triumphal acclamations of all peoples. So Jerome: God rides upon the cherubim, and since there are four cherubim there must be four gospels. All this however is an early attempt at the philosophy of religion, and not an attempt to demonstrate historical fact. L. L Paine, Evolution of Trinitarianism, 319-367, presents the radical view of the authorship of the fourth gospel. He holds that John the apostle died A. D. 70, or soon after, and that Iren«us confounded the two Johns whom Papias so clearly distinguished ? John the Apostle and John the Elder. With Harnack, Paine supposes the gospel to have been written by John the Elder, a contemporary of Papias. But we reply that the testimony of Iren«us implies a long continued previous tradition. H. W. Dale. Living Christ and Four Gospels, 145 ? ?Religious veneration such as that with which Iren«us regarded these books is of slow growth. They must have held a great place in the Church as far back as the memory of living men extended.? See Hastings? Bible Dictionary, 2:695.

(b) Justin Martyr (died 148) speaks of ?memoirs ajpomnhmoneu>mata of Jesus Christ? and his quotations, though sometimes made from memory are evidently cited from our gospels.

To this testimony it is objected:

(1) that Justin Martyr uses the term ?memoirs? instead of gospels.? We reply that he elsewhere uses the term ?gospels? and identifies the ?memoirs? with them: Apol., 1:66 ? ?The apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called gospels,? i.e., not memoirs, but gospels, was the proper title of his written records. In writing his Apology to the heathen Emperors, Marcus Aurelius and Marcus Antoninus, he chooses the term ?memoirs?, or ?memorabilia?, which Xenophon had used as the title of his account of Socrates, simply in order that he may avoid ecclesiastical expressions unfamiliar to his readers and may commend his writing to lovers of classical literature. Notice that Matthew must be added to John, to justify Justin?s repeated statement that there were ?memoirs? of our Lord ?written by apostles,? and that Mark and Luke must be added to justify his further statement that these memoirs were compiled by ?his apostles and those who followed them.? Analogous to Justin?s use of the word ?memoirs? is his use of the term ?Sunday?, instead of Sabbath: Apol. 1:67 ? ?On the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read.? Here is the use of our gospels in public worship, as of equal authority with the O.T. Scriptures; in fact, Justin constantly quotes the words and acts of Jesus? life from a written source, using the word ge>graptai . See Morison, Com. on Matthew, ix; Hemphill, Literature of Second Century, 234.

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment