Freethought Archives > Walter R. Cassels > Supernatural Religion




It may well be expected that, at least in touching such serious matters as the Crucifixion and last words of Jesus, Justin must adhere with care to authentic records, and not fall into the faults of loose quotation from memory, free handling of texts, and careless omissions and additions, by which those who maintain the identity of the Memoirs with the canonical Gospels seek to explain the systematic variations of Justin's quotations from the text of the latter. It will, however, be found that here also marked discrepancies occur. Justin says, after referring to numerous prophecies regarding the treatment of Christ: "And again, when he says: 'They spake with their lips, they wagged the head, saying: Let him deliver himself.' That all these things happened to the Christ from the Jews, you can ascertain. For when he was being crucified they shot out the lips and wagged their heads, saying: 'Let him who raised the dead deliver himself.'" [211:5] And in another place, referring to the same Psalm (22) as a prediction of what was to happen to Jesus, Justin says: "For they who saw him crucified also wagged their heads, each one of them, and distorted (diestrephon) their lips, and sneeringly and in scornful irony repeated among themselves those words which are also written in the Memoirs of his Apostles: He declared himself the Son of God; (let him) come down, let him walk about; let God save him." [212:1] In both of these passages Justin directly appeals to written authority. The mathein dynasthe may leave the source of the first uncertain, [212:2] but the second is distinctly stated to contain the actual words "written in the Memoirs of his Apostles," and it seems reasonable to suppose that the former passage is also derived from them. It is scarcely necessary to add that both differ very materially from the canonical Gospels.[212:3] The taunt contained in the first of these passages is altogether peculiar to Justin: "Let him who raised the dead deliver himself" (Ho nekrous anegeiras rhysastho eauton); [212:4] and even if Justin did not indicate a written source, it would not be reasonable to suppose that he should himself for the first time record words to which he refers as the fulfilment of prophecy. [212:5] It would be still more ineffectual to endeavour to remove the difficulty presented by such a variation by attributing the words to tradition, at the same time that it is asserted that Justin's Memoirs were actually identical with the Gospels. No aberration of memory could account for such a variation, and it is impossible. that Justin should prefer tradition regarding a form of words, so liable to error and alteration, with written Gospels within his reach. Besides, to argue that Justin affirmed that the truth of his statement could be ascertained (mathein dynasthe) whilst the words which he states to have been spoken were not actually recorded, would be against all reason.

The second of the mocking speeches [213:1] of the lookers-on is referred distinctly to the Memoirs of the Apostles; but is also, with the accompanying description, foreign to our Gospels. The nearest approach to it occurs in our first Gospel, and we subjoin both passages for comparison:


MATT. 27:40, AND 42, 43.

  40. Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself; if thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross.
He declared himself the Son of God; (let him) come down, let him walk about; let God save him. 42. He saved others, himself he cannot save. He is the King of Israel; let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in him.
43. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him, for he said, I am the Son of God.
Uion theou eauton elege; katabas periptateitô; sôsatô auton ho theos. 42. ... katabatô nun apo tou staurou kai pisteusomen ep autô.
43. pepoithen epi ton theon, rhysasthô nun auton [213:2] ei thelei auton; eipen gar hoti theou eimi uios.

It is evident that Justin's version is quite distinct from this, and cannot have been taken from our Gospels, although professedly derived from the Memoirs of the Apostles.

Justin likewise mentions the cry of Jesus on the cross, "O God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Ho theos, ho theos mou, hina ti enkatelipes me?), [213:3] as a fulfilment of the words of the Psalm, which he quotes here, and elsewhere, [213:4] with the peculiar addition of the Septuagint version: "attend to me" (prosches me), which, however, he omits when giving the cry of Jesus, thereby showing that he follows a written source which did not contain it, for the quotation of the Psalm, and of the cry which is cited to show that it refers to Christ, immediately follow each other. He apparently knows nothing of the Chaldaic cry, "Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani," of the Gospels. [213:5] The first and second Gospels give the words of the cry from the Chaldaic differently from Justin, from the version of the Septuagint, and from each other. Matt. 27:46, Theé mou, Theé mou, hina ti me enkatelipes; Mark 15:34, Ho Theos, ho Theos mou, eis ti enkatelipes me; the third Gospel makes no mention at all of this cry, but, instead, has one altogether foreign to the other Gospels: "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he expired." [214:1] Justin has this cry also, and in the same form as the third Gospel. He says: "For when he (Jesus) was giving up his spirit on the cross, he said: 'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,' as I have also learned from the Memoirs." [214:2] Justin's Gospel, therefore, contained both cries, and as even the first two Synoptics mention a second cry of Jesus  [214:3] without, however, giving the words, it is not surprising that other Gospels should have existed which included both. Even if we had no trace of this cry in any other ancient work, there would be no ground for asserting that Justin must have derived it from the third Gospel, for, if there be any historical truth in the statement that these words were actually spoken by Jesus, it follows, of course, that they may have been, and probably were, reported in a dozen Christian writings now no longer extant, and in all probability they existed in some of the many works referred to in the prologue to the third Gospel. Both cries, however, are given in the Gospel of Nicodemus, or Gesta Pilati, to which reference has already so frequently been made. In the Greek versions edited by Tischendorf we find only the form contained in Luke. In the Codex A the passage reads: "And crying with a loud voice, Jesus said: Father, Baddach ephkid rouchi -- that is, interpreted: 'into thy hands I commend my spirit': and, having said this, he gave up the ghost." [214:4] In the Codex B the text is: "Then Jesus, having called out with a loud voice, 'Father, into thy hands will I commend my spirit,' expired." [214:5] In the ancient Latin version, however, both cries are given: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Hely, Hely lama zabacthani, which, interpreted, is: 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' And after this Jesus said: 'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit'; and, saying this, he gave up the ghost." [215:1]

One of the Codices of the same apocryphal work likewise gives the taunting speeches of the Jews in a form more nearly approaching that of Justin's Memoirs than any found in our Gospels. "And the Jews that stood and looked ridiculed him, and said: If thou saidst truly that thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross, and at once, that we may believe in thee. Others, ridiculing, said: He saved others, he healed others, and restored the sick, the paralytic, lepers, demoniacs, the blind, the lame, the dead, and himself he cannot heal." [215:2] The fact that Justin actually refers to certain Acta Pilati in connection with the Crucifixion renders this coincidence all the more important. Other texts of this Gospel read: "And the Chief Priests, and the rulers with them, derided him, saying: He saved others, let him save himself; if he is the Son of God; let him come down from the cross." [215:3]

It is clear from the whole of Justin's treatment of the narrative that he followed a Gospel adhering more closely than the canonical to Psalm 22, but yet with peculiar variations from it. Our Gospels differ very much from each other; Justin's Memoirs of the Apostles in like manner differed from them. It had its characteristic features clearly and sharply defined. In this way his systematic variations are natural and perfectly intelligible, but they become quite inexplicable if it be supposed that, having our Gospels for his source, he thus persistently and in so arbitrary a way ignored, modified, or contradicted their statements.

Upon two occasions Justin distinctly states that the Jews sent persons throughout the world to spread calumnies against Christians. "When you knew that he had risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, as the prophets had foretold, not only did you (the Jews) not repent of the wickedness which you had committed, but at that time you selected and sent forth from Jerusalem throughout the land chosen men, saying that the atheistic heresy of the Christians had arisen," etc. [216:1] "...from a certain Jesus, a Galilean impostor, whom we crucified, but his disciples stole him by night from the tomb where he had been laid when he was unloosed from the cross, and they now deceive men, saying that he has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven." [216:2] This circumstance is not mentioned by our Gospels, but, reiterated twice by Justin in almost the same words, it was in all probability contained in the Memoirs. Eusebius quotes the passage from Justin without comment, evidently on account of the information which it conveyed. The fragment of the Gospel of Peter describes the elders as going to Pilate and asking for soldiers to watch the grave for three days, "lest his disciples steal him, and the people believe that he rose from the dead."

These instances, which, although far from complete, have already occupied too much of our space, show that Justin quotes from the Memoirs of the Apostles many statements and facts of Gospel history which are not only foreign to our Gospels, but in some cases contradictory to them, whilst the narrative of the most solemn events in the life of Jesus presents distinct and systematic variations from parallel passages in the Synoptic records. It will now be necessary to compare his general quotations from the same Memoirs with the Canonical Gospels, and here a very wide field opens before us. As we have already stated, Justin's works teem with these quotations, and to take them all in detail would be impossible within the limits of this work. Such a course, moreover, is unnecessary. It may be broadly stated that even those who maintain the use of the Canonical Gospels can only point out two or three passages out of this vast array which verbally agree with them. [216:3] This extraordinary anomaly -- on the supposition that Justin's Memoirs were in fact our Gospels -- is, as we have mentioned, explained by the convenient hypothesis that Justin quotes imperfectly from memory, interweaves and modifies texts, and, in short, freely manipulates these Gospels according to his argument. Even strained to the uttermost, however, could this be accepted as a reasonable explanation of such systematic variation, that only twice or thrice out of the vast number of his quotations does he literally agree with passages in them? In order to illustrate the case with absolute impartiality we shall first take the instances brought forward as showing agreement with our Synoptic Gospels.

Tischendorf only cites two passages in support of his affirmation that Justin makes use of our first Gospel. [217:1] It might be supposed that, in selecting these, at least two might have been produced literally agreeing; but this is not the case, and this may be taken as an illustration of the almost universal variation of Justin's quotations. The first of Tischendorf's examples is the supposed use of Matt. 8:11-12: "Many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down," etc. (Polloi apo anatolôn kai dysmôn hêxousin, k.t.l.) Now this passage is repeated by Justin no less than three times in three very distinct parts of his Dialogue with Trypho, [217:2] with a uniform variation from the text of Matthew -- "They shall come from the west and from the east," etc. (Hêxousin apo dysmôn kai anatolôn, k.t.l.[217:3] That a historical saying of Jesus should be reproduced in many Gospels, and that no particular work can have any prescriptive right to it, must be admitted, so that even if the passage in Justin agreed literally with our first Synoptic, it would not afford any proof of the actual use of that Gospel, but when, on the contrary, Justin upon three several occasions, and at distinct intervals of time, repeats the passage with the same persistent variation from the reading in Matthew, not only can it not be ascribed to that Gospel, but there is reason to conclude that Justin derived it from another source. It may be added that polloi is anything but a word uncommon in his vocabulary, and that elsewhere, for instance, he twice quotes a passage similar to one in Matthew, in which, amongst other variations, he reads "Many shall come (polloi hêxousin)," instead of the phrase found in that Gospel. [217:4]

The second example adduced by Tischendorf is the supposed quotation of Matt. 12:39; but in order fully to comprehend the nature of the affirmation, we quote the context of the Gospel and of Justin in parallel columns:


MATTHEW 12:38-39

And that he should rise again on the third day after the crucifixion, it is written in the Memoirs that some of your neighbours questioning him said: 'Show us a sign;" and he answered them: "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given to them (autois) but the sign of Jonah (Iona)." 38. Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying: Master, we would see a sign from thee.
39. But he answered and said unto them: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it (autê), but the sign of the prophet Jonah (Iona tou prophêtou).
Kai hoti tê tritê hêm anastêsesthai meta to staur ôthênai, gegraptai en tois apomnêmoneumasin, hoti oi apo tou genous humôn syzêtountes tes autô elegon, hoti, "Deixon hêmin sêmion." kai apekrinato autois, genea ponêra, k.t.l. Tote apekrithêsan autô tines ton grammateôn kai Pharisaion legontes, ìDidaskale, thelomen apo sou sêmeion idein.î Apokritheis eipen autois, genea ponêra, k.t.l.

Now it is clear that Justin here directly professes to quote from the Memoirs, and consequently that accuracy may be expected; but passing over the preliminary substitution of "some of your nation" for "certain of the scribes and Pharisees," although it recalls the "some of them," and "others," by which the parallel passage, otherwise so different, is introduced in Luke 11:15-16, 29 ff., [218:1] the question of the Jews, which should be literal, is quite different from that of the first Gospel, whilst there are variations in the reply of Jesus, which, if not so important, are still undeniable. We cannot compare with the first Gospel the parallel passages in the second and third Gospels without recognising that other works may have narrated the same episode with similar variations, and whilst the distinct differences which exist totally exclude the affirmation that Justin quotes from Matthew, everything points to the conclusion that he makes use of another source. This is confirmed by another important circumstance. After enlarging during the remainder of the chapter upon the example of the people of Nineveh, Justin commences the next by returning to the answer of Jesus, and making the following statement: "And though all of your nation were acquainted with these things which occurred to Jonah, and Christ proclaimed among you that he would give you the sign of Jonah, exhorting you, at least, after his resurrection from the dead to repent of your evil deeds, and like the Ninevites to supplicate God, that your nation and city might not be captured and destroyed as it has been destroyed; yet not only have you not repented on learning his resurrection from the dead, but, as I have already said, [218:2] you sent chosen [218:3] and select men throughout all the world, proclaiming that an atheistic and impious heresy had arisen from a certain Jesus, a Galilean impostor," etc. [219:1] Now, not only do our Gospels not mention this mission, as we have already pointed out, but they do not contain the exhortation to repent, at least, after the resurrection of Jesus here referred to, and which evidently must have formed part of the episode in the Memoirs.

Tischendorf does not produce any other instances of supposed quotations of Justin from Matthew, but rests his case upon these. As they are the best examples, apparently, which he can point out, we may judge of the weakness of his argument. De Wette divides the quotations of Justin, which may be compared with our first and third Gospels, into several categories. Regarding the first class, he says: "Some agree quite literally, which, however, is seldom" [219:2] and under this head he can only collect three passages of Matthew, and refer to one of Luke. Of the three from Matthew, the first is that, 8:11-12, [219:3] also brought forward by Tischendorf, of which we have already disposed. The second is Matt. 5:20: "For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." A parallel passage to this exists in Dial. 105, a chapter in which there are several quotations not found in our Gospels at all, with the exception that the first words, "For I say unto you that," are not in Justin. We shall speak of this passage presently. De Wette's third passage is Matt. 7:19: "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire," which, with the exception of one word, "but," at the commencement of the sentence in Justin, also agrees with his quotation. [219:4] In these two short passages there are no peculiarities specially pointing to the first Gospel as their source, and it cannot be too often repeated that the mere coincidence of short historical sayings in two works by no means warrants the conclusion that the one is dependent on the other. In order, however, to enable the reader to form a correct estimate of the value of the similarity of the two passages above noted, and also, at the same time, to examine a considerable body of evidence, selected with evident impartiality, we propose to take all Justin's readings of the Sermon on the Mount, from which the above passages are taken, and compare them with our Gospels. This should furnish a fair test of the composition of the Memoirs of the Apostles.

Taking first, for the sake of continuity, the first Apology, we find that chapters 15, 16, 17, are composed almost entirely of examples of what Jesus himself taught, introduced by the remark with which chapter 14 closes, that "Brief and concise sentences were uttered by him, for he was not a sophist, but his word was the power of God." [220:1] It may broadly be affirmed that, with the exception of the few words quoted above by De Wette, not a single quotation of the words of Jesus in these three chapters agrees with the canonical Gospels. We shall, however, confine ourselves at present to the Sermon on the Mount. We must mention that Justin's text is quite continuous, except where we have inserted asterisks. We subjoin Justin's quotations, together with the parallel passages in our Gospels, side by side, for greater facility of comparison. [220:2]

(A) Apol. 1:15. He (Jesus) spoke thus of chastity: Whosoever may gaze on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already in the heart before God Matt. 5:28. But I say unto you, that everyone that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
(B) And if thy right eye offend thee cut it out, for it is profitable for three to enter into the kingdom of heaven with one eye (rather) than two to be thrust into the everlasting fire. 29. But if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(A) Peri men oun sophrosynês tosouton eipen; 'Hos an emblepsê gynakai pros to epithymêsai autês êdê emoicheuse tê kardia para to theo. 28. Egô de lego humin hoti pas ho blepon. [220:4] Gynaika pros to epithymêsai autên êdê emoicheusen autên tê kardia autou.
(B) Kai [220:3] Ei ho ophthalmos sou ho dexios skandalizei se, ekkopson auton; Sympherei gar soi monophthalmon eiselthein eis tên basilêian ton ouranon ê meta ton duo pemphthênai eis to aionion pur. 29. Ei de ho ophthalmos sou ho dexious skandalizei se, exele [220:5] auton kai bale apo sou symperei gar soi hina apolêtai hen ton melon sou, k.t.l.; cf Matt. 18:9 [221:1]kalon soi estin monophthalmon eis tên zoên eiselthein, ê duo ophthalmous echonta blêthênai eis tên géennan tou puros.
(C) And, Whoever marrieth a woman divorced from another man committeth adultery. Matt. 5:32. And whosoever shall marry a woman divorced committeth adultery.
(C) Kai, Hos gamei apolelymenên aph' eterou andros, moichatai kai hos ean apolelymenên gamêsê, moichatai. [221:2]

* * * * * * * * * *

(D) And regarding our affection for all, he taught thus: If ye love them which love you, what new thing do ye? for even the fornicators do this; but I say unto you: Pray for your enemies and love them which hate you, and bless them which curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Matt. 5:46. For if ye should love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?
. [221:3] But I say unto you: Love your enemies [221:4] (bless them which curse you, do good to them which hate you), and pray for them which (despitefully use you and) persecute you. [221:5]
(D) Peri de tou stergein hapantas, tauta edidaxen; Ei agapte tous agapontas humas, ti kainon poieite? kai gar oi pornoi touto poiousin.  Egô de humin legô, Eucheste huper ton echthron humon kai agapate tous misountas humas, kai euchesthe huper ton epêreazonton humas. 5:46. Ean gar agapêsête tous agapontas humas, tina misthon echete? Ouchi kai oi telonai outos poiousin?
5:44. Egô de legô humin, agapate tous echthrous humin (eulogeite tous kataromenous humin, kalos poiete tois misousin humas,) kai proseuchesthe huper ton [221:4a] (epêreazonton kai) diokonton humas.
(E) And that we should communicate to the needy and do nothing for praise, he said thus:  
Give ye to every one that asketh, and from him that desireth to borrow turn not ye away for if ye Matt 5:42. Give thou to him that asketh theee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away [222:1]
lend to them from whom ye hope to receive, what new thing do ye?  For even the publicans do this. Cf. Luke 6:34. And if ye lend to them from whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye?  For sinners lend, etc.
But ye, lay not up for yourselves upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and robbers break through Matt. 6:19. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon theearth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break though and steal;
but lay up for yourselves in the heavens whether neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. 6:20. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through or steal.
For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole word, but destroy his soul?  Or what shall he give in exchange for it?  Lay up, therefore, in the heavens, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. [222:2] Matt. 16:26. For what shall a man be profited if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
(E) Eis de to koinonein tois deomenois, kai mêden pros doxan poiein, tauta ephê.  
Panti to aitounti didote, kai ton boulomenon daneisasthai, mê apostraphête Matt. 5:42. To aitounti dos, kai ton thelonta apo sou daneisasthai, mê apostraphês.
Ei gar daneizete par' on elipizete labein, ti kainon poiete? Touto kai ou telonai poiousin. Cf. Luke 6:34. Kai ean danizete par' on elpizete labein, poia humin charis estin? Kai amartoloi amartolois danizousin, k.t.l.
humeis de mê thêsaurizete eautois epi tês gês, hopou sês kai brosis aphanizei, kai lêstai diorussoisi. Matt. 6:19: Mê phêsaurizete humin thêsaurous epi tês gês, opou sês kai brosis aphanizei, kai opou kleptai diorussousin kai kleptousin. 
Thêsaurizete de eautois en tois ouranois, hopou oute sês oute brosis aphanizei 6:20. Thêsaurizete de humin thêsaurous en ourano, hopou oute sês oute brosis aphanizei, kai hopou kleptai ou dioryssousin oude kleptousin.
Ti gar opheleitai anthropos, an ton kosmon olon kerdêsê, tên de psychên, autou apolesê; ê ti dosei autê antallagma? 16:26 Ti gar ophlêthêsetai anthrôpos, ean ton kosmon olon kerdêsê, ton de psychên autou zêmiothê? ê ti dosei anthropos antallagma tê psychês autou?
Thêsaurizete oun en tois ouranois, hopou oute sês oute brosis aphanizei. [223:1]  
(F) And: Be kind and merciful as your Father also is kind and merciful, and maketh his son to rise on sinners, and just and evil. [223:2] Luke 6:36.  [223:3] Be ye merciful even as your Father also is merciful. 
Matt. 4:45 [223:4]  ... for he maketh his sun to rise on evil and good and sendeth rain on just and unjust.
But be note careful what ye shall eat and what ye shall put on. Matt. 6:25. Therefore I say unto you, Be not careful for your life what ye shall eat and what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on ...
Are ye not better than the birds and the beasts?  And God feedeth them. 6:26. Behold the birds of the air that they sow not, etc. ... yet your father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?
Therefore be not careful what ye shall eat, or what ye shall put on, 6:31. [223:5] Therefore be not careful, saying: what shall we eat?  or what shall we drink, or with what shall we be clothed?
  6:32. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things, for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye need all these things.
but seek ye the kingdom of the heavens, and all these things shall be added unto you. 6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousnesss, and all thse things shall be added unto you.
for where the treasure is there is also the mind of the man 6:21. [224:1] For where thy treasure is there will thy heart be also.
Kai, Ginesthe de chrêstoi kai oiktirmones, hos kai ho patêr humin chrêtos esti kai oiktirmon, Luke 6:36. Ginesthe oun oiktirmones, kathos kai ho patêr humin oiktirmon estin.
kai ton hêlion autou anatellei epi amartolous kai dikalous kai ponêrous Matt. 5:45. ... hoti ton hêlion autou anatellei epi tonêrous kai agathous kai brechei epi dikaious kai adikous.
Mê merimate de, ti phagête, ê ti endysêsthe; Matt. 6:25. Dia touto lego humin, mê merimate tê psychê humin ti phagête kai ti piête, [224:2] mêde to somati humon ti endysêsthe ...
ouch humeis ton peteinon kai ton thêrion diapherete; kai ho theos trephei auta. 6:26. Emblepsate eis ta peteina tou ouranou, k.t.l., kai ho patêr humin ho ouranios trephei autal ouch humeis, mallon diapherete auton;
Mê oun merimnêsête ti phagête, 6:31. Mê oun merimnêsête legontes; Ti phagomen ê ti piomen
ê ti endysêsthe ê ti peribalometha;
oide gar o patêr humin ho ouranios, hoti touton chreain echete; 6:32. panta gar tauta ta ethên epizêtousin oiden gar o patêr humon ho ouranious, hiti chrêzete touton apanton.
zêteite de tên basilaian ton ouranon, 6:33. zêteite de proton tên basileian tou theou kai tên dikaiosynên  autou,
kai tauta panta prostethêsetai humin. kai tauta panta prostethêsetai humin.
Hopou gar ho thêsaurous estin, ekei kai ho nous tou anthropon. 6:21. Hopou gar estin ho thêsauros sou, ekei estai kai hê kardia sou.
(G) And: Do not these things to be seen of men, otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Matt. 6:1. But take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men to be seen of them, otherwise ye have no reward from your father which is in heaven.
kai, Mê poiête tatua pros to theathênai hypo ton anthropon; ei de mê ge, misthon ouk echete para tou patros humin tou en tous ouranois. 6:1. Prosechete de tên diakiosynên humon ê poien emprosthen [224:3] ton anthropon pros to theathênai autois; ei de mêge, misthon ouk echete para to patri humon to en tois ouraniois.
Apol. 1:16.
(H) And regarding our being patient and under injuries, and ready to help all, and free from anger, this is what he said: Unto him striking thy cheek offer the other also;
Matt. 5:39
But I say unto you that ye resist not evil, [224:4] but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also.
and him who carrieth off thy cloak or thy coat do not thou prevent. 5:40. And to him who would sue thee at law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
But whosoever shall be angry is in danger of the fire 5:22. [225:2] But I say unto you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment, etc.
But every one who compelleth thee to go a mile, follow twain. 5:41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
And let you good works shine before men so that, perceiving, they may adore your Father which is in Heaven. 5:16. Even so let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.


  Matt. 5:39 [225:3] Egô de legô humin mê antistênai to ponêri, all' hostis se rhapisei epi tên
To typtonti sou tên siagona, tareche kai tên allên; dexian sou siagona, strepson aouto kai tên allên;
kai ton aironta sou ton chitona, ê to himation mê kolysês. 5:40. Kai to thelonti soi krithênai kai ton chitona sou labein, aphes aouto kai to himation.
Hos d'an orgisthê, enochos estin eis to pur. 5:22. Egô de legô humin hoti pas ho orgizomenos to adelpho autou [225:4] enochos estai tê krisei k.t.l.
Panti de angareuonti soi milion, akaolouthêson duo 5:41. Kai hostis se angareusei milion hen, hypate met' autou duo.
Lampsato de humin ta kala erga [225:1] emprosthen ton anthropon, hina blepontes, 5:16. Outos lampsato to phos humon emprosthen ton anthropon, hopos idosin
  humon ta kala ega kai doxasosin ton
thaumazosi ton patera humon ton en tois ouranois. patera humon ton en tois ouranois.


(I) And regarding our not swearing at all, but ever speaking the truth, he thus taught: Matt. 5:34. But I say unto you, Swear not at all, neither by heaven, etc.
Ye may not swear at all, but let you yea be yea, and your nay nay, for what is more than these (is) of the evil one. 5:37. But let your speech be yea yea, nay nay, for what is more than these is of the evil one.
Peri de tou mê omnynai, talêthê de legein êi, outos parekeleusato; Mê omosête holos;
 Esto de humin ti vai vai kai to ou ou
[226:1] ; to de perisson touton ek tou ponêrou.
Matt. 5:34. Egô de lego humin mêomosai holos mête en to ourano, k.t.l.
5:37. Esto de o logos humin nai nai, ou oul to de perisson touton ek tou ponêrou estin.


(J) For not those who merely make profession, but those who do he works, as he said, shall be saved.  For he spake thus:  
(J 1) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall, etc. Matt. 7:21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall, etc.
(J 2) For whosoever heareth me and doeth what I say, heareth him that sent me. Luke 10:16. [226:2] He hearing you heareth me, and he despising you, etc., and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.
(J 3) But many will say to me: Lord, Lord, did we not eat and drink in thy name, and do wonders? Mat. 7:22. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name?  and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name do many wonders?
(J 4) And then will I say unto them:
Depart from me, workers of iniquity
7:23. And then will I confess unto them that: I never knew you: Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
(J 5) There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when inded the righteous shall shine as the sun, but the wicked are sent into everlasting fire. Matt 13:42 ... and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13:43. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
(J 6) For many shall arrive in my name, outwardly, indeed, clothed in sheep's skins, but inwardly being ravening wolves. Matt. 7:15. But beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
(J 7) Ye shall know them from their works. 7:16. Ye shall know them by their fruit.  Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
(J 8) And every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. 7:19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.
(J 1) Ouchi pas ho legon moi, Kurie, kurie, k.t.l. [227:1] Matt. 7:21. Our pas ho legon moi, Kurie, kurie, k.t.l.
(J 2) Hos gar akouei mou, kai poiei ha lego, akouei tou aposteilantos me [227:2] Luke 10:16. Ho akouon humin emou akouei, kai ho atheton humaseme athetei; ho de eme atheton athetei ton posteilanta me [227:4]
(J 3) Polloi de erousi moi,
Kurie, kurie, ou to so onomati ephagomen kai epiomen, kai dynameis epoiêsamen?
Matt. 7:22. Polloi erousin moi en ekeinê tê hymera, Kurie, kurie, ou to ou onomati eprophêteusamen, kai to so onomati daimonia exebalomen, kai to so onomati dynameis pollas epoiêsamen?
(J 4) Kai tote ero autois. Apochoreite ap' emou ergatai tês anomias. [227:3] 7:23. Kai tote homologêso autois hoti oudepote egnon humas apochoreite ap emou oi ergazomenoi tên anomian [228:2]
(J 5) Tote klauthmos estai kai brygmos ton odonton; hotan oi men dikaioi lampsosin hos o êlios; oi de adikoi pemptntai eis to aionion pur. Matt. 13:42. Kai balousin aoutous eis tên kaminon tou purosl ekeiestai ho klauthmos kai ho brygmos ton odonton.
 43. Tote oi dikaioi eklampsousin
[228:3]  hos ho êliosen tê basileia tou patros auton. [228:4]
(J 6) Polloi gar êzousin epi to onomati mou, exothen men endedymenoi dermata probaton, esothen de ontes lukoi harpages [228:1] Matt. 7:15. Prosechete de apo ton pseudoprophêton, oitines erchontai pros humas en endymasin probaton, esothen de eisein lukoi harpages.
(J 7) ek ton ergon auton epignosesthe autous 16. Apo ton karton auton epignoseste autois, k.t.l.
(J 8) Pan de dendron mê poioun karton kalon ekkoptetai eis pur balletai. 19. Pan dendron mê poioun karpon kalon ekkoptetai kai eis pur balletai. [228:5]


Apol. 1:17.
(K) As Christ declared saying: To whom God gave more, of him shall more also be demanded again.
Luke 12:48 (not found in Matthew).
... For unto whom much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will demand a greater amount.
... hos ho Christos emênusen eipon, Oi pleon edoken ho theos, pleon kai apaitêthêsetai par' auto. [229:1] Luke 12.48. ... Panti de o edothê poly, poly zêtêthêsetai par' auto, kai o parethento poly, perissoteron aitêsousin [229:2] auton.


Dial. c. Tr. 105.
(L) Except your righteousness shall exceed, etc.
Matt. 5:20
For I say unto you [229:3] that except your righteousness shall exceed, etc. [229:4]

We have taken the whole of Justin's quotations from the Sermon on the Mount not only because, adopting so large a test, there can be no suspicion that we select passages for any special purpose, but also because, on the contrary, amongst these quotations are more of the passages claimed as showing the use of our Gospels than any series which could have been selected. It will have been observed that most of the passages follow each other in unbroken sequence in Justin, for with the exception of a short break between (C) and (D) the whole extract down to the end of (H) is continuous, as indeed, after another brief interruption at the end of (I), it is again to the close of the very long and remarkable passage (J). With two exceptions, therefore, the whole of these quotations from the Sermon on the Mount occur consecutively in two succeeding chapters of Justin's first apology, and one passage follows in the next chapter. Only a single passage comes from a distant part of the dialogue with Trypho. These passages are bound together by clear unity of idea and context, and as, where there is a separation of sentences in his Gospel, Justin clearly marks it by kai, there is every reason to decide that those quotations which are continuous in form and in argument were likewise consecutive in the Memoirs.Now, the hypothesis that these quotations are from the canonical Gospels requires the assumption that Justin, with singular care, collected from distant and scattered portions of those Gospels a series of passages in close sequence to each other, forming a whole unknown to them, but complete in itself; and yet, although this is carefully performed, he at the same time, with the most systematic carelessness, mis-quoted and materially altered almost every precept he professes to cite. The order of the canonical Gospels is as entirely set at naught as their language is disregarded. As Hilgenfeld has pointed out, throughout the whole of this portion of his quotations the undeniable endeavour after accuracy, on the one hand, is in the most glaring contradiction with the monstrous carelessness on the other, if it be supposed that our Gospels are the source from which Justin quotes. Nothing is more improbable than the conjecture that he made use of the canonical Gospels, and we must accept the conclusion that Justin quotes with substantial correctness the expressions in the order in which he found them in his peculiar Gospel. [230:1]

It is a most arbitrary proceeding to dissect a passage, quoted by Justin as a consecutive and harmonious whole, and finding parallels more or less approximate to its various phrases scattered up and down distant parts of our Gospels, scarcely one of which is not materially different from the reading of Justin, to assert that he is quoting these Gospels freely from memory, altering, excising, combining, and interweaving texts, and introverting their order, but nevertheless making use of them and not of others. It is perfectly obvious that such an assertion is nothing but the merest assumption. Our synoptic Gospels themselves condemn it utterly, for precisely similar differences of order and language exist in them and distinguish between them. Not only the language but the order of a quotation must have its due weight, and we have no right to dismember a passage and, discovering fragmentary parallels in various parts of the Gospels, to assert that it is compiled from them, and not derived, as it stands, from another source. [230:2]

It must have been apparent to all that, throughout his quotations from the Sermon on the Mount, Justin follows an order which is quite different from that in our synoptic Gospels; and, as might have been expected, the inference of a different source, which is naturally suggested by this variation in order, is more than confirmed by persistent and continuous variations in language. If it be true that examples of confusion of quotation are to be found in the works of Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and other Fathers, it must at the same time be remembered that these are quite exceptional, and we are scarcely in a position to judge how far confusion of memory may not have arisen from reminiscences of other forms of evangelical expressions occurring in apocryphal works, with which we know the Fathers to have been well acquainted. The most vehement asserter of the identity of the Memoirs with our Gospels, however, must absolutely admit as a fact, explain it as he may, that variation from our Gospel readings is the general rule in Justin's quotations, and agreement with them the very rare exception. Now, such a phenomenon is elsewhere unparalleled in those times, when memory was more cultivated than with us in these days of cheap printed books; and it is unreasonable to charge Justin with such universal want of memory and carelessness about matters which he held so sacred, merely to support a foregone conclusion, when the recognition of a difference of source, indicated in every direction, is so much more simple, natural, and justifiable. It is argued that Justin's quotations from the Old Testament likewise present constant variation from the text. This is true to a considerable extent, but they are not so persistently inaccurate as the quotations we are examining, supposing them to be derived from our Gospels. This plea, however, is of no avail, for it is obvious that the employment of the Old Testament is not established merely by inaccurate citations; and it is quite undeniable that the use of certain historical documents out of many of closely similar, and in many parts probably identical, character cannot be proved by anonymous quotations differing from anything actually in these documents.

There are very many of the quotations of Justin which bear unmistakable marks of exactness and verbal accuracy, but which yet differ materially from our Gospels, and most of his quotations from the Sermon on the Mount are of this kind. For instance, Justin introduces the passages which we have marked (A), (B), (C), with the words: "He (Jesus) spoke thus of Chastity"; [231:1] and, after giving the quotations, (A), (B), and (C), the first two of which, although finding a parallel in two consecutive verses (Matt. 5:28-29), are divided by the separating kai and therefore do not appear to have been united in his Gospel, Justin continues: "Just as even those who, with the sanction of human law, contract a second marriage are sinners in the eye of our Master, so also are those who look upon a woman to lust after her. For not only he who actually commits adultery is rejected by him, but also he who desires to commit adultery, since not our acts alone are open before God, but also our thoughts." [232:1] Now, it is perfectly clear that Justin here professes to give the actual words of Jesus, and then moralises upon them; and both the quotation and his own subsequent paraphrase of it lose all their significance if we suppose that Justin did not correctly quote in the first instance, but actually commences by altering the text. These passages (A), (B), and (C), however, have all marked and characteristic variations from the Gospel text; but, as we have already shown, there is no reason for asserting that they are not accurate verbal quotations from another Gospel.

The passage (D) is likewise a professed quotation, [232:2] but not only does it differ in language, but it presents deliberate transpositions in order, which clearly indicate that Justin's source was not our Gospels. The nearest parallels in our Gospels are found in Matt. 5:46, followed by 44. The same remarks apply to the next passage (E), which is introduced as a distinct quotation, [232:3] but which, like the rest, differs materially, linguistically and in order, from the canonical Gospels. The whole of the passage is consecutive, and excludes the explanation of a mere patchwork of passages loosely put together, and very imperfectly quoted from memory. Justin states that Jesus taught that we should communicate to those who need, and do nothing for vain glory, and he then gives the very words of Jesus in an unbroken and clearly continuous discourse. Christians are to give to all who ask, and not merely to those from whom they hope to receive again, which would be no new thing -- even the publicans do that; but Christians must do more. They are not to lay up riches on earth, but in heaven, for it would not profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his soul; therefore, the teacher a second time repeats the injunction that Christians should lay up treasures in heaven. If the unity of thought which binds this passage so closely together were not sufficient to prove that it stood in Justin's Gospel in the form and order in which he quotes it, the requisite evidence would be supplied by the repetition at its close of the injunction: "Lay up, therefore, in the heavens," etc. It is impossible that Justin should, through defect of memory, quote a second time in so short a passage the same injunction if the passage were not thus appropriately terminated in his Gospel. The common sense of the reader must at once perceive that it is impossible that Justin, professedly quoting words of Jesus, should thus deliberately fabricate a discourse rounded off by the repetition of one of its opening admonitions, with the addition of an argumentative "therefore." He must have found it so in the Gospel from which he quotes. Nothing indeed but the difficulty of explaining the marked variations presented by this passage, on the supposition that Justin must quote from our Gospels, could lead apologists to insinuate such a process of compilation, or question the consecutive character of this passage. The nearest parallels to the dismembered parts of the quotation, presenting everywhere serious variations, however, can only be found in the following passages in the order in which we cite them: Matt. 5:42, Luke 6:34, Matt. 6:19, 20, 16:26, and a repetition of part of 6:20, with variations. Moreover, the expression, "What new thing do ye?" is quite peculiar to Justin. We have already met with it in the preceding section 6. "If ye love them which love you, what new thing do ye? for even," etc. Here, in the same verse, we have: "If ye lend to them from whom ye hope to receive, what new thing do ye? for even," etc. It is evident, both from its repetition and its distinct dogmatic view of Christianity as a new teaching in contrast to the old, that this variation cannot have been the result of defective memory, but must have been the reading of the Memoirs, and, in all probability, it was the original form of the teaching. Such antithetical treatment is clearly indicated in many parts of the Sermon on the Mount: for instance, Matt. 5:21, "Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old … but I say unto you," etc., cf. 5:33, 38, 43. It is certain that the whole of the quotation (E) differs very materially from our Gospels, and there is every reason to believe that not only was the passage not derived from them, but that it was contained in the Memoirs of the Apostles substantially in the form and order in which Justin quotes it.

The next passage (F) [233:1] is separated from the preceding merely by the usual kai, and it moves on to its close with the same continuity of thought and the same peculiarities of construction which characterise that which we have just considered. Christians are to be kind and merciful (chrêstoi kai oiktirmones) to all as their Father is, who makes his sun to shine alike on the good and evil, and they need not be anxious about their own temporal necessities: what they shall eat and what put on; are they not better than the birds and beasts whom God feedeth? Therefore, they are not to be careful about what they are to eat and what put on, for their heavenly Father knows they have need of these things; but they are to seek the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added: for where the treasure is -- the thing he seeks and is careful about -- there will also be the mind of the man. In fact, the passage is a suitable continuation of (E), inculcating, like it, abstraction from worldly cares and thoughts in reliance on the heavenly Father; and the mere fact that a separation is made where it is between the two passages (E) and (F) shows further that each of those passages was complete in itself. There is absolutely no reason for the separating kai if these passages were a mere combination of scattered verses. This quotation, however, which is so consecutive in Justin, can only find distant parallels in passages widely divided throughout the synoptic Gospels, which have to be arranged in the following order: Luke 6:36, Matt. 5:45, 6:25, 26, 31, 32, 33, 6:21, the whole of which present striking differences from Justin's quotation. The repetition of the injunction "be not careful" again with the illative "therefore" is quite in the spirit of (E). This admonition, "Therefore, be not careful," etc., is reiterated no less than three times in the first Gospel 6:25, 31, 34), and confirms the characteristic repetition of Justin's Gospel, which seems to have held a middle course between Matthew and Luke, the latter of which does not repeat the phrase, although the injunction is made a second time in more direct terms. The repetition of the passage, "Be ye kind and merciful," etc., in Dial. 96, with the same context and peculiarities, is a remarkable confirmation of the natural conclusion that Justin quotes the passage from a Gospel different from ours. The expression chrêstoi kai oiktirmones, thrice repeated by Justin himself, and supported by a similar duplication in the Clementine Homilies (3:57), [234:1] cannot possibly be an accidental departure from our Gospels. [234:2] For the rest, it is undeniable that the whole passage (F) differs materially, both in order and language, from our Gospels, from which it cannot, without unwarrantable assumption, be maintained to have been taken either collectively or in detail, and strong internal reasons lead us to conclude that it is quoted substantially as it stands from Justin's Gospel, which must have been different from our Synoptics.

In (H), again, we have an express quotation introduced by the words: "And regarding our being patient under injuries and ready to help all, and free from anger, this is what he said"; and then he proceeds to give the actual words. [235:1] At the close of the quotation he continues: "For we ought not to strive, neither would he have us be imitators of the wicked, but he has exhorted us by patience and gentleness to lead men from shame and the love of evil," etc. [235:2] It is evident that these observations, which are a mere paraphrase of the text, indicate that the quotation itself is deliberate and precise. Justin professes first to quote the actual teaching of Jesus, and then makes his own comments; but if it be assumed that he began by concocting out of stray texts, altered to suit his purpose, a continuous discourse, the subsequent observations seem singularly useless and out of place. Although the passage forms a consecutive and harmonious discourse, the nearest parallels in our Gospels can only be found by uniting parts of the following scattered verses: Matt. 5:39, 40, 22, 41, 16. The Christian who is struck on one cheek is to turn the other, and not to resist those who would take away his cloak or coat; but if, on the contrary, he be angry, he is in danger of fire; if, then, he be compelled to go one mile, let him show his gentleness by going two, and thus let his good works shine before men that, seeing them, they may adore his Father which is in heaven. It is evident that the last two sentences, which find their parallels in Matt. by putting 5:16 after 41, the former verse having quite a different context in the Gospel, must have so followed each other in Justin's text. His purpose is to quote the teaching of Jesus, "regarding our being patient under injuries, and ready to help all and free from anger"; but his quotation of "Let your good works shine before men," etc., has no direct reference to his subject, and it cannot reasonably be supposed that Justin would have selected it from a separate part of the Gospel. Coming as it no doubt did in his Memoirs in the order in which he quotes it, it is quite appropriate to his purpose. It is difficult, for instance, to imagine why Justin further omitted the injunction in the parallel passage, Matt. 5:39, "that ye resist not evil," when supposed to quote the rest of the verse, since his express object is to show that "we ought not to strive," etc. The whole quotation presents the same characteristics as those which we have already examined, and in its continuity of thought and wide variation from the parallels in our Gospels, both in order and language, we must recognise a different and peculiar source.

The passage (I), again, is professedly a literal quotation, for Justin prefaces it with the words: "And regarding our not swearing at all, but ever speaking the truth, he taught thus"; and having in these words actually stated what Jesus did teach, he proceeds to quote his very words. [236:1] In the quotation there is a clear departure from our Gospel, arising, not from accidental failure of memory, but from difference of source. The parallel passages in our Gospels, so far as they exist at all, can only be found by taking part of Matt. 5:34 and joining it to 5:37, omitting the intermediate verses. The quotation in the Epistle of James 5:12, which is evidently derived from a source different from Matthew, supports the reading of Justin. This, with the passage twice repeated in the Clementine Homilies in agreement with Justin, and, it may be added, the peculiar version found in early ecclesiastical writings, [236:2] all tend to confirm the belief that there existed a more ancient form of the injunction which Justin no doubt found in his Memoirs. The precept, terse, simple, and direct, as it is here, is much more in accordance with Justin's own description of the teaching of Jesus, as he evidently found it in his Gospel, than the diffused version contained in the first Gospel, 5:33-37.

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