible or protocanon and in some Christian denominations also includes several Deuterocanonical books. Martin Luther, holding to Jewish and other ancient precedent, excluded the deuterocanonical books from the Old Testament of his translation of the Bible, referred to as Luther's canon, placing them in a section he labeled "Apocrypha" (not equal to Scripture but edifying), thus dissenting from the canon which Trent would affirm in the year Luther died (1546). Other churches also differed on the canonicity of certain books, and as a result, Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Protestants use different canons which differ with respect to the texts which are included in the Old Testament and with respect to the Antilegomena of the New Testament.
The differences between the Hebrew Bible and other versions of the Old Testament such as the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Syriac, Latin, Greek, Ge'ez and other canons, are more substantial. Many of these canons include books and even sections of books that the others do not. For a fuller discussion of these differences, see Books of the Bible.
Following Jerome's Veritas Hebraica (truth of the Hebrew) doctrine, the Protestant Old Testament consists of the same books as the Hebrew Bible, but the order and numbering of the books are different. Protestants number the Old Testament books at 39, while Judaism numbers the same books as 24. This is because Judaism considers Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles to form one book each, groups the 12 minor prophets into one book, and also considers Ezra and Nehemiah a single book. Also, the Bible for Judaism is specifically the Masoretic Text. Protestant translations of the Hebrew Bible often include other texts, such as the Septuagint. There is also a dispute as to whether the Canon of Trent is exactly the same as that of Carthage and Hippo.
- 1 The protocanonical and deuterocanonical books
- 2 Septuagint
- 3 Bryennios List
- 4 Marcion
- 5 Eusebius on Melito and Origen
- 6 Constantine the Great
- 7 Jerome
- 8 Augustine and the North African councils
- 9 Reformation era
- 10 Eastern Orthodox Canon
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The protocanonical and deuterocanonical books
The Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox canons include books, called the deuterocanonical books, whose authority was disputed by Jewish scholars like Akiva ben Joseph during the first-century development of the Hebrew Canon, along with the New Testament. Following Martin Luther, Protestants also regard the deuterocanonical books as apocryphal (non-canonical).
One early record of the deuterocanonical books is found in the early Koine Greek Septuagint translation of the Jewish scriptures. This translation was widely used by the Early Christians and is the one most often quoted (300 of 350 quotations including many of Jesus' own words) in the New Testament when it quotes the Old Testament. Other, older versions of the texts in Hebrew and Greek have since been discovered among the Dead Sea scrolls and the Cairo Geniza.
According to J. N. D. Kelly, "It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church… always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called Apocrypha or deuterocanonical books."
The traditional explanation of the development of the Old Testament canon describes two sets of Old Testament books, the protocanonical and the deuterocanonical books. According to this theory, certain Church fathers accepted the inclusion of the deuterocanonical books based on their inclusion in the Septuagint (most notably Augustine), while others disputed their status based on their exclusion from the Hebrew Bible (most notably Jerome). Michael Barber argues that this time-honored reconstruction is grossly inaccurate and that "the case against the apocrypha is overstated".
The Catholic Encyclopedia attributes the inferior rank to which the deuterocanonical books were relegated by authorities like Origen, Athanasius, and Jerome as being due "to too rigid a conception of canonicity, one demanding that a book, to be entitled to this supreme dignity, must be received by all, must have the sanction of Jewish antiquity, and must moreover be adapted not only to edification, but also to the "confirmation of the doctrine of the Church", to borrow Jerome's phrase."
The Early Christian Church used the Greek texts since Greek was a lingua franca of the Roman Empire at the time, and the language of the Greco-Roman Church (Aramaic was the language of Syriac Christianity, which used the Targums).
The Septuagint seems to have been a major source for the Apostles, but it is not the only one. St. Jerome offered, for example, Matt 2:15 and 2:23, John 19:37, John 7:38, 1 Cor. 2:9. as examples not found in the Septuagint, but in Hebrew texts. (Matt 2:23 is not present in current Masoretic tradition either, though according to St. Jerome it was in Isaiah 11:1.) The New Testament writers, when citing the Jewish scriptures, or when quoting Jesus doing so, freely used the Greek translation, implying that Jesus, his Apostles and their followers considered it reliable.
In the Early Christian Church, the presumption that the Septuagint was translated by Jews before the era of Christ, and that the Septuagint at certain places gives itself more to a christological interpretation than 2nd-century Hebrew texts was taken as evidence that "Jews" had changed the Hebrew text in a way that made them less christological. For example, Irenaeus concerning Isaiah 7:14: The Septuagint clearly writes of a virgin (Greek παρθένος) that shall conceive. While the Hebrew text was, according to Irenaeus, at that time interpreted by Theodotion and Aquila (both proselytes of the Jewish faith) as a young woman that shall conceive. According to Irenaeus, the Ebionites used this to claim that Joseph was the (biological) father of Jesus. From Irenaeus' point of view that was pure heresy, facilitated by (late) anti-Christian alterations of the scripture in Hebrew, as evident by the older, pre-Christian, Septuagint.
When Jerome undertook the revision of the Old Latin translations of the Septuagint, he checked the Septuagint against the Hebrew texts that were then available. He broke with church tradition and translated most of the Old Testament of his Vulgate from Hebrew rather than Greek. His choice was severely criticized by Augustine, his contemporary; a flood of still less moderate criticism came from those who regarded Jerome as a forger. While on the one hand he argued for the superiority of the Hebrew texts in correcting the Septuagint on both philological and theological grounds, on the other, in the context of accusations of heresy against him, Jerome would acknowledge the Septuagint texts as well.
The Eastern Orthodox Church still prefers to use the LXX as the basis for translating the Old Testament into other languages. The Eastern Orthodox also use LXX (Septuagint) untranslated where Greek is the liturgical language, e.g. in the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, the Church of Greece and the Cypriot Orthodox Church. Critical translations of the Old Testament, while using the Masoretic Text as their basis, consult the Septuagint as well as other versions in an attempt to reconstruct the meaning of the Hebrew text whenever the latter is unclear, undeniably corrupt, or ambiguous. For example, the Jerusalem Bible Foreword says, "... only when this (the Masoretic Text) presents insuperable difficulties have emendations or other versions, such as the ... LXX, been used." The Translator's Preface to the New International Version says: "The translators also consulted the more important early versions (including) the Septuagint ... Readings from these versions were occasionally followed where the MT seemed doubtful ..."
Perhaps the earliest Christian canon is the Bryennios List which was found by Philotheos Bryennios in the Codex Hierosolymitanus. The list is written in Koine Greek (with transcribed Aramaic and/or Hebrew) and dated to around 100 by J.-P. Audet. It consists of a 27-book canon which comprises:
- "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Jesus Nave, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Judges, Ruth, 4 of Kings (Samuel and Kings), 2 of Chronicles, 2 of Esdras, Esther, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job, Minor prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel"
Not all Early Christians approved of the use of Jewish scriptures. Marcion rejected the Hebrew Bible and pressed for the acceptance of what was to become part of the New Testament as the Christian canon. In AD 140, he was expelled from the Christian community of Rome and formed a church of his own. For 100 years his followers were to challenge the tenets of other Christian groups. The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 characterized Marcion as "perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known."
Everett Ferguson in chapter 18 of The Canon Debate quotes Tertullian's De praescriptione haereticorum 30:
|“||Since Marcion separated the New Testament from the Old, he is necessarily subsequent to that which he separated, inasmuch as it was only in his power to separate what was previously united. Having been united previous to its separation, the fact of its subsequent separation proves the subsequence also of the man who effected the separation.||”|
Note 61 of page 308 adds:
|“||[Wolfram] Kinzig suggests that it was Marcion who usually called his Bible testamentum [Latin for testament].||”|
For most Early Christians, the Hebrew Bible was "Holy Scripture" but was to be understood and interpreted in the light of Christian convictions.
Eusebius on Melito and Origen
The first list of Old Testament books compiled by a Christian source is recorded by the 4th century historian Eusebius. Eusebius describes the collection of a 2nd century bishop, Melito of Sardis. Melito's list, dated to circa 170, the result of a trip to the Holy Land (probably the famous library at Caesarea Maritima) to determine both the order and number of books in the Hebrew Bible, instead seems to follow the order of the books presented in the Septuagint, yet he doesn't list the book of Esther or the apocrypha (except for possibly the Book of Wisdom).
Constantine the Great
In 331, Constantine I commissioned Eusebius to deliver fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople. Athanasius (Apol. Const. 4) recorded Alexandrian scribes around 340 preparing Bibles for Constans. Little else is known, though there is plenty of speculation. For example, it is speculated that this may have provided motivation for canon lists, and that Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus may be examples of these Bibles. Together with the Peshitta and Codex Alexandrinus, these are the earliest extant Christian Bibles. There is no evidence among the canons of the First Council of Nicaea of any determination on the canon, however, Jerome (347–420), in his Prologue to Judith, makes the claim that the Book of Judith was "found by the Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures".
Michael Barber asserts that, although Jerome was once suspicious of the apocrypha, he later viewed them as Scripture. Barber argues that this is clear from Jerome's epistles. As an example, Barber cites Jerome's letter to Eustochium, in which Jerome quotes Sirach 13:2., elsewhere Jerome also refers to Baruch, the Story of Susannah and Wisdom as scripture.
Jerome expressed some uneasiness about the authority of the Apocrypha. He was in general agreement with the Jewish position and separated the extra books found in the Septuagint, which he admitted could be edifying, from the Jewish canon.
In his prologues, Jerome argued for Veritas Hebraica, meaning the truth of the Hebrew text over the Septuagint and Old Latin translations. His Preface to The Books of Samuel and Kings includes the following statement, commonly called the Helmeted Preface:
|“||This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a “helmeted” introduction to all the books which we turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is not found in our list must be placed amongst the Apocryphal writings. Wisdom, therefore, which generally bears the name of Solomon, and the book of Jesus, the Son of Sirach, and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd are not in the canon. The first book of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style.||”|
At the request of two bishops, however, he made translations of Tobit and Judith from Hebrew texts, which he made clear in his prologues he considered apocryphal. In addition to these, the Vulgate Old Testament included books outside of the 24, many from the Vetus Latina, which Jerome did not translate anew.
Augustine and the North African councils
Jerome's views did not prevail, and in 393 at the Synod of Hippo, the Septuagint was likely canonized, largely because of the influence of Augustine of Hippo. Later in 397, the Synod of Carthage confirmed the action taken at Hippo, once again, due to the significant influence exerted by Augustine. These councils were under the authority of Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed.
McDonald & Sanders's The Canon Debate, Appendix C-2, lists the following Old Testament canon of Augustine, from De doctrina christiana 2.13, circa 395:
|“||Gen, Exod, Lev, Num, Deut, Josh, Judg, Ruth, 1–4 Kgs, 1–2 Chr, Job, Tob, Esth, Jdt, 1–2 Macc, 1–2 Esd, Pss, Prov, Song, Eccles, Wis, Sir, Twelve, Isa, Jer, Dan, Ezek.||”|
Despite these formal pronouncements by the Synods, there remained those who were uncomfortable about the canonization of books not found in the Hebrew canon, and up to the time of the Protestant-Catholic schism, there continued to be scholars who made sharp distinctions between canonical and apocryphal writings.
One of the tenets of the Protestant Reformation (beginning c. 1517) was that translations of scriptures should be based on the original texts (i.e. Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic for the Old Testament and Biblical Greek for the New Testament) rather than upon Jerome's translation into Latin, which at the time was the Bible of the Catholic Church.
Statements were included in the Protestant Bibles indicating that the Apocrypha was not to be placed on the same level as the other documents. Luther's translation (1534) placed the Apocrypha between the Old and New Testaments with this title:
"Apocrypha, that is, books which are not held equal to the Sacred Scriptures, but nevertheless are useful and good to read."
A year later Coverdale's Bible was published with the Apocrypha placed between the two Testaments under this description:
"Apocrypha, the books and treatises which among the fathers of old are not to be reckoned of like authority with other books of the Bible neither are they found in the canon of the Hebrew."
The reformers saw the Apocrypha at variance with the rest of Scripture. In them, the Roman Catholic Church claimed scriptural authority for the doctrine of Purgatory, for prayers and Masses for the dead (2 Macc 12:43–45), and for the efficacy of good works in attaining salvation (Tobit 12:9; Ecclesiasticus 7:33), things that Protestants then and today deem to be blatantly contradicting other parts of the Bible.
Besides moving the Apocrypha to a lower level, Luther also did many other canon-related things. He argued unsuccessfully for the relocation of Esther from the Canon to the Apocrypha, since without the deuterocanonical sections, it never mentions God. As a result Catholics and Protestants continue to use different canons, which differ in respect to the Old Testament and in the concept of the Antilegomena of the New Testament.
There is some evidence that the first decision to omit these books entirely from the Bible was made by Protestant laity rather than clergy. Bibles dating from shortly after the Reformation have been found whose tables of contents included the entire Roman Catholic canon, but which did not actually contain the disputed books, leading some historians to think that the workers at the printing presses took it upon themselves to omit them. However, Anglican and Lutheran Bibles usually still contained these books until the 20th century, while Calvinist Bibles did not. Several reasons are proposed for the omission of these books from the canon. One is the support for Catholic doctrines such as Purgatory and Prayer for the dead found in 2 Maccabees. Luther himself said he was following Jerome's teaching about the Veritas Hebraica.
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent on April 8, 1546, by vote (24 yea, 15 nay, 16 abstain) approved the enforcement of the present Roman Catholic Bible Canon including the Deuterocanonical Books as an article of faith (the contents of the canon itself having already been reaffirmed unanimously). This is said to be the same list as produced at the Council of Florence in 1451, this list was defined as canonical in the profession of faith proposed for the Jacobite Orthodox Church. Because of its placement, the list was not considered binding for the Catholic Church, and in light of Martin Luther's demands, the Catholic Church examined the question of the Canon again at the Council of Trent, which reaffirmed the Canon of the Council of Florence and added the anathema against attempts to change the contents of the canon. The Old Testament books that had been in doubt were termed deuterocanonical, not indicating a lesser degree of inspiration, but a later time of final approval. Beyond these books, some editions of the Latin Vulgate include Psalm 151, the Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Esdras (called 3 Esdras), 2 Esdras (called 4 Esdras), and the Epistle to the Laodiceans in an appendix, styled "Apogryphi".
In 1870, the Council of the Vatican reiterated the concepts set forth at Trent concerning the canon. Since that time, there have been no major official statements issued concerning the canon by Jews, Catholics or Protestants, with the minor exceptions that on 2 June 1927, Pope Pius XI decreed that the Comma Johanneum of the New Testament was open to dispute; on 3 September 1943, Pope Pius XII reiterated the teaching of the Church in Divino Afflante Spiritu, reaffirming that Catholic translations of the Bible in vernacular languages, based on Latin, Greek, and Hebrew texts, had been allowed by the Church since the time of the Council of Trent.
Church of England
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The Church of England separated from Rome in 1534, and published its Thirty-Nine Articles in Latin in 1563 and in Elizabethan English in 1571. Article 6 of the 1801 American revision is titled: "OF THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES FOR SALVATION":
|“||...In the name of Holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church. Of the names and Number of the Canonical Books: Genesis; Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy; Joshua; Judges; Ruth; The I Book of Samuel; The II Book of Samuel; The I Book of Kings; The II Book of Kings; The I Book of Chronicles; The II Book of Chronicles; The I Book of Esdras; The II Book of Esdras; The Book of Esther; The Book of Job; The Psalms; The Proverbs; Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher; Cantica, or Songs of Solomon; Four Prophets the Greater; Twelve Prophets the Less. And the other Books (as Heirome [The Old English form of Hieronymus, or Jerome...] saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet it doth not apply them to establish any doctrine. Such are these following: The III Book of Esdras; The IV Book of Esdras; The Book of Tobias; The Book of Judith; The rest of the Book of Esther†; The Book of Wisdom; Jesus the Son of Sirach; Baruch the Prophet†; The Song of the Three Children†; The Story of Suzanna; Of Bel and the Dragon†; The Prayer of Manasses†; The I Book of Maccabees; The II Book of Maccabees. All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive and account them Canonical. [books marked † were added in 1571.]||”|
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The original King James Bible of 1611 included King James Version Apocrypha which is frequently omitted in modern printings. These texts are: Additions to Daniel, Judith, Esdras, Additions to Esther, Susanna, 1–2 Maccabees, 4 Ezra, Prayer of Manassheh, Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch (including the Epistle of Jeremiah), Tobit, Bel.
The English Civil War broke out in 1642 and lasted till 1649. The Long Parliament of 1644 decreed that only the Hebrew Canon would be read in the Church of England, and in 1647 the Westminster Confession of Faith was issued which decreed a 39-book OT and 27-book NT, the others commonly labelled as "Apocrypha" were excluded. Today this decree is a Protestant distinctive, a consensus of Protestant churches, not limited to the Church of Scotland, Presbyterianism, and Calvinism, but shared with Baptist and Anabaptist confessions of faith also.
With the Restoration of the Monarchy to Charles II of England (1660–1685), the Church of England was once again governed by the Thirty-Nine Articles, as printed in the Book of Common Prayer (1662), which explicitly excludes the Apocrypha from the inspired writings as unsuitable for forming doctrine, while eirenically conceding them value for education so permitting public reading and study.
According to The Apocrypha, Bridge of the Testaments:
|“||On the other hand, the Anglican Communion emphatically maintains that the Apocrypha is part of the Bible and is to be read with respect by her members. Two of the hymns used in the American Prayer Book office of Morning Prayer, the Benedictus es and Benedicite, are taken from the Apocrypha. One of the offertory sentences in Holy Communion comes from an apocryphal book (Tob. 4: 8–9). Lessons from the Apocrypha are regularly appointed to be read in the daily, Sunday, and special services of Morning and Evening Prayer. There are altogether 111 such lessons in the latest revised American Prayer Book Lectionary [The books used are: II Esdras, Tobit, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Three Holy Children, and I Maccabees.] The position of the Church is best summarized in the words of Article Six of the Thirty-nine Articles: “In the name of Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority there was never any doubt in the Church. . . . And the other Books (as Hierome [St. Jerome] saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine . . .”:||”|
Eastern Orthodox Canon
The Eastern Orthodox Church took separate action. From the earliest times, the Eastern Church, which used the Septuagint, was undecided about the anagignoskomena: some Greek Fathers quoted from these books; others preferred to follow solely the books accepted by the Jews. The matter of the canon was raised in the Trullan Council at Constantinople in 692 which endorsed these canon lists: the Apostolic Canons (~385 CE), the Synod of Laodicea (~363 CE ?), the Third Synod of Carthage (~397 CE), and the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius (367 CE), but no binding conclusions were reached as these lists differ among themselves.
The Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 decreed the Greek Orthodox canon which is similar to the one decided by the Council of Trent. The Greek Orthodox generally consider Psalm 151 to be part of the Book of Psalms. Likewise, the "books of the Maccabees" are four in number, though 4 Maccabees is generally in an appendix, along with the Prayer of Manasseh. Also, there are two books of Esdras, for the Greeks these books are 1 Esdras and Ezra-Nehemiah, see Esdras#Differences in names for details. The Greek Orthodox generally consider the Septuagint to be divinely inspired.
However, because the Jerusalem Council was a regional council and neither ecumenical nor pan-Orthodox, its decrees were not obligatory unless accepted by all Orthodox Churches. Although there has been no official acceptance of the canon outlined at Jerusalem, all editions of the Bible published by the Greek Orthodox Church include the books selected in 1672, though today 4 Maccabees is often placed in a separate section or excluded.
- Canon of the Old Testament, The Catholic Encyclopedia
- Samuel Fallows et al., eds. (1901,1910). The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopædia and Scriptural Dictionary, Fully Defining and Explaining All Religious Terms, Including Biographical, Geographical, Historical, Archæological and Doctrinal Themes. The Howard-Severance company. p. 521.
- Bill Webster Responds to Gary Michuta, Part II
- Kelly, J. N. D. Early Christian Doctrines. Harper Collins. pp. 53–54.
- Barber, Michael (2006-03-04). "Loose Canons: The Development of the Old Testament (Part 2)". Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. VI, St. Athanasius, Letter 39.7, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), p. 552.
- Canon of the Old Testament
- "The translation, which shows at times a peculiar ignorance of Hebrew usage, was evidently made from a codex which differed widely in places from the text crystallized by the Masorah (..) Two things, however, rendered the Septuagint unwelcome in the long run to the Jews. Its divergence from the accepted text (afterward called the Masoretic) was too evident; and it therefore could not serve as a basis for theological discussion or for homiletic interpretation. This distrust was accentuated by the fact that it had been adopted as Sacred Scripture by the new faith [Christianity] (..) In course of time it came to be the canonical Greek Bible (..) It became part of the Bible of the Christian Church.""Bible Translations – The Septuagint". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- St. Jerome, Apology Book II.
- H. B. Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, revised by R.R. Ottley, 1914; reprint, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1989.
- "The quotations from the Old Testament found in the New are in the main taken from the Septuagint; and even where the citation is indirect the influence of this version is clearly seen (..)""Bible Translations – The Septuagint". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- Paulkovich, Michael (2012), No Meek Messiah, Spillix Publishing, p. 24, ISBN 0988216116
- Irenaeus, Against Herecies Book III.
- Rebenich, S., Jerome (Routledge, 2013), p. 58. ISBN 9781134638444
- Ernst Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, trans. Errol F. Rhodes, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. Eerdmans, 1995.
- Jerusalem Bible Readers Edition, 1990: London, citing the Standard Edition of 1985
- "Life Application Bible" (NIV), 1988: Tyndale House Publishers, using "Holy Bible" text, copyright International Bible Society 1973
- published by J.-P. Audet in JTS 1950, v1, pp. 135–154, cited in The Council of Jamnia and the Old Testament Canon, Robert C. Newman, 1983.
- A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations page 316
- Grant, Robert M. (1948). The Bible in the Church. New York: The Macmillan Company. pp. 43 ff.
- Eusebius. "Ecclesiastical History 4.26.12–14".: "Accordingly when I went East and came to the place where these things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and send them to thee as written below. Their names are as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave, Judges, Ruth; of Kings, four books; of Chronicles, two; the Psalms of David, the Proverbs of Solomon, Wisdom also [ἣ καὶ Σοφία: i.e. the Book of Proverbs (see above, p. 200)], Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job; of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book; Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books.”"
- Eusebius. "Ecclesiastical History 6.25.1–2".: "When expounding the first Psalm, he gives a catalogue of the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament as follows: “It should be stated that the canonical books, as the Hebrews have handed them down, are twenty-two; corresponding with the number of their letters.” Farther on he says: “The twenty-two books of the Hebrews are the following: That which is called by us Genesis, but by the Hebrews, from the beginning of the book, Bresith, which means, ‘In the beginning’; Exodus, Welesmoth, that is, ‘These are the names’; Leviticus, Wikra, ‘And he called‘; Numbers, Ammesphekodeim; Deuteronomy, Eleaddebareim, ‘These are the words’; Jesus, the son of Nave, Josoue ben Noun; Judges and Ruth, among them in one book, Saphateim; the First and Second of Kings, among them one, Samouel, that is, ‘The called of God’; the Third and Fourth of Kings in one, Wammelch David, that is, ‘The kingdom of David’; of the Chronicles, the First and Second in one, Dabreïamein, that is, ‘Records of days’; Esdras, First and Second in one, Ezra, that is, ‘An assistant’; the book of Psalms, Spharthelleim; the Proverbs of Solomon, Meloth; Ecclesiastes, Koelth; the Song of Songs (not, as some suppose, Songs of Songs), Sir Hassirim; Isaiah, Jessia; Jeremiah, with Lamentations and the epistle in one, Jeremia; Daniel, Daniel; Ezekiel, Jezekiel; Job, Job; Esther, Esther. And besides these there are the Maccabees, which are entitled Sarbeth Sabanaiel.” He gives these in the above-mentioned work."
- The Canon Debate, pages 414–415, for the entire paragraph
- "Book of Judith". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.: Canonicity: "..."the Synod of Nicaea is said to have accounted it as Sacred Scripture" (Praef. in Lib.). It is true that no such declaration is to be found in the Canons of Nicaea, and it is uncertain whether St. Jerome is referring to the use made of the book in the discussions of the council, or whether he was misled by some spurious canons attributed to that council"
- Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58 (A.D. 395), in NPNF2, VI:119.: "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 aka Story of Susannah 55–59]"
- Jerome, To Oceanus, Epistle 77:4 (A.D. 399), in NPNF2, VI:159.:"I would cite the words of the psalmist: 'the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,’ [Ps 51:17] and those of Ezekiel 'I prefer the repentance of a sinner rather than his death,’ [Ez 18:23] and those of Baruch, 'Arise, arise, O Jerusalem,’ [Baruch 5:5] and many other proclamations made by the trumpets of the Prophets."
- Jerome, Letter 51, 6, 7, NPNF2, VI:87-8: "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]...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's Preface to Samuel and Kings".
- Jerome (2006). "Prologue to Tobit".
- McDonald & Sanders, editors of The Canon Debate, 2002, chapter 5: The Septuagint: The Bible of Hellenistic Judaism by Albert C. Sundberg Jr., page 88: "Jerome had Hebrew texts of Sirach, Tobit, Judith (in Aramaic, or "Chaldee"), 1 Maccabees, and Jubilees, presumably from Jews, translating them into Latin."
- The Canon Debate, Sundberg, page 72, adds further detail: "However, it was not until the time of Augustine of Hippo (354–430 C.E.) that the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures came to be called by the Latin term septuaginta. [70 rather than 72] In his City of God 18.42, while repeating the story of Aristeas with typical embellishments, Augustine adds the remark, "It is their translation that it has now become traditional to call the Septuagint" ...[Latin omitted]... Augustine thus indicates that this name for the Greek translation of the scriptures was a recent development. But he offers no clue as to which of the possible antecedents led to this development: Exod 24:1–8, Josephus [Antiquities 12.57, 12.86], or an elision. ...this name Septuagint appears to have been a fourth- to fifth-century development."
- Ferguson, Everett. "Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon," in The Canon Debate. eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002) p. 320; F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 230
- cf. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 22.8
- Metzger, Bruce. An Introduction to the Apocrypha. pp. 178 ff.
- Metzger, Bruce M. (March 13, 1997). The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance. Oxford University Press. p. 246. ISBN 0-19-826954-4. "Finally on 8 April 1546, by a vote of 24 to 15, with 16 abstensions, the Council issued a decree (De Canonicis Scripturis) in which, for the first time in the history of the Church, the question of the contents of the Bible was made an absolute article of faith and confirmed by an anathema."
- Session 3, Chapter 2, Item 6: "The complete books of the old and the new Testament with all their parts, as they are listed in the decree of the said council and as they are found in the old Latin Vulgate edition, are to be received as sacred and canonical."
- Pope Pius XII. "Divino Afflante Spiritu". pp. #22. Retrieved 13 October 2013. "Nor is it forbidden by the decree of the Council of Trent to make translations into the vulgar tongue, even directly from the original texts themselves, for the use and benefit of the faithful and for the better understanding of the divine word, as We know to have been already done in a laudable manner in many countries with the approval of the Ecclesiastical authority"
- "Schaff's Creeds of Christendom, The Elizabethan Articles. A.D. 1563 and 1571".
- "KJV and Apocrypha".
- "Westminster Confession of Faith".
- WCF 1.3: "The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings"
- Hall, Peter (1842). The Harmony of Protestant Confessions, Exhibiting the Faith of the Churches of Christ Reformed after the Pure and Holy Doctrine of the Gospel throughout Europe, Revised edition. London: J. F. Shaw.
- "The Apocrypha, Bridge of the Testaments" (PDF).
- Schaff's Creeds
- McDonald and Sanders' The Canon Debate, Appendix C: Lists and Catalogs of Old Testament Collections, Table C-4: Current Canons of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, page 589=590.
- "The Jewish people and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible" from the Pontifical Biblical Commission