Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
By the `canon` of the Holy Scriptures books we understand all the books inspired by God, more precisely the list of these books. The word `canon` didn’t have this meaning from the beginning. It is borrowed from Hebrew through Greek and it means among others `guide1 or `rule`.
We find it used as well with these two meanings in the New Testament. Saint apostle Paul, after he gives certain spiritual advice to the Galatians, adds:
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (Galatians VI, 16). Then `canons` with the meaning of `orderliness` are called the decisions regarding the ecclesiastical discipline and certain components from the ordinance of the religious services.
The books of the Holy Scripture containing the `canon`, meaning the rule of faith and life, were called `canons` with this meaning but also with the meaning of totality or list of writings comprising these rules. The word `canon` has this same meaning at the ancient Jews and at the first Christians. There is a canon of the Old Testament books and a canon of the New Testament books.
1) With the condition that their teaching is revealed by God through inspiration.
2) with the condition that the teaching revealed by them is guaranteed by the Church.
The Church guaranteed this teaching on the base of its age and apostolicity, in accordance with the rule of Tertulian stating that true is the thing which is older and older is the thing that is from the beginning, and from the beginning is the thing coming from the Apostles and from the Apostles it comes what it was sacred in the Apostolic Churches.
The books included in the canon of the Old Testament are:
10.2 Samuel (Kings)
The Old Testament includes some other books beside the 39 canonical books – the deuterocanonical ones which were considered useful for the soul by the Church and it recommended them to be read by the catechumens, those men who prepared themselves to become Christians.
For this reason they were kept in the Holy Scripture after the canonical books. They are full of spiritual wisdom and that is why the Church uses some of them even at the holy services.
These books are:
4.The Wisdom of Jeshua Sirach – Ecclesiasticus
Uncanonical are considered the following excerpts or parts of canonical books from those mentioned above :
The canon of the New Testament includes 27 books as follows: