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Bible is collection of books, an inspired library from God;
critics often challenge the Bible, rejecting its claim of
inspiration. Charging the Bible is a book transmitted orally,
passed from generation to generation, because no writing
existed. Here we will deal with the Old Testament, the
Tanakh. Anybody who understands the history of the Old
Testament, understand it was very literate society, even before
Abraham. The area was the birthplace our modern alphabet, from
this very region, our letters took on their meaning.
five books of the Bible (a.k.a., Torah Pentateuch), are called
the books of Moses because he was the writer. After Moses, God
spoke through other individuals, prophets, revealing His
Word. Determining what is revealed and not revealed is the
spark of debate. This debate regards the canon, which
means rule or standard.
readers often find themselves asking the question, how do they
know which books of the Bible are inspired? This is a
major issue, often dividing Catholics, Orthodox and
Protestants. Even in the time of Jesus the debate was raging,
Sadducees, only accepted the first five books, they were at odds
with the Pharisees who accepted the whole Old Testament.
One of the
main differences between the Catholic and Protestant churches
among others is the discussion of canon in the Old Testament.
The Catholics include seven additional books in the Old
Testament, known as the Deuterocanonical or Apocrypha,
as opposed to Protestants and Jews, who have the same books in
their respective Old Testament. Orthodox churches on the
other hand, also include the additional books in the Old
Testament but are less adamant then Catholics about their
inspiration. With all this variation, is there a way to
determine, what books of the Old Testament belong?
Definition of Cannon
canon refers to a collection of books, accepted as
authoritative, inspired scripture. The source of the word comes
from the Hebrew word,
reed or stalk, the English word “cane” comes from this Semitic
or Hebrew word. Reeds were used as measuring rods, because of
their straight form, hence the measuring or rule of scripture,
became known as cannon.
came to be associated with “Rule”; the Greeks associated the
word with standard or guideline. Paul uses this word,
in Philippians 3:16 and
Galatians 6:16, in relation to a standard of
Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let
us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
eventually came to mean a list, or standard of authoritative
scripture passed down to the Church from both the Old and New
(296-373 A.D.) writes in the Decrees of the Synod of Nicea
blessed Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews says, “By faith we
understand that the ages were framed by the Word of God, so that
which is seen was not made of things which do appear.” But
nothing is common to the Word with the ages; for He it is who is
in existence before that ages, by whom also the ages came to be.
And in the Shepherd of [of Hermas] it is written (since they
allege this book also, though it is not of the Canon)
do we need to have an authoritative collection of scripture?
Well, if we believe scripture is from God, inspired by Him, we
want to know what is His Word. We want to distinguish His
Word, from uninspired works. Scripture originates from God,
revealed to man for our benefit. Through the written word, God
chose to communicate with humanity. Through His Word, we can
2 "And Moses
alone shall come near the Lord, but they shall not come near;
nor shall the people go up with him." 3 So Moses came and told
the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments. And
all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words
which the Lord has said we will do." 4 And Moses wrote all
the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and
built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars
according to the twelve tribes of Israel.7 Then he took the
Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the
people. And they said, "All that the Lord has said we will
do, and be obedient." Exodus 24:2-4,7
Mount Sinai received the “Words” from the Lord, Moses then wrote
these words down, using the written word, probably ancient
Hebrew. The words would have been written to a scroll, or
book or document. Here we learn the words of God, were recorded
as a written document, to be read in the hearing of the people.
From this portion of scripture, we learn five important points,
which carry forward in the rest of the Old Testament.
reported to the people the “Words” of the Lord
wrote the words, requiring a written transmission.
recorded the words in a book
read from this book
people proclaimed their obedience to the book
False prophets and false books
followed Moses, led Israel into the Promised Land. God
proclaimed the mantel of leadership passed from Moses to Joshua,
the words in Joshua are also inspired, contained in the book of
Joshua. This set the stage on how God would reveal Himself and
His Word, in successive generations.
God revealed through Moses, He would reveal His Word through
individuals known as prophets. They people (Israel) would be
required to obey the “Word” spoken by these individuals as if
God Himself spoke them.
18 'I will
raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren,
and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them
all that I command Him. 19 'And it shall be that whoever will
not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I
will require it of him. 20 'But the prophet who presumes to
speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to
speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet
shall die.'Deuteronomy 18:18-20
warns about the rise of false prophets, people that
claimed to speak for God, but really spoke for themselves.
Therefore, the existence of false prophets, and false teachers
required Israel distinguish between the inspired and the
uninspired (profane). They would need to test the words
of those who claimed to be prophets false prophets were to die,
because they attempted to deceive the people. If the words of a
self-proclaimed prophet failed to pass, the false prophet was to
22 when a
prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not
happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not
spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not
be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18;22
authority and of scripture was established for the nation. Also
established was the possibility of false prophets, and false
teachers, who would attempt to subvert the Word of God. For
this reason, it was important for the nation to distinguish
between the two, to test the prophets. Over the next
thousand-years, from the time Israel entered the land, (1450 B.C)
until the last prophet, Malachi (425 B.C.) the words of
scripture were tested.
Statement of Divine Authority
of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri
When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to
Hosea Hosea 1:2"
It shall come to pass in that day That I will answer,"
says the Lord; Hosea 2;21
the Lord says, The Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of
Israel, Isaiah 1:24
For so the Lord said to me, Isaiah 18:4
to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying Jeremiah
of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest
tell them, 'Thus says the Lord God,' Ezekiel 3:11
said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand
the words that I speak to you, Daniel 10:11
eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of
the Lord came to Zechariah Zechariah 1:1
of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi
Designations of the Old Testament Canon
term for the canon of the Old Testament is Tanakh, which
is an acronym for the 3-part division of the Hebrew scripture,
the Torah( The Law), the Nebuim (The Prophets) and
the Kethubim (The Writings) . Though the term Tanakh is
more recent, the designations of the divisions of Hebrew
scripture existed before the New Testament era.
One of the
first to refer to this division is the grandson of Jesus ben
Sirach (132 B.C.). His grandfather is the author of
or Ecclesiasticus. In the prologue he writes the
and great things have been delivered unto us by the law
and the prophets, and by others that have followed their
steps, for the which things Israel ought to be commended for
learning and wisdom; and whereof not only the readers must needs
become skillful themselves, but also they that desire to learn
be able to profit them which are without, both by speaking and
writing: my grandfather Jesus, when he had much given himself to
the reading of the law, and the prophets, and
other books of our fathers, and had gotten therein good
judgment, was drawn on also himself to write something
pertaining to learning and wisdom; to the intent that those
which are desirous to learn, and are addicted to these things,
might profit much more in living according to the law. (King
three-part division of scripture starts with the Torah or Law,
the Hebrew word for Law is
the Law (Torah) required the king to have a copy of the Law,
which he copied from the copy held by the Levites. This
demonstrates the principle of Manuscript transmission or
copies. If Kings were copying, other would make copies also,
including scribes and priests.
18 "Also it
shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he
shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the
one before the priests, the Levites. 19 "And it shall be with
him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may
learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the
words of this law and these statutes,
This copy of
the Law, the Torah, included the first 5-books of the Bible.
The King was required by the Law not only to read it, but also
to copy it. The other parts or divisions were added as
revelation came through prophets, who followed Moses.
Jesus in the
New Testament also refers to the three-part division of
the Old Testament. In His reference, the book of Psalms is the
first book, of the third-division the Kethubim (the writings).
Jesus is referring to scripture as inspired, pointing towards
Him. The point being the 3-part division of the Hebrew canon
speaks of Him.
44 Then He
said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I
was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were
written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and
the Psalms concerning Me." Luke 24:44
14:21; Philo Contempl 10:78 Eusebius Proep. Ev. 13.12;
Luke 16:17; John 10:34;15:25
Law and the Prophets
Macc 15:9; 4 Macc 18:10; Matt. 5:17; Luke 16:16
and the Prophets
16:29,31; 24:27; John 1:45; Acts 26:22
Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms
Law and the Prophets and the rest of the books
Prologue to Sirach (three times0
and oracles delivered through the mouth of the prophets,
Abr. 61:236; Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:24; 2 Pet. 3:16
scriptures laid up in the Temple
Josephus Ant. 5.1.17:61
(Most) Holy Scriptures
Spec 2.28 :159; 2.43 :238; Praem. 14:79; Contempl. 3
:28; 0::75, 78; Josephus B.J. 6.54 :311; Ant. 1.1.13:13;
10.10.4 :210; I Clem. 45.2
Book of God
(Most) Holy Books
Macc 12:9; Josephus Vita 75 :418; Eusebius Praep. Ev.
(Most) Holy Record
Somn. 1.27 :172; Congr. 31 :175
very ancient and permanent record of the past
Josephus Contra Apion 1.2 :8
the Old Testament Canon
Torah before Moses? (Before 1450 B.C.)
formation of the Old Testament Canon begins with the Torah, or
the Law, (the books of Moses). Moses is dated to about 1450
B.C., before Moses was a period covered in Genesis, known as the
Patriarchal period. Some may ask, how did Moses who
lived about 600-years after Abraham, know the details of
Abraham’s life? Further how did Moses know about the events
before the flood and what transpired in the Garden of Eden?
The are a
couple of answers, which can clear up this question;
writing clearly existing in the time of Abraham, remember
Abraham was from the urban centers of Ur. Abraham could have
recorded the aspects of his life from the times of Noah until
his day. What happened after his son Isaac, also could have been
recorded, written down for later generations. This written
transmission would continue until the days of Moses. Genesis
ends with the death of Joseph (Genesis 50:25-26). Exodus begins
with the time of Moses, with a reference to the 400-years of
Egyptian bondage, from Joseph to Moses.
many of the details of events in Genesis would require intimate
knowledge of the events, knowledge only available to the Lord.
Moses on Mount Sinai, received not only the 10 commandments, but
additional revelations, revealing the creation of the world,
Adam and Eve, the fall of man and so forth.
12 Then the
Lord said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and be there;
and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and
commandments which I have written, that you may teach them." 13
So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up to
the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, "Wait here
for us until we come back to you. Indeed Aaron and Hur are with
you. If any man has a difficulty, let him go to them." 15 Then
Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the
mountain. 16 Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai,
and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He
called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 The sight of
the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of
the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 So Moses
went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain.
And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
forty-days, Moses received revelation from God, including
instructions on the building of the Tabernacle, and the laws to
atone for sins.
(1450 to 536 B.C.)
have completed the Law (Torah) to Deuteronomy 33. Deuteronomy 34
includes the death of Moses, probably written down by Joshua,
who succeeded Moses.
Law of Moses, passed from generation to generation, several
1. Every seven-years the Law was to be read in public.
2. The Law
was to be alongside the Arc of the Covenant. (Deuteronomy
priest were to have a copy of the Law (Deuteronomy 17:18)
4. The king
himself was to make a copy of the law, which the priests kept.
contributed the book of Joshua to scripture, as
succeeding prophets would also add to the scripture, people such
as Samuel, Amos, Isaiah, Ezekiel and others. Each succeeding
generation, would point back to Moses and the line of
scripture. Joshua set the example, as illustrated in Joshua
chapter eight (See Joshua 8:35).
Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he
took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was
by the sanctuary of the Lord. Joshua 24:26
would continue for ages to come, the Law preserved at the
Tabernacle, during the time of the judges, until the Temple
period (960 B.C) in the time of Solomon. Samuel like Joshua,
wrote down the law in a book (I Samuel 10;25), preserving and
transmitting the law for future generations. David followed the
Law of Moses (1 Kings 2:3), unlike some of his descendents who
forgot about the law.
Israel fell into the sins of the lands, which they occupied. As
a result, Israel became two nations, divided into northern and
southern kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
Judah, the southern kingdom, preserved the law and the prophets.
The written revelations of Moses and the prophets were stored in
the Temple. The law was also preserved and transmitted in other
parts of Judah, as shown by the Qumran community at the Dead
Sea. Judah also of fell away, followed by periods of revival,
God often intervened by send prophets, bringing the people back.
Prophets such as Isaiah (700 B.C.) and Jeremiah (605 B.C.)
appeared on the scene to restore the people, and communicate
God’s word to backslidden nation.
In the days
of Josiah (640-609 B.C.), the law was discovered in the Temple,
leading to a revival prior to the destruction of the Temple and
Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.. Ezekiel and Daniel
were products of Josiah’s revival. They set the stage for the
captives who would be led into Babylon as the nation was judged
for her sins.
Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have
found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord." And Hilkiah
gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 11 Now it happened,
when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he
tore his clothes. 2 Kings 22:8,11
ministry of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, the Law was preserved,
through the exile period.
Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel were priests and Daniel became a high
official in the Babylonian and Persian Kingdoms. At the end of
Daniel’s life, the Jews were allowed to return and the Temple
was rebuilt. Cyrus the great allowed the Jews to return and
build the Temple.
and other writings before the exile
Moses, the Lord revealed His word through prophets, including
Joshua and others. Joshua for example, saw the Lord, before the
conquest of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-15). From Joshua until the
exile, twenty-three writers of the canon (Old Testament)
preserved the revelations of God’s Word.
Testament records the written words of these prophets (2 Chron.
21:12; Isa. 30:8; Jer. 25:13; 29:1; 30:2; 36:1-32; 51:60-64;
Ezek. 43:11; Dan. 7:1; Hab. 2:2). Their prophetic revelations
take place within the context of the nation’s history (1 Chron.
29:29; 2 Chron. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22;
20:34; 26:22 32:32; 33:18-19). Isaiah for
example delivers God’s message to a sinful people, who are being
attacked by the Assyrian nation, a result of God’s judgment for
prophet taken into exile refers to the collection of books taken
into the Babylon. The Jews taken to Babylon, preserved the
writings of the Jewish prophets, who wrote before the exile.
Daniel was an official in both Babylon and Persia, his status
allowed him to preserve the texts, along with unknown others.
Mordecai, Esther and Nehemiah were also officials in Persia,
who maintained the revelations, prior to the exile. Today,
Daniel’s tomb to is in the city of Susa, in Iran.
2 in the
first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books
the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord
through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy
years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Daniel 9:2
refer to the collection of books taken into the exile, among
them a copy of Jeremiah or original from Jeremiah. The books
would have also included the other prophets and the Law of
Moses, which Daniel quotes from.
Following the Exile (536 B.C. to New Testament times)
Babylonian exile, the words of the prophets were preserved.
Daniel was added to the canon in the exile, Daniel was revealed
during the exile under Babylon and Persia. After the Jews
returned to Judah, and reestablish the Temple, the books of
Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi
were added to the canon.
period the words of were then preserved in the Aramaic square
script as the manuscripts wore out, replacing the ancient
Hebrew alphabet. Second Maccabees records the
establishment of a library by Nehemiah, the Jewish governor
appointed by the Persian king. This collection continued in the
time of Judas Maccabees, who preserved the writing of the
things are reported in the records and in the memories of
Nehemiah, and also that he founded a library and collected the
books about the kings and prophets, and the writings of David,
and letters of kings about votive offerings. In the same way,
Judas also collected all the books that had been lost on account
of the war which had come upon us, and they are in our
possession. 2 Maccabees 2:13-14.
scribe along with Nehemiah worked to maintain the people’s
fidelity to the Law of Moses.
1Now all the
people gathered together as one man in the open square that was
in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to
bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded
Israel. 2So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly
of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on
the first day of the seventh month. Nehemiah 8:1-2
the time of Malachi (425 B.C.), the last prophet of the Jewish
canon, who lived in the second Temple period, the Talmud records
the closing of canon with the ceasing of the Holy Spirit.
[the coming of Alexander the Great and the end of the empire of
the Persians] the prophets prophesied through the Holy Spirit.
From then on, “incline thine ear and hear the words of the wise”
(Seder Olam Rabbah 30, quoting Prov. 22:17)
Samuel b. Inia said: ..To indicate that in five things the
first Santuary differed from the second: in the ark, the
ark-cover the Cherubim, the fire, the Shechinah, the Holy Spirit
[of Prophecy] and the Urim-we-Thummim [the oracle plate] (T.D.
Yoma 21b;T.P. Ta’anit 2.1; T.P. Makkot 2.4-8)
R. Abdimi of
Haifa said, Since the day when the Temple was destroyed,
prophecy has been taken from the prophets and given to the wise.
(T.B. Baba Batra 12a)
Maccabees records Simon Maccabees who speaks of great sorrow in
Israel since the prophets ceased to appear to the nation (I Macc.
Testament in the New Testament times
foundation of the New Testament is the Old Testament. Jesus
Christ (Messiah) is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies
regarding the Messiah. Jesus Himself, proclaims the exalted
position of the word of Moses, placing them above the heavens
and the earth.
assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one
jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is
fulfilled. Matthew 5:18
of Old Testament Canon in the Church
Apocrypha is collection of books, for the most part introduced
during the time after Malachi (425 B.C.). From Malachi to the
Maccabean period (165 B.C.),this period is known as the
Inter-testimonial Period was when most of the books in the
Apocrypha were written. The debate within Christian circles,
Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox is whether these books are
part of the canon. Encyclopedia Britannica summarizes the
literature, works outside an accepted canon of scripture. The
history of the term's usage indicates that it referred to a body
of esoteric writings that were at first prized, later tolerated,
and finally excluded. In its broadest sense apocrypha has come
to mean any writings of dubious authority.
several levels of dubiety within the general concept of
apocryphal works in Judeo-Christian biblical writings. Apocrypha
per se are outside the canon, not considered divinely inspired
but regarded as worthy of study by the faithful. Pseudepigrapha
are spurious works ostensibly written by a biblical figure.
Deuterocanonical works are those that are accepted in one canon
but not in all.
At the time
when Greek was the common spoken language in the Mediterranean
region, the Old Testament—the Hebrew Bible—was incomprehensible
to most of the population. For this reason, Jewish scholars
produced the Septuagint, a translation of the Old Testament
books from various Hebrew texts, along with fragments in
Aramaic, into Greek. That version incorporated a number of works
that later, non-Hellenistic Jewish scholarship at the Council of
Jamnia (AD 90) identified as being outside the authentic Hebrew
canon. The Talmud separates these works as Sefarim Hizonim
Septuagint was an important basis for St. Jerome's translation
of the Old Testament into Latin for the Vulgate Bible; and,
although he had doubts about the authenticity of some of the
apocryphal works that it contained (he was the first to employ
the word apocrypha in the sense of “noncanonical”), he was
overruled, and most of them were included in the Vulgate. On
April 8, 1546, the Council of Trent declared the canonicity of
nearly the entire Vulgate, excluding only the Third and Fourth
Books of Maccabees, the Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, and the
First and Second Books of Esdras. Eastern Christendom,
meanwhile, had accepted some of the Old Testament apocrypha—Tobit,
Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of
Jesus the Son of Sirach)—but rejected the rest.
the Old Testament Canon
Testament did Jesus use?
Christianity is based on the identity of Jesus (The Messiah),
the Old Testament Jesus used is the Old Testament his church
should use. The internal evidence of New Testament reveals the
Old Testament used by Jesus is same books used in the Jewish
Bible today, the Tanakh. This would therefore exclude the seven
books known as the Apocrypha to Protestants and Jews and
the Deuterocanonical books to the Catholics. Lets
examine the evidence.
reference in Luke 24:44, to a three part division of scripture;
this division is the current structure of the Jewish Bible.
Psalms is the first and longest book of the third section of the
Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you
while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled
which were written in the Law of Moses and the
Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."
Law of Moses
Kethubhim or Hagiographa
11:51, Matthew 23:35
"from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to
you, it shall be required of this generation.
blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah” With these words Jesus
confirms his witness to the extent of the Old Testament canon.
Abel was the first martyr recorded in Scripture (Genesis 4:8)
and Zechariah the last martyr to be named in the Hebrew Old
Testament order. Zechariah was stoned while prophesying to the
people “in the court of the house of the Lord (2 Chronicles
24:21). Genesis was the first book in the Hebrew canon and 2
Chronicles the last.
saying from “Genesis to II Chronicles,” or according to our
order Genesis to Malachi thereby confirming the divine authority
and inspiration of the entire Hebrew canon. He confirms the
3-part division of the Old Testament.
10:31-36; Luke 24:44
disagreed with the oral tradition of the Pharisees (Mark 7,
Matthew 15), not with their concept of the Hebrew canon. There
is no evidence whatever of any dispute between Him and the Jews
as to the canonicity of any Old Testament book.
outside of the Bible
to Ecclesiasticus Sirach (130 B.C.)
wrote and lived in Jerusalem makes mention of most famous men of
the Old Testament. He makes explicit mention of the Twelve
Prophets. (Minor Prophets) This would indicate the whole or at
least most of the OT was known to him and already in his day the
“Minor Prophets” were regarded as a special group by themselves.
prologue, he three-times refers to the tripartite division
(3 part) of the OT. Example:
many great teachings have been given to us through the law
and the prophets and the others that followed
them” Sirach 19:20-24
Christ (A.D. 20 B.C.-A.D.), Philo witnessed to a threefold
classification, making reference to the Law, the Prophets
(or Prophecies), as well as hymns and the others which foster
and perfect knowledge and piety”
(A.D. 37-100 )
About 90 AD,
the Jewish historian, Josephus, spoke about the closing of the
Artaxerexes’ age the succession of prophets had ceased” This is
what he wrote in Contra Apion. Showing in his day the
“Canon” was closed.
also wrote about the number of books in the Hebrew canon.
therefore naturally, or rather necessarily, follows (seeing that
with us it is not open to everybody to write the records, and
that there is no discrepancy in what is written; seeing that ,
on the contrary, the prophets alone had this privilege,
obtaining their knowledge of the most remote and ancient history
through the inspiration which they owed to God, and committing
to writing a clear account of the events of their own time just
as they occurred)—it follows, I say, that we do not possess
myriads of inconsistent books, Conflicting with each
other. Our book, those which are justly accredited, are but
two and twenty and contain the record of all time. Contra
twenty-two books here combine Jeremiah and Lamentation, and Ruth
7. 2 Esdras
apocryphal book of 2 Esdras (sometimes called 4 Esdras) was
written in the first century.
fictional account Ezra rewrites the biblical books after they
were burned (2 Esd. 14:21), in forty days Ezra revealed
ninety-four books, but only 24 were to be given to the people,
the wise and un-wise.
the twenty-four books that you wrote first, and let the worthy
and the unworthy read them; but keep the seventy that were
written last, in order to give them to the wise among your
people. For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain
of wisdom, and the river of knowledge.” And I did so. (2 Esdras
here is the twenty-four books referred too is the Hebrew canon,
which corresponds to the current accounting of the Old Testament
in the time of Jesus.
of the early church fathers writes regarding the number of books
in the Hebrew canon. “But it should be known that there are
twenty-two canonical books, according to the Hebrew tradition;
the same as the number of the letters of their alphabet.” He
then lists them according to their Hebrew and Greek names.
the translator of the Catholic Bible the Vulgate, and the
eminent scholar of his day. In the preface to the book of
Daniel he writes regarding the Jewish canon.
scripture is by them divided into three parts: the law, the
Prophets, and the Hagiographa [writings], which have
respectively five, eight, and eleven books…”
twenty-four books listed by Jerome correspond to the thirty-nine
books of our Old Testament. By adding the 12 books of the minor
prophets and separating Lamentations, and Ezra. Samuel, Kings
and Chronicles are also divided into two books instead of one
Council of Jamnia A.D. 90
of Jewish rabbis affirmed the Tanakh, as being the inspired word
of the Lord to the Jewish people. They rejected the Apocrypha
Books (Today order)
24 (Josephus, 22, Jerome accounting 24)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers Deuteronomy
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings
Joshua, Judges-, Samuel (I & II), Kings (I & II)
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah,
Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the 12 Minor Prophets
Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth,
Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra,
Nehemiah, I Chronicles, II Chronicles
Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth,
Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel,
Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles (I & II)
golden age of Ugarit
prosperous and the best-documented age in Ugarit's history,
dated from about 1450 to about 1200 BC, produced great royal
palaces and temples and shrines, with a high priests' library
and other libraries on the acropolis. Some of the family vaults
built under the stone houses show strong Mycenaean influence.
Mycenaean and Cypriot pottery in great amounts has also been
discovery of the temple library, which revealed a hitherto
unknown cuneiform alphabetic script as well as an entirely new
mythological and religious literature, several other palatial as
well as private libraries were found, along with archives
dealing with all aspects of the city's political, social,
economic, and cultural life.
The art of
Ugarit in its golden age is best illustrated by a golden cup and
patera (bowl) ornamented with incised Ugaritic scenes; by carved
stone stelae and bronze statuettes and ceremonial axes; by
carved ivory panels depicting royal activities; and by other
fine-carved ivories. Despite Egyptian influence, Ugaritic art
exhibits a Syrian style of its own.
1200 BC Ugarit came to an end. Its fall coincided with the
invasion of the Northern and Sea Peoples and certainly with
earthquakes and famines. In the Iron Age and during the 6th–4th
century BC, there were small settlements on the site (Leukos
excavators of the site were fortunate in the number and variety
of finds of ancient records in cuneiform script. The excavations
continue, and each season throws some new and often unexpected
light on the ancient north Canaanite civilization. The texts are
written on clay tablets either in the Babylonian cuneiform
script or in the special alphabetic cuneiform script invented in
Ugarit. Several copies of this alphabet, with its 30 signs, were
found in 1949 and later. A shorter alphabet, with 25, or even
22, signs, seems to have been used by 13th-century traders.
four languages: Ugaritic, Akkadian, Sumerian, and Hurrian, and
seven different scripts were used in Ugarit in this period:
Egyptian and Hittite hieroglyphic and Cypro-Minoan, Sumerian,
Akkadian, Hurrian, and Ugaritic cuneiform. These show clearly
the cosmopolitan character of the city.
Reasons the Apocryphal parts of the LXX should be rejected
There is not sufficient evidence that they were reckoned as
canonical by the Jews anywhere.
The LXX design was literary, to build the library of Ptolemy
All LXX manuscripts are Christian and not Jewish origin.
With a 500 years difference between translation and existing
manuscripts. Enough time for Apocryphal books to slip in.
LXX manuscripts do not all have the same apocryphal books
5. During the 2nd Century AD the Alexandrian Jews
Aquila’s Greek version of the OT
without apocryphal books.
The manuscripts at the
Dead Sea make it clear no canonical
book of the OT was written later than the Persian period.
Philo, Alexandrian Jewish philosopher (20 BC-40 AD), quoted
the Old Testament prolifically, and even recognized the
threefold classification, but he never quoted from the
Apocrypha as inspired.
Josephus (30-100 AD.), Jewish historian, explicitly excludes
the Apocrypha; numbering the books of the Old Testament as
22 neither does he quote the apocryphal books as Scripture.
Jesus and the New Testament writes never once quote the
Apocrypha, although there are hundreds of quotes and
references to almost the entire book of the Old Testament.
The Jewish scholars of Jamnia (90 AD) did not recognize the
No canon or council of the Christian church recognized the
Apocrypha as inspired for nearly four centuries.
Many of the great fathers of the early church spoke out
against the Apocrypha---for example, Origen, Cyril of
Jerusalem, and Athanasius.
Jerome (AD 340-420) The great scholar and translator of the
Latin Vulgate rejected the Apocrypha as part of the canon.
Not until 1546 AD in a polemical action at the
counter-Reformation Council of Trent (1545-63), did the
apocryphal books receive full canonical status by the Roman