Decretum Gelasianum

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The Decretum Gelasianum or the Gelasian Decree is so named because it was traditionally thought to be a Decretal of the prolific Pope Gelasius I, bishop of Rome 492–496. The work reached its final form in a five-chapter text written by an anonymous scholar between 519 and 553, the second chapter of which is a list of books of Scripture presented as having been made Canonical by a Council of Rome under Pope Damasus I, bishop of Rome 366–383. This list, known as the Damasine List, [1] represents the same canon as shown in the Council of Carthage Canon 24, 419 AD. [2]

Decretals are letters of a pope that formulate decisions in ecclesiastical law of the Catholic Church.

Pope Gelasius I pope

Pope Saint Gelasius I was the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church from 1 March AD 492 to his death on 19 November 496. He was probably the third and final Bishop of Rome of Berber descent. Gelasius was a prolific author whose style placed him on the cusp between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. His predecessor Felix III employed him especially in drafting Papal documents. During his pontificate he called for strict Catholic orthodoxy, more assertively demanded obedience to Papal authority, and, consequently, increased the tension between the Western and Eastern Churches.

The Council of Rome was a meeting of Catholic Church officials and theologians which took place in 382 under the authority of Pope Damasus I, the current bishop of Rome. It was one of the fourth century councils that "gave a complete list of the canonical books of both the Old Testament and the New Testament."

Content

The Decretum has five parts. Parts 1, 3, and 4 are not relevant to the canon. The second part is a canon catalogue. The Deuterocanonical Books (other than Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah) are accepted by the catalogue, and are still found in the Roman Catholic Bible, though not in the Protestant canon. The canon catalogue gives 27 books of the New Testament. In the list of gospels, the order is given as Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Fourteen epistles are credited to Paul including Philemon and Hebrews. Of the General Epistles seven are accepted: two of Peter, one of James, one of the apostle John, two of "the other John the elder" (presbyter), and one of "Judas the Zealot". [3]

Epistle to Philemon book of the Bible

The Epistle of Paul to Philemon, known simply as Philemon, is one of the books of the Christian New Testament. It is a prison letter, co-authored by Paul the Apostle with Timothy, to Philemon, a leader in the Colossian church. It deals with the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Paul does not identify himself as an apostle with authority, but as "a prisoner of Jesus Christ", calling Timothy "our brother", and addressing Philemon as "fellow labourer" and "brother." Onesimus, a slave that had departed from his master Philemon, was returning with this epistle wherein Paul asked Philemon to receive him as a "brother beloved."

John the Presbyter early Christian; appears in fragments from Papias of Hierapolis as one of the authors sources; traditionally identified with John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, and/or John of Patmos (author of the Book of Revelations)

John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's sources and is first unequivocally distinguished from the Apostle by Eusebius of Caesarea. He is frequently proposed by some as an alternative author of some of the Johannine books in the New Testament, although no clear evidence have ever been produced to prove this theory.

Jude, brother of Jesus one of the four brothers of Jesus mentioned in the New Testament; traditionally identified with Judas Thaddeus the Apostle

Jude is one of the brothers of Jesus (Greek: ἀδελφοί, romanized: adelphoi, lit. 'brethren') according to the New Testament. He is traditionally identified as the author of the Epistle of Jude, a short epistle which is reckoned among the seven general epistles of the New Testament—placed after Paul's epistles and before the Book of Revelation—and considered canonical by Christians. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians believe this Jude is the same person as Jude the Apostle and that Jude was perhaps a cousin, but not literally a brother of Jesus, or perhaps St. Joseph’s son from a previous marriage.

The fifth part is a catalogue of the "apocryphal books" and other writings which are to be rejected, presented as adjudged apocryphal "by Pope Gelasius and seventy most erudite bishops". Though the ascription is generally agreed to be apocryphal itself, except among the most traditional of apologists, it perhaps makes allusion to the seventy translators of the Septuagint and the seventy apostles sent out in Luke. This list de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis ("of books to be admitted and not to be admitted"), probably originating in the 6th century, represents a tradition that can be traced back to Pope Damasus I and reflects Roman practice in the development of the Biblical canon. These apocrypha are not the same as the Deuterocanonical Books, but include the Acts of Andrew and other spurious works. [3]

Apocrypha Works of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin

Apocrypha are works, usually written, of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin. Biblical apocrypha are a set of texts included in the Latin Vulgate and Septuagint but not in the Hebrew Bible. While Catholic tradition considers some of these texts to be deuterocanonical, Protestants consider them apocryphal. Thus, Protestant bibles do not include the books within the Old Testament but have sometimes included them in a separate section, usually called the Apocrypha. Other non-canonical apocryphal texts are generally called pseudepigrapha, a term that means "false attribution".

Septuagint Greek translation of Hebrew scriptures

The Septuagint is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. It is estimated that the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE. The Septuagint was the Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible and the base of the Christian Old Testament, and was in wide use by the time of Jesus and Paul of Tarsus because most Jews could no longer read Hebrew. For this reason it is quoted more often than the original Hebrew Bible text in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline epistles, by the Apostolic Fathers, and later by the Greek Church Fathers.

Pope Damasus I pope

Pope Damasus I was Bishop of Rome, from October 366 to his death in 384. He presided over the Council of Rome of 382 that determined the canon or official list of Sacred Scripture. He spoke out against major heresies in the church and encouraged production of the Vulgate Bible with his support for St. Jerome. He helped reconcile the relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Antioch, and encouraged the veneration of martyrs.

Textual history

The complete text is preserved in the mid-eighth-century Ragyndrudis Codex, fols. 57r-61v, [4] which is the earliest manuscript copy containing the complete text. The earliest manuscript copy was produced c. 700, Brussels 9850-2. [5]

Ragyndrudis Codex codex from the Middle Ages

The Ragyndrudis Codex is an early medieval codex of religious texts, now in Fulda in Germany, which is closely associated with Saint Boniface, who, according to tradition, used it at the time of his martyrdom to ward off the swords or axes of the Frisians who killed him on 5 June 754 near Dokkum, Friesland. This long association has given the codex the status of a contact relic.

Versions of the work appear in multiple surviving manuscripts, some of which are titled as a Decretal of Pope Gelasius, others as a work of a Roman Council under the earlier Pope Damasus. However, all versions show signs of being derived from the full five-part text, which contains a quotation from Augustine, writing about 416 after Damasus, which is evidence for the document being later than that [1] .

Augustine of Hippo Early Christian theologian, philosopher and Church Father

Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and Neoplatonic philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of the Western Church and Western philosophy, and indirectly all of Western Christianity. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of God, De doctrina Christiana, and Confessions.

Related Research Articles

Deuterocanonical books Books that Catholics and Orthodox accept as part of the canon, but which Protestants do not accept

The deuterocanonical books are books and passages considered by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Assyrian Church of the East to be canonical books of the Old Testament but which are considered non-canonical by Protestant denominations. They are books thought to have been written some time between 200 BC and 100 AD., and most are seen in copies of the Septuagint dating from the 4th century BC, these being larger than early copies of this original translation of the Hebrew Bible in the Hellenistic period, which was written during the reign of Ptolemy II While the New Testament never quotes from or ascribes canonical authority to these books, some say there is a correspondence of thought, while others see texts from these books being referred or alluded to many times in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline Epistles depending in large measure on what is counted as a reference.

2 Maccabees Deuterocanonical book which focuses on the Maccabean Revolt

2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book which focuses on the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Seleucid empire general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the hard work.

Gelasian Sacramentary

The so-called Gelasian Sacramentary is a book of Christian liturgy, containing the priest's part in celebrating the Eucharist. It is the second oldest western liturgical book that has survived: only the Verona Sacramentary is older.

Decretum may refer to:

Gospel of Bartholomew missing text amongst the New Testament apocrypha

The Gospel of Bartholomew is a missing text amongst the New Testament apocrypha, mentioned in several early sources. It may be identical to either the Questions of Bartholomew, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, or neither.

Codex Fuldensis

The Codex Fuldensis, also known as the Victor Codex, designated by F, is a New Testament manuscript based on the Latin Vulgate made between 541 and 546. The codex is considered the second most important witness to the Vulgate text; and is also the oldest complete manuscript witness to the order of the Diatessaron. It is an important witness in any discussion about the authenticity of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and the Comma Johanneum. It is one of the earliest dated manuscripts of the New Testament. It was corrected until 2 May, 546 AD.

These are the books of the Latin Vulgate along with the names and numbers given them in the Douay–Rheims Bible and King James Bible. There are 76 books in the Clementine edition of the Latin Vulgate, 46 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament, and 3 in the Apocrypha.

Biblical apocrypha Collection of ancient books found in some editions of Christian Bibles

The biblical apocrypha denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books, thought to have been written some time between 200 BC and 100 AD. and most are seen in copies of the Septuagint dating from the 4th century BC,, and which are included in some versions and editions of Christian Bibles in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments or as an appendix after the New Testament. Some Christian Churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament.

Collections of ancient canons contain collected bodies of canon law that originated in various documents, such as papal and synodal decisions, and that can be designated by the generic term of canons.

Development of the Christian biblical canon

The Christian biblical canons are the books Christians regard as divinely inspired and which constitute a Christian Bible. Which books constituted the Christian biblical canons of both the Old and New Testament was generally established by the 5th century, despite some scholarly disagreements, for the ancient undivided Church.

Development of the Old Testament canon

The Old Testament is the first section of the two-part Christian biblical canon; the second section is the New Testament. The Old Testament includes the books of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) or protocanon, and in various Christian denominations also includes deuterocanonical books. Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Protestants use different canons, which differ with respect to the texts that are included in the Old Testament.

Christian biblical canons The set of books that a particular Christian denomination or denominational family regards as being divinely inspired and thus constituting an authorised Christian Bible

A Christian biblical canon is the set of books that a particular Christian denomination or denominational family regards as being divinely inspired and thus constituting an authorised Christian Bible. Such bibles are always divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Early Church primarily used the Greek Septuagint as its source for the Old Testament. Among Aramaic speakers, the Targum was also widely used. The apostles did not leave a defined set of scriptures; instead the canon of both the Old Testament and the New Testament developed over time.

Biblical canon A set of texts which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture

A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture. The English word "canon" comes from the Greek κανών, meaning "rule" or "measuring stick". Christians became the first to use the term in reference to scripture, but Eugene Ulrich regards the idea as Jewish.

Development of the New Testament canon Development of the New Testament canon

The canon of the New Testament is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible. For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation. The books of the canon of the New Testament were written before 120 AD.

<i>Collectiones canonum Dionysianae</i>

The Collectiones canonum Dionysianae are the several collections of ancient canons prepared by the Scythian monk Dionysius 'the humble' (exiguus). They include the Collectio conciliorum Dionysiana I, the Collectio conciliorum Dionysiana II, and the Collectio decretalium Dionysiana. They are of the utmost importance for the development of the canon law tradition in the West.

References

  1. 1 2 Burkitt.
  2. "CHURCH FATHERS: Council of Carthage (A.D. 419)". www.newadvent.org.
  3. 1 2 Decretum Gelasianum.
  4. Stork, Hans-Walter (1994). "Der Codex Ragyundrudis im Domschatz zu Fulda (Codex Bonifatianus II)". In Lutz E. von Padberg Hans-Walter Stork (ed.). Der Ragyndrudis-Codes des Hl. Bonifatius (in German). Paderborn, Fulda: Bonifatius, Parzeller. pp. 77–134. ISBN   3870888113.
  5. McKitterick, Rosamond (1989-06-29). The Carolingians and the Written Word. Cambridge UP. p. 202. ISBN   9780521315654.

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