The Catholic Bible

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by DojoGrant, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. DojoGrant

    DojoGrant
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    Hey all,

    I read this fascinating article today, and I encourage all non-Catholics to read it. This is for those who say that the Early Church Fathers rejected the "Apocrypha" as inspired Scripture. This is a thorough and lengthy (not wordy, merely in great depth) resolution against that claim.

    I hope you'll all put your biases aside for a moment and read this. You may want to do it in several sittings, as again, it is quite long, but it should make you think twice about the way you approach the Catholic Bible.

    God bless you all, and I hope this thread bears good fruit.

    Grant

    EDIT: Whoops! Forgot to post the link!
    http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html

    [ December 21, 2002, 09:14 PM: Message edited by: DojoGrant ]
     
  2. DojoGrant

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    Hey again,

    Just another great aritcle, this time showing the primacy of the See of Peter (Rome) in the Pre-Nicea era (before 500 AD). Excellent stuff, and I encourage all of you to read it, if nothing else than to be more educated.

    http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/papalprimacy.html

    Grant
     
  3. Daveth

    Daveth
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    Hello

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16


    David

    [ December 28, 2002, 06:36 PM: Message edited by: Daveth ]
     
  4. Johnv

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    The debate over 66 vs 72 books will not die here. Those who use a 66 book bible will never accept a 72 book bible, and vice verse. I can accept that. What I cannot accept is how few 66 book folks don't think the Apocrypha are important at all. In the very least, they were important enough for King James to include in his 1611 edition of the KJV. They're definitely worth reading and of study.
     
  5. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    Read and study, yes. But I reject them as inspired scripture.
     
  6. BrianT

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    Thanks for the links, DojoGrant. I look forward to reading them. [​IMG]
     
  7. g_1933

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    G
     
  8. Bible-belted

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    As you should.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Johnv

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    I personally don't have a problem with those who feel they're not inspired. I have a problem with those who feel they're not important, even for study.

    Of course, I'm a nutcase, having read the Gospel of Thomas several times.
     
  10. Bible-belted

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    I personally don't have a problem with those who feel they're not inspired. I have a problem with those who feel they're not important, even for study.

    Of course, I'm a nutcase, having read the Gospel of Thomas several times.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I've read the apocryha (including some the RCC doesn't include) a number of times. It is, in places, certainly inspiring. But it is not inspired.

    I agree that these writings should not be ignored completely. But the reality is that the more RCs try to force these uninspired writings down the throat of protetsants actually causes the apocrypah to be held in less esteem. If they would back off I am sure they would regain the staus they had in Luther's time. Maybe the RCC would then come back to the historic Christian position on them, the one that Popes and scholars like Jerome held to.
     
  11. SolaScriptura in 2003

    SolaScriptura in 2003
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    Justin Martyr, in his first apology, in seeking to prove that Marcion and Simon Magus were heretics and not true Christians -- what did he do???? He set forth their doctrine and compared it to true Christian doctrine. What did he not do???? He did not say "the pope excommunicated them." Why did he not do this??? This would have been so much easier, right??? Well, if this ficticious character called a 'pope' had existed, then it would have been so much easier, but considering that he didn't exist it would have been impossible. It doesn't matter what those of later centuries said or did not say. Justin Martyr should have mentioned a 'pope' if one existed and did not. It is settled -- there was no 'pope'!
     
  12. Glen Seeker

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    Huh??? :confused:
    That could just possibly be the worst argument of any kind that I have read in any forum.

    It's like saying, "St. Paul should have used the word TRINITY but he didn't. It is settled---there is no trinity." :eek:
     
  13. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    There are references in the Bible to "the Father, The Son, And the Holy Spirit".

    What's missing is a supreme human, infallible leader of the church on earth. Jesus is the head of the Church. Always has been, always will be.
     
  14. Bible-belted

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    Huh??? :confused:
    That could just possibly be the worst argument of any kind that I have read in any forum.

    It's like saying, "St. Paul should have used the word TRINITY but he didn't. It is settled---there is no trinity." :eek:
    </font>[/QUOTE]Actually what YOU posted is among the worst arguments to be seen here.

    You misrepresent the original point. It is not the absence of a term that is vital, but the absence of a concept. At a point where it would have been very appropriate to mention a Pope (or central authority in settling doctrinal disputes) none was. Why is that? It is indeed baffling that no such mention exists. Particualrly so in light of what IS offered in its place! It is that baffling absence that is irreconcilable with the idea of a papacy being in the NT.

    You should also be aware, if you are not, that thecomparison of the Ppacy to the Trinity is not valid in any way. The evidence that we have for the Trinity if not of the "kernel" or "seed" variety. The elements of the Trinity are explicit in Scripture. Nothing of that like can be said of the Papcy.
     
  15. DojoGrant

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    I personally don't have a problem with those who feel they're not inspired. I have a problem with those who feel they're not important, even for study.

    Of course, I'm a nutcase, having read the Gospel of Thomas several times.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I've read the apocryha (including some the RCC doesn't include) a number of times. It is, in places, certainly inspiring. But it is not inspired.

    I agree that these writings should not be ignored completely. But the reality is that the more RCs try to force these uninspired writings down the throat of protetsants actually causes the apocrypah to be held in less esteem. If they would back off I am sure they would regain the staus they had in Luther's time. Maybe the RCC would then come back to the historic Christian position on them, the one that Popes and scholars like Jerome held to.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Latreia,

    Jerome and the Popes? Did you read the article at all? If you did, I question why you make that statement, at least without backing it up in light of the article's quotes of Jerome, showing he believed them to be Scripture indeed.

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  16. DojoGrant

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    Justin Martyr, in his first apology, in seeking to prove that Marcion and Simon Magus were heretics and not true Christians -- what did he do???? He set forth their doctrine and compared it to true Christian doctrine. What did he not do???? He did not say "the pope excommunicated them." Why did he not do this??? This would have been so much easier, right??? Well, if this ficticious character called a 'pope' had existed, then it would have been so much easier, but considering that he didn't exist it would have been impossible. It doesn't matter what those of later centuries said or did not say. Justin Martyr should have mentioned a 'pope' if one existed and did not. It is settled -- there was no 'pope'!</font>[/QUOTE]The word "Pope" is just that...a word. Just like "transubstantiation." These words developed over time to explain something that was already believed. Again, did you read the article at all?

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  17. Bible-belted

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    Dojo,

    No I didn't read them. Why waste my time?

    I read actual scholarship on the history of canonisation.

    I gather from your response you succumb to the pop apologeics. Oh well. [​IMG]
     
  18. DojoGrant

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    Latreia,

    You just lost the debate. Considering we are using a particular text (see my first post), and you refuse to read the text, why not excuse yourself from the debate, since you refuse to participate?

    In that text, you will see many, many quotes from St. Jerome in which he states over and again that these books of the Bible you say he rejects, he calls them Scripture or says they are inspired. You don't read the article, and so you don't have a clue as to what they are meaning when they say "canon."

    If you wish to remain ignorant of the subject matter, that is your right. However, your claim of victory is futile, for the text you refuse to read proves you wrong.

    Jerome not ONCE rejected these books as the inspired Word of God, because "canon" does not necessarily refer to these things. Canon simply means "judgement," and the "canon" of particular churches was the "list of inspired books" that were used in the church's Liturgy, for a standard Liturgy had not been set.

    Read the text; educate yourself.

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  19. Bible-belted

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    Grant,

    "You just lost the debate."

    I'm not ina debate. I just staed some facts. I certainy would not debate such an involved issue with you given tha your knowledge of the topic does not exceed the pop-apologetic level.

    "Considering we are using a particular text (see my first post), and you refuse to read the text, why not excuse yourself from the debate, since you refuse to participate?"

    I wasn't commenting on the "particular text" in the first place. As I said I don't read junkfood for my mind.

    "In that text, you will see many, many quotes from St. Jerome in which he states over and again that these books of the Bible you say he rejects, he calls them Scripture or says they are inspired. You don't read the article, and so you don't have a clue as to what they are meaning when they say "canon.""

    I will give you some information that may help you undertsand thetruth of the matter.

    Jerome had three categories of writings: 1) Canonical, 2) edifying, and 3) apocryphal. The third categroy does not correspond top what we call apocrypha today, and Jerome said they should be avoided altogether.

    In the first category jerome included the Jewsih OT, minus Esther. Esther he placed, along with the edifying books, which included what we call the apocrypha today. He also incuded in this list such writings as the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache. Ths shows very clearly the estimation that he held such books in. It is not the same as yours. Sirach is particularly obvious as an example in this regard; Jerome even refused to make an additional translation of it, and that despite the fact that he cited it over 80 times in his writings. Jerome saw the profitability of reading the apocrypha and studying it without ascribing the false sattus to it that the RCC does.

    "If you wish to remain ignorant of the subject matter, that is your right. However, your claim of victory is futile, for the text you refuse to read proves you wrong."

    I have not claimed "victory" Ihave never even claimed to eb in a "fight" of any kind. And by not reading your "particular text" i have no remained ignorant of the issues. As I said, I have read real scholarship on the issue. Your articles don't count as such.

    If you choose to ignore real scholarship in favour of pop-apologetics, I will understand. You want stuff that agrees with you. Real schlarship won't do that so of course you'll read the pop-junk.

    "Jerome not ONCE rejected these books as the inspired Word of God, because "canon" does not necessarily refer to these things. Canon simply means "judgement," and the "canon" of particular churches was the "list of inspired books" that were used in the church's Liturgy, for a standard Liturgy had not been set."

    You simply don't know what you're talking about. Jerome made a clear distinction between the canonical writings and the edifying ones (what Rufinus calls "ecclesiastical wiritngs"). You can try to ignore that if you like, or more to the point, you may atempt to re-wrote history all you like. As revisionists of all stripes have found, you too will see that the facts of history do not change.

    "Read the text; educate yourself."

    I read real scholarship. You should too. Of course, i know you won't. Too bad. But you should know that as far as I am concerned your wilful ignorance does not qualify you to discuss the topic.
     
  20. DojoGrant

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    St. Jerome, [347-419/420 A.D]

    I will round out my look at the Fathers out of sequence chronologically as I will look at St. Jerome. St. Jerome is the person most often used by Protestants to say that he denies the inspiration of the Deuterocanonicals. His attitude towards the Deuterocanonicals is indeed the harshest of the Fathers. Our first focus here though is on what he termed canonical Scripture:

    These instances have been just touched upon by me (the limits of a letter forbid a more discursive treatment of them) to convince you that in the holy scriptures you can make no progress unless you have a guide to shew you the way...Genesis ... Exodus ... Leviticus ... Numbers ... Deuteronomy ... Job ... Jesus the son of Nave ... Judges ... Ruth ... Samuel ... The third and fourth books of Kings ... The twelve prophets whose writings are compressed within the narrow limits of a single volume: Hosea ... Joel ... Amos ... Obadiah ... Jonah ... Micah ... Nahum ... Habakkuk ... Zephaniah ... Haggai ... Zechariah ... Malachi ... Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel ... Jeremiah also goes four times through the alphabet in different metres (Lamentations)... David...sings of Christ to his lyre; and on a psaltry with ten strings (Psalms) ... Solomon, a lover of peace and of the Lord, corrects morals, teaches nature (Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), unites Christ and the church, and sings a sweet marriage song to celebrate that holy bridal (Song of Songs) ... Esther ... Ezra and Nehemiah. (Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953, Volume VI, St. Jerome, Letter LIII.6-8, pp. 98-101).
    As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church...I say this to show you how hard it is to master the book of Daniel, which in Hebrew contains neither the history of Susanna, nor the hymn of the three youths, nor the fables of Bel and the Dragon... (Ibid., Volume VI, Jerome, Prefaces to Jerome's Works, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs; Daniel, pp. 492-493).

    Looking at this at face value, St. Jerome does specifically say that they are not Scripture. He even says that they are not to be used for doctrine. The theory that he is only speaking of denying their canonicity (and not reading them in the Liturgy as we see did apply to the other Fathers) and not their Scriptural status would not apply. Of all the Fathers, he does have the most negative view of the Deuterocanonicals, as are seen in statements he made elsewhere.
    Nonetheless, we will see in practice that St. Jerome quoted from these books as Scripture, and held them at the same level of inspiration as other Scriptures. If one goes to the index of Quotations from Schaff, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, 2nd Series, volume 6 (which does not contain all of St. Jerome's writings), you will see that he refers to and quotes from the Deuterocanonicals as Scripture. In my perusal of the index, I found him quoting/referring to passages in the Deuterocanonicals approximately 55 times: Here is a sampling of his quotes:

    Does not the SCRIPTURE say: 'Burden not thyself above thy power' [SIRACH 13:2] Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 108 (A.D. 404), in NPNF2, VI:207
    St. Jerome himself calls Sirach, which he had referred to as non-canonical, as Scripture. Thus, in practice, to support doctrine, he calls it Scripture. This quotation, even if there were no other quotations from him on the Deuterocanonicals, show that his view on what is and is not Scripture can not be seen from his earlier citation.
    Do not, my dearest brother, estimate my worth by the number of my years. Gray hairs are not wisdom; it is wisdom which is as good as gray hairs At least that is what Solomon says: "wisdom is the gray hair unto men.’ [Wisdom 4:9]" Moses too in choosing the seventy elders is told to take those whom he knows to be elders indeed, and to select them not for their years but for their discretion (Num. 11:16)? And, as a boy, Daniel judges old men and in the flower of youth condemns the incontinence of age (Daniel 13:55-59, or Story of Susannah 55-59, only found in the Catholic Bibles) Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58 (A.D. 395), in NPNF2, VI:119
    Here St. Jerome mixes use of the Book of Wisdom with Moses’ writing. In the midst of referring to Moses, he also refers to the Story of Susanna to establish a point. He makes no distinction in practice from the writing of Moses, from the two Deuterocanonical books.

    "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), in NPNF2, VI:159
    Notice how Jerome makes no distinction at all between the Psalmist, Ezekiel, and Baruch. They are all Scripture, God's Word. Also, contrary to Rhodes' assertion that the Deuterocanonicals had no prophets, Jerome himself calls Baruch a prophet, thus according his writing Scriptural status. According to Jerome, Baruch thus authoritatively spoke God's Word. He uses Baruch in tandem with these prophets to prove David in Psalm 51 correct.
    still our merriment must not forget the limit set by Scripture, and we must not stray too far from the boundary of our wrestling-ground. Your presents, indeed, remind me of the sacred volume, for in it Ezekiel decks Jerusalem with bracelets, (Eze. 16:11) Baruch receives letters from Jeremiah,(Jer. 36, Bar. 6) and the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove at the baptism of Christ.(Mt. 3:16) Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 31:2 (A.D. 384), in NPNF2, VI:45
    Notice that St. Jerome quotes in reference to Scriptures, and the Sacred Volumes. Then he refers to 3 passages. Ezekiel, Baruch, and Matthew. Now, St. Jerome here refers to Jeremiah giving letters (plural) to Baruch. One time in Jeremiah 36, and another time in Baruch 6, as the Protestant Schaff editor indicates. Thus, Baruch is clearly Scripture, and he is clearly an author of the Sacred Volume, the Bible.
    As in good works it is God who brings them to perfection, for it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that pitieth and gives us help that we may be able to reach the goal: so in things wicked and sinful, the seeds within us give the impulse, and these are brought to maturity by the devil. When he sees that we are building upon the foundation of Christ, hay, wood, stubble, then he applies the match. Let us then build gold, silver, costly stones, and he will not venture to tempt us: although even thus there is not sure and safe possession. For the lion lurks in ambush to slay the innocent. [Sir. 27:5] "Potters' vessels are proved by the furnace, and just men by the trial of tribulation." And in another place it is written: [Sir. 2:1] "My son, when thou comest to serve the Lord, prepare thyself for temptation." Again, the same James says: [James 3:22]"Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only. For if any one is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." It was useless to warn them to add works to faith, if they could not sin after baptism. Jerome, Against Jovinianus,, Book 2, 3 NPNF2, VI:390
    As we have seen, "It is written" is a phrase that both the authors of Scripture, and the Church Fathers use only in reference to Scripture. Jerome uses the phrase identifying the quote to come as Scripture. The quote he uses comes from the book of Sirach. Thus, Sirach is Scripture. He then quotes James interchangeably as just another Scripture as of the same level of authority as Sirach.
    "Yet the Holy Spirit in the thirty-ninth(9) psalm, while lamenting that all men walk in a vain show, and that they are subject to sins, speaks thus: "For all that every man walketh in the image."(Psalm 39:6) Also after David's time, in the reign of Solomon his son, we read a somewhat similar reference to the divine likeness. For in the book of Wisdom, WHICH IS INSCRIBED WITH HIS NAME, SOLOMON SAYS: "GOD CREATED MAN TO BE IMMORTAL, AND MADE HIM TO BE AN IMAGE OF HIS OWN ETERNITY."(Wisdom 2:23) And again, about eleven hundred and eleven years afterwards, we read in the New Testament that men have not lost the image of God. For James, an apostle and brother of the Lord, whom I have mentioned above--that we may not be entangled in the snares of Origen--teaches us that man does possess God's image and likeness. For, after a somewhat discursive account of the human tongue, he has gone on to say of it: "It is an unruly evil ... therewith bless we God, even the Father and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God."(James 3:8-9) Paul, too, the "chosen vessel,"(Acts 9:15) who in his preaching has fully maintained the doctrine of the gospel, instructs us that man is made in the image and after the likeness of God. "A man," he says, "ought not to wear long hair, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God."(1 Cor. 11:7) He speaks of "the image" simply, but explains the nature of the likeness by the word "glory."
    7. Instead of THE THREE PROOFS FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE which you said would satisfy you if I could produce them, BEHOLD I HAVE GIVEN YOU SEVEN"--- Jerome, Letter 51, NPNF2, VI:87-8

    St. Jerome himself had written that the Deuterocanonicals are not used to establish doctrine. However, with the larger context given, on this occasion speaking of how we are made in God's image, a doctrine, he specifically uses the Book of Wisdom to establish that. St. Jerome doesn't make any distinctions between the other Scriptural books that he uses to speak on doctrine. The Book of Wisdom is one of Seven Scriptural proofs to establish the meaning of the image of God.

    A. "Your argument is ingenious, but you do not see THAT IT GOES AGAINST HOLY SCRIPTURE, which declares that even ignorance is not without sin. Hence it was that Job offered sacrifices for his sons, test, perchance, they had unwittingly sinned in thought. And if, when one is cutting wood, the axe-head flies from the handle and kills a man, the owner is[Num. 35:8] commanded to go to one of the cities of refuge and stay there until the high priest dies; that is to say, until he is redeemed by the Saviour's blood, either in the baptistery, or in penitence which is a copy of the grace of baptism, through the ineffable mercy of the Saviour, who[Ezek. 18:23] would not have any one perish, nor delights in the death of sinners, but would rather that they should be converted and live. C. It is surely strange justice to hold me guilty of a sin of error of which my conscience does not accuse itself. I am not aware that I have sinned, and am I to pay the penalty for an offence of which I am ignorant? What more can I do, if I sin voluntarily?
    A. DO YOU EXPECT ME TO EXPLAIN THE PURPOSES AND PLANS OF GOD? THE BOOK OF WISDOM GIVES AN ANSWER TO YOUR FOOLISH QUESTION: [Sir 3:21] "LOOK NOT INTO THINGS ABOVE THEE, AND SEARCH NOT THINGS TOO MIGHTY FOR THEE." AND ELSEWHERE,[5] "Make not thyself overwise, and argue not more than is fitting." And in the same place, "In wisdom and simplicity of heart seek God." You will perhaps deny the authority of this book;" "Jerome, "Against the Pelagians, NPNF2, VI:464-5"

    Notice at the beginning of his statement he speaks how he is going to prove his point by using Holy Scripture. Then he gives a series of Scriptures to prove the folly of his opponent. Part of those Scriptures that he uses to prove his point is the book of Sirach. The books of Wisdom and Sirach, according to Jerome, explain the plan and purpose of God, which refutes his opponents doctrine. Actually, although he says it is from Wisdom the quotation is actually from Sirach 3:21. Thus, both books are Scripture in Jerome’s eyes. They are quoted by Jerome to prove doctrine!. He says that maybe his opponent will deny the authority of the book, but not St. Jerome. He thus affirms its authority. The rest of the paragraph he actually quotes other Scriptures to support his quotation of Sirach.

    "And in the proverbs Solomon tells us that as "the north wind driveth away rain, so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.(Prov. 25:23)" It sometimes happens that an arrow when it is aimed at a hard object rebounds upon the bowman, wounding the would-bewounder, and thus, the words are fulfilled, "they were turned aside like a deceitful bow," (Psalm 128:57) and in another passage: "whoso casteth a stone on high casteth it on his own head." (Sir. 27:25) Jerome, To Rusticus, Epistle 125, 19 (A.D. 404), in NPNF2, VI:251
    Jerome interchangeably quotes the Proverbs as fulfilling other Scriptures. He says the 'words are fulfilled.' What are the Words that are fulfilled? Then he quotes two Scriptures. First, he quotes the Psalm. Then he quotes Sirach. Proverbs is thus a fulfillment of Sirach. If Sirach was of inferior status it would make no sense for Jerome to phrase it that way. He uses the term, 'another passage’ in reference to Sirach thus making an equivalent level of authority the book of Sirach as to the Psalms.
    The above books are clear, explicit references to undoubtedly what Jerome considers Scripture, and clearly shows the Deuterocanonicals as Scripture. Now there are other references to Scripture, where he doesn’t explicitly say, ‘It is written’ or ‘Scripture says’ or ‘the Prophet says’, where he undoubtedly defines these books as Scripture as he does above. In most of the treatment of passages, whether it is Exodus, Numbers, or Sirach, he just gives the quote without explicitly saying that it is Scripture, just as I mentioned earlier with other Fathers. He assumes these passages are Scripture without necessarily saying ‘This is Scripture’, or "It is Written", or "The Prophet says" as the above passages indicate. Now below are some passages from other Deuterocanonical books where he treats them just as he treats other canonical Scriptures, without saying ‘This is Scripture." In fact most of the times the Fathers quote Scripture, they just quote the Scripture to support their view, without making that identifiable mark. Thus, the below passages show that he treats these books in practice as he does non-Deuterocanonical books, thus giving them equivalent status and identifying them as Scripture, though in a less explicit way.

    9. Let me call to my aid the example of the three children, (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3) who, amid the cool, encircling fire, sang hymns, (Song of Three Holy Children, found only in Deuterocanonical portion of Daniel 3) instead of weeping, and around whose turbans and holy hair the flames played harmlessly. Let me recall, too, the story of the blessed Daniel, in whose presence, though he was their natural prey, the lions crouched, with fawning tails and frightened mouths.(Daniel 6) Let Susannah also rise in the nobility of her faith before the thoughts of all; who, after she had been condemned by an unjust sentence, was saved through a youth inspired by the Holy Ghost (Susanna 45, or Daniel 13:45). In both cases the Lord's mercy was alike shewn; for while Susannah was set free by the judge, so as not to die by the sword, this woman, though condemned by the judge, was acquitted by the sword. Jerome, Letter 1:9, NPNF2, VI:2
    6. I salute your mother and mine with the respect which, as you know, I feel towards her. Associated with you as she is in a holy life, she has the start of you, her holy children, in that she is your mother. Her womb may thus be truly called golden. With her I salute your sisters, who ought all to be welcomed wherever they go, for they have triumphed over their sex and the world, and await the Bridegroom's coming, (Mt. 25:4) their lamps replenished with oil. O happy the house which is a home of a widowed Anna, of virgins that are prophetesses, and of twin Samuels bred in the Temple! (Luke 2:36, Acts 21:9, 1 Sam. 2:18) Fortunate the roof which shelters the martyr-mother of the Maccabees, with her sons around her, each and all wearing the martyr's crown! (2 Macc. 7) For although you confess Christ every day by keeping His commandments, yet to this private glory you have added the public one of an open confession; for it was through you that the poison of the Arian heresy was formerly banished from your city. Jerome, to Chromatius, Jovinus, and Eusebius, Letter 7:6, NPNF2, VI:10
    But now that a virgin has conceived (Isa. 7:14) in the womb and has borne to us a child of which the prophet says that "Government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called the mighty God, the everlasting Father," (Isa. 9:6) now the chain of the curse is broken. Death came through Eve, but life has come through Mary. And thus the gift of virginity has been bestowed most richly upon women, seeing that it has had its beginning from a woman. As soon as the Son of God set foot upon the earth, He formed for Himself a new household there; that, as He was adored by angels in heaven, angels might serve Him also on earth. Then chaste Judith once more cut off the head of Holofernes (Jud. 13).Then Haman--whose name means iniquity--was once more burned in fire of his own kindling (Est. 7:10) Then James and John forsook father and net and ship and followed the Saviour: neither kinship nor the world's ties, nor the care of their home could hold them back. Then were the words heard: "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Mark 8:34) For no soldier goes with a wife to battle. Even when a disciple would have buried his father, the Lord forbade him, and said: "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head." (Mt. 8:20-22) So you must not complain if you have but scanty house-room. In the same strain, the apostle writes: "He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord but he that is married careth for the things that are of the world how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married careth for the things of the world how she may please her husband." (1 Cor. 7:34-36). Jerome, to Eustochium, Letter 22:21, NPNF2, VI:30
    For it is not ecclesiastical rank that makes a man a Christian. The centurion Cornelius was still a heathen when he was cleansed by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Daniel was but a child when he judged the elders.( Dan. 13:55-63, or Susanna 55-63) Amos was stripping mulberry bushes when, in a moment, he was made a prophet (Amos 7:14) David was only a shepherd when he was chosen to be king.(2 Sam. 16:11-13) And the least of His disciples was the one whom Jesus loved the most. My brother, sit down in the lower room, that when one less honorable comes you may be bidden to go up higher (Luke 14:10). Jerome, to Heliodorus, Letter 14:9, NPNF2, VI:17.
    These things, dearest daughter in Christ, I impress upon you and frequently repeat, that you may forget those things which are behind and reach forth unto those things which are before (Phil. 3:12). You have widows like yourself worthy to be your models, Judith renowned in Hebrew story (Jud. 13) and Anna the daughter of Phanuel (Lk 2) famous in the gospel. Both these lived day and night in the temple and preserved the treasure of their chastity by prayer and by fasting. One was a type of the Church which cuts off the head of the devil (Jud. 13:8) and the other first received in her arms the Saviour of the world and had revealed to her the holy mysteries which were to come (Lk 2:36-38). Jerome, to Salvina, Letter 79:10, NPNF2, VI:168
    In sum, Jerome calls the Deuterocanonicals Scripture. The proofs he gives for doctrine come from the Deuterocanonicals. He calls Baruch a prophet in the same sense as Ezekiel. He quotes from Wisdom & Sirach and gives it the same authority as other Scripture and he complains about his opponent denying the authority of the book, not him. His references to the Deuterocanonical portions of Daniel, including Susannah and Bel and the Dragon, he uses in support of doctrine, clearly seeing them as Scriptures. Jerome mixes them right along with the rest of Scriptures and he treats them just as the rest of Scriptures. Scriptures are used to 'fulfill' Sirach on the same terms that it fulfilled a Psalm, which can thus only be speaking of Scripture. I have shown Jerome quoting and referring to each of the Deuterocanonical books. This includes Sirach, Wisdom, 2nd Maccabbees, Tobit, Esther, Baruch, and even the Deuterocanonical portions of Daniel, including Susannah, Bel and the Dragon and the Song of the Three Children, treating each of these books as the same authority as the other books. Thus, the greatest supposed 'detractor' of the Deuterocanonicals, treats the books as Scripture.
     

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