[English translation taken from the ANF series.]

Eusebius on the Four Gospels and Evangelists

Ecclesiastical History 3.23.1-19; 3.24.1-18




Ἐπὶ τούτοις κατὰ τὴν Ἀσίαν ἔτι τῷ βίῳ περιλειπόμενος αὐτὸς ἐκεῖνος ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ἀπόστολος ὁμοῦ καὶ εὐαγγελιστὴς Ἰωάννης τὰς αὐτόθι διεῖπεν ἐκκλησίας, ἀπὸ τῆς κατὰ τὴν νῆσον μετὰ τὴν Δομετιανοῦ τελευτὴν ἐπανελθὼν φυγῆς.

1. At that time the apostle and evangelist John, the one whom Jesus loved, was still living in Asia, and governing the churches of that region, having returned after the death of Domitian from his exile on the island.

ὅτι δὲ εἰς τούτους τῷ βίῳ περιῆν, ἀπόχρη διὰ δύο πιστώσασθαι τὸν λόγον μαρτύρων, πιστοὶ δ᾿ ἂν εἶεν οὗτοι, τῆς ἐκκλησιαστικῆς πρεσβεύσαντες ὀρθοδοξίας, εἰ δὴ τοιοῦτοι Εἰρηναῖος καὶ Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς.

2. And that he was still alive at that time may be established by the testimony of two witnesses. They should be trustworthy who have maintained the orthodoxy of the Church; and such indeed were Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria.

ὧν ὁ μὲν πρότερος ἐν δευτέρῳ τῶν πρὸς τὰς αἱρέσεις ὧδέ πως γράφει κατὰ λέξιν· «καὶ πάντες οἱ πρεσβύτεροι μαρτυροῦσιν οἱ κατὰ τὴν Ἀσίαν Ἰωάννῃ τῷ τοῦ κυρίου μαθητῇ συμβεβληκότες παραδεδωκέναι τὸν Ἰωάννην. παρέμεινεν γὰρ αὐτοῖς μέχρι τῶν Τραϊανοῦ χρόνων».

3. The former in the second book of his work Against Heresies, writes as follows: “And all the elders that associated with John the disciple of the Lord in Asia bear witness that John delivered it to them. For he remained among them until the time of Trajan.”

καὶ ἐν τρίτῳ δὲ τῆς αὐτῆς ὑποθέσεως ταὐτὸ τοῦτο δηλοῖ διὰ τούτων· «ἀλλὰ καὶ ἡ ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ἐκκλησία ὑπὸ Παύλου μὲν τεθεμελιωμένη, Ἰωάννου δὲ παραμείναντος αὐτοῖς μέχρι τῶν Τραϊανοῦ χρόνων, μάρτυς ἀληθής ἐστιν τῆς τῶν ἀποστόλων παραδόσεως».

4. And in the third book of the same work he attests the same thing in the following words: “But the church in Ephesus also, which was founded by Paul, and where John remained until the time of Trajan, is a faithful witness of the apostolic tradition."

ὁ δὲ Κλήμης ὁμοῦ τὸν χρόνον ἐπισημηνάμενος, καὶ ἱστορίαν ἀναγκαιοτάτην οἷς τὰ καλὰ καὶ ἐπωφελῆ φίλον ἀκούειν, προστίθησιν ἐν ᾧ Τίς ὁ σῳζόμενος πλούσιος ἐπέγραψεν αὐτοῦ συγγράμματι· λαβὼν δὲ ἀνάγνωθι ὧδέ πως ἔχουσαν καὶ αὐτοῦ τὴν γραφήν·

5. Clement likewise in his book entitled What Rich Man Can Be Saved? indicates the time, and subjoins a narrative which is most attractive to those that enjoy hearing what is beautiful and profitable. Take and read the account which runs as follows:

«ἄκουσον μῦθον οὐ μῦθον ἀλλὰ ὄντα λόγον περὶ Ἰωάννου τοῦ ἀποστόλου παραδεδομένον καὶ μνήμῃ πεφυλαγμένον. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ τοῦ τυράννου τελευτήσαντος ἀπὸ τῆς Πάτμου τῆς νήσου μετῆλθεν ἐπὶ τὴν Ἔφεσον, ἀπῄει παρακαλούμενος καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ πλησιόχωρα τῶν ἐθνῶν, ὅπου μὲν ἐπισκόπους καταστήσων, ὅπου δὲ ὅλας ἐκκλησίας ἁρμόσων, ὅπου δὲ κλῆρον ἕνα γέ τινα κληρώσων τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος σημαινομένων.

6. "Listen to a tale, which is not a mere tale, but a narrative concerning John the apostle, which has been handed down and treasured up in memory. For when, after the tyrant's death, he returned from the isle of Patmos to Ephesus, he went away upon their invitation to the neighboring territories of the Gentiles, to appoint bishops in some places, in other places to set in order whole churches, elsewhere to choose to the ministry some one of those that were pointed out by the Spirit.

ἐλθὼν οὖν καὶ ἐπί τινα τῶν οὐ μακρὰν πόλεων, ἧς καὶ τοὔνομα λέγουσιν ἔνιοι, καὶ τἄλλα ἀναπαύσας τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς, ἐπὶ πᾶσι τῷ καθεστῶτι προσβλέψας ἐπισκόπῳ, νεανίσκον ἱκανὸν τῷ σώματι καὶ τὴν ὄψιν ἀστεῖον καὶ θερμὸν τὴν ψυχὴν ἰδών, «τοῦτον, ἔφη, σοὶ παρακατατίθεμαι μετὰ πάσης σπουδῆς ἐπὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας καὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ μάρτυρος». τοῦ δὲ δεχομένου καὶ πάνθ᾿ ὑπισχνουμένου, καὶ πάλιν τὰ αὐτὰ διελέγετο καὶ διεμαρτύρετο. εἶτα ὁ μὲν ἀπῆρεν ἐπὶ τὴν Ἔφεσον.

7. When he had come to one of the cities not far away (the name of which is given by some), and had consoled the brethren in other matters, he finally turned to the bishop that had been appointed, and seeing a youth of powerful physique, of pleasing appearance, and of ardent temperament, he said, ‘This one I commit to thee in all earnestness in the presence of the Church and with Christ as witness.' And when the bishop had accepted the Charge and had promised all, he repeated the same injunction with an appeal to the same witnesses, and then departed for Ephesus.

ὁ δὲ πρεσβύτερος ἀναλαβὼν οἴκαδε τὸν παραδοθέντα νεανίσκον ἔτρεφεν, συνεῖχεν, ἔθαλπεν, τὸ τελευταῖον ἐφώτισεν. καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο ὑφῆκεν τῆς πλείονος ἐπιμελείας καὶ παραφυλακῆς, ὡς τὸ τέλειον αὐτῷ φυλακτήριον ἐπιστήσας, τὴν σφραγῖδα κυρίου.

8. But the presbyter taking home the youth committed to him, reared, kept, cherished, and finally baptized him. After this he relaxed his stricter care and watchfulness, with the idea that in putting upon him the seal of the Lord he had given him a perfect protection.

τῷ δὲ ἀνέσεως πρὸ ὥρας λαβομένῳ προσφθείρονταί τινες ἥλικες ἀργοὶ καὶ ἀπερρωγότες, ἐθάδες κακῶν, καὶ πρῶτον μὲν δι᾿ ἑστιάσεων πολυτελῶν αὐτὸν ἐπάγονται, εἶτά που καὶ νύκτωρ ἐπὶ λωποδυσίαν ἐξιόντες συνεπάγονται, εἶτά τι καὶ μεῖζον συμπράττειν ἠξίουν.

9. But some youths of his own age, idle and dissolute, and accustomed to evil practices, corrupted him when he was thus prematurely freed from restraint. At first they enticed him by costly entertainments; then, when they went forth at night for robbery, they took him with them, and finally they demanded that he should unite with them in some greater crime.

ὃ δὲ κατ᾿ ὀλίγον προσειθίζετο, καὶ διὰ μέγεθος φύσεως ἐκστὰς ὥσπερ ἄστομος καὶ εὔρωστος ἵππος ὀρθῆς ὁδοῦ καὶ τὸν χαλινὸν ἐνδακών, μειζόνως κατὰ τῶν βαράθρων ἐφέρετο.

10. He gradually became accustomed to such practices, and on account of the positiveness of his character, leaving the right path, and taking the bit in his teeth like a hard-mouthed and powerful horse, he rushed the more violently down into the depths.

ἀπογνοὺς δὲ τελέως τὴν ἐν θεῷ σωτηρίαν, οὐδὲν ἔτι μικρὸν διενοεῖτο, ἀλλὰ μέγα τι πράξας, ἐπειδήπερ ἅπαξ ἀπολώλει, ἴσα τοῖς ἄλλοις παθεῖν ἠξίου. αὐτοὺς δὴ τούτους ἀναλαβὼν καὶ λῃστήριον συγκροτήσας, ἕτοιμος λῄσταρχος ἦν, βιαιότατος μιαιφονώτατος χαλεπώτατος.

11. And finally despairing of salvation in God, he no longer meditated what was insignificant, but having committed some great crime, since he was now lost once for all, he expected to suffer a like fate with the rest. Taking them, therefore, and forming a band of robbers, he became a bold bandit-chief, the most violent, most bloody, most cruel of them all.

χρόνος ἐν μέσῳ, καί τινος ἐπιπεσούσης χρείας ἀνακαλοῦσι τὸν Ἰωάννην. ὃ δὲ ἐπεὶ τὰ ἄλλα ὧν χάριν ἧκεν κατεστήσατο, «ἄγε δή, ἔφη, ὦ ἐπίσκοπε, τὴν παραθήκην ἀπόδος ἡμῖν, ἣν ἐγώ τε καὶ ὁ Χριστός σοι παρακατεθέμεθα ἐπὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας, ἧς προκαθέζῃ, μάρτυρος».

12. Time passed, and some necessity having arisen, they sent for John. But he, when he had set in order the other matters on account of which he had come, said, ‘Come, O bishop, restore us the deposit which both I and Christ committed to thee, the church, over which thou presidest, being witness.'

ὃ δὲ τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἐξεπλάγη, χρήματα οἰόμενος, ἅπερ οὐκ ἔλαβεν, συκοφαντεῖσθαι, καὶ οὔτε πιστεύειν εἶχεν ὑπὲρ ὧν οὐκ εἶχεν, οὔτε ἀπιστεῖν Ἰωάννῃ· ὡς δέ «τὸν νεανίσκον, εἶπεν, ἀπαιτῶ καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ», στενάξας κάτωθεν ὁ πρεσβύτης καί τι καὶ ἐπιδακρύσας, ἐκεῖνος ἔφη τέθνηκεν. πῶς καὶ τίνα θάνατον; θεῷ τέθνηκεν, εἶπεν· ἀπέβη γὰρ πονηρὸς καὶ ἐξώλης καί, τὸ κεφάλαιον, λῃστής, καὶ νῦν ἀντὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας τὸ ὄρος κατείληφεν μεθ᾿ ὁμοίου στρατιωτικοῦ.

13. But the bishop was at first confounded, thinking that he was falsely charged in regard to money which he had not received, and he could neither believe the accusation respecting what he had not, nor could he disbelieve John. But when he said, ‘I demand the young man and the soul of the brother,' the old man, groaning deeply and at the same time bursting into tears, said, ‘He is dead.' ‘How and what kind of death?' ‘He is dead to God,' he said; ‘for he turned wicked and abandoned, and at last a robber. And now, instead of the church, he haunts the mountain with a band like himself.'

καταρρηξάμενος τὴν ἐσθῆτα ὁ ἀπόστολος καὶ μετὰ μεγάλης οἰμωγῆς πληξάμενος τὴν κεφαλήν, καλόν γε, ἔφη, φύλακα τῆς τἀδελφοῦ ψυχῆς κατέλιπον. ἀλλ᾿ ἵππος ἤδη μοι παρέστω, καὶ ἡγεμὼν γενέσθω μοί τις τῆς ὁδοῦ. ἤλαυνεν, ὥσπερ εἶχεν, αὐτόθεν ἀπὸ τῆς ἐκκλησίας. ἐλθὼν δὲ εἰς τὸ χωρίον, ὑπὸ τῆς προφυλακῆς τῶν λῃστῶν ἁλίσκεται,

14. But the Apostle rent his clothes, and beating his head with great lamentation, he said, ‘A fine guard I left for a brother's soul! But let a horse be brought me, and let some one show me the way.' He rode away from the church just as he was, and coming to the place, he was taken prisoner by the robbers' outpost.

μήτε φεύγων μήτε παραιτούμενος, ἀλλὰ βοῶν· ἐπὶ τοῦτ᾿ ἐλήλυθα, ἐπὶ τὸν ἄρχοντα ὑμῶν ἀγάγετέ με.

15. He, however, neither fled nor made entreaty, but cried out, ‘For this did I come; lead me to your captain.'

ὃς τέως, ὥσπερ ὥπλιστο, ἀνέμενεν, ὡς δὲ προσιόντα ἐγνώρισε τὸν Ἰωάννην, εἰς φυγὴν αἰδεσθεὶς ἐτράπετο.

16. The latter, meanwhile, was waiting, armed as he was. But when he recognized John approaching, he turned in shame to flee.

ὃ δὲ ἐδίωκεν ἀνὰ κράτος, ἐπιλαθόμενος τῆς ἡλικίας τῆς ἑαυτοῦ, κεκραγώς· τί με φεύγεις, τέκνον, τὸν σαυτοῦ πατέρα, τὸν γυμνόν, τὸν γέροντα; ἐλέησόν με, τέκνον, μὴ φοβοῦ· ἔχεις ἔτι ζωῆς ἐλπίδας. ἐγὼ Χριστῷ λόγον δώσω ὑπὲρ σοῦ· ἂν δέῃ, τὸν σὸν θάνατον ἑκὼν ὑπομενῶ, ὡς ὁ κύριος τὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν· ὑπὲρ σοῦ τὴν ψυχὴν ἀντιδώσω τὴν ἐμήν. στῆθι, πίστευσον· Χριστός με ἀπέστειλεν.

17. But John, forgetting his age, pursued him with all his might, crying out, ‘Why, my son, dost thou flee from me, thine own father, unarmed, aged? Pity me, my son; fear not; thou hast still hope of life. I will give account to Christ for thee. If need be, I will willingly endure thy death as the Lord suffered death for us. For thee will I give up my life. Stand, believe; Christ hath sent me.'

ὃ δὲ ἀκούσας, πρῶτον ἔστη μὲν κάτω βλέπων, εἶτα ἔρριψεν τὰ ὅπλα, εἶτα τρέμων ἔκλαιεν πικρῶς· προσελθόντα δὲ τὸν γέροντα περιέλαβεν, ἀπολογούμενος ταῖς οἰμωγαῖς ὡς ἐδύνατο καὶ τοῖς δάκρυσι βαπτιζόμενος ἐκ δευτέρου, μόνην ἀποκρύπτων τὴν δεξιάν·

18. And he, when he heard, first stopped and looked down; then he threw away his arms, and then trembled and wept bitterly. And when the old man approached, he embraced him, making confession with lamentations as he was able, baptizing himself a second time with tears, and concealing only his right hand.

ὃ δ᾿ ἐγγυώμενος, ἐπομνύμενος ὡς ἄφεσιν αὐτῷ παρὰ τοῦ σωτῆρος ηὕρηται, δεόμενος, γονυπετῶν, αὐτὴν τὴν δεξιὰν ὡς ὑπὸ τῆς μετανοίας κεκαθαρμένην καταφιλῶν, ἐπὶ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ἐπανήγαγεν, καὶ δαψιλέσι μὲν εὐχαῖς ἐξαιτούμενος, συνεχέσι δὲ νηστείαις συναγωνιζόμενος, ποικίλαις δὲ σειρῆσι λόγων κατεπᾴδων αὐτοῦ τὴν γνώμην, οὐ πρότερον ἀπῆλθεν, ὥς φασιν, πρὶν αὐτὸν ἐπιστῆσαι τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, διδοὺς μέγα παράδειγμα μετανοίας ἀληθινῆς καὶ μέγα γνώρισμα παλιγγενεσίας, τρόπαιον ἀναστάσεως βλεπομένης»

19. But John, pledging himself, and assuring him on oath that he would find forgiveness with the Saviour, besought him, fell upon his knees, kissed his right hand itself as if now purified by repentance, and led him back to the church. And making intercession for him with copious prayers, and struggling together with him in continual fastings, and subduing his mind by various utterances, he did not depart, as they say, until he had restored him to the church, furnishing a great example of true repentance and a great proof of regeneration, a trophy of a visible resurrection."




Ταῦτα τοῦ Κλήμεντος, ἱστορίας ὁμοῦ καὶ ὠφελείας τῆς τῶν ἐντευξομένων ἕνεκεν, ἐνταῦθά μοι κείσθω. φέρε δέ, καὶ τοῦδε τοῦ ἀποστόλου τὰς ἀναντιρρήτους ἐπισημηνώμεθα γραφάς.

1. This extract from Clement I have inserted here for the sake of the history and for the benefit of my readers. Let us now point out the undisputed writings of this apostle.

καὶ δὴ τὸ κατ᾿ αὐτὸν εὐαγγέλιον ταῖς ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν διεγνωσμένον ἐκκλησίαις, πρῶτον ἀνωμολογήσθω· ὅτι γε μὴν εὐλόγως πρὸς τῶν ἀρχαίων ἐν τετάρτῃ μοίρᾳ τῶν ἄλλων τριῶν κατείλεκται, ταύτῃ ἂν γένοιτο δῆλον.

2. And in the first place his Gospel, which is known to all the churches under heaven, must be acknowledged as genuine. That it has with good reason been put by the ancients in the fourth place, after the other three Gospels, may be made evident in the following way.

οἱ θεσπέσιοι καὶ ὡς ἀληθῶς θεοπρεπεῖς, φημὶ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ τοὺς ἀποστόλους, τὸν βίον ἄκρως κεκαθαρμένοι καὶ ἀρετῇ πάσῃ τὰς ψυχὰς κεκοσμημένοι, τὴν δὲ γλῶτταν ἰδιωτεύοντες, τῇ γε μὴν πρὸς τοῦ σωτῆρος αὐτοῖς δεδωρημένῃ θείᾳ καὶ παραδοξοποιῷ δυνάμει θαρσοῦντες, τὸ μὲν ἐν πειθοῖ καὶ τέχνῃ λόγων τὰ τοῦ διδασκάλου μαθήματα πρεσβεύειν οὔτε ᾔδεσαν οὔτε ἐνεχείρουν, τῇ δὲ τοῦ θείου πνεύματος τοῦ συνεργοῦντος αὐτοῖς ἀποδείξει καὶ τῇ δι᾿ αὐτῶν συντελουμένῃ θαυματουργῷ τοῦ Χριστοῦ δυνάμει μόνῃ χρώμενοι, τῆς τῶν οὐρανῶν βασιλείας τὴν γνῶσιν ἐπὶ πᾶσαν κατήγγελλον τὴν οἰκουμένην, σπουδῆς τῆς περὶ τὸ λογογραφεῖν μικρὰν ποιούμενοι φροντίδα.

3. Those great and truly divine men, I mean the apostles of Christ, were purified in their life, and were adorned with every virtue of the soul, but were uncultivated in speech. They were confident indeed in their trust in the divine and wonder-working power which was granted unto them by the Saviour, but they did not know how, nor did they attempt to proclaim the doctrines of their teacher in studied and artistic language, but employing only the demonstration of the divine Spirit, which worked with them, and the wonder-working power of Christ, which was displayed through them, they published the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven throughout the whole world, paying little attention to the composition of written works.

καὶ τοῦτ᾿ ἔπραττον ἅτε μείζονι καὶ ὑπὲρ ἄνθρωπον ἐξυπηρετούμενοι διακονίᾳ. ὁ γοῦν Παῦλος πάντων ἐν παρασκευῇ λόγων δυνατώτατος νοήμασίν τε ἱκανώτατος γεγονώς, οὐ πλέον τῶν βραχυτάτων ἐπιστολῶν γραφῇ παραδέδωκεν, καίτοι μυρία γε καὶ ἀπόρρητα λέγειν ἔχων, ἅτε τῶν μέχρις οὐρανοῦ τρίτου θεωρημάτων ἐπιψαύσας ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν τε τὸν θεοπρεπῆ παράδεισον ἀναρπασθεὶς καὶ τῶν ἐκεῖσε ῥημάτων ἀρρήτων ἀξιωθεὶς ἐπακοῦσαι.

4. And this they did because they were assisted in their ministry by one greater than man. Paul, for instance, who surpassed them all in vigor of expression and in richness of thought, committed to writing no more than the briefest epistles, although he had innumerable mysterious matters to communicate, for he had attained even unto the sights of the third heaven, had been carried to the very paradise of God, and had been deemed worthy to hear unspeakable utterances there.

οὐκ ἄπειροι μὲν οὖν ὑπῆρχον τῶν αὐτῶν καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν φοιτηταί, δώδεκα μὲν ἀπόστολοι, ἑβδομήκοντα δὲ μαθηταί, ἄλλοι τε ἐπὶ τούτοις μυρίοι· ὅμως δ᾿ οὖν ἐξ ἁπάντων τῶν τοῦ κυρίου διατριβῶν ὑπομνήματα Ματθαῖος ἡμῖν καὶ Ἰωάννης μόνοι καταλελοίπασιν· οὓς καὶ ἐπάναγκες ἐπὶ τὴν γραφὴν ἐλθεῖν κατέχει λόγος.

5. And the rest of the followers of our Saviour, the twelve apostles, the seventy disciples, and countless others besides, were not ignorant of these things. Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity.

Ματθαῖός τε γὰρ πρότερον Ἑβραίοις κηρύξας, ὡς ἤμελλεν καὶ ἐφ᾿ ἑτέρους ἰέναι, πατρίῳ γλώττῃ γραφῇ παραδοὺς τὸ κατ᾿ αὐτὸν εὐαγγέλιον, τὸ λεῖπον τῇ αὐτοῦ παρουσίᾳ τούτοις ἀφ᾿ ὧν ἐστέλλετο, διὰ τῆς γραφῆς ἀπεπλήρου·

6. For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence.

ἤδη δὲ Μάρκου καὶ Λουκᾶ τῶν κατ᾿ αὐτοὺς εὐαγγελίων τὴν ἔκδοσιν πεποιημένων, Ἰωάννην φασὶ τὸν πάντα χρόνον ἀγράφῳ κεχρημένον κηρύγματι, τέλος καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν γραφὴν ἐλθεῖν τοιᾶσδε χάριν αἰτίας. τῶν προαναγραφέντων τριῶν εἰς πάντας ἤδη καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν διαδεδομένων, ἀποδέξασθαι μέν φασιν, ἀλήθειαν αὐτοῖς ἐπιμαρτυρήσαντα, μόνην δὲ ἄρα λείπεσθαι τῇ γραφῇ τὴν περὶ τῶν ἐν πρώτοις καὶ κατ᾿ ἀρχὴν τοῦ κηρύγματος ὑπὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ πεπραγμένων, διήγησιν.

7. And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry.

καὶ ἀληθής γε ὁ λόγος. τοὺς τρεῖς γοῦν εὐαγγελιστὰς συνιδεῖν πάρεστιν μόνα τὰ μετὰ τὴν ἐν τῷ δεσμωτηρίῳ Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ κάθειρξιν ἐφ᾿ ἕνα ἐνιαυτὸν πεπραγμένα τῷ σωτῆρι συγγεγραφότας αὐτό τε τοῦτ᾿ ἐπισημηναμένους κατ᾿ ἀρχὰς τῆς αὐτῶν ἱστορίας·

8. And this indeed is true. For it is evident that the three evangelists recorded only the deeds done by the Saviour for one year after the imprisonment of John the Baptist and indicated this in the beginning of their account.

μετὰ γοῦν τὴν τεσσαρακονταήμερον νηστείαν καὶ τὸν ἐπὶ ταύτῃ πειρασμὸν τὸν χρόνον τῆς ἰδίας γραφῆς ὁ μὲν Ματθαῖος δηλοῖ λέγων· «ἀκούσας δὲ ὅτι Ἰωάννης παρεδόθη, ἀνεχώρησεν» ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας «εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν».

9. For Matthew, after the forty days' fast and the temptation which followed it, indicates the chronology of his work when he says: "Now when he heard that John was delivered up he withdrew from Judea into Galilee.”

ὁ δὲ Μάρκος ὡσαύτως· «μετὰ δὲ τὸ παραδοθῆναι» φησίν «Ἰωάννην ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν», καὶ ὁ Λουκᾶς δὲ πρὶν ἄρξασθαι τῶν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πράξεων, παραπλησίως ἐπιτηρεῖ, φάσκων ὡς ἄρα προσθεὶς Ἡρῴδης οἷς διεπράξατο πονηροῖς, «κατέκλεισε τὸν Ἰωάννην ἐν φυλακῇ».

10. Mark likewise says: "Now after that John was delivered up Jesus came into Galilee.” And Luke, before commencing his account of the deeds of Jesus, similarly marks the time, when he says that Herod, "adding to all the evil deeds which he had done, shut up John in prison."

παρακληθέντα δὴ οὖν τούτων ἕνεκά φασι τὸν ἀπόστολον Ἰωάννην τὸν ὑπὸ τῶν προτέρων εὐαγγελιστῶν παρασιωπηθέντα χρόνον καὶ τὰ κατὰ τοῦτον πεπραγμένα τῷ σωτῆρι (ταῦτα δ᾿ ἦν τὰ πρὸ τῆς τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ καθείρξεως) τῷ κατ᾿ αὐτὸν εὐαγγελίῳ παραδοῦναι, αὐτό τε τοῦτ᾿ ἐπισημήνασθαι, τοτὲ μὲν φήσαντα· «ταύτην ἀρχὴν ἐποίησεν τῶν παραδόξων ὁ Ἰησοῦς», τοτὲ δὲ μνημονεύσαντα τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ μεταξὺ τῶν Ἰησοῦ πράξεων ὡς ἔτι τότε βαπτίζοντος ἐν Αἰνὼν ἐγγὺς τοῦ Σαλείμ, σαφῶς τε τοῦτο δηλοῦν ἐν τῷ λέγειν. «οὔπω γὰρ ἦν Ἰωάννης βεβλημένος εἰς φυλακήν».

11. They say, therefore, that the apostle John, being asked to do it for this reason, gave in his Gospel an account of the period which had been omitted by the earlier evangelists, and of the deeds done by the Saviour during that period; that is, of those which were done before the imprisonment of the Baptist. And this is indicated by him, they say, in the following words: "This beginning of miracles did Jesus"; and again when he refers to the Baptist, in the midst of the deeds of Jesus, as still baptizing in Aenon near Salim; where he states the matter clearly in the words: "For John was not yet cast into prison."

οὐκοῦν ὁ μὲν Ἰωάννης τῇ τοῦ κατ᾿ αὐτὸν εὐαγγελίου γραφῇ τὰ μηδέπω τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ εἰς φυλακὴν βεβλημένου πρὸς τοῦ Χριστοῦ πραχθέντα παραδίδωσιν, οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ τρεῖς εὐαγγελισταὶ τὰ μετὰ τὴν εἰς τὸ δεσμωτήριον κάθειρξιν τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ μνημονεύουσιν·

12. John accordingly, in his Gospel, records the deeds of Christ which were performed before the Baptist was cast into prison, but the other three evangelists mention the events which happened after that time.

οἷς καὶ ἐπιστήσαντι οὐκέτ᾿ ἂν δόξαι διαφωνεῖν ἀλλήλοις τὰ εὐαγγέλια τῷ τὸ μὲν κατὰ Ἰωάννην τὰ πρῶτα τῶν τοῦ Χριστοῦ πράξεων περιέχειν, τὰ δὲ λοιπὰ τὴν ἐπὶ τέλει τοῦ χρόνου αὐτῷ γεγενημένην ἱστορίαν· εἰκότως δ᾿ οὖν τὴν μὲν τῆς σαρκὸς τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν γενεαλογίαν ἅτε Ματθαίῳ καὶ Λουκᾷ προγραφεῖσαν ἀποσιωπῆσαι τὸν Ἰωάννην, τῆς δὲ θεολογίας ἀπάρξασθαι ὡς ἂν αὐτῷ πρὸς τοῦ θείου πνεύματος οἷα κρείττονι παραπεφυλαγμένης.

13. One who understands this can no longer think that the Gospels are at variance with one another, inasmuch as the Gospel according to John contains the first acts of Christ, while the others give an account of the latter part of his life. And the genealogy of our Saviour according to the flesh John quite naturally omitted, because it had been already given by Matthew and Luke, and began with the doctrine of his divinity, which had, as it were, been reserved for him, as their superior, by the divine Spirit.

ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἡμῖν περὶ τῆς τοῦ κατὰ Ἰωάννην εὐαγγελίου γραφῆς εἰρήσθω, καὶ τῆς κατὰ Μάρκον δὲ ἡ γενομένη αἰτία ἐν τοῖς πρόσθεν ἡμῖν δεδήλωται·

14. These things may suffice, which we have said concerning the Gospel of John. The cause which led to the composition of the Gospel of Mark has been already stated by us.

ὁ δὲ Λουκᾶς ἀρχόμενος καὶ αὐτὸς τοῦ κατ᾿ αὐτὸν συγγράμματος τὴν αἰτίαν προύθηκεν δι᾿ ἣν πεποίηται τὴν σύνταξιν, δηλῶν ὡς ἄρα πολλῶν καὶ ἄλλων προπετέστερον ἐπιτετηδευκότων διήγησιν ποιήσασθαι ὧν αὐτὸς πεπληροφόρητο λόγων, ἀναγκαίως ἀπαλλάττων ἡμᾶς τῆς περὶ τοὺς ἄλλους ἀμφηρίστου ὑπολήψεως, τὸν ἀσφαλῆ λόγον ὧν αὐτὸς ἱκανῶς τὴν ἀλήθειαν κατειλήφει ἐκ τῆς ἅμα Παύλῳ συνουσίας τε καὶ διατριβῆς καὶ τῆς τῶν λοιπῶν ἀποστόλων ὁμιλίας ὠφελημένος, διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου παρέδωκεν εὐαγγελίου.

15. But as for Luke, in the beginning of his Gospel, he states He states that since many others had more rashly undertaken to compose a narrative of the events of which he had acquired perfect knowledge, he himself, feeling the necessity of freeing us from their uncertain opinions, delivered in his own Gospel an accurate account of those events in regard to which he had learned the full truth, being aided by his intimacy and his stay with Paul and by his acquaintance with the rest of the apostles.

καὶ ταῦτα μὲν ἡμεῖς περὶ τούτων· οἰκειότερον δὲ κατὰ καιρὸν διὰ τῆς τῶν ἀρχαίων παραθέσεως τὰ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις περὶ αὐτῶν εἰρημένα πειρασόμεθα δηλῶσαι.

16. So much for our own account of these things. But in a more fitting place we shall attempt to show by quotations from the ancients, what others have said concerning them.

τῶν δὲ Ἰωάννου γραμμάτων πρὸς τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ καὶ ἡ προτέρα τῶν ἐπιστολῶν παρά τε τοῖς νῦν καὶ τοῖς ἔτ᾿ ἀρχαίοις ἀναμφίλεκτος ὡμολόγηται, ἀντιλέγονται δὲ αἱ λοιπαὶ δύο.

17. But of the writings of John, not only his Gospel, but also the former of his epistles, has been accepted without dispute both now and in ancient times. But the other two are disputed.

τῆς δ᾿ Ἀποκαλύψεως εἰς ἑκάτερον ἔτι νῦν παρὰ τοῖς πολλοῖς περιέλκεται ἡ δόξα· ὁμοίως γε μὴν ἐκ τῆς τῶν ἀρχαίων μαρτυρίας ἐν οἰκείῳ καιρῷ τὴν ἐπίκρισιν δέξεται καὶ αὐτή.

18. In regard to the Apocalypse, the opinions of most men are still divided. But at the proper time this question likewise shall be decided from the testimony of the ancients.