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Full text of "The Gospels as historical documents .."

THE GOSPELS 

AS 

HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS 



2Lont>on: C. J. CLAY AND SONS, 

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE, 
AVE MARIA LANE. 
50, WELLINGTON STREET. 




Iftpjtg: F. A. BROCKHAUS. 

eto gork: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 

Bombag anto Calcutta: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD. 



[All Rights reserved.} 



THE GOSPELS 

AS 

HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS 

PART I. 
THE EARLY USE OF THE GOSPELS 



BY 



VINCENT HENRY STANTON, D.D. 

FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, 
ELY PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE 



C ( o 

X 




\ 



CAMBRIDGE : 

AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS 
1903 



Cambridge : 

PRINTED BY J. AND C. F. CLAY, 
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. 



PREFACE. 

THE importance of the subject with which I attempt to 
deal in this work need not be insisted on. It will be 
recognised even when the rise of Christianity is viewed simply 
as one of the most momentous movements in the world's 
history. It will be felt still more deeply by all who consider 
that the Christian Faith, as held in all ages and to this day 
by the vast majority of Christians, is essentially faith in the 
fact of a revelation of God's character and purpose made in 
the historical person of Jesus Christ, and through events 
connected with him, for which the Gospels are the most 
explicit, and among the primary, witnesses. 

No one, who desires to treat the Gospel history in the 
light of modern critical studies, can avoid commencing with 
some appreciation of the Gospels as historical documents, so 
as at least to indicate his own attitude towards them, and the 
manner in which he intends to use them. And Lives of 
Christ written in the spirit and with the method of scientific 
history usually contain a preliminary disquisition of consider- 
able length on " the Sources," which is chiefly occupied with 
the date and authorship of the several Gospels, their simple 
or composite character, and historical value in whole or in 
part. Yet such questions can hardly be examined satis- 
factorily when they are not made the principal object of 
enquiry. Accordingly I have chosen the records themselves 
for the subject of the present work. But the bearing of our 
investigations upon the credibility of particular aspects and 



vi Preface 

portions of the Gospel narrative will at times be obvious. 
The purpose, also, throughout will clearly be to provide a 
surer basis for a conception of the history as a whole ; while 
the actual consideration of some of its problems will be found 
necessary to enable us to estimate the character of the 
documents. Although, therefore, many of our discussions 
must, I fear, be dry and complex, they will not be altogether 
unrelieved by vivid human interest. 

In Part I., contained in the present volume, I examine the 
traces of the use of the Gospels and the indications of the 
manner in which they were regarded, afforded by the remains 
of early Christian literature : in short, the dates and the trust- 
worthiness of the Gospels so far as these depend upon external 
evidence. It is my purpose to discuss in Part II. the history 
of the composition of the Synoptic Gospels, while Part III. 
will be devoted to the internal character of the Fourth Gospel, 
and to a comparison between it and the Synoptics. Part IV. 
will comprise topics which can most conveniently be con- 
sidered connectedly for all four Gospels. In particular an 
endeavour will there be made to employ two tests which may 
be applied to their narratives ; we shall seek (a) to ascertain 
the degree of accuracy by which their representations of 
Jewish life and thought for the period to which they refer are 
marked ; (b) to see how far the conception of the history of 
the rise of Christianity which can be formed from them agrees 
with that which is to be derived from other very early Christian 
writings, especially those contained in the New Testament. 

The different portions of this field of enquiry might be and 
often have been taken separately ; and it is a comfort to me 
to think, in entering upon so large a task, that if time and 
strength are not allowed me to complete it, the earlier Parts 
will form in a sense distinct wholes. Yet there can be no 
question that there is a close relation between them all ; that 
some of the results obtained in the study of each need to be 
confirmed or corrected by those obtained in others ; and that 
all alike must be considered before a judgment can be rightly 
passed upon the character of the sources of the Gospel history. 



Preface vii 

It will be necessary that I should endeavour to furnish a 
connected view of the present state of knowledge and opinion 
in regard to different portions of my subject. No point in 
it, therefore, which is of real significance should be wholly 
passed over. Where, however, a large amount of agree- 
ment exists among competent scholars who have approached 
the consideration of the topics in question with different 
prepossessions and such there now is on not a few points, 
including some of great importance, upon which in the past 
there has been no little controversy it will in general suffice 
that I should state the conclusions that have been reached, 
or at most that I should very briefly indicate the grounds on 
which they rest, while giving references to other writers. On 
the other hand, it will be my aim to discuss as thoroughly as 
I can those points which are still sub lite, neglecting no fact 
that seems to me to be material for their decision, or argument 
which is weighty in itself, or noteworthy on account of the 
eminence of those who use it. Naturally, also, in determining 
the amount of detail which seems advisable in particular cases 
I shall have regard to views prevalent in England, and the 
sources of information which have been at the disposal of the 
majority of English readers who are interested in subjects 
of this class. What I have said will, I think, explain and 
justify the varieties of proportion in the treatment of different 
topics, the compression in some cases, the elaboration in 
others. 

Approaches to agreement after much controversy are a 
sign of progress in the ascertainment of historical truth. In 
no division of our subject, perhaps, is there better ground for 
satisfaction in this respect than in that with which we shall in 
this volume be concerned. The late dates for the Gospels 
which were powerfully advocated half a century ago, or still 
more recently, in close connexion with a particular theory of 
the history of the early Church and of many of its literary 
remains, have to a great extent been abandoned, together 
with that theory itself, in consequence of the testing to which 
it has been subjected. 



viii Preface 

But there is now, it seems to me, some danger that further 
advance in the acquisition of settled positions may be retarded, 
through a failure to perceive the proper scope of an investi- 
gation into the history of the reception of the Gospels by the 
Church. That the Gospels were composed early enough to 
allow of the writers themselves having had, or having been in 
contact with those who had, immediate knowledge of that 
which they relate, is undoubtedly a very important point. 
But besides the dates at which the Gospels appeared, other 
circumstances, such as the quarter whence they proceeded, 
are of importance in determining whether it is likely that the 
writers had the qualification just referred to. An example, 
the force of which will be at once perceived, is to be found in 
the present position of criticism as to the Fourth Gospel. 
Many of those who hold that it cannot have been composed 
later than the first decade or so of the second century, and 
that it may possibly have been put forth before the end of 
the first, do not admit that it is by the Apostle John, or that 
it gives his testimony, or that it can be used as a trustworthy 
source of information for the Gospel history, except perhaps 
in a few particulars. 

What evidence do the facts as to the use of the Gospels, 
the position which in early times they held, and the traditions 
respecting them, afford that these writings faithfully represent 
the oral teaching and testimony of the Apostles and their 
disciples? This is the question for which in the present Part 
we have to seek an answer ; and in order that a satisfactory 
one may be given, a decision is required on not a few points 
in regard to which there are grave differences of opinion. 

In the class of subjects with which we shall be concerned, 
progress towards fuller and surer knowledge can be made 
only through renewed weighing of the available evidence, 
conjoined with much impartial criticism of the work of prede- 
cessors in the same field. I have not scrupled to adjudicate 
upon, and in some instances to reject, the opinions and 
arguments of men for whom we have peculiar reason in 
Cambridge to cherish deep reverence, and to whom I myself 






Preface ix 



look up as my chief teachers. I hope, however, that no one 
will suppose me to be forgetful of what I owe them. I am 
also very sensible of obligations, which it is impossible 
adequately to express, to many other scholars, with whom 
I have been unable to agree on particular points or even 
in my general conclusions. I would more especially here 
acknowledge my debt to two eminent and recent writers 
who themselves differ widely in their point of view, and 
whose merits are also in some respects different, Dr Th. 
Zahn and Dr A. Harnack. The Geschichte des Neutestament- 
lichen Kanons, and the Forschungen on the same subject, of. 
the former, and the Chronologic and Geschichte der Altchrist- 
lichen Litteratur of the latter, have naturally been in constant 
use throughout the preparation of the present volume, and 
have been of very great service to me. 

V. H. STANTON. 
September, 1903. 



For the convenience of some readers who may wish to turn to my 
references I may mention, that in the case of the writings included in 
Lightfoot and Harmer's Apostolic Fathers, I have given the numbers of 
the sections, etc., employed in that edition. In references to Irenaeus I 
have used Massuet's divisions, which will be found in Harvey's edition 
along with his own and Grabe's ; in those to Clement of Alexandria the 
pages mentioned are Potter's, which are noted by Dindorf in his margin. 
The sub-divisions of chapters in references to Eusebius' Ecclesiastical 
History are those in Heinichen's edition. There is not, I think, any 
danger of ambiguity in other cases. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS; THE EVIDENCE AS TO 

THE USE OF ANY OF THE GOSPELS IN THE 

SUB-APOSTOLIC AGE. 

PAGES 
The nature and order of the investigation upon which we are 

entering '.". . 1-2 

The character of the Evangelic quotations in early Christian 

writers 3~5 

The Sayings of Christ in the Epistle of Clement . . . 5-14 

Parallelisms with the Synoptic Gospels in the Epistles of 

Ignatius and Poly carp 14-18 

Evidence of Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp as to the Fourth 

Gospel 18-21 

ADDITIONAL NOTES : 

I. The form of ancient books as affecting habits of 

quotation . . .- . . . . . 22-25 
II. 'The parallelisms with the Gospels in the Apostolic 

Fathers . ..... 25-28 



CHAPTER II. 

THE TRANSITION FROM THE SUB-APOSTOLIC AGE 
TO THE AGE OF THE APOLOGISTS AND OF THE 
CONFLICT WITH GNOSTICISM. 

The broad difference between the early Christian writings 
noticed in the last Chapter and those whose testimony 
has next to be considered ....'. 2 9 



xii Table of Contents 

PAGES 

The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles . . . . . 29-31 

The Epistle of Barnabas 3i~33 

The Shepherd of Hermas 34-47 

The Apology of Aristides 48-52 

The fragments of Papias on the Gospels .... 52-57 

The (so-called) Second Epistle of Clement .... 58-63 

Marcion, Basilides and Valentinus 64-69 

ADDITIONAL NOTES : 

I. Parallelisms with the Gospels in the Teaching of the 

Twelve Apostles 7-?! 

II. Parallelisms with the Gospels in the Shepherd of 

Hermas 72-75 



CHAPTER III. 

JUSTIN MARTYR. 

The chronology of Justin's life and writings . 76-7 

The character of his Evangelic quotations and the history of 

speculation in regard to their source or sources . . 77~9 
Points as to which there is now a strong consensus of opinion 80 

Points still sub lite : 

I. Justin's attitude to the Fourth Gospel. 

Probable references to, and signs of acquaintance with, 

the Fourth Gospel . 81-83 

Consideration of the objections urged against his having 

regarded it as one of the Apostolic Memoirs . . 83-91 
II. Justiris use of a source or sources for the Gospel history 
in addition to our Gospels. 

General considerations 9* -93 

Special questions : 

i. Justin and the Gospel of Peter. 

Broad grounds for considering it improbable that 

Justin used this work 93~97 

The traits common to both appear in a more 

embellished form in the Gospel of Peter . 97-102 



Table of Contents xiii 

The similarities between them are to be attributed 
to the use by both of a record supposed to 
be Pilate's, to which Justin and Tertullian 
both refer (p. 103 ff.) ; which is partially given 
in the form of a letter still extant (p. 1 10 f.) ; 
and which was used in the compilation of 
the Gospel of Nicodemus (p. 112 ff.), and by 
Cyril of Jerusalem (p. 1 17 f.) . . 102-121 

ii. The remaining Apocryphal matter in Justin. 

Parallelisms with the Protevangelium Jacobi . 121-124 
The Gospel according to the Hebrews a possible 

source . . . . . . . . 124-126 

General results . . . . . . 127-8 

ADDITIONAL NOTES : 

I. The position of recent criticism in regard to Justin's 

use of our Gospels . . . . . . . 129-131 

II. Dr E. A. Abbott on Justin's relation to the Fourth 

Gospel . . 131-2 

III. Parallelisms between the Gospel of Peter and other 

Christian writings which may be traced to the use 
in common of a supposed report by, or official 
record made for, Pilate . . . . . . 132-3 

IV. The Apocryphal matter in Justin .... 133-136 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE APPEARANCE OF 
THE WRITINGS OF JUSTIN MARTYR AND OF THE 
TREATISE AGAINST HERESIES OF IRENAEUS. 

Lack of literary activity in the Churches of Asia Minor up to 

the middle of the second century I 37~8 

Melito and Apollinaris and the fragments of their writings . 138-142 

The letter of the Churches of Vienne and Lyons . . . 142-3 

The fragments of Dionysius of Corinth I43~4 

Theophilus ad Auto ly cum I44~5 

Tatian and his writings I45~ I 5 I 

The writings of Athenagoras 151-2 



xiv Table of Contents 

PAGES 

The effect of increased interest in the Doctrine of the Logos in 

directing attention to the Fourth Gospel . . . .152 

Hegesippus I S3~ I S7 

Gnostic teachers of the second generation .... 157-159 
The Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs . . . .. . .159-161 



CHAPTER V. 

THE ASIATIC TRADITION IN REGARD TO THE 
APOSTLE JOHN. 

The present attitude of criticism in regard to this tradition. 162-3 
The topics whose bearing on the trustworthiness of this tradi- 
tion has to be discussed 164 

(1) The silence of the Sub-Apostolic Age in regard to the 
Apostle John . . 164-166 

(2) The effect of the reference or references to him by 

Papias 166-168 

(3) The personality of John the Elder .... 168-171 

(4) The relations between the Apocalypse of John and the 

Fourth Gospel 171-173 

(5) Quartodecimanism . I 73~ I 97 

(6) The impugners in the second century of the genuine- 
ness of the writings attributed to the Apostle John . 198-212 

(7) The value of the testimony of two of the chief wit- 
nesses for the truth of the common tradition : 

(a) Irenaeus 213-228 

(b) Polycrates 228-231 

Conclusion 232-238 

ADDITIONAL NOTE: 

Dr J. R. Harris and Dr E. A. Abbott on the attitude of 

Gaius to the Fourth Gospel 239-243 



Table of Contents 



xv 



CHAPTER VI. 



THE POSITION OF THE FOUR GOSPELS AT THE 
CLOSE OF THE SECOND CENTURY; THE USE 
OF OTHER GOSPELS; GENERAL CONCLUSIONS. 

PAGES 

The evidence proves that at the close of the second century 
the peculiar authority of the Four Gospels was established 
throughout the Church of the Graeco-Roman world . . 244-249 
Their position beyond these limits: 

Churches on the Northern border of the Empire, and to 

the South 249-250 

Churches to the East : 

i. The use of the Gospel according to the Hebrews 

among Hebrew Christians 250-252 

The relative trustworthiness of the traditions of the 

Hebrew and Greek Churches .... 252-254 
The contents of the Gospel according to the Hebrews 254-260 

ii. The use of Tatian's Diatessaron in the Church of 

Mesopotamia and the further East '. . . 260-1 

Extent to which any Gospels besides the Four had been used 
at any time in the Greek and Latin Churches. The 
Gospel according to the Hebrews was held in respect here 
but little known, and was probably not translated by any 
one before Jerome (261 ff.). The circulation of the Gospel 
according to the Egyptians was very limited (264 ff.). 
Of the use of other Apocryphal Gospels in the first three- 
quarters of the second century there is even less trace (269) 261-269 

The manner in which the unique authority of the Four 
Gospels was formally proclaimed implies a virtual agree- 
ment in respect to them which was very general and of 
long standing, and which had arisen from the knowledge 
of the generation in which they were put forth that they 
were authentic embodiments of the oral testimony of the 
first preachers of the Gospel 269-275 

The amount of weight to be attached to particular traditions 

as to the authorship of the several Gospels . . . 275-277 



CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS THE EVIDENCE AS TO THE 
USE OF ANY OF THE GOSPELS IN THE SUB- 
APOSTOLIC AGE. 

THE period in the history of the Christian Church which 
must come under our consideration that extending from 
the close of the first to the beginning of the third century 
remains as to the earlier and greater portion of it an obscure 
one, in spite of all that has been done for its illumination by 
the labour of many students. Not a few points are doubtful 
owing to sheer lack of evidence ; and the difficulties are not 
least as regards the subject of the acknowledgment of our 
Gospels. Near the close, however, of the second century the 
light is much increased, and it is beyond dispute that at that 
time the four Gospels, along with the greater part of the 
writings contained in our New Testament, held a position of 
peculiar authority in the larger part of the Church. 

Zahn accordingly in his History of the New Testament 
Canon begins with an examination of the state of things at 
this epoch and works backward from it. The same plan was 
adopted by Dr Salmon in his Introduction to the New Testa- 
ment, the first edition of which was published a few years 
earlier. Much may be said in favour of this order of investi- 
gation. Yet on the whole it will, I think, be preferable for us 
to adhere to the opposite, the natural, historical order. For 
the establishment of the Canon of the four Gospels, as well 
as of that of the entire New Testament, was unquestionably a 
gradual process, and it needs to be so apprehended. We shall 
keep this fact before our minds most clearly if we follow the 
course of the history down from one generation to another, 
inquiring successively what items of information are supplied 
by the remains of each. 

s. G. i 



2 Introductory Remarks 

It must not, however, be supposed that we have learned 
all that we can about the earlier times till, after having 
reached the end of our period of a little more than a hundred 
years, we have looked back over it as a whole. A broad 
difference will from the first be manifest between the earliest 
age and the condition of things that we are ourselves directly 
acquainted with ; and signs of change will be obvious as we 
proceed. ' The position which the Gospels held in the Sub- 
apostolic Age was not that which they held in the middle of 
the second century; that again which they held in the middle 
of the second century was not the same as that which they 
held at the end of it. But it is to be remembered that a 
growth which is visible springs from a life which is largely 
secret. Latent forces determine the direction and the final 
outcome of the development. And it is only by considering 
that direction and outcome that we can fully know what the 
forces are, which have been at work. This is involved in the 
nature of the case ; it is part of the idea of a development, 
and is as true of a development in human belief and practice 
as of any other. In the earlier stages men often do not 
completely understand themselves, are not fully conscious of 
what is in their minds, and cannot express adequately what 
they mean. One who confines his attention to the language 
and other outward signs of the time may be much at fault 
as to the real state of feeling, its true origin, its practical 
influence and its potentialities. Especially is this likely 
where, as in the instance before us, our knowledge is very 
fragmentary. The historian who in such a case fails to ask 
what light the later part of the history throws upon the 
earlier neglects a valuable means of arriving at the truth. 
The problem is presented to him of forming a conception of 
a process as a whole, and the result of the process is one of 
the elements given for its solution. Hence we shall at first be 
making as it were a preliminary survey, and preparing the 
way for a comprehensive view, which, when it is attained, may 
affect our judgment even on particular points that have been 
already discussed. 



Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp 



Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp. 

The Epistle to the Corinthians, by Clement of Rome, 
Ignatius's seven Epistles (in the shorter Greek, or Vossian, 
form), and Poly carp's Epistle to the Philippians form a class 
by themselves of writings which may now be regarded with 
confidence as genuine works of these immediate successors of 
the Apostles. The first named is in all probability the earliest 
Christian document which we possess outside the Canon ; 
there are strong reasons and a large amount of consensus 
among scholars for placing it about the close of the reign of 
Domitian (A.D. 95 or 96) 1 . The Epistles of Ignatius may be 
referred to circ. A.D. no II5 2 ; while from an allusion in the 
Epistle of Polycarp we judge that it was written only a few 
weeks after them. 

In these works we have quotations of Christ's sayings, but 
in all cases cited simply as words of His ; that is to say, no 
reference is made by name to any document or documents, 
where they might be found, and they are not introduced even 
with the formula "it is written 3 ." But it would be unreason- 
able to conclude from this that they were not derived from a 
written source. In all generations it has been a common 

1 See Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, Part i, I. p. 346 f. Harnack, Chron. I. 
p. 255, is inclined to place it a year or two earlier. 

2 The proof of the genuineness of the Letters of Ignatius in the short Greek, 
or Vossian, form has been due mainly to Zahn {Ignatius von Antiochien, 1873) and 
Lightfoot (Ap. Frs, Pt 2, I. (1885), pp. 280430 in 2nd edition). Harnack, in 
the Expositor, far 1886, pp. 10, 15, agrees that the arguments for the genuineness 
of the Epistles in this form are conclusive. See further Chron. I. p. 388 ff. There 
may be more room for doubt as to the date. Yet on the whole the relation of 
the language of the letters to points of doctrinal controversy favours the truth of 
the tradition that Ignatius was martyred under Trajan. Lightfoot gave circ. 
A.D. no as the probable date of the composition of the letters and martyrdom. 
Harnack, ib., argued for the possibility or even probability of a later date, circ. 
A.D. 130 (see esp. p. 188). He now, however, places them in the last years of 
Trajan, between A.D. 110 and 117, or possibly a few years later, A.D. 117 125, 
Chron. I. p. 406. The genuineness and date of Polycarp's Epistle to the 
Philippians are virtually established when these points have been settled for the 
Epistles of Ignatius. 

3 It should be observed, however, that Ignatius's language in one passage 
seems to suggest that the facts of the Gospel were accessible to him and to his 
readers in a written form, Ad Philad. ch. 5 ; see Lightfoot, in loc. 

I 2 



4 The character of the quotations 

practice to quote sayings of Christ as being what He said, 
without specification of the record containing them. And to 
do so must have seemed specially natural to the generation to 
which Clement and Ignatius and Polycarp belonged. The 
first of these at least probably was, and the second may well 
have been, a full-grown man and a convert to Christianity 
before any one of the Gospels had been put forth. And the 
habits of thought engendered during a period of oral teaching 
must have continued even after written accounts began to be 
circulated. That which had been read would still be cited 
after the manner adopted when it used to be transmitted 
solely by word of mouth. It is not necessary, however, to 
insist on the force of this consideration. For in connexion 
with the numerous quotations from the Old Testament in the 
Epistle of Clement there are hardly any references to the books 
whence they were taken ; while they are frequently introduced 
as the words of God, or of the Spirit, and once of Christ 
" through the Holy Spirit 1 ." 

It is, however, further to be observed that the quotations 
of which we have been speaking do not, for the most part, 
correspond literally with any passages in our Gospels. But 
the want of perfect accuracy does not, any more than the 
absence of precise reference, preclude the possibility that they 
were taken from the Gospels. There was a very different 
standard in matters of quotation then, among classical as well 
as Christian writers, from that which exists at present. Books 
as they were ordinarily produced were not furnished with the 
means whereby references could be readily made. Fear of the 
labour that was likely to be involved in finding any particular 
passage would often induce men to rely on memory. It is also 
clear that the age cannot have set store by verbal exactness in 
quotation, since measures for facilitating it were not taken 3 . 
The Gospels were doubtless at first put forth in the same form 
as other books of the time, and the early Fathers were affected 
by the prevailing habits in respect to quotation. It may be 

1 ch. 22 beginning. There are very few express quotations from the Old 
Testament in Epp. of Ignatius and Polycarp, so that we have in them no proper 
basis for a comparison. 

8 See Additional Note I. p. 22 ff. 



in early Christian writers 5 

remarked that their quotations from the Old Testament are 
frequently inaccurate, and this is especially true of short 
ones. These would be far more difficult to find than long 
ones, without the aid of pages, or lines, numbered in the same 
way in different copies, or the division of the text into short 
sections 1 . 

It is to be added that in Evangelic quotations we ought to 
be least of all surprised at divergences even from a record 
which has been in the main followed, owing to the existence 
of parallel accounts. And if the attempt was made to 
give the substance common to more than one of these, it 
would be suitable that no one of them should be expressly 
cited. 

These are all considerations which clearly ought to be 
taken into account ; but it will be a question how far in each 
case they afford a sufficient explanation for differences from 
our Gospels. 

In two passages of Clement's Epistle "the words" (<n 
\6yoi) z of Christ are expressly cited. In the first we have a 

1 Dr Westcott (Canon, p. 129) has ppinted out in regard to Justin's quotations 
from O.T. that "the variations are most remarkable and frequent in short 
passages"; and he adds "that is exactly in those for which it would seem 
superfluous to unroll the MS. and refer to the original text." I have implied above, 
and have shewn in the Additional Note, p. 22 ff., that there was a further and 
perhaps even more important reason for the difference. 

The same difference is noticeable in the Ep. of Clement. His long quotations 
from O.T. agree almost verbally with the LXX., and the discrepancies are of a kind 
which may be fairly attributed to variations of text, or to slight carelessness in 
transcription : see chh. 4, ro (two passages occurring near together in Genesis, and 
each of some length), 15 (the second quotation), 16, 18, 22, 35, 39, 53, 56, 57. 
In ch. 12 he does seem to rely on his memory in reproducing a long narrative ; in 
ch. 8 he may be quoting from some source unknown to us (see Lightfoot in loc.). 
On the other hand nearly all his short quotations from O.T. are more or less 
decidedly inaccurate ; they frequently shew signs of the memory of one passage 
being affected by the memory of another. The few that are accurate are mainly 
from the Psalms (chh. 27 end, 46, 48, 50). The Book of Psalms would be specially 
familiar ; and from the shortness of most of the Psalms, passages could be more 
readily found in them than in other books. 

2 It may be well to remind the reader that \6yos has not precisely the same 
force as "word" ordinarily has in English, "\6yos never means a word in the 
grammatical sense as the mere name of a thing or act (these being expressed by 
frros, oVoyua, p^/ua, Lat. vocabulnni), but rather a word as the thing referred to, the 
material not the formal part." Liddell and Scott. 



6 The sayings of Christ 

collection of precepts " on forbearance and longsuffering " to 
employ Clement's own description 1 . 

Thus He (the Lord* Jesus) spake: 
S/iew mercy, that you may receive mercy; 
Forgive, that you may be forgiven; 
As you do, so stiall it be done to you; 
As you give, so shall it be given to you ; 
As you judge, so shall you be judged; 
As you are kind, so shall you be treated kindly; 
With what measure you measure, therewith shall it be 
measured to you. 

Before we comment at all upon the form and connexion 
of these sayings in Clement, we will refer to the fact that a 
portion of the passage recurs in Polycarp's Epistle, though 
with some differences in the several clauses and in their 
order 2 , while the whole of it is given again, almost word for 
word as in the Roman Clement, in the Miscellanies of the 
Alexandrian Clement 3 . There are some parallelisms also 
with certain of the precepts in other later works 4 . Evidently 
the question of the origin of the peculiarities in the citation in 
Clement of Rome cannot be dissociated from that of their 
reappearance elsewhere. 

Bishop Lightfoot is of opinion that " as Clement's quota- 
tions are often very loose " (he refers especially to those from 
the Old Testament) "we need not go beyond the Canonical 
Gospels for the source of this passage 6 ." Accordingly he 
holds that where it is found in whole or in part in later 
writers, this is due to the recollection or the direct employ- 
ment of Clement's Epistle. That Polycarp, or the Church 
of Smyrna, should have possessed a copy is certainly not 

1 Clem. Rom. ch. 13. In an Additional Note, p. 25 ff., I have endeavoured 
to bring out clearly both the resemblances to and differences from the Gospels in 
this and other passages of the Apostolic Fathers. 

2 Ad Phil. ch. 2, see p. 16 and Additional Note II. p. 27. 

3 Clem. Al. Strom. II. 18 (p. 476). The only differences are Aeerre for Aeare 
(which hardly deserves to be mentioned), and dfTi^er/)7;^(r6Tac for iv 



4 See esp. Resch, Agrapha, p. 97, also Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt i, n. p. 52 n. 
Cp. p. 1 1 n. below. 

8 See Lightfoot, /. c., also Pt 2, in. p. 325 n. to Ep. of Polycarp, ch. 2, end. 



in the Epistle of Clement 7 

improbable ; for it was customary, as an allusion in Poly- 
carp's own Epistle shews, for copies of the letters of eminent 
Christians to be sent to and treasured by others besides the 
Churches or persons to whom they were primarily addressed 1 . 
As for Clement of Alexandria, he repeatedly quotes from the 
writing before us, sometimes referring to it by name, some- 
times without mentioning the source. He evidently regarded 
it as having in some sense Apostolic authority ; and on one 
occasion he speaks of the author as Clement the Apostle 2 . 

Much deference is due to the judgment of so great a 
scholar as Bp Lightfoot. Nevertheless it must be observed 
that there are marks of careful construction in the passage 
under consideration which render it improbable that the 
words can have been put together simply under the influence 
of the accidental associations of memory 3 . Further Clement's 
Epistle would be an unnatural place for subsequent writers to 
take Evangelic citations from, however much reverence they 
might feel for it, and however glad they might be to quote his 
own thoughts and exhortations and arguments 4 . 

Were, then, the words quoted from some Gospel-record 
which was early in use and perhaps older than our Gospels ? 
The hypothesis of this nature most deserving of consideration 
is Resch's, that the source in all the cases in question was 
"the Logia," the document which is supposed to have been 
referred to by Papias and used in the Gospels according to 
Matthew and Luke. The phenomena brought to light by 
critical study of the Gospels, taken with the language of 
Papias, have at least rendered the existence of such a writing 
far more probable than that of any Apocryphal Gospel, in 
Greek at least, at this early time. 

1 Ad Phil. ch. 13. 

2 Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Ft i, I. pp. 158160. 

3 Cp. Sanday, Gospels in Second Century, p. 64 f., where also he shews that 
the comparison made by Lightfoot with Old Testament quotations is not here 
quite in point. See further below, pp. 9, 10 ; also what I have pointed out as to 
the nature of the relation in which Clement's passage stands to St Matthew and 
St Luke respectively, pp. 8, 12 and Additional Note n. p. 26. 

4 The Evangelic precepts introduced by him might of course naturally be 
reproduced as parts of longer passages from his Epistle. But there is nothing in 
the contexts in Polycarp and Clement of Alexandria to remind us of that in 
Clement of Rome. Cp. Sanday, Expositor for June 1891, I. pp. 4201. 



8 The sayings of Christ 

There are, however, grave difficulties in the way of our 
acceptance of this theory. It requires us to assume that a 
translation of " the Logia " had been made into Greek before 
Clement of Rome wrote, and that it continued to be read to 
the end of the second century and even later 1 . The words of 
Papias (as we shall presently see) 2 do not encourage the idea 
that a regular Greek translation existed at any time. And we 
hear no more of the document. It would be strange, indeed, 
that if a distinct Greek translation of such an interesting 
and important work was in circulation, there should be no 
reference to it even on the part of those writers who made 
citations from it, to the end of the second century 3 . 

Further, so far as we can form an idea of " the Logia " 
from our First and_ Third Gospels, the hypothesis that it 
supplied the passage in Clement affords only a partial ex- 
planation of the phenomena. Clement resembles the Gospel 
according to St Matthew most closely in respect to the Greek 
words used. The sayings, however, in St Matthew corre- 
sponding to those in Clement do not belong to one context, 
but are scattered through the Sermon on the Mount 4 . Even 
from this circumstance alone it is evident that we have not 
here merely two various renderings of one original. More- 
over, his differences from this Gospel in the construction of 
the sentences are such as would be caused by an effort after 
greater compression rather than by independent translation. 
On the other hand, there is considerable similarity as to 
general content and form between Clement's quotation and a 
short passage in St Luke, vi. 35 38, a similarity greater 
in the respects just indicated than that between either of 

1 Agrapha, pp. 96 f., 136 ff. 

2 See below, p. 55 ff. 

3 Resch who maintains that what he terms " genuine Agrapha " were derived 
from, or translations of, Hebrew Logia is not quite explicit as to the extent to 
which the Fathers themselves who quote these Logia obtained them direct from 
such a Greek document. But in view more particularly of his language on 
pp. 80, 8 1 of Agrapha, I do not think he can imagine anything else, and so 
Sanday understands him (Inspiration, p. 300). It is obvious, at all events, that 
if the similarity between Clement of Alexandria and Clement of Rome in the 
present instance is to be explained by common derivation from "the Logia," 
it must have been from a Greek translation of it. 

4 See Additional Note II. p. 25 f. 



in the Epistle of Clement 9 

these and any paragraph or portion of a paragraph of the 
Sermon on the Mount in St Matthew. There are, however, 
differences even in regard to these points between Clement and 
Luke. The order of sentences is not entirely the same, and a 
saying occurring at v. 31 in Luke occurs in Clement in the 
midst of those given later by the Evangelist. It is of more 
importance that there are some differences between them 
which are plainly not mere diversities of rendering. We may 
allow Resch's claim that Clement's a^tere Iva d<pedfj V/JLLV and 
Luke's d-rroXvere KOI a7ro\v6r)aecr6e should be regarded thus ; 
but the discrepancy of meaning between Clement's eXeare 
iva e\,r)6fjT and Luke's ^LveaOe oiKripfjioves tcaOws 6 Trarrjp 
V^LWV oUripfLtov ea-riv, cannot be accounted for in this way ; 
nor can the similar discrepancy between Clement's &>? XP^~ 
a-reveade, OVTCOS xprja-revd^a-erat VJJLIV and Luke vi. 35 1 . 

An examination of the form of Clement's citation may 
give us a clue to a better explanation. Conciseness and 
similarity of rhythm appear to have been aimed at in the 
manner in which the sayings of which it is made up have 
been put together and moulded, as though with the object of 
assisting the memory. In each case the conduct enjoined 
comes first and is followed by the mention of an appropriate 
reward which will be gained through practising the precept 2 . 
It must be added that the effect of the passage taken as a 

1 See Additional Note n. p. -26. 

2 Dr Sanday pointed out such characteristics in his Gospels in the Second 
Century (1876), pp. 64, 65. "It will not fail to be noticed," he there writes, "that 
the passage as it stands in Clement has a roundness, a compactness, a balance of 
style, which give it an individual and independent appearance. Fusions effected 
by an unconscious process of thought are, it is true, sometimes marked by this 
completeness; still there is a difficulty in supposing the terse antithesis of the 
Clementine version to be derived from the fuller, but more lax and discon- 
nected sayings in our Gospels." He quotes this passage again Expositor, 1891, 
I. p. 419. 

In Inspiration (1893), p. 300, he further suggests, no doubt on the ground of 
those features described in the passage of his earlier work just quoted, that one 
element,, in the process, by which the piece of teaching we are discussing was 
shaped, was the influence of catechizing. He speaks of it as "a small addition " 
to the theories of Lightfoot and Resch. I think that in his modesty he attributes 
too little importance to it. One could wish that it had fallen within the limits of 
his plan to discuss the different theories, which he holds to be "not mutually 
exclusive," in their bearing upon each other. 



io The sayings of Christ 

whole differs somewhat from that of the corresponding- 
teaching of the Gospels ; the morality is of a less exalted 
character. The prospect of recompense, which is, indeed, 
held out in them also, is in the compendium in Clement more 
pointedly insisted on, while other considerations, which in the 
Gospels have a prominent place, are passed over. The spirit 
of the Master has not been so fully caught ; the temptation 
has been yielded to of emphasizing unduly the motive which 
would appeal most powerfully to ordinary minds. 

In all this we trace the influence of the requirements and 
the dangers of oral teaching 1 . Clement, then, we may believe, 
was already familiar with this piece of teaching, in the shape 
in which he gives it, through the catechetical instruction which 
he had received and taken part in. The correspondences in 
Polycarp may well be due to the same cause. 

It is, however, hardly possible that the whole passage 
given in the former should have been preserved orally with 
so much accuracy, to the time of Clement of Alexandria. 
On the other hand, it is not at all inconceivable that this 
little body of precepts, after having been commonly taught in 
the manner suggested, should have been included in some 
manual like the Didache, which in point of fact contains 
similar compendia. This would be the natural receptacle for 
it, rather than an Apocryphal Gospel, which would not, so far 
as we can judge from such knowledge of Apocryphal Gospels 
as we possess, be likely to have given a concise statement of 
this kind, or one agreeing on the whole so nearly with our 
Canonical Gospels. Nor should it be thought a serious 
objection that no book of instruction still exists, or is named, 
so far as we can say, in which the summary in question had a 
place. A collection of rules for Christian life and worship was 
peculiarly liable to be superseded, or to be greatly altered 
and expanded, with a view to meeting the needs of various 
localities or changes of opinion and organisation in the 
Church at large. The relations to one another of the Didache 
and of later works of the same type, the various forms of the 

1 Similar effects may be observed in the Didache : i. 2, the substitution of a 
negative for a positive injunction, ib, 3 dyairare TOVS fuffovvras vfj.as Kal ot>x ^ e r 
t ib. 4 lav \dfir) rts airb ffov rb a&v, /JLJ] airalref ov5e yap dvvaffai. 



in the Epistle of Clement n 

Apostolical Ordinances, and the Apostolical Constitutions, illus- 
trate this. As the authority of the Canonical Gospels came 
to be more completely established and they became more fully 
known, there would be a disposition to note only one point 
with which we are specially concerned both to quote from 
them more largely and to assimilate the language of any 
precepts of Christ that were cited more fully to theirs, or to 
substitute others taken from them. The operation of this 
cause may be traced in the successive works above mentioned; 
and we shall see a clear example of it in comparing the quota- 
tion in Polycarp's Epistle with the corresponding one by 
Clement. In the Didache we shall observe a larger- amount 
of parallelism with the Gospels than in the Lord's words given 
in Clement and Polycarp ; and this, too, may in reality be an 
illustration of the tendency to which I have referred. That is 
to say, the Didache itself may, perhaps, not be the earliest 
writing of its kind, or (shall we say ?) not, as we have it, the 
earliest edition of the work. A kindred work, or a more 
primitive form of this one, which may have continued in use 
for a century or more in some quarters, may have contained 
the piece of teaching which we are discussing, and may have 
been the source whence it was taken by the Alexandrian 
Clement, and perhaps, also, by Polycarp, if not by the Roman 
Clement himself. It is possible, also, to account satisfactorily 
in this way for the other instances of sayings similar in form 1 . 
It should especially be remarked that the most considerable 
ones are to be found in the Apostolical Constitutions and the 
closely related Didascalia\ that is to say, these relics have 

1 The passages are, 

(a) Const. Aposl. n. 21, p. 40 (Lagarde's edition), 656s 8t etprjvrjs iarlv 6 ffwriip 
TJ/JI.&V 'iTjtroGs 6 X/)i(TT6y, 6$ KCU e55aej/ Tj/xas \tyuv a^ere KO.I d^e^Tjaerai v/juv' 
SiSore Kai So^crerai V/JLW (cp. Didasc. II. 21, p. 251 in Analecta Ante-JVicena, 
ed. Bunsen). 

(b) Const. Apost. II. 42, p. 70, on \yei 6 Kifynos* $ Kpifj-art Kplvere, Kpifftf- 
<reff0e, ical u$ KaraSiKcif-eTe KaradiKaadrifffffGe (cp. Didasc. II. 42, p. 269). 

The two passages in the Didascalia are practically the same as those in the 
Constitutions. 

The two remaining instances are in Macarius, Horn. 37, 3, ap. Galland vn. p. 128 
/cantos evereiXaro a0ere /cat d0e#77<reTcu vfjuv ; and Ps. Ign. ad Trail. 8 a0ere yap, 
<t>T/l<riv 6 Ktfptos rjfj.&v, /cat d0e077<reTai vfuv. 



12 The sayings of Christ 

survived just in the places where we might have expected to 
find them according to the theory here propounded. 

We will now go back and ask, as our final question, What 
lay behind the catechetical inculcation of this form ? Whence 
was the subject-matter derived? What besides the natural 
tendencies of the catechist had determined its shape ? 

We have said that our piece of teaching most closely 
resembles St Luke in outline and St Matthew in phraseology. 
But it is inconceivable that a compiler should of set purpose 
have combined the two Gospels in this particular way. Pro- 
vided, however, that the outline had been determined by 
some independent cause, reminiscences of the words of similar 
sayings in St Matthew might well in a shorter or longer time 
have affected the language. If, as some students of the 
Synoptic Problem think, the disposition of matter in " the 
Logia" is most truly represented in St Luke, then the con- 
tents and arrangement of our passage may be derived after 
all from a written fragment of the Logia in Greek or from 
extemporary oral translation of it by Jewish converts who 
knew Hebrew as well as Greek. But the oral teaching given 
in Rome, or one type of it, whether it corresponded with the 
form of " the Logia " or not, is perhaps on the whole a more 
likely source. 

The words and expressions which coincide with those in 
St Matthew may of course have belonged to the original oral 
teaching, too. Still there is some ground for tracing them to 
knowledge of St Matthew, for there are other parallelisms 
with this Gospel in Clement's Epistle which (or some of 
which) more distinctly suggest acquaintance with it. 

But whatever the history of the piece may be, it must 
certainly, in view of the more uniform and restricted character 
of its appeals, be pronounced less fresh and true as a presen- 
tation of the Master's teaching, than those which correspond 
to it in St Matthew and St Luke. 

The few remaining points which have to be noticed in 
Clement's Epistle will not detain us long. In the only other 
instance in which he expressly cites the Lord's words 1 he 

1 ch. 4 6. 



ic Epistle of Clement 13 

gives the substance of the warning against causing offence 
contained in Mt. xviii. 6, 7, and to a considerable extent in 
the same language. The unusual word KaTaTrovTicrQrjvai used 
by Clement and occurring in St Matthew, but not in the 
parallels in St Mark and St Luke, should specially be observed. 
Further Clement's variations from the passage in St Matthew 
just referred to are easily explicable. A phrase is introduced 
from another passage in the same Gospel where a woe is 
pronounced, while there is an inversion of clauses, so that the 
order becomes the same as in St Luke. These are differences 
which might easily arise from slight confusions in the memory. 
He also substitutes "mine elect" for "these little ones," and 
" pervert " for " cause offence " on the second occurrence of 
that word, not improbably with the object of making the 
meaning of the saying plainer. This fusion of quotation and 
exegesis may not accord with modern ideas of critical method, 
but it was convenient and we can well understand it. 

We have yet to mention two parallelisms with the Gospel 
accg to St Matthew where there is no express reference to 
Christ's teaching. In ch. 24 he employs the first words of 
the Parable " of the Sower, " the Sower went forth," which 
occur of course in all three Synoptics. Once more, in ch. 16 
end, he uses language in which it is difficult not to recognise 
an allusion to the great saying in Mt. xi. 29. " Ye see, dearly 
beloved," writes Clement, " what is the pattern that hath been 
given unto us ; for if the Lord was thus lowly in mind (OVTOX; 
eTaTreivo^povrja-ev, cp. raTreti/o? rfj Kapbla) what should we do, 
who through him have been brought under the yoke of his 
grace ? " (rov ^vyov rrjs %dpiTo<> avrov). There are no cor- 
respondences with the Gospel accg to St Luke to be noticed in 
Clement, besides those which have come before us already. 
But a presumption in favour of acquaintance with the Third 
Gospel may be created by signs of acquaintance with the Acts 
of the Apostles, on account of the close connexion between 
these two works, and one or two such can be pointed out in 
Clement's Epistle. One trait in the character which Clement 
exhorts his readers to aim at is that of "being more glad 
to give than to receive" (ch. 2, cp. Acts xx. 35). Again his 
description of the Apostles' fulfilment of their mission 



14 Parallelisms with St Matthew 

(ch. 42) might well have been moulded on passages of the 
Acts. 

We pass now to the Epistles of Ignatius. The only actual 
citation which he makes of words of Christ appears to be 
taken from some source other than our Gospels. " When he 
came," Ignatius writes (Ad Smyrn. ch. 3), "to Peter and his 
company, he said to them, Take hold, and handle me, and 
see that I am not an incorporeal demon." The sense is the 
same as that of Luke xxiv. 39 , but the phraseology is 
markedly different both from that of this passage and of the 
Canonical Gospels generally 1 . There is also no precedent in 
the Gospels for the expression " Peter and his company." 
Origen (De Princ. praef. ch. 8) refers to the latter part of this 
saying. He is confuting an erroneous view which had been 
based on the application of the word " incorporeal." He does 
not mention Ignatius ; but he points out that the words are 
not found in any one of the Canonical Gospels, and says that 
they are contained in " the little book called the Doctrine of 
Peter" Jerome, however (De Vir. Illustr. ch. 16, on Ignatius), 
asserts that it was quoted from the Gospel which he himself had 
lately translated, i.e. the Gospel accg to the Hebrews (ib. ch. 3). 

Origen and Jerome were both right, we may believe, as to 
the places where they had met with the saying. But we shall 
see before we have concluded the investigations in this volume 
that the latter of these two works is far more likely, as the 
more ancient and the more highly esteemed, to have been the 
true source than the former. We shall also indeed see that 
probably no Greek version of the Gospel accg to the Hebrews 
existed before Jerome's time ; but portions of it may have 
been communicated both to Ignatius and the author of the 
Doctrine of Peter by means of oral translation from the 
Hebrew. Or, again, Ignatius may have learned the saying 
thus, and the author of the Doctrine of Peter have obtained it 
from him. Once more, it is possible that, as Bp Lightfoot 
suggests, it may have passed independently from oral 

1 

1 Notice both the word dffti/iaroi', incorporeal, and the use of daifj.6viov in a 
good, or neutral, sense, whereas in our Gospels it is always used in a bad 
sense. 



in the Epistles of Ignatius 15 

tradition into the pages of Ignatius, and into that recension 
of the Gospel accg to the Hebrews which Jerome knew 1 . 

Ignatius makes another reference to the Gospel history 
which appears to have a legendary character 2 . Speaking of 
the star whereby Christ was manifested, he says that it out- 
shone all the other stars, and that all the rest of the constella- 
tions together with the Sun and the Moon formed themselves 
into a chorus about it. This description differs markedly 
from the simple narrative of St Matthew. It is unlikely that 
Ignatius is merely giving the rein to his imagination. We 
may conjecture that he had obtained the idea from the same 
source, whatever that was, as the words of the risen Christ 
which have just been discussed. 

Nevertheless the Epistles of Ignatius contain clear signs 
of acquaintance with our first Gospel. The following are 
specially striking. He writes that Jesus was baptized by 
John " in order that all righteousness might be fulfilled by 
him 3 ," in strict accordance with the saying at Mt. iii. 15. 
Again, he twice applies the description given of the Pharisees 
by Christ, which is recorded only Mt. xv. 13, to false teachers; 
they are not, he says, " the planting of the Father " (^vreia 
Trarpo?) 4 . Once more, he writes to Polycarp, " be thou prudent 
as the serpent in all things, and guileless always as the dove 5 ." 
In both the last instances the language gains greatly in force 
through its allusiveness, which we are entitled to assume, to 
sayings in the Gospels. The adaptation of the well-known 
precept, addressed originally by Christ to the Twelve on 
sending them forth (Mt. x. 16), to a Christian bishop of the 
next generation, by the change of the plural into the singular, 
and the introduction of the words " in all things " and 
"always," is peculiarly telling 6 . 

There are no indications of the use of the second and 
third Synoptics in the Epistles of Ignatius. We will defer the 
consideration of the parallelisms with the Fourth Gospel till 

1 Ap. Frs, Pt 2, ii. in loc. 2 Ad Ephes. ch. 19. 

3 Ad Smyrn. ch. i. 

4 Ad Trail, ch. n ; Ad Philad. ch. 3. 5 ch. 2. 

6 For the words of the original and for one or two other parallelisms with 
St Matthew see Additional Note n. p. 27 f. 



1 6 Parallelisms with the Synoptics 

after we have examined those with the Synoptics in the 
Epistle of Polycarp. 

We have referred to the fact that Polycarp's letter con- 
tains a summary of a portion of the teaching of the Sermon 
on the Mount which corresponds in part to one in Clement's. 
It runs as follows : 

Remembering the words which tJte Lord spake, as He 
taugJit ; 

Judge not, that ye be not judged. 

Forgive, and it shall be forgiven to you. 

Shew mercy, that you, may receive mercy. 

With what measure you measure, it shall be measured to 
you again. 

And that, 

Blessed are the poor and they that are persecuted for 
righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God 1 . 

After our full discussion of the similar passage in Clement 
it will suffice here to notice the points in respect of which 
Polycarp agrees more closely with our Gospels, and which 
seem to shew plainly that if he had either Clement's quota- 
tion, or the source from which it was taken, in mind, he has in 
reproducing it been influenced consciously or unconsciously 
by his recollection of one or more of the Gospels. 

The injunction not to judge others is given precisely in 
the same form as in St Matthew, and it has been brought to 
the front just as in that Gospel it begins a fresh passage. In 
the second sentence in Polycarp, the two parts are coupled 
together by a conjunction, a form in which many of the 
precepts in both St Matthew and St Luke are cast, but which 
is not used at all in Clement. In the fourth the same 
compound word is used as in the corresponding saying in 
Luke (vi. 38^), according to the best supported reading. 
Most important of all, Polycarp, as it were with the view of 
supplementing the previously made compendium, adds the 
first and the eighth of the Beatitudes, compressing them into 
one, which it was the more easy to do because in St Matthew 

1 Ad Phil. ch. 2. For Greek see Additional Note n. p. 27. 



in the Epistle of Poly carp 17 

they have the same termination. With St Luke, however, he 
omits "in spirit" after "poor," and employs the phrase "king- 
dom of God " for " kingdom of heaven." 

In one other passage, also, Polycarp cites a saying of 
Christ. He exhorts his readers to entreat " the all-seeing 
God with supplications that He 'bring us not into tempta- 
tion,' according as the Lord said, ' The spirit indeed is willing, 
but the flesh is weak '." These last words are given in 
Mt. xxvi. 41, as also in Mk xiv. 38, but not in St Luke. 
The clause of the Lord's Prayer referred to is the same both 
in St Matthew and St Luke. 

In one place Polycarp applies to our Lord the description 
"servant of all" found exactly in St Mark alone (ix. 35). 
This is the only distinct instance of parallelism with this 
Gospel in the writings of the three Apostolic Fathers. In a 
few cases, indeed, the words which have been adduced as 
probably taken from St Matthew are likewise in St Mark ; 
but the former must be regarded as the more probable source, 
because the evidence of its being in use is on the whole so 
much stronger. It is, indeed, the only one of the Synoptic 
Gospels, the signs of the use of which in the Sub-apostolic 
Age are really impressive. When we pass on in the next 
chapter to examine the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles we 
shall find there striking parallels with St Luke. But quota- 
tions from, or traces of acquaintance with, St Matthew continue 
to be by far the most abundant throughout the second quarter 
and the middle of the second century ; while the traces of 
St Mark are very meagre. It is natural that it should be so, 
in spite of the fact that, as may be inferred from the internal 
criticism of the Gospels, our second Gospel was put forth 
earlier than either St Matthew in its present shape or St Luke. 
For nearly the whole of St Mark is in substance contained in 
St Matthew, and most of it in St Luke, while in these Gospels 
other matter of surpassing interest is given also. Until men 
learnt to compare the Gospels somewhat carefully with one 
another and to notice individual traits in each, and began to 
appreciate the importance of such study, which they could 
not be expected to do at first, they would have little reason 
for turning to St Mark at all, if they possessed St Matthew. 

S. G. 2 



1 8 The Apostolic Fathers 

St Mark may even have been rarely copied 1 . If we may 
assume here the truth of the view that St Mark, or a docu- 
ment resembling it, is one of the sources of both the other 
two Synoptics, which, as is well known, is now widely held by 
those who have studied the Synoptic Problem, we may con- 
jecture that the writers of our first and third Gospels embodied 
the subject-matter of St Mark with other records, with the 
express intention of meeting a demand for a fairly complete, 
serviceable, account of the Teaching and Works of Jesus 
Christ. Nor is it difficult to suggest reasons why our first 
Gospel should have been a special favourite. It gave the 
popular teaching of Christ massed in a way that made it 
peculiarly impressive ; it dwelt also in a marked manner on 
the fulfilment of prophecy. If further the name of the 
Apostle Matthew was already connected with it, there was 
in this an additional ground for preference. Next to it, the 
value of St Luke would be most readily perceived on account 
of the many precious sayings and narratives which were here 
alone preserved. 

We turn, lastly, to enquire whether, and if so how far, the 
Epistles of Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp afford evidence of 
the existence of the Fourth Gospel and of its recognition by the 
Church. The first of these writers gives no clear sign that he 
knew this Gospel 2 ; but that fact is not incompatible with its 
having been composed by the Apostle John and put forth in 
his life-time, if the tradition which was believed by Irenaeus 
and other writers belonging to the latter part of the second 
century was true, that he lived till the times of Trajan (who 

1 Mr Burkitt has pointed out ( Two Lectures on the Gospels, p. 33) that in order 
to explain the fact that the Gospel according to St Mark has come down to us 
with the original narrative broken off at xvi. 8, and a conclusion evidently supplied 
to fill up a lacuna, we must suppose that all our copies are ultimately descended 
from a single mutilated copy. And he adds "A Gospel which survives in a single 
imperfect copy must have been, at least for a time, out of fashion." I think it 
would probably be a little more correct to say that it "came only slowly into 
circulation." But at all events, comparatively few copies can have been in 
existence. Mr Burkitt's argument confirms and is confirmed by the evidence to 
which I have drawn attention. 

2 It should be remarked, however, that the thought at the beginning of Clem, 
ad Cor. ch. 42, concerning the relation between the Mission of the Apostles from 
Christ, and of Christ from God, corresponds closely with the saying at Jn xx. 21. 



and the Fourth Gospel 19 

became Emperor A.D. 98). Even if we suppose that his Gospel 
first began to circulate in Asia Minor some five or six years 
before this, a copy might well not have reached Rome in time 
for Clement to have become familiar with it when he wrote his 
Epistle in A.D. 95 or 96. While if the Gospel accg to St John 
was first given to the Church after his death by companions 
and disciples, as we may infer to have been the case from its 
last chapter, Clement's ignorance of it would be perfectly 
explicable even on the assumption that St John did not live 
quite so long as in after times he was said to have done. 

With Ignatius and Polycarp the case is different. When 
they wrote sufficient time had unquestionably elapsed for 
them to have become acquainted with the work, if it was by 
the Apostle John. Moreover, the former of them was writing 
from, and in most of his Epistles addressing the Churches of, 
a region where, according to the tradition preserved in 
Irenaeus and other writers to whom I have alluded, St John 
lived and exercised great influence during the closing years of 
his life, while Polycarp had been one of his hearers. Here 
then, on the assumption of the Johannine authorship of the 
Fourth Gospel, we may certainly expect to find indications of 
its use. And such do not seem to me to be altogether 
wanting, although they are not so full and clear as might 
have been expected. 

Ignatius writes to the Romans (ch. 7) : " My lust hath been 
crucified, and there is no fire of material longing in me, but 
only water living and speaking in me, saying within me, 
Come to the Father." This may justly be regarded as an 
interpretation and application of the saying to the woman of 
Samaria (Jn iv. 10), effected through combining it with the 
teaching in other parts of the same Gospel concerning Christ's 
own mission to make known and to bring men to the Father 
(Jn xvii. 6; xiv. 6 etc.), and with its language regarding the 
Spirit, who is " the living water " (Jn vii. 38, 39) and whose office 
it is to carry on the work of Christ (Jn xvi. 8 f. etc.). Again, to 
the Philadelphians (ch. 7) he writes : " For even though certain 
persons desired to deceive me after the flesh, yet the spirit is 
not deceived, being from God ; for it knoweth whence it 
cometh and whither it goeth." It is natural in this passage 

2 2 



20 The Apostolic Fathers 

to see an allusion to our Lord's words to Nicodemus (Jn 
iii. 8). 

In the brief Epistle of Polycarp, where so many phrases 
are introduced from various Epistles of St Paul and from 
St Peter 1 , there is also a sentence which must, assuredly, have 
been taken from a passage in the First Epistle of St Jo/in, 
though the latter is slightly condensed. "Everyone," he writes, 
" who shall not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is 
antichrist 2 ." We are enquiring, it is true, after traces of the 
influence of the Gospel accg to St John\ but clear parallelisms 
with the First Epistle are not beside our purpose. These 
two writings are so closely connected in their style and 
teaching, that evidence in regard to one of them bears on 
the position of the other. In the latter portion of another 
sentence of Polycarp in the first part of which he employs 
the words of St Paul there are several points which remind 
us of various passages in the Gospel and the First Epistle of 
St John : " He that raised him from the dead will raise us 
also; if we do his will and walk in his commandments and 
love the things which he loved 3 ." In two other places his 
language resembles that of a passage in the Third Epistle of 
John*. 

The case as regards the evidence of acquaintance with the 
Gospel accg to St John supplied by the Epistles of Ignatius 
and Polycarp stands thus. Taken by itself it is inconclusive. 
In the former writer it is somewhat indeterminate ; his 
Johannine expressions might possibly have been derived 
from the phraseology of a school. In Polycarp on the other 

1 The only writing expressly referred to by Polycarp throughout is St Paul's 
Epistle to the Philippians, the Church which he was himself addressing (ch. 3), and 
this one he does not mention at the places (chh. 9 and 12 end) where he appears 
to quote from it. 

2 Polyc. ad Phil. ch. 7 was ydp, 6s &v /ULT) o/j.o\oyfi 'Ir)<rovv XpKTTbv tv vapid 
\T)\v6ti>ai, di>Tlxpi<rTfa iffTtv. Cf. I Jn iv. 2, 3. 

3 Polyc. ad Phil. ch. 2 av Troiu/j.ev avrov rb 6^\ijfj.a frai wopevw/mfda tv rats 
(vro\als O.VTOU /cai ayairuntv a -f)ydirr)<7ev. Cf. Jn vii. 17, xiv. 15; i Jn ii. 17, 6, 
v. I, 2. 

4 Compare awt~)(o.f>'r\v vi&v fj.eyd\us tv Kvply TJ(J,UI> 'Irjffov X/jttrr^, 8ei;a/j.{i>ois rd 
fj,ifj.r)/j.a.Ta 777? aX7?0oCs dyairtjs KCU Trpoir^fj.\f/a<TLv etc. (Polyc. ch. r) and in vcritate 
sociati (ch. 10), with the ^x^/"?"> irpovtfjL^as and vvvfpyol ry d\r}0flqi of 3 Jn 3 8, 
and the general tenor of that passage. 




and the Fourth Gospel 21 

hand the evidence is partly indeterminate, partly indirect. 
Neither can fairly be reckoned a witness adverse to the 
existence at this time of the Fourth Gospel or the recognition 
of its Johannine authorship, and this is in itself important. 
On the contrary the phenomena that we have noted point to 
acquaintance with it, but we cannot feel confident that they 
may not be due to some other cause, so long at least as we 
confine our attention to the Sub-apostolic Age 1 . The decision 
between alternative explanations must come, if it is to come 
at all, from the position which the Gospel holds and the 
strength of the tradition in its favour, which we shall observe 
later. These may render it highly probable that the corre- 
spondences with its thought and language in the very early 
writings which we have now been considering should be put 
to the account of its use. And the grounds for believing that 
our first Gospel was already in use at this time are not 
essentially different. The signs of its use are indeed more 
distinct, but they would hardly suffice to establish the point 
apart from its probability independently. 

1 See further pp. 165-6, 235-7, on the absence of direct allusions to the Apostle 
John in the Epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp. The question considered in the 
present chapter is simply whether in the language of these writings there are 
indications of the influence of the Fourth Gospel. 



ADDITIONAL NOTE I. TO CHAPTER I. 

THE FORM OF ANCIENT BOOKS AS AFFECTING 
HABITS OF QUOTATION. 

i. The only kind of division of the subject-matter which was ever 
common in Greek and Roman Literature even to the sixth century A.D. 
was " the book," in the sense of a portion of a larger work. The book in 
this sense, as the names for it in Greek and Latin (/3i'/3Xos and /3t/3Xi'oi>, 
volumen, also later and more rarely rd/ioy) imply, corresponded originally 
and normally with the contents of a roll. (See Birt, Antike Buchwesen 
esp. chh. 3, 5 and 7, comparing Bergk, Griechische Literaturgeschichte I. 
p. 226 f.) For the most part works which could be comprised within a roll 
of moderate proportions as for example most of Plato's Dialogues and 
even the longer writings of the New Testament could be had no divisions, 
and larger works no lesser ones. Only in the case of works of a few 
authors do we hear of chapters or headings (K0aXuia, capita, also called 
Tt'rXot) which served to break up the text into portions. The scholiasts 
and commentators upon Aristotle speak of such in his treatises. In the 
main this evidence belongs to the third and following centuries A.D. ; but 
the divisions in question may, at least in some instances, have been early 
introduced and traditionally preserved. Yet they do not seem to have been 
employed in all his works. The Constitution of Athens, in the recently 
recovered papyrus MS. of it, is without them (see Kenyon's ed. p. xviii.). 
Moreover, so far as I have observed, the scholiasts and commentators 
themselves, though they mention chapters when discussing the question 
how a treatise should be analysed, rarely refer to statements, opinions 
or words as contained in such and such a chapter. Commonly they 
give only the philosopher's name, or the treatise, or book of the treatise, 
with an indication sometimes that the passage will be found near the 
beginning, or the end, of a treatise, or book. In writers earlier than the 
fourth century A.D. this vague mode of reference is, I believe, universal. 
Moreover, the works other than those of Aristotle, which were divided 
into chapters, seem to have been chiefly those which consisted of a 
series of articles, such as collections of marvellous stories, books on 
Natural History and Botany, medical, and probably also legal, books. 
Clement of Alexandria (circ. A.D. 200) also seems to have divided his 




Form of ancient books 23 

Miscellanies into chapters. " Let this second Miscellany," he writes at 
the close of the second book, "here terminate on account of the length 
and number of the chapters." The only instance of a reference to a 
numbered chapter appears to be that in Cassiodorus (Lib. Lit. ch. 3, Migne, 
vol. LXX. col. 1204) to "the ninth chapter of the first book of ^^Antiquities 
of Josephus." These numbers may have been inserted in the Latin trans- 
lation which Cassiodorus himself caused to be made (Div. Lit. ch. 17, 
Migne, ib. col. 1133). [For the instances given, see Bergk, ib. p. 233, 
Birt, ib. p. 157. To the examples of works with headings quoted by these 
writers, Dioscorides on Plants and Roots may be added, see Palaeo- 
graphical Society's Publications, I. plate 177. On the other hand, they 
are both, I believe, in error when they state that Symmachus' copy of 
Seneca had chapters. The reference to Seneca by Migne (ap. Symm. 
Ep. x. 27), or some other editor, introduced within a bracket, has, it 
would seem, been mistaken for part of Symmachus' text. Of the employ- 
ment of any subdivisions of chapters there is no trace whatever. The word 
Tfiq/ua (section) is indeed used, but only as an equivalent for xe^aXatoi'.] 

But passages in a book may be referred to by other means than 
divisions made according to the sense. We cite often by the page. It 
does not, however, seem to have been customary to number the pages of 
the MSS. of literary works in ancient times, and references are never given 
thus. There would be obvious difficulties in the way of doing so, since 
different scribes would bring a different amount into a page, and after 
several pages the discrepancy might be serious. It would be possible, 
also, to place numbers in the margin, which even in prose-works might 
correspond with some definite number of lines in a standard copy. The 
lengths of prose works, as well as of poems, were actually specified by the 
numbers of lines they contained, some standard plainly being assumed. 
But the purpose of so measuring seems in general to have been either to 
fix the price which should be paid for the labours of the copyist, or to 
indicate the extent of an author's works on account of the biographical 
interest which such a fact had. But the affixing of a series of successive 
numbers to small portions of the text in accordance with some standard 
copy or standard length of line was certainly rare, and it is doubtful 
whether it was ever done. [Cp. Bergk, ib. p. 230-1; Birt, ib. p. I58ff. 
esp. pp. 175-7.] Birt seems to me to misinterpret somewhat the evidence 
afforded by the few cases in which some use is made of numbers of lines 
as a means of indicating the places where passages could be found, and 
in particular the references in Annotations of Five of Cicero's Orations 
by Asconius Pedianus (B.C. 2 A.D. 83). Even these do not prove that 
he could rely on there being corresponding numbers in the copies of this 
much studied author which his readers would have. He always prefixes 
" circa" to these numbers about so many lines from the first, or the last. 
It is true the numbers are not all strictly speaking round numbers. He 
says not only "about 300," "about 600," but "about 620," "about 640." 
But it should be remembered that when, for instance, " about 620" follows 
" about 600," the reader after having found the earlier words indicated 



24 Form of ancient books 

would easily find the next by counting 20 lines, in which amount there 
would not be room for a serious difference. Further Asconius also uses 
the following expressions, "about the middle," "about the third part 
from the beginning," or again, "after two parts of the speech," and "after 
three parts"; and several times after giving a reference in one of the ways 
that have been mentioned he introduces the next passage of which he 
wishes to speak with the words "a little afterwards," and the intervals 
thus described vary considerably ; they must have extended in some cases 
to several columns of a MS. It is manifest that he would not have 
spoken thus, if he could readily have given some precise number. 

2. Let us turn now to the Scriptures. We hear of chapters in the 
Old and New Testaments from Clement of Alexandria (Strom, I. xxi. 
p. 409) and Tertullian (Ad Uxorem, ii. 2) respectively. But perhaps we 
ought not to infer from these allusions that the New Testament was even 
in their time systematically divided throughout (cp. Scrivener, Introduc- 
tion to the Criticism of the New Testament, 4th ed. p. 58). Nevertheless 
it is very possible that divisions had been already introduced because of 
the great value they would have in connexion with public reading in the 
congregation, as shewing where the reader should begin and end. And 
divisions may well have been made some time before in the LXX. to 
facilitate its use in the synagogues of the Hellenistic Jews, and this 
would have furnished a precedent. A regular cycle of lessons could not, 
of course, be established apart from such divisions in the text. The 
words of Justin Martyr render it difficult to suppose that a cycle existed in 
his day; he speaks of the reading in the Christian assemblies continuing 
" so long as there is time," /xe'xpiy e'yxupc? (Apol. i. 67). But, as I have 
said, chapters would be useful in public reading even before the adoption 
of a cycle. The Gospels were also broken up into sections with a view to 
the comparison of the parallel passages in different Gospels. Some have 
supposed that, soon after the middle of the second century, Tatian made 
sections when constructing his Diatessaron\ in any case Ammonius 
virtually did so in the next century, whether he numbered his sections or 
not (cp. Scrivener, ib. p. 59 f.). 

It is possible, then, that by the middle of the second century, or a 
little later, divisions of some kind had been made in the text of the 
Gospels ; but we should certainly not be justified in supposing that any 
existed earlier than this. 



3. For the purpose of comparison with the early Fathers in respect 
to habits of quotation no writings could be more suitable than the Moral 
Essays of Plutarch. They abound in quotations from prose authors, more 
especially Plato, and Plutarch was a contemporary of the Roman Clement. 
He stayed and lectured in Rome when Clement was the chief personage 
in the Christian Church there. Plutarch unquestionably knew his Plato 
well, and he frequently quotes striking expressions and sentences from 



Form of ancient books 25 

him with accuracy. Nevertheless there are not a few indications that he 
usually quotes from memory. 

It is hardly necessary to point out that a distinction should be made 
between the amount of accuracy to be expected in quoting prose and 
verse. Verse is more easily remembered, and the learning of portions of 
the poets by heart formed a considerable part of education. Yet even 
quotations from the poets in ancient writers are often inaccurate, or differ 
at all events from our text of them. 



ADDITIONAL NOTE II. TO CHAPTER I. 

THE PARALLELISMS WITH THE GOSPELS IN THE 
APOSTOLIC FATHERS. 

I have in this Additional Note given the Greek of the parallelisms 
referred to above, and have also in some cases examined them more fully. 

i. Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. 

(a) Ch. xiii. I b and 2. 
p.d\i(TTa p,ep.VT]p.(voi ra>i> Aoycoi/ TOV Kvpiov 'lijcrov, ovs fXdXrjcrev diddcrnwv 



KCU p,aKpodvp,iav ourcoy yo-p tMFtV 
e'Xeare tva eXcrjdrJTf, ......................................................... (l) 

d(piT( iva d(f)(df) vp.1v ...................................................... (2) 

a>s Troteire, ovrto Troir/^trerai vp.lv ....................................... (3) 

vTtos 8odrj(TTai vp.1v .......................................... (4) 

OVT&S Kpi6r)(Tf(rd- ............................................. (5) 

VTfOS Xpr](TTvdf)(TTai Vp.1v ........................... (6) 

eo /Lte'rpo) jLierpelre, eV CLVTM p.erpr)6r](reTai vp.1v ............................ (7) 

(1) Cp. Mt. V. 7 p*aKapioi ol e\er)p.oves, OTI avrol e\(T)0r)crovTai. \ee1v 
occurs again in a very similar saying at Mt. xviii. 33 but not in any like 
saying in Mk or Lu. But Cp. Lu. vi. 36 yLvea-Be oiKripp-oves icadus 6 iraTTjp 
vp.S)v OLKTipp.<i)v eVrtV. 

(2) Puts briefly the double saying in Mt. vi. 14, 15 eav yap d<pr)Tc TOIS 
dvdpooTTOis TO. TraparrTO)p.aTa avrSbv, d<pr)(Ti KCU vp.1v 6 jrarrfp vp.wv 6 ovpdvios' 
eav Se p.r) d(pf]T TOLS avdpatrrois TO. TrapairTU>p.aTa avrwv, ovde 6 Trarrjp vp-utv 
d<pt](Tfi TO. TrapaTrrco/iara vp.(&v. 

There is a similar saying in Mk xi. 25. Cp. Lu. vi. 37 b diroXverf KOI 



(3) Cp. Mt. vii. 12 a irdvra ovv oara eav 0\r)T iva TTOIOHTIV vp.1v ol 
av^pcoTrot, oura)p K.OL vpcls Troielre avToiy, and Lu. vi. 3 1 K 
Iva TTOiaxriv vp.1v ol avdpaiTroi, rroLelre avrois o/iot'tos 1 . 



26 Parallelisms with the Gospels 



(4) Cp. Lu. VI. 38 a 5i'8oTf KOI fiotf^o-erai vp.lv. 

(5) Cp. Mt. vii. I fir) npiveTf Iva p.T) npidfJTC, or Lu. vi. 37 a p-T) KpivfTC 
Kal ov p.f) <pidfJT. 

(6) Cp. Lu. vi. 35, where we are exhorted to imitate God, and He is 
said to be xp^oroy. This epithet is not applied to God in Mt. 

(7) Almost exactly as in Mt. vii. 2 and Lu. vi. 38 b. 

"The form of the first two of these clauses "shew pity in order that 
ye may be pitied, forgive in order that it may be forgiven to you" is the 
same as that of Mt. vii. i a. The form of the next three clauses O>S...OVT<I) 
(or OVTUS) is not found exactly in either Mt. or Lu. ; but we have Kada>s 
at beginning of sentence in Lu. vi. 31 with 6p.oiW at end; and OVTWS in 
middle at Mt. vii. 12 a. Note that the parallels in Luke all occur in 
Lu. vi. 31 and 35 38. In St Matthew they are scattered. 

(6) Ch. xlvi. 7 b and 8. 
\ivj]<jBr]Tf T>V \6y<i)v 'lr)o~ov TOV Kup/ou fjpwv flirfv ydp- oval ro> ai>$pa>7TG> 

KLV(f KO\OV TfV OUTO) fl OVK fyCWTjOr), T) fVCL TO)V fK\KTO)V fAOV (TKai>8aAt(Tai' 

Kpelrrov rjv avT<p irfptTedrjvai p.v\ov Kal KaraTrovTKrdfjvai els rrjv 6d\a<T(rav, 

T) fVa TtOV K\KToi)V fiOV 



The purport of the saying is the same as of that at Mt. xviii. 6, 7, 
Lu. xvii. i 6, 2, Mk ix. 42. It is nearest in form to Mt. xviii. 6, 7 os 5' av 
<TKav8a\i(rr] eva TU>V piKpav TOVTW TO)V TricrTtvovTW els f/xe, <rvp.<pp(i avrw iva 
f) p.v\os OVIKOS irepl TOV rpa^rfKov avrov KCU KaTcnrovTio-dfj ev r<a 
rf/s 6a\d(T(rT)s. Oval r<u KOO-/IO) OTTO TCOV (r<av8d\o)v dvdy<r] yap 
e\6flv TO. (TKavSaXa, ir\f)v oval rw dvdpwTra) fit' ov TO (TKavfiaXov ep^frai. We 
have here the unusual word KaTairovTio-6fj which does not occur in the 
other Gospels. We have also a woe pronounced on the man who causes 
offence, which is not included in the parallel in Mk. This woe is, 
however, placed at the beginning in Clernent, at the end in Mt. In 
this respect Clement resembles Luke. But, further, the woe is amplified 
after the manner of the saying about the traitor in the form that it has in 
Mt. xxvi. 24 and Mk xiv. 21. 

ra>v fKXfKTuv pov is substituted for T&V p.iKp>v TOVTUV T&V rrurrtvovrav 
(Is ffie : f<\KToi is a not uncommon word in the Synoptic Gospels. 
8iao-Tpt<p(iv is used in much the same sense as it has in Clement at Acts 
xiii. 8, 10. 

(*) Parallelisms of language where there is no express reference 
to Christ's teaching. 

With Clem. xvi. 17 ei yap 6 Kvpios OVTUS (Tairfivo<pp6vr)o-(v, ri TTOIJJ- 
o~(op,(v T)p.(ls ol vTTo TOV vyov TTjs \dpiTos avTov 81 avTov (\66vTfs; compare 
Mt. xi. 29 apaTf TOV vyov p.ov ...... ort irpavs dpi teal Tairtivos etc. 

At Clem. xxiv. 5 we have frjK6ev 6 o-Trdpuvj cp. Mt. xiii. 3 and 
parallels. 




in the Apostolic Fathers 27 

ii. Polycarfis Epistle to the Philippians. 
(a) Ch. ii. 

p,VT)p,ovevovT(s fie $>v tiTTfv 6 Kvptos di8d(TK<av 

P.T) Kpivcre, Iva p.^ KpidrjTf ................................................... (l) 

a0i'ere, KCU afped^arfTat vfj.lv ................................................ (2) 

e'Xearf, Iva \rjdrJTf ......................................................... (3) 

<u p.frpa> yLtrrperre, dvTip,fTpr)Qr)(rTai vp.lv .............................. (4) 

Km on, 

p.(in(if)ioi ol Trreo^oi KCU ot fiia)Ko/iei>ot cveiccv diKaio&vvrjs, ort avra>v 
early 17 /3a(riXeia ro tfeoO ................................................ (5) 

In general form the first part of this passage closely resembles that in 
Clem. xiii. 2, but three clauses are omitted two of which happen to be 
those which have parallels in St Luke only and the order is changed. 
Moreover Polycarp's first clause agrees exactly with Mt. vii. i ; his (4) 
also has the word ai/rt/zerpT^o-erai which seems to be the right reading in 
Lu. vi. 38 . Further, he adds the first and eighth of the Beatitudes (Mt. 
v. 3 and 10), compressing them into one. Like St Luke, however, he 
omits TO) 7rvvp.ari after TTTO^OI, and has /SatrtXe/a rov dcov for /Sao-tXeia 
r>v ovpav&v. He also substitutes the present 8iooKo/ii/oi for fi 



(b) Ch. vii. 2. 

8er)(T(riv atrov/tei/oi TOV TravreTroTTTrjv 6fov /LU) elo-cveyKflv fjp.as fls irci- 
pao-p-ov, Kudus eiTrev 6 Kvpios' TO p.V 7rvvp.a Trpodvpov, r) fie crap| ao&Wff. 
Cp. Mt. vi. 13 (or Lu. xi. 4), and Mt. xxvi. 41 (or Mk xiv. 38). 

(c) Parallelism without express citation. 

In ch. v. 2 it is said that the Lord became 8taKovos travrtov. This 
exact phrase is found besides only at Mk ix. 35, though Mt. xx. 28 should 
also be compared. 

iii. The Epistles of Ignatius. 

The only express citation of a saying of Christ's in the Epistles of 
Ignatius appears to be taken from an apocryphal or oral source (see 
below). Nevertheless there are several parallelisms with the language of 
the Gospels, some more, some less striking. 

(i) Ad Smyrn. i. i Christ is said to have been baptized by John Iva 
Tr\v)p<i)6fi Tracra 8tKato(TvvT). Cp. Mt. iii. 15* 

The same chapter contains references to other points in the history of 
Christ which are in perfect agreement with the Gospels. It may be noted, 
for instance, that the Lord is said to have been crucified " under Pontius 
Pilate and Herod the tetrarch." Lightfoot remarks (in loc.} that "the 
part taken by Herod is mentioned by S. Luke alone in the Canonical 
writings, Lu. xxiii. 7 12, 15, Acts iv. 27." We must not, however, lay 
stress on this as proving Ignatius' acquaintance with this Gospel, for we 



28 Parallelisms with the Gospels 

shall notice several instances of a disposition to implicate the Jews and 
Herod as King of the Jews as fully as possible in the guilt of Christ's 
crucifixion (see pp. 51 n. i, 98 n. 3, etc.). 

(2) Ad S my r n. vi. i o ^wpwi/ x<wperrci>. Cp. Mt. xix. 12. 

(3) Ad Polyc. ii. 2 Ignatius in exhorting Polycarp to the earnest 
fulfilment of his ministry uses the language of Christ's Charge to His 
disciples as contained in Mt. x. 16, only changing the pi. to the sing.: 
(ppovifios yivov us 6 o<f>is cv Tracriv KOL aKfpatos eitraei a)? 17 7r(pio~Tfpd. 

(4) Ad Trail, xi. I OVTOI OVK flo-lv <pvreia narpos. See also same 
phrase Ad Philad. iii. i. Cp. Mt. xv. 13 spoken in regard to the Pharisees, 
Trdcra (pvrfia TJV OVK (<pvTvo~cv 6 Trarrjp p,ov 6 ovpdvios eKptfadrjo-erai. 

(5) Ad Ephes. xiv. 2 <pavepov TO 8ev8pov dirb rov napirov avrov- ovrvs 
ol irayyf\\6p.(voi. Xptorot) fivm, 8C Siv Trpdo-o~ovo-tv 6<pdr)O-ovTai. Cp. Mt. vii. 
i6a (Lu. vi. 44 a\ also Mt. xii. 33 . 

(6) Ad Rom. vii. 2 6 fj.bs cpu>s eorau/scoTat, cat OVK. earn/ ev (p.ol irvp 
(pt\6v\ov, vd&p 8e (0>v (cat \a\ovv ev '/xot, eo~u>64v p.oi \eyov Aevpo Trpbr 
rov IT are pa. Cp. Jn iv, lof., xiv. 6 etc. 

(7) Ad Philad. vii. I rb irvcvpa. ov n-Xavarai, dirb Qtov ov oldfv yap 
ep^erai Kal TTOV VTrdyet. Cp. Jn iii. 8. 



The following saying, though it bears some resemblance to Lu. xxiv. 
39, seems to differ from it too widely to be taken thence directly. 

ore irpbs rovs TTfp\ tterpov rjXdfv, e(pr) avrols' Aa/3fre, ^r/Xa^^o-are /xf, KOI 
18(T on OVK ft/it Saipoviov do-<i>fjiaTov. Ad Smyrn. iii. 2. Origen (De Princ. 
praef. ch. 8) refers to the latter part of this saying, " Non sumdaemonium 
incorporeum," as contained in "the little book called the Doctrine of 
Peter? Eusebius (H.E. ill. xxxvi. n) notes the citation in Ignatius, adding 
that he knows not whence it was taken. Jerome on the other hand says 
(De Vir. Illustr ch 16 on Ignatius) that it was taken from the Gospel 
which he himself had lately translated, i.e. (see ib. ch. 3) the Gospel 
according to the Hebrews. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE TRANSITION FROM THE SUB-APOSTOLIC AGE TO 
THE AGE OF THE APOLOGISTS AND OF THE CON- 
FLICT WITH GNOSTICISM. 

THE works which have next to be examined the Teaching 
of the Twelve Apostles, the (so-called) Epistle of Barnabas, 
and the Shepherd, by Hermas may possibly, one or more 
of them, have been composed within the same limits of time 
as the Epistles of Clement of Rome, Ignatius and Polycarp ; 
no one of them probably is more than two or three decades 
later. But it can hardly be denied that, in character at all 
events, they differ markedly from those writings. They do 
not breathe so largely the spirit of the New Testament ; and 
the thoughts and needs and difficulties of a new age appear 
in them more clearly. 

The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. 

In the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles that one of the 
three writings just named, in assigning the age of which we 
are most dependent upon general considerations we observe 
that the need has already made itself felt for rules to govern 
the life of the Church, and for their codification. A sharp 
distinction is also drawn between Christian and Jewish 
observances in regard to fasting 1 . On the other hand the 
simplicity of the various rules laid down points to a time 
when the work of systematisation and organisation had not 
proceeded far. In particular it should be noticed that the 
Eucharist has not yet been separated from the Agape, and 
that the New Testament phrase "bishops and deacons" is 

1 ch. 8. 



30 The date of the Didache 

employed, that is to say no distinction is made between a 
chief pastor in each Christian community and the rest of its 
ministers. The bearing of the language in regard to prophets 
upon the question of date is more difficult to estimate. The 
position which they appear to occupy is more analogous to 
that implied in certain passages of the New Testament 
than to anything we read of elsewhere prior to the rise of 
Montanism ; but abuses in connexion with the exercise of the 
vocation of a prophet have already crept in, of which in the 
Apostolic Age there is no sign. Prophesying had clearly 
fallen into abeyance, though it may not have died out wholly, 
in the Church generally, when Montanus and his followers 
revived it. In the time when the Didache was composed it 
must have been still a more or less flourishing institution in 
some not inconsiderable district. On the whole it is very 
improbable that the condition of things to which the pro- 
visions and expressions of this Manual would have been 
applicable can have existed in any part of the Church later than 
about A.D. 130 ; and A.D. 1 10 130 may be suggested as limits 
of time between which it is likely to have been put together 1 . 

1 For the indications of a very early date compare The Apostolic Fathers by 
Lightfoot and Harmer, pp. 215-6. These, it is there said, "point to the first or 
the beginning of the second century, as the date of the work in its present form." 

Zahn, Kanon, \. p. 802, assigns circ. A.D. no as the time of composition, but 
the reasons which he gives are of very doubtful validity. They are "its literary 
relations on the one hand to the Shepherd of Hermas and on the other to the Ep. 
of Barnabas" To many minds these " literary relations " of posteriority to the one 
and priority to the other do not seem to be made out ; while there is also much 
diversity of opinion in regard to the dates of the two works with which he com- 
pares it. The Didache and the Ep. of Barnabas may more probably both be 
dependent upon a common source for the "Two Ways" and not either of them 
upon the other. The parallelisms in a passage of Hermas, also, with the " Two 
Ways" as given in the Didache (cp. Herm. M. ii. 4 6 with Did. i. 5), may be 
due to use of the same source written or oral. Cp. Harnack, Chron. I. 437-8. 
On the other hand the ground for Harnack's contention that the Didache is 
posterior to the Ep. of Barnabas does not seem to be more satisfactory. He 
holds that the setting of a phrase which occurs in both is plainly less original in 
the Didache than in Barnabas ; but this may well be questioned. Moreover the 
phrase is one which might have been common in Christian preaching. 

Further, in fixing the posterior limit for the date of the composition of the 
Didache, Harnack suggests that in some rural district where the work may have 
been composed, the condition of things presupposed in it may have continued to 
circ. A.D. 1 60. (Ib. p. 431.) But a work emanating from a district, which was 
much behind the Church generally in the development of its ecclesiastical organi- 




Date of the Epistle of Barnabas 31 

In the use of the Gospels in this writing advance is 
observable. Not only is the Lord's Prayer given almost 
exactly as in St Matthew, and a saying of the Lord quoted, 
which is contained only in that Gospel, but in two passages, 
one of them on our Duty to God and our Neighbour, the 
other on the Last Things, passages evidently taken from 
St Luke are combined with others from St Matthew 1 . 
Language is also used such as would be natural only if the 
authority for what was taught was documentary 2 . 

The Epistle of Barnabas. 

The position adopted in the Epistle of Barnabas with 
regard to the Old Testament is unlike anything that we find 
either in the New Testament or in the Epistles of Clement, 
Ignatius and Polycarp. To the writer, the character of many 
of its precepts caused difficulty, as they did to those who were 
led to adopt the Gnostic theories. But the difficulty is over- 
come in the work now before us, without calling in question 
the inspiration of the Scriptures, which were accepted by the 
Christian Church. According to it the Mosaic Law was 
divinely revealed, but only as a means of setting forth Divine 
mysteries under a symbolical form. It has true value only 
for those who apply to it the key of a right allegorical inter- 
pretation, and it never had any other. The notion that it was 
to be put in practice was an error of the Jews due to their 
carnal-mindedness 3 . Some little time must have elapsed since 
the Apostolic Age, when this artificial manner of treating the 
Old Testament could suggest itself. The age of Gnosticism 
could hardly have been far off; while, on the other hand, such a 

sation, would not have been likely to exercise the influence which this work did, 
as is shewn by the fact that it became, apparently, the basis of other similar books 
of ordinances. 

1 See Add. Note, p. 70. 

2 ch. xv. 3, 4 bis " as ye have it in the Gospel." Cp. also ch. viii. 2. 

3 See especially chh. 9, 10, 13, 14, 15. Expressions in these chapters, as well 
as the general tenor of the argument, seem to shew that the writer was a Gentile 
Christian. It may be reasonably conjectured that Alexandria was the place of 
composition ; cp. Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt I, II. pp. 504-5. 

St Paul's argument i Cor. ix. ,9 "Is it for the oxen that God careth etc." 
bears a resemblance to, but falls very far short of, the contention in Barnabas. 
Even Origen afterwards did not advocate such an extreme view. 



32 Date of the Epistle of Barnabas 

view could not well have been put forward unaccompanied by 
any reference to the Gnostic teaching, after this had begun 
to be propagated. These considerations lead us to assign 
A.D. 120 130 as the approximate limits of time within which 
the work was composed. 

Allusions in this work to facts of history have been 
thought to suit various dates from A.D. 70 to A.D. I32 1 . In 
ch. iv. the writer warns his readers that the end is near, and 
implies that this is to be deduced from Daniel's vision of the 
beast in the midst of whose ten horns another little horn 
arose, before which three of the former were overthrown. He 
expressly refers to Daniel, and also quotes another prophetic 
utterance which is evidently based on this vision of Daniel. 
Three eminent critics in recent times, Weizsaecker 2 , Light- 
foot 3 and Ramsay 4 , have explained the application of these 
quotations in the Ep. of Barnabas in partially different ways, 
and yet with the result that they all place the writing in the 
reign of Vespasian A.D. 70 79. But the theories of the two 
former clearly do violence either to the terms of the prophecy, 
or to history; while that of the third, though the least un- 
satisfactory, is itself not free from objection 6 . In addition 
to this, the date they arrive at is improbably early, in 
view of the character of the work, and the form of one of its 
Evangelical quotations to be presently noticed. 

Interpretations of the Apocalyptic language which make 
it point to a later reign are, it is true, not more convincing 6 . 
On account of the uncertainty of its meaning, it seems wisest 
to lay little stress upon this passage in attempting to determine 
the date of the work. It may be that, as Harnack suggests 7 , 
the writer quoted the prophecy without having any precise, 
clearly worked-out application present to his thoughts; or 
again, that he, as his modern interpreters do, forced the 

1 The allusions in question are contained in ch. iv. and ch. xvi. 3 8. The 
latter passage shews at least that it must fall between these dates. 

2 Abhandlung zur Kritik des Barnabasbriefes aus dem Codex Sinaiticus (1863), 
p. 27 ff. 

3 Ib. p. 505 ff. 

4 Church tti Roman Empire, ch. xiii. 6, pp. 307-9 in first edition. I have 
unfortunately been unable to compare any later edition. 

6 Cp. Harnack, Chron. I. pp. 418 22. 6 Harnack, ib. p. 423. 

? Ib. p. 423. 






The use in it of St Matthew 33 



language which he quotes, but in some way of his own which, 
just because it was more or less arbitrary, we cannot certainly 
divine. The language of ch. 1 6 appears on the whole to suit 
the circumstances of A.D. I3O-I 1 . Taking into account the 
doctrinal tendency which we have noticed in the work, we 
may give circ. A.D. 130 as its probable date. 

The point in regard to the Ep. of Barnabas, which is of 
interest in connexion with the history of the use of the 
Gospels, is that here we have our earliest instance of the 
citation of a saying of Christ as " scripture." This of itself 
would be somewhat strange, if this writing was produced, as 
some have supposed, some twenty years earlier than the 
earliest of the writings considered in the last chapter. 
The saying in question is contained in the Gospel accg to 
St Matthew and could not so far as we know have been 
derived from any other source 2 . 

There are other signs that the writer was familiar with 
this Gospel 3 , but no distinct traces of the use of the other two 
Synoptics or of St John. He gives as a saying of the Lord 
the words " So I make the last things as the first things 4 ." 
This bears a resemblance to a well-known saying in the 
three Synoptic Gospels ; but as it would have served the 
purpose of the writer's argument equally well, if not better, 
to have employed the masculine, it is on the whole most 
likely that he is quoting from an Apocryphal work, or from 
oral tradition. 

1 Cp. Harnack, Chron. I. pp. 423-6. 

2 Barn. iv. 14: "Let us give heed lest haply we be found, as it is written, 
' many called, but few chosen.'" (npo<rtx<i}/j.ev /tt^Trore, u>s ytyparrTcu, TroXXoi K\t)Tol, 
6\iyoL 5e e/cXe/croi evpe9ufj.ev, cp. Mt. xxii. 14.) 

3 There are striking parallelisms in ch. 7 with the narrative of the Passion in 
St Matthew. Cp. Barn. vii. 3 and 5 with Mt. xxvii. 34, 48; and Barn. vii. 9 
with Mt. xxvii. 30 and 54. Again in Barn. v. 9 there is an allusion to the 
saying of Christ at Mt. ix. 13 (also Mk ii. 17, Lu. v. 82); and at Barn. xii. n a 
parallelism with Mt. xxii. 45 (also Mk xii. 37, Lu. xx. 44). 

4 Barn. vi. 13. \tyei 5t Ktipw 'I5oi> iroiu TO. foxara us rd. Trpura. Cp. 
Mt. xx. 1 6 etc. 



S. G. 



34 The date of the 



The SJiepherd of Hennas. 

In the ShepJierd by Hermas coming events of another 
kind may be seen to have cast their shadows before them. 
Questions begin to emerge which greatly occupied the minds 
of men in the days of the Montanist, Novatianist and Donatist 
schisms. A sublime and comprehensive conception of the 
Church is present to the writer's mind ; he has a deep sense 
of her essential holiness, while he is painfully aware of the 
contrast between this ideal and the moral and spiritual state 
of far too many of her members. The need for wide-spread 
repentance is the great theme of the book. In connexion 
with this the possibility of forgiveness for post-baptismal sin 
is considered. Already there were some teachers who denied 
it, and in the Shepherd itself their view is admitted to be true 
for the time to come. But it is maintained that for those 
who before that time had sinned God has mercifully left open 
the path of restoration 1 . The writer must have been conscious 
of the novelty of the doctrine that there could be no renewal 
for those who fell after baptism ; he felt, therefore, it would 
seem, that as Christians hitherto had not been sufficiently 
warned of this, allowance must be made as to the past ; but 
henceforth there would be no excuse. In the immediate 
sequel to the passage to which we have been here mainly 
referring, he deals with another point still more leniently 
than the rigorists of a later time did, and the very fact that 
the two questions are associated in Hermas is not without 
interest and importance. Hermas asks his heavenly instructor 
about the lawfulness of second marriages after the death of 
one consort, and the answer is that they are not sinful, though 
at the same time to refrain from re-marriage is the higher 
course 2 . On the other hand the duty of a husband to remain 
unmarried if his wife has proved unfaithful is firmly laid 
down ; if he marries again he commits adultery ; moreover 
he ought to keep himself free to receive his wife back again 
if she repents 3 . Distinctions are also made between different 

1 M. 4, iii. (cp. V. 2, ii. 8); S. 9, xxvi. 6, and M. 4, iv. 3, 4. 

2 M. 4, iv. i, 2. 8 M. 4, i. 48. 




Shepherd of Hermas 35 

degrees of guilt among those who have denied the faith 1 . 
In the treatment of these cases of conscience and questions 
as to the position of various classes of offenders in this little 
work we see in truth the beginnings of the development 
of the Church's system of discipline and of Moral Theology. 

Further, in the Church as the author of the Shepherd 
knows it, especially no doubt the Church in the city of Rome 
to which he belonged, various social grades were represented. 
He dwells much on the duties and temptations of the rich. 
We may note in particular that some of them shewed an 
inclination to keep aloof from the company of their Christian 
brethren 2 . Other Christians had sinned through coveting 
places of preeminence in the Church 3 . 

The state of feeling and the condition of the Church 
implied are very different from those that we trace in the 
Epistle written by Clement, the chief personage in the same 
Church, near the end of the first century. It is, indeed, on all 
grounds difficult to suppose that they could have arisen, or 
that the questions to which reference has been made could 
have been put and answered in the definite manner that they 
are here, before the second generation after the deaths of 
SS. Peter and Paul at earliest. 

But we must proceed to discuss some more exact indica- 
tions of date, or what seem to be such. If the statement of 
the writer near the beginning, that he was charged to deliver 
one copy of his work to Clement, in order that he might send 
it to foreign cities 4 , is to be taken as sufficient evidence that 
Clement was alive when it was written, we cannot place its 
composition later than about A.D. ioo 5 . On the other hand, 
according to the well-known words of the Muratorian fragment, 
it was written by the brother of Pius, during the episcopate 
of the latter, for which the years A.D. 140 155 may be 
assigned 6 . We shall presently consider what amount of 
weight is to be allowed to the latter statement. At this 

1 S. 9, xix. and xxi. 3, xxvi. 3, 4 ; xxviii. 4. See further below, p. 38 f., on 
these different classes of apostates. 

2 S. 8, viii. i. 

3 S. 8, vii. 46. 4 V. 2, iv. 3. 

5 As to this date for Clement's death cp. Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt i, I. p. 343. 

6 Ib. p. 325 f. 

32 



36 The date of the 

point we would observe only that we need not feel ourselves 
strictly bound by the former reference. The role assigned 
here to Clement may well be regarded as part of the 
imaginary mise en scene. That this use should be made 
of an eminent character from among the departed will not 
seem strange to anyone at all familiar with Apocalyptic 
literature, of the characteristics of which this work partakes. 
It is true that the writer, who does not seem to be concealing 
his own personality, associates himself with Clement in the 
task of making known the revelations which he had received, 
reserving to himself the duty of reading them to " this city 
(Rome) and to the presbyters." But there would be nothing 
incongruous in the author's thus joining himself with Clement, 
even when writing after his death, if by the time when it took 
place he was already an adult Christian 1 . All that we should 
then need to assume would be that, as part of the fiction, he 
has placed the time of his receiving the visions and the other 
instruction of his heavenly teacher, and of his writing all this 
down, earlier by some years (more or fewer) than he actually 
composed the work. Its date would not in this way be 
removed very greatly from the time of Clement, but this may 
be sufficient to account for its peculiarities. The age was in 
all probability one when change was rapid in the Christian 
Church. 

The express allusions to persecutions and their effects 
must be examined with special care. Hermas learns that 
those who have "suffered for the Name" have seats reserved 
for them on the right side of the sanctuary in the heavenly 
temple. " What," he asks, " have they endured ? " " Stripes, 
imprisonments, great afflictions, crosses, wild beasts," is the 
reply. Therefore they " have a certain glory " as everyone 
will " who suffers for the Name." But Hermas himself, and 
others who have not been called to confessorship, are to be 
placed on the left side of the sanctuary, though all enjoy 
"the same gifts and the same promises 2 ." Mention is also 
made repeatedly, and with greater distinctness than in any 

1 This would of course be perfectly consistent with his being a brother of Pius, 
if he was an older brother. 

2 V. 3, i. 9 ii. i. See also S. 9, xxviii. 3. 




Shepherd of Hennas 37 

other Christian writing which can be thought to be either 
earlier or contemporary, of those who have abjured the faith 
under the stress of persecution 1 . Some of these " apostates 8 " 
had even blasphemed against the Lord and betrayed their 
brethren and the Church 3 . Another type of character is 
referred to: "double-minded men" who "as soon as they 
hear of affliction, owing to their cowardice, commit acts of 
idolatry, and are ashamed of the Name of their Lord 4 ." It 
is a sad but interesting trait. These faint-hearted Christians, 
when trouble threatened, did not even wait to be brought up 
before a magistrate and required by him to offer sacrifice. 
They hastened to conform in some way openly to heathen 
customs in order that they might not be objects of suspicion 
to their neighbours and the authorities. 

In one place he speaks of " those who formerly denied," 
in another of "those who long ago denied," and in both he 
distinguishes those whom he thus describes from such as 
should deny the faith in the trial which, he is convinced, 
is at hand 5 . He knows, it would seem, of no acts of apostasy 
which are very recent; it does not at least occur to him to 
deal with them. He treats only of two cases ; (a) apostates of 
old standing, (b) apostates in the future. This fact should be 
carefully noted ; it appears to be a crucial one. There does 
not seem to be anything in other parts of the Shepherd which 
is seriously inconsistent with the language of these passages 6 . 
Now in the third and beginning of the fourth century, when 
we have much fuller knowledge of the Church's history, she 
had times of comparative quiet, during which she grew 

1 Probable, or possible, allusions in the New Testament, etc. are the SeiXof in 
Apoc. xxi. 8, and indirectly Apoc. ii. 13, iii. 8; the "antichrists who went out 
from us," i Jn ii. 18, 19 ; the words of Polycarp ad Phil. vii. i 5s 8u> /AT? b^6\oyg 
TO /AapTvpLov TOV ffTavpov ^K TOV 5ta/36\oi> tffrlv, and of Ignatius ad Pol. vi. 6 pr/ris 



2 The word dTrtxrrdTTjs is used V. 1, iv. 2, S. 8, vi. 4. These are, I believe, 
much the earliest instances in extant Christian literature of the use of the word in 
the specific meaning of one who has abjured the Christian faith. 

3 S. 8, vi. 4. 

4 S. 9, xxi. 3. On those who hesitate whether they shall confess or deny, see 
ib. xxviii. 4 7. 

5 ot irporepoi' dpuriffafj-fvot, V. 2, ii. 8 ; o! TrdXcu -f)pvr}fj^voi, S. 9, xxvi. 6. 

6 With what I have urged on this point cp. Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt 2, I. p. 508. 
The only passage which may seem at first difficult to reconcile with it is S. 9, xxi. 3, 



38 The date of the 

rapidly, alternating with periods, generally much shorter 
ones, of acute trial, each of which produced noble confessors, 
but also, alas ! its crop of apostates. When at an earlier 
time the conditions were similar, we cannot doubt that they 
had like effects; and indeed the language of Hermas to which 
we have been adverting goes far to prove it. 

But we desire to ascertain as nearly as we can the time at 
which it would have been natural for him to write as he did. 
He is looking back to some time of persecution in the past. 
He speaks of the denials of Christ which have taken place as 
having happened "long ago." We ought not to press too 
hardly his silence as to more recent falls. The position of 
Christians from the latter part of the first century to the end 
of the Diocletian persecution was always more or less in- 
secure, and now and again, even in the times which were 
relatively speaking peaceful for them, alarms occurred or 
acts of oppression 1 under which some stood firm and others 
quailed. But the great majority of those who, at the time 
when Hermas wrote, needed to repent of having denied 
their Lord, had fallen, as we must conclude from the expres- 
sions used, not less than ten to fifteen years before 2 . On the 
other hand, after thirty to thirty-five years had elapsed since 
the last severe persecution there would be very few (if any) 
such still living and known in the place where they had thus 
sinned. Will these considerations enable us to fix dates 
between which Hermas's book must have been composed ? 

After Nero's savage onslaught Christians do not seem to 
have been seriously persecuted till near the close of Domitian's 
reign 3 , but at that time the Church, as the Ep. of Clement, 



quoted above. But the present seems to be used here because a certain type 
of character is in question. 

1 This is well illustrated in Justin's Second Apology c. I ff. Crescens' attack 
upon Justin himself may also fall in the same reign. 

2 With Hermas' expression oi TraXctt ripvri^voi it is interesting to compare 
what Pliny writes to Trajan (Ep. 96): "Alii ab indice nominati esse se Chris- 
tianos dixerunt et mox negaverunt ; fuisse quidem sed desisse, quidam ante plures 
annos, non nemo etiam ante viginti quoque." 

3 It is unnecessary for me to go into the question, which has been much 
discussed, as to the precise position of Christians before the law under successive 
emperors from Nero to Trajan, or the motives from which they were attacked. 






Shepherd of Hermas 39 



confirmed by not a little other evidence, shews, was greatly 
harassed, especially in the imperial city. 

The two years of Nerva's reign have always been held to 
have been a time of general peace for the Church. But there 
are also no well-authenticated instances of Roman martyrs 
under Trajan 1 and Hadrian. And even if it is allowed that 
the very untrustworthy Acts of Martyrdoms said to have 
taken place in Rome and its neighbourhood during these 
reigns may contain an element of truth, the result is not to 
give us any large total amount of persecution. In the 
provinces there was more persecution, at least in one part of 
Trajan's reign. Pliny's letter to that emperor (autumn or 
winter of A.D. 1 12) 2 proves this as regards Bithynia. But it is 
probable that from that time forward through Trajan's policy, 
set forth in his rescript to Pliny on that occasion (Pliny, Ep. 
97) which was followed also, and carried further, by Hadrian, 
persecution was to a considerable extent restrained through- 
out the empire 3 . If Hennas was thinking of apostates else- 
where than in Rome they might be such as were made by the 

It can hardly be doubted that they did, in point of fact, suffer severely under both 
Nero and Domitian, and this is sufficient for my present purpose. 

1 Ignatius was martyred in Rome in this emperor's reign. But he had been 
seized as a Christian in far-off Antioch and sent to the capital like an ordinary 
criminal, when victims were needed for the Roman amphitheatre. The seizure of 
a Roman citizen, and even of a dweller in Rome, would have seemed to most 
Romans (we may believe) quite a different matter. Ignatius' letter to the 
Christians in Rome even assumes that they might have influence to get him off; 
he is afraid of their using it (c. iv.). 

Telesphorus, the seventh bishop of Rome, is stated by Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. 
III. iii. 3) to have been martyred, but we do not know for what reason he was so. 
According to Eusebius (H. E. IV. x.) it happened in the first year of Antoninus 
Pius. 

The populace in Rome does not seem to have been so prone, as that of many 
provincial cities was, to make onslaughts upon the Christians. Possibly it was 
kept under better control ; or it had come to be more tolerant of strange creeds, 
owing to the motley collection of nationalities and religions with which it had 
become familiar; or the Christian body was lost to view in the vast city. It will 
be remembered that the attacks from which Christians suffered in Rome in the 
first century, whether on the ground that they were Christians or as Jews, 
proceeded from emperors. Later, however, after the Conversion of the Empire, 
attachment to paganism and hostility to the new religion were manifested in Rome 
more strongly than almost anywhere else. 

2 See Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt 2, I. p. 56, and II. p. 536 n. and his reference to 
Mommsen. 

3 For the view of the early history of the persecution of the Christian Church 



40 The date of the 

persecution in the days of Pliny's proconsulship or even later. 
But it is evident that in his book the circumstances of the 
Church in Rome are before his mind ; his message is primarily 
to it. He may not have been altogether unconscious of what 
had happened and was happening in the Church at large. But 
he would not write as he does of these apostates of former 
days unless there were such in that city. We must then allow 
an interval, as we have seen, of some ten to fifteen years from 
the last year of Domitian's reign, in choosing our earliest 
limit for the time of the composition of the Shepherd. On 
the other hand we ought not to place it more than thirty to 
thirty-five years later than that epoch. 

Even the latest year however, here allowed for, falls short 
considerably of the earliest date that would agree with the 
statement in the Muratorian fragment on the Canon. This 
document cannot be hastily set aside. For it must have been 
written at Rome itself, or in its immediate neighbourhood, 
near the close of the second or early in the third century 1 . 
It should, however, be observed, that the author of this 
fragment had an object in separating Hermas' ShepJierd as 
much as possible from the Apostolic Age and bringing it 
into connexion with the age of men still living ; he may 
therefore have exaggerated to a certain extent the lateness 
of its origin. It may have been perfectly true that the 
author was the brother of bishop Pius; from this it would 
be a short step to conclude that the work was written 
actually while Pius was bishop, for which there may not 
have been sufficient justification. Moreover, as Lightfoot 
has remarked (Ap. Frs, Pt I, I. p. 360), "considering that we 
possess this testimony" (viz. that Hermas wrote during the 
episcopate of Pius) "in a very blundering Latin translation, 
it may reasonably be questioned whether the Greek original 
stated as much definitely." 

It is to be added that the character of the references to 
the Christian Ministry in the Shepherd can hardly be recon- 

here taken, and the evidence for it, see esp. Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt 2, I. i 22, 
p. 502 ff., ib. Pt i, I. 81, 350 352; also, as to many points, Ramsay, The 
Church in the Roman Empire, cc. x., xii., xiv., esp. pp. 259 f. and 325-9. 
(ist ed.) 

1 See below, p. 247 n. i. 






Shepherd of Hennas 41 



ciled with so late a date as A.D. 140. Three orders are, to say 
the least, not distinctly recognised, and the duty of the higher 
order appears to consist chiefly in the care of the needy and 
desolate and hospitality to strangers 1 . Now there can be no 
doubt that the monarchical episcopate was fully exemplified 
in the person of Anicetus, who became bishop of Rome circ. 
A.D. 155. And a tradition which was firmly held well before 
the end of the second century supplied a regular list of 
bishops filling up all the interval from the time of the 
Apostles 2 . According to this list Pius was the immediate 
predecessor of Anicetus. There is no trace of there having 
been at any time any violent or decided change by which one 
form of Church government was substituted for another. 
There was change no doubt; but it must have taken place by 
way of peaceful and probably at the time unnoticed develop- 
ment. A decade before the middle of the second century, 
and longer than that, the position of the chief presbyter 
must have been clearly marked, and we should expect that 
any writer treating of the themes that Hermas does would 
shew consciousness of this. 

On the whole, if we take the narrower limits suggested 
above for the composition of the Shepherd, thus placing it 
between A.D. no and 125, the different indications in regard 
to it will, perhaps, be reconciled as well as they can be 3 . 

1 A comparison of V. 2, ii. 6 with ib. iv. 2, 3 suggests that ol irporiyo'ufj.evoi r^s 
eKK\ri<rLas of the former passage are the same as oi Trpeafitirfpoi ol Trpoi'crrdftei'ot TTJJ 
eKKXyvlas of the latter. Also, if Clement's position had been in the writer's view 
approximately what that of bishops of the latter part of the century was, or what 
that of bishops in the Churches of Asia already was when Ignatius wrote, it would 
have been natural that it should have been committed to him to address the body 
of presbyters. Again in S. 9, xxvi. there is a reference to 'deacons' and in xxvii. 
to ' bishops,' with which collocation it is impossible not to compare Phil. i. I and 
Clem, ad Cor. 42. Again the stress laid on the exercise of charity in the case of 
the bishops, and silence about teaching, are noticeable (S. 9, xxvii. 2). The only 
"teachers" mentioned are the original preachers of the Gospel, ib. xxv. Cp. the 
enumeration at V. 3, v. i "apostles, bishops, and teachers and deacons." The 
language regarding true and false prophets (M; 11) reminds us somewhat of the 
Didache. 

2 See Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt i, I. p. 340, comparing Harnack's criticisms, 
Chron. I. p. 172 f. 

3 I will briefly state the views of a few well-known writers as to the date of the 
Shepherd. A. Hilgenfeld, Apost. Vdter (1853) arrived at much the same con- 



42 Parallelisms with the Gospels 

In a book professing to consist of a series of communi- 
cations made by a heavenly teacher, express quotations 
would have been out of place, and there are none in the 
Shepherd either from the Old Testament or the New. Never- 
theless, what seem clearly to be reminiscences of all the four 
Gospels occur in it, as well as of several New Testament 
Epistles and of the Ancient Scriptures. The author freely 
adapts the ideas and language of these writings to his own 
purposes. His fifth parable, which is remarkable on account 
of its Christological doctrine, also illustrates well his use of 
the Gospels 1 . The parable of the Vineyard is specially in 
his thoughts, but he combines therewith traits from several 
other parables. A certain man planted a vineyard (Mt. xxi. 
33, Mk xii. i, Lu. xx. 9) in a portion of his field (Mt. xiii. 24). 
He gave it in charge to a certain servant who was faithful and 
well-pleasing and precious to him. [The " servant " is the 
human nature of Christ, see Hermas' own interpretation in 
the sequel, vi. Christ appears to compare Himself to a 
" servant " in the parable of the Great Supper, Lu. xiv. 16 f., to 
which Hermas alludes further on. With the servant's being 
"well-pleasing," evdpearos, cp. eV a> evSo/crja-a Mt. iii. 17 etc.] 

elusion as that reached above. It "was not in any case written before the last 
times of Trajan, and probably not till the reign of Hadrian (117 138). Later 
than this we ought not to go..." See p. i^gf. Lipsius, who discussed the rela- 
tions of the Shepherd to Montanism with great fulness in a series of Articles under 
the title Der Hirte des Hermas und der Montanismus in Rom, in the Zeitschr, f. 
Wiss. Theol. for 1865-6, says it can hardly be earlier, and certainly not much 
later, than the middle of the second century, fb. 1865, p. 283. Zahn on the 
other hand places it A.D. 100, primarily on the ground of the reference to Clement. 
In his Hirt des Hermas (1868) he contends that the characteristics of the work 
either suit, or are not inconsistent with, this time. He adheres to this position 
in Kanon, p. 799 (1888). Salmon prefers a date "a few years later than Zahn." 
Diet, of Chr. Bio. II. p. 917 f. Westcott, Canon, p. 201, makes it contemporary 
with Montanism. Lightfoot, Ep. to Phil, note at end of chap, iv., and Ap. Frs, 
Pt i, I. p. 359 f., briefly discusses the question of the date of the Shepherd ; he 
comes to no conclusion, but he declines to accept the evidence of the Muratorian 
fragment as final. On the ground, however, of this evidence he gave A.D. 145 as 
the date in his Ep. to Gal., and allowed it to stand there to the end. It appears 
in the loth ed. published shortly after his death (pp. 99, 339). Harnack, Chron. I. 
p. 263 f., has a theory that the work was written at different times, the earliest 
little book, which contains the allusion to Clement, being of not later date than 
A.D. i to, while the whole was brought to its present form A.D. 140. 
1 S. 5. ii. See pp. 72 75. 






in the Shepherd of Hennas 43 



The Master bade the servant enclose the vineyard with stakes 
(Mt. and Mk ib.) and went abroad (egfjXOev et? rrjv aTroSr)- 
fjiiav] Mt. Mk and Lu. ib. aTreB^/jirja-ev). The servant did 
as he was commanded, and more than this; he said to himself, 
" I will dig the vineyard, and it will give more fruit" (Lu. xiii. 
8, 9). When the Master saw all this he called his beloved Son 
(Mk xii. 6, Lu. xx. 13) whom he had as his heir (Mt. xxi. 38, 
Mk xii. 7, Lu. xx. 14), and his friends, whom he had as his 
councillors, and they rejoiced with the servant (Lu. xv. 6) at 
the witness which the Master -witnessed to him (a characteristic 
Johannine thought and expression, see esp. Jn v. 32). The 
Master announced to them that it was his purpose to make 
the servant, on account of the work which he had wrought, 
joint-heir with his son, and to this the son consented. So 
after a few days the householder (Mt. xx. I) made a supper 
(Lu. xiv. 16) to celebrate this determination and to carry 
it out. 

So the parable ends; then, just as at the conclusions of 
parables in the Gospels the disciples ask Jesus for explana- 
tions, so Hermas here asks his heavenly instructor to expound 
the parables to him, and he receives the answer " I will ex- 
pound all things to thee" [iravra aoi, eVtXvcrft) ; iii. I. 
See also ib. v. I and cp. Mk iv. 34 e-rreXvev iravra] 
zirikveiv is not used in any other passage of the Gospels.] In 
the explanation ( v., vi.) there are two striking parallels with 
the Gospel accg to St Matthew. We are told that the field is 
this world (Mt. xiii. 37), and of him who in the parable 
appears as a servant it is said that " he received all authority 
from his Father" (Mt. xxviii. 18; cp. also Jn v. 27 and xvii. 2). 

In other passages the parable of the Sower and its 
explanation, as given either in Matthew or Mark, are plainly 
in mind. Of certain Christians it is said : " these are they 
who have faith, but have also wealth of this world : whenever 
tribulation ariseth, because of their wealth and their affairs 
(Trpay/uLareiai,, cp. (jLepL^vai) they deny their Lord " (V. 3, vi. 5). 
Again, "the thistles are the rich, and the thorns are those who 
are mixed up in divers affairs... they err being choked 'by their 
doings" (S. 9, xx. i, 2). A little further on in the same 
Similitude he speaks of plants which are green at the top, 



44 Parallelisms with the Gospels 

but withered at t/ie root, and some plants which are altogether 
wittered by the sun (ib. xxi. i). (With the preceding passages 
cp. Mt. xiii. 6, 7, 21, 22; Mk iv. 6, 7, 17, 18, 19*.) 

In the same context Christ's saying concerning the 
hindrance of riches (Mk x. 23, 24, Mt. xix. 23, Lu. xviii. 24) 
is introduced, and here Hermas seems to have St Mark in 
view. For he not only says that such (the rich) shall hardly 
(Sucr/coXey?) enter the kingdom of God\ but just afterwards he 
repeats, as Christ does according to St Mark, " for such it is 
hard." 

The following parallelisms with expressions or ideas 
occurring in St Matthew alone may be added to those which 
have already been noted, (a) The question is asked what a 
husband is to do if he discovers that his wife, a Christian by 
profession, is living in adultery and she does not repent, but 
adheres to her fornication (eVt/xei/^ rfj iropvela avrrjs). The 
answer is " Let him put her away, and let the husband abide 
alone ; but if he when /te has put away his wife shall marry 
another , he too committeth adultery'' In this passage the writer 
plainly has Mt. xix. 9 in view, and not Mk x. 1 1, or Lu. xvi. 18. 
The excepted case, in which "putting away" is not pro- 
nounced unlawful according to the form of the saying 
in Matthew, is the one that is specially treated in the 
Shepherd-, this is evident from the context. But words in 
regard to the husband are added, in order to guard against 
a possible perversion of Christ's saying 2 , (b) Hermas is 
shewn a tree, of which it is said " this great tree that shadeth 
plains and mountains and all the earth is the law of God 
which is given to the whole world ; and this law is the Son 
of God preached unto the ends of the earth " (S. 8, iii. 2). 
The word tree occurs in the parable of the mustard-plant 
as given in St Matthew and St Luke, but not in St Mark. As 
there are more signs in Hermas of the use of St Matthew 
than of St Luke, it is most natural to see an allusion to, or 
reminiscence of, the former here also, (c) Hermas is bidden 

1 Hermas also in xxix. i 3 of this Similitude speaks of certain choice souls 
who are as babes, so guileless have they ever continued to be. This comparison 
might have been suggested either by Mt. xviii. i 4, 10 and xix. 13 15 ; or by 
Mk ix. 3537 and x. 1316. 2 M. 4. i. 48. 




in the Shepherd of Hennas 45 

to distinguish between false prophets and true by their life 
and their works (M. 11, 16 and context, cp. Mt. vii. 15, 16). 
{d} Certain virgins who are holy spirits must clothe a man 
with their garment (evSvcrdxri TO evSvfjia avrwv ; cp. ez/$e- 
^vfievov evSvfjia yd/jLov, Mt. xxii. 1 1) in order that he may be 
found in the kingdom of God 1 . 

Since we have met with hardly any indications of the use 
of St Mark in the writings which we have examined before 
the Shepherd, it is specially interesting to observe those which 
occur here 2 . We have noticed some already ; we may mention 
besides (a) that Hermas says that " he cannot understand and 
that his heart is hardened" (ov avvlw ovBev, real rj /cap&ia /JLOV 
7T7ra)p(DTai,, M. 4, ii. i). He also (M. 12, iv. 4) speaks of some 
" who have the Lord upon their lips, but their heart hardened" 
(rrjv Be rcapSiav avrwv TreTrwpwfjievrjv). The fault to which 
Jesus traces the dulness of His disciples in Mk vi. 52 and 
viii. 17 f. is exactly that which Hermas acknowledges in his 
own case and the same word is used (cp. also Mk iii. 5). 
(b) Again the precept preserved in St Mark, " Be at peace 
among yourselves" occurs twice in the Shepherd (cp. V. 3, 
ix. 2 and xii. 3 with Mk ix. 50). The only difference is that 
Mark has eV aXXr^Xot?, Hermas eV eaimn?. Hermas may, 
however, have taken it from I Thess. v. 13, his agreement 
with which is exact, (c] Further, in a passage in which 
Hermas describes the work of the Apostles there are striking 
resemblances to the commission given to them at the con- 
clusion of St Mark. One of the mountains which Hermas 

1 S. 9, xiii. 2. In addition to the above parallelisms we may notice also V. 4, 
ii. 6 : ova! rols a.Ko6<Ta<Tit> TO. prjfj.ara raCra /cat irapa.Kov<Ta<riv aiperurepov TJV avrols 
rb pi] yewr)6T)i'ai. The latter half of this sentence might have been taken either 
from Mt. xxvi. 24 or Mk xiv. 21 ; but the thought of the former half corresponds 
with Mt. vii. 26. 

2 Zahn in Hirt d. Hermas, pp. 456-64, maintained that a predominant use of 
the Gospel accg to St Mark is observable in the Shepherd, and even questioned 
there being any traces of acquaintance with St Matthew, and proceeded to argue 
that the use of St Mark having been well established in the Roman Church and 
other Greek-speaking Churches before St Matthew existed in Greek, it held its 
own as the favourite Gospel for some time, even for as much as a generation 
after the Greek St Matthew had appeared. I gather from his Kanon, p. 919 f., 
that he has somewhat modified his opinion as to this ; the evidence as a whole is 
unfavourable to it. 



46 Parallelisms with the Gospels 

saw had many fountains, from which the whole creation (iraa-a 
r) Krio-is) drank. The believers, it is said, from this mountain 
are " apostles and teachers who preached unto the whole world 
and taught the word of the Lord in soberness and purity" 
(S. 9, xxv. i, 2 ; cp. Mk xvi. is) 1 . 

For a reason already given 2 it seems likely that the 
present ending of St Mark, consisting of the last twelve 
verses, was supplied very early in the dissemination of the 
work. The fact, to which I have just drawn attention, that 
there is a parallelism with it in the Shepherd, agrees with this. 
It seems also to follow that the copy with this ending, from 
which all existing copies have been ultimately derived, 
belonged, not to Alexandria, as Mr Burkitt conjectures, but 
to Rome, and that thence the circulation proceeded. And 
this harmonises well with early tradition in respect to the 
composition of this Gospel. 

The signs of acquaintance with the Gospel accg to St Luke 
are the least clear. The parallelisms, however, to which I 
have drawn attention, though slight in themselves, seem to 
me to be worthy of attention when their setting and Hernias' 
manner of writing are taken into account. I know of no 
other to be mentioned, saving the use of Itc/jLaSa by Hermas 
(S. 8, ii. 9, cp. Lu. viii. 6) 3 . 

One instance of Johannine thought and language has 
already come before us; there are others, (a) In M. 3, I 
we read, " Love truth and let nothing but truth proceed out 
of thy mouth, that the Spirit, which God made to dwell in 
this flesh, may be found true in the sight of all men, and thus 
shall the Lord who dwelleth in thee be glorified (SogaaOrf- 
crerat), for the Lord is true (aKyOwos) in every word, and with 
him there is no falsehood" (cp. Jn xvii. 10, vii. 28, I Jn v. 20, 



1 The words Tratra i] Kriffis might also have been taken from Col. i. 23, with 
which Epistle there is a parallel, S. 9, xii. 2. But the thought of the Apostles 
going forth to preach is implied more clearly in Mk xvi. 15. The teaching may 
have been taken from Mt. xxviii. 19, which passage (as we have seen) Hermas 
has in mind at S. 5, vi. 4. 

2 See above, p. 18, n. i. 

3 Zahn, Hirt d. Hermas, p. 463. Zahn also notes possible reminiscences of 
Acts, i. 24, xv. 8 in the use of KapStoyvuffTij^ at M. 4, iii. 4, and of Acts iv. 12 
and ii. 1 1 at V. 4, ii. 4, 5. 



in the Shepherd of Hennas 47 

ii. 2/) 1 . (b} In the Fifth Similitude, in which we have the 
words, " the witness which he witnessed," we have also the 
expression, "the law which he received from his Father." 
(S. 5, vi. 3, cp. Jn xii. 49.) (c) From the Ninth Similitude 
there are several passages to be quoted. " The gate is the 
Son of God : this is the one entrance to the Lord ; none 
therefore shall enter to him otherwise than through his Son." 
(S. 9, xii. 6; see also context, and cp. Jn xiv. 6.) "The seal 
is the water.... To them, therefore, was this seal preached, 
and they used it, in order that they might enter into the 
kingdom of God'.' (Ib. xvi. 4, see also xii. 8 ; cp. Jn iii. 5.) 
" Your whole seed shall dwell with the Son of God ; for of 
his Spirit did ye receive." (Ib. xxtv., cp. Jn i. 16, I Jn iv. 13.) 

The impression, that Hermas derived the phrases and 
ideas which we have noted from the Gospels that we know, 
is strengthened when we observe that there are also traces 
of his having used other New Testament writings, in par- 
ticular the Epistle of St James and the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
as well as several epistles of St Paul. It is interesting to 
notice the signs of knowledge of the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
because the evidence of Hermas, taken with that of Clement 
of Rome, shews that it must have been early held in high 
esteem in the Church of Rome. 

It is to be added that the Shepherd does not appear to 
contain any quotation from an Apocryphal Gospel 2 . We 
should not, however, be justified in concluding from the facts 
which we have observed, in the absence of all confirmatory 
evidence in the first half of the second century to this effect, 
that at this time the four Gospels were consciously separated 
off from all other works of the same kind and classed together 
as of coordinate and unique authority, in other words that the 
conception of the " fourfold Gospel " already existed 3 . 

1 The words the Spirit which God made to dwell (8 KaruKiffev) are from Jas. 
iv. 5, but in their purport they, too, resemble the teaching of the Fourth Gospel. 

2 Hilgenfeld (Apost. Vater, p. 184 (15)) suggests that S. 9, xvi. 4, T] <r<j>payis oZv 
TO v8(>}p tffrlv els rb tiSwp ofiv KaTajSaivovffi veKpol, Kal dvaflatvovo'i fuWes is from an 
Apocryphal source. I can see no reason for supposing this. 

3 I agree with Dr C. Taylor, The Witness of Hermas to the Four Gospels, 
1892, as to the evidence of Hermas being of greater value in connexion with the 
history of the Canon than has often been supposed. I thought it best to investi- 
gate the subject independently ; and I refrained from refreshing my recollection of 



48 The Apology of Aristides 



The Apology of A ris tides. 

In discussing the date of the Shepherd the subject of the 
early persecutions of Christians has come befqre us. We pass 
now to one of the earliest protests against the attitude of 
hostility to Christianity adopted by the State, which has been 
so happily recovered in recent years, the Apology of Aristides 1 . 
Eusebius in his history (iv. 3) refers to this work as composed 
at about the same time as the Apology of Quadratus and as 
presented, like it, to the emperor Hadrian. In his Chronica, 
too, he mentions the two together, placing his notice of them 
under the year A.D. 125 or 126, in connexion with Hadrian's 
initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries at Athens. Jerome 
also, though he may of course simply be following Eusebius, 

his book, which I read when it appeared, till my task was virtually completed. 
It is the more satisfactory that I have arrived at the same general conclusion. It 
has been my aim to give only the parallelisms which seem to me to be clearest. 
Others of varying degrees of force may be seen in Dr Taylor's work. I must 
however confess that many of the parallelisms with the Gospels which he discovers 
seem to me to be overstrained. Further, I find it impossible to adopt his view 
that the four-legged bench on which the lady at her third appearance takes her 
seat signifies that the Church is founded upon the Four Gospels (Taylor, p. 5 ff.). 
This does not seem to me to agree with the general drift of the interpretation 
given by Hermas of the three appearances of the Lady (V. 3, x. xiii.). And if 
this meaning was intended, we should at least expect to find in this place and in 
other parts of the work some clearer indication of it. It is interesting, indeed, to 
compare Hermas' reference (ib. xiii. 3) to the fact that "the world is upheld by 
four elements " with Irenaeus' language about the Fourfold Gospel {Adv. Haer. 
ill. xi. 8); but it is no unfamiliar thing that the same figure should be used in 
different ways. If in Hermas it has a precise meaning, it is probably designed to 
convey the idea of the Church's universality. It should also be observed that 
Irenaeus himself does not say that the Church was founded on the Gospels, and 
probably such a notion was as foreign to the thought of the second century as it is 
to historical fact. 

1 A considerable fragment of the earlier part from an Armenian Version was 
published by the Mechitarist Fathers in 1878. A. Syriac Version, complete or 
nearly so, was found by Mr J. R. Harris in the spring of 1889 in the Convent of 
St Catharine on Mount Sinai, and shortly afterwards a great part of the original 
Greek was shrewdly discovered by Dr J. A. Robinson, embedded in the story of 
Barlaam and Josaphat. See Texts and Studies I. i by J. R. Harris and J. A. 
Robinson, where the fragment of the Armenian as translated in the Mechitarist 
edition into Latin, and a translation from another MS. of it into English by 
Mr Conybeare, may also be read. In references to this Apology I have used 
Mr Harris' divisions. 



. 



The date of the Apology of Aristides 49 

twice states that Aristides addressed an Apology to Hadrian 1 . 
Moreover, the sole title in the fragment of the Armenian 
Version and the first title in the Syriac Version are to the 
same effect. In the latter Version, however, there follows a 
title or dedication owing to the corrupt state of the text it 
is uncertain how it should be described according to which 
the Apology was addressed to "the Imperial Caesar Titus 
Hadrianus Antoninus, Worshipful and Clement" (the two 
last epithets are in the plural). Since the discovery of this 
document it has been held by many that the composition 
really belongs to the reign of Antoninus Pius, and that 
Eusebius was mistaken in referring it to that of Hadrian 2 . 
It is thought that he had not seen the work, or that he had 
been misled by some copy in which an erroneous address 
was prefixed. It needs further to be assumed, as I will first 
remark, that this error was widely spread through the influence 
of Eusebius or otherwise ; so much so that all traces of the 
truth have disappeared except in the title of the Syriac Version. 
But clearly we ought not to have recourse unnecessarily to 
such an hypothesis as this. And it is the more difficult 
to accept, because even in the time of Eusebius many 
copies of the work existed 3 , while the Armenian and Syriac 
Versions which were made of it and its embodiment in the 
story of Barlaam and Josaphat all help to shew how widely 
it must have been disseminated. Another and very simple 
explanation of the title in the Syriac Version may be given, 
which does not make its evidence conflict with that of other 
witnesses. It would be the most natural thing in the world 
that in some copy made after the commencement of the reign 

1 De Vir. ill. 20, and Ep. 70, 4. 

2 Harris, Texts and Studies, I. i, p. 6ff.; Raabe, Texte u. Untersuch. IX. 
pp. 25-6 ; Seeberg in Zahn's Forsch. zttr Geschichte d. N. T. Kanons, v. p. 248 ff. ; 
Harnack, Chron. I. p. 272; and others. On the other hand A. Hilgenfeld main- 
tains the originality of the address to Hadrian (Zeitschr, f. Wiss. Theol. vol. xxxv. 
p. 245, and vol. xxxvi. i, pp. 104-5). J. A. Robinson also declines to accept 
the testimony of the Syriac translator against that of the Armenian Version and 
of Eusebius. Texts and Studies, I. i, p. 75, n. 2. 

a 0-wfercu d ye ei's devpo irapa TrXe/crrots ical y TOIJTOV ypa<J)ri (ff. E. IV. iii. 3). 
As to the question of traces probable or possible of acquaintance with our Apology 
in early Christian literature, and of its own dependence upon other works, see 
Robinson, ib. pp. 84 99; Seeberg, ib. pp. 211 247. 

S. G. 4 



50 Date of the Apology of Aristides 

of Antoninus, his name should have been added to, or substi- 
tuted for, that of his predecessor in the address. From such 
a copy, we may well believe, the second title in the Syriac 
Version was derived 1 . The character of the work is also in 
favour of an early date. Some, indeed, of the lines of thought 
pursued are the same as those which are to be found in 
Apologies which unquestionably belong to the middle and 
second half of the century, but they are less fully developed ; 
others met with in these are wanting altogether. In order to 
appreciate fully the force of this consideration, it should be 
remembered that the arguments employed, for example, by 
Justin in the works which have come down to us, had doubt- 
less, according to all the habits of the age and circumstances 
of his own vocation, been frequently urged in his discourses, 
and had probably been used also to some extent by other 
Christian teachers, for some time before he embodied them in 
his writings. They had gradually been becoming familiar 
topics. The absence, therefore, or markedly slighter treat- 
ment of them in the Apology of A r is tides, harmonises with the 
supposition that it was produced some years before other 
examples of the same class of writings. It may be added 
that, as Harnack admits 2 , the passage which Eusebius quotes 
from the Apology of Quadratus makes for its having been 
addressed to Hadrian and (we may add) in the earlier part 
of his reign. But if already one Apology was written then, 
so may another have been ; and if Eusebius was right in 
regard to the one, this tends to confirm his credibility as to 
the other. 

The Apology of Aristides contains a simple account of 

1 The manner in which the two titles were combined, and little points in the 
text such as the plurals in the second title, need not here be considered, as they 
are at least not more difficult to account for on the view which I have advocated 
than on the other. 

2 Chron. I. p. 270. I may further remark here, though it is a point of no 
consequence for our present enquiry, that Quadratus, the bishop of Athens, spoken 
of by Dionysius of Corinth (ap. Eus. H. . iv. xxiii. i 3) may well have been 
the same as the Christian Apologist in spite of what has been said as to the date 
of this Apology. If the account of Dionysius' letter to the Athenians in Eusebius 
is attentively read it will be seen that Dr Salmon (Diet, of Chr. Bio. IV. p. 523) 
and Mr J. R. Harris (Texts and Studies, I. i, p. n) have too hastily inferred 
therefrom that Quadratus, the bishop, must have been a contemporary of Dionysius. 






Aristides on the Gospel 51 



Christian faith and hope and life, more or less on the same 
lines as our Apostles' Creed and the practical teaching of the 
Didache. It is in general agreement 1 with the Gospels, 
though it does not to any marked extent recall their 
language. The writer only professes to give the heathen 
emperor a slight notion of what Christianity is; he expressly 
alludes to the fuller knowledge of it which may be obtained 
from Christian writings 2 . This is the point which has special 
importance for us. One remark of Aristides, according to the 
Syriac Version, is of peculiar interest in connexion with the 
history of the use of the Gospels 3 . In Mr Harris' translation 
it stands thus: "This" (the Incarnation of the Son of God) 
" is taught from that Gospel which a little while ago was 
spoken among them as being preached; wherein if ye also 
will read, ye will comprehend the power that is upon it." 
The passage in which these words occur is placed at the same 
point in the Armenian Version as in the Syriac, and in both 
the arrangement of clauses, involving rather awkward repe- 
titions, is the same. In these respects the Greek of Barlaam 
and Josaphat differs, in a manner which reveals the hand of 
the adapter. The preliminary account of the Christian Faith 
given in the original at an early point in the treatise has 
been combined with the fuller one in the closing part, and the 
description itself has been simplified and condensed. Turning 
next to the actual words in question, we have to observe that 
the Armenian and the Greek each support the Syriac on a 
different point. The former represents the Gospel as a 
preaching, and passes over its embodiment in writing; the 
latter makes no allusion to the original oral proclamation, 
but asserts that the fame of Christ's appearing might be 
learnt " from that which is called among them (Christians) 
evangelical holy Scripture 4 ." But further, this last expression 

1 The following are the two most important differences, (i) It emphasises 
the part of the Jews in Our Lord's death somewhat more strongly than the 
Gospels; its words are "he was pierced by the Jews" ch. 2. This point will 
come before us again; see below, p. 98 n. 3, etc. (2) Like the Didache, ch. i. 2, it 
gives the rule of conduct to others in a negative form, ch. 15. Cp. p. 10 n. above. 

2 See chh. 2, 16, 17. s See ch. 2. 

4 Texts and Studies, I. i, p. 1 10 : K TTJS irap ai/rots /caXouyu^s (ta.YY f ^ iK W ayias 



42 



52 Aristides on the Gospel 

is manifestly later in form than that of the Syriac. The habit 
lies behind it of giving the name " Gospels " to the documents 
themselves in which the Gospel is contained, whereas in the 
language of the Syriac Version this is not implied. The use 
of the epithet " holy " in regard to the writing is an indication 
of a still later stage of thought. For all these reasons we 
may say with confidence that, whatever may be the case in 
other passages of the Syriac Version, it gives us in this 
instance the nearest, and we can hardly doubt a substantially 
accurate, representation of the original. 

The words rendered by Mr Harris "which a little while 
ago was spoken among them as being preached " are some- 
what ambiguous 1 ; but the sense of the sentence as a whole is 
clear, and it is the most direct reference which we possess to 
that important epoch in the life of the Early Church when 
writings took the place of oral testimony in the authentication 
of the facts which were the object of Christian faith and the 
inspiration of Christian conduct. If the conclusion to which 
we have come above as to the date of this Apology be correct, 
and if, at the time of its composition, the author had passed 
middle life, the last stages of the change in question may 
have fallen within his own recollection. 



The Fragments of Papias. 

The earliest express mention of works bearing the name 
of any of our evangelists comes to us through Papias. His 
Expositions of Oracles of the Lord, fragments of which have 
been preserved in Eusebius 2 , may probably have been written 
A.D. 140 150. The character of the work and the statements 
contained in the passages which Eusebius quotes from it have 
been made the subject of an immense amount of controversy. 
I take it as proved that the title of Papias' work and the 
description which he gives of. its object do not convey any 

1 Raabe, ib. p. 3, translates "welches, wie bei ihnen erzahlt wird, seit kurzer 
Zeit verkiindigt worden ist"; Hennecke (T. u. U. IV. 3, p. 9) "welches seit 
kurzer Zeit, (wie) bei ihnen erzahlt wird, (dass es) verkiindigt worden ist." 

2 H. E. III. 39. 



Papias on a writing by Matthew 53 

disparagement of written records of the Life and Teaching of 
Christ 1 . It also appears to me to have been abundantly 
shewn that there is no valid ground for doubting that the 
reference, in the fragment about a writing by Mark, is to 
our St Mark 2 . And this testimony is the more important 
because, for his account of the composition of this Gospel, 
Papias gives the authority of "the elder," apparently the 
Elder John, whom he describes as a personal disciple of the 
Lord. 

In regard to these points apologists have succeeded in 
making good their position. On the other hand, the general 
effect of recent criticism has been to shew that there was more 
reason, than such writers even as Westcott and Lightfoot were 
willing to allow, in the view that the words of the fragment of 
Papias concerning a writing by Matthew he " composed the 
' Logia ' in the Hebrew tongue " indicated a collection of 
Christ's sayings and discourses rather than a work of the 
form of our Gospel according to St Matthew, a narrative in 
which sayings and discourses are embedded. It has indeed 
been urged by the eminent scholars just named and by 
others that \6<yta does not properly mean i: discourses," but 
"oracles," and that the same term is applied to the Old 
Testament 3 . But the point of this criticism will be turned 
and its insufficiency as a reply indicated if we translate \6yi,a 
by a phrase which will most strictly bring out its meaning 

1 See Westcott (Canon, p. 71 ff.); Lightfoot, Essays on Sup. Rel. p. 155 ff. ; 
Harnack, Chron. I. 690, n. i. 

2 Westcott, ib. p. 75 ff.; Lightfoot, ib. p. 163 ff. ; Harnack, ib. p. 691 f. 

3 Westcott, ib. p. 74, n. 2; Lightfoot, ib. p. 173 ff. Cp. also J. A. Robinson, 
The Study of the Gospels, pp. 68 70. Dr Westcott, indeed, seems to some 
extent to anticipate the reply that will be made to him, and to endeavour to meet 
it (ib. n. i). He suggests that roi \6yta is an equivalent expression for "the 
Gospel the sum of the words and works of Christ." No doubt we do regard the 
works, no less than the words, as "oracles"; but this is assuredly too subtle a 
thought to attribute to Papias and his age. Nor, so far as I know, could any 
illustration be adduced to confirm the view that rh. \6yta meant the same as rb 
va.yyt\iov. The interesting and striking passage in Polyc. ad Phil. ch. 7, where 
the expression rot \6yia TOV Kvplov occurs, appears to be inconsistent therewith : 
8s B.V fj.r) 6/J.o\oyr) TO /^aprvpiov TOV vravpov, K TOV dta^6\ov effriv KO.L 8s SLV fj.effoSevri 
TO. \6yia TOV Kvplov irpbs ras t'St'as tTridvfj.tas etc. If ret \6yt.a TOV Kvplov were 
equivalent to "the Gospel," the "testimony of the Cross" would be included in 
them. 



54 Papias on a writing by Matthew 

"oracular utterances." The real objections to taking the 
words " Matthew composed the Oracles " as referring to the 
composition of a Gospel like one of ours are (i) that books of 
the New Testament, as books, can hardly have been regarded 
as Divine Oracles so early as the time of Papias, still less as 
that of his informant, "the Elder," if he is here again reporting 
him; (2) that one who wrote a single Gospel could not be 
said on that account to have " composed tlie Oracles." But 
the words of Christ must from the first have been regarded as 
Divine Oracles 1 , and the work of one who had made it his 
principal aim to preserve these might well be described in the 
terms which we are considering. It is not necessary to 
suppose that all incidents would be passed over in such a 
record; indeed, we see in the Gospels that much of Christ's 
teaching was remembered, as also much of it had doubtless 
been given, in the form of answers to questions that were put 
to Him, or remarks called forth on particular occasions. 
Some narratives might also have been included for the sake 
of their own interest. Still we may suppose that it was the 
main purpose of the document in question to be a treasury of 
the Utterances of Christ, and that this was apparent in its 
contents and arrangement. It was just such a avvta^ TWV 
KvpLdK&v \6ycov (or \oyiwv 2 ), " a putting together of the 
Dominical Words (or Oracles)," as Mark did not, according 
to the preceding fragment, attempt to supply. This contrast 
must, surely, have been intended by Papias or his informant 3 . 
Our Greek Gospel accg to St Matthew appears to be a 
composite work in which a source of the character just 
described, or matter derived from such a source, has been 
combined with St Mark, or with a document which is most 
nearly represented by St Mark. At first sight, then, it would 
seem natural to suppose that the writing by the Apostle 
Matthew of which Papias speaks was the non-Marcan source 
embodied in our first Gospel, and that the attribution of the 

1 See B. Weiss, Introd, to New Testament, I. p. 28 ff. Eng. trans. 

2 The text is doubtful : \6yuv is preferred by Heinichen. 

3 Note also the precedence given in the same passage to "the things spoken" 
over "the things done " by the Christ, and to Mark's not having heard Him, over 
his not having followed Him. 




Papias on a writing by Matthew 55 



authorship of this Gospel to Matthew is thus explained and 
in part justified. This question, however, of the relation 
of the Apostle Matthew to the Gospel that bears his name 
cannot be thus readily disposed of. On turning to St Luke 
we see signs of the use of the same non-Marcan source 
as in St Matthew, and reasons are urged for holding that it 
is there most truly represented, at least in certain respects. 
If this is really the case, and if the common source ought 
to be identified with the writing which Papias ascribes to 
Matthew, how comes it, we are compelled to ask, that his 
name has been associated with our first Gospel? If, on 
the other hand, Matthew's writing has been most fully and 
accurately reproduced in the Gospel of which he has com- 
monly been supposed to be the author, and the third 
evangelist has nevertheless also used that document, it is 
strange that he should have dealt so freely, as he must have 
done, with the work of an apostle. We cannot profitably 
discuss this subject further now; we must recur to it here- 
after in connexion with a full enquiry into the origin of the 
Synoptic Gospels. For the present we can only note Papias' 
statement, and bear it in mind in order that hereafter we 
may reconcile it, if we find it possible to do so, with the 
results of internal criticism. 

Continuing our examination of Papias' evidence we find 
that a time is spoken of when "everyone interpreted them 
(the " Logia" composed by Matthew) as he was able" (^/J/^TJ- 
vevae S' avra &>? 171; Svvarbs etcacrro^}. Plainly this cannot 
refer to written translations, at all events not to such as were 
more than fragments. If one complete written translation 
was in circulation it would probably be felt that the further 
efforts of individuals were unnecessary. At most two or three 
might seek to improve upon the version in existence : not 
" everyone " who was even competent to do so would try his 
hand at it 1 . We ought probably to take the words to mean 
that Christians who knew Hebrew as well as Greek translated 
from the precious document for the benefit of others who 
could not understand it, especially perhaps in the Christian 

1 Resch (Agrapha, pp. 48 and 54 f.) appears to think that the words refer to 
a number of complete written versions ; but surely that cannot be the meaning. 



56 Papias on a writing by Matthew 

assemblies, after the manner of the Targumists in the Jewish 
synagogues, though it is not unlikely that pieces of transla- 
tion, longer or shorter, may also have been written down and 
preserved. I believe that when we consider the Synoptic 
Problem, we shall find these words of Papias' fragment to be 
of great importance, because they suggest the thought that 
the rendering of the Hebrew " Logia " may have taken place 
in a fragmentary manner by different persons, and shew how 
two Greek representatives of the original might naturally have 
been compiled, very differently arranged and in parts only 
substantially alike, but in other parts almost verbally the 
same. 

We must now notice the tenses employed; they shew 
that the state of things described was already past. But is 
the point of view that of Papias or of one of those informants 
of an older generation to whom he refers ? In other words, is 
Papias speaking of a practice which he had either heard of, or 
even been himself familiar with, in former days, but which 
had now ceased ? Or is he reporting a statement by the 
Elder John, or someone of similar standing, concerning a 
change which had taken place within the experience of such 
an one ? The analogy of the fragment on Mark is in favour 
of the latter alternative ; but it should also be observed that 
even on the former supposition the time in question might be 
at least as early as the end of the first century. 

How, then, did the period referred to contrast with the 
times that followed? Was 'the period of casual and frag- 
mentary rendering succeeded immediately by a stage during 
which a Version, in the strict sense of the term, of the 
Hebrew Collection of Christ's Words was in circulation, 
before the appearance of, and for a time alongside of, our 
St Matthew and our St Luke, in which the matter it con- 
tained was more or less fully incorporated? So far as the 
words in our small fragment go, this might have been the case, 
and the stage suggested might have extended even to Papias' 
earlier days. And, further, the instances that have come 
before us of parallelisms with our first Gospel in the Christian 
literature of Papias' age and before it. could be accounted 
for, if a document containing the teaching of Christ in the 






Papias on a writing by Matthew 57 

Matthaean form was current ; for the quotations are chiefly of 
Christ's sayings. Nevertheless the supposition in question is 
an improbable one. It is certain that not long after Papias' 
time, our first Gospel was held to be virtually identical with 
a Hebrew work by Matthew. Papias' own conception of the 
relation between the two may not have been precisely the 
same as that held by Christians of a generation younger than 
his own; he may have known that there was a difference in 
the extent and order of their subject-matter ; but he would 
naturally be disposed to make little of the difference rather 
than to emphasise it, and his view and that of his contempo- 
raries must at least have been such as would prepare the way 
for that which soon afterwards prevailed 1 . Moreover, we 
hear not a syllable concerning any Greek document by 
Matthew distinct from the Canonical St Matthew. It is 
difficult to see how our first Gospel could have been accepted 
so early as it was for the work of the Apostle Matthew, if 
another Greek work which was believed to be a translation of 
the Hebrew writing by him, and which corresponded more 
closely with its general form and limits, was in existence 
during the first half of the second century. I would add that 
the relations of our Greek St Matthew and St Luke can, I 
believe, be best explained, if there was no interval, or none of 
appreciable duration, between the time of fragmentary oral 
and written translations, and the composition of each of those 
Gospels, independently of one another, approximately at the 
same epoch, before the close of the first century. 

It remains only to be said in connexion with Papias, that 
there is good reason to believe that he used the Fourth 
Gospel 2 , and that the mere absence of evidence as to his use 
of St Luke does not supply a ground for thinking that he 
was unacquainted with it or did not recognise it as genuine 3 . 



1 Cp. Harnack, Chron. I. p. 692 f. 

2 Lightfoot, Essays on Sup. Rel. pp. 186 and 194^ ; Harnack, Chron. I. 
p. 658 f. Schmiedel's reasoning (Encycl. Bibl. II. p. 2548 (48 b}} seems to me, I 
confess, altogether belated. He writes as if Lightfoot had never published his 
article on "the silence of Eusebius," Essays on Sup. Rel. ii. 

3 Lightfoot, ib. p. 178. 



58 The so-called Second Epistle of Clement 

The so-called Second Epistle of Clement. 

The so-called Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians 
appears to illustrate in more than one respect a stage in the 
history of the Canon. On the one hand, the idea of Christian 
Scriptures comparable to those of the Old Testament and 
forming in some sort a recognised collection already exists. 
The words which we find in Mt. ix. 13 and Mk ii. 17, "I came 
not to call righteous persons but sinners," are introduced with 
the formula "another Scripture saith," just after a passage 
from the Old Testament. Again, shortly after a reference to 
the " Oracles of God," words corresponding to Our Lord's 
language as given at Luke vi. 32, 35 are quoted as such a 
Divine Oracle 1 . Again, the writer founds an important truth 
upon the teaching of ra ftift\ia ical ol aTrocrroXoi (ch. 14). 
By the former of these he probably means the Old Testament. 
Under the latter, though he seems in the context to have 
some Epistles of the New Testament specially in mind, he 
may well include Gospels, as the phrase of Justin, " the 
Apostolic Memoirs," shews. Thus he conjoins writings of 
the New Covenant with those of the Old, although the same 
expression, " the books " i.e. " the bible," does not yet cover 
both. On the other hand it is evident that the writer did not 
distinguish between the value of the contents of the four 
Gospels and other Evangelic matter. No works are cited by 
name, and, although some of the sayings of Our Lord which 
he quotes correspond on the whole closely with sayings 
recorded in the Gospels and may fairly be held to have been 
derived thence, he makes considerable use of another source, 
or of other sources. One saying which he quotes corresponds 
with part of a passage which, according to Clement of 
Alexandria, was to be found in the Gospel accg to tlie 
Egyptians*. It is, therefore, not improbable that the same 
work supplied other pieces of Apocryphal matter contained 
in the Second Epistle of Clement*. For our present purpose, 



1 X^yei 6 0e<4s, Oi) x^P^ etc -) 2 Clem. ch. 13, see Lightfoot inloc. and Harnack, 
Chron. I. p. 446, n. r. 

2 Cp. i Clem. ch. 12 with Clem. Alex. Strom, in. 13, p. 553. 

3 For some remarks on the range of circulation and the character of the Gospel 
accg to the Egyptians, see below, pp. 265-8. 



- 



Its interest in relation to the Canon 59 

however, it will be sufficient to observe that an appreciable 
quantity of such matter is introduced there 1 , and that it is 
treated as equally authentic with that which was, or might 
have been, derived from the Four Gospels 2 . 

One other passage may be referred to which brings before 
us several problems connected with the Evangelic quotations 
in early writers. " For the Lord saith in the Gospel," writes 
our author, " if ye have not kept that which is little, who will 
give you that which is great? for I say to you that he who is 
faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much." The 
saying here quoted may be the result of a fusion of Lu. xiv. 
IO with Mt. xxv. 21, 23. But to all appearance the writer 
regards the words as forming a single saying. He does not 
seem to be summarising Our Lord's teaching on a particular 
point. Unless, therefore, it is simply a case of confusion in 
the memory, he probably knew the words as so given in some 
writing, or at least as commonly quoted thus. His use of the 
phrase " in the Gospel " does not, we may observe, shew that 
he only knew of one Gospel. The habit in early times, which 
has been adverted to, of thinking rather of the common 
substance of the Gospel than of particular forms in which it 
was presented, sufficiently explains the employment of the 
singular. Nevertheless he would seem, as we have said, to have 
had some particular embodiment in view. These considera- 
tions open up more than one possibility. He may be quoting 
from some harmony of the Gospels, a predecessor of that one 
which Tatian compiled not long after the middle of the 
century, or from a body of Our Lord's teaching which was 
orally delivered, or from some Gospel now lost into which the 
words had passed from tradition, or in which the language of 
our Gospels had been reproduced with alterations. 

It will, then, be readily perceived that it is a matter of 
some importance for us to determine as far as possible the 
date of this work and the place of its origin. So long as it 

1 See, besides, ch. 12, chh. 4 end, 5 and perhaps 9. 

2 On Resch's view (Agrapha, pp. 109, 195 204) that 2 Clem. ch. 12 preserves 
for us an authentic saying of Christ which was " contained in a Gospel-source used 
already by Paul," and the extremely fanciful argumentation by which he supports 
it, see Zahn, Kanon, n. p. 636 n. 4. 



60 The so-called Second Epistle of Clement 

was known only in a mutilated form the hypothesis was a 
tempting one that it was in fact the letter written circ. 
A.D. 170 by Soter, bishop of Rome, to the Church at Corinth, 
a portion of the reply to which by the contemporary bishop 
of Corinth, Dionysius, is given us by Eusebius (H. E. IV. 23). 
Dionysius refers to the Epistle of Clement, which it was (he 
says) the practice of the Church of Corinth to read from time 
to time in their assemblies. They will do the same, Dionysius 
proceeds, with the letter just received. Accordingly some 
have supposed that owing to this second letter from the 
Church of Rome to that of Corinth having been treated like 
and kept with the first, the more distinguished authorship 
belonging to the first came to be attributed to the second 
also. 

Objections to the view that the so-called Second Epistle of 
Clement could be the letter referred to by Dionysius were 
urged even before the recovery of the lost ending. But since 
that fortunate event it has become impossible to regard the 
work as a letter at all. It was a homily composed for 
delivery in a Christian assembly. Nevertheless, Harnack 1 
still adheres to the view that it was sent by Soter to Corinth, 
though accompanied (it may be) by a short letter, and that it 
is the communication referred to by Dionysius. He admits 
that a difficulty is created by the homiletic form of the docu- 
ment, but he maintains that its attribution to Clement may 
still be best accounted for by the supposition in question. 

To judge of this we must compare the rival explanation. 
Let me state it in the simplest manner possible. The 
genuine Epistle of Clement and our homily, by some author 
whose name was either unknown or not held to be of im- 
portance, had been brought together in some manuscript 
volume at Corinth which happened to be the one through 
which the latter work, and to some extent the former also, 
became known to the Church of later times. In a volume 
which contained the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 
there was room after it for this homily, and the space had 
been utilised, since parchment was precious, by copying it in 
there. The two writings may well have been numbered 

1 Chron. I. p. 444. 



not sent to Corinth by Soter 61 

a and ft in the volume, and while the former bore the title 
KAHMENTOS IIPO2 KOPIN0IOT2 the latter, too, 
whether it had really been, or was supposed to have been, 
a sermon addressed to the Corinthian Church, might have 
been inscribed IIPOS KOPIN0IOT2. But even the mere 
collocation would be sufficient to account for confusion having 
arisen after one or two generations 1 . 

Now the gist of Harnack's argument is that there are 
objections alike to this view and to that which connects the 
homily with Soter, but that in the latter case they are far 
less serious. He urges that, even before the time of Eusebius 
and perhaps as early as the beginning of the third century, 
our document was called a letter, and he seems to think 
that both theories are simply different modes of escape 
from the difficulty, that this is not a true description of 
it 2 . But here assuredly he fails to meet the point of the 
case against him. The force of the language of Dionysius 
cannot be thus set aside. His allusions are in no wise 
satisfied by supposing that the Church of Rome had forwarded 
a copy of an old sermon, preached in one of their own 
assemblies, to the Church of Corinth, together with a few 
introductory words. They clearly suggest that a letter 
written in the name of the Church at Rome to that at Corinth 
had been sent to accompany a gracious gift to brethren in 
distress, and that in this letter the one Church had admonished 
the other, as Christian brethren and Churches were then wont 
to exhort one another in their correspondence. 

Again, Harnack unwarrantably exaggerates the difficulty 
of the view he is opposing. He assumes that the communi- 
cation from Soter must in any case have been originally 
united to that from Clement, and that it must have been 
forcibly dislodged from its position by our homily, if the latter 
was a different work. But there is no ground for supposing 
that any such formal connexion between the later and the 
earlier letter from Rome was ever established. The letter 
from Soter would indeed most probably be kept, along with 
other similar documents, in the Church book-chest at Corinth. 

1 See Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt i, II. p. 197 ff. 

2 Harnack, Chron. I. pp. 443-4. 



62 The so-called Second Epistle of Clement 

But we do not know how frequently it was read, or how long 
the habit of reading it publicly continued, if indeed the habit 
was ever formed. The cordial expressions of Dionysius on 
first receiving the letter cannot be taken as proof that this use 
was made of it for any considerable period. But even if it 
was, the copying of our homily into the same volume with 
the Epistle of Clement, perhaps not before the third century, 
might be due to wholly independent causes, such as the 
relation of the length of the document to the space of parch- 
ment to be filled. 

Once more, Harnack entirely passes over a serious dif- 
ficulty in his own hypothesis. If our homily came from 
Soter, how was its identification with so eminent a man as 
Soter lost, and why was not his covering letter written in the 
name of the Church of Rome, which must surely have been 
prized, copied along with the rest ? Here at all events there 
would have been a case of forcible detachment, and one which 
is most improbable 1 . 

We need not then hesitate to reject the notion that the 
so-called Second Epistle of Clement was transmitted to Corinth 
by Bishop Soter, circ. A.D. 170. 

But further, it should be observed that Harnack himself 
has been compelled to modify his original theory in regard to 
Soter's part in the matter. He now admits, as everyone must 
admit, that the document was not originally written with the 
object of being used thus. There is also nothing in it to shew 
that it was by Soter himself. Indeed it would be easier to 
understand its being attributed to Clement if it was not, and 
if it was a comparatively old writing. All that Harnack 
would obtain, even if his argument were valid, would be, that 
it must have been composed before the time of Soter's corre- 
spondence with the Church of Corinth 2 . How long before 

1 "Man muss aber die Unwahrscheinlichkeiten in den Kauf nehmen dass...die 
eingeschobene Predigt genau oder fast genau aus derselben Zeit stammt wie der 
verdrangte Brief und dass sie wahrscheinlich auch aus derselben Zeit stammt wie 
der verdrangte und einst neben dem I. Clemensbrief hochgeschatzte Brief ausge- 
gangen ist." Chron. I. p. 449. He forgets that on his theory the name of Soter 
must have been "verdrangt." 

2 Harnack overlooks this altogether. Having shewn to his own satisfaction 
that it was most probably sent by Soter to Corinth, he jumps to the conclusion 



probably composed at Corinth 63 

must still be decided on internal grounds. And it certainly 
ought to be assumed to have been considerably before. We 
have clear evidence as to an attitude to the four Gospels on 
the one hand and to apocryphal Gospels on the other, in the 
Church of Rome soon after that time, so different from that 
which the Second Epistle of Clement betokens, that if this 
homily is to be taken to represent the feeling and thought of 
that Church when it was written, a generation or two at least 
must have intervened to account for the change. 

There are other indications in the work unfavourable to 
the supposition that it was composed in Rome in the third 
quarter of the second century. Its Christology is crude. 
Again, the reference to the presbyters and silence as to the 
bishop in ch. 17, though not strictly inconsistent with the 
existence already of "the monarchical episcopate," is at least 
most in accord with the habits of thought and speech of the 
earlier decades of the century. Apart from the hypothesis as 
to Soter, there is little reason for connecting our homily with 
Rome. Harnack urges analogies between it and Hernias' 
Shepherd, but they are far from convincing 1 . Corinth may 
with most probability be assigned as its birthplace. From 
Ccrinth the knowledge of it must in any case have spread, 
and it is therefore natural to suppose that it was to the 
Church at Corinth that it was first preached. It also con- 
tains allusions which may thus most satisfactorily be ex- 
plained 2 . Unfortunately, however, we know next to nothing 
about the history of belief and organisation in the Church at 
Corinth during the second century; but if we assume that 
this Church partook in the general movements of Church-life 
in Asia Minor and in Rome we may with most probability 
assign this work to circ. A.D. 140. 

that it had not long been written, and remarks, What a significant fact for the 
history of the Canon ! (Ib. p. 449, n. 2.) And then afterwards he builds upon 
this conclusion (ib. pp. 617 and 623), as if it were certain, though his conclusion 
on the point of literary history which he has discussed is at best doubtful, and 
though as to the date or authorship he has not attempted to prove anything and 
could not if he tried. Such a use of questionable results no doubt facilitates lucid 
exposition of a writer's own theories, but it can hardly be considered a sound 
method of procedure. 

1 See Harnack, Chron. I. p. 445, and cp. Lightfoot, b. p. 200 f. 

2 See Lightfoot, ib. p. 197. 



64 The Exegetica of Basilides 



Marcion, Basilides and Valentinus. 

Some few years before the middle of the second century 
the chief founders of Gnostic schools had appeared, and three 
of the greatest of them, who were specially influential in the 
West, Marcion, Basilides and Valentinus 1 , must be noticed in 
connexion with our enquiry. 

It seems to be legitimate at the present day to take it as 
proved that " Marcion's Gospel" was a mutilated form of the 
Gospel according to St Luke, and I do not intend to discuss 
the point here 2 . The question of the use of our Gospels by 
Basilides is a more open one. It will be right that I should 
examine it with some care, though the results obtained may, 
I fear, be thought unsatisfactory. 

Eusebius informs us, on the authority of Agrippa Castor, 
that Basilides wrote a work in 24 books "on the Gospel 3 ." 
This is doubtless the work referred to as his " Exegetica " by 
Clement of Alexandria, who cites three passages from its 
twenty-third book 4 . On its authority the statements of 
Clement as to the teaching of Basilides appear to be founded. 
The same work is, no doubt, meant in the Acta ArcJielai 
ch. 55, where it is called Tractattis, and a quotation is made 
from the thirteenth book 5 . 

Origen, as rendered by Jerome, declares that Basilides 
" dared to write a Gospel and to call it after his own name 6 ." 
Such a " Gospel," first drawn up by him, has been frequently 
supposed to have formed the basis of his Commentaries. But 
there is no trace of the use of any such " Gospel " by his 
followers, nor any other allusion to it in early writers, even 

1 On their dates cp. Harnack, Chron. I. p. 297 ff., and 289 ff. 

2 I would refer the reader especially to Sanday, The Gospels in the Second 
Century, pp. 204 230. The validity of his argument based on Marcion's read- 
ings (p. 230 ff.) is more questionable, in view of the developments of textual 
criticism since this work appeared (1876). For it now seems probable that the 
" Western " text contained at least some readings older than that which Westcott 
and Hort called "Neutral." 

3 es TO etfayyAiop. Eus. ff. E. IV. vii. 6, 7. 

4 Strom. IV. 12, pp. 599, 600. 
8 Routh, Rel. Sacr. v. p. 197. 
6 Horn. I. in Luc. 



The Exegetica of Basilides 65 

where we might have expected that it would have been 
mentioned, if it existed 1 . It seems probable that Jerome has 
misunderstood and misrepresented Origen, who may have 
meant only that Basilides had ventured to put forth his own 
view of the Christian revelation and to call this the Gospel 2 . 

Basilides claimed, it would seem, that he had been a 
disciple of a certain Glaucias, who was " interpreter to Peter," 
as Valentinus was said to have been of Theodas, who was a 
friend of the Apostle Paul; while they and likewise Marcion 
made much of traditions which were said to have been derived 
from Matthias 3 . These are interesting illustrations of the 
disposition of the Gnostics to appeal to Apocryphal sources of 
information which they professed were Apostolic. There is 
no reason to doubt that Basilides also adduced, and interpreted 
in his own way, many passages from our Gospels ; but the 
only one which we can with probability infer that he used, 
from the direct evidence as to the contents of his Exegetica, is 
the parable of Dives and Lazarus 4 . 

As yet, however, we have not considered the account of 
the system of Basilides given in Hippolytus's Refutation of 
all Heresies*, in which two quotations from St John and one 
from St Luke are apparently attributed to Basilides himself 6 . 
Hippolytus's representation has been thought to be wholly 

1 E.g. by Irenaeus when he is speaking of Gnostic audacity in regard to the 
Gospels, Adv. Haer. in. xi. 9; or again in connexion with the contrast which 
Tertullian draws (De Praescr. Haer. 38). 

2 The language of Irenaeus (ib.} regarding the Valentinian Gospel of Truth 
should also be compared. See Westcott, Canon, pp. 307 ff. 

3 Clem. Strom, vn. 17, pp. 898, 900; Hipp. Ref. Omn. Haer. vii. 20, i. 

4 See Acta Archelai referred to above. Though the interpretation put upon 
Basilides' words in this document is probably more or less mistaken, this is of 
course no reason for doubting the genuineness of the reference to Luke. 

It does not seem justifiable to assume with Zahn, p. 767, that in the passages 
of the Exegetica ap. Clem. Strom, iv. 42, pp. 599, 600, Basilides is commenting 
on Jn ix. 13. It also seems clear that, at Strom, ill. i, pp. 508-9, Clement in 
citing an application which was made of the words at Mt. xix. n, 12 is quoting 
the disciples of Basilides, not, as Zahn, ib. and Hort (Diet, of Chr. Bio. I. p. 270**) 
contend, Basilides himself. If it had been made by Basilides, Clement would 
have said so in order more effectually to condemn the degenerate Basilidians of his 
own day whom he is reproving, just as, in the same context, when he cites the 
actual words of Isidore, he notes the fact. 

6 vii. 20 27. 

6 Jn i. 9 in Hipp. Refut. ch. 22; Jn ii. 4 in ch. 27, Lu. i. 35 in ch. 26. 

S. G. 5 



66 Hippolytus* s account of the system 

untrustworthy by various critics, including some of the most 
recent, mainly on the ground that it differs widely from that 
of Irenaeus, and is not supported by that of Clement of 
Alexandria 1 . In regard to differences from Irenaeus I would 
first remark that the fact of Irenaeus being an older witness 
does not of itself make him a better one in a matter of 
this kind. If he had simply gathered his information from 
professed disciples of Basilides whom he had met, and 
he does not imply that he was depending on any more 
authentic source, he might more easily have been misled 
as to the chief points of the system, than a later writer 
upon it, who derived his knowledge from a document or 
documents. A comparison of the statements of Irenaeus 
with those of Clement of Alexandria, who had had good 
opportunities of becoming, and evidently was, well informed 
as to both the original and later teaching of the sect, is not 
favourable to the former writer. We may note in particular 
that Irenaeus attributes an encouragement of license to the 
School, which Clement of Alexandria expressly tells us was 
characteristic only of its later members, and in direct conflict 
with the teaching of its founders and their genuine disciples 2 . 
It is to be added that on other points also, if Clement does 
not support Hippolytus, still less does he support Irenaeus. 
But in point of fact, as Dr Hort has shewn, the view of 
Basilidean doctrine given by Hippolytus is, both as regards 
thought and language, confirmed by Clement in important 
particulars, and fully as much as in the circumstances we are 
entitled to expect. For Clement in his Stromateis expressly 

1 Salmon, Herniathena, v. (1885), PP- 401-2. Stahelin, l^ext. u. Untersuch. 
VI. 3, pp. 85 ff. Zahn, ib. p. 765. Harnack, Gesch. d. Altchrist. Litt. I. i, p. 157 ; 
Chron. I. p. 291. The last-named goes so far as to say that the question is no 
longer an open one. 

2 Cp. Iren. I. xxiv. 5 ("habere autem et reliquarum operationum usum indiffer- 
entem, et universae libidinis"), with Clem. Al. Strom, m. i, p. 510. 

It is also well pointed out by Drummond ("/r Basilides quoted in the Philo- 
sophumena?" in the American Journal of Biblical Literature, 1892, p. 145) that the 
treatment of the subject of the sufferings of Jesus by Clement (Strom, iv. ch. 12, 
p. 600) is inconsistent with the view that Simon of Cyrene suffered in place of 
Jesus, which Irenaeus makes part of the system. 

There can be no ground, so far as I am aware, for including Agrippa Castor, 
as Zahn does, p. 765, among our informants with whom Hippolytus's information 
is inconsistent. 



of Basilides is trustworthy 67 

limits himself to ethical questions and defers the discussion of 
metaphysical and cosmological ones. The ethical principles 
and the terminology of the system as represented in Clement 
agree well with its metaphysics and cosmology as represented 
in Hippolytus 1 . Our conclusion is that Hippolytus's section 
on the Heresy of Basilides gives a trustworthy account of the 
doctrines of the Master and his genuine disciples. This result 
is an important one for the history of Gnosticism, and it is 

1 Hort, ib. pp. 270, -271. Drummond, ib. pp. 146-7, adds the use of tvepye- 
reiv and evepyere'iffdai, Refut. ch. 22, pp. 364, 2, 3 etc. Let me also point out 
the similar language about the Will of God. Compare Clem. Strom, iv. 12, 
pp. 601-2, rb \y6fj,vov OeXy/jLa rod 6fov, and sequel, with Refut. vn. 21, 
avoriTws, di>aia'dr)Tws...a.veTridvfj.if)Tws KdfffJ.ov i}d\riffe TroiTjcrai. To 5 TjdtXijffe, 
\tyu, 077cri, ff-r}fj.a<Tias -^&piv, dfleXTjrws /cat aPOTjrws /cat avaLffdrjTM. 

The considerations put forward by Salmon and Stahelin on the other side seem 
to be without weight. Salmon's contention is that certain similarities with 
Valentinianism render the account suspicious. Seeing, however, that the theories 
of Basilides and Valentinus proceeded from the same movement of thought, that 
both teachers shared to a large extent the same intellectual traditions, and that 
their adherents, if not the heresiarchs themselves, must have often met and 
engaged in discussion, it would be strange if there were no points of contact in 
thought and language between them, and if none of the same texts of Scripture 
had been used by both. Again, as to the use by both Basilides and Valentinus of 
the same words from Prov. i. 7, on which Dr Salmon comments, Hippolytus is 
confirmed by Clement (Strom. 1 1. p. 448), who is specially clear as to the employ- 
ment of them by Basilides and his school. 

Stahelin (pp. 46 54) discovers some phrases which occur in more than one of 
Hippolytus's accounts of different heretics; but they are such as might proceed 
from Hippolytus himself without rendering his information generally untrustworthy. 

Lastly, the doctrine set forth by Hippolytus so far from its being unworthy of 
the great Gnostic teacher will, I am convinced, if considered in an unprejudiced 
spirit, appear to be marked by real intellectual power. It is not fairly chargeable 
with the inconsistencies which Stahelin finds in it, p. 89 ff. Moreover, in the 
exposition contained in chh. 20 22, when read connectedly, it is not difficult to 
trace an attempt, that is far from despicable, to conceive and express the idea of 
the Absolute, which must be without attributes because attributes limit that to 
which they are applied, and, further, to grapple with the thought of the self- 
limitation of the Absolute in Creation. There are, also, remarks which are very 
suggestive in connexion with the Gnostic use of myths. I may adduce Dr Hort's 
judgment as to "the freshness and power" of the extracts generally. Ib. p. 271. 
For myself I would say only that I realised for the first time many years ago, in 
reading Hippolytus's account of the doctrines of Basilides, without having been 
in any way directed thereto, how a great Gnostic system might represent a high 
and strong intellectual effort. See also Drummond, ib. p. 151 ff., on Stahelin's 
strictures. 

With regard to the objection founded on the statements of the Acta Archelai 
see Hort, ib. pp. 276-7. 

52 



68 Uncertainty as to the source 

favourable rather than not to the view that the quotations 
from the Gospels to which we have referred were made by 
Basilides himself. But this latter point needs further con- 
sideration. 

At the commencement of his account of this heresy, 
Hippolytus refers not only to Basilides, but to Isidore, 
remarking that the latter was " the genuine son and disciple " 
of Basilides. He adds also that the whole School, as well 
as the two just named, were guilty of misrepresenting not 
only the Apostle Matthias, from whom they claimed to 
have received special traditions, but the Saviour Himself. 
Immediately after this comprehensive reference, Hippolytus 
uses the singular ^ai and does so again and again, 
and, among other places, in introducing the passages con- 
cerning the quotations from the Gospels according to St John 
and St Luke, to which allusion has been made. What then 
is the force of this formula <f>r)ari, "he says"? In view of the 
manner in which it is introduced both here and in the accounts 
which Hippolytus gives of other systems 1 , it is probable that 
he uses it in accordance with Greek idiom, when a theory is 
being discussed, with a somewhat indefinite reference, like 
our "it is said." In some passages where it occurs, Hip- 
polytus may well be giving a summary, partly in his own 
words, of the opinions which he is describing. There are 
others, however, in which the remarks introduced thereby 
have all the appearance of being actual quotations, and this 
holds especially of the citations and applications of passages 
of Scripture. But in regard to these, too, it is necessary to 
ask whether the quotations are made from the heresiarch 
himself, or from Isidore, or some other member of the school ; 

1 See for example Hippolytus's section on the Naassenes where <t>i)<jl is more 
than once used, though no individual is mentioned to whom it can refer. 
Drummond points this out, ib. p. 134, but apparently does not feel that it renders 
its purport in the section on Basilides more uncertain, as it surely must. Dr 
Drummond maintains not only that Hippolytus's account of the system of 
Basilides is trustworthy, in which I fully concur, but also that it is "highly 
probable that the writer quoted by Hippolytus is Basilides himself," about 
which I cannot feel so confident. Dr Sanday, however, to whom (Inspiration^ 
p. 308) I am indebted for having my attention drawn to Dr Drummond's article, 
considers that the latter has made good his position. 



of Hippolytus s quotations 69 

and yet this is a point which it seems impossible to decide. 
The exposition of the system from which Hippolytus has 
drawn might well have been given in the Exegetica by way 
of comment, for example, on the Prologue to the Fourth 
Gospel. On the other hand, the circumstance that Hip- 
polytus alludes to the claim of Isidore, as well as of Basilides, 
to possess traditions derived from Matthias, and the stress 
which he lays on the fact that Isidore was a genuine disciple 
of his father, give colour to the supposition that he has a 
treatise by Isidore before him 1 . Even, however, if Hippolytus's 
source was not a work by Basilides himself, it might have 
contained quotations from him ; and at any rate the use of 
the third and fourth Gospels by a genuine disciple would 
raise a presumption in favour of their having been used by 
the Master likewise. 

The case as to the use of our Gospels by Valentinus, 
closely resembles that in regard to Basilides. In the account 
given by Hippolytus of his doctrines and of those of his 
School' 2 interpretations of texts from St Luke and St John 
occur which are introduced by the same formula "he says 3 ." 
And the same kind of doubt hangs over its employment, 
a doubt which cannot be resolved, because we are unable 
to examine the documents from which Hippolytus drew his 
information 4 . It has, however, been forcibly urged that the 
whole terminology of the Valentinian system, which must as 
to its main features go back to Valentinus himself, implies 
acquaintance with the Fourth Gospel 5 . 

1 Zahn (i. p. 765, n. 4) also remarks that there is a "suspiciously modern 
stamp " in the formulas of citation from New Testament Scriptures which form 
part, apparently, of the extracts. See tv rots euayyeXiois, Ref. 22, p. 360; and 
cis ytypa-rrTai, or cos 17 ypa<j>Ti X^yet, in introducing quotations from the Epistles of 
St Paul, ch. 25, p. 368, 375 ; ch. 26, p. 372 etc. 

2 Ref. VI. 2955. 

3 Jn x. 8 and Lu. i. 35 in ch. 35. 

4 I am unable to see that there is any clear distinction between them, as 
Westcott held, Canon, p. 297 ff. and p. 305 n. 4. 

5 See Westcott, ib.\ Salmon, Introd. to New Test, p. 53 f. 



70 Parallelisms with the Gospels 



ADDITIONAL NOTE I. TO CHAP. II. 

PARALLELISMS WITH THE GOSPELS IN THE TEACHING 
OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. 

Did. i. 25. 
f] p.cv ovv 686? TTJS (orjs O~TIV avTrj- .......................................... (l) 

, ayaTTjjtret? TOV Qeov TOV Trotrjcravrd o~f \ 



8fVTCpOV TOV 7T\T)(rioV (TOV to? O~(aVTOV J 

irdvTa. 8f o<ra tav 6(\T)o~T]s p,r) yivfcrda'i (rot, cat crv aXA&> /a?) Troifi ....... (3) 

TOVTWV 8e T&V Xoycoi/ fj 8i8a)(T) fffTiv avTTj" ................................. (4) 

evXoyciTf rovs KaTap(op.(vovs vp.iv, .......................................... (5) 

vrrep T 



VTJO-TfVfTf 8f VTTfp TU)V 8l(i)K6vTQ)V Vfjids' ' 



Troi'a yap ^apis^ eav ayairarf TOVS dyair&vTas vp.as; ..................... (7) 

OV^l KO.I TO. fdvT) TO {IVTO TTOIOVQ-IV ; .......................................... (8) 

vp.ds 8e dyanaTf TOVS p40~ovvTas vp,as, ....................................... (9) 

KOI oi>x ((T CX&PUV ............................................................ (lo) 

airf-)(ov Ttov (rapKK&v KOI <ra>^aTiKcoi/ f7ridvp.ia>v ............................ (") 

cdv Tts crot 8ai paTTicrp-a fls TTJV 8(iav <riayova 



avTa <a TTJV urjv, 

KOI (TT) Tf\fiOS' .................................................................. (l3) 

tav dyyapfvarj trt TIS p.i\iov cv, viraye P.CT' OVTOV dvo- .................. (I4-) 

fav apT) TIS TO ip.dTiov crot, 86? airw KOI TOV ^iraii/a' ..................... (^5) 

eav Aa/Si; TIS diro aov TO vov, p.f) aTraiVft- .................................... (16) 

ov8c yap dvvao-ai ................................................................ ('?) 

iravT\ TO) aiTovvTi o~f 8i'8ou, cat p,rj diratTfi" ................................. (!8) 

Tratrt yap dt\i 8i8oa-6ai o irarr^p e< T&V I8i<t>v ^apKr/ioTwi/ ............. 09) 

p.a<dpios o 8t8our Kara TTJV fVTo\r)v ddqws yap toriv oval rai \ap.fld- 
ri' (I p.(v yap xP (>iav fX a)V ^a/*$" *& ddqtos oraf 6 8< p.r) xP (lav 

KOI ft? Tl, (V (TUVO^ 8( yfv6p.(V(>S f^fTO- 

irtpl <Sv tirpa^f^ ......................................................... (20) 

*cai OVK. t(\(V(T(Tai (KfWfv p.(xpis ov ajroSo) TOV (Q-x^Tov Ko8pdvTTjv. (2l) 



in the Didache 71 

(1) Cp. Mt. vii. 14 >7 6Sof T) airdyovcra eir TTJV farjv. 

(2) Cp. Mk xii. 30, 31, Mt. xxii. 37 39. The distinction between 
"the first" and "the second" is made most clearly in Mk, and next to 
Mk in Mt. 

(3) Nearer to Mt. vii. 12 than to Lu. vi. 31. 

(5) Lu. vi. 28: exact except that Lu. has vp.as instead of vp.lv. This 
precept is probably to be omitted at Mt. v. 44. 

(6) Nearest to Mt. v. 44 />, which has StcoKtWooi', whereas Lu. has 



(7) Lu. vi. 32 (almost exact). 

(8) Cp. Mt. V. 47 ^X' * a ' ' 1 f^VKoi TO ailTO TTOIOIXTIV ,' 

(9) Cp. Lu. vi. 27. Not quite so close to Mt. v. 44 (lectio recta). 

(12) Cp. Mt. v. 39 ; Lu. vi. 29 is not so like. 

(13) Cp. Mt. v. 48. 

(14) Mt. v. 41 (almost exact); there is nothing to correspond in Luke. 
(15), (16), (18) Cp. Lu. vi. 29 b and 30 ; Mt. v. 40 and 42 is not so like. 
(19) May well have been suggested by Lu. vi. 35. 

(21) Cp; Mt. v. 26 ; Lu. xii. 59 is not so like. 

Did. xvi. i. 

yprjyopf'iTe inrep TTJS fays vp-cav (l) 

aXXa yivftrdf eroi/zor (3) 

ov yap oi'Sare TTJV &pav ev TJ 6 Kvpios T)p,a>v ep^erai (4) 

Cp. Lu. xii. 37, 39, 35, 40 ; and Mt. xxiv. 42, 44. (4) is closer to Mt., 
but there is a parallel to (2) only in Luke. 

The prayer which "the Lord in the Gospel commanded us to pray" is 
given at Did. vm. 2, most nearly as in Mt. 

The saying contained only in Mt. vii. 6, P.TJ Score ro ayiov Tols 
given as spoken by the Lord at Did. IX. 5. 



72 Parallelisms with the Gospels 



ADDITIONAL NOTE II. TO CHAP. II. 

PARALLELISMS BETWEEN THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS 
AND THE FOUR GOSPELS. 

i. Parallelisms with both St Matthew and St Mark, and in some 
cases also St Luke, as well as sentences in which the two former seem 
to be closely combined 1 . 

(O] V. 3, VJ. 5. OVTOl 1(TIV %OVTfS p.ev TTIOTIV, f%OVT(S 8f KOI 7T\OVTOV 

TOV alwvos TOVTOV. oTav yfvrjTat $Xt>^tf, 5ia TOV TT\OVTOV avrGiv /cat 
Sta ray Trpayp,aTfias dirapvovvTai TOV Kvptov avTotv. 

S. 9, XX. I, 2. ol p.fv Tpi'/3oXot fla~iv ol TrXouo-iot, at 8e anavdai ol ev rat? 
TT pay pare tat? TCIIS iroiKiXais ep,TT<pvpp.Voi aVoTrXaixui'Tai Trviyopevoi 

VTTO TU>V 7Tpd((i)V aVTWV. 

Ib. xxi. I. TO df -rrpbs TO.IS piais *7pflj rives 8e KOL OTTO TOV 17X101; 
^T)paiv6p.evai etc. 

Cp. Mt. xiii. 6, 7, 21, 22; Mk iv. 6, 7, 17, 18, 19. 

(b] S. 5, ii. 2, 3- f ^ 6 Tls dypov K.OI SovXovs TroXXovy, xai p-epos TI TOV 
dypov f<pvT(vo-cv dp.7T(\a)va. He chose out one faithful servant and 
said to him ; Aa/3e TOV a^iTreXeova TOVTOV ov f(pvTfvo~a <al vapdKO)O~ov 
etc. Then the Master fgfjXQc els TTJV d7ro8r)p,iav. 

Ib. 6. 7rpoo-Ka\o~dp.(vos ovv TOV vibv avTov TOV dyaTrrjToVj ov 
K\rjpov6fjLOV etc. 

Cp. Mt. xxi. 33, 38, Mk xii. i, 57, Lu. xx. 9, 13, 14; x 
however, should be compared with (ppayp.bv irfpudrjuev in Mt. and Mk, 
which is not found and has no parallel in Luke. Traits peculiar to Luke, 
one found only in Mk and Lu., and one or two less distinct ones peculiar 
to Matthew, are to be observed in the same context. See other headings. 

() S. 9, xxix. i 3. The believers from the twelfth mountain are 
like very babes ; they have ever continued free from guile and childlike. 
6Voi ovv 8iap.(v(iTf, he continues, cat co~o-6f &s TO. /3pc'<^>t;, Ka<iav p,T) 
TrdvTtov TUV 7rpofipT)p.fvu)v fv8ooT(poi fO'ta'Qf irdvTa yap TO. ftpf(pT) 
eo~Ti Trapa TO) Q(a> Kal Trpaira Trap' avT<&. p,a<dpioi ovv vp.fls, oo~oi av nprjT 
d(p' eavTwv TTJV irovr)piav y evSvarjoOf 8e TTJV aKaniav irp&Toi iravTutv {rjo-fo-df 
TO) 0ew. 

Cp. Mt. xviii. i 4, 10, xix. 13 15; Mk ix. 35 37, x. 13 16. 

One or two touches in Hernias reproduce Mk, while the connexion is 
somewhat closer to Mt. 

1 For convenience these are given under this heading, instead of being referred 
to twice over under i and 3. 



in the Shepherd of Hermas 73 

(<t) S. 9, XXV. I, 2. (K 8( TOV opovs TOV oytioov, ov T)<rav at TroXXat nrjyai, 
Kal iracra f) KTIO~IS TOV Kvpiov fVorifero ex TG>I> Trrjy&v, ol irt<TT(v<ravT(s 

TOIOVTOI fl<TLV aTTOOToXoi ACat 8l.8d(TKa\Ol OI KTjpV^aVTfS els O\OV TOV 

Kocrpov Kal ol 8i8davTes o-fp.v)s KOI ayv&s TOV \6yov TOV Kvpiov. 
Cp. Mt. xxviii. 19, 20; Mk xvi. 15. 

2. Parallelisms with St Matthew. 

M. 4, i. 5, 6. If a husband discovers that his wife, a Christian, is 
living in adultery, and she does not repent, but adheres to her fornication 
(Jwtptvfl Ti) iropvcia avTrjs), what is he to do? The answer is 'Arro- 
Xuo-arco avTTjv, KO.\ 6 dvrjp e'0' eaimu p.fveTa>' eav 8e diroXvo~as TTJV 
yvvalna CTepav yapr)o-7], *al UVTOS ftot^arat. This passage plainly has 
Mt. xix. 9 in view and not Mk x. 11 or Lu. xvi. 18. 

S. 8, iii. 2. TO Sfvdpov TOVTO TO p.ya TO o-K7rdov TTfdia <a\ opt] Kal 
irao-av TTJV yf)i>, vofjios Qcov eWii/ 6 Solely els oXov TOV Kwrpov 6 8e 
OVTOS vlos Qeov eori Krjpv^dfls els TO. Tre'para TJJS yijs' ol 8e VTTO TTJV 
Xaol ovTfs, etc. 

Cp. Mt. xiii. 31. 



S. 5, ii. 2. Perhaps the title 6 Seo-Trdrqy may be compared with 

in Mt. xxi. 33. 



Ib. v. 2. 6 dypos 6 KocrfJLOS OVTOS eo~Tiv. 
Cp. Mt. xiii. 37. 

M. 11, 1 6. f'xfis dfjiCpoTepatv TWV TT po<pr)T(ii)v TTjv a>T)v 8oKip.ae ovv aTTo 
TTJS fofjs Kal T>V epyw TOV avdpwrrov TOV XcyovTa eavTov 7rvevp.aTO(p6pov 
fivai. 

Cp. Mt. vii. 15, 1 6. 

S. 9, xiii. 2. Certain virgins, who are "holy spirits," must clothe a man 
with their garments, ev8vo-o)o-i TO ev8vp.a OVTCOV, in order that he may be 
found in the kingdom of God. 

Cp. Mt. xxii. ii. Hermas, however, always writes "kingdom of God," 
not "kingdom of heaven." 

V. 4, ii. 6 oval TO?? aKovo-ao-iv TO. prf^ara TUVTU KOI 7rapaKovo~ao-iv alpeTO)- 
repov TJV avTols TO /LIT) yevvrjdfjvai. 

The latter half of this sentence might be taken either from Mt. xxvi. 
24 or Mk xiv. 21 ; but the thought of the former half corresponds with 
Mt. vii. 26. The whole may therefore be placed under the head of 
reminiscences of that Gospel. 

3. Parallelisms with St Mark. 

S. 5, iii. I, 2. Ae'yor Kvpie, eyw TUVTOS TO.S 7rapa(3o\as ov ytvdxrKO) ov8e 



8vvap.ai voijorai, eav p.rj /zoi f7ri\vcrrjs avTas. lidvTa o~oi 67TtXv(ra), (prjai. 

See also ib. v. i. 
Cp. Mk iv. 34. 



74 Parallelisms with the Gospels 

M. 12, iv. 4. 01 Se en-i roi? xfi\(o~tv f^oi/rer roi/ Kvpiov, TI^I/ 8e 

aVTWV 7T TrOOp O)/Z (VTJV. See alSO M. 4, H. I. 

For the latter part of the sentence cp. Mk vi. 52, viii. 17. The former 
part seems to refer to the passage in Isaiah quoted Mt. xv. 8 and 
Mk vii. 6. 

V. 3, ix. 2, and xii. 3. dprjixveTf ev cavrols. 
Cp. Mk ix. 50. 

4. Parallelism with St Mark and St Luke. 

5. 9, xiv. 6. f)8fo>s avTovs /3aorTafi, on OVK irai<rxvvovTai TO ovopa 
avTov (popflv. 

Cp. Mk viii. 38, Lu. ix. 26. 

5. Parallelisms with St Luke. 

S. 5, ii. 2 etc. Comp. the dov\os there with the SoCXo? of Lu. xiv. i6f. 

/#. 9. SclTTvov CTroir]<T(v 6 oiKodetnrorrjs CIVTOV. Cp. Lu. ib. 



lb. 4. (TK.d'^fa) \OITTOV TOV d/j.7T\)va. TOVTOV, KOI torat c 
(TKafj.fjivos, KOL ftoTcivas pf) f%a>v fidxTft Kaprrbv TrXei'oi/a, &C. 
Cp. Lu. xiii. 8, 9. 

Zahn (Hirt d. Herm. p. 461) points out a possible reminiscence of 
Lu. viii. 6 in the use of i*c/ia8a by Hermas S. 8, ii. 9 ; also of Acts i. 24, 
xv. 8, in use of Kap8ioyv<ixrrT]s, M. 4, iii. 4, and of Acts iv. 12 and ii. ii 
at V. 4, ii. 4, 5- 

6. Parallelisms with St John. 

(a) M. 3, I. 'AA^$fiai> dya7ra...ij/a TO Trvevpa, o 6 Qeos KaTtoKurtv tv 
rfi <rapn\ TavTTj, aXijdes (vpfdfj Trapa iracriv dvdpairois, KCU ovra>s 8oa<rdf]- 
(Tfrcu 6 Kvpios 6 tv o*ot /carotKwv. ort 6 Ki'/nos dXrjdivbs tv rravrl prjfjiaTi, 
Kdi ov8fv Trap' atraj ^eCfior. 

Cp. Jn xvii. 10, vii. 28, i Jn v. 20, ii. 27 etc. (for earlier part 
Jas. iv. 5). 

(b) S. 5, ii. 6. (rvvf^dprja-av ro> SouXco (in the allegory) Vl TTJ pap- 
Tvpia ft f papTvprjcrfv auroi 6 Sf&iroTrjf, 

Cp. Jn v. 31, 32. 

(c) S. 5, vi. 3- avrbs ovv Kadapi(ras rds d/iapriar TOV Xaov O~(i(v avrolf 
Tas Tpiftovs rj)f C 00 ^' 8ovs avTo'is TOV vopov ov \a/3f Trapa TOV iraTpbs 
avTov. /SX^TTfis 1 , <pr)(rii>, on avTOf Kvpios (O~TI TOV XaoO, (ovcriav 7rdo~av 
Xa/3<i)i' irapa TOV iraTpbs avrov. 

Cp. Jn xii. 49, xvii. 8, 2. 



in the Shepherd of Hennas 75 

(*/) S. 9, XJi. 6. T) 7TV\T) 6 VIOS TOV QfOV fOTlV (IVTT) fJLlO. fl(To8oC COTt 

irpbf TOV Kvpiov. ti\\<as ovv ov8f\s i(T(\(v(r(Tai irpbs avrov fi pr) 8ia TOV 
vlov avrov. 

See also context. 

Cp. Jn xiv. 6. 

(e) Ib. xvi. 4- *) (r<f)pay\s ovv TO v8a)p <TTLV ...... KaKfivois ovv fnr)pv\0r) 

fj o-(ppayls avrij, KOI f'xprjo-avTO avTT] t Iva do~ (\6axriv ds rqv fia<ri\fiav 
TOV 0eoi). 

Cp. Jn iii. 5. 



(_/") Ib. XXlv. 4. 0\OV TO O-7T(pfJ,a Vp.a)V KO.TOlKr]<T(l p.(TO. TOV VlOV TOV 

v- < yap TOV rrvevfj-aTos avrov e'Xa/Sere. 
Cp. Jn i. 16, i Jn iv. 13. 



CHAPTER III. 

JUSTIN MARTYR. 

JUSTIN MARTYR is the witness who next comes before us, 
and he is one to whom, on account of his eminence and 
acquaintance with the Church in some of the chief centres of 
Christendom, we may naturally look for information of the 
greatest importance in regard to Christian faith and practice 
in the middle part of the second century. Among the works 
which are attributed to him, the First and Second Apologies and 
the Dialogue with Trypho are universally admitted to be his. 
Of the remainder many are certainly spurious, and the least 
doubtful would add nothing material even if taken into 
account. Eusebius in his Chronicle appears to refer the First 
Apology to the third year of Antoninus Pius (A.D. 140) ; in his 
Church History he places the Second under Marcus Aurelius 
(therefore after A.D. 161), though it would seem, from the 
connexion in which he treats of it, near the beginning of 
his reign 1 . He supposes the martyrdom of Justin to have 
followed shortly. But the investigation of the subject by 
modern critics has gone far to establish the conclusions 2 
(a) that the First Apology must have been composed five 
or six years at least after A.D. 140, and (b} that the composi- 
tion of the Second Apology was not far removed in time from 
the First> but is to be regarded as a kind of appendix or 
sequel to it rather than as a separate work. The Dialogue 

1 H. E. iv. xvi. 

2 See esp. G. Volkmar in Theol. Jahrb. for 1855, p. 227 ff. and p. 41 iff., and 
Hort,/0ttr. of Class, and Sac. Philology, in. p. 155 ff. (A.D. 1857). Their views 
are in important respects similar, and Hort, though later in publishing, had in the 
main worked out his argument before hearing of Volkmar's articles, or indeed 
before they were published. Cp. also Harnack, C/iron. I. p. 274 ff. 



Dates of Justin's works 77 

with Trypho was written after the Apology, but apparently 
under the same Emperor, and therefore before A.D. I6I 1 . It 
does not seem possible to assign its date more nearly, as we 
have not the means of fixing the time of Justin's death. 
There may be reason for distrusting Eusebius in the matter, 
who (as we have seen) places the death of Justin in the 
following reign, but we possess no other more trustworthy, 
or even equally trustworthy evidence 2 . The limits of time, 
then, within which these writings were composed are not very 
wide, and we need not much regret that we cannot fix their 
dates more exactly. They do not illustrate merely the views 
and feelings of the moment ; Justin was a man of formed 
opinions and habits of mind when he wrote ; he had been a 
Christian teacher for some years. 

But what evidence as to the position of the Gospels do 
these works supply ? That this has not been found an easy 
question to answer is shewn by the widely different views 
which have been held in regard to it. The main facts in 
regard to Justin's accounts of, and allusions to, the teaching of 
Christ, and incidents of the Gospel History, are more or less 
familiar to every student of the history of the Canon of the 
New Testament. I will, however, briefly recall them. Justin 
never mentions any of our Gospels by the names by which 
we know them. He usually speaks of the records of the Life 
of Christ collectively as " the Memoirs of the Apostles," and, 
at the only place where he particularises, speaks of a fact 
about Simon Peter as given in "his (Peter's) Memoirs." From 
the records thus generally described, or from some of them, 
he has, it is clear, derived in the main what he relates of the 
Words and Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, and for 
the most part he agrees with our Gospels in substance, and 
also in greater or less degree, though hardly ever completely, 
in language. Sometimes parallel passages of St Matthew 

1 See Dial. ch. 120, and cp. Harnack, ib. p. 281. 

2 Hort arrives at A.D. 148 as the year of Justin's death, and places the First 
Apology in A.D. 146, the Second, "if really separate from the first," in 146 or 147, 
and the Dialogue with Trypho about the same time," ib. p. 191. But the part of 
Hort's essay which deals with the date of Justin's death is unsatisfactory. The 
essay was a youthful one, mostly written five years before it was published. On 
the whole, it is its maturity which surprises us. 



78 The coiirse of the controversy 

and St Luke appear to have been fused together. But he 
has also some matter which is not in our Gospels, and some 
of the forms of expression in which he differs from them 
occur more than once in his own writings, and even in others 
which there is no reason to regard as dependent upon him. 

One theory of these phenomena, which for upwards of 
eighty years occupied a very large amount of attention the 
most conspicuous effort of free criticism and the chief object 
of attack by orthodox scholars in connexion with this par- 
ticular subject 1 has now been abandoned by the great 
majority of students of all schools. Yet it will be worth 
while to notice it, because we shall thus be enabled to realise 
the advance that has been made, and also to define more 
clearly the questions remaining to be decided. It was thought 
most natural to assume that Justin was accustomed to use a 
single work, not one of our four Gospels, though of the nature 
of a Gospel. He might, indeed, it was allowed, have known 
our Gospels, or some of them. Credner to name one of the 
most able and circumspect advocates of the theory held that 
he must have done so. But " he used them little or not at all 
directly, preferring another work 2 ." 

Two passages, in which reference is made to that which is 
found " in the Gospel," were urged in support of this view 3 . 
It was suggested also that the plural " Memoirs of the 
Apostles " might describe a collection of their reminiscences. 
The explanatory words added in one place "which are called 
Gospels 4 " might well, it was said, be an interpolation ; or if 
Justin did use the expression and designated thereby a whole 
class of writings, there was still one among them on which he 
himself mainly relied. 

Endeavours were made to identify this document with 
some work which, though lost, has left traces of its existence 
in Christian literature. T/ie Gospel accg to the Hebrews was 
first fixed upon, and this suggestion was accepted as sub- 

1 See the sketch of the history of enquiry as to the sources of Justin's citations 
in Semisch, Die apostolischen Denkwiirdigkeiten d. M. Justinus, p. i6ff., or 
Credner, Geschichte d. N. T. /Cation, pp. 7, 8. 

2 Credner, ib. p. 9. 3 Dial. chh. 10 and 100. 
4 Apol. i. 66. 



as to his evangelic quotations 79 

stantially correct by Credner. He held, however, that the 
Gospel used by Justin must have been "a peculiar edition of 
that Gospel of many forms, the same which also elsewhere 
again presents itself repeatedly as the Gospel of Peter ; and 
which must have grown out of an older harmonistic compila- 
tion of the Gospel history 1 ." It reappeared also, he thought, 
under the name of Tatian's Diatessaron, a work not, properly 
speaking, based on the four Gospels, and yet containing 
sufficient resemblances to them to be frequently mistaken 
for a harmony of them by Catholic Christians 2 . 

It was always at best an unverified hypothesis that a 
Gospel once existed which would of itself alone, approxi- 
mately at least, have supplied Justin with all his Evangelic 
citations in the form in which he gives them. And investi- 
gation and the increase of knowledge have shewn it to be 
untenable. Recent discoveries have been fatal to Credner's 
special form of the theory. We have now a portion of the 
Gospel of Peter, such the fragment found at Akhmim is 
almost universally believed to be. Now many scholars do 
indeed hold that Justin made some use of this work; and so far 
it may be thought that Credner is justified. This is a question 
to which it will be necessary to return. But whatever else is 
doubtful, it is certain that the work of which a portion has 
been recovered could not have been Justin's principal source 
for the Gospel history ; and that it was nothing less than 
this was the very point of the view which Credner maintained. 
Again, somewhat earlier, much fresh light was thrown upon 
the character and contents of Tatian's Diatessaron, all tending 
to shew that it must from the first and according to its 
essential structure have been in the main a compendium of 
our four Gospels. To speak generally, the information we 
possess as to Gospel literature, not included in the Canon, 
serves to shew that there was no work answering to the 
requirements of the theory. Further, a consideration of the 
aim of Justin's treatises and the conditions of his age, the 
interpretation of him by himself instead of by some modern 
standard, have gone far to shew that in the majority of 
instances, his divergences from our Gospels afford no good 

1 Apol. 1.66. 2 Ib. p. lyff. 



8o Questions that must be disctissed 

ground for supposing that he did not derive his quotations 
from them. 

There is now a strong consensus of opinion to the effect 
that St Matthew and St Luke were among Justin's principal 
sources, and that, if the signs of his use of St Mark are 
less clear, there is yet no sufficient reason to doubt that he 
reckoned it also among "the Memoirs." It is also widely 
allowed that he was well acquainted with the Fourth Gospel, 
though there are those who consider that he used it with a 
certain reserve and not as a work of Apostolic authority. The 
Evangelic matter in Justin's works which is not contained in our 
Gospels, and in part also his departures from them in language, 
have still to be accounted for. And the belief has strengthened 
that these are to be traced not simply to oral tradition, but to 
some written narrative, or narratives. Any such document, 
however, is almost universally regarded as a source of in- 
formation which he employed, not as a substitute for our 
Gospels, but in addition to them 1 . 

The recognition of our Gospels by Justin, within the limits 
indicated by the foregoing statement, has, I believe, been 
adequately established". Two points, however, of great impor- 
tance, appear to require fuller examination: (i) the attitude 
of Justin to the Fourth Gospel ; (2) the character of any other 
source or sources which he used, and the position relatively 
to our Gospels which in his estimation it, or they, occupied. 

1 See Additional Note I. p. 129 f. 

2 The exhaustive examinations of Justin's citations are, on the one hand, those 
of Credner in his Beitrdge, 1832, and A. Hilgenfeld, in the earlier stage of his 
views on the subject, Die Evangelien Justin's, 1850, and on the other hand, from 
the conservative point of view, that of K. Semisch, Die apostolischen Dcnk- 
iviirdigkeiten d. M. Justinus, 1848. Some points, also, are fully worked out in 
Westcott's Canon of the New Testament^ Pt I. ch. ii. 7. As regards the Fourth 
Gospel, the articles by James Drummond in the Theological Review for Oct. 
1875, and April and July 1877, and Ezra Abbot, The Authorship of the Fourth 
Gospel (External Evidences, pp. 16 48), deserve to be specially mentioned. The 
position of the writers, as members of Unitarian bodies, will be allowed to be 
independent. The writers, whose instincts are the reverse of conservative, but 
whose moderate conclusions are referred to above, and given in their own words 
in the Additional Note I. p. 129^, have for the most part contented themselves 
with stating the conclusions at which they have arrived. 



Just ins use of our Fourth Gospel 81 



I. Justin's attitude to ttie Gospel according to St John. 

As I have implied, it does not appear necessary any 
longer to labour the point, that Justin was acquainted with 
the Fourth Gospel ; yet the extent of his use of it has an 
important bearing on that further question, whether he 
included it among the Apostolic Memoirs, which I propose 
to consider. And even while use of this Gospel is admitted, 
it may be doubted whether there is commonly an adequate 
impression as to the amount of this use. We must, then, as a 
first step, review the signs of knowledge of the Fourth Gospel 
in Justin's works. In doing so we may also note the expres- 
sions which seem to suggest that he reckoned it among the 
Memoirs. I will afterwards deal with objections. 

Justin repeatedly speaks of Christ as the Word and Son 
of the Father who " was made flesh " (e.g. Apol. I. 32). He 
says, also, " that we Christians were taught this" (ib. ch. 46, 
where there are points of similarity to Jn i. 3, 9; also ch. 66). 
When he says that we "were taught it," we must, in accordance 
with his whole manner of thought and speech, understand him 
to mean, taught it by the Apostles, or on their authority (see 
the last passage just referred to, ch. 66, in which, as we may 
also remark, he seems in his exposition of the doctrine of the 
Eucharist to have Jn vi. as well as the Synoptic account of 
the Institution in mind). In one passage (Dial. 105), after 
quoting Ps. xxii. 20 f., in which the phrase rrjv povoyevrj /JLOV 
occurs, he proceeds : " For that this one was only-begotten to 
the Father of all things, properly (ISlco?) born of him, his word 
and power, and that he afterwards became man through the 
Virgin, as we learnt from the Memoirs, I have before shewn." 
It is possible that, "as we learnt from the Memoirs," here may 
only refer to the clause immediately preceding it, but it is far 
more natural to connect it with the whole sentence. 

Again, to turn to parallelisms of another kind, in Dial. 69, 
after quoting Isa. xxxv. I 7, he gives a summary of the facts 
s. G. 6 



82 Justin s iise of our Fourth Gospel 

which were a fulfilment of the prophecy, and it contains three 
traits which forcibly remind us of St John 1 . 

Again, in his explanation of the meaning of Christian 
Baptism (ApoL I. 61), as in that of the other Christian 
Sacrament (see above), he seems to have the teaching of the 
Fourth Gospel before him, and in this case much more 
markedly. Jn iii. 3 5 is to a large extent reproduced, and 
some words of Christ there recorded are expressly cited as 
His. And a little further on, after comparing Isa. i. 16 20, 
he says, " Now this doctrine with respect to this thing we 
learned from the apostles." 

Besides these cases in which, to those who have carefully 
considered Justin's method and language as a whole, deriva- 
tion from " the Memoirs of the Apostles " will seem to be 
more or less clearly implied, there are not a few other instances 
of correspondence. The peculiarly Johannine thoughts that 
Christ came from the Father, that the Father sent Him, that 
He fulfilled the Father's Will, occur frequently in Justin. 
Jesus is "the Son who came from" the true God, He is -< God 
who came forth from above" (Apol. I. 6; Dial. 64; cp. Jn iii. 31, 
viii. 42, xii. 46 etc.). He is the way to the Father: "we follow 
the Un-begotten through his Son" (ApoL I. 14; Jn xiv. 6). 
" Our Lord spoke according to the will of the Father who 
sent him" (Dial. 140). "He never did anything save what 
he who made the world ...... willed that he should do and 

speak" (ib. 56; see also Apol. II. 6; cp. Jn iv. 34, xiv. 10 
etc.). " For this end (viz. that he should be our teacher) 
was Jesus Christ born" (Apol. I. 13; Jn xviii. 37). His 
Father gave Him the power of working miracles (Dial. 30 ; 
Jn v. 36). His rising from the dead "he has, having re- 
ceived it from his Father" (Dial. 100; Jn x. 18). 

We have seen that he speaks of Christ as the " living 
water"; so also he describes him as "the only faultless and 
just light sent to men from God" (Dial. 17; Jn i. 9 etc.). 
The Jews in opposition to this light have sought to spread 



1 (a) He uses a Johannine phrase ^7777? tfSaroj fwiroj to describe our Lord 
(Jn iv. 10, 14; vii. 37, 38); (b) TO)J in yeverijs irripofa (Jn ix. i); (c) the charge 
that he was XaoTrXdpos (Jn vii. 12). 

We shall see, however, that this last might have been taken from another 
source elsewhere used by him, and that the second may have been also. 



Just ins nse of our Fourth Gospel 83 

darkness (Justin, ib.\ Jn iii. 19 etc.). Other of Justin's charges 
against the Jews recall passages of St John. They deceive 
themselves, regarding themselves as " Abraham's seed accord- 
ing to the flesh" (Dial. 44; Jn viii. 33). So also we are 
reminded of another of our Lord's conflicts with the Jews, as 
described in St John, by more than one turn of expression in 
another context in Justin (Dial. 136 ; Jn v. 37, 38, 23, 24). 

Again, like the Fourth Gospel, he uses the type of the 
Brazen Serpent. In Dial. 91, after dwelling on it, he continues 
"there is salvation to those who fly to him who sent into 
the world his crucified son," giving the same connexion of 
thought as in Jn iii. 14 17. In Apol. II. 6, there is a still 
longer context corresponding to portions of the Prologue 
to the Fourth Gospel (Jn i. i, 2, 3, 12, 13). With the latter 
part we may compare the application to Christ Himself in 
another place (Apol. I. 32) of language like that used in Jn 
i. 12 of believers. In this passage of the Gospel itself we 
find the thought that Christ became incarnate in order that 
we might be spiritually regenerate. 

Once more, when speaking of the acknowledgment and 
worship of the true God and His Son and the Spirit by 
Christians, he says that they reverence them " in word and 
truth " (Apol. I. 6 ; cp. Jn iv. 23). 

Other more or less striking parallelisms might be enu- 
merated, but those that have been given will suffice. I will 
add only an interesting one with the First Epistle of St Jo/in. 
In Dial. 123 we read: "We are both called children of God and 
we are so, if we keep the commandments of Christ." The 
former part agrees with the most approved text at f Jn iii. I ; 
for the latter part cp. i Jn ii. 3 etc. 

But it is urged by some that Justin's mind is not really 
dominated by St John's teaching ; that he goes only a certain 
way with him, as though he maintained towards him a critical 
attitude ; in particular that he uses subordinationist language 
not in harmony with the Johannine Christology, and that he 
shews a love for eschatological ideas alien to the spirit of the 
Fourth Gospel 1 . Doubtless it is true that Justin had only 

1 Arguments of this kind were used in Hilgenfeld's Beitrd^e, and I imagine 
that Jiilicher also means something of this kind when he says of Justin that John 

62 



84 Did Justin include our Fourth Gospel 

partially assimilated the thoughts in St John's Gospel. But 
of how many preachers and writers in the Church of any age, 
who have unquestionably acknowledged the apostolicity and 
inspiration of the Fourth Gospel, this might be said ! Much 
the same remark might be made as to the influence of St 
Paul's theology in the Church from the beginning of the 
second century onwards. The work of apprehending the full 
meaning of the Johannine teaching, and of harmonising it 
both with earlier beliefs and with the rest of the Apostolic 
teaching, was indeed stupendous, and Justin belonged to a 
very early stage in the history of the fulfilment of this task. 

The reasons, however, most commonly felt to be strongest 
for holding that he cannot have reckoned the Fourth Gospel 
among his Apostolic Memoirs are probably (i) that he no- 
where directly appeals to the work as St John's, even though 
he does refer to the Apocalypse as by him ; and (2) that he 
makes no regular citations from this Gospel 1 . In order that 
these points may be rightly estimated, it is necessary that 
attention should be paid to the scope of Justin's argument 
and his method of conducting it. A satisfactory explana- 
tion, it is now generally admitted, is found in these for the 
measure of vagueness which there is in the indications of his 
use of the Synoptics. We have to ask whether similar con- 
siderations do not apply with such peculiar force in the case 
of the Fourth Gospel, as to account for the somewhat greater 
obscurity resting upon his attitude to it. 

No popular preacher, or platform orator, or pleader ad- 
dressing a jury, has ever, perhaps, grasped, more thoroughly 
than Justin had, the first rule of the art of persuasion, that the 
persons to be persuaded must be kept constantly before the 
mind. He strives consistently not only to express himself in 
a manner which the readers whom he has in view will under- 
stand, but to use the arguments which are likely to seem to 
them most convincing. This appears alike in the topics upon 
which he dwells, and in the authorities which he cites, his mode 
of citing them, and the use which he makes of them. These 

"1st ihm innerlich fremd, jedoch nicht unbekannt geblieben" (p. 293). See also 
Engelhardt, Christenthum Justins, p. 347 ff. 
1 Cp. Additional Note J., p. 130 f. 



among the Apostolic Memoirs? 85 

points are so important, many critics have been so slow to 
recognise them, and they appear to be so imperfectly ap- 
preciated still, that at the risk of wearying my readers I will 
ask them to follow me in a brief examination of Justin's two 
principal treatises, with special reference to the question 
before us, 

In his First Apology he skilfully begins his appeal by 
contending that the charges of immorality, insubordination 
and atheism commonly made against the Christians are 
groundless, and that on the contrary their rules of conduct 
and their aims are innocent and commendable (chh. I 14). 
To shew you, he proceeds, that I am not deceiving you, I will 
quote to you some of Christ's own maxims. This introduces 
the first set of citations which he makes ; they are massed 
together in chh. 15 .17. As we might expect, they are drawn 
from Christ's simpler and more popular teaching, recorded in 
the Synoptic Gospels, and especially from the Sermon on the 
Mount. What sensible missionary, or controversialist, de- 
siring to commend Christianity by means of its ethical 
character to fairly educated heathen, would pursue a different 
course? At the end of ch. 17 he passes to the subject of 
another world, and is occupied with this to the end of ch. 20. 
He urges heathen testimonies to the belief, but incidentally 
(ch. 19, end) introduces two sayings of "our Master Jesus 
Christ." In ch. 21, he touches upon the Christian belief in 
the divinity of Jesus, deals with heathen analogies, alludes to 
the doctrine of evil spirits, and again rebuts some accusations 
against Christians (chh. 21 29). 

Then at ch. 30 he begins an argument from prophecy 
which extends to ch. 53 (inclusive). He himself and his 
co-religionists have, he declares, believed that Christ is the 
Son of God, not on the ground of mere assertions, but 
because of predictions made long ago which have been 
fulfilled. And this he is persuaded "will appear the greatest 
and truest proof to you also." He thereupon briefly explains 
who the Hebrew prophets were, and refers to the interest in 
their writings shewn by King Ptolemy, and then summarises 
the points to be proved by their aid. He proceeds to adduce 
a series of passages from the prophets, some of considerable 



86 Review of ' Justin s argument 

length, and mentions different prophets by name, while he 
intersperses remarks on the manner in which prophecy is to 
be interpreted. As regards the fulfilment of the prophecies 
he contents himself for the most part with quite general 
assertions that they have been fulfilled, adding at times, or 
implying, that his readers would find this to be the case, if 
they made enquiry. He makes but few statements as to 
particular events. He gives the words of the angel at the 
Annunciation (Apol. I. 33), but not exactly in St Luke's form. 
Some of those spoken according to St Matthew to Joseph 
are introduced, and there are other slight differences. He 
mentions that Christ was born at Bethlehem, in accordance 
with the prophecy of Micah (ch. 34). He alludes to His 
having remained unknown in His youth (ch. 35). And in 
two places he alludes to the incidents of the Passion. In the 
former of them (ch. 35) there are traits not found in our 
Gospels, which must come before us again when we are con- 
sidering Justin's additional source or sources; at the other 
(ch. 38) he seems to be condensing Mt. xxvii. 39 43. It is 
in connexion with the first of all these definite references that 
he makes his only distinct allusion, throughout the argument 
of these 24 chapters, to the Christian sources of information. 
" Those," he says, " taught thus, who recorded all the things 
concerning our Saviour Jesus Christ." 

The reason for the difference in his treatment of the 
prophets and the Christian records is evident. He believed, 
and probably he was not wrong in believing, that even the 
heathen might feel reverence for the prophecies of Hebrew 
seers, already venerable from antiquity. There was much in 
the modes of thought then prevalent in the Graeco-Roman 
world to favour this. If so, it was natural that he should give 
their words with some fulness and that they should be men- 
tioned by name. Appealing to the same feeling, he twice 
alludes to two Gentile prophets, " the Sibyl and Hystaspes " 
(Apol. I. 20 and 44). On the other hand, the names of humble 
Christian writers would carry no weight. General references 
to them would be most effective ; it sufficed for the most part 
to allude to what would be found in them, or else to give 
briefly the substance of what they said. Men would wish to 



in his First Apology 87 

learn more of their contents, and would be prepared to read 
them with respect, when meditation on the prophecies had 
done its work. Such at least seems clearly to have been the 
idea which governed his procedure. The motives for his 
silence as to the Gospels are further illustrated by his opposite 
action in the case of historical records to whose authority 
Roman readers might be expected to bow. He invites them 
to turn to the registers of Quirinius, "your first governor in 
Judaea" (ch. 34, end), and twice to the "Acts under Pontius 
Pilate" (chh. 35, 48). 

In chh. 5460 he corrects some heathen errors and 
alludes to the existence of Gnostic heresy ; in all this there is 
nothing to detain us. Then in ch. 61 he undertakes to give 
some account of Christian ordinances, and he naturally com- 
mences with the admission of a convert into the Church by 
baptism Christian new birth. We have already seen that in 
speaking of this he quotes in substance the words of Christ 
contained in Jn iii. 3 5, and refers to them as learnt from the 
apostles. 

After this account of baptism he is led (ch. 63), by an associ- 
ation of ideas which I need not stay to trace, to enter upon a 
digression concerning the ignorance of the Personal Word of 
God displayed by the Jews, although He spake to them under 
the Old Covenant. To establish this point he quotes Isa. i. 3, 
and then, as a parallel to it, cites part of Christ's saying at 
Mt. xi. 27 (= Lu. x. 22). Now these words suggest the great 
doctrine of the relation of the Son to the Father, and Justin 
does dwell upon it for a moment, and quotes words which 
give the gist of Our Lord's teaching at Mt. x. 40, Lu. x. 16, 
and also at Jn v. 24 etc. He might doubtless have quoted a 
great deal more to the same effect, especially from the Fourth 
Gospel, but it does not fall within his plan to do so. He 
nowhere develops the argument of Christ's witness to Himself. 
To us that appears to be the most convincing of all arguments 
for Christianity ; but it would not have been so to those for 
whom Justin wrote. For its effect it presupposes that the 
persons addressed should already have attained to a conviction 
of the moral sublimity of Christ's character. When Justin 
quotes Mt. xi. 27, it is not in order to found such an argu- 



88 Review of Justin s argument 

ment upon it ; but (as I have said) because the words seemed 
to him to contain an allusion to the ignorance of the Jews ; 
and on that point he again insists before leaving the passage. 

At ch. 65 he resumes his account of Christian institutions. 
In speaking of the Eucharist he for the first time actually 
mentions " the Memoirs " of the Apostles (ch. 66) 1 in which 
Christ's command to observe the rite is contained. He has of 
course the Synoptic Gospels principally in view, yet, as has 
been noted above, in his few words on the doctrine of the 
Eucharist there are signs of the influence of St John. Finally, 
in his account of other parts of Christian Worship (ch. 67), 
with which the treatise closes, he states that the Memoirs of the 
Apostles and the Prophets are read in the Christian assemblies. 

The brief Second Apology, which is largely concerned with 
a particular case of persecution, may for our present purpose 
be passed over ; and the Dialogue with Tryp/w, though a 
much longer treatise than the First Apology, need not detain 
us so long, because much that has been said of that work 
applies here also. The main purpose of the Dialogue, written 
for Jews, is to develop the argument from prophecy. And if 
Justin had some ground for hoping that the words of Hebrew 
prophets might carry weight even with heathen, he certainly 
might feel himself justified in appealing to them when engaged 
in controversy with Jews. He quotes them at great length, 
drawing out from them the promise of a new Covenant, the 
non-essentialness of circumcision 2 , the fact that in rejecting 
Christ the Jews had acted in the manner which their own 
prophets had foretold, the Christian faith concerning the 
Christ as Divine, yet destined to be born into the world as a 
man, of a Virgin, and to suffer on the Cross and rise from the 
dead and to come again as Judge. Justin is able to assume 
somewhat more knowledge of Christian beliefs on the part of 
an educated Jew, than he could on that of Gentiles. Trypho 
has even looked a little for himself into the Christian records, 
or is represented as having done so. And for this reason, 
Justin, as he himself implies, feels somewhat more free in 
referring to them, and mentions them a good deal more 

1 In ch. 33 the participle is used, ot a.TrofjLvr)/j.ovfi><rat>Tcs. 

2 Dial. 10, and 18, beginning. 



in his Dialogue with Trypho 89 

frequently 1 . The terms also in which he alludes to their 
authors are on two occasions more precise. He says that they 
were composed by "the apostles of Christ and their com- 
panions " (ch. 103), which suits well with the traditional view 
of our Gospels. At another place he alludes to certain 
Memoirs as Peter's (ch. 106). This language must hereafter 
be considered. It will suffice here to remark that if this 
reference makes his silence as to the authorship of other 
"Memoirs" more strange, it does not do this specially in 
regard to St John. Justin names John, however, in connexion 
with the Apocalypse, and it is contended that if he had 
believed the Fourth Gospel to have been by him, he could 
not have forborne to mention the fact in respect to this work 
also. But the cases are wholly different. In the view of 
Jews and heathen a vision, even though made to a Christian, 
would partake of the character of inspiration. It would be 
natural to name the recipient of it, and indeed it is not easy 
to see how else it could be referred to. But that Justin did 
not think the mere name of John, apostle though he was, 
would carry weight with his Jewish hearers and readers is 
shewn by the manner in which he introduces it 2 . 

His method of citing the Lord's words and of referring to 
the facts of the Gospel history is the same as in the Apology. 
There are the same signs of compression, of intermixture of 
passages, the same appearance of summarising. The amount, 
too, of the citations is much the same, and relatively to the 
length of the Dialogue distinctly less 3 . It is no more part of 
his plan in this than in the former work to quote largely from 
Christian writings. They were not authoritative for the Jews 
any more than for the heathen. Further, when the purposes 
are considered for which such quotations as he does make are 
introduced, it will for the most part not appear strange that 

1 In the Dial, the expression "the Memoirs of the Apostles," or "the Memoirs," 
occurs 13 times, and "the Gospel " as a written record, or body of records, twice 
(ch. 10 and ch. 100). Besides this we have (ch. 88) "his apostles wrote etc." 

' 2 Dial. ch. 81, p. 308. Kai eTreira /cai Trap' T\\UV dvrip TIS, y &>o/xa 'Iwdvvr)*, eft 
ruv a7ro<rr6Xwj' roO Xpiffrov, tv d-rroKaXv^ei yevofj.tvy O.VT$ etc. 

3 I speak only from general impression. I do not think, however, that this 
estimate would be found far wrong on actual measurement. But great precision 
is in this matter not important. 



90 Did Justin include our Fourth Gospel 

passages from the Fourth Gospel are not found amongst them. 
On one point only does it seem necessary to dwell. He quotes 
again, as in the Apology, the saying, " No man knoweth the 
Son etc.," substantially as in Matthew. And a little further 
on he alludes to the account in the same Gospel of Simon 
Peter's confession that Christ is the Son of God. Surely, it is 
said, on this topic at least of Christ's Divinity he would have 
quoted from the Fourth Gospel, if he had regarded it as 
Apostolic, and would not only have adduced these two verses 
from St Matthew 1 . So it may well seem, if we take the 
citations simply apart from their context as items in a list. 
It is otherwise when we note how Justin himself applies them. 
We saw that the former of them was used in the Apology to 
account for the blindness of the Jews. Here they are both 
used to enforce the complementary thought that the eyes of 
Christ's disciples had been opened to perceive in the Scriptures 
of the Old Testament the truth concerning Christ's Person, 
which Justin claims to have demonstrated thence, though it 
had not been understood before Christ came. It had been 
revealed to them in accordance with Christ's own saying " No 
man knoweth the Son save the Father and those to whom 
the Son may reveal (him)," and with His words to Simon 
Peter who also knew Him through the Father's revelation. 

The Fourth Gospel would certainly have been specially 
serviceable for proving dogmatic positions ; but Justin does 
not employ any of the Gospels for such proof. With the 
objects he had in view, the Synoptic Gospels, and especially 
St Matthew, came as it were first to hand. We can well 
imagine, also, that Justin himself and the Christians of his 
age might, even while regarding the Fourth Gospel as 
Apostolic, be more familiar with the others 2 . 

The fact, then, that Justin makes more limited use of 
St John than of the Synoptics, or rather of St Matthew and 
St Luke, does not warrant the inference that it seemed to 
him to stand on a lower level. This, it is true, is but a 
negative conclusion, yet it is important, because it leaves us 
more free to determine the position of the Fourth Gospel in 



1 Engelhardt, I.e. pp. 348-9. 

2 This is urged by Weiss, Introd. I. 61. 



among his Apostolic Memoirs? 91 

his age by other evidence, which may hereafter come before 
us. We may however, I believe, go further as to Justin's 
attitude to it on the ground of the evidence of Justin's own 
writings. In some passages, as we have seen, he seems clearly 
to imply that points of Christian Faith and traits in the 
representation of Gospel facts, which he must in all proba- 
bility have derived from the Fourth Gospel, were part of 
what had been learned from the Apostles through their 
" Memoirs." But in addition to this, if (as is admitted by 
most critics at the present day) the evidence shews at least 
that he used this Gospel 1 , he can hardly have taken it for 
anything else than what it professes to be, a faithful record of 
the testimony of a personal and singularly close follower of 
Christ regarding the words and deeds of Christ. 

II. Justin's use of a source or sources for tJte Gospel 
history in addition to our Gospels. 

Justin introduces touches, and employs turns of expression, 
in his representations of the facts of the Gospel, and makes 
some statements, which are not to be found in our Gospels. 
From what source or sources did he derive these, and how 
did he regard, and to what extent did he use, it or them ? 
These are questions which evidently are of significance in 
connexion with the history of the reception of the Canonical 
Gospels themselves. 

Now Justin again and again implies that the " Memoirs " 
(dTro/jLVTjfjLppev/jiara) of the Apostles more fully (as we have 
seen) in one place "the Memoirs which were composed by 
them and those who followed them 2 " were the great sources 
of information for the Gospel history. And on one occasion, 
when alleging the authority of these witnesses, he describes 
them as " those who made Memoirs (d r jro^vr]^ovevffavre<;) of 
all the things concerning our Saviour Jesus Christ 3 ." It 

1 See Additional Note I., p. 129 f. On the arguments of Dr E. A. Abbott, 
who goes farther than most recent critics in calling in question Justin's use of the 
Fourth Gospel, see Additional Note II., p. 131 f. 

2 Dial. 103. 

3 cos oi a.iro/u.vy/j.ovevffai'Tes TT&VTO. TO. wepl TOV ffurrjpos TI/J.UV 'Iijffou Xpiffrov 
tdi5aav. Apol. I. 33. 



92 Justin s additional source or sources 

would be unreasonable to conclude with absolute rigour that 
every assertion of Justin on this subject, or even every 
incident mentioned by him, was contained in some work 
classed by him among the Apostolic Memoirs. We can 
conceive that in some instances forms of narration and traits 
which he had read in some writing other than the Memoirs, 
or heard frequently repeated in oral teaching, may, especially 
if they served to make the application of prophecy more 
striking, have become so completely part of the history in his 
mind, that where he was not at the moment thinking of the 
Memoirs, and possibly even sometimes where in the im- 
mediate context he refers to them, he may have brought in 
such additional points without feeling any necessity for dis- 
tinguishing between the evidence for them and for the general 
substance of what he related. Inferences of his own, too, may 
here and there have obtained a place, interpretation being 
mingled with narration. The possibility that the matter in 
question may sometimes have such an origin must be borne 
in mind; yet such an explanation will only hold to a very 
limited extent. Justin does not himself, like Papias, allude to 
tradition, but only to documents; nor does he, like Church 
writers of half a century later, draw an express distinction 
anywhere between the Four Gospels and other works which 
were called Gospels and which bore Apostolic names, but which 
were not to be ranked with the Four, though they might be 
entitled to a certain amount of credence. He does indeed 
refer to certain documents which were not Apostolic MemoiYs, 
and that with confidence; but they were such as did not 
pretend to have that character; their value was of an entirely 
different kind; it was that, as he believed, they contained the 
impartial testimony of Roman officials. The very circum- 
stance that he appeals to these other documents, just as he 
more often does to the Memoirs, to prove that prophecy had 
been fulfilled, tends to shew that he was sensible of the 
importance of having some definite authority which could be 
adduced for the facts. The impression is thus strengthened 
that generally speaking he had documents in mind, which he 
felt ought to carry weight for one or other of the reasons that 
he indicates. 



Justin's additional source or sources 93 

There are two passages in which Justin seems definitely to 
cite the Memoirs for matter not contained in our Gospels, and 
one in which he has been thought, under the title of Peter's 
Memoirs, to refer to another Gospel by name, to none other 
than that Gospel of Peter of which we hear from Serapion at 
the end of the second century 1 , and from Origen at the be- 
ginning of the third 2 , and to which the fragment discovered 
at Akhmim in 1892 is with good reason held to belong. 
That fragment contains several parallelisms with Justin in 
points where he differs more or less from our Gospels 3 . 

I will discuss the question of Justin's use of this work first, 
both because it is a subject of recent controversy, and because 
it affects more directly and gravely than any other which is 
before us the value of Justin's testimony, and of that of the 
Church of his day, to the Apostolic character of any docu- 
ments whatsoever. 



i. Justin and the Gospel of Peter. 

The facts for which Justin cites Peter s Memoirs namely 
that Christ conferred the new name of Peter on that disciple, 
and also the name of Boanerges on two brothers who were 
sons of Zebedee, are given in Mk iii. 16, 17 exactly as they 
are by Justin ; the latter of them occurs only in this one of our 
present Gospels, the former besides only in St John ; whereas 
we do not know whether they were, or were not, contained in 

1 Ap. us. H. E. vi. xii. 

- In Ev. Mt. T. x. 1 7. 

3 Some critics of conservative temper have supposed that Justin used the 
Gospel of Peter, and that he refers to it under the description mentioned above, e.g. 
A. C. Headlam, Guardian for Dec. 7, 1892, and Sanday, Inspiration, p. 305. 

The chief discussions of the question of the dependence of Justin upon the 
Gospel of Peter have been : In favour of it : Harnack, Bruchstiicke d. Evang. u. 
d. Apok. Petrus, 1893, p. 37 f. ; A. Lods, DEvangile et L Apocalypse de Pierre, 
1893; v. Soden, Zeitschrift fiir Theologie nnd Kirche, 1893. 

Against it: Zahn, Evang. d. Petrus, 1893, p. 67; Swete, The Akhmim 
Fragment of the Apocryphal Gospel of Peter, 1893, pp. xxxiii. xxxv. ; H. V. Schu- 
bert, Die Composition des Pseudopetrinischen Evangelien- Fragments, 1893, p. i/4f. 
Also the present writer in Journ. of Theol. Studies, Oct. 1900, pp. 3 21. 



94 Jits tin and the Gospel of Peter 

the Gospel of Peter. It is obvious, therefore, to suppose that 
Mark's Gospel is really the work referred to here by Justin, 
and that it is called Peter's on the ground of Mark's 
dependence on this Apostle for that which he relates. Many 
critics, however, seem to feel difficulty in accepting this ex- 
planation. I believe this is because they do not make 
allowance for the difference between our point of view and 
that of Justin and his age. Records of the Gospel were 
accepted as authoritative on the ground that they embodied 
the testimony of Apostles. Justin very distinctly implies 
this in expressions which have already been quoted, and 
there are many indications that this thought was prominent 
in the minds of men in the second century 1 . As generations 
passed the need for insisting upon the connexion of all the 
Gospels with Apostles was less felt. Their authority as 
sacred writings had come to be fully established. Moreover, 
men like Mark and Luke had grown in the estimation of 
the Church, partly owing to the very fact of their being 
evangelists, partly because even these men, the younger con- 
temporaries of the Apostles, seemed more and more to be 
separated from the men of all after-times. 

It is certain that among the works which Justin commonly 
speaks of as Memoirs of the Apostles he reckoned sorne which 
he did not suppose to have been actually composed by them, 
but by disciples of theirs 2 . In principle he does nothing 
different if he attributes Mark's Gospel specifically to Peter. 
Moreover, it must be allowed to be in the highest degree 
probable that the tradition preserved by Justin's contemporary 
Papias to the effect that Mark did but write down in his 
Gospel what he had learned from Peter was known to Justin. 
It can hardly be doubted that, if he had been asked what 
Apostolic testimony more particularly was given in this 
Gospel, he would have named that of Peter. And if ever 

1 Especially the phrase rd /3ij3Xfa KO.\ oi 6.tr6<TTo\oi in i Clem. xiv. ; the manner 
in which Papias insists on Mark's dependence upon Peter (ap. Eus. H. E. in. 
xxxix. 15); the treatment of the subject of the Gospels by Irenaeus (c. Haer. in. 
i.). The forms also frequently given to Apocryphal Gospels and their titles are 
evidence to the same effect. An attempt was made to win attention for them by 
attributing them directly to Apostles. 

2 Cp. the words quoted above p. 91 from Dial. 103. 



Justin and the Gospel of Peter .95 

there was an occasion when it would be natural to appeal to 
the record as Peter's, it was this one, where a fact in that 
Apostle's personal history had been recalled. 

Let me next urge two objections, of a kind which may 
be readily appreciated, and which appear to me to be very 
serious, to the view that by "his (Peter's) Memoirs" Justin 
means the so-called Gospel of Peter. 

(i) Justin and the author of the Gospel of Peter present 
a remarkable contrast both in spirit and in details in 
their treatment of the subject of the Sufferings of Christ. 
The Gospel of Peter, describing the Crucifixion of Jesus, says 
that "he was silent as having no pain"; then at the end, 
according to it, he uttered the words " my power, my power, 
thou hast forsaken me"; and "when he had so said" he 
" was taken up " (ch. v.). 

Justin is directly at issue with " Peter'"' in regard to these 
particulars, while he agrees with our Gospels. He relates that 
" being crucified, Jesus said, ' O God, O God, why didst thou 
forsake me 1 ?" And he remarks that Jesus thereby shewed 
that " he had truly become man, susceptible of sufferings 2 ." 
In another place 3 he gives the last words from the Cross 
recorded by St Luke: "in giving up the spirit upon the Cross 
he said, * Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.' " 

The Docetism of "Peter" may not be very pronounced. 
Still the tendency, the desire to evade the " offence of the 
Cross," manifested in the expressions above cited, is unmis- 
takeable. And Justin was not one who could have failed to 
perceive the indications of it. He had a firm hold upon the 
fact that Christ really suffered, and perception of the im- 
portance of this truth. The words already referred to are 
evidence of this, and more might be adduced 4 . Moreover he 
had himself written a treatise directed against the heretics of 

1 Dial. ch. 99. 

2 OTL dXTjtfws ytyovev avQpuTros avTiXyirTiKos iraBuv. He uses this expression 
Dial. ch. 98 when commenting on Ps. xxii. i and its fulfilment. But again in the 
next chapter, with reference both to this word on the Cross and to His utterances 
in the Garden, he makes the comment 5rj\&v 5ict TOIJTUV OTL d\T)6u>s 



3 Dial. 105. 

4 See Dial. 100, 103. 



96 Justin and the Gospel of Peter 

his time who were Gnostics, and all in different ways and 
degrees Docetic 1 . He could not have thought lightly even of 
a leaning toward their side. 

There are some, we may observe, who admit, or rather 
who would contend, that Justin while he knew and mentioned 
the Gospel of Peter did so only to a very limited extent, and 
who suggest that such a restricted and subordinate use of 
accounts of the Life of Christ other than the Four Gospels 
would be in accord with the feeling and practice of his own 
age, and even in some degree of later times 2 . There may be 
no objection of a general kind to this supposition ; but it 
does not seem probable in this instance when the peculiarities 
of the actual case are considered. For if he allowed the book 
to be Peter's, as it claimed to be, it should have ranked in his 
eyes as one of the chief authorities for the Gospel history. 
He would, one must think, have been very unwilling to allow 
this position which could not but follow if its Petrine author- 
ship was admitted to a work from the temper and expressions 
of which he differed in the important respect which we have 
just noted. 

(2) If the Gospel of Peter belonged to the number of 
Memoirs of the Apostles from which Justin quotes, it used, 
according to what he tells us, to be read in the Christian 
assemblies 3 , those of Rome (we must suppose) since he is 
writing there. Indeed if he ever knew of it, others probably 
must have known of it also. But in point of fact there is not 
the slightest trace that anyone at Rome had so much as heard 
of the work during the half century or more following the 
death of Justin. Irenaeus, though he had stayed in Rome, 
certainly some thirty years after that date and not improbably 
several years earlier than this, and though he writes about 
the Scriptures acknowledged there, shews no sign of being 
acquainted with it. The Muratorian fragment on the Canon 
says not one word about it, though it mentions works which 
are to be excluded from public reading as being unauthentic, 
and others about the public reading of which there was some 
diversity of opinion, and includes among these last the Apoca- 

1 Apol. I. 26. 2 Sanday, Inspiration, pp. 305, 310. 

3 Apol. I. 67, p. 98. 



Justin and the Gospel of Peter 97 

lypse of Peter, a fragment of which was recovered along with 
that of the Gospel of Peter. It would be strange even that the 
bishop of Antioch at the end of the second century should not 
have known it till his attention was called to it, if Justin had 
known it, and used it as the authentic work of the Apostle. 

We ought, then, to reject the theory of Justin's dependence 
upon the Gospel of Peter, unless clear and strong grounds for 
adopting it should appear on a comparison of the two writers. 

We will proceed to examine the differences from our 
Gospels which Justin shares with " Peter." With a single 
exception they are found in, or are more or less closely 
connected with, one passage in Justin's First Apology*. Let 
me here, for the reader's convenience, quote it. He is 
arguing that the predictions in the Old Testament in regard 
to the Christ were fulfilled, and he has cited words from 
Isaiah, " I have spread out my hands all the day unto a 
disobedient and gainsaying people : unto men walking in a 
way that is not good; they ask of me now judgment, and 
make bold to draw near unto God 2 "; and from the 22nd 
Psalm, "they pierced my feet and my hands, and cast a lot 
upon my raiment 3 ." He then proceeds: 

" Now David, the king and prophet who spake these things, suffered 
none of them ; but Jesus Christ had his hands stretched out, being 
crucified by the Jews who gainsaid him and asserted that he was not the 
Christ. For indeed, as the prophet said, they dragged him along and 

1 I dismiss one point on which Harnack (Ev. Petr. p. 38) lays some stress. A 
few chapters later than the passage of which I speak Justin writes : /cat TTWS 
fj.T]vvei TT\V yeyvr)fj.tvr]v 'HpwSoi; TOV /3a<n\^ws 'lovdaiuv xai avr&v 'lovdaluv Kal 
IIiXaTou TOV v/JLeT^pov Trap' O.VTOIS yevo/ntvov firiTpbirov <rvi> rots CLVTOV oTpaTiwraij 
Kara TOV xpurroD ffvvt\ev<ru> (Apol. I. 40). (r) Even if something to this effect 
had a place in the writing to which Justin had referred his Roman readers, these 
words could afford no ground for supposing dependence on "Peter." For they 
closely correspond with Acts iv. 27, a book of the New Testament with which 
Justin has other parallels (e.g. cp. Dial. 16 with Acts vii. 52, and Apol. I. 49 with 
Acts xiii. 27, 48, 52). This is strangely ignored by Harnack. (2) The idea of 
such a owlXewts, on which Harnack lays stress, is absent from " Peter." On the 
contrary the whole purpose of that work is to separate between Pilate and the 
Jews, and to exonerate the former ; and Roman soldiers are not there mentioned 
in connexion with the trial, mockery, and crucifixion of Jesus, but only as witnesses 
of the bursting of the tomb. 

2 Isa. Ixv. 2 combined with Iviii. 2, the latter not exactly as either Hebrew 
or LXX. 

3 Ps. xxii., parts of verses 6 and 18. 

S. G. 7 



98 Justin and the Gospel of Peter 

placed him upon a judgment-seat and said: 'Judge us.' And the words 
'they pierced my hands and my feet' are an exposition of the nails which 
on the cross were fixed in his hands and feet. And they who crucified 
him, when they had done so, cast a lot for his raiment and divided it 
among themselves. And that these things happened ye can learn from 
the acts that took place under Pontius Pilate 1 ." 

i. Let us first notice generally the part here ascribed to 
the Jews. Jesus is said to have been crucified by them ; 
they are also represented as the agents in an awful piece 
of mockery ; and if Justin is to be understood literally it 
was they, too, who divided Christ's raiment by lot 2 . We 
might have supposed that he attributed the crucifixion of 
Jesus to the Jews only as the virtual authors of it, were it not 
for the other statements which he associates with it, and for 
the fact that the Jews are spoken of as the executioners in 
several other places in early Christian literature 3 , which seems 
plainly to shew that his expressing himself as he does is due 
to the influence of some account distinct from that of the 
Four Gospels 4 . So in the Gospel of Peter Jews only are 

1 Apol. I. 35. K.o.1 6 fj.ev Aaut'5, 6 /SacriXevs KO.I TT/JO^TJTT/S, 6 eliruv ravra, ov5tv 
rovruv ZiraBev 'lyffovs 3 xpiffrbs QerdOri ras %ei)>as, ffravpw6eis viro ruv 'lovdaluv 
dvTi\ey6vruv avri$ KO.L (paaKbvruv /JLTJ elvai avrbv -xfiffrbv. Kai yap, ws elirfv 6 
s, diaffvpovres avrbv iKddiaav eiri /Scares /ecu dirov Kpivov rjjiuV. T6 5e 
/JLOV xP a s Ka -<- Todas ^777770-1$ r&v tv r$ aravpy Traytvruv tv TCUJ \epal Kal 
rots irocrlv avrov yXwv rp>. Kai fj-era rb ffravpwffcu avrbv tfiaXov K\rjpov tiri rbv 
i/j-aricrfjibv avrov, xal 4/j.eplaavro eavrois ol vravpuffavres avrbv. Kai ravra 8ri 
ytyove SvvatrOe fj.adetv K r&v tiri IlovTlov IliXdrow yevofj-tvuv auruv. 

- Whether he really means to attribute this last act to them must remain 
doubtful. He says "they who crucified him cast a lot, etc.," and just above he 
has said that Jesus was crucified by the Jews. But possibly in using this subject 
"they who crucified him " he may have remembered the narrative of the Gospel. 
In the sentence quoted p. 97 n. he recognises that the Roman soldiers bore a part 
in the death of Christ, and in a passage (Dial. 99) which is in several respects 
parallel to Apol. i. 35 he does not specify whether the executioners were Jews or 
Roman soldiers. 

3 In addition to those which will come before us in the course of the following 
discussion, I may mention a passage of the Preaching of Peter (not to be con- 
founded with the Gospel of Peter}, which is given by Clement of Alexandria, 
Strom, vi. ch. 15, p. 804; also the Syriac Version of the Apology of Aristides, 
Harris, Texts and Studies, I. p. 37. 

4 It is true that Jn xix. 16 (iraptdwuev avrbv avrots iva ffravpudy) followed 
(v. 17) by iraptXafiov, or similarly the connexion in Lu. xxiii. 25, 26, might have 
suggested the notion that the Jews themselves carried out the Crucifixion, but this 
is not the impression given by the narrative taken as a whole in either of these 
Gospels, any more than in Mt. or Mk. 



Jnstin and the Gospel of Peter 99 

mentioned in connexion with the mockery and crucifixion of 
Jesus ; but the heinousness of their conduct is heightened by 
particulars many of which have no place in Justin any more 
than in our Gospels, and which betray gross ignorance of the 
actual historical relations between Herod and the rulers of 
Jerusalem, and of the position of both under the Roman 
government. After Herod and the Jews have refused to 
wash their hands as Pilate did, Herod gives the order that 
Jesus should be taken away, saying, "Do to him all that I have 
commanded you to do." He hands Jesus over to the Jews ; 
they put upon Him the purple robe and roughly pretend to 
do Him honour; one of them places the crown of thorns upon 
His head, they buffet Him, and finally carry out the sentence; 
and the dead body is at their disposal and they hand it over 
to Joseph of Arimathaea ; Herod had promised it him before 
the crucifixion, Pilate having passed on Joseph's request to 
the Jewish king 1 . 

2. There is one trait in the accounts of the maltreatment of 
Jesus in Justin and "Peter" which deserves special notice. The 
Jews affect to regard Him as their Judge. It is necessary to 
observe that this proceeds from the Jews in order that the full 
irony of the incident may be felt. No act could more forcibly 
have exemplified their awful hardihood, or have suggested 
more tragically their future doom. It has in the past been 
thought by some that Justin had come to imagine it through 
a misunderstanding or misremembering of Jn xix. I3 2 . But 
any appearance of probability which this explanation may 
once have had has now been destroyed through our finding it 
again in " Peter 3 ." We must suppose that if one of these was 
not dependent upon the other both took it from a common 
source. 

This is the most striking parallel between Justin and 
" Peter." But Zahn has acutely pointed out 4 , that if Justin 
had had " Peter " before him, he could hardly have omitted 
, which occurs in the latter, from the words addressed 

1 chh. i6. 

2 First, it would seem, by Drummond, Theol. Rev. for 1877, p. 328. 

3 ch. 3. 

4 L.c. p. 43. 

72 



ioo Justin and the Gospel of Peter 

to Jesus, or have overlooked Siicaiav (as he does) in quoting 
from Isaiah ; for the prophecy and the fulfilment would thus 
have been brought into closer agreement. There are several 
other differences between the two writers, which are un- 
favourable to the view that Justin used "Peter." Justin 
preserves /SrJ/uaro?, the word used for Pilate's seat both in 
Mt. (xxvii. 19) and Jn (xix. 3); "Peter" has another and 
seemingly less original phrase, icaOeBpa Kplcrews. Again in 
"Peter" alone the casting of the purple cloak about Christ 
is ingeniously and picturesquely connected with the moment 
of placing Him on the judgment-seat; in short the story is 
given in "Peter" in a more embellished form. 

3. We must also note the transfixing of Christ's hands 
and feet with nails. As no mention is made of the nails in 
the descriptions of the Crucifixion in our Gospels, but only in 
connexion with the evidence of the Resurrection supplied to 
Thomas, it is not unnatural to conjecture that Justin may 
have had some other account in his mind in which more direct 
reference was made to their employment. And the proba- 
bility of this is increased by the fact that in another place he 
particularises His being "unnailed 1 ," expressing it by the 
curious word cufyijXwQeis. Now " Peter " also touches upon 
this moment in the process of taking down the body from 
the Cross : rore aTrecnraaav TOU*> r?Xou9 a-rro rwv ^eupwv rov 
Kvpiov 2 . But the language is less terse, and it would 
certainly have been easier to expand a^Xwtfei? into this 
sentence than to substitute d^>i?\o>06i9 for it. " Peter " also 
does not here or elsewhere mention the feet, which (as well 
as the hands) were important for Justin's purpose, that of 
pointing out the fulfilment of the prophecy in Ps. xxii. 

4. There is nothing in what Justin says in the passage 
before us about the partition of Christ's raiment, either as to 
fact or form, which might not have been taken from the 
Synoptic Gospels. But when speaking of this incident in 
another place he uses the to us unfamiliar word Xa^ftov; and 
it is the more natural to bring his language there into con- 
nexion with that on the earlier occasion, because the whole 
line of thought there and much of the matter are the same. 

1 Dial, 1 08. 2 ch. 6. 



Justin and the Gospel of Peter 101 

It is well known that the word \a^yu,o? is employed also in 
the Gospel of Peter. 

For the present I would only remark that we are all of us 
liable to take wrong views of coincidences of this kind and 
their causes, both in literature and in common life, from sheer 
lack of information, to which, often, all that appears striking 
in the coincidence is due ; and further, that there is some 
ground for thinking that Xa^o?, though not known to us in 
Classical literature, may not have been altogether rare in late 
colloquial Greek 1 . If so, it would not have been strange that 
it should have been used more or less commonly in relating 
this event in the history of the Passion, or that thus, or 
through having met with it in some written narrative of that 
history, both Justin and the author of the Gospel of Peter 
should have been led to adopt it, without any direct de- 
pendence of either upon the other. It is to be added that in 
this instance, as before, there is, in conjunction with the simi- 
larity between Justin and "Peter," a divergence also, Justin 
keeping in substance close to the Gospels while " Peter " 
departs from them 2 . 

5. One point remains to be considered, occurring a little 
later in Justin's First Apology than the passage which we 
have so far had chiefly before us, though he is still pursuing 
the same argument. In ch. 50 he states that after Christ was 
crucified "all his acquaintance departed from him and denied 
him." Similarly in the Dialogue he says in one place that 

1 For the evidence of this in the usage of the Greek scholiasts, some of whom 
actually use it to explain the very word /cA??/>os, as also for the discussion of the 
meaning of the clause in which Cyril of Jerusalem uses the word (Cat. 13, 26), 
and which may seem at first sight to look as if XaxM^s was the term that required 
explanation, I must refer to my article in Journal of Theo. Studies for Oct. 1900, 
pp. 13 15. With regard to the latter question I would only add that Cyril in 
another place employs the somewhat incorrect construction which in the art. 
just referred to I have supposed, in such a way that there can be no doubt 
about it, and in a precisely analogous case (My si. I. 8, init.). Other instances, 
though not quite such clear ones, might be given from his lectures. 

2 Justin Dial. 97 : oi ffTavpuaavres airrbv i^piffav TO, 1/j.dria airrou eavrots, 
\axfJ-ov pd\\ovTes /ca0"ros Kara TJ\V rod K\-r)pov ^Tri^oXrjv 5 ^K\^aadai ^/Je/SotfXTjTO, 
"Peter," ch. iv. icai T^et/c6res TO, evdvfjLara i-fj-irpoffdev avrov die/j-epiffavTo icai \axv-bv 
i:f3a\ov ^TT' aurois. Of this placing the garments in front of Him, there is nothing 
in Justin. 



102 Justin and the Gospel of Peter 

" his disciples were scattered," and in another that " after he 
had risen from the dead... they (the Apostles) repented for 
having departed from him when he was crucified 1 ." This 
language is approximately, but not precisely, in agreement 
with the Gospels, which speak of the flight of the disciples 
as taking place immediately after He was apprehended. The 
difference might not deserve attention if Justin's representa- 
tions did not resemble views of the conduct of the disciples 
given elsewhere. For the moment we are concerned only 
with that in the Gospel of Peter, where as usual the legendary 
element appears to be far ampler. " I," says Peter, of the 
time after Christ had been taken down from the Cross and 
buried, " with my fellows was in sorrow, and being wounded 
at heart we hid ourselves, for we were sought for as male- 
factors and as minded to burn the temple; and besides all 
this, we were fasting, and we sat mourning and weeping night 
and day until the sabbath 2 ." 

The result of our investigation thus far has been simply to 
shew that Justin did not use the Gospel of Peter. There are 
certain resemblances between some of his representations of 
the incidents of the Passion and those in that work ; but that 
which in him is seen as it were in germ is found there in a 
developed form ; he keeps always far closer to the Gospels ; 
and for these and other reasons it is very improbable that he 
can have obtained even the features in question from this 
work. Hence the comparison of Justin with the Gospel of 
Peter, instead of overcoming the strong objections urged 
above to the supposition that he regarded it as an authori- 
tative work and himself quoted from it, only adds others. On 
the other hand it is not probable that the author of the Gospel 
of Peter derived anything from Justin. It would be far more 
natural for the writer of such a work to seek his materials 
either in professed records of the Gospel history, or in oral 
tradition, than in treatises of the character of Justin's Apology 
and Dialogue. 

We go on to enquire whether the source common to both 
writers cannot be pointed out. Three of the parallelisms 

1 Dial. 53 and 106. 2 ch. 7. 



Justin s references to a doc^tment by Pilate 103 

between Justin and " Peter" are found, as we have seen, in a 
single passage of the former's First Apology 1 . He there 
expressly cites an authority for them ; it is not " Peter's 
Memoirs" but "the Acts that took place under Pontius 
Pilate." A fourth parallelism appears in the sequel 2 not long 
after a second reference to the same document 3 . The re- 
maining one the use of Xa^o? occurs in his Dialogue, but 
it is in an allusion to an incident, that of the casting of lots 
for Christ's garments, included among those for which in the 
Apology the "Acts of Pilate" are quoted, while there are other 
points in the same context in the Dialogue which connect 
that passage with the other. The thesis which I am prepared 
to maintain is that this document, which was supposed to 
give Pilate's report regarding the condemnation, crucifixion 
and resurrection of Jesus, was used somewhat largely in 
" Peter," and is the source both of those of its differences from 
our Gospels which it has in common with Justin and of some 
others. This view has, I know, hitherto found little favour 4 , 
but I am convinced that sooner or later, when the evidence 
for it has been well considered, it must be generally accepted ; 
and that one effect of the discovery of the fragment of the 
Gospel of Peter will be acknowledged to have been, that it has 
given a reality to an early (supposed) Report of Pilate which 
it did not before possess for us. 

1 ch. 35. 2 ch. 50. 

3 ch. 48. He may also intend to refer his readers to the same document in 
ch. 38, when he writes ws /j-adeiv Svvaffde. 

4 H. v. Schubert, ib. p. 175 ff., is, so far as I know, the only writer who has 
hitherto argued for this view. In my art. in Journ. of Theo. Studies, Oct. 1900, 
I only set myself to establish the negative conclusion that Justin had not used 
" Peter." I did not attempt to point out a common source of their parallelisms. 
When preparing that article I unfortunately omitted to read v. Schubert's Essay. 
Subsequently I got on to the track of the same explanation myself, but read his 
work with profit before I had 'completed my own demonstration. A. Harnack 
reviewed v. Schubert on the Pseudopetrine fragment in 7'heol. Lit. Zeit. for 1894, 
pp. 10 1 8. He there fences a little that is all with the reasons for believing 
that an early Pilate-document was the common source, and then turns to the 
question of the relation of the Petrine fragment to the Four Gospels, which he calls 
the "Hauptfrage." It is, however, impossible to estimate aright the significance 
of this latter question, apart from the consideration of the probable date of the 
document and the amount of recognition which it received, for which Justin's 
relation to it is crucial. See below, p. 121. 



104 Justiris references to a document by Pilate 

Eminent critics have shewn a strange reluctance to allow 
that Justin really knew any document which was, or professed 
to be, the " Acts" of Pilate 1 . They have suggested that when 
he appealed to it, he was simply " drawing his bow at a ven- 
ture." We may well ask, as our first point, whether this is 
credible. Let it be granted that he might think himself safe 
in assuming that Quirinius's register, to which he refers just 
before, must have contained evidence of the Birth of Jesus 2 ; 
but he could not be confident that a set of details the cruci- 
fixion of Jesus by the Jews, their mockery of Christ by affect- 
ing to regard Him as judge, their gainsaying the proofs of His 
Messiahship, the piercing of His hands and His feet with 
nails, the partition of His raiment, or the enumeration of His 
miracles given a little later on would necessarily all be 
included in the official report of the Roman governor. And 
yet the whole cogency of his argument, based on predictions 
of the Old Testament, depended on these precise points 
having been recorded as having happened in the way he 
declared. Assuredly if he had not read them in a document 
which professed to be and which he accepted as being such as 
he described it, he would not have run the risk of the expo- 
sure which might follow, and would have preferred to offer 
some guarantee for the truth of the events more safe, even if 
not so convincing to his hearers as the other (on the hypo- 
thesis of its holding good) would be. We have been told 
that he would assume that any account of the Passion must 
contain these facts. This would indeed have been rash, 
seeing that the part he attributes to the Jews is not fully 
consistent with the Four Gospels ; that one incident he could 
not have derived from them, unless possibly by a misinter- 
pretation of St John ; and that the use of the nails again is 
referred to only in one, namely St John, and there quite 

1 Cp. p. 106 n. It may he well for me to say at once that I do not identify 
it with the extant Acts of Pilate, though I believe that in the latter the document 
known to Justin, to the author of the Gospel of Peter, and as we shall see to 
Tertullian, was once more made use of. 

2 Apol. I. 34. I think it probable, however, that a writing professing to 
give an extract from this register was in circulation. May not such a supposed 
extract have contained the genealogy of the Virgin Mary, which would explain 
Justin's allusions to her descent? 



Justin s references to a document by Pilate 105 

indirectly. Indeed, when once we realise, as comparison with 
the Gospel of Peter has already enabled us to do, and as we 
shall be compelled to do more fully as we proceed, that he is 
under the influence here of a form of narrative with distinct 
characteristics, the harder does it become to suppose that he 
had not some actual known writing in his mind. 

I do not, of course, for a moment imagine that this 
writing was really Pilate's, and it may seem that in denying 
that it can have existed in Justin's fancy, I simply throw 
back on some unknown Christian the charge of having forged 
it. Even this might be more easy to understand ; for there 
were no doubt Christians less serious-minded, thoughtful, and 
scrupulous than Justin. That, however, is not what I would 
urge, but rather that time must be allowed for such a fiction 
to grow. The first suggestion might come from the applica- 
tions made of the incident of the Handwashing by Christian 
preachers. Through repetition, and in the endeavour to meet 
the challenges of heathen opponents, this would be insensibly 
amplified. Then it would seem to someone a perfectly natural 
and innocent thing to indite the story which he had heard. 
This stage, it is plain, had already been reached, when Justin 
could write as he does. 

We pass on now to examine the other evidence which we 
possess as to the existence, character, and contents of an early 
Pilate-document ; and first that of Tertullian in his Apology. 
He, like Justin, refers to such a record 1 , but he has not simply 
relied on and copied his predecessor. The two Apologists, 
while they agree in important respects, also adduce this 
authority partly, for different facts, and relate what they 
severally do in a different manner. The object they have in 
view is different. Justin has to establish the fulfilment of 
certain predictions, and cites or alludes to words or passages 
of the historical account only just so far as they are necessary 
for this purpose. Tertullian, in an argument in which he is 
dealing with the attitude of successive emperors to Chris- 
tianity, alleges the impression that had been produced on 
Tiberius by the testimony of Pilate, the substance of which 

1 See ch. 5 beginning, and ch. 21, "Quern solummodo...Caesari turn Tiberio 
. nuntiavit." 



io6 A supposed document by Pilate 

he gives, probably in a condensed form. Nor does he write 
as one would who had barely conceived or obtained the 
notion that such a document must exist or have existed, and 
who had then made up its supposed contents out of the 
familiar records of the four Gospels 1 . His opening words 

1 The view that Justin and Tertullian merely imagined the existence of a 
record or report by Pilate has been held among others by the following: 

Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt 2, I. p. 55. "The evidence of Tertullian" (in regard 
to the correspondence of Pliny and Trajan) " is not indeed infallible in itself; but 
it has been unduly discredited. It is a mistake for instance to suppose that he 
quotes the extant spurious Acta Pilati as genuine. Tertullian, like his predecessor 
Justin M., assumes that the Roman archives contained an efficient report sent by 
Pontius Pilate to Tiberius. He is not referring to any definite literary work which 
he had read. The extant forgery was founded on these notices of the early fathers 
and not conversely." 

A. Harnack, Chron. I. pp. 605, 607-8, 610-11; earlier by Scholten, Die 
aeltesten Zeugnisse betrefend die Schriften des N. T., deutsch von Manchot, 
pp. 1 60 165. R. A. Lipsius makes the supposition in regard to Justin, but 
holds that Tertullian did know a document purporting to be Pilate's Report to 
the Emperor: Pilatusacten, 2nd ed. 1886, p. 18 f. 

From various causes the question has not received fair consideration. Lightfoot 
seems to dislike the idea of admitting that Justin and Tertullian can have been 
taken in by a "forgery" though this seems to me a harsh word to apply to the 
fiction, if it grew in the way that I have suggested. It is also an odd way of 
saving their credit to impute the "forgery" (or unfounded fancy) to themselves, and 
to think them capable of arguing on the basis of it. On the other hand, critics of 
a different bent have perhaps felt no interest in maintaining the reality of the 
document, because it did not profess to be a "Gospel," and could not therefore be 
placed in any sense in competition with the Four Gospels. Not improbably also 
the whole subject has been prejudiced by Tischendorf's wild theory that the extant 
Acts of Pilate, in the oldest of its existing forms, is substantially the work which 
Justin and Tertullian knew, see p. 1(4 n. 3; and by the use which this injudicious 
apologist made of that supposed result of criticism ( Wann ivurden unsere Evan- 
gelien verfasst? p. 76 and pp. 82-9). It will have been observed that in Lightfoot's 
remarks two very different questions are mixed together: viz. whether Justin and 
Tertullian used the extant "Acts of Pilate," which is virtually what Tischendorf 
contends for, and whether they used some Pilate-document. Scholten's work, 
again, above referred to, was provoked by Tischendorf's W. wurd. tins. Evg. 
etc. and is mainly occupied with answering it. 

F. C. Conybeare (Studio. Biblica, IV. p. 69 n.) replies effectively to Lightfoot, 
but seems to follow Tischendorf too closely in his view of the Acts of Pilate. 

The chief reason given by Harnack for the view, that Tertullian merely 
assumed the report by Pilate and its contents, is that he does not in so many 
words call upon his readers to consult this document, as he does some others 
(Chron. I. p. 605 top and pp. 607-8). But in the first place it is not certain 
that he does not appeal to it, rather than (as Harnack declares) to a Roman 
astronomical register, when he says that the darkness at the death of Christ 
might be read of "in archivis vestris. " Further, he may well be thought 



used by Justin and Tertullian 107 

will supply admirable illustrations of all these points. The 
passage, at the conclusion of which he writes "all those 
things Pilate announced to Tiberius," begins thus : 

" Him then whom they assumed to be only man from his lowliness, 
they consequently regarded as a sorcerer from his power, seeing that he 
drove out devils from men, restored sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, 
gave strength to the paralytic, finally restored the dead to life by his 
word, spake to the very elements, stilling the tempests and walking upon 
the waters." 

In some way then, the wonderful works of Christ, and 
a charge of the Jews that they were wrought by sorcery, 
were, it is supposed, brought to the knowledge of Pilate. 
It would seem needless to say, were it not that it has been 
strangely overlooked, that nothing of this kind is even re- 
motely hinted at in the Gospels, and indeed the precise charge 
of sorcery is not made in any part of them ; for that of 
" casting out devils by Beelzebub " is clearly not identical 
with it, nor does that cover His miracles generally. We shall 
presently see that the Roman governor was probably sup- 
posed to have heard of Christ's miracles, and to have received 
this explanation of them, on His being brought before him 
for trial. 

Now let us turn back to Justin. One of the two pro- 
phecies which he first deals with in the context with which 
we are concerned is that Christ would be confronted with a 
" gainsaying people " (\aov dvriXeyovra). It would be found, 
he declares, by those who consulted the Pilate-record, that the 
Jews did "gainsay" Jesus and assert that He was not the 
Christ 1 . The actual charges brought against Him, together 
with the evidence on which His claim to be the Messiah 
rested, were beside the mark as regards the interpretation of 

to imply this appeal throughout. The particular point on which he is laying 
stress the impression made on Tiberius accounts for his not having more 
definitely cited the document in this instance. Moreover, Harnack's view is 
suicidal. For if Tertullian imagined so much, why had he not the prudence 
to imagine and to hint at a little more, viz. that through malice the report in 
question might possibly have been destroyed ? For certainly according to Roman 
habits a report from a provincial governor to the emperor would be preserved 
among the State records. 

1 Apol. I. 35, ffravpudels virb TUV ' lovdaiwv avTi\ry(>vT(>)v avr<^ nal 
/J.T) tlvo.1 avrb 



io8 A supposed document by Pilate 

the prophecy in question, and so Justin passes these by here. 
But some chapters later we come to a place in which he 
quotes, or rather paraphrases, Isa. xxxv. 4 6: "the lame 
man shall leap as a hart, etc." He throws in, as if they were 
part of the prediction, the words " the blind shall recover 
their sight and the lepers shall be cleansed and the dead 
shall be raised and shall walk " ; and he adds, " now that he 
did these things ye can learn from the acts that took place 
under Pontius Pilate." Here he requires only the enumer- 
ation of miracles; in what connexion it had been given to 
Pilate and was repeated by him was immaterial. But Ter- 
tullian's language enables us to fit together these stray 
notices 1 . It should be observed that our fragment of the 
Gospel of Peter begins after the point at which the reference 
to the miracles of Christ was introduced. 

We pass to another, though a slighter, indication that 
Justin was acquainted with the source which is to some 
extent reproduced by Tertullian. He has not occasion to 
mention the charge of " sorcery " at either of the places in 
immediate connexion with which he names the Pilate-report, 
but he alludes to it only a little earlier on entering upon the 
argument 2 in which those references occur, and also in the 
Dialogue*. 

We will notice more briefly three other points. Tertullian, 
like Justin where he appeals to Pilate's testimony, implies that 
the Jews were direct agents in carrying out the Crucifixion. 

1 Justin, Apol. I. 48, Tfl irapovalq. avrov d\rai x w ^ 5 ws Xa0os /ecu rpavi) 
yXCxTffa /jLoyiXaXuf rv(p\ol dvafiXtyovcri Kai \eirpol Kadapiffdr)<roi>Tai Kai veKpol 



Tai Kai irepnra.Tr)ffov(ru>. Sri. re raura eiroLr)ffev, K rCiv tirl Hovrlov IltXdrov 
O.KTWV fj.adeiv SvvavQe. 

Tertullian, Apol. ch. 21, Quern igitur solummodo hominem hominem prae- 
sumpserant de humilitate, sequebatur uti magum aeslimarent de potestate, cum ille 
verbo daemonia de hominibus excuteret, caecos reluminaret, leprosos purgaret, 
paralyticos restringeret, mortuos denique verbo redderet vitae, elementa ipsa 
famularet compescens procellas et freta ingrediens ...... Ea omnia super Christo 

Pilatus, et ipse jam pro sua conscientia Christianus, Caesari turn Tiberio nuntiavit. 

2 Apol. I. 30. In it he undertakes to shew, in reply to an objection which might 
be made, that " he whom we call Christ did not, while merely a man begotten by 
ordinary human generation, work those miracles which we say he did by magical 
art (fj-ayiKT) r^x v V Myouev dvvd/j.cu imroiriK^ai) and so gain the reputation of 
being the Son of God." 

8 Dial. 69, Kai yap /myov tlvai avrbv irb\iJ.wv \tyeiv Kai \aow\avov. 



used by J list in and Tertitllian 109 

He mentions them only, and he says that " they extorted 
that he should be given to them for the Cross 1 ." 

Again, we have seen that in the same context Justin 
dwells upon the use of the nails at the Crucifixion, and we 
have compared another passage in which he speaks of the 
body being "unnailed," and employs the very unusual term 
fl<??A,ft>#etV. Now Tertullian says that Christ's body was 
" detractum " ; it would be impossible, I imagine, to convey 
the notion of the detachment of the body from the Cross by 
withdrawing its fastenings more vividly and forcibly than by 
this word. His whole phrase " detractum et sepulcro con- 
ditum " corresponds remarkably with the words of Justin, 
ttTro TOV fjbvr)iJiaTO<$...o7r66ev /carereOrj a(f)r)\a>0el<; airo TOV 
a-ravpov*. This agreement is the more noteworthy, because 
although a devout imagination might very naturally dwell 
upon the piercing of the hands and feet with the nails, both 
on account of its agreement with prophecy and the pain that 
must thus have been inflicted upon the Saviour there was 
no reason for laying stress upon the process of extracting the 
nails. 

Once more, we have had occasion to notice Justin's state- 
ment that the disciples of Christ " after he was crucified 
departed from him " and " repented after his resurrection." 
He does not make either of these statements expressly on the 
authority of the Pilate-document. But we may infer from 
Tertullian that they were derived thence, for in describing 
the bursting of the tomb the latter adds the touch in the 
context which we are considering, nullis apparentibtis dis- 
cipulis, 

This comparison of Justin and Tertullian has gone far, 
I venture to think, towards proving that a writing, professing 
to contain Pilate's report, was known to and used by them 
both. 



1 " Eum in crucem dedi sibi extorserint. " 

2 See p. loo. 

3 Compare also the sentences in Justin (Dial. 108) and Tertullian in which 
these clauses occur. 

We shall presently see reason to suspect that there is another reference to the 
Pilate document in the same context. 



no The alleged letter of Pilate 

We have next to observe that a letter exists purporting to 
have been written by Pontius Pilate to Claudius (sic), the 
contents of which correspond closely with the statements of 
Tertullian as to Pilate's report to Tiberius 1 . It is given in 
the Acts of Peter and Paul in Greek, and in the Latin Version, 
and it appears also in an almost identical form appended to 
some MSS. of the Latin Version of the work known to us as 
the Acts of Pilate or the Gospel of Nicodemus, of which we 
must speak presently. It has been suggested with probability 
that the address to Claudius is connected with the fact that 
the Acts of Peter and Paid represent St Peter as first coming 
to Rome in the time of that Emperor. Pilate's letter is here 
called for during Peter's trial before Nero. The order is 
given to have it read, and then Nero says : " Tell me, Peter, 
were all things thus done by him (Christ) " ? And Peter 
replies, " Even so, O king." We may feel confident that the 
letter was taken from this work, to be placed at the end of 
those Latin MSS. of the Acts of Pilate where it now also 
stands, not only because Claudius is again the Emperor 
named, but also because the Latin Version of it here given 
seems evidently to be part of the Latin Version of the Acts 
of Peter and Paid. This last work, then, in its original Greek, 
is relatively the oldest authority for the letter, and in its 
present form it may probably be of the fifth century. Lipsius, 
however, has argued that in the Acts of Peter and Paul, as we 
now have them, an older writing of the second century has 



1 J. C. Thilo, in two brochures (A.D. 1837 and 1838), published for the first 
time the Greek of the Acts of Peter and Paiil, taking the text chiefly from a single, 
though the most important, MS. at Paris. Tischendorf has also since published it, 
after collating some other MSS., in his Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha, 1851. These 
Acts in Latin had been printed before, but Thilo gave along with the Greek, in 
parallel columns, the text of a Latin MS. which he found in Wolfenbiittel. On 
this work see the exhaustive discussion by Lipsius in Die Apokryphen Apostol- 
gfschichten und Apostollegenden, Bd II. Pt i, 1887, and Acta Apostolorum 
Apocrypha, 1891; also Zahn, Kan. II. 832 f., Harnack, Chron. I. 549 f. 

In an allied Syriac document, of (perhaps) the fourth century (translated by 
Cureton, Ancient Syriac Documents, edited after his death by W. Wright, 1864, 
p. 35 f.) entitled Doctrine of Simon Cephas in the City of Rome, Peter alludes to 
Pilate's letter and adds: "What therefore Pilate saw and made known to Caesar 
and your honourable Senate, the same I preach and declare and my fellow- 
apostles," p. 38; but the letter itself is not given. 



which is extant in 

been used, in which he thinks Pilate's letter was included. 
But the antiquity of the letter does not depend on this last 
supposition. 

Harnack, indeed, holds that the letter was constructed by 
someone out of Tertullian. But a comparison of the letter ' 
with the account of it in Tertullian renders this highly im- 
probable. If that is the relation between them, the man who 
made the excerpt, with a skill foreign to the habits of mind 
of his age, omitted doctrinal phrases of Tertullian's own, 
parenthetically introduced, which would have been altogether 
unsuitable in Pilate's mouth. He has also thrown the attri- 
bution of Christ's miracles to sorcery into the form of a 
charge preferred against Jesus before Pilate, which admirably 
explains Tertullian's references, but which they do not 
obviously suggest. 

There is, then, good ground for thinking that this letter 
was taken from the document which Justin and Tertullian 
knew. It may have been abbreviated to some extent and 
otherwise altered when it was employed for a fresh purpose 
in the work to which, apparently, we are indebted for its 
preservation. And Tertullian also, on the other hand, may 
well have made some omissions or other modifications in 
giving a summary of Pilate's statements, which is probably 
all that he has done. Moreover there may have been 
more in the early Pilate-document than simply the letter 
to the Emperor. It fitted in exactly with the drift of 
Tertullian's argument that he should quote mainly or ex- 
clusively from the letter. But the work may have con- 
tained also the (supposed) official journal of the governor, 
or that made for him by his secretary. This is the idea of 
the work suggested by notices in Latin MSS. of the Acts 
of Pilate^, and it agrees well with the language of Justin 
about it. 

We have felt justified on grounds of internal evidence in 
taking this letter in close connexion with the statements of 
Justin and Tertullian, as furnishing evidence of the existence 
and character of the document which lay before them. But 
we must not omit to consider the fact that for nearly two cen- 

1 See below p. 113. 



ii2 The Gospel of Nicodemtts 

turies after Tertullian the only express reference to an official 
report by Pilate, having a Christian tendency, is that of 
Eusebius, who seems to take what he relates on the subject 
from Tertullian 1 . It has been urged with some force that if 
Christian Acts of Pilate were in existence from the second 
century onwards, it is strange that a learned writer like 
Origen, who mentions so many apocryphal and other writings, 
should have passed over this document, so important if taken 
to be genuine, and that Eusebius, too, should give no sign of 
being directly acquainted with it 2 . The work might, how- 
ever, for a time have circulated chiefly, or exclusively, among 
the Christians of Italy and North Africa. It should also be 
remembered that this writing, though it possessed a certain 
interest, could be of little or no practical value for the instruc- 
tion of Christians. They had the Gospels which had for 
them far higher authority, while it was, in all probability, 
a comparatively brief and meagre record. Nor again would 
it be of service for the confutation of heretics. It could be in 
requisition only in controversy with heathen. 

It will be well, before taking into account later notices, to 
refer to the work known as the Acts of Pilate, and also as the 
Gospel of Nicodemus, which has actually come down to us. 
It exists in two forms in Greek, and (roughly speaking) two 
also in Latin, which are not completely the same as either of 
the Greek ones ; there are versions also in Armenian and 
Coptic. It was widely diffused in the Middle Ages. We 
must further observe that the older of the two Greek forms 
terminates without treating of one theme, the Descent of 
Christ into Hades, which is elaborated in the later Greek 
form and also, in two differing forms, in Latin 3 . There is 

1 H. E. II. ii. Elsewhere he tells us and this is of some importance that a 
work professing to be Pilate's record, which contained manifest errors, had been 
forged and put forth by the heathen circ. A.D. 311, when persecution was being 
renewed under Maximinus. (See H. E. IX. v. ; also T. IX. 2, 3, and xi. 9.) 

2 Harnack, Chron. I. pp. 603, 612. 

3 For the texts see Tischendorf, Evang. Apocr. pp. 210 432. A protest must 
be made, however, against his mode of dividing the work, and the titles he has 
used. One form in Greek, and all the MSS. of both forms in Latin, contain a 
section on the Descent into Hades. He has separated this from the rest and 
called it Gospel of Nicodemus, Pt n. The older Greek form, and the portion of 
the later Greek form, and of all the Latin MSS. corresponding thereto, he calls 



The Gospel of Nicodeuu is 113 

nothing in the general framework of either of the Greek 
forms to indicate that the work is to be regarded as Pilate's 
official record. The facts are written down by Nicodemus 
and delivered by him to the Jewish chief priests, according to 
the earlier form. In the later form Nicodemus is a " Roman 
toparch," and simply the translator into the Latin language of 
a document prepared by a Jew; but still it is not implied that 
the document was prepared by or for Pilate, and at the end 
copies of the account of the Descent into Hades by those 
who attested it are given to the Chief Priests, to Joseph, and 
to Nicodemus. The titles, too, of the work in the majority 
of Greek MSS. represent it simply as a narrative of things 
concerning Jesus Christ which happened, or were done, under 
Pontius Pilate, or they even omit the mention of Pilate 1 . 
Near the end, however, of some of the Latin MSS., it is twice 
said that Pilate placed what he had learned concerning Christ 
" among the records of his governmental house," and the letter 
is appended which he wrote to Claudius (sic). As a heading 
also in the Latin MSS. we commonly find the statement 
that these deeds (gesta} of the Saviour were found by the 
Emperor Theodosius the Great in the official residence of 
Pontius Pilate at Jerusalem. Moreover, Gregory of Tours 2 
twice refers to the Gesta Pilati " still preserved in writing at 
this day amongst us." These facts suggest that the work we 



the Acts of Pilate. This is entirely a notion of his own, not resting upon any MS. 
evidence, and serves to obscure important facts. For the older Greek form which 
does not contain the Descent into Hades is never, any more than the other Greek 
form, called the Acts of Pilate, while the Latin forms which always do contain it, 
have received that name. 

I shall, however, for convenience of reference to Tischendorf cite the work as 
A. P. Parts I. and n. His nomenclature, A and B, for the two Greek forms will 
also be adopted. There is only one Latin form for the first and chief part. The 
two Latin forms for the Second Part are likewise distinguished as A and B. 

Mr F. C. Conybeare in Studio, Biblica, IV. pp. 59132, has described the 
Armenian Version and given translations of the two MSS. of it. It is universally 
agreed that Greek A is the oldest form : see Tischendorf, Ev. Apocr. Proleg. Ixxi. ; 
Lipsius, Pilatus-Acten, p. 4 f . ; Conybeare, ib. p. 59 f. The oldest Latin MS., 
the Armenian and the Coptic all agree nearly with it. 

1 In a MS. of the I5th cent., however, we find the addition: a7re/> aurdj 6 
HtXaros ^ire^ev 5ta iSias dvcKpopas Avyovarip Kaiffapi. 

2 Hist. Franc. I. 20 and 23. 

S. G. 8 



ii4 The use of Acts of Pilate 

are considering was identified with the Acts of Pilate first and 
chiefly in the West. Nor does it militate against this view 
that Epiphanius 1 speaks of such a work ; for his calling it, as 
he does, by the name a/era \\i\drov may be explained by his 
having heard of it among those who spoke Latin. It is 
generally admitted that the work known to Gregory of Tours 
and even to Epiphanius as the Acts of Pilate was substantially 
the same as that which we now have, at least according to 
the older Greek form. But even the section concerning the 
Descent into Hades is copiously used by Eusebius of Alex- 
andria (Serm. I5) 2 . 

On the other hand it is very improbable that even the 
oldest form is earlier than about the middle of the fourth 
century 3 . The only question worth discussing for our present 
purpose will be whether in the composition of this work an 
older Pilate-document has been to any extent employed, 
along with much other material. 

It has been held by some that the heathen Acts of Pilate 
which Eusebius mentions 4 gave rise to the composition of the 
Christian Acts of Pilate, so called, which were intended to 
supplant the heathen ones 5 . But if this was the object in 

1 Panar. L. i. 

2 The statements of Epiphanius and Gregory correspond with what we find in 
the work, but do not touch the section on the Descent into Hades. But this may 
be accidental, especially in Gregory's case, since all Latin MSS. give it. At the 
same time it may be noted that Gregory's language as to the account of the 
Ascension ("in nube susceptus evectusque in coelos") agrees better with A. P. 
Gk A ch. xvi. (av-f^a-yev avrbv i) vefaX-rj) than with the present Latin Version. 
A. P. Gk B at the corresponding point (ch. xiv.) differs still more, as it does not 
mention the cloud at all. 

3 That this form more or less truly represented the work known to Justin and 
Tertullian is maintained by Tischendorf (Ev. Apocr. Ixii. Ixv.), but the idea of 
the document which we derive from Justin and Tertullian does not correspond 
with what we here find, and it only partially contains what they give on Pilate's 
authority. For other objections see Scholten, Die adtesten Zeugnisse betreffend 
die Schriften des N.T., deutsch von Manchot, p. i6of. and Lipsius, Pilatus~Acttn l 
p. 21 f. and p. 33 f. Tischendorf (p. Ixv.) guards himself, indeed, by saying that the 
original work had imperceptibly undergone alterations and interpolations of various 
kinds; but even so, his description of the relation between the Acts of Pilate which 
we possess and the second century document represents it as far closer than it can 
in reality have been. 

4 See above, p. 112 n. i. 

5 Lipsius, ib. p. 28. 



in the Gospel of Nicodemus 115 

view pains would have been taken to make it evident that 
they were Acts of Pilate. Also, even if the circulation of 
heathen Acts of Pilate stimulated the production of a new 
work on the Christian side, those heathen Acts themselves 
might well have been a counter-blast to a yet older Christian 
fiction, and this might have been utilised in the new Christian 
effort as well. 

Now there are many indications that this was actually the 
case. Although the Greek original in no way implies, either 
in its ordinary title or in the substance of the work, that 
it was written by or for Pilate, it may be observed that the 
things recorded belong to that part of the Gospel history 
of which he might be supposed to have cognisance, beginning 
as they do with the accusation of Jesus before him. And 
these limits of the narrative are exactly indicated in the usual 
Greek title " the things done eVt Tlovriov IltXarou." Taken 
in conjunction with this, the actual identification of the work 
in the West with the Acts of Pilate must have considerable 
force. It witnesses to a strong association of ideas, which is, 
perhaps, all the more significant, because the form of the 
work did not directly suggest it. Upon the fact that Pilate's 
letter has been appended in some Latin MSS. I lay no stress, 
because the name which the work had acquired may very 
likely have led to this. 

Further, in the work as a whole there are traces of the 
Pilate-legend, as we may term it. The use made of it is not 
the same as that made by Justin and Tertullian, who addressed 
their Apologies to Roman emperors and representatives of the 
Roman power. The purpose of the work is to set forth the 
accumulated testimony for Christ which the Jewish chief 
priests and scribes and those acting with them wilfully resisted. 
But Pilate appears as one among those whose words and con- 
duct witnessed against them 1 . 

There are besides more or less noteworthy coincidences 
in detail with what appear to have been the contents of an 
older Pilate-document, as otherwise ascertained. We have an 



1 A. P. Gk A and B ch. i, and Lat. chh. 3 and 4. Gk A and B and Lat. 
ch. 9. Gk A and B and Lat. chh. n, 12, etc. 

82 



n6 The use of Acts of Pilate 

enumeration of the miracles of Jesus and imputation of sorcery 
on account of them, forming a chief part of the charge made 
by the Jews against Him when they bring Him to the Gover- 
nor 1 . These points have come before us in the " letter," and 
also more or less distinctly both in Justin and Tertullian. The 
very same word avTi\jiv is used in Justin and in the fourth 
century work 2 and not in the Gospels. So, too, His crucifixion 
appears in the corresponding connexion to be attributed to 
the Jews 3 . It is a curious fact also that in one MS. 4 a narrative 
is introduced relative to " the unnailing," the point of which 
Justin speaks, and to which we have traced an allusion in 
Tertullian. 

Again, in accordance with the " letter," though not with 
Justin or Tertullian, Roman soldiers, specially obtained from 
Pilate for the purpose, watch by the grave and are witnesses 
of incidents connected with the Resurrection 5 . In agreement 
with Tertullian and somewhat less clearly with Justin, the 

1 Gk A and Lat. ch. i. In Gk B the list is introduced in ch. 10 as part of the 
taunt of the Pharisees when Jesus hung upon the Cross. Allusions to the charge 
of sorcery also occur Gk B ch, i, Gk A and B and Lat. ch. i etc. The charge 
that the miracles were wrought on the Sabbath is combined therewith, which is 
tasteless as addressed to Pilate. The enumeration of Christ's miracles has also 
suggested the brilliant idea of bringing forward several persons of whom we read 
in the Gospels as cured ; they declare to the Governor the benefits which they 
have received. 

2 A. P. Gk A ch. 9. Justin Apol. i. 35. A. P. Gk B ch. 9, and the "letter" 
in Greek do not use this word but give the sense, as do the Latin of A. P. and of 
the " letter." Tertullian probably alludes to this part of Pilate's report when he 
says " magistri primoresque Judaeorum exasperabantur, etc.," but this expression 
is too general for any stress to be laid upon it. 

3 Lat. ch. 10, Gk B chh. 9 and 10, not, however, Gk A, which is more in 
harmony with the Gospels. In this passage, though not generally, it may be less 
original, having undergone revision. 

4 Paris. Nat. 1021, marked D by Tischendorf, C by Thilo. The title in this 
codex runs: inrb^v^^o. rov Kvpiov i}fj.^iv 'Irjffov xP lffrov Ka ^ [iffropia ?] eis TTJV O.TTO- 
KadriXuffiv avrov ffvyypa<f>fiffa. irapa rou ayiov 'ludvvov rov 6eo\6yov. 

8 A. P. Gk A 13, Gk B 12, Lat. 13. From Mt. xxvii. 62 66 and xxviii. 11, 
it would appear that Pilate threw upon the Jews the task of making arrangements 
for watching the grave, by means of their own police, or soldiers permanently 
placed at their command. It is not without significance that whereas in the 
Gospels Roman soldiers carry out the execution of Jesus, and a Jewish guard 
watches His grave, in the Pilate-legend the parts are inverted. While the Jews 
were thus made more hateful, Romans are forced to be witnesses of Christ's resur- 
rection. 



in the Gospel of Nicodemus 117 

disciples are in hiding after the Crucifixion 1 . In accordance 
with Tertullian, though not either Justin or the "letter," the 
Jews recover from the alarm which the darkness has caused 
them, when it is passed, and explain it as due to natural 
causes 2 . Yet again, as in the passage of Tertullian, Christ 
instructs the disciples in Galilee, and ascends to heaven in 
a cloud 3 . 

We have compared the passages of Justin and of Ter- 
tullian in which Pilate's testimony is referred to, and the 
letter purporting to be from him, and lastly the work which 
has come down to us with the Acts of Pilate for one of its 
titles. The result has been to corroborate Justin's attribution 
to "Pilate" of three 4 of the traits which he has in common with 
" Peter." We have also obtained some further information as 
to the contents of the Pilate-document; and it has now to be 
added that all the touches which, from the evidence supplied 
by Justin and otherwise, we have seen reason to believe were 
found there, occur in the portion of the Gospel of Peter which 
we possess, with the exception of two. One of these is the 
allegation at the trial of Christ before Pilate, that He wrought 
miracles by sorcery, which would have appeared in the Gospel 
of Peter, if at all, before the point at which our fragment com- 
mences ; the other is the instruction of the disciples for forty 
days in Galilee, and Ascension thence, which would have been 
mentioned after the point at which it abruptly ends. 

W T e have still to consider the evidence of one other writer; 



1 Gk A ch. 12, TTOLVTUV d d.TroKpv(3tvTuv, and Lat., "omnibus autem latentibus" ; 
not Gk B. 

2 Tertull. ApoL i\. " Deliquium utique putaverunt, qui id quoque super 
Christo praedicatum non scierunt." [Cod. Fuld. adds " ratione non deprehensa 
negaverunt. "] A. P. Gk A ch. n. 6 Hi\dTOS...elirev ai)rots* edewpriffare TO. yevb- 
fj.i>a; ol 5e \yov<rtv 2/cXeii/as rjXiov ytyovev Kara rb a>06s. Cf. also Gk B and 
Lat. 

3 A. P. Gk A chh. 13 end to 16. Gk B chh. 1416, Lat. chh. 1416. It 
will be remembered that in the Gospel according to St Luke and the Acts of the 
Apostles, in which the instruction of the disciples after the resurrection is most 
dwelt upon, and the Ascension is described, nothing is said of a return to Galilee. 
Tertullian's expression " circumjecta nube in coelum est ereptus " ib. 23, and the 
descriptions of A. P. Gk A ch. 16, and of Greg, of Tours, cited p. 114 n. 2, all 
differ from St Luke in much the same way. 

4 Namely, crucifixion by the Jews, the hiding of the disciples, the unnailing. 



1 1 8 Cyril of Jerusalem and Acts of Pilate 

and it bears upon that parallelism between Justin and "Peter," 
our grounds for referring which to the Pilate-document 1 are on 
the whole slightest the use of the word Xa^o9 for the casting 
of lots. It is introduced by Cyril of Jerusalem in the thirteenth 
of his Catechetical lectures. Here again in the context there 
are touches which may possibly have been suggested by his 
recollection of Pilate's report, and others which he probably 
derived thence 2 . He has been supposed to have taken them, 
or most of them, from the Gospel of Peter ; but that is im- 
probable, for the following reason. Earlier in the same course 
of lectures he had earnestly and strictly charged his hearers 
not to read Apocryphal Gospels 3 ; it is hardly likely that he 
would have weakened the force of his words by presently 
giving them the example of employing reminiscences of an 
Apocryphal Gospel himself. He need not have felt any 
objection to making use of a writing like the supposed one of 
Pilate, which did not profess to be a Gospel. 

The Gospel of Peter has in addition one striking coinci- 
dence with the Gospel of Nicodemus, besides several minor ones, 
to which there are no parallels in the other writers. In both 
Pilate protests his innocence, not only at the Trial of Jesus, 
but also a second time after the Crucifixion, in the latter 
work after the Burial, in "Peter" when those who had watched 
the tomb relate to the governor what they had seen. It is 
natural also to surmise a connexion between the section on 

1 Dial. 97. The same prophecy, containing the words \o.ov AireiOoviva KO! 
&vTt.\f,yovTa., is quoted as in Apol. I. 35; and emphasis is also laid on the 
nailing. 

2 Cyr. Hier. Cat. xiii. 1528. (a) 15, IliXdros Aca0lj%ro xplvwv Ka.1 6 tv 
5ei$ TOV irarpbt Ka6ef6/ji.evos earths (Kpivero' 6 Xaos 6 Xurpw0eis UTT' afirov K 7775 
AlyvTTTOv K<tl 6.\\a.x&0f iroXXd/aj KO.T' airroC ^j36a* cupe alpe aravpuaov a.vrbv. dia ri, 
u'lovdatot; 8n TOI>J ri>0Xoi>s v/j,u>i> f,0fpairfv<rci>; dXX' on TO)S 

v/j.ui> TTfpnra.Tf.lv tirolrjfft, Ka.t, TO, \onrd, TUV f^fpyfffiC 
(^) 25- w&vvwvTO $t 6.TroKpvfif.t>Tfs ol air6<TTO\oi. 
(c) 26. diffjifpiffavro ri i/xdna, etc., /cX^pos 5 T\V 6 X 
(ci) 27. 5X771* TTJV rjfjLf.pav tftrf.Taffa. rds xM J f^v Trpds \a6v Airet8ovi>Ta 



(e) 28. (^fTr^Tafffv tv ffravpy rAs x f tp a *--- Ka l "Tpofffirdyriffav ?;Xots. 

There is also an allusion to Pilate's handwashing in 38, which like earlier 
references in 14 and 15 might have been taken from the Gospels; but they shew 
that Pilate's part was specially present to Cyril's mind. 

8 Ib. Cat. 4, 33. 




The evidence that has come before us 119 



the Descent into Hades in some forms of the Gospel of 
Nicodemus and the comparatively brief but curious passage 
on the same subject in the Gospel of Peter. 

The coincidences to which attention has been directed 
naturally have not all the same importance. Some may have 
been accidental, or may be due to a cause distinct from the 
rest. Still, even those which have least force derive a certain 
value from comparison with the others, and in turn contribute 
something to the argument. Altogether they form a remark- 
able body of phenomena. The probability that there was 
a single source for all these traits in the history of the Passion 
and Resurrection, which differ more or less decidedly from 
anything in the four Gospels, is not seriously diminished by 
the circumstance that some even of the more striking ones 
are omitted in Pilate's supposed letter as we now have it, or 
in one or more other writers who used the document. We 
have already seen to some extent how these differences may 
be explained. We may now, further, observe that while the 
writer of the fourth century work, called in the West the 
Acts of Pilate, which was more truly a Gospel of Nicodemus, 
made considerable use of the second century Pilate-document, 
like the writer of the Gospel of Peter before him, there was 
nothing to constrain either of these writers to introduce any- 
thing from it which did not suit his own purpose. And the 
later writer more particularly had a great deal of other material 
for which he desired to find a place. Moreover he and Justin 
and Tertullian must all have been affected and controlled, in 
reproducing the source in question, by the language of the 
Gospels ; but this check would doubtless act upon them 
diversely. We can thus easily understand that owing to 
varieties of feeling and purpose the traces of derivation would 
not everywhere completely coincide. 

We have remarked that all those points of resemblance to 
one another, and difference from the Canonical Gospels, in 
various writings, which we have traced to an early Pilate- 
document, occur in the Gospel of Peter, so far as they belong 
to that portion of the history which our fragment covers. It 
is evidently not improbable that if we possessed the whole 
of this work the remaining ones, also, might be found there. 



120 Extent of the use of Acts of Pilate 

It may, then, perhaps be suggested that the Gospel of Peter 
was after all the original from which others copied. It is not, 
however, credible that the various points in question should 
have been gathered out of it, dissevered from the peculiarities 
with which they are there associated, and presented with the 
comparative simplicity of form in which they appear in 
Justin, Tertullian and the " letter," and with the compression 
of the two latter ; nor would the writer of the fourth century 
Acts, if he directly used the Gospel of Peter, have developed 
the suggestions derived from thence on the whole so 
differently. Over and above all this it is indeed hard to 
believe that, if the Gospel of Peter had been the source, the 
alleged facts would have been made so generally to rest on 
the authority of Pilate, while that of the chief of the Apostles 
was wholly ignored. 

We have confined ourselves to the consideration of agree- 
ments between the writings which we have examined. But it 
is of course possible that some features of the suggested source 
have been preserved in one place only. Individual touches 
which may be derived thence might perhaps be pointed out 
with more or less probability both in the Gospel of Peter and 
in the Gospel of Nicodemus 1 . I will content myself with 
mentioning one in Justin. Shortly after his first reference to 
the work connected with Pilate he again tells his readers that 
they " can learn " that the words of the Psalm " they spake 
with their lips, they wagged the head saying, Let him deliver 
himself," were fulfilled. For, he continues, when He was 
crucified they twisted their lips and wagged their heads saying, 
" Let him who raised the dead deliver himself 2 ." It is natural 
to conjecture that this form of the taunt, which is not that of 
the Gospels, was taken from the authority which he had 
before cited. 

In conclusion, it is to be observed that the evidence as 
to the use of the Canonical Gospels in the Gospel of Peter 
a subject with which most writers on the Akhmim fragment 
soon after its discovery occupied themselves is affected by 

1 See v. Schubert, I.e. p. 186, for an instance of this kind on which he lays 
great stress. 

2 Apol. I. 38- 



Some results of our investigation 121 

the results which have been reached in the preceding investi- 
gation. The dependence of "Peter" upon St John more 
particularly has been rendered very doubtful. We have seen 
strong reason for thinking that various points in " Peter," 
which were supposed to have been derived from the latter, 
were in reality taken from the Pilate-document 1 . 

It is, however, to be added that the question of the 
relation of " Peter " to our Gospels has lost the greater part of 
its interest. Since Justin does not refer to the work, the 
earliest trace of its existence is Serapion's notice of it at 
the end of the century. It may have been composed circ. 
A.D. 170-80; there is no ground for assigning it an earlier 
date ; and however full its use of all four Gospels might be 
shewn to be, nothing would be established thereby which we 
are not otherwise sure of. Nor, on the other hand, does it 
matter that, as is actually the case, its use of St John, and 
probably also of St Mark and St Luke, are very questionable, 
for it has no longer any claim to be regarded as an index of 
the general feeling of the Church, either in Justin's or any 
other generation. 

Further, it is not only possible but very probable that the 
Fourth Gospel, in which the figure of Pilate is peculiarly 
prominent, though it may not have been directly used by the 
author of the Gospel of Peter, had been utilised in the compila- 
tion of one of his principal sources, which had been in existence 
from before the time of Justin, the supposed Report of Pilate. 



ii. The remaining Apocryphal matter in Justin. 

We turn to other cases in which Justin's Evangelic matter 
has probably been derived from some definite source distinct 
from the Gospels. He gives, on the authority of " those 
who recorded all things," a version of the words of the angel 
at the Annunciation, in which two clauses in the address 
of Gabriel to Mary in St Luke are inverted, and that which 

1 This cannot but be obvious on comparing the preceding pages, or the table 
on p. 133, with any list of parallelisms between " Peter" and St Jn, e.g. that in 
Dr Swete's edition of the Gospel of Peter, p. xix. 



Justin and the 

becomes the second of them is expanded so as to include the 
reason which is given to Joseph, not to Mary, according to 
Mt. i. 21, for the name which the child was to receive 1 . This 
might, perhaps, be traced to a failure of memory on Justin's 
part, were it not that the same points appear in the account 
of the same incident in the Protevangelium Jacobi (ch. 11), 
with which Justin has two or three other coincidences in 
different places, and also an interesting one in the present 
context. For whereas "James has av\\r}"fyr) e : /c \6yov 
avrov" Justin, though he has e/c Trvev/jbaros, not e* \6yov y 
thus keeping more close to St Luke, at the same time adds 
the comment : TO Trvevfia ovv icai rrjv Bvva/jiiv rr/v Trapa TOV 
eoO ovSev d\\o voijcrai Qejjus; 77 TOV \oyov. For a reason 
similar to that given in the case of " Peter," it is improbable 
that the author of this Protevangelium was dependent upon 
Justin. It is not likely that he picked out two or three traits 
from divers contexts in Justin's works. Did then Justin 
derive them from "James"? 

The whole case is remarkably analogous to that of Justin's 
dependence upon "Peter." Of the Apocryphal works relating 
to the Gospel history which have come down to us. it has, 
next after the fragment of the Gospel of Peter, the best claim 
to be regarded as belonging in substance to the second 
century. There is nothing in its style and character to 
prevent this ; and it, or our portion of it that portion with 
which alone we have to do in connexion with Justin 2 is 
mentioned by Origen under the title the Book of James at the 
place where, and for the same purpose as that for which, he 

1 Apol. 1. 33- 

8 Harnack makes the Ytwriai* Mapias, the document placed first, consist of 
chh. i 17. (See Chron. I. pp. 600 602.) But 18 v. i must certainly be in- 
cluded in it. The change of person is at 18, 2; also 18, i is closely connected 
with end of ch. 17. Owing to this obvious mistake Harnack (ib. p. 602) takes a 
correspondence between Justin and "James" 18, i as a possible sign of the 
former's acquaintance with the middle portion of "James," instead of as a sign of 
acquaintance with the first portion. 

It is not necessary for me to discuss Hilgenfeld's view (Evang. Justin 1 s p. 154) 
which is followed by Harnack ib., in regard to the combination of different docu- 
ments in the Protev. Jacobi as we have it. But I would remark that, although the 
transition from 18, i to 2 is abrupt, the document placed first cannot have ended 
with ch. 1 8, i, still less (as observed above) with ch. 17, 3. 



Protevangelium Jacobi 123 

names the Gospel of Petei A . The amount of parallelism with 
Justin is also about the same. In addition to the most con- 
siderable instance that in the words used at the Annunciation 
(ch. 1 1) already mentioned he speaks of Mary as being "of 
the tribe of David" (ch. 10, cp. references to Justin in Addl 
Note, p. 134(1)); further, after describing the Annunciation, 
he uses (ch. 12) the remarkable phrase -^apav Be \a/3ovo-a 
Mapia/jL a7riei irpos 'EXtcra/3er, with which we have to compare 
Justin Dial. IOC, iria-Tiv Be /cal %apav \a/3ov<ra Mapia 77 
TrapOtvos; he brings Eve and Mary into comparison (ch. 13, 
as Justin does, ib.) : once more, the birth of Jesus is in a cave 
(Protev. ch. 18, I, as well as sequel, cp. Justin, Dial. 78). 

Yet, as in the case of " Peter," marked differences occur 
in close conjunction with the points of similarity. The 
words in the message of the angel at the Annunciation, com- 
mented on above, are preceded in " James " by others which 
have no counterpart 2 in Justin. Again, Eve is placed in 
contrast with Mary, whereas in " James " we have Joseph, in 
a very fanciful speech, supposing that like Eve she has fallen. 
In Justin it is said that because in Bethlehem itself Joseph 
could find no place, he took shelter 3 in a cave near the village, 
and that so the child was born there. According to "James" 
the Virgin suddenly in the midst of the journey, in a desert 
place, exclaimed that she was about to bring forth, and Joseph 
found a cave and went to seek a midwife in the district of 
Bethlehem, which we may conjecture was not far off. Little 
stress can be laid on the fact that both writers speak of the 
Davidic descent of Mary ; moreover, from the allusions of 
Justin we should imagine that he has before him a genealogy 
not given in "James," but resembling those of Joseph in St 
Matthew and St Luke. Lastly the phrase xapav \aftov<ra is 



1 In Ev. Mt. T. x. 17, Toi)y 5 a5e\0oi>s 'lyffov 0curi rives efrat, e/c irapadoaeus 

TOV ^Triyeypa.fJifj.ti'ov /caret Htrpov evayyeXLov , 77 TT)? /3t/3Xou 'la/ci^Sou, inot)s 
irpoTtpas yvvaticds, ffvv(f}Kt)Kvia^ O,VT< irpb TTJJ Maptas. 
In Protevang. Jacobi ix. 2, the words occur to which Origen may be taken to 
refer. Joseph after winning the Virgin Mary for his wife by the trial of the wands 
exclaims, " I have sons and am old, whereas she is a maiden." 

2 Except the identification of the Holy Spirit with the Logos, where the 
dependence, if there is any, must be the other way (see p. 122). 

3 The verb KaraXtifiv is used Dial. 78; cp. Kard\v/j.a, Lu. ii. 7. 



124 Justin may have derived some traits 

used by Justin in immediate connexion with Mary's reception 
of the Angel's announcement, not as in "James" with her 
departure to visit Elisabeth. 

Again the two writers have altogether only a few features 
in common, and while Justin keeps on the whole close to our 
Gospels, the Apocryphal narrative departs widely from them. 
This departure is greater than in "Peter" because the Prot- 
evangelium professes to supply an account of events which 
preceded the point at which any of our Gospels began ; but 
on the other hand, it is not characterised like " Peter " by any 
doctrinal tendency markedly different from Justin's. Finally, 
a last point in which the case in regard to this work 
resembles that of the Gospel of Peter there is not the faintest 
trace that in the half century following the age of Justin, the 
question whether the Protevangeliiun Jacobi ought to be 
acknowledged as authentic caused a single moment's serious 
concern to the Church of Rome, or any other important 
Church. 

My conclusion is that, as in the case of " Peter," the re- 
semblances are to be traced to the use of a common source, 
though that source can only be conjectured in the present 
instance. I venture to suggest that the traits now in question 
were derived either from the Gospel according to the Hebrews, 
or "the Jewish unwritten tradition," which Justin's younger 
contemporary Hegesippus seems to have quoted somewhat 
freely 1 . Justin does not seem, like Hegesippus, to have 
known Hebrew, but coming as he did from Palestine he may 
have picked up much about the Hebraic record of the Gospel 
from Christians who were acquainted with the language. We 
can imagine, too, without assuming the existence of a Greek 
Version of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, that certain 

1 Harnack, who is confident that Justin used the Gospel of Peter, and referred 
to it as one of the " Memoirs of the Apostles," acknowledges that it is very doubt- 
ful whether Justin was even acquainted with any portion of the Protevangflinni 
Jacobi, ib. p. 602, n. i. Zahn, on the other hand (Kanon, I. 485, 499, n. 3, 502, 
504, 539), regards it as probable that Justin used the Protev. Jacobi, though only 
as Churchmen of a later time used it and other Apocryphal works. But though 
he holds that the Gospel of Peter might well have been treated by Justin in the 
same manner, he does not think it actually was. Neither of these modern writers 
seems to have tried to apply the same principles of criticism with consistency in 
the two cases. 



from the Gospel according to the Hebrews 125 

renderings of its expressions, as well as incidents contained in 
it, may in some way have obtained currency and so have 
come to the hand of the author of the Protevangelium Jacobi. 
It was this that we supposed in accounting for the occurrence, 
both in an epistle of Ignatius and in the Praedicatio Petri, of 
a saying, which is said to have been found in that Gospel 1 . 

This view receives at least slight confirmation from the 
fact that, in the case of the one passage remaining to be 
noticed where Justin refers to the Apostolic Memoirs for an 
incident not in our Gospels, that of the kindling of fire in 
the Jordan at Christ's baptism there is some reason to think 
that there was a parallel in the Gospel according to the He- 
brews' 1 . Again, the words which he quotes as sayings of 
Christ, "there shall be schisms and heresies" and "many 
false Christs and false apostles shall arise," may be due to the 
same source. For the same combination of " false Christs " 
and " false apostles " occurs in a passage of Hegesippus 
on the rise of heresies, quoted by Eusebius (H. E. IV. 
xxii. 5), which might well have formed part of a comment on 
a prophecy of Christ to the effect that divisions would be 
caused through the appearance of deceivers of these kinds. 
Tertullian also in De Praescr. Haer. ch. 4 clearly has such 
a saying of Christ in view 3 . 

The language of Eusebius may help us to understand the 
feeling with which Justin may have regarded the Gospel in 
use among Hebrew Christians, as well as any of their oral 
traditions. Of Hegesippus' work, in which, as Eusebius 
himself tells us, the Gospel according to the Hebrews and 
various Hebrew Christian traditions were cited, he declares 

1 See above, p. 14. 

2 Dial. 88. Epiphanius, Panar. xxx. 13, informs us that in the Gospel which 
the Ebionites used, and which they called the Gospel according to the Hebrews, it 
was said that when Jesus came up out of the water '' forthwith a great light shone 
round about the place. " 

3 Even if the word \f/ev3a7r6ffro\oi was in the first instance introduced from 
2 Cor. xi. 13 into the saying recorded at Mt. xxiv. 24 and Mk xiii. 22, through a 
confusion of memory, the appearance of the saying in this form in the different 
places above referred to can only be accounted for by their having derived it from 
a common source. Perhaps, too, 2 Cor. xi. 13 should be taken as evidence that 
Christ's saying was known to St Paul in this form. 



i26 Conclusions as to the use by Justin 

that " in a very sincere composition he recorded the infallible 
tradition of the Apostolic preaching," and that he (Eusebius) 
has made considerable use of his utterances, "embodying 
some of the things relating to the Apostles as delivered by 
him 1 ." This reliance on the Hebrew Christians, whether 
justified or not. was not unnatural. We shall presently see 
other traces of the same reverence for what was cherished 
among them, on the part of other Church writers and teachers, 
who, like Eusebius, lived when our Four Gospels unquestion- 
ably held a unique position throughout the greater part of 
the Christian Church. The Gospel according to the Hebrews 
seems never properly speaking to have been accounted 
" apocryphal," as all others besides the Four were. So then 
Justin, if he had derived anything from this source, might 
well have given it without scruple, as part of what the 
Apostles of the Lord had attested, along with that which was 
contained in those records which were read in the Churches 
where he himself had taught and worshipped. 

There are, so far as I know, only two other instances 
of the introduction by Justin of Evangelic matter not in 
our Gospels, for which parallels can be pointed out else- 
where 2 . 

(a) He cites a saying as Christ's which Clement of Alex- 
andria also quotes, but the reference by the latter is even 
more indefinite 3 . 

(d) Justin states that Jesus while working as a carpenter 
made u ploughs and yokes." The Gospel of Thomas agrees as 
to this, but a single coincidence cannot afford a basis for any 
inference here 4 . The only Gospel of Thomas of which we hear 
from early writers, and of which the one we now possess may 
be a revision, was regarded as a distinctly Gnostic work 5 , and 
if this was its character it is not probable that it was used, 



1 H. E. iv. viii. i. 

2 See Additional Note on " The apocryphal matter in Justin," pp. 133-6. 

3 Justin, Dial. 47; Clem. Alex. De Div. Serv. 40. 

4 Justin, Dial. 88; Evang. Thorn, ch. 13. Cp. also Evang. Infantiae Arabi- 
cum, ch. 38, on the carpentry of the boy Jesus. 

5 Hippol. Refut. v. 7 (p. 101); Eus. H. E. iii. 25. It is also mentioned by 
Origen, Horn. \ in Luc., as a work without authority. 



of sources other than our Gospels "127 

and practically certain that it was not regarded as Apostolic, 
by Justin. 

The result of our long enquiry is that Justin cannot be 
shewn to have used any Greek Gospel besides our Four. The 
Gospel of Peter he did not use. The parallelisms with it are 
due to the employment by both of a document which was 
not, and did not pretend to be, a Gospel, or to have Apostolic 
authority. Where he appears to cite " the Memoirs " for 
points in the Gospel history not found in our Gospels, we 
can unfortunately rely, in singling out the source, only on 
considerations of general probability. In connexion with 
the subject of the Birth and Infancy of Christ, he has traits 
found also in the Protevangelium Jacobi ; but it is not 
likely that he took them thence, partly because of the differ- 
ences between its account and his own, which are mingled 
with the resemblances, partly because (independently of these 
resemblances) we have no reason for thinking that Justin 
would have been acquainted with this work, or indeed that it 
had as yet been written. On the other hand Justin must 
almost necessarily have known something by report, or 
through extracts, though not through a regular version 1 , of 
the Gospel according to the Hebrews, and this may have been 
the source of the features in the Gospel narrative now more 
particularly in question those which he asserts, or implies, 
were derived from the " Memoirs " as well as of some others 
not in our Gospels for which he cites no authority. 

This view, though it rests on a somewhat precarious 
foundation, has the advantage of enabling us to treat the 
evidence, taken as a whole, in a self-consistent manner, and 
to form an intelligible conception of the history of the use 
of the Four Gospels in the Church. It would be strange, 
indeed, that any work composed in Greek and professing 
to be a Gospel, which was cited by Justin at Rome (who, 
it should be remembered, speaks more or less definitely 
in the name of the Church there and elsewhere), should have 
been so completely and rapidly and quietly extruded, that 
thirty years afterwards no trace remains of anyone in Rome 

1 On this point see below, pp. 262-4. 



i28 Result as to the history of the Canon 

being acquainted with it, or of its being felt necessary to warn 
the unwary against regarding it as authentic. The case in 
regard to the Gospel according to the Hebrews is entirely 
different. This work never was much more than a Great 
Unknown to the larger part of the Greek- and-Latin-speaking 
Church. There was no need for the Church of Rome or other 
Churches of the West to decide what their attitude to it 
ought to be, because it did not exist in a form in which it 
could be read by them. Even when, at the end of the fourth 
century, Jerome translated it into Greek and Latin, he 
evidently kept his translations of it mainly for his private 
use. 

The facts which we have ascertained also affect materially 
the value of the testimony of Justin and of that of the Church 
of his day to the authenticity of the canonical Gospels. No 
doubt Justin was quite as wanting in critical acumen when he 
accepted the Report of Pilate as genuine, as he would have 
been if he had regarded the Gospel of Peter or the Protev- 
angehum Jacobi as authentic Apostolic writings. But his 
importance, and that of other early writers, as witnesses in 
regard to the Gospels, does not turn upon their critical 
insight, but upon the extent to which they reveal to us a 
common belief in the Church in respect to certain books, 
which rested upon the common knowledge of a still earlier 
time. If a Gospel was received as Apostolic in the middle of 
the second century which afterwards was rightly judged not 
to be so, this would tend to render the soundness of the whole 
Church tradition about the Gospels doubtful ; whereas the 
fact that the appearance of a supposed Report of Pilate was 
too credulously welcomed does not seriously impair the reasons 
for trusting the tradition as to the Gospels. Again, on the 
other hand, as to the Hebrew Gospel, there was considerable 
justification for supposing that it embodied the testimony of 
Apostles. But even if this was an error, the mistake was 
made about a book which Justin knew only at second-hand, 
and his evidence, and that of other Greek-speaking Christians, 
in regard to those Gospels which had been handed down among 
themselves would not thereby be rendered less trustworthy 1 . 

1 We must recur to this subject in our last chapter. 



The 21 se of our Gospels by Justin 129 



ADDITIONAL NOTE I. TO CHAP. III. 

THE POSITION OF RECENT CRITICISM IN REGARD TO 
JUSTIN'S USE OF OUR GOSPELS. 

The points of agreement among critics mentioned above (p. 80) are 
of so much importance, that it seems worth while to give somewhat full 
quotations from writers who cannot be suspected of any bias in favour of 
orthodoxy, in order to substantiate what is there asserted. The whole 
of what I have said is not expressed in every instance totidem verbis, but 
it will, I think, be allowed to be implied in the main. These passages 
will also serve, I believe, to justify my definition of the questions still at 
issue in respect to Justin's evidence. 

In the case of A. Hilgenfeld, we will not only give his latest view, but 
trace his change of opinion the effect, we may fairly claim, of enquiry 
and reflection upon the evidence. In his Kritische Untersuchungen iiber 
die Evangelien Justin's, 1850, his position does not differ greatly from 
Credner's. This is a portion of his final paragraph (p. 304) : "We must 
herewith conclude the enquiry in regard to Justin's Gospels, with the 
result that Justin used by preference the Peter-Gospel the basal document 
of the Canonical Mark, next thereto a Recension of the Matthew-Gospel; 
so, too, but in a very subordinate manner, Luke, and if not a special 
Protevangelium (that of James}, yet a special history of the Passion, the 
Acta Pilati. For attributing to him acquaintance with the Johannine 
Gospel there is not only absolutely no reason to produce, but this 
supposition is in the highest degree improbable, seeing that Justin 
throughout follows the Synoptic type alone." We pass to his Der Kanon, 
pub. 1863, pp. 24 28. "In Justin, to the two Gospels of Matthew and 
Mark, which alone Papias acknowledged, the Luke-Gospel is in any case 
to be added, and it is only his acquaintance with the John-Gospel that 
can still be doubted.... At the same time, however, in Justin's Gospel- 
citations we come across a variety of peculiar traits, which point back 
not merely to the Acta Pilati, which are expressly mentioned, but certainly 
to a non-Canonical Gospel." In the corresponding passage in his Ein- 
leitung, pub. 1875, PP- 66-7, he writes as follows: "The category of 
Justin's Gospels, or as he himself says (Dial, 103) of 'the Memoirs which 
I say were composed by the Apostles and those who followed them' 
leads us already beyond the two Gospels of Matthew and Mark. It is 
open to no doubt that he also employed the Luke-Gospel. Moreover it 
would be difficult to disprove the employment of the John-Gospel. But 

S. G. 9 



130 The use of our Gospels by Justin 

while Justin may already have acknowledged the quaternion of our 
Canonical Gospels, yet he used to a decided extent besides not merely 
the older form of the Acta Pilati, but a non-Canonical Gospel as well." 

Next, let us take Keim, Jesus of Nazara (German, pub. 1867, Eng. 
trans. I. p. 186 ff.), on the Fourth Gospel. It must suffice to quote a few 
words from p. 196 f. "Thus far our position has been almost that of the 
warmest defenders of the antiquity of this Gospel. The testimony in its 
favour goes back as far as Justin and Barnabas, as far as the year 120 : 
what older better evidence have we for the Synoptics ? Let us now, 
however, notice a distinction. The use made of the Fourth Gospel was 
for a long time a more cautious, more sparing one than that made of the 
earlier Gospels.... Justin M. and the Clementine Homilies make a far 
greater use of other sources, including our Synoptics, even where John 
almost forces himself upon their notice..." 

Thoma, Genesis d. Johannes-Evang., 1882, p. 824. "Justin knows the 
John-Gospel and uses it in a very penetrating but quite peculiar manner. 
The title of the book is never named, nor is any citation, in the proper 
sense of the term which gives the words of a passage of teaching, or an 
event of the historical narrative adduced. Justin does not reckon it 
among the ' Memoirs of the Apostles,' from which he introduces alike 
sayings and narratives verbally in a rich selection, and which are to him 
ecclesiastical and historical authorities. Rather does he employ Johannine 
conceptions and lines of thought as he does also Pauline ones almost 
as one employs a dogmatic writer of similar tendency and position, from 
whom, as one's standard, one has learnt to think and to express oneself; 
whereas Justin cites after the Synoptics, he reflects after John." 

Again, see H. Holtzmann, Einleitung in d. N. T. 3rd ed. 1892, p. 100. 
After saying that Justin does not denote merely a single work by the 
term Memoirs, that he calls them " Gospels," that they already form 
a class by themselves, he proceeds : " Nevertheless, these Gospels 
which are taking their place by the side of the Old Testament in public 
reading in Church. ..do not yet stand, in their canonically completed 
quaternion, over against a literature of like character, as is manifest alike 
from the exploitation unprejudiced and abundant even if practised by 
way of memory of a non-canonical collateral of the Synoptics, as from 
the extremely rare and cautious employment of the Fourth Gospel." 
Comp. also p. 467. 

Jiilicher, Einleitung in d. N. T., 1894, p. 293. "Another question is, 
what books Justin reckoned among his ' Memoirs.' Matthew was certainly 
among them. Dial. 103, besides other passages, vouches for Mark and 
Luke, where along with the Apostles he carefully names their attendants 
as authors. John remained inwardly strange to him, not however 
unknown. Many, however, of his Words of Jesus depart so decidedly 
from the form handed down in our Gospels, that it is difficult to deny 
him the knowledge of at least one Gospel to us unknown." 

Lastly, I will give Harnack's judgment, Chron. I. p. 673 f. "In regard 
to Justin's position relatively to the Fourth Gospel, certainty cannot be 



The use of our Gospels by Justin 131 

attained. That he was acquainted with it, is to me exceedingly 
probable; that he reckoned it among the airo^vr^iovtv^aTa r<av dirovroXuv 
and regarded it as Apostolic-Johannine cannot be proved.... However, 
I will not treat it as out of the question that Justin held the Fourth 
Gospel as Apostolic-Johannine.... So then one must leave open the 
possibility, yea, a certain probability, that the designation of the Fourth 
Gospel as the work of the Apostle was to be found already in A.D. 155160, 
namely on the part of Justin." 



ADDITIONAL NOTE II. TO CHAP. III. 

DR E. A. ABBOTT ON JUSTIN'S RELATION TO THE 
FOURTH GOSPEL. 

Among recent writers Dr E. A. Abbott (Encycl. BibL II. pp. 1832-7) 
goes much further than many, who rate the historical value of the 
Fourth Gospel far lower than he does, in casting doubt upon Justin's 
acquaintance with that Gospel, or in the extent to which he would 
limit his use of it. I think that most of the arguments which he 
employs on this subject, as well as those of objectors of an earlier time, 
have been met by me above. But it may be right to add a few words on 
some of the instances which he gives (pp. 1836-7) of Justin's being at 
variance with John, (i) "Justin's view is that (2 Apol. 6) God has no 
'name' ; John's is that the Son came to declare the Father's 'name' and 
to keep them in that 'name.' " It is equally true that the 'name' of God 
is constantly spoken of in those prophetic and other books of the Old 
Testament whose inspiration Justin unquestionably acknowledged. Justin 
in a measure explains his meaning in the passage referred to. Whether 
his idea of revelation was fully that of St John and other writers of the 
New and the Old Testaments we need not here inquire. If there was a 
difference, it was sufficiently subtle for him not to have been conscious 
that there was one." (2) "According to Justin it is the Logos, or the Son, 
who 'begets' (Tryph. 138) 'the new race' or (ib. 63) the Church his 
'daughter.'" The precise language here is certainly not Johannine, but 
the thought does not substantially differ from that of the Prologtte to the 
Fourth Gospel, especially v. 12 taken with v. 3. Moreover, for calling 
the Church Christ's daughter, Justin cites passages of the Old Testament. 
(3) " Elsewhere he allows himself to say that God has begotten from 
himself (Tryph. 61) a kind of Logos-power (XoyiKrjv rtva Svvafjuv)." This 
expression in a revered ecclesiastical writer, viewed from the standpoint 
of Nicene orthodoxy, has often been felt to be a difficulty, and it is not 
strange that it should be contrasted with the teaching of St John. But, 
first, there is no doubt from Justin's language in the immediate sequel 
in this place, and in numerous other passages, that he regarded the 
Logos as '-personal." Further, the strangeness of his permitting himself 

92 



132 The Gospel of Peter and a supposed 



to use the expression AoyiK^v nva 8vvap.iv disappears if we consider 
the context. He is directly addressing Trypho and his companions, 
and is stating a proposition in a general form which they will find it 
hard to gainsay, respecting indications of the doctrine of the Divine 
Word in the Scriptures which they acknowledged. As he develops 
his argument he becomes more definite. (4) "The multiplicity of 
names given to the Logos (Tryph. 56, 61, 100, etc.) Son, Wisdom, 
Angel, Day, East, Sword, etc. suggests Philo's 'many named' Logos 
rather than that of John." It suggests even more the desire to find the 
doctrine in, and to prove it by, the Old Testament, as (e.g.) Dial. 61 
shews ; though possibly some acquaintance with the teaching of Philo 
may have assisted him in interpreting titles in the Old Testament thus. 
There was nothing inconsistent with St John in doing so, and later theolo- 
gians who undoubtedly received that Gospel have done the same. 
(5) "When Justin quotes Dan. vii. 13, to lay stress on the 'as' in 'as 
Son of Man' and tells us that Christ was only {Tryph. 76) <t>mvofjLfvov 
KCU yevofifvov v$pa>7roi>, the word <f)aiv6/j.vov seems anti-Johannine, and 
bordering on Docetism." The word "only" is Dr Abbott's. There is 
one point in which Christ differed from other men, on which it is Justin's 
purpose to lay stress. It is, as the words immediately following shew, 
that He was not born of a human father. Justin sees a reference to this 
in the oW of Daniel, the force of which he brings out by <f)aiv6/j.vov. But 
he proceeds at once to guard against any misapplication of this word by 
adding nal yevopevov. No one could imagine a tendency to Docetism in 
Justin, on the ground of a single sentence such as this, except by ignoring 
his emphatic declarations in other places (see above, p. 95, for some 
references). I have passed over two or three of Dr Abbott's points in 
which I should allow that Justin was not fully in harmony with St John. 
I should apply to these the remarks made on p. 83 f. 



ADDITIONAL NOTE III. TO CHAP. III. 

PARALLELISMS BETWEEN THE GOSPEL OF PETER AND 
OTHER CHRISTIAN WRITINGS, WHICH MAY BE TRACED 
TO THE USE IN COMMON OF A SUPPOSED REPORT BY, 
OR OFFICIAL RECORD MADE FOR, PILATE. 

I will here gather together in a note the parallelisms in "Peter" with 
the points in Justin and Tertullian which were, according to the state- 
ments of these writers themselves, or which would seem probably to have 
been, taken from a Pilate-record, as also those with "the Letter," and 



Report by, or Record made for, Pilate 1 33 

with the fourth century, or later, Acts. In this note "the Letter" and 
A. P. have the meanings already explained, pp. 1 10 and 113, n. 

(a) "Peter" has with Justin, Tertullian, "the Letter," and A. P. 
the crucifixion of Jesus by the Jews. " Peter," chh. 3 and 4 ; Justin, Apol. 
I. 35 ; A. P. Lat. ch. 10, Gk B chh. 9 and 10. 

(b) As in Justin, the Jews drag Jesus to a seat of judgment, place 
Him thereon, and bid Him judge them. "Peter," ch. 3 ; Justin, Apol. 
I- 35- 

(c) As in Tertullian and A. P., supported by Cyril, and to some 
extent by Justin, the hiding of the disciples. " Peter," ch. 7 ; A. P. Gk A 
and Lat. ch. 12; Cyril, Cat. I. xiii. 25; Justin, Apol. I. 50, etc. 

(d) Possibly, also, as in Tertullian and A. P., the change of attitude 
in regard to the darkness after it was past. " Peter," ch. 6 ; A. P. Gk A 
and B and Lat. ch. II. 

(e) As in Justin and Tertullian the drawing of the nails. "Peter," 
ch. 6; Justin, Apol. \. 35, compared with Dial. 108. Cp. also Cyril, 
ib. 28, and title of A. P. in Paris Nat. 1021 (tls rffv diroKadf)\(i><Tiv avrov). 

(/) Probably the use of the phrase \axpbv /3dXXeu/ is also due to 
the Pilate-document. " Peter," ch. 4; Justin, Apol. I. 35, compared with 
Dial. 97 ; Cyril, Cat. xiii. 26. 

(g) As in "the Letter" and A. P. Roman soldiers are granted by 
Pilate for the express purpose of watching the grave. " Peter," ch. 8 (a 
centurion is sent as well as soldiers); A. P. Gk A, ch. 13, Gk. B, ch. 12, 
Lat. ch. 13. In "the Letter," and A. P. Gk A and Lat., it is simply 
"soldiers"; in Gk B "500 soldiers." 

(h) As in A. P., Pilate protests his innocence twice. For the second 
time see " Peter," ch. 10; A. P. Gk A and Lat. ch. 12. 

(/) There are also one or two lesser coincidences with A. P.: the 
prominence of Joseph of Arimathaea in both writings, the mention in 
A. P. Gk A and Lat. ch. 16 of a "Rabbi Levi" who repeats Rabbi Simeon's 
testimony that he had seen Jesus after He rose, and the mention of " Levi 
the son of Alphaeus " in company with Simon Peter and Andrew just 
where our fragment of Peter breaks off. 

(/) As in A. P., Gk B and Lat. 17 ff., the Descent into Hades, 
"Peter," ch. 9. 



134 The Apocryphal matter in Justin 



ADDITIONAL NOTE IV. TO CHAP. III. 

THE APOCRYPHAL MATTER IN JUSTIN. 

The reader may obtain a better notion of the proportion of the 
apocryphal to the whole of the Gospel matter in Justin from the Con- 
spectus in Dr Sanday's Gospels in the Second Century, pp. 91-8, than 
anywhere else. But that work is unfortunately out of print. Semisch, 
Apost. Denkwiirdigkeiten d. M. Justinus, may also be consulted ; or 
Justin's "Gospel Notices and Citations," as put together in Hilgenfeld's 
Evangelien Justin's, pp. 100 127. I have used this last collection 
more particularly in making the following table. 

It is not easy to draw a line with precision between variations which 
may confidently be regarded as due to the paraphrasing of our Gospels 
and those which should be taken as signs of the use of another work. 
So far as I can trust my own judgment, I have erred rather on the side 
of inclusion than of exclusion, with the intention of securing the con- 
sideration of all passages that really require it. 

1. Several references (ApoL I. 32, Dial. 23, 43, 100) to the genealogical 
descent of the Virgin Mary, mentioning not only David, but Abraham, 
Jacob, Judah, Jesse, as her ancestors, as though he had before him a 
genealogy of Mary, like that of Joseph in our first and third Gospels. 
It is, however, possible that he mistook the genealogy in one of these 
Gospels for a genealogy of Mary as many readers of the Gospels in later 
times have done, in spite of the express words of both Evangelists. 

2. ApoL I. 33. The words of the Annunciation as given by him are 
expanded through the addition of the words "for he shall save his 
people from their sins," spoken by the Angel to Joseph, according to 
Mt. i. 21. There are one or two other slight differences in order from 
Lu. i. 31 35. "It is lawful," he adds, "to think of the Spirit and the 
power from God (which overshadowed the Virgin) only as the Word." 
Cp. Protev. Jacobi, u. 

3. Dial. 100. The Virgin, "having received faith and joy," irioriv fie 
Km x<*pav Xa#oi)0-a, replied, etc. Cp. Protev. Jacobi, 12. 

4. Dial. 78. Christ born in a cave. In ch. 70 Justin quotes Isa. 
xxxiii. 1319, including the words, "he shall dwell in a lofty cave of a 
strong rock," but he does not directly apply these words in the course of 
his argument. Cp. Protev. Jacobi, 18; Evang. Infantiae, 2. Origen, 
contra Cels. i. 51, says that the cave was shewn in his day. 



The Apocryphal matter in Justin 135 

5. The Magi "from Arabia"; so he writes habitually. Dial. 77 and 
78 (3 times). 88, 102, 103, 106. In Dial. 77, in immediate connexion with 
the gifts of Magi "from Arabia," he quotes Isa. viii. 4, in the form, 
" Before the child knows how to call 'father' or 'mother,' he shall receive 
the strength of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria in the presence of 
the king of the Assyrians." Earlier, however, in the treatise (ch. 34) he 
quotes Ps. Ixxii. (LXX. Ixxi.) in extenso, and refers to it repeatedly. 

6. Dial. 88. While working as a carpenter Jesus made "ploughs 
and yokes." Cp. Evang. Thomae, 1 1 ; Evang. Infantiae 38. 

7. Dial. 49, 51, 88. The same word, "sitting (Ka0eo^fi/o?)," is three 
times used of John the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan. The posture 
of "sitting" may, however, have seemed to Justin so natural for a 
teacher that he would, of his own mind, introduce it without scruple into 
his description in order to impart vividness to the picture of the scene. 

8. Dial. 88. A fire was kindled on the Jordan when Jesus went 
down to the water. Cp. Praedicatio Fault ap. Pseudo-Cyprian, De Bap- 
tismo Haeret., Cum baptizaretur^ ignem super aquam esse visumj and 
Evang. Ebionitarum ap. Epiphan. Panar. XXX. 13, o>s avfjXdtv arro 
TOV t8fiToy, r]voiyrj(rav 01 ovpavoi...Kal cvdvs TreptfXa/iX/x'f TOI' TOTTOV (frws 
/itya. 

9. Dial. 88 and 103. The Voice from heaven at Christ's baptism is 
given in the form of Ps. ii. 7, " Thou art my son, I this day have 
begotten thee." This is the reading of Cod. Bezae at Lu. iii. 22. It 
seems to have been more or less widely spread in the West: for 
evidence see Tischendorf's Gk Test. ib. 

10. Ap. I. 6l. 'A.vayvvacr6ai is used in place of yfvva&dai avwdev in 
quotation of our Lord's words regarding the new birth of baptism. Cp. 
Clem. Horn. vii. 8 ; xi. 26. This, again, is probably nothing more than 
an equivalent phrase which was introduced into some texts. 

11. Dial. 47. " Our Saviour Jesus Christ said * In whatsoever (sur- 
roundings) I find you, in these will I judge you' ": eV of? av vpas <ara- 
Xd/3o> fv TOVTOIS (cat <piva>. Cp. Clem. Alex. De Div. Serv. 40. 

12. Dial. 76. Addition of <r.<o\orrv8pcov to the 'serpents and scor- 
pions' of saying contained in Lu. x. 19. 

13. Apol. I. 32. The foal for which Jesus sent His disciples, that 
He might ride into Jerusalem, was found "bound to a vine." He quotes 
Gen. xlix. ii. 

14. Dial. 1 1 6. Jesus "promised to clothe us with garments prepared 
for us, if we would keep his commandments, and to provide for us an 
eternal kingdom." 



The Apocryphal matter in Justin 

15. Dial. 35. In a prophecy of the coming tribulation "schisms and 
heresies" are foretold. Cp. I Cor. xi. 19, Stl pcv KOI alpeo-fis fi> vp.l 
But see no. 16. 



1 6. Ib. "False apostles (^uSaTrdaroXoi)" joined to 
For word \^fv8a7rooroXoi cp. 2 Cor. xi. 13. See, however, Tert. De Praescr. 
Haer. 4, and Hegesippus, ap. Eus. H. E. IV. xxii. 5. At Dial. 82 Justin 
has \lffv8orr po(f>t)Tai KOI ^fvSoxpto-roi like Mt. xxiv. 24. 

17. Dial. 51. Christ foretold "that he must suffer many things 
from the Scribes and Pharisees, and be crucified and rise the third day, 
and that he would appear again in Jerusalem and would then again 
drink and eat with his disciples, and that in the time intervening before 
his appearing there would come priests and false prophets in his 
name." 

In view of Justin's Millenarianism (Dial. 80, 81), and that of other 
eminent Christians of the second century, it is most natural to connect 
this language, where it goes beyond the Gospels, with the same circle of 
traditions as that from which Irenaeus drew, Adv. Haer. V. xxxiii. 3. 

1 8. Apol. I. 35, 48; Dial. 69; cp. also Apol. I. 30. They speak 
against Him, charging Him with sorcery on account of His miracles 
(probably when brought before Pilate). Cp. Ten. Apol. 21 ; A. P. Gk A, 
ch. i, etc. 

19. Apol. I. 35. The Jews as soon as He is condemned mock Him, 
dragging Him to and placing Him upon the Judgment-seat and bidding 
Him judge them; they (it would seem) carry out the sentence of execu- 
tion. Cp. Peter, chh. 3 and 4 ; and for the active participation of the 
Jews, cp. Tertullian, and "the Letter," and A. P. : see above, p. 133 (a). 

20. Apol. I. 35 ; Dial. 97. His hands and His feet are pierced with 
nails, in accordance with Ps. xxii. (xxi.) 16 ; and He is unnailed (Dial. 
108). Cp. Tertullian, Gospel of Peter, etc. See above, p. 133 (<?). 

21. Dial. 97. The word Xa^/xov is used in connexion with the casting 
of lots for Christ's garments. See above, p. 133 (/). 

22. Apol. I. 38. The taunt of the Pharisees when Jesus is hanging 
on the Cross is given in the form, "let him that raised the dead deliver 
himself." In another passage Justin has, " He called himself the Son of 
God, let him come down and walk about (*cara/3ar 7rf/n7rariYa>) ; let God 
save him"; Dial. 101. But the differences from the Gospels here may 
be due simply to paraphrasing. 

23. Apol. I. 50. "After he was crucified all his acquaintance de- 
parted from him and denied him"; or, Dial. 53, "His disciples were 
scattered." See above, p. 133 (c). 

24. Dial. 1 08. The Jews appointed and sent chosen men into all the 
world to proclaim that the disciples of Jesus had stolen His body from 
the tomb and then declared that He had risen from the dead. 




CHAPTER IV. 

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE APPEARANCE OF THE 
WRITINGS OF JUSTIN MARTYR AND OF THE TREATISE 
AGAINST HERESIES OF IRENAEUS. 

THE period considered in this chapter will be roughly 
speaking that between A.D. 150 and 185. The writings and 
fragments which we must here review, in order to gather from 
them any items of information that we can in regard to our 
special subject of enquiry, may with probability, and in most 
cases with certainty, be regarded as the literary remains of 
these years. 

In Justin Martyr we have had a witness for the faith and 
practice of the Church of Rome. He professes so distinctly 
and repeatedly to describe the beliefs, laws of conduct, and 
customs of Christians generally, that we may regard his own 
position in respect to the Gospels as illustrative of the faith 
and practice of those Christians among whom he was living 
at the time when he wrote. 

From Rome, then, we will now turn to the province of 
Asia, in the capital of which Justin had himself stayed at an 
earlier time of his life. In Asia and the surrounding districts 
Christianity took hold and spread in the Apostolic Age itself 
and the times immediately following, in a manner unequalled 
anywhere else. But for a considerable period there would 
seem to have been in this portion of the Church scarcely any 
literary activity. We hear, indeed, of Polycarp's letters to 
neighbouring Churches and to individual brethren 1 , though 
one only, the short one to the Philippians, seems to have 

1 Irenaeus ap. Eus. H. E. v. xx. 8. 



138 Literary products of the Church of Asia 

survived beyond the end of the second century. But besides 
compositions of this very simple kind, we know only of one 
Christian writing produced in this region before the middle of 
the second century, or, indeed, for some years after that date > 
viz. the Expositions of Dominical Oracles by Papias. The 
reason for this fact is to be found in part, no doubt, in the 
absence of individuals of decided literary bent and sufficient 
education ; but in part, also, it may be due to the happy cir- 
cumstances of the Church in this region. Some pressing need 
appears generally to have been required at first to call forth 
literary effort among the early Christians, as it certainly in the 
main directed it. Thus, for example, Quadratus and Aristides 
addressed " apologies " to the reigning emperor, to deprecate 
persecution ; Agrippa Castor wrote a treatise to combat a 
Gnostic system, that of Basilides ; Justin Martyr produced 
works of both kinds. But although the Church in the province 
of Asia was not left undisturbed by novel doctrines, none of 
the great Gnostic teachers arose here, or chose any of its 
cities as a place for promulgating his views. Here, too, for a 
long time persecution seems to have been to a considerable 
extent, though not wholly, restrained by authority 1 . The 
first literary relic from this portion of the Church, which we 
come to in the period now under review, is the touching letter 
of the Smyrnaeans regarding the martyrdom of Polycarp > 
during an outbreak of popular hostility to the Christians, circ. 
AD. 155 *. A few years later Asia had among her bishops 
two writers of considerable eminence, Melito, bishop of Sardis, 
and Claudius Apollinaris, bishop of Hierapolis. They, too, 
both wrote " apologies," as well as treatises dealing with the 
doctrinal questions of their day. 

The fragments of Melito and Apollinaris. 

The " apologies " of Melito and Apollinaris were addressed 
to M. Aurelius after the death of his brother L. Verus, and 
probably before his son Commodus was associated with him 

1 See especially the language of Melito, ap. Eus. H. . IV. xxvi. 5. 

2 On the signs of acquaintance with the Gospels in this Letter see Lightfoot, 
Essays on Slip. Rel. pp. 220 2*3. 



\ents of Melito 139 

in the government, that is to say, at some time between 169 
and 1 76-7 1 . Nor can Melito have lived long after the latter 
of these years ; for Polycrates, writing in A.I). 190, speaks of 
him as one of the former worthies of the Church of Asia 2 . 
An extract in Eusebius, from one other work by Melito on 
the Passover, mentions the proconsulship of Servilius Paulus 
as the time of its composition. Servilius must be a mistake 
for Sergius. The proconsulship of Sergius Paulus may, it 
would seem, have fallen either in the year 166-7, or m a vear 
preceding i62 3 . Apollinaris is not named by Polycrates 4 ; 
but Serapion, who was bishop of Antioch circ. A.D. 190 211, 
mentions him with reverence as a former bishop of Hierapolis 5 . 
The fragments of Melito preserved by Eusebius (H. E. IV. 
xxvi.) are not of a kind in which references to the Gospels, 
or parallels of thought and expression with them, could be 
expected. In the last of them, however, which is taken from 
the introduction to his Excerpts from the Prophets and which 
contains a list of the books of the OH Testament about the 
true Canon of which Melito had been at great pains to satisfy 
himself, there occur the noteworthy phrases, " the old books," 

1 Eus. H. E. IV. xxvi. i, and xxvii. ; on which compare Lightfoot, Essays on Sup. 
Rel. p. 223; Harnack, Chron. I. p. 358; Salmon, Diet, of Christ. Bio. in. 894 b. 

In the third of Eusebius's extracts from Melito's Apology (ib. xxvi. 7), the 
words /J.CTO. roO 7rai56s may conceivably imply that Commodus had been made joint 
emperor. This is pointed out by Salmon, who is inclined to place the two apolo- 
gies about A.D. 177, when severe persecution seems to have been beginning to 
break out in many quarters. On the other hand Lightfoot assigns A.D. 170 as the 
date for that of Melito in accordance with "ancient authorities." Lightfoot 
understands Eusebius to assert that Melito's Apology was his latest work ; but tirl 
Traffi need not necessarily mean this, and it may also be doubted whether Eusebius 
had the means of determining the date of all Melito's treatises. 

2 Eus. H. E. v. xxiv. 5. 

3 So Harnack, ib. p. 359 f., following Schmid, who corrects Waddington. The 
last-named gave 164-6 as the probable date of Sergius Paulus's proconsulship. 

4 On this see below, p. 185. 

5 Ap. Eus. H. E. v. xix. ^. There does not appear to be any good reason to 
doubt that the place was Hierapolis on the Lycus. Dr Selwyn (Christian Pro- 
phets, p. 32 f.) maintains that it was Hieropolis on the Glaucus; but this is part of 
his theory that Apollinaris was the writer against Montanism quoted by Eusebius, 
H. E. v. xvi. xvii. He does not seem to me to be successful in his attempt to 
prove this, and if not, all reason for regarding Apollinaris as Bishop of Hieropolis 
(sometimes called Hierapolis) on the Glaucus, rather than of Hierapolis on the 
Lycus, disappears. 



140 The fragments of Melito 

"the books of the Old Covenant," which he could hardly have 
used if the idea of " new books," " books of the New Covenant," 
had not been also present to his mind by way of contrast. 
But we cannot of course say what books in his view formed 
this collection of new Scriptures, or whether he would have 
been prepared precisely to fix its limits. 

But other fragments besides these have come down to us 
under the name of Melito, the genuineness of some of which 
there seems to be no good reason to doubt. In one of these, 
derived from Anastasius of Sinai 1 , allusion is made to the 
period of 30 years spent by Christ in retirement, which is 
spoken of by St Luke alone, and of the three years' duration 
of His Ministry, which is to be learned only from St John. 
Again, in another fragment 2 , treating like that just referred 
to of the Incarnation of the Divine Word, a brief sketch of 
His earthly life and His passion is given, which corresponds 
exactly with that in our Gospels. Once more, in an inter- 
pretation of Isaac's sacrifice, he tells us that the ram is the 
type of the Lord who was the Lamb 3 , by which name we are 
reminded of the Fourth Gospel, though it need not have been 
taken thence. On the other hand, in one short quotation from 
Melito given by Anastasius, the actual execution of the death- 
sentence upon Christ appears to be attributed, in disregard 
of the narratives of our Gospels, directly to the Jews, as it is 
in other instances which have come before us 4 . 

1 Otto, Corp. Apol. IX. p. 415. Routh, Reliquiae, I. p. 121. Harnack speaks 
decidedly on the side of its genuineness in his Gesch. (i. i, p. 250), and somewhat 
more ambiguously, but on the whole to the same effect, in Chron. I. p. 518. See 
also Light foot, Essays on Sup. Kel. p. 230 f. 

- One of those discovered in recent times in Syriac. See Cureton, Spicil. Syr. 
p. 53 f. and Pitra, Spicil. Solesm. II. p. lix. f. Also Otto, ib. p. 420. For its 
genuineness see Harnack, Gesch. p. 251 f. and Chron. ib., though in the latter he 
adds "full certainty is not attainable"; Lightfoot, ib. pp. 232-7. See also Westcott, 
Canon, p. 229 f., on the exalted feeling and glowing language of this passage. 

3 Otto, ib. Routh, ib. p. 123. The fragment is the third of those from the 
Catena of Nicephorus. For its genuineness see Harnack, Gesch. \. i, p. 249. 

4 Otto, ib. Routh, ib. p. 122. For genuineness see Harnack, Gesch. I. i, pp. 
249-50, Chron. I. p. 518. The words are, 6 06$ irfrrovOtv viro 5eifij 'IffpayXl- 
ndos. I have spoken above of what appears to be the meaning. In view of the 
other examples alluded to (see pp. 98 n. 3, io8f., 116), that given above must be 
considered highly probable, though we ought not to feel too confident, as we have 
not the context. 



The fragments of Apollinaris 141 

We pass to Claudius Apollinaris. The Paschal Chronicle 
quotes two short passages from a work of his on The 
Passover, which is not elsewhere named 1 . In the former of 
these he speaks of some "who say that 'the Lord ate the lamb 
on the fourteenth with his disciples, and himself suffered 
on the Great Day of Unleavened Bread, and argued that 
Matthew's language agrees with their view of the matter; so 
that their view is not in harmony with the Law, and the 
Gospels seem according to them to be in conflict." We shall 
have to consider the fragment from which these words are 
taken, and also the other one attributed in the same context 
to Apollinaris, somewhat carefully hereafter in connexion 
with the subject of Quartodecimanism. But it is obvious 
that, if the extract is genuine, Apollinaris acknowledged the 
authority both of St Matthew and St John, and that to 
suppose a real disagreement between the two appeared to 
him to be out of the question. 

There may be somewhat more reason for feeling uncertain 
about the genuineness of these fragments than of those of 
Melito, noticed above 2 . For (i) in the case of Melito the 
similarities in thought and style between many fragments 
attributed to him, and coming to us from different quarters, 
can be observed 3 ; in that of Apollinaris we cannot apply this 
test. Nor can a consideration of the attitude of the writer of 
the fragments to Quartodecimanism assist us in coming to a 
decision on the question of genuineness, partly because we 
are left in some uncertainty as to what it was, partly because 
we cannot be sure what that of Apollinaris was 4 . (2) The 
silence of Eusebius and others in regard to the treatise in 
question is strange. Eusebius does not, indeed, in the 
case of either Melito or Apollinaris profess to mention any 
of their works except those with which he was personally 
acquainted. In the case, however, of those treatises of Melito 

1 See Chron, Pasch. They may also be seen in Routh, Rel. I. p. 150. The 
Paschal Chronicle was probably composed circ. A.D. 630. See Salmon, Diet, of 
Christ. Bio. I. p. 510. 

2 Harnack however thinks that they have been suspected without ground. 
Gesch. I. i, p. 245. 

3 Cp. Lightfoot, Essays on Sup. Rel. p. 233. 

4 See below, p. 185 f. 



1 4 2 Letter of the Churches of Vienne arid Lyons 

which he would seem to have passed over, there was the less 
reason for mentioning them because their themes closely 
resembled those of others which he does mention, and the 
enumeration of which gave a sufficient idea of Melito's 
theological interests. One of them may even have been 
named by him under a slightly different title. It is more 
curious that a work on such a burning question as the 
observance of Easter, in which Eusebius himself took much 
interest, should not have attracted his attention and should 
not have been known to Socrates or Photius, and yet that 
the compiler of the Paschal Chronicle should have been 
able to quote from it. But the explanation of this may be 
that the latter took the extracts from some other treatise, 
such as that of Clement of Alexandria, from which he also 
quotes ; and that Apollinaris's work itself had perished before 
Eusebius's time. 

On the whole we shall be justified in accepting these 
fragments as genuine on the authority of the Paschal 
Chronicle. 

The Letter of the Churches of Vienne and Lyons. 

The moving letter 1 written in the name of "the servants of 
Christ dwelling at Vienne and Lyons in Gaul to the brethren 
in Asia and Phrygia who have the same faith in and hope of 
redemption as we have/' may most suitably be noticed here. 
It must have been received in Asia not long at furthest not 
more than a few years after the threatenings of persecution 
there had called forth the apologies of Melito and Apollinaris 2 . 
This letter, though it does not cite any book of the New (or 
the Old) Testament by name, contains clear allusions to and 
quotations from the Gospels according to St Luke and 
St John, as well as the Acts and the Apocalypse 3 , also not 

1 Ap. Eus. H.E. v. i. and ii. 

2 A.D. 177 may be given as the date of the letter, as it usually is. It has been 
conjectured that Irenaeus may have been the actual writer. 

8 Eus. H.E. v. i. 6 (Ro. viii. 18); ib. 9 (Lu. i. 6); ib. 10 (Apoc. xiv. 4 ); ib. 15 
(Jn xvi. 2); ib. 11 (Jn vii. 38); ib. 48 (Jn xvii. 12, or 2 Thess. ii. 3) ; ib. 58 (Apoc. 
xxii. 1 1 ; as Westcott points out in his Canon, p. 346 n., this quotation is introduced 
by the formula Iva i) ypaffi irXypwOrj) ; ib. ii. 2 (Phil. ii. 6); ib. 3 (Apoc. i. 5, and 
Acts iii. 15); ib. 5 (i Pet. v. 6, Acts vii. 59, 60) ; and perhaps others. 



The fragments of Dionysius of Corinth 143 

a few expressions manifestly drawn from these and other 
New Testament Scriptures. And the exceedingly natural 
manner in which all these are introduced suggests that the 
writings used had become thoroughly familiar to the author 
and to those whose penman he was, and might be expected 
to be so to the persons addressed. 



Fragments of Dionysius of Corinth. 

Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, was the contemporary of 
Melito and Apollinaris 1 , and was another of the men of chief 
mark in the Church at this time. The few extracts from his 
letters which Eusebius has given us contain several points 
of great interest, but it is the last of the fragments only 
which can engage our attention here. These are his words: 

" For when brethren requested me to write letters, I wrote. And the 
emissaries of the devil have filled these with tares, expunging some things, 
and adding others; for whom 'the Woe' is appointed. It is not strange 
forsooth that certain have seized upon the Dominical Scriptures to deal 
dishonestly with them, since they have even plotted against those which 
are not such 2 ." 

Besides containing an obvious allusion to the parable of 
the tares in Mt. xiii. 24 f., and to the concluding words of the 
Apocalypse (xxii. 18, 19), this passage throws a gleam of light 
upon the dangers of the time, revealing the fact that the 
guardianship in their integrity and purity of the Scriptures of 
the New Covenant had already become, and was recognised 
as being, a serious duty for the Church. When considering 
more fully the effect of the conflict with Gnosticism upon the 
formation of the Canon of the Gospels, we shall recur to this 
language of Dionysius. For the present we will content our- 
selves with commenting upon some of his expressions. He 
refers to two ways in which his own letters were tampered 

1 He exchanged letters with Soter (Eus. H. E. IV. xxiii. pf.), bishop of Rome 
(166 174); like Melito he had died before A.D. IQO, for when Victor became 
bishop of Rome there was already another bishop at Corinth (Eus. //. E. v. xxii.). 
Jerome, De Vir. Illustr. ch. 27, writes of him, "Claruit sub impp. M. Antonino 
Vero, et L. Aurelio Commodo." 

2 Ap. Eus. H. E. IV. xxiii. 12. 



144 Theophihis ad Autolycum 

with. He does not say that both were practised in regard to 
" the Dominical Scriptures," but it is natural to suppose that 
he means this. There can be no doubt that on the one hand 
he has the Marcionites in mind, against whom, as Eusebius 
tells us earlier in the chapter, Dionysius himself wrote, and 
who (as is well known) mutilated St Luke and certain of 
St Paul's Epistles, the only New Testament writings which 
they accepted. On the other hand we know that Apocryphal 
Gospels with Gnostic leanings were put forth; and probably 
apocryphal passages were inserted in the writings which the 
Church accepted as Apostolical, or interpretations were so 
mingled with the text as to deceive the unwary. 

Finally, we will dwell for a moment on the remarkable 
phrase " Dominical Scriptures." There can be no reason to 
suppose that Dionysius is thinking only of the Gospels. He 
employs the term, we may believe, because he regarded 
Christ as the one supreme authority and source of truth in the 
New Covenant, which we shall find Hegesippus also implying 
in the expression "the Law, the Prophets, and the Lord 1 ." 



Theophilus ad Autolycum. 

We now turn our eyes eastward to the great see of Antioch, 
occupied circ. A.D. 180 by Theophilus, though for how many 
years before we cannot say. His three books, Ad Autolycum, 
have come down to us, the last of which at least was composed 
under Commodus 2 . These books, though they have for their 
aim the justification of the faith of Christians, differ from other 
Apologies in being addressed not to the Roman emperor, or 
emperors, but to a private person. Theophilus dwells at 
length on the doctrine of Divine Creation through the Word, 
and declares that " the Holy Scriptures and all the inspired 
men " so teach, and proceeds to cite " one of them, John," and 
to give the first and third verses of the Prologue to his 

1 Eus. H. E. IV. xxii. 3. 

2 See the allusion to Chryseros, "the freed man of M. Aurelius Verus," who 
brought down a chronicle which he wrote to the death of that emperor. Ad AutoL 
ill. 27. 



Theophilus ad Autolycum 145 

Gospel, though he omits verse two 1 . Again, he says that 
"concerning righteousness, of which the Law spoke, the 
utterances of the prophets, also, and the Gospels are found 
to agree, because all the inspired men spoke by one spirit of 
God 2 ." Again, he introduces precepts concerning chastity 
contained in St Matthew as "the evangelic voice 3 ." Once 
more, he refers to a passage in St Paul's Epistle to Timothy 
as "the Divine word 4 ." These expressions shew clearly that 
the Apostolic writings were held by him to be as truly inspired 
as those of the Old Testament 5 . Yet he makes no allusions to, 
or quotations from, the former in addition to those which have 
been mentioned, though he has some not very extensive 
parallels with them 6 . On the other hand he quotes largely 
from the ancient Scriptures, especially the Book of Genesis, 
the Prophets, and Psalms, and from Classical writers, and 
gives one long passage from "the Sibyl 7 ." He was doubtless 
influenced by considering what would make most impression 
upon his readers. 



The Works of Tatian. 

We have spoken of the remains of four writers who were 
also eminent bishops ; we now turn to the works of a man 
who did not hold any representative position, but which have 
nevertheless an interest and importance of their own. Tatian, 
the Syrian, can hardly have been less than thirty years of age 
at the time of his conversion to Christianity, considering what 

1 Ad Autol. u. 11. 

2 Ib. in. 12. 

3 Ib. 13 (Mt. v. 28, 32). He does not, however, give them quite accurately, 
but with slight changes, partly, it would seem, intended to be explanatory. 

4 Ib. ch. 14 (i Tim. ii. 2). 

5 Cp. ib. ch. 29. TCJJ/ otiv xpbvw xal rCov dprnj.tvwv airavTUv ffvvr)0 pour fj.fr tv, 
bpav <TTIV TTJV dpxai6rTr)Ta T&V ?T po(f>-qTiK(Jov ypafj.fj.aTuv Kal TT)v deibrrfTa TOV irap' r}fj.iv 
\&yov, OTL ov 7rp6ff(paros 6 \6yos. 

6 In u. 13 there is a parallel with Lu. xviii. 27; the rule of conduct in II. 34 is 
probably taken from a common form of teaching rather than from Mt. vii. 12. For 
others see Westcott's Canon, p. 232, n. 5. Tit. iii. 5, 6 and Heb. vi. 7, both in Ad 
Autol. u. 1 6, may be added. 

7 Ib. u. 36. 

S. G. 10 



146 Chronology of Tatiaris life and works 

he had seen and done before it 1 ; and this event must at the 
latest have taken place not long after A.D. 150. Irenaeus' 
language clearly suggests that Tatian was for some little time 
under Justin's influence 2 , first as a hearer, and then while 
himself engaged in the same work of expounding the 
Christian Faith and arguing on its behalf. Tatian, also, in 
his Address to the Greeks, alludes to the conflict between 
Crescens, the Cynic philosopher, and Justin in a manner 
which seems to shew that he was familiar with all the circum- 
stances and was himself mixed up in the affair 3 . But Justin's 
own Second Apology, which is attributed with good reason to 
circ. A.D. 1 5<D 4 , was written at the time of, or soon after, this 
episode. We know, further, that Tatian taught in Rome 
subsequently to Justin's death. Rhodon, in a treatise from 
which Eusebius gives us several extracts, stated that he had 
attended upon Tatian's instructions in that city 5 . It is evident 
that Rhodon said nothing as to having heard Justin. He 
also mentioned a " book of problems by Tatian through which 
he (Tatian) undertook to shew the ambiguity and obscurity of 
the Divine Scriptures." At the time when Tatian dwelt thus 
on Old Testament difficulties he must have been tending 
towards a heretical position ; whereas according to Irenaeus 
he was kept from falling into error so long as Justin was alive. 
The work of Tatian in question may not have come to Rhodon's 
hands till after his own connexion with the author had ceased ; 
for Rhodon's position was quite orthodox, and he promised 
to furnish solutions of Tatian's " problems." It seems that 
Tatian was recognised as a heretic, and also returned to the 
East, circ. A.D. I/2 6 , and there exercised considerable influence. 
His death probably occurred not long after A.D. 180. For 
Irenaeus, writing not many years after this, uses language of 
him from which we may reasonably infer that he was no 

1 See his Address, chh. 35 and 42. 
3 Adv. Haer. I. xxviii. 

3 Ch. 19. This would hold even if the words, Ka.Qa.irep Kol ^, omitted in 
Eusebius' quotation of the passage, were not part of the true text. Cp. on the 
differences of text p. 147 n. 3 below. 

4 See above, p. 76. 

5 A p. Eus. //. E. v. xiii. i, 8. 

6 See Zahn, Forsch. I. pp. 282-4, and Harnack, Chron. I. p. 288. 



Chronology of Tatiaris life and works 147 

longer living 1 . Again, his writings are mentioned among 
others in proof of the fact that " before the time of Victor," 
i.e. before A.D. 190, "Christ was reckoned Divine," in a reply 
to the contrary allegations of the Artemonites at the be- 
ginning of the third century 2 . 

Tatian's Address to the Greeks, the one work of his which 
has certainly come down to us in its original shape, must 
have been composed some little time probably at least a 
few years after Justin's Second Apology. This is plain from 
the different manner in which Justin and Tatian refer to 
Crescens. The former writes of him as one who was even 
then plotting his destruction, the latter as a figure of the past. 
Crescens must either have died, or left Rome, in the interval 3 . 
We may, therefore, take A.D. 155 as approximately the earliest 
date at which Tatian's Address could have been written. It 

1 Adv. Haer. I. xxviii. ; and III. xxiii. 7. Jerome, De Vir. Illustr. ch. 29, writes, 
''Et hie (i.e. as well as Dionysius and Pinytus) sub imperatore M. Antonino Vero 
et L. Aurelio Commodo floruit." Tatian's work, however, must have been nearly 
done when Commodus became sole emperor. 

2 Ap. Eus. H. E. v. xxviii. 4. 

3 See Justin, Apol. II. ch. 3, and Tatian, Ad Graec. ch. 19: Kphr/ojs ovv, etc. 
A good part of both passages is quoted by Euseb. H. E. IV. xvi. There are 
differences between the text of the Address printed from the one extant MS. and 
the quotation in Eusebius' History, which have been the subject of a good deal of 
discussion. Zahn (Forsch. I. p. 275 ff.) and Harnack (Texte. u. Untersuch. I. p. 
142, and more moderately in Chron. I. p. 285 n.) have maintained the superiority 
of the former, Hilgenfeld (Zeitschr. f. Wiss. Theol. vol. 26, p. 39 f.) and Funk 
(Kirchengeschichtl. Abhandhmgen, n. p. 143) on the whole of the latter. The 
means do not really exist for settling the question, and it is also immaterial which 
is adopted, so far as the determination of the date of the treatise is concerned. It 
does not follow from the text of the MS., as Zahn and Harnack think, that Tatian's 
Address must have been written about the same time as Justin's Second Apology. 
On the contrary, they have overlooked the contrast between the language of the 
two in regard to the Crescens incident. It is important, however, to make two little 
changes in the MS. text of the sentence which follows the words quoted by Eusebius. 
As they stand there rivas 5 civ KO.I 5iu)cu T&V 0tXocr60wj' el /UTJ /j.6vovs i/u.as eiuffev; 
Justin would be the subject of the verb. But, as Hilgenfeld has pointed out, 
Justin did not "persecute" anybody; Tatian would not have used this word for 
his denunciation of the Cynic philosophers ; nor again was Tatian addressing these 
philosophers, but Greeks in general, to whom y/tas would have to be referred- It is 
therefore evident that v[j.as has been substituted for i)fj,as a common textual error. 
Crescens is the subject and 7/,u,as refers to Justin and himself, or to himself and his 
fellow- Christians. A further slight consequential change must be made, viz., that 
of eiwtfet for etuQev, in order that the tense here may agree with the tenses used of 
Crescens in the preceding sentences. Cp. Funk, I.e. pp. 145-6. 

10 2 



148 Chronology of Tatian s life and works 

is more difficult to fix upon a terminus ante quern. Some, 
e.g. Harnack, have held that Tatian must, when speaking of 
Crescens' attempt to procure Justin's death, have mentioned 
the latter's eventual martyrdom, if it had already taken place. 
But this is not by any means clear ; for the purpose of Tatian 
in referring to the attack by Crescens is simply to shew the 
inconsistency of the Cynic philosopher who sought to bring 
death upon others, which he himself professed not to regard 
as an evil. Even if Justin had already at a subsequent time 
suffered death, this might have been passed over, as having 
no bearing upon the point urged. On the other hand, 
there is nothing in the Address which justifies Hilgenfeld 1 
and Funk 2 in assuming that Justin's martyrdom had taken 
place. The words, indeed, " the most admirable Justin ex- 
claimed," followed by an utterance of his 3 , would be suitable 
in this case ; but they would, also, be quite suitable if, as is 
very probable, the Address was written at a distance from 
Rome 4 , where he was not in Justin's immediate vicinity. 
There is a surer indication of date in the absence of any 
traces of the heretical views which he held in his latter 
years 5 . In point of fact, he does not appear to be conscious 
of any difference in faith between himself and the mass of 
simple believers, and he claims to speak on their behalf 6 . 
Our conclusion is that the composition of this treatise must 
be placed between A.D. 155 and 170, and that it is not 
possible to fix narrower limits 7 . 

1 L.c. p. 43. 2 L.c. P . 147 f. 3 ch. 1 8. 

4 See Harnack, Chron. I. p. 287, and references there. 

6 His use of the term "aeon" (chh. 20 and 26) has nothing Valentinian about 
it, as is alleged, for example, in Diet, of Christ. Biog. IV. p. 803 ; nor does his 
doctrine of the Fall (chh. 7, 12, 15), any more than the doctrine as usually formu- 
lated, involve the denial of the salvation of Adam ; nor does his attitude to the 
Old Testament appear to be that which he had assumed when he wrote the "Book 
of Problems " ; nor does he even say anything which savours of Encratitism, 
though we feel that the earnestness with which he insists on the effort necessary, in 
order to recover the indwelling of spirit ( = "the image of God") in our nature, 
might incline him to that doctrine. 

See ch. 33. 

7 (a) Zahn adduces the use of ^ScunXetfs twice in the singular (chh. 4 and 19) as 
evidence that only one emperor was reigning, and that therefore the date must 
have been before the double rule of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus (A.D. 161 
169). But might not one naturally be regarded as the chief? In any case, it 



Tatiaris Address to the Greeks 149 

His Address to the Greeks shews admirably how the 
subject and purpose of a work by a Christian writer might 
naturally affect the number and character of the Scriptural 
quotations in it. This discourse contains clear evidence of 
the knowledge and use of the Fourth Gospel, but none, or 
scarcely any, of acquaintance with the other Gospels 1 . More- 
over, in regard to the Fourth, it is almost exclusively the 
language and thoughts of the Prologue that we meet with 2 . 
We have besides only the words " God is a Spirit 3 ." The 
explanation is, however, obvious when we notice that apart 
from his attacks on Paganism the themes of which Tatian 
here treats are the Creation of the world and the nature of 
man. If the work concerning the Christian system, which he 
promises in the present treatise, had come down to us, we 
should in all probability have found quite a different class of 
Evangelical quotations and parallels there 4 . 

The chief interest, however, felt of late in Tatian has 
naturally been connected with his Diatessaron. Through 
a remarkable series of investigations and discoveries, the 
general character and structure of the work, as it must have 

would be natural to speak of only one in such general expressions as those of 
Tatian. 

(b) On the allusion to Proteus, see Funk, I.e. p. 148. 

(c) The fact that there is no sign of Tatian's having been influenced by Justin's 
First Apology in the composition of his own, which Harnack gives as a reason for 
the early date (circ. A.D. 152) that he assigns, really makes strongly against it. 
Harnack himself hplds that Justin's Apology had been written two or three years 
before this, and that Tatian was living in Rome and in close intercourse with Justin 
then, or soon afterwards. It is almost impossible that he should not have read the 
Apology soon after it was composed, and it would on Harnack's supposition be 
still fresh in his mind. Ten years, or more, later he might to a great extent have 
forgotten it, and if he was not in Rome, he might well have no copy by him. Evi- 
dently he was a man of independent mind, who would take his own line ; and he 
would be the more ready to do so when he had been a convert for some years. In 
this connexion his claim to originality (ch. 35 init.) should be noticed. 

1 Westcott (Canon, p. 327) points out a parallel with Mt. xiii. 44 in ch. 30. 

2 The words "the darkness comprehendeth not the light" (Jn i. 5) are 
introduced in ch. 13 as "that which hath been spoken." There are parallels with 
Jn i. i in ch. 5, and i. 3 in ch. 19. The doctrine of the Logos is also presented 
in other parts of the treatise. 

3 See ch. 4. 

4 Westcott also observes that "there is abundant evidence to prove his deep 
reverence for the writings of the Old Testament, and yet only one anonymous quo- 
tation from it occurs in his Address" Canon, p. 326. 



15 Tatiaris Diatessaron 

left Tatian's hands, have been ascertained. It is no longer 
possible to doubt that it was in the main a compilation from 
our Four Gospels, designed to give the Gospel history con- 
tained in these several records in the form of a continuous 
narrative, though some " apocryphal " matter was also intro- 
duced. In .later editions of the work some forms of expres- 
sion resembling those of the Gospels may have been made to 
conform to them more closely than they did at first. It is 
more doubtful whether the distinctly " apocryphal " element 
was originally larger than it would seem to have been 
according to the existing evidence ; for there was clearly a 
disposition in the Church for long after the second century, 
and indeed throughout the Middle Ages, to be interested in 
and to preserve points in regard to the Gospel story which 
were not found in the narratives of the Canonical Gospels. 
There is, therefore, small ground for thinking that those 
who used the Diatessaron would have ignored " apocryphal " 
additions to the Gospel narrative, or that these would have 
been omitted in versions of it. 

The Diatessaron in Syriac became, and continued to be 
for two or three centuries, the chief record of the Gospel 
history in use in the Syriac-speaking Church of Edessa and 
the regions beyond ; while early in the fifth century, Theo- 
doret, bishop of Cyrrhus, between Antioch and the Euphrates, 
found a large number of copies of it in the churches of his 
diocese, presumably in Greek. We do not hear of its having 
obtained at any time much circulation in any other district, 
although it was translated into Arabic and Latin. Most 
probably then it was put forth by Tatian after he had 
returned (about A.D. 170) to Northern Syria. His primary 
object in constructing it may very likely have been to furnish 
his fellow-countrymen with the contents of those Gospels 
which they did not yet possess in their own language 1 , and 
which he himself had learnt to value during his sojourn in the 
West. The question has been discussed whether it was first 
composed in Greek or Syriac. We may adopt the former 
alternative, without prejudice to the view that Tatian's ulti- 
mate object was to produce it in Syriac. For it would clearly 
1 See below, pp. 260 f. 



iatessaron 151 

have been easier for him to compile it first in Greek from the 
Greek Gospels, and then to translate it, than to go through 
the double process of compiling and translating at once. But 
he would seem to have acquired influence among the Greeks, 
also, in North-Western Syria, and this may have secured a 
certain amount of circulation in this district for the work in 
Greek. 

The Diatessaron> as the composition of one who had 
become a convert to Christianity and been a hearer of Justin 
in Rome about the middle of the second century, and who 
had himself lived and taught there for some time between 
A.D. 150 and 170, supplies evidence as to the position of the 
Four Gospels in that important Church at this time. It also 
illustrates that habit of combining the different Gospels, of 
which we have already seen other less considerable examples, 
and which seems to shew that the distinct value of each 
of the Gospels was as yet imperfectly appreciated. At the 
same time it must be remembered that the idiosyncrasies 
of Tatian, and perhaps, also, his nationality, render inferences 
that may be drawn from his practice, as to that of the 
Churches of Western Asia and of Europe, to some extent 
uncertain. 

The Writings of Athenagoras. 

One other apologist, Athenagoras, must be briefly noticed. 
We have no trustworthy information about him beyond that 
which is conveyed in the title and address of his Appeal on 
behalf of Christians, He is described as an Athenian and a 
philosopher, and the treatise was addressed to M. Aurelius 
and to Commodus, and must accordingly have been composed 
A.D. 177 1 80. It contains parallels with St John and with 
St Matthew and probably also with St Luke 1 . In Athe- 
nagoras' treatise On the Resurrection words are quoted from 
I Cor. xv. and 2 Cor. v. as being the Apostle's 2 , and another 

1 Suppl. pro Christ., ch. 4 fin. (Jn i. 3) ; ch. TO (Jn i. 3, x. 30, 38) ; ch. n 
(Mt. v. 44, 45; a clause is also inserted here found only in Lu. vi. 28, according to 
the best text); ch. 12 (Mt. v. 46; again there is a clause inserted which is found 
only in Lu. vi. 33); ch. 32 (Mt. v. 28); ch. 33 (Mt. xix. 9f.). 

2 ch. 1 8 fin. 



152 Doctrine of the Logos in Second Century 

reminiscence of the former of these appears a little further on ; 
but there seem to be no other parallels with New Testament 
writings. 

A noteworthy feature in the teaching of the four apologists, 
Melito, Theophilus, Tatian and Athenagoras, who have come 
before us in this chapter, as well as in that of Justin, is the 
place held by the doctrine of the Logos. They represent a 
class of Christian believers who had received and been affected 
by the higher Greek education of the age, and who felt the 
need for a religious philosophy, but had resisted the attrac- 
tions of Gnostic speculation. They found what they wanted, 
the right point of view from which to regard the relation of 
the Absolute Divine Being to the finite, material Universe, 
and to the workings of Divine Providence in human history, 
in the doctrine which in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel 
had been set forth with a force and clearness never before 
attained, and brought for the first time into connexion with 
the Person of the Christ, but for which preparation had been 
made, according to the lines of a true development, in the 
thought of Jewish theologians, who heartily believed in the 
Old Testament as a Divine revelation. This is a deeply 
interesting point in the history of Christian doctrine ; here, 
however, I refer to it only in order to note that the occupation 
of men's minds with this subject in the middle part of the 
second century must have served to bring the Fourth Gospel 
into a new prominence in the Church 1 . 

1 This will be a suitable point at which to refer to the Epistle to Diognetus, an 
Apology addressed to a private .person, an educated heathen friend, like Athe- 
nagoras' Autolycus. This little treatise, or a portion of it, may perhaps belong to 
the period included in this chapter. Lightfoot (in the Apostolic Fathers, ed. by 
Lightfoot and Harmer, pp. 487-8) holds that circ. A.D. 150 is the most probable 
date for chh. t 10, and that the two remaining chapters, which are admittedly 
later, may have been composed by Pantaenus a decade or two after the middle of 
the century. Harnack assigns chh. i 10 to "the third century or at the earliest 
the end of the second" (Chron. I. p. 515). I incline to the same opinion, and 
accordingly I refrain from making use of this work. I may state, however, that 
there are parallels with Mt. and Lu. and with the Fourth Gospel and ist Ep. of Jn, 
as well as with several Pauline Epistles, in the first ten chapters. 



Chronology of Hegesippus life 153 



Hegesippus. 

I come now to Hegesippus, who is placed by Eusebius at 
the head of the writers of this generation 1 . My chief reason 
for having deferred to speak of him till this point is that he is 
known to us only through quotations from, and statements 
about, his Memoirs, and that this work, or at least the most 
important extract from it which we possess, taken from the 
fifth and concluding book, was written not much before 
A.D. 1 80, or according to other reckonings A.D. 175. "The 
Corinthian Church," he tells us, " continued in the right 
doctrine up to the time that Primus was bishop in Corinth ; 
with them I consorted when sailing to Rome, and abode with 
the Corinthians many days, in which we were mutually 
refreshed with right doctrine. And having come to Rome I 
drew up a succession as far as to Anicetus, to whom Eleu- 
therus was deacon. And Soter succeeded Anicetus, after 
whom came Eleutherus. And in each succession and in each 
city that which is held accords with what the Law declares, 
and the Prophets, and the Lord 2 ." So then, when Hegesippus 
wrote, Eleutherus was bishop of Rome, whose accession 
according to Eusebius' History*, and Jerome's version of his 
Chronicle, took place in A.D. 177, but which may possibly 
have occurred a few years earlier*. It should be noticed, 
however, that, as this same passage shews, Hegesippus had 
long been engaged in collecting the information which he 
gives. In the words " I drew up a succession " I have 
followed the reading of the MSS. (StaSo%^ eVo lya-a^v). 
Yet this phrase is no doubt a somewhat strange one, and 
for SiaSoxJv the emendation Siarpi/Srjv has been suggested 5 . 
If this is to be adopted, Hegesippus states that " he stayed 
in Rome till Anicetus," which implies that he reached it 

1 H. E. iv. 21. 

2 Ap. Eus. H. E. iv. xxii. 2, 3. 

3 H. E. v. Prooem. i. 

4 According to the Armenian Version of the Chronicle, A.D. 173; Harnack, 
Chron. i. p. 200, arrives at A.D. 174 as the year. 

5 See Heinichen, in loc. 



154 Chronology of Hegesippus life 

before Anicetus became bishop (circ. A.D. 157, or even 
earlier 1 ). But even according to the reading above adopted, 
his stay in Rome must have preceded the accession of Soter 
(A.D. 169, or earlier 2 ). Otherwise the list of bishops of Rome, 
made by him at the time of his visit there, would not have 
ended with Anicetus, nor would he have introduced the 
remark as to the deacon of Anicetus, and appended the 
names of his successors, in the manner he does. We have 
further to allow for his journey to Rome, which included (as 
we have seen) a stay in Corinth, and (it would seem) visits to 
many other places also ; for (as we learn from Eusebius in 
the context) he stated that " during a journey to Rome he 
consorted with very many bishops and received the same 
teaching from all 3 ." It may be added that another personal 
allusion which he makes shews that in A.D. 175-80 he must 
at least have reached middle life, and may have been growing 
old. When referring to the institution of the cult of Antinous 
under the Emperor Hadrian he speaks of it as " introduced in 
our time 4 ." 

From his language in regard to his journey to Rome it is 
evident that he came from the East ; and since he seems to 
have been not only a Jewish convert but also specially familiar 
with the traditions of the Palestinian Church, and as he knew 
the Gospel according to the Hebrews , and had at least some 
acquaintance with Hebrew and Aramaic 6 , it is most probable 
that his home was in Palestine, or at least somewhere in 
Syria. 

Hegesippus held an important place in the Tubingen 
theory of the early history of the Church, as a supposed 
witness for the Judaic and Anti-Pauline character of the 
Church during a great part of the second century. It is 

1 The Armenian, A.D. 152; Harnack, ib. circ. A.D. 155. 

2 Armenian, A.D. 164; Harnack, ib. circ. A.D. 166. 

3 Eus. H. E. iv. xxii. i. 

4 Ib. IV. viii. i. Manifestly, however, when Eusebius (H. E. II. xxiii. 3) 
speaks of him as tirl TTJS TT/JWTTJS TU>V 6.iroffrb\<jiv y(i>6f*.fvos SiaSox^s, and Jerome 
(De Vir. Illuslr. 22), probably following Eusebius, as "vicinus apostolicorum 
temporum," this is to go too far. 

8 Eus. H. E. iv. xxii. 7. 



The tenor of Hegesippus testimony 155 

unnecessary at the present day to examine this view at 
length 1 . It may suffice to say, in the first place, that there 
is no good ground for attributing opinions of the kind indi- 
cated to Hegesippus, and that if he had held them he would 
not have won the unqualified approval that he does from 
Eusebius, who had the Memoirs of Hegesippus before him, 
which fully revealed, he tells us, their author's mind 2 . Further, 
it would have been impossible to understand what we know 
to have been the tone and temper of the Church in the last 
quarter of the century, if its spirit in the immediately preceding 
time was so very different. There is not the slightest trace 
of the operation of any cause which could have brought 
about a change so great and general. And Hegesippus is in 
reality an important witness that none such had taken place 8 . 

But we shall do well to consider somewhat more closely 
what we know about his Memoirs. One of the aims of this 
work, and perhaps the principal one, was to combat Gnosti- 
cism 4 . When he speaks of "right doctrine," Gnostic heresy 
was doubtless present to his mind as the opposite thereto, for 
it was the one great intellectual enemy of the Faith in the 
middle of the second century. This is made the more evident 
bv his allusion to the teaching of " the Law and the Prophets 
and the Lord." For the truly Divine character and permanent 
value of the Old Testament revelation were some of the chief 
points at issue in the controversy with Gnosticism. 

Now, on comparing the notices of Hegesippus' book with 
that of Irenaeus Against Heresies, we can discern that the 



1 Let me quote here Harnack's judgment, Chron. I. p. 312: "jedenfalls 1st 
er kein Judenchrist gewesen, sondern ein Vertreter des jungen katholischen 
Christenthums." The reader who desires to see the question more fully discussed 
may consult Weizsacker's excellent art. on Hegesippus in Herzog's Real-Encycl. 
This article, originally published in 1856, has maintained its place in Hauck's 
largely recast edition of this Encyclopaedia. 

2 H. E. iv. xxii. i. 

3 Cp. Eus. H. E. iv. viii. 2. 

4 Jerome (De Vir. Illuslr. ch. 22), who probably knew Hegesippus' Memoirs 
only from Eusebius, seems to have given currency to a wrong view of it when he 
described the work as a continuous history of the Church from the Passion of the 
Lord to his own day. Cp. Weizsacker, ib., and Westcott, Canon, p. 210. But it 
is unnecessary for us to discuss its precise character and object, which indeed 
are hard to determine for lack of information. 



156 Hegesippus Appeal to Tradition 

same line of argument was employed in the former as we 
find in the third book of the latter. That is to say, Hege- 
sippus confronts the Gnostic theories with the tradition of 
Apostolic teaching preserved in the several Churches, the 
trustworthiness of which tradition was guaranteed by their 
official heads, who had succeeded one another in an orderly 
manner and in uninterrupted lines. The fact that he should 
reason thus is most important. It is true that the completion 
of Hegesippus' work cannot, from what has been observed 
above as to its date, have preceded by many years the 
composition of that of Irenaeus ; but the method of refuting 
the Gnostics which Hegesippus adopts had commended itself 
to him a quarter of a century before, and he had long been 
engaged in enquiries connected therewith. 

We may also refer here to the statements which Eusebius 
quotes from Hegesippus with regard to the rise of the Gnostic 
sects 1 . We may trace in them the intention to shew that 
from the comparatively late time at which they sprang up, 
their doctrines could not be taken for the original teaching 
of Christianity. It will be readily perceived that this line of 
argument would be specially fitted to impress the majority 
of Christians, men and women of simple piety. It might, I 
believe, be shewn that the restraining force of tradition not 
only fixed limits to, but determined the character and directed 
the course of, the development of doctrine. And so also when 
the question of deciding definitely what writings of the New 
Covenant were to be regarded as authoritative arose, it could 
not fail to exert an influence, and I believe we shall see that 
it was the strongest one, in their selection. Whether this 
question had presented itself to the mind of Hegesippus we 
cannot say. So far as we know, Hegesippus dealt directly 
only with the question "What is the true Apostolic faith?" 
In Irenaeus himself this is up to a certain point kept 
distinct from, and has the priority over, the other question, 
"What are the genuine Apostolic writings 2 ?" Nevertheless, 
in one more item of information about Hegesippus' Memoirs 
which Eusebius gives us, we have an indication, to the same 

1 H. E. in. xxxii. 7: IV. xxii. 5. 

2 See esp. the treatment of the two questions Adv. Haer. m. chh. i. xi. 



Hegesippus and the Hebrew Gospel 157 

effect as that in the language of Dionysius of Corinth already 
considered, of the circulation of those Gnostic forgeries, which 
at the first, more than any other cause, promoted the formu- 
lation of the Church's Canon of Scripture 1 . 

The mention, however, of quotations from the Gospel accg to 
the Hebrews by Hegesippus may seem to prove the existence of 
a state of things in which there was still considerable freedom 
as to the Scriptures used. In a certain way it does so, but 
chiefly as revealing a difference between the practice of East 
and West 2 . We have, moreover, already remarked that in the 
West, too, this Gospel was not regarded as " apocryphal " in 
the sense that others were, so that its use must not be taken 
to prove laxity in other respects. 



Eminent Gnostic teachers of the second generation. 

Some distinguished followers of the founders of the two 
chief Alexandrian Gnostic schools belong to the period now 
under consideration. We have already seen in discussing a 
quotation in Hippolytus' Refutatio that, if the author there 
who makes use of the Fourth Gospel is not Basilides, he may 
very probably be " his true son and disciple Isidore." But we 
are more concerned now with two celebrated Valentinians, 

1 H. E. IV. xxii. 8. "Discussing about the books called apocryphal, he says 
that some of them were forged by certain heretics in his own time." For the 
remark of Dionysius of Corinth, see above, p. 143. 

2 It is not to be inferred that Hegesippus did not use the Canonical Gospels 
from Eusebius' statement (If. JE. IV. xxii. 7), that "he quotes some things from 
the Gospel accg to the Hebreivs." See Sanday, Gospels in the Second Centttry, p. 138 ff. 
and Westcott, Canon, pp. 212, 213. Nevertheless Eusebius plainly implies that he 
therein shewed a certain affection for this other Gospel, which was natural in one 
with his antecedents. For he adds at the end of the sentence the words which seem 
to apply to the whole of it "thereby shewing that he was a believer of Hebrew 
origin" (e/j.<f>a{vui> e^'E^paluv eavrov TreTrto-reu/c^ai). 

Eusebius says of Hegesippus, /c re rou /ca#' 'E/3paiovs evayyeXlov /cat TOV Supta/coD 
/cat iStwy e'/c TTJS 'E/3pat5os 5taX^/crou TWO, rlQ-qaw. I cannot think that Zahn is right 
(Kanon, II. p. 657 n. 3) in his remark, "Eusebius refers not to two languages, but to 
two Gospels." We nowhere else hear of a distinct form of the Gospel called the 
Syriac one. It seems to me more probable that the use by Eusebius of these 
different phrases betokens that he did not quite know how to describe the lan- 
guage of the Gospel in question. Very possibly it may have been purer Hebrew 
in some parts than in others. 



158 Ptolemaeus and Heracleon 

Ptolemaeus and Heracleon, both of whom, we may con- 
fidently say, were prominent teachers and had reached middle 
life, if they had not passed it, before A.n. iSo 1 . 

After Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. I. Praef. and i. vii.) has given a 
general account of the system of Ptolemaeus and his adherents 
the Gnostic school which was most important in his own 
day, or at least that one with which he had himself chiefly 
come in contact he proceeds (ch. viii.) to remark that they 
endeavour to support their novel doctrines by strained inter- 
pretations of the parables of Christ, or of the utterances of 
prophets, or of the words of Apostles. He gives examples, 
and among them there are unquestionable applications of St 
Matthew, St Luke and St John 2 . It is naturally more 
difficult to prove the use of St Mark ; but it may be observed 
that the first word from the Cross is quoted exactly as in 
that Gospel and not as in the parallel in St Matthew 3 . 

Many of Heracleon's comments on St John have been 
preserved for us by Origen in his own commentary on that 
Gospel. Heracleon was in all probability the first writer 
to produce a regular commentary on any book of Scripture. 
One or two comments by him on St Luke also are given 
by Clement of Alexandria 4 . We have no similar knowledge 
of his use of St Matthew and St Mark, but there is no 
reason to think that he rejected them. The statement of 
Irenaeus that the Valentinians erred by excess not by defect, 
as to the Gospels which they received should be borne in 
mind 5 . 

Dr Salmon argues that the use made of the Fourth Gospel 
by these Valentinian teachers who flourished circ. A.D. 170-80 
proves that it must have been acknowledged before the 

1 Ptolemaeus was still alive, it would seem, when Irenaeus wrote his treatise on 
Heresies ; but he was the head of a flourishing school, whose system was already 
formulated {Adv. Haer. i. praef.). Irenaeus had indeed probably become acquainted 
with it and combated it several years before in Rome. On the date of Heracleon, 
see A. E. Brooke, Texts and Studies, I. 4, pp. 33-4, and Salmon, Diet, of Christ. 
Bio. n. 900. 

2 See esp. ib. chh. viii. xx. and xxv. 

3 Ib. viii. 2. 

4 The fragments of Heracleon have been collected and edited by A. E. Brooke, 
Texts and Studies , 1.4. 

5 Adv. Haer. ill. xi. 9. 



Ptolemaeus and Heracleon 159 

Valentinians separated from the orthodox 1 . This contention, 
however, does not seem to me valid. If, subsequently to the 
formation of the Valentinian school, a document obtained in 
the Church an authority which it did not at an earlier time 
possess, there would have been nothing, in the circumstance 
of its tardily acquired position, to prevent the members of 
that school from adopting it as a sacred writing of their own. 
Gnostics generally, and Valentinians in particular, were far 
less scrupulous than the Catholic Church in regard to the 
writings which they recognised. And they would have felt 
that there was an advantage in using any which the Church 
held in reverence, provided they could put their own interpre- 
tation upon them. 

Nevertheless, the attention bestowed on the Gospel accg to 
St John by these Valentinians of the second generation is not 
unimportant. It shews strikingly that its position must have 
been a firmly established one before they began to teach as 
they did. For their conspicuous patronage of it would 
seriously have hindered its acceptance by the Church, if that 
had still been in question ; while their efforts to prove their 
own opinions by means of it are a sign of the place it held in 
general estimation 2 . 



The Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs. 

We shall now, before closing this chapter, have the interest 
of noticing the earliest Christian relic from the province of 
North Africa, a region to which the Faith had been brought 
subsequently to the Apostolic Age, but which was destined 

1 Diet, of Chr. Bio. 1 1. p. 900. 

2 For the Evangelic quotations in the Clementine Homilies, I may refer to 
Sanday, Gospels in the Second Century (1876) ch. 6, and Westcott on the Canon, 
p. 291 ff. Dr Sanday gave the middle of the second century as the time of the 
composition of this work, and before and at the time when he wrote this was the 
view of many scholars. So much obscurity, however, in reality hangs over the date 
alike of the Homilies and the Recognitions, and over other circumstances of their pro- 
duction, that it does not seem to me possible to employ them usefully in connexion 
with our present enquiry. Dr Hort was led by his investigations to assign the 
jreplodot on which both were based, to the first or second decade of the third century 
(Notes introductory to the study of the Clementine Recognitions, a Course of lectures 
delivered in 1884, P u b- 1901, pp. 86 90). 



160 The Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs 

to produce, in the course of some three centuries between the 
introduction of Christianity there and the Vandal desolation, 
three of the most remarkable and most widely influential of 
all Western Christians. Owing to a happy discovery made by 
Dr Armitage Robinson 1 in 1889, we possess the Acts of the 
Scillitan Martyrs in the original Latin. A.D. 180 is also 
seen to have been the year of the trial described, and doubtless 
the record was contemporary. We are concerned here only 
with one answer made by the spokesman of the little band of 
confessors. The proconsul asked, " What have you in your 
case ? " Speratus replied, " Books and letters of Paul, a 
righteous man 2 ." The classification u books " and " epistles of 
Paul " is at first sight perplexing. The explanation may be 
that the idea of letters and of a book are distinct. A collection 
of letters has not the character of such a continuous historical 
narrative, or treatise, as would commonly have occupied a 
single roll. St Paul's three longest letters would have filled 
one roll, the remaining ten another, each of less size than one 
which would have contained the Gospel according to St Luke, 
or the Acts of the Apostles. Even, then, if the letters of Paul 
were all inscribed in one or two rolls (libri), these might have 
been described differently owing to the special character of 
their contents. But the letters may also have been preserved 
after another fashion, namely, either tied together in bundles 
of leaves (fasciculi), or on tablets bound two or three together 
(codicilliy. 

What the libri were, with which the epistulae Pauli are 
coupled, it is, of course, impossible to say. The presump- 
tion, however, is that among them there were one or more 
Gospels ; there may also have been Scriptures of the Old 
Testament. 

Were these Scriptures in Greek or in Latin ? The latter 
is, at least, not impossible. The evidence of Tertullian's works 
a few years later is on the whole favourable to the view that, 



1 See Texts and Studies, i. 2, p. io6ff., and cp. Zahn II. p. 992 ff. 

2 "Saturninus proconsul dixit : Quae sunt res in capsa vestra? Speratus dixit: 
Libri et epistulae Pauli viri justi." 

3 Cp. Birt, Antike Buchivesen, pp. 21 and 95. 



Translation of the Scriptures into Latin 161 

when he wrote, a Latin Version of the New Testament, or of 
a considerable portion of it, already existed 1 . 

1 Zahn (Kan. I, p. 51 ff.) has maintained that there was no Latin Bible in the 
time of Tertullian (circ. A.D. 200). But the phenomena in Tertullian's writings, on 
which he relies to prove this, may well be explained by supposing simply that no 
Latin version had as yet become in any sense authorised through usage, and that, 
as Tertullian himself knew Greek, he preferred in general to make his own transla- 
tions from the original. In addition to arguments for the existence of a Latin 
Version which may be drawn from particular passages of Tertullian (for which see 
H. A. A. Kennedy in Hastings' Diet, of Bible, in. p. 55), there is the proba- 
bility that if those of his readers who knew only Latin were precluded from 
consulting the Scriptures of the Old and New Covenant for themselves, this fact 
would have appeared clearly somewhere from his language. He would have 
declared to them the meaning of the original as one giving them information, 
about that which they could not learn by themselves, or he would have appealed 
to such as did understand Greek for corroboration. 



S. G. U 



CHAPTER V. 

THE ASIATIC TRADITION IN REGARD TO THE 
APOSTLE JOHN. 

WE shall presently have to consider the evidence supplied 
by Irenaeus and other writers of the last two decades of the 
second century and later as to the position held by the Four 
Gospels in the Church at that time, and in the light of it to 
review the various indications which we have met with of 
their use in the earlier decades of the century. In that last 
portion of the century the authority of the Gospel accg to 
St John is recognised as heartily and undoubtingly as that 
of the other three. It has a place in " the Fourfold Gospel," 
and much that may be said in regard to the significance of 
this fact applies to all four alike. There are, however, certain 
special questions in regard to the history of the reception of 
the Fourth Gospel of which it will be most convenient to treat 
before we attempt to form a more general estimate. These 
are all connected more or less directly with the validity of 
the tradition which comes to us, as it would seem, from the 
Church of the province of Asia, to the effect that John the 
Apostle resided and laboured there during his later years, and 
there composed the Apocalypse and the Fourth Gospel. 

In our own generation the truth of this whole tradition in 
regard to the Apostle John has been and is denied. The 
earlier impugners, indeed, of the authenticity of the Fourth 
Gospel did not for the most part call in question the sub- 
stantial truth of the rest of the commonly accepted account 
of the latter portion of St John's life. On the contrary, his 
authorship of the Apocalypse, which presupposed intimate 
relations with the Churches of the province of Asia, was a 



The questions at issue 163 

strong point in the Tubingen theory. For this, they held, 
proved the Jewish, Antipauline position of that Apostle ; 
while they urged that the contrast between it and the Fourth 
Gospel rendered it impossible to attribute the latter to him. 
Others, too. of their objections against the Johannine author- 
ship of the Gospel derived at least part of their cogency from 
the supposition that he did reside in Asia. At the present 
time, however, those who deny to John, the son of Zebedee, 
any part, or at least anything beyond a very indirect and 
inconsiderable part, in the production of the Fourth Gospel, 
usually dispute, also, his sojourn in Ephesus 1 . 

It would involve much repetition, if we were to attempt to 
consider separately the trustworthiness first of one and then 
of another portion of the tradition, for the evidence applicable 
to each is largely the same. But it will be necessary in 
certain parts of our discussion, and in coming to our final 
conclusions, to distinguish between the two positions which 
have been indicated, that of those who deny only the 
Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel, and that of 
those who reject in toto the common tradition respecting the 
latter years of St John. Though the former view has, I 
believe, difficulties of its own, it may well seem still to many 
to be the one which takes fullest account of the evidence as 
a whole, while it is equally significant as regards the main 
subject of our enquiry. For the question itself of the 
Ephesine sojourn of St John must always derive its chief 

1 One of the first to throw doubt upon the residence of John in Ephesus 
was Liilzelberger, Die kirchliche Tradition iiber den Apostel Johannes und 
seine Schriften in ihrer Grundlosigkeit nachgewiesen (1840). See pp. 105, 149, 
162 etc. Keim has disputed it in his Jesus of Nazara, I. pp. 218 226 (pub. in 
German, 1867); also J. Scholten, Der Apostel Johannes in Kleinasien; and 
Holtzmann, Einleit. in N. T. (ist ed. 1885) 3rd ed., pp. 470-5; H. Delff, Rabbi 
Jesus von Nazareth (1889), P- 68 ff. ; Das Vierte Evangelium (1890), p. iff.; 
Bousset, Die Offenbarung Johannes in 5th ed. of Meyer's Comm. on New Test. 
(1896), p. 41 ff., and Encycl. BibL I. p. 198; Harnack in Chron. I. (1897), as part 
of his investigation into the authorship of the Fourth Gospel, pp. 656-80, to 
be taken with pp. 320-40; Schmiedel, Encycl. BibL M. cols. 2552-3. 

On the other hand the truth of this portion of the ecclesiastical tradition about 
St John was maintained by Hilgenfeld, the last and one of the most open-minded 
of the great critics of the Tubingen School, in his Einleit. in das N. T. (1875), 
P- 395 ff. 

II 2 



164 Points to be considered 

interest and importance from its connexion with that con- 
cerning his relation to the Gospel. 

We will examine (i) the silence of the Sub-apostolic Age 
in regard to the Apostle John; (2) the reference, or references, 
to him by Papias, the only writer before Justin who names 
him. Next (3) we will endeavour to ascertain what may be 
known concerning "John the Elder," with whom, it is said, the 
Apostle John was confused. Three subjects must after this 
be considered which bear exclusively upon the question of 
the relation of the Apostle John to the Gospel which bears 
his name: viz. (4) the differences between it and the Apoca- 
lypse ; (5) Quartodecimanism ; (6) the so-called " Alogi." 
Thus far we shall be engaged in discussing facts which are 
held to be inconsistent with the common tradition, and the 
theory which is propounded to explain how it arose. We 
shall then turn (7) to strictures upon the testimony of two of 
the chief witnesses for the tradition, (a) Irenaeus, (b) Poly- 
crates ; and lastly (8) we will review the case as a whole. 



(i) The silence of the Sub-apostolic Age. 

I will enumerate the chief instances in which it is, or is 
thought to be, strange that there should be no allusion to the 
Apostle John, if he was, or had been, a prominent figure in 
the Church in the province of Asia. It will be convenient, as 
each in turn comes before us, that we should try to estimate 
its exact force. But I do not forget that even if they, or 
several of them, can be separately accounted for in a more 
or less satisfactory manner, they may yet be weighty in 
combination 1 . 

Those who hold that the Epistle to the Ephesians, the 
Pastoral Epistles, and the Address to the Elders at Mi- 
letus in Acts xx., were composed in the last two decades 
of the first century, may urge the absence in them of all 
indications that one of the Apostles was still, or recently had 

1 Man makelt an jedem Einzelnen dieser Zeugen...Aber iiberwaltigend ist 
doch ihr gemeinsames Schweigen etc. Holtzmann, Einleit. p. 470. The prin- 
ciple here indicated is one which needs to be remembered in other cases besides 
the present one, and by critics of very diverse schools. 



John not named by Clement or Ignatius 165 

been, teaching at Ephesus. But even if it could be con- 
sidered proved that the documents in question ought to be 
assigned to such a late time, the characteristic noted might 
be due to the effort of the writers not to use language incon- 
sistent with their personation of St Paul. 

We pass to the Epistle of Clement of Rome. Although he 
was writing in the name of a Church, and to a Church, with 
which the Apostle John had no connexion, he might have 
been expected, it is said, to have alluded to such an inter- 
esting fact as the continuance in life still of one of the Twelve, 
which could scarcely fail to be known to him. But it is 
not unreasonable to suppose that, while the tradition as to 
the long life and later labours of St John was substanti- 
ally true, there may yet have been some exaggeration in 
the representation that he lived "till the times of Trajan," 
that is, till two or three years later than the date at which 
Clement was writing; and even if he had died only a few 
years before, there would have been no special reason for 
Clement's referring to him. 

The silence of the Epistles of Ignatius"^ a far more serious 
difficulty. In writing to the Ephesians he expresses the 
desire that he " may be found in the company of those 
Christians of Ephesus who were ever of one mind with the 
Apostles in the power of Jesus Christ 1 ." St Paul and St John 
may be more particularly in his mind. But as in writing to 
the Romans he names Peter and Paul 2 , why does he not here 
name both Paul, the founder of the Church of Ephesus, and 
also that venerable Apostle who, according to the belief 
which we have under consideration, had lived and taught 
there more recently and for a longer period ? In the im- 
mediate sequel he mentions Paul only. There was indeed a 
special reason for referring to Paul, because Ignatius saw in 
that Apostle's stay at Ephesus on his way to martyrdom a 
parallel with his own case 3 . Nevertheless the notice of 
St Paul might naturally have suggested one of St John. 

1 Ad Eph. ch. ii. 

2 Ad Rom. ch. 4. "I do not enjoin you, as Peter and Paul did. They were 
apostles, I am a convict ; they were free, but I am a slave to this very hour." 

3 Ad Eph. ch. 12. 



1 66 John not named by Ignatius 

We should have expected that appeals would have been 
made to the teaching of both these Apostles in order to 
confirm those warnings against errors concerning the Person 
of Christ, and those exhortations to unity, of which Ignatius' 
Epistle to the Ephcsians and others of his Epistles are full. 
The fact, however, that he does not use St John's authority 
for this purpose cannot be pressed, for he does not use even 
St Paul's name in this way. But at least some personal 
reference to St John would have been natural in writing to 
the Church at Ephesus. So too he might have been expected 
to recall to Polycarp the close ties which bound him to the 
Apostle John, and to remind the Smyrnaeans of the authority 
which their bishop derived from this connexion. That Poly- 
carp himself in his short Epistle to the Philippians should 
not speak of St John, in spite of the personal reasons he 
might have for doing so, is not so surprising because the 
Church which he was addressing had not come under 
St John's influence. 

It does not seem satisfactory to regard this early silence 
respecting the Apostle John as merely accidental; and we 
will presently consider whether it can be more or less reason- 
ably explained consistently with the supposition that the 
common tradition is true. But it will be natural to defer 
doing this until, near the close of this whole discussion, 
we have assured ourselves that the evidence in favour of that 
tradition is too strong to be set aside, and that a way must 
be sought of reconciling thereto facts which seem to con- 
flict with it. 



(2) The evidence of Papias, 

Outside the New Testament Papias is the earliest writer 
who names the Apostle John, and he is adduced as a witness 
by those who call in question even the Ephesine sojourn. 

Papias is alleged, in two recently recovered fragments of 
later Greek ecclesiastical writers, to have stated in the second 
book of his Expositions that the Apostle John, like his brother 
James, was slain by the Jews. If there were reason to think 
that Papias really said this, it would still be permissible to 



The evidence of Papias as to John 167 

doubt whether he meant, as he is assumed to have done, that 
John was put to death in Jerusalem. The Jews even in 
Gentile cities seem often to have instigated persecution 
against the Christians, and they might not unnaturally be 
described by a Christian writer as the authors of a martyrdom 
thus brought about. It is most probable, however, that the 
statement in question has been wrongly imputed to Papias. 
One of the writers who credit him with it is Georgius 
Hamartolus, a chronicler of the tenth century. At first he 
was the only one known to have done so 1 , and so long as 
this was the case it was natural to suppose that in the 
sentence in question the text of Georgius was corrupt. This 
seemed the more likely because in the same context, without 
making any attempt to reconcile the contradictory accounts, 
he refers to a passage of Origen in which the exile of 
John in Patmos is coupled with the martyrdom of James 2 . 
Now, however, it has been rendered probable that Georgius, 
in reporting Papias' statement, is copying an older writer. 
For the same assertion in regard to Papias has been dis- 
covered in a collection of extracts, many of which (it would 
seem) were taken from Philip of Side, a Church historian 
who flourished in the early part of the fifth century 3 . So far 
then, the case appears to be strengthened for attributing the 
statement in question to Papias. Philip of Side, however, is 
a most unsatisfactory witness. Both Socrates and Photius 
give us a very unfavourable view of him as a writer 4 , and some 
examples of his quite exceptional aptitude for making the 
gravest blunders are known to us 5 . And it does not seem pos- 
sible to suppose that he can in the present instance have truly 
represented Papias. The latter's book had in all probability 
been read by Irenaeus, as it certainly had by Eusebius, and 
doubtless by many others. A statement by him to the effect 

1 Nolte first published the passage of Georgius, Theol. Quartalschrift, XLIV. 
(1862), p. 466. 

2 See Lightfoot, Essays on Sup. ReL p. 211 ff. Harnack still adheres to this 
view, Chron. I. p. 666. 

3 Found by de Boor and pub. in Texts u. Unlersuch. (1889), V. 2, p. 167 ff. 

4 Socrates, H. E. vn. 27, Photius, Cod. 35. 

5 See Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, p. 95. Neander's opinion of him is quoted 
in Diet, of Christ. Bio. IV. p. 356. 



1 68 The evidence of Papias as to John 

that John, like James, had met with martyrdom at the hands 
of the Jews, the great enemies of Christianity, if it did not 
modify tradition, as it would most likely have done, must at 
least have attracted attention and been commented on 1 . 

We have yet to notice the reference to the Apostle John 
in a genuine fragment of Papias. In the well-known passage 
from the Introduction to his Expositions he writes 2 : " If 
perchance anyone came who had followed the teaching of 
the elders, I questioned them regarding the words of the 
elders, what Andrew, or what Peter said, or Philip, or 
Thomas, or James, or John, or Matthew, or any other of the 
disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the elder 
John, the disciples of the Lord, say." It is remarked 3 that no 
special prominence is assigned to John the Apostle by this 
bishop of Hierapolis, on the confines of the region where John 
is said to have taught. The order of the list, from whatever 
point of view it is regarded, is a somewhat strange one. It 
is at least possible that John and Matthew may be con- 
joined because they were evangelists. And this may explain 
also their being placed last. Papias is referring here to his 
gleanings from the oral teaching of the Apostles in regard to 
the words and deeds of Christ. John and Matthew, for the 
very reason that they had embodied their testimony in 
writing, were less important than the rest for the particular 
purpose of which he is speaking here the illustration of the 
written " oracles " by matter orally handed down. 



(3) John the Elder. 

There is not a particle of evidence that the character and 
circumstances and work of "John the Elder" could have 
suggested some of the chief elements in the tradition regarding 
John the Apostle, which we are discussing. It is not by any 
means clear that he even resided in Asia, and there is no 
ground whatever for thinking that he was a man of com- 
manding personality and influence. 

1 Cp. Harnack (ib.) who uses substantially the same argument. 
a Ap. Eus. H. E. ill. xxxix. 4. 
3 E.g. by Keim, ib, p. 219. 



John the Elder 169 

Eusebius says that Papias had heard this John and 
Aristion, though he had not heard the Apostles, but this 
appears to be an inference on the part of Eusebius from the 
change to the present tense in the last clause of the sentence, 
in which Papias speaks of the sources of information which 
he had used. The construction of the sentence, however, 
plainly shews that Papias does not claim, there at all events, 
himself to have heard John the Elder and Aristion, though 
the different tense employed in their case seems to shew 
that they, but not the Apostles, were alive at the time 
referred to. Eusebius himself appears to be doubtful about 
his interpretation of the words, for he adds "At any rate 
(ryovv) he often refers to them" (Aristion and the Elder John) 
u by name, and quotes also their traditions in his book." As 
Eusebius felt a special interest in John the Elder, having 
suggested that he might be the author of the Apocalypse, we 
may safely conclude that, if Papias had spoken more definitely 
of his own connexion with him, or had recorded anything 
about him, Eusebius would have told us so. The fact, 
probably, was that Eusebius, being familiar with the descrip- 
tion of Papias as a hearer of John the Apostle, assumed, in 
order to explain this, that he must have been a hearer of 
some John. He saw also, that there was more ground for 
connecting him with John the Elder than with the Apostle, 
and he preferred this in order that the latter might not be 
made responsible for Papias' extravagant Millenarianism and 
other puerilities. 

It should also be observed that there is nothing in Papias's 
language to shew that John the Elder was a man of special 
eminence. He is named only in company with Aristion and 
in no sense preferred over him 1 . 

So far as Eusebius' account of Papias' work enables us 
to judge, the only points of resemblance between John the 
Elder and the traditional representation of John the Apostle, 
were (i) that the former, as well as Aristion, was known as 

1 Ib. 4, 7, 14. If I was inclined to use an argumentum ad hominem, I 
might point out to those who make so much of the order in which different 
persons are named in some other cases, that John the Elder is mentioned after 
Aristion in each instance. 



John the Elder 

a fjLaOrjTrjs TOV Kvpiov, though in their case this can have 
denoted only that they were followers of Jesus when He was 
on earth, not that they were of the number of the Twelve, 
and (2) that John the Elder, as also Aristion, would seem to 
have lived till near the end of the First Century, if not longer, 
since he seems to have been still alive when Papias had made 
enquiries about his teaching 1 . It is not, indeed, improbable 
that John the Elder may have been one of those whom 
Papias adduced as authorities for Millenarian doctrine ; and 
so far there may seem to be reason for connecting him with 
the composition of the Apocalypse. But, on the other hand, 
no saying or sentiment in the pages of Irenaeus or any other 
writer, which there is any ground for tracing to this John, and 
nothing that we are told about him, gives the impression that 
he was a man of the intellectual and moral and spiritual 
force required for exercising a commanding influence over 
others and creating a body of disciples, and which could have 
enabled him to inspire the production of the Apocalypse, 
not to say of the Fourth Gospel and the First Johannine 
Epistle, with the thoughts and character of which his teaching 
and testimony had not, so far as we know, the slightest 
affinity. 

There is one other notice which may seem to point to the 
presence of John the Elder in Asia. Dionysius, Bishop of 
Alexandria, in the middle of the third century, when con- 
tending that the Apocalypse was not by John the Apostle 
but by some other John, mentions a report that there are two 
tombs in Ephesus, each said to be John's 2 . It is Dionysius' 
intention to suggest that one of these tombs might be that 
of the Apostle and Evangelist, the other that of the John of 
the Apocalypse. He does not, however, himself identify the 
latter with Papias' John the Elder. Afterwards Eusebius 
seeks to improve Dionysius' theory by doing so. But a 
story so vague and poorly supported, as this of the two 
tombs at Ephesus, can have no weight. 

A word must be added as to the use of the title "the Elder" 
in the addresses of the Second and Third Epistles of St John. 

1 This follows from the use of the present. 

2 Ap. Eus. H. E. vn. xxv. 16. 



The Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse 171 

This may seem to indicate some association of ideas, after- 
wards lost, between the persons of the Elder and the Apostle 
who had the name of John. But it should be remembered 
that the title of Elder was not an uncommon one, and was 
one moreover which could be assumed even by an Apostle 1 . 



(4) The contrast between the Fourth Gospel 
and the Apocalypse, 

The difficulty that was felt even in ancient times in 
supposing the Apocalypse to be by the author of the Fourth 
Gospel, has just come before us, and we must now notice the 
objection that in modern times has been founded on the 
contrast between the two works. 

That the Apostle John was the author of the Apocalypse 
is, it is urged, attested by the evidence of Justin, which is 
earlier by twenty or thirty years than any which can be 
produced for his authorship of the Gospel. But, it is argued, 
if the Apocalypse is his the Gospel cannot be, owing to the 
widely different character of the two works 2 . This is a 
question of internal evidence, and all that I can here do is to 
make a few general remarks upon the subject. It is to be 
noted that a new trend of opinion has shewn itself of late as 
to the relation of the two compositions. We used to be told 
that they represented the two opposite poles of feeling and be- 
lief among early Christians, the one narrowly Jewish, the other 
universalistic and even more Pauline than St Paul. But more 
recently some critics who have denied that either was by the 
Apostle John, or even the result of his teaching and influence, 

1 i Pet. v. i. 

2 Some, while adhering to the belief that the Fourth Gospel was by the Apostle 
John, have held, or have suspected, that the Apocalypse was not. Bleek may be 
given as an instance. (See his Lectures on the Apoc. ch. 3, 3, p. 12 iff. Eng. 
Trans.) Recently this position has been maintained by E. C. Selwyn, in The 
Christian Prophets, p. 11$ ff. The Tubingen School, on the other hand, while 
they asserted strongly that the Apocalypse could not be by the same writer as the 
Gospel, were inclined, as I have said, to regard the former as the work of the 
Apostle John. For their view I may refer to Hilgenfeld, Einleit., p. 406 and 
S. Davidson, Introd. I. p. 240 ff. 



The Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse 

have been impressed with many affinities between them, and 
have held that they proceeded from the same school 1 , or even 
that the same hand can be traced in them 2 . The view has 
also been propounded, and has found a good deal of favour, 
that the Apocalypse is of composite origin 3 ; and in connexion 
with this there has been a disposition to revise the date (A.D. 
68 70) to which it was in the middle part of the nineteenth 
century, and till a few years ago, commonly referred alike 
by many conservative critics and by those of an opposite 
tendency 4 . If it contains a variety of elements, the end of 
Domitian's reign, the time to which tradition assigns it, may 
be given as that when it was put forth in its present shape ; 
while at the same time marks of an earlier date in parts of 
the book can be suitably explained. 

The subject, then, of the character and composition of the 
Apocalypse is evidently an intricate one. Any results that 
can be obtained with regard to it must be taken into account 
in judging of the authorship of the Fourth Gospel, owing to 
the close association of the two works in tradition. But it 
seems more than doubtful whether, in the light of a fuller 

1 Bousset, Die Offenb. Joh. pp. 50-1, 206-8 and Encycl. Bibl. i. p. 199 (17). 

2 Harnack, Chron. I. 675, n. i. 

3 Theories as to the composite character of the Apocalypse began to be put 
forward in 1882. A succinct account of them may be seen in Bousset, Die Off. 

Joh. p. 127 ff. 

4 To many writers who defended the Apostolic authorship of both works this 
date for the Apocalypse approved itself both because it seemed to agree with 
various indications in the book itself, and because it was thus possible to suppose 
that there had been a considerable interval between its composition and that of 
the Gospel, and so to explain more easily the differences between them. Thus 
Westcott writes, "The crisis of the Fall of Jerusalem explains the relation of the 
Apocalypse to the Gospel. In the Apocalypse the 'coming' of Christ was 
expected, and painted in figures; in the Gospel the 'coming' is interpreted" 
(Pro/eg, to Com. on St John, p. Ixxxvii.). Again, Salmon, "The opinion of many 
critics, orthodox as well as sceptical, now tends to reverse the doctrine of older 
writers which made the Apocalypse much the later book of the two, and to give 
it, on the contrary, ten, perhaps twenty years of greater antiquity than the 
Gospel." In the context Dr Salmon uses this conclusion to explain the dis- 
appearance of solecisms in the latter which abound in the former (Introd. pp. 219 
-20). See also B. Weiss, Introd. II. p. 364. For the judgment of one whose 
point of view was different, see Hilgenfeld, Einleit. pp. 448 452. 

As regards the return more recently to a later date and the reasons given for it, 
see Harnack, 1. c. p. 245, Weizsacker, Apost. Age, Eng. trans, n. p. 180 f., 
Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, pp. 295 302. 



Qtiartodecimanism 173 

enquiry, the comparison of the two will be felt to have that 
decisive effect in excluding the possibility of any connexion 
between them, which not a few have thought that it had. 



( 5 ) Qua rtodecimanism. 

In the differences regarding Paschal observance which 
occupied much attention during the latter part of the Second 
Century, the Asiatic Christians appealed to the example of 
the Apostle John as an authority for their own Quartodeciman 
practice. It is well known to all who are in any degree 
acquainted with the history of controversy on questions of 
New Testament criticism that this alleged practice of the 
Apostle has been urged as a reason for holding that he cannot 
have been the author of the Fourth Gospel. This contention 
cannot rightly be passed over here, and must now engage our 
attention. It is true that the Paschal Dispute in the early 
Church occupies a much less prominent place at present in 
discussions regarding the early history of Christianity and the 
Authorship of the Fourth Gospel than it did during the middle 
part of the last century. Nevertheless, the objection is still 
made 1 that the representation of the order of events connected 
with the Passion in that Gospel could not have been given by 
one who himself kept the Christian Passover on the fourteenth 
of Nisan. Even if there were not this reason for paying 
attention to the history of Quartodecimanism, we might well 
be induced to do so by the interest and importance attaching 
to an enquiry into the origin and character of an institution 
belonging to a period in the life of the Early Church which is 
in many respects specially obscure 2 . 

1 Even by some of those who deny that John the Apostle resided in Ephesus, 
e.g. Schmiedel in Encycl. Bibl. n. cols. 2552-3. See also Harnack, Chron. i. 
p. 670, n. i. He holds that there is something in the objection, though not so 
much as Baur, Hilgenfeld etc. thought. He refrains from going into the matter 
himself. 

2 The two most important writings on the subject are Der Paschastreit, by 
A. Hilgenfeld (1860) and De Controversiis Paschalibus by E. Schiirer (1869), 
published also in German in Zeitschrift fur d. Hist. Theol. (1870), pp. 182 284. 
I shall refer to the German as the later and as shewing marks of revision. I 
turn to English writers on the subject. It has been treated by S. Davidson in 



1 7 4 Qitartodecimanism 

It may assist the reader in following my argument, if 
I first state three principal views which have been taken of 
the rationale of Quartodecimanism. I shall in doing so group 
together writers who in the main agree, and shall forbear for 
the most part from signalising differences that appear to be 
non-essential. 

i. It has been held that Christians who observed the 
fourteenth of Nisan did so because Christ had eaten the 
Passover with His disciples on the day before He suffered, 
and as a commemoration of that farewell-meal. Bretschneider 
asserted that this was the ground on which the day was first 
kept, and that the institution was traced by the Asiatic 
Christians to John and another of the Apostles, and he pointed 
out that the statements of the Fourth Gospel were not in 
accord with this 1 . The suggestion thus thrown out was taken 
up by the critics of the Tubingen School. They combined it, 
however, with their larger theory of the rise and growth of the 
Christian Church. In the Paschal controversy which first 
comes before us in the latter half of the second century they 
saw a survival from the conflicts engendered by the wide- 
reaching and penetrating difference between the Jewish 
Christianity of the Twelve (including St John), and the 

accordance with the principles of the Tubingen School in his Introd. to N. T. 
II. pp. 369386, 2nd ed. 1882; also somewhat more fully and with more inde- 
pendence, though to much the same effect, by J. J. Tayler in the Character of the 
Fourth Gospel (1867), chh. 9 and 10. 

Dr Salmon, writing from quite a different point of view, has devoted a lecture to 
it in his Introd. to N.T. (ist ed. 1885), ch. 15. He has not stated and ex- 
amined the evidence in much detail; but he seems to have taken on the whole 
what I believe to be the right view of it (see below, p. 176, n. i). More recently 
Dr James Drummond has published an elaborate essay on The Fourth Gospel and 
the Quartodecimans in the American Journal of Theology (July, 1897), pp. 601-57. 
But I fear this is not likely to be easily accessible to many English students. I 
think also that Dr Drummond has made the subject needlessly perplexing by 
encumbering his discussion of it to an unnecessary extent with secondary con- 
siderations, and especially by deferring the examination of the most important 
pieces of evidence to the end of his article. 

It may be well to mention that Luthardt's St John the author of the Fourth 
Gospel contains a brief section on The Passover Controversy (Eng. trans, p. 154 ff.) 
based on Schiirer's treatise referred to above. 

1 In his Probabilia de Evangelii et Epistolarum Joannis Apostoli indole et 
origine (1820), pp. 109 no, Bretschneider makes grave misstatements ; but it 
does not seem to be worth while to notice them at the present day. 



Quartodecimanism 175 

teaching of the Apostle Paul. They maintained that the 
opposition to Quartodecimanism was, originally at least, 
inspired by the conviction that the Law was fulfilled and 
abrogated in Christ ; and that the Fourth Gospel was written 
in the interests of the party who insisted on this truth. In it, 
so it was asserted, the older Synoptic tradition was remoulded 
so as to make it appear that the Last Supper had not been 
the true legal Passover, and that Christ Himself had been 
offered as the true Paschal Lamb 1 . 

2. To combat this view a totally different explanation of 
the significance of Quartodecimanism was given, which has 
found wide acceptance. The usage, it was said, had nothing 
to do with Jewish feeling or prejudices ; on the contrary, it 
was itself directly founded upon the recognition that Christ is 
the true Paschal Lamb ; the fourteenth was kept in com- 
memoration of His death ; and thus, instead of contradicting, 
the observance was peculiarly in harmony with the narrative 
of the Gospel according to St John 2 . 

3. It was maintained by some from an early period in 
the controversy that, while Quartodecimanism was a con- 
tinuation of Jewish custom in Churches where believers in 
Christ of Jewish nationality were especially numerous, it did 
not imply a widely different conception of Christianity from 
that held by other Christians. For Christian Jews, indeed, 
the observance of the Passover-day necessarily had a new 
meaning ; but they did not keep it specifically as the anni- 
versary either of the Institution of the Last Supper or of 
the Death of Christ. Rather it was a Commemoration of 
the Divine Redemption typified in the ancient Passover and 

1 The Tubingen theory was first put forth by Schwegler in his Montanismus 
(1841), p. 191 ff., and Baur in TheoL Jahrb. for 1844, p. 638 f., etc. The best 
exposition of it is that in Hilgenfeld's Paschastreit. Renan adopts the same view 
of Quartodecimanism, IfEglise Chrctienne, p. 445 f.; Marc Aurele, p. 194 f.; but 
apparently he does not consider it necessarily inconsistent with the Johannine 
authorship of the Fourth Gospel. 

2 This view was urged more particularly by Weitzel, Die Christliche Pas- 
chafeier (1848) and Steiz, in Stud. u. Krit. (1856, 1857), and in Herzog's Real- 
Encycl. 2nd ed. xi. p. 27 ff. Lightfoot alludes to this view in Essays on Sup. 
ReL pp. 17, 245; Ap. Frs, I. p. 625, in a manner which might lead the reader to 
suppose that there was no other alternative to the Tubingen one. 



1 7 6 Qiiartodecimanism 

now accomplished in Christ, in which the thought of the Last 
Supper and of the Death on the Cross and the Resurrection 
were all included. 

In connexion with the advocacy of this view the name 
of the great Biblical scholar and exegete Friedrich Bleek 
deserves to be specially mentioned 1 . More recently the 
treatise of Em. Schiirer, whose investigation of the subject 
was carried out in a thoroughly historical spirit, has given it 
powerful support and done much to commend it. To the 
present writer it seems to be proved. 

There is on this view no inherent incompatibility between 
Ouartodeciman practice and the chronology of the Passion 
assumed in the Fourth Gospel. And accordingly the precise 
objection to the Johannine authorship of that Gospel which 
the Tubingen School founded on Quartodecimanism falls to 
the ground. Nevertheless it will appear that the Quarto- 
decimans whom we best know those of the latter half of the 
second century and afterwards did as a matter of fact con- 
tend that Jesus ate the Passover on the Hth ; and this is a 
point to which defenders of the authenticity of the Gospel 
accg to St John have commonly paid too little attention. 

We must now proceed to examine the evidence; and it 
will be expedient, I think, to do so somewhat fully, because 

1 See Bleek's Beitrcige zur Evangelien-Kritik (1846), pp. 38 f. and 156166; 
also Introd. to N.T. 74, 75, Eng. Trans, pp. 204210. Bleek has gone into 
the question much more fully than any of the other writers mentioned by Schiirer, 
pp. 185-6, unless it be van Leeuwen, whose essay I have not had an opportunity 
of consulting. I do not think I have misrepresented Schiirer in classing him with 
Bleek in spite of the distinction he makes, p. 275, and more clearly in the Latin 
form of his treatise. He appears to me to have misapprehended somewhat Bleek's 
position. 

Lulhardt 1. c. follows Schiirer; so does Ezra Abbot, Fourth Gospel, p. 6; 
Zahn, Kan. I. pp. 179 192. Drummond I.e. arrives at the same conclusions in 
the main; and Salmon I.e. likewise takes to some extent the same view. For the 
chief point on which Drummond differs from Schiirer, see below, p. 186, n. i. 

I have passed over in the above classification of views those apologists who 
virtually accepted the account of the meaning of Quartodecimanism given by the 
Tubingen School, but argued that it had no bearing on the authenticity of 
St John's Gospel because there was no discrepancy between that Gospel and 
the Synoptics in regard to the days of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Few 
will be prepared to adopt this position now. Students at the present time are 
most likely to meet with it in Schafi's Church History, Div. I. 62. 



The letter of Poly crates to Victor 177 

it has been comparatively little brought to the notice of 
the majority of English students. Let us turn first to the 
quotation which Eusebius makes from the letter addressed 
by Polycrates, the elderly Bishop of Ephesus, to Victor 
and the Church of the Romans 1 . "We therefore," he says, 
" keep the day without tampering with it 
neither adding to it nor taking from it (/ 
/jLtjre a<l)aipnv[j,voi)" He then enumerates some of the 
saintly dead from apostolic times onward in whose footsteps 
they are walking. " These all," he proceeds, " observed the 
day of the fourteenth of the Passover according to the Gospel, 
going beyond in no respect (/jLrjBev TrapeK^alvovre^), but follow- 
ing according to the rule of the faith." Seven of his own 
kinsmen, he adds, had been bishops, and " they all kept the 
day when the people (6 Xao?, the Jews) removed the leaven." 
He has, moreover, conversed with brethren from all parts of 
the world and considered every passage of Scripture that 
bears on the subject (iraa-av ayiav ypa^rjv Sie\r)\v8(0s). 
Therefore he is not to be frightened by threatening language, 
"for greater men than I have said that 'we ought to obey God 
rather than men.' " 

The general sense seems plain. He maintains that the 
observance of the fourteenth day, to which he and the portion 
of the Church to which he belongs confine themselves, is of 
Divine, and all else alike preparatory fasts of more or fewer 
days' duration and the prolongation of the fast to the following 
Sunday is of human institution. He must, then, have felt 
that there was force still in the commandment of the Law, as 
regards the day to be kept. It could not be maintained that 
in the Gospel, taken by itself, the observance of the fourteenth 
of Nisan was prescribed rather than, for instance, that of the 
sixteenth or seventeenth, one or other of which (according to 
the view of the chronological order of events adopted) would 
be the anniversary of the Resurrection, or than that of both, or 
of a period embracing both. When he asserts that it is 
" according to the Gospel," he must mean that the Gospel in 
some way confirms the ancient ordinance, so far at least as 
the day is concerned, which is all that is in question. In what 

1 Ap. Eus. H. E. v. 24. 

S. G. 12 



178 The letter of Poly crates to 1/ictor 

way he supposed it to do this does not appear from the 
passage before us. Those to whom he wrote would no doubt 
have caught his meaning at once, or the context if we had 
more of it might have made it plain. On the ground of other 
evidence it may presently seem probable to us that, believing 
Christ to have partaken of the Passover at the legal Jewish 
time, he claimed His example as sanctioning the practice he 
was defending. 

He also says that this observance is "according to the rule 
of the faith." These words again point most probably to the 
reverence which he considered was still due to the Old Testa- 
ment precept. We may most naturally imagine that he has 
in view Gnostic depreciation of the Old Testament, such for 
instance as that of Marcion, by whom those expressions 
which he left standing in his Gospel respecting Christ's 
celebration of the Passover with His disciples were explained 
as referring solely to the new rite which He instituted, in 
order that the Saviour might not seem in any way to 
countenance the Law. If so, the allusion to "the rule of the 
faith " tends to support the explanation just now mentioned 
of the words " according to the Gospel 1 ." 

But whatever may be doubtful in these interpretations we 
have at least gathered that the practice of the Quartodecimans 
involved a reference to the ancient Law. Even by themselves 
the celebration of the Christian Passover on the fourteenth 
was viewed as a continuation of the Jewish Passover ; and it 
is rendered the more probable that this is the true historical 
account of its origin. Old associations could have, and we see 
reason to think largely had, determined the observance of the 
day, though Christian associations had been grafted upon it. 
It had not been expressly, as it were, reconsecrated to com- 
memorate a particular moment in the Gospel history, however 
great. To have learned this will be the clue to the removal of 
more than one difficulty. 

Into the broader question of the use of the Old Testament 
in the early Church it is not our business to enter, but in 
passing I may remark that Anti-quartodecimans, too, could 

1 See Epiph. Panar. XLII. 61, and cp. on the point Hilgenfeld, Paschastreit, 
pp. 202-4. 



Hippolytus on the Quart odecimans 179 

apply the Mosaic Law in support of their own practice ; an 
instance of this will present itself. When, therefore, Polycrates 
says that he is not afraid because "he has gone through every 
Scripture," he probably means that he is prepared to meet 
arguments that may be urged against him from the whole 
range of Scripture, as well as to adduce therefrom more 
convincing ones on his own side. 

We will defer noticing the quotations in Eusebius from a 
letter written to Victor by Irenaeus near the same time, and 
will take next three fragments, which have been preserved to 
us in the Paschal Chronicle, from lost treatises on the Paschal 
question. In this work, composed A.D. 63O 1 , or soon after, 
the writer after he has demonstrated from a passage of 
Peter of Alexandria that till the reign of Vespasian the Jews 
had employed right principles in fixing the day, though they 
had not always done so since, lays down the proposition 
that Christ did not, in the year in which He suffered, eat the 
paschal lamb according to the Jewish Law, being Himself 
the true paschal lamb. This, he says, is evident both from 
the Gospels and the writings of the Fathers. According to 
the Gospels, the Jews were looking forward to eat the Pass- 
over when Jesus was seized and tried, so that He could not 
have partaken of the Paschal lamb if they kept to the true 
time, as, he maintains, they did in that age. Of testimony 
to the same effect by holy teachers of the Church there is, 
he declares, abundance, and by way of example he proceeds 
to quote passages from three early writers 2 , viz. Hippolytus, 
Apollinaris, and Clement of Alexandria. These all bear on 
the question of Quartodecimanism, though they are not 
quoted on that account in the Paschal Chronicle. We will 
take them in the order in which they are there cited, though 
it is not the chronological one. 

Hippolytus's meaning is the more certain because there is 
no doubt as to the opinions which he held on the points in 
dispute. The first passage quoted is taken from his Com- 
pendium against all Heresies. " I perceive, therefore," he says, 
"that the matter is one of contentiousness, for he" (the writer, 

1 See art. by Salmon, Diet, of Chr. Bio. I. p. 510. 

2 pp. 12 15 in Dindorfs edn. 

12 2 



i8o The fragment of Apollinaris 

no doubt, to whose treatise he is replying) " speaks thus : 
1 Christ kept the Passover then on the day and suffered, 
wherefore I also ought so to do as the Lord did.' " " But," 
continues Hippolytus, "he has gone astray through not 
knowing that at the season at which Christ suffered he did 
not eat the legal passover. For he was the Passover that 
was foretold and perfected on the appointed day." 

It is manifest from this extract that some Quartodecimans 
at all events held that Christ ate the Passover on the fourteenth 
of Nisan and was crucified on the fifteenth ; and that they 
appealed to His example as an authority for themselves. 
Another fragment is added from a special treatise by Hippo- 
lytus on the Paschal question. This need not, however, now 
detain us. But it will be well to compare the brief section on 
Quartodecimanism in his extant treatise on Heresies 1 . "Other 
persons," he there writes, " who are of contentious nature, in 
point of knowledge uninstructed, and in disposition quarrel- 
some, maintain that we ought to keep the passover on the 
fourteenth day of the first month, according to the command- 
ment of the Law, on whatsoever day of the week it may fall." 
His reply is that the commandment was given to the Jews, 
who were destined to be the destroyers of the true passover, 
which was to be transferred to the Gentiles and to be under- 
stood by faith, and not any longer observed in the letter ; and 
further that those who thus kept a single precept of the Law 
rendered themselves liable to all its demands according to the 
principle laid down by St Paul. He adds that the persons 
referred to accept in all other respects the doctrine delivered 
by the Apostles to the Church. 

We turn to the language attributed in the Paschal Chronicle 
to Apollinaris. " In his treatise on the Passover," it is said, 
"he taught similarly, speaking thus: 'There are, therefore, 
those who are contentious about these matters from ignorance, 
a defect which may be pardoned ; for ignorance is not matter 
for accusation, but requires instruction. And they say, that 
on the fourteenth the Lord ate the lamb with the disciples, 
and himself suffered on the great day of unleavened bread, 
and they argue that Matthew so speaks as they have supposed ; 

1 Refut. viii. 1 8. 



Clement on Qitartodecimanism 181 

wherefore their opinion is out of harmony with the Law, and 
the Gospels according to them appear to be at variance.' " 
And again, " the fourteenth is the true passover of the Lord, 
the great sacrifice, the servant of God in place of the lamb, 
who was bound, who bound the strong man, whose holy side 
was pierced, who poured out from his side the two cleansing 
elements water and blood, who was buried on the day of the 
passover, when the stone was placed upon the tomb." 
Different views have been taken of the practical intention 
of this language. We should have been glad if the position 
of Apollinaris in regard to the Paschal question had been 
defined for us by some contemporary, or nearly contemporary, 
statement. We have not even any reference older than that 
of the Paschal Chronicle to shew that he took any part in its 
discussion. But it would be probable that he must have 
intervened in it, even if we had not the fragments which have 
been handed down as his. For we know that a controversy 
on the subject broke out in Laodicea, close to his own city 
Hierapolis, about the time of his episcopate. Melito, Bishop 
of Sardis, was led thereby to write his two treatises on the 
Passover 1 . The latter was unquestionably a Quartodeciman 2 . 
Some have held that Apollinaris, too, was on this side. We 
will consider this point more fully later on ; for the moment 
we will observe only that the similarity between his line of 
thought and that in the passages of Hippolytus would suggest 
that they are both arguing against the same opinions. 

A quotation follows from a work of Clement of Alexandria 
on the Passover. This is no doubt the work on that subject 
which Eusebius mentions and which, as he tells us, was called 
forth, according to the statement of Clement himself, by the 
writings of Melito 3 . In the passage preserved in the Paschal 
Chronicle, Clement asserts that the question "where wilt thou 
that we prepare ? ", which the disciples asked, referred to 
the TrpoeroLfjiaa-la, the " preparation," especially the consecra- 
tion of the unleavened cakes ; that is to say, it did not imply 
that the hour for eating the passover was already at hand; 

1 See Euseb. H. E. IV. xxvi. 3. 

2 See allusion by Polycrates, ap. Eus. H. E. v. xxiv. 5, 6. 

3 Eus. H. E. IV. xxvi. 4. 



1 82 Origen on Quart odecimanism 

ihe feet-washing described by John was a kind of preparation. 
Christ was in point of fact crucified on the fourteenth, "being 
himself the Passover auspiciously sacrificed " by the Jews. 
' By this fitting together of the days all the Scriptures are in 
harmony, and the Gospels are in accord, and the Resurrection 
too bears witness to the same effect, for he rose on the third 
day, which was the first day of the weeks of harvest, the day 
on which it was appointed by the Law that the priest should 
offer the sheaf 1 ." It is reasonable to infer from this passage 
that Melito the Quartodeciman, whose treatise had provoked 
Clement to write, had argued that Christ partook of the 
Passover on the fourteenth and was crucified on the fifteenth, 
as those did whom Apollinaris and Hippolytus have in 
view. 

We pass on to the utterances of two very eminent men, of 
a somewhat later time. They, too, are Anti-quartodecimans 
and they deal with the same point, but in a different manner 
from the foregoing, and also each differently from the other, 
which is of interest in respect to the history of exegesis. 
Origen in commenting on Mt. xxvi. 17, instead of explaining 
away the reference to the preparation for the Passover, as 
Clement does, shews plainly that he believes that Jesus ate it 
on the fourteenth of Nisan. He proceeds : " According to 
these things perchance one of the unskilful, falling into Ebion- 
ism, will, on the ground that Jesus celebrated the passover in 
the body in the Jewish manner, demand the observance in like 
manner of the first day of unleavened bread and the passover, 
saying, ' that it is fitting for us as imitators of Christ to do as 
he did ' ; not considering that Jesus, when the fulness of time 
had come and he had been sent, was made of a woman, was 
made under the Law, not that he might leave those under the 
Law who were under it, but that he might lead them forth 
from it. If then he came in order to lead those forth who 
were under the Law, how much more unfitting is it that those 



/Tfl rS>v T)/j.pu>v TT) aKpifleia cu ypa<f>al iraffai ffvfjLtpwvovffi Kal ra cvayy^Xia 
tirifj.apTvpf'i dt Kal 77 av6.ffra.ffir TJ) yovv rpirfi avtffrri rjn^pa...^ 17 Kal TO 
dpdyna vvofj.o6^TijTO irpoffevfyKelv rbv Itpta. 

This is the instance referred to above, p. 179, of an appeal to the Mosaic 
Law on the Anti-quartodeciman side. 



Eusebius on Quartodecimanism 183 

should come within the sphere of the Law, who before had 
been outside its pale 1 ." 

Eusebius in a treatise on the Passover written subse- 
quently to the Council of Nicaea, of which a portion has been 
preserved 2 , argues with those who were reluctant to obey the 
decree of the Council concerning uniformity in the time of 
keeping Easter. Now it cannot, indeed, be assumed that 
such persons were Quartodecimans. A new point had arisen 
since the days of the first Paschal controversy, namely, 
the question whether Christians were right in depending 
upon the proclamation of the Paschal Moon by Jewish 
authority, or should not rather ascertain it by their own 
calculations. Before the time of the Council of Nicaea the 
Churches of Rome and Alexandria and (doubtless under their 
influence) those of the West generally and Asia Minor had 
adopted systems for determining the time, which they believed 
to be more trustworthy than the methods employed by the 
Jews, on whose calculations the Churches of Northern Syria 
and the more distant East still, for the most part, depended 3 . 
Quartodecimanism cannot have dropped out of sight altogether, 
but it would seem that the other question just referred to was 
the one most present to the mind of the Council. Con- 
sequently in any merely general reference to its decree and 
the duty of conformity thereto, there might be room for doubt 
as to what precisely is in the mind of the writer. 

1 Dr Drummond seems to me to misinterpret this remark when he writes: 
"the people who are corrected fall into Ebionism, a reproach which was not 
brought against the Quartodecimans " (1. c., p. 638). Surely Origen only means 
that to make so much of a commandment of the Law is virtually to fall into 
Ebionism. Further Dr Drummond is clearly not justified in saying with regard 
to this passage : "there is no allusion to the peculiarity of the Quartodecimans. 
The question turns not on the day of observance but on the manner of observance." 

2 See De Paschate, 812 ap. Mai, Patrum Nova Bibliotheca, IV. pp. 214 6. 

3 M. Duchesne drew attention to the evidence for this in the Revue des 
Questions Historiques, vol. xxvm. 1880. He seems to me, however, to go too 
far when he maintains that this was the only Paschal question which occupied the 
Council of Nicaea, Quartodecimanism having ceased to be important. He has 
overlooked the passage of Eusebius now to be considered, as well as other 
evidence that both were included, and has failed to recognise the natural 
connexion between the two points. I must add that M. Duchesne's treatment of 
the subject of Quartodecimanism in this paper is unsatisfactory, but it is not his 
main purpose to deal with it. 



184 Eusebius on Quart odecimanism 

It is evident, however, that Eusebius in the passage which 
I am about to quote has the scruples of Quartodecimans 
mainly in view. He notices the appeal to the Saviour's own 
act which, more than once before, we have found them making. 
Someone, he observes, may say that it is written, " on the first 
day of the unleavened bread the disciples came and said, Where 
wilt thou that we prepare the Passover for thee to eat ? and he 
sent them to a certain man and commanded them to say, I 
keep the Passover at thy house." Now there would be no point 
in insistence on this by one who did not keep the fourteenth 
day, but who simply took the day which the Jews declared to 
be the fourteenth as the starting-point from which to reckon. 

But let us also note Eusebius' reply, (i) He urges 
that this statement taken from the Gospels does not convey 
a commandment, but is the account of an occurrence at 
the time of Our Saviour's Passion ; and that it is one 
thing to give a narrative of what happened in the past, quite 
a different one to legislate for after times ; (2) he accepts 
like Origen the view suggested by the Synoptic account, that 
Christ did eat the Passover at the legal time, but he contends 
that He did not eat it at the same time as the Jews (more 
particularly the Chief Priests and the Scribes) in that year 
did, for that they deferred eating it in order that they might 
accomplish His death. The Quartodecimans, therefore, this 
seems to be the argument do not really follow His example, 
even though they intend to do so, for they celebrate the 
Passover at the same time as the Jews, whose reckoning is no 
longer to be trusted. (3) He also in the context dwells much 
on the thought that Christians in a sense celebrate the 
Passover all through the year on every Lord's day ; and 
though he does not expressly apply this consideration to the 
question of Quartodecimanism, it is plainly not unconnected 
therewith. 

Eusebius was writing shortly after the Council of Nicaea. 
From this time forward the position of those who still adhered 
to Quartodecimanism became more and more sectarian. As 
regards the evidence which comes to us from the period 
during which it was dying out, we need only observe that in 
part, like the interesting fragment of a letter of Athanasius to 



The position of Apollinaris 185 

Epiphanius 1 , it confirms the impression which the earlier 
evidence is fitted to produce, as to what the points in dispute 
had been, and that in so far as it does not, like some state- 
ments in Epiphanius's own section on the subject in his work 
on Heresies 2 , it is not such as to render a revision of that 
impression necessary. 

Now those who have maintained that the essence of the 
Quartodeciman observance was the keeping of the anniversary 
of the Death of Christ have, of course, been compelled to 
account in some way for the language which we have been 
reviewing. They have done so by assuming that it was 
directed not against the general body of Quartodecimans, that 
i- the mass of Asiatic Churchmen, but against a more or less 
limited number of persons who were regarded as heretical. It 
is suggested that the eager discussions which, about A.D. I05 3 , 
arose in Laodicea in regard to the passover were not between 
Quartodecimans and Anti-quartodecimans, but between two 
parties of Quartodecimans, who took different views of the 
meaning of the practice prevailing amongst them all ; and 
that Apollinaris and Melito were engaged in the same cause, 
that is to say, in the support of the established view of the 
Asiatic Churches 4 . 

Arguments of doubtful validity seem to be advanced both 
to shew that Apollinaris was, and that he was not, a Quarto- 
deciman. On the one hand it has been urged that, if he had 
been a Quartodeciman, Polycrates must have mentioned so 
distinguished a man in his list of those who had followed the 
usage which he is defending. But he is evidently naming only 
the departed, and Apollinaris may, for aught we know, have 
been still alive. On the other hand, it is contended that 
Polycrates speaks of Quartodeciman custom as universal in 
the province of Asia, and that one who did not conform to it 
could not have attained to or occupied an important bishopric 
there. But such a general statement as that which Polycrates 

1 Given in the Paschal Chronicle, ed. Dind. p. 9. 

2 Panar. eo. On the mixture of incongruous opinions which Epiphanius 
makes, see Hilgenfeld, I.e. p. 372 ff., and Schurer, I.e. p. 249 f. 

3 See Waddington, Pastes Asiat. p. 126. 

4 E.g. by Steitz in Herzog's R. E. XI. pp. 276-7; also in Stud. it. Krit. 1856, 
p. 776 ff. and 1857, p. 764 ff. 



1 86 Quartodecimans appealed 

makes cannot be held to exclude the possibility of all ex- 
ceptions, especially at Hierapolis and Laodicea, which were 
near the inland border of the province. It is clearly con- 
ceivable, too, that when Apollinaris became bishop, about 
A.I). 170 or earlier, divergence on the point in question may 
have been more possible than twenty years later when Poly- 
crates was writing. The feeling of the region as a whole may 
have asserted itself strongly, perhaps as a result of the 
disputes in that "district. It has, however, been further urged 
by Dr Drummond that Apollinaris " unless he were a singu- 
larly conceited and ill-tempered man " could not have attributed 
the opinions which he is combating, as he does, to ignorance, if 
they were those of "all his brother bishops, including men of 
the greatest learning and distinction." But the force of this 
objection is a good deal weakened when it is recognised that 
he may have been writing while controversy on the subject 
was still fresh, and many had not as yet taken part in it. 
Moreover, it would be natural that he should have persons 
in his own Church and neighbourhood chiefly before his 
mind's eye, and should describe them without intending to 
reflect upon venerated men at a distance, who, moreover, even 
if they followed the same practice as opponents on the spot, 
may not so far have advocated it on the same grounds. That 
those, however, whom Apollinaris censures were Quartodeci- 
mans there can be no question. Not only is their argument 
one which we find repeatedly advanced on the Quartodeciman 
side, but it is one which Anti-quartodecimans could not have 
urged. Now it is surely improbable that Apollinaris would 
have expressed himself so strongly about a mere difference 
between himself and a section of Quartodecimans as to the 
reason to be given for a practice common both to himself and 
them 1 . 

1 Drummond, ib. p. 654, differs from Schiirer chiefly in supposing Apollinaris 
to have been a Quartodeciman. He suggests that not only were diverse views of 
the Evangelical Chronology held among Anti-quartodecimans, hut also among 
Quartodecimans. But it should be remembered that while there is distinct 
evidence of this variety among the former, there is none such in regard to the latter. 

It should be mentioned that Funk also (in Krause's Real-Encycl. d. Christl. 
Alterthiimer I. p. 488 f. ) is inclined to regard Apollinaris as a Quartodeciman, 
while he agrees with Schiirer in other respects. 



to the example of Christ 187 

We turn to the passages from Hippolytus. It is contended 
that he could not have classed opinions, which were those of 
the whole Church of Asia, among heresies, or referred to those 
who held them as "certain others." But he would not 
distinguish with care between heretics and schismatics ; and 
the Church of Rome unquestionably reckoned the Asiatics as 
schismatics. The phrase "certain others" is a formula of 
enumeration ; he uses it twice again in introducing succeeding 
classes of heretics, and there is no reason to think that he 
would refrain from it because of its depreciatory sound. We 
may, also, make a similar observation to that which we have 
made in considering the expressions of Apollinaris. The 
Quartodecimans with whom he had been himself brought 
into contact, in this case those who had made their way into 
the West, would be principally present to his thoughts. It is 
probable, too, that many Quartodecimans were content to 
defend their own practice simply as the traditional custom of 
their Church 1 , and that only some used arguments which, if 
they were admitted to be sound, would have proved the rest 
of the Church to be in the wrong. Hippolytus may be 
alluding chiefly to men of this last type. But this is not to 
say that such persons had adopted a view of the significance 
of the observance of the fourteenth day clearly distinct from, 
and even inconsistent with, the belief of Quartodecimans 
generally. Of this there is not a trace in the language of 
Hippolytus. On the contrary his description in the Refuta- 
tio "persons who maintain that we ought to keep the Passover 
on the fourteenth day of the first month according to the com- 
mandment of the Law, on whatsoever day of the week it may 
fall " obviously fits all Quartodecimans as such ; and he 
expressly says that, save on this one point, those of whom he 
speaks are in full accord with the Church. 

Eusebius, again, though he does not imply that all Quarto- 
decimans used the argument which he refutes, gives no hint 
that this view of the practice was confined to a sect amongst 
them. 

It would, indeed, have been a strange thing that a differ- 
ence simply in the interpretation put upon the observance of 
1 Cp. Eus. H. E. v. xxiii. i ; xxiv. 16. 



1 88 The fourteenth was not kept as the day of 

the fourteenth day of the month should have been the basis 
of a formal separation among those who agreed in practice, 
and that the division should have been maintained in spite of 
the fact that war was raging in regard to the continuance of 
the practice itself. Further it would be a curious fatality that 
all the reasoning relating to Ouartodecimanism which has 
come down to us from those opposed to it or (shall we say) 
all with the doubtful exception of the fragments of Apolli- 
naris should in reality have been aimed at the position not 
of Quartodecimans generally, with whom nevertheless the 
greater part of the Church was at issue, but only of a compa- 
ratively unimportant portion of them. Surely we may 
pronounce this to be incredible, and we must conclude that, 
when controversy arose on the subject of Quartodecimanism, 
the supposed example of Christ in Himself eating the Passover 
furnished an argument which was commonly used on the 
Quartodeciman side ; and this could not have been the case, 
if the fourteenth had been generally understood by them to be 
the anniversary of the Death of Christ. 

The strength of the opinion that this last was the meaning 
of the Quartodeciman observance has lain not in any evidence 
that could be adduced, but in the idea that, if they did not 
regard the fourteenth as the Day of the Crucifixion, they 
must have broken their fast and returned to their ordinary 
occupations during the very hours which corresponded to those 
when the Lord was passing through all His last sufferings. 
But this feeling as to the successive days is due to the associa- 
tions which long custom has created. The imagination resists 
the demand made of it to conceive entirely different habits of 
thought. No doubt anniversaries of great events of the Gospel 
history might have been kept from the first, but it is evident 
that they were not, from the silence of the New Testament, 
and from the early history considered as a whole of that 
system of commemorative days which did in time arise, and 
we can conjecture causes why they should not have been. 
One lay in the difficulty of adjusting the lunar to the solar 
years ; another in the confusion connected with the various 
reckonings common in the different regions through which 
Jews and Christians were scattered. It is, moreover, hard to 



the Death of Christ, or of the Last Supper 189 

understand how the fourteenth, if it had been observed as the 
anniversary, in the strict sense of the term, of the Death of 
Christ, could have been set aside by the greater part, and 
eventually by the whole, of the Church, in favour of a Friday 
which simply fell near the Passover-day. Further, if the ob- 
servance of the 1 4th had been kept up for this reason from 
Apostolic times we should not have had the real or apparent 
discrepancy between the accounts of the Synoptics and the 
Fourth Gospel in regard to the Day of Crucifixion. To 
explain this some uncertainty, or different impressions, as to 
the exact chronology, in the minds of Christians generally 
and of the authors of the records on the one part or the other, 
must be assumed, such as there could not have been if par- 
ticular days of the year had been kept throughout in memory 
of the historical facts. 

The supposition that the fourteenth of Nisan was kept by 
Christians as the day of the Lord's Death is encumbered with 
another difficulty. The more expressly it was so regarded, 
the more certainly ought another day to have been equally 
honoured as that of His Resurrection; the third day after the 
other would have been most natural. But it is plain from 
Polycrates's own words and from the language of opponents, 
that the Quartodecimans had not such another day. It would 
be far more in accordance with true Christian instincts that 
the great acts in the Redemption through Christ should be 
recalled together on the day sacred to the memory of a great 
redemption in the past which typified, and contained the 
promise of, that still greater one, than that the Passion of 
Christ should be singled out and His Triumph be passed over, 
or receive only subordinate recognition. 

It is equally a mistake to suppose that the fourteenth was 
kept as the anniversary of the Last Supper and of the institu- 
tion of the Eucharist at it. The institution of the Eucharist 
pointed forward, and its repeated celebration ever pointed 
back, to the Death and Resurrection of Christ, from which it 
derived all its meaning and efficacy. These could not but be 
the chief objects of thought. It is, moreover, clear that, as in 
the last case, if the day observed had been regarded primarily 
as the commemoration of one act in the Saviour's Passion on 



1 90 Christians could observe the Passover 

the day of the year on which it happened, the neighbouring 
days, which were the anniversaries of other great acts, could 
not have been ignored; and yet they were so by the Quarto- 
decimans. It may at all events be taken as certain that they 
did not receive any comparable honour 1 . It should, also, be 
carefully observed that the appeal to the Gospel history, which 
we have found Quartodecimans making, rested, not on the 
belief that on the fourteenth Jesus gave His dying command, 
' This do in remembrance of Me/ but that He ate the Passover 
at the proper legal time. 

Whether they were right in this particular or not, they 
were at least so far right as regards the example of Christ in 
general, that He did not lead His disciples by word or deed 
to throw aside the observance of the Mosaic Law abruptly. 
And the early believers who were of Jewish race, as most 
were, obeyed its ceremonial, as well as its moral, precepts more 
or less faithfully. To an institution so central in that ancient 
religion, which they still acknowledged to be Divine, and so 
endeared to every Jew by personal and social as well as 
national ties, they would be specially attached. When other 
customs were relinquished this would be preserved, and the 
more naturally so because it shadowed forth hopes which 
found their fulfilment in Christ. But this usage, in spite of its 
Jewish character, does not appear to have come into question 
in connexion with the efforts of the Judaizers and the vindica- 
tion of Gentile liberty. It is unreasonable to suppose that 
St Paul has it in his mind and intends to condemn it when he 
writes : " let no man judge you... in respect of a fast or a new 
moon, or a sabbath day 2 ." It was one thing to make much of 

1 Adherents both of this and of the last-named view of Quartodecimanism 
have assumed that the Quartodecimans kept other days besides the fourteenth ; 
in the former case a commemoration of the Resurrection ; in the latter, one of the 
Death, another of the Resurrection (see Hilgenfeld, 1. c., pp. 19, 31, 47, 77). But 
this was mere assumption, and, indeed, contrary to the evidence. Hilgenfeld 
saw this (1. c. 88, 310), but apparently he did not realise how damaging the 
admission was to the theory which he clung to. 

2 Hilgenfeld (1. c., p. i7off.) implies that these words were directed against 
the observance of the Jewish Passover-day as well as against that of other Jewish 
rites. This is as little warranted as the hypothesis of Weitzel, against whom he is 
arguing, that the custom of keeping the fourteenth of Nisan as a Christian festival 
is to be traced to St Paul. 



without Judaizing 191 

observances, especially a multiplicity of them, which had not, 
and could not have, a Christian signification, quite another to 
celebrate the Passover with a new Christian intention. Doubt- 
less he would have resisted the attempt to impose this, too, as 
a yoke upon the Gentiles. But it is difficult to see how it 
could have come before him in this way. For either the 
Jewish Christians would have excluded Gentile Christians 
from the Paschal Feast, on the ground that they were un- 
circumcised, in which case Circumcision and not the Passover 
would have been the cause of offence ; or if, on the other 
hand, the Jewish Christians pressed their Gentile brethren to 
join in their own paschal celebration, without making circum- 
cision a test, this would have filled the Apostle with joy. 
Moreover, to represent the abstract principle of the indifference 
of external observances as of the essence of St Paul's teaching, 
is very misleading. It was upon their indifference or rather 
their harmfulness in so far as they formed a barrier to the 
union of Jews and Gentiles, or ivere devoid of spiritual meaning, 
that he insisted. As for himself, we may believe that he kept 
the Passover 1 and that he valued it, because it spoke so plainly 
of that redeeming Will and Power which formed the great 
theme of his preaching. 

When controversy breaks out on the subject of Quarto- 
decimanism its antagonists bring to light no important 
difference of faith between its adherents and themselves. 
The only point raised which is in any degree doctrinal is 
that of the amount of deference due to the Law in fixing the 
day of observance. Hippolytus and Origen contend that it 
shews undue attention to the letter to feel- bound by the 
ancient ordinance in a matter of this kind. The former 
throws in an allusion to the Jews, which suggests that to 
many in his day the consideration, that in following the 
Anti-quartodeciman custom they would avoid keeping the 
same day as the Jews of their own time did, would be a 
strong recommendation. Apollinaris and Clement, on the 
other hand, argue that if a broad view of the institution is 
taken, the Anti-quartodecimans more truly observe the Law 
than their opponents. While Eusebius takes up the position 

1 It is natural to take i Cor. v. 8 as implying this. 



1 92 Paschal observance at Rome 

that, whereas Christ and His disciples observed the right day 
of the Passover, the Jewish chief priests and scribes on that 
occasion did not, and that the Jews have gone wrong since, so 
that it was a mistake to trust their calculations. 

More obscurity hangs over the early history of the Paschal 
observances of the Churches that were not Quartodeciman, 
even than over such as were. But here also there is nothing 
in the facts, so far as they can be ascertained, which favours 
the view that the diversity of practice had its roots in an 
important doctrinal difference. At the time when Victor 
attacked the Asiatic Christians, both the Church of Rome 
and the Church generally had a well-established custom of 
keeping a great annual commemoration at a time correspond- 
ing approximately to that of the Jewish Passover. It is only 
in regard to the precise day to be observed that there is any 
difference which is regarded as important. There can, more- 
over, be no doubt as to the place which the Christian Passover 
held in the whole Church when, little more than a century 
later, the settlement of differences as to the time of observance 
was taken in hand at the Council of Nicaea. It is scarcely 
conceivable that the Paschal observances, which prevailed in 
the third century in Churches opposed to Quartodecimanism, 
could have been introduced after once the controversy had 
begun. There is also evidence in Irenaeus's language to 
Victor that such an annual celebration was then general, and 
that it had been so at least for a generation. He draws a 
moral from a point connected with it about which passions 
had been aroused, the length of the preliminary fast. "As 
to this," he says, "there has been and is great variety of usage. 
And yet those times before us were at peace, and so are we as 
to this matter, and the disagreement in regard to the fast 
confirms the agreement in the faith 1 ." 

How, then, did that modified Paschal observance arise 
which was so adjusted as not to conflict with the regular 
weekly commemoration of the Crucifixion and Resurrection ? 
Another part of the same letter of Irenaeus furnishes a hint 
as to what had happened in one Church that of Rome itself. 
There was a greater contrast, he tells Victor, between the 

1 Ap. Eus. H. E. v. xxiv. 13. 



Modified Paschal observance 193 

practice of those who had presided over the Church of 
Rome before Soter 1 , and that of Christians from some other 
dioceses, who came to Rome in their day, than that which 
now divided Victor himself from the Asiatics. Then it was a 
case of "observance" or (total) " non-observance 2 ." He plainly 
implies that it is this no longer, and that the change took 
place in the time of Soter. We must suppose, then, that the 
Christian Paschal commemoration had seemed to the Church 
of Rome to be such a godly custom that in Soter's Episcopate 
it had adopted the institution, though in a modified form, 
in which the associations that had already gathered about 
Friday and Sunday were respected. The curious word used 
by Polycrates may well be taken as a depreciatory allusion to 
this adaptation. " We," he writes, " keep the day dppa&iovp- 
yrjTov" We have not, he would say, like you, thought we 
could treat the solemnly-appointed day freely, manipulating 
the ancient ordinance according to our own fancy. 

According to Eusebius the use, which we have just been 
considering in connexion with the Church of Rome, prevailed 
throughout the whole world, saving in the province of Asia, 
at the time of the outbreak of the controversy in the last 
decade of the second century. There is, perhaps, some 
rhetorical exaggeration here. But he states also expressly 
that the Churches of Palestine, Mesopotamia, Pontus and Gaul, 
and the Church of Corinth, as well as many others, made 
formal declarations that such was their practice 3 ; and it 
comes out incidentally that Alexandria had the same custom 4 . 
Apostolical authority was claimed on this side no less than 
on that of the Quartodecimans. In particular as regards the 
synodical letter of the Churches of Palestine, which lay before 
him, Eusebius says that therein they " distinctly stated many 
things concerning the tradition of the Passover which had 
come down to them by succession from the Apostles 5 ." This 

1 He became Bishop circ. A.D. 166. 

2 Eus. H, E. V. xxiv. 14 avrol /ATJ Typouvres elp-qvevov rots airb T&V irapoiKiuv , 
ev ah errjpeiTo, epxo/J.tvois TT/JOS O.VTOVS' Kal rot fj.a\\ov evavrlov -f\v r6 T-rjpeiv rots /J.T) 



3 Ib. xxiii. 4 Ib. xxv. 

5 Ib. irepl TTJS KaT\ffovffr]s ei's at/Tobs e/c 5ia5ox^ TWV a.TroaT6\uj> irepi rov Traced 
7rapa56rews irXeiffra SiaX^dres. 

S. G. 13 



i94 Modified Paschal observance 

may have included their method of calculating the Paschal 
Moon, as well as their practice of not breaking the fast 
till the Sunday ; but the latter was at this early time the chief 
point in dispute. We can hardly suppose that the usage 
which, at the end of the second century, these Churches 
defended had remained strictly unaltered since the Apostolic 
Age. It has too much the appearance of being the resultant 
of an interaction of different influences, which must have 
needed time to work. But the claim in question shews at 
least that no marked change had taken place in those 
Churches, so far as could be remembered, or was known. 

Even apart from this indication, it would be improbable 
that a yearly commemoration at the Paschal season, and 
under the name of Passover 1 , should have been so widespread 
before the end of the second century, if it had been introduced 
in most Churches so late as it would seem to have been in 
Rome. The facts can best be explained by supposing that 
the observance of the ancient festival, although in a new spirit, 
had retained its hold from the first in many places besides 
Asia upon the converts from Judaism and upon others through 
their influence; but that from various circumstances the 
custom had not been able to resist modification to the extent 
it did there, in particular such a modification as would bring 
it into conformity with the weekly round of Christian fast and 
festival 2 . It may therefore have been imported into Rome in 

1 As examples of the use of pascha at the end of the second century, among 
non-Quartodecimans, as the name of the Christian festival it will suffice to adduce 
(i) the words given p. 193, n. 5 in which Eusebius seems to be quoting from the 
letter of the Palestinian bishops; (2) the fact that Hippolytus wrote an a7r63etts 
Xpbvwif TOU irdaxa (see the enumeration of his works on his chair, ap. Lightfoot, 
Ap. Frs Pt i, n. p. 325): this he assuredly would not have done unless it had 
been practically required for Christian purposes, comp. the description of it, Eus. 
H. E. VI. xxii. i ; (3) the case of the Christian wife who has a heathen husband, 
as pictured by Tertullian, Ad Uxor. II. 4 "quis denique sollennibus Paschae 
abnoctantem securus sustinebit?" Cp. also De Corona, c. 3. (4) The following 
references may, also, be given to writings belonging to the middle part of the 
third century. Origen contr. Cels. vm. 11 init. Cyprian, Ep. 75, 6. Dionys. 
Alex. ap. Eus. H. E. vn. 20. 

2 For the early growth of the practice of observing "the Lord's Day," the 
first day of the week, see i Cor. xvi. 2; Acts xx. 7; Apoc. i. 10; Pliny, Ep. 96 
("stato die"); Didache 14; Justin M. Apol. I. 67; for fasting on Wednesdays and 
Fridays, Didache, 8. 



Qnartodecimanism and the Fourth Gospel 195 

the new form. If so this would not be the only instance in 
which Rome has not led, but followed, other Churches in 
ceremonial, as also in confessional, development At the 
same time the example of Rome may well have encouraged 
some other Churches to adopt the accommodation in regard 
to the day of the festival, or the yearly festival itself in 
its accommodated form. Much here must necessarily be 
matter of conjecture. But at least we may say that the links 
of a common name and season (not to mention others less 
widespread and enduring 1 , and possibly of later introduction), 
which united the greatest celebrations of the Christian and 
the Jewish calendar, would not have been so generally 
retained, or early and quickly adopted, if the observance or 
non-observance of the Passover had, only a short time before, 
been bound up with the divergences between two great 
parties among Christians, who were diametrically opposed to 
one another. And it is, further, to be remarked that in the 
first controversy on Quartodecimanism, which comes before 
us with sufficient clearness for us to understand its nature 2 , 
the point at issue was mainly one of Church order. Moreover 
this was not the inadequate cause that to some at the present 
day it may appear to be. It was a matter of great con- 
sequence that Christians should be united through common 
thoughts and feelings in regard to the great acts and 
moments in their Church life, that they should mourn and 
rejoice together 3 . 

We have still to consider whether, or in what degree, 
the conclusions which we have reached affect the question 
of the authorship of the Fourth Gospel. We have seen 
that the commemoration of the Last Supper itself was not 
the object of Quartodeciman observance. If it had been", 

1 Such as the use of unleavened bread (Hilgenfeld, 1. c. p. 211, n. 2), and the 
eating of a lamb (Drummond, 1. c. pp. 610 615). 

- When Victor excommunicated the Quartodecimans; we know too little of 
that in Laodicea twenty-five years earlier to judge of it. 

3 It does not concern us here to follow out the later history of Paschal obser- 
vance. On it see among others, Funk, Kirchengeschichtliche Abhandlungen, 
Vol. I. No. 9, Die Entwickelung d. Osterfastens, and Duchesne, La Question de 
la Pfique au Concile de Niece in Revue des Questions Historiques, Vol. xxvm., 
bearing in mind in regard to the latter the cautions given above, p. 183 n. 

132 



196 Quartodecimanism and the Fourth Gospel 

then clearly the same man could not consistently have 
encouraged it, and have written the narrative of the events 
of the Passover in the Fourth Gospel. But on the other 
hand, Quartodecimans frequently, and even so early as 
circ. A.D. 165, defended their practice of continuing to observe 
the Jewish Paschal day by the argument that Jesus Himself 
had eaten the Passover with His disciples on that day. If 
it could be shewn, or rendered probable, that this reason for 
keeping the fourteenth was given at the end of the first 
century or near the beginning of the second, in the region 
where the Apostle John lived, there would be a presumption 
that he could not have taught that chronology of the Passion 
which we gather from the Gospel attributed to him ; for a 
different one must in that case have been held by those who 
must have known his mind. But arguments in defence of a 
custom are often not devised till it is challenged, and may 
have nothing to do with the causes for its existence. The 
practice now in question must have seemed so natural among 
early believers, that it did not then require reasons to 
justify it. 

We require proof, then, that Christians who observed 
the Passover in Apostolic and Sub-apostolic times made 
that appeal to the example of Christ to which Apollinaris, 
and others after him, refer. Now such proof is not forth- 
coming ; on the contrary there is reason to think that the 
argument was a new one in Apollinaris' time. I so far agree 
with what is said in regard to his language by those who 
contend that he was a Quartodeciman as to hold that if the 
reason for Quartodecimanism which he combats had been 
long known and recognised, and put forward by Quarto- 
decimans generally, that is by the great majority of the 
Churches of Asia and their bishops, he could not have spoken 
of those who used it in the terms he does Further Polycarp 
is not said to have urged it at the time of his conference 
with Anicetus, and we have evidence in the peaceable ter- 
mination of that conference that he did not. So long as the 
difference of practice was defended simply on the ground of 
local custom, even though this was traced to an Apostle, or 
Apostles, who had founded a particular Church, no irritating 



Quartodecimanism and the Fourth Gospel 197 

point was introduced. But if the example of the Lord had 
been urged this would have implied that other Churches ought 
to give up their different usage 1 . 

The employment, therefore, of this argument by Quarto- 
decimans of the latter part of the second century, affords no 
ground for calling in question the authenticity of the Gospel 
accg to St John ; and in another way the history of the 
Quartodeciman controversy supplies valuable evidence of the 
early and wide reception of the Fourth Gospel. Apollinaris 
is able to assume that his opponents will allow that the 
Synoptics and St John must not be made to contradict one 
another 2 . Once more, Polycrates, the defender of Quarto- 
decimanism, plainly identifies the writer of the Fourth Gospel 
with the Apostle John. There is not the slightest sign that 
Quartodecimans as such ever resisted its authority. Evidently 
they had accepted it without considering whether its state- 
ments made for or against their particular custom, and when 
it was used against them they did not think of calling its 
authenticity in question. They must no doubt have had 
some way, which satisfied themselves, of reconciling the 
Johannine account to the Synoptic, just as Origen and 
Eusebius must, who, though they were not Quartodecimans, 
held that the Last Supper took place on the fourteenth ; and 
as on the other hand Apollinaris, Hippolytus and Clement 
must, who thought they could best harmonise the different 
accounts by adopting the view most naturally to be inferred 
from St John. 

1 On the point that the arguments used by Quartodecimans in the latter part 
of the second century do not shew what the view of Paschal observance taken by 
the Apostle John was, cp. Bleek, Beitrdge pp. 1^3-4, and Introd. to N. T. I. 
pp. 20, 7, 8, and Schiirer, 1. c. pp. 274, 5. The considerations brought forward 
by me are partly different from those which they urge; they have the Tubingen 
position chiefly before their minds. But their reasoning is to the same effect. 

2 Baur interpreted the words of Apollinaris as meaning that the Gospels and 
the Law would not conflict ; but this is evidently forced. It has also been sug- 
gested that Apollinaris had in his mind some Gospel other than St John, in spite 
of the parallelisms between Apollinaris' language and that of St John, and the 
fact that we know of no other which would suit. Hilgenfeld saw that the natural 
force of the passage could not be evaded by either of these devices, 1. c. 
PP- 53. 57 " i- 



198 Irenaeus on certain who rejected 

(6) TJie Impugners of St John's writings. 

We pass to a phenomenon which obviously must be 
examined in connexion with the subject upon which we are 
now engaged. In the last quarter of the second century 
there were some Christians whose main, or most patent, 
difference from the general body of believers was that they 
rejected the writings attributed to the Apostle John. In 
recent years, while controversy on many other points in the 
history of the reception of the Gospels has greatly abated, 
the party holding the views just referred to have attracted 
increased attention 1 . It will be necessary that we should 
estimate aright, so far as we can, the significance of the 
existence of such a party. And with this object we must 
first endeavour to ascertain the considerations by which they 
were influenced in maintaining the views which they did. 

Irenaeus in his famous passage on the Fourfold Gospel 2 , 
when speaking of those who err by adopting either fewer, or 
more, Gospels than the Four generally acknowledged by the 
Church, gives this instance of the former class : " Others in 
order that they may frustrate the gift of the Spirit, which in 
the last times according to the good pleasure of the Father 
has been poured out upon the human race, do not admit that 
form (of the Gospel), which is according to John's Gospel, in 
which the Lord promised that he would send the Paraclete, but 
reject at the same time the Gospel and the prophetic Spirit. 
Truly unhappy men, who indeed choose to be false prophets, 
but reject the grace of prophecy from the Church! Their case 

1 Two of the chief older discussions of the subject are those of F. A. Heinichen, 
De Alogis, Theodotianis, atque Artetnonitis (1829); and Dollinger, Hippolylus und 
Callisttis (1853), Eng. Trans. (1876) pp. 272 288. The following expressions of 
opinion are also of interest in connexion with the history of controversy upon it : 
Credner, Kanon, p. 185, with Volkmar's note ib.\ Hilgenfeld, Ketzergesch. p. 599 f. ; 
Lipsius, Quellen d. alt. Ketzergesch. (1875) p. 101 ff. ; S. Davidson, Introd. to N. T. 
(1882) II. pp. 386-7; Holtzmann, Einleit. pp. 468-9; Westcott, Canon, 
p. 285. The fullest treatment is that by Zahn, Kanon I. pp. 220 262, and II. 
967 973, with which Harnack, Das N. T. urn das Jahr 200, pp. 58 70, and 
Chron. I. pp. 670-1, should be compared. The fullest in English, though brief 
by comparison, are Lightfoot's, Biblical Essays, pp. 115 119, and Sanday's, 
Expositor for 1891, pt II. pp. 405-7, and Inspiration pp. 14, 15 and 64-5. 

2 Adv. Hour. in. xi. 6 9. The sentences quoted in the sequel occur in 9. 



the Gospel according to St John 199 

is like that of those who, because there are some who come in 
hypocrisy, abstain from the communion of brethren. But it 
is clear that persons of this sort could not receive the Apostle 
Paul either. For in his Epistle to the Corinthians, he spoke 
studiously about prophetic gifts, and he knows of men and 
women in the Church who prophesy. Through all these 
things then they sin against the Spirit of God and fall into 
the unpardonable sin." The general drift of this passage is 
plain, and we gather from it that the rejection of St John's 
Gospel by those whom Irenaeus here condemns was con- 
nected with opposition to the extravagant and fanatical 
claims to prophetic gifts made by the Montanists and others 1 . 
The promise of the coming of the Paraclete, made more 
particularly in that Gospel, could be, and doubtless was. cited 
to prove that such grace was to be expected, and the argument 
was met on the part of some by denying the authenticity of 
the document. Irenaeus himself was ready to allow that not 
all the pretended prophecies were truly such, but he had no 
sympathy with men who, on account of abuses connected with 
the recognition of the gift of prophecy, were prepared to 
deny the continued presence of the Holy Spirit of prophecy 
in the Church 2 . 

Here, then, we have one ground on which the genuineness 

1 The only words that can cause any difficulty are qui pseudo-prophetae esse 
vohtnt. Bishop Lightfoot (1. c. pp. 115. 116) emends them by reading the 
accusative pseudo-prophetas for pseudo-prophetae, and understands the point to be 
that the persons in question "confess the existence of false prophets, and yet deny 
the existence of a true prophecy." Zahn 1. c. n. p. 971 ff. makes also a further 
change, of volunt into nolunt, with the meaning that in their anxiety to guard against 
false prophets they were for abolishing the gift of prophecy altogether. But both 
these are rather tame statements, which do not suit well with the indignant strain 
of the passage. It seems better to retain the text as it stands. Irenaeus seems to 
mean that these misbelievers choose to play the role of prophets, but are false 
ones, and condemn themselves in the very act of condemning prophecy. 

2 It used to be not uncommon to take this passage of Irenaeus as directed against 
the Montanists, instead of against their most decided opponents. E.g. see Volkmar, 
note in his edition of Credner's Kanon, p. 185; Harvey, note in his edition of 
Irenaeus in loc. This interpretation is an extremely forced one, and has been 
generally abandoned. Its adoption was, perhaps, due to the fact that the Mon- 
tanists were much more familiar heretics than the persons whom Irenaeus has 
actually in view. It was also, perhaps, forgotten that the Montanists had not yet 
been formally condemned, and that Irenaeus and many other orthodox Churchmen 
felt much sympathy with their views. 



200 Epiphanius and Philaster on the rejection 

of the Fourth Gospel was denied. There is, however, other 
evidence which must be compared with that of Irenaeus. 
Epiphanius 1 and Philaster 2 , in their treatises on Heresies, 
describe one which consisted in " the rejection of the Gospel 
and the Apocalypse of John." The value of the statements 
of these two writers of the latter part of the fourth century 
is greatly enhanced by the probability that they have used 
here, as frequently elsewhere, the lost compendium Against 
all Heresies by Hippolytus, or if not this, then another work 
of his, also lost, On behalf of the Gospel according to John and 
the Apocalypse*. Philaster in his brief description appears to 
be simply reproducing his source. The two points to be noted 
in it are that the persons in question asserted that the heretic 
Cerinthus was the author of the Gospel and the Apocalypse 
ascribed to John, and that the cause of their error lay in their 
not perceiving the force of the Scripture 4 . The attribution 
to Cerinthus is expressly confirmed by Epiphanius 5 , and their 

1 Panar. LI. 2 De Haer. LX. 

3 R. A. Lipsius has shewn that in all probability the compendium Against all 
Heresies by Hippolytus was the chief common authority used by Epiphanius and 
Philaster in their Heresiologies. See his Zur Quellenkritik d. Epiphanius, 
1865, and for a succinct account of the argument, Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, Pt i, II. 
pp. 415-18. It is not, however, possible to make out with certainty the complete 
list of thirty-two heresies which Hippolytus' work contained; there is doubt 
about one or two, and it is uncertain whether the misbelievers now in question, 
whom Epiphanius calls Alogi, were included. Lipsius holds that they were not, 
Harnack and Zahn that they were. See Lipsius 1. c. pp. 23-8, 233-4; Harnack, 
Zcitschr. f. hist. Theol. 1874, II. pp. 162 170; Lipsius' reply, Die Quetlen d. 
dltesten Ketzergeschichte, 1875, p. 93 ff. ; Zahn, Kan. I. p. 223 (ih. n. p. 971 n., 
however, he says that the question whether it was this or the other work of Hip- 
polytus named above, must remain undecided); Harnack, Das N. T. urn d.Jakr 
200, p. 62. The fact that Epiphanius and Philaster introduce the Alogi at quite 
different points tells strongly in favour of Lipsius' view. On the other hand there 
is a certain probability that they used the work here which they used elsewhere, 
rather than a different one. Philaster's concise statement, also, accords well with 
what we may imagine the character of the "compendium " to have been. It is 
very possible, too, that, if Epiphanius used this work, he may, as Zahn suggests, 
have had recourse to the Defence of the Gospel and Apocalypse of yohn (vntp TOV /card 
'lujdvvrjv evayyeXiov xai aVo/caXity'ewj) as well. 

4 Post hos sunt haeretici qui evangelium secundum Joannem et apocalypsim 
ipsius non accipiunt, et cum non intelligunt virtutem Scripturae, nee desiderant 
discere, in haeresi permanent pereuntes, ut etiam Cerinthi illius haeretici esse 
audeant dicere. 

5 Panar. LI. 3 end. Atyovffi yap /j.r) elvai aura 'ludvvov d\\d Krjplvtiov, Kai 
OVK dto ai/ra <pa<nv civai cv eKK\i)<rla. 



of the Gospel and Apocalypse of John 201 

misunderstanding of the Scripture is illustrated by the 
objections which the latter quotes, founded on discrepancies 
between the Fourth Gospel and the Synoptics 1 , and on a too 
literal interpretation of the language of the Apocalypse which 
enabled them to turn it into ridicule 2 . 

After noticing these cavils, Epiphanius employs expres- 
sions closely resembling, and in part identicalwith, those of 
Irenaeus in regard to the resistance which these adversaries 
offered to the Spirit ; but he sees their rejection of the 
Spirit in their attitude to St John's writings, in which, as 
well as in the other Scriptures, the gifts of the Spirit to the 
Church are exhibited 3 , while he passes over the denial of 
the perpetuity of such gifts upon which Irenaeus lays much 
stress. This passage goes far to establish the identity of the 
persons to whom Irenaeus refers as rejecting alike the Gospel 
of John and " the Prophetic Spirit," with those who according 
to Epiphanius rejected both the Gospel and the Apocalypse 
of John. Moreover, it is most likely that Epiphanius obtained 
Irenaeus' expressions not directly but through Hippolytus. 
The judgment which they convey has been prepared for by 
those parts of the previous disquisition which there is the 
strongest reason to think have been supplied to him by 
Hippolytus, his quotations of the actual objections of the 

1 Two alleged discrepancies are mentioned : () one in 4, to which Epiphanius 
recurs in 13, 15, 18: (b) another in 22, which gives occasion for a long dis- 
quisition, 22 31. 

a See 3234. 

3 35. The thought appears more than once before: "They feared the 
voice of the Holy Spirit . . . which was given to the world through the holy 
apostles and evangelists" ( i); "the doctrine and the sequence of narratives" 
in the Gospels "were from the Holy Spirit" ( 4); they "speak against the Holy 
Spirit and the marvellous sequence of the Gospels" ( 6). These allusions, to- 
gether with the paragraph at the end of the disquisition, give us, unless I am much 
mistaken, the means for distinguishing the representation of the opinions of those 
heretics which Epiphanius found in Hippolytus from the matter which he adds. 
In the two opening sections he speaks, by way of introduction, of the duty of 
detecting poisonous serpents; then ( 3) for the old name of the heresy he pro- 
poses to substitute a new name, and forthwith comes to the first objection made by 
the heretics ( 4). From this point onward it is not difficult, in spite of Epiphanius' 
own long digressions, to trace a thread of argument, belonging to this source, 
which has for its object to set forth the dishonour done to the Scriptures and so to 
their Author, the Holy Spirit, by the persons in question. 



202 Epiphanius term "the Alogi" 

heretics in question 1 . And the fact that their hostility to the 
prophetic gifts is not mentioned, is amply explained by the 
change of attitude of the Church generally on this subject in 
the interval between the times when Irenaeus and Hippolytus 
wrote. 

There are then clear signs of correspondence between the 
opinions described by Irenaeus, on the one hand, and by 
Epiphanius and Philaster, who (it seems) follow Hippolytus, 
on the other. Nor does the fact that Irenaeus is silent as to 
the rejection of anything but the Gospel accg to St Jolin^ 
afford good ground for thinking that the party which he has 
in view was not the same as that to which later writers refer*. 
Indeed it must be allowed to be probable that those of whom 
he speaks would be opponents of the reception of the 
Apocalypse. For to strong anti-Montanists the Apocalypse 
must have been even more distasteful than the Gospel according 
to St John, because it seemed to encourage the Millenarian 
dreams in which the Montanists revelled, and which furnished 
them with a model, as it were, for their own prophecies 3 . 

There is yet one point in Epiphanius' characterisation of 
these heretics of which I have not spoken, though it meets 

1 Cp. Zahn pp. 226-7. Zahn however, p. 226 n. i, thinks the obliteration of 
the reference to the charismata is due to Epiphanius, to whom the question of 
their continuance in the Church was not a matter of interest. I am doubtful of 
this, because (see last note) the course of Hippolytus' argument, so far as we can 
gather what it was, would naturally lead him to dwell on the resistance to the 
Holy Spirit shewn in the rejection of Scriptures. 

- Zahn (I. c. p. 245) well points out that in the immediate context there is 
a parallel in the case of Marcion's Gospel. Irenaeus alludes to his treatment of 
the Gospels, but says nothing of his having rejected the rest of the Scriptures, 
saving ten of St Paul's epistles, which he mutilated. 

3 For a remarkable illustration of the rejection of the Apocalypse on this ground 
see below p. 206. Volkmar (1. c.) held that Hippolytus had thrown together in 
his Defence of the Gospel and the Apocalypse of John, all who attacked St John's, 
writings, even the most different, and that the coupling together of opponents of 
the Gospel and the Apocalypse to form a single party is a mere illusion. But the 
words which both Epiphanius and Philaster use, and evidently reproduce from 
a common source, shew that Volkmar was quite mistaken. At the same time, no 
doubt, Hippolytus' treatise may have been intended to serve as a reply to those 
who rejected only the Apocalypse, as well as to those who also rejected the 
Gospel. It is probable that the same party rejected also the First Epistle of 
St John, and the Second and Third (so far as they were then received). Epi- 
phanius conjectures that they did, but he does not know it for a fact ( 34). 
Doubtless the main attack was directed against the Gospel and the Apocalypse. 



Epiphanius term "the Alogi" 203 

the reader almost at the beginning of his disquisition on 
them 1 . For the circumlocution by which they have been 
known in the past he proposes to substitute the name of 
Alogi, " because they do not receive the Logos preached by 
John'V The name had no doubt the additional attraction 
that it could bear the meaning "irrational persons." But we 
are concerned simply with the accusation that they were 
opposed to the doctrine of the Logos. It appears to be 
Epiphanius' own inference from the fact that they did not 
acknowledge the Gospel in which more especially that truth 
was taught. He quotes no words of theirs which imply it; 
if he had known any, he would almost certainly have made 
a point of dragging them forward. After starting on ihis 
scent he quickly abandons it, clearly because he has no 
information that is to the purpose, and then, falling into 
the track of his predecessor, gives the proof that in denying 
sacred Scriptures they did despite to the Holy Spirit. But 
indeed the language which he actually uses about them 
renders it impossible to suppose that they can have openly 
professed any doubts as to the Incarnation of the Divine 
Word. "They seem," he says, "to believe just as we do 8 ." 
A zealous champion of Nicene orthodoxy, such as Epiphanius 
was, could not have expressed himself thus about men who 
had called in question this article of the Faith. But he is 
determined to unmask the comparatively harmless appearance. 
He will reveal the sinister motive by which, he assumes, they 
must be actuated 4 . 

1 3, 4- 

2 It appears to me impossible to accept Lightfoot's suggestion (Bibl. Essays, 
p. 119; and Ap. Frs, Pt i, II. p. 394; urged, also, by Rendel Harris, Hernias in 
Arcadia and other Essays, pp. 50-2), that he borrowed this name from Hippolytus. 
Epiphanius' own expressions, and the use by Philaster of the name which 
Epiphanius proposes to put aside, are strongly against this. (Cp. Zahn 1. c. p. 242 
n. i.) Other considerations unfavourable to this theory might also be adduced. 
The only argument for it is that Hippolytus was fond of making puns of the 
kind ; but Epiphanius may well have imitated him in this. 

3 4. 8oKOv<Ti yap /cai auroi TO. tea. TJ/UUV iriartvtiv . 

4 In Das N. T. urn d. J. 200, Harnack treated the name "Alogi" given by 
Epiphanius, and his remarks thereon, as the most material piece of evidence which 
we have for ascertaining the opinions of the sect, and blamed Zahn severely for 
starting from the passage in Irenaeus. He himself admitted that the latter probably 
referred to the same persons, but gave it quite a subordinate place. It is satis- 



204 Grounds on which the Johannine writings 

It may however be suggested that Epiphanius' charge is 
confirmed by the circumstance that the Alogi attributed the 
Gospel according to St John to Cerinthus. It is possible 

factory to note a complete change of front, though one silently effected, in his 
Chronologic, i. p. 670. He now writes, "So much is certain, that they (the 
Alogi) were decided opponents of the Montanists (who sought to found and to 
justify their new institution above all out of the Johannine writings), that they did 
not belong to the heretical-gnostic schools, and that the gospel which they com- 
pared with the synoptics and pronounced to be historically incorrect, and 
essentially false (because of Gnostic tendencies), was attributed by them to 
Cerinthus." The opposition to these writings on the ground of supposed Gnostic 
tendencies takes now the second place. Also he says not a word about resistance 
to the doctrine of the Logos, though he may as before connect this with the 
charge of Gnosticism. According to his earlier work, the Alogi "rejected the 
Johannine Logos, because it seemed to them to involve a docetic doctrine." He 
asserts that they "expressly raised the objection, that according to the Johannine 
Gospel the Logos became flesh, in order forthwith to begin his activity in Cana. 
That seemed to them Gnostic" (p. 63). All this, however, is imaginary. The 
whole stress in the objection of the Alogi, as Epiphanius gives it, is upon the dis- 
crepancies between the Fourth Gospel and the Synoptics in regard to the order of 
events. And Epiphanius himself understood this to be its purport. He occupies 
himself with this alone in his reply. 

One other argument is used by Harnack (p. 65), and others, for the supposed 
rejection of the doctrine of the Logos by the Alogi ; and it finds favour with 
Dr Sanday (Inspiration, p. 64). Epiphanius calls Theodotus, who declared 
Jesus to be "a mere man," an offshoot from the Alogi. But it is not unfair 
I think to Epiphanius to hold that, after persuading himself that the Alogi 
rejected the Logos, because they rejected the Gospel ol the Logos, he would be 
quite ready to infer that Theodotus' opinions were a growth from theirs. 
Dr Sanday, indeed, thinks that a rationalizing tendency such as that of the 
Alogi must inevitably have gone further, and that on this ground the statement of 
Epiphanius before us may be accepted. There is force in this remark; yet we are 
hardly justified in imputing the views of those whose rationalizing tendency had 
developed to those in whom it was still latent. 

If we compare Bp Lightfoot's Biblical Essays, p. 115 ff. (printed after his 
death from lecture-notes), with Ap, Frs, Pt i, II. p. 394 (also published after his 
death), we observe a change in the opposite direction to that which has taken 
place in Dr Harnack's case. At the earlier time Bp Lightfoot shews admirably 
that Epiphanius as well as Irenaeus "is describing an anti-Spiritualist, anti- 
Montanist movement"; while "in every other respect the Alogi seem to have 
been orthodox." "It does not appear," he adds, "that they rejected the doctrine 
of St John's Gospel They may, however, have repudiated the Johannine form 
under which the Divinity of Our Lord was taught, though even this is doubtful." 
At the later date he writes that they "objected to both works" (the Gospel 
and the Apocalypse) "alike, because they described Our Lord as the A6709." 
It may be permissible to surmise that when he penned this statement in the Essay 
on which he was engaged in his last illness, and which was left unfinished, he 
did not refresh his memory as to the evidence. 



attributed to Cerinthus 205 

that they may in so doing have intended in a vague and 
general way to impute Gnostic tendencies to the Fourth 
Gospel. But the use of Cerinthus' name could not have 
contained an allusion to the Logos, if the accounts which we 
have of his doctrines are true. He did not, according to 
them, use the term, nor had he truly the idea ; he spoke of 
the world as created " by a certain Power separated and 
distant from the Authority which is over all things, and 
ignorant of the God who is over all." Further, he said that 
"the Christ" descended upon Jesus at His baptism 1 . 

The fact, indeed, that certain Gnostics of a different type 
Valentinus and Basilides, or at all events some of their chief 
disciples quoted and commented on the Gospel according 
to St John may have created a prejudice against it in some 
quarters. There would be nothing strange in this ; the 
strange thing, indeed, is that there is so little trace of any 
feeling of the kind and that it must at the utmost have 
existed only to a very limited degree. That a charge against 
the doctrine of the Logos, as being Gnostic, was ever con- 
nected therewith, there is, so far as I am aware, no ground 
for thinking. The Gnostics do not appear to have valued 
the Fourth Gospel specially because of its doctrine of the 
Logos* ; while on the contrary this doctrine was the corner- 
stone of the thought of great anti-Gnostic teachers such as 
Justin and Irenaeus. It took account marvellously of what- 
ever truth there was in the Gnostic speculations, and brought 
it into harmony with the Old Testament Revelation and with 
the faith of simple Christians, and thus furnished the best 
possible antidote to Gnosticism. Nevertheless, the powers of 
human misapprehension were doubtless as great then as they 
are in the present day. And the conception of the Logos 
was a difficult one. The blunder of supposing it to be 
Gnostic might have been made. My point simply is that so 
far as we know it was not, and that the attribution of the 



1 Iren. Adv. ffaer. I. xxvi. i, repeated by Hippol. Refut. vil. 33. According 
to Epiphanius, Panar. xxvin., he taught that the world was made by angels. 

2 The position of the Logos in Gnostic systems was very different from, and of 
far less significance than, that which it held in the teaching of St John. E.g. see 
Iren. Adv. Haer. I. ix. 2, 3; n. xvii. 5 f . ; xxviii. 3 f. 



206 Grounds on which the Johannine writings 

Fourth Gospel to Cerinthus, in particular, could hardly have 
been dictated by such an idea. 

Some additional evidence as to the rejection of the Apo- 
calypse has to be taken into account, and we may conveniently 
advert to it at this point. Dionysius of Alexandria tells us 
that there were certain before his time, who had "wholly made 
away with " the Apocalypse. Going through it chapter by 
chapter they had argued that it was senseless and incon- 
sequent. Its title, they said, was a fraud ; it was not an 
Apocalypse, since it was so obscure, and it was not John's. 
They attributed it to Cerinthus, alleging that this was his 
doctrine, namely, that the kingdom of the Christ would be on 
earth, while he pictured its delights after a carnal manner, in 
accordance with his own sensual desires 1 . We do not know 
whether the persons referred to by Dionysius also rejected 
the Gospel according to John. It is possible that they may 
have done so and that he passes this over, because for the 
moment he is concerned only with the Apocalypse, of the 
authorship of which he himself is about to treat. Perhaps it 
is most likely on the whole, that in his reference he included 
some who did, and some who did not, accept the Gospel. But 
at all events their view of the Apocalypse is not unconnected 
with that of the so-called " Alogi." They not only assigned 
it to the same author, but they applied to it the same kind of 
criticism ; and they were opposed to it on the same doctrinal 
ground. For there can be little doubt that Gaius, a learned 
Roman Christian, and probably a clergyman, who, near the 
end of the second century, wrote against the Montanists, was 
one of the persons to whom Dionysius alludes. Eusebius 
quotes a passage from Gaius' Dialogue with Proclus the 
Montanist^ in which Cerinthus is accused of having put forth, 
under the name of a great Apostle, revelations of awful things 
which (it was pretended) had been communicated by angels, 
and the prediction of a grossly material reign of Christ. In 
the same work Gaius upbraided the Montanists with having 
audaciously composed new writings. That they should have 
adopted a forgery would not be a very dissimilar notion 2 . It 

1 Ap. Eus. H. E. vn. xxv. 14. 

2 Ap. Eus. H. E. in. xxviii. i, 2; vi. xx. 3. 



were attributed to Cerinthus 207 

is doubtful whether Gaius in this Dialogue made it plain that 
by Cerinthus' forgery, of which he spoke, he meant the 
Apocalypse generally believed to be by the Apostle John. 
His language may have been somewhat ambiguous 1 . Never- 
theless, what Eusebius tells us about Gaius, taken with the 
statement of Dionysius and with what we know of the Alogi, 
would of itself incline us to believe that he was one of the 
opponents of the Apocalypse; and this has now been rendered 
practically certain by Dr Gwynn's discovery a few years ago of 
some fragments of Hippolytus' Heads against Gaius, in which 
objections against the Apocalypse, of a kind corresponding 
to Dionysius' description, and similar to those recounted 
by Epiphanius, are propounded by Gaius and replied to by 
Hippolytus 2 . It is not impossible that Gains may also have 
denied the authenticity of the Gospel according to St John, 
though the evidence that we at present possess does not 
appear to me to shew it 3 . 

Zahn supposes that those who desired to discredit the 
Johannine writings, seized upon Cerinthus as the person to 
whom to ascribe them merely because he was a contemporary 
of the Apostle, and one whom tradition had represented 
as his antagonist, and that the alleged Millenarianism of 
Cerinthus is a figment, created out of this association of 
his name with the Apocalypse 4 . But it seems more likely 
that Cerinthus' known opinions led to his being selected. 
That Irenaeus and Hippolytus are silent about his being a 
Millenarian 5 does not shew that he was not one, seeing that 
he would not appear to them to be heretical in this; and 
what they do say about him does not render it improbable. 
His beliefs appear to have been partly Jewish and only to a 
limited extent affected by the Gnostic spirit. 

1 If it was not, it would be difficult to understand how Eusebius could have 
cited what was in reality an attack upon that work as if it was simply a piece of 
information about Cerinthus. It would also be strange that when noting the fact 
that Gaius did not acknowledge the Apostolicity of the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
he should have made no mention of his rejection of the Apocalypse (Eus. H. E. 
VI. xx. 3), in regard to the position of which he in general shews no less interest. 

2 See Herntathena for 1888, p. 397 ff. A German translation of the fragments 
is given by Zahn, Kan. II. p. 973 ff. 

3 See Additional Note, p. 239 ff. 4 1. c. p. 230, n. i. 
5 Iren. Adv. Haer. I. xxvi. i. Hippol. Refut. vn. 33. 



2o8 Time and place of the rise of the Alogi 

Perhaps, therefore, a fancied similarity between the escha- 
tological teaching of Cerinthus and the Apocalypse suggested 
the notion of attributing it to him. The indications in ancient 
writers, such as they are, point to this conclusion. Then his 
authorship would be extended to the Gospel, because that 
also had been reputed to be John's and was a work objected 
to. That Cerinthus had held blameworthy opinions on more 
than one subject would be an additional recommendation. 
But the use of his name did not, it would seem, and was not 
fitted to, convey any specific condemnation of characteristic 
features in the teaching of the Fourth Gospel. 

Thus far we have been occupied with the principles of 
these Impugners of the Gospel and Apocalypse of St John. 
The only doctrinal motive, of which we have found any trace, 
is an aversion to Millenarianism and to the Montanist and 
other similar prophecies. At the same time it was perceived 
that the representation of the Saviour's Ministry in the Gospel 
said to be by the Apostle John seemed to conflict with that 
in the Synoptic Gospels, while the symbolism of the Apo- 
calypse was felt to be distasteful and its style obscure. 

There are a few more points in regard to this party which 
must be discussed before we view the facts more generally in 
relation to the history of the reception of the Fourth Gospel 
in the Church. Irenaeus' reference to them enables us to fix 
approximately the time of their rise. They must have 
appeared at least a little time before the composition of the 
third book of his Treatise against Heresies, and yet after 
Montanism had begun to attract attention. A.D. 160 180 will 
be sufficiently wide limits to take. But we may with some 
probability fix the date more nearly. The Montanist move- 
ment began, according to Eusebius, to spread widely and to 
excite strong disapprobation a little before A.D. 177*. It is 
natural to regard the so-called Alogi as the left wing of the 
opposition to Montanism which then declared itself. 

1 Montanism was attracting the attention of the Christian world generally 
circ. A.D. 177 (Eus. H. E. v. 3). How long before Montanus himself began to 
prophesy in Phrygia it is not easy to determine. Eusebius in his Chronicle 
notices him under A.D. 172 ; but there are strong reasons for placing the beginning 
of his teaching as much as fifteen years earlier, circ. A.D. 157. Cp. Zahn, Forsch. 
V. 13 ff. Harnack, Chron. I. p. 363 ff. Salmon, Diet, of Chr. Bio. III. p. 937. 



Connexion of the Alogi with Asia Minor 209 

A few words must be said as to the region to which they 
belonged. The following is the only reference in an ancient 
writer which connects them definitely with a particular district. 
One of their objections to the Apocalypse which Epiphanius 
quotes is that allusion is therein made to a Church in Thyatira, 
whereas there is no Church in Thyatira. In replying to this, 
Epiphanius charges them with having, along with the Monta- 
nists, caused the desolation of the Church in Thyatira 1 . But 
in point of fact he seems to have introduced the mention of 
the Alogi into a reply taken, like the objection, from his 
source, and which referred solely to the Montanists 2 . His 
intention would seem to have been to make his attack upon 
the misbelievers with whom he is immediately dealing more 
direct ; but he overreaches himself. For Alogi could not 
have found fault with the Apocalypse for assuming that a 
Church existed in Thyatira, if they themselves had been 
members of it. The fact, however, that the Alogi urged this 
objection may, perhaps, be taken to imply local knowledge. 
Again, in Asia Minor, the birthplace and early home of 
Montanism, the most violent and reckless reaction from it 
might naturally shew itself. But neither of these reasons 
is very cogent. The fact, if such it was, in regard to 
Thyatira might have been learned by persons at a distance. 
Still it is on other grounds probable that the Alogi's way 
of thinking originated in Asia Minor, the home of the 
opinions which aroused their repugnance. But the centre 
of the party may have been early transferred to Rome. 
Indeed, a few, even one or two, Christians from Asia Minor, 
who held these views, for which (for aught we know) they 
may have found little sympathy in their own country, may 
have come to Rome, and there first have made some, though 
certainly not any great, impression. It is with Rome chiefly 
that we have reason to connect the party. There Irenaeus 
may naturally have met with representatives of it. There at 

1 33- 

2 The rest of the section is occupied with the Montanists. The periods of 
years cannot be harmonised with Epiphanius' time; he must have taken them as 
they stood in his source. For their bearing on the history of Montanism see 
Zahn, Forsch. v. p. 35 ff. ; Harnack, Chron. I. p. 376 ff. 

S. G. 14 



210 The Alogi arid the history 

all events some twenty-five to thirty years later Gaius main- 
tained its views, at least as regards the Apocalypse ; and 
there Hippolytus carried on the controversy as a defender 
both of this book and of the Gospel. 

Lastly, the Alogi do not seem to have exercised much 
influence. We hear little of them. No one distinguished by 
character, ability, or position in the Church seems to have 
embraced their views as a whole. There is no reason to think 
that the omission of the Apocalypse from the Canon which 
was general for a considerable period in the Eastern Church was 
in any true sense inherited from them ; while antagonism to 
the Gospel according to St John very soon ceased altogether. 

How far, then, we may now enquire, does the existence of 
this party, not outside the Church but within it 1 , from 
A.D. 175, or possibly ten years or so earlier, and onward to 
the end of the century, or a little longer shew that the 
authority of the Fourth Gospel was as yet not firmly estab- 
lished ? We shall do well, for clearness' sake, to consider this 
question under two aspects. We will ask first what is 
implied as to the temper of Churchmen generally in the fact 
that men holding these opinions were suffered to remain in 
the Church; and secondly, as regards these persons them- 
selves, how we are to account for the psychological phe- 
nomenon of difference from others as to the Johannine 
writings combined with agreement in most respects ? 

(i) Harnack has said that the attitude of Irenaeus and 
Hippolytus to the Alogi is "comparatively friendly 2 ." To all 
other readers their words will, I think, seem to convey the 
sternest condemnation. "By all these things" (i.e. their denial 
of the reality of spiritual gifts and rejection of the Gospel 

1 Dr Harnack and some other writers are eloquent about the excellence of the 
Churchmanship of the Alogi. They were "good Catholic Christians" (Das N. 7*. 
etc. cp. 59), "good Christians" (tb. p. 67); "Christians who agreed with the 
great Church in the Rule of Faith" (Chron. I. p. 671). Such language is scarcely 
warranted. Epiphanius observes that they "seem to believe the same as we do"; 
and there was, it is true, no formal breach. But we can all think of individuals 
and parties in our own and other times of whom as much might be said, though 
their spirit and views are not, or have not been, those of the Church generally. 
By exaegerated expressions, such as those which I have just quoted from Dr Har- 
nack, the truth of a historical picture is destroyed. 

2 Das N. T. urn d. J. 200, p. 69. 



of the reception of the Fourth Gospel 2 1 1 

according to St John), writes Irenaeus, " they sin against the 
Spirit of God, and fall into the unpardonable sin." Hippolytus 
if, as is probable, Epiphanius is reproducing him repeated 
this denunciation. If this language is "comparatively friendly," 
it would be interesting to know what, in Dr Harnack's judg- 
ment, would be "comparatively un- friendly" language. 

The Alogi, however, were not excommunicated. Happily, 
throughout the history of the Church, it has usually taken 
some considerable time and effort to secure the excommuni- 
cation of any class of heretics. The fact that no formal 
sentence was passed upon the Alogi may ''shew little more 
than that they never gave much trouble, because they were 
never numerous and did not long continue to exist as a party. 
In addition to this, as Dr Sanday has remarked, " the Church 
did not purge itself of heresy so promptly in these early days 
as it did later 1 ." The organisation, which could be used 
effectively for the purpose, was not yet perfected. Moreover, 
during the period in question the energies of Churchmen were 
largely occupied in coping with a far more powerful move- 
ment, that of Montanism, against which the Alogi themselves 
contended. 

(2) There is nothing, then, in the measure of toleration 
accorded to the Alogi, which betokens uncertainty in the 
mind of the Church at the time, as to the authority belonging 
to the Fourth Gospel. But may the existence of such un- 
certainty be inferred from the very circumstance that this 
Gospel was attacked ? Do these Alogi mark for us the 
moment when the admission of the Gospel of John to a like 
position with the Synoptic Gospels, which were already read 
in the Church, was under discussion, and was resisted on the 
ground of the doctrinal tendencies of this Gospel and of its 
being in conflict with the older Gospels ? and finally, is it 
specially damaging to its claims that this resistance was made 
in Asia Minor (on the supposition that it actually did shew 
itself there)' 2 ? 

It is difficult to say how far the want of correspondence 

1 Expositor, 1891, Ft II. p. 406-7. 

2 I have framed these questions on Dr Harnack's objections: Das N. T. etc. 
p. 70. Cp. also, to much the same effect, Chron. i. p. 670-1. 

142 



2i2 Significance of the Alogi 

between the Fourth Gospel and the other three was held of 
itself to furnish a ground for rejecting the Fourth, because of 
the other motives that we find combined with it, the support 
which it seemed to lend to Montanism, and the dislike of the 
Apocalypse, which was reputed to be by the same author. 
We should certainly not be justified in thinking that the 
discrepancies with the other Gospels were not felt as genuine 
objections. But as there were those other reasons for wishing 
to see it discredited, the mere fact that on certain points it 
stood as one against three would be to its disadvantage. It 
should be observed also that the Alogi do not seem to have 
urged that the honour paid to the Fourth Gospel was some- 
thing new. On the contrary, they certainly did not dispute 
the idea that the writing had come down from the Apostolic 
Age, since they suggested that a man who was believed to be 
a contemporary of the Apostle John was the author. 

We have seen that the evidence for the connexion of this 
party with Asia Minor is of a very slender description. No 
one, it seems to me, is entitled to argue as if it were a fact 
which could not fairly be disputed. But on the other hand, 
it is not well to overlook the possibility that it may be true. 
It ought not, however, to be assumed that in Asia Minor, as 
well as elsewhere, there might not be members of the Church 
who had never become thoroughly imbued with the local 
traditions. Indeed it would be likely that there should be 
such in its great cities on and near the coast, where there 
must have been frequent changes in the population, even 
more than in places where life was more stable. 

I have urged reasons for not attributing to the instance of 
the Alogi the amount of importance which some have done ; 
but I would not be understood to mean that it is without 
significance in regard to the history of the formation of the 
Canon. It does not shew that the beliefs to which they were 
opposed were not commonly held, or had been quite recently 
adopted, still less that they were only then spreading ; it 
does, however, shew that the conception of the Fourfold 
Gospel had not as yet acquired that firm hold on the mind 
of every professing Christian, which only clear and positive 
definition and a prescription of some generations could give. 



Statements of Irenaeus in regard to John 2 1 3 



(7 a) Strictures upon the testimony of two of the chief witnesses 
for the truth of the common tradition : (a) Irenaeus. 

The chief references which Irenaeus makes to the presence 
and influence of the Apostle John in Asia and to his writings 
are familiar to all students of early Church history, and of the 
history of the New Testament Canon. But it may be con- 
venient that I should here recall them. 

In the third book of his work Against Heresies, after 
mentioning the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, he 
proceeds : " Thereupon John the disciple of the Lord, who 
leaned upon his breast, himself too set forth the gospel while 
dwelling in Ephesus, the city of Asia 1 ." One or two critics 
have ventured to maintain that even Irenaeus is speaking 
here of John the Elder. There ought never to have been a 
doubt that he means the Apostle, the son of Zebedee. For 
this one is a more or less prominent figure in the Gospels and 
in the Acts of the Apostles, and there would have been 
obvious danger of confusion, if any other John had been 
designated as " the disciple of the Lord." Moreover he " who 
leaned upon the breast of Jesus" plainly at the Last Supper 
could only be one of the -twelve in the view of anyone who 
accepted the Synoptic Gospels ; for these Gospels at all 
events leave no doubt that only the twelve were present 2 . 
Besides, he is contending that the Apostles left in writings 
that Gospel which they preached, and accordingly in referring 
to Mark and Luke he notes the connexion of the one with 
Peter and the other with Paul. The Apostolic authority of 
the other two Gospels is assumed. A little further on he 
writes : " The Church in Ephesus, also, which was founded by 
Paul, while John remained with them till the times of Trajan, 
is a true witness of the Apostles' tradition 3 ." 

Near the end of Domitian's reign, according to Irenaeus, 
John saw the Apocalypse 4 . Irenaeus also quotes from the 

1 Adv. Haer. ill. i. i. 

2 See Mk xiv. 17 and parallels in Mt. and Lu. In Jn the expression TOI>S 



is used, xiii. 5, xviii. i, but all those who are mentioned by name belong 
to the Twelve. 

3 Ib. ill. iii. 4. 4 Ib. V. xxx. 3. 



2 1 4 Statements of Irenaeus in regard to John 

first and the second epistles which bear the name of John in 
our New Testament, as by the same John, though apparently 
he confuses the two Epistles together or conjoins them 1 . In 
another place he makes a statement in regard to the length of 
the Lord's life, which he declares had been derived from John, 
according to the testimony of " all the elders who in Asia had 
intercourse with John." He says here also that John " re- 
mained with them till the days of Trajan," and then he adds 
that some of these elders "saw not only John, but other 
Apostles also." He then exclaims : " Which ought we to 
believe? Such men as these, or Ptolemaeus (the Valentinian 
teacher against whom he is arguing), who never saw Apostles, 
nor ever even in his dreams pressed the footprint of an 
Apostle 2 ?" 

Foremost among these "elders" in the mind of Irenaeus 
stood Polycarp, " who," he writes, " had not only been in- 
structed by Apostles, and associated with many who had seen 
the Christ, but had also been placed by Apostles in Asia in 
the Church in Smyrna as bishop, and whom we also saw in 
our first age 3 ." In a letter preserved by Eusebius he is still 
more explicit in regard to his reminiscences. He is writing to 
Florinus, who had in Rome been advocating Gnostic opinions, 
and whom he remembered as a young man a few years older 
than himself, when both were hearers of the venerable 
Polycarp. He says : 

" I distinctly remember the incidents of that time better than events 
of recent occurrence ; for the lessons received in childhood, growing with 
the growth of the soul, become identified with it ; so that I can describe 
the very place in which the blessed Polycarp used to sit when he 
discoursed, and his goings out and his comings in, and his manner of 
life, and his personal appearance, and the discourses which he held 

1 Ib. in. xvi. 7. 

2 Ib. II. xxii. 5. The great majority of critics recognise that Irenaeus must by 
"John" mean the Apostle. E.g. Harnack, Chron. I. p. 657 ("ihn meint Irenaeus 
unfraglich"); Holtzmann, Einleit. p. 472; Schmiedel, Encycl. Bibl. 1 1. col. 2506; 
even Delflf, Rabbi Jesus v. Nazareth, p. 68. Bousset, however, treats it as 
questionable, Die Ojfenbarttng jfohannis, p. 41. I do not think he can have 
sufficiently considered either (i) the contexts in which Irenaeus refers to John, or 
(2) what is involved in the allusion to his having leaned upon the breast of Jesus. 

3 Ib. ill. iii. 4. I have here translated tv T$ irpurri TJ/XWP ^Xt/rfy, as literally as 
possible, "in our first age"; see, however, further p. 2156*". on its meaning. 



Age of Irenaeus when a hearer of Poly carp 215 

before the people, and how he would describe his intercourse with John 
and with the rest who had seen the Lord, and how he would relate their 
words. And whatsoever things he had heard from them about the Lord 
and about his miracles, and about his teaching, Polycarp, as having 
received them from eye-witnesses of the life of the Word, would relate 
them altogether in accordance with the Scriptures 1 ." 

Once more, in another letter quoted in Eusebius' history, 
which was written to Victor, bishop of Rome, on the subject 
of the Paschal controversy, Irenaeus asserts that Victor's pre- 
decessor, Anicetus, " had not been able to persuade Polycarp 
not to observe (the day of the Passover), inasmuch as he 
had always observed it with John the disciple of the Lord 
and the rest of the Apostles with whom he consorted 2 ." 

Irenaeus' trustworthiness, in the statements which have 
been adduced, must now be carefully considered, for it has 
been called in question by many critics who fully allow that 
he speaks in them all of John the son of Zebedee, not of some 
other John. It will be necessary that we should form a correct 
idea so far as possible of Irenaeus' age at the time when he 
saw and heard Polycarp, and of the chronology of his life. 
In his letter to Florinus he describes himself as "still a 
boy " when they both used to listen to Polycarp ; and in 
his work Against Heresies he says that he saw Polycarp eV 
r>7 Trpcorrj rjfjiwv -f)\iKta, which has commonly been rendered 
" in our early life 3 ." It has been supposed that he was from 
twelve to fifteen or, according to other writers on the subject, 
possibly as much as eighteen years old 4 . If, however, as in 

1 Ap. Eus. H. E. v. xx. 6. I have used the translation by Lightfoot in 
Essays on Su/>. Rel., p. 97. It would, however, be as lawful to render <? iraLSuv 
by "in boyhood" as by "in childhood," and better, as we shall see, in this context. 

2 Ap. Eus. H. E. v. xxiv. 16. 

3 Adv. Haer. in. iii. 3. 

4 Harnack, Chron. I. pp. 327-8, "Knabe von c. 12 15 Jahren." Zahn, 
Forsch. iv. p. 280, "mindestens ein 12 15 jahriger Knabe gewesen"; in Kanon, 
p. 23, he makes him about 14. R. A. Lipsius, Diet, of Chr. Bio. ill. p. 254, 
comes to the conclusion that " not the age of childhood, but that of early young 
manhood ('say about the eighteenth year') will have been the period of Irenaeus' 
connexion with St Polycarp," p. 254. Lightfoot in Essays on Sup. Rel. p. 265, 
wrote, "If we reckon his age as from fifteen to eighteen, we shall probably not be 
far wrong, though the expressions themselves would admit some latitude on either 
side." In Apost. Frs, Pt 2, I. pp. 448 9, he does not speak quite so definitely. 



2 1 6 Age of Irenaeus when a hearer of Poly carp 

the rendering just referred to, rjXiKia meant simply " age," 
usage gives no authority, so far as I know, for fixing the 
limit of 77 7rpo)Trj rf\.LKLa at fifteen. The phrase might possibly 
designate babyhood or childhood, which are here out of the 
question. If it was intended to cover a period longer than 
these, the years down to seventeen or eighteen, when c'^^/Seta, 
or juventus, began, would naturally be included under it. Nor 
could it be unsuitable to speak of one under this age as " still 
a boy." 

But rj TrptoTij rjKiKia might according to usage be even more 
correctly employed to designate opening manhood 1 . The 
years from seventeen to thirty were held to form this period 
of life. Irenaeus himself seems to have it in view in a passage 
in which he speaks of the ages of man in connexion with the 
subject of the duration of Our Lord's life, though the meaning 
is somewhat obscure, owing, perhaps, to the imperfection of 
the Latin translation 2 . He says that if Christ had suffered 
when completing His thirtieth year, He would have been 
adhucjuvenis, "still a young man," or as we might say, "still 
in the prime of life " ; he proceeds to observe that it will be 
generally allowed that " (the age of) thirty years is " (that is, 
belongs to, falls within) " the first age of the estate of young 
manhood " triginta annorum aetas prima indolis estjuvenis 
" and that it " (perhaps the indoles juvenis, not the prima aetas 
indolis juvenis} " reaches to the fortieth year." It would be 
contrary to all usage to say that the age of thirty was itself 
the beginning of the time in which a man is a juvenis, and it 
is inconsistent with Irenaeus' own words just before, where 
he speaks of one who was thirty as " adhuc juvenis'' I 
suggest, then, that the phrase 77 Trpwrr) r/KiKia, when used by 
Irenaeus in regard to a time in his own life, corresponds to 
prima aetas indolis juvenis, " early manhood," a period which 
might be considered to last till thirty, though where the 
emphasis is on Trpcorrj, as in the context in which he is 
speaking of himself, it is more natural to think of seventeen 
to twenty 3 . 

1 Cp. Liddell and Scott, i)\iida, I. 2. 

2 Adv. Haer. II. xxii. 4. 

3 Thus I arrive at much the same result as Lipsius; but he seems to me to 



The Value of Irenaeus reminiscences 217 

The age of seventeen or eighteen, when he was passing 
out of boyhood into manhood, might, in short, well be denoted 
by either of the two expressions which he employs, that in 
his letter to Florinus or that in the treatise Against Heresies. 
He was on the threshold of manhood, but yet he might 
naturally speak of himself as then " still a boy," especially in 
writing to Florinus, to whom, as a young man who was already 
" faring prosperously in the imperial court," he must doubtless 
have appeared such. 

Irenaeus' reminiscences of what he had, when of this age, 
heard Polycarp teach, must clearly be of considerable import- 
ance. It is said that he may have been misled as to the 
presence of the Apostle John in Asia, through Polycarp's 
having repeatedly spoken of that other John, whom Polycarp 
may, like Papias, have described as " a disciple of the Lord." 
I cannot admit that Irenaeus would have been likely to make 
this mistake, even if he was but twelve to fifteen years old at 
the time. An intelligent Christian boy of that age could 
hardly have failed to understand the difference between one 
of the twelve Apostles, and a man who was, it may be, a 
personal follower of Christ, but not an Apostle. Still less can 
Irenaeus have fallen into this error, if he was already a 
youth of seventeen to eighteen. 

It is also urged that as Irenaeus mistakenly imagined 
Papias to have been a hearer of John the Apostle, instead of 
the other John 1 , he may very likely have made a similar 
mistake as to Polycarp 2 . His error in regard to Papias is 
supposed to have arisen through a wrong inference from the 
work of the latter, which Eusebius corrects 3 . This is not, it 
may be observed, a case strictly parallel to the other. One 
who had derived a wrong impression from, or who imperfectly 

misinterpret the passage of Irenaeus discussed above (ib.). He overlooks 
the word adhuc and supposes that "the age of irais commences with youthful 
maturity, say about the eighteenth year," and lasted to the thirtieth year. 
Irenaeus' language does not suggest this, and it is not, so far as I am aware, 
confirmed by ancient usage generally. 

1 Adv. Haer. v. xxxiii. 3, 4. 

2 Cp. Harnack, Chron. \. p. 657, who declares that the authority of Irenaeus 
as regards the question of the truth of the common tradition about the old age of 
the Apostle John is "eliminated." 

3 H. E. in. xxxix. 17. 



218 The date of Irenaeus birtJi 

remembered, a passage in a book, might be able to recall 
clearly and accurately what he had himself heard in his youth. 
But, further, Irenaeus' statement that Papias was "a hearer 
of John " (meaning the apostle) may not have been founded 
upon the language of the Expositions. Though it was an 
error, as Papias' own silence shews, it may have been one for 
which Irenaeus himself was not responsible. He may have 
accepted a belief that was current. We meet with it, some- 
times with amplifications, in later writers. These may indeed 
have derived it from Irenaeus ; but its vitality, in spite of 
Eusebius' criticism, suggests the possibility that it had an 
independent root 1 . 

We have still to consider more generally the means of 
information which Irenaeus had regarding the faith and life 
of the Church during the period which intervened between his 
own age and that of the Apostles. For this purpose it will 
evidently be desirable that we should ascertain, if possible, 
how far back in the first half of the second century his own 
birth should be placed. 

We have come to the conclusion that he was about 
seventeen years of age at the time when he and Florinus 
were together hearers of Polycarp. But in what year of the 
century was this? There are wide differences of opinion on 
the subject. Harnack fixes upon A.D. 154, the year preceding 
Polycarp's martyrdom, while Zahn, not to mention other 
critics, is for a year earlier by a quarter of a century. 
The Emperor Hadrian was in Asia in A.D. 129, and the 
allusion to the "royal court" in the letter to Florinus could, as 
Zahn urges, thus be explained. We have not nearly such 
good evidence for any subsequent imperial visit of his or of his 
successor. Nevertheless, the information which we at present 
possess does not enable us to say that none such occurred ; 
indeed, it seems not improbable that Antoninus Pius was 

1 See references given by Dr Salmon in Diet, of Chr. Bio. ill. 399; also the 
argument prefixed to the Gospel according to St John in a Vatican MS. of Ninth 
century. See Lightfoot, Essays on Sup. Rel. p. 210. 

I have already pointed out (p. 169) that while Eusebius is undoubtedly right 
in distinguishing between John the Apostle, and the other John mentioned by 
Papias, he may himself be mistaken in saying that Papias was a hearer of the 
latter and of Aristion. 



The date of Irenaeus birth 219 

there in A.D. 154. Some doubt, also, hangs over the meaning 
of the words eV rfj ftao-tXitcy av\fj. Supposing, however, that 
they do point to the circumstances of A.D. 129, we should get 
(according to our conclusion reached above) circ. A.D. 112 for 
the date of Irenaeus' birth (or, according to Zahn, circ. A.D. 1 1 5). 
Now it is argued that it cannot be placed later than this con- 
sistently with the indication which he himself gives when he 
says that the Apocalypse was seen "almost in our own 
generation, at the end of the reign of Domitian 1 ." To suppose 
an interval of even no more than twenty years is, it is urged, 
to strain to the utmost possible extent the meaning of this 
language 2 . It may, however, surely be maintained that the 
sense of nearness in a case of this kind is relative to the 
standard of comparison which is in the mind. Now in the 
context Irenaeus speaks both of Daniel's Vision and of the 
6,000 years of human history. Moreover, it is evident that 
he has a purpose here in insisting on the nearness of the 
point of time in question. He would seem either to be con- 
trasting John's Vision with the Vision granted to the much 
older prophet ; or else (which is on the whole more probable) 
he desires to bring the more recent prophetic utterance into 
connexion with the end of the world's probation, which he 
believed to be approaching. This being so, a space of half a 
century would not seem to separate him widely from it. 

And there are serious objections to the early date for 
Irenaeus' birth suggested by Zahn. Irenaeus' own language 
about his relations to Polycarp does not accord with the view 
that he was a middle-aged man when the latter died. Not 
only does he in writing to Florinus confine himself to remi- 
niscences of Polycarp which belong to the period of his own 
youth, but in the reference which he makes in the treatise 
Against Heresies to the fact of his having seen Polycarp eV rfj 
7Tpa)TT) fjiJLwv r)\uclq., he implies that this had been rendered 
possible because Polycarp had lived to a great age, and we 
naturally infer that the latter did not live for many years after 
Irenaeus saw him 3 . Again, if Irenaeus was born circ. A.D. 1 12, 

1 Adv. Haer. v. xxx. 3. 2 Zahn, Forsch. iv. pp. 281-2. 

3 Zahn insists that Irenaeus' reference to his being a boy applies only to the 
time when Florinus like himself was a hearer of John, and that the phrase in the 



220 The date of Irenaeus birth 

he was about sixty-five when he went to Rome in A.D. I77 1 . 
A man of his character, energy and ability must already have 
become known to the Church generally before he had attained 
that age, and the terms of the letter in which the Galilean 
confessors commended him, though not unsuitable for the 
case of a man still undistinguished, would have been out 
of place. The time, also, of the composition of his great 
work Against Heresies, together with all his labours as a 
bishop, would be thrown into the years of his life between 
sixty-five and seventy-five. 

One other objection to placing the time referred to by 
Irenaeus in his letter to Florinus so early as A.D. 129 may 
also be mentioned. From a fragment of a letter of Irenaeus 
to Victor 2 after the latter had become bishop of Rome, it may 
be gathered if the title of the extract in the Syriac Codex in 
which it is preserved may be trusted that Florinus was still 
alive (A.D. 189), and that he had recently begun to propagate 
heretical views by his pen. Accordingly, if the date above 
mentioned for his intercourse with Polycarp were the right 
one, he must have first appeared as a heretical writer when 
he was over eighty. This is clearly improbable 3 . I find it 

Adv. Haer. tv ry Trpujrri i)\iKia relates to a considerably later period. "As a 
young man somewhere between the eighteenth and thirty-fifth year will Irenaeus 
have enjoyed intercourse with Polycarp" (Art. on Irenaeus in Herzog's Real- 
Encycl. vn. pp. 136-7. Cp. also Forsch. IV. pp. 279-80). On the ground of this 
distinction between Irenaeus' two statements he asserts (Kanon I. p. 23) that 
"an incident in itself unimportant, belonging to the year 129, when as a boy he 
found himself in the entourage of Polycarp, was vividly present to his mind, and a 
rich treasure of memories of religious discourses which he had then and later" (the 
italics are mine) "heard in Asia from the mouth of the venerable representative of 
the Subapostolic generation was at his disposal" etc. But, even apart from the 
consideration of the context in which they stand, the words "we saw Polycarp iv 
rrj TTpur-r} TJ/JLUV ^Xuclp" do not suggest continuous intercourse, or repeated oppor- 
tunities of hearing, during a period of years. 

J Eus. H. E. v. 4, after the persecution in Lyons and Vienne. 

a Harvey's Irenaeus 1 1. p. 457, Fragm. xxviii. 

3 Cp. Harnack (Chron. I. pp. 321, 325) with whose interpretation of this 
fragment I agree substantially. Zahn supposes that Florinus was no longer alive 
at the time when Irenaeus wrote this letter to Victor. But its expressions seem 
clearly to imply that he was. That he had only recently avowed his heretical 
opinions is to be inferred from the fact that, according to the fragment, he was 
a presbyter of the Church of Rome and that no steps had so far been taken to 
remove him from that position. 

I do not think, however, that much stress should be laid on the evidence of 



The date of Irenaeus birth 221 

impossible, therefore, to assign the early date, which Zahn 
and some other writers on the subject have done, for 
Irenaeus' birth. The time when he and Florinus were both 
among Polycarp's hearers should rather be placed near the 
close of Polycarp's life. A.D. 150 154 may reasonably be 
taken as limits for it. Later than the early part of A.D. 154 
it cannot have been, on account of Polycarp's visit to Anicetus 
at Rome after the latter became bishop, and his own death in 
the spring of A.D. I55 1 . Combining this result with that 

this fragment. That Florinus is the person referred to in it, as stated in the 
heading of the extract, may be simply the conjecture of some scribe who recalled 
Irenaeus' expostulations with Florinus on the subject of his heretical tendencies in 
the letter given by Eusebius. 

1 Harnack selects A.D. 154 for the time referred to in the letter to Florinus, on 
the ground that it is "not improbable" that Antoninus Pius visited Asia Minor in 
that year. (See Chron, I. p. 329, n. 2.) The evidence seems to me too slender 
to justify our drawing inferences from it. On the other hand I do not understand 
why Lightfoot (Ap. Frs, Pt 2, l. p. 448, n. 2) declares this date to be too late. 

R. A. Lipsius (Diet, of Chr. Bio. in. 254) makes a guarded use of the state- 
ments contained in a note appended to the Moscow MS. of the Letter of the 
Smyrnaeans concerning the death of Polycarp, which are (i ) that at the time of the 
martyrdom of Polycarp, Irenaeus taught many in Rome; (2) that Irenaeus himself 
in his writings asserts that he heard a voice in Rome, at the time of Polycarp's 
martyrdom, informing him of the fact. 

The former statement is put on one side by Lipsius when discussing Irenaeus' 
age, as clearly it should be, since the Moscow note alleges no authority for it. 
But even if (2) may be relied upon it does not seem to be of much value for our 
present purpose. It would prove, indeed, that by A.D. 155 Irenaeus had removed 
from Asia to Rome, and it is probable, therefore, that he was then not less than 
eighteen to twenty. But we have already arrived at the conclusion that he may 
have attained that age by A.D. 155. The statement, however, that he was in 
Rome at this time is of interest for another reason, and I shall recur to it. See 
p. 227. 

Feb. 23, A.D. 155, has been very generally accepted by recent critics as the 
date of Polycarp's Martyrdom. Waddington, as the result of a careful exami- 
nation of allusions in the Orations of the rhetorician Aristides, arrived at the 
period from the middle of A.D. 154 to the middle of A.D. 155 as that when a 
Quadratus mentioned by Aristides was proconsul of Asia. This Quadratus was 
naturally identified with the Statins Quadratus who was proconsul when Polycarp 
was mai tyred. The argument has convinced many competent judges, among 
whom I may mention Zahn (ap. Herzog, Real-Encyd. vn. p. 136) and Lightfoot, 
Ap. Frs, Pt 2, I. p. 656 ff. 

More recently W. Schmid (Rhein. Museum, N. F. vol. XLVin. p. 53 f.) has dis- 
puted the soundness of Waddington's argument, and has contended for a different 
chronology of Aristides' life, which brings the proconsulship of the Quadratus 
whom he mentions to A.D. 166. Harnack holds that Schmid has proved his case; 
nevertheless he adheres to A.D. 155 as the year of Polycarp's Martyrdom on 



222 The Elders referred to by Irenaeus 

before obtained as to Irenaeus' age at the time in question, 
we get A.D. 133 to 137 as probable limits for the date of his 
birth. It may be added that the result which we have reached 
is in general agreement with the notices of Irenaeus by 
Eusebius in his history. He first, indeed, mentions Irenaeus 
among the Churchmen who were eminent in the reign of 
Marcus Aurelius; but he names him last among them, and 
he chiefly brings him before us in connexion with the last 
years of that emperor and the reign of Commodus. 

We will now proceed to consider the import and value 
of the comprehensive references which Irenaeus repeatedly 
makes in his treatise Against Heresies to the teaching of 
Elders who had known John, or more generally who had been 
"disciples of the Apostles." Polycarp was undoubtedly one 
of these, and the chief figure among them. But Irenaeus, 
when he so expresses himself, cannot well be referring only 
to Polycarp, and to what he himself remembered of Polycarp's 
teaching. Had he, then, himself known others besides Poly- 
carp who belonged to the first generation after the Apostles? 
Or if not, from what source or sources does he derive his 
knowledge of them and of their doctrine 1 ? 

In treating of the subject of moral difficulties in the 
Old Testament 2 , he quotes at considerable length what used 
to be said by an individual " elder," whose name he does 
not give, but whom he had himself heard 3 , and of whom 
he says that " he used to refresh us " with his remarks 
about the ancients (i.e. those under the Old Covenant 4 ). But 
the descriptions of this " elder " are not free from ambiguity, 
and it will be well to discuss them first, as there is no doubt 
about Irenaeus' intercourse with him. Irenaeus calls him 
first "a certain elder qui audierat ab his qui apostolos viderant, 

grounds which are altogether independent of the chronology that may be made out 
for the life of Aristides, and which are certainly strong. See Harnack, Chron. I. 

PP- 334356- 

1 The questions connected with the Elders quoted by Irenaeus are discussed 
with great fulness by Harnack, Chron. l. note on pp. 333 340, and Zahn, Forsch. 
VI. (1900), pp. 53-94- Cp. also Lightfoot, Essays on Sup. Rel. pp. 158-9, 194 
202; 217-8; 245-8; 266. Westcott, Canon \\. 2, pp. 81-2. 

2 Adv. Haer. IV. xxvii. xxxii. i. 

3 Ib. xxvii. i. * Ib. xxxi. i. 



The Elders referred to by Irenaeus 223 

et ab his qui didicerant 1 ." The last clause, as it stands, is 
obscure. Lightfoot supposed that " personal followers of 
Christ," such as Aristion and John the Elder, were meant by 
"those who had learned 2 ." But it would be strange that 
these should be placed after those who had only seen 
Apostles. It seems more natural to take the words as 
meaning " those who had learnt from Apostles," or possibly 
even " who had learnt from disciples of Apostles." A further 
difficulty arises in connexion with Irenaeus' final notice of 
this teacher, which runs thus: " After this manner also used 
that elder, the disciple of the Apostles, to dispute about the 
two Covenants, shewing that both are from one and the 
same God." It is clear that the same "elder" is referred to 
throughout the section 3 . It would be strange, therefore, that, 
if he was indeed himself " a disciple of the Apostles " in the 
strict sense of the words, Irenaeus should introduce him 
simply as one who had learned from those who had seen 
Apostles, and three times subsequently speak of him as " the 
elder" or "that elder 4 ." It is more probable that, by the title 
which he at length applies to him, he means only that he 
taught in full accord with the teaching of the Apostles which 
he had received at the hands of their immediate followers. 

We will turn next to a group of passages in the Fifth 
Book of the Adversus Haereses in which statements made by 
the Elders collectively are cited or referred to. In three 
of these the present tense is used : "the elders, disciples of 
the Apostles, say 5 "; ''those themselves bear witness, who 
saw John face to face 6 ." It is evident from the tense employed 
that Irenaeus must have a book before him, or in his mind, 
in which the testimony of these Elders was recorded 7 . In 
the remaining passage we are first told what " the elders 
who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, remembered that 
they had heard from him " ; and then we are informed that 

1 Ib. xxvii. i. 2 2b. p. 266. 

3 Harvey questions this in loc. (xxxii. i); but, with this exception, so far 
as I have observed, it has been admitted. 

4 Ib. xxvii. i, end; 2; xxx. i. In xxviii. i he is merged in a more general 
description, ostendebant presbyteri. 

6 Adv. Haer. v. v. i ; xxxvi. i, 2. 6 Ib. xxx. i. 

7 Cp. Lightfoot, ib. p. 196. 



224 The Elders referred to by Irenaeus 

" Papias also, a hearer of John and companion of Polycarp, 
an ancient man, confirms these things in writing" in the 
fourth of the five books composed by him 1 . It has been 
asserted that the "also" and the expression "confirms in 
writing" (677/0^^0)9 eV/^a/jTupet) prove beyond a doubt that 
in the preceding passage Irenaeus is quoting from an 
independent, oral source, after which he turns to Papias' 
book as an additional witness 2 . But the words have not 
necessarily this force. Papias, himself a " hearer of John," 
even by the mere fact of giving in his book what others had 
reported, might well, in the eyes of Irenaeus, seem to have set 
his seal to it. But Irenaeus has in view, apparently, a more 
express confirmation which fully accounts for the expression 
which he uses ; for he goes on to say that Papias adds the 
words, credibilia stint credentibus. Irenaeus tells us, at all 
events, that Papias' book contained the matter in question, 
and it would be most natural for him to take it thence, even 
if he was independently acquainted with it. Papias, we 
know, had made it his business to collect and to record 
in his Expositions what men who had heard the Apostles 
related in regard to their teaching, and also the sayings of 
one whom he called specifically " the elder," and whom he 
describes as a disciple of the Lord, as well as of another to 
whom he also gives the latter title. Moreover, the subject 
of the Millennium and other kindred topics form the theme 
of the Fifth Book of the Adversus Haereses, and all the 
statements of the Elders there given by Irenaeus are con- 
cerned with these ; they had a special fascination for Papias, 
and we may consequently with considerable confidence refer 
them to his Expositions as their source 3 . 

Irenaeus makes one other citation from the elders. "All 
the elders," he writes in this instance, " who in Asia associated 

1 Adv. ffaer. v. xxxiii. 3, 4. 

2 Zahn, Forsch. vi. p. 89, asserts that this must be evident to everyone "der 
lesen kann." Both Harnack (I.e. pp. 335-6), and Lightfoot (I.e. 158-9, 197), are 
among those who "cannot read." 

3 See Eus. ff. . ill. xxxix. 11, 12. A difference between Papias and 
Irenaeus in the application of the term "elder" must, however, be noted. The 
former uses it of the apostles and their contemporaries (1. c. 4); the latter of the 
men of the generation to which Papias himself belonged. 



The Elders referred to by Irenaeus 225 

with John, the disciple of the Lord, delivered this," namely, 
that Our Lord when He was crucified had passed the age of a 
jiivenis and was approaching that of an elder 1 . The present 
tense is, it will be observed, again used, and therefore as 
before a book is in view, and in all probability the same book, 
the Expositions of Papias, which was a storehouse of such 
traditions. This one does not, indeed, like the rest, bear on 
Millenarian beliefs; but Papias did not confine himself to 
that subject in collecting his materials, interested though he 
was in it 2 . 

The character of these traditions taken as a whole does 
not lead us to form a favourable view of their trustworthiness. 
The one which has been last referred to should not be hastily 
set aside, even though it may seem to conflict with the 
impression ordinarily derived from the Gospels, and especially 
from the Synoptic Gospels, in regard to the length of Our 
Lord's Ministry. But with the New Testament in our hands 
it is impossible to suppose that the Millenarian pieces can 
truly reflect the teaching of the Apostles. The spirit and 
purpose of those passages of the New Testament in which 
the influence of similar ideas may be most clearly traced are 
utterly different. And if Papias received what he reports 
from many who professed to have heard the Apostles, there 
must in regard to this particular class of topics have been a 
lamentable growth of fable and profitless speculation in the 
Sub-apostolic Age itself. 

The references, then, which Irenaeus makes in his work 
Against Heresies to the statements of the Elders do not 
enhance his own importance as a depositary of sound 
information in regard to the preceding history of the Church. 
He took them from Papias, and what Papias related was, 
we cannot but feel, of questionable truth. We are entitled, 

1 Adv. Haer. n. xxii. 5. Grabe, whom Harvey here follows, introduced 
Tttura into the text of the Greek fragment derived from Eusebius, on the ground 
that "the Latin Version has it." See Harvey n. 4 in loc. But the Latin Version 
has the singular, id ipsum, referring to the one point of our Lord's age, not the 
plural. 

2 Harnack assigns this citation from the Elders like those in Adv. Haer. bk 5 
to Papias' work, 1. c. pp. 334-5. Lightfoot does not, I think, anywhere express 
an opinion in regard to this one. 

S. G. 15 



226 Irenaeus viewed more generally 

however, to say that in believing what he found in such a 
book Irenaeus did only what almost anyone in his time would 
have done, unless a doctrinal bias of a different kind had 
made the statements in question unwelcome ; and further 
that his readiness to accept them does not shew that he would 
have been a bad judge in regard to a simple matter of fact, 
such as the one with which we are at present concerned, 
namely whether he had, or had not, heard those whose 
evidence was of value declare that John the Apostle resided 
and taught in Asia. Again, it does not appear that Irenaeus 
had met others, besides Polycarp, who had heard St John. 
But as a man who was already full grown before A.D. 160, he 
must at least have known not a few Christians, his seniors, 
who, when already themselves of mature age, had had 
opportunities of hearing Polycarp or other men of that 
generation, and by their recollections his own impressions as 
to the earlier history of the Church must have been either 
confirmed, or checked and corrected. The " elder," from 
whose discourses on Old Testament difficulties he quotes in 
his Fourth Book, is an example ; and we should judge him 
to have been a man of excellent sense, by what he is reported 
to have said. Others Irenaeus may have had no occasion to 
refer to because they were not teachers or otherwise persons 
of position. But they would be trustworthy witnesses to plain 
facts. It is no uncommon thing even for two memories to 
cover a period of a hundred years, while many doubtless who 
are now in middle life can remember to have heard their 
parents, or other elder relatives, and their contemporaries, 
speak of events and personages of the beginning of the last 
century of which they in turn had heard from their elders. In 
this way Nelson and Pitt and Fox would have been real 
characters to us, even if we had never read of them. We 
cannot believe that reminiscences of the chief men of the first 
age of the Church were less dwelt upon among Christians. 
Other Christian writings also, which have not come down to 
us, besides Papias' Expositions, were in the hands of Irenaeus. 
Thus he quotes from an anti-Gnostic writer whom he calls 
6 Kpeio-o-cov rffjLwv, " our superior 1 ," and whom he also styles 
1 Adv. Haer. I. praef. 2; xiii. 3; ill. xvii. 4. 



as a link with an earlier age 227 

for the reference seems to be to the same person "the 
ancient dear to God 1 ." What the works which he used 
contained, we of course do not know, except in so far as he 
expressly quotes ; but they all helped to give him a knowledge 
of the beliefs of the Church in the past. 

We have an example of the information which Irenaeus 
had in all probability received from others, and which was of 
a nature to confirm his own remembrance of Polycarp's 
language respecting his relations with the Apostle John, in 
the important statement which he makes as to the ground 
taken by Polycarp in his conference with Anicetus on the 
question of Paschal observance. It will be remembered that, 
according to Irenaeus, Polycarp justified himself by an appeal 
to the example of John the disciple of the Lord, and the rest 
of the Apostles, with whom he had lived 2 . Now, how did 
Irenaeus know that this was Polycarp's claim ? Sufficient 
attention has not, I think, been given to this point in the 
controversy concerning the Asiatic sojourn of St John. 
Irenaeus certainly stayed in Rome in A.D. 177, and may have 
been there many years earlier. It has been stated above 3 that, 
according to a note appended to the Moscow MS-, of the 
Martyrdom of Polycarp, Irenaeus mentioned in some writing 
of his that he was in Rome at the time of Polycarp's 
martyrdom. Lipsius 4 suggests that Irenaeus may have gone 
there from Smyrna in the preceding year in Polycarp's 
company. This seems to me unlikely, because, if he had 
done so, it would have been natural for him to allude to the 
fact either in Adversus Haereses, III. iii. 4, or in more than 
one other context. But even if he reached Rome a few 
months after Polycarp's departure, the visit of the aged bishop 
of Smyrna would have been fresh in the minds of the 
Christians of Rome. I should be sorry, however, to lay more 
stress upon the statement of the Moscow MS. than it will bear. 
Let us suppose that Irenaeus' visit to Rome in A.D. 177 was 
his first. Even then the remarkable conference between 
Polycarp and Anicetus must have been distinctly remembered 
in the Church of Rome, and Irenaeus, owing to the tie which 

1 i. xv. 6. See Zahn's proof that he is the same. Forsch. VI. p. 53 ff. 

2 See p. 215. 3 See p. 221 n. 4 Diet, of Chr. Biogr. in. p. 254. 

152 



228 Examination of strictures 

bound him to Polycarp, must have felt a peculiar interest in 
ascertaining as fully as possible what took place. His state- 
ment then, made to Victor circ. A.D. 190, is strong evidence as 
to the chief argument actually urged by Polycarp 1 . 



(7 b] The testimony of Poly crates. 

In his letter to Victor on the question of Paschal observ- 
ance, from which some quotations have already been made 8 , 
Polycrates writes : " In Asia great luminaries have fallen 
asleep who shall arise in the day of the Lord's appearing, in 
which he comes with glory from heaven and shall raise up all 
the saints; Philip, one of the twelve Apostles, who fell asleep 
in Hierapolis, and two of his daughters, who to old age 
remained virgins, and his other daughter who having lived in 
the Holy Spirit rests in Ephesus ; again, John who reclined 
upon the Lord's breast, and became a priest wearing the 
mitre, and a witness, and a teacher ; he sleeps in Ephesus ; 
and again Polycarp, etc. 3 " Polycrates, it will be seen, 
identified the illustrious John, who, he says, was buried at 
Ephesus, with the beloved disciple of the Fourth Gospel. He, 
like Irenaeus, must be supposed to be referring to the only 
John who appears among the disciples of Jesus in the New 
Testament, the son of Zebedee, who was believed by Irenaeus 
and others of the contemporaries of Polycrates to be the 
author of that Gospel 4 . 

Holtzmann, however, who admits that such is the meaning 
of Polycrates, finds indications in his language of the process 
by which the tradition concerning John the Apostle had 

1 Hilgenfeld touches on this point, Einleit. p. 398. Critics who deny the 
Ephesine residence of the Apostle John are, so far as I have observed, strangely 
silent about it. 

2 See above, pp. 176-7. 

3 Ap. Eus. H. E. v. xxiv. 2, 3. 

4 The majority of critics admit that Polycrates, also, intended to refer to 
John the Apostle. E.g. Harnack, 1. c. p. 669; Schmiedel, 1. c. p. 2507; Holtz- 
mann, 1. c. p. 474. On the other hand Delff (1. c. p. 69 f. and Das Vierte Evang, 
p. 2 ff.) and Bousset (I.e. p. 43 f.) maintain that Polycrates did not mean John 
the Apostle. 



on the testimony of Poly crates 229 

grown 1 , through confusion with John the Elder and the 
attribution to the Apostle whether they were by the Elder 
or not first, of the authorship of the Apocalypse, and 
subsequently of that of the Gospel. This appears to be 
speculation of a very precarious kind. Let me take, first, 
the point that Polycrates "does not call John an Apostle, but 
places him after Philip, along with Polycarp, Thraseas, Sagaris, 
Papirius, Melito." Here, according to Holtzmann, "the idea of 
the Presbyter still exercises an influence." But we ask: Did 
Polycrates believe the John of whom he is writing to be the 
Apostle, or did he not ? Holtzmann plainly assumes that he 
did ; the author of the Apocalypse had been supposed, he 
tells us, to be John the Apostle since A.D. 1 50. How, then, 
could Polycrates forget that he was the Apostle, and lose 
himself even for a moment in some confused sense that he was 
some one of lower rank? There is, however, in truth no ground 
for saying that Polycrates does not class John with Philip, 
but with the men who follow; or that he regarded John as 
inferior to Philip, simply because he names him later. His 
mention of John is separated from that of Philip only by that 
of Philip's daughters. That he should finish off all that was 
connected with Philip before passing to John is perfectly 
natural. Moreover two of these saintly women were buried 
in Hierapolis, the same place as their father ; and it is evident 
that Polycrates in his enumeration is passing in thought from 
place to place. This may also explain the order ; some 
reason that we do not know, or some subtle association 
of ideas, may have led him to speak of Hiejapolis before 
Ephesus. Or the fact that Philip had died first would account 
for the position given to him. Polycrates does not, it is true, 
say of John, as he does of Philip, that he was " one of the 
twelve Apostles," but he designates him as "he who leaned 
upon the Lord's breast," thereby implying that he was not 
only a member, but the most favoured member of that body. 
In 8tSacr/caXo9, also, we may well see an allusion to his discharge 
of his Apostolic office. It is used by St Paul of himself in a 
manner which implies a great commission and high authority 2 . 



1 1. c. p. 474. 

2 i Tim. ii. 7; 2 Tim. i. n, 



230 Examination of strictures 

Polycrates dwells upon the figure of John in a way that he 
does upon no other. That the language has been moulded 
by the thought that he was the author of the Apocalypse as 
well as of the Fourth Gospel, there is no ground for disputing. 
But this shews only that Polycrates, like his contemporaries 
generally, believed both works to be by the Apostle John 1 . 

One other point requiring consideration is raised by the 
fragment of Polycrates. It relates to his statement in regard 
to the Apostle Philip, and his daughters, two of whom at least 
grew old as virgins, while the third also "lived in the Holy 
Ghost," and may or may not have died unmarried. It is 
natural to imagine that here the Apostle has been substituted 
for the Evangelist Philip, who (according to the Acts of the 
Apostles) 2 also had daughters, four virgins, who prophesied. 
Papias made the same, or substantially the same, statement 
in regard to the Apostle Philip 3 . Two contemporaries also 
of Polycrates refer to Philip and his daughters. Clement of 
Alexandria named Philip as an example of an Apostle who 
was a married man, and adds that "he married his daughters 
to husbands 4 ," while Gaius, in his Proclus, referred to four 
daughters of Philip who were prophetesses and who as well 
as their father were buried in Hierapolis. In the mention of 
" four prophetesses " the last-named writer seems to be 
influenced by the passage in the Acts ; but whether he 
supposed their father, who was buried at Hierapolis, to be 
the Evangelist or the Apostle, does not appear 8 . 

1 Delff and Bousset go further than Holtzmann, for they deny that Polycrates 
himself meant the Apostle John (see p. 228, n. 4, where references are given). 
Their chief arguments will, I believe, be found to have been sufficiently answered 
by the remarks on pp. 168 171, taken with those above on Holtzmann's view. 
But it may be well to notice Delff's curious fancy, in which he is followed, though 
somewhat hesitatingly, by Bousset, that the words 6s tyvr)0r) ie/>ei>s rb irtra\ov 
7re0ope:t6j signify that John, the author of the Fourth Gospel, was of the Jewish 
high-priestly family and had once at least officiated as high -priest on the Day of 
Atonement. He brings forward nothing material either from the Gospels or other 
Christian sources, or the facts of Jewish history, or customary Jewish modes of 
speech, which lends the least colour of verisimilitude to this strange hypothesis. 

2 Acts xxi. 8, 9. 3 See Eus. H. E. in. xxxix. 8, 9. 4 /. xxx. i. 

5 Ib. xxxi. 4. It may seem, also, that Eusebius (tt>.) confounds the two Philips. 
It is not, however, clear to me that he does so. He seems rather to quote the 
different statements and leave them, with the air of a man who does not wish to 
charge any of his authorities with error, or who is simply puzzled. 



on the testimony of Poly crates 231 

It is argued, then, that if the Apostle has been substituted 
in tradition for the Evangelist, who bore the name of Philip, 
so may John the Apostle have been for John the Presbyter 1 . 
The mistake, however, if mistake it was, in respect to the two 
Philips, may have begun with Papias and been derived by other 
writers directly or indirectly from his Expositions. It is not 
possible, as we shall presently see, to explain the supposed 
error in regard to John thus simply. It must be added that 
the account given of Philip the Apostle may after all be true. 
On a point connected with the history of the Church in 
Hierapolis Papias was an excellent witness. Indeed he may 
himself have known and gleaned traditions from Philip's 
daughters themselves. It would clearly not have been a more 
remarkable coincidence than many which are commonly met 
with, if both Philip the Evangelist and Philip the Apostle had 
daughters who were women of some mark in the Church, and 
some of whom remained to the end of life unmarried. Nor 
can the possibility be excluded that there may be an error 
in the Acts of the Apostles. It need not have been due to 
the author ; the words " the evangelist, one of the seven," 
might be a gloss, early introduced, which had been suggested 
by the fact that this Philip is a prominent figure in the early 
part of the work. 



(8) Conclusion. 

The various objections which have come before us in 
the course of this long enquiry, with the exception of the 
one that is based on the silence of the Sub-apostolic Age 
to which we will recur, do not seem to have much substance. 
Nor do they confirm one another and become important 
through combination, as considerations separately weak may 
do. Indeed they are to some extent mutually antagonistic. 
For if it could be shewn that the Apostle John was not 
an eminent teacher in the Church of Asia, those arguments 
directed against the authenticity of the Gospel according to 
St John, which rely for part of their force upon the considera- 

1 Holtzmann, 1. c. p. 473. Harnack, 1. c. p. 669 etc. 



232 The tradition is supported 

tion that Christians who held views really inconsistent there- 
with, or expressly hostile thereto, belonged to that region, 
would so far be weakened. 

We have seen, also, that there is small reason for sup- 
posing the character and circumstances of John the Elder 
to have been such as would have favoured a confusion 
between him and the Apostle John. If, however, all that 
is hypothetically imputed to the Elder was actually true of 
him, is it likely, we may ask, that it would have been 
transferred to the Apostle? Fame is, it is true, ever busy 
taking from those that have not and giving to those that 
have, assigning the plans and the labours and the sayings 
of the undistinguished to the illustrious, where they have 
been engaged in the same or similar undertakings, or can be 
otherwise associated in thought. But all ordinary examples 
of this are far outdone in the present conjecture. The two 
men in question were not, it would seem, connected in any 
way except by having the same individual name, and the 
supposed result of this single similarity is that the personality 
of one of them, a man of eminence in the Church of his day, is 
completely obliterated from memory, within a period of from 
fifty to eighty years, in the region where he had lived and 
taught, while the other, who is substituted for him, had 
scarcely visited it, if he had ever done so, and was a man of 
widely different character and views. 

When allowance has been made for all that can be fairly 
urged against the value of the testimony of the principal 
witnesses for the common tradition, they remain excellent 
ones. Moreover, we have yet to take account of the combined 
effect of their and other evidence. One very peculiar point in 
regard to the supposed case of mistaken identity is that 
different persons agree in it, who cannot have derived it from 
a common source. Irenaeus, it is said, misunderstood Poly- 
carp, when the latter spoke of a John who was a disciple of 
the Lord. But the language of Polycrates would not thus be 
explained ; the latter cannot have obtained his belief from 
Irenaeus, who had left Asia Minor many years before, pro- 
bably when quite a young man, and whose connexion seems 
to have been with Smyrna, not with Ephesus. Polycrates, 



by several independent witnesses 233 

indeed, as a man of sixty-five when he wrote the letter of 
which we possess a fragment, and as one who had had no less 
than six bishops among his kinsfolk, must have relied rather 
upon his own knowledge of the traditions of the Church of 
which he was bishop than upon those of any contemporary. 

I have not yet alluded to the evidence of Clement of 
Alexandria, who relates a story regarding the old age of the 
Apostle, which was not derived from Irenaeus' work but 
has been obtained through some other channel, and which 
presupposes some of the main points in the common tradition 1 . 
It will be remembered, too, that in Justin Martyr we have 
a witness for the Ephesine sojourn of the Apostle John 
belonging to the middle of the century. For the authorship 
of the Apocalypse, which he ascribes to the Apostle, implies 
an intimate connexion with the Churches of Asia. Yet it is 
plain that his statement is not the source from which later 
writers have drawn. 

The truth of course is that the writers near the end of the 
second century whom we have cited testify to a belief which 
was neither peculiar to themselves, nor new at the time when 
they were writing, but which had long been fully established, 
and was general and unchallenged. Surely, it is impossible 
that a mistake of such a nature could have been so early and 
so widely spread 2 . 

1 See the tale in Qtiis Div. Salv. 42, p. 959, quoted by Eusebius H. E. ill. 
xxiii. 

2 Apollonius, also (circ. A.D. 200), alludes to a miracle wrought by St John at 
Ephesus (ap. Eus. H. E. v. xviii. 14). 

It will be convenient to notice here the view taken by Holtzmann (Einleif. 
p. 470) of the language of the Muratorian Canon, on the composition of the 
Fourth Gospel: "Cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis dixit: 'Conjejunate 
mihi hodie triduum, et quid cuique fuerit revelatum alterutrum nobis enarremus.' 
Eadem nocte revelatum Andreae ex apostolis, ut recognoscentibus cunctis, 
Johannes suo nomine cuncta describeret. " According to Holtzmann these words 
imply that Jerusalem was the place of composition, and that the time was before 
the dispersion of the Apostles. We should thus have a dissentient voice as to the 
later years of John at the end of the second or beginning of the third century, 
which is unlikely and need not be assumed ; for it was commonly believed that 
other Apostles besides John came to Asia (see e.g. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. III. iii. 3; 
and ap. Eus. H. E. v. xxiv. 16). Moreover, the words of Clement of Alexandria 
in his account of the composition of John's Gospel in a passage of the Hypotyposeis 
(ap. Eus. H. E. VI. xiv. 7) imply similar circumstances; yet he in all probability 
must have supposed it to have been composed in Asia. 



234 Many were interested in disputing 

But there is more to be said. I have remarked that the 
belief was unchallenged. This is very significant, for there 
were three religious parties who would have had a strong 
interest in challenging it if they could have done so with any 
hope of success. 

First, there were the Gnostics. We have observed the 
taunt which Irenaeus levelled at Ptolemaeus 1 . Would not he 
and other Valentin ians have retorted that Irenaeus' own 
boasted connexion with the Apostle John through Polycarp 
was a figment, if they had known, or could have discovered 
on enquiry, that thirty or forty or fifty years previously the 
residence of the Apostle John in Asia was unheard of? Or 
again, if Florinus, who was certainly of mature age when he 
used to listen to Polycarp, knew or suspected that Irenaeus' 
memory was at fault when he appealed to what Polycarp had 
declared in the hearing of them both concerning his inter- 
course with the Apostle John 2 , would he not have answered 
that he remembered nothing of the kind ? It may be said 
that we have not the Gnostic replies. But we have the 
treatises on heresies of the later writers on the Church's side, 
who were only too eager to expose to view anything said by 
their antagonists which conflicted with ecclesiastical tradition. 

Next, the subject of Quartodecimanism may well be 
viewed in a light different from that in which it has hitherto 
come before us. We have considered the objection against 
the Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel which this 
practice has suggested to some minds in our own and recent 
times, and we have seen no sufficient reason to attach weight 
to it. We may now observe that no controversy could have 
been more fitted to test the truth of the whole tradition 
concerning the later years of St John than that which took 
place in regard to Quartodeciman observance. One of the 
principal arguments of the Asiatics for it was, that the Apostle 
John had lived in their midst and had set them an example. 
Assuredly, if Victor and his party had felt that they could 
prove that this assertion was baseless they would have done so; 
and it could not have been difficult at least to throw doubt 
upon it, if the legend had taken shape in less than fifty years 

1 See above, p. 1 1 4. 2 Ib. 



its truth, yet refrained from doing so 235 

preceding. So again, if there had been any ground for suspicion 
that the Quartodecimans at the end of the second century or 
earlier called in question the Apostolic authority of the Fourth 
Gospel, their antagonists would have made the most of it ; 
Irenaeus would have been little inclined to take up their 
cause, and other writers on heresies would have indicated a 
connexion between them and the Alogi. 

We have finally to notice that these last confirm the 
tradition in regard to St John by the character of their 
objections. It never occurred to them to argue that whereas 
the Fourth Gospel was said to have been composed in Asia, 
and the Seer of the Apocalypse was in exile off its coast and 
addressed its Churches, the Apostle John had not lived in 
those parts. 

The belief, then, which we have been examining stands 
before us as one which is not only attested by various inde- 
pendent witnesses, who had excellent means of information, 
nor only as one pertaining to a matter of fact about which 
widespread mistake would be strange, but over and above all 
this as one which remained unquestioned, though many would 
have had a strong interest in attacking it, at a time when it 
would still have been easy to do so, if it had been ill-founded. 
It would be difficult to find better reasons for accepting any 
historical statement whatsoever. The recent critics who think 
that it has been refuted shew no sign that they have realised 
the strength of the case for it. The fault has, perhaps, lain 
originally with " apologists." They have insisted too much on 
the reminiscences of Irenaeus taken by themselves. It was 
natural to do this in the first instance ; his testimony seemed 
so vivid and full of personal interest. The rein was given to 
the imagination somewhat too freely in picturing his connexion 
with Polycarp. The critics on the other hand who regard the 
question from another point of view have become too much 
absorbed in discovering grounds for doubting Irenaeus. They 
have failed a danger to which critics are at all times ex- 
posed to place individual facts in their historical setting, and 
to review the whole evidence in a judicial spirit. 

We have still, indeed, to recall the objection based on 
the silence in regard to the Apostle John before Justin and 



236 How the silence of the Sub-apostolic Age 

to set it over against that strong tradition of which we have 
just spoken. The investigator of any set of facts will always 
desire to attain to a view of them which shall, as it were, 
reconcile them all, giving to each its value, and he can never 
feel wholly content so long as he has not succeeded in this. 
But it is not always possible to do so in dealing with historical 
problems, any more than it is in the cases of the law-courts 
or in matters of everyday life. We have to acquiesce at 
times in a conflict of evidence ; and then we have to exercise 
our judgment as best we can in deciding on which side the 
preponderance truly lies. If it must be so in the instance 
before us, I do not think there ought to be a doubt what 
the answer should be. In estimating the significance of the 
early silence we must remember how scanty the remains of 
the period are. Moreover, the absence of any mention of 
the Apostle John is very strange only in the Epistles of 
Ignatius, and there we are forced to recognise that any in- 
ferences from it may be precarious when we notice how 
limited and special is the use made even of the name of 
St Paul. This objection, then, cannot suffice to overthrow the 
firmly established tradition which we have been considering. 

Nevertheless, it appears to me difficult to avoid inferring 
from the absence of allusions to the Apostle John in writings 
of the beginning of the second century, that there was a 
difference which it is a matter of great interest to notice 
between his reputation and influence then and at the close 
of the century. At this later time men were fast learning, 
if they had not already learned, to give him a place, as we 
do to-day, among the greatest masters of the Christian Faith, 
distinct from, but not inferior to, that of Peter and of Paul. 

This position is accorded him mainly as the evangelist of 
the Fourth Gospel. Now it will be suggested that the change 
in the estimate formed of him of which I have spoken can be 
explained, if we allow that he spent his later years in Asia, 
and suppose that from this circumstance the Gospel which was 
produced in that region was mistakenly attributed to him, 
though not before the middle of the century. Thenceforth it 
will be said his celebrity rapidly grew. It should be remarked, 
however, that the different parts of the tradition are closely 



may possibly be explained 237 

connected, that they form one whole in the mind of the 
Church of the latter part of the second century, and are 
attested by the same witnesses, who, if they are trustworthy 
in regard to one point, ought to be so as to others. And 
I believe that we may view the early silence about the Apostle 
John in a manner which harmonises more fully with other facts. 
There is much which tends to shew that the persons of the 
Evangelists, and the importance of the function which they 
discharged, were for a time commonly lost sight of, because 
the minds of Christians were absorbed with the main contents 
and the outline of that Gospel which had been at first orally 
delivered 1 . There is no sufficient ground for assuming an 
exception in the case of the Fourth Gospel and its author. 
Unquestionably peculiar reverence must have been felt for the 
Apostle John if he lingered on among men as the last surviv- 
ing Apostle. Yet his real influence may have been confined 
within a narrow circle of disciples who had the mental power 
and the spirituality to understand his teaching in some degree. 
To the majority of Christians during his lifetime, and for 
the first generation or two after his death, his title to 
honour may not have seemed essentially different from that 
of Andrew or Philip. Whether he was in the strict sense the 
author of the Gospel ascribed to him, or it was composed 
after his death by the aid of records of what he had said, 
or which actually proceeded from his own pen, here was a 
legacy of which the value could only be appreciated with 
time. 

Finally, in order that the bearing of the whole tra- 
dition which we have been discussing, upon the question of 
the authorship of the Fourth Gospel, may be adequately re- 

1 This is shewn especially by the manner in which the term "the Gospel" is 
used as a comprehensive description of the facts concerning Jesus Christ. For 
some instances see Westcott, Canon, p. 115 n. 2, p. 119 n. i, and Zahn, Kan. I. 
pp. 842-3. It continued to be so employed long after the plural "Gospels " for 
the writings containing "the Gospel" had come fully into use, and this even 
where a statement contained only in one written Gospel was in question, e.g. De 
Aleatoribus, c. 3, "in evangelio Dominus ad Petrum dixit" etc. The remarkable 
phrase "Gospel according to (/cara) Matthew" etc. to denote authorship involves 
in point of fact the same idea. It is the one Gospel in all cases though presented 
in a special way in each. So, too, " Gospel according to the Hebrews" signifies 
the Gospel in the form in which it was current among them. 



238 The 'verisimilitude of the tradition 

cognised, it must be viewed in connexion with statements 
and indications in the Gospel itself. Reference is therein 
made to a member of the innermost circle of the disciples 
of Jesus whose testimony is given, and there are many 
signs of first-hand knowledge in the book. On the other 
hand, its characteristics favour the idea that it was composed 
in some great centre such as Ephesus, where the influence 
of Greek thought would be felt, and also not earlier than the 
last decade of the first century. The tradition, therefore, 
which singles out John the son of Zebedee as the disciple 
alluded to in it, and which makes it the work of his old age 
when he dwelt in Asia, after most of the first generation 
of disciples had passed away, is marked by self-consistency 
and appropriateness. It may be that in our Fourth Gospel we 
have the teaching of St John turned to account by the thought 
and labour of another mind, possibly one of larger grasp. A 
disciple, whose own intellectual characteristics and training 
may have determined in greater or less degree the form of the 
composition, may well have set himself to record therein what 
he had learned from the venerable Apostle. The early belief 
as to its authorship may be reasonably explained if he had 
this kind of connexion with it. But, also, there does not seem 
to be anything improbable even in the view that it was in a 
strict sense his own work, if allowance is made for the effects 
which the experience gained during the years of his residence 
in Asia would have had upon his mind. 



Gains attitude to the Fourth Gospel 239 



ADDITIONAL NOTE TO CHAPTER V. 

DR J. RENDEL HARRIS AND DR E. A. ABBOTT ON 
GAIUS' ATTITUDE TO THE FOURTH GOSPEL. 

I. It would be a point of considerable interest to ascertain if Gaius 
was in all respects a representative of the party to which Epiphanius 
gives the name of Alogi, i.e. if he rejected the Gospel, as well as the 
Apocalypse of John. 

Dr J. R. Harris in a paper published in Hermas in Arcadia and other 
Essays (1896) has drawn attention (p. 48) to a passage in a Latin transla- 
tion of Barsalibi's Commentary on the Gospel accg to St John, according 
to which "the heretic Gaius" charged John with being at variance with 
the other Gospels in regard to the course of events at the beginning of 
Christ's Ministry ; it is the objection noted in Epiphanius, Panar. LI. 
4 etc. Dr Harris admits, on the evidence of Syriac MSS., that the name 
of Gaius here has been in all probability introduced by an editor. 
Nevertheless he is confident, for reasons which he gives, that the objection 
quoted was really urged by Gaius. The reasons are not to my mind at 
all convincing. 

(i) He contends that the Heads against Gaius mentioned by Ebed- 
Jesu was the same work as the Defence of the Gospel accg to John and the 
Apocalypse, named in the list on the back of Hippolytus' chair in the 
Lateran Museum, and that it was the work used by Epiphanius in his 
section on the Alogi. 

Now the arguments by which Dr Harris endeavours to prove this 
seem only to shew that Epiphanius used some work by Hippolytus ; 
while other considerations may be adduced which are distinctly adverse 
to the identification proposed, (a) Ebed-Jesu himself, as represented in 
Assemanus, Bibliotheca Orientalis, ill. p. 15 (see Lightfoot, Ap. Frs, 
Pt. i, ii. p. 350), distinguished between the two works. I do not, however, 
lay much stress on this, because the omission of the conjunction, a very 
slight change in the text, would give, as the title of a single work, Heads 
against Gaius in defence of etc. (b} Gaius' five strictures on the 
Apocalypse, which are embodied in Barsalibi's Commentary on that 
book of Scripture, and which were published in 1888 by Dr Gwynn, are 



240 Gains attitude to the Fourth Gospel 

all more or less similar in character to those which Epiphanius adduces, 
but only one turns on the same words of Scripture, and this is in part 
differently expressed. That there should have been this amount of 
similarity between the objections of Gaius and those of the party described 
by Epiphanius, we might have been prepared to expect from Eusebius' 
references to Gaius' Dialogue against Proclus. But it certainly cannot 
be assumed that whenever Hippolytus dealt with opinions of this kind 
he must have directed his argument against Gaius, and that he might not 
have written one treatise of a comprehensive kind against the party in 
general, and another specifically against Gaius. 

There is yet another possibility; the Heads against Gaius might have 
been framed by Hippolytus himself, or some other, out of the larger 
work, and have consisted of the matter pertaining only to Gaius, and this 
might have comprised only objections to the Apocalypse. Dr Harris 
himself is constrained to suggest (p. 53) that the Heads against Gaius 
may have been a summary of a larger work. But the difference between 
the subject-matter of Barsalibi's extracts in his Commentary on the 
Apocalypse and Epiphanius' account of the Alogi is not explained by 
supposing that the Heads was a summary. The facts point to a distinct 
work, (c) We may infer from Barsalibi that in the Heads the name of 
Gaius occurred repeatedly. If the same work lay before Epiphanius it is 
strange that this name should not have appeared in his pages. He would 
not have desired to suppress it; on the contrary he would have felt 
satisfaction in gibbeting a misbeliever, (d] Gaius cannot have shewn 
a disposition to reject the Gospel according to St John in his Dialogue 
against Produs, with which Eusebius was familiar ; Eusebius could not 
have ignored so serious a departure from the beliefs of his own time. 

(2) Dr Harris lays considerable stress (pp. 48 50) on the fact that in 
the passage in which Barsalibi records the objection of " a certain heretic " 
to John's Gospel, the reply is introduced with the words " of the holy 
Hippolytus against him," and that similar expressions introduce the 
replies in the quotations from the Heads against Gaius. But surely there 
is nothing in this. It would be natural that Hippolytus, or Barsalibi in 
quoting him, should give the objection and the answer in a similar 
manner, even though a different opponent was in question. It may, also, 
be asked why, if Gaius was meant, the expression " a certain heretic " 
should have been used, instead of his name being given as elsewhere. 

I maintain only that the evidence which we at present possess affords no 
ground for thinking that Gaius rejected the Gospel according to St John. 
Fresh evidence might, however, prove that he did so. There is nothing 
to shew that he accepted it. As some at any rate 'of those with whom he 
sympathised both in his strong dislike of Montanism and his view of the 
Apocalypse called in question the genuineness of the Gospel attributed 
to the Apostle John, there is a certain presumption that he, too, may 
have done the same. On the other hand, he may have been restrained 



Gams attitude to the Fourth Gospel 241 

from this by the position firmer than that of the Apocalypse which the 
Gospel held in the general estimation of Christians. 

Dr Abbott, in Encycl. Bibl. II. col. 1824, n. 4, writes as follows: 
"Ebed-Jesus at the beginning of the I4th century recorded that Hip- 
polytus wrote a treatise called ' Heads against Gaius,' and Dionysius 
Bar-salibi quotes from this treatise (along with replies from Hippolytus) 
objections raised by Gaius not only to the Apocalypse but also to the 
Fourth Gospel." As he does not support the contention of Dr J. R. 
Harris with any additional arguments, I may leave the reader to judge 
how far he is justified in making this confident statement. 

II. But if Gaius did dispute the authority of the Fourth Gospel 
what would be the significance of this? Dr Harris regards him as a 
"higher critic" who at the beginning of the third century brought 
objections against the canonicity of that Gospel. He adds, that it is 
difficult to say " how much is involved in this admission as regards the 
existence of a previous succession of adverse Higher Critics" (pp. 56-7). 
The use of the term " higher critics " seems to me misleading, because 
Gaius and the Alogi were largely influenced by a strong bias of a 
doctrinal kind, the one thing that higher critics profess, and so far as 
they are genuine critics try, to be free from. 

Dr Abbott remarks (/&) that many find it hard to understand how it 
should have been possible for the Fourth Gospel to "have been regarded 
with suspicion by an orthodox, educated, and conservative Christian 
such as. ..Gaius at the beginning of the third century." 

Gaius was no doubt " educated " ; Eusebius speaks of him as Aoyto>- 
raroy. But the same might have been said of many of the great Gnostic 
teachers, who were among the ablest men of the second century, or of 
many a heretic in the third and subsequent centuries. What reason 
could be given for describing Gaius as "conservative" I do not know, 
unless it be though surely it would be a slender one that he did not 
reckon the Epistle to the Hebrews among St Paul's Epistles, and that in 
this, as Eusebius informs us, he shared the common view of his Church. 
That Eusebius supposed him to be " orthodox" may probably be inferred 
from his calling him dvrjp eKK\rja-iaa-TiKos. I doubt, however, whether 
"orthodox" is a strictly accurate rendering of this phrase. The meaning 
of the word eK/cX^o-tao-rtKos must be determined in part by the context. 
Our use of the term "a Churchman," in that more limited sense in which 
we sometimes employ it, to describe one who is not simply a member of 
the Church, but devoted to Church affairs, seems to correspond very 
nearly to e'/cKX^o-iao-rtKoy dvrjp. So (Eus. H. E. III. iii. 2, 3, etc.) 
f\r]criaa-Ti<os crvyypcxpfvs is "a Church writer," one who writes on 
ecclesiastical subjects from the Church's point of view. The idea of 
orthodoxy is, no doubt, implied, but not emphasised. 

It is, however, more important to note that Eusebius apparently knew 
little, if anything, about Gaius beyond what he could gather from the 

s. G. 16 



242 Gains attitiide to the Fourth Gospel 

Dialogue against Proclus. In this work Gaius does not seem to have 
expressed doubts about the Gospel according to St John. In it he 
combated the sectarian Montanists, and if he also described himself as 
a presbyter of the Church of Rome, here would be fully sufficient reason 
for Eusebius to speak of him as he does. 

With regard to Gaius having been a presbyter which is first definitely 
stated by Photius 1 , though Eusebius' language makes it probable any 
significance which this fact would have would depend on whether he 
attempted and was allowed still to exercise his functions, after having 
expressed doubts about the authority of the Fourth Gospel; and of this 
we know nothing. 

Finally, it is to be observed, that it is of far more importance to 
know what Hippolytus, a contemporary, thought of Gaius, than what 
Eusebius did. And there can be no doubt of Hippolytus' opinion, if we 
suppose that Gaius was one of those who uttered cavils against the 
Fourth Gospel, and against whom Hippolytus wrote. 

I have criticised Dr Abbott's application of the epithets "orthodox" 
and "conservative" to Gaius because the impression conveyed thereby 
seems to me to be that Gaius' temper of mind was specially marked 
by conservatism and love of orthodoxy; while the addition of the 
epithet "educated" seems to suggest that he knew what he was about 
in calling in question the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel. I have 
argued that such a view would not be justified. At the same time 
it would be a point worthy of note that he should have differed from 
the Church generally in regard to the Fourth Gospel, while in the 
main holding its beliefs, as in all probability he did, in other respects. 
I have (above p. 212) touched upon the question of the significance of 
such a phenomenon. But it would be interesting to examine more fully 
the psychology of dissidence. I may here add one or two remarks which 
may help to bring out more clearly my meaning in the passage to 
which I have just alluded. 

We may note that (i) men generally shew themselves very tenacious 
of religious beliefs which are commonly held, so far as they know them ; 
but that at all times individuals, and larger or smaller bodies of men, 
have shewn a disposition to be independent, and have broken off on one 
point or another from their co-religionists, without however rejecting the 
accepted faith as a whole ; 

(2) that on some matters differences have been far rarer than on 
others ; and that from a very early age till quite recently differences 
among Christians as to the Canon, and especially as to the authenticity 
of the Four Gospels, have been almost unheard of. 

Let us ask what the conditions appear to have been for the occurrence 

1 Biblioth. Cod. 48. Photius also relates that he was ordained to be a "bishop 
of the Gentiles," whatever this may mean. Photius had not seen the Dialogue 
against Proclus, or any other work known to be by Gaius, and he only repeats 
the assertions of others about him. 



Gains attitude to the Fourth Gospel 243 

of dissidence, so far as they have been connected with the nature of the 
subject-matter. Departures from generally accepted beliefs have been 
common (a) on points peculiarly difficult of apprehension, where the results 
of past thought and controversy cannot be understood without special 
training as well as capacity; or again, (b] where there have been no 
formal definitions, though there has been a faith widely diffused, and even 
an instinct, as it were, among Christians to think in the same way. 

Now the point that certain books were to be reckoned as Canonical 
was a simple matter, about which there could be no possibility of 
doubt or mistake, as soon as the rule had been clearly established. 
And this probably is the chief reason that during so many centuries, in 
which Christians have differed on not a few questions of doctrine, 
there were hardly any instances of the rejection of the authority of the 
books of Scripture. The fact, then, that some should in the third and 
fourth quarters of the second century, and possibly as late as the 
beginning of the third century, have adopted an attitude different from 
that of Christians generally to the Fourth Gospel, while agreeing with 
them in other respects, is an indication that the common judgment on the 
subject of the Canon of the Four Gospels had not as yet had time to 
acquire that constraining power over all minds which ere long it did. 



1 6 2 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE POSITION OF THE FOUR GOSPELS AT THE CLOSE 
OF THE SECOND CENTURY THE USE OF OTHER 
GOSPELS GENERAL CONCLUSIONS. 

IRENAEUS, after he has in the first book of his work 
Against Heresies set forth the doctrines of the Valentin ians 
and other Gnostics and contrasted their diversity with the 
unity of the Church's Faith 1 , and in his second book com- 
mented upon and criticised them in order to lay bare their 
true purport and their inconsistencies, proceeds in the third 
book to demonstrate the contrariety between these opinions 
and the truth delivered by the Apostles. The Apostolic 
teaching is, he declares, known from the Rule of Faith, the 
tradition of sound doctrine in the Churches which they 
founded, where it is guarded by an orderly succession of chief 
pastors, responsible for preserving it in purity and integrity, 
and also from their writings. Upon the former means of 
information Irenaeus insists clearly but briefly. It is with the 
latter that he mainly occupies himself, and he begins with 
the Gospels. "The Lord of all gave to his Apostles the 
power of the Gospel," and they not only preached it, " all 
alike and severally," but two of them set it forth in writing, 
while two immediate disciples and companions of chief 
Apostles also recorded what they had heard them preach. 
No one of these four presentations of the Gospel can be 
dispensed with, while no other is to be added to them. This 
Fourfold Gospel held together by One Spirit is like the Order 
of the Universe in its completeness, compactness and strength. 
The Divine Artificer, the Eternal Word, who sits upon the 
Cherubim and holds all things together, gave it to us after He 

1 For this contrast see esp. I. ix. 5 and x. i, 2 and xxii. i, 2. 



Irenaeus on the Fourfold Gospel 245 

had been manifested to men. Its unity in diversity is like that 
of the four living creatures upon whom His Chariot-throne 
rests, and who move as by one impulse, though their faces 
are turned in different directions and they have various forms 1 . 
This sublime view of the Divine power and true harmony 
of the Four Gospels is probably in part Irenaeus' own. But 
there can be no doubt, from his whole mode of expressing 
himself, that in his statements regarding the origin and 
unique authority of these four he is repeating the common 
belief, so far as he was acquainted with it, of the Church 
of his day. It will be necessary that we should ascertain 
as accurately as we can how far his knowledge is likely to 
have extended, and what confirmation his evidence receives 
from other witnesses. Irenaeus could answer for the Churches 
of Gaul, of the chief of which he was himself bishop. But he 
had first-hand knowledge, also, of the faith and practice of 
the Churches of Rome and of the province of Asia. We may 
safely conclude that his view of the Four Gospels did not 
seriously differ from theirs. He points to them, on the 
ground that they were founded by Apostles, as affording a 
standard by which other Christians might try their own 
belief' 2 . He does not, indeed, directly cite them to prove 
the particular point that such and such writings are Apostolic ; 
but inasmuch as he associates very closely the Apostolic 
doctrine and the Apostolic writings, and lays great stress on 
the Apostolic authority of the Four Gospels, he must have 
felt confident of the support for his assertions about the 
latter, which the testimony of the Churches of Apostolic 
foundation would supply 2 . Tertullian, also, refers to Churches 
having this prerogative, and in particular to Rome. He, 
moreover, does so for the express purpose of establishing the 
genuineness of the Four Gospels in the form in which the 
Church read them 3 . Asia he may, perhaps, have mentioned 
in consequence of his familiarity with Irenaeus' treatise. 
But as to Rome he could not but have independent infor- 
mation, whether he had himself visited it since his conversion 

1 I have above stated briefly the argument of the opening portion of Adv. 
Haer. in.: see esp. chh. i. iv. and ix. xi. 

2 Adv. Haer. in. iii. i 4. 3 Adv. Marcionem IV. 2 5. 



246 The Four Gospels at 

or not ; for there was constant political, legal, and commercial 
intercourse between the province of Africa and the imperial 
city, which must have led to intercourse even at this time 
between the Christians of the two places. " What," Tertullian 
asks, " do the Romans to whom both Peter and Paul left the 
Gospel, signed by their own blood, sound forth hard by? 1 " 
His evidence then is of value not only as to "Africa" but 
also as to Rome. 

Clement of Alexandria in one passage of his Stromateis 
in controverting an erroneous opinion assumes the difference 
between the authority of the Four Gospels and other writings 
professing to be Gospels, as authorities for the teaching of 
Christ 2 . As Head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria 
he may clearly be taken to represent the position which 
would be generally accepted in the Church there, when he 
argues in this manner. Clement himself had travelled much 
in search of knowledge before he came to Alexandria, and 
from various highly revered teachers in Greece, in Magna 
Graecia, in Coele- Syria and Palestine, had learned " the true 
tradition of the blessed doctrine which had been handed 
down from father to son direct from the holy Apostles Peter 
and James and John and Paul 3 ." Further, the Church of 
Alexandria itself, seated in a great emporium of commerce 
and of letters, must have been in touch with many other 
Churches. Between it and the Greek Churches of Palestine 
there were intimate relations 4 . The silence, therefore, of 
Clement as to any divergencies between different Churches in 
their estimate of the Gospels is not without significance. 

The earliest regular list of New Testament writings which 
has come down to us, known as the Muratorian Fragment 
on tlu Canon, was in all probability composed at Rome, or 
somewhere in its neighbourhood, in the last decade of the 

1 " Quid etiam Romani de proximo sonent, quibus evangelium et Petrus et 
Paulus sanguine suo signatum reliquerunt?" Adv. Marcion. IV. 5. 

2 Strom, in. xiii. p. 553. 3 Strom. I. ii. p. 322. 

4 We might have expected as much from their comparatively near neighbour- 
hood, and the easy means of communication that there must have been. But it is 
also expressly stated in the letter of the Churches of Palestine on the Paschal 
question (ap. Eus. H. E. v. xxv.) that they annually fixed the time for the Paschal 
festival in concert with the Church at Alexandria by correspondence. 



the close of the Second Century 247 

second, or first of the third century 1 . It agrees with the Canon 
which has been generally received, saving for the omission 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and possibly of the Third 
Epistle of St John, and the inclusion of the Apocalypse of 
Peter, with regard to which at the same time it allows that 
some raised objections. Lightfoot conjectured that it was by 
Hippolytus. This must be considered doubtful, but in any 
case it is a weighty document 2 . 

The writings unquestionably by Hippolytus which are 
extant leave no room for doubt that he assigned the same 
place to the Four Gospels which the three other eminent 
writers whom we have mentioned did ; but they do not 
happen to contain any express statement on the subject. 

1 Circ. A.D. 170 has very commonly been assigned as the date of the compo- 
sition of the Muratorian Fragment, on the ground of the allusion in it to ther 
Shepherd of Hernias as written "in our time, when Pius was bishop" (i.e. circ. 
A.D. 139 154). This language, however, clearly need not imply more than that 
the author of the document was born during this Episcopate, and if we place his 
birth at the very beginning of it, in order to get as near as we can to the probable 
date of the Shepherd (see above pp. 34 41), he might still have. been writing 
considerably later than A.D. 170. His reference to the Cataphrygians (i.e. the 
Montanists) is inconsistent with such an early date, for they cannot have been 
regarded as heretics then, or for several years afterwards, in the West; Zahn 
thinks not before circ. A.D. 210 (Kanon, n. pp. 135-6). But the evidence hardly 
seems to justify so much precision as this. Lightfoot does not go into this point ; 
but he supposes this Canon to have been one of the earliest works of Hippolytus, 
whose literary activity, he holds, began circ. A.D. 185 190 (Ap. Frs, Pt i, n. 
p. 413). Its ascription to Hippolytus is a clever conjecture, but is not free from 
difficulty. The case for (Lightfoot, ib. p. 411 f.), and against (Zahn, ib. pp. 137-8), 
this view should be compared. It is probable, however, that the author resided 
in Rome or its neighbourhood, on account of the familiarity shewn with a fact 
which would be best known to a Roman Christian, and the manner in which it is 
referred to. 

2 The Tract De Aleatoribus (at one time mistakenly attributed to Cyprian) 
also supplies evidence as to the Scriptures acknowledged at Rome in the last 
decade of the second century if Harnack is right in his view of the work, Texte 
u. Untersuch. v. i, p. 82 ff. It would take too long to discuss here the time and 
place of its composition ; but we may note that the words of the Lord to Peter at 
Jn xxi. 15, and also the sayings at Mt. xii. 32 and vii. 23 (De AL 3 and 10), are 
quoted as contained "in evangelic, " and several phrases are also introduced from 
these Gospels. The Epistles of St Paul are, we may add, repeatedly quoted, and 
the First Ep. of St John once. The Shepherd of Hernias is quoted as " Divine 
Scripture." (Sim. ix. 31, 5 f . ap. De AL ch. 2.) The author in his attitude to 
this work presents a contrast with the writer of the Muratorian Canon. The 
source of two sayings attributed to Christ (De A I. ch. 3) cannot be identified. 



248 The Area within which the authority 

One or two points in the few remains which we possess of 
the literary labours of the learned and acute Julius, surnamed 
Africanus, who seems to have been a few years older than 
Origen 1 , may also be suitably noticed here. He passed a 
great part of his life in Palestine, and was evidently a man 
of influence. His famous theory for harmonising the gene- 
alogies of Our Lord in St Matthew and St Luke 2 arose out of 
a profound sense of reverence for each of the Gospels. Again, 
he appears to have deduced the day of the month on which 
the Crucifixion took place from St John's narrative. " The 
Hebrews," he writes, "keep the Passover on the fourteenth 
day of the Moon. But the events regarding the Saviour 
happened on the day preceding the first day of the Passover 3 ." 
He seems to have also held that Christ's Ministry lasted only 
for one year ; but he resembles herein many who undoubtedly 
received the Gospel according to St John. The omission of 
TO irda-^a at Jn. vi. 4 was connected with this opinion 4 . 

All the evidence which we have considered relates to the 
Church in the Graeco-Roman world. For some parts even of 
this area it is less direct and more scanty than we could have 
wished. Yet in view of the prominence of the men whom we 
have cited, the diversity of their associations, the nature of 
their statements, and the communications which passed be- 
tween Churches within the boundaries indicated, we can hardly 
be mistaken in believing that the authority of the Four Gospels 
was generally acknowledged in this portion of the Church. 

In order, also, to compensate for the incompleteness of 
the information belonging strictly to this epoch we may fairly 
call in Origen, the Church's first great commentator upon the 
text of Holy Scripture, who began to teach in Alexandria 
soon after A.D. 202. He paid his first visit to Palestine circ. 
A.D. 215, and taught there under the patronage of the bishops 
of Jerusalem and Caesarea ; subsequently he took up his 
abode at the latter place and spent the last twenty years of 

1 Diet, of Chr. Bio. I. p. 54. 

2 Ep. ad Aristidem ap. Routh, Rel. Sacr. n. p. 228 ff. 

3 Fragment of his Chronicon. Ib. p. 297. 

4 Cp. Note by Hort in App. to Westcott and Horfs Gk Test. p. 77. 

8 For this and the following dates and facts in regard to Origen see art. by 
Bp Westcott, Diet, of Chr. Bio. IV. pp. 98101. 



of the Four Gospels was established 249 

his life there (from circ. A.D. 231), almost continuously. He 
was widely looked up to, and consulted from many quarters. 
At some time between A.D. 226 and 230, he visited Achaia, 
having been called in to combat some erroneous opinions there. 
His pupil Gregory Thaumaturgus became bishop in Pontus. 
About A.D. 237 he stayed in the Cappadocian Caesarea at 
the pressing invitation of its eminent bishop Firmilian, who 
also journeyed to Palestine to pay him a visit. Now Origen 
in one of his later works speaks of the Four Gospels as those 
which alone are undoubted throughout the whole Church 1 . 
And his words derive force from his wide knowledge of the 
Church of which the facts that have been enumerated give 
some idea. 

But what are we to say of the Church beyond the limits 
that have been above specified ? Irenaeus himself in an 
early passage of his work speaks of the Common Faith shared 
by Christian believers who speak various tongues, the One 
Truth held by the Churches founded among Germans, Iberians, 
Celts, in the East, in Egypt, in Libya, and in the middle 
parts of the earth ; but he makes no reference to translations 
of the Scriptures into divers languages 2 . In a later passage 
he alludes to the many nations of those barbarians who 
believe on Christ, who without ink or parchment have salva- 
tion written in their hearts by the Spirit, and diligently keep 
the ancient tradition of faith (as distinguished from the 
written word) 3 . He is, perhaps, thinking mainly in this second 
passage of comparatively uncivilised tribes round the western 
and northern borders of the Roman Empire. The question, 
what versions of the Scriptures were made for the benefit of 
converts of these races, and how soon they were made, is an 
interesting one in itself, but has little bearing on our present 
subject. In any case they, like the latinised province of 
North Africa, received both the Faith and the Scriptures from 
the Greek-speaking Churches founded by Apostles, or by 
their comrades before the close of the Apostolic Age, in the 

1 In the first book of his commentary on Matthew, quoted by Eusebius, H.E. 
VI. xxv. 4. "Trepi TOW reffffdpwv evayyeXlwv, a /cai p>bva. avavTippr^Ta e<mv ev ry 
birb rbv ovpavbv tKK\t)fflq. roO OeoO." 

2 Adv. Haer. I. x. 2. 3 Ib. III. iv. i. 



250 The Eastern portions of the Church 

chief cities of the Empire. Again, the Coptic and Libyan 
Christians may have received their Christianity through 
Alexandria. As to this, however, some doubt may be felt ; 
it is possible that they might have been evangelized in some 
other way. This point may be considered in connexion 
with the Gospel according to the Egyptians. But there were 
Christians in the East, whose belief and practice it is of far 
greater importance to consider : (i.) The Hebrew Christians 
who, not only after the taking of Jerusalem by Titus, but 
after the failure of Barchochab's revolt and the decree of 
Hadrian in A.D. 135, which excluded all persons of Jewish 
nationality from the city of Jerusalem, remained scattered 
through Western Palestine, and were probably settled in larger 
numbers to the East of Jordan ; (ii.) the Syrian Church of 
Mesopotamia and the remoter East. Both these portions of 
the Christian world were cut off from the Greek and the Latin 
Church by the barrier of difference of language and in part by 
difficulties of communication of other kinds. They had an 
independent history, and the former, at least, the conscious- 
ness of a peculiarly close connexion with the Church of the 
first days. Did these circumstances affect, and if so in what 
way and how far did they affect, their attitude to the Four 
Gospels ? 

(i.) The evidence of Eusebius and of Jerome, both of 
whom knew Palestine, leaves no room for doubt that, among 
the Hebrew Christians, there was one gospel only which held 
a position of authority and was in common use, namely the 
writing described by the two writers just named, and by 
others, as the Gospel accg to the Hebrews 1 . 

1 The character and contents of the Gospel accg to the Hebrews have been 
treated with admirable thoroughness and clearness by Zahn, Kan. II. pp. 642 723. 
On the other hand he does not bring the conclusions reached in his special study 
of the subject very effectively into relation with the history of the Canon (ib. i. 
pp. 776-7). Harnack, also, has discussed this subject at considerable length, 
Chron. I. pp. 625 651. On several points he agrees with Zahn, whose investiga- 
tion of it elicits from him a general commendation. (Ib. p. 631.) Their chief 
differences of view will appear in the course of the following pages. The materials 
for the study of the subject are collected by Harnack, Gesch. d. Altchrist. Lit. I. i. 
pp. 6 10. Zahn, however, arranges Jerome's statements in the most satisfactory 
manner. Ib. n. pp. 650 653, n. The following earlier discussions may also 
be mentioned Hilgenfeld, Append, to Nov. Test, extra Canon recept. pp. 5 31, 



n 



The Gospel according to the Hebrews 251 

Eusebius in his most comprehensive passage on the New 
Testament Canon refers to this work, and observes that "those 
who from among the Hebrews have received Christ take 
delight in it especially 1 ." With this we may compare his 
remark in regard to Hegesippus 2 , to which we have already 
had occasion to refer in an earlier chapter, that he shewed 
himself to be a Hebrew convert by (among other things) his 
quotations from the Gospel accg to the Hebrews. 

In his chapter on the heresy of the Ebionites he, like 
Origen in a well-known passage 3 , distinguishes between two 
classes of them, and marks as the chief difference the denial 
of the birth of Christ from a Virgin by the one kind and its 
acknowledgment by the other. He says nothing as to any 
Scriptures accepted by the former, more extreme, sort ; but 
with regard to the second more moderate sort, he says that 
they " rejected all the epistles of St Paul, and that the only 
Gospel they used was that according to the Hebrews, while 
they thought little of the rest 4 ." Among those whom Eusebius 
describes by the inclusive term of Hebrew Christians there 
were doubtless those whom he would not have called Ebionites. 
Like Hegesippus, they had mixed with Gentile Christians, 
and their spirit was not so exclusive as that of many of their 
fellow-believers of their own race. They may have learned 
to appreciate to some extent the Gospels which were in use 
among Christians generally, so that they could not have been 
described with justice as " making small account of" these. 
Nevertheless they very naturally retained special affection 
for that Gospel which they had long learned to regard as 
peculiarly their own. 

From Jerome we get a similar impression as to what had 
been, if it was no longer in his day, the position of this Gospel. 
During the interval of about three-quarters of a century 

1866; E. B. Nicholson, The Gospel accg to the Hebrews, 1879; R. Handmann, 1888, 
Texte imd Untersuch. v. 3. Salmon, Introd. to N. T. ch. 10, where, however, the 
subject is too much mixed up with the question whether St Matthew had a Hebrew 
original. 

1 H. E. III. xxv. 5. 

2 H. E. IV. xxii. 7. See above, pp. 154, 157. 

3 c. Celsum v. ch. 61. 

4 H. E. in. xxvii. 



252 The Gospel according to the Hebrews 

between Eusebius and Jerome all Jewish Christians who had 
not been absorbed into the Catholic Church had been driven 
into a decidedly separatist attitude. The later writer does not, 
as the former seems to do, refer to the practice of Hebrew 
Christians whose ecclesiastical position was a more or less 
ambiguous one. He became acquainted with the Hebrew 
Gospel through those whom he calls " Nazarenes 1 ," and he 
speaks only of their use of it in his own day. But he distinctly 
implies that in this respect we need not stay to enquire how 
far it may have been the case in other respects also they 
truly represented the body of Hebrew Christians of an earlier 
time. He describes the writing in question as 'the Gospel of 
the Hebrews, " which the Nazarenes use even to this day*" 

This Gospel should, therefore, be regarded not as a 
sectarian an "Ebionite" or "Nazarene" but a national 
Gospel. 

We must presently enquire how far it was known to, and 
how it was regarded in, other circles outside those of the 
Christians whose mother tongue was Hebrew (or Aramaic) 3 . 
But it will be generally admitted that its chief sphere of 
influence was among them, and that here, or among some of 
the relics of them, it may probably have retained its place 
till the time of their final disappearance, while its use in other 
parts of the world had at all times been, to say the least, very 
restricted. 

It will be suitable, however, even at this point to discuss 
the relation of this Gospel to the Canonical Gospels, and 
especially to the Greek St Matthew, in point of contents and 
authenticity. It is natural to suppose that the truest traditions 
regarding the origin of the Christian faith would have been 
found among the Hebrew Christians of Palestine at the end of 
the second century and even to later times. I believe, however, 
that this idea is to a large extent mistaken. In the first place 
it is to be remembered that the evangelistic efforts of the 
Apostolic Age itself were in the main directed to the world 
of Greek civilisation. Not only did St Paul and his com- 

1 De Vir. III. 3. 

2 Adv. Pelag. in. 2. Cp. Comm. In Ezek. on xvi. 13, and xviii. 7. 

3 See below, p. 261 ff. 



The Gospel according to the Hebrews 253 

panions penetrate ever deeper and deeper into it, but he was 
followed there in course of time by some of the Twelve 1 . 
Other of the first disciples, or of their immediate followers, 
probably also found a home there. Thus the testimony of 
the earliest generation of believers was fully delivered in 
Ephesus and Rome and other cities of the Graeco-Roman 
world. Next, as to the conditions likely to be favourable or 
unfavourable to the faithful embodiment in writing of the 
facts and teaching of the Gospel, and the preservation of the 
record or records unaltered. The Church in Jerusalem lost 
its head, James the Lord's brother, in A.D. 62-3 2 . According 
to the statements of Eusebius derived from Hegesippus, 
another bishop was not appointed till after the taking of the 
city eight years later 3 , but from that time till the taking of 
the city by Hadrian in A.U. 135, after Barcochab's revolt, 
a succession of bishops, all of them believers who were " of 
the circumcision," presided over a Church of the same 
character 4 . Hadrian's edict which forbade any circumcised 
person to approach the city put an end to this Jewish- 
Christian Church for ever 5 . Henceforth the Church there 
was Greek, as it was already, or soon afterwards became, in 
Caesarea and other cities along the coast and in other parts 
of Palestine. The Hebrew Christians who had been scattered 
through the land, or who had fled beyond Jordan, formed no 
doubt little communities ; but they had no common centre, 
and were not united by any common organisation, so far as 
we know; and we should probably have heard of it if there 
had been such. During the period indeed from the outbreak 
of troubles, A.D. 62, till long after the suppression of Barcochab's 
revolt, they must often have been sorely harassed by political 
convulsions and by the persecutions which they had to endure 
at the hands of their compatriots who did not believe in 
Jesus. Safeguards against the depravation of their traditions 

1 For Simon Peter, see Gal. ii. u; i Cor. i. 12, iii. 22, ix. 5; Clem. Rom. 
5 ; Ignat. ad Rom. 4, etc. In the phrase r? / Ba/SiAwi/t at i Pet. v. 13, the allu- 
sion is probably to the Church in Rome, the mystical Babylon. For John, the 
son of Zebedee, see above ch. v. We have also seen that there are traces, though 
less distinct ones, of the presence of other Apostles in Asia Minor, p. 233 n. 2. 

2 Eus. H. . II. xxiii. ; Joseph. A.J. xx. 9. 

3 Eus. H. . in. xi. 4 H. E. IV. v. 5 Ib. IV. vi. 



254 The Gospel according to the Hebrews 

were under these circumstances wanting, such as the Greek 
Churches possessed, combined as they were, in a manner 
which left individual responsibility to each for the care of 
a common treasure. It may be doubted, also, whether the 
point of view and mental characteristics of the Hebrew 
Christians made them the better guardians. It needs to be 
borne in mind that, if in studying Christianity among the 
Greeks we ought, in order that we may not be misled as to 
the original teaching, to be on the watch for, and to distinguish, 
elements which have been introduced from other systems of 
thought, so, on the other hand, the truth was in danger of 
impoverishment and even distortion when handed on by men 
of little education and of merely average intelligence and 
depth of character. Insensibly they would come to omit or 
misrepresent portions which they did not understand ; while 
they might accept incongruous and childish additions. More- 
over, it must always be the case that those, who do not 
perceive the real scope of a new truth, lose more and more of 
its spirit. Hebrew Christians suffered in this way, doubtless 
in very different degrees, but all to some extent. It should 
not, therefore, be assumed that a Gospel in use among the 
Hebrews was probably more primitive in its general substance 
and character than the Greek Gospels. Even though in its 
origin it might be Apostolic, or belong to the Apostolic Age, 
its form might have been more or less seriously affected, in 
the lapse of no long time, by the causes which have been 
indicated. 

Turning to the actual quotations from the Gospel accg to 
the Hebrews, which we possess, I must class myself with 
those who think that most of them have the appearance 
of being " secondary " accounts, when compared with the 
narratives of the Four Gospels. I shall not, however, attempt 
to examine them here in detail, as it has been done often 
before by critics who have approached the subject from 
different points of view and have arrived at different con- 
clusions 1 . I will content myself with making a few remarks 
upon the treatment of the subject by Harnack, the latest 

1 See especially Zahn's discussion, Kan. 11. p. 685 ff. and Harnack, Chron. I. 
p. 643 ff. 



The Gospel according to the Hebrews 255 

writer upon it. He rightly endeavours to judge each passage 
on its own merits 1 . Even if we are convinced that the work 
as a whole was less authentic than our Gospels, we may admit 
that it may have contained sound additional information on 
certain points, and have been in certain particulars more 
accurate. According to Harnack thirteen of the fragments 
are in the nature of things indecisive ; two belong to the 
same stage in the formation of tradition as the correspond- 
ing parts of the Canonical Gospels ; another is perhaps in 
one respect less, and in one more, original ; yet another ought 
not to be called less original ; and five are distinctly more so. 
He allows none in which the Canonical Gospels have clearly 
the advantage. I cannot admit the validity of two of his 
canons the only two which he distinctly states. They 
appear in the following instances, (i) In the Gospel according 
to the Hebrews the account of the Baptism appears to have 
been introduced with the words, " Lo the mother of the Lord 
and his brethren said to him : ' John the Baptist is baptizing 
for the remission of sins ; let us go and be baptized by him.' 
He, however, said to them : ' In what have I sinned, that I 
should go and be baptized by him ? unless perchance that 
very thing which I have said is ignorance.'" Harnack 
observes that the question is here left open whether Jesus 
was convinced or not of His own sinlessness, and remarks 
that this ambiguity might have been removed from, but 
would not have been introduced into, the original form 2 . 
It seems to me that there would be force in this argument 
if we were comparing writings and traditions which belonged 
to the same world of thought and feeling. But seeing 
that, in the present instance, we have to do with two 
worlds, in which the history of the Christian Faith had 
been widely different, there is no good ground for maintaining 
that the point of view implied in the one account is earlier 
than that in the other. To assume that the more contracted 
conception of Christ's Person and Character and Work, 
existing among Hebrew Christians, is more original than 
the more exalted one of the Church Catholic is at all 

1 Chron. I. p. 648. 

2 Ib. p. 648, n. 2. 



256 The Hebrew Gospel and St Matthew 

events to beg questions which deserve the most careful in- 
vestigation. 

(2) He considers that the touch in the account of the 
man who had a withered hand, that he was a mason, which 
of course made his case the harder, is a sign of greater 
originality, because the vividness of the narrative is thereby 
increased 1 . I believe that to most minds this will seem rather 
to be an example of legendary growth, and that the style of 
Apocryphal Gospels which are generally allowed to be later, 
even much later, than the Canonical, bears out this view. 
There are two other instances which Harnack decides in 
favour of the Gospel accg to the Hebrews on the same principle. 

Ancient writers naturally quoted the Gospel accg to the 
Hebrews for the most part where it differed from the Four. 
But how glad we should be to know the extent to which its 
contents were the same as theirs, and in particular as 
St Matthew's! 

The three earliest writers who mention this Gospel, 
Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Eusebius, make no refer- 
ence to its being related in any way to the canonical 
St Matthew. The statement of Irenaeus that the Ebionites 
used St Matthew, and that of Epiphanius to the same effect, 
but with the addition that " they call it the Hebraic 
Gospel 2 ," may rest on some knowledge indirectly obtained 
that there was a similarity between these two works, or may 
have arisen simply out of the belief that Matthew wrote in 
Hebrew. It is Jerome's language only that is of importance 
in regard to the point now before us. In a well-known 
passage of his De Viris Illiistribus he states that St Matthew's 
Gospel in Hebrew was to be found in the library at Caesarea, 
while it is plain from the context that he is speaking of the 
Gospel accg to the Hebrews, a copy of which had been first 
shewn him by Nazarenes at Beroea and which he had trans- 
lated into Greek and Latin 3 . It is evident from his own 
quotations from this writing, and from his language about it 
elsewhere, that he must not be understood to mean that the 

1 Chron. i. p. 649 (6). 

2 Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. xxvi. 2; III. xi. 7; Epiphanius, Panar. xxx. 13. 
8 De Vir. Illustr. 2, 3. 



The Hebrew Gospel and our Gospels 257 

Greek Gospel was a close rendering of it. Nevertheless, 
there must have been a sufficiently strong resemblance be- 
tween the two to impress Jerome with the idea that they 
were substantially the same. Moreover, several of the words 
and incidents from the Hebrew work more or less clearly 
belonged to narratives the same as, or similar to, those in the 
Canonical Matthew, and in their phraseology bear marks of 
relationship to that Gospel as well as in a lesser degree to 
peculiarities in St Luke 1 . 

I will briefly discuss one question of considerable interest, 
in regard to which Harnack differs from Zahn, namely, whether 
the Gospel accg to the Hebrews contained an account of the Birth 
and Infancy of Christ 2 . In favour of the supposition that it 
did, there is, first of all, the general consideration that, if this 
opening part had been wanting, it is extremely unlikely that 
Jerome could ever have spoken of the writing as identical 
with St Matthew. He could scarcely himself have imagined 
that it was so, and he certainly must have feared the retorts 
of those who might make further enquiries as regards the 
Gospel through Hebrew Christians, if they could not read 
Hebrew themselves. Lacunae later in the book might be 
overlooked ; but the omission at the very forefront of narra- 
tives which in the Canonical Matthew universally excited the 
deepest interest would at once attract attention 3 . Jerome 
must, at least, have guarded himself against this danger by 
throwing out the suggestion that the Jewish Christians had in 
this respect mutilated the Gospel. One or other, also, .of 
those learned opponents of Jerome in the Pelagian con- 
troversy, who attacked him on the score of his references to 
and citations from the Hebrew Gospel, declaring that he had 
brought in a fifth gospel 4 , must, one would think, have dis- 
covered and made use of this fact about it, if such it was. 
But further, there are allusions by Jerome such they are if 
his language is to be understood in its natural sense to 

1 Harnack draws attention to the relation to Luke, Chron, I. p. 648 ff. 

2 Cp. Zahn, Kan. n. 686-8. 

3 Note the interest shewn by Irenaeus in the diverse beginnings of the Gospels, 
Adv. Haer. in. xi., and cp. the language of the Muratorian fragment on the Canon. 

4 Julian of Eclanum and Theodore of Mopsuestia. Cp. Zahn, ib. p. 654, 
notes i, 2. 

S. G. 17 



258 The Hebrew Gospel contained 

passages in the Hebrew Gospel which corresponded to the 
Greek of Matt. ii. 5, 15, 23. In his notice of the Apostle 
Matthew in the De Viris Illustribus, to which I have already 
referred, Jerome after mentioning the Hebrew Gospel which 
he had found relates one interesting fact about it. There 
is a whole class of quotations in the Greek Matthew which 
does not agree with the LXX. Jerome informs his readers 
that the Hebrew Gospel takes them not from the LXX. but 
from the original Hebrew of the Old Testament, and he 
proceeds, " of which are those two ' Out of Egypt have I 
called My Son,' and * He shall be called a Nazarene'." 
Clearly his words imply that these citations themselves were 
contained in the Hebrew Gospel. He wishes to shew that this 
work, which he is proud to have discovered and to be able to 
read, may be of use in suggesting or confirming a true inter- 
pretation of the canonical St Matthew, as for instance in the 
case of these two famous quotations which had caused difficulty 
to those who knew the Bible only in Greek or Latin. Again, 
in his Commentary on St Matthew, at ii. 5, he notes that in the 
Hebrew (in ipso Hebraico) we read "Judah" not "Judaea," 
and he goes on to remark that in the quotation from Micah 
also the word is "Judah." A comparison with the former 
passage in which Jerome speaks of ipsum Hebraicum would 
of itself lead us to suppose that here, as there, he means 
thereby not the Old Testament but the Hebrew Gospel. 
But, indeed, as Zahn has pointed out, Jerome expressly 
adduces the Hebrew in this second case, not in connexion 
with the prophecy, but with the evangelist's words which 
introduce it ; while it would also have been useless to appeal 
to the Old Testament in this instance, since the words there 
stand Bethlehem Ephratah, not "Bethlehem of Judah 1 ." 

Harnack 2 , however, holds that the Gospel accg to the 
Hebrews did not contain an account of the Birth and Infancy 
of Jesus. But (i) he does not face those considerations of 
a general kind which have been urged above. (2) He adopts 
the view of some earlier writers that in the passages which 

1 Ib, p. 652 n. 

2 Chron. I. p. 643, n. 2 f. " Eine zweite wichtige Frage, etc." See also 
p. 634 n. and 648 (i). 



the story of the Birth and Infancy 259 

have just been discussed Jerome is referring to the Hebrew 
of the Old Testament ; but he has really little to say in 
support of this opinion except that Jerome may have meant 
this, considering the sort of writer he was. In reply I would 
say that he only might have done so, if he was extraordinarily 
inconsistent and thoughtless in his reasoning in two passages 
in which for once there are signs of much care and discrimi- 
nation. Harnack also relies on the two following arguments. 
(a) Jerome in his commentary on Isa. xi. I appeals to "learned 
Hebrews," not to the Hebrew Gospel, in order to bring out 
the reference in the citation, " He shall be called a Nazarene." 
But there is surely little force in this as an objection to the 
supposition that the Hebrew Gospel contained an equivalent for 
the latter words. That it should do so was a point of interest, 
to which, as we have seen reason to think, he draws attention 
on another occasion. It was easiest when the sentence was 
read in Hebrew to see the connexion of the title " Nazarene " 
with the netzer (branch) of Isa. xi. i. But even in the Hebrew 
Gospel the reference to Isaiah's prophecy was not so obvious 
as to render the judgment of "learned Hebrews" upon the 
application of that prophecy superfluous, (b) Harnack as- 
sumes that the Gospel accg to the Hebrews was used both by 
those Jewish Christians who did, and by those who did not 
acknowledge the Miraculous Conception, which he thinks 
would only be possible if it began, like St Mark, with the 
Baptism of Jesus. That the Ebionites of the last-named kind 
used this Gospel rests on the untrustworthy assertion of 
Epiphanius 1 ; Eusebius, as we have seen 2 , refrains from say- 
ing anything about Scriptures that were used by Ebionites 
of this class. But even supposing that they did not altogether 
abjure it, they may (as Epiphanius says) have used it in a 
form which was " depraved and lopped at the extremities 3 ." 

There is, then, strong ground for believing that the opening 
portion of the Gospel accg to the Hebrews was similar to that 

1 Panar. XXX. 3 and 13. 

2 See above, p. 251. 

3 Panar. XXX. 13. 'Ej> T< yovv Trap' aimus vayye\i({} Kara Marflatoj' 6von 
ftfrqi, o^x o\(p d TrX^/secrrdTy, aXXct vevodev fj.fr ip Kal rjK pwrrj piaa fj.fr y ('E^/ja'i 
TOUTO KaXovcriv). 

172 



260 The Diatessaron in Mesopotamia 

of the Greek St Matthew, and there appears to be nothing 
that is material to be urged on the other side. This is an 
important conclusion to have reached both in connexion with 
the problem of the composition of the Greek St Matthew, 
and the evidence for the truth of its opening narratives. 

(ii.) We pass to the Syriac-speaking Church of Meso- 
potamia and the lands to the East of it. There is but little 
trustworthy information to be obtained in regard to the 
history of Christianity in these regions for the first 300 years 
or thereabouts. We can hardly, however, doubt that the 
Faith must have been brought there by Christians from 
Palestine, in course of time, if not by one or more of the 
Twelve, or other immediate disciples of the Lord. It is there- 
fore a curious fact that, when light first falls upon the Church 
there in the Fourth Century, we do not find any trace of the 
existence of the Gospel accg to the Hebrews, though it could 
probably have been fairly well understood in these parts even 
in its original form, and though its language could easily have 
been transformed into the dialect of Aramaic spoken there. On 
the contrary, so far as the Syrian Church has New Testament 
Scriptures, it is dependent for them upon the Church of the 
West. The peculiarity in respect to its Canon which concerns 
us is that the Four Gospels are not commonly used, and that 
the separate and individual value of each is not properly 
understood. But it is a compilation from themselves none 
other than that made by Tatian which stands in the way of 
their being duly appreciated 1 . 

The Church of Edessa, long one of the most famous 
Syrian Churches and one which laid claim to very great 
antiquity, must from its position near the border-land, between 
the East and the West, have been open to the influence of 
the latter, if it had not been in reality evangelised thence. 
Hither circ. A.D. 180 Tatian brought or here he made his 
Diatessaron, the aim of which was to give the contents and 
common result of the Four Gospels in the most convenient 
form. This Syrian, having become fully acquainted with 
them during the time of his sojourn in the West, desired in 
this way to render their teaching available for his own people. 

1 See above, pp. 149 151, on the character of the Diatessaron. 



and the further East 261 

Soon afterwards, we may imagine, a fresh Christian movement 
proceeded eastward from the centre we have named, carrying 
the Diatessaron with it. If the Gospel accg to tJte Hebrews 
had ever been in use, it was entirely driven out through the 
vigour of the party which had adopted the written Gospel 
recently obtained, or because that Gospel was generally felt 
to be superior, as being complete. But further, this work 
acquired such a hold upon the affections of the people, and 
its reading such an established place among their Church 
usages, before the Four Gospels were translated into and 
circulated in Syriac, that for a long time it could not be 
displaced even in their favour. 

These are very interesting points in the history of the 
Syrian Church. But their importance in connexion with our 
present subject consists only in their assisting us to fix the 
limits within which the Four Gospels were fully acknowledged, 
which has been our main object thus far in this chapter. 
The limitation just considered plainly does not detract from 
the significance of their position within the area where their 
authority was fully recognised. 

The preceding discussion has shewn us certain exceptions 
which must be made as regards the general acknowledgment 
of the Four Gospels in Christendom at the close of the second 
century. We have seen, however, that their authority was 
then firmly established in the Church of by far the larger and 
the leading part of the world, and that part, moreover, for 
which, not excepting St Matthew, they were written, and 
whose testimony to them for this reason, if for no other, is 
most entitled to consideration. 

Before, however, we proceed to examine the significance 
of this fact, we will, in order that the whole case may be 
before us, gather what further information we can concerning 
the recognition at any time accorded within the bounds of 
Greek and Latin Christendom to any Gospels which were 
excluded from the Canon. 

And first as to the Gospel accg to the Hebrews. Irenaeus 
together, no doubt, with those portions of the Church with 
which he was acquainted, so far as they knew of such a work 
at all, supposed it to be the original composition by St Matthew 



262 Apocryphal Gospels known 

and believed that they had an equivalent for it in the Greek 
Gospel accg to St Matthew^. The definition of the Canon of 
the Four Gospels was not, therefore, so far as they were 
concerned, directed against it. The case was somewhat 
different in Alexandria and the Greek Churches of Palestine. 
Clement introduces an extra-canonical saying of Christ with 
the words " as it is also written in the Gospel accg to tlie 
Hebrews* ? Origen three times implies in his mode of refer- 
ence to it, that some among his readers and hearers, or at 
any rate among those whom his readers and hearers had met 
with or might meet with, were in the habit of turning to this 
Gospel 3 . Lastly, Eusebius, where he says that the Hebrew 
Christians took special pleasure in it, observes that some 
(who, as Harnack remarks, were plainly not Hebrew Chris- 
tians) placed it among the spurious writings 4 . Now do these 
allusions shew that there was a Greek version of the Gospel 
accg to the Hebrews, which had at this time a limited circulation? 
It does not seem at all necessary to suppose this. Those to 
whom Origen alludes may themselves have been Christians 
who were Jews by race, and who knew Hebrew, even though 
they had come to live in cities which were mainly Greek and 
mingled to a greater or less extent with Gentile Christians. 
Such there must have been, not only in Caesarea and other 
Greek cities in Palestine, but also in Alexandria, where there 
was a very large Jewish quarter. Some men of this kind 
may well have rendered portions of the Hebrew Gospel to 
Clement orally, if he could not read it in the original. In 
this manner, as I have already suggested, both Ignatius and 
the author of the work bearing Peter's name to which Origen 
refers may have obtained the saying of the Risen Lord which 



1 Adv. Haer. I. xxvi. 2; and in. xi. 7. 

2 Strom. II. ix. 45. 

3 In Joann. II. 6 (Lomm. I. p. 113; 'Eai/ 3 irpo<rlcTal TIJ TO Ka6' 'Eppalovs 

, etc.); Vetus interpretatio of Origen In Matt. xv. 14 (De la Rue, III. 
p. 671: " Scriptum est in evangelic quodam, quod dicitur secundum Hebraeos, si 
tamen placet alicui suscipere illud, non ad auctoritatem, sed ad manifestationem 
propositae quaestionis," etc. ; there is no corresponding statement in the Greek); 
Horn. 15 in Jerem. ch. 4 (Lomm. XV. p. 284: El 5^ T<S 7rapaWx cTat r6' "A/ori 
etc.; the same quotation as that which he makes In Joann. II. 6). 

4 H. . in. xxv. 5. For Harnack on it, see his Chron. I. p. 636. 




in Greek and Latin Churches 263 

they cite, and which is said to have been contained in the 
Gospel accg to the Hebrews^. 

As regards those persons who, according to Eusebius, 
pronounced the work to be spurious, it is not necessary to 
suppose that they had read it. Men do not always refrain 
from condemning that of which they have but slight know- 
ledge. If the Hebrew Christians were heard magnifying 
their own Gospel, and perhaps contrasting it with St Matthew 
to the disadvantage of the latter 2 , this would surely have 
been quite sufficient to provoke some Greek Christians into 
calling the Hebrew Gospel spurious, even though they had 
but an imperfect acquaintance with its contents. These in- 
dications then of use of the Gospel can be explained without 
assuming the existence of a Greek version, though they might 
be thought to render the supposition probable, if there were 
no strong reasons to be urged against it. Such, however, 
there are. If a Greek Version was known to Clement and 
Origen, and read even in a narrow circle in their days, not 
to say earlier, it would be strange that the Church generally 
should have continued to be so ignorant of this writing, as 
seems to have been the case, and as even the learned Jerome 
was, till he came across the original among the Nazarenes. 
The strangest thing of all would be that Eusebius, as appears 
from his language in the Theophania*, should have known of 
this Gospel only as a Hebrew work. If Origen's mode of 
referring to it in one place could rightly be taken to shew 
that a Greek translation was in circulation in Alexandria, 
his language in two others must equally prove circulation in 
Caesarea. But, indeed, copies of such a version must have 
found their way from the former to the latter place, and one 



1 See above, pp. 14 and 124-5. 

2 Symtnachus, the Ebionite, one of the translators of the Old Test, into Greek, 
may probably have done so in those more or less covert attacks of his upon St 
Matthew's Gospel to which Eusebius refers, H. E. vi. 17. Cp. Harnack, 'Altchrist. 
Litt. i. i, p. 7 top. 

3 Syr. (ed. Lee, p. 233 f.), " as we have found in a place in the Gospel existing 
among the Jews in the Hebrew language"; and Fragm. Gr. (Mai, Nova Pair. 
Bibl. IV. [, p. 155, on Mt. xxv. 14 f.), rb es i)/j.8.s rf<ov 'E/3pai'/cotj xapaKTripaiv efiay- 
7Aio', etc. The passages may be seen in full in Harnack, Altchrist, Lilt. I. i, 
p. 7. 



264 Apocryphal Gospels known 

at least must have been preserved in the library there, where 
if not otherwise Eusebius must have met with it. 

We must conclude that there was no Greek or Latin 
Version of the Gospel accg to the Hebrews before Jerome's 
time; the question, therefore, cannot have arisen whether this 
Gospel was to be received by the Church generally 1 . The 
few Catholic Churchmen, however, who knew something about 
it, naturally spoke respectfully of it, both on account of the 
esteem in which Hebrew Christians held it and its affinity 
with the Greek St Matthew 2 . 

We turn to the Gospel accg to the Egyptians to which we 
have already had occasion to refer. The earliest express 
mention of it is that by Clement of Alexandria. In arguing 
against the Encratites in the third book of his Miscellanies he 



1 Harnack (Chron. I. pp. 635 641), contends somewhat eagerly for the exist- 
ence of a Greek Version even long before the time of Clement of Alexandria. But 
(i) he relies far too confidently for proving this on the various allusions which 
have been dealt with above. It may further be noted under this head that he 
mistranslates the words of Eusebius H. E. III. xxv. 5, $ ^ahiara 'Eppaiwv oi rov 
Xpi(rr6v TrapaSf^dyuei'ot xai/>oixn. "If," he remarks, "the Hebrew Christians 
" ^dXuTTa " rejoiced in the possession of the Gospel accg to Heb. then there must 
have been another group of Christians, and forsooth Gentile Christians, who also 
rejoiced in this book, even if not so exclusively" (I.e. p. 637). Both the order of 
words in the sentence and the parallel passage in regard to the Ebionites (H. E. 
III. xxvii. 4), shew plainly that this is a wrong rendering. Eusebius means that 
the Hebrew Christians rejoice in this Gospel /xdXiora, as compared with other 
Gospels. Harnack thinks it is "not difficult" to explain the fact that Eusebius 
and Jerome were ignorant of the existence of a Greek Version, by supposing that 
its circulation was confined to Alexandria (p. 639). He seems not to realise 
how improbable it is that no copies should have reached Caesarea. Again, 
while he emphasises the fact (p. 637) that Origen's Com. on St John, in which 
a citation from the Gospel accg to Heb. is introduced with the words, tb.v 5 
Trpoffierai TIS, etc., was written in Alexandria, he is silent as to the fact that Origen's 
other references, which quite as much imply the opportunity of using the Gospel, 
were made in Caesarea. Yet again on Eusebius' reference to the "certain persons" 
who reckoned the work as "spurious" (not simply as Harnack says "disputed "), 
Harnack makes the remark (p. 636), "The judgment of these rti/^s is important 
enough for Eusebius not to pass it over in his statement of the Greek (the emphasis 
is Harnack's) and Catholic Canon. " And in the sequel he goes on to deduce use 
of the writing somewhere in tht Greek-speaking Church, not, however, in Palestine 
but in Alexandria. But how can this be a right interpretation of Eusebius' mean- 
ing, if, as would appear from his language elsewhere, he was not aware of the 
existence of a Greek Version ? 

2 Origen does not name it among the Apocryphal Gospels which he enumerates 
Horn, in Luc. \. Cp. Harnack, Altchrist. Litt. I. i, p. 7. 



in Greek and Latin Churches 265 

alludes more than once to, and treats at considerable length 
of, some alleged words of Christ which they quoted in support 
of their doctrines, and which were contained in this work 1 . 
He marks the fact, as we have seen, that they were derived 
from this source and not from the Four Gospels, plainly 
implying that they do not possess the authority which in 
the latter case they would have had 2 . He also, however, 
endeavours to shew that the language in question does not 
bear the meaning which was put upon it by those against 
whom he is contending 3 . If he could succeed in doing this, it 
was obviously the most effective line of reasoning he could 
adopt ; for neither he nor other Church-teachers of his time, 
or subsequently, would have been prepared to assert that 
every saying attributed to Christ which was not preserved in 
the Four Gospels was necessarily spurious. Still less would 
many of his readers and hearers in a place like Alexandria 
have felt satisfied with such an assumption. The other 
notices of the Gospel accg to the Egyptians may be rapidly 
enumerated. Origen, in the well-known passage on the 
subject of Apocryphal Gospels near the beginning of his 
first homily on St Luke's Gospel, names this Gospel first 
among those which the Church does not, but heretics do, 
recognise 4 . Hippolytus says that the Naasenes derived some 

1 Strom, ill. ch. 6, p. 532; ch. 9, pp. 539541; ch. 13, p. 553. Comp. Ex- 
cerpta ex Theodoto, 67, p. 985. 

2 Strom, ill. p. 553 and above p. 246. See also Strom, in. p. 539 end, </>^>ercu 
5 ol/m-ai ev T$ KO.T Atyvirriovs euayyeXiy. This ofyieu has sometimes been supposed 
to shew that Clement himself had not read the Gospel accg to Egypt. (So Lightfoot, 
Apost. Frs, Pt. i, n. p. 237.) But Zahn's view, that he does not know for certain 
whether the Encratites took it thence, is more probable. He must have done so if 
the punctuation in Clem. Al. ib. p. 541 adopted by Zahn, and suggested by Light- 
foot I.e., is the true one, and the passage as a whole is made clearer and more self- 
consistent thereby. See Zahn Kan. II. p. 632, n. i. 

There does not, however, seem to be good reason for the grave doubt expressed 
by Zahn as to whether the Encratite Julius Cassianus, to whom Clement is replying, 
really quoted it. Clement did not know of any other source whence the citation 
could be derived and it was therefore probably the one used. There was also, 
perhaps, something depreciatory in the ol/j.ai, as there is at times in our employ- 
ment of " I presume." 

3 See ib. p. 532, SiaffTpeirT^ov avTobs TO. vir' avruiv (f>ep6fj.eva SiaXvovras udt irws, 
and the other passages from Strom, ill. referred to in n. i. 

4 Lomm. v. p. 87. 



266 Apocryphal Gospels known 

of their ideas from it 1 ; and Epiphanius that it was the chief 
source of the Sabellian heresy 2 . 

The title given to this work calls for special consideration. 
It clearly indicates that at some time this was in a special 
manner the Gospel in use among Egyptian Christians. And 
the facts that Clement and Origen mention the book and that 
Sabellianism, which flourished in the Pentapolis, is said to 
have been founded upon it, also point to its circulation in 
Egypt. And this may well have been the home of the 
Naasenes, or of some branch of them. An " Egyptian," 
according to the usage of language, was one who by birth 
and descent belonged to the land, as distinguished both from 
Jewish and from Greek colonists and their descendants 8 . 
There was a strong line of demarcation between the Egyptians 
and these Greeks, originally in respect to language, and of 
a political and social character after the former had learned 
to speak Greek 4 . It is important to bear in mind the 
differences of these latter kinds here, because there is no 
reason to think that the Gospel accg to the Egyptians was 
originally put forth in Coptic, or translated into it. Converts 
to Christianity of the two races may well have been kept 
apart for a time from the causes referred to, especially as the 
Greeks were chiefly settled in Alexandria, while in the smaller 
towns and the rural districts the vast majority of the popula- 
tion was Egyptian. Even those " Egyptian " Christians who 
were living in Alexandria might also naturally sympathise 
with and preserve the habits of thought and practices of their 
brethren elsewhere. It is most improbable that the Gospel 
accg to the Egyptians can ever have been the Gospel of the 
Greek Christians of Alexandria, in touch as they must always 
have been with the rest of Greek Christendom 8 . It is further 

1 Refut. v. 7, p. 98. 

2 Panar. LXll. 2. 

3 E.g. see Joseph. B.J. II. ch. 18, 7 init. Ka.ro. Se rr/v 'AXedi/3/>eiai/ del ptv r]v 
crrd<m Trpbs TO 'lovSaiK&i' rois lirtxu/jlotr <*$' oi> x/ 07 ? <7 ' ( t6 '' * irpo6vfj.ora.TOif /card r&v 
Alyvirriuv 'TovSa/ois 'AX^afSpoj 7^pas TTJS eriv^taxtas (Suite TO fieroiKeiv /card TT/V 



4 Cp. Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, II. p. 240 ff., Eng. Trans. 
8 Harnack, Chron. I. p. 613 (with n. 2, ib.), seems to overlook the considera- 
tion that though the Gospel accg to Hebrews and that accg to Egyptians may have 






in Greek and Latin Churches 267 



to be observed that the title has become, it would seem, even 
for Clement and Origen, simply the name of a book. It has 
ceased apparently to express for them a fact in regard to the 
circulation of the book. If it had, they could hardly have 
referred to it only as employed by heretics, they must have 
alluded to its wider use 1 . It would seem, then, that, whatever 
the peculiarities of usage in regard to the written Gospel 
existing among Egyptian Christians may have been in the 
earlier half and middle part of the second century, they had, 
before the end of it, so far as they understood Greek, con- 
formed to that of the Greek-speaking Church generally. The 
circumstance that the Gospel of which we are speaking was 
so soon deposed from the position which it held among 
Egyptian Christians raises a doubt whether its recognition by 
them had not always been more partial than the expression 
"according to the Egyptians" strictly taken would import. 
We know that names are often affixed with comparatively 
little consideration and from accidental causes. It is also to 
be remembered that we know nothing of the history of the 
spread of Christianity among the natives of Egypt throughout 
the second century ; at the time when the name Gospel accg to 
tht Egyptians was given, the Egyptian Christians may have 
formed but an insignificant body. 

These considerations are not, I think, unimportant as 
a check upon the disposition to draw inferences from the title 
of this work, which are not warranted by our knowledge of 
any fact that might illustrate and define its meaning. But 
we should not be justified, on the other hand, in ignoring the 
significance of the peculiar usage of less or greater extent 
which the name implies. We have, also, seen in an earlier 
chapter that this writing was probably the source of several 
citations in the Homily which came to be called the Second 
Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. The unknown author 

been contrasted with one another, they may also have been contrasted by Greek 
Christians of Alexandria with Gospels used by themselves and the rest of the 
Church. 

1 It is true that Clement and Origen also speak of the Gospel accg to the 
Hebrews in like manner as the name of a book, and do not dwell on the fact that 
it is the Gospel in use among the Hebrews. But as they do not in this case refer 
to a use by heretics, there was not the same reason for further explanation. 



268 Apocryphal Gospels known 

of this writing may have been a visitor to Corinth, who had 
come from Egypt, and his familiarity with the Gospel of 
which we are speaking may have been due to residence in the 
latter country. But it may also have been read in the 
Corinthian Church, so that the allusions would be understood. 
In any case this writer's quotations, made, to say the least, as 
freely and confidently from an apocryphal source as from the 
Canonical Gospels, shew that at that time authority was not 
exclusively attributed in that Church to the Four Gospels. 

In conclusion a few words must be said on the character 
of this Gospel. Though used by heretics, its tendency may 
not have been markedly heretical, and indeed probably was 
not. Though Clement maintains only the orthodoxy of a 
particular passage 1 , he would hardly have ventured to do this 
if in other parts of the work there were manifest signs of 
misbelief. The apocryphal citations in the Second Ep. of 
Clement make for the same conclusion. With one exception 
that in which the homilist gives a portion of the language 
quoted afterwards by the Alexandrian Clement 2 their style 
and spirit, and to a considerable extent their actual ex- 
pressions, are those of the Synoptic Gospels. There are 
correspondences with both St Matthew and St Luke, but the 
available evidence is not sufficient to enable us to judge 
whether this Gospel was based on those two Gospels 3 . The 
differences from the Canonical Gospels, even if inconsiderable 
on the whole, may yet have been sufficient to induce more 
than one class of heretics to prefer it. The passage quoted 
by Clement of Alexandria is of an enigmatic character, but 
lent itself readily to an Encratite interpretation. The same 
temper of mind, also, which led to the adoption of opinions 
different from those of the Church would favour the use of 
Gospels which the Church did not recognise. And it was 
probably more easy to introduce modifications suitable to 
the opinions of a particular sect into apocryphal Gospels 

1 Harnack exaggerates when he says, Chron. I. p. 616 top, "class Clemens das 
Evangelium gegen enkratistiche Deutung in Schutz nimmt." Clement concerns 
himself only with the. particular sayings which the Encratites quoted. 

Clem. Rom. ch. \i. 

3 The reader may easily pick out the quotations in question in Lightfoot's 
edition and examine them by the aid of his notes. 



in Greek and Latin Churches 269 

than into those which were received and guarded by the 
Church at large. 

If the words in which Justin has been supposed to refer 
to the Gospel of Peter were really a reference to it, this work 
must have held a high place as an Apostolic Gospel in the 
middle of the second century. Both the purely critical and 
the more general historical grounds, however, for denying 
that he intends to name it, or uses it, appear to me to be so 
convincing, that sooner or later, I feel sure, their cogency will 
be recognised 1 . I must, then, regard the mention of this work 
in Serapion's letter to the Church of Rhossus as the earliest 
reference to it 2 . Since the recovery of the lost fragment of 
" Peter," the little episode connected with the reading of the 
work in this country-town of Serapion's diocese has become 
familiar to all who are interested in the early history of the 
Church. It will be sufficient for me here to remark that it 
illustrates some of the irregularities to which enunciations of 
a Canon were designed to put an end. 

Origen in his first Homily on St Luke, after referring to 
the Gospel accg to the Egyptians, states that Basilides had 
ventured to write a Gospel and to call it after his own name. 
He also mentions Gospels according to Thomas, and to 
Matthias, and says there are many others 3 . Basilides' work, 
as also the Gospel of Truth to which Irenaeus alludes 4 , were 
no doubt decidedly Gnostic works. Origen also mentions 
in his Commentary on St Matthew a Book of James* \ with 
which Justin has one or two parallelisms, though (as we have 
seen) it is more than doubtful whether he derived them 
thence 6 . It is not necessary for us to dwell on any of these 
works or on other similar ones. There is not the least 
probability that any of them enjoyed an early circulation 
comparable even to that of the Gospel accg to the Egyptians. 

The unique position, therefore, accorded to the Four 
Gospels at the close of the second century in the larger 
part of the Church, the confidence with which they were 
regarded as alone undoubtedly authentic, the ease with which 

1 See above, p. 93 ff. 2 Ap. Eus. H. E. vi. 12. 

3 Lomm. v. p. 87. 4 Adv. Haer. I. xx. r. 

5 In Matt. T. x. 17 (Lomm. ill. p. 45). 6 See above, p. 122 ff. 



270 The process by which 

in course of time this view obtained universal acceptance, 
were the natural sequel both of their history and of that 
of other works of the character of Gospels. None of the 
latter, it appears, ever were serious rivals of the Four in the 
affections of the great and leading Churches of Greek and 
Latin Christendom. The areas in which any of them ever 
were used either to the exclusion of, or along with, the whole 
or one or more of the quaternion, were very limited and cut 
off from, or without influence upon, the Church generally. 

Nevertheless in the last decade of the century, or not 
long before, the need for a Canon of Scriptures of the New 
Covenant began to be distinctly felt, in order to meet a danger 
which had been growing. The Gnostic Schools accepted 
some and rejected others of the writings in which Christians 
generally believed, shewed a disposition to adopt some which 
were not for the most part so highly regarded, and put forward 
some which were expressly designed to suggest or support 
heretical opinions 1 . Moreover controversy on many points was 
on the increase within the Church ; those who took part in it 
required an accepted standard of truth to appeal to. Accord- 
ingly men holding responsible positions in the Church as 
bishops and teachers stated what writings were certainly to 
be accepted as apostolic, in the sense above defined, and what 
others were certainly spurious, and gave their judgments 
upon or discussed the claims of others whose character was 
more doubtful. It was in this way that the formation of the 
Canon proceeded for more than a century and a half. During 
all this time there were no councils specially held to do the 
work ; the subject was not even brought before the many 
councils, oecumenical and provincial, which assembled. It 
was only at the very last stage, when the influence of great 
teachers and the usage of the principal Churches had practi- 
cally settled almost every doubtful point, that decrees of 
Councils set their seal upon the result. Now the process 
could not have been of this kind, if there had not been a very 
large amount of agreement from the first, and if the points of 

1 On the Gnostic writings see Dionysius of Corinth ap. Eus. H. E. iv. xxiii. 
11 ; Iren. Adv. Haer. I. xx.; Origen, In Luc. \. i; all which passages have 
already been referred to. 




the Canon was formed 271 

difference had not been felt to be comparatively unimportant. 
At the same time widespread common belief would not make 
definite statements on the part of persons in authority 
unnecessary, because there could not but be some unstable 
or imperfectly instructed Christians. Again, although those 
who made the statements evidently had no fears in regard to 
the faith of the great Churches of Christendom, there was the 
danger that here and there not only individuals, but some 
small and more or less isolated community, might fall into 
error under the influence of some powerful person. 

Those who make these statements as to the writings 
which are authoritative for the Christian, do not rely for their 
justification upon the intuitive perception of the inspiration 
of these Scriptures on the part of believers. The modern 
mind is disposed to fancy that this must have been the case. 
But real as the Divine power in the Gospels and other books 
of the New Testament assuredly is, the full recognition of it 
has been largely a matter of growth and training. It may 
well be doubted whether the authority of the Scriptures could 
have been originally reared on this foundation, human facul- 
ties being what they are. And at all events it would scarcely 
have been possible without much debating, such as preceded 
and accompanied the formation and establishment of the 
Nicene doctrine of the Person of Christ ; and of which there 
is not a trace at any epoch in regard to the Four Gospels, or 
the greater part of the other New Testament Scriptures. Be 
this, however, as it may, the basis of the Canon was in point 
of fact not this, but a belief in the Apostolicity of the writings 
included. The Gospels, to speak now only of them, were 
accepted as the authentic embodiment of the Gospel which 
the Apostles at first preached 1 . And those who assert that the 

1 See above, pp. 244 246, and references there. Cp. also p. 52. 

Irenaeus, after he has reviewed the Gospels, passes on to the Acts and several 
of the Epistles (Adv. Haer. III. xii. ff.). It must not be assumed that he acknow- 
ledged none which he does not quote from. He may not have thought it 
necessary to carry his examination through to the end. Again in some instances 
he may have refrained from quoting from writings which many orthodox teachers 
considered doubtful, even though he did not himself share this opinion, because it 
was desirable for the purposes of argument that only works generally accepted 
should be cited. 



272 The appeal to tradition 

books have this prerogative do so, not simply as expressing 
their own conviction, but as declaring that of the Church the 
Church not as a body endowed with the power of discerning 
spiritual truth, but (which was the only function appropriate to 
this case) as a witness to that which she had received. This 
principle is most clearly stated by Tertullian in the passage 
from his treatise Against Marcion which has been already 
cited above. Antiquity he says shall decide between himself 
and Marcion as to the true form of St Luke's Gospel, while 
a little further on he remarks that the same authority of 
Churches founded by Apostles will vouch for the other three 
Gospels 1 . The same ground of confidence is implied in 
Irenaeus' whole line of argument in the third book of his 
treatise Against Heresies. He appeals to Church-tradition in 
proof that the Rule of Faith conveys truly what the Apostles 
taught, and in the same context asserts the Apostolic author- 
ship, immediate or mediate, of each of the Gospels 2 . Those 
analogies which he at length introduces to bring out the 
foursquareness of the Gospels 3 plainly do not prove, and are 
not .adduced with the idea of proving, the facts about the 
composition of the several Gospels which he has alleged ; 
their purpose is to persuade all that they should rest content 
with having these four, and also that no one of these four 
could have been spared. Origen also writes : "we approve 
nothing save what the Church does, namely, that four gospels 
are to be received 4 ." 

The value which we attach to Church-tradition on this 
subject will depend in part on our general conception of the 
history of the Church from the Apostolic Age to the end of 
the second century. We have heard much in recent years 
of the forces which made for change during the second 
century. It may, however, safely be affirmed that all the 
alteration and growth which took place were gradual ; that 



1 Adv. Marc. IV. iv. 5. 2 Adv. Haer. in. i. f. 

3 ib. xi. 

4 In Luc. I. Note also in same context, "Et ut sciatis, non solum quatuor 
evangelia, sed plurima conscripta, e quibus haec, quae habemus, electa et tradita 
ecclesiis etc."..."Ecclesia quatuor habet evangelia... quatuor tantum evangelia 
sunt probata." 



and its value 273 

there was not at any point a breach with the past in Greek 
and Latin Christendom taken as a whole, or in its great 
Churches, notably in those of Asia and of Rome. This much 
has been fully established by those thorough investigations 
which were stimulated by the Tubingen theory and which 
have brought about its own overthrow. 

Further, there were unquestionably conservative forces at 
work in the life of the Church which kept in check those 
which were revolutionary. Custom must always count for 
much with the majority of men in matters of religion. And 
the bishops and clergy who had for their prime business the 
care of the Christian people, including such an one as Irenaeus 
himself who, while he was a theologian and writer, was (we 
may well believe) still more truly a pastor could not but 
share this conservative temper themselves, and be inclined to- 
make use of its influence over others. Even teachers like 
Clement and Origen, whose training and circumstances made 
their purely intellectual interests stronger, but whose largeness 
of heart and devotion to the common good of the Church led 
them to consider the needs of its humbler members, were not 
unaffected by it. The eyes of the Church at large were 
constantly directed backwards to her beginning. That habit 
of appealing to the teaching and example of the Apostles, of 
which we have been speaking, was no new thing at the close 
of the second century. We have observed it in Hegesippus 1 . 
We have seen it in a very marked form in Justin, and we find 
it still earlier in the letters of Clement and Ignatius 2 . 

The reminiscences of Irenaeus and others by which I 
mean now not merely what had been told them by their 
elders, but even more, what had fallen within their own 
observation must, also, be borne in mind. And in the 
light of considerations of these two kinds we must review 
once more the traces of the use of the Gospels in the 
middle part and first half of the century, and so form 
our conviction of the course of the history. It is impossible 
that Irenaeus should have made his statements on the 
subject of the Four Gospels with such calm assurance, if 

1 See above, p. 155 f. 

2 Clem, ad Cor. 42; Ign. ad Magn. 13. 

S. G. 18 



274 General results 

within the period since he reached or had nearly reached 
man's estate, that is since circ. 155 A.D., any one of them 
had been commonly spoken of as a work recently introduced, 
or if any other Gospel besides these had been treated as 
equal to them, in any of the leading Churches of Christendom 
with which he was acquainted. So with Clement of Alexandria 
and Tertullian, whose reminiscences stretched nearly as far 
back as did those of Irenaeus. 

A change of a certain kind there might have been of 
which these writers would not be fully conscious, or which 
would not destroy the confidence with which they spoke. 
The very enunciation of the formula "there are Four Gospels" 
which we first meet with in Irenaeus and which was probably 
then still new, itself made a difference. It helped all to realise 
more vividly the peculiar claims of these writings ; it estab- 
lished the recognition of their authority as an obligation of 
faith. There had also, no doubt, been a growing sense, which 
now received special encouragement, of the inspiration of 
these Gospels ; and this served to render all their individual 
traits and turns of expression precious, and to make it 
important, where there were, or seemed to be, discrepancies 
between them, to endeavour to harmonise them, and so to 
allow for the truth of each. Again attention must have been 
increasingly turned upon the Fourth Gospel by the questionings 
of the time, and its special value no doubt thus came to be 
more fully realised. But the clear definition of the Fourfold 
Gospel some years before the close of the second century 
must have been the outcome of the practice and feeling of the 
chief portions of the Church from the middle of the century 
at least. The elements of the conception were prepared ; 
little more was needed than that a conviction should be made 
explicit which before was implicit. 

In the discussions contained in earlier chapters, we have 
assumed, as critics of very various schools now commonly do, 
that where a document of the nature of a Gospel appears to 
have been used, and the quotation made agrees in substance 
and to a considerable degree, at least, in language, with what is 
found in one or more of the Four Gospels, while it is not known 
to have been contained in any apocryphal Gospel, the former 



of our enquiry 275 

should, in spite of comparatively slight differences of form, be 
regarded as the source. The evidence that has now come 
before us helps to shew that we have been right in so 
doing. No other Gospels had had a circulation at all com- 
mensurate with theirs. But we may well feel, also, that an 
inadequate impression of the extent of their use is conveyed 
by the traces of it in the remains of the Christian literature 
of the middle and even of the earlier half of the second 
century. That it would have been placed beyond the possi- 
bility of doubt if those remains had been more abundant and 
had been of a somewhat different character becomes something 
more than a conjecture. At the same time it is not probable 
that fuller evidence would alter materially our impressions as 
to the broad characteristics of different epochs. 

I have said that by the middle of the second century, the 
chief Churches must have read all Four Gospels and regarded 
them as authoritative. It is possible that nearly as late as 
this there were even important Churches which did not 
possess all the Four. But in the Church of Rome the one 
about which we have the fullest knowledge though that is all 
too meagre they seem all to have been in use some thirty 
years earlier 1 . 

The Gospels could hardly have made their way at the 
early time at which they must have begun to do so, if they 
had not come with good credentials. There were the means 
still of testing their claims. It will be well, however, to 
distinguish between, on the one hand, the strength of the 
evidence for the fact that they had been handed down from 
the confines of the Apostolic Age and were a true embodiment 
of Apostolic testimony, and on the other hand the trustworthi- 
ness of the evidence for particular accounts of their authorship 
and composition. The former consisted in the length of 
time for which the several Gospels had been known, and in 
the case of the Synoptic Gospels, at least, in the general 
correspondence between the written Word and that which 
had been orally taught points as to which there could not 
easily be mistake ; whereas there would be a natural tendency 

1 See pp. 34 47 above on the Shepherd of Hernias. 

18 2 



276 General results 

to exaggerate the part taken by individual Apostles in the 
production of this and that Gospel. 

In the case of our first Gospel the signs of early use are 
specially abundant ; and the testimony of a writer who had 
himself seen and heard not a few who had been hearers of 
various Apostles, and possibly of two who had been hearers 
of the Lord Himself, points to a connexion between this 
Gospel and a Hebrew document by the Apostle Matthew. 
His language, however, is such as to leave room for, if it does 
not suggest, the belief that Matthew's work has been in- 
corporated in the Greek Gospel, but that the latter is not in 
any strict sense a translation of the former. The parallelisms 
with, and citations from, our second Gospel are scantier than 
in the case of any of the remaining three ; but the name of 
its author is attested more strongly than that of the author of 
any of the others ; and the attribution may be relied upon 
the more confidently, because Mark was not a man of special 
eminence. The description, resting on the same authority, of 
the relation of this Gospel to the preaching of Peter, according 
to which the work of the evangelist was restricted to that of 
careful reporting, may represent his dependence as greater 
than it was in reality, and yet contain a large measure of 
truth. Of the use of the third Gospel there are early traces, 
but the first mention of Luke as the author is that by Irenaeus. 
As in the case of Mark, however, his comparative obscurity 
among the men of the Apostolic Age is in favour of its being 
truly ascribed to him. We can see no reason for his having 
been selected, if he was not the author. The connexion 
between this Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles might have 
suggested that some companion of St Paul was the author, 
but there was nothing in the latter work nothing at least 
which would readily attract notice to mark out this one in 
particular for the honour. It should be remembered also 
that according to Justin, writing thirty to forty years earlier 
than Irenaeus, two at least of the evangelists were men of the 
class to which Mark and Luke belonged, and that in all 
probability he has these two in mind. Lastly, the differences 
between the Fourth Gospel and the Synoptics, which, as we 
shall hereafter see, probably corresponded more closely with 



of our enquiry 



277 



the common form of the oral teaching, are in certain respects 
a guarantee of authenticity. There must have been good 
grounds for believing that this Gospel was founded upon 
Apostolic testimony in order to overcome the prejudice that 
would be created by the contrasts between it and accounts 
which had been more generally received. The evidence is, as 
we have shewn, strong both for the work of the Apostle John 
in Asia in the last part of his life, and for his authorship of 
the Gospel. But the idea of actual authorship might almost 
imperceptibly have been substituted for a more indirect part 
in the work, that of a witness and teacher whose utterances 
had been embodied in it and had inspired it. 

External evidence taken by itself does not, I think, enable 
us to go further than we have done in any of the above cases. 




INDEX. 



Abbot, Ezra; 80 n. 2; 176 n. 

Abbott, E. A.; on the question whe- 
ther Justin used the Fourth Gospel, 
91 n. i, 131 f. ; the attitude of Gaius 
to the Fourth Gospel. 241 f. 

Acta Archelai; on Basilides, 64, 65 
n. 4, 67 n. i 

Acts of the Apostles ; parallelisms 
with in Ep. of Clem. Rom., 13 f.; in 
Shepherd of Hernias, 46 n. 3 ; in 
letter of Churches of Vienne and 
Lyons, 142 n. 3 

Acts of Peter and Paul; no 

Acts of Pilate (early Christian docu- 
ment) ; to be clearly distinguished 
from the extant Acts of Pilate (or 
Gospel of Nicodemits], 104 n. i, 114 
n. 3; references to by Justin, 87, 92, 
98, 103 ff.; by Tertullian, 105 ff. ; 
an alleged letter of Pilate connected 
therewith, no f. ; used in the Gospel 
of Nicodennis (otherwise called the 
Acts of Pilate], 115 ff . ; and in the 
Gospel of Peter, 117 ff. ; probability 
that the Fourth Gospel was used in 
it, 121 

Acts of Pilate (otherwise called Gos- 
pel of Nicodenius); its different forms, 
1 1 2 f. ; its name in the West, Acts of 
Pilate, 113 ff.; the early Pilate docu- 
ment was used in its composition, 
115 f. 

Acts of Pilate (heathen document) ; 
1 1 2 n . i , 1 1 4 f . 

Agrippa Castor; on Basilides. 64, 
66 n. 2, 138 

Aleatoribus,De; citation from, 237 n.; 
quotations in it from N. T., etc., 247 
n. 2 

Alogi, The ; the character and motif 
of their peculiar views, 198-208; the 
time and place of their rise, 208210; 
the phenomenon of the Alogi con- 
sidered in relation to the history of 
the reception of the Fourth Gospel, 
210-212, 235, 242 f. 



Ammonius ; his divisions of the Gos- 
pels, 24 

Anicetus, Bp;^i, 153 f., 196,221,227 

Apocalypse of John; reference to by 
Justin, 84, 89 ; citations from in letter 
of Churches of Vienne and Lyons, 
142 n. 3; allusion to by Dionysius of 
Corinth, 143; its relation to the 
Fourth Gospel, and theories as to its 
composition, 1 7 r ff. 

Apocryphal Gospels ; see under 
Peter, Gospel of; Egyptians, 
Gospel accg to ; James, Protev. 
of; etc. 

Apocryphal sayings, or forms of 
sayings, of Christ ; Ignatius ad 
Smyrn., 14, 28 ; possible instance in 
Ep. of Barnabas, 33 ; none in Shep- 
herd of Her mas, 47 ; instances in ind 
Ep. of Clem. Rom., 58 f. ; Justin M., 
I2 5 r 35 ( n os. n, 14, 17); Clem. 
Alex. 58, 135 (no. 11); Origen, 14 

Apollinaris, Bishop of Hierapolis ; 
chronology of his life and writings, 
138 f . ; fragments on Paschal observ- 
ance, 140 f., 179, 180 f. , 185 f., 191, 
196 f. 

Apollonius ; he believed the common 
tradition respecting the residence of 
the Apostle John in Asia, 233 n. 2 

Apostate ; use of this term in Shep- 
herd of Hernias, 37 n. 2 ; allusions to 
the act of apostasy in the N. T., and 
by Polycarp and Ignatius, 37 n. i 

Apostles; their authority, 94, 271; 
labours of members of the Twelve in 
Churches to the West of Palestine, 
253 n. i 

Apostolical Ordinances and Con- 
stitutions ; similarities in the form 
of certain precepts of Christ given in 
them and in the Ep. of Clem. Rom., 
1 1 

Aristides, Apology of; recovery of, 
48 n. i ; date of, 48-50 ; wide dis- 
semination of, 49 ; its statements in 



280 



Index 



regard to the Gospel history, 51 ; on 

the change from the preached to the 

written Gospel, 51 f. 
Aristides, the rhetorician; 221 n. i 
Aristion ; John the Elder is coupled 

with him by Papias, 169 
Aristotle's Constitution of Athens; 

the papyrus MS. is without divisions, 22 
Asconius Pedianus ; the references 

in his Annotations on Five of Cicero's 

Orations ', 23 f. 
Asia, Church in the province of; 

absence of literary activity there till 

the middle of the second century, 

137 f . ; letter addressed to it, 142; 

its tradition in respect to the latter 

years of the Apostle John, 162 ff. 
Athanasius; reference to subject of 

Paschal observance in a letter to 

Epiphanius, 184 f. 
Athenagoras ; writings of, and the 

parallelisms with N. T. writings 
. which they contain, 151 f. 

Barnabas, The Epistle of; its cha- 
racter and date, 29, 31 f.; parallel- 
isms with St Matthew in, 33 

Barsalibi; 240 

Basilides ; notices of his Exegetica, 
64 f. ; Hippolytus' account of his sys- 
tem, 65-9 ; Origen's references to his 
Gospel, 64 f., 269; his use of St 
Luke, 65 

Baur ; on Quartodecimani.sm, 173 n. r, 
175 n. i, 197 n. 2 

Bergk ; on divisions in ancient books, 
22 ff. 

Birt ; on divisions in ancient books, 
22 ff. ; ways in which letters were 
preserved, t6o 

Bleek ; on the authorship of the Apoca- 
lypse, 171 n. 2; on Quartodeciman- 
ism, 176, 197 n. i 

Boor, de ; 167 n. 3 

Bousset ; on the tradition respecting 
the Ephesine sojourn of the Apostle 
John, 163 n., 214. n. 2, 228 n. 4, 230 
n. i ; the composition of the Apoca- 
lypse and its relation to the Fourth 
Gospel, 172 nn. r, 3 

Bretschneider ; 174 

Brooke, A. E. ; on date of Heracleon, 
158 n. i 

Burkitt, F. C. ; on use of St Mark, 
i<S n. I, 46 

Cassiodorus ; refers to a chapter in 

the Antiquities of Josephus, 23 
Cerinthus ; suggested by the Alogi as 



the author of the Apocalypse and the 
Fourth Gospel, 204 ff. 
Clement of Alexandria; gives a pas- 
sage of Christ's teaching in the same 
form as Clement of Rome, 6 f. , 8 n. 3, 
10 ; divided his Miscellanies into 
chapters, 22 f.; refers to chapters in 
the O. T., 24; quotes and discusses 
a passage from the Gospel accg to the 
Egyptians, 58, 264 f., 267 f.; on 
Basilides, 64-7 ; has a saying of Christ 
given also by Justin, 126, 135 (no. u); 
his citations from Heracleon, 158 ; on 
Quartodecimanism, 179, 181 f., 191, 

197 ; on the Apostle Philip, 230; on 
the later years of the Apostle John, 
233; on the Four Gospels, 246, 274; 
on the Gospel accg to the Hebrews, 
256, 262, 267 n. 

Clement of Rome ; genuineness and 
date of his (so-called first) Epistle, 3; 
his quotations from O. T., 4 and 5 n. ; 
Evangelic quotations in, 3 f., 5-i4 
25 f . ; traces in their form of the 
effects of oral teaching, 9 f. ; his 
silence respecting the Apostle John, 
18 f., 165 ; parallelisms with a pas- 
sage in the Fourth Gospel, i<S n. 2 

Clement of Rome, Second Epistle 
of (so-called) ; its name for the 
Sacred Writings, 58, 94 n. i ; its 
quotations from and parallelisms with 
our Gospels and with an Apocryphal 
source or sources, 58 f., 267 f. ; the 
date and place of its composition, 
60-63 

Clementine Homilies and Recog- 
nitions, 159 n. 2 

Conybeare, F. C. ; 48 n. i, 106 n. r, 
1 1 2 n. 3 

Credner, on the sources of Justin's 
Evangelic quotations, 78 f., 80 n. 2 ; 
the Alogi, 198 n. i 

Cureton ; 1 10 n. i , 140 n. 2 

Cyprian ; 194 n. i 

Cyril of Jerusalem ; his parallelisms 
with the Gospel of Peter, 101 n. i, 
133 (c, e, f) ; the probability that 
they were due in his case, also, to 

use of the Pilate document, 118 

Davidson, S. ; 171 n. 2, 173 n. 2, 

198 n. r 

Delff ; on the tradition respecting the 
Ephesine sojourn of the Apostle John, 
163 n., 214 n. 2, 228 n. 4, 23011. i 
Diatessaron ; see Tatian 
Diognetum, Ep. ad ; 152 n. i 
Dionysius, Bp of Alexandria ; on 



Index 



281 



two Johns, 1 70 ; reference to Paschal 
observance, 194 n. i ; on certain who 
rejected the Apocalypse 206 

Dionysius, Bp of Corinth; his reply 
to a letter from Soter, 60 ; time when 
he flourished, 143 n. [ ; his reference 
to the "Dominical Scriptures" and 
to Gnostic corruptions of them, 143 f., 
270 n. i 

Dollinger ; 198 n. i 

Drummond, J. ; on Hippolytus' ac- 
count of Basilides, 66 n. 2, 67 n. i, 
68 n. i ; Justin's use of the Fourth 
Gospel, 80 n. 2, 99 n. 2; Quarto- 
decimanism, 173 n. 2, 176 n., 183 
n. i, 186, 195 n. i 

Duchesne ; on Paschal observance, 
183 n. 3, 195 n. 3 

Ebed-Jesu ; 239 

Ebionite Gospel ; Epiphanius on, 
125 n. 2, 135 (no. 8) 

Kdessa ; the Church of, 260 ; Tatian's 
Diatessaron used there, z'/>. 

Egyptians, Gospel according to ; 
agreement between a citation in ind 
Ep. of Clem. Rom., and one made 
from this Gospel by Clement of Alex- 
andria, 58; notices of, 264-266; sig- 
nification of the title, 266-268 ; tem- 
per of the work, 268 

Elder ; use of this term in addresses of 
Second and Third Epistles of St John, 
i7of. ; difference between the use of 
it by Papias and by Irenaeus, 224 
n. 3. See also John the Elder 

Eleutherus, Bp ; 153 

Encratites ; Clement of Alexandria 
argues against them, 265 

Engelhardt ; on Justin's attitude to 
the Fourth Gospel, 83 n. i, 90 
n. i 

Epiphanius ; on the Acts of Pilate, 
114; the Ebionite Gospel, 125 n. 2, 
135 (no. 8); Quartodecimanism, 185; 
his account of the Alogi, 200 ff. , 209, 
210 n. i ; his dependence for it on 
Hippolytus, ib. ; comparison between 
it and fragments of the Heads against 
Gains, 239 ff. ; his invention of the 
term "Alogi," 203; on Cerinthus, 
205 n. i ; the Gospel accg to the He- 
brews, 125 n. i, 256, 259; the Gospel 
accg to the Egyptians, 266 

Episcopacy; history of at Rome, 41, 



illustrations of the use of 
this term, 237 n. 
Eusebius of Alexandria; quotes the 



section of Gospel of Nicodemus on 
the Descent into Hades, 114 
Eusebius of Caesarea ; on the Apol- 
ogy of Aristides, 48 f.; the chronology 
of Justin's life and writings, 76 f. ; 
the Acts of Pilate (Christian and 
heathen), 112 ; the writings of Melito 
and Apollinaris, 138 f., 141, 181; 
his quotation from Tatian's Address, 
J 47 n - 35 * ne d & te at which Eleu- 
therus became Bishop of Rome, 153; 
Hegesippus, 154 ff. ; Papias' refer- 
ence to John the Elder, 169^, 218 
n. i; Paschal observance, 183 f., 187, 
191 f., 193 f., 197; Gaius, 206 f.; the 
chronology of Montanism, 208; the 
question whether he confounds Philip 
the Apostle and Philip the Evange- 
list, 230 n. 5; on the use of the Gos- 
pel accg to the Hebrew: by Hegesippus 
and among Hebrew Christians, 125 f., 
157 n. 2, 25of.; he does not suggest 
that the Greek St Matthew was re- 
lated to it, 256; he knew of no Greek 
translation of this work, 262 ff. 
Other references, 39 n. i, 52, 64, 167, 
224 n. 3, 241 

Fastings on Wednesdays and Fri- 
days ; early reference to the prac- 
tice, 194 n. 2 

Florinus ; letter of Irenaeus to him, 
214 ff., 219 n. 3, 234; letter to Victor 
respecting him, 220 

Funk; on Tatian, 147 n. 3, 148; Pas- 
chal observance, 186 n., 195 n. 3 

Gaius; his rejection of the Apocalypse, 
206 ff.; supposition of Dr J. R, Harris 
and Dr E. A. Abbott that he denied 
the authenticity of the Gospel accg to 
St John, 239 ff. ; on the Apostle 
Philip, 230 

Georgius Hamartolus; 167 
Gospel of Truth ; 65 n. 2, 269 
Gnostics; claim made by them to 
possession of special Apostolic tradi- 
tions, 65, 69 ; their treatment of the 
Scriptures, 143 f., 157; the time of 
their rise, 156; the doctrine of the 
Logos in their systems, 205 n. 2 
Grabe ; on a passage in Irenaeus, 22jn. i 
Gregory of Tours; on the Acts of 

Pilate, H3f. 

Gwynn; the fragments of Hippolytus' 
Heads agninst Gaius discovered by 
him, 207, 239 

Handmann ; 250 n. 



282 



Index 



Harnack; on the genuineness and date 
of the Epistles of Clement, Ignatius 
and Polycarp, 3 nn. r, 2; the 
date of the Didache, 30 n. r ; the 
date of the Ep. of Barnabas, 32 f. ; 
list of bishops of Rome, 41 n. 2 ; the 
date of the Shepherd of Hennas, 
41 n. 3 ; the date and place of 
composition of the (so-called) ind 
Ep. of Clem. Rom., 60-63; Hip- 
polytus' account of the system of 
Basilides, 66 n. i ; Justin's attitude 
to the Fourth Gospel, 130 f. ; Justin 
and the Gospel of Petfr, 93 n. 3, 
97 n. i, 103 n. 4 ; Justin's and 
Tertullian's references to Acts of 
Pilate, 106 n. ; Pilate's "letter," 1 1 1 ; 
the question whether Justin used the 
Protevangelium Jacobi, 122 n. 2, 124 
n. i ; the genuineness of several frag- 
ments of Melito, 140 nn. ; the 
genuineness of the fragments of Apol- 
linaris, 141 n. 2; the text of the 
passage of Tatian's Ac/dress quoted 
by Eusebius, 147 n. 3 ; Tatian's 
relations with Justin, 148 ; the dates 
of different portions of Ep. ad 
Diognetum, 152 n. ; Hegesippus, 155 
n. i ; the tradition respecting the 
Ephesine sojourn of the Apostle John, 
163 n., 214 n. 2, 231 n. i; the 
Apocalypse, 172 nn. 2, 4; the Alogi 
198 n. i, 203 n. 4, 210 f. ; Epiphanius' 
dependence upon Hippolytus, 200 
n. 3 ; the chronology of Montanism, 
208 n. i, 209 n. 2; Irenaeus' age 
when he was a hearer of Polycarp 
and the date of his birth, 215 
n. 4, 217 n. 2, 218, 220 n. 3; 
the date of Polycarp's Martyrdom, 
221 n. i ; the Elders referred to by 
Irenaeus, 222 n. i, 224 n. 2, 225 n. 2; 
the De Aleatoribus, 247 n. 2 ; the 
Gospel accg to the Hebrei.vs, 250 n., 
254 ff., 257, 258, 262, 263 nn. 2, 3, 
264 n. i ; the Gospd accg to the 
Egyptians, 266 ff. 

Other references: 49 n. 2, 50, 53 
nn. i, 2, 57 n. i, 58 n. i. 64 
n. i, 76 n. 2, 77 n. i, 112 n. 2, 
139 nn. i, 3, 146 n. 6, 153 n. 4, 
154 nn. i, 2, 167 n. 2, 168 n. i, 
228 n. 4 

Harris, J. R. ; his discovery of Syriac 
Version of Apology of Aristides, 48 
n. i ; on the date of the Apology of 
Aristidcs, 49 n. 2 ; Quadratus, 50 n. 2 ; 
the Alogi, and the attitude of Gains 
to the Fourth Gospel, 203 n. 2, 239 It. 



Harvey; 199 n. 2 ; 220 n. 2; 223 n. 3; 

225 n. i 

Headlam, A. C. ; 93 n. 3 

Hebrew Christians ; their history, 
252 ff. 

Hebrews, Ep. to ; used by Hennas, 
47 ; not acknowledged by Gains, or 
by Church of Rome, 241 

Hebrews, Gospel according to the; 
possible quotation from, 14 f., 28; 
question of its use by Justin, 78 f. , 
124 f., 127; used by Hegesippus, 
125, 154, 157; Eusebius and Jerome 
found it in use among Hebrew 
Christians, 250 ff. ; reverence was 
felt for it by other than Hebrew 
Christians (125 f., 264), but it had 
not been translated before Jerome's 
time, 261 ff . ; general considerations 
as to its trustworthiness, 252 ff. ; it 
contained an account of the Birth 
and Infancy of Jesus, 257 ff. 

Hegesippus; the chronology of his 
life, 153 f. ; his point of view, 154 f.; 
his description of the Scriptures, 144, 
155; the character of his Memoirs, 
155 f. ; the line of argument by which 
he sought to combat Gnosticism com- 
pared with that employed by Irenaeus, 
155 f., 273; his use of the Gospel 
accg to the Hebrews, 125, 154, 157, 
251 ; parallelism with Justin in regard 
to the form of a saying of Christ, 
125, 135 (no. 1 6) 

Heinichen; 54 n. 2, 153 n. 5, 19811. I 

Heracleon; i^X 

Hermas, Shepherd of; its character 
and the questions with which it deals, 
29, 34 f. ; its date, 35-41 ; parallelisms 
with the Four Gospels in, 42-47, 
725, 275 ; shews signs of acquaint- 
ance with other N.T. writings, 47 ; 
appears not to quote from any 
Apocryphal source, ib. ; quoted as 
Scripture in the De Aleatoribns, 247 
n. 2 

Hilgenfeld; on the date of \\\z Shepherd 
of Hermas, 41 n. 3; words in Hermas 
which he supposes to be taken from 
an Apocryphal source, 47 n. 2 ; the 
date of the Apology of A r is tides, 49 
n. 2; Justin's attitude to our Gospels, 
80 n. 2, 83 n., 129 f., 134; on the 
Protevangclinm Jacolri, 122 n. 2; 
the text of the passage of Tatian's 
Address quoted by Eusebius, 147 
n. 3 ; the tradition respecting the 
Ephesine sojourn of the Apostle John, 
163 n., 228 n. i; the date of the 



Index 



283 



Apocalypse, 172 n. 4; the Paschal 
controversy, 173 nn. i, 2, 175 n. i, 
185 n. 2, 190 nn. r, 2, 195 n. r, 197 
n. 2 

Other references, 148, 171 n. 2, 198 
n. i 

Hippolytus, on Basilides, 65-69 ; 
Quartodecimans, 179 f., 187, 191, 
197; his Paschal cycle, 194 n. i; 
dependence of Epiphanius and Phil- 
aster on him in their accounts of the 
Alogi, 200 ff. ; his Defence of the 
Gospel and Apocalypse, 202 n. 3, 
239 f . ; on Cerinthus, 205 n. i, 207; 
suggested by Lightfoot as the author 
of the Muratorian Canon. 247 ; he 
accepted the Four Gospels, il>.; on 
the Gospel accg to the Egyptians, 265 f. 

Holtzmann, H. ; on Justin's attitude 
to our Gospels, 130; the tradition 
respecting the Ephesine sojourn of 
the Apostle John, 163 n., 164 n., 
214 n. 2, 228 f., 231 n. i, 233 n. 2; 
the Alogi, 198 n. i 

Hort, F. J. A. ; on Basilides, 65 n. 4, 
66 f. ; the chronology of Justin's life 
and writings, 76 n. 2, 77 n. 2; the 
Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, 
159 n. 2 ; the motive for the omission 
of TO Trdcrxa at Jn vi. 4, 248 n. 4 

Ignatius ; genuineness and date of his 
seven epistles in the shorter Greek 
form, 3 ; he seems to refer to a 
document, or documents, containing 
Gospel facts, 3 n. 3; quotation by, 
from a non-Canonical, or oral, source, 
14 f., 28; parallelisms with St Mat- 
thew, 15, 27 f., with St John, 19, 
28 (nos. 6, 7) ; his silence respecting 
the Apostle John, 19 ff., 165 f., 235 ff.; 
his martyrdom as illustrating the 
history of persecution, 39 n. i 

Irenaeus ; on Gnostic use of the Gospels, 
65 nn. 1,2; the system of Basilides, 
66; his reference to Polycarp's letters, 
137 n. i; on Tatian, 146; a line of 
argument employed by him compared 
with that employed by Hegesippus, 
156 ; the attitude of Ptolemaeus 
and other Valentinians to the Gos- 
pels, 158; certain who rejected John's 
Gospel and the gifts of the Spirit. 
198 f., 210; Cerinthus, 205 n. i, 
207 ; his statements respecting the 
later years and the writings of the 
Apostle John, 213^; his reminis- 
cences of Polycarp, 214 f. ; the age 
of Irenaeus when he was a hearer of 



Polycarp, and the date of his birth, 
214-222; his quotations from and 
references to "the Elders," 722-227; 
his visits to Rome, 227; on the 
conference between Polycarp and 
Anicetus, 227 f. ; his letter to Victor 
on Quartodecimans, 192 f., 215; 
another regarding Florinus, 220; the 
Four Gospels, 244 f.; Christians who 
had not the Scriptures in their own 
language, 249 ; he supposed the 
Hebrew Gospel to be the original 
of the Greek St Matthew, 256, 261 f.; 
on the diverse beginnings of the 
Gospels, 257 n. 3; on Gnostic cor- 
ruptions and forgeries, 270 n. i ; 
his examination of N. T. writings 
other than the Gospels, 271 n. i 
Other references, 39 n. i, 142 n. 2, 

167, 205, 224 n. 3, 273 f. 
Isidore, son of Basilides; 65 n. 4, 
69. J 57 

Jacobi Protevangelium ; 121 ff., 134 
(nos. 2, 3, 4), 269 

James, Ep. of; used by Hennas, 47 

Jerome; on the Apology of Ar is tides, 
48; the Gospel accg to Hebrews, 128, 
251 f , 256 ff.; on Tatian, 147 n. i; 
the Memoirs of Hegesippus, 155 n. 4 

Jews ; the execution of the death- 
sentence upon Christ attributed to 
them, 51 n. i, 97 ff. , 107 n. i 

John the Apostle ; tradition as to his 
later years, 18 f., 162 ff., 213 f . ; 
men and parties interested in disputing 
its truth refrained from doing so, 

234 ff. ; his example appealed to by 
Quartodecimans, 173, 215, 227; the 
silence of the Sub-Apostolic Age 
respecting him, 18 ff., 164 ff., 231, 

235 ff. For the Second Century 
impugners of the authenticity of the 
writings attributed to him, see Alogi 

John the Elder: 168 ff., 231, 232. 
See also Elder 

John, First Epistle of; parallelisms 
with in Ep. of Polycarp, 20 ; in 
Justin M., 83 

John, Gospel accg to ; parallelisms 
with in Epp. of Clement, Polycarp, 
and Ignatius, i8n. 2, 18-21, 28 (nos. 
6, 7) ; in Shepherd of Hernias, 46 f., 
74 f. ; use of in Basilidean record 
quoted by Hippolytus, 68 f. ; by 
Justin M., 81 ff. ; probability that it 
was used in the early Acts of Pilate, 
12 1 ; signs of acquaintance with in 
fragments of Melito, 140; reference 



28 4 



Index 



to in fragments of Apollinaris, 141; 
quotations from in Letter of the 
Churches of Vienne and Lyons, 142 ; 
in Tatian's Address, 149; parallelisms 
with in Athenagoras' Appeal, 151; 
use of by Ptolemaeus, 158 ; and by 
Heracleon, ib. ; its relation to the 
Apocalypse, 171 f. ; the question of 
its authorship, 276 f. 

Josephus; quoted, 266 n. 3 

Julian of Eclanum; his censure of 
Jerome's attitude to the Gospel accg 
to the Hebrews, 257 n. 4 

Julicher; on Justin's altitude to our 
Gospels, 83 n. i, 130 

Julius Africanus; evidence that he 
recognised the Gospels according to 
Matthew, Luke and John, 248 

Julius Cassianus; 265 n. 2 

Justin M.; on the public rending of 
the Scriptures, 24; chronology of his 
life and writings, 76 f. ; history of 
controversy as to his Evangelic quo- 
tations, 77-80; his use of the Fourth 
Gospel, 8 1 ff . ; the purport and 
method of Justin's reasoning as affect- 
ing his quotations, 84 fif. ; his refer- 
ences to the "Memoirs of the 
Apostles," 77 f., 80 ff., 91-3; his 
reference to the Apocalypse of Jo /in, 
84, 89 ; his reference to " Peters 
Memoirs," 77, 93 f., 269; his an- 
tagonism to Docetism, 95 f. , 132; 
his parallelisms with the Gospel of 
Peter examined, 97-102 : his appeal 
to the registers of Quirinius and the 
Acts of Pilate, 87, 92, 98; his 
references to the latter compared 
with those of Tertullian, 102-109 ; 
with the alleged letter of Pilate, 
no f . ; and with the Gospel of 
Nicodemiis (otherwise called the Acts 
of Pilate}, 115 ff. ; in connexion with 
the last four headings see also 132 f. ; 
parallelisms with the Protevangtliutn 
Jacobi examined, 121 ff., 127, 134 
(nos. 2, 3, 4); the Gospel accg to 
the Hebrews a source from which, 
possibly, traits in Justin were directly 
or indirectly derived, 124 f., 127, 
263; parallelism with Hegesippu> in 
regard to a saying of Christ, 125, 135 
(no. 16) ; with the Gospel of 7 'ho <t/i 'tis, 
126 f. ; the attack on him by Crescens, 
38 n. i, 146 ff. ; reference to the ob- 
servance of the first day of the week, 
194 n. 2 ; he believed in the connexion 
of the Apostle John with Asia, 233 
Other references, 137 f. , 205, 273 



Keim ; on Justin's attitude to the 
Fourth Gospel, 130; the tradition 
respecting the Ephesine sojourn of 
the Apostle John, 163 n., 168 n. 3 

Kennedy, H. A. A.; on the time at 
which the Scriptures were first trans- 
lated into Latin, 161 n. 

Kenyon; on the MS. of Aristotle's 
Constitution of Athens, 22 



; instances of the use of this 
word, 101 

Latin Versio^ of the N.T.; when 
first made, 160 f. 

Lightfoot, Bp; on the genuineness 
and date of the Epp. of Clement, 
Ignatius and Polycarp, 3 nn. i, 2; 
the apparent reference by Ignatius 
to written Gospel records, 3 n. 3; 
the Evangelic quotations in Clement 
of Rome, 6 f. ; the date of the Didache, 
30 n. i ; the Ep. of Barnabas, 31 n. 
3, 32; on list of Bishops of Koine, 
41 n. 2; date of the Shepherd of 
Hernias, 40, 41 n. 3; the term \6yia, 
53 n. 3 ; date and place of composition 
of (so-called) ind />. of Clem. Rom. 
60-63; Justin's and Tertullian's re- 
ferences to Acts of Pilate, 106 n. ; 
the letter of the Smyrnaearis regarding 
the Martyrdom ot Polycarp, 138 n. 
2; the Apologies of Melito and 
Apollinaris, 139 n. i; the genuine- 
ness of various fragments of Melito, 
140 nn. i, 2, 141 n. 3; dates of 
different portions of Ep. ad Diogne- 
tuin, 152 n.; Quartodecimanism, 
175 n. 2; the Alogi, 198 n. i, 
203 nn. 2, 4; the interpretation of 
Irenaeus' reference to them, 199 n. 
i; Epiphanius' dependence on llip- 
polytus, 200 n. 3; Irenaeus' remi- 
niscences of Polycarp, 215 nn. r, 4; 
the Elders referred to by Irenaeus, 
222 n. i, 223, 224 n. 2, 225 n. 2; the 
Mitratorian Canon, 24711. i ; Clement 
of Alexandria's quotations from the 
Gospel accg to the Egyptians, 265 
n. 2 

Other references: 5 n. i, 35 n. 5, 
37 n. 6, 39 nn. 2, 3, 53 nn. i, 2, 
57 nn. 2, 3, 58 n. i, 167 nn. 2, 5 ; 
194 n. i, 199 n. i, 218 n. i, 2:1 n. 

' 2 39 

Lipsius, R. A.; on the date of the 
Shepherd of Hermas, 41 n. 3 ; Justin's 
and Tertullian's references to Acts of 
Pilate, 106 n., 112 n. 3, 114 n. 3; 
Epiphanius' dependence on Hippo- 




Index 



285 



ytus, 200 n. 3 ; Irenaeus' age when 
he was a hearer of Polycarp, and the 
date of his birth, 215 n. 4, 216 n. 3, 
221 n. i; his visits to Rome, 227 
Other references: no n., 19811. i 

Lods; 93 n. 3 

" Logia, The"; question as to the 
use of such a document by Clement 
of Rome, 7-9, 1 2 ; fragment of Papias 
on, 53-7 ; meaning of term, 53 f. 

Xdyos; meaning of the word as applied 
to sayings of Christ, 5 n. 2 

Logos, Doctrine of the; the sense 
of its importance served to direct 
attention to the Fourth Gospel, 152, 
274; place of the Logos in Gnostic 
systems, 205 

Lord's Day, The; references to in 
the N.T. and early Christian writers, 
194 n. 2 

Luke, Gospel accg to; parallelisms 
with in Ep. of Clem. Rom., 8 f., 25 f.; 
the Didache, 31, 70 f. ; Shepherd of 
Hernias, 42-4, 74; Exegetica of Basi- 
lides, 65 ; use of in Basilidean record 
quoted by Hippolytus, 68 ; quotations 
from in Letter of Churches of Vienne 
and Lyons, 142; parallelisms with 
in Theophilus ad Autolycum, 145 
n. i ; probable use of in Athenagoras' 
Appeal, 151; use of by Ptolemaeus, 
158; and by Heracleon, ib.\ the 
question as to its authorship, 276 

Luthardt; 173 n. 2; 176 n. 

Lutzelberger; on the tradition re- 
specting the Ephesine sojourn of the 
Apostle John, 163 n. 

Marcion; relation of his Gospel to 
that according to St Luke, 64; his 
explanation of Christ's celebration of 
the Passover, 178 

Mark, Gospel accg to; parallelism 
with in Ep. of Polycarp, 17, 27; 
parallelisms with in Shepherd of 
Hernias, 45 f. , 73 f. ; comparative 
rarity of the use of, 17 f . ; fragment 
of Papias on, 53 ; probable use of by 
Ptolemaeus, 158; the question as to 
its authorship, 276 

Matthew, Gospel accg to; parallelisms 
with in the Ep. of Clement, 8, 13, 
25 f. ; Epp. of Ignatius, 15, 27 f.; the 
Didache, 31, 70 f. ; Ep. of Barna- 
bas, 33; Shepherd of Hennas, 42-5, 
72 f.; reference to in fragments of 
Apollinaris, 141; allusion to by 
Dionysius of Corinth, 143; citation 
from in Theophilus ad Autolycum, 



145 ; parallelisms with in Athena- 
goras' Appeal, 151; use of by Pto- 
lemaeus, 158; the question as to its 
authorship, 276 

Matthias, Traditions of; 65, 269 

Mechitarist Fathers; their publica- 
tion of a fragment of the Armenian 
Version of the Apology of Aristides, 
48 n. i 

Melito; chronology of his life and 
writings, 138 f. ; the fragments of his 
writings, 139 f . ; his Quartodeciman- 
ism, 181 f., 185 

Millenarianism; 206 f., 224 f. 

Ministry, Orders of the; language 
of Hernias respecting, 40 f. 

Mommsen; 39 n. 2; 266 n. 4 

Montanism ; 199, 202, 208 n. i, 
209 n. 2, 2ii f. ; reference to it in the 
Mnratorian Canon, 247 n. i 

Muratorian fragment on the Canon ; 
its allusion to the Shepherd of Hernias, 
35, 40, 247; makes no reference to 
the Gospel of Peter, 96 f. ; its account 
of the composition of the Gospel 
accg to St John, 233 n. 2; on the 
Gospels, 246 f.; its differences from 
the Canon now received, 247; its 
date, 247 n. i ; on the diverse be- 
ginnings of the Gospels, 257 n. 3 

Neander; 167 n. 5 

Nicholson, E. B. ; 250 n. 

Nicodemus, Gospel of (otherwise 
called the Acts of Pilate] ; see Acts 
of Pilate (otherwise called Gospel of 
Nicodenms) 

Nolle; 167 n. i 

Origen ; on a Gospel by Basilides, 
64 f . ; his reference to the Book of 
James, 122 f.; to the Gospel of Thomas, 
1 26 n. 5 ; his citations from Heracleon, 
158; on Quartodecimanism, 182, 191, 
197; on the Four Gospels, 248 f.: 
the Gospel accg to the Hebrews, 256^ 
267 n.; his mode of referring to it 
does not shew that a Greek trans- 
lation existed, 262 ff.; on the Gospel 
accg to the Egyptians, 265, 267 ; 
various Apocryphal Gospels, 269 
Other references, 3111. 3,194 n. 1,273 

Palestine, Churches of; their Synod- 
ical letter on Paschal observance, 193 

Papias ; fragments of respecting records 
by Mark and Matthew, 52-7, 276 ; 
his acquaintance with the Fourth 
Gospel, 57; the statements alleged 



286 



Index 



to have been derived from him which 
have been recently found, 166 f . ; his 
references to the Apostle John and to 

tohn the Elder in a passage quoted 
y Eusebius, 168, 169 f. , 217 f., 
224 f. ; on the Apostle Philip, 230 
Other references, 138, 223 ff., 22.fn. 3 
ircto-xa and pascha ; instances of their 
use by those who were not Ouarto- 
decimans, 194 n. i 
Paschal Chronicle ; 140^,179, i8of., 

185 n. i 

Paschal observance ; in Churches 
that \vere not Quartodeciman, 192 ff.; 
Duchesne on, 183 n. 3, 195 n. 3; 
Funk on, 186 n., 195 n. 3 
See also Quartodecimanism 
Paul, St; his argument in i Cor. ix. 9 
compared with the reasoning of Ep. 
of Barnabas, 31 n. 3; his attitude to 
Paschal observance, 190 f. 
Persecution ; references to it and its 
effects in the Shepherd of Hernias t 
36 f. ; the early history of, 38 f. 
Peter, Bp of Alexandria; on Paschal 

observance, 179 

Peter, The Gospel of; the supposed 
use of it by Justin M., 79, 93 ff., 269 ; 
its Docetism, 95 f. ; silence at Rome 
respecting this work, 96 f. ; Justin's 
parallelisms with it examined, 97- 
102 ; these, as also those with Ter- 
tullian, the Gospel of Nicodemus, 
and Cyril of Jerusalem, are to be 
accounted for by the use in common 
of an early Pilate document, to which 
also Pilate's "letter" in the Acts of 
Peter and Paul is related, 117-121, 
132 f . ; the question as to its use of 
our Gospels, 103 n. 4, 121 ; Serapion 
on it, 97, 269 
Peter, The Preaching of; 14, 28, 

98 n. 3, 125 
Philaster; on the Alogi, 200 ff. ; his 

dependence on Hippolytus, ib. 
Philip the Apostle ; 230 f. 
Philip the Evangelist; 230 f. 
Philip of Side ; estimates of his trust- 
worthiness, 167 
Photius ; 142, 167, 242 
Pilate, Acts of; see Acts of Pilate 
Pilate's letter to Claudius ; 1 10 ff. 
Pitra ; 140 n. 2 
Pliny's letter to Trajan ; 38 n. 2, 

194 n. 2 

Plutarch; his manner of quoting, 24 f. 

Polycarp; genuineness and date of his 

epistle, 3 ; gives a piece of Christ's 

teaching resembling in its form a 



passage in the Ep. of Clem. Rom. 6, 
16; parallelisms with the Synoptic 
( iospels in his Epistle, 16 f., 27 ; with 
the Epp. of John and the Fourth 
Gospel, 20 ; silence respecting the 
Apostle John, 19 ff., 166, 235 ff.; his 
conference with Anicetus, 196, 227; 
Irenaeus' reference to his letters and 
reminiscences of him, 137 n. 1,214^; 
date of his martyrdom, 221 n. i 

Polycarp, The Account of the 
Martyrdom of; 138 

Polycrates; his defence of Quarto- 
decimanism, 177 f., 181 n. 2; he 
identifies the writer of the Fourth 
Gospel with the Apostle John, 197, 
228 rf.; on Philip the Apostle, 230 f. 

Ptolemaeus; 158, 214, 234 

Quadratus, the Apologist ; 48, 50, 
138 

Quartodecimanism ; modern contro- 
versy in respect to, i 73 ff. ; statement 
and examination ot the evidence 
regarding it, 176 ff.; its bearing on 
the question of the Johannine author- 
ship of the Fourth Gospel, 195 ff., 
234 f. 

Quotations; circumstances affecting 
their form in early writers, 4 f. , 22-5 

Quotations, Evangelic; in Clement 
of Rome, 5 ff., 25 f. ; in Epp. of 
Ignatius, 14, 15 ; in Justin M., 77 ff. ; 
their character in Sub-Apostolic 
writers generally, 3 f. ; affected by the 
subject, 149. See also references 
under the several Gospels 

Quotations from the O.T. ; in Cle- 
ment of Rome, 4, 5 n. i ; in Justin M., 
5 n - i 

Raabe ; on the date of the Apology of 
Arts titles, 49 n. 2 

Ramsay, W. M.; on the date of the 
Ep. of Barnabas, 32 ; the early history 
of persecution, 39 n. 3 ; the date of 
the Apocalypse, 172 n. 4 

Renan; on Quartodecimanism, 175 n. r 

Resch ; on the Evangelic quotations in 
Ep. of Clement of Rome, 6 n. 4, 7 ff . ; 
his view of a quotation in the 2nd 
Ep. of Clem. Rom., 59 n. 2; Papias' 
fragment respecting Matthew's re- 
cord, 55 n. 

Rhodon ; on Tatian, 146 

Robinson, J. A. ; his recovery of 
( iicek of Apology of Aristidcs, 48 n. 
i; on its date etc., 49 nn. 2, 3; the 
term \<>yia, 53 n. 3; his discovery of 



Index 



287 



the Acts of the Sdllitan Martyrs in 
their original Latin, 160 

Salmon; his starting point in his 
treatment of the history of the N.T. 
Canon, \ ; on date of the Shepherd of 
Hennas, 41 n. 3; Quadratus, 50 n. 
2 ; Hippolytus' account of system of 
Basilides, 66 n. i,6/n. i; Valentinus' 
use of Fourth Gospel, 69 n. 5; the 
Apologies of Melito and Apollinaris, 
139 n. i ; the date of the Paschal 
Chronicle, 141 n. i; the significance 
of the use of the Fourth Gospel 
by Valentinians, 158 f . ; the date of 
the Apocalypse, 172 n. 4; Quarto- 
decimanism, 173 n. i, 176 n. ; the 
chronology of Montanism, 208 n. i 
Other references, 218 n. i, 250 n. 

Sanday ; on the Evangelic quotations 
in the Ep. of Clem. Rom., 7 nn. 3, 
4, 9 n. 2 ; Marcion's Gospel, 64 n. 2 ; 
Justin M. and the Gospel of Peter, 
93 n. 3, 96 ; the Apocryphal matter 
in Justin, 133 ; the Clementine Homi- 
lies, 159 n. 2 ; the Alogi, 198 n. i, 
203 n. 4, 211 
Other references, 68 n. i, 157 n. 2 

Schaff ; 176 n. 

Schmid ; 139 n. 3, 221 n. i 

Schmiedel ; on the question of Papias' 
acquaintance with the Fourth Gospel, 
57 n. 2 ; the tradition respecting the 
Ephesine sojourn of the Apostle John, 
163 n., 214 n. 2, 228 n. 4; Quarto- 
decimanism, 173 n. i 

Scholten ; on the Acts of Pilate, 106 
n. i, 114 n. 3 ; the tradition respect- 
ing the Ephesine sojourn of the 
Apostle John, 163 n. 

Schubert, v. ; on Justin and the Gospel 
of Peter, 93 n. 3, 103 n. 4, 120 n. r 

Schiirer ; on the Paschal controversy, 
173 n. 2, 176, 185 n. 2, 186 n., 197 
n. i 

Schwegler;on Quartodecimanism, 175 
n. i 

Scillitan Martyrs, Acts of; recovery 
of Latin original, 160 ; date, ib. ; 
description given in it of Christian 
writings, ib. 

Scrivener ; on divisions in N.T. writ- 
ings, 24 

Seeberg ; on the date, etc., of Apology 
of Aristides, 49 nn. 2, 3 

Selwyn, E. C. ; 139 n. 5, 171 n. 2 

Semisch ; 78 n. i, 80 n. 2, 133 

Serapion, Bp ; on the Gospel of Peter, 
97, 269 



Sergius Paulus ; the date of his pro- 
consulship, 139 

Socrates (the Church historian) ; 142, 
.67 

Soden, v. ; 93 n. 3 

Soter, Bp ; 60 f., 143 n. i ; 153, 193 

Stahelin ; on Hippolytus' account of 
the system of Basilides, 66 n. i, 67 n. i 

Statius Quadratus; 221 n. i 

Steiz ; on the Paschal controversy, 175 
n. 2, 185 n. 4 

Swete ; 93 n. 3, 121 n. i 

Symmachus, 263 n. 2 

Syrian Church ; Tatian's Diatessaron 
used in it, 260 

Tatian ; chronology of his life and 
writings, 145-8; his relations with 
Justin M., and book on difficulties in 
the Scriptures, 146; the quotations 
from the Fourth Gospel in his Address, 
149 ; his Diatessaron, 149 f. ; used in 
the Syrian Church, 150, 260 f. ; its 
significance in relation to the position 
of the four Gospels, 151 ; supposed 
by Credner to be the same as the 
Gospel accg to the Hebrews, 79 
Tayler, J. J. ; 173 n. 2 
Taylor, Dr C. ; on the witness of 
Hennas to the Four Gospels, 47 n. 3 
Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, 
The (briefly styled the Didache] ; the 
form in which it gives Christ's precepts 
shews the effects of oral teaching, 
ro n. ; its character and date, 29 f. ; 
parallelisms in it with St Matthew and 
St Luke, 17, 31, 70 f. ; references to 
observance of the Lord's Day, and of 
Wednesdays and Fridays, 194 n. 2 
Telesphorus, Bp : allusions to his 

martyrdom, 39 n. i 

Tertullian ; refers to chapters in the 
N.T., 24 ; on Gnostic use of the 
Gospels, 65 n. i ; his references to 
and quotations from a document by 
Pilate, 105 ff., 116 f., 133; confirms 
Justin and Hegesippus as to a sayingof 
Christ, 125, 135 (no. 16); the question 
as to his use of a Latin translation of 
the N.T., 161 n.; references to Paschal 
observance, 194 n. i ; on the Four 
Gospels, 245 f. ; his appeal to Church 
tradition, 272 

Theodore of Mopsuestia; his cen- 
sure of Jerome's attitude to the Gospel 
accg to the Hebrews, 257 n. 4 
Theophilus, Bp of Antioch ; date of 
his ad Autolycum, 144 ; citations in 
it from St Matthew and St John, 144 f. 



288 



Index 



Thilo, J. C. ; 1 10 n. i 

Thoma; on Justin's attitude to the 
Fourth Gospel, 130 

Thomas, Gospel of; parallelism with 
in Justin M., 126, 134 (no. 6) ; Hip- 
polytus, Origen, Eusebius on it, 126 
n. 5, 269 

Tischendorf ; on the Acts of Pilate, 

. 106 n. i, 112 n. 3, 114 n. 3; the 
Acts of Peter and Paul, published by 
him, iion. 

Tradition ; the appeal to, 272 f. 

Tubingen School; 162 f., 171 n. 2, 
173 ff., 197 n. i, 273 

Valentinus ; question of his use of 
our third and fourth Gospels, 69, 205 

Victor, Bp ; letter of Polycrates to 
him on Quartodecimanism, 177, 195; 
letter of Irenaeus to him, on same 
subject, 192 f., 115, 227 f. ; another 
respecting Florinus, 220 

Vienne and Lyons, Letter of 
Churches of; 142 f. ; parallelisms 
with N.T. writings in, 142 f. 

Volkmar ; on the chronology of Justin's 
life and writings, 76 n. 2 ; Hippolytus' 
Defence of the Gospel and Apocalypse, 
202 n ; 3 
Othef references, 198 n. r, 199 n. 2 

Waddington ; 139 n. 3, 185 n. 3, 221 
n. i 

Weiss, B. ; on the special reverence 
for Christ's sayings, 54 n. i ; sugges- 
tion that Justin was less familiar with 
the Fourth Gospel than with the 
others, 90 n. 2 ; on the date of the 
Apocalypse, 172 n. 4 

Weitzel ; on the Paschal controversy, 
175 n. 2, 190 n. 2 

Weizsaecker ; on the date of the Ep. 
of Barnabas, 32 ; Hegesippus, 155 
nn. 1,4; the date of the Apocalypse, 
172 n. 4 

Westcott, Bp ; on Justin's quotations 
from the O.T., 5 n. i ; date of the 
Shepherd of Hernias, 41 n. 3; the 
term \6yia, 53 n. 3 ; as to Valentinus' 



use of our third and fourth Gospels, 
69 nn. 4, 5 ; on a fragment of Melito, 
1 40 n. 2 ; the date of the Apocalypse, 
172 n. 4 

Other references, 53 nn. i, 2, 65 n. 2, 
80 n. 2, 145 n. 6, 149 nn. i, 4, 155 
n. 4, 157 n. 2, 159 n. 2, 198 n. i, 
221 n. i, 237 n., 248 n. 5 

Zahn ; his starting point in the investi- 
gation of the history of the N.T. 
Canon, i ; on the genuineness of the 
Ep. of Ignatius in the shorter Greek 
form, 3 n. 2 ; the relations of the 
Didache with the Shepherd of Hennas 
and the Ep. of Barnabas, 30 n. i ; 
date of the Shepherd of Hennas, 41 
n. 3 ; the use of our Gospels by 
Basilides, 65 n. 4 ; Hippolytus' 
account of the system of Basil ides, 
66 nn. i, 2, 69 n. i ; the question 
whether Justin used the Gospel of 
Peter, 93 n. 3, 99 ; the Protevangelinm 
Jacobi and the question whether 
Justin used it, 124 n. i ; the text of 
the passage of Tatian's Address, 
quoted by Eusebius, 147 n. 3 ; the 
date of Tatian's Address, 148 n. 7 ; 
the time at which the Scriptures were 
first translated into Latin, i6r n. ; the 
Alogi, 198 n. i ; the interpretation of 
Irenaeus' reference to them, 199^ i ; 
Epiphanius' dependence on Hippo- 
lytus, 200 n. 3, 202 nn. i, 2, 203 n. 
2, 207 ; chronology of Montanism, 
208 n. i, 209 n. 2; Irenaeus' age 
when he was a hearer of Polycarp 
and the date of his birth, 215 n. 4, 
218 f., 220 n. 3 ; the Elders referred 
to by Irenaeus, 222 n. r, 224 n. 2, 227 
n. i ; date of the Muratorian Canon, 
247 n. i ; the Gospel accg to the 
Hebrews, 250 n., 254 n., 257 f. ; 
Clement of Alexandria's quotations 
from the Gospel accg to the Egyptians, 
265 n. 2 

Other references; 45 n. 2, 46 n. 3, 
59 n. 2, i io n., 146 n. 6, 160 n. i, 
i76n., 199, 207 n. 2, 221 n. i, 237 n. 



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