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February 14, 2008 / vivator

Hilary and Canon of Old Testament

Hilary was born in c. 315 AD in Poitiers, France.  He converted to Christianity as adult and became bishop of Poitiers in 353 AD.  His famous work is On the Trinity. Because his strong belief in Trinity he was exiled in 356 AD to Phrygia at the order of emperor Constantius II who supported Arianism.   He died in Poitiers in c. 367 AD.

Hilary produced list of twenty-two Old Testament books (source: J.P. Migne: Patrologia Latina, 9, 241) comprising five books of Moses, Joshua, Judges & Ruth in one book, 1 & 2 Kingdoms (1 & 2 Samuel) in one book, 3 & 4 Kingdoms in one book, 1 & 2 Chronicles in one book, 1 & 2 Esdras in one book (Ezra-Nehemiah), Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, the Twelve, Isaiah, Jeremiah + Lamentations + Epistle of Jeremiah in one book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Job, Esther.  But he mentioned that some added Tobit and Judith to make 24 books of Old Testament.    Hilary also cited a number of other deuterocanonical books (English translation is from The Fathers of the Church, Vol. 25 with added scripture references).

While the religious mind was held captive by the error of its own weakness, the words of the Prophet impart to it this method for apprehending the knowledge of God’s supreme beauty: ‘For by the greatness of the work and the beauty of creatures the creator of generations is reasonably known.” [Wisdom 13:5]

Hilary of Poitiers, on the Trinity 1.7

He foresees everything, as blessed Susanna asserts: ‘O eternal God, the one who knowest hidden things, who knowest all things before they come to pass.” [Daniel 13:42]

Hilary of Poitiers, on the Trinity 4.8

But the revelation of the divine Scripture does not allow this explanation.  According to the Prophet, everything has been made from nothing, [2 Maccabee 7:28] ……

Hilary of Poitiers, on the Trinity 4.16

Besides Moses and Isaias, listen in the third place to Jeremias, who teaches us the same doctrine when he declares: ‘This is our God, and there shall be no other accounted of in comparison with him, who has found all the way of knowledge and gave it o Jacob his servant and to Israel his beloved.  Afterwards, he was seen upon earth and conversed with men.’ [Baruch 3:36-38, cited as part of Jeremiah]

Hilary of Poitiers, on the Trinity 4.42


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