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• Christians, nor to the time of Nero, whose persecution did not reach the provinces. And there• fore it must relate to Domitian, according to ecclesiastical tradition.'

The visions therefore here recorded, and the publication of them in this book, must be assigned, so far as I can see, to the years of Christ 95, and 96, or 97.

CHAP. XXIII.

THE ORDER OF THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

I. Their Order in ancient Authors. II. General Observations upon their Order. III. The Order

of the several Parts of the N. T. 1. The Gospels. 2. The Acts. 3. St. Paul's Epistles in general. 4. Their Order severally. 5. Of placing them in the Order of Time. 6. The Order of the Catholic Epistles. 7. The Revelation.

1.

In shewing the order of the books of the New Testament, I begin with a passage of Eusebius, in a chapter, which is entitled . Concerning the divine scriptures, which are universally received, " and those which are not such.' • But, says he, it will be proper to enumerate here in a • summary way

the books of the New Testament, which have been already mentioned. And in • the first place are to be ranked the sacred four gospels. Then the book of the Acts of the • apostles. " After that are to be reckoned the epistles of Paul. In the next place, that called • the first epistle of John, and the (first] epistle of Peter, are to be esteemed authentic. After • these is to be placed, if it be thought fit, the Revelation of John, about which we shall observe • the different opinions at a proper season. Of the controverted, but yet well known (or approved s by the most, or many] are that called the epistle of James, and that of Jude, and the second of • Peter, and the second and third of John : whether they are written by the evangelist, or by • another of that name.' This passage, as my

readers

may well remember, was transcribed by us formerly. And here the order is very observable: the four gospels, the Acts; St. Paul's epistles, the two catholic epistles of St. John, and St. Peter, which were universally received, and then the books that were controverted, that is, not received by all, though by many.

The same order seems to have been followed by that ancient writer Irenæus. For in the third book of his works against heretics, where he is confuting the Valentinians, hed in several chapters argues from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Then in the twelfth chapter of that book, he largely quotes the book of the Acts. After which he considers the authority of the apostle Paul, and quotes both him and Peter.

In the festal epistle of Athanasius, the books of the New Testament are enumerated in this order. The four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, the seven catholic epistles, the fourteen • epistles of the apostle Paul, and the Revelation.' They stand exactly in the same order in the Synopsis ascribed to him, though not composed till more than a hundred years after his time. The same is the orders of our Alexandrian manuscript. So likewise in “ Cyril of Jerusalem : • the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, seven catholic epistles, and the fourteen epistles of * the apostle Paul.' He omits the Revelation. The same is the order of the catalogue of the council of Laodicea, omitting also the Revelation. So likewise in thek catalogue of John

nascenus : 'the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, the catholic epistles, fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, and the Revelation. The same is the order of 'Leontius. And in the Syrian catalogues as given by " Ebedjesu : “the four gospels, the Acts, three catholic epistles, and the fourteen epistles of Paul.'

Rufinus's order is the gospels, the Acts, Paul's epistles, the catholic epistles, and the Reve

Περι των ομολογεμενων θειων γραφων, και των μη τοιέτων. e See Vol.ji. H. E. 1. 3. cap. 25.

8 This Vol. p. 45.

h Vol. ii. p. 409. της καινης διαθηκης γραφας. .

k This Vol. p. 80. c Vol. ii. p. 369, 370. d Iren. 1. 3. cap. ix. x. xi.

n Vol. ii. p. 573.

p.

400.

I P. 404.

b

i P. 415.
1 P. 77.

m Vol. ii.

p.

488.

** lation. The same order is in the catalogue of the third council of Carthage. In Gregory Nazianzen also the four gospels, the Acts, the fourteen epistles of Paul, the catholic epistles.' The Revelation is wanting. The same order is in the catalogue of “ Amphilochius, with the Revelation at the end, mentioned as doubtful. In the Stichometryd also of Nicephorus, patriarch of Constantinople, about the year 806, the four gospels, the Acts, Paul's fourteen epistles, and • the seven catholic epistles.'

That is the order of Eusebius, and probably of Irenæus likewise, as before shewn, consequently, the most ancient. It is also the order which is now generally received. And to me it appears to be the best.

In Epiphaniuse the books of the New Testament are enumerated in this order: “the four sacred gospels, the fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, the Acts of the apostles, the seven catholic epistles, and the Revelation.'

I imagine that this must have been the order of Euthalius. For' he is supposed to have first published an edition of Paul's epistles, and afterwards an edition of the Acts, and the catholic epistles, about the year 490. In his prologue to the Acts of the apostles, addressed to Athanasius, then bishop of Alexandria, he says: “having s formerly divided the epistles of Paul • into sections, I have now done the like in the book of the Acts, and the seven catholic ** epistles.” Hence I am led to argue that this was his order: Paul's epistles, the Acts, and the catholic epistles.

Jerom's order, in his letter to Paulinus, is * • the four gospels, St. Paul's epistles, the Acts, • the catholic epistles, and the Revelation. Which is very agreeable to the order of Epiphanius, and also of Euthalius, if I understand him aright. But in Jerom's work of the interpretation of Hebrew names the order is thus : the gospels, the Acts of the apostles, the seven catholic

epistles, the fourteen epistles of Paul, and the Revelation. In [the letter to Læta the order is, the “ gospels, the Acts, and the epistles of the apostles.'

Augustine varies. In his work of the Christian Doctrine, the scriptures of the New Testament are rehearsed in this manner: The 'four books of the gospels, fourteen epistles of the

apostle Paul, the seven catholic epistles, the Acts of the apostles in one book, and the Revela• tion of John in'one book.' In another work: “the gospels, " the epistles of apostles [-meaning ^ Paul's epistles, and the catholic epistles] the Acts of the apostles, and the Revelation of John." In one of his works he quotes texts from the books of the New Testament in this order : first" from the gospels, next from several of the catholic epistles, then from almost all the epistles of Paul, after that from the Revelation, and lastly from the Acts of the apostles.

In the catalogue of Innocent the first, bishop of Rome, this order is observable: the ° four * gospels, St. Paul's fourteen epistles, seven catholic epistles, the Acts, and the Revelation.' Isidore of Seville, in his several works, has three or four catalogues of the books of the New Testament. In all of them we see this order : first, the gospels, then the epistles of the • apostle Paul, then the catholic epistles, after them the Acts, and then the Revelation. There were according to him, two parts or divisions of the New Testament, one called the gospels or the evangelists, the other the apostles or the epistles. And in this last part the book of the Acts was placed. The same is the order in the Complexions or short commentaries of Cassiodorius: they are upon St. Paul's epistles, the catholic epistles, the Acts of the apostles, and the Revelation.

The three writers, alleged in this last paragraph, agree very much with Augustine in the two passages first cited from him in the preceding paragraph.

Chrysostom's order in the Synopsis ascribed to him, as formerly observed, is very singular: • the ' fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, the four gospels, the book of the Acts, and three • catholic epistles.'

The catalogue of Gelasius also is particular for the place of the Revelation. For he enume. rates the books in this order: the four gospels, the Acts, St. Paul's fourteen epistles, the • Revelation, and the catholic epistles.'

· Vol. ii. p. 574.

P. 470. c P. 473.

. d This Vol. p. 43. e Hær. 76. p. 941. cited Vol. ii. p. 417. f See this Vol. p. 38.

και Εναχκος τοινυν ως εφην, την Παυλα βιβλον ανεγνωκως, αυτικα δητα και τηνδε την των αποστολικων Πραξεων, αμα

τη των καθολικων επιςολων εβδομαδι, πονησας, αρτιας σου
TETTOJRK. Eutbal. ap. Zacagn. Monum. Vet. p. 405.

i P. 549.
h Cited Vol. ii. p. 548.
k P. 566.

1 P. 578, 579.
m P. 588.

• P. 589. • P. 628.

p This Vol. p: 75. 9 P. 61.

Vol. ii. C01, 002.

I suppose I ought not to omit the order of the books in the 85th apostolical canon, as it is called, which is this. • The four gospels, Paul's fourteen epistles, seven catholic epistles, two. epistles of Clement, the Constitutions, the Acts of the apostles.'

I shall transcribe nothing more of this kind. They who are desirous to see more examples, may consult the alphabetical table at the end of the last volume, in that article, “ The New Testament." Here is enough to be a foundation for such remarks as are proper to be made,, relating to this point.

II. It is obvious to remark upon what we have now seen, that in the several ages of Christianity, and in several parts of the world, there has been some variety in the disposition of the books of the New Testament, in two particulars especially. For in some catalogues St. Paul's. epistles precede the catholic epistles, in others they follow them. And the book of the Acts is. sometimes placed next after the gospels, in other catalogues it follows all the epistles.

Dr. Mill, who, in his Prolegomena, has an article concerning the order of the books of the New Testament, with regard to the first particular, the placing in divers catalogues the catholic epistles before St. Paul's, says, “that possibly the Christians of those times supposed them to • deserve precedence, because they were not directed to one church, or person only, as St. • Paul's are, but to Christians in general, and many churches scattered over the world. Some

might also think the catholic epistles entitled to precedence, because they were written by · those who were apostles before Paul, and had accompanied our Lord in his personal ministry • here on earth.'

Mill likewise argues, that this was the most ancient order, because it is that of the Alexandrian, and some other ancient manuscripts. But I do not think that to be full proof. For Eusebius is older, and his order is the same as ours. The same order is in the catalogues of Rufin, the council of Carthage, Gregory Nazianzen, Amphilochius, and divers others, very probably older than any manuscripts now in being. And in many other writers likewise of great antiquity, St. Paul's epistles precede the catholic epistles. Whereby I am induced to think this must have been the most ancient order.

The reason why the book of the Acts was sometimes placed after all the epistles, some may think was because it was not so generally received as the gospels, the thirteen epistles of Paul, and some of the catholic epistles. Mr. Wetstein - hints at that reason. But I rather think, that by some it was judged proper, that the epistles of apostles should immediately follow the gospels, containing the history of our Lord himself: and that the history of the apostles, and of their preaching, written by an apostolical man, should not precede, but rather follow their writings. For by Eusebius, as we have seen, the book of the Acts of the apostles is reckoned among scriptures universally acknowledged by catholic Christians. It is so considered likewise by Origen. And indeed, that this has been all along an universally acknowledged sacred book of the New Testament, appears from our collections from every age of Christianity from the beginning. See “ Acts of the apostles" in the alphabetical table of matters at the end of the last volume. Mr. Wetstein'

argues from the 85th Apostolical Canon, where the Acts of the apostles are mentioned last. To which I answer, first, that the age, when those canons were composed, is uncertain. And secondly, that order may have been there chosen out of a regard to the common rules of modesty. For it is thus: “5 the gospels, Paul's epistles, the catholic epistles, * two epistles of Clement, the Constitutions, and the Acts of us the apostles.' When a man took upon

himself the character of the apostles, and expressed himself in that manner, it was

· This Vol. p. 42.
b Vol. i. p. 440. "

vissime omnium Christus visus erat. Postea autem Paulinæ · In epistolarum quidem dispositione variatum est. In positæ sunt ante Catholicas. Mill. Proleg. num. 236. antiquissimis quos habemus manuscriptis, etiam Alexandrino d Apud orthodoxos vero hic Actuum liber non videtur: nostro, Paulinis præmissæ sunt Catholicæ; eo quod hæ Judæis eodem loco fuisse habitus, quo reliqui N. T. libri. Wetsten.. per orbem quaquaversum dispersis, adeoque pluribus ecclesiis, N. T. tom. II. p. 455. inscriptæ sint; illæ vero singulis sive ecclesiis, sive etiam e Vol. i. p. 534, 535. hominibus. Ne dicam, quod in isthac dispositione rationem f In. Can. Ap. 85. ordo librorum iste reperitur. iv. Evan-forsan habuerint dignitatis Apostolorum, a quibus scriptæ gelia, Epistolæ Pauli xiv. Petri, Joannis, Jacobi, Judæ, Cle-sunt; ut nempe Apostoli Judæorum, iique jam ab initio mentis duæ, Constitutiones, Acta. Wetst. ubi supr. p. 455.. electi a Domino, ac cum eo per omne ministerii ipsius tempus & See Vol. ii. p. 410. versati, præponerentur Paulo, Apostolo Gentium, ac cui no- • Και Πραξεις ημων των αποφολων. .

natural enough to reckon the book, which contained the history of their own actions, last of all. Surely it is trifling to form an argument from that position in this canon. And Mr. Wetstein might have observed, that in many catalogues, undoubtedly ancient, the Acts immediately follow the gospels: and that, not only in those catalogues where St. Paul's epistles have the precedence before the catholic epistles, but in divers others likewise, where the catholic epistles precede.

III. Having made these general observations, I now propose to consider distinctly the order of these several parts of the New Testament: the gospels, the Acts, St. Paul's epistles, the catholic epistles, and the Revelation.

1. The order of the four gospels has generally been this, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. - This is their order in · Irenæus, Origen, · Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, and in his ten Canons, as represented in his letter to Carpian, - Athanasius, the council of Laodicea, 'Epiphanius, the 85th apostolical Canon, Gregory Nazianzen, ' Amphilochius, * the Syrian catalogue, "Jerom, " Rufin, - Augustine, the Alexandrian manuscript,” the Stichometry of Nicephorus, 9 Cosmas of Alexandria, 'Junilius, an African bishop, 'Isidore of Seville, 'Leontius of Constantinople. And in like manner in all authors and catalogues in general, distinctly taken notice of in the several volumes of this work,

Nevertheless in considering the Testimony of Tertullian, we thought we saw reason to apprehend, that ' in his time, in the African churches at least, the gospels were disposed according to the quality of the writers: in the first place those two, which were written by apostles, then the other two, written by apostolical men. This was inferred from some expressions in his works. But perhaps the argument is not conclusive. However the four gospels are in the same order in 'some Latin manuscripts, still in being, and also in ’ the Cambridge manuscript, which is Greek and Latin: Matthew, John, Luke, Mark. But by Mr. Wetstein, we are assured, that it is the only Greek manuscript in which the evangelists are so disposed. For certain the other order must have generally prevailed.

2. Concerning the Acts the question is, in which part of the New Testament it was generally placed by the ancients: whether in the evangelicon, or the apostolicon. And undoubtedly, by these who mention it after_St. Paul's epistles, or after all tħe epistles of the apostles, it was placed in the latter part. But, as we have seen, it is often mentioned by ancient writers next after the four gospels. Was it then reckoned a part of the evangelicon, or of the apostolicon? From some passages of Tertullian it was formerly argued by us, that bo the book of the Acts was placed in the second part of the New Testament, and at the beginning of it. I would now add, that I think the same may be argued from Irenæus, who “ having alleged passages from the four gospels, proceeds to the Acts, and considers what he allegeth thence as the doctrine, particularly of the apostles. And Mill supposeth, that dd in the most ancient times the Acts were placed with the epistles, but before them, as the first book of that part. However it is observable, that the Cambridge manuscript has the Acts of the apostles, though it has not the epistles. But then Mill says, that « volume once had the epistles, as well as the gospels. And therefore, probably, the book of the Acts stood at the head of that part which contained the epistles. And for certain, I think it best that the historical books of the New Testament should appear together. Accordingly, as we have seen, the Acts do in many ancient catalogues immediately follow the gospels. And I wish that Mr. Wetstein had followed that order, which now prevails, and that a Vol. i.

p.
365.
b P. 532, 531.

aa Vidit tamen, nisi admodum fallor, hunc ipsum Codicem c Vol. ii. p. 368, 369. d P. 400, 404.

Cantabrigiensem, qui unus et solus omnium codicum Græce e P. 415. { P. 418.

Scriptorum hunc ordinem servat. Wetsten. Prolegom. p. 28. & P. 440.

16 Vol. i. p. 433. i P. 473. k P. 498.

«c Vid. Iren. contr. Hær. I. 3. cap. xi. fin. et cap. xii. in. | Vol. ii. p. 548, 549, 550, 551.

m P. 573.

dd Primo loco posita sunt Acta Apostolorum. - Subsen.P. 578. • This Vol. p. 45.

cutæ, sunt Epistolæ indubitato Apostolicæ, quas corrogare P P. 46. q P. 51, 52.

undique liceret. Proleg. num. 195. r P. 58. s P. 75.

ee Marci Evangelio suffixa est etiam notula, significans, . P. 77. " See Vol. i. p. 433.

post illud proxiine poni librum Actuum. Verum hæc est ? Denique nobis fidem ex Apostolis Joannes et Matthæus scribæ recentioris. Sequens enim folium, quod primâ facie insinuant; ex apostolicis Lucas et Marcus instaurant, iisdem duodecim postremos versus epistolæ tertiæ D. Joannis exhibet, regulis exorsi. Adv. Marcion. l. 4. cap. 2. p. 503. A. Vid. alterâ priinam partem capitis primi Actorum, clare indicat et ibid. cap. 5. p. 505. C. D.

Exemplar boc jam olim, præter Evangelia et Acta, comy Vid. Joseph Blanchini Evangeliarium Quadruplex Latinæ plexum fuisse Catholicas saltem Epistolas. Mill. Proleg. Versionis Antiquæ.

z Vid. Mill. Prolegom. num. 1269. num. 1270.

di P. 470.

he had not placed the Acts of the apostles, as he has done, at the head of the catholic epistles, and after the epistles of St. Paul.

3. In the catalogues lately alleged, we have seen St. Paul's epistles sometimes preceding the catholic epistles, at other times following them. Here the order, as seems to me, is of little consequence. But I rather prefer our present order, which places St. Paul's epistles first: because, excepting only the epistle to the Hebrews, all of them have been all along universally acknowledged: whereas among the seven catholic epistles, there are but two, which have not been at some times contradicted books. Moreover St. Paul's epistles immediately follow the historical books in Eusebius. . Whence I am willing to infer, that it is the most ancient order.

4. I must say something about the order of St. Paul's epistles severally. Our order is that of his thirteen epistles, which have been universally acknowledged, and then the epistle to the Hebrews, about which there had been doubts in the minds of many for a good while.

Among the ancients there is some variety. To the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, the Thessalonians, Hebrews, Timothy, Titus, Philemon. So · in the festal epistle of Athanasius, and in the Synopsis ascribed to him, and o in the catalogue of the council of Laodicea, and in the Alexandrian manuscript. In others may

be found our present order, as in the iambic poem of Amphilochius, the ‘Syrian catalogue in Ebedjesu, ? Jerom in his article of St. Paul, Augustine in his work of the Christian doctrine, Ecumenius, and many others.

Epiphanius, observing how Marcion had disturbed the order of St. Paul's epistles, says, that k in some editions of the New Testament, the epistle to the Hebrews was the fourteenth, in others the tenth, being placed before the two epistles to Timothy, and the epistles to Titus and Philemon: and that 'in all good copies the epistle to the Romans was the first, not that to the Galatians, as Marcion had disposed them.

Theodoret "" and Chrysostom” have particularly taken notice, that the epistle to the Romans was placed first, though it was not the first in the order of time.

Concerning the reason of that disposition of the epistle to the Romans, Theodoret observes, • that ° it had been placed first, as containing the most full and exact representation of the · Christian doctrine in all its branches. But some say, it had been so placed out of respect to • the city, to which it had been sent, as presiding over the whole world.'

I have sometimes thought that first observation might be applied to all St. Paul's epistles, as the ground and reason of their situation. For the first five epistles, that to the Romans, the two to the Corinthians, and the epistles to the Galatians, and the Ephesians, are the largest of St. Paul's epistles. And all that follow are shorter, excepting the epistle to the Hebrews, which has been placed after those sent to churches, or last of all, after those likewise which were sent to particular persons, because its genuineness was not universally allowed of.

But the other, the dignity of the cities and people, to whom the epistles were sent, has been more generally supposed to be the ground and reason of thie order in which they are placed. How this is represented by Mill, may appear in his own words, which ? I place below.

I also shall shew this as well as I can. Epistles to churches are placed first. Afterwards those to particular persons. The epistles to churches are placed very much according to the rank of the cities or places to which they were sent. The epistle to the Romans is placed first, because Rome was the chief city of the Roman empire. The two epistles to the Corinthians come next, because Corinth was a large, and polite, and renowned city: Galatia was a country in which were several churches, and therefore the epistle to them might be placed before others, written to one church only. Nevertheless the epistles to the Romans and the Corinthians have been preferred,

· See Vol. ii. p. 400.
b P. 404.

διδασκασαν. Τινες δε φασιν, ότι και την πολιν τιμωντες. κ. λ. • P. 415. d This Vol. p. 45.

Theod. Pr. in Ep. S. P. T. III. p. 6. e Vol. i. p. 473. I P. 488.

p In iis vero disponendis (exceptâ unà ad Hebræos, de quà & P. 556. h P. 578, 579.

i This Vol..p. 84. mox,) spectata est omnino dignitas écclesiarum et hominum, Hær. 42. p. 373. C.

quibus missæ sunt. Epistola ad ecclesias Galat:æ, quæ erat 'Narra de Ta artiypaço Toc owa xal annen try tpos integra provincia, merito præcedebat illas, quæ ad unam datæ "Ρωμαιος εχεσι πρωτην, ουχ ως συ Μαρκιων, την προς Γαλατας erant civitatem, Laodiceam, Philippos, Colossenses, Thessaεταξας πρωτην. Η. 42. p. 373. D.

lonicam. His tamen præponere visum est epistolas ad Rom This Vol. p. 11. n Vol. ii. P: 606.

manos et Corinthios, ob eminentem harum urbium dignita• Προτεταχασι δε την προς Ρωμαιες, ως παντοδαπην εχ8- tem, quâ provinciam istam superare videbantur. Epistolas σαν διδασκαλιαν, και την των δογματων ακριβειαν δια πλειόνων integris ecclesiis inscriptas sequuntur, quæ ad singulos homines

datæ sunt. Proleg. num. 237. VOL. III.

3N

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