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The New Testament Apocrypha

The New Testament Apocrypha The New Testament Apocrypha

The first book to supply the English reader with a comprehensive view of the apocryphal literature connected to the New Testament. It contains translations of all the important texts in the style of the Authorized Version, and makes available the results of historic researches into their origin, history, and value.

Paperback: 628 pages
Publisher: Apocryphile Press (November 1, 2004)

The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation

The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation

From the Back Cover This collection of apocryphal texts supersedes the best-selling edition by M. R. James, which was originally published in 1924, and regularly reprinted. Several new texts have come to light since 1924 and the textual base for some of the apocrypha previously translated by James is now more secure, as in several cases there are recently published critical editions available. Although a modest appendix to James's edition was added in 1953, no thorough revision has previously been undertaken. In this volume, J. K. Elliott presents new translations of the texts and has provided each of them with a short introduction and bibliography directed to those who wish to pursue further the issues raised in the texts, or to consult the critical editions, other versions, or general studies. The translations are in modern English, in contrast to James's deliberate imitation of the language of the Authorized Version. The collection is designed to give readers the most important and famous of the Christian apocrypha, together with a select sample of gnostic texts. Full translations of the earliest texts are printed.

About the Author

J. K. Elliott (Editor)

Paperback: 774 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Paperback Edition edition (December 22, 2005)

The Quest of the Historical Jesus

The Quest of the Historical Jesus The Quest of the Historical Jesus

In this groundbreaking work that made his reputation as a theologian, Albert Schweitzer traces the search for the historical person of Jesus (apart from the Christ of faith) and puts forward his own view of Jesus as an apocalyptic figure who preached a radical message of the coming of the Kingdom of God. Though Schweitzer's own proposals about Jesus no longer command assent, his lasting contribution, comprising the bulk of the book, is the critique of his predecessors. Through examining the works of more than 50 18th- and 19th-century authors and scholars, he shows conclusively that each historical reconstruction of Jesus was largely a fantasy made in their own self-image.

Schweitzer's work has proved the touchstone for all subsequent quests for the "Jesus of history." It also contributed in no small measure to the remarkable resurgence in Jesus studies in the latter part of the 20th century, which culminated in the much publicized and highly controversial findings of the Jesus Seminar.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Ed edition (February 11, 2005)

The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book The Urantia Book


Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. (p. 2018) “Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world.” (p. 2047) “Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful.” (p. 2047) The Father’s love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man’s personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows. (p. 1289) The secret of a better civilization is bound up in the Master’s teachings of the brotherhood of man, the good will of love and mutual trust. (p. 2065)


Prayer is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict. (p. 1002) The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard. … (p. 1639) God answers man’s prayer by giving him an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness. (p. 1002) …Never forget that the sincere prayer of faith is a mighty force for the promotion of personal happiness, individual self-control, social harmony, moral progress, and spiritual attainment. (p. 999)


There is a great and glorious purpose in the march of the universes through space. All of your mortal struggling is not in vain. (p. 364) Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. (p. 556)


The angels of all orders are distinct personalities and are highly individualized. (p. 285) Angels....are fully cognizant of your moral struggles and spiritual difficulties. They love human beings, and only good can result from your efforts to understand and love them. (p. 419)

Our Divine Destiny

If you are a willing learner, if you want to attain spirit levels and reach divine heights, if you sincerely desire to reach the eternal goal, then the divine Spirit will gently and lovingly lead you along the pathway of sonship and spiritual progress. (p. 381) …They who know that God is enthroned in the human heart are destined to become like him—immortal. (p. 1449) God is not only the determiner of destiny; he is man’s eternal destination. (p. 67)


Almost everything of lasting value in civilization has its roots in the family. (p. 765) The family is man’s greatest purely human achievement. ... (p. 939)


…Faith will expand the mind, ennoble the soul, reinforce the personality, augment the happiness, deepen the spirit perception, and enhance the power to love and be loved. (p. 1766) “Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith.” (p. 1733)


The story of man’s ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. (p. 731) 2,500,000,000 years ago… Urantia was a well developed sphere about one tenth its present mass. … (p. 658) 1,000,000,000 years ago is the date of the actual beginning of Urantia [Earth] history. (p. 660) 450,000,000 years ago the transition from vegetable to animal life occurred. (p. 669) From the year A.D. 1934 back to the birth of the first two human beings is just 993,419 years. (p. 707) About five hundred thousand years ago…there were almost one-half billion primitive human beings on earth. … (p. 741) Adam and Eve arrived on Urantia, from the year A.D. 1934, 37,848 years ago. (p. 828)

From the Inside Flap

What’s Inside?

Parts I and II

God, the inhabited universes, life after death, angels and other beings, the war in heaven.

Part III

The history of the world, science and evolution, Adam and Eve, development of civilization, marriage and family, personal spiritual growth.

Part IV

The life and teachings of Jesus including the missing years. AND MUCH MORE…


God, …God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true. (p. 1431) If you truly want to find God, that desire is in itself evidence that you have already found him. (p. 1440) When man goes in partnership with God, great things may, and do, happen. (p. 1467)

The Origin of Human Life, The universe is not an accident... (p. 53) The universe of universes is the work of God and the dwelling place of his diverse creatures. (p. 21) The evolutionary planets are the spheres of human origin…Urantia [Earth] is your starting point. … (p. 1225) In God, man lives, moves, and has his being. (p. 22)

The Purpose of Life, There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. (p. 365) This new gospel of the kingdom… presents a new and exalted goal of destiny, a supreme life purpose. (p. 1778)

Jesus, The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. (p. 1091) What an awakening the world would experience if it could only see Jesus as he really lived on earth and know, firsthand, his life-giving teachings! (p. 2083)

Science, Science, guided by wisdom, may become man’s great social liberator. (p. 909) Mortal man is not an evolutionary accident. There is a precise system, a universal law, which determines the unfolding of the planetary life plan on the spheres of space. (p. 560)

Life after Death, God’s love is universal… He is “not willing that any should perish.” (p. 39) Your short sojourn on Urantia [Earth]…is only a single link, the very first in the long chain that is to stretch across universes and through the eternal ages. (p. 435) …Death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery. (p. 159)

About the Author

The text of The Urantia Book was provided by one or more anonymous contributors working with a small staff which provided editorial and administrative support during the book's creation. The book bears no particular credentials (from a human viewpoint), relying instead on the power and beauty of the writing itself to persuade the reader of its authenticity.

Leather Bound: 2097 pages
Publisher: Urantia Foundation; Box Lea edition (August 25, 2015)

The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version (Revised & expanded)

The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version (Revised & expanded) The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version (Revised & expanded)

From the editors of the bestselling The Five Gospels, The Complete Gospels presents for the first time anywhere all twenty of the known gospels from the early Christian era, offering a fuller and more fascinating picture of early Christian origins than found in the four canonical gospels alone -- or in any other source. Each of these gospels records offers fresh glimpses into the world of Jesus and his followers, including:

  • Gospel of Thomas reveals that Jesus, contrary to the popular image of him as an apocalyptic preacher of damnation and salvation, was actually a wisdom teacher who taught about the true origins of humankind.
  • Gospels of Mary suggests that women held prominent role in early church, and provides a startling look at what may have been the first attempts to supress their leadership.
  • Sayings Gospels Q, the controversial reconstruction of the first gospel used by Jesus' original followers, contains only Jesus' sayings and none of the dramatic stories about his life later told in the New Testament gospels.
  • Signs Gospel is almost entirely a catalog of Jesus' miracles, intended to demonstrate that he was the Jewish Messiah, the Anointed.
  • Secret Book of James relates that immediately prior to his ascension, Jesus imparted a private revelation to James and Peter, which James presents here as a letter.
  • Gospel of Peter contains what may have been the original passion narrative later adapted in the New Testament synoptic gospels' accounts.

Four new pieces have been added to this third expanded edition: the three Jewish-Christian gospels and the Greek fragment of the Gospels of Thomas.

Each gospel is translated into lively, contemporary English, recapturing the spirit of the original. Exciting both to read and to hear, this Scholars Version (SV) translation has -- as one reader put it -- "a vitality that jumps off the page."

The editor and contributors to this volume are members of the Jesus Seminar founded by Robert W. Funk, based at the Westar Institute in Sonama, California.

Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: HarperOne; Revised, Expanded edition (November 4, 1994)

The Lost Books of the Bible compiled by William Hone
The Lost Books of the Bible compiled by William Hone The Lost Books of the Bible compiled by William Hone

From the Inside Flap

Suppressed by the early church fathers who compiled the Bible, these apocryphal books have been shrouded in silence for centuries. Here are the Apostles' Creed, the girlhood and betrothal of Mary, the childhood of Jesus-told in all their warmth, intimacy and humanity. Translated from the Original Tongues, with 32 illustrations from Ancient Paintings and Missals.

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Testament; New edition edition (June 8, 1988)

The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts

The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts

This anthology of gospel literature contains texts that are not a part of the New Testament but are of great importance for the study of Christian origins. Containing some of the writings from the Nag Hammadi library, these sixteen texts constitute what remains of the non-canonical Gospels from the first and second centuries. They transmit sayings of Jesus and relate stories about Jesus.

About the Author

Ron Cameron is Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Paperback: 191 pages
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1st edition (January 1, 1982)


The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set) The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set)

The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set) The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set)

The Ante-Nicene Fathers ranges from the Apostolic Fathers to various third and fourth century sources including the liturgies and ancient Syriac documents. It was intended to comprise translations into English of all the extant works of the Fathers (with the exception of the more bulky works of Origen) down to the date of the first General Council held at Nicaea in 325 A.D. This American edition by Arthur Cleveland Coxe is a revision of the original series edited by Alexander Roberts and Sir James Donaldson and published in Edinburgh. The revision involves a major rearrangement to conform to the historical sequence, the addition of brief introductions and notes indicating variances in readings, specifying references to scripture or literature, clarifying obscure passages, and noting corruptions or distortions of patristic testimony (as forged in the Decretals). The basic aim of the translations has been to strive for literary exactness, placing the English reader as nearly as possible on an equal footing with those who are able to read the original.

Volume Titles:
Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Inrenaeus
Volume 2: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Clement of Alexandria
Volume 3: Tertullian
Volume 4: Tertullian (IV), Minucius Felix, Commodian, Origen
Volume 5: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix
Volume 6: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius the Great, Julius Africanus, Anatolius and Minor Writers, Methodius, Arnobius
Volume 7: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily, and Liturgies
Volume 8: Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementina, Aprocryphal Gospels and Acts, Syriac Documents
Volume 9: Gospel of Peter, Diatessaron, Testament of Abraham, Epistles of Clement, Origen and Miscellaneous Works
Volume 10: Bibliography, General Index, Annotated Index of Authors and Works

Hardcover: 6448 pages
Publisher: Hendrickson Pub; Revised edition (February 1, 1996)

The Pastor of Hermas

Introductory Note

From: Early Church Fathers 38 Volumes
Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers down to a.d. 325 Vol. II

edited by
Rev. Alexander Roberts, D.D., and James Donaldson, LL.D.
Translated by the Rev. F. Crombie, M.A.


The Pastor of Hermas

Introductory Note

[a.d. 160.] The fragment known as the "Muratorian Canon" is the historic ground for the date I give to this author.1 I desired to prefix The Shepherd to the writings of Irenæus, but the limits of the volume would not permit. The Shepherd attracted my attention, even in early youth, as a specimen of primitive romance; but of course it disappointed me, and excited repugnance. As to its form, it is even now distasteful. But more and more, as I have studied it, and cleared up the difficulties which surround it, and the questions it has started, it has become to me a most interesting and suggestive relic of the primitive age. Dr. Bunsen2 calls it "a good but dull novel," and reminds us of a saying of Niebuhr (Bunsen's master), that "he pitied the Athenian3 Christians for being obliged to hear it read in their assemblies." A very natural, but a truly superficial, thought, as I trust I shall be able to show.

At first sight, Hermas might seem to have little in common with Irenæus; and, on many accounts, it would be preferable to pair him with Barnabas. But I feel sure that chronology forbids, and that the age of Irenæus, and of the martyrs of Lyons and Vienne, is the period which called for this work, and which accounts for its popularity and its diffusion among the churches. Its pacific spirit in dealing with a rising heresy, which at first was a puzzle to the Latins,4 which Pius was disposed to meet by this gentle antidote, with which Eleutherus, in the spirit of a pacificator, tampered to his own hurt, and by which Victor was temporarily compromised, met precisely what the case seemed to demand in the judgment of Western Christians. They could not foresee the results of Montanism: it was not yet a defined heresy. And even the wise prudence of Irenæus shows anxiety not too hastily to denounce it; "seeing," as Eusebius affirms, "there were many other wonderful powers of divine grace yet exhibited, even at that time, in different churches."

Bunsen pronounces magisterially on the Muratorian fragment as an ill-translated excerpt from Hegesippus, written about a.d. 165. This date may be inaccurate, but the evidence is that of a contemporary on which we may rely. "Very recently," he says, "in our own times, in the city of Rome, Hermas compiled The Shepherd; his brother, Bishop Pius,5 then sitting in the cathedra

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of the Roman Church." With the period thus assigned, the internal evidence agrees. It accounts for the anti-Montanism of the whole allegory, and not less for the choice of this non-controversial form of antidote. Montanism is not named; but it is opposed by a reminder of better "prophesyings," and by setting the pure spirit of the apostolic age over against the frenzied and pharisaical pretensions of the fanatics. The pacific policy at first adopted by the Roman bishops, dictated, no doubt, this effort of Hermas to produce such a refutation as his brother6 might commend to the churches.

Let me present, in outline, the views which seem to me necessary to a good understanding of the work; and as I am so unfortunate as to differ with the Edinburgh editors, who are entitled, primâ facie, to be supposed correct, I shall venture to apologize for my own conceptions, by a few notes and elucidations.7

As Eusebius informs us, the charismata were not extinct in the churches when the Phrygian imitations began to puzzle the faithful. Bunsen considers its first propagators specimens of the clairvoyantart, and pointedly cites the manipulations they were said to practice (like persons playing on the harp), in proof of this. We must place ourselves in those times to comprehend the difficulties of early Christians in dealing with the counterfeit. "Try the spirits," said St. John; and St. Paul had said more expressly, "Quench not the Spirit; despise not prophesyings; prove all things," etc. This very expression suggests that there might often be something despicable in the form and manner of uttering what was excellent. To borrow a phrase of our days, "the human element" was painfully predominant at times, even among those who spoke by the Spirit. The smoke of personal infirmity discoloured genuine scintillations from hearts in which still smouldered the fire of Pentecostal gifts. The reticence of Irenæus is therefore not to be marvelled at. He cautioned Eleutherus no doubt, but probably felt, with him, that the rumours from Phrygia needed further examination. The prophetic gifts were said to be lodged in men and women austere as John the Baptist, and professing a mission to rebuke the carnal and self-indulgent degeneracy of a generation that knew not the apostles.

It would not be a very bold conjecture, that Hermas and his brother were elderly grandchildren of the original Hermas, the friend of St. Paul. The Shepherd, then, might be based upon personal recollections, and upon the traditions of a family which the spirit of prophecy had reproved, and who were monuments of its power. The book supplies us with evidences of the awakened conscience with which Hermas strove to "bless his household." But, be this as it may, this second Hermas, with his brother's approbation, undertakes to revive the memory of those primal days portrayed in the Epistle to Diognetus, when Christians, though sorrowful, were "always rejoicing." He compiles accordingly a non-metrical idyl; reproducing, no doubt, traditional specimens of those "prophesyings," on which St. Paul remarks. Hence we infer, that such outpourings as became the subject of apostolic censure, when they confused the order of the Corinthian Church,8 were, in their nobler examples, such "visions," "mandates" and "similitudes" as these; more or less human as to form, but, in their moral teachings, an impressive testimony against heathen oracles, and their obscene or blasphemous suggestions.

The permissive wisdom of the Spirit granting, while restraining, such manifestations, is seen in thus counterbalancing Sibylline and other ethnic utterances. (Acts xvi. 16–19.) With this in view, Hermas makes his compilation. He casts it into an innocent fiction, as Cowper wrote in the name of Alexander Selkirk, and introduces Hermas and Clement to identify the times which are idealized in his allegory. Very gently, but forcibly, therefore, he brings back the original

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Christians as antagonists of the Montanistic opinions; and so exclusively does this idea predominate in the whole work, as Tertullian's scornful comment implies, that one wonders to find Wake, with other very learned men, conceding that the Pauline Hermas was its actual author. Were it so, he must have been a prophet indeed. No doubt those of the ancients who knew nothing of the origin of the work, and accepted it as the production of the first Hermas, were greatly influenced by this idea. It seemed to them a true oracle from God, like those of the Apocalypse, though sadly inferior; preparing the Church for one of its great trials and perils, and fulfilling, as did the Revelation of St. John, that emphatic promise concerning the Spirit, "He shall show you things to come."

This view of the subject, moreover, explains historical facts which have been so unaccountable to many critics; such as the general credit it obtained, and that its influence was greater in the East than among Latins. But once commended to the Asiatic churches by Pius, as a useful instruction for the people, and a safeguard against the Phrygian excesses, it would easily become current wherever the Greek language prevailed. Very soon it would be popularly regarded as the work of the Pauline Hermas, and as embodying genuine prophesyings of the apostolic age. A qualified inspiration would thus be attributed to them, precisely such as the guarded language of Origen9 suggested afterwards: hence the deutero-canonical repute of the book, read, like the Apocrypha, for instruction and edification, but not cited to establish any doctrine as of the faith.10 It must be remembered, that, although the Roman Church was at first a Grecian colony, and largely composed of those Hellenistic Jews to whom St. Paul's arguments in his Epistle to the Romans were personally appropriate, yet in the West, generally, it was not so: hence the greater diffusion of The Shepherd written in Greek, through the Greek churches. There, too, the Montanists were a raging pestilence long before the West really felt the contagion through the influence of the brilliant Tertullian. These facts account for the history of the book, its early currency and credit in the Church. Nor must we fail to observe, that the tedious allegorizing of Hermas, though not acceptable to us, was by no means displeasing to Orientals. To this day, the common people, even with us, seem to be greatly taken with story-telling and "similitudes," especially when there is an interpreter to give them point and application.

After reading Irenæus Against Heresies, then, we may not inappropriately turn to this mild protest against the most desolating and lasting delusion of primitive times. Most bitterly this will be felt when we reach the great founder of "Latin Christianity," whose very ashes breathed contagion into the life of such as handled his relics with affection, save only those, who, like Cyprian, were gifted with a character as strong as his own. The genius of Tertullian inspired his very insanity with power, and, to the discipline of the Latin churches, he communicated something of the rigour of Montanism, with the natural re-actionary relaxation of morals in actual life. Of this, we shall learn enough when we come to read the fascinating pages of that splendid but infatuated author. Montanism itself, and the Encratite heresy which we are soon to consider in the melancholy case of Tatian, were re-actions from those abominations of the heathen with which Christians were daily forced to be conversant. These Fathers erred through a temptation in which Satan was "transformed as an angel of light." Let us the more admire the penetrating foresight, and the holy moderation, of Hermas. To our scornful age, indeed, glutted with reading of every sort, and alike over-cultivated and superficial, taking little time for thought, and almost as little for study, The Shepherd can furnish nothing attractive. He who brings nothing to it, gets nothing from it. But let the fastidious who desire at the same time to be competent judges, put themselves into the times of the Antonines, and make themselves, for the moment, Christians of that period, and they will awaken to a new world of thought. Let such go into the assemblies of the primitive faithful, in which it was evident that "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, were called." There they were, "as sheep appointed to be slain,"

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"dying daily," and, like their blessed Master, "the scorn of men, and outcast of the people," as they gathered on the day of the Lord to "eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." After the manner of the synagogue, there came a moment when the "president" said, "Brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." But the tongues were ceasing, as the apostle foretold; and they who professed to speak by the Spirit were beginning to be doubted. "Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live forever?" It was gratifying to the older men, and excited the curiosity of the young, when the reader stood up, and said, "Hear, then, the words of Hermas." Blessed were the simple folk, those "lambs among wolves," who hungered and thirsted after righteousness, and who eagerly drank in the pure and searching Scriptural morality of The Shepherd, and then went forth to "shine as lights in the world," in holy contrast with the gross darkness that surrounded them.

It has been objected, indeed, that the morals of Hermas have a legalizing tone. The same is said of St. James, and the Sermon on the Mount. Most unjustly and cruelly is this objection made to The Shepherd. Granted its language is not formulated after Augustine, as it could not be: its text is St. James, but, like St. James, harmonized always with St. Paul.11 Faith is always honoured in its primary place; and penitence, in its every evangelical aspect, is thoroughly defined. He exposes the emptiness of formal works, such as mere physical fastings, and the carnal observance of set times and days. That in one instance he favours "works of supererogation" is an entire mistake, made by reading into the words of Hermas a heresy of which he never dreamed. His whole teaching conflicts with such a thought. His orthodoxy in other respects, is sustained by such masters as Pearson and Bull.12 And then, the positive side of his teaching is a precious testimony to the godly living exacted of believers in the second century. How suitable to all times are the maxims he extracts from the New Law. How searching his exposure of the perils of lax family discipline, and of wealth unsanctified. What heavenly precepts of life he lays down for all estates of men. To the clergy, what rules he prescribes against ambition and detraction and worldly-mindedness. Surely such reproofs glorify the epoch, when they who had cast off, so recently, the lusts and passions of heathenism, were, as the general acceptance of this book must lead us to suppose, eager to be fed with "truth, severe in rugged fiction drest."

But the reader will now be eager to examine the following Introductory Notice of the translator:—

The Pastor of Hermas was one of the most popular books, if not the most popular book, in the Christian Church during the second, third, and fourth centuries. It occupied a position analogous in some respects to that of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress in modern times; and critics have frequently compared the two works.

In ancient times two opinions prevailed in regard to the authorship. The most widely spread was, that the Pastor of Hermas was the production of the Hermas mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans. Origen13 states this opinion distinctly, and it is repeated by Eusebius14 and Jerome.15

Those who believed the apostolic Hermas to be the author, necessarily esteemed the book very highly; and there was much discussion as to whether it was inspired or not. The early writers are of opinion that it was really inspired. Irenæus quotes it as Scripture;16 Clemens Alexandrinus speaks of it as making its statements "divinely;"17 and Origen, though a few of his expressions are regarded by some as implying doubt, unquestionably gives it as his opinion that it is "divinely inspired."18 Eusebius mentions that difference of opinion prevailed in his day as to the inspiration of the book, some opposing its claims, and others maintaining its divine origin, especially

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because it formed an admirable introduction to the Christian faith. For this latter reason it was read publicly, he tells us, in the churches.

The only voice of antiquity decidedly opposed to the claim is that of Tertullian. He designates it apocryphal,19 and rejects it with scorn, as favouring anti-Montanistic opinions. Even his words, however, show that it was regarded in many churches as Scripture.

The second opinion as to the authorship is found in no writer of any name. It occurs only in two places: a poem falsely ascribed to Tertullian, and a fragment published by Muratori, on the Canon, the authorship of which is unknown, and the original language of which is still a matter of dispute.20 The fragment says, "The Pastor was written very lately in our times, in the city of Rome, by Hermas, while Bishop Pius, his brother, sat in the chair of the Church of the city of Rome."

A third opinion has had advocates in modern times. The Pastor of Hermas is regarded as a fiction, and the person Hermas, who is the principal character, is, according to this opinion, merely the invention of the fiction-writer.

Whatever opinion critics may have in regard to the authorship, there can be but one opinion as to the date. The Pastor of Hermas must have been written at an early period. The fact that it was recognised by Irenæus as Scripture shows that it must have been in circulation long before his time. The most probable date assigned to its composition is the reign of Hadrian, or of Antoninus Pius.

The work is very important in many respects; but especially as reflecting the tone and style of books which interested and instructed the Christians of the second and third centuries.

The Pastor of Hermas was written in Greek. It was well known in the Eastern Churches: it seems to have been but little read in the Western. Yet the work bears traces of having been written in Italy.

For a long time the Pastor of Hermas was known to scholars only in a Latin version, occurring in several mss. with but slight vacations. But within recent times the difficulty of settling the text has been increased by the discovery of various mss. A Latin translation has been edited, widely differing from the common version. Then a Greek ms. was said to have been found in Mount Athos, of which Simonides affirmed that he brought away a portion of the original and a copy of the rest. Then a ms. of the Pastor of Hermas was found at the end of the Sinaitic Codex of Tischendorf. And in addition to all these, there is an Æthiopic translation. The discussion of the value of these discoveries is one of the most difficult that can fall to the lot of critics; for it involves not merely an examination of peculiar forms of words and similar criteria, but an investigation into statements made by Simonides and Tischendorf respecting events in their own lives. But whatever may be the conclusions at which the critic arrives, the general reader does not gain or lose much. In all the Greek and Latin forms the Pastor of Hermas is substantially the same. There are many minute differences; but there are scarcely any of importance,—perhaps we should say none.

In this translation the text of Hilgenfeld, which is based on the Sinaitic Codex, has been followed.

The letters Vat. mean the Vatican manuscript, the one from which the common or Vulgate version was usually printed.

The letters Pal. mean the Palatine manuscript edited by Dressel, which contains the Latin version, differing considerably from the common version.

The letters Lips. refer to the Leipzig manuscript, partly original and partly copied, furnished by Simonides from Athos. The text of Anger and Dindorf (Lips., 1856) has been used, though reference has also been made to the text of Tischendorf in Dressel.

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The letters Sin. refer to the Sinaitic Codex, as given in Dressel and in Hilgenfeld's notes.

The letters Æth. refer to the Æthiopic version, edited, with a Latin translation, by Antonius D'Abbadie. Leipzig, 1860.

No attempt has been made to give even a tithe of the various readings. Only the most important have been noted.

[It is but just to direct the reader's attention to an elaborate article of Dr. Donaldson, in the (London) Theological Review, vol. xiv. p. 564; in which he very ingeniously supports his opinions with regard to Hermas, and also touching the Muratorian Canon. In one important particular he favours my own impression; viz., that The Shepherd is a compilation, traditional, or reproduced from memory. He supposes its sentiments "must have been expressed in innumerable oral communications delivered in the churches throughout the world."]

1   To be found, with copious annotations, in Routh's Reliquiæ, vol. i. pp. 389–434, Oxford, 1846. See also Westcott, On the Canon of the New Testament, Cambridge, 1855.

2   Hippolytus and His Age, vol. i. p. 315.

3   Why "Athenian"? It was read everywhere. But possibly this is a specification based on Acts xvii. 21. They may have welcomed it as a novel and a novelty.

4   More of this in Athenagoras; but see Kaye's Justin Martyr, p. 179, note 3, ed. 1853.

5   Roman fabulists know all about Pius, of course, and give us this history: "He was a native of Aquileia, and was elected bishop on the 15th of January, a.d. 158 … He governed the Church nine years, five months, and twenty-seven days." So affirms that favourite of Popes, Artaud de Montor (Histoire de Pie VIII., p. xi. Paris, 1830).

6   The latest learned authority among Roman Catholics, a Benedictine, gives us the dates a.d. 142–156, respectively, as those of his election and decease. See Series Episcoporum, etc. P. B. Gams, Ratisbonæ, 1873.

7   Relying upon the invaluable aid of Dr. Routh, I had not thought of looking into Westcott, till I had worked out my own conclusions. I am greatly strengthened by his elaborate and very able argument. See his work on the Canon, pp. 213–235.

8   1 Cor. xiv. The value of Hermas in helping us to comprehend this mysterious chapter appears to me very great. Celsus reproached Christians as Sibyllists. See Origen, Against Celsus, book v. cap. lxi.

9   Westcott, p. 219. Ed. 1855, London.

10  Hieron., tom. 1. p. 988, Benedictine ed.

11  Bull (and Grabe), Harmonia Apostolica; Works, vol. iii.

12  Pearson, Vindiciæ Ignat., i. cap. 4. Bull, Defens. Fid. Nicæn., 1. cap. 2. sec. 3; Works, vol. v. part i. p. 15.

13  Comment. in Rom. xvi. 14, lib. x. 31. [But see Westcott's fuller account of all this, pp. 219, 220.]

14  Hist. Eccl. iii. 3.

15  De Viris Illustribus, c. x.

16  Contra Hæres., iv. 20, 2.

17  Strom., i. xxi. p. 426.

18  Ut supra.

19  De Pudicitia, c. xx., also c. x.; De Oratione, c. xvi.

20  [This statement should be compared with Westcott's temperate and very full account of the Muratorian Fragment, pp. 235–245.]

The Pastor of Hermas - Introductory Note


# #


The Oxford History of the Biblical World

The Oxford History of the Biblical World The Oxford History of the Biblical World

Here, in one impressively illustrated volume, leading scholars offer compelling glimpses into the biblical world, the world in which prophets, poets, sages, and historians created one of our most important texts--the Bible.

For more than a century, archeologists have been unearthing the tombs, temples, texts, and artifacts of the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean world. Using new approaches, contemporary scholars have begun to synthesize this material with the biblical traditions. The Oxford History of the Biblical World incorporates the best of this scholarship, and in chronologically ordered chapters presents the reader with a readable and integrated study of the history, art, architecture, languages, literatures, and religion of biblical Israel and early Judaism and Christianity in their larger cultural contexts. The authors also examine such issues as the roles of women, the tensions between urban and rural settings, royal and kinship social structures, and official and popular religions of the region. Readers will find that 200 photographs, line drawings, and maps as well as an insert containing 25 color photographs vividly illustrate the history discussed.

Understanding the biblical world is a vital part of understanding the Bible. Broad, authoritative, and visually engaging, The Oxford History of the Biblical World will illuminate for any reader the ancient world from which the Bible emerged.

Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 21, 1999)

The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas

The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas

Casting the tumultuous history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam against the rich canvas of the Near East, The Biblical World reveals how three great religions emerged from the same cradle. Author Jean-Pierre Isbouts employs a non-denominational perspective and a wide range of sources—from ancient hieroglyphic texts to the latest scientific findings—to place Bible stories in the framework of history. Chronologically arranged chapters detail battles, conquests, tribal migrations, natural calamities, and more, supporting the stories with intriguing archaeological evidence. To locate sites and events, National Geographic cartographers have created fifty all-new maps of stunning quality. Hundreds of photographs and artifacts add visual excitement. Quick-read timelines link events across cultures while illustrated sidebars focus on what life was like during each era: family roles, farming, trade, dress, childbirth, burial customs, and other aspects of daily existence.

The story traces the evolution of Judaism from Abraham to the Unified Kingdom of Israel... chronicles the emergence of Christianity in the context of Greco-Roman civilization... and identifies the unique circumstances that prepared for the rise of Islam. The multi-dimensional approach weighs similarities and differences among the three faiths and follows developments in nearby lands. With a foreword from bestselling author Bruce Chilton and text reviewed by distinguished advisers, The Biblical World offers a carefully researched, balanced view of history and religious tradition. For its scope, beauty, and relevance in today's world, this unparalleled atlas is destined to become a classic.

About the Author

Jean-Pierre Isbouts holds a Ph.D in archaeology and art, and is currently Professor of Culture and Media Studies at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. He is the writer and producer of four programs that explore the legacy of the Bible, including the award-winning television mini-series The Quest For Peace.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (November 6, 2007)

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Old and New Testament

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Old and New Testament Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Old and New TestamentVine's Complete Expository Dictionary Old and New Testament

A Nelson exclusive. Study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages-without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. This classic reference tool has helped thousands dig deeper into the meaning of the biblical text. Explains over 6,000 key biblical words. Includes a brand new comprehensive topical index that enables you to study biblical topics more thoroughly than ever before.

Hardcover: 1184 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 2nd Edition edition (August 26, 1996)

Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

Like a redwood that towers above all other trees, The Strongest Strong’s takes James Strong’s classic concordance to unprecedented heights. Reflecting thousands of research hours, custom computer technology, and an exclusive database perfected over twenty years, The Strongest Strong’s is packed with features that make it the last word in accuracy and usefulness. No other Strong’s concordance can touch it. This is no mere study tool. Destined to become a foundational resource for Bible study the world over, The Strongest Strong’s is a landmark in biblical reference works.

What Makes This Strong’s the Strongest? Rebuilding Strong’s time-honored concordance from the ground up, biblical research experts John Kohlenberger and James Swanson have achieved unprecedented accuracy and clarity. Longstanding errors have been corrected. Omissions filled in. Word studies simplified. Thoroughness and ease of use have been united and maximized.

Kohlenberger and Swanson have also added the Nave’s Topical Bible Reference System―the world’s most complete topical Bible, updated, expanded, and streamlined to meet the needs of today’s Bible user. No other edition of Strong’s or Nave’s gives you all the information combined in The Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

A Stunning Array of World-Class Features

In order to experience all the advantages of The Strongest Strong’s, you’ll have to look inside. But here is a thumbnail sketch of what awaits you:

  • Computer-verified accuracy. For the first time ever, cutting-edge computer analysis provides unparalleled, pinpoint accuracy
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  • The most up-to-date Hebrew and Greek dictionaries ensure precise meaning in your word studies
  • Nave’s Topical Bible Reference System supplies the complete descriptive content and references (without the Bible text) of Nave’s Topical Bible, expanded to provide a total of more than 100,000 verses indexed by subject, word, phrase, synonym, and example
  • Cross-references to places and names used in Bible translations besides the KJV
  • Word counts furnish a complete accounting of every word in the Bible
  • Fast-Tab locators help you find your place quickly and easily
  • Smythe-sewn binding opens fully, lays flat, and lasts longer
  • Words of Christ highlighted in red
  • Maps
  • Clear, easy-to-read type PLUS: Comprehensive guidance for using The Strongest Strong’s
  • Major Social Concerns of the Mosaic Covenant
  • Old Testament Sacrifices
  • Hebrew Calendar
  • Hebrew Feasts and Holy Days
  • Weights, Lengths, and Measures of the Bible
  • Kings of the Bible
  • Harmony of the Gospels
  • Prophecies of the Messiah Fulfilled in Jesus
  • Parables of Jesus
  • Miracles of Jesus
  • Chronology of the Bible

About the Author

Dr. James Strong (1822-1894) was formerly president of Troy University and professor of exegetical theology at Drew Theological Seminary.

Hardcover: 1742 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Supesaver ed. edition (September 1, 2001)

Zondervan Pictorial Encylopedia of the Bible, Vols. 1-5
Zondervan Pictorial Encylopedia of the Bible, Vols. 1-5 The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (5 Volume Set)

From the Back Cover

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, the result of more than ten years of research and preparation, provides Bible students with a comprehensive and reliable library of information. Varying viewpoints of scholarship permit a well-rounded perspective on significant issues relating to doctrines, themes, and biblical interpretation. Well-organized and generously illustrated, this encyclopedia will become a frequently used resource and reference work because of its many helpful features: - More than 5,000 pages of vital information of Bible lands and people - More than 7,500 articles alphabetically arranged for easy reference - Hundreds of full-color and black-and-white illustrations, charts, and graphs - Thirty-two pages of full-color maps and hundreds of black-and-white outline maps for quick perspective and ready reference - Scholarly articles ranging across the entire spectrum of theological and biblical topics, backed by recent archaeological discoveries - Two hundred and thirty-eight contributors from around the world. The editors have brought to this encyclopedia the fruit of many years of study and research.

About the Author

Merrill C. Tenney was professor of theological studies and dean of the Graduate school of Theology at Wheaton College.

Hardcover: 5 volume set More than 5,000 pages
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing House; Second Printing edition (March 15, 1975)

Archaeology of the Bible: The Greatest Discoveries From Genesis to the Roman Era
Archaeology of the Bible: The Greatest Discoveries From Genesis to the Roman Era Archaeology of the Bible: The Greatest Discoveries From Genesis to the Roman Era

From ancient holy sites, to buried relics and treasures, National Geographic uncovers the history and the archaeological discoveries from Scripture and the biblical world. Richly illustrated and written from an objective and nondenominational perspective, author Jean-Pierre Isbouts uses the latest scientific and archaeological discoveries to place biblical stories in the framework of human history. Chapters, beginning with the dawn of human civilization and ending with present day and the future of archaeology, chronicle hundreds of sites and artifacts found in Sumer, Babylon, the Second Temple, along the route of the Exodus, and in many other regions across the Middle East. Timelines bridge hundreds of years and several empires, maps give readers a visual sense of location, while hundreds of photos and illustrations of rare artifacts and ancient places add to the visual splendor. lt concludes with details of what remains to be found and the evolving dynamic of biblical faith in an increasingly scientific world in which archaeologists make daily breakthroughs.

About the Author

JEAN-PIERRE ISBOUTS is a humanities scholar and graduate professor in the doctoral programs at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. He has published widely on the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, including the bestseller Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas; Young Jesus: Restoring the “Lost Years” of a Social Activist and Religious Dissident; From Moses to Muhammed; The Shared Origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and The Mysteries of Jesus. An award-winning filmmaker, Isbouts has also produced Charlton Heston’s Voyage Through the Bible, The Quest for Peace, and Young Jesus.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (October 25, 2016)

Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines
Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines

NEW Anniversary Edition of Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps and Timelines, Volume 1 covers over 200 Bible topics and features MORE pages, 6 EXTRA topics, updated information, and a bonus 24' fold-out on Jesus' Family Tree.

The #1 Bible Reference book celebrates its 10th anniversary with an updated 230-page edition that features more Bible maps, charts and illustrations than the original! This stunning, easy-to-understand reference book still provides the same full-color, REPRODUCIBLE Bible charts and overviews that made the original a favorite, but in an easier-to-use, updated format!

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Features ALL NEW content and Updated Information, such as:

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Features more than 200 REPRODUCIBLE Bible Charts, Maps, and Timelines, including:

2 Bible Foldout Posters: Bible Time Line and Jesus' Genealogy

  • NEW! Jesus' Genealogy 24' Foldout!
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  • NEW! Psalm 23
  • Tabernacle
  • Ark of the Covenant
  • Archaeology & the Bible (50 Proofs of the Old Testament
  • Solomon's Temple
  • Names of God
  • The Ten Commandments and You
  • 100 Well-Known Old Testament Events
  • The Creation
  • The Exodus

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  • NEW! The 12 Tribes of Israel
  • Kings and Prophets
  • Family Tree of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
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  • Archaeology & The Bible (50 Proofs of the New Testament)

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  • NEW! The Lord's Prayer
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  • NEW! Heroes of the Faith: Hebrews 11
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  • 100 Well-Known Events from Acts to Revelation

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  • Jesus & The Names of God
  • The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
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  • NEW! 52 Key Bible Stories
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Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Rose Publishing; 10th Anniversary edition (March 13, 2015)


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