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

By George Salmon

Chapter 24


In my first lecture I said (p. 12) that I intended my investigation to be purely historical, and that I meant to discuss the evidence as to the authorship of the books of the New Testament in the same way that I should do if the subject of inquiry were any profane histories. By this course I gained the advantage of being able to set aside objections to the reception of our books drawn from the miraculous character of their contents; but I debarred myself from using the authority of the Church in fixing the Canon. This is not the time for discussing some very important questions of principle, such as whether the authority of Scripture depends on that of the Church; whether the Church has made any determination on the subject, and if so, when and how; and whether it is possible for her to err in such determination. I have been able to postpone such questions, because, plainly, if the decisions of the Church be correct, they will not be opposed to the results obtained by honest historical investigation. But I wish to point out that there is an important difference with regard to the assent we give when we adopt a Canon of Scripture merely on the authority of the Church, and when we do so as the result of historical inquiry. In the former case all the books of the Canon have equal claims on our acceptance; if the Church have decided in favour of Bel and the Dragon, that must be received ex animo as much as the Book of Genesis; if the verse of the Three heavenly Wit nesses be part of the text adopted by the Church, it has the same authority as the verse, * In the beginning was the Word. On the other hand, historical inquiry ordinarily leads to results which we hold with unequal confidence. For some things the evidence is so convincing as to draw from us that undoubting assent to which we commonly give the name of certainty; other results may be pronounced highly probable, others probable in a less degree; in some cases our verdict may not reach beyond a non liquet.

Now there are some who in theory reject the principle that the authority of Scripture depends on that of the Church, but who show that they have in practice adopted it, by their reluctance to recognize the possibility that there may be inequality in the claims of different books which we have been accustomed to recognize alike as Scripture. In laying before you the evidence for our books, I cannot but feel that to some of you it will be a disappointment to learn that in the two or three last cases we have to examine, the testimony is much less copious than in those which previously came before us; and a shock to discover that in any case it can be such as to leave room for doubt. I can only repeat that the ordinary condition of historical inquiry is to arrive at results which must be accepted with unequal confidence. The Church of the nineteenth century has no reason to complain, if she is not better off in this respect than the Church of the fourth century. Although in that age the great bulk of the books of our New Testament Canon were received with universal assent, there were a few about which the most learned men then hesitated. I have already told you of the two classes into which Eusebius divided our New Testament books. Whatever doubts Eusebius entertained with regard to his antilegomena are repeated fifty years later by St. Jerome; and at the beginning of the fifth century St. Augustine still puts books received only by some Churches into a different category from those received by all. For he says: In judging of the canonical Scriptures the student will hold this course, that he prefer those which are received by all Catholic Churches to those which some do not receive; of those again which are not received by all, he will prefer those which more, and more influential, Churches receive to those which are held by Churches fewer in number or inferior in authority (De Doctr. Chr. ii. 12).

Now I will frankly tell you my own opinion, that since the end of the fourth century no new revelation has been made to enlighten the Church on the subject of the Canon; and therefore that we can have no infallible certainty on matters about which learned men of that age thought they had not evidence to warrant a confident assertion. On the other hand, when, after long discussion, one opinion gains the victory, and establishes itself so as to become a universally accepted belief, that itself is a fact which is entitled to have some weight. And in some cases we can clearly see good reason for the recognition of documents questioned in the fourth century. Thus, the authority of the great majority of the books of our Canon, resting, as it does, on a general con sensus of historical testimony, stands on a much firmer basis than if it depended on any early formal decision of a council, concerning which we might be in doubt as to the grounds on which the decision was made, as to the competence of the men who made it, and as to possible opposing testimony which that interference of conciliar authority might have prevented from reaching us.

In the case of the two Palestinian documents which have come before us in the last and in this lecture, we find it easy to explain why there should be some inferiority of testimony. If it had not been for the calamities which befell the Jewish people, it is quite conceivable that Christianity might have developed itself in some form similar to that in which the pseudo-Clementines present its early history, and that the head of the parent Church of Jerusalem might have been generally recognized as the ruler and lawgiver of Christen dom. But there came first the Jewish rebellion, ending in the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. After that, there still were Jews who clung to the site of the ancient glories of their nation, and Christianity had its representatives among them in a line of Jewish successors to James. But then came the terrible insurrection under Barcochba in the reign of Hadrian, on the suppression of which the very name of Jerusalem was abolished, and Jews were forbidden to approach the spot; and though Christians were to be found in the new city, Ælia Capitolina, which then replaced Jerusalem, they were of necessity governed by Gentile rulers (Euseb. iv. 6). We learn from Justin Martyr (Apol. i. 31) that Barcochba during his possession of power fanatically persecuted the Christians, and it is to be believed that after his death there remained great exasperation of feeling, indisposing men of Jewish birth to embrace Christianity. Meanwhile the Gentile Churches nourished and multiplied, and naturally were thenceforward little influenced by Jewish Christianity and its traditions. So we have no cause for surprise that the circulation enjoyed by the two Palestinian letters, the Epistles of James and Jude, was so limited as it appears to have been.

But what is really surprising is, that of these two, it is the letter of the less celebrated man which seems to have been the better known, and to have obtained the wider circulation. The external testimony to the Epistle of James is comparatively weak, and it is only the excellence of the internal evidence which removes all hesitation. Now the case is just the reverse with regard to Jude's Epistle. There is very little in the letter itself to enable us to pronounce a confident opinion as to the date of composition; but it is recognized by writers who are silent with respect to the Epistle of James. I have given (p. 493) evidence that Clement of Alexandria, whose knowledge of the Epistle of James is disputable, used that of Jude. Besides what is there quoted from the Hypotyposeis. Clement cites the Epistle elsewhere (Paed. iii. 8, p. 280, Potter: Strom, iii. 2, p. 515). The Muratorian Fragment re cognizes it, and Tertullian (De cult. fern. 3), labouring to establish the authority of the Book of Enoch, adds as a crowning argument that it is quoted by the Apostle Jude/ We may infer, therefore, that Jude's Epistle was an unquestioned part of Tertullian's Canon. Origen repeatedly quotes the Epistle, though on one occasion he implies that it was not universally received.1 I have quoted (pp. 475, 492) what is said by Eusebius, in which he seems scarcely to do justice to the use of this Epistle by his predecessors. Of these, in addition to Clement and Origen, may be named Malchion, who, in a passage preserved by Eusebius himself (vii. 30), clearly employs the Epistle. It is included in the list of Athanasius (Fest. Ep. 39). Lucifer of Cagliari (about 357), quoting it, describes Jude as gloriosus apostolus frater Jacobi apostoli (see infra, p. 525); and it, as well as the other Catholic Epistles, was commented on by Didymus of Alexandria, who died towards the end of the fourth century. Didymus mentions, but with disapproval, opposition made to the Epistle on account of the verse about the body of Moses (Galland, vi. 294). Jerome says: Jude, the brother of James, has left a short Epistle, which is one of the seven Catholic. And, be cause in it he draws a testimony from the apocryphal Book of Enoch, it is rejected by very many. However, it has now gained authority by antiquity and use, and is counted among the sacred Scriptures (De Viris Illust. 4).

It is plain from the evidence adduced that Jude's Epistle early obtained a currency in the West, which was not gained until a later period by the Epistle of James. On the other hand, Jude's Epistle is wanting in the Peshitto. Several quotations of it are indeed found in the works of Ephraem Syrus, but only in those which have been translated into Greek (n. pp. 154, 161; in. p. 61); and there is room for doubt whether this use of Jude was made by Ephraem him self, or introduced by the translator.2

Notwithstanding the wide circulation of Jude's Epistle in early times, I find no reason to think that our earliest authorities knew more either about its author or the occasion of its composition than they could learn from the document itself. We need not doubt that it is a real relic of the first age of the Church, both because there is no trace of any motive such as might inspire a forgery, and also because a forger would certainly have inscribed his production with some more distinguished name. The letter professes to come from Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James. We may regard it as certain that the James here intended is the well- known James who presided over the Church of Jerusalem, and thus that the Epistle clearly belongs to the Palestinian section of the Church. This James is, no doubt, also he who is called the Lord's brother (Gal. i. 19). Now the names of our Lord's brethren are given (Matt. xiii. 55) as James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas; and in the parallel passage of Mark (vi. 3) as James, Joses, Judas, and Simon. We may take for granted that the Judas here named is the author of our Epistle. We may also believe that it is the same Jude who is mentioned in a tradition preserved by Hegesippus (Euseb. iii. 20), that informers attempted to excite the jealousy of Domitian against two of our Lord's family, grandsons of Jude, who is said to have been his brother after the flesh.3 On being questioned by the Emperor as to their property, they told him that they had no money, and possessed only a small farm, which they owned in common and cultivated with their own hands, its value not being more than 9000 denarii. Then they showed him their hands, and when he saw them horny with continual toil he was convinced of the truth of the story. As for the kingdom which they were accused of expecting, they assured him that it was no earthly kingdom, but a heavenly one; when Christ should come at the end of the world to judge the quick and dead. On this the Emperor, regarding them as beneath his jealousy, dismissed them; and they survived to the reign of Trajan, held in honour in the Churches, both on ac count of this their confession and of their kindred to our Lord. There is a Judas, who may or may not be another, in the list of the Apostles, as given by St. Luke (vi. 16, Acts i. 13), and recognized by St. John (xiv. 22). This Judas occupies the place of one who in the lists of Matthew (x. 3) and Mark (iii. 18), is called Lebbeus, or Thaddeus.4 I may remind you in passing that in the Abgar legend (see p. 355) Thaddeus is represented not as an Apostle, but as one of the Seventy, and that he is not called Judas a name which is treated as belonging to Thomas. St. Luke describes the Apostle Judas as Ἰούδας Ἰακώβου; and though the natural translation of the words is Jude, the son of James/ the Authorized Version renders Jude the brother of James, no doubt because the Apostle was identified with the author of our Epistle. But it is very doubtful whether this identification can be maintained. The author of the Epistle not only does not call himself an Apostle in his inscription, but seems to distinguish himself from the Apostles (v. 17).

On the question, what we are to understand by the brethren of our Lord, you ought to consult Bishop Light- foot's Dissertation II., appended to his Commentary on Galatians. We have, I think, to choose between the hypo thesis, that these brethren were sons of Joseph by a former wife, or that they were near kinsmen who, according to Hebrew usage, might be called brethren. It is always best to confess ignorance when we have not the means of certain knowledge, and it does not seem to me that we have it in this instance. I believe that Epiphanius, Jerome, and most others, who are appealed to as authorities, had no more means of real knowledge than ourselves. The arguments on both sides which seem to me really deserving of attention are the following: (1) The manner in which the four brothers are mentioned in Matt. xiii. 55, would scarcely be natural if they were not members of the same household as our Lord. (2) The Protevangelium, and the Gospel according to St. Peter (as we know from Origen's Commentary on Matt. xiii. 55), represent these brethren as sons of Joseph by a former wife. (3) Hegesippus describing Simeon, the second Bishop of Jerusalem, as our Lord's cousin, never calls him brother of our Lord as he does James and Jude. These, being second- century authorities, may be supposed likely to speak from knowledge. But it is possible that all three may be too late for such knowledge; and a difficulty arises from the fact of Simeon's election as second Bishop of Jerusalem. For Jude's Epistle exhibits much greater corruption of morals among professing Christians than that of James, so that it is natural to think that Jude survived James; and since his kinship to our Lord appears to have been a main reason for the choice of Simeon, the question arises, If Jude were known as a brother of our Lord, and Simeon not, would not the choice have fallen on Jude, whose Epistle shows him to have had, besides the claims of birth, those also of piety and ability? On the other hand, the choice of Simeon would be intelligible if he were Jude's elder brother; and we know (Matt. xiii. 55) that Jude had a brother called Simon.

Again, we find (Matt, xxvii. 56) that there were a James and Joses who were not the sons of a deceased wife of Joseph, but who had a mother living at the time of the Crucifixion. It is, no doubt, possible that the three brethren of our Lord, James, Joses, and Simon, had three cousins brothers also named James, Joses, and Simon; but the more natural sup position is, that the same James and Joses are spoken of in both places.

Weighing the arguments on both sides, I think the preponderance is on the side of those for the adoption of the theory that these brethren were sons of Joseph. This is as far as we know, the older opinion; for Lightfoot has been successful in showing that the cousin theory cannot be traced higher than St. Jerome. At the same time the matter appears to me by no means free from doubt. I agree with Lightfoot in thinking that neither James nor Jude was among the Twelve.

Concerning the date of the Epistle, our determination is materially affected by the view we take of the persons whose immorality and contempt of dignities the Apostle censures. I have already mentioned (p. 27) that Renan imagines that Jude wished his readers to understand the Apostle Paul. Renan can thus date the letter as early as 54. But he stands alone in this fantastic criticism. Clement of Alexandria, in a passage already cited, supposes that Jude spoke prophetically of the immoral teaching of Carpocrates; and some modern critics, sharing the view that the Epistle is directed against this form of Gnosticism, consider that it can not be earlier than the second century. I have already had occasion to mention (p. 362) that on the doctrine common to the Gnostic sects, of the essential impurity of matter, two opposite rules of life were founded. The earliest seems to have been a rigorously ascetic rule, men hoping that by mortifying the body they could make the soul more pure and more vigorous. But before long there were others who held that by knowledge the soul could be so elevated as to surfer no detriment from the deeds of the body, however gross they might be. Nay, there were some who, accepting the doctrine of the Old Testament, that the precepts of the Decalogue came from him who made the world, but believing also that the creation of matter had been a bad work, inculcated the violation of these precepts as a duty, in order to exhibit hostility to the evil Being or Beings who had created the world. To this immoral type of Gnosticism the teaching of Carpocrates belonged; but I see no warrant for asserting that any such systematic justification of immorality had been developed when our Epistle was written. I find nothing in this Epistle to prevent our assigning it to the Apostolic age; for other Apostles had had cause to complain of impurity, which had already crept into the Church (2 Cor. xii. 21; Phil. iii. 19; Rev. ii. 20-22). Some critics (e.g. Schenkel, in his Bible Lexicon) have discovered Gnostic theories in v. 4, inferring from it that those whom Jude opposed did not believe in the unity of God, and defended their evil practices by maintaining the duty of antagonism to the Creator. But I consider that Jude's words, denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, no more of necessity imply doctrinal error than do Paul's words, in the passage of Philippians just cited, enemies of the Cross of Christ. And those whom Jude in the same verse describes as turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness seem to me not different from those who, having been called unto liberty, used liberty for an occasion to the flesh (Gal. v. 13). St. Paul in the beginning of 1 Cor. x. had used the same example which St. Jude employs in warning those men of corrupt hearts who, having slipped into the Church, presumed on the grace they had received. Both Apostles remind them of the fate of those Israelites of old, who, though they had escaped out of the land of Egypt, yet suffered in the wilderness the penalty of their unbelief and disobedience. And Jude adds the further example, that even angels fell. On the whole, I conclude that the evils under which Jude's Epistle reveals the Church to be suffering are not essentially different from those the existence of which we learn from Paul's Epistles; and therefore that we are not forced to bring the authorship down to the second century. Nothing forbids us to give it the date it must have had if really written by Jude the brother of James, namely, before the reign of Domitian, by which time Hegesippus gives us to understand that Jude had died.

I will add, that there does not seem to me to be sufficient evidence that those whom Jude condemns were teachers of false doctrine, or even teachers at all. I think his language is fully satisfied if we suppose them to be private members of the Church who lived ungodly lives, and who were in subordinate and contumelious when rebuked by their spiritual superiors.5

It remains to say something about what Jerome states to have been a bar to the reception of Jude's Epistle, namely, its use of Jewish apocryphal literature. Two passages in particular demand attention. In the first place, Origen states (De Princip. iii. 2) that the mention (v. 9) of the contest for the body of Moses, between Michael the Archangel and the Devil, is derived from an apocryphal book called the Assumption of Moses. The same thing is intimated in a pas sage of Didymus, already referred to, and in a passage of Apollinaris of Laodicea preserved in a catena. This book of the Assumption of Moses appears to have obtained some circulation in the Christian Church. It is cited by Clement of Alexandria (Strom, vi. 15, p. 806); by Origen (in Lib. fesu Nav. Hom. ii. i); by Evodius, a correspondent of Augus tine's (Augustine, Epist. 158, opp. ii. 561); and by Gelasius of Cyzicus (Ada Syn. NIC. Mansi, Concil, ii. 844, 858). It is enumerated among Old Testament apocrypha in the synopsis of the pseudo-Athanasius; and it is included in the stichometry of Nicephorus, who assigns it the same length (1400 στίχοι) as the Apocalypse of St. John. Nevertheless it had almost entirely perished, when, in 1861, a large fragment of a Latin version of it was recovered and published by Ceriani, from a palimpsest in the Ambrosian Library of Milan. From what we learn from Nicephorus as to the length of the original, we know that the recovered portion is not more than one-third of it; and it is in a very imperfect state many words or letters being obliterated.6 The recovered fragment has been edited by Hilgenfeld in his Nov. Test, extra Canon, recept.; and he has attempted to restore the Greek in his Messias Judœorum. You can also very conveniently find it in Fritzsche's edition of the Old Testament apocryphal books. Critics have drawn from the fragment different theories as to the date of the book; but it appears to me that the data are altogether insufficient to warrant any certain conclusion. The fragment, unfortunately, breaks off before the death of Moses, so that we have not the means of verifying that the work related a dispute between the Devil and the Archangel Michael. But I do not think we are warranted in rejecting the early testimony that this book was the authority used by Jude, since what he refers to is certainly not found in the canonical Scriptures of the Old Testament.

The second passage is the quotation (v. 14) of the words of Enoch. I have already said that Tertullian mentions a Book of Enoch, which in his opinion ought to be received, notwithstanding that it had not been admitted into the Canon of the Jews, who reject this, as they usually do what speaks of Christ. Among Christian writers Tertullian stands alone in this acceptance. Origen (Horn, in Numer. xxviii. 2) and Augustine (De Civ. Dei, xviii. 38, a passage which deserves to be consulted) mention without disapproval the rejection of it by the Jews. The book was known to Irenseus (iv. xvi. 2), Clement of Alexandria (Eclog. ii. p. 990), Anatolius (Euseb. vii. 32), Origen (De Princip. iv. 35, Adv. Cels. v. 35): see also Constt. Apost. vi. 30. Several extracts from the book were preserved by Georgius Syncellus, a monk of Constantinople, towards the end of the eighth century. In these passages the story is told, founded on Gen. vi. 1, of a descent of angels to this lower world, where they became the parents of the giants. The same story appears in Justin Martyr (Apol. ii. 5), and in both forms of the pseudo-Clementines, possibly derived from this source; and it may also be referred to in Jude 6.

Beyond the extracts just mentioned the book had been completely lost, until, in 1773, the traveller Bruce brought back from Abyssinia copies of an Ethiopic version of the Book of Enoch. Laurence, Archbishop of Cashel, published an English translation of this in 1821 (republished, London, 1883), followed by the Ethiopic text in 1838, and this text has been re-edited with a German translation by Dillmann in 1853. It would be out of place here if I were to give a description of the book, or to enter into discussions concerning its date or its unity of authorship. Suffice it to say that there is no reason for doubting that the book is quite old enough to have been used by the Apostle Jude;7 and that it contains, with very trifling variations, the words quoted by Jude. Some respectable divines have maintained, notwithstanding, that Jude did not derive hence his knowledge of Enoch's prophecy, but that it had been preserved traditionally, and afterwards incorporated in the Book of Enoch. And it has been suggested that the words now found in the Ethiopic version were introduced from Jude by the translator, or had previously been interpolated by a Christian into the Greek. I do not feel that I can with candour take this line.8 We can feel no surprise that an Apostle should be acquainted with the Jewish literature current in his age; but it is, no doubt, natural to us to think that God would supernaturally enlighten him so as to prevent his being deceived by a falsely ascribed book; and that if he referred to such a book at all he would take care to make it plain to his readers that he attributed to it no authority. Yet we follow a very unsafe method if we begin by deciding in what way it seems to us most fitting that God should guide His Church, and then try to wrest facts into conformity with our pre-conceptions.9


1) In Matt. torn. x. 17; xiii. 27; xv. 27; xvii. 30. In the first of these passages he calls the Epistle one of few lines, but full of powerful words of heavenly grace. In the second he interprets the τετηρημένοις in v. 1, of the work of guardian angels. It is only in the last of them that he uses the formula if any receive the Epistle of Jude.

2) The Peshitto list only containing three Catholic Epistles is referred to in the Iambics of Amphilochius of Iconium, who died about 395 (Galland, vi. 495): καθολικὰς ἐπιστολὰς τινὲς μὲν ἑπτά φασιν, αὶ δὲ τρεῖς μόνας χρῆναι δέχεσθαι, τὴν Ἰακώβου μίαν, μίαν δὲ Πέτρον, τήν τ’ Ἰωάννονμίαν. τινὲς δὲ τὰς τρεΐε, καὶ πρὶς αὑταῖς τὰς δύο Πέτρον δέχονται, τὴν Ἰούδα δ’ ἑβδόμην.

3) In a newly recovered fragment of Philip of Side (see p. 319), it is stated that Hegesippus gives the names of these grandsons, viz., Zocer and James.

4) There is a question of reading here which I will not delay to discuss; but it is important to mention that in Matt. x. 3 there is a well-attested old Latin reading: Judas Zelotes, instead of Thaddseus, and that our Epistle is described as Judae Zelotis in the catalogue of canonical books commonly ascribed to Gelasius, but which, according to Thiel (Epp. Rom. Pont., p. 58), is rather to be referred to Pope Damasus. But concerning this list, see Westcott's Bible in the Church, p. 195.

5) The Revised Version translates ἀφόβως ἑαυτούς ποιμαίνοντες (v. 12), shepherds that without fear feed themselves, looking on the passage as containing a reference to Ezek. xxxiv. 2, Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves. But the words in the LXX. there are βόσκουσιν ἑαυτούς, and Jude's words convey to me a different idea; not that of self- seeking clergy, but of schismatical laity who separate themselves from the flock of Christ, and are not afraid to be their own shepherds. Lucifer (De non con-ven. cum haret., p. 794, Migne) renders semetipsos regentes. Many of the phrases packed together in Jude's Epistle might each be the text of a discourse; so that I could easily believe that we had in this Epistle heads of topics enlarged on, either in a longer document, or by the Apostle himself in viva voce addresses.

6) The recovered fragment wants the title; but the citation of Gelasius enables us to be certain in identifying it. The passage cited describes Moses as τῆς διαθήκης αὐτοῦ μεσίτης, a phase which it is interesting to compare with Gal. iii. 19, Heb. viii. 6.

7) I believe this to be the opinion of all critics but Volkmar, who assigns a late date to the epistle of Jude, and with this object strives to push down both the Assumption of Moses and the Book of Enoch to the reign of Hadrian.

8) In the first place, observe the close agreement of the passage formally quoted: Behold he comes with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him (Enoch ch. 2, Laurence's translation). But there are, besides, between the two books, other coincidences to which my attention has been called by Mr. Garrett. Thus, Jude's reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day clearly has its origin in Enoch x. 6-9 (see also v. 16), Bind Azazel hand and foot, . . . covering him with darkness; there shall he remain for ever, covering his face that he see not the light; and in the great day of Judgment let him be cast into the fire. The wandering stars of Jude 13 maybe com pared with what Enoch tells, xviii. 15, of the prison of stars; and xxi. 3, of stars which have transgressed the commandment of the Most High. And the words of Enoch xxvi. 2,3, Here shall be collected all who utter with their mouths unbecoming language against God, and speak harsh things of his glory. In the latter days an example shall be made of them in righteousness before the saints, seem to have suggested the δεῖγμα of Jude 7, as well as the κυριότητα ἀθετοῦσιν δόξας δὲ βλασφημοῦσιν of v. 8. See also v. 16.

9) It has been already stated (p. 515) that the Peshitto version only contained three Catholic Epistles. The remaining four, viz. Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, were first printed in Syriac, by Pococke, in 1630, from a sixeenth century MS. in the Bodleian, and were afterwards included in the Paris Polyglot, followed by Walton's and by most subsequent editions. But the evidence, both external and internal, forbids us to assign to this version an earlier date than the sixth century. Of the copies of these Epistles in Syriac (a dozen or more), which have come to light since Pococke's time, the oldest is one of the Nitrian collection in the British Museum, which was written in the ninth century. They are probably part of the translation made about A.D. 508, under the authority of Philoxenus, Bishop of Mabug, by Polycarpus, a chorepiscopus.