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The Canon of The Old Testament Books 2

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by SavedByGrace, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2020
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    4 EZRA - The Apocalypse (A.D.100-135)

    “So in forty days were written ninety-four books *. And it came to pass when the forty days were fulfilled, that the Most High spake unto me saying: "The twenty-four books that thou hast written publish, that the worthy and unworthy may read (therein) : but the seventy last thou shalt keep, to deliver them to the wise among thy people” [*The twenty-four books are, of course, the books of the O.T., which were read openly in the synagogue, and were open for all to read. The number 24 is the ordinary reckoning of the O. T. books (5 + 8+ 11). In the Talmud and Midrash the O.T. is regularly termed 'the twenty-four holy Scriptures'. Another reckoning was 22 (cf. Joseph, c. Apion, i. 8) in accordance with the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet (so also Origen, Epiphanius, Jerome). This total seems to have been obtained by combining Ruth with Judges, and Lamentations with Jeremiah. The seventy last, i.e. the apocalypses which were secret books.]” (R H Charles; The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol.II. IV Ezra, XIV, 45-46, p.624; also, G A Box, The Apocalypse of Ezra, p.113)

    Syriac Peshitta VERSION (1st/2nd century)

    “The Syriac translation of the Old Testament was undoubtedly made directly from the Hebrew; though at Antioch, during the third century of the present era and at later periods, it was revised so as to make it conform to the Septuagint. The history of its origin is obscure; but it was probably made in Mesopotamia during the first century” (Jewish Encyclopedia,Vol III, p.188)

    “It is one of the best of the ancient versions in accuracy and general excellence. It adheres closely to the Hebrew text with few variations…This version originally contained all the canonical books of the Old Testament with the exception of Chronicles, but none of the Apocrypha; these were, however, at an early period rendered into Syriac “ (William Green, General Introduction to the Old Testament: Text, pp. 112,113)

    Athanasius of Alexandria (A.D. 296-373), Thirty-Ninth Festal Epistle of A.D. 367

    4 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 [minor prophets] being reckoned as one book. Then Isaiah, one book, then Jeremiah with Baruch, Lamentations and the Epistle, one book; afterwards Ezekiel and Daniel, each one book. Thus far constitutes the Old Testament.

    7. But for the sake of greater exactness I add this also, writing under obligation, as it were. There are other books besides these, indeed not received as canonical but having been appointed by our fathers to be read to those just approaching and wishing to be instructed in the word of godliness: Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former, my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter being merely read; nor is there any place a mention of secret writings. But such are the invention of heretics, who indeed write them whenever they wish, bestowing upon them their approval, and assigning to them a date, that so, using them as if they were ancient writings, they find a means by which to lead astray the simple-minded.

    It is interesting that the authority of Athanasius is used by the Roman Catholics and Orthodox, for the Canon of the New Testament Books, but rejected for the Canon of the Old Testament Books! The evidence is very much conclusive, that the Old Testament Books accepted as Canonical, and Divinely Inspired by the Holy Spirit, are the same as we have in our English Versions like the KJV.
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