The Greek Church Fathers also called it the “All-Virtuous Wisdom”, while the Latin Church Fathers, beginning with Cyprian, termed it Ecclesiasticus because it was frequently read in churches, leading the early Latin Fathers to call it liber ecclesiasticus (Latin and Latinised Greek for “church book”). Similarly, the Nova Vulgata and many modern English translations of the Apocrypha use the title Ecclesiasticus, literally “of the Church” because of its frequent use in Christian teaching and worship.
Considering the average length of two generations, Sirach’s date must fall in the first third of the 2nd century BCE. Furthermore, Sirach contains a eulogy of “Simon the High Priest, the son of Onias, who in his life repaired the House” (50:1). Festschrift M.Gilbert and other scholars[who?] posit that this seems to have formed the original ending of the text, and that Chapters 50 (from verse 2) and 51 are later interpolations. Under this theory, the second High Priest Simon (died 196 BCE) would have been intended, and the composition would have concluded shortly thereafter, given that struggles between Simon’s successors (175–172 BCE) are not alluded to in the book, nor is the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (168 BCE).
The Greek version of Sirach is found in many codices of the Septuagint.
As early as 1896, several substantial Hebrew texts of Sirach, copied in the 11th and 12th centuries, were found in the Cairo geniza (a synagogue storage room for damaged manuscripts). Although none of these manuscripts is complete, together they provide the text for about two-thirds of the Wisdom of Sirach. According to scholars including Solomon Schechter and Frederic Kenyon, this shows that the book was originally written in Hebrew.