Home >> Chamber's Encyclopedia, Volume 5 >> Duns Scotus to Egyptian Language And Literature >> Ecclesias Ticus

Ecclesias Ticus

sirach, regarded and jesus

ECCLESIAS TICUS, the title of an apocryphal work, called in the Septuagint ThelVis dons of Jesus, the Son of Sirach. It obtained the title of E., not because the writer was a priest (for regarding his profession nothing is known), but because it was, in the opin ion of the fathers, the chief of those apocryphal works which they designated etelesias tid Ori (i. e., books not inspired, but which might be read in church for the edification of the people), to distinguish them from the canonical scriptures of the Old Testament. E. was originally composed in Aramaic; and the original text was in the time of Jerome, who states that he had seen the Hebrew, but it is now lost. The author calls himself Jesus, the son of Sirach of Jerusalem; but when he flourished is not known. His book was translated into Greek, with an introduction by his grandson, who is usually, but not correctly, supposed to have had the same name as his grand father. The date of the translation has been fixed as low as 130 n.c and as high as 230 B.C. The former is the more probable. The contents of the work are not system

atically arranged, so that we can only guess at what may be called the method and purpose of the The view taken of the mercy of God as extending to all man kind, indicates that the Jewish notions were breaking up; but still there is little to show that any great spirituality was taking its place. Its tone resembles that of the book of Proverbs. Exhortations to cheerfulness are constant; medicine, agriculture, etc., are highly praised; life is regarded from an ethical rather than from a religious point of view, and consequently "wisdom" is represented as the source of human happiness. The style of the w riter is at times noble, and even sublime; and, to tise the language of Addison, " it would be regarded by our modern wits as one of the most shining tracts of morality that are extant, if it appeared under the name of Confucius or of any cel ebrated Grecian philosopher." 4iiiZet1