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310 The Egyptian Contribution to Christianity
Alexandria in the whole book and that is tantalizingly vague.
From Acts xviii. 24 we learn that the Apollos who 'watered' what
Paul had 'planted' in Corinth was an Alexandrian by birth.
Was it in Alexandria that he had learned that imperfect version
of the faith which Priscilla and Aquila taught him to amend ?
An editorial addition in the inferior Western' text of Acts
states categorically that this was so. The text of the best manu-
scripts, however, has nothing to tell us on this point one way
or the other. The only other reference to contemporary Egypt
in the New Testament is the story at the beginning of St.
Matthew's Gospel which records the flight of the Holy Family
into Egypt. It is a story which appears merely to authenticate
a prophecy and it is not represented as having historical con-
Later Church tradition, represented by Eusebius, recorded
that the evangelist St. Mark was the founder of the Alexandrine
Church, and this came to be generally accepted; but the tradi-
tion is unknown to Clement and to Origen, and so late as the
second half of the third century Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria,
can record the history of John Mark without a hint that he
had been concerned, or that he was believed to have been con-
cerned, in the foundation of his see.1 Now it is recorded of
Mark by Papias and by other Church writers who followed him
that he was the interpreter of Peter, and it may be that the
tradition of Mark's connexion with Alexandria reflects the close
association which existed in later times between the Church of
Alexandria and the Church of Rome. Whatever value the
tradition may have in other respects, it cannot be trusted as a
guide to the origins of Alexandrine Christianity. What the real
origins were is quite obscure.
Various early Christian writings have been ascribed to Alex-
andria or Egypt—the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of
Barnabas, the so-called second Epistle of Clement of Rome, the
1 Eus. H.E. vii. 25.