antilegomena


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Related to antilegomena: Apocrypha, Homologoumena

antilegomena

(ˌæntɪlɛˈɡɒmɪnə)
pl n
the books of the New Testament which have been excluded from the canon of Scripture
Translations
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Within the historical process of canon-formation, some works initially deemed antilegomena (that is, disputed though not entirely rejected as authoritative) were ultimately canonized, some others declared apocryphal, and the rest excluded, though exclusion from the Catholic Canon never in itself meant that such works could not profitably be read by the faithful; it has, however, meant that such works should be read only in certain ways--for education in charity, say, and not for authoritative and "safe" (that is, "saving") doctrine.
The same practice is found in Athanasius and Rufinus, where Old and New Testament lists precede the combined list of antilegomena, and the disputed books of either Testament are designated |outside' or |ecclesiastical' books;(20) it appears in Epiphanius, who similarly lists Old and New Testament antilegomena after he has summarized the whole body of Old and New Testament scripture;(21) it is probably implied in Cyril of Jerusalem,(22) it is reflected in Jerome,(23) and it reappears later, for example, in the Stichometry of Nicephorus.
26 The Revelation of John, named in the fragment between Wisdom and the Revelation of Peter, was counted among the antilegomena by some, according to Euseblus (HE iii.
After these catholic epistles - Jude and two Johannine epistles - the New Testament list ends and the list of Old and New Testament antilegomena begins.
23, above); but in each case it seems more likely that a separate combined list of Old and New Testament antilegomena is in view, as already suggested.
This estimate agrees with the eminent place of Wisdom as the first of the |outside' books in Athanasius, Epiphanius, Rufinus, and Jerome, and, earlier, as the first in Eusebius's list of those Old and New Testament antilegomena which are quoted by Clement of Alexandria.
Eusebius's grouping of Old and New Testament antilegomena together reflects custom which he will have learned in the third century, and Origen's Old Testament canon |according to the Hebrews' reflects in the early third century a Jewish recognition, shared by Christians, of a class of books |outside' the canonical number - a class in which Christians, concerned with New Testament numbers also, placed New Testament as well as Old Testament antilegomena.