Defending the Septuagint Version of the Hebrew Scriptures
The Version of the Hebrew Scriptures accepted by the International Catholic Confederation is the Septuagint (from the Latin: septuāgintā literally “seventy”; often abbreviated as 70 in Roman numerals, i.e., LXX; sometimes called the Greek Old Testament) is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures from the original Hebrew. It is estimated that the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE. Considered the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is quoted a number of times in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline epistles, (examples cited below) by the Apostolic Fathers, and later by the Greek Church Fathers.
The full title in Ancient Greek: Ἡ τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα μετάφρασις, literally “The Translation of the Seventy”, derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas that the Septuagint was translated at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–247 BCE) by 70 Jewish scholars (or, according to later tradition, 72: six scholars from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel) who independently produced identical translations. The miraculous character of the Aristeas legend is indicative of the esteem in which the translation was held in the ancient Jewish diaspora, and later, early Christian circles.
It is clear that a Greek translation was in circulation among the Alexandrian Jews who were fluent in Greek but not in Hebrew. The evidence of Egyptian papyri from the period has led most scholars to view as probable Aristeas’s dating of the translation of the Pentateuch to the third century BCE. Whatever share the Ptolemaic court may have had in the translation, it satisfied a need felt by the Jewish community, among whom a knowledge of Hebrew was waning before the demands of every-day life.”
While there are other contemporaneous Greek versions of the Old Testament, most did not survive except as fragments. Modern critical editions of the Septuagint are based on the Codices Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Alexandrinus.
Protestants claim that the Jewish people never accepted the Septuagint. Their claim is (often) that the Jewish leaders primarily agreed upon the “Masoretic Text” (MT) version at a council at “Jamnia” at the end of the first century A.D., but that does not explain away the popular use of the Septuagint in Jesus’ day. Additionally, current scholarship doubts that the Hebrew Scriptures were actually debated at that time. Even more problematic is that it is now believed that the Masoretic texts were not translated until at least the seventh century A.D. This claim is supported by information discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls. This late translation date would have precluded the early Church Fathers from relying on the MT in their writings. Additionally, if the MT were the text in use, there would have been no references to the deuterocanonical books during the early centuries of the Church.
The tradition goes that when Martin Luther was cornered in a debate over Purgatory, his opponent, Johann Eck, cited Second Maccabees against Luther’s position. Luther was forced to say that Maccabees could not be allowed in the debate because it wasn’t canonical. Later in the debate, Luther appealed to St. Jerome for rejecting Maccabees (the councils of Carthage–5th century, Hippo–6th century, and Florence–15th century) all included Macabees as canonical Scripture).
By appealing to Jerome, he also rejected all the other books Jerome rejected (Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, Tobit, Judith, 1st and 2nd Maccabees, Daniel 13, and sections of Esther).
From then on, Luther (and all Protestants) have been trying to justify this removal. Luther in 1534 thought Baruch was “too skimpy” and not lofty enough to be from the scribe of Jeremiah. He also had problems with certain historical elements in Baruch. But in the long run, it really came down to Jerome’s rejection.
What Jerome could not have known was that there were many different Hebrew manuscripts in circulation during the first century and that the Greek Septuagint, a translation made by the Jews around 200 BC, at least in parts, appears to be a very literal translation of a more ancient Hebrew text tradition that is now lost.
This means that Jerome’s idea of “Hebrew truth” (I.e., only that which is found in the Hebrew texts is true) has been demonstrated to be an error. With Jerome’s position no longer tenable, Protestantism really doesn’t have a historical leg to stand on in regards to their OT canon.
References to Deuterocanonical* Books in the New Testament and other Relevant Sources
Does it really matter if we utilize the seven so-called Apocryphal books that the protestant reformers removed from their bibles? What’s the big deal you might be tempted to ask?
What brings this subject up today?
I just finished writing an article where I observed that the devil is constantly attacking the validity, inspiration, and effectiveness of Holy Scripture. In fact, the first sin, which instigated our fall from grace, can be attributed to humanity believing that lie. My writings are in response to a young man declaring that all scripture are useless. This was, because, in his words “it’s all just mythology.” We need to be constantly on our guard and be able to refute and debunk spurious claims.
Over the years I’ve heard on countless occasions (once again today as a matter of fact) “there are no references to the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament, within the New Testament. Is that really true? For many years I simply have taken this as fact, without doing the investigative work myself.
To be fair, I started out my Christian walk of faith with a bit of an anti-catholic chip on my shoulders. As I spent my early years in an Evangelical Protestant paradigm, it was common to hear teachings, which cast aspersions on all things Catholic. And, of course, the fact that Catholics retained certain “spurious” books in their bible was just another (supposed) glaring bit of evidence to that “fact.”
However, since my conversion, one glaring bit of evidence has been constantly refuting my previously held pious belief. And, that is the fact that the Septuagint version of the Hebrew Scriptures WAS a prominent version of Jewish holy texts in use during the time of Christ. In fact, the Apostle Paul boldly called those writings inspired. Why do I make that assertion? 1st, the venerable apostle said so in 2 Timothy 2 Tim. 3:16 and he references these writings several times in his own epistles. Furthermore, he could not have been referring to a New Testament Canon, because one did not exist at the time.
Catholics do believe that both Jesus and the Apostles quoted from this version of scripture. To be fair, giving a list of such references is not such a simple affair since it is not always obvious whether something is a genuine reference.
Hebrews 11:35 is an indisputable reference to 2 Maccabees 7, but many are not so clear as there may be only a single phrase that echoes one in a deuterocanonical book (and this may not be obvious in the translation, but only the original languages). How many New Testament references there are to the Old Testament depends in large measure on what you are going to count as a reference.
As a result, many scholarly works simply give an enormous catalog of all proposed references and leave it to the individual interpreter to decide whether a given reference is actual or not.
Below is a list of references that have been gleaned from various sources. I do not claim to be an expert in biblical languages. In that understanding, this list is relying on the scholarship of others. However, the extent of the evidence presented leaves no doubt in my mind that both our Lord and his apostles, along with early church leaders found those writings both inspired and efficacious. In fact, the following evidence shows about twenty-seven pages of references spanning the first eight centuries of the early Christian era. Were the books, which are despairingly referred to as the Apocrypha inspired as Paul tells us? I say yes! Tell me your opinion in the comments below.
*Important Note: Referring to the seven deleted books as either Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical are generally pejorative terms that stipulate these as somehow less authoritative or a lower class of writing than the other canonical books. After reviewing the texts and considering the preponderance of usage, we find no good reason to claim these historical writings are anything less than authoritative parts of the inspired canon of scripture as declared at the Council of Trent. The International Catholic Confederation takes the position that due to the evidence of their usage in being referenced by Jesus, Paul and Peter; and that Paul made no equivocation when he claimed that the scripture in use in his day was “inspired,” neither do we relegate these books to a lower status. In the above understanding, we use the term “Deuterocanonical” in this article simply for scholarly clarification and identification purposes.
References in New Testament Scripture
- 2:16 – Herod’s decree of slaying innocent children was prophesied in Wis. 11:7 – slaying the holy innocents.
- 6:19-20 – Jesus’ statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 – lay up your treasure.
- 7:12 – Jesus’ golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 – what you hate, do not do to others.
- 7:16,20 – Jesus’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sirach 27:6 – the fruit discloses the cultivation.
- 9:36 – the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 – sheep without a shepherd.
- 11:25 – Jesus’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 – Lord of heaven and earth.
- 12:42 – Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.
- 16:18 – Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13.
- 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 – Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11 regarding the seven brothers.
- 24:15 – the “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.
- 24:16 – let those “flee to the mountains” is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28
- 27:43 – if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.
- 4:5,16-17 – Jesus’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.
- 9:48 – description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.
- 1:42 – Elizabeth’s declaration of Mary’s blessedness above all women follows Uzziah’s declaration in Judith 13:18.
- 1:52 – Mary’s magnificat addressing the mighty falling from their thrones and replaced by lowly follows Sirach 10:14.
- 2:29 – Simeon’s declaration that he is ready to die after seeing the Child Jesus follows Tobit 11:9.
- 13:29 – the Lord’s description of men coming from east and west to rejoice in God follows Baruch 4:37.
- 21:24 – Jesus’ usage of “fall by the edge of the sword” follows Sirach 28:18
- 24:4 and Acts 1:10 – Luke’s description of the two men in dazzling apparel reminds us of 2 Macc. 3:26.
- 1:3 – all things were made through Him, the Word, follows Wisdom 9:1.
- 3:13 – who has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven references Baruch 3:29.
- 4:48; Acts 5:12; 15:12; 2 Cor. 12:12 – Jesus’, Luke’s and Paul’s usage of “signs and wonders” follows Wisdom 8:8.
- 5:18 – Jesus claiming that God is His Father follows Wisdom 2:16.
- 6:35-59 – Jesus’ Eucharistic discourse is foreshadowed in Sirach 24:21.
- 10:22 – the identification of the feast of the dedication is taken from 1 Macc. 4:59.
- 10:36 – Jesus accepts the inspiration of Maccabees as He analogizes the Hanukkah consecration to His own consecration to the Father in 1 Macc. 4:36.
- 15:6 – branches that don’t bear fruit and are cut down follows Wis. 4:5 where branches are broken off.
- 1:15 – Luke’s reference to the 120 may be a reference to 1 Macc. 3:55 – leaders of tens / restoration of the twelve.
- 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 2:6 – Peter’s and Paul’s statement that God shows no partiality references Sirach 35:12.
- Acts 17:29 – description of false gods as like gold and silver made by men follows Wisdom 13:10.
- 1:18-25 – Paul’s teaching on the knowledge of the Creator and the ignorance and sin of idolatry follows Wis. 13:1-10.
- 1:20 – specifically, God’s existence being evident in nature follows Wis. 13:1.
- 1:23 – the sin of worshipping mortal man, birds, animals and reptiles follows Wis. 11:15; 12:24-27; 13:10; 14:8.
- 1:24-27 – this idolatry results in all kinds of sexual perversion which follows Wis. 14:12,24-27.
- 4:17 – Abraham is a father of many nations follows Sirach 44:19.
- 5:12 – description of death and sin entering into the world is similar to Wisdom 2:24.
- 9:21 – usage of the potter and the clay, making two kinds of vessels follows Wisdom 15:7.
- 1 Corinthians
- 2:16 – Paul’s question, “who has known the mind of the Lord?” references Wisdom 9:13.
- 6:12-13; 10:23-26 – warning that, while all things are good, beware of gluttony, follows Sirach 36:18 and 37:28-30.
- 8:5-6 – Paul acknowledging many “gods” but one Lord follows Wis. 13:3.
- 10:1 – Paul’s description of our fathers being under the cloud passing through the sea refers to Wisdom 19:7.
- 10:20 – what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God refers to Baruch 4:7.
- 15:29 – if no expectation of resurrection, it would be foolish to be baptized on their behalf follows 2 Macc. 12:43-45.
- 1:17 – Paul’s prayer for a “spirit of wisdom” follows the prayer for the spirit of wisdom in Wisdom 7:7.
- 6:14 – Paul describing the breastplate of righteousness is the same as Wis. 5:18. See also Isaiah 59:17 and 1 Thess. 5:8.
- 6:13-17 – in fact, the whole discussion of armor, helmet, breastplate, sword, shield follows Wis. 5:17-20.
- 1 Timothy
- 6:15 – Paul’s description of God as Sovereign and King of kings is from 2 Macc. 12:15; 13:4.
- 2 Timothy
- 4:8 – Paul’s description of a crown of righteousness is similar to Wisdom 5:16.
- 4:12 – Paul’s description of God’s word as a sword is similar to Wisdom 18:15.
- 11:5 – Enoch being taken up is also referenced in Wis 4:10 and Sir 44:16. See also 2 Kings 2:1-13 & Sir 48:9 regarding Elijah.
- 11:35 – Paul teaches about the martyrdom of the mother and her sons described in 2 Macc. 7:1-42.
- 12:12 – the description “drooping hands” and “weak knees” comes from Sirach 25:23.
- 1:19 – let every man be quick to hear and slow to respond follows Sirach 5:11.
- 2:23 – it was reckoned to him as righteousness follows 1 Macc. 2:52 – it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
- 3:13 – James’ instruction to perform works in meekness follows Sirach 3:17.
- 5:3 – describing silver which rusts and laying up treasure follows Sirach 29:10-11.
- 5:6 – condemning and killing the “righteous man” follows Wisdom 2:10-20.
- 1 Peter
- 1:6-7 – Peter teaches about testing faith by purgatorial fire as described in Wisdom 3:5-6 and Sirach 2:5.
- 1:17 – God judging each one according to his deeds refers to Sirach 16:12 – God judges man according to his deeds.
- 2 Peter
- 2:7 – God’s rescue of a righteous man (Lot) is also described in Wisdom 10:6.
- 1:4 – the seven spirits who are before his throne is taken from Tobit 12:15 – Raphael is one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints before the Holy One.
- 1:18; Matt. 16:18 – power of life over death and gates of Hades follows Wis. 16:13.
- 2:12 – reference to the two-edged sword is similar to the description of God’s Word in Wisdom 18:16.
- 5:7 – God is described as seated on His throne, and this is the same description used in Sirach 1:8.
- 8:3-4 – prayers of the saints presented to God by the hand of an angel follows Tobit 12:12,15.
- 8:7 – raining of hail and fire to the earth follows Wisdom 16:22 and Sirach 39:29.
- 9:3 – raining of locusts on the earth follows Wisdom 16:9.
- 11:19 – the vision of the ark of the covenant (Mary) in a cloud of glory was prophesied in 2 Macc. 2:7.
- 17:14 – description of God as King of kings follows 2 Macc. 13:4.
- 19:1 – the cry “Hallelujah” at the coming of the new Jerusalem follows Tobit 13:18.
- 19:11 – the description of the Lord on a white horse in the heavens follows 2 Macc. 3:25; 11:8.
- 19:16 – description of our Lord as King of kings is taken from 2 Macc. 13:4.
- 21:19 – the description of the new Jerusalem with precious stones is prophesied in Tobit 13:17.
Old Testament References to Deuterocanonical Texts
- 23:7 – do not slay the innocent and righteous – Dan. 13:53 – do not put to death an innocent and righteous person.
- 1 Samuel
- 28:7-20 – the intercessory mediation of deceased Samuel for Saul follows Sirach 46:20.
- 2 Kings
- 2:1-13 – Elijah being taken up into heaven follows Sirach 48:9.
As I alluded to at the outset, the inspired Scripture that Paul was referring to in 2 Timothy 3:16 – included the deuterocanonical texts that the Protestants removed. The above references pretty much debunk the notion that the bible does not contain references to controversial writings.
The books Baruch, Tobit, Maccabees, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom and parts of Daniel and Esther were all included in the Septuagint that Jesus and the apostles used.
Sirach and 2 Maccabees – some Protestants argue these books are not inspired because the writers express uncertainty about their abilities. But sacred writers are often humble about their divinely inspired writings. See, for example, 1 Cor. 7:40 – Paul says he “thinks” that he has the Spirit of God.
Protestant theologians and apologists attempt to defend their rejection of the deuterocanonicals on the ground that the early Jews rejected them. However, the Jewish council that rejected them (e.g., School of Javneh (also called “Jamnia” in 90 – 100 A.D.) were the same councils that rejected the entire New Testament canon. Thus, Protestants who reject the Catholic Bible are following a Jewish council that rejected Christ and the Revelation of the New Testament.
Finding Support in Tradition / Church Fathers
Of course, Protestants don’t give any weight to the fact that the early Fathers or leaders of the Church used the Septuagint, because they were “not inspired.” However, I argue that their usage lends credence to St. Paul’s insistence of their inspired nature as well as their common usage in that era. The excerpts presented below give ample reference to the veracity of my claim:
Post-Apostolic Era References to Deuterocanonical Texts
- “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 counseled 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 swore to 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 into 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. 180).
- “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 honor.”
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 labor, 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 anyone 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 (A.D. 230).
- “[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 honorable 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 to 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. 252).
- “[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 endeavor 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 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. 258).
- “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. 265).
- “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 (A.D. 324).
- “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 Israel, 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 (A.D. 358).
- “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 (A.D. 367).
- “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. 375).
- “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. 378).
- “[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. 384).
- “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. 400).
- **“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. 405).
- “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).
No, as with many subjects in antiquity, we don’t find 100% agreement among the fathers. What we do see from the multitudes of references above, it is patently obvious that the books that Protestant Reformers removed from the bible were both referenced in the New Testament and widely used by the early Church. Furthermore, these books were officially recognized as being part of the Canon of Scripture in the fifth, sixth, and sixteenth centuries. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the debate is over.