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I observe, that Father Simon supposes a, that our Greek Version, as he calls it, of St. Matthew, and many others, were made out of this Hebrew Gospel very early b, even before the Nazarene interpolations. But in this he is mistaken; it being much more probable, no Greek Version was made of this Nazarene Gospel before Jerome's time; which, as it will be of some importance in the following controversy, I shall endeavour to support by the following remarks, viz.
First, There is not the least intimation in all antiquity of any fuch Verfion before that made by Jerome.
Secondly, Had there been one made before Jerome's, there seems to have been no reason for his being made, at least it is probable he would have mentioned it as an imperfect tranflation; as he usually does in other cases, where he speaks of his own translations.
Thirdly, It is probable enough, the Jewish Christians would be cautious to prevent their Gospel being made publick: as their forefathers were of the books of the Old Testament, who, if I mistake not, kept an anniversary day of humiliation on account of the LXX. Version being made. And hence Jerome intimates c, that the Nazarenes at Bercea favoured him, when they allowed him to take a copy of it. Mr. Fabritius therefore too hastily censured Jerome for making a translation of a book already translated; which, says he, Origen and others read before in Greek d; for as I think it at least probable from what is faid, that there was no Version of it made before Jerome's, so it does not appear, that either Origen or others read it in Greek, or cited it; which, as I have shewn of Papias, I proceed to fhew of them.
The second, who is said to have made use of this Gospel, is Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who lived in the beginning of the second century. The passage, supposed to be by him taken out of it, is as follows.
2 Crit. Hift. of the New Test. part 1. c.7. p. 67.
6 Ibid. c.9. p. 78.'
d Cod. Apocryph. Nov. Teft.
Kai 6te teos to's gepi tòy. And when he came to those Tétpov Jev, on autcīs, who were with Peter, he said Acbete, Annadno até Me, rai
unto them, Take, handle me,
and see that I am not an incoridete, to gx eiui Aarmóvrov
poreal Dæman ; and presently ασώματος και ευθύς αυτ8 they fouched him, and believed,
Lavto, xai étiseurav, upao being convinced by his flesh and Tq9kwTES Tạ ơex: aurg xa: Spirit. . το πνεύματι. This is generally said by the criticks to have been taken by Ignatius out of this Gospel. So judged Baronius a, Drusiusb, Valesius ç, Dr. Grabe d, and many others; whence they have formed a more high opinion of the book. That which perfuaded them to suppose it taken thence is the express afsertion of Jerome to this purpose: (see above, Chap. XXV. Numb. XXVIII.) but this will appear very improbable ; for,
1. Ignatius does not make any mention of this Gospel either in this, or any other place of those Epistles, which go under his name ; and therefore it may as well be supposed he cited what he had heard, as what he had read, especially if we consider him as one who lived very near the Apostles' times, if not in them, and at this time in a troublesome journey under a guard of soldiers, and so destitute of his books. Can any one imagine, that in this journey Ignatius carried the Gospel of the Nazarenes, wrote in a language which he could scarce understand, along with him from Syria to Rome? And if he did not, is it not more probable, he cited a passage which he had heard by tradition, than quoted it out of this Apocryphal Gofpel? Nor am I alone in this conjecture. The great Calaubon in the place cited, and Bishop Pearson', suppose the very fame, viz. That Ignatius did not take the passage out of the Nazarene Gospel, but referred to some unwritten tradition,
a Apud Casaub. Exerc. p. 497. o Observat. Sacr. lib. 4. c. 22.
¢ Annot. in Euseb. lib. 3. C. 36.
Loc, sup. cit.
Euseb. Hift. Eccļ. lib. 3. c. 36.
f Vindic. Epift. Ignat. par. 2. C. 9: p. 103, 104.
which was afterwards inserted inta the Hebrew Gospel attria buted to Matthew. But if this be not sufficient, I observe, as what feems indeed most probable ;
2. That the passage above produced is so very little differa ent from the words of St. Luke, chap. xxiv. 39, that these seem to have been intended or referred to by Ignatius, and no other. This will appear by the comparing of them. The words of Christ, as they The words of Christ, as they
are in St Luke's Gospel. are in Ignatius's Epistle. *Ιδετε τας χείράς με, και τες Λάβετε, ψηλαφήσατέ με, και σόδας με, ότι αυτός εγώ είμι· ίδετε, ότι εκ ειμι Δαιμόνιου ψηλαφήσατέ με, και ίδετε, ασώματον. OTI TVEūza odpxoc xai óska έκ έχει, καθώς εμε θεωρείτε Excorta. The English of St. Luke's The English of Ignatius's words.
words. Behold my hands and my Take, handle me, and see, feet, that it is myself; handle that I am not an incorporeal me, and see, for a spirit hath fpirit (or Dæmon). not fleth and bones, as you see me have. These two sentences are so extremely alike, not only as to the whole sense and design of them, but even as to the very words, that if there were no other argument, this would of itself be fufficient to prove the point I am contending for. But this will be much corroborated, if we consider,
- First, That the Christian Fathers, especially the oldest, were continually wont to cite the Scriptures memoriter, i.e. by their memories, without consulting their copies, and so not expressing the very words of the sacred writer whom they cited, thought it sufficient to express the sense or design of the place. . This is evident by a thousand instances, and is very well urged by Dr. Whitby a against Dr. Mill, who has very unfairly made their • Examen variant. Lection. D. Millii. C. 1. §. 1, 2, &c.
memoriter citations fo often to be various leétions, or to proceed from different copies. Nor can it seem strange, that the Fathers did cite thus, when we see the same daily practised by the best writers. Besides, the form of their volumes was fuch, as occafioned much greater difficulty to find any passage in them, than it now is in ours a. I might add farther, that they had not as yet their books distinguished into chapters and verses, as ours now are, &c.
Secondly, That Ignatius (as I have observed) was now on a journey, under a Arict guard of soldiers, and therefore as he probably had not his books with him, it is not strange he mould give only the sense of St. Luke's words, and not all the words themselves. And this he, who will be at the pains to observe, may perceive in many other citations in the Epistles of Ignatius.
Thirdly, I observe, the Epistles of Ignatius are strangely corrupted and interpolated since their first writing. This is well known, and Archbishop Ulher has abundantly proved it, and particularly in this same place b; from whence I conclude, that the words here were formerly perhaps more like those of Luke than they are now.
To conclude, many learned men have imagined all these Epistles of Ignatius to be spurious, and the celebrated Mr. Daillé has endeavoured, from this very place, to prove that they are so c.
a See my account of the antient ways of writing and form of volumes. Vindic. of St. Matt. Gosp. e. 15. p. 191, &c.
b Edit. Epistol. Ignat. in Proleg. c. 3,4.
c Contr. Epift. Ignat. lib. 2. C. 17. p. 339, 340,
CHAP. CHA P. XXVIII.
A particular Proof that neither Justin Martyr, Hegefippus,
Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Eusebius, nor Jerome have appealed to the Gospel of the Nazarenes as of any Authority, but on the contrary rejected it, as not Canonical.
THE next who is fupposed to have taken any thing out of
1 this Gospel is Justin Martyr a, viz. an account of a fire kindled in the river Jordan, when Christ was baptifed. Thus thought a learned friend of Mr. Dodwell's, whom he has mentioned in his Differtations on Irenæus b. But of this there is so little probability, no Gospel being named by Justin, nay the passage in Justin being different from that in the Nazarene Gospel, that I think it needs no farther notice, than to be considered among those uncertain sayings and histories of Christ, which will be collected in the Appendix to this volume.
Hegesippus (an early writer of the second century) is the next who is supposed to have used it, and, according to Dr. Grabe, to have had frequent recourse to itc; and Mr. Toland, to have alledged it as a true Gospel. This they gather from a mistaken translation of these words of Eusebius, 'Ex di Tè xa 9° “Εβραίες ΕυαγΓελία, και το Συριακέ, και ιδίως εκ της Εβραϊδος διαλέκτε Tovà túdengue; thus translated by Valesius; Nonnulla item ex Hebræorum Evangelio, & Syriaco, & ex Hebraicâ linguâ profert in medium, &c. But I think much better rendered thus in English, He has discoursed or said some things concerning the Hebrew Gospel, and the Syriack and Hebrew language; for to cite things out of the Syriack and Hebrew diale&t seems a very bald and incongruous expression. Hence Ruffin has translated it, Diseruit de Evangelio fecundum Hebræos, &c. And there
a Dialog: cum Tryph. Jud. p. 315.
Differt. II. $. 9. p. 106.
c Lib. cit. Sæcul. 1. p. 16,24.