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Title: Lost and Hostile Gospels
Author: Baring-Gould, S. (Sabine)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                       The Lost and Hostile Gospels

                                 An Essay

 On the Toledoth Jeschu, and the Petrine and Pauline Gospels of the First
                Three Centuries of Which Fragments Remain.


                        Rev. S. Baring‐Gould, M.A.

Author of “The Origin and Development of Religious Belief,” “Legendary
Lives of the Old Testament Characters.” Etc.

                           Williams and Norgate

                            London, Edinburgh



Part I. The Jewish Anti‐Gospels.
   I. The Silence Of Josephus.
   II. The Cause Of The Silence Of Josephus.
   III. The Jew Of Celsus.
   IV. The Talmud.
   V. The Counter‐Gospels.
   VI. The First Toledoth Jeschu.
   VII. The Second Toledoth Jeschu.
Part II. The Lost Petrine Gospels.
   I. The Gospel Of The Hebrews.
      1. The Fragments extant.
      2. Doubtful Fragments.
      3. The Origin of the Gospel of the Hebrews.
   II. The Clementine Gospel.
   III. The Gospel Of St. Peter.
   IV. The Gospel Of The Egyptians.
Part III. The Lost Pauline Gospels.
   I. The Gospel Of The Lord.
   II. The Gospel Of Truth.
   III. The Gospel Of Eve.
   IV. The Gospel Of Perfection.
   V. The Gospel Of St. Philip.
   VI. The Gospel Of Judas.

                               [Cover Art]


It is advisable, if not necessary, for me, by way of preface, to explain
certain topics treated of in this book, which do not come under its title,
and which, at first thought, may be taken to have but a remote connection
with the ostensible subject of this treatise. These are:

1. The outbreak of Antinomianism which disfigured and distressed primitive

2. The opposition of the Nazarene Church to St. Paul.

3. The structure and composition of the Synoptical Gospels.

The consideration of these curious and important topics has forced its way
into these pages; for the first two throw great light on the history of
those Gospels which have disappeared, and which it is not possible to
reconstruct without a knowledge of the religious parties to which they
belonged. And these parties were determined by the fundamental question of
Law or No‐law, as represented by the Petrine and ultra‐Pauline Christians.
And the third of these topics necessarily bound up with the consideration
of the structure and origin of the Lost Gospels, as the reader will see if
he cares to follow me in the critical examination of their extant

Upon each of these points a few preliminary words will not, I hope, come
amiss, and may prevent misunderstanding.

1. The history of the Church, as the history of nations, is not to be read
with prejudiced eyes, with penknife in hand to erase facts which fight
against foregone conclusions.

English Churchmen have long gazed with love on the Primitive Church as the
ideal of Christian perfection, the Eden wherein the first fathers of their
faith walked blameless before God, and passionless towards each other. To
doubt, to dissipate in any way this pleasant dream, may shock and pain
certain gentle spirits. Alas! the fruit of the tree of γνῶσις, if it opens
the eyes, saddens also and shames the heart.

History, whether sacred or profane, hides her teaching from those who
study her through coloured glasses. She only reveals truth to those who
look through the cold clear medium of passionless inquiry, who seek the
Truth without determining first the masquerade in which alone they will
receive it.

It exhibits a strange, a sad want of faith in Truth thus to constrain
history to turn out facts according to order, to squeeze it through the
sieve of prejudice. And what indeed is Truth in history but the voice of
God instructing the world through the vices, follies, errors of the past?

A calm, patient spirit of inquiry is an attitude of the modern mind alone.
To this mind History has made strange disclosures which she kept locked up
through former ages. The world of Nature lay before the men of the past,
but they could not, would not read it, save from left to right, or right
to left, as their prejudices ran. The wise and learned had to cast aside
their formulae, and sit meekly at the feet of Nature, as little children,
before they learned her laws. Nor will History submit to hectoring. Only
now is she unfolding the hidden truth in her ancient scrolls.

It is too late to go back to conclusions of an uncritical age, though it
was that of our fathers; the time for denying the facts revealed by
careful criticism is passed away as truly as is the time for explaining
the shadows in the moon by the story of the Sabbath‐breaker and his faggot
of sticks.

And criticism has put a lens to our eyes, and disclosed to us on the
shining, remote face of primitive Christianity rents and craters undreamt
of in our old simplicity.

That there was, in the breast of the new‐born Church, an element of
antinomianism, not latent, but in virulent activity, is a fact as capable
of demonstration as any conclusion in a science which is not exact.

In the apostolic canonical writings we see the beginning of the trouble;
the texture of the Gospels is tinged by it; the Epistles of Paul on one
side, of Jude and Peter on the other, show it in energetic operation;
ecclesiastical history reveals it in full flagrance a century later.

Whence came the spark? what material ignited? These are questions that
must be answered. We cannot point to the blaze in the sub‐apostolic age,
and protest that it was an instantaneous combustion, with no smouldering
train leading up to it,—to the rank crop of weeds, and argue that they
sprang from no seed. We shall have to look up the stream to the fountains
whence the flood was poured.

The existence of antinomianism in the Churches of Greece and Asia Minor,
synchronizing with their foundation, transpires from the Epistles of St.
Paul. It was an open sore in the life‐time of the Twelve; it was a sorrow
weighing daily on the great soul of the Apostle of the Gentiles. It called
forth the indignant thunder of Jude and Peter, and the awful denunciations
in the charges to the Seven Churches.

The apocryphal literature of the sub‐apostolic period carries on the sad
story. Under St. John’s presiding care, the gross scandals which defiled
Gentile Christianity were purged out, and antinomian Christianity deserted
Asia Minor for Alexandria. There it made head again, as revealed to us by
the controversialists of the third century. And there it disappeared for a

Yet the disease was never eradicated. Its poison still lurked in the veins
of the Church, and again and again throughout the Middle Ages heretics
emerged fitfully, true successors of Nicolas, Cerdo, Marcion and
Valentine, shaking off the trammels of the moral law, and seeking
justification through mystic exaltation or spiritual emotion. The Papacy
trod down these ugly heretics with ruthless heel. But at the Reformation,
when the restraint was removed, the disease broke forth in a multitude of
obscene sects spotting the fair face of Protestantism.

Nor has the virus exhausted itself. Its baleful workings, if indistinct,
are still present and threatening.

But how comes it that Christianity has thus its dark shadow constantly
haunting it? The cause is to be sought in the constitution of man. Man,
moving in his little orbit, has ever a face turned away from the earth and
all that is material, looking out into infinity,—a dark, unknown side,
about whose complexion we may speculate, but which we can never map. It is
a face which must ever remain mysterious, and ever radiate into mystery.
As the eye and ear are bundles of nerves through which the inner man goes
out into, and receives impressions from, the material world, so is the
soul a marvellous tissue of fibres through which man is placed _en
rapport_ with the spiritual world, God and infinity. It is the existence
of this face, these fibres—take which simile you like—which has
constituted mystics in every age all over the world: Schamans in frozen
Siberia, Fakirs in burning India, absorbed Buddhists, ecstatic Saints,
Essenes, Witches, Anchorites, Swedenborgians, modern Spiritualists.

Man, double‐faced by nature, is placed by Revelation under a sharp,
precise external rule, controlling his actions and his thoughts.

To this rule spirit and body are summoned to do homage. But the spirit has
an inherent tendency towards the unlimited, by virtue of its nature, which
places it on the confines of the infinite. Consequently it is never easy
under a rule which is imposed on it conjointly with the body; it strains
after emancipation, strives to assert its independence of what is
external, and to establish its claim to obey only the movements in the
spiritual world. It throbs sympathetically with the auroral flashes in
that realm of mystery, like the flake of gold‐leaf in the magnetometer.

To be bound to the body, subjected to its laws, is degrading; to be
unbounded, unconditioned, is its aspiration and supreme felicity.

Thus the incessant effort of the spirit is to establish its law in the
inner world of feeling, and remove it from the material world without.

Moreover, inasmuch as the spirit melts into the infinite, cut off from it
by no sharply‐defined line, it is disposed to regard itself as a part of
God, a creek of the great Ocean of Divinity, and to suppose that all its
emotions are the pulsations of the tide in the all‐embracing Spirit. It
loses the consciousness of its individuality; it deifies itself.

A Suffee fable representing God and the human soul illustrates this well.
“One knocked at the Beloved’s door, and a voice from within cried, ‘Who is
there?’ Then the soul answered, ‘It is I.’ And the voice of God said,
‘This house will not hold me and thee.’ So the door remained shut. Then
the soul went away into a wilderness, and after long fasting and prayer it
returned, and knocked once again at the door. And again the voice demanded
‘Who is there?’ Then he said, ‘It is THOU,’ and at once the door opened to

Thus the mystic always regards his unregulated wishes as divine
revelations, his random impulses as heavenly inspirations. He has no law
but his own will; and therefore, in mysticism, there, is no curb against
the grossest licence.

The existence of that evil which, knowing the constitution of man, we
should expect to find prevalent in mysticism, the experience of all ages
has shown following, dogging its steps inevitably. So slight is the film
that separates religious from sensual passion, that uncontrolled spiritual
fervour roars readily into a blaze of licentiousness.

It is this which makes revivalism of every description so dangerous. It is
a two‐edged weapon that cuts the hand which holds it.

Yet the spiritual, religious element in man is that which is most
beautiful and pure, when passionless. It is like those placid tarns,
crystal clear and icy cold, in Auvergne and the Eifel, which lie in the
sleeping vents of old volcanoes. We love to linger by them, yet never with
security, for we know that a throb, a shock, may at any moment convert
them into boiling geysirs or raging craters.

So well is this fact known in the Roman Church, that a mystic is
inexorably shut up in a convent, or cast out as a heretic.

The more spiritual a religion is, the more apt it is to lurch and let in a
rush of immorality; for its tendency is to substitute an internal for the
external law, and the internal impulse is too often a hidden jog from the
carnal appetite. In a highly spiritual religion, a written revelation is
supplemented or superseded by one which is within.

This was eminently the case with the Anabaptists of the sixteenth century.
When plied with texts by the Lutheran divines, they coldly answered that
they walked not after the letter, but after the spirit; that to those who
are in Christ Jesus, there is an inner illumination directing their
conduct, before which that which is without grew pale and waned. The
horrible licence into which this internal light plunged them is matter of

One lesson history enforces inexorably—that there lies a danger to morals
in placing reliance on the spirit as an independent guide.

The spirit has its proper function and its true security; its function,
the perception of the infinite, the divine; its security, the observance
of the marriage‐tie which binds it to the body.

God has joined body and spirit in sacred wedlock, and subjected both to a
revealed external law; in the maintenance of this union, and submission to
this law, man’s safety lies. The spirit supreme, the body a bond‐maid, is
no marriage; it is a concubinage, bringing with it a train of attendant

Man stands, so to speak, at the bisection of two circles, the material and
the spiritual, in each of which he has a part, and to the centres of each
of which he feels a gravitation. Absorption in either realm is fatal to
the well‐being of the entire man.

And this leads us to the consideration of the marvellous aptitude to human
nature of the Incarnation, welding together into indissoluble union spirit
and matter, the infinite and the finite. The religion which flows from
that source cannot dissociate soul from body. Its law is the marriage of
that which is spiritual to that which is material; the soul cannot shake
off the responsibilities of the body; everything spiritual is clothed, and
every material object is a sacrament conveying a ray of divinity.

There can be no evasion, no abrasion and rupture of the tie by either
party, without lesion of the chain which binds to the Incarnation; and it
is a fact worthy of note, that mysticism has always a tendency to obscure
this fundamental dogma, and that the immoral sects of ancient times and of
the present day hang loosely by, or openly deny, this great verity.

St. Paul had a natural bias towards mysticism. His trances and revelations
betoken a nature branching out into the spiritual realm; and throughout
his letters we see the inevitable consequence—a struggle to displace the
centre of obedience, to transfer it from without and enthrone it within,
to make the internal revelation the governing principle of action, in the
room of submission to an external law.

But, like St. Theresa, who never relinquished her common sense whilst
yielding up her spirit to the most incoherent raptures; like Mohammad,
who, however he might soar in ecstasy above the moon, never lost sight of
the principles which would ensure a very material success; like Ignatius
Loyola, who, in the midst of fantastic visions, elaborated a system of
government full of the maturest judgment,—so St. Paul never surrendered
himself unconditionally to the promptings of his spirit. Like the angel of
the Apocalypse, if he stood with one foot in the vague sea, he kept the
other on the solid land.

That thorn in the flesh, whose presence he deplored, kept him from
forgetting the body and its obligations; the moral disorders breaking out
wherever he preached his gospel, warned him in time not to relax too far
the restraint imposed by the law without. As the revolt of the Anabaptists
checked Luther, so did the excesses of the Gentile Christians arrest Paul.
Both saw and obeyed the warning finger of Providence signalling a retreat.

Divinely inspired St. Paul was. But inspiration never obscures and
obliterates human characteristics. It directs and utilizes them for its
own purpose, leaving free margin beyond that purpose for the exercise of
individual proclivities uncontrolled.

Paul’s natural tendency is unmistakable; and we may see evidence of divine
guidance in the fact of his having refused to give the rein to his natural
propensities, and of being prepared to turn all his energies to the
repairing of those dykes against the ocean which in a moment of impatience
he had act his hand to tear down.

As Socrates was by nature prone to become the most vicious of men, so was
Paul naturally disposed to become the most dangerous of heresiarchs. But
the moral sense of Socrates mastered his passions and converted him into a
philosopher; and the guiding spirit of God made of Paul the mystic an
apostle of righteousness.

Christianity, as the religion of the Incarnation, has its external form
and its internal spirit, and it is impossible to dissociate one from the
other without peril. Mere formalism and naked spirituality are alike and
equally pernicious. Formalism, the resolution of religion into ceremonial
acts only, void of spirit, is like the octopus, lacing its thousand
filaments about the soul and drawing it into the abyss; and mysticism,
pure spirituality, like the magnet mountain in Sinbad’s voyage, draws the
nails out of the vessel—the rivets of moral law—and the Christian
character goes to pieces.

The history of the Church is the history of her leaning first towards one
side, then towards the other, of advance amid perpetual recoils from
either peril.

2. The alarm caused in Jerusalem amidst the elder apostles and the
Nazarene Church at the immorality which disfigured Pauline Christianity,
was not the only cause of the mistrust wherewith they viewed him and his
teaching. Other causes existed which I have not touched on in my text,
lest I should distract attention from the main points of my argument, but
they are deserving of notice here.

And the first of these was the intense prejudice which existed among the
Jews of Palestine against Greek modes of thought, manners, culture, even
against the Greek language.

The second was the jealousy with which the Palestinian Jews regarded the
Alexandrine Jews, their mode of interpreting Scripture, and their system
of theology.

St. Paul, an accomplished Greek scholar, brought up at Tarsus amidst
Hellenistic Jews, adopted the theology and exegesis in vogue at
Alexandria, and on both these accounts excited the suspicion and dislike
of the national party at Jerusalem. The Nazarenes were imbued with the
prejudices they had acquired in their childhood, in the midst of which
they had grown up, and they could not but regard Paul with alarm when he
turned without disguise to the Greeks, and introduced into the Church the
theological system and scriptural interpretations of a Jewish community
they had always regarded as of questionable orthodoxy.

First let us consider the causes which contributed to the creation of the
prejudice against the Hellenizers. Judaea had served as the battle‐field
of the Greek kings of Egypt and Syria. Whether Judaea fell under the
dominion of Syria or Egypt it mattered not; Ptolemies and Seleucides alike
were intolerable oppressors. But it was especially the latter who excited
to its last exasperation the fanaticism of the Jews, and called forth in
their breasts an ineffaceable antipathy towards everything that was Greek.

The temple was pillaged by them, the sanctuary was violated, the high‐
priesthood degraded. Antiochus Epiphanes entertained the audacious design
of completely overthrowing the religion of the Jews, of forcibly
Hellenizing them. For this purpose he forbade the celebration of the
Sabbaths and feasts, drenched the sanctuary with blood to pollute it, the
sacrifices were not permitted, circumcision was made illegal. The
sufferings of the Jews, driven into deserts and remote hiding‐places in
the mountains, are described in the first book of the Maccabees.

Yet there was a party disposed to acquiesce in this attempt at changing
the whole current of their nation’s life, ready to undo the work of Ezra,
break with their past, and fling themselves into the tide of Greek
civilization and philosophic thought. These men set up a gymnasium in
Jerusalem, Graecised their names, openly scoffed at the Law, ignored the
Sabbath, and neglected circumcision.(1) At the head of this party stood
the high‐priests Jason and Menelaus. The author of the first book of the
Maccabees styles these conformists to the state policy, “evil men,
seducing many to despise the Law.” Josephus designates them as “wicked”
and “impious.”(2)

The memory of the miseries endured in the persecution of Antiochus did not
fade out of the Jewish mind, neither did the party disappear which was
disposed to symbolize with Greek culture, and was opposed to Jewish
prejudice. Nor did the abhorrence in which it was held lose its intensity.

From the date of the Antiochian persecution, the names of “Greek” or
“friend of the Greeks” were used as synonymous with “traitor” and

Seventy years before Christ, whilst Hyrcanus was besieging Aristobulus in
Jerusalem, the besiegers furnished the besieged daily with lambs for the
sacrifice. An old Jew, belonging to the anti‐national party, warned
Hyrcanus that as long as the city was supplied with animals for the altar,
so long it would hold out. On the morrow, in place of a lamb, a pig was
flung over the walls. The earth shuddered at the impiety, and the heads of
the synagogue solemnly cursed from thenceforth whosoever of their nation
should for the future teach the Greek tongue to his sons.(3) Whether this
incident be true or not, it proves that a century after Antiochus
Epiphanes the Jews entertained a hatred of that Greek culture which they
regarded as a source of incredulity and impiety.

The son of Duma asked his uncle Israel if, after having learned the whole
Law, he might not study the philosophy of the Greeks. “ ‘The Book of the
Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day
and night.’ These are the words of God” (Josh. i. 8), said the old man;
“find me an hour which is neither day nor night, and in that study your
Greek philosophy.”(4)

Gamaliel, the teacher of St. Paul, was well versed in Greek literature;
that this caused uneasiness in his day is probable; and indeed the Gemara
labours to explain the fact of his knowledge of Greek, and apologizes for
it.(5) Consequently Saul, the disciple of Gamaliel, also a Greek scholar,
would be likely to incur the same suspicion, as one leaning away from
strict Judaism towards Gentile culture.

The Jews of Palestine viewed the Alexandrine Jews with dislike, and
mistrusted the translation into Greek of their sacred books. They said it
was a day of sin and blasphemy when the version of the Septuagint was
made, equal only in wickedness to that on which their fathers had made the
golden calf.(6)

The loudly‐proclaimed intention of Paul to turn to the Gentiles, his
attitude of hostility towards the Law, the abrogation of the Sabbath and
substitution for it of the Lord’s‐day, his denunciation of circumcision,
his abandonment of his Jewish name for a Gentile one, led to his being
identified by the Jews of Palestine with the abhorred Hellenistic party;
and the Nazarene Christians shared to the full in the national prejudices.

The Jews, at the time of the first spread of Christianity, were dispersed
over the whole world; and in Greece and Asia Minor occupied a quarter, and
exercised influence, in every town. The Seleucides had given the right of
citizenship to these Asiatic Jews, and had extended to them some sort of
protection. The close association of these Jews with Greeks necessarily
led to the adoption of some of their ideas. Since Ezra, the dominant
principle of the Palestinian and Babylonish rabbis had been to create a
“hedge of the Law,” to constitute of the legal prescriptions a net lacing
those over whom it was cast with minute yet tough fibres, stifling
spontaneity. Whilst rabbinism was narrowing the Jewish horizon, Greek
philosophy was widening man’s range of vision. The tendencies of Jewish
theology and Greek philosophy were radically opposed. The Alexandrine Jews
never submitted to be involved in the meshes of rabbinism. They produced a
school of thinkers, of whom Aristobulus was the first known exponent, and
Philo the last expression, which sought to combine Mosaism with Platonism,
to explain the Pentateuch as the foundation of a philosophic system
closely related to the highest and best theories of the Greeks.

In the Holy Land, routine, the uniform repetition of prescribed forms, the
absence of all alien currents of thought, tended insensibly to transform
religion into formalism, and to identify it with the ceremonies which are
its exterior manifestation.

In Egypt, on the other hand, the Alexandrine Jews, ambitious to give to
the Greeks an exalted idea of their religion, strove to bring into
prominence its great doctrines of the Unity of the Godhead, of Creation,
and Providence. All secondary points were allegorized or slurred over. As
Palestinian rabbinism became essentially ceremonial, Alexandrine Judaism
became essentially spiritual. The streams of life and thought in these
members of the same race were diametrically opposed.

The Jews settled in Asia Minor, subjected to the same influences, actuated
by the same motives, as the Egyptian Jews, looked to Alexandria rather
than to Jerusalem or Babylon for guidance, and were consequently involved
in the same jealous dislike which fell on the Jews of Egypt.(7)

There can be no doubt that St. Paul was acquainted with, and influenced
by, the views of the Alexandrine school. That he had read some of Philo’s
works is more than probable. How much he drew from the writings of
Aristobulus the Peripatetic cannot be told, as none of the books of that
learned but eclectic Jew have been preserved.(8)

In more than one point Paul departs from the traditional methods of the
Palestinian rabbis, to adopt those of the Alexandrines. The Jews of
Palestine did not admit the allegorical interpretation of Scripture. Paul,
on two occasions, follows the Hellenistic mode of allegorizing the sacred
text. On one of these occasions he uses an allegory of Philo, while
slightly varying its application.(9)

The Palestinian Jews knew of no seven orders of angels; the classification
of the celestial hierarchy was adopted by Paul(10) from Philo and his
school. The identification of idols with demons(11) was also distinctively

But what is far more remarkable is to find in Philo, born between thirty
and forty years before Christ, the key to most of Paul’s theology,—the
doctrines of the all‐sufficiency of faith, of the worthlessness of good
works, of the imputation of righteousness, of grace, mediation, atonement.

But in Philo, these doctrines drift purposeless. Paul took them and
applied them to Christ, and at once they fell into their ranks and places.
What was in suspension in Philo, crystallized in Paul. What the Baptist
was to the Judaean Jews, that Philo was to the Hellenistic Jews; his
thoughts, his theories, were—

              “In the flecker’d dawning
    The glitterance of Christ.”(12)

The Fathers, perplexed at finding Pauline words, expressions, ideas, in
the writings of Philo, and unwilling to admit that Paul had derived them
from Philo, invented a myth that the Alexandrine Jew came to Rome and was
there converted to the Christian faith. Chronology and a critical
examination of the writings of the Jewish Plato have burst that

The fact that Paul was deeply saturated with the philosophy of the
Alexandrine Jews has given rise also to two obstinate Christian
legends,—that Dionysius the Areopagite, author of the Celestial Hierarchy,
the Divine Names, &c., was the disciple of St. Paul, and that Seneca the
philosopher was also his convert and pupil. Dionysius took Philo’s system
of the universe and emanations from the Godhead and Christianized them.
The influence of Philo on the system of Dionysius _saute aux yeux_, as the
French would say. And Dionysius protests, again and again, in his writings
that he learned his doctrine from St. Paul.

From a very early age, the Fathers insisted on Seneca having been a
convert of St. Paul; they pointed out the striking analogies in their
writings, the similarity in their thoughts. How was this explicable unless
one had been the pupil of the other? But Seneca, we know, lived some time
in Alexandria with his uncle, Severus, prefect of Egypt; and at that time
the young Roman, there can be little question, became acquainted with the
writings of Philo.(14)

Thus St. Paul, by adopting the mode of Biblical interpretation of a rival
school to that dominant in Judaea, by absorbing its philosophy, applying
it to the person of Christ and the moral governance of the Church, by
associating with Asiatic Jews, known to be infected with Greek philosophic
heresies, and by his open invocation to the Gentiles to come into and
share in all the plenitude of the privileges of the gospel, incurred the
suspicion, distrust, dislike of the believers in Jerusalem, who had grown
up in the midst of national prejudices which Paul shocked.

3. It has been argued with much plausibility, that because certain of the
primitive Fathers were unacquainted with the four Gospels now accounted
Canonical, that therefore those Gospels are compositions subsequent to
their date, and that therefore also their authority as testimonies to the
acts and sayings of Jesus is sensibly weakened, if not wholly overthrown.
It is true that there were certain Fathers of the first two centuries who
were unacquainted with our Gospels, but the above conclusions drawn from
this fact are unsound.

This treatise will, I hope, establish the fact that at the close of the
first century almost every Church had its own Gospel, with which alone it
was acquainted. But it does not follow that these Gospels were not as
trustworthy, as genuine records, as the four which we now alone recognize.

It is possible, from what has been preserved of some of these lost
Gospels, to form an estimate of their scope and character. We find that
they bore a very close resemblance to the extant Synoptical Gospels,
though they were by no means identical with them.

We find that they contained most of what exists in our three first
Evangels, in exactly the same words; but that some were fuller, others
less complete, than the accepted Synoptics.

If we discover whole paragraphs absolutely identical in the Gospels of
Matthew, Mark, Luke, of the Hebrews, of the Clementines, of the Lord, it
goes far to prove that all the Evangelists drew upon a common fund. And if
we see that, though using the same material, they arranged it differently,
we are forced to the conclusion that this material they incorporated in
their biographies existed in _anecdota_, not in a consecutive narrative.

Some, at least, of the Gospels were in existence at the close of the first
century; but the documents of which they were composed were then old and

And though it is indisputable that in the second century the Four had not
acquired that supremacy which brought about the disappearance of the other
Gospels, and were therefore not quoted by the Fathers in preference to
them, it is also certain that all the material out of which both the
extant and the lost Synoptics were composed was then in existence, and was
received in the Church as true and canonical.

Admitting fully the force of modern Biblical criticism, I cannot admit all
its most sweeping conclusions, for they are often, I think, more sweeping
than just.

The material out of which all the Synoptical Gospels, extant or, lost,
were composed, was in existence and in circulation in the Churches in the
first century. That material is—the sayings of Christ on various
occasions, and the incidents in his life. These sayings and doings of the
Lord, I see no reason to doubt, were written down from the mouths of
apostles and eye‐witnesses, in order that the teaching and example of
Christ might be read to believers in every Church during the celebration
of the Eucharist.

The early Church followed with remarkable fidelity the customs of the
Essenes, so faithfully that, as I have shown, Josephus mistook the
Nazarenes for members of the Essene sect; and in the third century
Eusebius was convinced that the Therapeutae, their Egyptian counterparts,
were actually primitive Christians.(15)

The Essenes assembled on the Sabbath for a solemn feast, in white robes,
and, with faces turned to the East, sang antiphonal hymns, broke bread and
drank together of the cup of love. During this solemn celebration the
president read portions from the sacred Scriptures, and the exhortations
of the elders. At the Christian Eucharist the ceremonial was
identical;(16) Pliny’s description of a Christian assembly might be a
paragraph from Josephus or Philo describing an Essene or Therapeutic
celebration. In place of the record of the wanderings of the Israelites
and the wars of their kings being read at their conventions, the president
read the journeys of the Lord, his discourses and miracles.

No sooner was a Church founded by an apostle than there rose a demand for
this sort of instruction, and it was supplied by the jottings‐down of
reminiscences of the Lord and his teaching, orally given by those who had
companied with him.

Thus there sprang into existence an abundant crop of memorials of the
Lord, surrounded by every possible guarantee of their truth. And these
fragmentary records passed from one Church to another. The pious zeal of
an Antiochian community furnished with the memorials of Peter would borrow
of Jerusalem the memorials of James and Matthew. One of the traditions of
John found its way into the Hebrew Gospel—that of the visit of Nicodemus;
but it never came into the possession of the compiler of the first Gospel
or of St. Luke.

After a while, each Church set to work to string the _anecdota_ it
possessed into a consecutive story, and thus the Synoptical Gospels came
into being.

Of these, some were more complete than others, some were composed of more
unique material than the others.

The second Gospel, if we may trust Papias, and I see no reason for
doubting his testimony, is the composition of Mark, the disciple of St.
Peter, and consists exclusively of the recollections of St. Peter. This
Gospel was not co‐ordinated probably till late, till long after the
disjointed memorabilia were in circulation. It first circulated in Egypt;
but in at least one of the Petrine Churches—that of Rhossus—the
recollections of St. Peter had already been arranged in a consecutive
memoir, and, in A.D. 190, Serapion, Bishop of Antioch, found the Church of
Rhossus holding exclusively to this book as a Gospel of traditional
authority, received from the prince of the apostles.

The Gospel of St. Matthew, on the other hand, is a diatessaron composed of
four independent collections of memorabilia. Its groundwork is a book by
Matthew the apostle, a collection of the discourses of the Lord. Whether
Matthew wrote also a collection of the acts of the Lord, or contributed
disconnected anecdotes of the Lord to Churches of his founding, and these
were woven in with his work on the Lord’s discourses, is possible, but is
conjectural only.

But what is clear is, that into the first Gospel was incorporated much,
not all, of the material used by Mark for the construction of his Gospel,
_viz._ the recollections of St. Peter. That the first evangelist did not
merely amplify the Mark Gospel appears from his arranging the order of his
anecdotes differently; that he did use the same “anecdota” is evidenced by
the fact of his using them often word for word.

The Gospel of the Hebrews and the Gospel quoted in the Clementines were
composed in precisely the same manner, and of the same materials, but not
of all the same.

That the Gospel of St. Matthew, as it stands, was the composition of that
apostle, cannot be seriously maintained; yet its authority as a record of
facts, not as a record of their chronological sequence, remains

The Gospel of St. Luke went, apparently, through two editions. After the
issue of his original Gospel, which, there is reason to believe, is that
adopted by Marcion, fresh material came into his hands, and he revised and
amplified his book.

That this second edition was not the product of another hand, is shown by
the fact that characteristic expressions found in the original text occur
also in the additions.

The Pauline character of the Luke Gospel has been frequently commented on.
It is curious to observe how much more pronounced this was in the first
edition. The third Gospel underwent revision under the influence of the
same wave of feeling which moved Luke to write the Christian Odyssey, the
Acts, nominally of the Apostles, really of St. Paul. With the imprisonment
of Paul the tide turned, and a reconciliatory movement set strongly in.
Into this the Apostle of Love threw himself, and he succeeded in directing

The Apostolic Church was a well‐spring tumultuously gushing forth its
superabundance of living waters; there was a clashing of jets, a conflict
of ripples; but directly St. John gave to it its definite organization,
the flood rushed out between these banks, obedient to a common impulse,
the clashing forces produced a resultant, the conflicting ripples blended
into rhythmic waves, and the brook became a river, and the river became a

The lost Gospels are no mere literary curiosity, the examination of them
no barren study. They furnish us with most precious information on the
manner in which all the Gospels were compiled; they enable us in several
instances to determine the correct reading in our canonical Matthew and
Luke; they even supply us with particulars to fill lacunae which exist, or
have been made, in our Synoptics.

The poor stuff that has passed current too long among us as Biblical
criticism is altogether unworthy of English scholars and theologians. The
great shafts that have been driven into Christian antiquity, the mines
that have been opened by the patient labours of German students, have not
received sufficient attention at our hands. If some of our commentators
timorously venture to their mouths, it is only to shrink back again scared
at the gnomes their imagination pictures as haunting those recesses, or at
the abysses down which they may be precipitated, that they suppose lie
open in those passages.

This spirit is neither courageous nor honest. God’s truth is helped by no
man’s ignorance.

It may be that we are dazzled, bewildered by the light and rush of new
ideas exploding around us on every side; but, for all that, a cellar is no
safe retreat. The vault will crumble in and bury us.

The new lights that break in on us are not always the lanterns of


_November 2nd, 1874_.


I. The Silence Of Josephus.

It is somewhat remarkable that no contemporary, or even early, account of
the life of our Lord exists, except from the pens of Christian writers.

That we have none by Roman or Greek writers is not, perhaps, to be
wondered at; but it is singular that neither Philo, Josephus, nor Justus
of Tiberias, should have ever alluded to Christ or to primitive

The cause of this silence we shall presently investigate. Its existence we
must first prove.

Philo was born at Alexandria about twenty years before Christ. In the year
A.D. 40, he was sent by the Alexandrine Jews on a mission to Caligula, to
entreat the Emperor not to put in force his order that his statue should
be erected in the Temple of Jerusalem and in all the synagogues of the

Philo was a Pharisee. He travelled in Palestine, and speaks of the Essenes
he saw there; but he says not a word about Jesus Christ or his followers.
It is possible that he may have heard of the new sect, but he probably
concluded it was but insignificant, and consisted merely of the disciples,
poor and ignorant, of a Galilean Rabbi, whose doctrines he, perhaps, did
not stay to inquire into, and supposed that they did not differ
fundamentally from the traditional teaching of the rabbis of his day.

Flavius Josephus was born A.D. 37—consequently only four years after the
death of our Lord—at Jerusalem. Till the age of twenty‐nine, he lived in
Jerusalem, and had, therefore, plenty of opportunity of learning about
Christ and early Christianity.

In A.D. 67, Josephus became governor of Galilee, on the occasion of the
Jewish insurrection against the Roman domination. After the fall of
Jerusalem he passed into the service of Titus, went to Rome, where he rose
to honour in the household of Vespasian and of Titus, A.D. 81. The year of
his death is not known. He was alive in A.D. 93, for his biography is
carried down to that date.

Josephus wrote at Rome his “History of the Jewish War,” in seven books, in
his own Aramaic language. This he finished in the year A.D. 75, and then
translated it into Greek. On the completion of this work he wrote his
“Jewish Antiquities,” a history of the Jews in twenty books, from the
beginning of the world to the twelfth year of the reign of Nero, A.D. 66.
He completed this work in the year A.D. 93, concluding it with a biography
of himself. He also wrote a book against Apion on the antiquity of the
Jewish people. A book in praise of the Maccabees has been attributed to
him, but without justice. In the first of these works, the larger of the
two, the “History of the Jewish War,” he treats of the very period when
our Lord lived, and in it he makes no mention of him. But in the shorter
work, the “Jewish Antiquities,” in which he goes over briefly the same
period of time treated of at length in the other work, we find this

    “At this time lived Jesus, a wise man [if indeed he ought to be
    called a man]; for he performed wonderful works [he was a teacher
    of men who received the truth with gladness]; and he drew to him
    many Jews, and also many Greeks. [This was the Christ.] But when
    Pilate, at the instigation of our chiefs, had condemned him to
    crucifixion, they who had at first loved him did not cease; [for
    he appeared to them on the third day again alive; for the divine
    prophets had foretold this, together with many other wonderful
    things concerning him], and even to this time the community of
    Christians, called after him, continues to exist.”(17)

That this passage is spurious has been almost universally acknowledged.
One may be, perhaps, accused of killing dead birds, if one again examines
and discredits the passage; but as the silence of Josephus on the subject
which we are treating is a point on which it will be necessary to insist,
we cannot omit as brief a discussion as possible of this celebrated

The passage is first quoted by Eusebius (fl. A.D. 315) in two places,(18)
but it was unknown to Justin Martyr (fl. A.D. 140), Clement of Alexandria
(fl. A.D. 192), Tertullian (fl. A.D. 193), and Origen (fl. A.D. 230). Such
a testimony would certainly have been produced by Justin in his Apology,
or in his Controversy with Trypho the Jew, had it existed in the copies of
Josephus at his time. The silence of Origen is still more significant.
Celsus in his book against Christianity introduces a Jew. Origen attacks
the arguments of Celsus and his Jew. He could not have failed to quote the
words of Josephus, whose writings he knew, had the passage existed in the
genuine text.(19)

Again, the paragraph interrupts the chain of ideas in the original text.
Before this passage comes an account of how Pilate, seeing there was a
want of pure drinking water in Jerusalem, conducted a stream into the city
from a spring 200 stadia distant, and ordered that the cost should be
defrayed out of the treasury of the Temple. This occasioned a riot. Pilate
disguised Roman soldiers as Jews, with swords under their cloaks, and sent
them among the rabble, with orders to arrest the ringleaders.

This was done. The Jews finding themselves set upon by other Jews, fell
into confusion; one Jew attacked another, and the whole company of rioters
melted away. “And in this manner,” says Josephus, “was this insurrection
suppressed.” Then follows the paragraph about Jesus, beginning, “At this
time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man,” &c.

And the passage is immediately followed by, “About this time another
misfortune threw the Jews into disturbance; and in Rome an event happened
in the temple of Isis which produced great scandal.” And then he tells an
indelicate story of religious deception which need not be repeated here.
The misfortune which befel the Jews was, as he afterwards relates, that
Tiberius drove them out of Rome. The reason of this was, he says, that a
noble Roman lady who had become a proselyte had sent gold and purple to
the temple at Jerusalem. But this reason is not sufficient. It is clear
from what precedes—a story of sacerdotal fraud—that there was some
connection between the incidents in the mind of Josephus. Probably the
Jews had been guilty of religious deceptions in Rome, and had made a
business of performing cures and expelling demons, with talismans and
incantations, and for this had obtained rich payment.(20)

From the connection that exists between the passage about the “other
misfortune that befel the Jews” and the former one about the riot
suppressed by Pilate, it appears evident that the whole of the paragraph
concerning our Lord is an interpolation.

That Josephus could not have written the passage as it stands, is clear
enough, for only a Christian would speak of Jesus in the terms employed.
Josephus was a Pharisee and a Jewish priest; he shows in all his writings
that he believes in Judaism.

It has been suggested that Josephus may have written about Christ as in
the passage quoted, but that the portions within brackets are the
interpolations of a Christian copyist. But when these portions within
brackets are removed, the passage loses all its interest, and is a dry
statement utterly unlike the sort of notice Josephus would have been
likely to insert. He gives colour to his narratives, his incidents are
always sketched with vigour; this account would be meagre beside those of
the riot of the Jews and the rascality of the priests of Isis. Josephus
asserts, moreover, that in his time there were four sects among the
Jews—the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, and the sect of Judas of
Gamala. He gives tolerably copious particulars about these sects and their
teachings, but of the Christian sect he says not a word. Had he wished to
write about it, he would have given full details, likely to interest his
readers, and not have dismissed the subject in a couple of lines.

It was perhaps felt by the early Christians that the silence of
Josephus—so famous an historian, and a Jew—on the life, miracles and death
of the Founder of Christianity, was extremely inconvenient; the fact could
not fail to be noticed by their adversaries. Some Christian transcriber
may have argued, Either Josephus knew nothing of the miracles performed by
Christ,—in which case he is a weighty testimony against them,—or he must
have heard of Jesus, but not have deemed his acts, as they were related to
him, of sufficient importance to find a place in his History. Arguing
thus, the copyist took the opportunity of rectifying the omission, written
from the standpoint of a Pharisee, and therefore designating the Lord as
merely a wise man.

But there is another explanation of this interpolation, which will hardly
seem credible to the reader at this stage of the examination, viz. that it
was inserted by a Pharisee after the destruction of Jerusalem; and this is
the explanation I am inclined to adopt. At that time there was a mutual
tendency to sink their differences, and unite, in the Nazarene Church and
the Jews. The cause of this will be given further on; sufficient for our
purpose that such a tendency did exist. Both Jew and Nazarene were
involved in the same exile, crushed by the same blow, united in the same
antipathies. The Pharisees were disposed to regret the part they had taken
in putting Jesus to death, and to acknowledge that he had been a good and
great Rabbi. The Jewish Nazarenes, on their side, made no exalted claims
for the Lord as being the incarnate Son of God, and later even, as we
learn from the Clementine Homilies, refused to admit his divinity. The
question dividing the Nazarene from the Jew gradually became one of
whether Christ was to be recognized as a prophet or not; and the
Pharisees, or some of them at least, were disposed to allow as much as

It was under this conciliatory feeling that I think it probable the
interpolation was made, at first by a Jew, but afterwards it was amplified
by a Christian. I think this probable, from the fact of its not being the
only interpolation of the sort effected. Suidas has an article on the name
“Jesus,” in which he tells us that Josephus mentions him, and says that he
sacrificed with the priests in the temple. He quoted from an interpolated
copy of Josephus, and this interpolation could not have been made by
either a Gentile or a Nazarene Christian: not by a Gentile, for such a
statement would have been pointless, purposeless to him; and it could not
have been made by a Nazarene, for the Nazarenes, as will presently be
shown, were strongly opposed to the sacrificial system in the temple. The
interpolation must therefore have been made by a Jew, and by a Jew with a
conciliatory purpose.

It is curious to note the use made of the interpolation now found in the
text. Eusebius, after quoting it, says, “When such testimony as this is
transmitted to us by an historian who sprang from the Hebrews themselves,
respecting John the Baptist and the Saviour, what subterfuge can be left
them to prevent them from being covered with confusion?”(21)

There is one other mention of Christ in the “Antiquities” (lib. xx. c. 9):

    “Ananus, the younger, of whom I have related that he had obtained
    the office of high‐priest, was of a rash and daring character; he
    belonged to the sect of the Sadducees, which, as I have already
    remarked, exhibited especial severity in the discharge of justice.
    Being of such a character, Ananus thought the time when Festus was
    dead, and Albinus was yet upon the road, a fit opportunity for
    calling a council of judges, and for bringing before them James,
    the brother of him who is called Christ, and some others: he
    accused them as transgressors of the law, and had them stoned to
    death. But the most moderate men of the city, who also were
    reckoned most learned in the law, were offended at this
    proceeding. They therefore sent privately to the king (Agrippa
    II.), entreating him to send orders to Ananus not to attempt such
    a thing again, for he had no right to do it. And some went to meet
    Albinus, then coming from Alexandria, and put him in mind that
    Ananus was not justified, without his consent, in assembling a
    court of justice. Albinus, approving what they said, angrily wrote
    to Ananus, and threatened him with punishment; and king Agrippa
    took from him his office of high‐priest, and gave it to Jesus, the
    son of Donnæus.”

This passage is also open to objection.

According to Hegesippus, a Jewish Christian, who wrote a History of the
Church about the year A.D. 170, of which fragments have been preserved by
Eusebius, St. James was killed in a tumult, and not by sentence of a
court. He relates that James, the brother of Jesus, was thrown down from a
wing of the temple, stoned, and finally despatched with a fuller’s club.
Clement of Alexandria confirms this, and is quoted by Eusebius

Eusebius quotes the passage from Josephus, without noticing that the two
accounts do not agree. According to the statement of Hegesippus, St. James
suffered alone; according to that of Josephus, several other victims to
the anger or zeal of Ananus perished with him.

It appears that some of the copies of Josephus were tampered with by
copyists, for Theophylact says, “The wrath of God fell on them (the Jews)
when their city was taken; and Josephus testifies that these things
happened to them on account of the death of Jesus.” But Origen, speaking
of Josephus, says, “This writer, though he did not believe Jesus to be the
Christ, inquiring into the cause of the overthrow of Jerusalem and the
demolition of the temple ... says, ‘These things befel the Jews in
vindication of James, called the Just, who was the brother of Jesus,
called the Christ, forasmuch as they killed him who was a most righteous
man.’ ”(22) Josephus, as we have seen, says nothing of the sort;
consequently Origen must have quoted from an interpolated copy. And this
interpolation suffered further alteration, by a later hand, by the
substitution of the name of Jesus for that of James.

It is therefore by no means unlikely that the name of James, the Lord’s
brother, may have been inserted in the account of the high‐handed dealing
of Ananus in place of another name.

However, it is by no means impossible to reconcile the two accounts. The
martyrdom of St. James is an historical fact, and it is likely to have
taken place during the time when Ananus had the power in his hands.

For fifty years the pontificate had been in the same family, with scarcely
an interruption, and Ananus, or Hanan, was the son of Annas, who had
condemned Christ. They were Sadducees, and as such were persecuting. St.
Paul, by appealing to his Pharisee principles, enlisted the members of
that faction in his favour when brought before Ananias.(23)

The apostles based their teaching on the Resurrection, the very doctrine
most repugnant to the Sadducees; and their accounts of visions of angels
repeated among the people must have irritated the dominant faction who
denied the existence of these spirits. It can hardly be matter of surprise
that the murder of James should have taken place when Ananus was supreme
in Jerusalem. If that were the case, Josephus no doubt mentioned James,
and perhaps added the words, “The brother of him who is called Christ;” or
these words may have been inserted by a transcriber in place of “of
Sechania,” or Bar‐Joseph.

This is all that Josephus says, or is thought to have said, about Jesus
and the early Christians.

At the same time as Josephus, there lived another Jewish historian, Justus
of Tiberias, whom Josephus mentions, and blames for not having published
his History of the Wars of the Jews during the life of Vespasian and
Titus. St. Jerome includes Justus in his Catalogue of Ecclesiastical
Writers, and Stephen of Byzantium mentions him.

His book, or books, have unfortunately been lost, but Photius had read his
History, and was surprised to find that he, also, made no mention of
Christ. “This Jewish historian,” says he, “does not make the smallest
mention of the appearance of Christ, and says nothing whatever of his
deeds and miracles.”(24)

II. The Cause Of The Silence Of Josephus.

It is necessary to inquire, Why this silence of Philo, Josephus and
Justus? at first so inexplicable.

It can only be answered by laying before the reader a picture of the
Christian Church in the first century. A critical examination of the
writings of the first age of the Church reveals unexpected disclosures.

1. It shows us that the Church at Jerusalem, and throughout Palestine and
Asia Minor, composed of converted Jews, was to an _external_ observer
indistinguishable from a modified Essenism.

2. And that the difference between the Gentile Church founded by St. Paul,
and the Nazarene Church under St. James and St. Peter, was greater than
that which separated the latter from Judaism _externally_, so that to a
superficial observer their inner connection was unsuspected.

This applies to the period from the Ascension to the close of the first
century,—to the period, that is, in which Josephus and Justus lived, and
about which they wrote.

1. Our knowledge of the Essenes and their doctrines is, unfortunately, not
as full as we could wish. We are confined to the imperfect accounts of
them furnished by Philo and Josephus, neither of whom knew them
thoroughly, or was initiated into their secret doctrines.

The Essenes arose about two centuries before the birth of Christ, and
peopled the quiet deserts on the west of the Dead Sea, a wilderness to
which the Christian monks afterwards seceded from the cities of Palestine.
They are thus described by the elder Pliny:

    “On the western shore of that lake dwell the Essenes, at a
    sufficient distance from the water’s edge to escape its
    pestilential exhalations—a race entirely unique, and, beyond every
    other in the world, deserving of wonder; men living among palm‐
    trees, without wives, without money. Every day their number is
    replenished by a new troop of settlers, for those join them who
    have been visited by the reverses of fortune, who are tired of the
    world and its style of living. Thus happens what might seem
    incredible, that a community in which no one is born continues to
    subsist through the lapse of centuries.”(25)

From this first seat of the Essenes colonies detached themselves, and
settled in other parts of Palestine; they settled not only in remote and
solitary places, but in the midst of villages and towns. In Samaria they
flourished.(26) According to Josephus, some of the Essenes were willing to
act as magistrates, and it is evident that such as lived in the midst of
society could not have followed the strict rule imposed on the solitaries.
There must therefore have been various degrees of Essenism, some severer,
more exclusive than the others; and Josephus distinguishes four such
classes in the sect. Some of the Essenes remained celibates, others
married. The more exalted and exclusive Essenes would not touch one of the
more lax brethren.(27)

The Essenes had a common treasury, formed by throwing together the
property of such as entered into the society, and by the earnings of each
man’s labour.(28)

They wore simple habits—only such clothing as was necessary for covering
nakedness and giving protection from the cold or heat.(29)

They forbad oaths, their conversation being “yea, yea, and nay, nay.”(30)

Their diet was confined to simple nourishing food, and they abstained from

They exhibited the greatest respect for the constituted authorities, and
refrained from taking any part in the political intrigues, or sharing in
the political jealousies, which were rife among the Jews.(32)

They fasted, and were incessant at prayer, but without the ostentation
that marked the Pharisees.(33)

They seem to have greatly devoted themselves to the cure of diseases, and,
if we may trust the derivation of their name given by Josephus, they were
called Essenes from their being the healers of men’s minds and bodies.(34)

If now we look at our blessed Lord’s teaching, we find in it much in
common with that of the Essenes. The same insisting before the multitude
on purity of thought, disengagement of affections from the world,
disregard of wealth and clothing and delicate food, pursuit of inward
piety instead of ostentatious formalism.

His miracles of healing also, to the ordinary observer, served to identify
him with the sect which made healing the great object of their study.

But these were not the only points of connection between him and the
Essenes. The Essenes, instead of holding the narrow prejudices of the Jews
against Samaritans and Gentiles, extended their philanthropy to all. They
considered that all men had been made in the image of God, that all were
rational beings, and that therefore God’s care was not confined to the
Jewish nation, salvation was not limited to the circumcision.(35)

The Essenes, moreover, exhibited a peculiar veneration for light. It was
their daily custom to turn their faces devoutly towards the rising of the
sun, and to chant hymns addressed to that luminary, purporting that his
beams ought to fall on nothing impure.

If we look at the Gospels, we cannot fail to note how incessantly Christ
recurs in his teaching to light as the symbol of the truth he taught,(36)
as that in which his disciples were to walk, of which they were to be
children, which they were to strive to obtain in all its purity and

The Essenes, moreover, had their esoteric doctrine; to the vulgar they had
an esoteric teaching on virtue and disregard of the world, whilst among
themselves they had a secret lore, of which, unfortunately, we know
nothing certain. In like manner, we find our Lord speaking in parables to
the multitude, and privately revealing their interpretation to his chosen
disciples. “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of
God, but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and
hearing they might not understand.”(37)

The Clementines, moreover, preserve a saying of our Lord, contained in the
Gospel in use among the Ebionites, “Keep the mysteries for me, and for the
sons of my house.”(38)

The Essenes, though showing great veneration for the Mosaic law,
distinguished between its precepts, for some they declared were
interpolations, and did not belong to the original revelation; all the
glosses and traditions of the Rabbis they repudiated, as making the true
Word of none effect.(39) Amongst other things that they rejected was the
sacrificial system of the Law. They regarded this with the utmost horror,
and would not be present at any of the sacrifices. They sent gifts to the
Temple, but never any beast, that its blood might be shed. To the ordinary
worship of the Temple, apart from the sacrifices, they do not seem to have
objected. The Clementine Homilies carry us into the very heart of Ebionite
Christianity in the second, if not the first century, and show us what was
the Church of St. James and St. Peter, the Church of the Circumcision,
with its peculiarities and prejudices intensified by isolation and
opposition. In that curious book we find the same hostility to the
sacrificial system of Moses, the same abhorrence of blood‐shedding in the
service of God. This temper of mind can only be an echo of primitive
Nazarene Christianity, for in the second century the Temple and its
sacrifices were no more.

Primitive Jewish Christianity, therefore, reproduced what was an essential
feature of Essenism—a rejection of the Mosaic sacrifices.

In another point Nazarene Christianity resembled Essenism, in the poverty
of its members, their simplicity in dress and in diet, their community of
goods. This we learn from Hegesippus, who represents St. James, Bishop of
Jerusalem, as truly an ascetic as any mediaeval monk; and from the
Clementines, which make St. Peter feed on olives and bread only, and wear
but one coat. The name of Ebionite, which was given to the Nazarenes,
signified “the poor.”

There was one point more of resemblance, or possible resemblance, but this
was one not likely to be observed by those without. The Therapeutae in
Egypt, who were apparently akin to the Essenes in Palestine, at their
sacred feasts ate bread and salt. Salt seems to have been regarded by them
with religious superstition, as being an antiseptic, and symbolical of

Perhaps the Essenes of Judaea also thus regarded, and ceremonially used,
salt. We have no proof, it is true; but it is not improbable.

Now one of the peculiarities of the Ebionite Church in Palestine, as
revealed to us by the Clementines, was the use of salt with the bread in
their celebrations of the Holy Communion.(41)

But if Christ and the early Church, by their teaching and practice,
conformed closely in many things to the doctrine and customs of the
Essenes, in some points they differed from them. The Essenes were strict
Sabbatarians. On the seventh day they would not move a vessel from one
place to another, or satisfy any of the wants of nature. Even the sick and
dying, rather than break the Sabbath, abstained from meat and drink on
that day. Christ’s teaching was very different from this; he ate, walked
about, taught, and performed miracles on the Sabbath. But though he
relaxed the severity of observance, he did not abrogate the institution;
and the Nazarene Church, after the Ascension, continued to venerate and
observe the Sabbath as of divine appointment. The observance of the
Lord’s‐day was apparently due to St. Paul alone, and sprang up in the
Gentile churches(42) in Asia Minor and Greece of his founding. When the
churches of Peter and Paul were reconciled and fused together at the close
of the century, under the influence of St. John, both days were observed
side by side; and the Apostolical Constitutions represent St. Peter and
St. Paul in concord decreeing, “Let the slaves work five days; but on the
Sabbath‐day and the Lord’s‐day let them have leisure to go to church for
instruction and piety. We have said that the Sabbath is to be observed on
account of the Creation, and the Lord’s‐day on account of the

After the Ascension, the Christian Church in Jerusalem attended the
services in the Temple(44) daily, as did the devout Jews. There is,
however, no proof that they assisted at the sacrifices. They continued to
circumcise their children; they observed the Mosaic distinction of meats;
they abstained from things strangled and from blood.(45)

The doctrine of the apostles after the descent of the Holy Ghost was
founded on the Resurrection. They went everywhere preaching the
Resurrection; they claimed to be witnesses to it, they declared that Jesus
had risen, they had seen him after he had risen, that therefore the
resurrection of all men was possible.(46) The doctrine of the Resurrection
was held most zealously by the Pharisees; it was opposed by the Sadducees.
This vehement proclamation of the disputed doctrine, this production of
evidence which overthrew it, irritated the Sadducees then in power. We are
expressly told that they “came upon them (the apostles), being grieved
that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the Resurrection.”
This led to persecution of the apostles. But the apostles, in maintaining
the doctrine of the Resurrection, were fighting the battles of the
Pharisees, who took their parts against the dominant Sadducee faction,(47)
and many, glad of a proof which would overthrow Sadduceeism, joined the

We can therefore perfectly understand how the Sadducees hated and
persecuted the apostles, and how the orthodox Pharisees were disposed to
hail them as auxiliaries against the common enemy. And Sadduceeism was at
that time in full power and arrogance, exercising intolerable tyranny.

Herod the Great, having fallen in love with Mariamne, daughter of a
certain Simon, son of Boethus of Alexandria, desired to marry her, and saw
no other means of ennobling his father‐in‐law than by elevating him to the
office of high‐priest (B.C. 28). This intriguing family maintained
possession of the high‐priesthood for thirty‐five years. It was like the
Papacy in the house of Tusculum, or the primacy of the Irish Church in
that of the princes of Armagh. Closely allied to the reigning family, it
lost its hold of the high‐priesthood on the deposition of Archelaus, but
recovered it in A.D. 42. This family, called Boethusim, formed a
sacerdotal nobility, filling all the offices of trust and emolument about
the Temple, very worldly, supremely indifferent to their religious duties,
and defiantly sceptical. They were Sadducees, denying angel, and devil,
and resurrection; living in easy self‐indulgence; exasperating the
Pharisees by their heresy, grieving the Essenes by their irreligion.

In the face of the secularism of the ecclesiastical rulers, the religious
zeal of the people was sure to break out in some form of dissent.

John the Baptist was the St. Francis of Assisi, the Wesley of his time. If
the Baptist was not actually an Essene, he was regarded as one by the
indiscriminating public eye, never nice in detecting minute dogmatic
differences, judging only by external, broad resemblances of practice.

The ruling worldliness took alarm at his bold denunciations of evil, and
his head fell.

Jesus of Nazareth seemed to stand forth occupying the same post, to be the
mouthpiece of the long‐brooding discontent; and the alarmed party holding
the high‐priesthood and the rulership of the Sanhedrim compassed his
death. To the Sadducean Boethusim, who rose into power again in A.D. 42,
Christianity was still obnoxious, but more dangerous; for by falling back
on the grand doctrine of Resurrection, it united with it the great sect of
the Pharisees.

Under these circumstances the Pharisees began to regret the condemnation
and death of Christ as a mistake of policy. Under provocation and
exclusion from office, they were glad to unite with the Nazarene Church in
combating the heretical sect and family which monopolized the power, just
as at the present day in Germany Ultramontanism and Radicalism are
fraternizing. Jerusalem fell, and Sadduceeism fell with it, but the link
which united Pharisaism and Christianity was not broken as yet; if the
Jewish believers and the Pharisees had not a common enemy to fight, they
had a common loss to deplore; and when they mingled their tears in
banishment, they forgot that they were not wholly one in faith.
Christianity had been regarded by them as a modified Essenism, an Essenism
gravitating towards Pharisaism, which lent to Pharisaism an element of
strength and growth in which it was naturally deficient—that zeal and
spirituality which alone will attract and quicken the popular mind into

Whilst the Jewish Pharisees and Jewish Nazarenes were forgetting their
differences and approximating, the great and growing company of Gentile
believers assumed a position of open, obtrusive indifference at first, and
then of antagonism, to the Law, not merely to the Law as accepted by the
Pharisee, but to the Law as winnowed by the Essene.

The apostles at Jerusalem were not disposed to force the Gentile converts
into compliance with all the requirements of that Law, which they regarded
as vitiated by human glosses; but they maintained that the converts must
abstain from meats offered to idols, from the flesh of such animals as had
been strangled, and from blood.(49) If we may trust the Clementines, which
represent the exaggerated Judaizing Christianity of the ensuing century,
they insisted also on the religious obligation of personal cleanliness,
and on abstention from such meats as had been pronounced unclean by Moses.

To these requirements one more was added, affecting the relations of
married people; these were subjected to certain restrictions, the
observance of new moons and sabbaths.

“This,” says St. Peter, in the Homilies,(50) “is the rule of divine
appointment. To worship God only, and trust only in the Prophet of Truth,
and to be baptized for the remission of sins, to abstain from the table of
devils, that is, food offered to idols, from dead carcases, from animals
that have been suffocated or mangled by wild beasts, and from blood; not
to live impurely; to be careful to wash when unclean; that the women keep
the law of purification; that all be sober‐minded, given to good works,
refrain from wrong‐doing, look for eternal life from the all‐powerful God,
and ask with prayer and continual supplication that they may win it.”

These simple and not very intolerable requirements nearly produced a
schism. St. Paul took the lead in rejecting some of the restraints imposed
by the apostles at Jerusalem. He had no patience with their minute
prescriptions about meats: “Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all
are to perish with the using.”(51) It was inconvenient for the Christian
invited to supper to have to make inquiries if the ox had been knocked
down, or the fowl had had its neck wrung, before he could eat. What right
had the apostles to impose restrictions on conjugal relations? St. Paul
waxed hot over this. “Ye observe days and months and times and years. I am
afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”(52) “Let no
man judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holiday, or of the
new moons, or of the sabbath‐days.”(53) It was exactly these sabbaths and
new moons on which the Nazarene Church imposed restraint on married
persons.(54) As for meat offered in sacrifice to idols, St. Paul relaxed
the order of the apostles assembled in council. It was no matter of
importance whether men ate sacrificial meat or not, for “an idol is
nothing in the world.” Yet with tender care for scrupulous souls, he
warned his disciples not to flaunt their liberty in the eyes of the
sensitive, and offend weak consciences. He may have thus allowed, in
opposition to the apostles at Jerusalem, because his common sense got the
better of his prudence. But the result was the widening of the breach that
had opened at Antioch when he withstood Peter to the face.

The apostles had abolished circumcision as a rite to be imposed on the
Gentile proselytes, but the children of Jewish believers were still
submitted by their parents, with the consent of the apostles, to the
Mosaic institution. This St. Paul would not endure. He made it a matter of
vital importance. “Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be
circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every
man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ
is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the
law; ye are fallen from grace.”(55) In a word, to submit to this
unpleasant, but otherwise harmless ceremony, was equivalent to renouncing
Christ, losing the favour of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit. It was
incurring damnation. The blood of Christ, his blessed teaching, his holy
example, could “profit nothing” to the unfortunate child which had been
submitted to the knife of the circumciser.

The contest was carried on with warmth. St. Paul, in his Epistle to the
Galatians, declared his independence of the Jewish‐Christian Church; his
Gospel was not that of Peter and James. Those who could not symbolize with
him he pronounced “accursed.” The pillar apostles, James, Cephas and John,
had given, indeed, the right hand of fellowship to the Apostle of the
Gentiles, when they imposed on his converts from heathenism the light rule
of abstinence from sacrificial meats, blood and fornication; but it was
with the understanding that he was to preach to the Gentiles exclusively,
and not to interfere with the labours of St. Peter and St. James among the
Jews. But St. Paul was impatient of restraint; he would not be bound to
confine his teaching to the uncircumcision, nor would he allow his Jewish
converts to be deprived of their right to that full and frank liberty
which he supposed the Gospel to proclaim.

Paul’s followers assumed a distinct name, arrogated to themselves the
exclusive right to be entitled “Christians,” whilst they flung on the old
apostolic community of Nazarenes the disdainful title of “the

An attempt was made to maintain a decent, superficial unity, by the rival
systems keeping geographically separate. But such a compromise was
impossible. Wherever Jews accepted the doctrine that Christ was the
Messiah there would be found old‐fashioned people clinging to the customs
of their childhood respecting Moses, and reverencing the Law; to whom the
defiant use of meats they had been taught to regard as unclean would be
ever repulsive, and flippant denial of the Law under which, the patriarchs
and prophets had served God must ever prove offensive. Such would
naturally form a Judaizing party,—a party not disposed to force their
modes of life and prejudices on the Gentile converts, but who did not wish
to dissociate Christianity from Mosaism, who would view the Gospel as the
sweet flower that had blossomed from the stem of the Law, not as an axe
laid at its root.

But the attempt to reconcile both parties was impossible at that time, in
the heat, intoxication and extravagance of controversy. In the Epistle to
the Galatians we see St. Paul writing in a strain of fiery excitement
against those who interfered with the liberty of his converts, imposing on
them the light rule of the Council of Jerusalem. The followers of St.
Peter and St. James are designated as those who “bewitch” his converts,
“remove them from the grace of Christ to another Gospel;” who “trouble”
his little Church in its easy liberty, “would pervert the gospel of
Christ.” To those only who hold with him in complete emancipation of the
believer from vexatious restraints, “to as many as walk according to this
rule,” will he accord his benediction, “Peace and mercy.”

He assumed a position of hostility to the Law. He placed the Law on one
side and the Gospel on the other; here restraint, there liberty; here
discipline, there freedom. A choice must be made between them; an election
between Moses and Christ. There was no conciliation possible. To be under
the Law was not to be under grace; the Law was a “curse,” from which
Christ had redeemed man. Paul says he had not known lust but by the Law
which said, Thou shalt not covet. Men under the Law were bound by its
requirements, as a woman is bound to a husband as long as he lives, but
when the husband is dead she is free,—so those who accept the Gospel are
free from the Law and all its requirements. The law which said, Thou shalt
not covet, is dead. Sin was the infraction of the law. But the law being
dead, sin is no more. “Until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not
imputed where there is no law.” “Where no law is, there is no
transgression.” “Now we are delivered from the law, that being dead
wherein we were held.”

Such an attack upon what was reverenced and observed by the Jewish
Christians, and such doctrine which seemed to throw wide the flood‐gates
of immorality, naturally excited alarm and indignation among those who
followed the more temperate teaching of Peter and James and John.

The converts of St. Paul, in their eagerness to manifest their
emancipation from the Law, rolled up ceremonial and moral restrictions in
one bundle, and flung both clean away.

The Corinthians, to show their freedom under the Gospel, boasted their
licence to commit incest “such as was not so much as named among the
Gentiles.”(56) Nicolas, a hot Pauline, and his followers “rushed headlong
into fornication without shame;”(57) he had the effrontery to produce his
wife and offer her for promiscuous insult before the assembled
apostles;(58) the later Pauline Christians went further. The law was, it
was agreed, utterly bad, but it was promulgated by God; therefore the God
of the Law was not the same deity as the God of the Gospel, but another
inferior being, the Demiurge, whose province was rule, discipline,
restraint, whereas the God of the Gospel was the God of absolute freedom
and unrestrained licence.

They refused to acknowledge any Scriptures save the Gospel of St. Luke, or
rather the Gospel of the Lord, another recension of that Gospel, drawn up
by order of St. Paul, and the Epistles of the Apostle of the Gentiles.

But even in the first age the disorders were terrible. St. Paul’s Epistles
give glimpses of the wild outbreak of antinomianism that everywhere
followed his preaching,—the drunkenness which desecrated the Eucharists,
the backbitings, quarrellings, fornication, lasciviousness, which called
forth such indignant denunciation from the great apostle.

Yet he was as guiltless of any wish to relax the restraints of morality as
was, in later days, his great counterpart Luther. Each rose up against a
narrow formalism, and proclaimed the liberty of the Christian from
obligation to barren ceremonial; but there were those in the first, as
there were those in the sixteenth century, with more zeal than self‐
control, who found “Justification by Faith only” a very comfortable
doctrine, quite capable of accommodating itself to a sensual or careless

St. Paul may have seen, and probably did see, that Christianity would
never make way if one part of the community was to be fettered by legal
restrictions, and the other part was to be free. According to the purpose
apparent in the minds of James and Peter, the Jewish converts were to
remain Jews, building up Christian faith on the foundation of legal
prescriptions, whilst the Gentile converts were to start from a different
point. There could be no unity in the Church under this system—all must go
under the Law, or all must fling it off. The Church, starting from her
cradle with such an element of weakness in her constitution, must die

He was right in his view. But it is by no means certain that St. Peter and
St. James were as obstinately opposed to the gradual relaxation of legal
restrictions, and the final extinction or transformation of the ceremonial
Law, as he supposed.

In the heat and noise of controversy, he no doubt used unguarded language,
said more than he thought, and his converts were not slow to take him _au
pied de la lettre_.

The tone of Paul’s letters shows conclusively that not for one moment
would he relax moral obligation. With the unsuspiciousness of a guileless
spirit, he never suspected that his words, taken and acted upon as a
practical system, were capable of becoming the charter of antinomianism.
Yet it was so. No sooner had he begun to denounce the Law, than he was
understood to mean the whole Law, not merely its ceremonial part. When he
began to expatiate on the freedom of Grace, he was understood to imply
that human effort was overridden. When he proclaimed Justification by
Faith only, it was held that he swept away for ever obligation to keep the

The results were precisely the same in the sixteenth century, when Luther
re‐affirmed Paulinism, with all his warmth and want of caution. At first
he proclaimed his doctrines boldly, without thought of their practical
application. When he saw the results, he was staggered, and hasted to
provide checks, and qualify his former words:

    “Listen to the Papists,” he writes; “the sole argument they use
    against us is that no good result has come of my doctrine. And, in
    fact, scarce did I begin to preach my Gospel before the country
    burst into frightful revolt; schisms and sects tore the Church;
    everywhere honesty, morality, and good order fell into ruin; every
    one thought to live independently, and conduct himself after his
    own fancy and caprices and pleasure, as though the reign of the
    Gospel drew with it the suppression of all law, right and
    discipline. Licence and all kinds of vices and turpitudes are
    carried in all conditions to an extent they never were before. In
    those days there was some observance of duty, the people
    especially were decorous; but now, like a wild horse without rein
    and bridle, without constraint or decency, they rush on the
    accomplishment of their grossest lusts.”(59)

Gaspard Schwenkfeld saw the result of this teaching, and withdrew from it
into what he considered a more spiritual sect, and was one of the founders
of Anabaptism, a reaction against the laxity and licentiousness of
Lutheranism. “This doctrine,” said he, “is dangerous and scandalous; it
fixes us in impiety, and even encourages us in it.”(60)

The Epistles of St. Paul exhibit him grappling with this terrible evil,
crying out in anguish against the daily growing scandals, insisting that
his converts should leave off their “rioting and drunkenness, chambering
and wantonness, strife and envying;” that their bodies were temples of the
Spirit of God, not to be defiled with impurity; that it was in vain to
deceive themselves by boasting their faith and appealing to the freedom of
Grace. “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor
coveters, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the
kingdom of God.”

And he holds himself up to his Corinthian converts as an example that,
though professing liberty, they should walk orderly: “Be ye followers of
me, even as I also am of Christ.”(61) But apparently all his efforts could
only control the most exuberant manifestations of antinomianism, like the
incest at Corinth.

The grave Petrine Christians at Jerusalem were startled at the tidings
that reached them from Asia Minor and Greece. It was necessary that the
breach should be closed. The Church at Jerusalem was poor; a collection
was ordered by St. Paul to be made for its necessities. He undertook to
carry the money himself to Jerusalem, and at the same time, by conforming
to an insignificant legal custom, to recover the regard and confidence of
the apostles.

This purpose emerges at every point in the history of St. Paul’s last
visit to Jerusalem. But it was too late. The alienation of parties was too
complete to be salved over with a gift of money and appeased by shaven

When St. Paul was taken, he made one ineffectual effort to establish his
relation to Judaism, by an appeal to the Pharisees. But it failed. He was
regarded with undisguised abhorrence by the Jews, with coldness by the
Nazarenes. The Jews would have murdered him. We do not hear that a
Nazarene visited him.

Further traces of the conflict appear in the Epistles. The authenticity of
the Epistle to the Hebrews has been doubted, disputed, and on weighty
grounds. It is saturated with Philonism, whole passages of Philo re‐appear
in the Epistle to the Hebrews, yet I cannot doubt that it is by St. Paul.
When the heat of contest was somewhat abated, when he saw how wofully he
had been misunderstood by his Jewish and Gentile converts in the matter of
the freedom of the Gospel; when he learned how that even the heathen, not
very nice about morals, spoke of the scandals that desecrated the
assemblies of the Pauline Christians,—then no doubt he saw that it was
necessary to lay down a plain, sharp line of demarcation between those
portions of the Law which were not binding, and those which were.
Following a train of thought suggested by Philo, whose works he had just
read, he showed that the ceremonial, sacrificial law was symbolical, and
that, as it typified Christ, the coming of the One symbolized abrogated
the symbol. But the moral law had no such natural limit, therefore it was
permanent. Yet he was anxious not to be thought to abandon his high views
of the dignity of Faith; and the Epistle to the Hebrews contains one of
the finest passages of his writing, the magnificent eulogy on Faith in the
11th chapter. St. Paul, like Luther, was not a clear thinker, could not
follow a thread of argument uninterruptedly to its logical conclusion.
Often, when he saw that conclusion looming before him, he hesitated to
assert it, and proceeded to weaken the cogency of his former reasoning, or
diverged to some collateral or irrelevant topic.

The Epistle to the Hebrews is, I doubt not, a reflex of the mind of Paul
under the circumstances indicated.

This Epistle, there can be little question, called forth the counterblast
of the Epistle of James, the Lord’s brother. But the writer of that
Epistle exhibits an unjust appreciation of the character of St. Paul. Paul
was urged on by conviction, and not actuated by vanity. Yet the
exasperation must have been great which called forth the indignant
exclamation, “Wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is

The second of the Canonical Epistles attributed to St. Peter,(64) if not
the expression of the opinion of the Prince of the Apostles himself,
represents the feelings of Nazarene Christians of the first century. It
cautions those who read the writings of St. Paul, “which they that are
unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto
their own destruction.”

The Nicolaitans, taking advantage of the liberty accorded them in one
direction, assumed it in another. In the letter to the Church of Pergamos,
in the Apocalypse, they are denounced as “eating things sacrificed to
idols, and committing fornication.”(65) They are referred to as the
followers of Balaam, both in that Epistle and in the Epistles of Jude and
the 2nd of St. Peter. This is because Balaam has the same significance as
Nicolas.(66) Jude, the brother of James, writes of them: “Certain men are
crept in unawares ... ungodly men turning the grace of our God into
lasciviousness ... who defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil
of dignities,” _i.e._ of the apostles; “these speak evil of those things
which they know not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in
those things they corrupt themselves. But, beloved, remember ye the words
which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how
that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should
walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves,
sensual, having not the Spirit.”

And St. Peter wrote in wrath and horror. “It had been better not to have
known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn
from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”(67)

The extreme Pauline party went on their way; Marcion, Valentine, Mark,
were its successive high‐priests and prophets. It ran from one
extravagance to another, till it sank into the preposterous sect of the
Cainites; in their frantic hostility to the Law, canonizing Cain, Esau,
Pharaoh, Saul, all who are denounced in the Old Testament as having
resisted the God of the Law, and deifying the Serpent, the Deceiver, as
the God of the Gospel who had first revealed to Eve the secret of liberty,
of emancipation from restraint.

But disorders always are on the surface, patent to every one, and cry out
for a remedy. Those into which the advanced Pauline party had fallen were
so flagrant, so repugnant to the good sense and right feelings of both Jew
and Gentile believers, that they forced on a reaction. The most
impracticable antinomians on one side, and obstructive Judaizers on the
other, were cut off, or cut themselves off, from the Church; and a temper
of mutual concession prevailed among the moderate. At the head of this
movement stood St. John.

The work of reconciliation was achieved by the Apostle of Love. A happy
compromise was effected. The Sabbath and the Lord’s‐day were both
observed, side by side. Nothing was said on one side about distinction in
meats, and the sacred obligation of washing; and on the other, the Gentile
Christians adopted the Psalms of David and much of the ceremonial of the
Temple into their liturgy. The question of circumcision was not mooted. It
had died out of exhaustion, and the doctrine of Justification was accepted
as a harmless opinion, to be constantly corrected by the moral law and
common sense.

A similar compromise took place at the English Reformation. In deference
to the dictation of foreign reformers, the Anglican divines adopted their
doctrine of Justification by Faith only into the Articles, but took the
wise precaution of inserting as an antidote the Decalogue in the Communion
Office, and of ordering it to be written up, where every one might read,
in the body of the church.

The compromise effected by the influence and authority of St. John was
rejected by extreme partizans on the right and the left. The extreme
Paulines continued to refuse toleration to the Law and the Old Testament.
The Nazarene community had also its impracticable zealots who would not
endure the reading of the Pauline Epistles.

The Church, towards the close of the apostolic age, was made up of a
preponderance of Gentile converts; in numbers and social position they
stood far above the Nazarenes.

Under St. John, the Church assumed a distinctively Gentile character. In
its constitution, religious worship, in its religious views, it differed
widely from the Nazarene community in Palestine.

With the disappearance from its programme of distinction of meats and
circumcision, its connection with Judaism had disappeared. But Nazarenism
was not confined to Palestine. In Rome, in Greece, in Asia Minor, there
were large communities, not of converted Jews only, but of proselytes from
Gentiledom, who regarded themselves as constituting the Church of Christ.
The existence of this fact is made patent by the Clementines and the
Apostolic Constitutions. St. Peter’s successors in the see of Rome have
been a matter of perplexity. It has impressed itself on ecclesiastical
students that Linus and Cletus ruled simultaneously. I have little doubt
it was so. The Judaizing Church was strong in Rome. Probably each of the
two communities had its bishop set over it, one by Paul, the other by

Whilst the “Catholic” Church, the Church of the compromise, grew and
prospered, and conquered the world, the narrow Judaizing Church dwindled
till it expired, and with its expiration ceased conversion from Judaism.
This Jewish Church retained to the last its close relationship with
Mosaism. Circumstances, as has been shown, drew the Jewish believer and
the Pharisee together.

When Jerusalem fell, the Gentile Church passed without a shudder under the
Bethlehem Gate, whereon an image of a swine had been set up in mockery;
contemplated the statue of Hadrian on the site of the Temple without
despair, and constituted itself under a Gentile bishop, Mark, in Ælia

But the old Nazarene community, the Church of James and Symeon, clinging
tightly to its old traditions, crouched in exile at Pella, confounded by
the Romans in common banishment with the Jew. The guards thrust back
Nazarene and Jew alike with their spears, when they ventured to approach
the ruins of their prostrate city, the capital of their nation and of
their faith.

The Church at Jerusalem under Mark was, to the Nazarene, alien; its bishop
an intruder. To the Nazarene, the memory of Paul was still hateful. The
Clementine Recognitions speak of him with thinly‐disguised aversion, and
tell of a personal contest between him, when the persecutor Saul, and St.
James their bishop, and of his throwing down stairs, and beating till
nearly dead, the brother of the Lord. In the very ancient apocryphal
letter of St. Peter to St. James, belonging to the same sect, and dating
from the second century, Paul is spoken of as the “enemy preaching a
doctrine at once foolish and lawless.”(68) The Nazarene Christians, as
Irenaeus and Theodoret tell us, regarded him as an apostate.(69) They
would not receive his Epistles or the Gospel of St. Luke drawn up under
his auspices.

In the Homilies, St. Peter is made to say:

    “Our Lord and Prophet, who hath sent us, declared that the Wicked
    One, having disputed with him forty days, and having prevailed
    nothing against him, promised that he would send apostles among
    his subjects to deceive. Wherefore, above all, remember to shun
    apostle or teacher or prophet who does not first accurately
    compare his preaching with [that of] James, who was called the
    Brother of my Lord, and to whom was entrusted the administration
    of the Church of the Hebrews at Jerusalem. And that, even though
    he come to you with credentials; lest the wickedness which
    prevailed nothing when disputing forty days with our Lord should
    afterwards, like lightning falling from heaven upon earth, send a
    preacher to your injury, preaching under pretence of truth, like
    this Simon [Magus], and sowing error.”(70)

The reader has but to study the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, and
his wonder at the silence of Josephus and Justus will disappear.

Those curious books afford us a precious insight into the feelings of the
Nazarenes of the first and second centuries, showing us what was the
temper of their minds and the colour of their belief. They represent St.
James as the supreme head of the Church. He is addressed by St. Peter,
“Peter to James, the Lord and Bishop of the Holy Church, under the Father
of all.” St. Clement calls him “the Lord and Bishop of bishops, who rules
Jerusalem, the Holy Church of the Hebrews, and the Churches everywhere
excellently founded by the providence of God.”

Throughout the curious collection of Homilies, Christianity is one with
Judaism. It is a reform of Mosaism. It bears the relation to Judaism, that
the Anglican Church of the last three centuries, it is pretended, bears to
the Mediaeval Church in England. Everything essential was retained; only
the traditions of the elders, the glosses of the lawyers, were rejected.

Christianity is never mentioned by name. A believer is called, not a
Christian, but a Jew. Clement describes his own conversion: “I betook
myself to the holy God and Law of the Jews, putting my faith in the well‐
assured conclusion that the Law has been assigned by the righteous
judgment of God.”(71)

Apion the philosopher, is spoken of as hating the Jews; the context
informs us that by Jews is meant those whom we should call Christians.

Moses is the first prophet, Jesus the second. Like their spiritual
ancestors the Essenes, the Nazarenes protested that the Law was overlaid
with inventions of a later date; these Jesus came to efface, that he might
re‐edit the Law in its ancient integrity. The original Law, as given by
God and written by Moses, was lost; it was found again after 300 years,
lost again, and then re‐written from memory by Ezra. Thus it came to pass
that the Old Revelation went through various editions, which altered its
meaning, and left it a compound of truths and errors.(72) It was the mark
of a good and wise Jew, instructed by Jesus, to distinguish between what
was true and what was false in the Scriptures.

Thus the Nazarene thought himself a Hebrew of the Hebrews, as an Anglican
esteems himself a better Catholic than the Catholics. The Nazarenes would
have resented with indignation the imputation that they were a sect alien
from the commonwealth of Israel, and, like all communities occupying an
uneasy seat between two stools, were doubly, trebly vehement in their
denunciation of that sect to which they were thought to bear some
relation. They repudiated “Christianity,”(73) as a high Anglican
repudiates Protestantism; they held aloof from a Pauline believer, as an
English Churchman will stand aloof from a Lutheran.

And thus it came to pass that the Jewish historians of the first century
said nothing about Christ and the Church he founded.

And yet St. Paul had wrought a work for Christ and the Church which,
humanly speaking, none else could have effected.

The Nazarene Church was from its infancy prone to take a low view of the
nature of Christ. The Jewish converts were so infected with Messianic
notions that they could look on Jesus Christ only as the Messiah, not as
incarnate God. They could see in him a prophet, “one like unto Moses,” but
not one equal to the Father.

The teaching of the apostles seemed powerless at the time to lift the
faith of their Jewish converts to high views of the Lord’s nature and
mission. Their Judaic prejudice strangled, warped their faith. Directly
the presence of the apostles was withdrawn, the restraint on this downward
gravitation was removed, and Nazarenism settled into heresy on the
fundamental doctrine of Christianity. To Gentiles it was in vain to preach
Messianism. Messianism implied an earnest longing for a promised
deliverer. Gentiles had no such longing, had never been led to expect a

The apostle must take other ground. He took that of the Incarnation, the
Godhead revealing the Truth to mankind by manifestation of itself among
men, in human flesh.

The apostles to the circumcision naturally appealed to the ruling
religious passion in the Jewish heart—the passion of hope for the promised
Messiah. The Messiah was come. The teaching of the apostles to the
circumcision necessarily consisted of an explanation of this truth, and
efforts to dissipate the false notions which coloured Jewish Messianic
hopes, and interfered with their reception of the truth that Jesus was the
one who had been spoken of by the prophets, and to whose coming their
fathers had looked.

To the Gentiles, St. Paul preached Christ as the revealer to a dark and
ignorant world of the nature of God, the purpose for which He had made
man, and the way in which man might serve and please God. The Jews had
their revelation, and were satisfied with it. The Gentiles walked in
darkness; they had none; their philosophies were the gropings of earnest
souls after light. The craving of the Gentile heart was for a revelation.
Paul preached to them the truth manifested to the world through Christ.

Thus Pauline teaching on the Incarnation counteracted the downward drag of
Nazarene Messianism, which, when left to itself, ended in denying the
Godhead of Christ.

If for a century the churches founded by St. Paul were sick with moral
disorders, wherewith they were inoculated, the vitality of orthodox belief
in the Godhead of Christ proved, stronger than moral heresy, cast it out,
and left only the scars to tell what they had gone through in their

Petrine Christianity upheld the standard of morality, Pauline Christianity
bore that of orthodoxy.

St. John, in the cool of his old age, was able to give the Church its
permanent form. The Gentile converts had learned to reverence the purity,
the uprightness, the truthfulness of the Nazarene, and to be ashamed of
their excesses; and the Nazarene had seen that his Messianism supplied him
with nothing to satisfy the inner yearning of his nature. Both met under
the apostle of love to clasp hands and learn of one another, to confess
their mutual errors, to place in the treasury of the Church, the one his
faith, the other his ethics, to be the perpetual heritage of Christianity.

Some there were still who remained fixed in their prejudices, self‐
excommunicated, monuments to the Church of the perils she had gone
through, the Scylla and Charybdis through which she had passed with
difficulty, guided by her Divine pilot.


I have been obliged at some length to show that the early Christian Church
in Palestine bore so close a resemblance to the Essene sect, that to the
ordinary superficial observer it was indistinguishable from it. And also,
that so broad was the schism separating the Nazarene Church consisting of
Hebrews, from the Pauline Church consisting of Gentiles that no external
observer who had not examined the doctrines of these communities would
suppose them to be two forms of the same faith, two religions sprung from
the same loins. Their connection was as imperceptible to a Jew, as would
be that between Roman Catholicism and Wesleyanism to‐day.

Both Nazarene and Jew worshipped in the same temple, observed the same
holy days, practised the same rites, shrank with loathing from the same
food, and mingled their anathemas against the same apostate, Paul, who had
cast aside at once the law in which he had been brought up, and the Hebrew
name by which he had been known.

The silence of Josephus and Justus under these circumstances is
explicable. They have described Essenism; that description covers
Nazarenism as it appeared to the vulgar eye. If they have omitted to speak
of Jesus and his death, it is because both wrote at the time when Nazarene
and Pharisee were most closely united in sympathy, sorrow and regret for
the past. It was not a time to rip up old wounds, and Justus and Josephus
were both Pharisees.

That neither should speak of Pauline Christianity is also not remarkable.
It was a Gentile religion, believed in only by Greeks and Romans; it had
no open _observable_ connection with Judaism. It was to them but another
of those many religions which rose as mushrooms, to fade away again on the
soil of the Roman world, with which the Jewish historians had little
interest and no concern.

If this explanation which I have offered is unsatisfactory, I know not
whither to look for another which can throw light to the strange silence
of Philo, Josephus and Justus.

It is thrown in the teeth of Christians, that history, apart from the
Gospels, knows nothing of Christ; that the silence of contemporary, and
all but contemporary, Jewish chroniclers, invalidates the testimony of the
inspired records.

The reasons which I have given seem to me to explain this silence
plausibly, and to show that it arose, not from ignorance of the acts of
Christ and the existence of the Church, but from a deliberate purpose.

III. The Jew Of Celsus.

Celsus was one of the four first controversial opponents of Christianity.
His book has been lost, with the exception of such portions as have been
preserved by Origen.

Nothing for certain is known of Celsus. Origen endeavours to make him out
to be an Epicurean, as prejudice existed even among the heathen against
this school of philosophy, which denied, or left as open questions, the
existence of a God, Providence, and the Eternity of the Soul. He says in
his first book that he has heard there had existed two Epicureans of the
name of Celsus, one who lived in the reign of Nero († A.D. 68), the other
under Hadrian († A.D. 138), and it is with this latter that he has to do.
But it is clear from passages of Celsus quoted by Origen, that this
antagonist of Christianity was no Epicurean, but belonged to that school
of Eclectics which based its teaching on Platonism, but adopted
modifications from other schools. Origen himself is obliged to admit in
several passages of his controversial treatise that the views of Celsus
are not Epicurean, but Platonic; but he pretends that Celsus disguised his
Epicureanism under a pretence of Platonism. Controversialists in the first
days of Christianity were as prompt to discredit their opponents by
ungenerous, false accusation, as in these later days.

We know neither the place nor the date of the birth of Celsus. That he
lived later than the times of Hadrian is clear from his mention of the
Marcionites, who only arose in A.D. 142, and of the Marcellians, named
after the woman Marcella, who, according to the testimony of Irenaeus,(74)
first came to Rome in the time of Pope Anicetus, after A.D. 157. As Celsus
in two passages remarks that the Christians spread their doctrines
secretly, because they were forbidden under pain of death to assemble
together for worship, it would appear that he wrote his book Λόγος ἀληθής
during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (between 161‐180), who persecuted the
Christians. We may therefore put the date of the book approximately at
A.D. 176.

The author is certainly the Celsus to whom Lucian dedicated his writing,
“Alexander the False Prophet.” Of the religious opinions of Celsus we are
able to form a tolerable conception from the work of Origen. “If the
Christians only honoured One God,” says he,(75) “then the weapons of their
controversy with others would not be so weak; but they show to a man, who
appeared not long ago, an exaggerated honour, and are of opinion that they
are not offending the Godhead, when they show to one of His servants the
same reverence that they pay to God Himself.” Celsus acknowledges, with
the Platonists, One only, eternal, spiritual God, who cannot be brought
into union with impure matter, the world. All that concerns the world, he
says, God has left to the dispensation of inferior spirits, which are the
gods of heathendom. The welfare of mankind is at the disposal of these
inferior gods, and men therefore do well to honour them in moderation; but
the human soul is called to escape the chains of matter and strain after
perfect purity; and this can only be done by meditation on the One,
supreme, almighty God. “God,” says he,(76) “has not made man in His image,
as Christians affirm; for God has not either the appearance of a man, nor
indeed any visible form.” In the fourth Book he remarks, in opposition to
the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, “I will appeal to that which
has been held as true in all ages,—that God is good, beautiful, blessed,
and possesses in Himself all perfections. If He came down among men, He
must have altered His nature; from a good God, He must have become bad;
from beautiful, ugly; from blessed, unhappy; and His perfect Being would
have become one of imperfection. Who can tolerate such a change? Only
transitory things alter their conditions; the intransitory remain ever the
same. Therefore it is impossible to conceive that God can have been
transformed in such a manner.”

It is remarkable that Celsus, living in the middle of the second century,
and able to make inquiries of aged Jews whose lives had extended from the
first century, should have been able to find out next to nothing about
Jesus and his disciples, except what he read in the Gospels. This is proof
that no traditions concerning Jesus had been preserved by the Jews, apart
from those contained in the Gospels, Canonical and Apocryphal.

Origen’s answer to Celsus is composed of eight Books. In the first Book a
Jew speaks, who is introduced by Celsus as addressing Jesus himself; in
the second Book this Jew addresses those of his fellow‐countrymen who have
embraced Christianity; in the other six Books Celsus speaks for himself.
Origen extracts only short passages from the work of Celsus, and then
labours to demolish the force of the argument of the opponent of
Christianity as best he can.

The arguments of Celsus and the counter‐arguments of Origen do not concern
us here. All we have to deal with are those traditions or slanders
detailed to Celsus by the Jews, which he reproduces. That Celsus was in
communication with Jews when he wrote the two first Books is obvious, and
the only circumstances he relates which concern the life of our Lord he
derived from his Jewish informants. “The Jew (whom Celsus introduces)
addresses Jesus, and finds much fault. In the first place, he charges him
with having falsely proclaimed himself to be the Son of a Virgin;
afterwards, he says that Jesus was born in a poor Jewish village, and that
his mother was a poor woman of the country, who supported herself with
spinning and needlework; that she was cast off by her betrothed, a
carpenter; and that after she was thus rejected by her husband, she
wandered about in disgrace and misery till she secretly gave birth to
Jesus. Jesus himself was obliged from poverty and necessity to go down as
servant into Egypt, where, he learnt some of the secret sciences which are
in high honour among the Egyptians; and he placed such confidence in these
sciences, that on his return to his native land he gave himself out to be
a God.”

Origen adds: “The carpenter, as the Jew of Celsus declares, who was
betrothed to Mary, put the mother of Jesus from him, because she had
broken faith with him, in favour of a soldier named Panthera!”

Again: “Celsus relates from the Gospel of Matthew the flight of Christ
into Egypt; but he denies all that is marvellous and supernatural in it,
especially that an angel should have appeared to Joseph and ordered him to
escape. Instead of seeking whether the departure of Jesus from Judaea and
his residence in Egypt had not some spiritual meaning, he has made up a
fable concerning it. He admits, indeed, that Jesus may have wrought the
miracles which attracted such a multitude of people to him, and induced
them to follow him as the Messiah; but he pretends that these miracles
were wrought, not by virtue of his divine power, but of his magical
knowledge. Jesus, says he, had a bad education; later he went into Egypt
and passed into service there, and there learnt some wonderful arts. When
he came back to his fatherland, on account of these arts, he gave himself
out to be a God.”(77)

“The Jew brought forward by Celsus goes on to say, ‘I could relate many
things more concerning Jesus, all which are true, but which have quite a
different character from what his disciples relate touching him; but, I
will not now bring these forward.’ And what are these facts,” answers
Origen, “which are not in agreement with the narratives of the
Evangelists, and which the Jew refrains from mentioning? Unquestionably,
he is using only a rhetorical expression; he pretends that he has in his
store abundance of munitions of war to discharge against Jesus and his
doctrine, but in fact he knows nothing which can deceive the hearer with
the appearance of truth, _except those particulars which he has culled
from the the Gospels themselves_.”(78)

This is most important evidence of the utter ignorance of the Jews in the
second century of all that related to the history of our Lord. Justus and
Josephus had been silent. There was no written narrative to which the Jew
might turn for information; his traditions were silent. The fall of
Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews had broken the thread of their

It is very necessary to bear this in mind, in order to appreciate the
utter worthlessness of the stories told of our Saviour in the Talmud and
the Toledoth Jeschu. An attempt has been made to bolster up these late
fables, and show that they are deserving of a certain amount of

But it is clear that the religious movement which our Lord originated in
Palestine attracted much less attention at the time than has been usually
supposed. The Sanhedrim at first regarded his teaching with the contempt
with which, in after times, Leo X. heard of the preaching of Luther. “It
is a schoolman’s proposition,” said the Pope. “A new rabbinical
tradition,” the elders probably said. Only when their interests and fears
were alarmed, did they interfere to procure the condemnation of Christ.
And then they thought no more of their victim and his history than they
did later of the history of James, the Lord’s brother. The preaching and
death of Jesus led to no tumultuous outbreak against the Roman government,
and therefore excited little interest. The position of Christ as the God‐
man was not forced on them by the Nazarenes. The Jews noticed the virtues
of these men, but ignored their peculiar tenets, till traditions were
lost; and when the majesty of Christ, incarnate God, shone out on the
world which turned to acknowledge him, they found that they had preserved
no records, no recollections of the events in the history of Jesus. That
he was said by Christians to have been born of a Virgin, driven into Egypt
by King Herod—that he wrought miracles, gathered disciples, died on the
cross and rose again—they heard from the Christians; and these facts they
made use of to pervert them into fantastic fables, to colour them with
malignant inventions. The only trace of independent tradition is in the
mention made of Panthera by the Jew produced by Celsus.

It is perhaps worthy of remark that St. Epiphanius, who wrote against
heresies at the end of the fourth century, gives the genealogy of Jesus

    _Jacob, called Panther_, married to ?
        Mary, married to Joseph

It shows that in the fourth century the Jewish stories of Panthera had
made such an impression on the Christians, that his name was forced into
the pedigree of Jesus.

Had any of the stories found in the Toledoth Jeschu existed in the second
century, we should certainly have found them in the book of Celsus.

Origen taunts the Jew with knowing nothing of Christ but what he had found
out from the Gospels. He would not have uttered that taunt had any anti‐
Christian apocryphal biographies of Christ existed in his day. The Talmud,
indeed, has the tale of Christ having studied magic in Egypt. Whence this
legend, as well as that of Panthera, came, we shall see presently.

IV. The Talmud.

The Talmud (_i.e._ the Teaching) consists of two parts, the Mischna and
the Gemara.

The Mischna (_i.e._ δευτέρωσις, Second Law, or Recapitulation) is a
collection of religious ordinances, interpretations of Old Testament
passages, especially of Mosaic rules, which have been given by various
illustrious Rabbis from the date of the founding of the second Temple,
therefore from about B.C. 400 to the year A.D. 200. These interpretations,
which were either written or orally handed down, were collected in the
year A.D. 219 by the Rabbi Jehuda the Holy, at Tiberias, on the Sea of
Galilee, into a book to which he gave the name of Mischna, the
Recapitulation of the Law. At that time the Jewish Sanhedrim and the
Patriarch resided at Tiberias. After the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.
70, the Sanhedrim, which consisted of seventy‐one persons, assembled at
Jamnia, the ancient Philistine city of Jabne; but on the insurrection of
the Jews under Barcochab, A.D. 135, it took up its quarters at Tiberias.
There the Sanhedrim met under a hereditary Patriarch of the family of
Gamaliel, who bore the title of Nasi, Chief, till A.D. 420, when the last
member of the house of Gamaliel died, and the Patriarchate and Sanhedrim
departed from Tiberias.

The Mischna is made up of six Orders (Sedarim), which together contain
sixty‐three Tractates. The first Order or Seder is called Iesaïm, and
treats of agriculture. The second, Moed, treats of festivals. The third,
Naschim, deals with the rights of women. The fourth, Nezikim, or Jechnoth,
treats of cases of law. The fifth, Kodaschim, of holy things. The sixth,
Taharoth, of impurity and purifications.

The Orders of Kodaschim and Taharoth are incomplete. The Jerusalem Talmud
consists of only the first four, and the tract Nidda, which belongs to the
Order Taharoth.

Now it is deserving of remark, that many of the Rabbis whose sayings are
recorded in the Mischna lived in the time of our Lord, or shortly after,
and yet that not the smallest reference is made to the teaching of Jesus,
nor even any allusion to him personally. Although the Mischna was drawn up
beside the Sea of Galilee, at Tiberias, near where Jesus lived and wrought
miracles and taught, neither he nor his followers are mentioned once
throughout the Mischna.

There must be a reason why the Mischna, as well as Josephus and Justus of
Tiberias, is silent respecting Jesus of Nazareth. The reason I have
already given. The followers of Jesus were regarded as belonging to the
sect of the Essenes. Our Lord’s teaching made no great impression on the
Jews of his time. It was so radically unlike the pedantry and puerilities
of their Rabbis, that they did not acknowledge him as a teacher of the
Law. He had preached Essene disengagement from the world, conquest of
passion. Only when Essene enthusiasm was thought to threaten the powerful
families which held possession of and abused the pontifical office, had
the high‐priest and his party taken alarm, and obtained the condemnation
and death of Jesus. Their alarm died away, the political situation
altered, the new Essenianism ceased to be suspected, and Nazarene
Christianity took its place among the parties of Judaism, attracting
little notice and exciting no active hostility.

The Mischna was drawn up at the beginning of the third century, when
Christianity was spreading rapidly through the Roman empire, and had
excited the Roman emperors to fierce persecution of those who professed
it. Yet Jehuda the Holy says not a word about Christ or Christianity.

He and those whose sayings he quotes had no suspicion that this religion,
which was gaining ground every day among the Gentiles, had sprung from the
teaching of a Jew. Christianity ruffled not the surface of Jewdom. The
harmless Nazarenes were few, and were as strict observers of the Law as
the straitest Pharisees.

And if Christianity was thus a matter of indifference to the Jews, no
wonder that every recollection of Jesus of Nazareth, every tradition of
his birth, his teaching, his death, had died away, so that, even at the
close of the second century, Origen could charge his Jew opponent with
knowing nothing of Jesus save what he had learned from the Gospels.

The Mischna became in turn the subject of commentary and interpretation by
the Rabbis. The explanations of famous Rabbis, who taught on the Mischna,
were collected, and called Gemara (the Complement), because with it the
collection of rabbinical expositions of the Law was completed.

There are two editions of the Gemara, one made in Palestine and called the
Jerusalem Gemara, the other made at Babylon.

The Jerusalem Gemara was compiled about A.D. 390, under the direction of
the Patriarch of Tiberias. But there was a second Jewish Patriarchate at
Babylon, which lasted till A.D. 1038, whereas that of Tiberias was
extinguished, as has been already said, in A.D. 420.

Among the Babylonish Jews, under the direction of their Patriarch, an
independent school of commentators on the Mischna had arisen. Their
opinions were collected about the year A.D. 500, and compose the
Babylonish Gemara. This latter Gemara is held by modern Jews in higher
esteem than the Jerusalem Gemara.

The Mischna, which is the same to both Gemaras, together with one of the
commentaries and glosses, called Mekilta and Massektoth, form either the
Jerusalem or the Babylonish Talmud.

All the Jewish historians who speak of the compilation of the Gemara of
Babylon, are almost unanimous on three points: that the Rabbi Ashi was the
first to begin the compilation, but that death interrupted him before its
completion; that he had for his assistant another doctor, the Rabbi Avina;
and that a certain Rabbi Jose finished the work seventy‐three years after
the death of Rabbi Ashi. Rabbi Ashi is believed to have died A.D. 427,
consequently the Babylonish Talmud was completed in A.D. 500.

St. Jerome (d. 420) was certainly acquainted with the Mischna, for he
mentions it by name.(81)

St. Ephraem (d. 378) says:

    “The Jews have had four sorts of traditions which they call
    Repetitions (δευτερώσεις). The first bear the name of Moses the
    Prophet; they attribute the second to a doctor named Akiba or Bar
    Akiba. The third pass for being those of a certain Andan or Annan,
    whom they call also Judas; and they maintain that the sons of
    Assamonaeus were the authors of the fourth. It is from these four
    sources that all those doctrines among them are derived, which,
    however futile they may be, by them are esteemed as the most
    profound science, and of which they speak with ostentation.”(82)

From this it appears that St. Ephraem was acquainted not only with the
Mischna, but with the Gemara, then in process of formation.

Both the Jerusalem and the Babylonish Gemara, in their interpretations of
the Mischna, mention Jesus and the apostles, or, at all events, have been
supposed to do so. At the time when both Gemaras were drawn up,
Christianity was the ruling religion in the Roman empire, and the Rabbis
could hardly ignore any longer the Founder of the new religion. But their
statements concerning Jesus are untrustworthy, because so late. Had they
occurred in the Mischna, they might have deserved attention.

But before we consider the passages containing allusions to Jesus, it will
be well to quote a very singular anecdote in the Jerusalem Gemara:(83)

    “It happened that the cow of a Jew who was ploughing the ground
    began to low. An Arab (or a traveller) who was passing, and who
    understood the language of beasts, on hearing this lowing said to
    the labourer, ‘Son of a Jew! son of a Jew! loose thine ox and set
    it free from the plough, for the Temple is fallen.’ But as the ox
    lowed a second time, he said, ‘Son of a Jew! son of a Jew! yoke
    thy ox, join her to the plough, for the Messiah is born.’ ‘What is
    his name?’ asked the Jew. ‘כובהס, the Consoler,’ replied the Arab.
    ‘And what is the name of his father?’ asked the Jew. ‘Hezekiah,’
    answered the Arab. ‘And whence comes he?’ ‘From the royal palace
    of Bethlehem Juda.’ Then the Jew sold his ox and his plough, and
    becoming a seller of children’s clothes went to Bethlehem, where
    he found the mother of the Consoler afflicted, because that, on
    the day he was born, the Temple had been destroyed. But the other
    women, to console her, said that her son, who had caused the ruin
    of the Temple, would speedily rebuild it. Some days after, she
    owned to the seller of children’s clothes that the Consoler had
    been ravished from her, and that she knew not what had become of
    him. Rabbi Bun observes thereupon that there was no need to learn
    from an Arab that the Messiah would appear at the moment of the
    fall of the Temple, as the prophet Isaiah had predicted this very
    thing in the two verses, x. 34 and xi. 1, on the ruin of the
    Temple, and the cessation of the daily sacrifice, which took place
    at the siege by the Romans, or by the impious kingdom.”

This is a very curious story, and its appearance in the Talmud is somewhat
difficult to understand.

We must now pass on to those passages which have been supposed to refer to
our Lord.

In the Babylonish Gemara(84) it is related that when King Alexander
Jannaeus persecuted the Rabbis, the Rabbi Jehoshua, son of Parachias, fled
with his disciple Jesus to Alexandria in Egypt, and there both received
instruction in Egyptian magic. On their way back to Judaea, both were
hospitably lodged by a woman. Next day, as Jehoshua and his disciple were
continuing their journey, the master praised the hospitality of their
hostess, whereupon his disciple remarked that she was not only a
hospitable but a comely woman.

Now as it was forbidden to Rabbis to look with admiration on female
beauty, the Rabbi Jehoshua was so angry with his disciple, that he
pronounced on him excommunication and a curse. Jesus after this separated
from his master, and gave himself up wholly to the study of magic.

The name Jesus is Jehoshua Graecised. Both master and pupil in this legend
bore the same name, but that of the pupil is in the Talmud abbreviated
into Jeschu.

This story is introduced in the Gemara to illustrate the obligation
incumbent on a Rabbi to keep custody over his eyes. It bears no signs of
having been forced in so as to give expression to antipathy against

That this Jeschu is our blessed Lord is by no means evident. On the
contrary, the balance of probability is that the pupil of Jehoshua Ben
Perachia was an entirely different person.

This Jehoshua, son of Perachia, is a known historical personage. He was
one of the Sanhedrim in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus. He began to teach
as Rabbi in the year of the world 3606, or B.C. 154. Alexander Jannaeus,
son of Hyrcanus, was king of the Jews in B.C. 106. The Pharisees could not
endure that the royal and high‐priestly functions should be united in the
same person; they therefore broke out in revolt. The civil war caused the
death of some 50,000, according to Josephus. When Alexander had suppressed
the revolt, he led 800 prisoners to the fortress of Bethome, and crucified
them before the eyes of his concubines at a grand banquet he gave.

The Pharisees, and those of the Sanhedrim who had not fallen into his
hands, sought safety in flight. It was then probably that Jehoshua, son of
Perachia, went down into Egypt and was accompanied by Jeschu.

Jehoshua was buried at Chittin, but the exact date of his death is not

Alexander Jannaeus died B.C. 79, after a reign of twenty‐seven years,
whilst besieging the castle of Ragaba on the further side of Jordan.

It will be seen at once that the date of the Talmudic Jeschu is something
like a century earlier than that of the Jesus of the Gospels.

Moreover, it cannot be said that Jewish tradition asserts their identity.
On the contrary, learned Jewish writers have emphatically denied that the
Jeschu of the Talmud is the Jesus of the Gospels.

In the “Disputation” of the Rabbi Jechiels with Nicolas, a convert, occurs
this statement. “This (which is related of Jesus and the Rabbi Joshua, son
of Perachia) contains no reference to him whom Christians honour as a
God;” and then he points out that the impossibility of reconciling the
dates is enough to prove that the disciple of Joshua Ben Perachia was a
person altogether distinct from the Founder of Christianity.

The Rabbi Lippmann(86) gives the same denial, and shows that Jesus of the
Gospels was a contemporary of Hillel, whereas the Jeschu of the anecdote
lived from two to three generations earlier.

The Rabbi Salman Zevi entered into the question with great care in a
pamphlet, and produced ten reasons for concluding that the Jeschu of the
Talmud was not the Jesus, son of Mary, of the Evangelists.(87)

We can see now how it was that the Jew of Celsus brought against our Lord
the charge of having learned magic in Egypt. He had heard in the Rabbinic
schools the anecdote of Jeschu, pupil of Jehoshua, son of Perachia,—an
anecdote which could scarcely fail to be narrated to all pupils. He at
once concluded that this Jeschu was the Jesus of the Christians, without
troubling himself with the chronology.

In the Mischna, Tract. Sabbath, fol. 104, it is forbidden to make marks
upon the skin. The Babylonish Gemara observes on this passage: “Did not
the son of Stada mark the magical arts on his skin, and bring them with
him out of Egypt?” This son of Stada is Jeschu, as will presently appear.

In the Mischna of Tract. Sanhedrim, fol. 43, it is ordered that he who
shall be condemned to death by stoning shall be led to the place of
execution with a herald going before him, who shall proclaim the name of
the offender, and shall summon those who have anything to say in
mitigation of the sentence to speak before the sentence is put in

On this the Babylonish Gemara remarks, “There exists a tradition: On the
rest‐day before the Sabbath they crucified Jeschu. For forty days did the
herald go before him and proclaim aloud, He is to be stoned to death
because he has practised evil, and has led the Israelites astray, and
provoked them to schism. Let any one who can bring evidence of his
innocence come forward and speak! But as nothing was produced which could
establish his innocence, he was crucified on the rest‐day of the Passah
(_i.e._ the day before the Passover).”

The Mischna of Tract. Sanhedrim, fol. 67, treats of the command in Deut.
xiii. 6‐11, that any Hebrew who should introduce the worship of other gods
should be stoned with stones. On this the Gemara of Babylon relates that,
in the city of Lydda, Jeschu was heard through a partition endeavouring to
persuade a Jew to worship idols; whereupon he was brought forth and
crucified on the eve of the Passover. “None of those who are condemned to
death by the Law are spied upon except only those (seducers of the
people). How are they dealt with? They light a candle in an inner chamber,
and place spies in an outer room, who may watch and listen to him (the
accused). But he does not see them. Then he whom the accused had formerly
endeavoured to seduce says to him, ‘Repeat, I pray you, what you told me
before in private.’ Then, should he do so, the other will say further,
‘But how shall we leave our God in heaven and serve idols?’ Now should the
accused be converted and repent at this saying, it is well; but if he goes
on to say, That is our affair, and so and so ought we to do, then the
spies must lead him off to the house of judgment and stone him. This is
what was done to the son of Stada at Lud, and they hung him up on the eve
of the Passover.”(88) And the Tract. Sanhedrim says, “It is related that
on the eve of the Sabbath they crucified Jeschu, a herald going before
him,” as has been already quoted; and then follows the comment: “Ula said,
Will you not judge him to have been the son of destruction, because he is
a seducer of the people? For the Merciful says (Deut. xiii. 8), Thou shalt
not spare him, neither shalt thou conceal him. But I, Jesus, am heir to
the kingdom. Therefore (the herald) went forth proclaiming that he was to
be stoned because he had done an evil thing, and had seduced the people,
and led them into schism. And (Jeschu) went forth to be stoned with stones
because he had done an evil thing, and had seduced the people and led them
into schism.”

The Babylonish Gemara to the Mischna of Tract. Sabbath gives the following
perplexing account of the parents of Jeschu:(89) “They stoned the son of
Stada in Lud (Lydda), and crucified him on the eve of the Passover. This
Stada’s son was Pandira’s son. Rabbi Chasda said Stada’s husband was
Pandira’s master, namely Paphos, son of Jehuda. But how was Stada his
mother? His (_i.e._ Pandira’s) mother was a woman’s hair‐dresser. As they
say in Pombeditha (the Babylonish school by the Euphrates), this one went
astray (S’tath‐da) from her husband.”

The Gloss or Paraphrase on this is: “Stada’s son was not the son of
Paphos, son of Jehuda; No. As Rabbi Chasda observed, Paphos had a servant
named Pandira. Well, what has that to do with it? Tell us how it came to
pass that this son was born to Stada. Well, it was on this wise. Miriam,
the mother of Pandira, used to dress Stada’s hair, and ... Stada became a
mother by Pandira, son of Miriam. As they say in Pombeditha, Stada by name
and Stada by nature.”(90)

The obscurity of the passage arises from various causes. R. Chasda is a
punster, and plays on the double meaning of “Baal” for “husband” and
“master.” There is also ambiguity in the pronoun “his;” it is difficult to
say to whom it always refers. The Paraphrase is late, and is a conjectural
explanation of an obscure passage.

It is clear that the Jeschu of the Talmud was the son of one Stada and
Pandira. But the name Pandira having the appearance of being a woman’s
name,(91) this led to additional confusion, for some said that Pandira was
his mother’s name.

The late Gloss does not associate Stada with the blessed Virgin. It gives
the name of Miriam or Mary to be the mother of Pandira, the father of
Jeschu. The Jew of Celsus says that the mother of Jesus was a poor
needlewoman, who also span for her livelihood. He probably recalled what
was said of Miriam, the mother of Panthera, and grandmother of Jeschu, and
applied it to St. Mary the Virgin, misled by the obscurity of the saying
of Chasda, which was orally repeated in the Rabbinic schools.

The Jerusalem Gemara to Tract. Sabbath says: “The sister’s son of Rabbi
Jose swallowed poison, or something deadly. There came to him a man and
conjured him in the name of Jeschu, son of Pandeira, and he was healed or
made easy. But when he went forth it was said to him, How hast thou healed
him? He answered, by using such and such words. Then he (R. Jose) said to
him, It had been better for him to have died than to have heard this name.
And so it was with him (_i.e._ the boy died).”

In another place:(92) “Eleasar, the son of Damah, was bitten by a serpent.
There came to him James, a man of the town of Sechania, to cure him in the
name of Jeschu, son of Pandeira; but the Rabbi Ismael would not suffer it,
but said, It is not permitted to thee, son of Damah. But he (James) said,
Suffer me, and I will bring an argument against thee which is lawful. But
he would not suffer him.”

The Gemara to Tract. Sanhedrim, fol. 43, mentions five disciples of Jeschu
Ben‐Stada, namely, Matthai, Nakai, Netzer, Boni and Thoda. It says:—

    Jeschu had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer and Boni, and
    also Thoda. They brought Matthai (to the tribunal) to pronounce
    sentence of death against him. He said, Shall Matthai suffer when
    it is written (Ps. xlii. 3), מתי When shall I come to appear
    before the presence of God? They replied, Shall not Matthai die
    when it is written, מתי When shall he die and his name perish?
    They produced Nakai. He said, Shall Nakai נקאי die? Is it not
    written, The innocent ונקי slay thou not? (Exod. xxiii. 7). They
    answered him, Shall not Nakai die when it is written, In the
    secret places does he murder the innocent? (Ps. x. 8). When they
    brought forth Netzer, he said unto them, Shall Netzer נצר be
    slain? Is it not written (Isa. xi. 1), A branch ונצר shall grow
    out of his roots? They replied, Shall not Netzer die because it is
    written (Isa. xiv. 19), Thou art cast out of thy grave like an
    abominable branch? They brought forth Boni בוני. He said, Shall
    Boni die the death when it is written (Ex. iv. 22), בני My son, my
    firstborn, is Israel? They replied, Shall not Boni die the death
    when it is written (Ex. v. 23), So I will slay thy son, thy
    firstborn son? They led out Thoda תודה. He said, Shall Thoda die
    when it is written (Ps. c. 1), A psalm לתודה of thanksgiving? They
    replied, Shall not Thoda die when it is written (Ps. 1. 23), “He
    that sacrificeth praise, he honoureth me?”

This is all that the Gemara tells us about Jeschu, son of Stada or
Pandira. It behoves us now to consider whether he can have been the same
person as our Lord.

That there really lived such a person as Jeschu Ben‐Pandira, and that he
was a disciple of the Rabbi Jehoshua Ben‐Perachia, I see no reason to

That he escaped from Alexander Jannaeus with his master into Egypt, and
there studied magical arts; that he returned after awhile to Judaea, and
practised his necromantic arts in his own country, is also not improbable.
Somewhat later the Jews were famous, or infamous, throughout the Roman
world as conjurors and exorcists. Egypt was the head‐quarters of magical

That Jeschu, son of Pandira, was stoned to death, in accordance with the
Law, for having practised magic, is also probable. The passages quoted are
unanimous in stating that he was stoned for this offence. The Law decreed
this as the death sorcerers were to undergo.

In the Talmud, Jeschu is first stoned and then crucified. The object of
this double punishment being attributed to him is obvious. The Rabbis of
the Gemara period had begun—like the Jew of Celsus—to confuse Jesus son of
Mary with Jeschu the sorcerer. Their tradition told of a Jeschu who was
stoned; Christian tradition, of a Jesus who was crucified. They combined
the punishments and fused the persons into one. But this was done very
clumsily. It is possible that more than one Jehoshua has contributed to
form the story of Jeschu in the Talmud. For his mother Stada is said to
have been married to Paphos, son of Jehuda. Now Paphos Ben‐Jehuda is a
Rabbi whose name recurs several times in the Talmud as an associate of the
illustrious Rabbi Akiba, who lived after the destruction of Jerusalem, and
had his school at Bene‐Barah. To him the first composition of the Mischna
arrangements is ascribed. As a follower of the pseudo‐Messiah Barcochab,
in the war of Trajan and Hadrian, he sealed a life of enthusiasm with a
martyr’s death, A.D. 135, at the capture of Bether. When the Jews were
dispersed and forbidden to assemble, Akiba collected the Jews and
continued instructing them in the Law. Paphus remonstrated with him on the
risk. Akiba answered by a parable. “A fox once went to the river side, and
saw the fish flying in all directions. What do you fear? asked the fox.
The nets spread by the sons of men, answered the fish. Ah, my friends,
said the fox, come on shore by me, and so you will escape the nets that
drag the water.” A few days after, Akiba was in prison, and Paphus also.
Paphus said, “Blessed art thou, Rabbi Akiba, because thou art imprisoned
for the words of the Law, and woe is me who am imprisoned for matters of
no importance.”(93)

We naturally wonder how it is that Stada, the mother of Jeschu, who was
born about B.C. 120, should be represented as the wife of Paphus, son of
Jehuda, who died about A.D. 150, two centuries and a half later.

It is quite possible that this Paphus lost his wife, who eloped from him
with one Pandira, and became mother of a son named Jehoshua. The name of
Jehoshua or Jesus is common enough.

In Gittin, Paphus is again mentioned. “There is who finds a fly in his
cup, and he takes it out, and will not drink of it. And this is what did
Paphus Ben‐Jehuda, who kept the door shut upon his wife, and nevertheless
she ran away from him.”(94)

Mary, the plaiter of woman’s hair, occurs in Chajigah. “Rabbi Bibai, when
the angel of death at one time stood before him, said to his messenger,
Go, and bring hither Mary, the women’s hair‐dresser. And the young man
went,” &c.(95)

According to the Toledoth Jeschu, as we shall see presently, Mary’s
instructor is the Rabbi Simon Ben Schetach. She is visited and questioned
by the Rabbi Akiba. This visitation by Akiba is given in the Talmudic
tract, Calla,(96) and thence the author of the Toledoth Jeschu drew it.

“As once the Elders sat at the gate, there passed two boys before them.
One uncovered his head, the other did not. Then said the Rabbi Elieser,
The latter is certainly a Mamser; but the Rabbi Jehoshua(97) said, He is a
Ben‐hannidda. Akiba said, He is both a Mamser and a Ben‐hannidda. They
said to him, How canst thou oppose the opinion of thy companions? He
answered, I will prove what I have said. Then he went to the boy’s mother,
who was sitting in the market selling fruit, and said to her, My daughter,
if you will tell me the truth I will promise you eternal life. She said to
him, Swear to me. And he swore with his lips, but in his heart he did not
ratify the oath.” Then he learned what he desired to know, and came back
to his companions and told them all.(98)

We have here corroborative evidence that this Stada and her son Jeschu
lived at the time of Akiba and Paphus, that is, after the fall of
Jerusalem, in the earlier part of the second century.

I think that probably the story grew up thus:

A certain Jehoshua, in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus, went down into
Egypt, and there learnt magic. He returned to Judaea, where he practised
it, but was arrested at Lydda and executed by order of the Sanhedrim, by
being stoned to death.

But who was this Jehoshua? Tradition was silent. However, there was a
floating recollection of a Jehoshua born of one Stada, wife of Paphus, son
of Jehuda, the companion of Akiba. The two Jehoshuas were confounded
together. Thus stood the story when Origen wrote against Celsus in A.D.

By A.D. 500 it had grown considerably. The Jew of Celsus had already fused
Jesus of Nazareth with the other two Jehoshuas. This led to the Rabbis of
the Gemara relating that Jehoshua was both stoned and crucified.

I do not say that this certainly is the origin of the story as it appears
in the Talmud, but it bears on the face of it strong likelihood that it
is. Jehoshua who went into Egypt could not have been stoned to death after
the destruction of Jerusalem and the revolt of Barcochab, for then the
Jews had not the power of life and death in their hands. The execution
must have taken place long before; yet the Rabbis whose names appear in
connection with the story—always excepting Jehoshua son of Perachia—all
belong to the second century after Christ.

The solution I propose is simple, and it explains what otherwise would be

If it be a true solution, it proves that the Jews in A.D. 500, when the
Babylonian Gemara was completed, had no traditions whatever concerning
Jesus of Nazareth.

We shall see next how the confusion that originated in the Talmud grew
into the monstrous romance of the Toledoth Jeschu, the Jewish counter‐
Gospel of the Middle Ages.

V. The Counter‐Gospels.

In the thirteenth century it became known among the Christians that the
Jews were in possession of an anti‐evangel. It was kept secret, lest the
sight of it should excite tumults, spoliation and massacre. But of the
fact of its existence Christians were made aware by the account of

There are, in reality, two such anti‐evangels, each called Toldoth Jeschu,
not recensions of an earlier text, but independent collections of the
stories circulating among the Jews relative to the life of our Lord.

The name of Jesus, which in Hebrew is Joshua or Jehoshua (the Lord will
sanctify) is in both contracted into Jeschu by the rejection of an _Ain_,
ישו for ישוע.

The Rabbi Elias, in his Tischbi, under the word Jeschu, says, “Because the
Jews will not acknowledge him to be the Saviour, they do not call him
Jeschua, but reject the Ain and call him Jeschu.” And the Rabbi Abraham
Perizol, in his book Maggers Abraham, c. 59, says, “His name was Jeschua;
but as Rabbi Moses, the son of Majemoun of blessed memory, has written it,
and as we find it throughout the Talmud, it is written Jeschu. They have
carefully left out the _Ain_, because he was not able to save himself.”

The Talmud in the Tract. Sanhedrim(99) says, “It is not lawful to name the
name of a false God.” On this account the Jews, rejecting the mission of
our Saviour, refused to pronounce his name without mutilating it. By
omitting the _Ain_, the Cabbalists were able to give a significance to the
name. In its curtailed form it is composed of the letters Jod, Schin, Vau,
which are taken to stand for ימח שמו וזכרונו jimmach schemo vezichrono,
“His name and remembrance shall be extinguished.” This is the reason given
by the Toledoth Jeschu.

Who were the authors of the books called Toledoth Jeschu, the two counter‐
Gospels, is not known.

Justin Martyr, who died A.D. 163, speaks of the blasphemous writings of
the Jews about Jesus;(100) but that they contained traditions of the life
of the Saviour can hardly be believed in presence of the silence of
Josephus and Justus, and the ignorance of the Jew of Celsus. Origen says
in his answer, that “though innumerable lies and calumnies had been forged
against the venerable Jesus, none had dared to charge him with any
intemperance whatever.”(101) He speaks confidently, with full assurance.
If he had ever met with such a calumny, he would not have denied its
existence, he would have set himself to work to refute it. Had such
calumnious writings existed, Origen would have been sure to know of them.
We may therefore be quite satisfied that none such existed in his time,
the middle of the third century.

The Toledoth Jeschu comes before us with a flourish of trumpets from
Voltaire. “Le Toledos Jeschu,” says he, “est le plus ancien écrit Juif,
qui nous ait été transmis contre notre religion. C’est une vie de Jesus
Christ, toute contraire à nos Saints Evangiles: elle parait être du
premier siècle, et même écrite avant les evangiles.”(102) A fair specimen
of reckless judgment on a matter of importance, without having taken the
trouble to examine the grounds on which it was made! Luther knew more of
it than did Voltaire, and put it in a very different place:—

    “The proud evil spirit carries on all sorts of mockery in this
    book. First he mocks God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and His
    Son Jesus Christ, as you may see for yourself, if you believe as a
    Christian that Christ is the Son of God. Next he mocks us, all
    Christendom, in that we believe in such a Son of God. Thirdly, he
    mocks his own fellow Jews, telling them such disgraceful, foolish,
    senseless affairs, as of brazen dogs and cabbage‐stalks and such
    like, enough to make all dogs bark themselves to death, if they
    could understand it, at such a pack of idiotic, blustering,
    raging, nonsensical fools. Is not that a masterpiece of mockery
    which can thus mock all three at once? The fourth mockery is this,
    that whoever wrote it has made a fool of himself, as we, thank
    God, may see any day.”

Luther knew the book, and, translated it, or rather condensed it, in his
“Schem Hamphoras.”(103)

There are two versions of the Toledoth Jeschu, differing widely from one
another. The first was published by Wagenseil, of Altdorf, in 1681. The
second by Huldrich at Leyden in 1705. Neither can boast of an antiquity
greater than, at the outside, the twelfth century. It is difficult to say
with certainty which is the earlier of the two. Probably both came into
use about the same time; the second certainly in Germany, for it speaks of
Worms in the German empire.

According to the first, Jeschu (Jesus) was born in the year of the world
4671 (B.C. 910), in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (B.C. 106‐79)! He was
the son of Joseph Pandira and Mary, a widow’s daughter, the sister of
Jehoshua, who was affianced to Jochanan, disciple of Simeon Ben Schetah;
and Jeschu became the pupil of the Rabbi Elchanan. Mary is of the tribe of

According to the second, Jeschu was born in the reign of Herod the
Proselyte, and was the son of Mary, daughter of Calpus, and sister of
Simeon, son of Calpus, by Joseph Pandira, who carried her off from her
husband, Papus, son of Jehuda. Jeschu was brought up by Joshua, son of
Perachia, in the days of the illustrious Rabbi Akiba! Mary is of the tribe
of Benjamin.

The anachronisms of both accounts are so gross as to prove that they were
drawn up at a very late date, and by Jews singularly ignorant of the
chronology of their history.

In the first, Mary is affianced to Jochanan, disciple of Simeon Ben
Schetah. Now Schimon or Simeon, son of Scheta, is a well‐known character.
He is said to have strangled eighty witches in one day, and to have been
the companion of Jehudu Ben Tabai. He flourished B.C. 70.

In the second life we hear of Mary being the sister of Simeon Ben Kalpus
(Chelptu). He also is a well‐known Rabbi, of whom many miracles are
related. He lived in the time of the Emperor Antoninus, before whom he
stood as a disciple, when an old man (circ. A.D. 160).

In this also the Rabbi Akiba is introduced. Akiba died A.D. 135. Also the
Rabbi Jehoshua Ben Levi. Now this Rabbi’s date can also be fixed with
tolerable accuracy. He was the teacher of the Rabbi Jochanan, who compiled
the Jerusalem Talmud. His date is A.D. 220.

We have thus, in the two lives of Jeschu, the following personages
introduced as contemporaries:

I.                               II.

Jeschu born (date given), B.C.   Herod the Great, B.C. 70‐4.
Alexander Jannaeus, B.C.         R. Jehoshua Ben Perachia, _c._
106‐79.                          B.C. 90.
R. Simeon Ben Schetach, B.C.     R. Akiba, A.D. 135.
                                 R. Papus Ben Jehuda, _c._ A.D.
                                 R. Jehoshua Ben Levi, _c._
                                 A.D. 220.

The second Toledoth Jeschu closes with, “These are the words of Jochanan
Ben Zaccai;” but it is not clear whether it is intended that the book
should be included in “The words of Jochanan,” or whether the reference is
only to a brief sentence preceding this statement, “Therefore have they no
part or lot in Israel. The Lord bless his people Israel with peace.”
Jochanan Ben Zaccai was a priest and ruler of Israel for forty years, from
A.D. 30 or 33 to A.D. 70 or 73. He died at Jamnia, near Jerusalem (Jabne
of the Philistines), and was buried at Tiberias.

Nor are these anachronisms the only proofs of the ignorance of the
composers of the two anti‐evangels. In the first, on the death of King
Alexander Jannaeus, the government falls into the hands of his wife
Helena, who is represented as being “also called Oleina, and was the
mother of King Mumbasius, afterwards called Hyrcanus, who was killed by
his servant Herod.”

The wife of Alexander Jannaeus was Alexandra, not Helena; she reigned from
B.C. 79 to B.C. 71. She was the mother of Hyrcanus and Aristobulus; but
was quite distinct from Oleina, mother of Mumbasius, and Mumbasius was a
very different person from Hyrcanus. Oleina was a queen of Adiabene in

The first Life refers to the Talmud: “This is the same Mary who dressed
and curled women’s hair, mentioned several times in the Talmud.”

Both give absurd anecdotes to account for monks wearing shaven crowns;
both reasons are different.

In the first Life, the Christian festivals of the Ascension “forty days
after Jeschu was stoned,” that of Christmas, and the Circumcision “eight
days after,” are spoken of as institutions of the Christian Church.

In the VIIIth Book of the Apostolical Constitutions, the festivals of the
Nativity and the Ascension are spoken of,(104) consequently they must have
been kept holy from a very early age. But it was not so with the feast of
the Circumcision.

The 1st of January was a great day among the heathen. In the Homilies of
the Fathers down to the eighth century, the 1st of January is called the
“Feast of Satan and Hell,” and the faithful are cautioned against
observing it. All participation in the festivities of that day was
forbidden by the Council “in Trullo,” in A.D. 692, and again in the
Council of Rome, A.D. 744.

Pope Gelasius (A.D. 496) forbade all observance of the day, according to
Baronius(105), in the hope of rooting out every remembrance of the pagan
ceremonies which were connected with it. In ancient Sacramentaries is a
mass on this day, “de prohibendo ab idolis.” Nevertheless, traces of the
celebration of the Circumcision of Christ occur in the fourth century; for
Zeno, Bishop of Verona (d. A.D. 380), preached a sermon on it. In the
ancient Mozarabic Kalendar, in the Martyrology wrongly attributed to St.
Jerome, and in the Gelasian Sacramentary, the Circumcision is indicated on
January 1. But though noted in the Kalendars, the day was, for the reason
of its being observed as a heathen festival, not treated by the Church as
a festival till very late. Litanies and penitential offices were appointed
for it.

The notice in the Toledoth Jeschu, therefore, points to a time when the
feast was observed with outward demonstration of joy, and the sanction of
the Church accorded to other festivities.

The Toledoth Jeschu adopts the fable of the Sanhedrim and King having sent
out an account of the trial of Jesus to the synagogues throughout the
world to obtain from them an expression of opinion. The synagogue of Worms
remonstrated against the execution of Christ. “The people of Girmajesa
(Germany) and all the neighbouring country round Girmajesa which is now
called Wormajesa (Worms), and which lies in the realm of the Emperor, and
the little council in the town of Wormajesa, answered the King (Herod) and
said, Let Jesus go, and slay him not! Let him live till he falls and
perishes of his own accord.”

The synagogues of several cities in the Middle Ages did in fact, produce
apocryphal letters which they pretended had been written by their
forefathers remonstrating with the Jewish Sanhedrim at Jerusalem, and
requesting that Jesus might be spared. An epistle was produced by the Jews
of Ulm in A.D. 1348, another by the Jews of Ratisbon about the same date,
from the council at Jerusalem to their synagogues.(106) The Jews of Toledo
pretended to possess similar letters in the reign of Alfonso the Valiant,
A.D. 1072. These letters probably served to protect them from feeling the
full stress of persecution which oppressed the Jews elsewhere.

The most astonishing ignorance of Gospel accounts of Christ and the
apostles is observable in both anti‐evangels. Matthias and Matthew are the
same, so are John the Baptist and John the Apostle, whilst Thaddaeus is
said to be “also called Paul,” and Simon Peter is confounded with Simon

These are instances of the confusion of times and persons into which these
counter‐Gospels have fallen, and they are sufficient to establish their
late and worthless character.

The two anti‐Gospels are clearly not two editions of an earlier text. The
only common foundation on which both were constructed was the mention of
Jeschu, son of Panthera, in the Talmud. Add to this such distorted
versions of Gospel stories as circulated among the Jews in the Middle
Ages, and we have the constituents of both counter‐Gospels. Both exhibit a
profound ignorance of the sacred text, but a certain acquaintance with
prominent incidents in the narrative of the Evangelists, not derived
directly from the Gospels, but, as I believe, from miracle‐plays and
pictorial and sculptured representations such as would meet the eye of a
mediaeval Jew at every turn.

We have not to cast about far for a reason which shall account for the
production of these anti‐evangels.

The persecution to which the Jews were subjected in the Middle Ages from
the bigotry of the rabble or the cupidity of princes, fanned their dislike
for Christianity into a flame of intense mortal abhorrence of the Founder
of that religion whose votaries were their deadliest foes. The Toledoth
Jeschu is the utterance of this deep‐seated hatred,—the voice of an
oppressed people execrating him who had sprung from the holy race, and
whose blood was weighing on their heads.

And it is not improbable that the Gospel record of the patient, loving
life of Jesus may have exerted an influence on the young who ventured,
with the daring curiosity of youth, to explore those peaceful pages. What
answer had the Rabbis to make to those of their own religion who were
questioning and wavering? They had no counter‐record to oppose to the
Gospels, no tradition wherewith to contest the history written by the
Evangelists. The notices in the Talmud were scanty, incomplete. It was
open to dispute whether these notices really related to Christ Jesus.

Under such circumstances, a book which professed to give a true account of
Jesus was certain to be hailed and accepted without too close a scrutiny
as to its authenticity; much as in the twelfth century Joseph Ben Gorion’s
“Jewish War” was assumed to be authentic.

The Toledoth Jeschu or “Birth of Jesus” boldly identified the Jesus of the
Gospels with the Jeschu of the Talmud, and attempted to harmonize the
Rabbinic and the Christian stories.

There is a certain likeness between the two counter‐Gospels, but this
arises solely from each author being actuated by the same motives as the
other, and from both deriving from common sources,—the Talmud and Jewish
misrepresentations of Gospel events.

But if there be a likeness, there is sufficient dissimilarity to make it
evident that the two authors wrote independently, and had no common
written text to amplify and adorn.

VI. The First Toledoth Jeschu.

We will take first the WAGENSEIL edition of the TOLEDOTH JESCHU,(108) and
give an outline of the story, only suppressing the most offensive
particulars, and commenting on the narrative as we proceed. Wagenseil’s
Toledoth Jeschu begins as follows:

    “In the year of the world 4671, in the days of King Jannaeus, a
    great misfortune befel Israel. There arose at that time a scape‐
    grace, a wastrel and worthless fellow, of the fallen race of
    Judah, named Joseph Pandira. He was a well‐built man, strong and
    handsome, but he spent his time in robbery and violence. His
    dwelling was at Bethlehem, in Juda. And there lived near him a
    widow with her daughter, whose name was Mirjam; and this is the
    same Mirjam who dressed and curled women’s hair, who is mentioned
    several times in the Talmud.”

It is remarkable that the author begins with the very phrase found in
Josephus. He calls the appearance of our Lord “a great misfortune which
befel Israel.” Josephus, after the passage which has been intruded into
his text relative to the miracles and death of Christ, says, “About this
time another great misfortune set the Jews in commotion;” from which it
appears as if Josephus regarded the preaching of Christ as a great
misfortune. That he made no such reference has been already shown.

The author also places the birth of Jesus, in accordance with the Talmud,
in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus, who reigned from B.C. 106 to B.C. 79.
He reckons from the creation of the world, and gives the year as 4671
(B.C. 910). This manner of reckoning was only introduced among the Jews in
the fourth century after Christ, and did not become common till the
twelfth century.

The Wagenseil Toledoth goes on to say that the widow engaged Mirjam to an
amiable, God‐fearing youth, named Jochanan (John), a disciple of the Rabbi
Simeon, son of Shetach (fl. B.C. 70); but he went away to Babylon, and she
became the mother of Jeschu by Joseph Pandira. The child was named Joshua,
after his uncle, and was given to the Rabbi Elchanan to be instructed in
the Law.

One day Jeschu, when a boy, passed before the Rabbi Simeon Ben Shetach and
other members of the Sanhedrim without uncovering his head and bowing his
knee. The elders were indignant. Three hundred trumpets were blown, and
Jeschu was excommunicated and cast out of the Temple. Then he went away to
Galilee, and spent there several years.

    “Now at this time the unutterable Name of God was engraved in the
    Temple on the corner‐stone. For when King David dug the
    foundations, he found there a stone in the ground on which the
    Name of God was engraved, and he took it and placed it in the Holy
    of Holies.

    “But as the wise men feared lest some inquisitive youth should
    learn this Name, and be able thereby to destroy the world, which
    God avert! they made, by magic, two brazen lions, which they set
    before the entrance to the Holy of Holies, one on the right, the
    other on the left.

    “Now if any one were to go within, and learn the holy Name, then
    the lions would begin to roar as he came out, so that, out of
    alarm and bewilderment, he would lose his presence of mind and
    forget the Name.

    “And Jeschu left Upper Galilee, and came secretly to Jerusalem,
    and went into the Temple and learned there the holy writing; and
    after he had written the incommunicable Name on parchment, he
    uttered it, with intent that he might feel no pain, and then he
    cut into his flesh, and hid the parchment with its inscription
    therein. Then he uttered the Name once more, and made so that his
    flesh healed up again.

    “And when he went out at the door, the lions roared, and he forgot
    the Name. Therefore he hasted outside the town, cut into his
    flesh, took the writing out, and when he had sufficiently studied
    the signs he retained the Name in his memory.”

It is scarcely necessary here to point out the amazing ignorance of the
author of the Toledoth Jeschu in making David the builder of the Temple,
and in placing the images of lions at the entrance to the Holy of Holies.
The story is introduced because Jeschu, son of Stada, in the Talmud is
said to have made marks on his skin. But the author knew his Talmud very
imperfectly. The Babylonian Gemara says, “Did not the son of Stada mark
the magical arts on his skin, and bring them with him out of Egypt?” The
story in the Talmud which accounted for the power of Jeschu to work
miracles was quite different from that in the Toledoth Jeschu. In the
Talmud he has power by bringing out of Egypt, secretly cut on his skin,
the magic arts there privately taught; in the Toledoth he acquires his
power by learning the incommunicable Name and hiding it under his flesh.

However, the author says, “He could not have penetrated into the Holy of
Holies without the aid of magic; for how would the holy priests and
followers of Aaron have suffered him to enter there? This must certainly
have been done by the aid of magic.” But the author gives no account of
how Jeschu learned magic. That we ascertain from the Huldrich text, where
we are told that Jeschu spent many years in Egypt, the head‐quarters of
those who practised magic.

Having acquired this knowledge, Jeschu went into Galilee and proclaimed
himself to have been the creator of the world, and born of a virgin,
according to the prophecy of Isaiah (vii. 14). As a sign of the truth of
his mission, he said:

    “Bring me here a dead man, and I will restore him to life. Then
    all the people hasted and dug into a grave, but found nothing in
    it but bones.

    “Now when they told him that they had found only bones, he said,
    Bring them hither to me.

    “So when they had brought them, he placed the bones together, and
    surrounded them with skin and flesh and muscles, so that the dead
    man stood up alive on his feet.

    “And when the people saw this, they wondered greatly; and he said,
    Do ye marvel at this that I have done? Bring hither a leper, and I
    will heal him.

    “So when they had placed a leper before him, he gave him health in
    like manner, by means of the incommunicable Name. And all the
    people that saw this fell down before him, prayed to him and said,
    Truly thou art the Son of God!

    “But after five days the report of what had been done came to
    Jerusalem, to the holy city, and all was related that Jeschu had
    wrought in Galilee. Then all the people rejoiced greatly; but the
    elders, the pious men, and the company of the wise men, wept
    bitterly. And the great and the little Sanhedrim mourned, and at
    length agreed that they would send a deputation to him.

    “For they thought that, perhaps, with God’s help, they might
    overpower him, and bring him to judgment, and condemn him to

    “Therefore they sent unto him Ananias and Achasias, the noblest
    men of the little council; and when they had come to him, they
    bowed themselves before him reverently, in order to deceive him as
    to their purpose. And he, thinking that they believed in him,
    received them with smiling countenance, and placed them in his
    assembly of profligates.

    “They said unto him, The most pious and illustrious among the
    citizens of Jerusalem sent us unto thee, to hear if it shall
    please thee to go to them; for they have heard say that thou art
    the Son of God.

    “Then answered Jeschu and said, They have heard aright. I will do
    all that they desire, but only on condition that both the great
    and lesser Sanhedrim and all who have despised my origin shall
    come forth to meet me, and shall honour and receive me as servants
    of their Lord, when I come to them.

    “Thereupon the messengers returned to Jerusalem and related all
    that they had heard.

    “Then answered the elders and the righteous men, We will do all
    that he desires. Therefore these men went again to Jeschu, and
    told him that it should be even as he had said.

    “And Jeschu said, I will go forthwith on my way! And it came to
    pass, when he had come as far as Nob,(109) nigh unto Jerusalem,
    that he said to his followers, Have ye here a good and comely ass?

    “They answered him that there was one even at hand. Therefore he
    said, Bring him hither to me.

    “And a stately ass was brought unto him, and he sat upon it, and
    rode into Jerusalem. And as Jeschu entered into the city, all the
    people went forth to meet him. Then he cried, saying, Of me did
    the prophet Zacharias testify, Behold thy King cometh unto thee,
    righteous and a Saviour, poor, and riding on an ass, and a colt
    the foal of an ass!

    “Now when they heard this, all wept bitterly and rent their
    clothes. And the most righteous hastened to the Queen. She was the
    Queen Helena, wife of King Jannaeus, and she reigned after her
    husband’s death. She was also called Oleina, and had a son, King
    Mumbasus, otherwise called Hyrcanus, who was slain by his servant

    “And they said to her, He stirreth up the people; therefore is he
    guilty of the heaviest penalty. Give unto us full power, and we
    will take him by subtlety.

    “Then the Queen said, Call him hither before me, and I will hear
    his accusation. But she thought to save him out of their hands
    because he was related to her. But when the elders saw her
    purpose, they said to her, Think not to do this, Lady and Queen!
    and show him favour and good; for by his witchcraft he deceives
    the people. And they related to her how he had obtained the
    incommunicable Name....

    “Then the Queen answered, In this will I consent unto you; bring
    him hither that I may hear what he saith, and see with my eyes
    what he doth; for the whole world speaks of the countless miracles
    that he has wrought.

    “And the wise men answered, This will we do as thou hast said. So
    they sent and summoned Jeschu, and he came and stood before the

In the sight of Queen Helena, Jeschu then healed a leper and raised a dead
man to life.

    “Then Jeschu said, Of me did Isaiah prophesy: The lame shall leap
    as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.

    “So the Queen turned to the wise men and said, How say ye that
    this man is a magician? Have I not seen with my eyes the wonders
    he has wrought as being the Son of God?

    “But the wise men answered and said, Let it not come into the
    heart of the Queen to say so; for of a truth he is a wizard.

    “Then the Queen said, Away with you, and bring no such accusations
    again before me!

    “Therefore the wise men went forth with sad hearts, and one turned
    to another and said, Let us use subtlety, that we may get him into
    our hands. And one said to another, If it seems right unto you,
    let one of us learn the Name, as he did, and work miracles, and
    perchance thus we shall secure him. And this counsel pleased the
    elders, and they said, He who will learn the Name and secure the
    Fatherless One shall receive a double reward in the future life.

    “And thereupon one of the elders stood up, whose name was Judas,
    and spake unto them, saying, Are ye agreed to take upon you the
    blame of such an action, if I speak the incommunicable Name? for
    if so, I will learn it, and it may happen that God in His mercy
    may bring the Fatherless One into my power.

    “Then all cried out with one voice, The guilt be on us; but do
    thou make the effort and succeed.

    “Thereupon he went into the Holiest Place, and did what Jeschu had
    done. And after that he went through the city and raised a cry,
    Where are those who have proclaimed abroad that the Fatherless is
    the Son of God? Cannot I, who am mere flesh and blood, do all that
    Jeschu has done?

    “And when this came to the ears of the Queen, Judas was brought
    before her, and all the elders assembled and followed him. Then
    the Queen summoned Jeschu, and said to him, Show us what thou hast
    done last. And he began to work miracles before all the people.

    “Thereat Judas spake to the Queen and to all the people, saying,
    Let nothing that has been wrought by the Fatherless make you
    wonder, for were he to set his nest between the stars, yet would I
    pluck him down from thence!

    “Then said Judas, Moses our teacher said:

    “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy
    daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as
    thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve
    other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

    “Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh
    unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth
    even unto the other end of the earth;

    “Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither
    shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt
    thou conceal him:

    “But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon
    him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the

    “And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he
    hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which
    brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

    “But the Fatherless One answered, Did not Isaias prophesy of me?
    And my father David, did he not speak of me? The Lord said unto
    me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Desire of me,
    and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance and the
    uttermost part of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt rule
    them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces like a potter’s
    vessel. And in like manner he speaks in another place, The Lord
    said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine
    enemies my footstool! And now, behold! I will ascend to my
    Heavenly Father, and will sit me down at His right hand. Ye shall
    see it with your eyes, but thou, Judas, shalt not prevail!

    “And when Jeschu had spoken the incommunicable Name, there came a
    wind and raised him between heaven and earth. Thereupon Judas
    spake the same Name, and the wind raised him also between heaven
    and earth. And they flew, both of them, around in the regions of
    the air; and all who saw it marvelled.

    “Judas then spake again the Name, and seized Jeschu, and thought
    to cast him to the earth. But Jeschu also spake the Name, and
    sought to cast Judas down, and they strove one with the other.”

Finally Judas prevails, and casts Jeschu to the ground, and the elders
seize him, his power leaves him, and he is subjected to the tauntings of
his captors. Then sentence of death was spoken against him.

    “But when Jeschu found his power gone, he cried and said, Of me
    did my father David speak, For thy sake are we killed all the day
    long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

    “Now when the disciples of Jeschu saw this, and all the multitude
    of sinners who had followed him, they fought against the elders
    and wise men of Jerusalem, and gave Jeschu opportunity to escape
    out of the city.

    “And he hasted to Jordan; and when he had washed therein his power
    returned, and with the Name he again wrought his former miracles.

    “Thereafter he went and took two millstones, and made them swim on
    the water; and he seated himself thereon, and caught fishes to
    feed the multitudes that followed him.”

Before going any further, it is advisable to make a few remarks on what
has been given of this curious story.

The Queen Helena is probably the mother of Constantine, who went to
Jerusalem in A.D. 326 to see the holy sites, and, according to an early
legend, discovered the three crosses on Calvary. There are several
incidents in the apocryphal story which bear a resemblance to the
incidents in the Toledoth Jeschu.

The Empress Helena favours the Christians against the Jews. Where three
crosses are found, a person suffering from “a grievous and incurable
disease” is applied to the crosses, and recovers on touching the true one.
Then the same experiment is tried with a dead body, with the same
success.(111) According to the Apocryphal Acts of St. Cyriacus, a Jew
named Judas was brought before the Empress, and ordered to point out where
the cross was buried. Judas resisted, but was starved in a well till he
revealed the secret. The resemblance between the stories consists in the
names of Helena and Judas, and the miracles of healing a leper, and
raising a dead man to life.

According to the Apocryphal Acts of St. Cyriacus, Judas was the grandson
of Zacharias, and nephew of St. Stephen the protomartyr.(112)

It is remarkable that Jeschu should be made to quote two passages in the
Psalms as prophecies of himself, both of which are used in this manner in
the New Testament: Ps. ii. 7, in Acts xiii. 33, and again Heb. i. 5, and
v. 5; and Ps. cx. 1, in St. Matthew xxii. 44, and the corresponding
passages in St. Mark and St. Luke; also in Acts ii. 34, in 1 Cor. xv. 25,
and Heb. i. 13.

The scene of the struggle in the air is taken from the contest of St.
Peter with Simon Magus, and reminds one of the contest in the Arabian
Nights between the Queen of Beauty and the Jin in the story of the Second

The putting forth from land on a millstone on the occasion of the
miraculous draught of fishes is probably a perversion of the incident of
Jesus entering into the boat of Peter—the stone—before the miracle was
performed, according to St. Luke, v. 1‐8. In the Toledoth Jeschu there are
two millstones which our Lord sets afloat, and he mounts one, and then the
fishes are caught; in St. Luke’s Gospel there are two boats.

    “He saw two ships standing by the lake.... And he entered into one
    of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would
    thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the
    people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said
    unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a

It was standing on the swimming‐stone, according to the Huldrich version,
that Jeschu preached to the people, and declared to them his divine

The story goes on. The Sanhedrim, fearing to allow Jeschu to remain at
liberty, send Judas after him to Jordan. Judas pronounces a great
incantation, which obliges the Angel of Sleep to seal the eyes of Jeschu
and his disciples. Then, whilst they sleep, he comes and cuts from the arm
of Jeschu a scrap of parchment on which the Name of Jehovah is written,
and which was concealed under the flesh. Jeschu awakes, and a spirit
appears to him and vexes him sore. Then he feels that his power is gone,
and he announces to his disciples that his hour is come when he must be
taken by his enemies.

The disciples, amongst whom is Judas, who unobserved, has mingled with
them, are sorely grieved; but Jeschu encourages them, and bids them
believe in him, and they will obtain thrones in heaven. Then he goes with
them to the Paschal Feast, in hopes of again being able to penetrate into
the Holy of Holies, and reading again the incommunicable Name, and of thus
recovering his power. But Judas forewarns the elders, and as Jeschu enters
the Temple he is attacked by armed men. The Jewish servants do not know
Jeschu from his disciples. Accordingly Judas flings himself down before
him, and thus indicates whom they are to take. Some of the disciples offer
resistance, but are speedily overcome, and take to flight to the
mountains, where they are caught and executed.

    “But the elders of Jerusalem led Jeschu in chains into the city,
    and bound him to a marble pillar, and scourged him, and said,
    Where are now all the miracles thou hast wrought? And they plaited
    a crown of thorns and set it on his head. Then the Fatherless was
    in anguish through thirst, and he cried, saying, Give me water to
    drink! So they gave him acid vinegar; and after he had drunk
    thereof he cried, Of me did my father David prophesy, They gave me
    gall to eat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.(113)
    But they answered, If thou wert God, why didst thou not know it
    was vinegar before tasting of it? Now thou art at the brink of the
    grave, and changest not. But Jeschu wept and said, My God, my God!
    why hast thou forsaken me? And the elders said, If thou be God,
    save thyself from our hands. But Jeschu answered, saying, My blood
    is shed for the redemption of the world, for Isaiah prophesied of
    me, He was wounded for our transgression and bruised for our
    iniquities; our chastisement lies upon him that we may have peace,
    and by his wounds we are healed.(114) Then they led Jeschu forth
    before the greater and the lesser Sanhedrim, and he was sentenced
    to be stoned, and then to be hung on a tree. And it was the eve of
    the Passover and of the Sabbath. And they led him forth to the
    place where the punishment of stoning was wont to be executed, and
    they stoned him there till he was dead. And after that, the wise
    men hung him on the tree; but no tree would bear him; each brake
    and yielded. And when even was come the wise men said, We may not,
    on account of the Fatherless, break the letter of the law (which
    forbids that one who is hung should remain all night on the tree).
    Though he may have set at naught the law, yet will not we.
    Therefore they buried the Fatherless in the place where he was
    stoned. And when, midnight was come, the disciples came and seated
    themselves on the grave, and wept and lamented him. Now when Judas
    saw this, he took the body away and buried it in his garden under
    a brook. He diverted the water of the brook elsewhere; but when
    the body was laid in its bed, he brought its waters back again
    into their former channel.

    “Now on the morrow, when the disciples had assembled and had
    seated themselves weeping, Judas came to them and said, Why weep
    you? Seek him who was buried. And they dug and sought, and found
    him not, and all the company cried, He is not in the grave; he is
    risen and ascended into heaven, for, when he was yet alive, he
    said, He would raise him up, Selah!”

When the Queen heard that the elders had slain Jeschu and had buried him,
and that he was risen again, she ordered them within three days to produce
the body or forfeit their lives. In sore alarm, the elders seek the body,
but cannot find it. They therefore proclaim a fast.

    “Now there was amongst them an elder whose name was Tanchuma; and
    he went forth in sore distress, and wandered in the fields, and he
    saw Judas sitting in his garden eating. Then Tanchuma drew near to
    him, and said to him, What doest thou, Judas, that thou eatest
    meat, when all the Jews fast and are in grievous distress?

    “Then Judas was astonished, and asked the occasion of the fast.
    And the Rabbi Tanchuma answered him, Jeschu the Fatherless is the
    occasion, for he was hung up and buried on the spot where he was
    stoned; but now is he taken away, and we know not where he is
    gone. And his worthless disciples cry out that he is ascended into
    heaven. Now the Queen has condemned us Israelites to death unless
    we find him.

    “Judas asked, And if the Fatherless One were found, would it be
    the salvation of Israel? The Rabbi Tanchuma answered that it would
    be even so.

    “Then spake Judas, Come, and I will show you the man whom ye seek;
    for it was I who took the Fatherless from his grave. For I feared
    lest his disciples should steal him away, and I have hidden him in
    my garden and led a water‐brook over the place.

    “Then the Rabbi Tanchuma hasted to the elders of Israel, and told
    them all. And they came together, and drew him forth, attached to
    the tail of a horse, and brought him before the Queen, and said,
    See! this is the man who, they say, has ascended into heaven!

    “Now when the Queen saw this, she was filled with shame, and
    answered not a word.

    “Now it fell out, that in dragging the body to the place, the hair
    was torn off the head; and this is the reason why monks shave
    their heads. It is done in remembrance of what befel Jeschu.

    “And after this, in consequence thereof, there grew to be strife
    between the Nazarenes and the Jews, so that they parted asunder;
    and when a Nazarene saw a Jew he slew him. And from day to day the
    distress grew greater, during thirty years. And the Nazarenes
    assembled in thousands and tens of thousands, and hindered the
    Israelites from going up to the festivals at Jerusalem. And then
    there was great distress, such as when the golden calf was set up,
    so that they knew not what to do.

    “And the belief of the opposition grew more and more, and spread
    on all sides. Also twelve godless runagates separated and
    traversed the twelve realms, and everywhere in the assemblies of
    the people uttered false prophecies.

    “Also many Israelites adhered to them, and these were men of high
    renown, and they strengthened the faith in Jeschu. And because
    they gave themselves out to be messengers of him who was hung, a
    great number followed them from among the Israelites.

    “Now when the wise men saw the desperate condition of affairs, one
    said to another, Woe is unto us! for we have deserved it through
    our sins. And they sat in great distress, and wept, and looked up
    to heaven and prayed.

    “And when they had ended their prayer, there rose up a very aged
    man of the elders, by name Simon Cephas, who understood prophecy,
    and he said to the others, Hearken to me, my brethren! and if ye
    will consent unto my advice, I will separate these wicked ones
    from the company of the Israelites, that they may have neither
    part nor lot with Israel. But the sin do ye take upon you.

    “Then answered they all and said, The sin be on us; declare unto
    us thy counsel, and fulfil thy purpose.

    “Therefore Simon, son of Cephas, went into the Holiest Place and
    wrote the incommunicable Name, and cut into his flesh and hid the
    parchment therein. And when he came forth out of the Temple he
    took forth the writing, and when he had learned the Name he betook
    himself to the chief city of the Nazarenes,(115) and he cried
    there with a loud voice, Let all who believe in Jeschu come unto
    me, for I am sent by him to you!

    “Then there came to him multitudes as the sand on the sea‐shore,
    and they said to him, Show us a sign that thou art sent! And he
    said, What sign? They answered him, Even the signs that Jeschu
    wrought when he was alive.”

Accordingly he heals a leper and restores a dead man to life. And when the
people saw this, they submitted to him, as one sent to them by Jeschu.

    Then said Simon Cephas to them, Yea, verily, Jeschu did send me to
    you, and now swear unto me that ye will obey me in all things that
    I command you.

    “And they swore to him, We will do all things that thou

    “Then Simon Cephas said, Ye know that he who hung on the tree was
    an enemy to the Israelites and the Law, because of the prophecy of
    Isaiah, Your new moons and festivals my soul hateth.(116) And that
    he had no pleasure in the Israelites, according to the saying of
    Hosea, Ye are not my people.(117) Now, although it is in his power
    to blot them in the twinkling of an eye from off the face of the
    earth, yet will he not root them out, but will keep them ever in
    the midst of you as a witness to his stoning and hanging on the
    tree. He endured these pains and the punishment of death, to
    redeem your souls from hell. And now he warns and commands you to
    do no harm to any Jew. Yea, even should a Jew say to a Nazarene,
    Go with me a mile, he shall go with him twain; or should a
    Nazarene be smitten by a Jew on one cheek, let him turn to him the
    other also, that the Jews may enjoy in this world their good
    things, for in the world to come they must suffer their punishment
    in hell. If ye do these things, then shall ye merit to sit with
    them (_i.e._ the apostles) on their thrones.(118)

    “And this also doth he require of you, that ye do not celebrate
    the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but that ye keep holy the day on
    which he died. And in place of the Feast of Pentecost, that ye
    keep the fortieth day after his stoning, on which he went up into
    heaven. And in place of the Feast of Tabernacles, that ye keep the
    day of his Nativity, and eight days after that ye shall celebrate
    his Circumcision.”

The Christians promised to do as Cephas commanded them, but they desired
him to reside in the midst of them in their great city.

To this he consented. “I will dwell with you,” said he, “if ye will
promise to permit me to abstain from all food, and to eat only the bread
of poverty and drink the water of affliction. Ye must also build me a
tower in the midst of the city, wherein I may spend the rest of my days.”

This was done. The tower was built and called “Peter,” and in this Cephas
dwelt till his death six years after. “In truth, he served the God of our
fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and composed many beautiful hymns,
which he dispersed among the Jews, that they might serve as a perpetual
memorial of him; and he divided all his hymns among the Rabbis of Israel.”

On his death he was buried in the tower.

After his death, a man named Elias assumed the place of messenger of
Jeschu, and he declared that Simon Cephas had deceived the Christians, and
that he, Elias, was an apostle of Jeschu, rather than Cephas, and that the
Christians should follow him. The Christians asked for a sign.

Elias said “What sign do ye ask?” Then a stone fell from the tower Peter,
and smote him that he died. “Thus,” concludes this first version of the
Toledoth Jeschu, “may all Thine enemies perish, O Lord; but may those that
love Thee be as the sun when it shineth in its strength!”

Thus ends this wonderful composition, which carries its own condemnation
with it.

The two captures and sentences of Jeschu are apparently two forms of
Jewish legend concerning Christ’s death, which the anonymous writer has
clumsily combined.

The scene in Gethsemane is laid on the other side of Jordan. It is
manifestly imitated from the Gospels, but not directly, probably from some
mediaeval sculptured representation of the Agony in the Garden, common
outside every large church.(119) In place of an angel appearing to comfort
Christ, an evil spirit vexes him. The kiss of Judas is transformed into a
genuflexion or prostration before him, and takes place, not in the Garden
but in the Temple. The resistance of the disciples is mentioned. Jeschu is
bound to a marble pillar and scourged. Of this the Gospels say nothing;
but the pillar is an invariable feature in artistic representations of the
scourging. Two of the sayings on the Cross are correctly given. In
agreement with the account in the Talmud, Jeschu is stoned, and then, to
identify the son of Panthera with the son of Mary, is hung on a tree. The
tree breaks, and he falls to the ground. The visitor to Oberammergau
Passion Play will remember the scene of Judas hanging himself, and the
tree snapping. The Toledoth Jeschu does not say that Jeschu was crucified,
but that he was hung. The suicide of Judas was identified with the death
of Jesus. If the author of the anti‐evangel saw the scene of the breaking
bough in a miracle‐play, he would perhaps naturally transfer it to Christ.

The women seated late at night by the sepulchre, or coming early with
spices, a feature in miracle‐plays of the Passion, are transformed into
the disciples weeping above the grave. The angel who addresses them, in
the Toledoth Jeschu, becomes Judas.

In miracle‐plays, Claudia Procula, the wife of Pilate, assumes a
prominence she does not occupy in the Gospels; she may have originated the
idea in the mind of the author of Wagenseil’s Toledoth, of the Queen
Helena. That he confounded the Queen of King Jannaeus with the mother of
Constantine is not wonderful. The latter was the only historical princess
who showed sympathy with the Christians at Jerusalem, and of whose
existence the anonymous author was aware, probably through the popular
mediaeval romance of Helena, “La belle Helène.” He therefore fell without
a struggle into the gross anachronism of making the Empress Helena the
wife of Jannaeus, and contemporary with Christ.

In the Toledoth Jeschu of Wagenseil, Simon Peter is represented as a Jew
ruling the Christians in favour of the Jews. The Papacy must have been
fully organized when this anti‐evangel was written, and the Jews must have
felt the protection accorded them by the Popes against their persecutors.
St. Gregory the Great wrote letters, in 591 and 598, in behalf of the Jews
who were maltreated in Italy and Sicily. Alexander II., in 1068, wrote a
letter to the Bishops of Gaul exhorting them to protect the Jews against
the violence of the Crusaders, who massacred them on their way to the
East. He gave as his reason for their protection the very one put into
Simon Cephas’ mouth in the Toledoth Jeschu, that God had preserved them
and scattered them in all countries as witnesses to the truth of the
Gospel. In the cruel confiscation of their goods, and expulsion from
France by Philip Augustus, and the simultaneous persecution they underwent
in England, Innocent III. took their side, and insisted, in 1199, on their
being protected from violence. Gregory IX. defended them when maltreated
in Spain and in France by the Crusaders in 1236, on their appeal to him
for protection. In 1246, the Jews of Germany appealed to the Pope,
Innocent IV., against the ecclesiastical and secular princes who pillaged
them on false charges. Innocent wrote, in 1247, ordering those who had
wronged them to indemnify them for their losses.

In 1417, the Jews of Constance came to meet Martin V., as their protector,
on his coronation, with hymns and torches, and presented him with the
Pentateuch, which he had the discourtesy to refuse, saying that they might
have the Law, but they did not understand it.

The claim made in the Toledoth Jeschu that the Papacy was a government in
the interest of the Jews against the violence of the Christians, points to
the thirteenth century as the date of the composition of this book, a
century when the Jews suffered more from Christian brutality than at any
other period, when their exasperation against everything Christian was
wrought to its highest pitch, and when they found the Chair of Peter their
only protection against extermination by the disciples of Christ.

Some dim reference may be made to the anti‐pope of Jewish blood, Peter
Leonis, who took the name of Anacletus II., and who survives in modern
Jewish legend as the Pope Elchanan. Anacletus II. (A.D. 1130‐1138)
maintained his authority in Rome against Innocent II., and from his refuge
in the tower of St. Angelo, defied the Emperor Lothair, who had marched to
Rome to install Innocent. Anacletus was accused of showing favour to the
Jews, whose blood he inherited—his father was a Jewish usurer. When
Christians shrank from robbing the churches of their silver and golden
ornaments, required by Anacletus to pay his mercenaries and bribe the
venal Romans, he is said to have entrusted the odious task to the Jews.

Jewish legend has converted the Jewish anti‐pope into the son of the Rabbi
Simeon Ben Isaac, of Mainz, who died A.D. 1096. According to the story,
the child Elchanan was stolen from his father and mother by a Christian
nurse, was taken charge of by monks, grew up to be ordained priest, and
finally was elected Pope.

As a child he had been wont to play chess with his father, and had learned
from him a favourite move whereby to check‐mate his adversary.

The Jews of Germany suffered from oppression, and appointed the Rabbi
Simeon to bear their complaints to the Pope. The old Jew went to Rome and
was introduced to the presence of the Holy Father. Elchanan recognized him
at once, and sent forth all his attendants, then proposed a game of chess
with the Rabbi. When the Pope played the favourite move of the old Jew,
Simeon Ben Isaac sprang up, smote his brow, and cried out, “I thought none
knew this move save I and my long‐lost child.” “I am that child,” answered
the Pope, and he flung himself into the arms of the aged Jew.(120)

That the Wagenseil Toledoth Jeschu was written in the eleventh, twelfth or
thirteenth century appears probable from the fact stated, that it was in
these centuries that the Jews were more subjected to persecution,
spoliation and massacre than in any other; and the Toledoth Jeschu is the
cry of rage of a tortured people,—a curse hurled at the Founder of that
religion which oppressed them.

In the eleventh century the Jews in the great Rhine cities were massacred
by the ferocious hosts of Crusaders under Ernico, Count of Leiningen, and
the priests Folkmar and Goteschalk. At the voice of their leaders (A.D.
1096), the furious multitude of red‐crossed pilgrims spread through the
cities of the Rhine and the Moselle, massacring pitilessly all the Jews
that they met with in their passage. In their despair, a great number
preferred being their own destroyers to awaiting certain death at the
hands of their enemies. Several shut themselves up in their houses, and
perished amidst flames their own hands had kindled; some attached heavy
stones to their garments, and precipitated themselves and their treasures
into the Rhine or Moselle. Mothers stifled their children at the breast,
saying that they preferred sending them to the bosom of Abraham to seeing
them torn away to be nurtured in a religion which bred tigers.

Some of the ecclesiastics behaved with Christian humanity. The Bishops of
Worms and Spires ran some risk in saving as many as they could of this
defenceless people. The Archbishop of Treves, less generous, gave refuge
to such only as would consent to receive baptism, and coldly consigned the
rest to the knives and halters of the Christian fanatics. The Archbishop
of Mainz was more than suspected of participation in the plunder of his
Jewish subjects. The Emperor took on himself the protection and redress of
the wrongs endured by the Jews, and it was apparently at this time that
the Jews were formally taken under feudal protection by the Emperor. They
became his men, owing to him special allegiance, and with full right
therefore to his protection.

The Toledoth Jeschu of Wagenseil was composed by a German Jew; that is
apparent from its mention of the letter of the synagogue of Worms to the
Sanhedrim. Had it been written in the eleventh century, it would not have
represented the Pope as the refuge of the persecuted Jews, for it was the
Emperor who redressed their wrongs.

But it was in the thirteenth century that the Popes stood forth as the
special protectors of the Jews. On May 1, 1291, the Jewish bankers
throughout France were seized and imprisoned by order of Philip the Fair,
and forced to pay enormous mulcts. Some died under torture, most yielded,
and then fled the inhospitable realm. Five years after, in one day, all
the Jews in France were taken, their property confiscated to the Crown,
the race expelled the realm.

In 1320, the Jews of the South of France, notwithstanding persecution and
expulsion, were again in numbers and perilous prosperity. On them burst
the fury of the Pastoureaux. Five hundred took refuge in the royal castle
of Verdun on the Garonne. The royal officers refused to defend them. The
shepherds set fire to the lower stories of a lofty tower; the Jews slew
each other, having thrown their children to the mercy of their assailants.
Everywhere, even in the great cities, Auch, Toulouse, Castel Sarrazen, the
Jews were left to be remorselessly massacred and their property pillaged.
The Pope himself might have seen the smoke of the fires that consumed them
darkening the horizon from the walls of Avignon. But John XXII., cold,
arrogant, rapacious, stood by unmoved. He launched his excommunication,
not against the murderers of the inoffensive Jews, but against all who
presumed to take the Cross without warrant of the Holy See. Even that same
year he published violent bulls against the poor persecuted Hebrews, and
commanded the Bishops to destroy their Talmud, the source of their
detestable blasphemies; but he bade those who should submit to baptism to
be protected from pillage and massacre.

The Toledoth Jeschu, therefore, cannot have been written at the beginning
of the fourteenth century, when the Jews had such experience of the
indifference of a Pope to their wrongs. We are consequently forced to look
to the thirteenth century as its date. And the thirteenth century will
provide us with instances of persecution of the Jews in Germany, and Popes
exerting themselves to protect them.

In 1236, the Jews were the subject of an outburst of popular fury
throughout Europe, but especially in Spain, where a fearful carnage took
place. In France, the Crusaders of Guienne, Poitou, Anjou and Brittany
killed them, without sparing the women and children. Women with child were
ripped up. The unfortunate Jews were thrown down, and trodden under the
feet of horses. Their houses were ransacked, their books burned, their
treasures carried off. Those who refused baptism were tortured or killed.
The unhappy people sent to Rome, and implored the Pope to extend his
protection to them. Gregory IX. wrote at once to the Archbishop of
Bordeaux, the Bishops of Saintes, Angoulême and Poictiers, forbidding
constraint to be exercised on the Jews to force them to receive baptism;
and a letter to the King entreating him to exert his authority to repress
the fury of the Crusaders against the Jews.

In 1240, the Jews were expelled from Brittany by the Duke John, at the
request of the Bishops of Brittany.

In 1246, the persecution reached its height in Germany. Bishops and nobles
vied with each other in despoiling and harassing the unfortunate Hebrews.
They were charged with killing Christian children and devouring their
hearts at their Passover. Whenever a dead body was found, the Jews were
accused of the murder. Hosts were dabbled in blood, and thrown down at
their doors, and the ignorant mob rose against such profanation of the
sacred mysteries. They were stripped of their goods, thrown into prison,
starved, racked, condemned to the stake or to the gallows. From the German
towns miserable trains of yellow‐girdled and capped exiles issued, seeking
some more hospitable homes. If they left behind them their wealth, they
carried with them their industry.

A deputation of German Rabbis visited the Pope, Innocent IV., at Lyons,
and laid the complaints of the Jews before him. Innocent at once took up
their cause. He wrote to all the bishops of Germany, on July 5th, 1247,
ordering them to favour the Jews, and insist on the redress of the wrongs
to which they had been subjected, whether at the hands of ecclesiastics or
nobles. A similar letter was then forwarded by him to all the bishops of

At this period it was in vain for the Jews to appeal to the Emperor.
Frederick II. was excommunicated, and Germany in revolt, fanned by the
Pope, against him. A new Emperor had been proposed at a meeting at Budweis
to the electors of Austria, Bohemia and Bavaria, but the proposition had
been rejected. Henry of Thuringia, however, set up by Innocent, and
supported by the ecclesiastical princes of Germany, had been crowned at
Hochem. A crusade was preached against the Emperor Frederick; Henry of
Thuringia was defeated and died. The indefatigable Innocent, clinging to
the cherished policy of the Papal See to ruin the unity of Germany by
stirring up intestine strife, found another candidate in William of
Holland. He was crowned at Aix‐la‐Chapelle, October 3, 1247. From this
time till his death, four years after, the cause of Frederick declined.
Frederick was mostly engaged in wars in Italy, and had not leisure, if he
had the power, to attend to and right the wrongs of his Jewish vassals.

It was at this period that I think we may conclude the Toledoth Jeschu of
Wagenseil was written.

Another consideration tends to confirm this view. The Wagenseil Toledoth
Jeschu speaks of Elias rising up after the death of Simon Cephas, and
denouncing him as having led the Christians away.

Was there any Elias at the close of the thirteenth century who did thus
preach against the Pope? There was. Elias of Cortona, second General of
the Franciscan Order, the leader of a strong reactionary party opposed to
the Spirituals or Caesarians, those who maintained the rule in all its
rigour, had been deposed, then carried back into the Generalship by a
recoil of the party wave, then appealed against to the Pope, deposed once
more, and finally excommunicated. Elias joined the Emperor Frederick, the
deadly foe of Innocent IV., and, sheltered under his wing, denounced the
venality, the avarice, the extortion of the Papacy. As a close attendant
on the German Emperor, his adviser, as one who encouraged him in his
opposition to a Pope who protected the Jews, the German Jews must have
heard of him. But the stone of excommunication firing at him struck him
down, and he died in 1253, making a death‐bed reconciliation with Rome.

But though it is thus possible to give an historical explanation of the
curious circumstance that the Toledoth Jeschu ranges the Pope among the
friends of Judaism and the enemies of Christianity, and provide for the
identification of Elias with the fallen General of the Minorites,—the
story points perhaps to a dim recollection of Simon Peter being at the
head of the Judaizing Church at Jerusalem and Rome, which made common
cause with the Jews, and of Paul, here designated Elias, in opposition to

VII. The Second Toledoth Jeschu.

We will now analyze and give extracts from the second anti‐evangel of the

It begins thus: “In the reign of King Herod the Proselyte, there lived a
man named Papus Ben Jehuda. To him was betrothed Mirjam, daughter of
Kalphus; and her brother’s name was Simeon. He was a Rabbi, the son of
Kalphus. This Mirjam, before her betrothal, was a hair‐dresser to
women.... She was surpassing beautiful in form. She was of the tribe of

On account of her extraordinary beauty, she was kept locked up in a house;
but she escaped through a window, and fled from Jerusalem to Bethlehem
with Joseph Pandira, of Nazareth.

As has been already said, Papus Ben Jehuda was a contemporary of Rabbi
Akiba, and died about A.D. 140. In the Wagenseil Toledoth Jeschu, Mirjam
is betrothed to a Jochanan. In the latter, Mary lives at Bethlehem; in the
Toledoth of Huldrich, she resides at Jerusalem.

Many years after, the place of the retreat of Mirjam and Joseph Pandira
having been made known to Herod, he sent to Bethlehem orders for their
arrest, and for the massacre of the children; but Joseph, who had been
forewarned by a kinsman in the court of Herod, fled in time with his wife
and children into Egypt.

After many years a famine broke out in Egypt, and Joseph and Mirjam, with
their son Jeschu and his brethren, returned to Canaan and settled at

    “And Jeschu grew up, and went to Jerusalem to acquire knowledge,
    in the school of Joshua, the son of Perachia (B.C. 90); and he
    made there great advance, so that he learned the mystery of the
    chariot and the holy Name.(122)

    “One day it fell out that Jeschu was playing ball with the sons of
    the priests, near the chamber Gasith, on the hill of the Temple.
    Then by accident the ball fell into the Fish‐valley. And Jeschu
    was very grieved, and in his anger he plucked the hat from off his
    head, and cast it on the ground and burst into lamentations.
    Thereupon the boys warned him to put his hat on again, for it was
    not comely to be with uncovered head. Jeschu answered, Verily,
    Moses gave you not this law; it is but an addition of the lawyers,
    and therefore need not be observed.

    “Now there sat there, Rabbi Eliezer and Joshua Ben Levi (A.D.
    220), and the Rabbi Akiba (A.D. 135) hard by, in the school, and
    they heard the words that Jeschu had spoken.

    “Then said the Rabbi Eliezer, That boy is certainly a Mamser. But
    Rabbi Joshua, son of Levi, said, He is a Ben‐hannidda. And the
    Rabbi Akiba said also, He is a Ben‐hannidda.(123) Therefore the
    Rabbi Akiba went forth out of the school, and asked Jeschu in what
    city he was born. Jeschu answered, I am of Nazareth; my father’s
    name is Mezaria,(124) and my mother’s name is Karchat.

    “Then the Rabbis Akiba, Eliezer and Joshua went into the school of
    the Rabbi Joshua, son of Perachia, and seized Jeschu by the hair
    and cut it off in a circle, and washed his head with the water
    Boleth, so that the hair might not grow again.”

Ashamed at this humiliation, according to the Toledoth Jeschu of Huldrich,
the boy returned to Nazareth, where he wounded his mother’s breast.

Probably the author of this counter‐Gospel saw one of those common
artistic representations of the Mater Dolorosa with a sword piercing her
soul, and invented the story of Jesus wounding his mother’s breast to
account for it.

When Jeschu was grown up, there assembled about him many disciples, whose
names were Simon and Matthias, Elikus, Mardochai and Thoda, whose names
Jeschu changed.

    “He called Simon Peter, after the word Petrus, which in Hebrew
    signifies the First. And Matthias he called Matthew; and Elikus he
    called Luke, because he sent him forth among the heathen; and
    Mardochai he named Mark, because he said, Vain men come to me; and
    Thoda he named Pahul (Paul), because he bore witness of him.

    “Another worthless fellow also joined them, named Jochanan, and he
    changed his name to Jahannus on account of the miracles Jeschu
    wrought through him by means of the incommunicable Name. This
    Jahannus advised that all the men who were together should have
    their heads washed with the water Boleth, that the hair might not
    grow on them, and all the world might know that they were

    “But the affair was known to the elders and to the King. Then he
    sent his messengers to take Jeschu and his disciples, and to bring
    them to Jerusalem. But out of fear of the people, they gave timely
    warning to Jeschu that the King sought to take and kill him and
    his companions. Therefore they fled into the desert of Ai
    (Capernaum?). And when the servants of the King came and found
    them not, with the exception of Jahannus they took him and led him
    before the King. And the King ordered that Jahannus should be
    executed with the sword. The servants of the King therefore went
    at his command and slew Jahannus, and hung up his head at the gate
    of Jerusalem.(125)

    “About this time Jeschu assembled the inhabitants of Jerusalem
    about him, and wrought many miracles. He laid a millstone on the
    sea, and sailed about on it, and cried, I am God, the Son of God,
    born of my mother by the power of the Holy Ghost, and I sprang
    from her virginal brow.

    “And he wrought many miracles, so that all the inhabitants of Ai
    believed in him, and his miracles he wrought by means of the
    incommunicable Name.

    “Then Jeschu ordered the law to be done away with, for it is said
    in the Psalm, It is time for thee, Lord, to lay too thine hand,
    for they have destroyed thy law. Now, said he, is the right time
    come to tear up the law, for the thousandth generation has come
    since David said, He hath promised to keep his word to a thousand
    generations (Ps. cviii. 8).

    “Therefore they arose and desecrated the Sabbath.

    “When now the elders and wise men heard of what was done, they
    came to the King and consulted him and his council. Then answered
    Judas, son of Zachar,(126) I am the first of the King’s princes; I
    will go myself and see if it be true what is said, that this man

    “Therefore Judas went and put on other clothes like the men of Ai,
    and spake to Jeschu and said, I also will learn your doctrine.
    Then Jeschu had his head shaved in a ring and washed with the
    water Boleth.

    “After that they went into the wilderness, for they feared the
    King lest he should take them if they tarried at Ai. And they lost
    their way; and in the wilderness they lighted on a shepherd who
    lay on the ground. Then Jeschu asked him the right way, and how
    far it was to shelter. The shepherd answered, The way lies
    straight before you; and he pointed it out with his foot.

    “They went a little further, and they found a shepherd maiden, and
    Jeschu asked her which way they must go. Then the maiden led them
    to a stone which served as a sign‐post. And Peter said to Jeschu,
    Bless this maiden who has led us hither! And he blessed her, and
    wished for her that she might become the wife of the shepherd they
    had met on the road.

    “Then said Peter, Wherefore didst thou so bless the maiden? He
    answered, The man is slow, but she is lively. If he were left
    without her activity, it would fare ill with him. For I am a God
    of mercy, and make marriages as is best for man.”

This is a German story. There are many such of Jesus and St. Peter to be
found in all collections of German household tales. They go together on a
journey, and various adventures befal them, and the Lord orders things
very differently from what Peter expects. To this follows another story,
familiar to English school‐boys. The apostles come with their Master to an
inn, and ask for food. The innkeeper has a goose, and it is decided that
he shall have the goose who dreams the best dream that night. When all are
asleep, Judas gets up, plucks, roasts and eats the goose. Next morning
they tell their dreams. Judas says, “Mine was the best of all, for I
dreamt that in the night I ate the goose; and, lo! the goose is gone this
morning. I think the dream must have been a reality.” Among English
school‐boys, the story is told of an Englishman, and Scotchman, and an
Irishman. The latter, of course, takes the place of Judas.

Some equally ridiculous stories follow, inserted for the purpose of making
our blessed Lord and his apostles contemptible, but not taken, like the
two just mentioned, from German folk‐lore.

    “After that Judas went to Jerusalem, but Jeschu and Peter tarried
    awaiting him (at Laish), for they trusted him. Now when Judas was
    come to Jerusalem, he related to the King and the elders the words
    and deeds of Jeschu, and how, through the power of the
    incommunicable Name, he had wrought such wonders that the people
    of Ai believed in him, and how that he had taken to wife the
    daughter of Karkamus, chief ruler of Ai.

    “Then the King and the elders asked counsel of Judas how they
    might take Jeschu and his disciples. Judas answered, Persuade
    Jagar Ben Purah, their host, to mix the water of forgetfulness
    with their wine. We will come to Jerusalem for the Feast of
    Tabernacles; and then do ye take him and his disciples. For Jager
    Purah is the brother of the Gerathite Karkamus; but I will
    persuade Jeschu that Jager Purah is the brother of Karkamus of Ai,
    and he will believe my words, and they will all come up to the
    Feast of Tabernacles. Now when they shall have drunk of that wine,
    then will Jeschu forget the incommunicable Name, and so will be
    unable to deliver himself out of your hands, so that ye can
    capture him and hold him fast.

    “Then answered the King and the elders, Thy counsel is good; go in
    peace, and we will appoint a fast. Therefore Judas went his way on
    the third of the month Tisri (October), and the great assembly in
    Jerusalem fasted a great fast, and prayed God to deliver Jeschu
    and his followers into their hands. And they undertook for
    themselves and for their successors a fast to be hold annually on
    the third of the month Tisri, for ever.

    “When Judas had returned to Jeschu, he related to him, I have been
    attentive to hear what is spoken in Jerusalem, and none so much as
    wag their tongues against thee. Yea! when the King took Jahannus
    to slay him, his disciples came in force and rescued him. And
    Jahannus said to me, Go say to Jesus, our Lord, that he come with
    his disciples, and we will protect him; and see! the host, Jager
    Purah, is brother of Karkamus, ruler of Ai, and an uncle of thy

    “Now when Jeschu heard the words of Judas, he believed them; for
    the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their neighbours fasted
    incessantly during the six days between the feast of the New Year
    and the Day of Atonement,—yea, even on the Sabbath Day did some of
    them fast. And when those men who were not in the secret asked
    wherefore they fasted at this unusual time, when it was not
    customary to fast save on the Day of Atonement, the elders
    answered them, This is done because the King of the Gentiles has
    sent and threatened us with war.

    “But Jeschu and his disciples dressed themselves in the costume of
    the men of Ai, that they might not be recognized in Jerusalem; and
    in the fast, on the Day of Atonement, Jeschu came with his
    disciples to Jerusalem, and entered into the house of Purah, and
    said, Of me it is written, Who is this that cometh from Edom, with
    dyed garments from Bozrah? I that speak in righteousness, mighty
    to save. I have trodden the wine‐press alone, and of the people
    there was none with me.(127) For now am I come from Edom to the
    house of Purah, and of thee, Purah, was it written, Jegar
    Sahadutha!(128) For thou shalt be to us a hill of witness and
    assured protection. But I have come here to Jerusalem to abolish
    the festivals and the holy seasons and the appointed holy days.
    And he that believeth in me shall have his portion in eternal
    life. I will give forth a new law in Jerusalem, for of me was it
    written, Out of Zion shall the law go forth, and the word of the
    Lord from Jerusalem.(129) And their sins and unrighteousness will
    I atone for with my blood. But after I am dead I will arise to
    life again; for it is written, I kill and make alive; I bring down
    to hell, and raise up therefrom again.(130)

    “But Judas betook himself secretly to the King, and told him how
    that Jeschu and his disciples were in the house of Purah.
    Therefore the King sent young priests into the house of Purah, who
    said unto Jeschu, We are ignorant men, and believe in thee and thy
    word; but do this, we pray thee, work a miracle before our eyes.

    “Then Jeschu wrought before them wonders by means of the
    incommunicable Name.

    “And on the great Day of Atonement he and his disciples ate and
    drank, and fasted not; and they drank of the wine wherewith was
    mingled the Water of Forgetfulness, and then betook themselves to

    “And when midnight was now come, behold! servants of the King
    surrounded the house, and to them Purah opened the door. And the
    servants broke into the room where Jeschu and his disciples were,
    and they cast them into chains.

    “Then Jeschu directed his mind to the incommunicable Name; but he
    could not recall it, for all had vanished from his recollection.

    “And the servants of the King led Jeschu and his disciples to the
    prison of the blasphemers. And in the morning they told the King
    that Jeschu and his disciples were taken and cast into prison.
    Then he ordered that they should be detained till the Feast of

    “And on that feast all the people of the Lord came together to the
    feast, as Moses had commanded them. Then the King ordered that
    Jeschu’s disciples should be stoned outside the city; and all the
    Israelites looked on, and heaped stones on the disciples. And all
    Israel broke forth into hymns of praise to the God of Israel, that
    these men of Belial had thus fallen into their hands.

    “But Jeschu was kept still in prison, for the King would not slay
    him till the men of Ai had seen that his words were naught, and
    what sort of a prophet he was proved to be.

    “Also he wrote letters throughout the land to the councils of the
    synagogues to learn from them after what manner Jeschu should be
    put to death, and summoning all to assemble at Jerusalem on the
    next feast of the Passover to execute Jeschu, as it is written,
    Whosoever blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put
    to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.(131)

    “But the people of Girmajesa (Germany) and all that country round,
    what is at this day called Wormajesa (Worms) in the land of the
    Emperor, and the little council in the town of Wormajesa, answered
    the King in this wise, Let Jesus go, and slay him not! Let him
    live till he die and perish.

    “But when the feast of the Passover drew nigh, it was heralded
    through all the land of Judaea, that any one who had aught to say
    in favour, and for the exculpation, of Jeschu, should declare it
    before the King. But all the people with one consent declared that
    Jeschu must die.(132)

    “Therefore, on the eve of the Passover, Jeschu was brought out of
    the prison, and they cried before him, So may all thine enemies
    perish, O Lord! And they hanged him on a tree outside of
    Jerusalem, as the King and elders of Jerusalem had commanded.

    “And all Israel looked on and praised and glorified God.

    “Now when even was come, Judas took down the body of Jeschu from
    the tree and laid it in his garden in a conduit.

    “But when the people of Ai heard that Jeschu had been hung, they
    became enemies to Israel. And the people of Ai attacked the
    Israelites, and slew of them two thousand men. And the Israelites
    could not go to the feasts because of the men of Ai. Therefore the
    King proclaimed war against Ai; but he could not overcome it, for
    mightily grew the multitude of those who believed in Jeschu, even
    under the eyes of the King in Jerusalem.

    “And some of these went to Ai, and declared that on the third day
    after Jeschu had been hung, fire had fallen from heaven, which had
    surrounded Jeschu, and he had arisen alive, and gone up into

    “And the people of Ai believed what was said, and swore to avenge
    on the children of Israel the crime they had committed in hanging
    Jeschu. Now when Judas saw that the people of Ai threatened great
    things, he wrote a letter unto them, saying, There is no peace to
    the ungodly, saith the Lord; therefore do the people take counsel
    together, and the Gentiles imagine a vain thing. Come to Jerusalem
    and see your false prophet! For, lo! he is dead and buried in a

    “Now when they heard this, the men of Ai went to Jerusalem and saw
    Jeschu lying where had been said. But, nevertheless, when they
    returned to Ai, they said that all Judas had written was false.
    For, lo! said they, when we came to Jerusalem we found that all
    believed in Jeschu, and had risen and had expelled the King out of
    the city because he believed not; and many of the elders have they
    slain. Then the men of Ai believed these words of the messengers,
    and they proclaimed war against Israel.

    “Now when the King and the elders saw that the men of Ai were
    about to encamp against them, and that the numbers of these
    worthless men grow—they were the brethren and kinsmen of
    Jeschu—they took counsel what they should do in such sore straits
    as they were in.

    “And Judas said, Lo! Jeschu has an uncle Simon, son of Kalpus, who
    is now alive, and he is an honourable old man. Give him the
    incommunicable Name, and let him work wonders in Ai, and tell the
    people that he does them in the name of Jesus. And they will
    believe Simon, because he is the uncle of Jeschu. But Simon must
    make them believe that Jeschu committed to him all power to teach
    them not to ill‐treat the Israelites, and he has reserved them for
    his own vengeance.

    “This counsel pleased the King and the elders, and they went to
    Simon and told him the matter.

    “Then went Simon, when he had learned the Name, and drew nigh to
    Ai, and he raised a cloud and thunder and lightning. And he seated
    himself on the cloud, and as the thunder rolled he cried, Ye men
    of Ai, gather yourselves together at the tower of Ai, and there
    will I give you commandments from Jeschu.

    “But when the people of Ai heard this voice, they were sore
    afraid, and they assembled on all sides about the tower. And lo!
    Simon was borne thither on the cloud; and he stepped upon the
    tower. And the men of Ai fell on their faces before him.(134) Then
    Simon said, I am Simon Ben Kalpus, uncle of Jeschu. Jeschu came
    and sent me unto you to teach you his law, for Jesus is the Son of
    God. And lo! I will give you the law of Jesus, which is a new

    “Then he wrought before them signs and wonders, and he said to the
    people of Ai, Swear to me to obey all that I tell you. And they
    swore to him. Then said Simon, Go to your own homes. And all the
    people of Ai returned to their dwellings.

    “Now Simon sat on the tower, and wrote the commandments even as
    the King and elders had decided. And he changed the Alphabet, and
    gave the letters new names, as secretly to protest that all he
    taught written in those letters was lies. And this was the
    Alphabet he wrote: A, Be, Ce, De, E, Ef, Cha, I, Ka, El, Em, En,
    O, Pe, Ku, Er, Es, Te, U, Ix, Ejed, Zet.

    “And this is the interpretation: My father is Esau, who was a
    huntsman, and was weary; and lo! his sons believed in Jesus, who
    lives, as God.

    “And Simon composed for the deception of the people of Ai lying
    books, and he called them ‘Avonkelajon’ (Evangelium), which, being
    interpreted, is the End of Ungodliness. But they thought he said,
    ‘Eben gillajon,’ which means Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He also
    wrote books in the names of the disciples of Jeschu, and
    especially in that of Johannes, and said that Jeschu had given him

    “But with special purpose he composed the Book of Johannes (the
    Apocalypse), for the men of Ai thought it contained mysteries,
    whereas it contained pure invention. For instance, he wrote in the
    Book of Johannes that Johannes saw a beast with seven heads and
    seven horns and seven crowns, and the name of the beast was
    blasphemy, and the number of the beast 666. Now the seven heads
    mean the seven letters which compose in Hebrew the words, ‘Jeschu
    of Nazareth.’ And in like manner the number 666 is that which is
    the sum of the letters composing this name. In like way did Simon
    compose all the books to deceive the people, as the King and the
    elders had bidden him.

    “And on the sixth day of the third month Simon sat on the cloud,
    and the people of Ai were gathered together before him to the
    tower, and he gave them the book Avonkelajon, and said to them,
    When ye have children born to you, ye must sprinkle them with
    water, in token that Jeschu was washed with the water Boleth, and
    ye must observe all the commandments that are written in the book
    Avonkelajon. And ye must wage no war against the people of Israel,
    for Jeschu has reserved them to avenge himself on them himself.

    “Now when the people of Ai heard these words, they answered that
    they would keep them. And Simon returned on his cloud to
    Jerusalem. And all the people thought he had gone up in a cloud to
    heaven to bring destruction on the Israelites.(135)

    “Not long after this, King Herod died, and was succeeded by his
    son in the kingdom of Israel. But when he had obtained the throne,
    he heard that the people of Ai had made images in honour of Jesus
    and Mary, and he wrote letters to Ai and ordered their
    destruction; otherwise he would make war against them.

    “Then the people of Ai sent asking help of the Emperor against the
    King of Israel. But the Emperor would not assist them and war
    against Israel. Therefore, when the people of Ai saw that there
    was no help, they burned the images and bound themselves before
    the sons of Israel.

    “And about this time Mirjam, the mother of Jeschu, died. Then the
    King ordered that she should be buried at the foot of the tree on
    which Jeschu had hung; and there he also had the brothers and
    sisters of Jeschu hung up. And they were hung, and a memorial
    stone was set up on the spot.

    “But the worthless men, their kinsmen, came and destroyed the
    memorial stone, and set up another in its stead, on which they
    wrote the words, ‘Lo! this is a ladder set upon the earth, whose
    head reaches to heaven, and the angels of God ascend and descend
    upon it, and the mother rejoices here in her children, Allelujah!’

    “Now when the King heard this, he destroyed the memorial they had
    erected, and killed a hundred of the kindred of Jeschu.

    “Then went Simon, son of Kalpus, to the King and said, Suffer me,
    and I will draw away these people from Jerusalem. And the King
    said, Be it so; go, and the Lord be with thee! Therefore Simon
    went secretly to these worthless men, and said to them, Let us go
    together to Ai, and there shall ye see wonders which I will work.
    And some went to Ai, but others seated themselves beside Simon on
    his cloud, and left Jerusalem with him. And on the way Simon cast
    down those who sat on the cloud with him upon the earth, so that
    they died.(136)

    “And when Simon returned to Jerusalem, he told the King what he
    had done, and the King rejoiced greatly. And Simon left not the
    court of the King till his death. And when he died, all the Jews
    observed the day as a fast, and it was the 9th of the month Teboth

    “But those who had gone to Ai at the word of Simon believed that
    Simon and those with him had gone up together into heaven on the

    “And when men saw what Simon had taught the people of Ai in the
    name of Jesus, they followed them also, and they took them the
    daughters of Ai to wife, and sent letters into the furthest
    islands with the book Avonkelajon, and undertook for themselves,
    and for their descendants, to hold to all the words of the book

    “Therefore they abolished the Law, and chose the first day of the
    week as the Sabbath, for that was the birthday of Jesus, and they
    ordained many other customs and bad feasts. Therefore have they no
    part and lot in Israel. They are accursed in this world, and
    accursed in the world to come. But the Lord bless his people
    Israel with peace.

    “These are the words of the Rabbi Jochanan, son of Saccai, in

That this second version of the “Life of Jeschu” is later than the first
one, I think there can be little doubt. It is more full of absurdities
than the first, it adopts German household tales, and exhibits an
ignorance of history even more astounding than in the first Life. The
preachers of the “Evangelium” marry wives, and there is a burning of
images of St. Mary and our Lord. These are _perhaps_ indications of its
having been composed after the Reformation.

Luther did not know anything of the Life published later by Huldrich. The
only Toledoth Jeschu he was acquainted with was that afterwards published
by Wagenseil.


Under this head are classed all those Gospels whose tendency is Judaizing,
which sprang into existence in the Churches of Palestine and Syria.

These may be ranged in two sub‐classes—

a. Those akin to the Gospel of St. Matthew.
b. Those related to the Gospel of St. Mark.

To the first class belong—

1. The Gospel of the Twelve, or of the Hebrews.
2. The Gospel of the Clementines.

To the second class belong, probably—

1. The Gospel of St. Peter.
2. The Gospel of the Egyptians.

I. The Gospel Of The Hebrews.

1. The Fragments extant.

Eusebius quotes Papias, Irenaeus and Origen, as authorities for his
statement that St. Matthew wrote his Gospel first in Hebrew.

Papias, a contemporary of Polycarp, who was a disciple of St. John, and
who carefully collected all information he could obtain concerning the
apostles, declares that “Matthew wrote his Gospel in the Hebrew
dialect,(137) and that every one translated it as he was able.”(138)

Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, and therefore also likely to have
trustworthy information on this matter, says, “Matthew among the Hebrews
wrote a Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching
the gospel at Rome, and founding the Church there.”(139)

In a fragment, also, of Irenaeus, edited by Dr. Grabe, it is said that
“the Gospel according to Matthew was written to the Jews, for they
earnestly desired a Messiah of the posterity of David. Matthew, in order
to satisfy them on this point, began his Gospel with the genealogy of

Origen, in a passage preserved by Eusebius, has this statement: “I have
learned by tradition concerning the four Gospels, which alone are received
without dispute by the Church of God under heaven, that the first was
written by St. Matthew, once a tax‐gatherer, afterwards an apostle of
Jesus Christ, who published it for the benefit of the Jewish converts,
composed in the Hebrew language.”(141) And again, in his Commentary on St.
John, “We begin with Matthew, who, according to tradition, wrote first,
publishing his Gospel to the believers who were of the circumcision.”

Eusebius, who had collected the foregoing testimonies on a subject which,
in that day, seems to have been undisputed, thus records what he believed
to be a well‐authenticated historical fact: “Matthew, having first
preached to the Hebrews, delivered to them, when he was preparing to
depart to other countries, his Gospel composed in their native

St. Jerome follows Papias: “Matthew, who is also Levi, from a publican
became an apostle, and he first composed his Gospel of Christ in Judaea,
for those of the circumcision who believed, and wrote it in Hebrew words
and characters; but who translated it afterwards into Greek is not very
evident. Now this Hebrew Gospel is preserved to this day in the library at
Caesarea which Pamphilus the martyr so diligently collected. I also
obtained permission of the Nazarenes of Beraea in Syria, who use this
volume, to make a copy of it. In which it is to be observed that,
throughout, the Evangelist when quoting the witness of the Old Testament,
either in his own person or in that of the Lord and Saviour, does not
follow the authority of the Seventy translators, but the Hebrew
Scriptures, from which he quotes these two passages, ‘Out of Egypt have I
called my Son,’ and, ‘Since he shall be called a Nazarene.’ ”(143) And
again: “That Gospel which is called the Gospel of the Hebrews, and which
has lately been translated by me into Greek and Latin, and was used
frequently by Origen, relates,” &c.(144) Again: “That Gospel which the
Nazarenes and Ebionites make use of, and which I have lately translated
into Greek from the Hebrew, and which by many is called the genuine Gospel
of Matthew.”(145) And once more: “The Gospel of the Hebrews, which is
written in the Syro‐Chaldaic tongue, and in Hebrew characters, which the
Nazarenes make use of at this day, is also called the Gospel of the
Apostles, or, as many think, is that of Matthew, is in the library of

St. Epiphanius is even more explicit. He says that the Nazarenes possessed
the most complete Gospel of St. Matthew,(147) as it was written at first
in Hebrew;(148) and “they have it still in Hebrew characters; but I do not
know if they have cut off the genealogies from Abraham to Christ.” “We may
affirm as a certain fact, that Matthew alone among the writers of the New
Testament wrote the history of the preaching of the Gospel in Hebrew, and
in Hebrew characters.”(149) This Hebrew Gospel, he adds, was known to
Cerinthus and Carpocrates.

The subscriptions of many MSS. and versions bear the same testimony.
Several important Greek codices of St. Matthew close with the statement
that he wrote in Hebrew; the Syriac and Arabic versions do the same. The
subscription of the Peschito version is, “Finished is the holy Gospel of
the preaching of Matthew, which he preached in Hebrew in the land of
Palestine.” That of the Arabic version reads as follows: “Here ends the
copy of the Gospel of the apostle Matthew. He wrote it in the land of
Palestine, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in the Hebrew language,
eight years after the bodily ascension of Jesus the Messiah into heaven,
and in the first year of the Roman Emperor, Claudius Caesar.”

The title of Gospel of the Hebrews was only given to the version known to
Jerome and Epiphanius, because it was in use among the Hebrews. But
amongst the Nazarenes it was called “The Gospel of the Apostles,”(150) or
“The Gospel of the Twelve.”(151) St. Jerome expressly says that “the
Gospel used by the Nazarenes is also called the Gospel of the
Apostles.”(152) That the same Gospel should bear two names, one according
to its reputed authors, the other according to the community which used
it, is not surprising.

Justin Martyr probably alludes to it under a slightly different name, “The
Recollections of the Apostles.”(153) He says that these Recollections were
a Gospel.(154) He adopted the word used by Xenophon for his recollections
of Socrates. What the Memorabilia of Xenophon were concerning the martyred
philosopher, that the Memorabilia of the Apostles were concerning the
martyred Redeemer.

It is probable that this Hebrew Gospel of the Twelve was the only one with
which Justin Martyr was acquainted.

Justin Martyr was a native of Samaria, and his acquaintance with
Christianity was probably made in the communities of Nazarenes scattered
over Syria. By family he was a Greek, and was therefore by blood inclined
to sympathize with the Gentile rather than the Jewish Christians. This
double tendency is manifest in his writings. He judges the Ebionites, even
the narrowest of their sectarian rings, with great tenderness; but he
proclaims that Gentiledom had yielded better Christians than Jewdom.(155)
Justin distinguishes between the Ebionites. There were those who in their
own practice observed the Mosaic Law, believing in Christ as the flower
and end of the Law, but without exacting the same observance of believing
Gentiles; and there were those, who not only observed the Law themselves,
but imposed it on their Gentile converts. His sympathies were with the
former, whom he regards as the true followers of the apostles, and not
with the latter.

Justin’s conversion took place circ. A.D. 133. He is a valuable testimony
to the divisions among the Nazarenes or Ebionites in the second century,
just when Gnostic views were infiltrating among the extreme Judaizing

Justin Martyr’s Christian training took place in the Nazarene Church, in
the orthodox, milder section. He no doubt inherited the traditional
prejudice against St. Paul, for he neither mentions him by name, nor
quotes any of his writings. That he should have omitted to quote St. Paul
in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew is not surprising; but one cannot
doubt that had he seen the Epistles of the Apostle of the Gentiles, he
would have cited them, or shown that they had influenced the current of
his thoughts in his two Apologies addressed to Gentiles. He quotes “the
book that is called the Gospel” as if there were but one; but what Gospel
was it? It has been frequently observed that the quotations of Justin are
closer to the parallel passages in St. Matthew than to those of the other
Canonical Gospels. But the only Gospel he names is the Gospel of the

Did Justin Martyr possess the Gospel of St. Matthew, or some other?

It is observable that he diverges from the Gospel narrative in several
particulars. It is inconceivable that this was caused by defect of memory.
Two or three of those texts in which he differs from our Canonical Gospels
occur several times in his writings, and always in the same form.(156)
Would it not be strange that his memory should fail him each time, and on
each of these passages? But though his memory may have been inaccurate in
recording exact words, the differences that have been noticed between the
citations of Justin Martyr and the Canonical Gospel of St. Matthew are not
confined to words; they extend to particulars, to facts. Verbal
differences are accountable for by lapse of memory, but it is not so with
facts. One can understand how in quoting by memory the mode of expressing
the same facts may vary, but not that the facts themselves should be
different. If the facts cited are different, we are forced to conclude
that the citations were derived from another source. And such is the case
with Justin.

Five or six times does he say that the Magi came from Arabia;(157) St.
Matthew says only that they came from the East.(158)

He says that our Lord was born in a cave(159) near Bethlehem; that, when
he was baptized, a bright light shone over him; and he gives words which
were heard from heaven, which are not recorded by any of the Evangelists.

That our Lord was born in a cave is probable enough, but where did Justin
learn it? Certainly not from St. Matthew’s Gospel, which gives no
particulars of the birth of Christ at Bethlehem. St. Luke says he was born
in the stable of an inn. Justin, we are warranted in suspecting, derived
the fact of the stable being a cave from the only Gospel with which he was
acquainted, that of the Hebrews.

The tradition of the scene of Christ’s nativity having been a cave was
peculiarly Jewish. It is found in the Apocryphal Gospels of the Nativity
and the Protevangelium, both of which unquestionably grew up in Judaea.
That Justin should endorse this tradition leads to the conclusion that he
found it so stated in his Gospel.

I shall speak of the light and voice at the baptism presently.

St. Epiphanius says that the Ebionite Gospel began with, “In the days of
Herod, Caiaphas being the high‐priest, there was a man whose name was
John,” and so on, like the 3rd chap. St. Matthew. But this was the
mutilated Gospel of the Hebrews used by the Gnostic Ebionites, who were
heretical on the doctrine of the nativity of our Lord, and whom Justin
Martyr speaks of as rejecting the supernatural birth of Christ.(160)

Among the Nazarenes, orthodox and heretical, but one Gospel was
recognized, and that the Hebrew Gospel of the Twelve; but the Gospel in
use among the Gnostic Ebionites became more and more corrupt as they
diverged further from orthodoxy.

But the primitive Hebrew Gospel was held “in high esteem by those Jews who
received the faith.”(161) “It is the Gospel,” says St. Jerome, “that the
Nazarenes use at the present day.”(162) “It is the Gospel of the Hebrews
that the Nazarenes read,” says Origen.(163)

Was this Gospel of the Twelve, or of the Hebrews, the original of St.
Matthew’s Canonical Greek Gospel, or was it a separate compilation? This
is a question to be considered presently.

The statement of the Fathers that the Gospel of St. Matthew was first
written in Hebrew, must of course be understood to mean that it was
written in Aramaic or Palestinian Syriac.

Now we have extant two versions of the Gospels, St. Matthew’s included, in
Syriac, the Peschito and the Philoxenian. The latter needs only a passing
mention; it was avowedly made from the Greek, A.D. 508. But the Peschito
is much more ancient. The title of “Peschito” is an emphatic Syrian term
for that which is “simple,” “uncorrupt” and “true;” and, applied from the
beginning to this version, it strongly indicates the veneration and
confidence with which it has ever been regarded by all the Churches of the
East.(164) When this version was made cannot be decided by scholars. A
copy in the Laurentian Library bears so early a date as A.D. 586; but it
existed long before the translation was made by Philoxenus in 508. The
first Armenian version from the Greek was made in 431, and the Armenians
already, at that date, had a version from the Syriac, made by Isaac,
Patriarch of Armenia, some twenty years previously, in 410. Still further
back, we find the Peschito version quoted in the writings of St. Ephraem,
who lived not later than A.D. 370.(165)

Was this Peschito version founded on the Greek canonical text, or, in the
case of St. Matthew, on the “Hebrew” Gospel? I think there can be little
question that it was translated from the Greek. There can be no question
that the Gospels of St. Mark, St. Luke, St. John, the Acts of the
Apostles, the Epistles of St. Paul, and those of the other Epistles
contained in this version,(166) are from the Greek, and it is probable
that the version of St. Matthew was made at the same time from the
received text. The Syrian churches were separated from the Nazarene
community in sympathy; their acceptance of St. Paul’s Epistles is a proof
that they were so; and these Epistles were accepted by them at a very
early age, as we gather from internal evidence in the translation.

The Syrian churches would be likely, moreover, when seeking for copies of
the Christian Scriptures, to ask for them from churches which were
regarded as orthodox, rather than from a dwindling community which was
thought to be heretical.

The Peschito version of St. Matthew follows the canonical Greek text, and
not the Gospel of the Hebrews, in such passages as can be compared;(167)
not one of the peculiarities of the latter find their echo in the Peschito

The Gospel of the Hebrews has not, therefore, been preserved to us in the
Peschito St. Matthew. The translations made by St. Jerome in Greek and
Latin have also perished. It is not difficult to account for the loss of
the book. The work itself was in use only by converted Jews; it was in the
exclusive possession of the descendants of those parties for whose use it
had been written. The Greek Gospels, on the other hand, spread as
Christianity grew. The Nazarenes themselves passed away, and their
cherished Gospel soon ceased to be known among men.

Some exemplars may have been preserved for a time in public libraries, but
these would not survive the devastation to which the country was exposed
from the Saracens and other invaders, and it is not probable that a
solitary copy survives.

But if the entire Gospel of the Hebrews has not been preserved to us, we
have got sufficiently numerous fragments, cited by ancient ecclesiastical
writers, to permit us, to a certain extent, to judge of the tendencies and
character of that Gospel.

It is necessary to observe, as preliminary to our quotations, that the
early Fathers cited passages from this Gospel without the smallest
prejudice against it either historically or doctrinally. They do not seem
to have considered it apocryphal, as open to suspicion, either because it
contained doctrine at variance with the Canonical Greek Gospels, or
because it narrated circumstances not found in them. On the contrary, they
refer to it as a good, trustworthy authority for the facts of our Lord’s
life, and for the doctrines he taught.

St. Ignatius, in his Epistle to the Smyrnians,(168) has inserted in it a
passage relative to the appearance of our Lord to his apostles after his
resurrection, not found in the Canonical Gospels, and we should not know
whence he had drawn it, had not St. Jerome noticed the fact and recorded

St. Clement of Alexandria speaks of the Gospel of the Hebrews in the same
terms as he speaks of the writings of St. Paul and the books of the Old
Testament.(170) Origen, who makes some quotations from this Gospel, does
not, it is true, range it with the Canonical Gospels, but he speaks of it
with great respect, as one highly esteemed by many Christians of his

In the fourth century, no agreement had been come to as to the value of
this Gospel. Eusebius tells us that by some it was reckoned among the
Antilegomena, that is, among those books which floated between the
Canonical and the Apocryphal Gospels.(172)

The Gospel of St. Matthew and the Gospel of the Hebrews were not
identical. It is impossible to doubt this when we examine the passages of
the latter quoted by ecclesiastical writers, the majority of which are not
to be found in the former, and the rest differ from the Canonical Gospel,
either in details or in the construction of the passages which correspond.

Did the difference extend further? This is a question it is impossible to
answer positively in one way or the other, since we only know those
passages of the Gospel of the Nazarenes which have been quoted by the
early Fathers.(173)

But it is probable that the two Gospels did not differ from each other
except in these passages; for if the divergence was greater, one cannot
understand how St. Jerome, who had both under his eyes, could have
supposed one to have been the Hebrew original of the other. And if both
resembled each other closely, it is easy to suppose that the
ecclesiastical writers who quoted from the Nazarene Gospel, quoted only
those passages which were peculiar to it.

Let us now examine the principal fragments of this Gospel that have been

There are some twenty in all, and of these only two are in opposition to
the general tone of the first Canonical Gospel.

With one of these I shall begin the series of extracts.

“_And straitway_,” said Jesus, “_the Holy Spirit [my mother] took me, and
bore me away to the great mountain called Thabor_.”(174)

Origen twice quotes this passage, once in a fuller form. “(She) _bore me
by one of my hairs to the great mountain called Thabor_.” The passage is
also quoted by St. Jerome.(175) Origen and Jerome take pains to give this
passage an orthodox and unexceptionable meaning. Instead of rejecting the
passage as apocryphal, they labour to explain it away—a proof of the high
estimation in which the Gospel of the Twelve was held. The words, “my
mother,” are, it can scarcely be doubted, a Gnostic interpolation, as
probably are also the words, “by one of my hairs;” for on one of the
occasions on which Origen quotes the passage, these words are omitted.
Probably they did not exist in all the copies of the Gospel.

Our Lord was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness” after his
baptism.(176) Philip was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord from the
road between Jerusalem and Gaza, and was found at Azotus.(177) The notion
of transportation by the Spirit was therefore not foreign to the authors
of the Gospels.

The Holy Spirit was represented by the Elkesaites as a female
principle.(178) The Elkesaites were certainly one with the Ebionites in
their hostility to St. Paul, whose Epistles, as Origen tells us, they
rejected.(179) And that they were a Jewish sect which had relations with
Ebionitism appears from a story told by St. Epiphanius, that their
supposed founder, Elxai, went over to the Ebionites in the time of
Trajan.(180) They issued from the same fruitful field of converts, the

The term by which the Holy Spirit is designated in Hebrew is feminine, and
lent itself to a theory of the Holy Spirit being a female principle, and
this rapidly slid into identification of the Spirit with Mary.

The Clementines insist on the universe being compounded of the male and
the female elements. There are two sorts of prophecy, the male which
speaks of the world to come, the female which deals with the world that
is; the female principle rules this world, the body, all that is visible
and material. Beside this female principle stands Christ, the male
principle, ruling the spirits of men, and all that is invisible and
immaterial.(181) The Holy Spirit, brooding over the deep and calling the
world into being, became therefore the female principle in the Elkesaite

In Gnosticism, this deification of the female principle, which was
represented as Prounikos or Sophia among the Valentinians, led to the
incarnation of the principle in women who accompanied the heresiarchs
Simon and Apelles. Thus the Eternal Wisdom was incarnate in Helena, who
accompanied Dositheus and afterwards Simon Magus,(182) and in the fair
Philoumena who associated with Apelles.

The same influence seems imperceptibly to have been at work in the Church
of the Middle Ages, and in the pictures and sculptures of the coronation
of the Virgin. Mary seems in Catholic art to have assumed a position as
one of the Trinity.

In the original Gospel of the Hebrews, the passage probably stood thus:
“And straightway the Holy Spirit took me, and bore me to the great
mountain Thabor;” and Origen and Jerome quoted from a text corrupted by
the Gnostic Ebionites. The words “bore me by one of my hairs” were added
to assimilate the translation to that of Habbacuc by the angel, in the
apocryphal addition to the Book of Daniel.

We next come to a passage found in the Stromata of Clement of Alexandria,
who compares it with a sentence from the Theaetetus of Plato: “_He who
wondereth shall reign, and he who reigneth shall rest._”(183)

This, like the preceding quotation, has a Gnostic hue; but it is
impossible to determine its sense in the absence of the context. Nor does
the passage in the Theaetetus throw any light upon it. The whole of the
passage in St. Clement is this: “The beginning of (or search after) truth
is admiration,” says Plato. “And Matthias, in saying to us in his
Traditions, Wonder at what is before you, proves that admiration is the
first step leading upwards to knowledge. Therefore also it is written in
the Gospel of the Hebrews, He who shall wonder shall reign, and he who
reigns shall rest.”

What were these Traditions of Matthias? In another place St. Clement of
Alexandria mentions them, and quotes a passage from them, an instruction
of St. Matthias: “If he who is neighbour to one of the elect sins, the
elect sins with him; for if he (the elect) had conducted himself as the
Word requires, then his neighbour would have looked to his ways, and not
have sinned.”(184) And, again, he says that the followers of Carpocrates
appealed to the authority of St. Matthias—probably, therefore, to this
book, his Traditions—as an excuse for giving rein to their lusts.

These Traditions of St. Matthias evidently contained another version of
the same passage, or perhaps a portion of the same discourse attributed to
our Lord, which ran somehow thus: “_Wonder at, what is before your eyes_
(_i.e._ the mighty works that I do); _for he that wondereth shall reign,
and he that reigneth shall rest_.”

It is not impossible that this may be a genuine reminiscence of part of
our Lord’s teaching.

Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, says that Jesus
exercised the trade of a carpenter, and that he made carts, yokes, and
like articles.(185)

Where did he learn this? Not from St. Matthew’s Gospel; probably from the
lost Gospel which he quotes.

St. Jerome quotes as a saying of our Lord, “_Be ye proved money‐
changers._”(186) He has no hesitation in calling it a saying of the
Saviour. It occurs again in the Clementine Homilies(187) and in the
Recognitions.(188) It is cited much more fully by St. Clement of
Alexandria in his Stromata: “_Be ye proved money‐changers; retain that
which is good metal, reject that which is bad._”(189) Neither St. Jerome,
St. Clement of Alexandria, nor the author of the Clementines, give their
authority for the statement they make, that this is a saying of the Lord;
but we may, I think, fairly conclude that St. Jerome drew it from the
Hebrew Gospel he knew so well, having translated it into Greek and Latin,
and which he looked upon as an unexceptionable authority.

Whence the passage came may be guessed by the use made of it by those who
quote it. It probably followed our Lord’s saying, “I am not come to
destroy the Law, but to fulfil it.” “Nevertheless, be ye proved
exchangers; retain that which is good metal, reject that which is bad.”

Another passage is not given to us verbatim by St. Jerome; he merely
alludes to it in one of his Commentaries, saying that Jesus had declared
him guilty of a grievous crime who saddened the spirit of his
brother.(190) It probably occurred in the portion of the Gospel of the
Hebrews corresponding with the 18th chapter of St. Matthew, and may be
restored somewhat as follows: “Woe unto the world because of offences! for
it must needs be that offences come; _but woe to that man by whom the
offence cometh, and the soul of his brother be made sore_. Wherefore if
thy hand or thy foot offend thee,” &c.

Another passage is in perfect harmony with the teaching of our Lord, and,
like that given last, may very possibly have formed part of his teaching.
It is also given by St. Jerome, and therefore in Latin: “_Be never glad
unless ye are in charity with your brother_.”(191)

St. Jerome, in his treatise against Pelagius, quotes from the Gospel of
the Hebrews the following passage: “_If thy brother has sinned in word
against thee, and has made satisfaction, forgive him unto seven times a
day. Simon, his disciple, said unto him, Until seven times! The Lord
answered, saying, Verily I say unto thee, until seventy times seven_;” and
then probably, “_for I say unto thee, Be never glad till thou art in
charity with thy brother_.”(192)

The Gospel of the Nazarenes supplied details not found in that of St.
Matthew. It related of the man with the withered hand, healed by our
Lord,(193) that he was a mason,(194) and gave the words of the appeal made
to Jesus by the man invoking his compassion: “_I was a mason, working for
my bread with my hands. I pray thee, Jesus, restore me to soundness, that
I eat not my bread in disgrace._”(195)

It relates, what is found in St. Mark and St. Luke, but not in St.
Matthew, that Barabbas was cast into prison for sedition and murder;(196)
and it gives the interpretation of the name, “Son of a Rabbi.”(197) These
particulars may be correct; there is no reason to doubt them. The
interpretation of the name may be only a gloss which found its way into
the text.

Eusebius says that Papias “gives a history of a woman who had been accused
of many sins before the Lord, which is also contained in the Gospel
according to the Hebrews.”(198) Of this we know nothing further, for the
text is not quoted by any ancient writers; but probably it was the same
story as that of the woman taken in adultery related in St. John’s
Gospel.(199) But then, why did not Eusebius say that Papias gave “the
history of the woman accused of adultery, which is also related in the
Gospel of St. John”? Why does he speak of that story as being found in a
Gospel written in the Syro‐Chaldaean tongue, with which he himself was
unacquainted,(200) when the same story was in the well‐known Canonical
Greek Gospel of St. John? The conclusion one must arrive at is, either
that the stories were sufficiently differently related for him not to
recognize them as the same, or that the incident in St. John’s Gospel is
an excerpt from the Gospel of the Hebrews, or rather from a translation of
it, grafted into the text of the Canonical Gospel. The latter opinion is
favoured by some critics, who think that the story of the woman taken in
adultery did not belong to the original text, but was inserted in it in
the fourth or fifth century.

Those passages of the Gospel of the Nazarenes which most resemble passages
in the Gospel of St. Matthew are not, however, identical with them; some
differ only in the wording, but others by the form in which they are

And the remarkable peculiarity about them is, that the lessons in the
Gospel of the Hebrews seem preferable to those in the Canonical Gospel.
This was apparently the opinion of St. Jerome.

In chap. vi. ver. 11 of St. Matthew’s Gospel, we have the article of the
Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The words used in the
Greek of St. Matthew are, τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον. The word ἐπιούσιος
is one met with nowhere else, and is peculiar. The word οὐσία means
originally that which is essential, and belongs to the true nature or
property of things. In Stoic philosophy it had the same significance as
ὕλη, matter; ἐπιούσιον ἄρτον would therefore seem most justly to be
rendered by _supersubstantial_, the word employed by St. Jerome.

“Give us this day our supernatural bread.” But in the Gospel of the
Nazarenes, according to St. Jerome, the Syro‐Chaldaic word for ἐπιούσιον
was מחד, which signifies “to‐morrow’s,” that is, our “future,” or “daily”
bread. “_Give us this day the bread for the morrow_,”(201) certainly was
synonymous with, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It is curious that
the Protestant Reformers, shrinking from translating the word ἐπιούσιον
according to its apparently legitimate rendering, lest they should give
colour to the Catholic idea of the daily bread of the Christian soul being
the Eucharist, should have adopted a rendering more in accordance with an
Apocryphal than with a Canonical Gospel.

In St. Matthew, xxiii. 35, Jesus reproaches the Jews for their treatment
of the prophets, and declares them responsible for all the blood shed upon
the earth, “from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias,
son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the Temple and the altar.”

Now the Zacharias to whom our Lord referred was Zechariah, son of
Jehoiada, and not of Barachias, who was stoned “in the court of the house
of the Lord” by order of Joash.(202) Zacharias, son of Barachias, was not
killed till long after the death of our Lord. He was massacred by the
zealots inside the Temple, shortly before the siege, _i.e._ about A.D. 69.

Either, then, the Greek Gospel of St. Matthew was not written till after
the siege of Jerusalem, and so this anachronism passed into it, or the
error is due to a copyist, who, having heard of the murder of Zacharias,
son of Barachias, but who knew nothing of the Zacharias mentioned in
Chronicles, corrected the Jehoiada of the original into Barachias,
thinking that thereby he was rectifying a mistake.

Now in the Gospel of the Nazarenes the name stood correctly, and the
passage read, “_from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of
Zacharias, the son of Jehoiada_.”(203)

In both these last quoted passages, the preference is to be given to the
Nazarene Gospel, and probably also in that relating to forgiveness of a
brother. The lost Gospel in that passage requires the brother to make
satisfaction. It is no doubt the higher course to forgive a brother,
whether he repent or not, seventy times seven times in the day; but it may
almost certainly be concluded that our Lord meant that the forgiveness
should be conditional on his repentance, for in St. Luke’s Gospel the
repentance of the trespassing brother is distinctly required. “If thy
brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
And if he trespass against thee seven times a day, and seven times in a
day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”(204) In
St. Luke this is addressed to all the disciples; in St. Matthew, to Peter
alone; but there can be little doubt that both passages refer to the same
instruction, and that the fuller accounts in St. Luke and the Gospel of
the Hebrews are the more correct. There may be less elevation in the
precept, subject to the two restrictions, first, that the offence should
be a verbal one, and secondly, that it should be apologized for; but it
brings it more within compass of being practised.

We come next to a much longer fragment, which shall be placed parallel
with the passage with which it corresponds in St. Matthew.

“_Another rich man said unto     “And, behold, one came and
him: Master, what good thing     said unto him, Good Master,
shall I do that I may live? He   what good thing shall I do,
said unto him: O man, fulfil     that I may have eternal life?
the Laws and the Prophets. And   And he said unto him, Why
he answered him, I have done     callest thous me good? there
so. Then said he unto him, Go,   is none good but one, that is,
sell all that thou hast, and     God: but if thou wilt enter
give to the poor, and come,      into life, keep the
follow me. Then the rich man     commandments. He saith unto
began to smite his head, and     him, Which? Jesus said, Thou
it pleased him not. And the      shalt do no murder, Thou shalt
Lord said unto him, How sayest   not commit adultery, Thou
thou, I have fulfilled the Law   shalt not steal, Thou shalt
and the Prophets, when it is     not bear false witness. Honour
written in the Law Thou shalt    thy father and thy mother:
love thy neighbour as thyself;   and, Thou shalt love thy
and lo! many of thy brethren,    neighbor as thyself. The young
sons of Abraham, are covered     man saith unto him, All these
with filth, and dying of         things have I kept from my
hunger, and thy house is full    youth up; what lack I yet?
of many good things, and         Jesus said unto him, If thou
nothing therefrom goeth forth    wilt be perfect, go and sell
at any time unto them. And       that thou hast, and give to
turning himself about, he said   the poor, and thou shalt have
unto Simon, his disciple,        treasure in heave: and come
sitting near him, Simon, son     and follow me. But when the
of Jonas, it is easier for a     young man heard that saying,
camel to go through the eye of   he went away sorrowful: for he
a needle, than for a rich man    had great possessions. Then
to enter into the kingdom, of    said Jesus unto his disciples,
heaven_.”(205)                   Verily I say unto you, That a
                                 rich man shall hardly enter
                                 into the kingdom of heaven.
                                 And again I say unto you, It
                                 is easier for a camel to go
                                 through the eye of a needle,
                                 than for a rich man to enter
                                 into the kingdom of God.”

The comparison of these two accounts is not favourable to that in the
Canonical Gospel. It is difficult to understand how a Jew could have
asked, as did the rich young man, what commandments he ought to keep in
order that he might enter into life. The Decalogue was known by heart by
every Jew. Moreover, the narrative in the lost Gospel is more connected
than in the Canonical Gospel. The reproach made by our Lord is admirably
calculated to bring home to the rich man’s conscience the truth, that,
though professing to observe the letter of the Law, he was far from
practising its spirit; and this leads up quite naturally to the
declaration of the difficulty of a rich man obtaining salvation, or rather
to our Lord’s repeating a proverb probably common at the time in the

And lastly, in the proverb addressed aside to Peter, instead of to the
rich young man, that air of harshness which our Lord’s words bear in the
Canonical Gospel, as spoken to the young man in his sorrow, entirely
disappears. The proverb is uttered, not in stern rebuke, but as the
expression of sad disappointment, when the rich man has retired.

Another fragment from the Gospel of the Hebrews relates to the baptism of
our Lord.

The Gospel of St. Matthew gives no explanation of the occasion, the
motive, of Jesus coming to Jordan to the baptism of John. It says simply,
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of
him.”(207) But the Nazarene Gospel is more explicit.

“_Behold, his mother and his brethren said unto him, John the Baptist
baptizeth for the remission of sins; let us go and be baptized of him. But
he said unto them, What sin have I committed, that I should be baptized of
him, unless it be that in saying this I am in ignorance?_”(208)

This is a very singular passage. We do not know the context, but we may
presume that our Lord yields to the persuasion of his mother. Such is the
tradition preserved in another apocryphal work, the “Preaching of St.
Paul,” issuing from an entirely different source, from a school hostile to
the Nazarenes.(209)

Another fragment continues the account after a gap.

“_And when the Lord went up out of the water, the whole fountain of the
Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him, and said unto him, My Son, I
looked for thee in all the prophets, that thou mightest come, and that I
might __ rest upon thee. For thou art my rest, thou art my first‐begotten
Son, who shalt reign throughout eternity._”(210)

But this is not the only version we have of the narrative in the Gospel of
the Hebrews. St. Epiphanius gives us another, which shall be placed
parallel with the corresponding account in St. Matthew.

GOSPEL OF THE HEBREWS.           ST. MATTHEW iii 13‐17.
“_The people having been         “Then cometh Jesus from
baptized, Jesus came also, and   Galilee to Jordan unto John,
was baptized by John. And as     to be baptized of him. But
he came out of the water, the    John forbad him saying, I have
heavens opened, and he saw the   need to be baptized of thee,
Holy Spirit of God descending    and cometh thou to me? And
under the form of a dove, and    Jesus answering, said unto
entering into him. And a voice   him, Suffer it to be so now:
was heard from heaven, Thou      for thus it becometh us to
art my beloved Son, and in       fulfill all righteousness.
thee am I well pleased. And      Then he suffered him. And
again, This day have I           Jesus, when he was baptized,
begotten thee. And suddenly      went up straightway out of the
there shone a great light in     water: and, lo, the heavens
that place. And John seeing      were opened unto him, and he
it, said, Who art thou, Lord?    saw the Spirit of God
Then a voice was heard from      descending like a dove, and
heaven, This is my beloved       lighting upon him: And lo a
Son, in whom I am well           voice from heaven, saying,
pleased. Thereat John fell at    This is my beloved Son, in
his feet and said, I pray        whom I am well pleased.”
thee, Lord, baptize me. But,
he would not, saying, Suffer
it, for so it behoveth that
all should be

That the Gospel stood as in this latter passage quoted in the second
century among the orthodox Christians of Palestine is probable, because
with it agrees the brief citation of Justin Martyr, who says that when our
Lord was baptized, there shone a great light around, and a voice was heard
from heaven, saying, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”
Both occur in the Ebionite Gospel; neither in the Canonical Gospel.(212)

This Gospel was certainly known to the writer of the Canonical Epistle to
the Hebrews, for he twice takes this statement as authoritative. “For unto
which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day, have I
begotten thee?” and more remarkably, “Christ glorified not himself to be
made an high‐priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to‐day
have I begotten thee.”(213) In the latter passage the author is speaking
of the calling of priests being miraculous and manifest; and then he cites
this call of Christ to the priesthood as answering these requirements.

The order of events is not the same in the Gospel of Twelve and in that of
St. Matthew: verses 14 and 15 of the latter, modified in an important
point, come in the Ebionite Gospel after verses 16 and 17.

There is a serious discrepancy between the account of the baptism of our
Lord in St. Matthew and in St. John. In the former Canonical Gospel, the
Baptist forbids Christ to be baptized by him, saying, “I have need to be
baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” But Jesus bids him: “Suffer it
to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then
Jesus is baptized, and the heavens are opened. But in St. John’s Gospel,
the Baptist says, “I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with
water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit
descending, and remaining upon him, the same is he which baptizeth with
the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record, that this is the Son of

Now the account in the Gospel of the Twelve removes this discrepancy. John
does not know Jesus till after the light and the descent of the dove and
the voice, and then he asks to be baptized by Jesus.

It is apparent that the passage in the lost Gospel is more correct than
that in the Canonical one. In the latter there has been an inversion of
verses destroying the succession of events, and thus producing discrepancy
with the account in St. John’s Gospel.

With these passages from the Gospel of the Twelve may be compared a
curious one from the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. It occurs in the
Testament of Levi, and is a prophecy of the Messiah. “The heavens shall
open for thee, and from above the temple of glory the voice of the Father
shall dispense sanctification upon him, as has been promised unto Abraham,
the father of Isaac.”

The passage quoted by St. Epiphanius is wholly unobjectionable
doctrinally. It is not so with that quoted by St. Jerome; it is of a very
different character. It exhibits strongly the Gnostic ideas which infected
the stricter sect of the Ebionites.

It was precisely on the baptism of the Lord that they laid the greatest
stress; and it is in the account of that event that we should expect to
find the greatest divergence between the texts employed by the orthodox
and the heretical Nazarenes. Before his baptism he was nothing. It was
then only that the “full fount of the Holy Ghost” descended on him, his
election to the Messiahship was revealed, and divine power was
communicated to him to execute the mission entrusted to him. A marked
distinction was drawn between two portions in the life of Jesus—before and
after his baptism. In the first they acknowledged nothing but the mere
human nature, to the entire exclusion of everything supernatural; while
the sudden accruing of supernatural aid at the baptism marked the moment
when he became the Messiah. Thus the baptism was the beginning of their

Before that, he is liable to sin, he suggests that his believing himself
to be free from sin may have precipitated him into sin, the sin of
ignorance. And “_even in the prophets, after they had received the unction
of the Holy Ghost, there was found sinful speech_.”(215) This quotation
follows, in St. Jerome, immediately after the saying cited above enjoining
forgiveness, but it in no way dovetails into it; the passage concerning
the recommendation by St. Mary and the brethren that they should go up to
be baptized of John for the remission of sins, comes in the same chapter,
and there can be little doubt that this reference to the prophets as
sinful formed part of the answer of the Virgin to Jesus when he spoke of
his being sinless.

St. Jerome obtained his copy of the Gospel of the Hebrews from Beraea in
Syria, and not therefore from the purest source. Had he copied and
translated the codex he found in the library of Pamphilus at Caesarea,
instead of that he procured from Beraea, it is probable that he would have
found it not to contain the passages of Gnostic tendency.

These interpolations were made in the second century, when Gnostic ideas
had begun to affect the Ebionites, and break them up into more or less
heretical sects.

Their copies of the Gospel of the Hebrews differed, for the Gnostic
Ebionites curtailed it in some places, and amplified it in others.

In reconstructing the primitive lost Gospel of the Nazarenes, it is very
necessary to note these Gnostic passages, and to withdraw them from the
text. We shall come to some more of their additions and alterations
presently. It is sufficient for us to note here that the heretical Gospel
in use among the Gnostic Ebionites was based on the orthodox Gospel of the
Hebrews. The existence of these two versions explains the very different
treatment their Gospel meets with at the hands of the Fathers of the
Church. Some, and these the earliest, speak of this Gospel with reverence,
and place it almost on a line with the Canonical Gospels; others speak of
it with horror, as an heretical corruption of the Gospel of St. Matthew.
The former saw the primitive text, the latter the curtailed and amplified
version in use among the heretical Ebionites.

St. Paul, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, alludes to one of the
appearances of our Lord after his resurrection, of which no mention is
made in the Canonical Gospels: “After that, he was seen of James.”(216)
But according to his account, this appearance took place after several
other manifestations, viz. after that to Cephas, that to the Twelve, and
that to five hundred brethren at once. But it preceded another appearance
to “all the apostles.” If we take the first and second to have occurred on
Easter‐day, and the last to have been the appearance to them again “after
eight days,” when St. Thomas was present, then the appearance to St. James
must have taken place between the “even” of Easter‐day and Low Sunday.

Now the Gospel of the Hebrews gives a particular account of this visit to
James, which however, according to this account, took place early on
Easter‐day, certainly before Christ stood in the midst of the apostles in
the upper room on Easter‐evening.

St. Jerome says, “The Gospel according to the Hebrews relates that after
the resurrection of the Saviour, ‘_The Lord, after he had given the napkin
to the servant of the priest, went to James, and appeared to him. Now
James had sworn with an oath that he would not eat bread from that hour
when he drank the cup of the Lord, till he should behold him rising from
amidst them that sleep._’ And again, a little after, ‘_The Lord said,
Bring a table and bread_.’ And then, ‘_He took bread and blessed and
brake, and gave it to James the Just, and said unto __ him, My brother,
eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them that
sleep._’ ”(217)

This touching incident is quite in keeping with what we know about St.
James, the Lord’s brother.

James the Just, according to Hegesippus, “neither drank wine nor fermented
liquors, and abstained from animal food;”(218) and though the account of
Hegesippus is manifestly fabulous in some of its details, still there is
no reason to doubt that James belonged to the ascetic school among the
Jews, as did the Baptist before him, and as did the orthodox Ebionites
after him. The oath to abstain from food till a certain event was
accomplished was not unusual.(219)

What is meant by “the Saviour giving the napkin to the servant of the
priest,” it is impossible to conjecture without the context. The napkin
was probably that which had covered his face in the tomb, but whether the
context linked this on to the cycle of sacred sindones impressed with the
portrait of the Saviour’s suffering face, cannot be told. The designation
of “the Just” as applied to James is for the purpose of distinguishing him
from James the brother of John. He does not bear that name in the
Canonical Gospels, but the title may have been introduced by St. Jerome to
avoid confusion, or it may have been a marginal gloss to the text.

The story of this appearance found its way into the writings of St.
Gregory of Tours,(220) who no doubt drew it from St. Jerome; and thence it
passed into the Legenda Aurea of Jacques de Voragine.

If the Lord did appear to St. James on Easter‐day, as related in this lost
Gospel, then it may have been in the morning, and not after his appearance
to the Twelve, or on his appearance in the evening he may have singled out
and addressed James before all the others, as on that day week he
addressed St. Thomas. In either case, St. Paul’s version would be
inaccurate as to the order of manifestations. The pseudo‐Abdias, not in
any way trustworthy, thus relates the circumstance:

    “James the Less among the disciples was an object of special
    attachment to the Saviour, and he was inflamed with such zeal for
    his Master that he would take no meat when his Lord was crucified,
    and would only eat again when he should see Christ arisen from the
    dead; for he remembered that when Christ was alive he had given
    this precept to him and to his brethren. That is why he, with Mary
    Magdalene and Peter, was the first of all to whom Jesus Christ
    appeared, in order to confirm his disciples in the faith; and that
    he might not suffer him to fast any longer, a piece of an
    honeycomb having been offered him, he invited James to eat

Another fragment of the lost Gospel of the Hebrews also relates to the

“_And when he had come to [Peter and] those that were with Peter, he said
unto them, Take, touch me, and see that I am not a bodiless spirit. And
straightway they touched him and believed._”(222)

St. Ignatius, who cites these words, excepting only those within brackets,
does not say whence he drew them; but St. Jerome informs us that they were
taken from the Gospel of the Hebrews. At the same time he gives the
passage with greater fulness than St. Ignatius.

The account in St. Matthew contains nothing at all like this; but St. Luke
mentions these circumstances, though with considerable differences. The
Lord having appeared in the midst of his disciples, they imagine that they
see a spirit. Then he says, “Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts
arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself:
handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me

The narrative in St. Luke’s Gospel is fuller than that in the Gospel of
the Hebrews, and is not derived from it. In the Nazarene Gospel, as soon
as the apostles see and touch, they believe. But in the Canonical Gospel
of St. Luke, they are not convinced till they see Christ eat.

Justin Martyr cites a passage now found in the Canonical Gospel of St.
John, but not exactly as there, evidently therefore obtaining it from an
independent source, and that source was the Gospel of the Twelve, the only
one with which he was acquainted, the only one then acknowledged as
Canonical in the Nazarene Church.

The passage is, “_Christ has said, Except ye be regenerate, ye cannot
enter into the kingdom of heaven._”(224)

In St. John’s Gospel the parallel passage is couched in the third person:
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”(225) The
difference stands out more clearly in the Greek than in English.

We may conjecture that the primitive Gospel of the Hebrews contained an
account of the interview of Nicodemus with our Lord. When we come to
consider the Gospel used by the author of the Clementine Homilies and
Recognitions, we shall find that the instruction on new birth made to
Nicodemus was familiar to him, but not exactly in the form in which it is
recorded by St. John.

St. Jerome informs us that the lost Gospel we are considering did not
relate that the veil of the Temple was rent in twain when Jesus gave up
the ghost, but that the lintel stone, a huge stone, fell down.(226)

That this tradition may be true is not unlikely. The rocks were rent, and
the earth quaked, and it is probable enough that the Temple was so shaken
that the great lintel stone fell.

St. Epiphanius gives us another fragment:

“_I am come to abolish the sacrifices: if ye cease not from sacrificing,
the wrath of God will not cease from weighing upon you._”(227)

In the Clementine Recognitions, a work issuing from the Ebionite anti‐
Gnostic school, we find that the abolition of the sacrifices was strongly
insisted on. The abomination of idolatry is first exposed, and the strong
hold that Egyptian idolatry had upon the Israelites is pointed out; then
we are told Moses received the Law, and, in consideration of the
prejudices of the people, tolerated sacrifice:

    “When Moses perceived that the vice of sacrificing to idols had
    been deeply ingrained into the people from their association with
    the Egyptians, and that the root of this evil could not be
    extracted from them, he allowed them to sacrifice indeed, but
    permitted it to be done only to God, that by any means he might
    cut off one half of the deeply ingrained evil, leaving the other
    half to be corrected by another, and at a future time; by him,
    namely, concerning whom he said himself, A prophet shall the Lord
    your God raise unto you, whom ye shall hear, even as myself,
    according to all things which he shall say to you. Whosoever shall
    not hear that prophet, his soul shall be cut off from his

In another place the Jewish sacrifices are spoken of as sin.(229)

This hostility to the Jewish sacrificial system by Ebionites who observed
all the other Mosaic institutions was due to their having sprung out of
the old sect of the Essenes, who held the sacrifices in the same

That our Lord may have spoken against the sacrifices is possible enough.
The passage may have stood thus: “Think not that I am come to destroy the
Law and the Prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil;
nevertheless, I tell you the truth, I am come to destroy the sacrifices.
But be ye approved money‐changers, choose that which is good metal, reject
that which is bad.”

It is probable that in the original Hebrew Gospel there was some such
passage, for St. Paul, or whoever was the author of the Epistle to the
Hebrews, apparently alludes to it twice. He says, “When he cometh into the
world he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast
thou prepared me.”(231) The plain meaning of which is, not that David had
used those words centuries before, in prophecy, but that Jesus had used
them himself when he came into the world. If the writer of the Epistle did
quote a passage from the Hebrew Gospel, it will have been the second from
the same source.

In the Ebionite Gospel, “by a criminal fraud,” says St. Epiphanius, a
protestation has been placed in the mouth of the Lord against the Paschal
Sacrifice of the Lamb, by changing a positive phrase into a negative one.

When the disciples ask Jesus where they shall prepare the Passover, he is
made to reply, not, as in St. Luke, that with desire he had desired to eat
this Passover, but, “_Have I then any desire to eat the flesh of the
Paschal Lamb with you?_”(232)

The purpose of this interpolation of two words is clear. The Samaritan
Ebionites, like the Essenes, did not touch meat, regarding all animal food
with the greatest repugnance.(233) By the addition of two words they were
able to convert the saying of our Lord into a sanction of their
superstition. But this saying of Jesus is now found only in St. Luke’s
Gospel. It must have stood originally without the Μὴ and the κρέας in the
Gospel of the Twelve.

Another of their alterations of the Gospel was to the same intent. Instead
of making St. John the Baptist eat locusts and wild honey, they gave him
for his nourishment wild honey only, ἐγχρίδας, instead of ἀχρίδας and μελί

The passage in which this curious change was made is remarkable. It served
as the introduction to the Gospel in use among the Gnostic Ebionites.

“_A certain man, named Jesus, being about thirty years of age, hath chosen
us; and having come to Capernaum, he entered into the house of Simon,
whose surname was Peter, and he said unto him, As I passed by the Sea of
Tiberias, I chose John and James, the sons of Zebedee, Simon and Andrew,
Thaddaeus, Simon Zelotes and Judas Iscariot; and thee, Matthew, when thou
wast sitting at thy tax‐gatherer’s table, then I called thee, and thou
didst follow me. And you do I choose to be my twelve apostles to bear
witness unto Israel._

“_John baptized; and the Pharisees came to him, and they were baptized of
him, and all Jerusalem also. He had a garment of camels’ hair, and a
leathern girdle about his loins, and his meat was wild honey, and the
taste thereof was as manna, and as a cake of oil._”

Apparently after this announcement of his choice of the apostles there
followed something analogous to the preface in St. Luke’s Gospel, to the
effect that these apostles, having assembled together, had taken in hand
to write down those things that they remembered concerning Christ and his
teaching. And it was on this account that the Gospel obtained the name of
the “Recollections of the Apostles,” or the “Gospel of the Twelve.”

The special notice taken of St. Matthew, who is singled out from the
others in this address, is significant of the relation supposed to exist
between the Gospel and the converted publican. If we had the complete
introduction, we should probably find that in it he was said to have been
the scribe who wrote down the apostolic recollections.

2. Doubtful Fragments.

There are a few fragments preserved by early ecclesiastical writers which
we cannot say for certain belonged to the Gospel of the Hebrews, but which
there is good reason to believe formed a part of it.

Origen, in his Commentary on St. Matthew, quotes a saying of our Lord
which is not to be found in the Canonical Gospels. Origen, we know, was
acquainted with, and quoted respectfully, the Gospel of the Hebrews. It is
therefore probable that this quotation is taken from it: “_Jesus said, For
the sake of the weak I became weak, for the sake of the hungry I hungered,
for the sake of the thirsty I thirsted_.”(234)

That this passage, full of beauty, occurred after the words, “This kind
goeth not out but by prayer and fasting,” in commenting on which Origen
quotes it, is probable. It is noteworthy that it is quoted in comment on
St. Matthew’s Gospel, the one to which the lost Gospel bore the closest
resemblance, and one which Origen would probably consult whilst compiling
his Commentary on St. Matthew.(235)

The saying is so beautiful, and so truly describes the love of our Lord,
that we must wish to believe it comes to us on such high authority as the
Gospel of the Twelve.

Another saying of Christ is quoted both by Clement of Alexandria and by
Origen, without saying whence they drew it, but by both as undoubted
sayings of the Saviour. It ran:

“_Seek those things that are great, and little things will be added to
you._” “_And seek ye heavenly things, and the things of this world will be
added to you._”(236)

It will be seen, the form as given by St. Clement is better and simpler
than that given by Origen. It is probable, however, that they both formed
members of the same saying, following the usual Hebrew arrangement of
repeating a maxim, giving it a slightly different turn, or a wider
expansion. In two passages in other places Origen makes allusion to this
saying without quoting it directly.(237)

In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke puts into the mouth of St. Paul a
saying of Christ, which is not given by any evangelist, in these words:
“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, _It is more blessed to
give than to receive_.”(238) It is curious that this saying should not
have been inserted by St. Luke in his Gospel. Whether this saying found
its way into the Hebrew Gospel it is impossible to tell.

In the Epistle of St. Barnabas another utterance of Christ is given. This
Epistle is so distinctly of a Judaizing character, so manifestly belongs
to the Nazarene school, that such a reference in it makes it more than
probable that it was taken from the Gospel received as Canonical among the
Nazarenes. The saying of St. Barnabas is, “All the time of our life and of
our faith will not profit us, if we have not in abhorrence the evil one
and future temptation, even as the Son of God said, _Resist all iniquity
and hold it in abhorrence_.”(239) Another saying in the Epistle of St.
Barnabas is, “_They who would see me, and attain to my kingdom, must
possess me through afflictions and suffering_.”(240)

In the second Epistle of St. Clement of Rome to the Corinthians occurs a
very striking passage: “Wherefore to us doing such things the Lord said,
_If ye were with me, gathered together in my bosom, and did not keep my
commandments, I would cast you out, and say unto you, Depart from me, I
know not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity_.”(241)

We can well understand this occurring in an anti‐Pauline Gospel.

Again. “The Lord said, _Be ye as lambs in the midst of wolves. Peter
answered and said unto him, But what if the wolves shall rend the lambs?
Jesus said unto Peter, The lambs fear not the wolves after their death;
and ye also, do not ye fear them that kill you, and after that have
nothing that they can do to you, but fear rather him who, after ye are
dead, has power to cast your soul and body into hell fire._”(242)

This is clearly another version of the passage, Matt. x. 16‐26. In one
particular it is fuller than in the Canonical Gospel; it introduces St.
Peter as speaking and drawing forth the exhortation not to fear those who
kill the body only. But it is without the long exhortation contained in
the 17‐27th verses of St. Matthew.

Another saying from the same source is, “This, therefore, the Lord said,
_Keep the flesh chaste and the seal undefiled, and ye shall receive
eternal life_.”(243) The seal is the unction of confirmation completing
baptism, and in the primitive Church united with it. It is the σφραγίς so
often spoken of in the Epistles of St. Paul.(244)

Justin Martyr contributes another saying. We have already seen that in all
likelihood he quoted from the Gospel of the Hebrews, or the Recollections
of the Twelve, as he called it. He says, “On this account also our Lord
Jesus Christ said, _In those things in which I shall overtake you, in
those things will I judge you_.”(245) Clement of Alexandria makes the same
quotation, slightly varying the words. Justin and Clement apparently both
translated from the original Hebrew, but did not give exactly the same
rendering of words, though they gave the same sense.

Clement gives us another saying, but does not say from what Gospel he drew
it. “The Lord commanded in a certain Gospel, _My secret is for me and for
the children of my home_.”(246)

3. The Origin of the Gospel of the Hebrews.

We come now to a question delicate, and difficult to answer—the Origin of
the Gospel of the Hebrews; delicate, because it involves another, the
origin of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark; difficult, because of
the nature of the evidence on which we shall have to form our opinion.

Because the Gospel of the Hebrews is not preserved, is not in the Canon,
it does not follow that its value was slight, its accuracy doubtful. Its
disappearance is due partly to the fact of its having been written in
Aramaic, but chiefly to that of its having been in use by an Aramaic‐
speaking community which assumed first a schismatical, then a heretical
position, so that the disfavour which fell on the Nazarene body enveloped
and doomed its Gospel as well.

The four Canonical Gospels owe their preservation to their having been in
use among those Christian communities which coalesced under the moulding
hands of St. John. Those parties which were reluctant to abandon their
peculiar features were looked upon with coldness, then aversion, lastly
abhorrence. They became more and more isolated, eccentric, prejudiced,
impracticable. Whilst the Church asserted her catholicity, organized her
constitution, established her canon, formulated her creed, adapted herself
to the flux of ideas, these narrow sects spent their petty lives in
accentuating their peculiarities till they grew into monstrosities; and
when they fell and disappeared, there fell and disappeared with them those
precious records of the Saviour’s words and works which they had

The Hebrew Gospel was closely related to the Gospel of St. Matthew; that
we know from the testimony of St. Jerome, who saw, copied and translated
it. That it was not identical with the Canonical first Gospel is also
certain. Sufficient fragments have been preserved to show that in many
points it was fuller, in some less complete, than the Greek Gospel of St.
Matthew. The two Gospels were twin sisters speaking different tongues. Was
the Greek of the first Gospel acquired, or was it original? This is a
point deserving of investigation before we fix the origin and determine
the construction of the Hebrew Gospel.

According to a fragment of a lost work by Papias, written about the middle
of the second century, under the title of “Commentary on the Sayings of
the Lord,”(247) the apostle Matthew was the author of a collection of the
“sayings,” λόγια, of our blessed Lord. The passage has been already given,
but it is necessary to quote it again here: “Matthew wrote in the Hebrew
dialect the sayings, and every one interpreted them as best he was
able.”(248) These “logia” could only be, according to the signification of
the word (Rom. iii. 2; Heb. v. 12; Pet. iv. 11; Acts vii. 38), a
collection of the sayings of the Saviour that were regarded as oracular,
as “the words of God.” That they were the words of Jesus, follows from the
title given by Papias to his commentary, Λόγια κυριακὰ.

This brief notice is sufficient to show that Matthew’s collection was not
the Gospel as it now stands. It was no collection of the acts, no
biography, of the Saviour; it was solely a collection of his discourses.

This is made clearer by what Papias says in the same work on St. Mark. He
relates that the latter wrote not only what Jesus had _said_, but also
what he _did_;(249) whereas St. Matthew wrote only what had been

The work of Matthew, therefore, contained no doings, πραχθέντα, but only
sayings, λεχθέντα, which were, according to Papias, written in Hebrew,
_i.e._ the vernacular Aramaic, and which were translated into Greek by
every one as best he was able.

This notice of Papias is very ancient. The Bishop of Hierapolis is called
by Irenaeus “a very old man.”(251) and by the same writer is said to have
been “a friend of Polycarp,” and “one who had heard John.”(252) That this
John was the apostle is not certain. It was questioned by Eusebius in his
mention of the Prooemium of Papias. John the priest and John the apostle
were both at Ephesus, and both lived there at the close of the first
century. Some have thought the Apocalypse to have been the work of the
priest John, and not of the apostle. Others have supposed that there was
only one John. However this may be, it is certain that Papias lived at a
time when it was possible to obtain correct information relating to the
origin of the sacred books in use among the Christians.

According to the Prooemium of Papias, which Eusebius has preserved, the
Bishop of Hierapolis had obtained his knowledge, not directly from the
apostles, nor from the apostle John, but from the mouths of men who had
companied with old priests and disciples of the apostles, and who had
related to him what Andrew, Peter, Philip, Thomas, James, John and other
disciples of the Lord had said (εἶπεν). Besides the testimony of these
priests, Papias appealed further to the evidence of Aristion and the
priest John, disciples of the Lord,(253) still alive and bearing testimony
when he wrote. “And,” says Papias, “I do not think that I derived so much
benefit from books as from the living voice of those that are still

Papias, therefore, had his information about the apostles second‐hand,
from those “who followed them about.” Nevertheless, his evidence is quite
trustworthy. He takes pains to inform us that he used great precaution to
obtain the truth about every particular he stated, and the means of
obtaining the truth were at his disposal. That Papias was a man “of a
limited comprehension”(255) does not affect the trustworthiness of his
statement. Eusebius thus designates him because he believed in the
Millennium; but so did most of the Christians of the first age, as well as
in the immediate second coming of Christ, till undeceived by events.

The statement of Papias does not justify us in supposing that Matthew
wrote the Gospel in Hebrew, but only a collection of the logia, the
sayings of Jesus. Eusebius did not mistake the Sayings for the Gospel, for
he speaks separately of the Hebrew Gospel,(256) without connecting it in
any way with the testimony of Papias.

According to Eusebius, Papias wrote his Commentary in five books.(257) It
is not improbable, therefore, that the “Logia” were broken into five parts
or grouped in five discourses, and that he wrote an explanation of each
discourse in a separate book or chapter.

The statement of Papias, if it does not refer to the Gospel of St. Matthew
as it now stands, does refer to one of the constituent parts of that
Gospel, and does explain much that would be otherwise inexplicable.

1. St. Matthew’s Gospel differs from St. Mark’s in that it contains long
discourses, sayings and parables, which are wanting or only given in a
brief form in the second Canonical Gospel. It is therefore probable that
in its composition were used the “Logia of the Lord,” written by Matthew.

2. If the collection of “Sayings of the Lord” consisted, as has been
suggested, of five parts, then we find traces in the Canonical Matthew of
five groups of discourses, concluded by the same formulary: “And it came
to pass when Jesus had ended these sayings” (τοὺς λόγους τούτους), or
“parables,” vii. 28, xi. 1, xiii. 53,. xix. 1, xxvi. 1. It is not,
however, possible to restore all the “logia” to their primitive positions,
for they have been dispersed through the Canonical Gospel, and arranged in
connection with the events which called them forth. In the “Sayings of the
Lord” of Matthew, these events were not narrated; but all the sayings were
placed together, like the proverbs in the book of Solomon.

3. The “Logia” of the Lord were written by Matthew in Hebrew, _i.e._ in
the vernacular Aramaic. If they have formed the groundwork, or a composite
part of the Canonical Gospel, we are likely to detect in the Greek some
traces of their origin. And this, in fact, we are able to do.

α. In the first place, we have the introduction of Aramaic words, as Raka
(v. 22),(258) Mammon (vi. 22),(259) Gehenna (v. 22),(260) Amen (v.
18).(261) Many others might be cited, but these will suffice.

β. Next, we have the use of illustrations which are only comprehensible by
Hebrews, as “One jot and one tittle shall in no wise fall.” The Ἰῶτα of
the Greek text is the Aramaic Jod (v. 18); but the “one tittle” is more
remarkable. In the Greek it is “one horn,” or “stroke.”(262) The idea is
taken from the Aramaic orthography. A stroke distinguishes one consonant
from another, as ח and ה from ד. With this the Greeks had nothing that

γ. We find Hebraisms in great number in the discourses of our Lord given
by St. Matthew.(263)

δ. We find mistranslations. The Greek Canonical text gives a wrong
meaning, or no meaning at all, through misunderstanding of the Aramaic. By
restoration of the Aramaic text we can rectify the translation. Thus:

Matt. vii. 6, “Give not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast ye your
pearls before swine.” The word “holy,” τὸ ἅγιον, is a misinterpretation of
the Aramaic קרשא, a gold jewel for the ear, head or neck.(264) The
translator mistook the word for קורשא, or קרשא without ו “the holy.” The
sentence in the original therefore ran, “Give not a gold jewel to dogs,
neither cast pearls before swine.”

Matt. v. 37, “Let your conversation be Yea, yea, Nay, nay.” This is
meaningless. But if we restore the construction in Aramaic we have יהןא
לכם הן הן, לאו לאו, and the meaning is, “In your conversation let your yea
be yea, and your nay be nay.” The yea, yea, and nay, nay, in the Hebrew
come together, and this misled the translator. St. James quotes the saying
rightly (v. 12), “Let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; lest ye fall
into condemnation.” It is a form of a Rabbinic maxim, “The yea of the
righteous is yea, and their nay is nay.” It is an injunction to speak the

We have therefore good grounds for our conjecture that St. Matthew’s
genuine “Sayings of the Lord” form a part of the Canonical Gospel.

We have next to consider, Whence came the rest of the material, the record
of the “doings of the Lord,” which the compiler interwove with the

We have tolerably convincing evidence that the compiler placed under
contribution both Aramaic and Greek collections.

For the citations from the Old Testament are not taken exclusively from
the Hebrew Scriptures, nor from the Greek translation of the Seventy; but
some are taken from the Greek translation, and some are taken from the
Hebrew, or from a Syro‐Chaldaean Targum or Paraphrase, probably in use at
the time.

Matt. i. 23, “A virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son.”
This is quoted as a prophecy of the miraculous conception. But it is only
a prophecy in the version of the LXX., which renders the Hebrew word
παρθένος, “virgin.” The Hebrew word does not mean virgin exclusively, but
“a young woman.” We may therefore conclude that verses 22, 23, were
additions by the Greek compiler of the Gospel, unacquainted with the
original Hebrew text.

Matt. ii. 15, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” This is quoted
literally from the Hebrew text. That of the LXX. has, “Out of Egypt have I
called my children,” τὰ τέκνα. This made the saying of Hosea no prophecy
of our Lord; consequently he who inserted this reference can have known
only the Hebrew text, and not the Greek version. But in ii. 18, the
compiler follows the LXX. And again, ii. 23, “He shall be called a
Nazarene,” Ναζωραῖος. The Hebrew is כזר of which Ναζωραῖος is no
translation. The LXX. have Ναζιραῖος. The compiler was caught by the
similarity of sounds.

Matt. iii. 3. Here the construction of the LXX. is followed, which unites
“in the wilderness” with “the voice of one crying.” The Hebrew was
therefore not known by the compiler.

Matt. iv. 15. Here the LXX. is not followed, for the word γῆ is used in
place of χώρα. The quotation is not, moreover, taken exactly from Isaiah,
but apparently from a Targum.

Matt. viii. 17. This quotation is nearer the original Hebrew than the
rendering of the LXX.

Matt. xii. 18‐21. In this citation we have an incorrect rendering of the
Hebrew לתורתו “at his teaching,” made by the LXX. “in his name,” adopted
without hesitation by the compiler. He also accepts the erroneous
rendering of “islands,” made “nation,” “Gentiles,” by the LXX.

But, on the other hand, “till he send forth judgment unto victory,” is
taken from neither the original Hebrew nor from the LXX., and is probably
derived from a Targum.

Thus in this passage we have apparently a combination of two somewhat
similar accounts—the one in Greek, the other in Aramaic.

Matt. xiii. 35. This also is a compound text. The first half is from the
LXX., but the second member is from a Hebrew Targum.

Matt. xxvii. 3. In the Hebrew, the field is not a “potter’s,” nor is it in
the LXX., who use χωνευτήριον “the smelting‐furnace.” The word in the
Hebrew signifies “treasury.” The composer of the Gospel, therefore must
have quoted from a Targum, and been ignorant both of the genuine Hebrew
Scriptures and of the Greek translation of the Seventy.

These instances are enough to show that the material used for the
compilation of the first Canonical Gospel was very various; that the
author had at his disposal matter in both Aramaic and Greek.

We shall find, on looking further, that he inserted two narratives of the
same event in his Gospel in different places, if they differed slightly
from one another, when coming to him from different sources.

The following are parallel passages:

iv. 23 And Jesus went about      ix. 35 And Jesus went about
all Galilee, teaching in their   all the cities and villages,
synagogues, and preaching the    teaching in their synagogues,
gospel of the kingdom, and       and preaching the gospel of
healing all manner of sickness   the kingdom, and healing every
and all manner of disease        sickness and every disease
among the people.                among the people.
v. 29 And if thy right eye       xviii. 9 And if thine eye
offend thee, pluck it out, and   offend thee, pluck it out, and
cast it from thee: for it is     cast it from thee: it is
profitable for thee that one     better for thee to enter into
of thy members should perish,    life with one eye, rather than
and not that thy whole body      having two eyes to be cast
should be cast into hell.        into hell fire.
30 And if thy right hand         8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy
offend thee, cut it off, and     foot offend thee, cut them
cast it from thee: for it is     off, and cast them from thee:
profitable for thee that one     it is better for thee to enter
of thy members should perish,    into life halt or maimed,
and not that thy whole body      rather than having two hands
should be cast into hell.        or two feet to be cast into
                                 everlasting fire.
32 But I say unto you, That      xix. 9 And I say unto you,
whosoever shall put away his     Whosoever shall put away his
wife, saving for the cause of    wife, except it be for
fornication, causeth her to      fornication, and shall marry
commit adultery: and whosoever   another, committeth adultery:
shall marry her that is          and whoso marrieth her which
divorced committeth adultery.    is put away doth commit
vi. 14 For if ye forgive men     xviii. 35 So likewise shall my
their trespasses, your           heavenly Father do also unto
heavenly Father will also        you, if ye from your hearts
forgive you:                     forgive not every one his
                                 brother their trespasses.
15 But if ye forgive not men
their trespasses, neither will
your Father forgive your
vii. 16 Ye shall know them by    xii. 33 Either make the tree
their fruits. Do men gather      good, and his fruit good; or
grapes of thorns, or figs of     else make the tree corrupt,
thistles?                        and his fruit corrupt: for the
                                 tree is known by his fruit.
17 Even so every good tree
bringeth forth good fruit; but
a corrupt tree bringeth forth
evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring
forth evil fruit, neither can
a corrupt tree bring forth
good fruit.
ix. 13 But go ye and learn       what this meaneth, I will have
what that meaneth, I will have   mercy, and not sacrifice.
mercy, and not sacrifice.
ix. 34 But the Pharisees said,   xii. 24 But when the Pharisees
He casteth out devils through    heard it, they said, This
the prince of the devils.        fellow doth not cast out
                                 devils, but by Beelzebub the
                                 prince of the devils.
x. 15 Verily I say unto you,     xi. 24. But I say unto you,
It shall be more tolerable for   That it shall be more
the land of Sodom and Gomorrha   tolerable for the land of
in the day of judgment, than     Sodom in the day of judgment,
for that city.                   than for thee.
17 But beware of men: for they   xxiv. 9 Then shall they
will deliver you up to the       deliver you up to be
councils, and they will          afflicted, and shall kill you:
scourge you in their             and ye shall be hated of all
synagogues;                      nations for my name’s sake.
22 And ye shall be hated of
all men for my name’s sake.
xii. 39 But he answered and      xvi. 4 A wicked and adulterous
said unto them, An evil and      generation seeketh after a
adulterous generation seeketh    sign; and there shall no sign
after a sign; and there shall    be given unto it, but the sign
no sign be given to it; but      of the prophet Jonas.
the sign of the prophet Jonas.
xiii.12 For whosoever hath, to   xxv. 29 For unto every one
him shall be given, and he       that hath shall be given, and
shall have more abundance: but   he shall have abundance: but
whosoever hath not, from him     from him that hath not shall
shall be taken away even that    be taken away even that which
he hath.                         he hath.
xiv. 5 And when he would have    xxi. 26 But if we shall say,
put him to death, he feared      Of men; we fear the people;
the multitude, because they      for all hold John as a
counted him as a prophet.        prophet.
xvi. 19 And I will give unto     xviii. 18 Verily I say unto
thee the keys of the kingdom     you, Whatsoever ye shall bind
of heaven: and whatsoever thou   on earth shall be bound in
shalt bind on earth shall be     heaven: and whatsoever ye
bound in heaven: and             shall loose on earth shall be
whatsoever thou shalt loose on   loosed in heaven.
earth shall be loosed in
xvii. 20 And Jesus said unto     xxi. 21 Jesus answered and
them, Because of your            said unto them, Verily I say
unbelief: for verily I say       unto you, If ye have faith and
unto you, If ye have faith as    doubt not, ye shall not only
a grain of mustard seed, ye      do this which is done to the
shall say unto this mountain,    fig tree, but also if ye shall
Remove hence to yonder place;    say unto this mountain, Be
and it shall remove; and         thou removed, and be thou cast
nothing shall be impossible      into the sea; it shall be
unto you.                        done.
xxiv. 11  And many false         xxiv. 24 For there shall arise
prophets shall rise, and shall   false Christs, and false
deceive many.                    prophets and shall shew great
                                 signs and wonders: insomuch
                                 that, if it were possible,
                                 they should deceive the very
xxiv. 23 Then if any man shall   xxiv. 26 Wherefore if they
say unto you, Lo, here is        shall say unto you, Behold, he
Christ, or there; believe it     is in the desert, go not
not.                             forth: behold, he is in the
                                 secret chamber; believe it

The existence in the first Canonical Gospel of these duplicate passages
proves that the editor of it in its present form made use of materials
from different sources, which he worked together into a complete whole.
And these duplicate passages are the more remarkable, because, where his
memory does not fail him, he takes pains to avoid repetition.

It would seem therefore plain that the compiler of St. Matthew’s Gospel
made use of, first, a Collection of the Sayings of the Lord, of undoubted
genuineness, drawn up by St. Matthew; second, of two or more Collections
of the Sayings and Doings of the Lord, also, no doubt, genuine, but not
necessarily by St. Matthew.

One of these sources was made use of also by St. Mark in the composition
of his Gospel.

According to the testimony of Papias:

    “John the Priest said this: Mark being the interpreter of Peter,
    whatsoever he recorded he wrote with great accuracy, but not,
    however, in the order in which it was spoken or done by our Lord,
    for he neither heard nor followed our Lord, but, as before said,
    he was in company with Peter, who gave him such instruction as
    occasion called forth, but did not study to give a history of our
    Lord’s discourses; wherefore Mark has not erred in anything, by
    writing this and that as he has remembered them; for he was
    carefully attentive to one thing, not to pass by anything that he
    heard, nor to state anything falsely in these accounts.”(265)

It has been often asked and disputed, whether this statement applies to
the Gospel of St. Mark received by the Church into her sacred canon.

It can hardly be denied that the Canonical Gospel of Mark does answer in
every particular to the description of its composition by John the Priest.
John gives five characteristics to the work of Mark:

1. A striving after accuracy.(266)

2. Want of chronological succession in his narrative, which had rather the
character of a string of anecdotes and sayings than of a biography.(267)

3. It was composed of records of both the sayings and the _doings_ of

4. It was no syntax of sayings (σύνταξις λογίων), like the work of

5. It was the composition of a companion of Peter.(270)

These characteristic features of the work of Mark agree with the Mark
Gospel, some of the special features of which are:

1. Want of order: it is made up of a string of episodes and anecdotes, and
of sayings manifestly unconnected.

2. The order of events is wholly different from that in Matthew, Luke and

3. Both the sayings and the doings of Jesus are related in it.

4. It contains no long discourses, like the Gospel of St. Matthew,
arranged in systematic order.

5. It contains many incidents which point to St. Peter as the authority
for them, and recall his preaching.

To this belong—the manner in which the Gospel opens with the baptism of
John, just as St. Peter’s address (Acts x. 37‐41) begins with that event
also; the many little incidents mentioned which give token of having been
related by an eye‐witness, and in which the narrative of St. Matthew is
deficient.(271) St. Mark’s Gospel is also rich in indications of the
feelings of the people toward Jesus, such as an eye‐witness must have
observed,(272) and of notices of movements of the body—small significant
acts, which could not escape one present who described what he had

That the composer of St. Matthew’s Gospel made use of the material out of
which St. Mark compiled his, that is, of the memorabilia of St. Peter, is
evident. Whole passages of St. Mark’s Gospel occur word for word, or
nearly so, in the Gospel of St. Matthew.(274)

Moreover, it is apparent that sometimes the author of St. Matthew’s Gospel
misunderstood the text. A few instances must suffice here.

Mark ii. 18: “And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting.
And they came to him and said to him, Why do the disciples of John, and
the disciples of the Pharisees, fast, and thy disciples fast not?” It is
clear that it was then a fasting season, which the disciples of Jesus were
not observing. The “they” who came to him does not mean “the disciples of
John and of the Pharisees,” but certain other persons. Καὶ ἔρχονται is so
used in St. Mark’s Gospel in several places, like the French “on venait.”

But the compiler of St. Matthew’s Gospel did not understand this use of
the verb without a subject expressed, and he made “the disciples of John”
ask the question.

Mark vi. 10: Ὅπου ἂν εἰσέλθητε εἰς οἰκίαν, ἐκεῖ μένετε ἕως ἄν ἐξέλθητε
ἐκεῖθεν. That is, “Wherever (_i.e._ in whatsoever town or village) ye
enter into a house, therein remain (i.e. in that house) till ye go away
thence (_i.e._ from that city or village).” By leaving out the word
_house_, Matthew loses the sense of the command (x. 11), “Into whatsoever
town or village ye enter—remain in it till ye go out of it.”

Mark vii. 27, 28. The Lord answers the Syro‐Phoenician woman, “Let the
children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread,
and to cast it unto the dogs.” The woman answers, “Yes, Lord; yet the dogs
under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.” The meaning is, God gives
His grace and mercy first to the Jews (the children); and this must not be
taken from the Jews to be given to the heathen (the dogs). True, answers
the woman; but the heathen do partake of the blessings that overflow from
the portion of the Jews.

But the so‐called Matthew did not catch the signification, and the point
is lost in his version (xv. 27). He makes the woman answer, “The dogs eat
of the crumbs which fall from _their masters’_ table.”

Mark x. 13. According to St. Mark, parents brought their children to
Christ, probably with some superstitious idea, to be touched. This
offended the disciples. “They rebuked those that brought them.” But Jesus
was displeased, and said to the disciples, “Suffer the little children to
come unto me.” And instead of fulfilling the superstitious wishes of the
parents, he took the children in his arms and blessed them. But the text
used by St. Matthew’s compilator was probably defective at the end of
verse 13, and ended, “and his disciples rebuked....” The compiler
therefore completed it with αὐτοῖς instead of τοῖς προσφέρουσιν, and then
misunderstood verse 14, and applied the ἄφετε differently: “Let go the
children, and do not hinder them from coming to me.” In St. Mark, the
disciples rebuke the parents; in St. Matthew, they rebuke the children,
and intercept them on their way to Christ.

Mark xii. 8: “They slew him and cast him out,” _i.e._ cast out the dead
body. The compiler of St. Matthew’s Gospel did not see this. He could not
understand how that the son was killed and then cast out of the vineyard;
so he altered the order into, “They cast him out and slew him” (xxi.

Examples might be multiplied, but these must suffice. If I am not
mistaken, they go far to prove that the author of St. Matthew’s Gospel
used the material, or some of the material, out of which St. Mark’s Gospel
was composed.

But there are also other proofs. The text of St. Mark has been taken into
that of St. Matthew’s Gospel, but not without some changes, corrections
which the compiler made, thinking the words of the text in his hands were
redundant, vulgar, or not sufficiently explicit.

Thus Mark i. 5: “The whole Jewish land and all they of Jerusalem,” he
changed into, “Jerusalem and all Judaea.”

Mark i. 12: “The Spirit driveth,” ἐκβάλλει, he softened into “led,”

Mark iii. 4: “He saith, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath‐days, or to
do evil?” In St. Matthew’s Gospel, before performing a miracle, Christ
argues the necessity of showing mercy on the Sabbath‐day, and supplies
what is wanting in St. Mark—the conclusion, “Wherefore it is lawful to do
well on the Sabbath‐days” (xii. 12).

Mark iv. 12: “That seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not
hear.” This seemed harsh to the compiler of St. Matthew. It was as if
unbelief and blindness were fatally imposed by God on men. He therefore
alters the tenor of the passage, and attributes the blindness of the
people, and their incapability of understanding, to their own grossness of
heart (xiii. 14, 15).

Mark v. 37: “The ship was freighted,” in St. Matthew, is altered into,
“the ship was covered” with the waves (viii. 34).

Mark vi. 9 “Money in the girdle,” changed into, “money in the girdles” (x.

Mark ix. 42: “A millstone were put on his neck,” changed to, “were hung
about his neck” (xviii. 6).

Mark x. 17: “Sell all thou hast;” Matt. xix. 21, “all thy possessions.”

Mark xii. 30: “He took a woman;” Matt. xxii. 25, “he married.”

But if it be evident that the author of St. Matthew’s Gospel laid under
contribution the material used by St. Mark, it is also clear that he did
not use St. Mark’s Gospel as it stands. He had the fragmentary memorabilia
of which it was made up, or a large number of them, but unarranged. He
sorted them and wove them in with the “Logia” written by St. Matthew, and
_afterwards_, independently, without knowledge, probably, of what had been
done by the compiler of the first Gospel, St. Mark compiled his. Thus St.
Matthew’s is the first Gospel in order of composition, though much of the
material of St. Mark’s Gospel was written and in circulation first.

This will appear when we see how independently of one another the compiler
of St. Matthew and St. Mark arrange their “memorabilia.”

It is unnecessary to do more to illustrate this than to take the contents
of Matt. iv.—xiii.

According to St. Matthew, after the Sermon on the Mount, Christ heals the
leper, then enters Capernaum, where he receives the prayer of the
centurion, and forthwith enters into Peter’s house, where he cures the
mother‐in‐law, and the same night crosses the sea.

But according to St. Mark, Christ cast out the unclean spirit in the
synagogue at Capernaum, then healed Peter’s wife’s mother, and, not the
same night but long after, crossed the sea. On his return he went through
the villages preaching, and then healed the leper.

The accounts are the same, but the order is altogether different. The
deutero‐Matthew must have had the material used by Mark under his eye, for
he adopts it into his narrative; but he cannot have had St. Mark’s Gospel,
or he would not have so violently disturbed the order of events.

The compiler has been guilty of an inaccuracy in the use of “Gergesenes”
instead of Gadarenes. St. Mark is right. Gadara was situated near the
river Hieromax, east of the Sea of Galilee, over against Scythopolis and
Tiberias, and capital of Peraea. This agrees exactly with what is said in
the Gospels of the miracle performed in the “country of the Gadarenes.”
The swine rushed violently down a steep place and perished in the lake.
Jesus had come from the N.W. shore of the Sea to Gadara in the S.E. But
the country of the Gergesenes can hardly be the same as that of the
Gadarenes. Gerasa, the capital, was on the Jabbok, some days’ journey
distant from the lake. The deutero‐Matthew was therefore ignorant of the
topography of the neighbourhood whence Levi, that is Matthew, was called.

St. Mark says that Christ healed one demoniac in the synagogue of
Capernaum, then crossed the lake, and healed the second in Gadara. But St.
Matthew, or rather the Greek compiler of St. Matthew’s Gospel, has fused
these two events into one, and makes Christ heal both possessed men in the
country of the Gergesenes. In like manner we have twice the healing of two
blind men (ix. 27 and xx. 30), whereas the other evangelists know of only
single blind men being healed on both occasions. How comes this? The
compiler had two accounts of each miracle of healing the blind, slightly
varying. He thought they referred to the same occasion, but to different
persons, and therefore made Christ heal two men, whereas he had given
sight to but one.

In the former case the compiler had not such a circumstantial account of
the restoration to sound mind of the demoniac in the synagogue as St. Mark
had received from St. Peter. He knew only that on the occasion of Christ’s
visit to the Sea of Tiberias he had recovered two men who were possessed,
and so he made the healing of both take place simultaneously at the same

An equally remarkable instance of the fact that St. Matthew’s Gospel was
made up of fragmentary “recollections” by various eye‐witnesses, is that
of the dumb man possessed with a devil, in ix. 32. At Capernaum, after
having restored Jairus’ daughter to life and healed the two blind men, the
same day the dumb man is brought to him. The devil is cast out, the dumb
speaks, and the Pharisees say, “He casteth out devils through the prince
of the devils.”

This is exactly the same account which has been used by St. Luke (xi. 14).
But in xii. 22 we have the same incident over again. There is brought unto
Christ one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb; him Christ heals;
whereupon the Pharisees say, “This fellow doth not cast out devils but by
Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” Then follows the solemn warning
against blasphemy.

It is clear that the Greek compiler of St. Matthew’s Gospel must have had
two independent accounts of this miracle, one with the warning against
blasphemy appended to it, the other without. He gives both accounts, one
as occurring at Capernaum, the other much later, after Jesus had gone
about Galilee preaching, and the Pharisees had conspired against him.

St. Matthew says that after the healing of Peter’s wife’s mother, Jesus,
that same evening, cured many sick, and in the night crossed to the
country of the Gergesenes. But St. Mark says that he remained that night
at Capernaum, and rose early next morning before day, and went into a
solitary place. According to him, this crossing over the sea did not occur
till long after.

The following table will show how remarkably discordant is the arrangement
of events in the two evangels. The order of succession differs, but not
the events and teaching recorded; surely a proof that both writers
composed these Gospels out of similar but fragmentary accounts available
to both. The following table will show this disagreement at a glance.

ST. MATTHEW.                     ST. MARK.
(At Capernaum), iv. 13.          (At Capernaum), i. 21.
1. Goes about preaching in the   Heals man with unclean spirit
villages of Galilee (23), 1.     (23‐28).
2. Sermon on the Mount           5. Peter’s mother‐in‐law
(v.‐vii.).                       healed (30, 31).
3. Leper cleansed (viii. 2‐4).   6. At even heals the sick
4. Centurion’s servant healed
5. Peter’s wife’s mother         Next day rises early and goes
healed (14, 15).                 into a solitary place (35‐37).
                                 (Leaves Capernaum).
6. At even cures the sick        1. Goes about the villages of
(16).                            Galilee (38‐39).
7. Same night crosses the sea    3.  Heals the leper (40, 41).
(In the country of               (Outside the town of
Gergesenes).                     Capernaum), 45.
8.  Heals two demoniacs
(Returns to Capernaum), ix. 1.   (Returns to Capernaum), ii. 1.
9. Sick of the palsy healed      9. Sick of the palsy healed
(2‐8).                           (2‐13).
10. Calls Matthew (9).
11. Hemorrhitess cured           10. Levi called (14).
12. Jairus’ daughter restored    19.  Plucks the ears of corn
(18‐26).                         (23‐28).
13. Two blind men healed         20.  Heals the withered hand
(27‐30).                         (iii. 1‐5).
14. Dumb man healed (32, 33).    21.  Consultation against
                                 Jesus (6). (Leaves Capernaum),
15. Warning against blasphemy    6. Heals many sick (10‐12).
(Goes about Galilee), 35 and     Goes into a mountain and
xi. 1.
16. Sends out the Twelve (x).    chooses the Twelve (13‐19).
(Probably at Capernaum).         15, 23.  The Pharisees
17. John’s disciples come to     warning against blasphemy
him (xi. 2‐6).                   (22‐30).
18. Denunciation of cities of    24.  Mother and brethren seek
Galilee (20‐24).                 him (31‐35).
19. Plucks the ears of com       25. Teaches from the ship;
(xii. 1‐9).                      parable of the sower (iv.
20. Heals the withered hand      7. Crosses the lake in a storm
(10‐13).                         (35‐41).
21. Consultation against Jesus   (In the country of Gadarenes).
(Leaves Capernaum), 15.          8.  Heals the demoniac (v.
22. Heals deaf and dumb man      (Returns to Capernaum), 21.
23. Denunciation of blasphemy    11. Hemorrhitess healed
(24‐32).                         (25‐34).
                                 12. Jairus’ daughter restored
24. Mother and brethren seek     16. Sends out the Twelve (vi.
Jesus (46‐50).                   7‐13).
25. Teaches from the ship;
parable of sower (xiii. 1‐12).
(Returns to his own country),

The order in St. Luke is again different. Jesus calls Levi, chooses the
Twelve, preaches the sermon on the plain, heals the Centurion’s servant,
goes then from place to place preaching. Then occurs the storm on the
lake, and after having healed the demoniac Jesus returns to Capernaum,
cures the woman with the bloody flux, raises Jairus’ daughter and sends
out the Twelve.

In the Gospel of St. Mark, the parable of the sower is spoken on “the same
day” on which, in the evening, Jesus crosses the lake in a storm.

In the Gospel of St. Matthew, this parable is spoken long after, on “the
same day” as his mother and brethren seek him, and this is after he has
been in the country of the Gadarenes, has returned to Capernaum, gone
about Galilee preaching, come back again to Capernaum, but has been driven
away again by the conspiracy of the Pharisees.

It would appear from an examination of the two Gospels that articles 23,
24 and 25 composed one document, for both St. Matthew and St. Mark used it
as it is, in a block, only they differ as to where to build it in.

19, 20 and 21 formed another block of Apostolic Memorabilia, and was built
in by the deutero‐Matthew in one place and by St. Mark in another. 5 and
6, and again 9 and 10, were smaller compound recollections which the
compiler of St. Matthew’s Gospel and St. Mark obtained in their concrete
forms. On the other hand, 3 and 16 formed recollections consisting of but
one member, and are thrust into the narrative where the two compilers
severally thought most suitable. We are therefore led by the comparison of
the order in which events in our Lord’s life are related by St. Matthew
and St. Mark, to the conclusion, that the author of the first Gospel as it
stands had not St. Mark’s Gospel in its complete form before him when he
composed his record.

We have yet another proof that this was so.

St. Matthew’s Gospel is not so full in its account of some incidents in
our Lord’s life as is the Gospel of St. Mark.

The compiler of the first Gospel has shown throughout his work the
greatest anxiety to insert every particular he could gather relating to
the doings and sayings of Jesus. This has led him into introducing the
same event or saying over a second time if he found more than one version
of it. Had he all the material collected in St. Mark’s Gospel at his
disposal, he would not have omitted any of it.

But we do not find in St. Matthew’s Gospel the following passages:

Mark iv. 26‐29, the parable of the seed springing up, a type of the growth
of the Gospel without further labour to the minister than that of
spreading it abroad. The meaning of this parable is different from that in
Matt. xii. 24‐30, and therefore the two parables are not to be regarded as

Mark viii. 22‐26. By omitting the narrative of what took place at
Bethsaida, an apparent gap occurs in the account of St. Matthew after xvi.
4‐12. The journey across the sea leads one to expect that Christ and his
disciples will land somewhere on the coast. But Matthew, without any
mention of a landing at Bethsaida, translates Jesus and the apostolic band
to Caesarea Philippi. But in Mark, Jesus and his disciples land at
Bethsaida, and after having performed a miracle of healing there on a
blind man—a miracle, the particulars of which are very full and
interesting—they go on foot to Caesarea Philippi (viii. 27). That the
compiler of the first Gospel should have left this incident out
deliberately is not credible.

Mark ix. 38, 39. In St. Matthew’s collection of the Logia of our Lord
there existed probably the saying of Christ, “He that is not with me is
against me” (Matt. xii. 30). St. Mark narrates the circumstances which
called forth this remark. But the deutero‐Matthew evidently did not know
of these circumstances; he therefore leaves the saying in his record
without explanation.(276)

Mark xii. 41‐44. The beautiful story of the poor widow throwing her two
mites into the treasury, and our blessed Lord’s commendation of her
charity, is not to be found in St. Matthew’s Gospel. Is it possible that
he could have omitted such an exquisite anecdote had he possessed it?

Mark xiv. 51, 52. The account of the young man following, having the linen
cloth cast about his naked body, who, when caught, left the linen cloth in
the hands of his captors and ran off naked—an account which so
unmistakably exhibits the narrative to have been the record of some eye‐
witness of the scene, is omitted in St. Matthew. On this no stress,
however, can be laid. The deutero‐Matthew may have thought the incident
too unimportant to be mentioned.

Enough has been said to show conclusively that the deutero‐Matthew, if we
may so term the compiler of the first Canonical Gospel, had not St. Mark’s
Gospel before him when he wrote his own, that he did not cut up the Gospel
of Mark, and work the shreds into his own web.

Both Gospels are mosaics, composed in the same way. But the Gospel of St.
Mark was composed only of the “recollections” of St. Peter, whereas that
of St. Matthew was more composite. Some of the pieces which were used by
Mark were used also by the deutero‐Matthew. This is patent: how it was so
needs explanation.

It is probable that when the apostles founded churches, their instructions
on the sayings and doings of Jesus were taken down, and in the absence of
the apostles were read by the president of the congregation. The Epistles
which they sent were, we know, so read,(277) and were handed on from one
church to another.(278) But what was far more precious to the early
believers than any letters of the apostles about the regulation of
controversies, were their recollections of the Lord, their Memorabilia, as
Justin calls them. The earliest records show us the Gospels read at the
celebration of the Eucharist.(279) The ancient Gospels were not divided
into chapters, but into the portions read on Sundays and festivals, like
our “Church Services.” Thus the Peschito version in use in the Syrian
churches was divided in this manner: “Fifth day of the week of the
Candidates” (Matt. ix. 5‐17), “For the commemoration of the Dead” (18‐26),
“Friday in the fifth week in the Fast” (27‐38), “For the commemoration of
the Holy Apostles” (36‐38, x. 1‐15), “For the commemoration of Martyrs”
(16‐33), “Lesson for the Dead” (34‐42), “Oblation for the beheading of
John” (xi. 1‐15), “Second day in the third week of the Fast” (16‐24).

To these fragmentary records St. Luke alludes when he says that “many had
taken in hand to arrange in a consecutive account (ἀνατάξασθαι διήγησιν)
those things which were most fully believed” amongst the faithful. These
he “traced up from the beginning accurately one after another”
(παρηκολουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν ἀκριβῶς καθεξῆς). Here we have clearly the
existence of records disconnected originally, which many strung together
in consecutive order, and St. Luke takes pains, as he tells us, to make
this order chronological.

Some Churches had certain Memorabilia, others had a different set. That of
Antioch had the recollections of St. Peter, that of Jerusalem the
recollections of St. James, St. Simeon and St. Jude. St. Luke indicates
the source whence he drew his account of the nativity and early years of
the Lord,—the recollections of St. Mary, the Virgin Mother, communicated
to him orally. He speaks of the Blessed Virgin as keeping the things that
happened in her heart and pondering on them.(280) Another time it is
contemporaries, Mary certainly included.(281) On both occasions it is in
reference to events connected with our Lord’s infancy. Why did he thus
insist on her having taken pains to remember these things? Surely to show
whence he drew his information. He narrates these events on the testimony
of her word; and her word is to be relied on; for these things, he assures
us, were deeply impressed on her memory.

The “Memorabilia” in use in the different Churches founded by the apostles
would probably be strung together in such order as they were generally
read. How early the Church began to have a regulated order of seasons, an
ecclesiastical year, cannot be ascertained with certainty; but every
consideration leads us to suspect that it grew up simultaneously with the
constitution of the Church. With the Church of the Hebrews this was
unquestionably the case. The Jews who believed had grown up under a system
of fasts and festivals in regular series, and, as we know, they observed
these even after they were believers in Christ. Paul, who broke with the
Law in so many points, did not venture to dispense with its sacred cycle
of festivals. He hasted to Jerusalem to attend the feast of
Pentecost.(282) At Ephesus, even, he observed it.(283) St. Jerome assures
us that Lent was instituted by the apostles.(284) The Apostolic
Constitutions order the observance of the Sabbath, the Lord’s‐day,
Pentecost, Christmas, Epiphany, the days of the Apostles, that of St.
Stephen, and the anniversaries of the Martyrs.(285) Indeed, the observance
of the Lord’s‐day, instituted probably by St. Paul, involves the principle
which would include all other sacred commemorations; for if one day was to
be set apart as a memorial of the resurrection, it is probable that others
would be observed in memory of the nativity, the passion, the ascension,

As early as there was any sort of ecclesiastical year observed, so early
would the “Memorabilia” of the apostles be arranged as appropriate to
these seasons. But such an arrangement would not be chronological;
therefore many took in hand, as St. Luke tells us, to correct this, and he
took special care to give the succession of events as they occurred, not
as they were read, by obtaining information from the best sources

It is probable that the “Recollections” of St. Peter, written in
disjointed notes by St. Mark, were in circulation through many Churches
before St. Mark composed his Gospel out of them. From Antioch to Rome they
were read at the celebration of the divine mysteries; and some of them,
found in the Churches of Asia Minor, have been taken by St. Luke into his
Gospel. Others circulating in Palestine were in the hands of the deutero‐
Matthew, and grafted into his compilation. But as St. Luke, St. Mark, and
the composer of the first Gospel, acted independently, their chronological
sequences differ. Their Gospels are three kaleidoscopic groups of the same

Had St. Matthew any other part in the composition of the first Canonical
Gospel than contributing to it his “Syntax of the Lord’s Sayings”? Of that
we can say nothing for certain. It is possible enough that many of the
“doings” of Jesus contained in the Gospel may be memorabilia of St.
Matthew, circulating in _anecdota_.

A critical examination of St. Matthew’s Gospel reveals _four_ sources
whence it was drawn, three threads of different texture woven into one.
These are:

1. The “Memorabilia” of St. Peter, used afterwards by St. Mark. These the
compiler of the first Gospel attached mechanically to the rest of his
material by such formularies as “in those days,” “at that time,” “then,”
“after that,” “when he had said these things.”

2. The “Logia of the Lord,” composed by St. Matthew.

3. Another series of sayings and doings, from which the following passages
were derived: iii. 7‐10, 12, iv. 3‐11, viii. 19‐22, ix. 27, 32‐34, xi.
2‐19. Some of these were afterwards used by St. Luke.(287) Were these by
St. Matthew? It is possible.

4. To the fourth category belong chapters i. and ii., iii. 3, xiv. 15, the
redaction of iv. 12, 13, 14, 15, v. 1, 2, 19, vii. 22, 23, viii. 12, 17,
x. 5, 6, xi. 2, xii. 17‐21, xiii. 35‐43, 49, 50, the redaction of xiv.
13_a_, xiv. 28‐31, xv. 24, xvii. 24_b_‐27, xix. 17_a_, 19_b_, 28, xx. 16,
xxi. 2, 7, xxi. 4, 5, xxiii. 10, 13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29, 35, the redaction
of xxiv. 3, 20, 51_b_, xxv. 30_b_, xxvi. 2, 15, 25, xxvii. 51‐53, xxvii.
62‐66, xxviii. 1_a_, 2‐4, 8, 9, 11‐15.

Was this taken from a collection of the recollections of St. Matthew, and
the series 3 from another set of Apostolic Memorabilia? That it is not
possible to decide.

Into the reasons which have led to this separation of the component parts
3, 4, the peculiarities of diction which serve to distinguish them, we
cannot enter here; it would draw us too far from the main object of our

The theory that the Synoptical Gospels were composed of various
disconnected materials, variously united into consecutive biographies, was
accepted by Bishop Marsh, and it is the only theory which relieves the
theologian from the unsatisfactory obligation of making “harmonies” of the
Gospels. If we adopt the received popular conception of the composition of
the Synoptical Gospels, we are driven to desperate shifts to fit them
together, to reconcile their discrepancies.

The difficulty, the impossibility, of effecting such a harmony of the
statements of the evangelists was felt by the early Christian writers.
Origen says that the attempt to reconcile them made him giddy. Among the
writings of Tatian was a Diatessaron or harmony of the Gospels. Eusebius
adventured on an explanation, “of the discords of the Evangelists.” St.
Ambrose exercised his pen on a concordance of St. Matthew with St. Luke;
St. Augustine wrote “De consensu Evangelistarum,” and in his effort to
force them into agreement was driven to strange suppositions—as that when
our Lord went through Jericho there was a blind man by the road‐side
leading into the city, and another by the road‐side leading out of it, and
that both were healed under very similar circumstances.

Apollinaris, in the famous controversy about Easter, declared that it was
irreconcilable with the Law that Christ should have suffered on the great
feast‐day, as related by St. Matthew, but that the Gospels disagreed among
themselves on the day upon which he suffered.(289) The great Gerson sought
to remove the difficulties in a “Concordance of the Evangelists,” or

Such an admission as that the Synoptical Gospels were composed in the
manner I have pointed out, in no way affects their incomparable value.
They exhibit to us as in a mirror what the apostles taught and what their
disciples believed. Faith does not depend on the chronological sequence of
events, but on the verity of those events. “See!” exclaimed St.
Chrysostom, “how through the contradictions in the evangelical history in
minor particulars, the truth of the main facts transpires, and the
trustworthiness of the authors is made manifest!”

In everything, both human and divine, there is an union of infallibility
in that which is of supreme importance, and of fallibility in that which
concerns not salvation. The lenses through which the light of the world
shone to remote ages were human scribes liable to error. Θεῖα πάντα καὶ
ἀνθρώπινα πάντα, was the motto Tholuck inscribed on his copy of the Sacred

Having established the origin of the Gospel of St. Matthew, we are able
now to see our way to establishing that of the Gospel of the Twelve, or
Gospel of the Hebrews.

No doubt it also was a mosaic made out of the same materials as the Gospel
of St. Matthew. There subsisted side by side in Palestine a Greek‐speaking
and an Aramaic‐speaking community of Christians, the one composed of
proselytes from among the Gentiles, the other of converts from among the
Jews. This Gentile Church in Palestine was scarcely influenced by St.
Paul; it was under the rule of St. Peter, and therefore was more united to
the Church at Jerusalem in habits of thought, in religious customs, in
reverence for the Law, than the Churches of “Asia” and Greece. There was
no antagonism between them. There was, on the contrary, close intercourse
and mutual sympathy.

Each community, probably, had its own copies of Apostolic Memorabilia, not
identical, but similar. Some of the “recollections” were perhaps written
only in Aramaic, or only in Greek, so that the collection of one community
may have been more complete in some particulars than the collection of the
other. The necessity to consolidate these Memorabilia into a consecutive
narrative became obvious to both communities, and each composed “in order”
the scraps of record of our Lord’s sayings and doings they possessed and
read in their sacred mysteries. St. Matthew’s “Logia of the Lord” was used
in the compilation of the Hebrew Gospel; one of the translations of it,
which, according to Papias, were numerous, formed the basis also of the
Greek Gospel.

The material used by both communities, the motive actuating both
communities, were the same; the results were consequently similar. That
they were not absolutely identical was the consequence of their having
been compiled independently.

Thus the resemblance was sufficient to make St. Jerome suppose the Hebrew
Gospel to be the same as the Greek first Gospel; nevertheless, the
differences were as great as has been pointed out in the preceding pages.

II. The Clementine Gospel.

We have now considered all the fragments of the Gospel of the Hebrews that
have been preserved to us in the writings of Justin Martyr, Origen, Jerome
and Epiphanius.

But there is another storehouse of texts and references to a Gospel
regarded as canonical at a very early date by the Nazarene or Ebionite
Church. This storehouse is that curious collection of the sayings and
doings of St. Peter, the Clementine Recognitions and Homilies.

That the Gospel used by the author or authors of the Clementines was that
of the Hebrews cannot be shown; but it is probable that it was so.

The Clementines were a production of the Judaizing party in the Primitive
Church, and it was this party which, we know, used the Gospel of the
Twelve, or of the Hebrews.

The doctrine in the Clementine Recognitions and Homilies bears close
relations to that of the Jewish Essenes. The sacrificial system of the
Jewish Church is rejected. It was not part of the revelation to Moses, but
a tradition of the elders.(290)

Distinction in meats is an essential element of religion. Through unclean
meats devils enter into men, and produce disease. To eat of unclean meats
places men in the power of evil spirits, who lead them to idolatry and all
kinds of wickedness. So long as men abstain from these, so long are the
devils powerless against them.(291)

The observance of times is also insisted on—times at which the procreation
of children is lawful or unlawful; and disease and death result from
neglect of this distinction. “In the beginning of the world men lived
long, and had no diseases. But when through carelessness they neglected
the observance of the proper times ... they placed their children under
innumerable afflictions.”(292) It is this doctrine that is apparently
combated by St. Paul.(293) He relaxes the restraints which Nazarene
tradition imposed on marital intercourse.

The rejection of sacrifices obliged the Nazarene Church to discriminate
between what is true and false in the Scriptures; and, with the Essenes,
they professed liberty to judge the Scriptures and reject what opposed
their ideas. Thus they refused to acknowledge that “Adam was a
transgressor, Noah drunken, Abraham guilty of having three wives, Jacob of
cohabiting with two sisters, Moses was a murderer,” &c.(294)

The moral teaching of the Clementines is of the most exalted nature.
Chastity is commended in a glowing, eloquent address of St. Peter.(295)
Poverty is elevated into an essential element of virtue. Property is, in
itself, an evil. “To all of us possessions are sins. The deprivation of
these is the removal of sins.” “To be saved, no one should possess
anything; but since many have possessions, or, in other words, sins, God
sends, in love, afflictions ... that those with possessions, but yet
having some measure of love to God, may, by temporary inflictions, be
saved from eternal punishments.”(296)

“Those who have chosen the blessings of the future kingdom have no right
to regard the things here as their own, since they belong to a foreign
king (_i.e._ the prince of this world), with the exception only of water
and bread, and those things procured by the sweat of the brow, necessary
for the maintenance of life, and also one garment.”(297)

Thus St. Peter is represented as living on water, bread and olives, and
having but one cloak and tunic.(298) And Hegesippus, as quoted by
Eusebius, describes St. James, first bishop of Jerusalem, as “drinking
neither wine nor fermented liquors, and abstaining from animal food. A
razor never came upon his head, he never anointed himself with oil, and
never used a bath. He never wore woollen, but linen garments.”(299)

The Ebionites looked upon Christ as the Messiah rather than as God
incarnate. They gave him the title of Son of God, and claimed for him the
highest honour, but hesitated to term him God. In their earnest
maintenance of the Unity of the Godhead against Gnosticism, they shrank
from appearing to divide the Godhead. Thus, in the Clementines, St. Peter
says, “Our Lord neither asserted that there were gods except the Creator
of all, nor did he proclaim himself to be God, but he pronounced him
blessed who called him the Son of that God who ordered the universe.”(300)

The Ebionitism of the Clementines is controversial. It was placed face to
face with Gnosticism. Simon Magus, the representative of Gnosticism, as
St. Peter is the representative of orthodoxy, in the Recognitions and
Homilies, contends that the God of the Jews, the Demiurge, the Creator of
the world, is evil. He attempts to prove this by showing that the world is
full of pain and misery. The imperfections of the world are tokens of
imperfection in the Creator. He takes the Old Testament. He shows from
texts that the God of the Jews is represented as angry, jealous,
repentant; that those whom He favours are incestuous, adulterers,

This doctrine St. Peter combats by showing that present evils are
educative, curative, disguised blessings; and by calling all those
passages in Scripture which attribute to God human passions, corruptions
of the sacred text in one of its many re‐editions. “God who created the
world has not in reality such a character as the Scriptures assign Him,”
says St. Peter; “for such a character is contrary to the nature of God,
and therefore manifestly is falsely attributed to Him.”(301)

From this brief sketch of the doctrines of the Ebionite Church from which
the Clementines emanated, it will be seen that its Gospel must have
resembled that of the Hebrews, or have been founded on it. The
“Recollections of the Twelve” probably existed in several forms, some more
complete than others, some purposely corrupted. The Gospel of the Hebrews
was in use in the orthodox Nazarene Church. The Gospel used by the author
of the Clementines was in use in the same community. It is therefore
natural to conclude their substantial identity.

But though substantially the same, and both closely related to the
Canonical Gospel of St. Matthew, they were not completely identical; for
the Clementine Gospel diverged from the received text of St. Matthew more
widely than we are justified in concluding did that of the Gospel of the

That it was in Greek and not in Hebrew is also probable. The converts to
Christianity mentioned in the Recognitions and Homilies are all made from
Heathenism, and speak Greek. It is at Caesarea, Tripolis, Laodicaea, that
the churches are established which are spoken of in these books,—churches
filled, not with Jews, but with Gentile converts, and therefore requiring
a Gospel in Greek.

The Clementine Gospel was therefore probably a sister compilation to that
of the Hebrews and of St. Matthew. The Memorabilia of the Apostles had
circulated in Hebrew in the communities of pure Jews, in Greek in those of
Gentile proselytes. These Memorabilia were collected into one book by the
Hebrew Church, by the Nazarene proselytes, and by the compiler of the
Canonical Gospel of St. Matthew. This will explain their similarity and
their differences.

From what has been said of the Clementines, it will be seen that their
value is hardly to be over‐estimated as a source of information on the
religious position of the Petrine Church. Hilgenfeld says: “There is
scarcely any single writing which is of such importance for the history of
the earliest stage of Christianity, and which has yielded such brilliant
disclosures at the hands of the most careful critics, with regard to the
earliest history of the Christian Church, as the writings ascribed to the
Roman Clement, the Recognitions and the Homilies.”(302)

No conclusion has been reached in regard to the author of the Clementines.
It is uncertain whether the Homilies and the Recognitions are from the
same hand. Unfortunately, the Greek of the Recognitions is lost. We have
only a Latin translation by Rufinus of Aquileia (d. 410), who took
liberties with his text, as he informs Bishop Gaudentius, to whom he
addressed his preface. He found that the copies of the book he had
differed from one another in some particulars. Portions which he could not
understand he omitted. There is reason to suspect that he altered such
quotations as he found in it from the Gospel used by the author, and
brought them, perhaps unconsciously, into closer conformity to the
received text. In examining the Gospel employed by the author of the
Clementines, we must therefore trust chiefly to those texts quoted in the

Various opinions exist as to the date of the Clementines. They have been
attributed to the first, second, third and fourth centuries. If we were to
base our arguments on the work as it stands, the date to be assigned to it
is the first half of the third century. A passage from the Recognitions is
quoted by Origen in his Commentary on Genesis, written in A.D. 231; and
mention is made in the work of the extension of the Roman franchise to all
nations under the dominion of Rome, an event which took place in the reign
of Caracalla (A.D. 211). The Recognitions also contain an extract from the
work _De Fato_, ascribed to Bardesanes, but which was really written by
one of his scholars. But it has been thought, not without great
probability, that this passage did not originally belong to the
Recognitions, but was thrust into the text about the middle of the third

I have already pointed out the fact that the Church in the Clementines is
never called “Christian;” that the word is never employed. It belonged to
the community established by Paul, and with it the Church of Peter had no
sympathy. To believe in the mission of Christ is, in the Clementine
Homilies, to become a Jew. The convert from Gentiledom by passing into the
Church passes under the Law, becomes, as we are told, a Jew. But the
convert is made subject not to the Law as corrupted by the traditions of
the elders, but to the original Law as re‐proclaimed by Christ.

The author of the Recognitions twice makes St. Peter say that the only
difference existing between him and the Jews is in the manner in which
they view Christ. To the apostles he is the Messiah come in humility, to
come again in glory. But the Jews deny that the Messiah was to have two
manifestations, and therefore reject Christ.(304)

Although we cannot rely on the exact words of the quotations from the
Gospel in the “Recognitions,” there are references to the history of our
Lord which give indications of narratives contained in the Gospel used by
the pseudo‐Clement, therefore by the Ebionite Christians whose views he
represents. We will go through all such passages in the order in which
they occur in the “Recognitions.”

The first allusion to a text parallel to one in the Canonical Gospels is
this: “Not only did they not believe, but they added blasphemy to
unbelief, saying he was a gluttonous man and slave of his belly, and that
he was influenced by a demon.”(305) The parallel passage is in St. Matthew
xi. 18, 19. It is curious to notice that in the Recognitions the order is
inverted. In St. Matthew, “they say, He hath a devil.... They say, Behold
a man gluttonous, and a wine‐bibber;” and that the term “wine‐bibber” is
changed into “slave of his belly.” Probably therefore in this instance the
author of the Clementines borrowed from a different text from St. Matthew.

In the very next chapter the Recognitions approaches St. Matthew closer
than the lost Gospel. For in the account of the crucifixion it is said
that “the veil of the Temple was rent,” whereas the Gospel of the Hebrews
stated that the lintel of the Temple had fallen. But here I suspect we
have the hand of Rufinus the translator. We can understand how, finding in
the text an inaccuracy of quotation, as he supposed, he altered it.

The next passage relates to the resurrection. “For some of them, watching
the place with all care, when they could not prevent his rising again,
_said that he was a magician_; others pretended that he was stolen
away.”(306) The Canonical Gospels say nothing about this difference of
opinion among the Jews, but St. Matthew states that it was commonly
reported among them that his disciples had stolen his body away. Not a
word about any suspicion that he had exercised witchcraft, a charge which
we know from Celsus was brought against Christ later.

The next passage is especially curious. It relates to the unction of
Christ. “He was the Son of God, and the beginning of all things; he became
man; _him God anointed with oil that was taken from the wood of the Tree
of Life_; and from this anointing he is called Christ.”(307) Then St.
Peter goes on to argue: “In the present life, Aaron, the first high‐
priest, was anointed with a composition of chrism, which was made after
the pattern of that spiritual ointment of which we have spoken before....
But if any one else was anointed with the same ointment, as deriving
virtue from it, he became either king, or prophet, or priest. If, then,
this temporal grace, compounded by men, had such efficacy, _consider __
how potent was that ointment extracted by God from a branch of the Tree of
Life_, when that which was made by men could confer so excellent dignities
among men.”

Here we have trace of an apparent myth relating to the unction of Jesus at
his baptism. Was there any passage to this effect in the Hebrew Gospel
translated by St. Jerome? It is hard to believe it. Had there been, we
might have expected him to allude to it.

But that there was some unction of Christ mentioned in the early Gospels,
I think is probable. If there were not, how did Jesus, so early, obtain
the name of Christ, the Anointed One? That name was given to him before
his divinity was wholly believed in, and when he was regarded only as the
Messiah—nay, even before the apostles and disciples had begun to see in
him anything higher than a teacher sent from God, a Rabbi founding a new
school. It is more natural to suppose that the surname of the Anointed One
was given to him because of some event in his life with which they were
acquainted, than because they applied to him prophecies at a time when
certainly they had no idea that such prophecies were spoken of him.

If some anointing did really accompany the baptism, then one can
understand the importance attached to the baptism by the Elkesaites and
other Gnostic sects; and how they had some ground for their doctrine that
Jesus became the Christ only on his baptism. It is remarkable that,
according to St. John’s Gospel, it is directly after the baptism that
Andrew tells his brother Simon, “We have found the Messias, which is ...
the Anointed.”(308) Twice in the Acts is Jesus spoken of as the Anointed:
“Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed.”(309) The second occasion
is remarkable, for it again apparently associates the anointing with the
baptism. St. Peter “opened his mouth and said ... The word which God sent
unto the children of Israel ... that word ye know, which was published
throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John
preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with
power.”(310) I do not say that such an anointing did take place, but that
it is probable it did. When Gnosticism fixed on this anointing as the
communication to Christ of his divine mission and Messiahship, then
mention of it was cut out of the Gospels in possession of the Church, and
consequently the Canonical Gospels are without it to this day. But the
Christian ceremonial of baptism, which was founded on what took place at
the baptism of the Lord, maintained this unction as part of the sacrament,
in the Eastern Church never to be dissociated from the actual baptism, but
in the Western Church to be separated from it and elevated into a separate

But if in the original Hebrew Gospel there was mention of the anointing of
Jesus at or after his baptism, as I contend is probable, this mention did
not include an account of the oil being expressed from the branch of the
Tree of Life; that is a later addition, in full agreement with the
fantastic ideas which were gradually permeating and colouring Judaic

After the baptism, “_Jesus put out_, by the grace of baptism, _that fire
which the priest kindled for sins_; for, from the time when he appeared,
the chrism has ceased, by which the priesthood or the prophetic or the
kingly office was conferred.”(311) The Homilies are more explicit: “He put
out the fire on the altars.”(312) There was therefore in the Gospel used
by the author of the Clementines an account of our Lord, after his
anointing, entering into the Temple and extinguishing the altar fires.

In St. John’s Gospel, on which we may rely for the chronological sequence
of events with more confidence than we can on the Synoptical Gospels, the
casting of the money‐changers out of the Temple took place not long after
the baptism. In St. Matthew’s account it took place at the close of the
ministry, in the week of the Passion. That this exhibition of his
authority marked the opening of his three years’ ministry rather than the
close is most probable, and then it was, no doubt, that he extinguished
the fires on the altar, according to the Gospel used by the author of the
Clementines. Whether this incident occurred in the Gospel of the Hebrews
it is not possible to say.

We are told that “James and John, the sons of Zebedee, had a command ...
not to enter into their cities (_i.e._ the cities of the Samaritans), nor
to bring the word of preaching to them.”(313) “And when our Master sent us
forth to preach, he commanded us, But into whatsoever city or house we
should enter, we should say, Peace be to this house. And if, said he, a
son of peace be there, your peace shall come upon him; but if there be
not, your peace shall return unto you. Also, that going from house to
city, we should shake off upon them the very dust which adhered to our
feet. But it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in
the day of judgment than for that city or house.”(314) The Gospel of the
Clementines, it is plain, contained an account of the sending forth of the
apostles almost identical with that in St. Matthew, x.

“And ... Jesus himself declared that John was greater than all men and all
the prophets.”(315) The corresponding passage is in St. Matthew.(316)

The Beatitudes, or some of them, were in it. “He said, _Blessed are the
poor_; and promised earthly rewards; and promised that those who maintain
righteousness shall be satisfied with meat and drink.”(317) “Our Master,
inviting his disciples to patience, impressed on them the blessing of
peace, which was to be preserved with the labour of patience.... He
charges (the believers) to have peace among themselves, and says to them,
_Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the very sons of
God_.”(318) “The Father, whom only those can see who are pure in
heart.”(319) Again strong similarity with slight difference. “He said, _I
am not come to send peace on earth, but a sword; and henceforth you shall
see father separated from son, son from father, husband from wife, and
wife from husband, mother from daughter, and daughter from mother, brother
from brother, father‐in‐law from daughter‐in‐law, friend from
friend_.”(320) This is fuller than the corresponding passage in St.

“_It is enough for the disciple to be as his master._”(322) “He mourned
over those who lived in riches and luxury, and bestowed nothing upon the
poor; showing that they must render an account, because they did not pity
their neighbours, even when they were in poverty, whom they ought to love
as themselves.”(323) “In like manner he charged the Scribes and Pharisees
during the last period of his teaching ... with hiding the key of
knowledge which they had handed down to them from Moses, by which the gate
of the heavenly kingdom might be opened.”(324) The key of knowledge occurs
only in St. Luke’s Gospel. Had the author of the Clementines any knowledge
of that Gospel? I do not think so, or we should find other quotations from
St. Luke. St. Matthew says, “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for ye shut up (κλείετε) the kingdom of heaven.”(325) St. Luke
says, “Ye have taken away the key (τὴν κλεῖδα) of knowledge.”(326) The
author of the Clementines says, “Ye have hidden the key,” not “taken
away.” I do not think, when the expression in St. Matthew suggests the
“key,” that we need suppose that the author of the Recognitions quoted
from St. Luke; rather, I presume, from his own Gospel, which in this
passage resembled the words in St. Luke rather than those in St. Matthew,
without, however, being exactly the same.(327)

“_Every kingdom divided against itself shall not stand._”(328) “_Seek ye
first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall
be added to you._”(329) The writer knew, in the same terms as St. Matthew,
our Lord’s sayings: “_Give not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast
your pearls before swine._”(330) “_Whosoever shall look upon a woman to
lust after her, hath committed adultery with her in his heart.... If thy
right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; for it is
profitable for thee that one of thy members perish, rather than thy whole
body be cast into hell‐fire._”(331)

The woes denounced on the Scribes and Pharisees,(332) and the saying that
the Queen of the South should “rise in judgment against this
generation,”(333) are given in the Recognitions as in St. Matthew, as also
that “the harvest is plenteous,”(334) “that no man can serve two
masters,”(335) and the saying on the power of faith to move

We have the parables of the goodly pearl,(337) of the marriage
supper,(338) and of the tares,(339) but also that of the sower,(340) which
does not occur in St. Matthew, but in St. Luke. This therefore was found
in the Gospel used by the author of the Recognitions. There are two other
apparent quotations from St. Luke: “_I have come to send fire on the
earth, and how I wish that it were kindled_”;(341) and the story of the
rich fool.(342) The first, however, is differently expressed from St.
Luke. There are just two more equally questionable quotations: “_Be ye
merciful, as also your heavenly Father is merciful, who makes his sun to
rise upon the good and the evil, and rains upon the just and the
unjust._”(343) We have the Greek in one of the Homilies.(344) In St. Luke
it runs, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”(345)
In St. Matthew, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to
them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and
persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in
heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and
sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”(346) Is it not clear that
either the pseudo‐Clement condensed the direction, “Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for
them that despitefully use you, and persecute you,” into the brief maxim,
“Be ye good and merciful,”—or that, and this is more probable, there were
concurrent traditional accounts of our Lord’s saying, and that St.
Matthew, St. Luke, and the writer of the Gospel used by the pseudo‐
Clement, made use of independent texts in their compilations?

The next passage is a saying of our Lord on the cross, which is given in
the Recognitions: “_Father, forgive them their sin, for they know not what
they do._”(347) In the Homilies we have the original Greek: “Father,
forgive them their sins, for they know not what they do.”(348) Rufinus has
unconsciously altered the text in translating it by making “sins” singular
instead of plural.

It is not necessary to note the insignificant difference of the word ἅ in
the Homily and the word τί in the Gospel. But who cannot see that the
addition of the words, “their sins,” completely changes the thought of the
Saviour? Jesus prays God to forgive the Jews the crime they commit in
crucifying him, and not to pardon all the sins of their lives that they
have committed. The addition of these two words not merely modify the
thought; they represent another of an inferior order. They would not have
been introduced into the text if the author of the Gospel used by the
pseudo‐Clement had had the Gospel of St. Luke before him. These words were
certainly not derived from St. Luke; they are due to a separate
recollection or tradition of the sayings of the Saviour on the cross.
Those sayings we may well believe were cherished in the memory of the
early disciples. Tradition always modifies, weakens, renders commonplace
the noblest thoughts and most striking sayings, and colours the most
original with a tint of triviality.(349)

We find in both the Recollections and Homilies a passage which has been
thought to be a quotation from St. John: “_Verily I say unto you, That
unless a man is born again of water, he shall not enter into the kingdom
of heaven._”(350) Here, again, the hand of Rufinus is to be traced. The
same quotation is made in the Homilies, and it stands there thus: “_Verily
I say unto you, Unless ye be born again of the water of life_ (or _the
living water_) _in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven._”(351)

That the narrative of the interview with Nicodemus was in the Gospel of
the Hebrews, we learned from Justin Martyr quoting it. We will place the
parallel passages opposite each other:

JUSTIN MARTYR, 1 Apol. 61.       c. iii. 3, 5.
“_Christ said, Except ye be      “3. Jesus answered and said
born again, ye cannot enter      unto him, Verily, verily, I
into the kingdom of heaven._”    say unto thee, Except a man be
                                 born again, he cannot see the
                                 kingdom of God.”
PSEUDO‐CLEMENT, Hom. xi. 26.
“_And Christ said (with an       “5. Jesus answered, Verily,
oath),_(_352_)_ Verily I say     verily, I say unto thee,
unto you, Unless ye are born     Except a man be born of water
again of the water of life (in   and spirit, he cannot enter
the name of the Father, and of   into the kingdom of God.”
the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost), ye cannot enter into
the kingdom of Heaven._”

The fragment in the Homilies clearly belongs to the same narrative as the
fragment in Justin’s Apology. Both are addressed in the second person
plural, “Except ye be born again;” in the Gospel of St. John the first is,
“Except a man be born again;” the second, “Except a man be born of water
and spirit;” both in the third person singular. The form of the first
answer in Justin differs from that in St. John: “he cannot enter the
kingdom,” “he cannot see the kingdom.”

That these are independent accounts I can hardly doubt. The words, “in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” are an obvious
interpolation, perhaps a late one, in the text of the Homilies; for
Rufinus would hardly have omitted to translate this, though he did allow
himself to make short verbal alterations.

There is another apparent quotation from St. John in the fifth book of the
Recognitions: “_Every one is made the servant of him to whom he yields
subjection._”(353) But here again the quotation is very questionable. St.
John’s version of our Lord’s saying is, “Whosoever committeth sin is the
servant of sin.” St. Paul is much nearer: “Know ye not, that to whom ye
yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey;
whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”(354)

The quotation in the Recognitions is not from St. Paul, for the author
expressly declares it is a saying of our Lord. St. Paul could not have had
St. John’s Gospel under his eye when he wrote, for that Gospel was not
composed till long after he wrote the Epistle to the Romans. He gives no
hint that he is quoting a saying of our Lord traditionally known to the
Roman Christians. He apparently makes appeal to their experience when he
says, “Know ye not.” Yet this fragment of an ancient lost Gospel in the
Clementine Recognitions gives another colour to his words; they may be
paraphrased, “Know ye not that saying of Christ, To whom ye yield
yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are?” It appears, therefore,
that this is an earlier recorded reminiscence of our Lord’s saying than
that of St. John.

There is one, and only one, apparent quotation from St. Paul in the
Recognitions: “In God’s estimation, he is not a Jew who is a Jew among
men, nor is he a Gentile that is called a Gentile, but he who, believing
in God, fulfils his law and does his will, though he be not
circumcised.”(355) St. Paul’s words are: “He is not a Jew which is one
outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but
he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart,
in the spirit, and not in the letter.”

There is no doubt a resemblance between these passages. But it is probable
that the resemblance is due solely to community of thought in the minds of
both writers. It would be extraordinary if this were a quotation, for the
author of the Recognitions nowhere quotes from any Epistle, not even from
those of St. Peter; and that he, an Ebionite, should quote St. Paul, whose
Epistles the Ebionites rejected, is scarcely credible.

The Recognitions mention the temptation: “The prince of wickedness ...
presumed that he should be worshipped by him by whom he knew that he was
to be destroyed. Therefore our Lord, confirming the worship of one God,
answered him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him
only shalt thou serve. And he, terrified by this answer, and fearing lest
the true religion of the one and true God should be restored, hastened
straightway to send forth into this world false prophets and false
apostles and false teachers, who should speak, indeed, in the name of
Christ, but should accomplish the will of the demon.”(356) Here we have
Christ indicated as the one who was to restore that true worship of God
which Moses had instituted, but which the Ebionites, with their Essene
ancestors, asserted had been defaced and corrupted by false traditions.
And in opposition to this, the devil sends out false apostles, false
teachers, to undo this work, calling themselves, however, apostles of
Christ. There can be little doubt who is meant. The reference is to St.
Paul, Silas, and those who accepted his views, in opposition to those of
St. James and St. Peter.

In Homily xii. is a citation which seems to indicate the use of the third
Canonical Gospel. At first sight it appears to be a combination of a
passage of St. Matthew and a parallel passage of St. Luke. It is preceded
in the Homily by a phrase not found in the Canonical Gospels, but which is
given, together with what follows, as a declaration of the Saviour. The
three passages are placed side by side for comparison:

HOMILY xii. 19.        MATT. xviii. 7.        LUKE xvii. 1.
“_It must be that      “It must needs be      “It is impossible
good things come,      that offences come;    but that offences
and happy is he by     but woe to that man    will come; but woe
whom they come. In     by whom the offence    to him through whom
like manner it must    cometh.”               they come.”
be that evil things
come, but woe to him
by whom they

The passage in the Homily is more complete than those in St. Matthew and
St. Luke. The two Canonical Evangelists made use of imperfect fragments
destitute of one member of the sentence. One cannot but wish to believe
that our Lord pronounced a benediction on those who did good in their

“There is amongst us,” says St. Peter in his second Homily, “one Justa, a
Syro‐Phoenician, a Canaanite by race, whose daughter was oppressed with a
grievous disease. And she came to our Lord, crying out and entreating that
he would heal her daughter. But he, being asked by us also, said, ‘_It is
not lawful to heal the Gentiles, who are like unto dogs on account of
their using various meats and practices, while the table in the kingdom
has been given to the sons of Israel._’ But she, hearing this, and begging
to partake as a dog of the crumbs that fall from this table, having
changed what she was (_i.e._ having given up the use of forbidden food),
by living like the sons of the kingdom, obtained healing for her daughter
as she asked. For she being a Gentile, and remaining in the same course of
life, he would not have healed her had she persisted to live as do the
Gentiles, on account of its not being lawful to heal a Gentile.”(358)

That the Ebionites perverted the words of our Lord to make them support
their tenets on distinction of meats is obvious.

In the Clementine Homilies we have thrice repeated a saying of our Lord
which we know of from St. Jerome and St. Clement of Alexandria, who speak
of it as undoubtedly a genuine saying of Christ, “_Be ye good money‐

This text is used by the author of the Clementines to prove the necessity
of distinguishing between the gold and the dross in Holy Scripture. And to
this he adds the quotation, “_Ye do therefore err, not knowing the true
things of the Scriptures; and for this reason ye are ignorant also of the
power of God_.”(360)

The following are some more fragments from the Clementine Homilies:

“_He said, I am he of whom Moses prophesied, saying, A prophet shall the
Lord your God raise unto you of your brethren, like unto me: him hear ye
in all things; and whosoever will not hear the prophet shall die._”(361)
This saying of Moses is quoted by both St. Peter and St. Stephen in their
addresses, as recorded in the Acts. It is probable, therefore, that our
Lord had claimed this prophecy to have been spoken of him. But St. Luke
had never heard that he had done so, as he makes no allusion to it in his
Gospel or in the speeches he puts in the mouths of Peter and Stephen in
the Acts.

“_It is thine, O man, said he, to prove my words, as silver and money are
proved by the exchangers._”(362)

“_Give none occasion to the evil one._”(363)

Twice repeated we have the text, “_Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and
him only shalt thou serve_.”(364)

In St. Matthew’s Gospel (iv. 10) it runs, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy
God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

In the Clementines: “He alleged that it was right to present to him who
strikes you on one cheek the other also, and to give to him who takes away
your cloak your _hood_ also, and to go two miles with him who compels you
to go one.”(365) This differs from the account in St. Matthew, by using
for the word χιτῶνα, “tunic,” of the Canonical Gospel, the word μαφόριον,

There are other passages identical with, or almost identical with, the
received text in St. Matthew’s Gospel, which it is not necessary to enter
upon separately.

They are: Matt. v. 3, 8, 17, 18, 34, 35, 37, 39, 40, 41, vi. 8, 13, vii.
7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 21, viii. 11, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, ix.
13, x. 28, 34, xi. 25, 27, 28, xii. 7, 26, 34, 42, xiii. 17, 39, xv. 13,
xvi. 13, 18, xix. 8, 17, xxii. 2, 32, xxiii. 25, xxiv. 45, 46, 47, 48, 49,
50, xxv. 41. In all, some fifty‐five verses, almost and often quite the
same as in St. Matthew’s Gospel.

There is just one text supposed to be taken from St. Mark’s Gospel, four
from St. Luke’s, and two from St. John’s. But I do not think we are
justified in concluding that these quotations are taken from the three
last‐named Canonical Gospels. That they are not taken from St. Luke we may
be almost certain, for that Gospel was not received by the Judaizing
Christians. When we examine the passages, the probability of their being
quotations from the Canonical Gospels disappears.

We find, “He, the true Prophet, said, _I am the gate of life; he that
entereth through me entereth into life_.”(366) The words in St. John’s
Gospel are, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be
saved.”(367) The idea is the same, but the mode of expression is

“Again he said, _My sheep hear my voice_.”(368)

The quotation from St. Mark is too brief for us to be able to form any
well‐founded opinion upon it. It is this: “But to those who were misled to
imagine many gods, as the Scriptures say, he said, _Hear, O Israel; the
Lord your God is one Lord_.”(369)

No prejudice would exist among the Ebionites against the Gospel of St.
Mark, but the Christology of the Johannine Gospel, its doctrine of the
Logos, would not accord with their low views of Christ. The Ebionites who
denied the Godhead of Jesus could hardly acknowledge as canonical a Gospel
which contained the words, “And the Word was with God, and the Word was

HOM. xix. 22.                    JOHN ix. 1‐3.
“Our Master replied to those     “And as Jesus passed by, he
who asked him concerning him     saw a man which was blind from
that was born blind, and to      his birth. And his disciples
whom he restored sight, if it    asked him, saying, Master, who
was he or his parents who had    did sin, this man, or his
sinned, in that he was born      parents, that he was born
blind. _It is not that he hath   blind? Jesus answered, Neither
sinned in anywise, nor his       hath this man sinned, nor his
parents; but in order that the   parents: but that the works of
power of God may be              God should be made manifest in
manifested, who healeth sins     him.”
of ignorance._”(370)

The resemblance is striking. Nevertheless I do not think we have a right
to conclude that this passage in the Clementine Homilies is necessarily a
citation from St. John.

The text is quoted in connection with the peculiar Ebionite doctrine of
seasons and days already alluded to. When our Lord says that he heals the
sins of ignorance, he is made in the Clementine Gospel to assert that the
blindness of the man was the result of disregard by his parents of the new
moons and sabbaths, not wilfully, but through ignorance. “The afflictions
you mentioned,” says St. Peter in connection with this quotation, “are the
result of ignorance, but assuredly not of wickedness. Give me the man who
sins not, and I will show you the man who suffers not.”

But though this is the interpretation put on the words of our Lord by the
Clementine Ebionite, it by no means flows naturally from them; it is
rather wrung out of them.

The words, I think, mean that the blindness of the man is symbolical; its
mystical meaning is ignorance. Our Lord by opening the eyes of the blind
exhibits himself as the spiritual enlightener of mankind. He is come to
unclose men’s eyes to the true light that he sheds abroad in the world.

In St. John’s Gospel, after having declared that blindness was not the
punishment of sin in the man or his parents, our Lord continues, “I must
work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh,
when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the

Put this last declaration in connection with the saying, “I am come to
heal the sins of ignorance,” and the connection of ideas is at once
apparent. The blindness of the man is symbolical of the ignorance of the
world. “I am the light of the world, and I have come to dispel the
darkness of the ignorance of the world.” And so saying, “he spat on the
ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the
blind man with the clay.”

A few important words in Christ’s teaching had escaped the memory of St.
John. But they had been noted down by some other apostle, and the
recollections of the latter were embodied in the Gospel in use among the

The texts resembling passages in St. Luke are four, but all of them are
found in St. Matthew’s Gospel as well.

“_Blessed is that man whom his Lord shall appoint to the ministry of his

“_The Queen of the South shall rise up with this generation, and shall
condemn it; because she came from the extremities of the earth to hear the
wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here, and ye do
not believe him._

“_The men of Nineveh shall rise up with this generation and shall condemn
it, for they heard and repented at the preaching of Jonas: and behold, a
greater is here, and no one believes._”(372)

The compiler of St. Matthew’s Gospel had this striking passage in an
imperfect condition. St. Luke had it with both its members. So had also
the compiler of the Clementine Gospel. The wording is not exactly
identical with that in St. Luke, but the difference is not material, “Ye
do not believe him,” “And no one believes,” exist in the Ebionite, not in
the Canonical text.

“_For without the will of God, not even a sparrow can fall into a gin.
Thus even the hairs of the righteous are numbered by God._”(373)

III. The Gospel Of St. Peter.

Serapion, Bishop of Antioch, in 190, on entering his see, learned that
there was a Gospel attributed to St. Peter read in the sacred services of
the church of Rhosus, in Cilicia. Taking it for granted, as he says, that
all in his diocese held the same faith, without perusing this Gospel, he
sanctioned its use, saying, “If this be the only thing that creates
difference among you, let it be read.”

But he was speedily made aware that this Gospel was not orthodox in its
tendency. It favoured the opinions of the Docetae. It was whispered that
if it had an apostolic parentage, it had heretical sponsors. Serapion
thereupon borrowed the Gospel, read it, and found it was even as had been
reported. “Peter,” said he, “we receive with the other apostles as Christ
himself,” but this Gospel was, if not apocryphal as to its facts, at all
events heretical as to its teaching.

Thereupon Serapion, regretting his precipitation in sanctioning the use of
the Gospel, wrote a book upon it, “in refutation of its false

This book unfortunately has been lost, so that we are not able to learn
much more about the Gospel. What was its origin? Was it a forgery from
beginning to end? This is by no means probable.

The Gospel of St. Mark, as we have seen, was due to St. Peter, and by some
went by the name of the Gospel of St. Peter. It was a Gospel greatly
affected by the Docetae and Elkesaites. “Those who distinguish Jesus from
Christ, and who say that Christ was impassible, but that Jesus endured the
sufferings of his passion, prefer the Gospel of Mark,” says Irenaeus.(375)

It was likely that they should prefer it, for it began at the baptism, and
this event it stated, or was thought to state, was the beginning of the
Gospel; to Docetic minds an admission, an assertion rather, that all that
preceded was of no importance; Jesus was but a man as are other men, till
the plenitude of the Spirit descended on him. The early history might be
matter of curiosity, but not of edification.

That matter is evil is a doctrine which in the East has proved the fertile
mother of heresies. Those infected with this idea—and it is an idea, like
Predestinarianism, which, when once accepted and assimilated, pervades the
whole tissue of belief and determines its form and complexion—could not
acknowledge frankly and with conviction the dogma of the Incarnation. That
God should have part with matter, was as opposed to their notions as a
concord of light with darkness. Carried by the current setting strongly
that way, they found themselves landed in Christianity. They set to work
at once to mould Christianity in accordance with their theory of the
inherent evil in matter. Christ, an emanation from the Pleroma, the
highest, purest wave that swept from the inexhaustible fountain of Deity,
might overshadow, but could not coalesce with, the human Jesus. The
nativity and the death of our Lord were repugnant to their consciences.
They evaded these facts by considering that he was born and died as man,
but that the bright overshadowing cloud of the Divinity, of the Christ,
reposed on him for a brief period only; it descended at the baptism, it
withdrew before the passion.

Such were the party—they were scarcely yet a sect—who used the Gospel of
St. Peter. Was this Gospel a corrupted edition of St. Mark? Probably not.
We have not much ground on which to base an opinion, but there is just
sufficient to make it likely that such was not the case.

To the Docetae, the nativity of our Lord was purely indifferent; it was
not in their Gospel; that it was miraculous they would not allow. To admit
that Christ was the Son of God when born of Mary, was to abandon their
peculiar tenets. It was immaterial to them whether Jesus had brothers and
sisters, or whether James and Jude were only his cousins. The Canonical
Gospels speak of the brothers and sisters of Christ, and we are not told
that they were not the children of Mary.(376) When the Memorabilia were
committed to writing, there was no necessity for doing so. The
relationship was known to every one. Catholics, maintaining the perpetual
virginity of the mother of Jesus, asserted that they were children of
Joseph by a former wife, or cousins. The Gospel of St. Peter declared them
to be the children of Joseph by an earlier marriage. Origen says, “There
are persons who assure us that the brothers of Jesus were the sons whom
Joseph had by his first wife, before he married Mary. They base their
opinion on either the Gospel entitled the Gospel of Peter, or on the Book
of James (the Protevangelium).”(377)

Such a statement would not have been intruded into the Gospel by the
Docetae, as it favoured no doctrine of theirs. It must therefore have
existed in the Gospel before it came into their hands.

We know how St. Mark’s Gospel was formed. After the death of his master,
the evangelist compiled all the fragmentary “Recollections” of St. Peter
concerning our Lord. But these recollections had before this circulated
throughout the Church. We have evidence of this in the incorporation of
some of them into the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke. Others, besides
St. Mark, may have strung these fragments together. One such tissue would
be the Gospel of St. Peter. It did not, perhaps, contain as many articles
as that of St. Mark, but it was less select. Like those of St. Matthew and
St. Luke, on the thread were probably strung memorabilia of other apostles
and disciples, but also, perhaps, some of questionable authority.

This collection was in use at Rhosus. It may have been in use there since
apostolic days; perhaps it was compiled by some president of the church
there. But it had not been suffered to remain without interpolations which
gave it a Docetic character.

Its statement of the relationship borne by the “brothers and sisters” to
our Lord is most valuable, as it is wholly unprejudiced and of great
antiquity. The Gospel, held in reverence as sacred in the second century
at Rhosus, was probably brought thither when that church was founded, not
perhaps in a consecutive history, but in paragraphs. The church was a
daughter of the church of Antioch, and therefore probably founded by a
disciple of St. Peter.

IV. The Gospel Of The Egyptians.

The Gospel known by this name is mentioned by several of the early
Fathers.(378) It existed in the second half of the second century; and as
it was then in use and regarded as canonical by certain Christian sects,
it must have been older. We shall not be far out if we place its
composition at the beginning of the second century.

To form an idea of its tendency, we must have recourse to two different
sources, the second Epistle of Clemens Romanus, the author of which seems
to have made use of no other Gospel than that of the Egyptians, and
Clement of Alexandria, who quotes three passages from it, and refutes the
theories certain heretics of his time derived from them.

The second Epistle of St. Clement of Rome is a Judaizing work, as
Schneckenburg has proved incontestably.(379) It is sufficient to remark
that the Chiliast belief which transpires in more than one place, the
analogy of ideas and of expressions which it bears to the Clementine
Homilies, and finally the selection of Clement of Rome, a personage as
dear to the Ebionites as the apostles James and Peter, to place the
composition under his venerated name, are as many indications of the
Judaeo‐Christian character and origin of this apocryphal work.

The Gospel cited by the author of this Epistle, except in two or three
phrases which are not found in any of our Canonical Gospels, recalls that
of St. Matthew. Nevertheless, it is certain that the quotations are from
the Gospel of the Egyptians, for one of the passages cited in this Epistle
is also quoted by Clement of Alexandria, who tells us whence it comes—from
the Egyptian Gospel. We may conclude from this that the Gospel of the
Egyptians presented great analogy to our first Canonical Gospel, without
being identical with it, and consequently that it was related closely to
the Gospel of the Hebrews.

If the second Epistle of Clement of Rome determines for us the family to
which this Gospel belonged, the passages we shall extract from the
Stromata of Clement of Alexandria will determine its order. There are
three of these passages, and very curious ones they are.

The first is cited by both Clement of Rome and Clement of Alexandria, by
one more fully than by the other.

“_The Lord, having been asked by Salome when his kingdom would come,
replied, When you shall have trampled under foot the garment of shame,
when two shall be one, when that which is without shall be like that which
is within, and when the male with the female shall be neither male nor

The explanation of this singular passage by Clement of Rome is, “Two shall
be one when we are truthful with each other, and when in two bodies there
will be but one soul, without dissimulation and without disguise. That
which is without is the body; that which is within is the soul. Just as
your body appears externally, so should your soul manifest itself by good
works.” The explanation of the last member of the phrase is wanting, as
the Epistle has not come down to us entire.

But this is certainly not the real meaning of the passage. Its true
signification is to be found in the bloodless, passionless exaltation at
which the ascetic aimed who held all matter to be evil, the body to be a
clog to the soul, marriage to be abominable, meats to be abstained from.
It points to that condition as one of perfection in which the soul shall
forget her union with the body, and, sexless and ethereal, shall be

It was in this sense that the heretics took it. Julius Cassianus, “chief
of the sect of the Docetae,”(381) invoked this text against the union of
the sexes. This interpretation manifestly embarrassed St. Clement of
Alexandria, and he endeavours to escape from the difficulty by weakening
the authority of the text.

He does this by pointing out that the saying of our Lord is found only in
the Gospel of the Egyptians, and not in those four generally received. But
as Julius Cassianus appealed at the same time to a saying of St. Paul, the
authenticity of which was not to be contested, the Alexandrine doctor did
not consider that he could avoid discussing the question; and he gives, on
his side, an interpretation of the saying of Jesus in the Apocryphal
Gospel, and of that of St. Paul, associated with it by Julius Cassianus.
The words of St. Paul quoted by the heretic were those in Galatians (iii.
28): “There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, male or
female.” Cassianus paid no regard to the general sense of the passage,
which is, that the privileges of the gospel are common to all of every
degree and nation and sex, but fastening on the words “neither male nor
female,” contended that this was a prohibition of marriage. St. Clement
pays every whit as little regard to the plain sense of the passage, and
gives the whole an absurd mystic signification, as far removed from the
thought of the apostle as the explanation of Julius Cassianus. “By male,”
says he, “understand anger, folly. By female understand lust; and when
these are carried out, the result is penitence and shame.”

It has been thought that the words “when two shall be one” recall the
philosophic doctrine of the Pythagoreans on the subject of numbers and the
dualism which was upheld by many of the Gnostics. St. Mark, according to
Irenaeus, taught that everything had sprung out of the monad and
dyad.(382) But it is not so. The teaching was not philosophic, but
practical. It may be thus paraphrased: “The kingdom of heaven shall have
come when the soul shall have so broken with the passions and feelings of
the body, that it will no longer be sensible of shame. The body will be
lost in the soul, so that the two shall become one; the body which is
without shall be like the soul within, and the male with the female shall
be insensible to passion.”

It was a doctrine which infected whole bodies of men later: the
independence of the soul from the body led to wild asceticism and frantic
sensuality running hand in hand. Holding this doctrine, the Fraticelli in
the thirteenth century flung themselves into the most fiery temptations,
placed themselves in the most perilous positions; if they fell, it
mattered not, the soul was not stained by the deeds of the body; if they
remained unmoved, the body was indeed mastered, “the two had become one.”

The garment of shame is to be trampled under foot. Julius Cassianus
explains this singular expression. It is the apron of skins wherewith our
first parents were clothed, when they blushed at their nakedness. They
blushed because they were in sin; when men and women shall cease to blush
at their nudity, then they have attained to the spiritual condition of
unfallen man.

We see in embryo the Adamites of the Middle Ages, the Anabaptists of the

But the garment of skin has a deeper signification. Philo taught(383) that
it symbolized the human body that clothed the nakedness of the Spirit.
Gnosticism caught at the idea. Unfallen man was pure spirit. Man had
fallen, and his fall consisted in being clothed in flesh. This garment of
skin must be trodden under foot, that the soul may arise above it, be
emancipated from its bonds.

The second passage is quite in harmony with the first: “_Salome having
asked how long men should die, the Lord answered and said, As long as you
women continue to bear children._(_384_)_ Then she said, I have done well,
I have never borne a child. The Lord answered, Eat of every herb, but not
of that containing in itself bitterness._”(385)

Cassian appealed to this text also in proof that marriage was forbidden.
But Clement of Alexandria refused to understand it in this sense. He is
perhaps right when he argues that the first answer of our Lord means, that
as long as there are men born, so long men will die. But the meaning of
the next answer entirely escapes him. When our Lord says, “Eat of every
herb save that in which is bitterness,” he means, says Clement, that
marriage and continence are left to our choice, and that there is no
command one way or the other; man may eat of every tree, the tree of
celibacy, or the tree of marriage, only he must abstain from the tree of

But this is not what was meant. Under a figurative expression, the writer
of this passage conveyed a warning against marriage. Death is the fruit of
birth, birth is the fruit of marriage. Abstain from eating of the tree of
marriage, and death will be destroyed.

That this is the meaning of this remarkable saying is proved conclusively
by another extract from the Gospel of the Egyptians, also made by Clement
of Alexandria; it is put in the mouth of our Lord. “_I am come to destroy
the works of the woman; of the woman, that is, of concupiscence, whose
works are generation and death._”(386) This quotation bears on the face of
it marks of having been touched and explained by a later hand. “Of the
woman,—that is, concupiscence, whose works are generation and death,” are
a gloss added by an Encratite, which was adopted into the text received
among the Egyptian Docetae. The words, “I am come to destroy the works of
the woman,” _i.e._ Eve, may have been spoken by our Lord. By Eve came sin
and death into the world, and these works Christ did indeed come to

But the gloss, as is obvious, alters the meaning of the saying. The woman
is no longer Eve, but womankind in general; and by womankind, that is, by
concupiscence, generation and death exist.

Clement of Alexandria was incapable of seizing the plain meaning of these
words. He says, “The Lord has not deceived us, for he has indeed destroyed
the works of concupiscence, viz. love of money, of strife, glory, of women
... now the birth of these vices is the death of the soul, for we die
indeed by our sins.”

We must look to Philo for the key. The woman, Eve, means, as he says, the
sense; Adam, the intellectual spirit. The union of soul and body is the
degradation of the soul, the fertile parent of corruption and death.(387)
Out of Philo’s doctrine grew a Manichaeanism in the Christian community
before Manes was born.

The work of Jesus was taught to be the emancipation of the soul, the
rational spirit, Νοῦς, from the restraints of the body, its restoration to
its primitive condition. Death would cease when the marriage was dissolved
that held the spirit fettered in the prison‐house of flesh.

Philonian philosophy remained vigorous at Alexandria in the circle of
enlightened Jews. It struck deep root, and blossomed in the Christian

A Gospel, _which_ we do not know—it may have been that of Mark—was brought
into Egypt. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, an Epistle clearly
addressed to the Alexandrine Jews, prepared their minds to fuse Philonism
with Christianity. We see its influence in the Gospel of St. John. That
evangelist adopted Philo’s doctrine of the Logos; the author of the Gospel
of the Egyptians, that of the bondage of the spirit in matter.

The conceptions contained in the three passages which Clement of
Alexandria has preserved are closely united. They all are referable to a
certain theosophy, the exposition of which is to be found in the writings
of Philo, and which may be in vain sought elsewhere at that period. Not
only are there to be found here the theosophic system of the celebrated
Alexandrine Jew, but also, what is a still clearer index of the source
whence the Egyptian Gospel drew its mystic asceticism, we find the quaint
expressions and forms of speech which belonged to Philo, and to none but
him. No one but Philo had thought to find in the first chapters of Genesis
the history of the fall of the soul into the world of sense, and to make
of Eve, of the woman, the symbol of the human body, and starting from this
to explain how the soul could return to its primitive condition, purely
spiritual, by shaking off the sensible to which in its present state it is
attached. When we shall have trampled under foot our tunics of skins
wherewith we have been covered since the fall, this garment, given to us
because we were ashamed of our nakedness,—when the body shall have become
like the soul,—when the union of the soul with the body, _i.e._ of the
male and the female, shall exist no more,—when the woman, that is the
body, shall be no more productive, shall no more produce generation and
death,—when its works are destroyed, then we shall not die any more; we
shall be as we were before our fall, pure spirits; and this will be the
kingdom of the Lord. And to prepare for this transformation, what is to be
done? Eat of every herb, nourish ourselves on the fruit of every tree of
paradise,—that is, cultivate the soul, and not occupy it with anything but
that which will make it live; but abstain from the herb of bitterness,—the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that is,—reject all that can weave
closer the links binding the soul to the body, retain it in its prison,
its grave.(388)

It is easy to see how Philonian ideas continued to exert their influence
in Egypt, when absorbed into Christianity. It was these ideas which
peopled the deserts of Nitria and Scete with myriads of monks wrestling
with their bodies, those prison‐houses of their souls, struggling to die
to the world of matter, that their ethereal souls might shake themselves
free. Their spirits were like moths in a web, bound by silken threads; the
spirit would be choked by these fetters, unless it could snap them and
sail away.


Under this head are classed such Gospels as have a distinct anti‐
Judaizing, Antinomian tendency. They were in use among the Churches of
Asia Minor, and eventually found their way into Egypt.

This class may probably be subdivided into those which bore a strong
affinity to the Canonical Gospel of St. Luke, and those which were
independent compilations.

To the first class belongs—

1. The Gospel of the Lord.

To the second class—

1. The Gospel of Eve.
2. The Gospel of Perfection.
3. The Gospel of Philip.
4. The Gospel of Judas.

I. The Gospel Of The Lord.

The Gospel of the Lord, Εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Κυρίου, was the banner under which
the left of the Christian army marched, as the right advanced under that
of the Gospel of the Hebrews.

The Gospel of the Lord was used by Marcion, and apparently before him by

In opposition to Ebionitism, with its narrow restraints and its low
Christology, stood an exclusive Hellenism. Ebionitism saw in Jesus the Son
of David, come to re‐edit the Law, to provide it with new sanction, after
he had winnowed the chaff from the wheat in it. Marcionism looked to the
Atonement, the salvation wrought by Christ for all mankind, to the
revelation of the truth, the knowledge (γνῶσις) of the mysteries of the
Godhead made plain to men, through God the good and merciful, who sent His
Son to bring men out of ignorance into light, out of the bondage of the
Law into the freedom of the Gospel.(390)

The Gospel, in the eyes of Marcion and the extreme followers of St. Paul,
represented free grace, overflowing goodness, complete reconciliation with

But such goodness stood contrasted with the stern justice of the Creator,
as revealed in the books of the Old Testament; infinite, unconditioned
forgiveness was incompatible with the idea of God as a Lawgiver and a
Judge. The restraint of the Law and the freedom of the Gospel could no
more emanate from the same source than sweet water and bitter.

Therefore the advanced Pauline party were led on to regard the God who is
revealed in the Old Testament as a different God from the God revealed by
Christ. Cerdo first, and Marcion after him, represented the God of this
world, the Demiurge, to be the author of evil; but the author of evil only
in so far as that his nature being incomplete, his work was incomplete
also. He created the world, but the world, partaking in his imperfection,
contains evil mixed with good. He created the angel‐world, and part of it,
through defect in the divinity of their first cause, fell from heaven.

The germs of this doctrine, it was pretended, were to be found in St.
Paul’s Epistles. In the second to the Corinthians, after speaking of the
Jews as blinded to the revelation of the Gospel by the veil which is on
their faces, the apostle says: “The God of this world hath blinded the
minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”(391) St. Paul
had no intention of representing the God of the Jews who veiled their eyes
as opposed to Christ; but it is easy to see how readily those who followed
his doctrine of antagonism between the Law and the Gospel would be led to
suppose that he did identify the God of the Law with the principle of
obstructiveness and of evil.

So also St. Paul’s teaching that sin was produced by the Law, that it had
no positive existence, but was called into being by the imposition of the
Commandments, lent itself with readiness to Marcion’s system. “The Law
entered, that the offence might abound.”(392) “The motions of sins are by
the Law.”(393) “I had not known sin, but by the Law: for I had not known
lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”(394)

This Law, imposed by the God of the Jews, is then the source of sin. It is
imposed, not on the spirit, but on the flesh. In opposition to it stands
the revelation of Jesus Christ, which repeals the Law of the Jews. “The
Law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law
of sin and death.”(395) “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified
without the deeds of the Law.”(396) “Before faith came, we were kept under
the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we
might be justified by faith; but after that faith is come, we are no
longer under a schoolmaster.”(397)

We find in St. Paul’s writings all the elements of Marcion’s doctrine, but
not compacted into a system, because St. Paul never had worked out such a
theory, and would have shrunk from the conclusions which might be drawn
from his words, used in the heat of argument, for the purpose of opposing
an error, not of establishing a dogmatic theory.

The whole world lay, according to Marcion, under the dispensation of the
Demiurge, and therefore under a mixed government of good and evil. To the
Jewish nation this Demiurge revealed himself. His revelation was stern,
uncompromising, imperfect. Then the highest God, the God of love and
mercy, who stood opposed to the inferior God, the Creator, the God of
justice and severity, sent Jesus Christ for the salvation of all (ad
salutem omnium gentium) to overthrow and destroy (arguere, redarguere,
ἐλέγχειν, καταλεύειν) “the Law and the Prophets,” the revelation of the
world‐God, the God of the Jews.

The highest God, whose realm and law were spiritual, had been an unknown
God (deus ignotus) till Christ came to reveal Him. The God of this world
and of the Jews had a carnal realm, and a law which was also carnal. They
formed an antithesis, and true Christianity consisted in emancipation from
the carnal law. The created world under the Demiurge was bad; matter was
evil; spirit alone was pure. Thus the chain unrolled, and lapsed into
Manichaeism. Cerdo and Marcion stood in the same relation to Manes that
Paul stood in to them. Manichaeism was not yet developed; it was

Gnosticism, with easy impartiality, affected Ebionitism on one side and
Marcionism on the other, intensifying their opposition. It was like oxygen
combining here to form an alkali, there to generate an acid.

The God of love, according to Marcion, does not punish. His dealings with
man are, all benevolence, communication of free grace, bestowal of ready
forgiveness. For if sin be merely violation of the law of the God of this
world, it is indifferent to the highest God, who is above the Demiurge,
and regards not his vexatious restrictions on the liberty of man.

Yet Marcion was not charged by his warmest antagonists with immorality.
They could not deny that the Marcionites entirely differed from other
Pauline Antinomians in their moral conduct—that, for example, in their
abhorrence of heathen games and pastimes they came fully up to the
standard of the most rigid Catholic Christians. While many of the
disciples of St. Paul, who held that an accommodation with prevailing
errors was allowable, that no importance was to be attached to externals,
found no difficulty in evading the obligation to become martyrs, the
Marcionites readily, fearlessly, underwent the interrogations of the
judges and the tortures of the executioner.(398)

Marcion, there is no doubt, regarded St. Paul as the only genuine apostle,
the only one who remained true to his high calling. He taught that Christ,
after revealing himself in his divine power to the God of this world, and
confounding him unto submission, manifested himself to St. Paul,(399) and
commissioned him to preach the gospel.

He rejected all the Scriptures now accounted canonical, except the
Epistles of St. Paul, which formed with him an “Apostolicon,” in which
they were arranged in the following order:—The Epistle to the Galatians,
the First and Second to the Corinthians, the Epistles to the Romans, the
Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and to the

Besides the Epistles of St. Paul, he made use of an original Gospel, which
he asserted was the evangelical record cited and used by Paul himself. The
other Canonical Gospels he rejected as corrupted by Judaizers.

This Gospel bore a close resemblance to that of St. Luke. “Marcion,” says
Irenaeus, “has disfigured the entire Gospel, he has reconstructed it after
his own fancy, and then boasts that he possesses the true Gospel.”(401)

Tertullian assures us that Marcion had cut out of St. Luke’s Gospel
whatever opposed his own doctrines, and retained only what was in favour
of them.(402) This statement, as we shall see presently, was not strictly

Epiphanius is more precise. He goes most carefully over the Gospel used by
Marcion, and discusses every text which, he says, was modified by the

The charge of mutilating the Canonical Gospels was brought by the orthodox
Fathers against both the Ebionites on one side, and the Marcionites and
Valentinians on the other, because the Gospels they used did not exactly
agree with those employed by the middle party in the Church which
ultimately prevailed. But the extreme parties on their side made the same
charge against the Catholics.(404) It is not necessary to believe these
charges in every case.

If the Gospels(405) were compiled as in the manner I have contended they
were, such discrepancies must have occurred. Every Church had its own
collection of the “Logia” and of the “Practhenta” of Christ. The more
voluminous of these collections, those better strung together, thrust the
earlier, less complete, collections into the back‐ground. And these
collections were continually being augmented by the acquisition of fresh
material; and this new material was squeezed into the existing text, often
without much consideration for the chain of story or teaching which it
broke and dislocated.

Marcion was too conscientious and earnest a man wilfully to corrupt a
Gospel. He probably brought with him to Rome the Gospel in use at Sinope
in Pontus, of which city, according to one account, his father was bishop.
The Church in Sinope had for its first bishop, Philologus, the friend of
St. Paul, if we may trust the pseudo‐Hippolytus and Dorotheus. It is
probable that the Church of Sinope, when founded, was furnished by St.
Paul with a collection of the records of Christ’s life and teaching such
as he supplied to other “Asiatic” churches. And this collection was, no
doubt, made by his constant companion Luke.

Thus the Gospel of Marcion may be Luke’s original Gospel. But there is
every reason to believe that Luke’s Gospel went through considerable
alteration, probably passed through a second edition with considerable
additions to it made by the evangelist’s own hand, before it became what
it now is, the Canonical Luke.

He may have found reason to alter the arrangement of certain incidents; to
insert whole paragraphs which had come to him since he had composed his
first rough sketch; to change certain expressions where he found a
difference in accounts of the same sayings, or to combine several.

Moreover, the first edition was published in the full heat of the Pauline
controversy. Its strong Paulinianism lies on the surface. But afterwards,
when this excitement had passed away, and the popular misconception of
Pauline sola‐fidianism had become a general offence to morals and
religion, then Luke came under the influence of St. John, and tempered his
Gospel by adding to it incidents Paul did not care to have inserted in the
Gospel he wished his converts to receive, or the accuracy of which, as
disagreeing with his own views, he was disposed to question.

Of this I shall have more to say presently. It is necessary, in the first
place, briefly to show that Marcion’s Gospel contained a different
arrangement of the narrative from the Canonical Luke, and was without many
passages which it is not possible to believe he wilfully excluded. For
instance, in Marcion’s Gospel: “And as he entered into a certain village,
there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they
lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And
when he saw them, he said unto them, Go, show yourselves unto the priests.
And it came to pass, that as they went, they were cleansed. And many
lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them
was cleansed saving Naaman the Syrian. And one of them, when he saw that
he was healed,” &c. Here the order is Luke xvii. 12, 13, 14, iv. 27, xvii.
15. Such a disturbance of the text in the Canonical Gospel could serve no
purpose, would not support any peculiar view of Marcion, and cannot
therefore have been a wilful alteration. And in the first chapter of
Marcion’s Gospel this is the sequence of verses whose parallels in St.
Luke are: iii. 1, iv. 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 16, 20 21, 22,
23, 28, 29, 30, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44.

Thus the order of events is different in the two Gospels. Christ goes
first to Capernaum in the “Gospel of the Lord,” and afterwards to
Nazareth, an inversion of the order as given in the Gospel of St. Luke.
Again, in this instance, no purpose was served by this transposition. It
is unaccountable on the theory that Marcion corrupted the Gospel of Luke;
but if we suppose that Luke revised the arrangement of his Gospel after
its first publication, the explanation is simple enough.

But what is far more conclusive of the originality of Marcion’s Gospel is,
that his Gospel was without several passages which occur in St. Luke, and
which do apparently favour his views. Such are Luke xi. 51, xiii. 30 and
34, xx. 9‐16. These contain strong denunciations of the Jews by Jesus
Christ, and a positive declaration that they had fallen from their place
as the elect people. Marcion insisted on the abrogation of the Old
Covenant; it was a fundamental point in his system; he would consequently
have found in these passages powerful arguments in favour of his thesis.
He certainly would not have excluded them from his Gospel, had he tampered
with the text, as Irenaeus and Tertullian declare.

Yet Marcion would not scruple to use the knife upon a Gospel that came
into his hands, if he found in it passages that wholly upset his doctrine
of the Demiurge and of asceticism. For when the Church was full of
Gospels, and none were as yet settled authoritatively as canonical,
private opinion might, unrebuked, choose one Gospel and reject the others,
or subject any Gospel to critical supervision. The manner in which the
Gospels were composed laid them open to criticism. Any Church might
hesitate to accept a saying of our Lord, and incorporate it with the
Gospel with which it was acquainted, till satisfied that the saying was a
genuine, apostolic tradition. And how was a Church to be satisfied? By
internal evidence of genuineness, when the apostles themselves had passed
away. Consequently, each Church was obliged to exert its critical faculty
in the composition of its Gospel. And that the churches did exert their
judgment freely is evidenced by the mass of apocryphal matter which
remains, the dross after the refining, piled up in the Gospels of
Nicodemus, of the Infancy of Thomas, and of Joseph the Carpenter. All of
which was deliberately rejected as resting on no apostolic authority, as
not found in any Church to be read at the sacred mysteries, but as mere
folk‐tales buzzed about, nowhere producing credentials of authenticity.

Marcion, following St. Paul, declared that the Judaizing Church had
“corrupted the word of God,”(406) meaning such “logia” as, “I am not come
to destroy the Law or the Prophets.” “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot
or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all is
fulfilled.”(407) These texts would naturally find no place in the original
Pauline Gospels used by the Churches he had founded. In St. Luke’s Gospel,
accordingly, the Law and the Prophets are said to have been until John,
and since then the Gospel, “the kingdom of God.”(408) But the following
verse in St. Luke’s Gospel is, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass,
than one tittle of the Law to fail”—a contradiction of the immediately
preceding verse, which declares that the Law has ceased with the
proclamation of the Gospel. This verse, therefore, cannot have existed in
its present form in the original Gospel of St. Luke, and must have been
modified when a reconciliation had been effected between Petrine and
Pauline Christianity.

It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that the verse should read
differently in Marcion’s Gospel, which contains the uncorrupted original
passage, and runs thus “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than
for one tittle of my words to fail;” or perhaps, “It is easier for heaven
and earth to pass, than one tittle of the words of the Lord to fail;” for
in this instance we have not the exact words.(409)

But though Marcion certainly endured the presence of texts in his Gospel
which militated against his system, he may have cut out other passages.
Passages, or words only, which he thought had crept into the text without
authority. This can scarcely be denied when the texts are examined which
are wanting in his Gospel. No strong conservative attachment to any
particular Gospels had grown up in the Church as yet; no texts had been
authoritatively sanctioned. As late as the end of the second century (A.D.
190), the Church of Rhossus was using its own Gospel attributed to Peter,
till Serapion, bishop of Antioch, thinking that it contained Docetic
errors, probably because of omissions, suppressed it,(410) and substituted
for it, in all probability, one of the more generally approved Gospels.

The Church of Rhossus was neither heretical nor schismatical; it formed
part of the Catholic Church, and, no objection was raised against its use
of a Gospel of its own, till it was suggested that this Gospel contained
errors of doctrine. No question was raised whether it was an authentic
Gospel by Peter or not; the standard by which it was measured was the
traditional faith of the Church. It did not agree with this standard, and
was therefore displaced. St. Epiphanius and St. Jerome assert, probably
unjustifiably, that the orthodox did not hesitate to amend their Gospels,
if they thought there were passages in them objectionable or doubtful.
Thus they altered the passage in which Jesus is said to have wept over
Jerusalem (Luke xix. 41). St. Epiphanius frankly tells us so. “The
orthodox,” says he, “have eliminated these words, urged to it by fear, and
not feeling either their purpose or force.”(411) But it is more likely
that the weeping of Jesus over Jerusalem was inserted by Luke in his
Gospel at the time of reconciliation under St. John, so as to make the
Pauline Gospel exhibit Jesus moved with sympathy for the holy city, the
head‐quarters of the Law. The passage is not in Marcion’s Gospel; and
though it is possible he may have removed it, it is also possible that he
did not find it in the Pauline Gospel of the Church at Sinope.

St. Jerome says that Luke xxii. 43, 44, were also eliminated from some
copies of the Canonical Gospel. “The Greeks have taken the liberty of
extracting from their texts these two verses, for the same reason that
they removed the passage in which it is said he wept.... This can only
come from superstitious persons, who think that Jesus Christ could not
have become as weak as is represented.”(412) St. Hilary says that these
verses were not found in many Greek texts, or in some Latin ones.(413)

But here, also, the assertion of St. Jerome and St. Hilary cannot be taken
as a statement of fact, but rather as a conclusion drawn by them from the
fact that all copies of the Gospel of St. Luke did not contain these two
verses. They are wanting in the Gospel of our Lord, and may be an addition
made to the Gospel of St. Luke, after it had been first circulated. There
is reason to suppose that after St. Luke had written his Gospel,
additional matter may have been provided him, and that he published a
second, and enlarged, edition of his Gospel. Thus some Churches would be
in possession of the first edition, and others of the second, and Jerome
and Epiphanius, not knowing this, would conclude that those in possession
of the first had tampered with their text.

The Gospel of Marcion has been preserved to us almost in its entirety.
Tertullian regarded Marcionism as the most dangerous heresy of his day. He
wrote against it, and carefully went through the Marcionite Gospel to show
that it maintained the Catholic faith, though it differed somewhat from
the Gospel acknowledged by Tertullian, and that therefore Marcion’s
doctrine was untenable.(414) He does not charge Marcion with having
interpolated or curtailed a Canonical Gospel, for Marcion was ready to
retort the charge against the Gospel used by Tertullian.(415)

It is not probable that Tertullian passed over any passage in the “Gospel
of the Lord” which could by any means be made to serve against Marcion’s
system. This is the more probable, because Tertullian twists the texts to
serve his purpose which in the smallest degree lend themselves to being so

St. Epiphanius has gone over much the same ground as Tertullian, but in a
different manner. He attempts to show how wickedly Marcion had corrupted
the Word of God, and how ineffectual his attempt had been, inasmuch as
passages in his corrupted Gospel served to destroy his system.

With these two purposes he went through the whole of the “Gospel of the
Lord,” and accompanied it with a string of notes, indicating all the
alterations and omissions he found in it. Each text from Marcion’s Gospel,
or Scholion, is accompanied by a refutation. Epiphanius is very
particular. He professes to disclose “the fraud of Marcion from beginning
to end.” And the pains he took to do this thoroughly appear from the
minute differences between the Gospels which he notices.(417) At the same
time, he does not extract long passages entire from the Gospel, but
indicates their subject, where they agreed exactly with the received text.
It is possible, therefore, that other slight differences may have existed
which escaped his eye, but the differences can only have been slight.

The following table gives the contents of the Gospel of Marcion. It
contains nothing that is not found in St. Luke’s Gospel. But some of the
passages do not agree exactly with the parallel passages in the Canonical

THE GOSPEL (Τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον).(418)

Chap. i.(419)

1. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius
Pilate ruling in Judea, Jesus came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee,
and straightway on the Sabbath days, going into the synagogue, he

2. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

3. And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean
devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

4. Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, Jesus?(421) Art
thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

5. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And
when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt
him not.

6. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a
word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean
spirits, and they come out.

7. And he arose out of the synagogue,(422) and entered into Simon’s house.
And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought
him for her.

8. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever, and it left her: and
immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

9. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round

10. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.(423)

11. And he came to Nazareth;(424) and, as his custom was, he went into the
synagogue on the Sabbath day,(425) and he began to preach to them.(426)

12. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which
proceeded out of his mouth.(427)

13. And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb,
Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do
also here.(428)

14. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of
Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great
famine was throughout the land;

15. But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of
Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

16. And many lepers were in the time of Eliseus the prophet in
Israel,(429) and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

17. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were
filled with wrath,

18. And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow
of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down

19. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way to

20. And when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers
diseases brought them unto him, &c. (as St. Luke iv. 40‐44).

Chap. ii.

Same as St. Luke v.

Verse 14 differed slightly. For εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς, Marcion’s Gospel had
ἵνα τοῦτο ἦ μαρτύριον ῦμιν, “that this may be a testimony to you.”

Chap. iii.

Same as St. Luke vi.

Verse 17, for μετ᾽ αὐτῶν, Marcion read ἐν αὐτοῖς; “among them” for “with

Chap. iv.

Same as St. Luke vii.

Verses 29‐35 omitted.

Chap. v.

Same as St. Luke viii.

But verse 19 was omitted by Marcion.

And verse 21 read: “And he answering, said unto them, Who is my mother,
and who are my brethren?(431) My mother and my brethren are these which
hear the word of God, and do it.”

Chap vi.

Same as St. Luke ix.

But verse 31 was omitted.

Chap. vii.

Same as St. Luke x.

But verse 21 read: “In that hour he rejoiced in the Spirit, and said, I
praise and thank thee, Lord of Heaven, that those things which were hidden
from the wise and prudent thou hast revealed to babes: even so, Father;
for so it seemed good in thy sight.”(432)

And verse 22 ran: “All things are delivered to me of my Father, and no man
hath known the Father save the Son, nor the Son save the Father, and he to
whom the Son hath revealed;”(433) in place of, “All things are delivered
to me of my Father; and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and
who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”

And verse 25: “Doing what shall I obtain life?” “eternal,” αἰώνιον, being

Chap. viii.

Same as St. Luke xi.

But verse 2: “When ye pray, say, Father, may thy Holy Spirit come to us,
thy kingdom come,” &c., in place of “Hallowed be thy name.”(434)

Verse 29: in Marcion’s Gospel it ended, “This is an evil generation: they
seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it.” What follows in St.
Luke’s Gospel, “but the sign of Jonas the prophet,” and verses 30‐32, were

Verse 42: “Woe unto you, Pharisees! ye tithe mint and rue and all manner
of herbs, and pass over the calling(435) and the love of God,” &c.

Verses 49‐51 were omitted by Marcion.

Chap. ix.

Same as St. Luke xii.

But verses 6, 7, and “τῶν ἀγγέλων” in 8 and 9 omitted.

Verse 32 read: “Fear not, little flock; for it is the Father’s good
pleasure to give you the kingdom.”(436)

And verse 38 ran thus: “And if he shall come in the evening watch, and
find thus, blessed are those servants.”(437)

Chap. x.

Same as St. Luke xiii. 11‐28.

Marcion’s Gospel was without verses 1‐10.

Verse 28: for “Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets,” Marcion
read, “all the righteous,”(438) and added “held back” after “cast.”(439)

Verses 29‐35 of St. Luke’s chapter were not in Marcion’s Gospel.

Chap. xi.

Same as St. Luke xiv.

Verses 7‐11 omitted.

Chap. xii.

Same as St. Luke xv. 1‐10.

Verses 11‐32 omitted.

Chap. xiii.

Same as St. Luke xvi.

But verse 12: “If ye have not been faithful in that which is another
man’s, who will give you that which is mine?”(440)

And verse 17: for “One tittle of the Law shall not fall,” Marcion read,
“One tittle of my words shall not fall.”(441)

Chap. xiv.

Same as St. Luke xvii.

But verse 2: εἰ μὴ ἐγεννήθη, ἢ μύλος ὀνικὸς,(442) “if he had not been
born, or if a mill‐stone,” &c.

Verses 9, 10: Marcion’s Gospel had, “Doth he thank that servant because he
did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise do ye,
when ye shall have done all those things that are commanded you.”
Omitting, “Say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was
our duty to do.”

Verse 14: “And he sent them away, saying, Go show yourselves unto the
priests,” &c., in place of, “And when he saw them, he said unto them,”

Verse 18 ran: “These are not found returning to give glory to God. And
there were many lepers in the time of Eliseus the prophet in Israel; and
none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.”(444)

Chap. xv.

Same as St. Luke xviii. 1‐30, 35‐43.

Verse 19: “Jesus said to him, Do not call me good; one is good, the

Verses 31‐34 were absent from Marcion’s Gospel.

Chap. xvi.

Same as St. Luke xix. 1‐28.

Verses 29‐48 absent.

Verse 9: “For that he also is a son of Abraham,” was not in Marcion’s

Chap. xvii.

Same as St. Luke xx. 1‐8, 19‐36, 39‐47.

Verses 9‐18 not in Marcion’s Gospel.

Verse 19: “They perceived that he had spoken this parable against them,”
not in Marcion’s text.

Verse 35: “But they which shall be accounted worthy of God to obtain that
world,” &c.(446)

Verses 37, 38, omitted.

Chap. xviii.

Same as St. Luke xxi. 1‐17, 19, 20, 23‐38.

Verses 18, 21, 22, were not in Marcion’s Gospel.

Chap. xix.

Same as St. Luke xxii. 1‐15, 19‐27, 31‐34, 39‐48, 52‐71.

Verses absent were therefore 16‐18, 28‐30, 35‐38, 45‐51.

Chap. xx.

Same as St. Luke xxiii.

Verse 2: “And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this one
perverting the nation, and destroying the Law and the Prophets, and
forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and leading away the women and

Verse 43: “Verily I say unto thee, To‐day shalt thou be with me.”(448)

Chap. xxi.

Same as St. Luke xxiv. 1‐26, 28‐51.

Verse 25: “O fools and sluggish‐hearted in believing all those things
which he said to you,” in place of, “in believing all those things which
the prophets spake.”(449)

Verse 27 was omitted.

Verse 32: “And while he opened to us the Scriptures,” omitted.

Verse 44: “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet
with you.” What follows in St. Luke, “that all things must be fulfilled,
which were written in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms,
concerning me,” was omitted.

Verse 45 was omitted.

Verse 46 ran: “That thus it behoved Christ to suffer,” &c.; so that the
whole sentence read, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I
was yet with you, That thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from
the dead the third day.”

Verses 52 and 53 were omitted.

I shall now make a few remarks on some of the passages absent from
Marcion’s Gospel, or which, in it, differ from the Canonical Gospel of St.

1. It was not attributed to St. Luke. It was Τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον, not κατὰ
Λουκᾶν. Tertullian explicitly says, “Marcion inscribes no name on his
Gospel,”(450) and in the “Dialogue on the Right Faith” it is asserted that
he protested his Gospel was _the_ Gospel, the only one; and that the
multiplicity of Gospels used by Catholics, and their discrepancies, were a
proof that none of these other Gospels were genuine. He even went so far
as to assert that his Gospel was written by Christ,(451) and when closely
pressed on this point, and asked whether Christ wrote the account of his
own passion and resurrection, he said it was so, but afterwards hesitated,
and asserted that it was probably added by St. Paul.

This shows plainly enough that Marcion had received the Gospel, probably
from the Church of Sinope, where it was the only one known, and that he
had heard nothing about St. Luke as its author; indeed, knew nothing of
its origin. He treated it with the utmost veneration, and in his
veneration for it attributed its authorship to the Lord himself; supposing
the words of St. Paul, “the Gospel of Christ,”(452) “the Gospel of his
Son,”(453) “the Gospel of God,”(454) to mean that Jesus Christ was the
actual author of the book.

Marcion, it may be remarked, would have had no objection to acknowledging
St. Luke as the compiler of the Gospel, as that evangelist was a devoted
follower of St. Paul. If he did not do so, it was because at Sinope the
Gospel read in the Church was not known by his name.

2. Marcion’s Gospel was without the Preface, Luke i. 1‐4.

This Preface is certainly by St. Luke, but was added, we may conjecture,
after the final revision of his Gospel, when he issued the second edition.
Its absence from Marcion’s Gospel shows that it did not accompany the
first edition.

3. The narrative of the nativity, Luke i. ii., is not in Marcion’s Gospel.

It has been supposed by critics that he omitted this narrative purposely,
because his Christ was descended from the highest God, had no part with
the world of the Demiurge, and had therefore no earthly mother.(455) But
if so, why did Marcion suffer the words, “Thy mother and thy brethren
stand without desiring to see thee” (Luke viii. 20), to remain in his

And it does not appear that Marcion denied the incarnation _in toto_, and
went to the full extreme of Docetic doctrine. On the contrary, he taught
that Christ deceived the God of this World, by coming into it as a man.
The Demiurge trusted he would be his Messiah, to confirm the Law for ever.
But when he saw that Christ was destroying the Law, he inflicted on him
death. And this was only possible, because Christ was, through his human
nature, subject to his power.

It is a less violent supposition that in the Church of Sinope the Gospel
was, like that of St. Mark, without a narrative of the nativity and
childhood of Jesus. It is probable, moreover, that the first two chapters
of St. Luke’s Gospel were added at a later period. The account of the
nativity and childhood is taken from the mouths of the blessed Virgin
Mary, of eye‐witnesses, or contemporaries. “Mary kept all these things and
pondered them in her heart,” and “His mother kept all these sayings in her
heart.”(456) This is our guaranty that the story is true. Mary kept them
in memory, and the evangelist appeals to her memory for them. So with
regard to the account of the nativity of the Baptist, “All they that heard
these things laid them up in their hearts.”(457) To their recollections
also the evangelist appeals as his authority.

Now it is not probable that St. Luke or St. Paul were brought in contact
with the Virgin and the people about Hebron, relatives of the Baptist.
Their lives were spent in Asia Minor. But St. John, we know, became the
guardian of the blessed Virgin after the death of Christ.(458) Greek
ecclesiastical tradition declares that she accompanied him to Ephesus. But
be that as it may, St. John almost certainly would have tenderly and
reverently collected the “memorabilia” of the blessed Mother concerning
her Divine Son’s birth and infancy.

St. John had the organizing and disciplining of the “Asiatic” churches
founded by St. Paul after the removal of the Apostle of the Gentiles. When
he came to Ephesus, and went through the Churches of Asia Minor, he found
a Gospel compiled by St. Luke in general use. To this he added such
particulars as were expedient to complete it, amongst others the
“recollections” of St. Mary, and the relatives of the Baptist. It is most
probable that he gave them to St. Luke to work into his narrative, and
thus to form a second edition of his Gospel.(459) That the Gospel of St.
Luke was retouched after the abatement of the anti‐legal excitement can
hardly be doubted. We shall see instances as we proceed.

4. The section relating to the Baptist (Luke iii. 2‐19), with which the
most ancient Judaizing Gospels opened, was absent from that of Marcion.

John belonged to the Old Covenant; he could not therefore be regarded as
revealing the Gospel of the unknown God. This is thought by Baur,
Hilgenfeld and Volckmar, to be the reason of the omission. But the
explanation is strained. I think it probable, as stated above, that St.
Luke when with St. Paul had not got the narrative of those who had heard
and seen the birth of the Baptist and his preaching beyond Jordan. Had
Marcion, moreover, objected to the Baptist as belonging to the Old
Covenant, he would not have suffered the presence in his Gospel of the
passage, Luke vii. 24‐28, containing the high commendation of John, “This
is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face,
which shall prepare the way before thee.”

5. There is no mention in Marcion’s Gospel of the baptism of our Lord
(Luke iii. 21, 22). This is given very briefly in St. Luke’s Gospel. To
the Nazarene Church this event was of the utmost importance; it was
regarded as the beginning of the mission of Jesus, the ratification by God
of his Messiahship, and therefore the Gospels of Mark and of the Hebrews
opened with it. But the significance was not so deeply felt by the Gentile
converts, and therefore the circumstance is despatched in a few words.

6. The genealogy of Joseph is not given (Luke iii. 23‐38). This is not to
be wondered at. It is an evidently late interpolation, clumsily foisted
into the sacred text, rudely interrupting the narrative.

(21): “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus
also being baptized, and praying, the heaven opened, (22) and the Holy
Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came
from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well
pleased. (iv. 1): And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from
Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Such is the
natural order. But it is interrupted by the generation of Joseph, the
supposed father of Jesus, from Adam. This generation does not concern
Jesus at all, but it came through some Jewish Christians into the hands of
the Church in Asia Minor, and was forced between the joints of the sacred
text, to the interruption of the narrative and the succession of
ideas.(460) Marcion had it not in the Gospel brought from Pontus.

7. The narrative of the Temptation is not in Marcion’s Gospel. It can have
been no omission of his, for it would have tallied admirably with his
doctrine. He held that the God of this world believed Christ at first to
be the Messiah, but finally was undeceived. In the narrative of the
Temptation the devil offers Christ all the kingdoms of the world and the
glory of them. He takes the position which in Marcion’s scheme was
occupied by the Demiurge. Had he possessed the record of the Temptation,
it would have mightily strengthened his position.

8. The “Gospel of our Lord” opens with the words, “In the fifteenth year
of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate ruling in Judaea (ἡγεμονεύοντος in
place of ἐπιτροπεύοντος, an unimportant difference), Jesus came down to
Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and straightway on the Sabbath days, going
into the synagogue, he taught” (εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν ἐδίδασκε in
place of καὶ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν), again an unimportant

9. The words “Jesus of Nazareth”(461) are in Marcion’s Gospel simply
“Jesus.” This may have been done by Marcion on purpose. But there is no
evidence that it was omitted in xxiv. 19.

10. The order of events, as given in Luke iv., is changed. Jesus, in
Marcion’s Gospel, goes first to Capernaum, and then to Nazareth, reversing
the order in St. Luke.

9. Christ goes to Capernaum,     1. Christ comes into Galilee,
and enters the synagogue to      and the fame of him goes round
teach.                           about (14).
10. All are astonished at his    2. He teaches in the
doctrine and power.              synagogues of Galilee, being
                                 glorified of all (15).
11. He heals the demoniac.
12. All are amazed at his        3. He comes to Nazareth, and
power.                           goes into the synagogue (16).
14. He enters Simon’s house,     4. He opens Esaias, and
and heals his wife’s mother.     interprets his prophecy
13. His fame spreads.
2. He teaches in the             5. All bare him witness, and
synagogues, being glorified of   wonder at his gracious words,
all.                             but ask if he is not Joseph’s
                                 son (22).
3. He comes to Nazareth, and
goes into the synagogue.
5. All bare him witness, and     6. Christ quotes a proverb,
wonder at his gracious words.    and combats it (23‐27).
6. Christ quotes a proverb,      7. The Nazarenes seek to throw
and combats it.                  him down a precipice (28, 29).
7. The Nazarenes seek to throw
him down a precipice.
8. He escapes, and goes to       8. He escapes, and goes to
Capernaum.                       Capernaum (30, 31).
15. At sunset he heals the       9. He teaches in the synagogue
sick.                            at Capernaum (31).
                                 10. All are astonished at his
                                 doctrine and power (32).
                                 11. He heals the demoniac
                                 12. All are amazed at his
                                 power (36).
                                 13. His fame spreads (37).
                                 14. He enters Simon’s house,
                                 and heals his wife’s mother
                                 (38, 39).
                                 15. At sunset he heals the
                                 sick (40).

By placing the subject‐matter of the two narratives side by side, and
numbering that of St. Luke consecutively, and giving the corresponding
paragraphs, with their numbers as in Luke’s order, arranged in the
Marcionite succession, the reader is able at once to see the difference.
No doctrinal question was touched by this transposition. The only
explanation of it which is satisfactory is that each Gospel contained
fragments which were pieced together differently. One block consisted of
paragraphs 2‐8; another, of paragraphs 9‐14; another 15. Besides these
blocks, there were chips, splinters, the paragraphs 1, 13, 15. Marcion’s
Gospel was without 1 and 4.

Par. 2, verse 15: “He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all,”
was common to both Gospels. In Marcion’s, most appropriately, it came
after Christ has performed miracles; less judiciously in Luke’s does it
come before the performance of miracles.

Par. 13: “And the fame of him went out into every place of the country
round about.” St. Luke put this after Christ had taught in Nazareth and
Capernaum; in Marcion’s Gospel it was before he had been to Nazareth, but
immediately after the healing of Simon’s wife’s mother. It ought probably
to occupy the place assigned it in Marcion’s text. The fame of Christ
spreads. They in Nazareth hear of it, and say, “What we have heard done in
Capernaum, do also here.”

Par. 15: “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with
divers diseases brought them unto him,” &c., as in St. Luke iv. 40, 41.
This Marcion’s Gospel has immediately after the healing of the sick wife
of Simon, as though the rumour of the miracle attracted all who had sick
relations to bring them to Christ. No doubt the paragraph should rightly
stand in connection with this miracle of healing the fevered woman.

But there are omissions supposed to have been made purposely by Marcion.
In verse 16 of St. Luke’s Gospel, c. iv.: “He came to Nazareth, where he
had been brought up,” in the “Gospel of the Lord” ran, “He came to
Nazareth” only. But it is not improbable that “where he had been brought
up” was a gloss which crept into the text after the addition of the
narrative of the early years of Christ had been added to the Canonical

All the reading from the prophet Esaias, and the exposition of the
prophecy (Luke iv. 17‐21) was omitted, there can be small question, by
Marcion, because it mutilated against his views touching the prophets as
ministers, not of the God of Christ, but of the God of this world.

Luke iv. 23: “Do also here in thy country,” changed into, “Do also here.”
It is possible that “in thy country” may be a gloss which has crept into a
later text of St. Luke’s Gospel, or was inserted by Luke in his second

11. Luke vii. 29‐35 are wanting in Marcion’s Gospel. That verses 29‐32
should have been purposely excluded, it is impossible to suppose, as they
favoured Marcion’s tenets. It has been argued that the rest of the verses,
33‐35, were cut out by Marcion because in verse 34 it is said, “The Son of
Man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man and a
winebibber.” But the “Gospel of the Lord” contained Luke v. 33: “Why do
the disciples of John fast often, and make long prayers, and likewise the
disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink;” and the example of
Christ going to the feast prepared by Levi is retained (v. 29).

12. Luke viii. 19: “Then came to him his mother and his brethren,” &c.,
omitted; but the next verse, “And it was told him by certain which said,
Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.” This
cannot be admitted as a mutilation by Marcion. Had he cut out verse 19, he
would also have removed verse 20. Rather is verse 19 an amplification of
the original text. The “saying” of Jesus was known in the “Asiatic”
churches; and when Luke wove it into the text of his Gospel, he introduced
it with the words, “Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and
could not come at him for the press,” words not necessary, but deducible
from the preserved text, and useful as introducing it.

13. Luke x. 21: “In that hour he rejoiced in the spirit, and said, I
praise and thank thee, Lord of heaven, that those things which are hidden
from the wise and prudent thou hast revealed to babes.” The version in
Luke’s Gospel may have been tampered with by Marcion, lest God should
appear harsh in hiding “those things from the wise and prudent.” But it is
more likely that Marcion’s text is the correct one. Why should Christ
thank God that he has hidden the truth from the wise and prudent? The
reading in Marcion’s Gospel is not only a better one, but it also appears
to be an independent one. He has, “I praise and thank thee.” The received
text differs in different codices; in some, Jesus rejoices “in the
Spirit;” in others, “in the Holy Spirit.”

14. Luke x. 22: “All things are delivered to me of my Father, and no man
hath known the Father save the Son, nor the Son save the Father, and he to
whom the Son hath revealed him.” No doctrinal purpose was effected by the
change. It is therefore probable that the Sinope Gospel ran as in
Marcion’s text.

15. Luke x. 25: “Doing what shall I obtain life?” “eternal” being omitted,
it is thought, lest Jesus should seem to teach that eternal life was to be
obtained by fulfilling the Law.(462) But Marcion did not alter the same
question when asked by the ruler, in Luke xviii. 18; for then Christ,
after he has referred him to the Law, goes on to impose on him a higher
law—that of love. But “eternal” may be an addition to Luke’s text in the
second edition.

16. The first petition in the Lord’s Prayer differs in Marcion’s Gospel
from that in St. Luke. Marcion has, “Father! may thy Holy Spirit come to
us, Thy kingdom come,” &c., instead of, “Father! (which art in heaven—not
in the most ancient copies of St. Luke) Hallowed be thy name,” &c. No
purpose was served by this difference; and we must not attribute to
Marcion in this instance wilful alteration of the sacred text. It is
apparent that several versions of the Lord’s Prayer existed in the first
age of the Church, and that this was the form in which it was accepted and
used in Pontus, perhaps throughout Asia Minor.

That the Lord’s Prayer in St. Luke’s Gospel stood originally as in
Marcion’s Gospel is made almost certain by verse 13. After giving the form
of prayer, xi. 2‐4, Christ instructs his disciples on the readiness of God
to answer prayer. “And,” he continues, “if ye then, being evil, know how
to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” How ready will He be to
give that which you have learned to ask in the first petition of the
prayer I have just taught you! The petition was altered in the received
text later, to accommodate it to the form given in St. Matthew’s Gospel.

17. Luke xi. 29: “There shall no sign be given.” What follows in St.
Luke’s Gospel, “but the sign of the prophet Jonas,” and verses 30‐32, were
not found in Marcion’s Gospel. Perhaps all this was inserted in the second
edition of St. Luke’s Gospel. But also perhaps the allusions to the
Ninevites and the Queen of the South were omitted, because of the
condemnation pronounced on the generation which received not Christ
through them; and Jesus was not the manifestation of the God of judgment,
but of the God of mercy.

18. So also “judgment” was turned into “calling,” in verse 42; and also
the verses 49‐51, in which the blood of the prophets is said to be
“required of this generation.”

19. Luke xii. 38: “The evening watch” is perhaps an earlier reading than
the received one: “If he shall come in the second watch, or come in the
third watch;” which has the appearance of an expansion of the simpler

The evening watch was the first watch. The Christians in the first age
thought that our Lord would come again immediately. But as he did not
return again in glory in the first watch, they altered the text to “the
second watch or the third watch.” Consequently Marcion’s text is the
original unaltered one.

20. Luke xii. 6, 7: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not
one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head
are all numbered. Fear not therefore; ye are of more value than many
sparrows.” Perhaps Marcion omitted this because he did not hold that the
Supreme God concerned Himself with the fate of men’s bodies.

But more probably the passage did not occur in the original Pauline
Gospel, but was grafted into it afterwards when St. Matthew’s Gospel came
into the hands of the Asiatic Christians, when it was transferred from it
(x. 29‐31) verbatim to Luke’s Gospel.

21. Marcion’s Gospel was without Luke xiii. 1‐10.

The absence of the account of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had
mingled with their sacrifices, and of those on whom the tower in Siloam
fell, which occurs in the received text, removes a difficulty. St. Luke
says, “There were present at that season some that told him of the
Galilaeans, whose blood,” &c., as though it were a circumstance which had
just taken place, whereas this act of barbarity was committed when
Quirinus, not Pilate, was governor, twenty‐four years before the
appearance of Jesus. And no tower in Siloam is mentioned in any account of
Jerusalem. The mention of the Galilaeans in the canonical text has the
appearance of an anachronism, and probably did not exist in the Gospel
which Marcion received, and was a late addition to the Gospel of Luke.

The parable of the fig‐tree which follows may, however, have been removed
by Marcion lest the Supreme God should appear as a God of judgment against
those who produced no fruit, _i.e._ did no works. But it is more probable
that this parable, which has an anti‐Pauline moral, was not in the
original edition of Luke’s Gospel.

22. Luke xii. i 28: “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye
shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the
kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out,” altered into, “when ye
shall see all the righteous in the kingdom of God, and ye yourselves cast
and held back without.”(463)

The change of “the righteous” into “Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,” in the
deutero‐Luke, clearly disturbs the train of thought. Ye Jews shall weep
when ye see the δικαίοι, those made righteous through faith, by the
righteousness which is _not_ of the Law, Gentiles from East and West, in
the kingdom, and ye yourselves cast out.

Hilgenfeld thinks that the account of the Judgment by St. Matthew and St.
Luke is couched in terms coloured by the respective parties to which the
evangelists belonged, and that the sentences on the lost are sharpened to
pierce the antagonistic party. Thus, in the Gospel of St. Luke, Christ
dooms to woe those who are workers of unrighteousness, ἐργάται
ἀδικίας,(464) using the Pauline favourite expression to designate those
who are cast out to weeping and gnashing of teeth, as men who have not
received the righteousness which is of faith; whereas, in St. Matthew it
is the workers of anomia, οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν,(465) by which
Hilgenfeld thinks the Pauline anti‐legalists are not obscurely hinted at,
who are hurled into outer darkness. In St. Luke it is curious to notice
how the lost are described as Jews: “We have eaten and drunk in thy
presence, and thou hast taught in our streets;” whereas the elect who “sit
down in the kingdom of God” come “from the east and from the west, and
from the north and from the south,” that is to say, are Gentiles.

In Marcion’s text we have therefore the ἀδικαίοι shut and cast out, and
the δικαίοι sitting overthroned in the kingdom of God. It can scarcely be
doubted that this is the correct reading, and that “Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob,” was substituted for δικαίοι at a later period with a conciliatory

The rest of the chapter, 31‐35, is not to be found in Marcion’s Gospel.
The first who are to be last, and the last first, not obscurely means that
the Gentiles shall precede the Jews. This was in the “Gospel of the Lord,”
which was, however, without the warning given to Christ, “Get thee out,
and depart hence; for Herod will kill thee,” and the lamentation of the
Saviour over the holy city, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the
prophets,” &c. Why Marcion should omit this is not clear. It was probably
not in the Gospel of Sinope.

23. Luke xiv. 7‐11. The same may be said of the parable put forth to those
bidden to a feast, when Christ marked how they chose out the chief rooms.
It has been supposed by critics that Marcion omitted it, lest Jesus should
seem to sanction feasting; but this reason is far‐fetched, and it must be
remembered that he did retain Luke v. 29 and 33.

24. Luke xv. 11‐32. The parable of the Prodigal Son is omitted. That it is
left out, as is suggested by some critics, because the elder son signifies
mystically the Jewish Church, and the prodigal son represents the Heathen
world, is to transfer such allegorical interpretations back to an earlier
age than we are justified in doing. Marcion was not bound to admit such an
interpretation of the parable, if received in his day. Marcion, moreover,
opposed allegorizing the sayings of Scripture, and insisted on their
literal interpretation. Neander says, “The other Gnostics united with
their theosophical idealism a mystical, allegorizing interpretation of the
Scriptures. Marcion, simple in heart, was decidedly opposed to this
artificial method of interpretation. He was a zealous advocate of the
literal interpretation which prevailed among the antagonists of
Gnosticism.”(466) It is therefore most improbable that a popular
interpretation of this parable, if such an interpretation existed at that
time, should have induced Marcion to omit the parable.

25. Luke xvi. 12: “If ye have not been faithful in that which is another
man’s, who will give you that which is mine?” Surely a reading far
preferable to that in the Canonical Gospel, “who will give you that which
is your own?”

26. Luke, xvi. 17: “One tittle of my words shall not fall,” in place of,
“One tittle of the Law shall not fall.” As has been already remarked, the
reading in St. Luke is evidently corrupt, altered deliberately by the
party of conciliation. Marcion’s is the genuine text.

27. Luke xvii. 9, 10. The saying, “We are unprofitable servants; we have
done that which was our duty to do,” was perhaps omitted by Marcion, lest
the Gospel should seem to sanction the idea that any obligation whatever
rested on the believer. The received text is thoroughly Pauline,
inculcating the worthlessness of man’s righteousness. Hahn and Ritschl
argue that the whole of the parable, 7‐10, was not in Marcion’s Gospel;
and this is probable, though St. Epiphanius only says that Marcion cut
out, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty
to do.”(467) The whole Parable has such a Pauline ring, that it would
probably have been accepted in its entirety by Marcion, if his Gospel had
contained it; and the parable is divested of its point and meaning if only
the few words are omitted which St. Epiphanius mentions as deficient.

28. Luke xvii. 18: “There are not found returning to give glory to God.
And there were many lepers in the time of Eliseus the prophet in Israel;
and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.” In the Gospel of
the Lord, this passage concerning the lepers in the time of Eliseus occurs
_twice_; once in chap. i. v. 15, as already given, and again here. It has
been preserved in St. Luke’s Gospel in only one place, in that
corresponding with Marcion i. 15, viz. Luke iv. 27.

It is clear that this was a fragmentary saying of our Lord drifting about,
which the compiler of the Sinope Gospel inserted in two places where it
thought it would fit in with other passages. When St. Luke’s Gospel was
revised, it was found that this passage occurred twice, and that it was
without appropriateness in chap. xvii. after verse 18, and was therefore
cut out. But in Marcion’s Gospel it remained, a monument of the manner in
which the Gospels were originally constructed.

29. Luke xviii. 19. Marcion had: “Jesus said to him, Do not call me good;
one is good, the Father;” another version of the text, not a deliberate

30. Luke xviii. 31‐34. The prophecies of the passion omitted by Marcion.

31. Luke xix. 29‐46. The ride into Jerusalem on an ass, and the expulsion
of the buyers and sellers from the Temple, are omitted.

Why the Palm‐Sunday triumphal entry should have been excluded does not
appear. In St. Luke’s Gospel Jesus is not hailed as “King of the Jews” and
“Son of David.” Had this been the case, these two titles, we may conclude,
would have been eliminated from the narrative; but we see no reason why
the whole account should be swept away. It probably did not exist in the
original Gospel Marcion obtained in Pontus.

Did Marcion cut out the narrative of the expulsion of the buyers and
sellers from the Temple? I think not. St. John, in his Gospel, gives that
event in his second chapter as occurring, not at the close of the ministry
of Christ, but at its opening.

St. John is the only evangelist who can be safely relied upon for giving
the chronological order of events. St. Matthew, as has been already shown,
did not write the acts of our Lord, but his sayings only; and St. Mark was
no eye‐witness.

A Pauline Gospel would not contain the account of the purifying of the
Temple, and the saying, “My house is the house of prayer.” But when St.
Matthew’s Gospel, or St. Mark’s, found its way into Asia Minor, this
passage was extracted from one of them, and interpolated in the Lucan
text, in the same place where it occurred in those Gospels—at the end of
the ministry, and therefore in the wrong place.

32. Luke xx. 9‐18. The parable of the vineyard and the husbandmen. This
Marcion probably omitted because it made the Lord of the vineyard, who
sent forth the prophets, the same as the Lord who sent his son. The lord
of the vineyard to Marcion was the Demiurge, but the Supreme Lord sent

33. Luke xx. 37, 38, omitted by Marcion, because a reference to Moses, and
God, as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

34. Luke xxi. 18: “There shall not an hair of your head perish,” omitted,
perhaps, lest the God of heaven, whom Christ revealed, should appear to
concern himself about the vile bodies of men, under the dominion of the
God of this world; but more probably this verse did not exist in the
original text. The awkwardness of its position has led many critics to
reject it as an interpolation,(468) and the fact of Marcion’s Gospel being
without it goes far to prove that the original Luke Gospel was without it.

35. Luke xxi. 21, 22. The warning given by our Lord to his disciples to
flee from Jerusalem when they see it encompassed with armies. Verse 21 was
omitted no doubt because of the words, “These be the days of vengeance,
that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” This jarred with
Marcion’s conception of the Supreme God as one of mercy, and of Jesus as
proclaiming blessings and forgiveness, in place of the vengeance and
justice of the World‐God.

36. Luke xxii. 16‐18. The distribution of the paschal cup among the
disciples is omitted.

37. Luke xxii. 28‐30. The promise that the apostles should eat and drink
in Christ’s kingdom and judge the twelve tribes, was omitted by Marcion,
as inconsistent with his views of the spiritual nature of the heavenly
kingdom; and that judgment should be committed by the God of free
forgiveness to the apostles, was in his sight impossible. Why Luke xxiii.
43, 47‐49, were not in Marcion’s Gospel does not appear; they can hardly
have been omitted purposely.

38. Luke xxiii. 2. In Marcion’s Gospel it ran: “And they began to accuse
him, saying, We found this one perverting the nation, and destroying the
Law and the Prophets, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and
leading away the women and children.”

It is not possible that Marcion should have forced the words “destroying
the Law and the Prophets” into the text, for these are the accusations of
_false_ witnesses. And this is precisely what Marcion taught that Christ
had come to do. Both this accusation and that other, that he drew away
after him the women and children from their homes and domestic duties and
responsibilities, most probably did exist in the original text. It is not
improbable that they were both made to disappear from the authorized text
later, when the conciliatory movement began.

39. Luke xxiv. 43. In Marcion’s Gospel, either the whole of the verse,
“Verily, I say unto thee, To‐day shalt thou be with me in Paradise,” was
omitted, or more probably only the words “in Paradise.” Marcion would not
have purposely cut out such an instance of free acceptance of one who had
all his life transgressed the Law, but he may have cancelled the words “in

40. Luke xxiv. 25 stood in Marcion’s Gospel, “O fools, and in heart slow
to believe all that he spake unto you;” and 27 and 45, which relate that
Jesus explained to the two disciples out of Moses and the Prophets how he
must suffer, and that he opened their understanding to understand the
Scriptures, were both absent.

41. Luke xxiv. 46. Instead of Christ appealing to the Prophets, Marcion
made him say, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet
with you, that thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead
the third day.” This was possibly Marcion’s doing.

The other differences between Marcion’s Gospel and the Canonical Gospel of
St. Luke are so small, that the reader need not be troubled with them
here. For a fuller and more particular account of Marcion’s Gospel he is
referred to the works indicated in the footnote.(469)

It will be seen from the list of differences between the “Gospel of our
Lord” and the Gospel of St. Luke, that all the apparent omissions cannot
be attributed to Marcion. The Gospel he had he regarded with supreme awe;
it was because his Gospel was so ancient, so hallowed by use through many
years, that it was invested by him with sovereign authority, and that he
regarded the other Gospels as apocryphal, or at best only deutero‐

It is by no means certain that even where his Gospel has been apparently
tampered with to suit his views, his hands made the alterations in it.
What amplifications St. Luke’s Gospel passed through when it underwent
revision for a second edition, we cannot tell.

The Gospel of our Lord, if not the original Luke Gospel—and this is
probable—was the basis of Luke’s compilation. But that it was Luke’s first
edition of his Gospel, drawn up when St. Paul was actively engaged in
founding Asiatic Churches, is the view I am disposed to take of it. As
soon as a Church was founded, the need of a Gospel was felt. To satisfy
this want, Paul employed Luke to collect memorials of the Lord’s life, and
weave them together into an historical narrative.

The Gospel of our Lord contains nothing which is not found in that of St.
Luke. The arrangement is so similar, that we are forced to the conclusion
that it was either used by St. Luke, or that it was his original
composition. If he used it, then his right to the title of author of the
third Canonical Gospel falls to the ground, as what he added was of small
amount. Who then composed the Gospel? We know of no one to whom tradition
even at that early age attributed it.

St. Luke was the associate of St. Paul; ecclesiastical tradition
attributes to him a Gospel. That of “Our Lord” closely resembles the
Canonical Luke’s Gospel, and bears evidence of being earlier in
composition, whilst that which is canonical bears evidence of later
manipulation. All these facts point to Marcion’s Gospel as the original
St. Luke—not, however, quite as it came to Marcion, but edited by the

That the first edition of Luke bore a stronger Pauline impress than the
second is also probable. The Canonical Luke has the Pauline stamp on it
still, but beside it is the Johannite seal. More fully than any other
Gospel does it bring out the tenderness of Christ towards sinners, a
feature which has ever made it exceeding precious to those who have been
captives and blind and bruised, and to whom that Gospel proclaims Christ
as their deliverer, enlightener and healer.(470)

It is not necessary here to point out the finger‐mark of Paul in this
Gospel; it has been often and well done by others. It is an established
fact, scarcely admitting dispute, that to him it owes its colour, and that
it reflects his teaching.(471)

And it was this Gospel, in its primitive form, before it had passed under
the hands of St. John, or had been recast by its author, that I think we
may be satisfied Marcion possessed. That he made a few erasures is
probable, I may almost say certain; but that he ruthlessly carved it to
suit his purpose cannot be established.

Of the value of Marcion’s Gospel for determining the original text of the
third Gospel, it is difficult to speak too highly.

II. The Gospel Of Truth.

Valentine, by birth an Egyptian, probably of Jewish descent, it may be
presumed received his education at Alexandria. From this city he travelled
to Rome (circ. A.D. 140); in both places he preached the Catholic faith,
and then retired to Cyprus.(472) A miserable bigotry which refused to see
in a heretic any motives but those which are evil, declared that in
disgust at not obtaining a bishopric which he coveted, and to which a
confessor was preferred, Valentine lapsed into heresy. We need no such
explanation of the cause of his secession from orthodoxy. He was a man of
an active mind and ardent zeal. Christian doctrine was then a system of
facts; theology was as yet unborn. What philosophic truths lay at the
foundation of Christian belief was unsuspected. Valentine could not thus
rest. He strove to break through the hard facts to the principles on which
they reposed. He was a pioneer in Christian theology.

And for his venturous essay he was well qualified. His studies at
Alexandria had brought him in contact with Philonism and with Platonism.
He obtained at Cyprus an acquaintance with the doctrines of Basilides. His
mind caught fire, his ideas expanded. The Gnostic seemed to him to open
gleams of light through the facts of the faith he had hitherto professed
with dull, unintelligent submission; and he placed himself under the
inspiration and instruction of Basilides.

But he did not follow him blindly. The speculations of the Gnostic kindled
a train of ideas which were peculiarly Valentine’s own.

The age was not one to listen patiently to his theorizing. Men were called
on to bear testimony by their lives to facts. They could endure the rack,
the scourge, the thumbscrew, the iron rake, for facts, not for ideas. That
Jesus had lived and died and mounted to heaven, was enough for their
simple minds. They cared nothing, they made no effort to understand, what
were the causes of evil, what its relation to matter.

Consequently Valentine met with cold indifference, then with hot
abhorrence. He was excommunicated. Separation embittered him. His respect
for orthodoxy was gone; its hold upon him was lost; and he allowed himself
to drift in the wide sea of theosophic speculation wherever his ideas
carried him.

Valentine taught that in the Godhead, exerting creative power were
manifest two motions—a positive, the evolving, creative, life‐giving
element; and the negative, which determined, shaped and localized the
creative force. From the positive force came life, from the negative the
direction life takes in its manifestation.

The world is the revelation of the divine ideas, gradually unfolding
themselves, and Christ and redemption are the perfection and end of
creation. Through creation the idea goes forth from God; through Christ
the idea perfected returns to the bosom of God. Redemption is the recoil
wave of creation, the echo of the fiat returning to the Creator’s ear.

The manifestation of the ideas of God is in unity; but in opposition to
unity exists anarchy; in antagonism with creation emerges the principle of
destruction. The representative of destruction, disunion, chaos, is Satan.
The work of creation is infinite differentiation in perfect harmony. But
in the midst of this emerges discord, an element of opposition which seeks
to ruin the concord in the manifestation of the divine ideas. Therefore
redemption is necessary, and Christ is the medium of redemption, which
consists in the restoration to harmony and unity of that which by the
fraud of Satan is thrown into disorder and antagonism.

But how comes it that in creation there should be a disturbing element?
That element must issue in some manner from the Creator; it must arise
from some defect in Him. Therefore, Valentinian concluded, the God who
created the world and gave source to the being of Satan cannot have been
the supreme, all‐good, perfect God.

But if redemption be the perfecting of man, it must be the work of the
only perfect God, who thereby counteracts the evil that has sprung up
through the imperfection of the Demiurge.

Therefore Jesus Christ is an emanation from the Supreme God, destroying
the ill effects produced in the world by the faulty nature of the Creator,
undoing the discord and restoring all to harmony.

Jesus was formed by the Demiurge of a wondrously constituted ethereal
body, visible to the outward sense. This Jesus entered the world through
man, as a sunbeam enters a chamber through the window. The Demiurge
created Jesus to redeem the people from the disorganizing, destructive
effects of Satan, to be their Messiah.

But the Supreme God had alone power perfectly to accomplish this work;
therefore at the baptism of Christ, the Saviour (Soter) descended on him,
consecrating him to be the perfect Redeemer of mankind, conveying to him a
mission and power which the Demiurge could not have given.

In all this we see the influence of Marcion’s ideas.

We need not follow out this fundamental principle of his theosophy into
all its fantastic formularies. If Valentine was the precursor of Hegel in
the enunciation of the universal antinomy, he was like Hegel also in
involving his system in a cloud of incomprehensible terminology, in
producing bewilderment where he sought simplicity.

Valentine accepted the Old Testament, but only in the same light as he
regarded the great works of the heathen writers to be deserving of
regard.(473) Both contained good, noble examples, pure teaching; but in
both also was the element of discord, contradictory teaching, and bad
example. Ptolemy, the Valentinian who least sacrificed the moral to the
theosophic element, scarcely dealt with the Old Testament differently from
St. Paul. He did not indeed regard the Old Testament as the work of the
Supreme God; the Mosaic legislation seemed to him to be the work of an
inferior being, because, as he said, it contained too many imperfections
to be the revelation of the Highest God, and too many excellences to be
attributed to an evil spirit. But, like the Apostle of the Gentiles, he
saw in the Mosaic ceremonies only symbols of spiritual truth, and, like
him, he thought that the symbol was no longer necessary when the idea it
revealed was manifested in all its clearness. Therefore, when the ideas
these symbols veiled had reached and illumined men’s minds, the necessity
for them—husks to the idea, letters giving meaning to the thought—was at
an end.

Like St. Paul, therefore, he treated the Old Testament as a preparation
for the New one, but as nothing more. We ascertain Ptolemy’s views from a
letter of his to Flora, a Catholic lady whom he desired to convert to

In this letter he laboured to show that the God of this world (the
Demiurge) was not the Supreme God, and that the Old Testament Scriptures
were the revelation of the Demiurge, and not of the highest God. To prove
the first point, Ptolemy appealed to apostolic tradition—no doubt to
Pauline teaching—which had come down to him, and to the words of the
Saviour, by which, he admits, all doctrine must be settled. In this letter
he quotes largely from St. Paul’s Epistles, and from the Gospels of St.
Matthew and St. John.

Like Marcion, Ptolemy insisted that the Demiurge, the God of this world,
was also the God who revealed himself in the Old Testament, and that to
this God belonged justice, wrath and punishment; whereas to the Supreme
Deity was attributed free forgiveness, absolute goodness. The Saviour
abolished the Law, therefore he abolished all the system of punishment for
sin, that the reign of free grace might prevail.

According to Ptolemy, therefore, retributive justice exercised by the
State was irreconcilable with the nature of the Supreme God, and the
State, accordingly, was under the dominion of the Demiurge.

To the revelation of the old Law belonged ordinances of ceremonial and of
seasons. These also are done away by Christ, who leads from the bondage of
ceremonial to spiritual religion.

Another Valentinian of note was Heracleon, who wrote a Commentary on the
Gospel of St. John, of which considerable fragments have been preserved by
Origen; and perhaps, also, a Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. Of the
latter, only a single fragment, the exposition of Luke xii. 8, has been
preserved by Clement of Alexandria.(475)

Heracleon was a man of deep spiritual piety, and with a clear
understanding. He held Scripture in profound reverence, and derived his
Valentinian doctrines from it. So true is the saying:

    “Hic liber est in quo quærit sua dogmata quisque,
    Invenit pariter dogmata quisque sua.”

His interpretation of the narrative of the interview of the Saviour with
the woman of Samaria will illustrate his method of dealing with the sacred

Heracleon saw in the woman of Samaria a type of all spiritual natures
attracted by that which is heavenly, godlike; and the history represents
the dealings of the Supreme God through Christ with these spiritual
natures (πνευματικοί).

For him, therefore, the words of the woman have a double meaning: that
which lies on the surface of the sacred record, with the intent and
purpose which the woman herself gave to them; and that which lay beneath
the letter, and which was mystically signified. “The water which our
Saviour gives,” says he, “is his spirit and power. His gifts and grace are
what can never be taken away, never exhausted, can never fail to those who
have received them. They who have received what has been richly bestowed
on them from above, communicate again of the overflowing fulness which
they enjoy to the life of others.”

But the woman asks, “Give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come
hither to draw”—hither—that is, to Jacob’s well, the Mosaic Law from which
hitherto she had drunk, and which could not quench her thirst, satisfy her
aspirations. “She left her water‐pot behind her” when she went to announce
to others that she had found the well of eternal life. That is, she left
the vessel, the capacity for receiving the Law, for she had now a
spiritual vessel which could hold the spiritual water the Saviour gave.

It will be seen that Valentinianism, like Marcionism, was an exaggerated
Paulinism, infected with Gnosticism, clearly antinomian. Though the
Valentinians are not accused of licentiousness, their ethical system was
plainly immoral, for it completely emancipated the Christian from every
restraint, and the true Christian was he who lived by faith only. He had
passed by union with Christ from the dominion of the God of this World, a
dominion in which were punishments for wrong‐doing, into the realm of
Grace, of sublime indifference to right and wrong, to a region in which no
acts were sinful, no punishments were dealt out.

If Valentinianism did not degenerate into the frantic licentiousness of
the earlier Pauline heretics, it was because the doctrine of Valentine was
an intellectual, theosophical system, quite above the comprehension of
vulgar minds, and therefore only embraced by exalted mystics and cold

The Valentinians were not accused of mutilating the Scriptures, but of
evaporating their significance. “Marcion,” says Tertullian, “knife in
hand, has cut the Scriptures to pieces, to give support to his system;
Valentine has the appearance of sparing them, and of trying rather to
accommodate his errors to them, than of accommodating them to his errors.
Nevertheless, he has curtailed, interpolated more than did Marcion, by
taking from the words their force and natural value, to give them forced

The Pauline filiation of the sect can hardly be mistaken. The relation of
Valentine’s ideas to those of Marcion, and those of Marcion to the
doctrines of St. Paul, are fundamental. But, moreover, they claimed a
filiation more obvious than that of ideas—they asserted that they derived
their doctrines from Theodas, disciple of the Apostle of the
Gentiles.(477) The great importance they attributed to the Epistles of St.
Paul is another evidence of their belonging to the anti‐judaizing family
of heretics, if another proof be needed.

The Valentinians possessed a number of apocryphal works. “Their number is
infinite,” says Irenaeus.(478) But this probably applies not to the first
Valentinians, but to the Valentinian sects, among whom apocryphal works
did abound. Certain it is, that in all the extracts made from the writings
of Valentine, Ptolemy and Heracleon, by Origen, Epiphanius, Tertullian,
&c., though they abound in quotations from St. Paul’s Epistles and from
the Canonical Gospels, there are none from any other source.

Nevertheless, Irenaeus attributes to them possession of a “Gospel of
Truth” (Evangelium Veritatis). “This Scripture,” says he, “does not in any
point agree with our four Canonical Gospels.”(479) To this also, perhaps,
Tertullian refers, when he says that the Valentinians possessed “their own
Gospel in addition to ours.”(480)

Epiphanius, however, makes no mention of this Gospel; he knew the writings
of the Valentinians well, and has inserted extracts in his work on

III. The Gospel Of Eve.

The immoral tendency of Valentinianism broke out in coarse, flagrant
licentiousness as soon as the doctrines of the sect had soaked down out of
the stratum of educated men to the ranks of the undisciplined and vulgar.

Valentinianism assumed two forms, broke into two sects,—the Marcosians and
the Ophites.

Mark, who lived in the latter half of the second century, came probably
from Palestine, as we may gather from his frequent use of forms from the
Aramaean liturgy. But he did not bring with him any of the Judaizing
spirit, none of the grave reverence for the moral law, and decency of the
Nazarene, Ebionite and kindred sects sprung from the ruined Church of the

He was followed by trains of women whom he corrupted, and converted into
prophetesses. His custom was, in an assembly to extend a chalice to a
woman saying to her, “The grace of God, which excels all, and which the
mind cannot conceive or explain, fill all your inner man, and increase his
knowledge in you, dropping the grain of mustard‐seed into good
ground.”(481) A scene like a Methodist revival followed. The woman was
urged to speak in prophecy; she hesitated, declared her inability; warm,
passionate appeals followed closely one on another, couched in equivocal
language, exciting the religious and natural passions simultaneously. The
end was a convulsive fit of incoherent utterings, and the curtain fell on
the rapturous embraces of the prophet and his spiritual bride.

Mark possessed a Gospel, and “an infinite number of apocryphal
Scriptures,” says Irenaeus. The Gospel contained a falsified life of
Christ. One of the stories from it he quotes. When Jesus was a boy, he was
learning letters. The master said, “Say Alpha.” Jesus repeated after him,
“Alpha.” Then the master said, “Say Beta.” But Jesus answered, “Nay, I
will not say Beta till you have explained to me the meaning of
Alpha.”(482) The Marcosians made much of the hidden mysteries of the
letters of the alphabet, showing that Mark had brought with him from
Palestine something akin to the Cabbalism of the Jewish rabbis.

This story is found in the apocryphal Gospel of St. Thomas. It runs
somewhat differently in the different versions of that Gospel, and is
repeated twice in each with slight variations.

In the Syriac:

    “Zacchaeus the teacher said to Joseph, I will teach the boy Jesus
    whatever is proper for him to learn. And he made him go to school.
    And he, going in, was silent. But Zacchaeus the scribe began to
    tell him (the letters) from Alaph, and was repeating to him many
    times the whole alphabet. And he says to him that he should answer
    and say after him; but he was silent. Then the scribe became
    angry, and struck him with his hand upon his head. And Jesus said,
    A smith’s anvil, being beaten, can (not) learn, and it has no
    feeling; but I am able to say those things, recited by you, with
    knowledge and understanding (unbeaten).”(483)

In the Greek:

    “Zacchaeus said to Joseph ... Give thy son to me, that he may
    learn letters, and with his letters I will teach him some
    knowledge, and chiefly this, to salute all the elders, and to
    venerate them as grandfathers and fathers, and to love those of
    his own age. And he told him all the letters from Alpha to Omega.
    Then, looking at the teacher Zacchaeus, he said to him, Thou that
    knowest not Alpha naturally, how canst thou teach Beta to others?
    Thou hypocrite! if thou knowest, teach Alpha first, and then we
    shall believe thee concerning Beta.”(484)

Or, according to another Greek version, after Jesus has been delivered
over by Joseph to Zacchaeus, the preceptor

    “—wrote the alphabet in Hebrew, and said to him, Alpha. And the
    child said, Alpha. And the teacher said again, Alpha. And the
    child said the same. Then again a third time the teacher said,
    Alpha. Then Jesus, looking at the instructor, said, Thou knowest
    not Alpha; how wilt thou teach another the letter Beta? And the
    child, beginning at Alpha, said of himself the twenty‐two letters.
    Then he said again, Hearken, teacher, to the arrangement of the
    first letter, and know how many accessories and lines it hath, and
    marks which are common, transverse and connected. And when
    Zacchaeus heard such accounts of one letter, he was amazed, and
    could not answer him.”(485)

Another version of the same story is found in the Gospel of the pseudo‐

    “Joseph and Mary coaxing Jesus, led him to the school, that he
    might be taught his letters by the old man, Levi. When he entered
    he was silent; and the master, Levi, told one letter to Jesus, and
    beginning at the first, Aleph, said to him, Answer. But Jesus was
    silent, and answered nothing. Wherefore, the preceptor Levi, being
    angry, took a rod of a storax‐tree, and smote him on the head. And
    Jesus said to the teacher Levi, Why dost thou smite me? Know in
    truth that he who is smitten teacheth him that smiteth, rather
    than is taught by him.... And Jesus added, and said to Levi, Every
    letter from Aleph to Tau is known by its order; thou, therefore,
    say first what is Tau, and I will tell thee what Aleph is. And he
    added, They who know not Aleph, how can they say Tau, ye
    hypocrites? First say what Aleph is, and I shall then believe you
    when you say Beth. And Jesus began to ask the names of the
    separate letters, and said, Let the teacher of the Law say what
    the first letter is, or why it hath many triangles, scalene,
    acute‐angled, equilinear, curvi‐linear,” &c.(486)

At the root of Mark’s teaching there seems to have been a sort of
Pantheism. He taught that all had sprung from a great World‐mother,
partook of her soul and nature; but over against this female principle
stood the Deity, the male element.

Man represents the Deity, woman the world element; and it is only through
the union of the divine and the material that the material can be
quickened into spiritual life. In accordance with this theory, they had a
ceremonial of what he called spiritual, but was eminently carnal,
marriage, which is best left undescribed.

Not widely removed from the Marcosians was the Valentinian sect of the
Ophites. Valentinianism mingled with the floating superstition, the
fragments of the wreck of Sabianism, which was to be found among the lower

The Ophites represented the Demiurge in the same way as did the
Valentinians. They called the God of this world and of the Jews by the
name of Jaldaboth. He was a limited being, imposing restraint on all his
creatures; he exercised his power by imposing law. As long as his
creatures obeyed law, they were subject to his dominion. But above
Jaldaboth in the sublime region without limit reigns the Supreme God. When
Adam broke the Law of the World‐God, he emancipated himself from his
bondage, he passed out of his realm, he placed himself in relation to the
Supreme God.

The world is made by Jaldaboth, but in the world is infused a spark of
soul, emanated from the highest God. This divine soul strives after
emancipation from the bonds imposed by connection with matter, created by
the God of this world. This world‐soul under the form of a serpent urged
Eve to emancipate herself from thraldom, and pass with Adam, by an act of
transgression, into the glorious liberty of the sons of the Supreme God.

The doctrine of the Ophites with respect to Christ was that of Valentine.
Christ came to break the last chains of Law by which man was bound, and to
translate him into the realm of grace where sin does not exist.

The Ophites possessed a Gospel, called the “Gospel of Eve.” It contained,
no doubt, an account of the Fall from their peculiar point of view. St.
Epiphanius has preserved two passages from it. They are so extraordinary,
and throw such a light on the doctrines of this Gospel, that I quote them.
The first is:

    “I was planted on a lofty mountain, and lo! I beheld a man of
    great stature, and another who was mutilated. And then I heard a
    voice like unto thunder. And when I drew near, he spake with me
    after this wise: I am thou, and thou art I. And wheresoever thou
    art, there am I, and I am dispersed through all. And wheresoever
    thou willest, there canst thou gather me; but in gathering me,
    thou gatherest thyself.”(487)

The meaning of this passage is not doubtful. It expresses the doctrine of
absolute identity between Christ and the believer, the radiation of divine
virtue through all souls, destroying their individuality, that all may be
absorbed into Christ. Individualities emerge out of God, and through
Christ are drawn back into God.

The influence of St. Paul’s ideas is again noticeable. We are not told
that the perfect man who speaks with a voice of thunder, and who is placed
in contrast with the mutilated man, is Christ, and that the latter is the
Demiurge, but we can scarcely doubt it. It is greatly to be regretted that
we have so little of this curious book preserved.(488) The second passage,
with its signification, had better repose in a foot‐note, and in Greek. It
allows us to understand the expression of St. Ephraem, “They shamelessly
boast of their Gospel of Eve.”(489)

IV. The Gospel Of Perfection.

The Gospel of Perfection was another work regarded as sacred by the
Ophites. St. Epiphanius says: “Some of them (_i.e._ of the Gnostics) there
are who vaunt the possession of a certain fictitious, far‐fetched poem
which they call the Gospel of Perfection, whereas it is not a Gospel, but
the perfection of misery. For the bitterness of death is consummated in
that production of the devil. Others without shame boast their Gospel of

St. Epiphanius calls this Gospel of Perfection a poem, ποιήμα. But M.
Nicolas justly observes that the word ποιήμα is used here, not to describe
the work as a poetical composition, but as a fiction. In a passage of
Irenaeus,(490) of which only the Latin has been preserved, the Gospel of
Judas is called “confictio,” and it is probable that the Greek word
rendered by “confictio” was ποιήμα.(491)

Baur thinks that the Gospel of Perfection was the same as the Gospel of
Eve.(492) But this can hardly be. The words of St. Epiphanius plainly
distinguish them: “Some vaunt the Gospel of Perfection ... others boast
... the Gospel of Eve;” and elsewhere he speaks of their books in the

V. The Gospel Of St. Philip.

This Gospel belonged to the same category as those of Perfection and of
Eve, and belonged, if not to the Ophites, to an analogous sect, perhaps
that of the Prodicians. St. Philip passed, in the early ages of
Christianity, as having been, like St. Paul, an apostle of the
Gentiles,(494) and perhaps as having agreed with his views on the Law and
evangelical liberty. But tradition had confounded together Philip the
apostle and Philip the deacon of Caesarea, who, after having been a member
of the Hellenist Church at Jerusalem, and having been driven thence after
the martyrdom of Stephen, was the first to carry the Gospel beyond the
family of Israel, and to convert the heathen to Christ.(495) His zeal and
success caused him to be called an Evangelist.(496) In the second century
it was supposed that an Evangelist meant one who had written a Gospel. And
as no Gospel bearing his name existed, one was composed for him and
attributed to him or to the apostle—they were not distinguished.

St. Epiphanius has preserved one passage from it:

    “The Lord has revealed to me the words to be spoken by the soul
    when it ascends into heaven, and how it has to answer each of the
    celestial powers. The soul must say, I have known myself, and I
    have gathered myself from all parts. I have not borne children to
    Archon (the prince of this world); but I have plucked up his
    roots, and I have gathered his dispersed members. I have learned
    who thou art; for I am, saith the soul, of the number of the
    celestial ones. But if it is proved that the soul has borne a son,
    she must return downwards, till she has recovered her children,
    and has absorbed them into herself.”(497)

It is not altogether easy to catch the meaning of this singular passage,
but it apparently has this signification. The soul trammelled with the
chains of matter, created by the Archon, the Creator of the world, has to
emancipate itself from all material concerns. Each thought, interest,
passion, excited by anything in the world, is a child borne by the soul to
Archon, to which the soul has contributed animation, the world, form. The
great work of life is the disengagement of the soul from all concern in
the affairs of the world, in the requirements of the body. When the soul
has reached the most exalted perfection, it is cold, passionless,
indifferent; then it comes before the Supreme God, passing through the
spheres guarded by attendant aeons or angels, and to each it protests its
disengagement. But should any thought or care for mundane matters be found
lurking in the recesses of the soul, it has to descend again, and remain
in exile till it has re‐absorbed all the life it gave, the interest it
felt, in such concerns, and then again make its essay to reach God.

The conception of Virtues guarding the concentric spheres surrounding the
Most High is found among the Jews. When Moses went into the presence of
God to receive the tables of stone, he met first the angel Kemuel, chief
of the angels of destruction, who would have slain him, but Moses
pronounced the incommunicable Name, and passed through. Then he came to
the sphere governed by the angel Hadarniel, and by virtue of the Name
passed through. Next he came to the sphere over which presided the angel
Sandalfon, and penetrated by means of the same Name. Next he traversed the
river of flame, called Riggon, and stood before the throne.(498)

St. Paul held the popular Rabbinic notion of the spheres surrounding the
throne of God, for he speaks of having been caught up into the third
heaven.(499) In the apocryphal Ascension of Isaiah there are seven heavens
that the prophet traverses.

The Rabbinic ideas on the spheres were taken probably from the Chaldees,
and from the same source, perhaps, sprang the conception of the soul
making her ascension through the angel‐guarded spheres, which we find in
the fragment of the Gospel of St. Philip.

Unfortunately, we have not sufficient of the early literature of the
Chaldees and Assyrians to be able to say for certain that it was so. But a
very curious sacred poem has been preserved on the terra‐cotta tablets of
the library of Assurbani‐Pal, which exhibits a similar belief as prevalent
anciently in Assyria.

This poem represents the descent of Istar into the Immutable Land, the
nether world, divided into seven circles. The heavenly world of the
Chaldees was also divided into seven circles, each ruled by a planet. The
poem therefore exhibits a descent instead of an ascent. But there is
little reason to doubt that the passage in each case would have been
analogous. We have no ancient Assyrian account of an ascent; we must
therefore content ourselves with what we have.

Istar descends into the lower region, and as she traverses each circle is
despoiled of one of her coverings worn in the region above, till she
stands naked before Belith, the Queen of the Land of Death.

i. “At the first gate, as I made her enter, I despoiled her; I took the
crown from off her head.

“ ‘Hold, gatekeeper! Thou hast taken the crown from off my head.’

“ ‘Enter into the empire of the Lady of the Earth, to this stage of the

ii. “At the second gate I made her enter; I despoiled her, and took from
off her the earrings from her ears.

“ ‘Hold, keeper of the gate! Thou hast despoiled me of the earrings from
my ears.’

“ ‘Enter into the empire of the Lady of the Earth, to this stage of the

iii. “At the third gate I made her enter; I despoiled her of the precious
jewels on her neck.

“ ‘Hold, keeper of the gate! Thou hast despoiled me of the jewels of my

“ ‘Enter into the empire of the Lady of the Earth, to this stage of the

iv. “At the fourth gate I made her enter; I despoiled her of the brooch of
jewels upon her breast.

“ ‘Hold, keeper of the gate! Thou hast despoiled me of the brooch of
jewels upon my breast.’

“ ‘Enter into the empire of the Lady of the Earth, to this stage of the

V. “At the fifth gate I made her enter; I despoiled her of the belt of
jewels about her waist.

“ ‘Hold, keeper of the gate! Thou hast despoiled me of the belt of jewels
about my waist.’

“ ‘Enter into the empire of the Lady of the Earth, to this stage of the

vi. “At the sixth gate I made her enter; I despoiled her of her armlets
and bracelets.

“ ‘Hold, keeper of the gate! Thou hast despoiled me of my armlets and

“ ‘Enter into the empire of the Lady of the Earth, to this stage of the

vii. “At the seventh gate I made her enter; I despoiled her of her skirt.

“ ‘Hold, keeper of the gate! Thou hast despoiled me of my skirt.’

“ ‘Enter into the empire of the Lady of the Earth, to this degree of
circles.’ ”(500)

We have something very similar in the judgment of souls in the Egyptian
Ritual of the Dead. From Chaldaea or from Egypt the Gnostics who used the
Gospel of St. Philip drew their doctrine of the soul traversing several
circles, and arrested by an angel at the gate of each.

The soul, a divine element, is in the earth combined with the body, a work
of the Archon. But her aspirations are for that which is above; she
strives to “extirpate his roots.” All her “scattered members,” her
thoughts, wishes, impulses, are gathered into one up‐tapering flame. Then
only does she “know (God) for what He is,” for she has learned the nature
of God by introspection.

Such, if I mistake not, is the meaning of the passage quoted by St.
Epiphanius. The sect which used such a Gospel must have been mystical and
ascetic, given to contemplation, and avoiding the indulgence of their
animal appetites. It was that, probably, of Prodicus, strung on the same
Pauline thread as the heresies of Marcion, Nicolas, Valentine, Marcus, the
Ophites, Carpocratians and Cainites.

Prodicus, on the strength of St. Paul’s saying that all Christians are a
chosen generation, a royal priesthood, maintained the sovereignty of every
man placed under the Gospel. But a king is above law, is not bound by law.
Therefore the Christian is under no bondage of Law, moral or ceremonial.
He is lord of the Sabbath, above all ordinances. Prodicus made the whole
worship of God to consist in the inner contemplation of the essence of

External worship was not required of the Christian; that had been imposed
by the Demiurge on the Jews and all under his bondage, till the time of
the fulness of the Gospel had come.(501) The Prodicians did not constitute
an important, widely‐extended sect, and were confounded by many of the
early Fathers with other Pauline‐Gnostic sects.

VI. The Gospel Of Judas.

The Pauline Protestantism of the first two centuries of the Church had not
exhausted itself in Valentinianism. The fanatics who held free
justification and emancipation from the Law were ready to run to greater
lengths than Marcion, Valentine, or even Marcus, was prepared to go.

Men of ability and enthusiasm rose and preached, and galvanized the latent
Paulinian Gnosticism into temporary life and popularity, and then
disappeared; the great wave of natural common‐sense against which they
battled returned and overwhelmed their disciples, till another heresiarch
arose, made another effort to establish permanently a religion without
morality, again to fail before the loudly‐expressed disgust of mankind,
and the stolid conviction inherent in human nature that pure morals and
pure religion are and must be indissolubly united.

Carpocrates was one of these revivalists. Everything except faith, all
good works, all exterior observances, all respect for human laws, were
indifferent, worse than indifferent, to the Christian: these exhibited,
where found, an entanglement of the soul in the web woven for it by the
God of this world, of the Jews, of the Law. The body was of the earth, the
soul of heaven. Here, again, Carpocrates followed and distorted the
teaching of St. Paul; the body was under the Law, the soul was free.
Whatsoever was done in the body did not affect the soul. “It is no more I
that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”(502)

    “All depends upon faith and love,” said Carpocrates; “externals
    are altogether matters of indifference. He who ascribes moral
    worth to these makes himself their slave, subjects himself to
    those spirits of the world from whom all religious and political
    ordinances have proceeded; he cannot, after death, pass out of the
    sphere of the metempsychosis. But he who can abandon himself to
    every lust without being affected by any, who can thus bid
    defiance to the laws of those earthly spirits, will after death
    rise to the unity of that Original One, with whom he has, by
    uniting himself, freed himself, even in this present life, from
    all fetters.”(503)

Epiphanes, the son of Carpocrates, a youth of remarkable ability, who died
young, exhausted by the excesses to which his solifidianism exposed him,
wrote a work on Justification by Faith, in which he said:

    “All nature manifests a striving after unity and fellowship; the
    laws of man contradicting these laws of nature, and yet unable to
    subdue the appetites implanted in human nature by the Creator
    himself—these first introduced sin.”(504)

With Epiphanes, St. Epiphanius couples Isidore, and quotes from his
writings directions how the Faithful are to obtain disengagement from
passion, so as to attain union with God. Dean Milman, in his “History of
Christianity,” charitably hopes that the licentiousness attributed to
these sects was deduced by the Fathers from their writings, and was not
actually practised by them. But the extracts from the books of Isidore,
Epiphanes and Carpocrates, are sufficient to show that their doctrines
were subversive of morality, and that, when taught as religious truths to
men with human passions, they could not fail to produce immoral results.
An extract from Isidore, preserved by Epiphanius, giving instructions to
his followers how to conduct themselves, was designed to be put in
practice. It is impossible even to quote it, so revolting is its
indecency. In substance it is this: No man can approach the Supreme God
except when perfectly disengaged from earthly passion. This disengagement
cannot be attained without first satisfying passion; therefore the
exhaustion of desire consequent on the gratification of passion is the
proper preparation for prayer.(505)

To the same licentious class of Antinomians belonged the sect of the
Antitactes. They also held the distinction between the Supreme God and the
Demiurge, the God of the Jews,(506) of the Law, of the World. The body,
the work of the God of creation, is evil; it “serves the law of sin;” nay,
it is the very source of sin, and imprisons, degrades, the soul entangled
in it. Thus the soul serves the law of God, the body the law of sin,
_i.e._ of the Demiurge. But the Demiurge has imposed on men his law, the
Ten Commandments. If the soul consents to that law, submits to be in
bondage under it, the soul passes from the liberty of its ethereal
sonship, under the dominion of a God at enmity with the Supreme Being.
Therefore the true Christian must show his adherence to the Omnipotent by
breaking the laws of the Decalogue,—the more the better.(507)

Was religious fanaticism capable of descending lower? Apparently it was
so. The Cainites exhibit Pauline antinomianism in its last, most
extravagant, most grotesque expression. Their doctrine was the extreme
development of an idea in itself originally containing an element of

Paul had proclaimed the emancipation of the Christian from the Law.
Perhaps he did not at first sufficiently distinguish between the moral and
the ceremonial law; he did not, at all events, lay down a broad, luminous
principle, by which his disciples might distinguish between moral
obligation to the Decalogue and bondage to the ceremonial Law. If both
laws were imposed by the same God, to upset one was to upset the other.
And Paul himself broke a hole in the dyke when he opposed the observance
of the Sabbath, and instituted instead the Lord’s‐day.

Through that gap rushed the waves, and swept the whole Decalogue away.

Some, to rescue jeoparded morality, maintained that the Law contained a
mixture of things good and bad; that the ceremonial law was bad, the moral
law was good. Some, more happily, asserted that the whole of the Law was
good, but that part of it was temporary, provisional, intended only to be
temporary and provisional, a figure of that which was to be; and the rest
of the Law was permanent, of perpetual obligation.

The ordinances of the Mosaic sanctuary were typical. When the fulfilment
of the types came, the shadows were done away. This was the teaching of
the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, called forth by the disorders
which had followed indiscriminating denunciation of the Law by the Pauline

But a large body of men could not, or would not, admit this distinction.
St. Paul had proclaimed the emancipation of the Christian from the Law.
They, having been Gentiles, had never been under the ceremonial Law of
Moses. How then could they be set at liberty from it? The only freedom
they could understand was freedom from the natural law written on the
fleshy tables of their hearts by the same finger that had inscribed the
Decalogue on the stones in Sinai. The God of the Jews was, indeed, the God
of the world. The Old Testament was the revelation of his will. Christ had
emancipated man from the Law. The Law was at enmity to Christ; therefore
the Christian was at enmity to the Law. The Law was the voice of the God
of the Jews; therefore the Christian was at enmity to the God of the Jews.
Jesus was the revelation of the All‐good God, the Old Testament the
revelation of the evil God.

Looking at the Old Testament from this point of view, the extreme wing of
the Pauline host, the Cainites, naturally came to regard the Patriarchs as
being under the protection, the Prophets as being under the inspiration,
of the God of the Jews, and therefore to hold them in abhorrence, as
enemies of Christ and the Supreme Deity. Those, on the other hand, who
were spoken of in the Old Testament as resisting God, punished by God,
were true prophets, martyrs of the Supreme Deity, forerunners of the
Gospel. Cain became the type of virtue; Abel, on the contrary, of error
and perversity. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were pioneers of
Gospel freedom; Corah, Dathan and Abiram, martyrs protesting against

In this singular rehabilitation, Judas Iscariot was relieved from the
anathema weighing upon him. This man, who had sold his Master, was no
longer regarded as a traitor, but as one who, inspired by the Spirit of
Wisdom, had been an instrument in the work of redemption. The other
apostles, narrowed by their prejudices, had opposed the idea of the death
of Christ, saying, “Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto
thee.”(508) But Judas, having a clearer vision of the truth, and the
necessity for the redemption of the world by the death of Christ, took the
heroic resolution to make that precious sacrifice inevitable. Rising above
his duties as disciple, in his devotion to the cause of humanity, he
judged it necessary to prevent the hesitations of Christ, who at the last
moment seemed to waver; to render inevitable the prosecution of his great
work. Judas therefore went to the chiefs of the synagogue, and covenanted
with them to deliver up his Master to their will, knowing that by his
death the salvation of the world could alone be accomplished.(509)

Judas therefore became the chief apostle to the Cainites. They composed a
Gospel under his name, τό Εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Ἰουδα.(510) Irenæus also mentions
it;(511) it must therefore date from the second century. Theodoret
mentions it likewise. But none of the ancient Fathers quote it. Not a
single fragment of this curious work has been preserved.

“It is certainly to be regretted,” says M. Nicolas, “that this monument of
human folly has completely disappeared. It should have been carefully
preserved as a monument, full of instruction, of the errors into which man
is capable of falling, when he abandons himself blindly to theological

In addition to the Gospel of Judas, the Cainites possessed an apocryphal
book relating to that apostle whom they venerated scarcely second to
Judas, viz. St. Paul. It was entitled the “Ascension of Paul,” Ἀναβατικὸν
Παύλου,(513) and related to his translation into the third heaven, and the
revelation of unutterable things he there received.(514)

An “Apocalypse of Paul” has been preserved, but it almost certainly is a
different book from the Anabaticon. It contains nothing favouring the
heretical views of the Cainites, and was read in some of the churches of
Palestine. This Apocalypse in Greek has been published by Dr. Tischendorf
in his Apocalypses Apocryphae (Lips. 1866), and the translation of a later
Syriac version in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. VIII.


    1 Joseph. Antiq. xii. 5; 1 Maccab. i. 11‐15, 43, 52; 2 Maccab. iv.

    2 πονήροι, ἀσεβεῖς.—Antiq. xiii. 4, xii. 10.

    3 Baba‐Kama, fol. 82; Menachoth, fol. 64; Sota, fol. 49; San‐Baba,
      fol. 90.

    4 Menachoth, fol. 99.

    5 Baba‐Kama, fol. 63.

    6 Mass. Sopherim, c. i. in Othonis Lexicon Rabbin. p. 329.

    7 Philo is not mentioned by name once in the Talmud, nor has a single
      sentiment or interpretation of an Alexandrine Jew been admitted into
      the Jerusalem or Babylonish Talmud.

    8 Aristobulus wrote a book to prove that the Greek sages drew their
      philosophy from Moses, and addressed his book to Ptolemy Philometor.

    9 Gal. iv. 24, 25.

   10 Col. i. 16.

   11 1 Cor. x. 21.

   12 Dante, Parad. xiv.

   13 See the question carefully discussed in M. F. Delaunay’s Moines et
      Sibylles; Paris, 1874, pp. 28 sq.

   14 See, on this curious topic, C. Aubertin: Sénèque et St. Paul; Paris,

   15 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. ii. 17. The Bishop of Caesarea is quoting from
      Philo’s account of the Therapeutae, and argues that these
      Alexandrine Jews must have been Christians, because their manner of
      life, religious customs and doctrines, were identical with those of
      Christians. “Their meetings, the distinction of the sexes at these
      meetings, the religious exercises performed at them, _are still in
      vogue among us at the present day_, and, especially at the
      commemoration of the Saviour’s passion, we, like them, pass the time
      in fasting and vigil, and in the study of the divine word. All these
      the above‐named author (Philo) has accurately described in his
      writings, and _are the same customs that are observed by us alone_,
      at the present day, particularly the vigils of the great Feast, and
      the exercises in them, and the hymns that are commonly recited among
      us. He states that, whilst one sings gracefully with a certain
      measure, the others, listening in silence, join in at the final
      clauses of the hymns; also that, on the above‐named days, they lie
      on straw spread on the ground, and, to use his own words, abstain
      altogether from wine and from flesh. Water is their only drink, and
      the relish of their bread salt and hyssop. Besides this, he
      describes the grades of dignity among those who administer the
      ecclesiastical functions committed to them, those of deacons, and
      the presidencies of the episcopate as the highest. Therefore,”
      Eusebius concludes, “it is obvious to all that Philo, when he wrote
      these statements, _had in view the first heralds of the gospel, and
      the original practices handed down from the apostles_.”

   16 It is deserving of remark that the turning to the East for prayer,
      common to the Essenes and primitive Christians, was forbidden by the
      Mosaic Law and denounced by prophets. When the Essenes diverged from
      the Law, the Christians followed their lead.

   17 Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον Ιησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνὴρ, εἴγε ἄνδρα
      αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή; ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητὴς, διδάσκαλος
      ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τ᾽ ἀληθῆ δεχομένων; καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν Ἰουδαίους,
      πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο. Ὁ Χριστὸς οὖτος ἦν. Καὶ
      αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος
      Πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἵ γε πρῶτον αὐτὸν ἀγαπήσαντες; ἐφάνη γαρ
      αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ
      ἄλλα μυρία θαυμάσια περὶ αὐτοῦ εἰρηκότων; εἰς ἔτι νῦν τῶν χριστιανῶν
      ἀπὸ τοῦδε ὠνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλίπε τὸ φῦλον.—Lib. xviii. c. iii. 3.

   18 Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 11; Demonst. Evang. lib. iii.

   19 He indeed distinctly affirms that Josephus did not believe in
      Christ, Contr. Cels. i.

   20 Juvenal, Satir. vi. 546. “Aere minuto qualiacunque voles Judaei
      somnia vendunt.” The Emperors, later, issued formal laws against
      those who charmed away diseases (Digest. lib. i. tit. 13, i. 1).
      Josephus tells the story of Eleazar dispossessing a demon by
      incantations. De Bello Jud. lib. vii. 6; Antiq. lib. viii. c. 2.

   21 Hist. Eccl. i. 11.

   22 Contr. Cels. i. 47; and again, ii. 13: “This (destruction), as
      Josephus writes, ‘happened upon account of James the Just, the
      brother of Jesus, called the Christ;’ but in truth on account of
      Christ Jesus, the Son of God.”

   23 Acts xxiii.

   24 Bibliothec. cod. 33.

   25 Plin. Hist. Nat. v. 17; Epiphan. adv. Haeres. xix. 1.

   26 Epiphan. adv. Haeres. x.

   27 For information on the Essenes, the authorities are, Philo, Περὶ τοῦ
      πάντα σπουδαῖον εἶναι ἐλεύθερον, and Josephus, De Bello Judaico, and

   28 Compare Luke x. 4; John xii. 6, xiii. 29; Matt. xix. 21; Acts ii.
      44, 45, iv. 32, 34, 37.

   29 Compare Matt. vi. 28‐34; Luke xii. 22‐30.

   30 Compare Matt. v. 34.

   31 Compare Matt. vi. 25, 31; Luke xii. 22, 23.

   32 Compare Matt. xv. 15‐22.

   33 Compare Matt. vi. 1‐18.

   34 From אסא, meaning the same as the Greek Therapeutae.

   35 Compare Luke x. 25‐37; Mark vii. 26.

   36 Matt. iv. 16, v. 14, 16, vi. 22; Luke ii. 32, viii. 16, xi. 23, xvi.
      8; John i. 4‐9, iii. 19‐21, viii. 12, ix. 5, xi. 9, 10, xii. 35‐46.

   37 Luke viii. 10; Mark iv. 12; Matthew xiii. 11‐15.

   38 Clem. Homil. xix. 20.

   39 Compare Matt. xv. 3, 6.

   40 The reference to salt as an illustration by Christ (Matt. v. 13;
      Mark ix. 49, 50; Luke xiv. 34) deserves to be noticed in connection
      with this.

   41 Clem. Homil. xiv. 1: “Peter came several hours after, and breaking
      bread for the Eucharist, and putting salt upon it, gave it first to
      our mother, and after her, to us, her sons.”

   42 Acts xx. 7; 1 Cor. xvi. 2; Rev. i. 9.

   43 Const. Apost. lib. viii. 33.

   44 Acts ii. 46, iii. 1, v. 42.

   45 Acts xv.

   46 Acts i. 22, iv. 2, 33, xxiii. 6.

   47 Acts xxiii. 7.

   48 Acts xv. 5.

   49 Acts xv. 29.

   50 Clem. Homil. vii. 8.

   51 Col. ii. 21.

   52 Gal. iv. 10. When it is seen in the Clementines how important the
      observance of these days was thought, what a fundamental principle
      it was of Nazarenism, I think it cannot be doubted that it was
      against this that St. Paul wrote.

   53 Col. ii. 16.

   54 Clement. Homil. xix. 22.

   55 Gal. v. 2‐4.

   56 1 Cor. v. 1.

   57 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. iii. 29.

   58 _Ibid._

   59 “Lies der Papisten Bücher, höre ihre Predigen, so wirst du finden,
      dass diess ihr einziger Grund ist, darauf sie stehen wider uns
      pochen und trotzen, da sie vorgeben, es sei nichts Gutes aus unserer
      Lehre gekommen. Denn alsbald, da unser Evangelium anging und sie
      hören liess, folgte der gräuliche Aufruhr, es erhuben sich in der
      Kirche Spaltung und Sekten, es ward Ehrbarkeit, Disziplin und Zucht
      zerrüttet, und Jedermann wolte vogelfrei seyn und thun, was ihm
      gelüstet nach allem seinen Muthwillen und Gefallen, als wären alle
      Gesetze, Rechte und Ordnung gans aufhoben, wie es denn leider allzu
      wahr ist. Denn der Muthwille in allen Ständen, mit allerlei Laster,
      Sünden und Schanden ist jetzt viel grösser denn zuvor, da die Leute,
      und sonderlich der Pöbel, doch etlichermassen in Furcht und in Zaum
      gehalten waren, welches nun wie ein zaumlos Pferd lebt und thut
      Alles, was es nur gelüstet ohne allen Scheu.”—Ed. Walch, v. 114. For
      a very full account of the disorders that broke out on the preaching
      of Luther, see Döllinger’s Die Reformation in ihre Entwicklung.
      Regensb. 1848.

   60 Epistolas, 1528, ii. 192.

   61 1 Cor. xi. 1.

   62 Acts xxi. 23, 24.

   63 James ii. 20.

   64 It is included by Eusebius in the Antilegomena, and, according to
      St. Jerome, was rejected as a spurious composition by the majority
      of the Christian world.

   65 Rev. ii. 1, 14, 15.

   66 בלעם, _destruction of the people_, from בלע, _to swallow up_, and
      עם, _people_ = Νικόλαος.

   67 2 Pet. ii. 21.

   68 Τοῦ ἐχθροῦ ἀνθρώπου ἄνομον τίνα καὶ φλυαρώδη διδασκαλιάν—Clem.
      Homil. xx. ed. Dressel, p. 4. The whole passage is sufficiently
      curious to be quoted. St. Peter writes: “There are some from among
      the Gentiles who have rejected my legal preaching, attaching
      themselves to certain lawless and trifling preaching of the man who
      is my enemy. And these things some have attempted while I am still
      alive, to transform my words by certain various interpretations, in
      order to the dissolution of the Law; as though I also myself were of
      such a mind, but did not freely proclaim it, which God forbid! For
      such a thing were to act in opposition to the law of God, which was
      spoken by Moses, and was borne witness to by our Lord in respect of
      its eternal continuance; for thus he spoke: The heavens and the
      earth shall pass away, but one jot or one tittle shall in no wise
      pass from the law.”

   69 “Apostolum Paulum recusantes, apostatam eum legis dicentes.”—Iren.
      Adv. Haeres. i. 26. Τὸν δὲ ἀπόστυλον ἀποστάτην καλοῦσι.—Theod.
      Fabul. Haeret. ii. 1.

   70 Hom. xi. 85.

   71 Hom. iv. 22.

   72 Clem. Homil. ii. 38‐40, 48, iii. 50, 51.

   73 Of course I mean the designation given to the Pauline sect, not the
      religion of Christ.

   74 Adv. Haeres. i. 24.

   75 Origen, Contr. Cels. lib. viii.

   76 _Ibid._ lib. vi.

   77 Contra Cels. lib. i.

   78 _Ibid._ lib. ii.

   79 Amongst others, Clemens: Jesus von Nazareth, Stuttgart, 1850; Von
      der Alme: Die Urtheile heidnischer und jüdischer Schriftsteller,
      Leipzig, 1864.

   80 Adv. Haer. lib. iii; Haer. lxviii. 7.

   81 “Quantae traditiones Pharisaeorum sint, quas hodie vocant
      δευτερώσεις et quam aniles fabulae, evolvere nequeo: neque enim
      libri patitur magnitudo, et pleraque tam turpia sunt ut erubescam

   82 Haeres. xiii.

   83 Beracoth, xi. _a_.

   84 Tract. Sanhedrim, fol. 107, and Sota, fol. 47.

   85 Bartolocci: Bibliotheca Maxima Rabbinica, sub. nom.

   86 Sepher Nizzachon, n. 337.

   87 Eisenmenger: Neuentdecktes Judenthum, I. pp. 231‐7. Königsberg,

   88 Tract. Sabbath, fol. 67.

   89 _Ibid._ fol. 104.

   90 The passage is not easy to understand. I give three Latin
      translations of it, one by Cl. Schickardus, the second quoted from
      Scheidius (Loca Talm. i. 2). “Filius Satdae, filius Pandeirae fuit.
      Dixit Raf Chasda: Amasius Pandeirae, maritus Paphos filius Jehudae
      fuit. At quomodo mater ejus Satda? Mater ejus Mirjam, comptrix
      mulierum fuit.” “Filius Stadae filius Pandirae est. Dixit Rabbi
      Chasda: Maritus seu procus matris ejus fuit Stada, iniens Pandiram.
      Maritus Paphus filius Judae ipse est, mater ejus Stada, mater ejus
      Maria,” &c. Lightfoot, Matt. xxvii. 56, thus translates it:
      “Lapidârunt filium Satdae in Lydda, et suspenderunt eum in vesperâ
      Paschatis. Hic autem filius Satdae fuit filius Pandirae. Dixit
      quidem Rabb Chasda, Maritus (matris ejus) fuit Satda, maritus
      Pandira, maritus Papus filius Judae: sed tamen dico matrem ejus
      fuisse Satdam, Mariam videlicet, plicatricem capillorum mulierum:
      sicut dicunt in Panbeditha, Declinavit ista a marito suo.”

   91 פנדירה. As a man’s name it occurs in 2 Targum, Esther vii.

   92 Avoda Sava, fol. 27.

   93 Talmud, Tract. Beracoth, ix. fol. 61, _b_.

   94 Gittin, fol. 90, _a_.

   95 Chajigah, fol. 4, _b_.

   96 Calla, fol. 18, _b_.

   97 Son of Levi, according to the Toledoth Jeschu of Huldrich.

   98 In the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, Jesus as a boy behaves without
      respect to his master and the elders; thence possibly this story was

   99 Fol. 114.

  100 Justin Mart. Dialog. cum Tryph. c. 17 and 108.

  101 Cont. Cels. lib. iii.

  102 Lettres sur les Juifs. Œuvres, I. 69, p. 36.

  103 Luther’s Works, Wittemberg, 1556, T. V. pp. 509‐535. The passage
      quoted is on p. 513.

  104 Lib. viii. 33.

  105 Martyrol. Rom. ad. 1 Januar.

  106 Fabricius, Codex Apocryph. N.T. ii. p. 493.

  107 Whereas the bitter conflict of Simon Peter and Simon Magus was a
      subject well known in early Christian tradition.

  108 Wagenseil: Tela ignea Satanae. Hoc est arcani et horribiles
      Judaeorum adversus Christum Deum et Christianam religionem libri
      anecdoti; Altdorf, 1681.

  109 Nob was a city of Benjamin, situated on a height near Jerusalem, on
      one of the roads which led from the north to the capital, and within
      sight of it, as is certain from the description of the approach of
      the Assyrian army in Isaiah (x. 28‐32).

  110 Herod put Alexander Hyrcanus to death B.C. 30. Alexandra, the mother
      of Hyrcanus, reigned after the death of Jannaeus, from B.C. 79 to
      B.C. 71.

  111 Sozomen, Hist. Eccl. ii. 1.

  112 Acta Sanct. Mai. T. I. pp. 445‐451.

  113 Ps. lxix. 22.

  114 Isa. liii. 5.

  115 Rome. Simon Cephas is Simon Peter, but the miraculous power
      attributed to him perhaps belongs to the story of Simon Magus.

  116 Isa. i. 14.

  117 Hosea i. 9.

  118 Matt. xix. 28.

  119 The Oelberg was especially characteristic of German churches, and
      was erected chiefly in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. They
      remain at Nürnberg, Xanten, Worms, Marburg, Donauwörth, Landshut,
      Wasserburg, Ratisbon, Klosterneuburg, Wittenberg, Merseburg,
      Lucerne, Bruges, &c.

  120 Mááse, c. 188. I have told the story more fully in the Christmas
      Number of “Once a Week,” 1868.

  121 Joh. Jac. Huldricus: Historia Jeschuae Nazareni, a Judaeis blaspheme
      corrupta; Leyden, 1705.

  122 The mystery of the chariot is that of the chariot of God and the
      cherubic beasts, Ezekiel i. The Jews wrote the name of God without
      vowels, Jhvh; the vowel points taken from the name Adonai (Lord)
      were added later.

  123 The story is somewhat different in the Talmudic tract Calla, as
      already related.

  124 From Mizraim, Egypt.

  125 Evidently the author confounds John the Baptist with John the

  126 Judas Iscarioth. In St. John’s Gospel he is called the son of Simon
      (vi. 71, xiii. 2, 26). Son of Zachar is a corruption of Iscarioth.
      The name Iscarioth is probably from Kerioth, his native village, in

  127 Isa. lxiii. 1‐3. Singularly enough, this passage is chosen for the
      Epistle in the Roman and Anglican Churches for Monday in Holy Week,
      with special reference to the Passion.

  128 Gen. xxxi. 47.

  129 Isa. ii. 3.

  130 1 Sam. ii. 6.

  131 Lev. xxiv. 16.

  132 This is taken from Sanhedrim, fol. 43.

  133 It is worth observing how these two false witnesses disagree in
      almost every particular about our blessed Lord’s birth and passion.

  134 This is probably taken from the story of Simon Magus in the Pseudo‐
      Linus. Simon flies from off a high tower. In the Apocryphal Book of
      the Death of the Virgin, the apostles come to her death‐bed riding
      on clouds. Ai is here Rome, not Capernaum.

  135 The author probably saw representations of the Ascension and of the
      Last Judgment, with Christ seated with the Books of Life and Death
      in his hand on a great white cloud, and composed this story out of
      what he saw, associating the pictures with the floating popular
      legend of Simon Magus.

  136 In the story of Simon the Sorcerer, it is at the prayer of Simon
      Peter that the Sorcerer falls whilst flying and breaks all his
      bones. Perhaps the author saw a picture of the Judgment with saints
      on the cloud with Jesus, and the lost falling into the flames of

  137 Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ.

  138 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. c. 39.

  139 _Ibid._ lib. v. c. 8.

  140 Spicileg. Patrum, Tom. I.

  141 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. vi. 25.

  142 _Ibid._ iii. 24.

  143 St. Hieron. De vir. illust., s.v. Matt.

  144 _Ibid._ s.v. Jacobus.

  145 _Ibid._ in Matt. xii. 13.

  146 _Ibid._ Contra. Pelag. iii. 1.

  147 Ἔχουσι δὲ (οἱ Ναζαραῖοι) τὸ κατὰ Μαθαῖον εὐαγγέλιον πληρέστατον
      ἑβραιστι.—Haer. xxix. 9.

  148 Καθῶς ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἐγράφη.—_Ibid._

  149 _Ibid._ xxx. 3.

  150 Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ τοὺς ἀποστόλους.

  151 Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ τοὺς δώδεκα. Origen calls it “The Gospel of the
      Twelve Apostles,” Homil. i. in Luc. St. Jerome the same, in his
      Prooem. in Comment. sup. Matt.

  152 Adv. Pelag. iii. 10.

  153 Ἀπομνημονεύματα τῶν Ἀποστόλων.

  154 “Ἐν τοῖς γεγομένοις ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν ἀπομνημονεύμασιν, ἅ καλεῖται
      Εὐαγγέλια.” And “ἐν τῷ λεγομένῳ Εὐαγγελίῳ,” when speaking of these
      Reminiscences, Dialog. cum Tryphon. §11. Just. Mart. Opera, ed.
      Cologne, p. 227.

  155 1 Apol. ii.

  156 Justin Mart. Opp. ed. Cologne; 2 Apol. p. 64; Dialog. cum Tryph. p.
      301; _ibid._ p. 253; 2 Apol. p. 64; Dial. cum Tryph. p. 326; 2 Apol.
      pp. 95, 96.

  157 Οἱ ἐξ Ἀραβίας μάγοι, or μάγοι ἀπὸ Ἀραβίας.—Dialog. cum Tryph. pp.
      303, 315, 328, 330, 334, &c.

  158 Matt. ii. 1.

  159 Ἐν σπηλαίῳ τινὶ σύνεγγυς τῆς κώμης κατέλυσε.—Dialog. cum. Tryph. pp.
      303, 304.

  160 Dial. cum Tryph. p. 291.

  161 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. iii. 25.

  162 Adv. Pelag. iii. 1.

  163 Comm. in Ezech. xxiv. 7.

  164 “De versione Syriacâ testatur Sionita, quod ut semper in summâ
      veneratione et auctoritate habita erat apud omnes populos qui
      Chaldaicâ sive Syriacâ utuntur linguâ, sic publicè in omnibus eorum
      ecclesiis antiquissimis, constitutis in Syriâ, Mesopotamiâ,
      Chaldaeâ, Aegypto, et denique in universis Orientis partibus
      dispersis ac disseminatis accepta ac lecta fuit.”—Walton: London
      Polyglott, 1657.

  165 In Matt. iii. 17; Luke i. 71; John i. 3; Col. iii. 5.

  166 It omits the 2nd and 3rd Epistles of St. John, the Epistle of Jude,
      and the Apocalypse.

  167 As in the food of the Baptist, in the narrative of the baptism, in
      the mention of Zacharias, son of Barachias, in place of Zacharias,
      son of Jehoiada, the instruction to Peter on fraternal forgiveness,
      &c. It interprets the name Emmanuel.

  168 Ignat. Ad. Smyrn. c. 3.

  169 Catal. Script. Eccl. 15.

  170 Clem. Alex. Strom. ii. 9.

  171 Hom. xv. in Jerem.

  172 Hist. Eccl. iii. 25. Some of those books of the New Testament now
      regarded as Canonical were also then reckoned among the

  173 Ἄρτι ἔλαβε μέ ἡ μήτηρ μοῦ τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα, ἐν μιᾷ τῶν τριχῶν μοῦ,
      καὶ ἀνήνενκε μὲ εἰς τὸ ὅρος τὸ μέγα Θαβὼρ.—Origen: Hom. xv. in
      Jerem., and in Johan.

  174 Ἄρτι ἔλαβε μέ ἡ μήτηρ μοῦ τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα, ἐν μιᾷ τῶν τριχῶν μοῦ,
      καὶ ἀνήνενκε μὲ εἰς τὸ ὅρος τὸ μέγα Θαβὼρ.—Origen: Hom. xv. in
      Jerem., and in Johan.

  175 “Modo tulit me mater mea Spiritus Sanctus in uno capillorum
      meorum.”—Hieron. in Mich. vii. 6.

  176 Matt. iv. 1.

  177 Acts viii. 39.

  178 Τὴν δε θήλειαν καλεῖσθαι ἅγιον πνεῦμα.—Hippolyt. Refut. ix. 13, ed.
      Dunker, p. 462. So also St. Epiphanius, εἶναι δὲ καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα
      θηλεῖαν.—Haeres. xix. 4, liii. 1.

  179 Ap. Euseb. Hist. Eccles. vi. 38.

  180 Haeres. xix. 1, xxx. 17.

  181 Homilies, iii. 20‐27.

  182 In the “Refutation of Heresies” attributed by the Chevalier Bunsen
      and others to St. Hippolytus, Helena is said in Simonian Gnosticism
      to have been the “lost sheep” of the Gospels, the incarnation of the
      world principle—found, recovered, redeemed, by Simon, the
      incarnation of the divine male principle.

  183 Ὁ θαυμάσας βασιλεύσει, γεγράπται, καὶ ὁ βασιλεύσας ἀναπαύσεται.
      Clem. Alex. Stromata, i. 9.

  184 Strom. lib. vii. This was exaggerated in the doctrine of the
      Albigenses in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The “Perfects,”
      the ministers of the sect, “reconciled” the converted. But if one of
      the Perfect sinned (_i.e._ ate meat or married), all whom he had
      reconciled fell with him from grace, even those who were dead and in

  185 Dial. cum Tryph. § 88.

  186 “Sicut illud apostoli libenter audire: Omnia probate; quod bonum est
      tenete; et Salvatoris verba dicentis: Esto probati
      nummularii.”—Epist. ad Minervium et Alexandrum.

  187 Homil. ii. 51, iii. 50, xviii. 20. Γίνεσθε τραπεζίται δόκιμοι.

  188 Recog. ii. 51.

  189 Stromat. i. 28.

  190 “Inter maxima ponitur crimina qui fratris sui spiritum
      contristaverit.” St. Hieron. Comm. in Ezech. xvi. 7.

  191 “Nunquam læti sitis nisi cum fratrem vestrum videritis in

  192 “Si peccaverit frater tuus in verbo, et satis tibi fecerit, septies
      in die suscipe eum. Dixit illi Simon discipulus ejus: Septies in
      die? Respondit Dominus et dixit ei: Etiam ego dico tibi, usque
      septuagies septies.”—Adv. Pelag. i. 3.

  193 Matt. xxvii. 16.

  194 “Homo iste qui aridam habet manum in Evangelio quo utuntur Nazaraei
      caementarius scribitur.”—Hieron. Comm. in Matt. xii. 13.

  195 “Homo iste ... scribitur istius modi auxilium precans, Caementarius
      eram, manibus victum quaeritans; precor te, Jesu, ut mihi restituas
      sanitatem, ne turpiter manducem cibos.”—_Ibid._

  196 _Ibid._ xxvii. 16.

  197 “Filius Magistri eorum interpretatus.”—_Ibid._

  198 Hist. Eccl. iii. 39.

  199 viii. 3‐11.

  200 He probably knew it through a translation.

  201 Comm. in Matt. i. 6.

  202 2 Chron. xxiv. 20.

  203 “In Evangelis quo utuntur Nazareni, pro filio Barachiae, filium
      Jojadae reperimus scriptum.”—Hieron. in Matt. xxiii. 35.

  204 Luke xvii. 3, 4.

  205 “Dixit ad eum alter divitum: Magister, quid bonum faciens vivam?
      Dixit ei: Homo, leges et prophetas fac. Respondit ad eum: Feci.
      Dixit ei: Vade, vende omnia quae possides et divide pauperibus, et
      veni, sequere me. Caepit autem dives scalpere caput suum et non
      placuit ei. Et dixit ad eum Dominus: Quomodo dicis: Legem feci et
      prophetas, quoniam scriptum est in lege: Dilige proximum tuum sicut
      teipsum, et ecce multi fratres tui filii Abrahae amicti sunt
      stercore, morientes prae fame, et domus tua plena est multis bonis
      et non egreditur omnino aliquid ex ea ad eos. Et conversus dixit
      Simoni discipulo suo sedenti apud se: Simon fili Joannae, facilius
      eat camelum intrare per foramen acus quam divitem in regnum
      coelorum.”—Origen, Tract. viii. in Matt. xix. 19. The Greek text has
      been lost.

  206 It is found in the Talmud, Beracoth, fol. 55, _b_; Baba Metsia, fol.
      38, _b_; and it occurs in the Koran, Sura vii. 38.

  207 Matt. iii. 13.

  208 “In Evangelio juxta Hebraeos ... narrat historia: Ecce, mater Domini
      et fratres ejus dicebant ei, Joannes Baptista baptizat in
      remissionem peccatorum, eamus et baptizemur ab eo. Dixit autem eis;
      quid peccavi, ut vadam et baptizer ab eo? Nisi forte hoc ipsum, quod
      dixi, ignorantia est.”—Cont. Pelag. iii. 2.

  209 “Ad accipiendum Joannis baptisma paene invitum a Matre sua Maria
      esse compulsum.”—In a treatise on the re‐baptism of heretics,
      published by Rigault at the end of his edition of St. Cyprian.

  210 “Factum est autem cum ascendisset Dominus de aqua, descendit fons
      omnis Spiritus Sancti, et requievit super eum et dixit illi, Fili
      mi, in omnibus prophetis expectabam te, ut venires et requiescerem
      in te. Tu es enim requies mea, tu es filius meus primogenitus, qui
      regnas in sempiternum.”—In Mich. vii. 6.

  211 St. Epiph. Haeres. xxx. § 13. Τοῦ λαοῦ βαπτισθέντοσ, ἦλθε καὶ Ἰησοῦς
      καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἰωάννου. Καί ὡς ἀνῆλθεν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕδατος,
      ἠνοίχησαν οἱ οὐρανοὶ, καὶ εἴδε τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸ ἅγιον εἶδει ἐν
      περιστερὰς κατελθούσης καὶ εἰσελθούσης εἰς αὐτόν. Καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο
      ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, λέγουσα: Σύ μου εἴ ὁ ἀγαπητὸς, ἔν σοὶ ηὐδόκησα. Καὶ
      πάλιν; Ἐγω σήμερον γεγέννηκα σε. Καὶ εὐθὺς περιέλαμψε τὸν τόπον φῶς
      μέγα. Ὂ ἰδὼν ὁ Ἰωάννης λέγει αὐτῷ: Σύ τίς εἵ, κύριε? Καὶ πάλιν φωνὴ
      ἐξ οὐρανοῦ πρὸς αὐτόν: Οὗτος ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητὸς, ἐφ᾽ ὂν
      ηὐδόκησα. Καὶ τότε ὁ Ἰωάννης προσπεσὼν αὐτῷ ἔλεγε: Δέομαι σου,
      κύριε, σύ με βάπτισον. Ὁ δὲ ἐκώλυεν αὐτῷ, λέγων: Ἄφες, ὅτι οὔτως
      ἐστι πρέπον πληρωθῆναι πάντα.

  212 I put them in apposition:

      _Justin._ Καὶ πῦρ ανήφθη ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ.—Dial. cum Tryph. § 88.

      _Epiphan._ Καὶ εὐθὺς περιέλαμψε τὸν τόπον φῶς μέγα.—Haeres. xxx. §

      _Justin._ Υἱος μου εἴ συ; ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκα σε.—Dial. cum Tryph.
      § 88 and 103.

      _Epiphan._ Ἐγω σήμερον γεγέννηκα σε.—Haeres. xxx. § 13.

  213 Heb. i. 5, v. 5.

  214 John i. 29‐34.

  215 “Etiam in prophetis quoque, postquam uncti sunt Spiritu sancto,
      inventus est sermo peccati.”—Contr. Pelag. iii. 2.

  216 1 Cor. xv. 7.

  217 “Evangelium ... secundum Hebraeos ... post resurrectionem Salvatoris
      refert:—Dominus autem, cum dedisset sindonem servo sacerdotis, ivit
      ad Jacobum et apparuit ei. Juraverat enim Jacobus, se non comesturum
      panem ab illa hora, qua biberat calicem Domini, donec videret eum
      resurgentem a dormientibus.—Rursusque post paululum: Afferte, ait
      Dominus, mensam et panem. Statimque additur:—Tulit panem et
      benedixit, ac fregit, et dedit Jacobo justo, et dixit ei: Frater mi,
      comede panem tuum, quia resurrexit Filius hominis a
      dormientibus.”—Hieron. De viris illustribus, c. 2.

  218 Euseb. H. E. lib. ii. c. 23.

  219 Acts xxiii. 14.

  220 Hist. Eccl. Francorum, i. 21.

  221 The “History of the Apostles” purports to have been written by
      Abdias B. of Babylon, disciple of the apostles, in Hebrew. It was
      translated into Greek, and thence, it was pretended, into Latin by
      Julius Africanus. That it was rendered from Greek has been
      questioned by critics. As we have it, it belongs to the ninth
      century; but the publication of Syriac versions of the legends on
      which the book of Abdias was founded, Syriac versions of the fourth
      century, which were really translated from the Greek, show that some
      Greek originals must have existed at an early age which are now

  222 Καὶ ὅτε πρὸς τοὺς περὶ Πέτρον ἦλεν ἔφη αὐτοῖς: λάβετε, ψηλαφήσατε
      με, καὶ ἴδετε, ὅτι οὺκ εἰμί δαιμόνιον ἀσώματον. Καὶ εὐθύς αὐτοῦ
      ἥψαντο και ἐπιστεύσαν.—Ignat. Ep. ad Smyrn. c. 3. St. Jerome also:
      “Et quando venit ad Petrum et ad eos qui cum Petro erant, dixit eis:
      Ecce palpate me et videte quia non sum daemonium incorporale. Et
      statim tetigerunt eum et crediderunt.”—De Script. Eccl. 16. Eusebius
      quotes the passage after Ignatius. Hist. Eccl. iii. 37.

  223 Luke xxiv. 37‐39.

  224 Καὶ γὰρ ὁ Χριστὸς εἶπεν: ἄν μὴ ἀναγεννηθῆτε, οὐ μὴ εἰσελθῆτε εἰς τὴν
      Βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν.—1 Apolog. § 61. Oper. p. 94.

  225 Ἐὰν μήτις γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν, οὐ δύναται ἰδεῖν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ
      Θεοῦ.—John iii. 3.

  226 “In Evangelio ... legimus non velum templi scissum, sed
      superliminare templi mirae magnitudinis corruisse.”—Epist. 120, Ad

  227 Ἔλθον καταλῦσαι τὰς θυσίας, καὶ ἐαν μή ταύσασθε τοῦ θυεῖν, οῦ
      παύσεται ἀφ᾽ ὑμῶν ἡ ὀργή.—Epiphan. Haeres. xxx. § 16.

  228 Recog. i. 36.

  229 Recog. i. 54.

  230 Joseph. Antiq. xviii. 1, 5; Philo Judaeus. Περὶ τοῦ πάντα σπουδαῖον
      εἶναι ἐλεύθερον. See what has been said on this subject already, p.

  231 Heb. x. 5.

  232 (Μὴ) ἐπιθυμίᾳ ἐπεθύμησα (κρέας) τοῦτο τό πάσχα φαγεῖν μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν;
      Epiph. Heræs. xxx. 22. The words added to those in St. Luke are
      placed in brackets; cf. Luke xxii. 15.

  233 Epiphan. Haeres. xxx. 15.

  234 Καὶ Ἰησοῦς γοῦν φησὶ, Διὰ τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας ἠσθένουν, καὶ διὰ τοὺς
      πεινῶντας ἐπείνων, καὶ διὰ τοὺς διψῶντας ἐδίψων. In Matt. xvii. 21.

  235 Perhaps this passage was in the mind of St. Paul when he wrote of
      himself, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak.”
      1 Cor. ix. 22.

  236 Αἰτεῖσθε γάρ, φησί, τὰ μεγάλα, καὶ τὰ μικρὰ ὑμῖν προστεθήσαται.
      Clemens Alex. Stromatae, i. Καὶ αἰτεῖτε τὰ ἐπουράνια, καὶ τὰ ἐπίγεια
      ὑμῖν προστεθήσεται.—Origen, De Orat. 2 and 43.

  237 Cont. Cels. vii. and De Orat. 53.

  238 Acts xi. 35. It is also quoted as a saying of our Lord in the
      Apostolic Constitutions, iv. 3.

  239 Ep. 4.

  240 Οὕτοι, φαεσὶν, ὁι θέλοντές με ἰδεῖν, καὶ ἅψασθαί μου τῆς βασιλείας,
      ὀφείλουσι θλιβέντες καί παθόντες λαβεῖν με.—Ep. 7.

  241 Διὰ τοῦτο ταῦτα ἡμῶν πρασσόντων, εἶπεν ὁ κύριος, ᾽Εὰν ἦτε μετ᾽ ἐμου
      συνηγμένοι ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ μου, καὶ μὴ ποιεῖτε τὰς ἐντολάς μου, ἀποβαλῶ
      ὑμᾶς καὶ ἐρῶ ὑμῖν, ὑπάγετε ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ, οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς, ἐργάται ἀνομίας.
      2 Ep. ad Corinth. 4.

  242 Λέγει γὰρ ὁ κύριος, ἔσεσθε ὡς ἀρνία ἐν μέσῳ λύκων. Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ
      Πέτρος αὐτῷ λέγει, Ἐαν οὖν διασπαράξωσιν οἱ λύκοι τὰ ἀρνία? Εἶπεν ὁ
      Ἰησοῦς τῷ Πέτρῳ. Μὴ φοβείσθωσαν τὰ ἀρνία τοὺς λύκους μετὰ τὸ
      ἀποθανεῖν αὐτά. Καὶ ὑμεῖς μὴ φοβεῖσθε τοὺς ἀποκτέινοντας ὑμᾶς, καὶ
      μηδὲν ὑμῖν δυναμένου ποιεῖν, ἀλλὰ φοβεῖσθε τὸν μετὰ το ἀποθανεῖν
      ὑμας ἔχοντα ἐξουσίαν ψυχῆς καὶ σώματος τοῦ βαλεῖν εἰς γέενναν πυρὸς.
      _Ibid._ 5.

  243 Ἄρα οὖν τοῦτο λέγει: Τηρήσατε τὴν σάρκα ἁγνὴν καί τὴν σφραγίδα
      ἄσπιλον, ἵνα τὴν αἰώνιον ξωὴν ἀπολάβητε.—_Ibid._ 8.

  244 Rom. iv. 11 2 Cor. i. 22; Eph. i. 13, iv. 30; 2 Tim. ii. 19.

  245 Ἐν οἶς ἀν ὑμᾶς καταλάβω, ἐν τούτοις καὶ κρινῶ.—Just. Mart. in
      Dialog. c. Trypho. Ἐφ᾽ οἶς γὰρ εὕρω ἡμᾶς, φησὶν, ἐπὶ τούτοις καὶ
      κρινῶ. Clem. Alex. Quis dives salv. 40.

  246 Μυστήριον ἐμὸν ἐμοὶ καὶ τοῖς υἱοῖς τοῦ οἴκου μου.—Clem. Alex. Strom.

  247 Λογίων κυριακῶν ἐξηγήσεις.

  248 Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνεγράψατο, ἡρμήνευσε δὲ
      αὐτὰ ὡς ἦν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος.

  249 τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα; and οὐ ποιούμενος
      σὺνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν λογίων.

  250 συνεγράψατο τὰ λόγια.

  251 ἀρχαῖος ἀνήρ.

  252 Iren. c. Haeres. v. 33.

  253 Scarcely actual disciples and eye‐witnesses.

  254 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. iii. 39.

  255 σφόδρα σμικρὸς τὸν νοῦν.

  256 καθ᾽ Ἑβραιοὺς εὐαγγέλιον. H. E. iii. 25, 27, 39; iv. 22.

  257 συγγράμματα πέντε.

  258 Aram. ריקא.

  259 Aram. ממונא.

  260 Aram. גהנם.

  261 Aram. אמן.

  262 μιά κεραὶα, Aram. קוץ or עוקץ.

  263 vi. 7, βαττολογεῖν; v. 5, κληρονομεῖν τὴν γῆν; v. 2, ἀγνοίγειν τὸ
      στόμα; v. 3, πτωχοί; v. 9, υἱοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ; v. 12, μισθὸς πολύς; v.
      39, τῷ πονηρῷ; vi. 25; x. 28, 39, ψυχὴ, for life; vi. 22, 23, ἀπλοῦς
      and πονηρὸς, sound and sick; vi. 11, ἄρτος, for general food; the
      “birds of heaven,” in vi. 25, &c. &c.

  264 Targum, Gen. xxiv. 22, 47; Job xlii. 11; Exod. xxxii. 2; Judges
      viii. 24; Prov. xi. 22, xxv. 12; Hos. ii. 13.

  265 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. iii. 39.

  266 ἀκριβῶς ἔγραψεν, and σποιήσατο πρόνοιαν τοῦ μηδέν παραλιτεῖν ἢ

  267 Οὐ μέντοι τάξει, and ἕνια γράφας, ὡς ἀπεμνημόνευσεν.

  268 λεχθέντα καὶ πραχθέντα.

  269 Μαθαῖος τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο—. Μάρκος ... οὐκ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν
      κυριακῶν λογίων ποιούμενος.

  270 Μάρκος ἑρμηνευτὴς Πέτρου γενόμενος ἔγραφεν.

  271 Mark i. 20, “they left their father Zebedee in the ship _with the
      day‐labourers;_” i. 31, “_he took her by the hand_;” ii. 3, “a
      paralytic _borne of four_;” 4, “they broke up the roof and let down
      the bed;” iii. 10, “they pressed upon him to touch him;” iii. 20,
      “they could not so much as eat bread;” iii. 32, “the multitude sat
      about him;” iv. 36, “they took him _even as he was_,” without his
      going home first to get what was necessary; iv. 38, “_on a pillow_;”
      v. 3‐5, v. 25‐34, vi. 40, the ranks, the hundreds, the green grass;
      vi. 53‐56, x. 17, there came one running, and kneeled to him; x. 50,
      “casting away his robe;” xi. 4, “a colt tied by the door without in
      a place where two ways met;” xi. 12‐14, xi. 16, xiii. 1, the
      disciples notice the _great stones_ of which the temple was built;
      xiv. 3, 5, 8, xiv. 31, “he spoke yet more vehemently;” xiv. 51, 52,
      66, “he warmed himself at the fire;” xv. 21, “coming out of the
      country;” xv. 40, 41, Salome named.

  272 Mark i. 33, 45, ii. 2, 13, iii. 9, 20, 32, iv. 10, v. 21, 24, 31,
      vi. 31, 55, viii. 34, xi. 18.

  273 Mark i. 7, “he bowed himself;” iii. 5, “he looked round with anger;”
      ix. 38, “he sat down;” x. 16, “he took them up in his arms, and laid
      his hands on them;” x. 23, “Jesus looked round about;” xiv. 3, “she
      broke the box;” xiv. 4, “they murmured;” xiv. 40, “they knew not
      what to answer him;” xiv. 67, &c.

  274 Compare Mark iv. 4 sq.;  viii. 1 sq.; x. 42 sq.; xiii. 28 sq.; xiv.
      43 sq. &c. Matt. xiii 4 sq.; xv. 32 sq.; xx. 28 sq.; xxiv. 32 sq.;
      xxvi. 47 sq. &c.

  275 For more examples, see Scholten, Das älteste Evangelium, Elberfeld,
      1869, pp. 66‐78.

  276 Mark ix. 37‐50 is another instance of difference of order of sayings
      between him and St. Matthew.

      With Mark ix. 37 corresponds Matt. x. 40.
      With Mark ix. 40 corresponds Matt. xii. 30.
      With Mark ix. 41 corresponds Matt. x. 42.
      With Mark ix. 42 corresponds Matt. xviii. 6.
      With Mark ix. 43 corresponds Matt. v. 29 and xviii. 8.
      With Mark ix. 47 corresponds Matt. xvii. 9.
      With Mark ix. 50 corresponds Matt. v. 13.

  277 Col. iv. 16; 1 Thess. v. 27.

  278 Col. iv. 16.

  279 Apost. Const. viii. 5.

  280 Luke ii. 19, 51.

  281 Luke i. 66.

  282 Acts xx. 16.

  283 1 Cor. xvi. 8.

  284 Epist. xxvii. ad Marcellam.

  285 Apost. Const. viii. 33.

  286 St. Luke, however, has much that was not available to the deutero‐
      Matthew, and St. Mark rigidly confined himself to the use of St.
      Peter’s recollections only.

  287 St. Luke’s Gospel contains Hebraisms, yet he was not a Jew (Col. iv.
      11, 14). This can only be accounted for by his using Aramaic texts
      which he translated. From these the Acts of the Apostles are free.

  288 Cf. Scholten: Das älteste Evangelium; Elberfeld, 1869. See also on
      St. Matthew’s and St. Mark’s Gospels, Saunier: Ueber der Quellen des
      Evang. Marc., Berlin, 1825; De Wette: Lehrb. d. Hist. Krit. Einleit.
      in d. N.T., Berl. 1848; Baur: Der Ursprung der Synop. Evang.,
      Stuttg. 1843; Köstlin: Das Markus Evang., Leipz. 1850; Wilke: Der
      Urevang., Dresd. 1838; Réville: Etudes sur l’Evang. selon St. Matt.,
      Leiden, 1862, &c.

  289 Chron. Paschale, p. 6, ed. Ducange. Τῆδε μεγάλη ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων
      αὐτὸς ἔπαθεν, καὶ διηγοῦνται Ματθαῖον οὕτω λέγειν, ὅθεν ἀσύμφωνος,
      τῷ νόμῳ ἡ νόησις αὐτῶν, καὶ στασιάζειν δοκαῖν κατ᾽ αὐτοὺς τὰ

  290 Homil. iii. 45.

  291 Homil. ix. 9‐12.

  292 Homil. xix. 22.

  293 Gal. iv. 10.

  294 Homil. ii. 38, 50, 52.

  295 Homil. xiii. 13‐21.

  296 Homil. xv. 9; see also 7.

  297 Homil. xv. 7.

  298 Homil. xii. 6.

  299 Hist. Eccl. ii. 23.

  300 Homil. xvi. 15.

  301 Homil. xviii. 22.

  302 Hilgenfeld: Die Clementinischen Recognitionen und Homilien; Jena,
      1848. Compare also Uhlhorn: Die Homilien und Recognitionen;
      Göttingen, 1854; and Schliemann: Die Clementinen; Hamburg, 1844.

  303 Merx, Bardesanes von Edessa, Halle, 1863, p. 113. That the
      “Recognitions” have undergone interpolation at different times is
      clear from Book iii., where chapters 2‐12 are found in some copies,
      but not in the best MSS.

  304 Recog. i. 43, 50.

  305 _Ibid._ i. 40.

  306 Recog. i. 42.

  307 _Ibid._ 45.

  308 John i. 41.

  309 Acts iv. 27.

  310 Acts x. 34‐38.

  311 Recog. i. c. 48.

  312 Πῦρ βώμων ἐσβέννυσεν, Homil. iii. 26.

  313 Recog. i. c. 57.

  314 _Ibid._ ii. 30, also ii. 3.

  315 Recog. i. c. 60.

  316 Matt. xi. 9, 11.

  317 Recog. i. c. 61, ii. c. 28.

  318 _Ibid._ ii. 27, 29.

  319 _Ibid._ ii. 22, 28.

  320 _Ibid._ ii. 28, 32.

  321 Matt. x. 34‐36.

  322 Recog. ii. 27; Matt. x. 25.

  323 _Ibid._ 29.

  324 Recog. ii. 30.

  325 Matt. xxiii. 13.

  326 Luke xi. 52.

  327 Recog. ii. c. 46: “They must seek his kingdom and righteousness
      which the Scribes and Pharisees, having received the key of
      knowledge, have not shut in but shut out.” The same Syro‐Chaldaic
      expression has been variously rendered in Greek by St. Matthew and
      St. Luke. See Lightfoot: Horae Hebraicae in Luc. xi. 52.

  328 Recog. ii. 31, 35.

  329 _Ibid._ iii. 41, 37, 20.

  330 _Ibid._ iii. i.

  331 _Ibid._ vii. 37.

  332 Recog. vi. 11.

  333 _Ibid._ vi. 14.

  334 _Ibid._ iv. 4.

  335 _Ibid._ v. 9.

  336 _Ibid._ v. 2.

  337 _Ibid._ iii. 62.

  338 _Ibid._ iv. 35.

  339 _Ibid._ iii. 38.

  340 _Ibid._ iii. 14.

  341 _Ibid._ vi. 4.

  342 _Ibid._ x. 45.

  343 _Ibid._ v. 13, iii. 38.

  344 Hom. iii. 57.

  345 Luke vi. 36.

  346 Matt. v. 44‐46.

  347 Recog. vi. 5.

  348 Πάτερ ἄφες αὐτοῖς τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν οὐγὰρ οἴδασιν ἅ ποιούσιν. Hom.
      xi. 20. In St. Luke it runs, Πάτερ ἄφες αὐτοῖς; οὐ γὰρ οἴδασι τί
      ποιοῦσι.—Luke xxiii. 34.

  349 M. Nicolas: Etudes sur les Evangiles Apocryphes, pp. 72, 73.

  350 Recog. vi. 9.

  351 Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἒαν μὴ ἀναγεννηθῆτε ὕδατι ζωῆς (in another place
      ὕδατι ζῶντι), εἰς ὄνομα πατρὸς, υἱοῦ καὶ ἁγίου πνεύματος, οὐ μὴ
      εἰσελθῆτε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν.—Homil. xi. 26.

  352 Recognitions vi. 9: “For thus hath the true prophet testified to us
      with an oath: Verily I say unto you,” &c. The oath is, of course,
      the Ἀμὴν, ἀμὴν.

  353 Recog. v. 13; John viii. 34.

  354 Rom. vi. 16.

  355 Recog. v. 34; Rom. ii. 28.

  356 Recog. iv. 34. The same in the Homilies, xi. 35.

  357 Τὰ ἀγαθὰ ἐλθεῖν δέι, μακάριος δὲ δι᾽ οὗ ἔρχεται ὅμοιως καὶ τὰ κακὰ
      ἀνάγκη ἐλθεῖν, οὐαι δὲ δι᾽ οὖ ἔρχεται.

  358 Hom. ii. 19.

  359 _Ibid._ ii. 51.

  360 _Ibid._ ii. 51, xviii. 20.

  361 _Ibid._ ii. 53.

  362 Homil. ii. 61.

  363 _Ibid._ xix. 2.

  364 _Ibid._ viii. 21. In the Hebrew תירא rendered by the LXX. φοβηθήση.
      The word in St. Matthew is προσκυνήσεις.

  365 _Ibid._ xv. 5.

  366 Homil. iii. 52.

  367 John x. 9.

  368 Homil. iii. 52; cf. John x. 16.

  369 _Ibid._ iii. 57; Mark xii. 29.

  370 HOMIL. ix. 27.

      Οὔτε οὗτος τι ἥμαρτεν, οὗτε οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα δι᾽ αὐτοῦ
      φανερωθῇ ἡ δύναμις τοῦ Θεοῦ τῆς ἀγνοίας ἰωμένη τὰ ἁμαρτήματα.

      JOHN. ix. 3.

      Οὔτε οὗτος ἥμαρτεν, οὗτε οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα φανερωθῇ τὰ ἔργα
      τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ.

  371 Homil. iii. 64; cf. Luke xii. 43, but also Matt. xxiv. 46.

  372 _Ibid._ xi. 33; cf. Luke xi. 31, 32, but also Matt. xii. 42, 41. The
      order in Matt. reversed.

  373 Homil. xii. 31; cf. Matt. x. 29, 30; Luke xii. 6, 7.

  374 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. vi. 12.

  375 “Qui Jesum separant a Christo et impassibilem perseverasse Christum,
      passum vero Jesum dicunt, id quod secundum Marcum est praeferunt
      Evangelium.”—Iren. adv. Haeres. iii. 2. The Greek is lost.

  376 Matt. xii. 47, 48, xiii. 55; Mark iii. 32; Luke viii. 20; John vii.

  377 Origen, Comment. in Matt. c. ix.

  378 Τὸ αἰγύπτιον Εὐαγγέλιον; Epiphan. Haeres. lxii. 2; Evangelium
      secundum Ægyptios; Origen, Hom. i. in luc.; Evangelium juxta
      Aegyptios; Hieron. Prolog. in Comm. super Matth.

  379 Schneckenburg, Ueber das Evangelium der Aegypter; Berne, 1834.

  380 CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA. Stromat. iii. 12.

      Πυνθανομένης τῆς Σαλωμῆς πότε γνωσθήσεται τὰ περὶ ὦν ἥρετο, ἔφη ὁ
      κύριος; ὅταν τὸ τῆς αἰσχύνης ἔνδυμα πατήσητε, καὶ ὅταν γένηται τὰ
      δύο ἕν, καὶ τὸ ἄῤῥεν μετὰ τῆς θηλείας οὔτε ἄῤῥεν οὔτε θῆλυ.

      CLEMENT OF ROME. 2 Epist. c. 12.

      Ἐπερωτηθείς γάρ αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος ὑπὸ τινος πότε ἥξει αύτοῦ ἡ βασιλεία?
      ὅταν ἔσται τὰ δύο ἕν, καὶ τὸ ἔξω ὡς ἔσω, καὶ τὸ ἄρσεν μετὰ τῆς
      θηλείας οὔτε ἄρσεν οὔτε θῆλυ.

  381 Ὅ τῆς δοκήσεως ἐξάρχων.—Stromat. iii. 13.

  382 Adv. Haeres. i. 11.

  383 “Ad mentem vero tunica pellicea symbolice est pellis naturalis, id
      est corpus nostrum. Deus enim intellectum condens primum, vocavit
      illum Adam; deinde sensum, cui vitae (Eva) nomen dedit; tertio ex
      necessitate corpus quoque facit, tunicam pelliceam, illud per
      symbolum dicens. Oportebat enim ut intellectus et sensus velut
      tunica cutis induerent corpus.”—Philo: Quaest. et Solut. in Gen. i.
      53, trans. from the Armenian by J. B. Aucher; Venice, 1826.

  384 Clem. Alex. Stromat. iii. 6.

  385 _Ibid._ 9.

  386 Clem. Alex. Stromat. iii. 9.

  387 “Sensus, quae symbolice mulier est.”—Philo: Quaest. et Solut. i. 52.
      “Generatio ut sapientum fert sententia, corruptionis est
      principium.”—_Ibid._ 10.

  388 Nicolas: Études sur les Evangiles apocryphes, pp. 128‐130. M.
      Nicolas was the first to discover the intimate connection that
      existed between the Gospel of the Egyptians and Philonian

      The relation in which Philo stood to Christian theology has not, as
      yet, so far as I am aware, been thoroughly investigated. Dionysius
      the Areopagite, the true father of Christian theosophy, derives his
      ideas and terminology from Philo. Aquinas developed Dionysius, and
      on the Summa of the Angel of the Schools Catholic theology has long

  389 Tert. De praescr. haeretica, c. 51. “Cerdon solum Lucae Evangelium,
      nec tamen totum recipit.”

  390 For an account of the doctrines of Marcion, the authorities are, The
      Apologies of Justin Martyr; Tertullian’s treatise against Marcion,
      i.‐v.; Irenaeus against Heresies, i. 28; Epiphanius on Heresies,
      xlii. 1‐3; and a “Dialogus de recta in Deum fide,” printed with
      Origen’s Works, in the edition of De la Rue, Paris, 1733, though not
      earlier than the fourth century.

  391 1 Cor. iv. 4.

  392 Rom. v. 20.

  393 Rom. vi. 5.

  394 Rom. vii. 7.

  395 Rom. viii. 2.

  396 Rom. iii. 28.

  397 Gal. iii. 23‐25.

  398 Euseb. Hist. Eccles. iv. 15, vii. 12. De Martyr. Palaest. 10.

  399 Cf. 1 Col. ix. 1, xv. 8; 2 Cor. xii.

  400 Epiphan. Haeres. xlii. 11.

  401 Iren. adv. Haeres. iii. 11.

  402 “Contraria quaeque sententiae emit, competentia autem sententiae
      reservarit.”—Tertul. adv. Marcion, iv. 6.

  403 Epiphan. Haeres. xlvii. 9‐12.

  404 “Ego meum, (Evangelium) dico verum, Marcion suum. Ego Marcionis
      affirmo adulteratum, Marcion meum. Quis inter nos
      disceptabit?”—Tert. adv. Marcion, iv. 4.

  405 Not St. John’s Gospel; that is unique; a biography by an eye‐
      witness, not a composition of distinct notices.

  406 2 Cor. ii. 17, and iv. 2.

  407 Matt. v. 17, 18.

  408 Luke xvi. 16.

  409 Tert.: “Transeat coelum et terra citius quam unus apex verborum
      Domini;” but Tertullian is not quoting directly, so that the words
      may have been, and probably were, τῶν λόγων μου, not τῶν λόγων τοῦ

  410 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. vi. 12; Theod. Fabul. haeret. ii. 2.

  411 Epiphan. Ancor. 31.

  412 Hieron. adv. Pelag. ii.

  413 Hilar. De Trinit. x.

  414 “Christus Jesus in evangelio tuo meus est.”

  415 See note 4 on p. 240.

  416 As xix. 10 “Filius hominis venit, salvum facere quod perfit ...
      elisa est sententia haereticorum negantium _carnis_
      salutem;—pollicebatur (Jesus) _totius_ hominis salutem.”

  417 Sch. 4. ἐν αὐτοῖς for μετ᾽ αὐπῶν. Sch. 1, ὑμῖν for αὐτοῖς. Sch. 26,
      κλῆσιν for κρίσιν. Sch. 34, πάτερ for πάτερ ὑμῶν, &c.

  418 Marcion called his Gospel “The Gospel,” as the only one he knew and
      recognized, or “The Gospel of the Lord.”

  419 The division into chapters is, of course, arbitrary.

  420 Ἐν ἔτει πεντεκαιδεκάτῳ τῆς ἡγεμονίας Τιβερίου Καίσαρος,
      ἡγεμονεύοντος (St. Luke, ἐπιτροπεύοντος), Ποντίου Πιλάτου τῆς
      Ἰουδαίας, κατῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς Καπερναούμ, πόλιν τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ
      εὐθέως τοῖς σάββασιν εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν ἐδίδασκε (St. Luke,
      καὶ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν).

  421 Ναζαρηνέ omitted.

  422 St. Luke iv. 37 omitted here, and inserted after iv. 39.

  423 Luke iv. 15 inserted here.

  424 οὗ ἦν τεθραμμένος omitted.

  425 ἀνέστη ἀναγνῶσαι omitted, and Luke iv. 17‐20.

  426 καὶ ἤρξατο κηρύσσειν αὐτοῖς. St. Luke has, Ἤρξατο δὲ λέγειν πρὸς
      αὐτούς, ὅτι σήμερον πεπλήρωται ἡ γραφὴ αὕτη ἐν τοῖς ὠσὶν ὑμῶν.

  427 The rest of the verse (22) omitted.

  428 ἐν τῇ πατρίδι σου omitted.

  429 ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ after ἐπὶ Ἐλισσαίου τοῦ προφήτου.

  430 ἐπορεύετο εἰς Καπερναούμ. St. Luke has, ἐπορεύετο καὶ κατῆλθεν εἰς

  431 τίς μου ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί.

  432 Εὐχαριστῶ καὶ ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι, κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, ὅτι ἅτινα ἦν
      κρυπτὰ σοφοῖς καὶ συνετοῖς ἀπεκάλυψας, &c. St. Luke has,
      ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι, πάτερ, κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅτι
      ἀπέκρυψας ταῦτα ἀπὸ σοφῶν καὶ συνετῶν καὶ ἀπεκάλυψας, &c.

  433 οὐδεὶς ἔγνω τὸν πατέρα εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς, οὐδε τὸν υἱόν τις γινώσκει εἰ
      μὴ ὁ πατήρ, καὶ ῷ ἂν ὁ υἱός ἀποκαλύψη.

  434 In some of the most ancient codices of St. Luke, “which art in
      heaven” is not found. Πάτερ, ἐλθέτω πρὸς ἡμᾶς τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμά σου.

  435 κλῆσιν instead of κρίσιν.

  436 ὑμῶν omitted.

  437 τῇ ἑσπερινῇ φυλακῇ, for ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ φυλακῇ καὶ ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ.

  438 πάντας τοὺς δικαίους.

  439 ἐκβαλλομένους καὶ κρατουμένους ἔξω.

  440 ἐμόν for ὑμέτερον.

  441 ἢ τῶν λόγων μου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν.

  442 Some codices of St. Luke have, λίθος μυλικὸς; others, μύλος ὀνικός.

  443 Ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς λέγων.

  444 μὴ ὁ ἀλλογενὴς ουτος omitted; the previous question, Οὐχ εὑρέθησαν
      κ.τ.λ., made positive; and Luke iv. 27 inserted.

  445 Μή με λέγε ἀγαθόν, εἷς ἐστιν ἀγαθός, ὁ πατήρ.

  446 ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ inserted.

  447 Καὶ καταλύοντα τὸν νόμον καὶ τοὺς προφήτας after διαστρέφοντα τὸ
      ἔθνος, and καὶ ἀναστρέφοντα τὰς γυναῖκας καὶ τὰ τέκνα after φόρους
      μὴ δοῦναι.

  448 ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ omitted. Possibly the whole verse was omitted.

  449 οἷς ἐλάλησεν ὑμῖν, instead of ἐλάλησαν οἱ προφῆται. Volckmar thinks
      that in v. 19, “of Nazareth” was omitted, but neither St. Epiphanius
      nor Tertullian say so.

  450 Tert. adv. Marcion, iv. 2. “Marcion evangelio scilicet suo nullum
      adscribit nomen.”

  451 Ἕν ἐστι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, ὃ ὁ Χριστὸς ἔγραψεν.

  452 Rom. i. 16, xv. 19, 29; 1 Cor. ix. 12, 18; 2 Cor. iv. 4, ix. 13;
      Gal. i. 7.

  453 Rom. i. 9.

  454 Rom. i. 1, xv. 16; 1 Thess. ii. 2, 9; 1 Tim. i. 11.

  455 Volckmar: Das Evangelium Marcions; Leipzig, 1852, p. 54.

  456 Luke ii. 19, 51.

  457 Luke i. 66.

  458 John xix. 26.

  459 This was some time prior to the composition of St. John’s Gospel.
      The first two chapters of St. Luke’s Gospel were written apparently
      by the same hand which wrote the rest. Similarities, identity of
      expression, almost prove this. Compare i. 10 and ii. 13 with viii.
      37, ix. 37, xxiii. 1; also i. 10 with xiv. 17, xxii. 14; i. 20 with
      xxii. 27, and i. 20 with xii. 3, xix. 44; i. 22 with xxiv. 23; i. 44
      with vii. 1, ix. 44; also i. 45 with x. 23, xi. 27, 28; also i. 48
      with ix. 38; i. 66 with ix. 44; i. 80 with ix. 51; ii. 6 with iv. 2;
      ii. 9 with xxiv. 4; ii. 10 with v. 10; ii. 14 with xix. 18; ii. 20
      with xix. 37; ii. 25 with xxiii. 50; ii. 26. with ix. 20.

  460 The descent of the Holy Ghost in bodily shape explains why in iv. 1
      he is said to have been full of the Holy Ghost. I suspect the
      narrative of the unction occurred here. This was removed to cut off
      occasion to Docetic error, and the gap was clumsily filled with an
      useless genealogy.

  461 Ναζωραῖος for Ναζαρηνός omitted.

  462 Tertul. adv. Marcion, iv. c. 25, “ut doctor de ea vita videatur
      consuluisse quae in lege promittitur longaeva.”

  463 ὅταν ὄψησθε πάντας τοὺς δικαίους ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὑμᾶς δὲ
      ἐκβαλλομένους καὶ κρατουμένους ἔξω.—Epiph. Schol. 40; Tertul. c. 30.

  464 Luke xiii. 25‐30.

  465 Matt. vii. 13.

  466 Hist. of the Christian Religion, tr. Bohn, ii. p. 131.

  467 παρέκοψε τό: λέγετε, ἀχρεῖοι δοῦλοί ἐσμεν: ὃ ὠφείλομεν ποιῆσαι
      πεποιήκαμεν, Sch. 47.

  468 Baur calls it an “ungeschickte Zusatz.”

  469 The Gospel is printed in Thilo’s Codex Apocryph. Novi Testamenti,
      Lips. 1832, T.I. pp. 401‐486. For critical examinations of it see
      Ritschl: Das Evangelium Marcions und das Kanonische Ev. Lucas,
      Tübingen, 1846. Baur: Kritische Untersuchungen über die Kanonischen
      Evangelien, Tübingen, 1847, p. 393 sq. Gratz: Krit. Untersuchungen
      über Marcions Evangelium, Tübing. 1818. Volckmar: Das Evangelium
      Marcions, Leipz. 1852. Nicolas: Etudes sur les Evangiles Apocryphes,
      Paris, 1866, pp. 147‐160.

  470 Luke iv. 18.

  471 Luke iv. 28; compare vi. 13 with Matt. x. and Luke x. 1‐16, vii.
      36‐50, x. 38‐42, xvii. 7‐10, xvii. 11‐19, x. 30‐37, xv. 11‐32; Luke
      xiii. 25‐30, compared with Matt. vii. 13; Luke vii. 50, viii. 48,
      xviii. 42, &c.

  472 He died about A.D. 160.

  473 Clem. Alex. Strom. vi.

  474 Epiphan. Haeres. xxx. 3‐7.

  475 Strom. iv.

  476 Tertul. De Præscrip. 49.

  477 Tertul. De Praescrip. 38.

  478 Iren. Adv. Haeres. i. 20.

  479 _Ibid._ iii. 11.

  480 “Suum praeter haec nostra.”—Tertull. de Praescrip. 49.

  481 Epiphan. Haeres. xxxiv. 1; Iren. Haer. i. 9.

  482 Iren. i. 26.

  483 Wright: Syriac Apocrypha, Lond. 1865, pp. 8‐10.

  484 Tischendorf: Codex Apocr. N. T.; Evang. Thom. i. c. 6, 14.

  485 _Ibid._ ii. c. 7; Latin Evang. Thom. iii. c. 6, 12.

  486 Pseud. Matt. c. 31.

  487 Epiph. Hæres. xxvi. 3.

  488 The second passage and its meaning are: Εἶδον δένδρον φέρον δώδεκα
      καρποὺς τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ, καὶ εἶπέ μοι; τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ ξύλον τῆς ζωῆς, ὃ
      αὐτοῖ ἀλληγορούσιν εἰς τὴν κατὰ μῆνα γινομένην γυναικείαν ῥύσιν.
      Μισγόμενοι δὲ μετ᾽ ἀλλήλων τεκνοποιΐαν ἀπαγορεύουσιν. οὐ γὰρ εἰς τὸ
      τεκνοποιῆσαι παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἡ φθορὰ ἐσπούδασται, ἀλλ᾽ ἡδονῆς
      χάριν.—Epiph. Haeres. xxvi. 5.

  489 Epiphan. Haeres. xxvi. 2. He says, moreover: οὐκ αἰσχυνόμενοι αὐτοῖς
      τοῖς ῥήμασι τὰ τῆς πορνείας διηγεῖσθαι πάλιν ἐρωτικὰ τῆς κύπριδος

  490 Iren. Haeres. i. 35.

  491 Nicolas: Etudes sur les Evangiles Apocryphes, p. 168.

  492 Baur: Die Christliche Gnosis, p. 193.

  493 ἐν ἀποκρύφοις ἀναγινώσκοντες.—Haeres. xxvi. 5.

  494 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. ii. 1.

  495 Acts viii. 5, 13, 27‐39, xxi. 8.

  496 Acts xxi. 8.

  497 Epiphan. Haeres. xxvi. 13.

  498 Jalkut Rubeni, fol. 107. See my “Legends of Old Testament
      Characters,” II. pp. 108, 109.

  499 2 Cor. xii. 2.

  500 The cuneiform text in Lenormant, Textes cuneiformes inédits, No. 30.
      The translation in Lenormant: Les premières civilizations, 1. pp.

  501 Clem. Alex. Stromata, i. f. 304; iii. f. 438; vii. f. 722.

  502 Rom. vii. 17.

  503 Iren. Haeres. i. 25.

  504 Compare Rom. iii. 20. Epiphanes died at the age of seventeen.
      Epiphan. Haeres. xxxii. 3.

  505 Epiphan. xxxii. 4.

  506 Clem. Strom. iii. fol. 526.

  507 It is instructive to mark how the enunciation of the same principles
      led to the same results after the lapse of twelve centuries. The
      proclamation of free grace, emancipation from the Law, justification
      by faith only, in the sixteenth century quickened into being
      heresies which had lain dead through long ages. Bishop Barlow, the
      Anglican Reformer, and one of the compilers of our Prayer‐book, thus
      describes the results of the enunciation of these doctrines in
      Germany and Switzerland, results of which he was an eye‐witness:
      “There be some which hold opinion that all devils and damned souls
      shall be saved at the day of doom. Some of them persuade themselves
      that _the serpent which deceived Eve was Christ_. Some of them grant
      to every man and woman two souls. Some affirm lechery to be no sin,
      and that one may use another man’s wife without offence. Some take
      upon them to be soothsayers and prophets of wonderful things to
      come, and have prophesied the day of judgment to be at hand, some
      within three months, some within one month, some within six days.
      Some of them, both men and women, at their congregations for a
      mystery show themselves naked, affirming that they be in the state
      of innocence. Also, some hold that no man ought to be punished or
      suffer execution for any crime or trespass, be it ever so horrible”
      (A Dyalogue describing the orygynall ground of these Lutheran
      faccyons, 1531). We are in presence once more of Marcosians,
      Ophites, Carpocratians. Had these sects lingered on through twelve
      centuries? Possibly only; but it is clear that the dissemination of
      the same doctrines caused the production of these obscene sects by
      inevitable logical necessity, whether an historical filiation be
      established or not.

  508 Matt. xvi. 21, 22; Mark vii. 31.

  509 Ideas reproduce themselves singularly. There is an essay by De
      Quincy advocating the same view of the character and purpose of

  510 Epiphan. Haeres. xxxviii. 1.

  511 Iren. Adv. Haeres. i. 31.

  512 Etudes, p. 176.

  513 Epiphan. Haeres. xxxviii. 2.

  514 2 Cor. xii. 4.

  515 Reprinted in the Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record,
      p. 372.

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