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ing to that ancient writer, the Valentinians did not reject any books of the New Testament. Irenaeus, as we have just seen, says, that the Valentinians endeavoured to support their opinions by the evangelic and apostolic scriptures. The Acts were included in this second volume of the New Testament according to the method of the ancient christians. 8. Heracleon, a learned Valentinian, is supposed by * Grabe to have been contemporary with his master, Valentinus, and to have appeared about the year 123. However, he might continue a good while after that. Basnage 3 speaks of him at the year 125. And Cave” placeth him at 126. They who are so pleased, may recollect what was said of his age" formerly. Heracleon seems to have written commentaries upon several parts of the New Testament. Clement of Alexandria, having quoted the words of Matt. x. 32, or Luke xii. 8, and of Luke xii. 11, 12, says: ‘Heracleon,” explaining this “ place, has these very words,” which I need not transcribe at present, though it be a valuable passage. There is in Clement * another short passage of Heracleon's commentary upon St. Luke. Origen, in his commentary upon St. John's gospel, often quotes Heracleon. The passages of Heracleon’s commentary upon that gospel, with Origen's remarks, are collected by " Grabe. And from him they have been placed by Massuet in his appendix to Irenaeus. The passages of Heracleon, quoted by Origen, are above forty in number, and some of them long. Heracleon's commentaries upon the gospels of St. Luke and St. John, are an early proof of the respect shown to the books of the New Testament. And it may be reasonable to think, that others beside Heracleon, both catholics and heretics, published about the same time commentaries upon some of the books of the New Testament. Origen “ has at once given us Heracleon’s observations upon Matt. viii. 12 and Is. i. 2.
cioni non Semel exprobat) ab eo abjecissent; Sed ‘ vel parabolas Dominicas, vel dictiones propheticas, aut sermones apostolicas,' ad hypothesim suam aptare conatos, calumniam intulisse scripturis. Massuet. Diss. i. num. ix. p. xvii. * Spicil. T.I. p. 62. T. II. p. 69, et 80. 9 Ann. 125. num. iii. * H. L. p. 53. * Vol. ii. p. 255, 256, note ". " Tarov sényepisvoc row rotov ‘Hpak\sov—kara Aséw pnow. Strom. l. 4. p. 502. A–D. * Vid. Eclog. Proph. ap. Cl. Al. p. 804. D. et Grabe, Spic. T. II. p. 85. * Spic. T. II. p. 85–117. * Origen. Comm. in Joan. T. II. p. 256. C. Huet.
Heracleon likewise received St. Paul and his writings. For f he quotes, as his, the beginning of the twelfth chapter of the epistle to the Romans. Moreover Origen & has given us Heracleon's interpretation of I Cor. xv. 53, 54. I might add here some other things. But this is sufficient to show that in the very early days of christianity, the books of the New Testament were well known, much used, and greatly respected. 9. Marcion about" the year 138, placed by some sooner, in 127, or 130, had, and probably in imitation of other christians, a “gospel, and an apostle, or an Evangelicon, and Apostolicon. In the former as is generally said, was St. Luke's gospel only, and that curtailed. But Mr. Lampe says, that" Marcion did not reject the other gospels, though he preferred St. Luke's. This he infers from a passage in Tertullian, which seems to show that Marcion did not reject St. Matthew’s gospel. I shall add another from Isidore of Pelusium, where he says: ‘Take" the gospel [or the Evangelicon] of Marcion,
f ka9' 5 kat Ó atrosokoç 6tóaokst, Asyav, Aoyukmv \arpstav rmv rotavrmy 0soo'ssłstav. Ap. Orig. ib. p. 217. E. et Grabe Spic. p. 101. 8 Ap. Orig. ib. p. 255. D. et Grabe, p. 110. * Vid. Pagi ann. 144. n. iii. et Asseman. Bib. Or.T. I. p. 389, note (4.) * Vid. Cav. H. L. p. 54. &c. S. Basnag. ann. 131. iii.-v. 133. iv. Mill. Prol. num. 306, 307. * Adamant. Atro trowy Ypaptov Óstéat ravra strayyāAm; Marc. Atro ra svayys) is kai re atrosoka. Dial. contr. Marcion. Sect. 2. p. 54. Basil. 1674. p. 821. D. T.I. Bened. Vid. et Epiph. H. 42. n. ix. | Et super haec, id quod est Secundum Lucam evangelium circumcidens. Iren. l. 1. cap. 27.2. al. cap. 29. Nam exiis Commentoribus, quos habemus, Lucam videtur Marcion elegisse, quem caederet. Tertull. adv. Marc. l. 4. cap. 2. p. 503. Vid. et Epiph. Haer. 42. n. ix. * Verum hinc quoque plus elicitur, quam voluit Marcion. Non enim asserere Marcion ausus est, evangelia, quae extra Lucam habemus, esse conficta et falso evangelistis supposita. Nemo Patrum antiquiorum hujus criminis Marcionem accusavit. Id tantum voluit, Lucae evangelium, ductu Pauli conscriptum, reliquis evangeliis praeferendum esse. Clarissima haec esse puto. Et quod praetensionem interpolationis attinet, hujus insigne statim cap. 7, [lib. 4. contr. Marc.] exemplum affertur: “Caeterum et loco et illuminationis opere secundum praedicationem occurrentibus Christo, jam cum prophetam incipimus agnoscere, ostendentem in primo ingressu venisse se, non ut legem et prophetas dissolveret, sed ut potens adimpleret. Hoc enim Marcion, ut additum erasit.' Cum enim hac verba Matthaei v. 17, inveniantur, hinc inferimus, Marcionem evangelium Matthaei non simpliciter negåsse, sed quaecumque erroribus ejus non patrocinabantur, pro lubitu erasisse. Atque ita proculdubio etiam cum reliquis evangelistis egit. Lampe Proleg. ad Joan. Evang. l. 2. cap. l. n. iv. p. 136, 137. " Et trpoigysrat 6 trig Mapkwvog avvmyopog 3Aao pmutag, ro trap' sksivotg ovopačous vov Svayyektov Mašov avayvo0t, kav ćipnosic ev6vg sy Tpooktop rmu
and you will presently see at the very beginning a proof of their impudence. For they have left out our Lord's genealogy from David and Abraham. And if you proceed a little farther, you will see another instance of their wickedness, in altering our Lord’s words, “I came not,” says he, “to destroy the law or the prophets.” But the “ have made it thus: “ Think ye, that I came to fulfil the ‘ law or the prophets? I am come to destroy, not to ful• fil.” ” Matt. v. 17. It might be also argued from the dialogue against the Marcionites, that they used St. Matthew’s gospel. But I forbear to allege any places in particular. So that it may be reckoned probable, that Marcion did not reject any of the four gospels. But undoubtedly he made alterations in them, agreeable to his own particular opinion, under a pretence that “ they had been corrupted by some before his time. Perhaps P Marcion filled up St. Luke's gospel out of the rest, taking from them such things as suited his purpose. Tertullian says, that ‘ his gospel, or Evangelicon, had no title. That may have been the reason of it. And we can hence conclude, that in very ancient times, among the catholics, the four gospels were entitled, and inscribed, with the names of the several evangelists. Which has been denied, or doubted of by some. Marcion had also an Apostolicon. In this were ten epistles only of St. Paul, and those diminished, at least some of them. Their order according to him, as we are informed by Epiphanius, was this: the epistle to the Galatians, the first and second to the Corinthians, to the Romans, the first
arotruav. Avrmv Yap rmv karayagav stri Xptsov atro Aa3tó kat As8paap, 'yevka)\oyuav atterspiev. Kat utkpov Úsepov trgoiwu a)\\mv opet kakovotav. Apostpavrsg yap rmv ra Kvpte powmv, Ovk m\}ov, Asyovrog, kara)\voal, Toy voucy, m rag trpoonraç, stroumaavo Aokeurs, Órl obov trampwoot row voucv, m reg Tpopnraç ; HX90w cara)\vaal, a\\'s trampwaat. Isid. Pel. l. i. ep. 371. ° Vid. Tertull. adv. Marcion. l. 4. cap. 4. P Occurrit primo loco Marcion et Marcionitae, qui corruperunt libros N. T. resectis omnibus iis, quae Judaicae religioni favere putabant, et contracto toto N. T. in duos codices, quorum priorem vocabant evangelium, ex Lucă maximam partem conflatum, et subinde ex reliquis evangelistis integratum. Wetst. Proleg. N. T. tom. I. p. 79. * Contra Marcion evangelio, Scilicet Suo, nullum adscribit auctorem ; quasi non licuerit illi titulum quoque adfingere, cui nefas non fuit ipsum corpus evertere. Et possem hic jam gradum figere, non agnoscendum contendens opus, quod non erigat frontem, quod nullam constantiam praeferat, nullam fidem repromittat de plenitudine tituli, et professione debità auctoris. Contr. Marc. l. 4. cap. 2. * Vid. Mill. Prol. num. 347. * Haer. 42. num. ix. et alibi.
and second to the Thessalonians, to the Ephesians, the Colossians, Philemon, the Philippians. He received not any other epistles of St. Paul. It is supposed likewise, that he rejected the catholic epistles, and the Revelation. Whether he received the Acts of the Apostles, I cannot say certainly : though some learned men think he did not receive them. But then it should be observed by us, that " the Marcionite Apostolicon was reckoned very defective by the catholic christians. And it may be inferred from the accounts which we have in the best writers of the most early ages, that Marcion was the most arbitrary and most licentious of all the ancient heretics, in his judgment concerning the scriptures that should be received, and in his manner of treating such as were received by him. So that his opinion can be no prejudice to the genuineness or the notoriety of any of those books of the New Testament, which were received by the catholics, and indeed by most heretics likewise. I shall place below " a remarkable passage of Irenaeus, where he says: ‘Marcion and his followers curtail the scriptures with ‘great assurance, rejecting some entirely, and diminishing ‘the gospel according to Luke, and the epistles of Paul, “affirming those parts of them alone to be genuine which “ they have preserved. All others, who are puffed up ‘with the science falsely so called, receive the scriptures, ‘whilst they pervert them by wrong interpretations.” In another place he says, “that " Marcion alone had open‘ly dared to curtail the scriptures.’ And my readers can easily recollect, how * severely Tertullian censures Marcion y for altering the text of the scriptures, openly employing a knife, as he says, not a style, to render them agreeable to his erroneous opinions.
* Acta Apostolorum rejecerunt Marcionitae. Tertullianus adv. Marcionem, lib. v. cap. 2. “Si ex hoc congruunt Paulo Apostolorum Acta, curea respuatis, jam apparet.” Wetst. N. T. tom. II. p. 455. * IIpoévéyks to Atrosoxtkov as, st kal ra ua)\tsa reptrekoppusvov est. Lialog. adv. Marcion. Sect. i. p. 8. Basil. p. 806. T.I. Bened. * Unde et Marcion, et qui ab eo Sunt, ad intercidendas conversi sunt Scripturas, quasdam quidem in totum non cognoscentes, secundum Lucam autem evangelium, et epistolas Pauli decurtantes, haec sola legitima esse dicunt, quao ipsi minoraverunt.——Reliqui vero omnes, falso scientiae nomine inflati, scripturas quidem confitentur, interpretationes vero convertunt. Iren. adv. Haer. l. 3. cap. xii. n. 12. p. 198. b. Massuet. " Sed huic quidem, quoniam et solus manifeste ausus est circumcidere scripturas, &c. Iren. l. i. cap. 27. n. 4. p. 106. [al. cap. 29.]Vid. ib. num. 2. * See Vol. ii. p. 297. 3 Marcion enim exerte et palam machaerå, non stylo, usus est; quoniam ad materiam suam caedem scripturarum confecit. De Praescr. Haer, cap. 38. p. 246. C.
However, I think, here is full proof, that the books of the New Testament were well known in Marcion's time, and before him: and that they were collected together in two parts or volumes, an Evangelicon and Apostolicon. He and other christians had a gospel and an apostle. But theirs were fuller than his. 10. We might, perhaps, not unprofitably recollect here those * passages of Eusebius of Caesarea, where he speaks of the scriptures of the New Testament: some of which were universally received, others were contradicted: divers of which last, nevertheless, were received by many. The universally received by the sounder part of christians, were the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen epistles of Paul, one of Peter, one of John. It may be reckoned not unlikely, that all these had been from ancient time inserted by most christians in their two volumes of the gospel and apostle. And, probably, divers of the other books, called controverted, or contradicted, were joined with the rest in the volumes of a good number of christians. III. There are some observations of Mr. Henry Dodwell concerning the late forming of the canon of the New Testament, which cannot be easily overlooked, and seem to require some notice in this place. 1. He says, “that * the canon of the sacred books was not “ determined, nor what number of them should be of au‘ thority in points of faith, before the time of the emperor * Trajan, who began his reign in the year of Christ 98.” Ans. If hereby be meant all the books of our present canon, this may be true. But then it is a trifling proposition. For some of them were not written, or have been supposed by many not to have been written, till near the end of the first century. How then could they be sooner made a part of sacred scripture ? or how could they be placed in the number of books, esteemed to be the rule of faith? But the first three gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke, and possibly the fourth likewise, St. John's, and many of the epistles of the New Testament, were well known before the reign of Trajan, even as soon as they were written. And wherever they were known, and by whomsoever they were received, they were reckoned a part of the rule of faith. * See Vol. iv. p. 94–100. * Atqui certe anteillam epocham, quam dixi, Trajani, nondum constitutus est librorum sacrorum canon, nec receptus aliquis in ecclesiá catholică librorum certus numerus, quos deinde adhibere oportuerit in sacris fidei causis
dijudicandis; nec rejecti haoreticorum pseudepigraphi, monitive fideles, ut ab eorum usu deinde caverent. Dodw. Diss. Iren. i. num. 39. in, p. 67.