A Historical Introduction to the Study of the Books of the New Testament

By George Salmon

Chapter 6





It may now be regarded as proved, that towards the end of the second century our four Gospels were universally accepted in the Catholic Church as the peculiarly trustworthy records of the Saviour's life, and that they were then ascribed to the same authors as those to whom we now ascribe them. Why, then, are we not to accept this testimony? Is it because of any opposing evidence, external or internal? Postponing for a moment the question of internal evidence, opposing external evidence there is none. All that can be said is, The evidence you have produced bears date a hundred years later than the books; we desire to have earlier testimony. Now, to take the case of a classical author, the testimony to whom bears some faint comparison with that to the Gospels; the plays of Terence are quoted by Cicero and Horace, and we require neither more nor earlier witnesses. No one objects: Cicero and Horace wrote a hundred years after Terence; what earlier witnesses can you produce to account for the intervening time? In the case of the Gospels, however, we can meet what I account an unreasonable demand. I began with the end of the second century, because then first the Christian literature of the period is so abundant as to leave no room for controversy as to the Gospels accepted by that age. We can, however, go back a couple of generations and remain on ground which cannot reasonably be con tested.

The Apology of Justin Martyr was written about A.D. 150. That is the date Justin himself gives (Apol., i. 46); and though, no doubt, it is only a round number, it is as near the truth as we can go. The Apology is addressed to the Emperor Antoninus, who reigned from 138-161, and it twice (cc. 29, 31) speaks of events in the preceding reign (Hadrian s) as having happened just now. Hence, some place the Apology in the very beginning of the reign of Antoninus. Eusebius dates it 141. Dr. Hort, in one of his earliest writings,1 tried to prove that Justin died in 148. He did not convince me that there is evidence to justify any positive assertion about the matter; but in placing the Apology in 150, about the middle of the reign of Antoninus, we are sure that we cannot be very far wrong either way.

There has been a good deal of dispute about Justin's New Testament citations; but, as far as the judgment of candid men is concerned, the question may now be regarded as settled. The result of very long discussions and of a good deal of fighting has been to leave us where we had been. Any ordinary reader would have no doubt that Justin's works contain copious quotations from our Gospels; and the objections to accepting this conclusion made by those who professed to have gone closely into the matter have been dissipated by still closer examination. In his references to the events of our Lord's life, Justin goes over all) the ground covered by our Evangelists, and almost completely abstains from going beyond it. He informs us also that he drew from written sources the accounts which he gives of our Lord's life. It is true, and our adversaries make the most of it, that he does not mention the names of the authors of these records. But the reason is, that he is ad dressing heathen who would not be interested in knowing the names of the Christian writers quoted; and he purposely avoids using Christian technical language. Thus, when he describes the Christian meetings for worship on the Lord's day, he says that they take place on the day which is called the day of the sun; and again, he calls the Jews barbarians. And so now he tells his heathen readers that he is quoting from memoirs of our Lord which are called Gospels, and which were composed by the Apostles and by those who followed them. Observe how accurately this! agrees with our present Gospels two being composed by) Apostles, two by their immediate followers.

Justin adds that these memoirs were read along with the writings of the prophets at the meetings of Christians on each Sunday. Now, is it credible that the Gospels which Justin attests to have been placed by the Christian Church in equal rank with the prophets of the Old Testament, and to have been weekly read in their public assemblies, could be different from those Gospels which were confessedly a few years after wards exclusively recognized through the Christian world? Here comes in with great force the reflex action, to which I have already referred, of the testimony of Irenaeus. In his time our four Gospels were in such long-established honour, that it is certain they must have had the same rank at least one generation earlier. In Justin's time, some Gospels were in such honour as to be placed on a level in Church use with the Old Testament Scriptures. We never hear of any revolution dethroning one set of Gospels and replacing them by another; and we may therefore conclude with tolerable certainty that the Gospels honoured by the Church in Justin's day were the same as those to which the same respect was paid in the days of Irenaeus, some twenty or thirty years later.

The only plausible ground on which this has been con tested is that Justin's citations frequently do not verbally correspond with our Gospels. Many of the differences that have been pointed out are trivial enough, as an example will enable you to judge. In order to show how pure was the morality taught by our Lord, Justin devotes three consecutive chapters to quoting his precepts. No other idea than that Justin was quoting our Gospels would occur to anyone whose acuteness had not been sharpened by the exigencies of controversy. For instance, He said, "Give to him that asketh, and from him that would borrow turn not away; for if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive what new thing do ye? Even the publicans do this. Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where robbers break through; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for it? Lay up treasure, therefore, in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt." And, i "Be ye kind and merciful, as your Father also is kind and merciful, and maketh His sun to rise on sinners, and the righteous and the wicked. Take no thought what ye shall eat or what ye shall put on; are ye not better than the birds and the beasts? and God feedeth them. Take no thought, therefore, what ye shall eat or what ye shall put on; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But seek ye the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall \be added to you. For where his treasure is, there also is the mind of a man." And, " Do not these things to be seen of men, otherwise ye have no reward from your Father which is in heaven." I need not pursue the quotation. I have read enough to enable you to understand the general character of Justin's quotations. You will at once have recognized the words I read. If I ask you whence are they taken, you may perhaps reply, From the Sermon on the Mount. But if I go on to ask: Do you mean from the discourse recorded by St. Matthew, or from a parallel passage in St. Luke? you examine more minutely, and perhaps you find that Justin's version does not verbally agree with one or other. Then comes the question: How do you know that Justin is quoting either: May he not be taking his account from some other Gospel now lost, which contained a record of the same discourses? As far as the evidences of our religion are concerned, it makes no difference whether or not the hypothesis of a lost Gospel be true. It is no part of our faith to hold the doctrine of Irenaeus, that it was in the nature of things impossible there should be more than four Gospels. We want to know what was the story concerning Jesus of Nazareth, in attestation of which the first preachers of Christianity were con tent to suffer hardships, and if need be to give their lives; and to give us that information the Gospel used by Justin, what ever it was, answers our purpose as well as any Gospel we have. It might be uncomfortable to our feelings to believe that Christian writers for the first century and a half used a different Gospel from ours, and that the Church, A.D. 170, for some unaccountable reason, thought proper to bury its ancient text-book in oblivion, and set up our four Gospels in its room. But what would scepticism have gained, when it is also proved that this lost Gospel must have been as like to our present Gospels as the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark are to each other?2 Substantially the same facts are related in all, and told in the same way.

I will just take the account of our Lord's infancy, the subject above all others on which the apocryphal Gospels after wards ran wild, and you will see that Justin follows throughout the narrative of our existing Evangelists. He does not appear to have known anything more than they knew, and he tells, without doubt, what they have related. I give a summary in Westcott's words (New Testament Canon, p. 101): He tells us that Christ was descended from Abraham through Jacob, Judah, Phares, Jesse, and David that the angel Gabriel was sent to announce His birth to the Virgin Mary that this was a fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah (vii. 14) that Joseph was forbidden in a vision to put away his espoused wife when he was so minded that our Saviour's birth at Bethlehem had been foretold by Micah that His parents went thither from Nazareth, where they dwelt, in consequence of the enrolment of Cyrenius that as they could not find a lodging in the village, they lodged in a cave close by it, where Christ was born, and laid by Mary in a manger that while there, wise men from Arabia, guided by a star, worshipped Him, and offered Him gold, and frankincense, and myrrh, and by revelation were commanded not to return to Herod, to whom they had first come that He was called Jesus, as the Saviour of His people that by the command of God His parents fled with Him to Egypt for fear of Herod, and remained there till Archelaus succeeded him that Herod, being deceived by the wise men, commanded the children of Bethlehem to be put to death, so that the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled, who spoke of Rachel weeping for her children that Jesus grew after the common manner of men, working as a carpenter, and so waited thirty years, more or less, till the coming of John the Baptist. I need not continue Justin's account of our Saviour's life. This specimen of his account of that part of it where, if anywhere, a difference from the canonical Gospels would be likely to be found, is enough to show that the Gospel used by Justin told substantially the same story as that related in the Gospels we have, and that, as far as controversy with unbelievers is concerned, it is quite immaterial which Gospel is appealed to.

There remains the purely literary question, Is there reason to believe in the existence of this alleged lost Gospel? Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, and the question is, Are we put under a necessity of postulating the existence of a Gospel which has disappeared, by reason of verbal differences forbidding us to find in our present Gospels the source of Justin's quotations? An answer to this question has been provided by a study of Justin's quotations from the Old Testament, which enables us to know what degree of accuracy is to be expected from him. In that case we know what he means to quote, and we find him quoting loosely and inaccurately, and quoting the same passage differently different times.3 When we think it strange that an ancient father of Justin's date should not quote with perfect accuracy, we forget that in those days, when manuscripts were scarce, and when concordances did not exist, the process of finding a passage in a manuscript (written possibly with no spaces between the words), and copying it, was not performed with quite as much ease as an English clergyman, writing his sermon with his Bible at his side, can turn up any text he wishes to refer to; and yet I should be sorry to vouch for the verbal accuracy of all the Scripture citations we hear in sermons at the present day. The excuse for such inaccuracy at present is one which Justin, too, may have pleaded that exactly in proportion to a man's familiarity with a book is his disposition to trust his memory, and not verify a reference to it. And the applicability of this remark is confirmed by the fact that there is very much less accuracy in Justin's short quotations, which would be made from memory, than in his long ones, where it would be worth while or necessary for him to turn to the book.

On the whole, then, the general coincidence, in range and contents, of Justin's quotations with our Gospels is enough to show that they are the sources whence Justin drew his information. I will give for each of the Gospels one specimen of a multitude of proofs. In relating the murder of the innocents at Bethlehem, he quotes Jeremiah's prophecy of Rachel weeping for her children, and that in a form agreeing with St. Matthew and differing from the Septuagint. Hence, even if we had no other proof, we could infer that he used St. Matthew's Gospel. Mark has so little that is not in St. Matthew or St. Luke that it might be thought difficult to identify anonymous citations with his Gospel. Yet Justin's quotations from the Gospels are so numerous, that besides some very probable references to Mark, they touch on one point certainly peculiar to him, namely, that Jesus gave to the sons of Zebedee the name of Boanerges. St. Mark alone has preserved to us this and some other Aramaic words used by our Saviour, as Corban, Ephphatha, Abba, Talitha Cumi. St. Luke is, no doubt, Justin's authority for stating that the visit of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem was occasioned by the taxing under Cyrenius. And I may add that Justin even helps us in the case of disputed readings in St. Luke, for he has a reference to our Lord's bloody sweat, which gives an important attestation to the verses, Luke xxii. 43, 44, which are wanting in the Vatican and Alexandrian MSS., but found in the Sinaitic as well as in almost all other MSS. As I have mentioned the subject of various readings, I may add that if it could be proved that Justin never trusted his memory, but always literally copied the Gospel he was using a thing that cannot be proved, for he sometimes quotes the same passage differently it still would not follow that he was using a different Gospel from ours. It might only be that his copy of Matthew or Luke had readings different from our received text. I will not anticipate what belongs to another branch of our subject by entering into the proofs of the early existence of various readings. Suffice it to say that this is a point which has to be attended to by any careful critic of Justin's quotations. That Justin used the three Synoptic Gospels may be regarded as now accepted by the common consent of candid critics: being as freely acknowledged by Hilgenfeld4 in Germany as by Lightfoot or Westcott in England. Justin's variations, then, from our text of these Gospels may be divided into three classes. The greater number are quite sufficiently accounted for by the ordinary looseness of memoriter citations; a few demand the attention of the textual critic as suggesting the possible existence of a various reading in Justin's manuscript; and lastly, a few more suggest the possibility that, in addition to our Gospels, Justin may have used an extra- Canonical Gospel. For example, in the abstract I read of Justin's account of our Lord's childhood, you may perhaps have noticed that he says that the Magi came from Arabia. Now, St. Matthew only says that they came from the East; and the question arises, Did Justin draw this localization from a written source, or was he merely expressing the view in his time popularly held as to what St. Matthew meant by the East? A similar question arises as to the statement that Joseph and Mary, when they could find no room in the inn, lodged in a cave. It seems to me very possible that Justin was here drawing from no written source, but that, being a native of Palestine, he described what the received tradition of his time accepted as the scene of our Lord's birth. Justin's additions to our evangelic narrative are exceedingly few and unimportant; but there is no reason why we should not admit, as a possible account of them, that our Gospels were not the only written documents with which Justin was acquainted. But I do not think it possible that any such document could be raised to the level of our four Gospels, even if it had the benefit of far more distinct recognition by Justin than it can actually claim.

I have said that Justin's use of the Synoptic Gospels is now pretty generally admitted; but there is still a good deal of unwillingness to acknowledge his use of St. John's. That Gospel deals less in history than do the first three Gospels; and so there are fewer incidents mentioned by Justin which we can clearly prove to be taken from St. John, while the discourses of that Gospel present little that is suitable for quotation in discussion with unbelievers. Yet there are coincidences enough to establish satisfactorily Justin's acquaintance with the fourth Gospel, there being scarcely a chapter of it of which some trace may not be found in his works.5 But what weighs with me far more is, that the whole doctrinal system of Justin, and in particular his conception of our Lord as the eternal Logos, presupposes St. John to such an extent, that anyone who does not acknowledge it is, in my judgment, either a poor critic or an uncandid controversialist. The name Logos is habitually used by Justin, occurring more than twenty times. His doctrine is, that this Logos existed before all creation, dwelling with the Father6 that He was God7 that by Him all things were made;8 that this preexistent Word took form and became man, and was called Jesus Christ (Apol. i. 5, 63; Dial. 48); and that He was the only-begotten9 of the Father.

I have by no means enumerated all the coincidences between the teaching of Justin and the prologue of St. John; but that there is very striking agreement you cannot have failed to see. We ask, is there any reason for rejecting the simple account of this agreement, that Justin was a disciple of St. John: not indeed by personal companionship, but by study of his Gospel, which we have good independent reason to think must have been current at the time, and which Jus tin could hardly have helped knowing? And it deserves to be borne in mind that Justin seems to have learned his Christianity at Ephesus (Euseb., H. E. iv. 18), which is generally allowed to have been the birthplace of the fourth Gospel. When we have to speak of the agreement between Justin and the Synoptic Evangelists as to the incidents of our Saviour's life on earth, it is now felt to be a gratuitous and unreasonable assumption to imagine that Justin drew his account not from our Synoptics, but from a lost Gospel coincident with them in a multitude of particulars. Have, we any stronger justification for imagining a lost spiritual) Gospel identical with St. John's in respect of its teaching as: to the pre-existence and divinity of our Lord? Not that; these doctrines are peculiar to St. John: they are taught as distinctly by St. Paul (see in particular Col. i.); but what may be regarded as special to St. John is the use of the word Logos, to denote the pre-existent Saviour. This name is not found in any of the New Testament writings but the Johannine,10 nor does John represent our Lord as ever calling him self by it. If we ask from what other source but St. John the name could have been derived by Justin, we are referred to the writings of the Alexandrian Jew Philo, who speaks frequently of the Divine Word, though there has been much controversy whether he means to ascribe to Him a distinct personality, or merely uses personifying language about the Divine attribute of Wisdom. Nothing forbids us to believe that the speculations of Philo may have been known to St. John.11 We have in fact a connecting-link in the Alexandrian Jew Apollos, who taught in Ephesus. It would be quite in the spirit in which Paul dealt with the Grecian philosophers at Athens if John, when not professing to record the words of Jesus, but speaking in his own person, presented Christianity to those whose training had been Alexandrian, by acknowledging and accepting all that was true in the Philonic speculations about the Divine Logos, but went on to tell of what Philo had not dreamed, that the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. Now what we find in Justin is not the. Philonic but the Johannine doctrine of the Logos, the doc trine of the Logos incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ.. If before Justin's time anyone but the fourth Evangelist had presented in this form his doctrine concerning our Lord, how is it that all memory of it has perished?12

Let me next say something of Justin's mode of presenting another Christian doctrine, that of Baptism. Justin's name for the rite is regeneration. Speaking of new converts, he says (Apol. i. 61): They are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner that we our selves were regenerated. For they then receive the washing of water in the name of God the Father and Lord of the Universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. For Christ also said, " Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Now that it is im possible for those who have been once born to enter into their mothers wombs is manifest to all. I am sure it is equally manifest to all that there is here striking coincidence, with the discourse with Nicodemus recorded by St. John.

Now let me add a word as to the cumulative effect of Justin's doctrinal agreements with St. John, and his verbal agreements of which this is a specimen. His doctrine is in perfect harmony with St. John, and we are puzzled to say from what other source he could have derived it. There are also a number of verbal echoes of St. John, not indeed exact, but very closely reproducing him. If Justin used St. John, every thing is explained: you may try to find some hypothesis which will account for one sort of agreements, and some hypothesis which will account for the other; but how violent the improbability that both hypotheses shall be true. In the present case, when we ask where Justin found these words of Christ, Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, we are inclined to laugh at the special pleading which answers us, Surely not in St. John. Justin says, except ye be born again; St. John, except a man be born again. Justin says, the kingdom of heaven; St. John, the kingdom of God.13 And we are referred, as the more probable original of Justin's quotation, to St. Matthew (xviii. 3), Except ye become as little children ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. But what, then, about the following sentence as to the impossibility of again entering our mother's womb? Is this but a chance thought which occurred to Justin and to St. John independently?

It may be well, however, not to omit to notice one of Strauss's supposed proofs, that Justin did not use the dialogue with Nicodemus, because the argument has recoiled on him self. A reference to this same passage in John is found also in the Clementine Homilies (Hom. xi. 26), of which I made mention in a previous Lecture. The quotation is, like Justin s, inexact; and though it does not verbally agree with Justin's either, it agrees with him in this point, that both use the second person plural,14 except ye be born again, while St. John says, except a man be born again. Hence it was argued that Justin and the Clementines both drew the idea, not from St. John, but from some other common source. Now, the Clementines contained other apparent proofs of acquaintance with St. John's Gospel, as, for instance, that they attribute to Jesus the sayings, I am the door, and My sheep hear My voice. (Hom. iii. 52). But the Tübingen writers expended their ingenuity to prove that this coincidence in language was only accidental, and their cardinal argument was that the author of the Clementines could not have used the fourth Gospel. He was, as I have already said, an Ebionite; John, on the contrary, the most anti-Jewish of New Testament writers. The Clementine writer, therefore, could not have accepted a book so opposed to his tendency; and, if he had known it, would have cited it only to combat it.

While this dispute was going on, a manuscript was discovered, containing a complete15 copy of the twenty Clementine Homilies for the manuscript previously known was defective, breaking off in the middle of the nineteenth and lo, in the newly-recovered part of the nineteenth, we read, Our Lord answered to those who asked Him, " Is it he who hath sinned, or his parents, that he was born blind?" " Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents; but that through him might be manifested the power of God, which heals sins of ignorance." There are verbal differences of quotation here, but only a few of our adversaries have, as yet, mustered courage to make them a ground for denying that it is a quotation.16

Now, it being thus proved that the Clementine writer acknowledged the fourth Gospel, the argument which had been used by the deniers of this fact recoils on them with immense force namely, the argument founded on the diame trical opposition between the views of the Clementine author and of the Evangelist. Ebionites would not easily accept a work proceeding from quite an opposite school, if it were one of modern origin, or if there were any reasonable pretext for denying its apostolic authority. The conclusion follows that,, at the time of the composition of the Clementines, which some place as early as the year 160,17 the authority of St. John's Gospel was so universally recognized in the Church by men of all parties, and dated so far back, that no suspicion occurred to men strongly interested in rejecting the book if they could have ventured to do so. Thus the Clementines, to which Strauss referred us, prove that, in the time when Justin lived, he could hardly help being acquainted with the fourth Gospel; so that there is no reason whatever for not drawing the obvious inferences from those passages in his writings which are on the face of them quotations from it.

I have not time to speak of Justin's Eucharistic doctrine, nor of a number of verbal coincidences with John; but must repeat that the critics who deny Justin's use of the fourth Gospel seem to have no conception of the cumulative force of evidence. After giving a forced explanation of one of these coincidences, they go on to explain away another, and another after that, without ever reflecting that it is necessary for the success of their argument that every one of these explanations should be correct; and that if there are chances against the correctness of each one of them, the chances against the correctness of the entire series must be enormous. I will only add that Justin used not only St. John's Gospel, but also his First Epistle. This is shown by a coincidence which seems to me to afford decisive proof. In 1 John, iii. 1, the four oldest manuscripts, well confirmed by other evidence, add to the received text the words καὶἐσμέν Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God; and such we are This reading is accordingly adopted by all recent critical editors. Now, Justin has (Dial. 123) καὶ θεοῦ τέκνα ἀληθινὰ καλούμεθα καὶ ἐσμέν.18

Renan's vacillations on the subject of St. John's Gospel are extraordinary. In the preface to his first volume (p. xxv.) he gives a summary, endorsing the conclusions which I have presented for your acceptance: Nobody doubts that, towards the year 150, the fourth Gospel existed, and was ascribed to John. Formal citations by St. Justin (Apol. i. 32, 6 1; Dial. 88); by Athenagoras (Legat. 40); by Tatian (Adv. Graec. 5,7; cf. Euseb. H. E., iv. 29; Theodoret, Haer. Fab. i. 20); by Theophilus of Antioch (ad. Autol. ii. 22); by Irenaeus (II. xxii. 5; iii. i; cf. Euseb. H. E.,v. 8), show this Gospel, from that time forward, mingling in all controversies, and serving as a corner-stone in the development of dogma. Irenaeus is express: now Irenaeus came out of the school of John, and between him and the Apostle there was only Polycarp. The part played by our Gospel in Gnosticism, and in particular in the system of Valentinus (Iren. i. iii. 6; in. xi. 7; Hippol. Philosoph. vi. ii. 29, &c.), in Montanism (Iren. III. xi. 9), and in the Quarto-deciman dispute (Euseb. H. E., v. 24), is not less decisive. The school of John is that whose influence can be most distinctly traced in the second century; but that school cannot be explained unless we place the fourth Gospel at its very cradle. Let us add, that the first Epistle ascribed to John is certainly by the same author as the fourth Gospel.19 Now, that Epistle is recognized as John's by Polycarp (ad Philipp. 7), by Papias (Euseb., H. E. iii. 39, 40), and by Irenaeus (III. xvi. 5, 8; Euseb., H. E. v. 8).

During the interval, however, between the publication of his first volume and his sixth, Renan appears to have received a revelation (for he makes no pretence of offering a proof) that the fourth Gospel was unknown to several of those whom he had already cited as authorities.20 He assures his readers, as a positive fact (vi. 73), that neither Papias nor Justin, nor the Pseudo-Clementines, nor Marcion, were acquainted with the fourth Gospel; and he suggests that the Evangelist must have taken some pains not to let his Gospel be seen by those who would know that it did not come from John. Renan owns (p. 69) that Justin has a theory of the Logos analogous to that of the Pseudo-John, and he refers to Apol. i. 23, 32; ii. 6, 10, 13; Dial. 61, 62, 70, 98, 100, 102, 105, 127; but we are on no account to believe that Justin derived this theory from the fourth Gospel. He tells us (p. 503) that Tatian did not know, or did not admit, the fourth Gospel; that it is wrong to think that Tatian's Diatessaron commenced with In the beginning was the Word; wrong to think that this title implied the four Canonical Gospels. It is a term borrowed from Greek music, and only implies perfect harmony. The Synoptics, the Gospel of the Hebrews, and the Gospel of Peter, were the basis of this harmony. I shall speak presently of Tatian, and you will then know why Renan was obliged entirely to alter in his seventh volume the account he had given of the Diatessaron in his sixth. But Renan's perplexity rises to its height when (p. 129) he speaks of Papias, of whom I shall treat in the next Lecture, and when he tries to account for the singular fact that Papias, who does not know the fourth Gospel, should know the Epistle falsely ascribed to John. After some lame attempts at explanation, he exclaims, One can never touch the question of the writings ascribed to John without falling into contra dictions and anomalies. But there would have been neither contradiction nor anomaly if Renan had remained content with the statement of evidence given in his first volume.

To return to Justin: we are happily able to bridge over the interval between him and Irenaeus by means of Justin's pupil, Tatian the Assyrian. It is related that Tatian was converted by Justin; and in Tatian's apologetic work, the Address to the Greeks, Justin is spoken of with high admiration.21 On the other hand, after Justin's death, Tatian joined himself to one of those ascetic sects which condemned both marriage and the use of wine and flesh meat as absolutely unlawful to a Christian.22 And he is said to have held some other heretical opinions besides. Irenaeus has a chapter on the heresy of Tatian, and he speaks of him in the past tense in a way which conveys the idea that he was dead, and his teaching over, at the time Irenaeus wrote. Clement of Alexandria tells us that one of his own teachers was an Assyrian, and it has been very commonly thought that this was Tatian. Thus we see that Tatian comes midway between Justin Martyr and the age of Irenaeus and Clement. Now, when we take up Tatian's apologetic work already mentioned, we find at the outset a statement of Logos doctrine near akin to Justin s; while Tatian's use of St. John is evinced by some distinct quotations—All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made, This is the saying, "The darkness comprehendeth not the light," and God is a Spirit. Thus Tatian gives distinct confirmation to the conclusion we already arrived at as to the derivation of Justin's Logos doctrine from St. John. But Tatian also enables us to settle the question raised by Thoma, If Justin knew St. John, did he put it on an equality with the Synoptic Gospels?

I have already said that the earliest commentary on a New Testament book of which we have knowledge is by a heretic, Heracleon; and I have now to add that it was also a heretic, Tatian, who appears to have been the first to make a harmony of the Gospels. Eusebius tells us that Tatian made a combination of the Gospels, and that he called it Diatessaron,23 which, being a recognized musical term, answers in some sort to what we call a harmony. Sceptical critics have made enormous efforts to escape the inferences suggested by the use of the name Diatessaron viz., that the harmony was based on four Gospels, and that these were the four which we know were, in the next generation, regarded as holding a place of divinely ordained pre-eminence. It is unnecessary for me to state the reasons which first led me to pronounce these efforts to have utterly failed, because recent discoveries have since given them a decisive refutation.

Tatian's arrangement of the Gospel history obtained very large circulation, which amounts to saying that it found acceptance with the orthodox; for the followers of Tatian in his heretical opinions were very few. The use of the Diatessaron at Edessa is mentioned in an apocryphal Syriac book, probably written about the middle of the third century.24 Theodoret (Haer. Fab. i. 20), writing in the middle of the fifth century, bears witness to the still extensive use of it, apparently in the public Church reading of his own diocese (Cyrus, near the Euphrates); and states that he found more than two hundred copies in use in the churches of his district, which he took away, and replaced by copies of the four Gospels. The work of substituting a single narrative for our four would naturally involve many omissions from the text of our Gospels, and it would seem to be this mutilation of the sacred text which brought Tatian's work into disrepute. At least Theodoret censures it for cutting out the genealogies and other passages which show that our Lord was born of the seed of David after the flesh; and he implies, though perhaps the imputation is undeserved, that Tatian had a heretical object in this mutilation. A harmony not open to this objection was made, in the third century, by Ammonius of Alexandria. He took St. Matthew's Gospel as the basis of his work, and put side by side with St. Matthew the parallel passages from other Gospels. We learn this from a letter of Eusebius (Epist. ad Carpianum) prefatory to his own improved way of harmonizing the Gospels the Eusebian Canons which will come under our consideration later.

To return to Tatian: the strongest proof of the orthodox use of his harmony is that the most famous of the native Syrian fathers, Ephraem of Edessa, who died in 373, wrote a commentary on the Diatessaron, apparently as if it were the version of the New Testament then in ecclesiastical use. This fact till lately rested on the testimony of a rather late Syrian writer, Dionysius Bar-Salibi, who wrote towards the end of the twelfth century, and who gives the further information that the harmony commenced, In the beginning was the Word, which would place Tatian's use of St. John's Gospel beyond doubt. You can well imagine that sceptical critics made every effort to set aside testimony which would force on them so unwelcome a conclusion. Bishop Lightfoot, in an article in the Contemporary Review (May, 1877), convincingly showed that the attempts to break down the testimony of Bar-Salibi had been utterly unsuccessful. But since then the question has assumed a new aspect, by the substantial re covery of the very work of Ephraem Syrus which Bar-Salibi described. It comes to us, indeed, in a roundabout way. The common opinion has been that Tatian's harmony was originally written in Greek, and so the Greek name Diatessaron would lead us to suppose. Zahn25 has lately taken a good deal of pains to maintain that the original language was Syriac, and it is certain that the Diatessaron had considerable circulation in Syriac-speaking countries, and apparently very little where Greek was spoken.26 However that may be, if it had been originally Greek, it had been translated into Syriac, and had come into use in Syriac-speaking churches before Ephraem commented on it. This commentary of Ephraem is extant in an Armenian translation, apparently of the fifth century, and was actually published in that language by the Mechitarist Fathers, at Venice, so long ago as 1836. But in the obscurity of that language it remained unknown to Western scholars until a Latin translation of it was published by Moesinger, in 1876, and it took three or four years more before the publication attracted much attention.27 That this work is Ephraem's I think there can be no reasonable doubt. It consists of a series of homiletic notes, and these (as we had been led to expect) not following the order of any one of our Gospels, but passing from one to another: in other words, the commentary is on a narrative framed by putting together passages from different Gospels. The commentary enables us to reconstruct, at least in its substance, the text which was commented on. I say in its substance because we cannot infer with certainty that a verse was absent from the harmony because it is not commented on by Ephraem, it being possible that he found nothing in the verse on which he thought it necessary to remark; nor, again, can we infer that a verse was present in the harmony because Ephraem, commenting on a different verse, refers to it, since Ephraem was no doubt familiar, not only with the harmony on which he commented, but with the full text of the four Gospels. But although, for the reasons I have indicated, we cannot pretend to be exact in every detail, we can recover the general outline of the text commented on.

We have important helps in the work of reconstruction. In the year 543 Victor of Capua found a Latin harmony of the Gospels without title or author's name, and knowing from Eusebius that Tatian had been the author of a harmony, he conjectured that the harmony which he found was Tatian's. This conjecture did not receive much attention until on the publication of Moesinger's work, the co incidences made it apparent that the Latin harmony really was based on Tatian's Diatessaron.28 The compiler, however, instead of following Tatian's text, has copied the Vulgate translation of the verses selected. He has also restored the genealogies and corrected some other omissions, so that the Latin harmony is no more than a help towards the restoration of the Diatessaron, and could not singly be relied on for that purpose. But the interest excited by Moesinger's publication has led to the recovery of an Arabic translation of the Diatessaron. One MS. copy had been known to exist in the Vatican Library, and another was lately brought from Egypt to Rome. An edition founded on these two MSS. was printed, with a Latin translation by Ciasca, as a present for the jubilee of Leo XIII., in 1888. The result is, that the obscurity which for so many centuries lay over the Diatessaron has been now in great measure rolled away, and we can speak of its contents with tolerable certainty.29

We find then that it begins, as Bar-Salibi had told us, with the prologue of St. John. It then takes up the first chapter of St. Luke, and so it goes on, passing freely from one Gospel to another, and (I may add) including part of the last chapter of St. John, as to the genuineness of which some very unreasonable doubts have, in modern times, been entertained. If, then, it appears that Justin's pupil, Tatian, used all four Gospels on equal terms, the conclusion at which we had already arrived, that Justin himself did so, is abundantly confirmed.30



1) Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, iii. 155. 1856. On the other hand, if we can rely on the genuineness of the Acts of Justin's martyrdom, he was condemned by Rusticus; and Borghesi, Outrages, viii. 545, has made out a probable case that Rusticus was praefectus urbi between 163 and 167.

2) This idea has been worked out by Mr. Sadler in his book called The Lost Gospel.

3) See a table of Justin's Old Testament quotations given by Westcott (New Testament Canon, p. 172). Dr. Sanday, in his Gospels in the Second Century, has shown that no greater exactness of quotation is found when we study the quotations of the Old Testament in the New, or in the Apostolic Fathers, or the quotations of the New Testament by Irenseus. I find in an unpublished Paper by the late Bishop Fitz Gerald an apposite quotation from the preface to Pearce's Longinus: Neque enim aut Longino aut aliis priorum saeculorum scriptoribus videtur usitatum fuisse accurate fideque satis verba citare. Imo nusquam si bene memini, Longinus per totum suum Commentarium cujusvis auctoris locum iisdem verbis (modo pluribus quam duobus aut tribus consisteret) exhibuit; nee aliter ab aliis scriptoribus factum video. Si enim sensum auctoris et praecipua citatae sententiae verba ob oculos lectoris ponerent, de caeteris minus soliciti fuere. Accurata haec citandi diligentia, qua hodie utimur, quaeque laudabilis sane est, frustra in veteribus quaerenda est. Praef. in Longinum, p. xix., ed. 1732.

4) Professor of Theology at Jena, one of the ablest living representatives of the school of criticism founded by Baur.

5) See an Article by Thoma in Hilgenfeld's Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftl. Theologie for 1875. Thoma does not discuss Justin's knowledge of the Synoptic Gospels, regarding this as having passed out of the reign of controversy; but he takes St. John, chapter by chapter, exhibiting for each the trace it has left in Justin's works: the result being to show that Justin is completely saturated with that Gospel. Thoma is less successful in establishing a special theory of his own, namely, that Justin, though acquainted with the fourth Gospel, did not regard it as of equal authority with the others, or number it among the Memoirs of the Apostles, which were read in the Christian public worship. For this he has no proof but the very precarious argument exsilentio, that Justin does not make as much use of the fourth Gospel as Thoma thinks he would have made if he owned its authority. Dr. Ezra Abbot, a Unitarian, Professor in Harvard University, has dealt well with this argument in his Authorship of the Fourth Gospel, p. 63. He shows that Justin, writing to unbelievers, cannot be expected to make the use of New Testament writings he would have made if addressing men who owned their authority; that he actually uses them more than do other apologists; that he does not offer proofs from the Apocalypse, though he confessedly accepted it as an inspired prophecy; and Dr. Abbot adds some instances from modern writers of surprising neglect to use an argument or recognize a fact which we should have confidently expected them to use or recognize. Dr. Abbot, who was one of the most learned of American Theologians, died in 1885.

6) ὁ δὲ υἱδς ἐκείνου ὁ μόνος λεγόμενος κυρίως υἱός ὁ λόγος πρὸ τρὸ τῶν ποιημάτων καὶ συνὼν καὶ γεννώμενος ὅτε τὴν ἀρχὴν δἰ αὐτοῦ πάντα ἔκτισε καὶ ἐκόσμησε. Apol. ii. 6.

ἀρχὴν πρὸ πάντων τῶν κτισμάτων ὁ Θεὸς γεγέννηκε δύναμιν τινὰ ἐξ ἑαυτοῦ λολικὴν, ἥτις καὶ δόξα κυρίου ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου καλεῖται, ποτὲ δὲ υἱὸς, ποτὲ δὲ σοφία, ποτὲ δὲ ἄγγελος, ποτὲ δὲ θεὸς, ποτὲ δὲ κύριος καὶ λόγος. Dial. 61.

7) πρὸ πάντων τῶν ποιημάτων συνῆν τῷ πατρί. Dial. 62.

αὐτὸς ὤν οὗτος ὁ θεὸς ἀπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν ὅλων γεννηθείς. Dial. 61; see also Apol. i. 63; Dial. 56, 58, 126, 128.

8) ᾥστε λόγῳ θεοῦ . . . γεγενῆσθαι τὸν πάντα κόσμον. Apol. i. 52 see also c. 64, and Apol. ii. 6.

9) μονογεὴς ἦν τῷ πατρὶ τῶν ὅλων. Dial. 105.

10) It is not certain whether Heb. iv. 12 is an exception to what is here stated,

11) Philo was teaching in Alexandria in our Lord's lifetime, so there is no chronological difficulty.

12) The relations between the Logos doctrine of Justin and that of Philo and of St. John have been carefully investigated by a very able and learned Unitarian, Dr. James Drummond, Principal of Manchester New College, London, in a Paper published by him in the Theological Review, April, 1877. In connexion with this may be read a Lecture on Philo, published by him in the same year, and since enlarged into a treatise in two volumes, 1888. Dr. Drummond conclusively establishes the dependence of Justin's doctrine on St. John's, of which internal evidence shows it to be a later development. Not only is every point in the Johannine doctrine contained in Justin s, but almost every portion of it is presented with amplifications; its ambiguous statements are resolved into the requisite number of definite propositions, and questions which it suggests, and does not answer, are dogmatically settled. The same Paper contains an excellent enumeration of verbal coincidences between Justin and the fourth Gospel. Of these, one which Dr. Drummond has himself added to the list of those previously observed has special interest for me, on account of its turning on an interpretation of John xix. 13, which many years ago I had been in the habit of hearing maintained by Archbishop Whately. He held that, in the phrase ἐκάθισεν ἐπὶ βήματος, the verb ἐκάθισεν was to be understood transitively, as in 1 Cor. vi. 4; Eph. i. 20. Then the translation would run: Pilate brought Jesus forth, seated him on the judgment-seat, . . . and saith unto the Jews, Behold your King. That is to say, Pilate in presenting Jesus to the Jews as their King, seats Him, with mock reverence, in his own judgment-seat. Now Dr. Drummond points out that Justin (Apol. i. 35), has διασύροντες αὐτὸν ἐκάθισαν ἐπὶ βήματος καὶ εἶπον Κρῖνον ἡμῖν. Except for the change of the singular into the plural, Justin's phrase is identical with St. John's. It seems a reasonable inference that Justin read the verse in St. John, and that he there understood the verb transitively.

13) Dr. Ezra Abbot shows that Justin has the company of several sub sequent Fathers in every one of his variations from St. John. He gives references to nine passages where Jeremy Taylor (who is not supposed to have used apocryphal Gospels) quotes the text; none of the quotations agreeing with St. John, and only two with each other. And he remarks that the English Book of Common Prayer, which twice quotes the text, in neither case agrees with St. John. The late Irish revisers have been so punctilious as to correct this irregularity.

14) Not so, however, in the parallel passage (Recog. vi. 9).

15) The work was first published complete by Dressel, in 1853.

16) Among those who had this courage was the author of Supernatural Religion; but Hilgenfeld (who, in a review of this work (Zeitschrift, 1875, 582), pronounces that this author exhibits as much partiality against as do the orthodox for the received acceptation of the Gospels), declares here that it will be difficult to find anyone in Germany or Switzerland to believe that the Clementine writer is independent of St. John In Deutschland und der Schweiz wird es kaum jemand glauben dass Clem. Horn. xix. 22 von Joh. ix. 1-3 unabhanging sein sollte. Renan, whose memory seems to have failed him a good deal in the composition of his later volumes, states (vi. 73) that the author of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies did not know the fourth Gospel, and in the same volume (p. 500) that he knew all four. The explanation probably is, that Renan in the two places was relying on different authorities, one of whom wrote before, the other after, the, discovery of the conclusion of the nineteenth Homily.

17) I am myself willing to accept so early a date only for the discourses of Peter against the heathen, which were the basis of the work, and which seem to me to have been used in 180 by Theophilus of Antioch (ad Autol. i. 10; cf. Clem. Horn. x. 16;; Recog. v. 20).

18) One of the latest essays on Justin's use of St. John is by Dr. Edwin A. Abbott, Master of the City of London School (Modern Review, 1882, pp. 559, 716). Dr. Abbott adopts Thoma's theory, only in a less probable form. He does not deny that Justin may have been acquainted with St. John's Gospel, but he denies that he valued it, or, indeed, that he ever used it. A number of coincidences are explained away one after another. In some cases Justin is drawing directly from Philo, in others from Christian disciples of Philo, or he is using traditions which were also known to the fourth Evangelist. The saying about entering into the mother's womb referred, no doubt, to a stock objection made by heathens to Christian missionaries, who spoke to them of the necessity of a new birth and of becoming like little children. It seems to me that, however difficult it might have been to resist the cumulative force of so many coincidences, Dr. Abbott would have done better for his theory if he had avoided making the fatal concession that Justin might have known the fourth Gospel. For then we have a vera causa which at once accounts for his coincidences with it, and it becomes unscientific in the last degree to invent imaginary disciples of Philo or unrecorded traditions in order to explain what can be perfectly well explained without any such hypothesis. If any author of the present day presented as many coincidences with a previous writer, he would be laughed to scorn by his reviewers if, while he had to own that he had seen the previous book, he denied that he valued it or had used it.

Thoma's question, If Justin valued the fourth Gospel, why did he not use it more? has been so well answered by Dr. Drummond and by Dr. Ezra Abbot, that a man must be argument-proof who repeats the question after reading what they have said. It seems to me clear that, if Justin knew the fourth Gospel, he used it, and that copiously; if he used it, he valued it, for his whole theological system is founded on it. If he adopted the fourth Evangelist as his theological instructor, he must have admitted the claims which that Evangelist implicitly makes for himself, and which were acknowledged all over the Christian world within thirty years of Justin's time.

Dr. Abbott's views are most eccentric when he treats of the Gnostic use of St. John's Gospel. He admits that it was a favourite with the Valentinians, but he thinks that to be a reason why it could not have been a favourite with Justin, who opposed these heretics. He owns that it was used by Tatian, but he thinks that must have been after Justin's death, and when Tatian had become a Gnostic. He does not seem to have studied the links by which Tatian's apologetic work is doubly connected with Justin and with the fourth Gospel. Finally, when called on to explain how this Gospel, in such favour with the Gnostics, but rejected by their orthodox opponent, came into equal favour with the Catholics also, and that so rapidly, that all traces of hesitation have been obliterated except what may be discovered in Justin; Dr. Abbott replies that the success was due to the intrinsic power of this most spiritual treatise, because it truthfully protested against the thaumaturgic tendencies of the Church, by exhibiting Jesus principally as a worker of spiritual, and not material, marvels. This seems undeserved praise to give to the narrator of the healing of the man born blind, and of the raising of Lazarus; nor does it seem a satisfactory explanation to say that a heretical book won the favour of the Church by reason of its protest against the tendencies of the Church. In my judgment, a critic who cannot divest himself of the anti-supernaturalist feelings of the nineteenth century is not one who can enter into the mind of the second century, and is no competent judge what arguments a writer of that date would have been likely to use.

19) 1 John, i. 3, 5. The two writings offer the most complete identity of style, the same terms, the same favourite expressions (Renan's note).

20) Accordingly, I find that the passage cited above has been modified in later editions.

21) Zahn gives some probable reasons for dating this work not later than 161 (Forschungen i., 279.)

22) It is necessary to bear in mind this special feature of Tatian's heresy in order to appreciate the merits of Dr. Abbott's suggestion that, after Tatian had come to think it a sin to marry or to drink wine, the 2nd chapter of St. John's Gospel began to have an attraction for him which it did not possess in the days of his orthodoxy. Plainly, no Encratite would receive the fourth Gospel unless, before embracing his heresy, he had been so long in the habit of using that Gospel that he could not then give it up.

23) The following note on the musical term διὰ τεσσάρων has been given me by my friend Professor Mahaffy:

Among the old Greeks only the octave (διὰ πασῶν), the fifth (διὰ πέντε), and the fourth (διὰ τεσσάρων), were recognized as concords (σύμφωνοι φθογγοί), whereas the rest of the intervals are called discords (διάφωνοι). This definition of concord, excluding thirds, which are now accepted as the simplest and easiest case, arises from Pythagoras discovery, that if, of two equal strings, one be stopped at points dividing the string in the ratios of 1: 2; 2:3; and 3:4, the octave, fifth, and fourth above the sister string are produced. Hence he regarded these intervals as perfect concords, and this opinion was general till the time of Des Cartes, who first boldly asserted that thirds were concords. It may be added that, even now, most of the major thirds we hear are less than two whole tones apart. This interval, when strictly produced, sounds like a sharp third, and is disagreeable. The difficulty is avoided by the temperament in our tuning.

From this explanation it is seen to be improper to treat the phrase Diatessaron as one merely denoting harmony, and not implying any particular number of Gospels. We see also that, since the phrase denotes, not a harmony of four, but a concord between the first and fourth terms of a series, it was used improperly by Tatian, unless his work had been one on the relations between the Evangelists Matthew and John. But strict propriety of language is rare when terms of art are used metaphorically by outsiders.

My friend Dr. Quarry has given me the curious information that Diatessaron is not only a musical but a medical term. It denoted a plaister made of four ingredients; the Diapente was another common plaister made of five (Caelins Aurelianus, iv. 7, vol. ii. p. 331: ed. Haller, 1774). See also Galen, De compositione medicament, per genera, v. p. 157, Leip zig, 1827. Dr. Quarry thinks that a well-known blunder made by Victor of Capua, in writing Diapente where he ought to have written Diatessaron, is a confusion more likely to have arisen from the common use of the words as medical than as musical terms; the former use being popular at the time in question, the latter then confined to a few.

24) Phillips, Doctrine of Addai, p. 34.

25) Tatian's Diatessaron, Erlangen, 1881. Zahn is Professor of Theo logy at Leipzig, and belongs to the Conservative school.

26) Baethgen maintained the somewhat startling thesis that the Diates saron was the earliest form in which the Gospel history became known to Syriac-speaking people ( Evangelienfragmente, Leipzig, 1885.) His view has been adopted by Zahn, who now holds that Tatian returning from the West to his native Edessa, gave the Syriac-speaking people their first history of our Lord's life in their own tongue, in the form of a single Gospel, framed by combining the Greek four. Zahn holds that the Diatessaron continued for more than a century to be the only Gospel known to Syriac-speaking people; and he accounts for the affinities that have been noticed between the Diatessaron and the Syriac version pub lished by Dr. Cureton, by the supposition that those who first translated the entire Greek Gospels into Syriac were influenced by the phraseology of the Diatessaron with which they were familiar. If Zahn's speculations as to the Latin translation be correct, Tatian would deserve the honour of being the first to make a vernacular translation of any part of the New Testament. But it seems to me very improbable that the idea of translating into Syriac would have occurred to Tatian if he had not already in the West known of Latin translations. It would, however, be beside my present purpose to discuss the interesting questions suggested in this note. All that we are here concerned with is, that it has been put beyond controversy that Tatian acknowledged our four Gospels as the primary sources of a knowledge of the Saviour's life.

27) The first formal account of it was given by Harnack in the Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, 1 88 1. He had previously, in the same journal, for 1879, p. 401, given a reference to the book without explaining its nature. The book was more largely referred to by Dr. Ezra Abbot, in America, in his Authorship of the Fourth Gospel, 1880. The first detailed account of it in England was given by Dr. Wace in articles in The Expositor, 1882.

28) See Wace's paper referred to, p. 85.

29) Using the sources enumerated above, Mr. Hemphill has edited the Diatessaron in an English form (Hodder & Stoughton, 1888). He makes one interesting new observation. Eusebius, as has been mentioned above, had stated that what he calls τὸ διὰ τεσσάρων εὐαγγέλιον left by Ammonius of Alexandria had St. Matthew's narrative as its basis. Now, at first sight, this appears not to be the case with Tatian's Diatessaron which, as we have said, begins with the prologue of St. John, passes then to St. Luke, and seems to use all four Gospels on equal terms. But Mr. Hemphill notes that the passages extracted from St. Matthew in this Diatessaron follow, with scarcely an exception, the order of that Gospel, while the extracts from the other Gospels are taken promiscuously. Thus we may conceive the Diatessaron as made by taking St. Matthew's Gospel, leaving out some things, and interpolating others derived from the other Gospels. The idea thus suggests itself, that Tatian's Diatessaron may have been the basis of the harmony of Ammonius, but the total loss of the latter work leaves us without the means of verifying this conjecture. St. Jerome (Ep. 121, ad Algas., i. 860) speaks also of Theophilus of Antioch as the author of a harmony. As we do not hear of this elsewhere, it is commonly sup posed that Jerome made a mistake in ascribing to Theophilus the work of Tatian.

30) I observe that Dean Burgon refuses to join in the general recognition of the harmony published by Moesinger as Tatian s, and refers to the author as Pseudo-Tatian. But every specialist is in danger of being biassed by the consideration how a decision affects his own subject. A very ancient reading of Matt, xxvii. 49 recorded there the piercing of our Lord's side, now found only in St. John's Gospel, and placed the incident before our Lord's death. On the authority of a scholium which made Diodorus and Tatian responsible for this reading, a plausible explanation was given, that the currency of Tatian's harmony, in which the words of different Evangelists had been mixed together, had, in this instance, led to a transference of an incident related by St. John to an improper place in the first Gospel. But this explanation receives no confirmation from the newly- recovered text of Ephraem. It seems to me that this is not a sufficient reason for discrediting that text.