DEFENDING THE DEUTEROCANONICALS
When Catholics and Protestants talk about "the Bible," the two groups actually have two different books in mind.
In the sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformers removed a large section of the Old Testament that was not compatible with their theology. They charged that these writings were not inspired Scripture and branded them with the pejorative title "Apocrypha."
Catholics refer to them as the "deuterocanonical" books (since they were disputed by a few early authors and their canonicity was established later than the rest), while the rest are known as the "protocanonical" books (since their canonicity was established first).
Following the Protestant attack on the integrity of the Bible, the Catholic Church infallibly reaffirmed the divine inspiration of the deuterocanonical books at the Council of Trent in 1546. In doing this, it reaffirmed what had been believed since the time of Christ.
Who Compiled the Old Testament?
The Church does not deny that there are ancient writings which are "apocryphal." During the early Christian era, there were scores of manuscripts which purported to be Holy Scripture but were not. Many have survived to the present day, like the Apocalypse of Peter and the Gospel of Thomas, which all Christian churches regard as spurious writings that don't belong in Scripture.
During the first century, the Jews disagreed as to what constituted the canon of Scripture. In fact, there were a large number of different canons in use, including the growing canon used by Christians. In order to combat the spreading Christian cult, rabbis met at the city of Jamnia or Javneh in A.D. 90 to determine which books were truly the Word of God. They pronounced many books, including the Gospels, to be unfit as scriptures. This canon also excluded seven books (Baruch, Sirach, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, and the Wisdom of Solomon, plus portions of Esther and Daniel) that Christians considered part of the Old Testament.
The group of Jews which met at Javneh became the dominant group for later Jewish history, and today most Jews accept the canon of Javneh. However, some Jews, such as those from Ethiopia, follow a different canon which is identical to the Catholic Old Testament and includes the seven deuterocanonical books (cf. Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 6, p. 1147).
Needless to say, the Church disregarded the results of Javneh. First, a Jewish council after the time of Christ is not binding on the followers of Christ. Second, Javneh rejected precisely those documents which are foundational for the Christian Churchthe Gospels and the other documents of the New Testament. Third, by rejecting the deuterocanonicals, Javneh rejected books which had been used by Jesus and the apostles and which were in the edition of the Bible that the apostles used in everyday lifethe Septuagint.
The Apostles & the Deuteros
The Christian acceptance of the deuterocanonical books was logical because the deuterocanonicals were also included in the Septuagint, the Greek edition of the Old Testament which the apostles used to evangelize the world. Two thirds of the Old Testament quotations in the New are from the Septuagint. Yet the apostles nowhere told their converts to avoid seven books of it. Like the Jews all over the world who used the Septuagint, the early Christians accepted the books they found in it. They knew that the apostles would not mislead them and endanger their souls by putting false scriptures in their handsespecially without warning them against them.
But the apostles did not merely place the deuterocanonicals in the hands of their converts as part of the Septuagint. They regularly referred to the deuterocanonicals in their writings. For example, Hebrews 11 encourages us to emulate the heroes of the Old Testament and in the Old Testament "Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life" (Heb. 11:35).
There are a couple of examples of women receiving back their dead by resurrection in the Protestant Old Testament. You can find Elijah raising the son of the widow of Zarepheth in 1 Kings 17, and you can find his successor Elisha raising the son of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4, but one thing you can never findanywhere in the Protestant Old Testament, from front to back, from Genesis to Malachiis someone being tortured and refusing to accept release for the sake of a better resurrection. If you want to find that, you have to look in the Catholic Old Testamentin the deuterocanonical books Martin Luther cut out of his Bible.
The story is found in 2 Maccabees 7, where we read that during the Maccabean persecution, "It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and cords, to partake of unlawful swine's flesh. . . . [B]ut the brothers and their mother encouraged one another to die nobly, saying, 'The Lord God is watching over us and in truth has compassion on us . . . ' After the first brother had died . . . they brought forward the second for their sport. . . . he in turn underwent tortures as the first brother had done. And when he was at his last breath, he said, 'You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life'" (2 Macc. 7:1, 5-9).
One by one the sons die, proclaiming that they will be vindicated in the resurrection.
"The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. She encouraged each of them . . . [saying], 'I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws,'" telling the last one, "Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God's mercy I may get you back again with your brothers" (2 Macc. 7:20-23, 29). This is but one example of the New Testaments' references to the deuterocanonicals.
The early Christians were thus fully justified in recognizing these books as Scripture, for the apostles not only set them in their hands as part of the Bible they used to evangelize the world, but also referred to them in the New Testament itself, citing the things they record as examples to be emulated.
The Fathers Speak
The early acceptance of the deuterocanonicals was carried down through Church history. The Protestant patristics scholar J. N. D. Kelly writes: "It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive than the [Protestant Old Testament] . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called Apocrypha or deuterocanonical books. The reason for this is that the Old Testament which passed in the first instance into the hands of Christians was . . . the Greek translation known as the Septuagint. . . . most of the Scriptural quotations found in the New Testament are based upon it rather than the Hebrew.. . . In the first two centuries . . . the Church seems to have accept all, or most of, these additional books as inspired and to have treated them without question as Scripture.
Quotations from Wisdom, for example, occur in 1 Clement and Barnabas. . . Polycarp cites Tobit, and the Didache [cites] Ecclesiasticus. Irenaeus refers to Wisdom, the History of Susannah, Bel and the Dragon [i.e., the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel], and Baruch. The use made of the Apocrypha by Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian and Clement of Alexandria is too frequent for detailed references to be necessary" (Early Christian Doctrines, 53-54).
The recognition of the deuterocanonicals as part of the Bible that was given by individual Fathers was also given by the Fathers as a whole, when they met in Church councils. The results of councils are especially useful because they do not represent the views of only one person, but what was accepted by the Church leaders of whole regions.
The canon of Scripture, Old and New Testament, was finally settled at the Council of Rome in 382, under the authority of Pope Damasus I. It was soon reaffirmed on numerous occasions. The same canon was affirmed at the Council of Hippo in 393 and at the Council of Carthage in 397. In 405 Pope Innocent I reaffirmed the canon in a letter to Bishop Exuperius of Toulouse. Another council at Carthage, this one in the year 419, reaffirmed the canon of its predecessors and asked Pope Boniface to "confirm this canon, for these are the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in church." All of these canons were identical to the modern Catholic Bible, and all of them included the deuterocanonicals.
This exact same canon was implicitly affirmed at the seventh ecumenical council, II Nicaea (787), which approved the results of the 419 Council of Carthage, and explicitly reaffirmed at the ecumenical councils of Florence (1442), Trent (1546), Vatican I (1870), and Vatican II (1965).
The Reformation Attack on the Bible
The deuterocanonicals teach Catholic doctrine, and for this reason they were taken out of the Old Testament by Martin Luther and placed in an appendix without page numbers. Luther also took out four New Testament booksHebrews, James, Jude, and Revelationand put them in an appendix without page numbers as well. These were later put back into the New Testament by other Protestants, but the seven books of the Old Testament were left out. Following Luther they had been left in an appendix to the Old Testament, and eventually the appendix itself was dropped (in 1827 by the British and Foreign Bible Society), which is why these books are not found at all in most contemporary Protestant Bibles, though they were appendicized in classic Protestant translations such as the King James Version.
The reason they were dropped is that they teach Catholic doctrines that the Protestant Reformers chose to reject. Earlier we cited an example where the book of Hebrews holds up to us an Old Testament example from 2 Maccabees 7, an incident not to be found anywhere in the Protestant Bible, but easily discoverable in the Catholic Bible. Why would Martin Luther cut out this book when it is so clearly held up as an example to us by the New Testament? Simple: A few chapters later it endorses the practice of praying for the dead so that they may be freed from the consequences of their sins (2 Macc. 12:41-45); in other words, the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. Since Luther chose to reject the historic Christian teaching of purgatory (which dates from before the time of Christ, as 2 Maccabees shows), he had to remove that book from the Bible and appendicize it. (Notice that he also removed Hebrews, the book which cites 2 Maccabees, to an appendix as well.)
To justify this rejection of books that had been in the Bible since before the days of the apostles (for the Septuagint was written before the apostles), the early Protestants cited as their chief reason the fact that the Jews of their day did not honor these books, going back to the council of Javneh in A.D. 90. But the Reformers were aware of only European Jews; they were unaware of African Jews, such as the Ethiopian Jews who accept the deuterocanonicals as part of their Bible. They glossed over the references to the deuterocanonicals in the New Testament, as well as its use of the Septuagint. They ignored the fact that there were multiple canons of the Jewish Scriptures circulating in first century, appealing to a post-Christian Jewish council which has no authority over Christians as evidence that "The Jews don't except these books." In short, they went to enormous lengths to rationalize their rejection of these books of the Bible.
Rewriting Church History
In later years they even began to propagate the myth that the Catholic Church "added" these seven books to the Bible at the Council of Trent! Protestants also try to distort the patristic evidence in favor of the deuterocanonicals. Some flatly state that the early Church Fathers did not accept them, while others make the more moderate claim that certain important Fathers, such as Jerome, did not accept them.
It is true that Jerome, and a few other isolated writers, did not accept most of the deuterocanonicals as Scripture. However, Jerome was persuaded, against his original inclination, to include the deuterocanonicals in his Vulgate edition of the Scripturestestimony to the fact that the books were commonly accepted and were expected to be included in any edition of the Scriptures.
Furthermore, it can be documented that in his later years Jerome did accept certain deuterocanonical parts of the Bible. In his reply to Rufinus, he stoutly defended the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel even though the Jews of his day did not.
He wrote, "What sin have I committed if I followed the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susanna, the Son of the Three Children, and the story of Bel and the Dragon, which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. For I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they [the Jews] are wont to make against us" (Against Rufinus 11:33 [A.D. 402]). Thus Jerome acknowledged the principle by which the canon was settledthe judgment of the Church, not of later Jews.
Other writers Protestants cite as objecting to the deuterocanonicals, such as Athanasius and Origin, also accepted some or all of them as canonical. For example, Athanasius, accepted the book of Baruch as part of his Old Testament (Festal Letter 39), and Origin accepted all of the deuterocanonicals, he simply recommended not using them in disputations with Jews.
However, despite the misgivings and hesitancies of a few individual writers such as Jerome, the Church remained firm in its historic affirmation of the deuterocanonicals as Scripture handed down from the apostles. Protestant patristics scholar J. N. D. Kelly remarks that in spite of Jerome's doubt, "For the great majority, however, the deutero-canonical writings ranked as Scripture in the fullest sense. Augustine, for example, whose influence in the West was decisive, made no distinction between them and the rest of the Old Testament . . . The same inclusive attitude to the Apocrypha was authoritatively displayed at the synods of Hippo and Carthage in 393 and 397 respectively, and also in the famous letter which Pope Innocent I dispatched to Exuperius, bishop of Toulouse, in 405" (Early Christian Doctrines, 55-56).
It is thus a complete myth that, as Protestants often charge, the Catholic Church "added" the deuterocanonicals to the Bible at the Council of Trent. These books had been in the Bible from before the time canon was initially settled in the 380s. All the Council of Trent did was reaffirm, in the face of the new Protestant attack on Scripture, what had been the historic Bible of the Churchthe standard edition of which was Jerome's own Vulgate, including the seven deuterocanonicals!
The New Testament Deuteros
It is ironic that Protestants reject the inclusion of the deuterocanonicals at councils such as Hippo (393) and Carthage (397), because these are the very same early Church councils that Protestants appeal to for the canon of the New Testament. Prior to the councils of the late 300s, there was a wide range of disagreement over exactly what books belonged in the New Testament.
Certain books, such as the gospels, acts, and most of the epistles of Paul had long been agreed upon. However a number of the books of the New Testament, most notably Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, and Revelation remained hotly disputed until the canon was settled. They are, in effect, "New Testament deuterocanonicals."
While Protestants are willing to accept the testimony of Hippo and Carthage (the councils they most commonly cite) for the canonicity of the New Testament deuterocanonicals, they are unwilling to accept the testimony of Hippo and Carthage for the canonicity of the Old Testament deuterocanonicals. Ironic indeed!
THE FATHERS KNOW BEST: Old Testament Canon
During the Reformation, for largely doctrinal reasons Protestants removed seven books from the Old Testament (1 and 2 Maccabees, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, Tobit, and Judith) and parts of two others (Daniel and Esther), even though these books had been regarded as canonical since the beginning of Church history.
As Protestant Church historian J. N. D. Kelly writes, "It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive [than the Protestant Bible] . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called apocrypha or deuterocanonical books" (Early Christian Doctrines, 53).
Below we give patristic quotations from each of the deuterocanonical books. Notice how the Fathers quoted these books along with the protocanonicals.
Also included are the earliest official canon lists. For the sake of brevity these are not given in full. When the canon lists cited here are given in full, they include all the books and only the books found in the modern Catholic Bible.
(Note: Some books of the Bible have gone under more than one name. Sirach is also known as Ecclesiasticus, 1 and 2 Chronicles as 1 and 2 Paralipomenon, Ezra and Nehemiah as 1 and 2 Esdras, and 1 and 2 Samuel with 1 and 2 Kings as 1, 2, 3, and 4 Kings that is, 1 and 2 Samuel are named 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Kings are named 3 and 4 Kings. This confusing nomenclature is explained more fully in Catholic Bible commentaries.)
"You shall not waver with regard to your decisions [Sir. 1:28]. Do not be someone who stretches out his hands to receive but withdraws them when it comes to giving [Sir. 4:31]" (Didache 4:5 [ca. A.D. 70]).
"Since, therefore, [Christ] was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, his suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against evil, 'Woe to their soul, because they have counseled an evil counsel against themselves' [Isa. 3:9], saying, 'Let us bind the righteous man because he is displeasing to us' [Wis. 2:12.]" (Epistle of Barnabas 6:7 [ca. A.D. 74]).
"By the word of his might [God] established all things, and by his word he can overthrow them. 'Who shall say to him, "What have you done?" or who shall resist the power of his strength?' [Wis. 12:12]" (Epistle to the Corinthians 27:5 [ca. A.D. 80]).
"Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood [1 Pet. 2:17]. . . . When you can do good, defer it not, because 'alms delivers from death' [Tob. 4:10, 12:9]. Be all of you subject to one another [1 Pet. 5:5], having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles [1 Pet. 2:12], 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]!" (Epistle to the Philadelphians 10 [ca. A.D. 135]).
"Those . . . 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 toward others and are puffed up with the pride of holding the chief seat [Matt. 23:6] and work evil deeds in secret, saying 'No man sees us,' shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward appearance, nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart; and they shall hear those words to be found in Daniel the prophet: 'O you seed of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you and lust perverted your heart' [Dan. 13:56]. You that have grown old in wicked days, now your sins which you have committed before have come to light, for you have pronounced false judgments and have been accustomed to condemn the innocent and to let the guilty go free, although the Lord says, 'You shall not slay the innocent and the righteous' [Dan. 13:52, citing Ex. 23:7]" (Against Heresies 4:26:3 [ca. A.D. 190]; Dan. 13 is not in the Protestant Bible).
"Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left on the earth, should both be under the rule of the saints and to minister to this [new] Jerusalem and that [his] kingdom shall be in it, saying, 'Look around Jerusalem toward the east and behold the joy which comes to you from God himself. Behold, your sons whom you have sent forth shall come: They shall come in a band from the east to the west. . . . God shall go before with you in the light of his splendor, with the mercy and righteousness which proceed from him' [Bar. 4:36- 5:9]" (ibid. 5:35:1 [ca. A.D. 190]; Baruch was often reckoned as part of Jeremiah, as it is here).
"What is narrated here [in the story of Susannah] happened at a later time, although it is placed at the front of the book [of Daniel], for it was a custom with the writers to narrate many things in an inverted order in their writings. . . . [W]e ought to give heed, beloved, fearing lest anyone 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" (Commentary on Daniel 6 [A.D. 204]; the story of Susannah [Dan. 13] is not in the Protestant Bible).
"So Daniel, too, when he was required to worship the idol Bel, which the people and the king then worshipped, in asserting the honor of his God, broke forth with full faith and freedom, saying, 'I worship nothing but the Lord my God, who created the heaven and the earth' [Dan. 14:5]" (Epistles 55:5 [A.D. 252]; Dan. 14 is not in the Protestant Bible).
"In Genesis [it says], 'And God tested Abraham and said to him, "Take your only son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the high land and offer him there as a burnt offering . . . "' [Gen 22:1-2] . . . Of this same thing in the Wisdom of Solomon [it says], 'Although in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality . . .' [Wis. 3:4].
Of this same thing in the Maccabees [it says], 'Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness'" [1 Macc. 2:52; see Jas. 2:21-23] (Treatises 7:3:15 [A.D. 248]).
Council of Rome
"Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun. 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 [that is, 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, one book . . . . 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" (Decree of Pope Damasus [A.D. 382]).
Council of Hippo
"[It has been decided] 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, 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, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Ezra, two books, Maccabees, two books . . ." (canon 36 [A.D. 393]).
"The whole canon of the Scriptures, however, in which we say that consideration is to be applied, is contained in these books: the five of Moses . . . and one book of Joshua [Son of] Nave, one of Judges; one little book which is called Ruth . . . then the four of Kingdoms, and the two of Paralipomenon . . . . [T]here are also others too, of a different order . . . such as Job and Tobit and Esther and Judith and the two books of Maccabees, and the two of Esdras . . . . Then there are the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David, and three of Solomon. . . . But as to those two books, one of which is entitled Wisdom and the other of which is entitled Ecclesiasticus and which are called 'of Solomon' because of a certain similarity to his books, it is held most certainly that they were written by Jesus Sirach. They must, however, be accounted among the prophetic books, because of the authority which is deservedly accredited to them" (On Christian Instruction 2:8:13 [ca. A.D. 395]).
"God converted [King Assuerus] and turned the latter's indignation into gentleness [Es. 15:11]" (On the Grace of Christ and Original Sin 1:24:25 [A.D. 418]; this passage is not in the Protestant Bible).
"We read in the books of the Maccabees [2 Macc. 12:43] that sacrifice was offered for the dead. But even if it were found nowhere in the Old Testament writings, the authority of the Catholic Church which is clear on this point is of no small weight, where in the prayers of the priest poured forth to the Lord God at his altar the commendation of the dead has its place" (On the Care That Should be Taken for the Dead 1:3 [A.D. 421]).
Council of Carthage
"[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 . . ." (canon 47 [A.D. 397]).
"Now women also prophesied. Of old, Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron [Ex. 15:20], and after her, Deborah [Judges. 4:4], and after these Huldah [2 Kgs. 22:14] and Judith [Judith 8], the former under Josiah and the latter under Darius" (Apostolic Constitutions 8:2 [ca. A.D. 400]).
"What sin have I committed if I follow the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating [in my preface to the book of Daniel] the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susannah [Dan. 13], the Song of the Three Children [Dan. 3:24-90], and the story of Bel and the Dragon [Dan. 14], which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they are wont to make against us. If I did not reply to their views in my preface, in the interest of brevity, lest it seem that I was composing not a preface, but a book, I believe I added promptly the remark, for I said, 'This is not the time to discuss such matters'" (Against Rufinius 11:33 [A.D. 401]).
Pope Innocent I
"A brief addition shows what books really are received in the canon. These are the things of which you desired to be informed verbally: of Moses, five books, that is, of Genesis, of Exodus, of Leviticus, of Numbers, of Deuteronomy, and Joshua, 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 Tobit, one book, Esther, one, Judith, one, of the Maccabees, two, of Esdras, two, Paralipomenon, two books . . ." (To Exuperius 7 [A.D. 405]).
"[It has been decided] 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, 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, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Ezra, two books, Maccabees, two books . . . Let this be sent to our brother and fellow bishop, [Pope] Boniface, and to the other bishops of those parts, that they may confirm this canon, of these are the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in church" (canon 24 [A.D. 419]).