Four Lectures on the Early History of the Gospels. Delivered at Milborne Port, Somerset, Advent, 1897. J. H. Wilkinson

J. S. Riggs
1899 The American Journal of Theology  
James knows and uses. Only the Protestant doctrine of justification makes the question of the relation of the two apostles on this subject insoluble. Seven pages suffice for the establishment of the genuineness of the first epistle of Peter; the doubts in regard to the second This content downloaded from 138.073.Wilkinson proposes to go behind this statement and discover, if possible, what sort of a work Matthew's "Logia" was. He uses principally for this purpose the researches of Harnack and
more » ... es of Harnack and Zahn, and gives us a study full of interest and notable for its ingenuity in putting together the evidence gained from extra-canonical gospels. We can do no more than indicate his conclusions and point out some which will certainly be questioned. And first his conclusion regarding the "Logia." This was "a naive, simple narrative thrown together in a curious unliterary way, and recounting, now in the person of one apostle and now in that of another, the history, and more particularly the inspired utterances the 'sayings'-of our Lord Jesus Christ" (p. 13). This conclusion is gained by identifying the " Gospel of the Nazarenes " with the "Gospel according to the Hebrews" and the latter again with the "Gospel according to the Twelve," and making "the Ebionite Gospel" in the main a translation of the Nazarene Gospel according to the Hebrews, with the help of a good translation of the Hebrew Logia, and of Mark's original gospel. There are here almost as many difficulties as there are processes, for there is good reason for not identifying the Gospel according to the Hebrews with the Gospel according to the Twelve, and the statement that the Ebionite Gospel is a translation of the Nazarene Gospel is certainly questionable. Indeed, to treat the Ebionite Gospel and the Gospel according to the Hebrews as though they had equal claim to an antiquity indicated in the heading "The Gospels in Palestine before 1oo A. D." is misleading. Whatever may be the real age of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, the Ebionite Gospel is certainly later than Ioo A. D. Dr. Salmon does not hesitate to call it a "third-century forgery." If it cannot be identified with the "Gospel according to the Twelve," then, whatever the general likelihood of Wilkinson's final supposition as to the character of the "Logia," it cannot be established by this method. The " memoirs of Peter" referred to by Justin Martyr are looked upon by our author as part of the Logia, and he thinks that the " Gospel of Peter" and the Didascalia may both have used this source. These are certainly interesting suggestions, but they need further examination. On p. 26 is given the genealogy of our four gospels and of the four chief uncanonical gospels. It puts the dates of our gospels as follows: John about Ioo A. D., the others about I00-II5 A. D. The second lecture considers the gospels in Egypt about I00-150 A. D. It is only a short time since fragments of the Gospel of Peter 367 This content downloaded from 138.073.
doi:10.1086/477102 fatcat:j4ndpdq5nfhv7nnvoxpmxu576m