Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ποια βιβλία
περιείχε η Αγία Γραφή
του Ιωάννη Δαμασκηνού; /

Which books were included
in the Holy Bible
of John of Damascus?





ϟʹ Περὶ Γραφῆς

«Εἷς ἐστιν ὁ θεὸς ὑπό τε παλαιᾶς διαθήκης καὶ καινῆς κηρυττόμενος, ὁ ἐν τριάδι ὑμνούμενός τε καὶ δοξαζόμενος, τοῦ κυρίου φήσαντος· «Οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον, ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι» (αὐτὸς γὰρ τὴν ἡμῶν σωτηρία εἰργάσατο, ὑπὲρ ἧς πᾶσα γραφὴ καὶ ἅπαν μυστήριον), καὶ πάλιν· «Ἐρευνᾶτε τὰς γραφάς· αὗται γὰρ μαρτυροῦσι περὶ ἐμοῦ», καὶ τοῦ ἀποστόλου εἰπόντος· «Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἡμῶν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις, ἐπ’ ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ». Διὰ πνεύματος τοίνυν ἁγίου ὅ τε νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται, εὐαγγελισταὶ καὶ ἀπόστολοι καὶ ποιμένες ἐλάλησαν καὶ διδάσκαλοι.

«Πᾶσα τοίνυν γραφὴ θεόπνευστος πάντως ὠφέλιμος». Ὥστε κάλλιστον καὶ ψυχωφελέστατον ἐρευνᾶν τὰς θείας γραφάς. Ὥσπερ γὰρ δένδρον παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων πεφυτευμένον, οὕτω καὶ ψυχὴ τῇ θείᾳ ἀρδευομένη γραφῇ πιαίνεται καὶ καρπὸν ὥριμον δίδωσι, πίστιν ὀρθόδοξον, καὶ ἀειθαλέσι τοῖς φύλλοις, ταῖς θεαρέστοις φημὶ ὡραΐζεται πράξεσι· πρός τε γὰρ πρᾶξιν ἐνάρετον καὶ θεωρίαν ἀθόλωτον ἐκ τῶν ἁγίων γραφῶν ῥυθμιζόμεθα. Πάσης γὰρ ἀρετῆς παράκλησιν καὶ κακίας ἁπάσης ἀποτροπὴν ἐν ταύταις εὑρίσκομεν. Ἐὰν οὖν ἐσόμεθα φιλομαθεῖς, ἐσόμεθα καὶ πολυμαθεῖς· ἐπιμελείᾳ γὰρ καὶ πόνῳ καὶ τῇ τοῦ διδόντος χάριτι κατορθοῦνται ἅπαντα. «Ὁ γὰρ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται». Κρούσωμεν τοίνυν εἰς τὸν κάλλιστον παράδεισον τῶν γραφῶν, τὸν εὐώδη, τὸν γλυκύτατον, τὸν ὡραιότατον, τὸν παντοίοις νοερῶν θεοφόρων ὀρνέων κελαδήμασι περιηχοῦντα ἡμῶντὰ ὦτα, τὸν ἁπτόμενον ἡμῶν τῆς καρδίας, καὶ λυπουμένην μὲν παρακαλοῦντα, θυμουμένην δὲ κατευνάζοντα καὶ χαρᾶς ἀιδίου ἐμπιπλῶντα, τὸν ἐπιβιβάζοντα ἡμῶν τὴν διάνοιαν ἐπὶ τὰ χρυσαυγῆ μετάφρενα τῆς θείας περιστερᾶς καὶ ὑπέρλαμπρα καὶ ταῖς φανωτάταις αὐτῆς πτέρυξι πρὸς τὸν μονογενῆ υἱὸν καὶ κληρονόμον τοῦ φυτουργοῦ τοῦ νοητοῦ ἀμπελῶνος ἀνάγοντα καὶ δι’ αὐτοῦ τῷ πατρὶ τῶν φώτων προσάγοντα. Ἀλλὰ μὴ παρέργως κρούσωμεν, προθύμως δὲ μᾶλλον καὶ ἐπιμόνως· μὴ ἐκκακήσωμεν κρούοντες. Οὕτω γὰρ ἡμῖν ἀνοιγήσεται. Ἐὰν ἀναγνῶμεν ἅπαξ καὶ δὶς καὶ μὴ διαγνῶμεν, ἃ ἀναγινώσκομεν, μὴ ἐκκακήσωμεν, ἀλλ’ ἐπιμείνωμεν, ἀδολεσχήσωμεν, ἐρωτήσωμεν· «ἐπερώτησον» γάρ, φησίν, «τὸν πατέρα σου, καὶ ἀναγγελεῖ σοι, τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους σου, καὶ ἐροῦσί σοι». Οὐ γὰρ πάντων ἡ γνῶσις. Ἀρυσώμεθα ἐκ τῆς τούτου τοῦ παραδείσου πηγῆς ἀένναα καὶ καθαρώτατα νάματα ἁλλόμενα εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, ἐντρυφήσωμεν, ἀπλήστως κατατρυφήσωμεν· τὴν γὰρ χάριν ἀδάπανον κέκτηνται.

Εἰ δέ τι καὶ παρὰ τῶν ἔξωθεν χρήσιμον καρπώσασθαι δυνηθείημεν, οὐ τῶν ἀπηγορευμένων ἐστί. Γενώμεθα δόκιμοι τραπεζῖται τὸ μὲν γνήσιον καὶ καθαρὸν χρυσίον σωρεύοντες, τὸ δὲ κίβδηλον παραιτούμενοι. Λάβωμεν λόγους καλλίστους, θεοὺς δὲ γελοίους καὶ μύθους ἀλλοτρίους τοῖς κυσὶν ἀπορρίψωμεν· πλείστην γὰρ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἰσχὺν κτήσασθαι δυνηθείημεν.

Ἰστέον δέ, ὡς εἴκοσι δύο βίβλοι εἰσὶ τῆς παλαιᾶς διαθήκης κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τῆς Ἑβραΐδος φωνῆς. Εἴκοσι δύο γὰρ στοιχεῖα ἔχουσιν, ἐξ ὧν πέντε διπλοῦνται, ὡς γίνεσθαι αὐτὰ εἴκοσι ἑπτά· διπλοῦν γάρ ἐστι τὸ Χὰφ καὶ τὸ Μὲμ καὶ τὸ Νοῦν καὶ τὸ Φὶ καὶ τὸ Σαδί. Διὸ καὶ αἱ βίβλοι κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον εἴκοσι δύο μὲν ἀριθμοῦνται, εἴκοσι ἑπτὰ δὲ εὑρίσκονται διὰ τὸ πέντε ἐξ αὐτῶν διπλοῦσθαι. Συνάπτεται γὰρ ἡ Ῥοὺθ τοῖς Κριταῖς καὶ ἀριθμεῖται παρ’ Ἑβραίοις μία βίβλος· ἡ πρώτη καὶ δευτέρα τῶν Βασιλειῶν μία βίβλος· ἡ τρίτη καὶ ἡ τετάρτη τῶν Βασιλειῶν μία βίβλος· ἡ πρώτη καὶ ἡ δευτέρα τῶν Παραλειπομένων μία βίβλος· ἡ πρώτη καὶ ἡ δευτέρα τοῦ Ἔσδρα μία βίβλος. Οὕτως οὖν σύγκεινται αἱ βίβλοι ἐν πεντατεύχοις τέτρασι, καὶ μένουσιν ἄλλαι δύο, ὡς εἶναι τὰς ἐνδιαθέτους βίβλους οὕτως· πέντε νομικάς· Γένεσιν, Ἔξοδον, Λευιτικόν, Ἀριθμούς, Δευτερονόμιον· αὕτη πρώτη πεντάτευχος, ἣ καὶ νομοθεσία. Εἶτα ἄλλη πεντάτευχος, τὰ καλούμενα Γραφεῖα, παρά τισι δὲ Ἁγιόγραφα, ἅτινά ἐστιν οὕτως· Ἰησοῦς ὁ τοῦ Ναυῆ, Κριταὶ μετὰ τῆς Ῥούθ, Βασιλειῶν πρώτη μετὰ τῆς δευτέρας, βίβλος μία, Βασιλειῶν τρίτη μετὰ τῆς τετάρτης, βίβλος μία, καὶ αἱ δύο τῶν Παραλειπομένων, βίβλος μία· αὕτη δευτέρα πεντάτευχος. Τρίτη πεντάτευχος αἱ στιχήρεις βίβλοι· τοῦ Ἰώβ, τὸ Ψαλτήριον, Παροιμίαι Σολομῶντος, Ἐκκλησιαστὴς τοῦ αὐτοῦ, τὰ Ἄισματα τῶν ᾀσμάτων τοῦ αὐτοῦ. Τετάρτη πεντάτευχος, ἡ προφητική· τὸ δωδεκαπρόφητον, βίβλος μία, Ἡσαΐας, Ἰερεμίας Ἰεζεκιήλ, Δανιήλ. Εἶτα τοῦ Ἔσδρα, αἱ δύο εἰς μίαν συναπτόμεναι βίβλον, καὶ ἡ Ἐσθήρ.Ἡ δὲ Πανάρετος, τουτέστιν ἡ Σοφία τοῦ Σολομῶντος, καὶ ἡ Σοφία τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, ἣν ὁ πατὴρ μὲν τοῦ Σιρὰχ ἐξέθετο Ἑβραϊστί, Ἑλληνιστὶ δὲ ἡρμήνευσεν ὁ τούτου μὲν ἔγγονος Ἰησοῦς, τοῦ δὲ Σιρὰχ υἱός, ἐνάρετοι μὲν καὶ καλαί, ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἀριθμοῦνται οὐδὲ ἔκειντο ἐν τῇ κιβωτῷ.

Τῆς δὲ νέας διαθήκης εὐαγγέλια τέσσαρα· τὸ κατὰ Ματθαῖον, τὸ κατὰ Μάρκον, τὸ κατὰ Λουκᾶν, τὸ κατὰ Ἰωάννην· Πράξεις τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων διὰ Λουκᾶ τοῦ εὐαγγελιστοῦ· καθολικαὶ ἐπιστολαὶ ἑπτά· Ἰακώβου μία, Πέτρου δύο, Ἰωάννου τρεῖς, Ἰούδα μία· Παύλου ἀποστόλου ἐπιστολαὶ δεκατέσσαρες, Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰωάννου εὐαγγελιστοῦ, κανόνες τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων διὰ Κλήμεντος».

Ιωάννης Δαμασκηνός,
Ἔκδοσις ἀκριβὴς τῆς ὀρθοδόξου πίστεως 90.


90. Concerning Scripture

«It is one and the same God Whom both the Old and the New Testament proclaim, Who is praised and glorified in the Trinity: I am come, saith the Lord, not to destroy the law but to fulfil it. For He Himself worked out our salvation for which all Scripture and all mystery exists. And again, Search the Scriptures for they are they that testify of Me. And the Apostle says, God, Who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son. Through the Holy Spirit, therefore, both the law and the prophets, the evangelists and apostles and pastors and teachers, spake.

All Scripture, then, is given by inspiration of God and is also assuredly profitable. Wherefore to search the Scriptures is a work most fair and most profitable for souls. For just as the tree planted by the channels of waters, so also the soul watered by the divine Scripture is enriched and gives fruit in its season, viz. orthodox belief, and is adorned with evergreen leafage, I mean, actions pleasing to God. For through the Holy Scriptures we are trained to action that is pleasing to God, and untroubled contemplation. For in these we find both exhortation to every virtue and dissuasion from every vice. If, therefore, we are lovers of learning, we shall also be learned in many things. For by care and toil and the grace of God the Giver, all things are accomplished. For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Wherefore let us knock at that very fair garden of the Scriptures, so fragrant and sweet and blooming, with its varied sounds of spiritual and divinely-inspired birds ringing all round our ears, laying hold of our hearts, comforting the mourner, pacifying the angry and filling him with joy everlasting: which sets our mind on the gold-gleaming, brilliant back of the divine dove, whose bright pinions bear up to the only-begotten Son and Heir of the Husbandman of that spiritual Vineyard and bring us through Him to the Father of Lights. But let us not knock carelessly but rather zealously and constantly: lest knocking we grow weary. For thus it will be opened to us. If we read once or twice and do not understand what we read, let us not grow weary, but let us persist, let us talk much, let us enquire. For ask thy Father, he saith, and He will shew thee: thy elders and they will tell thee. For there is not in every man that knowledge. Let us draw of the fountain of the garden perennial and purest waters springing into life eternal. Here let us luxuriate, let us revel insatiate: for the Scriptures possess inexhaustible grace. But if we are able to pluck anything profitable from outside sources, there is nothing to forbid that. Let us become tried money-dealers, heaping up the true and pure gold and discarding the spurious. Let us keep the fairest sayings but let us throw to the dogs absurd gods and strange myths: for we might prevail most mightily against them through themselves.

Observe, further, that there are two and twenty books of the Old Testament, one for each letter of the Hebrew tongue. For there are twenty-two letters of which five are double, and so they come to be twenty-seven. For the letters Caph, Mem, Nun, Pe, Sade are double. And thus the number of the books in this way is twenty-two, but is found to be twenty-seven because of the double character of five. For Ruth is joined on to Judges, and the Hebrews count them one book: the first and second books of Kings are counted one: and so are the third and fourth books of Kings: and also the first and second of Paraleipomena: and the first and second of Esdra. In this way, then, the books are collected together in four Pentateuchs and two others remain over, to form thus the canonical books. Five of them are of the Law, viz. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. This which is the code of the Law, constitutes the first Pentateuch. Then comes another Pentateuch, the so-called Grapheia, or as they are called by some, the Hagiographa, which are the following: Jesus the Son of Nave, Judges along with Ruth, first and second Kings, which are one book, third and fourth Kings, which are one book, and the two books of the Paraleipomena which are one book. This is the second Pentateuch. The third Pentateuch is the books in verse, viz. Job, Psalms, Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes of Solomon and the Song of Songs of Solomon. The fourth Pentateuch is the Prophetical books, viz the twelve prophets constituting one book, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. Then come the two books of Esdra made into one, and Esther. There are also the Panaretus, that is the Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Jesus, which was published in Hebrew by the father of Sirach, and afterwards translated into Greek by his grandson, Jesus, the Son of Sirach. These are virtuous and noble, but are not counted nor were they placed in the ark.

The New Testament contains four gospels, that according to Matthew, that according to Mark, that according to Luke, that according to John: the Acts of the Holy Apostles by Luke the Evangelist: seven catholic epistles, viz. one of James, two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude: fourteen letters of the Apostle Paul: the Revelation of John the Evangelist: the Canons of the holy apostles, by Clement.»

John of Damascus,
An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 90.


* P.B. Kotter,
Die Schriften des Johannes von Damaskos,
Vol./Τόμ. 2 (Patristische Texte und Studien 12),
Berlin: De Gruyter, 1973,
pp./σσ. 209-212.


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