Christian Living
Essentials of Faith
Evidences for Faith
Applying Your Faith

The Melito Canon

This is a quotation from Eusebius in his writing Ecclesiastical History.  Melito was bishop of the church in Sardis of Asia Minor (170AD). His list gives the Hebrew canon minus Esther, and makes no mention of any of the disputed books. This list was published abroad and recommended by Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea.

"But in the Extracts made by him the same writer [i.e. Melito] gives at the beginning of the Introduction a catalog of the acknowledged books of the Old Testament, which it is necessary to quote at this point. He writes as follows: "Melito to his brother Onesimus, greeting! Since you have often, in your zeal for the Word, expressed a wish to have extracts made from the Law and the Prophets concerning the Saviour, and concerning our entire Faith, and have also desired to have an accurate statement of the ancient books, as regards their number and their order, I have endeavored to perform the task, knowing your zeal for the faith, and your desire to gain information in regard to the Word, and knowing that you, in your yearning after God, esteem these things above all else, struggling to attain eternal salvation. Accordingly when I went to the East and reached the place where these things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and I send them to you as written below. These are their names: Of Moses five, Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Joshua the son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, four of Kingdoms, [That is, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings] two of Chronicles, the Psalms of David, Solomon's Proverbs or Wisdom, [According to Eusebius, Proverbs was sometimes called "Wisdom" (Ecclesiastical History 4.22.9.)] Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job; of the Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, [Including Lamentations, presumably. It was not the custom of the times to mention it separately.]  the Twelve [minor prophets] in one book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras. [Ezra and Nehemiah, counted as one book, was sometimes called simply Esdras (Greek for Ezra).] From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books." Such are the words of Melito."

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?

Top Articles in the Last Month

Flag Counter