The Use of Literature in the Conflict

Translated by Howard Bream and Robert L. Wilken

The Montanist controversy of the second century has, to a certain extent, given us a glimpse of the actual causes, the forces at work, the tactics employed and the forms used in the ideological conflict within Christendom at that time. This sketchy picture can now be filled in or even supplemented and enriched through material which other controversies supply, or through such materials as provide the answer to questions we must raise in the context of our present discussion.

Literary activity, as one would expect, has left the clearest traces in the sources. However, these traces, when compared with the impressions such activity originally made, have become very faint and blurred so that frequently they are hardly legible or cannot be read with any confidence. Of many of the books which arose at that time, whose titles we still know but which are otherwise lost, we are no longer in a position to say whether the subject matter treated in them was designed to oppose other Christians, or was intended for purposes of teaching unbelievers, or whether the author only had a general interest in the subject. We are quite aware that the question of the resurrection of the dead was often raised in controversies with heretics (see above, 100). But the apologist Athenagoras deals with resurrection in the eighth decade of the second century without any acknowledgement of that situation. Does that mark him as an Athenian (see above, 105 f.), or is it simply characteristic of his personal intellectual disposition? Or how else can this be understood?

Another favorite theme was the six days of creation ("Hexameron"). Yet we cannot tell to what extent its treatment in ecclesiastical circles [[ET 148]] was determined by an anti-heretical concern. One can only speculate about the matter. Even the predilection of 1 Clement [151] for God the creator appears to us to have an anti-heretical thrust (above, 104). And around the year 180, Celsus expressly says in his "True Word" (logos alhqhs) that the members of the "great church" (i.e. other than Gnostics and Marcionites) took over the Jewish teaching about the origin of the world including the teaching about the six days of creation and the seventh day on which God drew back in order to take his rest (in Origen Against Celsus 5.59a). About the same time Rhodon of Asia Minor, whom we know as an active enemy of heretics, especially of Marcion and Apelles, wrote his "Memoir on the Hexameron" (hypomnhma eis thn hexahmeron; EH 5.13.8). The treatise of Melito "On Creation" (peri plashos; EH 4.26.2) may also be mentioned here. The church sensed that it had the task of validating its faith in the God and father of Jesus Christ as creator of the world not only against the demiurge or any other such angelic power, but also against the devil; in this context also belongs the question concerning the origin of man and his special character. Gnostics also treated this matter with specific reference to the beginning of the Old Testament -- Valentinus in a letter1; Preaching of the Naasenes 1 ff.2; the Book of Baruch of the gnostic Justin.3

[[ET 149]]

For the end of the second century Eusebius enumerates some books by author and title -- a small sampling out of a great wealth, if one may believe him4 -- which he characterizes as monuments of the devoted zeal of good churchmen (EH 5.27). Maximus deals with "the question which is discussed so extensively by heretics, the origin of evil, and that matter was created." Therefore, his writing is [152] clearly a witness to the battle against heresy. For this reason we can Perhaps view the others listed here in a similar way. Directly after Maximus are mentioned Candidus "On the Hexameron" and Apion on the same topic. Then follows Sextus "On the Resurrection." First on the list is "The (Memoirs) of Heraclitus on the Apostle" (ta Herakleitou eis ton apostolon). One can hardly doubt that by "the apostle" Paul must be understood here (see above 136 n. 13), and thus we are possibly dealing with an apologetic writing in defense of the Apostle to the Gentiles, which attempts to defend him against misunderstanding or even abuse on the part of heretics.5

This list of literary works which gives us the painful impression of an exceptionally tiny body of information, is placed in the framework of some comments that indicate to us what attitude is supposed to be called forth or strengthened by each particular item. The passage (5.27) begins with these words: "A great many memoirs of admirable industry by churchmen of the ancient past are still preserved by many to this day. Among those, the writings of which we have personal knowledge (diegnwmen) are . . ." (the list follows). But how can we believe that Eusebius actually has read these books, in view of the fact that of the one mentioned last, by Arabianus, he only knows enough to report that he authored "a certain other work" (allh tis hypoqesis), after which Eusebius continues: "And [there are books] of countless others, for whom our lack of any reference point leaves us in no position either to write about the times in which they lived or to provide a historical reminiscence. And writings of very many others of whom we cannot recount even the names, have reached us. They are orthodox, ecclesiastically oriented persons, as [[ET 150]] their respective interpretations of the divine scripture show, but they are nevertheless unknown to us, because the works do not bear the names of their authors." What Eusebius intends by this piling up of superlatives is quite clear. It is a matter of concern to him to assert that there is in existence a [153] body of ecclesiastical literature, as old as possible and as extensive as possible, but also treasured as much as possible in the present, and just as widely dispersed. He wants to show that the general rejection of false belief can also be found from earliest times in Christian literature. For this reason the writings whose title and author are known to Eusebius and whose contents qualified for him as orthodox (one would like to know whether with justification) were dated as early as possible; in the two cases in 5.27 and 28 which we are able to check they were dated too early.6 Thus we encounter here what we already noticed in the case of the Antiochian bishops (above, 63 f.). And the motivating factor on that occasion also had been the necessity of such a move for ecclesiastical historiography.

Even if, in his generalizations in 5.27, Eusebius was telling things as they actually were, the riddle still remains -- wholly apart from his enormous lack of knowledge7 concerning this literature -- how is it possible that this abundant orthodox literature was preserved from the second to the fourth century (see below, 159 ff.) and circulated widely within Christendom in numerous fragments, only to disappear in the period after Eusebius when Christianity, mainly in its orthodox form, had established itself so that no danger existed any longer? Be that as it may, I fear that we have here the same kind of approach that Serapion used when he wanted to demonstrate the aversion of all Christianity to Montanism, but in his appeal to witnesses, he actually breaks off after the second name (see above, 142 f.). The statements in support and praise of orthodoxy that we meet in ecclesiastical authors without being able to test their contents and find verification, we do well to set aside and to distrust as tendentious. [[ET 151]] It is part of the style of the "ecclesiastical" historiography of Eusebius, when he is adding one member after another to the episcopal lists, also to exercise concern for the orthodox theological tradition so that it flows in as rich as possible a stream, and not in a trickle. [154]

The conclusion of the fourth book of the Ecclesiastical History appears to me to be very characteristic, especially the order of the tiny excerpts in 4.19-21. There we read:

(19) In the eighth year of the reign of which we are presently speaking [i.e. of Marcus Aurelius], Soter succeeded Anicetus, who had occupied the episcopate of the Roman church for eleven years in all. After Celadion had presided over the church of Alexandria for fourteen years, Agrippinus became his successor. (20) And in the church of the Antiochians, Theophilus was the sixth bishop, numbered from the apostles. Cornelius, who succeeded Heron, had been the fourth there. After him, Eros followed as bishop in the fifth place. (21) Now there flourished in the church in those days Hegesippus, whom we know from the previous account [i.e. 4.8.1], Dionysius the bishop of the Corinthians, Pinytus, bishop of Crete, and besides them, Philip, Apollinaris, Melito, Musanus and Modestus, and finally Irenaeus; from whom the orthodoxy of the authentic teaching, as it was transmitted from the apostles, has come down in writing even to us.

Then follow three longer chapters which have to do with the activity of various individuals among the persons mentioned -- Hegesippus (22), Dionysius of Corinth (23), Theophilus of Antioch (24). The last of these sections call attention to the fact that, in addition to writing various other books, Theophilus also wrote an admirable work against Marcion which just happens, like his other works mentioned by name, to have been preserved to the present time.

After a brief remark at the end of section 24 concerning the episcopal successor of Theophilus, EH 4.25 adds a fragment of the same scope and character as the series in 4.19-21, but also similar to the sections 22-24, since it reviews briefly the activity of some of the ecclesiastical theologians enumerated in 4.21. But Eusebius again wanders into generalizations. EH 4.25 reads: "Philip, who, as we learned from the letter of Dionysius [in 4.23.5] was bishop of the community at Gortyna, also composed a most weighty writing against Marcion, as did Irenaeus and Modestus, who was more successful [[ET 152]] than the others in unmasking the man's error with complete clarity, and many others, whose works are still preserved to this day by a great many of the brethren." [155]

EH 4.26 is devoted to the Melito mentioned in 4.21. Eusebius refers to approximately8 twenty titles of works by this theologian and indicates by the expression, they had "come to his attention" (4.26.2), that the list is not exhaustive. In fact there are still a few additional titles which appear in the tradition.9 But, except for a few citations everything as lost.10 If we ask of which of Melito's writings that had "come to his attention" does Eusebius actually divulge information beyond that given in the title, it seems to me that the following situation emerges. Immediately prior to the list itself we learn from 26.1 that "At this time [still the reign of Marcus Aurelius], Melito, bishop of the church of Sardis, and Apollinaris, bishop of the church of Hierapolis, flourished with distinction; and they addressed writings in defense of the faith to the aforesaid Roman emperor at that time, each respectively producing an Apology." Then 26.2 continues with the words already mentioned above -- "Of these writers there have come to our attention the works [first] of Melito." Then follows an extensive enumeration of bare titles,11 beginning with "two books on the Passover" (ta peri tou pasxa duo) and concluding with "The Petition to Antoninus" (to pros A. biblidion). The beginning of 26.3 seems to hold greater promise. Eusebius begins to speak about the book mentioned first, that concerning the paschal observance, and we expect that he would briefly characterize its contents as well as at least some other writings from the catalogue and thus give proof that they actually were in his possession. But we find that we deceive ourselves. We hear almost exclusively about the book on Easter. This would be the one exception that we could understand, since we have already learned that Eusebius was interested in the Easter controversies (EH 5.23-25) and in treating [[ET 153]] them had mentioned Melito (5.24.5). While he observes in the present context that Clement of Alexandria referred to Melito's work in his book on the paschal observance (4.26.4), the point is repeated in 6.13.9 where he considers Clement again. [156] Otherwise Eusebius only shares with us the opening words of the book, in which Melito expresses himself as follows: "When Servilius Paulus was proconsul in Asia, at the time when Sagaris died as a martyr, there developed in Laodicea a vigorous dispute about the paschal festival, which fell in those days, and these things (tauta) were written" (4.26.3).

But here doubt arises, for I cannot hide the suspicion that in my opinion these words, especially their conclusion, could hardly have stood in Melito's work. Normally it is not the author himself, but a third person who reports concerning "these things" (tauta). Further, the portrayal of the situation strikes me as so artificial that I should at least regard it as greatly abridged. What is one supposed to think about such a situation, in which Christianity is subjected to such persecution that its bishop must become a blood offering, but because of the fact that his martyrdom fell at Easter time, becomes involved in a heated controversy over the proper celebration of the passover, instead of standing shoulder to shoulder against the common foe! In the writing by Melito, the contemporary of Sagaris, that probably would not have been expressed so crassly. Thus it seems to me that there is no certainty that Eusebius had actually seen Melito's work on the passover. And I would extend that judgment to almost all the other items on Eusebius' list (26.2). Not a single word remains from hardly any of them. Eusebius refers in detail only to the Apology (4.26.5-11) and mentions thereafter a writing which is not in the catalogue (26.12-14). He reproduces the opening of this work apparently without alteration: "Melito greets his brother Onesimus." So began the six books of Eklogai -- i.e. excerpts from the writings of the Palestinian Old Testament.12 The intention of the [[ET 154]] work is to provide Onesimus with materials from the law and prophets that pertain to "our savior and our whole [157] faith" (4.26.13). Thus its purpose is to lay the foundation for the scriptural proof in support of the Christian proclamation.

Of the two books of Melito which Eusebius apparently has seen, the Apology (see also 4.13.8 and the Chronicle13) and the Extracts, the latter is missing from the list while the Apology instead of heading the list immediately after 26.1, stands at the end. This situation shows that he did not put the catalogue together on the basis of actual material from Melito which was available to him. He received the catalogue from tradition and it served the purpose of supplementing his own knowledge. He inserted it into his report on the Apology, which begins at 26.1 and resumes at 26.5, and appended two passages to it (26.3 and 4) which contain all that he has been able to learn about the only other writing on the list (apart from the Apology) about which he knew more than the title.14 Harnack says: "Melito was very quickly forgotten in the Greek church, and this can be explained only by the fact that his writings were no longer suited to the later dogmatic taste."15 I am more thoroughly convinced of Harnack's conclusion than of his reasons. I am not persuaded by Harnack's opinion that Eusebius "found in the library at Caesarea" a rich deposit of Melito's works, namely the specific items on the list.16 I fear that Melito already had disappeared from the scene before the "later dogmatic taste" became dominant -- it could hardly have done any more damage, even if Melito's corpus had been kept intact up to the time of Eusebius. What actually caused him difficulty was his outspoken position in the controversies of his time, whether in the paschal controversy or in the prophetic movement17 or in his opposition to Marcion and other heretics.18 That which served the general interest of Christendom and stood above the parties, as for [[ET 155]] example his apologetic writing and the collection of biblical proof texts, proved to be more capable of enduring opposition.19 [158]

We have found that the book against the Montanists by Miltiades (ca. 160-170) was no longer available to his anonymous coreligionist writing only a couple of decades later (above, 136 and 145 f.). Harnack adds the observation: "Thus Eusebius did not actually have a copy of the anti-Gnostic work [of Miltiades]; but he did have [according to EH 5.17.5] 1. two books of Miltiades against the Greeks (pros Hellenas), 2. two books against the Jews (pros Ioudaious), 3. an Apology to the emperor."20

Is it not striking to notice in this connection that also in the case of Justin, Theophilus, and Tatian, those books that were involved in the contemporary controversies within Christianity were lost, while the apologies directed to unbelievers were preserved? For a statement of what Eusebius still knew of Justin's literary activity, let me appeal briefly to Harnack: "Thus Eusebius here [i.e. EH 4.18.1 ff.] enumerates eight works of Justin known to him; a ninth, against Marcion (pros Markiwna), he knows only from Irenaeus; and a tenth, the Syntagma against all heresies, only from Justin's Apology (chap. 26; cf. EH 4.11.10). But he himself has only taken notes on the Apology21 and the Dialogue; although it seems as if he is quoting from Justin's treatise against Marcion in EH 4.11.8, even here he is drawing from the Apology."22 Harnack's closing words are a very gentle way of calling attention to the fact that Eusebius refers to Justin's book against Marcion, the title of which (but nothing more) he knows from Irenaeus, but after the introductory statement that "he wrote a treatise against Marcion . . . and expressed himself as follows," Eusebius reproduces material that could only come from Justin's Apology (Apol. 26.5-6 in EH 4.11.9). Even if one could persuade [[ET 156]] himself, with great effort, that the exact passage also could have been found in Justin's treatise against Marcion, this solution breaks down in light of the quotation's continuation, which is subjoined by means of the expression: "to these words he adds" (EH 4.11.10, citing Apol. 26.8). But since the emperor is addressed specifically in this material ("we will give you [the book] if you want to read it"), it is simply impossible that this quotation came from Justin's treatise against Marcion. [159]

What occurs here can easily rest upon a misunderstanding, such as an incorrect use of notices and excerpts; but one will have to admit that an author in whom such confusions occur -- and that repeatedly23 -- elicits only our conditional confidence. Nor do we find any consolation in the fact that also with respect to Justin, Eusebius tosses off the kind of statement with which we are already familiar in one form or another -- "But many other writings from his hand are still found among many brethren" (4.18.8); that he refers his contemporaries who are eager to learn to the "very many" books of Justin (4.18.1); and that as documentation for the claim that Justin's works already had enjoyed high esteem among the ancients, we are provided with only a reference to Irenaeus (EH 4.18.9). Does it not make us rather suspicious when we find again and again that a very slight acquaintance with the materials on the part of Eusebius is juxtaposed with the assurance that these literary works of the second century which are under discussion still enjoyed the widest circulation in his time?

As we turn to Theophilus of Antioch, we note that the Apology to Autolycus survived, while the writings against the heretics Hermogenes and Marcion have been lost. Indeed, Eusebius here claims once more that all these "have been preserved until now" (4.24b). Indeed, this time he also withholds any evidence for his assertion, except the quotation of a single line.

We have already discussed EH 4.25 and 26 (cf. 151-154). The next section (4.27) takes up Apollinaris, who was mentioned in 26.1 (see above, 152), and makes the characteristic claim, by now somewhat embarrassing and suspicious, that "many writings of Apollinaris have [[ET 157]] been preserved by many." But in spite of the fact that Eusebius was in a better position than almost anyone else accurately to know the extent of available literature, in this instance also he knows only a few titles. He has the most to say about the last book he mentions, the one against the Montanists. But it is unlikely that he saw or read even that. Probably he is indebted for what he does know to the letter of Serapion [160] (EH 5.19; see above 142 f.), just as by his own admission he was acquainted with the work of Philip of Gortyna through reading the letter of Dionysius of Corinth (4.25).

In 4.28, Eusebius selects Musanus from the list of ecclesiastical authors presented in 4.21, so as to provide a transition to 4.29, which is concerned with Tatian. Musanus wrote a "very impressive book against the heresy of the encratites, whose founder had been Tatian. This work also is still in existence. Chapters 29 and 30 bring book four of the Ecclesiastical History to a close with a treatment of Tatian and Bardesanes, neither of whom could lay any claim to orthodoxy. However, Tatian did have an orthodox past when he was under the influence of Justin (4.29.3) and gave favorable testimony about his teacher (4.16.7; 4.29.1). Tatian also bequeathed to Christendom "many memoirs in writing" (pleista en suggrammasin mnhmeia, 4.16.7), or "a very large number of writings" (polu ti plhqos suggrammatwn, 4.29.7). But again, apparently only the apology "Against the Greeks" (pros Hellhnas) reached Eusebius or lasted until his time, from which he quotes (EH 4.16.7-9). He did not know first hand the Diatessaron or Tatian's reworking of the Pauline texts, as he himself admits (4.29.6), nor did he mention any other books of Tatian in the section devoted to him. He had not yet worked through his own material well enough to have available the information that appears later in 5.13.8, in connection with Rhodon the disciple of Tatian, where Eusebius says that Tatian wrote a book called "Problems," in which he undertook to demonstrate the contradictions in the sacred Scriptures.

It may be added that Quadratus also, who concerned himself solely with apologetics (under Hadrian), survived with his Apology, until the time of Eusebius. We would not give credence to Eusebius if he were only able to repeat once again that "The writing still exists at present among very many brethren and among us as well"(4.3.1). But fortunately he adds a quotation (4.3.2). The lack o such a [[ET 158]] quotation, however, justifies us in doubting somewhat the unqualified correctness of the subsequent claim that the apologetic work of Aristides, the contemporary of Quadratus, also is still preserved among very many (4.3.3).

The criticism in the preceding paragraphs is directed against the position which Eusebius deliberately cultivated for obvious reasons (above, 149, 151, 156 f.), [161] namely that during the first two centuries of our era an abundance of orthodox literature already existed in the Christian church (see also below, 171); that this literature enjoyed wide circulation, faithful preservation, and a long and flourishing life; and that it grew up and spread so vigorously that it was in a position to suppress the heretics and their approaches to life, or at least to push them into a corner.

Eusebius' phrase "still extant at the present time" is suspicious because of its monotonous repetition, and an expression which speaks of "being preserved" ([dia-]swzesqai, 4.3.3, 4.24, 4.27, 5.27) or guarded (diafullattesqai, 4.25) until today rather clearly suggests that it was more normal for books to perish. The papyrus book was a very unreliable tool for buttressing a position in the second and third century. And what is true of its deficiencies in general, applies two or three times as much to the Christian writings of that time. Certainly many pieces of early Christian literature found their way into libraries and there received competent treatment. And probably the most important of them were recopied when deterioration made that necessary, and thus were "saved" from destruction. Nevertheless in pre-Constantinian times there were, in every respect, definite limitations to such careful treatment.

What must the situation have been like in the library of Caesarea at the time of Eusebius! No sooner had he died than the library was carefully scrutinized so as to transcribe its most important treasures from papyrus to parchment in order to preserve them. It was high time. Of this library Jerome reports that "as much of it as was in bad condition, Acacius and then also Euzoius, priests of the same church, undertook to preserve on parchment."24 Without further ado we believe Eusebius when he says that there were also books lying around in the library of his episcopal city of which no one knew the author, [[ET 159]] audience, or purpose (see above, 149 f.). But we cannot agree with him in so quickly attributing these remains to the ecclesiastical literature of the second century, and thus increasing the scope of such literature.

Just what we may expect from this period can be learned from a particular case which fortunately has become known to us. [162] Sextus Julius Africanus wrote a work called Kestoi (-- Embroiderings"), which can hardly he dated earlier than the year 225, since it is dedicated to the emperor Alexander Severus; but it could have been published as late as 235 (the year of the emperor's death) because Africanus did not die until 240, as his correspondence with Origen shows. On the front (recto) side of a recently discovered papyrus leaf (Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 412) we now are in possession of the conclusion of the eighteenth book of the Kestoi, in columns 35 and 36 of a scroll, whose contents are unmistakably identified by the subscription. What makes the papyrus so important for our purposes is the reverse side, on which there is a document dated from the reign of the emperor Claudius Tacitus, i.e. in 275-76. This use of the verso for different purposes presupposes that the final leaf of Africanus' work had been previously detached from the body of the original manuscript, thus making it available for reuse. From this we deduce that it was possible for a manuscript to be separated into its component parts within a generation of its original production, and so disappear. The process of disintegration also could have taken place much more quickly. Nothing compels us to accept the maximal limits required between the production of the Kestoi manuscript (= 225 at earliest) and the separation of the leaves (= 276 at latest) as representing the actual span of time. Even if the leaf had belonged to the autograph copy of the Kestoi, the interval between the time of issuance and the reuse of the leaf is short enough to cause us to wonder whether, at that time, the ink must not have been better than the glue.

Furthermore, it should be noted that in the case of Africanus we are not dealing with the literary product of some poor fellow who has to be satisfied with the very cheapest material, and is, in fact, happy to have his efforts published at all, but with the work of an eminent and prosperous man. How then can we imagine that the literary creations of the average Christians could have survived from [[ET 160]] the second to the fourth century in "many" or even "innumerable" copies, and in the private houses of the brethren at that? Furthermore, Africanus enjoyed an advantage over many other Christian authors in that his book, which had a rich content, free from religious bias, must have awakened considerable interest but would not have evoked any opposition or counter-measures to speak of. Its only enemy was the passage of time, but that took its toll quite rapidly. On the other hand, no one outside the circle of Christianity was interested in the anti-heretical writings of the ecclesiastical authors, [163] so that their editions suffered from the paucity of funds and remained extraordinarily limited. Worse still, the few available texts, in addition to being naturally frail, were threatened by such believers as would be aided if the texts disappeared as soon as possible and who thus helped them along, thereby repaying their opponents in kind. Christian writings which were useful in the discussion with the unbaptized were naturally in less danger, and the evidence from the literary history as presented above (see 154-158 on Melito, Miltiades, Justin, Theophilus, Tatian, Quadratus) tends to support this consideration.

The struggle between orthodox and heretics, insofar as it was fought in the literary arena, took the form of an effort to weaken the weaponry of the enemy as much as possible. What could not be completely eliminated was at least rendered useless, or was suitably altered and then put to one's own use. In plain language, the writings of the opponent were falsified. What could be done by way of "editing" existing writings in ancient Christianity can be seen from the aforementioned fragment of the eighteenth book of the Kestoi of Julius Africanus, even though it was not a part of intra-Christian polemics. Column one of the papyrus leaf (which was column thirty-five of the original scroll; see above, 159) begins in the middle of a passage from the Odyssey 11, on conjuring up the dead. It deals with Odyssey 11.34-50 but omits lines 44-47. This is no mistake. In the latter verses Odysseus calls upon his companions to pray to the gods of the underworld. But it is not that way in the Kestoi; rather Odysseus himself invokes the demons and then recites his conjuration verbatim. In preparation for this, the manuscript (lines 15-17) attaches Iliad 3.278-80 to Odyssey 11.50; for Homer, these lines from the Iliad contained a speech of Agamemnon, who calls certain divine beings as witnesses prior to the duel between Paris and Menelaus, but Africanus puts the words into the mouth of Odysseus, who [[ET 161]] is depicted as the speaker throughout. Then follow three verses made up of Homeric expressions (lines 18-20) which eventually refer to Odysseus' son Telemachus, and as an actual transition, have the father say: "`My son'; for the conjuration was that powerful" (teknon emon: toih gar aristh hn epaoidh). These words are intended to mark what immediately follows as the strongest conceivable conjuration.

The train of thought in lines 15-20 offers no further difficulty. The souls of the dead will submit to human interrogation [164] only when they are under compulsion. Odysseus sees to this in the most thorough fashion. First he entreats some supernatural beings which the Iliad, and therefore Homer himself, supplied, but then he wanders off, in lines 22-36, into a completely different world. I give these lines according to the recent reconstruction of the text by Karl Preisendanz, and from his [German] translation:25

Listen to me, propitious one, overseer, noble-born Anubis! [And you listen], wily one, secret consort, savior of Osiris! [Come] Hermes, rapacious one! Come, fair haired Zeus of the nether world! Give your decision and bring this spell to pass! [Come, Hades], and you Earth, imperishable fire, Helios Titan, come you also Iaa26 and Phthas and Phre, preserver of the law, and you, highly honored Nephtho, and you, most wealthy Ablanatho, girt with fiery serpents, tearing up the earth, haughty goddess; [Abraxas], daemon, well known through your cosmic name, who hold sway over the world axis and the astral dance and the frosty light of the Bear constellations, come you also, Phren, most beloved of all to me for your restraint; I summon you, Briareus and Phrasios, and you, Ixioii, you origin and decline, and you, beautifully flaming fire; and come, underworldly and heavenly, you guardian goddess of dreams, and Sirius, who [. . .].

With line 37 the manuscript returns to the context of Odyssey 11, although with spurious verses, and continues to line 43, where finally a link with Odyssey 11.51 is actually achieved.

In the second column Africanus claims that these verses were ancient and genuine, and had been either omitted subsequently by Homer himself or excised by the Pisistratidae as incompatible with [[ET 162]] the structure of the poem. Nevertheless Africanus included them here as "a most noteworthy production" (kyhma polytelesteron). He felt that he was all the more justified in doing so because the archives of Jerusalem and of Nysa in Caria [southwestern Asia Minor] had them. The library of the Pantheon in Rome, by the baths of Alexander, also had them as far as "verse 13." He was well acquainted with this library because he himself had built and furnished it for the emperor Alexander Severus. [165] Of course, the "thirteen" verses preserved there cannot be reckoned on the basis of the quite accidental beginning of the Homeric text in our fragment. Nothing is more certain than that the preceding column of the original scroll (col. 34, now lost to us) also had contained a number of verses from Homer. The enumeration has to begin where the actual addition begins. Therefore the Roman copy also attested the expanded text, with little deviation.

How is this situation to be assessed? That is, who is responsible for the "enrichment" of Homer? Was it Africanus himself, or an earlier redactor by whom he was led astray? If one supposes that Africanus was deceived, the question immediately arises as to how he had such unsuspecting confidence in the falsified Homer, in view of the sharp critical sense he showed with respect to the story of Susanna.27 In that case, (1) his linguistic sensitivity led him to conclude that it must have been written originally in Greek, and could not be a translation; (2) a number of pertinent considerations suggested to him that the oppressed conditions of the Jews during the Babylonian exile hardly were consistent with the way that they appear in the Susanna pericope; (3) he referred back to the history of the tradition, which shows that the Susanna material did not originally belong to the book of Daniel.

The same sort of approach would have required him to raise decisive objections against attributing that syncretistic conjuration to Homer -- assuming that it had come to Africanus from some earlier source. But instead he is completely blind to the problems and is satisfied to have come across that ancient and genuine passage in two or three libraries. Is this plausible, or is it suspicious? The [[ET 163]] libraries in Jerusalem28 and Rome, in any event, were for him easily reached at will, while the one in Carian Nysa was hardly accessible for many. What makes the whole matter particularly suspect is the fact that no mention is made of the region in which such an addition to Homer most likely [166] would have appeared -- a region, moreover, in which Africanus had demonstrably succumbed to syncretistic tendencies -- namely, Alexandria-Egypt. Surely the process for which Africanus wants to gain recognition is nothing more than a parasitic enlargement of Homer by means of an Egyptian magical text. It reflects the desire to make Homer, like Hermes Trismegistos, Moses, and Democritus,29 into a patron of the magical arts which flourished predominantly along the Nile. The markedly Egyptian color of the inserted passage must be obvious to everyone. What might seem to indicate a Greek orientation, such as the reference to "Helios," had general currency at that time -- Helios is none other than the Egyptian Re. Or when we encounter the "fair haired Zeus of the nether world," we find that he is enthroned also in Alexandria.30 But Osiris, Isis, Anubis, Phtha, Phre, and Nephtho are expressly Egyptian; and in the land of the Nile again and again we meet in their society Jaa, as well as Abraxas and Ablanatho, and also the Bear constellations and the guardian of the world axis and ruler of the people, if it is permitted to refer to the so-called Mithras liturgy in the great Paris magical papyrus.31

And it all was supposed to have been preserved expressly and almost exclusively at Nysa in Caria! There was not much time for these interests to be transplanted from Egypt to the western part [[ET 164]] of Asia Minor. Africanus flourished at the beginning of the third century, while the magical texts of the kind we have described are characteristic of the second century CE. Thus it seems to me that the question posed here points back to the two possibilities: (1) either Africanus himself revised Homer -- Africanus, whose taste for Egyptian magic will be discussed shortly, and who undoubtedly had the libraries of Jerusalem and Rome at his disposal -- (2) or someone else with essentially the same interests who was at home in the same libraries did it some fifty years earlier, and Africanus allowed himself to be completely hoodwinked, in spite of his capacity for literary criticism which was so well displayed in the handling of Susanna. [167] For my part, I see no reason to attribute to an unknown person the deed for which Africanus is such a prime suspect.

The connections of Africanus with Egypt and with magic remain to be demonstrated. The former is suggested already by his exchange of ideas with Origen (see above, 162 n. 27; Origen replied to the letter of Africanus), and is, moreover, clearly attested by Africanus himself since, as we have already noted (above, 55), he mentions a trip to Alexandria. He indicates some of the things he did there in his Chronicle. In one passage,32 he gives an excerpt from Manetho, the Egyptian high priest in Heliopolis (ca. 300 BCE) who in his work called Aiguptiaka ("Things pertaining to the Egyptians") undertook to instruct the Greeks about the history and religion of the Egyptians. Africanus, following Manetho, mentions King Suphis of the fourth dynasty, then adds that he had composed "the sacred book" (thn hieran biblon sunegrapse) and comments further: "which I acquired for myself as a great treasure (mega xrhma) when I was in Egypt." Thus the Christian Africanus, who traveled to Egypt because of his interest in the Christian catechetical school, takes this opportunity to buy a sacred writing of the pagan Egyptians and values it highly as a cherished possession. We can see from the magical papyri in Greek -- for the manuscripts purchased by Africanus must have been in that language -- what usually was included in the "holy scriptures" in Egypt at the beginning of the third century. Evidently someone in Egypt had palmed off on him such a papyrus as an ancient book by Suphis. His critical acumen was inadequate to deal with this kind of situation. Here the mysterious and irrational [[ET 165]] became the criterion of genuineness. This Egyptian acquisition, I believe, supplied Africanus with the material for his reworking of Homer.33 [168]

In view of this lack of restraint by an educated Christian and intellectual leader as soon as certain interests are aroused, it is hardly surprising when Origen, writing at the same time, complains [[ET 166]] bitterly about the Valentinian Candidus.34 Origen had disputed with him before a large [169] audience, and a transcript of it was made. Candidus reworked this: "he added what he wished, and deleted what he wished, and changed whatever he wanted (quae voluit addidit et quae voluit abstulit et quod ei visum est permutavit). In this process he did not limit himself to the opinions he himself had expressed, but tampered extensively with the statements of Origen. He secured a wide circulation among Christians for the record thus edited, and when Origen took him to task for it, he responded "I wanted to embellish the disputation more, and also to clean it up" (quoniam magis ornare volui disputationem illam atque purgare). Of course, both the ornare and the purgare worked to the disadvantage of the opponent. Indeed, another heretic prepared a report of a disputation with Origen which had never taken place.35 Origen was aware of the existence of the forgery in Ephesus, Rome, and Antioch, and had no doubt that it was circulated even more widely.

When we move back into the second century, we find Irenaeus expressing the greatest apprehension that his writings against heretics would be altered -- naturally, by the heretics (in EH 5.20.2). Likewise Dionysius of Corinth complained about the falsifying of his letters: "I have written letters at the request of the brethren. But the apostles of the devil have filled them with tares, removing many things and adding others. Woe is reserved for them. Since certain people have dared to tamper even with the dominical scriptures, it is not surprising that they have made attacks on less important writings" (in EH 4.23.12). If it was possible for the heretics to falsify writings of an orthodox "bishop" without having their project spoiled by opposition from the Christian public, then it must have been even easier for them to withdraw from circulation considerable amounts of "ecclesiastical" literature, which was disturbing and uncomfortable to them. As for the literature that remained, the heretics could optimistically rely on their good luck.

[[ET 167]]

When we pursue the investigation back behind Dionysius to the beginnings of Christian literature, we find that the apocalypticist John had similar anxieties in his conflict with the heretics. He leveled a curse on anyone who would alter his prophetic book by additions or deletions (Rev. 22.18f.). Although such language reflects to some degree stylistic conventions, it is nevertheless motivated by John's actual situation (see above, 77 ff.). He had no need to feel threatened by those whose positions were close to his, [170] but rather by those to whom he had so expressed his unblunted antipathy in the letters to the churches (Rev. 1-2) and who, as we have seen, commanded a majority in many communities. How easily they could there lay hands on his work and alter it to their liking. In that way they knocked a major weapon from their opponents' hand, or took away its cutting edge.

It was by no means always necessary to "falsify" in order to administer a telling blow to one's opponent. It was also effective, if there were some evidence of his weakness and inadequacy, not to conceal it behind a cloak of kindness and thus consign it to oblivion, but rather, to drag it into the public spotlight and proclaim it in the marketplace. Perhaps this provides an explanation for the peculiar situation relating to the collected letters of Dionysius of Corinth. We have already noted (above, 126f.) that along with letters of the Corinthian bishop, the collection also included a reply by Pinytus of Cnossus, which amounted to a harsh rejection of Dionysius. Harnack thinks that Dionysius himself added this rejoinder to the collection of his letters which he had made -- "otherwise, how could the letter of Pinytus have been included?"36 To me, that appears doubtful for more than one reason. First, because the contents are hardly complimentary. Further, if Dionysius himself had incorporated pronouncements from the other side along with his own letters, then he surely would have given primary consideration to what the Romans and their Bishop Soter wrote to Corinth, to which he replied by his letter to Rome. But that is not the case.37 Thus Harnack's question, "Otherwise how could the letter of Pinytus have been included?" hardly decides the issue in his favor, for the letter of Pinytus was as little an actual [[ET 168]] private letter in the special possession of Dionysius, as was the writing to which Pinytus was responding, which admonished Bishop Pinytus but was addressed to the Cnossians as a whole (EH 4.23.7). Similarly, the letter to Soter was directed to the Romans as well (EH 4.23.9).

It seems to me much more probable that Dionysius could not let the letter of Pinytus disappear, odious though it was to him, because its [171] contents were common knowledge. Not he, but his opponents were interested in circulating it more widely by including it in the collection -- as a weapon against orthodoxy. How useful sharp rejection of a well-known ecclesiastical bishop and leader must have been to the Marcionites or encratites, even if Pinytus himself were not closely related to such circles. That heretical tampering actually constituted a threat to the collection of letters is proved by the complaint of Dionysius that his letters were falsified by them (see above, 166). Indeed, I can imagine that his cry of rage over the audacity of the heretics was evoked by the unhappy discovery that Pinytus' letter of reply had been inserted into the collection of his letters, strongly detracting from the beneficial effect it was intended to have.

If our view of the early Christian polemical literature and its vicissitudes is at all accurate, then one would have to say that the significance of literature in the ideological conflict of that early period was in some respects greater, and yet in other respects more limited than usually is supposed. Its significance was more weighty in so far as there were numerous writings of all sorts38 which have disappeared without a trace; but it was also smaller in that the writings known to us led more of a defensive type of existence and were not capable of holding their own ground for very long. The theologian was aware of this writing or that; but, for example, what influence did the literary exchange between the church and Montanism have prior to the time of "the anonymous," or Serapion (see above, 133-137, 142 f.)? All this bypassed the average Christian. And what chanced to reach him by this or that route made little impression. These works hardly overflowed with persuasive power. I am firmly of the opinion that a Tatian had as little success in convincing Greeks that their religion and culture was inferior -- his "Exhortation" served primarily as a form of easing his own tensions -- as the libellous anti-Montanist [[ET 169]] writings (see above, 141 f.) succeeded in convicting the Montanists of their error. Basically, such literature was influential only in its own circle of sympathizers, and this effect was itself narrowly limited in time as well as in space. [172]

The use to which the literature of the century or so after the close of the apostolic age was put, in one way or another, in the disputes within Christianity, may still be subjected to an examination that will provide information in a different direction. Of course, we cannot treat the subject exhaustively. We must always remain conscious of the fact that a very important and instructive portion of the relevant writings of this period no doubt has disappeared without a trace, while of another portion we only know the titles -- titles that no longer reveal to us whether, or to what extent, the works to which they belonged were polemical. Furthermore, the "church" is clearly in a privileged position insofar as it became authoritative bearer and custodian of the tradition. Although we are in a position to name a great number of pronouncedly anti-heretical writers -- we are constantly encountering such -- we can hardly demonstrate the fact (which cannot seriously be doubted) that heretics also took pen in hand to refute the ecclesiastical teaching, although their literary output also was quite prolific. At one point we do, indeed, hear of a Montanist writing against orthodoxy (see above 136). But it was occasioned by a publication of the apologist Miltiades. And the ecclesiastical tradition in Eusebius saw to it that orthodoxy also had the last word. "The anonymous" promptly took care of the Montanists once again. We also hear of literary feuding between Bardesanes and the Marcionites (see above, 29). But in contrast to orthodoxy, according to its professional guardians, heresy always seems to be on the defensive, and capable of only a futile resistance at that. It is only occasionally that we are in the fortunate position of being able to read between the lines, such as in the struggle between ecclesiastical Christianity and the Montanist movement (see above, 141-146). Gnosticism, the tradition would have us believe, swallowed the rebukes and "refutations" of the church in silence and essentially confined itself to developing its own views. This attitude attributed to the heterodox is, indeed, not just a false illusion conveyed by the ecclesiastical [[ET 170]] reports, but has some truth to it insofar as for large areas during the period under investigation heresy constituted Christianity to such a degree that a confrontation with [173] the ecclesiastical faith was not necessary and was scarcely even possible. Had that not been the case, it would be impossible to explain the fact that among the rather numerous titles of gnostic writings of which we are still aware,39 scarcely a single one arouses even a suspicion of an anti-ecclesiastical attitude.

What reason would someone like Basilides have had to fight against the "church" in Alexandria at the time of Hadrian (see above, 48-53)? It seems to have satisfied him to rally his believers around the Gospel of Basilides;40 by means of a commentary to provide the firm foundation and the correct interpretation of this gospel,41 in contrast to the other gospels current in Egypt -- Gospel of the Hebrews and Gospel of the Egyptians -- and to enrich the liturgical life of his communities through psalms and hymns.42 Isidore, his "true son and disciple" (Hippolytus Ref. 7.20) added an ethical treatise as well as some other things.43 It was up to orthodoxy to take the initiative in the struggle, because it needed first of all to gain a foothold in the area where Basilides was firmly entrenched. So Agrippa Castor composed a polemical writing against Basilides, which Eusebius calls a "devastating refutation by a highly renowned author" (EH 4.7.6). Whether he had personally seen it or had only heard of it in some roundabout way is an open question. He does not quote it verbatim, [[ET 171]] but uses the formula: Agrippa Castor says that Basilides did or taught such and such (EH 4.7.7). Thereby he deals with the subject in an extremely superficial manner and also damages his presentation by presuming to claim the following already for the reign of Hadrian: "Now at this time very many churchmen fought for the truth and triumphantly defended the apostolic and ecclesiastical teaching with great acumen . . ." (EH 4.7.5; see above, 149-158).

The orthodox tirade against Marcion was concentrated in the West.44 Justin and the Muratorian fragment derive from Italy; east of there, Dionysius of Corinth [174] and Philip of Gortyna in Crete follow along. Orthodoxy was most fiercely locked in battle with this enemy in western Asia Minor -- we know of Polycarp of Smyrna, of the Asiatic presbyter mentioned by Irenaeus as well as of Irenaeus himself (since this is the farthest east that he could be considered to represent), of Melito of Sardis and Rhodon from Asia. And Modestus also, because of his very name, should not be located any farther east; Eusebius (EH 4.25) lists him along with Philip of Gortyna and Irenaeus. Hierapolis (Papias), then, is the easternmost place where there was ecclesiastical opposition to Marcion in Asia Minor. Nicomedia (to which Dionysius of Corinth wrote; EH 4.23.4) takes us only to the northern coast and thus within range of Marcion's home territory.45 The noise of strife dies away as soon as we turn to the regions of Asia Minor in which we have previously been unable to discover any active signs of "ecclesiastical" life (see above, 81 f.). Otherwise, we learn of (1) an attempt by Theophilus of Antioch, who was beleaguered by heretics and under the ecclesiastical influence of the West, to protect himself and his "ecclesiastical" group from this danger. This undertaking was hardly more skillful or successful than was his refutation of the heathen addressed to Autolycus ( Ad Autolycum; see above, 18). (2) There are also statements by Clement, who at the end of the second century brought into play for the first time and in a subdued manner something like orthodoxy in Alexandria. (3) And finally, there is the attempt of Bardesanes at a somewhat later time to diminish the previous monopoly [[ET 172]] of the Marcionites in Edessa, which was as yet quite devoid of all orthodoxy (see above, 29). One gets the impression that in the second century the church posed no real threat to the Marcionite movement from around Hierapolis eastward, while in the West, to the very gates of Rome, the church was its most dangerous enemy.

The Valentinians, whose founder had been active in Rome and Egypt spread in various forms over the whole empire from the middle of the second century, and still had communities in the East and in Egypt after the middle of the fourth century.46 [175] In the Marcosian sect, they advanced as far as Gaul already in the second century.47 The western branch of the Valentinians settled there and in Italy, while the eastern branch was active particularly in Egypt and Syria, and even beyond.48 The church vehemently opposed this heresy. But when we survey the situation in the second century, as far it can still be determined, we find the same situation with respect to anti-Valentinian writings49 as was observed in the case of Marcion -- such expressions of opposition are not found any farther east than western Asia Minor.50

The observations made above concerning the heresies of Marcion and Valentinus and the "ecclesiastical" confrontation with them permit a generalization. Apart from the tempest-tossed island of ecclesiastical orthodoxy within the Christianity of Antioch,51 and the timid attempt to assist orthodoxy in Egypt to achieve a united existence (see above, 53 ff. and also 170 f.), the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius shows no knowledge at all of "ecclesiastical" life and warfare east of Phrygian Hierapolis until the third century. The greater part of Asia Minor contributed as little to the refutation of the heretics as did Syria, Palestine,52 and Mesopotamia. And we have seen above (160-165) how necessary it is to give a person like Sextus Julius Africanus every benefit of the doubt in order to certify his ecclesiastical [[ET 173]] orientation. It is just as illegitimate to suppose that in those regions where Christianity was not threatened by heresy it would have developed a unified orthodox position as it is to infer that no Christian communities had existed there at all at that time, thus providing a quite natural explanation for the silence. After all, this problem relates to the areas of Paul's missionary activity in Lycaonia, Pisidia, and Galatia, to his home province, Cilicia, and to the territories stretching from there to the cradle of Christianity, as well as to Palestine itself. The [176] relevant material in Harnack's Mission and Expansion of Christianity also suffices to render the above supposition completely impossible.53

But surely, if it is possible to deduce from something like the letter of Pliny as much as Harnack does concerning the spread of Christianity in Asia Minor (pp. 331 [= 737 f.]; cf. also p. 347 [=754]), or if the material cited by Ramsay is assessed from a similar standpoint,54 the silence of Eusebius about ecclesiastical life in central and eastern Asia Minor is doubly surprising. It is no longer satisfactory merely to express regret and say with Harnack, "our information about the history of the church in Cilicia until the council of Nicaea is quite limited" (p. 324 [=730 in German\4]. At the risk of tiring the reader, we must ask once again, why are things this way? Why do so many manifestations of ecclesiastical Christianity reach Eusebius from the western districts, while the East, his own home territory, is silent? In view of what has been ascertained about Edessa, Egypt, and other regions, only one answer is possible, namely, that there was no discernible "ecclesiastical" life in central and eastern Asia Minor in the second century. Christianity there was entirely, or predominately, of a different sort. The "heretics" kept to themselves for a long time. But since their own peaceful existence could not be the subject matter of an ecclesiastically oriented attempt at writing history, for which they would only be relevant as objects of rejection, we sense that the silence of Eusebius consistently represents the appropriate style for composing the historia ecclesiastica. He did not consider it to be his duty to transmit what he might have learned about the success of the missionary activity of the heretics if it was not repulsed immediately by some counter-attack of orthodoxy. It was not his [[ET 174]] business to fix in the memory of Christianity reference to unchecked errors. And we cannot expect him to include in his account information from the heretical books to which he could not immediately attach the ecclesiastical refutation and rebuttal they deserved.

Consequently, there would be no other way of which I am aware to secure recognition throughout the whole of Christendom at that time for a point of view that was hemmed in by ecclesiastical Christianity, than to suppose that in the regions in which the battle raged, the "heretics" [177] used, to a considerable extent, the same offensive and defensive tactics as were also employed by the "church." Here and there such a hypothesis finds support in occasional references in the sources. I will not repeat what has already been stated in this regard (see above, 132-146, 166-169; cf. also chap. 6). But we should remind ourselves at this point that the books of the churchmen directed against heresy sometimes take the form of polemics against individual heresiarchs or heresies, and sometimes concentrate on certain particularly important controversial issues (see above, 147 f., 170-172). Alongside the doctrinal writing and the polemical writing was the letter. With the writings from churches or church leaders to other churches (see above, 77-81, 93 f., 95 ff., 121 f.) there is also the letter from one individual to another. Concerning the letter from Dionysius of Corinth to the Christian lady Chrysophora, Eusebius tells us nothing more than that he "presented her with the suitable spiritual food" (EH 4.23.13). And the more precise purposes of the letters of Valentinus55 also elude our grasp because we are not sufficiently informed about their recipients. On the other hand, the aim of the Valentinian Ptolemy in his famous letter (see above, 120) is quite clear. He desired to win the distinguished Christian lady Flora to a gnostic view of Christianity and in so doing discloses how even in Italy toward the end of the second century Gnostics and "ecclesiastically" oriented Christians still could maintain a close personal relationship.56

Letters of recommendation, such as already plagued the life of the Apostle Paul (2 Cor. 3.1), play their role. "Take special care," says [[ET 175]] the Peter of the pseudo-Clementine materials, "not to believe any teacher who does not bring a recommendation (testimonium) from Jerusalem, from James the brother of the Lord or from his successor. For whoever has not gone there and been endorsed there as a qualified and faithful teacher for the proclamation of the word of Christ -- I mean, whoever has not obtained a recommendation (testimonium) from there -- should not be accepted at all. You are not to hope for any prophet or apostle at this time other than us" ( Rec. 4.35.1-2; similarly Hom. 11.35). [178] We have already noticed that Marcion also launched himself into the world equipped with letters of recommendation from his coreligionists in Pontus (see above, 91).

Apparently, a collection of the above-mentioned letters of Valentinus already existed by the time of Clement of Alexandria, who quotes from three of them in the passages listed. Valentinus' adherents chose this method to preserve the important pronouncements of the master and to exploit them to the full for strengthening the inner and outer life of their community. Ecclesiastically oriented groups acted no differently and for analogous purposes gathered the available letters of Ignatius, for example, or of Dionysius of Corinth.57 Unfortunately we are no longer able to determine whether the collection of Valentinian writings stood in noticeable opposition to a Christianity of a divergent character, as was true of the two ecclesiastical collections. At Philippi, orthodoxy had requested the letters of Ignatius as a weapon in its struggle against docetism (Polycarp Philippians 13.2). The anti-heretical attitude of the letters of Dionysius is just as evident, hut perhaps because of a counter-move by those under attack (see above, 167 f.) they did not realize their full potential.

Both orthodox and heretic alike seek, by means of literature of all kinds, by letters and collections of letters, and of course also by personal contacts, to extend their influence at home and abroad and to obstruct the path of their opponents wherever they meet. So also, both parties make use of the sermon and the homily, delivered orally as well as circulated in writing; both produce religious poetry,58 [[ET 176]] psalms, odes, and other songs; or by means of the apocryphal acts, both introduce an abundance of popular works so as to win the masses. If someone was lacking in creativity, he could always "edit" a work that originated with the other side thus making it useful for his own cause. In the account of the communities of Vienna and Lyons we find a revelation of the martyr Attalus employed against encratitic tendencies. Alcibiades, another victim of the persecution, led an [179] austere life that allowed him to partake only of bread and water. Attalus, on the strength of divine instruction, forbade Alcibiades to continue this while he was imprisoned and thenceforth he partook of everything without distinction.59 "The Holy Spirit was their counselor" (EH 5.3.1-3). In heretical gospels (Gospel of the Egyptians, Marcion, Tatian) and acts (Acts of Thomas 20 and 29), of course, abstinence with respect to food also is preached with reference to Jesus and his inner circle. Here "bread and water" is the motto of the Christian way of life.

It is not clear how the Holy Spirit manifested himself to Attalus. He felt that he was being instructed from heaven in some way thought to be supernatural. If he saw a vision, he was not alone in this, neither within orthodoxy nor with respect to the heretics. Valentinus attributed his teaching to a vision in which he saw a newborn child, which in answer to his question identified himself as the Logos (Hippolytus Ref. 6.43). Doubtless the "tragic myth" (tragikon tina mython) that was added and that forms the foundation and source for the religious concepts of Valentinus also derives from this vision. Similarly, the fragment of a Valentinian psalm displays a visionary nature.60 The Valentinian Marcus likewise claimed direct heavenly illumination: "The supreme tetrad," he explained, "descended to him from the invisible and ineffable places in female form -- since the world, he says, would not have been able to endure its male form -- and revealed to him its own nature and explained the origin of the 'All' (thn twn pantwn genesin), which it had never before disclosed [[ET 177]] to any of the gods or men, to him alone in the following words ..." (Irenaeus AH 1.14.1[= 1.8.1]).

Here, moreover, we have one of the isolated instances in which we hear something to the effect that heretics responded to the reproofs of the church. Hippolytus, before his report of the vision of Valentinus, says about Marcus that the blessed "elder" Irenaeus had been [180] very frank in his refutation and described the baptisms and other practices intended to bring salvation. When this came to the attention of some of the adherents of Marcus, they denied that they had any such practices at all -- "they are always encouraged to deny." For this reason Hippolytus went into everything with the greatest care and even investigated the most carefully guarded secrets (all' oude to arrhton autwn elaqen hmas). Hippolytus seized the opportunity to declare that the vision of Marcus was a deliberate fraud -- in order to make a name for himself Marcus imitated his teacher Valentinus, and claimed that he himself also experienced intimate communication with heaven (Ref. 6.43a). Incidentally, from what the churchman Hippolytus says in this passage it seems that the Valentinians were not at all in agreement with what Hippolytus thought he had uncovered as their most secret mysteries.

Outstanding personalities among the Montanists were likewise granted divine visions and gained new knowledge or confirmation of previous opinions therefrom. "The gospel is preached in such a manner61 by the holy prophetess Prisca [Priscilla]," says Tertullian, "that only a holy servant would be qualified to serve holiness. 'For purity,' she says, 'is the unifying bond; and they [i.e. the holy] see visions, and when they incline their face downward, they then hear distinct voices, which are as salutary as they are secret" (Exhortation to Chastity 10). Epiphanius gives an account of the experience of a prominent Montanist prophetess62 in her own words: "In the form of a woman, adorned with a shining garment, Christ came to me and implanted wisdom within me and revealed to me that this place [i.e. Pepuza] is holy and that it is here that the heavenly Jerusalem will come down" (Her 1.49.1). The Montanist acts of the [[ET 178]] martyr Perpetua from the time of Tertullian tell of several visions of Perpetua (chapters 4, 7, 8, 10) and of one of Saturus (chapters 11-13), through which the martyrs learned what lay ahead of them and what they could expect after their death.63 [181] In these cases the divine communication was mediated by dreams, since we always hear that those who received it awoke later.

Finally, the attempt by the Montanist Tertullian to utilize the utterances of a "sister" with visionary powers as a source of knowledge is well known. He can present his view on the corporeality of the soul with such confidence because he knew that it had been confirmed by a revelation.64 The gift of prophecy and the capacity for receiving supernatural visions had by no means ceased with John and his Apocalypse. There is, in fact, a woman endowed with the "gifts of revelation" (charismata revelationum) in Tertullian's own community. During the Sunday services she experiences Spirit-induced ecstasies. She converses with the angels and sometimes with the Lord himself, sees and hears mysteries, discerns what is in people's hearts, and leads the sick onto the path of healing. Whether there are scriptures being read, psalms sung, addresses delivered, or prayers offered, she obtains from them the material for her visions. "Once I happened to say something about the soul -- I no longer recall what it was -- when the Spirit came upon this sister." After the service she disclosed what she had seen; how the soul had appeared to her in bodily form, almost tangible, yet at the same time delicate, luminous, and the color of air, and thoroughly human in form (forma per omnia humana). Tertullian knows how difficult it is to gain credence for such a phenomenon. Thus he emphatically states that he has recorded everything with the utmost care so as to make verification possible. He invokes God as witness that he is telling the plain truth and appeals to the Apostle as surety for the fact that even in the church of later times there would still be charismata (see 1 Cor. 12.1 ff.). [[ET 179]] Yet for all that he angrily goes on to say, "Do you actually refuse to believe, even though the fact itself speaks so convincingly!"

Since the mysteries of the supernal world were being disclosed to the heretic as well as to the orthodox at times of supremely heightened blessedness, we should not be surprised to find both sides cultivating that type of literature which depends on such visions and takes its departure from them, namely apocalyptic. There were revelations of both ecclesiastical as well as heretical orientation, and others that cannot be assigned to either side, if one feels compelled to make hard and fast distinctions.65 [182]

Alongside the seer, but not always sharply distinguished from him, stood the prophet, who also was in direct contact with heaven and a mediator of divine knowledge, and thus was in a position to offer strong support for the accepted teaching by means of his prophetic declarations. We have already taken note of the orthodox seer and prophet John as he contended with heresy. He violently rejects his opponent Jezebel, who falsely called herself a prophetess (Rev. 2.20). The attitude of "Jezebel" toward John surely was no different.66 The Acts of Paul, which stem from the same region, depict the Corinthians as complaining to the Apostle Paul about the false teachers Simon and Cleobius, who firmly repudiate the Old Testament prophets, but giving credence, on the other hand, to the revelations granted to Theonoe.67 Basilides appealed to the prophets Barcabbas and Barcoph, as well as to some others who in the opinion of his ecclesiastical opponents Agrippa Castor and Eusebius never existed (EH 4.7.7). And Isidore, his "true son and disciple," wrote Exhghtika "of the prophet Parchor" (Clement of Alexandria Strom 1.6.[6.]53.2; see also 170 n. 43, 190). The Ophite sect of Archontics boasted of the prophets Martiades and Marsianus (Epiphanius Her 1.40.7) while the Gnostic Apelles placed great value in the revelations and prophecies of the prophetess Philumene, who furnished him with the material [[ET 180]] for his work, "Phaneroseis."68 Of course, the churchman Rhodon of Asia thought that this virgin was possessed by a demon (EH 5.13.2).

For Montanism, prophecy is something so characteristic that Tertullian calls the movement "the new prophecy,"69 and prophets of both sexes play an outstanding role in it. The Spirit, or Paraclete, governs life and teaching through these his instruments in such a way that human resistance is excluded. That is how the founder describes the overwhelming power of the Spirit on the basis of his own experience,70 and Maximilla avers that [183] whether she wanted to or not, she was forced by the Lord to receive the knowledge of God (Epiphanius Her 1.48.13). Under such influence, she predicted the coming of wars and revolts (according to the "anonymous" EH 5.16.18) and declared that with her the prophetic period was at an end, so that now all that remained to be expected was the end of the world (Epiphanius Her 1.48.2). The Paraclete expressly forbade flight in time of persecution (Tertullian On Flight During Persecution 11) and limited marriage by prohibiting it a second time (Tertullian Against Marcion 1.29; cf. On Monogamy 104). Concerning the procession of the Logos from God (Against Praxeas 8), the mystery of the trinity (Against Praxeas 30), and the heavenly Jerusalem (Against Marcion 3.24), Tertullian felt that he was enlightened by the Paraclete or by sayings of the new prophecy. His work On the Soul concludes with the words: "And the Paraclete most frequently recommended this also, if one shall have received his words by recognizing them as promised spiritual gifts."71 The book On the Resurrection of the Flesh ends much the same way (63). In the opinion of Tertullian certain ambiguous passages of Holy Scripture have provided a foothold for heretics. But that is no longer the case, and the heretics are in a hopeless position. For the Holy Spirit has now eliminated all the obscurities and alleged parables that previously [[ET 181]] existed, by means of a more clear and penetrating proclamation of the entire mystery in the new prophecy that flows forth from the Paraclete. "Draw from his spring, and you will never thirst for any other teaching."

Of course, Tertullian himself realized just how much this kind of argument depended on the receptivity of the person to be instructed. This is the reason for his angry cry, "Do you actually refuse to believe, even though the fact itself speaks so convincingly!" (above, 179). The Paraclete had come so much later than Jesus. His task is to secure the revelation of Jesus against misinterpretation, but also to complete it by supplementation, without thereby coming into contradiction with Jesus. This makes argumentation difficult and puts it at a disadvantage by comparison with the straight line which in the church runs from Jesus through the apostles to the present time. The Montanists [184] believe in the disclosures of their prophets. But the validity of such a conviction is not, like the validity of belief in the apostolic tradition for the others, self-evident; it needs support. The Montanists complained about their opponents: "You do not believe that there could still be prophets after the appearance of the Lord; but the Savior himself said, `Behold, I am sending prophets to you' [Matthew 23.23]" (Didymus of Alexandria On the Trinity 3.41.3 = PG 39, 984).

The attempt to rely for support on contemporary prophetic phenomena or on a prophetism of the quite recent past was beset with many difficulties which made it impossible to conquer the scepticism of which Tertullian was so keenly aware. We know what the opponents replied. The prophets, to whom the heretics appeal, never existed or else they were victims of demonic possession (see above, 177 n. 62, 180). And it is impossible that a discourse delivered in a state of frenzy could be induced by the spirit of God (see above, 136). Thus it also follows that the predictions spoken by such persons are not fulfilled, and so disclose the putrid fount from which they come (see above, 139 f.). And if one adds to this their moral inferiority and the way in which God evidently turns his back on them by the type of death imposed upon them (see above, 134), then anyone with understanding is sufficiently informed.

The appeal to prophecy and the contention of the prophets and their associates concerning the source and reliability of the revelation [[ET 182]] they proclaim is ancient. We have already spoken about the apocalypticist John and his prophetic adversaries (above, 179). Nearly contemporary with him may be the "Paul" of 2 Thessalonians, who enjoins his readers not to be shaken in their faith, "Either by spirit, or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us" (2.2, mhte dia pneumatos mhte dia logou mhte di' epistolhs hws di' hemwn). No matter how one interprets the details of the passage, it is clear that the author considers the teaching which he presents as Pauline-apostolic to be threatened by a view that relies, among other things, on manifestations of the Spirit (pneuma) "i.e. on utterances of a prophetic nature. Moreover, he reckons with the possibility that someone might attack him by appealing to the authority of Pauline statements -- indeed even bringing forth a letter which claims to be written by the Apostle to the Gentiles. [185] We can thus observe how, alongside the utterances of Christian prophets, use is also made in the conflict of ideas first of the recollection of Paul's oral preaching and then of letters written by him which did not enjoy general acceptance in Christendom. For the one side, both are taken to be authentic and therefore decisive, but for the other they are considered forged and therefore misleading.

We know that the anxiety over pseudo-apostolic writings and the effects they produced was no chimera, but was thoroughly justified. The Muratorian fragment (lines 63-67) mentions letters to the Laodiceans72 and to the Alexandrians forged in the name of Paul in the interest of the heresy of Marcion, and "many other" of the same sort which the Catholic church rejects.73 For its own part, orthodoxy enriched the deposit of apostolic epistolary literature in the interest of opposing heresy through the pastoral Epistles, the so-called third epistle to the Corinthians, and the second epistle of Peter.74 To this category also belongs the attempt of those heretics who did not rely on apostles for support, but appealed to their own spiritual fathers [[ET 183]] and attributed writings to the latter that were useful for their own interests. Thus Hippolytus knew and used a book with the title "Great Proclamation" (Apofasis megalh), which purports to be a work of Simon Magus, but doubtless is forged (Ref

Of course there were also genuine fragments of the primitive tradition which were zealously collected to use for support and confirmation of the teaching as well as for defense and offense in the ideological controversy. We have already spoken of the letters of Valentinus (above, 175). Similarly we already are aware of the Montanist collection of those prophetic utterances essential to their movement (above, 142). From the beginning, the Marcionites [186] treasured the Antitheses of their master as a basic confessional document and placed it alongside the gospel restored by him to its pristine splendor and the unadulterated Paul as the bases for all authentic Christianity. Of course, with respect to Marcion not only does his treatment of the transmitted text easily give the impression of being arbitrary, but the yawning chasm between the activity of the Apostle to the Gentiles and the appearance of his reviver also stands unbridged.

In this respect the "church" was in a better position. For it, there were no places at which the linkage back to the beginning appeared to be broken, whereby doubts could arise. Even before the church's tradition had achieved complete continuity and strength, the attempt had been made to reach back by means of the "elders" (see above, 119) into the apostolic period and even behind it to Jesus. Even so, not everything that could be desired was achieved thereby. For it was now no longer sufficient, as perhaps it had still been in the apostolic epoch, simply to guard and hand on, or by grouping the materials appropriately, to make useful for the life of the community what one learned either from written or oral sources of the life and teaching of Jesus -- i.e. concerning the most important thing of all, that which is absolutely basic. In the course of time, the traditional material had not only swollen greatly, but it provided quite diverse pictures. Alongside the synoptic type of picture, there came John; alongside the canonical gospels were the many apocryphal gospels which were often pronouncedly heretical. One had to contend with error even with respect to the correct understanding of the earthly Lord and of the revelation provided by him.

[[ET 184]]

Irenaeus is not the only one to say of the heretics in the introduction to his great polemical work that "they deal recklessly with the sayings of the Lord, becoming evil interpreters of the good things which have been spoken."75 Dionysius of Corinth also complains about certain people who falsify the "dominical writings" (kyriakai grafai; EH 4.23.12), and his contemporary who expresses himself in the Epistle of the Apostles calls down eternal judgment on those who corrupt the teaching and falsify the word.;76 Polycarp already laments that heretics [187] twist the "sayings of the Lord" (logia tou kuriou) and draw from them what suits their own sinful desires. The Paul of the apocryphal correspondence with Corinth is thinking of the false teachers there when he writes: "My Lord Jesus Christ will come quickly, since he can no longer endure the error of those who falsify his word."77 Similarly, the letter of Peter to James at the beginning of the pseudo-Clementine Homilies78 unmistakably betrays concern for maintaining the purity of the apostolic memory of Jesus in opposition to heretical misinterpretation. Peter complains:

Certain people have already during my lifetime attempted to alter my words to teach the dissolution of the law through all sorts of tricks of interpretation as though I held such a view but did not have the courage to proclaim it openly. Not in the least! This would be to work against the law of God, which was proclaimed through Moses and confirmed as eternally valid by our Lord. For he said, `Heaven and earth will pass away, but not even a single jot or tittle of the law will ever pass away' [cf. Matt. 5.18 and 24.35] (2.4-5).

Thus it is an important task of the ecclesiastical teacher not only to collect and to classify the gospel material, but also to assist in the correct understanding of that which is approved so as to protect it against false interpretations. That was the goal that Papias set for himself and for which he strove in his five books of Explanations of the Sayings of the Lord (Logiwn kuriakwn exhghsews suggrammata pente; EH 3.39.1). He appears to have spoken so disapprovingly [[ET 185]] about Luke, the gospel of Marcion (if he took notice of it at all), that Eusebius hesitated to include his judgment in the Ecclesiastical History.79 In fact the two other synoptics do not appear to have satisfied him completely either. Yet he sees their deficiencies only in certain gaps in the account and structural weakness in Mark, and in the way the Greek language is handled in Matthew (EH 3.39.15-16). He had no doubt about the apostolic origin [188] of the contents. Indeed, the Markan apostolic material, which derives from the teachings of Peter, stands forth all the more clearly when the outward form of Mark's gospel is abandoned. Objections of the opponents, who wish to argue that what is true of the form applies also to the content, can be countered successfully by this approach. In a similar way, the Alexandrians sought to rescue the epistle to the Hebrews for Paul (cf. EH 6.14.2, 6.25.11-14).

But if the criticism of Mark and Matthew has its basis in the controversy with heretics and the gospel writings they supported, we no longer need to explain it by appealing to the hypothesis that Papias evaluated the two synoptic gospels by using the Fourth Gospel as the standard80 and thereby became aware of their inadequacies.81 A standard gospel by which one evaluates apostolic gospels and traditions must without qualification derive from the same origin itself. That Papias had such an attitude toward the Fourth Gospel, however, is no longer as clear to me as when I prepared the third edition of my commentary on John.82 The only evidence in support of the supposition that Papias considered the Fourth Gospel to be a work of the apostle John is provided by the ancient gospel prologues recently treated by D. de Bruyne and A. von Harnack, which may belong to the period around the year 180.83 According to the prologue to John, Papias of Hierapolis, the beloved disciple of John, claimed [[ET 186]] to have transcribed the Fourth Gospel correctly at the dictation of his teacher; and he appended to this the remark that the heretic Marcion had been rejected by him because of his false teaching and then also by John. But on chronological grounds alone, the latter claim cannot have come from the works of Papias. It assumes not that Papias, as a rather young man, put himself at the disposal of the aged apostle in Asia,84 but that [189] he, as leader of the church in Hierapolis, can repudiate heretics just as John does in Ephesus. Thus the most that could he applied to Papias is the assertion that he had been a personal disciple of John, the son of Zebedee, and in turn, that this John was the author of the Fourth Gospel.

This, however, is nothing but the ecclesiastical point of view, as represented by Irenaeus at the time of the origin of the prologue when he defends the apostolic origin of the Fourth Gospel and also pictures Papias as a personal disciple of John of Zebedee (AH 5.33.4). It has been shown often enough that the latter is not true, on the basis of the criticism which Eusebius, relying on Papias himself, levels against Irenaeus with regard to this passage.85 But then the other item claiming that the Fourth Gospel had been written by the apostle John,86 which appears to be intimately bound to this in the Papias material of the prologue, hardly could have come from Papias himself. Only on the basis of such a hypothesis is it possible also to account for the attitude of Eusebius, who withholds from us any indication of Papias' opinion concerning the origin of the Fourth Gospel. The idea that Papias, the diligent collector of ancient traditions of the Lord, was unfamiliar with the Fourth Gospel is as unlikely as the suggestion that Eusebius, who was jubilant to have found 1 John used by Papias (EH 3.39.17), would have suppressed a viewpoint of Papias that was in agreement with the later outlook of orthodoxy. Thus the situation with regard to the Fourth Gospel must have been much the same as with the third. Either Papias expressed himself [[ET 187]] in an unfavorable manner, or he kept silent also with respect to this gospel, a silence sufficiently significant to one who has understanding. For Papias, the contents of the Fourth Gospel apparently belonged to the long-winded prattle in which the great masses took pleasure, to the "foreign commandments," but not to the truth as it was given by the Lord to the believers and is contained in the uniform tradition of the church and which is rooted in the circle of the twelve (EH 3.39.34).

As long as one is not bound to the dogma of the fourfold gospel, infallible because it is inspired, one can scarcely conceal the deviations of the last canonical gospel from the others. And whoever, with Papias, rediscovers the attitude of the twelve apostles concerning the life and teaching of Jesus in the books of [190] Matthew and Mark/Peter, will not easily free himself from serious reservations about the presentation in the Fourth Gospel. It is even more difficult for him to attribute this gospel, which like that of Luke is being used by heretics, to one of the closest friends of Jesus and even to value and treat it as Holy Scripture, especially when he is not forced to do so by any authority. In the gospels of Matthew and Mark Papias considered himself to be in contact with the apostolic-ecclesiastical tradition on the life and teaching of Jesus; the other two gospels are at least suspect to him -- the gospel of Luke because of misuse, since the worst of the heretics of his day made use of it, and the Fourth Gospel, no doubt, because of its content, origin, and the friends it had made. After all, the preference of the Montanists and Valentinians for the Fourth Gospel shows us that ecclesiastical circles were not the first in which it was recognized as a canonical expression of a particular religious persuasion. And this deficiency was in no way compensated for by its particular suitability as a weapon in the battle against Marcion.87

It would seem to me, as we attempt to understand the place Papias occupies with respect to the gospels of Luke and of John, and within the history of early Christian literature in general,88 that we do well to keep in mind that he found himself in a particularly exposed outpost. He was situated, so we have discovered, at the easternmost [[ET 188]] point that the church in opposition to heretics succeeded in occupying in Asia Minor, or indeed anywhere (see above, 171 f.). He offered resistance there with the realization that he was dealing with a superior force. At least, he explains that his anti-heretically conditioned perspective with reference to the materials of the gospel tradition set before him the task of excising everything that delights the "great majority" (hoi polloi). He is convinced that to carry out this plan means to sacrifice the bulk (ta polla) of the material. But it is also clear to him that what he rejects has nothing to do with the truth, nor with the commandments which the Lord gave to the believers, but it is foreign in origin and nature (EH 3.39.3). Since he therefore knows that he is limited in his influence to the minority of Christians in Hierapolis, [191] he quite consciously withdraws to that which he, from his ecclesiastical standpoint, judges to be an authentic apostolic heritage.

In his literary endeavors on behalf of orthodoxy, moreover, Papias did not think that he had to limit himself in any way to the four gospels of the New Testament or to that material in them which he considered valid. He also collected all sorts of other material from written as well as oral sources (see EH 3.39.4,11). In addition to the highly treasured accounts stemming from the twelve, he also referred to an Explanation of the Words of the Lord (twn tou kuriou logwn dihghseis) by a certain Aristion of the postapostolic generation, and to certain "traditions" (paradoseis) by a contemporary of Aristion, "John the elder" (EH 3.39.14; cf. 3.39.4). In terms of content, the material dealt with "strange parables of the savior and teachings from him," and indeed with some matters that Eusebius would like to relegate immediately to the realm of the mythological, namely all sorts of fantasies concerning the millennial kingdom (EH 3.39.11-12a). Of course, even here Papias could appeal to the apostles, as Eusebius reluctantly admits; but Papias had not grasped the mystical symbolic sense of the expressions (EH 3.39.12b). Thus Papias, who wanted to smite the heretics by means of exegesis of the Lord's words, is himself opposed by the same means and judged to be in error.

The statements of Jesus concerning the glories of the new kingdom fit well into the context of a gospel and are found inserted into a conversation of Jesus with the unbelieving traitor Judas in an [[ET 189]] account of Irenaeus concerning Papias.89 Nevertheless, other references could give rise to the supposition that Papias in the only work he composed (so EH 3.39.1, depending on Irenaeus), did not confine himself to the life of Jesus but went beyond that into the subsequent period. He deals not only with the death of the traitor Judas -- and that in a way which really denies the account a place in a written gospel -- but also with the martyrdom of the Zebedees;90 with a peculiar experience of Justus Barsabbas, who first gained significance for the community after the departure of Jesus (Acts 1.23); and with a resuscitation of a corpse, attested by the daughters of Philip (EH 3.39.3 f.). Nevertheless, it does not seem impossible that even this material could have been included in a collection and interpretation of gospel traditions; the account about the death of the Zebedees perhaps as an exegesis of Mark 10.38 f. = Matt. 20.22 f. [192]

The book of Hegesippus indeed bore the title "Memoirs" Hypomnhmata, EH 4.22.1), but it summed up "the unadulterated tradition of the apostolic preaching in simplest form" (EH 4.8.2) in opposition to gnosticism. Thus, he also drew together for ecclesiastical use reminiscences from earliest times. Above all, Hegesippus appealed to primitive Christian history in support of the view that during the lifetime of the apostles there had as yet been no heretics. At that time the church had been a holy and unstained virgin, and if there were already any people who intended to falsify the life-giving proclamation, they kept themselves concealed in darkness. Only when the holy choir of apostles died and that generation passed away which was privileged to hear with its own ears the divine wisdom, did the conspiracy of godless error begin through seduction by the false teachers. Henceforth, the gnosis falsely so-called (cf. 1 Tim. 6.20) sought to rebel against the apostolic preaching of truth (EH 3.32.7- 8). It can be imagined that such a reconstruction was possible only by means of thoroughgoing "exegesis." Among other things this sort of [[ET 190]] "exegesis" finds that the heretics had manifested their moral degeneration by causing Simeon to suffer martyrdom as a result of their informing against him (EH 3.32.6 and 2; cf. 3.19-20.1).

The heretics seized on the same means in order to give the primitive tradition a twist in their direction. Basilides not only made use of a gospel of his own, but he sought to secure its contents through a commentary in twenty-four books which bore the title "Interpretations" (Exhghtika; see above, 170 n. 41). The gnostic found justification for pursuing his own exegesis of the words of the Lord from the conviction that Jesus spoke to the general public only in parables, but that he unraveled these to his disciples in secret (Theodotus in Clement of Alexandria Excerpts from Theod 1.66). Thus, the meaning of his proclamation was not at all self-evident. But the exegetical effort was in no way restricted to the gospel material. Wherever a source of revelation bubbled forth, it required a suitable container. Isidore interpreted the proclamations of Parchor, a Basilidean "prophet," in his "Interpretations of the prophet Parchor" (Exhghtika tou profhtou Parxor; see above, 179). The accepted approach to interpreting such prophets was also suitable for interpreting the Old Testament, where the latter was acknowledged and thus used. Julius Cassianus appears [193] to have dealt even with Old Testament material in his "Interpretations" (Exhghtika; Clement of Alexandria Strom 1.1.[21.]101.2). And from the orthodox perspective, Dionysius of Corinth appended to his instructions "interpretations of divine scriptures" (Grafwn Theiwn Exhghseis, EH 4.23.6). Similarly Irenaeus passed on the interpretations of divine Scriptures by an "apostolic elder" (EH 5.8.8). At this juncture we are faced with the question, what is the general significance of this literature which exegesis so energetically seeks to master?

Before we turn to this subject in the next chapter, however, we should attempt to add a word about the relative sizes of orthodoxy and heresy to what was said at the beginning of the section on the geographical distribution of the two outlooks (see, e.g. 172 f.). As a point of departure, let me refer back to what has been said earlier (173f.) concerning Eusebius' silence about the success of heresy -- a silence to which he is entitled from his perspective as an "ecclesiastical" historian. But although the tone with which he speaks of [[ET 191]] orthodoxy may be permissible from his point of view, it is no less in need of correction for a historical approach. He tries to make the best of everything, and manifests a tendency to move churchmen as close as possible to the generation of the apostles (see above, 63 f. and 150) and to push their writings as far back as he can into the apostolic age, while he obscures the chronology of the heretics so that they appear to be more recent.91 He also shows, as we have already noticed (see above, e.g. 156-158 n. 2), an interest in displaying a very rich and universal anti-heretical literature already in the second century -- a claim that immediately provokes scepticism. In the same vein Eusebius is guilty of a serious misuse of the superlative (murioi = "countless," pleistoi = "very many," pantes = "all," etc.) when he deals with the church, its size, its influence, its success, its champions, its sacrifices, and the like, even in cases where the particular piece of evidence he reports actually should have made him more moderate in his claims.

What an incredible outburst of faith, worlds away from all reality, characterizes the situation in the apostolic era in this presentation! In connection with Psalm 18.5, EH 2.3.2 comments: "And truly in every city and village ("of the whole world" [194] according to 2.3.1), like a filled threshing floor, arose communities with countless members and a huge multitude crowded together."92 The apostles endure "countless" (muria) mortal dangers in Judea (3.5.2), Paul knows "countless" (muria) mysteries (3.24.4), and he has "countless co- workers" (murioi synergoi, 3.4.4). In the apostolic age the followers of Jesus consist of "twelve apostles, seventy disciples, and countless others as well" (dwdeka men apostoloi, hebdomhkonta de maqhtai, alloi te epi toutois murioi, 3.24.5). Even in the postapostolic period "very many marvelous wonders" (pleistai paradoxoi dunameis) are occurring and close-packed hordes of unbelievers come over to Christianity on the first hearing of the gospel (3.37.3). At the time of Basilides (around the year 130) "very many churchmen" (pleistoi ekklhsiastikoi andres) contend for the apostolic and ecclesiastical doctrine. But only "some" took pen in hand (4.7.5) -- thus Eusebius [[ET 192]] restricts his treatment and thereby relegates the matter to an area no longer subject to verification. Then only a single one is named, Agrippa Castor (4.7.6). Hegesippus, who is associated with Agrippa Castor in 4.8.1 (a convenient arrangement for Eusebius' purposes), has been borrowed from the succeeding generation. This Hegesippus, so we hear, met with "very many bishops" (pleistoi episkopoi) on his trip to Rome, all of whom advocated the same teaching. But besides Rome, specific mention is limited to Corinth (4.22.1 ff.). Thus in no way can we consider Hegesippus as providing evidence for the presence of a widespread orthodox church which flourished even in the East. Dionysius of Corinth puts himself at the service of all the churches (4.23.1). Polycarp is snatched away through very great persecutions (megistoi diwgmoi, 4.15.1), but according to 4.15.45 the total of those martyred from Smyrna and Philadelphia is twelve. Myriads (myriades) of martyrs under Marcus Aurelius are mentioned in 5.preface.1. However this number is arrived at by treating the multitude of martyrs among one group (i.e. in Gaul) as though it represented a general average for the whole world (see also 5.2.1).

I will forego continuing this easy task of assembling even more evidence of this sort from Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. The above is sufficient to remove any inclination I might have to take such assertions seriously. Except where he is quoting from earlier authors, only the individual pieces of information presented by Eusebius, examined with the necessary critical attitude, are of value. [195] If we cannot establish any firm foothold on the basis of what Eusebius himself contributes, we must proceed on the basis of what we have already been able to ascertain by inference. It seemed to us that orthodoxy, as seen from Rome's vantage point, in general reached only to western Asia Minor, approximately to Hierapolis, during the second century (above, 171-173). Beyond this there was an orthodox minority in Antioch (above, 172 and 91-93 on the Johannine Epistles). But this in no way means that orthodoxy gave its stamp to the Christianity that existed everywhere up to Hierapolis. On the contrary, even in Hierapolis orthodoxy evidently is a rear-guard movement (above, 187 f.). Similarly, certain of the letters in the Apocalypse indicate that heterodoxy is in the majority in their area -- namely, those addressed to Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea (above, 79 f.) -- while in Colossae, viewed from the perspective of the [[ET 193]] "church," the situation may be even more unfavorable (above, 80 f.). In Smyrna, the scales are evenly balanced (above, 69 f.). Possibly other locales in western Asia Minor allow a more favorable judgment (above, 69); besides Magnesia, Tralles, and Philadelphia, there is Ephesus -- the defeat that Paul suffered there, even though heretics certainly were involved in it, in no way signifies the breakdown of orthodoxy as such (above, 82 ff.).

As in Pauline Phrygia, so also in Pauline Macedonia (above, 72-75), Christianity developed along the path leading to heresy, so that orthodoxy sees itself forced to take second place. Hoi polloi, "the great majority," were in the camp of the church's enemies in Hierapolis (above, 187 f.), as in Philippi (above, 72 f.), and finally also in Crete (above, 75 f.). Only in the case of Rome can we state confidently that orthodoxy possessed the upper hand. And the distinctive character that marked Rome from the outset passed over to Corinth around the year one hundred, where it remained.

A few observations may serve to confirm the conclusions we have reached in our assessment of the two opposing forces. Quite frequently we hear the churchmen bewail the extent of the danger from heresy, but nowhere do we find [196] them attempting to adduce numerical evidence of the success of their own position concerning the outcome. We would look in vain for phraseology such as: "only a couple of fools, beguiled by the devil, are in the opposition." To some extent, the quantity of literature found here and there also is indicative of the size of the group that it represents, although we must always keep in mind that we are undoubtedly better informed about ecclesiastical literature than about that of the heretics. It is impossible neatly to divide the Christian writings known to us down to the year 200 between orthodoxy and heresy. Too many uncertainties remain. Where should we classify Tatian (see below, 207) and his books? Or the productive Melito, and Clement of Alexandria? Or even the Fourth Gospel (see below, 204-212) and the apostle Paul (see below, 212-228 and 233)?

Nevertheless, no one can avoid the impression produced by the abundance of forms of heresy already evident in the second century and the mass of literary works produced by them. Hippolytus knows of "innumerable books" that Montanus and his prophetesses had authored (Ref 1.8.19). In his section on the Gnwstikoi, Epiphanius [[ET 194]] speaks of "countless writings produced by them" (alla muria par' autois plasqenta grafeia, Her 1.26.12) after mentioning their literary efforts in specific cases. Papias already considered the major part of the available traditional material to be suspicious (above, 187 f.), and thus consciously turned from literature to oral tradition. And whoever has to deal with heretics censures their fruitful literary activity -- Hegesippus (EH 4.22.9), Gaius (EH 6.20.3), Irenaeus (AH 3.11.7 and 9, 3.12.12[=3.11.10 and 12, 3.12.15]), and others. It is easy to see that we are not dealing here with the customary accusations of an established polemical pattern when we recall the number of heretical writings from that time, which we know mostly only by title and many not even that well. Harnack identifies fifty-five different writings from the Ophites (or "Gnostics" in the narrow sense of the term) alone, of which the overwhelming majority were written by them, while they appropriated others for their own use.93 If one adds to this what else we know about heretical literature until around the year 200, of which one may also learn from Harnack (cf. also above, 170 n. 39), we are forced to conclude [197] that in this camp a far more extensive literary activity had been developed than in the ecclesiastical circles. And thereby a new foothold is established to substantiate the view that the heretics considerably outnumbered the orthodox.

One final point. The reckless speed with which, from the very beginning, the doctrine and ideology of Marcion spread_LAST_94 can only be explained if it had found the ground already prepared. Apparently a great number of the baptized, especially in the East, inclined toward this view of Christianity and joined Marcion without hesitation as soon as he appeared, finding in him the classic embodiment of their own belief. What had dwelt in their inner consciousness in a more or less undefined form until then, acquired through Marcion the definite form that satisfied head and heart. No one can call that a falling away from orthodoxy to heresy.


[1] Clement of Alexandria Strom. 2.(8.)36.2-4; cf. also the references to a Valentinian "homily" in 4.(13.)89.1 and 4.(13.)90.2-4. [For an ET, see Grant, Gnosticism Anthology, pp. 143 f.; the Greek texts are collected in Vlker, Quellen, pp. 57 ff.]

[2] Ed. R. Reitzenstein (-H. H. Schaeder), Studien zum antiken Syncretismus aus Iran und Griechenland 1 (Leipzig, 1926; repr. Darmstadt, 1965): 161 ff. [from Hippolytus Ref. 5.7-9. Greek text also in Vlker, Quellen, pp. 11-26; partial ET in Grant, Gnosticism Anthology, pp. 105-114].

[3] In Hippolytus Ref. 5.25-27 [Greek text also in Vlker, Quellen, pp. 27-33; ET in Grant, Gnosticism Anthology, pp. 94-l00]. In a somewhat distorted way a passage out of Anastasius of Sinai's Hexameron, book 1 (J. B. Pitra, Analecta sacra spicilegio salesmensi parata 2 [Paris, 1884]: 160) gives evidence of the predilection of the ancient church to concern itself with the six days of creation: "Taking a cue [that is, the occasion for the opinion concerning the millennial kingdom] from Papias the illustrious one of Hierapolis, a disciple of the beloved disciple, and from Clement and Pantaenus, the priest of the Alexandrians, and Ammonius the most- wise -- from the ancients and the expositors who lived prior to the councils (twn arxaiwn kai pro twn sunodwn echgetwn) [or, "and earliest (prwtwn) expositors who were in agreement"] and understood that the entire Hexameron referred to Christ and the Church." For the Greek text, see K. Bihlmeyer, Die apostolischen Vter 1 (Tbingen: Mohr, 1924; ed. W. Schneemelcher, 1956\2): 137, no. 6. [For a discussion of the text and its interpretation, with an ET, see Schoedel, Polycarp, pp. 114 f.]

[4] This will be discussed in its proper context; see below, 158 ff.

[5] One thinks perhaps of Marcion. The hatred of Paul by the Jewish Christians or by Cerinthus (see my discussion in Hennecke\2, 127 ff.) would hardly still have called for opposition at that time. Nevertheless, Eusebius mentions people with encratite tendencies from the time of Tatian who "slander" Paul and who reject his letters together with the Acts of the Apostles (EH 4.29.5, also 6).

[6] Cf. Harnack, Geschichte, 1.2: 758.

[7] It can hardly be more than a way of speaking when Eusebius claims that all these churchmen demonstrated their orthodoxy by their sciptural interpretation (above, 149 f.). At the time of Eusebius that may have been an important characteristic. But in the second century, sciptural interpretation was not so widely practiced (see below, 195 n. 1).

[8] The titles are not all entirely clear, and thus the number cannot be established with full certainty; see also below, n. 11.

[9] On Melito, see Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: 246-255; E. Preuschen, RPTK\3 12 (1903): 564-567.

[10] [See below, p. 315 n. 37, on the more recently recovered PaschalHomily of Melito.]

[11] According to the GCS edition of Schwartz, it includes fourteen items; Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1; 247 f., counts eighteen. [The ET of EH by H. J. Lawlor and J. E. Oulton has sixteen, while that of K. Lake in LCL has nineteen.]

[12] Melito made no distinction between the Old Testament of Palestine and that of the Greek diaspora. Rather, he speaks about "the old books" whose crucial contents he wants to make available to his friends. In his opinion, one had to take a trip to Palestine in order to have access to more accurate (akribws; 26.14) information about "the books of the old covenant" (ta ths palaias diaqhkhs biblia). This shows that neither the Church in Sardis, nor, as far as Melito was aware, any other Christian Church accessible to him had at its disposal a complete Old Testament. Apparently, in the area represented by Melito, one was still content with Eklogai. Cf. Bauer, Wortgottesdienst, 45 f.; also Josephus, Life (75)418, where Josephus receives the Old Testament as a gift from a prince (Titus).

[13] Cf. Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: 247.

[14] Eusebius' approach here is also similar to what we previously observed, 130 n. 1.

[15] Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: 248.

[16] Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: 247.

[17] Tertullian ridiculed Melito, the "prophet" of the psuxikoi (Jerome Illustrious Men 24).

[18] Examples are given in Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: 249 f.

[19] That the author of the Little Labyrinth knew dogmatic writings [in contrast to apologetic or biblical excerpts] of Melito is hardly demonstrated by the exaggerated outburst in which he is mentioned: "For who does not know the books of Irenaeus and of Melito as well as the others, which proclaim Christ as God and man! And how many psalms and hymns have been written from the beginning," etc. (EH 5.28.5).

[20] Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: 256.

[21] For Eusebius, the "Apology" includes what for us is divided into the "first" and the "second" Apology [or "Appendix"].

[22] Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: l02.

[23] See above, 153, the "citation" from Melito's book on the passover. From the beginning of this investigation (Abgar legend) we have had occasion to refer to other inadequacies in Eusebius' approach, and there will continue to be such occasions in what follows [e.g. below, n. 33].

[24] Jerome Epistle 141 (to Marcellus): quam ex parte corruptam Acacius dehinc et Euzoi+us eiusdem ecclesiae sacerdotes in membranis instaurare conati sunt.

[25] Papyri Graecae Magicae, 2: 150 f., which also includes bibliography. [The ET of this material has been made also with an eye to the Greek text.] Cf. also W. Kroll ''Julius Africanus,'' in Paulys Realencyklopdie, 11 (1917). F. Granger, ,''Julius Africanus and the Library of the Pantheon,'' Journal of Theological Studies, 34 (1933): 157-161, does not discuss the questions of interest to us. [For ed. and ET of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, see the LCL volumes by A. T. Murray (1924-25 and 1919 respectvely).]

[26] Iaa = Yahweh, as Preizendanz rendera it.

[27] In his letter to Origen. Cf. W. Reichardt, Die Briefe des Sextus Julius Africanus an Aristides und Origenes (TU 34.3, 1909).

[28] W. Kroll (see above, n. 25) concluded from lines 58 ff. of the fragment that Jerusalem was the home of Africanus. At any rate, in later life he lived for some time in Emmaus on the Philistine plain, six hours from Jerusalem.

[29] Manuscipt 299 of the library of St. Mark in Venice (tenth century) includes Africanus as seventh in the list of "names of the philosophers of divine knowledge and art" (onomata twn filosofwn ths theias episthmhs kai technhs), which begins with Moses and Democritus (M. Berthelot, Collection des anciens alchemistes grecs 1 [Paris, 1887]: 110). The content of the thirty-second chapter of this codex derives from Hermes, Zosimus, Nilus, and Africanus (Berthelot 1, 175 B).

[30] Cf. R. Wnsch, ''Deisidaimoniaka,'' Archiv fr Religionswissenschaft 12 (1909): 19.

[31] Cf. A. Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie(Leipzig: Teubner, 1903; repr. of 1923\3 ed., Darmstadt, 1966), pp. 12 f., 14 f., 70, 72 f. [See also the Greek text with German translation in Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae, 1: 94 ff. = no. IV.639 ff. (especially lines 681 and 700 f. for the above-mentioned titles).]

[32] Quoted in George Syncellus Chronicles, 1: 105 f., where Africanus is mentioned expressly.

[33] A book such as the present study, which is so critical of Eusebius (very much against the original inclination and intention of its author) may be allowed to justify its claim by referring to the wider context of the passage in which Africanus speaks of purchasing the Suphis book. The excerpt from Africanus quoted by George Syncellus literally reads as follows: "Suphis 63 years. He built the greatest pyramid, which Herodotus claims came from Cheops. But he was also one who scorned the gods (u(peropths eis theous). And he wrote the sacred book, which I acquired for myself in Egypt as a great treasure." [168] Shortly thereafter (106 f.), Syncellus repeats essentially the same thing, but this time depends on Eusebius as his source, just as he had previously used Africanus. This is not surprising in itself. Eusebius himself drew on Africanus in writing his Chronicle. Syncellus thus used Africanus, directly at first and then indirectly by way of Eusebiua. This circumastance provides us with an insight into the way Eusebius evaluated and employed his sources. The quotation which Syncellus drew directly from Africanus, given above, is quite remarkable. It prompts the question, how did one who scorned the gods come to write a sacred book? Something seems out of line here. But if we go back to Herodotus, we find that the scorning of the gods was done by Cheops (Herodotus 2.124 says Cheops closed all the temples and prevented the people from sacrificing; [ed. and ET by A. D. Godley, LCL (1920)]). It is possible that Africanus understood it in the same way. If so, the words "he was one who scorned the gods" were a digression referring to Cheops, in connection with the allusion to Herodotus. But what follows concerning the sacred books applys to the person who is the subject of the paragraph as a whole, namely Suphis. Linguistically, however, it is also possible to refer it all to Suphis, except Herodotus' statement that Cheops, and not Suphis, was the builder of the greatest pyramid. This latter interpretation is what Eusebius drew from the words of Africanus. Whereupon he felt obligated to offer an explanation of how Suphis, the scorner of the gods, came to occupy himself with sacred literature. He accomplished this by appending to the statement "he was a scorner of the gods" the clause "then however be repented" (o(s metanohsanta auton) and wrote the sacred book. But Eusebius had another problem. How could the learned and pious Christian Africanus, from whom he borrowed so much, have acquired the pagan book ofmagic by Suphis and have cherished it as a great treasure? Something also must have been wrong at this point with the text as transmitted. So Eusebius made an attempt to correct it; thus instead of "the sacred book which I acquired for myself as a great treasure" we now read in his text "the sacred book which the Egyptians guard (Aigyptioi periepousi) as a great treasure." Thus by inserting and changing only four words, Eusebius radically alters, indeed distorts, the sense in two directions, and all for reasons that could not be made moreclear. There is no doubt that Eusebius was operating here with a clean conscience; he unquestionably felt it was his duty to restore a corrupt text. But the urgent question must be raised as to how much one should accept from a historian found to be operating in such a manner? Is not one obligated to entertain reservationsin all instances where there is no possibility of verification and wherea purpose becomes clearly discernible on the other side?

[34] In a letter "to certain close acquaintances at Alexandria" (ad quosdam caros suos Alexandriam) preserved by Rufinus, "On the falsifying of the books of Origen" 7 (De adulteratione librorum Origenis, ed. M. Simonetti in CC 20 [1961]; ET by W. H. Freemantle in NPNF 3, series 2 [1892], 423 f.). The relevant passage is reproduced by Harnack, Geschichte 1.1, 182 (= Simonetti, lines 23-37).

[35] In the same letter mentioned above (ed. Simonetti, lines 46 ff.; Harnack, p. 405 f.).

[36] Harnack, Briefsammlung, p. 37.

[37] See also Harnack, Briefsammlung, p. 79 n. 3.

[38] On this matter, cf. Bauer Wortgottesdienst, p. 47 f.

[39] Cf. Harnack, Geschichte, 1. 1: 152 ff.; and 2.1: 536- 541. [For a convenient and up-to-date catalogue of the "Coptic Gnostic Library" recently discovered near Nag Hammadi in Middle Egypt, see J. M. Robinson, ''The Coptic Gnostic Library Today,'' NTS 14 (1967/68): 383 ff., and 16 (1969/70): 185-190. Thus far nothing in this collection, which is not yet fully published, seems to require modification of the above observation by Bauer; see also below, p. 314 n. 32, and p. 310.]

[40] Mentioned by Origen Homily 1 on Luke. [For additional information, see the discussion by H.-C. Puech in Hennecke- Schneemelcher, 1: 346 ff.]

[41] The so-called Exhghtica (in twenty-four books) mentioned by Agrippa Castor in EH 4.7.7 and by Clement of Alexandria Strom. 4.(12.)81-83; see also below, 190. [In addition, see Puech in Hennecke-Schneemelcher, 1: 347 f. The Greek text of this material is conveniently reproduced in Vlker, Quellen, pp. 40 f.; for an ET, see Grant, Gnosticism Anthology, pp. 136 f.]

[42] Origen In Job 21.11 f. (Pitra, Analecta Sacra, 2: 368). Cf. the Muratorian Canon, lines 83 f.; [and Irenaeus AH 1.24.5 (= 1.19.3), on Basilidean "incantationes."]

[43] Isidore's "Ethics" is quoted by Clement of Alexandria Strom. 3. (1.) 1-3 (cf. Epiphanius Her 1.32.2). [For a convenient collection of this and other fragments, see Vlker, Quellen, pp. 42 f.; ET in Grant, Gnosticism Anthology, pp. 138 ff. See also below, 179.]

[44] The material may he found in Harnack, Marcion\2, 314*- 327* (''Die Polemiker vor Tertullian'' = Beilage 6.1).

[45] Hegesippus (in EH 4.22.4-7), with his polemic against the heretics, belongs thoroughly to the West, close to Justin, even though both were originally from the East.

[46] See Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: 174.

[47] E. Preuschen, RPTK\3 20 (1908): 411.

[48] Cf. C. Schmidt, RGG\2, 5 (1931): 1436.

[49] Clement of Alexandria, of whose ideological life-setting in Egypt we are aware, can be omitted from consideration at present.

[50] Cf. Harnack, Geschichte, 1.1: 174, where the opponents are enumerated.

[51] On this situation, see above, 63-67, 75, 108-110, and passim (Ignatius, Theophilus Serapion).

[52] Whether the agreement of Palestinian church leaders with Roman Easter practice (EH 5.23.3) also extended to matters of doctine, we do not know. In any event, we hear nothing of the participation of Palestine in the battle with the heretics.

[53] Harnack, Mission\2, 2: 324 ff. (expanded discussion in 4th German edition, pp. 730 ff.).

[54] Harnack, Mission\2, 2: 358 ff. (expanded in German\4, 766 ff.); the most pertinent works by Ramsay are listed on p. 766 n. 3 of 4th German edition.

[55] Preserved by Clement of Alexandria Strom. 2.(8.)36, 2.(20.)114, 3.(7.)59 (to Agathopus). [For a convenient collection of the Greek texts, see Vlker, Quellen, pp. 57 f.; for ET see Grant, Gnosticism Anthology, pp. 143 f.]

[56] Cf. G. Heinrici, Die valentinianische Gnosis und die heilige Schrift (Berlin, 1871), pp. 76 f., 81 f.

[57] On this point, cf. Harnack, Briefsammlung.

[58] In AH 1.15.6 (= 1.8.17), Irenaeus quotes the words of a "divinely favored elder" (o( theophilhs presbuths), who polemicized against the gnostic Marcus in verse.

[59] Whether an ancient dungeon was really the best place to change one's diet from bread and water to elegant cuisine is, of course, open to question.

[60] Hippolytus Ref. 6.37 [Vlker, Quellen, pp. 59 f.; ET in Grant, Gnosticism Anthology, p. 145]. Cf. also Tertullian Against the Valentinians 4: "If they shall have added anything new, they immediately call their presumption a revelation and their ingenuity a gift of grace" (si aliquid novi adstruxerint, revelationem statim appellant praesumptionem et charisma ingenium).

[61] The "gospel" preaching of Prisca is intentionally joined to a "prophetic oracle of the Old Testament" and a word "of the Apostle" (Paul = Rom. 8.6; see above, 136 n. 13) and is apparently considered to be equally valid.

[62] He is not exactly sure whether it had been Quintilla or Piscilla, but in any event she was apatwmenh (deceived).

[63] [For the text, see C. J. M. J. van Beek, Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, latine et graece, Florilegium Patristicum, 43 (Bonn, 1938), ET by W. H. Shewring, The Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felicity: New edition and translation of the Latin text... (London, 1931); partial ET also in H. A. Musurillo, The Fathers of the Primitive Church (New York: New American Library, Mentor-Omega paperback, 1966), pp. 161-172.]

[64] On the Soul 9. [For a convenient ET of most of the passage referred to here, see Stevenson, New Eusebius, p. 187.]

[65] In this connection, see H. Weinel, ''Die Apokalyptik des Urchristentums,'' in Hennecke\2, pp. 298-302.

[66] The distinction drawn by Hermas and the Didache, as well as earlier by Paul, between genuine and false prophets, does not fully coincide with that between true and deceitful doctine.

[67] Cf. Hennecke-Schneemelcher, 2: 374 (= "3 Corinthians" 1.8 ff.). For the Latin version and the recently discovered Greek text, see above, 42 n. 99.

[68] Cf. Harnack, Marcion\2, pp. 177 f., 321*, 371*.

[69] Against Praxeas 30; Against Marcion 3.24; On the Resurrection of the Flesh 63.

[70] Epiphanius Her 1.48.4. [For ET of this and some other Montanist utterances, see Grant, Second Century, pp. 95 f., and Stevenson, New Eusebius, p. 113. The texts are conveniently collected by Bonwetsch, Montanismus (and later in KT 129 [1914]) and Hilgenfeld, Ketzergeschichte, pp. 591- 595.] Cf. also the explanation of the Montanists, that the prophet has no control over himself [183] when the Spirit takes hold of him, in Didymus of Alexandria (fragments from his Exposition on Acts, PG 39, 1677.)

[71] On the Soul 58.8: hoc etiam paracletus frequentissime commendavit, si qui sermones eius ex agnitione promissorum charismatum admiserit.

[72] In this connection see A. von Harnack, ''Der apokryphe Bief des Apostels Paulus an die Laodicener, eine marcionitische Flschung aus der 2. Hlfte des 2. Jahrhunderts,'' Sb Berlin 27 for 1923; also Marcion\2, pp. 134* ff.

[73] Since the fragment subsequenily speaks about the Catholic Epistles, the "many others" must have reference to pseudo-Pauline writings; of course, this hardly proves that the author actually knew more than the two named. But his concern about a brisk heretical activity in this area of pseudonymous literature is hardly artificial.

[74] Concerning literary works of apostles on the boundary line between correct and false belief, see above, 58.

[75] AH 1. preface: r(adiourgountes ta logia kuriou, exhghtai kakoitwn kalwn eirhmenwn genomenoi. Cf. also Tertullian Prescription against Heretics 38: the heretics practice falsification of the scriptures as well as of their interpretations.

[76] Epistula Apostolorum 50 [ET by R. E. Taylor in Hennecke-Schneemelcher, 1: 227, from the German of H. Duensing (see also pp. 189-191 for introductory discussion by Duensing)].

[77] "3 Corinthians," verse 3 [= 3.3 in Hennecke-Schneemelcher, 2: 375].

[78] [ET by G. Ogg in Hennecke-Schneemelcher, 2: 111 f. See further below, 198-199].

[79] Cf. in this connection Jlicher-Fascher, Einleitung\7, p. 312. One should also keep in mind here the position of Papias with respect to Paul (see below, 214 f.). On the other hand, it should be noted that Eusebius also has suppressed the favorable judgment of Papias concerning the Johannine Apocalypse (cf. W. Bousset, Die Offenbarung des Johannes\2, Meyer Kommentar 16\6 [1906], pp. 19 f.).

[80] Jlicher-Fascher, Einleitung\7, pp. 283, 396.

[81] What Papias says about Matthew, especially as regards its content, can hardly be the result of a comparison with the gospel of John.

[82] W. Bauer, Das Johannesevangelium\3, HbNT 6 (1933): 241 f.

[83] Donatien de Bruyne, ''Les plus anciens prologues latins des &EACUTEvangiles,'' Revue Benedictine, 40 (1928); 193-214, Harnack, Evangelien-Prologe. [For ET and discussion, see Schoedel, Polycarp ... Papias, pp. 121-123.]

[84] According to the conclusion of the prologue to Luke, the Fourth Gespel is supposed to have been written "in Asia." [This reading appears in the Latin version, but not in the preserved Greek manuscipt of the prologue to Luke; cf. e.g. K. Aland (ed.), Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum (Stuttgart: Wurtembergische Bibelanstalt, 1964), p. 533. For ET, see Grant, Second Century, p. 93: "John the apostle, one of the twelve, wrote the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos, and after that the gospel."]

[85] EH 3.39.1-7. See for example, Bauer, Johannesevangelium\3, p. 242.

[86] This John is clearly meant; see the end of the prologue to Luke (above, n. 84).

[87] See W. Bauer, review of Harnack's Marcion\1 (1921), in the Gttinger Gelehrte Anzeigen 183 (1923): 12 n. 1.

[88] Concerning his relation to Paul and to the Apostle's letters, see below, 214f.

[89] Irenaeus AH 5.33.3 f. [ET and discussion in Schoedel, Polycarp . . . Papias, pp. 94-96.] Cf. Bauer, Leben Jesu, pp. 174 f.; also pp. 244 n. 1, 294 n. 1, 367, 403 f.

[90] [The Judas story is from "Apollinaris" (probably of Laodicaea; fourth century), as preserved in catenae and commentaries; see Schoedel, Polycarp . . . Papias, pp. 111 f. for ET and discussion. Papias' accounts of the martyrdoms of James and John are referred to by Philip of Side (fifth century) and George Syncellus (ninth century); see Schoedel, pp. 117-121. In the same passage, Philip of Side also alludes to the next two accounts mentioned above.]

[91] See the Schwartz (GCS) edition of EH, 3: 24 ff.

[92] It is difficult to reproduce so much exuberance in a translation: ana pasas poleis te kai kwmas... myriandroi kai pamplhtheis aqrows ekklhsiai sunesthkesan. Cf. also EH 2.13.1 [with its reference to how the faith was being spread abroad "among all men" at the time of Simon Magus].

[93] Harnack Geschichte, 1.1: 171 and 2 (Chronologie).1: 538-540.

[94] Cf. Harnack Marcion\2 p. 28.