Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/192

This page has been validated.

which are found in the Petrine Gospel, but not in the canonical gospels, from the original Acta Pilati, while Zahn exactly reverses the relation of these two works. Rendel Harris (1899) advocated the view that the Gospel of Nicodemus, as we possess it, is merely a prose version of the Gospel of Nicodemus written originally in Homeric centones as early as the 2nd century. Lipsius and Dobschütz relegate the book to the 4th century. The question is not settled yet (see Lipsius in Smith’s Dict. of Christ. Biography, ii. 708-709, and Dobschütz in Hastings’ Bible Dictionary, iii. 544-547).

Gospel according to the Hebrews.—This gospel was cited by Ignatius (Ad Smyrnaeos, iii.) according to Jerome (Viris illus. 16, and in Jes. lib. xviii.), but this is declared to be untrustworthy by Zahn, op. cit. i. 921; ii. 701, 702. It was written in Aramaic in Hebrew letters, according to Jerome (Adv. Pelag. iii. 2), and translated by him into Greek and Latin. Both these translations are lost. A collection of the Greek and Latin fragments that have survived, mainly in Origen and Jerome, will be found in Hilgenfeld’s NT extra Canonem receptum, Nicholson’s Gospel according to the Hebrews (1879), Westcott’s Introd. to the Gospels, and Zahn’s Gesch. des NTlichen Kanons, ii. 642-723; Preuschen, op. cit. 3-8. This gospel was regarded by many in the first centuries as the Hebrew original of the canonical Matthew (Jerome, in Matt. xii. 13; Adv. Pelag. iii. 1). With the canonical gospel it agrees in some of its sayings; in others it is independent. It circulated among the Nazarenes in Syria, and was composed, according to Zahn (op. cit. ii. 722), between the years 135 and 150. Jerome identifies it with the Gospel of the Twelve (Adv. Pelag. iii. 2), and states that it was used by the Ebionites (Comm. in Matt. xii. 13). Zahn (op. cit. ii. 662, 724) contests both these statements. The former he traces to a mistaken interpretation of Origen (Hom. I. in Luc.). Lipsius, on the other hand, accepts the statements of Jerome (Smith and Wace, Dict. of Christian Biography, ii. 709-712), and is of opinion that this gospel, in the form in which it was known to Epiphanius, Jerome and Origen, was “a recast of an older original,” which, written originally in Aramaic, was nearly related to the Logia used by St Matthew and the Ebionitic writing used by St Luke, “which itself was only a later redaction of the Logia.”

According to the most recent investigations we may conclude that the Gospel according to the Hebrews was current among the Nazarenes and Ebionites as early as 100–125, since Ignatius was familiar with the phrase “I am no bodiless demon”—a phrase which, according to Jerome (Comm. in Is. xviii.), belonged to this Gospel.

The name “Gospel according to the Hebrews” cannot have been original; for if it had been so named because of its general use among the Hebrews, yet the Hebrews themselves would not have used this designation. It may have been known simply as “the Gospel.” The language was Western Aramaic, the mother tongue of Jesus and his apostles. Two forms of Western Aramaic survive: the Jerusalem form of the dialect, in the Aramaic portions of Daniel and Ezra; and the Galilean, in isolated expressions in the Talmud (3rd century), and in a fragmentary 5th century translation of the Bible. The quotations from the Old Testament are made from the Massoretic text.

This gospel must have been translated at an early date into Greek, as Clement and Origen cite it as generally accessible, and Eusebius recounts that many reckoned it among the received books. The gospel is synoptic in character and is closely related to Matthew, though in the Resurrection accounts it has affinities with Luke. Like Mark it seems to have had no history of the birth of Christ, and to have begun with the baptism. (For the literature see Hennecke, NTliche Apok. Handbuch, 21-23.)

Gospel of Peter.—Before 1892 we had some knowlege of this gospel. Thus Serapion, bishop of Antioch (A.D. 190–203) found it in use in the church of Rhossus in Cilicia, and condemned it as Docetic (Eusebius, H.E. vi. 12). Again, Origen (In Matt. tom. xvii. 10) says that it represented the brethren of Christ as his half-brothers. In 1885 a long fragment was discovered at Akhmim, and published by Bouriant in 1892, and subsequently by Lods, Robinson, Harnack, Zahn, Schubert, Swete.

Gospel of Thomas.—This gospel professes to give an account of our Lord’s boyhood. It appears in two recensions. The more complete recension bears the title Θωμᾶ Ίσραηλίτου Φιλοσόφου ῥητὰ εἰς τὰ παιδικὰ τοῦ Κυρίου, and treats of the period from the 7th to the 12th year (Tischendorf, Evangelia Apocrypha2, 1876, 140-157). The more fragmentary recension gives the history of the childhood from the 5th to the 8th year, and is entitled Σύγγραμμα τοῦ ἁγίου ἀποστόλου Θωμᾶ περὶ τῆς παιδικῆς ἀναστροφῆς τοῦ Κυρίου (Tischendorf, op. cit. pp. 158-163). Two Latin translations have been published in this work by the same scholar—one on pp. 164-180, the other under the wrong title, Pseudo-Matthaei Evangelium, on pp. 93-112. A Syriac version, with an English translation, was published by Wright in 1875. This gospel was originally still more Docetic than it now is, according to Lipsius. Its present form is due to an orthodox revision which discarded, so far as possible, all Gnostic traces. Lipsius (Smith’s Dict. of Christ. Biog. ii. 703) assigns it to the latter half of the 2nd century, but Zahn (Gesch. Kan. ii. 771), on good grounds, to the earlier half. The latter scholar shows that probably it was used by Justin (Dial. 88). At all events it circulated among the Marcosians (Irenaeus, Haer. i. 20) and the Naasenes (Hippolytus, Refut. v. 7), and subsequently among the Manichaeans, and is frequently quoted from Origen downwards (Hom. I. in Luc.). If the stichometry of Nicephorus is right, the existing form of the book is merely fragmentary compared with its original compass. For literature see Hennecke, NTliche Apokryphen Handbuch, 132 seq.

Gospel of the Twelve.—This gospel, which Origen knew (Hom. I. in Luc.), is not to be identified with the Gospel according to the Hebrews (see above), with Lipsius and others, who have sought to reconstruct the original gospel from the surviving fragments of these two distinct works. The only surviving fragments of the Gospel of the Twelve have been preserved by Epiphanius (Haer. xxx. 13-16, 22: see Preuschen, op. cit. 9-11). It began with an account of the baptism. It was used by the Ebionites, and was written, according to Zahn (op. cit. ii. 742), about A.D. 170.

Other Gospels Mainly Gnostic and almost all Lost.—

Gospel of Andrew.—This is condemned in the Gelasian Decree, and is probably the gospel mentioned by Innocent (1 Ep. iii. 7) and Augustine (Contra advers. Leg. et Proph. i. 20).

Gospel of Apelles.—Mentioned by Jerome in his Prooem. ad Matt.

Gospel of Barnabas.—Condemned in the Gelasian Decree (see under Barnabas ad fin.).

Gospel of Bartholomew.—Mentioned by Jerome in his Prooem. ad Matt. and condemned in the Gelasian Decree.

Gospel of Basilides.—Mentioned by Origen (Tract. 26 in Matt. xxxiii. 34, and in his Prooem. in Luc.); by Jerome in his Prooem. in Matt. (See Harnack i. 161; ii. 536-537; Zahn, Gesch. Kanons, i. 763-774.)

Gospel of Cerinthus.—Mentioned by Epiphanius (Haer. li. 7).

Gospel of the Ebionites.—A fragmentary edition of the canonical Matthew according to Epiphanius (Haer. xxx. 13), used by the Ebionites and called by them the Hebrew Gospel.

Gospel of Eve.—A quotation from this gospel is given by Epiphanius (Haer. xxvi. 2, 3). It is possible that this is the Gospel of Perfection (Εὐαγγέλιον τελειώσεως) which he touches upon in xxvi. 2. The quotation shows that this gospel was the expression of complete pantheism.

Gospel of James the Less.—Condemned in the Gelasian Decree.

Wisdom of Jesus Christ.—This third work contained in the Coptic MS. referred to under Gospel of Mary gives cosmological disclosures and is presumably of Valentinian origin.

Apocryph of John.—This book, which is found in the Coptic MS. referred to under Gospel of Mary and contains cosmological disclosures of Christ, is said to have formed the source of Irenaeus’ account of the Gnostics of Barbelus (i. 29-31). Thus this work would have been written before 170.

Gospel of Judas Iscariot.—References to this gospel as in use among the Cainites are made by Irenaeus (i. 31. 1); Epiphanius (xxxviii. 1. 3).