Tobit 4:10


8 If you have many possessions, make your gift from them in proportion; if few, do not be afraid to give according to the little you have. 9 So you will be laying up a good treasure for yourself against the day of necessity. 10 For almsgiving delivers from death and keeps you from going into the Darkness. 11 Indeed, almsgiving, for all who practice it, is an excellent offering in the presence of the Most High. 12 "Beware, my son, of every kind of fornication. First of all, marry a woman from among the descendants of your ancestors; do not marry a foreign woman, who is not of your father's tribe; for we are the descendants of the prophets. Remember, my son, that Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our ancestors of old, all took wives from among their kindred. They were blessed in their children, and their posterity will inherit the land.

Cyprian Epistles 51


But I wonder that some are so obstinate as to think that repentance is not to be granted to the lapsed, or to suppose that pardon is to be denied to the penitent, when it is written, Remember whence you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works, which certainly is said to him who evidently has fallen, and whom the Lord exhorts to rise up again by his works, because it is written, Alms do deliver from death, and not, assuredly, from that death which once the blood of Christ extinguished, and from which the saving grace of baptism and of our Redeemer has delivered us, but from that which subsequently creeps in through sins. Moreover, in another place time is granted for repentance; and the Lord threatens him that does not repent: I have, says He, many things against you, because you suffer your wife Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols; and I gave her a space to repent, and she will not repent of her fornication.

 Notes and References

"... Cyprian of Carthage’s (bishop of Carthage 248/49–258 CE) use of Tobit is even broader; Gamberoni speaks of more than a dozen quotations in Cyprian’s oeuvre. Cyprian uses the book, alongside other scriptural passages as a scriptural fundus of arguments regarding the “benefits of good works and mercy.” Cyprian thus treats Tobit clearly as scripture. He even introduces it as scriptura divina in his treatise on the Lord’s prayer. Tobit, however, is not just a source for general aspects of Christian piety: Tobit 4:11 and its claim for mercy becomes an important argument in the discussion regarding the treatment of the so-called lapsi, that is Christians who negated their belief during the persecution under Emperor Decius (249–251 ce). Cyprian is also the first author who is interested in the figure of Tobit as an example of the righteous sufferer and patience. De Mortalitate (Mort. 10) and De Bono Patientiae (Ptient. 18) put Tobit, his justice and mercy, his suffering, and his final fate alongside the figure of Job. Even if he does not make extensive use of Tobit, Origen describes the book of Tobit (alongside Esther, Judith, and the Wisdom of Solomon) as being an appropriate text for beginners (Homily in Numbers 27:1) and understands it as part of the canon (Or. 14,4: ἐνδιάθηκος) while his Jewish partners in discussion do not acknowledge it. He uses the book, for example, in his discussion of proper prayer and for his teaching about angels. The later aspect plays also an important role in the apocryphal Testament of Solomon (fourth century), according to which Solomon castigates the demon Asmodaeus in a way which is heavily influenced by the book of Tobit ..."

Nicklas, Tobias "The Apocrypha in the History of Early Christianity" in Oegema, Gerbern S. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Apocrypha (pp. 52-73) Oxford University Press, 2021

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