All Scripture Is Given …


An exposition of Paul’s second letter to 2 Timothy 3:16 [17]
All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness


The Expositor's Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): explains the word translated into English, θεοπνυεστος [theopneustos], as "God-Breathed."

Verses 16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed." The adjective used here is theopneustos, which is a combination of two other Greek words: theos ("God") and pneo ("breathe").


Our focus is on the word "scripture" and what it means. The Expositor’s New Testament Commentary makes a distinction often overlooked by commentators which we shall visit in due course. The translation made  of verse 16 is:

Every "writing" which is inspired by God is also profitable. 

This makes an essential distinction between writings nor God-Breathed and those that are God-Breathed.


The word ‘also’ refers without naming the class of writings to which it refers and by which we might be meant to understand those writings already considered to have the divine mark of being God-Breathed on them, by which is mort probably intended the Hebrew Scriptures, which leads us to consider the "also as another class of writings. It is that Saint Paul did not consider his letters equal to the Hebrew Scriptures that, while they had not been specifically formulated into a library, or bible, a word that refers to a collection or library of books, etc, were nevertheless granted the dignity of divine authority by the Jews of Paul’s time. Then Paul adds, or refers to, another class of writings, probably including some of his own because at the time he wrote to Timothy the four Gospels were not yet written. The question before us is, "What were these writings to which Paul refers?’ 

The Greek word translated as "scriptures" is from the Greek word, Γραφη, and when written without the capital gamma is, γραφη, whose meaning is "writing" with no meaning attached to them that would elevate any written work above the writings of poets and philosophers that are not held to be of divine origin.

The Greeks considered poets and philosophers divinely inspired, even those of pagans that owed fealty to no particular deity with which Greek minds were populated, and this prevailed when Paul wrote his stirring and informative epistle to his young friend, Timothy. 

Paul’s message to his protégé was designed to keep the young minister strong in the face of difficulties within and without the Church at the time of Paul's second more urgent letter to him. The burden of his message according to the Expositor’s New Testament Commentary was:

I am not really uneasy about your steadfastness. You joined me as a disciple from spiritual and moral inducements only. The persecutions you saw me endure you knew to be typical of the conditions of a life of godliness. Stand in the old paths. Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures on which your growing mind was fed is never out of date as an equipment for the man of God.

Then, Paul extends a second string to his friend in the form of "writing" in which Paul does not qualify what he means by "writing" although he withholds the qualifying adjective "holy" and thus makes a significant differentiation between writings from God to his saints thatwere held in appropriate reverence, first by the Israelites among whom are the Judahites, commonly called ‘Jews,’ and also referred to writings produced by profane poets, writers, and philosophers that Greek culture considered to have been moved by the gods to do their best and most moral works, yet they do not reach the standard demanded for them to be considered directly "God-Breathed" as the Israelite and Christian Holy Writings are. Even Jews believed the works of pagan poets, writers, and philosophers were created by the influence upon the writers by the Divine Spirit of the God of Israel. 

Related words to γραφή, writing, are all nouns, and include: 

γράψιμο  writing, handwriting, penmanship

γραφήwriting, scripture, script, style, writ, hand

συγγραφήwriting, authorship

έγγραφο  document, record, writing, paper, deed

σύνθεση  composition, synthesis, configuration, setting, writing, collation

σύγγραμμα  writing

αναγραφή  record, inscription, recording, writing, registry


It is now a commonplace for 2 Timothy 3:16 to be understood as relating to everything contained in the Holy Bible with the force that all its content including errors is God-Breathed, and is, therefore, Divinely commissioned Scripture and inerrantists teach that there are no errors, corruptions, or contradictions in every version of the Holy Bible.

 Another set of Christians believe that what we have in the hundreds of variations and versions of Bible texts are all equally true and as totally accurate today as they were when the original monographers set down their inspired thoughts, poems, and their individual accounts when they first wrote them and shared with humanity their understanding of what God had done in human history.

That this is wholly inept is patently evident when we compare a Bible in any language with different Bibles published in the same language and noting the many variations and differences. We are assured that "God is not the author of confusion" and so we are disinclined to blame God for the variations that exist in variant Holy Bibles. 

What was Paul instructing Timothy to do? He was recommendin Timothy to study the scriptures and also to study the many writings available in order to increase his knowledge and understanding to make himself a wiser and better minister to the Christian community over whom he had been made the overseer. That advice, to study the scriptures and to read "out of the best books" is as essential to those that would be leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for it is by our becoming intellectually and spiritually prepared that we will be guided by heaven to lead the Saints towards the Kingdom of God. 


The NIV has:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,


The 20th Century King James Version has:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness


The American Standard Version has a non-Biblical qualifier:

Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness


Clearly, the designers of the ASV understood that there were writings, scriptures, that are not inspired by God although they do not list those them but allow the verse to stand as a warning to Christians to be careful that that they choose to rely on is actually an inspired work.


However, the Amplified Bible restores the uncertainty with:

All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]


The Amplified Bible Classic Version is a little different:

 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),


The Common English Bible offers:

Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character


The Complete Jewish Bible says:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living


The Contemporary English Version holds:

Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.


Thus the Bible, which did not existt in Paul’s lifetime, is falsely claimed not to refer to other writings that were not considered inspired by Christians and were not collected into the libray that beacame known as the Holy Bible. Bible scholars, then and now, continue to argue for inclusions and rejections of potentially authorised documenmts. Some variant examples now follow:

The Darby Translation puts the cat back among the pigeons by saying”

 Every scripture [is] divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness


The Disciples' Literal New Testament claims to be 'Serving Modern Disciples by More Fully Reflecting the Writing Style of the Ancient Disciples.'  This states: 


All Scripture Is God-Breathed, And Profitable For Equipping Us For Good Work


All (1) Scripture (2) is God-breathed (3) and is

profitable (4) for teaching, for (5) rebuking

 for (6) correcting,

and for (7) training in righteousness, 



1. Every.

2. Writing, poetry, &c.

3. Inspired

4. Useful,

5. Refuting, Exposing.

6. Amending, restoring, reforming.

7. Discipline, instruction, education.


While I am unsure that this accurately reflect either the style of ancient Christian disciples, or not, I am sure that ancient disciples did not employ footnotes nor alternate interpretations or explanation that are not present in the texts. It is certain that when an ancient wrote something of importance they knew how it would be understood by their target audiences. 

The Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA), says succinctly:


All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice

The easy To Read Version says:


All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live. 

The English Standard Version has:


All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 

The Anglicised English Standard Version fails to excite us and remains the same as the non-Anglicised version of the English Standard Version, saying:


All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,


Young’s Literal Translation insists,


 … every Writing [is] God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that [is] in righteousness,


Overall, every version interprets the word γραφή as "sacred writings" despite the fact that biblical texts do not say they are sacred.  The currency of  γραφή has been changed to conform to developing Christian demands and so it follows that the  original curency of the word 'writings' has been abandoned.   

How sure are they that holy writing is what Paul intended rather than his preparing Timothy to furnish his mind with information from many sources including the pens of pagans that Jews believed were inspired even if not directly God-Breathed as the word has come to be interpreted in later versions, something Paul did not intend? 


1 Timothy 3:16 is not a life-raft on the ocean of theology although  some have transformed it into the Salvic Ark it does not represent.

Nuances are often gnored, even when acknowledged, and once a dogmatic definition of 1 Timothy 3:16 was reached, no power was capable of rendering it visible beyond the rigid parameters of a condition that satisfies those that find it useful to their theologies. They are convinced beyond correction that others are wrong. And there it stands to this day.

Some have difficulty accepting biblical realities when their beliefs are challenged even when shown to be unsafe.


If Paul’s instruction to Timothy is wrested from its meaning and translated into something it is not intended to mean and set to a purpose it was not meant to serve, Christians are led astray.

The purpose of 2 Timothy 3:16 that prepared Timothy to understand his mentor are hidden in the next verse, 2 Timothy 3:17 : 


That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.


Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, which is usually a reliable source of explanation of the words of the Bible, hops off its perch when it comes to the two verses we are here reviewing, and holds:


All Scripture is given by inspiration of God


That is, all holy Scripture; for of that only the apostle is speaking; and he means the whole of it; not only the books of the Old Testament, but of the New, the greatest part of which was not then written; for this second epistle to Timothy is by some thought to be the last of the Pauline epistles.


This is a sad entry because although some epistles were certainly written by this time, it is far from certain that not all the letters from Church leader that had been written up to this date had been carefully preserved, and it is certain that some letters, such as Paul’s first letter to the Saints at Corinth to which Paul refers in what is not called his First Epistle to the Corinthians. The New Testament was not then in existence. For that reason alone Paul could not have been referring to either the Old or the New Testaments. 




Though the Early Church used the Old Testament according to the canon of the Septuagint (LXX), perhaps as found in the Bryennios List or Melito's list, the Apostles did not otherwise leave a defined set of new scriptures; instead, the New Testament developed over time.

Writings attributed to the apostles circulated amongst the earliest Christian communities. The Pauline epistles were circulating in collected forms by the end of the 1st century AD. Justin Martyr, in the early 2nd century, mentions the "memoirs of the Apostles," which Christians (Χριστιανός) called "gospels," and which were considered to be authoritatively equal to the Old Testament.


Marcion's list

Marcion of Sinope was the first Christian leader in recorded history (though later, considered heretical) to propose and delineate a uniquely Christian canon[25](ca. AD 140). This included 10 epistles from St. Paul, as well as a version of the Gospel of Luke, which today is known as the Gospel of Marcion. In so doing, he established a particular way of looking at religious texts that persists in Christian thought today.

After Marcion, Christians began to divide texts into those that aligned well with the "canon" (measuring stick) of accepted theological thought and those that promoted heresy. This played a major role in finalizing the structure of the collection of works called the Bible. It has been proposed that the initial impetus for the proto-orthodox Christian project of canonization flowed from opposition to the canonization of Marcion.


The Apostolic Fathers

A four-gospel canon (the Tetramorph) was asserted by Irenaeus in the following quote:

"It is not possible that the gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four-quarters of the earth in which we live, and four universal winds, while the church is scattered throughout all the world, and the 'pillar and ground' of the church is the gospel and the spirit of life, it is fitting that she should have four pillars breathing out immortality on every side, and vivifying men afresh… Therefore the gospels are in accord with these things… For the living creatures are quadriform and the gospel is quadriform… These things being so, all who destroy the form of the gospel are vain, unlearned, and also audacious; those [I mean] who represent the aspects of the gospel as being either more in number than as aforesaid, or, on the other hand, fewer."


By the early 3rd century, Christian theologians like Origen of Alexandria may have been using—or at least were familiar with—the same 27 books found in modern New Testament editions, though there were still disputes over the canonicity of some of the writings (see also Antilegomena). Likewise by 200, the Muratorian fragment shows that there existed a set of Christian writings somewhat similar to what is now the New Testament, which included four gospels and argued against objections to them. Thus, while there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings were accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the 3rd century.


Eastern Church & the Alexandrian Fathers

Origen of Alexandria
(184/5-253/4), an early scholar involved in the codification of the Biblical canon, had a thorough education both in Christian theology and in pagan philosophy, but was posthumously condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 since some of his teachings considered as heresy. Origen's canon included all of the books in the current New Testament canon except for four books: James, 2nd Peter, and the 2nd and 3rd epistles of John.

He also included the Shepherd of Hermas which was later rejected. The religious scholar Bruce Metzger described Origen's efforts, saying "The process of canonization represented by Origen proceeded by way of selection, moving from many candidates for inclusion to fewer." This was one of the first major attempts at the compilation of certain books and letters as authoritative and inspired teaching for the Early Church at the time, although it is unclear whether Origen intended for his list to be authoritative itself.

In his Easter letter of 367, Patriarch Athanasius of Alexandria gave a list of exactly the same books that would become the New Testament–27 book–proto-canon, and used the phrase "being canonized" (kanonizomena) in regard to them. Athanasius also included the Book of Baruch, as well as the Letter of Jeremiah, in his Old Testament canon. However, from this canon, he omitted the book of Esther.


The Eastern Canons


The Eastern Churches had, in general, a weaker feeling than those in the West for the necessity of making a sharp delineation with regard to the canon. They were more conscious of the gradation of spiritual quality among the books that they accepted (e.g. the classification of Eusebius, see also Antilegomena) and were less often disposed to assert that the books which they rejected possessed no spiritual quality at all. For example, the Trullan Synod of 691–692, which was rejected by Pope Sergius I (see also Pentarchy), endorsed the following lists of canonical writings: the Apostolic Canons (c. 385), the Synod of Laodicea (c. 363), the Third Synod of Carthage (c. 397), and the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius (367). And yet, these lists do not agree. Similarly, the New Testament canons of the Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Egyptian Coptic and Ethiopian Churches all have minor differences. The Revelation of John is said to be one of the most uncertain books; it was not translated into Georgian until the 10th century, and it has never been included in the official lectionary of the Eastern Orthodox Church, whether in Byzantine or modern times.

Western Church & the Latin Fathers


The first council that accepted the present Catholic canon (the Canon of Trent) may have been the Synod of Hippo Regius in North Africa (393). A brief summary of the acts was read at and accepted by the Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419. These councils were under the authority of St. Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed. Pope Damasus I's Council of Rome in 382, if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it, issued a biblical canon identical to that mentioned above, or if not, the list is at least a 6th-century compilation. Likewise, Damasus' commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, c. 383, was instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West.


In a letter (c. 405) to Exsuperius of Toulouse, a Gallic bishop, Pope Innocent I mentioned the sacred books that already received in the canon. When these bishops and councils spoke on the matter, however, they were not defining something new, but instead "were ratifying what had already become the mind of the Church." Thus, from the 4th century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon (as it is today), and by the 5th century the East, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the New Testament canon.


Martin Luther's Canon

Martin Luther (1483–1546) made an attempt to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the canon (partially because they were perceived to go against certain Protestant doctrines such as sola scriptura and sola fide)but this was not generally accepted among his followers.

However, these books are ordered last in the German-language Luther Bible to this day. In addition, Luther moved the books that later are called the Deuterocanonicals into a section he called the Apocrypha.


The Protestant Bible

Protestants note that early Christians evidenced a knowledge of a canon of Scripture, based upon internal evidence, as well as by the existence of a list of Old Testament books by Melito of Sardis, compiled around 170 AD (see Melito's canon).

Many modern Protestants point to the following four "Criteria for Canonicity" to justify the selection of the books that have been included in the New Testament—though these ideas aren't isolated to Protestant theology, but extend to or are derived from other Christian traditions:


Apostolic Origin — attributed to and based upon the preaching/teaching of the first-generation apostles (or their close companions).


Universal Acceptance — acknowledged by all major Christian communities in the ancient world (by the end of the 4th century) as well as accepted canon by Jewish authorities (for the Old Testament).


Liturgical Use — read publicly when early Christian communities gathered for the Lord's Supper (their weekly worship services).


Consistent Message — containing a theological outlook similar to or complementary to other accepted Christian writings.


It is sometimes difficult to apply these criteria to all of the books in the accepted canon, however, and one can point to writings that Protestants consider to be unscriptural which would fulfill these requirements. In practice, most Protestants hold to the Jewish Tanakh for the Old Testament and the Roman Catholic canon for the New Testament.


Canons of various Christian traditions


Full dogmatic articulations of the canons were not made until the Council of Trent of 1546 for Roman Catholicism, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for the Greek Orthodox. Other traditions, while also having closed canons, may not be able to point to the exact years in which their respective canons were considered to be complete. The following tables reflect the current state of various Christian canons.


The Development of the Old Testament canon

All of the major Christian traditions accept the books of the Hebrew proto-canon in its entirety as divinely inspired and authoritative. Furthermore, all of these traditions, with the exception of the Protestants, add to this number various deuterocanonical books. However, in some Protestant Bibles—especially the English King James Bible and the Lutheran Bible—many of these deuterocanonical books are retained as part of the tradition in a section called the "Apocrypha."

Some books listed here, like the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs for the Armenian Apostolic Church, may have once been a vital part of a Biblical tradition, may even still hold a place of honor, but are no longer considered to be part of the Bible. Other books, like the Prayer of Manasseh for the Roman Catholic Church, may have been included in manuscripts, but never really attained a high level of importance within that particular tradition. The levels of traditional prominence for others, like Psalms 152–155 and the Psalms of Solomon of the Syriac churches, remain unclear.

In so far as the Orthodox Tewahedo canon is concerned, some points of clarity should be made. First, the books of Lamentations, Jeremiah, and Baruch, as well as the Letter of Jeremiah and 4 Baruch, are all considered canonical by the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches.

However, it is not always clear as to how these writings are arranged or divided. In some lists, they may simply fall under the title "Jeremiah," while in others, they are divided various ways into separate books. Moreover, the book of Proverbs is divided into two
books—Messale (Prov. 1–24) and Tägsas (Prov. 25–31).

Additionally, while the books of Jubilees and Enoch are fairly well-known among western scholars, 1, 2, and 3 Meqabyan are not. The three books of Meqabyan are often called the "Ethiopian Maccabees," but are completely different in content from the books of Maccabees that are known and/or have been canonized in other traditions. Finally, the Book of Joseph ben Gurion, or Pseudo-Josephus, is a history of the Jewish people thought to be based upon the writings of Josephus. The Ethiopic version (Zëna Ayhud) has eight parts and is included in the Orthodox Tewahedo broader canon.


Table notes

•The term "Protestant" is not accepted by all Christian denominations who often fall under this title by default—especially those who view themselves as a direct extension of the New Testament Church. However, the term is used loosely here to include most of the non-Roman Catholic Protestant, Charismatic/Pentecostal, and Evangelical churches. Other western churches and movements that have a divergent history from Roman Catholicism, but are not necessarily considered to be historically Protestant, may also fall under this umbrella terminology. 

•The growth and development of the Armenian Biblical canon is complex. Extra-canonical Old Testament books appear in historical canon lists and recensions that are either exclusive to this tradition, or where they do exist elsewhere, never achieved the same status. These include the Deaths of the Prophets, an ancient account of the lives of the Old Testament prophets, which is not listed in this table. (It is also known as the Lives of the Prophets.) Another writing not listed in this table entitled the Words of Sirach—which is distinct from Ecclesiasticus and its prologue—appears in the appendix of the 1805 Armenian Zohrab Bible alongside other, more commonly known works. 

•Adding to the complexity of the Orthodox Tewahedo Biblical canon, the national epic Kebra Negast has an elevated status among many Ethiopian Christians to such an extent that some consider it to be inspired scripture. 

The English Apocrypha includes the Prayer of Manasseh, 1 & 2 Esdras, the Additions to Esther, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, the Book of Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, and the Additions to Daniel. The Lutheran Apocrypha omits from this list 1 & 2 Esdras. Some Protestant Bibles include 3 Maccabees as part of the Apocrypha. However, many churches within Protestantism—as it is presented here—reject the Apocrypha, do not consider it useful, and do not include it in their Bibles. 

The Prayer of Manasseh is included as part of the Book of Odes, which follows the Psalms in Eastern Orthodox Bibles. The rest of the Book of Odes consists of passages found elsewhere in the Bible. 

2 Ezra, 3 Ezra, and 3 Maccabees are included in Bibles and have an elevated status within the Armenian scriptural tradition, but are considered "extra-canonical." 

•In many eastern Bibles, the Apocalypse of Ezra is not an exact match to the longer Latin Esdras—2 Esdras in KJV or 4 Esdras in the Vulgate—which includes a Latin prologue (5 Ezra) and epilogue (6 Ezra). However, a degree of uncertainty continues to exist here, and it is certainly possible that the full text—including the prologue and epilogue—appears in Bibles and Biblical manuscripts used by some of these eastern traditions. Also of note is the fact that many Latin versions are missing verses 7:36–7:106. (A more complete explanation of the various divisions of books associated with the scribe Ezra may be found in the Wikipedia article entitled "Esdras".) 

•Evidence strongly suggests that a Greek manuscript of 4 Ezra once existed; this furthermore implies a Hebrew origin for the text. 

•An early fragment of 6 Ezra is known to exist in the Greek language, implying a possible Hebrew origin for 2 Esdras 15–16

Esther's placement within the canon was questioned by Luther. Others, like Melito, omitted it from the canon altogether. 

3 Maccabees is part of the Moravian Brethren tradition, as it is included in the Apocrypha of the Czech Kralicka Bible. It was also apparently included in some other early Protestant Bibles. (see Metzger's "An Early Protestant Bible Containing The Third Book Of Maccabees") 

•2 and 3 Meqabyan, though relatively unrelated in content, are often counted as a single book. 

•Some sources place Zëna Ayhud within the "narrower canon." 

•A Syriac version of Josephus's Jewish War VI appears in some Peshitta manuscripts as the "Fifth Book of Maccabees," which is clearly a misnomer. 

•Several varying historical canon lists exist for the Orthodox Tewahedo tradition. In one particular list found in a British Museum manuscript (Add. 16188), a book of Assenath is placed within the canon. This most likely refers to the book more commonly known as Joseph and Asenath. An unknown book of Uzziah is also listed there, which may be connected to the lost Acts of Uziah referenced in 2 Chronicles 26:22. 

•Some traditions use an alternative set of liturgical and/or metrical Psalms. 

•In many ancient manuscripts, a distinct collection known as the Odes of Solomon is found together with the similar Psalms of Solomon. 

•The book of Sirach is usually preceded by a non-canonical prologue written by the author's grandson. 

•In some Latin versions, chapter 51 of Ecclesiasticus appears separately as the "Prayer of Joshua, son of Sirach." 

•A shorter variant of the prayer by King Solomon in 1 Kings 8:22–52 appeared in some medieval Latin manuscripts and is found in some Latin Bibles at the end of or immediately following Ecclesiasticus. The two versions of the prayer in Latin may be viewed online for comparison at the following website: Sirach 52 / 1 Kings 8:22–52; Vulgate 

The "Martyrdom of Isaiah" is prescribed reading to honor the prophet Isaiah within the Armenian Apostolic liturgy (see this list). While this likely refers to the account of Isaiah's death within the Lives of the Prophets, it may be a reference to the account of his death found within the first five chapters of the Ascension of Isaiah, which is widely known by this name. The two narratives have similarities and may share a common source. 

The Ascension of Isaiah has long been known to be a part of the Orthodox Tewahedo scriptural tradition. Though it is not currently considered canonical, various sources attest to the early canonicity—or at least "semi-canonicity"—of this book. 

•In some Latin versions, chapter 5 of Lamentations appears separately as the "Prayer of Jeremiah." 

Ethiopic Lamentations consists of eleven chapters, parts of which are considered to be non-canonical. 

•The canonical Ethiopic version of Baruch has five chapters, but is shorter than the LXX text

•Some Ethiopic translations of Baruch may include the traditional Letter of Jeremiah as the sixth chapter. 

•The "Letter to the Captives" found within Säqoqawä Eremyas—and also known as the sixth chapter of Ethiopic Lamentations—may contain different content from the Letter of Jeremiah (to those same captives) found in other traditions. 

The Letter of Baruch is found in chapters 78–87 of 2 Baruch—the final ten chapters of the book. The letter had a wider circulation and often appeared separately from the first 77 chapters of the book, which is an apocalypse. 

•Included here for the purpose of disambiguation, 3 Baruch is widely rejected as a pseudepigraphon and is not part of any Biblical tradition. Two manuscripts exist—a longer Greek manuscript with Christian interpolations and a shorter Slavonic version. There is some uncertainty about which was written first. 

Bel and the Dragon, Susanna, & The Prayer of Azariah, and Song of the Three Holy Children.


The New Testament

Among the various Christian denominations, the New Testament canon is a generally agreed-upon list of 27 books. However, the way in which those books are arranged may vary from tradition to tradition. For instance, in the Lutheran, Slavonic, Orthodox Tewahedo, Syriac, and Armenian traditions, the New Testament is ordered differently from what is considered to be the standard arrangement. Protestant Bibles in Russia and Ethiopia usually follow the local Orthodox order for the New Testament. The Syriac Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East both adhere to the Peshitta liturgical tradition, which historically excludes five books of the New Testament Antilegomena: 2 John, 3 John, 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation. However, those books are included in certain Bibles of the modern Syriac traditions.


Other New Testament works that are generally considered apocryphal nonetheless appear in some Bibles and manuscripts. For instance, the Epistle to the Laodiceans [54] was included in numerous Latin Vulgate manuscripts, in the eighteen German Bibles prior to Luther's translation, and also a number of early English Bibles, such as Gundulf's Bible and John Wycliffe's English translation—even as recently as 1728, William Whiston considered this epistle to be genuinely Pauline. Likewise, the Third Epistle to the Corinthians [55] was once considered to be part of the Armenian Orthodox Bible,[56] but is no longer printed in modern editions. Within the Syriac Orthodox tradition, the Third Epistle to the Corinthians also has a history of significance. Both Aphrahat and Ephraem of Syria held it in high regard and treated it as if it were canonical. [57] However, it was left-out of the Peshitta and ultimately excluded from the canon altogether.

The Didache, [58] The Shepherd of Hermas, [59] and other writings attributed to the Apostolic Fathers, were once considered scriptural by various early Church fathers. They are still being honored in some traditions, though they are no longer considered to be canonical. However, certain canonical books within the Orthodox Tewahedo traditions find their origin in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers as well as the Ancient Church Orders. The Orthodox Tewahedo churches recognize these eight additional New Testament books in its broader canon. They are as follows: the four books of Sinodos, the two books of the Covenant, Ethiopic Clement, and the Ethiopic Didascalia.[60]


•  The growth and development of the Armenian Biblical canon is complex. Extra-canonical New Testament books appear in historical canon lists and recensions that are either distinct to this tradition, or where they do exist elsewhere, never achieved the same status. Some of the books are not listed in this table. These include the Prayer of Euthalius, the Repose of St. John the Evangelist, the Doctrine of Addai, a reading from the Gospel of James, the Second Apostolic Canons, the Words of Justus, Dionysius the Aeropagite, the Preaching of Peter, and a Poem by Ghazar. (Various sources also mention undefined Armenian canonical additions to the Gospels of Mark and John, however, these may refer to the general additions—Mark 16:9–20 and John 7:53–8:11—discussed elsewhere in these notes.) A possible exception here to canonical exclusivity is the Second Apostolic Canons, which share a common source—the Apostolic Constitutions—with certain parts of the Orthodox Tewahedo New Testament broader canon. There is some uncertainty about whether it is actually the Doctrine of Addai, or rather a related work called the Acts of Thaddeus, that appears in Armenian canon lists. Moreover, the correspondence between King Agbar and Jesus Christ, which is found in various forms—including within both the Doctrine of Addai and the Acts of Thaddeus—sometimes appears separately (see this list). It is noteworthy that the Prayer of Euthalius and the Repose of St. John the Evangelist appear in the appendix of the 1805 Armenian Zohrab Bible. However, some of the aforementioned books, though they are found within canon lists, have nonetheless never been discovered to be part of any Armenian Biblical manuscript. 

•  •  Though widely regarded as non-canonical, the Gospel of James obtained early liturgical acceptance among some Eastern churches and remains a major source for many of Christendom's traditions related to Mary, the mother of Jesus. 

•  •  The Diatessaron, Tatian's gospel harmony, became a standard text in some Syriac-speaking churches down to the 5th century, when it gave-way to the four separate gospels found in the Peshitta. 

•  •  Parts of these four books are not found in the most reliable ancient sources; in some cases, are thought to be later additions; and have therefore not historically existed in every Biblical tradition. They are as follows: Mark 16:9–20, John 7:53–8:11, the Comma Johanneum, and portions of the Western version of Acts. To varying degrees, arguments for the authenticity of these passages—especially for the one from the Gospel of John—have occasionally been made. 

•  •  Skeireins, a commentary on the Gospel of John in the Gothic language, was included in the Wulfila Bible. It exists today only in fragments. 

•  •  The Acts of Paul and Thecla, the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul, and the Third Epistle to the Corinthians are all portions of the greater Acts of Paul narrative, which is part of a stichometric catalogue of New Testament canon found in the Codex Claromontanus, but has survived only in fragments. Some of the content within these individual sections may have developed separately, however. 

•  •  The Third Epistle to the Corinthians often appears with and is framed as a response to the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul. 

•  •  The Epistle to the Laodiceans is present in some western non-Roman Catholic translations and traditions. Especially of note is John Wycliffe's inclusion of the epistle in his English translation, and the Quakers' use of it to the point where they produced a translation and made pleas for its canonicity (Poole's Annotations, on Col. 4:16). The epistle is nonetheless widely rejected by the vast majority of Protestants. 

•  •  These four works were questioned or "spoken against" by Martin Luther, and he changed the order of his New Testament to reflect this, but he did not leave them out, nor has any Lutheran body since. Traditional German Luther Bibles are still printed with the New Testament in this changed "Lutheran" order. The vast majority of Protestants embrace these four works as fully canonical. 

•  •  The Peshitta excludes 2 John, 3 John, 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation, but certain Bibles of the modern Syriac traditions include later translations of those books. Still today, the official lectionary followed by the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, present lessons from only the twenty-two books of Peshitta, the version to which appeal is made for the settlement of doctrinal questions. 

•  •  The Apocalypse of Peter, though not listed in this table, is mentioned in the Muratorian fragment and is part of a stichometric catalogue of New Testament canon found in the Codex Claromontanus. It was also held in high regard by Clement of Alexandria. 

•  •  Other known writings of the Apostolic Fathers not listed in this table are as follows: the seven Epistles of Ignatius, the Epistle of Polycarp, the Martyrdom of Polycarp, the Epistle to Diognetus, the fragment of Quadratus of Athens, the fragments of Papias of Hierapolis, the Reliques of the Elders Preserved in Irenaeus, and the Apostles' Creed. 

•  •  Though they are not listed in this table, the Apostolic Constitutions were considered canonical by some including Alexius Aristenus, John of Salisbury, and to a lesser extent, Grigor Tat`evatsi. They are even classified as part of the New Testament canon within the body of the Constitutions itself. Moreover, they are the source for a great deal of the content in the Orthodox Tewahedo broader canon. 

•  •  These five writings attributed to the Apostolic Fathers are not currently considered canonical in any Biblical tradition, though they are more highly regarded by some more than others. Nonetheless, their early authorship and inclusion in ancient Biblical codices, as well as their acceptance to varying degrees by various early authorities, requires them to be treated as foundational literature for Christianity as a whole. 

•  Ethiopic Clement and the Ethiopic Didascalia are distinct from and should not be confused with other ecclesiastical documents known in the west by similar names.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) consists of several books that constitute its open scriptural canon, and include the following:


1  The King James Version of the Bible—without the Apocrypha

2  The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

3  The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

4  The Pearl of Great Price


The Pearl of Great Price contains five sections: "Selections from the Book of Moses", "The Book of Abraham", "Joseph Smith—Matthew", "Joseph Smith—History" and "The Articles of Faith". The Book of Moses and Joseph Smith—Matthew are portions of the Book of Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew (respectively) from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. (The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible is also known as the Inspired Version of the Bible.)

The manuscripts of the unfinished Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST) state that "the Song of Solomon is not inspired scripture." However, it is still printed in every version of the King James Bible published by the church.

The Standard Works are printed and distributed by the LDS church in a single binding referred to as a "Quadruple Combination," or bound as a set of two books with the Bible in one bindingreferred to as "Triple Combination". Current editions of the Standard Works include a bible dictionary, photographs, maps and gazetteer, topical guide, index, footnotes, cross references, excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible and other study aids.


Other Latter Day Saint Sects

Canons of various Latter Day Saint denominations diverge from the LDS Standard Works. Some accept only portions of the Standard Works. For instance, the Bickertonite sect does not consider the Pearl of Great Price or Doctrines and Covenants to be scriptural. Rather, they believe that the New Testament scriptures contain a true description of the church as established by Jesus Christ, and that both the King James Bible and Book of Mormon are the inspired word of God. Some denominations accept earlier versions of the Standard Works or work to develop corrected translations. Others have purportedly received additional revelation.


The Community of Christ, formerly The reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, points to Jesus Christ as the living Word of God, and it affirms the Bible, along with the Book of Mormon, as well as its own regularly appended version of Doctrines and Covenants as scripture for the church. While it publishes a version of the Joseph Smith Translation—which includes material from the Book of Moses—the Community of Christ also accepts the use of other translations of the Bible, such as the standard King James Version and the New Revised Standard Version.


Like the Bickertonites, The Church of Christ (Temple Lot) rejects the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, as well as the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, preferring to use only the King James Bible and the Book of Mormon as doctrinal standards. The Book of Commandments is accepted as being superior to the Doctrine and Covenants as a compendium of Joseph Smith's early revelations, but is not accorded the same status as the Bible or Book of Mormon.


The Word of the Lord and The Word of the Lord Brought to Mankind by an Angel are two related books considered to be scriptural by certain (Fettingite) factions that separated from the Temple Lot church. Both books contain revelations allegedly given to former Church of Christ (Temple Lot) Apostle Otto Fetting by an angelic being who claimed to be John the Baptist. The latter title (120 messages) contains the entirety of the former's material (30 msgs.) with additional revelations (90 msgs.) purportedly given to William A. Draves by this same being, after Fetting's death. Neither are accepted by the larger Temple Lot body of believers. 


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) considers the Bible (when correctly translated), the Book of Mormon, and editions of the Doctrine and Covenants published prior to Joseph Smith's death (which contained the Lectures on Faith) to be inspired scripture. They also hold the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible to be inspired, but do not believe modern publications of the text are accurate. Other portions of The Pearl of Great Price, however, are not considered to be scriptural—though are not necessarily fully rejected either. The Book of Jasher was consistently used by both Joseph Smith and James Strang, but as with other Latter Day Saint denominations and sects, there is no official stance on its authenticity, and it is not considered canonical.


An additional work called The Book of the Law of the Lord is also accepted as inspired scripture by the Strangites. They likewise hold as scriptural several prophecies, visions, revelations, and translations printed by James Strang, and published in the Revelations of James J. Strang. Among other things, this text contains his purported "Letter of Appointment" from Joseph Smith and his translation of the Voree plates.


The Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite) accepts the following as scripture: the Inspired Version of the Bible (including the Book of Moses and Joseph Smith—Matthew), the Book of Mormon, and the 1844 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (including the Lectures on Faith). However, the revelation on tithing (section 107 in the 1844 edition; 119 in modern LDS editions) is emphatically rejected by members of this church, as it is not believed to be given by Joseph Smith. The Book of Abraham is rejected as scripture, as are the other portions of the Pearl of Great Price that do not appear in the Inspired Version of the Bible.


Many Latter Day Saint denominations have also either adopted the Articles of Faith as official doctrine or view them as statements of fundamental theology. (They are held as  scripture by the larger LDS church and are included in The Pearl of Great Price.) At times, the Articles have been adapted to fit the respective belief systems of various faith communities.


In recent years, a new church has appeared, founded by a former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints based on The Book of Jeraneck, a pale imitation of the Book of Mormon. 


The Book of Jeraneck - A Further Testimony of Jesus Christ
A Record of the Early Inhabitants of the British Isles


 The Book of Jeraneck, a Scripture of the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ, was translated by Matthew Gill, Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator of the Church, in 2006.

Throughout history much has been written concerning those who once lived upon the Isles of Great Britain in the era some call the pre-history of the world. Much has been spoken of the people that built Stonehenge, Woodhenge and all the other stone monuments and burial grounds that are found throughout the lands of Great Britain, however not one of these so called historians has had any record or writing to base their claims and ideas on. Now a record has come forward written by those that lived anciently upon the land of Great Britain between the years 3000 B.C until 700 B.C and much of what they have written will shock and destroy many of the false ideas that many of these learned men of the world have had to say concerning the past of those that lived long ago upon the land of Great Britain.

The book of Jeraneck stands as the record of a dying civilisation of early Britain which had constructed Stonehenge and the other stone circles, hill forts and burial mounds and other such places as meeting places and places of worship of Almighty God, the same God who brought them from the Tower of Babel to Britain to have them serve Him as His People.

The book of Jeraneck answers fundamental questions that have perplexed historians for centuries, like: - What were the early peoples of Britain like? Where did they come from? What did they believe? And who built the ancient Megaliths like Stonehenge - and for what purpose?

Now those questions have answers and they are to be found within the pages of this record, The Book of Jeraneck. Read excerpts from this astounding book:       

   “As you read the words of this record, a record of the history of my people you will feel us, see us and the Spirit will testify just as he has with me that all these things are true. For I see you, I feel you, I know of your day. Soon you will know of my time and my people and this record, for I have seen it come forth unto you, and it will speak to you, and it will touch your very soul.” - The Prophet Jeraneck, in the Book of Jeraneck, Chapter 17

   “Oh Lord, my God, hear the words of my mouth, for I am thy servant... for we have been faithful and we have erected many stone monuments unto thee, just as you have commanded us to do and we have done this not for our own edification but for yours, oh Lord, and we have done this so that those that follow after us will know that we were the People of Araneck.” - The prayer of the Prophet Sharaneck, Book of Jeraneck, Chapter 6

    “I have been upon the watch towers. I have seen the destruction and the death that covers the whole land. I have heard the cries of the children and the mothers and the fathers. I have heard them beg for their lives. I have heard them cry for mercy. And I have cried and I have wept for this land is now desolate and all our great buildings are gone.” - The Prophet Jeraneck, in the Book of Jeraneck, Chapter 17

   “The time will come when the Lord will call you forth from out of the world. And he will call you forth, and you must come and you must answer the calling. And he will show you the way.” - The Records of the Religious Practices of the People of Light, in the Book of Jeraneck.

The Book of Jeraneck like The Book of Mormon will remain and stand as a cherished part of the official cannon of scripture of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ and continues to stand as a witness to the validity of the prophetic call of Matthew P Gill.