THE FOUR GOSPELS - A Study of Origins, The Manuscript Tradition, Sources, Authorship, & Dates. By B.H. Streeter, Hon.D.D.Edin. Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford; Canon of Hereford. First published by MacMillan & Co Limited 1924. - Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram 2004.


Chapter XVII


Home | Diagram – synoptic sources | synopsis |
Mark: external evidence | the little apocalypse | the gospel & the apostle |
Matthew: the Antiochene origin of Matthew | evidence of Ignatius | quotations in the didache | the petrine compromise | Antioch & the anti-christ | date of writing | the date of 1 clement | list of mss | (pages 485-528)



external evidence

The language of Irenaeus may imply that both Mark and Luke were written in Rome
—and he was so understood by some of the ancients.
Clement's statement that Mark wrote in Rome may be derived from Irenaeus.
But 2 Timothy and 1 Peter both connect Mark with Rome at about the date of the writing of the Gospel.
The evidence of 1 Peter is of value, even if it be held
(a) that the epistle is not by the Apostle;
(b) that Peter never came to Rome.
The inclusion of this Gospel in the Canon is easier to explain if it was specially connected with Rome.

the Little Apocalypse

The dating of Apocalyptic literature.
Mark i. is a Little Apocalypse, partially made up of authentic sayings of Christ.
The Abomination of Desolation (Mk.i.14), a prophecy that the Anti-Christ (cf. 2 Thess.ii.3 ff.) will appear in the Temple at Jerusalem. Probability that this "Apocalyptic fly-leaf" was composed some years before AD 70, but was slightly modified by Mark when inserting it into the Gospel in the light of the later experiences of Paul, and perhaps also of the Neronian persecution. This fits in with Irenaeus's statement that Mark was written "after the death of Peter and Paul."

the Gospel and the Apostle

Rome as a distributing centre for the earliest Christian literature.
The biographical Gospel an invention of Mark, suggested by Gentile rather than Jewish practice. 
The expectation of the end of the world unfavourable to historical writing.

An interest in recording the past first awakened after the Neronic persecution and the death of the Apostles.

A new suggestion as to the origin of the title "Gospel."

The Gospel of Mark, with Romans, 1 Corinthians, and, perhaps, Ephesians, became the nucleus of the New Testament in its two main divisions.  Historical importance of this body of common literature for preserving the unity of the Church.


the Antiochene origin of Matthew

The tradition that Matthew was written in Palestine a deduction from Papias' statement about the Hebrew λόγια, nevertheless it is evidence that the Gospel came from the East.

The anonymity of the Gospel shows it was written for a definite local Church—the name Matthew a later accretion due to its embodying a document by that Apostle. This Church must have been one of great influence, or the Gospel would not have secured universal acceptance so soon.

Reasons for excluding Rome, Alexandria, Ephesus, Caesarea— and indeed any Church in Palestine. Antioch the only important Church left, and to this there are no objections. Positive considera­tions favouring Antiochene origin.

evidence or Ignatius

Antiochene origin confirmed by an examination of certain passages in Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, which suggest that he not only knew Matthew, but quotes it as "the Gospel."

quotations in the Didache

The Didache a Syrian document, probably not later than AD 100.
Its author knew Matthew, and referred to it as "the Gospel."

the Petrine compromise

The hypothesis of Antiochene origin is borne out by internal evidence afforded by the analysis of sources in Chap.IX.

Many Christian refugees from Jerusalem would come to Antioch about AD 66, bringing with them the Jerusalem tradition we have styled M, about the same time that the first copy of Mark reached Antioch. These documents represented the moderate liberal (Petrine) and the Judaistic (James) party as against the more liberal (Pauline) tendency. Evidence that the Gospel of Matthew represents a careful compromise, based on the idea of Peter as the supreme interpreter of the New Law ("bind and loose").

Such a compromise might well have taken twenty years to reach.

Antioch and the anti-Christ

Reasons for placing Matthew after AD 70.

The effect on Jews and Christians of the shock of the Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

Three different ways in which John, Luke, and Matthew solve the problem of the non-fulfilment of prophecies about the Parousia and the Anti-Christ.

The Didache correctly interprets the "Abomination" in Matthew as the "World-deceiver," i.e. Anti-Christ. The omission by Syr. S. of "standing in the holy place" (Mt.xxiv.15) probably correct: in that case Matthew disconnects the Anti-Christ prophecy from the Temple, making it possible to connect it (as is done in the Apocalypse, etc.) with the "Nero-redivivus myth."

Enhancement of Apocalyptic interest a conspicuous feature of Matthew.
Evidence of this briefly summarised.
This partly accounted for by fact that Antioch was the gate of the East and, therefore, peculiarly exposed to the psychological influence of the popular belief that Nero, alive or to be revived, was about to lead the hosts of Parthia across the Euphrates against Rome.

date of writing

The use of Matthew in the Didache and the probable knowledge of it by the authors of the Fourth Gospel and of the Apocalypse make a date later than AD 85 improbable. Both the relation of Matthew and Mark, and the reconciliation of parties previously discussed, suggest a date twenty years later than Mark.
Thus from two sides the year AD 85 is fixed as the approximate date of writing.




external evidence

Irenaeus had read Papias; but, as his strongest weapon against Gnosticism is his appeal to the open tradition of the Roman Church, and as he had himself resided in Rome, we may reason­ably ascribe to that tradition the additional fact (especially as the addition has no apologetic value) which he adds to Papias' account of Mark—namely, that that Gospel was written after the death of Peter and Paul. Irenaeus does not actually name the place of writing, but he is arguing in the immediate context (quoted page 8) that Mark and Luke wrote with the idea of carrying on the work of Peter and Paul ("preaching and found­ing the church in Rome") presumably in the same part of the world—indeed, the most natural interpretation of his language would be that both Mark and Luke were written in Rome. This would seem to have been the interpretation current at one time in Alexandria; for in Codex Y, 473, and other cursives there are "subscriptions"—obviously in the main dependent on Irenaeus —which profess to be derived from Cosmas Indicopleustes, a retired Alexandrian sea captain, who probably gives the view accepted there by the Church authorities in his time, c. 522.  [The "subscriptions" of 473 (Scriv. 512) are in Scrivener's Introd. to the Criticism of the N.T., 4th ed. i. p. 66, cf. Tischendorf, iii. p. 456; those in Y in W. C. Braithwaite's article, Expository Times, Dec. 1901. They assert, among other things, that Mark was dictated by Peter in Rome, and Luke by Paul in Rome.]

As regards Mark, we have the statement of Clement of Alexandria, c. 200, who says that Mark wrote in Rome in the absence of, but during the lifetime of, Peter.  But as Clement had undoubtedly read Irenaeus, he is not an entirely independent witness.    But there are two pieces of evidence of a much earlier date. 
(1) In an admittedly genuine portion of 2 Timothy (iv.11), written during Paul's last imprisonment, Mark is summoned by the Apostle to Rome. 
(2) The first Epistle of Peter presents us with Peter and Mark as together in Rome. ["She that is in Babylon elect together with you" (1 Peter v.13) can only mean the Church in Rome.  Babylon as a symbolic name of Rome is found in contemporary Jewish writings (cf. Sibylline Oracles, v.143; 2 Baruch xi.1) and occurs six times in the Apocalypse.  If any tradition had existed that Peter visited the Mesopotamian Babylon, the Syriac-speaking Church would have claimed him as a founder.  As a matter of fact they claim Thomas; while the third-century canon of the New Testament, in the Doctrine of Addai, im­plicitly denies the personal presence of Peter and implies the Roman tradition: "The Gospel (i.e. the Diatessaron) and the Epistles of Paul which Simon Kepha sent you from Rome." Cf. R. A. Lipsius, Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten (Braunschweig, 1887), ii. 2, p. 193.]  The authenticity of the Epistle is disputed; but if the Epistle is not by Peter, then these personal details have been added by its author expressly in order to give an air of verisimilitude to the claim of Apostolic authorship; but they would not have furthered that object unless the presence of Peter and Mark in Rome together had been already an accepted belief at the time when the Epistle was written.  If the Epistle was not written by the Apostle himself, it may be as late as, but can hardly be later than, AD 110, for it is quoted by Polycarp, AD 115, more clearly and more often than any other book of the New Testament, so that we may reasonably infer that it was regarded by him as Apostolic.  The belief, then, that Peter and Mark had been together in Rome was current before AD 110.

Some critics have rejected the tradition that the Gospel was written in Rome on the ground that it is merely an inference drawn by some early Christian from the connection of Mark with Peter, and the other tradition (which they also reject) that Peter was martyred in Rome. But, if we suppose that Peter did not die in Rome, how are we to account for the tradition that he did so? Professor Merrill [Op. cit. p. 311 f.]—on the assumption that
(a) Babylon in 1 Pet.v.13 means the Mesopotamian city,
(b) the letter is a genuine work of the Apostle—argues that the belief that Peter visited Rome was an inference first made by Hegesippus c. AD 160, from the mention of Babylon in 1 Peter.
If, how­ever, Babylon in that Epistle does mean Rome (cf. p. 489 n.), then it follows that, either Peter did visit Rome, or the Epistle is not authentic. But if the Epistle is not authentic, then the belief that Peter came to Rome was well established before the Epistle was written, and we must again ask the question, How (supposing it to be untrue) did such a belief arise?

The only answer I can suggest is to say that it arose as an inference—it is not certain that it is a mistaken one—from the epistle of Clement (v.-vi.), which mentions the deaths of Peter and Paul in close connection with the Neronian persecution, and which had a wide and immediate circulation in the East. But if it is a mistaken inference, the prior belief that a Gospel, representing Peter's reminiscences, had emanated from Rome would obviously be a material factor, both in Rome and elsewhere, in bringing about the acceptance of that interpretation of Clement which affirmed that Peter himself had been in Rome—a view which was held by Dionysius of Corinth by AD 170, and possibly even by Ignatius [Cf. the letter of Dionysius quoted Eus. H.E. ii. 25. Ignatius, Rom.iv.3, "I do not enjoin you like Peter and Paul (ὡς Πέτρος καὶ Παῦλος)," supposing this implies the bodily presence of Peter in Rome. Dionysius certainly, Ignatius probably, had read 1 Clement.]. Thus the hypothesis that Mark was written in Rome is a legitimate inference from the tradition that Peter and Mark were together in Rome, if that is historical; or, if that tradition is not historical, then it helps to explain its origin. At any rate, the evidence of 2 Timothy, that Mark was sent for to Rome, just before the date which internal evidence suggests as probably that of the composition of the Gospel, affords sufficient justification—there being not a shadow of evidence to the contrary—for the acceptance as authentic of the undoubtedly very early belief in the Roman origin of the Gospel. Lastly, the inclusion in the Canon of a Gospel containing hardly anything not found in the more popular Gospels of Matthew and Luke (cf. p. 10 f.) is easier to explain if it had some special connection with the important See of Rome.

the little apocalypse

The statement of Irenaeus that the Gospel of Mark was written "after the death of Peter and Paul" fits admirably with what we should infer from a study of the Apocalyptic chapter, Mark i.

Apocalyptic is a type of literature that has a long history in Jewish religion.
It has certain conventions of its own.
One of these is the practice of ascribing the authorship of a writing and the visions and prophecies it contains, not to the real author, but to some great prophet or hero of olden time; another, almost as persistent, is the incorporation and reaffirmation of previous prophecies, with such modifications as will bring out what the later author believes to have been their original meaning. And he always supposes these to have been written with reference to the events of his own time, not that of the original writer, and to foretell the Great Deliverance which he anticipates as near at hand. This fact often makes it possible to determine the date of an Apocalypse by its references (usually symbolic) to well-known historical events.

The first two verses of Mark i probably belong to the same cycle of tradition as the rest of the Gospel. But the remainder of the chapter reads as if it were a "little Apocalypse," attri­buted (in accordance with the above-mentioned convention of Apocalyptic writers) to some great one of the past—in this case to Jesus himself—and incorporating as usual a certain amount of older material which in this case consisted largely of actual sayings of Christ. Mark i is thus really a mixture of early Christian Apocalyptic expectations and genuine utterances of our Lord; but it was, of course, incorporated by Mark in his Gospel in the belief that it was wholly authentic. Until quite recently com­mentators and critics (myself among them) [Oxford Studies, p. 182.] interpreted the passage about the Abomination of Desolation (Mk.i.14) as a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, and therefore supposed the Gospel must be subsequent to that date. That idea has been exploded by the researches of Bousset and others into the origin and prevalence of the "Anti-Christ" legend. It is now recognised that the Greek text (i.14) which gives a masculine participle ἑστηκότα agreeing with the neuter noun βδέλυγμα is not, as would appear at first sight, an atrocious grammatical blunder, but is intentional. It is comparable to the use in the Fourth Gospel of the masculine ἐκεῖνος (Jn.xvi.13)—or the relative ὃν, א c L X Chrys., (Jn.xiv.26)—when speaking of the Holy Spirit in order to emphasise the fact that the writer regards the neuter substantive as the name of a person, not a thing. It is definitely intended to make it clear that the author interprets the neuter word βδέλυγμα, "abomination," in the prophecy of Daniel (Dan..11) as a title of a personal Anti-Christ. Modern critics, doubtless correctly, suppose that the passage in Daniel has reference to the desecration of the Temple at Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes, which provoked the Maccabean revolt in 167 BC.
But neither Mark nor the author of this chapter was versed in the methods of the Higher Criticism, and the meaning they were likely to attach to Daniel must be ascertained by studying the ideas of their age, not ours.
To them Daniel was a prophet and was supposed to have written centuries before Antiochus; and the Abomination of Desolation was a mysterious horror, which an inspired prophet had foretold as destined to appear 1290 days before the coming of the Messianic Kingdom.
The Apocalyptist who wrote chapter i
was convinced that he had found the true interpretation of Daniel.
The mysterious horror was no other than the Anti-Christ. 
And, as in 2 Thess.ii.3-10, the Anti-Christ is expected to set himself up as supreme in the Temple of Jerusalem until the real Christ appears from heaven to destroy him and all his works.

But if, when Mark wrote,
the Anti-Christ was expected to appear in the Temple at Jerusalem,
the presumption is that the Temple was still standing. 
Since the same expectation is to be found in 2 Thessalonians,
written about AD 52,
we have conclusive evidence
that the belief was current among Christians
at least a dozen years before Nero's persecution.
It would seem, then, that the Apocalypse of Mk.i,
so far from proving, as was once thought,
that the Gospel was written after the destruc­tion of Jerusalem in AD 70,
is more naturally explicable if it was written before that event.
Indeed, the Little Apocalypse may well have been composed some years before Mark wrote; and I would venture the suggestion that it, or something very like it, was known to Paul, and was accepted by him too as an authentic utterance of Jesus.
That at any rate would explain the teaching about the Man of Sin in 2 Thessalonians.
This ex­pectation of an Anti-Christ is not at all the kind of thing which a mind like Paul's would have spontaneously introduced into Christian teaching; for it was precisely the original and creative element in Paul's thought which, as time went on, drove him to make less and less of Apocalyptic.

But even if the Little Apocalypse was already a document of some age and authority, it would have been contrary to the editorial methods of the time had Mark incorporated it in his Gospel without adding some minor touches to emphasise its appropriateness to the contemporary situation. The convenient modern devices of explanatory footnotes, inverted commas, different forms of type, etc., had not been invented; and the ancient historian could not without clumsy circumlocution dis­tinguish between the actual text of an authority and his own interpretation. An age that enjoys these facilities properly demands that they shall be scrupulously used, but it ought not to condemn the literary conscience of an age in which they were unknown. But while we have no right to condemn ancient writers for conforming to the usage of their time, we must always, in framing historical conclusions, be on the look-out to make adequate allowance for the difference between their methods and our own.

Now if we compare Lk.xxi.20-24 with Mk.i.14-20, we see how Luke has not scrupled to modify the phraseology of the Abomination of Desolation passage so as to make quite clear (what he, of course, with his presuppositions believed to be the true explanation) that the words were really intended to be a prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem—an event which must, then, have taken place in the interval between the publication of Mark's Gospel and the time at which he was himself writing.

It is probable that Mark, in his turn, had introduced similar modifications in reproducing the text that stood in the original Apocalypse, especially in the section i.9-13. Much of this chapter (e.g. 7-8, 24-27) is part of the commonplace of Apocalyptic tradition.
But the phrase

ye shall stand before governors and kings for my name's sake

is so suggestive of the experience of Paul; the idea of "witness," resulting from this, so resembles what Paul himself (2 Tim.iv.17) regards as having been the divine intention in overruling the circumstances of his preliminary trial, and verses 12 and 13 might so well be an allusion to the Neronian persecution, that one suspects that Mark has retouched the older source to some extent. [The rebellion of children against their parents appears Micah vii.6. In Lk..53 the emphasis is rather on divisions resulting from some members of a family accepting, others rejecting, Christ. Mt.x.34-36 looks like a conflation of Lk..49-53 (i.e. Q) with the passage in Micah.  Mk.i.12 f. reads like a parallel version of the Q saying, slightly modified by a recollection of the delation by the Christians first arrested of further victims and the accusation of odium humani generis, which Tacitus mentions Ann. xv. 14.]  If so, the traditional date, after the death of Peter and Paul, is subtly reflected in the text in the phrases just quoted.

the gospel and the apostle

Rome was the most convenient "distributing centre" for the civilised world.
The Christian mate of an Alexandrian grain ship, or the confidential freedman of some Antiochene merchant at Rome on his master's business, would hear a reading from the new Gospel at some Sunday gathering. At once he would take steps to acquire a copy of such a treasure to take back to his fellow-Christians at home. But I doubt whether things would have been thus left to chance. The whole Church at this epoch was passionately missionary in character; and it is very likely that the leaders of the Roman Church themselves took measures, and that without delay, to share their treasures, Epistles as well as Gospel, with the other churches—and that is how Mark came to be a source drawn upon by the authors of the other Gospels.

An interval of something like thirty-five years seems to have elapsed between the Crucifixion and the publication of what, so far as we know, was the earliest Life of Christ. That the Church should have been content to wait so long for a thing that seems to us a sine qua non of Christian teaching is a fact that calls for explanation. The question is one to which inadequate attention has been given. Indeed, there are scholars who go out of their way to make it more acute by trying to drag down the date of this Gospel to the latest possible date. These do not perceive that to the historian the real problem is how to explain the lateness of the date to which the Church tradition assigns its official Lives of the Founder; and not only that, but also to account for the naive and primitive character of the representa­tion of Christ embodied in Mark, assuming it to have been written after many years of the development of cultus and theological speculation of the kind presupposed in the Epistles of Paul.
Ecclesiastically, even if it is assigned to AD 65,
the Gospel of Mark was already ten years out of date, so to speak,
at the time that it was written.
Its naivete and primitive characteristics can only be explained by the dependence of its author on early and unsophisticated tradition. But there are two reasons which, taken together, are perhaps sufficient to account for the late date of the appearance of the earliest Life of Christ.

(1) The first disciples were brought up in Jewish habits.
Jewish religious tradition,
while treasuring with the utmost care the words of a great teacher,
was strangely indifferent to the biographical interest.
No "Life" of any Prophet or Rabbi has been preserved.
The Greeks and Romans, on the other hand, were intensely interested in biography—particularly so at this period, witness the names of Plutarch, Suetonius, and Tacitus. This striking contrast will partly explain why the earliest Life of Christ was written in a Gentile Church, and also why the writing of it was postponed until the great leaders who were dominated by Jewish tradition had passed away. [Burkitt has called attention to the originality of Mark as the inventor of the biography type of Gospel, Earliest Sources of the Life, of Jesus,2 p. 128 (Constable, 1922). See also my remarks, Oxford Studies, p. 216 f.]

(2) The primitive Church lived in daily expectation of that visible return of Christ that would bring the present world order to an end. They believed that their utmost efforts should be directed towards bringing the knowledge of a few central truths to as many as possible before it was too late and repentance would be fruitless since the Judgement had begun. At a time when any day might be the last day, it would have seemed absurd to compile history for the benefit of a posterity that would never be born. But as the years passed by it was inevitable, human nature being what it is, that the past and the remoter future should both reassume their normal importance. Theoretically Christians still thought the End at hand.
Practically it interested them less.
But when a change in the focus of interest is taking place in the subconscious mind, it usually needs some kind of shock to bring about such conscious realisation of the change as will lead to definite action.
Such a shock came to the Roman Church with the Neronian persecution.
Catastrophe and tribulation,
as a prelude to the supernatural Messianic deliverance,
was part of the Apocalyptic expectation
which the Church had inherited from Judaism.
Catastrophe and tribulation of an unheard-of character had supervened,
but the End had not.
And the great leaders of the first generation,
the only two Apostles whom the Gentile world had ever really known,
had passed away.
For the first time since the Day of Pentecost a Christian community,
instead of concentrating its gaze wholly upon the future,
finds it necessary to look backward.
The Church of Rome becomes interested in history;
it demands at least a record of the Founder's life.

The Gospel of Mark is the response to that demand.
The story told by Clement of Alexandria (ap. Eus. H.E. vi.14), how the Roman Christians besought Mark, as the disciple of Peter, to pro­duce such an account, may be only a conjecture. But since Mark seems to have been in Rome about this time (2 Tim.iv.11), it is exactly what we should have expected to occur, though we need not, like Clement, suppose that everything in Mark's Gospel was derived from Peter. Once a Gospel like that of Mark had been composed, its utility and interest—more than that, its indispensability—would have been obvious to all. Christians would have wondered, just as we today wonder, how the churches had managed to get along at all without some such work. Every­where, throughout the Empire, a Life of Christ by a disciple of Peter would have been hailed as the satisfaction of what had been for long a half-conscious need.

The worldwide circulation of Mark affords an easy and natural explanation of what, from the purely linguistic point of view, is the rather curious usage by which the word "Gospel" became the technical name for a biography of Christ. The Greek word evangelion means simply "good news," and in the New Testament it is always used in its original sense of the good news of the Christian message. Commentators have tried elaborately to trace a gradual evolution in the meaning of the word until it acquired this new usage.
No such gradual evolution is necessary, or even probable.
Among the Jews it was a regular practice to refer to books,
or sections of books,
by a striking word that occurred in the opening sentence.
That is how Genesis and Exodus derived the titles
by which they are known in the Hebrew Bible,
i.e. "In the Beginning" and "(these are the) Names."
As soon as portions of Mark were read in the services of the Church
—and that would be at once
—it would be necessary to have a name
to distinguish this reading from that of an Old Testament book.
Mark opens with the words ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,
"The beginning of the Gospel."
ἀρχὴ would be too like the Hebrew name for Genesis,
so εὐαγγέλιον (nom.) would be an obvious title.
When, fifteen or twenty years later,
other Lives of Christ came into existence,
this use of "Gospel" as a title would be an old-established custom and would be applied to them also.
Then it would become necessary to dis­tinguish these "Gospels" from one another
—hence the usage τὸ εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Μάρκον, κατὰ Λουκᾶν,
the Gospel according to Mark, to Luke, etc.

There is a problem in early Church history, which few historians have frankly faced, and which those who have tried to date the books of the New Testament in an unreal abstraction from their environment in history have strangely felt themselves absolved from even raising. How are we to account for that broad general consensus on the main lines of belief and practice to be found, amid much local diversity, throughout the loose federation of communities known as the Catholic Church that appears all over the Roman Empire by the end of the second century?

Consider the weakness of the Christian position, once the generation contemporary with the Apostles had passed away, and when Jerusalem, the natural local centre, was destroyed.
What common basis of unity was there? What was there to point out some one common guiding and controlling principle or line of development?
There was the Old Testament.
That was for many purposes of unique value, but it gave little clear guidance towards the solution of the really burning problems of the early Church.
Was the Law of Moses binding on Christians,
and, if not, why not?
Was Christ a merely human Messiah exalted to the right hand of God,
or was He the pre-existent Son of God incarnate?
Was the body of Christ real human flesh and blood,
or formed of some divine impassible material?
Did Christ really suffer and die upon the Cross,
or was this merely semblance?
Does the Church teach the immortality of the soul alone,
or the resurrection of the body also,
and, if so, in what sense?
These were the questions that agitated the Christian communities scattered over the Roman world; these were the points on which heresies and schisms arose. For their solution the Churches were compelled to turn, not to the Old Testament, but Mark, Romans, and 1 Corinthians.
[I am inclined to think Ephesians also was included in the earliest Corpus Paulinum; it has probably influenced Clement and Hermas, and certainly the other Apostolic Fathers; if intended as a "circular letter," a copy would have been kept for use in Rome. There are possible traces of Philippians in Clement. On the development of Pauline canon see p. 526 f.] 
Incidentally 1 Corinthians, with its account of the Resurrection Appearances, made up for the most striking lack in Mark. So diverse and conflicting were the influences operating in different parts of the Roman world that, had the Church possessed no other literature than the Old Testament to provide a common standard of practice and belief, no kind of union could have been maintained. It was the acceptance by the leading Churches at an early date of an authoritative Life of Christ, interpreted in the light of the great Epistles of Paul that made it possible for some kind of unity in the direction of doctrinal development to be preserved.

Thus at once, from sheer necessity, the "Gospel and the Apostle," the legacy of Peter and of Paul, became the rudder of the Church. Later on, the Gospel becomes a fourfold one, and the collection of Apostolic writings expands; but the nucleus of the New Testament in both its great divisions is there before the catastrophe of AD 70.


the Antiochene origin of Matthew

The Patristic evidence that Matthew was written in Palestine in Hebrew is impressive—until we reflect that all the Fathers had read the statement of Irenaeus, quoted p. 8 (either in the original or as reproduced by Eusebius), and that Irenaeus him­self had read Papias' dictum on τὰ λόγια.  Thus the tradition can be traced back to a single root; and, quite apart from the correctness of our interpretation of Papias, it cannot be authentic, for our Gospel of Matthew being based on the Greek Mark cannot be a translation from the Aramaic. At the same time the evidence of Irenaeus and Papias has a negative value. It proves that Matthew was not produced either in Rome or in Asia Minor, but was believed to have originally come from the East.

We can be sure, however, that Matthew originated in an important Church for the simple reason that, apart from the title, which, of course, forms no part of the original text, it is anonymous.
The significance of this anonymity is apt to be overlooked.
The Apocryphal Gospels all try to claim authority by definite and often reiterated assertions of Apostolic author­ship in the text itself. The spurious Gospel of Peter (2nd century AD), for instance, goes out of its way to introduce "I, Simon Peter," just before the account of the Resurrection.
Matthew is anonymous;
it makes no claim to authority,
gives no hint of authorship.
Now a poem or a pamphlet may lose little by being anonymous—sometimes, indeed, it may gain in effect; but a record of events, many of them of a marvellous description, purporting to give an authentic account of one whose deeds, words, and divine nature were a matter of acute contro­versy, would carry no weight at all if by an unknown author.
In a work of this kind, therefore, anonymity implies that it was originally compiled for the use of some particular church which accepted it at once as a reliable authority, simply because it knew and had confidence in the person or committee who pro­duced it. It is improbable that in the first instance direct Apostolic authorship was ascribed to the First Gospel. But the substitution of the name Matthew for the Levi of Mark (Mt.viii.9)—confirmed by the back reference "Matthew the publican" (x.3)—makes him the one apostle, besides the two pairs of brothers, of whom any incident is recorded. This forcible effort to make Matthew prominent in the story is most naturally explained, if the author of the Gospel knew one of his sources to be the work of that Apostle. If, however, the Gospel incorporated a document that was popularly ascribed to Matthew (I suggest Q), the book as a whole would soon come to be regarded as his in the Church for which it was first written.

But the Gospel would not have been generally accepted as Apostolic unless it had been backed by one of the great Churches; for the Canon of the Gospels was fixed in the second century for the express purpose of excluding Gnostic Gospels which, like that of Peter, not only were ascribed by certain persons to Apostles, but affirmed the claim in their text.
People often talk as if the early Church accepted with avidity any and every book as Apostolic.
The evidence points the other way.
The Church in the second century had taken fright;
and the primary purpose of the Canon was to exclude.
It took centuries for 2 Peter and James, documents of considerable antiquity and un­impeachable orthodoxy, to be generally received, and even the backing of Alexandria could not induce Rome to accept Hebrews as Pauline till the time of Athanasius. That the Church accepted as Apostolic certain writings which in point of fact were not so, is undoubted—the Gospel we are discussing is an instance. But we quite misconceive its attitude unless we recognise that the production by the Gnostics of a quantity of literature claim­ing Apostolic authorship made the Churches, especially the Church of Rome, almost as suspicious of such a claim as a modern critic—though the test of authenticity applied was not the same.

For the determination of Apostolic Doctrine the Church appealed against the Gnostics to the open tradition of the Apostolic Sees; similarly for the determination of the genuineness of writings reputed Apostolic it appealed to the same tradition. The tradition of either Antioch, Ephesus, or Rome would be a suffi­cient guarantee of Apostolic authorship—but it is doubtful whether anything less than that would have sufficed.

Some very important Church, then, must have vouched for Matthew, as Apostolic.
But which Church could this be?
Of the greater Churches all but Antioch are excluded.
Rome and Ephesus have been already ruled out.
Alexandria is an impossible city in which to place the most Judaistic of the Gospels; Barnabas, the only certainly Alexandrian writing we possess of early date, is violently anti-Jewish in feeling; and all we know of the early history of that Church shows that its sympathies were, if anything, in the Gnostic direction.
Some scholars have suggested Caesarea.
But we have only to look at the map to see that the official Gospel of a Church which was the port of entry of Samaria was not very likely to have contained the command, "Enter not into any city of the Samaritans," for its author had no scruples in omitting anything likely to cause apologetic difficulty. Besides, as we have seen already, Caesarea is clearly marked out as the home of the specifically Lucan tradition.

There is a further consideration, which seems to me to rule out, not only Caesarea, but any Church in Palestine. [Burkitt points out (J.T.S., July 1913, p. 545) that the use of the verb ἐπιφώσκειν, Mt.xxviii.1, implies the Gentile mode of reckoning time, and suggests Antioch.] The narratives peculiar to Matthew are of quite a different character from those peculiar to Luke. Leaving out of account for the moment the Infancy, the only story peculiar to Matthew, which stands, so to speak, "on its own legs" is the Stater in the Fish's Mouth. The rest are all, in a way, parasitic; they stand to Mark as the mistletoe to the oak. The story of Peter walking on the water, for example, is an expansion of the Marcan story of Christ walking on the water, and implies the previous existence of the Marcan story.  Matthew's additions to the Passion story are similarly of the nature of embellishments of the Marcan account, which presuppose Mark as their basis.  It is noteworthy that not a single one of them looks like a 'genuine historical tradition; while some of them are clearly legendary, e.g. [Mt.xxvii.51-53, 24-25.] the temporary resurrection of saints in Jerusalem at the time of the Rending of the Veil, or Pilate's washing his hands before the multi­tude—an action as probable in a Roman governor as in a British civil servant in India.  The commonest device of the preacher or Sunday-School teacher who wishes to bring an incident of Scripture vividly before the minds of his audience is to retell the story with little additions derived from his own imaginative reconstruction of the scene.  This kind of thing was familiar to the Rabbis in the popular exposition of the Old Testament, so much so that it has a technical name,"Haggada."  The additions, which Matthew makes to Mark's story of the Passion, are pre­cisely analogous to the Rabbinic Haggada of Old Testament stories.  It is improbable that the editor of Matthew made them up himself; rather they represent the "happy thoughts" of a long series of preachers and teachers.  Those, which happened to 'catch on', would be remembered; in the course of time their "Haggadic" origins would be forgotten and they would be accepted as authentic traditions.  But if this is so, Mark must have been known in the Church where Matthew wrote long enough to have become an established authority—a document which teachers and preachers expounded by methods familiar in the exposition of Scripture.  Incidentally I may remark that this compels us to suppose a considerable interval of time between the composition of Mark and Matthew.  Ten years seems an absolute minimum, and twenty would be none too many.

But, if the origin of Matthew must be sought in an important Church outside Palestine, Antioch is the only one left.  And to the view that Matthew was written there, there are no objections. Antioch must have had a Gospel, and the guarantee by a Church of that importance is the best explanation of an anonymous work being accepted as indubitably Apostolic by Rome and the other Churches. Again, an Antiochene origin would account for the extraordinary interest shown by its author in the doings and in the primacy of Peter, who is far more prominent in this Gospel than in Mark, although that was written by his own disciple. Antioch follows Peter and stands for the via media between the Judaistic intolerance of those who called James master and the all but antinomian liberty claimed by some of the followers of Paul. Lastly, in the Church of Antioch, a city with an enor­mous Jewish population, we seem to have just the atmosphere of the Gospel of Matthew, which, though frankly recognising that Christianity is for all nations, is yet saturated with Jewish feeling, preserves so many sayings of a particularist Jewish Christian character, and altogether is less touched by the spirit of Paul than any other book in the New Testament. For Matthew Christianity is the "new Law."

One infinitesimal point in favour of an Antiochene origin may be added:
the stater varied in weight and value in different districts. 
The commentators say that only in Antioch and Damascus did the official stater exactly equal two didrachmae, as is implied in Mt.xvii.24-27. 
The story itself reads like an adaptation of a popular folk story, of which one version appears as the Ring of Polycrates [Herodotus, bk. iii. 41-42.]; and it solves a problem which the Jew of the Dispersion in a city like Antioch must, when converted to Christianity, face, whether or no he should continue to pay the annual levy of the Temple Tax.

evidence of Ignatius

The conjecture that Matthew is the Gospel of the Church of Antioch is borne out by the use made of it in the epistles of Ignatius, Bishop of that city (c. 115). Ignatius has a couple of possible allusions to Luke, but they are very uncertain.  He has some rather remarkable points of contact with John; but even if these are quotations, he quotes John rarely, and refrains from doing so in certain doctrinal arguments where we should have expected it if he regarded the Fourth Gospel as an authority. But in his seven short letters there are about fifteen passages that look like reminiscences of Matthew.

Sometimes the language of Ignatius recalls sayings that occur in Mark or Luke, as well as Matthew; but in these cases his wording is usually nearer to Matthew's version. [For complete list of parallels cf. The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, by a Committee of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology (Clarendon Press, 1905). N.B. esp. φυτεία πατρός Trall.ii.1; Philad.iii.1; cf. Mt.xv.13.]  Six of the clearest reminiscences are of passages peculiar to Matthew— two of them being passages which critics unanimously attribute to the editor of Matthew rather than to his sources, e.g.

being baptized by John
in order that all righteousness might be ful­filled in him

(Ignat.Smyrn.i.1; cf. Mt.iii.15);
bear all men as the Lord does thee ...
bear the sicknesses of all

(Polyc.i.2-3; cf. Mt.viii.17).

Other passages are significant, less from the fact that they are reminiscences than from the manner of the reminiscence.

Be thou wise in all ways as a serpent,
and at all times harmless as a dove

(Polyc.ii.2; cf. Mt.x.16);
For if the prayer of one and a second has such avail
(Eph.v.2 = Mt.xviii.19-20).

The point of allusions in this style consists precisely in the fact that, while recalling, they slightly modify, the original wording of a well-known saying to adapt it to the reader's situation. They would have been point­less unless that original wording was to be found in a book already accepted as a classic, a knowledge of which the writer could take for granted in his readers.

Ignatius, again, is the only one of the Apostolic Fathers who refers to the Virgin Birth—and he does so several times and lays stress on its importance (Eph.xviii.2, xix.1; Smyrn.i.1; Trall.ix.1). Now Matthew has a great deal to say about the virginity of Mary; but in Luke (cf. p. 267 f.) it is extraordinarily little emphasised. Specially significant is the passage in which Ignatius congratulates the Christians of Smyrna on their ortho­doxy in that they are

fully persuaded as touching our Lord
that He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh,
but Son of God of the Divine Will,
truly born of a virgin
and baptized by John
that all righteousness might be fulfilled in him

(Smyrn. 1).

Here three points characteristic of Matthew come together— Davidic descent, virgin birth, baptism to "fulfil all righteous­ness," of which the last is only found in Matthew, while Matthew opens his Gospel with the words,

The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham,

in contrast to Luke who lays no special stress on David.

Lastly, Ignatius frequently speaks of "the Gospel" as if this were the name of a book. Certain heretics, he tells us, say

ἐὰν μὴ ἐν τοῖς ἀρχείοις [v.l. ἀρχαίοις] εὕρων, εὐαγγελίῳ οὐ πιστεύω  (Philad.viii.2):

If I find it not in the archives (v.l. ancient writings)
I believe it not in the Gospel.

Evidently "the Gospel" is the title of a book, the authority of which they are not prepared to put on the same level as the ancient Scriptures. Just before this, the triad, "the Gospel," "the apostles," and "the prophets" are put side by side in a way which makes the best sense if these are read as titles of sacred books (Philad.v.1-2). Lightfoot and Harnack, influenced by the a priori notion that this use of the word Gospel must have been a gradual develop­ment and is therefore improbable at this date, say that the usage here is transitional.  But this whittling away of the natural meaning of the passages is quite unnecessary.  If the use of the term "Gospel" to denote a Life of Christ originated (as suggested p. 497 f.), owing to the occurrence of the word "Gospel" in the opening verse of Mark, out of the Jewish practice of using the first striking word of a book as its title, no period of develop­ment is required.  At once, from the earliest time, Mark would have been spoken of as "the Gospel."  When Matthew was written, the author or committee of authors who produced it aimed at producing a new and enlarged edition of Mark, that is to say, Matthew was intended to supersede Mark; and in the Church of its origin it no doubt did so for a time, though later on Mark would be reintroduced as part of the Four Gospel Canon accepted by the whole Church. Hence as soon as Matthew was published the title "the Gospel" (see also p. 559 n.) would naturally be transferred to it from Mark.

The real significance, then, of the use of the term "the Gospel" in Ignatius is that it probably implies that at Antioch in his day there was as yet only one Gospel recognised as "the Gospel" by the Church—a state of things which still existed among Aramaic - speaking Christians in Jerome's time. And since, whether or no Ignatius had glanced through other Gospels, Matthew is certainly the one he knew best, it is a reasonable inference that when he speaks of the Gospel he means Matthew.

quotations in the Didache

The Didache presents a number of difficult problems, and these have been made more difficult owing to the fact that certain distinguished scholars have allowed themselves the luxury of proposing what I can only call "fancy solutions." [The student will find a fair and well-judged statement of the facts in Hastings' Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, art. Didache. Prof. Turner dates it AD 80-100 (Studies in Early Church History, Oxford, 1912, p. 31); and (p. 8 n.) suggests that Ignatius knew it. To his parallels I would add Mag. v. 1 (the Two Ways). Does ἀποστόλοις (Philad. v. 1) = Paul's epistles + Didache?] 
For the purposes of what follows I shall assume as reasonably certain
(a) that it arose somewhere in Syria or Palestine;
(b) that, apart from certain (probable) interpolations, it is not later than AD 100.

The author of the Didache seems not only to have read Matthew,
but also, like Ignatius, to refer to it under the title of "The Gospel."
But one passage looks as if, alongside of the official Gospel, there still existed an oral tradition of sayings of our Lord, perhaps derived from recollections of Q.

For the purpose of our study there are certain passages the text of which is not sufficiently certain to bear the weight of an important conclusion,
(a) The section i. 2-iii. 1 is omitted in the Latin version as well as in the related documents Barnabas and the Apostolic Church Order, and is probably a very early interpolation.
(b) The same may be true of the Matthean saying,

Give not what is holy to the dogs (Did. ix. 5),

since it does not occur in the parallel section of the Apostolic Constitu­tions which incorporates the Didache almost entire,
(c) The command to baptize

in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

which occurs in Matthew only in the New Testament, is a point of contact between the Didache and that Gospel; but in view of the importance attached in later times to baptism in the name of the Trinity, we may be pretty sure that, even if the original author of the Didache had written something different, later scribes would have substituted the orthodox formula. Obviously, then, the passage cannot be quoted as evidence that the author had read Matthew.

There remain, however, certain reminiscences or allusions to texts in Matthew that are so deeply embedded in the argument of their context in the Didache that they cannot be suspected of being later interpolations.

(1) Did. viii. 1 f.,

And let not your fastings be with the hypocrites,
for they fast on the second and third day of the week;
but do ye keep your fast on the fourth and on the Friday (παρασκευή).
Neither pray ye as the hypocrites,
but as the Lord commanded in his Gospel thus pray ye:
Our Father,
etc. (the Lord's Prayer practically as in Matthew).

The relation of this passage to is clear.
It is an interpretation according to the letter, but in flagrant discord with the spirit, of the Sermon on the Mount. Such interpretations only arise where there is a letter to misinterpret, and would compel us to assume that the words stood in some recognised official document, even if the author did not expressly quote them as from "his (i.e. the Lord's) Gospel."

(2) Did. xi. 3-4,

But concerning the apostles and prophets,
so do ye according to the ordinances of the Gospel.
Let every apostle, when he cometh to you, be received as the Lord.

Here "the Gospel" is referred to as containing an ordinance concerning the reception of touring "apostles."  It is difficult not to see here a direct allusion to the Address to Apostles about to go on a Mission Tour (Mt.x.), and in the words "Let every apostle coming to you be received as the Lord" a particular reference to Mt.x.40,

He that receiveth you receiveth me,
and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

(3) Did. xi. 7,

And every prophet speaking in the Spirit
ye shall not try nor judge;
for every sin shall be forgiven,
but this sin shall not be forgiven.

The saying referred to occurs in all three Synoptists; but the application of it in the Didache implies knowledge of it in a context like that in Matthew or Mark rather than as in Luke. The wording agrees with Matthew against Mark; and this agreement is unusually significant because, as a glance at a synopsis of the Gospels will show, the wording in Matthew (.31f.) is determined by the fact that he is conflating Mark (iii.28-29) with Q (Lk..10), so that this precise wording is individual to Matthew, since no two people would independently hit upon the same way of conflating two parallel sources.

(4) Did. i. 1,

Every true prophet desiring to settle amongst you is worthy of his food.
In like manner a true teacher is also worthy, like the labourer, of his food.

The way in which the saying "The labourer is worthy of his food" is referred to implies that it was familiar in its application to Christian missionaries, i.e. as it appears in Mt.x.10. In Luke's version, though the context is similar, the word "hire" is substituted for "food"; and there is the same substitution in 1 Tim.v.18.

(5) Did. xiv. 2,

Let no man having his dispute with his fellow join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled.

There is a significant relation between "that your sacrifice may not be defiled" and

leave there thy gift before the altar (Mt.v.24);

the reference in Matthew to the Jewish sacrifices has been spiritualised to refer to the Christian Eucharist. But such a reference implies that the Didache is related to a saying like that in Matthew as commentary to text; it must therefore have stood in some document regarded as authoritative by readers of the Didache.

(6) Did. xv. 3,

And reprove (ἐλέγχετε) one another,
not in anger but in peace,
as ye find in the Gospel

—an express reference to "the Gospel" for further instructions in regard to procedure, i.e. to ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν κυλ. (Mt.xviii.15 ff). The author continues,

But your prayer and your almsgiving (cf.
and all your deeds,
so do ye as ye find in the Gospel of our Lord

With this reiterated reference to "the Gospel" he concludes his general instructions. It is as if he said, "The present work is intended merely as an introduction to Christian practice; for a full treatment you must refer to the Gospel, especially the Sermon on the Mount."

(7) Did. xvi. The book ends with an Apocalyptic passage— obviously based on Matthew:

Be watchful for your life;
let not your lamps go out
and your loins be ungirded (Lk..35),
but be ye ready;
for ye know not the hour in which
our Lord cometh (Mt.xxiv.42, 44).
And ye shall gather yourselves together frequently,
seeking what is fitting for your souls;
for the whole time of your faith shall not profit you,
if ye be not perfected at the last season.

For in the last days the false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied,
and the sheep shall be turned into wolves,
and love shall be turned into hate
(Mt.xxiv.11 f., 24).
For as ἀνομία, increaseth,
they shall hate one another (Mt.xxiv.10,12)
and shall persecute and deliver up.
And then the World-deceiver shall appear as a Son of God,
and shall work signs and wonders (Mt.xxiv.30; Mt.xxiv.24),
and the earth shall be delivered into his hands;
and he shall do unholy things,
which have never been (Mt.xxiv.21) since the world began.
Then all created mankind shall come to the fire of testing,
and many shall be offended and perish;
but they that endure in their faith
shall be saved
(Mt.xxiv.13) by the Curse Himself.
And then shall the signs of the Truth appear
first a sign of a rift in the heaven,
then a sign of a voice of a trumpet
and thirdly a resurrection of the dead;
yet not of all, but as it was said
"The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him."
Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven

Passages of which the reference number is underlined occur only in Matthew.

In the foregoing parallels there is one passage, and one only, which is closer to Luke than to Matthew, "and your loins," etc. (cf. Lk..35). But Lk..35-38 is a passage, which on other grounds we assigned to Q (p. 279), accounting for its omission by Matthew by the fact that its moral, and even some of its language, occurs in a more striking form in the parable of the Virgins. If our hypothesis that Q was the original gospel of the Church of Antioch is correct, and if the Didache was composed in Syria, for some years after Matthew was written certain sayings would still be remembered in their Q form. A work like the Didache would certainly be composed by senior members of the Church in whose recollection turns of phrase in the older document would be likely to be deeply embedded, and all the quotations in the Didache are clearly made from memory. [The section Did. i. 2-iii. 1 presents close parallels with both Mt.v.39-47 and If not an interpolation, this also is best explained as a conflation of Matthew and Q, since (p. 249 ff.) Luke is here nearer to Q. than Matthew.]

To sum up.
Both Ignatius and the Didache, the earliest Syrian documents we possess, habitually speak of "the Gospel" as if it was the name of a book having a certain authority; also whenever the same sayings occur in Matthew and in either of these, their versions are always secondary. They stand to Matthew as the preacher to his text.

the Petrine compromise

I proceed now to show that the hypothesis of an Antiochene origin illuminates the facts, which were revealed by our critical analysis of the sources of the Gospel, and certain features in the author's presentation of the Apocalyptic hope.

The growing hatred of Rome, which led to the Jewish revolt of 64, was accompanied by a revival of religious fanaticism. Naturally, nationalism and religion were the same thing to the Jew. Hitherto the Palestinian Christians, who zealously ob­served the Law of Moses and worshipped in the Temple, of whom James "the Just," the brother of the Lord, was the leader, had been tolerated.  But in the year 62 James was massacred by the mob.  And in obedience, we are told by Eusebius, to an oracle, most of the Jerusalem Christians fled across the Jordan to Pella before the Roman armies began the actual siege.
During the first persecution of Christians in Jerusalem
—that which followed the death of Stephen
—some had fled to Antioch;
and it was they (Acts xi.19 f.) who founded the Church there. 
What more natural than that some of the refugees from this far worse persecution should make their escape to the same Church
—a Church which had always
(as for instance in the great famine of 46 foretold by Agabus (Acts xi.28))
shown such practical sympathy with fellow-Christians in Jerusalem?

As so often in history,
the refugees would bring with them the books they valued most. 
If there were already in use in the Jerusalem Church written summaries of our Lord's teaching, these would be among them.  If, as is not impossible, Jerusalem had been still content with collections of His sayings learnt by heart, the retentive memories of the refugees would still have much that would be of great interest to the brethren at Antioch.  And their tradition, coming as it did with all the prestige of the parent Church of Christendom, would seem to the elders at Antioch far too precious not to be rendered into Greek and set down in writing without more delay.

But this tradition, corresponding to that element in Matthew which we have styled M, included sayings of a strongly Judaistic character. 
The fact is one, which has often been misconceived.
It cannot be too emphatically insisted that this element in Matthew reflects,
not primitive Jewish Christianity,
but a later Judaistic reaction against the Petro-Pauline liberalism
in the matter of the Gentile Mission and the observance of the Law.
At Antioch, as elsewhere, there were parties in the Church:
the immediate result of the advent of the Jerusalem refugees would be to strengthen the hand of the party of the stricter observance of the Law. It was very hard not to accept as Apostolic, a tradition that came authenticated, as it were, by the recent martyrdom of James.

Mark's Gospel, coming from Rome practically at the same time, would be hailed at once by the more liberal and pro-Gentile party as the Gospel of Antioch's own Apostle.

Q, so far as we can judge, was fairly neutral on the legalistic issue, and, we have seen, Q may well have been the original Gospel-document of the Church of Antioch; at any rate Q is admittedly older, probably a good deal older, than Mark, and, whatever its original language, the same Greek version was known to "Matthew" as to Luke, so that, even if this Greek translation was not produced in Antioch, the greatest Greek-speaking Church of Syria, it would have reached there at a very early date.

But for some years Mark and M would have existed side by side, and would have been read together with a consciousness of partisanship something like that which in the eighteenth century was attached to the "Whig" and "Tory" collects for the King in the Anglican Communion Service. Religious con­servatism has always, great capacity of resistance; but in the Jew—especially as regards the Law for which he and his fathers have bled for centuries—this capacity is raised to the nth power. As late as the fourth century a large section of the vernacular Jewish Christians of Palestine rejected the Epistles of Paul; but at Antioch in the quarter of a century that followed the Fall of Jerusalem circumstances were unusually favourable to concilia­tion.
(1) The living spirit of the Christian mission had not yet lost its original momentum.
(2) It was known that Peter, Paul, and James, the revered leaders of the different parties, had in the last resort never repudiated one another; and within a year or two of one another all three had died for Christ.
(3) The destruction of the Temple in 70 meant that at least half the requirements of the Law could no longer be fulfilled. Did this mean that Paul was right then after all, and that Christ had intended to supersede the Law?
(4) It daily appeared that the bitterest of all the enemies of Christianity were the Jews who stood by the old Law.

All these circumstances were favourable to a rapprochement between the parties in the Church. Neither side could abandon accepted records of the teaching of Christ; but the possibility that there had been some misinterpretation of the sayings most used in controversy could be explored. Perhaps another mean­ing could be found for those apparently Judaistic words of Christ, which the James party were always quoting.

By the time that Matthew wrote, a new exegesis, which could reconcile the parties, had been evolved. It was admitted on the one hand that the Master had said,

I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel;

that He regarded the healing of a Syro-Phoenician as an exception, and that He had not Himself (as Mark's story would imply), even on that occasion, stepped outside the sacred soil of Palestine—for the woman had come across the border to Him (Mt.xv.22). It was conceded also by the liberal party that in His first Mission Charge He had forbidden the Twelve to go into any way of the Gentiles or any city of the Samaritans (Mt.x.6); in return, the other side ad­mitted that this limitation was only intended for the time during which He walked the earth ; after His Resurrection He had on the contrary bade them

go and make disciples of all the nations (xxviii.19).

Again, as the context (Mt.viii.11) in which the prophecy is placed makes clear (quite a different one from that which, from its position in Luke (i.28), we may con­clude was original in Q), it was now agreed that Christ was referring to Gentiles, not Jews of the Dispersion, when He said,

Many shall come from the east and the west,
and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven:
but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into outer darkness.

Finally, the fear—a very practical one—of antinomianism is met by a presentation of Christ's teaching as the New Law: the Sermon on the Mount is a counterpart to Sinai, and the five Great Discourses (p. 261 ff.) are, as it were, "the five books" of His "law of liberty."

Thus complete reconciliation of the two parties of the James and Paul tradition, once hardly even artificially held together by Peter as a middle term, is now effected.  That is much the most probable explanation of the famous saying,

Thou art Peter,
on this rock I will build my Church
(cf. p. 258).

How far the words of this highly controverted saying as preserved in the First Gospel were actually uttered by Christ, and, if so, with what exact significance, it would be profitless to inquire. The form in which we have it is the version as remembered, repeated, and in repeti­tion doubtless not a little modified, by those who disapproved alike of the undue conservatism of James and of Paul's too liberal attitude towards the Law, but were content to accept the via media of Peter.  At Antioch all could rally round the name of Peter. He is the supreme Rabbi in whom resides the final interpretation (the power " to bind and to loose ") of the New Law given to the New Israel (" my (i.e. the Messiah's) Church ") by Christ. [I owe to Prof. Burkitt a reference to Anecdota Oxoniensia (Relics of the Palestinian Syriac Literature), 1896, pp. 85-87, for a homiletic exposition of Mt.xvi.18, which denies that the Rock was Peter. This whole Palestinian Syriac literature was used in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which looked to James as its founder, as against Peter, in whose chair sat the Patriarch of the really much more important border See of Antioch. The claim of Rome to be in a special sense the See of Peter is not found in the second century; it is always Peter and Paul. If, as is possible (cf. p. 490), the death of Peter in Rome is a mistaken inference from 1 Clem, v., the claim of Rome to have any connection at all with that Apostle must be subsequent to the date of writing of Matthew.]

Extremists, of course, on both sides would repudiate the compromise.
They always do.
They became the forbears on the one side of Ebionites, and on the other of Antinomian Docetae. But if Matthew represents the agreement of the main body of the Church of Antioch, how long a period must be allowed for the settlement to be reached? When Paul wrote to the Philippians (c. 63) the Judaisers were actively, openly, and, from his language, one might infer unscrupulously, attacking him. And in the Church of Antioch the Jewish element was much more powerful than at Rome. Would twenty years have sufficed for the Church of Antioch to reach the degree of peace and unanimity which the Gospel of Matthew implies? Most probably it would—having in view the favouring circumstances enumerated above. But it is a consideration we must bear in mind in estimating the date of the Gospel.

Antioch and the Anti-christ

That Matthew was written after AD 70 may be deduced from an addition to the parable of the Marriage of the King's Son,

and the rest laid hold on his servants,
and entreated them shamefully, and killed them.
But the King was wroth;
and he sent his armies,
and destroyed those murderers,
and burned their city


There is nothing at all about, either the persecution of the messengers, or the King's vengeance, in the parallel parable of the Great Supper in Luke (xiv.16 ff.). Besides, the words "their city" do not fit into the rest of the story; for the invited guests would either be citizens of one or more of the King's own cities, or, if they were representatives of foreign powers, would inhabit more than one city. But the insertion is intelligible if it is regarded as an attempt to point the moral of the parable by interpreting it as a prophecy by Christ of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, regarded as the judgment of God—the King in the parable—and in particular as a punish­ment for the persecution by the Jews of the Christian apostles and missionaries, who are the messengers sent to them by Him to invite them to the "wedding feast" of His Son the Messiah. Such a modification of the parable (which Luke preserves in what is clearly a more original form) would be very natural after the Fall of Jerusalem, but not before. The considerations that follow suggest that the Gospel was written some time after that event.

It is impossible for us nowadays to realise the shock of AD 70 to a community in which Jewish and Gentile members alike had been reared in the profoundest veneration of the im­memorial sanctity of the Holy City and the Temple. True, it was expected that before the Great Deliverance there would be the Great Tribulation, in the course of which the "Man of Sin," the Anti-Christ, would take his stand in the Temple; and Christ Himself, it was recorded, had prophesied a destruction of the Temple as the immediate prelude to His own return. But the stupendous fact in the situation was that Jerusalem and the Temple had been destroyed and neither Anti-Christ nor Christ had come. Wars and rumours of wars, worldwide catastrophes, had taken place. Huge armies had tramped from the utmost parts of the Roman world. Three Caesars had been set up and three had perished in a single year. And the accumulation of horror and desecration connected with the siege of Jerusalem had seemed to match in actual fact the final "tribulation" which Apocalyptic expectation had foretold. These things had come to pass—and still the Lord did not return. To such a crisis different minds would react differently. To some it would induce an intensification of Apocalyptic expectation and a more fanatic conviction of the immediacy of the End. Others would slowly awake from Apocalyptic dreams and see the necessity, before it was too late, of collecting and preserving the surviving records of the mighty past.
In the Gospel of Matthew both these tendencies are seen reflected.

That the Fall of Jerusalem did produce an intense revival of Apocalyptic interest and a new output of Apocalyptic litera­ture, both among Jews and Christians, there is some evidence. For our present purpose the most important point to note is that calculations of the exact date of the End, based on the three and a half years of Daniel .11-12, were actually pre­occupying Christians about the year 70. Whatever other views critics hold about the date and sources of Revelation, there is practically unanimous agreement that Rev.xi.1-2 was written at that date, and that the author expected the End within three and a half years of the Fall of the City. [Daniel gives the figure 1290, Rev.xi.3-4 has 1260; this, the author ex­plains, corresponds to 42 months ( = 3½ years); he reckons 30 days to a month, but does not add the "intercalary month," no doubt because he wrote since the introduction of the Julian Calendar.] Now the prophecy of which Rev.xi.1-2 is part must have had a wide circulation, as it, or something very like it, seems to have been known to Luke; for he adds (Lk.xxi.24) the words, "Jerusalem shall be trodden under by the Gentiles," which are not contained in the parallel in Mark. So that we cannot assume that it was unknown at Antioch.

Since, then, Jerusalem fell on 4th September 70, the End of the World would in wide circles be expected to take place early in 74. But the year 74 closed and the End did not come. This made a change in the situation. When Mark wrote (c. 65) it seemed possible that the prophecies of the appearance of the Anti-Christ and the Return of Christ within the lifetime of the first generation might be fulfilled. But with every year after AD 75 the non-fulfilment of these prophecies became a more grievous difficulty to the early Church. It is interesting to notice that each of the three later Evangelists solved the problem in a different way. John at Ephesus does so by a spiritual inter­pretation which practically gets rid of the Apocalyptic idea; the Return of Christ is fulfilled (or for all immediate and practical purposes fulfilled) by the coming of the Paraclete; while the prophecy of Anti-Christ, instead of being referred to a single half-human, half-demoniac monster, is interpreted as the spirit of the false prophets who deny that Christ has come in the flesh (1 John iv. 2-3):

This is the spirit of the antichrist,
whereof ye have heard that it cometh;
and now it is in the world already.

Luke partly solves the problem by getting rid of the Anti-Christ prophecy altogether, interpreting the Abomination of Desolation as a synonym for the Desolation of Jerusalem by the Roman armies: the Return of Christ he still thinks near, but it is postponed

until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (xxi.24).

Matthew, in the Jewish atmosphere of Antioch, is more conservative;
he takes both the Anti-Christ and the Parousia in their most literal sense,
and he insists that both are overdue.
But, as we shall see shortly,
he has his own solution of the problem:
he disconnects the Anti-Christ from any local con­nection with the Temple.

We have seen that the last chapter of the Didache is, in effect, a hortatory commentary on the Apocalyptic discourse in Mt.xxiv. But what of the sentence (Did. xvi.3 [4?],

and then the World-deceiver (κοσμοπλανής)
shall appear as a Son of God; and shall work signs and wonders ...

In the context, and in the light of the fact that the rest of that context is all dependent on Mt.xxiv., the "World-deceiver" can only be an equivalent, intelligible to the plain man, of the enigmatic "Abomination of Desolation." In fact, the author of the Didache has taken the advice

let him that readeth understand (xxiv.15)

—he has read, and thinks he has understood.
This is evidence that in Syria about AD 95 the Abomination was supposed to mean the personal Anti-Christ; the older interpretation of Daniel (that given in Mark) had either been revived or had never been discarded.

Now the author of the Didache is, I feel sure, quite correct in his interpretation of Matthew.  To Matthew, as to Mark, the βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως is, not the Fall of Jerusalem, but the Anti-Christ.  In the ordinary text Matthew's alteration of Mark's masculine into the neuter participle (ἑστηκότα into ἑστος) im­proves the grammar but does not necessarily imply a desire to change the sense.  I believe, however, that the true text of Matthew is that preserved in Syr. S (supported by one cursive of fam. 1424) which omits "standing in the holy place."  Syr. S, representing the old text of Antioch, is an especially good authority for the Antiochene Gospel of Matthew (cf. p. 135 ff.). Against the genuineness of the reading ἑστος ἐν τόπῳ γίῳ, B א etc., is the absence of any article with τόπῳ γίῳ.  But such an omission of the article, though unaccountable in a literary text, would be quite natural in a note scratched in the margin [If so, ἐστώς, D and Byz., is original, since it naturally reads as nominative masculine, though in late Greek it may be neuter also.] by some one who had looked up (as advised to do in the text) Daniel ix.27 in the LXX (the English Bible follows the Hebrew, which differs here from the Greek), where the words ἐπὶ τὸερὸν βδέλυγμα τῶν ρμώσεων occur, and had the parallel passage in Mark in his mind.  A marginal gloss, especially if also an assimilation to the parallel in Mark, would be certain to slip into the text. If the true reading is that of Syr. S., Matthew has solved the problem of the non-appearance of the Anti-Christ before the destruction of Jerusalem by the simple expedient of omitting Mark's veiled reference (ὅπου οὐ δεῖ) to the Temple. The Anti-Christ expectation is thus entirely detached from any local connection with Jerusalem, and the possibility is left open of interpreting the Abomination prophecy in the light of the Nero-redivivus myth, [On the development of the Anti-Christ idea, and the prevalence in Christian circles of an identification of Nero with Anti-Christ, see R. H. Charles, op. cit. ii. pp. 76-87.] which, as we shall see shortly, must for geographical reasons have had a peculiar vitality in Antioch.

No Gospel makes so much as does Matthew of the expectation that the visible Return of Christ will be within the lifetime of those who saw and heard Him.  It is often said that this is merely the result of a conservative use of the earlier sources that Matthew reproduces.  But Matthew never hesitates to omit from or alter Mark, if thereby he can avoid an apologetic difficulty (p. 162), and he often does this to get rid of quite trifling difficulties; much more, then, would he have toned down the passages implying an immediate Parousia if he had desired. But as a matter of fact he has done the exact opposite.  He adds a striking passage,

Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel,
till the Son of Man be come (Mt.x.23),

which is not in Mark at all. 
He twice repeats the saying (conflated from Mark and Q),

Watch, for ye know not the day nor the hour.

In reproducing Mark he often enhances the immediacy implied.
Thus Mark writes,

There be some of them which stand by
which shall not taste of death
till they see the Kingdom of God come with power  (ix.1). 

Luke avoids the difficulty involved in this saying by omitting the last three words,
thus interpreting the "Kingdom of God" as the Church;
but, as if to preclude any such interpretation,
Matthew substitutes

till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

Again, in two other passages (Mt.xxiv.29 and Mt.xxvi.64) he adds words of immediacy (εὐθέως and ἀπ' ἄρτι) to the text of Mark.
[Burkitt (J.T.S. . p. 460) argues that, read in the context, Matthew's εὐθέως does not imply an earlier date than Mark's "in those days." Never­theless that Matthew, having taken the trouble to alter Mark at all, should use the word " immediately " is significant.]

Again, quite apart from this underlining of passages that speak of the immediacy of the Parousia, Matthew shows his interest in Apocalyptic in other ways. He frequently makes minor alterations in the form of any sayings of Christ of an Apocalyptic character in his sources which bring them more closely into conformity with the conventional model. In the Appendix to the Oxford Studies I argued that Q, Mark, and Matthew show an ascending scale in the tendency to emphasise and conventionalise our Lord's Apocalyptic teaching. The cogency of the argument has been questioned so far as it con­cerns Q, on the ground that, as we do not possess the original text of Q, we cannot say what it did not contain. But at least it holds good in the series, Lk..9 = Mt.x.33 (representing Q), Mk.viii.38, and its parallel Mt.xvi.27. The saying in Q contains the purely ethical warning,

Whosoever denies me before men, him will I deny;
Mark's Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, etc.,

has the same ethical point, reinforced by an Apocalyptic statement,

when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

In Matthew the ethical point is omitted, but the Apocalyptic statement is further elaborated. But, whatever may be true of Q, it cannot be denied that as between Mark and Matthew there is a heightening of Apocalyptic interest. Thus in Mt.xxiv.29-31 = Mk.i.25-27 we find the addition by Matthew of various details, like the trumpet, derived from the conventional scenery of Jewish eschatology.  Again, Matthew five times uses the phrase συντέλεια τοῦ αἰῶνος, "the end of the world," which does not occur elsewhere in the Gospels; he six times speaks of "weeping and gnashing of teeth," a phrase which occurs only once in Luke and nowhere else in the New Testament. Nor is it without significance that in chapter i. he refrains from pointing the moral of the parables of the Mustard Seed, Leaven, Hid Treasure, and Pearl of Great Price, to all of which it is difficult to give an Apocalyptic interpretation, but goes out of his way to add an explanation in terms of catastrophic eschatology to the parables of the Tares and the Drag Net.

The enhancement of Apocalyptic interest in Matthew is the more remarkable since in other Christian documents—whether earlier than Matthew, like the later Epistles of Paul, or later, like the Fourth Gospel—the delay in the Second Coming was obviously causing less and less emphasis to be laid on this par­ticular element in early Christian belief. Even in the Apocalyptic chapter of Mark the emphasis is on "the end is not yet." Mark, like Paul in 2 Thessalonians, urges Christians not to mistake present or recent tribulations for the immediate prelude of the Second Coming. The real prelude will be the appearance of Anti-Christ, and even after his appearance there will still be an interval.
With Matthew it is otherwise.
Urgency is the note all through his Gospel.
But his Apocalyptic is subservient to a moral purpose.
For him "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand," sums up the teaching of John, of our Lord Himself, and of the Twelve—it is the essence of the Christian message.

Not every man that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord;
but he that doeth the will:

the Gospel of Matthew is a call for moral reformation on the basis of the ethic of the Sermon on the Mount, in view of the immediacy of the Great Assize—between which and the date of writing perhaps not more than four short years remained. Indeed, from the occurrence of phrases like

There be some of those standing here who shall not taste of death ...

it is often argued that the Gospel must have been written while some of the Apostles were still alive. No doubt that was the meaning given to the words when first written. But once written, as the whole history of the "interpretation of prophecy" shows, a new meaning would inevitably be read into them when the old one manifestly would no longer work. And in this case the obvious re-interpretation would be that the prophecy meant that, not the Apostles, but some persons of the generation who were actually alive when Christ spoke would survive till the Parousia. This would extend the date, if necessary, to the end of the century. All then that we can say is that Matthew must have been written during a period of intense Apocalyptic expectation.

This fervour of expectation has, I suggest, a geographical explanation.
Antioch was the eastern gate of the Roman Empire, and, here more than elsewhere, the popular mind was constantly perturbed by rumours that Nero, at the head of the Parthian hosts, was marching against Rome. The belief that Nero had not really died but was hidden in Parthia awaiting his revenge, or, as the myth developed, that he had died but would rise again, led to the rise of false Neros across the Euphrates. Three of these pretenders, in 69, in 80, and in 88, are known to history. The fact of their emergence is strong evidence of the persistence and widespread character of the belief. Nero was not unpopular with the multitude in the provinces; but the Christians, and for good reason, regarded him as the incarnation of the hostility of Satan to the Church of God. Very soon (p. 520 n.) they com­bined the popular Nero-redivivus myth with that conception of the Anti-Christ, which they had derived from Jewish Apocalyptic. This fusion is already effected in the Apocalypse, and it is there connected with invasions of the Roman Empire from the Euphrates. Antioch, which was far more Jewish than Asia, and which would be first to feel the brunt if the Euphrates line was broken, would certainly be affected by such fears at an earlier date.

date of writing

The use of Matthew in the Didache, with the probability that copies of it had reached Ephesus within the lifetime of John the Elder, and that it was also known to the author of Revelation— who, according to both Irenaeus and modern critics, wrote towards the end of the reign of Domitian, who died AD 96— makes it difficult to assign to the Gospel a date much later than the year 85. But the internal evidence—so far as the Apoca­lyptic atmosphere is concerned—would be consistent with any date between that and 75. If we wish a nearer approximation we must interrogate another aspect of the internal evidence.

I have already argued (p. 502 f.) that the fact that hardly any narrative bearing the hallmark of authenticity seems to have reached Matthew, apart from what he derived from his written sources, rules out a Palestinian origin for the Gospel. But even in Antioch one would have supposed that some independent traditions, obviously genuine, would have been current for a good many years. The only explanation I can suggest of the absence of such from Matthew is that the written Gospel, Mark, had been in use long enough, not only to become the starting-point of the development of new tradition of a Haggadic origin, but by its superior value and prestige to dry up the stream of genuine independent tradition. Twenty years at least seem to me required for this result to have been reached. Again, twenty years seemed (p. 515 f.) a fair time to allow for that reconciliation of parties, which the Gospel appears to imply. On the other hand, if we extend the period beyond this, with every decade Mark's authority would be growing, and it becomes increasingly more difficult to explain the liberties, which, at times, Matthew takes with the text. When Matthew wrote, Mark was authoritative, but so far from being Scripture, was, as yet, hardly quite a classic.

Now Mark was probably written about 65, and there is no reason why the Church of Rome may not have sent a copy to Antioch almost at once. The year 85, we have seen, is the latest date, which can, without strain, be reconciled with the external evidence for the existence of Matthew. It is also the earliest date with which the internal evidence naturally accords. Thus we may assign the Gospel to AD 85, not as a date mathematically demonstrated, but as one that satisfies all the evidence and conflicts with none.

acceptance by Rome

Of the reception of Matthew at Ephesus we have the con­temporary evidence of John the Elder. It may have been a little, but not much later, that the first copy of Matthew reached Rome; but it does not follow that it was at once accepted there. Matthew challenged comparison, not only with the old local Gospel of Mark, but with Luke, which, as we shall see in the next chapter, was already established there—the more so because, while no claim of Apostolic authorship was put forward for Mark and Luke, such a claim was by this time (as the attitude of the Elder implies) being made for Matthew. If, therefore, Matthew was accepted at all, it could only be as an authority superior to Mark and Luke. But Matthew conflicts with Luke at several points, most conspicuously in the matter of the Genealogy of our Lord and—if we are inclined to regard the omission of Lk.i.34 in b to be original (cf. p. 267)—in its affirmation of a Virgin Birth. Unless, then, the new arrival could substantiate its claim to Apostolic, and therefore to superior, authority, it must have been regarded as a book inaccurate on important points, and only the more to be suspected if without warrant it was ascribed to an Apostle.

There exists in Syriac a treatise, wrongly ascribed to Eusebius, entitled "As to the Star: Showing how and by what Means the Magi knew the Star, and that Joseph did not take Mary as his Wife." [First published by W. Wright, Journal of Sacred Lit., Oct. 1866. Harnack translates and discusses the relevant passage in Date of the Acts and Synoptics, E.T. p. 134 (Williams & Norgate, 1911).]  This describes a conference at Rome on the subject of its title, which is elaborately dated by four separate synchronisms as occurring during the episcopate of Xystus in AD 119.  The contents of the document have no claim to be considered historical, but Harnack and others think it probable that the date at least is authentic. I hazard the conjecture that it is the date of a conference at which the Roman Church accepted the First Gospel as Apostolic on the testimony of representatives of the Church of Antioch.  The martyrdom of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, in the Coliseum was then an event of recent memory. His letter to the Roman Church, which became, as Lightfoot shows, a kind of martyr's handbook, had attracted great atten­tion; his enthusiastic admiration of the Roman Church, his emphasis on ecclesiastical discipline, based on obedience to the Bishop, as a safeguard against heresy, would have specially commended the Church of Antioch and its traditions to the con­sideration of the authorities of Rome. Once a favourable hearing was secured for the tradition of Apostolic authorship, the Gospel on its merits would seem worthy of an Apostle. At any rate, by the time of Justin Martyr, the Gospel of Matthew, alongside that of Mark and Luke, is firmly established as one of the accepted Gospels of the Roman Church. If such a conference between Rome and Antioch really did take place, Antioch would take as well as give, and the claims of Luke could not be overlooked. Basilides, the great Gnostic, and Cerdo, the master of Marcion, both came from Antioch; and both seem to have known and valued Luke. From this Prof. Bacon [Expositor, Oct. 1920, p. 291.] infers that Luke was originally an Antiochene work; it is rather, I would suggest, evidence that, before their time, c. AD 130, Luke had been accepted as authoritative by Antioch—very possibly on the guarantee of Rome at the same conference at which Rome accepted Matthew as Apostolic on the guarantee of Antioch.

If our conjecture is correct, four stages can be traced in the evolution of the Gospel Canon at Rome
—originally Mark alone;
by AD 90 Mark and Luke;
after AD 119 the three Synoptics
[If, as is possible (of. p. 349), the Longer Ending of Mark is an attempt to conflate the Matthaean and Lucan endings, it must date from this period.];
from about AD 170 the Four.
Curiously enough we can also trace four stages in the growth of the Roman Corpus Paulinum
— the nucleus (Rom., 1 Cor., Eph., perhaps Phil.) known already to Clement, AD 96 [The author of Acts, a Roman document (see p. 531 ff.), can hardly have read Galatians and 2 Corinthians. For an argument that Clement of Borne was ignorant of 2 Corinthians of. J. H. Kennedy, The Second and Third Letters of St. Paul to the Corinthians, p. 148 ff. (Methuen, 1900.)];
the Ten (Marcion's Canon), c. 140 [Marcion freely excised passages he disliked, and I cannot believe he would have rejected the Pastorals altogether, if they had been accepted at Rome, when a very little "Bowdlerising" would have sufficed. Also at a still later date Tatian felt he could reject the epistles to Timothy.];
the Thirteen (adding I. and II. Tim., Tit.) before AD 200 (Muratorian Canon);
the Fourteen, including Hebrews, c. AD 350.
But Hebrews was in the Alexandrian Corpus Paulinum at least as early as AD 160, for the Alexandrian Clement quotes a "blessed elder" as discussing (on the assumption, be it noted, that it is indubitably by Paul) why Paul did not prefix his name [Eus. H.E. vi. 14.]. The hesitations on the ground of its non-Pauline style expressed by Clem. Alex. and Origen are those of the scholar criticising an old and accepted tradition. Similarly, as early as Ignatius, Antioch seems to have accepted the Pastorals. [Besides some almost certain verbal echoes, there is the fact that Ignatius tells the Ephesians (.2) that Paul mentions them "in every letter." As a matter of fact he mentions them twice in 1 Corinthians, and three times in the Pastorals; so, if the Pastorals are ruled out, his statement becomes meaningless.] Thus, alike in the matter of Gospels and Epistles, Rome was slower than other Churches to accept a claim to Apostolic origin, and we have one more illustration of the importance of studying the history of the books of the New Testament in the great Churches separately.


The Date of 1 Clement

The Epistle of the Roman Church to the Corinthian, known as 1 Clement, rapidly gained enormous prestige in the East—doubtless because its emphasis on obedience to ecclesiastical rulers deriving their powers by succession from the Apostles (xxxvii.-xlii.) seemed to the Church authorities a thing on which emphasis was much needed. Most probably it is of this letter of the Roman Church that Ignatius is thinking in his extravagant praises of that Church, in particular when he speaks of the Romans as "the instructors of others" (Rom.iii.1); to Ignatius exhortation to ecclesiastical discipline was the supreme need of the time. Polycarp, again, must have known 1 Clement by heart. A large literature grew up round the name of Clement, who was regarded as the direct disciple of Peter. The early-date of the nucleus of this literature, combined with the definite attribution of the letter to Clement by Irenaeus and Dionysius of Corinth, c. AD 170 (Bus. H.E.iv.23, 9), affords good evidence that Clement was the writer of the Epistle. Prof. Merrill (op. cit. ch. ix.) maintains that his episcopate, and indeed his existence, is an infer­ence (made by Hegesippus) from the mention in Hermas of a certain "secretary Clement." But the Professor accepts the statement of the Muratorian Canon that Hermas was written by a brother of Pius during his episcopate; and Hegesippus came to Rome when Anicetus, the immediate successor of Pius, was Pope. How then, when Hermas was known in Rome to be by the late Pope's brother, could Hegesippus infer that a contemporary of his was third from the Apostles? The "sudden and repeated misfortunes and hindrances" (Clem. i. 1) which delayed the writing of the letter, -taken in connection with the prayer for the release of Christian prisoners (ix. 4), is most naturally referred to Domitian's persecution AD 96 —on which see footnote, p. 474. Eusebius dates the death of Clement AD 100.

Personally, in view of the arguments of Salmon (in Dict. Christ. Biogr.) and Bigg (Origins of Christianity, ch. viii.), I incline to date Hermas c. 100, and to regard the statement in the Muratorian Canon (by Hippolytus, cf. Lightfoot, Clement, ii. p. 407 ff.) as a by­product of anti-Montanist polemic. For the sake of the principle, "the prophets are complete in number," Hermas must be disparaged; and Hippolytus, as we can see from his biographical remarks on Pope Callistus, was one who as a controversialist prized effectiveness above accuracy. Clement would then be contemporary with Hermas and presiding Elder of the Church. I am attracted by Merrill's interesting suggestion (op. cit. p. 305) that Hegesippus was the first to compile a formal list of Roman bishops; if so, as he came to Rome before AD 166, it is likely that, at least as far back as Clement, his list is correct.