The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 169 of 202
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ATHANASIUS says in his synopsis: "Our whole Scripture is divinely inspired, and
hath books not infinite in number, but finite, and comprehended in a certain canon. The
canonical books of the O.T. are two and twenty, equal in number to the Hebrew letters."
CYRIL OF JERUSALEM says, "Read the divine Scriptures, the two and twenty
We could quote others, but what has been cited is surely sufficient. The interested
reader will find further confirmation in the writings of Hilary, Nazeanzen, Epiphanius,
Ruffinus, Gregory the Great, and Jerome. The value of this testimony will be better
understood when we have reviewed the canon of the N.T.
Perhaps it would be well, seeing that we have referred to The Companion Bible
Appendix 1, to show that the structural arrangement suggested there remains practically
unchanged. We will therefore repeat the "Prophets" and the "Psalms" with the necessary
The Prophets.
A | JOSHUA.--"The Lord of all the earth", etc.
B | JUDGES AND RUTH.--"Israel forsaking and returning to God."
C | SAMUEL.--Man's king rejected.
D | KINGS.--Decline and fall under the kings.
D | ISAIAH.--Final blessing under God's king.
C | JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS.--Human kings rejected.
B | EZEKIEL.--God forsaking Israel and returning.
A | THE MINOR PROPHETS.--The Lord of all the earth.
The reader may have observed that the addition of Ruth to Judges is a very blessed
confirmation of the description "Israel forsaking and returning to God", and that gain
instead of loss is ours by this adjustment.
The Psalms.
A | THE PSALMS.--Praises. God's purposes and counsels.
B | PROVERBS.--Words which govern or rule man's life.
C | JOB.--"The end of the Lord." Shown in Satan's defeat.
D | CANTICLES.--Virtue rewarded. Read at Passover.
E | ECCLESIASTES.--The Preacher. Read at Tabernacles.
D | ESTHER.--Virtue rewarded. Read at Purim.
C | DANIEL.--"God's judgment." Final defeat of Antichrist.
B | EZRA-NEHEMIAH.--"Men who governed God's people.
A | CHRONICLES.--"Words of days." God's purposes and counsels.
It will be noted that the removal of Ruth and Lamentations, lettered respectively
and F in The Companion Bible, makes no difference to the structure as a whole.
We have seen in a previous article that the Lord Jesus Christ accepted this Hebrew
canon, and so did also His apostles as may be seen by a perusal of their epistles and