Tradition / Church Fathers
"What, then, again says the prophet? 'The assembly of the wicked
surrounded me; they encompassed me as bees do a honeycomb,'[Ps. 22:17,118:12]
and 'upon my garment they cast lots'[Ps. 22:19]. Since, therefore, He was about
to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, His suffering was foreshown. For
the prophet speaks against Israel, 'Woe to their soul, because they have
counselted an evil counsel against themselves[Isa. 3:9,] saying, Let us bind
the just one, because he is displeasing to us'[Wisdom 2:12]. And Moses also
says to them, 'Behold these things, saith the Lord God: Enter into the good
land which the Lord sware tto give to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and
inherit ye it, a land flowing with milk and honey'[Ex. 33:1, Lev. 20:24]." Epistle
of Barnabas, 6 (A.D. 74).
"Having then this hope, let our souls be bound to Him who is faithful in His
promises, and just in His judgments. He who has commanded us not to lie, shall
much more Himself not lie; for nothing is impossible with God, except to lie.
Let His faith therefore be stirred up again within us, and let us consider that
all things are nigh unto Him. By the word of His might He established all
things, and by His word He can overthrow them. 'Who shall say unto Him, What
hast thou done ? Or, who shall resist the power of His strength?'[Wisdom
12:12,ll:22] When and as He pleases He will do all things, and none of the
things determined by Him shall pass away? All things are open before Him, and
nothing can be hidden from His counsel. 'The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament showeth His handy-work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and
night unto night showeth knowledge. And there are no words or speeches of which
the voices are not heard.'[Ps. 19:1-3]." Clement of Rome,To the Corinthians,
27:5 (c. A.D. 80).
"'Be just in your judgement' [Deut 1:16,17 Prov 31:9] make no distinction
between man and man when correcting transgressions. Do not waver in your
decision. 'Do not be one that opens his hands to receive, but shuts them when
it comes to giving' [Sirach 4:31]." Didache, 4:3-5 (A.D. 90).
"Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord,
being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, and being
attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness
of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When
you can do good, defer it not, because 'alms delivers from death'[Tobit
4:10,12:9]. Be all of you subject one to another? [1 Pt 5:5] having your
conduct blameless among the Gentiles,' [1 Pt 2:12] that ye may both receive
praise for your good works, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But
woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed! [Isa 52:5] Teach,
therefore, sobriety to all, and manifest it also in your own conduct.” Polycarp,
To the Phillipians, 10 (A.D. 135).
"Melito to his brother Onesimus, greeting: Since thou hast often, in thy zeal
for the word, expressed a wish to have extracts made from the Law and the
Prophets concerning the Saviour and concerning our entire faith, and hast also
desired to have an accurate statement of the ancient book, as regards their
number and their order, I have endeavored to perform the task, knowing thy zeal
for the faith, and thy desire to gain information in regard to the word, and
knowing that thou, in thy yearning after God, esteemest these things above all
else, struggling to attain eternal salvation. 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, Ecclesiastes, Song off 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." Melito of Sardes, Fragment in
Eusebius' Ecclesiatical History, 4:26 (A.D. 177).
"Those, however, who are believed to be presbyters by many, but serve their own
lusts, and, do not place the fear of God supreme in their hearts, but conduct
themselves with contempt towards others, and are puffed up with the pride of
holding the chief seat, and work evil deeds in secret, saying, 'No man sees
us,' shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward
appearance (secundum gloriam), nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart;
and they shall hear those words, to be found in Daniel the prophet: 'O thou
seed of Canaan, and not of Judah, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust perverted
thy heart'[Daniel 13:56-Susanna]. Thou that art waxen old in wicked days, now
thy sins which thou hast committed aforetime are come to light; for thou hast
pronounced false judgments, and hast been accustomed to condemn the innocent,
and to let the guilty go free, albeit the Lord saith, The innocent and the
righteous shalt thou not slay' [Daniel 13:52-53-Susanna]. Of whom also did the
Lord say: "But if the evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his
coming, and shall begin to smite the man-servants and maidens, and to eat and
drink and be drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day that he
looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him
asunder, and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.' [Matt 24:48]." Irenaeus,
Against Heresies, IV:26:3 (A.D. 180).
"For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the
resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and
the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which
[resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the
sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in
the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and
communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with
respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from
heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the
Wicked one. For it is in reference to them that the prophet says: 'And those
that are left shall multiply upon the earth,' And Jeremiah the prophet has
pointed out, that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to
multiply those left upon earth, should both be under the rule of the saints to
minister to this Jerusalem, and that [His] kingdom shall be in it, saying,
"Look around Jerusalem towards the east, and behold the joy which comes to thee
from God Himself. Behold, thy sons shall come whom thou hast sent forth: they
shall come in a band from the east even unto the west, by the word of that Holy
One, rejoicing in that splendour which is from thy God. O Jerusalem, put off
thy robe of mourning and of affliction, and put on that beauty of eternal
splendour from thy God. Gird thyself with the double garment of that
righteousness proceeding from thy God; place the mitre of eternal glory upon
thine head. For God will show thy glory to the whole earth under heaven. For
thy name shall for ever be called by God Himself, the peace of righteousness
and glory to him that worships God. Arise, Jerusalem, stand on high, and look
towards the east, and behold thy sons from the rising of the sun, even to the
west, by the Word of that Holy One, rejoicing in the very remembrance of God.
For the footmen have gone forth from thee, while they were drawn away by the
enemy. God shall bring them in to thee, being borne with glory as the throne of
a kingdom. For God has decreed that every high mountain shall be brought low,
and the eternal hills, and that the valleys be filled, so that the surface of
the earth be rendered smooth, that Israel, the glory of God, may walk in
safety. The woods, too, shall make shady places, and every sweet-smelling tree
shall be for Israel itself by the command of God. For God shall go before with
joy in the light of His splendour, with the pity and righteousness which
proceeds from Him.'[Baruch 4:36-5:9]." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:35:1 (A.D.
"For, when one reads of God as being 'the searcher and witness of the heart'
[Wisdom 1:6]; when His prophet is reproved by His discovering to him the
secrets of the heart; when God Himself anticipates in His people the thoughts
of their heart, 'Why think ye evil in your hearts?'[Matt 9:4] when David prays
'Create in me a clean heart, O God'[Ps 51:12], and Paul declares, 'With the
heart man believeth unto righteousness,'[Romans 10:10] and John says, 'By his
own heart is each man condemned’[1 John 3:20]; when, lastly, 'he who looketh on
a woman so as to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in
his heart' [Matt 5:28],--then both points are cleared fully up, that there is a
directing faculty of the soul..." Tertullian, On the Soul, 15 (A.D. 197).
"[New Testament books...] The Epistle of Jude, indeed, and two belonging to the
above-named John--or bearing the name of John--are reckoned among the Catholic
epistles. And the book of Wisdom, written by the friends of Solomon in his
honour." Muratorian Fragment (A.D. 200).
"Our instruction comes from 'the porch of Solomon,' who had himself taught that
'the Lord should be sought in simplicity of heart'[Wisdom 1:1]." Tertullian,
Prescription Against the Heretics, 7 (A.D. 200).
"For they remembered also the words of Jeremias writing to those over whom that
captivity was impending: 'And now ye shall see borne upon men's shoulders the
gods of the Babylonians, of gold and silver and wood, causing fear to the
Gentiles. Beware, therefore, that ye also do not be altogether like the
foreigners, and be seized with fear while ye behold crowds worshipping those
gods before and behind, but say in your mind, Our duty is to worship Thee, O
Lord'[Baruch 6:3]. Therefore, having got confidence from God, they said, when
with strength of mind they set at defiance the king' s threats against the
disobedient: 'There is no necessity for our making answer to this command of
yours. For our God whom we worship is able to deliver us from the furnace of
fire and from your hands; and then it will be made plain to you that we shall
neither serve your idol, nor worship your golden image which you have set
up'[Daniel 3:16]’" Tertullian, Scorpiace, 8 (A.D. 205).
"At this stage some rise up, saying that the Lord, by reason of the rod, and
threatening, and fear, is not good; misapprehending, as appears, the Scripture
which says, 'And he that feareth the Lord will turn to his heart'[Sirach 21:6],
and most of all, oblivious of His love, in that for us He became man. For more
suitably to Him, the prophet prays in these words: 'Remember us, for we are
dust'[Ps 103:14]; that: is, Sympathize with us; for Thou knowest from personal
experience of suffering the weakness of the flesh. In this respect, therefore,
the Lord the Instructor is most good and unimpeachable, sympathizing as He does
from the exceeding greatness of His love with the nature of each man. 'For
there is nothing which the Lord hates'[Wisdom 11:24]. For assuredly He does not
hate anything, and yet wish that which He hates to exist Nor does He wish
anything not to exist, and yet become the cause of existence to that which He
wishes not to exist. Nor does He wish anything not to exist which yet exists.
If, then, the Word hates anything, He does not wish it to exist. But nothing
exists, the cause of whose existence is not supplied by God. Nothing, then, is
hated by God, nor yet by the Word. For both are one--that is, God. For He has
said, 'In the beginning the Word was in God, and the Word was God'[John 1:1].’"
Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, I:8 (A.D. 202).
"And again He says, 'Come all to Me, who labour, and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest'[Matt 11:28]; and that which is added the Lord speaks in His
own person. And very clearly He calls to goodness by Solomon, when He says,
'Blessed is the man who hath found wisdom, and the mortal who hath found
understanding'[Prov 3:13]. 'For the good is found by him who seeks it, and is
wont to be seen by him who has found it'[Prov 2:4,5;3:15]. By Jeremiah, too, He
sets forth prudence, when he says, 'Blessed are we, Israel; for what is
pleasing to God is known by us'[Baruch 4:4]--and it is known by the Word, by
whom we are blessed and wise. For wisdom and knowledge are mentioned by the
same prophet, when he says, 'Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life, and give
ear to know understanding.'[Baruch 3:9] By Moses, too, by reason of the love He
has to man, He promises a gift to those who hasten to salvation. For He says,
'And I will bring you into the good land, which the Lord sware to your fathers'
[Deut 31:20]." Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor ,I:8 (A.D. 202).
"[H]aving heard the Scripture which says, 'Fasting with prayer is a good
thing'[Tobit 12:8]." Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, 6:12 (A.D. 202).
"But they said, 'We will not come forth: neither will we do the king's
commandment; we will die in our innocency: and he slew of them a thousand
souls'[1 Macc 2:33]. The things, therefore, which were spoken to the blessed
Daniel are fulfilled: 'And my servants shall be afflicted, and shall fall by
famine, and by sword, and by captivity'[Dan. 11:33]. Daniel, however, adds:
'And they shall be holpen with a little help.' For at that time Matthias arose,
and Judas Maccabaeus, and helped them, and delivered them from the hand of the
Greeks." Hippolytus, Commentary on Daniel, 2:32 (A.D. 204).
"What is narrated here, happened at a later time, although it is placed before
the first book at the beginning of the book [of Daniel]. For it was a custom
with the writers to narrate many things in an inverted order in their
writings...To all these things, therefore, we ought to give heed, beloved,
fearing lest any one be overtaken in any transgression, and risk the loss of
his soul, knowing as we do that God is the Judge of all; and the Word Himself
is the Eye which nothing that is done in the world escapes. Therefore, always
watchful in heart and pure in life, let us imitate Susannah." Hippolytus,
Commentary on Daniel, 6:1,61 (A.D. 204).
"'For even now the angel of God.' He shows also, that when Susannah prayed to
God, and was heard, the angel was sent then to help her, just as was the case
in the instance of Tobias [Tobit 3:17] and Sara. For when they prayed, the
supplication of both of them was heard in the same day and the same hour, and
the angel Raphael was sent to heal them both." Hippolytus, Commentary on
Daniel, 6:55 (A.D. 204).
"'[T]he prophet says, "The ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not
aright," that is, about Christ, "Let us lie in wait for the righteous, because
he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings and words, and
upbraideth us with our offending the law, and professeth to have knowledge of
God; and he calleth himself the Child of God'[Wisdom 2:1,12,13]. And then he
says, 'He is grievous to us even to behold; for his life is not like other
men's, and his ways are of another fashion. We are esteemed of him as
counterfeits, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and
pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed [Wisdom 2:15,16]." Hippolytus,
Against the Jews ,65 (ante A.D. 235).
"But the case stands not thus; for the Scriptures do not set forth the matter
in this manner. But they make use also of other testimonies, and say, Thus it
is written: 'This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in
comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given
it unto Jacob His servant (son), and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He
show Himself upon earth, and conversed with men'[Baruch 3:25-38]." Hippolytus,
Against the Noetus, 2 (A.D. 210).
"But that we may believe on the authority of holy Scripture that such is the
case, hear how in the book of Maccabees, where the mother of seven martyrs
exhorts her son to endure torture, this truth is confirmed; for she says, ' ask
of thee, my son, to look at the heaven and the earth, and at all things which
are in them, and beholding these, to know that God made all these things when
they did not exist'[2 Maccabees 7:28]." Origen, Fundamental Principles, 2:2
"[T]he Wisdom of Solomon, a work which is certainly not esteemed authoritative
by all. In that book, however, we find written as follows: "For thy almighty
hand, that made the world out of shapeless matter, wanted not means to send
among them a multitude of bears and fierce lions'[Wisdom 11:17]." Origen,
Fundamental Principles, 2:2 (A.D. 230).
"'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, Dabreiamein, 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,
Me-loth; 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, Jeremiah[Baruch 6]; Daniel, Daniel; Ezekiel, Jezekiel; Job,
Job; Esther, Esther. And besides these there are the Maccabees, which are
entitled Sarbeth Sabanaiel." Origen, Canon of the Hebrews, Fragment in
Eusebius' Church History, 6:25 (A.D. 244).
"[A]s is written in the book of Tobit: 'It is good to keep close the secret of
a king, but honourable to reveal the works of God'[Tobit 12:7],--in a way
consistent with truth and God's glory, and so as to be to the advantage of the
multitude." Origen, Against Celsus, 5:19 (A.D. 248).
"But he ought tp know that those who wish to live according to the teaching of
Sacred Scripture understand the saying, 'The knowledge of the unwise is as talk
without sense'[Sirach 21:18], and have learnt 'to be ready always to give an
answer to everyone that asketh us a reason for the hope that is in us'[1 Pt
3:15]." Origen, Against Celsus, 7:12 (A.D. 248).
"In the Gospel according to John: 'No one can receive anything, except it were
given him from heaven'[John 3:27]. Also in the first Epistle of Paul to the
Corinthians: 'For what hast thou that thou hast not received? But if thou hast
received it, why boastest thou, as if thou hadst not received it?'[1 Cor 4:7].
Also in the first of Kings: 'Boast not, neither speak lofty things, and let not
great speeches proceed out of your mouth, for the Lord is a God of
knowledge.'[1 Sam 2:4] Also in the same place: 'The bow of the mighty men has
been made weak, and the weak are girt about with strength'[1 Sam 2:5]. Of this
same thing in the Maccabees: 'It is just to be subjected to God, and that a
mortal should not think things equal to God'[2 Macc 9:12]. Also in the same
place: 'And fear not the words of a man that is a sinner, because his glory
shall be filth and worms. Today he shall be lifted up, and to-morrow he shall
not be found; because he is turned into his earth, and his thought has
perished'[1 Macc 2:62,63]." Cyprian, Treatises, 12:3:4 (A.D. 248).
"In Genesis: 'And God, tempted Abraham, and said to him, Take thy only son whom
thou lovest, Isaac, and go into the high land, and offer him there as a
burnt-offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell thee'[Gen 22:1,2].
Of this same thing in Deuteronomy: 'The Lord your God proveth you, that He may
know if ye love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your
soul’[Deut 13:3]. Of this same thing in the Wisdom of Solomon: 'Although in the
sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality; and
having been in few things distressed, yet in many things they shall be happily
ordered, because God tried them, and found them worthy of Himself. As gold in
the furnace He proved them, and as a burnt-offering He received them. And in
their time there shall be respect of them; they shall judge the nations, and
shall rule over the people; and their Lord shall reign for ever'[Wisdom 3:4-8].
Of this same thing in the Maccabees: 'Was not Abraham found faithful in
temptation, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness?'[1 Macc 2:52]." Cyprian,
Treatises, 12:3:15 (A.D. 248).
"For since it is written, 'God did not make death, neither hath He pleasure in
the destruction of the living'[Wisdom 1:13]." Cyprian, Epistle 51/55:22 (A.D.
"[T]his the faith of the sacred Scripture assures us, and in telling us how
such as these prayed, gives an example which we ought to follow in our prayers,
in order that we may be such as they were: 'Then these three,' it says, 'as if
from one mouth sang an hymn, and blessed the Lord'[3 Youths-Daniel 3:51]." Cyprian,
Treatise 4,8 (A.D. 252).
"And thus Holy Scripture instructs us, saying, 'Prayer is good with fasting and
almsgiving'[Tobit 12:8].” Cyprian, Treatise 4,32 (A.D. 252).
"Holy Scripture teaches and forewarns, saying, 'My son, when thou comest to the
service of God, stand in righteousness and fear, and prepare thy soul for
temptation'[Sirach 2:1,4]. And again: 'In pain endure, and in thy humility have
patience; for gold and silver is tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the
furnace of humiliation.[Sirach 2:5]." Cyprian, Treatise 7,9 (A.D. 252).
"In all these cases consider whether it would not be well to remember the
words, 'Thou shalt not remove the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have
set.' Nor do I say this because I shun the labour of investigating the Jewish
Scriptures, and comparing them with ours, and noticing their various readings.
This, if it be not arrogant to say it, I have already to a great extent done to
the best of my ability, labouring hard to get at the meaning in all the
editions and various readings; while I paid particular attention to the
interpretation of the Seventy, lest I might to be found to accredit any forgery
to the Churches which are under heaven, and give an occasion to those who seek
such a starting-point for gratifying their desire to slander the common
brethren, and to bring some accusation against those who shine forth in our
community." Origen, To Africanus, 5 (defending the canonicity of Susanna
[Daniel 13], Bel and the Dragon[Daniel 14], the prayers of Azarias[Daniel 3],
and the hymn of praise of the three youths in the fiery furnace[Daniel 3])
(ante A.D. 254).
"And I make it my endeavour not to be ignorant of their various readings, lest
in my controversies with the Jews I should quote to them what is not found in
their copies, and that I may make some use of what is found there, even
although it should not be in our Scriptures. For if we are so prepared for them
in our discussions, they will not, as is their manner, scornfully laugh at
Gentile believers for their ignorance of the true reading as they have them." Origen,
To Africanus, 5 (defending the canonicity of Susanna [Daniel 13], Bel and the
Dragon[Daniel 14], the prayers of Azarias[Daniel 3], and the hymn of praise of
the three youths in the fiery furnace[Daniel 3]) (ante A.D. 254).
"And, forsooth, when we notice such things, we are forthwith to reject as
spurious the copies in use in our Churches, and enjoin the brotherhood to put
away the sacred books current among them, and to coax the Jews, and persuade
them to give us copies which shall be untampered with, and free from forgery!
Are we to suppose that that Providence which in the sacred Scriptures has
ministered to the edification of all the Churches of Christ, had no thought for
those bought with a price, for whom Christ died." Origen, To Africanus, 4
(defending the canonicity of Susanna [Daniel 13], Bel and the Dragon [Daniel
14], the prayers of Azarias[Daniel 3], and the hymn of praise of the three
youths in the fiery furnace[Daniel 3]) (ante A.D. 254).
"[T]hat they worship Him alone, saying: 'O king Nebuchodonosor, there is no
need for us to answer thee in this matter. For the God whom we serve is able to
deliver us out of the furnace of burning fire; and He will deliver us from thy
hands, O king. And if not, be it known unto thee, that we do not serve thy
gods, and we do not adore the golden image which thou hast set up'[Dan
3:16-18]. And Daniel, devoted to God, and filled with the Holy Spirit, exclaims
and says: 'I worship nothing but the Lord my God, who founded the heaven and
the earth'[Dan 14:5 Bel & Dragon]. Tobias also, although under a royal and
tyrannical slavery, yet in feeling and spirit free, maintains his confession to
God, and sublimely announces both the divine power and majesty, saying: 'In the
land of my captivity I confess to Him, and I show forth His power in a sinful
nation'[Tobit 13:6]." Cyprian, Treatises, 11:11 (A.D. 257).
"Also in Daniel: 'There was a man dwelling in Babylon whose name was Joachim;
and he took a wife by name Susanna, the daughter of Helchias, a very beautiful
woman, and one that feared the Lord. And her parents were righteous, and taught
their daughter according to the law of Moses'[Susanna-Daniel 13:1-3]. Moreover,
in Daniel: 'And we are lowly this day in all the earth because of our sins, and
there is not at this time any prince, or prophet, or leader, or burnt-offering,
or oblation, or sacrifice, or incense, or place to sacrifice before Thee, and
to find mercy from Thee. And yet in the soul and spirit of lowliness let us be
accepted as the burnt-offerings of rams and bulls, and as it were many
thousands of lambs which are fattest. If our offering may be made in Thy
presence this day, their power shall be consumed, for they shall not be ashamed
who put their trust in Thee. And now we follow with our whole heart, and we
fear and seek Thy face. Give us not over unto reproach, but do with us
according to Thy tranquility, and according to the multitude of Thy mercy
deliver us'[3 Youths-Daniel 3:37-43]." Cyprian, Testimonies, 20 (ante A.D.
"But listen to the divine oracles: 'The works of the Lord are in judgment; from
the beginning, and from His making of them, He disposed the parts thereof. He
garnished His works for ever, and their principles unto their
generations'[Sirach 16:24-25]." Dionysius the Great, On Nature, 3 (ante A.D.
"He is a Spirit--for says He, 'God is a Spirit'[John 4:24]--fittingly again is
Christ called Breath; for 'He,' saith He, 'is the breath of God's power'[Wisdom
7:25]." Dionysius the Great, To Dionsyius of Rome, 4 (ante A.D. 265).
"Solomon also shows that it is the Word of God, and no other, by whose hands
these works of the world were made. 'I,' He says, 'came forth out of the mouth
of the Most High before all creatures: I caused the light that faileth not to
arise in the heavens, and covered the whole earth with a cloud. I have dwelt in
the height, and my throne is in the pillar of the cloud'[Sirach 24:3-5]." Lactanius,
Institutions, 4:8 (A.D. 310).
"Therefore, I do not think men ought to be considered pious who presume to
investigate this subject, in disobedience to the injunction, 'Seek not what is
too difficult for thee, neither enquire into what is too high for thee'[Sirach
3:21]. For if the knowledge of many other things incomparably inferior is
beyond the capacity of the human mind, and cannot therefore be attained, as has
been said by Paul, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into
the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared far them that lave Him'[1
Cor 2:9], and as God also said to Abraham, that the stars could not be numbered
by him; and it is likewise said,' Who shall number the grains of sand by the
sea-shore, or the drops of rain?'[Sirach 1:2]." Alexander of Alexandria, To
brother Alexander, fragment in Theodoret of Cyrus' Ecclesiastical History, 1:3
"For this was accomplished at that time, when the venerable and aged Eleazar
was slain, and the sons of the blessed Samuna, seven in number [2 Maccabees
6:18-31], and when Judas (Maccabeus) and his brethren were struggling on behalf
of their people [2 Maccabees 5:27]." Aphraates the Persian Sage,
Demonstrations, 5:19 (A.D. 345).
"He leads away to himself the wealthy, the sons of luxury; And 'they leave
their possessions as the waves of the sea'[Sirach 29:17]." Aphraates the
Persian Sage, Demonstrations, 22:7 (A.D. 345).
"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 are among the Hebrews one book;
also the third and fourth 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 [1-5] and Lamentations
and the Epistle[of Jeremiah-Baruch 6]; then Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel,
the twenty-second of the Old Testament." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical
Lectures, 4:33 (A.D. 350).
"The Divine Nature then it is impossible to see with eyes of flesh: but from
the works, which are Divine, it is possible to attain to some conception of His
power, according to Solomon, who says, 'For by the greatness and beauty of the
creatures proportionably the Maker of them is seen'[Wisdom 13:5]. He said not
that from the creatures the Maker is seen, but added proportionably. For God
appears the greater to every man in proportion as he has grasped a larger
survey of the creatures: and when his heart is uplifted by that larger survey,
he gains withal a greater conception of God. Wouldest thou learn that to
comprehend the nature of God is impossible? The Three Children in the furnace
of fire, as they hymn the praises of God, say 'Blessed art thou that beholdest
the depths, and sittest upon the Cherubim'[Daniel 3:55-Three Youths]." Cyril of
Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 9:2,3 (A.D. 350).
"[L]earn from this instance the mightiness of God: for 'He hath numbered the
drops of rain'[Job 26:27], which have been poured down on all the earth, not
only now but in all time. The sun is a work of God, which, great though it be,
is but a spot in comparison with the whole heaven; first gaze steadfastly upon
the sun, and then curiously scan the Lord of the sun. 'Seek not the things that
are too deep for thee, neither search out the things that are above thy
strength: what is commanded thee, think thereupon'[Sirach 3:20,21]." Cyril of
Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 6:4 (A.D. 350).
"Hear the Prophet saying, 'This is our God, none other shall be accounted of in
comparison with Him. He hath found out every way of knowledge, and given it to
Jacob His servant, and to Israel His beloved. Afterwards He[she] was seen on
earth, and conversed among men'[Baruch 3:36-38]." Cyril of Jerusalem,
Catechetical Lectures, 9:15 (A.D. 350).
"He says to Daniel; young though thou be, convict old men infected with the
sins of youth; for it is written, 'God raised up the Holy Spirit upon a young
stripling'[Daniel 13:45-Susanna]." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures,
16:31 (A.D. 350).
"For when they speak against the ascension of the Saviour, as being impossible,
remember the account of the carrying away of Habakkuk: for if Habakkuk was
transported by an Angel, being carried by the hair of his head[Daniel 14-Bel
& the Dragon], much rather was the Lord of both Prophets and Angels, able
by His own power to make His ascent into the Heavens on a cloud from the Mount
of Olives." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 14:25 (A.D. 350).
"[T]he sacred writers to whom the Son has revealed Him, have given us a certain
image from things visible, saying, 'Who is the brightness of His glory, and the
Expression of His Person;'[Heb 1:3] and again, 'For with Thee is the well of
life, and in Thy light shall we see lights;'[Ps 36:9] and when the Word chides
lsrael, He says, 'Thou hast forsaken the Fountain of wisdom'[Baruch 3:12]; and
this Fountain it is which says, 'They have forsaken Me the Fountain of living
waters'[Jer 2:13]." Athanasius, Defense of the Nicene Faith, 2:12 (A.D. 351).
"[F]or it is written of the other, 'The foolish person will speak foolishness'
[Is 32:6 LXX]; but of these, 'Ask counsel of all that are wise'[Tobit 4:18]." Athanasius,
Defense before Constantius, 17 (A.D. 357).
"The Lord is now making trial of your love for Him. Now there is an opportunity
for you, through your patience, to take the martyr's lot. The mother of the
Maccabees [2 Maccabees 7] saw the death of seven sons without a sigh, without
even shedding one unworthy tear." Basil, To the Wife of Nectarius, Epistle 6:2
"They say that the Father has prescience of all things, as the blessed Susanna
says, 'O eternal God, that knowest secrets, and knowest all things before they
be'[Daniel 13:42-Susanna]." Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 4:8 (A.D. 359).
"As you have listened already to Moses and Isaiah, so listen now to Jeremiah
inculcating the same truth as they:--'This is our God, and there shall be none
other likened unto Him, Who hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath
given it unto Jacob His servant and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He
shew Himself upon earth and dwelt among men'[Baruch 3:36-38]. Hilary of
Poitiers, On the Trinity, 4:42 (A.D. 359).
"Such suggestions are inconsistent with the clear sense of Scripture. For all
things, as the Prophet says[2 Maccabees 7:28], were made out of nothing; it was
no transformation of existing things, but the creation into a perfect form of
the non-existent." Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 4:16 (A.D. 359).
"Then, while the devout soul was baffled and astray through its own feebleness,
it caught from the prophet's voice this scale of comparison for God, admirably
expressed, 'By the greatness of His works and the beauty of the things that He
hath made the Creator of worlds is rightly discerned'[Wisdom 13:5]." Hilary of
Poitiers, On the Trinity, 1:7 (A.D. 359).
" And where the sacred writers say, Who exists before the ages,' and 'By whom
He made the ages,'[Heb 1:2] they thereby as clearly preach the eternal and
everlasting being of the Son, even while they are designating God Himself.
Thus, if Isaiah says, 'The Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the
earth '[Is 40:28]; and Susanna said, 'O Everlasting God'[Daniel 13:42-Susanna];
and Baruch wrote, 'I will cry unto the Everlasting in my days,' and shortly
after, 'My hope is in the Everlasting, that He will save you, and joy is come
unto me from the Holy One'[Baruch 4:20,22;]." Athanasius, Discourses Against
the Arians, 1:4 (A.D. 362).
"[I]t is written that 'all things were made through the Word,' and 'without Him
was not made one thing,'[John 1:3] and again, 'One Lord Jesus, through whom are
all things'[1 Cor 8:9], and 'in Him all things consist'[Col 1:17], it is very
plain that the Son cannot be a work, but He is the Hand of God and the Wisdom.
This knowing, the martyrs in Babylon, Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, arraign the
Arian irreligion. For when they say, 'O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the
Lord'[Daniel 3:57-Three Youths]." Athanasius, Discourses Against the Arians,
2:71 (A.D. 362).
"Daniel said to Astyages, 'I do not worship idols made with hands, but the
Living God, who hath created the heaven and the earth, and hath sovereignty
over all flesh;'[Daniel 14:5-Bel & the Dragon]." Athanasius, Discourses
Against the Arians, 3:30 (A.D. 362).
"Passing by the elders in the book of Daniel [Daniel 13:5-Susanna]; for it is
better to pass them by, together with the Lord's righteous sentence and
declaration concerning them..." Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 2, Flight to
Pontus 64 (A.D. 362).
"But if this too fails to persuade them, let them tell us themselves, whether
there is any wisdom in the creatures or not? If not how is it that the Apostle
complains, 'For after that in the Wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not
God?'[1 Cor 1:21] or how is it if there is no wisdom, that a 'multitude of wise
men'[Wisdom 6:24] are found in Scripture? for 'a wise man feareth and departeth
from evil'[Prov 14:16]; and 'through wisdom is a house builded'[Prov 24]; and
the Preacher says, 'A man's wisdom maketh his face to shine;' and he blames
those who are headstrong thus, 'Say not thou, what is the cause that the former
days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire in wisdom concerning
this'[Eccl 8:1,7:10]. But if, as the Son of Sirach says, 'He poured her out
upon all His works; she is with all flesh according to His gift, and He hath
given her to them that love Him,'[Sirach 1:8,9]." Athanasius, Discourses
Against the Arians, 2:79 (A.D. 362).
"[T]he Old Testament is reckoned as consisting of twenty-two books...so that of
Moses there be five books...with the Lamentations and the Letter[Baruch
6-Epistle of Jeremiah], and Daniel...bringing the number of the books to
twenty-two. It is to be noted also that by adding to these Tobias and Judith,
there are twenty-four books, corresponding to the number of letters used by the
Greeks." Hilary of Poitiers, Prologue to the Psalms, 15 (A.D. 365).
"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;
afterwards, Ezekiel and Daniel, each one book. Thus far constitutes the Old
Testament...But for greater exactness I add this also, writing of necessity;
that there are other books besides these not indeed included in the Canon, but
appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish
for instruction in the word of godliness. The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom
of Sirach, and Esther, and Judith, and Tobit, and that which is called the
Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former, my brethren, are
included in the Canon, the latter being [merely] read; nor is there in any
place a mention of apocryphal writings. But they are an invention of heretics,
who write them when they choose, bestowing upon them their approbation, and
assigning to them a date, that so, using them as ancient writings, they may
find occasion to lead astray the simple. Athanasius, Festal Letters, 39:4,7
"What Scripture says is very true, 'As for a fool he changeth as the
moon'[Sirach 27:11]. Basil, Hexaemeron, 6:10 (A.D. 370).
"[T]he Scripture tells us, 'into the malicious soul Wisdom cannot come'[Wisdom
1:4]." Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity, 15 (A.D. 371).
"Not by raining down manna, as for Israel of old[Ex 16:14] or opening the rock,
in order to give drink to His thirsting people,[ Ps 78:24] or feasting her by
means of ravens, as Elijah,[1 Kings 17:6] or feeding her by a prophet carried
through the air, as He did to Daniel when a-hungered in the den.[Daniel
14:33,34-Bel & Dragon]." Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 18, On the Death of
his Father 30 (A.D. 374).
"So as Judith says, 'Thou hast thought, and what things thou didst determine
were ready at hand’[Judith 9:5,6]." Basil, On the Holy Spirit, 8:19 (A.D. 375).
"The Lord ordereth 'all things in measure and weight'[Wisdom 11:20]." Basil, To
Clergy of Samosata, Epistle 219:1 (A.D. 375).
"Standing and sitting, I apprehend, indicate the fixity and entire stability of
the nature, as Baruch, when he wishes to exhibit the immutability and
immobility of the Divine mode of existence, says, 'For thou sittest for ever
and we perish utterly'[Baruch 3:3]." Basil, On the Holy Spirit, 6:15 (A.D.
"But the Spirit is believed to have been operating at the saint time in
Habakkuk and in Daniel at Babylon,[Daniel 14:35-Bel & the Dragon] and to
have been at the prison with Jeremiah,[Jer 20:2] and with Ezekiel at the
Chebar[Ez 1:1]." Basil, On the Holy Spirit, 23:54 (A.D. 375).
"Nor do I allege any opinion of my own, but I repeat that which the Holy Spirit
spake by the prophet: 'Blessed is the barren that is undefiled'[Wisdom 3:13]." Ambrose,
Concerning Virginity, 7:35 (A.D. 378).
"So then, holy Judith,[Judith 10:3ff] strengthened by lengthened mourning and
by daily fasting, sought not the enjoyments of the world regardless of danger,
and strong in her contempt for death." Ambrose, Concerning Widows, 7:38 (A.D.
"[T]he prophetical writing says, 'knoweth all things before they be'[Daniel
3:42-Susanna]." Gregory of Nyssa, Against Making of Man, 16 (A.D. 379).
"And how shall we preserve the truth that God pervades all things and fills all,
as it is written 'Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord,'[Jer 23:24]
and 'The Spirit of the Lord filleth the world'[Wisdom 1:7], if God partly
contains and partly is contained?" Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 28, 2nd
Theological 8 (A.D. 380).
"[T]he just man in the den, restraining the lions' rage,[ref Daniel 6:22] and
the struggle of the seven Maccabees,[2 Maccabees 7:1] who were perfected with
their father and mother in blood, and in all kinds of tortures.” Gregory of
Nazianzen, Oration 43, Panegyric on Basil 74 (A.D. 381).
"Daniel also, unless he had received the Spirit of God, would never have been
able to discover that lustful adultery, that fraudulent lie. For when Susanna,
assailed by the conspiracy of the elders, saw that the mind of the people was
moved by consideration for the old men, and destitute of all help, alone
amongst men, conscious of her chastity she prayed God to judge; it is written:
'The Lord heard her voice, when she was being led to be put to death, and the
Lord raised up the Holy Spirit of a young youth, whose name was Daniel'[Daniel
13:44,45-Susanna]." Ambrose, On the Holy Spirit, 3:6:39 (A.D. 381).
"The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one
book; Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Joshua
[Son of] Nave, one book; Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; Kings, four books
[ie., 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings]; Paralipomenon [Chronicles], two books;
Psalms, one book; Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one
book; Canticle of Canticles, one book; likewise Wisdom, one book;
Ecclesiasticus [Sirach], one book. Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias
one book, Jeremias one book,...lamentations, Ezechiel one book, Daniel one
book, Osee ... Nahum ... Habacuc ... Sophonias ... Aggeus ... Zacharias ...
Malachias ... Likewise the order of the historical [books]: Job, one book;
Tobit, one book; Esdras, two books [Ezra and Nehemiah]; Esther, one book;
Judith, one book; Maccabees, two books." Council of Rome, Decree of Pope
Damasus (A.D. 382).
"[I]n the Scripture the 'Seed of the Chaldeans'[Judith 5:6] removed, and the
children of Babylon dashed against the Rocks and destroyed." Gregory of
Nazianzen, Oration 45, 2nd Oration on Easter 15 (A.D. 383).
"[T]he prophet says, 'was seen upon earth and conversed with men'[3:38]." Gregory
of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, 6:4 (A.D. 384).
"And the Lord bids them lay aside the garments of mourning, and to cease the
groanings of repentance, saying: 'Put off, O Jerusalem, the garment of thy
mourning and affliction. and clothe thyself in beauty, the glory which God hath
given thee for ever'[Baruch 5:1]." Ambrose, Concerning Repentance, I:9:43 (A.D.
"And again; 'Do not to another what thou hatest'[Tobit 4:15]." John Chrysostom,
Concerning Statues, 7 (A.D. 387).
"Wherefore we must cast out all wickedness from our souls, and never more
contrive any deceit; for, saith one, 'To the perverse God sendeth crooked paths
[Prov 21:8 LXX]; and, 'The holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and
remove from thoughts that are without understanding'[Wis. 1:5]." John
Chrysostom, Homilies on John, 41 (A.D. 391).
"Let us then repeat to ourselves soothing charms drawn from the holy Scripture,
and say, 'Thou art earth and ashes.' 'Why is earth and ashes proud?' [Sirach
10:9], and, 'The sway of his fury shall be his destruction' [Sirach 1:19] and,
'The wrathful man is not comely' [Prov. 11:25 LXX]." John Chrysostom, Homilies
on John, 48 (A.D. 391).
"Wherefore the Scripture says well: 'A wise man will keep silence until there
is opportunity'[Sirach 20:6]." Ambrose, Duties of the Clergy, I:2:5 (A.D. 391).
"When Jeremiah understood what they wanted he said: 'The spot will remain
unknown until God shall gather His people together and be gracious to them.
Then God shall reveal these things and the majesty of the Lord shall appear'[2
Maccabees 2:7]." Ambrose, Duties of the Clergy, III:17:101 (A.D. 391).
"This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a 'helmeted' introduction to all
the books which we now 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... the book of ...Sirach, and Judith, and Tobias, and the
Shepherd are not in the canon. The first book of Maccabees I have found to be
in Hebrew, the second in Greek, as can be proved from the very style." Jerome,
Preface to Samuel and Kings [Prologus Galeatus] (A.D. 391).
"Elsewhere the Scripture takes the term "old" in the sense of blame; for seeing
that the things are of various aspect as being composed of many parts, it uses
the same words both in a good and an evil import, not according to the same
shade of meaning. Of which you may see an instance in the blame cast elsewhere
on the old: [Ps. 17:46 LXX] 'They waxed old, and they halted from their paths.'
And again, [Ps. 6:7 LXX] 'I have become old in the midst of all mine enemies.'
And again, [Daniel 13:52-Susanna] 'O thou that art become old in evil days.' So
also the 'Leaven' is often taken for the kingdom of Heaven, although here found
fault with. But in that place it is used with one aspect, and in this with
another." John Chrysostom, Homilies on 1st Corinthians, 15 (A.D. 392).
"And to prove that I say not this upon conjecture; when they fell into the
furnace, they bewailed themselves after this sort, saying [Daniel 3:29,33-Three
Youths], 'We have sinned, we have done iniquity, we cannot open our mouth.' John
Chrysostom, Homilies on 1st Corinthians, 18 (A.D. 392).
"That nothing be read in church besides the Canonical Scripture. Item, that
besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of
divine Scripture. But the Canonical Scriptures are as follows: Genesis. Exodus.
Leviticus. Numbers. Deuteronomy. Joshua the Son of Nun. The Judges. Ruth. The
Kings, four books. The Chronicles, two books. Job. The Psalter. The Five books
of Solomon. The Twelve Books of the Prophets. Isaiah. Jeremiah. Ezechiel.
Daniel. Tobit. Judith. Esther. Ezra, two books. Macchabees, two books." Council
of Hippo, Canon 36 (A.D. 393).
"At least that is what Solomon says: "wisdom is the gray hair unto men'[Wisdom
4:9]." Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58 (A.D. 395).
"And what safety can there be for us unless we wash away our sins by fasting,
since Scripture says that fasting and alms do away sin? [Tobit 12:8,9]" Ambrose,
Epistle 63:16 (A.D. 396).
"[It has been decided] that nothing except the canonical Scriptures should be
read in the Church under the name of the divine Scriptures. But the canonical
Scriptures are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua,
Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, Paralipomenon, two books, Job, the Psalter
of David, five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom,
Sirach], twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel,
Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Maccabees." Council
of Carthage III, Canon 397 (A.D. 397).
"We have the authentic book of Jesus son of Sirach, and another pseudepigraphic
work, entitled the Wisdom of Solomon. I found the first in Hebrew, with the
title, 'Parables', not Ecclesiasticus, as in Latin versions…The second finds no
place in Hebrew texts, and its style is redolent of Greek eloquence: a number
of ancient writers assert that it is a work of Philo Judaeus. Therefore, just
as the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not
admit them to the canon of Scripture; so let the Church read these two volumes,
for the edification of the people, but not to support the authority of
ecclesiastical doctrines." Jerome, Preface to Proverbs (A.D. 398).
"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, To Oceanus, Epistle 77:4 (A.D. 399).
"Of the Old Covenant: the five books of Moses--Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy; one of Joshua the son of Nun, one of the Judges, one
of Ruth, four of the Kings, two of the Chronicles, two of Ezra, one of Esther,
one of Judith, three of the Maccabees, one of Job, one hundred and fifty
psalms; three books of Solomon--Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs;
sixteen prophets. And besides these, take care that your young persons learn
the Wisdom of the very learned Sirach." Apostolic Constitutions, 47:85 (A.D.
"What sin have I committed in following the judgment of the churches? But when I
repeat what the Jews say against the Story of Susanna and the Hymn of the Three
Children, and the fables of Bel and the Dragon, which are not contained in the
Hebrew Bible, the man who makes this a charge against me proves himself to be a
fool and a slanderer; for I explained not what I thought but what they commonly
say against us."
Jerome, Against Rufinus, 11:33 (A.D. 402).
"And Baruch in the book of Jeremiah says 'this is our God: no other shall be
reckoned by the side of Him: He found out every path of knowledge and gave it
to Jacob His servant, and lsrael his beloved. After these things also He
appeared upon the earth, and held converse with men'[Baruch 3:35-37]. And David
signifying His incarnate presence said 'He shall come down like the rain into a
fleece of wool, and like the drop which distills upon the earth'[Ps 72:6]
because He noiselessly and gently entered into the Virgin's womb.” John
Chrysostom, Against Marcionist & Manicheans (ante A.D. 403).
"[D]oes not the scripture say: 'Burden not thyself above thy power'[Sirach
13:2]?" Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 108 (A.D. 404).
"Which also the Prophet fore told when he said, 'This is our God: no other
shall be accounted of in comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of
knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant and to Israel His beloved.
Afterward He showed Himself upon the earth, and conversed with men'[Baruch
3:36-38]." Rufinus of Aquileia, The Apostles Creed, 37-38 (A.D. 404).
"Of the Old Testament, therefore, first of all there have been handed down five
books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Then Jesus
Nave, (Joshua the son of Nun), The Book of Judges together with Ruth; then four
books of Kings (Reigns), which the Hebrews reckon two; the Book of Omissions,
which is entitled the Book of Days (Chronicles), and two books of Ezra (Ezra
and Nehemiah), 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, Canticles. These comprise the
books of the Old Testament...But it should be known that there are also other
books which our fathers call not 'Canonical' but 'Ecclesiastical:' that is to
say, Wisdom, called the Wisdom of Solomon, and another Wisdom, called the
Wisdom of the Son of Syrach, which last-mentioned the Latins called by the
general title Ecclesiasticus, designating not the author of the book, but the
character of the writing. To the same class belong the Book of Tobit, and the
Book of Judith, and the Books of the Maccabees…These are the traditions which
the Fathers have handed down to us, which, as I said, I have thought it
opportune to set forth in this place, for the instruction of those who are
being taught the first elements of the Church and of the Faith, that they may
know from what fountains of the Word of God their draughts must be taken." Rufinus
of Aquileia, The Apostles Creed,3 7-38 (A.D. 404).
"A brief addition shows what books really are received in the canon. These
are...of Moses five books...and Josue, of Judges one book, of Kings four books,
and also Ruth, of the Prophets sixteen books, of Solomon five books, the
Psalms. Likewise of the histories, Job one book, of Tobias one book, Esther
one, Judith one, of the Machabees two, of Esdra two, Paralipomenon two
books..." Pope Innocent [regn. A.D. 401-417], To Exsuperius, Epistle 6 (A.D.
"The words of 2 Maccabees v. 17, which say that Antiochus Epiphanes had power
to overthrow the Temple, 'because of the multitude of sins'[2 Macc 5:17], are
quoted in connection with the confessions of Daniel." Jerome, Against the
Pelagians, II:30 (A.D. 415).
"Wherefore, as Scripture says, 'when you go forth to serve the Lord stand in
the fear of the Lord, and prepare your mind'[Sirach 2:1]." John Cassian, The
Institutes, 4:37 (A.D. 426).
"Now the whole canon of Scripture on which we say this judgment is to be
exercised, is contained in the following books:--Five books of Moses, that is,
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; one book of Joshua the son of
Nun; one of Judges; one short book called Ruth, which seems rather to belong to
the beginning of Kings; next, four books of Kings, and two of Chronicles
--these last not following one another, but running parallel, so to speak, and
going over the same ground. The books now mentioned are history, which contains
a connected narrative of the times, and follows the order of the events. There
are other books which seem to follow no regular order, and are connected
neither with the order of the preceding books nor with one another, such as
Job, and Tobias, and Esther, and Judith, and the two books of Maccabees, and
the two of Ezra,(ie. Ezra & Nehemiah) which last look more like a sequel to
the continuous regular history which terminates with the books of Kings and
Chronicles. Next are the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of
David; and three books of Solomon, viz., Proverbs, Song of Songs, and
Ecclesiastes. For two books, one called Wisdom and the other Ecclesiasticus,
are ascribed to Solomon from a certain resemblance of style, but the most
likely opinion is that they were written by Jesus the son of Sirach. Still they
are to be reckoned among the prophetical books, since they have attained
recognition as being authoritative. The remainder are the books which are
strictly called the Prophets: twelve separate books of the prophets which are
connected with one another, and having never been disjoined, are reckoned as
one book; the names of these prophets are as follows:--Hosea, Joel, Amos,
Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi;
then there are the four greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel.
The authority of the Old Testament is contained within the limits of these
forty-four books." Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, II:8 (A.D. 426).
"[A]s Scripture itself testifies: 'For God made not death, neither rejoiceth in
the destruction of the living’[Wisdom 1:13]." John Cassian, Third Conference of
Abbot Chaermon, 7 (A.D. 428).
"[T]he Prophet says, 'the Lord Himself is God, who found out all the way of
knowledge; who was seen upon earth and conversed with men’[Baruch 3:37,38]." John
Cassian, The Incarnation of Christ, 4:13 (A.D. 430).
"[T]he divine Oracles cry aloud, 'Remove not the landmarks, which thy fathers
have set,'[Prov 22:28] and 'Go not to law with a Judge'[Sirach 8:14,] and
'Whoso breaketh through a fence a serpent shall bite him'[Eccles 10:8]." Vincent
of Lerins, Commonitory for the Authenticity and Universality of the Catholic
Faith, 21:51 (A.D. 434).
"Two officers in the army, who were shield bearers in the imperial suite, at a
certain banquet lamented in somewhat warm language the abomination of what was
being done, and employed the admirable language of the glorious youths at
Babylon, 'Thou hast given us over to an impious Prince an apostate beyond all
the nations on the earth'[Daniel 3:32-Three Youths]." Theodoret of Cyrus,
Ecclesiastical History, 3:11 (A.D. 440).
"And hence Tobias also, while instructing his son in the precepts of godliness,
says, 'Give alms of thy substance, and turn not thy face from any poor man: so
shall it come to pass that the face of GOD shall not be turned from thee'[Tobit
4:7]." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D. 440-461], Sermon 10:4 (ante A.D. 461).
"[T]he sins which are washed away either by the waters of baptism, or the tears
of repentance, may be also blotted out by alms-giving; for the Scripture says,
'As water extinguisheth fire, so alms extinguisheth sin'[Sirach 3:29]. Through
our Lord Jesus Christ." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D. 440-461], Sermon 49:6
(ante A.D. 461).
"But O ungodliest of men [Judas Iscariot], "thou seed of Chanaan and not of
Juda'[Daniel 13:56-Susanna]." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D. 440-461], Sermon
67 (ante A.D. 461).
"Who[ie the Son] is equal with God the Father, have assumed the form of a slave
and the likeness of sinful flesh. But because 'by the devil's malice death
entered into the world'[Wisdom 2:24]." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D. 440-461],
Sermon 78:2 (ante A.D. 461).
"A wise man who knew all this full well reasons about deaths of this kind and
says, 'Yea; speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his
understanding’[Wisdom 4:11]." Theodoret of Cyrus, To Cyrus Magistrianus,
Epistle 136 (ante A.D. 466).
"For of him it is written, But by envy of the devil death entered into the
world'[Wisdom 2:24]." Pope Gregory the Great [regn. A.D. 590-604], Pastoral
Care, 10 (ante A.D. 604).
"[L]et them hear what is written, 'Give to every man that asketh of thee'[Luke
6:30]. Lest they should give something, however little to those on whom they
ought to bestow nothing at all, let them hear what is written. 'Give to the
good man, and receive not a sinner: do well to him that is lowly, and give not
to the ungodly'[Sirach 12:4]. And again, 'Set out thy bread and wine on the
burial of the just, but eat and drink not thereof with sinners' [Tobit 4:17]." Pope
Gregory the Great [regn. A.D. 590-604], Pastoral Care, 20 (ante A.D. 604).
"The divine Scripture likewise saith that 'the souls of the just are in God's
hand'[Wisdom 3:1] and death cannot lay hold of them." John Damascene, Orthodox
Faith, 4:15 (A.D. 743).
"But others, though future, are put in the past tense, as, for instance, This
is our God: 'Therefore He[she] was seen upon the earth and dwell among
men'[Baruch 3:38]." John Damascene, Orthodox Faith, 4:18 (A.D. 743).
"[S]o that in them was fulfilled that which is written, 'The service of God is
abominable to the sinner'[Sirach 1:22]." 7th Ecumenical Council, Nicea II,
Canon 6 (A.D. 787).