Nazarene Space

Did the Nazarenes use the Gospel of Peter?

Theodoret (5th century CE) commented that the Nazarenes made use of the Gospel of Peter. Some scholars today think his statement was made in error, but I am curious if anyone has researched this supposed connection.

Views: 244

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

 

It is interesting isn't it?

Theodoret (of heretical Fables, ii. 2) says: 'The Nazaraeans are Jews who know Chrst as a righteous man, and use the Gospel called "according to Peter".'

Some argue that this statement was incorrect and that Theodoret had confused the Gospel of Peter with the Gospel according to the Hebrews.

 

Gospel of Peter is Scripture.  the original nazarenes accepted all Scripture as Scripture.  Therefore, originally, the Nazarenes accepted the Gospel of Peter as Scripture.

 

How are to we believe that such a glaring mistake of confusing between Gospel of Peter and Hebrews could be made?  they have no similarities whatsoever.  I think the ancients were a lot smarter than the modern world thinks they were, and that the modern world is a lot stupider than essentially any generation of humankind.

What quantifies the GoP as Scripture?

Anayahu Priel (Andrew P) Carlson said:

Gospel of Peter is Scripture.  the original nazarenes accepted all Scripture as Scripture.  Therefore, originally, the Nazarenes accepted the Gospel of Peter as Scripture.

 

How are to we believe that such a glaring mistake of confusing between Gospel of Peter and Hebrews could be made?  they have no similarities whatsoever.  I think the ancients were a lot smarter than the modern world thinks they were, and that the modern world is a lot stupider than essentially any generation of humankind.


What Makes a Book Scripture?:

 

1.The book must be a book of the true religion.  Therefore, any book that teaches a religion contrary to the true religion is not Scripture.

2.The book must not contradict any other books that are confirmed to be Scripture.

3.The book must be a book that is logical.  If a book is illogical, it is not Scripture.

4.The book must be a book that teaches righteous things only.  If the book teaches anything immoral/wicked/evil, it is not Scripture.

5.The book must not contradict anything that is true, including but not limited to history, science, and other studies of truth.  Please note that it might appear to contradict history/science on the surface, but if it actually contradicts those things, it is not Scripture.  If it doesn't contradict those things, then it is not to be discredited.

6.The book must be written with authority.

7.The book must be about the true religion.

8.If a book was written by someone that was not of the true religion, it is not Scripture.

9.The book must be a book that can be useful for all people at all times.

10.If the first nine pillars are met, the book is to be regarded as Scripture.

You have proven that the text was known and utilized by certain sects, so well done in that regard- I already agreed with that. But you have not that it is/was Scripture.


Anayahu Priel (Andrew P) Carlson said:

From a post of mine regarding the conclusion of my analysis of the Gospel of Peter:

 

"Now, is Gospel of Peter Scripture? Well, as I have demonstrated so far, it speaks with authority, and resolves many seeming contradictions of the other gospels we have. If Peter truly did write this gospel, it couldn't read more authentic.

What more evidence is there?

In the fifth century, the Christian, Theodoretus, Compendium of Heretical Fables 2.2, writing of the Nazoraeans ( or Netzarim; that's us! =) ):

"But the Nazoraeans are Jews, honoring Christ as a just man, and using the gospel called according to Peter."

In the early third century the Church Father, Origen of Alexandria, says in His On Matthew 10.17, commentary on Matthew 13.55:

"And disparaging the whole of what appeared to be his nearest kindred, they said: Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? They supposed therefore that he was the son of Joseph and Mary. But some, depending on a tradition of the gospel inscribed according to Peter, or of the book of James, say that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph from a former wife, married to him before Mary."

This demonstrates that before the beginning of the third century, it was regarded as authoritative and Scriptural by some groups.

The Church Father, Serapion of Antioch in the late second century, said the following: 

"For we, brethren, receive both Peter and the rest of the apostles as Christ Himself. But those writings which are falsely inscribed with their name,4 we as experienced persons reject, knowing that no such writings have been handed down to us.5 When, indeed, I came to see you, I supposed that all were in accord with the orthodox faith; and, although I had not read through the Gospel inscribed with the name of Peter which was brought forward by them, I said: If this is the only thing which threatens6 to produce ill-feeling among you, let it be read. But, now that I have learnt from what has been told me that their mind was secretly cherishing some heresy,7 I will make all haste to come to you again. Expect me therefore, brethren, shortly. Moreover, brethren, we, having discovered to what kind of heresy Marcion adhered, and seen how he contradicted himself, not understanding of what he was speaking, as you will gather from what has been written to you8 -for, having borrowed this said Gospel from those who were familiar with it from constant perusal, namely from the successors of those who were his leaders in the heresy, whom we call Docetae (for most of the opinions held by him are derived from their teaching), we were able to read it through; and while we found most of its contents to agree with the orthodox account of the Saviour, we found some things inconsistent with that, and these we have set down below for your inspection."

This indicates that the Gospel of Peter was read in Church by the Christians at Rhossus. That means people were regarding the book as Scripture at least as early as 150 AD, though the most liberal scholars say 160 AD.

I believe I have made a strong case that the Gospel of Peter is Scripture. It has early attestation, speaks with powerful authority, is useful as Scripture in regards to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The earliest attestation bears witness that it was regarded as Scripture by some people as early as early as 160 AD, though scholars have offered various dates of when Gospel of Peter was written, some estimates as early as 70 AD.

But, since I believe it was written by Peter, it would have to be written before 70 AD. But, still, it is significant that some scholars date the Gospel of Peter as early as 70 AD. This demonstrates that the Gospel of Peter is at the very least, a serious contender for authenticity.

In comparison, the third epistle of John is not referenced at all until the third century, whereas the Gospel of Peter is mentioned definitely in the second century.

However, one last proof that Gospel of Peter is authentic and indeed Scripture is that Justin Martyr uses the Gospel of Peter as an authoritative text (for example, Justin Martyr says the following "And again the same prophet Isaiah, being inspired by the prophetic Spirit, said, “I have spread out my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people, to those who walk in a way that is not good. They now ask of me judgment, and dare to draw near to God.” In Isaiah 57:2, of the Septuagint we read the following: "they now ask of me righteous judgment" The fulfillment is mentioned in the Gospel of Peter, "And they took the Lord and pushed him as they ran, and said, Let us drag away the Son of God, having obtained power over him. And they clothed him with purple, and set him on the seat of judgment, saying, Judge righteously, O king of Israel." Major scholars also attest to Justin Martyr using Gospel of Peter as Scripture.)

I believe I have established a very strong case that the Gospel of Peter is authoritative and is Scripture."

how then do you explain the fulfillment of prophecy as being found only in the Gospel of Peter?

 

Also, we have record that Mark was the scribe of Peter's gospel.

 

I also demonstrated how the Gospel of Peter has more evidence than certain books of the traditional 66 canon.  So, if a person were to reject Gospel of Peter, but not 3 John (of which has significantly less evidence ), what is their justification for such biased selection?  it certainly is not based on fair open minded analysis, but rather founded in their vain concept of the true canon preserved by tradition, which is an absurd notion to be the canon of Scripture on.  I urge those that reject the Gospel of Peter to also reject 3 John and other writings of the 66 that have even less evidence than the Gospel of Peter.

As I've said, a piece of text can be fully
  • authentic
  • inspired
  • uncorrupt
and STILL not be canonical Scripture !


That doesn't mean it cannot be gathered into some "apochryphal" collection, read, used for reproof and instruction in discipline and prudence, but it's not a part of the special, set-apart collection of books called Scripture.
The Messiah specifies three TaNaKic sections of Scripture, extant in the days prior to the writing of the NT, being:

Luke 24:27,44-45

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in (1) the Law of Moses, (2) the Prophets and (3) the Psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures."


He says "ALL the Scriptures", which he later defined as the contemporaneously extant Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim.

"The Law" refers to the Torah, the T in the Tanak, the five books of Moses, even the non-judicial parts.
"The Prophets" refers to the books of Joshua and Judges, the books of the kingdoms, the 4 major prophets and the 12 minor prophets, being the N in the taNaK.
"The Psalms" is a common way of referring to the Ketuvim, the K in the tanaK.

Incidentally, if you decide to ever read Luke 24, you'll find it abundantly clear that in order for something to be canonical, it MUST:
  • Mention the Christ, in type, literal description and/or prophecy.

In your "logical version" of Luke 24:44, Andrew, I'm sure you'd add to the word, by having the Messiah say: "...in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms, the Apochrypha, the pseudepigrapha, the apocalyptica, the elder edda, the qur'an, the lost writings of the areo-pagan, the pseudo-deutro-bladiblabla, the (list goes on for 5 chapters)"

 

Interesting. So would you contend that the Apostolic Writings are not Scripture?

Christian said:
As I've said, a piece of text can be fully
  • authentic
  • inspired
  • uncorrupt
and STILL not be canonical Scripture !


That doesn't mean it cannot be gathered into some "apochryphal" collection, read, used for reproof and instruction in discipline and prudence, but it's not a part of the special, set-apart collection of books called Scripture.
The Messiah specifies three TaNaKic sections of Scripture, extant in the days prior to the writing of the NT, being:

Luke 24:27,44-45

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in (1) the Law of Moses, (2) the Prophets and (3) the Psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures."


He says "ALL the Scriptures", which he later defined as the contemporaneously extant Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim.

"The Law" refers to the Torah, the T in the Tanak, the five books of Moses, even the non-judicial parts.
"The Prophets" refers to the books of Joshua and Judges, the books of the kingdoms, the 4 major prophets and the 12 minor prophets, being the N in the taNaK.
"The Psalms" is a common way of referring to the Ketuvim, the K in the tanaK.

Incidentally, if you decide to ever read Luke 24, you'll find it abundantly clear that in order for something to be canonical, it MUST:
  • Mention the Christ, in type, literal description and/or prophecy.

In your "logical version" of Luke 24:44, Andrew, I'm sure you'd add to the word, by having the Messiah say: "...in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms, the Apochrypha, the pseudepigrapha, the apocalyptica, the elder edda, the qur'an, the lost writings of the areo-pagan, the pseudo-deutro-bladiblabla, the (list goes on for 5 chapters)"

 

Christian, the actual proper designation is the Law, Prophets, and the WRITINGS.

 

I ask you, why does it need to mention or typify the Christ or be prophetic to be Scripture?

 

Surely you don't think Esther is prophetic or typifying of Christ, do you?  Of course, you could just strain it out, and justify your inclusion of Esther by making it typify Christ.  But, truth is, you could probably make anything typify Christ if you tried hard enough and were cheap enough.

 

It seems unlikely based on what we know of the Gospel:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Peter

 

It seems unlikely.

 

However the confusion could have been created by the relationship between the Gospel according to the Hebrews and a lost document called "The Doctrine of Peter" as I relate in my commentary to Luke at http://www.lulu.com/nazarene

 

24:36-43  Touch me and know, because a spirit has not flesh and bones –

 

A similar resurrection appearance occurred in the Goodnews according to the Hebrews.

As the fourth century “Church Father” Jerome writes:

 

            Also the Gospel called according to the Hebrews,

            recently translated by me into Greek and Latin,…

 

            Of the Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp.  In it he also inserts

            a testimony about the person of Messiah, from the Gospel

            which was recently translated by me; his words are:

 

            But I both saw him in the flesh after the resurrection,

            and believe that he is in the flesh: 

            and when he came to Peter, and those who were with Peter,

            he said to them, “Lo, feel me and see that I am not a

            bodiless spirit”.  And forthwith they touched him and believed.

            (Jerome; Of Illustrious Men 2, 16

and Comm. on Isa. Preface to Book 18)

 

(We will examine this quote in more detail shortly)   

 

One Messianic author takes this story (as it appears in Luke) as an indication that people at this time had a hard time accepting the resurrection of the dead.  In fact only the 11 (or 10, since T’oma was not present according to John 20:19-20).  In fact Yeshua’s Talmudim were mostly from the Johnian Essene background (see comments to Jn. 1:28-51) and perhaps from the Hillelian Pharisaic background.  In both cases Essenes (4Q521) and Pharisees (m.San. 10) both believed in the resurrection.  While Sadducees rejected the resurrection of the dead, none of Yeshua’s talmidim seem to have had a Sadducean background.  Although Luke, Yochanan (in John 20:19-20) and the author of the Goodnews according to the Hebrews (Matthew?) may have included the story, in part, as a response to Sadducees, this would not explain why Yeshua made these statements and did these things.

 

Others have taken this material as establishing a principle that spirits cannot have bodies of flesh.  The Book of Enoch, however, understands the events of Gen. 6:1f as describing a group of fallen angels as having taken flesh and copulating with human women (see comments to 2Kefa 2:4 & Jude 1:6).  Moreover the Apocryphal Book of Tobit relates the rape of a woman by a demon (Tobit 3:8).  While these accounts are apocryphal (though Enoch was accepted by Y’hudah (comments to Jude 1:14-15)) they make it clear that that it was not a first century concept that spirits could not take on flesh.  As a result it seems unlikely that Yeshua did these things to prove that he was not a spirit.  His actions would not have proven that he was not a spirit, since spirits were believed to have the ability to assume fleshly form.  Instead Yeshua was attempting to prove that he was not a “bodiless spirit”, that his resurrected nature was not that of a spirit only but was a resurrected body of flesh and bone. 

 

Yeshua was here attempting to stress his real existence in the flesh and his human nature.  Yeshua was attempting to clear up any future misconceptions about the nature of his being.  Yeshua wanted to stress that the resurrected Messiah was inclusive of the human nature of Yeshua.  The Messiah had two k’numeh (natures; see comments to Jn. 5:26) a divine k’numa (the Son of Yah) and a human k’numa (the Son of Man).  These two k’numeh were/are echad (one; united) in the one parsopa (person) of Messiah.

 

Even as early as the first century there were many misunderstandings of the nature of Messiah.  The Ebionites, for example, believed that the Messiah was a spirit which entered into Yeshua at his immersion (see comments to Mt. 3:16-17).  The Cerentheans (a Gnostic group which split from the Ebionites) also believed this and also maintained that this spirit did not die with Yeshua but departed before his death.  Monophysites believed that Messiah had only one nature, a divine nature.  They believed that Messiah was fully Elohim and nothing but Elohim.  An extreme form of the Monophysite position was Docetism which was popular among many Gnostics.  Docetists  believed that Messiah's divinity was irreconcilable with his actually having been physically born in the flesh.  They maintained that his life here was just an illusion (a belief still held by many Scientologists).  Docetists believed that Messiah only seemed to be born in the flesh.  They believed that he only seemed to live and dwell among us and he only seemed to suffer and die. 

 

The early second century “Church Father” Ignatius in his letter to the Smynaeans, quotes this story from the Goodnews according to the Hebrews (he never names his source, but Jerome does) while rebutting the false doctrine of Docetism:

 

            He was also truly crucified… And he suffered truly

            as he also truly raised up himself: And not, as some

            unbelievers say, that he only seemed to suffer,

they themselves only seeming to be [believers]….

But I know that even after his resurrection he

was in the flesh; and I believed that he is still so.

 

And when he came to those who were with Peter,

he said to them, “Take, handle me, and see that I

am not a bodiless demon.”  And straightway they

felt and believed; being convinced both by his flesh

and spirit. 

 

For this cause they despised death, and were found

to be above it.  But after his resurrection he did

eat and drink with them, as he was flesh; although

as to his Spirit he was united to the Father.

(Smyraneans 3:1-2 (1:9-12 in some editions))

 

You might recall that Jerome (above) had wrongly placed the quotation in Ignatious’s letter to Polycarp, but it actually appears in his letter to the Smyraneans.  According to Eusebious’s Ecclesiastical History 3:36, it also appeared in a lost book known as the Doctrine of Peter.

Polycarp was the bishop of Smyrna, so in a technical sense, Jerome did not make a mistake.

 

Also, while many claim the Gospel of Peter is docetic, I disagree; i just don't see the evidence for such a claim about the Gospel.  Its entirely orthodox in my belief; not docetic in any way.

Mr Trimm, is it possible that the Doctrine of Peter is within the Clementine literature, which records a good deal of Hebraic teachings?

James Trimm said:

However the confusion could have been created by the relationship between the Gospel according to the Hebrews and a lost document called "The Doctrine of Peter" as I relate in my commentary to Luke at http://www.lulu.com/nazarene

...

 

You might recall that Jerome (above) had wrongly placed the quotation in Ignatious’s letter to Polycarp, but it actually appears in his letter to the Smyraneans.  According to Eusebious’s Ecclesiastical History 3:36, it also appeared in a lost book known as the Doctrine of Peter.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

 

 

 

















 

LINKS

 

 

 

 

Badge

Loading…

© 2019   Created by James Trimm.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service