WE must now as briefly as possible examine the evidence furnished by the apocryphal religious romance generally known by the name of "The Clementines," and assuming, falsely of course, to be the composition of the Roman Clement. The Clementines are composed of three principal works, the Homilies, Recognitions, and a so-called Epitome. The Homilies, again, are prefaced by a pretended epistle addressed by the Apostle Peter to James, and another from Clement. These Homilies were only known in an imperfect form till 1853, when Dressel [299:1] published a complete Greek text. Of the Recognitions we only possess a Latin translation by Rufinus (A.D. 402). Although there is much difference of opinion regarding the claims to priority of the Homilies and Recognitions, many critics assigning that place to the Homilies, whilst others assert the earlier origin of the Recognitions, all are agreed that the one is merely a version of the other, the former being embodied almost word for word in the latter, whilst the Epitome is a blending of the other two, probably intended to purge them from heretical doctrine. These works, which are generally admitted to have emanated from the Ebionitic party of the early Church, are supposed to be based upon older Petrine writings, such as the "Preaching of Peter" (Kêrygma Petrou), and the "Travels of Peter" (Periodoi Petrou). It is not necessary for our purpose to go into any analysis of the character of the Clementines. It will suffice to say that they mainly consist of discussions between the Apostle Peter and Simon the Magician regarding the identity of the true Mosaic and Christian religions. Peter follows the Magician from city to city for the purpose of exposing and refuting him, the one, in fact, representing Apostolic doctrine and the other heresy; and in the course of these discussions occur the very numerous quotations of sayings of Jesus and of Christian history which we have to examine.
The Clementine Recognitions, as we have already remarked, are only known to us through the Latin translation of Rufinus; and, from a comparison of the evangelical quotations occurring in that work with the same in the Homilies, it is evident that Rufinus has assimilated them, in the course of translation, to the parallel passages of our Gospels. It is admitted, therefore, that no argument regarding the source of the quotations can rightly be based upon the Recognitions, and that work may, consequently, be entirely set aside, and the Clementine Homilies alone occupy our attention.
We need scarcely remark that, unless the date at which these Homilies were composed can be ascertained, their value as testimony for the existence of our Synoptic Gospels is seriously affected. The difficulty of arriving at a correct conclusion regarding this point, great under almost any circumstances, is increased by the fact that the work is altogether apocryphal, and most certainly not held by anyone to have been written by the person whose name it bears. There is, in fact, nothing but internal evidence by which to fix the date, and that evidence is of a character which admits of very wide extension down the course of time, although a sharp limit is set beyond which it cannot mount upwards. Of external evidence there is almost none, and what little exists does not warrant an early date. Origen, it is true, mentions Periodoi Klêmentos, [300:1] which, it is conjectured, may either be the same work as the Anagnôrismos, or Recognitions, translated by Rufinus, or related to it, and Epiphanius and others refer to Periodoi Petrou; [300:2] but our Clementine Homilies are not mentioned by any writer before pseudo-Athanasius. [300:3] The work, therefore, can at the best afford no substantial testimony to the antiquity and apostolic origin of our Gospels. Hilgenfeld, following in the steps of Baur, arrives at the conclusion that the Homilies are directed against the Gnosticism of Marcion (and also, as we shall hereafter see, against the Apostle Paul), and he, therefore, necessarily assigns to them a date subsequent to A.D. 160. As Reuss, however, inquires: upon this ground, why should a still later date not be named, since even Tertullian wrote vehemently against the same Gnosis? [300:4] There can be little doubt that the author was a representative of Ebionitic Gnosticism, which had once been the purest form of primitive Christianity; but later, through its own development, though still more through the rapid growth around it of Paulinian doctrine, had assumed a position closely verging upon heresy. It is not necessary for us, however, to enter upon any exhaustive discussion of the date at which the Clementines were written; it is sufficient to show that there is no certain ground upon which a decision can be based, and that even an approximate conjecture can scarcely be reasonably advanced. Critics variously date the composition of the original Recognitions from about the middle of the second century to the end of the third, though the majority are agreed in placing them at least in the latter century. They assign to the Homilies an origin at different dates within a period commencing about the middle of the second century, and extending to one or two centuries later.
In the Homilies there are very numerous quotations of sayings of Jesus and of Gospel history, which are generally placed in the mouth of Peter, or introduced with such formulae as: "The teacher said," "Jesus said," "He said," "The prophet said"; but in no case does the author name the source from which these sayings and quotations are derived. That he does, however, quote from a written source, and not from tradition, is clear from the use of such expressions as "in another place (allê tou) [301:1] he has said," which refer not to other localities or circumstances, but another part of a written history. There are in the Clementine Homilies upwards of a hundred quotations of sayings of Jesus or references to his history, too many for us to examine in detail here; but, notwithstanding the number of these passages, so systematically do they vary, more or less, from the parallels in our canonical Gospels that, as in the case of Justin, apologists are obliged to have recourse to the elastic explanation, already worn so threadbare, of "free quotation from memory" and "blending of passages" to account for the remarkable phenomena presented. It must be evident that the necessity for such an apology shows the insufficiency of the evidence furnished by these quotations. De Wette says: "The quotations of evangelical works and histories in the pseudo-Clementine writings, from their nature free and inaccurate, permit only an uncertain conclusion to be drawn as to their written source." [301:2] Critics have maintained very different and conflicting views regarding that source. Apologists, of course, assert that the quotations in the Homilies are taken from our Gospels only. Others ascribe them to our Gospels, with a supplementary apocryphal work: the Gospel according to the Hebrews, or the Gospel according to Peter. Some, whilst admitting a subsidiary use of some of our Gospels, assert that the author of the Homilies employs, in preference, the Gospel according to Peter; whilst others, recognising also the similarity of the features presented by these quotations with those of Justin's, conclude that the author does not quote our Gospels at all, but makes use of the Gospel according to Peter, or the Gospel according to the Hebrews. [302:1] Evidence permitting of such divergent conclusions manifestly cannot be of a decided character. We may affirm that few of those who are willing to admit the use of our Synoptics by the author of the Homilies, along with other sources, make that concession on the strength of the isolated evidence of the Homilies themselves, but they are generally moved by antecedent views on the point. In an inquiry like that which we have undertaken, however, such easy and indifferent judgment would obviously be out of place, and the point we have to determine is not whether in author may have been acquainted with our Gospels, but whether he furnishes testimony that he actually was in possession of our present Gospels and regarded them as authoritative.
We have already mentioned that the author of the Clementine Homilies never names the source from which his quotations are derived. Of these very numerous quotations we must again distinctly state that only two or three, of a very brief and fragmentary character, literally agree with our Synoptics, whilst all the rest differ more or less widely from the parallel passages in those Gospels. Some of these quotations are repeated more than once With the same persistent and characteristic variations, and in several cases, as we have already stated, they agree more or less closely with quotations of Justin from the Memoirs of the Apostles. Others, again, have no parallels at all in our Gospels, and even apologists are consequently compelled to admit the collateral use of an apocryphal Gospel. As in the case of Justin, therefore, the singular phenomenon is presented of a vast number of quotations of which only one or two brief phrases, too fragmentary to avail as evidence, perfectly agree with our Gospels; whilst of the rest, which all vary more or less, some merely resemble combined passages of two Gospels, others only contain the sense, some present variations likewise found in other writers or in various parts of the Homilies, and are repeatedly quoted with the same variations, and others are not found in our Gospels at all. Such characteristics cannot be fairly accounted for by any mere theory of imperfect memory or negligence. The systematic variation from our Synoptics, variation proved by repetition not to be accidental, coupled with quotations which have no parallels at all in our Gospels, more naturally point to the use of a different Gospel. In no case can the Homilies be accepted as furnishing evidence even of the existence of our Gospels.
As it is impossible here to examine in detail all of the quotations in the Clementine Homilies, we must content ourselves with this distinct statement of their character, and merely illustrate the different classes of quotations, exhausting, however, those which literally agree with passages in the Gospels. The most determined of recent apologists do not afford us an opportunity of testing the passages upon which they base their assertion of the use of our Synoptics, for they simply assume that the author used them without producing instances. [303:1]
The first quotation agreeing with a passage in our Synoptics occurs in Hom. 3:52: "And he cried, saying: Come unto me all ye that are weary," which agrees with the opening words of Matt. 11:28; but the phrase does not continue, and is followed by the explanation, "that is, who are seeking the truth and not finding it." [303:2] It is evident that so short and fragmentary a phrase cannot prove anything.
The next passage occurs in Hom. 18:15: "For Isaiah said: I will open my mouth in parables, and I will utter things that have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." [303:3] This passage, with a slightly different order of words, is found in Matt. 13:35. After giving a series of parables, the author of the Gospel says (5:34): "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitudes in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them; (5:35) That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet (Isaiah), saying: I will open my mouth in parables," etc. There are two peculiarities which must be pointed out in this passage. It is not found in Isaiah, but in Psalm 78:2, [303:4] and it presents a variation from the version of the Septuagint. Both the variation and the erroneous reference to Isaiah, therefore, occur also in the Homily, and it is upon this similarity of mistake that the apologetic argument mainly rests. The first part of the sentence agrees with, but the latter part is quite different from, the Greek of the Septuagint, which reads: "I will utter problems from the beginning," (phthegzomai problêmata ap' arches). [303:5]
The Psalm from which the quotation is really taken is, by its superscription, ascribed to Asaph, who, in the Septuagint version of 2 Chronicles 29:30, is called a prophet. It was, therefore, early asserted that the original reading of Matthew was "Asaph," instead of "Isaiah." Porphyry, in the third century, twitted Christians with this erroneous ascription by their inspired evangelist to Isaiah of a passage from a Psalm, and reduced the Fathers to great straits. Eusebius, in his commentary on this verse of the Psalm, attributes the insertion of the words, "by the prophet Isaiah," to unintelligent copyists, and asserts that in accurate MSS. the name is not added to the word prophet. Jerome likewise ascribes the insertion of the name Isaiah for that of Asaph, which was originally, written, to an ignorant scribe, [304:1] and in the commentary on the Psalms, generally, though probably falsely, ascribed to him, the remark is made that many copies of the Gospel to that day had the name "Isaiah," for which Porphyry bad reproached Christians, [304:2] and the writer of the same commentary actually allows himself to make the assertion that Asaph was found in all the old codices, but ignorant men had removed it. [304:3] The fact is, that the reading "Asaph" for "Isaiah" is not found in any extant MS., and, although "Isaiah" has disappeared from all but a few obscure codices, it cannot be denied that the name anciently stood in the text. In the Sinaitic Codex, which is probably the earliest MS. extant, and which is assigned to the fourth century, "the prophet Isaiah" stands in the text by the first hand, but is erased by the second (B).
The quotation in the Homily, however, is clearly not from our Gospel. It is introduced by the words "For Isaiah says"; and the context is, so different from that in Matthew that it seems most improbable that the author of the Homily could have had the passage suggested to him by the Gospel. It occurs in a discussion between Simon the Magician and Peter. The former undertakes to prove that the Maker of the world is not the highest God, and amongst other arguments he advances the passage, "No man knew the Father," etc., to show that the Father had remained concealed from the Patriarchs, etc., until revealed by the Son; and in reply to Peter he retorts, that if the supposition that the Patriarchs were not deemed worthy to know the Father was unjust, the Christian teacher himself was to blame who said, "I thank thee, Lord of heaven and earth, that what was concealed from the wise thou hast revealed to suckling babes." Peter argues that in the statement of Jesus, "No man knew the Father," etc., he cannot be considered to indicate another God and Father from him who made the world, and he continues: "For the concealed things of which he spoke may be those of the Creator himself; for Isaiah says, 'I will open my mouth,' etc. Do you admit, therefore, that the prophet was not ignorant of the things concealed?" [305:1] and so on. There is absolutely nothing in this argument to indicate that the passage was suggested by the Gospel, but, on the contrary, it is used in a totally different way, and is quoted not as an evangelical text, but as a saying from the Old Testament, and treated in connection with the prophet himself, and not with its supposed fulfilment in Jesus. It may be remarked that in the corresponding part of the Recognitions, whether that work be of older or more recent date, the passage does not occur at all. Now, although it is impossible to say how and where this erroneous reference to a passage of the Old Testament first occurred, there is no reason for affirming that it originated in our first Synoptic, and as little for asserting that its occurrence in the Clementine Homilies, with so different a context and object, involves the conclusion that their author derived it from the Gospel, and not from the Old Testament or some other source. On the, contrary, the peculiar argument based upon it in the Homilies suggests a different origin, and it is very probable that the passage, with its erroneous reference, was derived by both from another and common source.
Another passage is a phrase from the "Lord's Prayer," which occurs in Hom. 19:2: "But also in the prayer which he commended to us we have it said: Deliver us from the evil one" (Rhysai hêmas apo tou ponêrou). It need scarcely be said that few Gospels can have been composed without including this prayer, and the occurrence of this short phrase demonstrates nothing more than the mere fact that the author of the Homilies was acquainted with one of the most universally known lessons of Jesus, or made use of a Gospel which contained it. There would have been cause for wonder had he been ignorant of it.
The only other passage which agrees literally with our Gospels
is also a mere fragment from the parable of the Talents, and when
the other references to the same parable are added, it is evident
that the quotation is not from our Gospels. In Hom. 3:65 the
address to the good servant is introduced, "Well done, good and
faithful servant" (Eu, doule agathe kai piste), which agrees
with the words in Matt. 25:21. The allusion to the parable of the
talents in the context is perfectly clear, and the passage occurs
in an address of the Apostle Peter to overcome the modest scruples of Zaccheus, the former publican, who
has been selected by Peter as his successor in the Church of
Caesarea when he is about to leave in pursuit of Simon the
Magician. Anticipating the possibility of his hesitating to accept
the office, Peter, in an earlier part of his address, however,
makes fuller allusions to the same parable of the talents, which we
must contrast with the parallel in the first Synoptic. "But if any
of those present, having the ability to instruct the ignorance of
men, shrink back from it, considering only his own case, then let
him expect to hear:"
|Thou wicked and slothful servant;||26. Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather from where I strawed not.|
|thou oughtest to have put out my money with the exchangers, and at my coming I should have exacted mine own.||27. Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.|
|28-29. Take therefore, etc.|
|Cast ye the unprofitable servant into the darkness without.||30. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into the darkness without; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.|
|Doule ponêre kai oknêre,||26. Ponêre doule kai oknêre, êdeis hoti therizô, k.t.l.|
|edei se to argurion mou probalein epi tôn prapezitôn, kai egô an elthôn epraza to emon.||27. edei se oun
balein to argurion mou tois trapezitais, kai elthôn egô
an to emon su tokô.
||28-29. apate oun,
achreion doulon eis to skotos to ezôteron.
||30. kai ton achreion
doulon ekbalete eis to skotos to ezôteron, ekei estai ho
The Homily does not end here, however, but continues in words not found in our Gospels at all: "And reasonably: 'For,' he says, "it is thine, O man, to put my words as silver with exchangers, and to prove them as money.'" [306:2] This passage is very analogous to another saying of Jesus, frequently quoted from an apocryphal Gospel, by the author of the Homilies, to which we shall hereafter more particularly refer, but here merely point out: "Be ye approved money-changers" (ginesthe prapezitai dokimoi). [306:3] The variations from the parallel passages in the first and third Gospels, the peculiar application of the parable to the words of Jesus, and the addition of a saying not found in our Gospels, warrant us in denying that the quotations we are considering can be appropriated by our canonical Gospels, and, on the contrary, give good reason for the conclusion that the author derived his knowledge of the parable from another source.
There is no other quotation in the Clementine Homilies
which literally agrees with our Gospels, and it is difficult,
without incurring the charge of partial selection, to illustrate
the systematic variation in such very numerous passages as occur in
these writings. It would be tedious and unnecessary to repeat the
test applied to the quotations of Justin, and give in detail the
passages from the Sermon on the Mount which are found in the
Homilies. Some of these will come before us presently; but
with regard to the whole, which are not less than fifty, we may
broadly and positively state that they all more or less differ from
our Gospels. To take the severest test, however, we shall compare
those further passages which are specially adduced as most closely
following our Gospels, and neglect the vast majority which widely
differ from them. In addition to the passages which we have already
examined, Credner [307:1] points
out the following. The first is from Hom. 19:2 [307:2]: "If Satan cast out Satan he is divided
against himself: how then can his kingdom stand?" In the first part
of this sentence the Homily reads, ekballê for the
ekballei of the first Gospel, and the last phrase in each is
|Hom.||pôs oun autou stêkê ê Basileia;|
|Matt.||pôs oun stathêsetai ê basileia autou;|
The third Gospel differs from the first as the Homily does from
both. The next passage is from Hom. 19:7 [307:3]: "For thus, said our Father, who was
without deceit: out of abundance of heart mouth speaketh." The
Greek compared with that of Matt. 12:34.
|Matt.||Ek gar tou||perisseumatos tês||kardias to||stoma lalei.|
The form of the Homily is much more proverbial. The next passage
occurs in Hom. 3:52: "Every plant which the heavenly Father did not
plant shall be rooted up. " This agrees with the parallel in Matt.
15:13, with the important exception, that although in the mouth of
Jesus, "the heavenly Father" is substituted for the
"my heavenly Father" of the Gospel. The last passage pointed
out by Credner is from Hom. 8:4: "But also many,' he said,
'called, but few chosen"'; which may be compared with Matt. 20:6,
|Hom.||Alla kai,||polloi, phêsin, klêtoi, oligoi de eklektoi.|
|Matt.||polloi gar eisin klêtoi, oligoi de eklektoi.|
We have already fully discussed this passage of the Gospel in connection with the "Epistle of Barnabas," [307:4] and need not say more here.
The variations in these passages, it may be argued, are not very important. Certainly, if they were the exceptional variations amongst a mass of quotations perfectly agreeing with parallels in our Gospels, it might be exaggeration to base upon such divergences a conclusion that they were derived from a different source. When it is considered, however, that the very reverse is the case, and that these are passages selected for their closer agreement out of a multitude of others, either more decidedly differing from our Gospels or not found in them at all, the case entirely changes; and, variations being the rule instead of the exception, these, however slight, become evidence of the use of a Gospel different from ours.
As an illustration of the importance of slight variations in connection with the question as to the source from which quotations are derived, the following may, at random, be pointed out: The passage, "See thou say nothing to any man, but go thy way, show thyself to the priest" (Hora mêdeni eipês, alla hupage seauton deixon tô ierei), occurring in a work like the Homilies would, supposing our second Gospel no longer extant, be referred to Matt. 8:4, with which it entirely agrees. It is, however, actually taken from Mark 1:44, and not from the first Gospel. Then, again, supposing that our first Gospel had shared the fate of so many others of the polloi of Luke, and in some early work the following passage was found: "A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country and in his own house" (Ouk estin prophêtês atimos ei mê en tê patridi autou kai en tê oikia autou), this passage would, undoubtedly, be claimed by apologists as a quotation from Mark 6:4, and as proving the existence and use of that Gospel. The omission of the words "and among his own kin" (kai en tois syngenesin autou) would at first be explained as mere abbreviation, or defect of memory; but on the discovery that part or all of these words are omitted from some MSS., that, for instance, the phrase is erased from the oldest manuscript known -- the Cod. Sinaiticus -- the derivation from the second Gospel would be considered as established. The author, notwithstanding, might never have seen that Gospel, for the quotation is taken from Matt. 13:57. [308:1]
We have already quoted the opinion of De Wette as to the
inconclusive nature of the deductions to be drawn from the
quotations in the pseudo-Clementine writings regarding their
source, but in pursuance of the plan we have adopted we shall now
examine the passages which he cites as most nearly agreeing with
our Gospels. [308:2] The first
of these occurs in Hom. 3:18: "The Scribes and the Pharisees sit upon Moses' seat; all things, therefore,
whatsoever they speak to you, hear them," which is compared with
Matt. 23:2, 3: "The Scribes and the Pharisees sit upon Moses'
seats; all things, therefore, whatsoever they say to you, do and
observe." We subjoin the Greek of the latter half of these
|Hom. panta oun hosa||legôsin humin, akouete autôn.|
|Matt. panta oun hosa ean||eipôsin humin poiêsate kai têreite. [309:1]|
That the variation in the Homily is deliberate and derived from the Gospel used by the author is clear from the continuation: "Hear them (autôn), he said, as entrusted with the key of the kingdom, which is knowledge, which alone is able to open the gate of life, through which alone is the entrance to eternal life. But verily, he says: They possess the key indeed, but to those who wish to enter in they do not grant it." [309:2] The autôn is here emphatically repeated, and the further quotation and reference to the denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees continue to differ distinctly from the account both in our first and third Gospels. The passage in Matt. 23:13 reads: "But woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye go not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." [309:3] The parallel in Luke 11:52 is not closer. There the passage regarding Moses' seat is altogether wanting, and in verse 52, where the Greater similarity exists, the "lawyers," instead of the "Scribes and Pharisees," are addressed. The verse reads: "Woe unto you, Lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." [309:4] The first Gospel has not the direct image of the key at all: the Scribes and Pharisees "shut the kingdom of heaven"; the third has "the key of knowledge" (kleida tês gnôseôs) taken away by the lawyers, and not by the Scribes and Pharisees, whilst the Gospel of the Homilies has the key of the kingdom (kleida tês basileias), and explains that this key is knowledge (hêtis esti gnôsis). It is apparent that the first Gospel uses an expression more direct than the others, whilst the third Gospel explains it; but the Gospel of the Homilies has in all probability the simpler original words, the "key of the kingdom," which both of the others have altered for the purpose of more immediate clearness. In any case, it is certain that the passage does not agree with our Gospel.
The next quotation referred to by De Wette is in Hom.
3:51 And also that he said: 'I am not come to destroy the law
… the heaven and the earth will pass away, but one jot or one
tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.'" This is compared with
Matt. 5:17-18: [310:1] "Think
not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not
come to destroy but to fulfil. (5:18) For verily I say unto you:
Till heaven and earth pass away one jot or one tittle shall in
nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." The Greek of both
passages reads as follows:
|HOM. 3:51||MATT. 5:17|
|To de kai eipein auton,||Mê nomisête hoti êlthon katalusai Ton nomou ê tous prophêtas,|
|Ouk êlthon katalusai ton nomon.||ouk êlthon katalusai alla plêrôsai.|
|5:18. Amên gar legô humin eôs an|
|Ho ouranos kai ê gê pareleusontai iôta De en ê mia keraia ou mê parelthê apo tou nomou.||parelthê ho ouranous kai ê gê, Iôta en ê mia keraias ou mê parelthê apo tou nomou, eôs an panta genêtai.|
That the omissions and variations in this passage are not accidental is proved by the fact that the same quotation occurs again literally in the Epistle from Peter [310:2], which is prefixed to the Homilies in which the pareleusontai is repeated, and the sentence closes at the same point. The author in that place adds: "This he said that all might be fulfilled" (touto de eirêken, hina ta panta ginêtai). Hilgenfeld considers the Epistle of much more early date than the Homilies, and that this agreement bespeaks a particular text. [310:3] The quotation does not agree with our Gospels, and must be assigned to another source.
The next passage pointed out by De Wette is the erroneous
quotation from Isaiah which we have already examined. [310:4] That which follows is found in Hom.
8:7: "For on this account our Jesus himself said to one who
frequently called him Lord, yet did nothing which he commanded: Why
dost thou say to me Lord, Lord, and doest not the things which I
say?" This is compared with Luke 6:46, [310:5] "But why
call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
|HOM. 8:7||LUKE 6:46|
|Ti me legeis, Kurie, kurie, kai ou poieis ha legô?||Ti de me kaleite, Kurie, kurie, kai ou poiete ha legô?|
This passage differs from our Gospels in having the second person singular instead of the plural, and in substituting legeis for kaleite in the first phrase. The Homily, moreover, in accordance with the use of the second person singular, distinctly states that the saying was addressed to a person who frequently called Jesus "Lord," whereas in the Gospels it forms part of the Sermon on the Mount, with a totally impersonal application to the multitude.
The next passage referred to by De Wette is in Hom. 19:2,
"And he declared that he saw the evil one as lightning fall from
heaven." This is compared with Luke 10:18, which has no parallel in
the other Gospels: "And he said to them, I beheld Satan as
lightning fall from heaven."
|HOM. 19:2||LUKE 10:18|
|Kai hoti eôrake ton ponêron hôs astrapên pesonta ek tou ouranou edêlôsen.||Eipen de autois etheêroun ton satanan hôs astrapên ek tou pesonta.|
The substitution of ton ponêron for ton satanan, had he found the latter in his Gospel, would be all the more remarkable from the fact that the author of the Homilies has just before quoted the saying, "If Satan cast out Satan," [311:1] etc.; and he continues in the above words to show that Satan had been cast out, so that the evidence would have been strengthened by the retention of the word in Luke, had he quoted that Gospel. The variations indicate that he quoted from another source.
The next passage pointed out by De Wette likewise finds a
parallel only in the third Gospel. It occurs in Hom. 9:22,
"Nevertheless, though all demons with all the diseases flee before
you, in this only is not to be your rejoicing, but in that, through
grace, your names, as of the ever-living, are recorded in heaven."
This is compared with Luke 10:20, "Notwithstanding, in this rejoice
not that the spirits are subject unto you, but rejoice that your
names are written in the heavens."
|HOM 9:22||LUKE 10:20|
|All homôs kan pantes daimones meta pantôn tôn pathôn humas pheugôsin, ouk esin en toutô monô charein, all' en Tô di' euarestian ta onomata humôn en Ouranô hôs dei zôntôn anagraphênai.||Plên en toutô mê chairete, hoti ta Pneumata humin hupotassetai, chairete de hoti ta onomata humôn engegraptai en Tois ouranois|
The differences between these two passages are too great, and the peculiarities of the Homily too marked, to require any argument to demonstrate that the quotation cannot be successfully claimed by our third Gospel. On the contrary, as one of so many other passages systematically varying from the canonical Gospels, it must be assigned to another source.
De Wette says: "A few others (quotations) presuppose (voraussetzen) the Gospel of Mark," [312:1] and he gives them. The first occurs in Hom. 2:19: "There is a certain Justa [312:2] amongst us, a Syrophoenician, a Canaanite by race, whose daughter was affected by a sore disease, and who came to our Lord crying out and supplicating that he would heal her daughter. But he, being also asked by us, said: "It is not meet to heal the Gentiles who are like dogs from their using different meats and practices, whilst the table in the kingdom has been granted to the sons of Israel.' But she, hearing this and exchanging her former manner of life for that of the sons of the kingdom, in order that she might, like a dog, partake of the crumbs falling from the same table, obtained, as she desired, healing for her daughter." [312:3] This is compared with Mark 7:24-30, [312:4] as it is the only Gospel which calls the woman a Syrophoenician. The Homily, however, not only calls her so, but gives her name as "Justa." If, therefore, it be argued that the mention of her nationality supposes that the author found the fact in his Gospel, and because we know no other but Mark [312:5] which gives that information, that he therefore derived it from our second Gospel, the additional mention of the name of "Justa" on the same grounds necessarily points to the use of a Gospel which likewise contained it, which our Gospel does not, Nothing can be more decided than the variation in language throughout this whole passage from the account in Mark, and the reply of Jesus is quite foreign to our Gospels. In Mark (7:25) the daughter has "an unclean spirit" (pneuma akatharton); in Matthew (15:22) she is "grievously possessed by a devil (kakôs daimonizetai), but in the Homily she is "affected by a sore disease" (hupo chalepês nosou syneicheto). The second Gospel knows nothing of any intercession on the part of the disciples, but Matthew has: "And the disciples came and besought him (êrôtôn auton), saying: 'Send her away, for she crieth after us'" [312:6] whilst the Homily has merely "being also asked by us" in the sense of intercession in her favour. The second Gospel gives the reply of Jesus as follows: "Let the children first be filled; for it is not meet to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs. And she answered and said unto him: 'Yea, Lord, for the dogs also eat under the table of the crumbs of the children.' And he said unto her: 'For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.'" [313:1] The nature of the reply of the woman is, in the Gospels, the reason given for granting her request; but in the Homily the woman's conversion to Judaism, [313:2] that is to say Judeo-Christianity, is prominently advanced as the cause of her successful pleading. It is certain from the whole character of this passage, the variation of the language, and the reply of Jesus which is not in our Gospels at all, that the narrative cannot rightly be assigned to them; but the more reasonable inference is that it was derived from another source.
The last of De Wette's [313:3] passages is from Hom. 3:57: "Hear, O Israel; the Lord thy [313:4] God is one Lord." This is a quotation from Deuteronomy 6:4, which is likewise quoted in the second Gospel, 12:29, in reply to the question, "Which is the first Commandment of all? Jesus answered: The first is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God," etc. In the Homily, however, the quotation is made in a totally different connection, for there is no question of commandments at all, but a clear statement of the circumstances under which the passage was used, which excludes the idea that this quotation was derived from Mark 12:29. The context in the Homily is as follows: "But to those who were beguiled to imagine many Gods as the Scriptures say, he said: Hear, O Israel," etc. [313:5] There is no hint of the assertion of many gods in the Gospels: but, on the contrary, the question is put by one of the scribes in Mark to whom Jesus says: "Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God." [313:6] The quotation, therefore, cannot be legitimately appropriated by the second Synoptic, but may with much greater probability be assigned to a different Gospel.
We may here refer to the passage, the only one pointed out by
him in connection with the Synoptics, the discovery of which, Dr.
Westcott affirms, "has removed the doubts which had long been
raised about those (allusions) to St. Mark." [313:7] The discovery referred to is that of the
Codex Ottobonianus by Dressel, which contains the concluding
part of the Homilies, and which was first published by him
in 1853. Dr. Westcott says: "Though St. Mark has few peculiar
phrases, one of these is repeated verbally in the concluding part
of the 19th Homily. [313:8] The
passage is as follows: Hom. 19:20: "Wherefore also he
explained to his disciples privately the mysteries of the kingdom
of the heavens." This is compared with Mark 4:34
... "and privately, to his own disciples, he explained all
|HOM. 19:20.||MARK 4:34|
|Dio kai tois autou mathêtais kat' idian Epelue tês tôn ouranôn basileias ta mysteria||…kat' idian de tois idiois mathêtais epeluen panta. [314:1]|
We have only a few words to add to complete the whole of Dr. Westcott's remarks upon the subject. He adds after the quotation: "This is the only place where epiluô occurs in the Gospels. [314:2] We may, however, point out that it occurs also in Acts 19:39 and 2 Peter 1:20. It is upon the coincidence of this word that Dr. Westcott rests his argument that this passage is a reference to Mark. Nothing, however, could be more untenable than such a conclusion from such an indication. The phrase in the Homily presents a very marked variation from the passage in Mark. The "all things" (panta) of the Gospel reads: "The mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens" (tês tôn ouranôn basileias ta mystêria) in the Homily. The passage in Mark 4:11, to which Dr. Westcott does not refer, reads to mystêrion tês basileias tou Theou. There is one very important matter, however, which our apologist has omitted to point out, and which, it seems to us, decides the case ñ the context in the Homily. The chapter commences thus: "And Peter said: We remember that our Lord and Teacher, as commanding, said to us: 'Guard the mysteries for me, and the sons of my house.' Wherefore, also he explained to his disciples privately," etc. [314:3]; and then comes our passage. Now, here is a command of Jesus, in immediate connection with which the phrase before us is quoted, which does not appear in our Gospels, and which clearly establishes the use of a different source. The phrase itself, which differs from Mark, as we have seen, may, with all right, be referred to the same unknown Gospel.
It must be borne in mind that all the quotations which we have
hitherto examined are those which have been selected as most
closely approximating to passages in our Gospels. Space forbids our
giving illustrations of the vast number which so much more widely
differ from parallel texts in the Synoptics. We shall confine
ourselves to pointing out, in the briefest possible manner, some of
the passages which are persistent in their variations, or recall
similar passages in the Memoirs of Justin. The first of
these is the injunction in Hom. 3:55: "Let your yea be yea,
your nay nay, for whatsoever is more than these
cometh of the evil one." The same saying is repeated in Hom.
19 with the sole addition of "and." We subjoin the Greek of these,
together with that of the Gospel and Justin with which the
|Hom. 3:55.||Estô||humôn to||vai vai||to ou ou.|
|Hom. 19:2.||Estô||humôn to||vai vai kai||to ou ou.|
|Apol., 1:16.||Estô de||humôn to||vai vai kai||to ou ou.|
|Matt. 5:37.||Estô de ho logos||humôn||vai vai||ou ou.|
As we have already discussed this passage, [315:1] we need not repeat our remarks here. That it comes from a source different from our Gospels is rendered still more probable by the quotation in Hom. 19:2 being preceded by another which has no parallel in our Gospels. "And elsewhere he said: 'He who sowed the bad seed is the devil (Ho de to kakon sperma speiras estin ho diabolos) [315:2]; and again: 'Give no pretext to the evil one' (Mê dote prophasin tô ponêrô). But in exhorting he prescribes: 'Let your yea be yea,'" etc. The first of these phrases differs markedly from our Gospels the second is not in them at all; the third, which we are considering, differs likewise in an important degree in common with Justin's quotation, and there is every reason for supposing that the whole were derived from the same unknown source.
In the same Homily (19:2) there occurs also a passage which exhibits variations likewise found in Justin which we have already examined, [315:3] and now merely point out: "Begone into the darkness without, which the Father hath prepared for the devil and his angels." [315:4] The quotation in Justin (Dial. 76) agrees exactly with this, with the exception that Justin has Satana instead of diabolô, which is not important, whilst the agreement in the marked variation from the parallel in the first Gospel establishes the probability of a common source different from ours.
We have also already [315:5] referred to the passage in Hom. 17:4: "No one knew (egnô) the Father but the Son, even as no one knoweth the son but the Father and those to whom the Son is minded to reveal him." This quotation differs from Matt. 11:27 in form, in language, and in meaning; but agrees with Justin's reading of the same text, and, as we have shown, the use of the aorist here, and the transposition of the order, were characteristics of the Gospels used by Gnostics and other parties in the early Church; and the passage, with these variations, was regarded by them as the basis of some of their leading doctrines. [315:6] That the variation is not accidental, but a deliberate quotation from a written source, is proved by this, and by the circumstance that the author of the Homilies repeatedly quotes it elsewhere in the same form. [316:1] It is unreasonable to suppose that the quotations in these Homilies are so systematically and consistently erroneous, and not only can they not, from their actual variations, be legitimately referred to the Synoptics exclusively, but, considering all the circumstances, the only natural conclusion is that they are derived from a source different from our Gospels.
Another passage occurs in Hom. 3:50: "Wherefore ye do
err, not knowing the true things of the Scriptures; and on this
account ye are ignorant of the power of God." This is compared with
Mark 12:24: [316:2] "Do ye
not therefore err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of
|HOM. 3:50||MARK 12:24|
|Dia touto planasthe, mê eidotes ta alêthê tôn graphôn, ou eineken agnoeite tên dynamin tou Theou.ô||Ou dia touto planasthe mê eidtoes tas graphas mêde tên dynamin tou Theou?|
The very same quotation is made both in Hom. 2:51 and 18:20, and in each case in which the passage is introduced it is in connection with the assertion that there are true and false Scriptures, and that, as there are in the Scriptures some true sayings and some false, Jesus, by these words, showed to those who erred by reason of the false the cause of their error. There can scarcely be a doubt that the author of the Homilies quotes this passage from a Gospel different from ours, and this is demonstrated by the important variation from our text, by its consistent repetition, and by the context in which it stands.
Upon each occasion, also, that the author of the Homilies quotes the foregoing passage he likewise quotes another saying of Jesus which is foreign to our Gospels "Be ye approved money-changers," (Ginesthe trapezitai dokimoi). [316:3] The sentence is thrice quoted without variation, and each time, together with the preceding passage, it refers to the necessity of discrimination between true and false sayings in the Scriptures, as, for instance: "And Peter said: If, therefore, of the Scriptures some are true and some are false, our Teacher rightly said: 'Be ye approved money-changers,' as in the Scriptures there are some approved sayings and some spurious." [316:4] This is one of the best known of the apocryphal sayings of Jesus, and it is quoted by nearly all the Fathers, [316:5] by many as from Holy Scripture, and by some ascribed to the Gospel of the Nazarenes, or the Gospel according to the Hebrews. There can be no question here that the author quotes an apocryphal Gospel.
There is, in immediate connection with both the preceding passages, another saying of Jesus quoted which is not found in our Gospels: "Why do ye not discern the good reason of the Scriptures?" (Dia ti ou noiete to eulogon tôn graphôn?) [317:1] This passage also comes from a Gospel different from ours, and the connection and sequence of these quotations is very significant.
One further illustration and we have done. We find the following in Hom. 3:55: "And to those who think that God tempts, as the Scriptures say, he said: 'The evil one is the tempter,' who also tempted himself." [317:2] This short saying is not found in our Gospels; it probably occurred in the Gospel of the Homilies in connection with the temptation of Jesus. It is not improbable that the writer of the Epistle of James, who shows acquaintance with a Gospel different from ours, [317:3] also knew this saying. [317:4] We are here again directed to the Ebionite Gospel. Certainly the quotation is derived from a source different from our Gospels.
These illustrations of the evangelical quotations in the Clementine Homilies give but an imperfect impression of the character of the extremely numerous passages which occur in the work. We have selected for our examination the quotations which have been specially cited by critics as closest to parallels in our Gospels, and have thus submitted the question to the test which is most favourable to the claims of our Synoptics. Space forbids our adequately showing the much wider divergence which exists in the great majority of cases between them and the quotations in the Homilies. To sum up the case: out of more than a hundred of these quotations only four brief and fragmentary phrases really agree with parallels in our Synoptics, and these are either not used in the same context as in our Gospels, or are of a nature far from special to them. Of the rest, all without exception vary more or less from our Gospels, and many in their variations agree with similar quotations in other writers, or on repeated quotation always present the same peculiarities, whilst others, professed to be direct quotations of sayings of Jesus, have no parallels in our Gospels at all. Upon the hypothesis that the author made use of our Gospels, such systematic divergence would be perfectly unintelligible and astounding. On the other hand, it must be remembered that the agreement of a few passages with parallels in our Gospels cannot prove anything. The only extraordinary circumstance is that, even using a totally different source, there should not have been a greater agreement with our Synoptics. But for the universal inaccuracy of the human mind, every important historical saying, having obviously only one, distinct original form, would in all truthful histories have been reported in that one unvarying form. The nature of the quotations in the Clementine Homilies leads to the inevitable conclusion that their author derived them from a Gospel different from ours; at least, since the source of these quotations is never named throughout the work, and there is not the faintest direct indication of our Gospels, the Clementine Homilies cannot be considered witnesses of any value as to the origin and authenticity of the canonical Gospels. That this can be said of a work written at least a century and a half after the establishment of Christianity, and abounding with quotations of the discourses of Jesus, is in itself singularly suggestive.
It is scarcely necessary to add that the author of the Homilies has no idea of any canonical writings but those of the Old Testament, though, even with regard to these, some of our quotations have shown that he held peculiar views, and believed that they contained spurious elements. There is no reference in the Homilies to any of the Epistles of the New Testament.
One of the most striking points in this work, on the other hand, is its determined animosity against the Apostle Paul. We have seen that a strong anti-Pauline tendency was exhibited by many of the Fathers, who, like the author of the Homilies, made use of Judeo-Christian Gospels different from ours. In this work, however, the antagonism against the "Apostle of the Gentiles" assumes a tone of peculiar virulence. There cannot be a doubt that the Apostle Paul is attacked in it, as the great enemy of the true faith, under the hated name of Simon the Magician, whom Peter follows everywhere for the purpose of unmasking and confuting him. He is robbed of his title of "Apostle of the Gentiles," which, together with the honour of founding the Church of Antioch, of Laodicaea, and of Rome, is ascribed to Peter. All that opposition to Paul which is implied in the Epistle to the Galatians and elsewhere, [318:1] is here realised and exaggerated, and the personal difference with Peter to which Paul refers [318:2] is widened into the most bitter animosity. In the Epistle of Peter to James, which is prefixed to the Homilies, Peter says, in allusion to Paul: "For some among the Gentiles have rejected my lawful preaching and accepted certain lawless and foolish teaching of the hostile man." [319:1] First expounding a doctrine of duality, as heaven and earth, day and night, life and death [319:2] Peter asserts that in Nature the greater things come first; but amongst men the opposite is the case, and the first is worse, and the second better. [319:3] He then says to Clement that it is easy, according to this order, to discern to what class Simon (Paul) belongs, "who came before me to the Gentiles; and to which I belong who have come after him, and have followed him as light upon darkness, as knowledge upon ignorance, as health upon disease." [319:4] He continues: "If he had been known he would not have been believed; but now, not being known, he is wrongly believed; and though by his acts he is a hater, he has been loved; and, although an enemy, he has been welcomed as a friend; and, though he is death, he has been desired as a saviour; and, though fire, esteemed as light; and, though a deceiver, he is listened to as speaking the truth." [319:5] There is much more of this acrimonious abuse put into the mouth of Peter. [319:6] The indications that it is Paul who is really attacked under the name of Simon are much too clear to admit of doubt. In Hom. 11:35, Peter, warning the Church against false teachers, says: "He who hath sent us, our Lord and Prophet, declared to us that the evil one ... announced that he would send, from amongst his followers, apostles [319:7] to deceive. Therefore, above all, remember to avoid every apostle, or teacher, or prophet, who first does not accurately compare his teaching with that of James, called the brother of my Lord, and to whom was confided the ordering of the Church of the Hebrews in Jerusalem," etc., lest this evil one should send a false preacher to them, "as he has sent to us Simon preaching a counterfeit of truth in the name of our Lord and disseminating error." [319:8] Further on he speaks more plainly still. Simon maintains that he has a truer appreciation of the doctrines and teaching of Jesus, because he has received his inspiration by supernatural vision, and not merely by the common experience of the senses, [319:9] and Peter replies: "If, therefore, our Jesus, indeed, was seen in a vision, was known by thee, and conversed with thee, it was only as one angry with an adversary ... But can anyone, through a vision, be made wise to teach? And if thou sayest 'It is possible,' then, wherefore did the Teacher remain and discourse for a whole year to us who were awake? And how can we believe thy story that he was seen by thee? And how could he have been seen by thee when thy thoughts are contrary to his teaching? But if seen and taught by him for a single hour, thou becamest an apostle [320:1] -- preach his words, interpret his sayings, love his apostles, oppose not me who consorted with him. For thou hast directly withstood me who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church. If thou hadst not been an adversary, thou wouldst not have calumniated me, thou wouldst not have reviled my teaching, in order that, when declaring what I have myself heard from the Lord, I might not be believed, as though I were condemned ... But if thou callest me condemned, thou speakest against God, who revealed Christ to me,'" [320:2] etc. This last phrase, "If thou callest me condemned" (Ê ei kategnôsmenon me legeis), is an evident allusion to Galat. 2:11: "I withstood him to the face, because he was condemned" (hoti kategnôsmenos ên).
We have digressed to a greater extent than we intended, but it
is not unimportant to show the general character and tendency of
the work we have been examining. The Clementine Homilies --
written certainly not earlier than the end of the second century;
which never name nor indicate any Gospel as the source of the
author's knowledge of evangelical history; whose quotations of
sayings of Jesus, numerous as they are, systematically differ from
the parallel passages of our Synoptics, or are altogether foreign
to them; which denounce the Apostle Paul as an impostor, enemy of
the faith, and disseminator of false doctrine, and therefore
repudiate his Epistles, at the same time equally ignoring all the
other writings of the New Testament -- can scarcely be considered
as giving much support to any theory of the early formation of the
New Testament Canon, or as affording evidence even of the existence
of its separate books.
Among the writings which used formally to be ascribed to Justin Martyr, and to be published along with his genuine works, is the short composition commonly known as the "Epistle to Diognetus." The ascription of this composition to Justin arose solely from the fact that in the only known MS. of the letter there is an inscription, Tou autou pros Diognêton, which, from its connection, was referred to Justin. [320:3] The style and contents of the work, however, soon convinced critics that it could not possibly have been written by Justin, and although it has been ascribed by various isolated writers to Apollos, Clement, Marcion, Quadratus, and others, none of these guesses have been seriously supported, and critics are almost universally agreed in confessing that the author of the Epistle is entirely unknown.
Such being the case, the difficulty of assigning a date to the work with any degree of certainty is extreme, if it be not absolutely impossible to do so. This difficulty is increased by several circumstances. The first and most important of these is the fact that the Epistle to Diognetus is neither quoted nor mentioned by any ancient writer, and consequently there is no external evidence to indicate the period of its composition. Moreover, it is not only anonymous but incomplete, or, at least, as we have it, not the work of a single writer. At the end of chap. 10 a break is indicated, and the two concluding chapters are unmistakably by a different and later hand. It is not singular, therefore, that there exists a wide difference of opinion as to the date of the first ten chapters, although all agree regarding the later composition of the concluding portion. It is assigned by critics to various periods ranging from about the end of the first quarter of the second century to the end of the third century or later, whilst many denounce it as a mere modern forgery. Nothing can be more insecure in one direction than the date of a writing derived alone from internal evidence. Allusions to actual occurrences may with certainty prove that a work could only have been written after they had taken place. The mere absence of later indications in an anonymous Epistle only found in a single MS. Of the thirteenth or fourteenth century, however, and which may have been, and probably was, written expressly in imitation of early Christian feeling, cannot furnish any solid basis for an early date. It must be evident that the determination of the date of this Epistle cannot, therefore, be regarded as otherwise than doubtful and arbitrary. It is certain that the purity of its Greek and the elegance of its style distinguish it from all other Christian works of the period to which so many assign it.
The Epistle to Diognetus does not furnish any evidence even of
the existence of our Synoptics, for it is admitted that it does not
contain a single direct quotation from any evangelical work. We
shall hereafter have to refer to this Epistle in connection with
the fourth Gospel, but in the meantime it may be well to add that
in chap. 12, one of those, it will be remembered, which are
admitted to be of later date, a brief quotation is made from 1 Cor.
8:1, introduced merely by the words, ho apostolos legei.