Sanday, Bampton Lectures for 1893, is confident that the first three gospels took their present shape before the destruction of Jerusalem. Yet he thinks the first and third gospels of composite origin, and probably the second. Not later than 125 A. D. the four gospels of our Canon had gained a recognized and exceptional authority. Andover Professors, Divinity of Jesus Christ, 40 ? ?The oldest of our gospels was written about the year 70. The earlier one, now lost, a great part of which is preserved in Luke and Matthew, was probably written a few years earlier.
(b) The Muratorian Canon in the West and the Peshito Version in the East (having a common date of about 160) in their catalogues of the New Testament writings mutually complement each other?s slight deficiencies, and together witness to the fact that at that time every book of our present New Testament, with the exception of 2 Peter, was received as genuine.
Hovey, Manual of Christian Theology, 50 ? ?The fragment on the Canon, discovered by Muratori in 1738, was probably written about 170
A. D., in Greek. It begins with the last words of a sentence, which must have referred to the Gospel of Mark, and proceeds to speak of the Third Gospel as written by Luke the physician, who did not see the Lord, and then of the Fourth Gospel as written by John, a disciple of the Lord, at the request of his fellow disciples and his elders.? Bacon, N.T. Introduction, 50, gives the Muratorian Canon in full; 30 ? ?Theophilus of Antioch (181-190) is the first to cite a gospel by name, quoting <430101>John 1:1 as from ?John, one of those who were vessels of the Spirit.? On the Muratorian Canon, see Tregelles, Muratorian Canon. On the Peshito Version, see Schaff, Introduction to Rev. Gk.-Eng. N.T., xxxvii; Smith?s Bible Dict., pp. 3388, 3389.
(c) The Canon of Marcion (140), though rejecting all the gospels but that of Luke, and all the epistles but ten of Paul?s, shows, nevertheless, that at that early day ?apostolic writings were regarded as a complete original rule of doctrine.? Even Marcion, moreover, does not deny the genuineness of those writings, which for doctrinal reasons he rejects.
Marcion, the Gnostic, was the enemy of all Judaism, and regarded the God of the O.T. as a restricted divinity, entirely different from the God of the N.T. Marcion was ?ipso Paulo paulinior? ? ?plus loyal que le roi.? He held that Christianity was something entirely new, and that it stood in opposition to all that went before it. His Canon consisted of two parts: the ?Gospel? (Luke, with its text curtailed by omission of the Hebraistic elements) and the Apostolicon (the epistles of Paul). The epistle to Diognetus by an unknown author, and the epistle of Barnabas, shared the
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