The Bible

The terms (Holy) “Bible” or (Sacred or Holy) “Scripture” denote the list of books, which Christians and Jews believe to be the written Word of God. The Catholic Church teaches that God is the author of the SacredScripture (CCC # 105).  All books in the Bible were written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16 quoted in CCC # 105).  By inspiration the Church means that God chose certain men who could still make full use of their own facilities and power to write only what God wanted.  The Church declares that the books of the Scripture teach without error the truth, which God for the sake of our salvation, wished to be contained in the Scripture (CCC # 108). The word “Bible” came from Latin Biblia, which means books.  It might have originated from Biblos, a port in ancient Syria where papyrus from Egypt shipped to Greece.  In the New Testament the Greek word Biblia sometimes translated as “books” actually means scrolls (Luke 4:17) since there were no books in that time.  The “Bible” is a Christian word to denote their scripture, comprising the Old and New Testaments.  While the terms Old and New Testaments appear in 2 Corinthians 3:6, 14, they were first applied to the two parts of Christian scripture in the late second century and early third century in the writings of Irenaeus [1], bishop of Lyon (c. 115 to 202), Tertullian [2],bishop of Carthage (c. 160 to 230) and Origen [3], scholar (c. 185 to 255).  To earlier Christians the term scripture generally meant the Old Testament and they referred the New Testament as Gospels or Memoir of the Apostles (cf. Justin Martyr: First Apology 66and Dialogue with Trypho 106.4) or “our writings” (cf. Justin Martyr: First Apology 28).  Irenaeus also used the terms “the writings of evangelists and the Apostles” to refer to  the New Testament (cf. Against Heresies,1.3.6).  Nevertheless the  second century Epistle of Barnabas already cited Matthew 22:14 using the phrase “it is written” indicating its scriptural status. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna (died c. 156) in his epistle chapter 12 cited as scripture Psalms 4:5 and Ephesians 4:26.  Justin Martyr (died c. 165) cited Matthew 11:27 as scripture in Dialogue with Trypho Chapter 100.  John of Chrysostomos (c. 347 to 407), bishop of Constantinople (present day Istanbul) might be the first who used the phrase “the books” or “the Bible” to refer to both Old and New Testaments [4]. The Jews, on the other hand, prefer to use the word “Tanakh”, which is the acronym of the three divisions of their scripture: Torah (the Law or Pentateuch in Greek), Nevim (the Prophets) and Ketuvim (the Writings or Hagiographa in Greek).  In the Jewish scripture the Law consists of five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  The Prophets (Nevim) is divided into two parts: The Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter Prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and the twelve Minor Prophets: Hosea to Malachi).  The order of books of the Latter Prophets may vary [5] in different ancient manuscripts.  There are also a number of variations [6] in the order of books of the third division and what is given here is the current one: Poetical books (Psalms, Proverbs, Job), Megilloth (Ruth, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Esther and Ecclesiastes) and historical books (Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles).  In total there are twenty-four books in the Jewish scripture.  All Jews accept these twenty-four books except the Jews of Ethiopia [7] who also accept other books.

Christians also do not agree with each other on the number of the books of the Bible, particularly that of the Old Testament.  All Christians accept the twenty-four books of the Jewish scripture, rearranged into thirty-nine books. The number thirty-nine comes from separating Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah into two books each and the twelve Minor Prophets into twelve books.  The Catholic Church accepts another seven books referred as deuterocanonical books: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch (with Letter of Jeremiah), and 1 & 2 Maccabees.  The Greek Orthodox Old Testament has those seven-books as well as 1 Esdras, Psalm 151, Prayer of Manasseh and 3 Maccabees (with 4 Maccabees in the appendix).  The Russian Orthodox has the seven-books and 1 & 2 Esdras (referred as 2 & 3 Esdras), Psalm 151 and 3 Maccabees.  The books of Esther and Daniel in the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles have also more chapters.  Among the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Armenian Church accepts the seven-books and 1 Esdras as inspired.  The Coptic Church accepted the seven-books until their leader Cyril V (1874 – 1927) removed them from their Bible [8]. The Ethiopian Church does not accept the Maccabees but accepts the the rest of the seven books as well as 1 & 2 Esdras, 1 to 3 Ethiopic Maccabees,  Enoch, Jubilee and Joseph ben Gurion. The Syrian Orthodox together with the Protestant and “Bible Only” churches do not accept the seven books and refer them together with 1 & 2 Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh as apocrypha (means hidden).  Some Protestant Bibles may have them inserted between the Old and the New Testaments.  All Christians accept twenty-seven books as the New Testament except the Assyrian Orthodox Church of the East (or Nestorian) church who accepts only twenty-two books (2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude and Revelation are excluded).  The Ethiopian Orthodox Church on the other accepts the same twenty-seven books of the New Testament in a narrower sense and in the broader sense accepts another eight books: 4 sections of Church Order (Sinodos), 2 sections of Ethiopic book of Covenant, Ethiopic Clement and Ethiopic Didascalia.

Except Daniel 2:4-7, 28 and Ezra 4:8 – 6:18; 7:12-26, which was originally written in Aramaic, the rest of the twenty-four (or thirty-nine according to Christian counting) books of Jewish scripture were originally written in Hebrew Deuterocanonical books were written either in Hebrews or Aramaic or Greek (refer to Table 1).  All the New Testament books were originally written in Greek [9].

 

Table 1:
Original Language of Deuterocanonical books
[10]

Hebrews

Aramaic

Greek

Tobit 13:1-18

Tobit except

13:1-18

Judith

Esther (addition)

except

13:1-7, 16:1-24

Esther (addition)

13:1-7, 16:1-24

1 Maccabee

2 Maccabee

1:1 to 2:18

2 Maccabee

2:19 to 15:39

Sirach

Wisdom of Solomon

Baruch

Letter of Jeremiah

Prayer of Azariah

Susanna

Song of

Three Young Men

Bel & Dragon

When the New Testament quotes from the Old Testament, it generally quotes from the (Greek) Septuagint.  The name Septuagint or LXX (Latin numeral for seventy) came from a story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas.  The story recounts that it took seventy-two elders (six from each Jewish tribe) seventy-two days to translate the Law (the first divisionof the Jewish scripture) from Hebrew to Greek in Alexandria in around third century BC.  LXX comprises all books of the Jewish scripture, arranged in different order and other books in Greek, of which seven are part of the Catholic Bible.  It was the scripture of the early Christians.  They preferred it to the scripture in Hebrew as it gave more support to their belief.  For example the well-known prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 (The Virgin shall be with child) quoted in Matthew 1:23 is taken from LXX. LXX uses the term virgin, while the corresponding verse in the Hebrew scripture uses the term young woman.  Luke relied on LXX when he wrote the name Cainan as one of the ancestor of Jesus (Luke 3:36, compared with Genesis 11:12).  There are a number of variations of the books and their arrangement in the ancient manuscripts of LXX (refer to Table 2), but generally it was divided into four divisions: the Law, Historical books, Poetical or Wisdom books and the Prophets (in some reference the first two are combined into “Narrative”).  In the following list, books that are not in the Jewish scripture are in italics.  The Law comprising five books is the same as that of the Jewish scripture.  Historical books consists of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 to 4 Kingdoms (Samuel and Kings), 1 & 2 Paralipomenon (Chronicles), Esdras a, Esdras b (Ezra-Nehemiah), Tobit, Judith and Esther.  The books of Job, Psalms including Psalm 151, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach or Ecclesiasticus belong to Poetical books.  The last part, the Prophets, comprises Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch with Letter of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the twelve Minor Prophets (in twelve books).  The books of Maccabees are in the Appendix or belong to historical books.  There are more chapters in the LXX manuscripts of Esther (6 chapters) and Daniel (Prayer of Azariah, Song of Three Young Men, Susanna and Bel & Dragon), which now exist in the Catholic and Orthodox Bibles.  Note that the Old Testament books of Catholic and Protestant Bibles are grouped following that of LXX.

Table 2: Three early manuscripts of LXX

Codex Vaticanus(4th century AD) Codex Sinaiticus1(4th century AD) Codex Alexandrinus(5th century AD)

 The Old Testament

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1-4 Kingdoms

1-2 Chronicles

Esdras a

Esdras b

    Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Songs

    Job

Wisdom

Sirach

Esther

Judith

Tobit


The Twelve

    Isaiah

Jeremiah

Baruch

Lamentations

Epistle of Jeremiah

Ezekiel

Daniel

The New Testament

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

James

1 Peter

2 Peter

1 John

2 John

3 John

Jude

Romans

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

Hebrews

…… 2

 The Old Testament

Genesis

Numbers

1 Chronicles

Esdras b

Esther

Tobit

Judith

1 & 4 Maccabees


Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

The Twelve

(incomplete)


Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Songs

Wisdom

Sirach

Job

The New Testament

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Romans

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

Hebrews

1 Timothy

2 Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Acts

James

1 Peter

2 Peter

1 John

2 John

3 John

Jude

Revelation

Epistle of Barnabas

Shepherd of Hermas

 The Old Testament

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1-4 Kingdoms

1-2 Chronicles


The Twelve

    Isaiah

Jeremiah

Baruch

Lamentations

Epistle of Jeremiah

Ezekiel

Daniel

Esther

Tobit

Judith

Esdras a

Esdras b

1,2,3,4 Maccabees


Psalms

Job

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Songs

Wisdom

Sirach

The New Testament

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

James

1 Peter

2 Peter

1 John

2 John

3 John

Jude

Romans

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

Hebrews

1 Timothy

2 Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Revelation

1 Clement

2 Clement

1 Codex Sinaiticus is damaged and
incomplete

2 Codex Vaticanus is torn at the end

The New Testament has twenty-seven books comprising four Gospels (according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), one Acts, thirteen epistles bearing the name Paul, one epistle to the Hebrews, seven Catholic Epistles and Revelation of John.  Ten of the thirteen Paul Epistles were addressed to churches or to more than one person: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians. Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians and Philemon.  Three were addressed to individuals and are known as pastoral letters: 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus.  The seven Catholic Epistles are James, Jude, 1 & 2 Peter and 1 to 3 John.  The name Catholic Epistles indicates that they were addressed to a general audience.  The present order of the books of the New Testament is the four Gospels followed by Acts, Paul’s thirteen epistles arranged according to the lengths in descending order (Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon), Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 to 3 John, Jude and Revelation.  Note that the order does not indicate the chronological date of composition.  While we cannot know the exact year when each book was written, it is commonly believed that 1 Thessalonians was the first to be written and 2 Peter was the last.  The first Gospel to be written is the one according to Mark. The order and the number of the books varied in the ancient manuscripts of the New Testament but the four Gospels were alwaysin the front.

At the time of Jesus and the apostles papyrus and parchment were the commonly used material to write on (cf. 2 Timothy 4:13).  Papyrus is made from the stem of papyrus plant that grows in the shallow water of the Nile at the delta (cf. Job 8:11).  It is still being produced today for tourist consumption in Egypt.  Parchment or vellum (the latter denotes finer and superior quality of parchment) was made from the skins of cattle, sheep, goats and antelopes, and especially from the young of these animals.  Scroll was made by gluing together, side by side, separate sheets of papyrus and then winding the long strip around a stick, thus producing a volume (from Latin volumen, means something rolled up).  The scroll was relatively inconvenient to use.  The reader had to employ both hands, unrolling the scroll with one hand, and rolling it up with the other as the reading proceeded. Early in the second century (or perhaps even at the close of the first century) the codex began to come into extensive use.  To make a codex one or more sheets of papyrus or parchment is folded in the middle and then sewed together. A codex (plural: codices) looks like a modern book except it does not use paper.  Paper (the word was derived from papyrus)was invented in China in 109 AD.  By the eight century paperwas widely used in the Islamic world, which had trade contact with China.  It reached Europe in the early twelfth century; by the fourteenth-century paper mills were found throughout Europe and paper soon replaced the other writing materials.

Whether on scrolls or codices, before the invention of the printing machine in the fifteenth century, copies of the Bible had to be made by hand.  This process was time consuming and produced both unintentional and intentional copyist errors during the process.  Our present copy of the Bible was made based on the ancient manuscripts, and copyist errors lead to discrepancies in the manuscripts.  In relation with this discrepancy, Textual Criticism is the science that studies all known manuscripts of the Bible in order to discover its original form.  The thirty-nine books (or twenty four in Jewish counting) of both Catholic and Protestant’s Old Testament are based on the so-called Masoretic text.  The Eastern Orthodox Church on the other hand relies entirely on LXX for their Old Testament.  Masoretic text is the text prepared by Jewish scholars who in the early Middle Ages integrated vowel signs, accent marking and marginal notes into the received consonant(only) text of the Jewish scripture.  There are thirty-nine manuscripts (mostly fragments) of the Masoretic text dating from the late ninth century to c. 1100 and over three thousand written after 1100.  The oldest complete manuscript is the Leningrad Codex dated 1009.  The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest (pre-Masoretic) text of the Jewish scripture.  Except Esther, fragments or complete manuscript of the other 23 books (or 38 in Christian counting) as well as 1 Enoch, Jubilee, Sirach, Tobit and Letter of Jeremiah (Greek fragment) are found.

We have over 5,000 manuscripts of the New Testament (fragments of verses and books and a few complete manuscripts) which come in four forms: Papyri, Uncials, Minuscules and Lectionaries. Papyri text written on papyrus is the earliest manuscript and only 88 fragments survive today; the oldest is a fragment of John 18:31-34, 37-38 dated c. 125 AD.  The uncials are text (using capital letters) written on vellum or parchment dating from the  4th century.  We have 274 manuscripts including Codex Sinaiticus (4th century) the only complete uncial text.  Minuscules are other type of text (using cursive and small letters) written also on parchment from the beginning of the ninth century replacing uncial type.  There are 2,795 of minuscules manuscript.  Lectionaries, 2193 of them dating from 6th century, are text written both in uncial or minuscules and are designated for daily and weekly lessons from the Gospels and Epistles.  Other than these four types, we also have quotations of the New Testament books in the writings of Church Fathers and the manuscripts of the New Testament in other languages (Syriac, Old Latin, Latin, Coptic etc.).   Scholars already divided the New Testament manuscript into four groups: Western, Caesarean, Alexandrian and Byzantine text.  The last one is also referred to as Majority text because over 80% of manuscript belongs to this group.  Our Greek New Testament is prepared mostly based on either one of the last two groups of manuscripts.  Scholars are divided on the issue of which group is more reliable as the source text from which translations into other languages are made.  The Alexandrian text is older but the Byzantine one is more abundant.  The reason is Greek remained the language of the Eastern (Orthodox) Church from whom we get most of the Byzantine text while the disappearance of the Alexandrian and others was due to the rise of Islam and the use of other languages (like Latin) in other Churches. While some discrepancies in different manuscript are minor, like
the use of different words, it may be in the form of verses not found in other manuscripts.  Examples are the two endings (longer and shorter) of Gospel of Mark (Mark 16:9-20), Luke 22:43-44, John 7:53-8:11 and Acts 8:37.  Most of the Bibles record the discrepancies in the footnote.

For us today, having a copy of the Bible is easy except for those living in certain countries.  It is available at a reasonable price in most bookstores either in printed or electronic form.  The latter may have search engines to help us find particular verses or words.  In addition we can view or download the online Bible from the Internet.  The situation was different before Gutenberg invented the printing machine and printed the first Bible in around 1455.  As they had to be hand copied, copies of the Bible were scarce and expensive and beyond the reach of most of the people.  Before paper was introduced, copies of the Bible were made on parchment made from skins of animal.  In that time the price of a copy of the Bible was equal to that of a house or fourteen fattened oxen [11]. When Martin Luther printed his German edition of the New Testament in September 1522 the price of a copy was equal to one-week’s wage of a journeyman carpenter [12]. The price went down as printing machines later produced a huge amount of copies.

Following the great commission (Matthew 28:19), the Church sent missionaries to other nations.  The need to translate the Bible into another language became inevitable.  In the first millennium, the Bible was already translated into a number of languages.  Syriac translation of the Old Testament was made directly from the Hebrew text in the second century.  Tatian composed Diatessaron where he combined the four Gospels into one with the Gospel of John as the base. The fourth century found the Syrian Christians possessing a complete translation of the Old Testament, which is known as the Peshitta. At least one version of the whole Bible, based on the LXX and on Greek manuscripts of the New Testament was available in Latin near the end of second century.  The most well known Latin translation was the one completed by Jerome in 405 at the order of Pope Damasus I.

It is known as the Vulgate, which became the official Bible of the Catholic Church.   Jerome translated the Old Testament from Hebrews, not from LXX for the twenty-four books.  The Bible was translated into dialects of Coptic language in around second century.  The first nation to embrace Christianity was Armenia.  In 406 Mesrob invented the Armenian alphabet and five years later completed a translation of the Old and New Testament from the Syriac Bible.  Later translation of the Old Testament in Armenian was made from LXX.  Early in the fourth century, Frumentius preached the Gospel in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and laid the foundation of the Ethiopic Church. The Bible in Ethiopic dialects probably dates from the close of the fifth century.  A translation of Bible in Arabic was probably made in the late ninth century based on the testimony of a Muslim writer Mas’udi.  Cyril and Methodius preached the Gospel to the Slavs in the second half of the ninth century.  Cyril, having invented the Glagolitic alphabet [13], made for them a translation of the Bible in Bulgarian.

A complete Bible version in Italian, a manuscript preserved in the National Library at Paris, was made in 1472.  In Spain the first printed Bible (Valencia, 1478) was in the Catalonian dialect.  Versions of the Psalms and the Revelation, and a metrical rendering of the Book of Kings, appeared in French as early as the seventh century.   A complete version of the Bible in French was made in the thirteenth century.  The first Old Testament in Hebrew was printed in 1488 at Soncino press in Lombardy and the New Testament in Greek prepared by Erasmus was first printed in 1513.  In Germany numerous partial versions in the vernacular Bible dated back to the seventh and eighth centuries.  In the fifteenth century a complete Bible in German was available. The first German Bible was printed in 1466.  There were the five complete editions printed before 1477, nine from 1477 to 1522, and four in Low German translated from Vulgate, all preceding Luther’s German printed Bible that appeared in 1522 for the New Testament (translated from Greek).  Luther had his German translation of the Old Testament (translated from Soncino Hebrew Bible) printed part by part from 1523 (The Law) to 1534 when the complete Luther German Bible came out from theprinter.  The Bible for Catholics in Holland was printed at Delft between 1475-1478.  Parts of the Bible were translated into Anglo Saxon (ancient form of English) as early as seventh century.  The English translation of the whole Bible was the work of John Wyclif in the fourteenth century.  The first printed New Testament appeared in 1525 and was the work of William TyndaleMiles Coverdale had the first complete Bible in English printed in 1535.  His Old Testament had only thirty-nine books.  In October 1578 the work of preparing an English translation of the Bible for Catholics began.  The New Testament was published at Reims in 1582, the Old Testament was published at Douai between 1609-10 and thus the Bible is known as Douai-Reims version.

Does the Catholic Church oppose the translation of the Bible into vernacular languages in order to prevent ordinary people from reading the Bible?  The Church banned the Wyclif English translation and William Tyndale was executed in 1536 for his work.  To answer this question, we can draw a parallel between their translation and that of Jehovah Witnesses, known as the New World Translation.  Any zealous Christian would neither use nor recommend this translation (and if they had the power they most likely would give the order to destroy it). For the same reason, the Catholic Church was against the Wyclif and Tyndale works.  While they might be heroes to the Protestants, they were at odds with the Catholic Church for their views on certain doctrinal matters.  The Catholic Church was not against the translation of the Bible into other languages, which She had done all the time.  However, the Church only accepted authorized translations.  Obviously She would not accept those made by the opponents of the Church.  Bear also in mind that English was not widely used in those days. Before the seventeenth century all English speaking countries of today (USA, all commonwealth countries and former British colonies, Philippine etc.) did not exist, or if they did English, was not widely spoken.  No doubt the Catholic Church preferred the use of Latin Vulgate of the Bible in those days.  But those who think that this would prevent ordinary people from accessing the Bible should know that Latin was the language of the educated people.  Those who were not lucky enough to have education were illiterate.  Furthermore before the invention of the printing machine in 1455 the cost of hand copied Bibles was beyond the reach of most people.  If Luther, Tyndale and Coverdale were born and lived before 1455 they would have had serious problems distributing their copies of the Bible into the hands of ordinary people; they simply could not afford the cost.

Wibisono Hartono

Catholic Legate

November 17, 2002


Reference

  1. Ackroyd, P.R. and Evans, C.A. (Editors): The
    Cambridge History of the Bible.  From the Beginnings
    to Jerome
    , Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  2. Epp. E.J. and Fee, G.D.: Studies in the
    Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism
    ,
    William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993.
  3. Greenslade, S.L. (Editor): The Cambridge
    History of the Bible.  The West from the Reformation
    to the Present Day
    , Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  4. Lampe, G.W.H. (Editor): The Cambridge
    History of the Bible.  The West from the Fathers to
    the Reformation
    , Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  5. Metzger, B.M.: The Text of the New
    Testament, Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration
    ,
    Clarendon Press, second edition, 1968.
  6. Metzger, B.M. and Coogan, M.D.: The
    Oxford Companion to the Bible
    , Oxford University
    Press, 1993.
  7. Sundberg, A.C.: The Old Testament of the
    Early Church
    , Harvard University Press, 1964
    .
  8. Swete, H.B.: An Introduction to the Old
    Testament in Greek
    , Hendrickson Publisher,
    Massachusetts, 1989. (Originally published by Cambridge
    University Press in 1904).

[1]
English translation is from Anti Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1.

And therefore it was that they received from Moses
this law of divorcement, adapted to their hard nature. But why
say I these things concerning the Old Testament? For in the New
also are the apostles found doing this very thing, on the ground
which has been mentioned, Paul plainly declaring, But these
things I say, not the Lord.”……

Inasmuch, then, as in both Testaments there is the
same righteousness of God [displayed] when God takes vengeance,
…….

For as, in the New Testament, that faith of men [to
be placed] in God has been increased, receiving in addition [to
what was already revealed] the Son of God, that man too might be
a partaker of God; so is also our walk in life required to be
more circumspect, when we are directed not merely to abstain from
evil actions, but even from evil thoughts, and from idle words,
and empty talk, and scurrilous-language: …

Ireneaus,
Against Heresies 4.15.2 and 4.28.1-2

[2]
English translation is from Anti Nicene Fathers, Vol. 3.

For it is certain that the whole aim at which he [Marcion] has strenuously laboured even in the
drawing up of his Antitheses, centres in this, that he may
establish a diversity between the Old and the New Testaments, so
that his own Christ may be separate from the Creator, as
belonging to this rival god, and as alien from the law and
the prophets.

Tertullian,
Against Marcion 4.6

[3]
English translation is from Anti Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4.

But with respect to the Son of God, although no one
knoweth the Son save the Father, yet it is from sacred Scripture
also that the human mind is taught how to think of the Son; and
that not only from the New, but also from the Old Testament, by
means of those things which, although done by the saints, are
figuratively referred to Christ, and from which both His divine
nature, and that human nature which was assumed by Him, may be
discovered.

Origen,
de Principiis 1.3.1

[4]
Bruce: The Canon of Scripture, page 214; Metzger: The
Canon of the New Testament
, page 214 quoted the statement of Suicer
for the source.

[5]
Encyclopaedia Judaica Vol. 4, page 828

[6] ibid,
page 829-830

[7] ibid,
Vol. 6, page 1147

[8] A.S.
Atiya: The Coptic Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, page 161.
However recent correspondence with one Coptic Church in USA indicates that they still accept those books (and
Psalm 151)
as part of
their Bible.

[9] according
to Papias (c. 60 to 130), bishop of Hierapolis, Matthew wrote his
Gospel in Hebrew dialect (quoted in Eusebius “Ecclesiastical
History Book 3, Chapter 39).

[10]
Refer to Sundberg: The Old Testament of the Early Church,
page 62.

[11]
The Cambridge History of Holy Bible: The West from the
Reformation to the Present Day, page 416 and 423.

[12]
ibid, page 95

[13]
Forerunner of the present Cyrillic alphabet

 

 

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