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The ‘Ecclesiastical Books,’

so called ‘Deuterocanonical’

Under the Light of Inspiration, Canon and Patristic Testimonies

 

   Written by Jewish sages and historians, and boosted by the Latin councils of Augustine, the so called “Deuterocanonical Books” found their way later to stick to the traditional canon!

   By themselves, they may be ”deutero” but never ever “canonical.” The good among them must be demoted back to their original rank: “Ecclesiastical books, good for reading!”

 

 

 

Available at: ‘Coptic Youth 4 Holy book’ Site

Draft Arabic Version at ‘Coptic Youth 4 Holy book’ Site

WinWord file Available at  MediaFire

Introductory Post  at Face Book

Humorous Touch on Face Book

 

 

//The Work is still a Preliminary Draft-

Yet, Perfectly Documented //

 

 

 

Index

Foreword and Disclaimer

Inspiration vs. Canonicity!

Testimonies and Evidence:

Conclusive Judgment.

Supplement: Table of  'Deuterocanonical Books' and Positions of all Churches on Each.

 

 

Foreword and Disclaimer

 

   Didaskalia, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem and Rufinus declared that the CHURCH did not consider canonical the now so called ‘Deuterocanonical Books.’ None of these prominent patristic figures was a protestant!

   It is the “Deuterocanonical”  books’ paradox that the ‘Orthodox’ turn against their heritage of reserving the canon intact, while Non ‘Orthodox’ defend the orthodox truth about the right canon of Scripture.

   After the Lord’s testimony of the canon, no further support is asked for, but it is only for the sheer sake of vindicating the early Orthodox Church that further testimonies from the aforementioned fathers are quoted and put into scrutiny herein!

 

  As the reader goes through the pages herein, facts will continue to unfold until the truth is inescapable. Yes, the so called ‘Deuterocanonical’ books are ‘deutero,’ (in the sense of being "other" books than the canonical ones, but they are NEVER EVER CANONICAL in the first place. Only some of them are good for reading and studying. Also, some bear true and valuable tradition. But canon is one thing and goodness is another. I am well acquainted with the kind of Coptic and generally Orthodox zeal. If one does not like to face the truth that uncovers the ignorance swamping, blinding and misleading their zeal, I am well pleased with their curses and putting this work aside. Their inner peace is more valuable to me than making a record. However, the dignity and validity of the canon of the bible are most valuable and I must, then, accomplish my this work.

 

  Although the controversy on the so called ‘Deuterocanonical’ books has been so elaborative that no one expects anything new to be said about, as it has left no evidence or counter evidence for any further work to find out, yet I put the same evidences into further logical scrutiny.

  The paper is, then, original in the sense of putting forth new implications out of the same traditional arguments used by both sides of the dissention, as rendering them in new compelling logic.

  I promise I will not bore my reader with something repeated, nor let their expecting something valuable and new down.

  As for the purpose of reopening such a classical dispute: Besides its being a response to successive prominent requirement, it is a must element in proving the general inerrancy of the original Hebrew (Masoretic) text of the old testament, without which, the volume of “The Divine Masora,” by the author, could not be as good as its title. 

 

  The paper’s preliminary draft was originally written in English (The core of this paper). This draft is still pending a window of time for completion. However, the insistent calls for completion from few prominent people around have necessitated writing a quick semi complete draft in Arabic. Although I do not have the capacity, in terms of time as well as health, to revise either, nevertheless I offer both per se to satisfy my beloved friend readers’ anticipation, for the glory of God’s bible.

 

 

The ‘Dueterocanonical’ Books between Inspiration and Canonicity!

 

The Whole Canon is Inspiration

But NOT the whole inspiration is canonical

 

 

   The pivot of the whole idea is this rule, which when one is blinded to, confusion occurs. Inspiration comes in various ways, and not limited to the canon. Inspiration, meaning a spiritual contact between the holy Spirit and man's conciousness, started as such from the very beginning of the existence of Adam. od, being spirit, was communicating with Adam. This could not be other than inspiration. Now when "Inspiration" gets canonized, that means it is universally accepted and henceforth it is a common ground of all Christians to rely on when debating or disagreeing on any details. so, "Canon" is that part of inspiration that is ecclesiastically identified and accepted as being so.

 

   However, some disturbing questions occur to some people. I will raise the basic two of them followed by answers:

(More details are found in the Arabic version. Actually the reader in English thinks of the basic questions and gets satisfied if well answered, while the eastern mentality is very fond of details, and I will meet both with their preferred styles respectively)

 

·         Why is there inspiration that is not included in the canon?

     It is not the function of the canon to contain every inspiration. Its function is to contain what is enough to reveal God’s main works for saving man, alongside the basic principles that guide people through. It also may contain prophecies to comfort people and make them alert and aware of events in certain times to help them make others believe and be themselves comforted.       

     In brief: The canon contains the necessary and sufficient inspiration written with paper and ink!

 

·         What guarantees that the canon is sound, i.e. no non-inspired books got insinuated into it?

     God does. Jesus Testified as He appeared in flesh.

     Technically speaking, developing the NT canon has followed a technically different process other than the OT canon. However, the scope here of our point of search is limited to the OT canon, and as such, it is sufficient to pay attention to the testimonies of the Lord who had all of the OT scripture at hands in the days of His presence in flesh under the Law..

 

 

Testimonies and Evidence

Canonicity of the “Deuterocanonials” put into Scrutiny

 

 Almost all of protestant papers discussing the topic reject the “Deuterocanonical Books” on grounds of their internal contents as violating the Christian faith in the protestant claims. That is not true. Sometimes the protestant understanding of the Christian faith is the errant side. Some of the books are valuable and good for edifying the reader, however they are not canonical. Some need revision or at least debatable, but just being as such does not necessarily mean the protestant       superficial arguments (on the grounds of Christian faith) are right!

   I, hereby, will show the true reasons because of which the so called “Deuterocanonical Books” are NOT CANONICAL.. Here you are my index for that:

 

Above All: The Lord's Testimony

Self Testimony: A Deuterocanonical Book Negates Its Own Canonicity

Didaskalia- 2nd Century

Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechumenal Declaration: Canon is of Apostolic Tradition

Pope Athanasius, faith Defender: an epistle As Compelling As An Ecumenical Synod

Another Testimony from Pope Athanasius

Rufinus (from the Latin side of the church) Testifies to the Ecclesiastical Canon

They are Not 9! They are 14!! (not 7 + 2) but (11 + 3)!!!  

Even Defense Arguments Give Self Counter Effect

 

 

Above All

The Testimony of the Lord

 

  Silence!

   It is above any level of doubt that Jews in Judea have never recognized any book lacking a Hebrew origin as canonical in their synods.

   Even the Jmina council, late first century, affirmed certain books rather than disapproving. They rebuffed the suggestions of removing from canon (two books -- namely: Esther and Song of Songs) but did not remove from it! However, some wishfully think of something happened in that council regarding the Deuterocanonicals’ but without any base of evidence.

   Hellenistic Jews would, as matter of fact, read and highly appreciate the ‘Deuterocanonical’ books but they must have not consider any of them canonical (except for the non well educated who did not have official knowledge nor did they have read them thoroughly,) at the very least because the writer of the second book of Maccabees rounded off his work by impliedly denying its own canonicity and inspiration at all [i]!

   Now there was a complete silence from the side of the Lord as to considering the ‘Deuterocanonical’ books canonical. He did not draw the attention of the Jews to their ignoring their canonicity, nor did He raise the question in any way! Jews were silent and the Lord applied silence on their silence!

 

 

  The Benefit of the Silence!!

   To which side of the case this divine silence tilt? Which side enjoys the benefit of the silence?

   Silence can only mean one of three likelihoods in principle:  Actual ignorance, intended ignoring, or non-existence. The Lord cannot be ignorant, God forbid! He also cannot ignore such a case as serious as the canon of the scripture which He praised, appraised and testified to its ultimate authority, even for all His ministry years on earth.   One probability is left then: The case was not there in the first place!!! The ‘Deuterocanonical’ books were not canonical at all. Any addition after the silence of the Lord toward the silence of the Jews is a mere invention. That is it!!!

 

 

 

Self Refutation

A Deuterocanonical Book Disclaim its own Canonicity

 

   “And if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is that which I desired: but if slenderly and meanly, it is that which I could attain unto.” [ii]

 

   The one refuted here is not the honest historian who wrote the precious book of the second Maccabees, but the ones who consider it canonical!

 

 

 

Full record in the 2nd Century!

The Didaskalia Testimony

 

   The Didaskalia gives a comprehensive canon which leaves out the “Deuterocanonical Books.’     [iii]

   Some might argue that this book is not infallible and is not of higher ecclesiastical reliance. True! But the line of reasoning here is clear cut. Can a major book that is a major collection of ecclesiastical code up to its time, gives a wrong list of the CANON? This is tolerable and also expected in an article of law dating back to the apostle (as assumed), but that cannot be expected with a present fact as prominent as the canon itself.

 

 

A Catechumenal Lecture from Jerusalem

Cyril of Jerusalem’s Testimony!!

 

   In 350 A.D., the famous bishop of Jerusalem Cyril of Jerusalem, considered saint by the “Eastern” and “Oriental Orthodox” churches, gave this testimony in his fourth catechumenal lecture [iv]:

   “Of these read the two and twenty books, but have nothing to do with the apocryphal writings. Study earnestly these only which we read openly in the Church. Far wiser and more pious than thyself were the Apostles, and the bishops of old time, the presidents of the Church who handed down these books. Being therefore a child of the Church, trench  thou not upon its statutes. And of the Old Testament, as we have said, study the two and twenty books, which, if thou art desirous of learning, strive to remember by name, as I recite them. For of the Law the books of Moses are the first five, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. And next, Joshua the son of Nave, and the book of Judges, including Ruth, counted as seventh. And of the other historical books, the first and second books of the Kings 8 are among the Hebrews one book; also the third and fourth 8b one book. And in like manner, the first and second of Chronicles are with them one book; and the first and second of Esdras are counted one. Esther is the twelfth book; and these are the Historical writings. But those which are written in verses are five, Job, and the book of Psalms, and Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs, which is the seventeenth book. And after these come the five Prophetic books: of the Twelve Prophets one book, of Isaiah one, of Jeremiah one, including Baruch and Lamentations and the Epistle; then Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel, the twenty-second of the Old Testament.

Then of the New Testament there are the four Gospels only, for the rest have false titles  and are mischievous. The Manicheans also wrote a Gospel according to Thomas, which being tinctured with the fragrance of the evangelic title corrupts the souls of the simple sort. Receive also the Acts of the Twelve Apostles; and in addition to these the seven Catholic Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude; and as a seal upon them all, and the last work of the disciples, the fourteen Epistles of Paul. But let all the rest be put aside in a secondary rank. And whatever books are not read in Churches, these read not even by thyself, as thou hast heard me say. Thus much of these subjects.”

 

   So:

   The occasion is catechumenal!

   The place is Jerusalem!!

   The time is the middle of the fourth century!!!  

   The content attributes the canon to the approval by the apostles!!!!

   The lecturer is the famous bishop!!!!!

   And yet, there are still people who say that ”the church from the beginning approved the canonicity of those books”!!!

 


A most significant Epistle, as Compelling as an Eccumenical Council

Pope Athanasius’ Testimony!


   In a paschal letter Pope Athanasius addreses the ecumenical church teaching it about the canon [v]:

   “There are, then, of the Old Testament, twenty-two books in number; for, as I have heard, it is handed down that this is the number of the letters among the Hebrews; their respective order and names being as follows.

   The first is Genesis, then Exodus, next Leviticus, after that Numbers, and then Deuteronomy. Following these there is Joshua, the son of Nun, then Judges, then Ruth. And again, after these four books of Kings, the first and second being reckoned as one book, and so likewise the third and fourth as one book. And again, the first and second of the Chronicles are reckoned as one book. Again Ezra, the first and second are similarly one book. After these there is the book of Psalms, then the Proverbs, next Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Job follows, then the Prophets, the twelve being reckoned as one book. Then Isaiah, one book, then Jeremiah with Baruch, Lamentations, and the epistle, one book (see remark by author following the citatipon); afterwards, Ezekiel and Daniel, each one book. Thus far constitutes the Old Testament. Again it is not tedious to speak of the [books] of the New Testament. These are, the four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Afterwards, the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles (called Catholic), seven, viz. of James, one; of Peter, two; of John, three; after these, one of Jude. In addition, there are fourteen Epistles of Paul, written in this order. The first, to the Romans; then two to the Corinthians; after these, to the Galatians; next, to the Ephesians; then to the Philippians; then to the Colossians; after these, two to the Thessalonians, and that to the Hebrews; and again, two to Timothy; one to Titus; and lastly, that to Philemon. And besides, the Revelation of John. These are fountains of salvation, that they who thirst may be satisfied with the living words they contain. In these alone is proclaimed the doctrine of godliness. Let no man add to these, neither let him take ought from these. For concerning these the Lord put to shame the Sadducees, and said, ‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures.’ And He reproved the Jews, saying, ‘Search the Scriptures, for these are they that testify of Me.”

 

Again:

The language is decisive!

The occasion is a paschal letter!!

The topic is the canonical books of the Christian faith!!!

The writer is Pope Athanasius!!!!

   The decisive ecumenical language of the epistle exposes the lousiness of the claim that Pope Athanasius expressed his own point of view. Needless to say that the epistle incinerates the audacious claim that he admitted that himself!!   The letter, being a paschal one, means by itself that Pope Athanasius addresses the whole church in the world.   To top it all, the writer, Pope Athanasius, was fully aware that he represented the Christian faith doctor of the world, and his words are highly esteemed regarding the doctrines of the Orthodox church, and he must have written the letter as such.

 

 

Again

A Second Athanasian Testimony

 

   In his letter to Marcellinus (?) contemplating on the book of Psalms, Pope Athanasius repeated the canon as headlines [vi]  :   “Son, all the books of Scripture, both Old Testament and New, are inspired by god and useful for instruction, as the apostle says; … The Pentateuch for example tells …; Joshua, Judges and Samuel describe …; Kings and Chronicles record … ezra …, the return from exile …; The prophets …”

   Reading the lines and even between them do not give any chance to hold the position that Pope Athanasius gave a room for the “Deuterocanonical Books”  The interesting exception here is that Pope Athanasius recognized psalm 151.. Does that mean he contradicted himself that clear? Nay. This puzzle can be straightforwardly cleared out considering that he was reading from the Septuagint. The psalm is included in a canonical major book, book of psalms. It takes a so specialized knowledge of the Hebrew language and scriptures that he should have paid attention that there are supplements to few books (namely four: (Esther, Psalms, Jeremiah and Daniel.) Pope Athanasius declared in the paschal letter the canonical books BY TITLE, and rebuffed the non-canonical as any that were not mentioned explicitly. The details within every book were known to him only in Greek Septuagint version, as he did not know Hebrew, and hence psalm 151 found its way to his contemplative book.

 

 

A Testimony from the Western Latin Side

Rufinus’s Testimony on

what All the Fathers Held as Canonical

 

   ‘Of the Old Testament, therefore, first of all there have been handed down five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; then Joshua the son of Nun; the book of Judges together with Ruth; then four books of Kings, which the Hebrews reckon two; the book of Omissions, which is entitled the book of Days [Chronicles], and two books of Ezra, which the Hebrews reckon one, and Esther; of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel; moreover of the Twelve [minor] Prophets, one book; Job also and the Psalms of David, each one book. Solomon gave three books to the churches, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs. These comprise the books of the Old Testament. Of the New Testament there are four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles, which was written by Luke; fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, two of the apostle Peter, one of James, the brother of the Lord and an apostle, one of Jude, three of John, and the Revelation of John. These are the books which the fathers have enclosed within the canon; from these they would have us bring forth the proofs of our faith.’ [vii]  

   ‘But it should also be known that there are other books which our fathers call not "canonical" but "ecclesiastical," that is, the Wisdom of Solomon, and another Wisdom of the son of Sirach, which the Latins called by the title Ecclesiasticus, designating not the author of the book but its character. To the same class belong the book of Tobit and the book of Judith, and the books of Maccabees. With the New Testament there is the little book which is called the Shepherd of Hermas, and that which is called The Two Ways(d) and the Judgment of Peter.(e) They were willing to have all these read in the churches but not brought forward for the confirmation of doctrine. The other writings they named "apocrypha," which they would not have read in the churches. [viii]

   It is testimony from the Latin side of the ecumenical church.The write was more knowledgeable than Augustine who was not learned of Greek.The implied antagonism between Augustine and the friends of Rufinus (over Theological opinions) raises suspicion about the purity of the motives of the former. At least the doubt is justified! It is sorrowful that such a likelihood is there L, however an objective researcher could not turn a blind eye toward! Like Rufinus, Jerome, a kind of adversary to Augustine did not consider the so called “Deuterocanonical Books” canonical. He even called them Apocryphal! Jerome was the fiercest enemy to Rufinus and thus his agreement with Rufinus against Augustine’s position further underline the probability of impure motives behind the insertion of those books into the canon!   I wonder, finally, why such a prominent testimony is almost glossed over in the whole debate of “Deuterocanonical” books!

 

 

Not ‘9’ but ’15’!!

Disagreement over the number!!

 

   Most of Coptic folk will here get shocked! The only know of seven “Deuterocanonical Books” plus two supplements. The well learned of them can memorize the list. They do not know that some other “Deuterocanonical books” ere pruned off by a Latin councils. (i.e. belonging to the “Catholic” church)

    They know of “7 + 2” while they are “11 + 4” or “12 + 3”! It depends on considering the Prayer of Manasseh a single book or a supplement to the prophecy of Jeremiah. They may be reduced to “10 + 4” or “11 + 3” according to those who gather third and fourth Esdras to one book! Again, considering Baruch a supplement to Jeremiah, as it actually appears in the copies of the Septuagint changes the numbering. In total there are 15 other entities not 9 however the numbering goes.

   The same reasoning of defending the “7+2” list necessitates in the same manner the acceptance of the “11 + 3”.. There are second and third Maccabees, third and fourth Esdras, the prayer of Manasseh and the famous psalm 151..

   It is interesting that Copts use both latter chapters (i.e. the prayer of Menessah  and especially the psalm 151 in the paschal liturgy, and yet they do not raise the question of why they are not there in the list of the “Deuterocanonical books” they observe!  

   (For full list see the supplement of the full table )

 

 

 

The Self Counter Defense

Canonicity Arguments that stand for

Evidence of Non-Canonicity!

 

   In the Arabic Version, I followed every bit of “defense” with full refutation. For this heavy endeavor to be made here, it takes headache of translation the material in defense. Besides, all of that stuff will look like ridicule to the English-reading mentality.

   I will pick, however, the most significant arguments, namely:

   The inclusion of the “Deuterocaninical Books” in the old codices.

   The assumed quotations made by the NT writers from the “Deuterocaninical” books.

   The fathers considering the ‘Deuterocanonical Books’ inspired!

   The Nicene Council and the Scripture’s Canon.

 

 

·         The inclusion of the “Deuterocanonial Books” in Old Codices

 

   E.g. A and B!

   That is a strong evidence in principle, but only in principle as an absolute probability. However, by applying this principal facts, many elements of the context weaken it and make it of lower likelihood (In mathematical logic terms, it is a high probable evidence as long as it is an absolute probability, but the more information to be highlighted the more the likelihood becomes a weak conditional probability) :

 

   ^ The Vatican Codex does not contain the four Maccabees books unlike the Alexandrian Codex. Taking support in just the old codices make it a counter argument in a sense, leaving the body of the argument only one job to do, that is to prove it is not a counter argument necessarily.

 

   ^ The argument itself is begging the question in a reverse sense. The very fact that the fathers combated the infiltration of the non-canonical books means the books were their being copied and mistaken for canonical books.

 

   ^ The standards of that time made the copies of codices work like the shelves of the libraries, which bear various books of the same genre, even if they are not of the same rank. Until now one can find exegetical and historical books beside bibles in the Christian and general libraries.

 

   ^ Pope Athanasius and other fathers who denied the canonicity of those books were contemporary to some of the codices that contain some (or all) of those books, and they were in a better position to judge the implication of their containing the “Deuterocaninical Books” and they did as seen clearly thus far.

 

 

 

·         The Assumed Quotations by the Lord and the the NT writers

 

   As for the assumed quotations, it is obvious that for a quotation at all to make valid compelling concrete evidence that the book quoted is scripture, it must almost be exact or similar. It may be noted explicitly as such. The first trait makes it a probable scripture quotation, while the latter makes it case closed.  None of all of the suggested quotations are like that. They sometimes come out with silly and laugh making ‘quotations!’  None of them is preceded by such familiar quotation declaration words as “so that what is written (in this or that book) is fulfilled,”  or “as it is written.”   Some of those assumed quotations are following: 

 

 

   ^ (Jud8:24-25) and (1Co10: 9)  both mention the punishment of tempting God by lethal serpents. The story of sending serpents to punish the murmuring people is mentioned also in (Num21: 6).. It is the most famous story when god ordered Moses to make a brass snake and sets it up.

   Where does the quotation come from?!!!

   When an older famous canonical book is there and two later books refer to a famous major event mentioned in it, one thinks straightforwardly that the two books quoted the original older one, but only when they desperately try to find any support for the canonicity of the later book their wishful thinking lead them to assume that the reference was implicitly made to their non-canonical book.

 

   ^ One more most frequent example is the feast of the dedication mentioned in (Joh10:22).. This feast was settled first by Judas Maccabeus (1Mac4:59)..

   The mention of the feast testifies to the historical credibility of part of the Maccabees’ books. But it gives no support to the canonicity of their contents. The implication is as simple as that. 

 

   ^ There is only one time which can be really called a ‘quotation.’ In (2Ch33:18-19) the prayer of Manasseh is explicitly alluded to by name. The quotation does not include any sentence out of the prayer’s bulk but quotes the title itself.

   Here an irony takes place, for most of Coptic writers ignore this ‘quotation’ for a simple reason: they follow the ‘Catholic’ works which unlike the official Coptic position do not recognize the Manasseh’s Prayer as a canonical work!

   However the reason of ignoring the ‘quotation’ is, the quotation itself does not stand for enough support. In the same very context a mention to “the book of the kings of Israel” which has unanimously never been considered canonical nor does it exist any longer.

 

   Now, such lousy arguments do not come out of ignorant or moron people. They then must be desperate of finding any better argument to make. The defense they make is itself a counter-testimony against the inserted non-canonical books into the holy Canon of Scripture.  

 

 

 

·         Considering these books inspired by some fathers.

 

   ^ To begin with, No father has said explicitly these books are inspired.

 

   ^ However, perhaps some thought of that as they dealt with them in manner that stands on the same level as the canonical books. It is interesting that the most irrigating example is pope Gregory the great, who testified explicitly that first Maccabees is not canonical, a statement that came in a context referring to that book as one of a non-canonical group of alike books (they must be the ‘Deuterocanonical books,’ what else?) [ix]

   Now let Pope Gregory, or/and whoever else, wrongfully or even rightfully, partially or even wholly, believes that all of these books are inspired [x], that proves nothing about the canonicity. (See the discussion at the beginning of the difference between both concepts.)

 

   ^ Even more, that proves further they did not believe they are canonical. When one who thinks that an inspired book is non-canonical, that means it must have been VERY non-canonical, SO non-canonical, OVERWHELMINGLY non-canonical that the one who thought of it as inspired dared testify it was non-canonical.

 

 

 

·         The Nicene council is alluded to in one of Jerome’s writings as approving the canonicity of Judith!

 

   That is what Jerome wrote in his preface to his translation of Judith, “Among the Jews, the book of Judith is counted/considered [legitur] among the apocrypha; the basis for affirming those [apocryphal texts] which have come into dispute is deemed less than sufficient. Moreover, since it was written in the Chaldean [he means Old Aramaic] language, it is counted among the historical books. But the Nicene Council is considered to have counted this book among the number of sacred Scriptures. I have acquiesced to your [pl.] request (or  should I say demand!): and, my other work set aside, from which I was vehemently restrained. I have given a single night's work (lucubratiuncula), translating according to sense rather than verbatim. I have cut back the most error-ridden of many codices: I was able to discover only one with coherent expression in Chaldean words, to be expressed in Latin.” [xi]

 

   Herein, there are 8 major belittling remarks, those underlined segments in the paragraph. More serious refutations can be added from the actual background. For the sake of briefing, I will highlight only few of them all:

 

   ^ To begin with, Jerome did not say that the Nicene Council approved the canonicity of Judith, but only that it was considered that the council have approved it!

 

   ^ Certainly, Pope Athanasius must have considered and known of the Nicene council more than whoever “considered”  whatever.

 

   ^ Jerome himself did not sound buying what ‘they consider!’ If he had believed the canonization of Judith by the first great first council he could not have talked and acted by that seeming carelessness as translating the whole book briefly over one single night!

 

   ^ He was reluctant to do the job as well, as he did it under insistent ‘demand’.

 

   ^ He was keen to apologize for that explicitly.

 

   ^ Also it is an argument of a counter effect. Jerome wrote about Judith, Tobiet and Wisdom of Solomon. Why was the Nicene consideration limited to Judith itself? If the allusion by Jerome is accepted as evidence of its canonicity, it must be, by the same reasoning, that the other related books were deprived of the assumed Nicene consideration.

 

   ^ I recommend a page by my friend Roger Pearse [xii], in which he provides an elaborative refutation of the hoax of listing the scripture’s canon by the Nicene council.

 

   ^ However, I have exerted further research to find out the source of this confused allusion. I have first thought of a verse from the book of Judith being quoted in the documents of the Nicene council, an act which could have caused the overestimated consideration, but I found none. I then moved to searching within the epistles of Pope Athanasius, and luckily enough I did not wait for long. In a very early paschal epistle in the year 332, only 4 years after Athanasius had consummated papacy office, and only 7 years after the Nicene council, moreover at a time of persecution because of the Nicene faith, Pope Athanasius quoted Judith [xiii]..

Such a quotation is very related to the Nicene council, and to common people, they easily might have mistaken a “quotation by Athanasius from an edifying book” for “canonization by the Nicene council.”

 

 

Supplement (Hyperlinked)

Table of All ‘Deuterocanonical’ Books and their Recognition Status by All Churches [xiv]

 

   Link to the a photo of the table!

 

 

Conclusive Judgment

 

   To summarize, in a simple line chart:

   1 The “Duterocanonical Books” are neither “deuteron” nor “canonical”,

   2 written by Jewish sages and historians, per se, not intended or thought of by them to be canonized,

   3 entered into the codices of Septuagint, a project which was originated in the first place to collect all of the Jewish literature, to the order of a pagan king, who certainly did not mean to differentiate between which is canon and which is not, nor did he hold the Jewish scripture canon as canon in the first place. To him, as to the common Jew, any literature that is being read and affecting Jews was meant to be translated. Even if the story of the origination of the Septuagint is not true, but what counts is that it characterizes the nature of it in the Jewish mentality, and that certainly allows the admittance of non-canonical books into the collection.

 

   4 They remained copied and copied again in the codices by Greek people who were unfamiliar with the Hebrew background,

   5 and was considered legal first in Latin synagogues of Augustine, which lacked qualification for the job (Augustine as well as the synods), that was as late as the beginning of the early fifth century,

   6 to be kept unapproved by the headquarters of the Latin side of the church, i.e. Rome, for about a dozen centuries, as it was not canonized before Trent synod, whose decisions were motivated by opposing what the Protestant decree,

   7 to be then later pressed forth on the eastern side of the church during the ‘Latinization’ era.

 

   8 That opened the door for the EOC to canonize other “Deuterocanonical Books” overlooked or ignored for any reason by the RCC, to end up disagreeing on which boos are eligible to be considered “Deuterocanonical,”

   9 although the church has rejected all folklore and common acceptance of those books, ending up by Athanasius calling some of them as good for reading and edification (no more).

 

   10 Now it is time for the good of them to be dealt with as such, to be taken for what they are: ‘good books!’ with no higher canonical stance!

 

 

   Thus far the draft, as coming to an end, is far from being complete, yet it is completely enough for deciding upon not only the non-canonicity of the so called ‘Deuterocanonical Books,’ but also upon that the early church, represented by its authorities across every part of the world from Jerusalem to the west passing by the most prominent Athansius of Alexandria, was aware and honest toward the canon as approved by the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Discussed, and written as a preliminary draft in 2007,

Developed further in 2012,

Ended as a premature draft and posted as such in 214, on the eve of Pentecost!

Deacon Basil, a.k.a C. Mark

 

 



[i] ‘If it is well written and to the point, that is what I wanted; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that is the best I could do.’ (2Ma15:38 – NABRE).

 

[ii] Ibid.

 

[iii] The Arabic translation of Dedaskalia, translated by Deacon Hafez Dawoud, 3rd edition, 1979, pp. 87-88. for the whole original Greek text: cf. Migne. PG, Book vi, section 18, pp. 555-1156.

 

[iv] Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 4, paragraphs 35-36; NPF, series ii, vol. vii, pp. 156-157.

 

[v] NPNF Series II, vol. 4, pp. 1313-1314, letter. 39, phrases 4-6; cf. ibid, p. 167: the remark of A. Robertson.

 

[vi] St. Athanasius On The Incarnation, translated and edited by A Religious of C.S.M.V.,

 with an Introduction by C .S. Lewis,  St Vladimir Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 2000, Appendix, pp. 97-98:  

“Son, all the books of Scripture, both Old Testament and New, are inspired by god and useful for instruction, as the apostle says; … The Pentateuch for example tells …; Joshua, Judges and Samuel describe …; Kings and Chronicles record … Ezra …, the return from exile …; The prophets …”

 

[vii] Rufinus, Exposition of the Creed, 37; cf. NPNF, series II, vol. 3, p. 1144.

 

[viii] Rufinus, op. cit., cf. NPNF, op. cit., pp. 1144-1145.

 

[ix] Joseph Gildea, Gregory the Great, A Synthesis of Moralia in Job, Peter Lang Publishing, 1991, NY, part 1, book 3, p. 126 : “…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 an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed (1 Macc. 6.46).”

 

[x] They desperately try to over-confirm pope Gregory believed the inspiration of the ‘Deuterocanonicals’ however irrelevant the point is. Cf. http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html#St. Gregory the Great, Pope, [590-604, A.D.]

 

[xi] Jerome, Biblical Preface to Judith, English translation available at: http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html; cf. NPNF, series II, vol. 6, pp. 1045-1046

 

[xii] http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html; cf. NPNF, series II, vol. 6; cf. John DUFFY & John PARKER (ed.), The Synodicon Vetus.

 

[xiii] Pope Athanasius, fourth paschal letter, 332 A.D., paragraph 2 ;cf. NPNF, series II, vol. 4, p. 1233.: "For by these means we shall have strength to overcome our adversaries, like blessed Judith Judith 13:8, when having first exercised herself in fastings and prayers, she overcame the enemies, and killed Olophernes."

 

[xiv] Felix Just, Chart of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, Loyola Marymount University.

 





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