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Strom. lib. 3. p. 445.
. . . . Τη Σαλώμη ο Κύριος πυνθανο- When Salome asked our Lord, μένη, μέχρι πότε θάνατος ισχύσει» How long death should prevail ? ουχ, ως κακού του βίου όντος, και [not as though life were an evil,
[, της κτίσεως πονηράς: Μέχρις άν,
or the creation an evil] he anείπεν, υμείς αι γυναίκες τίκτετε. swered, As long as ye women do
bring forth children. It is not expressly said by Clemens here, that this passage was in the Gospel of the Egyptians; but it evidently appears to be taken thence by the next passage a few pages after, viz.
Page 452. Οι δε αντιτασσόμενοι, τη κτίσει But they who oppose [the deτου Θεού δια της ευφήμου εγκρα- sign] of God's creation, by their τείας, κακείνα λέγουσι τα προς specious pretences to celibacy, Σαλώμην ειρημένα, ών προτέρων cite those things which our Saεμνήσθημεν. Φέρεται δε, οίμαι, εν viour spake to Salome, which I τώ κατ’ Αίγυπτίους Ευαγγελία: just before mentioned. They are, φασί γαρ ότι αυτός είπεν Σωτήρ,
I think, in the Gospel according Ηλθον καταλύσαι τα έργα της
to the Egyptians ; for they say, θηλείας: θηλείας μεν, της επιθυ
that our Saviour himself said, I μίας, έργα δε, γένεσιν και φθοράν.
am come to destroy the works of the woman, that is, the works of female concupiscence, generation
and corruption. From what follows in Clemens it
that viour's saying this, Salome asked him the foregoing question, viz. How long it should be that death should prevail against men? and he answered, While ye women bring forth children. To which in the next page we meet with her reply, and our Saviour's answer again,
Page 453. Φαμένης γαρ αυτής, Καλώς oύν Hereupon she said, Then I have εποίησα μη τεκούσα, ως ου δέοντος done well in bearing no children, της γενέσεως παραλαμβανομένης: seeing there is no necessity of geαμείβεται λέγων ο Κύριος, Πά
neration. To which our Lord reσαν φάγε βοτάνην, την δε πικρίαν plied, Feed upon every herb, out
that which is bitter eat not. έχoυσαν μη φάγης.
Page 465. Δια τούτο τοι ο Κασσιανός φησί, Wherefore Cassianus saith, that
upon our Sa
πυνθανομένης της Σαλώμης, πότε when Salome asked (Christ) γνωσθήσεται τα περί ών ήρετο, έφη When the things should be known, ο Κύριος, "Όταν το της αισχύνης concerning which she inquired ένδυμα πατήσητε, και όταν γένηται our Lord answered, When you τα δύο εν, και το άρρεν μετα της shall despise, or have no need for, ,
, θηλείας, ούτε άρρεν, ούτε θηλυ
a covering of your nakedness, and πρώτον μεν ούν, εν τούς παραδε- when two shall become one, and
, δομένοις ημίν τέταρσιν Ευαγγελίοις the male with the female, neither oủx exojev sò értòv, ása” ły tớ First, I observe, this is not in ei
male nor female. (Clemens adds) κατ' Αίγυπτίους.
ther of the four Gospels delivered to us, but in the Gospel according
to the Egyptians. This last passage, with some little variation, is in the end of the second Epistle of Clemens to the Corinthians, and will be produced in the appendix at the end of this part.
II. The Gospel according to the Egyptians is mentioned by Origen h, “ The church receives only four Gospels; the heretics “ have very many, such as that according to the Egyptians," &c.
” See the passage produced at large above, No. V. chap. 7. It is mentioned in the same manner by Ambrose : see the same place. III. It is also mentioned by Jerome i in the passage above
. produced at large, N°. IV. chap. 7. in init. “Many have “ wrote Gospels, which gave occasion to heresies, without the “ Spirit and grace of God, such as that according to the Egyp“tians," &c.
IV. Epiphanius in his account of the heresy of the Sabellians saith, they established their erroneous principles by the Gospel of the Egyptians, and other apocryphal books. His
Hæres. LXII. §. 2. Κέχρονται δε ταϊς πάσαις γραφαϊς They make use of all the scripπαλαιάς τε και καινής Διαθήκης, tures, both of the Old and New λέξεσι δέ τισιν αίς αυτοί εκλέγον- Testament, but principally of ται κατά την ιδίαν αυτών παρα- some certain
which πεποιημένης φρενοβλάβειάν τε και they pick out according to their άνοιαν-Την δε πάσαν αυτών πλα
own corrupt and preposterous
h Homil. in Luc. i. 1.
i Præf. in Comm, in Matth.
νην, και την της πλάνης αυτών sentiments. But the whole of δύναμιν έχουσιν εξ αποκρύφων τι- their errors, and the main strength νων, μάλιστα από του καλουμένου of their heterodoxy, they have Αίγυπτίου Ευαγγελίου, ώ τινες το from some apocryphal books, but όνομα επέθεντο τούτο εν αυτώ γαρ principally from that which is Todd TOGŪTA WS év napaßúota called, The Gospel of the Egypμυστηριωδώς, εκπροσώπου του Σω
tians; which is a name some have τηρος αναφέρεται, ως αυτού δη- given it: for in that many things λούντος τους μαθηταίς, τον αυτόν
of this sort are proposed in a hid
den mysterious manner, as by our είναι Πατέρα, τον αυτόν είναι υιον, τον αυτόν είναι άγιον πνεύμα.
Saviour, as though he had said to his disciples, that the Father was the same Person, the Son the same Person, and the Holy Ghost
the same Person. These are the accounts we have from antiquity of this famous Gospel.
My second proposal was, in like manner to give some account of the sentiments of more modern writers concerning it.
Sixtus Senensis k. The Gospel of the Egyptians, or according to the Egyptians, was made use of by the heretics, called Valentinians. Clemens Alexandrinus rejects [answers] certain testimonies cited out of it by Julius Cassianus, and other heretics, to confirm their errors. Epiphanius says, the Sabellians endeavoured to prove out of it, that the Father, Son, and Spirit were one Person.
Erasmus When St. Luke says, chap. i. ver. 1. that many have taken in hand to write, &c. he means those who attempted, but were not successful in writing; for at that time not only the Gospels of St. Matthew and Mark were extant, but many other Gospels were published, viz. The Gospel of the Nazarenes, Thomas, Matthias, the Gospel according to the Egyptians, that of the Twelve Apostles, Nicodemus, and others, which were afterwards rejected by the church as apocryphal.
Grotius m. It is evident, that, when St. Luke wrote his Gospel, there were many other books extant concerning Christ, the importance of the subject influencing many to that undertaking: but as these others collected the common rumours, it is not strange they should mix true and false things together, among whom I reckon the most ancient writer of the Gospel according to the Egyptians: for as to the other Gospels which were spread abroad, they are the impious forgeries of much later days.
k Biblioth. Sanct. lib. 2. p. 38. ' Annot. in Luc. i. 1.
m Annot. in eund, loc.
Mr. Du Pinn The ancients make mention of two Gospels, which were not of the same authority with the four canonical Gospels, but which cannot be rejected, as records invented by the heretics to authorize their errors, viz. the Gospel of the Nazarenes, and the Gospel according to the Egyptians.
Father Simon o. The fathers have sometimes made use of apocryphal books, and have quoted even false Gospels; as for example, the Gospel that is called, according to the Egyptians ; which yet is not on this score alone to be reckoned authentic, viz. because it is thought to be most ancient, and cited in Clemens Alexandrinus; nor ought we to reject it under this pretence alone, that the Gnostics and Sabellians have maintained their errors by this book.
Dr. Grabe p. What this learned writer saith concerning this Gospel is too long to be here transcribed; it may be sufficient to express the 'substance of his opinion in the following particulars. He supposes,
1. It had its title from its first authors, whom the mystical style of the book, so much in request among the Egyptians, evidences to have been some Christians in Egypt.
2. That this, as well as the Gospel of the Hebrews, was published before Luke's Gospel, and was referred to by him in his preface, as being wrote before either of the four canonical Gospels.
3. That Clemens Alexandrinus did not reject it, but endeavoured rather to explain it, and make the passages cited out of
n Hist. of the Canon of the New Test. vol. 2. c. 6. §. 3.
• Critic. Hist. of the New Test.
part 1. c. 3. p. 28.
p Spicileg. Patr. tom. 1. p. 31. to p. 34.
it to appear capable of a good meaning, which he would never have done, if he esteemed it the composure of an heretic. .
Dr. Mills. About this time, viz. the year of Christ 58, or a little sooner,
, there were composed by the believing Christians certain historical accounts of Christ and his actions, as appears from St. Luke's preface to his Gospel. These were composed before either of our present canonical Gospels, not with any ill design, but the very same as our Gospels now received. Among these the most celebrated were, the Gospel of the Hebrews, and the Gospel according to the Egyptians; see his Prolegom. in Nov. Test. §. 35. to 38. It is probable the authors of it were Essenes, who received the Christian faith from the preaching of Mark at Alexandria. Nor does it seem to have been made use of by them publicly, after the publishing of our four canonical Gospels. See g. 50.
Mr. Le Clerc 9. Several learned men suppose the false Gospels, viz. that according to the Hebrews, or that according to the Egyptians, gave occasion to Mark and Luke to write their Gospels; but inasmuch as we find no intimations of this in our Gospels, it seems much better to believe, that those holy and inspired men were sufficiently apprised of the danger of leaving such important matters only to the memories of men, before
spurious Gospels were published.
Mr. Whiston?. The Therapeutæ mentioned by Philo seem to have been those first Christians Asceticks, which were converted from the Jews, chiefly in Egypt, soon after our Saviour's passion, before the coming of Mark thither, and to have both imperfectly understood and practised the Christian religion. Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome, plainly take them for Christians, and their sacred ancient mystical books are by Eusebius supposed to be the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testaments. The modern critics are entirely puzzled about these Therapeutæ, and yet are not willing commonly to believe them Christians. And indeed Eusebius's opinion, that their ancient allegorical
9 Hist. Eccl. Secul. I. Ann. LXV. $. 11. p. 430.
Essay on the Constitut. c. 1. p. 37. * Hist. Eccl. lib. 2. c. 17. p. 53. &c.