The Four Gospels As We Now Have Them In The New Testament, And The Hegelian Assaults Upon Them -- By: C. E. Stowe

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 009:33 (Jan 1852)
Article: The Four Gospels As We Now Have Them In The New Testament, And The Hegelian Assaults Upon Them
Author: C. E. Stowe


The Four Gospels As We Now Have Them In The New
Testament, And The Hegelian Assaults Upon Them

C. E. Stowe

V. Comparison Of The Canonical Gospels With The Apocryphal Gospels Still Extant

The impugners of the New Testament gospels appeal to the fact, that there are gospels acknowledged to be apocryphal, as a proof of their theory that our recognized gospels are also myths or forgeries. Any one who candidly examines these spurious gospels, and compares them with the New Testament, will find in them, not a refutation of our sacred writers, but a most convincing testimony to their intelligence, honesty and supernatural inspiration. So totally diverse are they from the genuine gospels, in conception, in spirit, in execution, in their whole impression — in all respects so entirely unlike, so immeasurably inferior, that the New Testament only shines the brighter by the contrast. They have scarcely so much resemblance to the genuine gospels, as the monkey has to a man.

An elaborate history and collection of these writings was first published by Fabricius near the beginning of the last century. The first volume of a new and critical edition was issued at Halle by Thilo in 1832. Prof. Norton has given an account of them in the third volume of his work on the Genuineness of the Gospels, but with an incredulity in regard to the testimony of the ancients which amounts

almost to credulousness; yet it is very useful to be studied in connection with other and more credulous authorities. Ullmann gives a very good abstract of them in his treatise entitled Historisch oder Mythisch, and Guerike in his Introduction to the New Testament makes a brief and intelligible catalogue of them. Quite recently Dr. Hoffmann of Leipzig has compiled a Life of Jesus according to the Apocrypha, accompanied with learned annotations. English translations of the principal apocryphal writings of the New Testament have been collected and published both in England and the United States. If this has been done with any purpose of bringing discredit on our genuine New Testament, the design has most signally failed, for on every fair minded and intelligent reader, they must produce directly the opposite effect.

Fabricius gave the titles of about fifty of such spurious writings, and the industry of subsequent investigation has added to the number; but scarcely one-tenth part of these are now extant, and probably there were never more than ten or a dozen distinct works of the kind, the others being different recensions of the same narrative, or different titles of the same work, or mere repetitions of each other.

The Apocryphal Gospels

Not more than seven of these now remain, which ar...

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