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!”
at: ‘Coptic Youth 4 Holy book’ Site
Arabic Version at ‘Coptic Youth 4 Holy book’ Site
file Available at MediaFire
Post at Face Book with Links' Index
Humorous Touch on Face Book
Short sharp shock dialog
//The Work is still
a Preliminary Draft-
Little humor out of typical dialogs:--
-- Aaint you call it deuterocanonical! It is just canonical NOT deutero :(
+ You see I do not call it CANONICAL in the first place :). The ones who would call it deutero must then accept it as canonical like yourself. At least they show a feeling of lack of confidence in that thing, find them out within your side and ask them why they are a bit embarrassed by that claim !
Table of 'Deuterocanonical Books' and Positions of all Churches on Each.
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
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.
‘Dueterocanonical’ Books between Inspiration and Canonicity!
The Whole Canon is
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.
disturbing questions occur to some people. I will raise the basic two of them
followed by answers:
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
is there inspiration that is not included in the canon?
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.
brief: The canon contains the necessary and sufficient inspiration
written with paper and ink!
guarantees that the canon is sound, i.e. no non-inspired books got insinuated
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..
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
The Testimony of the
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
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
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!!!
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
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
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.”
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
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]:
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 citation); 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.”
language is decisive!
occasion is a paschal letter!!
topic is the canonical books of the Christian faith!!!
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.
However, one should not skip remarking the pope's saying that he "heard" the number of 22 as being the Hebrew alphabet. In a direct sense, it shows that Pope Athanasius was not literate of Hebrew language and his sole source of Hebrew holy literatue is obvously that of the Alexandrian Jews.
Perhaps he pushed this remark as a sort of disclaimer regardingany variation the Alexandrian Jewish writings suffered from. However for certain what counts is his claim that the canon of the OT is what Jews kept as canon. By that he gave the suffiecient answer of our very question about the criteria the Orthodox Church followed by then in deciding which is a canonical book and which is not.
(For the slight variation of listing the books see the last reference of this margin [v].) Well, to make it unequivocal and well-explained saying, as every word should be said in such a holy subject, one should clearly say that with all his being NOT the supreme authority of deciding the
canon (that is the Lord Himself) and not infallible (indeed unfortunately Pope Athanasius lacked accuracy with two books as he actually included a book which is uncanonical-- Baruch, and missed another caonical one-- Esther, but that was due to the little confusion which the Alexandrian Jews' lists suffered and NOT out of his rejecting the right rule of following the books the jews held as canonical in the time of the Lord), yet CERTAINLY Pope Athanathius IS a supreme authority of revealing what the Orthodox Church holds canonical and what is not, which is the very point of this thesis! Case closed one more time.
One cannot help adding this moral remark, that those who argue that brazen way have not thought the other way round (i.e. Pope Athanasius supposedly had accepted the canonicity of those books, God forbid)! Had they done they would have put his acceptance in the eyes of the rejecter as being equal to the Gospel in substance, and they would have forbidden the rejecter not only for his rejection of the canonicity of those books, but for his rejection of Pope Athanasius’s testimony to them.. One may think further that if the rejecter of the canonicity of those books had said the same “argument”, they would have defamed nd libeled him for this, even before considering his rejection of the canonicity of those books.. How shameless this double measure is!!!!!!!
A Second Athanasian Testimony
In his letter to Marcellinus (?)
contemplating on the book of Psalms, Pope Athanasius repeated the canon as
: “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
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]
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.
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
I will pick, however, the most significant
The inclusion of
the “Deuterocaninical Books” in the old codices.
The assumed quotations
made by the NT writers from the “Deuterocaninical” books.
considering the ‘Deuterocanonical Books’ inspired!
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
^ 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.
Quotations by the Lord and the the NT writers
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.
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.
council is alluded to in one of Jerome’s writings as approving the canonicity
That is what Jerome wrote in his preface to his translation of Judith,
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
^ 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
^ 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.”
Table of All
‘Deuterocanonical’ Books and their Recognition Status by All Churches
Link to the a photo of the
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
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,
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.
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,”
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
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
Deacon Basil, a.k.a C. Mark