Encyclopaedia Biblica/Old Christian Literature-Onions

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
Old Christian Literature-Onions
see Encyclopaedia Biblica for other articles, typographic issues, links to PDF copies, and public domain status




  • Idea of Old-Christian Literature (1).
  • Gradual recognition ( 2).
  • Extent (limits of Old-Christian period) (3)
  • Subdivisions (4).
  • Method of present survey (5).
    • I. GOSPELS
      • Gospels : character ; the oldest gospel (6).
      • Recensions (7).
      • Apocryphal gospels (8).
    • II. ACTS (9-17).
      • Acts: character (9).
      • Fragments (10).
      • Preaching of Peter (11).
      • Apocryphal Acts (12).
      • Books of Martyrdom (13-17).
      • Peter and Paul (13).
      • Polycarp (14).
      • Pionius, Justin (15).
      • Vienne and Lyons (16).
      • Scili ; Apollonius (17).
    • III. EPISTLES (18-34).
      • Meaning of the word (18).
      • Estimate of them (19).
      • Pauline and Catholic epistles (20).
      • Barnabas (21-22).
      • Clement of Rome (23-27).
      • Ignatius (28-29).
      • Diognetus, Valentinus, Marcion, Themiso (30).
      • Dionysius of Corinth (31).
      • Irenaeus (32).
      • Ptolemy (33).
      • Apocryphal epistles (34).
    • IV. APOCALYPSES (35).
    • V. APOLOGIES (36-44).
      • Quadratus, Aristides(36).
      • Aristo of Pella (37).
      • Justin (38-40).
      • Epistle to Diognetus I (41)
      • Tatian (42).
      • Athenagoras (43).
      • Miltiades, etc. (44).
    • VI. TEXT BOOKS (45).
  • Literature (46).

1. Idea of Old-Christian literature.[edit]

By Old-Christian Literature 1 is here intended the extant remains of Christian literature so far as these are connected with the elucidation, defence, or advocacy of the Christian religion, down to about the year 180 A. D. Since no other description of Christian writings has come down to us from within the period defined, we may also say that the designation covers the whole body of extant Christian literature, sacred or secular, canonical or uncanonical, whether pages, books, or collections of books. It is usual to isolate the NT and to regard the twenty-seven books united under the title as a group standing by itself and not belonging to the Old-Christian Literature properly so-called; and in accordance with this a distinction is commonly made between the two studies, which are regarded as mutually independent : 'Introduction to the NT' and 'Patristic' - the latter denoting the scientific investigation of such writings of the early Christian period as were not received into the Canon, and the first, whether as 'Historical Critical Introduction to the NT', or as 'History of the Literature' or 'of the Books' 'of the NT', or simply as 'History of the NT' denoting the study, in the aggregate or in detail, of the works which make up the NT, whether this study be limited to the questions relating to their contents and origin, or extended to those relating to their text and its history, translation, interpretation, appreciation, etc.

1 [The phrase Old-Christian for altchristlich, oudchristelijk, on the analogy of 'Old-Catholic', is preferred as a technical term, less ambiguous than the more idiomatic 'Early Christian' or the not sufficiently colourless 'Primitive Christian'. ]

The distinction, however, is not a just one, and its maintenance as recently exhibited by Th. Zahn in his article 'Einleitung in das NT' in PRE^, 5:270-4 (cp 'Kanon des NT', ib. 9 769-73) cannot be recommended. However powerful the practical considerations which can be urged in its support - such as the current usage of language, the peculiar importance of the NT for the faith and conduct of Christians, the place it occupies in dogma, in religious instruction, in university lectures and courses of study, the established practice of handbooks, - it is none the less without scientific justification. It does not, in point of fact, rest upon any real difference in the character or origin of the writings concerned, but only upon the assumption of their differing values as sacred or non-sacred books, as if the NT contained the records of a special revelation - in the last result the only argument of Th. Zahn - whilst none of the other literary productions of ancient Christianity can lay claim to any such title. The justice of the separation may be granted when the question is looked at from the dogmatic point of view ; but it is none the less purely dogmatic, and on that very account inadmissible in a scientific research. Moreover, the history of the origin and collection of the books of the NT has long ago enabled us to see that they arose one by one in the ordinary genuinely human manner, and only gradually were gathered together. Not at a single stroke, nor by any special divine or human providence, nor yet in virtue of exceptional talents or, if you will, supernatural gifts denied to other Old-Christian writers or collectors, was this task achieved. It was done by men moved after the same manner as ourselves, men who were the children of their own time and, be it said with all reverence for the priceless work they accomplished, were gifted in very various degrees, - writers, speaking generally, of similar quality and similar endowment with those to whom we are indebted for the other literary productions of ancient Christianity ; collectors who, governed by various views regarding the interest of Christian society as they had learned to understand it, brought together a group of gospels, two groups of epistles - the Pauline and the Catholic - neither of which, however, ever had fixed limits. To these were added, though not immediately or even unanimously, Acts of the Apostles and a Revelation of John ; also, for a time, in one quarter or another, other writings which in the end failed to gain admission into the Canon. See CANON, 60-76; Zahn, PREW, 9:768-796; Van Manen, Handl. voor de Oudchr. Lett. 119-123.

The same history enables us to see that the books of the NT were originally coincident with what subse quently came to be described as Old-Christian literature. They form part of it an essential and highly interesting and important nay, the most important part. The old distinction between canonical and non-canonical books as regards this literature must be abandoned ; NT Introduction and Patristic must no longer be separate studies, they must be amalgamated in that of Old-Christian literature.

1 [; IN. for nnp and also for 7'7nX; TK , for 7'X' and !]'ni for 37U (so Gu.) ; 2trn3 for UK (nearly as Du.), ** for m-B- 1 ?; see Che. Crit. Bib.]

2. Gradual recognition.[edit]

In principle this has been recognised at various times during the course of the nineteenth century, and especially within the last decades, under the influence of a growing interest in the examples of Old-Christian literature which had not attained canonicity, however little the persons by whom the recognition was made may seem to have been aware of the full significance of their words. Authors of Introductions to the NT were often obliged to discuss more or less fully, besides the books received into the NT, other gospels, Epistles, Acts, Apocalypses, which had arisen in similar circles.

Some of these scholars, such as Eichhorn, actually called their subject a history of Old-Christian literature. Hilgenfeld collected a Novum Testamentum extra canonem receptum 1866, iSS/^C 2 ), containing Epistles of Clement, Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, fragments of Gospels and other books.

The philologist Blass in writing his Grammatik des NTlichen Griechisch (1896, ET, by Thackeray, 1898) deemed it no longer fitting to confine his attention to the text of the canonical books of the NT, but took account also of the Epistles of Barnabas and Clement, the Homilies of Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, the fragments of the Gospel and Apocalypse of Peter.

Harnack avowed on the first page of the first volume of his Gesch. d. altchristlichen Litteratur (1893) - although for practical reasons he passed over the NT in giving his account of the tradition of that literature, and in his writing on Chronology, (Chronologic der altchristlichen Litteratur (1897), dealt with it but in a stepmotherly way - 'to the primitive literature of Christianity belong above all the twenty-seven writings which constitute the NT'. G. Kruger in his Gesch. d. altchristl. Litteratur, 1895, would doubtless have devoted more than a few pages merely to the books of the NT, had not Julicher been contributing to the same series his Einleitung in d, NT.

Holland, meanwhile, had been more thoroughgoing.

As early as 1870-1871 an edition of the Apostolic Fathers, translated with introductions and notes had been published by A. C. Duker and W. C. van Manen, under the general title Oud-Chrisielijkc Letterkunde. Rauwenhoff in his sketch of a theological encyclopaedia (Th. T, 1878, p. 170) had substituted for NT

Introduction and Patristic, 'Original documents relating to the founding of Christianity' . The same two branches of study ceased any longer to be officially recognised when the Bill relating to the Higher Education was passed in 1876. The Act speaks only of Old-Christian literature - an expression including both branches, as was set forth and vindicated by the present writer in his inaugural address (De Leerstoelder Oud-Christelijke Letterkunde, 1885). J. M. S. Baljon, ten years later, expressed himself in substantial agreement with this view in his inaugural address at Utrecht (De Oud-Christelijke Letterkunde, 1895). The same author in issuing a Dutch edition of Cremer's Biblisch-theologisches Worterbuch der NTlichen Gracitat made so many additions as to make it in reality a first essay towards a Lexicon of Old-Christian Literature (Hoordenboek hoofdzakelyk van de Oud-Christelijke Letterkunde, 1897-1899). Kruger declared himself convinced by the arguments of Van Manen, and wrote under this influence Das Dogma vom Neuen Testament, 1896.

At Leyden, since 1885, Hermeneutics and Textual Criticism have been taught, not as formerly with exclusive reference to the NT, but with reference to the whole body of Old-Christian literature. There also was published the first edition of a manual of Old-Christian literature, by Van Manen ( 1900), in which the old distinction between canonical and uncanonical writings was disregarded, and the material that had formerly been divided into these two was brought under a single category.

3. Extent.[edit]

As regards the delimitation of this material no unanimity has as yet been reached. In common parlance the expression Old-Christian literature is used so widely as to be supposed to include all literary remains of Christian antiquity that can be regarded as, say, more than a thousand years old.

Thus, for example, R. A. Lipsius entitled his great work Die Apokryphen Apostelgeschichten u. Apostellegenden, 1 883-90, in which texts dating from the second, third, fourth, down to the ninth century, and sometimes even of a yet later date, are dealt with, a contribution to the history of Old-Christian literature ( 'ein Beitrag zur altchristlichen Literatur-geschichte'). Harnack placed upon the title-page of his largely planned Gescliichte der altchristlichen Litteratur 'down to Eusebius', and in his preface (I. 1893, pp. viii, x) explained the words as meaning that he does not desire to include the Council of Nice in the scope of his work although taking account of the writings of Eusebius. Moreover, he leaves out of consideration all that relates to the Manichaeans, a portion of the Testimonia of Origen and Eusebius, fragments of Julius Africanus, Origen, Eusebius, some things relating to Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, Cyprian. Kruger confined his History of Old-Christian Literature, 1895, to the first three centuries.

For the last sixteen years the arbitrary character of any such limitation has been continually protested against in Leyden. It is liable to alteration at any moment and has nothing to justify it. Consistency of language is, moreover, greatly to be desired. If the subject of Old -Christian literature be accepted as equivalent to that of NT Introduction plus Patristic, the expression can no longer suitably be employed to denote what might more properly be described as 'Old-ecclesiastical', or, in a wider sense, 'later Old-Christian literature' - the latter being divided into 'Old-ecclesiastical' and 'Heretical'. The literary remains of most of the church fathers and their con temporaries - the category of church fathers including, according to Roman Catholic reckoning, writers down to the thirteenth century, while in Protestant circles it is limited to the first six centuries - fall outside the limits of Old-Christian literature. This embraces the NT and all that, speaking generally, pertains to it, as dating from the same or the immediately adjacent period, and breathing on the whole the same spirit - a spirit, that is to say, the same, apart from all difference that arises from mutual divergences in the personality, tendency, aim, environment of the writers. The question to be asked is as to what they have in common with one another as distinguished from those who lived at a later period. What spontaneously and immediately presents itself as thus characteristic and distinctive is their attitude towards the NT canon. Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and those who followed them hold towards this literature an attitude quite different from that of the Old-Christian writers who preceded. They not only, like some of the latter, show acquaintance with some, or many, of the 'books' that now have a place in the collection called the NT ; they also appear to recognise these, all of them or some of them, as authoritative for faith and practice - in a word, as holy writ. Here we have a touchstone for discriminating what is 'Old-Christian' from what is not. In this respect there is, as a rule, a marked difference between the Christian literature of an warlier date and that of the later date just indicated ; let us say, before and after the year 180 A.D. , the date of the principal work of Irenaeus, Against Heresies (IIp6s aip^fft is [pros aireseis]; according to iii. 83 written in the time of Eleutherus, 173 or 175-188 or 190 A. D.). Here we find a criterion for 'Old-Christian' which does not lie in the whim or fancy of the historian, but in the nature of the case, being supplied by the material itself with which he has to deal. We shall do well, therefore, to adhere to it even should we occasionally find that it is difficult to draw the line with equal precision at all points because in point of fact, strictly speaking, it does not always exist.

4. Sub divisions.[edit]

Harnack and Kruger follow a classification of the subject-matter which cannot be adopted here partly because they extend their scheme so as to come down to Eusebius or to the end of the third century, partly because in point of fact they take no account, or almost no account, of the twenty-seven books of the NT. Nor is it advisable to follow them in their distinction between 'original' (Urlitteratur), gnostic, and churchly literature, with further subdivisions under each of these classes, in view of the fact that before 180 A. D. it is hardly possible to speak of 'churchly literature' at all, that the line between 'original' and 'gnostic' writings is difficult to draw, and that the further subdivisions - not the same in Harnack and Kruger - bear witness more clearly to the embarrassment of their authors than to any real endeavour to subdivide the writings in question as far as possible according to their contents.

Harnack, for example, begins with epistles of Paul that had not been received into the Canon, and with gospels, including apocrypha, certainly dating from the so-called post-apostolic age; the 'Preaching' and other non-canonical works of Peter, the Acts and the Preaching of Paul, the Apocalypse of Peter, further epistles of Paul, epistles of Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, the epistle of Barnabas . . . Papias, Polycarp . . . Ignatius, the Didache . . . apologies of Quad rat us, Aristicles, Justin . . . ; and apocryphal Acts of Leucius, . . . Thomas, John. etc. This is what Harnack calls the Christian 'original literature' (Urlitteratur), which is followed by the gnostic, whilst in the third division he deals with 'Christian writings from Asia Minor, Gaul, and Greece', dating from the second half of the second century, including epistles of Themiso and the churches of Lyons and Vienna, apologies of Melito and Athenagoras.

Kruger divides 'Original Christian' (Urchristliche) literature into Epistles, Apocalypses, Histories (Gospels and Acts), Didactic Writings, but discusses (to mention one or two examples) the Gospels of Valentinus and Marcion under gnostic, the apologies of Quadratus, Aristides, and Justin under churchly, literature.

It is better to classify the writings according to their different literary forms, and in doing so to adhere as far as possible to tradition and thus avoid anticipating any estimate we may have to form regarding the Old-Christian writers at a later stage of our investigations.

5. Survey.[edit]

Guided by these principles, we propose to adopt the following classification of Old-Christian literature : l Gospels, Acts, Epistles, Revelations, Apologies, Didactic Writings. In the present article it will not be possible to do more than give a brief survey of the contents of these six classes, further reference being made on many particulars to separate articles in this Encyclopaedia (although the present writer must not be held as in every case con curring in the conclusions there formulated).

1 It is the classification followed in the University instruction at Leyden.

I. GOSPELS.[edit]

In Old-Christian literature, the gospels first demand our attention. Besides the usual word gospels (cuayV^" 1 [euaggelia]) we find such designations as Gospel-writing (ypa-Ql tvayytXiov [graphe euagellion]), Sayings of the Lord (Xrryia KvpiaKa [logia kyriaka]), Records (dtriyriffeis [diegeseis]), Memoirs of the Apostles (a.Tro/j.i ijfj.oi fij/j.aTa Tuiv diroffToXwv [apomnemoneumata ton apostolon]), Traditions (irapaSofffts [paradyseis]), The Acts of Jesus (ai rov Iriaov irpd^tts [ai ton Iesou praxeis]), The Book of Days (i) fiifi\os ruv i]fj.fpu>v [ei biblos ton emeroon]). These writings all relate to the life and work of Jesus Christ. They have a twofold character historical and doctrinal-practical. They are not mere memoirs, drawn up by disciples or friends, for the purpose of preserving in the memory of contemporaries and posterity the recollection of what Jesus of Nazareth was, aimed at, did, said, experienced ; they are more : they are handbooks in which each writer in his own way sought to make known Jesus Christ, the Lord, the Son of God, in all that he was for the world. History here is employed in the service of religious instruction.

6. The oldest gospel.[edit]

As for their origin, the gospels, on close comparison, point us back to (i. ) an 'oldest' written gospel (TO tvay- y^Xiov) which unfortunately does not exist for us except in so far as we can recover any traces of it preserved in later recensions. Perhaps it began somewhat as follows :- In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberias Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea . . . in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, . . . there came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee (fv S^ye/jLovevovTos \\ovriov IleiXdrou TTJS Ioi 5cuas . . . tVJ d.p^ipf(j}v "A VVCL Kai Kaul0a, . . . KO.T^/\Ofv 6ts Ka0otp- vaov/j. TroXcc r.,s IVXtXcu as ; cp Lk. Jji 2 431), Jesus Christ the Son of God ; and then proceeded to sketch, somewhat in the following order, his appearance at Capernaum, his casting out of devils, the proclamation of the kingdom of God, the transfiguration, the final journey to Jerusalem, his passion, death, and resurrection. Nothing was said as yet of his origin, birth, early life, meeting with John, baptism in Jordan, temptation in the wilderness, nor much of consequence regarding his mission as a religious teacher and preacher in Galilee.

This work, presumably written in Greek, may be conjectured to have arisen in the post-apostolic age in circles which sought to combine their more developed Christology (a free speculation of what would then have been called the 'left wing' ) with (ii. ) the still older apostolic tradition - not yet reduced to writing - partly historical, partly not, regarding Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah who had once appeared and whose return was to be expected. As over against the friends of this older tradition, who were able to point to it, those whom we have described (i. ) as belonging to the left wing felt the need of a clear setting-forth of what had been done and suffered by the Son of God in his manifestation in the world.

7. Recensions.[edit]

The 'gospel' thus produced (the first to be written, but, as we have seen, not the oldest form of what had been the oral tradition concerning the life, passion, and death of Jesus the Messiah) was soon supplemented and 'improved' in various ways with the help and guidance of this older tradition. The book appeared in new recensions, new forms. Among others there was, probably, an Aramaic recension, which still survives in a whole group of extant (partly fragmentary) gospels : those of the Hebrews (APOCRYPHA, 26 ; CANON, 73 ; GOSPELS, 155), of the Twelve Apostles and of the Ebionites (APOCRYPHA, 26), of Peter( APOCRYPHA, 26 ; CANON, 73; SIMON PETER), of the Egyptians (APOCRYPHA, 26; GOSPELS, 156b), of Matthias (APOCRYPHA, 26; MATTHIAS), and those of the synoptists, which were received into the Canon (Mt, Mk., Lk. ; see GOSPELS).

In any case there lie behind the text of the three synoptists one or more written gospels of which the respective authors made use, each in his own way, in the composition of his work.

Among the later recasts of the original written gospel ought also to be classed that used by Marcion. It bore no distinctive name, and was afterwards maintained by Marcion s opponents to be a mutilated form of Lk. (see GOSPELS, 98), although it would be more correct to say that it took its place alongside of that gospel as an independent redaction of the common source. This common source, along with its two derivatives, Marcion and Lk. , may then be regarded as constituting a distinct group, the Pauline, as distinguished from the synoptic in the narrower sense of the word - i.e., the Old- or Jewish-Christian, immediately underlying our canonical Mt. and Mk. , which have received Pauline touches (see Van Manen, Handl. chap, i., 31).

A third current in the development of the written gospel along the Old- or Jewish-Christian and the Paul ine or Gentile-Christian lines, is the Gnostic, including the Gospels of which we know practically nothing but the names of Cerinthus, Carpocrates, Basilides, Apelles, Valentinus (see GOSPELS, 99), as also the later Gospels of Thomas, Philip, Eve, Judas Iscariot, the Gospel of Perfection (Consummation?) (evayytXiov re Xftwff ews), the 'proper' (tdia) gospels of the Severians, and others, now lost, which also dated probably from the second century. A main source for our knowledge of the type of writing here referred to is, notwithstanding its catholic colouring, our canonical Fourth Gospel (see GOSPELS, and JOHN, SON OF ZEBEDEE).

As belonging to the same branch of Old-Christian Literature ought also to be enumerated the extra-canonical Words of Jesus, most recently collected with praiseworthy diligence by A. Resch (Agrapha, 1889 ; Aussercanonische Paralleltexte zu den Evangelien, 5 parts, 1893-97 ; Die Logia Jesu, 1898). Cp J. H. Ropes (Spruche Jesu, 1896), who criticises and classifies them into seventy-three Agrapha without any, eleven of perhaps some, and fourteen of distinct, importance (see GOSPELS, 156e).

Also the so-called A&yia Irjcrov [logia iesou] found in 1897 on a papyrus leaf among the ruins of Oxyrhynchus (see APOCRYPHA, 26, 6; GOSPELS, 86, 156a ; PAPYRI); the Fayum fragment (see APOCRYPHA, 26, 5 ; GOSPELS, 156); in so far as one can venture to hold its existence (which is not probable, or at least is not certain), the Words of the Lord, collected by Matthew and commented on by Papias (see CANON, 66; GOSPELS, 120, 122, 149, 150); and the Diatessaron of Tatian (CANON, 68 ; GOSPELS, 107; Zahn, PRE < 3 ) 5:653-661 ; van Manen, Handl. chap. i. 44).

8. Apocryphal gospels.[edit]

Apocryphal gospels, even of a comparatively early date, such as those of James, Thomas, Nicodemus (see APOCRYPHA, 27 ; NICODEMUS [GOSPEL OF]), in which narratives are given of the nativity and childhood, passion and death of Jesus ; also concerning his father Joseph, his mother Mary, his descent into hell ; or about Pilate, - fall beyond the limits of time here assigned, although they occasionally contain noteworthy reminiscences. Strictly speaking, they can at best be regarded only as appendices.

II. ACTS.[edit]

The next class of writings to be considered is the group of 'Acts' (7rpds [praxeis], Acta}, Circuits (ireploSoi [periodos],

9. Character.[edit]

Itinera ) Preaching (icripvyfj.a [kerygma]), Martyrdom (n a PP LO " [martyrion]) Passion (Passio), Consummation (reXetwcris [teleioosis], Consummatio). These writings relate to the life and career of apostles and other prominent persons. They have, as a rule, a twofold character ; they are narratives, but also works of edification, - sometimes didactic and apologetic as well. The oldest of them have disappeared, either wholly or in part. The earliest of their kind, chiefly relating to the life of Paul, most probably had, like the oldest written gospel ( 6, i. ), its origin within a circle of Christians of a progressive or (if the epithet is preferred) 'Pauline' type, who did not hold themselves bound exclusively by (apostolic) tradition. This conclusion is suggested by the consideration that the friends of tradition feel no need of 'lives' as long as the opposite party do not feel it ; by what is known as to the course of the development of the written gospel ; by the conclusions of criticism regarding the canonical book of Acts, and by the circumstance that Circuits (TrepioSoi) of gnostic origin lie at the foundation of Catholic Apocryphal Acts (irpd^as). The remnants of the work which we may call the Acts of Paul (PAUL, 37) are to be traced in Acts 1:24 [D] 4:36-37, 6:1-15, 7:51-8:3, 9:1-30, 11:19-30, 13-28 ; but they have there undergone a change of form. In any case, one or more previous writings now lost underlie the canonical book of Acts (see ACTS, 1, 8-12 ; PAUL, 37 ; also van Manen, Paulus I. ; De Hand, der app. , 1890 ; Handl. chap. ii. 2-7).

10. Fragments.[edit]

Of the following works little more than the title is known. An Acts of Apostles (irpd^eis a.Tro<TTt>\uv), according to Epiphanius (30:16), was used by the Ebionites. Probably a counterpart (and therefore not a polemic) to the Acts afterwards received into the canon ; a recast of the same material but in another spirit - the anti-Pauline.

An 'Ascents of James' ( Avafia.6iJ.ol laKtafiov [Anabatikon Iacoobon]), according to Epiphanius (loc. cit. ), contained blasphemies against Paul and utterances of James against the temple and the sacrifices and the fire upon the altar (cp APOCRYPHA, 28).

An 'Ascents of Paul' ( AvafBariKov IlavXov [Anabatikon Paulon]), according to Epiphanius (38:2), was in use among the gnostics (cp 2 Cor. 12:2-4).

An 'Acts of Paul' (IldiAoi; 7rpdeis [paulon praxeis]), mentioned by Origen and others, perhaps closely related to the Acts of Paul mentioned already ( 9, end) as having been employed in the preparation of canonical Acts, unless we are to regard it as the kernel of the (Apocryphal) Acts of Peter and Paul.

The Preaching of Paul (Pauli Praedicatio], mentioned by Cyprian, is perhaps to be identified with the Acts (Trpdijeu [praxeis]) just mentioned.

11. Preaching of Peter.[edit]

Clement of Alexandria makes us somewhat better acquainted with a work called The Preaching of Peter {"^T V7/0 [petron kerygma]). It represents a liberal view of the preaching of the gospel, as designed for both Jews and Gentiles, in which 'Paul' is presented neither in a favourable nor in an unfavourable light, and no other apostolate than that of the twelve is thought of. It seems to have proceeded from some one who was not a Jew by birth, and who most probably was a Greek, somewhere about 120-125 ( see APOCRYPHA, 31, 2 ; SIMON PETER ; also E. von Dobschiitz, Das Kerygma Petri, 1893; Loman, Th.T, 1886, pp. 71-78, 333-6; Harnack, ACL 1, 1893, PP- 2 5~ 28 2, 1897, pp. 472-4).

12. Apocryphal Acts.[edit]

Apocryphal Acts first appeared separately in considerable numbers, and afterwards came into collections. A group of Gnostic 'Circuits of the Apostles' (Trepioooi. ruv aTroaToXuv [periodoi ton apostolon]), embracing Acts of Peter, John, Andrew, Thomas, and Paul, is attributed to Leucius Charinus ; in a revised form and expanded into Catholic Acts of the Apostles (irpd^eis T&V dTTOffroXiiiv [praxeis ton apostolon]), to Abdias.

The study of this copious literature (Apocryphal Acts) discloses that it arose in Gnostic circles and that much of it was taken over by the Catholics after it had been duly revised (see R. A. Lipsius, Apokr. Ap.-gesch. 1883-1890 ; R. A. Lipsius and M. Bonnet, Acta apostolorum apocrypha, 1 1, 1891, 2i, 1898).

The oldest of these Acts, probably old enough to fall within the period covered by the present article, although scholars are not agreed as to this, are now lost unless in so far as they survive in later editions and redactions. Such were, it is conjectured, 'Circuits of Peter' and 'Circuits of Paul' (Ilepi oSot Herpov and Hepiodoi llavXov), absorbed into the extant Catholic 'Acts of Peter and Paul' (Ilpdfeij Hfrpov xal Hav\ov); 'Circuits of John' (HfpioSoi Iwdvvov), which partially still survive in Catholic and later Gnostic recensions ; the Acts of Paul and Thecla, preserved in a later redaction, unless we are to hold - what does not seem very probable - that this work was already used by Tertullian before 190 A.D. , or take it, with C. Schmidt (1897), for a section of the 'Acts of Paul' (IIpcieis llai>\ov) (see Harnack, ACL 1:136-8 2:1 493-505; Bibl. World, 1901, pp. 185-190).


Related to the category of Acts and in part belonging to it are the Books of Martyrs (Martyria, Acta, Passiones, Virtutes) of which Eusebius made a collection, now lost (ffvyypa.fj.fw., Ka.rd\oyos) ; some of them fall within or just beyond our period. They are :

13. Paul, Peter.[edit]

i. Accounts, known in various recensions, of the Martyrdom of Peter and Paul, which are supposed to have originally stood at the end of the oldest Acts of Paul and Peter (cp Harnack, ACL 1:130-134).

14. Polycarp.[edit]

ii. A 'Martyrdom of the holy Polycarp' (Maprtfjtxo? rov ayiou Ylo\VKiipTrov), in the form of a letter from the church of God at Smyrna, sent at its own request to the church of philomelium and also, unsolicited, to all other churches belonging to the holy catholic church, within a year of the martyrdom of Bishop Polycarp, circa 155, for the purpose of setting forth the circumstances connected with it.

The Greek text has reached us in five MSS. ; in an abridged form in Eusebius (HE 4:15), and in an Old-Latin translation ; it appears in various editions of the Apostolic fathers, the latest and best being those of Zahn, 1896, and Lightfoot, 1889!-), cp Funk, 1901. The genuineness and historicity have been rightly questioned, either denied or disputed, by Steitz (JDT, 1861), Schurer (ZlfT, 1870), Duker and van Manen (Oud-Ckr. Lett. l\b$, 1871), Keim (Celsus, 1873, p. 145, and Urchr. 1878), Lipsius(Z#T, i8 74 ),Gebhardt(.?//7-, 1875), Holtzmann(Z;* 7 , 1877), Jean Reville (De anno Pol., 1881), Rovers (Th.T, 1881, pp. 451-7), - and upon insufficient grounds maintained by Hilgenfeld (?.\VT, 1861, 1874), Zahn (1876), Kenan (J. f.glise Chr. 452), Lightfoot (1889 l-t), Kruger (1895), Harnack (ii. 1, 1897, p. 341).

The work is, whether we regard form or contents, not a letter, nor even an account of Polycarp s death, and certainly not written soon after that event ; it is a decorated narrative of the saint s martyrdom framed after the pattern of the story of Jesus passion as given in the gospels, and expanded into a writing in glorification of the true martyrdom and at the same time in depreciation of the self-sought, superfluous martyrdom commended by the Montanists. The legendary character of the contents, which is not to be set aside by the assumption of interpolations, as also the tendency of the whole, brings it to a date some decades later than that of the death of Polycarp (circa 155 A.D. ), yet still within the second century, rather than in the middle of the third century, or even later, as some would have it.

15. Pionius, Justin, etc.[edit]

iii. A writing concerning Pionius (lliovios), who, we learn, suffered martyrdom at Smyrna shortly after Polycarp, is mentioned by Eusebius (HE 4:15, 4:47), and is extant in a transcript at Venice (Kruger, ACL, 106).

iv. Memoirs of martyrs : Carpus and Papylus and a woman Agathonice ( TTrOjitPTj/xara fj.f/m.aprvpriKorwi Kd/>- TTOV KO.I IlaTri Xoi; KO.I yvvaiKOs A.ya.tiovi.K-q i [hypomnemata memartyrekotoon karpon kai papylon kai gynaikos agathonikes]), mentioned by Eusebius (HE 4:15), edited by Harnack, who holds it to have been written in the reign of Marcus Aurelius (TU iii. 3-4 433-466).

v. 'Martyrdom of the holy martyrs Justinus, Chariton . . . who were martyred at Rome' (Maprvpiov TUV aytuv fj-aprvpuv lovarrivov Xaptrowos XapiroOj Ei eX- iriarov I^pa/cos Ilatai oj KO.L At/SeptovoO fj.a.pTvpijffa.vrwv iv PUJ/U.T;), published with a Latin translation by Otto in Justini OperaW, 2, pp. 266-279, 1879. It is thought to have been written shortly after the condemnation of Justin and his converts, which was between the years 163 and 167 A.D.

15. Vienna and Lyons.[edit]

vi. A particularly noteworthy account of the sufferings of the Christians during the persecution they were subjected to about the seventeenth year of the reign of Antoninus Verus - i.e., according to the preface of Eusebius (HE 5), Marcus Aurelius (177-178 A.D.). This writing, partly preserved in Eusebius (I.c. 1-4), has the form of a letter, written by the Christians at Vienne and Lyons to their fellow-believers in Asia and Phrygia (oi iv IWi i ij /ecu A.ovySo&t>if 7-775 I aXXfas wapoiKovi Tfs dovXoi \piarov rots Kara. Affiav /ecu <bpvyla.v . . . ddt\(j)ois). It is, however, no letter giving details regarding the persecutions endured, but a 'writing' (ypa.<f>-t) [graphe]), a composition (ffiiyypa^i/j.a [syggramma]) written, as Eusebius says, in other than a purely historical interest (OVK lffTopiK6i> avrb fjiovov, dXXct KCU 5t5a<7/iciXiK7jc irepif^ov diriyijffiv). The writer's desire is to instruct and to edify ; to judge by the portions taken over by Eusebius, he does not seek merely to inform his readers as to what the Christians in Gaul have endured, but also to make them see and feel how these Christians suffered, with wonderful fortitude yet without seeking martyrdom and without any trace of contempt or harshness towards those who had failed to stand the test ; notwithstanding their greatness, not wise in their own eyes, but ready to allow them selves to be instructed, models of the true martyrship as also of sober Catholic Christian-mindedness in the whole conduct of life. The purpose is manifest : to promote such a manner of thinking and of living ; to warn against the Montanistic views and doctrines prevalent in Asia and Phrygia and tending to spread from these centres to Rome and elsewhere. This is the author's reason for making use of his fresh recollections - historical even if here and there adorned with touches of art - of the sufferings of the Christians of Vienne and Lyons, and especially those of Lyons. He speaks as if in the very person of these two churches, yet frequently betrays that he is really outside them, we are not told where and can only guess Lyons or Rome. It is certain that he was not, as is often conjectured, Irenaeus, whose style cannot be discerned here, although he may have lived at the same period ; to judge by the relationship between this work, particularly as regards its tendency, and the Martyrdom of Polycarp, it was probably written towards the end of the second century, possibly, however, somewhat later (see P. A. Klap, Theol, Stud., Utrecht, 1900, pp. 423-435).

17. Scili; Apollonius.[edit]

vii. The sufferings of the martyrs at Scili in Numidia in 180 A.D. , written and published in various forms, the latest in a (probably original) Latin text (TS 1:2:105-121 [1891]; Harnack, ACL 2:1:316; Kruger, ACL, 105, 5)

viii. A martyrdom (ftaprupiov) of Apollonius, who was put to death at Rome about 180-185 A.D. Lately published, so far as extant, by E. T. Klette, TU xv. 291-131.


18. Meaning of the word.[edit]

The greater proportion of the literary productions of the period of Christian history with which we are now dealing consists, in outward appearance, of letters ; and many of these, though by no means all of them, are still regarded as having really been such - actual letters sent at first to definite persons and originally written with such persons in view - and as having penetrated to wider circles and become common property only at a later time. Continued examination, however, has led to the conclusion, first with regard to some of these, then with regard to a great number, and finally, in the opinion of the present writer and others (see below, 19), with regard to the whole of them, that they neither are nor ever were 'letters' in any proper sense. They were, from the first, neither more nor less than treatises for instruction and edification, bearing witness to the character, aims, experiences, adventures, of persons, opinions, tendencies, in the form of letters written to one or more recipients, usually in a tone of authority, by men of name. These authors are thought of as still alive although they really belong to an earlier generation. Such letters there fore seemed to be, even in the circle of their first recipients, as voices from the past. Yet they bear un mistakable marks of having been written in the later time. They come from the pens of persons who are unknown to us, and were designed like books which are brought into the market, or otherwise circulated, for all who take any interest in their contents ; and more particularly and specially designed to be read aloud in religious meetings for the edification of the community or to serve as a standard wherewith to regulate faith and life.

As a literary device the epistolary form is an ancient one. It is met with alike among Jews, Greeks, and Romans, and was adopted also by Christian writers such as the authors of Acts 16:23-29, 23:26-30, Rev. 2:3 ; Clem. Hom. 5:9-19, 5:20-26 ; the epistles of Peter and of Clement to James with which Clem. Hom, is prefaced ; that of the Church of Smyrna concerning Polycarp s martyrdom ; that of the Christians of Vienne and Lyons with refer ence to the persecution under Marcus Aurelius (see above, 14, 16) ; and so forth ; cp also the epistolary form of the introduction both to the first and to the second work of Lk. (Lk. 1:1-4, Acts 1:1), and also the beginning and the end of the last book in the NT Canon (Rev. l:4-5a, 22:[18-]21). [Cp EPISTOLARY LITERATURE.]

The letter of edification, on the other hand, is a peculiarly Christian product (cp Th. T 1897, pp. 413-5).

To compose 'letters' under another name, especially under the name of persons whose living presentment, or real or supposed spiritual equipment, it was proposed to set before the reader, was then just as usual as was the other practice of introducing the same persons into nar ratives and reporting their 'words', in the manner of which we have examples, in the case of Jesus, in the gospels, and, in the case of Peter, Paul, and other apostles, in Acts. No one saw anything improper in this, or thought of any intentional falsification, deception, the playing of a part in which one had to be always on one's guard against self-betrayal. Any one who had anything to say wrote a 'letter' without troubling himself - at any rate not more than other writers - with respect to his work, about a supposed defect in the literary form he had chosen, not even about an address left blank in the epistle when 'despatched', as for example in the canonical epistle to the Ephesians ; or about the absence of a suitable epistolary beginning, as in the canonical Epistle to the Hebrews ; or about the want of an appropriate close, as in the Epistle of James ; or about the absence of both, as in the first Epistle of John.

19. Estimate of them.[edit]

At first no one thought about the matter at all - whether to hold or not to hold such epistles as really proceeding from and intended for their ostensible authors and recipients. Sometimes their real origin was known, sometimes it was guessed, sometimes people were content to remain in the dark. They used the epistles or left them unread, just as they were, indifferently, without asking any question as to their origin, knowing this only, that they were intended for all who chose to give heed to them.

Gradually the position changed as a result of a normal change in the readers mode of thinking, their thirst for knowledge, their reverence for the authoritative word, and their exaltation of it to the dignity of canonical scripture. From the time of Irenaeus onwards the old way of looking at things passed away for centuries, - first with regard to thirteen, anon fourteen, 'Pauline', and certain 'Catholic', epistles, and others, written by apostolic fathers ; next with regard to the whole body of Old-Christian epistles so far as it was taken by the Church under its protection, the most recent not excluded, such as are now found in Acts, Revelation, Clem. Hom. , even apocryphal writings such as the Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans, 3 Cor., that of Jesus to Abgarus. All these epistles now came to be regarded as proceeding from the writers whose name they bore, and to have been originally intended for those who were named as their first recipients in superscription, subscrip tion, address, or tradition.

Here also the rise of the modern spirit wrought a change, and the human mind had to retrace its steps along the path it had for centuries been following. The apocryphal epistles were all of them rejected soon after the Reformation ; the genuineness of those embodied in the Clementine Homilies, Rev., and Acts was modestly questioned ; some pieces, such as the larger recension of the Ignatian Epistles, and the second Epistle of Clement, formerly classed among the Apostolic Fathers, were no longer deemed to belong there ; other epistles, both Catholic and Pauline, were from the time of Semler removed from the position they had so long occupied as possessed of the highest, antiquity and indisputably 'genuine'. The process of disintegration steadily went on. The Tubingen school left unchallenged hardly more than the four principal epistles - Rom., 1 and 2 Cor. , Gal. In the end criticism succeeded in removing the veil of error and misunderstanding that concealed the true character of even these (see PAUL, 1, 2-3, 33+}. The history of this criticism is the justification of those who hold to it and at the same time the condemnation of those who wholly or in part set it aside. The time seems to be approaching when the question as to 'genuineness' - in the sense now usually attached to the word - will no longer be discussed as regards any of the epistles that have come down from the first Christian centuries ; it will be enough to be satisfied of their genuine antiquity.

20. Pauline and Catholic epistles.[edit]

i. The Old-Christian epistle as a literary phenomenon seems, so far as we can discover, to have first made its appearance in progressive Pauline circles. The first examples of it have disappeared unless it be that some portions survive in some of our present canonical 'Epistles of Paul' ( EtriffToXai IlaiAou [Epistolai Paulon]), also 'the apostle' (6 AirdffToXos [o apostolos]) or 'the apostolic' (rd ATTOffTo\iK6v [to apostolikon]; see ROMANS; CORINTHIANS, etc.; PAUL). Perhaps there was an earlier group, to which reference is made in 2 Cor. 10:9-11, cp 1:13, and the present group had not originally the same extent as now. We know not by whom the collection was made, nor yet what influence his work had upon the traditional text. Perhaps we may suppose that it led to some changes. Probably the collection was not wholly the work of one person, but arose gradually through additions. The oldest account - to judge by what Tertullian says (adv. Marc. v. ) tells of a group of ten epistles used by Marcion (about 140 A.D. ). It is known that Hebrews was for a long time set aside in many circles.

ii. A second group of Old-Christian Epistles is that known as Catholic ( E-TrtcrToAcu KaOoXtKai). The word must be understood as referring, not to the destination, nor to the ecclesiastical use, but to the contents of these writings. It was not originally intended to convey, as is often still incorrectly supposed, the idea of general or circular letters, nor yet of canonical ones, but only (as a careful examination of the ancient employ ment of the word shows) trustworthy, worthy of acceptance, when judged by the standard of religion and dogma. The group, after long hesitation, was finally made up of seven: Ja. , i and 2 Pet., i, 2, and 3jn.,and Jude (see JAMES (EPISTLE); PETER (EPISTLES OF) ; JOHN (SON OF ZEBEDEE), 57-65 ; JUDE (EPISTLE).

iii. A third group: Epistles of Barnabas (21-22), Clement ( 23-27), Ignatius (28-29), Polycarp (see PHILIPPIANS, 10 14, and above, 14) : is usually included among the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. At a later date was added an Epistle of the Church of Smyrna (see above, 14) ; on the same grounds might be added the epistle of the churches of Vienne and Lyons (see 16).

21. Barnabas.[edit]

The epistle of Barnabas (Ka.pva.fia. fwiffTo\ri [barnaba epistole]) referred to in CANON 65-73 , GOSPELS, 89, 90, is found in several MSS.

It is met with in x, as also in the Jerusalem codex from which the Didache comes (I); chaps. 5, 7-( . . . TOV Aabr K. T. A.)- J1 in nine other Greek MSS, the so-called axe^oAoiv [akephaloin] (of pheusa [ = LXX]); chaps. 1-17 in an Old Latin version; some sentences are also found in Clement of Alexandria and Origen.

The work professes to be a letter - now by one who is the spiritual father of the 'sons and daughters' he addresses (1:1), to whom he feels himself bound by the closest ties, and among whom he has long sojourned (l:3-4) ; now by one who belongs to their own number, who earnestly addresses the brethren, but not as if he were the teacher who had been placed over them (1:8, 4:69). The epistolary form, however well maintained, and on that account usually accepted without question, is, in view of the contents, seen to be fictitious ; in reality the writing is a treatise intended for general use.

The writer's purpose is to instruct, to edify, to communicate under the form of a letter that which he has himself received, in order that his assumed readers, rich in faith, may now arrive also at fulness of knowledge (iva. /xera TT^S TrtVrecos i fj,u>v re\fiav ^XT 7 " 6 T ^l v yuffiv : 1:5). This knowledge or gnosis concerns chiefly the right attitude of Christians towards the OT, the religion of Israel, the divine covenant with the fathers. On these things they need to be enlightened, in connection with the putting into practice of the new religious ethical life. This end is sought to be accomplished by means of a peculiar view - partly allegorical, partly typological, but always arbitrary - of 'Scripture' (the OT and some apocrypha).

The epistle admits of being divided into a double introduction (1:2-5, 1:6-8) and two main portions of a doctrinal (2-17) and a hortatory (18-21) character respectively.

The doctrinal part begins by showing that what is of supreme importance is not the offering of sacrifices or the observance of fasts, but a life in conformity with the moral precepts of the Lord ( 2-3). It is our duty to love righteousness, especially at the present time when the days are evil and the end of the present age is at hand (4:1-6a). We Christians have been ever since the days of Muses the true covenant people (4:6b-14), kept by the Lord, who suffered on our behalf after he had become manifest in the flesh in accordance with what can still be read in Scripture (5). There we can continuously read of his manifestation in the flesh (6). The fasts prescribed in the law, the sacrifice of Isaac, the goat on the great day of atonement, all are types of his passion (7). So also the red heifer that must be slain and burnt, whilst the ministering servants prefigure the twelve as preachers of the gospel (8). The precept of circum cision must be spiritually understood ; the 318, circumcised by Abraham, are a type of Jesus (9) ; the laws concerning foods are to be taken metaphorically (10). At every moment one finds in the OT hints of baptism and of the cross (11-12). In Jacob and Ephraim we come to see that not Israel but the whole body of Christians are the true heirs of the covenant broken in the days of Moses but renewed in Christ (13-14). The true day of rest is not the Jewish Sabbath, but the eighth day, the first of the new week ; the true temple of God is not the building at Jerusalem, but the spiritual temple, of which Christians form a part (15-16). After a short retrospect (17), passing on to another knowledge and teaching (wwo-is <cai SiSa^y [gyosis kai didache]), our author depicts the paths of light and of darkness, and stirs up the children of joy and peace to a walk in conformity with the precepts of the Lord (18-21).

As to the (relative) unity of the whole, often denied or disputed since le Moyne (1685) but also frequently defended, no doubt need be entertained ; there is no need for supposing chaps. 18-21 to be a later addition or that the original epistle has been largely interpolated or has undergone one or more redactions. It is obvious, however, that in the preparation of 18-21 the writer has made use of an older form of the Two Paths, as also, there and elsewhere, of the OT, the book of Enoch, 4 Ezra, and perhaps other works besides.

22. Authorship, date.[edit]

The author's name has not come down to us. Tradition, still clung to by many, suggests Barnabas, the companion of Paul, of whom mention is already made in the /3 [beta] text of Acts 1:23 (see BARNABAS and BARSABAS) ; but it has no claim on our acceptance and has been often controverted. The tradition is admittedly old, however, and perhaps the name of Barnabas has been always associated with this work.

The unknown author was probably a gentile Christian, by birth a Greek, belonging to the Alexandrian circle. This conclusion is pointed to at least by his language and his manner of scripture interpretation, his ideas and some of his expressions, such as as 'novices shipwreck ourselves upon their law' (ivrj\vTOL rip (Ktivuv vo/u<f>, 36). It is also possible, however, to think of him as living somewhere in Syria or Asia Minor not far from the environment within which the epistles of Paul arose. There is nothing to indicate that he was a Jew by birth, or one of the later inhabitants of Palestine.

Notwithstanding his love for gnosis, the author is a practical man who has at heart before all else the edification and the safety of the church. Neither things imminent nor things that lie in the future (TO, eveo-riira 1) WXXopra) are of the highest importance, but present things (rd wapuvra [ta parunta]) and to know how to comport oneself among them. See e.g. 1:6-8, 2:1-10, 4:1, 17.

The author belongs neither to the right wing nor to that of Paul, nor yet to that of the writer of Hebrews or that of Marcion. Towards Judaism his attitude is one of freedom ; in his view Christianity came in its place in principle, as early as in the time of Moses ; law and prophets are binding on believers, almost always, however, in the metaphorical interpretation only, not the literal, even where a historical occurrence seems to be described.

The date is earlier than that of Eusebius, Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Celsus, or the present form of the Didache ; but later than the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (chaps. 4, 16) ; later than the time of the apostles (5:9, 8:3) ; later than 'Paul' (see PAUL, 38-42), including Hebrews ; therefore not (as is still often supposed) before the end of the first century (see ACTS, 16), but rather, let us say, between 130 and 140 A.D. It is not possible to gain a more precise determination from chaps. 4 and 16, unless in so far as the silence regarding the building of the temple of Hadrian at Jerusalem, in honour of Jupiter Capitolinus, may be taken as showing that the temple had not yet been erected.

The value of the work, which, looked at either from the aesthetic or from the edificatory point of view, is not great, lies so far as we are concerned in the historical evidence it affords as to the existence of an interesting tendency - not observable elsewhere - in the direction of free thought among the Christians of the first half of the second century, and of a number of views, in the domain of Christian dogma and history, which differ from the usual opinions as to the contents of the Gospel narratives.

The older literature of the subject will be found referred to in the recent editions of the text by Gebhardt-Harnack (i8-8( 2 )), Hilgenfeld (j\ T extra canonem receftuni, 1877!^ ), Lightfoot (fletn. ifigol 2 , 2 503-512). See further Duker and Van Manen, Oud. Chr. Lett. 1870, 1 1-02 ; Loman, van Manen, Volkraar in Th. l , 1884; Steck, Galaterbr., 1888, pp. 310-314; Volter, JPT, 1888, pp. 106-144; Joh. Weiss, Der Barnal-asMtf kritisch nntersucht, i88S;A. Link, TLZ, 1889, no. 24; Harnack PR E^ 2, 1806, pp. 410-413 ; ACL ii. 1 410-428, 436-7. Cp A. van Veldhuizen, De brief van Barnabas, 1901.

23. Clement.[edit]

Two epistles of Clement to the Corinthians (K\rnj.tvros Trpos KopLi>6iovs [Klementos pros korinthious] A and B), cited as witnesses in CANON, 65, 73, and GOSPELS 87, are found in Cod. Alexandrinus(A), in the Jerusalem MS (J), and in an old Syriac version ; the first also in an Old Latin version. It is claimed for them that they were written by Clement, in name of the Church of Rome, to the Church of Corinth in connection with disputes which had arisen there on questions of government. They have in reality the epistolary form, though not written by Clement.

24. First Epistle.[edit]

The first, which from the moment of its recovery from the Cod. Alexandrinus by Patrick Junius [ = Young] (Epistolae ad Corinthios, Greece, cum versione et notis Patr. Junii, Oxford, 1633) was received with great distinction and accepted, in accordance with tradition, as the work of the bishop-martyr Clement, a disciple and one of the first successors of the apostles Peter and Paul at Rome, itself claims to have been written by the Church of God at Rome to that at Corinth. The form is not fortuitous ; if the contents be considered, it must be regarded as a literary artifice merely. A 'church' cannot write : usually it is held therefore that Clement wrote in name of the church ; of this, however, there is no evidence. The writing has the semblance of a letter throughout, and calls itself so (fTrioToXij [epistole] : 63:2 ; cp fTri<rT^\\o/j.{t> [epistellomen] and ^TrecrretXa/u.fi [epesteilamen] 7:1, 62:1) ; yet clearly this is not its real character, and probably it was never sent as such. Rather it is a book, in the form of an epistle ; to speak more precisely, in the form of a Pauline epistle, prepared for, and made accessible to, all who cared to read it. It is an 'exhortation concerning a peace and concord' (&revts Trepl eipfyris KO.I 6/j.ovoias), to use its own words (63:2) about itself; a 'writing' (ypa<f>r; [graphe]), as Eusebius (HE iii. 385) designates it; an 'admonition' (vovOtcria [nouthesia]), as Dionysius has it in Eus. ii. 258, designed to be publicly read in the church ; cp 2 Clem. 19:1, 1 Clem. 7:1.

The contents do not relate exclusively to the disputes at Corinth, although these figure as having furnished the occasion for the letter.

  • The writing begins, after the superscription and benediction, with an apology, by reason of various troubles, for not having attended to the Corinthians sooner (1:1);
  • next follows an ideal picture of what the Corinthian Church had been (1:2-2:8);
  • its fall is briefly described (3) ;
  • a series of examples, drawn from the OT and the history of Christianity, is given to show the evils and misery wrought by jealousy and strife (4-6) ;
  • a declaration that 'we' - not the persons addressed merely, but also the church that is writing - are suffering from the same cause is made ; wherefore it will be well that we should pay heed to the rule of tradition (KO.VUIV TTJS 7rapa6o<rf>s), to attend to what God demands of us and to fix our eyes on the precious blood of Christ (7:1-4).
  • This is the beginning of a long sermon in which it is set forth how God has at all times demanded repentance (7:5-8:5);
  • how we must turn ourselves to him, giving heed to what we read of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Rahab (9-12);
  • must be humble (13) ;
  • obedient to God and not to the schismatics (14) ;
  • must cleave unto those who are godly (15)
  • and think upon Christ who is described in language taken from the OT (16) ;
  • copying the examples of the prophets and of Abraham, Job, Moses, David (17-19a),
  • laying to heart the example of peace and harmony shown in the Divine ordering of the universe (19b-20);
  • in all things bearing ourselves Christianly (21-22);
  • holding fast our faith in the second coming of Christ and in the resurrection (23-27),
  • fearing God and seeking to draw near to him by faith and good works (28-35),
  • finding Christ by this road (30-39);
  • observing how in Israel all things were orderly done (40-41);
  • the appointment of bishops and deacons among Christians came of the will of God (42) ;
  • Moses stilled a contention as to the priestly dignity (43) ;
  • what the apostles have ordained for the regulation of the episcopal office (44a) ;
  • let no regularly chosen leaders of the church be dismissed, let contentions be avoided, love be stirred up (44b-50);
  • where needful make acknowledgment of sin, be willing to yield, admonish one another, submit to the presbyters (51-59:2).
  • The exhortation then passes over into a prayer (59:3-61),
  • followed by a retrospect, renewed exhortation to submission (62-63),
  • a benediction (64),
  • a word about messengers sent ; renewed benediction (65).

All that is here said about contentions at Corinth belongs to the literary clothing of the document. Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians may have suggested it (cp chap. 47). Perhaps too, though this is very far from certain, it is connected with disputes that had recently arisen as to the continuance in office, dismissal, and election of persons for the government of the church. It was the author s main purpose to remove difficulties of this kind wherever they might have arisen. He spoke under the mask of the Church at Rome, as a high authority, with growing emphasis, and finally as if he were one with the Holy Spirit himself (63:2 ; cp Acts 15:22-29).

The unity of the work has been disputed and the existence of large interpolations has been supposed at various times, though without just cause. No doubt the author, besides drawing much from the OT, has borrowed here and there from various works both Jewish and Christian, possibly also Pagan, without careful acknowledgment to his readers, or perhaps even to himself.

25. Authorship.[edit]

The author is certainly not Clement of Rome, whatever may be our judgment as to whether or not Clement was a bishop, a martyr, a disciple of the apostles. The church of St. Clement at Rome, where the relics of the saint are reputed to rest, is evidently the third building on the site, and not older than 10:59 ; the underlying second building may possibly be the basilica of which Jerome speaks ( Vir. ill. 15). The first, which in turn underlies this, certainly exhibits traces of its having at one time been dedicated to the worship of Mithras, but not of any connection with the martyr-bishop Clement. The martyrdom, set forth in untrustworthy Acts, has for its sole foundation the identification of Clement of Rome with Flavius Clement the consul, who was executed by command of Domitian. (See the proofs of this in Lightfoot < 2 >. )

Clement, as bishop of Rome, be he the first, second, or third after Peter, can no longer be maintained in view of the discovery that the Church of Rome (see ROME, CHURCH OF) had no monarchical government at all before Anicetus (156-166?). The disciple of Peter (and Paul) finds no support either in our present epistle or in Phil. 43. He disappears in the diverging versions of the tradition.

The possibility, still firmly maintained by such scholars as Harnack and Lightfoot, that the writing may have been the work of a certain Clement concerning whom nothing is known except what can be gathered from 'his' epistle, has no real value ; and to connect it with the further supposition that this Clement was an influential member of the governing body of the Roman church - the martyr-bishop of legend - is not to be recommended. The epistle furnishes no ground for it, but rather the reverse. The oldest tradition as to its origin knows nothing of an} such view. Irenaeus (iii. 83) had occasion to refer to it, had he known it, when in that context he mentions the name of Clement ; yet he speaks, with some emphasis, just as Dionysius of Corinth does in Eus. HE iv. 23:11, of the epistle as having been sent by the Church of Rome in such a manner as to make it, and it alone, responsible for the contents. The first to express himself distinctly in another sense, and to name Clement of Rome as the writer, is Clement of Alexandria (Strom, i. 7:38).

From the work itself, all we can gather is that the author probably belonged to the Church of Rome. He was an educated man, well acquainted with the OT, and the Pauline and other NT epistles ; a friend of peace and order ; a warm advocate of the occasionally, perhaps often, disputed rights of the presbyters and deacons once chosen, who had adequately discharged the duties of their office.

26. Date.[edit]

The date, with regard to which we cannot follow Harnack in deducing anything from the lists of bishops, which have been found untrustworthy, cannot be sought as was done by the older scholars, and more recently by Hefele, Wieseler, and Mallinckrodt, in the time of Nero or immediately there after, but considerably later. There is nothing to compel us, with most scholars, amongst whom are Lipsius, Gebhardt-Harnack, Lightfoot, to assign it to the last years of the first century ; with Kriiger to leave it open till the reign of Trajan ; with Volkmar to fix definitely on 125 A. D. ; with Loman on the middle of the second century. Rather let us say with Steck, somewhere about 140 A. D. ; especially on account of the author's acquaintance with the Pauline epistles (including, of course, Hebrews) and also with i Peter. Whether he also had read the Shepherd, or whether, on the other hand, it was Hermas that had read the epistle of Clement, is not quite clear. It is clear, nevertheless, that Polycarp, Hegesippns, Dionysius of Corinth, and Irenaeus were acquainted with his work.

The value of the epistle, not insignificant from an aesthetic or religious point of view, lies specially in what it tells us regarding the development of Christianity in the writer s time, and regarding the relation between clergy and laity.

27. Second Clement.[edit]

The second epistle was almost immediately on its rediscovery in 1633 received with a certain amount of depreciation ; soon it came to be regarded by some as simply a homily which cannot have been written by Clement, and ultimately this view was adopted almost unanimously. The epistle is, nevertheless, equallv with the first, so far as form is concerned, a 'letter', although it be as regards contents an edifying treatise designed to be from time to time read in church (19:1, cp 15:1-2, 17:5).

  • The writer reminds his readers how they ought to hold high their Christian profession, live in accordance with it, make no Compromise with the world, have no fear of death (1-5);
  • not serving two masters - the present world and the world to come (6) ;
  • struggle, seek repentance, believe in the resurrection of the body, do the will of God, have no fear about the future, but rather live in expectation of the great day at every moment, not put off the duty of repentance, make sure that they belong to the true church (7-14).
  • Looking back upon what he has written, the writer calls it a 'counsel respecting continence' ((ri)|u/3ouAia Trcpi fyxpareias). He anew exhorts to fidelity to what has been learned, to diligence in seeking repentance both for oneself and for others, to a joyful confidence in God (15-20).

The unnamed author to whose Voice we are listening here is not Clement of Rome, as Bryennius alone among modern scholars would have it, nor yet another Clement to whom Hermas refers in Vis. 2:4, as Harnack for some time (from 1875) supposed, nor yet is he to be identified with the author of the first epistle we have just been considering (25). It is probable enough, no doubt, that the writer was acquainted with the last-named writing, and was in harmony with it. This view is confirmed by many obvious points of agreement : its being met with only in conjunction with the first epistle ; the later yet still old tradition which unfalteringly assigns both epistles to Clement ; and the older tradition in Dionysius (see 31) where, in his epistle to the Romans, he refers to the present epistle (just as Irenaeus did in the case of the first) as proceeding from the Church of Rome, but not, like the first, as written - whatever the words may mean - 'through Clement' (dia K\r/fj.fvros [dia klementos]; Eus. HE 4:23:11, cp 9).

However the anonymous writer may seem to change his character - now as adviser (15:1), now as presbyter (17:35), now as reader (19:1) it is clear that he is a Christian of gentile origin (16:26), an educated man who interests himself in the growth of the religious life of the community, and who when necessary stands up for the defence of the existing ecclesiastical order.

In date the work belongs to the transition period - approximately, after 140 but before 170 A. D. - towards the middle of the second century. Since we ought, in all probability, to attach no weight to the mention of Soter in Eusebius (loc. cit.), we may say, certainly before about 160 A.D.

The importance of this letter, apart from the value which it possesses for those who are in search of earnest exhortation and edification in the Old-Christian literature, lies mainly in the contribution it makes to our knowledge of Christianity as it was about the middle of the second century, the emphasis here again laid upon conduct as compared with doctrine (though neither is this depreciated), and the demand for good literature to be used along with the OT and gospels in the public meetings of the church.

The fullest and best studies of the two epistles are those of Lightfoot (Ap. Fathers: S. Clement, 1890 (2 )), with which compare Duker and van Manen, OC L \ 93-263 ; Hilgenfeld, Cl. A om. 1876(21 ; Gebhardt-Harnack-Zahn, Pat. Ap. 187612) ; Loman, Tk. T, 1883, 14-25; Steck, Gal.-br. 1888, 294-310; Mal- linckrodt. Gel. en V rijh. 1890, 85-143 , Harnack, ACL ii. 1 251- 255, cp Th. l , 1898, 189-193 ; R. Knopf, Der erste Clemensbr. ( JU, new series, 61); K. X. Funk, Die Apost. Veiter, 1901.

28. Epistles of Ignatius.[edit]

A large number of epistles of Ignatius, handed down from antiquity in various forms, attracted much attention in their several groups from 1498 onwards. The protracted controversy, not only as to the genuineness and value of these writings, but also as to the relative antiquity of the groups - the longer, the shorter, and the Syriac recension named after Cureton - has at last resulted in a practically unanimous conclusion that only seven epistles of Ignatius, mentioned by Eusebius (HE. 3:36) and preserved in two Greek MSS - or rather, properly speaking, only in one, for the first gives six epistles and the second one more - in an Old Latin version, and partially in Old Syriac, Armenian, and Coptic versions, belong to the category of Old-Christian literature. Towards the end of the fourth century they were worked over and augmented by the addition of five others, to which in turn at a much later date (11th or 12th cent.) three more were added, in Latin. Moreover, they were translated in an abridged form into Syriac. The text of three of these Syriac abridgments - those to the Ephesians, Smyrnteans, and Polycarp - still treated with too great respect in Lightfoot O, was published by Cureton in 1845.

The original group, cited as evidence in CANON, 65, and GOSPELS, 92, has the aspect of being a collec tion of seven epistles written by Ignatius when, after having been thrown into prison for his Christian pro fession and sentenced, he was on his journey from Antioch to Rome, where he expected to suffer martyrdom. Four of the seven - those to the churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, and Rome - appear to have been written at Smyrna ; the remaining three - to the Philadelphians, to the Smyrnaeans, and to Polycarp - at Rome.

The first three treat the subject of monarchical church government with great earnestness, warn against heresies, and urge to a Christian life. The fourth treats of martyrdom, of which Ignatius must not be deprived. The filth is chiefly devoted to the subject of church unity, by all the members adhering to the bishop. The sixth deals with docetism, and also with the recognition due to the bishop. The seventh, with the reciprocal duties of the church rulers and people, and of all to one another.

The form of this seeming collection, and of each of the epistles separately, however little prominence be given to the fact even where the genuineness is definitely given up, is artificial. The whole makes up a single complete book, designed for the edification of the readers.

To satisfy oneself of this it is enough to observe the absence of all trace of any such collection having been made of the epistles as has been assumed ; their mutual relations as parts of a whole ; the reference in the first to the second epistle as a 'second tract' (Sfi irepov (3i(3\idioi [deuteron biblidion]) intended for the same readers (Eph. 20:1); the peculiar form of the addresses and super scriptions ; the meaning of the words there employed : 'who is also Theophorus' (6 /cat 6eo06/x>s [o kai theophoros] [Philadelphia]), 'of Asia' (TTJS Affias), 'on the Maeander' (irpoj ~MaidvSpij}) ; the forced character of the assumed relations between writer and readers ; the improbability of the details of the journey of Ignatius ; its irreconcilability in various respects with the certainly older tradition - as such brilliantly defended by Volter against Lightfoot in 1892 - according to which Ignatius died a martyr, not about 107 or 110 at Rome, but in the winter of 115-116, at Antioch, by command of the Emperor Trajan, who was there at that time ; the fact that the writer sometimes distinguishes himself from Ignatius ; the testimony of Ep. Pol. 9 and 13 regarding Ignatius and his epistles ; the points of agreement and difference between Ignatius and Paul.

After the example of Paul, who writes edifying and doctrinal epistles, and is on his journey towards Rome, where he looks forward to martyrdom as probable, oi]r writer makes Ignatius of Antioch, well known as a Christian martyr, bear witness to what lies in his heart regarding the glorv of Christian martyrdom ; the need for close adherence on the part of all church members to the bishop and presbyters of the church ; the purity of Christian doctrine and the uprightness of a Christian life to be secured in this way. 'Ignatius' is not, however, as many with Baur have held, the mere advocate of the bishop or the mere assailant of docetism.

29. Authorship.[edit]

Who this writer may have been it is impossible to ascertain or even to guess. Certainly not Ignatius.

So much was already recognised following in the footsteps of Salmasius and Blondel (1645) - by Daille (1666) in his controversy with Usher and Voss ; by Larroque (1674) against Pearson; in modern times by Baur, Schwegler, Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, Bunsen, Duker, van Manen, Keim, Killen, van Loon, against Rothe, Uhlhorn, Junius, Zahn, Lightfoot, Viilter, Reville, Harnack. Thirty years ago it seemed as if the time had wholly passed by in which 'genuine' epistles of Ignatius would be spoken of at all. That the position has changed in recent years seems to be due, on the one hand, to the advocacy of Zahn {Ignatius von Antiochien, 1873 ; Pat. Ap. 1876) and of Lightfoot (Ap. Fathers: S. Ignatius, 1889 C-l), whilst on the other, no account has been taken of anything urged on the other side by Dutch and American scholars ; also to the readiness to accept various plausible yet baseless suppositions, as full and adequate answers to objections. It is in reality, however, of no avail, as has been frequently attempted, to separate, in the interests of the supposed 'genuineness', the Epistle to the Romans from the others, and to attribute either the former only (so Renan), or the others only (so Volter), to the martyr- traveller. It is also useless and contrary to all tradition to regard Ignatius as having been bishop in the late years of Hadrian (Harnack, Die Zeit des Ignatius -von Antioch, 1878), or to keep his date open to 125 A.D. (Harnack, 1897, ACL 11:1, p. 406, 3) ; to regard his advocacy of monarchical church government as made on behalf of an ideal only (Jean Reville, tudcs sur les origines de l'episcopat, 1891; cp van Manen, Th.T, 1892, 625-633: van Loon, ib. 1893, 278-284); to identify him with a second Ignatius, who lived about the middle of the second century (Volter, Th.T, 1886, 114-136), or with Peregrinus Proteus in the days when he was still a Christian (Volter, Th.T, 1887, 272-320, also Die Ignatianischen Briefe, 1892 ; cp van Loon, Th T, 1886, 509-581 ; 1888, 420-445 ; 1893, 275-316).

The unknown writer was, to judge by his work, an earnest man with much zeal for martyrdom and all that made for what he thought right in doctrine and life. Perhaps he was a layman, and lived in Rome, at some date intermediate between Eusebius, Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, and 'Polycarp', on the one hand, and Peter and Paul, the 'apostles', Ignatius (+ 115-116), and a group of Pauline epistles, including Eph., 1 Thess., 1 Tim., Titus, on the other. The importance the writer attaches to acceptance of monarchical church government as a guarantee of purity of doctrine and life, and his animadversions on Marcionite errors, also point to a date near the middle of the second century, though at the same time it does not seem advisable to fix upon circa 175 as van Loon does.

The value of the little work lies in the region of history, particularly in that of the external and internal ordering of the life of the church. It speaks to the existence of a strong desire for vigour and unity in the government of the church in the interests of sound doctrine and life.

The copious literature will be found registered for the most part in Lightfoot (Ap. Fathers; S. Ignatius, iSSgl 2 )): cp also Duker and van Manen, OCL2 5-154; Zahn, Ign. v. Ant. 1873 and/M, 1876; \V. D. Killen, The Ancient Church, i883<- i, and The Ignatian Epistles entirely Spurious, 1886 ; R. E. Jenkins, Ignatian Difficulties and Historic Doubts, 1890; Volter, fgn. Br. 1892; van Loon, Th.T, 1886, 1888, 1893; Harnack, ACL 11.1381-406; Funk, Ap. Viit. 1901.

30. Diognetus, Valentinus, Marcion, Themiso.[edit]

The epistle to Diognetus, cited in GOSPELS, 95, belongs to the category of Apologies, on which see below, 41.

Epistles of Valentinus, an Egyptian gnostic who lived at Rome in the middle of the second century, are mentioned by Clement of Alexandria (Strom, 2:836, 2:20:114, 3:7:59), and were, it would seem, of a doctrinal character. So also an Epistle of Marcion, dating from his pre-heretical period, to which Tertullian refers (adv. Marc. 11:44, de Carne, 2). A catholic epistle (eTUOToXr) Ka0o\iKr) [epistole katholike]) by the Montanist Themiso 'in imitation of the apostle' (/j.i[j.ovfi(i>os rbv Air6ffro\ov [memoumenos ton apostolon]), 170, written, according to Apollonius (ap. Eus. HE 5:18:5), for the enlightenment of those who were opposed to his views, is known to us only by this reference, and is noteworthy as the latest example of its kind from the time when 'epistles' were still written without hesitation in imitation of the manner of the 'Apostle' - i.e. , 'Paul'.

31. Dionysius of Corinth.[edit]

Catholic epistles to the Churches (Ka6o\iKai irpbs ras tKK\n]<rias fTriffTo\ai) is the name given by Eusebius (HE 4:23) to seven epistles, written by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, about (it is conjectured) +-170 A.D. , by request, to the Lacedaemonians, Athenians, Nicomedians, the churches of Gortyna and elsewhere in Crete, at Amastris, and elsewhere in Pontus, the Cnossians and the Romans.

The book is currently held to have been a collection of actual letters. To judge, however, by the character of the fragments preserved in Eusebius, we ought rather to regard it as a collection similar in kind to the Ignatian (see 28), containing a series of precepts, suggestions, instructions regarding the true faith and right manner of life, the constitution and government of the churches. That Dionysius himself, and not that - after the practice of those times - a later author, should have written them and published them collectively under Dionysius s name becomes increasingly improbable as soon as we en deavour to do full justice to the complaint in the mouth of Dionysius about the falsification of his epistles ; to the reasons given why he, Dionysius, wrote to one group of readers upon one subject and to another upon another, and so forth. Perhaps substantially the same has to be said of an epistle which Dionysius, according to Eusebius (I.c. , 13), addressed to sister Chrysoptora.

32. Irenaeus.[edit]

i. An Epistle of Irenaeus to Florinus, presbyter at Rome and a pupil of Valentinus, known from Eusebius (HE 5:20:1 ) and still regarded as genuine by Harnack (ACL 1:593-594) and Kruger (ACL 93), is a later treatise, in epistolary form, on the unity of God, in connection with the question whether God is the author of evil (trepl TTJS /J.ovapxia.s tf 7re/x roO [J.TJ elpai. rbv debv TrotTjrV KCLKUV). The manifest exaggeration to which Matthes years ago called attention (De ouderdom van het Joh. Ev. 1867, 117, 162-3), coupled with the fact that Irenaeus, moreover, never shows any signs of acquaintance with Florinus, although he would constantly have had occasion to controvert him in adv. Haer. had he known him, and the manner in which the writer poses as Irenoeus in defence of orthodox doctrine, all enable us to perceive clearly that a writer otherwise unknown is speaking to us here and why he is doing so.

ii. In like manner the Epistle to Blastus, connected with that of Irenceus to Florinus, and named only in Eusebius (HE 5:20:1, cp 615), is also, probably, not the work of Irenaeus, but a later treatise on 'schism' (irtpl [peri schismatos])

iii. A third epistle, which according to Eusebius (HE 5:24:11) was sent by Irenaeus in name of the brethren in Gaul to Victor of Rome, and which is partially preserved by Eusebius (loc. cit. 12-17), should confidently be regarded as a later treatise about the paschal feast (X670J irepi TOV Trdcrxa [logos peri tou pascha), an earnest attempt at conciliation between contending parties in the paschal controversy, in which in all probability the name of Irenaeus at first did not figure at all.

33. Ptolemy.[edit]

An Epistle of Ptolemy to Flora, preserved in Epiphanius (Her. 33:3-7), and printed by Stieren (Iren. 1:922-936), and, in an improved text, by Hilgenfeld (ZWT 24 [1881] 214-230), takes the form of a friendly answer to the question : How ought we to think regarding the Law of Moses? Irenaeus, in writing about the gnostic Ptolemy, head of the school of Valentinus in Italy, neither uses this epistle nor shows any knowledge of it - a reason for regarding it as probably a treatise belonging to a somewhat later date than that usually assumed (the middle of the 2nd cent. ). The same inference is suggested by the peculiar use here made of the gospels of Mt. and Jn. , and of the Pauline epistles Rom., 1 Cor., Eph. (Cp A. Stieren, De Irencei adv. Hcer. operis fontibus, etc., 1836, pp. 19-21 ; De Ptolemcci gnostici ad Floram Epistola, 1843.)

34. Apocryphal epistles.[edit]

As Apocryphal epistles the following may here be mentioned by way of Appendix :- An interchange of letters between Abgarus and Jesus (see APOCRYPHA, 29, and von Dobschutz, ZWT 1900, pp. 422-486) ; between Seneca and Paul ; between the Corinthians and Paul ( = 3 Cor. ) ; from Paul to the Lacedaemonians (see PAUL, 50).


35. Revelations.[edit]

In Old-Christian literature a fourth class is constituted by the writings usually known as Apocalypses, AiroKaXi i/ eis, or Revelations, most of which are partially or wholly lost. The following are known : a Revelation of John (see APOCALYPSE, and JOHN, SON OF ZEBEDEE, 1-15); part of a Revelation of Peter (see APOCRYPHA, 30 ; CANON, 73 ; SIMON PETER); the Shepherd of Hermas (see CANON, 65, 72 ; SHEPHERD). Of the Revelation of Paul (see PAUL, 50) and of the Revelation of Abraham, both mentioned by Epiphanius (Haer. 38:2), and both considered to date from the second century, we know little more than the names. Under this section we may include those fragments of older Christian Revelations which may be held to survive in Mt. 24, Mk. 13, Lk. 21:5-36, 2 Thess. 2:1-12, Barnabas 4:1-6, and the Christian portions of certain originally Jewish writings - 4 Ezra, the Testaments of the XII. Patriarchs, the Sibylline Oracles, etc. , and the later or apocryphal Revelations edited by Tischendorf, 1866, and others.


36. Quadratus, Aristides.[edit]

The Apologies form a fifth group. One of the oldest, known only in a small fragment (Eus HE 4:3) claims to be by Quadratus and addressed to the Emperor Hadrian on his visit to Athens about 125-126 A.D.

So also a writing of Aristides partially (chs. 1, 2) extant in an Armenian version (1878), and wholly in a Syriac version discovered by Rendel Harris in 1889, as also in Greek in the romance Barlaam and Josaphat discovered by Armitage Robinson in 1890 (ed. princeps in TS 1:1, 1891). It has the form of a speech delivered before an unnamed 'king' (Ba<rtXei)s [basileus]) and may be conjectured to have been published under the title, 'Apology of Aristides for the Christians religion, to Hadrian' (Tou ApLcrreidovs d.Tro\oyia vwtp TTJS T&V Hpicmavuv GfOfffjSeias Trpos Adpiavov) most likely with the superscription 'To the Emperor Caesar Hadrian, Aristides the Philosopher, of Athens' (AvroKparopi, Kcu crapt, Adpiavij} Aptcrra Sr/s <I>iXjcro0os A6r)i>a.ios).

  • The speaker begins with a short profession of his faith in God (ch. 1).
  • He premises that there are worshippers of so-called gods, as well as Jews and Christians ; they fall into various classes as Chaldaeans, Greeks, and Egyptians ; and all are in error (2). Their gods have no title to be acknowledged or worshipped (3-13).
  • They belong to the visible, not to the invisible world, and are creatures of God, perishable stoicheia (see ELEMENTS), or images of these (3-7).
  • Amongst the Greeks, they are often represented as human beings displaying all kinds of objectionable attributes, vices and crimes (8-11).
  • Amongst the Egyptians, moreover, as irrational animals, plants, and herbs (12, 13).
  • The Jews know indeed the Almighty, the Invisible who sees all things and has created all things, but although they are nearer the truth they do not serve him with understanding, as is shown by their denial of Christ the son of God who has come into the world (14).
  • It is otherwise with the Christians. They live in accordance with the commandments of God engraved on their hearts, and are conspicuous in every respect for their praiseworthy conduct (15).
  • The discourse concludes with two sections that seem to have undergone some alteration in transmission to us (16, 17).

So far as the form is concerned, it may well be doubted whether Aristides ever delivered such a discourse, either at Athens or elsewhere. There is, however, no sufficient reason for doubting also, with Harnack (TLZ 1891, nos. 12, 13), the rest of the statement in Eusebius, or for inferring from the super scription in the Syriac version that Aristides delivered his discourse to Antoninus Pius (138-161). We may adhere to the date under Hadrian (117-138), but not earlier than 125-126. With this assumed date agrees what can be inferred from the contents (if the simplicity of the discourse is noted), what the writer adopts from the gospel narratives, and his attitude towards the books he appears to have made use of (see CANON, 65 ; van Manen, Th. T 1893, 1-56).

37. Aristo of Pella.[edit]

A Dispute of Jason and Papiscus concerning Christ, attributed to Aristo of Pella, depreciatingly spoken of by Celsus, and defended by Origen, is known to us in a fragmentary way from the writings of Origen and others, and perhaps underlies the Altercatio Simonis Judaei et Theophili Christiani which comes to us from the fifth century ( Harnack, A CL 1 92-95 ; PRF.W 2 47-48 ) and the Discourse between Athanasius [bishop of Alexandria] and the Jew Zacchaeus (Conybeare, Expos. 1897, April, 300-323; June, 443-463). It appears to have turned upon the question whether Jesus was the Messiah foretold by the prophets, and to date from 135-170, let us say about 140 A. D.


38. First Apology.[edit]

The Christian philosopher, Justin Martyr, born about 100 A.D. , baptized about 133, died about 165 (+- 163-167), who is cited as a witness to the NT in CANON, 67, and GOSPELS, 75, as the author of two apologies which are imperfectly preserved in a single MS. The first vindicates our faith before Antoninus and the Roman senate, according to Eus. HE 4:8:3, 4:11:3, 4:18:2. It is divisible into three parts : chs. 2-12, 13-60, 61-67, preceded and followed by an introduction (1) and a conclusion (68:1-2) to which was added at a later date a transcript of Hadrian's letter to Minucius Fondanus (68:3-10) and, later still, letters of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius.

The orator-author maintains

  • (1) that Christians ought not to be persecuted for the name they bear seeing that they are neither without God (adeoi) nor guilty of all sorts of evil deeds. He states what their belief really is, declares that Jesus Christ has foretold all things, and announces his purpose of proving, for the instruction of those who do not know it, the truth of his Christian confession (2-12).
  • (2)
    • He then proceeds in the second place to show that the Christian religion is rational and leads to a life that is lovely as the precepts of Christ are beautiful (13-22).
    • In ch. 23 he lays down three propositions which he goes on to discuss in their order : what he and his brethren have taught concerning Christ and the prophets who went before is true (24-29);
    • all this was taught by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made man in accordance with the Divine purpose (30-53) ;
    • before the incarnation men had wandered in error under the influence of evil spirits (54-60).
  • (3) In the third portion he treats of baptism, the eucharist, the observance of Sunday (61-67).

The assumed character of a spoken discourse is merely literary form. The book is intended to advocate the Christian cause with all who cared to listen to it, especially with rulers (01 apxoirej) all of whom, not merely one or two emperors, are addressed as 'pious and philosophers' (eiW^etj KO.I <f>i\6<To<poi}. Where and when it was written cannot be determined with certainty. Probably it was at Rome about the middle of the second century.

39. Second Apology.[edit]

In the second apology the speaker, in consequence of a bloody persecution of three Christians under Urbicus, addresses himself to the Romans whose 'governors' (riyovftevoi [hegoumenoi]) permit or perpetrate such cruelties.

  • He relates what has happened (chs. 1 2),
  • speaks contemptuously of what a certain opponent called Crescens might be able to do (3) ;
  • disposes of the advice given to Christians to commit suicide (4) ;
  • explains why it is that in spite of all calamities they maintain their faith in God (5);
  • that God is unnameable ; who Jesus Christ is (6) ;
  • why Christians cannot accept the Stoical doctrine as to the conflagration of the world and as to fate (7 8) ;
  • why they believe in the penal justice of God (9);
  • that philosophers like Socrates in the olden time were also persecuted (10);
  • how it is possible to learn from Hercules at the cross way (11);
  • of the fearlessness of Christian martyrs (12) ;
  • and that it must be held a fitting thing that answer should be made to the complaints of the Christians (13-15).

This discourse is no mere postscript of the first, as has often been supposed, nor a preliminary argument. Rather is it an independent sequel, with constant reference to what has been said in the first : perhaps a work that at a later date (yet not much later) was separately published when Urbicus was city prefect - that is to say between 144 and 160 (circa 153).

Both discourses, cited as witnesses in CANON, 67 and GOSPELS, 75, are of great value for our knowledge of the manner in which in those days Christianity was regarded by mature and thoughtful professors. The first has an additional value on account of what it tells us as to the moral life of the Christians of that period as well as their ecclesiastical customs and practices.

40. Dialogue with Trypho.[edit]

A third apology of Justin, in large measure preserved in the same MS, is known as his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew. To Trypho he tells

  • the story of his own baptism (2-8),
  • and then he goes on to show, in the first place that the Mosaic law has had its day and must now give place to the new law, the law of Christ (9-48),
  • and in the second place that Christ is rightly worshipped by believers along with God, because the prophets had foretold his coming and he is truly the Son of God as is witnessed by his birth, bv his death on the cross, his resurrection, and ascension (49+).

This dialogue, cited in CANON, 67, was, according to ch. 120, written after Justin's First Apology, probably still within the reign of Antoninus Pius (138-161), approximately about 155-160.

41. Epistle to Diognetus.[edit]

What is known as the Epistle to Diognetus reached modern times in a single MS which was burned at Strassburg in 1870 ; it is a particularly fine plea for Christianity (cp, 30) in which an unknown writer, who for a while was wrongly identified with Justin, undertakes to enlighten the equally unknown Diognetus on

  • the religion of Christians, the God in whom they trust, their contempt of the world and of death, their renunciation of the gods of Greece and of the Jewish worship (5ei<ri5cufiovia [deisidaimonia]), their mutual love, and the reason why this new 'kind or practice' (yevos ?} eTrmySei /ua) of piety has only now entered into the world (ch. 1).
  • He insists on the worthlessness of the gods made by human hands of perishable matter (2);

maintains that the Jews are in error when they think to serve the Creator as if he had need of offerings and desired the fulfilment of a multiplicity of commands (3-4).

  • He then goes on to sketch the Christian manner of life so as to show the excellence of the Christian profession (5-6).
  • Their knowledge of God is through the manifestation of the Word (7).
  • How greatly superior is the Christian revelation to all that ever philosophers formerly taught (8).
  • Before it must come the fulness of transgression (9).
  • Christian faith brings a rich blessing (10).
  • Finally there follows, from another - somewhat younger - hand, a glorification of the Word and of the preaching of the Word to men (11-12).

The whole was, as plainly appears from the last lines of ch. 1, originally designed, not to be sent as a letter, but to be read and re-read in the religious assemblies of the church. When we compare this anonymous writer with Aristides and perceive how he seems to be ac quainted with NT writings without ever quoting them verbatim or as possessing authority, we have reason to assign his date to the second half of the second century.

42. Tatian.[edit]

Tatian, already referred to in 7, was the author of a still extant Oration to the Greeks (critically edited by Schwartz in 1888) which may be dated towards the middle of the second century, not later than about 172 A.D. He there expounds what he, the quondam philosopher, deems most proper to be said on behalf of Christianity while criticising and confuting the religion, ethics, philosophy, and art of the Greeks.

43. Athenagoras.[edit]

An extant Oration of Athenagoras (also edited by Schwartz, 1891) is represented as having been held before the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Commodus - that is to say, some where between the years 176 and 180. In it the Athenian philosopher (of whom nothing further is known)

  • directs attention to the difference of treatment meted out to Christians and pagans (1-3);
  • he then proceeds to vindicate Christians from the accusation of being atheists (#0eoi [atheoi]) (4-30)
  • and of being morally inferior to pagans (31-36),
  • and concludes with a fresh appeal to the supreme rulers (37).

44. Miltiades, etc.[edit]

Apologies by Miltiades and Apollonius are known to us only by name : that of Melito (circa 170) from a quotation by Eusebius (HE 4:26:5-11).


45. Text books.[edit]

Such Old-Christian writings as do not come under the categories already dealt with - Gospels, Acts, Epistles, Revelations, Apologies - can be conveniently grouped under the heading of Text books, as having been written for the instruction of their readers. In this class the first we shall mention is the Antitheses or Separatio legis et evangelii. Of this we know little more than the name, and that it was the chief work of Marcion ; it is mentioned by Tertullian (adv. Marc. 1:19; see CANON, 69).

Four-and-twenty books of Basilides, or it may be, of one of his followers 'upon the Gospel' (eis TO so Eus. HE 4:7:7) or exegetics Clem. Alex. Strom, 4:1283).

Letters, Homilies and Psalms, by Valentinus or his adherents, are referred to by Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, Tertullian.

A 'treatise against all the heresies that have existed' (cruvTay/j.a Kara iraffuv TUOV yeyevrj/jifruv aipecrecui ), by Justin, is named by himself in Apol. 126.

Other works also are, rightly or wrongly, attributed to Justin.

Philosophical, doctrinal, polemical, ecclesiastical writings by Isidorus, Apelles, Agrippa Castor, Tatian, Miltiades, Apollinaris, Melito, Theophilus, Rhodon, and others in confutation of heretics or in recommendation of their errors.

Greater or smaller treatises wholly or partially incorporated or worked into later Canones, constitutiones, confessional writings, episcopal lists, etc.

The chief work of this description, known to us since 1883, is the Didache (see APOCRYPHA, 31 ; CANON, 65 ; Warfield, Bibl. Sacr. 1886, pp. looff. ; Hennecke, ZNTW, 1901, pp. 58-72).

Five books of 'Memoirs' or 'Commentaries' ("TTrofj.vfifjLa.ra [hypomnemata]) by Hegesippus, begun under Anicetus (154/5-165/7), completed under Eleutherus (173/5 - 188/9), of which fragments are preserved in Eus. HE, are more of a polemical, anti-gnostic, than of an historical, character.

The much discussed work of Papias was probably a commentary on one or more of our canonical gospels (see GOSPELS, 65, 94).

'Memoirs' or 'Commentaries' ( TTrotwTj/xaTa) - by Heracleon, according to Origen - collected by Brooke (TS 14, 1891) belong to a commentary on the Fourth Gospel (see CANON, 69).

On the Resurrection of the Dead (irepi dvcwrCierews v(KpZv ; edited by Schwartz, TU 42) was written by Athenagoras in answer to objections to the doctrine of the resurrection and in exposition of the arguments in its favour that can be drawn from the writings of philosophers, or from the constitution and destiny of man.

46. Literature.[edit]

The literature of the subject is immense. It includes all studies, whether older or more recent, on the NT, the Apostolic Fathers and other Christian writers of the first two centuries. For brevity's sake we may refer to the Introductions to the NT (see PAUL, 51); Harnack, ACL 1 1893, 2 1, 1897; Kruger, ACL, 1895, and 'Nachtrage', 1897. w. C. v. M.


(jOt? 5 }T). Is. 41:19 RVmg, EV OIL TREE (q.v.). Cp OLIVE, 2.


(JTT ; eAAiA Gen. 8:11, Ex. 27:20, 30:24 etc.) is often mentioned in OT as well as several times in NT.

1. Etymology.[edit]

The Hebrew name (zayith), is found in Aram. Eth. and Arab. but not in Ass. In Arab, zayt usually stands for the oil, and a longer form zaytun for the tree.

Guidi's inference (Delia Sede, 37) that both the name and the culture of the olive were a comparatively late importation into Arabia - supported by Strabo's statement (783) about the Nabataean country euicapTros T/ TroAAr; TrAiji/ e Aai ou, and the fact that various words for lamps were borrowed by Arab, from Aram. - is accepted by Frankel (147), but denied by Hommel {Aufs. u. Abhandl. 99).

The origin of zayith was formerly sought within the Semitic languages in *Jnm [root zhh], 'to be bright' (cp rr, Ges. Thes. ) ; but Lagarde in a brilliant article (Mitth. 3:214+ ) maintains a derivation from Armenian tseth, which may also be the source of Egyptian djoeit or djoit, a word which, in a slightly different form, is found in an early Pyramid text (Hommel, l.c.}. If this etymology be accepted, it has an important bearing on the history both of language and of civilisation. The word would be an example of a very early loanword incorporated from without into the common Semitic stock, whilst the knowledge of olive cultivation might be inferred to have reached Egypt on the one hand and Palestine on the other from some early seat in Asia Minor - probably Cilicia, Lagarde thinks, in view of the fact that on the S. coast of Asia Minor the wild olive 'forms veritable forests' (De Candolle, Origine, 225). The Arabic word passed along the N. coast of Africa into Spain, and was also borrowed by Persian and Turkish. The Greek and Latin words are of quite independent origin.

1 See Driver on Dt. 12:2.

2. References.[edit]

Although in Gen. 8:11 a branch of wild olive seems to be intended, everywhere else zayith denotes the cultivated variety. In Neh 8:15 this is distinguished from the oleaster (Eleagnus angustifolia), if that is the correct identification of 'es shemen (see OIL TREE). The two terms are brought together in a distich of Ben Sira (Ecclus. 50:10, Heb. text) -

As a luxuriant olive (n l) full of berries,
And as a wild-olive tree (jeer ? ! ) with branches full of sap.

No wonder that references to the olive tree abound ; it is as characteristic of Palestine (Dt. 33) as the date-palm is of Egypt, and shares the notice of Hebrew writers with corn and the vine. Once we find the phrase rr] D"i3, 'olive orchard' (Judg. 15:5). The special epithet of the olive is pjn 1 - i.e. , 'luxuriant' - not 'green', for the leaves of the olive are not strikingly green. The uses of its oil, for lighting, as an ingredient in food, and as a salve or ointment, are too familiar to need illustration, nor need we refer here to GETHSEMANE [q.v. ]. Olive trees stand as an image of fresh beauty combined with fruitfulness (Ps. 52:8 [52:10], 128:3, Jer. 11:16, Hos. 146); the process of 'beating' or 'shaking' the trees to bring down the ripe fruit is referred to l in Dt. 24:20 (for the law about gleaning cp Ex. 23:11) Is. 17:6, 24:13 ; and the treading or pressing out of the oil in Mic. 6:15.

In Rom. 11:17-24 we have an allusion to the process of grafting, which has since ancient times been applied in order to grow branches of the finer cultivated olive upon the stem of the oleaster (aypit Acuo?) ; the writer, for the illustration of his argument, imagines a reverse process - the grafting of wild olive branches upon the cultivated plant.

3. Home of Olive.[edit]

The area over which Olea europea, L. , is found growing spontaneously is so large that it is almost impossible to say where or how early it may have been first cultivated. As De Candolle (op. cit. 223+) shows, however, its range may not in early times have been so extensive. The Egyptians certainly knew it very early as a cultivated plant. The Greeks believed Attica to have been its earliest home (Herod. 58:2), and it was cultivated among them from a great antiquity. The Syrian cultivation may reach back at least as far as either of these (cp Lagarde, l.c. ), and Schweinfurth and other botanists incline to the view that the olive was of African origin, and thence spread along the Mediterranean region.

N. M.

4. Pss. 52:8, 128:3.[edit]

[Two passages in the Psalms seem to require notice here : (a) Ps. 52:8 [52:10] and (b) 128:3. In passage a olive-trees in the temple-courts may justly surprise us, for there is no trustworthy evidence that trees were planted there. Most probably the text is in disorder, as the vertical line called Pasek suggests. If we may read -

And I, the poor and needy one, JV3JO jy JW
In the courts of the house of my God, M^N ji 3

the difficulty is removed without violence (Che Ps.( 2)).

In passage b, there may be an allusion to the way in which the olive tree propagates itself. When the trunk decays, fresh stems spring from the roots, and a group of olives takes the place of a single tree. As the parent stem decays, the suckers grow up, tall and strong, in their place, so that it may perhaps be a true tradition that in the famous olive-grove of Gaza (see GAZA, 4) no trees have been planted since the Moslem conquest. 2 T. K. c.] N. M., 1-3; T. K. C., 4.


1. Names.[edit]

(D JT-Tn in, Zech. 14:4 bis ; TO opos TU> eAaioif [LXX, NT, Jos.]; mons Olivarum; in 2 S. 15:30 C JVirt flTBO, ^ aya/3do-is T. e., clivus, 'ascent' ; in Acts 1:12, opos TO KoAoiVet-or eAaicoiMK, mons qui vocatur Oliveti, 'the mount called Olivet' [Olivet also in 2 S. 15:30 AV ; cp Jos. Ant. 7:9:2]), afterwards called by the Jews nntt On "in, mons unctionis (on the expression JVn& Sri in 2 K. 23:13 see below, and cp DESTRUCTION [MOUNT OF]), and still later, mons luminum (explained in the Middle Ages as referring to the multitude of lights burning in the various sanctuaries on the mount) or also mons trium luminum - with reference to the triple light (a) of the temple, (b) of the rising sun, (c) of the oil of the olive trees, according to the rabbis ; cp PE^ Q, 1897, pp. 75-77, 307-308 or, more correctly, according to Reland, mons trium culminu (from its three summits ; see below), and at the present day Jebel ez-Zeitun, or more commonly, Jebel-et-Tur (sometimes Jebel Tur ez-Zeit).

1 In many parts of Spain and Greece, and generally in Asia, the olives are beaten down by poles or by shaking the boughs

2 Conder, Tent Work, 2:261.

2. Description.[edit]

The name applies primarily in a general way to the whole ridge (on the limitation to a part of this chain, see below [3]), coming from the NW. , but stretching N. and S. for about 2.5 mi. on the E. side of Jerusalem, beyond the ravine of the Kidron valley, thus forming a sort of rampart parallel to the Bezetha and Temple Hills (see sketch map above, col. 2410). Geologically the formation is a hard cretaceous limestone (called by the Arabs mizseh], with superimposed strata of soft cretaceous limestone (Senonian, called by the Arabs kakuleh), and quaternary deposits sn the summit. The mount is easily climbed in a quarter of an hour from the Kidron ; it is less stony than some others near it, and formerly was rich in various plantations, especially (as the name implies) olive plantations ; the number of these has greatly diminished. There are three distinct elevations separated by depressions in the ridge.

(1) The elevation on the N., where the house of Mr. Gray Hill now stands (2690 ft. above sea level), currently known as Mt. Scopus (hut wrongly, the true Scopus being more to the W., beside the Nablus road, at the point called Ras-el-Mesharif ; cp PEFQ, 1874, pp. 94, in); the native name appears to be es-Suwan.

(2) That on the S., now known as Jebel Batn el-Hawa (Mount of the Belly of the Wind), 2395 ft., having the village of Siloam on its western flank. By Josephus (BJ 5:12:2) it is called 'the hill overlooking the ravine of Siloam' ; by tradition, opos irpo<ro\8i<riJ.a.Tos, (TKavKd^ov, Sia<f>9opa.<;, mons offensionis or scadali, being identified with the hill spoken of in 1 K. 11:7 as 'before' (^S Vj;) Jerusalem, in connection with the pagan sanctuaries set up by Solomon for his foreign wives,! and also with the hill (to be regarded, however, as distinct), which in 2 K. 23:13 is called JVnC SH irr (EV, mount of corruption, RVmg, or, 'destruction' ). For a discussion of this phrase, which was unintelligible to the translator of LXX, see DESTRUCTION [MOUNT OF] ; the hill intended by it was probably the Mt. of Olives, properly so-called, and as for the sanctuaries situated 'on its right hand' - i.e., to the S. - they may have stood on the Jebel Batn el-Hawa, but equally well may be supposed to have been on the hill called by tradition the Hill of Evil Counsel, now locally known as the Jebel Abu-Tor, to the S. of Jerusalem beyond the Wady er-Rababi. The Jebel Batn el-Hawa is separated from the Mt. of Olives proper by a sharp depression, through which passes the road to Bethany, and in which are situated the new abattoirs of Jerusalem.

(3) Between the two already mentioned is the Mt. of Olives proper - the distance from Jerusalem is variously given as 8 furlongs (Acts 1:12, 'a sabbath day's journey' ), 5 furlongs (Jos. Ant. 20:8:6) or 6 furlongs (Jos. BJ 5:2:3) - described as before ( iS Sy) Jerusalem on the east (Dtj3p), Zech. 14:4), on the east side (nipp) of the city (Ez. 11:23), and over against (Kartvavn) the temple (Mk. 13:3). Here again three culminating points have to be distinguished. The first, on the E. (2664 ft.), is now marked by the conspicuous Russian tower ; the second (2636 ft.), farther to the W. , exactly faces the temple ; here stand

  • (a.) the chapel of the Ascension on the site of various Christian buildings, the oldest of which goes back to the time of Constantine ;
  • (b) the Arab village of Kefr et-Tur, first mentioned in the fifteenth century ;
  • (c) several other sanctuaries ; the third, more to the N. (2684 ft.), is locally known as Karm es-Seyyad or Karm Abul-Hawa, and to tradition as Viri Galilaei ; see below ( 5).

A carriage road, made for the Empress of Germany in 1898, leads from the Nablus Road to Viri Galilaei and thence onwards to the Chapel of the Ascension. 2

The view from the Mt. of Olives is very extensive. Westward, it commands a bird's-eye view of Jerusalem, 'in the form of a theatre', as Josephus expresses it (the summit is 218 ft. above the Haram). To the NW. is seen Neby Samwil, and to the N. the mountains of Benjamin and Ephraim ; to the S. are those of Judah, and, in particular, the 'Frank Mountain' (Bethlehem is not visible ; but from the top of the Russian tower can be seen the bell-towers of the Church of the Nativity) ; to the E. are the arid mountains traversed by the road from Jerusalem to Jericho (Bethany is hidden), the Ghor, the Dead Sea, the mountains of Gilead and Moab. Those, however, who claim to have seen Jerash, the greater Hermon, Ebal and Gerizim, the Mediterranean, are in error.

1 A later tradition, going as far back as 1283 A.D., places here not the heathen sanctuaries, but the harem of Solomon.

2 The western flank of the Mt. of Olives has been from early times, and still continues to be, used for purposes of burial. The most ancient of the tombs, caves transformed into sepulchres, are now called (baselessly) Tombs of the Prophets, and are situated to the SVV. of the Latin buildings. Cp H. Vincent, Revue Biblique, 10 (1901), pp. 72-88; PEFQ, 1901, pp. 309-317.

3. OT references.[edit]

In the OT the Mt. of Olives is mentioned in four OT places:

  • (a) 2 S. l5:23-16:1. David, in flight from Absalom, crosses the Kidron and climbs up the other side to where, according to RV, 'God was worshipped' (RVmg, 'where he was wont to worship God' ; AV less correctly, 'where he worshipped God' ) ; on the other side he descended to BAHURIM (q.v. ; unidentified),
  • (b) Ezekiel (11:23) sees the 'glory of Yahwe' going forth from the temple and resting on the Mt. of Olives ; cp 432, where, conversely, the glory of Yahwe comes to the temple from the E.
  • (c) In Neh. 8:15 it is said : the people went to 'the mount' for branches of olive, etc. ; various interpreters understand the Mt. of Olives here.
  • (d) Zechariah (144) see's Yahwe in the great day plant his feet on the Mt. of Olives, which is cleft by an eastward and westward valley to make way for the fugitives.

Later rabbinical Judaism attached the rite of the red heifer (Nu. 19 ; Mish. Parah, 36) to the Mt. of Olives, where also at the appearance of each new moon a fire was kindled visible as far as from Karn Sartabeh. A Jewish legend fixes the abode of the divine Shekinah on the Mt. of Olives for three and a half years.

4. NT references.[edit]

The NT references are five:

  • (a) Mt. 21:1, Mk. 11:1, Lk. 19:29 (Jesus crosses the Mt. of Olives on the day of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem) ;
  • (b) Mt. 24:3, Mk. 13:3 (scene of his discourse concerning the temple ) ;
  • (c} Lk. 21:37, Jn. 8:1 (Jesus withdraws - for the night - as, according to Lk. was his habit - to the Mt. of Olives) ;
  • (d) Mt. 26:30, Mk. 14:26, Lk. 22:39 (mentioned in connection with GETHSEMANE [q.v.]) ;
  • (e) Acts 1:12 (after the ascension, the apostles return from the Mt. of Olives).

5. Scene of the ascension.[edit]

Christian tradition, resting undoubtedly on the last-cited passage, but also influenced by Zech. 14:4, has, since the time of Eusebius (about 315 A. D. ), regarded the summit of the Mt. of Olives as the scene of the ascension ; a sanctuary was erected 'on the ridge' (firl TTJS aKOwpaas), which varied in the course of centuries ; irom the fourth century onwards there has been shown one of the footprints (now right, now left) of Jesus on the rock (again an echo of Zech. 14:4). In Lk. 24:50 the scene of the ascension is placed very definitely at Bethany (he led them &&gt;$ Trpds HrjOaviav AV, 'as far as to Bethany', RV less correctly, 'until they were over against Bethany' ). Unless two conflicting accounts be admitted, that of Lk. must rule, the passage in Acts saying merely that the disciples returned from the Mt. of Olives. There can be no doubt that Lk. means to say that he led them to the place called Bethany (Tobler, 83). It may be added that in the time of Jesus there were houses on the top of the Mt. of Olives. The tendency to multiply sacred sites, so often shown by tradition, has caused the scene of the apparition of the angels ( Viri Galilaei, Acts 1:11 ; see above, 2, [3]) to be separated from that of the ascension itself. A further designation, Galilaea (which is not to be confounded with Viri Galilaei), is the result of a harmonistic effort to bring Mt. 28:10 (cp v. 16), which speaks of an appearance of Jesus on a mountain in Galilee, into conformity with the indications of Mk. and Lk. , which make Jerusalem the scene of the manifestation. The attempt is old and has been often repeated ; the last to make it is R. Hofmann, whose argument is interesting but unconvincing. Cp GOSPELS, 138.

From the fourth century (Bordeaux Pilgrim, 333) onwards through the Middle Ages and down to the sixteenth century, 1 in accordance with the tendency of tradition to bring all the biblical sites as near to Jerusalem as possible, pilgrims were shown the scene of the transfiguration as well as that of the ascension on the Mt. of Olives. The similarity of names (Mt. Tabor, Jebel et-Tor ; and Mt. of Olives, Jebel et-Tur) may possibly have contributed to this error. The interest of the Mt. of Olives for the Christian lies more in the mountain as a whole than in any particular part of it. As the Abbe Le Camus (Voyage aux Pays Bibliques, 1:252) has it : 'Quand les reliques sont des montagnes, on pent admettre leur authenticite'.

1 Hans Stockar, pilgrim of 1519 ; Heimfahrt von Jerusalem, 18, Schaffhausen (1839).

6. Literature.[edit]

Tobler, Die Siloahqitelle und der Oelberg, 59-313; Reland, Palcestina, 52 337-341 ; Robinson, Biblical Researches in Pales* tinaC^I, 1274-275 604-605; Phys. Geogr. of the H.l., 405. ; Berggren, Reisen, 894-97 ; Furrer, \Vanderungen( -},?,\-?>^\ l art. Oel berg in Schenkel s Bitel-Ltxiken, 4355-356; Thomson, The Land and the Book, 2410-422 433-437 ; Schick, The Mount of Olives, FEFQ, 1889, pp. 174-184; PEFMZzio; Jerusalem 398-404; Doubdan, / oyaze de la Terre-Sainte, 115-116253-270, with a map on p. 100 ; Wallace, Jerusalem the Holy, 117-124 ; Buhl, Gcogr. ties alt en Paliistina, 94-95; Fraas, Aus tiem Orient, 57-58 202 (Geological); R. Hofmann, Galilira avf dent Oelherg, 1896, 53 pp.; ZDPl 13 (1800) 98 (Van Kasteren) ; Federlin, La Terrc-Sainte, xviii. (1901), nos. 2, 8-12.

LU. G.


(oAYMTTAC- a contracted form of oAyM- TTloAcopOc) is saluted in Rom. 16:15; cp ROMANS, 4, 10. Later legend (see the ynOMNHMA of Peter and Paul of the pseudo-Symeon Metaphrastes) said that he was ordained bishop of Philippi by Peter, and beheaded with Herodion at Rome when Peter was crucified.


(oAyMTTioC [AV]), 2 Macc. 6:2. See JUPITER.


(MAHPOC [B]), 1 Esd. 9:34 AV = Ezra 10:34, AMRAM, 2.


pO lK ; COMAp [BADEL]), one of the sons of Eliphaz; Gen. 36:11 (ta^av [ADE])is 1 Ch. 1:36.! Probably a corruption of Jerahmeel, like IRAM (so Che.) in Gen. 36:43, 1 Ch. 1:54.




py), Ex. 16:36 etc. See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.


('HE!? may either be an ethnic like Zimri, and many of the names which now close with !"l\ instead of * [see NAME], perhaps [cp OMAR] from Jerahmeel [Che. ]: or, it may be put for il IDl? [omriah?], 'worshipper of Yahwe', cp Arab., names ,Amir and Omar, and see Robertson Smith, Kinship, 265 / ; in Aram, inscr. TO?* [6752, no. 195] and -|Dl?n [ib., no. 173], cp JAMBRI ; ZA/V\Bp[e]l [BA, but occasionally A/V\Bp(e)l]. AMBpl [L], A.MAPINOC [Jos. Ant. 8:12:5])

1. OT references.[edit]

i. Father of Ahab and King of Israel (900-875 B.C., Schr. ; 890-879 B.C., Kamph. ), 1 K. 16:15-28. He was originally captain of the host, and was besieging Gibbethon, a Philistine town, when he heard that his royal master Elah had been slain by ZlMRl (q.v. ). At once he left Gibbethon and came to Tirzah and besieged the usurper Zimri, who, finding himself unable to hold out, closed his reign of seven days by a voluntary death (see ZIMRI). But the victor had yet another rival to fear. TIBNI b. Ginath and his brother Joram (cp 1 K. 16:22 LXX) were in arms against Omri, and it was not until they died that his authority was secure. 1 That he had the eye of a statesman is clear from his selection of SAMARIA (q.v.) as capital in preference to TIRZAH. His struggles against the Aramaeans of Damascus were not particularly successful ; he had to concede certain privileges to them in his own capital (1 K. 20:34), and was forced to surrender several Israelite towns, including, it would seem, the important Ramoth-gilead (223); see BENHADAD, 2. The meagre accounts of him in the OT are supplemented slightly by the Moabite inscription.

From the stele of Mesha, we learn that Omri reasserted his claim to Moab and gained a hold on Medeba and the surrounding? district, which was retained by him for some years (cp AHAB). The thoroughness of the subjection is proved by the enormous tribute paid to Israel by Moab (cp 2 K. 3:4). See MESHA.

1 Knowing, as we do, the manner in which late revisers have endeavoured to synchronise the events of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, we cannot, by comparing v. 15 with v. 23, fix the length of Omri's struggle with Tibni at four years (see CHRONOLOGY, 7).

2. Assrian references.[edit]

Omri is the first Israelite king to be mentioned on the Assyrian inscriptions, and the widening of the political horizon of Israel marks the commencement of a new epoch. It is possible that Omri himself paid tribute to Assyria, and through its help obtained the throne (cp Ki. 2:259). On inscriptions from the time of Shalmaneser II. (854) down to Sargon (720) we find the northern kingdom designated as mat Bit-Humri, 'land of the house of Omri' 1 ; or simply mat Humri, 'land Omri'. 1 Jehu even is called the 'son of Omri' (Schr. KAT 190+). The use of this phrase shows how great was the reputation which Omri enjoyed abroad (Stade, however, supposes that the Assyrians did not learn of the existence of Israel till Omri's reign, and that, as years went by, they clung to the original name, without troubling to change it [GVI 1:521 ])- Another sign of the influence of Omri would be the strange phrase of an anonymous prophet in Mi. 6:16, 'the statutes of Omri' ; but the text is doubtless corrupt (see MICAH [BOOK], 3). The dynasty which he founded lasted for half a century, and was only overturned by the hatred of the prophets to the worship of Baal. It is remarkable that we are told so little about him. Cp HISTORICAL LIT. , 5, 7.

2. b. Becher, a Benjamite, 1 Ch. 7:8 (a^apMia [HAL]).

3. A descendant of Pharez, 1 Ch. 9:4 (anp[)i IBA], afi/3pi [L, who appears to identify Omri and IMRI, a name which BA omits]).

4. b. Michael, of the tribe of ISSACHAR ( 4 n.), 1 Ch. 27:18 (oM0p[<MBL], a M api[A]).


(jiK ; AYN [B], & Y NAN [AF], AMMAN [L]), b. Peleth, a Reubenite, the associate of Dathan and Abiram (Nu. 16:1). The name On seems to have attached itself to Jerahmeelite territory ; hence it is parallel with Cushan and Missur, according to an almost certain restoration of Hab. 3:7, 'On is affrighted, the tents of Cushan are in dread, 2 the tent curtains of Missur tremble'. See DATHAN AND ABIRAM, and cp JERAHMEEL, 3, PIBESETH.

The names On, Onam, Onan, Ono, Ben-oni point to the existence of a clan and of a district in the far S. called On, and there is a group of passages in the Prophets, commonly much misunderstood, in which the same S. Palestinian district is probably referred to, viz., Am. 1:5 ( 'and inhabitants from Rehoboth-on' ), v. 5 ( 'Bethel [the southern Bethel in the district of On ?] shall become Aven' ), Hos. 10:8 ( 'the high places of On-Jerahmeel' ), Hab. 3:7 ( 'On shall be affrighted' ). Ezek. 30:17 ( 'the young men of On and Jerahmeel' ). For the explanation and justification of these readings see Crit. Bib.; we can only mention here that the Bethel of Amos and Hosea was probably the sanctuary of the golden calf (cp PROPHET, 35), not far from Halusah ( = Dan?) in the Negeb. It is also by no means impossible that under the present Egyptianised story of Joseph, there lies an earlier story, which laid the scene in N. Arabia, and gave Joseph for a father- in-law a priest of On, a Zarephathite (jns t3ifl = rttns)- Note that On in Nu. 16:1 is 'b. Peleth' - i.e., a Pelethite (= Zarephathite) - and that REUBEN appears originally to have been a southern tribe (see PELETH) ; also that in Neh. 6:2, for reasons given elsewhere (see Crit. Bib. ), the place of meeting suggested to Nehemiah was probably, not 'in [one of] the villages in the plain of Ono', but 'in Jerahmeel, in Rehoboth of On' (cp Am. 1:5 above); and lastly, that in Neh. 11:35 we should probably read for 'Ono, Ge-haharashim' [RVmg], 'On of the Geshurites' (see GESHUR, 2). Every one of these corrections throws light on a dark place in the OT writings ; hence their introduction into a work like the present. T - K - c -

1 For the designation of a nation as the house of a king or of a founder of a dynasty, cp Hos. 5:1. Mesha, too, speaks of the house of Omri's son (l. 7). Cp Wi. KA T( 3 >, 247.

2 So Perles (Analekten, 66) and Nowack ; but -psO must also be restored for JHD pN-

3 In Gen. 41, 46 lou roA [A*], Uiov w. [A], 41:50, 46:20 Uiou a. [A].


(|1K, |.t ; HAioy noAic ; 3 HELIOPOLIS), the city of POTIPHERA [q.v.], the father-in-law of Joseph (Gen. 41:45, 41:50, 46:20; also Ezek. 30:17 [LXX; see AVEN]) also mentioned as Beth-shemesh in Jer. 43:13 (so MT and LXX ; but the text needs correction ; see BETH-SHEMESH), and in the true text of Is. 19:18 (cp x* Symm., see HERES, CITY OF), and in LXX of Ex. 1:11 (KAI CON [U top (unless this is a misprint in Lag-)] H eCTlN HAlOY TToAlc) as well as in Jer. 43:13 (a gloss on HAioy TToAlc).

1. Name.[edit]

The name of the Egyptian 'On' (for the S. Palestinian 'On', see preceding article) is written 'nw l (the initial Alcph would admit also of being read as a y). According to a famous mythological text (Destr. 19), the name would be etymologically connected with the word preserved in Coptic as eyNI. 'millstone', so that the w would have to be read before the n. The late pronunciation On is, at any rate, traceable, not only in LXX, but even in the Assyrian Unu (Ashur-bani- pal). 2 From the famous temple of the sun-god the city was perhaps also called Pe(r)-Re , 'house of the sun- god' ; cp the Greek and Arabic designations. 3

2. Importance.[edit]

On-Heliopolis, situated very near the southern end of the Delta, E. of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, was, perhaps, the oldest city of Egypt. We find, at least, that from the texts of the pyramids to the latest theological writings it is described as the holiest city, the favourite place of the sun-god whence it is easiest to find access to heaven. In its temple ( 'the House of the Prince' ) was a sacred tree which is identified with the tree from the branches of which the sun-god rises every morning, etc. 4 The earliest divinity worshipped there seems to have been Atum(u), figured in human form, and explained by the later theologians as the setting sun. Re and Harmachis were also worshipped. A god explained as the Heliopolitan form of Osiris had the name Sep (cp Osarseph, the name of Moses in Manetho [JOSEPH ii. , i]). The most sacred animal there was the bull called Mnevis by the Greeks. 5 The name of the high priest (wr-m') 'greatest in seeing' (i.e., observing the stars) and his sacrificial costume, covered with stars, point to the high reputation of the Heliopolitan astronomers and astrologers. Even in Greek times the learning of those priests (Mywrluiv Xoyitb- TOLTOL, Herod. 2:3) was so famous that Greek philosophers like Plato and Eudoxus were said to have visited them to study their wisdom. So important was the city to which Potiphera (cp JOSEPH ii., 3, 11) was said to have belonged.

1 [hieroglyphs go here] , Brugsch, Dict. Geogr. 259.

2 Delitzsch (Pur. 318) would compare this Unu with Hermonthis near Thebes which had the same name in earlier times. As, however, its name at a later period always received the addition res(i), 'the southern' or Montu 'of [the god] Month', in opposition to the northern 'On', Delitzsch's idea is highly improbable. Cp also CIS 102 a, 2 (Bloch, Glossar. 14) ms3 [x.

3 Diodorus 1:12 concludes from the name that the sun-god founded the city. On the Egyptian form see Brugsch, Dict. Geogr. 409+ (with caution).

4 It is, certainly, not accidental that, after the downfall of paganism, the Christian Egyptians always reverenced a tree in or near Heliopolis, claiming that it had protected the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus on the flight to Egypt. The tree of Mary, shown at present, was planted somewhat over 200 years ago. No doubt it is a successor of the holy persea tree of antiquity.

5 The sacred bird of On, the bnw, bynw (a crested heron), was considered as a symbol of the morning sun ; the strange fables attached to it by the classical writers (Herod. 2:73, etc.) are not found on the monuments. Cp PHOENIX.

6 The statement of Juba (in Plin. 6:177) that it was founded by Arabs evidently refers to the same fact.

3. History.[edit]

Heliopolis was the capital of a nome (the thirteenth of Lower Egypt), but seems never to have played any political part except, perhaps, in the time of the Hyksos who are said to have resided (?) there.

Being situated near the W. end of Goshen, on the road from Goshen to Memphis, On had, later, a very large Semitic population. As early as in the time of Rameses III. a quarter inhabited by some thousands of Asiatic Apuriu is mentioned, and before the foundation of Alexandria Heliopolis doubtless ranked high among the cities with a partly Jewish population. 6 The Jewish city Onion and the temple of Onias (see ONIAS, 13 ; cp DISPERSION, 6, and ISRAEL, 71) were near it, and several neighbouring ruins have, at present, names pointing to Jewish communities - e.g. , Tell el-Yahudiye, 'the hill of the Jewess' ; a 'Vicus Judaeorum' occurs already in the Roman itineraries. LXX's addition to Ex. 1:11 is quoted above. Thus the eastern frontier of the Delta was occupied by a continuous line of Jewish settlements.

At the beginning of the Roman period, Strabo (p. 805) describes the city as deserted, although the great temples had still their population of priests. The ruins near the modern village el-Matariye are, at present, very insignificant ; the only considerable remnant of the great temple of the sun is an obelisk erected by User- tesen I. of the twelfth dynasty. The Arabs called the city 'Ain esh-Shems', fountain of the sun. Whether the sweet well 1 near the sacred tree of el-Matariye furnished the name, is doubtful ; the ruins of Heliopolis are, at any rate, too far N. for us to regard the well as the sacred basin of the sun-temple. W. M. M.


(DJIX, 77 ; on the name cp GENEALOGIES i. , 5, n. 2 ; JERAHMEEL, 2-3 ; and see ON i. , ONAN).

1. An Edomite clan (Gen. 36:23, <a/j.av [AEL], -^ [D] ; 1 Ch. 1:40, <oi/a,>[BA], uav. [L]).

2. A Jerahmeelite sept or clan (1 Ch. 2:26, o^ofj. [B], ovvo^a. [A], avav [L]). See JUDAH, JERAHMEEL, 2.


(JTIN, 77 ; AYNAN [BADEFL], cp ON i., ONAM), one of the five sons of JUDAH (q.v. ), Gen. 38:4, 38:8-10, 46:12, Nu. 26:19, 1 Ch. 2:3.


(ONHCIMOC [Ti.WH]) according to Philem. 10, is the name of a runaway slave Christianised by Paul and sent back to his master with our canonical 'Epistle of Paul to Philemon'. Later tradition makes him bishop of Ephesus. Another Onesimus is mentioned in Col. 4:9 as a Christian at Colossae, who has recently been with Paul. According to some he is identical with the person called a slave in Philemon, and accordingly that epistle is held to be earlier than Colossians.

Attention has frequently been called to the meaning of the name (Onesimus = 'useful' ) and doubts on that account have been thrown on the historicity of Onesimus, or, at least, of the Onesimus of Philem. 10 ; so far as appears, however, without sufficient ground. A slave called Onesimus is really intended, although his presence in this place is probably a fiction, and the name borrowed from Col. 4:9. See PHILEMON [EPISTLE].

W. C. v. M.


(oNHCldwpOC [Ti. WH]) is mentioned twice in 2 Tim. Apparently we are to suppose that he was dead when the epistle was written, for in both places his 'house' (family), not he himself, is placed in the foreground.

  • (a) In 1:16-18 the divine mercy is besought for his house as a reward for his mercy to Paul (cp Mt. 5:7). It is assumed that Timothy knows the details of his ministry to Paul perfectly well, but it is a pleasure to Paul to refer to his repeated kindness, not only at Ephesus but also at Rome : 'he oft refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain ; but when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently and found me'.
  • (b) At the close of the epistle (4:19) this kind friend's house or household is specially saluted together with Prisca and Aquila.

Here two MSS (46:109) contain the insertion, AeKrpav TI)V yvvaiKa. O.VTOV /cat 2i|U.aiaf [2r;-] icat Zryi/tuva TOV? uious aurou, which, though it stands after 'Prisca and Aquila', really belongs to 'the house of Onesiphorus' (cp Ada Pauli et Theclif, 2).

1 The Virgin Mary is said to have washed the child Jesus in it, an indication that the well was sacred in pagan times.


(oN[e]iA APHC [A" J - X c - avid - V*. see Swete]), 1 Macc. 12:20. See SPARTA.


  • Name (1).
  • References (2).
  • Date of Onias I. (3).
  • Date of Onias II. (4).
  • His official position (5).
  • His relation to the Tobiads (6).
  • Identity of Onias II and III (7).
  • Murder of Onias II. (8).
  • Josephus and Onias IV. (9).
  • Trustworthiness of 2 Macc. (10).
  • Conclusions (11).
  • Date of Onias IV. (12).
  • Temple in Heliopolis (13).
  • Literature (14).

1. Name.[edit]

Onias (orsii&c) is tne Greek form of a Jewish name which we find borne by various persons chiefly of priestly origin in the third and second centuries B.C. It stands sometimes for Heb. pnr (Ecclus. 50:1 ; loviov [B*N*]) ; sometimes for Heb. mn, which occurs amongst the names in the inscription of the Bne-Hezir on the so-called Sepulchre of Jacob in the valley of Kidron near Jerusalem. l Both forms come from the same root (jn, pn), and the meaning of both is the same.

In the printed texts of the Talmud the name usually appears as rjin (Honyo) ; but it is noteworthy that good MSS also exhibit the form jvjinj (Nehonyon : Schur. GJV 2:546, ( 3 ) 3:99, ET 4:288). As vjn is equivalent to the older Hebrew form mn> both the Hebrew forms (mn an ^ pnv) ^e represented by the Gk. Ovias [onias].

Unfortunately it is impossible to say in any individual instance whether the Greek name (Mas [onias] represents the one Hebrew form or the other.

2. References.[edit]

The following is a list of the persons known to have borne the name.

(a) Onias I, son of Jaddus or Jaddua (Jos. Ant. 11:87 [ 347], 12:2:5 [43], cp Neh. 12:11); see 3.

(b) Onias II., son of Simon I. the Just (Jos. Ant. 12:2:5 [ 44], 12:4:1-10 [ 156-224]); see 4-8, 11.

(c) Onias III., son of Simon II. (Jos. Ant. 12:4:10 [225] ( = 13:5:8 [ 167]), 12:5:1 [237]); see 7-8, 11.

(d) Onias IV., son of Onias III. (Jos. Ant. 12:5:1 [ 237], 12:9:7 [ 387]), or son of Simon (Jos. BJ 12:10:2 [423]); see 9-13.

(e) Onias, third son of Simon II. (Jos. Ant. 12:5:1 [238+]), usually called Menelaus (cp 12:9:7 [ 383-385]); see 13 (e)

(f) Onias, a pious Jew, killed at Jerusalem in 65 B.C. (Jos. Ant. 14:2:1 [ 22-24]).

(g) Onias, father of John, who was sent along with others by Hyrcanus to Rome (Jos. Ant. 14:10:10 [222]).

Of these seven, (f) and (g) may be left out of account in this article as being of no importance for our present purpose ; on the other hand it will be necessary to bring together and to sift everything that our sources contain with regard to the first five.

3. Date of Onias I.[edit]

(a) Onias I. - As regards Onias I., we know from Jos. Ant. 11:8:7 ( 347) that his father was Jaddus (or Jaddua Neh. 12:11), from Ant. 12:2:5 ( 43) that his son was the high priest Simon the Just. According to Ant. 11:8:4-5 ( 322+). Jaddua was contemporary with Alexander the Great. Of this synchronism, however, Willrich (Juden u. Griechen, 22) has argued that it must be given up, the whole of the Jewish Alexander-legend being unhistorical. This, no doubt, goes too far ; the synchronism may be correct even if the details of the story be imaginary. We can no longer rely upon it, however, for determin ing the date of Onias. Onias I.'s son, Simon [I.] the Just, appears in Ant. 12:2:5 (43-44), as the predecessor of Eleazar who, according to the epistle of Aristeas, lived in the time of Ptolemy II. Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.). According to this, the date of Onias I. would be somewhere about 300 B.C. The epistle of Aristeas, however, cannot be regarded as a first-rate chronological authority, and Josephus does not seem to have had at his disposal any complete list of the Jewish high priests from which he could have taken Eleazar (Willrich, ut supr. 111). We next turn, therefore, to the Simon who is mentioned in Ecclus. 50:1 : 'The greatest among his brethren and the glory of his people was Simon, son of Johanan (loviov t*B*X*], Oviov [BBi>N c - a ]) the high priest'. By comparison with the high priests of the post-exilic Jewish community named in Josephus, this Simon has been identified with one or other of two persons - either with the Simon [I.] the Just, already mentioned, or with Simon [II.] whose father, according to Josephus (Ant. 12:4:10 [ 224]), would seem also to have been named Onias (see below, 7-8}. The splendid eulogy passed in Ecclus. 50:1+ gives the idea of an important personality whose merits did not allow him to be forgotten by posterity. Now, unquestionably the history supplies us with only one man answering such a description - Simon the Just ; Josephus also praises Simon [I.] though briefly (Ant. 12:2:5 [ 43]), whilst as regards Simon II. he chronicles only his father's name, his sons names, and his death (Ant. 12:5:1 [ 237], 4:10 [225]). In all probability, therefore, those scholars are right who take Ecclus. 50:1 as referring to Simon [I.] the Just (see, however, ECCLESIASTICUS, 7). In that case we shall do well to place him somewhere not too early in the third century. If Simon lived somewhere about 250 B.C. then the approximate date for his father, Onias I., will be about 280 B.C.

1 [Chwolson, Corpus Inscr. Hebr. no. 6 ; cp Driver, TBS 23.]

Onias II.[edit]

4. Date.[edit]

(b) Onias II. - According to Jos. Ant. 12:4:1-10 ( 156-224), Onias II., at first sight, appears to have been contemporary with Ptolemy III. Euergetes (247-221), Ptolemy IV. Philopator (221-204), and Ptolemy V. Epiphanes (204-181). His father was Simon [I.] the Just, but he did not succeed his father immediately, being under age at the time of his death. On this account, according to Ant. 12:2:5 ( 44) and 4:1 ( 157), the high-priestly dignity was held first by Eleazar, brother of Simon and son of Onias I. , the high priest of the Epistle of Aristeas, and afterwards by Manasseh, an uncle of Eleazar (perhaps a brother of Onias I.?). Whether the succession of high priests, and in particular the minority of Onias II. here given, rests really upon tradition has been rightly doubted by Willrich (110-111) and Buchler (40+). Josephus seems to have assumed the minority of Onias simply in order to make room for the Eleazar of the epistle of Aristeas ; of Manasseh nothing is elsewhere known. It is therefore, to say the least, doubtful whether these data have a historical character. On the other hand, we do possess a trustworthy narrative - however amplified and distorted by various unhistorical anecdotes - in the association of Onias II. with the rise of the Tobiad Joseph as farmer of taxes (Ant. 12:4:1-10). Willrich (96-97) takes the narrative as referring to the opposition between Menelaus (= Joseph) and Jason ( = Onias). Wellhausen regards it (IJG, 242) 'as being on the whole unhistorical although not on that account altogether worthless'. Buchler (43+, 91+), on the other hand, has successfully shown that the twenty-two years of the revenue-farming of Joseph can be understood only of the time of the Egyptian kings Ptolemy IV. Philopator (221-204 B.C.) and Ptolemy V. Epiphanes (204-181 B.C. } and must be placed somewhere about 220-198 B.C.

This does not harmonise indeed with the words with which Josephus (Ant. 12:4:1 [ 154]) introduces the story; the reference to the marriage of Cleopatra the daughter of Antiochus III. (222-187) with Ptolemy V. Epiphanes allows us to reckon backwards only from 193. Nevertheless, the Egyptian revenue-farmer Joseph and the things attributed to him in the story, are compatible only with a period of Egyptian lordship in Palestine, in other words before 198 B.C. We may regard it as made out that the mention of Euergetes the father of Philopator in 12:4:1 ( 158) is a later (and erroneous) insertion in the text (see Niese, ad loc. ).

5. His official position.[edit]

From this narrative (Ant. 12:4:1-10) can be drawn the following details of the circumstances and conditions then existing. - After the Egyptian governor of Coelesyria, Theodotus the Aetolian had in 219 invited Antiochus III. to the conquest of the Coelesyrian province, and its southern portion had received Syrian garrisons in the course of 218, Onias II. discontinued payment of twenty talents of tribute to Ptolemy IV., believing that the Egyptian suzerainty over Jerusalem was at an end (Ant. 12:4:1 [ 158-159]). Though this sum is spoken of as in behalf of the people (6 virtp TOV \aov 06/>o$), we are not to understand by it the tax or tribute which the Jews as a whole had to pay to Ptolemy, but only a due which Onias II. had to pay on his own account, and which therefore he provides out of his private revenue (etc TUV idiwv). It is closely connected with the personal position of Onias II., which is sometimes described as a presidency ( wpocrrcurta TOV XaoC [prostasia tou laou]) and as a rulership (dp^eiv [archein]), sometimes as a high-priestly dignity (apxtepariKT) rt/xT? [archieratike time]) or as a high-priesthood (dpxiepu- ffvi>T) [archieroosune]) (Ant. 12:4:2 [ 161-163]). If he goes on with the payment he retains his dignity ; if he discontinues, he loses his office and at the same time exposes to peril the Jewish inhabitants of the land ( 159). We thus see that the dignity he holds is dependent on the king and mixed up with politics, and thus is not in any necessary connection with the Jewish high-priesthood.

Such a state of matters is easily intelligible so far as the expressions 'presidency' (Trpooracria TOV AaoC) and 'rule' (ap^eii/) are concerned; but the phrases 'high-priestly dignity' (apxiepartKrj TI^LTJ) and 'high-priesthood' (<ip^iepto<rvcr)) are surprising ; the position of 'ruler' depended on the will of the foreign overlord of the Jews, but that of high priest was purely an internal affair of the religious community. The narrative of Ant. 12:4, however, proceeds on the view that the presidency (irpoo-racna TOV AaoO) and the high-priesthood (apxiepuxrvir;) over the Jews were now at last inseparable, so that a high priest who should become divested of his political position (at the head of the people) conferred by the king was thenceforth no longer in a position to retain the spiritual office.

Buchler seeks to solve the difficulty with regard to the chief-priesthood (apxifpuvuvr)) by supposing that the Ptolemies and Seleucids nominated for the separate provinces governors-general (arpaTrjyoi [strategoi]) who, in addition to their own proper (political) designation, bore also the title of chief priest (dpxtepeiis [archiereus]) or even - so far as Jerusalem was concerned - had to exercise certain rights as regarded the sanctuary (cp 2 Macc. 3:4 : Simon is 'overseer of the temple' [TT /xxrrdTT/s TOV iepou] as an official of the king). According to this view - in support of which Buchler (33) adduces certain inscriptions in addition to 2 Macc. 3:4 in Ant. 12:4:1-2 it is only this political chief-priesthood (dpx<-fpu<rvi>r)) that comes into account, not the spiritual headship of the Jewish community. Onias II. must in that case have been chief priest (dpxtepei/s) in a double sense ; but this is hardly credible.

6. His relation to the Tobiads.[edit]

The decision of Onias II. to go over to Antiochus III. was premature. His grand-nephew, the Tobiad Joseph, judged the situation more accurately. He cast in his lot unreservedly with the Ptolemies, was skilful enough to ingratiate himself with the Egyptian envoy in Jerusalem, and received from Ptolemy IV. the official positions which until that time had been held by Onias [Ant. 12:4:3 ( 172-173 )] (and, moreover, had nothing to do with the farming of the taxes in southern Syria [4:4 ( 175+)]). This occurrence had an important bearing upon the position of the high priests of the Jews in Jerusalem. Until now the spiritual head of the community had been at the same time its repre sentative in its political relations with the foreign over lord ; now the care of these 'foreign affairs' was dissociated from the priestly office and committed to a secular person - the Tobiads were Benjamites (2 Macc. 3:4; and see 12). The change meant a substantial diminution of the high priest's power and gave rise to many disputes within the community, Joseph having asserted and maintained his new position as fully as he could as against the high priest.

The struggle between the elder sons of Joseph and the youngest, Hyrcanus, as also the setting-up by Hyrcanus of a dominion of his own in the trans-Jordanic territory (182 B.C.), where in 175 he commmitted suicide from fear of Antiochus IV. (Ant. 12:4:7-9, 12:4:11 [ 196-222, 228-236]) render it very probable, if not even certain, that Hyrcanus held by the Ptolemies to the end whilst his elder brothers went over, very likely before 198, to the side of the Seleucids. Only under such a presup position can we understand the political attitude of persons with whom 2 Macc, makes us acquainted. The brothers Simon, Menelaus, and Lysimachus, that is to say, necessarily (on account of Menelaus) belong to the Tobiads; according to Buchler (34+) they are the sons of Joseph with whom the narrative of Ant. 12:4:9-11 (218+, 228+) deals. Simon under Seleucus IV. (187-175) has the position of 'overseer of the temple' (irpoffTa.Tt]s TOV iepov . 2 Macc. 3:4) ; they must already, therefore, at some earlier date have abandoned the cause of the Ptolemies. The high priest Onias, on the other hand, according to 2 Macc. 3:10 stands in connection with the Tobiad Hyrcanus ; he is the opponent of the elder brothers and now, therefore, in all probability is a friend of the Ptolemies. According to 2 Macc. 3 the mission of Heliodorus, who is represented as having attempted at the command of Seleucus IV. to violate the temple treasure in Jerusalem, ought to fall within the time of his priesthood. The legend, it would seem, is designed in its own fashion to establish the actual fact that in spite of the royal command the treasure remained untouched. How this immunity was secured remains uncertain ; perhaps it was on account of the excellent relations subsisting betwen Helicdorus and Onias II.

The personality of Onias II. appears in totally different lights in Ant. 12:4 and in 2 Macc. 3-4. In Josephus he figures as a narrow, covetous man, in 2 Macc, as celebrated for his piety, his zeal for the law, and his effective solicitude for the city and the community. This diversity of judgment is to be accounted for by the difference of the sources. The narrative of Josephus is written in the interest of Joseph the tax-farmer, perhaps by a Samaritan (Willrich, 99; Buchler, 86+); in 2 Macc. 3-4 we hear the voice of an uncompromising friend of the temple at Jerusalem.

7. Identity of Onias II and III.[edit]

(b and c). In what has been said above, the Onias of 2 Macc. 3 has been identified with Onias II. The correctness of this idenfification must be further examined.

On the data of Josephus it is more natural to take 2 Macc. 3-4 as relating to Onias III. For, according to Ant. 12:4:10 ( 224), Onias II. died in the reign of Seleucus IV. , he was succeeded by his son Simon (II.), who in turn was succeeded by his son Onias (III.) who died at the beginning of the reign of Antiochus IV. Epiphanes (Ant. 12:5:1). On this view the close of the high-priesthood of Onias II., the whole of that of Simon II., and nearly the whole of that of Onias III., all fell within the period of Seleucus IV.

According to 2 Macc. 4, on the other hand, no Jewish high priest dies in the beginning of the reign of Antiochus IV. ; it is only at the instance of Menelaus (after 172) that Onias is murdered (4:30+), that is to say, at a period when, according to Jos. Ant. 12:5:1, Onias III. had already been dead for some years. If, accordingly, the Onias III. of Josephus is the person intended in 2 Macc. 3-4, it would be necessary to suppose that the events of 2 Macc. 3-4 happened precisely in the closing years of Seleucus IV. Even so, however, the contradiction between Josephus and 2 Macc, with regard to the death of this Onias would remain.

A further circumstance, moreover, requires to be noticed. Josephus names Simon (II.) as having been high priest between Onias II. and Onias III. (Ant. 12:4:10 [ 224]) and informs us (12:4:11 [ 229]) that Simon II. held with the elder sons of Joseph on account of relationship, and thus not with Hyrcanus. This state ment remains unintelligible if we hold this Simon to have been an Oniad ; for the Tobiad brothers were all alike related to the Oniads through the mother of their father Joseph (Anf. 12:4:2 [ 160]).

Buchler (39+) seeks to dispose of this difficulty by supposing the Simon II. of Josephus to be in truth the 'overseer of the temple' (JT/OOOTCITTJS TOV lepov) named in 2 Macc. 3:4, the Tobiad who 'for kinship's sake' held by his full brothers, not his half-brother Hyrcanus (Ant. 12:4:6 [ 186+]); that in the source followed by Josephus he was called chief priest (dpx<fpfvs) - as a king's officer named by the Seleucids - that Josephus had understood the word wrongly as referring to the Jewish high-priesthood, and thus included Simon in the list of the high priests. The statement of Josephus in Ant. 12:4:11 [ 229] really does speak in favour of this supposition. In that case, Simon II. would have to be deleted from the list of Jewish high priests. This would carry with it the further consequence that Onias II. was immediately succeeded by Onias III. It is contrary, however, to old-Jewish customs for father and son to bear the same name. Thus we are led finally to the supposition that Onias II. and Onias III. are one and the same person. The same conjecture has already been put forward by Schlatter and Willrich (114).

8. Murder of Onias II.[edit]

The murder of Onias, however, spoken of in 2 Macc. 4:30+ is open to grave doubt. He is there represented as having been craftily put to death by Andronicus at Daphne near Antioch after the expulsion of Jason (175-173). Formerly this datum used to be regarded as so certain that, as a rule, the obscure words in Dan. 9:26 - rna rve 3 - were explained by reference to it. Of late, however, great doubts have been expressed. Wellhausen and Willrich have pointed out that, according to Diodorus Siculus (30:7:2) and Johannes Antiochenus (ap. Muller, Fr. Hist. Or. 4, p. 558) the regent Andronicus puts to death the son of Seleucus IV. at the instance of king Antiochus IV., and subsequently is himself punished with death. Both scholars are of opinion that 'the circumstances of the murder of the prince have simply been transferred to the high priest', and therefore that the narrative of 2 Macc. 4:30+ as to the death of Onias is false. Certainly the account just given of the end of Andronicus is more credible than the story in 2 Macc. Strictly, however, it does not follow that the murder of Onias at Antioch is a pure invention : it is possible still to hold it true even if one were to come to the conclusion that the participation of Andronicus or other details in 2 Macc. 4 are unhistorical.

It is surprising, it must be admitted, that Josephus should know nothing of this singular end of a Jewish high priest. The words in Dan. 9:26 are, taken by themselves, so indefinite that they cannot supply confirmation of what is said in 2 Macc. 4. Moreover, they have recently, and doubtless with greater truth, been taken by such scholars as Renan, Baethgen, and Wellhausen as referring to the cessation of the legitimate high-priesthood altogether, in parallelism to v. 25, where the inauguration of the high-priesthood after the exile is brought into prominence.

Thus, the question of the death of Onias turns wholly upon that as to the degree of confidence we can repose in 2 Macc, as to this matter (see below, 10).

9. Josephus and Onias IV.[edit]

According to another view this Onias did not die at all as high priest in Jerusalem, but having fled from the hostility of his many enemies in Jerusalem, the Tobiads, founded in Egypt, under the patronage of Ptolemy VI. Philometor, the Jewish temple in Leontopolis. This view is based upon the short statement in BJ 1:1:1 (31-33), and has recently been advocated principally by Willrich and Wellhausen. Elsewhere (ISRAEL, 69 , col. 2261) will be found a brief statement of the construction to be put on the events of 175-170 B.C. according to this view. The struggle between Onias and his brother Jason, of which neither Josephus nor 2 Macc, have anything explicit to say, is after Willrich (88+} to be drawn from the narrative which Josephus (11:7:1) gives regarding the high priest Johannes ( = Onias) and his brother Jesus (= Jason).

The present writer is now, however, inclined to question the justice of this view. In any case it must be carefully borne in mind that Josephus nowhere affirms that the founder of the temple at Leontopolis ever held the high-priestly office in Jerusalem. In Ant. 12:9:7 (387), 12:5:1 (237), 13:3:1 ( 62), and 20:10:3 ( 236) the Onias who migrated to Egypt is represented as having been son of the high priest Onias III. to whom at home the path to the high-priesthood was barred. In BJ 7:10:2 ( 423) this Onias is the son of Simon (so also in Talmud: ZATW 6:281), 'one of the chief priests in Jerusalem' (f ft TUIV iv I(po<ro\i fjiois apx<-tp^uv) , this addition is found also in BJ 1:1:1 (31) (eis rQiv dpxifptwv) ; only in 33 does the phrase run, more briefly, 'the chief priest Onias' (o 6 dpxtfpfus OWas). There can be no question that this last expression has to be interpreted in the light of what is said in 31 : Onias is there for Josephus not one who is actually discharging, or has discharged, the functions of a high priest, but simply a member of one of the 'chosen families out of which the high priests were selected' (Schurer, GJV^ 2:221+ ; cp Buchler, 118). Nor does the fact that he is described as son of Simon carry us any further than this. An opinion has indeed been expressed that 'Onias, son of Simon' ( Oias ^i/uawos wos) is here only short for 'Onias, son of Onias, son of Simon' ( Ovtas TOV Oviov rou Z(yuwvoj). This, however, is nothing more than a harmonising co-ordination with Ant. 12:9:7, 13:3:1 and no reliance can be placed on it. Whether Simon the father be really the high priest Simon (Ant. 12:4:10 [ 224]) or another person, it is impossible to determine. In any case this at least is certain : the Onias who migrates to Egypt is nowhere spoken of by Josephus as having held the high-priestly office. We are therefore compelled, in the end, to distinguish this Onias from Onias III.

10. Trustworthiness of 2 Macc.[edit]

It can hardly be merely accidental that 2 Macc, says nothing of a flight of Onias into Egypt, but on the contrary relates the murder of the 'pious' high priest Onias at Daphne whilst Josephus repeatedly recurs to the flight of Onias but says nothing of the violent end of a high priest at Daphne. This suggests that the author of 2 Macc, (or his source) may have intended to depreciate the worth of the Onias-temple in Egypt and for that purpose makes Onias the brother of Jason, who was regarded as the founder of the Onias-temple, to be murdered near Antioch so that the connection between the high-priestly Onias and the temple in Leontopolis may be completely severed. Such an intention would be in excellent agreement with the tendency of 2 Macc, to uphold the dignity of the temple of Jerusalem. It would result that the murder of Onias itself, not merely the attendant details, had been invented.

Baethgen (ZATW 6 [1886] 280) has adduced the execution of Onias-Menelaus (Ant. 12:9:7 [ 384-385]) to explain the origin of the statements in 2 Macc. 4:30+. With this narrative, however, fall to the ground at the same time two other assumptions : namely, that the murdered Onias is identical with the high priest Onias (II. or III.) and that Jason (2 Macc. 4:7) raised himself to the high-priesthood as opponent of Onias. This is of importance for our understanding of the events of the period. The last high priest Onias, according to Ant. 12:4:10 ( 224), died in the beginning of the reign of Antiochus IV.

11. Conclusions.[edit]

The result of our discussion of Onias II. and III. may be summed up as follows. Onias II. was probably the last legitimate high priest of the Jewish community in Jerusalem. He held this office for a long time, having entered upon it in the time of Ptolemy IV. Philopator, at latest in 220, and continued in the discharge of it till the beginning of the reign of Antiochus IV. (175-174 B.C.), that is to say, some forty or fifty years. From this period begins the series of those high priests whom the Seleucid kings nominated in virtue of their own might and in defiance of Jewish right : Jason, Menelaus, Alcimus : the author of the book of Daniel refuses to take account of them.

As objections to this solution of the problem may conceivably be urged the length of the term of office assigned to Onias, also the disappearance of the Simon named in Ant. 12:4:10. The student who finds these objections too formidable to be overcome, may hold by the statements of Ant. 12:4:10. According to what we read there, Onias II. will have been high priest until the first year of Seleucus IV., then Simon II. will have held the office for a short time and been succeeded by Onias III. as the last legitimate high priest till 175-174. In that event the statements also of 2 Macc. 3-4 will have to be understood of Onias III., not as was said above (5-8) of Onias II. On such a view, it is true, one must abandon hope of explaining why it was that Simon held by the elder sons of Joseph (did TTJV crvy- ytveiav : Ant. 12:4:10 [ 229]).

For the sake of completeness it ought also to be mentioned that in Josephus (Ant. 12:4:10 [ 225-227]) Onias III. receives a letter of the king of Sparta, Areus, in which the Jews are invited, on account of relationship through Abraham, to enter into close alliance with the Lacedaemonians. The transaction thus alleged vanishes on examination into air ; Areus I. reigned in 309-265, Areus II. died somewhere about 255, aged eight years. Cp DISPERSION, 21, and Buchler, 126+, who explains the fable of relationship between the Lacedaemonians and the Jews by the settlement of Jews in the Dorian Cyrenaica.

12. Date of Onias IV.[edit]

(d) Onias IV. We have already seen that Josephus nowhere designates Onias IV. as an actual high priest ( 9 above). In BJ 1:1 ( 31) it is recorded of him that he expelled the Tobiads from Jerusalem. The same action is intended as is referred to in Ant. 12:5:1 ( 239-240) and 2 Macc. 5:5-6 where it is attributed to Jason. Jason and Onias, according to Ant. 12:5:1 (237-238), 2 Macc. 4:7, are brothers. The historical accuracy of this relationship may be doubted ; for the closely connected assumption that Onias III., Jason, and Onias = Menelaus, were all of them the sons of Simon the high priest (Ant. 12:5:1 [ 238-239]) is certainly false.

Two brothers with the same name are a. priori unlikely ; Menelaus ( = Onias) is the well-known leader of the Tobiads ( 239 ; 2 Macc. 5:23+) and does not belong at all to the high-priestly families (cp the contrast in Alcimus, 2 Macc. 14:3). Josephus erroneously reckoned him as so belonging because he felt bound to infer his high-priestly descent from the fact of his bearing the high-priestly dignity ; but 2 Macc. 4:24-25 is here plainly right : TTJS fifv ap\iep(a<rvin)$ ovSfv afiof <j>fptav. Jason is represented alike by Josephus and by 2 Macc. 4 as the adversary of the Tobiads ; doubtless he belonged to the party of the Oniads ; he and the Onias who migrated to Egypt were party allies ; whether they were brothers as well must be left undetermined. It is at least possible, if not probable, that Josephus inserted Jason's name in the list of Jewish high priests for the same reason as that mentioned already in the case of Menelaus. Jason was in any case, however, an Oniad and belonged as such to the high-priestly families. Nevertheless the question of his relationship to Onias III. is in a different position from the same question as regards Menelaus.

The attempt to expel the Tobiads from Jerusalem brings us down into the very thick of the conflicts under Antiochus (cp BJ 7:10:2 [423]). It happened about 170 B.C. when Antiochus IV. had undertaken his first expedition against Egypt and the report of his death was being circulated in southern Syria. Jason hurried back from the trans-Jordanic territory whither he had with drawn from Menelaus in 172-171, received the support of the people of Jerusalem, and compelled Menelaus and his followers to take to flight. These betook themselves to Antiochus IV. and induced him to restore Menelaus at the point of the sword. This was done as Antiochus was returning from Egypt in 170. Jason fled first to the E. of the Jordan and subsequently to Egypt, probably to Cyrene (Buchler, 126+), whilst Onias betook himself to the court of Ptolemy VI. Onias' flight thus falls to be dated in 170-169 B.C. The situation is stated quite differently in Josephus (Ant. 12:9:7 [387], 20:10:3 [ 236]).

Onias is represented in Jos. as not having left Jerusalem until Alcimus had been raised to the high-priesthood by Antiochus V. Eupator, and he saw himself superseded. This date (163-162 B.C.) appears to be too late. Still the intervention of the Romans in 168 did bring about a certain cessation of hostilities between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies, so that political fugitives from Syria could no longer hope so readily for a favour able reception at the court of Alexandria. Moreover, in Judaea itself, about 163 the national resistance to the Seleucids was already organised, and it is difficult to see any reason why Onias should at that date set off for Egypt in order to cool his hatred of the Greeks.

13. The temple in Heliopolis.[edit]

According to what we learn from Josephus (c. Ap. 2:5 [ 49+]) the Jews who accompanied Onias to Egypt seem to have played a prominent part in the army of Ptolemy VI. Josephus speaks of Onias and Dositheus as generals of the entire army and adds that in the war between Ptolemy (VII. Physkon) and Cleopatra (the widow of Ptolemy VI.) Onias adhered to Cleopatra and took successful part in the operations in the field. The sons also of Onias, Helkias and Ananias, were entrusted by queen Cleopatra (108 and 104 B.C. ) with the conduct of the war against her son Ptolemy Lathurus (Ant. 13:10:4 [ 285-287] - following Strabo - 13:1 [ 348^]). Special interest attaches to the building of the Jewish temple in Egypt which is attributed to Onias. It is fully dealt with in what so far as we can judge is a genuine passage in BJ 7:16:2-4 ( 420+). Onias seeks to gain Ptolemy VI. to his purpose by urging political considerations ; the building of a Jewish temple, and full freedom granted to Jews for the exercise of their religion there, would win over all Jews to the Egyptian side. Ptolemy accordingly granted him a site in the nome of Heliopolis, 180 stadia from Memphis. Onias caused this site to be fortified and erected his temple in such style that it had the appearance of a citadel sixty cubits high. As a whole it did not resemble the temple in Jerusalem ; only the altar and the sacred vessels (dcct^/tiara), apart from the golden candlestick, were the same as in Jerusalem. The temple was endowed with land so that the priests had a liberal income. Jealousy of Jerusalem is represented by Josephus as Onias's motive. The whole district was called 'Onias's land' (17 Ofiov [xwpa]). This temple lasted longer than that of Jerusalem.

The Jewish diaspora in Egypt was profoundly moved by the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A. D., and Lupus the governor fearing that the temple of Onias might become a religious centre for revolutionary movements, received from Vespasian, in answer to his own representations, orders to demolish the structure. Lupus at first merely closed the temple ; but his successor Paulinus made it completely inaccessible after having plundered it of its furniture (afaO^ara). This was in 73 A.D. Josephus represents it as having stood for 343 years, on which reckoning it must have been founded about 270 B.C. This date, however, is absolutely excluded by the foregoing data of Josephus himself; there must be some error in the figures. It is usual to assume 243 as the original reading ; this would give 170 B.C. as the year of foundation. We may conjecture that the plan and its execution were not earlier than the desecration of the temple in Jerusalem by Antiochus IV. in 168, but also earlier than the granting of freedom of worship by Antiochus V. in 163.

The data supplied by Josephus in Ant. 13:3:1+ ( 66-70), 10:4 ( 285) exhibit considerable discrepancies. The two letters incorporated - that of Onias to Ptolemy and Cleopatra, and their answer to it - are both without a doubt mere literary fabrications, of which the answer is still more worthless than the other. In Onias's letter the site for which he asks is an old disused sanctuary in the enclosure (oxi pw/xa) of rural Bubastis (dypia B<w/3acms) ; in the answer it is a ruined sanctuary of rural Bubastis (dypia Botf/3a<ms) in Leontopolis in the district of Heliopolis (cp Ant. 12:9:7, 20:10:3). It is customary in accordance with this last statement to speak straightway of the temple in Leontopolis ; it is questionable, however, whether the various definitions of the site exactly agree. According to Ant. 3:1 ( 67), 10:4 ( 285), the temple was built after the model of that in Jerusalem. The sole motive, according to 3:1 ( 63) was the personal ambition of Onias ; its erection is spoken of (32 [ 69]) as sinful and a transgression of the law. The discrepancy of the accounts gives Buchler (239+) occasion to conjecture the real question to be whether it was a (Jewish) temple of Onias or a (Samaritan) temple of Dositheus that was actually built. From the indications regarding the temple in BJ 7:10 Buchler is rather inclined to conclude that it was Samaritan (255). Against this inference, however, weighty considerations can be urged. Had the temple been Samaritan, assuredly the allusion to it in Is. 19:18 would not have been admitted into the Jewish Canon, and the Mishna would not have found it necessary to discuss the question whether sacrifices and vows in connection with the Onias temple were valid also for the temple of Jerusalem (Schurer, GJV 3 > 399).

(e) For the Onias named by Josephus in Ant. 12:5:1 ( 238^) as the youngest son of Simon II., see MENELAUS.

14. Literature.[edit]

Besides the works on the History of Israel cited in ISRAEL, 116, see Baethgen in ZATW 6:277-282 (1886) ; A. Schlatter, in St. Kr. 1891, pp. 633^., in Jason von Kyrene, 1891, and in ZATW 14:145+ (1894); H. Willrich, Juden u. Griecken, 1895; Wellhausen, GGA, 1895, pp. 947-957; A. Bitchier, Die Tobiaden u. die Oniaden im II. Makkabaerbuche u. in der verwandten Judisch-hellenistischen Literatur, 1899; B. Niese, Kritik der beiden Makkabaerbucher, 1900; H. Willrich, Judaica, 1900. H. G.


(D^>*3, basalim, for cognates see BOB; KPO[M]/V\Y&) longed for by the 'mixed multitude' and the Israelites, Nu. 11:5+. The onion (Allium Cepa, L. ) of Egypt has always had a high reputation (Plin. NH 196+, 101, Juv. 15:9; cp Wilk. Anc. Eg. W, 225-226) Hasselquist (Travels, 290) speaks with enthusiasm of their sweetness and softness. Very possibly, however, the original story (see MOSES, 5-6) meant the onions grown in the Negeb near Zarephath, 'mixed multitude' being clue to corruption. See E. H. Palmer's description of the country (NEGEB, 5-6). Cp ASHKELON (end), FOOD, 6, and see Low, 74, ff. and De Candolle, Origine, 52 ff.