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PART TWO

CHAPTER 1.

CLEMENT OF ROME - THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS - THE PASTOR OF HERMAS

THE TEACHING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES

THE first work which presents itself for examination is the so-called first Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, which, together with a second Epistle to the same community, likewise attributed to Clement, is preserved to us in the Codex Alexandrinus, a MS. assigned by the most competent judges to the second half of the fifth or beginning of the sixth century, in which these Epistles follow the books of the New Testament. The second Epistle, which is evidently not epistolary, but the fragment of a Homily, although it thus shares with the first the honour of a canonical position in one of the most ancient codices of the New Testament, is not mentioned at all by the earlier Fathers who refer to the first; [128:1] and Eusebius, who is the first writer who mentions it, expresses doubt regarding it, while Jerome and Photius state that it was rejected by the ancients. It is now universally regarded as spurious, and dated about the end of the second century, or later. We shall hereafter see that many other pseudographs were circulated in the name of Clement, to which, however, we need not further allude at present.

There has been much controversy as to the identity of the Clement to whom the first Epistle is attributed. In early days he was supposed to be the Clement mentioned in the Epistle to the Philippians (4:3), [128:2] but this is now generally doubted or denied, and the authenticity of the Epistle has, indeed, been called in question both by earlier and later critics. It is unnecessary to detail the various traditions regarding the supposed writer, but we must point out that the Epistle itself makes no mention of the author's name. It merely purports to be addressed by "The Church of God which sojourns at Rome to the Church of God sojourning at Corinth"; but in the Codex Alexandrinus the title of "The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians" is added at the end. Clement of Alexandria calls the supposed writer the "Apostle Clement"; [129:1] Origen reports that many also ascribed to him the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews; [129:2] and Photius mentions that he was likewise said to be the writer of the Acts of the Apostles. [129:3] We know that, until a comparatively late date, this Epistle was quoted as Holy Scripture, [129:4] and was publicly read in the churches at the Sunday meetings of Christians. [129:5] It has, as we have seen, a place amongst the canonical books of the New Testament in the Codex Alexandrinus, but it did not long retain that position in the canon, for, although in the Apostolic Canons [129:6] of the sixth or seventh century both Epistles appear, yet in the Stichometry of Nicephorus, a work of the ninth century, derived, however, as Credner [129:7] has demonstrated, from a Syrian catalogue of the fifth century, both Epistles are classed among the Apocrypha. [129:8]

Great uncertainty prevails as to the date at which the Epistle was written. Reference is supposed to be made to it by the so-called Epistle of Polycarp, but, owing to the probable inauthenticity of that work itself, no weight can be attached to this circumstance. The first certain reference to it is by Hegesippus, in the second half of the second century, mentioned by Eusebius. [129:9] Dionysius of Corinth, in a letter ascribed to him, addressed to Soter, Bishop of Rome, is the first who distinctly mentions the name of Clement as the author of the Epistle. [129:10] There is some difference of opinion as to the order of his succession to the Bishopric of Rome. Irenaeus [129:11] and Eusebius [129:12] say that he followed Anacletus, and the latter adds the date of the twelfth year of the reign of Domitian (A.D. 91-92), and that he died nine years after, in the third year of Trajan's reign (A.D. 100). [129:13] Internal evidence [129:14] shows that the Epistle was written after some persecution of the Roman Church, and the selection lies between the persecution under Nero, which would suggest the date A.D. 64-70, or that under Domitian, which would assign the letter to the end of the first century, or to the beginning of the second. Those who adhere to the view that the Clement mentioned in the Epistle to the Philippians is the author maintain that the Epistle was written under Nero. One of their principal arguments for this conclusion is a remark occurring in chapter 41: "Not everywhere, brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered up, or the votive offerings, or the sin-offerings and the trespass-offerings, but only in Jerusalem. But even there they are not offered in every place, but only at the altar before the Sanctuary, examination of the sacrifice offered being first made by the High Priest and the ministers already mentioned." From this it is concluded that the Epistle was written before the destruction of the Temple. It has, however, been shown that Josephus, [130:1] the author of the "Epistle to Diognetus" (c. 3), and others, long after the Jewish worship of the Temple was at an end, continually speak in the present tense of the Temple worship in Jerusalem; and it is evident, as Cotelier long ago remarked, that this may be done with propriety even in the present day. The argument is therefore recognised to be without value. Tischendorf, who systematically adopts the earliest possible or impossible dates for all the writings of the first two centuries, decides, without stating his reasons, that the grounds for the earlier date, about A.D. 69, as well as for the episcopate of Clement from A.D. 68-77 [130:2] are conclusive; but he betrays his more correct impression by classing Clement, in his index, along with Ignatius and Polycarp as representatives of the period, "First and second quarters of the second century"; [130:3] and in the Prolegomena to his New Testament he dates the episcopate of Clement "ab anno 92 usque 102." [130:4] The earlier episcopate assigned to him by Hefele upon most insufficient grounds is contradicted by the direct statements of Iraeneus, Eusebius, Jerome, and others who give the earliest lists of Roman Bishops, [130:5] as well as by the internal evidence of the Epistle itself. In chapter 44 the writer speaks of those appointed by the apostles to the oversight of the Church, "or afterwards by other notable men, the whole Church consenting ... who have for a long time been commended by all, etc.," which indicates successions of Bishops since apostolic days. In another place (chap. 47) he refers the Corinthians to the Epistle addressed to them by Paul "in the beginning of the Gospel," and speaks of "the most steadfast and ancient Church of the Corinthians," which would be absurd in an Epistle written about A.D. 69. Moreover, an advanced episcopal form of Church government is indicated throughout the letter, which is quite inconsistent with such a date. The great mass of critics, therefore, have decided against the earlier date of the episcopate of Clement, and assign the composition of the Epistle to the end of the first century (A.D. 95-100). Others, however, date it still later. There is no doubt that the great number of Epistles and other writings falsely circulated in the name of Clement may well excite suspicion as to the authenticity of this Epistle also, which is far from unsupported by internal proofs. Of these, however, we shall only mention one. We have already incidentally remarked that the writer mentions the Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, the only instance in which any New Testament writing is referred to by name; but along with the Epistle of the "blessed Paul" the author also speaks of the "blessed Judith," and this leads to the inquiry: When was the Book of Judith written? Hitzig, Volkmar, and others, contend that it must be dated A.D. 117-118, [131:1] and if this be admitted, it follows, of course, that an Epistle which already shows acquaintance with the Book of Judith cannot have been written before A.D. 120-125 at the earliest, which many, for this and other reasons, affirm to be the case with the Epistle of pseudo-Clement. Whatever date be assigned to it, however, it is probable that the Epistle is interpolated, although it must be added that this is not the view of the majority of critics.

It is important to ascertain whether or not this ancient Christian Epistle affords any evidence of the existence of our Synoptic Gospels at the time when it was written. Tischendorf, who is ever ready to claim the slightest resemblance in language as a reference to New Testament writings, states that, although this Epistle is rich in quotations from the Old Testament, and that Clement here and there also makes use of passages from Pauline Epistles, he nowhere refers to the Gospels. [131:2] This is perfectly true, but several passages occur in this Epistle which are either quotations from Evangelical works different from ours, or derived from tradition, and in either case they have a very important bearing upon our inquiry.

The first of these passages occurs in ch. 13, and for greater facility of comparison we shall at once place it both in the Greek and in translation, in juxtaposition with the nearest parallel readings in our Synoptic Gospels; and, as far as may be, we shall in the English version indicate differences existing in the original texts. The passage is introduced thus: "Especially remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, which he speak teaching gentleness and long-suffering. For thus he said":

EPISTLE, 13.

MATTHEW.

LUKE

(a) Be pitiful, that ye may be pitied:

5:7. Blessed are the pitiful, for they shall obtain pity.

6:36. Be ye therefore merciful as your Father also is merciful.

(b) forgive, that it may be forgiven to you;

6:14. for if ye forgive men their trespasses, etc.

6:37. ... pardon [132:1] and ye shall be pardoned,

(c) as ye do, so shall it be done to you.

7:12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

6:31. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

(d) as ye give, so shall it be given to you;

 

6:38. ... give, and it shall be given to you.

(e) as ye judge, so shall it be judged to you.

7:2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged,

6:37. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.

(f) as ye show kindness shall kindness be shown to you;

and

 

(g) with what measure ye mete, with the same shall it be measured to you.

with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.

6:38. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

 

 

 

(a) Eleate, hina eleêthête.

5:7. Makarioi oi eleêmones, hoti autoi eleêthêsontai

6:36. Ginesthe oun oiktirmones, k.t.l.

(b) Aphiete, hina aphethê humin

6:14. Ean gar aphête tois anthrôpois ta paraptômata autôn, k.t.l.

6:37. apoluete, kai apoluthêsesthe.

(c) hôs poieite, outô poiêthêsetai humin.

7:12. Panta oun hosa an thelête ina poiôsin humin oi anthrôpoi, outôs kai humeis poiete autois.

6:31. kai kathôs thelete hina poiôsin humin oi anthrôpoi, kai humeis poieite autois homoiôs.

(d) hôs didote, outôs dothêsetai humin.

 

6:38. didote, kai dothêsetai humin.

(e) hôs krinete, outôs krithêsesthe humin.

7:2. en ô gar krimati krinete krithêsesthe,

6:37. kai mê krinete kai ou mê krithête.

(f) hôs chrêsteuesthe, outôs chrêsteuthêsetai humin.

 

 

(g) ô metrô metreite, en autô metrêthêsetai humin. [132:2]

kai en ô metrô metreite metrêthêsetai humin.

6:38. tô gar autô metrô ô metreite antimetrêthêsetai humin.

Of course, it is understood that, although for convenience of comparison we have broken up this quotation into these phrases, it is quite continuous in the Epistle. It must be evident to anyone who carefully examines the parallel passages that "the words of the Lord Jesus" in the Epistle cannot have been derived from our Gospels. Not only is there no similar consecutive discourse in them, but the scattered phrases which are pointed out as presenting superficial similarity with the quotation are markedly different both in thought and language. In it, as in the "beatitudes" of the "Sermon on the Mount" in the first Gospel, the construction is peculiar and continuous: "Do this … in order that (hina); or, "As (hôs) ye do … so (outôs). The theory of a combination of passages from memory, which is usually advanced to explain such quotations, cannot serve here, for thoughts and expressions occur in the passage in the Epistle which have no parallel at all in our Gospels, and such dismembered phrases as can be collected from our first and third Synoptics, for comparison with it, follow the course of the quotation in the ensuing order: Matt. 5:7, 6:14, part of 7:12, phrase without parallel, first part of 7:2, phrase without parallel, last part of 7:2; or Luke 6:36, last phrase of 6:37, 6:31, first phrase of 6:38, first phrase of 6:37, phrase without parallel, last phrase of 6:38.

The only question with regard to this passage, therefore, is whether the writer quotes from an unknown written source or from tradition. He certainly merely professes to repeat "words of the Lord Jesus," and does not definitely indicate a written record; but it is much more probable, from the context, that he quotes from a gospel now no longer extant than that he derives this teaching from oral tradition. He introduces the quotation not only with a remark implying a well-known record: "Remembering the words of the Lord Jesus which he spake, teaching," etc.; but he reiterates: "For thus he said," in a way suggesting careful and precise quotation of the very words; and he adds at the end: "By this injunction and by these instructions let us establish ourselves, that we may walk in obedience to his holy words, thinking humbly of ourselves." [133:1] It seems improbable that the writer would so markedly have indicated a precise quotation of words of Jesus, and would so emphatically have commended them as the rule of life to the Corinthians, had these precepts been mere floating tradition, until then unstamped with written permanence. The phrase, "As ye show kindness (chrêsteuesthe)," etc., which is nowhere found in our Gospels, recalls an expression quoted by Justin Martyr, apparently from a Gospel different from ours, and frequently repeated by him in the same form: "Be ye kind and merciful (chrêstoi kai oiktirmones) as your Father also is kind (chrêstos) and merciful." [134:1] In the very next chapter of the Epistle a similar reference again occurs: "Let us be kind to each other (chrêseusômena autois) according to the mercy and benignity of our Creator." [134:2] Without, however, going more minutely into this question, it is certain, from its essential variations in language, thought, and order, that the passage in the Epistle cannot he claimed as a compilation from our Gospels; and we shall presently see that some of the expressions in it which are foreign to our Gospels are elsewhere quoted by other Fathers, and there is reason to believe that these "words of the Lord Jesus" were not derived from tradition, but from a written source different from our Gospels. When the great difference which exists between the parallel passages in the first and third Synoptics, and still more between these and the second, is considered, it is easy to understand that other Gospels may have contained a version differing as much from them as they do from each other.

We likewise subjoin the next passage to which we must refer with the nearest parallels in our Synoptics. We may explain that the writer of the Epistle is rebuking the Corinthians for strifes and divisions amongst them, and for forgetting that they "are members one of another," and he continues (c. 46): "Remember the words of our Lord Jesus; for he said:-"

 

EPISTLE, 46

MATTHEW

LUKE

Woe to that man; (it were) well for him if he had not been born (rather) than that he should offend one of my elect; (it were) better for him (that) a millstone should be attached (to him) and he should be drowned in the sea, (rather) than that he should pervert one of my elect.

26:24. Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is delivered up; (it were) well for him if that man had not been born. 18:6. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were profitable for him that a great millstone were suspended upon his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

17:1. ... but woe... through whom they (offences) come. 17:2. It were advantageous for him that a great millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast in the sea, (rather) than that he offend one of these little ones.

Mark 14:21… but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is delivered up, (it were) well for him if that man had not been born … 9:42. And whosover shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it is well for him rather that a great millstone were hanged about his neck, and he be thrown in the sea.

EPISTLE, 46

MATTHEW

LUKE

ouai tô anthrôpô ekeinô

26:24. ouai de tô anthropô ekeino di ou o uios tou anthrôpou paradidotai.

17:1. ouai de di ou erchetai. (ta skandala) [135:1]

kalon ên autô ei ouk egennêthê
ê ena tôn eklektôn mou skandalisai

kalon ên auto ei ouk egennêthê ho anthrôpos ekeinos.
18:6. hos d'an skandalisê hena tôn mikrôn toutôn tôn pisteuontôn eis eme,

 

kreitton ên auto peritethênai mulon.
kai katapontisthênai

sumpherei autô hina kremasthê mulos onikos peri ton trachêlon autou kai katapontisthê.

17:2. lusitelei autô ei mulos onikos [135:2] perikeitai peri ton trachêlon autou kai erripptai

 

En tô pelagei

 

eis tên thalassan, ê ena ton ekleton mou diastrepsai.

tês thalassês.

eis tên thalassan, ê hina skandalisê hena [135:3] ton mikrôn toutôn

This quotation is clearly not from our Gospels, but must be assigned to a different written source. The writer would scarcely refer the Corinthians to such words of Jesus if they were merely traditional. It is neither a combination of texts nor a quotation from memory. The language throughout is markedly different from any passage in the Synoptics, and to present even a superficial parallel it is necessary to take a fragment of the discourse of Jesus at the Last Supper regarding the traitor who should deliver him up (Matt. 26:24), and join it to a fragment of his remarks in connection with the little child whom he set in the midst (18:6). The parallel passage in Luke has not the opening words of the passage in the Epistle at all, and the portion which it contains (17:2) is separated from the context in which it stands in the first Gospel, and which explains its meaning. If we contrast the parallel passages in the three Synoptics, their differences of context are very suggestive; and, without referring to their numerous and important variations in detail, the confusion amongst them is evidence of very varying tradition. [135:4] This alone would make the existence of another form like that quoted in the Epistle before us more than probable.

Tischendorf, in a note to his statement that Clement nowhere refers to the Gospels, quotes the passage we are now considering, the only one to which he alludes, and says: "These words are expressly cited as 'words of Jesus our Lord,' but they denote much more oral apostolic tradition than a use of the parallel passages in Matt. (26:24, 18:6) and Luke (17:2)." [136:1] It is now, of course, impossible to determine finally whether the passage was actually derived from tradition or from a written source different from our Gospels; but, in either case, the fact is that the Epistle not only does not afford the slightest evidence for the existence of any of our Gospels, but, from only making use of tradition or an apocryphal work as the source of information regarding words of Jesus, it is decidedly opposed to the pretensions made on behalf of the Synoptics.

Before passing on, we may, in the briefest way possible, refer to one or two other passages, with the view of further illustrating the character of the quotations in this Epistle. There are many passages cited which are not found in the Old Testament, and others which have no parallels in the New. At the beginning of the very chapter in which the words which we have just been considering occur there is the following quotation: "It is written: Cleave to the holy, for they who cleave to them shall he made holy," [136:2] the source of which is unknown. In a previous chapter the writer says: "And our Apostles knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there will be contention regarding the name (onomatos, office, dignity) of the episcopate." [136:3] What was the writer's authority for this statement? We find Justin Martyr quoting, as an express prediction of Jesus: "There shall be schisms and heresies," [136:4] which is not contained in our Gospels, but evidently derived from an uncanonical source -- a fact rendered more apparent by the occurrence of a similar passage in the Clementine Homilies, still more closely bearing upon our Epistle: "For there shall be, as the Lord said, false apostles, false prophets, heresies, desires for supremacy." [136:5] Hegesippus also speaks in a similar way: "From these came the false Christs, false prophets, false apostles who divided the unity of the Church." [136:6]

As Hegesippus, and in all probability Justin Martyr and the author of the Clementines, made use of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, or to Peter, it is probable that these Gospels contained passages to which the words of the Epistle may refer. [137:1] It may be well to point out that the author also cites a passage from the fourth Book of Ezra, 2:16, [137:2] "And I shall remember the good day, and I shall raise you from your tombs." [137:3] Ezra reads: "Et resuscitabo mortuos de locis suis et de monumentis educam illos," etc. The first part of the quotation in the Epistle, of which we have only given the latter clause above, is taken from Isaiah 26:20; but there can be no doubt that the above is from this apocryphal book, which, as we shall see, was much used in the early Church.


We now turn to the so-called "Epistle of Barnabas," another interesting relic of the early Church, many points in whose history have considerable analogy with that of the Epistle of pseudo-Clement. The letter itself bears no author's name, is not dated from any place, and is not addressed to any special community. Towards the end of the second century, however, tradition began to ascribe it to Barnabas, the companion of Paul. [137:4] The first writer who mentions it is Clement of Alexandria, who calls its author several times the "Apostle Barnabas"; [137:5] and Eusebius says that he gave an account of it in one of his works now no longer extant. [137:6] Origen also refers to it, calling it a "Catholic Epistle," and quoting it as Scripture. [137:7] We have already seen in the case of the Epistles ascribed to Clement of Rome -- and, as we proceed, we shall become only too familiar with the fact -- the singular facility with which, in the total absence of critical discrimination, spurious writings were ascribed by the Fathers to Apostles and their followers. In many cases such writings were deliberately inscribed with names well known in the Church; but both in the case of the two Epistles to the Corinthians and the letter we are now considering no such pious fraud was attempted, nor was it necessary. Credulous piety, which attributed writings to every Apostle, and even to Jesus himself, soon found authors for each anonymous work of an edifying character. To Barnabas, the friend of Paul, not only this Epistle was referred, but he was also reported by Tertullian and others to be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews; [138:1] and an apocryphal "Gospel according to Barnabas," said to have had close affinity with our first Synoptic, is condemned, along with many others, in the decretal of Gelasius. [138:2] Eusebius, however, classes the so-called "Epistle of Barnabas" amongst the spurious books (en tois nothois), [138:3] and elsewhere also speaks of it as uncanonical. [138:4] Jerome mentions it as read amongst apocryphal writings. [138:5] Had the Epistle been seriously regarded as a work of the "Apostle" Barnabas, it could scarcely have failed to attain canonical rank. That it was highly valued by the early Church is shown by the fact that it stands, along with the Shepherd of Hermas, after the canonical books of the New Testament in the Codex Sinaiticus, which is probably the most ancient MS. of them now known. In the earlier days of criticism some writers, without much question, adopted the traditional view as to the authorship of the Epistle; but the great mass of critics are now agreed in asserting that the composition, which itself is perfectly anonymous, cannot be attributed to Barnabas, the friend and fellow-worker of Paul. Those who maintain the former opinion date the Epistle about A.D. 70-73, or even earlier; but this is scarcely the view of any living critic. There are many indications in the Epistle which render such a date impossible; but we do not propose to go into the argument minutely, for it is generally admitted that, whilst there is a clear limit further back than which the Epistle cannot be set, there is little or no certainty how far into the second century its composition may not reasonably be advanced. Critics are divided upon the point; a few are disposed to date the Epistle about the end of the first or beginning of the second century, while a still greater number assign it to the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 117-138); and others, not without reason, consider that it exhibits marks of a still later period. It is probable that it is more or less interpolated. Until the discovery of the Sinaitic MS. a portion of the "Epistle of Barnabas" was only known through an ancient Latin version, the first four and a half chapters of the Greek having been lost. The Greek text, however, is now complete, although often very corrupt. The author quotes largely from the Old Testament, and also from apocryphal works. He nowhere mentions any book or writer of the New Testament, and, with one asserted exception, which we shall presently examine, he quotes no passage agreeing with our Gospels. We shall refer to these, commencing at once with the most important.

In the ancient Latin translation of the Epistle the only form, as we have just said, in which, until the discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus, the first four and a half chapters were extant, the following passage occurs: "Adtendamus ergo, ne forte, sicut scriptum est, multi vocati pauci electi inveniamur." [139:1] "Let us, therefore beware lest, as it is written: Many are called, few are chosen." These words are found in our first Gospel (22:14), and, as the formula by which they are here introduced -- "it is written" -- is generally understood to indicate a quotation from Holy Scripture, it was, and is, argued by some that here we have a passage from one of our Gospels quoted in a manner which shows that, at the time the Epistle of Barnabas was written, the "Gospel according to Matthew was already considered Holy Scripture." [139:2] Whilst this portion of the text existed only in the Latin version, it was argued that the "sicut scriptum est," at least, must be an interpolation, and in any case that it could not be deliberately applied, at that date, to a passage in any writings of the New Testament. On the discovery of the Sinaitic MS., however, the words were found in the Greek text in that Codex: prosechômen, mêtote, hôs gegraptai, polloi klêtoi, oligoi de eklektoi eurethômen. The question, therefore, is so far modified that, however much we may suspect the Greek text of interpolation, it must be accepted as the basis of discussion that this passage, whatever its value, exists in the oldest, and indeed only (and this point must not be forgotten), complete MS. of the Greek Epistle.

Now, with regard to the value of the expression "it is written," it may be remarked that in no case could its use in the Epistle of Barnabas indicate more than individual opinion, and it could not, for reasons to be presently given, be considered to represent the decision of the Church. In the very same chapter in which the formula is used in connection with the passage we are considering, it is also employed to introduce a quotation from the Book of Enoch, [139:3] peri ou gegraptai, hôs Henoch legei, and elsewhere (c. 12) he quotes from another apocryphal book [139:4] as one of the prophets. "Again, he refers to the Cross of Christ in another prophet, saying: 'And when shall these things come to pass? and the Lord saith: When,' etc. … en allô prophêtê legonti ... legei Kurios. k.t.l." He also quotes (ch. 6) the apocryphal "Book of Wisdom" as Holy Scripture, and in like manner several other unknown works. When it is remembered that the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas itself, and many other apocryphal works, have been quoted by the Fathers as Holy Scripture, the distinctive value of such an expression may be understood.

With this passing remark, however, we proceed to say that this supposed quotation from Matthew as Holy Scripture, by proving too much, destroys its own value as evidence. The generality of competent and impartial critics are agreed that it is impossible to entertain the idea that one of our Gospels could have held the rank of Holy Scripture at the date of this Epistle, seeing that, for more than half a century after, the sharpest line was drawn between the writings of the Old Testament and of the New, and the former alone quoted as, or accorded the consideration of, Holy Scripture. If this were actually a quotation from our first Gospel, already in the position of Holy Scripture, it would, indeed, be astonishing that the Epistle, putting out of the question other Christian writings for half a century after it, teeming, as it does, with extracts from the Old Testament, and from known and unknown apocryphal works, should thus limit its use of the Gospel to a few words, totally neglecting the rich store which it contains, and quoting, on the other hand, sayings of Jesus not recorded at all in any of our Synoptics. It is most improbable that, if the author of the "Epistle of Barnabas" was acquainted with any one of our Gospels, and considered it an inspired and canonical work, he could have neglected it in such a manner. The peculiarity of the quotation which he is supposed to make, which we shall presently point out, renders such limitation to it doubly singular upon any such hypothesis. The unreasonable nature of the assertion, however, will become more apparent as we proceed with our examination, and perceive that none of the early writers quote our Gospels, if they knew them at all, but, on the other hand, make use of other works, and that the inference that Matthew was considered Holy Scripture, therefore, rests solely upon this quotation of half-a-dozen words.

The application of such a formula to a supposed quotation from one of our Gospels, in so isolated an instance, led to the belief that, even if the passage were taken from our first Synoptic, the author of the Epistle, in quoting it, laboured under the impression that it was derived from some prophetical book. We daily see how difficult it is to trace the source even of the most familiar quotations. Instances of such confusion of memory are frequent in the writings of the Fathers, and many can be pointed out in the New Testament itself. For instance, in Matt. 27:9 f. the passage from Zechariah 11:12-13, is attributed to Jeremiah; in Mark 1:2 a quotation from Malachi 3:1 is ascribed to Isaiah. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 a passage is quoted as Holy Scripture which is not found in the Old Testament at all, but which is taken, as Origen and Jerome state, from an apocryphal work, "The Revelation of Elias"; [141:1] and the passage is similarly quoted by the so-called Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians (xxxiv). Then in what prophet did the author of the first Gospel find the words (13:35): "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, [141:2] saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world"?

Orelli, [141:3] afterwards followed by many others, suggested that the quotation was probably intended for one in 4 Ezra 8:3: "Nam multi creati sunt, pauci autem salvabuntur." [141:4] "For many are created, but few shall be saved." Bretschneider proposed, as an emendation of the passage in Ezra, the substitution of "vocati" for "creati"; but, however plausible, his argument did not meet with much favour. Along with this passage was also suggested a similar expression in 4 Ezra 9:15: "Plures sunt qui pereunt, quam qui salvabuntur." "There are more who perish than who shall be saved." [141:5] The Greek of the three passages may read as follows:
 

Mt. 22:14.

Polloi gar eisin,

klêtoi,

oligoi de eklektoi.

Ep. Bar. 4.

Polloi

klêtoi,

oligoi de eklektoi.

4 Ezra 8:3

Polloi gar egennêthêsan,

oligoi de sôthêsontai.

There can be no doubt that the sense of the reading in 4 Ezra is exactly that of the Epistle, but the language is somewhat different. We must not forget, however, that the original Greek of 4 Ezra is lost, and that we are wholly dependent on the versions and MSS. extant, regarding whose numerous variations and great corruption there are no differences of opinion. Orelli's theory, moreover, is supported by the fact that the Epistle, elsewhere (c. 12), quotes from 4 Ezra (4:33; 5:5).

On examining the passage as it occurs in our first Synoptic, we are, at the very outset, struck by the singular fact that this short saying appears twice in that Gospel with a different context, and in each case without any propriety of application to what precedes it, whilst it is not found at all in either of the other two Synoptics. The first time we meet with it is at the close of the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. [142:1] The householder engages the labourers at different hours of the day, and pays those who had worked but one hour the same wages as those who had borne the burden and heat of the day, and the reflection at the close is (20:16): "Thus the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few chosen." It is perfectly evident that neither of these sayings, but especially not that with which we are concerned, has any connection with the parable at all. There is no question of many or few, or of selection or rejection; all the labourers are engaged and paid alike. If there be a moral at all to the parable, it is the justification of the master: "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?" It is impossible to imagine a saying more irrelevant to its context than "many are called, but few chosen," in such a place. The passage occurs again (22:14) in connection with the parable of the king who made a marriage for his son. The guests who are at first invited refuse to come, and are destroyed by the king's armies; but the wedding is, nevertheless, "furnished with guests" by gathering together as many as are found in the highways. A new episode commences when the king comes in to see the guests (5:11). He observes a man there who has not on a wedding garment, and he desires the servants to (5:13) "Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness without," where "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth"; [142:2] and then comes our passage (5:14), "For many are called, but few chosen." Now, whether applied to the first or to the latter part of the parable, the saying is irrelevant. The guests first called were in fact chosen as much as the last, but themselves refused to come, and of all those who, being "called" from the highways and byways, ultimately furnished the wedding with guests in their stead, only one was rejected. It is clear that the facts here distinctly contradict the moral that "few are chosen." In both places the saying is, as it were, "dragged in by the hair." On examination, however, we find that the oldest MSS. of the New Testament omit the sentence from Matthew 20:16. It is neither found in the Sinaitic nor Vatican codices, and whilst it has not the support of the Codex Alexandrinus, which is defective at the part, nor of the Dublin rescript (z), which omits it, many other MSS. are also without it. The total irrelevancy of the saying to its context, its omission by the oldest authorities from Matt. 20:16, where it appears in later MSS., and its total absence from both of the other Gospels, must at once strike everyone as peculiar, and as very unfortunate, to say the least of it, for those who make extreme assertions with regard to its supposed quotation by the Epistle of Barnabas. Weizsäcker, with great probability, suggests that in this passage we have merely a well-known proverb, [143:1] which the author of the first Gospel has introduced into his work from some uncanonical or other source, and placed in the mouth of Jesus. [143:2] Certainly, under the circumstances, it can scarcely be maintained in its present context as a historical saying of Jesus. Ewald, who naturally omits it from Matthew 20:16, ascribes the parable: 20:1-16, as well as that: 22:1-14, in which it stands, originally to the Spruchsammlung [143:3] or collection of discourses, out of which, with intermediate works, he considers that our first Gospel was composed. [143:4] However this may be, there is, it seems to us, good reason for believing that it was not originally a part of these parables, and that it is not in that sense historical; and there is, therefore, no ground for asserting that it may not have been derived by the author of the Gospel from some older work, from which also it may have come into the "Epistle of Barnabas." [143:5]

There is, however, another passage which deserves to be mentioned. The Epistle has the following quotation: "Again, I will show thee how, in regard to us, the Lord saith, He made a new creation in the last times. The Lord saith, Behold I make the first as the last." [143:6] Even Tischendorf does not claim this as a quotation of Matt. 20:16, [144:1] "Thus the last shall be first and the first last" (outôs esontai oi eschatoi prôtoi kai oi prôtoi eschatoi), the sense of which is quite different. The application of the saying in this place in the first, and, indeed, in the other, Synoptic Gospels is evidently quite false, and depends merely on the ring of words and not of ideas. In 19:30 it is quoted a second time, quite irrelevantly, with some variation: "But many first shall be last, and last first" (polloi de esontai prôtoi eschatoi kai eschatoi prôtoi). Now, it will be remembered that at 20:16 it occurs in several MSS. in connection with "Many are called, but few are chosen," although the oldest codices omit the latter passage, and most critics consider it interpolated. The separate quotation of these two passages by the author of the Epistle, with so marked a variation in the second, renders it most probable that he found both in the source from which he quotes. We have, however, more than sufficiently discussed this passage. The author of the Epistle does not indicate any source from which he makes his quotation; and the mere existence in the first Synoptic of a proverbial saying like this does not in the least involve the conclusion that it is necessarily the writing from which the quotation was derived, more especially as apocryphal works are repeatedly cited in the Epistle. If it be maintained that the saying is really historical, it is obvious that the prescriptive right of our Synoptic is at once excluded, and it may have been the common property of a score of evangelical works.

There can be no doubt that many Scriptural texts have crept into early Christian writings which originally had no place there; and where attendant circumstances are suspicious, it is always well to remember the fact. An instance of the interpolation of which we speak is found in the "Epistle of Barnabas." In one place, the phrase, "Give to everyone that asketh of thee" (panti tô aitounti se didou[144:2] occurs, not as a quotation, but merely woven into the Greek text as it existed before the discovery of the Sinaitic MS. This phrase is the same as the precept in Luke 6:30, although it was argued by some that, as no other trace of the third Gospel existed in the Epistle, it was more probably an alteration of the text of Matt. 5:42. Omitting the phrase from the passage in the Epistle, the text read as follows: "Thou shalt not hesitate to give, neither shalt thou murmur when thou givest … so shalt thou know who is the good Recompenser of the reward." The supposed quotation, inserted where we have left a blank, really interrupted the sense, and repeated the previous injunction. The oldest MS., the Codex Sinaiticus, omits the quotation, and so ends the question, but it is afterwards inserted by another hand. Some pious scribe, in fact, seeing the relation of the passage to the Gospel, had added the words in the margin as a gloss, and they afterwards found their way into the text. In this manner very many similar glosses have crept into texts which they were originally intended to illustrate. [145:1]

Tischendorf, who does not allude to this, lays much stress upon the following passage: "But when he selected His own apostles, who should preach His Gospel, who were sinners above all sin, in order that he might show that He came not to call the righteous, but sinners, then He manifested Himself to be the Son of God." [145:2] We may remark that in the common Greek text the words "to repentance" were inserted after "sinners," but they are not found in the Sinaitic MS. In like manner many Codices insert them in Matt. 9:13 and Mark 2:17, but they are not found in some of the oldest MSS., and are generally rejected. Tischendorf considers them a later addition both to the text of the Gospel and of the Epistle. [145:3] But this very fact is suggestive. It is clear that a supposed quotation has been deliberately adjusted to what was considered to be the text of the Gospel. Why should the whole phrase not be equally an interpolation? We shall presently see that there is reason to think that it is so. Although there is no quotation in the passage, who, asks Tischendorf, [145:4] could mistake the words as they stand in Matt. 9:13, "For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners"? This passage is referred to by Origen in his work against Celsus, in a way which indicates that the supposed quotation did not exist in his copy. Origen says: "And as Celsus has called the Apostles of Jesus infamous men, saying that they were tax-gatherers and worthless sailors, we have to remark on this, that, etc. … Now, in the Catholic Epistle of Barnabas, from which, perhaps, Celsus derived the statement that the Apostles were infamous and wicked men, it is written that 'Jesus selected his own Apostles, who were sinners above all sin,'" [145:5] and then he goes on to quote the expression of Peter to Jesus (Luke 5:8), and then 1 Timothy 1:15; but he nowhere refers to the supposed quotation in the Epistle. Now, if we read the passage without the quotation, we have "But when he selected his own Apostles who should preach his Gospel, who were sinners above all sin … then he manifested himself to be the Son of God." Here a pious scribe very probably added in the margin the gloss, "in order that he might show that he came not to call the righteous, but sinners," to explain the passage; and, as in the case of the phrase, "Give to every one that asketh of thee," the gloss became subsequently incorporated with the text. The Epistle, however, goes on to give the only explanation which the author intended, and which clashes with that of the scribe. "For, if he had not come in the flesh, how could men have been saved by beholding him? Seeing that looking on the sun that shall cease to be, the work of his hands, they have not even power to endure his rays. Accordingly, the Son of Man came in the flesh for this, that he might bring to a head the number of their sins who had persecuted to death his prophets." [146:1] The argument of Origen bears out this view, for he does not at all take the explanation of the gloss as to why Jesus chose his disciples from such a class, but he reasons: "What is there strange, therefore, that Jesus, being minded to manifest to the race of men his power to heal souls, should have selected infamous and wicked men, and should have elevated them so far that they became a pattern of the purest virtue to those who were brought by their persuasion to the Gospel of Christ?" [146:2] The argument, both of the author of the Epistle and of Origen, is different from that suggested by the phrase under examination, and we consider it a mere gloss introduced into the text; which, as the eis metanoian shows, has, in the estimation of Tischendorf himself, been deliberately altered. Even if it originally formed part of the text, however, it would be wrong to affirm that it affords proof of the use or existence of the first Gospel. The words of Jesus in Matt. 9:12-14 evidently belong to the oldest tradition of the Gospel, and, in fact, Ewald ascribes them, apart from the remainder of the chapter, originally to the Spruchsammlung, from which, with two intermediate books, he considers that our present Matthew was composed. [146:3] Nothing can be more certain than that such sayings, if they be admitted to be historical at all, must have existed in many other works, and the mere fact of their happening to be also in one of the Gospels which has survived cannot prove its use, or even its existence at the time the Epistle of Barnabas was written, more especially as the phrase does not occur as a quotation, and there is no indication of the source from which it was derived.

Tischendorf, however, finds a further analogy between the Epistle and the Gospel of Matthew, in ch. 12. "Since, therefore, in the future they were to say that Christ is the son of David, fearing and perceiving clearly the error of the wicked, David himself prophesies: 'The Lord said unto my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.'" Tischendorf, upon this, inquires, "Could Barnabas so write without the supposition that his readers had Matt. 22:41 ff. before them, and does not such a supposition likewise infer the actual authority of Matthew's Gospel?" [147:1] Such rapid argument and extreme conclusions are startling indeed; but, in his haste, our critic has forgotten to state the whole case. The author of the Epistle has been elaborately showing that the Cross of Christ is repeatedly typified in the Old Testament, and at the commencement of the chapter, after quoting the passage from 4 Ezra 4:33, 5:5, he points to the case of Moses, to whose heart "the spirit speaks that he should make a form of the cross," by stretching forth his arms in supplication, and so long as he did so Israel prevailed over their enemies; and again he typified the cross when he set up the brazen serpent upon which the people might look and be healed. Then, that which Moses as a prophet said to Joshua (Jesus), the son of Nave, when he gave him that name, was solely for the purpose that all the people might hear that the Father would reveal all things regarding his Son to the son of Nave. This name being given to him when he was sent to spy out the land, Moses said: "Take a book in thy hands, and write what the Lord saith, that the Son of God will in the last days cut off by the roots all the house of Amelek." This, of course, is a falsification of the passage, Exodus 17:14, for the purpose of making it declare Jesus to be the "Son of God." Then, proceeding in the same strain, he says: "Behold again, Jesus is not the son of Man, but the Son of God, manifested in the type and in the flesh. Since, therefore, in the future, they were to say that Christ is the son of David" (and here follows the passage we are discussing) "fearing and perceiving clearly the error of the wicked, David himself prophesied: 'The Lord said unto my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.' And again, thus speaks Isaiah: 'The Lord said to Christ my Lord, whose right hand I have held, that the nations may obey Him, and I will break in pieces the strength of kings.' Behold how David calleth Him Lord, and the Son of God," And here end the chapter and the subject. Now it is quite clear that the passage occurs, not as a reference to any such dilemma as that in Matt. 22:41 ff., but simply as one of many passages which, at the commencement of our era, were considered prophetic declarations of the divinity of Christ, in opposition to the expectation of the Jews that the Messiah was to be the son of David; [148:1] and, as we have seen, in order to prove his point, the author alters the text. To argue that such a passage of a Psalm, quoted in such a manner in this Epistle, proves the use of our first Synoptic is in the highest degree arbitrary.

We have already pointed out that the author quotes apocryphal works as Holy Scripture, and we may now add that he likewise cites words of Jesus are nowhere found in our Gospels. For instance, in ch. 7 we meet with the following expressions directly attributed to Jesus. "Thus he says: 'Those who desire to behold me and to attain my kingdom must through tribulation and suffering receive me.'" Hilgenfeld [148:2] compares this with another passage, similar in sense, in 4 Ezra 7:14; but in any case it is not a quotation from our Gospels; and, with so many passages in them suitable to his purpose, it would be amazing if he knew and held Matthew in the consideration which Tischendorf asserts, that he should neglect their stores, and go elsewhere for such quotations. There is nothing in this Epistle worthy of the name of evidence even of the existence of our Gospels.
 


The "Shepherd" of Hermas is another work which very nearly secured permanent canonical rank with the writings of the New Testament. It was quoted as Holy Scripture by the Fathers, and held to be divinely inspired, and it was publicly read in the churches. [148:3] It has a place with the "Epistle of Barnabas," in the Sinaitic Codex after the canonical books. In early times it was attributed to the Hermas who is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans 14:14, in consequence of a mere conjecture to that effect by Origen; [148:4] but the Canon of Muratori [148:5] confidently ascribes it to a brother of Pius, Bishop of Rome, and, at least, there does not seem any ground for the statement of Origen. It may have been written about the middle of the second century or a little earlier.

Tischendorf dismisses this important memorial of the early Christian Church with a note of two lines, for it has no quotations either from the Old or New Testament. [149:1] He does not even suggest that it contains any indications of acquaintance with our Gospels. The only direct quotation in the "Shepherd" is from an apocryphal work which is cited as Holy Scripture: "The Lord is nigh unto them who return to him, as it is written in Eldad and Modat, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness." [149:2] This work, which appears in the Stichometry of Nicephorus amongst the apocrypha of the Old Testament, is no longer extant.
 


In 1873, Bryennius, then Metropolitan of Serrae, and now Patriarch of Nicomedia, discovered an interesting MS. volume in the library of the Jerusalem Monastery of the Most Holy Sepulchre at Constantinople. It contained seven Greek documents, amongst which may be mentioned the Epistle of Barnabas, the first Epistle of Clement in the only complete form known, the spurious second Epistle of Clement, Epistle of Mary of Cassoboli to Ignatius the Martyr of Antioch, twelve Epistles of pseudo-Ignatius, and the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," with which we are now concerned. At the end of the MS. volume is the signature of the copyist, "Leon, notary and sinner," with a date which corresponds with A.D. 1056. In 1875, Bryennius published the two Epistles of Clement; but it was not until the close of 1883 that he was able to lay before the world the Greek text of the short treatise in which we are now interested, [149:3] and, as an able writer has truly remarked, it has ever since been "the spoiled child of criticism." [149:4] Bryennius himself assigns the "Teaching" to a date between A.D. 120-160.

Several ancient writers mention a work with a similar, yet different, title. The first of these is Eusebius. After speaking of the "Shepherd" of Hermas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Epistle of Barnabas, he adds: "the so-called 'Teachings of the Apostles"' (tôn apostolôn ai legomenai didachai). [149:5] Somewhat later Athanasius [149:6] mentions "the so-called Teaching of the Apostles" (Didachê kaloumenai tôn apostolôn), along with other uncanonical works, such as the Wisdom of Solomon, the Wisdom of Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, and the "Shepherd." Twenty years after Athanasius, Rufinus [149:7] substantially repeats his statement merits; but, in regard to the apocrypha of the New Testament, for the so-called "Teaching of the Apostles" he substitutes "that which is called 'The Two Ways, or judgment of Peter'" (qui appellatur Duae Viae vel Judicium Petri). We shall have more to say presently regarding this work. Our tract bears the title of "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" (Didachê tôn dôdeka apostolôn). This is confirmed and enlarged by a sub-title: "The Teaching of the Lord, by the Twelve Apostles, to the Gentiles" (Didachê kuriou dia tôn dôdeka apostolôn tois ethnesin). Dr. Lightfoot and many other writers prefer to call it simply "The Teaching of the Apostles," in spite of this double heading, because that "is the designation in several ancient writers who refer to it," [150:1] thus calmly assuming the identity of the two works; but we must protest against so unwarrantable an alteration of the title of a MS. to make it more closely agree with supposed references in the Fathers, for which no other justification is advanced.

In connection with this, we may point out that we have some very instructive testimony concerning the "Teaching of the Apostles" to which probably Eusebius and Athanasius refer in the Stichometry of Nicephorus. He gives a list of apocryphal books, amongst which he mentions the "Teaching of the Apostles" as containing 200 lines (stichoi). Does this at all confirm the supposed application of these references to our "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" in its present form? Unfortunately it does not, but quite the contrary, for Harnack has calculated that our little work extends to 300 stichoi[150:2] It could not, therefore, as we now have it, have been the "Teaching of the Apostles" to which reference has been made.

It may be well here to refer to the contents of our Didache. It commences with a dissertation on the "Two Ways." "There are two ways -- one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between the two ways." This text is expounded throughout the first six divisions of the work; the sixth, however, being very brief, and evidently added to lead up to the remainder of the "Teaching," which deals (7-10) with Baptism, Fasting, Prayer, and the Eucharist; whilst the third (11-16) is devoted to later orders in the Church -- apostles, prophets, bishops, and deacons -- and lays down rules for their conduct and treatment. The first theme of the "Two Ways" has evidently been suggested by Jeremiah 21:8: "Behold I set before you the way of life and the way of death"; which may also be connected with Deut. 30:19: "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life." The same texts are very probably the basis of the saying in Matt. 7:13-14; which shows how much the idea had influenced thought amongst the Jews. The "Teaching" is written, or rather adapted, by the compiler himself, and no attempt is made to connect it with the Apostles; whilst the section 1:3-6 is manifestly of a much later date than the rest of the dissertation on the "Two Ways," and consists of reminiscences of the "Sermon on the Mount" introduced by the compiler. With that exception, probably the whole of the first and second divisions (1-6, 7-10) are of Jewish origin. [151:1] Dr.Lightfoot says of our little treatise: "The manual consists of two parts: (i) a moral treatise founded on an ancient work called 'The Two Ways,' and setting forth the paths of righteousness and unrighteousness, of life and death, respectively. This first part is not necessarily altogether of Christian origin; indeed, there is reason to believe that some portions of it were known to the Jews, and perhaps also to the Greeks, though it has undoubtedly gathered by accretions." [151:2] It is interesting to note, however, that, notwithstanding the Hebraistic character of the ancient work embodied in the "Teaching," the compiler represents a time when a complete breach between Jew and Christian had been accomplished in the Church. The Jews to him are simply "the hypocrites" [151:3] (8:1): "Let not your fastings be with the hypocrites"; "Neither pray ye as the hypocrites"; and, still more strongly to point his meaning and mark the difference between Jew and Christian, the fasts kept by the former on the second and fifth days of the week are to be abandoned, and kept by Christians on the fourth and sixth days.

But the substance of the treatise on the "Two Ways is far from being confined to the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles." It is also found more or less fully set forth in the Epistle of Barnabas, and the "Shepherd" of Hermas, and a large part of the critical battle regarding the date of our Didache has been fought round the connection of the three works to each other; one section of critics asserting the priority of the "Teaching," another the dependence of the tract on the Epistle and the "Shepherd," and a third maintaining that all three drew their material from an earlier work, whilst a fourth dates the "Teaching" very much later and considers that the author derived his matter from works of the third or fourth century. But the subject of the "Two Ways" is not limited to these writings, but is found embodied in much later works. In 1843, Bickell [152:1] published a Greek tract from a Vienna MS. which is generally known as the "Ecclesiastical Canons," or the Epitome of the Holy Apostles. Hilgenfeld conjectures this tract to be the work referred to by Rufinus under the name of "Duae Viae vel Judicium Petri," and in this he is supported by many able scholars. In this work, which contains a large part of the "Two Ways" as it exists in our "Teaching" and in the "Epistle of Barnabas," the doctrine is divided into twelve parts, each of which is put into the month of an apostle, the opening being enunciated by John in identically the same words as our Didache. This tract is generally dated at least in the third century. In the same way the dissertation on the "Two Ways" is practically embodied in the seventh book of the Apostolic Constitutions, which is usually assigned to a still later date. In the Epistle of Barnabas, the "Shepherd" of Hermas, the Epitome and the Apostolic Constitutions, therefore, nearly the whole treatise of the "Two Ways" is included, and the only question is as to the chronological order of these various forms of the doctrine. That our Didache was not the original source, as we have already pointed out, is certain, and it may, on the other hand, have been the last, collecting from the foregoing what may have seemed to the compiler the most striking passages.

This is not all, however, for in 1884, after the publication of our Didache by Bryennius, von Gebhardt brought to light the short fragment of a Latin translation of the "Two Ways," with which he had met some years before, and which approximates to the form of our "Teaching," with the important difference that it omits all the references to the Sermon on the Mount, which, taken in connection with the similar omission elsewhere, [152:2] are thus shown to be the later amplification of the compiler.

Not only is it maintained by many that, in spite of its different title, our Didache is the work referred to by Eusebius and Athanasius, but it is asserted to be the work from which Clement of Alexandria quoted as "Scripture." Clement says: "Such a one is called a thief by the Scripture; at least, it says, 'Son (Euie), become not a liar, for (gar) lying leads to (pros) theft.'" In the "Teaching" these words occur (3:5): "My child (Teknon mou), become not a liar, since (epeidê) lying leads to (eis) theft." Now, it is remarkable that the quotation in Clement begins with "Son"; but if there be anything more characteristic of the Didache than another, it is the use of the phrase "My child" as the precursor of such admonitions. In the first six chapters, devoted to the "Two Ways," it is used six times, and "Son" is never introduced. No one reading this form of the "Two Ways," and even quoting from memory, would be in the least likely to couple with these admonitions any other style of address, and when we bear in mind the numerous works in which the ancient text of the "Two Ways" has been incorporated, of which we have already mentioned five, it is evidently extremely hazardous to affirm that the few works used by Clement identify this particular tract. The phrase, in fact, is found in the Epitome (ii). "Child, become not a liar, since lying leads unto (epi) theft," which may, with equal reason, be identified as the source of Clement's quotation.

No work has recently received more keen attention from critics of all schools than the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," and few have excited deeper interest or received more divergent judgments. Whilst many have pronounced it to be one of the earliest Christian writings extant, emanating even from about the middle of the first century, others have assigned it to the fourth century. [153:1]

It only remains for us now briefly to examine the supposed references to our Gospels in the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles." The compiler does not in the least endeavour to associate the Apostles directly with his dissertation, nor does he even mention the name of any one of them. He does not, of course, indicate the title of any work in the New Testament. For him, apparently, the Old Testament books are the only holy "Scripture," and to these he twice refers. Harnack has counted some twenty-three Gospel expressions which are considered more or less like some in our Synoptics; but of these seventeen are said more nearly to approximate to passages in Matthew, and he regards one of these at least as a mixture of the first and third of our Gospels, though he is in doubt whether the compiler may not have used Tatian's Diatessaron, or even the Gospel of Peter. [154:1] All of these passages are more or less near coincidences with expressions in the "Sermon on the Mount," and it is argued that it is not possible they could be derived from oral tradition, and that consequently they indicate a written Gospel." As these expressions have closer similarity to our first Synoptic than to any of the others, it is at once claimed by eager critics that they prove the use of that Gospel. A circumstance which, in most cases, strengthens this view is the fact that in several instances these expressions are said by the writer to come "in the Gospel." This form occurs in the following cases (8:2): "As the Lord commanded in his Gospel" (hôs ekeleusen ho kurios en tô euangelio autou); 11:3: "But regarding the apostles and prophets, according to the decree of the Gospel (kata to dogma tou euangeliou outôs), so do ye"; 15:3: "But reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as ye find in the Gospel" (hôs echete en tô euangelio); and in 15:4: "But your prayers and alms and all your deeds do as ye find in the Gospel of our Lord" (hôs echete en tô euangelio tou kuriou hêmôn). We may simply make the remark that only in the first of these - which we shall presently discuss -- is there any direct reference to any passage resembling our Gospels; though the last, with its admonition regarding prayers, alms, and actions, may be taken as a general reference to the teaching of Jesus. Now, though no one would maintain that, at the time when this Didache was compiled, there was no written "Gospel," too much stress must not be laid upon these expressions. It is certain that, to the majority of Christians in early times, oral tradition must have been the means of rendering familiar the more remarkable sayings of Jesus much more than written documents, which could only be in limited circulation, and to the mass of these converts his teaching must therefore have been more a spoken than a written Gospel. If we look in the New Testament itself, we find similar words used, which no one will assert to refer to a written Gospel. For instance (Matt. 4:23): "And he went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom" (to euangelion tês Basileias); cf. 9:35, 26:13. In Mark 8:35 there is a similar expression: "Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the Gospel's (kai tou euangeliou) will save it." In 1 Cor. 4:15, again, we read: "For in Christ Jesus I begot you through the Gospel" (dia tou euangeliou) ñ cf. 9:14; and in Gal. 2:2: "And communicated to them the Gospel [to euangelion] which I preach among the Gentiles."

We may now consider the first of the above passages, which contains the principal of the supposed references. Matt. 8:2: "Neither pray ye as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in his Gospel, thus pray ye"; and then follows what is known as the Lord's Prayer. The prayer is given as it appears in our first Synoptic (6:9-13), but with some noteworthy alterations. "Our Father which art in heaven" (en tô ouranô) is used instead of "in the heavens" (en tois ouranois); and "'forgive us our debt" (tên opheilên hêmôn) instead of "our debts" (ta opheilêmata hêmôn). A still more important divergence occurs in the doxology, which in the Didache is given "For thine is the power, and the glory for ever," omitting both "the kingdom" and the final "amen." [155:1] Of course, it may be noted that the oldest and best texts of Matt. 6:13 omit the doxology altogether, and it has now disappeared even from the Revised Version; but the variation we point out makes the Didache differ even from the Codices which contain it. That the omission of "kingdom" is not accidental is proved by the fact that the very same peculiar doxology is again used in the "Teaching" in connection with another prayer (10:5). Probably no part of the so-called Sermon on the Mount was more spread abroad in oral tradition than this prayer, and to suppose that this faulty agreement is evidence of the use specially of the first Synoptic is not permissible.

The same remark applies to all the reminiscences of the "Sermon" in this tract, and we do not consider it necessary further to examine them here. Nothing is more remarkable than the habit, even of able critics when examining supposed quotations in early writings, boldly to ascribe them to our Synoptics, however much they differ from our texts, in total forgetfulness of the fact that many records of doings and sayings of Jesus, which are no longer extant, existed before our Gospels were composed, and circulated with them. Many of these, subsequently absorbed by our Gospels, or displaced by them, undoubtedly contained the best passages in the teaching of Jesus in very similar shape, and were long very widely read. More especially does this remark apply to reminiscences of the "Sermon on the Mount," to which the expressions in the Didache are confined. We have even in our first and third Synoptics an illustration of this statement. In the first Gospel we have the "Sermon on the Mount" with all these passages joined together in one long discourse. In the third Synoptic we find no "Sermon on the Mount" at all, but part of that long discourse is given as a "Sermon on the Plain," whilst other portions are scattered throughout the Gospel. In the second Synoptic we have neither a "Sermon on the Mount" nor on the plain, but many fragments are separately introduced. In all three the various passages are put in a context which is often contradictory of each other. Who can doubt that the Logia and the documents which lie behind the three Synoptics contained them in one shape or another, and that it is impossible to claim the use in any ancient work of such sayings from unnamed sources as proof of the existence of any particular Gospel?

There is one further passage to which we may refer. In his first chapter, §6, the compiler of our Didache says: "But regarding this it is also said: 'Let thine alms sweat into thy hands until thou knowest to whom to give.'" [156:1] This saying, which is quoted in some way as Scripture, "it is also said" (eirêtai), is not found in our Synoptics, and is referred to an apocryphal Gospel. It is in immediate sequence to admonitions, in which are incorporated reminiscences of the "Sermon on the Mount," which wind up with words like those in Matt. 5:26, "He shall not come out thence till he hath given back the last farthing." Then at once follow the words just discussed. If these words were "also said" in the work in which the expression like Matt. 5:26 was found, why should all the reminiscences from the "Sermon on the Mount" not have been derived from the same apocryphal source?

We have, however, devoted more space to this little book than may seem necessary, for in so far as our particular purpose is concerned a decision is perfectly certain and easy. The "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" is anonymous, and nothing is either known or surmised as to its compiler. He does not mention any of the Apostles, and gives no indication whatever of the writer of any work in our New Testament. He does not afford the slightest evidence, therefore, even of the existence of any of our Gospels, and in no way bears testimony to their credibility as witnesses for miracles and the reality of Divine revelation.
 


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