Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bogaert on the Borders of the Latin Old Testament

I have recently summarized a couple of important articles by Pierre-Maurice Bogaert on the Latin Bible. I like reading Bogaert because he's a real scholar who looks at real evidence, and because he writes about things that are not run-of-the-mill. In a more recent article (published a couple years ago, see here), he surveys the reception of the deuterocanonical literature in the Latin Bible. Here is a summary of that article. Bogaert's article is pretty long (50 pages), but well worth the read.

Préambule (41–42)

At Strasbourg in 1526, Johannes Lonicer and Wolfgang Capito published an edition of the LXX in three volumes. The third volume featured some protocanonical books and then the title ΑΠΟΚΡΥΦΟΙ followed by Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Epistle of Jeremiah, Dan 3:25–90, 1Esdras, Wisdom, Sirach, Susannah, Bel and the Dragon, 1–3 Maccabees, and 4Maccabees attributed to Josephus. (The second volume had featured Esther with the additions.) The same year in Antwerp, Jacob van Liesveldt printed a Dutch Bible in which between the Testaments came the Apocrypha: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Additions to Daniel, Prayer of Manasseh, 1–2 Maccabees. (Baruch comes not in the section but after Jeremiah and Lamentations.) It's hard to decide which of these two Bibles came first, but they both came before Luther's Bible, which was not complete until 1534, though he had already published the NT with a complete biblical table of contents in 1523. So, already it was clear what Luther was going to do with the deuterocanonical literature--he would separate them from the books of the Hebrew canon. But the first time this actually happened in a printed Bible--rather than just in a table of contents--was in a Greek Bible. The first two printings of the Greek Bible (Complutensian Polyglot and the Aldine LXX) intermixed the deuterocanonicals with the books of the Hebrew canon. 

Introduction (42–45)

Qumran did not have a canon in the sense of a defined list of sacred writings. The use of 'extra' books (Jubilees, Enoch, 4Ezra, Apocalypse of Baruch) by diverse Jewish communities contributed toward their use by Christians. When Jews made a formal decision on their canon in the second century, this act encouraged the Christians to make a similar move. The extra books were never judged heretical. Bogaert thinks the Latin canon always (except at the very beginning) attests some lists that are long and undifferentiated (i.e., they have the deuterocanonicals intermixed with the protocanonicals) and other lists differentiated. But at the very beginning there are only undifferentiated lists. 

La naissance d'une frontière intérieure dans le canon latin de l'Ancien Testament (45–72) 

--La stade de l'indistinction: avant le canon (45–47)

There was no Latin canon (strictly speaking) until about 350, though previously there were rejected books (esp. in regard to the NT). Christians cited, with apparently equal authority, books from the Hebrew Bible, books proper to the so-called LXX canon, and some other books besides--a lack of distinction perhaps dependent on the same in Judaism. Cyprian is a good example, since he cites Wisdom, Sirach, 1–2 Maccabees, Baruch, Epistle of Jeremiah, and 1 Esdras (but not Judith, Esther, or Lamentations). Another example is the stichometric Mommsen Catalogue of biblical books, perhaps a Donatist document from North Africa, mid-fourth century. It shows no influence from the Hebrew Bible. Probably from a library or scriptorium. It matches the later canons of the North African councils by listing Judith, Tobit, 1–2 Maccabees, and (probably--because of the stichometry) Wisdom and Sirach, and it lists no other books beyond the Hebrew Bible. (It also omits Ezra. Accident?) 

--L'influence d'Origène et des Pères grecs (47–53)

In the decades after 350, the traditional Latin position (including the deuterocanonical literature) is echoed by the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) and Pope Innocent I. This list matches the one at Trent, except for the inclusion of 1 Esdras, which Trent excluded. But there is also an effort in the Latin world to distinguish the books of the Jewish canon from 'extra' books. This position is represented by Hilary of Poitiers, Rufinus of Aquileia, and Jerome. These three Latin fathers were heavily influenced by Origen. 

--Listes officielles et continuité (53–56)

The first "official" lists in the Latin world came near the turn of the fifth century, at the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) and in the letter of Pope Innocent I (405), as just mentioned. These lists contain the six 'extra' books (not in the Jewish canon) also included by the Mommsen List and Augustine. These 'extra' books are intermixed with the others, without any apparent distinction. Bogaert also mentions here the Decretum Gelasianum, which also includes these books, but the date of this document is uncertain. Because certain elements seem to rely on Jerome, Bogaert insists that the present form of the list must post-date Jerome (specifically, 393), but an earlier form of the list might precede that date. The ps-Augustinian Speculum (Liber de divinis scripturis, fifth century) also includes these books. 

--Divergences: distinction et indistinction (56–58)

Bogaert first mentions the colophon (which I've mentioned before, here, at the block quote; and here) at the end of the Esther that appears in a Latin Bible (Paris BnF lat. 11553) from around 800 (as well as an 11th cent. Bible, Paris BnF lat. 6). This colophon mentions the twenty-four canonical books of the OT, and then mentions the 'ecclesiastical' books (according to the terminology of Rufinus), including the deuterocanonical literature and the Shepherd of Hermas. It thus shows a desire to distinguish the books of Hebrew Bible from others. The colophon dates perhaps to the fifth century. Next, Junilius Africanus in the 6th century strangely mentioned that several books--Chronicles, Job, Tobit, Ezra, Judith, Esther, Maccabees--were not in the Jewish Bible even though some of these are (here, p. 472).  Only some receive Wisdom (p. 476). Some scriptural books have perfect authority, some have medium authority, and others none (pp. 479–80). 

Cassiodorus (Institutes) describes three Bibles: 

  • Nine codices: (1) Octateuch, (2) Kings, (3) Prophets (Jeremiah w/ Lamentations), (4) Psalter, (5) Solomon (5 books), (6) Agiographa (Job, Tobit, Esther, Judith, Maccabees, 2 books of Ezra), (7) Gospels, (8) Epistles, (9) Acts and Revelation
  • A Bible containing the translations of Jerome, without the books absent from the Hebrew Bible. 
  • Augustine's Bible, and the Bible in the order of the LXX, containing the 'extra' books. 

--Les pandectes (700–900) (58–62)

Visigothic Spain
Bogaert here first mentions Isidore of Seville (d. 636), who divides the OT into Law-Prophets-Writings (like Jerome), but a fourth division contains books not in the Hebrew Bible: Wisdom, Sirach, Tobit, Judith, 2 books of Maccabees, "which, although the Jews separate them into the apocrypha, yet the church of Christ both honors and proclaims them among the divine books" (Etymolog. 6.1.9). Isidore's list here matches that of Rufinus's ecclesiastical books and that of the Esther colophon. 

Perhaps Idisore commissioned a Bible, but in any case a note in a 10th cent. Bible sounds like Isidore's comment above, adding also "because in them the Holy Spirit has announced many mysteries concerning Christ and the church" (see here, p. 74). The list is the same as Rufinus's ecclesiastical group (but Baruch is completely absent from the ms). Theodulf's Bibles essentially followed Isidore's groupings, placing the deuterocanonicals (Wisdom, Sirach, Tobit, Judith, 1–2 Maccabees) in a fourth division right before the NT, though he does include Baruch as a part of Jeremiah (more here). Codex Cavensis (ninth cent.) places only Tobit, Judith, and 1–2 Maccabees at the end of the OT, but Wisdom and Sirach follow the other Solomonic books, and Baruch comes at the end of the Minor Prophets. But in Cavensis, and even some (second-stage) Theodulfian Bibles, Baruch begins with the prologue Liber iste (translated near the end of this post). Bogaert believes that while this prologue does not affirm the canonicity of Baruch, it tends in this direction. The Bible of Angilram (d. 791, see here and here) is the most ancient carolingian Bible (unfortunately, now destroyed) and contains mixed signals of influence from the Hebrew Bible. 

Most Bibles do not distinguish the books of the Hebrew Bible from the others. Codex Amiatinus (images here) is the most ancient extant complete Bible and has this order: Octateuch, Samuel-Kings, Chronicles, Psalter (Jerome's translation from the Hebrew), five Solomonic books, Prophets (without Baruch), Job, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Esdras(-Nehemiah), Maccabees. The Bibles of Alcuin, abbot at Tours, had a large diffusion. It was probably they which first placed Jerome's Epist. 53 at the beginning of the Bible, which tended to attribute the entire Latin Bible to Jerome. This letter from Jerome does not mention any OT book not in the Hebrew Bible. About the placement of Jerome's canonical theory at the head of many Latin Bibles, Bogaert says: "The entire history of the Latin canon of the OT will be marked by this massive fact" (p. 62). And yet--Alcuin's Bibles intermix the deuterocanonical books with the others (except for Baruch, which is completely absent). Sometimes when Jerome's preface to Judith (which diminished Judith's authority, see here) was placed before VL Judith, the wording was changed to magnify the authority of the book. 

--Tendances contradictoires (62–66)

Many Italian Bibles of the 11th–12th cent. begin with Jerome's Epist. 53. Baruch is missing from some of these Bibles, and none of them have 1 Esdras or 4 Ezra. These Bibles are very similar to Alcuin's Bibles, and they are the last Bible family before the Paris Bibles. The Bible of Stephen Harding (dated to 1111, basic information here) separates the books of the Hebrew Bible and does not contain Baruch (more here, or in this article). The Ordines romani--lists for the liturgical year (more here)--list the books of Solomon (3 or 5?) and Judith, Tobit, and Maccabees. The Bobbio Missal also has a list that specifies 3 Solomonic books but does contain Judith. The Decretum Gratiani includes within the liturgy readings from Tobit and Maccabees (and Judith in a variant). The Ysagoge in theologiam includes Bar 3:36–38 among the messianic prophecies; the author knows that Baruch is absent from the Hebrew Bible, but he insists that it enjoys the authority of Jeremiah. 

As a summary, Bogaert says "one observes the co-existence of an undifferentiated long canon and lists bearing distinctions and explanations, drawn from Isidore, concerning a knowledge of the Hebrew Bible and, in some cases, concerning association with Jewish scholars" (p. 65). 

"At the end of the Middle Ages, practically all Latin Bibles put forward the authority of Jerome, through his prefaces and more by the placement of Epist. 53 ad Paulinum at the beginning" (p. 65). But, Bogaert goes on to point out, these same Bibles almost always include the deuterocanonicals intermixed with the other books (along with 1 Esdras, the Prayer of Manasseh, and more rarely 4 Ezra). "It is important to note that it does not yet constitute a point of controversy" (p. 66). 

--L'heure des décisions (66–71)

Here we move forward to the sixteenth century, starting with the decision at Trent (1546) to include the deuterocanonical books. Bogaert discusses this council in a paragraph, focusing mostly on the council's mention of Baruch but its failure to mention Lamentations, which they therefore considered an appendix to Jeremiah. He also mentions that the council excluded 3 Esdras (= LXX 1 Esdras) and 4 Ezra; the council includes 2 Esdras which is called Nehemiah. The council also specifies 150 Psalms. It was Sixtus of Siena about 20 years later that actually coined the word 'deuterocanonical'. The biggest surprise (in light of subsequent Roman Catholic practice) in Sixtus's treatment of this question is his inclusion of Esther (i.e., the Hebrew book) in the deuterocanon, and the supplements to Esther in the apocrypha. As Bogaert says, this is "unexpected". The Sistine Vulgate (1590) excluded the apocrypha (as defined by Trent), but the Sixto-Clementine edition (1592) placed after the NT the Prayer of Manasseh, 3 Esdras (= LXX 1 Esdras) and 4 Ezra, "in order that they not perish completely", as their preface says. Robert Bellarmine, a driving force behind the Sixto-Clementine edition, wrote the Disputations in the late sixteenth-century (Bogaert cites this edition), in which, Bogaert thinks, Bellarmine corrects Sixtus's views on Esther, by including Esther in the second order of books (once discussed but now received) and not including Esther's Additions in the third order (books occasionally cited by the Fathers but now not received). 

--Réception catholique (71–72)

According to Bogaert's report, it seems that the Sixto-Clementine Bible really established the format of the Bible for subsequent Catholic publications (editions, not translations), which always included 3–4 Ezra and the Prayer of Manasseh as an appendix after the NT, but these books are finally abandoned for the Nova Vulgata

Les livres discutés: Quelques cas d'espèce (72–80)

This section discusses the differences between the rabbinic canon and the books circulating in Latin biblical manuscripts. 

--Les livres à géométrie variable (72–75)

Here Bogaert includes books that have different content under the same title, such as 3 Esdras (= LXX 1 Esdras, more here), Daniel, Esther, and Jeremiah. Bogaert has little sections dealing with each of these. Bogaert also includes Reigns and Proverbs here, because "the Hebrew is often shorter than the Greek," a difference mirrored in the Latin tradition between the VL and Jerome. 

--Les attributions à David et à Salomon (75–77)

Bogaert discusses Psalm 151, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach. The attribution of Sirach to Solomon is very ancient, accomplished in the most ancient Latin witnesses by taking Solomon's prayer in 2 Chron 6:13–22 and putting it at the end of Sirach. This prayer does not appear in Greek manuscripts of Sirach, but Greek mss have an inversion within the text of Sirach that is absent from Latin (and Syriac) witnesses, so Bogaert conjectures that perhaps the Greek Vorlage of the Latin translation did have the prayer. For the most part, the Latin mss group the five Solomonic books, with Wisdom and Sirach being the last of these. 

--La liturgie. Lectures, cantiques, antiennes (77–80)

Bogaert discusses 1–2 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees (in that order), and biblical songs. The biggest surprise to me here is that 3 Macc was translated into Latin first in the Complutensian Polyglot (1517). The category of 'biblical songs' includes songs used in the liturgy that are pulled from parts of the Bible (Judith, Tobit, Wisdom, Sirach) but also some songs from non-biblical sources: Prayer of Manasseh and the Confession of Ezra (4 Ezra 8:20–36). The Prayer of Manasseh appears in the Greek liturgy, and in some Latin liturgical compositions. It is widespread in Latin biblical manuscripts (after Chronicles) from the 13th cent., and it does appear in Gutenberg's Bible. 

L'Apocalypse d'Esdras et la Confessio Esdrae (80–88)

4 Ezra was written between 70 and 135, thus one of latest Jewish writings to hang around the borders of the Christian canon. 

--Les manuscrits bibliques (81–83)

4 Ezra is attested only in biblical manuscripts, especially Spanish ones. The most ancient witness is VL 67 (7th cent.), a fragmentary palimpsest from León, in which 4 Ezra follows 1–2 Esdras. Bogaert describes some of the other manuscripts that contain 4 Ezra and the Confession of Ezra. 

--Interprétation (83–88)

Bogaert considers the suggestion of de Bruyne that the position of 4 Ezra in the Latin Bible is owing to priscillianists. Bogaert first notes that Ambrose cited 4 Ezra often and once introduces a citation of 4 Ezra by locating it "in the third book" of Ezra (see more here). The story of the Torah burned by Babylon and restored by Ezra, known primarily from 4 Ezra 14, was widespread in early Christianity. Priscillian makes a case for the acceptance of 4 Ezra as a valuable non-canonical work; he does not intend to include the book within the canon. Isidore is similar. But Bogaert surmises: "It is probable however that certain churches in Spain have gone further than Isidore and have introduced it, if not in their canon, at least in their biblical manuscripts" (p. 87). (Note that Bogaert here acknowledges that the contents of a biblical manuscript is not necessarily the same as a biblical canon.) 

Conclusion (88–90)
The consideration of the rabbinic canon of scripture played a decisive role in the church. But it did not intervene, I think, until a second stage, after other usages had been established sufficiently firm, the traces of which have not ceased to be perpetuated. And these usages could have come only from Judaism, prior to the final closing of the rabbinic canon or independently of this closing. The Greek Bible and the Vetus Latina with their utilization by Christian writers attest these diverse ways of accessing the Jewish scriptures not yet, or otherwise, defined. (p. 89)
Jerome and Rufinus both asserted that the useful non-canonical literature (essentially, the deuterocanonicals) could not establish doctrine. Bogaert insightfully connects this claim to Origen's insistence that in debates with Jews he wants to use only those texts that Christians share with Jews (Ep. Afr. 9). Of course, Origen is talking about the textual form of books shared by Jews and Christians, such as the two different forms of Daniel or Esther or Exodus. "That which was initially for Origen a concession to apologetics was understood, on the basis of Jerome's reading, as a general principle." 

The recognition of a distinction between canonical books and useful religious books came about gradually, and here is an important point: "Both in the Greek world and in the Latin world up to this date [= 16th cent.], the differences--though real in the lists and in the manuscripts--do not raise serious conflicts" (p. 90). 

Appendice 1: Manuscrits bibliques influencés par le canon rabbinique (91–93)

Bogaert looks for three characteristics to identify a manuscript that has been influenced, directly or indirectly, by the rabbinic canon: (1) the separation of Daniel from the major prophets, (2) the separation of Wisdom and Sirach from the other Solomonic books, and (3) the grouping of the libri ecclesiastici: Wisdom, Sirach, Tobit, Judith, 1–2 Maccabees. Bogaert also notes the presence or absence of Baruch and, when present, the order of the Jeremianic compositions, the order of Judith and Tobit relative to one another, and the presence of the Psalter iuxta Hebraeos or the Gallican Psalter, or the Roman Psalter, or the Mozarabic Psalter. He then lists 38 manuscripts in four different classifications.  

Appendice 2: Le Siracide salomonien dans les manuscrits (93)

The Prayer of Solomon is present as ch. 52 of Sirach in the majority of Latin manuscripts, but it is absent in part of the Spanish tradition and in the first Theodulfian manuscripts. The mss from Milan and a 7th cent. Uncial mention Solomon in the capitula Ab. Amiatinus mentions Solomon in the explicit to the book (as also Sangallensis 28 and the witnesses from Milan) and also at the beginning of ch. 1. 

Appendice 3: Liste de témoins de la Confessio Esdrae (94–95)

Bogaert lists several witnesses to the Confession of Ezra, positioned among biblical songs, or located after Ezra-Nehemiah.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Reformation Canon

Another post in my series reviewing the recent issue of The Bible Translator. For previous posts in the series, see here.

Today's article:

Marijke H. de Lang, “The Reformation Canon and the Development of Biblical Scholarship,” The Bible Translator 67.2 (2016): 184–201.

This article begins promisingly when the author states that the canon was not a contentious issue between Protestants and Catholics in the early years of the Reformation, because the issue was debated more generally.

But the article is not quite right when it says that Jerome’s promotion of the Hebrew canon was “contrary to what had been done before him in the Latin-speaking world” (p. 185). Actually, there was disagreement in the Latin-speaking world at the time. While the Mommsen Catalogue, the Breviarium Hipponense, Augustine, and others affirmed the wider canon, the narrower canon was affirmed by Hilary of Poitiers and Rufinus of Aquileia, along with Jerome. Yes, all these latter were more heavily influenced by the East than were the former, but the lack of uniformity in the West suggests that Jerome did not see himself as overturning church tradition, but rather calling the church back to its tradition. (As did Augustine, I'm sure. They just disagreed on what that tradition was, or, perhaps better, they disagreed on which parts of the tradition to emphasize.) 

I also don’t think it is correct to say that Jerome “regarded [the minor Catholic Episltes = not 1 John or 1 Peter] as less authoritative than other New Testament books” (p. 186). He did note doubts about them, but he seems to regard each of them as fully canonical. They all appear in his Epist. 53.9.

Also: “The canon of the Vetus Latina, which reflected the canon of the LXX…” (p. 186). There was no such thing as “the canon of the Vetus Latina” or “the canon of the LXX”. It’s a scholarly figment, but one that is very widespread. And the author knows it (195n24).

We get back on the right track when we learn that at the time of the Reformation, “the Catholic Church was divided over the issue of the canon” (p. 186), with examples from Erasmus, Cajetan, and the disagreements among the delegates at Trent (much like Kerber’s article).

Then we get to Luther (pp. 187–88), and again there is caricature. His treatment of the deuterocanonical books was different from his treatment of other books that he did not like: Esther, James, etc.

Subsequent Protestants more firmly rejected the deuterocanonicals, omitting them from the Bible and forbidding them to be read in church.

A section on the humanistic principle ad fontes, with discussion of Erasmus and Reuchlin.

I think the article is exactly correct when it says: “The decisions of Trent intensified the antagonism between the Catholic Church and Protestantism” (p. 193).

The author then explores some consequences, but she confuses issues of text and canon. Saying that Paul quoted the LXX (text) does not mean that he accepted the LXX canon (which, as I noted earlier, did not exist). Certainly the deuterocanonical books should be used, where appropriate, for the explanation of the NT, as the author suggests (p. 196), but this is not really an issue of canon, and, again, the author seems to admit the fact, since there is likewise the suggestion that other Hellenistic Jewish literature should also contribute toward NT interpretation. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Vulgate Canon

I'm still blogging my way through the latest issue on The Bible Translator, which is a themed-issue on the biblical canon. For previous posts in this series, see here. This time I'll be discussing this article:

Daniel Kerber, “The Canon in the Vulgate Translation of the Bible,” The Bible Translator 67.2 (2016): 168–83.

Traces the origins of the Latin Bible, first clear in Cyprian, and then explains the development of Jerome's translations (169–73). Jerome did not translate most of the deuterocanonicals (only Tobit and Judith), nor most of the New Testament.

At the end of this section, there is an odd sentence:
After his death, probably in the middle of the fifth century, the translations he made were complemented by the addition of others’ translations, put together by an editor who used the terminology of Rufinus. (p. 173)

There is no citation, or any explanation about what the “terminology of Rufinus” might mean. I don’t think Rufinus is previously mentioned in the article. Kerber is referring to a colophon following Esther in a manuscript dating to around 800, though the colophon itself might be considerably earlier. The text does mention the categories of biblical books known also from Rufinus, such that some books that are non-canonical are given the label 'ecclesiastical' because they are helpful to Christians even though they cannot establish doctrine. (See a little more in n. 70 here.) [UPDATE (7 Dec. 2016): I see that I have previously mentioned this colophon, and supplied a translation, while summarizing Bogaert's article on Baruch. See here.]
Kerber does represent correctly Jerome’s views on the OT canon, even though he didn’t cite this excellent article

Kerber's article contains a contradiction regarding the time at which the word ‘vulgate’ came to apply to Jerome’s translation. On p. 171, he says this happened in the seventh century (citing the Aland's), but on p. 175 he says it first happened in the work of Roger Bacon in the thirteenth century.

He supplies an adequate, brief accounting of the history of the Vulgate to modern times.

Then he turns to Trent. I would dispute this sentence: “Influence by Renaissance humanism, the Reformers, in their desire to go back to the original faith because of the many abuses in the church, also wanted to return to the source texts, and so they rejected the biblical books belonging to the Greek tradition (LXX) and went back to the Hebrew canon” (p. 177). I do not doubt that the Reformers were influenced by Renaissance humanism, but so were the Catholics, and in any case this is not the reason that the Reformers clung to the narrow canon. In fact, the church had never taken a firm decision on this matter, and so even in the days of the Reformation, or afterwards, up until Trent, it was a legitimate option for Catholics to affirm the narrow canon. Some of the divines at Trent did so. I do not believe that Luther thought of himself as disputing church tradition when he claimed that 2Maccabees is not a part of the canon. Rather, he thought he was reasserting church tradition. This confusion is exacerbated in the footnote attached to this statement, where Kerber cites approvingly Sundberg’s mischaracterization of the Leipzig Debate, as if Luther’s views on the canon were determined by his need to disprove the doctrine of purgatory, which completely overlooks the fact that some Catholic theologians at the time, in full communion with Rome, also affirmed the narrow canon. What is odd is that Kerber, in the next paragraph, mentions these Catholic doubts about the deuterocanonical books, correctly describing the views of Erasmus and Cajetan, and in the paragraphs following, he mentions the contentious debates on the issue among those gathered at the Council. Note: followers of Luther did not attend the Council. The Catholic theologians debated the matter because the matter had not previously been settled for the Catholic Church. This gives the lie to the idea that Luther overturned church tradition by rejecting the canonicity of 2 Maccabees. For more, see this post.
The rest of the article discusses the meaning of Trent’s approval of the Vulgate text, and whether we should continue to use the term ‘deuterocanonical’.