Author Topic: The Canon  (Read 759 times)

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Offline JamesRottnek

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The Canon
« on: August 26, 2010, 01:50:13 AM »
I've been reading articles on looys.net, and one of them was a list of the books in the Armenian canon (http://www.looys.net/BIBCANON.DOC).  One thing that interested me in it was that after it listed the canonical books, it listed books that it says used to be in the canon, and are still worthy of veneration.  These were Joseph and Aseneth, Testament of the Twelve Prophets, The Martyrdom of Isaiah, The Epistles of Jesus Christ and Abgarus King of Edessa, The Third Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, and the Acts of Paul and Thecla.  My question is, when did the Armenian Church cease to include these books in the canon, and why does it still consider them worthy of veneration if they aren't worthy of canonization (assuming of course that the information I read is correct)?
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Offline mike

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Re: The Canon
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 02:05:53 AM »
What is the Epistle of Jesus Christ?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: The Canon
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 03:48:27 AM »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: The Canon
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 07:11:49 AM »
It has always been the tradition of all Churches that there are those books which are canonical and to be read in the liturgy, and those books which are valuable but are not to be considered canonical. This is not unique to the Armenian Orthodox tradition.

We all value the letters of St Ignatius, but they are not canonical. To not be canonical does not mean to be rejected as useless, it just means to not be considered as Scripture.

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Offline vasnTearn

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Re: The Canon
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2010, 07:34:04 AM »
... it says used to be in the canon, and are still worthy of veneration.  These were Joseph and Aseneth, Testament of the Twelve Prophets, The Martyrdom of Isaiah, The Epistles of Jesus Christ and Abgarus King of Edessa, The Third Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, and the Acts of Paul and Thecla.  My question is, when did the Armenian Church cease to include these books in the canon, and why does it still consider them worthy of veneration if they aren't worthy of canonization (assuming of course that the information I read is correct)?

That information is not completely correct. There could be and were canon lists that also included those above-mentioned books but they never became accepted canon lists for the Armenian Bible. One can see this, for example, in the canon list of St Gregory of Tathev, in which he doesn't mention those books of Asaneth etc at all (only the short testaments of the prophets are added to the main books of the prophets and the III epistle of St Paul to Corinthians).

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Bible/Text/Canon/armenian.html

I didn't have time to read myself what is written in the article you have mentioned, but if it really says that those books of Asanet etc "are still worthy of veneration", then this is completely untrue.

But I would add another apocryphal book of the New Testament which is not mentioned in that article but which should have been mentioned instead of all those books. It is the "Story of the Dormition of St John the Theologian". This small story was part of the Armenian New Testament and it was frequently quoted in the writings of the Armenian Fathers. It was so popular that Nerses of Lambron wrote a commentary on it, commenting all the verses of that book, just like he would do it with other biblical books.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 07:45:27 AM by vasnTearn »

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: The Canon
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 03:03:39 PM »
Ok, thanks to both of you.  It makes a lot more sense that they may once have been considered canonical by some persons in the Church but not officially so.  It especially makes more sense that they are not still "worthy of veneration" as the article said.  Thanks again.
I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011