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NE W T E S T A M E N T.
с н A P. ..І., General Denominations of the Collection of sacred Books, received by Christians. I. Scripture. II. Bible. III. Canon. IV. Old and New Testament,
V. Instrument. VI. Digeft. VII. Gospel.
Scripture. 80 is Scripture, or Scriptures, literally, and primarily
**** signifying writing. But by way of eminence and distinction the books in the highest esteem are called Scripture, or the Scriptures.
This word occurs often in the New Testament, in the Gospels, the Acts, and the Epistles. Whereby we perceive, that in the time of our Saviour and his Apostles this word was in common use, denoting the books received by the Jewish People, as the rule of their faith. To them have been since added by Christians the writings of Apostles and Evangelists, compleating the collection of books, received by them as sacred and divine.
Some of the places, where the word Scripture is used in the fingular number for the books of the Old Testament, are these. 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by the inspiration of God. And Luke iv. 21. John ii. 22. Aas i. 16. viii. 32. 35. Rom. iv. 3. Gal. iii. 8. James ii. 18. 23. 1 Pet. ii. 6. 2 Pet. i. 20. Scriptures, in the plural number, in these following, and many other places. Matth. xxi. 42. xxii. 29. xxvi
. 54. Luke xxiv. 27. 32. 45. John v. 39. Acts xvii. 2. 11. xviii. 24. 28. 2 Tim. in. 15. 2 Pet. iit. 16. VOL. II. А
- St. Peter applies this word to the books of the New, as well as of the
II. Bible is another word, which has now been long in use
among Christians, denoting the whole collection of writings received by them, as of divine Authority.
The word, primarily, denotes book. But now is given to the writings of Prophets and Apostles by way of eminence. This collection is the Book, or Bible, the book of books, as fuperior in excellence to all other books. The word seems to be used in this sense by Chryfoftom in a paffage already (a)cited. “I therefore exhort all of you to procure to your“ selves Bibles, BoCaíæ. If you have nothing elfé, take care to have the “ New Testament, particularly, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Gos“pels, for your constant instructors.” And Jerome says, “That (b) the u Scriptures being all writ by one Spirit, are called one book.” We likelike faw formerly a paffage of Augustin, where he informs us, “ That (c) “ some called all the canonical scriptures one book, on account of their “wonderful harinonie, and unity of design throughout.” And I then faid: “It is likely, that this way of speaking gradually brought in the general use of the word Bible, for the whole collection of the scriptures, or the books of the Old and New Testament."
In short, the ancient Christians were continually Speaking of the Die wine Oracles, and the Divine Books, and were much employed in reading them, as Chryfoftom directs in a passage, transcribed (d) below: where he recommends the reading the divine books daily, forenoon and afternoon. At length the whole collection was called the book, or the bible.
Dr. Heumann has an Epistle, or short Dissertation (e) concerning the origin of this name of our facred collection of books. And for some while he was of opinion, that (1) it was fo called, as being the most excellent of all books : in like manner as the Jews had before called their collection the Scriptures, by way of eminence. So Acts xviii. 24. and 28. But (8) afterwards he fufpected, that the origin of this name was in
those * Hac parte (quod bene notandum eft) Petrus canonizat, ut ita loquar, id est, in canonem facrarum scripturarum ascribit, atque canonicas facit epifton las Pauli. Dicens enim, facut & ceteras fcripturas, utique fignificat, fe etiam illas in scripturarum numero habere. De facris autem fcripturis eum loqui, in confeffo eft. Efte in loc. (a) Vol. X. p. 349.
(6) The fame. p. 158. (c) The fame. p.256. (a) Αλλα δεϊ σάνα καιρών επιτήδειον ηγείσθαι προς την των πνευματικών λόγων διαλεξια..... Δυνησόμεθα και, επί οικιας διατρίβονλες, και μελα την έσιάσω, και στο της έσιάσεως μετα χείρας λάβολες τα θεία βιβλία την εξ αυτών καρπεσθαι ωφέλιμαν. In i. Gen. hom. x. 7. 4. p. 81. C. Bened.
(e) De origine nominis Bibliorum. Heum. Poecile. Tom. i. p. 412...475.
(f) Sufpicari deinde cepi, ideo Biblia dictum effe facrum codicem, quod tanquam liber omnium præftantiffimus xal' išoxrin dictus fit rà Bolaící śuppetias conje&turæ huic ferre videbatur illa appellatio, qua idem divinum opus vocari solet ai ngapai. e. gr. Ac, xviii. 24. 28. Id. ib. p. 413
(8) Ib. p. 414
those words of Paul, 2 Tim.'iv. 13. The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comeft, bring with thee, and the books, x ta' B.Gaia. For he believed, that thereby the ancient Christians understood the sacred
But he afterwards acknowledgeth, that he had not found any instance of that interpretation in ancient writers. It seems to me therefore, that this conjecture should be dropt, as deftitute of foundation: and that it should be better for us to adhere to the forementioned origin of this name, which appears to have in it a good deal of probability. III. Canon is originally a Greek word, fignifying a rule or
Canon. standard, by which other things are to be examined and judged.
As the writings of the Prophets and Apostles and Evangelists contain an authentic account of the revealed will of God, they are the rule of the 1 belief and practice of those who receive them.
Sometimes canon seems equivalent to a lift or catalogue, in which are inserted those books, which contain the rule of faith.
Du Pin fays, “ This (b) word signifies not only a law or rule, but « likewise a table, catalogue, lift. Some have supposed, that the cano“nical books were so called, because they are the rule of the faith. But " though it be true, that they are the rule of our faith; yet the reason of “ their being called canonical, is, because they are placed in the cata" logue of facred books."
Perhaps, there is no need to dispute about this. For there is no great difference in those two fenfes. And there may be passages of ancient writers, where it would be difficult to determine, which of them is intended.
St. Paul has twice used the word canon, or rule. Gal. vi. 16. As many as walk according to this rule. Upon which verse Theodoret's com ment is to this purpose: “He (i) calls the forementioned doctrine a rule,
as being strait, and having nothing wanting, nor superfluous.” Again, says St. Paul, Philip. iii. 16. Whereunto we have already attained, let us walk according to the
same rule. Where he speaks of the doctrine of the gospel in general, or of some particular maxim of it: not of any books, containing the rule of faith. However, his use of the word
may have been an occasion of affixing that denomination to the books of scripture. For it is of great antiquity among Christians.
Ireneus, speaking of the scriptures, as the words of God, calls (k) them the rule, or canon of truth. Here canon is not a catalogue, but the books, or the doctrine contained in the books of scripture.
Clement of Alexandria, referring to a quotation of the Gospel according
(6) Le mot fignife non seulement une loi, une regle, mais aussi une table, un catalogue, une liste. ... Quelques-uns ont cru, que les livres canoniques étoient ainsi appellez, parcequ'ils sont la regle de la foi. Mais quoique cela soit vrai, ce n'est pas ce qui leur a fait donner le nom de canoniques, qu'ils n'ont que parceque l'on a nommé canon le catalogue des livres sacrez. Dill. Prelim. l. i. ch. 1. J.ii.
(1) Κανόνα έκάλισε την προκειμένην διδασκαλίαν, ως ευθύτης κοσμημένην, και μήτε ελλείπων τι μήτε σεροτον έχασαν. Τheod. in loc.
(k) Nos autem unum et folum verum Deum doctorem fequentes, et regulam veritatis habentes ejus fermones, de üldem femper eadem dicimus omnes. læn.l.4.6:35. al. 69. f. p. 277.
to the Egyptians, says with indignation:“ But (1) they who choose to « follow any thing, rather than the true Evangelical Canon, for the ca
non of the Gospel,] infift upon what follows there as said to Salome." In another place he says:: “ The (m) ecclefiaftical canon is the consent " and agreement of the Law and the Prophets with the testament deli“ livered by the Lord.”
Eusebe, as (n) formerly quoted, says of Origen: ." But in the first book “ of his Commentaries upon the Gospel of Matthew, observing (0) the “ ecclesiastical canon, he declares, that he knew of four Gospels only.” ." I shall add a few more passages from later writers, chiefly fuch as have been already quoted in the foregoing volumes: to which passages therefore the reader may easily have recourse.
Athanasius (p) in his Festal Epistles speaks of three forts of books, the canonical, the same, which are now received by us, fuch as were allowed to be read, and then of such as are apocryphal: by which he means books forged by heretics.
In the Synopsis of Scripture, afcribed to him, but probably not writ till above a hundred years after his time, near the end of the fifth centurie, is frequent mention (9) of canonical and uncanonical books. 1. IKT**
The council of Laodicea, about 363, ordains, that (9)." no books, not “ canonical, should be read in the church, but only the canonical:books $ of the Old and New Testament,”?
Rufin, enumerating the fcriptures of the Old and New Teftament, makes (r) three forts of books, such (s) äs are included in the canon, such as are not canonical, but ecclefiaftical, allowed to be read, but not to be alleged for proof of any doctrine, and lastly, apocryphal books, which were not to be publicly read.
Jerome likewise often speaks of the canon of Scripture, as we saw in his chapter, where he says: “ Ecclefiafticus, (t) Judith, Tobit, and the “ Shepherd, are not in the canon:” and “ that (u) the Church reads, or “allows to be read, Judith, Tobit, and the Maccabees, but does not re“ceive them among the canonical scriptures: and that they, and the “ books of Wisdom and Ecclefiafticus, may be read for the edification of “the people, but not as of authority, for proving any doctrines.” And for the Old Testament he recommends (x) the true Jewish canon, or
Hebrew (1) See Vol. ii. p. 529. Or 527.
(m) Κανών δε εκκλησιασικός και συναδία και η συμφωνία νόμο τι και προφήτων τη καλα την τε κυρίε ααρυσίαν παραδιδομένη διαθήκη. C. Strom. 1. 6. p. 676. C.
(n) Ch. 38. vol. iii. p. 235. (ο) ... τον εκκλησιασικών φυλάτων κανόνα. Αρ. Εufth. 1. 6. c. 25. p.226, B. () See vol. viii. p. 228, 229.
(2) The same. p. 243... 245. 6) The Jame. p. 291.
(r) See vol. x. p. 187. 188. (s) Hæc funt, quæ patres intra canonem.concluferunt; & ex quibus fidei noltræ affertiones constare voluerunt..... Sciendum tamen eft, quod alii libri sunt, qui non sunt canonici, sed ecclesiastici a majoribus appellati funt. .. Quæ omnia legi quidem in ecclefiis voluerunt, non tamen proferri ad auctoritatem ex his fidei confirmandam. Ceteras vero fcripturas apocryphas now minarunt, quas in ecclefiis legi noluerunt. Rufin. citat. ubi fupra p. 185 not. (gi. () Vol. . p.41.
(4)... 43. (x) ... 52.
Hebrew verity. I refer below (y) to another place relating to the books of the New Testament.
The third Council of Carthage, about 397. ordains, “that (z) nothing « beside the canonical scriptures be read in the Church under the name « Divine Scriptures."
Auguftin, in 395. and afterwards, often (a) speaks of canonical seriptures, and the (b) whole canon of scripture, that is, all the sacred books of the Old and New Testament. We “ (c) read of fome, says he, that they “ searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were fo. Aets xvii. 11. “What scriptures, I pray, except the canonical fcriptures of the Law and “the Prophets? To them have been since added the Gospels, the Epistles s of Apostles, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation of John.” Of the superior authority of the canonical fcriptures to all others, he speaks frequently in passages afterwards alleged (d) in the same chapter.
Chryfoftom in a place already cited (?) says: “ They (F.) fall into great absurdities, who will not follow the rule (or canon)
of the divine “ scripture, but trust entirely to their own reasoning.” I refer to another place (g) to the like purpose.
Says Isidore of Pelufium, about 412. “ that (i) these things are so, we s Thall perceive, if we attend to the rule (canon] of truth, the divine “ fcriptures."
And Leontius, of Constantinople, about 610. having cited the whole catalogue of the books of scripture from Genesis to the Revelation (k) concludes: “ Theie () are the ancient and new books, which are re“ceived in the Church as canonical."
By all which we discern, how much the use of these words, canon and canonical, has obtained among Christians, denoting those books, which are of the highest authority, and the rule of faith: as opposed to all other whatever, particularly, to ecclesiastical, or the writings of orthodox and learned catholics, and to apocryphal, the productions, chiefly, of heretics, which by a specious name and title made a pretension to be accounted among facred books.
IV. The most common and general division of the ca- Old and New nonical books, is that of ancient and new, or the Old and Teftament. New Testament. The Hebrew word, berith, from which
() Vol. x.
(f) Οράς, εις όσιν ατοπία, εκπίπλεσιν ου μή βελόμενοι τα της θείας γραφής και TAXONOJei navórı x. A. In Gen. cap. 33. hom. 58. T. 4. p. 566. B.
() Vid. hom. 33. in 48. Ap. fub fin. (i) Οτι δε ταύτα έτως έχει, τον κανόνα της αληθείας, τας θείας φημί γραφάς, kalarlato ojcy. Ifid. ep. 114. l. 4.
(k) See Vol. xi. p. 381.
(1) Ταύτα έσι τα κανονιζόμενα βιβλία εν τη εκκλησία, και παλαιά και νέα: Citai. ibid. p. 380. not.().