Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Holy Bible


Sources that verify the Canonicity of the Holy Bible


Part 6: The Canon of Saint Gregory the Theologian

This Canon was validated by the Quinisext Ecumenical Council. It is therefore one of the six Canons that the Church has acknowledged, as definitive of the Canon pertaining to the Holy Bible.

Saint Gregory the Theologian provided a flexible canon regarding the Genuine books.

General (on the 6 Canons)

The 6 accepted canons:


This canon is not included in all of the manuscript codices and collections1, however, the 2nd canon of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council validated2 the canon of Saint Gregory3, hence, it is included among the canons that the Church has accepted. The possible reason that it was not included in all of the codices, is perhaps because the scribes who were inadequately versed in matters of Divine inspiration and regularity, believed that it conflicted with other canons4. Such a conflict however is nonexistent, to those who can discern the finer differences in regularity.


1. Ref.: Th.  Zahn, Geshichte, vol. 2, 1, page. 213, footnote., N. Milasch - M.Apostolopoulou , The Ecclesiastic Right, page 146 and  Am.Alivizatos, The acred Canons, page 406.

2. Ref.:. Th.  Zahn, Geshichte, vol. 2, 1, pages. 212-213, footnote.: «Die Namen Gregory Theologen, Amphilochios of Ikonion, Trull. Can. 2 Pitra II, 23 konnen sich nur auf diese metrischen Stucke beziehen; denn andere Satze dieser beiden Theologen sind uberhaupt nicht die kirchlichen Kanones aufgenommen worden».

3. Ralli – Potli , vol. Β΄, page. 309.

4. Ref.:. Th.  Zahn, Geshichte, vol. 2, 1, pages. 212-213.


Herebelow is the Synod’s text and alongside it, is the translation of the Canon:


Herebelow is the Synod’s text and alongside it, is the translation of the Canon:

Synod text1


Όφρα δε μή ξείνησι νόον κλέπτοιο βίβλοισι,

Πολλαί γαρ τελέθουσι παρέγγραπτοι κακότητες,

Δέχνυσο τούτον εμοίο τον έγκριτον, ώ φίλ’, αριθμόν.

Ιστορικαί μεν έασι βίβλοι δυοκαίδεκα, πάσαι της αρχαιοτέρης Εβραϊκής σοφίης.

Πρωτίστη Γένεσις. είτ’ Έξοδος, Λευϊτικόν τε.

Έπειτ’ Αριθμοί. είτα Δεύτερος νόμος.

Έπειτ’ Ιησούς, και Κριταί. Ρούθ ογδόη.

Η δ’ ενάτη δεκάτη τε βίβλοι, πράξεις Βασιλήων, Και Παραλειπόμεναι. έσχατον Έσδραν έχεις.

Αι δε στιχηραί πέντε, ών πρώτος γ΄ Ιώβ.

Έπειτα Δαυίδ, είτα τρείς Σολομώντειται, Εκκλησιαστής, Άσμα και Παροιμοίαι.

Και πένθ’ ομοίως Πνεύματος προφητικού.

Μίαν μεν εισίν ες γραφήν οι δώδεκα, Ωσηέ, κ’ Αμώς, και Μιχαίας ο τρίτος.

Έπειτ’ Ιωήλ, είτ’ Ιωνάς, Αβδίας, Ναούμ τε, Αββακούμ τε, και Σοφονίας, Αγγαίος, είτα Ζαχαρίας, και Μαλαχίας.

Μία μεν οίδε6. δευτέρα δ’ Ησαΐας.Έπειθ’ ο κληθείς Ιερεμίας εκ βρέφους.

Είτ’ Ιεζεκιήλ, και Δανιήλου7 χάρις.

 Αρχαίας μεν έθηκα δύω και είκοσι βίβλους, Τοίς των Εβραίων γράμμασιν αντιθέτους.

Ήδη δ’ αρίθμει και νέου μυστηρίου.

Ματθαίος μεν έγραψεν Εβραίοις θαύματα Χριστού.


Μάρκος δ’ Ιταλίη, Λουκάς Αχαϊάδι.

Πάσι δ’ Ιωάννης κήρυξ μέγας, ουρανοφοίτης.

Έπειτα πράξεις των σοφών Αποστόλων.

Δέκα δε Παύλου τέσσαρες τ’ επιστολαί.

Επτά δε καθολικαί. ών, Ιακώβου μία, Δύω δε Πέτρου, τρείς δ’ Ιωάννου πάλιν.

Ιούδα δ’ εστίν εβδόμη. πάσας έχεις.

Εί τι δε τούτων εκτός, ουκ εν γνησίαις.


5. Ρ ά λ λ η – Π ο τ λ ή, τόμ. Δ΄, σελ. 363-364.

6. Ή, ήδε

7. Ή, Δανιήλ ός

So that they do not deceive you through unfamiliar books,

For there are many treacherously written malices,


Accept, o friend, this my approved number (of Biblical books)


Twelve are the historical books, all of them of the most ancient Hebrew wisdom (Old Testament)


First is Genesis. Then Exodus and Leviticus.


Then Numbers, then Deuteronomy.



Then Joshua and Judges. Ruth is the eighth.



The ninth and tenth books are the Acts of Kings and Chronicles. Last of all is Ezra.



The verses are five, first of which is Job.



Then is David (Psalms) then three (books) of Solomon: Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs and Proverbs.


And similarly five (books) of Prophetic Spirit.


In one (book) belong the twelve (minor prophets): Osiah and Amos, and the third Michaias.


Then is Joel, then Jonah, Abdias and Naum and Abbakum and Sophonias, Agaius, then Zacharias and Malachy.


 One book is this; the second one is Isaiah. Then is Jeremiah, who was called upon from infancy (as a prophet).


 Then Ezekiel , and Daniel, written through Grace.


 In the ancient books (of the Old Testament) I have included twenty-two, corresponding to the letters of the Hebrew (alphabet).


Now also count the books of the new mystery (of the New Testament).


Matthew wrote to the Hebrews of the miracles of Christ.



And Mark in Italy, Luke in Achaia (Greece);


To all of them wrote the major herald, John, the skywalker (student of the heavens


Then are the Acts of the wise Apostles.



And the fourteen epistles of Paul.


Seven of them are all-embracing, of which one to James, two to Peter, three (again) to John. 


The seventh is to Judas; you now have all of them.


If there is anything apart from these, it does not belong to the genuine (books or epistles of the Holy Bible).






Commentary on the text

This canon is characterized as “reputable”, which signifies “worthy of acceptance”. Therefore it is not entirely specific, and it allows for a flexibility in the books of the canon, given that during the Saint’s time, the canon had not yet been finalized.


The information was taken from the exceptional book by the reserve professor of the Athens University Mr. Panagiotis Boumis, Dr. of Theology titled:”The Canons of the Church pertaining to the Canon of the Holy Bible” Athens 1986.

Text: Ν.Μ.

Greek text

Translation by A.N.

Article published in English on: 18-7-2005.

Last update: 4-8-2005.