Book 3:2

Chapter XX.–The Relatives of our Saviour.

1. ”Of the family of the Lord there were still living the grandchildren
of Jude, who is said to have been the Lord’s brother according to the
flesh. [720]

2. Information was given that they belonged to the family of David, and
they were brought to the Emperor Domitian by the Evocatus. [721] For
Domitian feared the coming of Christ as Herod also had feared it. And
he asked them if they were descendants of David, and they confessed
that they were. Then he asked them how much property they had, or how
much money they owned. And both of them answered that they had only
nine thousand denarii, [722] half of which belonged to each of them;

4. and this property did not consist of silver, but of a piece of land
which contained only thirty-nine acres, and from which they raised
their taxes [723] and supported themselves by their own labor.” [724]

5. Then they showed their hands, exhibiting the hardness of their
bodies and the callousness produced upon their hands by continuous toil
as evidence of their own labor.

6. And when they were asked concerning Christ and his kingdom, of what
sort it was and where and when it was to appear, they answered that it
was not a temporal nor an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly and angelic
one, which would appear at the end of the world, when he should come in
glory to judge the quick and the dead, and to give unto every one
according to his works.

7. Upon hearing this, Domitian did not pass judgment against them, but,
despising them as of no account, he let them go, and by a decree put a
stop to the persecution of the Church.

8. But when they were released they ruled the churches because they
were witnesses [725] and were also relatives of the Lord. [726] And
peace being established, they lived until the time of Trajan. These
things are related by Hegesippus.

9. Tertullian also has mentioned Domitian in the following words: [727]
”Domitian also, who possessed a share of Nero’s cruelty, attempted once
to do the same thing that the latter did. But because he had, I
suppose, some intelligence, [728] he very soon ceased, and even
recalled those whom he had banished.”

10. But after Domitian had reigned fifteen years, [729] and Nerva had
succeeded to the empire, the Roman Senate, according to the writers
that record the history of those days, [730] voted that Domitian’s
honors should be cancelled, and that those who had been unjustly
banished should return to their homes and have their property restored
to them.

11. It was at this time that the apostle John returned from his
banishment in the island and took up his abode at Ephesus, according to
an ancient Christian tradition. [731]

[720] This Jude was the brother of James, ”the brother of the Lord,”
who is mentioned in Jude 1, and is to be distinguished from Jude
(Thaddeus-Lebbaeus), one of the Twelve, whose name appears in the
catalogues of Luke (Luke vi. 14 and Acts i. 13) as the son of James
(not his brother, as the A.V. translates: the Greek words are ‘Ioudas
‘Iakobou). For a discussion of the relationship of these men to Christ,
see above, Bk. I. chap. 12, note 14. Of the son of Jude and father of
the young men mentioned in this chapter we know nothing.

[721] According to Andrew’s Lexicon, ”An Evocatus was a soldier who,
having served out his time, was called upon to do military duty as a
volunteer.” This suspiciousness is perfectly in keeping with the
character of Domitian. The same thing is told also of Vespasian, in
chap. 12; but in his case the political situation was far more serious,
and revolutions under the lead of one of the royal family might most
naturally be expected just after the terrible destruction. The same act
is also mentioned in connection with Trajan, in chap. 32, and there is
no reason to doubt its truthfulness, for the Jews were well known as a
most rebellious and troublesome people.

[722] A denarius was a Roman silver coin, in value about sixteen, or,
according to others, about nineteen, cents.

[723] ”Taxes or tributes were paid commonly in the products of the
land” (Val.).

[724] Most editors (including Valesius, Heinichen, Cruse, &c.) regard
the quotation from Hegesippus as extending through S:8; but it really
ends here, and from this point on Eusebius reproduces the sense in his
own words (and so Bright gives it in his edition). This is perfectly
clear, for in the first place, the infinitive epideiknunai occurs in
the next sentence, a form possible only in indirect discourse: and
secondly, as Lightfoot has pointed out, the statement of S:8 is
repeated in chap. 32, S:6, and there in the exact language of
Hegesippus, which differs enough from the language of S:8 to show that
the latter is a free reproduction.

[725] mEURrturas. On the use of this word, see chap. 32, note 15.

[726] Compare Renan’s Les Evangiles, p. 466.

[727] Tertullian, Apol. chap. 5.

[728] ti suneseos. Lat. sed qua et homo.

[729] Domitian reigned from Dec. 13, 81 a.d., to Sept. 18, 96.

[730] See Dion Cassius, LXVIII. 1 sq., and Suetonius’ Domitian, chap.

[731] Literally, ”the word of the ancients among us” (ho ton par’ hemin
archaion logos). On the tradition itself, see chap. 1, note 6.

Chapter XXI.–Cerdon becomes the Third Ruler of the Church of

1. After Nerva had reigned a little more than a year [732] he was
succeeded by Trajan. It was during the first year of his reign that
Abilius, [733] who had ruled the church of Alexandria for thirteen
years, was succeeded by Cerdon. [734]

2. He was the third that presided over that church after Annianus,
[735] who was the first. At that time Clement still ruled the church of
Rome, being also the third that held the episcopate there after Paul
and Peter.

3. Linus was the first, and after him came Anencletus. [736]

[732] From Sept. 18, 96, to Jan. 27, 98 a.d.

[733] On Abilius, see chap. 14, note 2, above.

[734] According to the legendary Acts of St. Mark, Cerdo was one of the
presbyters ordained by Mark. According to Eusebius (H. E. IV. I and
Chron.) he held office until the twelfth year of Trajan.

[735] On Annianus, see Bk. II. chap. 24, note 2.

[736] On the order of succession of the early Roman bishops, see above,
chap. 2, note 1. Paul and Peter are here placed together by Eusebius,
as co-bishops of Rome. Compare the association of the two apostles by
Caius, and by Dionysius of Corinth (quoted by Eusebius, in Bk. II.
chap. 25).

Chapter XXII.–Ignatius, the Second Bishop of Antioch.

At this time Ignatius [737] was known as the second bishop of Antioch,
Evodius having been the first. [738] Symeon [739] likewise was at that
time the second ruler of the church of Jerusalem, the brother of our
Saviour having been the first.

[737] On Ignatius’ life, writings, and martyrdom, see below, chap. 36.

[738] We cannot doubt that the earliest tradition made Evodius first
bishop of Antioch, for otherwise we could not explain the insertion of
his name before the great name of Ignatius. The tendency would be, of
course, to connect Ignatius directly with the apostles, and to make him
the first bishop. This tendency is seen in Athanasius and Chrysostom,
who do not mention Evodius at all; also in the Apost. Const. VII. 46,
where, however, it is said that Evodius was ordained by Peter, and
Ignatius by Paul (as in the parallel case of Clement of Rome). The fact
that the name of Evodius appears here shows that the tradition that he
was the first bishop seemed to the author too old and too strong to be
set aside. Origen (in Luc. Hom. VI.) is an indirect witness to the
episcopacy of Evodius, since he makes Ignatius the second, and not the
first, bishop of Antioch. As to the respective dates of the early
bishops of Antioch, we know nothing certain. On their chronology, see
Harnack, Die Zeit des Ignatius, and cf. Salmon’s article Evodius, in
Smith and Wace’s Dict. of Christ. Biog.

[739] On Symeon, see above, chap. 11, note 4.

Chapter XXIII.–Narrative Concerning John the Apostle.

1. At that time the apostle and evangelist John, the one whom Jesus
loved, was still living in Asia, and governing the churches of that
region, having returned after the death of Domitian from his exile on
the island. [740]

2. And that he was still alive at that time [741] may be established by
the testimony of two witnesses. They should be trustworthy who have
maintained the orthodoxy of the Church; and such indeed were Irenaeus
and Clement of Alexandria. [742]

3. The former in the second book of his work Against Heresies, writes
as follows: [743] ”And all the elders that associated with John the
disciple of the Lord in Asia bear witness that John delivered it to
them. For he remained among them until the time of Trajan.” [744]

4. And in the third book of the same work he attests the same thing in
the following words: [745] ”But the church in Ephesus also, which was
founded by Paul, and where John remained until the time of Trajan, is a
faithful witness of the apostolic tradition.”

5. Clement likewise in his book entitled What Rich Man can be saved?
[746] indicates the time, [747] and subjoins a narrative which is most
attractive to those that enjoy hearing what is beautiful and
profitable. Take and read the account which runs as follows: [748]

6. ”Listen to a tale, which is not a mere tale, but a narrative [749]
concerning John the apostle, which has been handed down and treasured
up in memory. For when, after the tyrant’s death, [750] he returned
from the isle of Patmos to Ephesus, he went away upon their invitation
to the neighboring territories of the Gentiles, to appoint bishops in
some places, in other places to set in order whole churches, elsewhere
to choose to the ministry some one [751] of those that were pointed out
by the Spirit.

7. When he had come to one of the cities not far away (the name of
which is given by some [752] ), and had consoled the brethren in other
matters, he finally turned to the bishop that had been appointed, and
seeing a youth of powerful physique, of pleasing appearance, and of
ardent temperament, he said, `This one I commit to thee in all
earnestness in the presence of the Church and with Christ as witness.’
And when the bishop had accepted the charge and had promised all, he
repeated the same injunction with an appeal to the same witnesses, and
then departed for Ephesus.

8. But the presbyter [753] taking home the youth committed to him,
reared, kept, cherished, and finally baptized [754] him. After this he
relaxed his stricter care and watchfulness, with the idea that in
putting upon him the seal of the Lord [755] he had given him a perfect

9. But some youths of his own age, idle and dissolute, and accustomed
to evil practices, corrupted him when he was thus prematurely freed
from restraint. At first they enticed him by costly entertainments;
then, when they went forth at night for robbery, they took him with
them, and finally they demanded that he should unite with them in some
greater crime.

10. He gradually became accustomed to such practices, and on account of
the positiveness of his character, [756] leaving the right path, and
taking the bit in his teeth like a hard-mouthed and powerful horse, he
rushed the more violently down into the depths.

11. And finally despairing of salvation in God, he no longer meditated
what was insignificant, but having committed some great crime, since he
was now lost once for all, he expected to suffer a like fate with the
rest. Taking them, therefore, and forming a band of robbers, he became
a bold bandit-chief, the most violent, most bloody, most cruel of them

12. Time passed, and some necessity having arisen, they sent for John.
But he, when he had set in order the other matters on account of which
he had come, said, `Come, O bishop, restore us the deposit which both I
and Christ committed to thee, the church, over which thou presidest,
being witness.’

13. But the bishop was at first confounded, thinking that he was
falsely charged in regard to money which he had not received, and he
could neither believe the accusation respecting what he had not, nor
could he disbelieve John. But when he said, `I demand the young man and
the soul of the brother,’ the old man, groaning deeply and at the same
time bursting into tears, said, `He is dead.’ `How and what kind of
death?’ `He is dead to God,’ he said; `for he turned wicked and
abandoned, and at last a robber. And now, instead of the church, he
haunts the mountain with a band like himself.’

14. But the Apostle rent his clothes, and beating his head with great
lamentation, he said, `A fine guard I left for a brother’s soul! But
let a horse be brought me, and let some one show me the way.’ He rode
away from the church just as he was, and coming to the place, he was
taken prisoner by the robbers’ outpost.

15. He, however, neither fled nor made entreaty, but cried out, `For
this did I come; lead me to your captain.’

16. The latter, meanwhile, was waiting, armed as he was. But when he
recognized John approaching, he turned in shame to flee.

17. But John, forgetting his age, pursued him with all his might,
crying out, `Why, my son, dost thou flee from me, thine own father,
unarmed, aged? Pity me, my son; fear not; thou hast still hope of life.
I will give account to Christ for thee. If need be, I will willingly
endure thy death as the Lord suffered death for us. For thee will I
give up my life. Stand, believe; Christ hath sent me.’

18. And he, when he heard, first stopped and looked down; then he threw
away his arms, and then trembled and wept bitterly. And when the old
man approached, he embraced him, making confession with lamentations as
he was able, baptizing himself a second time with tears, and concealing
only his right hand.

19. But John, pledging himself, and assuring him on oath that he would
find forgiveness with the Saviour, besought him, fell upon his knees,
kissed his right hand itself as if now purified by repentance, and led
him back to the church. And making intercession for him with copious
prayers, and struggling together with him in continual fastings, and
subduing his mind by various utterances, he did not depart, as they
say, until he had restored him to the church, furnishing a great
example of true repentance and a great proof of regeneration, a trophy
of a visible resurrection.”

[740] See chap. 1, note 6, and chap. 18, note 1.

[741] That is, at the beginning of the reign of Trajan.

[742] The test of a man’s trustworthiness in Eusebius’ mind–and not in
his alone–was his orthodoxy. Irenaeus has always been looked upon as
orthodox, and so was Clement, in the early Church, which reckoned him
among the saints. His name, however, was omitted in the Martyrology
issued by Clement VIII., on the ground that his orthodoxy was open to

[743] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. II. 22. 5.

[744] It is in this immediate connection that Irenaeus makes the
extraordinary assertion, founding it upon the testimony of those who
were with John in Asia, that Christ lived to the age of forty or fifty
years. A statement occurring in connection with such a palpably false
report might well fall under suspicion; but the fact of John’s
continuance at Ephesus until the time of Trajan is supported by other
passages, and there is no reason to doubt it (cf. chap. 1, note 6).
Irenaeus himself repeats the statement as a well-known fact, in III. 3,
4 (quoted just below). It may also be said that the opinion as to
Christ’s age is founded upon subjective grounds (cf. the preceding
paragraph of Irenaeus) and upon a mistaken interpretation of John viii.
56, 57, rather than upon external testimony, and that the testimony
(which itself may have been only the result of a subjective opinion) is
dragged in only for the sake of confirming a view already adopted. Such
a fact as John’s own presence in Ephesus at a certain period could
hardly be subject to such uncertainty and to the influence of dogmatic
prepossessions. It is significant of Eusebius’ method that he omits
entirely Irenaeus’ statement as to the length of Christ’s ministry,
with which he did not agree (as shown by his account in Bk. I. chap.
10), while extracting from his statement the single fact which he
wishes here to establish. The falsity of the context he must have
recognized, and yet, in his respect for Irenaeus, the great maintainer
of sound doctrine, he nowhere refers to it. The information which John
is said, in this passage, to have conveyed to the ”presbyters of Asia”
is that Christ lived to old age. The whole passage affords an instance
of how much of error may be contained in what, to all appearances,
should be a very trustworthy tradition. Internal evidence must come to
the support of external, and with all its alleged uncertainty and
subjectivity, must play a great part in the determination of the truth
of history.

[745] Adv. Haer. III. 3, 4.

[746] tis ho sozomenos plousios: Quis Dives salvetur. This able and
interesting little treatise upon the proper use of wealth is still
extant, and is found in the various editions of Clement’s works;
English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers (Am. ed.), II. p.
591-604. The sound common sense of the book, and its freedom from undue
asceticism are conspicuous, and furnish a pleasing contrast to most of
the writings of that age.

[747] He indicates the time only by saying ”after the tyrant was dead,”
which might refer either to Domitian or to Nero. But the mention of
John a little below as ”an aged man” would seem to point to the end of
the century rather than to Nero’s time. At any rate, Eusebius
understood Clement as referring to Domitian, and in the presence of
unanimous tradition for Domitian, and in the absence of any
counter-tradition, we can hardly understand him otherwise.

[748] Quis Dives salvetur, chap. 42.

[749] muthon ou muthon, alla onta logon. Clement in these words asserts
the truth of the story which he relates. We cannot regard it as very
strongly corroborated, for no one else records it, and yet we can
hardly doubt that Clement gives it in good faith. It may have been an
invention of some early Christian, but it is so fully in accord with
what we know of John’s character that there exists no reason for
refusing to believe that at least a groundwork of truth underlies it,
even though the story may have gained in the telling of it. It is
certainly beautiful, and fully worthy of the ”beloved disciple.”

[750] See note 8.

[751] klero hena ge tina kleroson. Compare the note of Heinichen in his
edition of Eusebius, Vol. I. p. 122. Upon the use of the word kleros in
the early Church, see Baur’s Das Christenthum und die christliche
Kirche der drei ersten Jahrhunderte, 2d ed., p. 266 sq., and especially
Ritschl’s Entstehung der alt-kath. Kirche, 2d ed., p. 388 sq. Ritschl
shows that the word kleros was originally used by the Fathers in the
general sense of order or rank (Reihe, Rang), and that from this arose
its later use to denote church officers as a class,–the clergy. As he
remarks, the word is employed in this later specific sense for the
first time in this passage of Clement’s Quis Dives salvetur.
Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Cyprian are the next ones to use it in the
same sense. Ritschl remarks in connection with this passage: ”Da fuer
eine Wahl der Gemeindebeamten durch das Loos alle sonstigen Beweisen
fehlen, und da in dem vorliegenden Satze die Einsetzung von einer
Mehrzahl von episkopoi durch den Apostel ohne jede Methode erwaehnt
wird, so faellt jeder Grund hinweg, dass bei der Wahl einzelner Beamten
das Mittel des Loosens angewandt sein sollte, zumal bei dieser Deutung
ein Pleonasmus vorausgesetzt wuerde. Es ist vielmehr zu erklaeren, dass
Johannes an einzelnen Orten mehrere Beamte zugleich eingesetzt, an
anderen Orten wo schon ein Collegium bestand, dem Beamtenstande je ein
Mitglied eingereiht habe.”

[752] According to Stroth the Chronicon Paschale gives Smyrna as the
name of this city, and it has been suggested that Clement withholds the
name in order to spare the reputation of Polycarp, who, according to
tradition, was appointed bishop of that city by John.

[753] The same man that is called a bishop just above is here called a
presbyter. It is such passages–and they are not uncommon in the early
Fathers–that have seemed to many to demonstrate conclusively the
original identity of presbyters and bishops, an identity which is
maintained by most Presbyterians, and is admitted by many Episcopalians
(e.g. by Lightfoot in his essay on the Christian Ministry, printed in
his Commentary on Philippians). On the other hand, the passages which
reveal a distinction between presbyters and bishops are very early, and
are adduced not merely by prelatists, but by such disinterested
scholars as Harnack (in his translation of Hatch’s Organization of the
Early Christian Churches) as proving that there was from the beginning
a difference of some sort between a bishop and a presbyter. I cannot
enter here into a discussion of the various views in regard to the
original relation between bishops and presbyters. I desire simply to
suggest a theory of my own, leaving the fuller exposition of it for
some future time. My theory is that the word presbuteros was originally
employed in the most general sense to indicate any church officer, thus
practically equivalent to the hegoumenos of Heb. xiii. 17, and the
poimen of Eph. iv. 11. The terms episkopos and diEURkonos, on the other
hand, were employed to designate specific church officers charged with
the performance of specific duties. If this were so, we should expect
the general term to be used before the particular designations, and
this is just what we find in the New Testament. We should expect
further that the general term and the specific terms might be used by
the same person in the same context, according as he thought of the
officers in general or of a particular division of the officers; on the
other hand the general term and one of the specific terms could never
be coordinated (we could never find ”presbyter and bishop,” ”presbyter
and deacon”), but we should expect to find the specific terms thus
coordinated (”bishops and deacons”). An examination of the Epistle to
the Philippians, of the Pastoral Epistles, of Clement’s Epistle to the
Corinthians, and of the Didache will show that our expectations are
fully realized. This theory explains the fact that so frequently
presbyters and bishops seem to be identical (the general and the
specific term might of course in many cases be used interchangeably),
and also the fact that so frequently they seem to be quite distinct. It
explains still further the remarkable fact that while in the first
century we never find a distinction in official rank between bishops
and presbyters, that distinction appears early in the second. In many
churches it must early have become necessary to appoint some of the
officers as a special committee to take charge of the economic affairs
of the congregation. The members of such a committee might very
naturally be given the special name episkopoi (see Hatch’s discussion
of the use of this word in his work already referred to). In some
churches the duties might be of such a character that the bishops would
need assistants (to whom it would be natural to give the name
diEURkonos), and such assistants would of course be closely associated
with the bishops, as we find them actually associated with them in the
second and following centuries (a fact which Hatch has emphasized). Of
course where the bishops constituted a special and smaller committee of
the general body, entrusted with such important duties, they would
naturally acquire especial influence and power, and thus the chairman
of the committee–the chairman of the bishops as such, not of the
presbyters, though he might be that also–would in time, as a central
authority was more and more felt to be necessary, gradually assume the
supremacy, retaining his original name episkopos. As the power was thus
concentrated in his hands, the committee of bishops as such would cease
to be necessary, and he would require only the deacons, who should
carry out his directions in economic matters, as we find them doing in
the second century. The elevation of the bishop would of course
separate him from the other officers in such a way that although still
a presbyter (i.e. an officer), he would cease to be called longer by
the general name. In the same way the deacons obliged to devote
themselves to their specific duties, would cease to have much to do
with the more general functions of the other officers, to whom finally
the name presbyter–originally a general term–would be confined, and
thus become a distinctive name for part of the officers. In their hands
would remain the general disciplinary functions which had belonged from
the beginning to the entire body of officers as such, and their rank
would naturally be second only to that of the bishop, for the deacons
as assistants only, not independent officers, could not outrank them
(though they struggled hard in the third and fourth centuries to do
so). It is of course likely that in a great many churches the simple
undivided office would long remain, and that bishops and deacons as
specific officers distinguished from the general body would not exist.
But after the distinction between the three orders had been sharply
drawn in one part of Christendom, it must soon spread throughout the
Church and become established even in places where it had not been
produced by a natural process of evolution. The Church organization of
the second century is thus complete, and its further development need
not concern us here, for it is not matter of controversy. Nor is this
the place to show how the local church officers gradually assumed the
spiritual functions which belonged originally to apostles, prophets,
and teachers. The Didache is the document which has shed most light
upon that process, and Hernack in his edition of it has done most to
make the matter clear.

[754] ephotise: literally, ”enlightened him.” The verb photizo was very
commonly used among the Fathers, with the meaning ”to baptize.” See
Suicer’s Thesaurus, where numerous examples of this use of the word by
Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianzen, and others, are given.

[755] ten sphragida kuriou. The word sphragis was very widely used in
the primitive Church to denote baptism. See Suicer’s Thesaurus for
examples. Gregory Nazianzen, in his Orat. XL., gives the reason for
this use of the word: ”We call baptism a seal,” he says, ”because it is
a preservative and a sign of ownership.” Chrysostom, in his third
Homily on 2 Cor. S:7, says, ”So also art thou thyself made king and
priest and prophet in the laver; a king, having dashed to earth all the
deeds of wickedness and slain thy sins; a priest, in that thou offerest
thyself to God, having sacrificed thy body and being thyself slain
also; …a prophet, knowing what shall be, and being inspired by God,
and sealed. For as upon soldiers a seal, so is also the Spirit put upon
the faithful. And if thou desert, thou art manifest to all. For the
Jews had circumcision for a seal, but we the earnest of the Spirit.”
(Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. XII. p. 293.)

[756] Literally, ”greatness of his nature” (megethos phuseos).

Chapter XXIV.–The Order of the Gospels.

1. This extract from Clement I have inserted here for the sake of the
history and for the benefit of my readers. Let us now point out the
undisputed writings of this apostle.

2. And in the first place his Gospel, which is known to all the
churches under heaven, must be acknowledged as genuine. [757] That it
has with good reason been put by the ancients in the fourth place,
after the other three Gospels, may be made evident in the following

3. Those great and truly divine men, I mean the apostles of Christ,
were purified in their life, and were adorned with every virtue of the
soul, but were uncultivated in speech. They were confident indeed in
their trust in the divine and wonder-working power which was granted
unto them by the Saviour, but they did not know how, nor did they
attempt to proclaim the doctrines of their teacher in studied and
artistic language, but employing only the demonstration of the divine
Spirit, which worked with them, and the wonder-working power of Christ,
which was displayed through them, they published the knowledge of the
kingdom of heaven throughout the whole world, paying little attention
to the composition of written works.

4. And this they did because they were assisted in their ministry by
one greater than man. Paul, for instance, who surpassed them all in
vigor of expression and in richness of thought, committed to writing no
more than the briefest epistles, [758] although he had innumerable
mysterious matters to communicate, for he had attained even unto the
sights of the third heaven, had been carried to the very paradise of
God, and had been deemed worthy to hear unspeakable utterances there.

5. And the rest of the followers of our Saviour, the twelve apostles,
the seventy disciples, and countless others besides, were not ignorant
of these things. Nevertheless, of all the disciples [760] of the Lord,
only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they,
tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity.

6. For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was
about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his
native tongue, [761] and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to
leave for the loss of his presence.

7. And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, [762]
they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the
Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The
three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and
into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to
their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of
the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry. [763]

8. And this indeed is true. For it is evident that the three
evangelists recorded only the deeds done by the Saviour for one year
after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, [764] and indicated this in
the beginning of their account.

9. For Matthew, after the forty days’ fast and the temptation which
followed it, indicates the chronology of his work when he says: ”Now
when he heard that John was delivered up he withdrew from Judea into
Galilee.” [765]

10. Mark likewise says: ”Now after that John was delivered up Jesus
came into Galilee.” [766] And Luke, before commencing his account of
the deeds of Jesus, similarly marks the time, when he says that Herod,
”adding to all the evil deeds which he had done, shut up John in
prison.” [767]

11. They say, therefore, that the apostle John, being asked to do it
for this reason, gave in his Gospel an account of the period which had
been omitted by the earlier evangelists, and of the deeds done by the
Saviour during that period; that is, of those which were done before
the imprisonment of the Baptist. And this is indicated by him, they
say, in the following words: ”This beginning of miracles did Jesus”;
[768] and again when he refers to the Baptist, in the midst of the
deeds of Jesus, as still baptizing in AEnon near Salim; [769] where he
states the matter clearly in the words: ”For John was not yet cast into
prison.” [770]

12. John accordingly, in his Gospel, records the deeds of Christ which
were performed before the Baptist was cast into prison, but the other
three evangelists mention the events which happened after that time.

13. One who understands this can no longer think that the Gospels are
at variance with one another, inasmuch as the Gospel according to John
contains the first acts of Christ, while the others give an account of
the latter part of his life. And the genealogy of our Saviour according
to the flesh John quite naturally omitted, because it had been already
given by Matthew and Luke, and began with the doctrine of his divinity,
which had, as it were, been reserved for him, as their superior, by the
divine Spirit. [771]

14. These things may suffice, which we have said concerning the Gospel
of John. The cause which led to the composition of the Gospel of Mark
has been already stated by us. [772]

15. But as for Luke, in the beginning of his Gospel, he states himself
the reasons which led him to write it. He states that since many others
had more rashly undertaken to compose a narrative of the events of
which he had acquired perfect knowledge, he himself, feeling the
necessity of freeing us from their uncertain opinions, delivered in his
own Gospel an accurate account of those events in regard to which he
had learned the full truth, being aided by his intimacy and his stay
with Paul and by his acquaintance with the rest of the apostles. [773]

16. So much for our own account of these things. But in a more fitting
place we shall attempt to show by quotations from the ancients, what
others have said concerning them.

17. But of the writings of John, not only his Gospel, but also the
former of his epistles, has been accepted without dispute both now and
in ancient times. [774] But the other two are disputed. [775]

18. In regard to the Apocalypse, the opinions of most men are still
divided. [776] But at the proper time this question likewise shall be
decided from the testimony of the ancients. [777]

[757] The testimony of antiquity,–both orthodox and heretical,–to the
authenticity of John’s Gospel is universal, with the exception of a
single unimportant sect of the second century, the Alogi, who denied
the Johannine authorship on account of the Logos doctrine, which they
rejected, and very absurdly ascribed the Gospel to the Gnostic
Cerinthus; though its absolute opposition to Cerinthus’ views is so
apparent that Irenaeus (III. 11. 1) even supposed John to have written
the Gospel against Cerinthus. The writings of the second century are
full of the spirit of John’s Gospel, and exhibit frequent parallels in
language too close to be mistaken; while from the last quarter of the
second century on it is universally and expressly ascribed to John
(Theophilus of Antioch and the Muratorian Fragment being the first to
name him as its author). The Church never entertained a doubt of its
authenticity until the end of the seventeenth century, when it was
first questioned by the English Deists; but its genuineness was
vindicated, and only scattering and occasional attacks were made upon
it until the rise of the Tuebingen school, since which time its
authenticity has been one of the most fiercely contested points in
apostolic history. Its opponents have been obliged gradually to throw
back the date of its origin, until now no sensible critic thinks of
assigning it to a time later than the early part of the second century,
which is a great gain over the position of Baur and his immediate
followers, who threw it into the latter half of the century. See
Schaff’s Ch. Hist. I. 701-724 for a full defense of its authenticity
and a comprehensive account of the controversy; also p. 406-411 for the
literature of the subject. For the most complete summary of the
external evidence, see Ezra Abbott’s The Authorship of the Fourth
Gospel, 1880. Among recent works, compare Weiss’ Leben Jesu, I. 84-124,
and his N. T. Einleitung, 586-620, for a defense of the Gospel, and
upon the other side Holtzmann’s Einleitung, 413-460, and Weizsaecker’s
Apost. Zeitalter, p. 531-558.

[758] Overbeck remarks that Eusebius in this passage is the first to
tell us that Paul wrote no more than what we have in the canon. But
this is a mistake, for Origen (quoted by Eusebius in VI. 25, below)
states it just as distinctly as Eusebius does. The truth is, neither of
them says it directly, and yet it is clear enough when this passage is
taken in connection with chapter 3, that it is what Eusebius meant, and
the same idea underlies the statement of the Muratorian Fragment. Of
course this does not prove that Paul wrote only the epistles which we
have (which is indeed contrary to fact), but it shows what the idea of
the early Church was.

[759] See 2 Cor. xii. 2-4.

[760] The majority of the mss., followed by Burton, Schwegler, and
Laemmer, read diatribon instead of matheton; and Burton therefore
translates, sed tamen ex his omnibus sole Matthaeus et Joannes nobis
reliquerunt commentarios de vita et sermonibus Domini, ”but of all
these only Matthew and John have left us commentaries on the life and
conversations of the Lord.” Two important mss., however, read matheton,
and this is confirmed by Rufinus and adopted by Heinichen, Closs, and

[761] That Matthew wrote a gospel in Hebrew, although denied by many,
is at present the prevailing opinion among scholars, and may be
accepted as a fact both on account of its intrinsic probability and of
the testimony of the Fathers, which begins with the statement of
Papias, quoted by Eusebius in chap. 39, below, is confirmed by Irenaeus
(III. 1. 1, quoted below, V. 8, S:2),–whether independently of Papias
or not, we cannot say,–by Pantaenus (but see below, Bk. V. chap. 10),
by Origen (see below, VI. 25), by Jerome (de vir. ill. 3),–who says
that a copy of it still existed in the library at Caesarea,–and by
Epiphanius (Haer. XXIX. 9). The question as to the relation of this
Hebrew original to our present Greek Matthew is much more difficult.
That our Greek Matthew is a mere translation of the original Hebrew was
once a prevailing theory, but is now completely abandoned. That Matthew
himself wrote both is a common conservative position, but is denied by
most critical scholars, many of whom deny him the composition even of
the Hebrew original. Upon the theory that the original Hebrew Matthew
was identical with the ”Gospel according to the Hebrews,” see chap. 27,
note 8. Upon the synoptic problem, see above, II. 15, note 4; and see
the works mentioned there for a discussion of this original Matthew,
and in addition the recent works by Gla, Original-Sprache des Matt.
Evang., 1887, and Resch, Agrapha, Leipzig, 1889. The very natural
reason which Eusebius gives for the composition of Matthew’s
Gospel–viz. that, when on the point of going to other nations, he
committed it to writing, and thus compensated them for the loss of his
presence–occurs in none of the earlier reports of the composition of
the Gospel which we now possess. It was probably a fact which he took
from common tradition, as he remarks in the previous sentence that
tradition says ”they undertook it from necessity.”

[762] Upon the date and authorship of the Gospel of Luke, see above,
chap. 4, notes 12 and 15. Upon Mark, see Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4.

[763] No writer before Eusebius’ time, so far as is known, assigned the
reason given by him for the composition of John’s Gospel. Jerome, de
vir. ill. chap. 9, repeats the view, combining with it the
anti-heretical purpose. The indefinite expression, ”they say,” shows
that Eusebius was recording tradition commonly received in his time,
and does not involve the authority of any particular writer. This
object–viz. the supplementing and filling out of the accounts of the
Synoptists–is assumed as the real object by some modern scholars; but
it is untenable, for though the book serves this purpose to a great
extent, the author’s real aim was much higher,–viz. the establishment
of belief in the Messiahship and divinity of Christ (John xx. 31
sqq.),–and he chose his materials accordingly. The Muratorian Fragment
says, ”The Fourth Gospel is that of John, one of the disciples. When
his fellow-disciples and bishops entreated him, he said, `Fast ye now
with me for the space of three days, and let us recount to each other
whatever may be revealed to us.’ On the same night it was revealed to
Andrew, one of the apostles, that John should narrate all things in his
own name as they called them to mind.” Irenaeus (III. 11. 1) supposes
John to have written his Gospel as a polemic against Cerinthus. Clement
of Alexandria, in his Hypotyposes (quoted by Eusebius, VI. 14), says
that John wrote a spiritual Gospel, as a supplement to the other
Gospels, which had sufficiently described the external facts. The
opinion of Eusebius is very superficial. Upon examination of the
Gospels it will be seen that, of the events which John relates
independently of the synoptists, but a small portion occurred before
the imprisonment of John the Baptist. John’s Gospel certainly does
incidentally supplement the Synoptists in a remarkable manner, but not
in any such intentional and artificial way as Eusebius supposes.
Compare Weiss’ Einleitung, p. 602 sqq., and Schaff’s Ch. Hist. II. p.
680 sqq.

[764] The Synoptic Gospels certainly give the impression that Christ’s
public ministry lasted but a single year; and were it not for the
additional light which John throws upon the subject, the one year
ministry would be universally accepted, as it was by many of the early
Fathers,–e.g. Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Lactantius,
&c. John, however, expressly mentions three, perhaps four, passovers,
so that Christ’s ministry lasted either two or three years. Upon
comparison of the Synoptists with John, it will be seen that the events
which they record are not all comprised within a single year, as
Eusebius thought, but that they are scattered over the whole period of
his ministry, although confined to his work in Galilee up to the time
of his last journey to Judea, six months before his crucifixion. The
distinction between John and the Synoptists, as to the events recorded,
is therefore rather that of place than of time: but the distinction is
not absolute.

[765] Matt. iv. 12.

[766] Mark i. 14.

[767] Luke iii. 20.

[768] John ii. 11. The arguments of Eusebius, whether original or
borrowed from his predecessors, are certainly very ingenious, and he
makes out apparently quite a strong case for his opinion; but a careful
harmony of the four Gospels shows that it is untenable.

[769] John iii. 23.

[770] Ibid. verse 24.

[771] Eusebius approaches here the opinion of Clement of Alexandria,
mentioned in note 7, above, who considered John’s Gospel a spiritual
supplement to the others,–a position which the Gospel certainly fills
most admirably.

[772] See Bk. II. chap. 15.

[773] See Luke i. 1-4. Eusebius puts the case more strongly than Luke
himself. Luke does not say that others had rashly undertaken the
composition of their narratives, nor does he say that he himself writes
in order to free his readers from the uncertain suppositions of others;
but at the same time the interpretation which Eusebius gives is, though
not an exact, yet certainly a natural one, and we have no right to
accuse him, as has been done, of intentional falsification of the text
of the Gospel. Eusebius also augments Luke’s statement by the mention
of the source from which the latter gained his knowledge, viz., ”from
his intimacy and stay with Paul, and from his acquaintance with the
rest of the apostles.” If Eusebius intended to convey the impression
that Luke said this, he is of course inexcusable, but we have no reason
to suppose this to be the case. It is simply the explanation on the
part of Eusebius of an indefinite statement of Luke’s by a fact which
was universally assumed as true. That he was adding to Luke’s own
account probably never occurred to him. He does not pretend to quote
Luke’s exact words.

[774] The testimony to the first Epistle of John goes hand in hand with
that to the fourth Gospel (cf. note 1, above). But we can find still
clearer trace of the Epistle in the early part of the second century
than of the Gospel (e.g. in Polycarp’s Epistle, where traces of the
Gospel are wanting; and so, too, in Papias, according to chap. 39,
below). The writings of the second century are full of the spirit of
the Epistle as well as of the Gospel and exhibit frequent parallels in
language too close to be mistaken. The first express testimony as to
its authorship occurs in the Muratorian Fragment. The first systematic
attack upon the Epistle was made by Bretschneider, in 1820, in
connection with the attack upon the Gospel. The Tuebingen school
likewise rejected both. Before Bretschneider there had been a few
critics (e.g. Lange, 1797) who had rejected the Epistle while accepting
the Gospel, and since then a few have accepted the Epistle while
rejecting the Gospel; but these are exceptional cases. The Gospel and
Epistle have almost universally, and quite rightly, been regarded as
the work of the same author, and may be said to stand or fall together.
Cf. the works cited in note 1, and also Westcott’s Epistles of St.
John. (On the use of protera instead of prote, see p. 388, note.)

[775] The Muratorian Fragment expressly ascribes two epistles to John.
Citations from the second Epistle appear first in Irenaeus, though he
does not distinguish it from the first. Clement of Alexandria (Strom.
II. 15) quotes from 1 John under the formula ”John says in his larger
Epistle,” showing that he knew of a second. The lack of citations from
the second and third Epistles is easily explained by their brevity and
the minor importance of their doctrinal contents. The second and third
Epistles belong to the seven Antilegomena. Origen cites the first
Epistle often, the second and third never, and of the latter he says
”not all agree that they are genuine” (quoted by Eusebius, VI. 25), and
apparently he himself did not consider them of apostolic origin (cf.
Weiss’ Einleitung, p. 87). Origen’s treatment of the Catholic Epistles
was implicitly followed by his pupil Dionysius and by succeeding
generations. Eusebius himself does not express his own judgment in the
matter, but simply records the state of tradition which was a mere
repetition of Origen’s position in regard to them. Jerome (de vir. ill.
9 and 18) says that most writers ascribe them to the presbyter John–an
opinion which evidently arose upon the basis of the author’s
self-designation in 2 John 1, and 3 John 1, and some modern critics
(among them Reuss and Wieseler) have done the same. Eusebius himself in
the next chapter implies that such an opinion existed in his day,
though he does not express his own view on the matter. He placed them,
however, among the Antilegomena. (On the presbyter John, see below
chap. 39, note 4.) That the two epistles fell originally into the class
of Antilegomena was due doubtless to the peculiar self-designation
mentioned, which seemed to distinguish the author from the apostle, and
also to their private and doctrinally unimportant character. But in
spite of the slight external testimony to the epistles the conclusion
of Weiss seems correct, that ”inasmuch as the second and third clearly
betray the same author, and inasmuch as the second is related to the
first in such a manner that they must either be by the same author or
the former be regarded as an entirely aimless imitation of the latter,
so everything favors the ascription of them both to the author of the
first, viz. to the apostle.” (ibid. p. 469.)

[776] The Apocalypse is one of the best authenticated books of the New
Testament. It was used by Papias and others of the earliest Fathers,
and already by Justin Martyr was expressly ascribed to the apostle
John. (Compare also the epistle of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne,
Eusebius, V. 1.) Tradition, so far as we have it, is unanimous (with
the exception of the Alogi, an insignificant heretical sect of the
second century, who attributed the Apocalypse as well as the Gospel to
Cerinthus. Caius is not an exception: see below, chap. 28, note 4) in
ascribing the Apocalypse to the apostle John, until Dionysius of
Alexandria, who subjected the book to severe literary criticism (see
below, Bk. VII. chap. 25), and upon the assumption of the genuineness
of the Gospel and the first Epistle, doubted its authenticity on
account of its divergence from these writings both in spirit and in
style. He says (VII. 25, S:2) that some others before him had denied
the Johannine authorship and ascribed the book to Cerinthus, but the
way in which he speaks of them shows that there cannot have been a
ruling tradition to that effect. He may have referred simply to the
Alogi, or he may have included others of whom we do not know. He
himself rejects this hypothesis, and supposes the books to have been
written by some John, not the apostle (by what John he does not
decide), and does not deny the inspiration and prophetic character of
the book. Dionysius was led to exercise criticism upon the Apocalypse
(which was as well supported by tradition as any book of the New
Testament) from dogmatic reasons. The supposed sensuous and
materialistic conceptions of the Apocalypse were offensive to the
spiritualizing tendencies of the Alexandrian school, and the
offensiveness increased with time. Although Dionysius held the work as
inspired and authoritative, yet his position would lead logically to
the exclusion of the Apocalypse from the canon, just as Hermas had been
already excluded, although Origen held it to be inspired and
authoritative in the same sense in which Dionysius held the Apocalypse
to be,–i.e. as composed by an apostle’s pupil, not by an apostle.
Apocalyptic literature did not belong properly to the New Testament,
but rather to the prophetic portion of the Old Testament; but the
number of the Old Testament prophets was already complete (according to
the Muratorian Fragment), and therefore no prophetic writing (e.g.
Hermas) could find a place there; nor, on the other hand, could it be
made a part of the New Testament, for it was not apostolic. The same
was true of the Apocalypse of Peter, and the only thing which kept the
Apocalypse of John in the canon was its supposed apostolic authorship.
It was received as a part of the New Testament not because it was
apocalyptic, but because it was apostolic, and thus the criticism of
Dionysius would lead logically to its rejection from the canon. John’s
Apocalypse is the only New Testament book cited by Justin as graphe (so
also by the Epistle of Vienne and Lyons, Eusebius, V. 1), and this
because of its prophetic character. It must have been (according to
their opinion) either a true prophecy (and therefore inspired by the
Holy Spirit) or a forgery. Its authenticity being accepted, the former
alternative necessarily followed, and it was placed upon a line with
the Old Testament prophets, i.e. with the graphe. After Dionysius’ time
doubts of its authenticity became quite widespread in the Eastern
Church, and among the doubters was Eusebius, who evidently wished to
ascribe it to the mysterious presbyter John, whose existence he
supposed to be established by Papias in a passage quoted in chap. 39,
S:4, below (compare the note on the passage). Eusebius’ treatment of
the book is hesitating. He evidently himself discredited its apostolic
authority, but at the same time he realized (as a historian more keenly
than Dionysius the theologian) the great weight of external testimony
to its authenticity, and therefore he gives his readers the liberty (in
the next chapter) of putting it either with the Homologoumena or with
the nothoi. It legitimately belonged among the Homologoumena, but
Dionysius’ attitude toward it doubtless led Eusebius to think that it
might at some time in the future be thrown out of the canon, and of
course his own objections to its contents and his doubts as to its
apostolicity caused him to contemplate such a possibility not without
pleasure (see the next chapter, note 1). In chapter 18, above, he
speaks of it as the ”so-called” Apocalypse of John, but in other places
he repeats many testimonies in favor of its authenticity (see the next
note), and only in chapter 39 does he state clearly his own opinion in
the matter, which even there he does not press as a fixed conviction.
The reason for the doubts of the book’s genuineness on the part of
Eusebius and so many others lay evidently most of all in objections to
the contents of the book, which seemed to favor chiliasm, and had been
greatly abused for the advancement of the crassest chiliastic views.
Many, like Dionysius of Alexandria were no doubt influenced also by the
idea that it was impossible that the Gospel and the Apocalypse could be
the works of one author, and they preferred to sacrifice the latter
rather than the former. The book has found objectors in almost every
age of the Church, but has continued to hold its place in the canon
(its position was never disturbed in the Western Church, and only for
some two or three centuries after Eusebius in parts of the Eastern
Church) as an authentic work of the apostle John. The Tuebingen school
exalted the Apocalypse to the honorable position of one of the five
genuine monuments of the apostolic age, and from it as a basis
conducted their attacks upon the other Johannine writings. The more
modern critical school is doubtful about it as well as the rest of the
Johannine literature, and the latest theory makes the Apocalypse a
Jewish document in a Christianized form (see above, chap. 18, note 1).
Compare especially Holtzmann’s Einleitung, p. 411-413, and Weiss’
Einleitung, p. 93.

[777] See Bk. VII. chap. 25, where Eusebius quotes a lengthy discussion
of the Apocalypse by Dionysius of Alexandria. He also cites opinions
favorable to the authenticity of the Apocalypse from Justin (in IV. 18,
below), Theophilus (IV. 24), Irenaeus (V. 8), and Origen (VI. 25), but
such scattered testimonies can hardly be regarded as the fulfillment of
the definite promise which he makes in this passage.

Chapter XXV.–The Divine Scriptures that are accepted and those that
are not. [778]

1. Since we are dealing with this subject it is proper to sum up the
writings of the New Testament which have been already mentioned. First
then must be put the holy quaternion of the Gospels; [779] following
them the Acts of the Apostles. [780]

2. After this must be reckoned the epistles of Paul; [781] next in
order the extant former epistle of John, [782] and likewise the epistle
of Peter, [783] must be maintained. [784] After them is to be placed,
if it really seem proper, the Apocalypse of John, [785] concerning
which we shall give the different opinions at the proper time. [786]
These then belong among the accepted writings. [787]

3. Among the disputed writings, [788] which are nevertheless recognized
[789] by many, are extant the so-called epistle of James [790] and that
of Jude, [791] also the second epistle of Peter, [792] and those that
are called the second and third of John, [793] whether they belong to
the evangelist or to another person of the same name.

4. Among the rejected writings [794] must be reckoned also the Acts of
Paul, [795] and the so-called Shepherd, [796] and the Apocalypse of
Peter, [797] and in addition to these the extant epistle of Barnabas,
[798] and the so-called Teachings of the Apostles; [799] and besides,
as I said, the Apocalypse of John, if it seem proper, which some, as I
said, reject, [800] but which others class with the accepted books.

5. And among these some have placed also the Gospel according to the
Hebrews, [802] with which those of the Hebrews that have accepted
Christ are especially delighted. And all these may be reckoned among
the disputed books. [803]

6. But we have nevertheless felt compelled to give a catalogue of these
also, distinguishing those works which according to ecclesiastical
tradition are true and genuine and commonly accepted, [804] from those
others which, although not canonical but disputed, [805] are yet at the
same time known to most ecclesiastical writers–we have felt compelled
to give this catalogue in order that we might be able to know both
these works and those that are cited by the heretics under the name of
the apostles, including, for instance, such books as the Gospels of
Peter, [806] of Thomas, [807] of Matthias, [808] or of any others
besides them, and the Acts of Andrew [809] and John [810] and the other
apostles, which no one belonging to the succession of ecclesiastical
writers has deemed worthy of mention in his writings.

7. And further, the character of the style is at variance with
apostolic usage, and both the thoughts and the purpose of the things
that are related in them are so completely out of accord with true
orthodoxy that they clearly show themselves to be the fictions of
heretics. [811] Wherefore they are not to be placed even among the
rejected [812] writings, but are all of them to be cast aside as absurd
and impious.

Let us now proceed with our history.

[778] This chapter is the only place in which Eusebius attempts to
treat the canon systematically, and in it he is speaking purely as an
historian, not as a critic. He is endeavoring to give an accurate
statement of the general opinion of the orthodox Church of his day in
regard to the number and names of its sacred books. He does not, in
this passage, apply to the various works any criterion of canonicity
further than their acceptance as canonical by the orthodox Church. He
simply records the state of the canon; he does not endeavor to form a
canon. He has nothing to do, therefore, with the nature and origin of
the books which the church accepts. As remarked by Weiss (Einleitung in
das N. T., p. 96), the influence of Eusebius in the formation of the
canon is very commonly overestimated. He contributed himself very
little; his office was to record the usage of the church of his age,
not to mould it. The church whose judgment he takes is, in the main,
the church of the Orient, and in that church at this time all the works
which we now call canonical (and only those) were already commonly
accepted, or were becoming more and more widely accepted as such. From
the standpoint, then, of canonicity, Eusebius divided the works which
he mentions in this chapter into two classes: the canonical (including
the Homologoumena and the Antilogomena) and the uncanonical (including
the nothoi and the anaplEURsmata airetikon andron). But the nothoi he
connects much more closely with the Homologoumena and Antilegomena than
with the heretical works, which are, in fact, separated from all the
rest and placed in a class by themselves. What, then, is the relation
of the Homologoumena, Antilegomena, and nothoi to each other, as
Eusebius classifies them? The crucial point is the relation of the
nothoi to the antilegomena. Luecke (Ueber den N. T. Kanon des Eusebius,
p. 11 sq.) identified the two, but such identification is impossible in
this passage. The passages which he cites to confirm his view prove
only that the word Antilegomena is commonly employed by Eusebius in a
general sense to include all disputed works, and therefore, of course,
the nothoi also; that is, the term Antilegomena is ordinarily used, not
as identical with nothoi, but as inclusive of it. This, however,
establishes nothing as to Eusebius’ technical use of the words in the
present passage, where he is endeavoring to draw close distinctions.
Various views have been taken since Luecke’s time upon the relation of
these terms to each other in this connection; but, to me at least, none
of them seem satisfactory, and I have been led to adopt the following
simple explanation. The Antilegomena, in the narrower sense peculiar to
this summary, were works which, in Eusebius’ day, were, as he believed,
commonly accepted by the Eastern Church as canonical, but which,
nevertheless, as he well knew, had not always been thus accepted, and,
indeed, were not even then universally accepted as such. The tendency,
however, was distinctly in the direction of their ever-wider
acceptance. On the other hand, the nothoi were works which, although
they had been used by the Fathers and were quoted as graphe by some of
them, were, at this time, not acknowledged as canonical. Although
perhaps not universally rejected from the canon, yet they were commonly
so rejected, and the tendency was distinctly in the direction of their
ever-wider rejection. Whatever their merit, and whatever their
antiquity and their claims to authenticity, Eusebius could not place
them among the canonical books. The term nothoi, then, in this passage,
must not be taken, as it commonly is, to mean spurious or unauthentic,
but to mean uncanonical. It is in this sense, as against the canonical
Homologoumena and Antilegomena, that Eusebius, as I believe, uses it
here, and his use of it in this sense is perfectly legitimate. In using
it he passes no judgment upon the authenticity of the works referred
to; that, in the present case, is not his concern. As an historian he
observed tendencies, and judged accordingly. He saw that the authority
of the Antilegomena was on the increase, that of the nothoi on the
decrease, and already he could draw a sharp distinction between them,
as Clement of Alexandria could not do a century before. The distinction
drawn has no relation to the authenticity or original authority of the
works of the two classes, but only to their canonicity or uncanonicity
at the time Eusebius wrote. This interpretation will help us to
understand the peculiar way in which Eusebius treats the Apocalypse,
and thus his treatment of it becomes an argument in favor of the
interpretation. He puts it, first among the Homologoumena with an eige
phaneie, and then among the nothoi with an ei phaneie. No one, so far
as I know, has explained why it should be put among the nothoi as an
alternative to the Homologoumena, instead of among the Antilegomena,
which, on the common interpretation of the relation of the classes,
might be naturally expected. If the view presented is correct, the
reason is clear. The Antilegomena were those works which had been
disputed, but were becoming more and more widely accepted as canonical.
The Apocalypse could not under any circumstances fall into this class,
for the doubts raised against it in the orthodox Church were of recent
date. It occupied, in fact, a peculiar position, for there was no other
work which, while accepted as canonical, was doubted in the present
more than in the past. Eusebius then must either put it into a special
class or put it conditionally into two different classes, as he does.
If the doubts should become so widespread as to destroy its canonicity,
it would fall naturally into the nothoi, for then it would hold the
same position as the other works of that class. As an historian,
Eusebius sees the tendency and undoubtedly has the idea that the
Apocalypse may eventually, like the other Christian works of the same
class (the Shepherd, the Apocalypse of Peter, etc.), become one of the
nothoi, one of the works which, formerly accepted, is at length
commonly denied to be canonical: and so, as an historian, he presents
the alternative. The Apocalypse was the only work in regard to which
any doubt could exist. Eusebius’ failure to mention explicitly in this
passage the Epistle to the Hebrews, has caused considerable
misunderstanding. The explanation, if the view presented be adopted, is
simple. Eusebius included it, I believe, among the epistles of Paul,
and did not especially mention it, simply because there was no dispute
about its canonicity. Its Pauline authorship had been widely disputed
as Eusebius informs us elsewhere, and various theories had been
proposed to account for it; but its canonicity had not been doubted in
the orthodox Church, and therefore doubts as to the authorship of it
did not in the least endanger its place among the Homologoumena, as
used here in a technical sense; and since Eusebius was simply stating
the works of each class, not discussing the nature and origin of those
works, he could, in perfect fairness, include it in Paul’s epistles
(where he himself believed it belonged) without entering upon any
discussion of it. Another noticeable omission is that of the Epistle of
Clement to the Corinthians. All efforts to find a satisfactory reason
for this are fruitless. It should have been placed among the nothoi
with the Epistle of Barnabas, etc., as Eusebius’ treatment of it in
other passages shows. It must be assumed, with Holtzmann, that the
omission of it was nothing more nor less than an oversight. Eusebius,
then, classifies the works mentioned in this chapter upon two
principles: first, in relation to canonicity, into the canonical and
the uncanonical; and secondly, in relation to character, into the
orthodox (Homologoumena, Antilegomena, which are canonical, and nothoi,
which are uncanonical), and heterodox (which are not, and never have
been, canonical, never have been accepted as of use or authority). The
Homologoumena and Antilegomena, then, are both canonical and orthodox,
the anaplEURsmata hairetikon andron are neither canonical nor orthodox,
while the nothoi occupy a peculiar position, being orthodox but not
canonical. The last-named are much more closely related to the
canonical than to the heterodox works, because when the canon was a
less concrete and exact thing than it had at length become, they were
associated with the other orthodox works as, like them, useful for
edification and instruction. With the heretical works they had never
been associated, and possessed in common with them only the negative
characteristic of non-canonicity. Eusebius naturally connects them
closely with the former, and severs them completely from the latter.
The only reason for mentioning the latter at all was the fact that they
bore the names of apostles, and thus might be supposed, as they often
had been–by Christians, as well as by unbelievers–to be sacred books
like the rest. The statement of the canon gives Eusebius an opportunity
to warn his readers against them. Upon Eusebius’ New Testament Canon,
see especially the work of Luecke referred to above, also Westcott’s
Canon of the New Testament, 5th ed., p. 414 sq., Harnack’s Lehre der
Zwoelf Apostel, p. 6 sq., Holtzmann’s Einleitung in das N.T., p. 154
sq., and Weiss’ Einleitung, p. 92 sq. The greater part of the present
note was read before the American Society of Church History in
December, 1888, and is printed in Vol. I. of that Society’s papers, New
York, 1889, p. 251 sq.

[779] On Matthew, see the previous chapter, note 5; on Mark, Bk. II.
chap. 15, note 4; on Luke, Bk. III. chap. 4, notes 12 and 15; on John,
the previous chapter, note 1.

[780] See above, chap. 4, note 14.

[781] See chap. 3, note 16. Eusebius evidently means to include the
Epistle to the Hebrews among Paul’s epistles at this point, for he
mentions it nowhere else in this chapter (see above, note 1).

[782] See the previous chapter, note 18.

[783] See chap. 3, note 1.

[784] kuroteon

[785] See the previous chapter, note 20. Upon Eusebius’ treatment in
this chapter of the canonicity of the Apocalypse, see note 1, above.

[786] Compare the previous chapter, note 21.

[787] en homologoumenois

[788] ton antilegomenon

[789] gnorimon

[790] See Bk. II. chap. 23, note 46.

[791] See ibid. note 47.

[792] See above, chap. 3, note 4.

[793] See the previous chapter, note 19.

[794] en tois nothois.

[795] See above, chap. 3, note 20.

[796] Ibid.note 23.

[797] Ibid.note 9.

[798] The author of the so-called Epistle of Barnabas is unknown. No
name appears in the epistle itself, and no hints are given which enable
us to ascribe it to any known writer. External testimony, without a
dissenting voice, ascribes it to Barnabas, the companion of Paul. But
this testimony, although unanimous, is neither very strong nor very
extensive. The first to use the epistle is Clement of Alexandria, who
expressly and frequently ascribes it to Barnabas the companion of Paul.
Origen quotes from the epistle twice, calling it the Epistle of
Barnabas, but without expressing any judgment as to its authenticity,
and without defining its author more closely. Jerome (de vir. ill. 6)
evidently did not doubt its authenticity, but placed it nevertheless
among the Apocrypha, and his opinion prevailed down to the seventeenth
century. It is difficult to decide what Eusebius thought in regard to
its authorship. His putting it among the nothoi here does not prove
that he considered it unauthentic (see note 1, above); nor, on the
other hand, does his classing it among the Antilegomena just below
prove that he considered it authentic, but non-apostolic, as some have
claimed. Although, therefore, the direct external testimony which we
have is in favor of the apostolic Barnabas as its author, it is to be
noticed that there must have existed a widespread doubt as to its
authenticity, during the first three centuries, to have caused its
complete rejection from the canon before the time of Eusebius. That
this rejection arose from the fact that Barnabas was not himself one of
the twelve apostles cannot be. For apostolic authorship was not the
sole test of canonicity, and Barnabas stood in close enough relation to
the apostles to have secured his work a place in the canon, during the
period of its gradual formation, had its authenticity been undoubted.
We may therefore set this inference over against the direct external
testimony for Barnabas’ authorship. When we come to internal testimony,
the arguments are conclusive against ”the Levite Barnabas” as the
author of the epistle. These arguments have been well stated by
Donaldson, in his History of Christian Literature, I. p. 204 sqq.
Milligan, in Smith and Wace’s Dict. of Christ. Biog., endeavors to
break the force of these arguments, and concludes that the authenticity
of the epistle is highly probable; but his positions are far from
conclusive, and he may be said to stand almost alone among modern
scholars. Especially during the last few years, the verdict against the
epistle’s authenticity has become practically unanimous. Some have
supposed the author to have been an unknown man by the name of
Barnabas: but this is pure conjecture. That the author lived in
Alexandria is apparently the ruling opinion, and is quite probable. It
is certain that the epistle was written between the destruction of
Jerusalem (a.d. 70) and the time of Clement of Alexandria: almost
certain that it was written before the building of AElia Capitolina;
and probable that it was written between 100 and 120, though dates
ranging all the way from the beginning of Vespasian’s reign to the end
of Hadrian’s have been, and are still, defended by able scholars. The
epistle is still extant in a corrupt Greek original and in an ancient
Latin translation. It is contained in all the editions of the Apostolic
Fathers (see especially Gebhardt and Harnack’s second edition, 1876,
and Hilgenfeld’s edition of 1877). An English translation is given in
the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I. p. 133 sqq. For the most important
literature, see Schaff, Ch. Hist. II. p. 671 sqq., and Gebhardt and
Harnack’s edition, p. xl. sqq.

[799] ton apostolon ai legomenai didachai. The Teaching of the Twelve
Apostles, Didache ton dodeka apostolon, a brief document in sixteen
chapters, was published in 1884 by Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan
of Nicomedia, from a ms. discovered by him in the Jerusalem convent in
Constantinople in 1873. The discovery threw the whole theological world
into a state of excitement, and the books and articles upon the subject
from America and from every nation in Europe have appeared by the
hundred. No such important find has been made for many years. The light
which the little document has thrown upon early Church history is very
great, while at the same time the questions which it has opened are
numerous and weighty. Although many points in regard to its origin and
nature are still undecided, the following general positions may be
accepted as practically established. It is composed of two parts, of
which the former (chaps. 1-6) is a redaction of an independent moral
treatise, probably of Jewish origin, entitled the Two Ways, which was
known and used in Alexandria, and there formed the basis of other
writings (e.g. the Epistle of Barnabas, chaps. 18-21, and the
Ecclesiastical Canons) which were at first supposed to have been based
upon the Teaching itself. (Bryennios, Harnack, and others supposed that
the Teaching was based upon Barnabas, but this view has never been
widely accepted.) This (Jewish) Two Ways which was in existence
certainly before the end of the first century (how much earlier we do
not know) was early in the second century (if not before) made a part
of a primitive church manual, viz. our present Teaching of the Twelve
Apostles. The Two Ways, both before and at the time of (perhaps after)
its incorporation into the Teaching, received important additions,
partly of a Christian character. The completed Teaching dates from
Syria, though this is denied by many writers (e.g. by Harnack), who
prefer, upon what seem to me insufficient grounds, Egypt as the place
of composition. The completed Teaching formed the basis of a part of
the seventh book of the Apostolic Constitutions, which originated in
Syria in the fourth century. The most complete and useful edition is
that of Schaff (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, 3d ed., New York,
1889), which contains the Greek text with English translation and a
very full discussion of the work itself and of the various questions
which are affected by its discovery. Harnack’s important edition Die
Lehre der zwoelff Apostel (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Gesch. der
altchrist. Lit., II. 1 and 2, 1884) is still the standard German work
upon the subject, though it represents many positions in regard to the
origin and history of the work which have since been proved incorrect,
and which he himself has given up. His article in Herzog, 2d ed., XVII.
656 sqq. and his Die Apostel-Lehre und die juedischen Beiden Wege,
1886, should therefore be compared with his original work. Schaff’s
book contains a very complete digest of the literature down to the
close of 1888. As to the position which the Teaching occupied in the
canon we know very little, on account of the very sparing use of it
made by the early Fathers. Clement of Alexandria cites it once as
Scripture (graphe), but no other writer before the time of Eusebius
treats it in the same way, and yet Eusebius’ mention of it among the
nothoi shows that it must have enjoyed a wide circulation at some time
and have been accepted by at least a portion of the Church as a book
worthy to be read in divine service, and thus in a certain sense as a
part of the canon. In Eusebius’ time, however, its canonicity had been
denied (though according to Athanasius Fest. Ep. 39, it was still used
in catechetical instruction), and he was therefore obliged to relegate
it to a position among the nothoi. Upon Eusebius’ use of the plural
didachai, see the writer’s article in the Andover Review, April, 1886,
p. 439 sq.

[800] athetousin. See the previous chapter, note 20.

[801] tois homologoumenois. See note 1, above.

[802] This Gospel, probably composed in Hebrew (Aramaic), is no longer
extant, but we possess a few fragments of it in Greek and Latin which
are collected by Grabe, Spic. I. 15-31, and by Hilgenfeld, N. T. Extra
Can. rec. II. The existing material upon which to base a judgment as to
the nature of the lost Gospel and as to its relation to our canonical
gospels is very limited. It is certain, however, that it cannot in its
original form have been a working over of our canonical Matthew (as
many have thought); it contains too many little marks of originality
over against our Greek Matthew to admit of such a supposition. That it
was, on the other hand, the original of which our Greek Matthew is the
translation is also impossible; a comparison of its fragments with our
Matthew is sufficient to prove this. That it was the original source
from which Matthew and Luke derived their common matter is
possible–more cannot be said. Lipsius (Dict. of Christ. Biog. II.
709-712) and Westcott (Hist. of the Canon, p. 515 sqq.) give the
various quotations which are supposed to have been made from it. How
many of them are actually to be traced back to it as their source is
not certain. It is possible, but not certain, that Papias had seen it
(see chap. 39, note 28), possible also that Ignatius had, but the
passage relied on to establish the fact fails to do so (see chap. 36,
note 14). It was probably used by Justin (see Westcott, ibid. p. 516,
and Lipsius, ibid. p. 712), undoubtedly by Hegesippus (see below, Bk.
IV. chap. 22), and was perhaps known to Pantaenus (see below, Bk. V.
chap. 10, note 8). Clement of Alexandria (Strom. II. 9) and Origen (in
Johan. II. 6 and often) are the first to bear explicit testimony to the
existence of such a gospel. Eusebius also was personally acquainted
with it, as may be gathered from his references to it in III. 39 and
IV. 22, and from his quotation in (the Syriac version of) his
Theophany, IV. 13 (Lee’s trans. p. 234), and in the Greek Theophany,
S:22 (Migne, VI. 685). The latter also shows the high respect in which
he held the work. Jerome’s testimony in regard to it is very important,
but it must be kept in mind that the gospel had undergone extensive
alterations and additions before his time, and as known to him was very
different from the original form (cf. Lipsius, ibid. p. 711), and
therefore what he predicates of it cannot be applied to the original
without limitation. Epiphanius has a good deal to say about it, but he
evidently had not himself seen it, and his reports of it are very
confused and misleading. The statement of Lipsius, that according to
Eusebius the gospel was reckoned by many among the Homologoumena, is
incorrect; en toutois refers rather to the nothoi among which its
earlier acceptance by a large part of the Church, but present
uncanonicity, places it by right. Irenaeus expressly states that there
were but four canonical gospels (Adv. Haer. III. 2, 8), so also
Tertullian (Adv. Marc. IV. 5), while Clement of Alexandria cites the
gospel with the same formula which he uses for the Scriptures in
general, and evidently looked upon it as, if not quite, at least
almost, on a par with the other four Gospels. Origen on the other hand
(in Johan. II. 6, Hom. in Jer. XV. 4, and often) clearly places it upon
a footing lower than that of the four canonical Gospels. Upon the use
of the gospel by the Ebionites and upon its relation to the Hebrew
Gospel of Matthew, see chap. 27, note 8. The literature upon the Gospel
according to the Hebrews is very extensive. Among recent discussions
the most important are by Hilgenfeld, in his Evangelien nach ihrer
Entstehung (1854); in the Zeitschrift f. wiss. Theol., 1863, p. 345
sqq.; in his N. T. extra Canon. rec. (2d ed. 1884); and in his
Einleitung z. N. T. (1875); by Nicholson, The Gospel according to the
Hebrews (1879); and finally, a very thorough discussion of the subject,
which reached me after the composition of the above note, by Handmann,
Das Hebraeer-Evangelium (Gebhardt and Harnack’s Texte und
Untersuchungen, Bd. V. Heft 3, Leipzig, 1888). This work gives the
older literature of the subject with great fullness. Still more
recently Resch’s Agrapha (ibid. V. 4, Leipzig, 1889) has come to hand.
It discusses the Gospel on p. 322 sq.

[803] ton antilegomenon

[804] anomologemenas

[805] ouk endiathekous men, alla kai antilegomenas. Eusebius, in this
clause, refers to the nothoi, which, of course, while distinguished
from the canonical Antilegomena, yet are, like them, disputed, and
hence belong as truly as they to the more general class of
Antilegomena. This, of course, explains how, in so many places in his
History, he can use the words nothoi and antilegomena interchangeably
(as e.g. in chap. 31, S:6). In the present passage the nothoi, as both
uncanonical and disputed, are distinguished from the canonical
writings,–including both the universally accepted and the
disputed,–which are here thrown together without distinction. The
point to be emphasized is that he is separating here the uncanonical
from the canonical, without regard to the character of the individual
writings within the latter class.

[806] See chap. 3, note 5.

[807] The Gospel of Thomas is of Gnostic origin and thoroughly Docetic.
It was written probably in the second century. The original Gnostic
form is no longer extant, but we have fragmentary Catholic recensions
of it in both Latin and Greek, from which heretical traits are expunged
with more or less care. The gospel contained many very fabulous stories
about the childhood of Jesus. It is mentioned frequently by the Fathers
from Origen down, but always as an heretical work. The Greek text is
given by Tischendorf, p. 36 sqq., and an English translation is
contained in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VIII. 395-405. See Lipsius in the
Dict. of Christ. Biog. II. p. 703-705.

[808] This gospel is mentioned by Origen (Hom. in Lucam I.), by Jerome
(Praef. in Matt.), and by other later writers. The gospel is no longer
extant, though some fragments have been preserved by Clement of
Alexandria, e.g. in Strom. II. 9, Strom. III. 4 (quoted below in chap.
30), and Strom. VII. 13, which show that it had a high moral tone and
emphasized asceticism. We know very little about it, but Lipsius
conjectures that it was ”identical with the paradoseis Matthiou which
were in high esteem in Gnostic circles, and especially among the
Basilidaeans.” See Lipsius, ibid. p. 716.

[809] Eusebius so far as we know is the first writer to refer to these
Acts. But they are mentioned after him by Epiphanius, Philaster, and
Augustine (see Tischendorf’s Acta Apost. Apoc. p. xl.). The Acts of
Andrew (Acta Andraeae) were of Gnostic origin and circulated among that
sect in numerous editions. The oldest extant portions (both in Greek
and somewhat fragmentary) are the Acts of Andrew and Matthew
(translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, VIII. 517-525) and the Acts of
Peter and Andrew (ibid. 526-527). The Acts and Martyrdom of the Holy
Apostle Andrew (ibid. 511-516), or the so-called Epistle of the
Presbyters and Deacons of Achaia concerning the Passion of Andrew, is a
later work, still extant in a Catholic recension in both Greek and
Latin. The fragments of these three are given by Tischendorf in his
Acta Apost. Apoc. p. 105 sqq. and 132 sqq., and in his Apocal. Apoc. p.
161 sq. See Lipsius in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. I. p. 30.

[810] Eusebius is likewise, so far as we know, the first writer to
refer to these Acts. But they are afterward mentioned by Epiphanius,
Photius, Augustine, Philaster, &c. (see Tischendorf, ibid. p. lxxiii.).
They are also of Gnostic origin and extant in a few fragments
(collected by Thilo, Fragmenta Actum S. Johannis a Leucio Charino
conscriptorum, Halle, 1847). A Catholic extract very much abridged, but
containing clear Gnostic traits, is still extant and is given by
Tischendorf, Acta Apost. Apoc. p. 266 sq. (translated in the
Ante-Nicene Fathers, VIII. 560-564). The last two works mentioned
belong to a collection of apocryphal Acts which were commonly ascribed
to Leucius, a fictitious character who stands as the legendary author
of the whole of this class of Gnostic literature. From the fourth
century on, frequent reference is made to various Gnostic Acts whose
number must have been enormous. Although no direct references are made
to them before the time of Eusebius, yet apparent traces of them are
found in Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, &c., which make it
probable that these writers were acquainted with them, and it may at
any rate be assumed as established that many of them date from the
third century and some of them even from the second century. See
Salmon’s article Leucius in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. III. 703-707,
and Lipsius’ article in the same work, I. 28.

[811] hairetikon andron anaplEURsmata

[812] en nothois.

Chapter XXVI.–Menander the Sorcerer.

1. Menander, [813] who succeeded Simon Magus, [814] showed himself in
his conduct another instrument of diabolical power, [815] not inferior
to the former. He also was a Samaritan and carried his sorceries to no
less an extent than his teacher had done, and at the same time reveled
in still more marvelous tales than he.

2. For he said that he was himself the Saviour, who had been sent down
from invisible aeons for the salvation of men; [816] and he taught that
no one could gain the mastery over the world-creating angels themselves
[817] unless he had first gone through the magical discipline imparted
by him and had received baptism from him. Those who were deemed worthy
of this would partake even in the present life of perpetual
immortality, and would never die, but would remain here forever, and
without growing old become immortal. [818] These facts can be easily
learned from the works of Irenaeus. [819]

3. And Justin, in the passage in which he mentions Simon, gives an
account of this man also, in the following words: [820] ”And we know
that a certain Menander, who was also a Samaritan, from the village of
Capparattea, [821] was a disciple of Simon, and that he also, being
driven by the demons, came to Antioch [822] and deceived many by his
magical art. And he persuaded his followers that they should not die.
And there are still some of them that assert this.”

4. And it was indeed an artifice of the devil to endeavor, by means of
such sorcerers, who assumed the name of Christians, to defame the great
mystery of godliness by magic art, and through them to make ridiculous
the doctrines of the Church concerning the immortality of the soul and
the resurrection of the dead. [823] But they that have chosen these men
as their saviours have fallen away from the true hope.

[813] Justin, in the passage quoted just below, is the first one to
tell us about Menander. According to him, he was a Samaritan and a
disciple of Simon Magus, and, like him, deceived many by the practice
of magic arts. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. I. 23) gives a somewhat fuller
account of him, very likely based upon Justin’s work against heresies
which the latter mentions in his Apol. I. 26, and from which Irenaeus
quotes in IV. 6. 2 (at least he quotes from a Contra Marcionem, which
was in all probability a part of the same work; see Bk. IV. chap. 11,
note 22), and perhaps in V. 26. 2. From this account of Irenaeus that
of Eusebius is drawn, and no new particulars are added. Tertullian also
mentions Menander (De Anima, 23, 50) and his resurrection doctrine, but
evidently knows only what Irenaeus has already told; and so the
accounts of all the early Fathers rest wholly upon Justin and Irenaeus,
and probably ultimately upon Justin alone. See Salmon’s article
Menander in the Dict. of Christ. Biog.

[814] Upon Simon Magus, see above, Bk. II. chap. 13, note 3.

[815] ”Instrument of diabolical power,” is an embellishment of
Eusebius’ own, quite in keeping with his usual treatment of heretics.
It is evident, however, that neither Justin nor Irenaeus looked upon
Menander with any greater degree of allowance.

[816] Simon (Irenaeus, I. 23. 1) taught that he himself was the Supreme
Power; but Menander, according to Irenaeus (ibid. S:5), taught that the
Supreme Power continues unknown to all, but that he himself (as
Eusebius here says) was sent forth as a saviour for the deliverance of

[817] He agreed with Simon in teaching that the world was formed by
angels who had taken their origin from the Ennoea of the Supreme Power,
and that the magical power which he imparted enabled his followers to
overcome these creative angels, as Simon had taught of himself before

[818] This baptism (according to Irenaeus ”into his own name”), and the
promise of the resurrection as a result, seem to have been an original
addition of Menander’s. The exemption from death taught by Menander was
evidently understood by Irenaeus, Tertullian (De Anima, 50), and
Eusebius in its physical, literal sense; but the followers of Menander
must of course have put a spiritual meaning upon it, or the sect could
not have continued in existence for any length of time. It is certain
that it was flourishing at the time of Justin; how much longer we do
not know. Justin himself does not emphasize the physical element, and
he undoubtedly understood that the immortality taught was spiritual
simply. Hegesippus (quoted below, in Bk. IV. chap. 22) mentions the
Menandrianists, but this does not imply that he was himself acquainted
with them, for he draws his information largely from Justin Martyr.

[819] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 23. 5. In III. 4. 3 he mentions Menander
again, making him the father of all the Gnostics.

[820] Justin, Apol. I. 26.

[821] The situation of the village of Capparattea is uncertain. See
Harnack’s Quellen-Kritik des Gnosticismus, p. 84.

[822] Menander’s Antiochene activity is reported only by Justin. It is
probable, therefore, that Tertullian used Irenaeus alone in writing his
account of Menander, for it is unlikely that both of them would have
omitted the same fact if they drew independently from Justin.

[823] Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. XVIII. 1) says that the denial of the
resurrection of the body was a peculiarly Samaritan heresy, and it
would seem therefore that the heresy of these Menandrianists was in
that direction, i.e. that they taught rather a spiritual immortality
and denied a bodily resurrection (as suggested in note 6); evidently,
however, this was not Eusebius’ idea. He probably looked upon them as
discrediting the Christian doctrine of a resurrection by teaching a
physical immortality, which of course was soon proved contrary to
truth, and which thus, being confounded by the masses with the
doctrines of the Christians, brought the latter also into contempt, and
threw discredit upon immortality and resurrection of every kind.

Chapter XXVII.–The Heresy of the Ebionites. [824]

1. The evil demon, however, being unable to tear certain others from
their allegiance to the Christ of God, yet found them susceptible in a
different direction, and so brought them over to his own purposes. The
ancients quite properly called these men Ebionites, because they held
poor and mean opinions concerning Christ. [825]

2. For they considered him a plain and common man, who was justified
only because of his superior virtue, and who was the fruit of the
intercourse of a man with Mary. In their opinion the observance of the
ceremonial law was altogether necessary, on the ground that they could
not be saved by faith in Christ alone and by a corresponding life.

3. There were others, however, besides them, that were of the same
name, [827] but avoided the strange and absurd beliefs of the former,
and did not deny that the Lord was born of a virgin and of the Holy
Spirit. But nevertheless, inasmuch as they also refused to acknowledge
that he pre-existed, [828] being God, Word, and Wisdom, they turned
aside into the impiety of the former, especially when they, like them,
endeavored to observe strictly the bodily worship of the law. [829]

4. These men, moreover, thought that it was necessary to reject all the
epistles of the apostle, whom they called an apostate from the law;
[830] and they used only the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews
[831] and made small account of the rest.

5. The Sabbath and the rest of the discipline of the Jews they observed
just like them, but at the same time, like us, they celebrated the
Lord’s days as a memorial of the resurrection of the Saviour. [832]

6. Wherefore, in consequence of such a course they received the name of
Ebionites, which signified the poverty of their understanding. For this
is the name by which a poor man is called among the Hebrews. [833]

[824] The Ebionites were not originally heretics. Their characteristic
was the more or less strict insistence upon the observance of the
Jewish law; a matter of cultus, therefore, not of theology, separated
them from Gentile Christians. Among the early Jewish Christians existed
all shades of opinion, in regard to the relation of the law and the
Gospel, from the freest recognition of the uncircumcised Gentile
Christian to the bitterest insistence upon the necessity for salvation
of full observance of the Jewish law by Gentile as well as by Jewish
Christians. With the latter Paul himself had to contend, and as time
went on, and Christianity spread more and more among the Gentiles, the
breach only became wider. In the time of Justin there were two opposite
tendencies among such Christians as still observed the Jewish law: some
wished to impose it upon all Christians; others confined it to
themselves. Upon the latter Justin looks with charity; but the former
he condemns as schismatics (see Dial. c. Trypho. 47). For Justin the
distinguishing mark of such schismatics is not a doctrinal heresy, but
an anti-Christian principle of life. But the natural result of these
Judaizing tendencies and of the involved hostility to the apostle of
the Gentiles was the ever more tenacious clinging to the Jewish idea of
the Messiah; and as the Church, in its strife with Gnosticism, laid an
ever-increasing stress upon Christology, the difference in this respect
between itself and these Jewish Christians became ever more apparent
until finally left far behind by the Church in its rapid development,
they were looked upon as heretics. And so in Irenaeus (I. 26. 2) we
find a definite heretical sect called Ebionites, whose Christology is
like that of Cerinthus and Carpocrates, who reject the apostle Paul,
use the Gospel of Matthew only, and still cling to the observance of
the Jewish law; but the distinction which Justin draws between the
milder and stricter class is no longer drawn: all are classed together
in the ranks of heretics, because of their heretical Christology (cf.
ibid. III. 21. 1; IV. 33. 4; V. 1. 3). In Tertullian and Hippolytus
their deviation from the orthodox Christology is still more clearly
emphasized, and their relation to the Jewish law drops still further
into the background (cf. Hippolytus, Phil. VII. 22; X. 18; and
Tertullian, De Carne Christi, 14, 18, &c.). So Origen is acquainted
with the Ebionites as an heretical sect, but, with a more exact
knowledge of them than was possessed by Irenaeus who lived far away
from their chief centre, he distinguishes two classes; but the
distinction is made upon Christological lines, and is very different
from that drawn by Justin. This distinction of Origen’s between those
Ebionites who accepted and those who denied the supernatural birth of
Christ is drawn also by Eusebius (see below, S:3). Epiphanius (Haer.
XXIX. sqq.) is the first to make two distinct heretical sects–the
Ebionites and the Nazarenes. It has been the custom of historians to
carry this distinction back into apostolic times, and to trace down to
the time of Epiphanius the continuous existence of a milder party–the
Nazarenes–and of a stricter party–the Ebionites; but this distinction
Nitzsch (Dogmengesch. p. 37 sqq.) has shown to be entirely groundless.
The division which Epiphanius makes is different from that of Justin,
as well as from that of Origen and Eusebius; in fact, it is doubtful if
he himself had any clear knowledge of a distinction, his reports are so
contradictory. The Ebionites known to him were most pronounced
heretics; but he had heard of others who were said to be less
heretical, and the conclusion that they formed another sect was most
natural. Jerome’s use of the two words is fluctuating; but it is clear
enough that they were not looked upon by him as two distinct sects. The
word ”Nazarenes” was, in fact, in the beginning a general name given to
the Christians of Palestine by the Jews (cf. Acts xxiv. 5), and as such
synonymous with ”Ebionites.” Upon the later syncretistic Ebionism, see
Bk. VI. chap. 38, note 1. Upon the general subject of Ebionism, see
especially Nitzsch, ibid., and Harnack, Dogmengeschichte, I. p. 226

[825] The word Ebionite comes from the Hebrew #B+J+W+N%, which
signifies ”poor.” Different explanations more or less fanciful have
been given of the reason for the use of the word in this connection. It
occurs first in Irenaeus (I. 26. 2), but without a definition of its
meaning. Origen, who uses the term often, gives different explanations,
e.g., in Contra Celsum, II. 1, he says that the Jewish converts
received their name from the poverty of the law, ”for Ebion signifies
poor among the Jews, and those Jews who have received Jesus as Christ
are called by the name of Ebionites.” In De Prin. IV. 1. 22, and
elsewhere, he explains the name as referring to the poverty of their
understanding. The explanation given by Eusebius refers to their
assertion that Christ was only a common man, born by natural
generation, and applied only to the first class of Ebionites, a
description of whom follows. For the same name as applied to the second
class (but see note 9) who accepted Christ’s supernatural birth, he
gives a different reason at the end of the chapter, the same which
Origen gives for the application of the name to Ebionites in general.
The explanation given in this place is so far as we know original with
Eusebius (something similar occurs again in Epiphanius, Haer. XXX. 17),
and he shows considerable ingenuity in thus treating the name
differently in the two cases. The various reasons do not of course
account for the existence of the name, for most of them could have
become reasons only long after the name was in use. Tertullian (De
Praescr. Haer. 33, De Carne Christi, 14, 18, &c.) and Hippolytus (in
his Syntagma,–as can be gathered from Pseudo-Tertullian, Adv. Haer.
chap. 3, and Epiph. Haer. XXX.,–and also in his Phil. chap. 23, where
he mentions Ebion incidentally) are the first to tell us of the
existence of a certain Ebion from whom the sect derived its name, and
Epiphanius and later writers are well acquainted with the man. But
Ebion is a myth invented simply for the purpose of explaining the
origin of Ebionism. The name Ebionite was probably used in Jerusalem as
a designation of the Christians there, either applied to them by their
enemies as a term of ridicule on account of their poverty in worldly
goods, or, what is more probable, assumed by themselves as a term of
honor,–”the poor in spirit,”–or (as Epiphanius, XXX. 17, says the
Ebionites of his day claimed) on account of their voluntarily taking
poverty upon themselves by laying their goods at the feet of the
apostles. But, however the name originated, it became soon, as
Christianity spread outside of Palestine, the special designation of
Jewish Christians as such, and thus when they began to be looked upon
as heretical, it became the name of the sect.

[826] hos me an dia mones tes eis ton christon pisteos kai tou kat’
auten biou sothesomenois. The addition of the last clause reveals the
difference between the doctrine of Eusebius’ time and the doctrine of
Paul. Not until the Reformation was Paul understood and the true
formula, dia mones tes eis ton christon pisteos, restored.

[827] Eusebius clearly knew of no distinction in name between these two
classes of Ebionites such as is commonly made between Nazarenes and
Ebionites,–nor did Origen, whom he follows (see note 1, above).

[828] That there were two different views among the Ebionites as to the
birth of Christ is stated frequently by Origen (cf. e.g. Contra Cels.
V. 61), but there was unanimity in the denial of his pre-existence and
essential divinity, and this constituted the essence of the heresy in
the eyes of the Fathers from Irenaeus on. Irenaeus, as remarked above
(note 1), knows of no such difference as Eusebius here mentions: and
that the denial of the supernatural birth even in the time of Origen
was in fact ordinarily attributed to the Ebionites in general, without
a distinction of the two classes, is seen by Origen’s words in his Hom.
in Luc. XVII.

[829] There seems to have been no difference between these two classes
in regard to their relation to the law; the distinction made by Justin
is no longer noticed.

[830] This is mentioned by Irenaeus (I. 26. 2) and by Origen (Cont.
Cels. V. 65 and Hom. in Jer. XVIII. 12). It was a general
characteristic of the sect of the Ebionites as known to the Fathers,
from the time of Origen on, and but a continuation of the enmity to
Paul shown by the Judaizers during his lifetime. But their relations to
Paul and to the Jewish law fell more and more into the background, as
remarked above, as their Christological heresy came into greater
prominence over against the developed Christology of the Catholic
Church (cf. e.g. the accounts of Tertullian and of Hippolytus with that
of Irenaeus). The ”these” (houtoi de) here would seem to refer only to
the second class of Ebionites; but we know from the very nature of the
case, as well as from the accounts of others, that this conduct was
true as well of the first, and Eusebius, although he may have been
referring only to the second, cannot have intended to exclude the first
class in making the statement.

[831] Eusebius is the first to tell us that the Ebionites used the
Gospel according to the Hebrews. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. I. 26. 2, III.
11. 7) says that they used the Gospel of Matthew, and the fact that he
mentions no difference between it and the canonical Matthew shows that,
so far as he knew, they were the same. But according to Eusebius,
Jerome, and Epiphanius the Gospel according to the Hebrews was used by
the Ebionites, and, as seen above (chap. 25, note 18), this Gospel
cannot have been identical with the canonical Matthew. Either,
therefore, the Gospel used by the Ebionites in the time of Irenaeus,
and called by him simply the Gospel of Matthew, was something different
from the canonical Matthew, or else the Ebionites had given up the
Gospel of Matthew for another and a different gospel (for the Gospel of
the Hebrews cannot have been an outgrowth of the canonical Matthew, as
has been already seen, chap. 25, note 24). The former is much more
probable, and the difficulty may be most simply explained by supposing
that the Gospel according to the Hebrews is identical with the
so-called Hebrew Gospel of Matthew (see chap. 24, note 5), or at least
that it passed among the earliest Jewish Christians under Matthew’s
name, and that Irenaeus, who was personally acquainted with the sect,
simply hearing that they used a Gospel of Matthew, naturally supposed
it to be identical with the canonical Gospel. In the time of Jerome a
Hebrew ”Gospel according to the Hebrews” was used by the ”Nazarenes and
Ebionites” as the Gospel of Matthew (cf. in Matt. XII. 13; Contra
Pelag. III. 2). Jerome refrains from expressing his own judgment as to
its authorship, but that he did not consider it in its existing form
identical with the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew is clear from his words in
de vir. ill. chap. 3, taken in connection with the fact that he himself
translated it into Greek and Latin, as he states in chap. 2. Epiphanius
(Haer. XXIX. 9) says that the Nazarenes still preserved the original
Hebrew Matthew in full, while the Ebionites (XXX. 13) had a Gospel of
Matthew ”not complete, but spurious and mutilated”; and elsewhere (XXX.
3) he says that the Ebionites used the Gospel of Matthew and called it
the ”Gospel according to the Hebrews.” It is thus evident that he meant
to distinguish the Gospel of the Ebionites from that of the Nazarenes,
i.e. the Gospel according to the Hebrews from the original Hebrew
Matthew. So, likewise. Eusebius’ treatment of the Gospel according to
the Hebrews and of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew clearly indicates that
he considered them two different gospels (cf. e.g. his mention of the
former in chap. 25 and in Bk. IV. chap. 22, and his mention of the
latter in chap. 24, and in Bk. IV. chap. 10). Of course he knew that
the former was not identical with the canonical Matthew, and hence,
naturally supposing that the Hebrew Matthew agreed with the canonical
Matthew, he could not do otherwise than make a distinction between the
Gospel according to the Hebrews and the Hebrew Matthew, and he must
therefore make the change which he did in Irenaeus’ statement in
mentioning the Gospel used by the Ebionites, as he knew them. Moreover,
as we learn from Bk. VI. chap. 17, the Ebionite Symmachus had written
against the Gospel of Matthew (of course the canonical Gospel), and
this fact would only confirm Eusebius in his opinion that Irenaeus was
mistaken, and that the Ebionites did not use the Gospel of Matthew. But
none of these facts militate against the assumption that the Gospel of
the Hebrews in its original form was identical with the Hebrew Gospel
of Matthew, or at least passed originally under his name among Jewish
Christians. For it is by no means certain that the original Hebrew
Matthew agreed with the canonical Matthew, and, therefore, lack of
resemblance between the Gospel according to the Hebrews and the
canonical Matthew is no argument against its identity with the Hebrew
Matthew. Moreover, it is quite conceivable that, in the course of time,
the original Gospel according to the Hebrews underwent alterations,
especially since it was in the hands of a sect which was growing
constantly more heretical, and that, therefore, its resemblance to the
canonical Matthew may have been even less in the time of Eusebius and
Jerome than at the beginning. It is possible that the Gospel of
Matthew, which Jerome claims to have seen in the library at Caesarea
(de vir. ill. chap. 3), may have been an earlier, and hence less
corrupt, copy of the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Since the writing
of this note, Handmann’s work on the Gospel according to the Hebrews
(Das Hebraeer-Evangelium, von Rudolf Handmann. Von Gebhardt and
Harnack’s Texte und Untersuchungen, Bd. V. Heft 3) has come into my
hands, and I find that he denies that that Gospel is to be in any way
identified with the traditional Hebrew Matthew, or that it bore the
name of Matthew. The reasons which he gives, however, are practically
the same as those referred to in this note, and, as already shown, do
not prove that the two were not originally identical. Handmann holds
that the Gospel among the Jewish Christians was called simply ”the
Gospel,” or some general name of the kind, and that it received from
others the name ”Gospel according to the Hebrews,” because it was used
by them. This may well be, but does not militate at all against the
existence of a tradition among the Jewish Christians that Matthew was
the author of their only gospel. Handmann makes the Gospel according to
the Hebrews a second independent source of the Synoptic Gospels
alongside of the ”Ur-Marcus,” (a theory which, if accepted, would go
far to establish its identity with the Hebrew Matthew), and even goes
so far as to suggest that it is to be identified with the logia of
Papias (cf. the writer’s notice of Handmann’s book, in the Presbyterian
Review, July, 1889). For the literature on this Gospel, see chap. 25,
note 24. I find that Resch in his Agrapha emphasizes the apocryphal
character of the Gospel in its original form, and makes it later than
and in part dependent upon our Matthew, but I am unable to agree with

[832] The question again arises whether Eusebius is referring here to
the second class of Ebionites only, and is contrasting their conduct in
regard to Sabbath observance with that of the first class, or whether
he refers to all Ebionites, and contrasts them with the Jews. The
subject remains the same as in the previous sentence; but the persons
referred to are contrasted with ekeinoi, whom they resemble in their
observance of the Jewish Sabbath, but from whom they differ in their
observance of the Lord’s day. The most natural interpretation of the
Greek is that which makes the houtoi de refer to the second class of
Ebionites, and the ekeinoi to the first; and yet we hear from no one
else of two sharply defined classes separated by religious customs, in
addition to doctrinal opinions, and it is not likely that they existed.
If this interpretation, however, seems necessary, we may conclude that
some of them observed the Lord’s day, while others did not, and that
Eusebius naturally identified the former with the more, and the latter
with the less, orthodox class, without any especial information upon
the subject. It is easier, too, to explain Eusebius’ suggestion of a
second derivation for the name of Ebionite, if we assume that he is
distinguishing here between the two classes. Having given above a
reason for calling the first class by that name, he now gives the
reason for calling the second class by the same.

[833] See note 2.

Chapter XXVIII.–Cerinthus the Heresiarch.

1. We have understood that at this time Cerinthus, [834] the author of
another heresy, made his appearance. Caius, whose words we quoted
above, [835] in the Disputation which is ascribed to him, writes as
follows concerning this man:

2. ”But Cerinthus also, by means of revelations which he pretends were
written by a great apostle, brings before us marvelous things which he
falsely claims were shown him by angels; and he says that after the
resurrection the kingdom of Christ will be set up on earth, and that
the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem will again be subject to desires and
pleasures. And being an enemy of the Scriptures of God, he asserts,
with the purpose of deceiving men, that there is to be a period of a
thousand years [836] for marriage festivals.” [837]

3. And Dionysius, [838] who was bishop of the parish of Alexandria in
our day, in the second book of his work On the Promises, where he says
some things concerning the Apocalypse of John which he draws from
tradition, mentions this same man in the following words: [839]

4. ”But (they say that) Cerinthus, who founded the sect which was
called, after him, the Cerinthian, desiring reputable authority for his
fiction, prefixed the name. For the doctrine which he taught was this:
that the kingdom of Christ will be an earthly one.

5. And as he was himself devoted to the pleasures of the body and
altogether sensual in his nature, he dreamed that that kingdom would
consist in those things which he desired, namely, in the delights of
the belly and of sexual passion, that is to say, in eating and drinking
and marrying, and in festivals and sacrifices and the slaying of
victims, under the guise of which he thought he could indulge his
appetites with a better grace.”

6. These are the words of Dionysius. But Irenaeus, in the first book of
his work Against Heresies, [840] gives some more abominable false
doctrines of the same man, and in the third book relates a story which
deserves to be recorded. He says, on the authority of Polycarp, that
the apostle John once entered a bath to bathe; but, learning that
Cerinthus was within, he sprang from the place and rushed out of the
door, for he could not bear to remain under the same roof with him. And
he advised those that were with him to do the same, saying, ”Let us
flee, lest the bath fall; for Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is
within.” [841]

[834] The earliest account which we have of Cerinthus is that of
Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. I. 26. 1; cf. III. 3. 4, quoted at the end of this
chapter, and 11. 1), according to which Cerinthus, a man educated in
the wisdom of the Egyptians, taught that the world was not made by the
supreme God, but by a certain power distinct from him. He denied the
supernatural birth of Jesus, making him the son of Joseph and Mary, and
distinguishing him from Christ, who descended upon him at baptism and
left him again at his crucifixion. He was thus Ebionitic in his
Christology, but Gnostic in his doctrine of the creation. He claimed no
supernatural power for himself as did Simon Magus and Menander, but
pretended to angelic revelations, as recorded by Caius in this
paragraph. Irenaeus (who is followed by Hippolytus, VII. 21 and X. 17)
says nothing of his chiliastic views, but these are mentioned by Caius
in the present paragraph, by Dionysius (quoted by Eusebius, VII. 25,
below), by Theodoret (Haer. Fab. II. 3), and by Augustine (De Haer. I.
8), from which accounts we can see that those views were very sensual.
The fullest description which we have of Cerinthus and his followers is
that of Epiphanius (Haer. XXVIII.), who records a great many traditions
as to his life (e.g. that he was one of the false apostles who opposed
Paul, and one of the circumcision who rebuked Peter for eating with
Cornelius, &c.), and also many details as to his system, some of which
are quite contradictory. It is clear, however, that he was Jewish in
his training and sympathies, while at the same time possessed of
Gnostic tendencies. He represents a position of transition from
Judaistic Ebionism to Gnosticism, and may be regarded as the earliest
Judaizing Gnostic. Of his death tradition tells us nothing, and as to
his dates we can say only that he lived about the end of the first
century. Irenaeus (III. 2. 1) supposed John to have written his gospel
and epistle in opposition to Cerinthus. On the other hand, Cerinthus
himself was regarded by some as the author of the Apocalypse (see Bk.
VII. chap. 25, below), and most absurdly as the author of the Fourth
Gospel also (see above, chap. 24, note 1).

[835] See Bk. II. chap. 25, S:7. Upon Caius, see the note given there.
The Disputation is the same that is quoted in that passage.

[836] Cf. Rev. xx. 4. On chiliasm in the early Church, see below, chap.
39, note 19.

[837] It is a commonly accepted opinion founded upon this passage that
Caius rejected the apostolic authorship of the Apocalypse and
considered it a work of Cerinthus. But the quotation by no means
implies this. Had he believed that Cerinthus wrote the Apocalypse
commonly ascribed to John, he would certainly have said so plainly, and
Eusebius would just as certainly have quoted his opinion, prejudiced as
he was himself against the Apocalypse. Caius simply means that
Cerinthus abused and misinterpreted the vision of the Apocalypse for
his own sensual purposes. That this is the meaning is plain from the
words ”being an enemy to the Divine Scriptures,” and especially from
the fact that in the Johannine Apocalypse itself occur no such sensual
visions as Caius mentions here. The sensuality was evidently
superimposed by the interpretation of Cerinthus. Cf. Weiss’ N. T.
Einleitung, p. 82.

[838] Upon Dionysius and his writings, see below, Bk. VI. chap. 40,
note 1.

[839] The same passage is quoted with its context in Bk. VII. chap. 25,
below. The verbs in the portion of the passage quoted here are all in
the infinitive, and we see, from Bk. VII. chap. 25, that they depend
upon an indefinite legousin, ”they say”; so that Eusebius is quite
right here in saying that Dionysius is drawing from tradition in making
the remarks which he does. Inasmuch as the verbs are not independent,
and the statement is not, therefore, Dionysius’ own, I have inserted,
at the beginning of the quotation, the words ”they say that,” which
really govern all the verbs of the passage. Dionysius himself rejected
the theory of Cerinthus’ authorship of the Apocalypse, as may be seen
from Bk. VII. chap. 25, S:7.

[840] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 26. 1.

[841] See ibid. III. 3. 4. This story is repeated by Eusebius, in Bk.
IV. chap. 14. There is nothing impossible in it. The occurrence fits
well the character of John as a ”son of thunder,” and shows the same
spirit exhibited by Polycarp in his encounter with Marcion (see below,
Bk. IV. chap. 14). But the story is not very well authenticated, as
Irenaeus did not himself hear it from Polycarp, but only from others to
whom Polycarp had told it. The unreliability of such second-hand
tradition is illustrated abundantly in the case of Irenaeus himself,
who gives some reports, very far from true, upon the authority of
certain presbyters (e.g. that Christ lived fifty years; II. 22. 5).
This same story, with much more fullness of detail, is repeated by
Epiphanius (Haer. XXX. 24), but of Ebion (who never existed), instead
of Cerinthus. This shows that the story was a very common one, while,
at the same time, so vague in its details as to admit of an application
to any heretic who suited the purpose. That somebody met somebody in a
bath seems quite probable, and there is nothing to prevent our
accepting the story as it stands in Irenaeus, if we choose to do so.
One thing, at least, is certain, that Cerinthus is a historical
character, who in all probability was, for at least a part of his life,
contemporary with John, and thus associated with him in tradition,
whether or not he ever came into personal contact with him.

Chapter XXIX.–Nicolaus and the Sect named after him.

1. At this time the so-called sect of the Nicolaitans made its
appearance and lasted for a very short time. Mention is made of it in
the Apocalypse of John. [842] They boasted that the author of their
sect was Nicolaus, one of the deacons who, with Stephen, were appointed
by the apostles for the purpose of ministering to the poor. [843]
Clement of Alexandria, in the third book of his Stromata, relates the
following things concerning him. [844]

2. ”They say that he had a beautiful wife, and after the ascension of
the Saviour, being accused by the apostles of jealousy, he led her into
their midst and gave permission to any one that wished to marry her.
For they say that this was in accord with that saying of his, that one
ought to abuse the flesh. And those that have followed his heresy,
imitating blindly and foolishly that which was done and said, commit
fornication without shame.

3. But I understand that Nicolaus had to do with no other woman than
her to whom he was married, and that, so far as his children are
concerned, his daughters continued in a state of virginity until old
age, and his son remained uncorrupt. If this is so, when he brought his
wife, whom he jealously loved, into the midst of the apostles, he was
evidently renouncing his passion; and when he used the expression, `to
abuse the flesh,’ he was inculcating self-control in the face of those
pleasures that are eagerly pursued. For I suppose that, in accordance
with the command of the Saviour, he did not wish to serve two masters,
pleasure and the Lord. [845]

4. But they say that Matthias also taught in the same manner that we
ought to fight against and abuse the flesh, and not give way to it for
the sake of pleasure, but strengthen the soul by faith and knowledge.”
[846] So much concerning those who then attempted to pervert the truth,
but in less time than it has taken to tell it became entirely extinct.

[842] Rev. ii. 6, 15. Salmon, in his article Nicolaitans, in the Dict.
of Christ. Biog., states, as I think, quite correctly, that ”there
really is no trustworthy evidence of the continuance of a sect so
called after the death of the apostle John”; and in this he is in
agreement with many modern scholars. An examination of extant accounts
of this sect seems to show that nothing more was known of the
Nicolaitans by any of the Fathers than what is told in the Apocalypse.
Justin, whose lost work against heretics Irenaeus follows in his
description of heresies, seems to have made no mention of the
Nicolaitans, for they are dragged in by Irenaeus at the close of the
text, quite out of their chronological place. Irenaeus (I. 26. 3; III.
11. 1) seems to have made up his account from the Apocalypse, and to
have been the sole source for later writers upon this subject. That the
sect was licentious is told us by the Apocalypse. That Nicolas, one of
the Seven, was their founder is stated by Irenaeus (I. 26. 3),
Hippolytus (VII. 24), Pseudo-Tertullian (Adv. omnes Haer. chap. 1), and
Epiphanius (Haer. 25), the last two undoubtedly drawing their account
from Hippolytus, and he in turn from Irenaeus. Jerome and the writers
of his time and later accept this view, believing that Nicolas became
licentious and fell into the greatest wickedness. Whether the sect
really claimed Nicolas as their founder, or whether the combination was
made by Irenaeus in consequence of the identity of his name with the
name of a sect mentioned in the Apocalypse, we cannot tell; nor have we
any idea, in the latter case, where the sect got the name which they
bore. Clement of Alexandria, in the passage quoted just below, gives us
quite a different account of the character of Nicolas; and as he is a
more reliable writer than the ones above quoted, and as his statement
explains excellently the appeal of the sect to Nicolas’ authority,
without impeaching his character, which certainly his position among
the Seven would lead us to expect was good, and good enough to warrant
permanence, we feel safe in accepting his account as the true one, and
denying that Nicolas himself bore the character which marked the sect
of the Nicolaitans; though the latter may, as Clement says, have arisen
from abusing a saying of Nicolas which had been uttered with a good

[843] See Acts vi

[844] Stromata, III. 4.

[845] Compare Matt. vi. 24.

[846] This teaching was found in the Gospel of Matthias, or the
paradoseis Matthiou, mentioned in chap. 25 (see note 30 on that

Chapter XXX.–The Apostles that were Married.

1. Clement, indeed, whose words we have just quoted, after the
above-mentioned facts gives a statement, on account of those who
rejected marriage, of the apostles that had wives. [847] ”Or will
they,” says he, [848] ”reject even the apostles? For Peter [849] and
Philip [850] begat children; and Philip also gave his daughters in
marriage. And Paul does not hesitate, in one of his epistles, to greet
his wife, [851] whom he did not take about with him, that he might not
be inconvenienced in his ministry.”

2. And since we have mentioned this subject it is not improper to
subjoin another account which is given by the same author and which is
worth reading. In the seventh book of his Stromata he writes as
follows: [852] ”They say, accordingly, that when the blessed Peter saw
his own wife led out to die, he rejoiced because of her summons and her
return home, and called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly,
addressing her by name, and saying, `Oh thou, remember the Lord.’ Such
was the marriage of the blessed, and their perfect disposition toward
those dearest to them.” This account being in keeping with the subject
in hand, I have related here in its proper place.

[847] A chapter intervenes between the quotation given by Eusebius just
above and the one which follows. In it Clement had referred to two
classes of heretics,–without giving their names,–one of which
encouraged all sorts of license, while the other taught celibacy.
Having in that place refuted the former class, he devotes the chapter
from which the following quotation is taken to a refutation of the
latter, deducing against them the fact that some of the apostles were
married. Clement here, as in his Quis dives salvetur (quoted in chap.
23), shows his good common sense which led him to avoid the extreme of
asceticism as well as that of license. He was in this an exception to
most of the Fathers of his own and subsequent ages, who in their
reaction from the licentiousness of the times advised and often
encouraged by their own example the most rigid asceticism, and thus
laid the foundation for monasticism.

[848] Strom.III. 6.

[849] Peter was married, as we know from Matt. viii. 14 (cf. 1 Cor. ix.
5). Tradition also tells us of a daughter, St. Petronilla. She is first
called St. Peter’s daughter in the Apocryphal Acts of SS. Nereus and
Achilles, which give a legendary account of her life and death. In the
Christian cemetery of Flavia Domitilla was buried an Aurelia Petronilla
filia dulcissima, and Petronilla being taken as a diminutive of Petrus,
she was assumed to have been a daughter of Peter. It is probable that
this was the origin of the popular tradition. Petronilla is not,
however, a diminutive of Petrus, and it is probable that this woman was
one of the Aurelian gens and a relative of Flavia Domitilla. Compare
the article Petronilla in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. Petronilla has
played a prominent role in art. The immense painting by Guercino in the
Palace of the Conservators in Rome attracts the attention of all

[850] It is probable that Clement here confounds Philip the evangelist
with Philip the apostle. See the next chapter, note 6. Philip the
evangelist, according to Acts xxi. 9, had four daughters who were
virgins. Clement (assuming that he is speaking of the same Philip) is
the only one to tell us that they afterward married, and he tells us
nothing about their husbands. Polycrates in the next chapter states
that two of them at least remained virgins. If so, Clement’s statement
can apply at most only to the other two. Whether his report is correct
as respects them we cannot tell.

[851] The passage to which Clement here refers and which he quotes in
this connection is 1 Cor. ix. 5; but this by no means proves that Paul
was married, and 1 Cor. vii. 8 seems to imply the opposite, though the
words might be used if he were a widower. The words of Philip. iv. 3
are often quoted as addressed to his wife, but there is no authority
for such a reference. Clement is the only Father who reports that Paul
was married; many of them expressly deny it; e.g. Tertullian, Hilary,
Epiphanius, Jerome, &c. The authority of these later Fathers is of
course of little account. But Clement’s conclusion is based solely upon
exegetical grounds, and therefore is no argument for the truth of the

[852] Strom.VII. 11. Clement, so far as we know, is the only one to
relate this story, but he bases it upon tradition, and although its
truth cannot be proved, there is nothing intrinsically improbable in

Chapter XXXI.–The Death of John and Philip.

1. The time and the manner of the death of Paul and Peter as well as
their burial places, have been already shown by us. [853]

2. The time of John’s death has also been given in a general way, [854]
but his burial place is indicated by an epistle of Polycrates [855]
(who was bishop of the parish of Ephesus), addressed to Victor, [856]
bishop of Rome. In this epistle he mentions him together with the
apostle Philip and his daughters in the following words: [857]

3. ”For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise
again on the last day, at the coming of the Lord, when he shall come
with glory from heaven and shall seek out all the saints. Among these
are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, [858] who sleeps in Hierapolis,
[859] and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter who lived
in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; [860] and moreover John,
who was both a witness [861] and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom
of the Lord, and being a priest wore the sacerdotal plate. [862] He
also sleeps at Ephesus.” [863]

4. So much concerning their death. And in the Dialogue of Caius which
we mentioned a little above, [864] Proclus, [865] against whom he
directed his disputation, in agreement with what has been quoted, [866]
speaks thus concerning the death of Philip and his daughters: ”After
him [867] there were four prophetesses, the daughters of Philip, at
Hierapolis in Asia. Their tomb is there and the tomb of their father.”
Such is his statement.

5. But Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, mentions the daughters of
Philip who were at that time at Caesarea in Judea with their father,
and were honored with the gift of prophecy. His words are as follows:
”We came unto Caesarea; and entering into the house of Philip the
evangelist, who was one of the seven, we abode with him. Now this man
had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.” [868]

6. We have thus set forth in these pages what has come to our knowledge
concerning the apostles themselves and the apostolic age, and
concerning the sacred writings which they have left us, as well as
concerning those which are disputed, but nevertheless have been
publicly used by many in a great number of churches, [869] and
moreover, concerning those that are altogether rejected and are out of
harmony with apostolic orthodoxy. Having done this, let us now proceed
with our history.

[853] See Bk. II. chap. 25, S:S:5 sqq.

[854] See chap. 23, S:S:3, 4.

[855] Upon Polycrates, see Bk. V. chap. 22, note 9.

[856] Upon Victor, see ibid. note 1.

[857] This epistle is the only writing of Polycrates which is preserved
to us. This passage, with considerably more of the same epistle, is
quoted below in Bk. V. chap. 24. From that chapter we see that the
epistle was written in connection with the Quarto-deciman controversy,
and after saying, ”We therefore observe the genuine day,” Polycrates
goes on in the words quoted here to mention the ”great lights of Asia”
as confirming his own practice. (See the notes upon the epistle in Bk.
V. chap. 24.) The citation here of this incidental passage from a
letter upon a wholly different subject illustrates Eusebius’ great
diligence in searching out all historical notices which could in any
way contribute to his history.

[858] Philip the apostle and Philip the evangelist are here confounded.
That they were really two different men is clear enough from Luke’s
account in the Acts (cf. Acts vi. 2-5, viii. 14-17, and xxi. 8). That
it was the evangelist, and not the apostle, that was buried in
Hierapolis may be assumed upon the following grounds: (1) The
evangelist (according to Acts xxi. 8) had four daughters, who were
virgins and prophetesses. Polycrates speaks here of three daughters, at
least two of whom were virgins, and Proclus, just below, speaks of four
daughters who were prophetesses. (2) Eusebius, just below, expressly
identifies the apostle and evangelist, showing that in his time there
was no separate tradition of the two men. Lightfoot (Colossians, p. 45)
maintains that Polycrates is correct, and that it was the apostle, not
the evangelist, that was buried in Hierapolis; but the reasons which he
gives are trivial and will hardly convince scholars in general.
Certainly we need strong grounds to justify the separation of two men
so remarkably similar so far as their families are concerned. But the
truth is, there is nothing more natural than that later generations
should identify the evangelist with the apostle of the same name, and
should assume the presence of the latter wherever the former was known
to have been. This identification would in itself be a welcome one to
the inhabitants of Hierapolis, and hence it would be assumed there more
readily than anywhere else. Of course it is not impossible that Philip
the apostle also had daughters who were virgins and prophetesses, but
it is far more probable that Polycrates (and possibly Clement too; see
the previous chapter) confounded him with the evangelist,–as every one
may have done for some generations before them. Eusebius at any rate,
historian though he was, saw no difficulty in making the
identification, and certainly it was just as easy for Polycrates and
Clement to do the same. Lightfoot makes something of the fact that
Polycrates mentions only three daughters, instead of four. But the
latter’s words by no means imply that there had not been a fourth
daughter (see note 8, below).

[859] Hierapolis was a prominent city in Proconsular Asia, about five
miles north of Laodicea, in connection with which city it is mentioned
in Col. iv. 13. The ruins of this city are quite extensive, and its
site is occupied by a village called Pambouk Kelessi.

[860] The fact that only three of Philip’s daughters are mentioned
here, when from the Acts we know he had four, shows that the fourth had
died elsewhere; and therefore it would have been aside from Polycrates’
purpose to mention her, since, as we see from Bk. V. chap. 24, he was
citing only those who had lived in Asia (the province), and had agreed
as to the date of the Passover. The separate mention of this third
daughter by Polycrates has been supposed to arise from the fact that
she was married, while the other two remained virgins. This is,
however, not at all implied, as the fact that she was buried in a
different place would be enough to cause the separate mention of her.
Still, inasmuch as Clement (see the preceding chapter) reports that
Philip’s daughters were married, and inasmuch as Polycrates expressly
states that two of them were virgins, it is quite possible that she (as
well as the fourth daughter, not mentioned here) may have been a
married woman, which would, perhaps, account for her living in Ephesus
and being buried there, instead of with her father and sister in
Hierapolis. It is noticeable that while two of the daughters are
expressly called virgins, the third is not.

[861] mEURrtus; see chap. 32, note 15.

[862] The Greek word is petagon, which occurs in the LXX. as the
technical term for the plate or diadem of the high priest (cr. Ex.
xxviii. 36, &c.). What is meant by the word in the present connection
is uncertain. Epiphanius (Haer. LXXVII. 14) says the same thing of
James, the brother of the Lord. But neither James nor John was a Jewish
priest, and therefore the words can be taken literally in neither case.
Valesius and others have thought that John and James, and perhaps
others of the apostles, actually wore something resembling the diadem
of the high priest; but this is not at all probable. The words are
either to be taken in a purely figurative sense, as meaning that John
bore the character of a priest,–i.e. the high priest of Christ as his
most beloved disciple,–or, as Hefele suggests, the report is to be
regarded as a mythical tradition which arose after the second Jewish
war. See Kraus’ Real-Encyclopaedie der christlichen Alterthuemer, Band
II. p. 212 sq.

[863] Upon John’s Ephesian activity and his death there, see Bk. III.
chap. 1, note 6.

[864] Bk. II. chap. 25, S:6, and Bk. III. chap. 28, S:1. Upon Caius and
his dialogue with Proclus, see the former passage, note 8.

[865] Upon Proclus, a Montanistic leader, see Bk. II. chap. 25, note

[866] The agreement of the two accounts is not perfect, as Polycrates
reports that two daughters were buried at Hierapolis and one at
Ephesus, while Proclus puts them all four at Hierapolis. But the report
of Polycrates deserves our credence rather than that of Proclus,
because, in the first place, Polycrates was earlier than Proclus; in
the second place, his report is more exact, and it is hard to imagine
how, if all four were really buried in one place, the more detailed
report of Polycrates could have arisen, while on the other hand it is
quite easy to explain the rise of the more general but inexact account
of Proclus; for with the general tradition that Philip and his
daughters lived and died in Hierapolis needed only to be combined the
fact that he had four daughters, and Proclus’ version was complete. In
the third place, Polycrates’ report bears the stamp of truth as
contrasted with mere legend, because it accounts for only three
daughters, while universal tradition speaks of four. How Eusebius could
have overlooked the contradiction it is more difficult to explain. He
can hardly have failed to notice it, but was undoubtedly unable to
account for the difference, and probably considered it too small a
matter to concern himself about. He was quite prone to accept earlier
accounts just as they stood, whether contradictory or not. The fact
that they had been recorded was usually enough for him, if they
contained no improbable or fabulous stories. He cannot be accused of
intentional deception at this point, for he gives the true accounts
side by side, so that every reader might judge of the agreement for
himself. Upon the confusion of the apostle and evangelist, see above,
note 6.

[867] I read meta touton with the majority of the mss., with Burton,
Routh, Schwegler, Heinichen, &c., instead of meta touto, which occurs
in some mss. and in Rufinus, and is adopted by Valesius, Cruse, and
others. As Burton says, the copyists of Eusebius, not knowing to whom
Proclus here referred, changed touton to touto; but if we had the
preceding context we should find that Proclus had been referring to
some prophetic man such as the Montanists were fond of appealing to in
support of their position. Schwegler suggests that it may have been the
Quadratus mentioned in chap. 37, but this is a mere guess. As the
sentence stands isolated from its connection, touton is the harder
reading, and could therefore have more easily been changed into touto
than the latter into touton.

[868] Acts xxi. 8, 9. Eusebius clearly enough considers Philip the
apostle and Philip the evangelist identical. Upon this identification,
see note 6, above.

[869] hieron grammEURton, kai ton antilegomenon men,
homos…dedemosieumenon. The classification here is not inconsistent
with that given in chap. 25, but is less complete than it, inasmuch as
here Eusebius draws no distinction between antilegomena and nothoi, but
uses the former word in its general sense, and includes under it both
the particular classes (Antilegomena and nothoi) of chap. 25 (see note
27 on that chapter).

Chapter XXXII.–Symeon, Bishop of Jerusalem, suffers Martyrdom.

1. It is reported that after the age of Nero and Domitian, under the
emperor whose times we are now recording, [870] a persecution was
stirred up against us in certain cities in consequence of a popular
uprising. [871] In this persecution we have understood that Symeon, the
son of Clopas, who, as we have shown, was the second bishop of the
church of Jerusalem, [872] suffered martyrdom.

2. Hegesippus, whose words we have already quoted in various places,
[873] is a witness to this fact also. Speaking of certain heretics
[874] he adds that Symeon was accused by them at this time; and since
it was clear that he was a Christian, he was tortured in various ways
for many days, and astonished even the judge himself and his attendants
in the highest degree, and finally he suffered a death similar to that
of our Lord. [875]

3. But there is nothing like hearing the historian himself, who writes
as follows: ”Certain of these heretics brought accusation against
Symeon, the son of Clopas, on the ground that he was a descendant of
David [876] and a Christian; and thus he suffered martyrdom, at the age
of one hundred and twenty years, [877] while Trajan was emperor and
Atticus governor.” [878]

4. And the same writer says that his accusers also, when search was
made for the descendants of David, were arrested as belonging to that
family. [879] And it might be reasonably assumed that Symeon was one of
those that saw and heard the Lord, [880] judging from the length of his
life, and from the fact that the Gospel makes mention of Mary, the wife
of Clopas, [881] who was the father of Symeon, as has been already
shown. [882]

5. The same historian says that there were also others, descended from
one of the so-called brothers of the Saviour, whose name was Judas,
who, after they had borne testimony before Domitian, as has been
already recorded, [883] in behalf of faith in Christ, lived until the
same reign.

6. He writes as follows: ”They came, therefore, and took the lead of
every church [884] as witnesses [885] and as relatives of the Lord. And
profound peace being established in every church, they remained until
the reign of the Emperor Trajan, [886] and until the above-mentioned
Symeon, son of Clopas, an uncle of the Lord, was informed against by
the heretics, and was himself in like manner accused for the same cause
[887] before the governor Atticus. [888] And after being tortured for
many days he suffered martyrdom, and all, including even the proconsul,
marveled that, at the age of one hundred and twenty years, he could
endure so much. And orders were given that he should be crucified.”

7. In addition to these things the same man, while recounting the
events of that period, records that the Church up to that time had
remained a pure and uncorrupted virgin, since, if there were any that
attempted to corrupt the sound norm of the preaching of salvation, they
lay until then concealed in obscure darkness.

8. But when the sacred college of apostles had suffered death in
various forms, and the generation of those that had been deemed worthy
to hear the inspired wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then
the league of godless error took its rise as a result of the folly of
heretical teachers, [889] who, because none of the apostles was still
living, attempted henceforth, with a bold face, to proclaim, in
opposition to the preaching of the truth, the `knowledge which is
falsely so-called.’ [890]

[870] Trajan, who reigned from 98 to 117 a.d.

[871] Upon the state of the Christians under Trajan, see the next
chapter, with the notes.

[872] See chap. 11.

[873] Quoted in Bk. II. chap. 23, and in Bk. III. chap. 20, and
mentioned in Bk. III. chap. 11. Upon his life and writings, see Bk. IV.
chap. 8, note 1.

[874] In the passage quoted in Bk. IV. chap. 22, S:4, Hegesippus speaks
of various heretics, and it looks as if the passage quoted there
directly preceded the present one in the work of Hegesippus.

[875] That is, by crucifixion, as stated in S:6.

[876] It is noticeable that Symeon was not sought out by the imperial
authorities, but was accused to them as a descendant of David and as a
Christian. The former accusation shows with what suspicion all members
of the Jewish royal family were still viewed, as possible instigators
of a revolution (cf. chap. 20, note 2); the latter shows that in the
eyes of the State Christianity was in itself a crime (see the next
chapter, note 6). In the next paragraph it is stated that search was
made by the officials for members of the Jewish royal family. This was
quite natural, after the attention of the government had been
officially drawn to the family by the arrest of Symeon.

[877] The date of the martyrdom of Symeon is quite uncertain. It has
been commonly ascribed (together with the martyrdom of Ignatius) to the
year 106 or 107, upon the authority of Eusebius’ Chron., which is
supposed to connect these events with the ninth or tenth year of
Trajan’s reign. But an examination of the passage in the Chron., where
Eusebius groups together these two events and the persecutions in
Bithynia, shows that he did not pretend to know the exact date of any
of them, and simply put them together as three similar events known to
have occurred during the reign of Trajan (cf. Lightfoot’s Ignatius, II.
p. 447 sqq.). The year of Atticus’ proconsulship we unfortunately do
not know, although Wieseler, in his Christen-Verfolgungen der Caesaren,
p. 126, cites Waddington as his authority for the statement that
Herodes Atticus was proconsul of Palestine from 105 to 107; but all
that Waddington says (Fastes des prov. Asiat., p. 720) is, that since
the proconsul for the years 105 to 107 is not known, and Eusebius puts
the death of Symeon in the ninth or tenth year of Trajan, we may assume
that this was the date of Atticus’ proconsulship. This, of course,
furnishes no support for the common opinion. Lightfoot, on account of
the fact that Symeon was the son of Clopas, wishes to put the martyrdom
earlier in Trajan’s reign, and it is probable that it occurred earlier
rather than later; more cannot be said. The great age of Symeon and his
martyrdom under Trajan are too well authenticated to admit of doubt; at
the same time, the figure 120 may well be an exaggeration, as Lightfoot
thinks. Renan (Les Evangiles, p. 466) considers it very improbable that
Symeon could have had so long a life and episcopate, and therefore
invents a second Symeon, a great-grandson of Clopas, as fourth bishop
of Jerusalem, and makes him the martyr mentioned here. But there is
nothing improbable in the survival of a contemporary of Jesus to the
time of Trajan, and there is no warrant for rejecting the tradition,
which is unanimous in calling Symeon the son of Clopas, and also in
emphasizing his great age.

[878] epi Traianou kaisaros kai hupatikou ‘Attikou. The nouns being
without the article, the phrase is to be translated, ”while Trajan was
emperor, and Atticus governor.” In S:6, below, where the article is
used, we must translate, ”before Atticus the governor” (see Lightfoot’s
Ignatius, I. p. 59). The word hupatikos is an adjective signifying
”consular, pertaining to a consul.” It ”came to be used in the second
century especially of provincial governors who had held the consulship,
and at a later date of such governors even though they might not have
been consuls” (Lightfoot, p. 59, who refers to Marquardt, Roemische
Staatsverwaltung, I. 409).

[879] This is a peculiar statement. Members of the house of David would
hardly have ventured to accuse Symeon on the ground that he belonged to
that house. The statement is, however, quite indefinite. We are not
told what happened to these accusers, nor indeed that they really were
of David’s line, although the hosEURn with which Eusebius introduces
the charge does not imply any doubt in his own mind, as Lightfoot quite
rightly remarks. It is possible that some who were of the line of David
may have accused Symeon, not of being a member of that family, but only
of being a Christian, and that the report of the occurrence may have
become afterward confused.

[880] This is certainly a reasonable supposition, and the unanimous
election of Symeon as successor of James at a time when there must have
been many living who had seen the Lord, confirms the conclusion.

[881] Mary, the wife of Clopas, is mentioned in John xix. 25.

[882] See above, chap. 11.

[883] See above, chap. 20.

[884] See p. 389, note.

[885] mEURrtures. The word is evidently used here in its earlier sense
of ”witnesses,” referring to those who testified to Christ even if they
did not seal their testimony with death. This was the original use of
the word, and continued very common during the first two centuries,
after which it became the technical term for persons actually martyred
and was confined to them, while homologetes, ”confessor,” gradually
came into use as the technical term for those who had borne testimony
in the midst of persecution, but had not suffered death. As early as
the first century (cf. Acts xxii. 20 and Rev. ii. 13) mEURrtus was used
of martyrs, but not as distinguishing them from other witnesses to the
truth. See the remarks of Lightfoot, in his edition of Clement of Rome,
p. 46.

[886] This part of the quotation has already been given in Eusebius’
own words in chap. 20, S:8. See note 5 on that chapter.

[887] epi to auto logo, that is, was accused for the same reason that
the grandsons of Judas (whom Hegesippus had mentioned just before)
were; namely, because he belonged to the line of David. See chap. 20;
but compare also the remarks made in note 10, above.

[888] epi ‘Attikou tou hupatikou. See above, note 9.

[889] On the heretics mentioned by Hegesippus, see Bk. IV. chap. 22.

[890] ten pseudonumon gnosin; 1 Tim. vi. 20. A few mss., followed by
Stephanus, Valesius (in his text), Closs, and Cruse, add the words (in
substance): ”Such is the statement of Hegesippus. But let us proceed
with the course of our history.” The majority of the mss., however,
endorsed by Valesius in his notes, and followed by Burton, Heinichen,
and most of the editors, omit the words, which are clearly an

Chapter XXXIII.–Trajan forbids the Christians to be sought after.

1. So great a persecution was at that time opened against us in many
places that Plinius Secundus, one of the most noted of governors, being
disturbed by the great number of martyrs, communicated with the emperor
concerning the multitude of those that were put to death for their
faith. [891] At the same time, he informed him in his communication
that he had not heard of their doing anything profane or contrary to
the laws,–except that they arose at dawn [892] and sang hymns to
Christ as a God; but that they renounced adultery and murder and like
criminal offenses, and did all things in accordance with the laws.

2. In reply to this Trajan made the following decree: that the race of
Christians should not be sought after, but when found should be
punished. On account of this the persecution which had threatened to be
a most terrible one was to a certain degree checked, but there were
still left plenty of pretexts for those who wished to do us harm.
Sometimes the people, sometimes the rulers in various places, would lay
plots against us, so that, although no great persecutions took place,
local persecutions were nevertheless going on in particular provinces,
[893] and many of the faithful endured martyrdom in various forms.

3. We have taken our account from the Latin Apology of Tertullian which
we mentioned above. [894] The translation runs as follows: [895] ”And
indeed we have found that search for us has been forbidden. [896] For
when Plinius Secundus, the governor of a province, had condemned
certain Christians and deprived them of their dignity, [897] he was
confounded by the multitude, and was uncertain what further course to
pursue. He therefore communicated with Trajan the emperor, informing
him that, aside from their unwillingness to sacrifice, [898] he had
found no impiety in them.

4. And he reported this also, that the Christians arose [899] early in
the morning and sang hymns unto Christ as a God, and for the purpose of
preserving their discipline [900] forbade murder, adultery, avarice,
robbery, and the like. In reply to this Trajan wrote that the race of
Christians should not be sought after, but when found should be
punished.” Such were the events which took place at that time.

[891] Plinius Caecilius Secundus, commonly called ”Pliny the younger”
to distinguish him from his uncle, Plinius Secundus the elder, was a
man of great literary attainments and an intimate friend of the Emperor
Trajan. Of his literary remains the most important are his epistles,
collected in ten books. The epistle of which Eusebius speaks in this
chapter is No. 96 (97), and the reply of Trajan No. 97 (98) of the
tenth book. The epistle was written from Bithynia, probably within a
year after Pliny became governor there, which was in 110 or 111. It
reads as follows: ”It is my custom, my Lord, to refer to thee all
questions concerning which I am in doubt; for who can better direct my
hesitation or instruct my ignorance? I have never been present at
judicial examinations of the Christians; therefore I am ignorant how
and to what extent it is customary to punish or to search for them. And
I have hesitated greatly as to whether any distinction should be made
on the ground of age, or whether the weak should be treated in the same
way as the strong; whether pardon should be granted to the penitent, or
he who has ever been a Christian gain nothing by renouncing it; whether
the mere name, if unaccompanied with crimes, or crimes associated with
the name, should be punished. Meanwhile, with those who have been
brought before me as Christians I have pursued the following course. I
have asked them if they were Christians, and if they have confessed, I
have asked them a second and third time, threatening them with
punishment; if they have persisted, I have commanded them to be led
away to punishment. For I did not doubt that whatever that might be
which they confessed, at any rate pertinacious and inflexible obstinacy
ought to be punished. There have been others afflicted with like
insanity who as Roman citizens I have decided should be sent to Rome.
In the course of the proceedings, as commonly happens, the crime was
extended, and many varieties of cases appeared. An anonymous document
was published, containing the names of many persons. Those who denied
that they were or had been Christians I thought ought to be released,
when they had followed my example in invoking the gods and offering
incense and wine to thine image,–which I had for that purpose ordered
brought with the images of the gods,–and when they had besides cursed
Christ–things which they say that those who are truly Christians
cannot be compelled to do. Others, accused by an informer, first said
that they were Christians and afterwards denied it, saying that they
had indeed been Christians, but had ceased to be, some three years,
some several years, and one even twenty years before. All adored thine
image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ. Moreover, they
affirmed that this was the sum of their guilt or error; that they had
been accustomed to come together on a fixed day before daylight and to
sing responsively a song unto Christ as God; and to bind themselves
with an oath, not with a view to the commission of some crime, but, on
the contrary, that they would not commit theft, nor robbery, nor
adultery, that they would not break faith, nor refuse to restore a
deposit when asked for it. When they had done these things, their
custom was to separate and to assemble again to partake of a meal,
common yet harmless (which is not the characteristic of a nefarious
superstition); but this they had ceased to do after my edict, in which
according to thy demands I had prohibited fraternities. I therefore
considered it the more necessary to examine, even with the use of
torture, two female slaves who were called deaconesses (ministrae), in
order to ascertain the truth. But I found nothing except a superstition
depraved and immoderate; and therefore, postponing further inquiry, I
have turned to thee for advice. For the matter seems to me worth
consulting about, especially on account of the number of persons
involved. For many of every age and of every rank and of both sexes
have been already, and will be brought to trial. For the contagion of
this superstition has permeated not only the cities, but also the
villages and even the country districts. Yet it can apparently be
arrested and corrected. At any rate, it is certainly a fact that the
temples, which were almost deserted, are now beginning to be
frequented, and the sacred rites, which were for a long time
interrupted, to be resumed, and fodder for the victims to be sold, for
which previously hardly a purchaser was to be found. From which it is
easy to gather how great a multitude of men may be reformed if there is
given a chance for repentance.” The reply of Trajan–commonly called
”Trajan’s Rescript”–reads as follows: ”Thou hast followed the right
course, my Secundus, in treating the cases of those who have been
brought before thee as Christians. For no fixed rule can be laid down
which shall be applicable to all cases. They are not to be searched
for; if they are accused and convicted, they are to be punished;
nevertheless, with the proviso that he who denies that he is a
Christian, and proves it by his act (re ipsa),–i.e. by making
supplication to our gods,–although suspected in regard to the past,
may by repentance obtain pardon. Anonymous accusations ought not to be
admitted in any proceedings; for they are of most evil precedent, and
are not in accord with our age.”

[892] hama te zo diegeiromenous. See note 9, below.

[893] This is a very good statement of the case. There was nothing
approaching a universal persecution,–that is a persecution
simultaneously carried on in all parts of the empire, until the time of

[894] Mentioned in Bk. II. chap. 2. On the translation of Tertullian’s
Apology employed by Eusebius, see note 9 on that chapter. The present
passage is rendered, on the whole, with considerable fidelity; much
more accurately than in the two cases noticed in the previous book.

[895] Apol.chap. 2.

[896] The view which Tertullian here takes of Trajan’s rescript is that
it was, on the whole, favorable,–that the Christians stood after it in
a better state in relation to the law than before,–and this
interpretation of the edict was adopted by all the early Fathers, and
is, as we can see, accepted likewise by Eusebius (and so he entitles
this chapter, not ”Trajan commands the Christians to be punished, if
they persist in their Christianity,” but ”Trajan forbids the Christians
to be sought after,” thus implying that the rescript is favorable). But
this interpretation is a decided mistake. Trajan’s rescript expressly
made Christianity a religio illicita, and from that time on it was a
crime in the sight of the law to be a Christian; whereas, before that
time, the matter had not been finally determined, and it had been left
for each ruler to act just as he pleased. Trajan, it is true, advises
moderation in the execution of the law; but that does not alter the
fact that his rescript is an unfavorable one, which makes the
profession of Christianity–what it had not been before–a direct
violation of an established law. Compare, further, Bk. IV. chap. 8,
note 14.

[897] katakrinas christianous tinas kai tes axias ekbalon. The Latin
original reads: damnatis quibusdam christianis, quibusdam gradu pulsis.
The Greek translator loses entirely the antithesis of quibusdam
…quibusdam (some he condemned, others he deprived of their dignity).
He renders gradu by tes axias, which is quite allowable; but Thelwall,
in his English translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, renders the
second phrase, ”and driven some from their steadfastness,” in which the
other sense of gradus is adopted.

[898] Greek: zxo tou me boulesthai autous eidololatrein. Latin
original: praeter obstinationem non sacrificandi. The eidololatrein is
quite indefinite, and might refer to any kind of idolatry; but the
Latin sacrificandi is definite, referring clearly to the sacrifices
which the accused Christians were required to offer in the presence of
the governor, if they wished to save their lives. I have, therefore,
translated the Greek word in the light of the Latin word which it is
employed to reproduce.

[899] Greek: anistasthai heothen. Latin original: coetus antelucanos.
The Latin speaks of ”assemblies” (which is justified by the ante lucem
convenire of Pliny’s epistle), while the Greek (both here and in S:1,
above) speaks only of ”arising,” and thus fails to reproduce the full
sense of the original.

[900] Greek: pros to ten epistemen auton diaphulEURssein. Latin
original: ad confoederandum disciplinam. The Greek translation is again
somewhat inaccurate. episteme (literally, ”experience,” ”knowledge”)
expresses certain meanings of the word disciplina, but does not
strictly reproduce the sense in which the latter word is used in this
passage; namely, in the sense of moral discipline. I have again
translated the Greek version in the light of its Latin original.

Chapter XXXIV.–Evarestus, the Fourth Bishop of the Church of Rome.

1. In the third year of the reign of the emperor mentioned above, [901]
Clement [902] committed the episcopal government of the church of Rome
to Evarestus, [903] and departed this life after he had superintended
the teaching of the divine word nine years in all.

[901] The Emperor Trajan.

[902] On Clement of Rome, see chap. 4, note 19.

[903] In Bk. IV. chap. 1, Eusebius gives eight years as the duration of
Evarestus’ episcopate; but in his Chron. he gives seven. Other
catalogues differ widely, both as to the time of his accession and the
duration of his episcopate. The truth is, as the monarchical episcopate
was not yet existing in Rome, it is useless to attempt to fix his
dates, or those of any of the other so-called bishops who lived before
the second quarter of the second century.

Chapter XXXV.–Justus, the Third Bishop of Jerusalem.

1. But when Symeon also had died in the manner described, [904] a
certain Jew by the name of Justus [905] succeeded to the episcopal
throne in Jerusalem. He was one of the many thousands of the
circumcision who at that time believed in Christ.

[904] See above, chap. 32.

[905] Of this Justus we know no more than Eusebius tells us here.
Epiphanius (Haer. LXVI. 20) calls him Judas.

Chapter XXXVI.–Ignatius and His Epistles.

1. At that time Polycarp, [906] a disciple of the apostles, was a man
of eminence in Asia, having been entrusted with the episcopate of the
church of Smyrna by those who had seen and heard the Lord.

2. And at the same time Papias, [907] bishop of the parish of
Hierapolis, [908] became well known, as did also Ignatius, who was
chosen bishop of Antioch, second in succession to Peter, and whose fame
is still celebrated by a great many. [909]

3. Report says that he was sent from Syria to Rome, and became food for
wild beasts on account of his testimony to Christ. [910]

4. And as he made the journey through Asia under the strictest military
surveillance, he fortified the parishes in the various cities where he
stopped by oral homilies and exhortations, and warned them above all to
be especially on their guard against the heresies that were then
beginning to prevail, and exhorted them to hold fast to the tradition
of the apostles. Moreover, he thought it necessary to attest that
tradition in writing, and to give it a fixed form for the sake of
greater security.

5. So when he came to Smyrna, where Polycarp was, he wrote an epistle
to the church of Ephesus, [911] in which he mentions Onesimus, its
pastor; [912] and another to the church of Magnesia, situated upon the
Maeander, in which he makes mention again of a bishop Damas; and
finally one to the church of Tralles, whose bishop, he states, was at
that time Polybius.

6. In addition to these he wrote also to the church of Rome, entreating
them not to secure his release from martyrdom, and thus rob him of his
earnest hope. In confirmation of what has been said it is proper to
quote briefly from this epistle.

7. He writes as follows: [913] ”From Syria even unto Rome I fight with
wild beasts, by land and by sea, by night and by day, being bound
amidst ten leopards [914] that is, a company of soldiers who only
become worse when they are well treated. In the midst of their
wrongdoings, however, I am more fully learning discipleship, but I am
not thereby justified. [915]

8. May I have joy of the beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray
that I may find them ready; I will even coax them to devour me quickly
that they may not treat me as they have some whom they have refused to
touch through fear. [916] And if they are unwilling, I will compel
them. Forgive me.

9. I know what is expedient for me. Now do I begin to be a disciple.
May naught of things visible and things invisible envy me; [917] that I
may attain unto Jesus Christ. Let fire and cross and attacks of wild
beasts, let wrenching of bones, cutting of limbs, crushing of the whole
body, tortures of the devil,–let all these come upon me if only I may
attain unto Jesus Christ.”

10. These things he wrote from the above-mentioned city to the churches
referred to. And when he had left Smyrna he wrote again from Troas
[918] to the Philadelphians and to the church of Smyrna; and
particularly to Polycarp, who presided over the latter church. And
since he knew him well as an apostolic man, he commended to him, like a
true and good shepherd, the flock at Antioch, and besought him to care
diligently for it. [919]

11. And the same man, writing to the Smyrnaeans, used the following
words concerning Christ, taken I know not whence: [920] ”But I know and
believe that he was in the flesh after the resurrection. And when he
came to Peter and his companions he said to them, Take, handle me, and
see that I am not an incorporeal spirit. [921] And immediately they
touched him and believed.” [922]

12. Irenaeus also knew of his martyrdom and mentions his epistles in
the following words: [923] ”As one of our people said, when he was
condemned to the beasts on account of his testimony unto God, I am
God’s wheat, and by the teeth of wild beasts am I ground, that I may be
found pure bread.”

13. Polycarp also mentions these letters in the epistle to the
Philippians which is ascribed to him. [924] His words are as follows:
[925] ”I exhort all of you, therefore, to be obedient and to practice
all patience such as ye saw with your own eyes not only in the blessed
Ignatius and Rufus and Zosimus, [926] but also in others from among
yourselves as well as in Paul himself and the rest of the apostles;
being persuaded that all these ran not in vain, but in faith and
righteousness, and that they are gone to their rightful place beside
the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not the present
world, but him that died for our sakes and was raised by God for us.”

14. And afterwards he adds: [927] ”You have written to me, both you and
Ignatius, that if any one go to Syria he may carry with him the letters
from you. And this I will do if I have a suitable opportunity, either I
myself or one whom I send to be an ambassador for you also.

15. The epistles of Ignatius which were sent to us by him and the
others which we had with us we sent to you as you gave charge. They are
appended to this epistle, and from them you will be able to derive
great advantage. For they comprise faith and patience, and every kind
of edification that pertaineth to our Lord.” So much concerning
Ignatius. But he was succeeded by Heros [928] in the episcopate of the
church of Antioch.

[906] On Polycarp, see Bk. IV. chap. 14, note 5.

[907] Of the life of Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, we know very little.
He is mentioned by Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. V. 33. 3 and 4, who informs us
that he was a companion of Polycarp and a hearer of the apostle John.
The latter statement is in all probability incorrect (see chap. 39.
note 4): but there is no reason to question the truth of the former.
Papias’ dates we cannot ascertain with any great degree of accuracy. A
notice in the Chron. Paschale, which makes him a martyr and connects
his death with that of Polycarp, assigning both to the year 164 a.d.
has been shown by Lightfoot (Contemp. Review, 1875, II. p. 381) to rest
upon a confusion of names, and to be, therefore, entirely
untrustworthy. We learn, however, from chap. 39, below, that Papias was
acquainted with personal followers of the Lord (e.g. with Aristion and
the ”presbyter John”), and also with the daughters of Philip. He must,
therefore, have reached years of maturity before the end of the first
century. On the other hand, the five books of his Expositions cannot
have been written very long before the middle of the second century,
for some of the extant fragments seem to show traces of the existence
of Gnosticism in a somewhat advanced form at the time he wrote. With
these data we shall not be far wrong in saying that he was born in the
neighborhood of 70 a.d., and died before the middle of the second
century. He was a pronounced chiliast (see chap. 39, note 19), and
according to Eusebius, a man of limited understanding (see chap. 39,
note 20); but the claim of the Tuebingen school that he was an Ebionite
is not supported by extant evidence (see Lightfoot, ibid. p. 384). On
the writings of Papias, see below, chap. 39, note 1.

[908] Four mss. insert at this point the words aner ta pEURnta hoti
mEURlista logiotatos kai tes graphes eidemon (”a man of the greatest
learning in all lines and well versed in the Scriptures”), which are
accepted by Heinichen, Closs, and Cruse. The large majority of the best
mss., however, supported by Rufinus, and followed by Valesius (in his
notes), Stroth, Laemmer, Burton, and the German translator, Stigloher,
omit the words, which are undoubtedly to be regarded as an
interpolation, intended perhaps to offset the derogatory words used by
Eusebius in respect to Papias in chap. 39, S:13. In discussing the
genuineness of these words, critics (among them Heinichen) have
concerned themselves too much with the question whether the opinion of
Papias expressed here contradicts that expressed in chap. 39, and
therefore, whether Eusebius can have written these words. Even if it be
possible to reconcile the two passages and to show that Papias may have
been a learned man, while at the same time he was of ”limited
judgment,” as Eusebius informs us, the fact nevertheless remains that
the weight of ms. authority is heavily against the genuineness of the
words, and that it is much easier to understand the interpolation than
the omission of such an expression in praise of one of the apostolic
Fathers, especially when the lack of any commendation here and in chap.
39 must be unpleasantly noticeable.

[909] Eusebius follows what was undoubtedly the oldest tradition in
making Evodius the first bishop of Antioch, and Ignatius the second
(see above, chap. 22, note 2). Granting the genuineness of the shorter
Greek recension of the Ignatian epistles (to be mentioned below), the
fact that Ignatius was bishop of the church of Antioch in Syria is
established by Ep. ad Rom. 9, compared with ad Smyr. 11 and ad
Polycarp. 7. If the genuineness of the epistles be denied, these
passages seem to prove at least his connection with the church of
Antioch and his influential position in it, for otherwise the forgery
of the epistles under his name would be inconceivable. There are few
more prominent figures in early Church history than Ignatius, and yet
there are few about whom we have less unquestioned knowledge. He is
known in history pre-eminently as a martyr. The greater part of his
life is buried in complete obscurity. It is only as a man condemned to
death for his profession of Christianity that he comes out into the
light, and it is with him in this character and with the martyrdom
which followed that tradition has busied itself. There are extant
various Acts of the Martyrdom of St. Ignatius which contain detailed
accounts of his death, but these belong to the fourth and subsequent
centuries, are quite contradictory in their statements, and have been
conclusively proved to be utterly unreliable and to furnish no
trustworthy information on the subject in hand. From writers before
Eusebius we have but four notices of Ignatius (Polycarp’s Ep. ad Phil.
9, 13; Irenaeus’ Adv. Haer. V. 18. 3, quoted below; Origen, Prol. in
Cant., and Hom. VI. in Luc.). These furnish us with very little
information. If the notice in Polycarp’s epistle be genuine (and though
it has been widely attacked, there is no good reason to doubt it), it
furnishes us with our earliest testimony to the martyrdom of a certain
Ignatius and to the existence of epistles written by him. Irenaeus does
not name Ignatius, but he testifies to the existence of the Epistle to
the Romans which bears his name, and to the martyrdom of the author of
that epistle. Origen informs us that Ignatius, the author of certain
epistles, was second bishop of the church of Antioch and suffered
martyrdom at Rome. Eusebius, in the present chapter, is the first one
to give us an extended account of Ignatius, and his account contains no
information beyond what he might have drawn from the Ignatian epistles
themselves as they lay before him, except the statements, already made
by Origen, that Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch and suffered
martyrdom at Rome. The former statement must have rested on a
tradition, at least in part, independent of the epistles (for they
imply only the fact of his Antiochian episcopacy, without specifying
the time); the latter might have arisen from the epistles themselves
(in which it is clearly stated that the writer is on his way to Rome to
suffer martyrdom), for of course it would be natural to assume that his
expectation was realized. The connection in which Eusebius records the
martyrdom implies that he believed that it took place in the reign of
Trajan, and in his Chronicle he gives precise dates for the beginning
of his episcopate (the 212th Olympiad, i.e. 69-72 a.d.) and for his
martyrdom (the tenth year of Trajan, i.e. 107 a.d.). Subsequent notices
of Ignatius are either quite worthless or are based solely upon the
epistles themselves or upon the statements of Eusebius. The
information, independent of the epistles, which has reached us from the
time of Eusebius or earlier, consequently narrows itself down to the
report that Ignatius was second bishop of Antioch, and that he was
bishop from about 70 to 107 a.d. The former date may be regarded as
entirely unreliable. Even were it granted that there could have been a
bishop at the head of the Antiochian church at so early a date (and
there is no warrant for such a supposition), it would nevertheless be
impossible to place any reliance upon the date given by Eusebius, as it
is impossible to place any reliance upon the dates given for the
so-called bishops of other cities during the first century (see Bk. IV.
chap. 1, note 1). But the date of Ignatius’ martyrdom given by Eusebius
seems at first sight to rest upon a more reliable tradition, and has
been accepted by many scholars as correct. Its accuracy, however, has
been impugned, especially by Zahn and Lightfoot, who leave the date of
Ignatius’ death uncertain, claiming simply that he died under Trajan;
and by Harnack, who puts his death into the reign of Hadrian. We shall
refer to this again further on. Meanwhile, since the information which
we have of Ignatius, independent of the Ignatian epistles, is so small
in amount, we are obliged to turn to those epistles for our chief
knowledge of his life and character. But at this point a difficulty
confronts us. There are extant three different recensions of epistles
ascribed to Ignatius. Are any of them genuine, and if so, which? The
first, or longer Greek recension, as it is called, consists of fifteen
epistles, which were first published in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries. Of these fifteen, eight are clearly spurious, and seven are
at least largely interpolated. The genuineness of the former and the
integrity of the latter now find no defenders among scholars. The
second, or shorter Greek recension, contains seven of the fifteen
epistles of the longer recension, in a much shorter form. Their titles
are the same that are given by Eusebius in this chapter. They were
first discovered and published in the seventeenth century. The third,
or Syriac recension, contains three of these seven epistles (to
Polycarp, to the Ephesians, and to the Romans), in a still shorter
form, and was discovered in the present century. Since its discovery,
opinions have been divided between it and the shorter Greek recension;
but the defense of the genuineness of the latter by Zahn and Lightfoot
may be regarded as finally settling the matter, and establishing the
originality of the shorter Greek recension as over against that
represented by the Syriac version. The former, therefore, alone comes
into consideration in discussing the genuineness of the Ignatian
epistles. Their genuineness is still stoutly denied by some; but the
evidence in their favor, external and internal, is too strong to be set
aside; and since the appearance of Lightfoot’s great work, candid
scholars almost unanimously admit that the question is settled, and
their genuineness triumphantly established. The great difficulties
which have stood in the way of the acceptance of the epistles are,
first and chiefly, the highly developed form of church government which
they reveal; and secondly, the attacks upon heresy contained in them.
Both of these characteristics seem to necessitate a date later than the
reign of Trajan, the traditional time of Ignatius’ martyrdom. Harnack
regards these two difficulties as very serious, if not absolutely fatal
to the supposition that the epistles were written during the reign of
Trajan; but in a very keen tract, entitled Die Zeit des Ignatius
(Leipzig, 1878), he has endeavored to show that the common tradition
that Ignatius suffered martyrdom under Trajan is worthless, and he
therefore brings the martyrdom down into the reign of Hadrian, and thus
does away with most of the internal difficulties which beset the
acceptance of the epistles. Whether or not Harnack’s explanation of
Eusebius’ chronology of the Antiochian bishops be accepted as correct
(and the number of its adherents is not great), he has, at least, shown
that the tradition that Ignatius suffered martyrdom under Trajan is not
as strong as it has been commonly supposed to be, and that it is
possible to question seriously its reliability. Lightfoot, who
discusses Harnack’s theory at considerable length (II. p. 450-469),
rejects it, and maintains that Ignatius died sometime during the reign
of Trajan, though, with Zahn and Harnack, he gives up the traditional
date of 107 a.d., which is found in the Chronicle of Eusebius, and has
been very commonly accepted as reliable. Lightfoot, however, remarks
that the genuineness of the epistles is much more certain than the
chronology of Ignatius, and that, therefore, if it is a question
between the rejection of the epistles and the relegation of Ignatius’
death to the reign of Hadrian (which he, however, denies), the latter
alternative must be chosen without hesitation. A final decision upon
this knotty point has not yet been, and perhaps never will be, reached;
but Harnack’s theory that the epistles were written during the reign of
Hadrian deserves even more careful consideration than it has yet
received. Granting the genuineness of the Ignatian epistles, we are
still in possession of no great amount of information in regard to his
life. We know from them only that he was bishop of the church of
Antioch in Syria, and had been condemned to martyrdom, and that he was,
at the time of their composition, on his way to Rome to suffer death in
the arena. His character and opinions, however, are very clearly
exhibited in his writings. To quote from Schaff, ”Ignatius stands out
in history as the ideal of a Catholic martyr, and as the earliest
advocate of the hierarchical principle in both its good and its evil
points. As a writer, he is remarkable for originality, freshness, and
force of ideas, and for terse, sparkling, and sententious style; but in
apostolic simplicity and soundness, he is inferior to Clement and
Polycarp, and presents a stronger contrast to the epistles of the New
Testament. Clement shows the calmness, dignity, and governmental wisdom
of the Roman character. Ignatius glows with the fire and impetuosity of
the Greek and Syrian temper which carries him beyond the bounds of
sobriety. He was a very uncommon man, and made a powerful impression
upon his age. He is the incarnation, as it were, of the three closely
connected ideas: the glory of martyrdom, the omnipotence of episcopacy,
and the hatred of heresy and schism. Hierarchical pride and humility,
Christian charity and churchly exclusiveness, are typically represented
in Ignatius.” The literature on Ignatius and the Ignatian controversy
is very extensive. The principal editions to be consulted are Cureton’s
The Ancient Syriac Version of the Epistles of St. Ignatius to St.
Polycarp, the Ephesians, and the Romans, with English translation and
notes (the editio princeps of the Syriac version), London and Berlin,
1845; Zahn’s Ignatii et Polycarpi Epistulae, Martyria fragmenta, Lips.
1876 (Patrum Apostolicorum Opera, ed. Gebhardt, Harnack, and Zahn, Vol.
II); Bishop Lightfoot’s St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp (The Apostolic
Fathers, Part II.), London, 1885. This edition (in two volumes) is the
most complete and exhaustive edition of Ignatius’ epistles which has
yet appeared, and contains a very full and able discussion of all
questions connected with Ignatius and his writings. It contains the
text of the longer Greek recension and of the Syriac version, in
addition to that of the seven genuine epistles, and practically
supersedes all earlier editions. An English translation of all the
epistles of Ignatius (Syriac and Greek, in both recensions) is given in
the Ante-Nicene Fathers (Am. ed.), Vol. I. pp. 45-126. The principal
discussions which it is necessary to refer to here are those of
Lightfoot in his edition of the Ignatian epistles just referred to;
Zahn’s Ignatius von Antiochien, Gotha, 1873 (very full and able);
Harnack’s Die Zeit des Ignatius, Leipzig, 1878; and the reviews of
Lightfoot’s edition contributed by Harnack to the Expositor, December,
1885, January and March, 1886. For a more extended list of works on the
subject, and for a brief review of the whole matter, see Schaff’s
Church History, Vol. II. p. 651-664.

[910] That Ignatius was on his way from Syria to Rome, under
condemnation for his testimony to Christ, and that he was expecting to
be cast to the wild beasts upon reaching Rome, appears from many
passages of the epistles themselves. Whether the tradition, as Eusebius
calls it, that he actually did suffer martyrdom at Rome was independent
of the epistles, or simply grew out of the statements made in them, we
cannot tell. Whichever is the case, we may regard the tradition as
reliable. That he suffered martyrdom somewhere is too well attested to
be doubted for a moment; and there exists no tradition in favor of any
other city as the place of his martyrdom, except a late one reported by
John Malalas, which names Antioch as the place. This is accepted by
Volkmar and by the author of Supernatural Religion, but its falsity has
been conclusively shown by Zahn (see his edition of the Ignatian
epistles, p. xii. 343, 381).

[911] The seven genuine epistles of Ignatius (all of which are
mentioned by Eusebius in this chapter) fall into two groups, four
having been written from one place and three from another. The first
four–to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, and Romans–were written
from Smyrna, while Ignatius was on his way to Rome, as we can learn
from notices in the epistles themselves, and as is stated below by
Eusebius, who probably took his information from the statements of the
epistles, as we take ours. Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles lay to the
south of Smyrna, on one of the great highways of Asia Minor. But
Ignatius was taken by a road which lay further north, passing through
Philadelphia and Sardis (see Lightfoot, I. 33 sq.). and thus did not
visit the three cities to which he now sends epistles from Smyrna. The
four epistles written from Smyrna contain no indication of the
chronological order in which they were written, and whether Eusebius in
his enumeration followed the manuscript of the epistles which he used
(our present mss. give an entirely different order, which is not at all
chronological and does not even keep the two groups distinct), or
whether he exercised his own judgment, we do not know.

[912] Of this Onesimus, and of Damas and Polybius mentioned just below,
we know nothing more.

[913] Ignatius, Ep. ad Rom. chap. 5.

[914] leopEURrdois. This is the earliest use of this word in any extant
writing, and an argument has been drawn from this fact against the
authenticity of the epistle. For a careful discussion of the matter,
see Lightfoot’s edition, Vol. II. p. 212.

[915] Compare 1 Cor. iv. 4.

[916] Compare the instances of this mentioned by Eusebius in Bk. V.
chap. I, S:42, and in Bk. VIII. chap. 7.

[917] The translation of this sentence is Lightfoot’s, who prefers with
Rufinus and the Syriac to read the optative zelosai instead of the
infinitive zelosai, which is found in most of the mss. and is given by
Heinichen and the majority of the other editors. The sense seems to
require, as Lightfoot asserts, the optative rather than the infinitive.

[918] That Troas was the place from which Ignatius wrote to the
Philadelphians, to the Smyrnaeans, and to Polycarp is clear from
indications in the epistles themselves. The chronological order in
which the three were written is uncertain. He had visited both churches
upon his journey to Troas and had seen Polycarp in Smyrna.

[919] See Ep. ad Polycarp. chap. 7.

[920] Ep. ad Smyr. chap. 3. Jerome, quoting this passage from Ignatius
in his de vir. ill. 16, refers it to the gospel which had lately been
translated by him (according to de vir. ill. 3), viz.: the Gospel of
the Nazarenes (or the Gospel according to the Hebrews). In his Comment.
in Isaiam, Bk. XVIII. introd., Jerome quotes the same passage again,
referring it to the same gospel (Evangelium quod Hebraeorum lectitant
Nazaraei). But in Origen de prin. praef. 8, the phrase is quoted as
taken from the Teaching of Peter (”qui Petri doctrina apellatur”).
Eusebius’ various references to the Gospel according to the Hebrews
show that he was personally acquainted with it (see above, chap. 25,
note 24), and knowing his great thoroughness in going through the books
which he had access to, it is impossible to suppose that if this
passage quoted from Ignatius were in the Gospel according to the
Hebrews he should not have known it. We seem then to be driven to the
conclusion that the passage did not originally stand in the Gospel
according to the Hebrews, but was later incorporated either from the
Teaching of Peter, in which Origen found it, or from some common source
or oral tradition.

[921] daimonion asomaton.

[922] Compare Luke xxiv. 39.

[923] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. V. 28. 4.

[924] On Polycarp’s epistle to the Philippians, see Bk. IV. chap. 14,
note 16.

[925] Polycarp, Ep. ad Phil. chap. 9.

[926] Of these men, Rufus and Zosimus, we know nothing.

[927] Polycarp, Ep. ad Phil. chap. 13. The genuineness of this chapter,
which bears such strong testimony to the Ignatian epistles, has been
questioned by some scholars, but without good grounds. See below, Bk.
IV. chap. 14, note 16.

[928] According to Eusebius’ Chronicle Heros became bishop of Antioch
in the tenth year of Trajan (107 a.d.), and was succeeded by Cornelius
in the twelfth year of Hadrian (128 a.d.). In the History he is
mentioned only once more (Bk. IV. chap. 20), and no dates are given.
The dates found in the Chronicle are entirely unreliable (see on the
dates of all the early Antiochian bishops, Harnack’s Zeit des
Ignatius). Of Heros himself we have no trustworthy information. His
name appears in the later martyrologies, and one of the spurious
Ignatian epistles is addressed to him.

Chapter XXXVII.–The Evangelists that were still Eminent at that Time.

1. Among those that were celebrated at that time was Quadratus, [929]
who, report says, was renowned along with the daughters of Philip for
his prophetical gifts. And there were many others besides these who
were known in those days, and who occupied the first place among the
successors of the apostles. And they also, being illustrious disciples
of such great men, built up the foundations of the churches which had
been laid by the apostles in every place, and preached the Gospel more
and more widely and scattered the saving seeds of the kingdom of heaven
far and near throughout the whole world. [930]

2. For indeed most of the disciples of that time, animated by the
divine word with a more ardent love for philosophy, [931] had already
fulfilled the command of the Saviour, and had distributed their goods
to the needy. [932] Then starting out upon long journeys they performed
the office of evangelists, being filled with the desire to preach
Christ to those who had not yet heard the word of faith, and to deliver
to them the divine Gospels.

3. And when they had only laid the foundations of the faith in foreign
places, they appointed others as pastors, and entrusted them with the
nurture of those that had recently been brought in, while they
themselves went on again to other countries and nations, with the grace
and the co-operation of God. For a great many wonderful works were done
through them by the power of the divine Spirit, so that at the first
hearing whole multitudes of men eagerly embraced the religion of the
Creator of the universe.

4. But since it is impossible for us to enumerate the names of all that
became shepherds or evangelists in the churches throughout the world in
the age immediately succeeding the apostles, we have recorded, as was
fitting, the names of those only who have transmitted the apostolic
doctrine to us in writings still extant.

[929] This Quadratus had considerable reputation as a prophet, as may
be gathered from Eusebius’ mention of him here, and also from the
reference to him in the anonymous work against the Montanists (see
below, Bk. V. chap. 16). We know nothing about this Quadratus except
what is told us in these two passages, unless we identify him, as many
do, with Quadratus the apologist mentioned below, in Bk. IV. chap. 3.
This identification is possible, but by no means certain. See Bk. IV.
chap. 3, note 2.

[930] This rhetorical flourish arouses the suspicion that Eusebius,
although he says there were ”many others” that were well known in those
days, was unacquainted with the names of such persons as we, too, are
unacquainted with them. None will deny that there may have been some
men of prominence in the Church at this time, but Eusebius apparently
had no more information to impart in regard to them than he gives us in
this chapter, and he makes up for his lack of facts in a way which is
not at all uncommon.

[931] That is, an ascetic mode of life. See Bk. VI. chap. 3, note 9.

[932] See Matt. xix. 21. Eusebius agrees with nearly all the Fathers,
and with the Roman Catholic Church of the past and present, in his
misinterpretation of this advice given by Christ to the rich young man.

Chapter XXXVIII.–The Epistle of Clement and the Writings falsely
ascribed to him.

1. Thus Ignatius has done in the epistles which we have mentioned,
[933] and Clement in his epistle which is accepted by all, and which he
wrote in the name of the church of Rome to the church of Corinth. [934]
In this epistle he gives many thoughts drawn from the Epistle to the
Hebrews, and also quotes verbally some of its expressions, thus showing
most plainly that it is not a recent production.

2. Wherefore it has seemed reasonable to reckon it with the other
writings of the apostle. For as Paul had written to the Hebrews in his
native tongue, some say that the evangelist Luke, others that this
Clement himself, translated the epistle.

3. The latter seems more probable, because the epistle of Clement and
that to the Hebrews have a similar character in regard to style, and
still further because the thoughts contained in the two works are not
very different. [935]

4. But it must be observed also that there is said to be a second
epistle of Clement. But we do not know that this is recognized like the
former, for we do not find that the ancients have made any use of it.

5. And certain men have lately brought forward other wordy and lengthy
writings under his name, containing dialogues of Peter and Apion. [937]
But no mention has been made of these by the ancients; for they do not
even preserve the pure stamp of apostolic orthodoxy. The acknowledged
writing of Clement is well known. We have spoken also of the works of
Ignatius and Polycarp. [938]

[933] In chap. 36, above.

[934] See above, chap. 16.

[935] On the Epistle to the Hebrews and the various traditions as to
its authorship, see above, chap. 3, note 17.

[936] Eusebius is the first one to mention the ascription of a second
epistle to Clement, but after the fifth century such an epistle
(whether the one to which Eusebius here refers we cannot tell) was in
common circulation and was quite widely accepted as genuine. This
epistle is still extant, in a mutilated form in the Alexandrian ms.,
complete in the ms. discovered by Bryennios in Constantinople in 1875.
The publication of the complete work proves, what had long been
suspected, that it is not an epistle at all, but a homily. It cannot
have been written by the author of the first epistle of Clement, nor
can it belong to the first century. It was probably written in Rome
about the middle of the second century (see Harnack’s articles in the
Zeitschrift fuer Kirchengeschichte, Vol. I. p. 264-283 and 329-364),
and is the oldest extant homily, and as such possesses considerable
interest. It has always gone by the name of the Second Epistle of
Clement, and hence continues to be so called although the title is a
misnomer, for neither is it an epistle, nor is it by Clement. It is
published in all the editions of the apostolic Fathers, but only those
editions that have appeared since the discovery of the complete homily
by Bryennios are now of value. Of these, it is necessary to mention
only Gebhardt, Harnack, and Zahn’s Patrum Apost. Opera, 2d ed., 1876,
in which Harnack’s prolegomena and notes are especially valuable, and
the appendix to Lightfoot’s edition of Clement (1877), which contains
the full text, notes, and an English translation. English translation
also in the Ante-Nicene Fathers (Am. ed.), Vol. VII. p. 509 sq. Compare
the article by Salmon in the Dict. of Christian Biography and Harnack’s
articles in the Zeitschr. f. Kirchengesch. referred to above.

[937] There are extant a number of Pseudo-Clementine writings of the
third and following centuries, the chief among which purports to
contain a record made by Clement of discourses of the apostle Peter,
and an account of Clement’s family history and of his travels with
Peter, constituting, in fact, a sort of didactico-historical romance.
This exists now in three forms (the Homilies, Recognitions, and
Epitome), all of which are closely related; though whether the first
two (the last is simply an abridgment of the first) are drawn from a
common original, or whether one of them is the original of the other,
is not certain. The works are more or less Ebionitic in character, and
play an important part in the history of early Christian literature.
For a careful discussion of them, see Salmon’s article Clementine
Literature, in the Dict. of Christian Biography; and for the literature
of the subject, which is very extensive, see especially Schaff’s Church
History, II. p. 435 sq. The fourth, fifth, and sixth books of the
Homilies contain extended conversations purporting to have been held
between Clement and Apion, the famous antagonist of the Jews (see Bk.
II. chap. 5, note 5). It is quite possible that the ”wordy and lengthy
writings, containing dialogues of Peter and Apion,” which Eusebius
refers to here may be identical with the Homilies, in which case we
must suppose Eusebius’ language to be somewhat inexact; for the
dialogues in the Homilies are between Clement and Apion, not between
Peter and Apion. It seems more probable, however, when we realize the
vast number of works of a similar character which were in circulation
during the third and subsequent centuries, that Eusebius refers here to
another work, belonging to the same general class, which is now lost.
If such a work existed, it may well have formed a basis for the
dialogues between Clement and Apion given in the Homilies. In the
absence of all further evidence of such a work, we must leave the
matter quite undecided. It is not necessary here to enumerate the other
Pseudo-Clementine works which are still extant. Compare Schaff’s Church
History, II. 648 sq. Clement’s name was a favorite one with
pseudographers of the early Church, and works of all kinds were
published under his name. The most complete collection of these
spurious works is found in Migne’s Patr. Graec. Vols. I. and II.

[938] In chap. 36, above.

Chapter XXXIX.–The Writings of Papias.

1. There are extant five books of Papias, which bear the title
Expositions of Oracles of the Lord. [939] Irenaeus makes mention of
these as the only works written by him, [940] in the following words:
[941] ”These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a
hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For
five books have been written by him.” These are the words of Irenaeus.

2. But Papias himself in the preface to his discourses by no means
declares that he was himself a hearer and eye-witness of the holy
apostles, but he shows by the words which he uses that he received the
doctrines of the faith from those who were their friends. [942]

3. He says: ”But I shall not hesitate also to put down for you along
with my interpretations [943] whatsoever things I have at any time
learned carefully from the elders [944] and carefully remembered,
guaranteeing their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take
pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that teach the truth;
not in those that relate strange commandments, but in those that
deliver [945] the commandments given by the Lord to faith, [946] and
springing from the truth itself.

4. If, then, any one came, who had been a follower of the elders, I
questioned him in regard to the words of the elders,–what Andrew or
what Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James,
or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the disciples of the
Lord, and what things Aristion [947] and the presbyter John, [948] the
disciples of the Lord, say. For I did not think that what was to be
gotten from the books [949] would profit me as much as what came from
the living and abiding voice.”

5. It is worth while observing here that the name John is twice
enumerated by him. [950] The first one he mentions in connection with
Peter and James and Matthew and the rest of the apostles, clearly
meaning the evangelist; but the other John he mentions after an
interval, and places him among others outside of the number of the
apostles, putting Aristion before him, and he distinctly calls him a

6. This shows that the statement of those is true, who say that there
were two persons in Asia that bore the same name, and that there were
two tombs in Ephesus, each of which, even to the present day, is called
John’s. [951] It is important to notice this. For it is probable that
it was the second, if one is not willing to admit that it was the first
that saw the Revelation, which is ascribed by name to John. [952]

7. And Papias, of whom we are now speaking, confesses that he received
the words of the apostles from those that followed them, but says that
he was himself a hearer of Aristion and the presbyter John. At least he
mentions them frequently by name, and gives their traditions in his
writings. These things we hope, have not been uselessly adduced by us.

8. But it is fitting to subjoin to the words of Papias which have been
quoted, other passages from his works in which he relates some other
wonderful events which he claims to have received from tradition.

9. That Philip the apostle dwelt at Hierapolis with his daughters has
been already stated. [953] But it must be noted here that Papias, their
contemporary, says that he heard a wonderful tale from the daughters of
Philip. For he relates that in his time [954] one rose from the dead.
And he tells another wonderful story of Justus, surnamed Barsabbas:
that he drank a deadly poison, and yet, by the grace of the Lord,
suffered no harm.

10. The Book of Acts records that the holy apostles after the ascension
of the Saviour, put forward this Justus, together with Matthias, and
prayed that one might be chosen in place of the traitor Judas, to fill
up their number. The account is as follows: ”And they put forward two,
Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias; and
they prayed and said.” [955]

11. The same writer gives also other accounts which he says came to him
through unwritten tradition, certain strange parables and teachings of
the Saviour, and some other more mythical things. [956]

12. To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some
thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom
of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. [957] I
suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic
accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken
mystically in figures.

13. For he appears to have been of very limited understanding, [958] as
one can see from his discourses. But it was due to him that so many of
the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their
own support the antiquity of the man; as for instance Irenaeus and any
one else that may have proclaimed similar views. [959]

14. Papias gives also in his own work other accounts of the words of
the Lord on the authority of Aristion who was mentioned above, and
traditions as handed down by the presbyter John; to which we refer
those who are fond of learning. But now we must add to the words of his
which we have already quoted the tradition which he gives in regard to
Mark, the author of the Gospel.

15. ”This also the presbyter [960] said: Mark, having become the
interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order,
whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. [961]
For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I
said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his
hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the
Lord’s discourses, [962] so that Mark committed no error while he thus
wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one
thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to
state any of them falsely.” These things are related by Papias
concerning Mark.

16. But concerning Matthew he writes as follows: ”So then [963] Matthew
wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted
them as he was able.” [964] And the same writer uses testimonies from
the first Epistle of John [965] and from that of Peter likewise. [966]
And he relates another story of a woman, who was accused of many sins
before the Lord, which is contained in the Gospel according to the
Hebrews. [967] These things we have thought it necessary to observe in
addition to what has been already stated.

[939] logion kuriakon exegeseis. This work is no longer extant, but a
number of fragments of it have been preserved by Irenaeus, Eusebius,
and others, which are published in the various editions of the
Apostolic Fathers (see especially Gebhardt, Harnack and Zahn’s edition,
Vol. I. Appendix), and by Routh in his Rel. Sacrae, I. p. 3-16. English
translation in the Ante-Nicene Fathers (Am. ed.), Vol. I. p. 151 sq.
The exact character of the work has been long and sharply disputed.
Some contend that it was a record of oral traditions in regard to the
Lord which Papias had gathered, together with a commentary upon these
traditions, others that it was a complete Gospel, others that it was a
commentary upon an already existing Gospel or Gospels. The last is the
view which accords best with the language of Eusebius, and it is widely
accepted, though there is controversy among those who accept it as to
whether the Gospel or Gospels which he used are to be identified with
either of our canonical Gospels. But upon this question we cannot dwell
at this point. Lightfoot, who believes that a written text lay at the
base of Papias’ work, concludes that the work contained, first, the
text; secondly, ”the interpretations which explained the text, and
which were the main object of the work”; and thirdly, the oral
traditions, which ”were subordinate to the interpretation”
(Contemporary Review, 1875, II. p. 389). This is probably as good a
description of the plan of Papias’ work as can be given, whatever
decision may be reached as to the identity of the text which he used
with any one of our Gospels. Lightfoot has adduced strong arguments for
his view, and has discussed at length various other views which it is
not necessary to repeat here. On the significance of the word logia,
see below, note 26. As remarked there, logia cannot be confined to
words or discourses only, and therefore the ”oracles” which Papias
expounded in his work may well have included, so far as the title is
concerned, a complete Gospel or Gospels. In the absence of the work
itself, however, we are left entirely to conjecture, though it must be
remarked that in the time of Papias at least some of our Gospels were
certainly in existence and already widely accepted. It is difficult,
therefore, to suppose that if written documents lay at the basis of
Papias’ work, as we have concluded that they did, that they can have
been other than one or more of the commonly accepted Gospels. But see
Lightfoot’s article already referred to for a discussion of this
question. The date of the composition of Papias’ work is now commonly
fixed at about the middle of the second century, probably nearer 130
than 150 a.d. The books and articles that have been written upon this
work are far too numerous to mention. Besides the article by Lightfoot
in the Contemporary Review, which has been already referred to, we
should mention also Salmon’s article in the Dict. of Christian
Biography, Schleiermacher’s essay in the Studien und Kritiken, 1832, p.
735 sq.,–the first critical discussion of Papias’ testimony in regard
to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, and still valuable,–dissertations
by Weiffenbach, 1874 and 1878, and by Leimbach, 1875, with reviews of
the last two in various periodicals, notably the articles by Hilgenfeld
in his Zeitschrift fuer wiss. Theol. 1875, 1877, 1879. See also p. 389,
note, below. On the life of Papias, see above, chap. 36, note 2.

[940] hos monon auto graphenton. Irenaeus does not expressly say that
these were the only works written by Papias. He simply says, ”For five
books have been written by him” (zsti gar auto pente biblia
suntetagmena). Eusebius’ interpretation of Irenaeus’ words is not,
however, at all unnatural, and probably expresses Irenaeus’ meaning.

[941] Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. V. 33. 4.

[942] The justice of this criticism, passed by Eusebius upon the
statement of Irenaeus, has been questioned by many, who have held that,
in the passage quoted just below from Papias, the same John is meant in
both cases. See the note of Schaff in his Church History, II. p. 697
sq. A careful exegesis of the passage from Papias quoted by Eusebius
seems, however, to lead necessarily to the conclusion which Eusebius
draws, that Papias refers to two different persons bearing the same
name,–John. In fact, no other conclusion can be reached, unless we
accuse Papias of the most stupid and illogical method of writing.
Certainly, if he knew of but one John, there is no possible excuse for
mentioning him twice in the one passage. On the other hand, if we
accept Eusebius’ interpretation, we are met by a serious difficulty in
the fact that we are obliged to assume that there lived in Asia Minor,
early in the second century a man to whom Papias appeals as possessing
exceptional authority, but who is mentioned by no other Father; who is,
in fact, otherwise an entirely unknown personage. And still further, no
reader of Papias’ work, before the time of Eusebius, gathered from that
work, so far as we know, a single hint that the John with whom he was
acquainted was any other than the apostle John. These difficulties are
so serious that they have led many to deny that Papias meant to refer
to a second John, in spite of his apparently clear reference to such a
person. Among those who deny this second John’s existence are such
scholars as Zahn and Salmon. (Compare, for instance, the latter’s able
article on Joannes the Presbyter, in the Dict. of Christian Biography.)
In reply to their arguments, it may be said that the silence of all
other early writers does not necessarily disprove the existence of a
second John; for it is quite conceivable that all trace of him should
be swallowed up in the reputation of his greater namesake who lived in
the same place. Moreover, it is quite conceivable that Papias, writing
for those who were well acquainted with both Johns, may have had no
suspicion that any one would confound the presbyter with the apostle,
and would imagine that he was referring to the latter when he was
speaking of his personal friend John; and therefore he would have no
reason for stating expressly that there were two Johns, and for
expressly distinguishing the one from the other. It was, then, quite
natural that Irenaeus, a whole generation later, knowing that Polycarp
was a disciple of the apostle John, and finding constant mention of a
John in Papias’ works, should simply take for granted that the same
John was meant; for by his time the lesser John may easily, in the
minds of most people, have become lost in the tradition of his greater
namesake. In view of these possibilities, it cannot be said that the
silence of other Fathers in regard to this John is fatal to his
existence; and if this is so, we are hardly justified in doing such
violence to Papias’ language as is required to identify the two Johns
mentioned by him in the passage quoted below. Among those who accept
Eusebius’ conclusion, that Papias refers to two different persons, are
such scholars as Tischendorf, Donaldson, Westcott and Lightfoot. If
Eusebius has recovered for us from the ancient history of the Church an
otherwise unknown personage, it will not be the only time that he has
corrected an error committed by all his predecessors. In this case, as
in a number of other cases, I believe Eusebius’ wide information,
sharp-sightedness, and superiority to the trammels of traditionalism
receive triumphant vindication and we may accept his conclusion that
Papias was personally acquainted with a second John, who was familiarly
known as ”the Presbyter,” and thus distinguished from the apostle John,
who could be called a presbyter or elder only in the general sense in
which all the leading men of his generation were elders (see below,
note 6), and could not be designated emphatically as ”the presbyter.”
In regard to the connection of this ”presbyter John” with the
Apocalypse, see below, note 14. But although Papias distinguishes, as
we may conclude, between two Johns in the passage referred to, and
elsewhere, according to Eusebius, pronounces himself a hearer of the
second John, it does not necessarily follow that Irenaeus was mistaken
in saying that he was a hearer of the apostle John; for Irenaeus may
have based his statement upon information received from his teacher,
Polycarp, the friend of Papias, and not upon the passage quoted by
Eusebius, and hence Papias may have been a hearer of both Johns. At the
same time, it must be said that if Papias had been a disciple of the
apostle John, he could scarcely have failed to state the fact expressly
somewhere in his works; and if he had stated it anywhere, Eusebius
could hardly have overlooked it. The conclusion, therefore, seems most
probable that Eusebius is right in correcting Irenaeus’ statement, and
that the latter based his report upon a misinterpretation of Papias’
own words. In that case, we have no authority for speaking of Papias as
a disciple of John the apostle.

[943] This sentence gives strong support to the view that oral
traditions did not form the basis of Papias’ work, but that the basis
consisted of written documents, which he interpreted, and to which he
then added the oral traditions which he refers to here. See
Contemporary Review, 1885, II. p. 388 sq. The words tais hermeneiais
have been translated by some scholars, ”the interpretations of them,”
thus making the book consist only of these oral traditions with
interpretations of them. But this translation is not warranted by the
Greek, and the also at the beginning of the sentence shows that the
work must have contained other matter which preceded these oral
traditions and to which the ”interpretations” belong.

[944] As Lightfoot points out (Contemp. Rev. ibid. p. 379 sq.), Papias
uses the term ”elders” in a general sense to denote the Fathers of the
Church in the generations preceding his own. It thus includes both the
apostles and their immediate disciples. The term was thus used in a
general sense by later Fathers to denote all earlier Fathers of the
Church; that is, those leaders of the Church belonging to generations
earlier than the writers themselves. The term, therefore, cannot be
confined to the apostles alone, nor can it be confined, as some have
thought (e.g. Weiffenbach in his Das Papias Fragment), to
ecclesiastical officers, presbyters in the official sense. Where the
word presbuteros is used in connection with the second John (at the
close of this extract from Papias), it is apparently employed in its
official sense. At least we cannot otherwise easily understand how it
could be used as a peculiar designation of this John, which should
distinguish him from the other John. For in the general sense of the
word, in which Papias commonly uses it, both Johns were elders. Compare
Lightfoot’s words in the passage referred to above.

[945] paraginomenois, instead of paraginomenas, agreeing with
entolEURs. The latter is the common reading, but is not so well
supported by manuscript authority, and, as the easier reading, is to be
rejected in favor of the former. See the note of Heinichen in loco.

[946] That is, ”to those that believe, to those that are possessed of

[947] Of this Aristion we know only what we can gather from this
mention of him by Papias.

[948] See above, note 6.

[949] ek ton biblion. These words have been interpreted by many critics
as implying that Papias considered the written Gospel accounts, which
were extant in his time, of small value, and preferred to them the oral
traditions which he picked up from ”the elders.” But as Lightfoot has
shown (ibid. p. 390 sq.), this is not the natural interpretation of
Papias’ words, and makes him practically stultify and contradict
himself. He cannot have considered the written documents which he laid
at the base of his work as of little value, nor can he have regarded
the writings of Matthew and Mark, which he refers to in this chapter as
extant in his time, and the latter of which he praises for its
accuracy, as inferior to the oral traditions, which came to him at best
only at second hand. It is necessary to refer the ton biblion, as
Lightfoot does, to ”interpretations” of the Gospel accounts, which had
been made by others, and to which Papias prefers the interpretations or
expositions which he has received from the disciples of the apostles.
This interpretation of the word alone saves us from difficulties and
Papias from self-stultification.

[950] See above, note 4.

[951] The existence of two tombs in Ephesus bearing the name of John is
attested also by Dionysius of Alexandria (quoted in Bk. VII. chap. 25,
below) and by Jerome (de vir. ill. c. 9). The latter, however, says
that some regard them both as memorials of the one John, the apostle;
and Zahn, in his Acta Joannis, p. cliv. sq., endeavors to prove that a
church stood outside of the walls of Ephesus, on the spot where John
was buried, and another inside of the walls, on the site of the house
in which he had resided, and that thus two spots were consecrated to
the memory of a single John. The proof which he brings in support of
this may not lead many persons to adopt his conclusions, and yet after
reading his discussion of the matter one must admit that the existence
of two memorials in Ephesus, such as Dionysius, Eusebius, and Jerome
refer to, by no means proves that more than one John was buried there.

[952] A similar suggestion had been already made by Dionysius in the
passage quoted by Eusebius in Bk. VII. chap. 25, and Eusebius was
undoubtedly thinking of it when he wrote these words. The suggestion is
a very clever one, and yet it is only a guess, and does not pretend to
be more. Dionysius concludes that the Apocalypse must have been written
by some person named John, because it testifies to that fact itself;
but the style, and other internal indications, lead him to think that
it cannot have been written by the author of the fourth Gospel, whom he
assumes to be John the apostle. He is therefore led to suppose that the
Apocalypse was written by some other John. He does not pretend to say
who that John was, but thinks it must have been some John that resided
in Asia; and he then adds that there were said to be two tombs in
Ephesus bearing the name of John,–evidently implying, though he does
not say it, that he is inclined to think that this second John thus
commemorated was the author of the Apocalypse. It is plain from this
that he had no tradition whatever in favor of this theory, that it was
solely an hypothesis arising from critical difficulties standing in the
way of the ascription of the book to the apostle John. Eusebius sees in
this suggestion a very welcome solution of the difficulties with which
he feels the acceptance of the book to be beset, and at once states it
as a possibility that this ”presbyter John,” whom he has discovered in
the writings of Papias, may have been the author of the book. But the
authenticity of the Apocalypse was too firmly established to be shaken
by such critical and theological difficulties as influenced Dionysius,
Eusebius, and a few others, and in consequence nothing came of the
suggestion made here by Eusebius. In the present century, however, the
”presbyter John” has again played an important part among some critics
as the possible author of certain of the Johannine writings, though the
authenticity of the Apocalypse has (until very recently) been so
commonly accepted even by the most negative critics that the ”presbyter
John” has not figured at all as the author of it; nor indeed is he
likely to in the future.

[953] In chap. 31, above. On the confusion of the evangelist with the
apostle Philip, see that chapter, note 6.

[954] That is, in the time of Philip.

[955] Acts i. 23.

[956] Compare the extract from Papias given by Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. V.
32), in which is contained a famous parable in regard to the fertility
of the millennium, which is exceedingly materialistic in its nature,
and evidently apocryphal. ”The days will come when vines shall grow,
each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand
twigs, and in each twig ten thousand shoots, and in every one of the
shoots ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five
and twenty measures of wine,” &c.

[957] Chiliasm, or millennarianism,–that is, the belief in a visible
reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years before the general
judgment,–was very widespread in the early Church. Jewish chiliasm was
very common at about the beginning of the Christian era, and is
represented in the voluminous apocalyptic literature of that day.
Christian chiliasm was an outgrowth of the Jewish, but spiritualized
it, and fixed it upon the second, instead of the first, coming of
Christ. The chief Biblical support for this doctrine is found in Rev.
xx. 1-6, and the fact that this book was appealed to so constantly by
chiliasts in support of their views was the reason why Dionysius,
Eusebius, and others were anxious to disprove its apostolic authorship.
Chief among the chiliasts of the ante-Nicene age were the author of the
epistle of Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian;
while the principal opponents of the doctrine were Caius, Origen,
Dionysius of Alexandria, and Eusebius. After the time of Constantine,
chiliasm was more and more widely regarded as a heresy, and received
its worst blow from Augustine, who framed in its stead the doctrine,
which from his time on was commonly accepted in the Church, that the
millennium is the present reign of Christ, which began with his
resurrection. See Schaff’s Church History, II. p. 613 sq., for the
history of the doctrine in the ante-Nicene Church and for the
literature of the subject.

[958] sphodra smikros ton noun. Eusebius’ judgment of Papias may have
been unfavorably influenced by his hostility to the strong chiliasm of
the latter; and yet a perusal of the extant fragments of Papias’
writings will lead any one to think that Eusebius was not far wrong in
his estimate of the man. On the genuineness of the words in his praise,
given by some mss., in chap. 36, S:2, see note 3 on that chapter.

[959] See above, note 19.

[960] We cannot, in the absence of the context, say with certainty that
the presbyter here referred to is the ”presbyter John,” of whom Papias
has so much to say, and who is mentioned in the previous paragraph, and
yet this seems quite probable. Compare Weiffenbach’s Die Papias
Fragmente ueber Marcus und Matthaeus, p. 26 sq.

[961] Papias is the first one to connect the Gospel of Mark with Peter,
but the tradition recorded by him was universally accepted by those who
came after him (see above, Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4). The relation of
this Gospel of Mark to our canonical gospel has been a very sharply
disputed point, but there is no good reason for distinguishing the
Gospel referred to here from our second Gospel which corresponds
excellently to the description given by Papias. Compare the remarks of
Lightfoot, ibid. p. 393 sq. We know from other sources (e.g. Justin
Martyr’s Dial. c. 106) that our second Gospel was in existence in any
case before the middle of the second century, and therefore there is no
reason to suppose that Papias was thinking of any other Gospel when he
spoke of the Gospel written by Mark as the interpreter of Peter. Of
course it does not follow from this that it was actually our second
Gospel which Mark wrote, and of whose composition Papias here speaks.
He may have written a Gospel which afterward formed the basis of our
present Gospel, or was one of the sources of the synoptic tradition as
a whole; that is, he may have written what is commonly known as the
”Ur-Marcus” (see above, Bk. II. chap. 15, note 4). As to that, we
cannot decide with absolute certainty, but we may say that Papias
certainly understood the tradition which he gives to refer to our
Gospel of Mark. The exact significance of the word hermeneutes as used
in this sentence has been much disputed. It seems best to give it its
usual significance,–the significance which we attach to the English
word ”interpreter.” See Weiffenbach, ibid. p. 37 sq. It may be,
supposing the report to be correct, that Peter found it advantageous to
have some one more familiar than himself with the language of the
people among whom he labored to assist him in his preaching. What
language it was for which he needed an interpreter we cannot say. We
might think naturally of Latin, but it is not impossible that Greek or
that both languages were meant; for Peter, although of course possessed
of some acquaintance with Greek, might not have been familiar enough
with it to preach in it with perfect ease. The words ”though not indeed
in order” (ou mentoi tEURxei) have also caused considerable
controversy. But they seem to refer chiefly to a lack of chronological
arrangement, perhaps to a lack of logical arrangement also. The
implication is that Mark wrote down without regard to order of any kind
the words and deeds of Christ which he remembered. Lightfoot and most
other critics have supposed that this accusation of a ”lack of order”
implies the existence of another written Gospel, exhibiting a different
order, with which Papias compares it (e.g. with the Gospel of Matthew,
as Weiss, Bleck, Holtzmann, and others think; or with John, as
Lightfoot, Zahn, Renan, and others suppose). This is a natural
supposition, but it is quite possible that Papias in speaking of this
lack of order is not thinking at all of another written Gospel, but
merely of the order of events which he had received from tradition as
the true one.

[962] logon, ”discourses,” or logion, ”oracles.” The two words are
about equally supported by ms. authority. The latter is adopted by the
majority of the editors; but it is more likely that it arose from logon
under the influence of the logion, which occurred in the title of
Papias’ work, than that it was changed into logon. The matter, however,
cannot be decided, and the alternative reading must in either case be
allowed to stand. See the notes of Burton and Heinichen, in loco.

[963] men oun. These words show plainly enough that this sentence in
regard to Matthew did not in the work of Papias immediately follow the
passage in regard to Mark, quoted above. Both passages are evidently
torn out of their context; and the latter apparently stood at the close
of a description of the origin of Matthew’s Gospel. That this statement
in regard to Matthew rests upon the authority of ”the presbyter” we are
consequently not at liberty to assert.

[964] On the tradition that Matthew wrote a Hebrew gospel, see above,
chap. 24, note 5. Our Greek Gospel of Matthew was certainly in
existence at the time Papias wrote, for it is quoted in the epistle of
Barnabas, which was written not later than the first quarter of the
second century. There is, therefore, no reason for assuming that the
Gospel of Matthew which Papias was acquainted with was a different
Gospel from our own. This, however, does not prove that the logia which
Matthew wrote (supposing Papias’ report to be correct) were identical
with, or even of the same nature as our Gospel of Matthew. It is urged
by many that the word logia could be used only to describe a collection
of the words or discourses of the Lord, and hence it is assumed that
Matthew wrote a work of this kind, which of course is quite a different
thing from our first Gospel. But Lightfoot has shown (ibid. p. 399 sq.)
that the word logia, ”oracles,” is not necessarily confined to a
collection of discourses merely, but that it may be used to describe a
work containing also a narrative of events. This being the case, it
cannot be said that Matthew’s logia must necessarily have been
something different from our present Gospel. Still our Greek Matthew is
certainly not a translation of a Hebrew original, and hence there may
be a long step between Matthew’s Hebrew logia and our Greek Gospel. But
if our Greek Matthew was known to Papias, and if it is not a
translation of a Hebrews original, then one of two alternatives
follows: either he could not accept the Greek Matthew, which was in
current use (that is, our canonical Matthew), or else he was not
acquainted with the Hebrew Matthew. Of the former alternative we have
no hint in the fragments preserved to us, while the latter, from the
way in which Papias speaks of these Hebrew logia, seems highly
probable. It may, therefore, be said to be probable that Papias, the
first one that mentions a Hebrew Matthew, speaks not from personal
knowledge, but upon the authority of tradition only.

[965] Since the first Epistle of John and the fourth Gospel are
indisputably from the same hand (see above, chap. 24, note 18), Papias’
testimony to the apostolic authorship of the Epistle, which is what his
use of it implies, is indirect testimony to the apostolic authorship of
the Gospel also.

[966] On the authenticity of the first Epistle of Peter, see above,
chap. 3, note 1.

[967] It is very likely that the story referred to here is identical
with the story of the woman taken in adultery, given in some mss., at
the close of the eighth chapter of John’s Gospel. The story was clearly
not contained in the original Gospel of John, but we do not know from
what source it crept into that Gospel, possibly from the Gospel
according to the Hebrews, where Eusebius says the story related by
Papias was found. It must be noticed that Eusebius does not say that
Papias took the story from the Gospel according to the Hebrews, but
only that it was contained in that Gospel. We are consequently not
justified in claiming this statement of Eusebius as proving that Papias
himself was acquainted with the Gospel according to the Hebrews (see
above, chap. 25, note 24). He may have taken it thence, or he may, on
the other hand, have taken it simply from oral tradition, the source
whence he derived so many of his accounts, or, possibly, from the lost
original Gospel, the ”Ur-Matthaeus.”