The "Apostolic Canons" (about A.D. 380).

The Apostolic Canons (canones apostolici) are a series of additions made by the final editor of an ancient Syrian book of church order called The Apostolic Constitutions. The whole document purports to be from the apostles, but this pretence is not taken seriously by any scholar today. Nevertheless, the work is useful as evidence for the opinions of a part of the Syrian churches towards the end of the fourth century. The list of canonical books (given in canon no. 85) was probably added about the year 380. The Greek text given below conforms to the text of canon 85 printed in the appendix of Westcott's General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (London, 1870), but I have inserted brackets around Ἰουδεὶθ ἕν ("one of Judith") to indicate that it is absent from some manuscripts of the canones apostolici. This canon list has several peculiarities. Included are "three books of the Maccabees," while the rest of the deuterocanonical books are omitted. The Revelation of John is omitted (see the likely explanation for this in my comments on the canon list of Cyril of Jerusalem). The epistles of Clement are listed as canonical, and the book of the "Apostolic Constitutions" is described as an esoteric canonical book.

Κανὼν πε’: Περὶ ἁγίων βιβλίων.

Canon 85: Concerning Holy Scripture.

Ἔστω δὲ ὑμῖν πᾶσι κληρικοῖς καὶ λαϊκοῖς βιβλία σεβάσμια καὶ ἅγια· τῆς μὲν Παλαιᾶς Διαθήκης, Μωυσέως, πέντε· Γένεσις, Ἔξοδος, Λευιτικόν, Ἀριθμοί, καὶ Δευτερονόμιον· Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ναυῆ ἕν· τῶν Κριτῶν ἕν· τῆς Ρούθ ἕν· Βασιλειῶν τέσσαρα· Παραλειπομένων, τῆς βίβλου τῶν ἡμερῶν, δύο· Ἔσδρα δύο· Ἐσθήρ ἕν· [Ἰουδεὶθ ἕν·] Μακκαβαίων τρία· Ἰώβ ἕν· Ψαλμοὶ ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα· Σολομῶνος βιβλία τρία, Παροιμίαι, Ἐκκλησιαστής, ᾄσμα ᾀσμάτων· Προφῆται δέκα ἕξ· Ἔξωθεν δὲ ὑμῖν προσιστορείσθω μανθάνειν ὑμῶν τοὺς νέους τὴν Σοφίαν τοῦ πολυμαθοῦς Σειράχ. Ἡμέτερα δὲ, τουτέστι τῆς Καινῆς Διαθήκης, Εὐαγγέλια τέσσαρα, Ματθαίου, Μάρκου, Λουκᾶ, Ἰωάννου· Παύλου ἐπιστολαὶ δεκατέσσαρες· Πέτρου ἐπιστολαί δύο· Ἰωάννου τρεῖς· Ἰακώβου μία· Ἰούδα μία· Κλήμεντος ἐπιστολαί δύο, καὶ αἱ Διαταγαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς ἐπισκόποις δι’ ἐμοῦ Κλήμεντος ἐν ὀκτὼ βιβλίοις προσπεφωνημέναι, ἃς οὐ χρὴ δημοσιεύειν ἐπὶ πάντων διὰ τὰ ἐν αὐταῖς μυστικά· καὶ αἱ Πράξεις ἡμῶν τῶν Ἀποστόλων.

Let the following books be esteemed venerable and holy by all of you, both clergy and laity. Of the Old Testament: the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; one of Joshua the son of Nun; one of the Judges; one of Ruth; four of the Kings; 1 two of Paralipomena (the books of Chronicles); two of Ezra; 2 one of Esther; [one of Judith;] 3 three of the Maccabees; one of Job; the one hundred and fifty Psalms; three books of Solomon: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs; the sixteen of the Prophets. And see that those newly come to discipleship become acquainted with the Wisdom of the learned Sirach. 4 And ours, that is, of the New Testament, are the four Gospels, of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; the fourteen epistles of Paul; two epistles of Peter; three of John; one of James; one of Jude; two epistles of Clement; and the Constitutions dedicated to you, the bishops, by me, Clement, in eight books, which it is not appropriate to make public before all, because of the mysteries contained in them; and the Acts of us, the Apostles.

1. That is, what we call First and Second Samuel and First and Second Kings.

2. Ezra and Nehemiah.

3. "One of Judith" is missing from some manuscripts.

4. That is, Ecclesiasticus.