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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

AS to the writings of Peter, one of his epistles, called the first, is acknowledged as genuine. For this was anciently used by the ancient fathers in their writings, as an undoubted work of the apostle. But that which is called the second, we have not, indeed, understood to be embodied with the sacred books (ενδιαθηκον), yet as it appeared useful to many, it was studiously read with the other Scriptures. As to that work, however, which is ascribed to him, called “The Acts,” and the “Gospel according to Peter,” and that called “The Preaching and the Revelations of Peter,” we know nothing of their being handed down as Catholic writings. Since neither among the ancient nor the ecclesiastical writers of our own day, has there been one that has appealed to testimony taken from them. But as I proceed in my history, I shall carefully show with the successions of the apostles, what ecclesiastical writers in their times respectively made use of any of the disputed writings, and what opinions they have expressed, both respecting the incorporated (ενδιαθηκοι) and acknowledged writings, and also respecting those that were not of this description. These are called Peter’s epistles, of which I have understood only one epistle to be genuine and admitted by the ancient fathers. The epistles of Paul are fourteen, all well known and beyond doubt. It should not, however, be concealed, that some have set aside the Epistle to the Hebrews, saying, that it was disputed, as not being one of St. Paul’s epistles; but we shall in the proper place, also subjoin what has been said by those before our time respecting this epistle. As to what are called his Acts, I do not regard them among the works of undisputed authority. But as the same apostle in the addresses at the close of the Epistle to the Romans, has among others made mention also of Hermas, of whom they say we have the book called Pastor, it should be observed, that this too is disputed by some, on account of whom it is not placed among those of acknowledged authority (ὁμολογουμενοι). By others, however, it is judged most necessary, especially to those who need an elementary introduction. Hence we know that it has been already in public use in our churches, and I have also understood by tradition, that some of the most ancient writers have made use of it. Let this suffice for the present, to show what books were disputed, what admitted by all in the sacred Scriptures.








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