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<b>A selection Graeco-Roman clergy, theologians, and historians on the NT canon</b>

Origen (circa A.D. 185-254):

"<b>And Peter</b>, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail, <b>left only one epistle of acknowledged genuineness. Perhaps also a second; but this is doubtful.</b> What are we to say of him who reclined upon the bosom of Jesus, <b>John, who left one Gospel</b>, though confessing that he could make so many that the world would not contain them? <b>And he wrote also the Apocalypse</b>, being commanded to be silent and not to write the voices of the seven thunders. <b>But he also left an epistle of very few lines. Perhaps also a second and a third; but not all consider them to be genuine</b>, and the two together do not amount to a hundred lines. (Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book 5, Chapter 3)

Eusebius Pamphili (circa A.D. 260-341), Bishop of Caesarea:

"<b>Such are the writings that bear the name of Peter, only one of which I know to be genuine and acknowledged by the ancient elders.</b>" (Historia Ecclesiastica, Book III, Chapter 3)

"And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry. And this indeed is true. For it is evident that the three evangelists recorded only the deeds done by the Saviour for one year after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and indicated this in the beginning of their account.

For Matthew, after the forty days' fast and the temptation which followed it, indicates the chronology of his work when he says:

"Now when he heard that John was delivered up he withdrew from Judea into Galilee."

Mark likewise says:

"Now after that John was delivered up Jesus came into Galilee."

And Luke, before commencing his account of the deeds of Jesus, similarly marks the time, when he says that Herod, "adding to all the evil deeds which he had done, shut up John in prison."

They say, therefore, that the apostle John, being asked to do it for this reason, gave in his Gospel an account of the period which had been omitted by the earlier evangelists, and of the deeds done by the Saviour during that period; that is, of those which were done before the imprisonment of the Baptist. And this is indicated by him, they say, in the following words: "This beginning of miracles did Jesus"; and again when he refers to the Baptist, in the midst of the deeds of Jesus, as still baptizing near Salim; where he states the matter clearly in the words: "For John was not yet cast into prison."

John accordingly, in his Gospel, records the deeds of Christ which were performed before the Baptist was cast into prison, but the other three evangelists mention the events which happened after that time. One who understands this can no longer think that the Gospels are at variance with one another, inasmuch as the Gospel according to John contains the first acts of Christ, while the others give an account of the latter part of his life. And the genealogy of our Saviour according to the flesh John quite naturally omitted, because it had been already given by Matthew and Luke, and began with the doctrine of his divinity, which had, as it were, been reserved for him, as their superior, by the divine Spirit. These things may suffice, which we have said concerning the Gospel of John. The cause which led to the composition of the Gospel of Mark has been already stated by us.

But as for Luke, in the beginning of his Gospel, he states that since many others had more rashly undertaken to compose a narrative of the events of which he had acquired perfect knowledge, he himself, feeling the necessity of freeing us from their uncertain opinions, delivered in his own Gospel an accurate account of those events in regard to which he had learned the full truth, being aided by his intimacy and his stay with Paul and by his acquaintance with the rest of the apostles.

So much for our own account of these things. But in a more fitting place we shall attempt to show by quotations from the ancients, what others have said concerning them. <b>But of the writings of John, not only his Gospel, but also the former of his epistles, has been accepted without dispute both now and in ancient times. But the other two are disputed. In regard to the Apocalypse, the opinions of most men are still divided.</b>" (Historia Ecclesiastica, Book III, Chapter 24)

Eusebius citing Dionysius (circa A.D. 190-265), Bishop of Alexandria:

"Afterward he speaks in this manner of the Apocalypse of John:

'<b>Some before us have set aside and rejected the book altogether, criticising it chapter by chapter, and pronouncing it without sense or argument, and maintaining that the title is fraudulent. For they say that it is not the work of John</b>, nor is it a revelation, because it is covered thickly and densely by a vail of obscurity. And they affirm that none of the apostles, rend none of the saints, nor any one in the Church is its author, but that Cerinthus, who founded the sect which was called after him the Cerinthian, desiring reputable authority for his fiction, prefixed the name. For the doctrine which he taught was this: that the kingdom of Christ will be an earthly one. And as he was himself devoted to the pleasures of the body and altogether sensual in his nature, he dreamed that that kingdom would consist in those things which he desired, namely, in the delights of the belly and of sexual passion; that is to say, in eating and drinking and marrying, and in festivals and sacrifices and the slaying of victims, under the guise of which he thought he could indulge his appetites with a better grace.

'But I could not venture to reject the book, as many brethren hold it in high esteem. But I suppose that it is beyond my comprehension, and that there is a certain concealed and more wonderful meaning in every
part. For if I do not understand I suspect that a deeper sense lies beneath the words.

'I do not measure and judge them by my own reason, but leaving the more to faith I regard them as too high for me to grasp. And I do not reject what I cannot comprehend, but rather wonder because I do not understand it.'

"After this he examines the entire Book of Revelation, and having proved that it is impossible to understand it according to the literal sense, proceeds as follows:

'Having finished all the prophecy, so to speak, the prophet pronounces those blessed who shall observe it, and also himself. For he says, 'Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book, and I, John, who saw and heard these things.' Therefore that he was called John, and that this book is the work of one John, I do not deny. And I agree also that it is the work of a holy and inspired man. <b>But I cannot readily admit that he was the apostle, the son of Zebedee, the brother of James, by whom the Gospel of John and the Catholic Epistle were written.</b>

'For I judge from the character of both, and the forms of expression, and the entire execution of the book, that it is not his. For the evangelist nowhere gives his name, or proclaims himself, either in the Gospel or Epistle.'

"Farther on he adds:

'But John never speaks as if referring to himself, or as if referring to another person. But the author of the Apocalypse introduces himself at the very beginning: 'The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which he gave him to show unto his servants quickly; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John, who bare witness of the word of God and of his testimony, even of all things that he saw."

'Then he writes also an epistle: "John to the seven churches which are in Asia, grace be with you, and peace." But the evangelist did not prefix his name even to the Catholic Epistle; but without introduction he begins with the mystery of the divine revelation itself: 'That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes.' For because of such a revelation the Lord also blessed Peter, saying, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my heavenly Father." But neither in the reputed second or third epistle of John, though they are very short, does the name John appear; but there is written the anonymous phrase, 'the eider.' But this author did not consider it sufficient to give his name once and to proceed with his work; but he takes it up again: 'I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and in the patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.' And toward the close he speaks thus: 'Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book, and I, John, who saw and heard these things.'

'But that he who wrote these things was called John must be believed, as he says it; but who he was does not appear. For he did not say, as often in the Gospel, that he was the beloved disciple of the Lord, or the one who lay on his breast, or the brother of James, or the eyewitness and hearer of the Lord. For he would have spoken of these things if he had wished to show himself plainly. But he says none of them; but speaks of himself as our brother and companion, and a witness of Jesus, and blessed because he had seen and heard the revelations. But I am of the opinion that there were many with the same name as the apostle John, who, on account of their love for him, and because they admired and emulated him, and desired to be loved by the Lord as he was, took to themselves the same surname, as many of the children of the faithful are called Paul or Peter. For example, there is also another John, surnamed Mark, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, whom Barnabas and Paul took with them; of whom also it is said, 'And they had also John as their attendant.' But that it is he who wrote this, I would not say.&nbsp;&nbsp;For it not written that he went with them into Asia, but, 'Now when Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.' But I think that he was some other one of those in Asia; as they say that there are two monuments in Ephesus, each bearing the name of John.

'And from the ideas, and from the words and their arrangement, it may be reasonably conjectured that this one is different from that one. For the Gospel and Epistle agree with each other and begin in the same
manner. The one says, 'In the beginning was the Word '; the other, 'That which was from the beginning.' The one: 'And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father'; the other says the same things slightly altered: 'Which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes; which we have looked upon and our hands have handled of the Word of life -- and the life was manifested.' For he introduces these things at the beginning, maintaining them, as is evident from what follows, in opposition to those who said that the Lord had not come in the flesh. Wherefore also he carefully adds, 'And we have seen and bear witness, and declare unto you the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also.' He holds to this and does not digress from his subject, but discusses everything under the same heads and names some of which we will briefly mention. Any one who examines carefully will find the phrases, 'the life,' 'the light,' 'turning from darkness,' frequently occurring in both; also continually, 'truth,' 'grace,' 'joy,' 'the flesh and blood of the Lord,' 'the judgment,' 'the forgiveness of sins,' 'the love of God toward us,' the 'commandment that we love one another,' that we should' keep all the commandments'; the 'conviction of the world, of the Devil, of Anti-Christ,' the 'promise of the Holy Spirit,' the 'adoption of God,' the 'faith continually required of us,' 'the Father and the Son,' occur everywhere. In fact, it is plainly to be seen that one and the same character marks the Gospel and the Epistle throughout. But the Apocalypse is different from these writings and foreign to them; not touching, nor in the least bordering upon them; almost, so to speak, without even a syllable in common with them. Nay more, the Epistle -- for I pass by the Gospel -- does not mention nor does it contain any intimation of the Apocalypse, nor does the Apocalypse of the Epistle. But Paul, in his epistles, gives some indication of his revelations, though he has not written them out by themselves.' " (Hist. Eccl. Book VII, Chapter 25)

Jerome (circa 341-420):

"John, the apostle whom Jesus most loved, the son of Zebedee and brother of James, the apostle whom Herod, after our Lord's passion, beheaded, most recently of all the evangelists wrote a Gospel, at the request of the bishops of Asia, against Cerinthus and other heretics and especially against the then growing dogma of the Ebionites, who assert that Christ did not exist before Mary. On this account he was compelled to maintain His divine nativity. But there is said to be yet another reason for this work, in that when he had read Matthew, Mark, and Luke, he approved indeed the substance of the history and declared that the things they said were true, but that they had given the history of only one year, the one, that is, which follows the imprisonment of John and in which he was put to death. So passing by this year the events of which had been set forth by these, he related the events of the earlier period before John was shut up in prison, so that it might be manifest to those who should diligently read the volumes of the four Evangelists. This also takes away the discrepancy which there seems to be between John and the others. <b>He wrote also one Epistle which begins as follows, 'That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes and our hands handled concerning the word of life'; which is esteemed of by all men who are interested in the church or in learning. The other two of which the first is, 'The eider to the elect lady and her children,' and the other, 'The elder unto Gaius the beloved whom I love in truth,' are said to be the work of John the presbyter to the memory of whom another sepulchre is shown at Ephesus to the present day, though some think that there are two memorials of this same John the evangelist. We shall treat of this matter in its turn when we come to Papias his disciple.</b> In the fourteenth year then after Nero, Domitian having raised a second persecution, he was banished to the island of Patmos, and wrote the Apocalypse, on which Justin Martyr and Irenaeus afterwards wrote commentaries. But Domitian having been put to death and his acts, on account of his excessive cruelty, having been annulled by the senate, he returned to Ephesus under Pertinax and continuing there until the tithe of the emperor Trajan, founded and built churches throughout all Asia, and, worn out by old age, died in the sixty-eighth year after our Lord's passion and was buried near the same city." (De Viris Illustribus, Chapter 9 )

"Papias, the pupil of John, bishop of Hierapolis in Asia, wrote only five volumes, which he entitled Exposition of the words of our Lord, in which, when he had asserted in his preface that he did not follow various opinions but had the apostles for authority, he said, 'I considered what Andrew and Peter said, what Philip, what Thomas, what James, what John, what Matthew or any one else among the disciples of our Lord, what also Aristion and the elder John, disciples of the Lord had said, not so much that I have their books to read, as that their living voice is heard until the present day in the authors themselves.' It appears through this catalogue of names that the John who is placed among the disciples is not the same as the eider John whom he places after Aristion in his enumeration. <b>This we say moreover because of the opinion mentioned above, where we record that it is declared by many that the last two epistles of John are the work not of the apostle but of the presbyter.</b>" (De Vir. Illustr., Chapter 18 )

Amphilochius (circa A.D. 340-403), Bishop of Iconium, in the poem <i>Iambics for Seleucus</i>:

It is time for me to speak of the books of the New Testament.
Receive only four evangelists:
Matthew, then Mark, to whom, having added Luke
As third, count John as fourth in time,
But first in height of teachings,
For I call this one rightly a son of thunder,

Sounding out most greatly with the word of God.
And receive also the second book of Luke,
That of the catholic Acts of the Apostles.
Add next the chosen vessel,
The herald of the Gentiles, the apostle
Paul, having written wisely to the churches
Twice seven Epistles: to the Romans one,
To which one must add two to the Corinthians,
That to the Galatians, and that to the Ephesians, after which
That in Philippi, then the one written
To the Colassians, two to the Thessalonians,
Two to Timothy, and to Titus and the Philemon,
One each, and one to the Hebrews.
But some say the one to the Hebrews is spurious,
not saying well, for the grace is genuine.
Well, what remains? Of the Catholic Epistles
<b>Some say we must receive seven, but others say
Only three should be received -- that of James, one,
And one of Peter, and those of John, one</b>.
And some receive three [of John], and besides these, two
of Peter, and that of Jude a seventh.
<b>And again the Revelation of John,
Some approve, but the most
Say it is spurious</b>,
This is perhaps the most reliable
canon of the divinely inspired Scriptures.
hmmmm, I'm seeing you post a lot of this around the website and on various forums.

From what you have posted, Craig, no one seems to know for sure, in fact, your unsure yourself.

With that in mind, I suggest you spend a few days in a legitimate fast before The Almighty, waiting on Him and seeking His wisdom over such things, and allowing Him to correct your way of error, rather than hastily taking a side that you could look foolish in, and debating about it with the rest of mankind, whilst The Almighty laughs at you and your decision.

I just came off a 2 day fast, and it was very refreshing and enlightening indeed.

Very much indeed!

If you need tips and pointers in how to do this, please ask, I'm sure the critters kept up inside you will hate me for sure. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/happy.gif" alt="Big Grin" title="Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->
While you're fasting Dave...could you pray for a sudden discovery of a pre-Peshito Revelation because that Greek one we got now is loaded with bad grammar unfortunately. <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Big Grin" /><!-- s:biggrin: -->
Maybe that's an indication that the real original is from the Afro-Asiatic language family instead of the Indo-European language family. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/happy.gif" alt="Big Grin" title="Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->
By the time I black-boxed or reconstructed the text using the R. H. Charles method I'd be old as Methuselah. <!-- sSad --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/sad.gif" alt="Sad" title="Sad" /><!-- sSad -->
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

Akha Larry
hehe Larry

Actually I'm done with my fast, I was suggesting it for Craig.

I plan on doing fasts on a regular basis as I'm pulling more into editing His word and desire to catch the spiritual imprint past the letter. It is quite a site when you do!

Never know about the original till you let The Lord open it for ya, har har !!

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