Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 13.djvu/704

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SCRIPTURE


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SCRIPTURE


phorical sense it signified the form of perfection that had to be attained in the various arts or trades. In this metaphorical sense some of the early Fathers urged the canon of truth, the canon of tradition, the canon of faith, the canon of the Church against the erroneous tenets of the early heretics (St. Clem., "I Cor.", vii; Clem, of Alex., "Strom.", x\-i; Orig., "De princip. ", IV, ix; etc.). St. Irenacus emploj'ed another metaphor, calling the Fourth Gospel the canon of truth (Adv. ha^r., Ill, xi^i ; St. Isidore of Pelusium applies the name to all the inspired wTitings (Epist. iv, 14). About the time of St. Augustine (Contra Crescent., II, xx.\ix) and St. Jerome (Prolog, gal.), the word "canon" began to denote the collection of Sacred Scriptures; among later writer.'^ it is used practically in the sense of cata- logue of inspired books. In the sixteenth century, Sixtus Senensis, O.P., distinguished between protocanonical and deuterocanonical books. This distinction does not indicate a difference of authority, but only a dif- ference of time at which the books were recognized by the whole Church as Divinely inspired. Deutero- canonical, therefore, are those book.s concerning the inspiration of which .some Churches doubted more or less .seriously for a time, but which were accepted by the whole Church as really inspired, after the ques- tion had been thoroughly investigated. As to the Old Testament, the Books of Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclcsiasticus, Baruch, I, II Machabees, and also Esther, x, 4-xvi, 24, Daniel, iii, 24-90, xiii, 1-xiv, 42, are in this sense deuterocanonical; the same must be said of the following New-Testament books and por- tions: Hebrews, .James, II Peter, II, III John, Jude, Apocalypse, Mark, xiii, 9-20, Luke xxii, 43-44; John, vii, 53-viii, 11. Protestant wTiters often call the deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament the Apocrypha.

C. Tripartite Division of Testaments. — The pro- logue of Ecclesiasticus shows that the Old-Testament books were divided into three parts, the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (the Hagiographa) . The same division is mentioned in Luke, xxiv, 44, and has been kept by the later Jews. The Law or the Torah comprises only the Pentateuch. The second part contains two .sections: the former Prophets (Josue, Judges, Samuel, and Kings), and the latter Prophets (Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and the Minor Prophets, called the Twelve, and counted as one book). The third division embraces three kinds of books: first poetical books (Psalms, Proverbs, Job); secondly, the five Megilloth or Rolls (Canticle of Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther); thirdly, the three remaining books (Daniel, Esdras, Paralipo- menon). Hence, adding the five books of the first division to the eight of the second, and the eleven of the third, the entire Canon of the Jcwi.sh Scriptures embraces twenty-four books. Another arrangement connects Ruth witn the Book of Judges, and Lamen- tations with Jeremias, and thus reduces the number of the books in the Canon to twenty-two. The divi- sion of the Nfw-Testament books into the Gospel and the Apostle (Evangelium et Apostolus, Evangelia et Apostoli, Evangelica et Apo.stolica) began in the writ- ings of the Apostolic P'athers (St. Ignatius, "Ad Philad.", v; "Epist. ad Diogn., xi) and was com- monly adopted about the end of the second century (St. Iren., "Adv. haer. ", I, iii; Tert., "De prajscr. , xxxiv; St. Clem, of Alex., "Strom.", VII, iii; etc.); but the more recent Fathers did not adhere to it. It has been found more convenient to divide both the Old Testament and the New into four, or still better into three parts. The four parts distinguish between legal, historical, didactic or doctrinal, and prophetic books, while the tripartite tlivision adds the legal books (the Pentateuch and the Gosijels) to the hi.stori- cal, and retains the other two cla8.ses, i. e., the didactic and the prophetic books.

D. A rrangemenl of Books. — The catalogue of the


Council of Trent arranges the inspired books partly in a topological, partly in a chronological order. In the Old Testament, we have first all the historical books, excepting the two books of the Machabees which were supposed to have been wTitten last of all. These his- torical books arc arranged according to the order of time of which they treat; the books of Tobias, .Ju- dith, and Esther, however, occupy the last place be- cause they relate personal history. The body of di- dactic works occupies the second place in the Canon, being arranged in the order of time at which the writers are supposed to have lived. The third place is a.ssigned to the Prophets, first the four Major and then the twelve Minor Prophets, according to their respective chronological order. The Council follows a similar method in the arrangement of the New-Tes- tament books. The first place is given to the histori- cal books, i. e., the Gospels and the Book of Acts; the Gospels follow the order of their reputed composition. The second place is occupied by the didactic books, the Pauline Epistles preceding the Catholic. The former are enumerated according to the order of dignity of the addresses and according to the importance of the matter treated. Hence results the series: Romans; I, II Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; I, II Thes.salonians; I, II Timothy; Titus; Philemon; the Epistle to the Hebrews occupies the last place on account of its late reception into the canon. In its disposition of the Catholic Epistles the Council follows the so-called western order: I, II Peter; I, II, III John; James; Jude; ourVulgate edition follows the oriental order (James; I, II Peter; I, II, III John; Jude) which .seems to be based on Gal., ii, 9. The Apocalypse occupies in the New Te-stament the place corresponding to that of the Prophets in the Old Testament.

E. Liturgical Division. — The needs of liturgy oc- casioned a division of the inspired books into smaller parts. At the time of the Apostles it was a received custom to read in the synagogue service of the sab- bath-day a portion of the Pentateuch (Acts, xv, 21) and a part of the Prophets (Luke, iv, 16; Acts, xiii, 1.5, 27). Hence the Pentateuch has been divided into fifty-four "parashas" according to the number of sabbaths in the intercalary lunar year. To each pa- rasha corresponds a division of the prophetic writ- ings, called haphtara. The Talmud speaks of more minute divisions, pesukim, which almost resemble our verses. The Church transferred to the Christian Sunday the Jewish custom of reading part of the Scriptures in the a.sfiemblies of the faithful, but soon added to, or replaced, the Jewish lessons by parts of the New Testament (St. Just., "lApol. ", Ixvii; Tert., " De praescr. ", xxxvi, etc.). Since the particular churches differed in the selection of the Sunday read- ings, this custom did not occasion any generally re- ceived division in the books of the New Testament. Besides, from the end of the fifth century, these Sun- day le.s.«ons were no longer taken in order, but the sec- tions were cho.sen as they fitted in with the ecclesia.s- tical feasts and seasons.

V. Divisions to facilitate reference. — For the con- venience of readers and students the text had to be divided more uniformly than we have hitherto seen. Such divisions are traced back to Tatian, in the sec- ond century. Ammonius, in the third, divided the Gospel text into 1162 K€(p(i\ata in order to facilitate a Gospel harmony. Eusebius, Euthalius, and others carried on this work of division in the following cen- turies, so that in the fifth or sixth the Gospels were divided into 318 parts {tituli), the Epistles into 254 (capilula), and the Apocalypse into 96 (24 sermones, 72 capilula). Cassiodorus relates that the Old-Testa- ment text was divided into various parts (De inst. div. lit., I, ii). But all these various partitions were too imperfect and too uneven for practical use, especially when in the thirteenth century concordances (see