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Deuterocanonical books listed by chronological theme

rakovsky

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The Orthodox Deuterocanon is the Books of the Orthodox canon of Scripture that are outside of the Protestant OT and Rabbinical TaNaKh.
  • Psalm 151 - Ascribed to David
  • Wisdom of Solomon
  • Tobit - belonged to the Tribe of Naphtali and deported to Nineveh after the Assyrian conquest, which happened around 722 BC
  • Prayer of Manasseh - This king lived in 709-643 BC
  • Epistle of Jeremiah - Jeremiah (650-570 BC) predicted the Babylonian conquest
  • Baruch - He was Jeremiah's scribe in the 6th c. BC and this book addresses issues relating to the Babylonian Exile
  • Judith - lived during the harsh part of Nebudchadnezzar II's rule over Judah
  • The portions of Daniel:
  • I Esdras (2 Esdras in Russian Bibles) - Ezra led a group of exiles back from the Babylonian captivity when it ended.
  • Portions of Esther - Esther was involved in royal power during the Persian period. She was the wife of King Ahasuerus, commonly identified with Xerxes I who ruled in 485-465 BC.
  • Wisdom of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), ascribed to Jesus ben Sirach of the Hellenistic period, possibly written in 180–175 BC.
  • I Maccabees - The Maccabean Revolt lasted from 167 to 160 BC
  • II Maccabees
  • III Maccabees
  • IV Maccabees - In the Georgian Orthodox canon and in the appendix of Greek Bibles, but not Russian ones.
I don't know whether Baruch should come before Judith or Daniel or after them. In Judith, Nebuchadnezzar II was a harsh ruler ordering an attack on Judah, whereas in Daniel this king started bad but then eventually had a change of heart due partly to Daniel's prophecies. So at least it makes sense that Judith would come before Daniel.

In Judith, the Babylonian king objected that the Jews didn't assist his wars, which seems to imply that the events in the book occurred after the Babylonian conquest of Judah.

According to Russian Wikipedia, although the Slavic III Esdras (AKA 4 Ezra) is in Slavic Bibles, it's not actually part of the Russian Church's canon. I may have read this elsewhere too. It's not in Greek Bibles. I don't know if it's in the actual canon of any Orthodox Church.

Orthodox Wiki's article on the Deuterocanon lists "The portion of II Esdras called the "Prayer of Manasseh"". But I don't know why it says that this Prayer is part of II Esdras (III Esdras in Russian Bibles) because they are separate works. Jerome's Vulgate I think placed the Prayer of Manasseh right before Jerome's own Prologue to I Esdras.

I guess that 4 Maccabbees is not canonical for the Greeks if they put it in their appendix.

The Ethiopian Church has a short canon and a long one. I recall the Books of Clement and the Apocalypse of Peter as being in the long version.

Wikipedia claims that 4 Ezra is part of the Ethiopian canon. It also says, "Unique to the Orthodox Tewahedo canon are the Paralipomena of Jeremiah (4 Baruch), Jubilees, Enoch, and the three books of Meqabyan... The Orthodox Tewahedo broader Old Testament has one additional book: the Ethiopic version of the Book of Joseph ben Gurion or Yosëf wäldä Koryon, elsewhere called Josippon, or referred to by its author, Pseudo-Josephus, categorizing its authorship as pseudepigraphical."

About the Ethiopian broader NT, Wikipedia says, "The Orthodox Tewahedo broader New Testament canon has eight additional books. These are the four books of Sinodos, the two divisions of the Book of the Covenant, Ethiopic Clement, and the Ethiopic Didascalia. Most of the literature herein would either be considered part of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers or part of the Ancient Church Orders."
 

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Here are relevant clips that I've seen, besides those above:

So... I'm listening to an audio reading of Rabbi Louis Ginzburg's "Wisdom of Solomon" section of his book "Legends of the Jews." The Biblical background story is that God gave tons of miraculous wisdom to King Solomon on Solomon's request in a prayer talk with God. At a bit over 15:30 minutes into the story, Rabbi Ginzburg retells Solomon's advice about conversing with animals, as if a human can have an actual conversation like through telepathy with them. This feels super weird because I only think of normal communication with others as through verbal speech. OK, I guess for a few reasons it's possible, but it still feels super weird.

I knew a certain lady who due to the circumstances I think was being sincere and not trying to fool me. In her conversation with me, she claimed that she could talk with dogs and that they could talk with her. And the substance of her talks with them was much more specific than the dog saying that it was happy or something. I guess that she was reading more into the dog's appearance than was really there, and it was hard for me to believe. Probably some Orthodox would think that that kind of thing would be demonic.
 

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I saw/listened to:
 

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At 16 minutes into his "Intro to the Wisdom of Solomon," Rabbi Dr. Panitz says:
And then we get to this third part, which is a whole elaborate comparison. Egypt is punished, and you see that in the Ten Plagues, and the Israelites are benefited by the very same things with which Egypt is punished. Now there's a word for this in ethical theory. We call it "measure for measure." There seems to be a broad assent to the notion that if there is a measure for measure in the disciplining of someone who needs disciplining, that somehow feels right.

I remember being a counselor in training at an education camp, a Jewish educational camp called Camp Ramah. And we CITs, there were two of us assigned to each cabin. There was one senior counselor and two CITs. And for a two week - we all lived with the kids and we helped them get up and we helped them at meal time and so on and so forth. But in the course of the day, for two weeks if you were a CIT, you tracked the kids and you were busy being their counselor throughout the day. And for the other two weeks, you were busy taking education courses. So in the 8-week summer I had 4 weeks of intensive training in education and 4 weeks of working as a CIT. I was 17 years old. And it was probably the best minimester I ever had in terms of learning how to be an educator.

And I still remember one of the rabbi's well-chiseled phrases. He said, "You must always make the punishment fit the crime." (Laughs) So. you know, if the child was guilty of this infraction or that infraction, you don't have a one size fits all, you know, "Stay on your bed until you've thought it over." You know, there has to be something which helps channel the child's notion that "I did this, and this is both commensurate and reasonable, and it promotes me to think about what I did and what I can do differently next time."

So I want you to consider how these particular plagues work out as punishments and the same instrumentality becomes a blessing for those who keep God's word.
The Wikipedia page for Camp Rammah is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Ramah

Some comments:

First, God works in mysterious ways, and Jewish and Christian traditions have this kind of idea of commensurate punishments. As I recall, 4 Esdras (not canon for the EOs, but printed in Slavonic Bibles anyway) and the Apocalypse of Peter have portrayals of how different sinners received different punishments based on their sins.

Second, Rabbi Panitz seems nice and I don't imagine that Camp Rammah was abusing their kids. People send their kids to summer camp to have a nice time and the counselors naturally care about their kids' well-being. I'm grateful to Rabbi Panitz that he would be so open open his camp's system. He didn't give any specific examples that would serve to show as anything unethical.

Nonetheless, something about it makes me feel uncomfortable, so I want to make a make some philosophical criticisms. It still feels a bit Machiavellian for a camp's staff to deliberately and systematically arrange for their kids to get punished in ways that match the nature of the crime. If one is to compare it to a normal summer camp that has minimal and standard punishments, then it reminds me a bit of the Milgram experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment in that it's both focused on punishment and on a creative approach to it.

The Torah does have this idea of "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," but the New Testament idea is to recognize on the one hand that the Old Testament says this, but to encourage mercy and forgiveness in its place. One Christian theory that I've heard is that the Torah imposed this kind of punishment system as actually a way to limit the kind of punishments that society would impose so that it didn't become excessive. The Russians have a folk custom where if one person step on another's foot, the other person holds their foot for the latter to step on theirs. I don't really like this custom. I've been in situations maybe twice where a Russian put their foot out. I think that I didn't step in response. The first person did it as an accident. I don't want to hurt them even in that kind of playful way.

Further, when I think of normal summer camps, I think of standard sports camps or standard Christian camps. If certain kids are really bad, then the camps, I imagine, would just send them home. They're not places meant for you to send your kids for punishment. I mean, maybe the camps would make kids clean up their messes or give them time out or something, but I wouldn't expect them to do something that matched the nature of their infraction. At my PCUSA's summer Bible school (a day program), the Sunday School teachers oversaw the program, and even if the kids did something bad, I expect they would just tell their parents.

Similarly, when I went to Catholic school in the 90's, I got picked on a lot and when a kid pushed me, I pushed him back he punched me, and I punched him back, and it ended up in a fight (he got the last punch). We got kicked off the bus for maybe a week. Depending on how you look at it, I was standing up for myself, or defending myself, or else was in the wrong for pushing him back. But in any of those cases, I don't have a special desire for that particular kid to have gotten hit by his parents or a counselor or something. OK, if you are talking about the end of WW2 Germany and asking me what I would want to happen to Nazis who killed my family, you are getting into some bigger picture. But my point is that I am happy that the Catholic school when I was there just had things like detention and getting kicked off the bus and cleaning up the school. I wanted the kids not to pick on me, but if some older girls picked on those girls, it could just make them pick on me more as an outlet for their unhappiness. One time the teacher announced in class that a kid who was picking on me got picked on a lot the year before by another kid. I guess it made me feel better that the teacher announced it- it helped create some feeling of solidarity between myself and the kid who had been picking on me. A lot of times just explaining to kids not to pick on other kids will work. There is not really a need to think up creative punishments like having other kids pick on them. The latter feels a bit nefarious. There is a saying, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind."

Sixth, there is a step by step problem when you go to implement some kind of tit for tat creative punishment system. First, there is going to be a small percent of kids who look certainly guilty of infractions that they didn't actually commit. And then if they deny their guilt, this system could end up punishing them for what is wrongly taken to be a dishonest denial of guilt. Second, there are going to be cases where the kid broke a rule but didn't actually hurt anyone, so he created a victimless crime. So to punish the kid would be to impose harm on him when he didn't harm anyone. Maybe an example would be a kid running in the hall when it's not allowed. Third, there are cases where a kid had no knowledge or expectation that he was going to hurt anyone. Fourth, even supposing that you impose a commensurate punishment, then if their offense was immoral, then it seems like you could be committing an immoral act. For example, if one kid was mad at another kid and pushed him into a wall, it seems questionable whether a counselor pushing the perpetrator into a wall or having another kid do it was moral. Fifth, you also have the issue that some kids can feel bad about what they did even before you punish them. And sixth you have the issue that just talking to them and explaining to them what they did wrong could be enough. Seventh, it seems like due to the fact that kids treat others the way that they've been treated, this kind of treatment could influence kids in unexpected ways, like making them more paranoid about breaking rules, or else make them think in more manipulative, socially-controlling terms.
 

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Why believe anything from the synagogue of Satan?
 

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If an editor drops by, they will be interested in where to find critical texts and discussions about the provenience and transmission of the books. I look at a few resources to make a start:

Hexapla — Field does not have the Deuterocanon and the Hexapla Project appears to not have assigned editors. A bible translator would probably be more interested in including these books if the rich hexaplaric tradition was available for them.

Göttingen Septuagint has all and Sweete's Septuagint has some of them.
Leiden Peshitta has all but some volumes may be difficult to buy.
Sabatier (Old Latin reconstruction) appears to have 1-2 Maccabees but not the others.

For Judith, I wonder how to think about the textual families in order to get back to something real and authentic that makes sense.
The Hebrew versions name important figures directly such as the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, thus placing the events in the Hellenistic period when the Maccabees battled the Seleucid monarchs. The Greek version uses deliberately cryptic and anachronistic references such as "Nebuchadnezzar", a "King of Assyria", who "reigns in Nineveh", for the same king. — Wikipedia
 

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Why believe anything from the synagogue of Satan?
One reason I listened to it was that there is little Orthodox audio material in English about the Wisdom of Solomon. In contrast, there is a decent amount of material in Russian, fortunately. When significant issues come up, I like to ask about them here on the forum.
 

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Here are audio books in Russian of the Wisdom of Solomon that I've listened to:

Here are commentaries on the Wisdom of Solomon in Russian I've heard:
Prof. Desnitsky, who writes for Russian Orthodox magazines online, repeatedly asserts that the Wisdom of Solomon is "non-canonical," but he doesn't cite any Orthodox authority saying that it's non-canonical, nor does he give an explanation of what makes it non-canonical. Hegumen Luke, in another audio commentary for Ekzeget.ru that I'm listening to also asserts that it's "non-canonical", and his only explanation for why it is non-canonical is that it wasn't written originally in Hebrew, but in Greek. However, I don't know why putting something originally in Greek would make something non-canonical in the eyes of the Christian Church, because the New Testament was written originally all or mostly in Greek. K. V. Korepanov also asserts in his audio commentary that Wisdom of Solomon is "non-canonical," without showing why it is or giving an authority in Orthodoxy that it's non-canonical.

In contrast, my understanding is that the Orthodox Church considers the Wisdom of Solomon to be a canonical part of the Bible. As I understand it, the Greek and Russian Churches only put two books in their Bibles that they consider non-canonical: 4 Esdras (AKA "3 Esdras" in Slavic Bibles) and 4 Maccabbees.
 

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repeatedly asserts that the Wisdom of Solomon is "non-canonical," but he doesn't cite any Orthodox authority saying that it's non-canonical, nor does he give an explanation of what makes it non-canonical.
This was the prevailing view in the Greek Church in the first millennium. Here's a rough chart of the major Fathers/documents who outlined a canon:

bible canons.png


There are various websites that collate some of the passages where Fathers speak on the topic, such as this one. There seemed to be a shift among many Orthodox in the second millennium (the Confession of Dositheus/Council in Jerusalem in 1672 is often pointed to), but even then things were never entirely settled. Met. Philaret, for example, excludes Wisdom of Solomon and the other deuterocanonicals in his Longer Catechism, and his explanation maybe starts to address some of your questions:

31. How many are the books of the Old Testament?

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Athanasius the Great, and St. John Damascene reckon them at twenty-two, agreeing therein with the Jews, who so reckon them in the original Hebrew tongue. (Athanas. Ep. xxxix. De Test.; J. Damasc. Theol. lib. iv. c. 17.)

32. Why should we attend to the reckoning of the Hebrews?

Because, as the Apostle Paul says, unto them were committed the oracles of God; and the sacred books of the Old Testament have been received from the Hebrew Church of that Testament by the Christian Church of the New. Rom. iii. 2.

33. How do St. Cyril and St. Athanasius enumerate the books of the Old Testament?

As follows: 1, The book of Genesis; 2, Exodus; 3, Leviticus; 4, the book of Numbers; 5, Deuteronomy; 6, the book of Jesus the son of Nun; 7, the book of Judges, and with it, as an appendix, the book of Ruth; 8, the first and second books of Kings, as two parts of one book; 9, the third and fourth books of Kings; 10, the first and second books of Paralipomena; 11, the first book of Esdras, and the second, or, as it is entitled in Greek, the book of Nehemiah; 12, the book of Esther; 13, the book of Job; 14, the Psalms; 15, the Proverbs of Solomon; 16, Ecclesiastes, also by Solomon; 17, the Song of Songs, also by Solomon; 18, the book of the Prophet Isaiah; 19, of Jeremiah; 20, of Ezekiel; 21, of Daniel; 22, of the Twelve Prophets.

34. Why is there no notice taken in this enumeration of the books of the Old Testament of the book of the Wisdom of the son of Sirach, and of certain others?

Because they do not exist in the Hebrew.

35. How are we to regard these last-named books?

Athanasius the Great says that they have been appointed of the Fathers to be read by proselytes who are preparing for admission into the Church.

-- The Longer Catechism of the Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church
Some quotes regarding the Jewish Letters thing...

"There are, then, of the Old Testament, twenty-two books in number; for, as I have heard, it is handed down that this is the number of the letters among the Hebrews" (St. Athanasius of Alexandria, Letter 39.4)

"I count therefore, twenty-two of the ancient books, corresponding to the number of the Hebrew letters." (St. Gregory the Theologian, PG 37:471-474)

"These are the twenty-seven books given the Jews by God. They are counted as twenty-two, however, like the letters of their Hebrew alphabet, because ten books which (Jews) reckon as five are double." (St. Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion 8.6)

"That the Hebrews have twenty-two letters is testified also by the Syrian and Chaldaaen languages, which for the most part correspond to the Hebrew; for they have twenty-two elementary sounds which are pronounced the same way, but are differently written... Whence it happens that, by most people, five of the books are reckoned as double, viz., Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and Jeremiah with Kinoth, i.e., his Lamentations. As, then, there are twenty-two elementary characters by means of which we write in Hebrew all we say, and the human voice is comprehended within their limits, so we reckon twenty-two books, by which, as by the alphabet of the doctrine of God, a righteous man is instructed in tender infancy, and, as it were, while still at the breast." (St. Jerome, Prologue to the Books of the Kings)

"Observe, further, that there are two and twenty books of the Old Testament, one for each letter of the Hebrew tongue. For there are twenty-two letters of which five are double, and so they come to be twenty-seven. For the letters Caph, Mere, Nun, Pe, Sade are double. And thus the number of the books in this way is twenty-two, but is found to be twenty-seven because of the double character of five." (St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 4.17)

"The reason for reckoning twenty-two books of the Old Testament is that this corresponds with the number of the [Hebrew] letters. They are counted thus according to old tradition... To this some add Tobit and Judith to make twenty-four books, according to the number of the Greek letters, which is the language used among Hebrews and Greeks gathered in Rome." (St. Hilary of Poitiers, Exposition of the Psalms 15)

"It should be stated that the canonical books, as the Hebrews have handed them down, are twenty-two, corresponding with the number of their letters." (Origen, in: Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.25)
 

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This was the prevailing view in the Greek Church in the first millennium.
Asteriktos,

Isn't there an Ecumenical Council like Trullo that somewhere at least briefly accepted these OC Deuterocanical books? For example, maybe the Council accepted a list of books approved at a local Council, which in turn enumerated OT books that included Deuterocanonical ones. Or maybe a local council of the Russian Church, like the 17th century one in Moscow accepted a list of books that included them.
 

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I don't know about all of the possibilities, but I do know that various authorities have established different Bible canons, and that what we have to go on from Trullo (canon 2) and later just continues that trend, since the individual canons of Fathers/Councils it accepts don't match up. For example Trullo accepts the canon of St. Gregory the Theologian (actually a poem) that in outlining the Bible canon excludes Tobit, Judith, etc. and also Revelation from the NT; but Trullo also accepts the Council of Carthage which accepts those same books as part of the canon. I don't mean to imply that everything is up in the air of course.
 

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Trullo accepts the canon of St. Gregory the Theologian (actually a poem) that in outlining the Bible canon excludes Tobit, Judith, etc. and also Revelation from the NT

Trullo also accepts the Council of Carthage which accepts those same books as part of the canon.
Good information here.
 

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I don't know about all of the possibilities, but I do know that various authorities have established different Bible canons, and that what we have to go on from Trullo (canon 2) and later just continues that trend, since the individual canons of Fathers/Councils it accepts don't match up. For example Trullo accepts the canon of St. Gregory the Theologian (actually a poem) that in outlining the Bible canon excludes Tobit, Judith, etc. and also Revelation from the NT; but Trullo also accepts the Council of Carthage which accepts those same books as part of the canon. I don't mean to imply that everything is up in the air of course.
I think this needs sorting out. I guess it was Trullo then that was the Ecumenical Council that I heard accepted the Council of Carthage's list, and thus the Wisdom of Solomon.

If Trullo accepts Gregory's poem's canon that INCLUDES the 22 Hebrew books but excludes Revelation and Wisdom of Solomon, then we might theorize that Trullo is accepting the 22 Hebrew books but not NECESSARILY EXCLUDING Revelation and Wisdom of Solomon. That would be the result of reading Trullo INCLUSIVELY.

To give an analogy, if Bob accepts 5 books and Carl accepts a different 5 books, and I accept BOTH Bob's and Carl's lists, then the implication would be that I am accepting all 10 books, from both their lists.

That is, Trullo could be accepting both CANONS (Carthage's and St. Gregory's) without EXCLUDING the books that those canon lists exclude.
 

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That makes sense, that there are outer limits to the canon, that you are free to accept the wider list, but you aren't obligated to accepting the narrower list. That seems to be what happens. As some old calendarist bishops wrote:

"Suffice it to say that this principle (the marriage of practice and authority...) accounts for the fact that, today (as was so vividly apparent at the unfortunate Pan-Orthodox Synod of Rhodes in 1961), Greek theological thinkers fully accept the Apocrypha, while some contemporary Russian theologians express reservations about them. Yet the unity of the two Churches prevails. It is not that two attitudes prevail in one Church, but that the two attitudes define and constitute the position of the One Church."

-- Archbp. Chrysostomos and Bp. Auxentios, Scripture and Tradition, (Center For Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1999), pp. 21-22
 

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That makes sense, that there are outer limits to the canon, that you are free to accept the wider list, but you aren't obligated to accepting the narrower list.
I am guessing that the Russian Church has a Local Council like the 1666 one (maybe they could have postponed it a year, LOL?) that lists canonical books, and that this list would apply within the Russian Church and the OCA, unless an Ecumenical Council excluded some of those books.

I would also want to look at the wording in Trullo on accepting Gregory's and Carthage's canons, and also on what language Gregory uses to exclude Revelation and other books.

IMO sometimes canons in Councils are read incorrectly. It's getting off topic, but I can think of at least three examples at the moment. One example is that it's been often said that one of the Ecumenical Councils endorses the Canons of the Holy Apostles and subscribes to them. And this in turn has created at least one debate in Orthodoxy related to those Apostolic Canons. However, on my own check in the Ecumenical Council cited, it looks to me like that Ecumenical Council is not actually subscribing to all those Canons of the Apostles per se.
 
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I am guessing that the Russian Church has a Local Council like the 1666 one (maybe they could have postponed it a year, LOL?) that lists canonical books, and that this list would apply within the Russian Church and the OCA, unless an Ecumenical Council excluded some of those books.
I mean, "... unless an Ecumenical Council excluded some of those books as being heretical or somehow definitively noncanonical", as opposed to just not including them.
 

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Wikipedia has Esther's actvities preceding Ezra's. It says that the Persian king in Esther's story was Xerxes I, who ruled from 486 to 465 BC, whereas Ezra was active especially in 480–440 BC. Wikipedia's article on Ezra says that
Ezra was living in Babylon when in the seventh year of Artaxerxes I, king of Persia (c. 457 BCE), the king sent him to Jerusalem to teach the laws of God to any who did not know them. Ezra led a large body of exiles back to Jerusalem, where he discovered that Jewish men had been marrying non-Jewish women.
So I should have listed Esther before Ezra.
 

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Here are audio books in Russian of the Wisdom of Solomon that I listened to:


Here are commentaries on the Wisdom of Solomon in Russian that I heard:
  • Wisdom of Solomon, 19 chapter series by Fr. Alexander Satomsky
  • Wisdom of Solomon, 19 chapter series by Igumen Luke (Stepanov)
  • Conversation on the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon by Fr. Artemy Vladimirov. This is a 3 part series of sermons covering Chapters 1-2 and 7 and delivered during Great Lent in 2014. The sermon on Chapter 1 is below, and the other 2 conversations are on Youtube.
A few minutes into his lecture, Fr. Alexander Satomsky comments that the pre-Christian Jewish sages Hillel and Shammai agreed with eachother that it would have been better not to have been born than to have the choice between good and evil. I am not sure that this is correct according to Christian theology, because of the value of life in Christianity, as well as the fact that merely having the choice between the two does not necessarily mean that the person chose evil. Conceivably a person could either have a very short life and make only a few choices and they could all be good ones. Or a person could have a longer life and make some evil choices, but through some process like the Atonement, the person's sins could be forgiven and cleansed.

Chapter 16 of the Wisdom of Solomon discusses God's treatment of the Israelites and their adversaries during the Exodus period before the Israelites entered the Promised Land.
15. But it is not possible to escape thine hand.
16. For the ungodly, that denied to know thee, were scourged by the strength of thine arm: with strange rains, hails, and showers, were they persecuted, that they could not avoid, and through fire were they consumed.
17. For, which is most to be wondered at, the fire had more force in the water, that quencheth all things: for the world fighteth for the righteous.
18. For sometime the flame was mitigated, that it might not burn up the beasts that were sent against the ungodly; but themselves might see and perceive that they were persecuted with the judgment of God.
19. And at another time it burneth even in the midst of water above the power of fire, that it might destroy the fruits of an unjust land.
20. Instead whereof thou feddest thine own people with angels' food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared without their labour, able to content every man's delight, and agreeing to every taste.
21. For thy sustenance declared thy sweetness unto thy children, and serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking.
22. But snow and ice endured the fire, and melted not, that they might know that fire burning in the hail, and sparkling in the rain, did destroy the fruits of the enemies.
I remember one of the Orthodox audio commentaries that I've posted saying that this is a later story outside of the Bible regarding the Exodus events. Fr. Alexander Satomsky on the other hand comments that the Wisdom of Solomon's remarks here, particularly about the fire during the Exodus, are "idealizing the Torah events."
 

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I do know that various authorities have established different Bible canons, and that what we have to go on from Trullo (canon 2) and later just continues that trend, since the individual canons of Fathers/Councils it accepts don't match up. For example Trullo accepts the canon of St. Gregory the Theologian (actually a poem) that in outlining the Bible canon excludes Tobit, Judith, etc. and also Revelation from the NT; but Trullo also accepts the Council of Carthage which accepts those same books as part of the canon.
Canon 2 of Trullo/ the Quintsext Council says:
But we set our seal likewise upon all the other holy canons set forth by our holy and blessed Fathers ...
In like manner those of Sardica, and those of Carthage...
Likewise too the Canons [i.e. the decretal letters] of ... Gregory Theologus
I take it that setting their seal on Gregory's canons means that the Council is endorsing them, but it's not specifying how to construe or to interpret them.

In his decretal letter, St Gregory writes:
So that you may not be led astray by strange books, for many malignant writings have been disseminated, receive o friend, my reputable number (of the books) of Holy Scripture. The historicaI books are twelve in number by the Hebrew count, all belonging to the ancient Hebrew wisdom (of the OId Testament). First comes Genesis; then Exodus...
[He lists more books, but not the Deuterocanon, nor John's Apocalypse]
If there is any besides these, do not repute it to belong to the genuine.
In "THE CANONS OF THE CHURCH CONCERNING THE CANON OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURE," PANAGIOTIS BOUM argues that St Gregory's letter should be read flexibly. He notes that St Gregory is talking about what is his own "reputable" count, because St. Gregory uses the word "my." He argues that this is not meant as an official canon. He notes that in St Gregory's speech to an assembly elsewhere, St Gregory did consider St John's Apocalypse to be genuine. Boumis concludes that this meant that people at the time were not reputing John's Apocalypse to be among the list of genuine books, but that this did not mean that St Gregory did not consider John's Apocalypse to be genuine.

Boumis writes:
Gregory the Theologian himself, in his assembly speech before the 150 bishops, obviously refers to it (the Apocalypse or Revelation)67 saying: 'for I am convinced that other (Angels) are leaders of other Churches, as John teaches me through the Apocalypse.
So Boumis does not read St Gregory's list as meant exclusively or exhaustively. That is, when St Gregory says not to number other books as part of the genuine, he is not saying that they should necessarily be numbered as counterfeit. Boumis writes about St. Gregory's list
that in other words, it informs us that certain other books are simply not numbered (by Gregory the Theologian or by some other "at that time") among the divinely inspired books and that he does not make a definite pronouncement as to their not being divinely inspired."
(P. Boumis, The Canon of the Holy Scripture, Page 583-588, http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/press/theologia/material/2007_2_5_Boumis.pdf )

I am not sure yet what to make of Boumis' interpretation of St Gregory's canon. He is bringing up an important point though that St Gregory considered John's Apocalypse to be genuine, and that this implies that St Gregory's list wasn't necessarily discounting other books outside his list as not genuine. He is making a good point too that St. Gregory is talking about the books that are "reputed", and doesn't specifically say that his list is an exhaustive authoritative canon as we use the word canon in the sense that it has today.
Because he does not include the same number of books as the canons mentioned above (and at t11e same time by saying that ''you have them [the books] all; if any be excluded, it is not among the genuine" he gives the impression that he is closing the Canon of Holy Scripture), he appears to be contradicting the above-mentioned canons. This apparent contradiction disappears, however, because Gregory does not, in reality, c!ose the Canon of Holy Scripture. If we pay careful attention, we will ascertain that he is careful to avoid saying that "if any be excluded, it is not genuine, but spurious" but rather he says, "j t is not among the genuine". In other words, he says that it is not (now) among the genuine-divinely inspired books, but this does not mean that it is not genuine and that it cannot be include by others, or elsewhere, or in the future.
So the Quintsext Council is saying that it endorses St Gregory's canon, ie. his decretal letter, and this letter lists a number of books to be "reputed" as genuine, but the decretal letter was not saying that it was making a formal list.

To put it more briefly, Trullo was explicitly endorsing his letter that gave an unofficial list of reputable genuine Bible books.

And Trullo's same canon endorsed Carthage's canons, which Carthage intended to create an official list of OT and NT books that included the Deuterocanon.
 

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Orthodox Encyclopedia in Russian says that these books are "noncanonical" in the sense that they are not in the Jewish canon. (https://www.pravenc.ru/text/Канон библейский.html) Russian Wikipedia says that this term is used more often than Deuterocanon in the Eastern Orthodox Church, but that this term has a problem because some of these books are read in the Orthodox liturgy. "Canon" as a term is related to the meaning of what books are read in Church, so it's not true necessarily that the books are noncanonical in that sense at least.
 

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Besides the Deuterocanon, there are some other books that were included in Bibles, but which have been rejected from the EO Bible's canon, such as:
- 1 Enoch (in the Ethiopian Bible)
- 4 Esdras ("3 Esdras" in Slavonic Bibles)
- 4 Maccabbees
- The Epistle to the Laodiceans (in the Vulgate)
- 3 Corinthians
- Barnabas
- 1 Clement
- The Shepherd of Hermas

- The Ascension of Moses is cited by Jude in the NT as if it were authoritative.

The Ethiopians also have a "wider" Biblical canon including 1 Clement and the Apocalypse of Peter.

I recall the Book of Jubilees being held in esteem, but don't remember the details.

Are there any other books that come to mind that were included in Christian Bibles but aren't today?
 

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To the above list of noncanonical books, I want to add the Psalms of Solomon, which show up in some Biblical Manuscripts, along with Alfred Ralphs' Critical Edition of the Septuagint (1935/1979).
 

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I think that Ignatius' Epistles might have been in some early Bible codexes.
 

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I heard the following talks and commentaries on the Book of Tobit:

  • "The Book of Tobit - Comedy in the Tragedy," by Fr. Muir, Catholic Breakfast
    • "The Book of Tobit - Seeing the New Testament in the Old," by Fr. Muir
  • "Tobit: Eat, Drink, and be Married" by Catholic Way Bible Study, Apr 21, 2012
    • "Tobit: Marriage of Tobit", by Catholic Way Bible Study
  • "Caesar and God/Book of Tobit: Homily by Fr Andy on 6/1/21", part of a series of homilies on Tobit on the Facebook page of St. Mary Church Plano IL
    • "Mass June 2, 2021: Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time"
    • Tobit and the Way to Fight for Marriage: by Fr Andy on 6/3/21,
    • "Tobit Happy Ending: by Fr Andy on 6/4/21",
  • "The Book of Tobit in the Old Testament. Bible Study from an Eastern Orthodox Christian perspective." by Christine Kerxhalli, MTh, DMin
  • "The Book of Tobit: God's bigger perspective!" by Fr. Bob Gross (Catholic)
  • "A Verse for the Day with Fr. Jerome Ituah," Tobit 3:1; 8:4, 11:11, 12:12
  • "Day 192: The Prophet Isaiah — The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)", Days 192-197 cover the Book of Tobit
  • "How to See God in Everything, Every Day (and How to Respond)" by Fr. Mike Schmitz
  • "Suicide and the Book of Tobit," by Fr. Josiah Trenham, Patristic Nectar Films (E. Orthodox presentation)
  • "Does the book of Tobit condone witchcraft?" by Faith Wisdom (Catholic channel)
  • "Who was the archangel Raphael? Summary of the Book of Tobit. ቅዱስ ሩፋኤል ማን ነው? በኢንግሊዝኛ" by Gabriel Tezera (Ethiopian Orthodox)
  • Tobit, summary by Bibledex, University of Nottingham,
  • "Ask Jeff Cavins | Did Tobit really exist? | July 15, 2021"
  • "Catholic Introduction to the Old Testament: Tobit" by Fr. Larry Young
  • "The Book of Tobit - Uncovering the Deuterocanonical Books" by Pre-Servants Ministry, Coptic Orthodox Church
  • Tobit, 3 Session series by Joan Watson, Diocese of Nashville
  • "St. Raphael - Healed Tobit and Sarah," by Casey, God Nod (Catholic presentation)
  • "Tobit - Introduction to the Bible (V-30-4)" by Fr. Al Lauer
  • "The Dangers of Smoking: A Talk Given By An Orthodox Christian Lecturer (From Homilies on Tobit)" by Kostas Zalalas
  • "The Story of Tobit and Jonah | Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI"
  • "Story of Tobit," Father Al's Fragments (Catholic presentation), 2 part series
  • Introduction and 5 part series on Tobit, by Keri Allen, Proclaim My Word, (Catholic presentation) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrbQZ8p81aGjXMKqBFSBmzg

The last one on the list, the Proclaim My Word series, reminds me of a Charismatic Catholic presentation at times. The presenter mentioned a time that she was at a Praise and Worship meeting, and at least twice in her series she quotes "messages" that she claims that she got from God. I take it that she gets statements in her head without her consciously thinking out the thoughts, and then she perceives them as coming from an external source, particularly God.

The content of the supposed messages is fine, like thanking God or not worrying. But the problem from the standard EO perspective is the danger of Fancy or "Prelest" (the Russian term), wherein the person fancies that she is getting messages from God that in fact she might not be. The EO Church accepts that a person could theoretically get messages from God, like in the OT story wherein Samuel heard God calling his name. But in Orthodox practice, we don't typically have random individuals announcing to a n educational group matter-of-factly that God told her some specific statements. With the Charismatic movement on the other hand, it seems to be one of the occasional phenomena and expressions that Charismatics make.
 

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I have trouble confirming whether the Georgian Orthodox Church considers 4 Maccabees "canonical." For example, one discussion page in Russian Wikipedia had people asserting that there are not different canons for different EO Churches, and that there is only one single canon for the EO Churches (https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Обсуждение:Библейский_канон)

This implies that since the EO Churches with the exception of supposedly the Georgian Church consider 4 Maccabees noncanonical, then the Georgian Church probably actually considers 4 Maccabees noncanonical as well.
 

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Below are recordings of readings of Tobit:
 

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The Catholic composer made an Opera called The Return of Tobias, depicting Tobias' return with Raphael and Tobias' new wife when Tobias came back home to Tobit.

You can read an introduction and the text of Haydn's opera in Italian and translation of the text into English here:

Some more information on the opera is here:

It has two "Parts" that you can hear streamed on Amazon with the title "Il ritorno di Tobia (The Return of Tobias), Hob.XXI:1". In my searches on Amazon, I usually get the Amazon entries in the form of clips that are just a few minutes long from different parts of the opera. Then when I click to Listen to the streaming, a page comes up with apparently all the Amazon clips listed one after the other into a single convenient playlist. But for some reason although I recall the opera being described as lasting about 2 hours 40 minutes for Amazon, the total length of the clips on Amazon seems to come out to under 2 hours.
Il ritorno di Tobia (The Return of Tobias), Hob.XXI:1: Part I: Recitative: Ne comparisce, o Dio! (Anna, Tobit) by Roberta Invernizzi on Amazon Music - Amazon.com
Il ritorno di Tobia (The Return of Tobias), Hob.XXI:1: Part II: Recitative: Qui di morir si parla (Sara, Anna, Tobia, Tobit, Raffaelle) by Roberta Invernizzi on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

Here you can hear Haydn's opera performed by a different orchestra and musical group on Youtube, and it lasts 2 hours 25 minutes here:
 

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Here are some more videos and talks on Tobit:
 

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In the Gospel Minute Live series listed above, the reading beginning with Chapter 11 starts at 7 minutes into a video titled "Jesus Enters Jerusalem ," streamed live on Apr 12, 2020. It didn't show up in the list of "Tobit" videos when you do a search in the Gospel Minute Live's videos in Youtube for "Tobit." The last video that covers Tobit is titled "Holy Monday."
 

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St. Mark's Coptic Church's talks that come up with a search for "Tobit" are the following Playlist:
In addition to them, a clip comes up called "Transcendent Worship - 'Holistic Living' Part 4".

St. George's clips that come up are part of a series called the "Religious Education Initiative," below:
  • Y1W41D1 REI OT Tobit 1:1-22 Introduction to Tobit
  • Y1W42D1 REI OT Tobit 2:1 - 3:17 Tobit Becomes Blind, Sarah Is in Despair
  • Y1W43D1 REI OT Tobit 4:1-21 Tobit Gives Advice to His Son
  • Y1W44D1 REI OT Tobit 5:1-23 Raphael Comes to Help
  • Y1W45D1 REI OT Tobit 6:1-19 Tobias Catches a Fish
  • Y1W46D1 REI OT Tobit 7:1 - 8:21 Tobias and Sarah Get Married
  • Y1W47D1 REI OT Tobit 11:1-19; 12:1-22 Tobit is Healed, Raphael Reveals Himsef
  • Y1W48D1 REI OT Tobit 13:1-18 Tobit's Prayer
  • Y2W5D3 REI NT Mark 1:16-34 Jesus Calls Disciples, Casts Out Demons, Heals the Sick
  • Y1W43D2 REI CT Ignatius to Ephesians 3 Warning Against False Teachers
  • Y2W5D2 REI CT St Basil on Why the Devil is Evil
In the list about the series jumps between Tobit 8 in Y1W46D1 to Tobit 11 in Y1W47D1. That is, the talks from Week 46 and Week 47 don't have Tobit's Chapters 9 to 10 in their titles. Here is the REI playlist:
Conceivably, the missing chapters could be in
  • Y1W46D2 REI CT Ignatius to Ephesians 6 Fight Evil with Eucharist
  • Y1W46D3 REI NT Luke 18:1-17 Persistent Widow, Tax Collector and Pharisee, Be Like Little Children
Fr. Maciej has 4 talks:
  • The book of Tobit 1. Faithfulness
  • The book of Tobit 2. Blindness
  • The book of Tobit 3. Prayers
  • The book of Tobit 4. Prayer. Fast. Alms
 

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Video and audioclips of the Book of Tobit read in Russian:
 

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It sounds like Judith would come before Epistle of Jeremiah and the Book of Baruch, because Judith was defending Judah from Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled in 605 BC – 562 BC. Further, Jeremiah's Epistle and Baruch were written during the Babylonian exile.

The Book of Judith seems to parallel events happening during the time of Manasseh, like how the High Priest was ruling in Judah at the time when Manasseh (coregency 697–687 BC, sole reign 687–643 BC ) was in captivity in Assyria. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Judith#Plot_summary)

The Prayer of Manasseh in the Bible could have happened during the period of his detention, when he repented.

There were three deportations by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, dated to 597 BCE, 587/586 BCE, and 582/581 BC.
 

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I saw "Lecture 16: From Persia to Alexander the Macedonian" by the Sretensky Spiritual Seminary:

25 minutes in, the speaker has a screen saying about the Wisdom of Solomon:
  • The Book is noncanonical, because one may meet incorrect assertions in it.
  • The book is inexact in its lay out of historical events.
The speaker says:
The differentiating line of noncanonical [vs. canonical] books is that they are not God-inspired. ... Noncanonical books are not God-inspired. .... The defining line of noncanonical [vs. sectarian, apocryphal books) books is that they are used for divine services. Apocryphal .... books never were used for divine services. ... What is more serious is that in this book are some "noncorrect" assertions. For example.... something mentioned in some philosophical teaching of the emanation of the pure outpouring of the glory of the Pantocrator/Vsederzhitel. It's a very unsuccesful, inexact expression. ...

But however strange, another interesting fact, abstracting about this book, one must say that the teaching about the creation of the world from nothing (ex-nihilio) is also mentioned in another noncanonical book, the Second Book of Maccabees.
So he is not directly saying that the teaching of the world being created from nothing is a heresy, but rather he seems to be putting this teaching into doubt.
 

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At 31:00 in the lecture The Books of Enoch and Tobit, or the Other Religion of the Jews,
(Книги Еноха и Товита, или другая религия евреев), Igor Tribelsky, a tour guide for Holy Sites in the Holy Land, theorizes that a Jewish sect, likely the Essenes, wrote the Books of Enoch and Tobit. He considers the book of Tobit to be reflecting an ideology against eating meat, like when it says that Tobit brought fur from sheep as his Temple sacrifice, whereas the Torah orders bringing animals for sacrifice.


youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D2bevK_h3AeM

The speaker is talking about Tobit 1:6. Here is the KJV:
6. But I alone went often to Jerusalem at the feasts, as it was ordained unto all the people of Israel by an everlasting decree, having the firstfruits and tenths of increase, with that which was first shorn; and them gave I at the altar to the priests the children of Aaron.
7. The first tenth part of all increase I gave to the sons of Aaron, who ministered at Jerusalem: another tenth part I sold away, and went, and spent it every year at Jerusalem:
8. And the third I gave unto them to whom it was meet, as Debora my father's mother had commanded me, because I was left an orphan by my father.
This doesnt specify to me whether it is referring to only sacrificing fur.

The NRSVCE says in v. 6:
I would hurry off to Jerusalem with the first fruits of the crops and the firstlings of the flock, the tithes of the cattle, and the first shearings of the sheep.

The Russian synodal translation does make it sound like it was a nonmeat sacrifice, because it uses the term "increase of the land (land is italicized, ie. an implied term) and firsts of the shearing of sheep" where the KJV refers to the tenths of increase and that which was shorn:
Я же один часто ходил в Иерусалим на праздники, как предписано всему Израилю установлением вечным, с начатками и десятинами произведений земли и начатками шерсти овец,

Here is the Greek text:
κἀγὼ μόνος ἐπορευόμην πλεονάκις εἰς ιεροσόλυμα ἐν ταῖς ἑορταῖς καθὼς γέγραπται παντὶ τῷ ισραηλ ἐν προστάγματι αἰωνίῳ τὰς ἀπαρχὰς καὶ τὰς δεκάτας τῶν γενημάτων καὶ τὰς πρωτοκουρίας ἔχων

I can't read Greek, but based on an interlinear translation, the KJV looks best:
 

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It looks to me that the Georgian Church probably considers 4 Maccabees to be totally noncanonical and outside of the Deuterocanon. Since the Ecumenical Councils are the highest authority for EOs (including for the Georgian Church) and exclude 4 Maccabees, then it would be confusing how the Georgian Church could canonically impose 4 Maccabees as an officially canonical Biblical book. I guess that sometimes EOs could make decisions conflicting with the Ecumenical Councils, but typically these decisions seem more context-specific and deal with practical issues, rather than something that seems as doctrinal as Biblical books.

Then there is also the fact that Georgian Church Bibles are marking 3/4 Esdras, 4 Maccabees, and the Deuterocanon with an asterisk as "noncanonical." (orthodoxy.ge/tserili/biblia/sarchevi.htm) I am aware that this printed Bible designation footnote does not really "prove" per se whether 4 Maccabees are in the canon, as opposed to it just being a murky issue like the Deuterocanon's status is in the Russian Church. But it seems that if there was an affirmative Georgian Church decision or history positively and authoritatively identifying 4 Maccabees as "canon", then it seems more likely that those "noncanonical" asterisk marks wouldn't be in Georgian Bibles. And absent any authoritative decision or Tradition in the Georgian Church, then it's status would be the same as in the Russian Church, in which 4 Maccabees is clearly not canonical and outside the Deuterocanon.
 

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This Russian article byby Prof. P.Yungerov has a detailed history in the 6th to 16th centuries of how the Eastern Church followed their teaching of limiting their OT canon list to match the rabbis', including in Eastern commentaries on Trullo's 2nd canon on the topic. Trullo met in 691, whereas St. John Damascene commented on this topic only about 63 years later, giving the same OT Bible canon list, although he did include the LXX Additions to Daniel (There are three known additions to what is in the rabbinical and Protestant version of Daniel) as canon. However, the pre-schism and pre-Trent Western and RC Church, going back to St Augustine, tended to accept the Deuterocanon, although he gives notable counterexamples, like a major RC figure connected to the Council of Florence.


A brief search of OCA references to the topic seem to consider the Deuterocanon as canonical, but some OCA sources (eg. a Q and A by Fr. Arida on the Boston OCA Cathedral website) do not. My guess is that the Orthodox Study Bible accepts the Deuterocanon as canon, but I would need to check.

My impression is that the Russian tradition in general and currently follows the eastern tradition, whereas the Greek Tradition, including the JP, accepts the Deuterocanon as canon, as with the Council of Dositheus.

Personally, my interpretation of Trullo is that it implies that the Deuterocanon is canon, for the reason that I gave earlier in the thread.
 

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These Slavonic prayers about Rafael the Archangel came to my attention, since he is a key character in Tobit's story:
  • Prayer to the Archangel Rafael, Ukrainian language
  • Prayer to the Archangel Rafael, by Dcn. Georgy Novikov,
  • The Prayer to the Archangel Rafael, healing from sickness
  • Prayer to the Archangel Rafael, by Svetlana D'Arc
  • On recovery. The Akathist to Archangel Rafael, the healer of ailments
    youtube.com/watch?v=rLUOgvTkKVo
  • Prayers on Wednesday - The Prayer to Archangel Rafael
  • Prayer to the Holy Archangel Rafael, the healer of human ailments
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqzfKRF3wcw&ab_channel=sss777v
Mariya Yudina, "The Book of Tobit", a Biblical story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5T5HGCW9Yc). This is a Russian documentary about a Russian composer, Maria Yudina, who composed music on the theme of Tobit's story. It gives a spiritual telling of her biography. She considered herself, like Tobias, to have an angel accompanying her, but one that was invisible.

Here is a reading of Tobit in Russian by "Orthodox Chapel":

Here are Russian commentaries on Tobit that I heard:
Here is an amateur drama play of Tobit's story uploaded by F. Lyapunov:

Daniel Nistar apparently is a Torah-observant Messianic/Jewish Christian who doesn't consider Jesus to be from a Virgin birth and he occasionally makes brief assertions about reincarnation, but otherwise his comments on Tobit's book seems to be insightful when he gives references from other Jewish writings:

In "Biblical Pictures, Picture 29- 1 Esdras and Tobit," the Russian narrator is some kind of disbeliever who takes a cynical view of Tobit's story, but his cynicism doesn't amount to much, in my view. The narrator seems to couch these two Biblical books in terms of them discussing exiled Israelites as finding their way into positions of power in gentile society. But the book of Tobit really hardly does this at all, since it doesn't explain how exactly Tobit at some point became an imperial official. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ0_fKjeqcY)
 
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