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Antidicomarianitæ, who denied the perpetual virginity of Mary, he says “, Foseph was very old when he married Mary, and had been many years a widower; that he was the brother of Cleophas, the son of James, surnamed Panther; that he had his first wife of the tribe of Judah, and by her six children, viz. four fons and two daughters. His eldest son was James, surnamed Oblias 6 - That he begat him when he was about forty years old: after him he had another son named Jose, then Simeon and Judas, and then his two daughters Mary and Salome : after his wife's death he continued many years a widower, and about fourscore years old married Mary'. Besides Epiphanius, feveral other of the Greek Fathers have given into this fame opinion, viz. Hilaryo, Chrysostome, Cyrill, Euthymius, Theophylact, Oecumenius, and generally, as Bishop Pearson says, all the Latin Fathers till Ambrose, and the Greeks afterwardf; from all which it is very evident, that the account of Joseph's age and family, which is in the Gospel of the Birth of Mary, and the Protevangelion of James, met with a very general credit among the antient Christians.
I might add here, that the learned annalift Cardinal Baronius, in his surprising apologies for the Virgin Mary (though he reject both these Apocryphal Gospels), cites many of the Fathers as giving credit to its accounts, and particularly as to that of her being brought at three years of age to the Temple, and devoted to its service (Evang. Mar. C. 4. 6. Protevang. Jacob. c. 7.), and that she continued there eleven years. He says it is teftified by Euodius, Gregory Nyssene, Damascene, Germanus Bishop of Constantinople, Andreas Cretenfis, George Bishop of Nicomedia, and others. See Apparat. ad Annal. Num. 48. and Casaubon's Reflections upon this Exercit. I. contr. Baron. ad eund. Numer.
á Hæref. 78. Antidic. §. 7.
b Oblias] This I also observe is said to be his surname in that Fragment of Hegesippus's Commenta. ries, which is preserved in Eusebius's Hift. Eccl. lib. 2. C. 23.
Epiph. Hæref. 78. §. 8.
e On the Creed, p. 175. Art. III.
* See a Colleetion of the Fathers Opinions on this Head in Sixtus Senenf. Biblioth. Sanct. I. 6. p. 455. Annot. 64. and in Valesius Annot. in Eufeb. Hiftor. Eccl. l. 2. c. I.
CHA P. XVIII.
Another place in the Works of Epiphanius, where the Gospel of
Mary seems referred to The Author of the Gospel of Mary, and the Protevangelion of James, was a few. This proved by several Arguments.
ESIDES the former places cited out of Epi
phanius, there are two more in his works, which seem to have plain reference, the one to the Protevangelion, the other to the Gospel of the Birth of Mary, and the Protevangelion. The places I mean are those in his Ancoratus, Vol. II. c. 60. and Orat. de Laudib. Virg. Mar. Vol. II. p. 292. In the first we read, that Joseph being an antient widower, and having fix children, viz. four sons, and two daughters, Κατ' ανάγκην των κλήρων βαλλομένων επί χήρες και αγάμος καθ' έκαςην φυλήν εις τας από και παρθένες, δια το αφιερωθήναι έν τα να τις πρωτοτόκες σαΐδας, άρρενάς τε και θηλείας, έλαβε κατα κλήρου the criar captívov Mapiav, i.e. when lots were cast for the widowers, and unmarried persons of every tribe, that so it might be determined who should take the virgins which were in the Temple (for it was the custom that the first-born of both sexes foould be devoted to the Temple-service), he (viz. Joseph) was obliged by the necessity of the lot to take the holy Virgin Mary, &c. This is exactly agreeable to what we read in the Protevangelion, c. 9. and the Gospel of Mary, c. 7, 8. Only 1 observe, that whereas the Protevangelion and Gospel of Mary contradict cach other as to the persons summoned, they being according to the former only widowers, and according to the latter all unmarried persons (see Obf. VI. above), Epiphanius agrees with the latter. In the other place of Epiphanius we read, that Joachim and Anna were the names of the father and mother of the Virgin; that Joachim retired into the wilderness, and there prayed for issue; Mary retired into the garden, and put up the same petitions, and were both answered in the birth of Mary. All which is in the Protevangelion, c. 1, 2, 3, 4. and
for the most part in the Gospel of the Birth of Mary, c. 2, 3,
Obs. X. The Gospel of the Birth of Mary, and the Protevangelion, were the composure of some Jew, or Hellenis. I assert this equally of both, because I make no doubt they were originally one and the same composure ; which in process of time underwent so many alterations, interpolations, and additions, that they seem almost two different and distinct works. But of this more hereafter. I conjecture it was the compofure of some Jew, or Hellenist; and this feems to me probable from the following reasons.
1. Because of the several Hebraisms that are visible and ap , parent therein. Every one, who is acquainted with the ori. entals, particularly with Hebrew and Chaldee, will easily observe, that there are many Hebraisms in our Saviour's difcourses, and the other writings of the New Testament; I mean, that the phraseology or idiom of innumerable passages in those writings is Hebrew, or Chaldee, though the words are Greek. The reason of which (as I have above shewn b) is the utter impoffibility a man is under of avoiding the peculiarities of his native language, though he write in another. He cannot but conceive, and range his ideas in his old accustomed manner, and by virtue of that will, notwithstanding all his caution and care to avoid it, place his words in the fame order. Thus the Apostles being Jews, though they wrote in Greek, frequently expressed themselves in the Hebrew dialect, and these expresfions we call Hebraisms, and this language Hellenistick «; and of this sort I observe there are many instances in the books we have now under consideration, such as in the Gospel of Mary there are several instances remaining, notwithstanding it is a translation, as that Chap. III. in the speech of the Angel to Joachim, “ Videns vidit (Dominus) pudorem tuum,” The
* I am fenfible this oration, afiribed concerning it. to Epiphanius, is suspected to be • Vol. I. Par. I. Chap. XIII. fpurious by Rivet, Critic. Sacr. Prop. XIV. p. 81. 1. 3. c. 29. Dr. Cave Hist. Liter. • See Father Sim. Crit. Hift. of Vol. I. p. 186. and others, but I the New Test, Par. II. c. 27, 28. will not here enter into any dispute
Lord hatb surely.feen, or particularly regarded, your reproach; which conduplication of the verb is a most known way of Speaking in Hebrew, to make the thing spoken more certain and emphatical; of which there are a thousand instances in the Hebrew Bible (see Glass. Gram. Sacr. Lib. 3. Tract. 3. Can. 37. p. 628.), and several in the New Testament. So Act. vii. 34. we have the very fame words which are in this Ġospel, 'Iedy video for that, Exod. iii. 7. 'n'R7nRT I have surely seen a. Another plain Hebraism in the Gospel of the Birth of Mary, is that in the same speech of the Angel, speaking of Mary, “ Omne immundum neque manducabit, neque bibet;" which, according to the meaning of the Hebrew idiom, and the unquestionable meaning of the place, I translate, she hall neither eat nor. drink any thing which is unclean ; but if it were not a Hebraism, and were to be taken according to the Latin idiom, it must be rendered, she shall not eat nor drink every thing which is unclean: but this form of speaking is common in the Jewish language, and it is a trite observation in Grammar, that a negative particle, such as it's q'x &c. after bo i. e. as it is in this instance, non after omnis signifies the same as nullus, i, e. universal negative, though every one knows in Latin and Greek this does not obtain, but is quite otherwise. He who has a mind to see instances of such Hebraisms, may find in Glaslius Gram. Sacr. Lib. 3. Tract. 5. Can. 19. feveral both out of the Old and New Testament.
As to the Protevangelion, it is so full of Hebraisms almost n every Chapter, that I can scarce believe any one, who is at
I have jurely רָאה רָאִיתִי for
For the sake of those who de ii. 16. Thou mayest freely eat, and light in such remarks, I observe from
Gen. ii. 17. for nam na this place, what I dare undertake to shew from many others, that the Thou shalt surely die and in the English translators of the New Tef very place referred to, Exod ii. 7.
much follow Beza's Latin in their translation ; for
I whereas they always, where this feen; yet in the place of the Acts phraseology or idiom of condupli- they translate the Hebraism litecating the verb happens, make use rally, I have seen, I bave seen, folof some adverb to denote the em lowing according to their custom
the flation of Beza, who auk. , .
wardly enough translates here, Vidi,
:Genet אָכל תאכל phafis
all acquainted with the Hebrew language and idiom, but will presently acknowledge it to be the composure of fome Hellenistick Jew. The instances are so frequent, that to make a collection of them would be almost to transcribe the whole book, and so very plain, that I suppose any impartial reader will judge it impoflible for any one to imitate. The learned Henry Stephens, who very weakly conjectured that the Protevangelion was made by Poftellus himself, who first published it, undertakes to prove to any one skilful in these things, that the Hebraisms are all counterfeit, and only imitations of the Hebrew idiom ; but it is evident he would have been no more able to perform his undertaking, than he was right in his conjecture concerning the original of it, which will appear by what I shall presently observe to be without any foundation, and has accordingly been rejected by all learned men. I conclude then, that the style of the book demonstrates the author of it to have been either a Jew, or Hellenist. I might further argue this from the great knowledge the author appears to have had of the Jewis customs, which manifestly shews itself in every page. The whole contexture of the work is accommodated to the Jewish rites, and there is such a perpetual allusion to them, as incontestably proves the author to have been more acquainted with them, than the Christians ordinarily were, or indeed than any person can be supposed to be, who was not educated in the Jewish religion.
2. The story in the Protevangelion of James, concerning the death of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, seems to be borrowed from the Talmud, or the Talmudick account of the circumstances of the death of Zacharias, the son of Jehoiada, 2 Chron. xxiv. 20, &c. whence I conclude the author was a Jew. To make this observation appear just, I shall first collect some circumstances in the death of Zacharias, which are related in the Protevangelion, and then shew how probable it is that they were borrowed or taken out of the Talmud. Those I refer to are the indelible impression made upon the stones by the blood of Zacharias, or rather the petrifaction of his blood, and the voice from heaven which said, Zacharias is murdered, and his blood shall not be wiped away till an avenger of his