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Bibil Identifier bibil:149516
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) The Four-Gospel 'Canon' in the Epistula Apostolorum
Author Hannah, Darrell D.
Journal The Journal of Theological Studies (Volume: 59, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2008
Year (Copyright) 2008
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2008
Year (Reference) 2008
Language English
Pages 598-633 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The four-gospel canon is first explicitly defended by Irenaeus in the decade of the 180s, but also assumed by Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Tatian's Diatessaron, and the Muratorian Fragment. Its origin, then, must lie prior to Irenaeus. The witness of the Epistula Apostolorum allows us to place the collection of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and no others, as early as the 140s. Use of the criterion of redaction demonstrates that the Epistula's author knew and highly valued the Gospel of John. He also knew and made use of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The criterion of redaction is less useful when applied to the Gospel of Mark. Nonetheless, it can be shown that the author of the Epistula alluded to the earliest gospel on at least one occasion. In addition, there is no compelling evidence that the Epistula's author knew or made use of a gospel other than the canonical four. Since, in all probability, this Christian apocryphon was composed prior to 150, we have in the Epistula evidence for a collection of the four Gospels decades before Irenaeus’ defence of the fourfold Gospel and even slightly before Marcion's attempt to restrict the Gospel to his edited version of Luke.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Canon : History
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the New Testament : Gospels
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha : Apocryphal Texts relating to New Testament Characters or Events : Letters : Epistula apostolorum / Testament in Galilee
Last modification 2017-10-27