V.20. What Are the Homologoumena and Antilegomena?


 Question: What are the Homologoumena and Antilegomena?

 Answer:  After the Old Testament Canon was closed, questions arose among a small group of Jews concerning two things: 1.  Books already contained in the Canon.  2. Other books written later and seeking admission into the Canon.  Here is where the two words in question come in.

  1. THE HOMOLOGOUMENA: (Greek “homologeo”, means “confessed and undispu-ted.”)  These books were received as canonical without dispute, and whose right to a place in the Canon was not afterwards disputed.
  2. ANTILEGOMENA: (“anti-lego” means “spoken against.”)  They are those books whose right to a place in the Canon (Bible), after their admission, was disputed by certain Jews.  There were five:  1. Song of Solomon, because it seemed to be a poem of merely human love.  2. Ecclesiastes, because they thought it contained contradictory statements.  3.  Esther, because it does not mention any name of God.  4.  Ezekiel, because they thought in several points it apparently contradicts the requirements of the Mosaic law in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible).  5.  Proverbs, because they thought that certain of its maxims contradict each other, and that it seemed to favor the heretical party.

 THE CONCLUSION:  The question was whether these books should be allowed to remain in the Canon (Bible).  The objections were of such, that they would have no weight today.  They did not touch on any of the great tests of canonicity, nor of the genuineness, or the age of the books.  They were only the opinions of a few Jews, airing their personal doubts and scruples.  These were soon settled by councils and no book was ever withdrawn from the Canon (Bible).

 We have the “antilegomena men” today who deny the Bible as the Word of God.  Some are grade school teachers, high school teachers, college and university teachers who

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”  (Romans 1:22).

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”  (I Corinthians 1:21).


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