BLTC Press Titles

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Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Notes on New Testament literature and ecclesiastical history

by Joseph Addison Alexander


§ 130. What writing is ascribed to Barnabas? What are the opinions as to its author ? What are the supposed indications of later date ? How do Eusebius and Jerome regard it ?

Paul in his epistle to the Romans (16, 14), and in the title of a book called the Shepherd, which we find referred to, as an ancient composition, by Origen, in the third century. It consists of three parts, the first of which contains four Visions, the second twelve Mandates, and the third ten SimiUtudes, the whole communicated by an angel in the form of a shepherd. This book, though fanciful and mystical, was highly esteemed in the ancient church, being often read in worship, and regarded as inspired by such men as Origen and Irenaeus. The Muratori fragment before mentioned, represents it as the work of another Hennas, the brother of Pius, who was bishop of Rome about the middle of the second century. The intrinsic value of the work is small, and even its literary interest for us not great, as it now exists only in the form of a very ancient Latin version.

§ 132. The same thing is partially true of an undisputed writing of the same class, an epistle of

§ 131. Where is Hermas named in the New Testament? What work bears the same name ? How far back may it be traced ? How is it divided? What are the contents of the several books? What is the character of the whole ? How was it regarded by the ancients? How by Origen and Irenaeus? To whom is it ascribed in the Muratori fragment ? What is its literary and religious value ? Why is it comparatively unavailable for our immediate purpose ?

Polyearp, bishop of Smyrna, a disciple of St. John, and an eminent martyr under Marcus Aurelius (A. D. 168). This epistle is addressed to the Philippi ans, and is valuable chiefly on account of its citations or references to the New Testament. Of the Greek original there are only fragments extant, but a complete Latin version.

§ 133. Ostensibly much earlier in date, but of far more doubtful authenticity, are the famous epistles of Ignatius, bishop of Smyrna, and martyr, under Trajan, which have been a subject of dispute for ages. The maximum number is fifteen, but a majority of these, five in Greek, and three in Latin, are now unanimously looked upon as spurious. The remaining seven exist in two forms (or recensions), a longer or a shorter, each of which is claimed to be the original by many learned writers. - Within a few years a still shorter form in Syriac has been recently discovered, and is by some regarded as the original form, by others as a mere abridgment or mutilation of it, while a third class reject all three

§ 132. Who was Polyearp? When and how did he die? What extant writing bears his name ? What is its chief value ?

§ 133. Who was Ignatius? When and how did he die? What extant writings bear his name ? What is the whole number of epistles? How many are now universally rejected? In what two Greek forms do the rest appear ? What third form has been recently discovered? What different estimates are formed of it? What recensions as alike supposititious. The epistles are remarkable for earnest opposition to certain forms of heresy, and zealous assertion of the Divinity of Christ, but chiefly for the zeal with which they urge the claims of the episcopate, and which has given them importance in connection with exciting questions of church-government. Whether written by Ignatius or not, their language is essentially the Greek of the New Testament, and therefore Hellenistic.

§ 134. Papias, bishop of Hierapolis (and martyr), like Polycarp, is said to have been a disciple of St. John, and a diligent collector of the sayings and doings of our Lord, as preserved by oral tradition. His book (\oyicov icvpiaic&v i^yr/a-K) exists only in fragments, preserved by Irenseus and Eusebius. The latter describes him as a man of little mind and a gross Chiliast, which error was extensively promoted by his writings.

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