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

THIS appears also to be the proper place to give a summary statement of the books of the New Testament already mentioned. And here, among the first, must be placed the holy quaternion of the Gospels; these are followed by “The book of the Acts of the Apostles;” after this must be mentioned the epistles of Paul, which are followed by the acknowledged first Epistle of John, as also the first of Peter, to be admitted in like manner. After these, are to be placed, if proper, the Revelation of John, concerning which we shall offer the different opinions in due time. These, then, are acknowledged as genuine. Among the disputed books, although they are well known and approved by many, is reputed, that called the Epistle of James and Jude. Also the “Second Epistle of Peter,” and those called “The Second and Third of John,” whether they are of the evangelist or of some other of the same name. Among the spurious must be numbered, both the books called “The Acts of Paul,” and that called “Pastor,” and “The Revelation of Peter.” Beside these, the books called “The Epistle of Barnabas,” and what are called “The Institutions of the Apostles.” Moreover, as I said before, if it should appear right, “The Revelation of John,” which some, as before said, reject, but others rank among the genuine. But there are also some who number among these, the gospel according to the Hebrews, with which those of the Hebrews that have received Christ are particularly delighted. These may be said to be all concerning which there is any dispute. We have, however, necessarily subjoined here a catalogue of these also, in order to distinguish those that are true, genuine, and well authenticated writings, from those others which are not only not imbodied in the canon, but likewise disputed, notwithstanding that they are recognized by most ecclesiastical writers. Thus we may have it in our power to know both these books, and those that are adduced by the heretics under the name of the apostles, such, viz., as compose the gospels of Peter, Thomas, and Matthew, and others beside them, or such as contain the Acts of the Apostles, by Andrew, and John, and others, of which no one of those writers in the ecclesiastical succession has condescended to make any mention in his works; and indeed, the character of the style itself is very different from that of the apostles, and the sentiments, and the purport of those things that are advanced in them, deviating as far as possible from sound orthodoxy, evidently proves they are the fictions of heretical men; whence they are to be ranked not only among the spurious writings, but are to be rejected as altogether absurd and impious. Let us now proceed to the continuation of our history.








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