The Protestant Mutilation of Sacred Scripture

Originally posted 5/11/2010.

From a recent paper of mine (“Reflections on the ‘Life and Letters of Paul’ Class”):

Many authoritative Church councils prior to the Reformation defined the same canon as the canon of Scripture defined by the Ecumenical Council of Trent in 1546; they include the 393 Synod of Hippo and three Carthaginian councils in the years 393, 397, and 419 (Reid). The canon of the Council of Trent is the same as the Canon of Pope St. Innocent I from the year 405, which was sanctioned by Pope Adrian I and, in 865, by Pope St. Nicholas I the Great (ibid.). I quickly found strong support for the Catholic view among the Fathers of the Church; we are bound to accept their unanimous consent on any matter of faith and morals, or we are forced to say that they, the best witnesses to the traditions handed down by the Apostles, were deceived en masse.

Before I was forced by time constraints to postpone my research on the Bible canon used by the Church Fathers, I found no small number of Church Fathers quoting the “Deuterocanonical” books and “additions” as divinely inspired Scripture: Tobit (Sts. Polycarp, Cyprian, Athanasius the Great, John Chrysostom, Ambrose, Leo the Great, Gregory the Great); Judith (Sts. Ambrose, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian); the longer version of Esther, extending from 10:4 to 16:24 (St. Jerome); Wisdom (Sts. Cyprian, Dionysius the Great, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Jerome, John Cassian, Leo, Gregory the Great, John of Damascus); Sirach (Sts. Dionysius the Great, Aphrahat the Sage of Persia, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, John Cassian, Vincent of LĂ©rins, Leo, Gregory the Great); Baruch (Sts. Hippolytus, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, John Cassian); the Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children, or Daniel 3:24-90 (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Theodoret); the Story of Susanna, or Daniel 13 (Sts. Cyril of Jerusalem, Hilary, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, Leo); the Story of Bel and the Dragon, or Daniel 14 (Sts. Cyprian, Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, Basil); 1 Maccabees (Sts. Hippolytus, Cyprian, Ambrose, Gregory the Theologian, Augustine); and 2 Maccabees cited by Sts. Cyprian, Aprahat, Basil, Hilary.

Works Cited

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