Friday, October 29, 2010

Evidence the Apostle Knew and Used a Written Gospel

From this original article - In our Epistle to the Romans there are traces of acquaintance with a written Gospel. The phrase in 2:16 ("according to my gospel"; cf. 1:9; 16:25) is most intelligible as referring to a book, and was so understood by Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome. From expressions not identical with, but recalling those of our canonical Gospels, it may be inferred that occasionally something was taken over from the Gospel spoken of. The following are possibly examples of this procedure: "a guide to the blind" (2:19), cf. Mt 7:1, Lk 6:39; "a light to those in darkness" (2:19), cf. Mt 5:14, Lk 11:35; "the one judging" (2:1), cf. Mt 7:1, Lk 6:37. More especially there may be cited: "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them" (12:14), cf. Mt 5:44, Lk 6:28; love. as the fulfilling of the law (13:8-10, also Gal 5:14), cf. Mt 22:34-40, Mk 12:28-34, Lk 10:25-27; "Each of us shall give account of himself to God" (14:12), cf. Mt 12:36. Perhaps the Gospel used was the one recognized by the Marcionites. The friends of tradition who, following the Fathers mentioned above, would identify it with our third Gospel, are confronted with the necessity of placing the Epistle at least as late as the end of the first or the beginning of the second century, unless they have the courage to accept the third Gospel as a work which Luke the companion of Paul had already completed. In any case, the use of it indicates a later date than that which is traditionally assigned to the Epistle to the Romans.

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