« AnteriorContinua »
taken; for Leucius, as has been proved, did not live till the latter end of the third century', and consequently Origen could not reject any book on account of his interpolations. Besides, the words of Innocent are, that Leucius wrote a book under the name of Matthias, and not that he interpolated one already written: from all which it is evident, he speaks of some book distinct from the Gospel of Matthias, which Origen rejected, and so from the traditions also, which, according to the doctor, was the same book with the Gospel. If I were to conjecture concerning the books under the name of Matthias here mentioned, I should say, it seems probable, they were some Acts wrote by Leucius, under that apostle's name, for these two reasons, viz.
1. Because Leucius wrote the Acts of many other apostles, as may be above seen, Chap. XXI. towards the beginning.
2. Because in some copies of the Decrees of pope Gelasius we find mention of the apocryphal Acts under the name of Matthias.
Whatever the book was, it was certainly spurious and apocryphal (as Innocent determines) by Prop. IV. V. and VI.
No. XXXIX. The Acts of the Apostles made use of by the
Manichees. SEE concerning this in the Acts of Leucius Charinus above, Chap. XXI. where I have made it evident, these were the same with those spurious Acts composed by that notorious impostor.
CHAP. XXIV. The Gospel of Marcion no other than a copy of St. Luke's
Gospel altered and interpolated by that heretic. The Gospel of Merinthus the same with the Gospel of Cerinthus.
No. XL. The Gospel of Marcion. It would not be agreeable to that impartiality, which I would willingly evidence in the whole of this work, if I should omit the discussing any one book, which has been pretended to be sacred, and received as such in the first centuries after Christ.
Such the Gospel of Marcion was, though really no other than one of our present Gospels, wretchedly corrupted and altered by that silly heretic. We meet with very frequent mention of this work; I shall only produce the places where it is called the Gospel of Marcion, and of these I find only two; one of Tertullian, the other of Epiphanius.
Tertullian mentions it thus s. Contra Marcion, Evangelio scili- On the contrary Marcion prefixes cet suo, nullum adscribit aucto- no author's name to his Gospel, rem, quasi non licuerit illi titulum as if he might not as justly have quoque affingere, cui nefas non forged a title, as have corrupted fuit ipsum corpus evertere. the whole body of the book.
A little further t:
say my (Gospel] is true; Marsuum : Ego Marcionis affirmo a- cion says, that his is so : I affirm, dulteratum, Marcion meum.
Marcion's is corrupted; he says
that mine is. Epiphanius 1 calls it more than once Ευαγγέλιον το παρα Μαρxlwos, The Gospel of Marcion.
Now for the better understanding of this, we must observe, that Marcion is no where said to have composed any new Gospel, but only to have altered and changed some other. That which he changed and corrupted was the Gospel of St. Luke. Of this we have very large accounts from the ancients, especially Irenæus, Tertullian, and Epiphanius. He took away entirely the two first chapters of Luke, and many other parts, as also inserted a great many things of his own, all which was designed for the propagating his silly principles. But this matter belonging rather to the history of the text than the canon, , I shall here wave it; only observe, that Epiphanius hath largely collected the alterations and interpolations which Marcion made ; concerning whom, and this work of his, he may be sufficiently informed, who will consult the several authors referred to in the margin. I shall only observe further, that any thing that can be said in favour of Marcion's copies of St. Luke above our present copies, as far as they affect the canos Advers. Marcion. I. 4. C. 2.
Epiphan. Hæres. 42. Father Simon, t Lib. cit. c. 4.
Crit. Hist. of the New Test. part 1. u Hæres. 42. in Proæm.
c. 12. Du Pin, History of the Canon, * Iren. adv. Hæres. 1. 3. c. II, 12. vol. 2. ch. 2. §. 5. Dr. Mill's ProleTertull. adv. Marcion. lib. 4. C. 4. &c. gom. in Nor. Test. $. 306, 328.
nical authority of that Gospel, shall be carefully discussed in its proper place, in the last part of this work.
No. XLI. The Gospel of Merinthus. THIS is mentioned only by Epiphanius, as one of those spurious Gospels, which he supposes were written in the apostles' time, and referred to by St. Luke, chap. i. 1. “as not
being a true and genuine account y." His words are, 'Επειδήπερ πολλοί επεχείρησαν· St. Luke, in the beginning of his lva tivas pè érixeigntas delen. Gospel by these words, Forasφημι δε τους περί Κήρινθον, και much as many have taken in hand, Mήρινθον, και τους άλλους.
&c. does intimate, there had been many undertakers ; among which I say were Cerinthus, and Me
rinthus, and others. I think there is very little reason to question, but this Merinthus was the very same person with Cerinthus, of whom and whose Gospel I have above spoken, Chap. XII. No. X. for though Epiphanius seems in this place, and in a few lines before it, to make them two different persons, yet in the heresy of the Cerinthians 2 he professes himself uncertain, “ whether
they were not really the same person.” “ The Cerinthians," says he, “ are called also Merinthians, as we see by the ac" counts we now have; but whether this Cerinthus was also “ called Merinthus, we cannot certainly determine; or whether “ there was some other person called Merinthus, a fellow“ labourer of his, God knows." Mr. Fabritius supposes they were the same, and that the name Cerinthus was changed into Merinthus by way of banter or reproach, the word signifying
And of such changes he gives several instances, as Eudoxius called Adoxius, Photius and Photinus called Scotinus, Vigilantius called Dormitantius, Faustus Socinus called Infaustus, &c. But I think it much more probable that this diversity of name arose rather from the fault of some scribe, who read in his copy Mήρινθος for Κήρινθος, i. e. an M for a C, which letters in the old way of writing Greek were not so much unlike, but that a scribe may be supposed to mistake them.
y Hæres. 51. §. 7.
z Hæres. 28. §. 8.
I need not therefore say any thing more concerning this book, than what is said above, Chap. XII.
CHAP. XXV. The Gospel of the Nazarenes or Hebrews; the most famous of
all the ancient Gospels : referred to by St. Paul, and many of the primitive writers of Christianity. All the places where it is mentioned, and all the remaining fragments of it produced at large. Several histories concerning Christ, and sayings of Christ, among these fragments.
N. No. XLII. The Gospel according to the Nazarenes or Hebrews. OF all the various books of the catalogue in the first part, there is none which has been so much treated of, either by the ancients or moderns, as this has. Many have wrote concerning it; and many not only of the Romish, but Protestant writers, have exalted it to a degree of authority very near equal, I had almost said superior to some, or even any, of the canonical books of the New Testament, now received. The discussing this, therefore, is not only of the greatest necessity, but requires the greatest diligence and exactness. I shall attempt it with all the brevity and clearness I can, in the following method.
1. I shall produce all that is said of it by, and all that res mains of it in, any writer of the four first centuries.
II. I will give as succinct account as I can of the opinions of later writers concerning it.
III. Prove that it was not received by any primitive writers of the church, as canonical.
IV. That it was really a spurious impious forgery, and so apocryphal.
V. Give some account of its nature, design, and authors.
the Twelve Apostles, the Gospel of Bartholomew, and
N. B. Secondly, the Gospel of the Ebionites, and that ac
cording to the Hebrews, appear so evidently to have been in the greatest part the same with this Nazarene Gospel, that as I have omitted saying any thing of them in their proper places, in the alphabet, so I shall here produce what is said concerning them, promiscuously with that
which is said of the Gospel of the Nazarenes. This premised, according to my method, I shall
I. Endeavour to produce all that is said of it by, and all that remains of it in, any writer of the four first centuries.
1. St. Paul, Gal. i. 6. Θαυμάζω ότι ούτω ταχέως μετα- I marvel that ye are so soon reτίθεσθε από του καλέσαντος υμάς moved from him, that called you έν χάριτι Χριστού, εις έτερον εύ- into the grace of Christ, unto αγγέλιον. δ ουκ έστιν άλλο· ει μή another gospel: which is not anτινές εισιν οι ταράσσοντες υμάς, other; but there be some that και θέλοντες μεταστρέψαι το ευ
trouble you, and would pervert αγγέλιον του Χριστού. Αλλά και
the gospel of Christ. But though εάν ημείς, ή άγγελος εξ ουρανού,
we, or an angel from heaven,
preach any other gospel unto you, ευαγγελίζηται υμϊν παρ' 8 ευηγγε
than that we preached unto you, λισάμεθα υμίν, ανάθεμα έστω.
let him be accursed. I have abovea attempted to prove, that St. Paul in these words had reference to the Gospel of the Nazarenes, and by a further acquaintance with these Nazarenes and their Gospel, am abundantly confirmed in that conjecture; as, I persuade myself, every impartial reader will also be, that shall compare it with the following accounts. 2. By Hegesippus b, or rather Eusebius, speaking concerning
Hegesippus. "Έκ τε του καθ' “Εβραίους Ευαγ- He has also wrote [laid down] γελίου, και του Συριακού, και some things concerning the Gosιδίως εκ της Εβραϊδος διαλέκτου, pel according to the Hebrews, τινα τίθησιν, εμφαίνων εξ Εβραί- and Syrians, as also concerning ων εαυτόν πεπιστευκέναι. .
the Hebrew language, by which he evidences that he was converted from Judaism to Christianity.
a Part 1. chap. 2.
Apud Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 4. c. 22.