(Augustine, Christian Doctrine. part 3)

THAT I AM," and "Thou shalt say to them, I AM has sent me unto you;" So
that all other things that exist, both owe their existence entirely to
Him, and are good only so far as He has given it to them to be so. That
use, then, which God is said to make of us has no reference to His own
advantage, but to ours only; and, so far as He is concerned, has
reference only to His goodness. When we take pity upon a man and care for
him, it is for his advantage we do so; but somehow or other our own
advantage follows by a sort of natural consequence, for God does not
leave the mercy we show to him who needs it to go without reward. Now
this is our highest reward, that we should fully enjoy Him, and that all
who enjoy Him should enjoy one another in Him.

Chap. 33.--In what way man should be enjoyed

  36. For if we find our happiness complete in one another, we stop short
upon the road, and place our hope of happiness in man or angel. Now the
proud man and the proud angel arrogate this to themselves, and are glad
to have the hope of others fixed upon them. But, on the contrary, the
holy man and the holy angel, even when we are weary and anxious to stay
with them and rest in them, set themselves to recruit our energies with
the provision which they have received of God for us or for themselves;
and then urge us thus refreshed to go on our way towards Him, in the
enjoyment of whom we find our common happiness. For even the apostle
exclaims, "Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of
Paul?" And again: "Neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that
watereth; but God that giveth the increase." And the angel admonisheth
the man who is about to worship him, that he should rather worship Him
who is his Master, and under whom he himself is a fellow-servant.
  37. But when you have joy of a man in God, it is God rather than man
that you enjoy. For you enjoy Him by whom you are made happy, and you
rejoice to have come to Him in whose presence you place your hope of joy.
And accordingly, Paul says to Philemon, "Yea, brother, let me have joy of
thee in the Lord." For if he had not added "in the Lord," but had only
said, "Let me have joy of thee," he would have implied that he fixed his
hope of happiness upon him, although even in the immediate context to
"enjoy" is used in the sense of to "use with delight." For when the thing
that we love is near us, it is a matter of course that it should bring

delight with it. And if you pass beyond this delight, and make it a means
to that which you are permanently to rest in, you are using it, and it is
an abuse of language to say that you enjoy it. But if you cling to it,
and rest in it, finding your happiness complete in it, then you may be
truly and properly said to enjoy it. And this we must never do except in
the case of the Blessed Trinity, who is the Supreme and Unchangeable God.

Chap. 34.--Christ the first way to God

  38. And mark that even when He who is Himself the Truth and the Word,
by whom all things were made, had been made flesh that He might dwell
among us, the apostle yet says: "Yea, though we have known Christ after
the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more." For Christ, desiring
not only to give the possession to those who had completed the journey,
but also to be Himself the way to those who were just setting out,
determined to take a fleshly body. Whence also that expression, "The Lord
created me in the beginning of His way," that is, that those who wished
to come might begin their journey in Him. The apostle, therefore,
although still on the way, and following after God who called him to the
reward of His heavenly calling, yet forgetting those things which were
behind, and pressing on towards those things which were before, had
already passed over the beginning of the way, and had now no further need
of it; yet by this way all must commence their journey who desire to
attain to the truth, and to rest in eternal life. For He says: "I am the
way, and the truth, and the life;" that is, by me men come, to me they
come, in me they rest. For when we come to Him, we come to the Father
also, because through an equal an equal is known; and the Holy Spirit
binds, and as it were seals us, so that we are able to rest permanently
in the supreme and unchangeable God. And hence we may learn how essential
it is that nothing should detain us on the way, when not even our Lord
Himself, so far as He has condescended to be our way, is willing to
detain us, but wishes us rather to press on; and, instead of weakly
clinging to temporal things, even though these have been put on and worn
by Him for our salvation, to pass over them quickly, and to struggle to
attain unto Himself, who has freed our nature from the bondage of
temporal things, and has set it down at the right hand of His Father.

Chap. 35.--The fulfilment and end of Scripture is the love of God and our

  39. Of all, then, that has been said since we entered upon the
discussion about things, this is the sum: that we should clearly
understand that the fulfilment and the end of the Law, and of all Holy
Scripture, is the love of an object which is to be enjoyed, and the love
of an object which can enjoy that other in fellowship with ourselves. For
there is no need of a command that each man should love himself. The
whole temporal dispensation for our salvation, therefore, was framed by

the providence of God that we might know this truth and be able to act
upon it; and we ought to use that dispensation, not with such love and
delight as if it were a good to rest in, but with a transient feeling
rather, such as we have towards the road, or carriages, or other things
that are merely means. Perhaps some other comparison can be found that
will more suitably express the idea that we are to love the things by
which we are borne only for the sake of that towards which we are borne.

Chap. 36.--That interpretation of Scripture which builds us up in love is
not perniciously deceptive nor mendacious, even though it be faulty. The
interpreter, however should be corrected

  40. Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or
any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not
tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet
understand them as he ought. If, on the other hand, a man draws a meaning
from them that may be used for the building up of love, even though he
does not happen upon the precise meaning which the author whom he reads
intended to express in that place, his error is not pernicious, and he is
wholly clear from the charge of deception. For there is involved in
deception the intention to say what is false; and we find plenty of
people who intend to deceive, but nobody who wishes to be deceived.
Since, then, the man who knows practices deceit, and the ignorant man is
practiced upon, it is quite clear that in any particular case the man who
is deceived is a better man than he who deceives, seeing that it is
better to suffer than to commit injustice. Now every man who lies commits
an injustice; and if any man thinks that a lie is ever useful, he must
think that injustice is sometimes useful. For no liar keeps faith in the
matter about which he lies. He wishes, of course, that the man to whom he
lies should place confidence in him; and yet he betrays his confidence by
lying to him. Now every man who breaks faith is unjust. Either, then,
injustice is sometimes useful (which is impossible), or a lie is never
  41. Whoever takes another meaning out of Scripture than the writer
intended, goes astray, but not through any falsehood in Scripture.
Nevertheless, as I was going to say, if his mistaken interpretation tends
to build up love, which is the end of the commandment, he goes astray in
much the same way as a man who by mistake quits the high road, but yet
reaches through the fields the same place to which the road leads. He is
to be corrected, however, and to be shown how much better it is not to
quit the straight road, lest, if he get into a habit of going astray, he
may sometimes take cross roads, or even go in the wrong direction

Chap. 37.--Dangers of mistaken interpretation

  For if he takes up rashly a meaning which the author whom he is reading
did not intend, he often falls in with other statements which he cannot
harmonize with this meaning. And if he admits that these statements are
true and certain, then it follows that the meaning he had put upon the
former passage cannot be the true one: and so it comes to pass, one can
hardly tell how, that, out of love for his own opinion, he begins to feel
more angry with Scripture than he is with himself. And if he should once
permit that evil to creep in, it will utterly destroy him. "For we walk
by faith, not by sight." Now faith will totter if the authority of
Scripture begin to shake. And then, if faith totter, love itself will
grow cold. For if a man has fallen from faith, he must necessarily also
fall from love; for he cannot love what he does not believe to exist. But
if he both believes and loves, then through good works, and through
diligent attention to the precepts of morality, he comes to hope also
that he shall attain the object of his love. And so these are the three
things to which all knowledge and all prophecy are subservient: faith,
hope, love.

Chap. 38.--Love never faileth

  42. But sight shall displace faith; and hope shall be swallowed up in
that perfect bliss to which we shall come: love, on the other hand, shall
wax greater when these others fail. For if we love by faith that which as
yet we see not, how much more shall we love it when we begin to see! And
if we love by hope that which as yet we have not reached, how much more
shall we love it when we reach it! For there is this great difference
between things temporal and things eternal, that a temporal object is
valued more before we possess it, and begins to prove worthless the
moment we attain it, because it does not satisfy the soul, which has its
only true and sure resting-place in eternity: an eternal object, on the
other hand, is loved with greater ardour when it is in possession than
while it is still an object of desire, for no one in his longing for it
can set a higher value on it than really belongs to it, so as to think it
comparatively worthless when he finds it of less value than he thought;
on the contrary, however high the value any man may set upon it when he
is on his way to possess it, he will find it, when it comes into his
possession, of higher value still.

Chap. 39.--He who is mature in faiths hope and love, needs Scripture no

  43. And thus a man who is resting upon faith, hope and love, and who
keeps a firm hold upon these, does not need the Scriptures except for the
purpose of instructing others. Accordingly, many live without copies of
the Scriptures, even in solitude, on the strength of these three graces.
So that in their case, I think, the saying is already fulfilled: "Whether

there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they
shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." Yet by
means of these instruments (as they may be called), so great an edifice
of faith and love has been built up in them, that, holding to what is
perfect, they do not seek for what is only in part perfect--of course, I
mean, so far as is possible in this life; for, in comparison with the
future life, the life of no just and holy man is perfect here. Therefore
the apostle says: "Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the
greatest of these is charity:" because, when a man shall have reached the
eternal world, while the other two graces will fail, love will remain
greater and more assured.

Chap. 40.--What manner of reader Scripture demands

  44. And, therefore, if a man fully understands that "the end of the
commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience,
and of faith unfeigned," and is bent upon making all his understanding of
Scripture to bear upon these three graces, he may come to the
interpretation of these books with an easy mind. For while the apostle
says "love," he adds "out of a pure heart," to provide against anything
being loved but that which is worthy of love. And he joins with this "a
good conscience," in reference to hope; for, if a man has the burthen of
a bad conscience, he despairs of ever reaching that which he believes in
and loves. And in the third place he says: "and of faith unfeigned." For
if our faith is free from all hypocrisy, then we both abstain from loving
what is unworthy of our love, and by living uprightly we are able to
indulge the hope that our hope shall not be in vain.
  For these reasons I have been anxious to speak about the objects of
faith, as far as I thought it necessary for my present purpose; for much
has already been said on this subject in other volumes, either by others
or by myself. And so let this be the end of the present book. In the next
I shall discuss, as far as God shall give me light, the subject of signs.



Having completed his exposition of things, the author now proceeds to
discuss the subject of signs. He first defines what a sign is, and shows
that there are two classes of signs, the natural and the conventional. Of
conventional signs (which are the only class here noticed), words are the
most numerous and important, and are those with which the interpreter of
Scripture is chiefly concerned. The difficulties and obscurities of
Scripture spring chiefly from two sources, unknown and ambiguous signs.
The present book deals only with unknown signs, the ambiguities of

language being reserved for treatment in the next book. The difficulty
arising from ignorance of signs is to be removed by learning the Greek
and Hebrew languages, in which Scripture is written, by comparing the
various translations, and by attending to the context. In the
interpretation of figurative expressions, knowledge of things is as
necessary as knowledge of words; and the various sciences and arts of the
heathen, so far as they are true and useful, may be turned to account in
removing our ignorance of signs, whether these be direct or figurative.
Whilst exposing the folly and futility of many heathen superstitions and
practices, the author points out how all that is sound and useful in
their science and philosophy may be turned to a Christian use. And in
conclusion, he shows the spirit in which it behoves us to address
ourselves to the study and interpretation of the sacred books.

Chap. 1.--Signs, their nature and variety

  1. As when I was writing about things, I introduced the subject with a
warning against attending to anything but what they are in themselves,
even though they are signs of something else, so now, when I come in its
turn to discuss the subject of signs, I lay down this direction, not to
attend to what they are in themselves, but to the fact that they are
signs, that is, to what they signify. For a sign is a thing which, over
and above the impression it makes on the senses, causes something else to
come into the mind as a consequence of itself: as when we see a
footprint, we conclude that an animal whose footprint this is has passed
by; and when we see smoke, we know that there is fire beneath; and when
we hear the voice of a living man, we think of the feeling in his mind;
and when the trumpet sounds, soldiers know that they are to advance or
retreat, or do whatever else the state of the battle requires.
  2. Now some signs are natural, others conventional. Natural signs are
those which, apart from any intention or desire of using them as signs,
do yet lead to the knowledge of something else, as, for example, smoke
when it indicates fire. For it is not from any intention of making it a
sign that it is so, but through attention to experience we come to know
that fire is beneath, even when nothing but smoke can be seen. And the
footprint of an animal passing by belongs to this class of signs. And the
countenance of an angry or sorrowful man indicates the feeling in his
mind, independently of his will: and in the same way every other emotion
of the mind is betrayed by the telltale countenance, even though we do
nothing with the intention of making it known. This class of signs
however, it is no part of my design to discuss at present. But as it
comes under this division of the subject, I could not altogether pass it
over. It will be enough to have noticed it thus far.

Chap. 2.--Of the kind of signs we are now concerned with

  3. Conventional signs, on the other hand, are those which living beings
mutually exchange for the purpose of showing, as well as they can, the
feelings of their minds, or their perceptions, or their thoughts. Nor is
there any reason for giving a sign except the desire of drawing forth and
conveying into another's mind what the giver of the sign has in his own
mind. We wish, then, to consider and discuss this class of signs so far
as men are concerned with it, because even the signs which have been
given us of God, and which are contained in the Holy Scriptures, were
made known to us through men--those, namely, who wrote the Scriptures.
The beasts, too, have certain signs among themselves by which they make
known the desires in their mind. For when the poultry-cock has discovered
food, he signals with his voice for the hen to run to him, and the dove
by cooing calls his mate, or is called by her in turn; and many signs of
the same kind are matters of common observation. Now whether these signs,
like the expression or the cry of a man in grief, follow the movement of
the mind instinctively and apart from any purpose, or whether they are
really used with the purpose of signification, is another question, and
does not pertain to the matter in hand. And this part of the subject I
exclude from the scope of this work as not necessary to my present

Chap. 3.--Among signs, words hold the chief place

  4. Of the signs, then, by which men communicate their thoughts to one
another, some relate to the sense of sight, some to that of hearing, a
very few to the other senses. For, when we nod, we give no sign except to
the eyes of the man to whom we wish by this sign to impart our desire.
And some convey a great deal by the motion of the hands: and actors by
movements of all their limbs give certain signs to the initiated, and, so
to speak, address their conversation to the eyes: and the military
standards and flags convey through the eyes the will of the commanders.
And all these signs are as it were a kind of visible words. The signs
that address themselves to the ear are, as I have said, more numerous,
and for the most part consist of words. For though the bugle and the
flute and the lyre frequently give not only a sweet but a significant
sound, yet all these signs are very few in number compared with words.
For among men words have obtained far and away the chief place as a means
of indicating the thoughts of the mind. Our Lord, it is true, gave a sign
through the odour of the ointment which was poured out upon His feet; and
in the sacrament of His body and blood He signified His will through the
sense of taste; and when by touching the hem of His garment the woman was
made whole, the act was not wanting in significance. But the countless
multitude of the signs through which men express their thoughts consist

of words. For I have been able to put into words all those signs, the
various classes of which I have briefly touched upon, but I could by no
effort express words in terms of those signs.

Chap. 4.--Origin of writing

  5. But because words pass away as soon as they strike upon the air, and
last no longer than their sound, men have by means of letters formed
signs of words. Thus the sounds of the voice are made visible to the eye,
not of course as sounds, but by means of certain signs. It has been found
impossible, however, to make those signs common to all nations owing to
the sin of discord among men, which springs from every man trying to
snatch the chief place for himself. And that celebrated tower which was
built to reach to heaven was an indication of this arrogance of spirit;
and the ungodly men concerned in it justly earned the punishment of
having not their minds only, but their tongues besides, thrown into
confusion and discordance.

Chap. 5.--Scripture translated into various languages

  6. And hence it happened that even Holy Scripture, which brings a
remedy for the terrible diseases of the human will, being at first set
forth in one language, by means of which it could at the fit season be
disseminated through the whole world, was interpreted into various
tongues, and spread far and wide, and thus became known to the nations
for their salvation. And in reading it, men seek nothing more than to
find out the thought and will of those by whom it was written, and
through these to find out the will of God, in accordance with which they
believe these men to have spoken.

Chap. 6.--Use of the obscurities in Scripture which arise from its
figurative language

  7. But hasty and careless readers are led astray by many and manifold
obscurities and ambiguities, substituting one meaning for another; and in
some places they cannot hit upon even a fair interpretation. Some of the
expressions are so obscure as to shroud the meaning in the thickest
darkness. And I do not doubt that all this was divinely arranged for the
purpose of subduing pride by toil, and of preventing a feeling of satiety
in the intellect, which generally holds in small esteem what is
discovered without difficulty. For why is it, I ask, that if any one says
that there are holy and just men whose life and conversation the Church
of Christ uses as a means of redeeming those who come to it from all
kinds of superstitions, and making them through their imitation of good
men members of its own body; men who, as good and true servants of God,
have come to the baptismal font laying down the burdens of the world, and
who rising thence do, through the implanting of the Holy Spirit, yield

the fruit of a twofold love, a love, that is, of God and their
neighbour;--how is it, I say, that if a man says this, he does not please
his hearer so much as when he draws the same meaning from that passage in
Canticles, where it is said of the Church, when it is being praised under
the figure of a beautiful woman, "Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep
that are shorn, which came up from the washing, whereof every one bears
twins, and none is barren among them?" Does the hearer learn anything
more than when he listens to the same thought expressed in the plainest
language, without the help of this figure? And yet, I don't know why, I
feel greater pleasure in contemplating holy men, when I view them as the
teeth of the Church, tearing men away from their errors, and bringing
them into the church's body, with all their harshness softened down, just
as if they had been torn off and masticated by the teeth. It is with the
greatest pleasure, too, that I recognize them under the figure of sheep
that have been shorn, laying down the burthens of the world like fleeces,
and coming up from the washing, i.e., from baptism, and all bearing
twins, i.e., the twin commandments of love, and none among them barren in
that holy fruit.
  8. But why I view them with greater delight under that aspect than if
no such figure were drawn from the sacred books, though the fact would
remain the same and the knowledge the same, is another question, and one
very difficult to answer. Nobody, however, has any doubt about the facts,
both that it is pleasanter in some cases to have knowledge communicated
through figures and that what is attended with difficulty in the seeking
gives greater pleasure in the finding.--For those who seek but do not
find suffer from hunger. Those, again, who do not seek at all because
they have what they require just beside them often grow languid from
satiety. Now weakness from either of these causes is to be avoided.
Accordingly the Holy Spirit has, with admirable wisdom and care for our
welfare, so arranged the Holy Scriptures as by the plainer passages to
satisfy our hunger, and by the more obscure to stimulate our appetite.
For almost nothing is dug out of those obscure passages which may not be
found set forth in the plainest language elsewhere.

Chap. 7.--Steps to wisdom: first, fear; second, piety; third, knowledge;
fourth, resolution; fifth, counsel; sixth, purification of heart;
seventh, stop or termination, wisdom

  9. First of all, then, it is necessary that we should be led by the
fear of God to seek the knowledge of His will, what He commands us to
desire and what to avoid. Now this fear will of necessity excite in us
the thought of our mortality and of the death that is before us, and
crucify all the motions of pride as if our flesh were nailed to the tree.
Next it is necessary to have our hearts subdued by piety, and not to run
in the face of Holy Scripture, whether when understood it strikes at some
of our sins, or, when not understood, we feel as if we could be wiser and

give better commands ourselves. We must rather think and believe that
whatever is there written, even though it be hidden, is better and truer
than anything we could devise by our own wisdom.
  10. After these two steps of fear and piety, we come to the third step,
knowledge, of which I have now undertaken to treat. For in this every
earnest student of the Holy Scriptures exercises himself, to find nothing
else in them but that God is to be loved for His own sake, and our
neighbour for God's sake; and that God is to be loved with all the heart.
and with all the soul, and with all the mind, and one's neighbour as
one's self--that is, in such a way that all our love for our neighbour,
like all our love for ourselves, should have reference to God. And on
these two commandments I touched in the previous book when I was treating
about things. It is necessary, then, that each man should first of all
find in the Scriptures that he, through being entangled in the love of
this world--i.e., of temporal things--has been drawn far away from such a
love for God and such a love for his neighbour as Scripture enjoins. Then
that fear which leads him to think of the judgment of God, and that piety
which gives him no option but to believe in and submit to the authority
of Scripture, compel him to bewail his condition. For the knowledge of a
good hope makes a man not boastful, but sorrowful. And in this frame of
mind he implores with unremitting prayers the comfort of the Divine help
that he may not be overwhelmed in despair, and so he gradually comes to
the fourth step,--that is, strength and resolution,--in which he hungers
and thirsts after righteousness. For in this frame of mind he extricates
himself from every form of fatal joy in transitory things, and turning
away from these, fixes his affection on things eternal, to wit, the
unchangeable Trinity in unity.
  11. And when, to the extent of his power, he has gazed upon this object
shining from afar, and has felt that owing to the weakness of his sight
he cannot endure that matchless light, then in the fifth step--that is,
in the counsel of compassion--he cleanses his soul, which is violently
agitated, and disturbs him with base desires, from the filth it has
contracted. And at this stage he exercises himself diligently in the love
of his neighbour; and when he has reached the point of loving his enemy,
full of hopes and unbroken in strength, he mounts to the sixth step, in
which he purifies the eye itself which can see God, so far as God can be
seen by those who as far as possible die to this world. For men see Him
just so far as they die to this world; and so far as they live to it they
see Him not. But yet, although that light may begin to appear clearer,
and not only more tolerable, but even more delightful, still it is only
through a glass darkly that we are said to see, because we walk by faith,
not by sight, while we continue to wander as strangers in this world,
even though our conversation be in heaven. And at this stage, too, a man
so purges the eye of his affections as not to place his neighbour before,

or even in comparison with, the truth, and therefore not himself, because
not him whom he loves as himself. Accordingly, that holy man will be so
single and so pure in heart, that he will not step aside from the truth,
either for the sake of pleasing men or with a view to avoid any of the
annoyances which beset this life. Such a son ascends to wisdom which is
the seventh and last step, and which he enjoys in peace and tranquility.
For the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. From that beginning,
then, till we reach wisdom itself, our way is by the steps now described.

Chap. 8.--The canonical books

  12. But let us now go back to consider the third step here mentioned,
for it is about it that I have set myself to speak and reason as the Lord
shall grant me wisdom. The most skilful interpreter of the sacred
writings, then, will be he who in the first place has read them all and
retained them in his knowledge, if not yet with full understanding, still
with such knowledge as reading gives,--those of them, at least, that are
called canonical. For he will read the others with greater safety when
built up in the belief of the truth, so that they will not take first
possession of a weak mind, nor, cheating it with dangerous falsehoods and
delusions, fill it with prejudices averse to a sound understanding. Now,
in regard to the canonical Scriptures, he must follow the judgment of the
greater number of catholic churches; and among these, of course, a high
place must be given to such as have been thought worthy to be the seat of
an apostle and to receive epistles. Accordingly, among the canonical
Scriptures he will judge according to the following standard: to prefer
those that are received by all the catholic churches to those which some
do not receive. Among those, again, which are not received by all, he
will prefer such as have the sanction of the greater number and those of
greater authority, to such as are held by the smaller number and those of
less authority. If, however, he shall find that some books are held by
the greater number of churches, and others by the churches of greater
authority (though this is not a very likely thing to happen), I think
that in such a case the authority on the two sides is to be looked upon
as equal.
  13. Now the whole canon of Scripture on which we say this judgment is
to be exercised, is contained in the following books:--Five books of
Moses, that is, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; one
book of Joshua the son of Nun; one of Judges; one short book called Ruth,
which seems rather to belong to the beginning of Kings; next, four books
of Kings, and two of Chronicles, these last not following one another,

but running parallel, so to speak, and going over the same ground. The
books now mentioned are history, which contains a connected narrative of
the times, and follows the order of the events. There are other books
which seem to follow no regular order, and are connected neither with the
order of the preceding books nor with one another, such as Job, and
Tobias, and Esther, and Judith, and the two books of Maccabees, and the
two of Ezra, which last look more like a sequel to the continuous regular
history which terminates with the books of Kings and Chronicles. Next are
the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David; and
three books of Solomon, viz., Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes.
For two books, one called Wisdom and the other Ecclesiasticus, are
ascribed to Solomon from a certain resemblance of style, but the most
likely opinion is that they were written by Jesus the son of Sirach.
  Still they are to be reckoned among the prophetical books, since they
have attained recognition as being authoritative. The remainder are the
books which are strictly called the Prophets: twelve separate books of
the prophets which are connected with one another, and having never been
disjoined, are reckoned as one book; the names of these prophets are as
follows:--Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; then there are the four greater
prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel. The authority of the Old
Testament is contained within the limits of these forty-four books. That
of the New Testament, again, is contained within the following:--Four
books of the Gospel, according to Matthew, according to Mark, according
to Luke, according to John; fourteen epistles of the Apostle Paul--one to
the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, to the
Ephesians, to the Philippians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the
Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews:
two of Peter; three of John; one of Jude; and one of James; one book of
the Acts of the Apostles; and one of the Revelation of John.

Chap. 9.--How we should proceed in studying Scripture

  14. In all these books those who fear God and are of a meek and pious
disposition seek the will of God. And in pursuing this search the first
rule to be observed is, as I said, to know these books, if not yet with
the understanding, still to read them so as to commit them to memory, or
at least so as not to remain wholly ignorant of them. Next, those matters

(continued in part 4...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01/agdoc-03.txt