Chapter II:19: The Apocrypha, Part 8

But neither do the ψευδεπίγραφοι/pseudepigraphical Apostolic Constitutions and Canons agree with the opinion of the Papists:  while the Constitutions in a review of the Sacred Books omit the Apocryphal Books, consult GERHARD’S Confessionem Catholicam, tome 2, book II, special part I, article I, chapter I, page 32; and Apostolic Canon LXXXV with Judith numbers not two, but three, Books of the Maccabees among the Canonical Books; it does not have Tobit; it omits either the Book of Wisdom or Ecclesiasticus, and places the other outside of the Canon, when after the survey of the Canon of the Old Testament it adds,  ἔξωθεν δὲ, but besides these it is commended to you, that your young people learn τὴν σοφίαν τοῦ πολυμαθοῦς Σιράχ, the wisdom of the learned Sirach.  Indeed, that the Greek Church today does not esteem the Apocryphal Books, received by the Papists into the Canon, as Canonical, is observed by JAKOB ELSNER’S nieuwste Beschzyving van de Grieksche Christenen in Turkyen, chapter V, § 15, pages 174-176.

On the Exceptions of the Papists against this our Argument, 1.  That at that time, when the Fathers agreeing with us lived, the Canon had not yet been defined by the public judgment of the Church.  2.  That the Fathers that exclude those controverted Books from the Canon speak of the Canon of the Hebrews, not of the Christians:  see GERHARD’S Confessionem Catholicam, tome 2, book II, special part I, article I, chapter I, pages 23, 24.

BINGHAM,[1] Originibus ecclesiasticis, book XIV, chapter III, § 15, 16, volume 6, pages 91-97, observes that the Books today called Apocryphal were formerly read in some Churches, but not in all:  and in some Churches under the title of Canonical Scripture, with this term taken in a somewhat broader sense.

On § 19, consult also STEPHANUS GAUSSENUS’ Theses Theologicas inaugurales de Verbo Dei, thesis 81, pages 460-462.

[1] Joseph Bingham (1668-1723) was an Anglican churchman and theologian.  In his great work, Origines Ecclesiasticæ, he endeavored to provide a definitive treatment of the ancient rites and customs of the Church.

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