The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 170 of 202
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recorded speeches. We have moreover the most absolute testimony to the fact that the
canon was fixed centuries before Christ.
The book of Ecclesiasticus was written in Syro-Chaldaic about A.M.3772, or two
hundred and thirty-two years before Christ, and was translated by the author's grandson
into Greek. In the prologue he speaks of his grandfather giving himself to the reading of
"the law, and the prophets, and the other books of our fathers", which is sufficient proof
that such a recognized collection of sacred books then existed.
We have, however, a more ancient and reliable witness than the son of Sirach, viz., the
testimony of the Septuagint Version. We hope to devote at least one article to this
version and its value--we may have to write a series--so that we will not go into details
and dates here. Speaking roughly, 280 years before Christ the Greek version of the O.T
Scriptures, known to us as the Septuagint, was complete, and the books there translated
are identical with our own O.T. We are so accustomed to handling this book that its
extreme antiquity is lost upon us.
Let is be remembered that there is no evidence for any other ancient book that
approaches the evidence that we posses of the genuineness and authority of the books of
the Bible. There is no authentic book that goes back as far as the books of the O.T.
Such is, in brief, the external witness to the O.T. canon. On the other hand, the
witness of language, allusions to manners and customs, times and circumstances, form a
vast amount of internal evidence, alike too important and too extensive for an article like
this. When the subject has been reviewed in its main lines, we shall hope to return to
these internal evidences and study them separately. Meanwhile, we leave the O.T. and
the subject of its canonicity, in order to provide the reader with a similar survey of the
equivalent evidence we possess in regard to the N.T. This we hope to do in our next
The following analysis of the way in which the O.T. writers and books are quoted in
the N.T. may form a useful appendix to this article, although the important subject of
O.T. quotation in the N.T. must await its turn in the order of our studies.
In the Gospels the Lord quotes all the books of Moses. He quotes several of the
Psalms, and the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Jonah, Micah, Zechariah and
Malachi as Scripture and authoritative. This is, of course, in addition to the references to
"the Law", and to "the Scriptures", embracing the whole canon. The Lord does not quote
from any of the Apocryphal books.
The Acts quote Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Psalms, Isaiah, Joel, Amos
and Habakkuk.
Paul quotes Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Samuel, Kings, Job,
Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Joel, Habakkuk and Haggai.