Are the deutero-canonical books or apocrypha (Tobit,
Judith, 1 and 2 Macabees, Wisdom of Solomon,
Ecclesiasticus (or Sirach) and Baruch) part of the Old
Some Christian denominations believe these books are part of the Old
Testament canon (a book belonging to the canon means it is regarded as
authentic, genuine, and of divine authority and inspiration) while others do
not. Let us find out from God's Word and from primary historical sources what
the verdict is on this issue.
First of all according to God's Word, who were entrusted with His Word?
Rom 3:1-2 "What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value
is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been
entrusted with the very words of God." NIV
The Jews were entrusted "with the very words of God" constituting the Old
Testament. If God entrusts a group of people to take care of His Word, they must
be very special and must know what constitutes His Word. Otherwise how can they
take care of it if they are unsure what makes up the Old Testament?
The Jewish canon of Scripture consists of three sections:
The Torah, the Prophets and the Writings. The Law or Torah consists of
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The Prophets (Nebhim) includes Joshua, Judges, 1&2 Samuel (which are one
book in the Jewish Scripture), 1&2 Kings (one book in the Jewish Scripture as
well), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum,
Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Hosea through Malachi are
called "the Book of the Twelve" and are combined into one scroll.
The Writings (Kethubhim or Hafiographa) are made up of Psalms, Proverbs,
Job (Poetical Books). Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther and
Ecclesiastes (Five Rolls or Megilloth). Daniel, Ezra - Nehemiah and 1&2
Chronicles (one book in Jewish circles) (The Historical Books).
This may be today's Jewish canon, but was it so in Jesus' days as well?
Luke 24:44 "He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with
you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of
Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." NIV
Jesus refers to the Old Testament as consisting of the same three sections
mentioned above. He refers to the Writings as "the Psalms", probably because the
Psalms constitutes the first and longest book of that section.
Luke 11:50-51 "Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood
of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from
the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the
altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held
responsible for it all." NIV
Jesus confirms here what constitutes the Old Testament. Abel being the first
martyr mentioned in Genesis 4:8, the first book of what constitutes the Jewish
canon (the earliest book written). And Zechariah being the last martyr mentioned
in 2 Chron. 23:21, the last book in the Jewish Canon (the last Old Testament
It is true that sometimes the Old Testament was referred to as two collections,
namely the law and the prophets. In John 10:34 Jesus said "Is it not written in
your Law, 'I have said you are gods'?" Referring to Psalms 82:6. In other words
the Old Testament canon could be referred to two collections as the sum for the
whole, incorporating the writings (Kethubhim or Hafiographa) into the law (the
Torah), like in Matt 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or
the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." NIV
The renowned Jewish historian from the first century, Flavius Jospehus boldly
wrote: "For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing
from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two
books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly
believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his
laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This
interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time
from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned
after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was
done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns
to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life. It is true, our history
hath been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but hath not been esteemed
of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not
been an exact succession of prophets since that time; and how firmly we have
given credit to these books of our own nation is evident by what we do; for
during so many ages as have already passed, no one has been so bold as either
to add any thing to them, to take any thing from them, or to make any change in
them; but it is become natural to all Jews immediately, and from their very
birth, to esteem these books to contain Divine doctrines, and to persist in
them, and, if occasion be willingly to die for them."
Flavius Jospehus, Against Apion, Book 1, 8. Flavius confirms the three sections
of the Old Testament. According to Flavius, this constituted 22 books, each
double book ( 1 and 2 Kings…) being counted as one, the twelve minor Prophets
being considered as one, and Judges-Ruth, Ezra-Nehemiah, and
Jeremiah-Lamentations being taken as one book.
He confirms the Jewish belief that no other sacred books were ever written after
Artaxerxes, as no prophets were to be found in Israel since then. He considered
these 22 books (as did all Jews) to "contain Divine doctrines" and worth dying
The prologue to Ecclesiasticus (about 130 B.C.) also refers to the three-fold
division of the Old Testament: "the law, and the prophets, and other books of
our fathers" Chapter 1:1.
Philo (about 40 A.D.) also testified of the three sections of the Old Testament:
"studying in that place the laws and the sacred oracles of God enunciated
by the holy prophets, and hymns, and psalms, and all kinds of
other things by reason of which knowledge and piety are increased and brought to
perfection." Philo, On the Contemplative Life or Suppliants, III, 25.
The Talmud being a large collection of Jewish laws and traditions, preserves the
oral tradition of the Jewish culture. One compilation made in Jerusalem (around
350-425 A.D.) is known as the Jerusalem Talmud. Another compilation made in
Babylonia (around 500 A.D.) is referred to as the Babylonian Talmud. Some
insights are being given in these writings about the canonicity of the Old
Tosefta Yadaim 3:5: "The Gospel and the books of the heretics do not make the
hands unclean; the books of Ben Sira and whatever books have been written since
his time are not canonical."
The reference of books making "hands unclean" refers to books that were divinely
inspired and thus were considered holy. Great respect was given to those books
considered canonical. Those touching the pages of Scripture had to wash their
hands after touching the holy document. This Talmudic text considers only the
books assembled in the Hebrew canon to be divinely inspired.
Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 4, pages 827. It is not a manuscript of the Jewish
Scripture but a quotation from baraitha in the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Baba
Bathra 14b. "Our Rabbis taught: the order of the Prophets is Joshua, Judges,
Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the Twelve ..........; The order
of the Ketuvim is Ruth, the Book of Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the
Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel, the Scroll of Esther, Ezra and Chronicles."
Seder Olam Rabba 30: "Up to this point (the time of Alexander the Great) the
prophets prophesied through the Holy Spirit; from this time onward incline thine
ear and listen to the sayings of the wise."
Babylonian Talmud, Tractate "Sanhedrin" VII-VIII,24: "After the latter prophets
Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the Holy Spirit departed from Israel."
Even according the Talmud, no books written after the "prophets Haggai,
Zechariah, and Malachi" were considered inspired by the Holy Spirit. No
documents written during the Greek period and other periods after that were ever
considered holy by those to whom "the very words of God" had "been entrusted".
Melito, the Bishop of Sardis, wrote the list of books contained in the Old
Testament canon (around 170 AD). His comments were found in a letter to Anesimus,
his friend. Eusebius in Ecclesiastical History IV.26 quotes him: "Their names
are these...five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus,
Deuteronomy. Jesus Naue, Judges, Ruth. Four books of Kingdoms, two of
Chronicles, the Psalms of David, Solomon's Proverbs (also called Wisdom),
Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job. Of the Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve
in a single book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Ezra."
Note that no other books besides the ones referred to earlier on are mentioned
as being part of the Old Testament canon. There may be some variances in where
the books are listed, but the same books are always referred to as the ones
inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Matt 4:1-4 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by
the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter
came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become
bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread
alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" NIV (see also
Matthew 4: 7,10)
Three times Jesus replies to the devil with the words: "It is written",
referring to the Old Testament canon. The devil never asked, "written in what?"
The Old Testament canon was clearly fixed before Jesus ministry. Satan knew
about the books included in the Old Testament.
The following New Testament texts will confirm this as well:
Matt 21:42 "Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:
"'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done
this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?" NIV M
att 22:29-30 "Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the
Scriptures or the power of God." NIV
Matt 26:54 "But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it
must happen in this way?" NIV
Matt 26:56 "But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets
might be fulfilled." NIV
Luke 24:25 "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that
the prophets have spoken!" NIV
Luke 24:44 "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything
must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and
the Psalms." NIV
Luke 24:46-47 "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise
from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be
preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." NIV
John 5:39-40 "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that
by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about
me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." NIV
John 10:35 "If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came-and the
Scripture cannot be broken" NIV
Acts 17:2 "As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath
days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures." NIV
Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians,
for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the
Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." NIV
Acts 18:28 "For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from
the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ." NIV
Rom 1:2 "The gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy
Rom 4:3 "What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was
credited to him as righteousness." NIV
Rom 9:17 "For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this
very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be
proclaimed in all the earth." NIV
Rom 10:11 "As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be
put to shame." NIV
Rom 11:2 "God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know
what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah-how he appealed to God
against Israel…" NIV
Rom 15:4 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us,
so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we
might have hope." NIV
Rom 16:26 "But now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings
by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey
1 Cor 15:3-4 "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was
buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…"
Gal 3:8 "The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by
faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be
blessed through you." NIV
Gal 3:22 "But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner
of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ,
might be given to those who believe." NIV
Gal 4:30 "But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman
and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with
the free woman's son." NIV
1 Tim 5:18 "For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is
treading out the grain" NIV
2 Tim 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,
rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may
be thoroughly equipped for every good work." NIV
2 Peter 1:20-21 "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture
came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its
origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along
by the Holy Spirit." NIV
It is clear that Jesus' disciples, as well as all of the Jews, and even the
devil himself, knew what the Scriptures consisted of. It's even more interesting
that Jesus constantly quote from the Old Testament canon, but never quote from
the deutero-canonical books. The canon had been set long before and books
written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit were considered holy as soon as
they were written. No council or church had any say about that. God made sure
that His people knew what was written under His inspiration.
But didn't the council of Jamnia determine which books made part of the Old
Testament in 90 AD?
Jewish life changed drastically after the destruction of the city of Jerusalem
in 70 A.D. The temple, the center of Jewish ceremonial life was destroyed and
Judaism was heavily discussed among rabbis. In the year 90 A.D., in the ancient
town of Jamnia, located close to the coast of Palestine south of Jaffa (It is
still inhabited today and called Yabneh or Jabneh), Rabbi Jonathan Ben-Zakkai
led several discussions on a number of things pertaining Jewish life.
It's interesting to note that some religious groups proclaim that the Old
Testament canon was determined by the Jews at that time and excluded any Greek
writings from their canon as a protection from the growing new sect called
Christianity, which had their writings in Greek. However no evidence can be
found about that. If such decisions were reached, wouldn't it have been
propagated in writing all over the Jewish world?
Also, we determined that the Old Testament was already determined by the time
Jesus led His ministry. Why would Jews need to meet to decide which books met
the criteria to be part of the Old Testament, if the Old Testament canon already
Many topics were discussed in Jamnia, including discussions about Old Testament
books. None of these were treated as possibly being admitted to the canon, and
no other new books were even mentioned for consideration. The discussions were
generally about possible internal problems, such as theology, apparent
contradictions, or possibly unsuitable content. Rabbinical discussions were
found about the book of Ecclesiastes especially and Song of Songs. The following
other Old Testament books were also discussed in a single passage: Ruth, Esther,
Proverbs, and Ezekiel. The only non-canonical books mentioned in these contexts
are the "books of Hamiram" (Homer?), but were never even considered for
An excellent paper entitled "The Council of Jamnia and the Old Testament Canon"
about this can be found at
http://www.ibri.org/13jamnia.html#footnote128 . This document is a reprint
of an article, which was published in the Westminster Theological Journal 38
(Spring, 1976). Using primary and secondary sources it proves that there is "no
real evidence for such a council nor for any binding canonical decisions at that
But where were the deutero-canonical books first found?
Around 250 B.C., Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, translated the Hebrew Old
Testament into Greek. The Jews in that area had started to loose their Hebrew
language in favour of Greek. This translation was called the LXX or the
Septuagint, as a legend alleges that 70 Hebrew scholars completed their
translation in 70 days. Among the books found in the Septuagint are the deutero-canonical
books (Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Macabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (or
Sirach) and Baruch) and some other apocryphal books (the Prayer of Manasseh and
1 and 2 Esdras).
No evidence can be found however that Jews (either Hebrew or Greek speaking)
ever accepted these books as being part of the Old Testament canon. It is also
remarkable that other translation of the Old Testament did not include these
books. The Targums (an Aramaic translation of the Old Testament) the Peshitta
(earliest versions of the Syriac translations) and qathe Aquila's Greek
translation adopted by the Alexandrian Jews (about 128 A.D.) did not include
them. Only one Jewish translation, the Septuagint, and those translations later
derived from it, included these books.
It is also worth mentioning that the renowned Greek Jewish scholar Philo of
Alexandria never quoted from these books. Wouldn't it be logical that if Greek
Jews had accepted these additional books as being part of their canon, they
would mention them in their writings as being inspired? None can be found! Even
the Jewish historian from the first century, Josephus, who was literate in the
Septuagint and made references to 1 Esdras and 1 Macabees, wrote that the Old
Testament canon was closed at the time of Artaxerxes I who reigned in 423 B.C.
(see quote above from Flavius Jospehus, Against Apion, Book 1, 8)
It is also interesting to note that none of these books were ever written in the
language the Old Testament was written: Hebrew.
Didn't all the church Fathers accept the deutero-canonical books as being part
of the Old Testament canon?
We will discover that the Church Fathers were far from being unanimous in
accepting these books. It is worth mentioning that the three oldest copies of
the Greek Septuagint include different additional books:
The Codex Sinaiticus (4 A.D.) does not include Baruch, but incorporates 4
Macabees which has never been accepted as possibly being canonical by any
The Codex Vaticanus (4 A.D.) leaves out 1 and 2 Macabees, and includes 1 Esdras,
another book never considered canonical by anyone.
The Codex Alexandrinus (5 A.D.) includes 1 Esdras and 3 and 4 Macabees,
non-canonical books according any religious affiliation.
Let us look now at the early Church Fathers' position concerning these books.
First in the Eastern Church, the home of the Septuagint.
Justin Martyr clearly rejected the Hebrew Old Testament. He believed they
were attempting to hide references to Jesus Christ.
Melito Sardis, bishop of Sardis in 170 AD wrote the list of books
contained in the Old Testament canon. His comments were found in a letter to
Anesimus, his friend. Eusebius in Ecclesiastical History IV.26 quotes him:
"Their names are these...five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers,
Leviticus, Deuteronomy. Jesus Naue, Judges, Ruth. Four books of Kingdoms, two of
Chronicles, the Psalms of David, Solomon's Proverbs (also called Wisdom),
Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job. Of the Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve
in a single book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Ezra."
He gives no mention at all concerning the deutero-canonical books!
Origen (185-254 A.D.), the greatest Bible scholar among the Greek Fathers
provides a list of Old Testament books:
"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." Further
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, Dabreďamein, that is,
`Records of days'; Esdras, First and Second in one, Ezra, that is, `An
assistant'; the book of Psalms, Spharthelleim; the Proverbs of Solomon, Meloth;
Ecclesiastes, Koelth; the Song of Songs (not, as some suppose, Songs of Songs),
Sir Hassirim; Isaiah, Jessia; Jeremiah, with Lamentations and the epistle in
one, Jeremia; Daniel, Daniel; Ezekiel, Jezekiel; Job, Job; Esther, Esther." As
quoted by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book VI, Chapter 25
Although he defended the use of books like "The History of Susanna", he refused
Cyril of Jerusalem (about A.D. 350), bishop of Jerusalem
He accepted the same books as the Hebrew canon as part of the Old Testament and
considered all other books from the LXX as being apocryphal and unworthy to be
"Learn also diligently, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old
Testament, and what those of the New. And read none of the apocryphal
writings; for why do you, who know not those which are acknowledged among
all, trouble yourself in vain about those which are disputed? Read the divine
Scriptures, these twenty-two books of the Old Testament that were translated
by the seventy-two translators(a) . . . For the translation of the divine
Scriptures that were spoken in the Holy Spirit was accomplished through the Holy
Spirit. Read their twenty-two books but have nothing to do with the apocryphal
writings. Study diligently only these that we also read with confident authority
in the church. For much wiser and holier than you were the apostles and ancient
bishops who led the church and handed down these books. Being therefore a child
of the Church, do not transgress its statutes. And of the Old Testament, as we
have said, study the two and twenty books, which, if you desire to have
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 Nun, and the book of Judges, including Ruth, counted
as seventh. And of the other historical books, the first and second books of the
Kings(b) are among the Hebrews one book; also the third and fourth(c) one book.
And in like manner, the first and second of Chronicles are with them one book;
and the first and second of Esdras(d) are counted one. Esther is the twelfth
book; and these are the historical writings. But those which are written in
verse 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." Cyril of Jerusalem
Catechetical Lectures, iv. 33
Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria (3-4 A.D.)
Athanasius gave the same list as Origen but included Baruch and omitted
Esther. He believed other extra books from Septuagint as having an inferior
"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(a) being reckoned
as one book, and so likewise the third and fourth(b) as one book. And again, the
first and second of the Chronicles are reckoned as one book. Again Ezra, the
first and second (c) 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 [minor prophets] 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."
"There are other books besides these, indeed not received as canonical but
having been appointed by our fathers to be read to those just approaching and
wishing to be instructed in the word of godliness: Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of
Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the
Apostles, and the Shepherd." Athanasius, Thirty-ninth Festal Epistle, paragraphs
4 and 7.
Gregory of Nazianzus, bishop of Constantinople from 378 to 382.
He lists the books of the Old Testament in metrical verse. It includes only the
books of the Hebrew canon, and makes no mention of any other books. (See Carmina
1.12.5; 2.2.8. No translation in English found.)
Amphilocius of Iconium (around 380 A.D.), bishop of Iconium in Galatia.
He lists the same books as Gregory of Nazianzus, but concludes with "some add
Esther". (See Iambics for Seleucus, sometimes found among the poems of Gregory
of Nazianzus. Unavailable in English)
Now the Western church:
Tertullian (around 160-230 A.D.) Tertullian accepted every book in the
Septuaginta as being canonical and was eager to open the list even wider.
According to him 1 Enoch should have been included in the canon, as Jude quotes
from it. He also believed the Sibylline Oracles should have been accepted as
Jerome (around 340-420 A.D.)
Jerome was well versed in both Greek and Hebrew languages. He was the most
learned churchman in his time period. The bishop of Rome commissioned him to
generate an authoritative Latin version of the Bible, which later was called the
Vulgate. He abandoned the Septuagint and started translating from the original
Hebrew. In his Preface to the Old Testament historical books he gives a list of
which Old Testament books belong to the canon, which included only the Hebrew
books, and all of the other books of the Septuagint he labelled them as the
"Apocrypha." These books are to be read, he says, "for the edification of the
people, but not as authority for the confirmation of doctrine."
"...As, then, there are twenty-two elementary characters by means of which we
write in Hebrew all we say, and the compass of the human voice is contained
within their limits, so we reckon twenty-two books, by which, as by the alphabet
of the doctrine of God, a righteous man is instructed in tender infancy, and, as
it were, while still in the breast. The first of these books is called Bresith,
to which we give the name Genesis. The second, Elle Smoth, which bears the name
Exodus; the third, Vaiecra, that is Leviticus; the fourth, Vaiedabber, which we
call Numbers; the fifth, Elle Addabarim, which is entitled Deuteronomy.
These are the five books of Moses, which they properly call Thorath, that is,
The second class is composed of the Prophets, and they begin with Jesus the son
of Nun, who among them is called Joshua the son of Nun. Next in the series is
Sophtim, that is, the book of Judges; and in the same book they include Ruth,
because the events narrated occurred in the days of the Judges. Then comes
Samuel, which we call first and second Kings. The fourth is Malachim, that is,
Kings, which is contained in the third and fourth volumes of Kings. And it is
far better to say Malachim, Kings, than Malachoth, Kingdoms. For the author does
not describe the kingdoms of many nations, but that of one people, the people of
Israel, which is comprised in the twelve tribes. The fifth is Isaiah, the sixth
Jeremiah, the seventh, Ezekiel, the eighth is the book of the Twelve Prophets,
which is called among the Jews Thare Asra.
To the third class belong the Hagiographa, of which the first book begins with
Job, the second with David, whose writings they divide into five parts and
comprise in one volume of Psalms; the third is Solomon, in three books,
Proverbs, which they call Parables, that is Masaloth, Ecclesiastes, that is
Coeleth, the Song of Songs, which they denote by the title Sir Assirim; the
sixth is Daniel; the seventh, Dabre Aiamim, that is, 'Words of Days,' which we
may more expressively call a chronicle of the whole of the sacred history, the
book that amongst us is called first and second Chronicles; the eighth, Ezra,
which itself is likewise divided amongst Greeks and Latins into two books; the
ninth is Esther. And so there are twenty-two books of the Old Testament; that
is, five of Moses, eight of the Prophets, nine of the Hagiographa, though some
include Ruth and Kinoth [Lamentations] amongst the Hagiographa, and think that
these books ought to be reckoned separately; we should thus have twenty-four
books of the old law.
And these the Apocalypse of John represents by the twenty-four elders who adore
the Lamb and with downcast looks offer their crowns, while in their presence
stand the four living creatures with eyes before and behind, that is, looking to
the past and the future, and with unwearied voice crying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord
God Almighty, who wast, and art, and art to come. This preface to the Scriptures
may serve as a "helmeted" introduction to all the books which we turn from
Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is not found in our
list must be placed amongst the Apocryphal writings. Wisdom, therefore,
which generally bears the name of Solomon, and the book of Jesus son of Sirach,
and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd, are not in the canon. The first book
of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved
from the very style." Jerome, Preface to the Books of the Kings (391).
Augustine (around 354-430 AD)
He believed that all the books of the Septuagint were part of the Old Testament
As you can see the early church Fathers were far from being unanimous in
their support for the inspiration of the deutero-canonical books.
Only in 1546 A.D. at the Council of Trent did the Roman Catholic Church
officially and globally accept the deutero-canonical books as part of the Old
Interestingly enough is that Cardinal Cajetan, who had opposed Martin Luther at
Augsburg in 1518, wrote a book called Commentary on All the Authentic Historical
Books of the Old Testament in 1521, in which he did not even include the deutero-canonical
Clear evidence has been found that the Old Testament canon was already
established by the time Jesus dwelled on our planet. The deutero-canonical books
were never accepted in the Jewish canon of the Old Testament. Jesus and the
writers of the New Testament hardly referred to them. The early church fathers
were far from being unanimous in their support for the inspiration of these
deutero-canonical books. However two facts are clear:
1. These books were found in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old
2. The early Christian church read these books, some considering them inspired,
others believing them as being apocryphal.
Two extreme positions are found in religious circles today:
1. Proclaiming that the early church professed these books to be canonical
2. Proclaiming these books never played any role in the early church
The fact is that these books were read in the early church and by Jews as well.
We should not just throw out the baby with the bath water! These books are part
of a fascinating past and although not divinely inspired, shed a lot of light
about customs during the 400 silent years. We just cannot ignore that material.
Want to know Jesus and His Word? Answer His call at
My Answer- NO!!!! They were added several centuries later and only confuse.
Even though some denominations use them, MOST use what God wants us to read in
many versions consisting of 66 books with amazing facts as to how they are put
together, and centered and so on Sincerely and by His Grace.
I am not sure about this question, I do not understand it but in the Old
Testament primarily pertains to God’s covenant with the people of Israel from
the time of Abraham. The Jews did not have a closed canon of Scripture in the
first century AD. Now Solomon, or the wisdom of Solomon is of the old testament
so is Ecclesiastes, as far as the rest of the question I am not understanding it
very clearly. The Apocrypha itself never claims to be the Word of God. Rob I do
not see where these books you speaking of is part of the Bible. Not the Bible I
read. So my answer would be No.
These books were left out during the canonization of the bible but were
canonized later the Roman Catholics refer to them even in their churches. The
catholic bible has them as part of the Old Testament
The answer is no... because it never quote by our Lord Jesus Christ and other
books in the Bible. It was written after The prophet Ezra collect the old
testament. Some of the books is not correct in geography. And the story in it
contradict with the biblical doctrine.