St. Athanasius position on the Deuterocanon?

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
I found recently that in one of St. Athanasius' letters he listed the books which he believed to be Canon, and at the end said "....there are other books besides these not indeed included in the Canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of godliness. The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Sirach, and Esther, and Judith, and Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd."   link -->

I was just wondering how it came to be that the Coptic church (and most Orthodox and Catholic churches) accept the above books (minus Teaching of the Apostles and the Shepherd) as part of the canon, when Pope Anthanasius' stance was that they were "not indeed included in the Canon". 

Also, what about the Teachings of the Apostles and the Shepherd? What happened to these books?

Thanks in advance 


  • Welcome to the forums AvaPavly.

    I will prepare a full answer about the deutrocanonical books a little later.

    The Teaching of the Apostles is the Didache. It can be found online here. The Shepherd, also called the Shepherd of Hermas, can be found here

    Keep in mind, there are many original versions of both books. There is even a Coptic version of both. Also keep in mind that most commentaries and translation of these books are from Protestant sources. So it requires caution. 
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