Did St. Jerome accept...?

Status
Not open for further replies.
C

Cephas

Guest
Did St. Jerome accept the Deuterocanonical books?
I ask because I have heard that he rejected them, not believing that they were inspired, BUT I remember Fr. Pacwa (in a debate with J. White on the Papacy) saying that he did after a decision was made.

also, where can i find this info?
 
As I understand it and I can be corrected he thought them to be less than inspired but submited to the authority of the church on this matter…
 
It is my understanding Jerome cites from the deuterocanon calling it “Scripture” (thus inspired), but he did make a distinction between the deuteros and the “hebrew” canon. So at least some of the deuteros were “inspired” to him, but not necessarily “fully” canonical. They were canonical “enough” to be read at the Liturgy, and I believe Jerome had no problem with that either.

A rather long study on this subject was done by Matt1618, an amateur apologist (like myself) but you can always check out the sources he quotes

Study on Deuterocanon by Matt1618

Refuting an Attack on the Deuteros by Matt1618

Defending the Deuterocanonicals by Akin

Phil P
 
Ok…I did not mean to imply tht his obedience was unhappy,I was not aware that in the end he accepted them as inspired,but I think the point of St. Jerome accepting church authority should not be overlooked.
 
Saint Jerome preferred not to use the deuteros in some of his writings because he was engaged in discussions with the Hebrews. He recognized that there was not much point in referencing books the other side did not recognize. (This is similar to Catholic apologists quoting from the KJV – it’s not that the KJV is accepted as the Catholic gold standard, but that Protestants almost universally accept the KJV).

Regarding the “disparaging” remarks, Jerome himself wrote:
“…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. 3:29-68, RSV-CE], 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]; emphasis added).

In the final analysis, Jerome used the deuterocanonicals repeatedly. He accepted them fully consistent with traditional Church doctrine. That some may have misunderstood his writings is not a valid argument against the deuteros.
 
40.png
Cephas:
Did St. Jerome accept the Deuterocanonical books?
I ask because I have heard that he rejected them, not believing that they were inspired, BUT I remember Fr. Pacwa (in a debate with J. White on the Papacy) saying that he did after a decision was made.

also, where can i find this info?
No, Jerome didn’t accept these books as canonical and didn’t change his mind later in life. He included them as an addendum for the edification of the church, but never attributed inspiration to them :eek:

Peace,
CM
 
40.png
cmom:
Church mouse do you have a citation to prove this?
Greetings!

Read Jerome’s prefaces to these books. If I had the strength I’d seek them out for you, but although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak and I need to get to bed 😃 . However, check out any scholarly Catholic resources on this matter to verify. If no luck, I’ll tend to this in the morning. One more thing though, there is ample evidence to show he didn’t accept these books, but I have yet to see anything to the contrary asides from some incontextual citations. Do you have anything to prove he did change his mind on this?

Peace,
CM
 
The above post is incorrect. St. Jerome cited at least some of the deuteros calling them “Scripture” (thus inspired), but he did make a distinction between them and the 'hebrew" canon.

First Jerome citing part of the deuterocanon (Sirach, then Wisdom of Solomon, then parts of Daniel, then Baruch) as “Scripture” or along with the hebrew canon –

Does not the Scripture say: ‘Burden not thyself above thy power’ [Sirach 13:2]…” (Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 108, in NPNF2, VI:207)

“Do not, my dearest brother, estimate my worth by the number of my years. Gray hairs are not wisdom; it is wisdom which is as good as gray hairs At least that is what Solomon says: 'wisdom is the gray hair unto men.’ [Wisdom 4:9]” Moses too in choosing the seventy elders is told to take those whom he knows to be elders indeed, and to select them not for their years but for their discretion (Numbers 11:16) ? And, as a boy, Daniel judges old men and in the flower of youth condemns the incontinence of age (Daniel 13:55-59, or Story of Susannah 55-59, only found in Catholic Bibles) Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58, in NPNF2, VI:119)

“I would cite the words of the psalmist: 'the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,’ [Ps 51:17] and those of Ezekiel 'I prefer the repentance of a sinner rather than his death,’ [Ez 18:23] and those of Baruch, 'Arise, arise, O Jerusalem,’ [Baruch 5:5] and many other proclamations made by the trumpets of the prophets.” (Jerome, To Oceanus, Epistle 77:4, in NPNF2, VI:159)

Next Jerome distinguishes between the deuteros that are read at the Liturgy but “not to give authority to doctrines of the Church” and what he calls the “canonical Scriptures” (hebrew canon)

“As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church…I say this to show you how hard it is to master the book of Daniel, which in Hebrew contains neither the history of Susanna, nor the hymn of the three youths, nor the fables of Bel and the Dragon…” (Schaff/Wace NPNF, Volume VI, Jerome, Prefaces to Jerome’s Works, pp. 492-493)

Haven’t looked these up myself, I got the citations from Matt1618 page I linked above. What this all means, I’m not sure. But it seems that St. Jerome had no problem including the deuteros with his arguments from other “canonical” books, while at the same time noticing a distinction between them and the “canonical” OT which he calls strictly the hebrew canon (the 39 rather than the complete 46 books).

St. Jerome is probably the best example Protestants use from the Fathers for “rejecting” the deuteros, yet he still cites them along with the hebrew OT, and says they should be read at Liturgy and for “edification.” That’s a fuller picture of his view.

Phil P
 
40.png
PhilVaz:
The above post is incorrect. St. Jerome cited at least some of the deuteros calling them “Scripture” (thus inspired), but he did make a distinction between them and the 'hebrew" canon.
Phil, It’s great to have your experience here!

Is there a date available on the letter(s?) by Jerome? I rather imagine it was after his work on the Vulgate. Even if not, it would help elucidate the development of his own understandings of Scripture.

His work Against Rufinius of 401 AD at least partially addresses Protestant claims. However, it seems that because his prefaced commentary was included in official copies, some Protestants give it “canonical” standing. 😉
 
<< Phil, It’s great to have your experience here! >>

Nice to be here. I notice there is a lot of high-quality, high-caliber, all-guns-blazing apologists in these forums already. 😛

See the dates provided by the Matt1618 article where I got the Jerome citations

matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html

Also since we are talking about St. Jerome, the following link pretty much demolishes the “Catholic But Not Roman Catholic” objections to the Papacy from Jerome

St. Jerome and Rome

Jerome seems rather “Roman Catholic” to me… 😃

Phil P
 
Phil, I’m in debt to you for those citation (as a starting point for me).

Muchas gracias hermano!
 
Richard Lamb:
Ok…I did not mean to imply tht his obedience was unhappy,I was not aware that in the end he accepted them as inspired,but I think the point of St. Jerome accepting church authority should not be overlooked.
Richard–

Indeed so. My apologies if I sounded as though I were arguing against you, as that was not my intent. It can never be assumed that one’s acceptance of the Church’s authority must be unhappy!

Sam
 
Phil Vaz cites the following:
“As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church…I say this to show you how hard it is to master the book of Daniel, which in Hebrew contains neither the history of Susanna, nor the hymn of the three youths, nor the fables of Bel and the Dragon…” (Schaff/Wace NPNF, Volume VI, Jerome, Prefaces to Jerome’s Works, pp. 492-493)
Jerome isn’t distinguishing Wisdom and Sirach from the other books, but paralleling them. Note:

As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church

The fact that these books cannot be used to give “authority to the doctrines of the Church” is but further evidence that he didn’t regard them as inspired Scripture. I don’t see how anyone can bypass what is so clear. With this in mind, an isolated reference from Sirach….
“Does not the Scripture say: ‘Burden not thyself above thy power’ [Sirach 13:2]…” (Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 108, in NPNF2, VI:207)
…cannot be used as evidence of Jerome’s later acceptance of the deuterocanonicals, let alone Sirach. The book was regarded ecclesiastically, for edificatory purposes, and nothing more (as noted in the above citation). Jerome never attributed divine inspiration to the book.

You also cite:
“Do not, my dearest brother, estimate my worth by the number of my years. Gray hairs are not wisdom; it is wisdom which is as good as gray hairs At least that is what Solomon says: 'wisdom is the gray hair unto men.’ [Wisdom 4:9]” Moses too in choosing the seventy elders is told to take those whom he knows to be elders indeed, and to select them not for their years but for their discretion (Numbers 11:16) ? And, as a boy, Daniel judges old men and in the flower of youth condemns the incontinence of age (Daniel 13:55-59, or Story of Susannah 55-59, only found in Catholic Bibles) Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58, in NPNF2, VI:119)
The references from Wisdom and Susannah aren’t evidence that Jerome quoted them as “inspired” Scripture, but can be contrasted to Paul quoting Aratus, Menander, or Epimenedes for their wisdom. I’m sure Jerome quoted the wisdom within the deuterocanonicals liberally, but quoting them doesn’t mean he accepted them as divine.

You also said:
Haven’t looked these up myself, I got the citations from Matt1618 page I linked above. What this all means, I’m not sure. But it seems that St. Jerome had no problem including the deuteros with his arguments from other “canonical” books, while at the same time noticing a distinction between them and the “canonical” OT which he calls strictly the hebrew canon (the 39 rather than the complete 46 books).
That’s good. At least you’re not sure what it means. Including these books with his arguments doesn’t mean anything regarding canonicity. You downplay the distinction considering the Hebrew canon which was his canon. As already noted, he denied the others inspiration.

You said:
St. Jerome is probably the best example Protestants use from the Fathers for “rejecting” the deuteros, yet he still cites them along with the hebrew OT, and says they should be read at Liturgy and for “edification.” That’s a fuller picture of his view.
Again, “citing” them along with the Hebrew OT, reading them at Liturgy and/or for edification doesn’t imply that Jerome accepted these books as “inspired” and, thus, “canon.” Unless you can find concrete evidence that he accepted these books later in life, these citations don’t do much. The first (to Eustochium) is isolated; the second and third (To Paulinus and To Oceanus) doesn’t imply “inspired Scripture”; and the fourth (Preface to the books of Solomon) confirms that Wisdom and Sirach aren’t a part of the canonical Scriptures. I’m confused as to where you see the fuller picture.

Peace,
CM
 
Churchmouse << Again, “citing” them along with the Hebrew OT, reading them at Liturgy and/or for edification doesn’t imply that Jerome accepted these books as “inspired” and, thus, “canon.” >>

Good post, as I said I haven’t studed this in depth. I was going by the Matt1618 article. I said Jerome does make the distinction between the deuteros and the “canonical Scriptures” which he calls the hebrew canon (the 39 books rather than 46 books). But he also doesn’t seem to equate necessarily “inspired” or “Scripture” with “canonical.” There can be “Scripture” that is not “canonical” as these terms didn’t seem to be clearly defined. Example: he called Sirach “Scripture” but not “canonical.”

Anyway, good post, I can’t provide more until I read a patristic commentary or two on St. Jerome, and I go back and see what Roger Beckwith and others say on Jerome.

Phil P
 
40.png
PhilVaz:
Churchmouse << Again, “citing” them along with the Hebrew OT, reading them at Liturgy and/or for edification doesn’t imply that Jerome accepted these books as “inspired” and, thus, “canon.” >>

Good post, as I said I haven’t studed this in depth. I was going by the Matt1618 article. I said Jerome does make the distinction between the deuteros and the “canonical Scriptures” which he calls the hebrew canon (the 39 books rather than 46 books). But he also doesn’t seem to equate necessarily “inspired” or “Scripture” with “canonical.” There can be “Scripture” that is not “canonical” as these terms didn’t seem to be clearly defined. Example: he called Sirach “Scripture” but not “canonical.”

Anyway, good post, I can’t provide more until I read a patristic commentary or two on St. Jerome, and I go back and see what Roger Beckwith and others say on Jerome.

Phil P
Hi Phil,

Thanks for being so gracious 🙂 .

Admittingly, I have to do some more work on this as well. I too have Beckwith’s book and a cursory look at chapter 4 doesn’t say anything about the reference to Sirach, unless I missed it. It may be somewhere else in the book, but I’ll have to leave that for later.

Peace,
CM
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top