Saturday, 18 June 2016

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 86.

SIX VOLUMES IN ONE
BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.
REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.
REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada
REV. STEPHEN KEENAN
REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J.
REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.


Q. What is the Scripture?

A. It is the word of God, written by persons inspired by God himself to speak the truth; and it is divided into the Old and New Testament, which are called canonical books.

Q. Why are they called canonical?

A. They are so called from the Greek word canon, which signifies a rule; therefore we call them canonical books, that is to say, books which contain the rule of our faith.

Q. How many canonical books are there ?

A. There are many, which are divided into five sorts, viz.: Legal historical, sapiential, prophetical, and doctrinal. The legal books of the Old Testament are the five books of Moses, viz.: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. The historical books are, Joshua, Judges, Ruth; the four books of Kings, the two first of which are called by some the books of Samuel; the two books of Paralipomenon, or Chronicles; the two books of Esdras; the books of Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Job and the two books of the Macchabees. The sapiential books are those of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Song of Solomon, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus. 'The prophetical books are the Psalms of David, (which are also sapiential, legal and historical) the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, with Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel; and the twelve lesser prophets, viz.: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The doctrinal chiefly regards those of the New Testament, which are the four gospels of St. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles; the fourteen Epistles of St. Paul, viz.: His Epistle to the Romans, his two Epistles to the Corinthians, his Epistle to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians, his two Epistles to the Thessalonians, and his two Epistles to Timothy; his Epistle to Titus, to Philemon, and to the Hebrews; the Epistle of St. James; the two Epistles of St. Peter; the three Epistles of St. John; the Epistle of St. Jude; and the Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John. All these books are undoubtedly canonical, as being received and declared as such by the Catholic church. See the council of Laodicea, etc. And consequently, all and every part thereof are infallibly true; for otherwise, as St. Augustine says, if any part was false or doubtful, all would be uncertain. However, certain it is, that some books are doubted of by the Catholic church, which we call Apocryphal; that is to say, hidden or not certainly known, as not being so evident whether they were divine Scripture, because they were not in the Jews' canon, nor at first in the church's canon, but were never rejected as false or erroneous; in which sense are the prayer of Manasses, the third book of Esdras, and the third of the Macchabees. As for the fourth of Esdras, and fourth of Macchabees, there is more doubt. But as to the book ascribed to Enoch, the gospel of St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Bartholomew, and the like, mentioned by St. Jerom, and St. Augustine, they are in a worse sense called Apocryphal; and are rejected, as containing manifest errors.