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HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW

VOLUME 66 JANUARY
1973 No. 1
CANON MURATORI:
A FOURTH-CENTURY LIST
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
GARRETT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
EVANSTON,
ILLINOIS
60201
To HENRY
JOEL CADBURY,
NONAGENARIAN
As
everyone knows,
Canon Muratori is a list of New Testament
books that was found
by
Ludovico Antonio Muratori
(1672-1750)
in the
Ambrosian
Library
at
Milan,
and is contained in a codex
dating
from the
eighth
or
possibly
the seventh
century,1
which
belonged originally
to Columban's
Monastery
at
Bobbio.2
The
list of New Testament books is
part
of this
codex,
which also con-
tains a collection of tracts and creeds that
appeared
between the
second and fifth centuries and that seem to have been collected
and transcribed in the
eighth (or seventh) century.3
The
frag-
ment on the canon is
just that,
since the
beginning
is
lost,
and the
text ends
abruptly, showing
that it was
copied
from a mutilated
and
presumably
ancient
exemplar.4
There are also some bits of
the Muratorian canon that were found in four eleventh- or twelfth-
century
Latin
manuscripts
of St. Paul's
epistles
at Monte
Cassino.5
1
L. A.
MURATORI, Antiquitates
Italicae Medii
Aevi (Mediolani, 1740), III, 809-
8o. For
bibliography
cf. S.
RITTER,
Il Frammento
Muratoriano, Rivista
di
Archeo-
logia Cristiana,
III (1926), 226-31; J. QUASTEN, Patrology (Utrecht,
195o-6o),
II,
2o9f.;
T.
ZAHN,
Grundriss der
Geschichte
des neutestamentlichen Kanons
(Leipzig,
1901), 74.
The text of H.
LIETZMANN,
Das Muratorische
Fragment,
in Kleine
Texte,
I
(Bohn, 90o8),
i-16
will be used.
2QUASTEN, Op. cit., II, 207;
IRITTER, op.
Cit., 217-24.
'
B. F.
WESTCOTT,
A General
Survey of
the
History of
the Canon
of
the New
Testament
(London, 1866),
I84f.,
466f.; G. KUHN,
Das Muratorische
Fragment
(Ziirich,
1892), 4;
E. S.
BUCHANAN,
The Codex
Muratorianus,
JTS VIII
(90o7),
537-39,
etc.
*S.
P.
TREGELLES,
Canon Muratorianus
(Oxford, 1867),
facsimile
following p.
viii;
H.
LIETZMANN, op. cit., 4f., IOf.
5
Fragmentum
Muratorianum iuxta Codd.
Casinenses,
in Miscellanea
Cassinese,
II,
I
(1897), 1-5,
cited
by
A.
HARNACK, Excerpta
aus dem Muratorischen
Fragment
(saec.
xi et
xii),
in
Theologische Literaturzeitung
XXIII
(1898), 131-34;
LIETZ-
MANN,
op.
cit., 3, 6, 8,
IO.
Cf.
QUASTEN, op. cit., II, 207; J.
P.
KIRscH,
Muratorian
Canon,
in Catholic
Encyclopedia,
X
(New York, 1911), 642.
2 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
And it has been shown that the
compiler
of the
prologue
in which
these occur cannot have used the Milan
manuscript.
The fact
that he was
working
from an
independent
source indicates that
the
poor
Latin of the Milan text was not that of the
original
author."a
A Greek
original
was
suggested by
Muratori when he
first
published
the list in
1740;
6
his
suggestion
has received wide
support,' though
some have
argued
for a Latin
original.8
Muratori
assigned
the list to
Caius,
a
presbyter
in
Rome,
but others have
suggested Papias, Hegesippus
of
Rome, Rhodon,
Melito of
Sardis,
and others.' But all
attempts
to
identify
the author of the list are
subject
to Westcott's
comment,
"There is no
significant
evidence
to determine the
authorship
of the
Fragment.
. . . such
guesses
5a HARNACK, op. cit., 133; T. ZAHN, Muratorian
Canon,
The New
Schaff-Herzog
Encyclopedia (New
York, 1908-14), VIII, 53f.
M
MURATORI'S
comments on the canon are
reproduced
in
TREGELLES, op. cit.,
11-13.
7
WESTCOTT, op. cit., 186,
188
n.I;
B.
J. LIGHTFOOT,
The
Apostolic Fathers,
Pt.
I,
vol. II
(New York, 1890), 407,
etc. For translations into Greek cf. C. K.
J. BUNSEN,
Analecta
anti-Nicaena,
I
(London, 1854), 142ff.;
A.
HILGENFELD, Einleitung
in das
N.T. (Leipzig, 1875), 79ff.;
T.
ZAHN,
Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons
(Erlangen, 1888/90), II, 138-43;
and LIGHTFOOT has
attempted
a translation into
Greek
verse, op. cit., 409ff. RITTER, op. cit., 233.
8
F. H.
HESSE,
Das Muratorische
Fragment (Giessen, 1873), 25-39;
A. T.
EHRHARDT,
The
Gospels
in the Muratorian
Fragment,
Ostkirchliche
Studien,
II
(1953), I2I. Cf. J. CAMPOS, Epoca
del
fragmenta Muratoriano, Helmantica,
Revista
de Humanidades
Clasicas,
II
(1960), 495
n.8.
He, however, by
examination of
spelling, vocabulary,
and
syntax (pp. 486-95)
has shown that the Latin of the
fragment
dates from not earlier than the last decade of the fourth
century.
He
goes
on to show
(pp. 495f.)
that the Latin text discloses close
acquaintance
with
the
Vulgate and, hence,
could not have been
produced
earlier than the first
part
of
the fifth
century.
This late date for the Latin of the text
precludes
the
possibility
of a Latin
original
for the
fragment,
since it contains elements that must be dated
earlier than the Latin of the text. Cf.
RITTER, op. cit., 233f.
It seems
unlikely
that
an earlier Latin text would have been revised
early
in the fifth
century
to accom-
modate it to the
Vulgate,
whereas the
Vulgate may
well have influenced the word-
ing
of a translation from Greek at that time. Cf.
KUHN,
op.
cit., 3-16,
who also
argued
for a fourth- or
fifth-century
translation from a Greek
original. KUHN
also countered the thesis of G. VOLKMAR (in
C. A.
CREDNER,
Zur Geschichte des
Kanons
[Halle, 1847], 341ff.)
that the text of the
fragment
is not in Latin but in
the
lingua vulgata (the language
of the
provinces
such as Africa). J. DONALDSON,
History of
Christian
Literature,
III
(London, 1866), 2I1ff., argued
that the frag-
ment was
composed originally
in
Latin, probably
in the African church toward the
end of the first half of the third
century.
But
WESTCOTT, op. cit.,
188
n.i,
noted
that the order of the
gospels
in the
fragment
is not that of the African church,
where the oldest authorities have
Matthew, John (but
cf.
TERTULLIAN,
Adv. Marc.
4.2,5, John,
Matthew). Therefore,
he concluded that an African
(and
therefore
Latin) origin
for the list is
very unlikely.
Cf.
ZAHN,
NT
Kanons, II, 128-31.
o Cf.
WESTCOTT, op. cit., 186; KUHN, op. cit., 32f., etc.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
3
are
barely ingenious."
10
The
fragment,
which has been dated as
early
as the middle of the second
century,"1
is now
commonly
placed
in the last decades of that
century.12
This date became so
generally accepted
that
by
the seventh decade of the last
century
Westcott could
observe,
"the
opinions
of those who
assign
it to the
fourth
century.
. . .
scarcely
deserve mention."
13
Indeed,
the
case for the Muratorian canon and its
relationship
to the
history
of the New Testament canon is so
pat
that the
Interpreter's
Dic-
tionary of
the Bible needed to devote
only eight
lines to its
descrip-
tion.
They read,
"Muratorian
Fragment.
A
fragment
of a cor-
rupt
Latin
manuscript
named for its
discoverer,
L. A. Muratori
(in 1740),
and
comprising
the
greater part
of a list of the Chris-
tian
writings accepted
as canonical
by someone, probably
at
Rome near the end of the 2nd
century.
The document has
great
importance
in the
history
of the New Testament Canon.
J.
Knox."
4"
Neither the old nor the new R. G. G.
gives
a
more
comprehensive
treatment.15
Adolf von Harnack
was, perhaps,
the last
great apologist
for
the Muratorian
canon."1
Confident that the time and
place
for
1o
Op. cit., 186, following CREDNER,
op.
cit., 93.
1
ZAHN,
NT
Kanons, II,
I34f.
12E. HENNECKE,
W.
SCHNEEMELCHER,
Neutestamentliche
Apokryphen (Tiibin-
gen, 1959-64), I, 18f.; RITTER, op. cit., 233,
etc.
13 Op. cit., 4. Cf. TREGELLES, op. cit., 5
and
CAMPOS, op. cit., 495 n.7
for bibli-
ography
on various
datings
of the list. A.
HARNACK,
Geschichte der altchristlichen
Literatur bis Eusebius
(Leipzig, 1958), II. 2, 331,
cites G.
KOFFMANE-KUNITZ, Das
wahre Alter und die Herkunft des
sogenannten
Muratorischen
Kanons,
in Neue
Jahrbiicher
fitr
deutsche
Theologie,
II (1893), 163-223,
as an
example
for a late
dating
of the canon. This is a substantial and
well-argued
case and deserves close
attention.
HARNACK, however,
dismisses it with a reference to H.
ACHELIS, Zum
Muratorischen
Fragment, Zeitschrift
fiir
wissenschaftliche Theologie
XXXVII
(1894), 223-32. ACHELIS, however,
deals
only
with
KOFFMANE-KUNITZ'
statement
regarding
the time and
place
of the
script
of the
fragment
and makes no
attempt
to
reply
to other considerations in
KOFFMANE-KUNITZ'
case.
1
G. A.
BUTTRICK,
ed.
(New York, 1962), III, 456.
'
Die
Religion
in Geschichte und
Gegenwart
IV
(Tiibingen, 1930), 289; (1960),
II9I.
"
A.
HARNACK,
Tatians Diatessaron im Muratorischen
Fragmente nachgewiesen,
in
Zeitschrift
fiir
lutheranische
Theologie
und Kirche XXXV
(1874), 276-88.
Also his Der
polemische
Abschnitt im Muratorischen
Fragmente
als
Schliissel
fiir
ein
geschichtliches
Verstiindniss desselben, ibid., 445-64,
XXVI
(1875) 207ff.;
Zur
Geschichte der Marcionitischen
Kirchen,
ZWT XIX
(1876), 109-13;
Das Murator-
ische
Fragment
und die
Entstehung
einer
Sammlung Apostolisch-Katholischer
Schriften, Zeitschrift
fiir
Kirchengeschichte III (1879), 358-4o8, 595-98;
Geschichte
der altchristlichen
Literatur, I, 646f., II, 330-33.
4 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
the canon was
already clearly
staked
out,
Harnack
proceeded
to
interpret
it as an official document
published
in Rome and
defining
the content of the New Testament for the whole church.17 He
argued
that the author of the canon
speaks
with
authority.
For
this reason he must either have been a
bishop or,
less
likely,
in
close association with a
bishop,
and
writing
under the
bishop's
direction. He assumed that what the church from which the
canon emanated
did,
or
may do,
in reference to the New Testa-
ment canon is self-evident and
requires
no defense
(though
the
author of the list does
partly
defend and
justify
the
acceptance
or
exclusion of some
books).
The
procedure, argued Harnack,
is
intelligible only
on the
supposition
that the author was
addressing
himself to outsiders who were uncertain about what should be
included in the new collection of Christian sacred
writings.
He
proclaimed,
"this is our
custom,"
and assumed that this custom
must be the custom of the church
everywhere.
This
attitude, says
Harnack,
is
exactly
the same as that of Rome in the Easter con-
troversy. Secondly,
Harnack
argued
that the
apostolic,
catholic
standard dominates the
fragment
from
beginning
to end. He re-
garded
the
phrases,
"we" and the "Catholic
Church,"
when used
in the
fragment,
as
interchangeable
and as
denoting
the Roman
church.
Hence,
the terms "a nobis"
(line 46), "recipimus"
and
"non
recipimus" (lines 72
and
82),
and
"quidam
ex
nostris"
(lines
72f.) designate properly
and
certainly
the church to which the
author
belonged,
as did "in catholica
habentur,"
is
since the
phrase
is linked with
"recipimus." Unequivocally identifying
this church
with the Roman
church,
Harnack asked whether
any
western
church,
at the transition from the second to the third
century,
17
A.
HARNACK, tber
den Verfasser und den literarischen Charakter des Mura-
torischen
Fragments,
ZNW XXIV
(1925), 5-7,
and Die Mission und
Ausbreitung
des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten
(Leipzig, 1924), II, 860
n.2.
'sLine
69. M. J. ROUTII, Reliquiae Sacrae (Oxonii, 1818), I, 425; III, 44,
has
shown that TERTULLIAN and later writers sometimes omit "ecclesia."
The
usage
here, however, may
be due to the translator or the
copyist.
C. K.
J. BUNSEN,
Hippolytus
und seine Zeit
(Leipzig, 1852), II, 136,
followed
by WESTCOTT,
op. cit.,
191 n.2,
is almost
certainly wrong
in
amending
the text to
"Catholicis," presup-
posing
KaOoXtK71 r71-TroTXj,
since
this
passage
is
clearly parallel
to "in honore tamen
ecclesiae catholicae"
(lines
6if.),
and to the
negative,
"in catholicam
ecclesiam
recipi
non
potest" (lines 66f.,
cf. lines
72, 82).
Cf.
WESTCOTT,
op.
cit., 480,
where
his corrected text reads "in catholica" with n.
4,
"if the
original reading
was not 'in
catholicis'
"
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
5
other than the Roman and its
bishop
or his
agent
could have
spoken
thus. Thus Harnack found the Roman church here defin-
ing
the New Testament for herself as well as for the church at
large, holding
that the
fragment gives
clear
testimony
that this
par-
ticular canon is the
specific
work of the Roman church which
cherishes, guards,
and
develops it,
and now also delivers it to the
other churches as the
apostolic-Catholic
canon to be
accepted by
them and observed.
Here Harnack has
pushed beyond
the
position
held
by
Zahn that
"the circumstantial
solemnity
with which the
position
of Pius is
described
[in
Canon
Muratori]
is
intelligible only
if the author
was
writing
not indeed in Rome for
Romans,
but in or for a
western church in some
way
connected with
Rome,"
19
whereas
Harnack made the
fragment
into an official
promulgation
of a New
Testament canon
by
and for the Roman
church,
and not for it
only,
but also for the whole of Christendom.20 Harnack
suggested
Victor, bishop
of Rome
189-199,
or less
probably Zephyrinus
(199-217),
or someone under his authorization as the
probable
author. It is Harnack's
view,
but with relief at some
points,
such
as the official character .of the
fragment
or the author
specified,
that has come to be the
accepted
view on Canon Muratori.
However,
Harnack overextended himself in his
argument.
This
has been
conclusively
demonstrated with
respect
to the
linguistic
argument
for Rome
by
H. Koch in his article "Zu A.v.Harnacks
Beweis
fiir
den amtlichen rb*mischen
Ursprung
des Muratorischen
Fragments."
21
Koch shows that Harnack has
jumped
to a rash
conclusion in
making
the identification "catholica
(ecclesia)"
equals Rome, by showing
that
Cyprian
in the third
century
was
able to use the term in
writing
to
bishops
of other than the see of
Rome, meaning by
it their several individual
seats,
and "catholicae
ecclesiae" when more than one were involved. Hence for
Cyprian
the Christian
community
in each
city
could be called "catholica."
Koch
points
out that he had
already
made this
point
in his
S"Muratorian
Canon," p. 54.
2?TREGELLES,
Op. cit., i, however, regarded
the canon as an incidental account
rather than a formal canon. And
EHRHARDT,
op.
Cit., 121,
thinks that the canon was
produced
to mark the occasion when the
four-gospel
canon was established in the
church at Rome.
'ZNW XXIV
(1925), 154-63.
6 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
book, Cyprian
und der
riimische
Primat
(1925),
but Har-
nack was
ignorant
of or has
ignored
his work. Koch then
goes
on
to show that the terms "in urbe Roma" and "cathedra urbis
Romae ecclesiae" are
not,
as Zahn had
already noticed,
the lan-
guage
one would
expect
in a document written from the
city
of
Rome.
Rather,
Koch
illustrates, writings emanating
from the
city
of Rome use the
phrase
"hic in urbe Roma" in reference to
that
city. Thus,
if the Muratorian
fragment
emanated from the
city
of
Rome,
one would
expect
not
simply
the
phrase
"urbs
Roma,"
but rather a
phrase
such as
"pastorem
hic in urbe Roma
Hermas
conscripsit.
. . ." Koch concludes that Harnack thus
has no
grounds
to
support
his
argument
that the Muratorian
frag-
ment must have
originated
in the
city
of Rome.22 That Koch's
article lies buried and
forgotten
while Harnack's
position pre-
vails is
probably
to be
explained by
the fact that in Harnack's
day
Harnack was the man to read and Koch was not.
There is one word that has been related to the
place
of
origin
of
the
fragment
that was not discussed
by
Koch. It is the word urbs
standing
alone in lines
38f.
Since in line
76
we find the
phrase
"urbis
Romae,"
it is
argued
that "urbs"
standing
alone can
only
refer to the
city
of Rome
(which, indeed,
it
does)
and that it is
only
in the
city
of Rome or in its environs that the word "urbs"
could be thus used and mean the
city
of
Rome.23
One must allow
that this
certainly
would be the case if the
usage
of the term
"urbs"
depended upon
the
place
of
writing
for its
meaning.
But in
lines
34-39
of the
fragment
that is
certainly
not the case.
Rather,
the
meaning
of "urbs" is
clearly
defined
by
its reference to a
sup-
posed journey by
Paul to
Spain following
his release from
prison
in
Rome,
which events are not described in the Book of Acts. The
passage
reads: "Acta autem omnium
apostolorum
sub uno libro
scripta
sunt. Lucas
optimo Theophilo comprendit, quae
sub
22 QUASTEN, op. cit., II, 208,
concedes that
KoCH
has
destroyed
HARNACK'S
argu-
ment that Canon Muratori is "an official document
involving
the
responsibility
of the Roman Church"
(EHRIARDT,
op.
Cit., 132 n.64, erroneously
cites KOCH
as
supporting HARNACK'S
position).
But what
QUASTEN
has not seen is that KOCH
also
destroyed HARNACK'S argument
for Rome as the
place
of
origin
for the
fragment,
which is the main
point
of
KocH's argument.
23HARNACK,
Verf. u. literarischer Charakter des Muratorischen
Fragments, 5;
Geschichte der altchristlichen
Literatur, II, 2, 331; TREGELLES, Op. cit., 40,
etc.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
7
praesentia
eius
singula gerebantur,
sicuti et semota
passione
Petri
evidenter
declarat,
sed et
profectione
Pauli ab urbe ad
Spaniam
proficiscentis." Quite evidently
here the author of the
fragment
has assumed that since Acts closes
abruptly
with Paul in
prison
in Rome
preaching
the
gospel freely
for two
years,
and since
Paul,
in Rom.
15:24, 29,
had evidenced his desire of
continuing
on to
Spain
after
visiting Rome,
that
Paul, upon being
released from
prison,
did
depart
the
city (Rome)
on his
way
to
Spain
but with-
out Luke in his
company.24 Hence,
it is fruitless to
argue
from the
use of
"urbs," though
it stands alone in this
passage,
that the
fragment
can
only
have been written in the
city
of Rome
(though
it does refer to that
city)
because the
meaning
of the term
"urbs" does not
depend upon
the
place
of
writing
of the
fragment
but, rather, upon
the
place designated
in
Acts
28:3of.
and Rom.
15:24,
28. Thus the
linguistic argument
for the
designation
of
place
of
writing
as Rome is
lost.24a
24WESTCOTT, op. cit., 189 n.I.
Cf.
HENNECKE,
op.
Cit., II, 177f.,
for refutation
of the
argument
that Canon Muratori was
dependent
on the Acts of Peter for
information about these events.
24a
ERHARDT,
op.
Cit., 124f., rightly
dismissed the
arguments
that the
play
on
words in line
67,
"fel enim cum melle misceri non
congruit,"
and the
phrase
in line
75,
"sedente in cathedra urbis Romae Pio
episcopo,"
are useful
language
and
place-
of-origin
indicators as
inconsequential,
since the first is a Latin
proverb
that could
easily
be included in a translation
(cf. KUHN, op. cit., 86; QUASTEN,
op.
Cit., II,
209),
and IRENAEUS used the same method as the latter for
dating
Valentinus'
stay
in
Rome
(Adv.
Haer.
3.4.3). However,
the case made
by HARNACK,
Geschichte der
altchristlichen Literatur, II, 2, 330f., independently
restated
by
ERHARDT that the
phrase "iuris
studiosum"
(line 4)
is "a remark
pointing
to Roman secular life
which,
in this
form,
could not have been made
anywhere
but at Rome"
(op. cit.,
124f.),
appears
erroneous. That this is a
legal
term is certain.
However, HARNACK
and
ERHARDT
tacitly
assume that this fact is a sure
pointer
to Rome. But the
study
of
Roman law in Latin was not limited to Rome.
Probably
in the second
century
a
school of Roman law had been established in Beirut
(P. COLLINET, Beyrouth,
centre
d'affichage
et de
dep6t
des constitutions
imperiales, Syria
V
[1924],
359-72),
and
similar schools
developed
at
Constantinople
and
Carthage (H.
I.
MARROU,
A His-
tory of
Education in
Antiquity,
trans. G. Lamb [New
York, 1956], 389f.;
E. S.
BOUCHIER, Life
and Letters in Roman
Africa [Oxford,
1913],
34). And, according
to
BOUCHIER, students
of
jurisprudence
at
Carthage
became
"iuris
studiosi" or
"studentes"
(however,
I am not able to discover these terms at the
places
cited
by
BOUCHIER:
C. I. L.
VIII, 2470; Ephemeris Epigraphicus V, 191).
It would
appear
that
legal terminology,
such as the term
"iuris
studiosus" would follow the study
and
practice
of Roman
law, especially
in a center such as
Beirut,
which was a cen-
ter for
public proclamations,
and the archives of the
imperial
laws and constitu-
tions
affecting
the eastern
portion
of the
empire
were located there
(MARROU, Op.
cit., 389). Thus,
the use of
"iuris
studiosus" for a staff member of a Roman
official can
hardly
have been
exclusively
Roman. But cf. also
KUHN, op.
cit., 40;
KOFFMANE-KUNITZ, op. cit.,
I64f.
8 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
But not
only
is the
linguistic argument
as to
place
of
origin lost;
it would also
appear
that the
linguistic argument
for date is sub-
ject
to
question
as well. The
passage upon
which
dating depends
is that
dealing
with the
writing
of the
Shepherd
of Hermas
(lines
73-77),
which reads:
"Pastorem
vero
nuperrime temporibus
nos-
tris in urbe Roma Hermas
conscripsit
sedente cathedra urbis
Romae ecclesiae Pio
episcopo
fratre eius."
24b
Zahn
succinctly
puts
the alternatives of date
implied
in this
passage
thus:
i)
If the
words
"very recently,
in our own times" are intended to be con-
trasted with the times of the
prophets
and
apostles,
which follow
hard
upon
the statement about
Shepherd
and
read,
"and there-
fore,
while it
ought
to be
read,
to the end of the
ages,
it cannot be
read
publicly
in church to the
people,
either
among
the
prophets
whose ranks are
complete
or
among
the
apostles,"
then these
words would allow a
lapse
of a considerable amount of time be-
tween the
writing
of the
Shepherd
and this document. But Zahn
finds the words
"temporibus
nostris" to be conclusive for the other
alternative; 2)
that the author of the
fragment
must have been
born before the death of
Pius, i.e.,
not later than
Easter,
A.D.
154.25
But is it
possible
to
argue
so
conclusively
from the words
"nuperrime temporibus
nostris?" Scholars who have discussed the
matter,
in their
willingness
to date the
fragment
and establish a
New Testament canon about the end of the second
century A.D.,
have
apparently
overlooked
significant
alternatives to their con-
clusions. One of these is to be found in the term
"nuperrime,"
translated almost
universally "very recently." And, indeed,
one
possible
translation of
"nuperrime"
is
"very recently"
if taken as
a diminished
superlative. Otherwise,
and
equally viable,
the
meaning
is "most
recently."
And with the latter the
compari-
son of date for the
Shepherd
of Hermas is with the
preceding
books in the list. The
meaning
is that
Shepherd
of Hermas is not
comparable
to the
preceding
books in the list in terms of
antiquity
of
authorship.
Here it is not
necessary
nor do I intend to
argue
that the second alternative is the
only
correct translation. It is
24bWESTCOTT, op. cit., 185; TREGELLES, op. cit., 58-64; ZAHN,
NT
Kanons,
134-36; KUHN, op. cit., 29; HARNACK,
Altchristlichen
Literatur, II, 331,
etc.
'
"Muratorian
Canon," p. 54; cf. ZAHN,
NT
Kanons, II, 134.
ALBERT
C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
9
important, however,
to note that the second alternative is as viable
a translation as the one
commonly
received. That is to
say,
the
term
"nuperrime"
does not
necessarily
fix the
time-comparison
with the lifetime of the author of the
list,
but
may
relate the time-
comparison
for the
writing
of the
Shepherd
of Hermas to the
pre-
viously
listed
apostolic books,
as Zahn
allowed.25a
As we have
noted,
Zahn
regarded
the words
"temporibus
nos-
tris" to be conclusive evidence that the author of the list must
have
been
born before the death of Pius. This conclusion
implies
that these words also are
subject
to
only
one
meaning, i.e.,
"with-
in our lifetime." But that this is the
only meaning possible
for
these words is also
subject
to
question. Already,
as
early
as
Ignatius (d. 117)
and
Polycarp (d. 156)
a conscious differenti-
ation between the
apostles
and these men was noted.26 And a
tradition
subsequently
arose in the church
setting apart
the
apos-
tolic time from
subsequent periods
of church
history.
This tradi-
tion is
illustrated,
for
example, by Hegesippus
(I5O-I8o),
who
believed that the church remained a
pure
and
uncorrupted virgin
throughout
the times of the
apostles
and their hearers. "But when
the sacred band of the
apostles"
and their hearers had
passed,
then
heresies arose in the church.27
For
Hegesippus
the
turning point
seems to have been the
reign
of
Trajan.
Or
again, Eusebius,
ob-
serving
that he had described "the facts
concerning
the
apostles
and their times" in H.
E.
3.31.6,
continued the narrative in
3.32.1
after Nero and Domitian.
Thus,
the times of the
apostles
and
the times
subsequent
to the
apostles
are set off
by
the
reign
of
either
Trajan
or
Domitian.27a
A
passage
that has
special bearing
upon
our interest here is found in
Irenaeus,
Haer.
5:30.3 28
which
reads,
"We therefore will not take the risk of
making any posi-
tive statement
concerning
the name of the Antichrist. For if it
had been announced
clearly
at the
present time,
it would have
been
spoken by
him who also saw the
Revelation;
for it was not
25a
Cf. PHILASTRIUS, Haer. iio,
"Alia est heresis
quae
dicit Christianas
nuperio-
res et
posteriores
Iudaeis . . ." (Corpus Christianorum,
Series
Latina,
X [Turn-
holte, 1957], 247).
28
IGNATIUS, Eph. 13; POLYCARP,
Phil.
3.9.
'
EUSEBIUS,
H. E.
4.22.4;
cf.
3.32.6.
2a
KOFFMANE-KUNITZ, op.
cit.,
177.
'
Cf.
EUSEB.,
H. E.
5.8.6
for the Greek text. The translation is K. Lake's.
10 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
even seen a
long
time
ago,
but almost in our own
generation
towards the end of the
reign
of Domitian"
(o'8
yap
wrpo rToXXoo3
XPOVOV
E(paO1
qX,
-XESOV
ET
7' raa
0EErE'pc,
-
yEvEa ,
TpO rT(J TEXrEL
7-^,
Ao?Erteavov dpx-g).29
It
would be
surprising
that
Irenaeus
could use such
language
to describe a
lapse
of time
approaching
a
century apart
from the fact that he is
utilizing
the tradition which
differentiates between
apostolic
and
subsequent
time. It is clear
that he believed that the
Apocalypse
of
John
was written about
the end of the
apostolic period, i.e.,
"almost in our own
generation
(o-XE8ob dE'r't
r
ij
)1ETE'pag
yEvEam).
And the
similarity
of the lan-
guage
used
by
Irenaeus
to describe the time in which the
Apocalypse
of
John
was written to the
language
used in the Muratorian canon
to describe the time in which the
Shepherd
of Hermas was written
leaves the
argument poorly
founded that the words
"temporibus
nostris" can mean
nothing
else than within the lifetime of the
author. It is clear from the Irenaeus citation that he would call the
time
subsequent
to Domitian
4i ( qLErupa yEVEd,
and this
appears
to
be the
equivalent
of Canon Muratori's
phrase, "temporibus
nos-
tris."
Thus,
the
similarity
of the
language
used
by
Irenaeus to
describe the time in which the
Apocalypse
of
John
was written to
the
language
used
by
the Muratorian canon to describe the time
in which the
Shepherd
of Hermas was written is evident. I would
suggest that,
in view of the
language
and time
lapse
involved in
Irenaeus'
statement,
it is not inconceivable that we
may
be deal-
ing
with a time
lapse
of similar
magnitude
in the statement in
Canon
Muratori,
if indeed the author of the Muratorian
frag-
ment had accurate information on the
matter.3,
That the statement in the
fragment
is
apologetic,
and that the
29'
The Latin translation
of IRENAEUS reads, "Neque
enim ante
multum temporis
visum
est,
sed
pene
sub nostro saeculo ad finem Domitiani
imperii." J.
P.
MIGNE,
Patrologia ... Graeca
(Paris, 1857-87), VII, 1207.
"3Cf. B. H.
STREETER,
The Primitive Church (New York, 1929), 213,
"The
phrase
'in our own
time,' occurring
in such a
context,
is of course the rhetorical
exaggeration
of the controversialist. It cannot be
pressed,
as has been often
done,
to
imply
that the author lived near
enough
to the time of Pius to be well informed
in the matter. In
any
case such
language
in
early
Christian
usage
allowed con-
siderable elbowroom." And he
goes
on to cite IREN.,
Adv. Haer.
5.30.3.
Cf.
KUHN,
op. cit., 25 n.i; KOFFMANE-KUNITZ,
op.
cit., i76f.
But STREETER
failed to notice
that this undercut the
accepted
basis for
dating
the Muratorian
fragment.
Conse-
quently
he continued to
regard
it as reliable evidence for the
shape
of the New
Testament canon about the end of the second
century
in Rome.
Ibid., 2IIf.
DONALDSON,
op.
Cit., III, 212,
etc. Cf.
EUSEBIUS,
H. E.
3.28.3; 5.28.I.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
11
author of the
fragment
is
pleading
a
negative
case
against
the
canonicity
of the
Shepherd,
is
clear.31
The
point
of the
argument
is that the
Shepherd
of Hermas was written too late to be con-
sidered
apostolic.
And the conclusion of the
argument
for the
late
dating
of the
Shepherd
refers not to the lifetime of the author
of the Muratorian list but rather to the lifetime of Pius of Rome.
Thus,
the
negative argument
in the canon could be
paraphrased
as
follows, Shepherd
of Hermas was written "most
recently"
(that is,
later than the
apostolic
books
previously mentioned)
"in
our time"
(that is,
not in
apostolic time)
when Pius was
Bishop
of
Rome.
Thus,
the
language
of Canon Muratori can be understood
as
making
its case
against
the
Shepherd
of Hermas without
any
reference to the lifetime of the author of the list.
It is to be noticed that I do not
argue
that the alternative trans-
lation,
"but Hermas wrote the
Shepherd
most
recently,
in our time
(i.e.,
in
post-apostolic times),
in the
city
of
Rome,
while his
brother Pius was the
bishop occupying
the
episcopal
chair of the
church of the
city
of
Rome,"
is the
only possible
translation but
that this is a
possible
translation and that it is a viable alternative
to the traditional
dogmatic interpretation
of the
passage.
This
means that the
argument
that the author of the
fragment
must
have been born before the death of Pius is
inconclusive,
and that
the
phrase "nuperrime temporibus
nostris" understood as con-
trasted with the times of the
prophets
and of the
apostles
is an-
other viable
meaning
of the
passage.
If then the statement about Rome and the statement about the
Shepherd
do not
conclusively place
and date the Muratorian
frag-
ment,
as has been
dogmatically
held in the
past,
it becomes neces-
sary
to look at other items in the
fragment
in order to establish
its date and
place.
Samuel
Tregelles
has devoted section four of
his
work,
Canon
Muratorianus,
to the relation of the Muratorian
canon to authorities in the second
century.32
These are not sur-
prising,
whether the
fragment
is to be dated at the end of the
31 WESTCOTT, op. cit., 186; HARNACK,
Der
polemische
Abschnitt im Muratorischen
Fragmente,
2
76-88;
P.
VIELHAUER, Apocalyptic
in
Early Christianity,
in
HENNECKE,
op. cit., II, 453; STREETER,
op.
cit.,
213;
B.
J. LIGHTFOOT,
et
al.,
Excluded Books
of
the New Testament
(New York, 1927), 251;
S.
GIET, Hermas et les Pasteurs (Paris,
1963), 286f.; KUHN, op. cit., 98.
32 Op. cit., 66-91.
12 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
second
century
or later. What is
wanting
in
Tregelles'
work is a
section
discussing
those features in the canon which cannot be
paralleled
within the
second-century
church fathers and which
find
parallels only
in
substantially
later materials.
J. Donaldson,
one of the few authors who has
questioned
the
second-century dating
of the
canon,
has noted that the
phrase
"ecclesiastica
disciplina"
is unknown to
any
writer described in
his third volume of A Critical
History of
Christian Literature
and
Doctrine,
which deals with the
apologists
in the latter
part
of
the second century; 32a nor can
he
find the words "sedente
cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiae"
paralleled
in
Tertullian,
but ob-
serves that there are
many
such
expressions
in
Cyprian (A.D.
2
58).33
Again,
the
place
of Hermas in Canon Muratori is of
particular
importance.33a
The
Shepherd
of Hermas was
highly regarded
in
the
early
church.
Irenaeus
(c. 185)
cited it with
approval; 34
32a
Op. cit., 212. He also includes the
phrase
"ecclesiae catholicae" as late. But its
Greek
equivalent appears
as
early
as
IGNATIUS, Smyrna. 8.2; Martyrdom of Poly-
carp 8.1; 16.2; 19.2,
etc. Cf.
KUHN, op. cit., 29.
"
Op. cit.,
212. DONALDSON indeed
regarded
the
wording
of the
passage dealing
with the date of Hermas as so
strange
to the time of
Hegesippus
that he believed
it to be an
interpolation by
the Roman or African translator
expressly
as
proof
that Hermas was not
inspired. Ibid., 209.
Cf. G.
SALMON,
Muratorian
Fragment,
in
Dictionary of
Christian
Biography,
III
(London, 188o), 1oo2, who, noting
the
disparity
between the historical circumstances of
leadership
in the Roman church
at the time of Pius and that assumed
by
the author of the
fragment,
concluded that
a much
greater
interval between the time of Pius and that of the Muratorian writer
than the
generally
allowed
twenty years
must have
occurred,
since the author of the
fragment
reflects no
memory
of the
struggle
for monarchical
episcopacy
in Rome
but
simply
assumes it. That
struggle
was far from over in Pius'
day.
Cf. G. LA
PIANA,
The Roman Church at the end of the Second
Century,
HTR XVIII
(1925),
201-77; KOFFMANE-KUNITZ, op. cit., 175f.
33a The late
dating
of the
Shepherd of
Hermas at about the middle of the second
century
is
dependent upon
the Canon Muratori statement.
However,
if the end-
of-the-second-century dating
of Canon Muratori
proves erroneous,
then Shepherd
must be dated
by
its internal evidence and
appears
to
belong
to the end of the
first
century.
Cf. W.
J. WILSON,
The Career of the
Prophet Hermas,
HTR XX
(1927), 21-62;
W.
COLEBORNE,
A
Linguistic Approach
to the Problem of Structure
and
Composition
of the
Shepherd
of
Hermas, Colloquium III (1969), 133-42.
'
Adv. Haer.
4.20.2; EUSEB.,
H.
E. 5.8.7.
Cf. A.
JULICHER,
An Introduction to
the New
Testament,
trans.
J.
P. Ward
(London, 1904), 500.
For citations of Hermas
in the church fathers cf. O. GEBHARDT,
A.
HARNACK,
T.
ZAHN, eds.,
Patrum
Apostol-
icorum
Opera,
third
ed., III,
Hermae Pastor
(Lipsiae, 1877),
xliv-lxxi.
Though
IRENAEUS
calls Hermas
ypaqo,
it is overstatement to
say
that this means canonical
since
ypao'
was not a technical term. Cf. A. C.
SUNDBERG, JR.,
Towards
a Re-
vised
History
of the New Testament
Canon,
Studia
Evangelica
IV
(1968), 454-57;
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
13
Clement of Alexandria
(c. 215) regarded
it as
divinely spoken
and
by revelation;
3"
Tertullian
(c. 222-25),
while
initially accepting
the
book,36
under the influence of Montanism came to
reject
the
Shepherd, calling
it "the book that loves
adulterers,"
and
saying
that even the
synod
of the orthodox counted it
spurious." Ap-
parently
Tertullian's
objection
was that the
Shepherd taught
a
doctrine
allowing
a fallen Christian to be
restored,38
and his
statement that it was
rejected by
'the
synod
of the orthodox is
probably
to be understood as an
expression
of
prejudice
since we
have no confirmation of it and since it is
contrary
to orthodox
usage
of the time.39
Origen (c. 185-253)
had a
high regard
for
the
Shepherd
of
Hermas, calling
it "authoritative
scripture" 4o
and
"divinely inspired," 41
and
attributing
it to the Hermas men-
tioned in Rom.
i6:14.
He was aware that some
opposed
the
work 4" and seems himself to have become more sensitive to this
opposition
toward the latter
part
of his
life.43
We do not know
the reasons for his
objection. Quite possibly,
as with the Mon-
tanists, objection
to Hermas was raised
by rigorist supporters
of
the
Epistle
to the Hebrews. And
Origen
was known for his ascet-
icism and came to be a defender of Hebrews.44
Eusebius of Caesarea
(c. 263-339/40)
seems to mark the turn-
J. LAWSON,
The Biblical
Theology of
Saint Irenaeus
(London, 1948), 50f.; J.
WERNER,
Der Paulinismus des
Irenaeus,
in Texte und
Untersuchungen,
VI.2
(Leip-
zig, 1889), 36-38.
3 Stromata 1.17, 29; 2.1, 9,
12.
36 De oratione 16.
3
De
pudicitia 10,
20. Cf.
KRiGER, Op. cit., 41.
38 SALMON, op. cit., I002f.
dated the canon between
TERTULLIAN'S publication
of
De oratione and De
pudicitia,
since the latter marks the first instance of the re-
jection
of the
Shepherd. However,
SALMON overlooked Tertullian's conversion to
Montanism as the
probable
reason for his
subsequent rejection
of this work.
SALMON
regarded
the
fragment
as anti-Montanist. If it
is,
one would have ex-
pected
it to defend the
Shepherd against
this Montanist attack.
9
Cf.
JiJLICHER,
op. cit., 521,
"The
'Shepherd'
of Hermas was treated by practi-
cally
all the Greek
theologians
of the third
century
who had occasion to use it as a
canonical document."
40
De
principiis 1.3.3; 2.1.5; 3.2.4.
"*Comm.
in Rom.
10.31,
cf. Tractatus 35 (on
Lk.
12:59).
4
De
princ. 4.1.11.
3
Comm. on Matt.
14.21; ibid.,
Pt.
2.53;
Trac. on Num.
8.1; ibid.,
Trac.
I (on
Ps.
38),
sect. i. Cf. R. P. C.
HANSON, Origen's
Doctrine
of
Tradition (London,
1954), 139f.,
where the
foregoing passages
from ORIGEN are cited.
44 EUSEB.,
H. E.
6.25.11-3.
14 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
ing point
with
respect
to Hermas. He notes that some take the
Shepherd
to be the work of that Hermas mentioned in
Romans;
on the other
hand,
he feels it should be known that Hermas is
rejected by
some.
Hence,
for their
sake,
it should not be
placed
among
the
accepted
books
(6/zoXoyo1+Evot)
though
it is
judged
to
be most valuable
by others, especially
for those
needing
elemen-
tary instruction.45
Eusebius knows that it has been used in
public
in churches and he
says
he has found it
quoted by
some of the
most ancient writers.
Immediately following
these comments on
Hermas in H. E.
3.3.6-7,
he
continues,
"let this suffice for the
establishment of the divine
writings
which are
disputed,
and of
those which are not received
by
all"
(',Jv
/tq lrap IrTlo-tv
6FLOXoyovLE/WvY OGElov ypa~eLtL/oTv Wpgrpo-Ow).
However,
while here
placing
Hermas
among
the divine but
disputed writings,
a little
later in H.
E.
3.2 5.4,
where Eusebius is
giving
a
summary
of the
New Testament
books,
he
places
Hermas
among
the
spurious
books
(v6Oot).
These
passages
are
particularly important,
since
in each of them Eusebius is
making
his own evaluation of the
books
named,
in one
naming
Hermas
among
the divine but dis-
puted books,
in the other
listing
Hermas as
spurious. Following
Eusebius,
Hermas finds no
place
in New Testament
lists.46
Atha-
nasius of
Alexandria,
in his Easter Letter
of
367,
is the earliest to
give
a list of
twenty-seven
books of the New Testament which
alone are to be
regarded
as
canonical."47
His list matches ours.
Shepherd
is not included in the
canon,
but he notes that it
may
be
read
by
catechumens
together
with the so-called
Teaching
of the
Apostles. Thus,
Eusebius
appears
to mark the transition to the
rejection
of Hermas. But even after the will of the east had re-
moved Hermas from the New Testament
canon,
there was an
5
H. E.
3.3.6f.;
cf.
5.8.7.
8
However,
the
Shepherd
is included
together
with the
Epistle of
Barnabas in
the
fourth-century
Codex
Sinaiticus,
and
JEROME,
De vir.
ill.
io
notes the tradi-
tion that the author of the
Shepherd
was the Hermas mentioned in Rm. 16 and
says
that some in the Greek church read the
Shepherd
in
public. However,
see his
Comm. on Habak.
1.14.
"
G.
SALMON, Hermas,
in
Dictionary of
Christian
Biography, III, 913f.
The
list of the
apocrypha
reads: Wisd.
Sol.,
Wisd.
Sir., Esther, Judith, Tobit, Teaching
of the
Apostles, Shepherd.
Since the list of the
apocrypha
follows the Old and the
New Testament
canons,
it
apparently
was intended to include both Old and New
Testament
apocrypha.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
15
attempt
in the west to
preserve
the book
by attaching
it to the Old
Testament list.4"
Let me now return to the matter that first attracted
my
atten-
tion to the
quesion
of
place
and date of the Muratorian
fragment.
These are the statements that describe the circumstance of Old
Testament canon in the church at the time and
place
when the
Muratorian
fragment
was written.
First,
there is the statement
that the
Shepherd
of Hermas cannot be read
publicly
in the
church to the
people
"either
among
the
prophets
whose ranks are
complete (neque
inter
prophetas completo numero),
or
among
the
apostles" (neque
inter
apostolos) (lines 77-80).
And there is the
other statement a few lines
previous
to this one that
reads,
"cer-
tainly
the
epistle
of
Jude
and the two
bearing John's
name are ac-
cepted
in the Catholic
(Church),
as well as the
Wisdom,
written
by
the friends of Solomon in his honor
(et Sapientia
ab amicis Salo-
monis in honorem
ipsius scripta) (lines 68-71)."
These two state-
ments
give
us two bits of information
concerning
the status of Old
Testament canon at the time and
place
where the Muratorian
canon was written.
First, they
tell us that the author of the Mura-
torian canon knew the Old Testament as a closed
canon,
for I take
the words "inter
prophetas"
to refer to the Old Testament. "Pro-
phetas"
can
hardly
be a reference to
apocalypses, i.e., by John
and
Peter,
since the writer of the list nowhere names their authors
"prophets,"
since no closed collections of
apocalypses
as such are
48 SALMON, Hermas, 913;
A.
HARNACK, History of Dogma, 3rd
ed. trans. N.
Buchanan
(Boston, 1897), III, 198
n.i and The
Origin of
the New
Testament,
trans.
J.
R. Wilkinson
(Covent Garden,
W. C.
2, 1925), 171;
0. DE
GEBHARDT
et
al.,
op. cit., xii-xxiv,
where Hermas
appears:
in
Cod., Bodleianus
Oxoniesis between
Tobit and
Macc.;
in Cod. Dresdensis A
47
between Ps.
(of Sol.?)
and Prov.
Sol.;
Cod. Vindobonensis Lat.
1217 (Theol.
51)
between Wisd. and
Isa., exemplars
of the
versio Latina
vulgata.
Cf. S.
BERGER,
Histoire de la
Vulgate (New York, N.Y.,
orig. pub. 1893), 67,
for the inclusion of Hermas
among
the 0. T.
Apocrypha.
SALMON, however,
is mistaken in
supposing
that
ATHANASIUS'
list set the
example
for this
practice (cf.
n.
47 above).
It is rather
JEROME
who
-apparently
set this
precedent, saying
in
Prologus
Galeatus
(before
the Book of
Kings)
that Wisd.
Sol.,
Sir., Judith, Tobit,
and
Shepherd
are not canonical. In the Decretum of Gelasius
(492-96) 17,
the
Shepherd
is called
"apocryphus"
and
placed among writings
"quae
. . . a catholicis vitanda sunt."
40 BUNSEN'S
attempt
to find evidence here of the omission of Hebrews
(op. cit.,
II, 138, 152)
can
only
be
regarded
as fanciful. Cf.
TREGELLES,
op.
cit., 51;
and his
On a
Passage
in the Muratorian
Canon,
Journal
of
Classical and Sacred Philology
IV
(1855), 37-43.
16 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
known in the
church,
and since the reference to
"prophets
and
apostles"
was a common
designation
for the Old Testament and
Christian
writings
in the church. These statements also tell us
that the closed Old Testament canon known to the author of Canon
Muratori did not include the Wisdom of
Solomon,
since the author
of the list included it in the New Testament. Until
recently,
each
of these statements has been an
enigma."0
This is because it has
long
been assumed that
early Christianity
received a closed canon
from
Judaism,
not the Palestinian or Hebrew canon of
scripture
of
A.D.
go,
but a
larger
collection that included the books of the
Apocrypha
and was
thought
to be the Alexandrian or the
Septu-
agint
canon of
diaspora Judaism.
But since this
supposed larger
Alexandrian canon included the Wisdom of
Solomon,
what need
was there for Wisdom of Solomon to
appear
in a New Testament
list?
Now, however,
it has become evident that the
legacy
the
church received from
Judaism
cannot be described as a closed
canon." An Alexandrian or
Septuagint
canon never existed. And
it is now
possible
to understand these two statements in Canon
Muratori in view of what has been shown to be the
differing
his-
tories of the Old Testament canon in the church in the east and
in the west. So far as our extant information
goes,
it would
appear
that the church in the
west, including Rome,
was
relatively
slow
in
becoming
concerned with the
closing
of the Old Testament
canon. And when it did take
up
the
matter,
the Old Testament of
the western church
usually
included the Wisdom of
Solomon.12
In the eastern
church, however,
the
impact
of a closed
Jewish
canon from
Jamnia upon
the more inclusive
usage
of
Jewish scrip-
tures in the church was felt at a much earlier date.
Already by
the
sixth decade of the second
century Melito, bishop
of Sardis
(c.
170),
travelled to the east to the
"place
where these
things
were
preached
and
done,"
to
inquire
into the facts
concerning
the num-
ber and order of the ancient
writings."3
He
obviously
obtained
50 WESTCOTT, op. cit., 192; TREGELLES,
Canon
Muratorianus, 50-55,
followed
by
P.
KATZ,
The
Johannine Epistles
in the Muratorian
Canon,
JTS VIII
(1957),
273f.
But cf.
J. REIDER,
The Book
of
Wisdom
(New York, 1957), if.
51A.
C.
SUNDBERG, JR.,
The Old Testament
of
the
Early
Church
(Harvard
Theological
Studies
XX, Cambridge, Mass., 1964), 51-103.
52
Ibid., 59, 148-59.
53 EUSEBIUS,
H. E.
4.26.13.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
17
his list from the
Jews,
since his Old Testament canon
exactly
parallels
that of
Jamnia except
that he
inadvertently
omitted
Lamentations."5
And thereafter in the eastern fathers we find a
tendency
to exclude several of the books that we call the
Apocrypha, including
the Wisdom of Solomon.
So,
for
example,
Athanasius
(295-373)
excludes the Wisdom of
Solomon, Sirach,
Esther, Judith,
and Tobit from his Old Testament canon. And he
goes
on to
say,
"but for
greater
exactness I add this
also, writing
of
necessity:
that there are other books besides these
[i.e.,
the
Old and New
Testaments],
on the one hand not canonical
(ob'
KavotLO/dEva),
but
appointed by
the fathers to be read
by
those
who
newly join us,
and who wish for instruction in the word of
Godliness. The Wisdom of Solomon and the Wisdom of Sirach
and Esther and
Judith
and Tobit and the so-called
Teaching
of
the
Apostles
and the
Shepherd" (Letters
on the Pascal
Festival,
A.D.
367).55
It is
interesting
to find that in Athanasius not
only
is Wisdom excluded from his Old Testament canonical list but he
is also concerned to
say
that the
Shepherd
of Hermas is not
canonical,
which was also the concern of the author of the
Muratorian list. And
surprisingly enough,
another eastern
father,
Epiphanius
of Salamis in
Cyprus (d. 403),
omits the Wisdom of
Solomon from his Old Testament
lists,56
but he includes the Wis-
dom of Solomon and Sirach as a
part
of his New Testament
canon.57
Similarly, Eusebius,
when
illustrating
Irenaeus' use of
New Testament
books,
mentions Irenaeus'
quotations
from the
Wisdom of Solomon
among
them.5" These are
interesting
com-
5 SUNDBERG, O.
T.
of
the
Early Church,
I33f.
5 Ep.
Fest.
39,
in
J.
P.
MIGNE,
P. G.
XXVI, 1436f.
"5Adv.
Haer.
1.1.8,
in
MIGNE,
P. G.
XXXIII, 497-500;
De mens. et
pond. 6,
in
MIGNE,
P. G.
XLIII, 244;
De mens. et
pond. 23, in MIGNE,
P. G.
XLIII, 277-80.
In De mens. et
pond. 6, however,
Wisdom and Sirach are added as
at
ycip
rtLXcPeL
Uo
lipXot,
a
continuing
interest in these books even
though they
cannot stand in
the Old Testament list.
5
Adv. Haer.
76,
in
MIGNE, P.G. XLVII, 560f.
5"
H. E.
5.8.1-8.
The books named are:
Matt., Mk., Lk., Jn.,
Apoc.
of
Jn.,
I
Jn.,
I
Pet., Shep.,
Wisd. Sol. Eusebius' list for Irenaeus is
certainly
not
complete.
But
the
writings
he does include show that Eusebius
thought
that Irenaeus treated them
as
scripture,
since Eusebius introduced the
passage
thus: "At the
beginning
of this
work we made a
promise
to
quote
from time to time the
sayings
of the
presbyters
and writers of the church of the first
period
in which
they
have delivered the
traditions which have come down to them about the canonical
scriptures
(rckW
v8taOlKKWV yypao.Tv)
of
whom also was Irenaeus"
(5.8.1).
Cf. the index of Codex
18 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
parisons
to make with the status of the Old Testament canon as
we find it in the Muratorian
fragment.
It is
probable
that
Sirach,
Wisdom of
Solomon, Judith,
and Tobit were excluded from the
Old Testament canon in the eastern church because
they
were not
included in the
Jewish Jamnia list,
and the traditions
concerning
them in the eastern church did not make it
possible
for them to
be included
by
the
process
of
agglomeration
under the titles in the
Jewish
list.
However,
the
impact
of the
Jamnia
list on the eastern
church did not become a live issue until the time of Athanasius.
And the inclusion of Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon
by Epiphan-
ius in his New Testament list in all
probability
was due to an
interest to continue the usefulness of these books in the church
even
though they
could not be fitted under authors of the
Jamnia
list of the Old Testament canon.59
Thus,
the inclusion of Wisdom
of Solomon in the New Testament list in Canon Muratori is seen
to have a close
parallel
in the inclusion of Wisdom of Solomon
and Sirach in the New Testament list of
Epiphanius
and in Euse-
bius' inclusion of Wisdom of Solomon
among
the New Testament
books used
by
Irenaeus.
There are no
parallels
to this
practice
in the west.
However,
we have noted
previously
a similar
attempt
in the western church to include the
Shepherd
of Hermas in the
Old Testament when it could no
longer
stand in the New Testa-
ment canon.
Thus,
we observe
parallel phenomena
in east and
west
respecting
the treatment of books once
generally accepted
when
they
could no
longer
be included in the canonical list to
which
they belonged.
The east tended to include Wisdom of
Solomon and Sirach in the New
Testament,
and the west some-
times included the
Shepherd
of Hermas in the Old. Canon
Muratori is an
example
of the former
tendency;
it follows the
eastern church in
including
the Wisdom of Solomon in the New
Testament,
and the reason for this
tendency
in the east is first ob-
served in
Athanasius,
with
Epiphanius being
the earliest clear ex-
ample
of
parallel
inclusion.
Further information
concerning
time and
place
of
writing
for
Canon Muratori
may
be obtained from its statements
concerning
Alexandrinus, probably Palestinian,
which concludes the New Testament list with
the Psalms of
Solomon,
in
WESTCOTT, Op. cit., 493f.
59
SUNDBERG, O.
T.
of
the
Early Church, 145-48.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
19
apocalypses.
The
Apocalypse
of
John
is referred to three times in
the list: lines
47-50,
"cum
ipse
beatus
apostolus
Paulus
sequens
prodecessoris
sui
Iohannis
ordinem non nisi nominatim
septem
ecclesiis
scribat";
lines
57-59 (which
are a continuation of the
argument
of lines
47-50),
"et
Iohannes
enim in
apocalypsi
licet
septem
ecclesiis
scribat,
tamen omnibus dicit." While these lines
are related
by
the author to the letters of
Paul,
it
appears
un-
likely
that
they
were used
by
the author to
argue
for the canonic-
ity
of Paul's
letters,
as K. Stendahl has
suggested.60
The author
first
begins
to list Paul's letters in lines
39-46
with no
apologetic
concerning
their
canonicity
other than that
they
are
Paul's.61
" The
Apocalypse
of
John
and the
Epistles
of Paul in the Muratorian
Fragment,
W. KLASSEN
and G. F.
SNYDER, eds.,
Current Issues in New Testament
Interpreta-
tion
(New York, 1962), 239-43.
V.
BARTLET, observing
that Canon
Muratori,
in
making
Paul
dependent
on the
example
of the
Apocalypse
of
John
in
writing
letters
to seven
churches,
is the reverse of the situation described
by HIPPOLYTUS,
accord-
ing
to BAR
SALIBI, cited
in T. H.
ROBINSON,
The
Authorship
of the Muratorian
'Canon,
Expositor,
Series
7, I
(I906),
488,
where
John,
in
writing
to seven
churches in his
Apocalypse,
is
dependent
on the
example
of Paul
(cf.
V.
BARTLET,
Melito the author of the Muratorian
Canon, Expositor,
Series
7,
II
[Igo6],
211).
He
suggests
in
explanation
that the Muratorian form must have taken
shape
where
the
Johannine
tradition was even
stronger
than the
Pauline;
"there
only
could the
notion of
making John
the norm of
fitting
action
readily occur,
without the
chronological question, too, needing
to be considered
very seriously" (ibid., 218).
Both STENDAHL and
BARTLET, however,
have overlooked the
larger
tradition con-
cerning
the
universality
of Paul's letters. Thus TERTULLIAN
remarked,
"But of what
consequence
are the
titles,
since in
writing
to a certain church the
apostle
did in
fact write to
all,"
in
explaining
that
Ephesians,
rather than
Laodiceans,
was the
correct name of that letter
(Adv.
Marc.
5.17).
And
CYPRIAN,
after
citing
ex-
amples
in which the
mystical
number seven occurs in
scripture, continues,
"And
the
Apostle
Paul who was mindful of this
proper
and definite number writes to
seven Churches. And in the
Apocalypse
the Lord writes his divine commands and
heavenly precepts
to seven churches and their
Angels" (De
exhort. mart.
ii).
VICTORINUS, bishop
of Pettau in
Pannonia, similarly says,
"There are . . . seven
spirits
. . . seven
golden
candlesticks . . . seven churches addressed
by Paul,
seven
deacons . . ."
(cited
in
ROUTH, op. cit., III, 459).
And
JEROME comments,
"The
Apostle
Paul writes to seven
churches,
for his
eighth epistle
to the Hebrews is
by
most excluded from the number"
(ad
Paul.
50,
cited in
WESTCOTT,
op.
cit.,
324f.).
These show that the
concept
of the
universality
of Paul's letters existed
apart
from
the connection of that tradition with the
numerological
interest in
seven,
and that
the seven-churches interest also existed
apart
from its
being
related to the seven
churches of the
Apocalypse
of
John.
CYPRIAN's remark
simply
observes the coin-
cidence that seven churches are addressed in Paul's letters and in Revelation.
1
The text reads:
Epistulae
autem
Pauli, quae
a
quo
loco vel
qua
ex causa
directae
sint,
volentibus
intellegere ipsae
declarant:
primum
omnium Corinthiis
schismae haereses
interdicens, deinceps
Galatis circumcisionem,
Romanis autem
ordinem
scripturarum
sed et
principium
earum esse Christum intimans prolixius
scripsit.
20 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
Similarly, Philemon, Titus,
and I and
II
Timothy
are
accepted
as
written
by
Paul for ecclesiastical
discipline,"
and the
comparison
to Revelation in lines
47-59
does not
apply
to them. But this
provoked
no hesitation
concerning
their status in the list.
Rather,
lines
47-59 argue
that
although
Paul's letters are addressed to
particular churches,
Paul must have intended them for the uni-
versal use to which
they
have been
put,
since he addressed them
by
name
only
to seven
churches,
thus
paralleling John's writing
to seven churches as an introduction to
Revelation,
which was
intended for the whole church.63 The final statement is about the
apocalypses
of
John
and of
Peter,
lines
71-73: "Apocalypses
62
Lines
59-63:
Verum ad Philemonem unam et ad Titum unam et ad Timotheum
duas
pro
affectu et
dilectione,
in honorem tamen ecclesiae catholicae in
ordinationem
ecclesiasticae
disciplinae
sanctificatae sunt.
6a
On the
significance
of seven churches addressed cf.
WESTCOTT,
op.
Cit., 189;
ROUTH,
op.
cit., I, 416f; KUHN, op. cit., 76;
N. A.
DAHL,
The
Particularity
of the
Pauline
Epistles
as a Problem in the Ancient
Church,
in Neotestamentica et Patris-
tica,
ed. W. C. VAN
UNNIK (Supplements
to Novum Testamentum
6, 1962), 261-63.
It
appears
to this writer that the author of the Muratorian list had two different
arrangements
of the Pauline
corpus
in hand when he
composed
his list. This is
indicated
by
the fact that one
arrangement
commences in line
39
with the order:
Corinthians, Galatians, Romans;
the
other, beginning
in line
47, gives
the order:
Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Galatians, Thessalonians,
Romans.
The first
arrangement
is
obviously
not
complete.
But its
format, though
intro-
duced:
Epistulae
autem
Pauli, quae
a
quo
loco vel
qua
ex causa directae
sint,
volenti-
bus
intellegere ipsae declarant, evidently
was to name Paul's
letters, giving
for each
a brief statement of the
purpose
for
writing,
whereas the second
arrangement simply
names and numbers the letters written to churches
(cf.
N. A.
DAHL,
Welche
Ordnung
der Paulusbriefe wird vom muratorischen Kanon
Vorausgesetzt?,
ZNW LII
(I96I),
44,
"Die
Darstellung
des Mur. ist offenbar nicht aus
einem
Gus." DAHL
notes lines
54-55
as
particular
evidence of this.
However,
he also refers to lines
42-46, 50-54, 59-60
as "beide
Hauptgruppen," 43,
cf.
45.
That lines
39-46
contain a real
arrangement
of Paul's letters with Romans
standing
third
(fourth)
is confirmed
by
the
arrangement
of the Pauline letters in Marcion
(EPIPHANIUS,
Haer. 1.3.42; TERTULLIAN,
Adv. Marc.
5.2-21;
and a
Syrian
list of about A.D.
400
[in A.
SOUTER,
The Text and Canon
of
the New Testament
(New York, I913),
226]),
which run:
Galatians,
Corinthians I II,
Romans. .
...
Here, however,
the
order is
Corinthians, Galatians,
which has a
parallel
in
TERTULLIAN,
Adv. Haer.
4.5
(where
Romans is
placed
at the end of the
list).
It is evident that lines
39-41
intro-
duce one
arrangement
of Paul's letters available to the author and lines
47-50
another. And the introduction to the first
arrangement appeals
to the self-eviden-
tial character of Paul's letters
(i.e.,
their
usage), including, presumably,
their in-
spiration,
since their
inspiration
was
everywhere accepted (cf. DAHL,
The Par-
ticularity
of the Pauline
Epistles, 264ff.).
Note also
TERTULLIAN'S
comment,
"But
of what
consequences
are the titles
(to
Paul's
letters),
since in
writing
to a cer-
tain church the
apostle
did in fact write to all"
(Adv.
Haer.
5.17),
which
recog-
nizes the
catholicity
of Paul's letters
(presumably
deduced from their catholic
use)
without
appeal
to
any
formula of
catholicity (ibid., 265).
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
21
etiam
Iohannis
et Petri tantum
recipimus, quas quidam
ex nostris
legi
in
ecclesia
nolunt."
64
That the
Apocalypse
of
John
is an
accepted
book in the list is
evident. But the tentative nature of this
acceptance
has not been
recognized.
It
appears possible
to divide the Muratorian list into
the
categories
used
by
Eusebius:
accepted, questioned, spurious,
and
rejected.64a
And if
so,
then it is to be noted that while
John's
Apocalypse
is named in the main
body
of the
list,
that
naming
is
only
related to the letters-to-seven-churches statement and not as
a received book in the list. As a received book in the
list, John's
Apocalypse appears only
as the last
accepted
book and then in
close
conjunction
with the
Apocalypse
of
Peter,
which is
ques-
tioned. Thus the
Apocalypse
of
John
seems to lie on the
very
fringe
of
acceptance.
Another indicator of the tentative nature of
the
acceptability
of Revelation in this list is that it is
positioned
among
the
accepted books,
but
only
after the
naming
of Wisdom
of Solomon. We have noted above the reason for the inclusion of
Wisdom of
Solomon, Sirach,
and Psalms of Solomon in New Testa-
ment lists.
Apart
from Canon
Muratori,
wherever these books
are
included, they
are
placed
at the end of the list. Thus
Epi-
phanius'
list concludes:
Apocalypse
of
John,
Wisdom of
Solomon,
Sirach;
Eusebius on
Irenaeus:
Apocalypse
of
John,
I
John,
I
Peter, Shepherd,
Wisdom of
Solomon;
the index in Codex Alex-
andrinus:
Apocalypse
of
John,
I and
II
Clement,
Psalms of
Solomon.64b
However,
in
Canon
Muratori the
apocalypses
are
relegated
to
positions
below Wisdom of
Solomon,
with
John's
re-
ceived,
Peter's
questioned.
This indicates that the
apocalypses
are on the
very fringe
of
canonicity
in this list. And we must seek
a historical situation that will lend
understanding
to this
fringe
position
for the
Apocalypse
of
John
in the Muratorian list.
It is evident that the
Apocalypse
of
John
was
early
received as
authoritative in the church. In the west its
imagery appears
to
have been
employed by Hermas.65 Justin Martyr (A.D. 165)
used
"Apocalypse
should be amended to
apocalypses. J.
VAN
GILSE, Disputatio
de
Antiquissimo
Librorum Sacrorum novi
foederis Catalogo, qui vulgo Fragmentum
Muratorii
Appellatur (Amstelodami, 1852), 16; LIETZMANN, op. Cit., 8f.
64a
H.
E.
3.25.
"b
EPIPIANIUS,
Adv. Haer.
76.5; SOUTER, op. cit., 2I1,
respectively.
SA. H.
CHARTERIS, Canonicity (Edinburgh, 1880), 336f.
n. Hermas
I.
22 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
the book and attributed it to
John
the
apostle."6
It was used and
named as
John's frequently by Irenaeus,"
and it is
quoted
in
the letter of the churches of Vienne and
Lyons
of about the same
date.6"
In the latter
part
of the second
century
the
Apocalypse
of
John
came under attack in Rome
by
Gaius and the
Alogoii."
However,
it does not
appear
to be their attack that is reflected in
the
precarious position
of
John's Apocalypse
in Canon
Muratori,
since Gaius and the
Alogoi rejected
not
only
the
Apocalypse
but
also the
Gospel
and the
Epistles
of
John
as
well,
whereas the
Gos-
pel
and two
Epistles
of
John
are
securely accepted
in the Mura-
torian canon
(lines 9-15, 68f.).
But the anti-Montanist attack of
Gaius and the
Alogoi
was of
only
limited effect.
Hippolytus (c.
236)
cites the
Apocalypse
as
by
the
apostle
and
disciple
John,7o
and Victorinus of Pettau
(c. 304),
whose
commentary
on the
Apocalypse
is the earliest that is
extant," accepted
it as written
by
the
John
who wrote the
Gospel.7" Hilary
of Poitiers
(c. 367)
accepted
the
Apocalypse
as written
by
St.
John,73
and
Jerome
(c. 340-420)
included it in his New Testament canon.7"
Thus,
apart
from Gaius and the
Alogoi,
the
Apocalypse
of
John
was
fully accepted
in the
west.Ia
Similarly,
the
Apocalypse
of
John
was
accepted
in North Africa.
Tertullian
spoke
of it as
by John
the
apostle,75 Cyprian regarded
"I
Ap. 2.8;
Dial.
81; EUSEB.,
H. E.
3.I8.If.; 4.I18.8.
67Haer. 4.18.6; 4.20.10, II; 5.26.1, etc.; EUSEB.,
H.
E.
5.8.5.
The
attempt
to
distinguish
between
John
the
Apostle,
author of the
Apocalypse
and
2, 3 John,
and
John
the
disciple,
author of the
Gospel
and I
John, apparently begins
with
CREDNER,
op. cit.,
I5If.
Cf.
WESTCOTT, Op. cit., 187
n.
2, who
finds no evidence that the
author of the Muratorian list made
any
distinction between the
Johns
named.
s
EUSEB.,
H. E.
5.1.58.
6'R. M.
GRANT,
Second
Century Christianity (London, 1946), I04-o8.
Cf.
ROBINSON,
op.
cit., 481-85, 487.
Note
that, according
to
TERTULLIAN,
Adv. Marc.
4.5,
the
Apocalypse
was
rejected by
Marcion as well.
'
De Christo et Antichr.
36, 6, 47, 60, 61,
etc.
"7
CHARTERIS, Op. Cit., 351,
Victorianus n.
I; QUASTEN, Op. cit., II, 411f.
"
De
fabrica mundi,
in
CHARTERIS, Op. cit., 351. Cf. JEROME,
De vir.
ill. 74.
7
In Psalm.
I;
De trinit.
6,
in
CHARTERIS, Op. cit., 355.
7
Epist. II,
ad
Paulinunm,
in
CHARTERIS, op. cit., 22;
Catal. script.
eccl.
9;
Praefatio
in codd.
antiq.;
Adv. Jovinianum 1.26. But
cf. Ep. 129.4:
nec
Graecorum
quidem
ecclesiae
Apocalypsin Joannis
eadem libertate
suscipiant (MIGNE,
P. L.
XXII,
II103),
and In Isa. Lib.
i8
Proem.,
where
JEROME notes
that the "most
eloquent" Dionysius
of Alexandria had written an
"elegant"
book
against
the
Apocalypse.
7a
JfiLICHER, Op. cit., 536.
7
De
praescript.
haer.
3;
Adv. Marcion.
3.14; 4-5.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
23
it as the words of the Lord and
by John,76
and Lactantius
(c. 340)
spoke
of it as written
by John."
It was included in the canon of
the Third Council of
Carthage (397).71
Thus the west
provides
no
parallel
to the treatment of the
Apocalypse
of
John
in Canon
Muratori.
Initially
in the east the
Apocalypse
of
John
was as
generally
ac-
cepted
as it was in the west.
Papias
of
Hierapolis (early
second
century)
is said to have used
it,79
Melito of Sardis
(c. 194)
to have
commented
upon it,s0
and
Apollonius (c. 186)
to have used
it.8s
Theophilus
of Antioch
(c. 186) quoted
from the
Apocalypse,82
as
did
Pamphilus
of Caesarea
(c. 309),83
and Methodius of
Olympus
(311)."4
But it was
questioned by Amphilochius
of Iconium
(c.
400)s5
and it was omitted
by Gregory
of Nazianzus
(c. 389).8"
In
Egypt
Clement of Alexandria named and
quoted
the
Apoc-
alypse
s7
and
Origen
used and
spoke
of it as
by John
the son of
Zebedee and
disciple
of
Jesus." Dionysius (265), however,
intro-
duces a
change
of attitude toward the
Apocalypse
of
John
in the
east. It was the work of
Nepos
of Arsione that directed
Dionysius'
attention to the
Apocalypse. Nepos
had refused
Origen's allegori-
cal
interpretation
of the
Apocalypse
and insisted on what Eusebius
called a more
Jewish (i.e., literal) interpretation
in
support
of
chiliastic views and wrote a book entitled
Refutation of
the
Alle-
gorists, setting
forth his
position. Dionysius,
who had been
Origen's pupil
and was now his
successor,
attacked
Nepos'
in-
terpretation
in two volumes entitled On
Promises;
in the second
76Epist.
63.x;
De
eleemos. 21;
De bono
patient.;
etc.
77Epist. 42;
Instit.
7.10.
78
G. D.
MANSI,
Sacrorum
conciliorum nova et
amplissima collectio (Florentiae,
1759-92), II, 1177.
S7ANDREAS
CAESARIENSIS, in
Apoc. 34,
Serm.
12; OECUMENIUS
et
ARETHAS,
Comment. in
Apoc. 12.7,
both in
CHARTERIS, op. cit., 338.
so EUSEB.,
H. E.
4.26.2; repeated
in
JEROME,
De vir. ill. 24.
s EUSEB.,
H. E.
5.18.14.
82 Ad
Autolyc. 2.28; EUSEB.,
H. E.
4.24.1.
83 Apol. pro Orig.,
in
CHARTERIS,
op.
cit., 352.
s
ANDR., proleg.
in
Apoc.,
in
CHARTERIS, op. cit., 339;
Conviv.
1.5; 7.5,
etc.
85 Epist.
iambica
ad Seleuc.
316.
s6
Carm.
I.I.12.39,
in
MIGNE,
P.G.
XXXVII, 474.
7 Instr. 1.6; 2.9;
Strom.
6.13, 16,
etc.
ssDe
princip.
1.2.IO;
4.1.25;
Contra
Cel.
6.6.6.;
Hom. in libr. Jesu Nave.
7.2;
Comm. in Matt.
16;
Comm. in Joann.
2.8; 5.3; EUSEB.,
H. E.
6.25.10.
24 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
he treated the
Apocalypse
of
John.s9
His
arguments
are summa-
rized
by Eusebius.9o
First
noticing
that the
Apocalypse
had earlier
been
rejected by
some who attributed it to Cerinthus
(probably
Gaius and the
Alogoi), Dionysius says
that he would not dare to
reject
the book.
But, although
he did not understand
it,
still he
thought
that the
Apocalypse
was written
by
a
holy
and
inspired
person
named
John. Dionysius argued, however,
that the author
of the
Apocalypse
could not have been the
disciple John,
the author
of the
Gospel
and a catholic
epistle
or of the two shorter
epistles:
differences in
general arrangement, vocabulary,
and
style
are too
great. Moreover,
the
disciple John
never named himself in his
writings,
whereas the author of the
Apocalypse put
his name
forward at the
very beginning
and
repeatedly.
Since there were
many persons
named
John
and since there were two tombs of
John
in
Ephesus, Dionysius
concluded that the
Apocalypse
must
have been written
by
another
John
than the
disciple.
Subse-
quently, however,
Athanasius included the
Apocalypse
in the
canonical list of his Festal Letter
of
367.91
As in the discussion of the
Shepherd
of Hermas
above,
Euse-
bius' treatment of the
Apocalypse
of
John
calls for
particular
attention. On occasion Eusebius could use and name this
writing
as the
Apocalypse
of
John
without further
comment,"9
while else-
where he would indicate that he was aware that it was
questioned,
dubbing
it the "so-called
(XEyop~vlq)
Apocalypse
of
John,"
9"
or
stating
that some advocated its
acceptability
while others
disputed
it."9
The final
step
of
rejection
is found in the Canones
Aposto-
lorum
"
and in
Cyril
of
Jerusalem,"9
where the
Apocalypse
of
John
is
missing
in both canonical
lists, though
it is included in the
list of
Epiphanius
of
Salamis."9
It was included in the
Byzantine
text of the New
Testament, probably
created
by
Lucian of An-
89EUSEB.,
H. E.
7.24.1-4. QUASTEN'S citation, 7.14.1-3 (op. cit., II, 104),
is
incorrect.
90H.
E.
7.25; cf. 7.10.2.
"1
Ep. Fest.,
in
MIGNE,
P. G.
XXVI,
I436f.
92 Demonstr. Ev. 8.
"
H. E.
3.18.2.
94
Ibid., 3.24.18.
95 76 (85),
in
WESTCOTT,
op.
cit., 484,
cf.
389.
96
Catech.
4.36,
in
CHARTERIS,
op. cit.,
19.
"1
Haer.
76.5,
in
WESTCOTT,
op.
cit., 492,
cf.
398.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
25
tioch
(c. 312),"9
but it was omitted from the Peshitta Version of
the
Syriac,
created toward the end of the fourth
century,
and did
not come to be included in
Syria
until
508.99
We must return to Eusebius and his canonical list 100 because
his treatment of the
Apocalypse
of
John provides
an
interesting
parallel
to its treatment in Canon Muratori. Eusebius divided the
books named in his list into four classifications:
acknowledged
books
(6O.toXoyoLEvot),
disputed
books
(&vrtXEydOEvot), spurious
books
(v6Oot),
and heretical books
(alpE7TKOt).
The
Apocalypse
of
John
is first mentioned as the last of the
acknowledged books,
but with a reservation. He
says,
"In addition to these should be
put,
if it seem desirable
(E'I yE
avar),
the Apocalypse
of
John,
the
arguments concerning
which we will
expound
at the
proper
time. These
belong
to the
acknowledged
books."
101"'
Then,
after
disputed books,
the
Apocalypse
of
John appears again
as last
among
the
spurious
books.
Concerning
it Eusebius
says,
"And in
addition,
as I
said,
the
Apocalypse
of
John,
if this view
prevail.
For,
as I
said,
some
reject it,
but others count it
among
the
acknowledged
books.
...
These all
belong
to the
disputed
books"
(VrLXEyd eVoEt).102
Eusebius thus in the
summary
statement
combines the
disputed
and the
spurious
books under the classi-
fication
"disputed"
(vr-EtEy'/d.tvo).
Subsequently
Eusebius
sug-
gests
that this
apocalypse
was written
by John
the
presbyter,
noting
that
Papias
had named two
Johns,
one
among
the
apostles
and another
among
the
apostolic
men with whom he had con-
versed,
and that there are still two tombs at
Ephesus
called
John's.o03
Eusebius
concludes,
"This calls for attention: for it is
probable
that the second
(unless anyone prefer
the
former)
saw
the Revelation which
passes
under the name of
John."
104
The
similarity
of the treatment of the
Apocalypse
of
John
in
Canon Muratori to that of Eusebius is
immediately apparent,
once it is called to attention. Canon Muratori mentions
John's
9s
B.
METZGER,
The Text
of
the New Testament
(Oxford, 1964), 141, 213.
9
Ibid., 69, 136 n. 2, 7of.
"o
H. E.
3.25.
"ox
Ibid., 3.25.2.
102
Ibid.,
3.25.4
"o0
Ibid.,
3.39.5f-
10o
Ibid., 3.39.4.
26 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
Apocalypse
in
illustrating
the
catholicity
of Paul's letters written
to
churches,
which favors its
acceptability,
but does not name it
as a listed book until the most tenuous
position, following
Wis-
dom of Solomon and associated in the same sentence with the dis-
puted Apocalypse
of Peter. In Eusebius' list the
Apocalypse
of
John,
while
being
listed
among
the
acknowledged books,
is with
the notation that it is
questioned
and later to be named
among
the
spurious
books.
Thus,
in
Eusebius,
as in the Muratorian
canon,
the
Apocalypse
of
John
is on the
very fringe
of
canonicity.
The
slight preponderance
in Eusebius'
judgment appears
to be
nega-
tive;
in Canon Muratori the
judgment
is
slightly positive.
But
both
appear
to stem from the same milieu of discussion about the
canonicity
of the
Apocalypse
of
John.
And this
questioning
of its
status finds no sitz im leben in the church until
subsequent
to
Dionysius,
and then
only
in the east.
If this evaluation be
correct,
then definition with
respect
both
to time and locale reaches considerable
precision
with
respect
to
the treatment of the
Apocalypse
of
John. Although apostolic
authorship
of the
Apocalypse
of
John
was
questioned by Diony-
sius,
serious doubts about it
appear
not to have taken root in
Egypt,
since it is included without
question
in the canon of Atha-
nasius.
Similarly,
its continued use
by
the fathers in Asia Minor
and its inclusion in the
Byzantine
text of the New Testament
would
appear
to exclude Asia Minor. It is
Palestine-Syria
and the
Eusebius-Cyril-Peshitta
context that are most
closely
related to
Canon Muratori with
respect
to its treatment of the
Apocalypse
of
John,
with Eusebius
providing
the closest
parallel.
As to the
Apocalypse
of
Peter,
it is first to be noted
that,
as
M. R.
James
has
said,
there is
only
the scantiest evidence of its
use in the
west.1'0
He observes that A. Harnack
"'o
had cited the
Muratorian Canon
(which
is here under
question), Hippolytus,
TEpL 70
ro Tavros
and
Ref.
Haer.
10.34,
a
passage
from de laude
Martyrii (printed among
the works of
Cyprian
but which Har-
nack ascribed to
Novatian),
the Acts of SS.
Felix, Fortunatus,
"'0A New Text of the
Apocalypse
of
Peter, II, JTS
XII
(I910-I1),
380-83.
The text
may possibly
have
originated
in
Egypt.
Cf.
HENNECKE,
op.
cit., II, 49.
10 Die
Petrusapokalypse
in der alten
Abendliindischen
Kirche,
Texte und Un-
tersuchungen, XIII,
i
(1895), 71-73.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
27
and Achillaeus
(Acta
SS.
23 Ap.),
and the Acts of Ferreolus and
Ferrutio
(June 16)
and of Dorothea and
Theophilus (Feb. 6).
To these
James
adds a list of
twenty-one
"veiled allusions and
reminiscences" in the
Shepherd
of Hermas
(which,
he
concludes,
are
possible though
not
certain),
a
passage
in de
Aleatoribus,
and
finally
a
passage
in the
fourth-century Homily
on the Ten
Virgins,
which names the
apocalypse:
"Ostium clausum flumen
igneum
est
quo impii regno
Dei
arcebuntur,
ut
apud
Danielem et
apud
Pet-
rum
-
in
Apocalypsi
eius
-
scriptum
est"
(lines 58ff.).1O7 James
considers "that
Hippolytus' acquaintance
with the
Apocalypse
of
Peter is rendered certain
by
his use of the word
-rap-rapoi3Xo
in
Ref.
Haer.
10.34," o108
which is his earliest certain text.
However,
he has overlooked the use of
-rap-rapo-raa
in
II
Pet.
2:4,
which was
better known in the west than was the
Apocalypse
of
Peter.1o9
Thus the
Homily
on the Ten
Virgins appears
to be the first sure
evidence of the use of the
Apocalypse
of Peter in the west.
In the east the situation with
respect
to the
Apocalypse
of Peter
is
very
different. Clement of Alexandria
appears
to
quote
from it
in
Eclogae
ex
propheticis scripturis 41.1,110
and names it in Ecl.
41.2, 48.1,
and
49 (8q0 KaL
il
po ,
'v r? dcrOKXvEt
EL
4o-lv,
etc.).
According
to
Eusebius,
Clement commented on it in his
Hypoty-
poseis."'
Thus Clement
gives
us our earliest sure indication of
the use of the
Apocalypse
of Peter.
Zahn, however, noting
that
Origen,
who used other
apocryphal writings
attributed to
Peter,
has no evidence of
knowledge
of the
Apocalypse
of
Peter,
that it
is not mentioned
by Athanasius,
and that no
Coptic
translation is
known,
wondered whether Clement had not learned of this
writing
107
JAMES, op. cit., 383.
A.
WILMART, Un anonyme
ancien de x
virginibus,
Bulletin d'ancienne litterature et
d'archeologie chre'tiennes
I
(1911), 37, 46-49;
HENNECKE,
op.
cit., II, 469.
`08
Ibid., 381, cf. 370f.
1'0
Cf.
Job 40:15 (20); 41:23 (24); Prov. 24:51;
Enoch 20:2.
11no0
JAMES acknowledges
that this
passage might
be
suggested by
Wsd.
3:16-18;
4:8,
16.
Ibid., 377,
cf.
369. ZAHN,
NT
Kanons, II, 2, 81off.,
and others
suggest
that the
quotation
is from another
apocalypse,
since the
Apocalypse
of Peter is
named in the
following
citation.
However,
there is no
recognizable pattern
in
Clement relative to the
naming
or
non-naming
of works from which he
quotes.
Moreover, JAMES
is
certainly
correct in
holding
it to be a considerable risk to at-
tribute this
quotation
to another
apocalypse
when the words
ra3p
.
. .
TfLpE0XovX '7rapaoi3a0T
d'yyEXcw
are
found
also in a named
quotation
from the
Apocalypse
of Peter in Ecl.
48. JAMES,
op.
cit., 370.
111
H. E.
6.14.1.
28 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
from Palestinian Christians and
questioned
whether the
writing
was in circulation in
Egypt.112
Zahn's
inference, however, appears
to be
overdrawn,
since the Greek text of the
Apocalypse
was found
in
Upper Egypt
113 and an
Ethiopic
translation was found in
1910.114
However,
the absence of
any
mention of the
Apocalypse
of Peter in
Origen
and Athanasius does indicate that this
Apoc-
alypse
was so little known in
Egypt
that it did not
figure
in canoni-
cal discussions there.
Methodius,
who
Quasten says
was
prob-
ably bishop
of
Philippi
but who must have resided in
Lycia
for a
considerable
period,
"so that for a
long
time he was
thought
to
have been bishop of Olympus,"
1"
quotes
the
Apocalypse of
Peter with the
introduction,
"Whence also we have received in
inspired writings
that
.. ." (o60v
84
Ka
. .
.rapEtXra~LEv
EV
eoi.TrEv.o-ot'7o
ypdptao-w)
.G
.
Eusebius' evidence runs from
negative
to
equivocal
on the
Apocalypse
of Peter. On the one hand is his
complete rejection
of the book. He
says,
"of the Acts
bearing
his
(Peter's)
name and
the
Gospel
named
according
to
him,
and the
Preaching
called his
and the so-called
Apocalypse
(KaXovUt`&v'v 'AlroKMdv4Iv
),
we
have
no
knowledge
at all in catholic
tradition,
for no ecclesiastic
writer of the ancient time or of our own has used their testi-
monies."
117 But this is
certainly
an erroneous overstatement. As
we have
seen,
it is Eusebius who informs us that Clement of Alex-
andria commented on the
Apocalypse
of Peter. And since it was
Eusebius who divided the books
upon
which Clement commented
into
categories,
it will be useful to cite his statement:
And in the
Hypotyposeis,
to
speak briefly,
he
(Clement)
has
given
concise
explanations
of all the canonical
scriptures
(Tiy1
ivsta60pKov
ypatos),
not
passing
over even the
disputed writings (-Tas
dVTXAyo-
tdva'),
I mean the
Epistle
of
Jude
and the
remaining
Catholic
Epistles,
and the
Epistle
of
Barnabas,
and the
Apocalypse
known as Peter's.118
112 NT
Kanons, II, 2, 81off.
113 HENNECKE,
op.
cit., II, 468.
114
JAMES, op. cit., 36-54, 362-83, 573-83.
11
Op. cit., II, 129.
Cf. G.
KRtiGER, Op. Cit., 235.
"oSymposium
2.6.
JAMES, op. cit., 373; ZAHN,
NT
Kanons, II, 2,
8iof.
n.2.
117
H.
E.
3.3.2.
This is the
only passage
in EUSEBIUS cited
by QUASTEN
on the
Apocalypse
of
Peter, op. cit., I, 144.
11s
H. E.
6.I4.If.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
29
Here Eusebius
placed
the
Apocalypse
of Peter
among
the dis-
puted
books and before the
Epistle
to the
Hebrews,
the discus-
sion of which follows
immediately upon
the
passage
cited. In
Eusebius' canonical
list,"9 however,
the
Apocalypse
of Peter
ap-
pears among
the
spurious
books
(v60ot),
which are then combined
with the
disputed
books
(diVrhEYtZEvot).
It thus
appears
that a
New Testament canonical list was far from
being
a settled matter
for
Eusebius;
his comments
suggest
rather that the canon was in
the
process
of formation in his own mind. In his canonical list
the
Apocalypse
of Peter
appears
as the third
entry together
with
the Acts of
Paul,
the
Shepherd
of
Hermas,
the Letter of Barna-
bas,
the
Teaching
of the
Apostles,
and the
Apocalypse
of
John.
And to
these,
it is
noted,
some add the
Gospel according
to the
Hebrews. The heretical books in Eusebius' list include
gospels
of
Peter, Thomas, Matthias,
and
others,
acts of
Andrew, John,
and others. And Eusebius
goes
on to
say,
To none of these has
any
who
belonged
to the succession of the
orthodox ever
thought
it
right
to refer in his
writings. Moreover,
the
type
of
phraseology
differs from
apostolic style,
and the
opinion
and
tendency
of their contents is
widely
dissonant from true
orthodoxy
and
clearly
shows that
they
are the
forgeries
of heretics.
They ought,
therefore,
to be reckoned not even
among
the
spurious
books
(veo'L)
but shunned as
altogether
wicked and
impious.120
This
passage gives
us some
understanding
of H. E.
3.3.2. Judging
from these comments of
Eusebius,
it would
appear
that when he
wrote H. E.
3.3.2
he was
thinking
of the
Apocalypse
of Peter as a
pseudepigraphal
work rather than of its
usage
in the church of his
acquaintance,
and thus described it and the other
pseudonymous
works attributed to Peter in
language very
similar to that with
which he described the heretical books in his canonical list. Euse-
bius'
testimony concerning
the
Apocalypse
of Peter therefore
sug-
gests
that it was
acknowledged by
some and
questioned by
others
toward the end of the third and the
beginning
of the fourth cen-
tury
in
Palestine,
and Eusebius is to be numbered
among
the lat-
ter.
no
Ibid., 3.25.4.
1.
Ibid., 3.25.6f.
30 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
The
Apocalypse
of Peter is also named and cited
by
Macarius
Magnes (c. 400)
in his
Apocriticus.121
The
philosopher-critic
of
Christianity,
whose
arguments
are
given
and then answered
by
Macarius
in this
work,
is described as
giving
two citations from
the
Apocalypse
of
Peter, naming
the book in the first instance.
The second
quotation
is followed
by
a
quotation supporting
the
same
point
from Matthew. In his answer
Macarius
says,
"for
even if we
pass
over the
Apocalypse
of
Peter,
we are
brought
to
the same
thing by
the other two
passages," citing
from Isaiah and
Matthew.'12
From these
passages
some have read a favorable
treatment
123
and others a
rejection
of the
Apocalypse
of Peter
by
Macarius.124 It is not
possible
to
judge accurately
to what extent
the
philosopher-antagonist
in this
work, especially
with
respect
to his use of
scripture,
is
Macarius'
straw
man,125
similar
to
Jus-
tin's
Trypho.
If the
antagonist's position
and use of
scripture
is
verisimilar,
then we must conclude that the
Apocalypse
of Peter
was so
widely
used in the church in the
vicinity
where this docu-
ment was
composed
that it had come to the attention of the an-
tagonists
of
Christianity.
And it is to be marked that
Macarius'
reply attempts
no denial of the
Apocalypse
as a heretical book.
At most
Macarius'
reply
indicates hesitation on his
part
about a
book that is
acknowledged by (most?)
other Christians in his
area. On the other
hand,
if the
antagonist
in the
Apocriticus,
especially
with
respect
to the use of
scripture,
is
Macarius'
cre-
ation,
our conclusion
concerning
the status of the
Apocalypse
of
Peter is much the
same, except
that the
cursory
treatment of the
Apocalypse may carry
the overtones of a mild attack
upon
a
popularly acknowledged
book. In either
case,
Macarius'
position
appears
to be
very
similar to that of Eusebius in that it is Chris-
tian
usage
in their environment that
brought
attention to the
121 6, 7,
in T. W.
CRAFER,
The
Apocriticus of Macarius Magnes (London, I919),
129, 130.
The Greek text edited
by
C. BLONDEL and P.
FOUCART,
Mdyvr70To
'A-OKpLTLK6S
i) MovoYTEV'.
Macarii
Magnetis quae supersint
ex inedito codice ed.
(Paris, 1876)
was not available to this writer.
122 Apocrit. 16,
in
CRAFER,
op.
cit., 131.
"1
KRtGER,
op.
Cit., 34.
124
CRAFER,
op.
cit.,
13o
n. 2, 131
n. 2; HENNECKE, op. cit., II, 469.
Cf. E.
J.
GoODSPEED,
A
History of Early
Christian Literature
(Chicago, Illinois, 1942), 55.
125
QUASTEN,
op.
cit., III, 487.
ALBERT
C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
31
Apocalypse
of Peter in their
works,
even
though they
themselves
were hesitant about or
rejected
it.
This
similarity
of
Macarius'
attitude toward the
Apocalypse
of
Peter to that of Eusebius makes the locale of this
writing impor-
tant.
Macarius
Magnes,
the author of the
Apocriticus,12'
is
usually
identified with
Macarius, bishop
of
Magnesia,
who was
present
at the
Synod
of the Oak
(403),
which would
place
the work in Asia
Minor.'27
Crafer, however,
has shown that there are
significant
reasons for
relating
the work to
Syria;
his
argument
runs as fol-
lows:
128
I)
The author of the
Apocriticus
cannot have been the
ardent
anti-Origenist
that accused Heraclides of
heresy
at the
Synod
of the Oak because of his
Origenism,
because the
Apocriti-
cus
is full of
Origenism.129 2)
When the interlocutor
suggests
that
since to "drink
any deadly thing"
cannot hurt a
believer,
this
ought
to be a test in the
choosing
of
bishops,
the author does not
answer with
any
sense of self-defence.130 These
argue against
the
author's
having
been a
bishop.130a Moreover,
there are reasons to
think that the
Apocriticus
was not written in Asia Minor.
3)
The
author
points
to
Syria, especially
Edessa and
Antioch,
as
examples
of the effects of the
faith;
131 he once uses the Persian word
"parsang"
as a measure of
distance;
132
and
Ethiopia
is located to
the southwest.'33 Crafer notes that there are indications that the
author had some
acquaintance
with Asia Minor and Rome 134
(though
he also calls the Romans "a barbarian race"
135)
and con-
cludes that
Macarius
was
probably
born in
Magnesia (though
he
was not the
bishop
of that name
there),
traveled as far as
Rome,
and settled in
Syria,
where he wrote the
Apocriticus.135a
Crafer's
126T. W.
CRAFER, Macarius Magnes,
A
Neglected Apologist, JTS
VIII
(1907),
401.
127
QUASTEN,
op.
cit., III, 486f.
The second name is
probably
to be
regarded
as
a
place
name
meaning "Magnesian."
Cf.
CRAFER, Apocriticus,
xixf.
128
Ibid., xx-xxiii.
129
Ibid.,
xxii.
130
Apocr. 3.16, 41.
130a
CRAFER notes that Nicephorus
had
already
come to this conclusion in the
ninth
century. Ibid.,
xxii.
131 Ibid., 3.24.
132
Ibid., 3.40.
133
Ibid., 4-13.
3
Op. cit.,
xxi.
135 Apocr. 2.17.
135a
Cf. F. C. BURKITT, Urchristentum im Orient
(Tiibingen, 1907), 58;
G.
32 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
further
hypothesis
that the work of this
Macarius,
written in
Syria,
came to be seized
upon by Macarius, Bishop
of
Magnesia (403),
and was worked
by
him into the
present
form is
impossible.
There
is no more reason to
suppose
that
Bishop
Macarius
would have
found this work with all its
Origenisms
more to his
liking
than he
found
Origen's
followers. More
probably
the author of this work
came to be confused with
Macarius,
the
bishop
of
Magnesia,
and
the work
subsequently
attributed to the latter. And if the author's
name was
Macarius,
his name would have
provided
a
ready
basis
for the confusion.136 Thus we have another illustration of the
presence
of the
Apocalypse
of Peter in
Syria/Palestine
in
prob-
ably
the late third or
early
fourth
century.137
It was after
Jerome
had moved east and settled at Bethlehem
that he wrote his
De
viris illustribus sive de
scriptoribus
ecclesi-
asticis
(393-95).
In the first
chapter
of this
work, having
noted
the
acknowledged writings
related to
Peter,
he
goes
on to list the
books attributed to Peter but
rejected
(dro80KLa'~?ECV)
as
apoc-
rypha
(JdarKpvca):
The
Acts,
the
Gospel,
the
Preaching,
the
Apocalypse,
and the Trial.'38
This
passage
follows in the tradition
of
Eusebius,
H. E.
3.3.2, except
that
Jerome
added the Trial of
Peter. And it is not
unlikely
that
Jerome gained
his
acquaintance
with the
Apocalypse
of Peter in Palestine.
Despite
the
negative
judgment
of Eusebius and
Jerome, however,
Sozomen tells us in
his Historia
Ecclesiastica
7.I9.9f.,
written between
439
and
450,
that the
Apocalypse
of
Peter, though
considered
completely
spurious
(vdOov TavTEXCo)
by
the
ancients,
nevertheless was
being
read in his
day
in some of the churches in Palestine on the
Day
of
Preparation
at a feast in
memory
of the
passion.'39
Codex
Claromontanus,
a
sixth-century
codex
containing only
the letters of
Paul,'40
includes between Philemon and Hebrews a
QUISPEL, Makarius,
das
Thomasevangelium
und das Lied von der Perle
(Leiden,
1967), 7-9.
136 Cf. D.
LUMPER, De Magnete Presbytero, MIGNE,
P. L.
V., 343f.
137 QUASTEN places
the
Apocriticus among
the
writings
from Antioch and
Syria.
Op. cit., III, 386ff.
138Here SOZOMEN,
who wrote his
history
as a
sequel
to that of
Eusebius,
also
appears
to be
dependent
on
EUSEB.,
H. E.
3.3.2.
139
MIGNE,
P. L.
XXIII,
6o8-io.
14o
METZGER,
op.
cit., 51.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
33
list of Old and New Testament
books.'41
This
list, persuasively
argued by
Zahn to be eastern and
dating
from the third or fourth
century,142 gives
the
following
as the last six books in the list:
Epistle
of
Barnabas, Apocalypse
of
John,
Acts of the
Apostles,
Shepherd,
Acts of
Paul, Apocalypse
of
Peter.'43
In the list the
scribe
placed
a horizontal line before
Barnabas, Shepherd,
Acts
of
Paul,
and
Apocalypse
of
Peter, perhaps
thus
indicating
some
question concerning
them.144
Also,
the
Stichometry
of
Nicephorus
(c. 500?),
a list of biblical books
appended
to
Nicephorus' (828)
Chronography,
is also
regarded
as
Palestinian."45
In it the New
Testament list is
given
under three
categories:
the new
teaching
(rijg
vE'ag
8aOK41jK),
the new
disputed
books
(hj9
vEag
avTLXEyovrat),
and the new
apocrypha (n39
viag
dLTordKpvLa).
The
disputed books,
similar to Canon
Muratori,
include the
apocalyp-
ses of
John
and Peter as well as the
Epistle
of Barnabas and the
Gospel according
to the
Hebrews,
whereas the
apocrypha
include
the travels of
Peter, John,
and
Thomas,
the
Gospel
of
Thomas,
the
Teaching
of the
Apostles,
I and
II
Clement, Ignatius, Poly-
carp,
and Hermas.146
The
presence
of the
Apocalypse
of Peter in the canonical list
of the Muratorian
fragment
led Kuhn to conclude that the
frag-
ment was of eastern
origin. 147
He was
unacquainted
with the
western
Homily
on the Ten
Virgins,
but on the other hand he
41
In
ZAHN,
NT
Kanons, 11.2, 157-59; CHARTERIS, op. cit., 27
and n. 2.
142
He thinks
especially
of the Alexandrian tradition. NT
Kanons, II, 161-72,
followed
by
KR-iGER,
op. cit., 37.
Cf.
SOUTER,
op.
Cit.,
2IIf.
ZAHN's
persuasive
arguments
are not to be set aside for
J tLICHER'S
assessing
the list as
Latin, op. cit.,
536,
followed
by HENNECKE,
op.
Cit., I,
21.
JULICHER, however,
makes no reference
to ZAHN and
gives only
a similar
acquaintance
with
apocryphal
books
by
the
Spaniard PRISCILLIAN (385)
as the reason for
"unhesitatingly" regarding
the list in
Claromontanus as Latin. But see the
parallel
status of the Acts of Paul in EUSE-
BIUS (H.
E.
3.3.5)
and Codex Claromontanus described in
HENNECKE, Op.
cit.,
II, 223.
JtiLICHER's
remark is not
accompanied by
a
comparison
of the
apocryphal
books used
by PRISCILLIAN,
which show a marked
proclivity
for
asceticism,
with
those included in Codex
Claromontanus,
which do not.
143 CHARTERIS,
op.
Cit., 27.
14
A.
SOUTER,
op. cit.,
212
n. I.
14"
KRGER,
op.
cit., 37; HENNECKE,
op.
cit., I, 24,
where a date earlier than c.
850
is left
open.
146 Against EHRHARDT,
op. cit.,
121, who
thinks that the treatment of the
Apoc-
alypse
of Peter as a canonical book was a view "we can
say
for certain . .
.
was
no
longer
tenrable
after about
A.D. 240."
147
Op. cit., 30f., 9of.
Cf.
BARTLET,
op. cit.,
214-19.
34 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
counted
Jerome
as a western witness. And the
Apocriticus
of
Macarius
Magnes
was unknown to him. Otherwise our informa-
tion does not differ
markedly
from his. It is evident that the
Apocalypse
of Peter circulated in the eastern church with the
witnesses to it
especially
concentrated in
Syria/Palestine.
And
the
position
of the
Apocalypse
of Peter in Canon
Muratori,
ac-
cepted
but
questioned by some,
is
parallel
to its
position
in
Codex
Claromontanus,
and is the converse to the
position
in which
it is located in Eusebius' list and
Macarius
Magnes' apparent
treatment,
where the
Apocalypse
of Peter is
disputed
but evi-
dently accepted by
some. The
Stichometry
of
Nicephorus repre-
sents the middle
ground,
with the
Apocalypse
of Peter
being
listed
as
disputed
but with no indication of the attitude of the author of
the list.
In the
foregoing
discussion it has become
increasingly
clear
that there are several salient features of Canon Muratori that
have no
place
in the
early
western church but find their earliest
parallels
in the eastern church
during
the late third and fourth
centuries. In the
place
of the
Shepherd (outside
the
canon, though
proper
to be
read),
in the inclusion of Wisdom of
Solomon,
in the
equivocal position
of the
apocalypses
of
John
and
Peter,
Canon
Muratori reflects an eastern orientation. And these items are
of
particular importance
because it is
just
at the
edges
of can-
onicity
that identification can be made. Thus the
position
of
Shepherd
in the Muratorian list
appears
to be later than the
equivocal
circumstance observed in Eusebius and more
closely
parallels
the
place
of
Shepherd
in Athanasius' Festal Letter
39.
The inclusion of Wisdom of Solomon in Canon Muratori finds its
earliest
parallels
in Eusebius and
Epiphanius.
Canon Muratori's
uncertain treatment of the
Apocalypse
of
John
finds its closest
parallel
in Eusebius' similar treatment of that
book,
and the
evidence for location
points
to
Syria-Palestine. Similarly,
it was
only
in the east that the
Apocalypse
of Peter was ever considered
as canonical
material,
and
again
it is Eusebius who
provides
the
closest
parallel
to Canon Muratori's treatment of this book. In
view of the
foregoing critique
of the traditional date and
place
for
this
list,
features such as these become the
prime
factors in re-
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
35
assessing
the time and
place
from which this list emanated. And
the evidence herein adduced
points strongly
to the eastern church
and the fourth
century.
It would be an
anomaly
if the Muratorian canon were
produced
and
put
forth about the end of the second
century
in
Rome,
since
there are no known
parallels
to it in the church for more than a
century.
It is
usually
held that the first known New Testament
canon was created
by
Marcion. But if the differentiation between
"scripture" (as writings regarded
as in some sense
authoritative)
and "canon"
(as
a closed collection of
scripture
to which
nothing
can be
added, nothing subtracted)
14" is a correct
one,
then it
probably
is an overstatement to call Marcion's collection a canon.
On the one hand Marcion
represents
a
special case,
since he re-
jected
out of hand the
Jewish scriptures
received into the church.
But it was not a defined Old Testament canon that he
rejected.149
In their
place
he
put
the Pauline
scriptures:
the
Gospel
of
Luke,
regarded
as Paul's
gospel,1'5
and Paul's
letters.'5
But it
appears
that his own
work,
the
Antitheses,
stood at the head of his collec-
tion.'52 And it is not at all clear that he
regarded
this collection as
a closed collection.
Instead,
the
proscription
of letters to Laodicea
and Alexandria and "a new book of Psalms for Marcion"
(novum
Psalmorum librum
Marcioni
conscripserunt) 153
in Canon Mura-
tori
suggests
that these were
accepted
as
scripture by
the Mar-
cionites when Canon Muratori was written. The orthodox answer
to Marcion was the first
step
toward a
canon;
the church defined
a closed
four-gospel
collection.'"
But it is evident that no
con-
4s
W. C. VAN
UNNIK,
De la
regle
ure
rpo-crOipal
C
re
dloeXEip
dans
l'histoire
du
Canon, Vigiliae Christianae III
(i949),
1-36;
A. C.
SUNDBERG, JR.,
Towards a
Revised
History
of the New Testament
Canon,
Studia
Evangelica
IV
(Berlin,
1968), 452-54.
149
Ibid., 459f.
'O
TERTULLIAN,
Adv. Marc.
4.2,5; 5.1; 1.2o.
151 Ibid., 4.5 ; 5.
15 Ibid., 1.19; 4.1.
It is to be noted that TERTULLIAN in his Adversus
Marcionem deals first with the Antitheses
(books I-3)
then with Luke
(book 4),
and
finally
with Paul's letters (book 5).
Cf. A.
HARNACK, Origin of
the New
Testament, 30
and n. i. But cf. A.
HARNACK,
Marcion
(Leipzig, 1921,
Texte und
Untersuchungen, 45), 70o
and n. i.
6
Lines
83f.
Cf. E. C.
BLACKMAN,
Marcion and His
Influence (London, 1948),
64f.
'
IRENAEUS,
Adv. Haer.
3.1.1; 3.11.8;
CLEMENT of
Alexandria, Strom. 3.13,
and
EUSEBIUS,
H. E.
6.14.5-7; TERTULLIAN,
Adv. Marc.
4.2, 5; ORIGEN, Comm. in Matt.
36 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
cept
of a New Testament was in mind.
Irenaeus,
the
prime
mover in
defining
the closed
four-gospel
collection,155
made no
further movement toward
defining
a New Testament collection.
Tertullian,
in
pitting
orthodox Christian
scripture against
Mar-
cion's
collection,
in one
place
listed the
gospels John, Matthew,
Luke, Mark,156
and
shortly
thereafter
John, Matthew, Mark,
Luke;
15i6a
and first he listed Paul's Letters in the order Corin-
thians, Galatians, Philippians, Thessalonians, Ephesians,
Romans,157
but in
discussing
them does so in the order
Galatians,
I and
II
Corinthians, Romans,
I and
II
Thessalonians, Ephesians
(Laodiceans), Colossians, Philippians,
Philemon
-
Marcion's
order.15'
And while he accused Marcion of
tampering
even with
the number of Paul's letters 159 he did not correct this error in his
own
list.19a
So little did Tertullian have a New Testament order
and collection in mind.
Similarly, though
Eusebius
attempted
to
create a canonical list for
him,16"
R. P. C. Hanson has shown that
Origen
had no list nor
concept
of a canonical collection of New
Testament
scriptures.1"'
What has been
regarded
as
Origen's
New
Testament list was
Eusebius'
creation."12
And this is
particularly
significant
since
Origen
did
give
a list of the Old Testament
canon.163 But he did not deduce from it the
concept
of a New
Testament canon.
Though
he knew the four
gospels
as a closed
I,
in
EUSEBIUS,
H. E.
6.25.4;
Comm. in Jn. 5.3.
Cf.
SUNDBERG,
Towards a Re-
vised
History
of New Testament
Canon, 459f.
155Cf.
note
154.
A. C.
SUNDBERG, Jr., Dependent Canonicity
in Irenaeus and
Tertullian,
Studia
Evangelica
III
(Berlin, 1964), 403-09.
Even if the anti-Mar-
cionite
prologues
to the
gospels
are to be dated before Irenaeus
(D.
DE
BRUYNE,
Les
plus
anciens
prologues
Latins des
RIvangiles,
Revue Benedictine XL
[1928],
193-214.
But cf. W. F.
HOWARD,
The Anti-Marcionite
Prologues
to the
Gospels,
Expository
Times XLVII
[1935-36], 537f.),
no evidence of a
prologue
for
Matthew
exists,
and no definition of a closed fourfold
gospel
canon is made in the
three
prologues
available.
156
Adv. Marc.
4.2.
156a
Ibid., 4.5.
157 Idem.
158
Ibid., 5.
5"'
Ibid., 5.1.
15a
Ibid., 5; but, while not
discussing them,
he does name the
pastorals
as
omitted
by
Marcion
(ibid., 5.21).
160 H.
E.
6.25.3-14.
161
Origen's
Doctrine
of
Tradition
(London, 1954), 133, 137, 143,
182ff.
162
SUNDBERG, Towards a Revised
History
of the New Testament
Canon, 460.
163 In
EUSEBIUS, H.
E.
6.25.2.
ALBERT
C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
37
collection,1"
he seems to have been unaware of a Pauline
corpus
because,
while
having just quoted
from I Cor. 2:6-8 in Contra
Celsum
3.19,
he continues in
3.20,
"first of all examine the
epistles
of him who utters these
words,
.
.
. say,
in those to the
Ephe-
sians,
and
Colossians,
and
Thessalonians,
and
Philippians,
and
Romans.
.. ." But Corinthians and Galatians
go unmentioned,
which would be unthinkable if
Origen
had been aware of a "Paul-
ine
corpus."
"" And while he was aware of one
acknowledged
(6ItoXoyo0udit`v)
and one doubted
(aCLpufMlXXErat)
epistle
of
Peter,
of
writings
of
John: Gospel, Apocalypse,
one
Epistle,
and a second
and third but "not all
say
that these are
genuine"
(yvYro-ove),
and
of the
dispute
over the
authorship
of
Hebrews,
whether Clement
or Luke
("but
who wrote the
epistle,
in truth God
knows"),
65a
still
Origen
shows no evidence of
relating
these concerns to the
larger question
of a New Testament collection
paralleling
the
Old.
From the time of
Origen
to that of
Eusebius, apart
from chance
remarks on
particular books,
we have
only
the
usage
of the
fathers to inform us on the circumstances
concerning
Christian
scriptures.166 Thus,
no lists of Christian
scripture
are found
stemming
from the third
century.
But this circumstance is
signif-
icantly changed
in the fourth
century,
since
during
that
century
New Testament canonical lists came to
appear
in
many parts
of
the church: 167 in
Syria/Palestine
the list of
Eusebius,
H. E.
3.25
(303?-25);
that of
Cyril
of
Jerusalem (348),
Catech.
4.33;
of
Epiphanius,
Haer.
8.6;
and of
Chrysostom (c. 407), Synopsis
Sacr.
Script.;
the list in Codex
Claromontanus;
and a
Syrian
canon
of c.
400;
in
Alexandria,
the list of
Athanasius, Ep.
Fest.
39;
an African canon of about
360;
and the
Carthaginian
Cata-
logue (397);
in Asia
Minor,
the list of
Gregory Nazianzus,
Carm.
14
Cf. n.
I54.
'" Both the
Chicago
school and its critics have overlooked this
listing
of
Paul's
letters that
actually
commences with
Ephesians!
The handbooks take the
quota-
tion from I Corinthians as the
beginning of
ORIGEN'S
list,
and students of the
Pauline
corpus
have followed their lead. But the text is
clear;
the list
begins
with
Ephesians.
Note that TERTULLIAN
omits
Colossians in his
listing
of Paul's letters
in Adv. Marc.
4.5.
Ma
Cf. n. 160.
1o
WESTCOTT,
op.
cit., 321-48.
"1
Ibid., 481-515; SOUTER, Op. Cit.,
211-26.
38 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
12.3 ;
of
Amphilochius,
Iambi. ad
Seleucum;
and the Laodicene
Catalogue (363);
and in
Rome,
a canon dated about
400.
Previously,
when it was
thought
that
Origen
had
produced
a
New Testament canonical
list,"Gs
the Muratorian list did not
ap-
pear
so
strange
as a
product
of the Roman church toward the end
of the second
century.
But now its verisimilitude is
brought
into
question.
And it
appears
more
likely
that this list was
produced
during
the fourth
century
under the circumstances that
brought
forth the several other similar lists of that time than that Canon
Muratori
appeared
in Rome about the end of the second
century
but remained an isolated
phenomenon
for a
century
before
any
other similar New Testament canons
appeared.
In the
foregoing
it has been
argued
that the Muratorian canon
is an eastern list.
However,
the codex in which it is found is
western and
belonged formerly
to Columban's
Monastery
at
Bobbio.
Similarly, fragments
of the same list were found in manu-
scripts
at Monte Cassino. And the
problem
arises as to how one
can
explain
the
presence
of such an eastern list in western manu-
scripts.
The reasons for such an inclusion lie
beyond
the knowl-
edge
of the
present
writer.
However,
it
may
be useful to note that
such an inclusion is not
unique
for Canon Muratori. The codex
itself in which the Muratorian
fragment
is
found,
while filled in
major portion
with western
texts,
also includes
De reparatorem
lapsi
of
John Chrysostom
(345/7-407)"1
of Antioch until
398,
and thereafter
Constantinople.
The
inscription
on the first
page
of this codex reads: liber sZti
colfibani
de
bobio/Iohis grisostomi.o70
But this attribution of the entire contents of the codex to
Chry-
sostom is
obviously
erroneous.171 Codex
Claromontanus,
contain-
ing
the
epistles
of
Paul,17"
is another
example
of a western codex
containing
a canonical list of eastern
origin.""
Since this is a
stichometric
list,
one
possibility
is that it moved west as a reckon-
ing-sheet
in the
process
of book
production. However,
since it is
18 Ibid., I82f.;
C. R.
GREGORY,
Canon and Text
of
the New Testament
(Edin-
burgh, 1907), 224-27, etc.
1.9
BUCHANAN,
op.
cit., 537.
170
Ibid., 538.
171 Idem.
172
METZGER,
op.
cit., 5I.
173
Cf. n.
142.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
39
a list of Old Testament and New in this codex of Pauline
letters,
and since it
appears
within the codex between Philemon and
Hebrews rather than at the
end,
it is
unlikely
that its
presence
in
Codex Claromontanus can be understood as a scribe's
charge-
sheet.173a
Its
placement
in the codex and the difference in the
order of Paul's letters from
that
of the codex
suggest
that it was
included because of an interest in the
stichometry
as a canonical
list. The list
displays
two
judgments
on the contents of the
canon,
the list itself
being
one
judgment,
and the editorial horizontal
lines before
Epistle
of
Barnabas, Shepherd,
Acts of
Paul,
and
Apocalypse
of Peter
another,
which
probably
wished to exclude
these books from the canon. And since the list
appears
between
Philemon and Hebrews in the codex and does not itself contain
Hebrews
(similar
to Canon
Muratori),
its
presence
in the codex
probably expresses
a scribal
protest against
the inclusion of
Hebrews in the codex
among
the letters of Paul.
Thus,
this
stichometry
in Codex Claromontanus
probably
served a
polemical
purpose
within the codex. In this
way
the
presence
of the sticho-
metry
in Codex Claromontanus
may give
some hint as to
why
such
eastern lists
may
have come to be included
among
western ma-
terials. The codex
containing
Canon
Muratori, however,
is other-
wise made
up
of miscellaneous
writings
not related to the
ques-
tion of canon and thus
provides
no information as to the reason
for its inclusion in the codex.
While the location of Canon Muratori offers no information
concerning
the use of such an eastern list in the
west,
the use of
the bits of Canon Muratori in the Monte Cassino
manuscripts
mentioned above
may, however, provide
a clue to the use of this
canon in the west.
They
form
part
of a
prologue
to the text of the
Pauline letters in four
separate
codices. And Harnack has shown
that this
prologue
is
composite
and that an
archetype
of the Mura-
173a According to ZAHN'S description (NT Kanons, II, I57-65),
Hebrews is
separated
from Paul's letters in the codex
by markings following Philemon
and by
the
space
in which the
stichometry
now
appears.
The
stichometry
is not
by
the
same hand as that of the letters of Paul and Hebrews. Thus it would
appear
that
the
stichometry
was introduced into the codex to reinforce what
appears
to have
been a concern of the
original scribe, i.e.,
to
separate
Hebrews from the letters of
Paul.
40 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
torian canon was used
by
the author in
compiling
this
prologue."17
Each of the four codices in which this
prologue
is found contains
fourteen Pauline
letters,
with Hebrews
appearing
as the
last."5
The enumeration of the Pauline letters in the
prologue, however,
is of
only
ten letters in the usual western
order,
but with Philemon
(and
the
Pastorals) missing and, again,
with Hebrews at the
end."1
The
prologue begins
with an introduction to the list of
Paul's letters from the
archetype
of Canon Muratori lines
42-50.
Therein is contained the letters-to-seven-churches statement
(dis-
cussed
above)
which
anticipates
a seven or nine-letter
list.
As
noted,
Philemon is not
included, presumably
because it is not ad-
dressed to a church. But Hebrews is included as the last item in
the list. It
appears
that
Hebrews,
like
Galatians,
is
regarded
as
addressed to a
church,
and the list of letters addressed to churches
is thus
expanded
to ten
(= eight churches).'"
It would
appear,
therefore,
that the author of this
prologue
not
only
intended to
substitute a western
ordering
of Paul's letters for that found in
Canon
Muratori,
but also desired to extend the
aegis
of the Mura-
torian introduction to the Pauline list to a list that included
Hebrews as a Pauline letter. This
suggests
that the author was in-
volved in the
controversy
over the inclusion or noninclusion of
Hebrews
among
Paul's letters. It further
suggests
not
only
that
he favored the inclusion of Hebrews
but,
in thus
appropriating
the
Muratorian introduction to Paul's letters for a list that included
Hebrews,
that he was
deliberately attempting
to alter the
support
of this introduction from a list that did not include Hebrews to a
list that did.
Thus, indirectly
the
prologue
to the Monte Cassino
codices witnesses to the use of the
archetype
of Canon Muratori
against
the inclusion of Hebrews
among
Paul's letters in the west.
Therefore a utilization of the Muratorian list in the west as a
polemic against
the inclusion of Hebrews
among
the letters of
Paul or in the New Testament
canon,
similar to that observed
for the
stichometry
in Codex
Claromontanus, appears probable.
17'
A.
HARNACK, Excerpte
aus
dem
Muratorischen
Fragment (saec.
XI et
XII),
132f.
175
Ibid.,
col.
131.
17. Ibid.,
col.
132,
where the text of the
prologue
is
reproduced.
"17
Cf.
SOUTER,
op.
Cit., I9Of.; CHARTERIS,
op.
Cit., 276 n.
I.
ALBERT C.
SUNDBERG, JR.
41
It would
appear, then,
that when the west was
being pressured by
the east to include Hebrews in the New
Testament, arguments
against
that
pressure
included the utilization of eastern New
Testament lists
(with
salient features
foreign
to the west that
clearly
identified them as
eastern)
that did not include Hebrews.