Old Testament Canon
The development of the Old Testament Canon ... is found in the early Koine Greek Septuagint translation of the Jewish scriptures. This translation was widely used by the Early Christians and is the one most often quoted (300 of 350 quotations including many of Jesus' own words) in the New Testament when it quotes the Old Testament.
In 331, Constantine I commissioned Eusebius to deliver fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople. Athanasius (Apol. Const. 4) recorded Alexandrian scribes around 340 preparing Bibles for Constans. Little else is known, though there is plenty of speculation. For example, it is speculated that this may have provided motivation for canon lists, and that Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus may be examples of these Bibles. Together with the Peshitta and Codex Alexandrinus, these are the earliest extant Christian Bibles. There is no evidence among the canons of the First Council of Nicaea of any determination on the canon, however, Jerome (347-420), in his Prologue to Judith, makes the claim that the Book of Judith was "found by the Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures".
From the earliest times, the Eastern Church, used the LXX, was undecided about the Apocrypha: some Greek Fathers quoted from these books; others preferred to follow solely the books accepted by the Jews. The matter of the Apocrypha was raised in the Trullan Council at Constantinople in 692, but no binding conclusions were reached.
The Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 decreed the Greek Orthodox canon which is similar to the one decided by the Council of Trent. The Greek Orthodox generally consider Psalm 151 to be part of the Book of Psalms. Likewise, the "books of the Maccabees" are four in number, though 4 Maccabees is generally in an appendix, along with the Prayer of Manasseh. Also, there are two books of Esdras, for the Greeks these books are 1 Esdras and Ezra-Nehemiah, see Esdras#Differences in names for details. The Greek Orthodox generally consider the Septuagint to be divinely inspired.
However, because the Jerusalem Council was a regional council and neither ecumenical nor pan-Orthodox, its decrees were not obligatory unless accepted by all Orthodox Churches. Although there has been no official acceptance of the canon outlined at Jerusalem, all editions of the Bible published by the Greek Orthodox Church include the books selected in 1672, though today 4 Maccabees is often placed in a separate section or excluded.
|Books of the Old Testament|