Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

You see whatever books are outside the anon, properly and strictly speaking are divided into two classes. The first contains those that have been added to the properly canonical books in the corpus of the Bible, nevertheless they do not not have authority equal to those. The second group contains those that simply are rejected books and contain fables that must be repudiated. The noncanonical books of the first class are called “ecclesiastical” because they are read in the Church for the edification of behavior but not to prove doctrine. They are called “apocryphal,” namely, with respect to books indubitably canonical in the proper and strict sense of that word. And they are called “canonical,” namely, comparatively and relatively in respect to the other class of noncanonical books that are completely rejected. Therefore when the Council of Carthage, Augustine, and others of the ancients call these controversial books “canonical” and count them among the canonical books, they are then using the name “canonical books” in a broader sense, in which the books are called “canonical” that are contained in the codex of the Bible and read in the Church to edify the people and that are also distinct from the apocryphal books of the other kind that contain hidden fables that are to be repudiated. 

Johann Gerhard
On the Nature of Theology and on Scripture
p 110


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