HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







Canon, from Greek κανών, originally meant any straight rod or bar. From this basal signification were formed the cognate meanings of the amussis or carpenters rule, the beam or tongue of the balance, and then, like norma, any rule or standard, whether in the physical or moral order. Hence it came to be generally applied as a rule or measure of anything. It is much controverted, and quite uncertain, just what particular shade of the general meaning the old writers had in mind when they first applied this word to the official list of the Holy Books. Such question is, in fact, of no real value to any man, and yet writers quibble and haggle about it, as though upon it depended some great question. Some contend that, in applying the term to the Holy Books, the early writers passed from the active signification of the term to its effect, and used the measure for the thing measured; thus the canon would be the list officially ruled and measured by the Church. Others hold that the said writers had in mind that the Holy Books formed a rule of faith and morals. We are of the persuasion that the term was applied to the collection of Scriptures to signify that such list formed the criterion and measure of a books divine origin. The list was thus a rule; for only the books which satisfied its requirements, by being incorporated in it, were of divine authority. At all events, the signification of an official list of things or persons dates back to a great antiquity. Thus, in the Councils of Nice and Antioch, the catalogue of the sacred persons attached to any particular Church was called the canon. Thus, to-day, those who constitute the chapter are called Canons. The appositeness of the term all must concede, for such sanctioned catalogue forms a measure of inspiration, and we receive only as inspired that which conforms to its measurement.

The canon of Holy Scripture then is the official catalogue of the Books that the Church authoritatively promulgates as the product of the Authorship of God.

This official list is found in the Council of Trent, Sess. 4. De Can. Script.: The Synod has thought good to subjoin to the decree an index of the Holy Books, lest to any man there should arise a doubt as to which are the books that are received by the said Synod. These are the following: Of the Old Testament, the five books of Moses, to wit: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Josue, Judges, Ruth, the four Books of Kings, the two Books of Paralipomenon, the First Book of Esdras and the Second which is called that of Nehemias, Tobias, Judith, Esther, Job, the Davidic Psalter of 150 Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Canticle of Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias with Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, The Twelve Minor Prophets, to wit: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Michæas, Nahum, Habakuk, Sophonias, Haggæus, Zachary, Malachy, and The First and Second of Maccabees. Of the New Testament: The Four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Acts of The Apostles, the fourteen Epistles of the Apostle St. Paul, to wit: The Epistle to the Romans, the two Epistles to the Corinthians, the Epistle to the Galatians, the Epistle to the Ephesians, the Epistle to the Philippians, the Epistle to the Colossians, the two Epistles to the Thessalonians, the two Epistles to Timothy, the Epistle to Titus, the Epistle to Philemon, the Epistle to the Hebrews; the two Epistles of St. Peter, the three Epistles of the Apostle John, one Epistle of the Apostle James, one Epistle of the Apostle Jude, and the Apocalypse of the Apostle John. In this catalogue, there are recorded forty-five books of the Old Testament, and twenty-seven of the New.

As the Holy Books are divided into two great classes, the Old and New Testament, so we must treat separately of the canons of these two Testaments.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com