Skip to comments.Because I Love the Bible
Posted on 08/30/2010 6:26:22 PM PDT by markomalley
Here is a reason that answers the question posed by this blog daily that I've never written about yet. So here goes: I love the Bible. Well, duh, Frank you may be thinking, of course you do. Well, let me be more specific. I love the entire Bible and every single book therein, including all the books that Martin Luther tossed out during the Protestant Reformation.
I have some mechanical ability, which I have written about in this space once or twice. And I know a thing or two about removing parts from a motor, or adding them, for example. To make a long story short, you don't remove parts from an engine, leave them off, and expect the motor to work. Remove a turbocharger from a diesel engine, for example, and you will have a motor than runs, but it will run like a sick dog with absolutely no torque. What's the point of that?
Of course, the other possibility is that you can add parts to a motor in an effort to make it stronger. "Soup it up," so to speak. Usually this results in some additional power and fun, but at the expense of the longevity of the motor. In other words, you might make more power, but you will probably wind up grenading the motor as well. Oops.
So when I was coming around to the idea of converting, see, I wanted to know what was the scoop on these "extra" books in the Bible. Like a mechanic, I was wondering if the Catholic Church had decided to throw some aftermarket parts onto the motor, if you follow me. You know, like adding a supercharger to a motor that was already strong.
So I grabbed my souvenir Catholic Bible, from my first failed attempt at RCIA class, and I started looking at these mysterious books. As a result, I discovered some wonderful passages from books that were in the Bible that I had never heard of. Like the one from the first reading from Mass yesterday:
Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength, search not. The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise. Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins.
Um, not very scary, is it? As a matter of fact, don't those verses make all kinds of sense? And there are 50 more chapters of this book to sink your teeth into. Then I found these verses from the first chapter of the book entitled Wisdom,
Love justice, you who judge the earth; think of the LORD in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart; because he is found by those who test him not, and he manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him. For perverse counsels separate a man from God, and his power, put to the proof, rebukes the foolhardy; because into a soul that plots evil wisdom enters not, nor dwells she in a body under debt of sin. For the holy spirit of discipline flees deceit and withdraws from senseless counsels; and when injustice occurs it is rebuked.
Wow, I thought. Seek the Lord, just like it says in Psalm 105, but with a twist for clarity.
For wisdom is a kindly spirit, yet she acquits not the blasphemer of his guilty lips; because God is the witness of his inmost self and the sure observer of his heart and the listener to his tongue. For the spirit of the LORD fills the world, is all-embracing, and knows what man says. Therefore no one who utters wicked things can go unnoticed, nor will chastising condemnation pass him by.
Of course! God knows all, sees all. GPS has got nothing on God. It says so right there in 1 Samuel 16:7.
For the devices of the wicked man shall be scrutinized, and the sound of his words shall reach the LORD, for the chastisement of his transgressions; because a jealous ear hearkens to everything, and discordant grumblings are no secret. Therefore guard against profitless grumbling, and from calumny withhold your tongues; for a stealthy utterance does not go unpunished, and a lying mouth slays the soul.
Again, there is nothing strange here. There was a lot of "grumbling" going on in Numbers(14:27), for example, remember?
Court not death by your erring way of life, nor draw to yourselves destruction by the works of your hands. Because God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, And there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the nether world on earth, for justice is undying.
I remember clearly thinking to myself after reading this particular passage, "where has this book been all my life?" No wonder I feel immortal, because, gulp (!) I was created to be immortal. And then I realized there are 18 more chapters in this book too?
And so it goes, as I explored, and continue to marvel at, the wonders of Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, and 1 & 2 Maccabees. The passage in the New Testament that sealed the deal for me was when these verses in Hebrews chapter 11:32-35,
What more shall I say? I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous, obtained the promises; they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders. Women received back their dead through resurrection. Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection.
could only seem to be understood by referring to 2 Maccabees chapter 7:1, 13-14. Take a look,
It also happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.
After he had died, they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way. When he was near death, he said, "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the God-given hope of being restored to life by him; but for you, there will be no resurrection to life."
And then I learned that all of these books had been in the Bible since the beginning of Christianity. They had been in the Old Testament, but got tossed when Luther decided to toss them. At this point, I had to concede three things. 1) I'm not a biblical scholar; 2) The Catholic Church, the institution that assembled the Bible, is the Authority, and further, it has the Authority to decide what books belong in the Bible and what books don't; 3) These allegedly disputed books were in the Septuagint, which happened to be the authoritative Old Testament Canon in place while Our Lord Jesus Christ walked the earth.
At Mass today, for example, the gospel reading is from Luke and begins like this,
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.(Luke 4:16-17)
What the passage doesn't say, of course, is that He could just as easily, on a different day of the week, or on a different day of the liturgical calendar, have been handed a scroll from Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, or 1 & 2 Maccabees. These books were in the scrolls too, when God walked upon the earth.
So the mechanic in me was left with only one question to consider. As a Christian, did I want to go along with a stripped version of the motor, the one missing a few parts, with all of the pitfalls associated with that, or go along with the original version of the motor; the one that has all of the original parts, all in the proper place.
It really was not a difficult choice to make for me. Especially after I learned that Luther didn't like the book of James or Revelation either. Lucky us, he left those in because leaving those "parts" out would have been like forgetting the oil sump pump and the oil pan.
The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well." -Horace Walpole
Books never quoted directly by Christ or the apostles as the word of God.. Books that Jerome placed in a non canonical section for meditation.. the writer does not know the word of God
markomalley, this was great! Thank you. I’m gonna have to go read his blog from now on. Seriously, thank you.
But it's still full of mythology, right? [/sarcasm]
I too love the Word of God, which is titled the Bible. I first became a serious Bible student back in early 1963. even though I had been a professing Christian for nearly 10 years; I could not say I had read the Bible, nor had even one whole book of the Bible.
Then the Holy Spirit seemed to ask or say: “You have not even read one chapter have you?”
I then purposed to at least read one book, I don’t really know why (I thought I would read a small book)but I first chose to read the book of James.
That changed every purpose and goal of my life!
Now I’m not a Protestant, nor a Roman Catholic (even though they put a “P” on my dogtags) after they asked if I was a Protestant or Catholic, I said neither, then they asked are you a Catholic, I said no; then he said you are a Protestant!
I rejoice that you and I do not have to be neither. Like the tract titled: “Which Church Saves?” The answer: “None of them! Jesus Saves!”
The word Christian is in the Bible only 3 Times.(In Acts 11:26, “They were called Chistians.....in Acts 26:28, He was almost persuaded to become a Christian, then in 1 Peter 4:16 If any man suffer as a Christian....”
Again I rejoice that: We can be given the power to become the Sons of God by receiving Jesus Christ (John 1:12); We can call upon the name of the Lord and be saved (Romans 10:13)We can believe and be saved from condemnation (John 3:18 and 3:36)
Time nor space will not allow us here to even mention all the glorious promises God has given to “them that love God.”
But” “Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 150:6)
Matt. 2:16 - Herod’s decree of slaying innocent children was prophesied in Wis. 11:7 - slaying the holy innocents.
Matt. 6:19-20 - Jesus’ statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 - lay up your treasure.
Matt.. 7:12 - Jesus’ golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 - what you hate, do not do to others.
Matt. 7:16,20 - Jesus’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sirach 27:6 - the fruit discloses the cultivation.
Matt. 9:36 - the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 - sheep without a shepherd.
Matt. 11:25 - Jesus’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 - Lord of heaven and earth.
Matt. 12:42 - Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.
Matt. 16:18 - Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13.
Matt. 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.
Matt. 24:15 - the “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.
Matt. 24:16 - let those “flee to the mountains” is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28.
Matt. 27:43 - if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.
Mark 4:5,16-17 - Jesus’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.
Mark 9:48 - description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.
Luke 1:42 - Elizabeth’s declaration of Mary’s blessedness above all women follows Uzziah’s declaration in Judith 13:18.
Luke 1:52 - Mary’s magnificat addressing the mighty falling from their thrones and replaced by lowly follows Sirach 10:14.
Luke 2:29 - Simeon’s declaration that he is ready to die after seeing the Child Jesus follows Tobit 11:9.
Luke 13:29 - the Lord’s description of men coming from east and west to rejoice in God follows Baruch 4:37.
Luke 21:24 - Jesus’ usage of “fall by the edge of the sword” follows Sirach 28:18.
Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 - Luke’s description of the two men in dazzling apparel reminds us of 2 Macc. 3:26.
John 1:3 - all things were made through Him, the Word, follows Wisdom 9:1.
John 3:13 - who has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven references Baruch 3:29.
John 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.
John 5:18 - Jesus claiming that God is His Father follows Wisdom 2:16.
John 6:35-59 - Jesus’ Eucharistic discourse is foreshadowed in Sirach 24:21.
John 10:22 - the identification of the feast of the dedication is taken from 1 Macc. 4:59.
John 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.
John 15:6 - branches that don’t bear fruit and are cut down follows Wis. 4:5 where branches are broken off.
Acts 1:15 - Luke’s reference to the 120 may be a reference to 1 Macc. 3:55 - leaders of tens / restoration of the twelve.
Acts 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.
Rom 1:18-25 - Paul’s teaching on the knowledge of the Creator and the ignorance and sin of idolatry follows Wis. 13:1-10.
Rom. 1:20 - specifically, God’s existence being evident in nature follows Wis. 13:1.
Rom. 1:23 - the sin of worshipping mortal man, birds, animals and reptiles follows Wis. 11:15; 12:24-27; 13:10; 14:8.
Rom. 1:24-27 - this idolatry results in all kinds of sexual perversion which follows Wis. 14:12,24-27.
Rom. 4:17 - Abraham is a father of many nations follows Sirach 44:19.
Rom. 5:12 - description of death and sin entering into the world is similar to Wisdom 2:24.
Rom. 9:21 - usage of the potter and the clay, making two kinds of vessels follows Wisdom 15:7.
1 Cor. 2:16 - Paul’s question, “who has known the mind of the Lord?” references Wisdom 9:13.
1 Cor. 6:12-13; 10:23-26 - warning that, while all things are good, beware of gluttony, follows Sirach 36:18 and 37:28-30.
1 Cor. 8:5-6 - Paul acknowledging many “gods” but one Lord follows Wis. 13:3.
1 Cor. 10:1 - Paul’s description of our fathers being under the cloud passing through the sea refers to Wisdom 19:7.
1 Cor. 10:20 - what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God refers to Baruch 4:7.
1 Cor. 15:29 - if no expectation of resurrection, it would be foolish to be baptized on their behalf follows 2 Macc. 12:43-45.
Eph. 1:17 - Paul’s prayer for a “spirit of wisdom” follows the prayer for the spirit of wisdom in Wisdom 7:7.
Eph. 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.
Eph. 6:13-17 - in fact, the whole discussion of armor, helmet, breastplate, sword, shield follows Wis. 5:17-20.
1 Tim. 6:15 - Paul’s description of God as Sovereign and King of kings is from 2 Macc. 12:15; 13:4.
2 Tim. 4:8 - Paul’s description of a crown of righteousness is similar to Wisdom 5:16.
Heb. 4:12 - Paul’s description of God’s word as a sword is similar to Wisdom 18:15.
Heb. 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.
Heb 11:35 - Paul teaches about the martyrdom of the mother and her sons described in 2 Macc. 7:1-42.
Heb. 12:12 - the description “drooping hands” and “weak knees” comes from Sirach 25:23.
James 1:19 - let every man be quick to hear and slow to respond follows Sirach 5:11.
James 2:23 - it was reckoned to him as righteousness follows 1 Macc. 2:52 - it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
James 3:13 - James’ instruction to perform works in meekness follows Sirach 3:17.
James 5:3 - describing silver which rusts and laying up treasure follows Sirach 29:10-11.
James 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 Peter 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.
Rev. 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.
Rev. 1:18; Matt. 16:18 - power of life over death and gates of Hades follows Wis. 16:13.
Rev. 2:12 - reference to the two-edged sword is similar to the description of God’s Word in Wisdom 18:16.
Rev. 5:7 - God is described as seated on His throne, and this is the same description used in Sirach 1:8.
Rev. 8:3-4 - prayers of the saints presented to God by the hand of an angel follows Tobit 12:12,15.
Rev. 8:7 - raining of hail and fire to the earth follows Wisdom 16:22 and Sirach 39:29.
Rev. 9:3 - raining of locusts on the earth follows Wisdom 16:9.
Rev. 11:19 - the vision of the ark of the covenant (Mary) in a cloud of glory was prophesied in 2 Macc. 2:7.
Rev. 17:14 - description of God as King of kings follows 2 Macc. 13:4.
Rev. 19:1 - the cry “Hallelujah” at the coming of the new Jerusalem follows Tobit 13:18.
Rev. 19:11 - the description of the Lord on a white horse in the heavens follows 2 Macc. 3:25; 11:8.
Rev. 19:16 - description of our Lord as King of kings is taken from 2 Macc. 13:4.
Rev. 21:19 - the description of the new Jerusalem with precious stones is prophesied in Tobit 13:17.
Exodus 23:7 - do not slay the innocent and righteous - Dan. 13:53 - do not put to death an innocent and righteous person.
1 Sam. 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.
2 Tim. 3:16 - the inspired Scripture that Paul was referring to included the deuterocanonical texts that the Protestants removed. 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.
The Protestants attempt to defend their rejection of the deuterocanonicals on the ground that the early Jews rejected them. However, the Jewish councils 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 Testatment canon. Thus, Protestants who reject the Catholic Bible are following a Jewish council that rejected Christ and the Revelation of the New Testament.
Tradition / Church Fathers
“What, then, again says the prophet? ‘The assembly of the wicked surrounded me; they encompassed me as bees do a honeycomb,’[Ps. 22:17,118:12] and ‘upon my garment they cast lots’[Ps. 22:19]. Since, therefore, He was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, His suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against Israel, ‘Woe to their soul, because they have counselted an evil counsel against themselves[Isa. 3:9,] saying, Let us bind the just one, because he is displeasing to us’[Wisdom 2:12]. And Moses also says to them, ‘Behold these things, saith the Lord God: Enter into the good land which the Lord sware tto give to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and inherit ye it, a land flowing with milk and honey’[Ex. 33:1, Lev. 20:24].” Epistle of Barnabas, 6 (A.D. 74).
“Having then this hope, let our souls be bound to Him who is faithful in His promises, and just in His judgments. He who has commanded us not to lie, shall much more Himself not lie; for nothing is impossible with God, except to lie. Let His faith therefore be stirred up again within us, and let us consider that all things are nigh unto Him. By the word of His might He established all things, and by His word He can overthrow them. ‘Who shall say unto Him, What hast thou done ? Or, who shall resist the power of His strength?’[Wisdom 12:12,ll:22] When and as He pleases He will do all things, and none of the things determined by Him shall pass away? All things are open before Him, and nothing can be hidden from His counsel. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handy-work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. And there are no words or speeches of which the voices are not heard.’[Ps. 19:1-3].” Clement of Rome,To the Corinthians, 27:5 (c. A.D. 80).
“’Be just in your judgement’ [Deut 1:16,17 Prov 31:9] make no distinction between man and man when correcting transgressions. Do not waver in your decision. ‘Do not be one that opens his hands to receive, but shuts them when it comes to giving’ [Sirach 4:31].” Didache, 4:3-5 (A.D. 90).
“Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When you can do good, defer it not, because ‘alms delivers from death’[Tobit 4:10,12:9]. Be all of you subject one to another? [1 Pt 5:5] having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles,’ [1 Pt 2:12] that ye may both receive praise for your good works, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed! [Isa 52:5] Teach, therefore, sobriety to all, and manifest it also in your own conduct. Polycarp, To the Phillipians, 10 (A.D. 135).
“Melito to his brother Onesimus, greeting: Since thou hast often, in thy zeal for the word, expressed a wish to have extracts made from the Law and the Prophets concerning the Saviour and concerning our entire faith, and hast also desired to have an accurate statement of the ancient book, as regards their number and their order, I have endeavored to perform the task, knowing thy zeal for the faith, and thy desire to gain information in regard to the word, and knowing that thou, in thy yearning after God, esteemest these things above all else, struggling to attain eternal salvation. Accordingly when I went East and came to the place where these things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and send them to thee as written below. Their names are as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave, Judges, Ruth; of Kings, four books; of Chronicles, two; the Psalms of David, the Proverbs of Solomon, Wisdom also, Ecclesiastes, Song off Songs, Job; of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book; Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books.” Melito of Sardes, Fragment in Eusebius’ Ecclesiatical History, 4:26 (A.D. 177).
“Those, however, who are believed to be presbyters by many, but serve their own lusts, and, do not place the fear of God supreme in their hearts, but conduct themselves with contempt towards others, and are puffed up with the pride of holding the chief seat, and work evil deeds in secret, saying, ‘No man sees us,’ shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward appearance (secundum gloriam), nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart; and they shall hear those words, to be found in Daniel the prophet: ‘O thou seed of Canaan, and not of Judah, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust perverted thy heart’[Daniel 13:56-Susanna]. Thou that art waxen old in wicked days, now thy sins which thou hast committed aforetime are come to light; for thou hast pronounced false judgments, and hast been accustomed to condemn the innocent, and to let the guilty go free, albeit the Lord saith, The innocent and the righteous shalt thou not slay’ [Daniel 13:52-53-Susanna]. Of whom also did the Lord say: “But if the evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to smite the man-servants and maidens, and to eat and drink and be drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day that he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.’ [Matt 24:48].” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:26:3 (A.D. 180).
“For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one. For it is in reference to them that the prophet says: ‘And those that are left shall multiply upon the earth,’ And Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out, that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left upon earth, should both be under the rule of the saints to minister to this Jerusalem, and that [His] kingdom shall be in it, saying, “Look around Jerusalem towards the east, and behold the joy which comes to thee from God Himself. Behold, thy sons shall come whom thou hast sent forth: they shall come in a band from the east even unto the west, by the word of that Holy One, rejoicing in that splendour which is from thy God. O Jerusalem, put off thy robe of mourning and of affliction, and put on that beauty of eternal splendour from thy God. Gird thyself with the double garment of that righteousness proceeding from thy God; place the mitre of eternal glory upon thine head. For God will show thy glory to the whole earth under heaven. For thy name shall for ever be called by God Himself, the peace of righteousness and glory to him that worships God. Arise, Jerusalem, stand on high, and look towards the east, and behold thy sons from the rising of the sun, even to the west, by the Word of that Holy One, rejoicing in the very remembrance of God. For the footmen have gone forth from thee, while they were drawn away by the enemy. God shall bring them in to thee, being borne with glory as the throne of a kingdom. For God has decreed that every high mountain shall be brought low, and the eternal hills, and that the valleys be filled, so that the surface of the earth be rendered smooth, that Israel, the glory of God, may walk in safety. The woods, too, shall make shady places, and every sweet-smelling tree shall be for Israel itself by the command of God. For God shall go before with joy in the light of His splendour, with the pity and righteousness which proceeds from Him.’[Baruch 4:36-5:9].” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:35:1 (A.D. 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 honour.” Muratorian Fragment (A.D. 200).
“Our instruction comes from ‘the porch of Solomon,’ who had himself taught that ‘the Lord should be sought in simplicity of heart’[Wisdom 1:1].” Tertullian, Prescription Against the Heretics, 7 (A.D. 200).
“For they remembered also the words of Jeremias writing to those over whom that captivity was impending: ‘And now ye shall see borne upon men’s shoulders the gods of the Babylonians, of gold and silver and wood, causing fear to the Gentiles. Beware, therefore, that ye also do not be altogether like the foreigners, and be seized with fear while ye behold crowds worshipping those gods before and behind, but say in your mind, Our duty is to worship Thee, O Lord’[Baruch 6:3]. Therefore, having got confidence from God, they said, when with strength of mind they set at defiance the king’ s threats against the disobedient: ‘There is no necessity for our making answer to this command of yours. For our God whom we worship is able to deliver us from the furnace of fire and from your hands; and then it will be made plain to you that we shall neither serve your idol, nor worship your golden image which you have set up’[Daniel 3:16]” Tertullian, Scorpiace, 8 (A.D. 205).
“At this stage some rise up, saying that the Lord, by reason of the rod, and threatening, and fear, is not good; misapprehending, as appears, the Scripture which says, ‘And he that feareth the Lord will turn to his heart’[Sirach 21:6], and most of all, oblivious of His love, in that for us He became man. For more suitably to Him, the prophet prays in these words: ‘Remember us, for we are dust’[Ps 103:14]; that: is, Sympathize with us; for Thou knowest from personal experience of suffering the weakness of the flesh. In this respect, therefore, the Lord the Instructor is most good and unimpeachable, sympathizing as He does from the exceeding greatness of His love with the nature of each man. ‘For there is nothing which the Lord hates’[Wisdom 11:24]. For assuredly He does not hate anything, and yet wish that which He hates to exist Nor does He wish anything not to exist, and yet become the cause of existence to that which He wishes not to exist. Nor does He wish anything not to exist which yet exists. If, then, the Word hates anything, He does not wish it to exist. But nothing exists, the cause of whose existence is not supplied by God. Nothing, then, is hated by God, nor yet by the Word. For both are one—that is, God. For He has said, ‘In the beginning the Word was in God, and the Word was God’[John 1:1].” Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, I:8 (A.D. 202).
“And again He says, ‘Come all to Me, who labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’[Matt 11:28]; and that which is added the Lord speaks in His own person. And very clearly He calls to goodness by Solomon, when He says, ‘Blessed is the man who hath found wisdom, and the mortal who hath found understanding’[Prov 3:13]. ‘For the good is found by him who seeks it, and is wont to be seen by him who has found it’[Prov 2:4,5;3:15]. By Jeremiah, too, He sets forth prudence, when he says, ‘Blessed are we, Israel; for what is pleasing to God is known by us’[Baruch 4:4]—and it is known by the Word, by whom we are blessed and wise. For wisdom and knowledge are mentioned by the same prophet, when he says, ‘Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life, and give ear to know understanding.’[Baruch 3:9] By Moses, too, by reason of the love He has to man, He promises a gift to those who hasten to salvation. For He says, ‘And I will bring you into the good land, which the Lord sware to your fathers’ [Deut 31:20].” Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor ,I:8 (A.D. 202).
“[H]aving heard the Scripture which says, ‘Fasting with prayer is a good thing’[Tobit 12:8].” Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, 6:12 (A.D. 202).
“But they said, ‘We will not come forth: neither will we do the king’s commandment; we will die in our innocency: and he slew of them a thousand souls’[1 Macc 2:33]. The things, therefore, which were spoken to the blessed Daniel are fulfilled: ‘And my servants shall be afflicted, and shall fall by famine, and by sword, and by captivity’[Dan. 11:33]. Daniel, however, adds: ‘And they shall be holpen with a little help.’ For at that time Matthias arose, and Judas Maccabaeus, and helped them, and delivered them from the hand of the Greeks.” Hippolytus, Commentary on Daniel, 2:32 (A.D. 204).
“What is narrated here, happened at a later time, although it is placed before the first book at the beginning of the book [of Daniel]. For it was a custom with the writers to narrate many things in an inverted order in their writings...To all these things, therefore, we ought to give heed, beloved, fearing lest any one be overtaken in any transgression, and risk the loss of his soul, knowing as we do that God is the Judge of all; and the Word Himself is the Eye which nothing that is done in the world escapes. Therefore, always watchful in heart and pure in life, let us imitate Susannah.” Hippolytus, Commentary on Daniel, 6:1,61 (A.D. 204).
“’For even now the angel of God.’ He shows also, that when Susannah prayed to God, and was heard, the angel was sent then to help her, just as was the case in the instance of Tobias [Tobit 3:17] and Sara. For when they prayed, the supplication of both of them was heard in the same day and the same hour, and the angel Raphael was sent to heal them both.” Hippolytus, Commentary on Daniel, 6:55 (A.D. 204).
“’[T]he prophet says, “The ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright,” that is, about Christ, “Let us lie in wait for the righteous, because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings and words, and upbraideth us with our offending the law, and professeth to have knowledge of God; and he calleth himself the Child of God’[Wisdom 2:1,12,13]. And then he says, ‘He is grievous to us even to behold; for his life is not like other men’s, and his ways are of another fashion. We are esteemed of him as counterfeits, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed [Wisdom 2:15,16].” Hippolytus, Against the Jews ,65 (ante A.D. 235).
“But the case stands not thus; for the Scriptures do not set forth the matter in this manner. But they make use also of other testimonies, and say, Thus it is written: ‘This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant (son), and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He show Himself upon earth, and conversed with men’[Baruch 3:25-38].” Hippolytus, Against the Noetus, 2 (A.D. 210).
“But that we may believe on the authority of holy Scripture that such is the case, hear how in the book of Maccabees, where the mother of seven martyrs exhorts her son to endure torture, this truth is confirmed; for she says, ‘ ask of thee, my son, to look at the heaven and the earth, and at all things which are in them, and beholding these, to know that God made all these things when they did not exist’[2 Maccabees 7:28].” Origen, Fundamental Principles, 2:2 (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 honourable to reveal the works of God’[Tobit 12:7],—in a way consistent with truth and God’s glory, and so as to be to the advantage of the multitude.” Origen, Against Celsus, 5:19 (A.D. 248).
“But he ought tp know that those who wish to live according to the teaching of Sacred Scripture understand the saying, ‘The knowledge of the unwise is as talk without sense’[Sirach 21:18], and have learnt ‘to be ready always to give an answer to everyone that asketh us a reason for the hope that is in us’[1 Pt 3:15].” Origen, Against Celsus, 7:12 (A.D. 248).
“In the Gospel according to John: ‘No one can receive anything, except it were given him from heaven’[John 3:27]. Also in the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: ‘For what hast thou that thou hast not received? But if thou hast received it, why boastest thou, as if thou hadst not received it?’[1 Cor 4:7]. Also in the first of Kings: ‘Boast not, neither speak lofty things, and let not great speeches proceed out of your mouth, for the Lord is a God of knowledge.’[1 Sam 2:4] Also in the same place: ‘The bow of the mighty men has been made weak, and the weak are girt about with strength’[1 Sam 2:5]. Of this same thing in the Maccabees: ‘It is just to be subjected to God, and that a mortal should not think things equal to God’[2 Macc 9:12]. Also in the same place: ‘And fear not the words of a man that is a sinner, because his glory shall be filth and worms. Today he shall be lifted up, and to-morrow he shall not be found; because he is turned into his earth, and his thought has perished’[1 Macc 2:62,63].” Cyprian, Treatises, 12:3:4 (A.D. 248).
“In Genesis: ‘And God, tempted Abraham, and said to him, Take thy only son whom thou lovest, Isaac, and go into the high land, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell thee’[Gen 22:1,2]. Of this same thing in Deuteronomy: ‘The Lord your God proveth you, that He may know if ye love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul[Deut 13:3]. Of this same thing in the Wisdom of Solomon: ‘Although in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality; and having been in few things distressed, yet in many things they shall be happily ordered, because God tried them, and found them worthy of Himself. As gold in the furnace He proved them, and as a burnt-offering He received them. And in their time there shall be respect of them; they shall judge the nations, and shall rule over the people; and their Lord shall reign for ever’[Wisdom 3:4-8]. Of this same thing in the Maccabees: ‘Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness?’[1 Macc 2:52].” Cyprian, Treatises, 12:3:15 (A.D. 248).
“For since it is written, ‘God did not make death, neither hath He pleasure in the destruction of the living’[Wisdom 1:13].” Cyprian, Epistle 51/55:22 (A.D. 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 endeavour not to be ignorant of their various readings, lest in my controversies with the Jews I should quote to them what is not found in their copies, and that I may make some use of what is found there, even although it should not be in our Scriptures. For if we are so prepared for them in our discussions, they will not, as is their manner, scornfully laugh at Gentile believers for their ignorance of the true reading as they have them.” Origen, To Africanus, 5 (defending the canonicity of Susanna [Daniel 13], Bel and the Dragon[Daniel 14], the prayers of Azarias[Daniel 3], and the hymn of praise of the three youths in the fiery furnace[Daniel 3]) (ante A.D. 254).
“And, forsooth, when we notice such things, we are forthwith to reject as spurious the copies in use in our Churches, and enjoin the brotherhood to put away the sacred books current among them, and to coax the Jews, and persuade them to give us copies which shall be untampered with, and free from forgery! Are we to suppose that that Providence which in the sacred Scriptures has ministered to the edification of all the Churches of Christ, had no thought for those bought with a price, for whom Christ died.” Origen, To Africanus, 4 (defending the canonicity of Susanna [Daniel 13], Bel and the Dragon [Daniel 14], the prayers of Azarias[Daniel 3], and the hymn of praise of the three youths in the fiery furnace[Daniel 3]) (ante A.D. 254).
“[T]hat they worship Him alone, saying: ‘O king Nebuchodonosor, there is no need for us to answer thee in this matter. For the God whom we serve is able to deliver us out of the furnace of burning fire; and He will deliver us from thy hands, O king. And if not, be it known unto thee, that we do not serve thy gods, and we do not adore the golden image which thou hast set up’[Dan 3:16-18]. And Daniel, devoted to God, and filled with the Holy Spirit, exclaims and says: ‘I worship nothing but the Lord my God, who founded the heaven and the earth’[Dan 14:5 Bel & Dragon]. Tobias also, although under a royal and tyrannical slavery, yet in feeling and spirit free, maintains his confession to God, and sublimely announces both the divine power and majesty, saying: ‘In the land of my captivity I confess to Him, and I show forth His power in a sinful nation’[Tobit 13:6].” Cyprian, Treatises, 11:11 (A.D. 257).
“Also in Daniel: ‘There was a man dwelling in Babylon whose name was Joachim; and he took a wife by name Susanna, the daughter of Helchias, a very beautiful woman, and one that feared the Lord. And her parents were righteous, and taught their daughter according to the law of Moses’[Susanna-Daniel 13:1-3]. Moreover, in Daniel: ‘And we are lowly this day in all the earth because of our sins, and there is not at this time any prince, or prophet, or leader, or burnt-offering, or oblation, or sacrifice, or incense, or place to sacrifice before Thee, and to find mercy from Thee. And yet in the soul and spirit of lowliness let us be accepted as the burnt-offerings of rams and bulls, and as it were many thousands of lambs which are fattest. If our offering may be made in Thy presence this day, their power shall be consumed, for they shall not be ashamed who put their trust in Thee. And now we follow with our whole heart, and we fear and seek Thy face. Give us not over unto reproach, but do with us according to Thy tranquility, and according to the multitude of Thy mercy deliver us’[3 Youths-Daniel 3:37-43].” Cyprian, Testimonies, 20 (ante A.D. 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 lsrael, He says, ‘Thou hast forsaken the Fountain of wisdom’[Baruch 3:12]; and this Fountain it is which says, ‘They have forsaken Me the Fountain of living waters’[Jer 2:13].” Athanasius, Defense of the Nicene Faith, 2:12 (A.D. 351).
“[F]or it is written of the other, ‘The foolish person will speak foolishness’ [Is 32:6 LXX]; but of these, ‘Ask counsel of all that are wise’[Tobit 4:18].” Athanasius, Defense before Constantius, 17 (A.D. 357).
“The Lord is now making trial of your love for Him. Now there is an opportunity for you, through your patience, to take the martyr’s lot. The mother of the Maccabees [2 Maccabees 7] saw the death of seven sons without a sigh, without even shedding one unworthy tear.” Basil, To the Wife of Nectarius, Epistle 6:2 (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).
Copyright 2001 - 2007 © by John Salza. All Rights Reserved.
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I've read them and consider them to be just tall pious tales.
Tobit-a man blind because a bird pooped in his eyes restored by fish bile, and a woman whose husbands are all killed by a demon. A fictional morality tale.
Judith- historically inaccurate, another fictional morality tale.
Additions to Esther- feisty Jewish Esther or wimpy Greek Ester?
Additions to Daniel- more Sherlock Holmes than Daniel.
Maccabees-The Spartans are a lost tribe of Abraham. otherwise it is interesting history.
II Maccabees-tell of the location of the missing ark of the Covenant. So why do so many people want to look in Templar castles and Ethiopia?
The only ones really relevant are the Wisdom books which are mostly rehashes of Proverbs.
These are pious fictions like the Shepherd of Hermas, and about as useful.
Everyone should read the Apocrypha at least once to personally see why they are irrelevant.
These discussions never enlighten or lead to any discernment on the part of either side. Any apparent innocent questions are really traps for the unwary and are do not merit any insightful commentary. It is time to be honest and get on with some topic which can illuminate as discussions of these works has been debated to death.
***These threads are replete with vitriolic commentary concerning these books wantonly disregarded by the reformation . ***
These books were not disregarded by the English translators. Both the Geneva Bible and the KJV had them in them till the American revolution allowed the US printers to print our own bibles and they decided to remove them. Before the revolution the KJV was the property of the Crown and could not be reproduced.
Martin Luther had developed his theory that only those books that taught his Dogma of Justification by Faith Alone should be accepted as part of the canon. However, he didnt work out this theory until after he had lost a debate with a Catholic (either Cardinal Cajetan in 1518 or Johann Eck of Ingolstadt in 1519 AD), when 2 Maccabees 12:43-45 was quoted to refute Martin Luthers “Faith Alone.” His subjective standards were also the given for his reason for claiming that Hebrews, James, Jude, and the Book of Revelation were also not to be considered as fully the Inspired Word of God. (Although, evidently the Lutherans of the 17th century added these NT books back into their canon.) In Luthers German translation of the Bible, he took Hebrew, James, Jude and Revelation and placed them at the end of the New Testament. He categorized them as inferior to the rest of the Bible. He also had done this with the seven Deuterocanonical Old Testament books. (Until recently, the Deuterocanonical books called “apocrypha,” were still in many Protestant Bibles, but in a separate section at the end.)
The book of James contradicts Luthers principle of Justification by Faith Alone. James 2:24 says “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Rather than change his theology, Luther just denied that, James the Apostle, was the author of James and removed it from his canon.
In his preface to James he claimed,
“But this James does nothing more than drive to the Law and to its works. Besides, he throws things together so chaotically that it seems to me he must have been some good, pious man, who took a few sayings from the disciples of the Apostles and thus tossed them off on paper In a word he wanted to guard against those who relied on faith without works, but was unequal to the task.”
In his preface to Hebrews, Luther said,
“We should not be deterred if wood, straw, or hay are perhaps mixed with them [precious notions], but accept this fine teaching with all honor.”
( Luthers works. Volume 35 Word and Sacrament I, pages 395-397 ed. E.T. Buchman [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960.]) In Luthers commentary on Revelation he wrote, “Everyone may make up his own mind as regards this book. As for me, I have a personal aversion to it and that is enough.”
In another translation of Martin Luthers writings, “Martin Luther: Selections from his Writings” Dillenberger, page 35, we read in the Prefaces to Luthers German Translation of the New Testament in 1522 in regard to the epistle of St. James:
“Firstly, because in direct opposition to St. Paul and all the rest of the bible, it ascribes justification to works, and declares that Abraham was justified by his works when he offered up his son. St. Paul, on the contrary, in Romans 4:3, teaches that Abraham was justified without works, by his faith alone, the proof being in Gen. 15:6 which was before he sacrificed his son. Although it would be possible to save the epistle by a gloss giving a correct explanation of justification here ascribed to works, it is impossible to deny that it does refer Mosess word in Gen. 15 (which speaks not of Abrahams works but of his faith, just as Paul makes plain in Romans 4) to Abrahams works. This defect proves that the epistle is not of Apostolic provenance.”
(Martin Luther, “Martin Luther: Selections from his Writings” Dillenberger, page 35)
Here Luther denies that the epistle is inspired because he considers it contradictory to the Word of God claiming it is in direct opposition to Paul. Also he mentions the epistle’s “defect.” So much for biblical inerrancy. But his dislike of this God inspired epistle becomes much clearer in the next quote. Writing once again of James:
“In sum he wished to guard against those who depended on faith without going to works, but he had neither the spirit nor the thought nor the eloquence equal to the task. He does violence to scripture and so contradicts Paul and all of scripture. He tries to accomplish by emphasizing law what the Apostles bring about by attracting men to love. I therefore refuse him a place among the writers of the true canon of my Bible.”
(M. Luther, same book mentioned above, page 36) Luther challenged an Apostle in such a crude way and said such insulting things about Jamess ability to write (which was guided by the Holy Spirit.) Consider the question, that if even Luther couldn’t recognize the contents of the Bible, then how could Sola Scriptura be considered a valid and workable theory ?
Catholics used human reasoning in determining the canon, but Catholic theology allows for and believes that the Holy Spirit guided them with grace in their infallible pronouncements in this all important matter. Protestant theology disallows such infallible guidance for Catholics as well as for themselves. Without the aid of God’s infallible grace it would be impossible to judge supernatural things, that is, that this is the written Word of God, with just natural means.
" (Although, evidently the Lutherans of the 17th century added these NT books back into their canon.)"
I am going to follow this man's beliefs! He was reckless about a man's soul or condition. I know an ex-Catholic who massages women all the way to bed in their new indy churches. Why because "once saved always saved". This is what I was told.He is married or was. Your not accountable anymore. God will make me perfect. What a joke? Pathetic. Then if you point it out to someone =Well he was never saved! What! He believes because of this Tom-foolery to begin with from the get-go.
Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength, search not. The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise. Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins.
Therein may lie a small problem, DO ALMS ATONE FOR SINS?
Of course, you've got to recognize that Sirach is an Old Testament book, so it must be included in that proper context. An example of another OT citation of this includes:
Daniel 4:24 (RSV) Therefore, O king, take my advice; atone for your sins by good deeds, and for your misdeeds by kindness to the poor; then your prosperity will be long.
As an FYI, there is also this reference:
Prov 16:6 (RSV) By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil. (note: St John Chrysostom translated this, in his 9th homily on Hebrews, as By alms-giving and acts of faithfulness sins are purged away. He was referring to the Septuagint when making that statement -- included only as an FYI)
And then, of course, there is a famous New Testament quotation of Our Lord,
Luke 11:37-41 (RSV) While he was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him; so he went in and sat at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you.
I cite the above not to, in any way, deny the completeness or efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, but to point out that the quote from Sirach that you cited was not hardly unique in the Scriptures.
My King James says in Daniel 4:27
27Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
Righteousness gets turned into ‘good deeds’.
6By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
The question here is WHOSE mercy and truth? I would say that those belong to the Lord, nothing that we can do as men.
And FYI, a homily or commentary do not carry scriptural weight.
37And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
38And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
39And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
40Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?
41But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.
41 does NOT say - Give alms and this will amke YOU cclean, but that all things will be clean FOR you.
Giving alms does not provide atonement, there is NO salvation through works, lest any man boast.
If you’d like to have a conversation, perhaps you could respond to what I *wrote*
In other words, read the whole post. Perhaps read it again to make sure you have full comprehension and then respond. I particularly suggest reading the very last sentence I wrote. Maybe read it twice or three or maybe even four times.
And, by the way, for the record, if you wish to dispute the validity of what the RSV says, you should not go to another English language translation. You should go to the original languages and show where the RSV has mis-translated it. I am not saying that the RSV is perfect, but citing the KJV is not the way to demonstrate that. Citing the Greek, Hebrew, Chaldean, and Aramaic used in the original texts could actually be more effective. Again, if you actually want to have a conversation.
I. Good Works in Sanctifying Grace are Necessary for Salvation
Neh. 13:14, Psalm 11:7,28:4, Isa. 3:10, 59:18, Jer. 25:14, 50:29, Ezek. 9:10, 11:21, 36:19, Hos. 4:9, 9:15, 12:2, Sir. 16:12,14 - The 2,000 year-old Catholic position on salvation is that we are saved by Jesus Christ and Him alone (cf. Acts 15:11; Eph. 2:5). But by the grace of Christ, we achieve the salvation God desires for us through perseverance in both faith and works. Many Protestants, on the other hand, believe that one just has to accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior to be saved, and good works are not necessary (they just flow from those already saved). But these verses, and many others, teach us that our performance of good works is necessary for our salvation. Scripture also does not teach that good works distinguish those who are eternally saved from those who are not saved.
Sir. 35:19; Luke 23:41; John 3:19-21, Rom. 8:13, 2 Tim 4:14, Titus 3:8,14, Rev. 22:12 - these verses also teach us that we all will be judged by God according to our deeds. There is no distinction between the “saved” and the “unsaved.”
1 Cor. 3:15 - if works are unnecessary for salvation as many Protestants believe, then why is a man saved (not just rewarded) through fire by a judgment of his works?
Matt. 7:1-3 - we are not judged just by faith, but actually how we judge others, and we get what we have given. Hence, we are judged according to how we responded to God’s grace during our lives.
Matt. 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13 - Jesus taught that we must endure to the very end to be saved. If this is true, then how can Protestants believe in the erroneous teaching of “Once saved, always saved?” If salvation occurred at a specific point in time when we accepted Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, there would be no need to endure to the end. We would already be saved.
Matt. 16:27 Jesus says He will repay every man for what he has done (works).
Matt. 25:31-46 - Jesus’ teaching on the separation of the sheep from the goats is based on the works that were done during their lives, not just on their acceptance of Christ as Savior. In fact, this teaching even demonstrates that those who are ultimately saved do not necessarily have to know Christ. Also, we dont accept Christ; He accepts us. God first makes the decision to accept us before we could ever accept Him.
Matt. 25:40,45 - Jesus says “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to Me.” We are judged and our eternal destiny is determined in accordance with our works.
Mark 10:21 - Jesus says sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. This means that our salvation depends upon our works.
Luke 12:43-48 - these verses teach us that we must act according to the Lord’s will. We are judged based upon what we know and then do, not just upon what we know.
Luke 14:14 Jesus says we are repaid for the works we have done at the resurrection of the just. Our works lead to salvation.
Luke 23:41 - some Protestants argue that Jesus gave salvation to the good thief even though the thief did not do any good works. However, the good thief did in fact do a good work, which was rebuking the bad thief when he and others were reviling Jesus. This was a “work” which justified the good thief before Jesus and gained His favor. Moreover, we don’t know if the good thief asked God for forgiveness, did works of penance and charity and was reconciled to God before he was crucified.
Rom. 2:6-10, 13 - God will judge every man according to his works. Our salvation depends on how we cooperate with God’s grace.
2 Cor. 5:10 - at the judgment Seat of Christ, we are judged according to what we have done in the body, not how much faith we had.
2 Cor. 9:6 Paul says that he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully, in connection with Gods judgment.
2 Cor. 11:15 - our end will correspond to our deeds. Our works are necessary to both our justification and salvation.
Gal. 6:7-9 whatever a man sows, he will reap. Paul warns the Galatians not to grow weary in doing good works, for in due season they will reap (the rewards of eternal life).
Eph. 6:8 whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same again from the Lord.
Col. 3:24-25 - we will receive due payment according to what we have done. Even so, Catholics recognize that such payment is a free unmerited gift from God borne from His boundless mercy.
1 Tim. 6:18-19 the rich are to be rich in good deeds so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed, that is, eternal life.
2 Tim. 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did Paul great harm, and Paul says the Lord will requite him for his deeds.
Heb. 6:10 - God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for His sake. God rewards our works on earth and in heaven.
Heb. 12:14 without holiness, no one will see the Lord. Holiness requires works of self-denial and charity, and does not come about simply by a profession of faith.
1 Peter 1:17 - God judges us impartially according to our deeds. We participate in applying the grace Jesus won for us at Calvary in our daily lives.
Rev. 2:5 - Jesus tells the Ephesians they have fallen from love they used to have, and orders them to do good works. He is not satisfied with their faith alone. They need to do more than accept Him as personal Lord and Savior.
Rev. 2:10 Jesus tells the church in Smyrna to be faithful unto death, and He will give them the crown of life. This is the faith of obedience to His commandments.
Rev. 2:19 - Jesus judges the works of the Thyatirans, and despises their tolerance of Jezebel, calling them to repentance.
Rev. 2:23 - Jesus tells us He will give to each of us as our works deserve. He crowns His own gifts by rewarding our good works.
Rev. 2:26 - Jesus says he who conquers and keeps my works until the end will be rewarded in heaven. Jesus thus instructs us to keep his works to the very end. This is not necessary if we are “once saved, always saved.”
Rev. 3:2-5,8,15 Jesus is judging our works from heaven, and these works bear upon our eternal salvation. If we conquer sin through faith and works, He will not blot our names out of the book of life. This means that works bear upon our salvation. Our works do not just deal with level of reward we will receive, but whether we will in fact be saved.
Rev. 3:15 Jesus says, I know your works, you are neither cold nor hot. Because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth. Jesus is condemning indifferentism, which is often based on our works.
Rev. 14:13 - we are judged by the Lord by our works for their deeds follow them! Our faith during our life is completed and judged by our works.
Rev. 20:12 the dead are judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.
Rev. 22:12 Jesus says, Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay everyone for what he has done.
Sirach 16:12,14 we are judged according to our deeds, and will receive in accordance with our deeds.
II. We are not Guaranteed Salvation; We Hope For Salvation
Heb. 7:27, 9:12,26;10:10; 1 Pet 3:18 - Jesus died once and redeemed us all, but we participate in the application of His redemption by the way in which we live.
Heb. 9:12 - Christ’s sacrifice secured our redemption, but redemption is not the same thing as salvation. We participate in and hope for salvation. Our hope in salvation is a guarantee if we are faithful to Christ to the end. But if we lose hope and fail to persevere, we can lose our salvation. Thus, by our own choosing (not by God’s doing), salvation is not a certainty. While many Protestant churches believe in the theology of “once saved, always saved,” such a novel theory is not found in Scripture and has never been taught by the Church.
Rom. 5:2 - we rejoice in the “hope” (not the presumptuous certainty) of sharing the glory of God. If salvation is absolutely assured after accepting Jesus as Savior, why would Paul hope?
Rom. 5:5 - this “hope” does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Our hope is assured if we persevere to the end.
Rom. 8:24 - this “hope” of salvation that Paul writes about is unnecessary if salvation is guaranteed. If salvation is assured, then why hope?
Rom. 10:1 - Paul prays that the Jews “may be saved.” Why pray if it’s guaranteed? Further, why pray unless you can mediate?
Rom. 12:12 - rejoice in your “hope” (not your certainty), be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer.
2 Cor. 3:12 - since we have a “hope” (not a certainty), we are very bold. We can be bold when we are in Gods grace and our persevering in obedient faith.
Gal. 5:5 - for through the Spirit by faith we wait for the “hope” (not the certainty) of righteousness.
Eph. 1:18 - that you may know what is the “hope” to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance.
Eph. 4:4 - there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one “hope” (not the one certainty) that belongs to your call.
Eph. 6:10-17 Paul instructs the Ephesians to take the whole armor of God, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation, in order to stand, lest they fall. Paul does not give any assurance that the spiritual battle is already won.
Phil. 3:11 - Paul shares Christ’s sufferings so that “if possible” he may attain resurrection. Paul does not view his own resurrection as a certainty.
Phil. 1:20 - as it is my eager expectation and “hope” (not certainty) that I shall not be at all ashamed before Christ.
Col. 1:5 - Paul refers to the “hope” (not guarantee) that Christ laid up for us in heaven.
Col. 1:23 - provided that you continue in the faith, not shifting from the “hope” of the gospel which you heard.
Col. 1:27 - to them God chose to make known His mystery, which is Christ in you, the “hope” (not the certainty) of His glory.
1 Thess. 1:3 - remembering before our God your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of “hope” in Jesus Christ.
1 Thess. 2:19 - for what is our “hope” or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?
1 Thess. 5:8 - we must put on the helmet of “hope” (not of certainty) of salvation.
2 Thess. 2:16 - the Lord Jesus and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good “hope” through grace.
1 Tim. 1:1 - Paul describes Christ Jesus as our “hope” (not our guarantee). We can reject Him and He will allow this.
1 Tim. 4:10 - Paul says we toil and strive because we have our “hope” (not our assurance) on the living God. This is not because God is unfaithful, but because we can be unfaithful. We toil and strive for our salvation.
1 Tim. 5:5 - she who is a real widow, and is left all alone, has set her “hope” (not her assurance) on God. Our hope is a guarantee only if we persevere to the end.
1 Tim. 5:15 Paul writes that some have already strayed after satan, as God Himself tells us in 1 Tim. 4:1. They were on the right path, and then strayed off of it.
2 Tim. 2:10 - Paul endures for the elect so that they “may also obtain salvation.” This verse teaches us that even the “elect, from the standpoint of human knowledge, have no guarantee of salvation.
Titus 1:2 - Paul says that he is in the “hope” (not the certainty) of eternal life. Paul knows that his hope is a guarantee if he perseveres, but his ability to choose sin over God makes his attainment of eternal life less than an absolute certainty until it is actually achieved.
Titus 2:13 - awaiting our blessed “hope,” the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Titus 3:7 - Paul says we have been given the Spirit so we might become heirs in the “hope” (not the certainty) of eternal life.
Heb. 3:6 - we are Christ’s house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our “hope” (not our certainty).
Heb. 6:11 - we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of “hope” (not certainty) until the end.
Heb. 6:18 - we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the “hope” (not the certainty) that is set before us.
Heb. 6:19 - we have a “hope” that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone before us.
Heb. 7:19 - on the other hand, a better “hope” (not certainty) is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
Heb. 10:23 - let us hold fast the confession of our “hope” without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Heb. 11:1 - now faith is the assurance of things “hoped” for (not guaranteed), the conviction of things not seen (heaven).
Heb. 12:1 let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Heb. 12:15 see to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble, and by it many become defiled.
James 1:12 - we must endure trial and withstand the test in order to receive the crown of life. It is not guaranteed.
1 Peter 1:3 - by His mercy we have been born anew to a living “hope” through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:13 - set your “hope” (not assurance) fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:21 - through Him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead so that your faith and “hope” are in God.
1 Peter 2:2 - like newborn babes, long for spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation. How can you grow up to something you already possess?
1 Peter 3:15 - always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the “hope” that is in you.
1 John 3:3 - and everyone who thus “hopes” in Him purifies himself as He is pure. These verses teach us that we must cooperate with Gods grace and persevere to the end to be saved. We can and do have a moral certitude of salvation if we persevere in faith, hope and love.
III. Predestination and the “Elect”
Eph. 1:5 - Paul teaches that God predestined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ. “Predestination” means that God knows what we will do before we do it (it does not mean that God determines what we do; otherwise, we would have no freewill). Predestination is taken from the Greek word “prooridzo” which means to know or declare in advance by Gods foreknowledge. See, for example, 1 Peter 1:2 where Peter writes about the elect according to the foreknowledge of God. The terms predestination and the elect always refer to Gods knowledge (not human knowledge) because God is outside of time (and humans cannot predict the future). There are two types of “predestination,” to grace and to glory. In this verse, Paul is teaching about predestination to grace, which means becoming a Christian.
1 Pet. 1:1-2 Paul teaches about being destined by God for obedience to Christ. This is another example of predestination to grace. But there is also predestination to glory.
Rom. 8:29-30 Paul also writes that we are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Now Paul is writing about predestination to glory, which means not only becoming a faithful Christian during our lives, but persevering to the end by conforming our will to Christ’s will.
1 Cor. 15:49 Paul writes that we are conformed in His image at the resurrection, when we shall bear the image of the man of heaven. These are the people who were predestined to glory.
Rev. 3:5 Jesus warns that He can blot out the names that are in the book of life. This refers to those currently, not ultimately, justified (those who are predestined to grace, but not to glory).
Eph. 1:5; 1 Peter 1:2; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 15:49 - therefore, predestination is either to grace (which we could lose) or to glory (which we cannot lose). As alluded to above, some non-Catholics confuse the definition of “predestination” (which means God knows what we will do before we do it) and “predetermination” (the erroneous belief that God determines what we will do). But God does not author evil. We choose evil by our own freewill.
Ezek. 18:23-24, 32 - God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Our death is our freewill, failing to respond to His grace. God does not predetermine certain people to hell. God also does not predetermine certain “elect” people to heaven. We all, as God’s children, have been given the grace we need to be saved, but we can decide to reject God’s grace.
2 Peter 3:9 God is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. God wills all to be saved, but our salvation depends on our willingness to repent and receive Gods grace.
Matt. 18:14 - Jesus says it is not the will of the Father that any of the children should perish. But He did not make us robots and respects the freewill He has given us. If we did not have this freewill, we would not be able to love, and if we would not be able to love, we would not have been created in God’s image and likeness.
Acts 10:35, 45 - these texts show that non-Christians can also be saved if they fear God, even though they haven’t formally accepted Jesus as Savior at an altar call. They just do not have the fullness of the means of salvation.
1 Tim. 2:4 - God desires all men to be saved. But our freewill may choose to reject God’s grace. In order for our gift of freewill not to be a sham, God must also give us the freedom to reject Him.
2 Pet. 3:9 - the Lord doesn’t wish that any should perish, but come to full repentance.
James 1:13-14 - God tempts no one. Each person is tempted by his own desire. God gives us freewill to cooperate with Him or reject Him.
1 Cor. 10:13 - God permits temptation, but does not author temptation. God also provides us sufficient grace to overcome any temptation.
John 3:16-17 - God so loved the world He sent His Son, that the world might be saved (not that only the “elect” might be saved).
John 4:42 - Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world (not just the Savior of the elect). Some will perish by their own choosing.
Rom. 5:6,18 - Christ died for the ungodly (all of us), and His righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men (not just the elect).
2 Cor. 5:14-15 - Christ has died for all (not just the elect), that those who live might live for Him.
1 Tim. 2:6 - Jesus Christ gave Himself as a ransom for all (not just for the elect). But only those predestined to glory will be saved.
1 Tim. 4:10 - our hope is on the living God who is the Savior of all men (not just the elect).
Titus 2:11 - for the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men (not just the elect).
1 John 2:2 - Christ is the expiation for the sins of the whole world (not just the elect). But not all are predestined to glory because of their own choosing.
1 John 4:14 - again, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world (not just the Savior of the elect).
Sir. 15:11-20 - salvation, a free gift, is ours to accept or reject. God’s sovereignty includes our freewill. Our fate is predestined, but not predetermined.
IV. Jesus’ Teaching on Losing Salvation
Matt. 7:18 - Jesus says that sound trees bear good fruit. But there is no guarantee that a sound tree will stay sound. It could go rotten.
Matt. 7:21 - all those who say “Lord, Lord” on the last day will not be saved. They are judged by their evil deeds.
Matt. 12:30-32 - Jesus says that he who is not with Him is against Him, therefore (the Greek for “therefore” is “dia toutos” which means “through this”) blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. This means that failing to persevere in Jesus’ grace to the end is the unforgivable sin against the Spirit. We must persevere in faith to the end of our lives.
Matt. 22:14 - Jesus says many are called but few are chosen. This man, who was destined to grace, was at God’s banquet, but was cast out.
Luke 8:13 - Jesus teaches that some people receive the word with joy, but they have no root, believe for a while, and then fall away in temptation. They had the faith but they lost it.
Luke 12:42-46 - we can start out as a faithful and wise steward, then fall away and be assigned to a place with the unfaithful.
Luke 15:11-32 in the parable of the prodigal son, we learn that we can be genuine sons of the Father, then leave home and die, then return and be described as “alive again.”
John 6:70-71 - Jesus chose or elected twelve, yet one of them, Judas, fell. Not all those predestined to grace persevere to the end.
John 15:1-10 - we can be in Jesus (a branch on the vine), and then if we don’t bear fruit, are cut off, wither up and die. Paul makes this absolutely clear in Rom. 11:20-23.
John 17:12 - we can be given to Jesus by the Father (predestined to grace) and yet not stay with Jesus, like Judas.
John 6:37 - those who continue to come to Jesus He won’t cast out. But it’s a continuous, ongoing action. We can leave Jesus and He will allow this because He respects our freewill.
John 6:39 - Jesus will not lose those the Father gives Him, but we can fall away, like Judas. God allows us not to persevere.
John 6:40 - everyone who sees the Son and believes means the person “continues” to believe. By continuing to believe, the person will persevere and will be raised up. Belief also includes obedience, which is more than an intellectual belief in God.
John 6:44 - Jesus says no one can come to me unless the Father “draws” him. This “drawing” is an ongoing process.
John 10:27-28 - when Jesus says, “no one shall snatch them out of my hands,” He does not mean we can’t leave His hands. We can choose to walk away from Him.
Rev. 2:4-5 Jesus tells the Ephesians that they abandoned the love they had at first and have fallen. Jesus warns them to repent and do the works they did at first, otherwise He will remove their lampstand (their awaited place in heaven).
Rev. 3:4 - in Sardis, Jesus explained that some people received the white garment and soiled it with sin.
Rev. 3:5 - Jesus says whoever conquers will not be blotted out of the book of life (see Exodus 32:33). This means that we can be blotted out of the book of life. We can have salvation, and then lose salvation by our choice.
Rev. 3:11 - Jesus says to hold fast to what we have, so that no one may seize our crown. Jesus teaches us that we can have the crown of salvation and lose it.
Rev. 13:10; 14:12 - we are called from heaven for the endurance and faith of the saints, keeping the commandments and faith.
Rev. 21:7 - we must conquer in order to share in our heritage and become a true son of Jesus.
Rev. 22:19 - we can have a share in the tree of life in God’s holy city and yet have that share taken away from us.
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