SELECTIONS FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITERS: ILLUSTRATIVE OF CHURCH HISTORY TO THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE by Henry Melvill Gwatkin, M.A. First Edition, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1893. Reprinted with additions and corrections, 1897, 1902, 1905. Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram, 2013.
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XXII. Fragmentum Muratorianum


Fragment of MURATORI, On the Canon


quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit
tertio euangelii librum secundo lucan
lucas iste medicus post ascensum X̃Pi
cum eo paulus quasi ut iuris studiosum
secundum adsumsisset numeni suo
ex opinione conscribset dnm͠ tamen nec ipse uidit in carne et idẽ prout asequi potuit
ita et ad natiuitate iohannis incipet dicere
quarti euangeliorum iohannis ex decipolis
cohortantibus condescipulis et ep͠s suis
dixit conieiunate mihi odie triduo et quid
cuique fuerit reuelatum alterutrum
nobis ennarremus eadem nocte reue
latum andreae ex apostolis ut recognis
centibus cuntis iohannis suo nomine
cuncta discriberet et ideo licit uaria sin
culis euangeliorum libris principia
doceantur nihil tamen differt creden
tium fidei cum uno ac principali sp̃u de
clarata sint in omnibus omnia de natiui
tate de passione de resurrectione
de conuersatione cum decipulis suis
ac de gemino eius aduentu
primo in humilitate dispectus quod fo
it secundum potestate regali ... pre
clarum quod foturum est quid ergo
mirum si iohannes tam constanter
sincula etiã in epistulis suis proferam
dicens in semeipsu quae uidimus oculis
nostris et auribus audiuimus et manus
nostrae palpauerunt haec scripsimus uobis
sic enim non solum uisurem sed et auditorem
sed et scriptore omnium mirabiliu dni per ordi
nem profetetur acta autẽ omniũ apostolorum
sub uno libro scribta sunt lucas obtime theofi
le comprindit quia sub praesentia eius sincula
gerebantur sicuti et semote passione petri
euidenter declarat sed et profectione pauli ab ur
be ad spaniã proficiscentis epistulae autem
pauli quae a quo loco uel qua ex causa directe
sint uolentibus intellegere ipse declarant
primũ omnium corintheis scysmae heresis in
terdicens deinceps b callaetis circumcisione
romanis autẽ ordine scripturarum sed et
principium earum ... esse X̃Pm intimans
prolexius scripsit de quibus sincolis neces
se est ad nobis desputari cum ipse beatus
apostolus paulus sequens prodecessoris sui
iohannis ordinẽ non nisi nomenatĩ semptẽ
ecclesiis scribat ordine tali a corenthios
prima ad efesius seconda ad philippinses ter
tia ad colosensis quarta ad calatas quin
ta ad tensaolenecinsis sexta ad romanos
septima uerum corintheis et thesaolecen
sibus licet pro correbtione iteretur una
tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia
deffusa esse denoscitur et iohannis eni in a
pocalebsy licet septẽ eccleseis scribat
tamen omnibus dicit verũ ad filemonem una
et at titũ una et ad tymotheũ duas pro affec
to et dilectione in honore tamen eclesiae ca
tholice in ordinatione eclesiastice
discepline s̃cificate sunt fertur etiam ad
laudecenses alia ad alexandrinos pauli no
mine fincte ad heresem marcionis et alia plu
ra quae in catholicam eclesiam recepi non
potest fel enim cum melle misceri non con
cruit epistola sane iude et superscrictio
iohannis duas in catholica habentur et sapi
entia ab amicis salomonis in honorẽ ipsius
scripta apocalapse etiam iohanis et pe
tri tantum recipimus quam quidam ex nos
tris legi in eclesia nolunt pastorem uero
nuperrim e temporibus nostris in urbe
roma hernia conscripsit sedente cathe
tra urbis romae aecclesiae pio ep̃s fratre
eius et ideo legi eum quidẽ oportet se pu
plicare vero in eclesia populo neque inter
profetas completum numero neque inter
apostolos in finẽ temporum potest
arsinoi autem seu ualentini uel mitiadis [?]
nihil in totum recipemus qui etiam nouũ
psalmorum librum marcioni conscripse
runt una cum basilide assianom catafry
cum constitutorem.

... but at some he was present, and so he set them down.

The third book of the Gospel, that according to Luke, was compiled in his own name in order by Luke the physician, when after Christ's ascension Paul had taken him to be with him like a student of law. Yet neither did he see the Lord in the flesh; and he too, as he was able to ascertain [events, so set them down]. So he began his story from the birth of John.

The fourth of the Gospels [was written by] John, one of the disciples. When exhorted by his fellow-disciples and bishops, he said, "Fast with me this day for three days; and what may be revealed to any of us, let us relate it to one another." The same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that John was to write all things in his own name, and they were all to certify.

And therefore, though various elements are taught in the several books of the Gospels, yet it makes no difference to the faith of believers, since by one guiding Spirit all things are declared in all of them concerning the Nativity, the Passion, the Resurrection, the conversation with his disciples and his two comings, the first in lowliness and contempt, which has come to pass, the second glorious with royal power, which is to come.

What marvel therefore if John so firmly sets forth each statement in his Epistle too, saying of himself, "What we have seen with our eyes and heard with our ears and our hands have handled, these things we have written to you"? For so he declares himself not an eyewitness and a hearer only, but a writer of all the marvels of the Lord in order.

The Acts however of all the Apostles are written in one book. Luke puts it shortly to the most excellent Theophilus, that the several things were done in his own presence, as he also plainly shows by leaving out the passion of Peter, and also the departure of Paul from town on his journey to Spain.

The Epistles however of Paul themselves make plain to those who wish to understand it, what epistles were sent by him, and from what place and for what cause. He wrote at some length first of all to the Corinthians, forbidding schisms and heresies; next to the Galatians, forbidding circumcision; then to the Romans, impressing on them the plan of the Scriptures, and also that Christ is the first principle of them, concerning which severally it is [not] necessary for us to discuss, since the blessed Apostle Paul himself, following the order of his predecessor John, writes only by name to seven churches in the following order – to the Corinthians a first, to the Ephesians a second, to the Philippians a third, to the Colossians a fourth, to the Galatians a fifth, to the Thessalonians a sixth, to the Romans a seventh; whereas, although for the sake of admonition there is a second to the Corinthians and to the Thessalonians, yet one Church is recognized as being spread over the entire world. For John too in the Apocalypse, though he writes to seven churches, yet speaks to all. Howbeit to Philemon one, to Titus one, and to Timothy two were put in writing from personal inclination and attachment, to be in honour however with the Catholic Church for the ordering of the ecclesiastical mode of life. There is current also one to the Laodicenes, another to the Alexandrians, [both] forged in Paul's name to suit the heresy of Marcion, and several others, which cannot be received into the Catholic Church; for it is not fitting that gall be mixed with honey.

The Epistle of Jude no doubt, and the couple bearing the name of John, are accepted in the Catholic [Church]; and the Wisdom written by the friends of Solomon in his honour. The Apocalypse also of John, and of Peter [one Epistle, which] only we receive; [there is also a second] which some of our friends will not have read in the Church. But the Shepherd was written quite lately in our times by Hermas, while his brother Pius, the bishop, was sitting in the chair of the church of the city of Rome; and therefore it ought indeed to be read, but it cannot to the end of time be publicly read in the Church to the people, either among the prophets, who are complete in number, or among the Apostles.

But of Valentinus the Arsinoite and his friends we receive nothing at all; who have also composed a long new book of Psalms; together with Basilides and the Asiatic founder of the Montanists.


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