"Alle Weissheit ist bey Gott dem Herren..." (modern spelling: Alle Weisheit ist bei Gott dem Herrn
) (Sirach, first chapter, German translation), anonymous artist 1654
Sirach is accepted as part of the Christian biblical canons by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and most of Oriental Orthodox. The Anglican Church does not accept Sirach as protocanonical, and says it should be read only "for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth not apply them to establish any doctrine." Similarly, the Lutheran Churches do not include it in their lectionaries but as a book proper for reading, devotion, and prayer. It was cited in some writings in early Christianity. There are claims that it is cited in the Epistle of James, and also the non-canonical Didache (iv. 5) and Epistle of Barnabas (xix. 9). Clement of Alexandria and Origen quote from it repeatedly, as from a γραφή, or holy book. The Catalogue of Cheltenham, Pope Damasus I, the Councils of Hippo (393) and Council of Carthage (397), Pope Innocent I, the second Council of Carthage (419), the Council of Florence (1442) and Augustine all regarded it as canonical, although Jerome, Rufinus of Aquileia and the Council of Laodicea ranked it instead as an ecclesiastical book. The Apostolic Canons (not recognized by the Catholic Church) stated as venerable and sacred the Wisdom of Sirach. Finally the Roman Catholic Church confirmed the previous councils and declared it to be canonical in 1546 during the fourth session of the Council of Trent.
Sirach is not part of the Jewish canon, once thought to have been established at the hypothetical Council of Jamnia, perhaps due to its late authorship, although it is not clear that the canon was completely "closed" at the time of Ben Sira. Others have suggested that Ben Sira's self-identification as the author precluded it from attaining canonical status, which was reserved for works that were attributed (or could be attributed) to the prophets, or that it was denied entry to the canon as a rabbinical counter-reaction to its embrace by the nascent Christian community.
Some Jews in the diaspora considered Sirach scripture. For instance, the Greek translation made by Ben Sira's grandson was included in the Septuagint, the 2nd-century BCE Greek version of the Jewish scriptures used by Diaspora Jews, through which it became part of the Greek canon. The multiplicity of manuscript fragments uncovered in the Cairo Genizah evidence its authoritative status among Egyptian Jewry until the Middle Ages.
Because it was excluded from the Jewish canon, Sirach was not counted as being canonical in Churches originating from the Reformation, although they retained the book in the Apocrypha.