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been guilty of any glaring contradiction, when candidly interpreted, it would not be so easy to make out.

The reader will note, that one thing at least is proved by the examples cited above of the expressions made use of by Epiphanius, viz., that both the Gospel of the Ebionites and of the Nazarenes was designated more or less frequently, at least among the Christians of the church catholic, by the name xata Marlaiov; and that while their copies of Matthew's Gospel doubtless differed in some respects, they were generally of much the same tenor, the basis being in all probability the same.

The questions, whether Epiphanius had ever seen the Hebrew copy of the Gospel under consideration and whether, in case he had, he could read it in the Hebrew—are not capable of being solved with much certainty. Eusebius was a native of Palestine, born probably at Eleutheropolis, a city within the limits of the tribe of Judah, at no great distance in a southwest course from Bethlehem. He was a monk in the cloister there, sometime about A. D. 360—370. He was then removed to Salamis in Cyprus, of which he was constituted bishop, and where he wrote his works. The Ebionites had their chief seats of residence, as he tells us in Haeres. XXX. 18, in Nabatea, Paneas, Moab, Kochabon, Adraon—all places in and around Palestine—and the island of Cyprus. Now whether we contemplate this father, before he obtained his bishopric, or afterwards, we find him in the neighbourhood of the Ebionites; which suggests a good reason for the unusually copious and particular accounts that he has given of them. That he must have understood something of the Hebrew language, one can hardly doubt who considers the place of his origin, and the society in which he lived. That he possessed knowledge enough of it to read it with facility, or to seek with eagerness and solicitude after books written in it-has not, I believe, ever yet been rendered probable.

When Olshausen assumes, therefore, as he appears to do (Echtheit etc. p. 55), that Epiphanius had a Hebrew copy of the Ebionite Gospel in his own hands, he assumes what it would be difficult to prove ; and what Credner, in his work on the Gospel of the Jewish Christians (p. 336 seq.), has well nigh shewn to be altogether improbable. The most which we can fairly allow seems to be, that Epiphanius speaks from information communicated to him by the Ebionites, in respect to the state of their Gospel ; or else, that he had a Greek trans

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lation of it which he consulted. The different ways in which he cites the saine passages, and the manner in which some of the paragraphs cited commence, seem to prove, as Credper has shewn, that he appeals to other writings besides the Gospel, or at any rate to other sources than autopsy for his information and citations.

It should be added, in order to strengthen these remarks, that (as we have seen above p. 149) Epiphanius speaks in like manner, i. e. familiarly and confidently in many respects, of the Gospel of the Nazarenes, which, nevertheless, it is certain even by his own confession, he had not seen.

Jerome came upon the stage while Epiphanius was living and still active. Of all the fathers Jerome bad incomparably the best knowledge of the Hebrew. He also obtained a copy of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, from Jews at Beroea, and translated it both into Greek and Latin ; as he expressly says in a passage above quoted from him (p. 148). His testimony, therefore, will be of more weight than all other testimony, in respect to the specialities of the subject before us.

First of all then he says, that the Nazarenes and Ebionites use the same Gospel (Opp. IV. p. 47): “Evangelium quo utuntur Nazaraei et Ebionitae.” He doubtless means to say this in a like sense with Epiphanius, viz., that they both have a Gospel whose basis is Matthew. So we shall see, in the sequel.

In his work Contra Pelag. III. 2 he says: “In Evangelio juxta Hebraeos . . . quo utuntur usque hodie Nazaraeni ... sive, ut plerique autumant, juxta Matthaeum.

Again, in his Comm. on Matt. 12: 13 he says: “In Evangelio quo utuntur Nazaraeni et Ebionitae ... quod vocatur a plerisque Matthaei authenticum.

In other passages he appeals to this same work, sometimes with the title of Evangelium juxta Hebraeos, then again with the designation of " secundum Hebraeos—quod Hebraeo Sermone conscriptum est—quo utuntur Nazaraeni et Ebionitae-Hebraicum- quod Hebraicis literis scriptum est—quod a me translatum est, etc."

Here then, in the two accounts of Epiphanius and Jerome, who are the only fathers that appear to have had any minute and particular information respecting the parties of Jewish Christians, we have evidence perfectly satisfactory of the usual appellation given to their Gospel —_ut plerique autumant,

juxta Matthaeum- quod vocatur a plerisque Matthaei authenticum."

Credner affects to doubt whether the Ebionites themselves ever gave to this Gospel that name. He thinks they only called it wat 'Epoalous. But this opinion seems to me groundless. The name which they more babitually gave to their own Gospel, would be the name usually given to it by others. They would very naturally, one might almost say necessarily, appeal to apostolic authority in support of the Scriptures on which, and on which only, they relied; for they did not receive, at least the Ebionites did not, the other Gospels. What they gave out their Gospel to be, the public, who could not examine it, supposed it to be, and named it accordingly. Hence Jerome and Epiphanius assert in terms most clear and plain, that the appellation, or at least one appellation, of their Gospel was κατά Ματθαίον. .

Epiphanius again and again asserts, that this Gospel was the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. In Haeres. XXX. 3 he says of the Ebionites: δέχονται το κατά Ματθαίον ευαγγέλιον, τούτω ... χρώνται μόνο. Καλούσιν δε αυτο κατά Εβραίους, ως τα αληθή εστιν είπείν, ότι Ματθαίος μόνος Εβραϊστί και Εβραικούς χράμμασιν εν τη καινη διαθήκη εποιήσατο την του ευαγγελίου extgiv xai anouqua, i. e. they receive the Gospel according to Matthew; this ... only do they use. They call it, moreover, xara , 'EBpalovs; inasmuch as one may truly say, that Matthew only made the publication and proclamation of bis Gospel in the New Testament, in Hebrew and in Hebrew characters.”

In a passage before cited on p. 145 above, Epiphanius says of the Nazarenes : “ They have the Gospel according to Matthew in full and in Hebrew. Among them this is undoubtedly still preserved, as it was at first written, in Hebrew letters.”

Now if we add to this, Jerome's ut plerique autumant, juxta Matthaeum, and quod vocatur a plerisque Matthaei authenticum, no reasonable doubt can be left, that the ancient churches and individual Christians thought and spoke of the Gospel according to the Hebrews as being for substance the same as the Gospel of Matthew. It was given out to be such, by those who used it. Even men like Epiphanius, who made it a subject of inquiry, usually spoke of it as such, when they did not wish to go into particulars or to be minute; and Jerome himself with all his minute and accurate and certain knowledge of it, Vol. XII. No. 31.


not unfrequently names it, and refers to it, in the like manner with others.

We are come at last near to the end of our digression ; if indeed that may be called digression, which enters essentially into the estimate of the testimony on which the whole question before us depends. One brief inquiry more will bring us to the position, from which we may look out and take a satisfactory survey, at least so it seems to me, of the wbole ground that is to be occupied. This is,

(3) Did those ancient fathers who had any particular acquaintance with the Gospel according to the Hebreus, suspect its claims to canonical authority, or rather, reject them; and this notwithstanding they often spoke in the popular way respecting this Gospel as though it belonged to Matthew, or was the same with his ?

With the exception of Hegesippus, of whose work only frag. ments are preserved in Eusebius, there were none of the early fathers who could read the Gospel according to the Hebrews in the language in which it was current among the Nazarenes and Ebionites, if we exempt Origen and Jerome. Epiphanius might be claimed by some; but we have already viewed the ground on which this claim stands.

We have seen above (p. 141), that the testimony of Hegesippus, preserved by Eusebius, avails nothing as to the present question; inasmuch as Eusebius merely says, that Hegesippus cites some things from the Gospel according to the Hebrews, and thus shews that he was of Hebrew origin.' This does not enable us to make any accurate estimate in regard to what Hegesippus thought of the authority of this Gospel.

Clement of Alexandria has quoted but one short sentence (p. 144 above), and this without saying any thing which gives us definite views what his opinion of the authenticity of this Gospel was. He must have quoted from a Greek copy, (unless indeed he learned what he has quoted from some Jewish Christians), for he had no knowledge of the Hebrew.

Origen, however, had some knowledge of this kind; al. though nothing in his quotations renders it certain that he had seen the Hebrew copy. But at all events, this critical father had in some measure weighed the subject in his mind, respecting the authenticity of this Gospel, and plainly doubted of it. So it would seem to be, if we may trust his old and literal interpreter into Latin, who has preserved for us a declaration of

Origen, in his Tract. VIII. ad Matt. 19: 19. Origen's words are : “ Scriptum est in evangelio quodam, quod dicitur secundum Hebraeos, si tamen placet alicui suscipere illud non ad autoritatem, sed ad manifestationem propositae questionis.' Then follows the quotation from this Gospel presented on p. 144 above.

Let the reader mark here, first the phrase evangelio quodam. The implication of course is, that what is to be quoted stands not in the Gospel, but in a certain writing which some claim as a Gospel. What follows clearly evinces this to be the sense; viz., if indeed it is agreeable to any one to admit this (or receive this), not in the way of authority (or as authoritative), but for the sake of illustrating the question proposed. Origen takes it for granted that the authority of the Evangelium quoddam will be excepted to. He tacitly acknowledges the propriety of such an exception. He does not ask, therefore, that it should be received as authoritative, but only that it may be admitted by way of illustration or explanation.

That such were the views of this critical father, there can be no doubt ; for in all his reasonings, homilies, and commentaries, he never appeals to this Gospel in the way of citing an authority. It is plain, therefore, that he did not regard it as such.

Epiphanius, as we have seen above (p. 142), although he calls the Ebionite Gospel the Gospel κατά Ματθαίον, and avers that the original Matthew in Hebrew letters is preserved among the Nazarenes, yet explicitly states, at the same time, that the Gospel used by the Ebionites was nοι πληρέστατον, but νενοJevuevov xai 1xowinpiaguévov, i. e. 'not complete, integer, but adulterated and curtailed.' Again, in Haeres. XXX. 22 he accuses the Ebionites of having altered Matt. 26: 17, and inserted μη επιθυμία επιθύμησα κρέας τούτο το πάσχα φαγείν Mel' vuôv. And lastly, nearly all the quotations he makes from the Gospel in question go to shew, and probably were designed to shew, what discrepancy there is between this and the canonical Gospel of Matthew. With all the appellations which he bestows on the Gospel according to the Hebrews, and all his declarations about its being the original of Matthew's Gospel, etc., it is manifest that he disregards its authority, and never thinks of appealing to it for the purpose of establishing any Christian doctrine. One

may say, as some have said, that he is inconsistent with

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