图书图片
PDF

question, written“ by the bishops assembled at Rome, which had Victor’s name prefixed.

Jerom in hisv Catalogue says: ‘ Victor, the thirteenth ‘ bishop of the city of Rome, wrote about the question of ‘ Easter, and other small pieces. He governed the church ‘ten years under the emperor Severus.’ In his Chronicle Jerom says, that in his time there were extantw some books of ‘ Victor concerning religion, which were tolerably well ‘ written :’ though erha s he speaks rather of the bulk than of the merit 0 his books: they are not in being now. There are extant, however, some letters ascribed to him, but" without ground, as is generally allowed.

XVI. Bacchylus, bishop of Corinth, successor of the fore-mentioned Dionysius, is mentioned by Eusebius, with Polycrates bishop of Ephesus, Serapion bishop of Antioch, and others, ‘ whoY had left testimonies of the orthodoxy of ‘ their faith in writing.’ He afterwards speaks of a letter writtenZ b Bacchylus, about the time of celebrating Easter. Jerom in his Catalogue says: ‘ Bacchylus, bishop of Co‘ rinth, who flourished in the time of the emperor Severus, ‘ wrote“ an elegant book about Easter in the name of all ‘the bishops in Achaia.’ I suppose he means the epistle mentioned by Eusebius.

XVII. Theophilus, bishop of Caesarea, and Narcissus, bishop of Jerusalem, are likewise mentioned by b Eusebius in the fore-cited place, together with those who had testified the orthodoxy of their faith by their writings. Afterwardsc he says, ‘ that there is extant an epistle [about the ‘ question of Easter] in the name of the bishops of Pales‘tine assembled in council, over whom presided Theo‘ philus, bishop of Caesarea, and Narcissus, bishop of Je‘ rusalem.‘ Eusebiusd has mentioned some particulars of this letter, and transcribed a passage out of it.

Jerome says, ‘that Theophilus, bishop of Caesarea in ‘ Palestine, in the time of Severus, composed, together with ‘ the other bishops of that country, a very useful synodical ‘ epistle against those who kept Easter, with the Jews, on ‘ the fourteenth day of the moon.’

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

l Ibid. 6. 25. ' De V. I. c. 43.

Jerom has no particular article in his Catalogue for Narcissus. IIe s eaks of him, however, in the cha ter of'v Alexander, w10 was afterwards colleague or coa jutor of Narcissus in the church of Jerusalem. Narcissus lived tog a great age. There are several remarkable stories concerning him inh Eusebius, which we may have occasion to take notice of some other time.

There have been published ‘ Acts of the council of C22‘ sarea, concerning the Question of keeping Easter.’ But they are with good reason suspected, and rejected, byi several learned men, as not genuine.

XVIII. Having given, beside catholic writers, a short history of Bardesanes, whom Eusebius does not allow to have been completely orthodox, and others called an heresiarch, I shall conclude this chapter with Symmachus.

Before the nativity of our Saviour there was no other Greek version of the books of the Old Testament, but that called the Version of the Seventy. In the time of Origen there were, beside that, the versions of Aquila, (who lived in the reign of Adrian,) Theodotion, Symmachus, and two or three others which are anonymous: though these last seem not to have contained a translation of all the Old Testament, but of some particular books only.

The exact age of Symmachus is not certain, some reckoning him a writer of the second, others of the third century. It is likewise disputed, which version of the Old Testament was first made; that of Theodotion, or Symmachus. Petavius thinksk Theodotion’s was first in the order of time: Hody,l and‘“ most other learned men, are of a difl'erent opinion. I shall put down here only an observation of “ Hody: It is not easy to determine the year, or the reign, in which either Theodotion or Symmachus made their versions; but it is certain that Theodotion’s was published before Irenwus wrote his work ‘ Against Here‘ sies,’ because he is there cited. And it is probable that Symmachus had not then published his version; because, when0 lrenaeus quotes Aquila and Theodotion, he makes no mention of Symmachus, though there was the same reason for mentioning him as the other too. This argument seems to me sufficient to show, at least, that lreneeus was not acquainted with the version of Symmachus, if it was then published.

‘ De V. I. c. 62. 8 Vid. Hieron. ibid. et Eus. H. E. 1. vi. 0. ll.

" Ibid. 0. 9, 11. ‘ Vid. Fabric. Bib]. Gr. T. V. p. 194. Tillemont, Mem. Ecc. T. iii. P. l. p. 177 et 479. Bruxelles.

" Annot. ad Epiph. de Mensuris et Ponderibus, cap. 16.

' De Biblior. Text. Orig. l. iv. p. 579.

"‘ This point may be seen argued in Du Pin, Dissertation Prelim. l. i. c. vi. sect. 5. Huet, Origeniana, p. 256. Montfaucon, Prazliminaria in Hexapla Origenis. Fabric. Bibl. Gr. T. ii. p. 336, 8:0. Tillemont, Mem. Ecc. T. iii. Origeue, Art. viii. et note x. beside Hody, as above, 1. iv. See likewise Dodwell, Diss. Iren. iv. e. 40.

“ Ibid. p. 580. m.

I speak of Symmachus at the end of the second century, which is very little difl‘erent froml’ Cave’s com utation, who has fixed the time of his flourishing at the rst year of the third century.

Epiphaniusq says, that Symmachus was a Samaritan, and one of those whom they call ‘ wise men :' but meeting with some disappointment in his ambitious views among his own people, he turned Jew. He must have been converted afterwards to christianity, for Eusebiusr and others8 call him an Ebionite: and it is not improbable, that this is what Epiphaniust means, when he says Symmachus turned Jew; he considering Ebionitism as a sort of Judaism. According to some " ancient authors, the Ebionites, or some branch of them, were called Symmachians from him.

I enlarge no farther on the history of Symmachus, which may be seen in ' Hody, who has likewise collected a great number of ancient testimonies relating to him. Our chief concern at present is with a passage of Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History.

Having given an account of Origen’s labours in the Old Testament, and particularly of the editions of his Tetrapla and Hexapla; in the former of which were the versions only of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, together with that of the Seventy; Eusebius proceeds in the following chapter: ‘ Moreover it ought to be observed, that S mmachus, ‘ one of those interpreters, was an Ebionite. hese Ebi‘ onites are such as say, Christ was born of Joseph and ‘ Mary, and suppose him to have been a mere man: and ‘ contend that the law ought to be kept after the manner of ‘the Jews, as we have before shown. Andw to this day

° L. iii. 0. 21. al. 24. P Hist. Lit. p. 64.

1 Evpllaxog rig Zapapurng rum 1rap' av‘rotg 00980111. x. A. De Mens. et Pond. c. 16. p. 172. B. Vid. et Synopsin Scriptur. apud Athanas. T. ii. p. 203. ' Euseb. H. E. l. vi. c. 17. Dem. Ev. l. vii. cap. 1. p. 316. C. ' Hieronym. De Vir. Ill. cap. 54. Suidas, V. Optywrlg. Theodoret. Haer. Fab. l. ii. cap. i.

‘ Vid. Montfaugon, Pmliminaria in Origenis Hexapla, p. 51.

" Ambrosius seu quis alius in prologo commentariorum in epistolam ad Galatas: et Augustinus in lib. i. contra Crescen. cap. 31. Vid. Vales. ad Euseb. vi. 17. ' Ubi supra, 1. iv. c. I. sect. 7.

[ocr errors]

‘there are extant commentaries of Symmachus in which" ‘ he endeavours to support the fore-mentioned heresy, from ‘ the gospel according to Matthew. These, together with ‘ Symmachus’s other translations of the scripture, Origen ‘ had, as he informs us, from one Juliana: who, he says ‘ likewise, received those books from Symmachus himself.’ Valesius! contends, that the words above cited ought to be thus translated : ‘ There are still extant commentaries of ‘ Symmachus, in which, disputing strongly against Mat‘ thew’s gospel, he seems to confirm the foresaid heresy.’ He does not deny that the Ebionites received St. Matthew’s gospel: but he says, their gospel of Matthew was corrupted and mutilated; and he supposes, therefore, that in this work Symmachus disputed against our authentic genuine gos el of St. Matthew. ut Valesius has made few converts to this opinion; most other learned men understanding this passage agreeably to the version which I have given of it. And in favour of this sense1 it has been alleged, that this passage was so translated by3 Rufinus, and was so understood in the same mannerb b Jerom: not to insist here on Nicephorus Callisti, Sui as, or others, who have taken it in this sense. It is possible, indeed, that the gospel accordin to Matthew, used by Symmachus, varied in some things rom our gospel ; but how far, or in what particulars, we cannot so much as pretend to make a conjecture: though if Symmachus was of that branch of the Ebionites, which said that

[ocr errors]

X The ori inal words are :11 oig duxu xparvvuv: which have been generally un erstood by modern interpreters, as if Eusebius only said, that

ymmachus ‘seems to confirm the foresaid heresy,‘ ‘ supiadictam haeresin ‘ adstruere videtur.’ Montfaueon has a learned observation upon the force of the Greek word; and corrects this interpretation: Cum sexeentis exemplis probetur To 60m, maxime apud scriptores ecclesiasticos, non miuuere atfirmationem; qua de re vide ouomasticum nostrum ad Athanasii opera, in voce 60m. Piaelimin. in Origenis Hexapla, p. 83.

1' Ad locum Eusebii. Z Vid. Hody, ibid. 585, 586. Fabric. Bibl. Gr. T. ii. p. 338, 339. Ittigius in Dissertat. de Haeresiarchis, p.72. Tillemont, Mem. Ecc. T. ii. P. i. Les Ebionites, p. 198; and note 2. Montfaugon, Praeliminaria in Origenis Hexapla, p. 13.

‘ Eusebii verba sic vertit Rufinus: Sed et commentaries quosdam Symmachus conscripsit, in quibus conatur de evangelio seeundum Matthaeum auctoritatem suae haereseos confirmare. Apud Hodium, ibid.

b Aquilaa scilicet Pontici Proselyti, et Theodotioni's Ebionaei, et Symmachi ejuSdem dogmatisi qui in evangelium quoque xa'ra Ma-rOauw scripsit commentgrios, de que et suum dogma confirmare conatur. De V. I. Origen. cap. 4.

[graphic]

Jesus was born of Joseph and Mary, (as Eusebius seems to hint, and Theodoretc expressly says,) it might be suspected that he did not receive the first chapter of St. Matthew’s gospel. If this work of Symmachus were now extant, it would be a curiosity. It would, in all probability, give us a great deal of light into the notions of the Ebionites, and satisfy us how far the gospel of Matthew, which they used, was genuine or corrupted ; and what respect they had for the other gospels; and how far they owned the authority of Paul, or the other twelve apostles of Christ.

Eusebius adds: ‘ These, commentaries,] together with ‘ Symmachus‘s other translations [or interpretations] of the ‘ scri tures, Origeu had, as he informs us, from Juliana.’ By t ese ‘ other translations’ Hod y d understands some comments, or ex ositions of the scripture, different from the Greek version of) the Old Testament made by Symmachus: but he owns, at the same time, that Rufinus understood these words of the version. They are so understood likewise bye Cave, andf Dodwell, and others. I think this sense cannot be well disputed: especially, if we consider that there were twog editions of the version of Symmach us: though if there were but one edition of that version, the words of Eusebius, taken in connection with what recedes, could not be understood, in my 0 inion, of any tliing but the version which Symmachus ha made of the Old Testament.

Hody thinks that Symmachus was not only an interpreter of the Old Testament, but likewise an expositor of the New: and that not barely on account of his commentaries upon the gospel of St. Matthew, mentioned by Eusebius, but for some exposition of St. Paul's epistles. This supposition is founded upon a passage of Agobardus, bishop of Lyons in the beginning of the ninth century. I shall put the passage inh the margin; but I apprehend no certain

° De Haer. Fab. 1. ii. cap. 1.

d Cum dicit [um raw aMwu e'ppm/euuv, ‘ cum aliis interpretationibus,’ perspieuum est intelligi non ‘ translationem ;’ quod putavit Rutinus, sed expositiones quasdam scripturarum. Rufinus postrema ea sic vertit : ‘ Hac ‘ ipse Orig-mes cum interpretatione ipsius Symmachi seribit se apud J ulianam ‘ quandam reperisse.‘ Hod. ibid. p. 587.

‘ Hist. Lit. P. i. p. 64. ‘ Dissert. lren. iv. e. 40. Vid. et Fabric. Bibl. Gr. T. ii. p. 339. 8 Sic Hieronymus in Jer. 32. et in Nahum, c. 3. ab Hodio laudatus, ibid. p. 586.

h Symmachum non modo ut interpretem V. Testamenti, verum etiam ut expositorem Novi, commemorare videtur Agohardus. Epist. ad Fredegisnm, cap. xi. [conferatur cap. ix.] ‘ Haec omnia idcirco dicimus, ut appareat, ‘ quia quam injuste a vobis criminamur, cum dicitis nos reprehensores aposto‘ lorum et divinarum scriptuiarum esse tam injuste; vel potius, multo injus

« 上一页继续 »