Online Encyclopedia

OTHER GOSPELS MAINLY GNOSTIC AND ALMO...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 182 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
OTHER GOSPELS MAINLY GNOSTIC AND ALMOST ALL LOST.—Gospel of Andrew.—This is condemned in the Gelasian Decree, and is probably the gospel mentioned by Innocent (I Ep. iii. 7) and Augustine (Contra advers. Leg. et Proph. i. 20). Gospel of Apelles.—Mentioned by Jerome in his Prooem. ad Matt. Gospel of Barnabas.-Condemned in the Gelasian Decree (see underBARNABAS ad fin.). Gospel of Bartholomew.—Mentioned by Jerome in his Prooem. ad :Matt. and condemned in the Gelasian Decree. Gospel of Basilides,—Mentioned by Origen (Tract. 26 in Matt. xxxiii. 34, and in his Prooem. in Luc.); by Jerome in his Prooem. in Matt. (See Harnack i. 161; ii. 536-537; Zahn, Gesch. Kanons, i. 763-774.) Gospel of Cerinthus.—Mentioned by Epiphanius (Haer. li. 7). Gospel of the Ebionites.—A fragmentary edition of the canonical Matthew according to Epiphanius (Haer. xxx. 13), used by the Ebionites and called by them the Hebrew Gospel. Gospel of Eve.—A quotation from this gospel is given by Epiphanius (Haer. xxvi. 2, 3). It is possible that this is the Gospel of Perfection (Euayyatoo rmXeaWQews) which he touches upon in xxvi. 2. The quotation shows that this gospel was the expression of complete pantheism. Gospel of James the Less.—Condemned in the Gelasian Decree. Wisdom of Jesus Christ.—This third work contained in the Coptic MS. referred to under Gospel of Mary gives cosmological disclosures and is presumably of Valentinian origin. Apocryph of John.—This book, which is found in the Coptic MS. referred to under Gospel of Mary and contains cosmological disclosures of Christ, is said to have formed the source of Irenaeus' account of the Gnostics of Barbelus (i. 29-31). Thus this work would have been written before. 170. Gospel of Judas Iscariot.—References to this gospel as in use among the Cainites are made by Irenaeus (i. 31. 1); Epiphanius (xxxviii. 1. 3). Gospel, The Living (Evangelium Vivum).—This was a gospel of the Manichaeans. See Epiphanius, Haer. lxvi. 2; Photius, Contra Munich. i. Gospel of Marcion.—On this important gospel see Zahn, Gesch. Kanons, 585-718. Descent of Mary (Fiaaa Mapias).—This book was an anti-Jewish legend representing Zacharias as having been put. to death- by the Jews because he had seen the God of the. Jews in the form of an ass in the temple (Epiphanius, Haer. xxvi. 12). Questions of Mary (Great and Little).—Epiphanius (Haer. xxvi. 8) gives some excerpts from this revolting work. Gospel of Mary.—This gospel is found in a Coptic MS. of the 5th century. According to Schmidt's short account, Sitzungsbcrichte d. preuss. Akad. d. Wiss. zu. Berlin (1896), pp. 839 sqq., this gospel gives disclosures on the nature of matter (An) and the progress of the Gnostic soul through the seven planets. Gospel of Matthias.—Though this gospel is attested by Origen (Horn. in Luc. i.), Eusebius, H.E. iii. 25. 6, and the List of Sixty Books, not a shred of it has been preserved, unless with Zahn ii. 751 sqq. we are to identify it with the Traditions of Matthias, from which Clement has drawn some quotations. Gospel of Perfection (Evangelium perfectionis).—Used by the followers of Basilides and other Gnostics. See Epiphanius, Haer. xxV1. 2. Gospel of Philip.—This gospel described the progress of a soul through the next world. It . is of a strongly Encratite character and dates from the and century. A fragment is pre-served in Epiphanius, Haer: xxvi. 13. In Preuschen, Reste, p. 13, the quotation breaks off too soon. See Zahn 761-768. Gospel of Thaddaeus.—Condemned by the Gelasian Decree. Gospel of Thomas.—Of this gospel only one fragment has been preserved in Hippolytus, Philos. v., 7, pp. 140 seq. See Zahn, op. Cit. 1. 746 seq.; ii. 768-773; Harnack ii. 593-595. Gospel of Truth.—This gospel is mentioned by Irenaeus i. I r. 9, and was used by the Valentinians. See Zahn i. 748 sqq.. (b) ACTS AND TEACHINGS OF THE APOSTLES. Acts of 'Andrew. —These Acts, which are of a strongly Encratite character, have come down to us in a fragmentary condition. They belong ti, the earliest ages, for they are mentioned by Eusebius,-H.E. iii. 25; Epiphanius, Haer. xlvii. 1; lxi. 1; lxiii. 2; Philaster, Haer. lxviii., as current among the Manichaeans and heretics. They are attributed to Leucius, a Docetic writer,- by Augustine (c. Felic. Munich. ii. 6) and Euodius (De Fide c. Manich. 38). Euodius in the passage just referred to preserves two :small fragments of the original Acts. On internal grounds. the section recounting Andrew's imprisonment (Bonnet, Acta Apostolorur. Apocrypha, ii. 38-45) is also probably a constituent of ,the original work. As regards the martyrdom, owing to the confusion introduced by the multitudinous Catholic revisions of this section of the Acts, it is practically impossible to restore its original form. For a complete discussion of the various documents see Lipsius, Apokryphen Apostelgeschichte, i. 543-622; also James in Hastings' Bible Dict. 92-93; Hennecke, NT. Apokryphen, in loc. The best texts are given in Bonnet's Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha, 1898, II. i. 1-127. These contain also the Acts of Andrew and Matthew (or Matthias) in which Matthew (or Matthias) is represented as a captive in the country of the anthropophagi. Christ takes Andrew and his disciples with Him, and effects the rescue of Matthew. The legend is found also in Ethiopic, Syriac and Anglo-Saxon. Also the Acts of Peter and Andrew, which among other incidents recount the miracle of a camel passing through the eye of a needle.. This work is preserved partly in Greek, but in its entirety in Slavonic. Acts of John.—Clement of Alexandria in his Hypotyposes on I John i. r seems to refer to chapters xciii. (or lxxxix.) of these Acts. Eusebius (H.E. iii. 25. 6), Epiphanius (Haer. xvvii. 1) and other ancient writers assign them to the authorship of Leucius Charinus. It is generally admitted that they ,were written in the 2nd century. The text has been edited. most completely by Bonnet, Acta Apostol. Apocr., 1898, 151-216. The contents might be summarized with Hennecke as follows.:—Arrival:and first sojourn of the apostle in Ephesus (xviii.-lv.);return : to' Ephesus and second sojourn (history of Drusiana, Iviii.-lxxxvi.); account of the crucifixion of Jesus and His apparent death (lxxxvii.-cv.); the death of John (cvi.-cxv.). There are manifest gaps in the narrative, a fact which we would infer from the extent assigned to it (i.e. 2500 stichoi) by Nicephorus. According to this authority one-third of the text is now lost. Many chapters are lost at the beginning; there is a gap in chapter xxxvii., also before not to mention others. The encratite tendency in these Acts is not so strongly developed as in those of Andrew and Thomas. James (Anecdota, ii. 1-25) has given strong grounds for regarding the Acts of John and Peter as derived from one and the same author, but there are like affinities existing between the Acts of Peter and those of Paul. For a discussion of this work see Zahn, Gesch. Kanons, ii. 856-865; Lipsius, Apok. Apostelgesch. i. 348-542; Hennecke, NT. Apokryphen, 423-432. For bibliography, Hennecke, NT. Apok. Handbuch, 492 sq. Acts of Paul.—The discovery of the Coptic translation of these Acts in 1897, and its publication by C. Schmidt (Acta Pauli aus der Heidelberger koptischen Pap yrushandschrift herausgegeben, Leipzig, 1894), have confirmed what had been previously only a hypothesis that the Acts of Thecla had formed a part of the larger Acts of Paul. The Acts therefore embrace now the following elements:—(a) Two quotations given by Origen in his Princip. i.. 2. 3 and his comment on John xx. 12. From the latter it follows that inthe Acts of Paul the death of Peter was recounted.- (b) Apocryphal 3rd Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians and Epistle from the Corinthians to Paul. These two letters are connected by a short account which is intended to give the historical situation. Paul is in prison on account of Stratonice, the wife of Apollophanes. The Greek and Latin versions of these letters have for the most part disappeared, but they have been preserved in Syriac, and through Syriac they obtained for the time being a place in the Armenian Bible immediately after 2 Corinthians. Aphraates cites two passages from 3 Corinthians as words of the apostle, and Ephraem expounded them in his commentary on the Pauline Epistles. They must therefore have been regarded as canonical in the first half of the 4th century. From the Syriac Bible they made their way into the Armenian and maintained their place without opposition to the 7th century. On. the Latin text see Corriere and Berger, Correspondance apocr. de S. P. et des Corinthiens, 189i. For a translation of Ephraem's commentary see Zahn ii. 592-611 and Vetter, Der Apocr. 3. Korinthien, 70 sqq., 1894. The Coptic version (C. Schmidt, Acta Pauli, pp. 74-82), which is here imperfect, is clearly from a Greek original, while the Latin and Armenian are from the Syriac. (c) The Acts of Paul and Thecla. These were written; according to Tertullian (De Baptismo, 17) by a presbyter of Asia, who was deposed from his office on account of his forgery. This, the earliest of Christian romances (probably before A.D. 150), recounts the adventures and sufferings of a virgin, Thecla of Iconium. Lipsius discovers Gnostic traits in the story, but these are denied by Zahn (Gesch. Kanons, ii. 902). See Lipsius, op. Cit. ii. 424-467; Zahn (op. cit. ii. 892-910). The best text is that of Lipsius, Acta Apostol. Apocr., 1891, i. 235-272. There are Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic and Slavonic versions. As we have seen above, these Acts are now recognized as. belonging originally to the Acts of Paul. They were, however, published -separately long before the Gelasian Decree (496). Jerome also was acquainted with them as an independent work. Thecla was most probably a real personage, around whom a legend had already gathered in the 2nd century. Of this legend the author of the Acts of Paul made use, and introduced into it certain historical and geographical facts. (d) The healing of Hermocrates of dropsy in Myra. Through a comparison of the Coptic version with the Pseudo-Cyprian writing " Caena," Rolffs (Hennecke, NT. Apok. 361) concludes that this incident formed originally a constituent of our book. (e) The strife with beasts at Ephesus. This event is mentioned by Nicephorus Callistus (H.R. ii. 25) as recounted in the irepioam. of Paul. The identity of this work with the Acts of Paul is confirmed by a remark of Hippolytus in his commentary on Daniel iii. 29. 4, ed. Bonwetsch 176 (so Rolffs). (f) Martyrdom of Paul. The death of Paul by the sentence of Nero at Rome forms the close of the Acts of Paul. The text is in the utmost confusion. It is best given by Lipsius, Acta Apostol. Apocr. i. 104-117. Notwithstanding all the care that has been taken in collecting the fragments of these Acts, only about goo stichoi out of the 3600 assigned to them in the Stichometry of Nicephorus have as yet been recovered. The author was, according to Tertullian (De Baptism. 17), a presbyter in Asia, who out of honour to Paul wrote the Acts, forging at the same time 3 Corinthians. Thus the work was composed before 190, and, since it most probably uses the martyrdom of Polycarp, after 155. The object of the writer is to embody in St Paul the model ideal of the popular Christianity of the 2nd century. His main emphasis is laid on chastity and the resurrection of the flesh. The tone of the work is Catholic and anti-Gnostic. For the bibliography of the subject see Hennecke, NT. Apok. 358-360. Acts of Peter.—These acts are first mentioned by Eusebius (H.E. iii. 3) by name, and first referred to by the African poet Commodian about A.D. 250. Harnack, who was the first to show that these Acts were Catholic in character and not Gnostic as had previously been alleged, assigns their composition to this period mainly on the ground that Hippolytus was not acquainted with them; but even were this assumption true, it would not prove the non-existence of the Acts in question. According to Photius, moreover, the Acts of Peter also were composed by this same Leucius Charinus, who, according to Zahn (Gesch. Kanons, ii. 864), wrote about 16o (op. cit. p. 848). Schmidt and Ficker, however, maintain that the Acts were written about 200 and in Asia Minor. These Acts, which Ficker holds were written as a continuation and completion of the canonical Acts of the Apostles, deal with Peter's victorious conflict with Simon Magus, and his subsequent martyrdom at Rome under Nero. It is difficult to determine the relation of the so-called Latin Actus Vercellenses (which there are good grounds for assuming were originally called the IlphEet IIErpov) with the Acts of John and Paul. Schmidt thinks that the author of the former made use of the latter, James that the Acts of Peter and of John were by one and the same author, but Ficker is of opinion that their affinities can be explained by their derivation from the same ecclesiastical atmosphere and school of theological thought. No less close affinities exist between our Acts and the Acts of Thomas, Andrew and Philip. In the case of the Acts of Thomas the problem is complicated, sometimes the Acts of Peter seem dependent on the Acts of Thomas, and sometimes the converse. For the relation of the Actus Vercellenses to the " Martyrdom of the holy apostles Peter and Paul " (Acta Apostol. Apocr. i. 118-177) and to the " Acts of the holy apostles Peter and Paul " (Acta Apostol. Apocr. i. 178-234) see Lipsius ii. 1. 84 sqq. The "Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena," first edited by James (Texts and Studies,ii. 3. 1893), and assigned by him to the middle of the 3rd century, as well as the " Acts of the Disputation of Archelaus. bishop of Mesopotamia, and the Heresiarch Manes" ('Acta Disputations Archelai Episcopi Mesopotamiae et Manetis Haeresiarchae," in Routh's Reliquiae Sacrae', v. 36-206), have borrowed largely from our work. The text of . the Actus Vercellenses is edited by Lipsius, Acta Apostol. Apocr. i. 45-79. An independent Latin translation of the " Martyrdom of Peter " is published by Lipsius (op. cit. i. 1-22), Martyrium beati Petri Apostoli a Lino episcopo conscriptum. On the Coptic fragment, which Schmidt maintains is an original constituent of these Acts, see that writer's work: Die alien Petrusakten im Zusammenhang der apokryphen Apostelliteratur nebst einem neuentdeckten Fragment, and Texte and Untersuch. N.F. ix. I (1903). For the literature see Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen Handbuch, J95 sqq. Preaching of Peter.—This book (HErpov io pvylea) gave the substance of a series of discourses spoken by one person in the name of the apostles. Clement of Alexandria quotes it several times as a genuine record of Peter's teaching.... Heracleon had previously used it (see Origen, In Evang. Johann. t. xiii. 17). It is spoken unfavourably of by Origen (De Prin. Praef. 8). It was probably in the hands of Justin and Aristides. Hence Zahn gives its date as 90-100 at latest; Dobschutz, as Too-Ito; and Harnack, as 110-130. The extant fragments contain sayings of Jesus, and warnings against Judaism and Polytheism. They have been edited by Hilgenfeld: Nov. Test. extra Can., 1884, iv. 51-65, and by von Dobschutz, Das Kerygma Petri, 1893. Salmon (Dict. Christ. Biog. iv. 329-330) thinks that this work is part of a larger work, A Preaching of Peter and a Preaching of Paul, implied in a statement of Lactantius (Inst. Div. iv. 21); but this view is contested by Zahn, see Gesch. Kanons, ii. 820-834, particularly pp. 827-828; Chase, in Hastings' Bible Dict. iv. 776. Acts of Thomas.—This is one of the earliest and most famous of the Gnostic Acts. It has been but slightly tampered with by orthodox hands. These Acts were used by the Encratites (Epiphanius, Haer. xlvii. 1), the Manichaeans (Augustine, Contra Faust. xxii. 79), the Apostolici (Epiphanius lxi. I) and Priscillianists. The work is divided into thirteen Acts, to which the Martyrdom of Thomas attaches as the fourteenth. It was originally written in Syriac, as Burkitt (Journ. of Theol. Studies, i. 278 sqq.) has finally proved, though Macke and Noldeke had previously advanced grounds for this view. The Greek and Latin texts were edited by Bonnet in 1883 and again in 1903, ii. 2; the Greek also by James, Apoc. Anec. ii. 28-45, and the Syriac by Wright (Apocr. Acts of the Gospels, 1871, i. 172-333)• Photius ascribes their composition to Leucius Charinustherefore to the 2nd century, but Lipsius assigns it to the early decades of the 3rd. (See Lipsius, Apokryphen Apostelgeschichten, i. 225-347; Hennecke, N.T. Apokryphen, 473-480.) Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (Didache).—This important work was discovered by Philotheos Bryennios in Constantinople and published in 1883. Since that date it has been frequently edited. The bibliography can be found in Schaff's and in Harnack's editions. The book divides itself into three parts. The first (i.-vi.) contains a body of ethical instruction which is founded on a Jewish and probably pre-Christian document, which forms the basis also of the Epistle of Barnabas. The second part consists of vii.-xv., and treats of church ritual and discipline; and the third part is eschatological and deals with the second Advent. The book is variously dated by different scholars: Zahn assigns it to the years A.D. 80-120; Harnack to 120-165; Lightfoot and Funk to 8o-1oo; Salmon to 120. (See Salmon in Dict. of Christ. Biog. iv. 8o6-815, also article
End of Article: OTHER GOSPELS MAINLY GNOSTIC AND ALMOST ALL LOST
[back]
OTHER EUROPEAN
[next]
OTHER TISSUE

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.