Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Canons of the Councils of Ancyra, Gangra, Neocæsarea, Antioch and Laodicea, which Canons were Accepted and Received by the Ecumenical Synods.: Canon LX
[N. B.—This Canon is of most questionable genuineness.]
These are all the books of Old Testament appointed to be read: 1, Genesis of the world; 2, The Exodus from Egypt; 3, Leviticus; 4, Numbers; 5, Deuteronomy; 6, Joshua, the son of Nun; 7, Judges, Ruth; 8, Esther; 9, Of the Kings, First and Second; 10, Of the Kings, Third and Fourth; 11, Chronicles, First and Second; 12, Esdras, First and Second; 13, The Book of Psalms; 14, The Proverbs of Solomon; 15, Ecclesiastes; 16, The Song of Songs; 17, Job; 18, The Twelve Prophets; 19, Isaiah; 20, Jeremiah, and Baruch, the Lamentations, and the Epistle; 21, Ezekiel; 22, Daniel.
And these are the books of the New Testament: Four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; The Acts of the Apostles; Seven Catholic Epistles, to wit, one of James, two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude; Fourteen Epistles of Paul, one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Hebrews, two to Timothy, one to Titus, and one to Philemon.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LX.
But of the new, the four Gospels—of Matthew, of Mark, of Luke, of John; Acts; Seven Catholic epistles, viz. of James one, of Peter two, of John three, of Jude one; of Paul fourteen, viz.: to the Romans one, to the Corinthians two, to the Galatians one, to the Ephesians one, to the Phillipians one, to the Colossians one, to the Thessalonians two, to the Hebrews one, to Timothy two, to Titus one, and to Philemon one.
It will be noticed that while this canon has often been used for controversial purposes it really has little or no value in this connexion, for the absence of the Revelation of St. John from the New Testament to all orthodox Christians is, to say the least, as fatal to its reception as an ecumenical definition of the canon of Holy Scripture, as the absence of the book of Wisdom, etc., from the Old Testament is to its reception by those who accept the books of what we may call for convenience the Greek canon, as distinguished from the Hebrew, as canonical.
We may therefore leave this question wholly out of account, and merely consider the matter from the evidence we possess.
In 1777 Spittler published a special treatise 199 to shew that the list of scriptural books was no part of the original canon adopted by Laodicea. Hefele gives the following resume of his argument: 200
(a) That Dionysius Exiguus has not this canon in his translation of the Laodicean decrees. It might, indeed, be said with Dallæus and Van Espen, that Dionysius omitted this list of the books of Scripture because in Rome, where he composed his work, another by Innocent I. was in general use.
(b) But, apart from the fact that Dionysius is always a most faithful translator, this sixtieth canon is also omitted by John of Antioch, one of the most esteemed and oldest Greek collectors of canons, who could have had no such reasons as Dionysius for his omission.
(c) Lastly, Bishop Martin of Braga in the sixth century, though he has the fifty-ninth, has also not included in his collection the sixtieth canon so nearly related to it, nor does the Isidorian translation appear at first to have p. 160 had this canon. 201 Herbst, in the Tübingen Review, also accedes to these arguments of Spittlers, as did Fuchs and others before him. Mr. Ffoulkes in his article on the Council of Laodicea in Smith and Cheethams Dictionary of Christian Antiquities at length attempts to refute all objections, and affirms the genuineness of the list, but his conclusions can hardly be accepted when the careful consideration and discussion of the matter by Bishop Westcott is kept in mind. (History of the Canon of the New Testament, IIId. Period, chapter ii. [p. 428 of the 4th Edition.])
See new edition of his collected works, vol. viij., pp. 66 et seqq.159:200
Hefele. Hist. of the Councils, Vol. II., pp. 323, 324.160:201
Leonis, Opp., Ed. Ballerini, tom. iii., p. 441, n. xlviij.
Next: The Second Ecumenical Council: The First Council of Constantinople.
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