THE

CHURCH QUARTERLY REVIEW.

LXI. Ocrozer 1890,

ArT. I—THE UNRECORDED SAYINGS OF OUR LORD.

1. Agrapha: aussercanonische Evangelienfragmente in mig- licher Vollstindighett zusammengestellt und quellenkri- tisch untersucht von ALFRED RESCH. In Gebhardt und Harnack’s Texte und Untersuchungen, Band v. Heft 4. (Leipzig, 1889.)

2. Das Hebréer-Evangelium: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte und Kritik des hebriiischen Matthius. Von RUDULPH HANDMANN. In Texte und Untersuchungen. Band v. Heft 2. (Leipzig, 1889.)

WE are expressly told by St. John that besides the things which he has recorded in his Gospel there were many other things which Jesus had said and done (xxi. 25). Even if this Evangelist had not so emphatically stated it, our own common sense would convince us that it was, in the nature of things, impossible that an absolutely complete record should have been given of everything which our Blessed Lord had said and done during the years of His earthly life. We may be assured, then, that the other three Evangelists as well as the fourth aimed at no more than to make a selection of those of our Lord’s words and deeds which they judged it most im- portant that the Church should possess. We may be quite sure that they have told us all that it was essential for us to know—quite enough to attain what St. John declares to have been his object, namely, ‘that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we might have life through His name’ (xx. 31).

Yet the more lively our sense of the inestimable value of what has been given us the more natural it is that we should hunger for more. We ask ourselves, Can nothing be added to that biography of our Lord which has been given us in the Gospels? The harvest no doubt was well reaped by the

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four Evangelists ; but are we forbidden to think that they may have left behind some materials for a gleaning? We have one striking proof that they did not include in their Gospels every saying of our Lord which it had been in their power to record ; for St. Luke, in the Acts, has added one which neither he nor any of the other Evangelists had included in his Gospel, and ¢hat one of the most precious of the gracious words that proceeded from our Lord’s mouth: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (xx. 35).

It surely seems a thing not to be pronounced impossible that some trustworthy historical tradition might be obtained to supplement what inspired pens have recorded. Our Saviour lived a public life; eager multitudes thronged Him, hoping to benefit by His healing power, or desiring to be instructed by His teaching. For example, St. Matthew tells us in general terms (ix. 35), Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Is it unlikely that the grateful recollection of some of those on whom these works of healing had been done should preserve the details of their cure, or that among His hearers in the synagogue there should be some who would store up in their memory the words of Him who spoke as never man spake? It would, therefore, be not unnatural if, in addition to those traditions of our Lord’s life and teaching, the authenticity of which was guaranteed by inspired Evangelists, we had also others, not so well attested yet by no means to be summarily rejected. The probability of the existence of such uncanonical traditions rises higher when we learn that at a very early period traditions of the kind not only circu- lated from mouth to mouth, but were committed to writing. So St. Luke tells us in his preface, from which we learn that before he wrote his Gospel, already ‘many had taken in hand’ to draw up a narrative of the events of the Saviour’s life.

It is notorious that there are now extant non-canonical Gospels, one at least of which can claim a very early date, amongst which it might have been hoped we should recover a pre-canonical Gospel, or at least some fragments of such a Gospel. But critics of all schools are agreed that nothing valuable of the kind is to be found in these extant Gospels, concerning the character of which the name apocryphal, by which they are generally known, conveys no false impression. They are all later, some of them much later, than the canoni- cal Gospels ; and whatever original matter they contain has all the marks of being pure invention.

1890 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. 3

Yet it has been thought not impossible to recover by critical enquiry some fragments at least of predecessors of the canonical Gospels. On comparison of the synoptic Gospels jarge portions are found common to all three, agreeing so closely, not only in sense but in form of expression, as to suggest that either one Evangelist copied the work of another or that all drew from a common source. Now the current of critical opinion is decidedly adverse to the notion that one Evangelist copied another. Certainly, at least as far as the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke are concerned, if we suppose that either Evangelist was acquainted with the work of the other, we find it almost impossible to explain why he should have omitted so much useful for his purpose, to say nothing of a multitude of variations or even apparent con- tradictions. The hypothesis has, therefore, found considerable favour that before any of our existing Gospels was composed the apostolical tradition concerning our Lord’s life and teach- ing had already assumed some written form which was made use of independently by our Evangelists. Various attempts have been made by the help of our present Gospels to restore this, which, if the hypothesis be correct, would deserve to be regarded as the earliest of all the Gospels. It is not our pur- pose in this article to enter into so large a subject as to discuss what measure of success, if any, has been obtained in any of these speculations. It is evident that if they were successful in the highest degree they would do no more than mark out in our existing Gospels some specially ancient part, and would do nothing to supplement the fourfold narrative on which ex- clusively the investigation rests.

We must look, then, for information to uninspired sources ; and though these add nothing trustworthy to our knowledge of the incidents of our Lord’s life, yet what can be gleaned from them as to His sayings is not hastily to be rejected. We occasionally find in early writers words quoted as having been spoken by our Lord which we cannot identify with any of those recorded in the Gospels. Some of these sayings are pretty generally known to theological students, as, for ex- ample, ‘Be ye approved money-changers.’ The character of almost all these alleged sayings is such that nothing forbids us to believe that some such words may have been spoken by our Lord if only the evidence as to His having uttered them were good enough. The sayings of our Blessed Lord are so precious that it would be a welcome discovery if it were really possible to make any trustworthy supplement to that selection

of them which is included in our Gospels. We feel the fitness B2

4 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. Oct.

of. the motto which Bishop Westcott has prefixed to his col- lection of these extra-canonical sayings— Gather up the frag- ments that remain, that nothing be lost.” The collection in question is to be found as Appendix C, ‘On the Apocryphal Traditions of the Lord’s Words and Works,’ added to Westcott’s Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, and is the fullest and most convenient collection of such traditions that had been made at the time of its publication. It is worth while to copy the little preface which Bishop Westcott prefixes to his collection.

‘It is a fact of great significance that traditional accounts of words or works of the Lord which are not noticed in the Gospels are extremely rare. The Gospels are the full measure of what was known in the Apostolic age, and (may we not add ?) of what was designed by Providence for the instruction of after ages. ‘There are, however, some fragments which appear to contain true and original traits of the Lord’s teaching, and as such are invested with the greatest interest. Some traditional sayings, again, are evidently duplicate recensions of passages contained in the Gospels. Others are so dis- torted by the admixture of explanation or comment as to present only a very narrow point of connexion with the Evangelic history’ (p. 428, 3rd edit.).

We have indicated quotations of early writers as a source from which some additions to the inspired narrative may be obtained ; we ought not to omit to name another—namely, various readings of early manuscripts. It is notorious that Codex D, for example, is full of additions to the canonical text. One of the best known examples, resting solely on the au- thority of that manuscript, is the story of the man working on the Sabbath, to whom our Lord is reported to have said, ‘O man, if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou ; but if thou knowest not, thou art cursed and art a transgressor of the law. Though Codex D is but a sixth-century manuscript yet its type of text is recognized as of much greater antiquity ; and its uncanonical additions deserve attention as traditions concerning the Gospel history which circulated, in all proba- bility, as early as the second century. Moreover the severity of modern criticism tends to transfer some few passages from the received text of the Gospels to the category of uninspired additions. Thus the story of the woman taken in adultery is now by common consent of critics rejected.as being no part of the Gospel of St. John; yet, considered as an uncanonical addition, is recognized as having very high claims to respect- ful attention. Still more does this remark apply to some verses rejected by Westcott and Hort. Thus if the words,

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890 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. 5 ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,’ be no part of Luke’s genuine text, we must own that uncanonical tradition was able to add to the Gospel history a supplement of the very highest value. Something similar may be said about the story of the bloody sweat, about our Lord’s answer to the disciples who asked leave to call down fire from heaven —in short, about every text which modern critics propose to expunge from the Zextus Receptus. Setting aside those addi- tions to the Gospel history found in apocryphal Gospels or elsewhere, which may be dismissed as undoubtedly spurious, there is found a residuum of passages, uncanonical or of doubt- ful canonicity, whose claims to credibility on historic grounds well merit examination. To make a collection of such pass- ages, and to discuss the evidence for the authenticity of each, is a work which deserves a welcome.

This is what is attempted in the work of Resch now under teview, which is a systematic treatise on these extra-canonical sayings ; and the author is naturally able, in a monograph of some 500 pages, to treat his subject with greater fulness than Bishop Westcott, for example, had been able to do in an appendix of nine pages added to another work. The title of Resch’s book is Agrapha, a name which he has adopted from an earlier monograph on the same subject by Koerner, De dictis Christi aypapos (Leipzig, 1776). Resch gives much the same explanation of what he means by ‘agrapha’ as that which Roman Catholics give of what they mean when they speak of ‘unwritten tradition,’ the word adypad¢a being taken to mean not so much ‘unwritten’! as non-scriptural ;’ or it would be better to say ‘extra-Evangelical,’ for Resch counts among his Agrapha passages from the canonical Epistles, viz. the verse 1 Cor. ii. 9, ‘Eye hath not seen,’ &c., which St. Paul introduces with the formula ‘as it is written ;’ the words which St. James (iv. 5) quotes as Scripture, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy ;’ and the words introduced in the Epistle to the Ephesians (v. 14) with the common formula of Scripture quotation Wherefore he saith, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ Resch aims at making a more complete collection of ‘agrapha’ than any which had been made before, and has added a critical and exegetical com- mentary, discussing on external and internal grounds the

1 In the passages which Resch refers to in Clement of Alexandria (Strom. v.7, p. 771; i. 10, p. 34) it appears to us that Clement uses the word dypdpas in the strict sense, and is opposing purely oral tradition to written.

6 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. Oct. Lyte

claims of each fragment to be regarded as authentic, and attempting to ascertain the meaning which the words were originally intended to convey. Resch has been successful in calling attention to some ‘agrapha’ which his predecessors had not noticed, and he deserves commendation for giving his authorities, not by mere reference but in full quotation, so that a reader is able to form some opinion of the validity of his arguments without the necessity in every case of turning to the originals of the passages quoted.

Nothing is harder than to report facts simply without mix- ing up the theoretical views of the reporter, and Resch’s presen- tation of his facts is somewhat coloured by his theory as to the genesis of the Gospels. He has adopted the views of those who have inferred from words of Papias that the earliest Gos- pel was a collection made by Matthew in the Hebrew language of ‘logia,’ or sayings, of our Lord ; that the next was St. Mark’s Gospel, and that from these two sources our present Gospels of Matthew and Luke were derived. Thus he gives the name of ‘logion’ to each of the fragments which he collects, and he is only concerned with them as possible parts of the original Hebrew Gospel which he supposes to have been known to St. Paul and the other New Testament writers. He has nothing to say to apocryphal Gospels, which are all of later date than that which he tries to restore; if any of his fragments could be referred to the Gospel according to the Egyptians or any such source it would be outside the scope of his collection.

The ingenuity of Resch’s combinations is often very attractive ; but when his proofs are dispassionately tested there is a great shrinkage, and the peculiar part of his theory— namely, the attempt to find ‘agrapha’ in the New Testament cannot be said to be successful. He appears to us not to have always resisted the temptation, to which collectors are liable, of undue eagerness to swell the bulk of his collection. In cases where there is room for doubt as to the right of a passage to be admitted, he is always disposed to decide in favour of the claimant. Thus it frequently happens that early writers quote as sayings of our Lord words differing only verbally or in trivial particulars from sayings recorded in our Gospels. It may be conceded that orthodox divines have sometimes been too hasty in assuming that every such instance is to be regarded as a case of quotation from the Gospels now extant, and that it is necessary to bear in mind the possibility that use may have been made of some Gospel now lost. But, considering the looseness of quotation habitual with early writers, and which is still common when citations are made

1890 Zhe Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. 7

from memory, and considering also the great improbability that a Gospel ever regarded by the Church as authoritative should be allowed completely to perish, we cannot be induced by verbal differences of quotation to believe in the existence of such a lost Gospel, unless these differences be considerable and persistent—that is to say, unless phrases not found in our extant text occur more than once in the quotations of the same or of different writers. Something of the same kind may be said when a Father quotes words now found in the Pauline Epistles as if they had been sayings of our Lord. Before we assume that the Father in question had access to some Gospel unknown to us, we should like to be assured that his memory had not merely played him false as to the source of his quotation. Again, when the quotations of different writers are compared it is essential to show that the writers are inde- pendent witnesses. Any argument founded on the form in which sayings of our Lord are given by an early writer gains nothing in strength from the fact that his form of quotation was copied by a later writer. Erroneous quotations have a tendency to propagate themselves. At the present day false quotations are current, not only of verses of Scripture, but of lines of Shakespeare and of other standard writers, the ex- planation of the currency being that words which quotation has once made familiar are apt to be repeated in the form in which they have been heard, and without any new reference to the original. Resch’s treatment of his second ‘logion’ sufficiently illustrates the want of caution of which we accuse him. It is notorious that Clement of Rome (ch. 13) cites precepts of our Lord, in sense identical with those contained in St. Luke vi. 36-8, but differing in form of expression. Three different hypotheses may fairly be held: (a) that Clement knew these precepts by oral tradition; (0) that he learned them from St. Luke, whom he cites from memory, combining his words with those of parallel passages in Matthew; (c) that he learned them from some different written Gospel. But Resch builds a mere castle in the air when he puts together the citations of the same precepts by Polycarp, by Clement of Alexandria, by Macarius, and in the Apostolic Constitutions and their source, treating all as inde- pendent authorities, through combination of which with Clement of Rome and with St. Luke the Hebrew of the original Gospel may be recovered. Both Polycarp and Clement of Alexandria were intimately acquainted with the Epistle of the Roman Clement, as was also the editor of the Apostolic Constitutions ; consequently coincidences on their

8 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. Oct. part with the Roman Clement’s language have no significance whatever.

If the hypothesis is put forward of a primitive Apostolic Gospel, known to St. Paul and used by him, it is almost a necessity to assume that this Gospel was Aramaic. For if it had been in Greek, and regarded by that Apostle as authori- tative, he would surely have made it known to the Churches which he founded ; it must have remained with them in con- stant use, and could never have been superseded by modern rivals, much less have perished altogether. The only possible explanation of the loss of such a Gospel is that it was in a language with which the Churches where it was employed were not acquainted, and so was known to these Churches, not directly, but through the use made of it by Christian teachers of Hebrew extraction. Even so we are not free from difficulties. We should have thought it likely that if St. Paul was indebted to a Hebrew Gospel for his knowledge of the events of our Lord’s life he would have taken care that this Gospel should be made known by translation to the Churches which he founded. We should have thought it cer- tain that in Palestine at least this Gospel would have been exclusively used, and that there, if not elsewhere, a Greek version would have been made. Thus it seems to us that, though the hypothesis of a primitive Hebrew Gospel may be easily accepted, it is difficult to believe that the authorship of this Gospel was such as to place its authority above all competition. The framers of our extant Greek Gospels evidently regarded themselves as in possession of such inde- pendent information as put them above the necessity of making a mere translation of the Hebrew Gospel, and left them at liberty to modify it or supplement it by their fuller knowledge.

But here we have to take account of the fact that there is an actual claimant for the honour of having been the primi- tive Hebrew Gospel. It is known that an Aramaic Gospel was in early times in circulation which claimed Apostolic authority ; by many it was ascribed to St. Matthew. This Gospel was known to Origen and to St. Jerome, who have preserved extracts from it enabling us to form some opinion as to its character ; but the opinion of writers in respect to it is divided. The majority, including both those who favour and those who reject the views concerning the New Testament books traditional in the Christian Church, regard this Hebrew Gospel as of inferior authority and probably of later date ‘than the extant canonical Gospels ; nor does Resch accept

1890

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1890 Zhe Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. 9

it as the primitive Gospel of which he is in search.'! On the other hand there is a minority which maintains that the version of our Lord’s acts and words given in this Gospel bears the marks of superior antiquity to that presented in the Greek Gospel. This, for example, is the view of Hilgenfeld, and it is abiy advocated in Handmann’s monograph, the title of which we have prefixed to this article. Want of space for- bids our including in this article a full discussion of the claims of the Hebrew Gospel; but here we make two observations. First, if the Gospel known to Origen and Jerome were not the primitive Hebrew Gospel, the fact of its existence and reception makes it difficult to believe that any previous Aramaic Gospel could have possessed Apostolic authority. We have contended just now that a Greek Gospel, recognized as authoritative by St. Paul, could not have been superseded by the extant Greek Gospels ; and the very same argument shows it to be improbable that a Hebrew Gospel which St. Paul recognized as authoritative should have been so super- seded by another Hebrew Gospel as that it should perish altogether and the title alone survive. In the second place, we would observe that the question concerning the antiquity of what is often quoted as ‘the Gospel according to the Hebrews’ is one which the most orthodox critic can discuss with a perfectly unbiassed mind. He is quite at liberty, if he thinks the evidence good enough, to maintain that it is of higher antiquity than any of the canonical Gospels—nay, that it was known to the compilers of these Gospels, and used by them in their work ; for it would not follow that it was of superior authority. We know from St. Luke’s preface that he was acquainted with the works of others who before him had attempted to frame a narrative of our Lord’s life and teaching ; but that he felt himself able to give an account more complete and more trustworthy than theirs. And such was the opinion of the Christian Church, which was content to let the earlier narratives drop into oblivion. It is con- ceivable that the so-called ‘Gospel according to the Hebrews’ might have been the last survivor of these early narra- tives: and, therefore, on the one hand, if internal evidence should lead us to pronounce any portions of this Gospel which have come down to us to be less trustworthy than cor-

1 ¢Fast alle von Hieronymus mitgetheilte Fragmente des Hebrier- evangeliums, gegeniiber den anerkannten Bestandtheilen des Urevan- geliums einen stark ausgepragten sekundiaren, apokryphisch verschlech- terten Charakter an sich tragen, und somit fiir die Wiederherstellung des Urevangeliums fast ganz werthlos sind.’

10 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. Oct.

responding passages in the canonical Gospels, we are not on that account entitled to infer that it must be later than those Gospels ; and, on the other hand, if on any grounds we should be led to ascribe greater antiquity to the Hebrew than to the canonical Gospels, it would not follow that it possesses greater authority.

Our criticisms on Resch will be more intelligible if we give some samples of the problems with which his investiga- tions present us. We take first the saying which we have quoted already : ‘Be ye approved money-changers.’ It is undoubtedly a fragment of a lost early Gospel; and the real question is what the date of that Gospel is likely to have been. The phrase is quoted three times in the Clementine Homilies (ii. 51, iii. 50, xviii. 20), always in connexion with the peculiar doc- trine of that work, viz. that some things in the Scriptures are true and some false,’ and that the ‘approved money-changer’ was to show his skill in accepting the genuine and rejecting the spurious. That the saying in the Clementines is taken from a written source is evidenced by an independent quota- tion by Apelles, a second-century heretic of the Marcionite school, who cites the words as occurring ‘in the Gospel.’ ? He interprets them in the same way, viz. as directing us to discriminate between those parts of the Old Testament which came from God and those which were dictated by the Demiurge.

Again, we have another independent witness to the ancient currency of this alleged saying of our Lord in Clement of Alexandria, who even quotes the passage as Scripture,’ a fact, however, which has less significance on account of Clement’s habitual laxity in the use of uncanonical documents. He shows no sign of understanding the passage in the sense given it by pseudo-Clement and Apelles, from which we may infer that the context of the saying, in the Gospel from which

1 In all these passages Matt. xxii. 29 is cited in the form Ye do err, not knowing the “vue things of the Scriptures,’ which seems to be the form in which this text was read by the sectaries from whom the pseudo- Clementines emanated. The text is made to teach the same doctrine, viz. that only part of the contents of the Scriptures is true. This doctrine, which runs through the Clementine Homz/ies, is absent from the Recog- nitions. The notion that portions of the Old Testament were derived from a tainted source was common to several Gnostic sects. Thus Irenzus includes it in his account of the doctrine of Simon (i. 23), of Saturninus (i. 24), and of the people whom Theodoret calls Ophites (i. 30), if indeed all these are to be counted as distinct sects. Marcion carried the principle to the extreme of rejecting the Old Testament altogether.

* Epiphanius, Her. xliv. 2. 8 Strom. i. 28.

1890 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. IL

it was taken, did not impose this meaning on it. Three times elsewhere Clement indirectly exhibits knowledge of the saying.! These are the only authorities to which we can with certainty ascribe first-hand knowledge of the source of this saying, unless we add Origen, who, though no doubt acquainted with Clement’s use of it, in all probability had read it in its original. It is quoted by a whole host of later writers, and almost always in connexion with St. Paul’s words, ‘Prove all things ; hold fast that which is good ; abstain from every form of evil. We quote from the Revised Version, because the translation of the Authorized Version, all appearance of evil, is almost certainly wrong ; but it is to be noted that in Patristic citations 1 Thess. v. 22 stands in closer connexion with the preceding verse than the Revised Version suggests. St. Paul is understood as stating the twofold result of ‘proving all things:’ hold fast to what is good, and abstain from every evil sort.

In what has been hitherto said we have been only repeat- ing what has been long familiarly known ; but we come now to Resch’s peculiar hypothesis. We have already said that he supposes Paul to have been acquainted with the primitive Gospel, and he thinks that he borrowed from it the verse in 1 Thess. which we have just quoted ; and accordingly that we can now restore the entire verse of that Gospel, of which the phrase Be ye approved money-changers’ is but a fragment ; and that it ran, ‘Be ye approved money-changers: prove all things: hold fast to what is good, but reject every bad coin.’ ? But the quotations which he himself presents are sufficient to disprove this idea. Origen (/z Johann. tom. xix. 2), followed by some later writers, expressly distinguishes the ‘command of Jesus,’ Be ye approved money-changers, from the doctrine of Paul, Prove all things,’ &c. If in the Gospel which he quotes Origen had read the whole as a saying of our Lord he would not have stopped short in his citation at the first clause and ascribed the rest to Paul. Then Resch relies on the fact that Cyril of Alexandria more than once quotes the whole saying as Paul’s, which he accounts for by the hypothesis that the words ‘Be ye approved money-changers’ had come from the

1 Strom. ii. 4, Vi. 10, Vii. 15.

? Resch has taken up an idea from Hansel (Theol. Stud. und Krit. 1836, p. 181) that the word eiSos came to have the secondary meaning ‘coin,’ just as the word specie is used among ourselves. But his proof of this completely breaks down. It chiefly rests on the fact that Hesychius defines xoAAvBos as eidos vopicparos. If it had been defined in an English book as ‘akind of coin’ it might with as good reason be inferred that in English the word ‘kind’ is sometimes used to mean ‘coin,’

12 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. Oct.

margin into the text of 1 Thess. as read by Cyril. In the absence of any independent evidence of such an interpolation we think it more likely that in this instance Cyril was unduly trusting his memory. But suppose it all true that St. Paul’s text in 1 Thess. had been corrupted by an interpolation from a Gospel ; where is the evidence that the Gospel had ever con- tained the remainder of the verse in Thessalonians ? The only thing certain is that Cyril had no suspicion that it did, for he quotes the whole as Paul’s. Resch’s proof, then, reduces itself to the form in which Clement quotes our Lord’s saying in a passage already referred to: Reasonably does the Scripture exhort us, Be ye approved money-changers, rejecting some things but holding fast what is good.”’ It is to be noted that Clement does not here describe his citation as a saying of our Lord, but as Scripture ; and all that can be said is that he has mixed together two passages of what he accounted Scripture.’ There is plainiy no positive evidence to oppose to the strong negative evidence of Origen, from which we have inferred that the words ‘Prove all things, &c., were not in the Gospel. Resch’s discussion of the same passage enables us to esti- mate the value of his proofs that quotations from the primitive Gospel are made from an Aramaic source. When a writer in quoting a passage substitutes for a Greek word used by other writers another of equivalent meaning, Resch assumes that he must be translating from Aramaic for himself. But before we substitute this new explanation for the old one that the writer is quoting from memory we should at least like to be furnished with some reason for believing that he knew Ara- maic. In the present case Resch actually includes Gregory the Great among his witnesses for the Aramaic origin of the passage we have before us. It is needless to discuss Gregory’s knowledge of Hebrew, for the older and better witnesses are also open to suspicion. Thus one of the strongest points in Resch’s case is that Clement of Alexandria in other places (Strom. iv. 15, vi. 10) has the word dpyvpaporBos instead of tpatetitns. Now anyone who reads the article Hebrew Learning’ in Smith and Wace’s Dictionary of Christian Bio- graphy will find abundant proof, not only that Clement habitu- ally used the Septuagint, but that he was ignorant of Hebrew. And in the passages referred to by Resch he is not quoting our Lord’s saying at all, but employing, in words of his own, an illustration which (we can readily concede) that saying, though not there quoted by him, probably suggested to his mind. Whatever else may be doubtful about this saying, this seems to us certain, that the evidence points to an

1890

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1890 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. 13

original in the Greek form yiveo@e Sdxipot tparefira:. Thus, for example, the passage is brought to Clement’s mind (Strom. viii. 15) by the occurrence of the word Sd«cuoz in 1 Cor. xi. 19, and to the mind of the Clementine writer (om. iii. 61) by the occurrence of the word tpazefiras in Matt. xxv. 27.

The passage just quoted gives opportunity for some re- marks which seem to be called for as to the use made by Resch of the Clementines. We do not know why Resch has not counted among his ‘agrapha the words to which we have just given a reference: ‘“It is thy duty, O man,” saith He, “to bring my words like silver to the bankers and to test them like money ;”’ for they have quite as good a right to appear as several other sayings which he includes on the same authority. He also treats the Clementines as evidence to the sayings of our Lord, independent of and ranking with our Gospels, such that, by combining all, we can arrive at the form in which the sayings were recorded in the primitive Gospel. Thus he con- cludes from Hom. xii. 29 that the canonical saying (Matt. xviii, 7, Luke xvii. 1), It must needs be that offences shall come, but woe to him through whom they come,’ had in the original a balancing clause, ‘Good things must come, and blessed is he through whom they come’ (ta dyaOa érOeiv Sei, waxapios 2 bv od Epyetar’ opolws Kal Ta Kaxa avayKn erOeiv, oval 52 Sv od Zpxetat). Resch, whose skill in detecting concealed allusions reminds one of the game of ‘buried cities, finds a striking confirmation of the correctness of the Clementine form in St. Paul’s trowujowpev Ta Kaka iva EXOn Ta ayaba (Rom. iii. 8). So, again, the Clementine yu» dére rpodaciw t@ Tovnpe@ (xix. 2) and the Pauline pnd2 didore Tomov To S1aBdrw (Eph. iv. 27) are regarded as derived from a common source. And, once more, the Clementine dictum (iii. 55) ¢ wovnpds éortw o Treip- afwv is connected with 1 Thess. iii. 5, uw wws ére(pacev tpas 0 meipatov.

Now, before we assume that reports of our Lord’s sayings in the Clementines are copied with verbal accuracy from a written Gospel, we must bear in mind that the Clementines. are a work of fiction. No one imagines that the author of this romance had any written authority for the speeches he puts into the mouth of Peter. Have we any right to think he would be more scrupulous as to the sayings which he ascribes toour Lord? No doubt in this case his imagination was kept in check by the existence of authentic memoirs of our Lord, but some variation from these memoirs was essential in the interests of the fiction. For when Peter is introduced repeat- ing in his own discourses his recollections of our Lord’s sayings

14 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. Oct.

the fiction would lose credibility if the supposed Peter could do nothing more than copy verbatim the account which all Christians had in their hands. We have a measure of this writer’s accuracy in his report of our Lord’s answer to the disciples, when he was asked concerning the man that was born blind, Which did sin, this man or his parents?’ It isnow generally acknowledged, even by critics free from all prejudice in favour of traditional beliefs, that the Clementine writer derived this story from St. John, and did not obtain it from an independent authority. In fact the words of our Lord, as reported in the fourth Gospel, have a stamp of their own ; and Resch more than once observes that there are no Johannine ‘agrapha.’ Now the Clementine form of our Lord’s answer is, Neither did he sin nor his parents, but that the power of God might be made manifest through him in healing the sins of ignorance.’ If this is the way the Clementine writer deals with St. John’s Gospel why should he be supposed to be more scrupulous in his treatment of the Synoptics ?

But it has still to be added that the Clementine fiction is not a mere sport of fancy. It was a work intended to deceive, in which certain peculiar doctrines of the sect to which the writer belonged were intended to be commended by the authority of our Lord and the Apostle Peter. Conse- quently, in addition to variations from the canonical Gospels, which may be regarded as harmless embellishments of the story, there were some made with heretical intent. One example has already come before us. Three times he alters the text ‘ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures’ into ‘not knowing the true things of the Scriptures,’ his object being to gain countenance for his doctrine that the contents of the Scriptures are not alltrue. Itis impossible not to connect the Clementine version of our Lord’s sayings with the Ebionite Gospel, of which an account is given by Epiphanius (Her. xxx.), which evidently emanated from the same sect, and which was full of arbitrary variations from the canonical Gospel, intended to commend the peculiar doctrines of that sect, in particular the doctrine of the unlawfulness of sacrifices or of the use of animal food. This was a composite Gospel, containing ele- ments derived from all the canonical Gospels, including that of St. John. So that though we consider that the versions of our Lord’s sayings in the Clementines need not necessarily be supposed to be derived from any written source, yet we have no objection to grant the possibility that they may have been so derived. Only, instead of that source being a primi- tive Gospel, we cannot think of it as other than a heretical

therefi testim But th The sy in the witnes Critics mitted Gospe earlier means they c an ear of oth were h witnes. needin ‘source. raises | tionall firmati numer the Ep Apoca that Jz Gospel Peter’s that Pe he too tive Gi acquait Epistle concluc

1890 The Unrecorded Sayings of our Lord. 15

compilation not earlier than the third century. With regard to coincidences between the Clementines and St. Paul, we need look for no explanation beyond the obvious one that the Clementine forger was acquainted with St. Paul’s Epistles. This is no hypothesis, but a notorious fact. Baur’s whole theory of the anti-Paulinism of the Clementine writer rests on the undisputed fact that the Homz/ies contain angry reference to the account given in the Epistle to the Galatians of the dispute between Peter and Paul.

Something must now be said as to the intrinsic probability of the use of a written Gospel by New Testament writers. St. Paul had probably been never a hearer of our Lord’s, and therefore we can readily grant that he was indebted to the testimony of others for his knowledge of our Lord’s teaching. But the question remains, Was that testimony oral or written ? The synoptic Gospels have unquestionably a common ancestor in the instruction orally given by Apostles or other eye- witnesses of the Saviour’s life; but it is a question which critics still debate whether that instruction had been com- mitted to writing before the composition of the synoptic Gospels. Now some of St. Paul’s Epistles are undoubtedly earlier than any of these Gospels. It can, therefore, by no means be taken for granted, as Resch does, that ‘agrapha,’ if they can be found in St. Paul’s writings, manifest his use of an earlier written Gospel. This becomes still clearer in the case of other New Testament writings. Peter, James, and John were hearers of our Lord who must have been able to bear witness to His teaching from their own recollection, without needing to seek for information in any extraneous written ‘source. Resch, who is not a critic of the sceptical school, raises no question as to the authorship of the writings tradi- tionally ascribed to the Apostles just named. Some con- firmation of the traditional ascgiption is furnished by the numerous coincidences with our Lord’s oral teaching found in the Epistle of St. James and in the first three chapters of the Apocalypse. Yet all these are produced by Resch as proofs that James and John drew their information from an earlier Gospel ;