Muratorian fragment

The Muratorian fragment is the earliest known example of a defined list of mostly New Testament books.  However, it is damaged and incomplete, but it is usually dated to the late 2nd century.  This Muratorian canon fragment has the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, along with 13 letters of Paul.  However, its condition makes it impossible to make any definitive statements.

The glory of God’s creation (Sir 42:21-42:25)

“The Lord has set in order

The splendors of his wisdom.

He is

From all eternity,

One and the same.

Nothing can be added.

Nothing can be taken away.

He needs no one

To be his counselor.

How desirable are all his works!

How sparkling they are to see!

All these things live!

They remain forever!

Each creature is preserved

To meet a particular need.

All are obedient.

All things come in pairs,

One opposite the other.

He has made nothing incomplete.

Each one supplements

The virtues of the other.

Who could ever tire

Of seeing his glory?”

Sirach points out that the Lord has set everything in its splendid place so that all things might show his wisdom and glorify him. God is from eternity, one and the same, unchanging. Nothing can be added or taken away from him so that he does not need a counselor to tell him what to do. All his works are splendid and desirable. Each created thing serves a particular need since they all obey him. Everything comes in pairs as opposites, much like in the Noah’s ark story in Genesis. Nothing is incomplete. There is nothing out of place in this well ordered universe. Each one supplements the virtues of the other. Who would ever get tired seeing this eternal glory of the Lord?