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among those apostles, who did not die by martyrdom; nor does Clement contradict him.
It is also observable, that" Chrysostom has a commendation of Matthew, consisting of divers articles: his humility; mercifulness or liberality; piety; general benevolence; writing a gospel; finally, fortitude, inasmuch as "he came from the presence of the council rejoicing:" referring, I suppose, to Acts v. 41: but says nothing of his martyrdom. Which may induce us to think, that there was not any tradition about it among christians at that time, or that it was not much regarded.
II. Having thus given the history of this apostle, I proceed to the consideration of his gospel, one of the universally acknowledged books of the new Testament. Two things principally are to be the subjects of our inquiry, the time of writing it, and the language in which it was written. And I propose to recite here briefly all, or most of the authors, that have been largely quoted in the former volumes, so far as relates to those two particulars.
Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, about A. D. 116, by some supposed to have been acquainted with John the apostle, by others with John the elder only, in his five books, entitled, Explications of the Oracles of the Lord, which seem to have been collections of ancient stories and traditions, makes express mention of Matthew's gospel, and says that he wrote the Divine Oracles in the Hebrew tongue.
Irenæus, bishop of Lyons, about the year 178, who was born in Asia, and in his youth was acquainted with Polycarp, disciple of St. John, says, Matthew, P then among 'the Jews, wrote a gospel in their own language, while 'Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel at Rome, and founding [or establishing] the church there. And after 'their exit, [that is, death, or departure,] Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, delivered to us in writing, the things that had been preached by Peter. And Luke, the companion of Paul, put down in a book the gospel preached by him. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who leaned upon his breast, likewise pub'lished a gospel, whilst he dwelt at Ephesus in Asia.' In
"In Matt. Hom. 48. [al. 49.] T. VII. p. 491.
• See of this work, Vol. ii. p. 119.
- Ο μεν δε Ματθαιος εν τοις Εβραιοις τη αυτων διαλεκτῳ και γραφην εξενεγκεν ευαγγελια, το Πετρο, και τω Παύλω εν Ῥωμη ευαγγελιζομενων και DεμedI8VTWY TηV ekkλŋowav. k. d. Adv. Hær. 1 3. cap. i. Et ap. Euseb. 1. 5. c. 8. And in this work, Vol. ii. p. 170.
another place he says, the gospel according to Matthew was delivered to the Jews.'
Origen, about 230, says, 'that' according to the tradition received by him, the first gospel was written by Matthew, once a publican, afterwards a disciple of Jesus Christ who delivered it to the Jewish believers, com'posed in the Hebrew language.' And in another place he says, that Matthew wrote for the Hebrews.'
Says Eusebius, about 315, Matthew having first 'preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to 'other people, delivered to them in their own language the gospel according to him, by that writing supplying the want of his presence with those whom he was leaving.'
Athanasius, in his Festal Epistle, " does not say where, or in what language Matthew wrote. But in the Synopsis ascribed to him, it is said, that Matthew wrote his gos'pel in Hebrew, and published it at Jerusalem.'
Cyril of Jerusalem says, that 'brew.'
Epiphanius likewise says, 'brew.' And afterwards.
Matthew wrote in He
that Matthew wrote in HeMatthew wrote first, and
'Mark soon after him, being a follower of Peter at Rome.' If Mark did not write till after Peter came to Rome, and Matthew but a little before him; it follows, that Matthew's gospel was not written so soon as many later writers have supposed.
Gregory Nazianzen in his catalogue says, 'that Mat6 thew wrote for the Hebrews.'
And Ebedjesu, that Matthew, the first evangelist, pub'lished his gospel in Palestine, written in Hebrew.'
Theodore of Mopsuestia, says, that for a good while 'the apostles preached chiefly to Jews in Judea. Afte.'wards Providence made way for conducting them to re'mote countries. Peter went to Rome, the rest elsewhere: 'John, in particular, took up his abode at Ephesus-About this time the other evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, 'published their gospels, which were soon spread all over the world.' This supposeth a late date of the gospels, as was argued, Vol. iv. ch. cxiii. num. iii.2, that is, after the beginning
5 Ευθυς δε μετα τον Ματθαίον ακόλεθος γενόμενος ὁ Μάρκος τὴν ἁγα Πετρῳ
Ev Popy. Citat. ib. p. 305.
* See Vol. iv. p. 287.
of Nero's reign, when Peter went to Rome, and not long before the war in Judea, which broke out in 66, about which time John left that country, and settled at Ephesus. Says Jerom in the prologue to his Commentary upon St. Matthew: The first evangelist is Matthew, the publi⚫ can, surnamed Levi, who wrote his gospel in Judea, in the 'Hebrew language, chiefly for the sake of the Jews that believed in Jesus, and did not join the shadow of the law with the truth of the gospel. To the like purpose in the article of St. Matthew, in his book of Ecclesiastical Writers: 'Matthew, called also Levi, of a publican made an apostle, 'first of all wrote a gospel in Judea in the Hebrew lan'guage, for the sake of those of the circumcision, who believed. Who afterwards translated it into Greek, is un' certain.'
Chrysostom in the introduction to his homilies upon this gospel: Matthew is said to have written his gospel at the request of the Jewish believers, who desired him to 'put down in writing what he had taught them by word of 'mouth and he is said to have written in Hebrew.' speaks with hesitation, and is not positive about the occasion of writing this gospel, or the language in which it was written. Afterwards he says: In what place ' each one of the evangelists wrote, cannot be said with 'certainty.'
Cosmas of Alexandria, about the year 535, says: 'Mat'thew is the first evangelist that wrote a gospel. There being a persecution, when Stephen was stoned, and he also being about to go from that place, the believers en'treated him to leave with them a written instruction, with 'which request he complied.' And what follows.
The author of the Imperfect Work upon St. Matthew, in the sixth century, about the year 560, observes to this purpose: The occasion of Matthew's writing is said to be this. There being a great persecution in Palestine, so that there was danger, lest all the faithful should be dis'persed that they might not be without teaching, though 'they should have no teachers, they requested Matthew to 'write for them a history of all Christ's words and works, that wherever they should be, they should have with them the 'ground of their faith.' This writer does not say, that this was the persecution that arose about the time of the death of Stephen. He seems to speak of a later, and more
© P. 439.
Vol. v. p. 94.
d P. 441.
f P. 539.
general persecution and dispersion, such as may be well supposed to have been in Judea, near the war in 66; when most, or all of the apostles, and many of the Jewish believers, removed, and were dispersed into other countries.
In the Paschal Chronicle, a work composed in the seventh century, as formerly cited, it is intimated, that St. Matthew published his gospel in Palestine, about fifteen years after our Lord's ascension, and soon after the council at Jerusalem, of which an account is given Acts xv.
And to draw to a conclusion of this list of writers. Theophylact, in the eleventh century, says: • Matthew then first wrote a gospel in the Hebrew language, for 'the sake of the Hebrew believers, eight years after our 'Saviour's ascension.'
Euthymius in the beginning of the twelfth century: 'That Matthew's gospel was the first, and written in Judea, in Hebrew for the Jewish believers, eight years after 6 our Lord's ascension.'
Nicephorus Callisti, in the fourteenth century, says: Matthew having preached the saving word to the Jews, when he was about to go abroad to the Gentiles, thought it best to write in his native language an account of his preaching, to supply the want of his presence; which 'he did at about fifteen years after our Saviour's as'cension.'
III. Who now of all these writers deserves the greatest regard? Irenæus, I think, as being the most ancient. And with him agree Epiphanius, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and the author of the Imperfect Work, as it seems. Nor is he contradicted by Eusebius of Caesarea, so far as I can perceive:" he says, 'that when Matthew was about to go to other people, he delivered his gospel to the Hebrews in their own language.' But he does not say in his Ecclesiastical History, nor any where else, when this apostle left Judea. Some may have understood him to mean about eight years after our Saviour's ascension, and others about fifteen years after it, as Nicephorus and perhaps the Paschal Chronicle; but himself has not expressly mentioned the time and he may have been undetermined in his mind about the time when Matthew left Judea. Moreover, he has inserted P in his Ecclesiastical History the passage of Irenæus above quoted, upon which we insist. And a late
iSee vol. iv. p. 133.
I P. 166.
m P. 168, 169.
* Vol. v. p. 158, 159.
P L. 5. cap. 8.
"Vol. iv. p. 133 p. 172. 1.
date of the gospels is agreeable to his own, and others' observations, before taken notice of, that the apostles of Christ did not write many books, and were not very forward to write but as they were compelled by a kind of necessity.
There are divers learned moderns of good judgment in these matters, who pay a great regard to this testimony of Irenæus, particularly, Fabricius, Mill, S. Basnage, and before them Martin Chemnitius.
Mill supposed it to be highly probable, that " Irenæus had this account from Papias. Le Clerc likewise seems to have thought, that Ireneus found this in the five books. of Papias: but that is only conjecture. Eusebius quoting Papias observes, that he said, Matthew wrote in Hebrew. But he does not say, that Papias mentioned the time of writing his gospel. However, it was the opinion of Irenæus; and it may be reckoned not improbable, that he had a tradition to that purpose, which he relied upon as right, for he speaks of it without hesitation. It might be derived from several, one of whom was Papias. Irenæus says, that Matthew published his gospel when Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome: that is, says Mill, in the year 61. For,' adds he, I understand him of the first time that Paul was at Rome:' But if Irenæus says right, it must have been at the second time that Paul was at Rome; for we have no reason to believe that Peter was at all in that city when Paul was sent thither by Festus: but, very probably, Peter and Paul were there together afterwards, and suffered martyrdom there about the same time. That is the season to which we should be led for fixing the writing of St. Matthew's Gospel, if Irenæus may be relied upon. Accordingly Basuage in his annals
De tempore, quando scripserit, cui potius fidem habeamus, quam S. Irenæo, temporibus illis proximo, qui tradit eum edidisse evangelium, te Πετρε και το Παύλε εν Ρώμη ευαγγελιζομενων και θεμελιωντων την εκκλησίαν. Bib. Gr. 1. 4. c. 5. T. 3. p. 126.
Prolegom. num. 61.
Examen Concil. Trid. p. 16.
A. 64. n. xii.
"Tamen Irenæus 1. 3. c. i. expresse dicit, (ex auctoritate Papiæ, nullus dubito, qui rapadori hanc a Johanne presbytero, apostolorum familiari, acceperat,) Matthæum evangelium suum edidisse, cum Petrus et Paulus evangelizarent Romæ, et fundarent ecclesiam.' Proleg. num. 61.
Vid. Diss. de iv. Evang. sub init.
Atque hoc ipso quidem anno LXI. prodiisse videtur evangelium Matthæi -Ego quidem de priori adventu intelligendum Irenæum omnino arbitror. Ib. num. 61, 62.
* Quo tempore Petrus Paulusque Romæ operam dabant evangelio, Matthæus, si creditur Irenæo, evangelium exaravit suum-Annum tamen perinde