I recently read the following:
“The Roman Catholic Bible includes a group of writings called the Apocrypha. Josephus does not include the Apocrypha in his description of the canon of the Old Testament. Neither did the Christian church during the first four centuries of its life.” In fact, many church fathers, including Jerome, the great scholar and translator of the Latin Vulgate, spoke out against the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the Old Testament.” (Emphasis mine)
This is terribly overstated if not dead wrong.
Consider this from J.N.D. Kelly in Early Christian Doctrines:
“It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive than the twenty-two, or twenty-four, books of the Hebrew Bible of Palestinian Judaism. . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called Apocrypha, or deutero-canonical books. The reason for this is that the Old Testament which passed in the first instance into the hands of Christians was not the original Hebrew version, but the Greek translation known as the Septuagint. . . . In the first two centuries at any rate the Church seems to have accepted all, or most of, these additional books as inspired and to have treated them without question as Scripture. . . The use made of the Apocrypha by Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian and Clement of Alexandria is too frequent for detailed references to be necessary.” (53-54)
Kelly notes that it was “[t]owards the close of the second century, when as a result of controversy with the Jews it became known that they were now repudiating the deutero-canonical books, hesitations began to creep in. . .” (54)
Lee Martin McDonald concurs:
“. . . the biblical canon of the early Christian community was still in a fluid state during the time of Jesus’ ministry and later, when most of the canonical literature was produced.” (The Biblical Canon, 197)
“The Apostolic Fathers, the closest Christian writings to the time of the NT, quote, refer, or allude to 2 Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon, 2 Esdras, and 1 Enoch—but not to the canonical books of Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah, Lamentations, Obadiah, Micah, or Haggai.” He appends a footnote here stating, “Athanasius’s Thirty-ninth Festal Letter lists for the first time the twenty-seven books of our NT and also gives a larger OT canon than Protestants accept, i.e., he adds Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah. One wonders why Protestants generally ignore his OT canon but assume the validity of his NT canon!” (221n94)
Craig Allert writes,
“It is probable that the Christian church did not inherit a closed canon of Hebrew Scriptures. Further, given the fact that church fathers from the first to the fourth centuries cite noncanonical documents ‘as Scripture,’ we have ample reason to question the idea that this is a reference to the Old Testament canon—to Hebrew Scriptures, yes; to Old Testament canon, no.” (A High View of Scripture, 152)
As for Jerome, McDonald observes that “Jerome’s earlier preference for the Jewish biblical canon was a minority position in the church in his time that did not prevail until later in the Protestant OT canon.” (The Biblical Canon. Emphasis his. 221)
Just to be clear–all the writers I’ve quoted above are Protestant.