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closed more fully his meaning, by telling us that the two first chapters of Matthew were wanting in the copies of the Ebionites, and that their Gospel began with the third chapter of Matthew in this manner: Εγένετο εν ταις ημέραις Ηρώδου του βασιλέως της Ιουδαίας, ήλθεν Ιωάννης βαπτίζων α. τ. λ. Haeres. XXX. 13.
In the same place Epiphanius makes several long quotations from the Gospel in question, which are adapted to give us a fuller insight into the true condition of this work. I shall mere ly exhibit a translation of some of these ; referring the reader, who wishes to verify this, to the original in Epiphanius, or to Olshausen who has exhibited the originals in his work on the Genuineness of the Gospels, pp. 52 seq.
The passages now to be cited must have stood very near the commencement of the Ebionite Gospel.
“ There was a certain man named Jesus, and he was about thirty years of age, who chose us ; and coming to Capernaum, he entered into the house of Simon who is called Peter, and opening bis mouth he said: Passing along the Lake of Tiberius, I chose John and James, sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew, and Thaddeus and Simon Zelotes, and Judas Iscariot; and thee Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom, I called, and thou didst follow me. I will, therefore, that there should be twelve apostles for a testimony to Israel. And John was baptizing, and there went out to him, etc.” The sequel is nearly in the words of Matthew 3:4–7, with some few changes in the order of words, and some in the diction.
In the same chapter of Epiphanius is contained another paragraph of the Gospel before us, which has respect to the baptism of John, and which should be presented to the reader as another specimen of the Hebrew Gospel.
“Now when the people were baptized, Jesus came and was baptized by John ; and when he came up from the water, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Holy Spirit of God in the shape of a dove descending and coming upon him; and there was a voice from heaven saying: Thou art my Son, in whom I am well pleased. And again : This day have I begotten thee. And straightway a great light shone about the place. John, beholding this, said : Who art thou Lord? And again there was a voice from heaven to him: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Then John, falling down before him, said: I beseech thee, Lord, baptize thou me.
But he forbade him, saying: Suffer it, for it is meet that all things should thus be fulfilled.”
In Haeres. XXX. 14 Epiphanius cites another passage from the Ebionite Gospel, which, as I apprehend, gives us a very fair specimen of the general tenor of this Gospel, and its near relation to the genuine one of Matthew. That the reader may make the comparison of the two with facility, I here present them both in the Greek, that of the Nazarene Gospel being a copy of the Greek version (if it be a version) which Epiphanius has given us. Μatt. ΧΙΙ. 47-50.
Gospel according to the Hebrews. Ειπε δε τις αυτώ' 'Ιδού, ή μή- Σώτης, εν τω αναγγελήναι αυτόν, της σου και οι αδελφοί σου έξω ότι ιδου! η μήτηρ σου και οι άδελεστήκασι, ζητούντες σοι λαλήσαι φοί σου έξω εστήκασιν, είπε: “Οτι “ο δε αποκριθείς είπε το ειπόντι τις μου εστίν μήτηρ μου και άδελαυτώ: Τις έστιν ή μήτηρ μου; και φοί; Και εκτείνας επί τους μαθετίνες εισίν οι αδελφοί μου; Και τας την χείρα, έφη: οίτοί εισιν οι εκτείνας την χείρα αυτού επί τους αδελφοί μου και η μήτηρ, οι ποιοϊνμαθητάς αυτού είπεν 'Ιδού, η τες τα θελήματα του πατρός μου. μήτηρ μου, και οι αδελφοί μου. “Οστις γαρ άν ποιήση το θέλημα του πατρός μου τού εν ουρανοίς, αυτός μου αδελφός και αδελφή και μήτηρ εστίν.
The reader will see, that in the present case, the Gospel according to the Hebrews is a mere abridgment of our canonical Matthew.
In Haeres. XXX. 16, Epiphanius expressly cites the Gospel among the Ebionites as containing the following passage : “I came to abolish the sacrifices; and if ye will not cease from offering sacrifices, wrath will not cease from you."
In XXX. 22 Epiphanius complains of the Ebionites for having altered the sense of a passage in Matthew 26: 17, Where wilt thou that we make ready to eat the passover ? inasmuch as their Gospel makes him say: “I have not much desired to eat this passover-flesh with you.” Here is a passage transferred, as it would seem, from Luke 22: 15, with the negative un added to it, so as to reverse the true sense of the expression. .
These are the principal passages which Epiphanius has given us from the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Jerome, who obtained a copy of this Gospel from the Nazarenes at Beroea in Syria, and who translated it into Greek and Latin, has pre
served here and there in his works, more fragments of the like nature. I shall present a few of them ; in order that the reader may be enabled more fully to understand the tenor and condition of this Gospel.
In commenting on Isaiah 11: 1, " There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, etc.," after giving his views of the phrase, The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, he says: “Sed, juxta Evangelium quod Hebraeo sermone conscriptum legunt Nazaraei: Descendet super eum omnis fons Spiritus Sancti."
Again ; “Porro in Evangelio cujus supra fecimus mentionem, haec scripta reperimus : Factum est, autem, quum afcendisset de Dominus de aqua, descendit fons omnis Spiritus Sancti et requievit super eum, et dixit illi: Fili mi, in omnibus propbetis expectabam te, ut venires et requiescerem in te. Tu es enim requies mea, tu es filius meus primogenitus, qui regnas in sem. piternum."
In Cont. Pelag. III. 2, Jerome says: “In Evangelio justa Hebraeos . . . narrat historia : Ecce, mater Domini et fratres ejus dicebant ei: Joannes Baptista baptizat in remissionem petcatorum ; eamus ut baptizemur ab eo. Dicit autem eis: Quid peccavi, ut vadam et baptizer ab eo ? Nisi forte hoc ipsum, quod dixi, ignorantia est. Again; “ Et in eodem volumine : Si peccaverit frater tuus
[citing nearly the words of Matt. 18: 21, 22, then adding] : Etenim in prophetis quoque, postquam uncti sunt Spiritu sancto, inventus est sermo peccati."
Again, in Comm. in Mich. 7: 6: “Qui legerit Canticum Canticorum .... credideritque in Evangelio quod secundum Hebraeos editum nuper transtulimus [i. e. I have lately translated], in quo, ex persona Salvatoris, dicitur : Modo tulit me mater mea, Sanctus Spiritus, in uno capillorum meorum.”
In his Comm. on Matt. 12: 13 he says: In Evangelio quo utuntur Nazaraeni et Ebionitae, quod nuper in Graecum de Hebraeo sermone transtulimus, et quod vocatur a plerisque Matthaei authenticum, homo iste, qui aridam manum habet, coementarius scribitur, istiusmodi auxilium precans : Coementarius eram, manibus victum queritans ; precor te, Jesu, ut mihi restituas sanitatem, ne turpiter mendicem cibos."
Comm. in Matt. 23: 25 : “ In Evangelio quo utuntur Nazaraeni, pro filio Barachine reperimus scriptum filium Jojadae
, De Viris Illust. II., Jerome says: Evangelium quoque, quod
in verbo . .
Time: appellatur secundum Hebraeos, et a me nuper in Graecum Latcon inumque sermonem translatum est .... refert : Dominus au
tem quum dedisset sindonem servo sacerdotis, ivit ad Jacobum
et apparuit ei. Juraverat enim Jacobus, se non comesturum 1. Ta
panem ab illa hora, qua biberat calicem Domini, donec videret eum resurgentem a dormientibus.”
Once more; Comm. in Matt. 27: 16 Jerome says: “ Iste Hicaz (Barrabbas) in Evangelio quod scribitur juxta Hebraeos, filius pere: magistri eorum interpretatur, qui propter seditionem et homici
dium fuerat condemnatus.
There are a few other passages in Jerome of a similar tenor; 2. but they are brief, and need not be here cited. Enough has s been already produced to shew fully what was the real internal Fuad state and condition of the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
That this Gospel was an interpolated one, and in some reDospects therefore spurious, is self-evident from the mere perusal
of the above quotations from it; at least this is perfectly plain, if we allow our present canonical Matthew to be genuine.
But there is another view of this subject wbich must be ta
ken, and which, although we might connect it with the precea Dreading investigation, we will consider under a separate bead, in
order to render the understanding of the matter before us more easy.
(2) Did the Gospel according to the Hebrews, notwithstanddes o ing such interpolations and changes as those above exhibited,
so nearly resemble our canonical Matthew, that it might be call
ed, and in common parlance was in fact often called, Evay5. ρε το γέλιον κατά Ματθαίον ?
The earlier writers, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Eusebius, when they refer to the Gospel in question, characterize it by the name, Gospel according to the Hebrews ; which seems to have been perhaps the more current and usual appellation. But later writers, who had a personal acquaintance with it in its Hebrew form, give us also another name, calling it sometimes the Gospel xara Marqulov. So Epiphanius says of the Ebionites (Haer. XXX.3): Aérovtal to xata Mutfaior ευαγγέλιον... [and then adds], καλούσι δε αυτο καια Εβραίους. Again, in Haer. XXX. 13, he says of the same : 'Ev zų tapi αυτούς ευαγγελία κατά Ματθαίον ονομαζομένω. Ιn Haeres. XXIX. 9 he says, with particular reference to the Nazarenes : "They have the Gospel according to Matthew in full, and in the Hebrew language ; for among them is doubtless preserved
this (Gospel] as it was written at first in Hebrew letters. But I know not whether they have removed the genealogy from Abraham to Cbrist."
The reader will please to note this last expression ; because it shows very plainly, that although Epiphanius had in his hands, as it would seem from some passages in his works, a copy (probably a Greek one, as we shall see hereafter), of the Ebionite Gospel, yet it appears that he had not one of the Nazarenes, inasmuch as he expressly declares, that he does not know whether they insert or omit the genealogy. In this state of the matter one cannot but wonder how he comes so explicitly to declare, that the Gospel of the Nazarenes is full and complete, aingéotatov. But consistency, alas! is not what we are always to expect in Epiphanius. It is sufficient, however, to account in the present case for his expressing himself in this manner, to suppose, that such was the current report anong the Nazarenes themselves, and that he drew from this source.
In Haeres. XXX. 14 Epiphanius says expressly, that Cerinthus and Carpocrates used the same Gospel as the Ebionites
, i. e. the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Yet in the same place he gives this Gospel another name. He says that the above named heretics proved the natural descent of Jesus from Joseph," by the genealogy in the beginning tov zara Marinior svayyahlov." Comparing the passage from Epiphanius cited above on p. 143, where he describes the Ebionite Gospel as curtailed, viz. deprived of the two first chapters of Matthew, with what the same author says here, there would seem to be some contradiction ; for here he says, first that Cerinthus and Carpocrates used the same Gospel as the Ebionites, and secondly that these two heretics undertook to prove the merely human origin of Jesus from the genealogy. "How then could they have used the same Gospel as the Ebionites, since theirs excluded the genealogy ?
Still the reputation of this father for consistency is not so desperate even here, as it seems at first sight to be." What he means for substance to say is, that both the Ebionites, and Cerinthus with Carpocrates, made use of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, or a Hebrew copy of the Gospel called Ευαγγελίον κατά Ματθαίον. This might be true as to substance, although there might be a discrepancy as to some particular passages. That Epiphanius has expressed himself unguardedly and inaccurately, there can be no doubt; that he has, however,