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SACROSANCTA decumenica et generalis Tridentina Synodus, in Spiritu Sancto legitimo congregata, presidentibus, in ea tribus Apostolicæ sedis legatis, hoc sibi ante omnia perpetuo proponens, ut sublatis omnibus erroribus, puritas ipsa Evangelii in Ecclesia conservetur, quod promissum ante per Prophetas in Scripturis Sanctis, Dominus noster Jesus Christus Dei Filius proprio ore primum promulgavit, deinde per suos Apostolos, tanquam fontem omnis salutaris veritatis et morum disciplinæ omni creaturæ prædicari jussit, perepi. ciensque hanc veritatem et disciplinam contineri in libris scriptis, et sine scripto traditionibus, quæ ex ipsius Christi ore, ab Apostolis acceptæ, aut ab ipsis Apostolis Spiritu Sancto dictante, quasi per manus traditæ ad nos usque pervenerunt, orthoxorum Patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros, tam Veteris, quam Novi Testamenti (cum utriusque unus Deus sit autor) nec non traditiones illas, tum, ad fidem tum ad mores pertinentes, tanquam vel ore tenus a Christo, vel a Spiritu Sancto dictatas, et continua successione in ecclesia catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu, ac reverentia suscipit ac veneratur. Sacrorum vero librorum indicem, huic decreto asscribendum censuit: ne cui dubitatio suboriri possit, quinam sint, qui ab ipsa Synodo suscipiantur, Sunt vero infra scripti Testamenti Veteris, Quinque libri Moysi, scilicet Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium; deinde, Josue, Judicum, Ruth, Quatuor Regum, Paralipomenon duo, Esdræ duo, primus, scilicet et secundus, qui dicitur Nehemias, Thobias, Judith, Ester, Job, Psalterium Davidicum, centum quinquaginta Psalmorum, Parabolæ Salomonis, Ecelesiastes, Canticum Canticorum, Sapientia, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Hieremias, Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, duodecim Prophetæ minores, scilicet Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggeus, Zacharias, Malachias; Duo Machabæorum, primus scilicet et secundus. Testamenti Novi, Quatuor Evangelia, secundum Matthæum, Marcum, Lucam, et Joannem ; Acta Apostolorum a Luca Evangelista conscripta, quatuordecim Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli, scilicet ad Romanos, ad Corinthios duæ, ad Galatas, ad Ephesios, ad Philippenses, ad Colossenses, ad Thessalonisenses duæ, ad Timothæum duæ, ad Titum, ad Philemonem, ad Hebræos; Petri Apostoli duæ, Joannis Apostoli tres, Jacobi una, una Judæ Apostoli, Apocalypsis Joannis Apostoli.

Siquis autem libros ipsos integros, cum omnibus suis partibus prout in Ecclesia catholica legi consueverunt, et in veteri vuigata Latina editione habentur, pro sacris et canonicis non susceperit, et traditiones prædictas sciens et prudens centempserit, anathema sit.

Omnes itaque intelligant, quo ordinæ et via ipsa Synodus post jactum fidei confessionis fundamentum sit progressura, et quibus potissimum testimoniis ac præsidiis, in confirmandis dogmatibus et instaurandis in Ecclesia moribus sit usura.

Which may be thus translated :—“The holy, ecumenical, and general council of Trent, legitimately convened in the Holy Spirit, under the presidency of three legates of the apostolic see, constantly proposing this before all things, that all errors being taken away, the Gospel in its purity may be preserved in the Church, which was promised before by the Prophets in the Holy Scriptures, but which was promulgated by our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, with his own mouth : moreover, he commanded it to be preached to every creature by his Apostles, as the fountain of all saving truth and moral discipline; which truth and discipline he provided should be contained in the books of Scripture, and in unwritten traditions, received from the mouth of Christ by the Apostles, or from the Apostles speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and handed down to us; therefore this Synod, following the example of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with equal pious affection and reverence all the books both of the Old and New Testament (for one God is the author of both); likewise, those traditions relating to faith and manners, which were received from the mouth of Christ himself, or from his inspired Apostles, and which have been preserved in an uninterrupted succession in the Catholic Church. Moreover, the Synod judges it proper to give a catalogue of the Sacred Books, lest any doubt should arise in the minds of any respecting the books received by them, the names of which are here inserted in this decree; viz. The Five Books of Moses_Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; next, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Four Books of Kings, Two of Chronicles, Two of Ezra, viz. the First and Second, which is called Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Job, 150 Psalms of David, Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Twelve Minor Prophets, viz. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; Two of Maccabees, First and Second. Of the New Testament, The Four Gospels, viz. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; the Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke the Evangelist; Fourteen Epistles of the blessed Apostle Paul, viz. To the Romans; To the Corinthians, two; To the Galatians ; To the Ephesians; To the Philippians ; To the Colossians ; To the Thes. salonians, two; To Timothy, two; To Titus; To Philemon; To the Hebrews; of the Apostle Peter, two; of the Apostle John, three; of James, one; of the Apostle Jude, one; the Apocalypse of John the Apostle.

" But if any one shall not receive, as Canonical and Sacred, all these books, with all their parts, as they are used to be read in the Catholic Church, or shall knowingly and intentionally contemn any of the aforesaid traditions, let him be anathema.

“ Hence, all may understand, in what order and way the Synod, after laying the foundation of the Confession of their Faith, will proceed ; and what testimonies and proofs they will especially use in cofirming doctrines, and in the reformation of manners in the church.”



The original of this passage is as follows:—" Age jam, qui, voles curiositatem melius exercere in negotio salutis tuæ percurre Ecclesias apostolicas, apud quas ipsæ adhuc cathedræ præsident: apud quas ipsæ authentice litere eorum recitantur, sonantes vocem, et representantes faciem uniuscujuscunque. Proxima est tibi Achaia, habes Corinthum. Si nou longe es a Macedonia, habes Philippos, habes Thessalonicenses. Si potes Asiam tendere, habes Ephesum. Si autem Italiæ adjaces, habes Romam, unde nobis quoque auctoritatas præsto est."-De Præscrip. cap. 36.



There is no Apocryphal book of the New Testament which has been so much spoken of, both by the ancients and moderns, as The Gospel of the Nazarenes. By some, not only of the Romanists, but also of the Protestants, it has been exalted very nearly to an equality with the Canonical books of the New Testament. It seems necessary, therefore, to examine its claims with more attention than is requisite in the case of other books of this class.

This Gospel was known among the ancients under several different titles. It was sometimes called, the Gospel according to the Twelve Apostles; the Gospel of Bartholomew; the Gospel according to the Hebrews; the Gospel of the Ebionites, &c.

It is the opinion of some, that this is the Gospel to which Paul alludes, Gal. i, 6, where he speaks of another Gospel. However this may be, if we credit Eusebius, we must believe that it existed as early as the begin. ning of the second century; for he represents Hegesippus as writing some things concerning the Gospel according to the Hebrews and Syrians.*

Clement of Alexandria cites from it the following passage : He who admires shall reign, and he who reigns shall be at ease.”+

Origen speaks of it in this manner : “ If any one will receive the Gospel according to the Hebrews, in which our Saviour says, “The Holy Ghost, my mother, lately took me by one of my hairs, and led me to the great mountain Tabor."

And in another place, “ It is written in a certain Gospel which is entitled, according to the Hebrews (if any one be pleased to receive it, not as of authority, but only for the illustration of the present question), “A certain rich man said to Christ, what good thing shall I do that I may inherit life? He said to him, O man, keep the Law and the Prophets : he answered him, that I have done; he said to him, go sell all things that thou hast, and distribute among the poor, and come and follow me. The rich man hereupon began to scratch his head, and was displeased. And the Lord said unto him, how can you say that you have kept the Law and the Prophets, seeing it is written in the Law, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; but behold, many of thy brethren, children of Abraham, are clothed with nastiness, and ready to perish for hunger, while thy home abounds with all sorts of delicacies, and nothing is sent out of it to them? And turning about, he said to his disciple Simon, who sat by him, Simon, son of Joanna, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.''

Eusebius, speaking of Apocryphal and spurious books, says, “In this number, some have placed the Gospel according to the Hebrews, with which they of the Jews who profess Christianity are very much delighted.” And speaking of the Ebionites, he says, “They made use only of that which is called the Gospel according to the Hebrews, very little esteeming any others." $

Epiphanius has left several testimonies respecting this Gospel; among which are the following:—“ The Nazarenes have the Gospel of Matthew most entire in the Hebrew language, for this is still preserved among them, as it was at first, in Hebrew characters. But I know not whether they have taken away the genealogy from Abraham to Christ.”

In another place, speaking of the Ebionites, he says, “ They also receive the Gospel according to Matthew. For this, both they and the Cerinthians make use of, and no other. They call it the Gospel according to the Hebrews; for the truth is, that Matthew is the only one of the New Testament writers who published his Gospel and preaching, in the Hebrew language, and Hebrew characters.”

* Hom. in Jerem.

• Ecc. Hist. Lib. iv, c. 22. + Strom. Lib. ii, p. 380.

$ Ecc. Hist. Lib. iii, c. 25, 27,


And again, “ In that Gospel which they (the Ebionites) have called, according to St Matthew, which is not entire and perfect, but corrupted and curtailed, and which they call the Hebrew Gospel, it is written, • That there was a certain man called Jesus,—and he being about thirty years of age, made choice of us.

And coming to Capernaum, he entered into the house of Simon called Peter, and opening his mouth, said, When I passed by the lake of Tiberias, I chose John and James, the sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew, and Thaddeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas Iscariot; and thou Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom, I called, and thou didst follow me. I will therefore that ye be my Twelve Apostles, for a testimony to Israel.' . . . The meat of John the Baptist, according to this Gospel, was wild honey, the taste of which was like manna, or as cakes made with honey and oil. Thus they change the true account into a falsehood, and for locusts, put cakes made with oil and honey.”—“The beginning of the Gospel was this: “It came to pass in the days of Herod,' &c." After relating the baptism of Christ, as it is recorded in the other Gos. pel, except that it asserts that the voice from heaven saying, “ This is my beloved Son,” &c. was repeated, it goes on to say, “That hereupon John fell down before him, and said, O Lord, I pray thee baptize me; but he hindered him, saying that it is fit that all these things should be fulfilled." “See,” says Epiphanius, “ how their false doctrine appears everywhere, how all things are imperfect, disordered, and without any truth!” So also Cerinthus and Carpocrates, using this same Gospel of theirs, would prove that Christ proceeded from the seed of Joseph and Mary.*

But the testimony of Jerome, respecting this Gospel, is the most full: “ Matthew, also called Levi," says he, “ who became from a publican an Apostle, was the first who composed a Gospel of Christ, and for the sake of those who believed in Christ among the Jews, wrote it in the Hebrew language and letters, but it is uncertain who translated it into Greek. Moreover, the Hebrew (copy) is to this time preserved in the library of Cæsarea, which Pamphilus the martyr, with much diligence, collected. The Nazarenes who live in Berca, a city of Syria, and made use of this volume, granted me the favour of writing it out. In which (Gospel) there is this observable, that wherever the Evangelist either cites himself, or introduces our Saviour as citing any passage out of the Old Testament, he does not follow the translation of the LXX, but the Hebrew copies, of which there are these two instances, viz. • Out of Egypt have I called my Son, and he shall be called a Nazarene.” This testimony is found in Jerome's Life of Matthew. And in his Life of James we find the following account:-“The Gospel also, which is called according to the Hebrews, and which I lately translated into Greek and Latin, and which Origen often used, relates, • That, after our Saviour's resurrection, when our Lord had given the linen cloth to the priest's servant, he went to James and appeared to him; for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he drank the cup of the Lord, till he should see the Lord risen from the dead. And a little after, the Lord said, bring the table and the bread;' and then it is added, “ He took the bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to James the Just, and said to him, my brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of man is risen from the dead.'”

And in a work against Pelagius, he says, “ In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is written in the Chaldo-Syriac language, which the Nazarenes use, and is that according to the Twelve Apostles, or, as most

• Epiph. Hærer.

think, according to Matthew, which is in the library of Cæsarea, there is the following history :

-Behold the mother and brethren of Christ spake to him—John the Baptist baptizes for the remission of sins, let us go and be baptized of him. He said, in what have I sinned that I have need to go and be baptized of him? Unless my saying this proceeds perhaps from ignorance. And in the same Gospel it is said, • If thy brother offend thee by any word, and make thee satisfaction, if it be seven times in a day, thou must forgive him. Simon, his disciple, said unto him, What! seven times in a day? The Lord answered and said unto him, I tell thee also till seventy-times-seven.'

The same author, in his Commentary on Isaiah, mentions this Gospel in the following manner :-“ According to their Gospel, which is written in the Hebrew language, and read by the Nazarenes, the whole fountain of the Holy Ghost descended upon him. Besides, in that Gospel just mentioned, we find these things written, · It came to pass when the Lord ascended from the waters, the whole fountain of the Holy Ghost descended and rested upon him, and said to him, My Son, among (or during the time of) all the prophets, I was waiting for thy coming, that I might rest upon thee: thou art my first-begotten Son, who shall reign to everlasting ages.'.

And in his Commentary on Ezekiel, In that which is entitled the Gospel according to the Hebrews, it is reckoned among the chief of crimes for a person to make sorrowful the heart of his brother.”

In his Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, he has the following: “In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use, which I lately translated out of Hebrew into Greek, and which is by most esteemed the authentic Gospel of Matthew, the man who had the withered hand is said to be a mason, and prayed for relief in the following words:— I was a mason who got my livelihood by my hands; I beseech thee, Jesus, that thou wouldst restore me to my strength, that I may no longer thus scandalously beg my bread.'”

In the Gospel which the Nazarenes use, for the son of Barachiah, I find written the son of Jehoiada." • In this Gospel we read, not that the veil of the temple was rent, but that a lintel or beam of a prodigious size fell down." “ In the Hebrew Gospel we read, that our Lord said to his Disciples, • Be ye never cheerful, unless when you can see your brother in love."

Concerning this Gospel according to the Hebrews, very different opinions have been expressed by learned men.

Some have even pretended that, if it was now in existence, it would be greatly superior to the Greek copy; but generally it has been considered Apocryphal, for very good reasons, some of which I will now set down :

1. It was never received by any of the Fathers as Canonical, nor cited as of any authority, by any writer, during the first four centuries.

For full proof of the fact here stated, I would refer the reader to Jones on the Canon, vol. ii.

2. This Gospel was Apocryphal, because it contained several things contrary to known and undoubted truths. Of this sort are the passages which have been cited respecting Christ's manner of speaking, in regard to the baptism of John. Also the account which it contains of the oath of the Apostle James; for it is evident that the Disciples knew nothing of Christ's resurrection from the dead, until after that event occurred.

3. A third argument for the Apocryphal character of this Gospel is derived from the ludicrous and silly relations which it contains: as that

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