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altogether easy to reconcile with each other. It is first stated that in the name of Holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church; and finally, at the close of the Article, there is another statement on the subject, saying that all the books of the New Testament as they are commonly received we do receive and account canonical. Now there is no question that at the date at which the Article was drawn up all the Antilegomena were commonly received," and therefore to judge by the last paragraph of the Article they ought to be received now, whereas if the terms of the earlier statement be interpreted strictly they should be excluded, for most certainly doubts have been expressed concerning their authority in the Church.
It is hard to find a satisfactory explanation of this ambiguity. A suggestion has been made that it was of Bet purpose
that the terms of the Article were not made more precise. There certainly was at that time an inclination in some quarters to form a canon within a canon,” or even to reject one or two of the books of the New Testament altogether. Luther, for instance, finding that S. James' language on justification by works was scarcely in harmony with his own theory on the subject was at one time disposed to reject this epistle," while
1"With bold self-reliance he created & purely subjective standard for the canonicity of the Scriptures, in the character of their "teaching of Christ," and while he placed the Gospel and First Epistle of S. John, the Epistles of S. Paul to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and the First Epistle of S. Peter, in the first rank, as containing the “kernel of Christianity,” he set aside the Epistles to the Hebrews, S. Jude, S. James, and the Apocalypse at the end of his version, and spoke of them, and of the remaining Antilegomena with varying degrees of disrespect, though he did not separate 2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John from the other Epistles.”—Dictionary of the Bible, vol. ir p. 618. For Luther's
others among the foreign reformers were anxious to place the Antilegomena on a lower level than the rest of the books. It is possible, therefore, that the Article was left as it now stands, in order to give some latitude for subscription, so that those scholars who were led to place any of the Antilegomena on a lower level of authority might be able to shelter themselves behind the conflicting terms of the Article. "A distinction,” says Bishop Westcott, “remains between the canonical'
' books, and such 'canonical books as have never been doubted in the Church,' and it seems impossible to avoid the conclusion that the framers of the Articles intended to leave a freedom of judgment on a point on which the greatest of the continental reformers, and even of Romish scholars (Sixtus Sen. Biblioth. s. ii. 1; Cajetan, Præf. ad Epp., ad Hebr., Jac., 2, 3 John, Jude) were divided.” 1 This view is possible, but it is perhaps over-subtle, and moreover it would involve the admission that the Antilegomena, though “canonical,” are not included in what the article calls “Holy Scripture,” for in the name of Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church; and it has been proposed to understand “the Church " in the clause just quoted as referring to the Church universal. It is on the whole true, even of the Antilegomena, that though their authority has been questioned in particular parts of the Church, yet, so far as we know, there has never been any doubt about their authority in the Church as a whole.? language on the Epistle of S. James, which he actually described as a "right strawy epistle," see Huther's Commentary on St. James (E. T.), According to Eusebius they were “recognised by most of the writers whom he consulted, and so the words of the Article might fairly be taken to cover them all.
1 Dictionary of the Bible, vol. i. p. 518.
2 “Some of them, as, for instance, the Epistle to the Hebrews and tho Apocalypse-have been the subject of much doubt in the East and West, as the case may be. But the article asserts that there has been no doubt 1 Cf. 2 Esdras xii. 37, 38, xiv. 44.
III. The Position of "the other Books." Under this head it will be well to consider separately(a) The meaning of the term “ Apocrypha."
(6) The position assigned to the Apocrypha by the Church of England, and the arguments by which it may be supported.
(a) The meaning of the term Apocrypha.—The adjective arrópupos is used in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament and in the New Testament in its ordinary classical sense of “hidden or "secret" (see S. Luke viii. 17, Col. i. 3, and cf. Ecclus. xxiii. 19). From this meaning it was employed even in pre-Christian times by teachers who claimed a higher " esoteric” wisdom, which they embodied in secret, i.e. apocryphal writings. The plan of embodying teaching in such “secret” books which might not be openly read and used was one against which the Church set her face from the beginning. But it was the plan adopted by many of the heretical sects, and hence the word “apocryphal” as applied to their writings rapidly came to be a word of reproach, and to denote the ideas of spurious and heretical. It has been thought that this reference of the word was facilitated by an analogous use of a Hebrew word with about them in the Church Catholic; that is, at the very first time that the Catholic or whole Church had the opportunity of forming a judgment on the subject, it pronounced in favour of the canonical books. The Epistle to the Hebrews was doubted by the West, and the Apocalypse by the East, only while those portions of the Church investigated separately from each other, only till they compared notes, interchanged sentiments, and formed a united judgment.”—J. H. Newman, in Tract XC. p. 6, Reprint of 1865.
much the same meaning. The late Hebrew or Aramaic term Genuzim (= hidden) was applied by the Jews originally to the worn-out copies of the Scripture rolls, which were no longer suitable for use in the synagogue, and were therefore withdrawn and consigned to a special chamber, known as the Genizah. It thus came to denote that a book was for some cause or other unfit for public reading. How far it was as a translation of Genuzim that Apocryphal came into familiar use in the Christian Church it is hard to say, but it is certain that during the second century it was employed as a term of reproach, as described above. In this way it is used by such early writers as Irenæus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria ;4 and this sense has attached to the adjective " apocryphal” ever since, so that by the term Apocryphal Gospels are denoted the spurious Gospels forged by heretics, and rejected by the Church. This appears to be the invariable use of the word till well on in the fourth century. Before this time it was never applied to those books which were “read in the Church for example of life and instruction of manners." These were ordinarily termed Ecclesiastical, and were carefully distinguished from the discredited Apocryphal works. Rufinus writing towards the close of the fourth century describes very clearly the practice of an earlier age. After enumerating the books of the Hebrew Bible and of the New Testament, he says: “These are the books which the Fathers included in the canon, and from which they wished the assertions of our faith to be established.” He then adds the following: “But you must know that
1 See Sanday, Inspiration, p. 105, and cf. Wildeboer, The Origin of the Canon of the Old Testament, p. 91. Buhl, Canon and Teact of the Old Testament, p. 56.
. Adv. Hær. bk. I. ch. xiii.
there are other books which were called by our ancestors not Canonical but Ecclesiastical; that is, that which is called the Wisdom of Solomon, and another which is called the Wisdom of the Son of Sirach, which book is called among the Latins by the descriptive name Ecclesiasticus, by which term not the author of the book but the kind of the writing is designated. And of the same order is the Book of Tobit, and Judith, and the Books of the Maccabees. And in the New Testament, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Two Ways, and the Judgment of Peter, all of which they wished to be read indeed in Church, but not to be brought forward for confirming the authority of the faith from them. But the rest of the writings they termed Apocryphal, which they would not have read in Church.” 1 In the fourth century, however, a wider meaning was given to the word “apocryphal.” S. Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechetical Lectures contents himself with a twofold division of the books—(1) the canonical ones, which alone he would have read in Church, and (2) the apocryphal ones, against which he urgently warns his hearers.? Since the canonical books, of which he gives a list, embrace only those of the Hebrew canon, it is manifest that “apocryphal” is used by him in the sense of "withdrawn from public reading,” and indicates nothing as to the character of the books to which it was applied. Practically it becomes the equivalent of “non-canonical.” In this use of the word Cyril is followed by S. Jerome at the end of the century. In his famous “Prologus Galeatus,” the preface to his new translation of the Scriptures, he gives a list of the books of the Hebrew Canon, after which he says: “Quicquid extra hos est, inter Apocrypha esse ponendum. Igitur Sapientia, quæ vulgo Salomonis inscribitur, et Jesu filii Syrach liber, et Judith, et Tobias, * In Symb. § 38.
· St. Cyril, Catech. iv. 35.